July SST: Signs of You by Emily France Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. This book was definitely unique. I didn’t love it as much as I wanted though. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 


Signs of YouTitle:
 Signs of You
Author: Emily France
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication date:
July 19, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.

 

When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.

 

When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.

 


 

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When I saw that this book was being offered for the Sunday Street Team, I was so excited. Overall, it was a good book and the writing was so beautiful in places, but I just didn’t connect with the characters and story like I was expecting. I received a copy from Edelweiss to review, and ended up giving this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

One thing I can definitely praise this book for is being unique. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it. But with that being said, it was a little weird for my tastes. I liked the beginning of the book, got a little lost/uncertain about the middle, and really liked the ending.

 

The book is only 240 pages, which isn’t long, but I felt like it could have been shorter. At times I felt not a lot was happening, and I think that contributed to my not liking the book as much as I wanted. I did like Riley a lot overall, and Noah was a doll. Kate was pretty entertaining, but I really didn’t like Jay’s character very much. One of my favorite parts of this book was their friendship (I could have done without Jay personally).

 

There’s a major lack of parents in this book (besides the dead ones which are mentioned quite a bit). I think the only parent that’s shown is Riley’s dad, and even he’s not that prominent. The rest were MIA. I guess maybe that’s the nature of parents going through grief?

 

Noah was probably one of my favorite characters of this book. He’s pretty quiet, maybe a little bit of an outsider (even in their group), and very observant. By the end of the book, I loved him to pieces. He’s a new addition to my book boyfriend list. One thing to note is that there’s not a lot of romance in this book. Sure Riley’s got a major crush on someone, but the focus of the book isn’t romance.

 

I made notes of beautiful lines while I was updating my progress in this book. There were quite a few: “…I know we’ve learned something about loss: when you find friends who know it, who’ve been through it, who really, really get the ache that moves in and lives in your bones, it gets a little easier.” and “My deepest, darkest fear is that maybe we don’t ever get over some things. Maybe we just carry them around, permanently, these heavy, dull aches in the heart. And maybe they don’t heal; maybe we just learn to work around the pain.” and “…maybe it’s no more complicated or romantic than that the damaged are drawn to the damaged. Connected by hurt.”

 

Final note: A good book, but I didn’t love it like I’d hoped I would. For anyone that likes contemporary books that are a little darker, and kind out there subject wise, check this one out. It’s got some beautiful writing people!

 

3.5 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Emily France graduated from Brown University before going on to law school, where she was the editor-in-chief of the law review. She finds creative inspiration in all things spiritual, from sitting with Benedictine monks for 4 a.m. vigils in a Rocky Mountain monastery to trekking to Buddhist and Hindu temples in India. Now she writes full-time and lives with her husband and their fearless Tibetan Spaniel in sunny Colorado—the closest place to Nirvana she’s found. Signs of You is her debut novel. Visit Emily online at www.emilyfrancebooks.com and follow her on Twitter @EmilyFranceBook.

 


 

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March SST: Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. I liked it a lot. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 


Liars and Losers Like UsTitle:
Liars and Losers Like Us
Author: Ami Allen-Vath
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication date:
March 22, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.

 

For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.

 

When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.

 

With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.

 


 

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Another fantastic Sunday Street Team read. I received a copy from Edelweiss to review, and ended up giving this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

So the characters…Bree was a pretty good main character overall. I wasn’t sure about Sean, but he was okay. I’m not sure he’s a book boyfriend though. The relationship Bree had with her mom seemed realistic for the most part, except some lack of parental concern. But I liked that it was overall pretty positive. Jane’s a character I loved to hate, but I liked that she had sides to her personality that were slowly revealed the more you kept reading.

 

I liked the fact that the main character, Bree, was diverse. That got major pluses in my book. But it took a while to find that out, and it was kind of just thrown in there haphazardly. Overall, I liked the book a lot. I just didn’t love it wholeheartedly, but I’d definitely recommend it if someone wants a (mostly) cute contemporary read.

 

I was surprised by some things that didn’t happen in the book, because I had a feeling that something bad besides Maisey’s suicide was going to happen, while reading most of the book. But I did guess why Maisey did what she did. The ending felt a little rushed to me, but it covered the necessities, and didn’t really leave me demanding more. The author’s note was amazing, and emotional. I love that more authors are focusing on tough issues, because these things need to be discussed.

 

Final note: Overall, a pretty good book. I’d recommend it to contemporary fans, or anyone that likes books that focus on tough topics.

 

3.5 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Ami Allen-Vath is a YA author living and writing along the shores of New Jersey. She loves great and terrible TV, ice cream, books, and vacations. Ami loathes cilantro, live birds, and when guys do cartoon impressions. Liars and Losers Like Us is her first novel.

 


 

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ARC Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

A Thousand Nights

Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication date: October 6, 2015
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next. And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. But back in their village her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air in it’s place. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun sets and rises, and she is not dead. Night after night Lo-Melkhiin comes to her, and listens to the stories she tells and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong. The words she speaks to him every night are given strange life of their own. She makes things appear. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to rule of a monster.

 

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This book was pretty good overall, but it did have some slow parts. I ended up giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Thank you Netgalley for approving my request in exchange for an honest review.

 

I really enjoyed learning about another culture and seeing a spin off the old One Thousand and One Nights tale that I honestly don’t have much background on. I think the author did a good job with the story overall. I just wish it had been a little faster paced to keep my interest. Another thing I didn’t really like was that a lot of the characters didn’t get names. They were just referred to as ‘my sister’, ‘my father’, ‘my brothers’, etc. I found them a little harder to connect to because of that.

 

I think the author did a great job with the setting. I really felt like I was in the desert with the characters, watching the story unfold. She also did a great job with the characters, even if I didn’t like the fact that pretty much no one had names except a few males. I thought the relationships that the females in the book formed were great. I loved seeing strong female characters come together to overcome obstacles in their lives. I especially loved the relationship between the main character and her sister, even though they’re separated physically throughout most of the book.

 

As I only know the basics of the original tale, I wasn’t entirely sure if the supernatural/fantasy twist was something the author made up. If so, that was an interesting spin. I honestly think the book could have been a little shorter. It would have helped the book’s pacing and kept readers more engaged. Maybe a little more action could have helped as well.

 

I didn’t mark down any favorite lines as I was reading, but there was one towards the very end that I enjoyed: “The words change language, and meaning is lost and gained in every vowel’s shift. They change the monster into a man, and they change her into something that can be used to teach a lesson: if you are clever and if you are good, the monster will not have you.”

 

Final note: It was an interesting book & I loved learning about another culture. I just felt it was too slow for me to really love it. You should definitely check it out if you love learning about another culture & like a supernatural/fantasy twist.


3.5 stars