Waiting on Wednesday: Love, Life, and the List

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

Love, Life, and the List

 

 

From Goodreads:

Everyone knows Abby Turner is in love with her best friend, Cooper Wells. Including Cooper Wells. But despite what people tell her, it doesn’t affect their friendship. And she’s practically over it, anyway. What she really can’t get over is when her boss at the local museum tells her that her paintings lack heart.

Art is Abby’s passion and she hopes her future as well. She is determined to change his mind and earn her way into the upcoming exhibit at the gallery. So along with her family’s help, she compiles “The Heart List,” a series of soulstretching experiences that are sure to make her a deeper person and better artist in six weeks or less. When Cooper decides to complete the list along with her, she realizes this list is expanding her heart in more ways than one. Maybe she needs to start another project.

Love, Life, and the List is about a girl who, in an effort to bring more emotional depth to her art, compiles a list of soul-stretching experiences to complete with her best friend—a boy she also happens to be in love with.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.

 

I will read anything this author writes so GIMME!!

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Review: Lucky in Love

Lucky in Love

 

 

It is no secret that I adore Kasie West. She is another instabuy/instaread author for me. I couldn’t wait to read this story! Sadly, it was not the best West story I have read but it was sweet.

Short recap: Maddie has her life planned out. She is going to continue studying hard to get into the college of her dreams, get a grant/scholarship to attend, and stay close enough to home to take care of her parents. Absolutely no boys in that equation. Sounds like a good plan until Maddie lets reality in that money is very tight since her father isn’t working and her mom is working double shifts at the hospital. Everything changes for Maddie when she buys a lottery ticket on her 18th birthday and wins millions of dollars! Maddie is going to learn first hand if money really can solve all of her problems.

West is known for her super sweet romancy contemps but I feel the romance was missing from this story. It was sweet… but it felt the focus of the story was more around Maddie waiting for a college acceptance letter and how to spend stupid amount sof money on crap that isn’t needed. $1,000 on jeans? Are you on drugs, Maddie? Sure, discovering how to live life after winning $50 million dollars would be an adjustment but it wasn’t handled well in this story. That isn’t a terrible topic because we all – at some point – have played the “What would you do if you won the lottery?” question. I also think I might have liked this more if Maddie wasn’t such a damn pushover. She was so gullible and naive it was maddening. After she won the lottery she struggled to tell her best friends. These are her ride or die friends. These are the girls she has spent nearly every waking moment with. These are the girls who she has made a pact with to not date boys until college. If you cannot trust your bestest ride or die friends, then they really aren’t that good of friends, right? That’s my belief anyways. I don’t like how Maddie immediately thought those friends would treat her differently. They were her only true friends and she treated them like crap. I also did not like how Maddie thought the cool and popular girl in school suddenly wanted to be her BFF was natural. Give me a break. Anyone with a set of eyes could see that girl was using Maddie for her new found millions.

Maddie’s family was also annoying as all get out. Her brother dropped out of college, her dad refused to take a job for fear “it was beneath him”, and her mom complained all the time about having to work so much. Maddie wanted to make everyone happy so she gave them $1 million each. Honey, money does not solve problems. It just felt like Maddie was a crutch for everyone in her immediate family – again, she was being used yet she was too blind to see any of it. Instead, she thought it was a brilliant idea to buy a $100k sports car… at the age of 18. Give me a break.

Remember how I said this was supposed to be a romance story? That felt like it was just a tiny part of the story. Seth was the boy Maddie worked with at the zoo and really liked. He was the love interest and he felt like an afterthought. Too much of the story focused on everything but the budding romance with Seth. I wanted the romance between these two characters to start but nothing really took off until the very end of the story. Until then, I was subjected to Maddie spending money on a yacht party, a total makeover, and talking even more about money.

I wanted to like this more than I did. It was a good concept for a story but I don’t think it was delivered well. The plot is very predictable so don’t go into this unsure of how it will end because it is obvious. Maddie’s true friends and Seth are the shinning stars of this story but they have small parts so enjoy them when they do show up. This is a super fast read still feels like a Kasie West story, but it is not her best story to date.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Lucky In Love

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

Lucky In Love by Kasie West

Lucky in Love

 

 

From Goodreads:

“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.”

 

Kasie West is an instabuy for me so you have to know I’m super excited to read her new story. Is this on your TBR?

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Review: By Your Side

By Your Side

 

Oh Kasie West. You could write a grocery list and I would buy a copy of it to read. I had such high, high hopes for your newest contemp. Two teenagers that get locked in a library! Think of the things that could happen! Sadly this book felt like a huge let down and the more I got into it, the more I did not enjoy it.

