September 16, 2015

Taking the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux (Blog Tour Review + Giveaway)

Taking the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux
Release Date: August 17, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 166
Series: Ice
Review Source: eARC for review through Itching for Books Tours

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

Olympic rings and an engagement ring.

Courtney Carlton is ready for both.

She and her boyfriend Josh have skated together and dated for four years, and they’ve reached a critical point in their partnership both on and off the ice. With the Winter Games coming up and their career nearing an end, they are fighting to win a spot on the Olympic team, something Courtney has dreamed of since she was ten years old.

She also has another wish she hopes comes true soon. She’s waiting for a marriage proposal from Josh that she expected to happen by now. Will she realize either dream or will her heart be broken from disappointment?
My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed Taking the Ice and found it to be a very sweet end to Courtney and Josh's story. These two characters make me smile so much and I had a blast reading about their journey over the past three books. What I really enjoyed about this book is how Courtney and Josh have learned to stick together as a couple. There's a real progression in the series, so it's beautiful to watch them working so well together on and off the ice.

By no means does this book show complete perfection in our characters' lives, because Courtney and Josh face challenges and work hard to achieve what they have, but I did think of this book as a Happily Ever After fete. There's still hard stuff going on in their lives, but it was awesome to read about Courtney and Josh going strong as a couple.

Taking the Ice features great skating scenes, great friendship scenes, and a lovely romance. This novella is a great celebration of two careers and a toast to what the future will hold. As this is the third and final book in a series, you'll definitely want to start at the beginning of Courtney and Josh's story with Crossing the Ice. If you wanted, you could go even further back and start with Life on the Edge, which starts off the story of Courtney and Josh's coaches, Emily and Sergei.

Taking the Ice is sweet, fun, and lovely: exactly what you'd expect from Jennifer Comeaux.

The Cover:


Purchase Links: |

About Jennifer:
Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a die-hard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing.

Where to find Jennifer:
Website & Blog | Facebook | Twitter

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Follow along with the tour schedule here for more reviews, interviews, and guest posts.

August 3, 2015

My Favourite Underrated Young Adult Books (Part 4)

I hope you've been enjoying this series on my favourite underrated YA novels. Let's continue to champion lesser known and underrated books!

Another reminder that you should definitely check out the #quietYA hashtag, started by @DailyJulianne for tons of great under the radar suggestions.

Here's the 4th and final part of my list, with a reminder that stats were gathered on April 6, 2015 and may have changed since then...

Underrated Young Adult Novels:

Threads and Flames by Esther M. Friesner [409 ratings, 3.89 average]
I read this book for an underrated books event, so it's not a surprise to me that so few people have heard of this one. It is an incredible shame, though, because Threads and Flames is a deeply touching book. It's a novel, but it describes the real-life events of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and in doing so it also describes what living and working conditions were like for immigrants in NYC in the early 20th century. This book is so hard hitting and emotional, I highly recommend it.

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist [617 ratings, 3.87 average]
This is the start of an exciting duology, filled with political factions and plotting nobles. It contains issues of family, friendship, and romance all tied together under the plot about the kingdom. Recommended for fans of Throne of Glass or the Seven Realms series.

The Holders by Julianna Scott [756 ratings, 3.87 average]
Loved the world, the plot, and the narrative voice. This is the type of book where you’re not necessarily surprised by anything that happens, but you love the journey getting there. There’s a total X-Men vibe to this story, but it holds its own with unique characters and story.

Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance [1,286 ratings, 3.47 average]
Veronica Mars meets Pride & Prejudice. Fun and effortlessly high concept. It's not often you get the contemp YA feels with friends, family, and romance AND an action packed plot with spies and corporate espionage.

Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell [1,806 ratings, 3.95 average]
An absolutely hilarious and moving story about traveling off the beaten path and being willing to let go of best laid plans.

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly [2,223, 3.92 average]
A very beautiful and emotionally honest book. The main character, Drea, is obsessed with music and she also happens to have Asperger’s. I liked how the author wrote that the book wasn’t about Drea and her “conditions”, but that it was a book about a person’s journey who happens to have a diagnosis.

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney [2,912 ratings, 3.83 average]
I'm actually devastated that so few people have read this book. It is gorgeous! So sad and moving, meaningful in both its portrayals of grief and of renewal and hope. Bonus points for: male narrator, an important POC character, a great platonic friendship between a guy and girl, and a fab dog character.

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman [4,061 ratings, 3.57 average]
If you enjoy foreign locations, treasure hunts, history, and relationships that will leave you reeling (and who doesn't?!), then this is definitely a book for you. This is kind of like a YA Da Vinci Code, but full of emotional intensity and character depth.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller [5,757 ratings, 3.83 average]
This is a gorgeous book about family, identity, and making your own choices. I absolutely lovedddd it! I adored the Florida setting, the big Greek extended family, the steamy and sweet romance, and all the layers to this story.

