Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Very Unexpected #SuchAGIngerRead



Typically I can spot a Ginger Read just by looking at a cover on a shelf, or maybe even when I read the summary. Today's Such a Ginger Read was very unexpected, though! I'd added these books to my TBR a few months back after a friend raved about the first book. I don't exactly remember why I added it, though. Nothing in the summary exactly stands out to me. I think I just trusted the friend recommending it. Regardless, I'm super happy I finally picked it up because WOW! This story is hands down my new favorite thing to push on to others as Such A Ginger Read!


Trouble Is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
About the book: Sherlock meets Veronica Mars meets Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in this story of a wisecracking girl who meets a weird but brilliant boy and their roller-coaster of a semester that’s one part awkward, three parts thrilling, and five parts awesome

When Philip Digby first shows up on her doorstep, Zoe Webster is not impressed. He's rude and he treats her like a book he's already read and knows the ending to. But before she knows it, Digby--annoying, brilliant and somehow attractive?--has dragged her into a series of hilarious and dangerous situations all related to an investigation into the kidnapping of a local teenage girl. A kidnapping that may be connected to the tragic disappearance of his own sister eight years ago.

When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can't say no. Digby gets her, even though she barely gets herself. But is Digby a hero, or is his manic quest an indication of a desperate attempt to repair his broken family and exercise his own obsessive compulsive tendencies?

A romance where the leading man is decidedly unromantic, a crime novel where catching the crook isn't the only hook, a friendship story where they aren't even sure they like each other--this is a contemporary debut with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and the most charismatic dynamic duo you've ever met. [goodreads]

My first thoughts after reading book one and two: Why aren't more people reading & raving about these books??! From the hilarious witty banter, to the insanely fun plot lines, I couldn't get enough. Book three comes out in April and you bet I already pre-ordered my copy!

I know some readers are weary when a book is described as "Veronica Mars" like, especially my fellow VMars fans (trust me, I am too, I backed the movie as well!). I will agree that these books give definite Veronica Mars vibes though. I see the similarities with the obvious: high school teenagers attempting to solve local crime + dry, hysterical humor. However, I would describe Digby (the male main character) as more Veronica Mars-like, than Zoe (the female lead). It's not a copy-cat, by any means, these books possess a fresh storyline with characters that are simply irresistible all on their own.

Let's chat about those characters, shall we? Between Digby and Zoe's constant banter, along with their mix-matched bag of friends (that aren't necessarily the best of buds in the beginning), they are the foundation of what makes these books so spectacular, in my mind. I really appreciate an author who can develop characters so effortlessly (at least it comes across that way to the reader) and organically. I felt like I was literally watching a movie scene play out before my eyes, especially when this cast of characters find themselves in the trickiest, yet most hilarious, situations.

I zipped through books one and two in one weekend, and like I said earlier I am so eager to get my hands on book three when it comes out in a few months. If you're someone who enjoys high paced storylines with witty, smart characters, then you'll definitely want to check this series out. Or, if you're like me, take a chance on them and discover a gem that has definitely become Such A Ginger Read!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

All New #SuchAGingerRead: Puddin'



Howdy, friends! Last year I started a series on the blog titled "Such a Ginger Read" that highlights books I read that are definitely a me kind of book. Now, for those who don't know me, you may be wondering: What exactly IS a Ginger Read? There are lots of ingredients to this type of story, but if its got any of these, then you can definitely call it a Ginger Read: romance, emotional depth, set during the summer (bonus!), and a contemporary storyline.

I've already read my first #SuchAGingerRead of the year and we're only a week in. I know I'll be talking about this book a lot in the months to come, especially since it doesn't publish until May. It's a strong contender for being a total Ginger Read, and bonus points for it being set in my home state: Texas!

Puddin' (Dumplin, #2) by Julie Murphy
To be published: May 8, 2018
About the book: It is a companion novel to Dumplin', which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean's star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined. [goodreads]

Anything Julie Murphy writes is a Ginger Read, and this one follows suit just like her previous novels have. Puddin' is the follow-up (or companion) novel to Dumplin'. They are two different stories; however, I would still recommend reading Dumplin' first since there is a lot of character and storyline over lap. Plus, Dumplin' is amazing in its own right and you should read that story anyway!

