The Lies About Truth – Courtney C Stevens

The Lies About Truth
By: Courtney C Stevens
Available November 2015

Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she’s unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she’ll always be trapped in the past.

This Blonde’s Review:
People all have events that divide their lives into before and after. For Sadie her big before and after is the car accident that killed her friend and left her scarred. She lost more than Trent after the accident, she also lost her group of friend and her sense of self. She doesn’t know who she is anymore and can’t find her way back to doing the things she used to do.

The only person Sadie feels capable of opening up to is Max. Trent’s younger brother and the other person in the car with them the night he died. After the accident his family took a trip as part of their healing process so we see this relationship grow through a series of one sided emails. We can gather a lot of what is being said based on her replies so I’m glad we only got to see her emails. When he finally comes home and the anniversary of the accident draws near there are multiple things that start to bring things to a head. She’s unsure if her previous friendships will be finally destroyed for good or if it’ll be enough to bring them back together.

I really loved this book. I loved that it’s a more than a story about Sadie learning to care for someone after the devastation of losing one of her best friends. We get to see who Trent was through the memories that are shared of him. And we also realize that everyone has secrets about the things that happened before and after the accident. I like that some of them are secrets I never knew to expect and that they all feel their share of guilt over what happened. The characters were easy to care for, even after making mistakes and not wanting to like them.

If you enjoy books about broken characters dealing with loss and learning how to put their lives back together then you won’t want to miss this one.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Around The World Tours, Book Review


Promises I Made – Michelle Zink

Promises I Made
By: Michelle Zink
Lies I Told Book 2
Available November 2015

Check out my review of the first book, Lies I Told.

In the thrilling sequel to Lies I Told, Grace learns that the most difficult thing about pulling off the perfect crime is living with the consequences.

Grace Fontaine was trained to carry out perfect crimes. But when a mistake was made the night her family tried to execute their biggest heist yet, her world fell apart. Now her brother is in jail, her mother has disappeared with the entire stolen fortune, and her father is determined to find a new mark, no matter the cost.

Haunted by the way she betrayed her friends—and Logan, the only boy she’s ever loved—as well as the role she played in her brother’s arrest, Grace decides she must return to the place every thief knows you should avoid: the scene of the crime.

Returning to Playa Hermosa as a wanted criminal is dangerous. But Grace has only one chance to make things right. To do it, she has to use everything she’s been taught about the art of the con to hunt down the very people who trained her: the only family she’s ever known.
Perfect for fans of Ally Carter, Cecily von Ziegesar, and Gail Carriger, this thrilling, high-stakes novel deftly explores the roles of identity and loyalty while offering a window into the world of the rich and fabulous.

This Blonde’s Review:
If you read the first book in this series you know that there was so much left up in the air. Grace had betrayed the friends she had made for the sake of her family, who in turn betrayed them as well. Her brother was left to take the fall and her mother disappeared with the gold. The results of the night of the theft have made it clear that the only people who cared about her over their own needs were the ones she left behind. She knows she can’t expect forgiveness but she can help free her brother.

This book was a lot more low key than the first. In the first there is a lot of build up as they get closer to the theft and not knowing what to do. Once everything has taken place this one is about dealing with the consequences and attempting to find a way to free her brother since he didn’t deserve what happened to him. We see Grace trying to find a way to make things right for the people she can. She knows the money is gone but she can help see justice served. We also get to see Grace attempt to learn what it means to let people care for her after the disaster that was the family she grew up in. She always thought that was a family, it is only after their betrayal and being cared about by others that she realizes what care really looks like.

You would think that being back in Playa Hermosa that we’d see plenty of the characters from the first book. Instead we only catch glimpses of them, enough to see that her choices devastated them but that they are good people who did legitimately care for her. The characters I really loved are new in this book. One of them we got a glimpse of in the first book but he and his partner were such great people. Grace would have been at a loss without them in many ways and they were amazing.

The first book had Grace falling for the guy and friends and having to decide if she’d betray her friends or her family. The second book wasn’t about the guy or the friends. This book is about Grace finding herself. She finds herself by doing the right thing by her brother and by learning what family and friendship is really about.


