Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story. Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist! LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist. CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . . Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other. Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.
**Any quotes in this review are subject to change, since they came out of the ARC**
“I’m breathless by the time we reach the helipad on top of the US Bank Tower–exactly 1.018 feet above L.A.”
I thought that SMASH & GRAB was such a fun read! I mean the very first chapter is about a group of kids jumping off of a 1,000 foot building for crying out loud! I thought that this book was a great summer read. Yea, it’s not totally realistic with a group of teens pulling off bank heists, but it was a lot of fun!
I really loved the characters within this novel! Lexi and Christian are so great and I love them even more together! When reading this book, I just got so lost and immersed in the story. Now obviously, the stuff that happens within this novel is not totally realistic. I mean it’s not usual for a group of teenagers to go base jumping or get together to rob a bank (without harming people), but it’s what makes this story so exciting!
I’d love to see more of these characters! Please let there be a sequel or make this into a companion series, because I want more! And if you want an exciting, thrill-seeking, and all around fun YA Contemp, then check this book out!
About the Author
AMY CHRISTINE PARKER writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Visit her at amychristineparker.com and follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar.
If you haven’t noticed, In Wonderland has been pretty scarce as of recently. I have been in a pretty big life slump as of late. I’m dealing with a lot of stress from my actual job, which has gotten me in this really bad slump/depressive state. My reading and writing has been severely lacking because of my hatred for this job. A while ago, I signed up for the Make Me Read It Readathon which happened last week and guess what? I haven’t picked up a book to read in the past few weeks. As much as I love to read, this slump I am in just doesn’t want me to read. And not reading is bringing my mood down even more.
Another reason for this life slump of mine is that we are always busy. Every weekend for the past 4.5 months we have had something going on that we needed to go to. I think I’ve had 1 weekend to myself TOTAL in the past 4.5 months. Starting in August, we’re finally going to be slowing down. I will have a few events like my best friend’s baby shower. My other best friends wedding. And a cousin’s wedding. But other than that… we’re not completely booked solid weekend after weekend like we have been since before OUR wedding in April.
So, Stephanie…What Are You Gonna Do About It?
Well, I’m gonna try and force myself out of this slump. Obviously I can’t just quit my job because that’s my only source of income. But I have been searching for other jobs and have actually applied for some of them. Will I get them? Who knows, but at least I’m trying. What I really want to do with my life is to be a full time writer. But I can’t even try to get anything published or get represented until I have a full manuscript, which I just don’t have yet.
In August, I’m going to be participating in ARC August. So, hopefully that will help my reading progress. I’m also hoping that with the lack of life events happening starting in August, I’ll have so much more “me” time to where I can start to enjoy things I love again.
What About Your Cobloggers?
Well, I know that our readers see the majority of the posts are conducted by me and Lizzie. And Lizzie, I know has been swamped with her job. Since it’s summer and her hours got changed. As for the rest of the cobloggers… I’m not really sure what’s going on with them. Hence the lack of posts in the past few months from them. So, what’s gonna happen.. I don’t know. But I do know that I want to get back to the blogosphere. So, there may be some changes in the near future.
Let’s Talk About It, Shall We?
Have you guys ever been in a life slump? I know most of us get into a reading slump here and there. That’s expected. But an actual life slump… ugh, it’s bad. Tell me how you’ve gotten past any of your slumps. Whether they be reading, blogging, or life, etc. What should I try to help get out of this funk? Hope all of you are doing well and cannot wait to get back to blogging and reading all of your comments and posts! <3
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there is a different bookish top ten list. Join in on the fun!
Top Ten Facts About Me
I wish I could speed read! So many of my friends go through books like I go through bottles of wine or boxes of pasta. I always feel like I’m behind because my brain just doesn’t know how to speed read. It savors every word, which can be good or bad!
I’m obsessed with TV Shows. Whether they’re on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or on cable. I’m obsessed. There are so many times where I sit down on that couch with the intentions of reading a book or work on some writing and the next thing you know, I’m watching the damn TV.
