Thursday, August 1, 2013

Guest Mini-Reviews: Asylum, How to Love and Rock and a Hard Place

Jessica is back to share her reviews! She read a great batch of books this week (all four stars!) including Asylum by Madeleine Roux, How to Love by Katie Cotugno and Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton.
Goodreads Summary:

Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

Publication Date: August 20, 2013

Jessica's Review:

I'm not a huge horror/suspense genre lover, but this book definitely pulled me in. It was creepy and I'm so glad I read it during the day because I wouldn't be able to handle reading it at night. The pictures add quite a bit to the story, almost enough to make you feel like you're reading a true story which, in my opinion, ups the creep factor. I could have used a better description of the characters and a little more time to connect with them, but still a good book.

4/5 Stars

Goodreads Summary:

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

Publication Date: October 1, 2013

Jessica's Review:

I was only going to give this 3-3.5 stars, but then I got the end where Reena has a discussion with her dad and it made me cry, so gonna have to up it to 4 stars. It's a great story only a bit predictable and not one you just have to read again. I really liked the new Sawyer and I'm glad Reena was finally going to make her dreams happen, but again, it's not a book I would want to read again or one that will even necessarily stay with me.

4/5 Stars

Goodreads Summary:

One day while watching the Interstate exit for her dad’s long awaited return, Libby’s life is rocked when Peter Jamieson steps off his tour bus and into her life. After a couple chance meetings with Peter, Libby breaks away from her rule abiding behavior and her life changes course.

Peter longs for normalcy away from the screaming fans who know nothing about the real him. He is amazed to discover Libby has never heard of him or his band. Soon their friendship turns to love. While Peter battles his family's growing interference so he can spend time with Libby, she struggles with her eccentric aunt who turns more bizarre each day.

Their lives are torn apart when Peter's family intrudes and Libby disappears. Peter’s desperate search for her comes up empty. Can they find their way back to each other while the world plots against them?

Publication Date: May 3, 2011

Jessica's Review:

4 stars. I couldn't put this story down. I really connected with Libby and I was so thrilled she got her happily ever after. Peter was perfect. He had a very understated superhero persona and I loved how he loves Libby. I would have liked a better description of the characters, but still a really great story.

4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publishers for a copy of these books for review!


  1. Wow! Three reviews in one. LOL! Very well written reviews, Jessica. I like how you didn't take the plot and make it part of your critique. Seems like these are pretty good books. Thanks for sharing. WRITE ON!

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