Blog Tour: Most Likely To Succeed by Jennifer Echols {Review + Giveaway}

 

Most Likely to Succeed (Superlatives #3)

by Jennifer Echols

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: August 4th 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars

Series Reviews: Biggest Flirts | Perfect Couple

Synopsis:
 
In this sexy conclusion to The Superlatives trilogy from Endless Summer author Jennifer Echols, Sawyer and Kaye might just be perfect for each other—if only they could admit it.
As vice president of Student Council, Kaye knows the importance of keeping order. Not only in school, but in her personal life. Which is why she and her boyfriend, Aidan, already have their lives mapped out: attend Columbia University together, pursue banking careers, and eventually get married. Everything Kaye has accomplished in high school—student government, cheerleading, stellar grades—has been in preparation for that future.
To his entire class, Sawyer is an irreverent bad boy. His antics on the field as school mascot and his love of partying have earned him total slacker status. But while he and Kaye appear to be opposites on every level, fate—and their friends—keep conspiring to throw them together. Perhaps the seniors see the simmering attraction Kaye and Sawyer are unwilling to acknowledge to themselves…
 As the year unfolds, Kaye begins to realize her ideal life is not what she thought. And Sawyer decides it’s finally time to let down the facade and show everyone who he really is. Is a relationship between them most likely to succeed—or will it be their favorite mistake?
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Getting to know Sawyer’s softer side has been something I’ve wanted since being introduced to his character. I’m so glad that this book is focused on him and Kaye, with the other characters taking a seat in the background. The one thing I love about this trilogy is that each book is about a different couple, and we get them as themselves and not how the others see them. This is one of my favorite young adult contemporary series to read and I’m sad to see it end. And if you don’t think that Sawyer is book boyfriend material by the end of this trilogy, clearly you are delusional. Echols knows how to keep you engaged with these characters, even with all the teenage angst trying to throw you off.

Let’s face it, Aiden is a douche. I hate the way he treats Kaye, like she should be grateful to know him, let alone be in a relationship. When you have parents breathing down your neck about college and doing great at everything, it’s easy to just go along with whatever. So, I can understand why Kaye put up with Aiden for as long as she did. That’s not to say that I didn’t want to yell at her – I’ve been dying to do it since the last book. Sawyer is your ever present bad boy. Well, that’s not entirely true. I thought that it would be bittersweet when it came to his character. Sure, I love the mascot who is always up to no good. I love the sweet and caring Sawyer more. He had me swooning, swear to god. Kaye doesn’t really know what to think at first when she realizes that Sawyer is really in to her. After all the time spent together during class, games, and meetings, I just knew that sparks would fly between these two. The ending wrapped up nicely and it wasn’t overly done.

This is one series that I would recommend to any lover of teen romance. It’s not all sunshine and roses, and that’s precisely why I love it so much. You get the good right along with the bad, there’s no in between. The couples are adorable, and the everyday high school drama will keep you entertained throughout. There are some cliche` notions here and there, but they didn’t make me want to stop reading. Definitely recommended!!

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Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

US Only
If the winner has one of the Superlatives book, he/she can choose another book instead written by Jennifer Echols.

{Blog Tour} Review: Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass

 

Welcome to my stop on the Love & Other Theories tour. Check out my review and enter the giveaways at the bottom. There are 2 giveaways for this tour, US Only and an INT. Don’t forget to check out the other hosts for this tour to see playlists, teasers, interview with the author, excerpts and much more!!

 

