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Jenuine Cupcakes



Deceiving Lies  - Molly McAdams

Audiobook Review: Team Maxon FOREVER!

The Selection Stories: The Prince & the Guard - Kiera Cass
Thank you Harper Collins for this audiobook! With the release of THE ONE, the final book in THE SELECTION trilogy, mere months away, I was eager to jump back into the world of Prince's, Guards and pretty dresses! 
This audio book does not disappoint! The narrators bring their own distinct voices to the POVs and make the characters come alive. Now I just wish I had the rest of the books in the series on audio too, that way I could do a total reread before it all comes to an end. 

Fifty First Times: A New Adult Anthology

Engaging & Thought-Provoking!

Bright Before Sunrise - Tiffany Schmidt

I started this book around mid-day, read a few chapters and had to set it aside to do things like, feed my kids and switch the laundry. By the time I was able to pick it back up again, it was 10:30p.m. and I was exhausted. I figured I would still get in at least an hour before my eyeballs gave up.

That didn't happen.

By 1:30a.m. I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom reading by - I kid you not - nightlight, and fighting the urge to flip to the end to see whether or not this turned out the way I hoped it would.

It did.

When I finally crawled back into bed at 2:30a.m., I had a big goofy smile on my face!

What I Loved: I was really curious about the "one night" premise. I was also a little nervous that Tiffany Schmidt might not be able to pull it off - telling a story that only covers a few hours but that is engaging, thought-provoking and heart-warming, but she did it!

I really enjoyed the dual POV and how both of these characters were almost extreme versions of themselves in the beginning. Their experiences have caused them to shut down emotionally but it manifests itself in different ways.

Jonah is a jerk, lashing out at everyone and everything around him. Totally understandable. Divorce is hard on a kid regardless of age. Throw in a move, a neurotic girlfriend and a bunch of other changes and life can kind of suck. Big time. The only bright spot in his life seems to be his baby sister and ohmyfeels...the scenes where he is caring her are so stinking sweet!

Brighton's perpetual positivity is merely a survival mechanism. Neither of her parents are emotionally available to her and thanks to her sister's carefree (and often hilarious) attitude, Brighton is the one tasked with taking care of their mom. But Caretaker is a role Brighton feels the safest in despite the fact that it's slowly eating away at her.

When their night begins, both Jonah and Brighton have preconceived notions about one another as well as agendas. Over the course of a few hours, words are spoken, feelings are hurt, and connections made, leaving them both to face the reality that maybe they really aren't all that different after all. Maybe too, they're the only other person who has a clue as to what the other is dealing with. Maybe, just maybe, Jonah and Brighton are exactly what each other needs.

Not tying up all of the loose ends is just one of the things that makes this story unique. But the reader isn't left feeling frustrated or angry about all of the "what happens now" questions. What the reader IS left with is hope and belief that it really does only take one night to change your life for the better.

What Left Me Wanting More: Nothing. However, if Tiffany Schmidt would like to write another book about what DOES happen next, I'll be first in line to read it. With cupcakes. ;)

Final Verdict: Engaging, thought-provoking look at how we not only see others, but how we see ourselves too. Read it!
Favorite Quote(s):  "Mom keeps a bail fund for me---for you, she only has college money."

"Go get my purse' does not give you permission to go in my purse," when all I'd wanted was a piece of gum for my baseball game." (One of the first "rules" I taught my boys. LOL!)

"Pity for the loser with undersized man-parts."

"In one car ride she's gone from pensive to half-asleep, and now she looks like she's snorted coffee beans." 

Witty, Lighthearted, Feel-Good Romance!

Better Off Friends - Elizabeth Eulberg

This was my first Elizabeth Eulberg book and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on more of her words! 


What I Liked: I love how significant this cover is! (I'm a cover dork, I can't help it.) This is a super cute story that takes an honest look at the ins and outs of friendship with the opposite sex. Macallan (loved the unique name) and Levi are best friends who meet in seventh grade and their relationship plays out over the course of five years. It's told through their alternating POVs and peppered with a running commentary that takes place in the present. Both are witty, funny and thoroughly entertaining characters!

Levi is laid back and craves attention while Macallan is confident and pulls no punches. Except for that one time... They balance each other out and it's obvious to everyone that they care very deeply for one another, but neither Macallan nor Levi seems ready or willing to take the leap from "friends" to something "more" because it could mess everything up. 


And that would totally suck. 


Like any relationship, these two experience plenty of ups and downs, a few of which made my heart hurt. It takes awhile for them to figure it all out and get on the same page. But they do eventually, and it's a lot of fun to watch.

What Left Me Wanting More: I wasn't expecting this to start out in Middle School and it threw me off a little especially since they didn't sound like typical Middle Schoolers. (I know. I spend hours with them every week.) 


Final Verdict: Witty, lighthearted, feel-good romance!


Afterparty - Ann Redisch Stampler

My initial thoughts about this book were, Ann Redisch Stampler is way too smart for me, at least her writing is, and if this is what private school is like in L.A., that is some scary shittake mushrooms right there.

I didn't realize going into this, that this story has all the elements I generally try to avoid; crazy BFFs, cheating, mean girl drama and revenge. But I wanted to give it a chance and I finished it in one sitting.

Emma was a character I had a hard time liking. I can appreciate trying to figure out who you are apart from your family or faith, but she swapped her Dad's control for Siobhan's. Their friendship was messed up from the start and new girl or not, I would have run in the opposite direction of someone like Siobhan. Nothing about her would've drawn me in and made me want to friends with her. She is toxic and I didn't understand how Emma could keep going back for more or why she would want to.

The relationship between Emma and her Dad, while extremely overprotective, was generally a positive one. He was present, concerned and well intentioned and despite her many mistakes, things were in a much healthier place by the time the book ends.

And then there is Dylan. I wanted to like him, I did and I wanted to understand how his screwed up family could affect the choices he made. But here's the thing, there was no excuse for the choice he made after he and Emma broke up. None. To me, that would be almost unforgivable. I say "almost" because I like to believe I'm capable of forgiving anything, in time, but I don't understand how there can be any trust left. Ever. He does redeem himself somewhat at the very end but even that seemed too little too late.

Fans of Pretty Little Liars and The Innocents Series will enjoy this, but it just wasn't for me.

Entertaining NA Paranormal

Ruined (The Eternal Balance, Book One) - Jus Accardo

I was just talking to someone the other day about how saturated the New Adult market is with Contemporary stories. Which is not to say I don't love a good Contemp, but I think that if "New Adult" is to become a solid, recognized genre, there needs to be a broader range of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal and Dystopian available.

RUINED is a great start to the NA Paranormal! It's unique, entertaining, and puts a whole new spin on the "bad boy". The story of Cain and Abel and the curse their descendants have to deal with is one that I have not come across yet in any level of my reading. It's fast paced, action packed with plenty of romance but the romance isn't what drives the plot - another plus in my book. It's nice to read a NA that doesn't just focus on getting to the sexy parts and staying there for the rest of the book. I enjoyed this, and I'm curious to see where the next installment of this series goes.

We Were Liars

We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

This is one of those stories that is really hard to review because I don't want to spoil anything!


I went into this with certain expectations. The title lends itself to so many different interpretations but this wasn't anything I imagined it would be either in plot or prose. I did consider DNF'ing it because trying to get a grasp of Cadence's often bizarre and seemingly endless stream of consciousness gave me a migraine. Speaking of which, as a migraine sufferer myself, I thought the descriptions of hers were spot on!


But the story moves fast and is intriguing enough that I decided to keep reading and I'm really glad I did. I hit the halfway mark around midnight and by the time I finished at 1:30a.m., I was huddled in my bathroom sobbing into a towel so I wouldn't wake my husband up. The twist, which I did not see coming AT ALL completely gutted me. It was creative, compelling and kicked me in the feels both as a reader and a parent. 


The one thing that stuck out most about We Were Liars is how, despite the way this turns out, and how much it affected me, there was still a lightness to it. That probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but for me to explain it would be to ruin it, so you'll just have to read it for yourself. ;)


Favorite Quote(s): "I'll be fine, they tell me. 

                             I won't die. 

                             It'll hurt a lot."

Such a Pleasant Surprise!

Playing Hurt - Holly Schindler

WHY HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS BOOK BEFORE NOW?! If it weren't for Jennifer L. Armentrout and Miranda Kenneally, I probably would have never read it but I'm so glad I did! (Word of advice, if author friends boss you to read a book, you listen.)

Told from alternating POVs, PLAYING HURT is a story of love, loss, hard choices and healing.

Chelsea and Clint both come from small towns and good families. Both have suffered tragedies that have left them broken, scared and scarred. But together they discover that just because life doesn't always turn out the way we think it will, doesn't mean it's over or not worth living, like REALLY living.

Their physical attraction is instant and often times hilarious as they both struggle to keep things professional. It doesn't take long though for emotions to kick in and those carefully drawn lines start to get a little blurry. *fans face* Did I agree with all the choices Chelsea and Clint made? No, but I understood why they made them and I appreciated that Holly Schindler took such an honest approach to their story.

I really liked that both sets of parents were visible and involved. Chelsea's relationship with her dad and Clint's relationship with his mom broke my heart in the best way. And the ending was perfect.

Favorite Quote: “The heart is a compass, steers us back to the thing we loved the most.”

The Chance (Thunder Point #3)

The Chance - Robyn Carr

The Chance is the third installment in Robyn Carr's, Thunder Point Series. It still features and interesting story told from multiple POVs, but The Chance focuses primarily on Eric Gentry and Laine Carrington.

Eric is Gina's ex and Ashley's birth father and I was really hoping to see more of their relationship develop, but aside from one conversation where they discussed Laine, there wasn't a whole lot of interaction between father and daughter. From the outside Eric appears to be a tough guy but out of all the Thunder Point men, he is my least favorite. He lacked the same kind of inner strength Cooper and Mac had and the way he allowed Laine to walk all over him made me uncomfortable at times.

Laine Carrington is the FBI agent who infiltrated the commune and ended up helping Devon and the other women escape. I liked her in the second book and I am all for strong female characters, but she came across hard and bossy and degrading to Eric. She made it seem like his background and his current job as a mechanic was somehow menial and beneath her. Which was ironic considering she has spent a lifetime in a similar argument with her father. Overall, her personality made connecting with her a challenge for me.

My biggest issue with this book was all of the "telling" and not "showing" that took place. I found myself being pulled out the story and bogged down by it which is a shame. I really enjoyed the first book in this series but I think my trips to Thunder Point may end with this one.

Brilliant Start To A New Series

The Winner's Curse (Winner's Trilogy, #1) - Marie Rutkoski

Don't let the gorgeous cover or the summary fool you, The Winner's Curse is no light, swoony romance. It's a beautifully written, brilliantly crafted high fantasy story of love, betrayal, politics, and the fight for Independence. The romance between Kestrel and Arin is a slow burn, one that is both heart racing and frustrating. Plot twists and constant strategizing keep the story moving and it all leads up to an ending that left me clutching my heart and eager to read the next installment!

I just wish I didn't have to wait so long for it!

Thought Provoking, Compelling and Terrifyingly Realistic

Uninvited - Sophie Jordan

HOLY HTS that was good!

I've attempted to write this review several times and each time I was ready to hit, "publish", my Internet crashed. I think it's because the government is secretly watching and doesn't want me to tell you just how awesome this book is.

Too bad, because I'm going to do it anyway...

What I LOVED: Thought provoking, compelling and terrifyingly realistic, UNINVITED left me breathless, on the edge of my seat, and anxious for the next installment!

As a reader, I loved the strong characters, the action, the suspense and of course the romance. In the span of a few days Davy's entire world is flipped on it's head and the people she thought she could depend on, the ones who claimed to love her, are the first to turn against her. *shakes fist at these people - one I want to punch in the throat*

But Davy is no wilting flower. She's forced into situations that require mental, physical and emotional strength and she rises to the occasion LIKE A BOSS. And then there is Sean O'Rourke who is just... I'm sorry, what was I talking about? Oh. Right. Sean. He's is a carrier too, and even though Davy thinks he's the tall, dark and all kinds of dangerous kind of HTS, I know that HTS really stands for, Hunky Tall Soap-Slingers. You're welcome.

As a Mom, there were a few moments when I had to literally put my kindle down and step away from this book. Why? Because the behavior of some of the adults, the way they reacted, blew my mind. It also made my heart ache for the kids. If HTS were a real thing and someone tried to take my boys away from me, they would have to do it OVER-MY-COLD-DEAD-BODY.

Final Verdict: I have been a Sophie Jordan fan from the moment Jacinda first took flight in Firelight, but Uninvited is my new favorite! (And Will, I still love you, but you need to make some room for Sean on the Book Boy Shelf.)

Compelling Debut!

Faking Normal - Courtney C. Stevens

Thank you Courtney C. Stevens for writing an amazing story.

Wow. Just, wow. This is one of those rare stories that kicks you in the feels and makes you smile all while making you wish you had your very own Kool-Aid Kid! ;)

Most YA Contemps deal with teenagers and their issues, many of which are so over the top they're nearly impossible to believe or relate to. Not so with FAKING NORMAL.

Courtney C. Stevens has given us a compelling story about two teens, Alexi and Bodee, both of whom are struggling with pretty heavy stuff in their lives, like death, self-mutilation and sexual assault. Alexi and Bodee are doing the best they can to just to survive even if that means pretending everything is okay. But things begin to slowly unravel for both of them and while it would be very easy for Stevens to drag her characters through the muck and leave them there, she doesn't. Instead, she gives them a chance to be brave, to speak up and she gives them each other.

Does this turn into a mushy "fix you" teen romance? No, which is another reason this story sets itself apart. While the relationship that develops between Alexi and Bodee is heart-achingly tender and sweet, Stevens writes them with enough maturity to know that they need to figure out their own issues first before they can "jump ahead" into a full-on romance. Together they make each other stronger and help each other start to heal.

What I loved most about this book was the hope it offers. Hope that, despite the bad things we experience, we are the ones who choose whether or not we allow bad things to define us or to make us brave.

Read this book and then go channel your brave!


Into the Still Blue - Veronica Rossi

Perfect Sequel!

Split Second (Pivot Point #2) - Kasie West

A HUGE thank you to Steph from Cuddlebuggery for sharing her ARC with me!


Split Second is the fast-paced, feel clutching, edge of your seat sequel to Pivot Point. It has an expertly crafted story, creative and interesting plot twists and well developed characters, all of whom made me literally laugh-out-loud at one point or another. (I may have even snorted water through my nose.) The romance is heart-achingly tender and the last line is made of perfection. PERFECTION!


It was kind of nice to read a story where, despite their abilities and the clash with the Norm world, these teens aren't staging some huge rebellion. (Maybe it's just me, but those stories tend to stress a body out sometimes.) Yes, Addie, Laila, Conner and even Duke are still challenging the system, but they're also acknowledging that real change doesn't happen all at once. They're also learning some important lessons about how to use their talents for good instead of evil. The characters who choose the Compound over the Norm world have their reasons, all of which are realistic and valid to the story and vice versa.


This sequel does not disappoint, but don't take my word for it, step into the box and Search it for yourself. ;) 


Thank you Kasie West for another fantastic book, I will read anything you write! 


Favorite Quote(s): "How does it feel to know that even though you have an advanced mind, the girl you love wants me?"


"Let's hope not, because we've packaged ourselves handily." 


"If someone ends up hitting me by mistake, I will them clean and won't even care." 


"Oh yeah, let me put on my girlfriend glasses and study them real close."

Action, Suspense, Romance and Swoon!

Run To You Part One: First Sight - Clara Kensie

RUN TO YOU is a new serial series Harlequin TEEN is launching and if you're like me and unfamiliar with serials, they're much like your favorite T.V. show. Each episode is it's own unique story but continues the plot into the next week.

You know how sometimes you pick up a book (or a Nook in my case) and think you'll just read a few pages and then before you know it, you've reached the end? Well, that's pretty much what happened to me with this book.

Action, suspense, romance and swoon, Tessa's story pulled at my heartstrings in ways I didn't expect. All Tessa wants is for her family to be safe, to be able have some semblance of a normal life. But that's hard to do when there's a killer after you, especially one you can't see coming until it's almost too late. That's one of the reasons why Tessa spends most of her time trying to be invisible. It's just easier that way.

And then she meets Tristan. Tessa does everything she can to avoid him, but to Tristan, Tessa is all he can think about. His pursuit of her is sweet, respectful and exactly what she needs. Even her family starts to relax a little, encouraging her to give him a chance but Tessa fears allowing herself to care for Tristan will not only endanger her family, but him as well. That's not a risk she's sure is worth taking, but if Tessa's not careful, she may not get the chance to find out.

What Left Me Wanting More: I'm really glad I had the next installment in this series queued up and ready to go because I HAD to know what happened next. HAD.TO.

Final Verdict: Read it. Love it. The line for Tristan Walker starts behind me.