Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

How to Love 
**I received this book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

My Thoughts:  I did not finish this book but it wasn't because I didn't like it.  In fact, I absolutely LOVED this book (as far as I got anyways) and wanted so badly to finish it but I am right in the middle of a move and had to send it on so I will review the first half of the book for you!

Reena is in love with her childhood friend Sawyer.  Her best friend, Allie, and her have dreamed about what it would be like to date Sawyer.  Then one summer, Allie ends up dating Sawyer and the friendship between Reena and Allie becomes strained.  Now suddenly, Reena just wants to focus on school and graduate a year early so she can go to college and travel.  

Then one night changes everything.  After a devastating tragedy, Sawyer and Reena become closer.  Sawyer is a little more rebellious than Reena thought but she is drawn into his world.  When he suddenly up and disappears and she finds out she's pregnant, she knows her dreams of leaving town have dried up.  

After almost three years have gone by, Reena has moved on with her life.  She has a beautiful little girl, Hannah, a job at the restaurant her family owns with Sawyer's family and a boyfriend.  She is going to a community college and she's happy for the most part.  Then Sawyer shows back up and she now has to deal with her life being turned upside down yet again.  

Reena was an amazing character!  I connected with her immediately and loved how strong and determined she was.  She seemed to be a good mom and had her priorities in check.  She was a very likeable character and so very easy to relate too!

Sawyer was the boy you wanted to hate but really can't.  I didn't get to read far enough to find out what his deal was with his disappearing act but he seemed to be interested in his daughter.  

I loved how the story alternated between "before" and "after".  It was easy to follow but kept it interesting.  I really wish I could have finished this book as I was so involved in Reena's life and wanting to know what made Sawyer leave and how it ended.  I will definitely be buying this book as soon as it is released to find out!

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Book Review: Dead Girl's Don't Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Dead Girls Don't Lie 
**Received from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Rachel died at two a.m . . . Three hours after Skyler kissed me for the first time. Forty-five minutes after she sent me her last text.
Jaycee and Rachel were best friends. But that was before. . .before that terrible night at the old house. Before Rachel shut Jaycee out. Before Jaycee chose Skyler over Rachel. Then Rachel is found dead. The police blame a growing gang problem in their small town, but Jaycee is sure it has to do with that night at the old house. Rachel’s text is the first clue—starting Jaycee on a search that leads to a shocking secret. Rachel’s death was no random crime, and Jaycee must figure out who to trust before she can expose the truth.
In the follow-up to her powerful debut, Jennifer Shaw Wolf keeps readers on their toes in another dark, romantic story of murder and secrets.

My Thoughts:  This was a great story and full of surprises.  It was fast paced and kept my interest and had just the right amount of spooky moments!  

Jaycee was best friends with Rachel for most of her life.  But suddenly Rachel goes down another path and shuts Jaycee out.  Jaycee is with a boy, experiencing her first kiss, when Rachel texts her and tells her she's in trouble.  Jaycee ignores the text and the next day, Rachel is dead.  

The police claim that it is a gang related crime but Jaycee isn't too sure.  When she finds out Rachel left her some clues in the event of her death, Jaycee starts digging.  Unfortunately for Jaycee, all that digging gets her in trouble and now she is the target.  

I liked Jaycee a lot.  Sometimes she seemed a little dumb and slightly annoying but for the most part, I enjoyed her character.  She really did love Rachel like a sister and would go to any lengths to find out what really happened to her. 

Personally, I thought Skylar, Evan and Eric Cross were pretty creepy but that could just be me.  They all ran hot and cold and you could never really get a good read on them.  You definitely got to understand Skyler and his situation a little better towards the middle of the story when you find out his family dynamics.  

I loved Eduardo and his attitude.  He watched out for Jaycee and was loyal to Rachel.  He stuck around through some hard times to make sure that Jaycee was okay and to help her try to figure out what really happened.  He was definitely sulky though.  

The mystery had me a little stumped until the end so that was a pleasant surprise.  I would think I figured out who did it but then there would be a twist or two and it would throw my whole theory out the window.  In the end, I was surprised by who did it but when I thought back to this person's actions throughout the book, I saw all the little clues.   I also liked how this book dealt with something I don't read about very often (gangs and gang violence).  Definitely a change from vampires and werewolves!  If you like murder mysteries with some romance thrown in, this is the book for you!

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