Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review | Crave by Melissa Darnell

Crave by Melissa Darnell
Series: The Clann #1
Published by Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: October 25, 2011
Source: Publisher
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon 

Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences. (Goodreads) 

Crave by Melissa Darnell

My Thoughts:  Crave by Melissa Darnell is the first book in The Clann Series , featuring Savannah Colbert and Tristan Coleman. Savannah and Tristan were the best of friends when they were younger, but their families forced them to end their friendship when they were still very young. They were not given exact reasons why. To this day, the descendants of The Clann continue to harass and bully Savannah both at school and outside of school, to the point she is practically an outcast. 

The Clann is a group of powerful witches that live scattered among the population of Jacksonville, Texas. 

Half-witch, half-vampire Savannah lives with her mother and grandmother, both witches that were exiled from The Clann in years past. They have been forbidden to teach Savannah any magic at all. Savannah has never understood the reason for the way Clann descendants treat her. Thankfully, she has one or two good friends and her dancing to keep her grounded. 

Early in the story, Savannah misses several days of school because of a strange sickness. When she comes back, there is something different about her - her friends can't quite discern the reason for this change. Savannah also notices that nearly everyone is responding differently to her, some with excessive admiration which she finds very uncomfortable. Over time, she also notices other changes occurring, for example: her ability to dance has gone from not-very-good to better-than-anyone-else-at-school, and she eventually develops bloodlust. 

Tristan is part of The Clann's head family - he is also a powerful witch. After having a crush on her for years, he hates that he has to stay away from Savannah. He nor the rest of the descendants have any idea that Savannah is part-vampire; they are only following the instructions of The Clann by staying away from her. Tristan's feelings toward Savannah grow to a point where he cannot deny them any longer and he chooses NOT to stay away from her, no matter the cost. 


I was initially drawn to Crave because the cover is so pretty. Admittedly, I've had this entire series on my Kindle for a few years. I put off reading it only because I saw some mixed reviews of this first book when it first released and I wanted to start the series without any influence. I think this was a really good decision. I ended up reading thru the entire book in just a few hours because I got caught up in the story. This is not the deepest paranormal story that I've ever read, but I found it very entertaining. 

I liked Savannah. Reading her, I felt like I got a good handle on her character, what she had dealt with over the past few years, and what she was dealing with presently as her entire life began to change. Savannah's story didn't have a big coming-of-age feel to it; it felt more like a transition from thinking she is one thing to learning she is truly something different. Savannah is pretty honest with readers about how she feels by way of her thoughts and her dialogue - not all of her family/friends were privy to her entire thought processes, which made the story more interesting. Sometimes Savannah made some not-great decisions and I felt a little frustrated with her, but certainly this allows for some character grown across the series. Savannah has great friends and a great family and she appreciates these people. I love these well-written relationships. 

Also regarding Savannah: (scroll over to read, may be kind-of spoilery for some)With all of the changes associated with her turn into part-vampire, it seemed like Savannah was either slow to realize she was becoming a vampire or slow to want to admit this - this put her friends and family in danger. I couldn't really tell which, but it kept jumping out to me that perhaps she should realize what is going on over and over. I mean, I didn't like the story any less, but I did think this about her more than once while I was reading.

I like Tristan too. At the end of the book, I feel like I know Savannah more, but I do like Tristan very much. I like that he wants to make his own plans for his future instead of move ahead with what his parents have laid out for him. I like the fact that he pushed back against the Clann rules that didn't feel right to him, especially the rule about contact with Savannah. I like that he sticks up for Savannah when she is being bullied by members of his own Clann. He is respectful of Savannah and I love this.

Both Savannah and Tristan are different people at the end of this book than they were at the beginning, and I'm curious about where the rest of this series will take them. 

The romance between these two is very slow, built on top of a crush that already exists for both of them. For a couple of reasons, 
Savannah was unsure of Tristan's intentions. Because he really liked her, he was patient and respectful -- he took his time proving to her that he was not like the other guys, that he liked her truly, not because of her new, special, unusual circumstances. He also proved to her that he had always liked her and that his feelings were genuine and deep. 

