Monday, March 19, 2018

#SuchAGingerRead: If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

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 different ingredients to this type of story, but if it's got any of these: romance, emotional depth, set during the summer (bonus!), and/or a contemporary storyline, then you can definitely call it #SuchAGingerRead!

If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Published: October 25, 2016 by Harlequin Teen
About the book: Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.

When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.

With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . . [goodreads]

This book came highly recommended to me by a trusted friend, so I already had high hopes going into. It's a scary thing though when your expectations are way up there, and you're wondering if the book can actually pull it off.

This book can. And it did.

When you look at the overall storyline on paper, there is A LOT of drama here. And I mean, a whole lot of angsty-drama. Usually that would steer me away. However, this goes to show what a brilliant writer Abigail Johnson is because she was able to weave me through the drama and connect all the dots, at just the right moments.

I felt truly connected to Jill and this fateful summer she had to endure. It's rare I see a parent in YA, especially the mother, painted in such a poor light. I was disgusted with her actions, angry with her choices, and finding it so incredibly hard to forgive her -- just as Jill, her daughter, did. That, to me, is excellent writing. I struggled through accepting Jill's relationships with both Sean and Daniel. In the end though, as I saw the whole picture unfolded, as messed up as their relationships were, it totally made sense in my eyes. Sometimes the beauty in a story doesn't present itself until the very end, when it's meant to.

I am claiming this novel as #SuchAGingerRead for its emotional depth, filled with all its ups and downs as the story takes the reader on a journey through heartache and beauty. It's definitely not an easy read, but its by far a rewarding one. And sometimes, those are the best kind.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Happy Release Day: Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn

Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn
Published: March 13, 2018 by Little, Brown
About the book:
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? [goodreads]

It's here! I am so happy to be sharing my thoughts on Farrah Penn's debut novel, Twelve Steps to Normal. I've been a champion of her words long before they were set to be published and I am so incredibly proud of the journey she's followed through with. From one Texas book blogger to a (former) Texas book blogger -- Congrats!!

Kira’s story is one I feel that a lot of teens, unfortunately, can relate to. We see the aftermath of what having an alcoholic parent can do to a teenage girl’s life. The story picks up just after Kira’s dad exits his rehab therapy & attempts to re-enter Kira’s life. From the first chapter, I immediately felt the emotional journey both Kira & her dad would take me on.

This is so much more than just a story about recovery & the effects alcoholism can have on the people that are touched by it. I see so much potential from this debut novelist that I can't wait to read more from Farrah. From someone who adores contemporary YA just as much as me, she gets this one right. So right.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Those Books You Just Have to Have

No matter how many books sit unread on my shelves, or in my kindle app, there are ALWAYS more books I just have to have. I'm sure any bibliophile can relate. Below are a few of some upcoming spring/summer titles that I have either pre-ordered, or I'm waiting patiently to be approved via Netgalley or Edelweiss. Are any of these on your TBR list?

Trouble Never Sleeps (Trouble #3) by Stephanie Tromly
About the book: Happily Ever After gets a serious makeover in this swoony, non-stop, thrill-ride of a conclusion to the Trouble Is a Friend of Mine trilogy.

No one makes getting into trouble look as good as Philip Digby—and he looks good doing it. Now that he's back in town, he's plunged Zoe (and their Scooby Gang of wealthy frenemy Sloane, nerd-tastic genius Felix, and aw-shucks-handsome Henry) back into the deep end on the hunt for his kidnapped sister. He's got a lead, but it involves doing a deal with the scion of an alarmingly powerful family, not to mention committing some light treason. Zoe and Digby are officially together now, and she's definitely up for whatever closure this new caper might offer, even though this mystery will come with a twist neither expected.

With acerbic banter, steamy chemistry, and no small amount of sarcasm, Zoe and Digby are the will-they-or-won't-they, charismatic crime solving couple you've been waiting for. [goodreads]
Considering I just binge read (& fell in love with) the first two books in this series, I am dying to get my hands on the third, and final, installment in this trilogy. The quick-witted snark, plus action packed storyline, had me reading page to page. I am so eager to find out how it all wraps up! This was an instant pre-order!

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
About the book: From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

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?

