Pretty Reckless (All Saints High #1) by L.J. Shen

Book Description:

Published: April 21, 2019

Format: Audio/Audible

Penn

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss.
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.

Daria

Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.

Review –

Pretty Reckless took high school rivals, added a splash of enemies to lovers, wrapped around heart-wrenching angst, and delivered one finger-licking utterly addicting page-turner/ audio book.  If NA angst is your crack of choice, then Shen is about to become your favorite dealer.

If you’ve read Shen’s Sinners of Saint series, then you’ll be familiar with the Followhill from Defy. Daria is the daughter of Melody and Jaime. And if you recall their forbidden union, then you already know that their daughter will have one big chip on her shoulder as she attends the same high school as her parents had their notorious relationship at.

Daria is easily one of my favorite heroines of LJ Shen to date. I love a female that can own the fact that she’s a queen B. But she’s also not the stereotypical do-gooder. This is a girl with a huge chip on her shoulder and she can be downright vicious to those that cross her path. She’s completely unapologetic about it, though being in her head, you see the glimpses of the vulnerability that causes her to lash out the way she does. Poor little rich girl.

As for Penn. Sweet mother of ovaries! I turned cougar for this man and I have no regrets. The turbulent enemies to lovers relationship that happens between these two kept me absolutely riveted. Daria may give as good as she gets, but Penn doesn’t pull any punches with her either. They are pure fire together.

I devoured and I mean straight up DEVOURED this book and was left desperate for more. Shen is a master of her craft and just keeps getting better and better with each new book. I’m already frothing at the mouth for more ASH!

Five stars !

 

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Book Description:

Published: September 15, 2015

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

This is the best “feel good” book that I have read or listened to (I did both)  that I have experienced in a long time.

Being a girl/woman with a bit of extra chubbiness here and there I can totally identify with Willowdean and I know just how she feels when Bo lets it be known that he “likes” her.  It’s a scary thing, especially at sixteen, and I was so afraid that she was going to let the bullies in the book win, but she didn’t.

When Willowdean entered the pageant, as a confidence builder, three other girls, all with her own physical “flaws”, entered as well and whenever they were in a scene together in the book, it was hilarious and heart warming, as well. Willowdean’s best friend El enters too, and this causes a break in their  friendship that lasts for months. El works at Sweet Sixteen, a dress shop that caters to small sizes and has made new friends there and Willowdean feels totally devastated that her best friend is now sharing secrets with girls other than her.

With the death of her Aunt Lucy, her crazy Beauty Pageant focused Mom, missing her best friend, and going from having never been kissed to having two boys that are interested in her, Willowdean’s life is brimming over with drama.

Fantastic book and I have added Bo Larsen to my Favorites Book Beaus List, (swoon)

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Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1) By Abbi Glines

Book Description:

Published: August 25, 2015

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

Review –

This was the first book I have read/listened to ( I had the audio version)  by author, Abbi Glines and I found it very realistic for a YA romance.

We are not drawn to people because they are perfect and both Maggie and West (love that name, by the way) are far from perfect,especially West.

Maggie stopped speaking after her father murdered her mother and when this story starts it has been two years and she has come to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin, after having been staying with her god-mother. She is smart,strong-willed,but also kind and compassionate.

West is putting on an act for his friends and teachers as if nothing is wrong, but inside he is full of rage. His father, who means the world to him, is dying of cancer and West survives by using girls for his own pleasure and by being as a**hole.

He sees Maggie at a field party and walks right up to her and being his hateful self,  roughly kisses her and then walks off. Little does he know that it is Maggie’s first ever kiss.

Later he finds out that she is his best friends cousin and has been put “off limits” and he doesn’t have a problem with that at all because girls line up to be with him anyway.

One day he finally breaks down and tells Maggie what is wrong and why he is eaten up inside and because he realizes  she doesn’t talk he knows she won’t be telling anyone. She surprises him by using her voice and speaking to him, but tells him she will only talk to him. From then on he uses her as a crutch to survive the illness of his father and later his death. He wants her with him all the time and while he sees her as a friend Maggie’s feeling grow deeper for him.

Maggie decides to let her aunt, uncle and cousin know that she wants to start talking again but will not answer any questions about her father.

He gets overly jealous when other boys talk to her and very possessive, so much so, that Maggie decides they need a break. This almost puts West in a tail spin, but he still is there to protect Maggie from the snipes of old girlfriends. His friends tell him he’d better change his ways and or say good-bye to her for good.

He finally tells her that he loves her and understands that he used her and was too possessive and they are together at the end of the story.

The ending was the only part of the story that I had a problem with because people usually do not change their behavior.  If a teenage boy is domineering and possessive or abusive to girls, he will most likely still be that way when he is a man. Girls shouldn’t be so quick to take a boy back just because he seems to have changed his ways because only time will tell and better safe than sorry I say.

The second book in the series won’t be out til sometimes next year but I can’t wait.

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Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford

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Book Description:

Publication Date:February 19, 2010

Meet Will Carter, but feel free to call him Carter. (Yes, he knows it’s a lazy nickname, but he didn’t have much say in the matter.) Here are five things you should know about him: 1. He has a stuttering problem, particularly around boobs and belly buttons. 2. He battles Attention Deficit Disorder every minute of every day�unless he gets distracted. 3. He’s a virgin, mostly because he’s no good at talking to girls (see number 1). 4. He’s about to start high school. 5. He’s totally not ready. Join Carter for his freshman year, where he’ll search for sex, love, and acceptance anywhere he can find it. In the process, he’ll almost kill a trombone player, face off with his greatest nemesis, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), get caught up in a messy love triangle, meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise the hell out of everyone, including himself.
Review  –
Such a fun book and made even better by a great narrator. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much as a regular hardcover book because the narrator really put life into the characters and especially Carter.
Not being a teen-age boy I can’t positively say that this is what it would be like growing up over the course of a school year but I do know that having been a teenage girl that I’m sure the story was pretty close to spot on.  
I loved it.