Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: Cross My Heart by Katie Klein

Title: Cross My Heart
Series: Cross My Heart #1
Author: Katie Klein
Published: March 14,2011
Format: E-book
Author's Website:
Purchase the book: Amazon B&N
True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .

Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there's no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

As they bond over Edith Wharton's tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the "bad boy" vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own "good girl" image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype.

Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie. 

It's been five years since I last reviewed this selection.  I was a socially awkward, yet book addicted, twelve year old who was in complete adoration of this novel.  Now, I am seventeen and assigned to read Ethan Frome for an English class.  Memories hit me, and I start reminiscing of a book from my childhood in which Ethan Frome was the nucleus.  I ventured into the dusty corners of my nook book shelf until I found the desired: Cross My Heart.  I reread the tale of Parker Whalen and Jayden McEntyre and decided it was best to  re-review the novel. As my maturity level has changed, my perspective of the book has altered also.  Here is my take two of Cross My Heart.

Cross My Heart's opening paragraph introduces the first of much (loved) symbolism. 
"Never underestimate the power of glitter....... Because glitter can take any work in progress to that next level.  It hides the most glaring of imperfections, works to bring out the best in everything.  It takes the ordinary and turns it into something interesting and beautiful." 
Glitter symbolizes the act that Jaden feels  necessary to uphold.  She is the good girl, the girl that has her life together, perfect.  As the story unravels, we see that the Jayden's "glitter" façade falling away and revealing  her dysfunctional, normal life.
"....I immediately remember taping my poster to the front of the table (only a spattering of glitter remaining now)...."

The aforementioned novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton plays a crucial part in the central theme of the book.  It is constantly referred to by both main characters, and often, they compare their relationship to the novel itself. 
""You know.... I don't think Ethan did it on purpose." 
"Did what?"
"Fell for Mattie."
"Why not?"
"Because I don't think he did.  I don't think you can control something like falling in love." 
Ethan and Mattie had a dysfunctional relationship, and it ended in a tragic ending because Ethan couldn't act upon his feelings due to morals.  Parker feels the same kind of attraction to Jayden, and it is apparent throughout the entire novel.  Will Parker blatantly ignore his growing attraction for Jayden, or will he confess he has fallen completely in love with the Harvard-bound girl? We are left in suspense throughout the novel because we don't get a straight forward on their relationship til the last chapter of the book. (And no, you better not skip to the last page to see what happens.)

There is a key element to this book that caused several reviewers to down grade their rating of the book.  I  personally felt this little "surprise" made this book even more enjoyable.  It took it past the a-typical high school young adult novel to a new level with an excellently played out twist. I'll just say- I was shocked, but it all makes sense now. I didn't hate Parker after this incident like many of my fellow reviewers. In fact, I will say that I grew to understand his character to a better degree.  I wish I could ramble more into the depth of my thoughts on this particular subject, but I don't want to provide any spoilers. 
Katie does a spectacular job in the development and staying true to her characters.  Jaden never exactly waivers from her beliefs.  She doesn't change who she is as a person due to the influence of bad boy Parker Whalen.  She does, however, learns it is okay to be human.  People can't be perfect.   Parker is the excellently portrayed and much deeper than the typical high school senior.   He is unlike any other protagonist I've encountered in Young Adult literature.  I don't know how to explain Parker Whalen other than you have to read about him.  He isn't your typical motorcycle ridin', sailor mouthed bad-boy.  He is better than that; he is more than that.

I honestly believed I loved this book more the second time around.  I could relate to Jaden.  I'm a junior in high school, and the real world is coming full-speed ahead toward me.  It's scary and uncertain. She can relate. We share similar beliefs and thoughts, and she is a believable character.  The older I've grown, the more I mentally demand a book develop relationships past instant love.  This book is that, and more.  Jayden and Parker don't make eye contact, and suddenly realize, they want to have twenty kids and big white house. No,  their love develops, and it's like magic, how many ways this book is perfect.  Seriously, you have to get a copy of it and read it.  It's glorious.

