Ignite by R.J. Lewis

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Ignite by R.J. Lewis

They grew up together as the closest of friends… and then more. When Sara Nolan and Jaxon Barlow decided to be together, their relationship as a young couple was consumed by a love that was both passionate and beautiful. Sara had it all when it came to a boyfriend: romance, trust, and a protector of all things bad. Jaxon had given her his bleeding heart for the keeping.

The last thing Sara expected was to ruin it all. Falling into a darkness that turned her loving relationship into a chaos of deceit and violence, she walked away from the pain she was inflicting on the man she loved, never seeking to return again.

But when Sara is forced to return to her hometown, she didn’t anticipate for Jaxon to be there. Nor does she anticipate the change in him; a change so harsh and callous, he is a stranger with a dangerous agenda of his own. Ignited by her past feelings and the reminder of the guilt she carries in her heart, Sara attempts to avoid Jaxon at all costs… only to find herself trying to pull him out of the same darkness she was once in.

Millie’s Review:

**** 4 Stars ****

Thank you R.J. Lewis for getting me out of my book funk.  It’s been a while since I stayed up til 3am reading, knowing I have to get up in three hours for work.  Kudos Ms. Lewis on your debut novel!

Sara Nolan had one tough upbringing…She lives in the poor side of town with her absent, alcoholic parents, and has been constantly bullied in school by her peers.  That is, until one day, Jaxon Barlow decides to step in and teach Sara’s bully a lesson.  After that, Sara and Jaxon become the best of friends.  He takes her to prom (after no one would ask her – thanks to him) and they finally agree to take their relationship to the next level.  I love stories that start off as childhood friends – it makes the instalove much more believable, you know?

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Sara Nolan (not sure who she is, but she’s gorgeous and is my idea of Sara).

Their relationship is amazing and are so much in love.  They’re living together while Sara attends college and Jaxon works as a mechanic.  Everything seems to be going right, until Jaxon’s mom has a talk with Sara and puts doubt into her mind (don’t worry, the mom’s super cool – she’s just looking out for Sara too).  So Sara starts treating Jaxson like shit and she leaves him for good.

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Jump 5 years later, and Sara has moved on – she’s found a steady job at a law firm, is f*ck buddies with her boss and is roommates with her best friend from college.  Life couldn’t be any better, except she thinks and dreams about Jaxon constantly and can’t get him out of her mind.  She receives a phone call saying her alcoholic mother passed away and she heads back to her home town to sort through her belongings.  There she runs into Lucinda (Jaxon’s mom) and has dinner back at her house (can you guess who comes through the door after a few minutes)?  Yes, Jaxon is back and spiteful!  He’s a new man and 5 years definitely changed him.  Now in a gang called the Scorpions, the man Sara once knew, no longer exists.

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Jaxon Barlow (Jason Lewis aka Smith Jerrod)!

There’s more to it than just Sara and Jaxon though.  Sara doesn’t know her family has been linked to a biker gang called the Jackals and a member of the gang has been watching her ever since she was a teenager.  Remy – second in command, whose about 8 years older than Sara, has known her since she was a baby and watched over her up until this day.

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Remy Martinez (Joe Manganiello)

So there’s two guys, one girl and not really a love triangle, but more like may the best man win.  These guys will stop at nothing to claim Sara! I must warn you, there is a cliffhanger at the end, but the second book is out, so no need to wait to pick up the next book.

Favorite Quotes:

“Just breathe,” he said, in the gentlest tone I’d almost believed he was incapable of. “You’re safe with me here.” 

“You’re the best thing that ever happened to me. You’re it for me. You always have been, and I refuse to let you walk out of my life again. I need you too much. Even after all this time, I’m so fucking in love with you it kills me.” 

“Everything dead and still inside of me came alive, and he did what he always did: ignited me. And, fuck yes, I wanted to burn. Let me burn with this man.”
― R.J. LewisBurn

1. The 1975 – Fallingforyou

2. Imagine Dragons – Battle Cry

3. Cary Brothers – Runaway

4. Sara Bareilles – Gravity

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

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Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free. 