Puddin' focuses on two very different, yet very special characters we were first introduced to in Dumplin': Millie and Callie. I was drawn to both of these girls for separate reasons. They shine bright in their own right; especially when I found myself hating one, and loving an another. It's a testament to an author's craft when by the end of the novel you've developed a deep connection, and love, for both main characters, despite all their flaws.

Julie Murphy has taken a story, that I feel so many are able to relate to, and gives it her own authenticity. It's a story about self-doubt and insecurities. But also about stepping out, and rising above it all, even when it's the most terrifying thing in the world. There is so much good in this story, one that I wish I'd had as a teen. Picking up a Julie Murphy novel feels like coming home, and it's especially home sweet home for me since this one is set in Texas. When it comes to YA contemporary, this is Such a Ginger Read!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Why Hello There, 2018!




It's the first week of the new year and already I am inspired by the newness of it all. Typically I shy away from new year resolutions because I feel that I'm just setting myself up for failure. Why admit to the world that I am going to commit to something, only later bailing out, and then feeling down on myself about it for the rest of the year? Yeah, no thanks.

I'm taking a different approach this year by making small changes (eating less sugar, more protein) to eventually add up to a bigger change (a healthier heart & mind). Positivity is a key word I am going to focus on this year. If I can feel more positive about myself, project more positivity into the universe, then perhaps it will create a happier, healthier space for me in this crazy world we live in.

For the first time, in a long time, I've been inspired to write again. Back in 2013 & 2014, I ventured into NaNoWriMo territory and discovered that I really enjoyed writing. But since then, I've also discovered that I only enjoy it when I feel a story needs to be told. I can't just write, because I want to write. It's been a few years, but that passion has slowly seeped its way back in and I've started tinkering with a new story idea. Thanks to my good friend Trish Doller, already the best cheerleader, I've got something brewing. I'm not quite ready to share my words with the world, but when I do, I'll be sure to post snip-its here and there.

Listening to music is never a new thing for me, but creating new playlists is always a fun thing to do. Spotify has been my best friend for quite some time. It's the best source for me to discover new music and build playlists to my liking. I literally listen to the app daily, whether it's through my phone, on my iPad, or sitting at the computer. Music is constantly on in my world. Here's a listen of my top songs from 2017:


As for reading, well we all know THAT is not new for me, either. I just finished my first book of the year & it was FANTASTIC. Seriously, Katie Cotugno is a force in the writing world, one I hope continues to build and build, because damn she shines bright! Her upcoming novel 9 Days & 9 Nights picks up just after her novel 99 Days, and it is... well, a journey, for sure. I read it almost in one sitting (just stopped long enough to go to bed.. because ya know, sleep needs to happen sometimes). It's already a favorite for the year I know and THE YEAR JUST STARTED! I'm scared for whatever I read next. Lots to live up to there.

2018, you are looking promising so far. Here's to a new year of more fabulous books to read, stories to write, and music to be inspired by.



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A New Year of New Books: My 2018 TBR List + Giveaway



We are just days away from the New Year beginning, can you believe it?! And that means a whole new year of book releases to look forward to! I've got an ongoing list on my goodreads page of both Adult & YA books I am planning to read in 2018. I thought I'd pick a few (okay, more like a lot!) to feature on the blog. After you've perused the list, you'll have an opportunity to enter my giveaway to win a pre-order of one of these books! This giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only, must be 18 years old to enter, and follow the contest rules in the specific giveaway.

Be sure to let me know in the comments if you've added any of these books to your own 2018 TBR list, or if you've got others to recommend to me. Happy New Year, friends, and Happy New Year of Reading New Books!

January 2018

Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle
About the book: What does it really mean to be kind . . . and why does it sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world to do? High school senior Kendall, who just returned from a life-changing semester in Europe, and Max, who is drifting his way through a gap year before college, struggle with these questions when they witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Racked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls these two teens, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore a vibrant city filled with other people’s stories and secrets.

Kendall and Max can’t deny their growing bond, even though they both have other romantic entanglements and uncertain futures. As the clock counts down on New Year’s Eve, will they find themselves together at midnight? [goodreads]

*I read this one already & really enjoyed it. Had to include it on my list because I want others to read it, too!

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This Love Story Will Self-Destruct by Leslie Cohen
About the book: This is the classic tale of boy meets girl: Girl…goes home with someone else.

