I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Book Description:

Published: September 16,2014

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

This is a beautifully written young adult coming of age novel that has so much happening so here are so highlights:

  • Noah and Jude Sweetwine are identical twins and the book follows them from ages  13, 14, and 16. Noah and Jude live on the California coast in the town of Lost Cove with their parents, Benjamin, a conservative science professor, and Dianna, a liberal art professor. 
  • Their home environment is stable and they are taught love of knowledge, art, reason and emotion.
  • Their mother insists they both apply to a private high school, the California School of the Arts. Noah and Jude get along very well together, and do everything together, until they are 13.
  • When they turn 13, differences between them become apparent. Noah positions himself as the better artist of the siblings (and as his mother’s favorite), the more rational of the siblings, and is secretly gay. To prepare for acceptance into CSA, Noah spends his summer sketching nudes through the school’s windows, where he meets an English model named Oscar. 
  • Jude, herself far more emotional and feeling, falls in with a popular crowd of girls who are more interested in makeup and skimpy clothing than anything else.
  • Things are further complicated by the appearance of a new kid, Brian, whom Noah quickly develops a crush on, though they keep their feelings for each other quiet. Brian and Noah both pretend to be straight, and later have a falling out when Noah cannot accept Brian’s charade.
  • The sky comes crashing down for both Noah and Jude when they learn their mother is having an affair, and she intends to leave their father.
  • When they are 14, their mother prepares to serve Benjamin with divorce papers, only to lose control of her car after a rainstorm, and plummet to her death off a cliff.
  • Both twins reel from the loss. Noah lies and tells his father and sister that Dianna was actually on the way to make things right with Benjamin when she died. Jude, long feeling invisible compared to Noah, only mails her application to CSA when her father requests she mail both hers, and her brother’s.
  • When they are 16, Noah is attending the local public high school while Jude attends CSA. She cannot get her sculptures right, and so is sent out to mentor with famed sculptor Guillermo Garcia. Guillermo himself is reeling from heartache. He also mentors to 19-year-old Oscar, whom is heartbroken years after the death of his own mother. Oscar and Jude take an instant liking to one another, and Jude later learns that Guillermo is the one who was having an affair with her mother, something for which she forgives him.
  • Meanwhile, Noah has been making dangerous dives from the rocky coastal cliffs near Lost Cove, believing that his mother’s ghost guides him down into the ocean to safety. While attempting one such jump while drunk, it is Oscar who saves Noah. Oscar and Jude soon after become an item. 
  • As the novel ends, both twins confess the truth to each other – about their mother and CSA – and reconnect. Noah, Jude, and their father decide to sell their house and live on a houseboat. Noah comes out as gay, and begins officially dating Brian – something acknowledged and accepted by Benjamin.

Phenomenal book!!!!!!

Five stars *****

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Private #1 Suspect (Private #2) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Book Description:

Published: January 2, 2012

Unsolvable cases

Since former Marine Jack Morgan started Private, it has become the world’s most effective investigation firm–sought out by the famous and the powerful to discreetly handle their most intimate problems. Private’s investigators are the smartest, the fastest, and the most technologically advanced in the world–and they always uncover the truth.

Impossible murders

When his former lover is found murdered in Jack Morgan’s bed, he is instantly the number one suspect. While Jack is under police investigation, the mob strong-arms him into recovering $30 million in stolen pharmaceuticals for them. And the beautiful manager of a luxury hotel chain persuades him to quietly investigate a string of murders at her properties.

The #1 suspect is Jack Morgan

While Jack is fighting for his life, one of his most trusted colleagues threatens to leave Private, and Jack realizes he is confronting the cleverest and most powerful enemies ever. With more action, more intrigue, and more twists than ever before, PRIVATE #1 SUSPECT is James Patterson at his unstoppable best.

Review –

This subject of this book is primarily Jack Morgan. Someone is framing him for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and he doesn’t know why or who but he has a pretty good idea, his twin brother Tommy.

As usual, the story is a combination of multiple stories going on at the same time and all being solved by Private, a private investigating firm that can get away with things others can’t.

It fast paced, action-packed but sometimes frustrating.  All in all, a great read or listen.

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Desperate Domination (Bought by the Billionaire #3) by Lili Valente

Book Description:

Published: July 28, 2015

WARNING: This is a white-hot, panty-melting, boundary-pushing read. Not intended for the faint of heart.

“You’re mine. You belong to me. You will always belong to me. Because no one has ever made you feel the way I have.”

Jackson Hawke might be a monster, but he’s Hannah’s monster. They belong together and she’s determined to show Jackson she can love every part of him-light and dark, cruel and gentle, lost soul and Dominant man.