Millie’s Review:

****  4 Stars ****

I’ll be honest, when I first picked up this book, I had no idea what it was about.  All I knew was from the synopsis: girl gets kidnapped and doesn’t know how she got there…I just had to put my trust in Tarryn Fisher, knowing how much I enjoyed her Love Me With Lies trilogy.  So let’s get started:

Senna is damaged – physically and emotionally.  She has no friends.  She pushes people away and shuts them out before things get too complicated.  She knows this is not the conventional way of living, but she doesn’t want to correct it either.  Her life is filled with one bad situation after another.  When she is sexually assaulted during her jog on Christmas morning, she stumbles out of the trail and runs into Isaac.  He immediately brings her to the hospital and checks in on her (since he works as a doctor in the hospital).  They develop a relationship and after months of giving Isaac the cold shoulder, she finally starts opening up to him.  After all that’s happened to her (including news that she has cancer), Isaac convinces her to go see someone to talk to a professional and work through her issues.  Senna comes to a point where she feels Isaac is too involved with her, with her life, and so she decides to cut all ties with him.

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Senna Richards (Gemma Arterton)

Fate has brought them together again under unusual circumstances – locked in a secluded cabin with no way out!  They must find a way to work together as a team in order to survive.

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It’s truly a mind fuck!  You’re in the dark just as much as they are and trying so hard to fit the pieces together!  I felt like I was speed reading just to find out more!  But besides the suspense of the plot, the characters were so engaging.  There’s so much depth to these two.  Take Senna, who is cold and distant, not needing anyone or anything to protect and provide for her.  And then there’s Isaac, the guardian, healer, honest through and through.  He makes you look at the good and bad within and allows you to love all sides of yourself.  He’s an anchor for Senna – holding her down to what is still good and compassionate in this world.  Something she has lost along the way.

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Dr. Isaac Asterholder (Luke Evans)

This book isn’t for everyone though…you’ll either love it or hate it.  It definitely isn’t ANYTHING like the Love Me With Lies books, but if you get Tarryn Fisher, you will absolutely love it.

And if you’re wondering what the title stands for…

“You have one of these, I said, as we were cleaning the prawns together at my kitchen sink.  I ran my finger laterally along its body, pointing out the dark line that needed to be cleaned out.  She frowned, looking down at the prawn she was holding.
“It’s called a mud vein.”
“A mud vein, she repeated.  Doesn’t sound like a compliment.”
“Maybe not to some people.”
“She de-headed her shrimp with a flick of her knife and tossed it in the bowl.”
“It’s your darkness that pulls me in.  Your mud vein.  But sometimes having a mud vein will kill you.”

Favorite Quotes:

“When I was a child my mother would tell me that people lost soul in two ways: someone could take it from you, or you’d surrender it willingly.”

“It hurts me when you cry.”
“I’m crying, but I don’t feel anything,”
“Yes, I know. That’s what hurts me the most.” 

“Every time you want to remember what love feels like, you look for me.” 

“How many times have you been in love, Doctor?”
“Twice. The love of my life, and now my soulmate.”
“What’s the difference?” I asked him. “Between the love of your life, and your soulmate?”
“One is a choice, and one is not.” 

― Tarryn FisherMud Vein

1. Banks – Before I Ever Met You

2. Northern Faces – Dark Days

3. Band of Horses – No One’s Gonna Love You

4. Christina Perri – The Lonely

STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli

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Stargirl

“She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”

- Jerry Spinelli

Anne’s Review

***** 5 stars *****

First off I want to say that they should add this book to all the high school reading list unless of course they have done that already.  I came to reading this without any expectations.  I read the little insert and thought this girl  is super cool.  This is a book about a young girl who has been home schooled most her life and now suddenly decided to go to a regular high school.  She is different from everyone at MICA high; she dresses different, talks different and even have a pet rat she carries around named Cinnamon.  She is also the sweetest, kindest, thoughtful and genuinely greatest person you can ever meet.  We would be lucky enough to be in the same room with this girl.  Her name is Stargirl.

