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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release - Review & Giveaway - How Willa Got Her Groove Back by Emily McKay

Title: How Willa Got Her Groove Back
(Creative HeArts #2 - companion series)
Release date:  February 25th, 2016
Author: Emily McKay
Entangled Crush

About the book:

When your life feels like a bad movie, rewrite the script.

When Willa Schofer's father comes home from a business trip with an über-famous new fiancée, Willa's senior year blows up in paparazzi-fueled flames. Overnight, she has a new house, a new car, and a new soon-to-be stepbrother--the unbelievably hot, unbelievably arrogant, Finn McCain. Thank god he's constantly pushing her buttons, or she might do something irresponsible. Like fall for the jerk.

Just when Willa's decided to avoid him for, oh, ever, Finn lands in the center of her senior project team. Seriously--how hard is it to shake a guy? At least her work on the project snagged the attention of the (second) hottest guy in school. He might only be into her because of her famous stepmom, and he's not quite as exciting as a certain annoying housemate, but at least she's allowed to crush on the guy.

Because crushing on your annoying stepbrother? So not cool.

About the author:

Emily McKay is a life-long fan of books, pop-culture and anything geeky. She has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and baking cookies. When she’s not kicking-ass and scooping cookie dough, she’s watching videos from Screen Junkies (her favorite Youtube channel) or Pemberly Digital or Classic Alice. Okay, she has a Youtube problem! She’s seeking help. Really. Though, she may also have a slight problem with procrastination.

When the internet is down and there are no chocolate chips in the house, she does write books – everything from Harlequin romance novels to post-apocalyptic YA. Though her interests may appear broad, the common denominators are swoony heroes and snarky humor.

My thoughts:

4 “Forbidden love is my kryptonite” STARS

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Entangled Teen Crush!!

First of all, let’s take a moment to appreciate this title. HOW WILLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK is a great title – the kind that makes you stop and take notice. So that’s reason #1 I requested this book. Reason #2? The blurb and premise. The promise of a great story with the “forbidden love” trope. That’s like 4 reasons now, huh? Oh, well…

Good news: the book didn’t disappoint.

Meet Willa, wanna-be novelist and daughter of a cinematographer who’s used to meeting celebrities and Hollywood stars. What she’s not used to is her dad bringing one home and announcing he’s about to marry her. To makes matters worse, her future stepmother isn’t just any celebrity; she’s one of the most famous actresses in the world.

But Willa’s biggest fear isn’t the paparazzi following her stepmother’s (and now Willa’s) every move. She actually fears how her father will handle the break up once famous-actress-stepmother decides to leave him and breaks his heart, because Willa is convinced she eventually will. After all, the woman is known for her tumultuous love life.

And famous-actress-stepmother isn’t coming into her family on her own – she’s also bringing in her son, Finn. And that’s a problem because Finn is hot (HOT, HOT) and a bit of a jackass. One Willa can’t stop thinking about, even though she should because he’s about to become her stepbrother soon.

So, you see, Willa’s life is about to change and become a whole lot more difficult – which, let’s be honest, is what we wanted all along because DRAMA!

Although the premise allowed for many chances at external conflict (and there were some), I believe the author made the right choice by focusing on Willa and Finn’s internal conflicts.

Willa had many fears, but her concern for her father was the thing that made me like her instantly. She truly cared and loved her dad. Although his decision to marry a Hollywood actress only three months after meeting her was reason enough for Willa to go “Oh, no you won’t!”, she didn’t approve of her dad’s marriage idea because she saw it as a real threat to him. She wanted to protect him from another heartbreak, and that made her extremely likable.

The same goes for Finn. I don’t approve of his methods, but when he chooses to convince Willa to be on board with the wedding, he does it thinking it’s a way to protect his mother. So although I know his secret will eventually come out and ruin it all, I hope Willa sees it the same way as I do.

Finn is willing to protect his mother, the same way Willa wants to protect her dad. They’re good kids, and I love that about them.

Aside from the whole parent-child dynamic, Finn and Willa’s interactions also made this a great story. I wasn’t a huge fan of the way the author decided to write the dual POV (one is first person and the other is third), but I was happy to be inside Finn’s head.

The chemistry between Willa and Finn and the “forbidden” element were there, as well as a little “hate-to-love”. When you put two of my favorite romance tropes together, and you do it well, you have a win. The pacing also worked for me. I always want the tension and the “should we or shouldn’t we” feeling to last as long as it can, because that makes the next step much more gratifying.

Of course I wasn’t truly expecting it to last past this book, because I went into this thinking it’d be a standalone. But guess what? It isn’t!!! Although there’s no indication of that on Goodreads or anywhere else (WHY????), this is the first book in a series that will follow Willa and Finn’s life (though I have no idea how many more the author is planning to write -- update: according to Entangled, Willa and Finn's story will continue in Emily's next book in the series, coming in November of 2016.).

On one hand, this made the ending a bit disappointing because it felt like it came out of nowhere. On the other hand, since there’s a sequel coming, I approve of where the story ended because of what I said above – I want the tension to last, plus I see potential for more conflict now that Finn and Willa will be leaving under the same roof and fighting their feelings for each other.

I can’t wait for the next book, to be honest.

If you’re looking for a good YA Contemporary, you should definitely check this one out.

About the tour:

February 22nd
Bookish Things & More,
Confessions of a YA and NA Book Addict,
Ceres Books World,
My Crazy Bookish Life,,

February 23rd
Books are Love,
To Borrow or Buy,
Book Jems,

February 24th
U.S. - Brazil Book Review,
Book Briefs,

February 25th
Go Read A Book,

February 26th
Becky on Books,
Kitty's Book Spot!,
Books and Needlepoint,
The Cover Contessa,

*Tour Organized by:
Good Choice Reading Promotions


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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