Wanderlost by Jen Malone~ Breview

01 Jun, 2016 by in harperteen, YA book reviews, YA contemporary 1 comment

Wanderlost

by Jen Malone
Published by Harper Teen on May 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
three-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the Book
Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

 

Why I Chose This Book- Title and cover. Who doesn’t want to get away and wander for summer?

Family Relationships- Healthy and evolving. I really liked how the parents were involved and present. Neither family was perfect, but they were making improvements. There was a strong sisterly bond and grandmother, grandson care taking relationship.

Setting- Europe! You don’t get much dreamier than that! Unfortunately, it felt like the author was telling me about the places instead of showing me through sights, smells and tastes. I just finished reading Love and Gelato, another contemp YA, so I had fresh in my mind what Italy was like. Wanderlost didn’t take me away to the places described.

Bothersome- As a reader, I had a hard time believing Aubree’s parents would let her stay in Europe after she is busted. Not likely. Also, there is the token LGBT character which, to be honest, came out of nowhere and was not actively involved in the plot in any way.

What I Liked- The phone conversations between Sam and Aubree were perfect and I wish they would have continued for a while longer. They have a great chemistry. Sam is my favorite of the bunch. He’s humble, cheerful, self confident and home schooled. I love that we are starting to see more home schooled (and normal) main characters in YA.

Content- (highlight to reveal) Lots of kissing and some heavy making out in a hotel room, underage drinking

 

 

about_ the_author
Jen Malone once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on Stevie Nicks’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. She is a former Hollywood film publicist and current college professor who lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children and (someday, when she wears her husband down) a pet hedgehog.

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Born to Treason by E.B. Wheeler- Blog Tour

30 May, 2016 by in cedar fort, historical fiction 1 comment

I received this book for free from Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Born To Treason

by E.B. Wheeler
Published by Cedar Fort on May 10, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
four-half-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
Joan Pryce is not only a Catholic during the English Reformation but also Welsh, and comes from a family of proud revolutionaries. But when a small act of defiance entangles her in a deadly conspiracy, a single misstep could lead her straight to the gallows! Joan must decide between fighting for freedom and finding love.

 

Review

Having Welsh heritage, I wanted to learn about the history of our ancestors. Set during a time of religious upheaval between the Catholics and Protestants, Born to Treason highlights the life story of Joan Pryce. She hold fast to her beliefs and her heritage despite a threat to life and love.  The danger is real as she fights to preserve Welsh language, religious writings and relics during the English Reformation. She is seen as an enemy to the queen for choosing to worship in the way she was raised. Soon, the danger increases as Joan smuggles papers for a priest and takes on orphans.

While a bit slow in the beginning, by the end I was hooked. The tale of childhood friends overcoming loss was heartwarming. Full of twists and turns, action and intrigue, E.B. Wheeler has crafted a great piece of historical fiction.

About the Author

E.B. Wheeler grew up in Georgia and California. She earned her BA in history from BYU and has graduate degrees in history and landscape architecture from Utah State University. With Welsh ancestors on one side of her family and crypto-Catholics on the other, she’s been fascinated by the story of Welsh Catholics since writing about them in her master’s thesis. She’s the award-winning author of “The Haunting of Springett Hall” and lives in northern Utah with her family.

 

Blog Tour Schedule
May 10: Rockin’ Book Reviews
May 11: My Love for Reading Keeps Growing
May 12: Once Upon a Time | Bookworm Lisa
May 13: My Book a Day
May 14: Inklings and Notions
May 16: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
May 17: Getting Your Read On
May 18: The Dragon’s Nook | Reading for Sanity
May 19: Robyn Echols Books | Reading Lark
May 20: Why Not? Because I Said So
May 23: Wishful Endings
May 24: Mel’s Shelves
May 25: Blooming With Books
May 26: Making Life a Bliss Complete
May 27: Singing Librarian Books
May 28: Crossroad Reviews
May 30: Fire and Ice
May 31: The Morrell Tale

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Books and ARCs For Trade

27 May, 2016 by in arcs, books for trade, wishlist Leave a comment

books

It’s that time of year! Spring cleaning. I have books I would love to trade.

