I had so much fun writing speedy reviews with my first review marathon, I decided to do it again!
4.5 STARS! Dare You To by Katie McGarry is a roller coaster ride of emotions. Beth is a true survivalist, so much so, she can't see a life outside the horrors she lives day in and day out. Ryan is a true competitor. He sees his world as a series of wins on his way to the ultimate win, being a pro baseball player. The two have nothing in common other than their knack for tunnel vision. Beth has to save her mother. Ryan has to win any challenge thrown at him. The two meet. She swears at him. He remains polite, but annoyed. Life comes crumbling down for Beth. Life has been secretly crumbling to pieces for Ryan. Will these two polar opposites meet in the middle of all the carnage? Can crazy Beth see past her zero self-esteem? Can Ryan step outside of his father's perfect son role and risk losing?
I love Katie McGarry's style and quickly remembered just how much when I started reading Dare You To. I also love starting over stories. This one falls into that category with Beth going from the slums to slick hickville. Oh, and I love sports stories. Ryan takes us into the mindset of a pitcher, captain, and teammate. My main gripe has to be the adults in the book. I needed an anchor, and none of the teenage supporting cast filled that role. Logan was strong and stable, same with Lacy, but they weren't enough. Ryan's parents upset me so much I didn't care if they did a turnabout or not. I decided to hold a grudge and I'm still holding it. Forget about how I feel about Beth's mother. The best part of Dare You To has to be watching two souls crashing into each other over and over until they finally find how they fit just right. The love story is beautiful.
4 STARS! The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison is the second book in The Hollows Series. Rachel can't move on from her time with Trent. She's determined to nail him to the wall. This time she believes he's savagely murdering witches. To be fair, she has witnessed him murder before. She's been tortured by him, held captive, and offered a job more times than I remember. Trent is an oddball, for sure. Then there's Nick. Oh, freaking Nick who stresses me out because of his ridiculous lack of self-preservation. He's a bad influence on Rachel. I sound old saying that, but I want to pull him by his shirt collar and toss him out the church doors. Jenks wasn't such a great influence this book either and Rachel with her poor decision making skills needs smart people around her. Who does she have though? Ivy, a hungry, hungry living vamp who is beyond moody and stressed most of this book. We have flittering and petulant Jenks who loves to stir the pot. There was a point in the book when Rachel itched to play with her magic. I wanted to put her in a time out, but Jenks goaded and taunted, even invited his kids into the play.
I'm so glad Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven recommended this series to me. Kim Harrison is a fantastic storyteller and the world she created with such delicious supernatural characters and closed-minded humans is addictive. I'll be hitting book 3 real soon!
4 STARS! Switching by Jody Kihara pulls you into the life of a girl who's lost everything, possibly even her mind. She can't remember her former life. She can't see the faces of her parents when she closes her eyes. She can't find her way home, not just because she's forgotten her address and her name, but because she can't get back to her timeline. With absolutely nothing, she has only her genuine soul and gritty determination to survive. Is that enough to finally land herself in the correct year and find her way home?
After reading a wonderful review by Lexxie at Un[Conventional] Book Views, I commented that I was going to request my library to purchase this book. Jody Kihara contacted me and sent me the book. How awesome is that? Super awesome. And even better than that, I love Switching. The MC named herself Terry because it had a nice ring to it. Plus how can anyone truly exist without a name? From page one I was hooked. I felt Terry's fear, her good heart, her exhaustion, all in the first few minutes. My first time travel book and I loved it. This isn't a futuristic story or some historical romance in disguise. We stick to the chunk of time between the awful clothes of the 70's and now. We meet characters I craved to have more story time with. My mind shot in all directions with speculations. I figured time travel, anything is possible. Yeah, none of my guesses were right. For many other readers, this wonderful book would be 5 STARS, it's that good. But in the worst way, I wanted more at the end. Switching is YA sci-fi I consider a great read for all ages with its brave female lead and engaging story. Terry's painful wish to get home becomes your wish for her too.