Steering the Stars by Autumn Doughton and Erica Cope

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Steering the Stars

Be careful what you wish for…You’ll never know if you don’t try…

 

Anne’s Review

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

I have not stayed up late, way past my bedtime, reading a book in a long time.  I was lucky enough to win a copy of this AWESOME book by Autumn and Erica.  I’m a true sucker for teen romance and the classic  80’s formula for teen movies;  they just feel good.  This is a story of two best friends who have known each other since birth and they have been tested on how strong their bond is when one of them had to spend a whole year, miles and miles away. Will they both be able to get through this or will it break their friendship?  This is a new take to a, “coming of age,” type of story.

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One story Two girls.

Hannah

An aspiring writer, who has been craving for a new adventure, won a year scholarship to a prestigious school in London.  She will have to leave not only her family, but her very best friend Caroline. She always dreamt of an exciting and new experience and winning the essay contest gave her exactly what she always wanted.  Hannah is the total opposite of Caroline.  She is a bit more ballsier and can easily adapt to any situation that comes her way; including being in a new city with a sister she hardly knows. But, will this experience be something that she can handle? Or will it be a total failure?

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There she met Joel. He is the one person Hannah never expected to meet nor get to know.  He is the mysterious sexy boy in school that is somewhat of a loner but not in a creepy weird way.  He is the type of guy that knows exactly what he wants and not afraid to take it.  Which is someone that Hannah had never encountered in the small town of Oklahoma. Will this new exciting guy inspire her to be a better writer or will he just be a distraction to her dream?

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Joel

The best part about Hannah and Joel is the backdrop.

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London Eye

Caroline

Caroline is the typical straight A student who goes through life being invisible. She is happy with how she is and as long as Hannah is with her, everything is peachy. But when Hannah had to leave for a year she realized that she never really had a life of her own.  With Hannah away, she has never felt more alone.  When she was forced to join the theater class, she found herself to be in the spotlight.  Will she allow herself to change or will she continue to be invisible?

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While her best friend is away, Caroline is given a chance to get to know Henry; who happens to be Hannah’s older brother. She has known him as long as she has known Hannah, but she never really got to know him as anything more than her best friend’s older brother.  Will Caroline see Henry in a different light?

Henry

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Henry is the gorgeous older boy next door; charming, sweet and protective.  Caroline is not sure if Henry only sees her as his younger sister’s friend, or is he hiding something else?

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From a scene in the movie ” Say Anything. “

** theres a scene in the book that  referred to this scene from the movie that I loved.

One of the reason why I love YA books; because theres a love story. Nothing compares to the innocence of first love.  This was magically written.  The story will engulf you till the end and that’s exactly what happened with me. I read this in one sitting and i was unable to put it down till it was over. If you love teen romance  then you WILL LOVE THIS BOOK.  I love the way both authors brought out such two amazing stories and seamlessly rid them together.  I loved EVERY character and I was hoping  for the story to never end….

Thank you Autumn and Erica for this lovely book.

grab a copy of the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Steering-Stars-Autumn-Doughton-ebook/dp/B00U7WJMKU

** soundtrack

1. Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Atlas Hands

2. Ben Howard – Further Away

3. Skip the Use – Cup of Coffee

4. Emily and The Woods – Steal His Heart

5. The Honey Trees – To Be With You

6. Snow Patrol – You Could Be Happy

Photo creds: Google

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

California Physical Therapy Ethics, Laws and Regulations Course Manual

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Anne’s Review

**** 4Stars ****

This is quite a story. I don’t think these two characters would have ever met if the situation was different. Lou is a small town girl who is content with her life and is living it day by day. Then there’s Will. A handsome rich guy, who has everything in life going for him until one tragic day.  When Lou lost her job at the cafe, she found a job as a caregiver for Will. Will had an accident and became disabled. His family had to look for someone to take care of him.  They found Lou; who was the perfect one for Will. I bet you know what’s about to happen just from the little excerpt. But it is more than what you would even guess. The story between these two is not what you would expect.  I enjoyed this so much that I think I finished it pretty quickly; and that is rare nowadays.

The reason why I gave it 4 stars is because some of the choices that were made in the story.  I have some experience with taking care of patients in similar situations as Will.  It’s tough to be in that situation and I will never know how it could affect my own choices.  This book deals with a lot of very serious topics.  It makes us realize that we really can’t judge anyone unless you’re in the same situation.  I love the two main characters. I think they are perfect for each other despite being total opposites. They both learned from each other and became  better people; which for me, is very important in life.  To find that special someone that loves you for you and brings out the best in you.  It was a lovely lovely story of two people introduced not by faith but more in chance.

