Blog Tour – Review: Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

unbreakmyheartTitle: Unbreak My Heart
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn
Genre: Romance, New Adult

This review and blog tour stop was made possible for Corvisiero Literary Agency. Thanks for allowing me to participate!

Note: I received this book as an e-galley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to NetGalley and Forever for allowing me to read this release.

Summary provided by Corvisiero Literary Agency for review purposes:

unbreakmyheartIf you’re Kate Evans, you keep your friend Rachel, bond with her kids, and bury your feelings for her husband. The fact that Shane’s in the military and away for long periods helps-but when tragedy strikes, everything changes.

After Rachel, pregnant with her fourth child, dies in a car accident and the baby miraculously survives, Kate upends her entire life to share parenting duties. Then on the first anniversary of Rachel’s death, Kate and Shane take comfort in each other in a night that they both soon regret.

Shane’s been angry for a year, and now he feels guilty too – for sleeping with his wife’s best friend and liking it . . . liking her. Kate’s ability to read him like a book may have once sent Shane running, but their lives are forever entwined and they are growing closer.

Now with Shane deployed for seven months, Kate is on her own and struggling with being a single parent. Shane is loving and supportive from thousands of miles away, but his homecoming brings a betrayal Kate never saw coming. So Kate’s only choice is to fight for the future she deserves – with or without Shane…

Amazon  +  Barnes & Noble  +  Goodreads

Premise: 4/5

I went into this book loving the premise. Really, it’s what made me sign up to be a part of this blog tour. I could actually see myself in this situation – helping a friend with her children while her husband is away for months at a time. Then, add in the fact that she is in love with the friend’s husband? That could be interesting!

Plot Development: 3/5

In my mind, it fell through. After reading the book, I re-read the above summary and I realize that it’s all there. The summary matches the plot of the book, but not in the ways that I had imagined. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the book in general. It just didn’t amaze me.

The second paragraph in the above summary happened in the first couple of pages. While I do think it needed to happen early on in the book to allow the rest of the plot to unfold, I didn’t think it needed to be so quick. The accident, parenting duties, and 1-year anniversary were barely described with more than a passing glance.

Then there’s the “betrayal Kate never saw coming” – it happened very close to the end and I had a hard time of viewing it as a betrayal. I can’t delve too much into this because it would give away the majority of the book, but the betraying person didn’t have all the information and acted on instinct. It was impulsive and out of spite, but it was still instinct.

Characterization: 2/5

My issues described in the plot development stem from my dislike for the characters and their characterization in general.

Shane was unlikable. He was a hardened military guy who suddenly lost his wife; I get that. I thought he was unlikable before the wife died. He very quickly went from saying the perfect things, being the smiling, doting husband to an impulsive hothead who always seemed to have the most heinous insults waiting to be thrown at someone…and then right back again to the loving, cute guy. He did have some character growth throughout the book, but not enough to make him a suitable romance novel beau.

Kate was alright. I tried hard to empathize with her because she really was trying the best that she could in a terrible situation. However, she was also as capable of dangerously shifting personalities as Shane. The tension between them could go from sexual to murderous in an instant. It was actually kind of scary and I’m glad these are not real humans. Kate also had some of her background story revealed that helped clue the readers (and Shane) in on what’s going on, but it was done in two ways: an vague info-dump from Kate’s POV that read as “oh by the way you need to know this,” and a friend blindsiding Shane with the information to make him feel like an imbecile. I would have preferred a much vaguer foreshadowing early in the book and then the friend/Shane dialogue later so that the reader was feeling as much “OH CRAP” as Shane was at the time.

Rachel had a few lines of dialogue before dying. I really wish her character was fleshed out more, either in a longer beginning or through the use of flashbacks. I feel like it would have helped the readers understand why Shane was doing the crazy things he was doing, but we didn’t know her and he we didn’t truly know their relationship so Shane seemed like he was flying by the seat of his anger-fueled pants.

Writing Style: 3/5

The writing was okay. It got the job done. If the writing wasn’t okay, I don’t know if I’d have put up with the entire novel.

Readability: 3/5

I understand that in real life, in real tense and angry situations, people swear at each other. I get that. I do not, however, think it translated well in the book. It’s harder for me to read swearing than it is to hear it. A couple well placed curse words in a book drives the point home for me whereas this made me feel like I was watching reality television. It needed toned down.

I also understand that this romance subgenre is New Adult, and while it’s not going to be as steamy as an Erotica book, there are going to be some pretty graphic scenes. I guess I just expected them to be necessary to the plot rather than just…there. Some of the graphic scenes were a little creepy and not necessary at all. If I could trade those pages in for some more backstory at the beginning before killing off Rachel, I would in a heartbeat.