Posted by on September 4, 2015 in Around The World Tours, Book Review


Rules for 50/50 Chances – Kate McGovern

Rules for 50/50 Chances
By: Kate McGovern
Available November 2015

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

This Blonde’s Review:
Rose’s mother has Huntington’s disease. She watches her mother’s disease slowly take away the woman she used to be. Rose knows that since her mother has the disease she has a 50/50 chance of having it as well. Because of this Rose lives her life afraid of what it could mean for her. Why should she plan for a future in dance if she may get the shakes so bad she can barely take care of herself?

When she meets Caleb she finally meets someone who understands what it means to come from a genetically flawed family. The biggest difference is how they live their lives, though she believes that he is able to live life without all of the rules since he knows he won’t get the same disease his mother and sisters have. Caleb cares about Rose and wants to have her in his life, he wants to love her and make plans with her. Rose’s rules keep her from being able to let go enough to let herself love him.

When Rose finds out she can take the test to see if she will get Huntington’s and starts to struggle with her life choices more than before. She doesn’t want to allow herself to dream of going to school for dance without the test. Rose finds herself pushing people away and has to make some life decisions. If she knows she’ll get the disease she’ll never get the time back, she’ll always live as though she already has it. She may choose not to let herself love or dream. She has to decide if she’d rather know or rather give herself a chance to live in the moment and dream.

When life turns into a roller coaster it can feel natural to hold on tight to the things you can control. To let fear lead the way is a common reaction. I can certainly understand and relate to it. I love that Caleb was the opposite and challenged Rose to live without letting the fear take over. He had his own struggles but was willing to love Rose if she’d let him.

This was a great book. I can’t imagine living with that kind of uncertainty over my head and don’t know how I’d deal with it. I do know that I enjoy stories with characters who have to figure out what is right for them. There is no wrong answer when it comes to deciding if you would like to know if you could get sick someday or not. It is a personal decision. Seeing Rose attempt to navigate that path without alienating the people around her was a good story and can certainly make you think.

If you enjoy books where the characters have to determine what the best path for them would be, and then watch them try to pick up the pieces of things that got broken on their way to that answer, then you’ll want to read this one.


Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Book Review


Everything Everything – Nicola Yoon

Everything Everything
By: Nicola Yoon
Available September 2015

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

This Blonde’s Review:
Madeline has spent all of her life locked away with only her mother and nurse for company. She has a rare condition that makes her deathly allergic to the outside world. When Olly moves in next door something about him draws her.

Olly and Madeline are complete opposites. He is in constant motion, while her life has been very still. He spends his time outside while she is always inside. She can’t help watching him and he can’t contain his curiosity about the mysterious girl next door. Their secret relationship starts slowly, with notes and internet conversations, and soon escalates to making decisions that can change the course of her life. Madeline has to decide what she’s willing to risk for the type of life she wants and how far she’s willing to go to get it. Is she really living if the life she lives locked away in her tower?

I liked seeing the way Madeline slowly comes to realize what she wants for herself. I love that Olly prompted her to look further but her thoughts and decisions weren’t just for a guy. She wants to live life on her own terms, but she cares about her mother and doesn’t want to hurt her.

I enjoyed getting to know Madeline and Olly, I also loved seeing the way their relationship built. If you like books with characters who have insurmountable obstacles to a relationship then you may enjoy this one.


Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Around The World Tours, Book Review


The Anatomical Shape of a Heart – Jenn Bennett

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
By: Jenn Bennett
Available November 2014

Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

This Blonde’s Review:
Beatrix wants access to cadavers to practice drawing real body parts. She believes seeing the real parts and organs will give her a better understanding of how they look over looking at pictures and drawings by others. When the person she needs to talk to about the program stands her up and she misses the last train she has to take a midnight us. That’s where she meets the mysterious Jack.

Jack has secrets, she doesn’t know much about him but she finds him intriguing. As she gets to know him she can’t help but fall for him too. As they learn more about each other they realize that there is baggage on both sides that can make a relationship difficult.

