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Enjoy!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review: Champion

Champion Champion by Marie Lu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Champion by Marie Lu is the epic conclusion to the Legend series.

Summery from Goodreads:
June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

I thought June and Day were not as complex of characters as they were in the first book. Day is just trying to survive, but along the way he becomes duller. It was nice to see him in action again, though. June has become a play piece of the government. She is stuck as Priceps- Elect and away from Day. I do like her decision at the end, however.

This book picked up a lot faster than Prodegy. It had a faster beginning which caused the whole book to seem better.

I loved the ending. It was sweet and perfect.

There was a lot of political action in this book. I really didn't like that, because it made the plot confusing and less action packed. It did however, explain some of the flaws in the Republic.

Overall, this is a good and interesting read.

View all my reviews

Friday, July 29, 2016

Blogaversary!

It is my one year blog anniversary today!  In honor of it, I would like to write a few things about my blog.  I started it on a borrowed computer (I was just about to get a new one), and was pretty clueless at the beginning.  I realized quickly how long it actually takes to review a book, and how hard it is.

Here is my first review: http://bethleesbookblog.blogspot.com/2015/07/harry-potter-and-sorcerers-stone.html
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
This is the first book that I am reviewing.  Let's start by saying I don't particularly like fantasy.  I'd rather read books about stuff that is or could be real.  Yet I felt inclined to take it out of my book bag the other day when it was the only book I had left to read.  It was evening when I started, and I read late into the night.  If I hadn't been so tired, I would have read it all it one night.
It totally exceeded my expectations.  The book grabbed me and took me right into Hogwarts.  I loved the humor and the irony (when Harry shows of his broom skills by flying to the tree and gets to play quidditch), as well as the suspense.  I found myself thinking that Hermoine should be Harry's friend right away, and was glad when she became that.  J.K. Rowling is a literary genius.  I already checked out books two and three of the Harry Potter series.


Here is my most recent review:  http://bethleesbookblog.blogspot.com/2016/07/review-future-unborn.html
The Future Unborn by Khristina Chess
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I RECIEVED THIS BOOK FROM WE HEART YA BOOKS AND THE AUTHOR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPINIONS IN ANY WAY.

Khristina Chess has written a brilliant novel about teen pregnancy.

Kansas Jones has her future all planned out. She wants to get into MIT, and be in the robotics program. But when an unexpected pregnancy changes her plans, she is forced to change her plans. Will she keep the baby, or will she have to give it up?

I thought this book was about a very unique topic. There are many books out there about teen pregnancy, but not many like this. It was relatable and fun to read. The Future Unborn reminded me of
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. I don't compare a lot of books to Sarah Dessen, so that is saying something.

Kansas was a very relatable character. She had big goals and knows how to get them done. However, she still has flaws. She slips up on night on vacation and gets herself in this big mess. When in it, she has to make some big decisions.

I didn't like how much time Kansas liked debating whether to keep the pregnancy. She spent at least half the book without telling her parents about it. I did like how she debated giving her baby to her aunt, who couldn't have kids.

The robotics aspect was very interesting and cool. It made the book more modern, and gave Kansas more depth. I liked how she made friends (and more than friends) in the robotics club, and learned to be less controlling.

The ending of this book is amazing, and very sad.  It was tragic and very touching, yet for the better.

Overall, this is a good book dealing with a great topic.      


I would like to thank all of the authors and fellow bloggers who I have been able to work with.  It still makes me so happy whenever I get a blogger contact form or comment.  It is amazing to look online and see what you have written.

So I would like to celebrate with a giveaway!  One lucky winner will get a copy of the Carrie Diaries!

Have a good evening!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: The Future Unborn

The Future Unborn The Future Unborn by Khristina Chess
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I RECIEVED THIS BOOK FROM WE HEART YA BOOKS AND THE AUTHOR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPINIONS IN ANY WAY.

Khristina Chess has written a brilliant novel about teen pregnancy.

Kansas Jones has her future all planned out. She wants to get into MIT, and be in the robotics program. But when an unexpected pregnancy changes her plans, she is forced to change her plans. Will she keep the baby, or will she have to give it up?

I thought this book was about a very unique topic. There are many books out there about teen pregnancy, but not many like this. It was relatable and fun to read. The Future Unborn reminded me of Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. I don't compare a lot of books to Sarah Dessen, so that is saying something.

Kansas was a very relatable character. She had big goals and knows how to get them done. However, she still has flaws. She slips up on night on vacation and gets herself in this big mess. When in it, she has to make some big decisions.

I didn't like how much time Kansas liked debating whether to keep the pregnancy. She spent at least half the book without telling her parents about it. I did like how she debated giving her baby to her aunt, who couldn't have kids.

The robotics aspect was very interesting and cool. It made the book more modern, and gave Kansas more depth. I liked how she made friends (and more than friends) in the robotics club, and learned to be less controlling.

The ending of this book is amazing, and very sad.  It was tragic and very touching, yet for the better.

Overall, this is a good book dealing with a great topic.

View all my reviews

Monday, July 25, 2016

Review: In Between

In Between

My 200th post!  Yay, and right before my 1 year blogoversary!


In Between by Jenny B. Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Between is a cute Christian fiction ya novel.

Summery from Goodreads:
Unlike most kids, teenage Katie Parker never got a fair shot at a normal life. With a mother in jail and a missing-in-action dad, she's never known what it's like to truly be loved. Low on options and family members, she's soon shipped off to a foster home. Now in an unfamiliar town, Katie's rebellious attitude is at odds with her new family, school, and classmates. And after falling in with all the wrong people at school, things go from bad to really bad after she takes the blame for vandalizing the local performing arts theater.

But in the midst of a dark situation, Katie finds light in the most unexpected places: through her new friendship with an eccentric senior, the commitment of her foster family, and a tragic secret that changed them forever. And as she inches closer to acceptance and forgiveness, she finds that God has been there all along.

