Saturday, November 7, 2015

"Spotlight Saturday": Playing For Keeps Series by Amber Garza

Genre: Young Adult, Sports Romance. 

"For The Win" (Book 1)- Click Here 
"For The Game(Book 2)- Click Here
"For The Rush" (Book 3)- Click Here 
"For The Save" (Book 4)- Click Here 

by Amber Garza
Penned Series: Playing For Keeps, Unexpected Love Series, Prowl Trilogy, Star Struck Series, Delaney's Gift Series, Break Free& Break Through, as well as single novels: Cuts Run Deep, Falling to Pieces, The Summer We Fell, Engraved, Head Above Water.
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My Thoughts: Meaningful and Deep Y.A. Books

        These Young Adult books are much more than your typical sports genre high school centered nerd girl dates popular jock stories. Amber Garza has taken the basic storyline adding meaningful dialogue concerning social issues and current problems in society that touch everyone from teenagers to adults. 
       For the Win and For the Game are both about London Miller and Cooper Montgomery. The situations they go through are so heartbreaking and one too many can relate to; London is in remission from a tough fight with cancer and Cooper lives with his grandparents after tragically losing his parents. Reading about them having to deal with such heavy issues while being so young is tough, but you fall for them and love to see their growth, especially in the second book when they learn to work out a few relationship kinks. 
        For the Rush is super cute, sad and touching! Had me tearing up. I didn't know how I'd feel having new characters since I loved London and Cooper so much, but Holden and Chloe fit right in my book heart. Chloe is a solid female role model, she knows who she is and what's right. Yes, Chloe has insecurities but trying to work through them and start afresh each school is brave. Holden is a genuine gentleman who a girl can just swoon over. Love this couple! And what they go through together is just unimaginable but something more YA writers should bring attention to, specially when bullying is involved as a first step. 
        For the Game again I'm sucked into another couple! Addison and Swayer, two broken people who find they can help heal when they are together. Addison is dealing with the suicide of her brother and Sawyer is dealing with the aftermath of the school shooting. Addison pushed people away to wallow in her pain while Swayer felt alone in his loss. It's then they find each other after Swayer basically pushes into Addison's solitary life. 
        Overall, this series just leaves you feeling emotional but good. The couples God through situations which are relevant and all to real to many teenagers today making each book so much more worthwhile to read. I'm all for fiction and fantasy but it's these kinds of books that I hope reach a wider range of audience since they carry a hopeful message. So if you are looking for a meaningful young adult reads with great characters you can't help love involved in contemporary social issues, these books are definitely worth a read.

Now be forewarned listed below are each books descriptions none are too revealing BUT still read at your own risk. I dare ya!  
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"For The Win" (Book 1)
Price:  $3.99 (at time of post)
Published Date & Page Count: November 12, 2014. pages 276.
Book Link: Click Here
Listed Rating: 📔📔📔📔 . 6
Price I Paid: $0.99 on August 7, 2015
My Rating: 📔📔📔📔📔
Description:
London Miller has one best friend.

Words.

She lives in the pages of the books she reads, preferring the safety of fictional worlds over the dark and scary reality of her own life. Books aren't her escape...they're her salvation.

Cooper Montgomery has one true love.
Baseball.

When he's on the mound, throwing a pitch, the darkness of his world fades away. The game is something he can control, something he can count on.

A twist of fate brings London and Cooper together, a curve ball that forces them both outside of their comfort zones. As they spend time together, a relationship begins to blossom and both of them start to believe that there just might be something bright and beautiful in their lives.

However, the game changes when your heart is on the line. You have to play with everything you have for the win.
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"For The Game" (Book 2)
Price:  $3.99 (at time of post)
Published Date & Page Count: February 15, 2015. pages 189.
Book Link: Click Here
Listed Rating: 📔📔📔📔 . 5
Price I Paid: $0- Reason: I rented the ebook using my Kindle Unlimited Subscription
My Rating: 📔📔📔📔
Description:
London Miller is a survivor. She’s suffered through more than her share of heartache and struggles, but with Cooper in her life, she feels strong enough to overcome anything. Even with him away at college, she knows he is in her heart – and her life – for the long haul.

Cooper Montgomery is a winner. Losing has never been an option for him. Not in baseball, not in school, not in life. He’s worked hard to gain a spot on the Fallbrook Falcon’s baseball team and it should be the best time of his life. He’s living his dream and now that he has London, his life finally feels complete.

When unexpected obstacles arise, both London and Cooper are faced with new challenges that threaten to tear them apart. They've fought so hard to be together. Can London survive what fate throws her way? And can Cooper win when there is more at stake than just the game?
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"For The Rush" (Book 3)
Price:  $3.99 (at time of post)
Published Date & Page Count: April 21, 2015pages 184.
Book Link: Click Here
Listed Rating: 📔📔📔📔 . 5
Price I Paid: $0- Reason: I rented the ebook using my Kindle Unlimited Subscription
My Rating: 📔📔📔📔📔
Description:
Chloe Martin, Band Geek.

Holden Reece, Popular Jock.

These are their labels. But it's not who they are.

Chloe Martin loves music. It's her passion. But being involved in the school band offers more heartache than fulfillment.

Football defines Holden Reece. It always has. He wins football games – not for himself, but for everyone else.

A random encounter at the gym throws Chloe and Holden together. Stripped of their labels they are able to be themselves. With social statuses and expectations set aside, a relationship begins to blossom.

But when they return to school can they abandon the roles that have been forced on them in order to embrace the rush of being together?
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"For The Save" (Book 4)
Price: $3.99 (at time of post)
Published Date & Page Count: July 17, 2012pages 234.
Book Link: Click Here
Listed Rating: 📔📔📔📔📔 
Price I Paid: $0- Reason: I rented the ebook using my Kindle Unlimited Subscription
My Rating: 📔📔📔📔📔
Description:
Addison West is broken.

Last year tragedy struck her family, destroying everything she loved. Now she’s trying desperately to pick up the pieces after her brother’s suicide, hiding her wounds behind piercings and a tough, aloof exterior. But she knows she’s fighting a losing battle.

Sawyer Ridley is lost.

After witnessing his teammate’s murder, he’s plagued by nightmares and panic attacks. With the nickname Riddles, Sawyer was always one for a joke, but he can’t find anything to laugh about anymore. He’s devastated, and not even football offers him comfort or solace.

On the outside, Addison and Sawyer have nothing in common. But when they meet in group counseling, their shared grief immediately bonds them. As their relationship grows, the walls they’ve built around themselves begin to come down.

But just as old wounds begin to heal, new, more painful ones emerge.

Can Addison and Sawyer save each other from the grief that threatens to destroy them both?
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 Amber Garza
Author's Links: Amazon PageFacebookTwitterBlog.

She has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they're real people. She currently lives in California with her amazing husband, and two hilarious children who provide her with enough material to keep her writing for years.

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