Crave was a fun read. It felt convenient plot-wise, yes. But in truth, I have never gotten tired of this type of story and I was transported someplace else while I read this, which is the main reason that I read anyway. FURTHER and even better, I think that my entire house could read this book - it felt safe for all-ages readers. I would recommend Crave to readers that enjoy young adult paranormal stories with romance. 


Crave will appeal to fans of:

Young Adult Paranormal with Romance
Romance: Slow. No triangle. 
Alternating POV's

Crave by Melissa Darnell
is currently available for purchase.


More by Melissa Darnell:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review | Wild Heat by Lucy Monroe

Wild Heat by Lucy Monroe
Series: Northern Fire #1
Published by 
Publish Date: April 28, 2015
Source: Publisher
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon 

Sometimes old flames are the hottest of all . . . 

In the quaint little town of Cailkirn, Alaska, it's impossible to keep a secret, especially one as juicy as the unexpected return of Kitty Grant. Tack MacKinnon remembers her wild red curls and even wilder spirit—and still feels the sting from when she shattered his heart in college. But there's a pain in Kitty's gorgeous eyes that guts him to the core, and Tack is determined to do whatever it takes to see the woman he still loves smile again—even if it means taking on her demons as his own. 

After fleeing an abusive ex-husband, Kitty decides that the best way to heal her broken heart is to come back home. But she gets a whole new shock when she sees how undeniably sexy Tack has become. More handsome, more muscular, more charming—more everything—he's impossible to resist. Before she knows it, they're reigniting sparks that could set the whole state of Alaska on fire. Yet trust doesn't come easy to Kitty anymore, and as things heat up between her and Tack, she can't help but wonder if one of them is going to get burned . . .  (Goodreads) 
Wild Heat by Lucy Monroe

My Thoughts:  Wild Heat is the first book that I've read by Author Lucy Monroe. This is the first book in her new Northern Fire Series . I was drawn to this book by the small-town setting and the second-chance romance because I just LOVE these things when I'm reading romance stories. 

In the opening scenes, we meet Caitlin who is moving back home to Alaska after leaving an abusive marriage. She is basically coming back almost-reluctantly, almost with her tail-between-her-legs, after having been gone for about eight years. Once back in town, of course Caitlin runs into old friend/flame Tack right away. 

Tack played a huge role in her life years before - he loved her. But when she got married, she left him behind 100% and completely broke his heart. Now she's back and she's still beautiful. But she's super skinny and Tack would like to do some damage to the ex-husband that hurt her. Instead, he turns his focus to helping her get back on her feet. 

Caitlin ends up with a job working in Tack's office and wouldn't you know that as the two spend more and more time together: WHOOP, there's the attraction and BOOM, the feelings follow. 


Things I Liked

I loved the small-town setting of Cailkirn, Alaska - this is a town that relies on tourism with their wilderness and cruise businesses. Even with the influx of people in and out of town, there remains a small-town feel to it because the core group is close-knit (at least, so says the characters). I loved the nature part of the town the best, and it is very present in the book because of Tack's job/business - he leads trails and expeditions for travelers, and there are some scenes that occur out in the wild that feel very woodsy and cool. 

I love the secondary characters. My favorites are the people we meet in the first scene with Caitlin: Savannah and her son Joey. They are arriving to town for the first time to meet Nik, Savannah's husband-by-proxy . (This is something I'm kind of dying to read about in the third book. I don't recall reading a proxy marriage romance in a contemporary setting yet.) These characters show up quite a bit in the story and I loved all of their scenes - they are a little awkward as they try to learn each other. I think there is potential for a great story with this couple in the third book. I also loved Caitlin's family and Tack's family, very present on the pages. 

But there was also this

Caitlin is actually a recovering anorexic. Tack, being super-protective, wants to make sure she eats like she should, because she hardly eats at all. He notices that she skips some meals and when she does eat, she always divides her food in half and leaves a good portion on the plate. So Tack comes up with a trade: when Caitlin eats, she gets sex. Or kisses. Or touches. You get the picture
This seems like it may not be satisfying to him, but it is because he gets to feel better about her caloric intake (he's totally paying attention to what he is feeding her) plus, you know, the physical part of it all.
To be honest, I haven't read anything like this in a romance story before. I suppose, when I think about it, it isn't all that different from other issues-stories, but it felt a little weird. Or maybe it was just their words and phrases. At any rate, this is in there. I didn't realize that using sex to help out with eating disorders was a thing, but it is in this book. 