Total Score: 15/25, avg. 3/5

3 stars

Overall, it was alright. I didn’t hate it; I didn’t love it. I will most likely not read the next book in the series (unless I am asked to and provided a copy to read!).

About the Author

unbreakmyheartauthorNicole Jacquelyn is the mom of two little girls and a full time college student. She hasn’t watched television in well over a year, she still does things that drive her mother crazy, and she loves to read. At eight years old, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she told people she wanted to be a mom.

When she was twelve her answer changed- to author. By the time she was eighteen, when people asked her what she wanted to do with her life, she told them she really wanted to be a writer- but the odds of that happening were so slim that she’d get her business degree “just to be safe”. Her dreams stayed constant. First she became a mom, then she went to college, and during her senior year- with one daughter in first grade and the other in preschool, she sat down and wrote a story.

Goodreads  +  Amazon  +  Facebook  +  Twitter

 As always, thanks for reading. I hope to see you soon!

kacie

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FebMarApr Wrap-Up and Challenge Update | 2016

Hello, everyone! I can’t believe it’s already May! This has been the fastest spring season I’ve ever experienced. Between standardized testing at school, field trips, and coaching high school softball, it has flown by.

In fact, I haven’t posted a wrap up since the end of January. Oops. To rectify the situation, here is my wrap-up of the last three months.

wrapup

In the months of February, March, and April, I read a total of eleven books. They haven’t been my best reading months, but I feel like I read a whole lot more. Maybe that’s because I’m not including my read alouds that I did with students including Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Here’s what I read outside of the classroom, including the star ratings and date of which I finished each book:

feb

February Book Stats:

  • 5-Star Books:  None
  • 4-Star BooksThe Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan; Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • 3-Star BooksThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Other Book Facts:

I did not enjoy The Raven Boys as much as I thought I would. It was very slow and hard to read for me. I’ve heard that the next two books are better, but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue. I certainly won’t be purchasing any of them.

Book of the Month:

Of these three books, I enjoyed Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I liked the callbacks to Anna and the French Kiss and enjoyed the novel even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Lola.

Book Reviews:

None.

mar

March Book Stats:

  • 5-Star Books:  The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  • 4-Star BooksA Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
  • 1-Star BooksNever Mind My Thigh Gap by Sarah Newtwon

Other Book Facts:

I read A Study In Charlotte for a book group called “The Story Squad” on Goodreads/YouTube.

Never Mind My Thigh Gap was a review book, but I’m struggling writing the review for it because I disliked it a lot and don’t want to be too harsh. It’s coming.

Book of the Month:

I binge-read The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. I received it in an OwlCrate and read it in one sitting.

Book Reviews:

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

apr

April Book Stats:

  • 5-Star Books:  None
  • 4-Star BooksThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica; What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler; Flawed by Cecelia Ahern; Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  • 3-Star BooksFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • 2Star Books: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

Other Book Facts:

I wanted to give The Love That Split the World a lower rating, but I liked the rating.

Book of the Month:

I had no 5-Star reads, but my favorite book I read this month was Flawed by Cecelia Ahern. I received it in an OwlCrate and read it in one day. Even though it wasn’t all that special and very similar to other dystopian novels, I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

I want Josh from Isla and the Happily Ever After, thankyouverymuch.

Book Reviews:

None….yet.

Six Squared Challenge Update

This year, I am working to complete the Six Squared Challenge created by bookstacksamber. To keep track of my progress, I have a word document that breaks down each category into tables.

debut


goodreads


start a series


complete


Challenge Stats:

  • New Releases (Debut Authors): 6/6 – 100%
  • New Releases (Loved Authors): 0/6 – 0%
  • Books to Start a Series: 4/6 – 66%
  • Books to Complete a Series: 1/6 – 17%
  • Book to Movie Adaptations: 1/6 – 17%
  • Goodreads Choice Winners/Nominees – 3/6 – 50%
  • Total: 15/36 – 42%

See you later!

kacie

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TAG: Burn, Rewrite, Reread

Hello, bookfriends!

It has been forever since I’ve been active here on the blog. Life has been pretty busy. I’m not making any promises that I’ll be back in full force at any time before the end of the school year (come on, June!), but I wanted to post a non-review for you.

I haven’t done a tag since January, so a tag is my obvious choice!

I was tagged in the “Burn, Rewrite, Reread” Tag by Nick @ The Paper Dragon and Michelle @ A Halfblood Fangirl. Thanks, guys!

The name of the game is Burn, Rewrite, Reread and it plays very similarly to Kiss, Marry, Kill (or other versions of the game that use an expletive instead of “kiss”).

