Monday, August 17, 2015

Pepper Jones Series (Books 1-3) Review + #Giveaway
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Pepped Up
Pepper Jones Series
Book # 1
Ali Dean

Genre: Young Adults Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 17, 2013
Publisher: Amazon/CreateSpace

ISBN: 978-1493794881

Pages: 211

Goodreads Rating:  3.94
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

Pepper Jones is ready for an epic cross country season. She wants to qualify for Nationals, and she’s willing to do anything it takes to make it happen. She can handle long miles and hill sprints, but boys? That’s an entirely different challenge.
Pepper’s never considered revealing her deeper feelings for her longtime friend, Jace Wilder. After all, he’s got the personal magnetism and good looks to hook just about any girl in town — and he has. Their friendship stands apart from high school social circles, and they’re both just fine with that (or at least they pretend to be).

That is, until running star Ryan Harding moves to town.

When it comes to running, Pepper’s goals are clear. But when it comes to Jace and Ryan, it’s nowhere near as simple.
All Pepped Up 
Pepper Jones Series
Book # 2
Ali Dean

Genre: Young Adults Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Publisher: Amazon/CreateSpace

ISBN: 978-1500576011

Pages: 295

Goodreads Rating:  3.95
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

Pepper Jones knew that being Jace Wilder’s girlfriend wouldn’t be simple. But she didn’t predict just how many complications would arise from his past. Jealous girls? That she expected. Family secrets? Not so much. At least Pepper can always hit the trails to clear her head… except when it comes to racing. The high expectations from her phenomenal cross country season haunt her, and she can’t seem to get psyched up for track season. Pepper’s junior year at Brockton Public is full of challenges on and off the track, but she’s not afraid to face them.

Pepped Up & Ready
Pepper Jones Series
Book # 3
Ali Dean

Genre: Young Adults Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-1514114315
ASIN: B00X691C0Y 

Pages: 242

Goodreads Rating:  4.50
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

Pepper is finally a senior, and she’s determined to defend her national cross-country title. Although Jace is busy with the demands of college football, he’s still at Pepper’s side, supporting her goals. But is she taking her renewed enthusiasm for training too far?
As Jace and Pepper focus on their athletic ambitions, they discover that Jace’s social status has followed him to college, despite his attempt to keep a low profile. With her boyfriend as an idol on campus, Pepper discovers that she might just be a target to those who find Jace threatening.

Are Jace and Pepper strong enough to withstand the pressure from those who want something from them? It won’t be easy fighting for her title and her boyfriend, but nothing easy is worth winning… or keeping.

My Take on the Book(s):

 Ahhhhhhhh! Okay I know I'm being an absolute dork, but I can't help how much I love these books, this series. It was a non-stop read-a-thon for me. I started book 1 about 3 p.m. and finished book 3 by about 6 a.m. I literally could not stop reading. I had every intention of only reviewing one book from the series as I wasn't sure if my hectic schedule for the fact that there were three books given to us would allow for me to get through the whole series... But I did.

So, there were a few inconsistencies throughout the series but nothing too major. I have a problem where I noticed even the minute details in every book I read so I'm always sure to find some minor discrepancies in the timeline. But honestly most people wouldn't even notice what I notice and it was just minor character traits or little things that happened with the characters that don't really matter in the grand scheme of all things. For example, Pepper has a taste of wine in book 1 and then in book 2 she’s mentioning that she’s never had any… see nothing too serious.

So, because I love this series so much, I want to give a little insight on each book.

Book 1 – Pepped Up

I got to say I was very jittery reading this book, giggling a lot at the silly antics and falling in love with these characters. But I think what drew my attention the most was the realism of this book. Most times when I read a series of books or a stand-alone that takes place in a high school type of environment you get a lot of the innocence. You get the light side of the high school experience, unlike this book where you get it all, the good and you definitely get down into the nitty gritty.

There were some scenes that made me slightly uncomfortable knowing that these are young characters but then I realized it reflected my high school experience more so than any of the other books taking place in this setting.

And honestly, I think that's what made this book so likable, the characters ARE so likable. The fact that each character was real and flawed was very endearing.

Another thing that I really enjoyed was that even though the romance of this series is very importance it doesn't dominate the story. Sure it's interwoven into basically every chapter and very important to Pepper's character and very important to Pepper's character growth and the story development, BUT I don't feel like I'm drowning in high school romance which can get very tiresome especially when it’s the light and fluffy kind.

Book 2 – All Pepped Up

I should say that if you haven't read book one you may not be interested in reading the synopsis of any of the books in this series after book 1 as they do giveaway some of the information that happens in the prior books. You also may not want to read these reviews to in-depth.

With that warning in place, I gotta admit that I literally screamed ‘FINALLY!’ at the end of book 1. Effectively annoying my roommate when they realized it was just my reaction to the ending of yet another book. Whoops.

This book takes a whole new level. It touches on the very real subject of burning out. I grew up playing sports as my father is a school coach and athletic director. So I often saw athletes losing their competitive spirit, and/or letting fame their head.

Luckily Pepper is very level headed. But she does have to deal with other people's expectations and how she should handle them.

Another big theme in this book is how Pepper is adapting to her newfound fame and her new relationship. They are forced to deal with petty jealousy and the typical high school drama that follows.

But it was great to see the relationship evolve. Though, I will admit to enjoying book 1 a smidge more than this one!

Book 3 – Pepped Up & Ready

This book has me really frustrated with Pepper. She pushes herself too hard and spend a good portion of this book in denial. I spent a lot of it wanting to shake her and throw a few well timed smacks on the back of the head.

But, as always, she definitely pulls through in the end.

I find this book is a lot harder to review as anything I say can and will give away the whole story.

But one thing I really can say, is how refreshing it was to see Jace 'growing' up. He does a lot of it in book 2 but his emotional maturity in this one in particular is astounding. He is one character that is really gone through the whole growth process.

5 Quills

Literally, each book on its own deserves 5 stars, and as a whole I wish there was a higher rating I could give it. Stay tuned because once I'm through reviewing all the books I've made a prior commitment to review I've got a long list I plan on sharing with you, including getting my hands on book 4 and reviewing that one!

About The Author

Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing.

Author links:

$10 Amazon gift card + a signed copy of any book in the Pepper Jones series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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