The romance in this story: No triangle. Fans of steamy romance scenes will like this one. Caitlin and Tack definitely have the hots for one another, but it does take them the entire course of the book to work out the emotion behind their attraction and to decide what they're going to do with these feelings. 

Ultimately, Wild Heat is a bit different than what I was expecting when I picked it up, but there are things in there that I liked and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with these secondary characters. I stuck with this book for the same reasons that I picked it up to begin with + I'm EXTREMELY interested in this proxy-marriage secondary couple.

I recommend Wild Heat by Lucy Monroe for fans of steamy adult contemporary romance and fans of second-chance romance. 


Wild Heat will appeal to fans of:

Adult Contemporary Romance
Romance: No triangle. Second-chance romance.
Great setting: Alaska.
Great secondary cast.

Wild Heat by Lucy Monroe
is currently available for purchase.


The Proxy Marriage was one of my favorite parts of this story. 
I'm ready for the book featuring this couple! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review | Joyride by Anna Banks - with Audiobook Notes

Joyride by Anna Banks
Published by Feiwel & Friends

Publish Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Book - Publisher, Audio - Library
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon 

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

Joyride by Anna Banks

My Thoughts:  Joyride by Anna Banks is such an enjoyable YA contemporary. When I grabbed it off of my shelf, I think I was expecting a fun contemporary romance based solely on the cover - and there is a really great romance plot line in here - but this story is so much more than that and I found myself more and more excited about what Author Anna Banks was laying out within these pages as I got further into the book. 

Carly Vega is a high school student living alone with her brother Julio here in the US after her parents were deported back to Mexico some years ago. Both Carly and Julio work their butts off to try and save the money for the transport of their parents and younger siblings back into America - seriously, they work harder than I could ever imagine. Julio concentrates solely on gathering money and resources to bring the family back while Carly has other goals in mind: good grades, financial aid, college admission. Carly feels like these goals are solid, important. A career will help her keep her family taken care of once they're all reunited here in America. She splits her precious little time between working and studying, working and studying. She has basically no social life and practically no money - everything they raise goes toward bringing their family to America. 

Arden Moss goes to Carly's school but he is almost her exact opposite. He has everything that he needs and most of the things that he wants because he happened to be born into an affluent family. Arden's relationship with his parents is a little strained since the death of his sister - he has taken to pranking, goofing off, and spending more money than necessary in an attempt to annoy his father. 

An event early in the story places Carly into Arden's path, and Arden becomes super-impressed with her. He realizes that she is the perfect person to join him while he pranks his way through the rest of high school. Arden doesn't realize that Carly is on a mission to float just under the radar, to never be noticed, to stay out of trouble. He convinces her, though, and the more pranking they do/the more they hang out, the more they like one another - soon there is a sweet romance. Here is where secrets start threaten things; here is where the these two begin to question their feelings about family loyalty and what they really want out of life

Joyride a really great story and the friendship-to-romance is so sweet. 


Okay, so I have to admit that I was really immersed into this immigration story line: to be honest, this is just something that I don't really know that much about other than what I see on television and in movies. I think it is brilliant, the way that Anna Banks has chosen to use Carly's voice here, because I think that Carly had some really great points along the way. Carly taught me about the realities of living in America (without parents!) while burning-the-candle-at-both-ends to get the rest of her family here - the secrets she had to keep, the fear of exposure, the constant worry...and also some of the little technical details of day-to-day life. Carly worked so much more than I could have imagined possible for someone her age, yet I am quite positive that this happens here in the US. 

What I also loved about Carly was the way she was so honest about how she felt. She had this huge loyalty to and love for her family, which is awesome, but she also had this big, burning desire to make something of herself beyond small jobs - she wanted to study, to go to college, to have a career beyond high school. This is huge because more than once in the story, she is encouraged to work more, study less in order to raise money more quickly. Again, I'm sure this prioritization is more prevalent than I'm aware of in these communities here in America; I'm sure that this is something that happens. I can't imagine the stress of having to maybe-choose work over school at that age. We know how Carly feels about this all along the way. 