 

Hardcover

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

The Good Girls by Sara Shepard

Away We Go by Emil Ostrovski

Deadfall (Blackbird Book 2) by Anna Carey

The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan

Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Defector: A Variants Novel by Susanne Winnacker

Light of Day by Allison van Diepen

A Work of Art by Melody Maysonet

Talker 25 #2 by Joshua McCune

Paperback

An American in Scotland by Karen Ranney

Sapient by Jerry Kaczmarowski

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen

Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook

Missing Dixie by Caisey Quinn

The Match of the Century by Cathy Maxwell

Lady Bridget’s Diary by Maya Rodale

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Prophecy Girl by Cecily White

Advance Reader’s Copies

After Hours by Claire Kennedy

What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

Trash Can Nights by Teddy Steinkellner

Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth

If you’re interested in something, here are my wishlists. I am also interested in new, clean reads.

Comment below or tweet/ message me on Twitter @fireicephotos to claim.

Shipping to U.S. only via media mail. All books are in like new condition.

THANKS!

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Peek Into My Postbox #14

23 May, 2016 by in book mail, in my mailbox, peek into my Postbox, Uncategorized Leave a comment

unnamed (2)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted all of my book mail in one place. Here’s the latest adds to our shelves.

What books have you bought, checked out or picked up lately?

Leave a link to your In My Mailbox, Book Haul, #BEA16 or Books for Trade posts in the comments.

 

 

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Pride and Politics by Brittany Larsen~Blog Tour

21 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Pride and Politics

by Brittany Larsen
Published by Covenant on May 5, 2016
Genres: Clean Romance, Contemporary, LDS
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
As the daughter of a well-known senator, Summer Knight is all too familiar with the nasty side of politics. She’s always stayed out of the drama, until an incident involving her fellow Mormons drives her out of her hometown—and out of the Church. What she needs is a change of scene, and sunny California seems like just the place. Enter Benson Hardy. He’s just her type—until she finds out who he is. Not only is Benson a nephew to her father’s political rival, he’s also a devout member of the Church. The last thing Summer wants is to be mixed up in politics—or religion. But Benson challenges her like no one else, asking the tough questions about her inactivity. Though their incompatibility is clear, their connection is undeniable, and soon Summer finds the embers of her faith reigniting. Just as it seems that the pair might be on the road to romance, a series of embarrassing misunderstandings—and the appearance of a handsome charmer determined to sweep Summer off her feet—knock the couple completely off course. As Summer finds herself at a crossroads, she must decide if she’s willing to set her pride aside for a shot at true love.

Review

Pride and Prejudice meets politics in Brittany Larsen’s clean LDS romance. It has hit shelves at the perfect time– during campaign season!

Summer is “taking a break” from church as she’s seen way too much hypocrisy as a Democrat Senator’s daughter. Her Sundays consist of paddle boarding and avoiding the constant meeting invitations of her visiting teacher. All of this changes, however, when she runs into a campaign manager for her family’s nemesis. Benson is an active churchgoer, kind, a Republican and someone she really should no be seen with. Miles apart on social issues and agendas, these two find common ground on friendship.

There’s plenty of witty banter to keep you flipping pages. Pride and Politics was a treat to read and is clean for teens and adults. Both characters are college aged, so the best target audience is the new adult crowd. I thoroughly enjoyed this modern twist on a classic.

Tour Schedule

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Summer Reading Wishlist

19 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Summer is just around the corner and my reading time will pick up as I sit in the sun with a book.

Here is my bookish wishlist.

What’s on yours?

The Way Back to You
by Michelle Andreani, Mindi Scott

Landline: A Novel
by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On
by Rainbow Rowell (Hardcover)

Passenger
by Alexandra Bracken

P.S. I Like You
by Kasie West

My Lady Jane
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Ever the Hunted: A Clash of Kingdoms Novel
by Erin Summerill

Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor

Siren’s Song (The Storm Siren Trilogy)
by Mary Weber

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

Forever Doon (A Doon Novel)
by Carey Corp, Lorie Langdon

 

I also have these books for trade. If interested, comment below.

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson ~ Review

18 May, 2016 by in Morgan Matson, The Unexpected Everything Leave a comment

The Unexpected Everything

by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 3, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 519
Format: Hardcover
three-half-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
From Morgan Matson, the bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone comes a feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans.

