Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #1.5
Published by HarlequinTeen on 2014-12-08
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Family, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry
For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.
But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.
Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.
I have loved every book in the Pushing the Limits series but the first one will always be one of my top favorites of the group. It was the one that introduced us to Noah and Echo and started the whole series. I’ve enjoyed getting glimpses of them throughout the following books but it’s never quite the same. I love Noah and Echo and their story and their individual journeys as well as their journey together. So finally getting able to focus on them again was awesome. And while I was a little nervous about seeing them again and was worried I might not love them as much, I shouldn’t have at all. They’re the same but different, still dealing with growing up and moving on from the past but are more mature than before, still in love but figuring out where things go from here thing. It was a perfect extenuation of their story and I’m so glad Katie was able to write it for us.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to remember Noah and Echo’s story from the first book since it had been so long since I’d first read it but once I got going, it all came back. Plus, there are plenty of references to their past that helped remind me and I really appreciated that. But what I liked best about this book was revisiting the characters I had already fallen in love with and seeing them deal with their pasts and figuring out how to make a future together work. This book was a real representation of how our pasts are always with us, whether we want them there or not. And we need to figure out a way to deal with them, not just push them under a rug. Because even if we think we’re over them, they always come back in some way or another. And this is exactly what Noah and Echo do in this book. They escape for the summer on a road trip together and just want to be away from their responsibilities and enjoy their summer. But no one can run from their pasts. And they discover that it’s better to deal with them and learn from them rather than trying to out run them.
But the book isn’t just a bunch of serious stuff. While the drama is there big time (this is a Katie McGarry book after all!) there are also moments of romance and swoon and times we get to see Echo and Noah relax and enjoy each other. Because Echo and Noah are now high school graduates and both 18, it is a bit more New Adult than the others but I don’t think this book fully crosses over into the New Adult category. There is some sex but there’s not a lot and it’s not graphic. I’ve read Young Adult books with more sex in them but if it bothers you in books, you should skip this one.
If you’re a fan of Pushing the Limits or any of the books in this series, I highly recommend this one. If you haven’t read the series, I definitely recommend reading Pushing the Limits and all the books that follow. This one takes place in between Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, so you could definitely read them in that order instead of published order. I hope one day I’ll be able to go back and read the whole series again from start to finish. It is one of my favorites with interesting and flawed characters, swoony romances, and lots of drama! If those are things you like to see in books, go get this series!!
Altered by Jennifer Rush
I received this book for free from ARCycling in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Altered #1
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 2013-01-01
Genres: Young Adult
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When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?
Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who has stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.
Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.
Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.
Guys, where did this book come from and how did I not know more about it? It isn’t that old and it wasn’t on my radar at all. And that is a shame. I’m so happy I took a chance on this book! I really enjoyed it. And I hope more people will check out this series. The last book comes out in January and I’m really looking forward to reading them all!
Altered is a science-fiction book that focuses on four young men who are being kept in a scientist’s basement and studied. Kept in four different rooms with glass windows, they are watched, given different treatments to, and waiting until they’re ready. Ready for what, we don’t really know. We do know that they have been genetically altered and that they don’t remember anything before they were changed. We aren’t told what was done to them or what they’ve been “created” for, we just know what the scientist’s daughter, Anna, knows, that these four boys are the only people she’s had much contact with and that some of them are her friends. She doesn’t know why they’re kept the way they are but she also doesn’t do anything to change that. But Sam, the one who seems to be the leader of the group plans an escape and when the time is right, all four boys escape. And Anna’s father makes them take her too. Now Anna is not only on the run from something she doesn’t understand, she’s also about to learn a lot from her own past that she never knew about.
This book was so surprising to me and I think it’s because I really didn’t know what to expect. The cover made sense once I read the book but seemed pretty generic beforehand. Shirtless muscle-y guy with tattoos? Tells me nothing, really. And the summary didn’t really make much sense to me either, before I read the book. So I was going into this with zero expectations. And I ended up loving it! I loved the mystery that went along with the boy and their story. I love the individual personalities from each of them and getting to know them while they were on the run together. I enjoyed learning about their pasts as they tried to remember what had happened before and found connections to people they didn’t remember and places that had been important to them. But most of all I got caught up in Anna’s story. About how she was home-schooled by her dad and spent so much of her time working with the boys in her basement. Then how everything changed for her when her father made her leave and how she dealt with everything from them on. Not just with her crush on Sam, but with every piece of information they got on their way and discovering the true danger they were in. It was truly compelling. Especially from a book I really had just hoped to enjoy. It quickly became one I didn’t want to put down or end.
I really hope you guys will give this book a try. If you’re a fan of YA sci-fi books or books with genetically altered characters or even The Bourne Identity, I really think you’d like this book. It’s fast-paced, high-action, and full of surprising twists and a very quick read. I’m hoping to get my hands on the second and third books in this series ASAP so I can find out more about Anna and these boys and the Branch!
I’m just doing a quick post to declare that I will be participating in the Bout of Books Readathon in January. I’m so excited for Bout of Books! It really is one of the best Readathons out there. Plus, what better way to start off the new year than with a whole bunch of reading?! I’ve already told my husband not to expect anything from me that week and my kids go back to school that week and I’ve already scheduled some posts for that week, so my plan really is just to read a whole bunch. And to participate in the twitter chats and challenges. The hard part is going to be picking which books to read!
I’m also really excited for this Bout of Books because I’ll be hosting a challenge and a giveaway on one of the days!! Yay! So what I’m really trying to tell you is that you should all go and put Bout of Books on your calendar and then sign up and participate with us! It’s low key, fun, and a great way to start the year. Here’s the information about it from Bout of Books:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Make sure if you’re going to join in that you make your own sign-up post. Check out the Bout of Books post to read the rules. You can participate without a blog if you’re on Twitter or Goodreads or YouTube or several other places. So check it out and join us so you can look like this with us!!