With Maurene Goo's signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look. [goodreads]

Maurene's previous novel, I Believe in a Thing Called Love, had me laughing out loud within the first few chapters. That was a definite sign of a fun book ahead (which it was!). So naturally I am looking forward to more by this author. I love everything about the premise of this new novel. And yes, her titles always make me sing them aloud.

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
About the book: Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

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 bookish 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 devouring 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]
If a book has Christina Lauren's name on it, I have to have it. I don't even care if it's a book that details their shopping lists, haha, I want it! They are some of my most favorite writers, and I can't wait to experience their first experiment in women's fiction.

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
About the book: A 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 of 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 the 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]

You had me at ice cream.. and first love.. AND summer! All of these are ingredients for #SuchAGingerRead, plus to be written by Siobhan Vivian is a cherry on top of this ice cream sundae! I feel like I got an intimate look at her writing process with this one as she shared her experience with it through social media as the book came together. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product (And, that cover? My favorite! She always has the best covers!).


Let me know in the comments if you've added any of these to your forever growing to-be-read list. Or, if you've been lucky enough to read one already, let me know that too! (spoiler-free of course)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Happy Wedding Date Release Day!

It's finally here! The book I've been raving about for months!! I am so excited to celebrate the release of THE WEDDING DATE by Jasmine Guillory. This novel is one I connected with right away and immediately knew I'd be sharing with all the readers in my life. I've mentioned it quite a bit through my social media platforms, and possibly a time or two here on the blog. I hope you're able to get a copy from your local bookstore, online retailer, or library! If not, I may have an opportunity for you to read a copy below, hehe...

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]

THE WEDDING DATE by Jasmine Guillory (an excerpt)

Alexa danced with Lauren, letting the movement and the laughter shake away her annoying thoughts. When she felt a hand on her waist, she turned to see Drew behind her and laughed again, at how ridiculous the evening had been and how much fun she was suddenly having. He took ahold of one of her hands and swung her around to face him and laughed back down at her. Other members of the wedding party joined their group and danced with and around them, but song after song came on, and he never moved from her side.

“Water?” he said in her ear after they’d been on the dance floor for a long time.

“Yes, please.” She walked with him over to the bar.

She glanced up at the ornate clock over the bar, surprised at how late it had gotten. And how much she didn’t want this night to end. Damn it, it had been fun to be Drew’s fake girlfriend, but she knew that once the clock struck midnight, so to speak, the fairy tale would be all over.

He leaned against the bar, his jacket off, his bow tie untied, a little sweaty and disheveled from dancing. Good Lord, this guy was hot.

He rolled up his sleeves, exposing his tan forearms. She wanted to run her fingers up and down them and feel how warm and strong they were.

She needed to stop letting her imagination run away with her.

“Um,” she said. “It’s getting late, and if I want to make the last BART train back to the East Bay, I should probably leave pretty soon.”

Why had she said that? Why, when she was standing next to a hot guy, basically panting over him? If she was Maddie, hell, if she was Amy, she would have grabbed one of those hot forearms and wrapped it around her body, letting him know what she wanted without having to say anything. 

Sadly, she was Alexa, so she would flee instead.

He put his water bottle down and looked at her.


“Okay,” she said. 

Olivia and Maddie would get mad at her for not throwing herself at him, but they didn’t understand that she just didn’t know how. Plus, rejection from this guy was the last thing her self-esteem needed. Talk about the opposite of getting back on the horse; that would make her avoid horses, and stables, and all farm animals for another few years. So to speak.

He stepped closer to her and put his hand on her waist. Her hand landed on his arm, and, without even meaning to, she ran her fingers up and down. Oh God, touching him like this was as good as she’d thought it would be.

“Or”—he looked straight down into her eyes—“you could stay.”

A question was in his eyes, and a smile hovered over his lips. His thumb drew slow circles on her hip and then moved up her side to her ribs. His other hand moved up to her face and traced the outline of her lips with his fingers.

She shivered.

He waited.

“Or,” she said, “I could stay.”


Want to read more? Enter my giveaway below to win a copy! 
Giveaway is open to international readers (Book Depository must be able to ship to you)
No giveaway accounts allowed || Must be 18 years old to enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

Site Design by Designer Blogs