Sunday Street Team: Internet Famous by Danika Stone 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 pretty good overall *swoons for Laurent*. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

Title: Internet Famous
Author:
Danika Stone
Publisher:
Swoon Reads
Publication date:
June 6, 2017
Summary (via Goodreads): High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

 

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

 

Pre-order Links: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


 

 

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I signed up for the Sunday Street Team for Danika’s last YA book, so I had to sign up for this one. As I stated in my review of her last book, I’m a huge believer in fandoms. And while this book was less fandom-y, I still really enjoyed it. I received a copy from Netgalley to review, and ended up giving this book 4 out of 5 stars.

 

One thing I should mention off the bat is the kinship I felt with Madi. I have a hard time interacting with people outside of the internet as well, at least initially. I am very introverted and I don’t open up until I really know someone. So yay for a main character I can relate to. And let me just say that I fully appreciated Laurent and his French self. *drools* Such a fine specimen of YA/NA male goodness. He’s going on my book boyfriend list.

 

Before I go any further into what I loved about Laurent, and some other characters, let me just say that I really disliked Madi’s mother, and an authority figure who I’ll refer to as She Who Must Not Be Named. The authority figure was kind of an evil witch, and Madi’s mother needed to get her head out of her butt in my opinion. Gross image, but so true. I’m kind of glad she was MIA throughout most of the book. #sorrynotsorry

 

Madi’s sister, Sarah, was a great secondary character. I loved how Madi interacted with her most of the time, and how they helped one another (mostly Madi helping Sarah, but Sarah came through for Madi in her time of need against the troll). Speaking of the troll, I pretty much knew who it was from the moment they started trolling. Not sure if everyone else who read this is in the same boat, or if I’m just a great guesser. I’m curious to know. So the big reveal was more of an affirmation of my suspicions. I always want to be surprised by books, and it rarely happens.

 

Okay, so lets talk about Laurent. He’s gorgeous, geeky, artistic, and speaks French at random times. I had to translate like a quarter of what he said, but seriously, I want someone to speak French to me all day, every day. He’s beyond perfect, the whole package. The flirtation between Madi and Laurent is half the reason why I couldn’t put the book down. There were some serious sparks between these two. And to kind of get off topic, but not really, I liked how Madi’s dad encouraged her to be with Laurent. He knew that Laurent made Madi happy, and he wanted her to have something that kept a smile on her face. Yay Madi’s dad! His parenting (later in the book) made up for her disaster of a mom.

 

I didn’t keep track of any lines, because the ones I wanted to save were mostly French…and kind of gave things away. Just read the book so you can swoon over Laurent too!

 

Final note: Another great book from Danika. Also, in case anyone is confused by the YA/NA tags, I think the subject matter is within the YA category. But with Madi being 18, and Laurent being in college, they’re NA aged. I can’t wait to see what Danika comes up with next. P.S. The ending of this book is seriously swoony.

 

 


 

about the author

 

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) and adults (Edge of Wild and Intaglio). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

 

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

 

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June SST: All the Feels by Danika Stone 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 really good. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

All the FeelsTitle: All the Feels
Author: Danika Stone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication date:
June 7, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

 

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

 


 

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I’m glad I signed up to read this book for the Sunday Street Team. I’m a huge believer in fandoms (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Grisha, etc.), so I was super excited to see a book that focused on a fandom like All the Feels did. I received a copy from Netgalley to review, and ended up giving this book 4 out of 5 stars.

 

So obviously, one of my favorite things about the book was the fandom aspect! Duh. I think a lot of people can appreciate Liv’s devotion to Starveil. She can be a little obsessed at times, but what true fan isn’t kind of obsessed with their fandom? *waits for a response* All fans are kind of obsessed with their fandoms, you say? Yes, you’re correct.

 

Besides the fandom aspect, I felt a kinship with Liv over her anxiety over social situations, like dating and group gatherings, and her need to stay under the radar by doing things like dressing casually instead of wearing things that drew attention to her. I kind of feel like Liv could be my long lost twin.

 

Xander was another great character. Not really a book boyfriend for me, because he’s not really my kind of guy, but I thought he was adorable still. Because his real life is all about cosplaying, I was a little iffy about his appeal at first. But he’s a great best friend to Liv, which is the most important thing. He’s pretty sweet too, so yay for Xander! I kind of hated Liv’s mom, and her mom’s boyfriend. They were such downers in the book, and I felt like the mom listened to her boyfriend way too much, and not enough to Liv. Liv’s mom had a change of heart right at the end of the book, but I don’t really buy it. I’m sure she’ll go back to hating Liv being in the fandom.

 

Some of the minor characters in the book were pretty interesting, like the online fandom people Liv finally met at DragonCon. One thing I really liked was that the book including texts and social media because that’s so relevant in our society nowadays. I would suggest getting a physical, versus ebook, copy of the book if possible for that reason. While I don’t think I’d ever be part of the Starveil fandom, I can appreciate everyone’s love and dedication to it. The ending was pretty good, but there some things that I felt were unresolved by the end of the book, and the second to last chapter felt kind of off/rushed. For the story to get to that point and not focus on it a little more felt like a letdown.

 

Final note: A great read for anyone who loves a fandom of their own. I think a lot of people could relate to Liv’s story.