The whole book is narrated by Leo Burlock.  He is an 11th grader in MICA high and simply just chronicles his interactions with the new girl.  Even though she is rejected by most of the kids in school he seems to be drawn into her sense of individuality.  With the sea of conformity she sticks out like a sore thumb.  People ridicule others just by being different.  Different in a sense that they may just be doing something that most people don’t do like singing out loud in public, dancing crazy like no one is watching or simply by just doing what they love.  It is easier for us to make fun or judge those people than accept the fact that we are too afraid to do what we want or worry too much about what others may think.  This book is quite simple but the lessons you get from it is much much deeper than that.

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Stargirl

I thought she was so brave.  I wish I had the guts to know who I was and be who I was when I was her age.  Especially in high school where you try to find yourself and at the same time try to fit in.  We worried too much how to please others and forget to be ourselves.  Stargirl was being true to herself; She did not give a F*** about what anyone thought.  She came to school in different costumes and singing around school without a care in the world.  She was having fun and was genuinely happy.

” She was the opposite of cool; She held nothing back.”

-Leo ( Stargirl )

Dylan Obrien

Leo Burlock

Leo was like the rest of us.  The ” normal ” kids that thought Stargirl was from out of this world.  But He was so fascinated by her that he ended up actually liking her and wanted to know about her.  He found out that she was different than all of us but in a good way.  She cared about helping others and wanted to make the world just a happier place.  I loved Leo and Stargirl’s relationship.  It was how young love should be.  Sweet, innocent and changes you without even knowing that it did.

” She was bendable light; She shone around every corner of my day.”

- Leo ( Stargirl )

dylan O'brien

“She taught me to revel. She taught me to wonder. She taught me to laugh.
My sense of humor had always measured up to everyone else’s; but timid
introverted me, I showed it sparingly: I was a smiler. In her presence I
threw back my head and laughed out loud for the first time in my life”

- LEO ( Stargirl )

Overall I loved the book.  It made me missed my younger years.  How I would have done things differently; pick the right kind of friends, join more after school clubs and not give a sh*t about what others think.  Kids need to have fun and stand up for their passion.  I would totally recommend this book to everyone especially if you have kids.   It has such a lovely lesson.

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It started with a porcupine tie and ended with a porcupine tie.

** soundtrack **

1. Caged the Elephant ( Take it or Leave it )

2. MSMR ( Hurricane )

3. Fitz and the Tantrums ( Out of my League )

4. Passenger ( Let her Go )

5. Vampire Weekend ( Unbelievers )

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book:   http://www.amazon.com/Stargirl-Jerry-Spinelli-ebook/dp/B000QCSAIQ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

author:  http://www.jerryspinelli.com

photo cred: http://www.Google.com

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http://www.Pinterest.com

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

twenty boy summer

“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Okay.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie. She’s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Anne’s Review

**** 4 stars ****

This was such a beautifully well written story about first love, friendships, holding on and letting go.  Do not let the title fool you because its kind of irrelevant.  This book is more than just boys and hook ups.  It is a story of a girl who fell in love with someone and lost that person in less than a month of being together.  She struggled to move on since she was still caught up in the past and was not ready to let go.  This novel perfectly brought out how differently each person handles grief and shows us that it never truly is a goodbye because you will always have them in your heart.

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( L: Anna and R: Frankie )

Anna and Frankie have been best friends since they were young along with Frankie’s 2 year older brother Matt. The trio have been inseparable. But Anna always saw Matt more than just a best friend. She has been in love with Matt since she could even remember,  but she never told Frankie about how she felt.  One of her only wishes for her birthday was for Matt to show her that he felt the same way….. and he did. Matt kissed Anna on her 16th birthday.  They continued to sneak around for the next 3 weeks and failed to tell Frankie about their new relationship status.  Matt promised Anna to never say a word to Frankie.  He wanted to tell his own sister about them on their annual family trip to Zanzibar Bay.  But Matt never had a chance to say anything because the eve of the trip he passed away  and Anna carried the secret she promised Matt.

