Instalove

“There is a fine line between love and hate,” Jin said wisely.

I rolled my eyes.”For us it’s mostly just hate with a bit of civility thrown in when necessary.”

Title: Instalove

Author: Lexy Baker

Series: Standalone

Publication: March 8th 2016 by Bloomsbury Spark

Pages: 250

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

A month after losing her mother, Avery Edwards arrives on campus alone and shattered, hoping just to make it through the year and stay under the radar. Until she meets Declan Hargrove, ex-teen heartthrob and campus celebrity, who just so happens to be her Resident Advisor. With dark hair and striking blue eyes, Declan definitely lives up to the rumours.

Unfortunately, so does his reputation.

The night before Avery arrived on campus, Declan was caught with his pants down. Literally. The “Stairwell Video”, as everyone dubs the sex tape, only makes Declan more desirable on campus, while it turns the girl into an instant pariah. Livid at the double standard, Avery does everything she can to stay away from him, which is easier said than done since they live in the same building…and considering the rumours definitely weren’t exaggerating about his amazing abs.

But when they finally stop denying the sparks flying between them-in a closet at a frat party, no less-Avery panics and throws Declan under the bus in front of an entire audience ready to record them for posterity on Instagram. Unfortunately Avery’s mistake on social media will affect more than just their social life. Turns out that rumors don’t always tell the full truth. And when a new movie threatens to take Declan away from school, Avery must decide if opening her heart is worth falling for a star.

My Thoughts:

I know what you’re all thinking right now. Wait, what? Samantha read a book titled after the very thing she hates the most in books? WHAT TYPE OF SORCERY IS THIS!!

Well, rest assured my lovely bookish people, this book – though titled Instalove – features something more like insta-hate, tolerance, and burning sexual tension.

I can honestly tell you that, while I was annoyed by certain things in this book, I did enjoy it immensely. In fact, it was nothing short of entertaining. Instalove is a story about a girl going away to college, states away I might add – so I could really related to pretty much everything going through Avery’s head. Now, what I am about to say is the very reason I could not bring myself to fall in love with this book – actually, I can barely bring myself to tolerate it’s existence for one reason and one reason only: it is a complete rip off of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s New Adult college series, Wait for You.

Now, I’m going to get nit picky – really god damn nitpicky because I am extremely pissed off. I love J. Lynn’s Wait for You series – love, love, love, love, love it. So… the instant I started this book.. the similarities were hard to miss.

Here is the synopsis for Wait for You:

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

So… just think about that for a second.

Want help? Here’s a fucking list.

Instalove:

  • Main character named Avery Edwards
  • Shares Astronomy class with campus hearthrob/celebrity who also lives in the same dorm
  • Late to class on first day, heartthrob saves a seat just to tease her
  • Asks her if she wants his Banana
  • Heartthrob tells professor they’ll be lab partners because they live in the same building
  • Starts of hating said heartthrob for duchebaggery reasons (Like him making her miss her bus)
  • Shares adorable date with heartthrob to “Look at the stars”
  • Has a hidden past with a sexually abusive ex-boyfriend
  • Tells heartthrob about it only after ex-boyfriend comes for confrontation
  • Declan (Instalove‘s Cam) is a total campus sensation that every girl loves and would kill to be with
  • Has a moment on the roof of the dorm

Wait for Me:

  • Avery Morgansten
  • Shares astronomy class with heartthrob who she runs into
  • Late for class on first day, heartthrob saves her a seat
  • Cam offers her his “cookie” in front of the entire class
  • Cam claims her as a lab partner when she isn’t there because they live in the same building
  • Cam makes her miss her bus to get somewhere she wants to go just so he can talk to her
  • Avery dislikes Cam because she can’t stand the fact that every girl swoons- though she is swooning too
  • Has an adorable date on the roof of the dorm to look at the stars “for an assignment”
  • Avery has a hidden past of sexual abuse from an ex-boyfriend that only comes to light after months of receiving threatening emails/texts/ etc.
  • Only tell’s Cam about what happened after nearly doing it with him and having a panic attack because she is supposed to go home and confront ex-boyfriend (and other reasons, I just grossly simplified a shitstorm)

So yea, I’m kind of pissed off. Now I realize that these things don’t make my assumption a definite, but it – for a fan of the books – is too much to ignore. I cannot formulate my words to explain how upset I am. If you want me to be frank: Read Wait for You. Not only is it better written, it is one of the best contemporary reads I’ve ever had the honor of getting my hands on.

On the other hand, if you had no prior knowledge of Wait for You then maybe you could enjoy Instalove (Unless I’ve just ruined it for you).

Everything by Melissa Pearl (Original Pub Date: 04/17/15)

Title: Everything

Author: Melissa Pearl

Series: Songbird #3

Publication: April 24, 2015 by Melissa Pearl

Pages: 332

Source: Netgalley

Summary:

Jody Pritchett had a dream…but life had other plans. Instead of singing and dancing on Broadway, Jody’s a twenty-year-old single mom, living at home with her disapproving father and overbearing sister. The choice to keep her little Angelia came with a high price and although she adores her baby girl, it doesn’t take away the sting of kissing goodbye her chance at a career on the stage.

