Tuesday, May 31, 2016

26 Kisses by Anna Michels

26 Kisses by Anna Michels
Release Date - May 24, 2016
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Breaking up with her boyfriend is not how Veda planned on starting her summer. When Mark makes it clear that it’s over between them, Veda is heartbroken and humiliated—but, more importantly, she’s inspired. And so she sets out on the love quest of a lifetime: use the summer to forget about Mark, move on, and move up. All she has to do is kiss twenty-six boys with twenty-six different names—one for each letter of the alphabet.

From the top of the Ferris wheel at her hometown carnival to the sandy dunes of Lake Michigan, Veda takes every opportunity she can to add kisses (and boys) to her list, and soon the breakup doesn’t sting quite as much. But just when Veda thinks she has the whole kissing thing figured out, she meets someone who turns her world upside down.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Anna Michels’s debut is the story of one girl who realizes that moving on from the supposed love of your life means taking a chance—and having the courage to love again. 
26 Kisses focuses on a timeless story - heartbreak. Everyone can relate to having their heart broken, and everyone can relate to the sometime messy, sometimes freeing, and always complicated emotions that come after. This is a story of a girl's way back to herself after a heartbreak. It also offers up a fun summer read that may just inspire a few kisses of your own.

Unsurprisingly, kisses are a big focus of this novel. The kisses themselves range from steamy to sweet. Some are hilarious and others are filled with sparky potential. The kisses themselves are well done with a perfect balance between the romantic and the humourous. There are kisses on Ferris wheels, and stolen ones, too. Innocent kisses, and embarrassing ones that make you laugh out loud. It reads like a young adult rom-com in the best possible way. It follows that structure and has a lot of those undefinable moments that many rom-com movie fans will delight in.

Perhaps my favourite aspect of the novel is that this quest to cure a broken heart ends up being about so much more than just a guy. It proves to be more than just a way to get over a heartbreak. It helps Veda discover things about herself, and helps her regain something she had lost - her confidence. It's a fun, flirty take on this type journey of self discovery but one that offers up it's own struggles and roadblocks for the characters.

Perception, slut shaming and reputation are all, sort of, dealt with here. I do wish this had been a larger part of the story but appreciated how it was handled. Veda, in no uncertain terms, refuses to let the gossip get to her. Her opinion is that she doesn't have to be ashamed of what she is doing. There are moments when she feels guilty, but those moments are handled realistically. She refuses to be shamed for what she is doing, and that made a huge difference in the novel. It is unfortunate that this element would even have to be dealt with, but it adds a realistic layer to the story.

Also great is the boy who turns Veda's plans upside down. He's the boy she didn't see coming and he is another complication in her summer of kissing. The great thing about this one boy is that he is kind, and patient. He understands Veda in a very honest way. Their connection is realistic and feels true for both characters. I like that we have another example of the type of guy teenage girls should want to date. He's someone who treats Veda well, even when things get messy.

A story filled with many different kind of kisses, and just as many complications. It's a rom-com with heart, and an important message within its final kiss. This is one you'll want to pick up if you're a fan of contemporary young adult novels.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

It has been a crazy but awesome week in bookish mail.

First up is a prize pack I won from the Raincoast Fall Blogger Preview event. I am so excited to put together the puzzle with my nieces. The candle smells amazing, and the tote bag is super cute! I am looking forward to reading Labyrinth Lost at some point as well.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova (goodreads)

Next, I received a book that I have been really curious about since I first saw the announcement. It sounds like it might be a dark, but fascinating read. A huge thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending it for me to review.

The Girls by Emma Cline (goodreads)

My friend Kim gave me a finished copy of a Peter Pan inspired book that I read and loved. She also gave me this amazing J.M. Barrie print that is below. Thank you so much, Kim. I love them (obviously, because Peter Pan).

Everland by Wendy Spinale (goodreads)

Lastly, this is a book I owned but had my friend Amanda get signed for me. She was gracious enough to go to the Jojo Moyes signing in Toronto to get this signed for me. I am insanely excited to have one of my favourite books signed. Me Before You is such an incredible story.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (goodreads)

What bookish items made their way into your mailbox this week?

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.


Beauty And The Beast (live action) trailer

Goosebump inducing is the only way I would describe this amazing trailer. It hits all the right buttons to immediately pique your interest and make you desperate for more.