I liked Jenny B. Jones other series,A Charmed Life , so I decided to pick this one up. I have to say that it might be better. I felt like it had more depth and character, but maybe not as much humor.

Katie is not as spoiled as Bella, and she is a lot sweeter. However, she is very sarcastic. Jones has a way of capturing true teenage attitude in her books. I liked how Katie grew throughout the book, but still wasn't perfect by the end.

Katie's background is an interesting one. She was put in an orphanage after her mom went to jail for being a druggie. Then Katie gets dumped with a really religious foster family.

She has some struggles becoming religious. I really liked that aspect of the book because it made Katie a more well rounded character.

The plot moved at a perfect pace, with plenty of lessons to share.

Overall, this is a really fun Christian read with good morals.

View all my reviews

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Promo Post: Alien Love Story

Alien Love Story

Summery from Goodreads:
Life is a headache for 15-year-old Dan. This isn’t some kind of metaphor. Dan suffers from migraines that make just about everything he does unbearable. Added to that he’s lost almost everyone he cares about. So he feels lonelier than the last puppy in a pet shop.

But one day he sees a mysterious girl digging in the rubbish bins behind his house. Just by being near her, he finds that all his pain goes away. So he wants to see her again, of course. And get to know her. But she’s a bit strange. And her big eyes make her look, well, like an alien.

Does she really exist? Or is she just a figment of an overactive, under-loved imagination?
Close encounters of the romantic kind.

From Northern England to outer space, and from Dan’s bedroom to the sandwich shop over the road, ALIEN LOVE STORY is about a close encounter of the romantic variety. But there’s more to it than that.

This book is about discovering parts of yourself you never knew existed. It’s about coping with grief and somehow moving on. And it’s about how Dan breaks into a mad scientist’s lab to perform a daring rescue – but that bit comes much later.

For now it’s enough to know there will be excitement, adventure and kissing. Lots of kissing. We did say it was a love story, didn’t we? So fasten your safety belt, put on some background music and enjoy the book.