 You also need to go pick up a copy of Collateral Damage, so you can get inside of Parker's point of view.  His mind is a Mecca. I've provided links to the author's website and links to purchase Cross My Heart!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Review: To All The Boys I've Loved by Jenny Han

Title: To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Series: To All The Boys I've Loved Before #1
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schusters
Published: April 15, 2014
Format: Hardback (Borrowed from a friend.)
Review: 3.5 Nooks.
   What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?
Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han was a lovely, light "beach" read. It was romantic, cliche, but oh, so cute.  Lara Jean was a strong protagonist who wasn't too damsel in distress throughout the entire novel.  She was also a realistic character.  And I don't know about you guys- but I love a realistic character in a book, especially if they are near my age. Her family happens to be one of my favorite through out literature. Her sisters, Kitty and Margot, were well written through out the entire novel, shining with individuality. 

Margot was the perfect one. The one that Lara Jean and Kitty almost- I dare say- "idolized". When they lost their mother, Margot kept the family running.  And at the beginning of the book, Margot moves to Scotland for college, and it's a big change for Lara Jean to deal with. Margot was the foundation, and she was leaving the rest of the family on stilts when she left.

Kitty. Ah, little Kitty.  She is such a dynamic, fireball character. In all of my years of reading, I haven't once met a character like Kitty, but she honestly reminds me of Maya. Maybe that is why I am so fond of her.  The little nine year old is the funny one.  She isn't necessarily a sweet sister, but you can tell how she is also like glue in the family. 

Get. Back. On. Point. Courtney. 

  This book almost had a sorta, kinda love triangle going on.  If there is one thing that irks me in a book, it is when authors create a love triangle that makes us fall in love with BOTH boys. I, mean, really? Is it necessary?  Jenny Han does a little bit, but you can tell she is trying to pursuade the reader into one of the boys who shall not be named. 

   So, we have Peter and Josh. Peter is the jocky, popular type, and Josh is the nerdy-in-a-cute-way type.  We are introduces with Lara being currently in love with good, ole' Josh. Even though, he is Margot's boyfriend of two years.  Then her letters accidently get mailed, so we see Peter- who also got a letter- step in to be Lara Jean's 'fake boyfriend' to keep Josh from thinking anything of the letter. 

    Well, that obviously made Josh more attracted to Lara Jean since he and Margot had broken up.   And we all know how it goes from there, and if you don't well I'll let you read the book to find out.  

The story flows nicely, even though it is dotted through out with slow parts, and it develops.  It's a little cliche', but a cute summer read.  And I will most definitely be reading the second book because of the cliff hanger ending. So, I give it 3.5 Nooks. It was somewhere between good and great. <3 nbsp="" p="">

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Going Long by Ginger Scott

Title: Going Long
Author: Ginger Scott
Publisher: Indie
Published: September 25, 2013
Reviewer: Courtney
     They fell in love in high school and found their way back to one another despite the odds. But can first loves really be forever? For Reed Johnson, the dream was always football. But then Nolan Lennox took over his heart. Is he willing to give up his first love just to keep his true love? Or will he be too late? 

*Romantic Sigh* Ginger Scott has did it again, my bookish friends.  She stole my heart the first time, and well, she did it again with one of my favorite couples in YA/NA romance. Nolan and Reed.   Don't get me wrong there are a heck of a lot of problems in this book as there was the first one: Not going to the same college, slipping up a few times, a tattooed lanky dude named Gavin.  

I was kinda confused by the mentioned above character, Gavin. It was kinda hard not to fall for him, even though we had Reed. It really was. Then we were shown that he was a total jerkface.  Seriously, trying to do that to Nolan and Reed was screwed up. Then again, he comforted Nolan when there was no one else there for her.  When she suffered through that hard time, he was her rock even though it did draw her away from Reed. 

It was nice though to see there relationship mature in this book away from the high school love story, and I praise Ginger Scott to the highest for not putting any inappropriate sex scences that seem to come with every YA/NA there is out there. Thank you for skipping over the parts we really didn't need to see go into details. 

