Review | When We Collided

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four stars

Whew. When We Collided by Emery Lord is an eye-opener to the world of mental health on so many different levels. I literally just set the book down and wanted to write before I forgot anything, but I’m still processing my thoughts. Needless to say, bear with me.

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Review | Thanks for the Trouble

25532845four stars

Friends, I received this ARC from a fellow publishing colleague on Tuesday. I started reading it on the train Thursday morning and finished it last night (which would be Friday for those trying to figure that out). This is the first book that I have fully read in a while and I gulped it down like a refreshing glass of water. So yes, thanks for the trouble, Tommy Wallach, for quenching my thirst for a good read.

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Best of July Reads

IMG_1674I have failed you all. I can barely write this sentence but…I only read one book this whole month. WHAT? HOW? WHY? I don’t know. I just…don’t know. Things happen and I blame North Carolina. I’m halfway through about 4 books right now, so July is going to be one bookish month.

The book I did actually finish (and loved, BTW) was Ana of California. Which it happens to be release day for this wonderful read, so be sure to pick it up.

Moving on.

This month brings lots of summer book fun. We have big books, small books, we have new books, old books, we have sequels, we have picture books. So. many. books! So my top six favs for July? Well…

1. Go Set A Watchman (To Kill A Mockingbird #2) by Harper Lee

24817626I wouldn’t be a very good blogger/bookstagrammer/reader/and overall person if I didn’t mention this right away. It’s totally not a YA, but it is HARPER LEE. (And it will probably most definitely be the biggest book of the year!) 

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right

On Sale: July 14th
HarperCollins
Pre-order: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

2. Paperweight by Meg Haston

23361172I’m already embracing the feels as I read the synopsis. The preface reminds me a bit of Emma from Red Band Society–anyone else think this? Definitely adding this to my TBR pile this month…and buying a box (or two) of tissues to go with.

Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.

Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.

Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn’t plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

In this emotionally haunting and beautifully written young adult debut, Meg Haston delves into the devastating impact of trauma and loss, while posing the question: Why are some consumed by their illness while others embark on a path toward recovery?

On Sale: July 7th
HarperTeen
Pre-order: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

 3. Ink and Bone (Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine 

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Okay, first things first–this book is about a LIBRARY. That information alone should be enough to make you want a first class ticket on the Ink and Bone train. (At least it did for me.) Plus, the cover is gorgeous. It’s like it is secretly calling out to me, begging me to open its precious pages. 

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

On Sale: July 7th
NAL
Pre-order: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

4. Pretending to Be Erica by Michelle Painchaud

23281811Does this book remind anyone else of Pawn by Aimee Carter? That was my first thought after reading the synopsis. However, Pretending to Be Erica sounds edgier and mysterious–less dystopian–which holds my interest.

Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor’s edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut.

On Sale: July 21st 
Viking Books for Young Readers
Pre-order: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

5. Model Misfit (Geek Girl #2) by Holly Smale

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Yes, you lucky, lucky UK’ers, I know that this has been out for years. However, we USA’ers haven’t had the pleasure of walking into a bookshop and picking up this beauty. I’m so excited for this sequel and squeeling with delight that it has finally crossed the pond! If you haven’t check out my review of Geek Girl #1 here

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.”

Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.

What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.

With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.

Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.

Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good?

On Sale: July 21st
HarperTeen
Pre-order: Amazon US | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository 

6. The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson 

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If you have yet to read The Kiss of Deception, now is the time. The sequel to this highly acclaimed novel is up for grabs this month and reviewers are raving. 

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.

On Sale: July 7th
Henry Holt and Co.
Pre-order: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Which ones will make it on your July TBR pile? 

images via


All opinions are my own and are not sponsored or affiliated with any company or organization.

Review | Ana of California

23398869four stars

CONFESSION: I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables. *GASP* THE HORROR! I know. It’s been that book that I’ve wanted to read, but I have never had a copy or I forgot to pick one up at the library because I was too busy praying that the newest John Green book was available.(Someone out there is shooting me angry daggers for mentioning John Green and Anne of Green Gables in one sentence.)

I only confess this to you because Ana of California is a modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables, So if you are looking for comparisons, sorry charlie, you’re just not gonna get ’em. But I will share my thoughts on the book with you and hopefully that will suffice.

First, a big thank you to Penguin Group for allowing me to read this wonderful novel in exchange for an honest review. This book comes out on the 30th (Yes, of this month!) and is definitely worth the time.

For a synopsis of Ana of California click here.

The Good.
The characters are wonderful. Ana is a girl after my own heart. You empathize with her and her past and cheer her on throughout the novel. Abbie is a dear. I would want her to be my best friend. She’s loving, ambitious, and her meals make you salivate every time she talks of them.  You have Emmett, who is a grumpus, but you know that there is so much love underneath all of those layers. I have an enormous crush on Will. Then you have Rye and Cole who each add a unique element to the story-line.

I loved the diversity this book held. I especially love when retellings change the background of the character. The pace is perfect. I read this pretty much in a day (minus a few hours of sleep here and there). I was actually surprised when I reached the end…which leads to…

The Not So Good.
The only “not so good” about this novel is that it leaves me hanging like a leaf. I mean, COME ON. There is an epilogue (thank goodness), but I needed just a bit more. You have a glimpse of what happens later down the road, but I personally just wanted the assurance. After everything Ana goes through (I promise, no spoilers!) you just want some satisfaction that everything will be okay from here on out (even if that thinking is completely unrealistic). Also, I would love to know more about Abbie. I know the story’s center points to Ana, but there is so much worth mentioning about the characters that surrounds her. Although we are given glimpses into Abbie’s background story, I would have loved to read more about her time away from the city.

Overall, I loved this book. Ana of California is a wonderful, heart-warming read that will inspire you to open your eyes to the good in your life.