Excerpt:
Someone shoved a pencil into Dan’s left nostril. It was big. One of those oversized
souvenirs you find in museum gift shops. And it started twisting, as if Dan’s skull were a
Impossibly, the tip grew.
Lead pierced Dan’s brain. Synapses were severed. Neurons were neutralised. Grey matter
was shoved aside as if it didn’t matter after all.
Like Pinocchio’s nose, the lead of the pencil continued to extend. It pushed through bone
and scalp. It poked out on the other side.
That’s when Dan shut his laptop.
How was he supposed to watch Hot Nurse Party with this pain?
Some days it felt like a pencil jabbing into him. Other days it was the screwdriver. The
worst was the woodpecker. Just thinking about the woodpecker dialled his migraine up a
In the book he kept beside his bed Dan made a note:
5:17pm – 6/10 – PAIN STARTED WHILE DOING BIOLOGY HOMEWORK
Doctors had dug in his ears, sampled his blood, beamed lights into his eyes and subjected
him to MRI and CAT scans. If it existed they would have set a DOG on him too.
The only explanation they could come up with was that he was over-sensitive. In other
words, the pain in his head was all in his head.
The diary had been his therapist’s idea.
‘There’s an explanation for everything,’ Doctor Maudlin had told him in her office one
day, before handing over his new notebook.
The cover was a radioactive shade of green. Words like WOW, GREAT and FANTASTIC
popped out all over the place. Just looking at it gave Dan a headache.
Now the book was half full (though in his current mood it felt half empty). And he was no
closer to controlling anything. The pain came and went when it wanted. Like a cat. And Dan
was more of a dog person.
Holding his forehead, Dan wobbled to his feet. He was 15 years old and felt like a retired
boxer. If this was the prime of his life, how would he cope later on?
With his skinny frame and baby face he had yet to be offered anything stronger than cough
mixture, but he could imagine how nice it would be to let go. Just kick back and allow
whatever he had taken to swim through his system, dulling the pain. From his head to his
heart, all his aches would be gone.
Sure, drugs were bad. But they couldn’t be worse than migraines.
The stairs blurred in and out of focus as he staggered down them. What he needed was
love. And he knew just who to turn to.
‘Finished your homework?’ Nana said when he reached the kitchen.
‘Never mind.’ His grandmother closed Telly Mag, which she studied religiously despite
never actually watching TV. ‘Rain must be on the way.’
That was Nana’s answer to everything. Headaches, muscle stiffness, colds and possibly
even broken legs: rain was coming.
Dan nodded, though he knew the world wasn’t that simple. He just didn’t want to argue.
Especially not when she was making macaroni and cheese. Just the smell of it made him feel
It was what she had made on that first day, three months ago. He hated thinking about the
time before, but that day was special.
He had stepped off the train with only his suitcase and a headache and she had
immediately dragged him across to the Life Science Centre. As if he were still a kid.
In that forest of dinosaur bones, DNA strands, magnets and mirrors they lost themselves.
Afterwards Nana bought him a chocolate ice-cream – which made his headache worse, but
was a nice gesture. In his new home, he was shown to his room. As promised at the funeral,
the whole top floor had been cleared just for him.
Nana took such good care of him that Dan sometimes felt guilty for getting migraines.
‘Maybe,’ he said, ‘I just need some fresh air.’
‘In this weather?’ Nana frowned at the kitchen window.
It was so sunny that Dan had to screw up his eyes. ‘Nana, if it rains I’ll come straight in.’
‘Yes, don’t get caught.’ She continued to look at the sky as if at any moment it might burst
open and start pouring. But the only thing that looked like a cloud was her hair.
Behind Nana’s house was a narrow lane punctuated by wheelie bins. The backs of houses
and shops flew by as Dan rolled along. Other than the weekly rubbish truck, no cars came
here – which made it perfect for skateboarding.
Dan tapped his back foot and the board popped up. For a second he was weightless.
Already he felt better. Not 100%. But better. He was glad he had come outside. If Nana had
her way with him, he would be wrapped in cotton wool and packed in the cupboard along
with her Royal Family dinner plates. Still, it was good to know that someone was there for
him. He wondered briefly what would happen if she were gone, but quickly stopped himself.
The past and future were off limits.
Dan tried a kickflip and landed feet-on- bolts to thunderous applause from an imaginary
Then he made a mistake. He wished Kyle had seen that.
Kyle was younger by eighteen months, but better than Dan at everything: skateboarding,
football, chess, maths, spitting, pull-ups, push-ups and that game where you stamp on the
other person’s feet. The little bugger even had a girlfriend.
Now he was gone.
Dan tried to derail his train of thought, but it was too late. His head began to throb,
reminding him of that day. The Worst Day Ever.
Barely able to focus, he stamped his right foot and flicked out his left heel. It was a trick
he barely knew how to do. And the board spun. And spun. Practically going into orbit. Dan’s
feet connected with the edge of the deck as it clanked down sideways, in the dreaded position
Flapping his hands, Dan did his best to balance. But gravity was quick to remind him who
the law was around these parts.
The back of his head hammered against the tarmac. His ears rang. His ankle hurt. He was
sure his left elbow was grazed.
All this was nothing unusual. But today he didn’t feel like getting up.
Today he was just going to lie there.
Dan spread out on tarmac that had been warmed by the June sunlight. He stared at the sky,
which was still cloudless. Instead of trying to fight his memories, he let them in.
His first headache had been on the morning of that terrible day.
The four of them – him, Dad, Mum and Kyle – had planned to drive to Porthcawl so that
he and Kyle could hire longboards and wetsuits and try some winter surfing. Really, it was
just an excuse for Dad to use the camera he had got for Christmas.
But when Dan woke up he didn’t feel right. In fact, he felt as if he had been run over by a
Mum took his temperature, stared into his eyes and checked his pulse. Her verdict was that
you couldn’t be too careful with things like this. So instead of going to the beach, they hit the
Dan was put under observation with suspected meningitis and his brother was left fuming
over his lost chance to tame the wild waves of Wales.
Kyle’s last words to Dan had been, ‘I hate you, dickface.’
His family had sat in the ward until the end of visiting hours and then waved goodbye.
Dan had settled in for his evening on the NHS. And that was it.
A lorry, carrying bathroom fittings and steel bedframes, smashed into Mum’s Toyota on
the A4174. Four people, including the lorry driver, were smeared like peanut butter across the
motorway. Dan was told the news just after a hospital feast of pumpkin soup, chicken รก la
King and jelly – three things he would never be able to eat again.
Various relatives and family friends came to pack up and sell off everything. The only
problem was what to do with the sulky teenage son who had survived. And so Dan was
shipped from Bristol to Newcastle, where the only person he knew was 73-year- old Moira
At school he quickly settled into his role as the mysterious silent kid you see in American
movies. Only here in the North of England mysterious and silent equalled creepy. He wasn’t
much of a footballer, which meant he had nothing to talk to anyone about, and his headaches
saw him missing so many classes that even the teachers didn’t know his name.
Oh, and now today’s headache was turning into the woodpecker.