I loved getting to know Beatrix and Jack. They’re great characters that have to figure out how to deal with the issues in their families and juggle getting to know each other. I thought it was great that things weren’t quite what they seem for either of their families. They had plenty to learn about each other and themselves.

I have to say that I loved the description of the art she used for her scholarship submission. It sounded interesting and like something I would have liked to see. I loved the way her art was able to open things up for people around her.

If you enjoy a book about characters struggling to find themselves and deal with family issues while getting to know themselves you’ll enjoy this one.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Book Review


Forget Tomorrow – Pintip Dunn

Forget Tomorrow
By: Pintip Dunn
Forget Tomorrow – Book 1
Available November 2015

“Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.”

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.

This Blonde’s Review:
Callie has waited impatiently for the memory from her future self and can’t imagine seeing anything other than fulfilling her dreams. Instead she sees herself injecting her sister with something and the heart monitors stopping. She adores her little sister and is sure that this must be a mistake, there is no way she would harm her sister. Callie knows that people whose memories show them committing crimes are arrested and placed in Limbo, but what she doesn’t know is how people move from Limbo to prison. She doesn’t realize how serious the agency takes the memories or what they will do to keep their system in place.

Soon Logan, the boy she finds she still has feelings for despite years of not talking, is helping her escape and find a way to a group she never knew existed. He takes her to a group dedicated to living away from the government and believes they can decide their paths even if it takes them away from what the memories send back.

The things that Callie discovers surprise her and make her realize nothing was what she thought. She learns surprising things about the government, the people she cares about, and about herself. She has hard choices to make for herself and for the sake of everyone.

I enjoyed Callie and the people she gets to know in the book. Clearly we’re going to love Logan since he’s the love interest. How could we not like him when he does so much to help Callie. But I also enjoyed getting to know her mother and sister, and the others with the resistance. From the guy who is afraid he’ll hurt someone to the woman who refuses to have a child, they’re all living the best lives they can, determined to prevent tragedy.

If you enjoy books that have you considering what came first and whether the future can be changed then you’ll want to read this one. I’m ready for book two so I can see what happens next and book one isn’t even out yet!


Young Widows Club – Alexandra Coutts

Young Widows Club
By: Alexandra Coutts
Available November 2015

For seventeen-year-old Tam, running off to marry her musician boyfriend is the ideal escape from her claustrophobic high-school life on the island, and the ultimate rebellion against her father and stepmother. But when Tam becomes a widow just weeks later, the shell-shocked teen is forced to find her way forward by going back to the life she thought she’d moved beyond—even as her struggle to deal with her grief is forcing her to reinvent herself and reach out to others in ways she never imagined.

This Blonde’s Review:
Tam never imagined that rushing to start her life early by getting married young could leave her a widow at a young age too. When her husband dies in his sleep unexpectedly she finds herself a widow at 17 with no idea what to do with her life. When most people her age are focusing on graduation and college, she’s dealing with the loss of a spouse and the life she had planned.

I didn’t relate the Tam right away since I was never one to dive in to relationships, but the more we get to know her and her relationship the easier it is to see how her relationship would feel like home to her. In some ways her relationship and the music that made up their lives also brought her closer to the mother she lost at a young age and the lifestyle her father left behind after the loss.

I really loved the people in her widows club. The wacky leader and their crazy stunts were amusing enough to be more interesting than a regular support group that talked, but also seemed like something that could help. When you’re trying not to feel something and have to act it out, it can great and sad all the the same time to finally deal with the feelings that acting it out will bring to the surface. Even if you find yourself giving someone a bloody nose.

I liked that they had her going back to school and reexamining her future, with options she never considered before. When you see yourself focusing on building someone else’s dreams you don’t always see that you might have dreams of your own. And after such a devastating loss it is natural to believe that you won’t ever find anyone else. Especially not someone so different from the one you lost.

I enjoyed this book. I like that Tam wasn’t only dealing with the death of her husband at 17. She was also dealing with unresolved issues over her mother’s death, the way her family changed when her father remarried, and confronting her own changed future.

If you like books with characters who have to confront their feelings and decide whether they can accept new dreams and the disappointments that come with that then you’ll want to read Tam’s story.


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