Review: 180 Seconds by Jessica Park

When will I learn to read JP books with a box of tissues nearby? I mean seriously, these books reek havoc on my heart.

Allison is a very closed off person. She’s been tossed around in foster care and has learned it’s better to keep to herself than to put herself out there and be rejected or left behind. She had my heart all twisty. She struggles with letting people in. I wanted to reach in and hug her.

After a social media experiment she was pulled into, she realizes that she needs to let people in and to open up her heart a little. There are so many people around her that would love to get close, if only she’d let them. Anxiety is hard to face and even more difficult to let go.

I loved Esben. He’s bigger than life, with a heart of gold. Really, he’s perfect in all the ways that matter. It was wild to see his reaction to the 180 Seconds experiment and to watch him chip away at Allison’s wall until it falls at her feet. It will not be easy. There will be tears. LOTS of tears. But they’ll be worth it.

“I don’t need protection from your past. I need protection from mine.”

Jessica’s books have a way of stringing you along, then tearing your heart out and forcing you to take a deep breath before continuing. Angst must be her middle name. If you loved Flat Out Celeste and Left Drowning/Restless Waters, then this book is right up your alley. This story made me take a good long look at my own life and others around me. You never know who might need a little extra patience and love.

Be brave.

~Melpomene

Buy 180 Seconds here: http://amzn.to/2pTVpo4

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Melpomene’s Top 15 of 2015

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I decided to stick with a top 15 instead of 25 this year. 25 seemed a bit overachieving, so I toned it down a smidge. And I was going to write this long and beautiful post, but then I realized I just can’t write long and beautifully, so you get short and sweet. Here you go.

1. Before We Were Strangers: A Love Story by Renee Carlino

2. November 9: A Novel by Colleen Hoover

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

4. Iniquity (The Premonition Series Book 5) by Amy Bartol

5. Breathe (Colorado Mountain Series Book 4) by Kristen Ashley

6. Restless Waters: A Left Drowning Novel (Left Drowning Series Book 2) by Jessica Park

7. The Song of David (The Law of Moses Book 2) by Amy Harmon

8. Kyland by Mia Sheridan

9. The Forgotten Mountain (The Collectors’ Society Book 3) by Heather Lyons

10. The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

11. Where Sea Meets Sky: A Novel by Karina Halle

12. The Air He Breathes by Brittiany C. Cherry

13. Bad Romeo (The Starcrossed Series Book 1) by Leisa Rayven

14. Burned: Fever Series Book 7 by Karen Marie Moning

15. The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 13) by J.R. Ward

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The Gamble (Colorado Mountain Series Book 1) by Kristen Ashley

Elude (Eagle Elite Book 6) by Rachel VanDyken

Walk Through Fire (Chaos) by Kristen Ashley

Gus by Kim Holden

The Raven (Florentine series Book 1) by Sylvain Reynard

What were some of your favorites??

~Melpomene

Audible Review: Restless Waters by Jessica Park

01 aud Just when I thought a book couldn’t get any better… Man, oh man! I just finished listening to the audible version and I’m a puddle on the floor. Since I’ve read the story, I knew what was going to happen. But nothing could prepare me for actually hearing this heartbreaking story. Between the super talented narrator’s voice and the beautiful music that was sung throughout, I was overcome with emotions. I tend to get that way when I read anyways, but this was more. It’s hard to describe, but when you actually hear the words, they have more of an impact. In fact, my husband was laughing at me, as the tears fell down my face, more than once last night. I was a mess.

Arielle DeLisle was fantastic as the narrator. She made me forget everything and drew me in. Her voice brought so much emotion, I could feel Sabin’s torment and pain. It gutted me. And then to add Troy’s music and voice in the mix, I was sunk. Totally sunk. He captured Sabin’s emotions perfectly.

I know that Audible members can get 50% off right now, before the holidays. So if you’re on the fence about getting this, trust me. You want to hear this.

~Melpomene

Grab the audible version HERE.

Grab the kindle version HERE. It’s actually free on KU!

Check out my review HERE.

Review: Restless Waters(Left Drowning #2) by Jessica Park

01 rest My heart has been squeezed and shredded, and glued and mended. Restless Waters is filled with enough emotion to sweep you out to sea, unless you’re holding tight to someone.

“Breathe. Just breathe.”

“There’s no air, Blythe.”

“Reach for me. I won’t let you drown. I’m right here.”

He rubs my back some more and then laughs lightly. “You’re already taken.”

“I have two hands, Sabin. Grab one.”

I have loved Sabin from the very first moment we met him, in Left Drowning. I knew there was more going on inside his head than he let on. I KNEW that his story, however it was told, was going to make me feel. I was so right.

