Friday, May 22, 2015

Blog Tour: Pepped Up series by Ali Dean

Welcome to my stop on the Pepped Up Blog Tour
 hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.
Find the tour schedule HERE

Pepped Up (Pepper Jones, #1)Pepped Up (Pepper Jones #1)
by Ali Dean 
Release Date: August 25th, 2013

Blurb:
Pepper Jones is ready for an epic cross country season. She wants to qualify for Nationals, and she’s willing to do anything it takes to make it happen. She can handle long miles and hill sprints, but boys? That’s an entirely different challenge.

Pepper’s never considered revealing her deeper feelings for her longtime friend, Jace Wilder. After all, he’s got the personal magnetism and good looks to hook just about any girl in town -- and he has. Their friendship stands apart from high school social circles, and they’re both just fine with that (or at least they pretend to be).

That is, until running star Ryan Harding moves to town.

When it comes to running, Pepper’s goals are clear. But when it comes to Jace and Ryan, it’s nowhere near as simple.

Cindy's Review: 
At a Glance/ The Cover:
Pepped Up starts the series off with a love triangle, that thankfully gets solved by the end of the book, so it doesn't drive me crazy by dragging onto the sequel. But maybe those crazy cliffhangers make me want to read it more.

When the synopsis mentioned cross country, I was immediately hooked. Who doesn't like to read about something that's kind of close to home. Just the running part. Not the boys. :/ Sadly. Plus, there was this super cute "I'm in love with my best friend" romance and this hot cross country boy coming in.  

The Characters/My Opinion: 
Pepper Jones - Let's start off with the main character. The girl who had to choose. First off, I like her name. It's unique and it doesn't sound weird at all. Pepper Jones is basically an orphan that lives with her grandma, who appears to be this sweet, but wild old lady that seems super fun to be around with. She's lived down the street from her "best friend", Jace for a long time. They grew up together, so in a way, he's also known as "the boy next door" and "childhood playmate." Pepper has a crush on Jace, but she's never been able to tell him, but he obviously likes girls that are waaay out of her league. Or so she thinks. 

Jace Wilder - I love the name Jace. Because it immediately makes me think of the Shadowhunters series and those are good feelings. Well, that's a good start. THIS JACE is a lovely guy, I suppose. I do find him somewhat controlling and obsessed as the story goes on, and that is never a healthy relationship. But Pepper doesn't seem to mind. We don't really see Jace's side of the story, but I guess he has been in love with Pepper for a while, but she's always been "untouchable" because he has "problems." Jeez. I mean, he's a high schooler, but it's probably more of the protective older brother thing coming in and telling him hands off. 

Ryan Harding - Honestly, if Jace wasn't there, I would have totally rooted for Ryan. He's just overall perfect. But Pepper's crush on Jace is influencing me, since it's her POV and I'm hearing her thoughts on how perfect Jace is. Plus, guys that are out of reach just seems to be hotter. 

Now onto the plot. I really liked the beginning. Like about right where Ryan just came into the story, but nothing serious had happened yet. I was hooked. The suspense. And what would happen. I couldn't put it down! 

BUT THEN. She started dating Ryan. And still had major feelings for Jace, who was pushing her away. And she continued to date Ryan. And tried to convince herself to like him. NO. Just no. You are leading him on, girl. And I never approve of that. It's kind of obvious from the start who she ends up with. Always. So leading Ryan on. Ugh. How could you. So I must say, the book just died down. I expected a better ending, or just a better climax before the resolution, but there wasn't much build up.

The cross country section was a great section though! All the sprints and racing guidelines seem super legit. And although yes, the boys on the cross country team tend to be on the leaner side, they aren't all stick figures. Most people on my cross country team tend to do swimming in the spring instead of track and field even though that's more recommended. I just don't do anything in the spring, because AP testing will be the death of me. 

The Rating: (1-10): 8.5

***If you haven't already gotten who Pepper ends up with in Book 1 from my review, then be prepared to know just by reading the blurb in book 2***

All Pepped Up (Pepper Jones, #2)All Pepped Up (Pepper Jones #2)
by Ali Dean
Release Date: July 10th, 2014

Blurb: 
(This is the second book in the Pepper Jones series. The following description contains spoilers for Pepped Up, which should be read first.)

Pepper Jones knew that being Jace Wilder’s girlfriend wouldn’t be simple. But she didn’t predict just how many complications would arise from his past. Jealous girls? That she expected. Family secrets? Not so much. At least Pepper can always hit the trails to clear her head… except when it comes to racing. The high expectations from her phenomenal cross country season haunt her, and she can’t seem to get psyched up for track season. Pepper’s junior year at Brockton Public is full of challenges on and off the track, but she’s not afraid to face them.

Cindy's Review: 
At a Glance/The Cover: 
Love that cover. Can I get a runner body like that? Please? And also while I'm at it, can I just get a quarter of her swiftness. Cuz I really want to run those five minute miles. Cross country season is just around the corner, and I could really use some boost. :D haha. 

The Characters/My Opinion: 
Well, you already met the characters. There's a lot of jealousy things in this book. And more QUEEN B's that appeared in the last book, but wasn't as important. Jace is officially Pepper's but this brings back those dramatic high school problems like trashing lockers, hiding people's clothes, and all those immature things that I hope high schoolers don't really do. 