On Sale Date: June 30th from Penguin Group
Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | iBooks

image via Goodreads


All opinions are my own and are not sponsored or endorsed. 

Review | Geek Girl

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly Smale Published by HarperCollins

four stars

Who hasn’t wanted to be an international supermodel their entire life? Oh… that would be Harriet Manners. Harriet is all numbers and logical thinking. She gets math but doesn’t understand fashion. She leaves all of the beauty tips and tricks to her best friend, Nat. At least until she gets “spotted” at a local fashion event where her “geek” life gets flipped upside down.

Geek Girl by Holly Smale is laugh-out-loud funny and will leave you with all the warm and fuzzies. It will remind you to celebrate who you are and that we are more than what we label ourselves.

Smale’s characters are golden. Each character holds their own and their are so many dominant and out-there personalities you will constantly be entertained even after the last page.

There are a handful of super duper moral guidances hidden among the pages of this book which unveil a beautiful coming of age story. One of the greatest is rendered in this quote:

“Nobody really metamorphoses. Cinderella is always Cinderella, just in a nicer dress. The Ugly Duckling was always a swan, just a smaller version. And I bet the tadpole and the caterpillar still feel the same, even when they’re jumping and flying, swimming and floating.

Just like I am now.

I didn’t need to transform after all.
My name is Harriet Manners and I am a geek.
And maybe that’s not so bad after all.”

If you are in search for a feel good and light-hearted novel, this one’s for you.

For full synopsis for Geek Girl, click here. 


All opinions are my own and are not affiliated or endorsed by any company or organization. 

Review| The Last Time We Say Goodbye

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand via Goodreads

 

five stars

Grief can be one of the toughest emotions to capture, because each person tends to grieve a little unlike the other. With that being said– Bravo, Cynthia Hand for portraying the ugliness of grief so beautifully and so honestly.

I’ve read a lot of books recently that ended with death. You have picture-perfect moments through 3/4ths of the book and then the inevitable hits and your heart feels like it was put through some weird & tortuous organ shredder. I appreciate that Hand began with death and ended her story towards healing.

I will echo my sentiment written in my review of All the Bright Places. When an author and a reader share in the same experience and the work between the author and the reader reflect that experience, there is a magic that occurs. I lost a friend to suicide about 10 years ago to the month. Suicide is tricky. As Hand points out, there is a different tone to death when the death is occurred by the victims own hands.

“They took Ty’s name off the roster.  The even expunged his school records for the year, as if they could erase his existence altogether.

I’d bet good money they didn’t do that kind of thing with Hailey McKennett, who lost her battle with cystic fibrosis two years ago, or Sammie Sullivan, who died of complications from pneumonia, or Jacob Wright, who was killed in a car crash driving home drunk from a party at Branched Oak Lake last summer.  Jacob got a tree planted for him at the front of the school, a plaque under it that I pass every day walking in that reads WE’LL MISS YOU, J.  Sammie got a moment of silence during first period that year and an entire page of the yearbook devoted to her memory.  They read Hailey’s name at graduation.

But Ty got his locker packed up and delivered promptly back to my mother, before we’d even had a chance to bury him.

Because it was suicide.

Because they don’t want to seem like they’re condoning it.

There are also a lot of “what ifs”. What if I would have said this…done this…noticed this. After dealing with my own grief I still sometimes wonder if things could have ended differently than they did. But has Hand mentions so beautifully, the only person that could have helped him was him. At some point you have to come to peace with not only your loss but with yourself.

I can’t end this review without mentioning Lex. I LOVE her. She is logical, not emotional, slightly socially awkward, and she is who she is. She doesn’t strive to be something she’s not. She isn’t able to curse with conviction—which I can relate—and she views the world in a completely unique way. Honestly, I was thrilled that Hand made a Bones reference because it made it so easy to connect and understand her character.  (Also Bones is my all-time favorite TV show, so, just reading that I knew this book would be a good one.)

The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a beautifully written portrayal of loss, understanding, guilt, grief, and most importantly healing. If you liked All the Bright Places or The Fault in Our Stars, add this to your list.

Click here for full synopsis.


All opinions are my own and are not affiliated or endorsed with any company or organization. 

 

Review | Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Image via Goodreads Release Date: April 14th from Poppy

Um, Amy Spalding have we met? Because I am pretty sure you just wrote about me in your newest book, Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys).

Awk-ward. No really, awkward. This book is chock-full of it and it will have you laughing out loud (and yes, mighty loud) til the end.

I love Spalding’s characters, like L-O-V-E. Each of her characters hold their own. You have Riley who runs head first into love, says the first thing that pops in her head, and is (just a little bit) reckless. Reid is her fierce band companion, and I love their platonic friendship. (Who says boys and girls can’t just be friends?!) He is a bubble of insecurities, and I appreciate that Spalding added a male character like his into the mix. Then there is Lucy, she is sensible, nice, and is the definition of what a friend should be. Milo, who is quite possibly the coolest (and smoothest) kid in town.  Oh, and let’s not forget Ted! I may or may not have a crush on Ted. He is a bit of a mystery, plus he is smart, kind, thoughtful, and seems to be the All-American good guy. He may be a bit of a geek, but those are usually the best kind of guys. (I mean have you watched The Big Bang Theory?!)

This book has been compared a lot to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. It definitely has a similar vibe, meaning Riley is in a band and music is a huge part of this story, but Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) is definitely in a category of its own. Spalding was very smart when she wrote this novel. It is a love story that is so authentically adolescent, you will feel like you are in your teenage shoes again.

Get ready to laugh because this one brings everything to the table.

For full synopsis click here.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Poppy / Little, Brown Book for Young Readers 

Special thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown for this ARC. It was a pleasure reading this title!  


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization.