Genre: Young Adult

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl Release Day Spotlight

18 Oct, 2016 by in balzer & bray, gretchen mcneil, YA fiction 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.

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

by Gretchen McNeil
Published by Balzer & Bray on October 18, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Balzer & Bray
Buy the BookGoodreads
Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself. She'll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn't all it's cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she's messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?

Happy Book Birthday!

Breview

This book had me laughing out loud as Beatrice tries to reinvent herself and her group of friends using mathematical formulas. She’s “Math Girl, ” working on a scholarship to MIT, and she’s tired of her friends being bullied. Simple enough, Beatrice figures out a way to start over one day as Trixie, “manic pixie dream girl.” Her best friend Gabe reminds me a bit of Duckie in Sixteen Candles. Gretchen McNeil does a great job exploring the meaning of true friendship and the pitfalls of popularity.

Favorite character? Spencer

Content: heavy swearing, LGBTQ relationships, mature issues with parents.

About the Author


Gretchen McNeil is the author of the standalone YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN (a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times) and 3:59.  In 2016, Gretchen will publish two novels: RELIC, a YA horror novel, with HarperCollins/EpicReads Impulse on March 8, 2016, and in the fall, I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, her first YA contemporary, with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Divider

Stealing Snow ~ ARC Review

23 Jun, 2016 by in bloomsbury, fairytale retelling, fantasy Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury USA Children's in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Stealing Snow

by Danielle Paige
Published by Bloomsbury USA on September 20, 2016
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
four-stars
Source: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Buy the BookGoodreads
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything . . . including Snow's return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.

I haven’t read fantasy or a fairy tale retelling in a long time, and I’d forgotten how rich the world building can be. With magic, a band of gypsy-like thieves, mythical creatures and a love triangle, there’s plenty to keep each reader intrigued. The series reminds me a bit of Julie Kagawa’s Iron King series.

Snow, labeled as insane is locked away with her childhood love Bane. When her dreams lead her to another land after Bane is kidnapped, Snow finds herself transported to the magical kingdom Algid in attempt to bring him home. Her power is snow and ice, fueled by anger and emotion. I am excited to read the two prequel novellas, one of which comes out in 3 days. While the plot was at times confusing and not fully fleshed, I’m hoping the series will tie everything together and resolve what’s going on with three interesting characters–Bane, Kai and Jagger. Vivid imagery and multi faceted magical creatures make this one an escape for a day.

Content- mild swearing, some violence, dark elements

 

about_ the_authorDanielle lives in NY. Before turning to YA, she worked in television & was nominated for several Daytime Emmy’s. Dorothy Must Die was her first novel.

Divider

Beyond the Rising Tide Blog Tour

18 Jun, 2016 by in contemp, young adult 1 comment

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

Beyond the Rising Tide

by Sarah Beard
Published by Sweetwater on June 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Buy the BookGoodreads
Kai was seventeen when he died saving Avery's life, though he didn't have much to live for. After spending half his life being shipped around to different families, the only place he felt at home was on a street corner with his guitar. Now, it's been six months since his death. Six months adapting to a new kind of existence where instead of making music, he uses his new healing powers to save lives. But in his off hours, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death.
Avery doesn't know that it was Kai who saved her life in the ocean, because her rescuer's body was never found. Wracked with guilt, the ocean she once loved is now her tormentor. As her surfboards collect dust in the garage, the weight of her grief destroys her relationships and stretches her to a breaking point.
Always willing to break rules for those he loves, Kai steals a ring that temporarily gives his body substance. With limited time, he does all he can to restore her life to the way it was before his tragic death, but Kai's half-baked plans rarely turn out the way he thinks they will. Beyond the Rising Tide is a beautiful love story that explores life, death, and the gray places in between.

 

 

Be forewarned, that once you pick up this book, you will need to carve out a day to read it and a while to recover.

Loved: The cover, it is perfect! The setting also matches the mood of the book and as a California native, I can appreciate the ocean, the vineyards, the sand and the fog.

Pace: Because most of this book is munched into three short days, it does at times feel rushed and the relationship too fast. But it makes for a page turning read!

Issues: Beyond the Rising Tide may be a trigger for someone who’s survived mental illness or suicide. This has some mature life experiences like drug use, foster care, divorce, bi -polar disorder and grief. It’s not so heavy as to be overwhelming, but definitely a book for a mature, older reader. The main characters are 17 but have lived a lot of life through their parents’ struggles.

Overall: Beautiful, healing. You may be a mess of tears in some parts. Sarah Beard explores life after death and the in between, as well as learning to recover and live after losing something. There are undertones of the atonement and of how we have to accept the sacrifice that has been given. Christian themes are well- woven and not overtly mentioned.

