Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Title: Solving for Ex
Author: Leigh Ann Kopans
Series: n/a
Publisher: indie/self-published
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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1 crush on your best friend +
1 gorgeous, scheming new girl +
1 Mathletics competition =
1 big mess


Ashley Price doesn’t have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.

But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley's place on the team, and her fragile foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it’s on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn’t count on is Sofia’s sexy twin brother Vincent.

Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he’s charming, sweet, and he’s got his eye on Ashley. He’s also not taking no for an answer. There's no real reason Ashley shouldn't like Vincent, but with the battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley’s not sure which side he’s on. Or which side she wants him to be on.

She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she’s determined to make Brendan see it.

SOLVING FOR EX is a YA contemporary romance that remixes Mansfield Park as Clueless meets Mean Girls in a crazy mix of high school society, mathletic competition, and teenage romance.

I love best friends romances. But for a long time, I wasn't sure that's where this story was headed. And that was okay. Until it wasn't. I'm being intentionally vague, but there's just so much miscommunication and avoidance and underhandedness among the characters in this story that I just couldn't appreciate it for the cute little romance it endeavored to be.

Solving for Ex has its moments. Those nerdy math jokes were really cute. And both Brendan and Ashley were adorably clueless. But bad decision-making and stereotypical behavior made the rest of the story sort of tedious. Beyond that, it was easy to guess the plot twist that shifted everything for the characters.

While this book wasn't quite what I was expecting, I still had fun reading it and enjoyed myself enough that I still want to pick up the author's other series. I'm sure many readers will find this book absolutely adorable, but I'm looking for just a bit more from my contemporary reads.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Raised on comic books and classic novels, Leigh Ann developed an early love of science fiction and literature. As an adult, she rediscovered her love for not only reading, but also writing the types of fiction that enchanted her as a teen. Her debut novel, ONE, is about a girl with only half a superpower, the boy who makes her fly, and her struggle to make herself whole.

Leigh Ann, her husband, and four children live in Columbus, Ohio. When she’s not immersed in the world of fiction, you can find her obsessing over the latest superhero movie or using her kids as an excuse to go out for ice cream (again).

Find Leigh Ann:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Title: Where You'll Find Me
Author: Erin Fletcher
Series: n/a
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods (vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn't happen) are more traditional, but who is she to judge?

Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley's trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate's recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.

Where You'll Find Me does not attempt to be humorous or provide comic relief. But it does try a little too hard to be so terribly tragic. The two main characters are hiding their horrible pasts from each other and refuse to face their own pasts, each choosing their own manner of running away from their problems. But I didn't find either of their pasts all that terrible. Sure, their families' reactions to those events is kind of horrible but nothing a little grief counseling couldn't mend.

Everyone thinks their own personal tragedy is the worst. And some people might be right. So, I won't pass judgment on how unspeakable Hanley and Nate's tragedies are or even deign to compare the two. But I do think that the whole "guy living in your garage" aspect is a little hard to swallow, if not implausible. And trusting the guy living in your garage and aiding his refuge in your garage is even more improbable. Hanley questions his motives and how dangerous Nate is for all of about five minutes before agreeing to his cockamamie plan.

Le sigh. Teenagers don't always make the best decisions, though. In fact, I probably know a few who might be as easily coerced as Hanley. Especially if a hot guy was doing the asking. So, I guess I can overlook that point for now. Aside from that, I found the characters intriguing and I wanted to see how this whole scenario played out. And I have to admit, I was pulling for these kids to get their act together, even with parents who were so unable to see the whole picture.

This book is sad, but it has some uplifting moments, as well. I liked it. I could see myself reading more from this author. She made me feel for these characters even when I thought they were behaving stupidly. And there's something to that.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

YA writer. WHERE YOU'LL FIND ME coming 1/7/14 from Entangled Teen. Lover of coffee and flip flops. Represented by John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary.

Find Erin:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads

It's been a little while since I read both of these books, but I do remember enjoying Where You'll Find Me just a bit more than Solving for Ex, despite giving them both the same rating. WYFM is just a bit grittier, a little meatier than SFE.


  1. The thought of someone living in my garage totally freaks me out...not inspires me. It's hard enough living with a house full of siblings let alone weird random freaks in the garage. *ahem* (I do love my family. I do. I'm such an introvert. ;) I haven't read anything by Leigh Ann Kopans. I do want to...buuut, I've never gotten around to it? I think I'd be more interested in her supernatural series then geeky mathematic jokes.

    1. Yeah, it would freak me out. And I don't think he would have been living there as long as this guy was before I'd noticed. o_O This was my first Leigh Ann Kopans book, too, but I think I'd also prefer the supernatural series over this. I think this was just a little below my level. :(

  2. I was a little disappointed by Solving for Ex. Probably because I could not stand Vincent. He was a creepy stalker and every time he was in a scene I started rolling my eyes and cringing. I think it was a cute book that plenty of people would probably like... but I think it's falling in the category of "I'm getting too old to read" type of book.

    The other book you have there looks pretty interesting. I love secrets and now want to know what they are. It does sort of sound weird that dude is living in her garage??? But I think I could go for it.

    1. Yech...I couldn't stand Vincent either. It was so clear he had ulterior motives, and then we he had his little freak-out...ugh. It was cute but I agree completely that I was probably too old to read and therefore not the target audience.

      I definitely liked Where You'll Find Me better. I did find myself aggravated with the MC because WHO LET'S SOME STRANGE GUY LIVE IN THEIR GARAGE? But on the whole, it was a pretty entertaining read.

  3. I haven't read Solving for Ex, but I'm so glad you enjoyed Where You'll Find Me! I also rolled my eyes when Hanley decided to trust Nate (even let him into the house! o.o) but the author made it plausible so good job, indeed.

  4. Bummer neither of these were outstanding. I've been wanting to read Solving for Ex and actually just ordered it yesterday from the library because it is finally in the system. Oh well, maybe I'll like it more. Where You'll Find Me doesn't sound like my type of book at all. Definitely skipping that one.

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