The beautiful castle, the brief glimpse of the rose, and that iconic music all work together invoke a fierce feeling of nostalgia. It's obviously going to appeal to fans of the classic Disney movie, but this trailer also ensures that new fans will be just as excited to see it. Anyone else desperate for a glimpse at the cast? I cannot wait to see what Beast, Gaston, and the rest look like.


King Henry's Wives t-shirt

I saw this shirt and immediately coveted it. It's amazing.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Book Expo America 2016 - Day Three

The final day of Book Expo America was certainly the busiest for me. It's the day I had the most signings and the most galley drops I wanted to check out. 

My day once again started early because I wanted to ensure I made it to the Macmillan booth in time to secure one of these 

Caraval was one of my top 'must gets' of BEA. I have been intrigued since the announcement was made and was thrilled it was going to be available in galley form at BEA. Meeting Stephanie Garber was a highlight of the conference. We've chatted over Twitter and she was just as kind as I expected her to be. I may have spent the rest of the day hugging this book because I was so thrilled to have it.

My other most anticipated title at BEA was Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco! I was able to go to her signing and she is just as lovely in person as you would expect from her Twitter. So sweet. This book not only sounds incredible but has real photographs included from the time period the novel is set. I've flipped through and some of the photos are unsettling. It makes me even more excited to read it.

 The people at the Jimmy part of the Hachette/Little Brown booth were amazing and went out of their way to find me the bookmarks. There were not any on their swag table but when I asked they helpfully tracked some down in the back for me. They are fantastic and I was really happy to have managed to snag since I kept missing them whenever they were put out.

The only book from the ones I was interested in that I missed was Jay Asher's What Light. I was in line to get the new Disney Descendants novel for my niece and when I got to the galley drop they were all gone BUT there was some amazing swag left ...

HOT CHOCOLATE! I love it. I am hoping to snag this one at ALA 2016 and will keep this hot chocolate to drink while reading the book. It was really clever since this seems like the perfect read for the Christmas season and what goes better with the winter season than hot chocolate?

I stopped by the Simon and Schuster booth. They had two amazing adverts for upcoming celebrity 'memoir' type books that immediately caught my eye.

I am especially excited about Anna Kendrick's novel. The advert for Amy Schumer's was buzzy and attracted a lot of attention though. Sadly, while the adult imprints of S & S seemed to have a lot going on, I didn't see much as the young adult end of the spectrum. The buzziest title was The Diabolic (which does sound great) but I didn't see much buzz other than that particular title. I spent a little bit of time chatting with them about The Diabolic and some of their titles which was great.

The books I got on my third are some of the titles I am looking forward to reading first (as soon as I can fit one in my schedule). There are some pretty exciting titles that I was fortunate enough to get copies of.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber (goodreads)
Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (goodreads)
Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin (goodreads)
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon (goodreads)
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (goodreads)
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid (goodreads)
Gemina by Amiee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (goodreads)

The wait for Gemina was EXACTLY what you would expect and they only had the one change to obtain a copy. I waited for just over 2 hours and am really looking forward to reading it. Jay Kristoff came to check out the line up for the galley drop and was promptly treated like a rock star. There was plenty of screaming and excitement to be had. 

We ended the day with some delicious desert ...

and great company! It was lovely to meet Jennifer Park, Laurie Devore, and J.C. Davis. All three ladies are hilarious, and you should check out their upcoming 2017 releases! 

This night was so much fun and the perfect way to end BEA before I headed home the next day. My time in Chicago was way too short and I did not get to see half as much as I wanted to (but there is always next time). 

Book Expo America this year, for me, was an over all success. Holding it in Chicago was certainly a nice change of pace but I am excited to get back to New York where you really feel the pulse of the book industry all around. I loved being part of a such a large group of book fans who were excited to be there. There was random singing of Hamilton songs while in line, authors are treated as pop idols, and everyone is incredibly friendly while waiting in line. It's an experience not be missed and I cannot wait for next year.

Will you be headed to BEA 2017 in New York City? Let me know in the comments! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Expo America 2016 - Day Two

Day two was slightly more busy for me (but not as crazy as day three) but with the larger space, and less people it still felt very manageable. It was an early start for me because I wanted to score one of these ...

I was super excited to meet Leigh again and get a glimpse of Crooked Kingdom. Leigh was, as always, wonderful. My favourite part was when Leigh asked who my favourite character was from this series. I answered Kaz with a definate emphasis on his name. She and the publicist assisting at her signing both laughed and said that everyone who answered Kaz put some kind of emphasis on his name. We joked a little about it and it was a really fun highlight for me.

While browsing the floor this totally flail worthy thing happened ...

As I was lucky enough to have read Heartless already I was thrilled to get to fangirl over it with her in person and express my utter love for Jest (who is, without question, the most swooniest of Marrisa's book boyfriends). She is lovely and seemed so thrilled I loved the book so much. This was,  hands down, one of my top moments of BEA. I am a huge fan and it was surreal to get a few minutes to tell her how much I loved something she created.

This was also the day of the big cover reveal for Sarah J Maas' Empire of Storms at the Bloomsbury booth. It was incredible to see people come out in such large numbers for a cover reveal. There were a lot of us and we got to record a group hello for Sarah who couldn't be there. This is totally my favourite of her covers.

I mean. Look at how pretty that is. How bad ass does Aelin look with her sword and fire and that fierce look in her eyes? I cannot wait to put this pretty on my bookshelf.

It was a little busier today so I had less time to talk to the publishers but I did get to chat with the lovely people at Bloomsbury about Danielle Paige's Stealing Snow. After talking about it with them I am even more excited to get to read it. It sounds incredible. I hear that it was quite the popular book to get at BEA as well. The galleys at the galley giveaway apparently went VERY quickly.

Day two was an incredible success. I got some amazing swag (the tote was won at the Sarah J Maas raffle and the tattoos came inside the chapter sampler for Crooked Kingdom)

I also some books I am really excited to promote on the blog and hopefully will get to read very soon. I was so excited to get my hands on the sequel to Dash and Lily's Book of Dares! Such a cute Christmas-y type book and The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily seems poised to be just as cute.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (goodreads)
Seven Days Of You by Cecilia Vinesse (goodreads)
The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (goodreads)
The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet by Natasha Farrant (goodreads)
Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven (goodreads)
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia (goodreads)
Leave Me by Gayle Forman (goodreads)
Frostblood by Elly Blake (goodreads)

After an amazing day at BEA it was time to get pizza! I couldn't leave Chicago without getting deep dish pizza and it did not disappoint. It was delicious and we had a lot of fun that night!

I forgot to mention that my roommate at BEA, Dawn, also provided me with a copy of her next book the first night she arrived (which was after day one). I, for some reason, decided to include it in day two haul. I loved her first book (Anne and Henry) and am so excited to devour Overdrive!

Overdrive by Dawn Ius (goodreads)

She also surprised me with the fact that I am in the acknowledgements. I was incredibly touched and want to say thank you to her again! It's been great to gain another amazing friend out of this and I am so thankful to have met her. (Side note - if you like fast cars, sexy romance, and Las Vegas this needs to be on your TBR list immediately).

I, also, apparently forgot to include a picture of my pass within my first day recap. They mistakenly put me as 'retailer' when they registered me. It proved quite interesting while on the exhibit hall floor.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the recap of my final days at BEA (and final thoughts on BEA in general)! If you were there let me know in the comments. If you weren't there - which author would you have liked to say hello to?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday .... By Invitation Only

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is By Invitation Only by Geneva Lee

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In a world with too much money and not enough rules, anything goes. Welcome to Belle Mère, the most exclusive zip code outside the Las Vegas Strip. It's every sinner's fantasy and every good parent's worst nightmare.

Emma Southerly doesn't belong at Belle Mère Prep despite her new stepfather's money. Not after she shunned her invite to the popular table, and especially not after what happened last summer. So when her best friend begs her to crash an invite-only, end of the year party, she should say no with a capitol H-E-L-L. 

It's just a party. What could go wrong?
Getting kicked out to start. Running into the man who destroyed your family. 

Until she meets Jamie, who's also hiding from the in-crowd. After spending the night with the cute stranger, Emma barely makes it home before news hits Belle Mère's brunch tables. A body's been found on the West estate, and Jamie is the number one suspect. But he couldn't have done it…right? 