Love and Other Theories

by Alexis Bass

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: December 31st 2014

Rate: 3 Umbrellas

Synopsis:
If you want more, you have to give less.
That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.
So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.
This is one of those books that I’m not sure if I really love it or not. There are some very pivotal moments that made me tear up, get angry, or just sigh in relief. It’s hard to read on certain parts because this hit close to home, as I was remembering lots of things that happened back when I was in high school. I think that everyone who reads this book will connect with it on some level.
Aubrey and her friends made a pact: don’t commit to a relationship and/or give your heart away, only to be crushed in the end. Pretty simple as rules go, but the heart wants what the heart wants. After finishing this book, I felt all kinds of things. I pitied Aubrey, to be honest. Every person, girl or boy, should know what it’s like to love. If your heart gets broken in the end, that should only make you stronger and more aware about what TRUE LOVE really feels like. Now, in walks Nathan with his good looks and charming personality, and Aubrey is on the brink of losing that self-supposed image that she’s maintained since making that ridiculous pact. Getting into the romance of these two was very realistic. I’m not saying that all that happened between them is what ALL teenagers do, but I get that it does happen. I, maybe, swooned a few times. Where it all went wrong, I have no clue. I was cursing the smallness of the situations that occurred, not only between these two, but the other characters as well.
It’s no secret that teenagers can be pretty mean in high school. I’ve had my share of experiences with every kind. Aubrey and her friends are the definition of “petty”. Mean Girls? They come close, let me just tell you. But, I did like the way the author assimilated real life happenings into this book. It’s not all perfect and wrapped up in a bow, like most YA contemporary books tend to have these days. So, for that, I kept reading. If a book makes you feel every emotion imaginable, then the author did her job. As much as I liked reading this though, I still feel like it didn’t end like it should have. There’s nothing wrong with trials and tribulations, as long as those same things bring out the best at the end. Sadly, I felt kinda incomplete.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, yes I would. If you are looking for a YA book that will have your emotions run the gamut, then this is that book. I’m not saying that it will be all great, but I can respect the realistic feel. As should everyone that reads it.
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“Careful, subtle and aching. ” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Warning: Bass’s debut novel will ignite ALL your feelings!” – Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy
“I loved LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES. Alexis Bass writes a compelling critique of the ways society expects girls to behave in their relationships, the lies girls tell each other–and themselves–to keep from getting hurt, and, when all is said and done, how only the heart knows the truth.” – Kristin Halbrook, author of Nobody But Us and co-founder of YA Highway
“Alexis Bass masterfully captures all the complexities of high school relationships. A lovely debut.” – Amanda Maciel, author of Tease
“A bold debut that authentically captures the frenzy of love, lust, and senior year of high school!” – Julie Murphy, author of Side Effects May Vary
“Love and Other Theories challenged my assumptions, dared me to think differently and burrowed into my heart. A heart-achingly beautiful story about whether it is better to protect your heart or to take the biggest risk of all.” – Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds
“In her debut novel, Bass provides honest, incisive, and sometimes uncomfortable insights into the complicated intersections of friendship and romance, the ways sex can be wielded as a weapon, and the measures some teens take to protect themselves from pain.” — Publishers Weekly
“Bass’s debut is an entertaining perspective on the battlefield of the teen dating world.” —Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
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Alexis Bass grew up in Washington, went to college in Arizona, and spent her early twenties in Seattle. She currently lives in Northern California with Dylan McKay, her gorgeous and rambunctious golden retriever. She loves good fashion and good TV as much as a good book, and is a huge advocate of the three C’s: coffee, chocolate, and cheese. LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is her first novel.

 

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Blog Tour: Athena’s Ashes by Jamie Grey {Excerpt + Giveaway}

 

Athena’s Ashes (Star Thief Chronicles #2)
Publisher: Clever Crow Press
Release Date: August 26th 2014

 

Synopsis:
It’s Renna’s biggest job yet – convincing MYTH leadership that she’s put away her lock picks and is ready to save the galaxy, despite the dangerous implant in her brain. But with the Athena on the run, she’s working solo and facing her most ruthless enemy, the traitor Pallas, who’ll go to any lengths to destroy the MYTH organization. Including framing Renna for a devastating assault on MYTH HQ that leaves their defenses crippled and hundreds dead.
Now that MYTH believes she’s a dangerous double-agent, Renna escapes their firing squad before they put more holes in her than a pair of fishnet stockings. But the ticking time-bomb in her head is the one thing Pallas needs to complete his master plan and he’s not about to let her get away. Even worse, he’s discovered the only thing that will bring Renna to her knees – threatening Captain Nick Finn.