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“All I can say is that you make me… you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful. I would rather be with you – even the you that you seem to think is diminished – than with anyone else in the world.” 

Sam-Claflin

“You are scored on my heart,Clark. You were from the first day you walked in,with your ridiculous clothes and your complete inability to ever hide a single thing you felt.”

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“…I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn’t have met, and who didn’t like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other.” 

Note:

Im so excited that this will be a movie this year.  The actors I chose ( Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke ) will be playing Lou and Will.  I know what you’re thinking, “Not another book turned movie!”  but I think this will be a great one.  These two actors are amazing and I think they will bring the two main leads to justice.

** soundtrack **

1. Ed Sheeran – Lego House

2. Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko – Stay

3. John Legend – All of Me

4. Sam Smith – Lay Me Down

5. Jake Bugg – Broken

6. Jake Bugg – A Song about Love

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

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“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.” 

 

Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.

Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her borther’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?

She begins to realize that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.

Who did massacre the Day family?

Anne’s Review

***** 5 *****

I read Gillian Flynn’s book Sharp Objects along time ago.  At that time I was into a different genre of books and when I read her book I was just surprised how dark and twisted it was.   Then last year I saw the movie Gone Girl and I thought it was incredibly good.  I decided I needed to read the book and that was when I realized she was the same author as Sharp Objects.  I enjoyed the book Gone Girl. I wanted to check if she had any other books. That was when I came across Dark Places.

Dark Places has a similar formula as Gone Girl; writing style that is.  It tells the story from the point of view of three people- Patty Day, Ben Day and Libby Day.  It goes back and forth between the present time with Libby and the day before the massacre with Patty and Ben.  The book starts off with Libby 24 yrs later after she confessed that her brother Ben killed her mother and two younger sisters.  Libby was only seven years old when the murders happened and ever since then she has been a recluse and never actually questioned what really happened that night.  As a  reader it just grabs you from the beginning.  How they can even believe a seven year old can positively confess to such a huge thing and for everyone in town to believe her.  The entire time I’m trying to guess who the hell killed her family.  Then she randomly just meets this guy Lyle from a so called secret group that is obsessed with investigating crimes and they were willing to pay Libby to dig up the past. The group feels that Ben is innocent and someone else killed her family.  The Kill Group/Club was a bit weird for me but I won’t be surprised if they really do have those types of groups.  From there, the story will take you back with Libby to her past; to her dark places.

Gillian Flynn is such an amazing storyteller. She knows how to keep you intrigued despite perfecting the most fucked up characters ever read. Especially the guys. She portrays the guys as cowards and the females controlling.  I seriously never ever liked any of her characters in her books but yet I still love her stories.  She just knows how to twist everything and keeps you wanting more of it.  This book is one of my favorites from her.  This will also be a movie this year.

I chose my characters based on the actors they have chosen for the big screen:

"In the Valley of Elah" Press Conference With Charlize Theron and Paul Haggis - September 21, 2007

Old Libby Day

( Charlize Theron )

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Lyle

( Nicholas Hoult )

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Patty Day

( Christina Hendricks )

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Old Ben Day

( Corey Stoll )

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Young Ben Day

( Tye Sheridan )

- He was in the movie MUDD and I thought he was really good. I think he is perfect to play Ben.

****** Now these characters pretty important in the book/story but I will rather have you figure out who they are than me telling you.  Trust me it is so worth it.

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Trey Teppano, Ben Day, and Diondra.

** Two important girls in Ben’s story

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Diondra

( Chloe Grace Moretz )

- I love Chloe Moretz.  I can’t wait to see her in this role. It will be totally different but other characters she had played in the past.

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Krissi Cates

( Addy Miller )

 ** soundtrack **

1. Imagine Dragons – Demons

2. U2 – Invisible

3. Metallica – Enter Sandman

4. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

5. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’Mine

6. AC/DC – Highway to Hell

Avoiding Series book 1 ( Avoiding Commitment ) by K.A Linde

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Jack and Lexi never had a typical relationship. After 2 years without speaking, she receives a phone call that changes everything. He unexpectedly asks her to convince the new girl, Bekah, that he’s ready to commit. Jack is calling now after everything they had been through because there is another woman. She can’t believe it.

