Always forever maybe book cover

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch [Blog Tour] Review & Giveaway!

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch [Blog Tour] Review & Giveaway!Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
Published by Simon Pulse on May 8, 2018
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
four-stars

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.


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My thoughts

Love & Luck was a quick, cute, fun read that had me laughing out loud often, and at one point, tearing up.

Addie is having a rough summer. Something awful happened between her and a guy named Cubby, right before she left for Ireland with her family. Whatever the something is, has caused a major rift between Addie and Ian, the brother that has always been her partner in crime, and her best friend. We don’t find out what happened with Cubby until nearly the end of the book, and the wait was nail-biting.

I didn’t like Addie in the beginning, because she was aggressive, and had a super bad temper that led to acts of violence against Ian. She took sibling squabbles to a whole new level, and I felt bad for her brother. Addie eventually grew on me, when she started contemplating and working through her misplaced anger.

My favorite character in Love & Luck, was definitely Rowan, because he’s a super nice guy, with a sweet disposition, and made a great mediator between the two feuding siblings. However, one of the main reasons I only gave this book 4 stars, was because I was disappointed with how Rowan’s dialogue was written. He’s supposed to have an accent that’s ‘100 percent Irish’, but his dialogue didn’t read as having that accent. I actually kept forgetting he was supposed to be Irish, because reading his lines was like listening to a 100 percent accented American.

I’ve never been to Ireland, but it’s on my top 5 list of must-travel places. Reading Love & Luck, has made me want to go to Ireland even more. Addie, Ian, and Rowan, are traveling across Ireland, stopping at historical landmarks, and every time they mentioned one, I immediately put the book down, and googled pictures. The landmarks in Ireland are breathtaking, and I really hope one day I can see them in person.

Before I finish this review, I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Love & Luck, because it really moved me.

You don’t need anyone, unless you want them. You’re enough all on your own.


About the author

         

Jenna Evans Welch was the kind of insatiable child reader who had no choice but to grow up to become a writer. She is the New York Times Bestselling author of LOVE & GELATO and the upcoming LOVE & LUCK.

When she isn’t writing girl abroad stories, Jenna can be found chasing her children or making elaborate messes in the kitchen. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and two young children.


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four-stars
Always forever maybe book cover

The Traitor’s Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle #1) by Erin Beaty

The Traitor’s Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle #1) by Erin BeatyThe Traitor's Kiss (The Traitor's Circle, #1) by Erin Beaty
Published by Imprint on May 9th 2017
Pages: 352
Goodreads
five-stars

An obstinate girl who will not be married. A soldier desperate to prove himself. A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls' military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

About 3/4 of the way through The Traitor’s Kiss, I was sure that it was definitely going to be a 4 star read, then all the sudden this amazing twist occurred, a new, exciting, and daring revelation that blew me away. I truly didn’t see it coming! It catapulted my love for this book to 5 stars. The rest of the book was just as awesome, with more twists, and a lot of action, so of course the 5 stars stuck.

Sage starts out as an easy girl to like, and then she quickly becomes someone you love. She’s incredibly smart, book and street-wise. She’s very stubborn, and has a bit of a temper, but when shit hits the fan, I definitely want her on my team. Sage thinks she’s plain and unremarkable, but that’s so far from the truth. She’s charming and perceptive, and easily blends into different crowds, something that the matchmaker instantly notices and respects. The soldiers who were chosen to escort the matchmaker’s group of brides-to-be across the country, are also wowed by Sage, because she’s magnetizing, quick-thinking, and overall, a kick ass spy for both the matchmaker, and the soldiers.

I love how Sage and Mulan, from Disney’s Mulan, are kindred spirits. They’re both the girl that everyone takes for granted. Society thinks that Sage/Mulan are impossible to tame, because they don’t want to spend their lives running a household, gushing about dresses, and other typical things that “proper” ladies do. They want to throw on britches, and get their hands dirty. They’re both highly capable, out-of-the-box thinkers, who get the job done in ways that baffles and amazes others. Sage and Mulan would totally be best friends.

Sage’s foil ends up being a particularly attractive soldier, who is charged with monitoring her for suspicious activities. These suspicious activities are basically just Sage collecting intel on attractive bachelors, for her job as an apprentice matchmaker. Sage also suspects that this handsome soldier is hiding secrets, and it’s so funny watching the two of them spying on each other, while also trying not to fall for each other.

Seriously, read this book! If not just for Sage, then also for a hot, slow brewing romance that you don’t want to miss.

five-stars
Always forever maybe book cover

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Book Tag

As you can tell from my website name, and social media handles, I’m a HUGE flippin’ Buffy fan. These book tags are a lot of fun to participate in, and since I hadn’t seen one for Buffy yet, I decided to create one!

Buffy fans, I hope you all like it, and will consider doing it yourself 😀

A Request – Please mention/tag/thank the original creator of this book tag, and also the person who tagged you. Thanks!

WARNING: There could be some spoilers from books. Proceed with caution. 

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Buffy
“If the apocalypse comes…beep me!”

Name a character who lives a double life

Sage from The Traitor’s Kiss.

By day she’s an apprentice matchmaker, and by night she’s a spy for the king’s soldiers.

 

Tenor

Xander
“Man, Buffy! My whole life just flashed before my eyes. I gotta’ get me a life!”

Name a character who mostly just provides comic relief

Kenji from Shatter Me series

Kenji is a great, supportive friend, but the majority of his role, is to lighten the mood with sarcasm and jokes.