THE RULES!:

  1. Randomly choose 3 books. (Use the ‘random’ option on your Goodreads read shelf. Thanks for that tip, it makes this so much easier)
  2. For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread. (A lot like Kiss, Marry, Kill.)
  3. Repeat until you completed three rounds

Round 1:

16096824  heir  cinder

This round is EASY-PEASY.

Burn:  A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Even though I rated this higher than Heir of Fire, I thought ACOTAR was wildly inappropriate for the intended audience. I could rewrite this, but I would want to burn it first and then start completely anew.

RewriteHeir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. I enjoyed the first two books in the series but I didn’t like this one. I wouldn’t have to completely start over to rewrite and make this one better. I’d take out some of the slower parts, add some details to the Manon sections so that I would be less confused, and tweak some other elements here and there. (Seriously, though. Every time I got back to a Manon section, I would confuse characters’ names with their witch clans. Which witch is which?)

RereadCinder by Marissa Meyer. I highly enjoyed Cinder the first time, so I’d definitely reread it.

Round 2:

112263  thegoldencompass  wgwg

Another easy one.

BurnWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I gave this two stars. Even though I read it pretty much in one sitting, I did not enjoy it. I could easily throw it away forever.

Rewrite11/22/63 by Stephen King. The ending. I’d rewrite the ending. SIDE NOTE: If you’ve seen the Hulu show and want to read the book, you need to know that the book is extremely different from the show.

RereadThe Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. This is one of my favorite books from my childhood and I’d definitely read it again.

Round 3:

whatwesaw  rpo  say what you will

This one’s a little harder, I guess.

BurnSay What You Will by Cammie McGovern. I rated this a 4/5 stars, but it’s my least favorite of the three. I guess it has to go.

RewriteWhat We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. I just finished this book and I loved it. However, there were a few scenes in this novel that I would absolutely rewrite. The main relationship had its insta-love moments and there was this creepy seen where she meets up with another character that was out of line. I’d find another way for the two to run into each other.

RereadReady Player One by Ernest Cline. As you know, I loved this book! In fact, I might reread it as soon as I’m done posting. I’ve been wanting to reread this book ever since I finished it the first time. I loved it this much:

schwing

There you have it, folks. I hope you have an excellent day/night/weekend/week/month/whatever until you see me next. See ya later!

kacie

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday #20: Biggest Badasses

Good afternoon!

Today is Wednesday. It’s already been quite the week for me at school, but I’m getting even more excited about reading because I’m competing in a reading challenge against my fourth graders! This was decided upon today, but I’m planning on doing a whole post about it in the future. I’m excited.

Because today is Wednesday, I’m about to countdown a list of five of my favorite books or literary characters.

t5wfamily


As always, Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey. For a complete list of Wednesday-ers and topics, please visit the Goodreads group!


This week, we are focusing on the biggest literary badasses. This topic, as are they all, is subjective. Who’s to say which character excels in badassery more than the others?

Here are my favorite characters that can (more than) hold their own.

#5 – Arya Stark – A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

I love Arya. She could sense that she was going to be in danger so she cut off all her hair and became a boy…not because boys are better than girls (because they’re not), but because she could hide that way. She became a a completely new person to survive and through this, has experienced an unbelievable amount of growing up. Go Arya!

#4 – Hannibal Lecter – The Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris

Okay, guys. I had to include at least one villain on my list, right? If you know me at all, then you know that I love me a good villain. Hannibal Lecter is one of my favorites. He’s always speaking in riddles, often of literary origin, and even when things go extremely sour, he’s cool and collected. Actually, he’s extraordinarily calm. It’s creepy.

I love it.

#3 – Art3mis – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Again, if you know me, you shouldn’t be surprised. I loved this book and want to reread it again and again. Part of that reason is my love of all the characters, but specifically Art3mis. She is an amazing video gamer and egg hunter (gunter) that she is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone…and she is a GIRL. Heck yes!

#2 – Mark Watney – The Martian by Andy Weir

Mark Watney was stranded on Mars with no possibility of rescue for years. That could get a man down, but not Mark Watney. He was pretty much doomed, but he kept going and trying to find a way to survive. He even kept a sense of humor about him, like it was no big deal.

#1 – Neville Longbottom – Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I am putting Neville on this list more than that AMAZINGLY AWESOME SCENE IN THE SEVENTH BOOK/MOVIE WHEN NEVILLE KICKED SO MUCH NAGINI BUTT. *ahem*

Neville had a ton of character growth throughout the series. He started out that character that’s seemingly there just for humorous purposes, but then he evolves into so much more. I love Neville so much that I own his wand!


 

There’s my list, how about yours?