Follow Lexi in this heart wrenching drama as she relives her past relationship, or lack thereof, with Jack, and not just in her own mind, but to his fiance-to-be. Throw in Bekah’s hot brother who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, a past with more secrets to unravel than you can even imagine, and you get a recipe for disaster.

Find out what happens to Lexi as she travels to Atlanta to get the closure she so desperately desires from Jack, and how the bumps of life seem to keep getting in the way.

Dual Review:

Anne

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

Millie

**** 4 stars ****

( reaction to 1st book )

Anne:  Lexi and Jack were doomed from the very start but I still think that once you have unfinished business with anyone you tend to hold on to that person.  That is exactly what Lexi felt about Jack despite of all the fucked up things he did to her.  For Lexi, Jack was the one that got away and without closure she will never be able to let him go freely.  I received this book series from Millie and I literally read the entire thing in less than 4 days.  That very first scene where she got that phone call, I was hooked.  I wanted to know who the hell this guy was that Lexi stupidly had to go to Atlanta for; just to prove to his girlfriend Bekah that he is marriage material.  What the fuck is that?? I think that was just irrational and just plain dumb.  But the author did an amazing job showing us how their relationship started and ended and started and then so on and so on.  I can never relate to Lexi because I will never be in that situation.  All my relationships that ended have stayed that way.  I have no reason to keep any of them even as friends.  I personally just do not think that there is a reason to it.  It ended and that was that.  But Lexi and Jack are totally different.  They do have this crazy connection and ( sexual ) chemistry that they cannot control.  They are totally just not great together but somehow the universe tends to bring them back again.  That is what the 1st book is totally about.  It brings you to their past and present and its pretty amazing because it will  really make you understand why their relationship is fucked up but somehow it does make sense.  I am always open minded about the stories and the characters.  I try to understand why that person is the way she is to be acting that way.  This is why I read it; because it makes me understand and meet different types of people and I try my best not to relate to them because sometimes I’m not them.  So I know why Lexi is super fucked up over Jack. He was her very first crush, first love and he broke her.   I loved this book.  It is a pretty fucked up story and it will make you go crazy but in a good way.

Millie:  I read this back in 2012 (when it was on smashwords and K.A. Linde was writing under craziebabe45) and I’m just as crazy about it as I was 2 years ago!  Once I saw the series on amazon for $.99, I had to have Anne read this emotional roller coaster!  Like Anne said, the first couple of pages will have you hooked, and you’ll be dying to find out who Jack Howard is and why he still has this hold over Lexi.  Anne has a point, when you don’t have closure, you can’t really move on completely and let go of a person, but I think it’s more to it than that…you never really forget your first love (even if he was a complete douche to you).  Plus, there were times where Jack was committed…he was trying, so to dub him as the bad guy all throughout wouldn’t be fair.  The attraction was there, the chemistry was there, the timing…well, not so much.  K.A. Linde has a great way of making you re-live the story of Jack and Lexi – I love how she goes from present to past and back again without confusing or making your head spin (GENIUS)!!!  My final thoughts on this book:

- ANGST, WTF, MORE ANGST!

- TEAM JACK FTW!!!

cast:

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( young Lexi and Jack )

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Anne:  I liked Jack, the Jack at the coffee shop and the Jack that took her to the carnival but after that I hated him.  I hated the way he treated Lexi.  I have dated a guy like Jack a total selfish douche bag but instead of holding on to that I learned from it and was able to appreciate that I did not end up with anyone like Jack.  This is a good story and I loved the way the author brought out this story. It was different and I will never be able to forget this crazy love story.

Millie:  Jack had me at hello, or was it “you’re not bad.”  Whatever his first words were, he got me!  From his sexy eyes to his playful banter, I was just as smitten with him as Lexi.  Yes, he had his faults, and yes what he was asking from Lexi was inconsiderate, but like I said, once you fall and fall hard, it’s impossible to just turn off your feelings.  And, ok, the birthday incident was really f*cked up, but hey, they both wanted it!

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( beach scene of Lexi and Jack )

“I did those things because of my lack of control. When you touch me Jack, I completely succumb to you. I give into your every whim.”

