Four Stars, Kasie West, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence

Listen to your heart

I don’t necessarily have a checklist when it comes to books I read, but if I did it would look something like this:

Clean  Image result for check marked box

Adorable Romance Image result for check marked box

Witty Dialogue Image result for check marked box

Believable Image result for check marked box

The latest book from Kasie West, Listen To Your Heart, has all of those and more.

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend . . . until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

The thing I loved about this book is it’s a book that I would actually feel comfortable letting my teenage daughter read. She’s not at that age yet, but I can see the glimpses of it. I want her to be strong and confident, and kind, and listen to her heart.

Some books are listed as young adult,  9th grade and up. Then I read it thinking, sure it wasn’t a ‘won’t read’, but it wasn’t exactly something I’d feel comfortable handing to my daughter. This book was clean, and so much fun. Kasie delivered the perfect summer read.

The witty banter, the adorable chemistry, the honest way she dealt with coming of age and figuring life out. Kate is exactly the type of character I’d encourage any age to read about over and over. –M.V.

 

 

 

Kasie West, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Three Stars

Lucky in Love, not in the Lottery

Hey sis, confession time, if I won the lottery I wouldn’t want you to ever know. After reading Lucky in Love by Kasie West, I wouldn’t want anyone to ever know if I won the lottery. I did a lot of deep thinking (I know, don’t be shocked) after reading this book. I could not stop thinking about the affects money has on relationships. How it can change the way people treat you. I kept thinking about our family and how it’s probably a good thing none of us married into money..

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“Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment –She wins!  In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust. Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

I loved seeing how Kasie showed the changes that happened with Maddie’s friends and family and complete strangers, once they found out she had won the lottery. I cringed and actually walked away from the book for a few days when she started making dumb choices. Like buying the car that cost more than my first Condo. I eventually picked the book up again and finished and I’m glad I did. Even though it was a predictable book, I liked seeing how an 18 year old would handle winning the lottery. I loved how she continued working at the Zoo, I felt like the money didn’t change the fundamentals of who she was and she didn’t even second guess keeping her job. I understood completely why she didn’t want certain people to find out; like the boy she was crushing on. The romance in this book actually wasn’t the main focus. The relationship she had with Seth was sweet and had cute moments, and I enjoyed how it ended. The parts that stood out the most to me though, where seeing her reaction to the fact that money wasn’t going to fix the problems in her family. When she first wins the money she is so optimistic about it helping solve all the issues with her parents and her brother. She learns pretty quick that money does not solve problems. It can sure help and is nice, but she also had to realize she wasn’t responsible for her families, and others happiness.

I like Kasie West and her books. And although I’m glad I read it and give it Three Stars, this one wasn’t my favorite of hers. That would have to go to On the Fence. You should read that one too. –M.V.

*No religious content or themes