Hi guys, I’m playing a little catch-up with some highly anticipated (for me, at least) eBooks that I bought and read recently. Have you read any of these? Let me know what you think!Trade Me
Author: Courtney Milan
Find the author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Tumblr
Also by this author: , Once Upon a Marquess, The Year of the Crocodile, Hold Me
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Publication date: January 20th 2015
Source: Purchased from Amazon.com
Tina Chen is a college student who is barely scraping by with her job, her loans, and schooling. Her dad lost his job when she left for college, and it’s been up to her to be the responsible one in her family for a long time. When she and Blake Reynolds, the son of a technology mogul, end up sparring in class about socioeconomic status, it’s the beginning of a very strange friendship. Blake is trying to run away from his own life at Cyclone, the tech company that has defined his life, and he offers Tina a life trade: spend the rest of the semester living in his shoes, and he’ll live in her divey apartment on five dollars a day. But neither of them realize just how much this trade will change the stakes in their romantic relationship.
I love how much thought Courtney Milan puts into the concept of her books, and how much she develops the characters. Blake and Tina are fantastically complex people, living with deep insecurities and the desperate need to break out of the footsteps of their parents while wanting their approval. I also loved how much Milan had the characters realize just how uneven the life trade was going to be, but how much it changed and shaped Blake and Tina anyway. And can we talk about how steamy these two are? Epic levels of flirting added to people who obviously care deeply for each other…wow. My only qualm was that I felt that some of the revelations at the end were just a bit much – they didn’t feel totally believable – but then again, this is Courtney Milan, and her endings are always explosive and spectacular, so I can certainly live with this one.
Overall, a really, really enjoyable, quick NA read. Read this if you want smart, sexy romance.
Curse of the Wickeds (The Cinderella Society, Episode 2) Buy It: The Book Depository
Spoilers for episode 1 of The Cinderella Society
In the second episode of Kay Cassidy’s re-released The Cinderella Society, we get a lot more into the Wickeds, the nasty girl group that works to dominate as many people as possible. Jess has to reconcile her own terror and self-esteem issues about becoming the new Cinderella Society leader, and learn more about their fight against bullies…all while trying to learn to be a Cindy, work her job, and go on her first dates with Ryan Steele, the crush of her dreams.
Discussions of how painful and frightening bullying and targeting can be, how to help girls stand on their own two feet, and how high school lunchtime can be terrifying are not out of place in this post-It Gets Better/Demi Lovato world, and I liked that part just as much as in the original. Jess also has some hard choices to face when she discovers that the Cindys might have her back – but only to a point. Additions include more about personality (not just image) in the Cinderella Makeover Manual, which really focuses on how to create your best self, inside and out. I loved that part of it, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it changes episode 3 of this series. Other additions include continuing the faith and religion themes and changes in some of the names of the organizations. Deletions I didn’t love were some of the more romance-y bits. While this version kept most of the Ryan-Jess romance in tact, I missed the swooniness of Ryan and Jess’ kisses. This takes things back to a G rating instead of PG, and I was disappointed to see the story scrubbed cleaner.
Overall, I’m still looking forward to continuing this new version of one of my favourite stories, but I do miss the original. That said, I think it will be interesting to see what Cassidy does with the final (and new) episode of these novellas.
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Find the author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram
Also by this author: Breathe, Annie, Breathe, Jesse's Girl, Defending Taylor, Coming Up for Air
Publication date: December 1st 2011
Source: Purchased from Amazon.com
Jordan Woods is a senior and a female quarterback who’s leading her football team at Hundred Oaks High to state victory. Jordan has a lot of support, but her dad is an NFL player who doesn’t really want her playing, so she’s vying to get a full football scholarship at her dream school. When Jordan discovers an attraction to another quarterback who has just moved to town, feelings get complicated with her and her best friend and wide receiver, Sam Henry.
I really enjoyed Catching Jordan – it was a smart and fun romance that rang true with depictions of the pressure Jordan has to deal with being a female football player. Where the book surprised me was in showing how Jordan reacts when she’s forced to acknowledge that she’s a female – in some ways, Jordan has just as much of a closed mind about girls as some people do about a girl playing football. In terms of the romance, I didn’t get as swoony for Sam as a lot of people did, but I appreciated how great a team he and Jordan were, and how full of friendship, fun, and history their relationship was.
To me, the best part of Catching Jordan was seeing how much Miranda Kenneally’s writing has changed and grown. I read Breathe, Annie, Breathe, her fifth book in the series last spring, and it was the first of her books I’d read. CJ was her debut, and while it was strong, I felt that Breathe, Annie, Breathe was a much more complex, developed, and nuanced book. Still, a very enjoyable start to the Hundred Oaks series, and I appreciated knowing Sam and Jordan’s history when I read Jesse’s Girl this summer, the latest installment in the series, featuring Sam’s little sister Maya.
Have you read any of these books? Which one is your favourite? There’s definitely a subtext of feminism in all of these books…what is your favourite book with this theme that you think I should read next?