Book review: If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow

If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow
Series: After We Fall #3
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Source: Kindle Freebie

Theo MacLeod wasn’t supposed to be the one.

Tall, dark and handsome suits me just fine, but the cocky grin, know-it-all attitude, and mammoth ego? No thanks. I only hired him so I wouldn’t have to sit at the singles table again. It was just pretend.

He wasn’t supposed to kiss me.

My heart wasn’t supposed to pound.

We weren’t supposed to spend the night together—the hottest night of my life.

One night turns into a snowed-in weekend away, and even the blizzard of the century can’t cool the fire between us. I can’t get enough—of his smile, of his body, of the way he makes me feel.

We’re nothing alike. He’s a daredevil, and I’m a nervous Nellie. He’s a drifter, and I want to put down roots. He’s an opportunist with a checkered past, and I’m a Girl Scout volunteer.

But none of it matters when I’m in his arms.

I know he’s made mistakes. I know his wounds are deep, and he doesn’t trust easily. I know he doesn’t believe he could ever be enough to make me happy, but he could.

All he has to do is stay.

It’s not really a secret that I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. I think it’s partially my dramatic life and partially the fact that I’ve been trying to read a lot of the same genre back-to-back and that never really goes well for me. I decided to take a break from all of the YA fantasy novels I’ve been attempting and pick up a nice contemporary adult romance.

It really did the trick, because I flew through this book and I loved it so much.

I mean… this book. I don’t even know what to say about it. I loved both Claire and Theo. I loved how much they cooked and baked together. I loved their sexual tension even though it just about killed me. And when I say “it just about killed me,” I really mean it. I almost actually died from the sexual tension in this book. Melanie Harlow gets me every time.

My only criticism of this book is the same criticism I’ve had of every Melanie Harlow book I’ve ever read — there comes a point in the middle where she kind of loses the plot and the characters just have a bunch of sex. And that’s fine and I’ve come to expect it in her books, but it’s not something that, to me, warrants five stars.

Other than that, though, this book was such a great way to spend a Saturday night. I think I’ll jump right into another of Melanie’s books.

#killingthetbr: 13 months on shelf

Have you read If You Were Mine? Do you like Melanie Harlow’s books?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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ABC Book Challenge ✰ F

I’ve seen this ABC Book Challenge on a lot of different blogs, but most recently Thrice Read. It’s week six of this challenge already and it’s time for the letter F!

✰ Memorable (five-star) books starting with F ✰

✰ Books on my TBR starting with F ✰

Have you read anything that’s on my TBR? Which books should I read first? Do you agree or disagree with my favorites? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Source: Purchased

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Morgan Matson is one of my favorite YA contemporary authors, but for some reason, I had never gotten around to reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. I was surprised to find it for $4.00 at a used bookstore and even more surprised when I didn’t just let it sit on my shelf, gathering dust, for six months.

Amy & Roger felt different from the rest of Morgan Matson’s books, but I loved it so much. It’s a super slow-burn romance that mainly focuses on how Amy is dealing with the death of her father. I’ll admit that the premise isn’t exactly the most believable (Amy and Roger are sent on a cross-country road trip by their families), but you know what? I can get over it. This book was so cute.

One of my favorite things about this book was the playlists! There are so many playlists and they include songs from so many bands that I love. And there are so many songs I haven’t thought about in years, like Baby, It’s Fact by Hellogoodbye and Quietdrive’s cover of Time After Time and Beating Heart Baby by Head Automatica. I used to be obsessed with Head Automatica when I was in high school, so that was like a super throwback for me. It was great. Also, it made me so happy to see all the Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate songs that were included in this book. Basically, everything about the music featured in Amy and Roger’s playlists made me happy.

And now I want to talk about tropes. I kind of feel like I talk about tropes all the time and the whole book blogging universe probably knows that I adore friends-to-lovers and enemies-to-lovers, but one trope that I don’t think I ever really talk about is one bed. I am a sucker for this trope. It gets me every time. There’s just something so cute and just awkward enough about two people finding out they need to share one bed and oh my god, Amy and Roger have to unexpectedly share a bed so many times in this book. I loved it. I swooned each time.

But there was one thing that kept me from giving this book five stars, and this is me speaking as an adult who is probably at least ten years beyond this book’s intended audience: I could not get over the fact that Amy was in high school and Roger was in college. It’s not a big age difference, but I just feel like, even setting aside the possibly questionable legality of this relationship, there is such a huge difference in the maturity level of a high school student and someone in college. I doubt that this would’ve bothered me when I was Amy’s age, but as an adult, it just felt a little creepy to me.

Even with that one negative, though, I really loved this book. I was looking for a cute contemporary when I picked it up and that’s exactly what I got. Morgan Matson never disappoints and I would absolutely recommend this book.

#mm18: family

Previously: Since You’ve Been Gone • The Unexpected Everything • Save the Date

Have you read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour? Have you ever done a cross-country road trip?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Platonic relationships in books

Of all the Top Ten Tuesday posts I’ve done, this one might have been the most difficult. The thing is, I’ve been meaning to write a big discussion post about the lack of platonic friendships in YA books, but I haven’t really gotten anywhere with it since there are so few examples. I had a lot of trouble coming up with books where the characters actually stay friends without getting together (or at least pining from afar).

Friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes of all time, but even I can recognize that it’s a problem that platonic friendships are so uncommon in books. I was able to come up with five YA books that feature healthy platonic relationships (plus one adult book that does friendship well). The last four books on my list feature unhealthy relationships that shouldn’t have happened. Sometimes characters really should just stay friends.

Six books that did platonic relationships well:

And four books that should have set aside the romance and let the characters stay friends:

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! What are your favorite platonic friendships? Are there any characters you think would have been better as friends? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book review: Saga Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Source: Borrowed
From the Hugo Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private EyeY: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples (North 40Red Sonja), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Searching for their literary hero, new parents Marko and Alana travel to a cosmic lighthouse on the planet Quietus, while the couple’s multiple pursuers finally close in on their targets.

Can I just say that I really love this series? I don’t even know what I’m going to do with myself once I’m caught up. I think that I pretty much loved everything about this book, but my favorite scene was between Sophie and Lying Cat. I just about cried when I got to that part.

In addition to that, I felt like this book got a little deeper than the last two, not only touching on Sophie’s past but also on homophobia and grief. There’s a whole section on the importance of reading to children (and on books in general), which I loved. There’s also a little bit about following your dreams, which made me smile so much. I love how supportive Marko is of Alana.

It’s a good thing that I went to the library today and got the next four volumes because I need to know what happens next.

#mm18: family

Have you read any of Saga? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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