Jackson knows he doesn’t deserve her. He is broken and twisted and wrong inside, but when Hannah touches him it feels right, he feels right in a way he hasn’t in so long.

Can a monster learn to become a man again? Or will dark forces from the past claim Hannah’s life before she can claim his heart?

* * Desperate Domination is the 3rd in the Bought by the Billionaire romance series and ends in a CLIFFHANGER. For maximum enjoyment it should be read after books one and two.* *

Review –

“DESPERATE DOMINATION, the third book in this series, picks up right where the second left off. And, oh, how I had been waiting for this one, because my hair was standing on end at the end of Book 2, just waiting to see what Jackson Hawke had up his sleeve. And, in true Lili Valente fashion, she picked right back up with this mind-blower of a story and ran with it.

Just when it seems that Hannah and Jackson have reached a turning point in their twisted but crazily sexy and oddly romantic relationship, all bets are off. With one scene, Lili turns the mood of the story completely around, keeping me guessing with all of the shifts in action. Has Jackson realized who Hannah is? Is Hannah safe from Jackson? What will be the outcome for the two of them?

Darkness made the light shine brighter, pain made pleasure that much sweeter, and what was the point of angels if not to save beautiful devils like Jackson Hawke?

Jackson believes that he is beyond redemption, that nothing, not even Hannah’s love, can change the man that he has become. Hannah, unwilling to write him off, trusts him with everything that she is, all of her deepest secrets. But when Jackson just can’t forget about the past, a chain of events are set in motion that neither one could anticipate

And, there it is, THE END. I was not believing that Lili could do this again. This series is Cliffhanger Central, but I am not done, not nearly so. This book, like the rest of the series, is 5+ crazy, twisted, star-crossed, redemptive stars, and I cannot wait for DIVINE DOMINATION to answer all of my questions.” by Smut Book Junkie

 

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The Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel

Book Description:

Published: February 24, 2015

In a matter of days, Peter McDowell loses everything he has worked so hard for—his wealth, his property, his livelihood as a star investment banker. And then it gets worse. The stock market crash not only plunges Peter into joblessness, it causes a rift in his marriage that he cannot repair. Stripped of everything, he has only one place to retreat: a lakeside cottage he inherited from his parents, who left most of their modest estate to Peter’s twin. With no other choice, the prodigal son goes home.

A beloved small-town doctor, a devoted family man, and a pillar of his community, Michael McDowell serves others without regard to personal gain. Only Peter knows how Michael manipulated their parents when the boys were young, ultimately driving Peter away. At first, he dreads seeing Michael again. But, to his surprise, their reunion is tender and real. Only later, as Peter mulls over his late mother’s journals, does the truth begin to emerge, as realization and panic begin to set in. Who is his twin? Is the façade real, or does something terrifying lie beneath? Imagination or a reality too terrifying to believe?

In a race for time, Peter throws caution to the winds to find the truth. What he discovers will change their lives forever, the lives of their children, and an entire town.

Powerful, poignant, and filled with complex and layered characters, Prodigal Son is a riveting novel of secrets, salvation, and redemption from master storyteller Danielle Steel.

Review –

Not my favorite because of it’s predictability,  but it was a pleasant book to listen to while driving the highways and byways of Oklahoma.

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Think Twice (Rosato and Associates #11) by Lisa Scottoline

Book Description:

Published: March 16, 2010

From the blockbuster New York Times bestselling author of Look Again comes a novel that makes you question the nature of evil: is it born in us or is it bred? Bennie Rosato looks exactly like her identical twin, Alice Connolly, but the darkness in Alice’s soul makes them two very different women. Or at least that’s what Bennie believes, until she finds herself buried alive at the hands of her twin. Meanwhile, Alice takes over Bennie’s life, impersonating her at work and even seducing her boyfriend in order to escape the deadly mess she has made of her own life. But Alice underestimates Bennie and the evil she has unleashed in her twin’s psyche, as well as Bennie’s determination to stay alive long enough to exact revenge.Bennie must face the twisted truth that she is more like her sister Alice than she could have ever imagined, and by the novel’s shocking conclusion, Bennie finds herself engaged in a war she cannot win;with herself.

Review –

Alice, is one twisted twin sister! She buries her sister alive miles from anywhere while taking over her life, bank accounts, AND boyfriend. She seems to be the much smarter twin because who would keep a written record all of your passwords within reach and sight of anyone. Bennie, maybe be the attorney but obviously not very computer savvy.