SYNOPSIS
A storm is coming, and with storms come restless waters.

Pulled from the depths of catastrophe and depression, Blythe McGuire has learned to escape from her past while embracing the future. A future now entwined with the Shepherd siblings.

With Chris, she shares a staggering romance that kicks heartbreak’s ass.

With Sabin, she shares an intense friendship, one that’s becoming more complicated than either had expected. A friendship now being put to the test because Sabin’s brutal past still haunts him. Because trauma is the gift that keeps on giving without mercy.

Now Sabin is the one left drowning and struggling to breathe, and his turmoil threatens to send all three into dark currents they cannot escape. Even after going through her own hell, saving Sabin will take much more than Blythe had anticipated. Their connection and their love could help, but getting him to reach for her hand could be Blythe’s biggest challenge ever.

Blythe has found a way to breathe, with the love of Chris and Sabin. Sabin is her best friend. In fact, everyone would count themselves lucky to have a friend like Sabin. He is charismatic and loving, and loyal to a fault. He wants his loved ones to feel no pain. But as they grow closer, she notices that Sabin is falling apart. He wants to be free, but at the same time, he can’t stand being alone. If Blythe isn’t strong enough to save him, she’s going to drown right along with him.

My heart was breaking this entire time. True to the Left Drowning feel, I had to step away from everyone, as I couldn’t contain the sobs that overcame me, at one scene. I was completely caught off guard and my heart squeezed so tight.

I wanted Sabin to be happy. But no matter how loud and crazy he was, there was undercurrent within him, that you felt through the pages. Restless waters is the perfect description of him. He was all over the place. Never settled. He was hurting and helpless. After growing up the crazy household they did, there are bound to be scars that remain below the surface. Healing doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of fierce love and compassion to prevent someone from drowning in sadness and pain.

So hold on. Grab a box of tissues and get cozy. You won’t want to get up until you’ve finished.

~Melpomene

Buy Restless Waters: A Left Drowning Novel (Left Drowning Series Book 2)

Read Left Drowning (Left Drowning Series Book 1) first, to fully understand where Sabin is coming from. This book is in my top 10 of all times. I have much love for this series.

Melpomene’s Top 25 of 2014

What a year!!!! Seriously!!! I have read so many great books, that trying to pick only 25 nearly gave me an ulcer. Stressful. While many of these weren’t released in 2014, I didn’t read them until this year. But here it is:

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1. Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park
2. Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
3. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
4. The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons
5. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
6. The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons
7. Bright Side by Kim Holden
8. The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon
9. Elicit by Rachel Van Dyken
10. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

The rest are in no particular order
11. Even the Moon has Scars by Steph Campbell
12. Becoming Calder and Finding Eden by Mia Sheridan Those two go together. They’re a combo pack.
13. Jacked by Tina Reber
14. Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie
15. Red at Night by Katie McGarry
16. The King by JR Ward
17. Vain by Fisher Amelie
18. Greed by Fisher Amelie
19. Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover
20. Until the End by Abbi Glines
21. Burying Water by KA Tucker
22. Infinity + One by Amy Harmon
23. Until We Fly by Courtney Cole
24. Hate: A Love Story by Laurel Ulen Curtis
25. Letting Go by Molly McAdams

What are some of yours??

Listen to this!!!

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Do you listen to books?? I must admit, up til a year ago, the only audible books I listened to were Hank the Cowdog, with my kids. I’m dead serious. They’re funny as heck, but when you find yourself listening, in your car, ALONE, it’s time to be a grown up and listen to grown up books.

Around this time last year, I grabbed a ton of the classics, which were free at the time. But have I listened to them?? That would be a big fat NO. However, around this past March, a friend gifted me Maybe Someday, by Colleen Hoover. Since I already read the book, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it. But, I stinking loved it!! I fell in love with Zachary Webber, during this book. Seriously. That kid can read me the phone book and I would sit and listen to it.

Since then, I’ve found myself buying more and actually wanting to walk my dog and go grocery shopping alone, just so I can listen to some books. So far this year, I’ve listened to Flat-Out Love, by Jessica Park, Red Hill, by Jamie McGuire, Hopeless, by Colleen Hoover, and Divergent, by Veronica Roth. I started The Fault in Our Stars, but never finished and I’m currently listening to Outlander: A Novel.

But by far, the BEST BEST BEST audible I’ve listened to is The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. I’ve read the book a couple times and it’s in my top 5, but when I listened to it, I lived it. The guy who does the guy’s voice, Kirby Heyborne, did an amazing job!! He had such emotions I seriously thought he was crying. He sounded so believable. If anyone asks what audible they should try, I always tell them this one. Talking about it now, kinda makes me wanna go and listen again.

