I had never heard of Kristen Granata, but through fellow ACR’ers I was told that ‘you NEED to read this book’. Since there was nothing, but praise given I decided to give this book a chance and I was so extremely happy that I did. What starts out as a ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ episode, soon morphed into an episode of SVU. Since meeting Paul in college nine years ago, Callie has had to work to make her marriage work. Sure, Paul and Callie have had some massive issues thrown their way forcing them to adapt and grow together or fail.
“When someone pushes you away, you need to find the strength to hold on tighter.”
I sat on writing this release for too long, because I was so overwhelmed with situations, the twists and turns that they went through, along with some massive speed bumps or detours to Cole and Callie’s storyline. What’s Left of Me was ridiculously incredible and amazing. It is heart and gut-wrenching, super emotional (have tissue ready), has themes of knowing your self-worth along with discovery, forgiveness, and above all, love. Honestly as I read, I had this feeling that Kristen was going to rip the rug out from underneath me and I only had seconds to get my life in order. She had me completely connected and invested to characters/situations.
Callie. I love Callie. Despite going through issues with her husband, she still had an inner fire that was temporarily dimmed, not wanting to rock the boat/outward appearances of ‘everything’s fine’. Now, in doing this, she started to develop anxiety/panic attacks. The following is a list to remind Callie of everything happy/fortunate to have (giving to her by her therapist).
“Maverick, California King Bed, Walk-in closet, Dream Kitchen,
Yard with a pool, Mercedes”
Cole is a giant teddy bear with layers of self-hate, a heart encrusted within concrete, and a cape of tragedy that gets heavier and heavier as days go by. Despite his gruffness, anguish, and growly nature, I really liked Cole. Personally, you can feel the hate he has to himself, but what he did not expect was the blonde bombshell from across the street, thinking he was the landscaper. From this moment on, life was changing for him and he was unsure if he liked it.
“It’s clear now; I lost control the second she walked into Josie’s backyard.”
Count me in as a fan, Kristen. I loved everything that this book entails. She tackled some heavy topics in a safe way as to not offend anyone. There is one thing that I still feel little unanswered, so it is 4.5 stars. Otherwise, What’s Left of Me would be a solid 5.0+.
“I’m finally the person I want to be. I say what I feel, I do what makes me happy, and I’m surrounded by loving and supportive people. I no longer live in fear. I’m free.”
5 🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋 Stars
Tijan is one of my ‘unicorn’ authors. I want to inhale every word that she puts in front of me. Her ‘Fallen Crest series’ is one of my ultimate favorites. Now, Rich Prick is about Blaise and Aspen, but there are ties back to Fallen Crest and her ‘Crew’ series. Blaise is Cross’ half-brother and Aspen is the little sister to Nate (remember ‘that’ Nate whose BF’s with Mason, but lives with Logan? Yep, that Nate). It is amazing how she seamlessly melds these different stories together.
For different reasons, Aspen and Blaise both have familial issues and they handle this ‘home’ situation differently. Aspen is the quiet, almost unforgettable character. All she wanted to do was finish her senior year the way she started it, quiet and invisible. She is secretly counting down to graduation, so she can move into the next phase of her life.
Now, the problem with wanting to remain invisible, is that someone, somewhere will see past that wallflower status and see the person. Aspen’s person was Blaise. He was able to look past her invisibility and see the real Aspen. The girl who did not want to say much, but internally had a worlds worth of feelings, thoughts, and emotions just waiting to get out.
For a high school senior, Blaise was a powerful and present character. He also had familial issues, but for completely different reasons. His form of communication and expressing himself is through his fists which have an incredibly short and easy to start wick. He is angry, for many different reasons, but notices early on that the one person who can calm his temper is Aspen. Like a flower growing towards the sunlight, Blaise finds himself gravitating to Aspen and wanting to spend his time with her.
I was completely invested into the three main relationships going on in this story. 1) Aspen’s personal story, 2) Blaise’ personal story, and finally, 3) their story together. Rich Prick makes me feel ALL the feels. From the multiple and sometimes sudden twists and turns, shocking jaw dropping moments, angst and drama, and hidden secrets that are slithering through the main characters like a 20-foot anaconda.
As I mentioned before, the Fallen Crest/Crew series were brilliant, but there is only one book that is semi equivalent to Rich Prick and that is Ryan’s Bed. I was ruined after finishing it with the hardest and heaviest book hangover to date. Well, Rich Prick, is right up that alley. When ‘the end’ was in sight I was panicked and scared. I did not want this beautiful story to end. The story with main characters who were so realistic I had to keep in mind, that they were pen and paper characters, not a true to life story. My heart is sad that it’s ending, but happy/ecstatic with the chance to have gotten to know them.
He was the star athlete.
A walking god among mere mortals.
Everyone knew Marco Cruz was destined to be a supernova burning bright in the sky.
On the outside, he seemed to have it all.
On the inside, he was a troubled boy hiding his pain.
He truly was a beautiful, vacant shell.
I thought I could fix him.
I thought I could change him.
I thought I could handle what we were.
I was wrong.
He warned me he wasn’t relationship material.
He told me he’d ruin me if I let him.
I should’ve listened.
But, I wanted to take a bite of that shiny, poisonous apple,
regardless of the consequences.
This is a standalone but if you want to know more about the characters, please read books 1 & 2.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089T4M719/…
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/-/fr/Jugador-Me…
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jugador-Mend…
Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/Jugador-Men..
Heart Thief is a gritty, dark re-telling of Moana. Here we have two sisters, Mona, and Clara. Due to their living situation, they are closer than close. Clara has yearned for freedom and gave Mona a matching trinket. She holds this close to her heart.
Soon, Mona is left alone. Living on an island full of people yet feeling like she is in solitary confinement. She lives with her father and mother, while her father is the ‘leader’ of this cult world. She was taught that all things from the outside world was evil and to only believe what her father had to say, yet, all she could think of was the outside world. Unfortunately for Mona, she was being ‘groomed’ into taking over as leader when her father stepped down. She longed for more than this.
My heart cried not only for Mona and Clara, but for certain individuals and scenarios on the island. I couldn’t help, but to root for Mona and her quest for more. Ker Dukey gave a FABULOUS re-telling of Moana yet made it a true Ker original with the twists and turns. Let me tell you the last one had me shocked and re-read until the end. WOW!! Despite being a loose re-telling, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down.
Without a doubt, no questions needed, a 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐read!!