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( older Lexi and Jack )

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( engagement party minus the red dress )

“You were the only one I saw when I closed my eyes,” he said bringing his hand up to her chin and tilting her head up to look into his crystal clear blue eyes.
“Then why wasn’t I enough when they were open?” she asked another tear welling in her eyes.”

iPhoto Library

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( Ramsey Bridges )

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( balcony scene with Lexi and Ramsey )

Anne: “Ramsey was the golden boy.  Blonde hair, green eyes, rich and abs that can kill.  He was the ultimate rebel.  He tries his best to just pissed off his family and do whatever he wants.  I fell in love with him the very first time I met him.  He was the kind of boy that if he sees what he wants he fucking goes for it.  That was exactly what he did with Lexi.  I loved that despite of knowing about Jack and Lexi past ( and present ) he never gave up and pursued her.  I love a guy that goes for what he wants and no bullshit!!!!!”

Millie:  Ok, so I can’t hate Ramsey, but I don’t have to love him either…yes, he looks good, and yes, he did everything right in the book, but to me it all felt contrived.  Like he was forcing Lexi to like him based on his status, and money.  Or, you can say I’m just partial to Jack.  And it’s kind of weird dating your ex-boyfriends fiance’s brother!

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( the bitch Bekah Bridges )

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beautiful Chyna

Sexy

“So, as sad as this day is for me, as I am losing a part of myself with the loss of you, it is really just the beginning for me. It is like cutting off the spoiled part to get the juicy center. So, I would appreciate it this time, if you did not try and contact me. Because, as I’m sure you know, I deserve much better. I want everything this time around, and I deserve it.”

** soundtrack **

1. Adele – Chasing Pavement

2. Bruno Mars – When I was your Man

3. Passenger – Let Her Go

4. Caged the Elephant – Cigarette Daydreams

5. Disclosure – Latch featuring Sam Smith

6. Lady Gaga – Do What U Want featuring R. Kelly

7. Erik Hassle – Pathetic

8. Vance Joy – Mess Is Mine

9. Peter Bradley Adams – The Longer I Run

10. M83 – Wait

This Sky by Autumn Doughton

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When he touches me, the sky and the earth switch places

Gemma Sayers has spent the last six days rotting in a hotel room, wallowing in a noxious combination of gin and self-pity. She’s no stranger to disappointment but nothing could have prepared her for the chaos that unfolded when her celebrity boyfriend publicly humiliated her. Now the fairytale is officially over and Gemma is determined to put the past behind her and strike out to find a new dream. Just a few teeny-tiny details to work out: she’s currently broke, homeless and unemployed.

Landon Young has his own worries. Surfer by day and bartender by night, he doesn’t have the interest or the time to be anyone’s happily-ever-after. Weighed down by the memory of what happened two years ago, Landon can barely keep his head above water.

This Sky is the thoughtful and often funny story about broken trust, an unexpected love and the hopes we keep sewn in the linings of our pockets.

Anne’s Review

*** 3 stars ***

Before we even started this blog I knew that Millie and I promised to always be honest with our reviews.  So, for this book, I have to only give it a 3.  Here are my reasons:

Why did I like it?

1.  I liked the characters… oh never mind. I liked Landon.  He was definitely interesting, mysterious, troubled, sad but at the same time hopeful.  No matter how f**ked up his past was, he was able to start over and be a better person despite being raised by a shitty mother.

Landon

( model: Mark Grant )

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2.  I loved the setting since it’s where I am now… Southern Cali. I actually recognized some places that were mentioned in the book.  So that was pretty cool.

3. I have always wanted to surf despite of being terrified of sharks and this book really made me want to take lessons.

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http://www.LuisGuanzon.com

( landscape photographer )

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surfing couple

What I did NOT like ?

1. I felt like Landon and Gemma should have been at least a bit older maybe 26-27 or something.   Being 21-23 years old I feel they can’t be that jaded.  This is the time to have fun, make mistakes and move on. Life is too short to be this boring and dramatic.  Also I really did not feel like I knew the characters that well.  It was hard for me to see how Gemma and Landon were the way they were.    Yes I know both had a pretty shitty past or circumstances but that was more implied to me other than me actually feeling it from reading.  Especially with Landon.  I did not feel the genuine affection he had with his mother.  I know he was or he did love her because once again it was pretty much implied in the book.  And Gemma I did not understand how she was this f**ked up sad little girl.  Yes she caught her boyfriend in the bathroom doing the nasty with another girl,  but I just did not get how this  girl  is the way she is.  Ren and Gemma’s story was a bit cut off and sometimes I wanted to know more about how the relationship went down other than what he did.   It must either be the flow of the story, the dialogue or something that I must have interpreted differently. But it definitely was lacking something for me.  I can’t just accept it just because it was written; I need to feel them to know them deeper to really feel how happy how sad or how f**ked up they are.  This story did not have that and this is the main reason I’m giving it 3 stars.

