10 Aug 2014

Book Review / Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt

Seventeen-year-old high school senior Shannon Card needs money. And lots of it. She's been admitted to Wellesley, but her dad just lost his job, and somehow she has to come up with a year of tuition herself. But Shannon's dream of making big bucks waitressing at the local casino, the Collosio, disappears faster than a gambler's lucky streak. Her boss is a tyrant, her coworker is nuts, and her chances of balancing a tray full of drinks while wearing high-heeled shoes are slim to none. Worse, time is running out, and Shannon hasn't made even half the money she'd hoped.

When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way. She has enough to worry about: keeping her job, winning the coveted math scholarship at school, and tutoring her secret crush, Max. But when Shannon musters up the nerve to kiss Max and he doesn't react at all, the allure of Aces Up and its sexy eighteen-year-old leader, Cole, is suddenly too powerful to ignore.

Soon Shannon's caught up in a web of lies and deceit that makes worrying about tuition money or a high school crush seem like kid stuff. Still, when the money's this good, is the fear of getting caught reason enough to fold?

This fun, sexy, recession-proof story is a bubbly summer read with surprising depth—great for fans of Sarah Mlynowski.

Published:     10th August 2010
Publisher:  Ember
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Not part of a series
Source:  Bought

Review:   2 out of 10

My Review

What I loved about this story...
So, Lauren Barnholdt was one of those authors who I had been meaning to pick up for a while and when I was trawling through Amazon at their Kindle reads, I found this one at a reasonable price so I decided to pick it up and give it a go.  What I liked about this book was the 'easy read' feel to it.  It is definitely one of those books you could just pick up and enjoy while sitting down at the beach.  The plot is not complicated and the characters are easy to follow.
What I was not fond of with this story...
Unfortunately, I didn't really connect with this book.  Although the story was fun and I was definitely rooting for the characters to get the best out of the situation, I didn't necessary agree with a particular point in this book.  You have the main character, Shannon who needs money for her further eduction.  Her father has been laid off work and the family are struggling to survive (having some of their possessions repossessed).  Instead of working to help the family into a better position, she worked to better herself and that was something that I, personally, had a little trouble understanding as it was not something that I would do myself.  But don't let that dissuade you from giving this story a go if it something that you would find interesting.  It is a great easy beach read and there are definitely a few laughs that go along with the story.

About the Author

Lauren Barnholdt is the author of the teen novels The Thing About the Truth, Sometimes It Happens, One Night That Changes Everything, Two-way Street, Right of Way, and Watch Me. 

She is also the author of the middle grade novels The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better, Four Truths and a Lie, Rules for Secret-Keeping, Fake Me a Match, and the Girl Meets Ghost series. 

She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts. Visit her at LaurenBarnholdt.com.