Tag Archives: Kasie West

Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

Love, Life, and the List

Love, Life and the List

Release date: March 27 2018

Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.
Which is where the list comes in.
Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

Why I’m excited: I love Kasie West, this sounds so cute, and I love the concept!

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under book-related, books, talking books, TBR books, waiting on wednesday, WoW, ya books

Book Review: Lucky in Love by Kasie West

lucky-in-love

Lucky in Love

Release date: July 25 2017

4 stars

 

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture. Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment — She wins! In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust. Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret? With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

I love Kasie West books and this one fits right in with her other sweet contemporaries. This was the second book I read this year involving a newly eighteen year old winning the lottery but both were different enough so it didn’t feel like I was reading the same book with different characters. I liked the characters, the romance was sweet, and the plot was what I expected from Kasie West.

Maddie was a likeable character and I loved that her favourite animal at the zoo she worked at was the anteater. She was very quirky and she took a lot on herself, like her family problems or college. Buying a lottery ticket was a whim turned out to be a life-changing decision. She thought it would solve all her family’s problems and nothing else would change. She was a little naive and it was interesting to see how the dynamics between her and the people she loved changed as the book went on. Maddie had to learn that money can solve some problems but not all, and create new ones.

Seth was a great counter to Maddie. He just might be my favourite Kasie West boy so far. He definitely is in the running. He was adorable and geeky and so perfect for Maddie. Maddie’s friends were both interesting but I would have liked to have seen a little more of them to make them stand out from each other more.

The plot was character-driven with Maddie navigating what it meant to be thrust into the spotlight with so much money. She had to deal with people judging how she spent her money, assuming she would pay, questioning who she could trust. It definitely showed that winning the lottery isn’t always a guarantee to an easy life.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, reviews, talking books, ya books

Book Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

by-your-side

By Your Side

Release date: January 31st 2017

4 stars

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.
Only he doesn’t come. No one does.
Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Kasie West has definitely become one of my go-to contemporary authors when I need a pick me up book and this book was no exception to that. It was cute, light, addicting to read, and was a lot of fun. It had everything I love from a Kasie West novel and will definitely be added to my collection when it comes out in physical form.

Autumn was a character I found very easy to relate to. She had anxiety and kept it from her friends in fear of being judged, even though it meant they ended up getting used to her disappearing on them. Miscommunication led to her being left at the library when the group was leaving in a few separate cars and Autumn was locked in for the long weekend. I liked that she tried to keep her head in the situation and how concerned she was that her friends and parents would worry once they discovered her missing. She could be snarky and sarcastic just as easily as loyal and caring.

I really enjoyed the time Autumn was trapped in the library, going back and forth with fellow trappee Dax. It seemed like they would make some progress on getting along and then take two steps back because she wanted to know more about him and he didn’t want to tell her. They were very opposite but they fit well together. I did like the boy Autumn had been flirting with before, Jeff, but I was definitely pulling for her and Dax.

The book was full of great supporting characters. Autumn and her brother Owen had so many scenes that had me laughing until there were tears in my eyes. Jeff’s best friend could make me annoyed at him just as easily as making me feel for him. The friendship between Autumn and her best friend Lisa was amazing.

I thought Kasie West did a great job in handling both Autumn’s and Dax’s stories, separately and together, and it made for a great read.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reviews, talking books, ya books

Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

lucky-in-love

Lucky in Love

Release date: July 25th 2017

Goodreads: Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —
She wins!
In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.
Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

Why I’m excited: Kasie West has never let me down for cute, addicting reads and I see no reason why this won’t continue that trend.

1 Comment

Filed under books, waiting on wednesday, WoW, ya books

Book Review: PS I Like You by Kasie West

ps i like you

PS I Like You

4 stars

Signed, sealed, delivered…
While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!
Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

I have absolutely adored every Kasie West novel I have read and this one was no exception. It was absolutely the perfect book for a really nice, end of summer day. I enjoyed all the characters, the chaos of Lily’s family, her passion to music, and even though I was able to guess the mystery lyric writer early on, it was so enjoyable that I didn’t care that I’d figured it out. I just wanted to keep reading and keep smiling.

Lily was such an easy character to relate to. She was awkward, had no clue how to talk to boys, had no privacy at home due to her big family, and she had this great sense of humour that had me grinning many times, thinking her remarks would be something that would have easily come out of my mouth in that situation. She could also be quick to make assumptions about how she perceived other people’s actions and quick to anger.

Her family was a huge favourite of mine through the whole book. They reminded me so much of my own family, completely crazy and busy but totally supportive of each other. They added something to every scene they appeared in and I loved it.