2. Gemma Gemma Gemma!!!!…. She must have been this amazingly gorgeous creature to be able to land her hands on these two insanely famous guys.  And yet she cannot  land a role?  If she really was this gorgeous girl and  a girlfriend of a up and coming heartthrob star, she would have gotten some roles one way or another.  I am never a fan of such a perfect heroine that really lacks the personality or the IT factor to be with awesome dudes.  Also, she is a bit of a snob.  When she first walked into her best friend’s apartment, she was implying that it looked like shit.  And her best friend was the only one she had after her life went to shit.  I mean come on, she is all  you got and you had to judge her place?.. What a Bitch??!!!!

Gemma

( actress: Rachel McAdams )

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3. Lastly, the ending for me was too predictable and perfect.  But I guess how else would you end the story??

This book received a lot of  great reviews.  I have my reasons why I gave it a 3 stars.  But definitely do not take my word for it.  It was still a fun read and quick easy story.  Of course I still  love the way Ms. Autumn Doughton writes.  That will always be  5 stars. This book was well written and that never is a problem if you pick  up her books.

 Ms. Doughton is a true poet:

“Pain doesn’t really go away because someone kisses it better. Sadness doesn’t recede because a person posts an inspiring quote on your Facebook wall. Grief doesn’t sink into the shadows the moment the sun comes up. You can’t sleep your way through misery. There are some hurts that become a part of you, like your blood or your eyes or your teeth. Those are the ones that need to be lived over and over again.”
Autumn Doughton, This Sky

Ryan Gosling And Rachel Mcadams The Notebook

I lied.
I wanted you from that moment.
I wanted you, wrapped in starlight and reflections,
To be tied up with strings.
And ropes.
And chains.
I wanted you hanging around my neck
Like a charm I could press to my heart and
Make three wishes on.

- This Sky

Nevertheless please grab a copy of This Sky at

http://www.amazon.com/This-Sky-Autumn-Doughton-ebook/dp/B00MN07DDM

soundtrack:

1. Hozier – Church

2.  SomeKindaWonderful – Reverse

3.  Vance Joy – RipTide

4.  Sam Smith – Stay with ME

5. Justin Timberlake – Cry Me a River

( my favorite part always picking the songs.  I have not seen this video in forever and totally forgot how good this was. Perfect song and perfect video. )

6. John Legend – All of Me

**** I want to thank Ms Doughton  for sharing this new book with me.  I truly appreciate it and will always be a fan.

The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

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Sweet Gum Tree

Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.

Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick’s abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.

Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick’s abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she’s starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she’s content if not happy—until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He’s back…and he’s not alone.

Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she’s built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson’s death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well heal.

Anne’s review

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

” A sweet gum tree is the chameleon of wood, its corky extrerior hiding its inner ability to imitate anything from cherry to mahogany. But its real value, one unrealized by most people, is its deep red heart, steady and strong. They see only, the pale fibrous wood, easily warped, that surrounds the core “

AMAZING AMAZING Story!!!!

I was a mess ( in a good way ) when I was reading this book.  Once I opened up the first page, I was unable to put it down till the last page.  It’s a story about friendship, heartache, forgiveness and undying love.

Although I would love to re tell what this book is about, synopsis ( top ) pretty much gives you the idea without really spoiling anything .  I haven’t read anything this great in a very long time.  I felt every heartache each of the characters endured.  I was such a mess after the first half that I actually had to take a smoke break just to ease myself.  This was just perfectly written.  The author did an amazing job with the development of the two main characters; from being childhood friends to lovers.  Although this story is filled with a lot of heartbreaks,  it felt like there was was just enough to keep you holding on.  This story shows us that no matter what, true love is able to forgive and withstand any obstacles that comes their way.

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( Alix and Nick  ( teen ) )

“I’ll marry you,” I told him decisively. “That way, we can both have kids someday.”
He grinned, those dimples emerging in a blaze of glory. “Yeah, you probably would.”

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Alix ( adult )

“Do you want to know the real reason I came back, Alix?” It was because of you. You’re my roots. Wherever you are would be home to me.”

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Nick ( adult )

“He always was someone. Because the core of the sweet gum tree never changes. Like Nick, the deep red wood stays true to its nature. Strong, and steady, and pure.”