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Willow
“You’re right. The magicks I used are very powerful. I’m very powerful. And maybe it’s not such a good idea for you to piss me off.”

Name a bad-ass witch

Manon Blackbeak from The Throne of Glass series

She’s the baddest of the bad!

 

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Giles

“I don’t really know what to say. Um, I understand that this sort of thing requires ice cream of some kind”

Name a character who fills in the role of an absent parent

Madoc in The Cruel Prince series

No one would ever call Madoc patient, and kind, like Giles, but he did make Jude strong, and capable of taking care of herself.

 

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Oz
“The wolf is inside me all the time, and I don’t know where that line is anymore between me and it.”

Name a book with werewolves

The Sweet Devine series by Bree Despain

 

Buffy-Boards

Angel
“This isn’t some fairy tale. When I kiss you…you don’t wake up from a deep sleep and live happily ever after”

Name a character who is extremely broody

Edward Cullen from the Twilight saga

Sorry Edward fans!

 

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Spike
“I have come to redefine the words pain and suffering since I fell in love with you”

Name a character who has a huge redemption ARC

Trystan from Amid Stars and Darkness 

Trystan was raised by a cruel, cold father, who saw kindness as a weakness, and taught his son that you need to be ruthless to rule. Trystan has made a lot of bad decisions in his life, but when he meets Delaney, she inspires him to start making good ones.

 

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Anya
“Well, thank you for the generous life-saving. Now please go away”

Name a character that you tried to love, but just couldn’t

Noemi from the Defy the Stars series

I tried so hard to like Noemi, but sometimes it felt like she was more robotic than Abel.

 

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Tara
“I lived my life in shadow, never the sun on my face.”

Name a book with a LGBTQA relationship

A Court of Thorns and Roses

So technically, as of View Spoiler », we don’t know if View Spoiler » is in an official relationship, but hopefully she’ll have found someone in the new, upcoming trilogy.

 

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The First Evil
“I am something that you can’t even conceive. The First Evil. Beyond sin, beyond death. I am the thing the darkness fears. You’ll never see me, but I am everywhere. Every being, every thought, every drop of hate–“

Name an ultimate book villain

Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series.

She’s a nasty,  self righteous, heartless person, who abuses children.

 

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Sunnydale
“Sunnydale: come for the food, stay for the dismemberment.”

Bonus: Name a book town/city that you most definitely would never want to live in

The Kingdom of Sempera in Everless

If you’re not a part of the wealthy, upper class, then you’re starving and/or can’t afford rent/taxes. The only choice I’d have, would be to sell years of my life. Yikes!

Always forever maybe book cover

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh MafiIgnite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperCollins on February 4, 2014
Pages: 421
Goodreads
four-half-stars

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all.

Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

 

 


 This review doesn’t take into account book #4 in the Shatter Me series, which surprisingly came out four years after Ignite Me was released.

Ignite Me is my favorite book in the Shatter Me series. Juliette’s character ARC came full circle. She finally learned how to love herself and her abilities. She’s not scared anymore. She’s not alone and she’s not weak. What an incredible journey Juliette has had!

Warner… swoon! He’s always made this series for me, with his many sad, sweet, and sexy scenes. I love a lot of things about him, but especially the fact that he’s been Juliette’s number one fan since day one. He believes that she’s powerful, and can overcome any obstacle. He’s so incredibly supportive. Swoon!!

Adam… ugh! In his novella, we started seeing a very unappealing side of him, one that continues to grow in Ignite Me. Juliette originally thought that Adam was perfect, and that he could do no wrong. Adam finally becomes a realistic person, when his big flaws start to show and grow in Ignite Me. He’s pissed off, and immature, throughout this book, which irritated me and the characters, because there’s so much stuff going on in Ignite Me, like, I don’t know – a WAR. He was such a drama-lama.

Ignite Me was great! I felt like Juliette blossomed. She finally started listening and acting on her heart. Looking back, I think as a whole, this series was solid. It never rushed through creating the setting, the romances, and the characters. Everything felt well-developed.

four-half-stars
Always forever maybe book cover

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Tell Me Three Things by Julie BuxbaumTell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Published by Delacorte Press on April 5, 2016
Pages: 328
Goodreads
three-stars

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

 


*This is a review for the audiobook version*

I had a hard time getting into Tell Me Three Things, because in the beginning I really didn’t like the main character Jessie. Her inner dialogue was incredibly boring, and because she avoided talking to her new family and new classmates, there was an overabundance of that inner dialogue. I kept finding myself zoning out while listening.

I finally started to get into the story when Jessie started talking with Somebody/Nobody, a mysterious, self-proclaimed Wood Valley High school student who offers to teach Jessie the ins and outs of her posh new high school. This mysterious emailer was witty, clever, and handy, and brought out a side of Jessie that wasn’t there in the beginning. I finally started to enjoy her character when they began their online friendship, because Jessie was surprisingly witty too. Like Jessie, I started falling for SN.

I finished this book a tad disappointed, because SN’s identity was too easy to guess, but I was also a little happy when my guess was correct, because SN’s identity was the one I was wishing for.

Overall, this book was a good read/listen. It didn’t hit me with any intense emotions, and Jessie was very yawn-y in the beginning, but towards the end of the book I was hooked. The mystery of SN’s identity was consuming, and I was anxious to know if my guess was right. I definitely recommend this book to other contemporary romance lovers, because I think my problem with Jessie might just have been personal preference.

As far as the narrator goes, I had no problem with her. She sounded like a teenager, and was able to tweak her voice well enough for me to keep straight who was speaking and when.

three-stars