The more time she spent around Arden, the more at-war she was with how much time she spent working. The more time she spent around this boy that she liked, the more she wanted to be "normal" and I appreciated this as well. 

Speaking of Arden, I liked him too. He's the opposite of Carly in many ways and for much of the book, he has no idea what Carly is up against. But he is patient with her, and kind, and still sees past her socioeconomic status and the fact that his father is a racist. (Ugh, his father: great characterization, not-great human!) Their romance was super-cute in that it started out as a friendship, then progressed not-too-quickly, and I liked that. Respectful, even though he was a jokester. Thoughtful, even though he had some issues of his own that he had to work through. 

I just enjoyed this one a great deal. I added the audiobook to this read so I could keep it going when I had to sit my book down to do real-life things, and the audiobook was a pretty great investment of time too. 

I'm familiar with Author Anna Banks' writing from her Syrena Legacy/ fantasy/mermaids world -- I always think that it's fun to experience an author in a new arena for the first time. I would love to see more contemporary from Anna Banks! I've loved her other books but by golly, I loved this one so much today. I'm sure it will be a hit on my shelves here at home. I recommend Joyride by Anna Banks to readers that enjoy young adult contemporary with romance and realistic fiction. 

Audiobook Notes: The audiobook format of Joyride by Anna Banks is published by Blackstone Audio and is 8 hours and 41 minutes, Unabridged. It is narrated by Kyla Garcia and Andrew Eiden for the dual POV's. This is my first time hearing each of these narrators but I enjoyed them both! They were both believable voices for Carly and Arden, and I had no trouble at all getting completely lost in this audiobook while they were reading. I have to give an extra nod to Kyla Garcia for her reading of Carly's chapters especially, because there are certain places in the story where Carly's accent appears to be a little thicker and a few places where she says a word or two in Spanish -- Kyla's reading was so great in these parts. These two did a great job bouncing off of one another in this story, they sounded age-appropriate, their speed was perfect, and they were just fun to listen to. I would wholeheartedly recommend this audiobook to listeners for a first read of Joyride or for re-reads.


Joyride will appeal to fans of:

Young Adult Contemporary with Realistic Fiction
Romance: No Triangle. 
Great Family Relationships. 
Issues: Immigration, Deportation 

Joyride by Anna Banks
is currently available for purchase.


More by Anna Banks: 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Review | That One Summer by C.J. Duggan

That One Summer by C.J. Duggan
Series: Summer #3
Publish Date: December 14, 2013
Source: Purchased

Find It:  Goodreads / Amazon

Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day … 

He sure could kiss. 

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve. 

So that can only mean one thing: road trip! 

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson. 

She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place? 

After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van. 

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.

That One Summer by C.J. Duggan

My Thoughts:  Good gracious, I love this series. I practically inhaled this book. After recently loving The Boys of Summer and then An Endless Summer, I'm convinced that Author C.J. Duggan is one of the places to go for Aussie NA romance, particularly of the "summer" variety.

That One Summer follows the same group of Australian friends as the previous two installments. It takes place in 1999, just as New Year's Eve is approaching, as the Onslow Boys and their respective girlfriends and friends-that-are-girls are making plans for how they want to ring in the new millennium. They decide that they want to take a long road trip, complete with camping along with way and fireworks as the clock strikes midnight. Plans are made, bags are packed, and...Tammy is sort-of left behind. It's no big deal, really, she can catch a ride with Chris, who also seems to be leaving late for some reason.

She's less-than-thrilled. Or maybe she's actually really thrilled? Tammy has a crush on Chris but gosh he is super-moody and a bit on the bossy side. And he hardly ever smiles. But she doesn't have much of a choice: if she wants to catch up to her friends and ring in the new year, this is the only way to get there. 



This book begins with not my favorite characters but I warm up to them easily. And it isn't long into the story before I am swooning hard at Chris' efforts at making Tammy feel comfortable and welcome and just, better. Wow, there's a whole lot under the serious face that we've seen Chris wear for the past two books! I kind of love it! And the slow-romance road-trip adventure that these two go on? LOVE, LOVE. I'm not convinced that this is my favorite of the three books in this series so far, but there are BY FAR some of my absolute favorite scenes. 