Emma isn't sure she can trust him or the rest of Belle Mère. After all, no one is safe when everyone is a liar.
This is a self published novel by an author who I've read previously and really enjoyed. I stumbled across this really intriguing sounding novel (which I believe is YA) and was even happier to discover it's going to be a series. I have a bit of a weakness for Las Vegas settings, and everything about this screams delicious drama.

There isn't even that long of a wait as it comes out in just a few days!

Expected release date - May 31, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Expo America 2016 - Day One

Book Expo American is the equivalent to a book lover's paradise. This year may have offered a change in pace with it's location but did not fail to deliver it's usual bookish awsomeness.

The Chicago setting offered up a lot of changes. The first being McCormick Place.  A convention centre even more spacious than Javits in New York City. This larger space combined with visibly reduced attendance offered up a less crowded and more comfortable exhibits hall. Getting to walk around and scope out the publishers booth was much easier and it offered me plenty of opportunity to see what the publishers were heavily pushing for the upcoming season (and beyond).

Day one was a much quieter day for me, with no signings on my schedule I was able to browse around and talk to a few of the publishers in attendance. There was plenty of buzz for The Thousandth Floor at the Harper booth and I left there incredibly eager to read it. They also cemented my need to read The Female Of The Species with their gushing comments.

My first day, as you can see below, ended up being a mix of different genres. That was pretty on par with the entire convention. There didn't seem to be a specific genre that was prevalent, and nothing hitting at something being the next big trend.

Replica by Lauren Oliver (goodreads)
Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis (goodreads)
How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather (goodreads)
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (goodreads)
A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (goodreads)
Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally (goodreads)
The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch (goodreads)
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (goodreads)

Day one of BEA was relaxed, and quite a change of pace from it's usual New York City bustle. I left filled with bookish excitement and eager to start my second day at the convention. I spent the evening relaxing with room service since I had arrived late the previous evening and was still pretty exhausted from travel. The upside was that room service was delicious and the hotel was great.

Be sure to check out my day two recap on Thursday and day three recap on Friday.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews)

This week boasts an amazing package from my #otspsecretsister! She sent me a package that was London themed (which is amazing).

First up is this AMAZING Anne Boleyn scarf. I love it so much. Anne is my favourite of Henry's wives and I love the blue colour of this incredibly soft scarf. So pretty!

Keeping with the London theme I was sent a book that features multiple Londons, and (of course) tea. I have never tried blooming tea before BUT I am curious to do so. I expect many pictures will be taken and shared.

p.s. I will be posting my BEA recaps next week for those curious about what books I snagged, and my overall opinion on this year's convention.

What bookish items made their way into your mailbox this week?

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.


The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (goodreads)

I don't know much about this book BUT it is worth getting excited over because it is a new Emery Lord book! I cannot wait to hear more and eventually read what what I am sure will be a fantastic novel.


Time After Time

This trailer! THIS TRAILER! I need a modern Jack The Ripper book so bad and if they want to include time travel all the better.

Not only does this show have an intriguing premise but it also happens to boast TONS of eye candy. Freddie Stroma and Josh Bowman are both stupid hot and those accents?! *swoon* I am already obsessed with this show.


ALA 2016

I am so excited for this trip to Orlando! I cannot wait to spend the day at Disney, and hang out with Kelly (from Kellyvision), eat Shake Shack and talk about all the books! Will I be seeing you at ALA? Let me know in the comments.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

#ThreeScoopsOfSummer - The Museum Of Heartbreak

#ThreeScoopsOfSummer tour continues and today we're offering up the third scoop in Simon and Schuster's beach YA trifecta. The Museum of Heartbreak winds down the tour and I am so excited to help celebrate this title. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour stops and discover the other two books that are sure to be perfect for your summer reading.


As part of the tour I was given the chance to interview Meg. She dished on ice cream, heartbreak, and her next project. 

1. What do you think is the best way to get over heartbreak?

Any time I’ve gone through heartbreak, I’ve found that having a group of friends who will automatically be on my side, no matter what, to be invaluable. I’ve had friends take me roller skating, leave roses on my desk, and even create lists of why I’m better off without the person who broke up with me. That kind of devoted support—of knowing you have people who love you even when you’re feeling distinctly unloved or sad—it’s such a gift.