I’m a Cooper’s Hawk Wine Member and it was the best decision I have ever made! This means my house always has wine on hand. Which comes in handy when it’s a stifling hot summer day and I make strawberry wine slushies in my blender! Oh yea!! 🙂
I’m a BIG BROTHER fanatic! It’s my favorite thing happening over the summer. Me and my best friend get together once or twice a week, make those wine slushies, eat some snacks, and watch all the shenanigans that happens in the Big Brother House! 🙂
I have a candle and/or Scentsy problem. Especially with all these bookish scents being created. Thanks Novelly Yours for that obsession! ;P Truth is, I had a candle/Scentsy addiction before Novelly Yours, just now it’s even more of an addiction with me wanting to collect all the BOOKISH scents! 🙂
I hate the heat. I used to love summer. But guess what, I’m not a student any more, which means, I don’t get a summer break. That was the only reason why I ever liked summer to begin with. I feel like every year it just gets worse with the heat. I am not a happy camper when it’s hot. I get cranky, bitchy, sticky, and basically no one wants to be around me.
My dream job: to be a published author. I would give almost anything to have my books be published and all I had to do everyday was write, edit, revise, and do authorly things! Give me that life, please! 🙂
I cannot wait until Joe and I start our own little family. Hopefully that will happen in the next couple of years, because I want 3-4 kids (I know, I know, I’m crazy). So, in order for me to have 3-4 kids, I kinda have to start like soon…
Even though I want 3-4 kids, I’m scared shitless when they come out, because I know they’re gonna be just like Joe.. and well, I already have a Joe.. I do not need 3-4 more little Joe’s running around driving me bonkers and giving me white hair. This fear though, won’t stop me. But just know, I fear for my sanity and for future doctor bills (because we all know Joe and the kids will be doing something stupid on a weekly basis!)
As much as I love the idea of working out and being fit.. I really suck at it. I’ll go to the gym religiously for a few weeks.. and then I don’t go for months. This happens all the time to me. Joe hates that we have a gym membership and I hardly use it. But, it’s like… when do I have the time to exercise? I work then come home and get dinner ready and by the time dinner is done… I’m ready for bed. One of these days though, I’ll start working out like it’s my job.. you’ll see! Plus, I really love the chocolate protein shakes and I only feel justified for making those after I’ve done some sort of workout… Seriously, I think I only work out to get one of those protein shakes! Gosh, those protein shakes are amazeballs! SO GOOD!
HaHa. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did making the list! At one point I started laughing at myself! What are your top ten facts? Anything else you want to know about me that I didn’t cover in this post? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Sing Along Saturday is a new meme hosted by my good friend Katrina @ Bookish Things and More! Every Saturday there will be a different theme and you have to share a song that goes along with that theme! I think it’s a great idea and I am going to start participating in it and I’d love to see all of your Sing Along Saturdays!
Song That Moves You
Let’s Talk About It
Every single time I hear this song, I get the urge to start writing. This is one of the few songs that I ALWAYS picture my characters going through this scenario, but I have YET to use it in one of my projects!
Every Friday I will post a weekly update on my previous week of Camp Nanowrimo. If you’re a writer, I highly suggest you try a Camp Nanowrimo (April and July sessions) or even a full fledged Nanowrimo in November. This is my fourth year in participating in these Nanowrimo events and it is my first year deciding to keep a track of my progress, which I think will be a great thing! **I got this idea from my friend, Andrea, who is also in my cabin this month! :)**
Project: A World of Secrets (WT)
This is a collaboration with Lizzie!
Word Count Stats
Total Words Written: 3458
Words Written This Week: 3458
Words Left: 56,642
First Sentence I Wrote: She was a walking contradiction.
Last Sentence I Wrote:He’s ridiculous! Nessa thinks as her blood starts to curdle. Needing a smile, she heads towards Penelope’s rooms.
My Favorite Line/Sentence: While I’m flattered, My Lord, the fact that you think I’m immortal baffles me.
My Favorite Scene: I only wrote 1 scene so far… :/ And Lizzie wrote the other. We’re a bit behind as of right now.
I’m Feeling: Behind.
What I Learned: Life is busy.