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( Matt )

“He loved to read. He loved words, the way they string together into sentences and stories. He wanted to study them, to know and create them, to share them with the world. ”

- Anna, Twenty Boy Summer

“Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks. Once my eyes open, I’m heavy, like there’s to much gravity on my heart.”
Anna, Twenty Boy Summer

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Zanzibar Bay California

A year came and Frankie invited Anna to their annual trip to Zanzibar bay.  Frankie wanted the summer to be memorable and wanted for both of them to have fun.  “Fun”  meaning boys, sun, boys, parties, and a chance of romance.  But how great could this trip be when this was the first time the family ever came back without Matt?

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I never really gave out any spoilers because the book is way more than what I just shared.  I really enjoyed this book.  It made me cry ( often ) and feel sad for Anna, but at the same time I was so moved by how strong this girl is.  The way she handled her grief was something I could never do.  I gave it a 4 stars because I stayed up late to finish this book. I gave it only a 4 and not a 5 because I fell in love with Matt and I was like Anna, it was hard for me to even let him go.

ps: I picked this up because of the cover and loved it even  more after reading the book.

** soundtrack **

1. Ray LaMontagne – You Are The Best Thing

2. Parachute – Forever and Always

3. Mariah and Boyz2men – One Sweet Day

4. Artic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

5.  Michael Learns To Rock – Sleeping Child

6. Jack White – Love Interruption

7. Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather

8. Noah and the Whale – L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N

book:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twenty-boy-summer-sarah-ockler/1100269297?ean=9780316051583

author:

http://sarahockler.com/

photo cred:

http://www.google.com

Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews

Flowers in the Attic

” Way upstairs there are
four secrets hidden.
Blond, beautiful, innocent
struggling to stay alive.”

Anne’s Review

***** 5 Stars *****

This a story about four innocent beautiful children who were locked up by their grandmother and mother in the attic after their father died.  Their mother’s marriage to their father was such a disgrace and sinful that in order for their mother to win back her father’s love ( and win her way back into his will ) she must return back home to ask for forgiveness, pay her sin and show that she never bore any children from that marriage.  Over the course of 3-4 years, the children were imprisoned alone in that attic with no one to hold on to but each other.  A grim tale to say the least.

I read this book 5 years ago and I have always wanted to see the movie.  I finally saw the movie ( 1987 version ) last night and it reminded me how good this book really was.  Good in the sense that its very raw and twisted.  A twisted dark fairy tale, not the happy sunshine type of fairy tale, but nevertheless it is a story that is so evil that you can only think of it to exist in an imaginary world.  The narrator is a 11-12 year old little girl. A girl that has yet to reach womanhood and was left behind to take care of herself, her  little sister and little brother, along with her older brother who is only 14.  It comes to show us that children are really in the mercy of their parents. It is not too far from reality in how their mother and grandmother treated them so badly.  I am sure there are worse cases right now with children being  mistreated by the  people they care about. I don’t want to give any spoilers out in this review.  I want you to find out how dark and twisted this book really is.  But you have to be open minded about everything before you read it.  You have to set aside all your paranoia, judgement and emotion or else you would not appreciate the rawness of this book.  The story is not something you could even comprehend in reality.  It is so original and probably one of my favorite books of all time.

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Cathy Dollanganger

She is the perfect little princess you read about in stories.  Perfect hair, perfect skin and of course so beautiful.  I loved Brooke Shields back in the 80s. She was so pretty and I can picture Cathy to be the young Brooke.

“Love … I put so much faith in it. Truth … I kept believing it falls always from the lips of the one you love and trust the most. Faith … it’s all bound up to love and trust. Where does one end and the other start, and how do you tell when love is the blindest of all?”

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Christopher Dollanganger

Chris is strikingly handsome with long, waving blond hair that just touched his shoulders, then curled upward. ( From Petals on the Wind ) If you have been reading my old posts, you should have an idea who this is.  This is a younger picture of Alex Pettyfer. Everytime I read a character with long blonde hair I always picture him.

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The Twins

Cory and Carrie Dollanganger.  I chose the Jolie-Pitts for the twins.  They were about four when they were in the attic.