I also think the old cliché “Time heals all wounds” is apt. For me, getting over things takes time. I don’t know that any of my heartbreak is ever “healed”—I feel things so keenly! But I think that it gets easier to deal with over time, and eventually, you’re able to get to a point where you remember the good things about that person more than the sadness. And when you come out on the other side, you’re stronger—you have some bad-ass battle scars to show for it!

2. Ice cream is associated with getting over a break up. If your novel were to have ice cream designed for it what might be included?

Ahh, I love this question! My main character Pen is a huge fan of both Dark Chocolate KitKats and Funfetti cake. So I think the flavor would have to be vanilla, with both of those components liberally mixed in. However, it won’t be one of those flavors where you get a scoop and it has one bit of KitKat and a few Funfetti chips. I want it to be chockfull of both of those things—almost more candy than ice cream!

3. If you could travel to any place, in any time period, when and where would you like to travel?

Like my main character, I’m such a fan of Anne of Green Gables, so I think I’d like to travel to Prince Edward Island at the turn of the twentieth century, and to either be Anne or be best friends with her and Diana.

4. What is one song that would be on The Museum of Heartbreak’s playlist?

“Pictures of You” by the Cure. It’s such a dreamy, heartbreaking, and melodramatic song, and it’s perfect to listen to when you’re feeling sad for what you’ve lost. And it’s about physical objects—photographs—so it fits in nicely with the book.

5. Can you tease anything about your next project?

The Museum of Heartbreak is as much of a NYC love story as it is Pen’s love story. I moved here when I was 28, and I wanted to capture what I love about this big, messy city. But I grew up in Ohio, and I’m ready to write about that now. So my next YA novel is set in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a hot, hazy summer—like most Ohio summers are!

I've had to chance to read The Museum of Heartbreak, and below is my review. Hopefully it'll entice you to add it to your own summer reading list. 

The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
Release Date - June 7, 2016
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 256 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.
The Museum of Heartbreak is a familiar story. It's one filled with growing up, growing a part, and discovering what has been right in front of you all along. Meg Leder's unique take, however,  manages to make this timeless tale feel fresh and new.

This story is cleverly told through meaningful objects. Each chapter focuses on a new object that furthers the plot along and shines a light on the museum of the title. Pen navigates many heartbreaks through this story and these objects help the reader navigate them with her. This style of narration allows this story to feel unique and was a great choice on the writer's part. The narration also compliments the main character as it feels authentically part of her voice.

Pen is relatable to everyone. Her experiences are universal because they are tied to emotions. It makes getting invested in the story easy and allows you to be charmed by her and the group of people she surrounds herself with.

A huge part of highschool is friendships, first crushes, and finding yourself. Pen experiences the pain of growing a part from your friends as you change and grow during highschool. There is a heartbreak experienced when a friendship ends that is just as sharp, just as painful, as when a romantic relationship ends. People change so much during those formative years that it is not surprising to see the friendships within these pages take on new dynamics. You may not have anything in common any more. There is also, within these pages,  the thrill and heartbreak of new love and discovering that sometimes the idea of a person is not the reality of that person. There is a heartbreak in disappointment and that is the biggest part of finding out someone is nothing like you expect them to be. This novel also examines the heartbreak of seeing a friend go through something and being unable to help.

Much is made of love and how we accept what we think we deserve. People often build up walls, and do things to hinder their own happiness, especially when they are first discovering what the want from relationships. We see, in many different relationships within the book, that relationships are complicated things and that the people within them are even more complicated. We are sometimes blinded to what is right in front of us, and when someone we're with makes us happy we owe it to ourselves to embrace that and not let fear get in our way. It's a beautiful notion and one that affirms that we deserve happiness and to be treated well.

The biggest part of this story, however, is the hope wrapped within it's pages. The hope that comes with finding a place where you belong (and a group you belong with). The hope that, even as something ends, something new can be formed from the wreckage even though it will never be the same. It also, beautifully, showcases that heartbreak is not forever. It changes you and becomes part of who you are, but there is always a strength in coming out the other side.

This is an entirely relatable coming of age story that uses it's unique narration to its fullest advantage. If you're looking for a book that offers a hopeful look at heartbreak and moving on this is a book you should not miss.

Simon and Schuster is also offer up a prize pack for this blog tour. To enter be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter below. It is open to Canadian residents, and be sure to read all rules and restrictions. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday ..... Flower

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is Flower by Elizabeth Craft and Shea Olsen

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
These are the things that I've always wanted: 

To get the top grades in my class. 