With a groan, Dan sat up. Still not quite ready to face the world standing, he dragged
himself over to the shade between two wheelie bins.
From here he could see the back of Lunch Munch, the sandwich shop up the road from
Nana’s. It reminded him that he had to go home for supper. Nana was probably worried about
him already, her finger trembling over the phone, poised to dial 999.
But Dan was still in the mood to mope.
He sat there – fate made him sit there, he would later think – until a figure stalked into his
It was a guy in a hooded top and pair of jeans so dirty that he was either homeless or a
Dan watched as he grabbed the handle of the green wheelie bin behind the sandwich shop.
Something about the guy didn’t seem right. It wasn’t just the hood pulled over his head
despite the heat. His proportions were all wrong, his arms and legs too long for his body.
The guy lifted the lid of the bin and leaned inside.
Imagining the stench in there, Dan wanted to be sick. He also wanted to ensure that the
kinds of people who ferretted around in rubbish bins stayed away from Nana’s house.
‘Excuse me,’ Dan said.
Waist-deep in the bin, the guy couldn’t hear.
Realising that he was being too polite, Dan scrambled to his feet and shouted, ‘Hey!’
The guy flopped out like an oversized baby being born from the bin.
‘I’m really sorry,’ Dan said, feeling a sudden pang of sympathy for someone down on his
luck, ‘but you shouldn’t do that.’
His head lowered in shame, the guy began creeping away.
‘I mean, I can bring you a fresh sandwich,’ Dan offered. ‘Or my grandmother’s making
mac and cheese. It’s really nice. She does it with bits of bacon. My name’s Dan, by the way.’
The guy stopped and turned. Beneath the hood he was wearing a pink beanie hat, which
was crazy considering the heat. But the beanie wasn’t what made Dan gasp.
It wasn’t the eyes either. And they were huge: a pair of flickering disks that looked like the
lenses of designer sunglasses.
What made Dan gasp was that this wasn’t a guy at all. Judging from the tiny nose,
perfectly-curved cheekbones and pouting mouth, this was something else entirely.
‘You’re a girl,’ Dan blurted out.
The girl pulled the hood tighter over her head and started running.
‘Wait!’ Dan shouted.
But she had disappeared round the curve of the street.
Smooth, Dan thought. The first girl you speak to in months and all you can do is point out
Something else had disappeared too: his headache. It was as if an airlock door had opened
in his ear and all the pain had been sucked out. The only thing left was a strange tingly
feeling which ran along Dan’s scalp and down his back.
When he got home he wrote in his book:
6.30pm – 0/10 – PAIN GONE ON SIGHTING OF UNKNOWN FEMALE. COULD
LOOKING AT GIRLS BE THE NEW ASPIRIN?
A scream cut through the night.
Dan sat up. His bedside alarm clock blinked at him that it was just after 12. Had he
imagined the sound? Before he could drift back to sleep, another scream stabbed the air. It
was coming from the room below him.
Scrambling down the stairs, Dan prepared for spiders, a stray wolf, a thief with a sawn-off
shotgun, the start of the zombie apocalypse. It was his dad’s theory that if you expected the
worst you could cope with anything. Of course, Dad had been an insurance salesman.
‘Nana?’ he said, pushing open her door.
‘Help,’ she croaked in reply.
Ready for action, Dan rushed to her side. He had done a couple of weeks of karate, so
understood the basics: shout ‘Kia!’ so loud your opponent thought you knew what you were
doing. If that failed, there were other car brands he could use.
‘My daughter,’ Nana said. ‘My beautiful Alice.’
‘You mean Mum?’ Dan switched on the nightlight. ‘You were dreaming about Mum.’
Nana shook her head as if to get rid of the nightmare. ‘It wasn’t a dream, was it? She’s
Dan waited for Nana to say something more, but all she did was make a choking sound.
Dan sniffed. Too late. Tears pooled in his eyes faster than he could think tough thoughts to
get rid of them. He was crying too.
But Nana fretted over him all the time. It was his turn to take care of her.
Dan took her in his arms and hugged her tightly. But not too tightly. She was so brittle that
it was like holding a bundle of firewood.
He said, ‘I’m here for you, Nana.’
‘You won’t go away?’
‘And you’ll take care of yourself?’
‘Actually,’ Dan said, trying to lighten the mood, ‘I was thinking of joining the skydiving
‘Daniel!’ She pulled away as if scandalised, but at least she had stopped crying. After a
sniff, Nana leaned over to her bedside table and opened the drawer. From inside she took out
an oily rag that she unfolded to reveal a metal shape. It was a shape so familiar from films
and TV that at first Dan wasn’t shocked.
A second later his jaw dropped as he realised that the object had no place in his
grandmother’s bedroom. ‘A gun?’
‘It was your great-grandfather’s service pistol.’
‘Shouldn’t he have given it back?’
‘You take it.’ With an expression on her face as steely as the gun, Nana held out the
package. ‘If anyone gives you nonsense, waste them.’
Dan reached for the pistol, but at the last moment stopped himself.
He hadn’t yet cemented any philosophical views, but he was pretty certain he was a
pacifist. For one thing, he didn’t like camouflage clothing. He’d also cried like a car alarm
after accidently stepping on his own hamster as a child. He could only imagine the effect
hurting a human would have on him.
Dan was certain this kind of thing didn’t suit his grandmother either.
‘Nana,’ he said, gently, ‘you’re just tired.’
She let the gun hang between them for an awkward moment and then shut it in the drawer.
‘Now I’d better get back,’ Dan told her. ‘It’s way past my bedtime.’
‘You’re right.’ She nodded. ‘And I need my beauty sleep. About fifty years should do it.’
‘What?’ Dan feigned shock. ‘Nana, you’re as beautiful as ever.’
‘Oh, you charmer.’ Nana gave a gummy grin, forgetting that her teeth were in the jar
Dan trotted up the stairs hoping that he had done enough to take her mind off her
nightmare. There are some things worse than losing your parents. And he imagined losing a
child was right up there.
In his room he stupidly looked at the photo he had stuck on the cupboard. It was of Mum,
Dad, Kyle and him on a beach in Cornwall, with Kyle in a nappy and Mum before she cut her
A headache immediately bucked up and kicked Dan in the face. He got into bed before the
pain made even moving impossible.
When he squeezed his eyes shut, he couldn’t sleep.
It was the woodpecker again.
The vibrations reverberated through his body.
Dan knew he should write the incident in his diary, but he couldn’t move. The headache
had dug its claws into his arms and legs, pinning him to the mattress below.
The hours slid by on his bedside alarm clock as he lay paralysed. Soon he would to have to
rise and face another day at school. The curtains began to glow. The sun was already rising.
Dan was about to give up and get up when his bedroom walls and ceiling disappeared. In
their place materialised a sky crammed with stars. They twinkled for a while, as stars are
supposed to, and then began to swirl, as if they were reflections in a giant toilet bowl that had
As the stars spun, something began to grow from the distance. This something turned into
a person floating in the sky.
It was the girl who had been digging in the bin. This time she was naked, except for her
Her words echoing in the vastness around her, she said, ‘Daniel Stephens?’
Dan blushed. He’d seen plenty of naked girls before. But they had always been on a
computer screen. ‘Um, am I dreaming?’
‘Of course.’ The girl in the sky smiled. ‘My boobs aren’t this big in real life.’
Realising that he had been staring, Dan quickly looked away. If he had been blushing
before, his face was now on fire. ‘What do you want from me?’