The story starts with the protagonist, Autumn, getting locked in a library over a long holiday weekend. Autumn quickly discovers that she is not in the library alone, a boy named Dax is locked in with her. Autumn quickly discovers that nobody is going to come looking for her. Autumn does not handle this well as she has an anxiety disorder. It takes Dax coming out of his shell to help keep her calm. Dax isn’t a stranger to Autumn, she knows him from school but they move in different social circles. She has heard the rumors about Dax but now she has the chance to get to know him, if she wants. Dax has had a rough childhood and his teenage years aren’t much better. His mother is a druggie that chose drugs over her child and his dad is not in the picture. Not that anyone knows that much about him because he chooses to keep his private life private. He feels he can open to Autumn and he finally lets someone in. They become friends while stuck in the library and Autumn starts to develop feelings for him, but she keeps them secret because she doesn’t want to upset anyone. She really likes the popular boy, Jeff, but also likes Dax. Can Autumn and Dax’s friendship survive outside of the library weekend?

That sounds great and all but here’s a list of issues I had with this book:

  • NO PHONE OR ALARM IN THE LIBRARY?! What? How could there not be some sort of landline or alarm system? AND! Why did nobody at the library make a sweep of the rooms first before locking up and leaving? They have TV but no phone?
  • Autumn and Dax were stuck in a library but Autumn chooses to ignore the books? I’m sorry but that’s hurtful to book dragons, book worms, book nerds everywhere.
  • The way Autumn’s anxiety disorder was handled was not believable.
  • The connection between Autumn and Dax did not feel real.
  • Autumn’s friends are flat out rude jerks that needs to be slapped.

Let me expand on a couple of items. We’ll start with the library. I still find it incredibly hard to believe that two people will be locked in a library over a three day weekend during cold weather. How are there not closing procedures in place? No alarm or land line phone either? I find that hard to believe. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be locked in a library! *heart eye emoji* It felt like a wasted opportunity for these characters. I did not feel like Autumn and Dax truly bonded during their couple of days locked in. Autumn spent a good majority of her time admitting she was spoiled and rich with awful friends. Dax angrily admitted he had a horrid childhood and the foster family he was living with were not much better. These two could not be more different but that’s the trope, right? Opposites attract?

A huge theme within the story is Autumn’s anxiety disorder. She admits to having it, seeing a therapist, and taking medication. Her parents are aware but nobody else is. How can her anxiety be that extreme and her school not even know? Her teachers don’t know and she has not ever told her friends. Why? Because she wants to fit in. She wants people to like her. That’s doesn’t sound like anxiety, it sounds like an inferiority complex. She is constantly worried about the bad stuff that may happen when these friends do something stupid and she hates feeling out of control, and that I get. That sounds more like anxiety. But if she has her anxiety under control, she should be able to talk to her therapist about it. Does she? Not once during the story. I have a feeling she had been seeing her therapist for years to help her deal and cope with this. I did not find it believable that spending such little time with Dax suddenly helped her realize that her friends were jerks and she needed to take better care of herself. Autumn’s mom asks her one time if she was doing okay and Autumn admitted to feeling out of control. What does her mom do? Not call the doctor. She lets her daughter stay home sick from school for a week. That just did not feel what a responsible parent would do. I do relate since I have  an anxiety disorder and that is why I feel it could have / should have been handled differently.

I never connected to any of the characters in this story. Every single one of them felt flat and shallow. Autumn doesn’t seem to know much of the world outside of her rich friend circle. That is why it felt a little cliche when she found herself stuck with the loner badboy. I never felt they connected at any point in the story. They felt more like friends than romantically attracted to each other. That leads me to Autumn’s friends. Those raging jerks need to hard dose of reality. Jeff was such a stereotypical popular jock that can do no wrong. Autumn felt she was supposed to date him because he was popular. Oh, High School. How I do not miss you. Throughout the book, these characters became worse. They really were all self-centered and worried only about the next party they would be throwing. Then again, the characters were never really expanded on in any way so we only ever get to see them in this horrid light.

When I say this story felt like a disappointment, I mean a huge disappointment. Kasie West is known for super sweet, sometimes gooey swoony romantic type reads. So many opportunities were missed in this story! Autumn and Dax should have had so much sexual tension between them in the library that they didn’t need anything else to keep them warm. Instead, they rooted around for spare change for the vending machine, watched TV, and played card games. They didn’t even share the sleeping bag! It was one person had it at all times. So many missed opportunities within this story! I wanted so much more. I felt like the story was left unfinished. I will still always buy Kasie West books but I may tread lighter with them. This did not read like the earlier West stories that hooked me. Proceed with caution if you pick up this book. Do not expect a hot and steamy roll between the book stacks because that will never happen in this story.

Image result for broken heart gif

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: By Your Side

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side

 

From Goodreads:

“In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

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?”

 

Are you a Kasie West fan? Are you excited for this book?

 

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