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Hope by Grier Cooper — A Review

26170198Hope by Grier Cooper

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

 

Dudes! Two romantic books back-to-back! What even is my life right now?

Okay, it’s not really a romance like Hate to Want You, but the main character’s feelings do get put through the wringer when a fellow dancer seems to be interested in her. She starts to like him back, and it seems like they may be starting a relationship, but then…maybe not? And this does-he or doesn’t-he nonsense is really the last thing she needs.

Hope is about the lives of teenage dancers, ballet (obvs), and pushing yourself to be your best you, while still being a decent human being to those around you. Indigo is the main character, a teenager who struggled very hard to gain her spot at the New York School of Ballet. This school is just a stepping stone on her way to becoming a professional dancer. Following are her thoughts at the beginning of Hope.

Here’s what I’ve realized in the one hundred and fifty-one days since I first arrived at the New York School of Ballet:  Every second counts. It isn’t enough to work hard and sweat; there has to be something more. Each moment is a new chance to reach just a little further, move one step closer to perfection.

Indigo and her group of friends struggle to maintain the balance between dance classes, high school classes, friendships, and boys. Felipe is the foreign, and super sexy, boy who seems to like Indigo, and then maybe he doesn’t, and then he definitely does, and then he doesn’t again. C’mon boy! Make up your mind!!!! Pauvre Indigo. 😦 At least he’s a first-rate pas de deux partner!

Image result for ballet gif

Anyways, these professional teenagers are under a huge amount of pressure. Their ultimate goal: to get a job dancing for a good company. Remarkably, most of them make it to the final performance, the workshop they’ve all been busting their buns (pun intended) to be cast in, without completely falling apart.

I really enjoyed reading Hope. It is the second book in Grier Cooper’s Indigo Dreams series. I didn’t read the first book, Wish, but I felt okay going into book two without much background information. Currently, Cooper does not have a book three. I really, really hope that she plans to write one!!!! Hope ends well enough, but I want to know what’s next for Indigo. Does she get a job? Does she tank the workshop and have to find an alternate career? I NEED TO KNOW.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy YA fiction, stories about ballet (obvi), stories about friendship, and stories about going for your dreams. I will definitely be seeking out the rest of the series. I just cannot resist a well-told story about ballet and dancing. Who am I kidding, I can’t resist anything ballet! Pretty sure my patronus is toe-shoes. 😉

Image result for ballet gif

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai — A Review

Sorry for the late posting! I’ve been out of the country on a cruise (no WiFi). 😀

29422692Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

One night. No one will know. Those were the rules.

Hate to Want You has a Romeo and Juliet feel, but with a very modern, exes with benefits, twist.

Two lovers — Livvy (Olivia) Kane and Nicholas (Nico) Chandler — were hot and heavy in their late teens/early twenties, but they were torn apart by their families. The Chandlers and the Kanes had been business partners before two deaths and a shady business deal turned them into enemies, effectively ending the relationship between Livvy and Nicholas. For the next ten years, the two would meet for a single night of unbridled passion. But when Livvy moves back home to care for her mother, their carefully honed pattern is ripped to shreds.

This is the first book in Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series, and I have to say, Rai has made me re-think my stance on romance novels. Her focus remains on the action of the novel, which you guys know I love, and the steamy, heat-your-cheeks scenes are like icing — they enhance the already delectable story taking place.

I CANNOT stand bodice rippers. Those stale, reusable plots? Ick. Now, this plot is not ground-breaking, or new per se, but I really enjoyed reading it (in only two days!).

I will definitely be checking out the rest of the Forbidden Hearts series, and you should too! IF you like family drama, steamy romance, a hint of chaos, and characters who grow. Probably NOT IF you are at all prudish or dislike tattoos.

fanning myself

If taking part in Read Harder 2018, this checks off #10, a romance novel by or about a person of color, and it could also check off #15, a one-sitting book.

Read Harder stats: 1/24

Robin Lockslay by Lana Pecherczyk — A Review

Robin Lockslay by Lana Pecherczyk

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

It really saddens me that more people have not read this delightful retelling of Robin Hood. At the moment there are only two ratings on Goodreads and one review (mine). I’m just going to leave a link to it on Amazon here for you. Do with it what you will. (Linking of my own free will. I get absolutely nothing for this.) I mean it’s free on kindle unlimited. I’m just sayin’. Okay, okay, on to the review!

Robin Lockslay is a street urchin. And as many street urchins are, she is an excellent thief. Her thieving leads her into the life of a man she calls Richard Lionheart. Together they spy on Richard’s company to try to keep the bad guys at bay. When Richard suddenly goes missing, Robin and her crew of diverse satellite characters are slung into a chase that leads down some very dangerous paths. Breaking and entering, high-stakes poker, it’s all just part of the quest for Lionheart.

Originally, this was published as a serial, but the author then compiled them all into a novel. So glad she did. This book is such fun! It’s fast-paced, it’s funny, and I just loved Robin! I mean, it’s about time someone rewrote this tale with a female protagonist, amiright!?

One of the challenges for Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder Challenge is to read a “one-sitting book”. This totally qualifies! It’s an easy read, and it’s just delightful. I highly recommend it.

I received the first two episodes in exchange for an honest review, and then I went out and bought the darn thing because I liked it that much!

The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach — A Review


The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

MK. I love a book that leads me around by my nose and then suddenly surprises me at the end. BUT, that just didn’t work here.

Madlyn is a recently-fired, recently-dumped, back-home-with Mom, young adult. She takes a job as a reader with a wealthy family, and then something quite unexpected starts to happen with a boy and a novel and a quest to save the world.

It’s a wonderful premise. I love the idea of The Sorcerer’s Garden, I’m just afraid it missed a little on the execution. There is a lot of back and forth between the here-and-now, and the world in the novel Madlyn is reading. Then, things start to unravel. Are we in the novel or are we not in the novel? I just could not figure out where I was for the majority of this book.

If you note my status updates, you’ll see I was incredibly confused. I’m pretty sure that’s because Madlyn was confused, but that shouldn’t spill over into the reader’s mind. Even if the MC doesn’t have a clue, I want to at least have an idea of where I’m at in a book.

Things did become clear at the end, for which I was very grateful. Without that, my rating would have been much lower. Now, let’s highlight some of the positive. The writing is well done, I got a very clear picture of who the characters were as people and what was motivating them throughout the story. However, I have some real issues with Caleb-in-the-novel’s characterization. Can one be both fearless and reckless and yet also afraid of small, dark spaces??? I dunno. I found that a bit odd.

The whole thing left me feeling a little like throwing my hands up in the air.

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.