‘The thing you’re supposed to do.’
‘Tidy my room?’
Her groan of frustration echoed through the galaxy. ‘Daniel, think.’
‘How?’ He was blushing so much it felt as if his head would explode. ‘You’re naked.’
‘It’s your dream. I would have preferred some clothes, you know.’
Dan stared down at his feet. ‘Maybe next time.’
‘It was a mistake coming here.’ Her voice was fading.
‘Wait.’ Dan looked up. ‘I want to help.’
But the girl was gone. The swirling stars had disappeared too. In their place was an
endless field of grass. Unicorns grazed nearby. Flying elephants perched in their trees. From
far away came the call of the narwhale and the desultory beeping of the alarmosaur.
That was the actual alarm. And the dream was over.
Like a war veteran in a film, Dan woke drenched in sweat. Something was different, but
he couldn’t quite place it.
Only when he was brushing his teeth did Dan realise what it was.
His headache was gone. In fact, he felt amazing, as if he had packed a full night’s rest into
his few hours of sleep.
7.30AM – 0/10 – THE BIN GIRL VISITED MY DREAM AND CURED MY HEADACHE.
NOTE TO SELF: NEED BETTER NAME THAN BIN GIRL.
Dan almost enjoyed school. His mind was far away, of course. Even that awkward time
between lessons, when he ate his lunch alone, wasn’t so bad. He just kept thinking of her.
What was she doing digging in a rubbish bin? Maybe she was a freegan who didn’t believe in
wasting food. Where did she live? Perhaps it was nearby. Where did she go to school? Did
she even go to school? Who exactly was she? Where was she from? There had to be an
explanation for those giant eyes. Maybe she was foreign or had had some sort of operation.
And, crucially, what was she called?
‘You’re gorgeous,’ Dan whispered on the bus home, practising for when he would see her
again. ‘What’s your name?’
‘Keith,’ the tattooed man on the seat beside him said. ‘But that’s none of your business,
Dan made it home without getting beaten up.
Fortunately Nana wasn’t in the kitchen, so he was able to make a stack of sandwiches and
grab a box of fruit juice before rushing out.
On the top of the sandwich shop’s rubbish bin he placed the meal he had made. He
squatted between the two bins opposite, doing his best to be as inconspicuous as possible.
As soon as she appeared he would strike. Well, maybe not strike. But he would definitely
He had never gone fishing, but he imagined this was fairly close to the experience.
‘Hi,’ Dan said, practising his opening word. Was it too informal?
‘Good afternoon,’ he tried. But no: he wasn’t the Duke of Northumberland.
‘Yo,’ he said, and instantly regretted it. He definitely wasn’t a rapper. And the closest he
got to the streets was when he fell off his skateboard.
‘Hello,’ he said. Hmm. Getting there.
‘Hi.’ Yes. That was it. He tried again: ‘Hi.’
What else was there to do?
And waited some more.
The afternoon sun blazed on. Dan began to perspire like a real fisherman who had just
drunk seven cans of Special Brew.
What if she wasn’t coming?
His legs stiff from squatting in readiness, Dan sat down. It felt as if he was giving up.
Was he giving up? Maybe. Because what if he had scared her off the day before? Then she
wasn’t coming. And if she wasn’t coming, this was a stupid idea.
Maybe it was all a stupid idea.
Maybe there was no point to anything, ever.
And there she was.
Seeing her made Dan realise there was a point to everything, always. And that point was
her. He wanted to pinch himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming again. Instead he just sat
there and watched, open-mouthed.
Certainly, she wasn’t dressed in the trendiest gear. Actually, it looked as if she had
covered herself in superglue and rolled around in the sale section of a second-hand shop. It
was the same hoodie-and- jeans combo she had been wearing the day before. But she wore it
well. Dan also liked the way she moved, sidling up to the sandwich shop’s rubbish bin with
as much grace as a ballerina approaching the bar where they do their leg stretches.
As she poked the plate of sandwiches that had been left there, Dan stood.
The girl swallowed one sandwich whole and stuffed the rest into the sideways kangaroo
pouch at the front of her hoodie. She tore open the box of juice and began tipping the
contents into her mouth.
Dan cleared his throat.
The girl lowered the box and wiped her lips.
Those eyes. They were like the headlights of an Italian sports car. Like streetlamps. Like
moons. Like— Dan realised that if he didn’t stop gawking at her, the moment would be lost.
Her voice tickled Dan’s spine. It was exactly as he had imagined it in his dream, with a
slight echo effect. But it was better, because it was real.
The only problem was that Dan had forgotten what came next. He had prepared a list of
things to talk about and now couldn’t remember any of them. The weather? Too boring. Her
philosophical beliefs? Too personal.
What he needed was an ice-breaker. Something sophisticated that would lead to further
conversation. But he didn’t know anything about politics and his only joke was the one about
the snooker table in the tree.
Maybe he should just say the first thing that popped into his head. Yes, that was the best
idea. His words would be sincere and truthful. And surely that was how all good relationships
The important thing, he thought, was not to think. He just needed to open his mouth and
The girl was staring at him, waiting.
‘I’ve seen you naked,’ Dan said.
Her tiny lips turned downwards at the edges.
‘I mean, in my dream.’ Dan forced himself to laugh, but wasn’t fooling anyone. He had
blurted out the stupidest thing ever and now had to explain. ‘I haven’t been spying or
The girl ran off, her long limbs blurring as they whisked her out of Dan’s life.
But he wasn’t going to let her go.
Dan sprinted after her, shouting, ‘Wait!’
Somehow the distance between them kept growing. She was about his height and looked
to be around his age. How was she so much faster?
Panting for air, Dan reached the end of the road.
She was nowhere to be seen.
‘Come back,’ Dan called. ‘I think you’re beautiful.’
But his voice only reached a group of men smoking outside a betting shop. Muttering to
themselves they stamped out their cigarettes and went back inside to gamble away their
The girl was gone.
Dan slumped off towards Nana’s house. But he didn’t feel completely defeated. Seeing the
betting shop had given him an idea.
He had to gamble.
It was doubtful she would return to that rubbish bin, but there was a chance, wasn’t there?
And if there was a chance, Dan had to make sure he didn’t throw it away.
He barely slept that night and spent the next day at school pondering his next move. When
the afternoon finally arrived, he was ready.
And it was brilliant.
All it took was a certain level of commitment. But the girl was worth it. She was the cure
for his migraines. It also didn’t hurt that she was gorgeous.
At home Dan said a hurried hello to Nana and ran out into the back street. Checking to
make sure that no one was looking, he flipped open the rubbish bin behind the sandwich
A sour-sweet stench struck him, the universal odour of decomposing organic matter. But
Dan ignored it. He wasn’t going to let a small thing like a smell that made him want to vomit
out his lungs get in the way.
He leapt up and swung his legs. For a moment it felt as if the bin might topple over, but
after a few wobbles it stopped moving.
In the wheelie bin.
His shoes squelched on the rubbish below as he settled into a crouch. The place was a
perfect fit, like the tiny Japanese hotel room Dad had once stayed in during a work trip.
Except this room wasn’t serviced by highly-efficient cleaning staff. And there was no air-
After taking his last few lungfuls of clean air, Dan pulled the lid shut over his head.
Now the girl just had to arrive.
With any luck that would happen soon.
It really did stink in there.