My Best Writing Session: Friday July 1st or Monday July 4th
Thing To Keep In Mind Next Week: Just keep writing, even if it sucks.
Let’s Talk About It!
Are you participating in this camp session of Nanowrimo? I always love talking to other writers and making friends, so let me know in the comments! You can find my profile for Camp Nanowrimo here!
Seventeen-year-old Maddie O'Neill Levine lives a charmed life, and is primed to spend the perfect pre-college summer with her best friends and young-at-heart socialite grandmother (also Maddie's closest confidante), tying up high school loose ends. Maddie's plans change the instant Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret "death with dignity" cruise ship so that she can leave the world in her own unconventional way - and give the O'Neill clan an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process.
Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family. As they travel the globe, Maddie bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, headiness of first love, and excitement of glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say good-bye in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, loss, and the power of forgiveness.
I really enjoyed THE LOOSE ENDS LIST! I thought it was creative and realistic and just so darn cute! The first couple chapters I was a little skeptical because of the main character, Maddie. She acted a little too entitled for her own good. But she definitely made up for that by the end!
The concept of a “death with dignity” cruise ship is just flat out hysterical and brilliant at the same time. I don’t know if these actually exist, but it does sound super interesting! I loved meeting all the characters aboard the cruise ship. Even if I did feel a little overwhelmed with the large cast of characters at times.
My favorite part of the whole story was Gram. She was flat out funny and I fell in love with her at the very beginning.
Gram thinks Dad is a weird, socially awkward freeloader and that Mom ended up with him because she has the emotional fortitude of a newborn panda. She’s kind of right.
“What the hell is ass play?” Gram says. “In my day, ass play was when your husband goosed you in the elevator.”
As for the romance between Maddie and Enzo, I felt it was just okay. While I loved Enzo, I just felt like they were instalove. And their romance is sweet and all, I just wish that it didn’t feel so instalove-y.
All-in-all, I thought that this was a great summer read and will really hit home with a lot of people. But do expect to shed some tears by the end, you have been warned.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Seventeen year-old Sloane Munster is funny, feisty, and scarred.
Trying to reboot her life after a serious auto accident, she starts her senior year at a new school and immediately has a scar-to-face encounter with the caramel-haired, hazel-eyed Luke Naughton, whom she once (almost) met on the competitive swimming circuit. Sloane is attracted. Luke, unfortunately, seems disgusted and revolted. But the chemistry between them sparks a growing connection set against a background of guilt, secrets, and mounting tensions at a school where bullying is rife and Sloane is not the most deeply scarred person.
Life leaves you scarred, love can make you beautiful.
Beautiful story! So moving. I really loved what Joanne Macgregor created within this story. It’s about overcoming trauma. And it’s not just the trauma from Sloane’s accident, but there is also bullying within this novel and Joanna Macgregor shows just how cruel the world really can be, and it’s heartbreaking that it’s like that, but it’s also the truth. So, this is not just about bullying or healing from a car accident, it’s so much more!
I really loved the main character, Sloane. I loved her dark humor and she is so sarcastic, which I guess can play into the dark humor. I really loved the scenes with Sloane and Luke together. I feel like two of them needed those times together to learn forgiveness.
I really enjoyed this story and I think that it is a really moving story. So, if you’re interested in a YA Contemporary that is beautiful and moving, then pick this one up!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
To all of my USA readers, Happy Fourth of July! I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday! As for the rest of you from other countries, I hope today is a great day for you as well! I thought that I’d do something different and show off some books that have Fourth of July scenes or happen on or around the Fourth of July!
Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider
This story takes place during an entire summer in Hawaii, but during this summer adventure there is a really cool Fourth of July party on top of a roof of one of the hotels! I really enjoyed reading this scene!
Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker
This story takes place around the 4th of July. I’m currently reading it and so far I haven’t seen a fireworks scene or anything but they have mentioned July 4th quite often throughout the book!
Weightless by Kandi Steiner
I haven’t read this book, but I have been told that there is a 4th of July scene and that it’s pretty swoony!
Let’s Talk About It
What books have you read that have 4th of July scenes?