My Sweetest Escape (My Favorite Mistake Book 2) by Chelsea M. Cameron

source: free review copy via Amazon Vine
title: My Sweetest Escape
author: Chelsea M. Cameron
pages: 363
genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
published: 2014
first line: I can’t believe your parents are forcing you to leave.

The past will always find you

Jos Archer was the girl with the perfect life—until the night it all came crashing down around her. Now, nine months later, she still hasn’t begun to pick up the pieces. Even transferring to a new college and living under the watchful eye of her older sister, Renee, isn’t enough to help her feel normal again.

And then she meets Dusty Sharp. For reasons Jos can’t begin to fathom, the newly reformed campus bad boy seems determined to draw her out of her shell. And if she’s not careful, his knowing green eyes and wicked smile will make her feel things she’s no longer sure she deserves.

But even as Dusty coaxes Jos to open up about the past, he’s hiding secrets of his own. Secrets about the night her old life fell apart. When the truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together—or tear them apart for good?

My thoughts:
My Sweetest Escape is second in the My Favorite Mistake series but can be read as a stand alone.

I recently read and reviewed another new adult contemporary called As Long As You Love Me and I could not help but the notice the similarities not only in regards to one of the main characters leaving one college to start over at another one, but also in the covers. Must be a new adult romance trend.
In this story, Joscelyn Archer suffers a traumatic event which had her spiraling downhill, drinking and using drugs and doing poorly in school. Her older sister Renee has Jos transfer to a college near her and live at her house, Yellowfield House, which she shares with close friends. Renee plans on looking after Jos and making sure she stays on the right path.

Renee is super watchful of Jos, almost mother-like and sometimes she’s really too much. She was just one the characters in this book who was overly dramatic.

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Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove

Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove
source: free review copy via NetGalley
title: Beneath the Surface
author: John Hargrove
genre: non-fiction
published: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (March 24, 2015)
pages: 272
rated: An incredible eye opener
5 out of 5

Over the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld’s U.S. facilities. For Hargrove, becoming an orca trainer fulfilled a childhood dream. However, as his experience with the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld’s wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers. After leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove became one of the stars of the controversial documentary Blackfish. The outcry over the treatment of SeaWorld’s orca has now expanded beyond the outlines sketched by the award-winning documentary, with Hargrove contributing his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing both federal and state governments to act. In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove paints a compelling portrait of these highly intelligent and social creatures, including his favorite whales Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant orcas in SeaWorld. And he includes vibrant descriptions of the lives of orcas in the wild, contrasting their freedom in the ocean with their lives in SeaWorld. Hargrove’s journey is one that humanity has just begun to take—toward the realization that the relationship between the human and animal worlds must be radically rethought.

Captivity is always captivity. No matter how gentle the jailer.
p.19, Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove

My Thoughts:
After having watched the eye-opening documentary Blackfish in 2013, I was appalled and saddened to learn of the conditions of the whales in captivity at SeaWorld and in other marine theme parks.

Until viewing Blackfish it never occurred to me to wonder where the orcas at SeaWorld came from. Now that I know where they come from and how these incredibly intelligent creatures suffer in captivity, I will never visit another marine park that has these animals on display, this goes for dolphins as well.

The documentary Blackfish has interviews with former SeaWorld orca trainers, which is really what makes you stop and listen because you are hearing it directly from people who experienced it first hand. One such former trainer is John Hargrove and he went on to write this book, Beneath the Surface. I have to give it up to him because speaking out against an empire as powerful as SeaWorld cannot be an easy feat. His writing this book is a testament to how much he cares for these creatures.

Hargrove presents us with a first hand account of what it was like for him to finally reach his dream of becoming an orca trainer and how that dream turned him into an advocate for these amazing creatures who are at the mercy of human beings.

My life and career have evolved through four stages as the job I wanted more than anything else became a kind of grieving for a shattered dream.
p 248, Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove

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As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

source: Free review copy via AmazonVine
As Long As You Love Me
author: Ann Aguirre
genre: new adult romance
pages: 347
published: 2014
first line: It would be hard to argue with anyone who called me a failure.
rated: 3 out of 5 hearts

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He’s the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever—until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

My thoughts:
As Long As You Love Me is second in a three book series, but can be read as a stand alone.
Lauren comes back home to Sharon, Nebraska after flunking out of college. She was unhappy being away and wants to try and take some online courses instead. While home again, Lauren meets up with her best friend’s brother, Rob and the two begin to spend alot of time together. She has always had a thing for Rob but he has always treated her like a baby sister.

Rob is your all around nice guy but he has self-esteem issues. He feels like he is eye candy material not marriage material and he tends to sell himself short. He has a girlfriend, who is not right for him and even though he finds himself attracted to Lauren, he refuses to cheat on the girlfriend.
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Top Ten Tuesday 2/17/15 Ten Book Related Problems

This weeks TTT topic is: Ten Book Related Problems I Have (could be serious or fun!) local library...
……my local library……

What a fun topic this week. Here are my top 10….

1. Having to wait for the next book in a series.
When I was reading the Harry Potter books, the anticipation of waiting for the next book would drive me batty.

2. Not finding the time to read.
Life is busy and as much as I try to squeeze in some reading time, it doesn’t always happen. Either I don’t have the time, or I am just too mentally exhausted to sit and focus on reading.

3. A TBR mountain
I have books that I’ve been meaning to read that I purchased years ago and still have not gotten around to reading. There are two things I hoard, books and shoes. I have to say, I donate many to goodwill and to the library when they are accepting donations.

4. Non-Readers
I find it irritating when a non-reader sees me reading and asks me what the book is about, but it is really obvious they have no interest in my answer and are just making small talk. Then don’t ask.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.
-Pablo Neruda

Being a hopeless romantic you know I just had to post a little something on Valentine’s Day. Read the rest of the poem by clicking here. Enjoy your day.

disclaimer: I took the photo above with my Canon EOS Rebel T3i. It is not to be removed it from this page without my consent.