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready [Book 1: 11,156 ratings, 3.89 average; Book 3: 2,964, 4.18 average]
This book alone is not necessarily very low key -- there's over 11,000 ratings on Goodreads for it. But by the time you get to Shine (Book 3) it's down to only a few thousand, which is a SHAME because this is one of my favourite trilogies. It's epic, it's romantic, it's heartbreaking and hopeful. I highly recommend you read Shade and continue on with the series. It's got ghosts, teenage angst, lots of music love, science/astronomy, and a hot Scot (#TeamKilt, anyone?).

So many good books! You can check out all my recommendations by looking at the Underrated Label on my site.

July 27, 2015

My Favourite Underrated Young Adult Books (Part 3)

I love all books, but the ones that most need shout outs are the ones that aren't known to a lot of people. So today I'm continuing my underrated YA series with some more little talked about but AWESOME reads.

Again, I also recommend you check out the hashtag #quietYA, started by @DailyJulianne for tons of great under the radar suggestions.

Here's part 3 (with a reminder that stats were gathered on April 6, 2015 and may have changed since then)...

Underrated Young Adult Novels:

Torched by Andrea Colt [392 ratings, 3.97 average]
A fun and swoony contemp romance meets compelling high school set mystery. Loved the two main characters and their interactions so much!!

Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler [591 ratings, 4.00 average]
Dahlia has such a dynamic internet presence that it's hard to believe only 591 people have rated this book. This is a Hollywood YA story, one that I think would appeal both to those who normally love and those who normally loathe the typical Hollywood YA books. Cute, charming, swoony, with great friendship and family issues. A perfect YA/NA hybrid.

Searching for Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn [652 ratings, 3.61 average]
Nyrae Dawn always crafts such complex characters who feel truly real. She writes with an emotional honesty that I adore. This book in particular is a great read for any fan of contemp YA, with a fabulous message of finding the beauty in yourself which comes across in such a natural way.

Forget Me by K.A. Harrington [1,231 ratings, 3.73 average]
Forget Me is a straight up contemporary mystery/thriller, which we don’t see a lot of in YA. I loved this book because it was so hard to predict! It could have gone so many ways, and I really enjoyed the journey it took me on. Bonus points: the creepy/eerie feel a lot of the scenes had, and a strong friendship between two females who were unflinchingly loving to and supportive of one another (yes!!).

Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales [1,298 ratings, 3.50 average]
This book is so delightful, so funny, and so honest. It perfectly captures the angst and humour of being a teenager. Such a fabulous friendship book as well. I highly recommend all of Leila’s books.

Something Real by Heather Demetrios [2,173 ratings, 4.01 average]
This is an amazing contemporary that really spoke to me. It has such great characters, a crazy interesting plot (the main character and her siblings have grown up as part of a reality TV show!), a slow burn romance, and that certain unknowable quality that made it "unputdownable".

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Wilson [2,873 ratings, 3.99 average]
I’m so surprised more people haven’t read this one! It’s a heartbreaking love story with strong themes involving class and race. I’m sad that it’s still relevant – maybe especially relevant – these days, but the work itself is gorgeously written.

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando [3,383 ratings, 3.64 average]
I adored what this book had to say about friendship, romantic relationships, growing up, and change. It tells the story of two girls from totally different parts of the country, with very different lives, who are going to become college roommates. This is a great book which features a very meaningful friendship which grows online, and some incredibly well defined secondary characters. I love NA, but this is the type of college related story that I find relatable.

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker [4,426 ratings, 3.80 average]
This is a book about a lost friendship. A book about a summer sailing trip. A book about family, about romance, about endings and beginnings. If you’re looking for an emotionally satisfying contemp YA, this is one to check out. Bonus awesome: Clem’s little sister Olive, one of the best sibling characters I can remember reading about.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord [6,192 ratings, 3.94 average]
I am a sucker for stories about people with connections to famous people, so this book where the main character is the BFF of a Taylor Swift-esque figure and goes on tour with her for the summer is kind of like my crack. Reagan is a prickly main character who you can't help but root for. I loved the friendship, the road trip-esque aspect, and the romance. Just soooo much amazingness going on here.

Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergen [Book 1: 12,330 ratings, 4.08 average; Book 5: 705 ratings, 4.45 average]
Again, decently high number of people reading this book, but when it comes to the last book in the series only around 700 have marked it as read. You can see by the high ratings that this book is beloved. Time travel to 14th Century Italy, anyone? I loved the family aspect to the series, the history, the romance – basically everything about this book and the series is done so well.

Just writing about these books makes me want to re-read them!! I hope you'll check out some of these recommendations, and stay tuned for Part 4!


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