Overall, I love this book just as much as I loved the first maybe a little bit more. If you haven't already picked up The Waiting on the Sidelines series, I suggest you get to the nearest e-reader and purchase both. You have no idea what you are missing if you don't. 

The Beginning of the Book
Summary of review through pictures:
The middle of the book
The End of the Book

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Title: Waiting on the Sidelines
Author: Ginger Scott
Rating: 5/5
Published: April 14, 2013

Summary: Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the Tomboy, her closet filled with her brother’s hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and soccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy to ever make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers. 

Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if he only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it’s too late?

 Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother’s footsteps might be all wrong. Nolan Lennox was everything that was opposite of expected. She didn’t flirt, she didn’t drink and she didn’t sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn’t look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed’s thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?

    Where to start with this book?  Can I just say that it was hands down one of my favorite books of the summer?  Pssh, who am I kidding, this is my book blog I can say whatever I want!  I LOVE Ryan Gossling!!!! (Sorry for the random outbust.) Ginger Scott did a gorgeous job getting in the inside of a teenage girl's mind & catching the truth of high school.  An excellent writing job nonetheless, and from a debut author it was an outstanding piece. This books, teenagers and adults both will have you laughing, smiling, crying, and getting to know Nolan as your best friend.  
My Reaction when I read the ending because of the sweetness.
My reaction as soon as I finished Waiting on the Sidelines:

If you can't tell already by the images, and rating that is listed by the summary I honestly loved the book.  I can sorta kinda relate to the character- ergo I'm not tall, nor athletic, but I am also not the most popular girl at school - far from it- and I'm a little different from everyone else.  I used to think that the bullying in books was exaggerated-and in some cases they are-, but I know that girls are mean and caddy in high school.  They say mean things to each other, and about each other to other people.  It's the truth and Ginger did an amazing job capturing teenage girls.
    And the romance between Nolan and Reed?  *sighs* So. Friggin'. Sweet.  They were honestly one of my all time favorite book couples, even though they were only together for the last half of the book while both of them were figuring who they were.  Battling through relationships that wouldn't work all through high school. But I'm not going to spoil the end- but it is for you to figure out if they stay together past high school or were they just high school sweethearts and that is it.
  Another thing the author caught properly was how Nolan felt about Reed was when he came to her house and she was so embarrassed because of how she lived in a trailer and Reed practically lived in a mansion.  She didn't want him to for he may think she was trailer trash, but Nolan was as far from that as possible. Smart, funny, and beautiful she was a gorgeous character. 

Cover Reveal Portion!!!!! 

Cover reveal for the the sequel for Waiting on the Sidelines!

Can first loves really be forever?

Nolan Lennox was strong, a survivor. She’d stood up to those who tore her down and found her purpose in life when she was at her lowest, her heart broken. And she was rewarded with the fairytale ending she’d always dreamed of. She spent four years loving Reed Johnson, the popular quarterback at her small town high school, earning his friendship first and, eventually, his heart. But fairytales are fiction, and life…well, real life is messy. Can Reed and Nolan’s love survive the growing pains that come along with truly growing up?

Reed and Nolan’s story continues in Going Long, the sequel to Waiting on the Sidelines. It will will be available for download on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Sony and Barnes & Noble in October 2013.                 

Everyone of you need to go buy Waiting on the Sidelines for a high school romance that is REAL, and go ahead and be ready to by the sequal, Going Long in a couple of months!
Find it on Amazon:
Find it on B&N:
Find Ginger at :

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

80's Teen Thursdays: At Your Service (Heartbreak Cafe #3) by Janet Quin-Harkin

Title: At Your Service
Series: Heart Break Cafe (#3)
Author: Janet Quin-Harkin
Summary: (Bare with me because I'm writing the summary because it isn't on Goodreads, and I misplaced the book.) Debbie Lesley is the only waitress at the Heartbreak Cafe and she wouldn't have it any other way.  But everywhere around her is crumbling.  Her mother and dad are divorced, and her Mother is talking to some creep.  Joe Garbarini's, the co owner of the cafe, girlfriend is turning into a total snob and taking the only other help she has away from the business.  So when things kick up in the kitchen and Debbie drops a hint that she needs some help it all turns to chaos as Joe hires his girlfriend Wendy to help.

