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Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Goodreads Summary

This is one of those stories that makes you feel as if you're on the same collision course as the main characters, Declan and Juliet. Literally, the entire time I was reading this book I was holding my breath. I love how intricate the plot was and how the author must have had to spend time planning it out and accounting for details. 

Juliet desperately misses her late mother. She views her mother as a perfect, whole person rather than a flawed woman. In keeping with tradition, she writes heartfelt letters to her mom and leaves them at her grave. My own mother experienced the death of her mom in her teens; I know how difficult it is to finish that last stage of growing up and adulthood without a mother to help guide you. Juliet has trouble adjusting to her mom's death and feels as if nothing will ever be the same (which it won't, will it?). She never imagines that someone might accidentally/on-purpose read her left-behind letters. 

Declan is visiting Juliet's mother's grave for a different reason entirely, but (like most people) cannot resist reading the letter he finds there and responding. What happens next is a correspondence building to a strong bond between two grieving teens. I loved how the parallel of the pair not knowing who they were to each other in high school versus in the letters. It's fascinating to read as certain scenes play out and I love books where the reader knows more than the main characters! The plot was a bit of a slow burn; I couldn't wait for the moment they found out who their respective letter-writer was in real life. I thoroughly enjoyed the ending despite guessing the roles each played in each other's lives from the beginning. Both my sister and I obsessively read this book throughout the night. 

4 Stars 

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Dream Forever by Kit Alloway

Thursday, March 23, 2017
As the veil to the Dream becomes dangerously thin, Josh must stop it from tearing to save the world, in the conclusion to The Dream Walker Trilogy.

Trying to control her powers as the True Dream Walker is hard enough with Feodor as her instructor. But trying to learn her strengths with a broken heart makes it nearly impossible for Josh. When mysterious tears in the veil separating the Dream from the waking world begin to appear, and with Peregrine still on the run and Haley trapped in Death, Josh finds herself truly in over her head. With the World threatening to crumble around her, Josh must figure out who she really is and what she wants in time to save it, herself, and everyone she loves.

You won’t be disappointed in this exciting conclusion to Kit Alloway’s The Dream Walker Trilogy.

Goodreads Summary

I enjoyed the first two books in the series from this author and was so excited when I received this book in the mail! Josh's character continues to develop and she becomes a more intelligent, compassionate young woman. It still isn't easy for her to fully control her powers and her teachings with Feodor can be frustrating. I wish I could help people with their nightmares (and stepping into their dreams may be invasive, but it would be fun!). The book is told from three perspectives. Haley and Peregrine aren't doing so well; both have challenging situations on their hands and need to resolve them before the end of this trilogy! 

I liked Josh's, Peregrine's, and Haley's characters. They were pretty well-developed and they each had their personal struggles to overcome. I do wish there had been a bit more romance for Josh and Will, but having less romance probably allowed the plot to focus more on dream walking. The concept behind the book is fascinating and I think the author carried it out wonderfully. One thing that I thought was weird about the book: after I finished reading it, I couldn't believe that it took me even that long to finish it. For some reason, it felt like the entire plot could have been accomplished in forty pages or so. This would be a fun book to take on a plane ride or to the beach!

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Kill All Happies by Rachel Cohn

Last Call at Happies! Tonight, 8 P.M. Senior Class Only! Please with the Shhhh…. 

This is it. Graduation. And Vic Navarro is throwing the most epic party Rancho Soldado has ever seen. She’s going to pull off the most memorable good-bye ever for her best friends, give Happies—the kitschy restaurant that is her desert town’s claim to fame—a proper send-off into bankruptcy, and oh yes, hook up with her delicious crush, Jake Zavala-Kim. She only needs to keep the whole thing a secret so that her archnemesis, Miss Ann Thrope, Rancho Soldado’s nightmare Town Councilwoman and high school Economics teacher, doesn’t get Vic tossed in jail. 

With the music thumping, alcohol flowing, bodies mashing, and Thrope nowhere to be seen, Vic’s party is a raging success. That is, until Happies fans start arriving in droves to say good-bye, and storm the deserted theme park behind the restaurant. Suddenly what was a small graduation bash is more like Coachella on steroids with a side of RASmatazz pie. The night is so not going as planned. And maybe that’s the best plan of all.

Goodreads Summary

I loved the fast-paced, energetic tone that pervaded this novel. I finished the book within a day! Vic decides that she's going out of high school with a memorable bang! Vic knows that her party could get her in big trouble and potentially even alter her future if she doesn't keep it under wraps. When the party rages out of control Vic has to find a way to contain it and still have the night of her life.

I read other reviews that were highly critical of the book due to its fluffy content; however, I don't believe that every single book has to be about serious subjects and have meaningful life lessons. This book was exactly what it portrayed itself to be: fun, light-hearted, and exciting! I was perfectly happy reading about an out-of-control graduation party and its inhabitants. I loved the small town feel mixed with memories tinged by sadness and regret. Many people would like to have a memorable last experience in high school and this book certainly delivered.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
GIVEAWAY: 10 Mystery ARC copies from Young Adult Authors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