Tammy Maskala begins the story feeling somewhat insecure about her place within the group. Her best friend Amy is far more outgoing than Tammy, and even while Amy always includes Tammy in everything, Tammy mentions more than once that she feels like an outsider. Tammy's actions support her feelings of insecurity, which initially made it hard for me to warm up to her, which made me a little nervous because I've loved this series so much. HOWEVER -- Thankfully, Tammy was able to find her place within the group as the story progressed, thankfully. This is helped along more by Chris than anyone else, I think, which is interesting because it caught Tammy by surprise. 

Chris Henderson is one of the more responsible of the group. He has so far in the series seemed to me to be one of the older ones (or at least older-acting); perhaps this is because he has a steady, respectable job. Chris comes across as sort-of straight-laced, but this is really mostly a front - he actually has a little bit of a wild streak to him that is revealed throughout the story. I think Chris won both my heart and Tammy's heart in his actions - even with his supposed wild streak, he has a quiet demeanor and is trustworthy. He is respectful, patient, kind. He is thoughtful, which went a long way with Tammy. I don't think there is one big thought about him that stands out - I think he is a quiet, total-package kind of love interest, and I think that's what I liked so much about him. 

It was pretty hilarious that Tammy and Chris are stuck riding together for so long, considering their personalities. While they're both different, they're also both different from the rest of the group, and this gives them something in common. And they are both crushing pretty hard on one another but are too quiet to say anything to one another. 

This is the first time that this series that has taken the story away from the Onslow Hotel as the setting. I love the road trip theme. I loved reading about the Australian places along the route. I also loved the camping scenes because I tend to love these as a rule. I ADORE that these characters are recurring and so well-developed; I feel like I know them and want to be friends with them in my own real life. 

Oh, interesting! There was one little kind-of-mystery that was in the story, and this had to do with Toby/Tess, who are a couple and were the focus of the first book. It kept me guessing and feeling things. I enjoyed seeing how this particular issue was resolved within the group. I love the friendship dynamic here; these guys and gals genuinely love one another as friends and they want the best for each other. When one is stressed or hurting, they all feel it. And they all want to help. These are characters that I'm truly invested in and I love the way they interact and have healthy relationships. 

And I love this romance, of course. I have enjoyed the romances in this series so far - this author has done them so well. They develop slowly and function in a healthy way, I think, and there are no triangles thus far. 

I think that this series is full of romances that are believable, relationships that are healthy/almost enviable, and adventures that are fun. That One Summer is a great summer read because of the road trip and also because now, as the third book in this series, we've been watching these characters develop into people and friends for almost the entire 1990's. They've become more and more enjoyable as a group and I'm so glad I bought these books for my Kindle because I feel like these will easily be summer rereads for me in the future.

ALSO, I'm having a fit for an Adam/Ellie connection - ready to get my hands on that book

I recommend That One Summer by C.J. Duggan and the entire Summer Series for fans of new adult contemporary, summer romances, Aussie authors, and road trips. 


That One Summer will appeal to fans of:

New Adult Contemporary 
Romance: Slowly developing. No triangle. 
Great friendships. 
Australian author.
Australian setting. 
Summer books. 
Road Trip!

That One Summer by C.J. Duggan
is currently available for purchase.


Summer Series: 


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review | Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker

Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
Published by HarperTeen

Publish Date: May 5, 2009
Source: Borrowed
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon 

Sunny days, late nights and a vacation full of possibilities… 

This is the story of Quinn, an indie rock girl who came out to Austin, Texas for a music internship. She also plans to spend long, lazy days in the sun at outdoor concerts--and to meet a hot musician or two. Instead, she's stuck rooming with her sorority brainwashed cousin, who now willingly goes by the name 'Party Penny.' Their personalities clash, big time. But Sebastian, a gorgeous DJ, definitely makes up for it. 
Sebastian has it all: looks, charm, and great taste in music. So why can't Quinn keep her mind off Penny's friend -- cute, All-American Russ with the Texas twang? One thing's certain: Quinn's in for a summer she'll never forget! (Goodreads) 

Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker

My Thoughts:  Ohhh hello there, book hangover! 