Out of time and options, Renna’s got one shot to take down the traitor before he annihilates everything she loves, even though winning this battle may cost her everything.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE
For someone who was supposed to be the best thief in the galaxy, Renna had been spending entirely too much time locked up lately.Not that a high-security hospital room in a secret MYTH base was much of a prison for her, but the IV line snaking from her arm might as well have been a pair of Saltani iron handcuffs. She swung her feet over the edge of the lumpy bed and watched the holoscreen on the far wall. Stats scrolled past, red text on the black background. Her vitals were stable; blood pressure was fine. Looking at her chart, she was the picture of health.Except for the cybernetic implant taking over her mind.Renna rubbed the back of her neck where the original incision site had started to throb. It had been doing that a lot lately, thanks to Navang’s depraved experiments and the drugs he’d injected her with. Drugs he’d used to create a whole army of human-robot hybrids.Thana Samil, the MYTH doctor in charge of her case, said it was nothing to worry about, but Renna knew better. In the five days she’d been locked up here in the MYTH facility, the pain in her head had only gotten worse.And then there were the weird side effects. She hadn’t stepped foot outside her room, but she knew a bank of super-servers sat in the northeast corner of the facility, as if she’d drawn the blueprints herself. Communications relays resided on each corner of the roof. She’d even felt the throb of the automated defense cannons guarding the facility.If the doctor and her team didn’t figure out how to slow down the integration between the implant and her nervous system, Renna would be a walking machine before she had the chance to stop the person behind all this.Pallas.If Renna
’s hunch was right, the traitor was close enough to touch. Maybe even inside this facility. But she’d never find him if she was trapped here for the rest of her short life. She slid off the bed to pace the stark room, careful not to disturb the needles in her arm. Six steps to the door. Turn around. Six steps back to the bed.She’d done this to herself. She’d volunteered to be locked away and dissected, just to keep Myka Aldani safe. To keep Finn safe.Her pacing slowed as a pang of longing shot through her. Captain Nick Finn. Former gang member turned MYTH soldier and her first childhood crush. Now, she suspected that she’d fallen in love with him, which worried her. Renna had spent most of her life making sure that didn’t happen. Yet somehow his bright blue eyes, square jaw, and straight-laced moral code had slipped through her defenses.And oh, the way his fingers had tantalizingly stroked her most sensitive places…Renna felt herself go warm as she remembered the last time she’d been with him. She’d escaped from Navang, but not before he’d started the process of taking over her implant. Finn had spent the night in her room, waiting for her to regain consciousness, and she’d practically begged him to make love to her. She could still feel the heat of his skin. She inhaled, half-expecting to smell his scent—sandalwood, gun grease, and something that was inexplicably him.She needed to know what was going on between them, and if that meant more bunk-side exploration, she’d totally take one for the team. But until she knew how to stop Pallas and put an end to these experiments, she wasn’t going anywhere, despite the urge she had to run back to Finn. She’d stay in this facility and let them poke and prod her, just to protect him and Myka. Even if it made her crazy.The lock on her door beeped, and high-heeled shoes clacked across the threshold. Speak of the devil.Renna turned as Dr. Samil entered the room. The young doctor wore a pleasant smile despite the
slightly frazzled appearance of her long blonde hair escaping the messy bun she always wore. Renna leaned back against the edge of her bed. “Do you always have to look so happy at the prospect of stabbing me with those instruments of torture?”Dr. Samil’s blue eyes sparkled. “For someone who’s done her share of killing, I can’t believe you have a needle phobia.”“We all have our weaknesses,” Renna said with a shrug. “Pointy, shiny, metal bloodsuckers just happen to be mine.” Samil set her holopad down on the counter and pressed her thumb to the scanner to unlock the drawer. She pulled out a tray of tools. “I guess it’s time for the torture to begin.” The doctor brushed her bangs back off her forehead, and Renna gritted her teeth as she slid back onto the bed, preparing to be poked.