Meet Eve. She’s a dreamer, a feeler, a careening well of sensitivities who can’t quite keep her feet on the ground, or steer clear of trouble. She’s a laugher, a crier, a quirky and quick-witted bleeding-heart-worrier.

Meet Ben. He’s an engineer, an expert at leveling floors who likes order, structure, and straight lines. He doesn’t opine, he doesn’t ruminate, he doesn’t simmer until he boils over.

So naturally, when the two first cross paths, sparks don’t exactly fly. But then they meet again. And again. And then, finally, they find themselves with a deep yet fragile connection that will change the course of their relationship—possibly forever.

Follow Eve and Ben as they navigate their twenties on a winding journey through first jobs, first dates, and first breakups; through first reunions, first betrayals and, maybe, first love. This is When Harry Met Sally reimagined; a charming tale told from two unapologetically original points of view. With an acerbic edge and heartwarming humor, debut novelist Leslie Cohen takes us on a tour of what life looks like when it doesn’t go according to plan, and explores the complexity, chaos, and comedy in finding a relationship built to last. [goodreads]

*Another book I already read and had to include -- fans of adult fiction with witty, interesting characters centered around a realistic look at love will eat this up. I know I did!

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The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
About the book: A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want... [goodreads]

*Yet another book I've already read & have pushed on to everyone I know. LOVE is not a strong enough word for how I feel about this story. It's already made my top reads of 2018 list & the year hasn't even started yet! LOL


February 2018

When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger
About the book: A YA romance featuring a neuroatypical girl with a tragic history and the chronically ill boy trying to break the vault encasing her heart

Obviously I’m not what most people would describe as happy. But that has nothing to do with anything. Happiness is not a priority. Survival is.

Alvie Fitz doesn’t fit in, and she doesn’t care. She’s spent years swallowing meds and bad advice from doctors and social workers. Adjust, adapt. Pretend to be normal. It sounds so easy.

If she can make it to her eighteenth birthday without any major mishaps, she’ll be legally emancipated. Free. But if she fails, she’ll become a ward of the state and be sent back to the group home.

All she wants is to be left alone to spend time with her friend, Chance, the one-winged hawk at the zoo where she works. She can bide her time with him until her emancipation. Humans are overrated anyway. Then she meets Stanley, a boy who might be even stranger than she is—a boy who walks with a cane, who turns up every day with a new injury, whose body seems as fragile as glass. Without even meaning to, she finds herself getting close to him. But Alvie remembers what happened to the last person she truly cared about.

Her past stalks her with every step, and it has sharp teeth. But if she can find the strength to face the enemy inside her, maybe she’ll have a chance at happiness after all. [goodreads]

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By the Book by Julia Sonneborn
About the book: An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all. [goodreads]

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The Comfort Zone by Sally Thorne
About the book: From the author of THE HATING GAME comes a poignant and laugh-out-loud novel, perfect for summer, about sisters, love, and the risks that can lead to the biggest rewards...

First time (blockbuster!) author Emma Carson believes that drama belongs in books. It's why she's been building a tranquil new life in London, away from her wealthy, distant father and her D-list celebrity half-sister, Claudia. But when Emma's writer's grant ends and she heads home to New York- with a pitifully underweight draft novel to explain to her editor- she finds her Dad is being extorted- again- and Claudia has been assigned a bodyguard.

Alexei Aristov is big, quiet and gorgeous, despite his scars - and the first rule he learned in Bodyguard School was to not get involved with his clients. Especially if there's a spark. If Emma can just finish her book in solitude, decide on London or New York, and repair her relationship with Claudia, she can end this chapter nice and neatly. But real life can't be edited, deleted or skipped over. Emma thinks this is going to be easy? Famous last words! [goodreads]

*The publication date for this keeps changing, so no idea if this is still going to be a February release. Regardless, it's definitely on my TBR for whenever it does make its debut!

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Interlude by Chantele Sedgwick
About the book: When Mia Cox finds out she can't donate her kidney to save her younger sister's life, she doesn't hesitate to jump on a plane to New York, convinced she can talk their estranged birth mother, Carmen, into donating hers instead. She doesn't know the city or how she'll find Carmen when she gets there, but she has to try. If she doesn't, Maddy's going to die.