Lovestruck Summer is another example of why I love Melissa Walker's books so much, why I love summer stories, why I love books with music in them, and why I love that authors with ties to North Carolina like to include those little nods to my state. 

So much to love for this book, and I haven't even gotten to the characters yet

This is the story of Quinn who, on a ride to [my beloved] Carolina Beach makes an impulsive telephone call to a Texas-based record label to see if she can pleeease be an intern for the summer, and is told SURE! Then she goes and has a summer that changes her life, completely.


Quinn. I love her. I LOVE her. This is a girl that thinks she knows oh-so-much about herself but finds that there is so much more to learn. I feel like that Quinn is just so sure about who she is and what she wants, almost to a fault. She's got the look down: the cool indie hair, the band t-shirts, always-wearing-blue-jeans. When she gets outside of her little bubble and meets new people, and slowly she is introduced to new things. New music. New this, new that. At first, Quinn is very standoffish about embracing (or even trying) anything new or different, but being in a new place and meeting new people chip away at this until she finally relents and finds a whole new set of things to love. Most notably, Quinn thinks she hates frat boys and country music, but but but...maybe she doesn't hate them as much as she thinks. Maybe. 

IT WORKS, it works so well. 

And you know, this is such a real thing. My gosh, this is so real. Even in my own life, once I got out of my own little small-town bubble years ago, I found that there were other ways to be, to think, etc. Other music, other thoughts, other people to challenge me and give me new perspectives on everything. JUST LIKE QUINN, HERE. There is coming-of-age in these pages and Quinn perhaps would not have had such a great opportunity had she not taken the leap and just GONE to Texas to do this random internship at this indie music label. 

Lovestruck Summer is more than just Quinn, though. There are other characters at play. There are the secondaries that are SPOT-ON, and I could hug this book for it. Quinn makes some new friends that are different than she is: sorority girls, into fashion, that sort of thing. And yet they are great friends, and well-written friendships are part of a Melissa Walker book. With these friends, Quinn learns that she cannot judge them based on their appearance, and this again is such a real thing to learn. 

Let me hug this book again right quick. 

The romance: The romance ties in with Quinn's coming-of-age and HOORAY for that. When Quinn arrives in Texas, she has this idea of the perfect summer fling boyfriend: one of the indie musician-types. And she finds one, except it is pretty clear from the beginning that he isn't the right one for her -- only she wants him to be so badly because she can barely see outside of the box that she has created for herself. THE ENTIRE TIME, there's the Texas-cowboy-type, country-music-loving, super-swoony real thing living next door. It's clear to readers that this is the one, but it takes Quinn forever. Swoon x 10,000! 

Also, I love how this book ends because (surprise!) it's realistic for this college-aged crowd. 


Figuring herself out, figuring her heart out. Coming-of-age. Learning to feel comfortable with many labels, if she indeed wants to label herself. Making her own decisions. Being herself. It's torturous for her, at times, but this book is SO GOOD TO READ, oh my gosh. 

I think you guys can tell that I really loved this book. It's such a great summer read. It would be perfectly read outside by a pool or by the beach (or at Carolina Beach, which is the place mentioned in the book) except that I read it during the middle of the night, by Kindle-light only, all in one sitting, when I simply meant to sample the first chapter. I mean, if I could have put the book down, I'd definitely have taken it outside. FOR ME, you guys, take this one outside to read if you can - it's so perfect for that. 

I recommend Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker for fans of young adult contemporary with romance, for fans of books with music in them, and for fans of books set in Texas. This author is instant-read for me, no-summary-necessary, and I've already started the next backlist title of hers, Violet On the Runway. I'm so excited about this.


Lovestruck Summer will appeal to fans of:

Young Adult Contemporary with Romance
Romance: Love Triangle. 
Great Friendships 
Great Setting: Austin, TX  

Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
is currently available for purchase.



I LOVE Melissa Walker's books. 
The only ones left for me to read are the Violet Series books,
pictured below!