What a good read!!

 

Blog Tour Schedule

June 14: Singing Librarian Books | Emmy Mom | Compass Book Ratings
June 15: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Cindy Bennett
Sweetly Made | Sorcery in the Bookshelves
June 16: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Geo Librarian
June 17: Heidi Reads | Kindle and Me
June 18: Fire and Ice
June 19: Inklings and Notions
June 20: My Book a Day
June 21: Bookworm Lisa | Min Reads and Reviews | LDS Women’s Book Review
June 22: Robyn Echols Books | Fantasy World | The Write Path
June 23: Wishful Endings | Getting Your Read On | Batch of Books
June 24: Mylissa’s Reviews and Book Thoughts | Maybe Books Will Be Our Always
June 25: Charmed Haven Book Reviews | Just Commonly
June 26: Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews
June 27: Literary Time Out | Book by Book
June 28: That Artsy Reader Girl | The Real Housewives of Riverton
June 29: Mel’s Shelves
June 30: Books Are Sanity | Fictionally | Read Headed Book Lady


about_ the_author

Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels PORCELAIN KEYS and BEYOND THE RISING TIDE. She earned a degree in communications fromSarahBpic1cropXsmall the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing from VCFA. When she’s not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or at facebook.com/authorsarahbeard. Her website is sarahbeard.com.

Divider

Girl Against the Universe ~ Review

17 Jun, 2016 by in Uncategorized 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.

Girl Against the Universe

by Paula Stokes
Published by Harper Teen on May 17th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 382
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

 

Wow! This book is long overdue and essential reading for teens struggling with anxiety, PTSD or OCD.  MacGuire is struggling after the loss of her father, brother and uncle in a car crash she survived. In a series of unrelated events, she’s convinced she causes accidents around her and is bad luck. After years of isolating from family and friends, her mom makes an appointment with a counselor. MacGuire is less than thrilled, determined to give the Dr. the silent treatment. But the stranger she meets in the waiting room may change the course of counseling. I laughed in parts and felt sad for the loss both main characters experience. But, the tone of the book is one of hope and change and progress. Paula Stokes lets teens know it’s okay to need help. She gracefully explores cognitive behavioral therapy and mental illness as it hits all groups, including popular athletes. Bravo for a precisely written YA contemporary that is not too heavy handed.

Content: teenage drinking, making out, sneaking out, mild swearing.

 

about_ the_author

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she’s not working (rare), she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She’s petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant’s trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

Divider

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.

Divider

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.

Divider

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.

Divider

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.

Divider

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.

Divider

Sing by Vivi Greene- Preview

12 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized 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.

Sing

by Vivi Greene
Published by Harper Teen on May 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this irresistible beach read—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Zoella's Girl Online—America’s favorite pop goddess flees the spotlight to Maine to recover from her latest breakup. Only to fall head over heels for a down-to-earth local guy and be faced with an impossible decision: him or her music.

After getting her heart shattered for the thousandth time, multiplatinum pop icon Lily Ross is escaping her high-profile, crazy life and heading to an island in middle-of-nowhere Maine with her best friends. She has three months to focus on herself, her music, her new album—anything but guys. This summer is going to be different.

That is . . . until Lily meets sweet and charming Noel Bradley, who is so different from anyone she’s ever dated. Suddenly Lily’s “summer of me” takes an unexpected turn, and she finds herself falling deeper and harder than ever before. But even though Lily loves Noel, she loves her music and her fans, too. And come August when it’s time to leave Maine and go back out on tour, she will be forced to choose between them.

Review

Sing is the perfect summer read. Set in a small fishing town with fresh seafood, yoga, local shops and lobster traps, it’s the story of a pop singer finding herself. Lily has just been ditched again ,this time by a fellow rock star celebrity. Her pattern is to move from one romance to the next without breathing, but this time she decides it’s time to get away from the bustling city and slow down. While “dropping off the face of the earth” to a tiny town in Maine, she discovers her muse in the sea, the sand and a floating island where an old couple made their home. She also meets Noel, who turns her ideas of swearing off boys upside down. Noel is down to earth, homegrown and hard working.

Lily is written as a small town girl as well, besides the first and last chapter which seem like bookends that don’t fit. I was also a bit turned away by the cover of this book which doesn’t seem to fit either, but once I dove in, I found I truly enjoyed Sing. Thanks so much to Harper Teen for the sneak peek! I want to visit New England again after finishing with a smile on my face.

Content- highlight to reveal- one “F” word, some swearing, swimming in underwear, drug addiction, LGBT relationship

Divider