Posts Tagged: Contemporary

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Best of Dogs and Humans: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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I received this book for free from Freeform in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Best of Dogs and Humans: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published by Freeform on May 7th, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Source: Freeform
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four-stars

Kira Bennett’s earliest memories are of living alone and wild in the woods. She has no idea how long she was on her own or what she had to do to survive, but she remembers the moment that Cady Bennett and one of her search-and-rescue dogs found her perfectly. Adopted into the Bennett family, Kira still struggles with human interaction years later, but she excels at the family business: search-and-rescue. Along with Cady’s son, Jude, and their neighbor, Free, Kira works alongside Cady to train the world’s most elite search-and-rescue dogs. Someday, all three teenagers hope to put their skills to use, finding the lost and bringing them home.

But when Cady’s estranged father, the enigmatic Bales Bennett, tracks his daughter down and asks for her help in locating a missing child—one of several visitors who has disappeared in the Sierra Glades National Park in the past twelve months—the teens find themselves on the frontlines sooner than they could have ever expected. As the search through 750,000 acres of unbridled wilderness intensifies, Kira becomes obsessed with finding the missing child. She knows all too well what it’s like to be lost in the wilderness, fighting for survival, alone.

But this case isn’t simple. There is more afoot than a single, missing girl, and Kira’s memories threaten to overwhelm her at every turn. As the danger mounts and long-held family secrets come to light, Kira is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her adopted family, her true nature, and her past.

I truly feel blessed anytime I finish a book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Over the past year, she has quickly shot up to one of my favorite authors. Her talent for writing some of the best relationships to grace YA draws me in and I cannot help but finish any book I read by her with my mouth hanging open and desperate for a sequel. If flawed characters, found family, trauma handled well, the best of dogs and a bit of a mystery are your thing, The Lovely and the Lost is the book for you.

Kira does not trust many people except for her family. It took years after Cady rescued her for Kira to learn how to trust again and now she is following in Cady’s footsteps and training to become a search and rescue professional. When Cady’s father shows up out of the blue, asking them to join the search for a little lost girl,  secrets start coming out. Things Cady has never disclosed about her past and Kira’s memories of a time before Cady & Jude & Free.

I genuinely love how this book dealt with Kira’s resurfacing memories and how much support she had from the people around her. Everyone in this book is so fiercely protective of each other. I love that it isn’t just a surface level bond. They fight, hurt each other sometimes but also know when they need to apologize and admit to their mistakes.

While there is a strong mystery element to this book, I felt like it took a backseat to the characters themselves. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because I honestly just loved the characters. Free, Jude and Kira all have such distinct personalities and when you throw in Gabriel into the mix … shenanigans ensue.

“I understand now,” Gabriel said thoughtfully. “The three of you share a single iota of common sense. I’m just a little unclear on which one of you had custody of it now.”

To be clear, even though I thought that the characters were at the forefront of this book rather than the plot, there was still an urgency running throughout the book because a child was missing and out alone. The child was never forgotten about. Rather, their search for the child eventually lead them to reflect inwards. They were also stepping back into Cady’s past so… yeah… secrets came out.

This book doesn’t really end on a cliffhanger but some information is divulged that makes me want to beg Disney to give us a sequel. I am not done with these characters and I don’t think JLB is done with these characters either so I really hope we get to see them again. OTHERWISE I’ll just have to reread my favorite scenes from now till the end of time.

four-stars

4 Hot Espressos

Mini Reviews: YA Contemporary Romance edition

Mini Reviews: YA Contemporary Romance edition

Posted by on 05/10/2019 • 0 Comments

 

With the Fire on High Elizabeth Acevedo

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth…

Not Bennett’s Best: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Not Bennett’s Best: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Posted by on 04/16/2019 • 0 Comments

I didn’t think I’d ever read a Jenn Bennett book I didn’t love but… unfortunately… Serious Moonlight just didn’t do it for me. It isn’t that it isn’t enjoyable but over the past five years, I’ve come to expect a lot from a Jenn Bennett book and Serious Moonlight just didn’t live up to those expectations for me.

