Monday, October 20, 2014

Review & Interview: Chasing the Stars by J.D. Rivera


Mackenzie Blanchard’s life wasn’t easy; never had been, never would be. She thought things were looking up when she started yet another new school her senior year. She made friends and was enjoying life the best she could.

One friendship turned into something more, and just when she felt safe, things were ripped apart.

Hayes Morgan had never cared about anyone but himself. He was living the life he wanted, just having fun. He never dreamed that he would fall for the new girl in school.

What started out as a sweet friendship turned into something he never thought possible, until she vanished...

Their paths collide a year after they last saw each other, but they are both harboring secrets. Will they be able to trust and love each other again, or will the secrets rip them apart forever?


Review - 4 stars!

I love some YA and sometimes I just hate it.  I wasn't sure which way this one would go as the premise had the potential to be an amazing read or a disastrous cliche.  After all, I wasn't that impressed by cover or synopsis yet.   I have to say I was pleasantly amazed once I began to read!   If you want a deliciously emotional YA romance, you have to read this book!

I really empathized with Mackenzie and found that I liked her immensely.  And of course, the type of man (or boy) I like to read is the bad boy of any flavor, so Hayes was an instant hit with me.  The bond between these two was beautiful to behold and I was honestly sad when the book ended.  Part of this was due to Brad of course.  All the characters had their own personality and depth to them, each with their own issues and dramas, and it was nicely realistic.

The story itself was a bit simplistic, but there isn't anything wrong with that if the author can pull it off.  J.D. Rivera DID pull it off.  The attraction of the main characters and their emotional upheavals were enough the rest of the plot didn't need to be too involved.  It could have even detracted from the characters' issues enough that we lost some of that emotion if JD had expanded her plot when it didn't need to be.  It kept the story fast paced enough that I almost read this in one-sitting.  I had to find out what happened next!

Also, writing was nicely done for a YA novel.  Word choices and phrasing was done excellently for the age in which it was intended.  There were a few parts I was like "Huh?!" when someone said something unbelievable (to me anyway), but that's just me.  Nothing that detracted from the story and nothing I wrote a specific note for even.

Overall, it was well-paced & well-written, beautifully emotional, and excellently scripted.  I can't wait for more from this author!  4 stars!

*Received ARC in exchanged for an honest review!*

Author Interview

When did you start writing? 

I've always had stories in my head but I was an adult before I actually started writing.

Which authors inspired you? 

I have way too many to list but some of my favorite authors include Colleen Hoover, Sylvain Reynard, and Rebecca Donovan.

Which are your favorite authors at the moment? 

At the moment, I love Jessica Sorensen. I just finished one of her books and I already want to reread it!

Which genre do you generally write in? 

I like to write New Adult! For some reason, the stories flow better for me in that genre.

How many unpublished stories do you have? 

I think I have around 5 maybe. I'm not sure at this point. :)

What have you written? 

I've written and published: Trying to Get Over You, Guarded, Defensive, Always Friends, and as of October 13th, Chasing the Stars.

What are you working on at this moment? 

I'm currently writing a novel that may have some characters from Chasing the Stars and hopefully a novella after that.

What is your favorite type of hero/protagonist to write? Bad boys? Damaged men? The boy next door? The sensitive soul? 

I like them all! Ha!

What is your favorite type of heroine/protagonist to write? Feisty women? Strong women? Weak women? Flighty women? 

I would like to say the feisty or strong but I've written them all.

Do you write from an outline or just where the story and characters take you? 

I can't write from an outline. That's just a disaster. I have to let my characters take over.

Do you get the dreaded writer's block and how do you combat it? 

Oh yes I get it! I try to just take a step back for a couple of days or go hiking someplace to clear my mind. I get the best ideas when I'm exercising.

Do you have input in your covers? Who designs them? 

I have a lot of say in my covers. My amazing husband is my designer. (I don't get along with Photoshop!)

What are your thoughts on good & bad reviews? (We aren't counting bashing reviews, simply negative reviews that are respectful).

I think both are good. Of course I love great reviews, but a one star review can be a great learning tool.

How do you relax? Or activities you use to relax? 

I love to go to the beach whenever I can. It relaxes me on so many levels. If I can't get to a beach, I love to walk or hike if I can find a pretty area. I love being outside!

Is there anyone who supports you that you couldn't do without? 

Everyone! I'm not just saying that either. It takes so many people to publish a book!

How do you come up with character names? How do you come up with novel titles? 

Character names are just names I like. I try to write at least half of the novel before I title it. I always want it to be a part of the book

How do you feel once you complete a book? 

I feel relief followed by excitement! It's crazy to think that someone might read the book and characters I just created!

Coffee or Tea?


How do you take your coffee? 

I like to put a little Splenda in it.

Starbucks or Seattle's Best? Or what IS your favorite coffee shop?

Starbucks! I love Starbucks!

If you don't drink coffee, what the HECK do you do to stay motivated without THE best beverage known to man? 

I'm also a huge Diet Mountain Dew addict!

If you don't drink coffee, what is WRONG with you, woman/man!?! (I'm teasing, really... although if you hate coffee you might have a screw loose... *hee* I love you!!) 

I agree!!!!



J.D. Rivera lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two boys. Her life consists of school projects, homework, cartoon shows, and little league sports. She loves Diet Mountain Dew, the OKC Thunder, costume jewelry, the beach, and reading.

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