About the Author:
AK Dawson, aka Andrew, was born in South Africa, spent many years in the UK and now lives in
Warsaw, Poland. Last year his feature film won 'Best Screenplay' at the Sydney Indie Film Festival.
When he’s not working on scripts, he writes prose and was given a Northern Promise Award at the
2010 Northern Writers Awards.
Alien Love Story on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Love- Story-AK- Dawson-
ebook/dp/B01HFI71E2#nav-subnav
Alien Love Story on amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alien-Love- Story-AK- Dawson-
ebook/dp/B01HFI71E2

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hiatus

Hi!  Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  I guess I took an impromptu hiatus.  However, that hiatus is over now, so I will be publishing some reviews and posts again.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Review: Prodigy

Prodigy Prodigy by Marie Lu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Prodigy by Marie Lu is a fun and fast paced action science fiction.

Summery From Goodreads:
Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots - a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

I thought this book was almost as good as the first. It had more action, and a love square. I am currently reading Champion, and it is just as good as this one.

June and Day have changed a lot as characters. They have become more independent and on the run. June is still sweet and thinks she is faithful to the Republic, while Day is tough and is against the Republic.

I thought the Patriots were interesting. They were an underground group who were going against the Republic at a very week time (when they got a new elector). I liked how they ran, but was surprised that they didn't get caught. THe characters associated with the Patriots were also a fun addition to the story.

THe plot twist at the end was very good. I liked how Marie Lu kept you guessing, and how the ending was so shocking. I never would've seen that coming.
However, I did not like the cliffhanger at the end. They are too common in young adult books, and I really liked how the first book didn't have one. This one let me down.

Overall, this is an action packed sci-fi.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Excerpt: Alien Love Story

Alien Love Story
AK Dawson
Summery:

Love at first sighting. 

Life is a headache fo
Excerpt:
Chapter 1

Someone shoved a pencil into Dan’s left nostril. It was big. One of those oversized souvenirs you find in museum gift shops. And it started twisting, as if Dan’s skull were a giant sharpener.
Impossibly, the tip grew.
Lead pierced Dan’s brain. Synapses were severed. Neurons were neutralised. Grey matter was shoved aside as if it didn’t matter after all.
Like Pinocchio’s nose, the lead of the pencil continued to extend. It pushed through bone and scalp. It poked out on the other side.
That’s when Dan shut his laptop.
How was he supposed to watch Hot Nurse Party with this pain?
Some days it felt like a pencil jabbing into him. Other days it was the screwdriver. The worst was the woodpecker. Just thinking about the woodpecker dialled his migraine up a notch.
In the book he kept beside his bed Dan made a note:

5:17pm – 6/10 – PAIN STARTED WHILE DOING BIOLOGY HOMEWORK

Doctors had dug in his ears, sampled his blood, beamed lights into his eyes and subjected him to MRI and CAT scans. If it existed they would have set a DOG on him too.
Nothing.
The only explanation they could come up with was that he was over-sensitive. In other words, the pain in his head was all in his head.
The diary had been his therapist’s idea.
‘There’s an explanation for everything,’ Doctor Maudlin had told him in her office one day, before handing over his new notebook.
The cover was a radioactive shade of green. Words like WOW, GREAT and FANTASTIC popped out all over the place. Just looking at it gave Dan a headache.
Now the book was half full (though in his current mood it felt half empty). And he was no closer to controlling anything. The pain came and went when it wanted. Like a cat. And Dan was more of a dog person.
Holding his forehead, Dan wobbled to his feet. He was 15 years old and felt like a retired boxer. If this was the prime of his life, how would he cope later on?
Drugs, probably.
With his skinny frame and baby face he had yet to be offered anything stronger than cough mixture, but he could imagine how nice it would be to let go. Just kick back and allow whatever he had taken to swim through his system, dulling the pain. From his head to his heart, all his aches would be gone.
Sure, drugs were bad. But they couldn’t be worse than migraines.
The stairs blurred in and out of focus as he staggered down them. What he needed was love. And he knew just who to turn to.
‘Finished your homework?’ Nana said when he reached the kitchen.
Dan winced.
‘Never mind.’ His grandmother closed Telly Mag, which she studied religiously despite never actually watching TV. ‘Rain must be on the way.’
That was Nana’s answer to everything. Headaches, muscle stiffness, colds and possibly even broken legs: rain was coming.
Dan nodded, though he knew the world wasn’t that simple. He just didn’t want to argue. Especially not when she was making macaroni and cheese. Just the smell of it made him feel better.
It was what she had made on that first day, three months ago. He hated thinking about the time before, but that day was special.
He had stepped off the train with only his suitcase and a headache and she had immediately dragged him across to the Life Science Centre. As if he were still a kid.
In that forest of dinosaur bones, DNA strands, magnets and mirrors they lost themselves. Afterwards Nana bought him a chocolate ice-cream – which made his headache worse, but was a nice gesture. In his new home, he was shown to his room. As promised at the funeral, the whole top floor had been cleared just for him.
Nana took such good care of him that Dan sometimes felt guilty for getting migraines.
‘Maybe,’ he said, ‘I just need some fresh air.’
‘In this weather?’ Nana frowned at the kitchen window.
It was so sunny that Dan had to screw up his eyes. ‘Nana, if it rains I’ll come straight in.’
‘Yes, don’t get caught.’ She continued to look at the sky as if at any moment it might burst open and start pouring. But the only thing that looked like a cloud was her hair.