“How’d the last test go? Is the implant fusing normally?” Renna stared pointedly at the far wall as Samil fumbled with the glinting needles on the tray. “Or whatever normal is in this fucked-up situation.”The doctor shook her head, flicking a finger against one of the syringes before pushing the plunger. Pink-tinged liquid squirted from the needle. “I wish I knew. I haven’t seen anything like this before. It’s fascinating.” Her voice was full of that breathless excitement Renna had come to hate. “Whatever Dr. Navang did prompted your ordinarily harmless implant to start fusing directly with your nervous system. If my hunch is right, any other cybernetic implants installed during this time would also fuse to your body. You could even start picking up other electronic signals.”Renna flinched. Not only because of the quick jab of pain as the doctor deftly slid the needle into her arm, but because she was already picking up those electronic signals. Things were progressing faster than the doctor knew.“Relax. I promise this won’t hurt.”“That’s what Navang said.” Renna tilted her head and
fixed Samil with a frown. “And look how that turned out.”The doctor finished injecting Renna with whatever drug cocktail she was trying today, then smiled. “There. Wasn’t so bad, was it? I promise I don’t like torturing you any more than you like being tortured. Unfortunately, I need one more sample to check your antibody levels.”“Of course you do.” Renna grudgingly let the woman extract a vial of blood and then crossed her arms as Samil slipped the vial into her pocket. “So what did you mean about the other implants?”Dr. Samil nodded as she tapped some information into her tablet. “Navang wanted to create an army of hybrids he could control, right? Well, the first step was to keep their bodies from rejecting the modified implants he installed. But it didn’t work. His technique destroyed some of their own tissue and risked the constant rejection of the implants. Hence the need for a steady infusion of the anti-rejection medications.“The new formula he tested on you was a different attempt at the same thing. If he could find a way to make your body fuse with the implant, make it think it was part of itself, eventually technology could overtake biology. Even better, when the process was complete, depending on the type of implant, he could have different types of soldiers. He’d be able to control them all using his neural network. They’d be nothing but mindless robots until he gave them orders.”Samil’s voice rose as she spoke, her gestures growing even more animated, but a dull ache had started in Renna’s stomach. She remembered the expressionless eyes of the minions at Navang’s lab as she’d slaughtered them to ensure Finn and Myka’s escape. Her heart squeezed as she recalled Viktis’s assurance that she would make it. Her skin crawled at the realization that she was nothing more than an experiment to the doctor, a shiny new toy to be studied until the novelty waned.But this was Renna’s life. She wasn’t going to sit here helpless while other people tried to save her. “How long do I have?” she interrupted before Samil could get even more excited. The woman
positively hummed.Samil paused, blinking at Renna. “Of course. Right. My assistant has had some success in creating a new drug to slow the fusion. It’s not exact, but I’m hopeful it will work.” Wispy, flyaway hairs floated around her face like a halo as she shook her head. “I’m confident we’ll have a breakthrough soon. I promise we’ll figure this out.”“Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Doctor. The headaches are getting worse every day.” Renna rubbed at her sore temples, closing her eyes as a wave of pain started to build. She shored up the walls surrounding her heart and refused to even think about losing the connection she’d made with Finn. “On the plus side, if your drugs don’t work and the implant takes over my brain, I hear metal body suits are all the rage this year.”Samil crossed her arms and leaned back against the table, a frown marring her pretty features. “You’re awfully calm about this whole situation.”Renna shrugged. She was ten years younger than the doctor, but she suddenly felt like she was a hundred years older. “I’ve learned to deal with the unexpected in my line of work, doc. If you can’t change something, you figure out how to work around it. It’s the only way to survive.”“That’s a cynical view of life for someone who’s only twenty-three.”“You saw my file. I grew up in the Izan tenements on Earth, with a prostitute for a mother and a background in stealing. I’ve worked hard to move on, but growing up like that leaves a scar. Or two.” Renna forced herself not to touch the physical scar on her neck, the daily reminder of that life and everything she’d worked so hard to forget.Thinking about her mother’s attempt to kill her in a drug-induced rage still made Renna flush with shame and hatred. Still made her wary of trusting anyone. Even Finn.Samil’s expression softened. “I know. And for someone with your past, you’ve come a long way.