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

Let’s face it, I picked this one up because of the cover. Summer, ice cream truck and a yellow spine. Andie’s father is a congressman who is being investigated for fraud in his office and has to take a break from their high profile life while they clear his name. Politics has strained his relationship with his daughter, especially since they both lost Addie’s mother to ovarian cancer. They are used to having a campaign manager and intern following them around at all times, a blackberry ringing with texts and the press scrutinizing their every move. Life shifts when neither knows how to fulfill their new role as a father and daughter team instead of passing ships. To make matter more complicated, Addie’s internship at a medical program is cancelled once the dean hears of her father’s fall from political grace. So what is she to do…all the good job are taken! Walk dogs.

After a literal run in with a dog owner, she secures a job walking for Clark, a best- selling teen author. He’s geeky, down to earth and a bit damaged by his own strained relationship with his father. Addie has to learn to let down her guard and be herself, while Clark has to learn how to relate to a new pack of instant friends that come along with his new girlfriend. I had a hard tome telling the four girls apart at times, though the side story of one of them having to use only emojis to communicate was fun. The side BFF’s felt a bit flat for a book over 500 pages long. The only other part that gave me angst was Addie’s flings with Topher, the son of a Senator in her neighborhood. I am sad the two of them never developed more than a kiss and don’t tell friendship. The arc of father and daughter depth was excellent, by the end family relationships had been mended and priorities put in the right place. Exploring boundaries, healing families and what to do when life shifts unexpectedly, The Unexpected Everything is a great summer read!

Content– highlight to reveal drinking, teens making out and pushing boundaries

 

 

 Author Bio

Hi! I’m Morgan. (I’ve always found the third-person biography thing pretty weird.)

I write YA novels, usually about a girl, a summer, a boy, sometimes a dog, and always lots of coffee and ice cream. I love road trips and traveling, old black & white movies filled with repartee, summers, Starbucks, and fountain diet coke.

I’m originally from the East Coast, but I now live in Los Angeles with my dog Murphy, in a house I wish was closer to the beach.

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See How They Run Embassy Row #2 by Ally Carter

17 May, 2016 by in ally carter, embassy row, see how the run Leave a comment

See How They Run

by Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row #2
Published by Scholastic on December 22, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
Inside every secret, there's a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions--from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace's past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.

Grace is experiencing trauma from the death of her mother and can only remember bits and pieces of the event she witnessed. Her memories are muddled but all lead to a scar faced man who seems to now be following her. Spending time in Adria with her grandfather, a diplomat on Embassy Row, she’s afraid she is literally going mad. Her friends Noah and Alexi are there to hold things together when she unravels, but the anxiety and flashbacks are coming on stronger and more frequently. A plot driven, action packed story, See How They Run is riddled with past tradition, secret societies and murder. I’ve struggled a bit with this series because it is so much darker than anything else Ally has written. I put it down at one point, then came back after a break to finish it out.

Oh the ending!

You will definitely want to read book one to be able to decipher all that is going on. There are many layers to the story and the cliffhanger left me needing book three! I enjoyed the dynamic between Grace and her brother as well as the sparks. I would recommend the series for older teens as there is some violence and the tone is more dark than the Gallagher Girls or Heist Society series. There may also be some triggers for teens experiencing PTSD or anxiety. There is lots of history woven in to the backstory and I can’t wait to see how this all unfolds.

Author Bio

I was born and raised in Oklahoma. My mother was a teacher and my father a farmer and rancher. I have one older sister.

In high school, I was very active in a number of student organizations and graduated as co-valedictorian of my senior class. I then attended Oklahoma State University and Cornell University and worked for several years in the agricultural industry before writing full-time.

My first novel, Cheating at Solitaire (Berkley) was published in 2005. The following year I published the sequel to Solitaire, Learning to Play Gin. There are no more plans for future books in that series at this time.

My first novel for young adults, I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You was published by Disney-Hyperion in April 2006. Love You Kill You (as we call it) was followed by Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (October 2007), Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover (June 2009), Only the Good Spy Young (June 2010), Out of Sight, Out of Time (March 2012). United We Spy (September 2013) is the sixth–and final–Gallagher Girls novel.

I am also the author of Heist Society (February 2010) and its sequels Uncommon Criminals (June 2011), and Perfect Scoundrels (February 2013).

In January 2013 I published the cross-over novella Double-Crossed that features characters from both the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society. It is available for free at spiesandthieves.com and wherever ebooks are sold.

ALL FALL DOWN is the first book in my new Embassy Row series. It was published on January 20, 2015 and will launch a new three-book series with Scholastic.