I haven't really met a Queen B at our school yet. There are definitely rude people, but someone who rules the school and stops at nothing to humiliate you? Nope. None. Maybe I hang out with the wrong crowd. Lol. 

I feel like the sequel is more like it's prolonging the ending and kind of just dragging on the story. If the actions done by the Queen Bs aren't that childish and annoying, and if they had more depth, I think it would make up a better story. Like I want the intensity to go up! Suspense! That's what would keep me going. You know what I mean? 

 Pepper did go through a character growth though, that enables her to be more confident about herself. I love that. And I'm glad someone like Jace supports that.

Overall, I did enjoy this series. I was still anxious to see the ending and how things are going to turn out. I know there's going to be a conclusion in this series. And this is with Jace in college. So it sounds like it's just going to be a repeat of book2. And I rather not. It also doesn't hurt to read it though, so I'm not going to say I'm not going to read it. But I won't be 100% for it either. It might turn out better, I hope. 

The Rating: (1-10): 7.5

The Author: 
Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband, twin babies, and golden retriever. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing. 

Links: 
Pepped Up and Ready (Book 3) 

 Giveaway:
 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Blog Tour: Swept Away by Michelle Dalton

Displaying SWEPT AWAY.png 
Welcome to my spot on the Swept Away Blog Tour
hosted by FFBC.

Displaying Swept Away.jpg Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer #3)
by Michelle Dalton 
Release Date: May 5th, 2015

Synopsis:
Beachfront love blossoms in this refreshing summer romance, in the tradition of Sixteenth Summer and Seventeenth Summer.


Mandy Sullivan isn’t exactly looking forward to the summer months as tourists invade her seaside hometown on the coast of Maine. Her best friend, Cynthia, has abandoned her for camp and her older brother just announced he’ll be staying at college taking classes for the summer, leaving Mandy with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. Hoping to keep herself busy, Mandy takes a volunteer job at the Rocky Pointe Lighthouse. On her very first day, Oliver Framingham asks for a private tour. A new—and incredibly cute—face in Rocky Pointe, Oliver seems more interested in Mandy than the lighthouse and its history.

Without her best friend at her side, Mandy is scrambling to act the right way and say the right things when Oliver is around. Cynthia—not Mandy—has always been the confident, flirtatious girl that everyone wanted to be around. As Mandy and Oliver spend more time together exploring the coast, biking through the woods, and attending the local summer festivals, their budding friendship becomes much more. But with Mandy’s insecurities creeping to the surface, can she open her heart to someone who will only be in town for three months?

Cindy's Review: 
At a Glance/ The Cover: 
Surprisingly, I've actually read all of the Sixteenth Summer series. It's those cute summer reads about romance and the amazing life of a sixteenth year old. What I'll give to go to a beach like those girls and just meet cute boys. I mean, I live in California and everything, but I don't live that close to a boardwalk. 

The cover is also super cute. Just got to comment on that. I wonder if Simon Pulse actually gets real people to model just for this cover. 

The Characters/My Opinion:
Okay, so moving onto the contents inside the book. 
Mandy Sullivan - The main character of the book was enjoyable. Her clumsy personality was cute. Although I really didn't notice her trying to change herself into someone she thinks Oliver will like until she brought it up, that doesn't seem like a healthy relationship and I'm glad everyone urged her to just be herself in the end. 

Oliver Framingham - For a long time, or actually just the beginning, I thought his last name was Farmingham. Okay. Random. I think it's because his name is spelled different in the blurb compared to the book. Oliver was more of a cute, nerdy summer guy. Nope, no glasses. But according to Mandy, super cute. 

To me, this is definitely more like a summer read. A summer fling. I don't feel the long lasting romance between myself and the book or the characters. And there's nothing wrong with that because a summer fling is cute and all. 

The synopsis does make the book seem like it's more about the romance than anything else, but I feel like it's more about Mandy's character building. Her semi-okay relationship with her mom definitely got better. Although there were some fights with her best friend, Cynthia, they learn to accommodate and solve the problem. Mandy's initial belief that she has to be someone different for a person to like her is changed by everyone. 

I did find that both Mandy and Oliver got mad at each other quite too easily. One thing I would like to be added in this novel is an epilogue. It ended with a great deal of character improvement on Mandy's side, but I feel like Mandy's and Oliver's relationship to be explained further. Hope that didn't spoil anything

The Rating: (1-10): 8.5

Author Bio: 
Michelle Dalton is one of the many names Carla Jablonski uses when writing. Her two YAs written as Carla Jablonski (published by Razorbill/Penguin), Thicker than Water and Silent Echoes, were included on the NYPL Books for the Teen Age list, and her graphic novel trilogy Resistance (illustrated by Leland Purvis, published by :01 Books) has won several awards, including the Sydney Taylor Silver Medal. In addition to writing novels she is an actor, playwright, and former trapeze artist. A native New Yorker, she is eternally grateful to her friends who invite her to their beach houses.

Links: 
B&N 
Kobo 


Giveaway:
  
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