On the cross-country flight, Mia figures she'll have more than enough time to make a plan for when she lands--where she'll go, where she'll sleep, what she'll eat. But then she falls into an embarrassing conversation with the cute boy sitting next to her, and only after she insults him does she realize he's the one and only Jaxton Scott, the troubled lead singer of a famous rock band she hates. While Mia is running toward what she hopes is a cure for her sister, Jax is running away from his rockstar life. As the hours pass, they get to know each other, and she finds herself opening up to him like she never has to anyone.

When Jax volunteers to help Mia on the rest of her journey, she's hesitant to accept his offer. Under different circumstances, she would want to get to know him better, but how can she entertain this random crush on a real-life rockstar while Maddy lies in the hospital, her name one of many on a never-ending transplant list?

Though everything seems perfect while they're in the air, once on the ground again, Mia's lack of preparation catches up with her, and she receives grave news from home. Clinging to the shred of hope she has left, she accepts Jax's help but makes it clear that her priority is finding Carmen and saving Maddy's life. She will not, under any circumstances, stray from her mission no matter how cute, thoughtful, and sweet her new friend may be. [goodreads]


March 2018

12 Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn
About the book: James Patterson presents this emotionally resonant novel that shows that while some broken things can't be put back exactly the way they were, they can be repaired and made even stronger.

Kira's Twelve Steps To A Normal Life

1. Accept Grams is gone.
2. Learn to forgive Dad.
3. Steal back ex-boyfriend from best friend...

And somewhere between 1 and 12, realize that when your parent's an alcoholic, there's no such thing as "normal."
When Kira's father enters rehab, she's forced to leave everything behind--her home, her best friends, her boyfriend...everything she loves. Now her father's sober (again) and Kira is returning home, determined to get her life back to normal...exactly as it was before she was sent away.

But is that what Kira really wants?

Life, love, and loss come crashing together in this visceral, heartfelt story by BuzzFeed writer Farrah Penn about a girl who struggles to piece together the shards of her once-normal life before his alcoholism tore it apart. [goodreads]

*It's not every day someone you know writes a book & has it published! Loved this one & can't wait to celebrate its release!!

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Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
About the book: From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other. [goodreads]

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Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade
About the book: Caroline Sands has never been particularly good at making friends. And her parents’ divorce and the move to Arizona three years ago didn’t help. Being the new girl is hard enough without being socially awkward too. So out of desperation and a desire to please her worried mother, Caroline invented a whole life for herself—using characters from Felicity, an old show she discovered online and fell in love with.

But now it’s time for Caroline to go off to college and she wants nothing more than to leave her old “life” behind and build something real. However, when her mother discovers the truth about her manufactured friends, she gives Caroline an ultimatum: Prove in this first semester that she can make friends of the nonfictional variety and thrive in a new environment. Otherwise, it’s back to living at home—and a lot of therapy.

Armed with nothing more than her resolve and a Felicity-inspired plan, Caroline accepts the challenge. But she soon realizes that the real world is rarely as simple as television makes it out to be. And to find a place where she truly belongs, Caroline may have to abandon her script and take the risk of being herself. [goodreads]


April 2018

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
About the book: In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars? [goodreads]

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Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
About the book: The heart may hide, but it never forgets.

The first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly teen friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco reading books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love. [goodreads]

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Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
About the book: From the author of The Last Boy and Girl in the World and The List comes a bold and sweet summer read about first love, feminism, and ice cream.

Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best for friends. Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When Molly passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind… [goodreads]

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My Oxford Year: A Novel by Julia Whelan
About the book: Major Motion Picture Already in Development with Temple Hill Entertainment

Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for. [goodreads]

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I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
About the book: A powerful display of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay.

Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from home to find the boy that he loves, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City after a family tragedy leaves him isolated on the outskirts of Washington state. After the three of them collide in Central Park, they slowly reveal the parts of their past that they haven't been able to confront, and together, they find their way back to who they're supposed to be.

Told over the course of a single day from three different perspectives, Gayle Forman's newest novel about the power of friendship and being true to who you are is filled with the elegant prose that her fans have come to know and love. [goodreads]


May 2018

Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt
About the book: In this contemporary YA, a teenager’s favorite literary heroes woo her in real life

The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences.  [goodreads]

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9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno
About the book: The irresistible sequel to the bestselling 99 Days.

Molly Barlow isn’t that girl anymore. A business major at her college in Boston, she’s reinvented herself after everything that went down a year ago . . . after all the people she hurt and the family she tore apart.