My books have been published in more than twenty countries and have appeared on best-seller lists from the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Bookscan. They have sold over two million copies in the United States.

I am one of the luckiest people in the world, and today, I’m able to do the job I wanted to do when I was a kid, and I am back living in Oklahoma.

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Breview: This Is My Brain on Boys~ by Sarah Strohmeyer

16 May, 2016 by in balzer & bray, contemp, ya Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Balzer & Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This Is My Brain on Boys

by Sarah Strohmeyer
Published by Balzer & Bray on May 10, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
three-half-stars
Source: Balzer & Bray
Buy the BookGoodreads
Addie Emerson doesn’t believe in love, at least for herself. A straightlaced, brilliant girl, she’s more interested in getting an A than falling in love. But Addie is determined to prove the science of love—because Addie Emerson does believe in science.

Science tells her that “love” is nothing more than the brain’s state under the influence of certain chemicals. And by artificially stimulating those chemicals, the brain can totally be tricked into falling in love. So Addie decides to apply that knowledge—and make her classmates fall in love—to win the coveted Athenian Award for Science in her elite private school. One way to speed up the process—adrenaline—she’ll put her classmates in dangerous, high-risk situations . . . and research the fallout.

But a mysterious new guy keeps messing with her plans. And she kind of can’t stop thinking about his gorgeous brown eyes. With backstabbing competitors—including her former lab partner, the preppy, wealthier-than-thou Dex—and more than one pair of star-crossed lovers—can Addie manage to salvage her experiment and win the Athenian? And what happens if she does the unthinkable—and falls in love?

Addie is on her way back to school on a flight gone bad. Her plane is about to go down when she notices the person seated next to her appears to be hyperventilating in panic. He looks vaguely familiar and he needs oxygen stat!

Kris is a world traveler/ humanitarian who just can’t relate to others his age after a trip to Nepal. So, in search of new neural pathways he transfers to a new top notch school only to find himself in trouble. Wrong group of friends, wrong girlfriend, and a summer to make it up to his dean.

Geek girl meets popular boy in Strohmeyer’s new YA contemporary.

The pacing is fantastic in the beginning and stalls a little though the middle, but in the end it right on track. I found myself smiling and laughing at Addie’s literal sense of humor plus the shenanigans she finds herself in trying to win a prestigious scholarship via science experiment. Overall, a clean teen read with fun characters and scientific jargon.

Content-some teen drinking and a few swear words

Author Bio

After being placed on other “must read” YA lists, SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT has recently been chosen by Texas school librarians for the 2013 Lone Star Reading List, a great honor since Texas is a BIG state. Thank you, librarians!

It’s also my fourteenth novel, but my first for young adults after writing mysteries and stand alones, one of which, THE CINDERELLA PACT, became the Lifetime Movie – LYING TO BE PERFECT. Of all these, SMART GIRLS has been my favorite to write because not only was I a “smart girl,” but so were my daughter and her friends who, like me, grew tired of playing second fiddle. I figured the time had come for our kind to receive the kudos, the attention and the boys. The bad girls had hogged center stage long enough.

Before I wrote novels, I was a newspaper reporter of questionable talent for twenty years, never quite serious or responsible enough for the duty of recording all the news that’s fit to print. (My definition of what was fit to print and my editors’ often clashed. Apparently, it was not necessary to describe certain cops as “super cute.”)

Some novelists begin their careers by winning literary contests or writing their first manuscripts while pursuing a masters degree. I began mine by placing Barbie in forty contemporary and historical settings with photos taken by my friend (and awesome photographer) Geoff Hansen. BARBIE UNBOUND: A PARODY OF THE BARBIE OBSESSION became a cult hit, landed me on CBS This Morning and USA Today. It was, briefly, the most shoplifted book in America.
After that, I wrote the Bubbles Yablonsky mystery series featuring a bubble-headed blonde ditzy – or is she? – hairdresser with a gift for gossip who becomes a newspaper reporter. Kind of like a memoir, sure. And then a bunch of novels about women.
Today, I live in Vermont with my husband, a lawyer, and son, Sam, an upcoming high school junior. My daughter, Anna, is a senior at Bryn Mawr College where there are A LOT of smart girls. Also, there’s Fred, my five-year-old basset hound and between you and me, the love of my life.

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