The Way Back To You~ Book Breview

07 Jun, 2016 by in katherine tegen books, YA book reviews, YA contemporary Leave a comment

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

The Way Back to You

by Michelle Andreani, Mindi Scott
Published by Katherine Tegen on May 3, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
For fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson, a witty, poignant novel about second chances, letting go, and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident. Her best friend, Cloudy, is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.

Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.

As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they’re barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot out of character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again.

Or maybe it will be a huge mistake.

 

Cover– Fits the story perfectly. Draws readers to buy the book

Story– Raw, emotional and sad at times as two teens deal with the death of their best friend. There are questions of life after death, swallowing emotion and loyalty to loved ones.

What I Loved– The road trip element and the changes it brings in both Cloudy and Kyle to get away, serve someone else, and grieve together instead of going at it alone. The emotional moments meeting organ donor recipients.

What I Struggled With– The way the teen died. Some of the story may be triggering for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one in the recent past. It can be heavy. There is a lot of dialogue about what lies after this life. May call in to question basic beliefs for Christian teens.

Family Relationships-Teens with strong bonds to their siblings and cousin. There is also great conversations going on between father and son. It’s not shiny and happy, but it’s real.

Fun Fact–  I know one of the authors Michelle Adreani. She and I have spent fun times in New York City and New Jersey at BEA, conventions. Michelle is amazing inside an out!

Overall- You will cry. It takes a lot for me as a reader to get emotional. Heartwarming feel good ending to a tough subject.

Content-highlight to reveal Drug use, making out, talk of sexual relationships, LGBTQ teen relationship, heavy swearing in first chapters including “F’ word

 

 

about_ the_author

Hi! I’m Michelle.

I was born in New York City, and have never lived anywhere else. (I should maybe try at some point? What’s your town like? Does it have weird bugs?)

I first learned to drive a car when I was in my twenties, which is totally normal because I’m a New Yorker, I swear! I also have two agoraphobic cats who would not be great at road trips, honestly, but they make up for that with extreme cuteness.

I am a liker of many things. These things include staying in, going out dancing, love stories, beach air, milkshakes, pop songs, and Luna Lovegood.

 

Mindi Scott lives near Seattle, Washington, USA with her drummer husband in a house with a non-sound-proof basement. Freefall, her first novel, was published by Simon Pulse in 2010. Her second novel, Live Through This, was published (also by Simon Pulse) in 2012. She contributed a chapter to Violent Ends, a collaborative novel written by 17 young adult authors (out in 2015), and co-wrote, along with Michelle Andreani, the 2016 novel The Way Back to You. She is represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich.

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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

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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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