The Whimsical Mama

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Top Ten Tuesday #42: Books I’ve Read So Far in 2014 June 10, 2014

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten-ish Books I’ve Read So Far in 2014 

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson 

The Falconer by Elizabeth May 

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen 

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare 

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch 

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein 

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton 

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

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*Review* Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols June 9, 2014

***I was given a signed copy to celebrate the paperback release in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Jennifer!***   

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 16 July 2013
Publisher: MTV books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: paperback, personal copy, signed & provided by the author
Status: standalone

Summary:
From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

 

My thoughts:

To celebrate the release of the paperback edition, Jennifer gave away a few signed copies in exchange for honest reviews. I was lucky enough to get a copy. Luck would have it that it arrived right after I finished Biggest Flirts. In the mood for some more contemporary, I jumped right in. Take not that back to back contemporaries is extremely uncommon and should speak VOLUMES about Jennifer’s talent.

I was immediately sucked into the wonderfulness that is Nashvegas (Nashville to all those uncool cats). I LOVE Nashville. Love, love, LOVE. You don’t even understand how much I love Nashville. Jennifer made me so freaking homesick for Middle Tennessee. Every page made my heartache for Nashville. I also enjoyed every page. Just remember that. By the way, I spent the first 18 years of my life in East Tennessee. I only spent 3 1/2 ish years in Middle Tennessee. I. Love. Middle. Tennessee. I BLEED MTSU blue. I freaking LOVE the Nashville Predators. LOVE NASHVILLE. (Have I gotten my love of Middle Tennessee across yet? lol)

Ah, music. I love books with musicians. Like I said in my Biggest Flirts review, I’m a musician and I married a musician. I could easily relate to Bailey on that level. I wasn’t forced into the business or forced to give it up like her though. I could never imagine doing that to my children. Even though as a parent, I wasn’t thirlled with the sneaking into bars/going behind her parents’ back, but my hear sang for joy when she played. And the non parent part supported her in her ventures to do whatever it took to find herself.

I can totally relate to Bailey’s punk style rebellion. That was my freshman year of college. Punk style clothes, dorm room, and music. I did it to push a few boundaries and to see if I could get away with it. I did. Haha.

I was blown away by Sam. Of course, I was into the musician side of him. I just – wow. I felt like he could walk off the page at any moment. The commitment issues because of his parents? I get that. His passion to go after what he wants? Yes, please! He did have his moments when I could’ve choked him, but that made him more realistic for me. It made him human. His flaws made him believable.

They are supported by a great cast of secondary characters. I really liked Bailey’s grandpa. Pulling the parental card on the parentals was great. I loved Ace. He was the perfect addition to the dynamic of the group. Everyone needs that friend that keeps everyone grounded. I didn’t like Charlotte, but I believe that’s the point.

Just like Biggest Flirts, I fell in love with the world Jennifer created. It was great to be back in Nashville even if it was only in my imagination. I still won’t say I’m a contemporary fan, but I will say I’m quickly becoming a Jennifer Echols fan! I totally recommend this to contemporary and non contemporary fans alike! This was such a quick and enjoyable read! I’m so glad Jennifer gave me a chance to read and review it.

Playlist: (I couldn’t get these songs out of my head while I read!)

Dirty Little Secret” – All American Rejects

I Knew You Were Trouble” – Taylor Swift

Remember When” – Alan Jackson

Whiskey Lullaby” – Alison Krauss & Brad Paisley

My Best Friend’s Girl“- The Cars

Pompeii” – Bastille

Light Up the Sky” – The Afters

Somewhere I Belong” – Linkin Park

Overprotected” – Britney Spears

Five Feet High & Rising“- Johnny Cash

Done” – The Band Perry

Broken” – Lifehouse

Best Day of My Life” – American Authors

Somewhere Only We Know” – Keane

Dancing Away with My Heart” – Lady Antebellum

Cocaine Blues” – Johnny Cash

About the author:

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

GIVEAWAY!!! Check out my twitter account @armywife2310 for a swag giveaway! (:

 

*Review* Love Story by Jennifer Echols June 1, 2014

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 19 July 2011
Publisher: MTV Books
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, contemporary
Format: ebook, via library
Status: Standalone

Summary:

She’s writing about him. He’s writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines..

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions–it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter. . . . except this story could come true.

 

My thoughts:

I am on a roll with reading all the Jennifer Echols books ASAP. I loved Dirty Little Secret and Biggest Flirts and wanted to read more. I think Mary is determined to turn me into a contemporary fan. As long as I can read Jennifer Echols, I’m okay with this. 

I really liked that Love Story took place in college. I love YA, but the reason I mainly avoid YA contemporary is cause I don’t want to read about high school. I did my time. I don’t want to relive it. College? I am completely okay with college. I miss college. I want to finish my degree. I need to figure out my degree…

I loved getting to see Erin and Hunter take smacks at each other in class. In my group of friends, I’ve generally always been the writer and the only one obsessed with it or reading. The exception to this was one of my best friends. Much like Erin and Hunter, we competed in writing, trying to one up each other.

I enjoyed the story, but I couldn’t always connect with Erin. There was a huge poor little rich girl vibe going on. Other than those times, I enjoyed reading from Erin’s perspective. Freshman year is full of adjustments for everyone no matter your background.

Hunter frustrated me. But that mainly may be because he’s a guy! Haha I did enjoy the romance that developed between them.

I absolutely loved the horse farm setting for part of the book. I’ve adored the Kentucky Derby and horses longer than I can remember. So incredible. I also loved the New York scenes. New York is one of those cities I love to live in only in print. Much too chaotic for me in real life. Visit? Yes. Live? No, thanks.

Of the three Jennifer Echols books I’ve read, this comes in third. I really enjoyed it, but I didn’t connect with the characters like I did in the other two Echols books I’ve read.

About the author:

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

 

 
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