Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review: That Baby (That Boy #3) by Jillian Dodd

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: August 10, 2015
Publisher: Self-published
405 Pages

First comes love, then comes marriage . . . and then comes That Baby.
That Baby is the final book in the That Boy trilogy by USA Today bestselling author, Jillian Dodd.

It’s amazing how a few little words can change your life.
It starts with a simple I love you.
It’s made official with I do.
And becomes incredible with I’m pregnant.
Jadyn is the girl I love. The girl I’ve always loved.
Our lives are like single threads meticulously woven together—the result an exquisite tapestry of past, present, and future.
Then there are the words that will unravel me.
A few little words that will change my life. 

I just want to start off by saying that the authors dedication in the beginning of the book was one giant spoiler. Maybe next time wait until the end of the story to say things like that.

Now for the actual book...what did I just read? I have been looking forward to this book since the previous book ended. I fell in love with these characters in That Boy and while it diminished some in the sequel, the overall series made me happy. With the third book, it just died. I almost wish I hadn't read it and just ended it with That Wedding.
That Baby finds JJ and Phillip happily married and (obviously) expecting. They have their dream jobs, live in their dream house and are down the street from their best friends. Also, all of her friends get pregnant at the same time so it's just perfect *insert eye roll here*.

Throughout the series, the shining point has always been the guys: Phillip and Danny. Two complete opposites who have one of the best friendships I've ever read and they're just fun to read about. They make the scenes they're in more alive. Well, that was true in previous books but not in this one. I don't know how the author lost who these characters were but she really did. Phillip, who in the past was a best friend as well as a rock and a lover, just flat out turned into a prop here. He was only around for sex and compliments. Literally that was the extent of his character.

Danny, who believed in family and marriage and truth, became a liar and asked his friends to lie as well. Emotional cheating is still cheating and putting yourself in that position to where it happens multiple times makes you a douche. Also, shame on JJ and Phillip for allowing it to continue. And Danny, grow a freakin backbone.

Then there's the character of Lori. Oh god, what the author turned her into was horrendous. It's like she needed someone to be so horrible as to show how good and perfect that JJ was. As for Lori herself, after the things she said and did under the constant excuse of "I'm pregnant", I would never have remained friends with her. She was horrible and cruel for no reason.

Ugh, there were just so many things that didn't sit well with me in this one. The religious undertones, the "I'm so perfect" attitudes, the drama fueled by no reason. And the incident at the end - if that was supposed to give me feels...well, it kind of did, but more of the "are you effing serious?" than the ones Dodd probably wanted to create.

This finale was a major disappoint to me and has brought down my thoughts on the entire series. After reading some of Dodd's other work, I have often thought that maybe I was blinded by my love for Phillip in the first two books and that's why I rated them so high. After reading this one, I believe that is true.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: Touching Fate (The Fated #1) by Brenda Drake

I am super excited to have Brenda Drake on the release day of her first book,  Touching Fate (The Fated #1)! And even better, she's providing an awesome giveaway to one lucky reader!

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: October 12, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn’t. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift—with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person’s fate.

Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday—and Reese’s is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death…only to find the one person who can save him.

Aster doesn’t know that the hot Dutch guy she’s just met needs her help–or that he’s about to die.

But worst of all…she doesn’t know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.

Brenda was nice enough to offer up a Touching Fate swag bag to one lucky reader. US residents only please! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I have found that music plays an important part in most author's writing process. I asked Brenda if she could share some of the music that inspired her along the way. Take it away, Brenda!

Inspiration for stories come in all sorts of forms. To get into a story, I need visuals (see Touching Fate Pinterest Board) and music to set the mood. Touching Fate is one of the first releases for Entangled Crave, a teen category romance. The romance is central in the book with a touch of the paranormal. The playlist for Touching Fate starts out with lively songs, then transgresses to more mellow tunes following Aster’s and Reese’s journey. And here is their story in songs…

1. Believer by American Authors – This song makes me think of Reese. He’s a little scared and feels his demons chasing him, but he still believes he’ll find a fate changer that can remove his curse. The fun upbeat sound also goes well with the Ocean City boardwalk setting in the open pages.

2. Everything has Changed by Taylor Swift with Ed Sheeran – This song is after Aster and Reese meet and they are attracted to each other. They were fated to meet. And they both just want to get to know each other better. Although, Reese has ulterior motives, he finds his feeling for Aster growing.

3. You and Me by Lifehouse – This one plays to Reese’s feelings. He has a clock ticking and needs saving. He has nothing to lose. He can’t stop thinking about Aster. And Aster can’t stop thinking about him.

4. One More by Joshua Radin – In this song, Reese feels his curse and wants one last chance at life.

5. The Sound of Silence/Hey You mix by Face Vocal Band –This song speaks so perfectly to Reese’s final hours and the realization that he will die. The vocals in this song are haunting and desperate just like Reese’s inner struggles and his soul calling for help.

6. You’re the First, the Last, My Everything by Joshua Radin – I’m not going to giveaway any spoilers but this song probably will. I love it and who doesn’t want a love that is everything? And obviously, I love Joshua Radin’s songs.

Touching Fate Youtube Playlist:


Joshua Radin, Ed Sheeran...some of my favorites right there. I want to thank Brenda Drake for joining me today and offering up some of her favorite tunes and swag! Be sure to check out Touching Fate (The Fated #1) and come back later this week when I will be posting my review for this lovely book! Cheers!

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