Slowly, life is getting back to normal. Molly has just said “I love you” to her new boyfriend, Ian, and they are off on a romantic European vacation together, starting with scenic London. But there on a Tube platform, the past catches up to her in the form of Gabe, her ex, traveling on his own parallel vacation with new girlfriend Sadie.

After comparing itineraries, Ian ends up extending an invite for Gabe and Sadie to join them on the next leg of their trip, to Ireland. Sadie, who’s dying to go there, jumps at the prospect. And Molly and Gabe can’t bring themselves to tell the truth about who they once were to each other to their new significant others.

Now Molly has to spend nine days and nine nights with the boy she once loved, the boy whose heart she shredded, without Ian knowing. Will she make it through as new, improved Molly, or will everything that happened between her and Gabe come rushing back? [goodreads]

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Puddin' (Dumplin' #2) by Julie Murphy
About the book: It is a companion novel to Dumplin', which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean's star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined. [goodreads]

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The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
About the book: Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? [goodreads]





June 2018

Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakeley
About the book: A sexy new standalone romance from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely!

I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression.

When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations.

Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…

***

Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.
But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…

As long as no one finds out…
As long as no one gets hurt…
As long as no one falls in love…

But our ending was one I never saw coming. [goodreads]

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Save the Date by Morgan Matson
About the book: Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future. [goodreads]

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The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood
About the book: One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other.

Kat lands the lead in the community theater’s summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn’t sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen…

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend…so it’s not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?

As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it’s hard to dream big when she’s so busy taking care of everyone else.

Told through four alternating points of view, readers will laugh, cry, and fall in love alongside the Garrett girls in this captivating new novel from Jessica Spotswood. [goodreads]


July 2018

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakeley
About the book: Sophie Kinsella meets Jennifer Crusie in your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love? [goodreads]

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The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman
About the book: The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village.

When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.

But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.

Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love? [goodreads]

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See something you like? Please tell me about it in the comments! In the meantime, as we all patiently wait for these fantastic looking books to be published in 2018, enter my giveaway to win a pre-order of one! Open to US & Canada residents only, must be 18 years of age, & please see my policies page for further contest rules. Good luck!

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Monday, December 18, 2017

What Will You End the Year Reading?



I can hardly believe the year is almost over. 2017 has been quite something, that's for sure. I set a goal to read 75 books this year and I don't know if I'll make it (though I'm going to try REALLY hard!). As I take a look at some of the books I read this year, I'm seeing a common thread: stories that made me FEEL. My emotions were all over the place, from all the swoons, to all the tears. And let's not forget the belly laughs! I read some pretty great books this year.


Now stands the question, which book (or books) will I end the year reading? I've always felt this question to be a big one. It can set the tone for a new year of reading ahead. If it's something insanely good, then whatever I start 2018 with has a lot to live up to. But if it's a let down, mediocre at best, I'll definitely be craving something irresistible to begin the new year reading.

When all else fails, I know I can always rely on my past loves: a good re-read! So that is what I am choosing to do now. I just read Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas (for the 3rd time). Two words: Hardy Cates. This story never grows old for me; I think it might actually get better each time I read it. It's the second in a series of four books, though I guess you could read each as a standalone, because the stories are about separate characters; however, you may not fully understand the characters because they develop a bit more in each novel. Still though, this one is by far the best of the bunch, in my opinion.

My current read is a 2018 release that I've been waiting to read closer to its publication date, but as you can see.. that didn't work out so well (it pubs in April 2018). So far I am REALLY enjoying Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington. I can already tell that fans of Emery Lord will devour this one. It's a mix of swoony YA romance set against a music backdrop over the course of a summer on the road, with flashbacks thrown in. The characters grabbed me from the first few pages, and the plot line has my attention as well. I'm definitely on board for this one.

Soon I'll be trying to decide what to read next. A holiday romance before Christmas passes? All the novellas so I can reach my reading goal? More re-reads of books that I know will be a sure bet? So many decisions! Tell me, what are your plans for choosing the books you'll end the year reading? Or, does this not even phase you, and you just read whatever because January is just another month?

If you have some really great recs that I should end 2017 with, feel free to let me know in the comments. I'm always up for those! And please let me know what you're currently reading and/or planning to end 2017 with. Here's to another great year of literature, friends!



 
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