Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Book Review)

Posted November 8, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 8 Comments

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Book Review)Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Time Between Us #1
Also in this series: Time After Time
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 9, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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5 Stars
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

I was SO excited when I got to meet Tamara at ALA. She’s super nice, and told me a little about her book. I was already sold on it, but she made me even more excited. I love time travel and romance. This book was everything I could have hoped for, and so much more. Rarely, and I mean rarely, does a book make me feel the things this book made me feel. I adored it, and I know it will stick with me for an extremely long time. I wish I hadn’t had to wait so long to read it! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I loved the idea of this novel. A romance that sweeps across two decades, with travel and mystery and all the emotions that come with the fear of time separating them once again. It’s dangerous to get invested into a relationship that has so many unavoidable loopholes. I just loved it!

2. I loved the unique take on time travel. It’s hard to explain, but I really enjoyed reading all about how Bennett does it, and how he can take people with him.

3. Anna and Bennett are wonderful characters. I was pulling for both of them, and I really got attached to both of them. Usually I care more for one member of a romantic duo over the other, but I honestly can’t tell you which person I like more in this one. Anna is strong and confident and willing to take risks. She’s so relatable and normal. Bennett is impulsive, a wanderer across continents and time. I want to date him and I want to be her. 

4. The travel aspect of Time Between Us was amazing and unexpected. All Bennett has to do is hold Anna’s hands, close his eyes, and “poof” them both to some exotic island or secluded village. I loved reading about where they went, and what they did. I’m a lover of all things travel and exploration, and I just soaked those flawless descriptions of Italy and Mexico and Thailand in like a sponge. Tamara is amazing at world building and placing you in each location right along with her characters. 

5. The romance was so simple and sweet, yet deep and believable. I love the way Anna and Bennett danced around each other and their feelings. I loved reading about their inner thoughts, and how they were scared and excited and both longed for each other for so long before actually doing anything about it.

6. Anna’s friends were wonderful! I love her adorable British best friend Emma and her longtime childhood pal, Justin. They added so much to the story, and brought out the best in Anna. I also really liked her parents. I love books that depict parents as friends rather than a hindrance.

7. I have an even greater lover of the 90’s. I loved all the references to 1995. The music, the way people talk, the hair. It was so great to go back and visit!

8. This book made my heart happy. I don’t cry while reading. I hate it, my eyes get puffy, and then I can’t see… and I have to put the book down. It’s a messy sight. But I cried! The ending is just so beautiful and perfect that I shut the book and cried. And then I just sat there and wished I could go back and have a “do-over” and go back and read it all over again! 

9. This book keeps you thinking long after you’re finished. As I reflect on my experience reading it, little nuances in the storyline jump out at me and make even more sense than they did before. More pieces of a puzzle I thought I had already completed keep falling into place, and it makes me love the book even more.

Basically, you need to read this book. Any book that leaves me in tears, looking for a time traveling stranger out my window, and wanting to go and take risks and throw caution to the wind is a book you neeeeeed to read. I really loved it so much, and writing this review has made me love it even more! Time Between Us has jumped to the top of my leader board for 2012, and it’s going to be really hard for any book to beat it at this point!


From What I Remember… by Kramer & Thomas (Book Review)

Posted August 7, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 10 Comments

From What I Remember… by Kramer & Thomas (Book Review)From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer, Valerie Thomas
Published by Disney Hyperion on May 15, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 462
Format: eBook
Source: Gift
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5 Stars
KYLIE: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger??

MAX: It started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded here, with less than twenty-four hours before graduation.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: This cannot be happening. It's like some cruel joke. Or a bad dream. I close my eyes and when I reopen them, they're still there. Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century. In bed together. If Kylie thinks I'm giving him up without a fight, she's dead wrong.