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Farm house/Barn

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“You’re the only one I’ve ever wanted, Alix, the only one I’ll ever want. That’s a promise.”

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“You can’t turn love on and off like a light switch, no matter how hard you try. All you can do is wall it off, one brick at a time, until you’ve created an impenetrable fortress around your emotions. And once that fortress is built, you camouflage it so well that even you can’t see it anymore.”

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“To my surprise, Nick reached under his shirt and pulled out the half-heart pendant. With his gaze fixed on mine, he slid the chain over my head. “No one should have to go through life with only half a heart,” he whispered.”

* soundtrack *

1. The Album Leaf- Always For You

2. The Head and the Heart – Heaven Go Easy on Me

3. Angus and Julia Stone – A Heartbreak

4.  Sinead Fahey and Julian Roso – I Will Give You the Moon

5. Julian Roso – Never FOrget

6. Ray LaMontagne – Let IT Be

This will be at the top of my, “favorite love story list.”  It is such a roller coaster of events that it feels so true to life.   I cannot say much about it because I want you to be able to experience it for yourself.  I don’t think I will be able to ever look at a sweet gum tree as just a tree after this book. Alix and Nick’s love story will truly remain in my heart.

http://smile.amazon.com/The-Sweet-Tree-Katherine-Allred/dp/1419953249/ref=smi_ge_rl_btns3_setch?_encoding=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0&ie=UTF8&pldnNew=1

Under Different Stars by Amy Bartol

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All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

 

Anne’s Review

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

It has been awhile since I’ve stayed up late reading.  I found this book on accident at http://www.Amazon.com.  I fell in love with the cover, like I always do.  I cannot really say its all romance or teeny boppy kind of story since its YA genre.  It actually was surprisingly good.  It had adventure, comedic rants between characters, amazing scenery, and a forbidden love affair as close to Romeo and Juliet.  From the beginning it captivated me and I was unable to put the book down.  The way Bartol writes makes you feel like you’re really seeing the entire story unfold.  I loved it. Every page of it.  I’m having a difficult time finding the right description for this book. It was a very visual experience.  The new world the author created is amazing. I honestly felt like I was watching a movie instead of reading a book.  So for this review, I will show more of what I saw in my head and for you to grab a copy of this awesome story and find out for yourself.

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Kricket

I loved her.  She was not the typical YA heroine.  She was strong, and actually pretty funny.  A bit of a smart ass.   She is keeping a secret that can either help or destroy her.  She must choose where she belongs and her decision can change Ethar’s destiny.

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Trey

Oh Trey! He was absolute perfection.  Handsome, brave, and obedient; but when it comes to Kricket, he loses everything about him ( in a good way).  Trey took the mission to find Kricket on Earth to bring her back to Ethar.  He is the type of guy that follows orders and never breaks them; but after meeting her his life is about to change.

“I’d break every rule for you.”  

- Trey

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Kyon

He is Alameeda and knows more about Kricket than anyone else.  He wanted her from the beginning and will not let anyone else have her no matter what it takes.

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This is Ethar for me.  It reminded me a lot of Avatar.

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City of Ethar

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The Palace

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One of my favorite scene.  The fountain.

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Isle of Skye

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Isle of Skye ( quarter  and hoover craft )

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When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

“I told him that when we first met… I felt like a butterfly trapped in a net. But… I told him that the more time I spent with him, the more I began to realize how much he means to me I told him that since it seems to be my destiny to dodge raindrops… I was grateful to be dodging them with him. So, I promised him that it would always be his name on my mind when I start my rotation… and when I go to bed each evening… and every quiet moment in between. It will be his name… savored on my lips… stretched across my heart… worshipped by my body… and branded in my mind… until death do us part… and forever after that.”

- Kricket

* soundtrack *

1. Florence and the Machine – Never Let Me Go

2. Milky Chance – Stolen Dance

3.  The Head and the Heart – Lost in my Mind

4. Angus and Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane

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

I impatiently await the second book.  My review doesnt reveal too much, but just trust me on this…if you loved Romeo and Juliet, Titanic, and Avatar then you will love this book.  I read it a couple of days ago and the characters are still in my mind.  Thank you for Ms Amy Bartol for this series and now can you please hurry it up with the rest of the books.

grab a copy:

http://www.amazon.com/Under-Different-Stars-Kricket-Series-ebook/dp/B00HCJX2PM

author:

http://www.amyabartol.com/

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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