I think, a big part of the problem was that I didn’t love the characters as much and therefore wasn’t as invested in their relationship. While Birdie’s personality and trust issues make sense given her extremely sheltered upbringing, it really started getting on my nerves when we were almost 400 pages in and still dealing with her trust issues. I also thought it was super weird that Birdie didn’t have a single…

The Beginning of An Exciting Family Saga: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

The Beginning of An Exciting Family Saga: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

Posted by on 03/26/2019 • 0 Comments

I absolutely adored My So-Called Bollywood Life when I read it last year so when I found out that Nisha Sharma was writing another book, specifically an adult romance, I was all aboard. When I found out the series would follow a wealthy Sikh Punjabi-American family, I WAS EVEN MORE EXCITED (which I didn’t know was possible but whatever.)

The Takeover Effect is a quick read. The pages just sort of fly by. That said, it did take me more than half the book to actually be invested in the characters and the plot. I don’t know if I can even point out a specific reason why this was but I didn’t really click with the book until shit hit the fan.

And when shit hit the fan, IT HIT…

Entertaining but not Memorable: Field Notes in Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Entertaining but not Memorable: Field Notes in Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Posted by on 03/12/2019 • 1 Comment

Field Notes on Love is exactly what you would expect. It’s cute. It’s fluffy. It’s a quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the kind of book you seek out on a cold, winter day when you need some good vibes and miss the summer sun.

Hugo just broke up with his long-time girlfriend and is stuck with a non-transferable trip to the US of A. He needs to find someone with the exact same name as his ex so he can go on a trip of a lifetime and get away from his big, bustling family for the first time. So he does what anyone would do, he puts an ad on the internet. YAY.

Mae is an aspiring filmmaker. Unfortunately she didn’t get into the…

Incredibly Hilarious and Deeply Sad: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried

Incredibly Hilarious and Deeply Sad: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried

Posted by on 02/05/2019 • 1 Comment

So I was going to open this review on a whole tangent about how long I’ve been reading Shaun David Hutchinson but when I went onto Goodreads, I realized I haven’t even READ ALL OF HIS BOOKS because I am a terrible person. But, in some ways, opening an SDH book is so familiar and comfortable even though, including The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, I’ve read all of three books by Shaun David Hutchinson.

The Past and Other Things That Should Say Buried is more reminiscent of some of Hutchinson’s earlier stuff in that it is more lighthearted but that’s not saying much when even at his most light hearted, Hutchinson never fails to punch you in the feels. The best way to really describe…

Chef Heroes & Road Trips: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Chef Heroes & Road Trips: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Posted by on 01/18/2019 • 1 Comment

Trigger Warning for eating disorders, drug abuse in the past

I had not read a single book by Jenny Holiday in the past (including the two other books that precede Three Little Words) but when I saw Nick shouting about it, I AM INTRIGUED. Chef heroes own my soul. Nick, who has known me long enough to know I am super picky with contemporary romances, said I would at the very least like Three Little Words SO of course I had to read it because CHEF HEROES.  So, I went in expecting to like it since Nick said I would but I ended up completely engrossed in the lives of these characters and finding a new author to binge. Three Little Words takes you on quite the journey – quite literally because…

Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Posted by on 01/11/2019 • 0 Comments

I slept on Emma Mills for AGES but with a little peer pressure, I finally binge read all of her published books last year. I can honestly say that it was life changing. Not necessarily because her books in of themselves changed my life but they were so good and I was so happy to finally have them in my life. WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY is that if you still have not read a single Emma Mills novel in your life, you need to fix that. If you have, then I am guessing you’re gonna pick this book up regardless of anything I have to say so hope you have a nice life. Here, have some cookies on your way out! I made them myself!

Lately, I feel…