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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 3 star ratings
3 reviews
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Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • 3 1/2 stars - good story, slow moving

    3 1/2 stars for me. I felt the story lagged a bit too much throughout. Shelby and Ace did care about each other despite their different circumstances and families. I felt for Shelby's pain, enjoyed her strength, but it got to be a little too much. Ace was a mix of good and bad for me, and it took a bit for me to care about him. As things came to a head, there were some genuine emotional moments. I am sure that others will enjoy this story, so take the time to check it out. I received a copy of this story through Goddess Fish Promotions, and this is my unsolicited review.

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  • Enjoyable, Captivating, & Entertaining YA Read!!!

    ---4.5 Stars--- This book was such a fun, enjoyable, captivating, entertaining, and engaging young adult/coming of age read!! I was quickly taken with the author’s writing style as she fully grabbed hold of my attention, immersed me into the story line, and not only did I completely lose track of time, but didn’t even notice the dozen or so texts and social media alerts that were buzzing on my phone. Thankfully, none were emergency related lol!!! This book was so intriguing I could not put it down and read it in just one sitting!!! I really liked the main characters Shelby and Ace. I loved that Shelby was smart, athletic, bold, sassy, feisty, daring, stubborn, caring, compassionate, responsible, hardworking, considerate, and ambitious. I liked that Ace was strong, handsome, protective, easygoing, carefree, creative, encouraging, warmhearted, and of course, a bit mischievous. I also really enjoyed all the supporting characters as they each brought something special and unique to the story. I think the author did an amazing job on her character development as these characters were so real and personal on many levels! Shelby certainly had not had the easiest life. She was a very believable character and I absolutely felt for her and easily connected with her. Shelby’s mom, Maisy, is definitely not the dream mom every kid hopes for. Maisy is a struggling drug addict that is in and out of rehab with a track record of many setbacks and relapses. Shelby’s father was a bootlegger with his own record who was shot and murdered allegedly over a deal gone wrong. Shelby often avoids sharing these unmentionables, or as she puts it “airing out her dirty laundry.” Further proof, that Shelby is a strong, fierce character that is driven and doesn’t let her family drama bring her down or dictate her future. This book is told from each of the main character’s POV’s. While every chapter features prominent headers to indicate whether it is Shelby or Ace’s POV, each character felt easily recognizable in the story dialogue as their established character profile and character traits significantly stood out. I really liked the mystery elements that were weaved into the story. I enjoyed trying to find out the truth about Shelby’s father’s murder – why he was really killed and who killed him. I love murder mysteries, so this definitely brought on extra excitement for reading this book and solving this case!! I love that this book takes real-life issues head on and allows the reader to easily connect with the characters and the situations they get into. This book is truly and appropriately classified as a young adult/coming of age read. This book delves into everything from first kisses, first loves, the birds and the bees, birth control, teen pregnancy, applying for college, touring college campuses, bullying, mean girls, and everything in-between. These are all important topics that need to be addressed and sometimes can be difficult to approach and/or discuss with parents so this book is a great way to get the ball started as a gateway to beginning these conversations. There is one element of this book that I was not particularly fond of. I did not enjoy the paternity story line. I don’t want to give away too much info, no spoilers here. But I will say that I felt it was an unnecessary story line that only added confusion, disconcerting emotions, and disappointing character shortcomings. There was so much going on in this book and this particular plot point just felt flat, inappropriate, and nonessential. I loved that this book featured a social and charitable platform, Operation UCAN – Uniting Communities Against Narcotics. Although not a real charity, I love when books use their platform to bring attention to important issues and organizations. I am still not sure about my final thoughts of the ending. It certainly did not end the way that I expected. Perhaps that is a positive as it was unpredictable. However, I do feel that the author was able to tie up any loose ends and provide a cohesive ending. Currently, this book is not listed to be part of a book series. This book can be read as a standalone. All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it! I think all young adult readers, coming of age readers, romance readers, and romance with a dash of mystery fans will like this book too! So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed! **Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations**

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  • 4.5 stars for an intriguing read

    This is the first book to hold my attention in a while. Part of that is that I have been sick. But really, it's because this was an intriguing story. I was drawn to Shelby from the get-go and her desire to get out of Appalachia and do something different with her life, escape from her difficult home life. But then we also started to get to know Ace and how their histories were so deeply entwined from the very beginning. Life choices were made about them and all around them that shaped who they are and what their destinies are supposed to be. The more they unravel the truth, though, they find that their destinies are actually something different than they had ever imagined. The story of these two friends who fall for each other has plenty of twists and turns that keep you guessing as everyone is trying to sort out the truth. And just like the characters, I was unsure about which direction I wanted some of it to go. There's a lot being said about the power of friends and family, and those friends who are actually your family. Is blood really thicker than water? Can you really change your perceived destiny in life and do something different? Can you learn to trust and to love again, even after betrayal throughout your life? Can you really start over? And are people always the way they seem? Can't someone change? So much was happening in this book and the two characters had so much growth. They're so good together and learn so much. And then of course, there is the power of music. I wish my exhausted brain could better articulate all of my thoughts right now. But this is a story that is going to stick with me and one I will be quick to recommend to others to pick up and read. Thank you to the author and to Goddess Fish for providing me with a requested review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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