Sometimes I love reading a book for the sole purpose of enjoying it. I think all book bloggers get caught up in trying to remember every good (or bad) thing about a book, so that they can provide a thorough review for their readers. This time I decided to just read a book for myself, not keeping anyone else in mind as I read. I wasn’t even going to write a review, but decided I absolutely had to because I love this book so much. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I love the entire idea behind this book: good, geeky, smart girl decides there’s more to life than being good, geeky, and smart. You’ve got to live and have fun as well, or there’s no point. The entire story had a very “Grease” kind of feeling.  Kylie is the valedictorian of her graduating class. She’s smart, and liked by pretty much nobody except her hilarious gay friend named Will. She gets paired up for a last-minute class project with the jock of the school, Max. He’s extremely hard to work with, but she HAS to get a good grade. So she pushes him. In a conglomeration of crazy events, they both find themselves smuggled across the border in a van of stolen electronics. They are in Mexico with no passports, no way of getting home, and graduation day is closing in. Geeky girl turns hard core, and jock notices. Things get really cute.

2. Kylie is just like me. I was the overachieving good girl in high school and college too. Heck, I still am. I’ve always been a little geeky and bookish. I loved her inner thoughts and her street smarts, because I could relate to her so much. Like her, many people never discovered that I was so much more than the girl who chose to study over hanging out with friends. I had more fun watching her grow and change than I have with a character in a long time.

3. Will. Oh, Will. I loved him so much. He’s extremely flamboyant and obnoxious, but in a way you can’t help but love. He’s a cross-dressing, movie-quoting, ball of energy that is the only person who really knows and gets Kylie. He does his best to push her towards opening up, but holds back and is there for her when she needs him to. Everyone needs a friend like him. I also enjoyed watching him grow and progress.

4. Max is a sweetheart, but in a Danny Zucko (see? Grease) kind of way. He’s sweet when nobody is watching, and then he kind of shafts you when he needs to maintain his reputation. You know how Danny and Sandy have a whirlwind summer with the sweetest romance? Danny doesn’t even wear leather! He’s just normal and in love. And then he gets back to school, puts a bottle of gel in his hair, and acts like he barely knows Sandy? That’s kind of how Max was, just not as bad. He did struggle, though, with the choice between following his own heart and following the path that his friends chose for him. I grew to really like him, though. His true colors are beautiful.

5. I liked the 4 different perspectives we get with this book. The narration alternates chapter-by-chapter between Kylie, Max, Will, and Kylie’s younger brother, Jake, who has Asperger’s syndrome. Normally I hate this idea, but it totally worked with the story. Getting into Will’s head was hilarious, getting into Kylie’s head was like jumping in my own brain, getting into Jake’s head made me smile at his sweetness, and getting into Max’s head was enlightening. I really enjoyed it.

6. The story had a few elements that were totally unbelievable. I mean, how many times can these kids get in and out of trouble so easily? Haha! It’s a book, though. It doesn’t have to be true. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. :)

7. The writing is amazing. I always applaud a book that has two authors, because I think it would be really hard to blend two different writing styles. I could not tell when one other began and the other ended. It is a great partnership, and I’m hoping they pair up again in the future.

8. When all was said and done, I had major warm fuzzies happening. I loved watching these kids grow and mature. I loved Kylie’s transformation into a force to be reckoned with. I loved how all the loose ends were tied up.

Favorite Quotes:

“At least she’s not wearing those Uggs anymore, which look like huge suede foot tumors, as far as I’m concerned.”

“Hopefully in the Venn diagram of their lives, they can find a little more overlap.”

“So, kiss the girl. Buy the dress. Take a vacation. Join the circus. Order the fried frog legs. Try out for the play. Learn to snowboard. Do something that scares the s*** out of you. Or something that makes you happy. Or something that makes you cry. Whatever it is, do something that makes you feel something. Because feeling nothing is no way to go through life.”

This is definitely a new favorite book of mine! I’d recommend it to people who enjoy contemporary romance, humor, and a little adventure. Oh, and movie quotes. Each chapter begins with a quote from a popular movie that foreshadows what’s going to happen in that chapter. I loved that idea! Now I need to go watch all those movies!