Behind Nana’s house was a narrow lane punctuated by wheelie bins. The backs of houses and shops flew by as Dan rolled along. Other than the weekly rubbish truck, no cars came here – which made it perfect for skateboarding.
Dan tapped his back foot and the board popped up. For a second he was weightless. Already he felt better. Not 100%. But better. He was glad he had come outside. If Nana had her way with him, he would be wrapped in cotton wool and packed in the cupboard along with her Royal Family dinner plates. Still, it was good to know that someone was there for him. He wondered briefly what would happen if she were gone, but quickly stopped himself.
The past and future were off limits. 
Dan tried a kickflip and landed feet-on-bolts to thunderous applause from an imaginary crowd.
Then he made a mistake. He wished Kyle had seen that.
Kyle was younger by eighteen months, but better than Dan at everything: skateboarding, football, chess, maths, spitting, pull-ups, push-ups and that game where you stamp on the other person’s feet. The little bugger even had a girlfriend.
Now he was gone.
Dan tried to derail his train of thought, but it was too late. His head began to throb, reminding him of that day. The Worst Day Ever.
Barely able to focus, he stamped his right foot and flicked out his left heel. It was a trick he barely knew how to do. And the board spun. And spun. Practically going into orbit. Dan’s feet connected with the edge of the deck as it clanked down sideways, in the dreaded position known as primo.
Flapping his hands, Dan did his best to balance. But gravity was quick to remind him who the law was around these parts.
He fell.
The back of his head hammered against the tarmac. His ears rang. His ankle hurt. He was sure his left elbow was grazed.
All this was nothing unusual. But today he didn’t feel like getting up.
Today he was just going to lie there.
Dan spread out on tarmac that had been warmed by the June sunlight. He stared at the sky, which was still cloudless. Instead of trying to fight his memories, he let them in.
His first headache had been on the morning of that terrible day.
The four of them – him, Dad, Mum and Kyle – had planned to drive to Porthcawl so that he and Kyle could hire longboards and wetsuits and try some winter surfing. Really, it was just an excuse for Dad to use the camera he had got for Christmas.
But when Dan woke up he didn’t feel right. In fact, he felt as if he had been run over by a truck. 
Mum took his temperature, stared into his eyes and checked his pulse. Her verdict was that you couldn’t be too careful with things like this. So instead of going to the beach, they hit the hospital.
Dan was put under observation with suspected meningitis and his brother was left fuming over his lost chance to tame the wild waves of Wales.
Kyle’s last words to Dan had been, ‘I hate you, dickface.’
His family had sat in the ward until the end of visiting hours and then waved goodbye. Dan had settled in for his evening on the NHS. And that was it.
A lorry, carrying bathroom fittings and steel bedframes, smashed into Mum’s Toyota on the A4174. Four people, including the lorry driver, were smeared like peanut butter across the motorway. Dan was told the news just after a hospital feast of pumpkin soup, chicken á la King and jelly – three things he would never be able to eat again.
Various relatives and family friends came to pack up and sell off everything. The only problem was what to do with the sulky teenage son who had survived. And so Dan was shipped from Bristol to Newcastle, where the only person he knew was 73-year-old Moira Glenn, aka Nana.
At school he quickly settled into his role as the mysterious silent kid you see in American movies. Only here in the North of England mysterious and silent equalled creepy. He wasn’t much of a footballer, which meant he had nothing to talk to anyone about, and his headaches saw him missing so many classes that even the teachers didn’t know his name. 
Oh, and now today’s headache was turning into the woodpecker.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
With a groan, Dan sat up. Still not quite ready to face the world standing, he dragged himself over to the shade between two wheelie bins.
From here he could see the back of Lunch Munch, the sandwich shop up the road from Nana’s. It reminded him that he had to go home for supper. Nana was probably worried about him already, her finger trembling over the phone, poised to dial 999. 
But Dan was still in the mood to mope.
He sat there – fate made him sit there, he would later think – until a figure stalked into his frame of vision.
It was a guy in a hooded top and pair of jeans so dirty that he was either homeless or a skateboarder.
Dan watched as he grabbed the handle of the green wheelie bin behind the sandwich shop.
Something about the guy didn’t seem right. It wasn’t just the hood pulled over his head despite the heat. His proportions were all wrong, his arms and legs too long for his body.
The guy lifted the lid of the bin and leaned inside. 
Imagining the stench in there, Dan wanted to be sick. He also wanted to ensure that the kinds of people who ferretted around in rubbish bins stayed away from Nana’s house.
‘Excuse me,’ Dan said.
Waist-deep in the bin, the guy couldn’t hear.
Realising that he was being too polite, Dan scrambled to his feet and shouted, ‘Hey!’
The guy flopped out like an oversized baby being born from the bin.
‘I’m really sorry,’ Dan said, feeling a sudden pang of sympathy for someone down on his luck, ‘but you shouldn’t do that.’
His head lowered in shame, the guy began creeping away.
‘I mean, I can bring you a fresh sandwich,’ Dan offered. ‘Or my grandmother’s making mac and cheese. It’s really nice. She does it with bits of bacon. My name’s Dan, by the way.’
The guy stopped and turned. Beneath the hood he was wearing a pink beanie hat, which was crazy considering the heat. But the beanie wasn’t what made Dan gasp.
It wasn’t the eyes either. And they were huge: a pair of flickering disks that looked like the lenses of designer sunglasses.
What made Dan gasp was that this wasn’t a guy at all. Judging from the tiny nose, perfectly-curved cheekbones and pouting mouth, this was something else entirely. 
‘You’re a girl,’ Dan blurted out.
The girl pulled the hood tighter over

Friday, July 15, 2016

Review: Keeping the Moon

Keeping the Moon Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen is a cute contemporary with good lessons.