You’re now part of an intergalactic organization, doing your part to save the universe. You’ve become something bigger than just a thief. I admire you for that.”“If I had a choice, I would’ve been long gone by now. I’m no hero, and I certainly am not a team player. I don’t need to depend on a galactic organization. I just need myself.” Renna settled back against the pillows and crossed her arms. “MYTH can keep its good deeds. I’m just in this for the dental plan.” And just maybe to make sure she got a shot at happily ever after.Samil chuckled, and Renna felt a responding smile twist her lips. Despite the needles and the fact that the doctor viewed Renna as a science experiment, she liked the woman. Samil was whip-smart, and if anyone could solve this puzzle, it would be her.“What am I going to do with you, dove?” the doctor asked with a shake of her head.“Save me, I hope.” But the doctor could stop using that stupid nickname any time now. Thinking of Renna as a meek little dove was laughable.“I’m doing my best. I do wish Navang’s facility hadn’t been destroyed. If I had access to his drugs and research, it would make all of this so much easier. Or even Myka Aldani. At one time, he was the key to all of this.” Renna’s pulse jumped, and she dropped her gaze to the stark white tiles on the floor. This was exactly why she’d sent Finn on the run with Myka. Destroying the facility had been the only way to stop the human-robot hybrid army Navang and Pallas were building, but it had also signed Renna’s death warrant and put the kid in even more danger.Had she made the right choice? Could she have stopped Navang another way?“Do you know why Captain Finn destroyed the place?” Samil asked. “It doesn’t make sense. The captain doesn’t disobey orders.”“You know Finn?” She clenched her hands in her lap at the unexpected pang of jealousy. The
past seven years had changed Finn into a different person, and those years were wrapped in a protective cloak that seemed to surround his heart. He was different, but that Finn from her childhood still remained. She’d thought they’d have plenty of time to get to know him again, to figure out if there was, in fact, a relationship developing under her nose, but life never worked out the way she planned.Samil nodded. “I was ship doctor for a year on the Athena. He’s a good man. It must have been something big for him to turn his back on MYTH.” Her blue eyes searched Renna’s. “Are you sure he didn’t tell you anything?”A lump formed in her throat, and she had to swallow around it before answering. “Finn and I didn’t exactly get along when I came on board.” Sticking to half-truths was the safest bet for now, until she figured out who she could trust.“Right. I’d heard he was angry that Major Dallas wanted him to work with a thief on the last mission. You, I presume?”“Guilty as charged. He wasn’t likely to confide in me either way.”“Probably not. I know how he felt about people like you.” Samil’s eyes widened. “I mean, people who don’t follow the law.” She shook her head with an apologetic frown. “I’m sorry, this isn’t coming out right. I just mean Finn’s a good man. For him to go on the run from MYTH means something is seriously wrong.”Renna nodded. “I get it. I’m a thief. Untrustworthy. But I was hired to do a job and that’s what I did.”“I didn’t mean anything by it, Renna. I’m sorry.” The doctor glanced at the door. “Now that I’ve put my foot in it, I’m going to go make sure my assistant has your newest sample. Stay positive, Renna, it’s going to be fine.”“I hope you’re right because it feels like my brain is about to ooze out my ears.”Samil
unlocked another drawer with her thumbprint and rummaged inside. She pulled out a small, flesh-colored disk. “Here, put this medipatch on. It should help with the pain.”Renna slapped it on her arm. “Thanks, doc. I’ll see you later. Hopefully much, much later.” Samil smiled as she left. The door swished shut behind her, and the sound of the lock re-engaging echoed through the room..

 


 
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Jamie Grey spent most of her childhood writing stories about princesses who saved the day and pretending to be a daring explorer. It wasn’t until much later that she realized she should combine the two. Now, as a tech-obsessed gamer geek, her novels mix amazing scientific developments, future worlds, and the remarkable characters that live in them.

Jamie lives in Michigan with her boyfriend and their pets, who luckily tolerate her overspending on tea, books, and video games. You can learn more about her at www.jamiegreybooks.com, or follow her on twitter via @jamie_grey.

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