So, that was my attempt at trying to write a summary. Let's be honest, I'm never going to get a job as a summary writer because I want to jam pack things that aren't even main ideas into the summary and leave out all the important information.  But enough of me talking about my lacking talent in the summary writing business, on with the review.

     So, I ended up picking this book up at a thrift store with the deal of 10 books for a $1.  So  I picked this one, some Laurlene Mcdaniel, and some other 80-90's books.  And I have heard good things about The Heartbreak Cafe series, so I was super excited when I saw this one so I snatched it up quickly!  Boy was I glad I did, this one was another one of the not so amazing writing but it was still cute kinda books. 

  So, the third in the series At Your Service dropped us into a little cafe in a little beach town. With Debbie as the only waitress, and cook for the matter at the cafe to do everything.  She had recently broke up with her boyfriend, Grant, and was glad to be free of him.  He was the shy, quiet type and that just wasn't what she  was looking for. 
    So, Debbie, I liked her as a character although sometimes (as usual) I got a little annoyed with her acting so immature.  Like when her Mom brought a date home she acted like my 4 year old sister would have, and would have g otten her tale whipped. 

And her best friend Pam, I really enjoyed. She was a real  life like character.   She ended up being peer pressured into the wrong crowd. She did some things she was not proud of.   I know the pressure of being great.  Getting the good grades, but I never, ever hang out with the wrong crowd. But she isn't so lucky, even though Debbie is telling her not to go down that path. 

   So Pam finally comes to the light, and thankfully in time before she does something stupid that she will regret in the future.

  And then there was Wendy, the mean, stuckup, jerkface girlfriend.  May I punch her in the face?  Please?  She is the a-typical b-word girlfriend that you read about in books.  She kinda reminds me of the mean girl in Taylor Swift's You Belong with Me.  

  Another clique book to add to my 80's collection, but maybe that is why I love them so much.  They are so cute, innocent, and light-hearted.  I think all of us need that kind of romance every now and then.  Don't you agree? 

Friday, June 7, 2013

I missed you guys + Cover Love!

Hello Bookish Loves,
    It has been two months since I last 'promised' to write constantly.  Have y'all ever just fell out of love with something?   Courtney's Book Nook used to be my passion- and then for a few months I was trying to inspire something that just wasn't there.  So, I just took a break.  No more promising lies about constantly posting.  I was lying to myself, and even more importantly, y'all.  So I took a break- got an amazing boyfriend, and finally, I feel myself fall back into my love.  I think I was pressuring myself too much to hurry up and just put stuff out that I didn't give it the time it deserved.
   Now, I have fallen head over heels in love with my beautiful  blog.  And I think it is time it gets the time it deserves to blossom and hopefully reach 200 followers.  It's going to happen mark my words.  So I guess you guys may want to see pictures about my daily life lately, so here it is!

Did I mention I'm married? ;) 
Did I mention I got married to this cutie down below?  Yep, my boyfriend gets a little jealous but then again it is HUNTER HAYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah, that's my awesome boyfriend!  Bookish Loves meet Gavin!  We've been dating for a month and a half.  And did I mention how sweet he is?  Seriously, I couldn't ask for a better boyfriend.

And then of course, spending time with my awesome friends while making the weirdest faces possible that I will probably regret later on in my life. And I'll probably regret the no makeupness.