Sometimes the book is read by a single person, which can be good or bad. I’ve tried to listen to a few and found them quite annoying, but some I find, very enjoyable. My first experience was with Flat-Out Love. At first I wasn’t so sure I was going to like it, but after a little bit, I actually forgot it was only one person. That book was so sweet and funny, I actually startled a few people, in the grocery store, when I was listening to it.

Some books are read my numerous people. Red Hill, for example, was read by three different voices. Zachary Webber *sigh* was one of them. I actually had my hubby listen to this one, on our way to Chicago, in June. The story was so well written, that I was on the edge of my seat listening. My poor hubby kept getting shushed, even though I read the book before. I just wanted to listen to them, not him. The voices were so smooth I felt like I was in a trance.

So far I’ve only listened to books that I’ve already read. I think I enjoy the story more that way. For me, if I never knew the story, I think it would be hard to pay attention. I know I would miss things. My life isn’t always silent and I get distracted easily. So I think I’ll keep to previously read books. Up next, on my audible list, Ugly Love, by Colleen Hoover.

If you’ve never tried audible, I encourage you to do so. They’re always running deals. In fact, if you’re a new subscriber, I think you get 2 free books. That’s great!! And even paying monthly, is sometimes half of what an audible costs. It’s so worth it. And if you do try, let me know which ones you get.

~Melpomene

Buy Flat-Out Love

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

Red Hill

Maybe Someday

Hopeless

Divergent

The Fault in Our Stars

Outlander: A Novel

Ugly Love: A Novel

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog

Preview: Flat-Out Celeste, by Jessica Park

FLC

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Synopsis
Whether you were charmed by Celeste in Flat-Out Love or are meeting her for the first time, this book is a joyous celebration of differences, about battling private wars that rage in our heads and in our hearts, and—very much so— this is a story about first love.

For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.

But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him.

Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.

I loved Flat-Out Love and Flat-Out Matt. Heck, I even cried when reading those! But nothing prepared me for what this book would do to me. Nothing prepared me for the heartbreaking feelings of loneliness, Celeste would show us. The feelings of trying to fit the mold that world has put on us, was almost more than I could handle. The feelings of wanting to find that perfect person, who will accept you, warts and all, and love you for them.

Celeste know she’s different. She tries to blend in and go unnoticed. She wishes she had friends, but thinks she’s too different and people won’t “get her”. Getting through high school is just the next step in her life. She’ll go to college, because that’s just what comes next. But what she wasn’t planning on, was Justin Milano. Meeting him throws a wrench in her plan and makes her start to think about other things besides school.

Justin is just the best. When we first meet him, I thought he was perfect. Outgoing. Crazy. Silly. But under that silliness was a boy made just for Celeste.

“You’re in a war.”

It was a painfully accurate way to describe her state. “I am.”

“I understand that. There are battles, some greater than others. But they are worth getting through.”He held her tighter. “This is the fight, Celeste. You’re in the middle of it. I feel that.”

“Because you have endured your own?”

Yes. I got through mine, and you will get though yours.”

For some people, this is a romance. It’s about a young quirky girl who meets a young quirky boy and live happily ever after. But this story was so much more. It’s about being yourself. It’s about letting people in, even though you’re scared. It’s about never giving up on yourself. It’s about letting go and seeing where the wind may take you. And, of course, it has a bit of love.

There are no words to explain how I felt when I finished reading this book. To say I loved it, doesn’t even come close. I am sitting here sobbing and can’t stop. When I thought Jessica’s, Left Drowning, gripped me, that was nothing compared to this. NOTHING.

“I found my hinge, Matty.”

On a personal note, I love someone who could easily be Justin or Celeste. Heck, in high school, either one of them could’ve been me. So as I was reading my heart was shattering. The feelings of helplessness and longing were almost too much to bare. I know my loved one has felt this way. The feelings of trying to change, as to appear “normal”, and it making no difference, almost crippled me. I felt horrible!! Because in fact, I actually encouraged the “acting normal” a few times. Now I realize this is fiction, but this gave me a glimpse into the workings of my loved one. Never again will I be like that. People should be able to be themselves, no matter what others think. High school sucks. Truly, it does.

This book also gave me hope that there is the perfect mate for my loved one. The perfect person to hold them together when the world tears them apart. The perfect person to calm and focus them, when things get out of control. The perfect person to love them, when they feel no one ever could.

I received this ARC, for an honest opinion. So again I’ll say, my honest opinion is, that this was way more than a NA romance book to me, it was life changing.

~Melpomene

Buy Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love)

Buy Flat-Out Love

Buy Flat-Out Matt (Flat-Out Love)