To make my grandmother proud. 

And most of all, proof that I could succeed where the rest of my family had not: a Stanford acceptance letter, early admission. 

My mother and my sister were obsessed with boys and love and sex. So obsessed that they lost sight of their futures, of what they wanted. And in the end, they lost everything. 

I'll never let a boy distract me. I promised my grandmother that. 

But that was before Tate. 

Before the biggest pop star on the planet took an interest in me. 

Before private planes and secret dates and lyrics meant for me alone. 

There's so much I don't know. Like why he left music. Where he goes when we're not together. What dark past he's hiding. But when we kiss, the future feels far away. And now…I'm not sure what I want.
This book has intrigued me right from the first time I heard about it. I am fairly confident there is MUCH more going on than what the synopsis reveals. I've heard it's pretty steamy and that for sure caught my attention. I am looking forward to seeing if my expectations are correct, but it'll be a bit of a wait since it doesn't come out until January!

Expected release date - January 3, 2017

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes
Release Date - May 17, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 382 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From the author of The Art of Lainey and Liars, Inc. comes a fresh, contemporary story about one girl’s tragic past and a boy who convinces her that maybe her luck is about to change. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han.

Maguire knows she’s bad luck. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. But then on her way out of her therapist’s office, she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star, who wants to help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away, but staying away may be harder than she thought.
Fate. Destiny. Good luck. Bad luck. Many of us attempt to assign meaning to the events in our lives, particularly the more traumatic events, in order to process them. We often agonize over the seemingly bad events instead of appreciating those happy coincidences when things go our way. Girl Against The Universe is a story of a girl who thinks she's cursed with bad luck, but it's also a story of a girl finding her way back to herself after a tragedy and the path she takes to get there.

Maguire thinks she is cursed. She thinks those around her are potential collateral damage of the bad luck that seems to follow her. She's built up walls, and hidden herself away, to create a sort of shield between her and the world. She's crafted coping mechanisms that allow her to function, but don't allow her to fully live life. There is something so endearing about Maguire that she immediately lights up the page. She has a big heart, and a tenacity that surprised me. Her voice is one of the strongest elements of the story, and Paula has crafted her with skill and care. She takes the time to make sure the reader knows who Maguire is, and why she is making the choices she makes. It's easy to see things from her perspective because she's written so well. She reads as a younger teen, even younger than her years, which felt in line with her character. She's sheltered herself away and hasn't had a lot of the experiences her peers have and that was captured subtly through her voice.

With her voice in mind, this is the perfect bridge novel for those readers venturing from middle grade to young adult. It is humorous and light but also manages to tackle some pretty deep topics. It explores mental illness in a very authentic, approachable way but above all else in a way that is hopeful. This, combined with the fact that Maguire's voice feels authentically teen, makes it a book tailor made to appeal to a wide range of ages. It's a book that leaves you smiling, even as it opens the door for meaningful conversation about mental illness and therapy.

Hope is the heartbeat of this story. There is so much hope in Maguire and her story. This novel is a light to those who may be suffering like Maguire is. It tells them that with therapy and support they can make improvements to their life. The biggest message is that there is no easy fix. Sometimes it's 3 steps forward and four steps back but that doesn't mean you've failed. It stresses the need to bask in the little victories because those are what will add up to the big ones in the end. There is a very real, and well researched, tone to the therapy Maguire is receiving and her journey also feels honest and true. I loved that it's shown that Maguire cannot, and should not, do it on her own. It's when she allows herself to be vulnerable with other people, and accepts their support that she makes the greatest strides. It shows how vital and necessary it is to be there for loved ones who need it.

The romance is perfectly sweet with a wonderfully written love interest in Jordy. I appreciated that Jordy had his own plot outside of the romance and that each of them were struggling with their own issues. This is a relationship that highlights respect, support, patience and understanding as staples to any healthy relationship. Jordy and Maguire only work because they are good for each other and that comes from a place of respect. It's a refreshing change of pace from the abusive bad boy love interest that is becoming all too common in young adult novels.

