Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: Effortless With You & Perfectly Messy (Giveaway Included!!!)

Description Provided by Goodreads: School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can't end fast enough.

To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls' dreams, but definitely not Lucy's. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he's the most beautiful jerk Lucy's ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there's more to Justin than Lucy realizes. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs.

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Story Line: At first I thought that this book would simply be about a sweet girl and a sweet guy falling for each other with the complication of the girl's boyfriend; however, it turned out to be so much more. This story is a true gem and should be read by all. This is the story of a girl who has been bullied to the point that she has lost herself, her confidence, and her self worth. The book tells the story of the summer in which this girl overcame it all and turned into an independent, magnificent, and confidant young woman. To top it all off this book also describes the rebuilding of a shattered relationship between a mother and daughter and the blooming love between two teens.

Writing: This writing was very powerful and beautiful in this book. The author perfectly conveys the feelings of distress, powerlessness, and hurt through her teenage character of Lucy. I have to admit that I cried at multiple times in this book because the writing conveyed the feelings to masterfully that I felt all the Lucy was feeling, the pain and joy included.

Relationship: Lucy starts out hating Justin because she believed that he is simply a shallow, rich, jerk who is loved by all. However, as she is forced to spend more time with him and learns more about him, she slowly starts to see that he is the complete opposite. Justin and Lucy's relationship is really unique because they not only fall in love with each other but Justin rescues Lucy from herself. He teaches her to love herself again and brings joy back into her life,  which I found to be one of the most beautiful aspects of their relationship.

Lucy: Lucy is bitter, kind of bitching, and definitely hurting. She lets others push her around because of the bullying she endured her freshman year. She annoyed me at the beginning the way she treated her parents, Justin, and most especially herself. However, as the book continued she started to rebuild her relationship with her parents, build a relationship with Justin, and most importantly she started valuing and appreciating herself again. I loved her transformation at the end of the book as she is now a strong, confidant, and healed girl. I love that her character no longer carries the scars left over from the time when she was bullied, which is partially due to Justin.

Justin: Justin is charming, sweet, and down to earth. I liked him from the beginning because of his charm; however, I completely fell in love with his character as the book progressed. As I started to learn more about Justin's personality and traits, I appreciated his character even more. I loved that he never gave up on Lucy and I especially loved his kind heart!

Overall: This book is a gem that I loved and thoroughly enjoyed reading! I'm really glad I was able to review this book and I wish for many people to read this wonderful story of the healing of a bullied girl and the confidence and love she gained from it.

Rating: I would give this book a 10 out of 10!!!

Book Description Provided by Goodreads:  Popularity isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota's next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.

But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren't enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin's dad's gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.

For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.

Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.

Story Line: While the first book could have been a stand alone book, after reading this second book I definitely think that it was necessary. This storyline takes Justin and Lucy's relationship past the "honeymoon" stage and into something solid that can stand anything. I absolutely loved that because it means that the characters truly will live "happily ever after"!!

The book is so beautifully written. It deals with so many aspects of life not only from a teenager's perspective but also from that of adults, such as family disputes, love, trust, death, and courage. These books make me cry just a little every time I read them because of the powerful emotions that the writing emotes through the characters.

Relationship: Justin and Lucy's relationship definitely takes a deeper path in this second book. They get past the honeymoon stage and are thrown into a scandal right after being separated for long period of time. However, the most important thing is that their relationship is strong enough to survive it all, even if Justin needs a little outside help to make him see it lol! 

I liked that although Justin and his family are super rich he doesn't act like snobby or treat other as if they were beneath him. He works hard for his own money instead of leeching off his parents and eats chipotle even though he could afford a high end five star restaurant. This just re-established the fact that he is totally down to earth. In this book, Justin reveals that he isn't perfect like everyone thinks he is, which makes him a stronger and more relatable character. I also loved that a more vulnerable side of his character was revealed, especially when Justin and his father talk about his brother.

Lucy definitely feels like a strong character right from the start.
"Don’t worry. I knew it was coming. It’s not like I hadn’t practiced what I’d say to him.” She winks at me. “Whoa. Really?” I stand back, amazed at the force that stands before me. Just five months ago, she couldn't stand up for herself. Now? She’s stone.
I really love this quote because it sums up Lucy in this book. She has a disastrous event happen and she handles it with dignity and strength not completely letting it get to her like before. In this book Lucy also continues dealing with the effects of the bullying she experienced because she has to tell her mom what happened. This not only shows a vulnerability in her but the growth in her character from the beginning of the last book, especially since she needs her strength to set Justin straight lol!!!

Overall: This book is just as powerful, meaningful, heart warming, and just as
 entertaining as the first book. I loved this book and I consider it a must read, probably even for all ages!

Rating: I would give this book a 10 out of 10!!!

About the Author:
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

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