Leo Sinclair had his own dream…but got lost along the way. After a failed marriage that left him hollow and downtrodden, the Australian songwriter wonders what joy his future could possibly hold. Encouraged by the one family member who doesn’t think he’s a failure, Leo decides to stop living the life everyone expects him to and start chasing his dreams again.
When the perfect opportunity comes knocking, Leo leaves Australia behind and hops a flight to LA. With his sights set on selling a musical to a Broadway producer, Leo is determined to finally realize his life-long dream. But life gets in the way again, when he spots a young mother outside his apartment in tears. He never realized how one person, one voice, and one Angel could have him contemplating abandoning his dreams once again.

As these two burned hearts wrestle to overcome their past struggles, Leo and Jody must decide what dreams are worth clinging to…because, sometimes, everything you want is not everything you need.

My Thoughts:

This book is not Young Adult, it is a New Adult romance. I usually only review Young Adult books for my blog, but I will make the exception here since I was offered a copy from the publisher. I do enjoy New Adult Romance books, some of my favorites are the Wait for You books by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’d be lying if I said that my expectations weren’t high when I started this book. Not only did Armentrout set a high bar, but the reviews of Everything were all praise. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very good read – but in no way did it satisfy what I was looking for.

I loved the story line because it is something that a lot of girls go through. The main character, Jody, was in love with her singing instructor, and after their first hook up – she became pregnant. Long story short, Jody keeps the baby, instructor is an asshole, and she basically becomes the family disgrace. The story, though, is also somewhat unrealistic. There are a lot of problems, she lives at home and doesn’t have a job so she can take care of her daughter. Then, one day, the meets this guy out at an announcement board and the next day he offers to let her have an apartment for free as long as she helps him take care of the building. This guy is Leo, and the book is also told from his point of view. Now, the saving grace is that we can see that he knows how strange it is that he offered up the apartment. Once again, long story short, we have a case of insta-love and eventually a happy ever after. I’m not trying to complain, it was very well done – but I sort of enjoy the books where it is not obvious that they will work things out.

My biggest complaint, though, besides the whole insta-love thing, was Leo being Australian. I hardcore ship main characters with noticeable accents from other countries, but only when it is done correctly. With Leo, he seemed to be more American than anything else. The only time the internal Aussie showed was when we got to see him from Jody’s point of view or he threw out some random slang. Where the real problem came from, though, was Jody. Jody is an all American girl who lives in Los Angeles, and yet, there were instances where she would also throw out some Aussie slang. If the inconsistency doesn’t bother you, than you will enjoy this book much more thoroughly.

Overall, I did like Everything by Melissa Pearl – it was an enjoyable, quick read that brought a smile to my face. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something to brighten their day.

Being Brave Again by Anais Torres (Original Pub On Blog: 04/13/15)

“It’s hard to let go of something you never really had but, even harder when you know it’s everything you ever wanted,”

Title: Being Brave Again

Author: Anais Torres

Series: Standalone

Publication: February 1, 2015 by Anais Torres

Pages: 170

Source: Bookshelf

Summary: 

How do you handle life after a sexual assault?

It’s easy to ignore or deny our fears, even to ourselves, in a society that stresses the importance of being strong and brave. However, Rachel Taylor learns that courage can’t come into play unless she admits she has a fear to face down. By owning her feelings she takes the first real step towards gaining control over her life after the assault.

After two years of heartache, silence, required therapy and two failed suicide attempts. Rachel takes her recovery into her own hands. There has to be more to life than being “that girl.” If she was strong to be a survivor then, she’s strong enough to keep surviving now. So she transfers to a new school, in a new place, surrounded by strangers. Now Rachel has to come face to face with the realities of social dynamics, love triangles, and learning to trust again but can she learn to be brave again?

My Thoughts: 

I was sort of skeptical when I started to read this, but I found myself falling in love one chapter at a time. In all honesty, my favorite part of this book was the end. I love how it ends on a happy note, but it isn’t a a stereotypical happily ever after or a sad, gut-wrenching end.

First off, the main character Rachel broke my heart. What happened to her was so tragic, but she still persists. Not only does she switch to an entirely new school, she just deals with what is thrown at her. She is not perfect and no where close to being fully healed, don’t get me wrong, but the end of this book shows us that she is starting to finally be okay again.

Logan, Logan, Logan. What can I say? I hate him and I love him at the same time. I don’t hate him because he is horrible or anything, but he does (not knowing Rachel’s history) make a rape joke in front of her after she freaks out. That made me lose some respect for him, yes he apologized, but in my eyes that isn’t something that is easily forgiven. I do love him, too. He is so real, I can imagine him standing there right in front of me. He is just like every other, average guy you meet – but at the same time, he is not. He has his flaws, we can see that in the initial way he deals with finding out about Rachel’s attack and a few other things I won’t go into detail over.

Overall, I found this book to be enjoyable. It had it’s moments when it made me cry, laugh, and want to scream all at the same time. It is an amazing story, one I would recommend to anyone who asked.