The story line was predictable and it was just too easy to fool all of Bennie’s friends and co-workers. Even her boyfriend didn’t know he was in bed with an impersonator.

I’m glad I listened to the book but I hope it’s a long time before the author writes another installment involving  Alice. And yes, she is so smart she escaped capture yet again!

 

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Losing Hope (Hopeless #2) by Colleen Hoover

Book Description:

Published: July 8, 2013

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

Review –

This is Holder’s story. 

We see a lot of his past – it’s heart breaking and devastating but we live it with him. I went through everything with him. I felt his anger, his loss, his fears. When he fucked up, I cringed. When he was happy, my heart overflowed.

There were scenes that gave me  chills – from head to toe.  There were moments where I just closed my eyes and sat there sobbing, letting the emotions sink in, you know how I love tear-jerkers.

While so much of this book is just completely new, even the scenes that are the same as in Hopeless feel SO special when you read them because 1) they are just awesome scenes to relive period, and 2) the slightly different angle on them gives them just enough of a twist to make you fall in love with them all over again.

This book has it all -pain, devastation, love, loss, hope and closure.

Great series.

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Hopeless (Hopeless #1) by Colleen Hoover

Book Description:

Published: December 19, 2012

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Review –

Five stars *****

Silly me I read the last two books in the Hopeless Series before I realized it was a series so I had to go back and read the first one and OMG what a difference  the meaning takes on.

Hope’s father physically abused her as a child after her mother died and the only brightness in her life were her friends that lived next door.The boy was a bit older and the girl younger. Hope was a sad child and one day a car pulled up outside her house when she was crying and a woman called her name and she went and got into the car. Being very young she believed everything the woman told her, that she would live with her now and never had to see her father again.

Years later Holder (first name Dean-but he doesn’t go by that now) saw a girl in line at a grocery store and thought she was Hope. It had been thirteen years since Hope disappeared and he’d looked for her ever since. This girl said her name was Sky but still Holder shake the feeling that she was Hope. They become friends(loosely at least) and one day when he sees her wearing a certain bracelet he KNEW she was Hope. The rest of the story deals with their blossoming relationship and his helping her cope with the truth.

I won’t give anything away (because if you’re a fan of YA you really need to read this) but suffice it to say that there are many twists and turns and many tears are shed before the HEA.  I loved it and cried, of course, at all the right parts.

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Invisible by James Patterson and David Ellis

Book Description

June 23, 2014
Everyone thinks EmmyDockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job asan FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.Not even Emmy’s ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected. That is, until Emmy finds a piece of evidence he can’t afford to ignore. More murders are reported by the day–and they’re all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapons, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?

INVISIBLE is James Patterson’s scariest, most chilling stand-alone thriller yet.

 

Review-
I rated this book 5 stars ***** and I think it’s the first time I’ve done that for a James Patterson book, but this one was amazing. 
The serial killer was unknown almost until the very end and the things he did to his victims were beyond torture and the main female character did not escape his wrath, as in a lot of thrillers.  This is truly “edge of the seat” reading or listening.
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Three, Four … Better Lock Your Door (Rebekka Franck #2) by Willow Rose

Book Description

November 9, 2013

It was supposed to be a night of fun, pleasure, lust and pain for Susanne Larsen when she agreed to meet with a stranger from a S&M chatroom. She met him for dinner that later led to casual, anonymous sex at the hotel-room at the local inn.

But someone else showed up in the room and suddenly it was no longer a game.

Zeeland Times star-reporter Rebekka Franck and her photographer Sune are covering the case for the news-paper and soon they find themselves deeply involved in a story of terrifying horror and ugly secrets.

Review –

This is a story about lobotomies ,twins, news reporters, a photo journalist, mystery, relationships and friendships. It’s a good read and I recommend this series. So far I’ve only read two, and not in the right order but they are very good.
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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Book  Description:

Published : September 10, 2013

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

or Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review –

This is a heartwarming coming of age story about twins who go off to their first year of college. One is independent and out going while the other is shy,introverted and lost in being a writer of fan fiction.  The girl’s mother wanted to name her baby Catherine but when twins were born decided to use the name anyway and named one Cather and the other Wren. I thought that was a hoot. 

The characters are very well-developed and the dialogue is what really makes the book.  My favorite scenes are the ones between Cath and Levi because I believe he fell for her very early on and she never knew he was even interested in her in a romantic way. Once that fact was made known there are a couple of steamy make out scenes that are not over the top(after all it is a YA book). 

It’s a story about family ties, what makes them and what breaks them and about love. A fantastic read made even better because I had the audio version and the narrator did a bang up job.

I rated this book 5 stars *****

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