I did enjoy the mystery of the lyric writer and Lily’s pen pal even though it was predictable. It didn’t feel predictable to Lily, like she should have obviously known who it was all along. If it had been me, in real like, I never would have guessed so it made sense for her not to figure it out in the book. I don’t want to say too much about who he was because I don’t want to give it away.

It was a quick read and I loved every second of it.

3 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reviews, talking books, ya books

Book Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

fill in boyfriend

The Fill-In Boyfriend

3.5 stars

Gia’s visions of the perfect prom go up in smoke when her boyfriend Bradley dumps her in the parking lot of the school. She’s been talking him up to her friends for months and they were finally going to see that yes, he does exist. Gia’s desperate so she enlists the help of a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister. Be her fake boyfriend for two hours and she’ll owe him. She can deal with Bradley later. But it’s not Bradley she’s thinking of the next day. When mystery date’s sister enlists Gia to return the favor, be a fake girlfriend for a graduation party, Gia finds herself falling for this boy. Maybe what started out as fake could turn into something real.

This turned out to be a quick and fun book to read. It was light and had that summer read feel to it. It was the type of book that made me wish for hot sun because reading it outside would have been so perfect.

I wasn’t sure about Gia at first but she turned into a character I really grew to like. She was pretty shallow and self-absorbed at the beginning and even though Bradley pulled a jerk move right before prom, I could kind of understand why he did it. It seemed like their relationship was more about Gia and having a boyfriend than actually being in love. Gia grew throughout the book the more she started interacting with people beyond her narrow group of friends. It was like she was outgrowing their friendship and the antics that came with it. It was nice to see the growth, but also a little painful for her since she’d been friends with a couple of the girls for so long. By the end, I really liked the person Gia turned out to be.

Fill-In Boyfriend, or F-IB(read the book to find out his name:)), was a really sweet guy and I loved the dynamic of his family life. Their closeness was a sharp contrast to Gia’s own home life where no one ever really talked beyond the surface of their feelings. He was really caring and a bit geeky and I just adored him. Can he be real? I also really liked his sister Bec and the developing friendship between her and Gia was so great to see.

The book said a lot about getting your self-worth from your friends, real life friends and online friends. It was great to see Gia growing out of that and finding out who she wanted to be as a person instead of being someone she wasn’t just because her friends approved. Even in such a light read it still managed to bring up that important issue and use it for character growth.

The whole style of the book was that familiar Kasie West feeling that I love. Great characters with growth arcs, interesting family dynamics, humor, slow romance. I couldn’t put it down. The plot moved along so it never felt slow and I didn’t care that I knew what was going to happen because I was having so much fun reading it. I did connect less with Gia than I did with Charlie from On the Fence but Charlie was a lot more like me than Gia was. She was still a great character though and it was a nice read.

11 Comments

Filed under books, reviews, ya books

Book Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

on the fence big

On the Fence

4 stars

Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Reynolds is a tomboy who can hold her own in any pick-up game. Raised by her single father and with four older brothers, she’s never really given much thought to make-up and high heels. Until she gets a job working at a clothing boutique after getting a speeding ticket in order to pay the fine. She tries to hide her work life from her family but the stress of that and the upheaval to her routine leads her outside, to the fence, where she begins having almost nightly talks with neighbor Braden. What starts innocently enough slowly starts turning into something more when Charlie realizes she just might care about Braden as more than a friend.

This was my first time reading a Kasie West book and I was not disappointed. It left me excited that I already own some of her other books so I can read them soon. This one seemed like it would be a good summer read but it turned into something more and I really enjoyed it.

Charlie was absolutely great. I loved her journey of discovering herself that she had throughout the book and I really appreciated that it never felt like the book was looking down on any of the girls who appeared. Charlie had her own perceptions but they were hers. To me, it felt like the book was saying it’s okay for girls to like sports, it’s okay to like make-up and dresses, it’s okay to like both. Charlie’s acceptance of that was important and well handled.

The family dynamics were also great. The boys were so protective of Charlie, their bond was so evident, and the teasing just made me smile. The romance was adorable and also believable. Their banter during their fence chats, their playfulness, just everything about them together made me smile. I did a lot of smiling while reading this book.

The writing flowed really well and made for an easy read that I didn’t want to put down. There was never a time I felt like the book was dragging, though it did end up being a little predictable. Still, that didn’t lessen my enjoyment and I look forward to reading more Kasie West soon.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

7 Comments

Filed under books, reviews