Summery from Goodreads:

Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast -- first for being fat and then for being "easy" -- Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina.

But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.

I thought Colie's family was really weird. Her mom was a famous weight loss advertiser after she had lost a lot of weight; her aunt was a crazy saver. Colie's Aunt Mira also houses a boy named Norman, and a cat named Cat Norman. Her family was "eccentric", to say the least.

There wasn't a lot of romance in this book. Morgan and Isabel have their fair share, but Collie barely has any. Norman was the main romantic interest, and he was just weird. I am starting to learn that Sarah Dessen's earlier books have less romance in them.

Morgan and Isabel were always there for Colie. They met her at the diner that they worked at, and become friends. Despite being older than Colie, they still hang out. I thought they taught some important lessons.

I thought Sarah Dessen did a really good job with this book. It was funny, weird, and romantic all at once.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Legend

Legend Legend by Marie Lu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Legend by Marie Lu is an action packed and surprisingly good dystopian novel.

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.


I got a book recommendation for this book by one of my teachers. I know it is way after school let out, but I finally got to it the end of June, and am glad I did!

It is a dystopian fantasy with a good setting. It takes place in a vividly described future Los Angeles. The USA has split into two nations, the Republic and the Colonies. The Republic is new, and the Colonies is the USA.

Day and June live there, and are complete oppisites. Day is the nation's criminal, running away from home to be a well wanted fugitive. He never killed anyone, but just hurts people for good reasons. June is the younger sister of a well respected military captain, and she is training to be just like him.

Just like any dystopian, there are a lot of killings in this book. Many of Day and June's family and friends die, and it is sad. I would like to see a dystopian with no deaths. Or would that even be a dystopian? I don't know!

One flaw with this book is the fact that the kids are so mature and responsible at such a young age. What are they, 15? They act about 20 (at least).

This is an action packed, fast paced, romantic dystopian that is really good. I give it 4.5 stars.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Review: Things I Can't Forget

Things I Can't Forget Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Things I Can't Forget is a good Christian read.

Summary from Goodreads:
Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different...

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt - with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy...


I really enjoy how Miranda Kenneally makes Christian books for young adults. There are not that many of them out there, and her books are god. I do wish this book was not as focused on the Christian values. It made Kate judgmental and selfish.

I was glad that Kate did honestly have a sweet and sex free romance with Matt. It was nice because most teen books are too romantic, but this one just used the basic teen romance, with worries about going too far.

Kate is a sweet and very religious person. She is wondering what career she should go into and what she should study in college. To earn a little money she works at the camp. I like how she has friends and enemies at the camp, but works through it all. Matt is a sweet also Christian boy. He is a songwriter who is a few years older than Kate.

Overall, this is a good book with great messages.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Lack Of Posts







Lack Of Blog Posts



I know I haven't posted much lately, and I am sorry. It is not because I haven't read, but because I have not reviewed books later. I also haven't had any book blitzes or cover reveals to post as fillers.


The good thing about this break, is that I learned to write some HTML and CSS; I am no where near pro status yet, but I am getting started. So, some of my blog posts may look improved. For a matter of fact, I am writing this post via HTML.


Have a good weekend!



Saturday, July 2, 2016

Cover Reveal: That Thing Formerly Known As My Life





That Thing Formerly Known As My Life
Sally Johnson
Publication date: July 2016
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
A cross-country move wasn’t exactly what McKinley had in mind for her senior trip, but leave it to her parents to up and move to Rhode Island. Her senior year was supposed to be awesome, but when she ticks off popular cheerleader Taylor, it goes from bad to worse.

The only good thing about moving is the mysterious, Camaro-driving, all-around-likeable Nick Phelan. But that mysterious thing that makes him so likeable is also making McKinley suspicious.

Nick hides secrets. McKinley harbors doubts. Taylor bares her teeth. But dealing with moving and Taylor is nothing compared to the biggest secret of all.








Author Bio:

I grew up in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I went to college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I suffered a bad case of culture shock that first year. But I survived and went on to earn my Bachelor's Degree in English. While at college, I met and married my husband, Steve, and then we relocated to Las Vegas. I have lived in Las Vegas ever since and love it! Except for the hot summers, so I'm really thankful for AC. We have added four children and a dog to our family.

I have wanted to write books since I was twelve years old. It's a good way to put my over-active imagination to use. Now that it's *ahem* many years later, my dream has come true and I am a published author. I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.





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Review: In Real Life

In Real Life In Real Life by Jessica Love
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Real Life is a interesting young adult contemporary.

Summery From Goodreads:
Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

I really didn't expect this book to take place so dominantly in Las Vegas. I mean, the kids (all underage) went to bars and clubs without really worrying. They were irresponsible and it was just strange.

However, I did like hearing about Sin City. It was interesting how the teens lived in the days thy were there.

Nick and Hannah were only online friends. That was sweet, and nowdays could happen a lot. When they met, it of course had to work the way it would in real life. I thought they would be a perfect couple, but I did like Nick's existing girlfriend. She was sweet and kind, even to the girl trying to steal Nick from her.

Hannah was a good kid. She followed the rules, and was good in school. She was taking a huge risk when she lied to her parents and went to see Nick. Nick was a boy in Los Vegas, and he is pretending to be someone who he is not. He still is nice though.

Overall, this is a sweet contemporary romance.

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