Then of course, we took a vacation up north to Arkansas.  Seriously, Petite Jean State Park is gorgeous- if you can't tell from the pictures.  Oh, and one thing I saw there I couldn't leave without taking a picture of. Open white van equals  Courtney avoiding it at all costs.  I don't care if it was the housekeeping's van- avoid white open vans.  :)


  And then of course, don't forget the most important thing- being me! Being eccentric, odd, outspoken, sarcastic me.  And it felt nice, but you guys don't know how much I miss y'all and this blog.  This feels more like home and comfort.  It feels like I am finally coming home after a long vacation.  I'm glad to be back, but at the same time happy I took the time off.

Now for the bookish part of this post, and another one that has to do with visuals.  I present to you peeps this weeks cover loves!!  Here are the eye candy for me out there in the market that I just like to look at for hours, and just let drool fall over...  So, here we go, and girls please have yours tissues ready to catch the drool. ;) 

Well depressingly enough this book doesn't have a synopsis.  All we have is the AMAZING cover!  I don't know about ya'll even though I can't see faces I think we have some man candiness on the cover.  And sometimes I think it is better is we CAN'T see the guys faces in covers because most of the time that is NOTHING like I imagine the guy to look like.  I guess that is the amazing thing about books is that they can look like you want them to.  With movies, your getting the full visual and your brain just doesn't conjure up a picture of the guy that you would like.
Crush by Nicole Williams.  Oh. My. Snickerdoodle.                                                     Football glory. A giant diamond. A wandering eye.

Jude and Lucy are happily engaged . . . but that doesn't mean life's a bed of roses.

Once again, Jude and Lucy are torn apart by football training and a summer job that creates new tensions. This time Jude's the one with trust issues. Will Lucy's life-changing news bring them back together or end their relationship for good? Can love triumph forever?
    More Jude and Lucy?  Heck to the yes!  I <3 abbi="" admit="" all="" almost="" amazing.="" amazing="" an="" are="" as="" being="" besides="" color="" combo="" cover.="" covers.="" covers="" die="" far="" for.="" glines="" good="" gorgeous="" grey="" her="" hey="" honest.="" honestly="" hose="" idol="" if="" is="" muted="" nbsp="" nd="" of="" pink.="" rom="" series.="" span="" specially="" that="" the="" think="" this="" too="" we="" who="" with="">

Kiss It Better by Linda Kage 
When his sister is raped, memories of his miserable childhood haunt Reed Walker and interfere with his perfectly structured life. To add to the chaos, just when dating becomes the last thing on Reed’s mind, Sophia Eschell, the very woman he’s been dreaming about for the past three years, barrels into his life.


After hooking up with too many troubled men, Sophia is determined to find a normal, average guy sans baggage. She turns her attention to Reed, only to discover he has more issues than anyone. But if he can learn to open up to her, can she honestly reject him or will she kiss it all better?

Is this my genre?  Nope, not by a long shot.  Is the cover the best that Linda has came out with?  Heck to the yes!  I <3 about="" all.="" amazing="" an="" and="" book="" br="" but="" can="" candy.="" cover.="" cover="" die="" e="" eah="" eriously="" excel="" fonts="" for="" from="" get="" has="" hat="" he="" him="" his="" hotness.="" i="" is="" isn="" it="" like="" looks="" love="" man="" me="" model="" my="" nbsp="" new="" nothing="" o="" over="" seriously="" so="" t="" that="" the="" this="" though="" to="" too.="" used="" ven="" wanting="" what="" whatever.="">

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Free Book Today Only!!

Right now you can get this free New Adult Contemporary Novel, Forever My Lady by Jeff Rivera.  Today only!

Dio Rodriguez grew up on the streets and knew all too well the hard, cool feeling of the barrel of a gun tucked down the back of his jeans. But his hard exterior softened when he met Jennifer. Jennifer understands Dio like no one else and makes him want to be a better man. Suddenly a drive-by shooting lands Dio in a prison boot camp and sends Jennifer to the hospital. When Dio learns that Jennifer is pregnant, he realizes that he must find a way to turn his life around and return to his lady. But can trainee Rodriguez get his act together among the hardcases in prison? And will Jennifer be waiting for him if and when he does?