Kathy's Week In Review

What I read this week:

Looking for Alaska 
by John Green
Miles Halter lives a rather uneventful and boring life.  When it is decided that he will attend boarding school he goes there looking to somewhat transform himself and find the "Great Perhaps".  The friends he makes there bring adventure, and well life - to his life.  There he learns about love, friendship, and loyalty.

After reading The Fault In Our Stars (which was fabulous) I really wanted to read another novel by John Green.  I started Looking for Alaska expecting something amazing - so maybe that was part of the problem.  I think it was a very intelligently written book.  The situations and dialogue seemed mostly realistic and the characters were very well developed.  It certainly provoked a lot of emotion and sympathy.  However, at the end of the book I felt somewhat lost.  I needed to find just a little bit more meaning in the ending.  Overall a good read... just not quite the amazing book that I was looking for.  3 stars for Looking for Alaska.

Falling Under
 by Jasinda Wilder
An awesome follow-up to Falling Into You and Falling Into Us! You MUST read Falling Into You and Falling Into Us to understand this book. 
In Falling Under we find Kylie (Nell and Colt's daughter from Falling Into You). Colt isn't thrilled when his daughter brings home bad boy Oz. Oz reminds Colt a little too much of himself, and that's not good for his daughter. Oz is a troubled guy - but such a sweetheart. I just fell in love with him right off the bat. Kylie is spunky like her parents. She speaks her mind and doesn't take no for an answer. It was perfect to see her making music with Oz. They have an obvious connection that had me swooning.

So many things in this book reminded me of Falling Into You. It had all of the good things that I loved, plus a lot of new things that I loved even more. Many of my favorite chapters were from Colt's point of view. Reading about Colt as a Dad was fabulous. He is a brilliant father - loving, caring, thoughtful, careful, and wise. We get to experience how he has grown and changed. Yet, also how so much has stayed the same - his love for Nell. Revisiting these characters in a new light as parents made for an exceptional read.

There were plenty of chapters that had me holding my breath: life threatening scenes, and sensational intimacies. In the end, words can't describe how much I LOVED this book! Fabulous 5++ stars from me. One of the best books I have read in a long time!! Run and one-click this book right now!

Tied with Me 
by Kristen Proby
This is the sixth installment in the With Me In Seattle series by Kristen Proby.  I've really come to love this big Montgomery family that Proby has created and I'm a big fan of series that follow big families. It's great to revisit all of the old characters with each installment.

Tied with Me follows Matt Montgomery (the police officer in the family) and bakery owner Nic Dalton.  While I enjoyed the romance and the supporting characters (as always), in the end I wasn't a big fan of the BDSM-type sex in the story.  I just don't personally love reading about those types of books. I knew this going in... but I really wanted to read it because of my love for the characters and the rest of the series.  In addition, I thought the plot was somewhat predictable and uneventful.   Nic and Matt made for a nice, but unremarkable couple.  Luckily, this book is filled with a ton of miscellaneous storylines from the family characters - enough to make this novel enjoyable for fans of the series.  Diehard Kristen Proby fans should definitely read it for continuity in the series.  3.5 stars for Tied with Me.

Breakaway: A New Adult Anthology
By Various Authors
I picked up this anthology mainly because it features a short story by Ilsa Madden-Mills. I LOVED her book Very Bad Things and I was anxious to pick up anything else she has written!  Spider on a Plane is a cute short story about a lead guitarist playboy who ends up sitting next to a mousy librarian type woman on an airplane.  What ensues is a snarky, fun short story about how opposites do indeed attract. I was happy to see that Ilsa hasn't lost her touch - perhaps everything she writes DOES turn to gold. Next I decided to venture off and read Bunsen Burner Bingo by Penny Reid.  Penny was hilarious at the Wicked Book Weekend book signing so I really wanted to read something she has written.  I happily devoured this short story which follows a quirky scientist and her crush on the resident campus golden boy.  The novella was funny, yet sexy and completely sold me on Penny's writing.  Her full-length novels just moved up my To Be Read List!  Honestly, I felt that these two stories alone made my purchase worthwhile! Since I had a little bit of time on my hands this week I went ahead and read Confessions by Jay McLean.  This cute story shows us that sometimes a twist of fate can bring two unlikely people back together.  It was short, sweet, and enjoyable.  Overall I have to say that so far this is a great anthology with some fun short stories that you can read independently when you have a few minutes to spare! I highly recommend Breakaway to discover new authors or reinvigorate your love of old favorites!

After the Rain 
by Lisa De Jong
This book is a follow-up to When it Rains.  SPOILER ALERT. Do not read this review unless you have read When it Rains.

After the Rain is the story of Kate and Beau after Asher.  It is a tricky situation to make the reader feel good about a second romance when the first one ended with the death of a beloved.  Lisa De Jong did a good job of resolving Kate's love for Asher along with her love for Beau.  Even though I could feel Kate's connection with Beau (I was a Beau fan from the start in the first book) I thought this novella fell a little flat.  It was a sweet re-connection for the couple but it lacked that extra something special to really seal the deal for me.  I could've used a bit more excitement, but in the end it was a sweet resolution to the fabulous first book.  3.5 stars.

Left Drowning
 by Jessica Park
A "six degrees" review to come! All of the reviewers on Lives and Breathes will be writing a joint review in the coming weeks!  Stay tuned!

Coming up on my TBR List:

Reconstructing Amelia
 by Kimberly McCreight

Starting Over 
by Evan Grace

On my Wish List:

Room for More 
by Beth Ehemann

Let Love Be 
by Melissa Collins

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