Girl Against The Universe is, perhaps, Paula Stokes' best book to date. Filled with humour, heart, and well crafted characters, it's a read that has a little something for everyone. If you're a fan of contemporary young adult novels this is one not to be missed.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L Armentrout (blog tour)

Register your pre-order of THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER by May 20th to receive a FREE fan pack! Includes inspirational wall art, a colorful poster, and flag-as-you-read stickers. You will also get immediate access to an extended excerpt from the book.
JUST FILL OUT THE FORM HERE> http://bit.ly/24awVFw


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice. 

For some people, silence is a weapon.

For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield.

Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

My Review

My Rating - 4 stars

*review copy received from publisher/Inkslinger for an honest review*

Forever has many different meanings. We've all experienced times that we wish could last forever. We've also all experienced those times where unpleasant things have felt like they would last forever. It is a word filled with both hope and despair. The promise of forever can be a heart lifting thing, or could hold all the agony in the word. Jennifer L Armentrout looks at these different interpretations of the same word with these pages. She, also, however adeptly showcases that forever is just an idea, and one that perhaps doesn't truly exist.

This novel looks at the foster care system, and the impact it has on the children who are part of the system. It examines the literal and metaphorical scars that are left behind on those who fall through the cracks of a system that is simply stretched too thin to prevent it from happening. Jennifer L Armentrout packs a lot of emotion into this particular storyline and ensures that the reader sees the resilence and strength in someone like Mallory while recognizing the horrific truth for all the others out there who don't find their way out of the darkness.

Choices are what define a lot of us. There are choices we make every day. Some are small and unimportant in the larger picture of our lives. Others have the ability to shift and change our future. The problem is that sometimes it's hard to know which choices are the life changing ones. Worse still is the fact that sometimes choices are made for you, and these situations are the hardest to accept. Jennifer L Armentrout looks at choices and relates to the idea of forever. I liked that the novel, in various ways, looked at our choices and how they can shape how we feel. We many not have the ability to dictate everything that happens to us, but we can choose how we react to them. We can choose to try. We can choose to survive. We can choose to allow ourselves to heal and experience the emotions. This is a novel filled with hard, heartbreaking situations but the hope that shines through is in the ability to control what we do in the face of these. We may think that things will never change, and that that the darkness is forever. This novel's biggest message, however, is that nothing, neither the brightest moments or the darkest, is forever.

Mallory has had her share of darkness in her life. She has also had some light, too. My favourite thing about her is that she never truly allows herself to be defined by the things that happened to her. They shape her, and are a part of her, but they are not all she is. We see it even when she doesn't. That kernel of strength is there, it just needs to take root. Experiencing her growth and taking the journey with her as she comes to terms with the demons that haunt her was what made this novel work. Her journey is the heart and soul of the story. 

Rider's journey is just as important and incorporates the same overall themes that Mallory's does, just in different ways. His story doesn't feel as vital to the story as Mallory's does. Their stories do feel entwined but Mallory's definitely feels more explored. The impressive thing is that you like both Rider and Mallory on their own and together. The romance feels authentic because of how their stories are linked, and there is not a hint of insta-love because you believe in their connection and how it was forged. It's powerful, because the traumatic situation they were in bonded them. The exploration of this, and what a bond forged in that kind of environment and if it can be a viable relationship, is wonderfully done.

This, however, is a story that many will be familiar with. It's reminiscent of many other contemporary novels out there. It's voice is authentically Jennifer L Armentrout though and that is what sets it a part from the rest. Her writing style is uniquely hers and that is something that stands out in this novel.

This is a book that fans of Jennifer L Armentrout's previous novels will devour easily despite it's hefty page count. It's got all the makings of a quick contemporary read, and romance fans will find it especially swoon worthy. This is the type of novel that delivers exactly what you expect it to, and that means those looking for this kind of book will be immensely pleased when turning the final page.


“The intensity between Mouse and Rider is palpably sizzling… romance aficionados [will] lose themselves in Mouse and Rider’s smoldering glances and steamy kisses.” -Kirkus 

“Armentrout’s effort to gradually coax her protagonist from her shell via a supportive, loving community succeeds, and readers looking for an inspirational comeback story will find Mallory’s to be satisfying and hopeful” –Publishers Weekly

About Jennifer L. Armentrout

# 1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

The Problem With Forever Review Tour

May 9
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May 11
May 12
May 13
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May 16

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