Which literary characters do you consider to be total badasses?

I’ll see you tomorrow, bookfriends!

kacie

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Kacie’s Kindle Collection

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the books that I have on my shelves. Last week, I talked about my Most Owned Authors. This week, I want to talk about a shelf that I don’t see on a regular basis as I walk through my room.

I’m talking about my Kindle bookshelf.

kindle

Key:

  • Read Books
  • Unread Books

 

  1. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  3. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
  4. It by Stephen King
  5. Outlander (7 book collection) by Diana Gabaldon
  6. Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle
  7. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  8. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  9. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
  10. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  11. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  12. Progeny of Gods by Geoffrey Storm
  13. Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
  14. Placid Girl by Brenna Erlich
  15. From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion
  16. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  17. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  18. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  19. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  20. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  21. Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz (I also own a hard copy)
  22. Allegianby Veronica Roth
  23. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  24. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  25. Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  26. This is Just Exactly Like You by Drew Perry
  27. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  28. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
  29. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  30. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (I also own hard copies)
  31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Road Dahl (I also own a hard copy)
  32. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (I also own a hard copy)
  33. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
  34. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters
  35. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  36. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
  37. Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook
  38. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
  39. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  40. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  41. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  42. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
  43. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
  44. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
  45. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  46. The Drawing of Three by Stephen King
  47. The Gunslinger by Stephen King

42/47 Read

As you can see, if I buy a book for my Kindle, I usually read it right away. The only reason I haven’t read the books that I haven’t read on this list are because I bought them when they were great deals. I do mean to finish them in the near future.

Have you read any of the selections I have on my Kindle bookshelf? 

I’ll see you soon!

kacie

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January Wrap-Up and Challenge Update | 2016

Hello, everyone! It’s the last day of January, so you know what that means!

wrapup
Also, it’s in the title of this post.

In the month of January, I read a total of seven books! I branched out of my comfort zone and  read a few books that I normally wouldn’t have picked up. I even liked most of them!

Here’s what I read, including the star ratings and date of which I finished each book:

Book of the Month

January Book Stats:

  • 5-Star Books:  Room by Emma Donoghue, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  • 4-Star BooksGo Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  • 3-Star BooksShatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Other Book Facts:

  • 5 of 7 were library books
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness was a Christmas gift
  • I bought Truthwitch by Susan Dennard for my Kindle, making it the only book purchase this month

Book of the Month:

  • Of the two 5-Star books I read this month, my favorite book read this month is Room by Emma Donoghue. It was appropriately creepy and transported me into the novel. I cannot wait to watch the movie for this very reason.

Book Reviews:

Six Squared Challenge Update

This year, I am working to complete the Six Squared Challenge created by bookstacksamber. To keep track of my progress, I have a word document that breaks down each category into tables.

Six of the seven books I read met one of the categories set forth by this challenge:

Start a Series


For this category, I am choosing 2016 releases by authors I haven’t yet read.

New Releases Debut


Goodreads


Book to Movie


 

Challenge Stats:

  • New Releases (Debut Authors): 1/6 – 17%
  • New Releases (Loved Authors): 0/6 – 0%
  • Books to Start a Series: 3/6 – 50%
  • Books to Complete a Series: 0/6 – 0%
  • Book to Movie Adaptations: 1/6 – 17%
  • Goodreads Choice Winners/Nominees – 1/6 – 17%
  • Total: 6/36 – 17%

I think my reading month was pretty fantastic. How was yours?

See you later!

kacie

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The Alphabet Book Tag

Hello, everyone! I was recently tagged by Chloë of SSJTimeLord and Her Books to attempt to find a book on my bookshelf for every letter of the alphabet. Let’s see how I do!

The Rules: The only rule is that you need to own (or to have previously owned and read) each of the books on your list. Also, articles (a, an, the) do not count as letters. Ex: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin would file under ‘D’ for Dragons rather than ‘A.’

MY BOOKISH ALPHABET

A: Armada by Ernest Cline

B: The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley

C: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

D: Dreamcatcher by Stephen King

E: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

F: From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

G: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

H: Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

I: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

J: Just After Sunset by Stephen King

K: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

L: Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz

M: The Martian by Andy Weir

N: Night by Elie Wiesel

O: October Sky by Homer Hickam

P: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Q: NONE

R: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

S: Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut

T: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

U: Under the Dome by Stephen King

V: NONE

W: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? by Peter Hedges

X: NONE

Y: NONE

Z: NONE

21/26 letters of the alphabet are accounted for! Not too shabby.

I am not tagging anyone in particular, but feel free to check out your bookshelves and play along!

See you soon and happy reading.

kacie

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