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The Grandparents mansion.  Looks perfect outside but held the most terrifying secrets.

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The Attic

Paper Flowers

** paper flowers

“It is so appropriate to color hope yellow, like the sun we seldom saw. And as I begin to copy from the old memorandum journals that I kept for so long, a title comes as if inspired. ‘Open the Window and Stand in the Sunshine.’ Yet, I hesitate to name our story that. For I think of us more as flowers in the attic.”

This is a story of  innocence, love, hate, greed, lust, betrayal and survival.  A different take on a “coming of age,” adolescence type of book.

** soundtrack **

1. Jack White – LOVE interruption

2.Passenger – Let HER Go

3. A Great Big World – Say Something

4. Rihanna – What Now

5. Eminem –  The Monster

** A real F@*ked up story that you will remember forever.

“Love doesn’t always come when you want it to. Sometimes it just happens, despite your will.”

book: http://www.amazon.com/Flowers-Attic-Dollanganger-Book-1/dp/0671729411

A Precise Moment by Nicole Castro

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Brynn Cash is so over her life in the mid-west, so it’s high time to do something wild and get a new one. Moving across the country seems like a radical idea- because it is- but working in a bookstore for beans is just plain crazy. A chance meeting puts Brynn in front of one of her rockstar idols, Jared West. She might be a city girl living in the desert, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a one night stand. When she gets an opportunity to visit him in LA, she isn’t sure which one is worse- getting Jared’s sole attention or being invisible to him.

Anne’s Review

*** 3 stars ***

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I’ll Be Here by Autumn Doughton

I'll Be There

“For the past two years, Willow James has been building the perfect life–a life that centers around Dustin Rant, her dimpled, sports-car-driving, cologne-wearing boyfriend. Willow and Dustin have lots of plans. Plans for college, prom, tonight actually. So, when the unthinkable happens, and Dustin breaks up with Willow over a plate of cheese fries at a steak house, she is left stunned and heartbroken. 

With less than two months until graduation, Willow has to start a new life from scratch. She’ll have to revisit old wrongs along the way and make the most important decision of all: who does she want to be? She’s going to have help from her wacky ex-best friend, her bohemian mother, and an old flame that is suddenly and somewhat inconveniently back in her life.”

Anne’s Review

*** 3 stars ***

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Devil’s Knot by Mara Leveritt

Devil's Knot

On May 5, 1993, a full moon rose behind the Memphis skyline. It’s light glinted across the Mississippi River and fell onto the midsized Arkansas town aspiringly named West Memphis.  Sometime between the rising of the moon and its setting the next morning, something diabolical would happen in West Memphis.  Three eight year old boys would vanish, plucked off the streets of their neighborhood by the unseen, murderous hand. Under the glare of the next day’s sun, police would discover three young bodies. They would be pulled- naked, pale, bound and beaten from a watery ditch in a patch of woods alongside two of America’s busiest highways. 

- Devil’s Knot by Mara Leveritt

west memphis three

The Victims: ( Left to Right ) Chris Byers, Michael Moore and Stevie Branch

Around 1:45 pm, juvenile Parole Officer Steve Jones spotted a boy’s black shoe floating in a muddy creek that led to a major drainage canal in Robin Hood Hills. A subsequent search of the ditch revealed the bodies of three boys. They were stripped naked and had been hogtied with their own shoelaces: their right ankles tied to their right wrists behind their backs, the same with their left arms and legs. Their clothing was found in the creek, some of it twisted around sticks that had been thrust into the muddy ditch bed.The clothing was mostly turned inside-out; two pairs of the boys’ underwear were never recovered. Christopher Byers had lacerations to various parts of his body, and mutilation of his scrotum and penis.

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The ” Suspects”

At the time of the arrest Echols was 18, Misskelley was 17 and Baldwin was only 16.

Anne’s Review

***** 5 Stars *****

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Sins & Needles (The Artist Trilogy #1) by Karina Halle

Sins & Needles (The Artist Trilogy #1) by Karina Halle

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents’ latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.

Millie’s Review:

**** 4.5 Stars ****

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