It Had To Be You, Lizzy Charles – Book Review

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34530550James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?

Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.

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*Review copy received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

It Had To Be You is a cute contemporary romance featuring Edelweiss and James. Edel, who is home schooled, wants to experience high school before she goes off to college. So, her parents enroll her into this one boarding school. She meets James, who is, of course, the most popular boy in school and they quickly start a fake relationship so that they can both find advantage out of it.

The book is full of cliches – from the naive, new girl in school to the popular boy and their fake relationship turning to a real one to the bitchy ex that the boy has. This book has it all and then some.

What I really liked about this is that it was a quick read. I was done in some two hours and that’s great for my TBR! I like that the characters, though cliche, were endearing and I couldn’t help but like them and their story. Of course, they do stupid stuff, but hey! They’re teenagers. As a whole though, Edel and James both seem wise beyond their ages. Their relationship, though, was really cute and I found myself rooting for them from the beginning. They’re so cute and adorable together and their relationship is healthy. I like it.

I like how James isn’t a bad boy, bad boy, but just a boy who made some bad decisions, as people his age tend to do. He’s scared of horror movies and he’s a literature nerd! So, there. I love that.

I also loved how this book has diversity. So, bonus points for that!

What I didn’t like was all the lack of communication in the book. Like, so much of the conflict could have easily been resolved if people just TALKED TO EACH OTHER. Plus, the bitchy ex was a little too bitchy and I am not okay with it. Like, girl, let go. You do not need to do all this shit just to prove a point. You’re good just the way you are!

Also, too much drama!

All in all, an okay read that I enjoyed! It was definitely better than I expected, but could have been made better in a few more aspects!

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7149579When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

LINKS – 

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Playing Defense (Corrigan Falls Raiders #2), Cate Cameron – Book Review

25447694Sixteen-year-old Claudia Waring has never kissed a boy. Never been popular. Never been to a hockey game. All that’s about to change. Assigned to tutor Chris Winslow, a prank-loving, gorgeous hockey player, Claudia’s perfectly planned life immediately veers off course. And she kind of likes it. But as fun as Chris is, she knows she’ll never fit in his world.

After his latest prank lands him in hot water, Chris has to get serious about school or lose hockey. Not an easy thing for someone as carefree as the defenseman. The biggest problem, though, is how much he wants to help his cute, buttoned-up tutor loosen up a little. But while confidence has never been a problem for him, around Claudia, Chris is all nerves. Why would a girl as smart as her ever fall for a jock like him?

So, yeah. Hockey player and the school nerd. Nice? I certainly think so. I picked this up because the jock and his tutor falling for each other totally reminds me of Naley (you know, from One Tree Hill?)

That is what prompted me to read this because I’m a total sucker for Naley! And, I’m glad I did. This story is amazing. The way the feelings of the main characters have been described is phenomenal. Really. It’s a treat to read.

Claudia ‘Dia’ is your typical shy, geeky girl who aims high. She wants to get into her dream college to get a degree in engineering so that she can finally start living her (read as : her mother’s) dreams. One of her teachers suggest tutoring as a part of extra credit to get into college. Claudia isn’t a social person and would rather spend her day buried in her own studies than teach someone else, but getting into her dream college is important so she agrees. As she starts spending more time with Chris and his friends, she realizes that she’s made school her top priority for far too long and has actually let life pass her by without even noticing. So, in an effort to broaden her horizons and to start living her life to the fullest, she starts the ‘Sisterhood of Awesomeness’ and that’s when ‘Dia’ is born. Dia is much like Claudia, only she’s more fun to be around and takes every challenge head on. The Sisterhood causes her to spend more and more time with Chris, something that her mother frowns upon and isn’t hesitant to voice. And, so begins the tug of war in Dia’s head. Should she listen to her mother and focus solely on school, leaving her new friends be or should she continue in this new found sense of belonging and bliss?

Her character is good. Dia is strong and smart and resilient. She takes school too seriously though, and is a little uptight. However, spending time with Chris causes her to become a little laid back which does wonders for her. She psychoanalyzes a lot and spends a lot of time just lost in her own head. Her propensity to overthink does cause some trouble as far as Chris is concerned, but in the end all’s well so that’s okay. The way her character develops through the story is interesting to read and one of the brownie points of the story. I really like her.

Then, there’s Chris. Cute, laid back, fun loving Chris who’s just the best thing ever. He’s sweet and cute and adorable. He’s determined and loyal. He’s very comfortable in his own skin and doesn’t seek approval from anybody about anything. He lives in today and doesn’t really worry much about the future (He is sixteen! So, it’s not like you can blame him or anything.) I find his character totally freaking amazeballs! He’s smart and cute and understanding and loving and kind and funny and he plays a sport! What else do you want in a boy when you’re sixteen? Nothing! So, yeah. He’s totally great like that. I adore him. He’s the best!

All in all, this story showcases a nice coming of age with growing up and making decisions and trying to broaden horizons and standing up for your decisions. It’s when they’re brave and reckless and try new things and have first kisses. Its really beautiful and leaves with you a sense of contentment when you’re done reading.

Rating – 4/5

“Every time I solve for x, I’ll think of you. Other times too, but especially then, because stands for a kiss.” – Claudia Waring

 

“I also have promises to keep, and miles to go. Miles of winding, tangled paths. Two million. Too many.” – Claudia Waring

 

BOOK LINKS – 

Goodreads | Amazon

Corrigan Falls Raiders #1 – Center Ice

23459509Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.

Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…

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