 

4 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

 

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

 


 

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May SST: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. It started a little slow, but ended with a bang! I ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

 


9780399175411_OutrunTheMoon_BOM.inddTitle:
 Outrun the Moon
Author: Stacey Lee
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
May 24, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

 

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the ‘bossy’ cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

 


 

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It’s been a while since I’ve read a historical fiction book, so I was excited to be able to read this one. The first thing that drew me in was definitely that gorgeous cover! *swoon* I received a copy from Netgalley to review, and ended up giving this book 4 out of 5 stars.

 

The book started off a little slower than I would have liked, but I kept reading because I saw the rave reviews by other bloggers. Eventually the story picked up and I loved finding myself immersed in another culture, in another time period, in practically another world. The imagery of San Francisco in 1906 was done beautifully. Stacey definitely has a way with words, with painting images in her readers’ minds.

 

I thought Mercy was a great main character. I loved that she had ‘bossy’ cheeks and wasn’t afraid to stand up…for herself, for what she wanted, and for others. The friendships she found in this book were amazing. I loved the girls from St. Clare’s School for Girls. The fact that because of Mercy, different races and cultures mingled together in this book, was amazing. She was definitely an inspiration character, reminding me of what one person can do. It’s astounding that she was only fifteen and had such a grasp of the world and how things should be, instead of being focused on how they were.

 

I shed some tears towards the middle/end of this book. I won’t spoil the twists and turns and the all-around magic of this book, but I highly recommend it. It gets more amazing as you keep reading. I pretty much devoured the last half of the book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down.

 

The focus of the book wasn’t really on boys, but there were some amazing ones and then some not-so-great ones too. The focus was more on society’s flaws, finding lasting friendship, overcoming adversity, cherishing family, etc. I was mostly too busy reading to make note of lines I liked, except for this one: “Maybe sorrow and its opposite, happiness, are like dark and light. One can’t exist without the other. And those moments of overlap are like when the moon and the sun share the same sky.”

 

Final note: Overall, this was a fantastic historical read. I absolutely love finding diverse novels that I adore, and this one is on that list. I’m glad I didn’t give up when it started slowly, otherwise I would have missed out on this gem of a book. If you like reading about different cultures, or different time periods, or even about natural disasters, check out this book!

 

4 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Stacey Lee is a fourth generation Californian with roots in San Francisco Chinatown. Born in Southern California, she graduated from UCLA then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. She has lots of experience with earthquakes, having skinned her knees more times than she wants to remember diving under tables. One day she hopes to own a hypoallergenic horse and live by the sea. See what she’s up to on Twitter & Instagram: @staceyleeauthor.

 


 

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ARC Review: The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker

The Girl Who Fell

Title: The Girl Who Fell
Author: Shannon M. Parker
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: March 1, 2016
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): His obsession. Her fall.

 

Zephyr Doyle is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and attending her dream school, Boston College.

 

But love has a way of changing things.

 

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

 

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…

 

Terrifying?

 

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

 

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

 

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

 

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This was a really powerful book. Shannon definitely wasn’t afraid to show the darkness that is obsession. Thank you Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for a honest review. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

I did a poll to decide my next ARC, and this one won by a wide margin. And I can definitely see why. The writing, and subject matter, were pretty much perfection. It got pretty intense and creepy at parts, so make sure you’re okay with that before you read this. Before I go into the actual review, I just want to say that I love the cover. It’s what first drew me to the book before I even read the amazing summary.

 

I really liked Zephyr, Gregg, and Lizzie. I also liked Zephyr’s mom a lot. Finn was a great book animal, although it was slight disconcerting to go from Finn being a book boyfriend in a recent read to a dog in this one! Bahaha. The focus on sports to a certain extent was also nice. I’m not a sports person, but it’s nice to see what extracurricular activities characters participate in, what things they love.

 

This book did a great job touching on obsession. I had a bad feeling about Alec throughout the whole book, even from the beginning. It might have been due to the summary, but I think it was just his attitude and things he said/did. I kept wanting to yell at Zephyr to run far, far away from Alec the entire time I was reading the book. Alec was a freaking psycho, and I really hated him vehemently.

 

I didn’t find a book boyfriend in this book, but Gregg was pretty adorable. I’d love to be best opposite sex friends with him. The book was a bit predictable, at least for me. I knew what was going to happen during a couple points well before it even happened. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m usually a good guesser.

 

I mostly just made updates. Here are some of them:  “Um yeah, I agree Finn. I don’t like him either…”, “Omg I want to punch this guy in the face.”, “I have a really bad feeling in the pit of my stomach…”, “Ahhhhhhhhhh! F*cking creeper!”. But I also made note of one line I really liked: “Darkness doesn’t have fingers that twist into my flesh. Darkness can’t stalk me. It can’t drive me into the shadows because darkness is fleeting. Not like the threat before me.”

 

Final note: Such an intense, rollercoaster ride of a book. I’d highly recommend it.

 

4 stars

March SST: Where You’ll Find Me by Natasha Friend Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. It was really cute! I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 


Where You'll Find MeTitle:
Where You’ll Find Me
Author: Natasha Friend
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date:
March 8, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): The first month of school, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette finds herself… DUMPED by her best friend Dani, who suddenly wants to spend eighth grade “hanging out with different people.” DESERTED by her mom, who’s in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt. TRAPPED in a house with her dad, a new baby sister, and a stepmother young enough to wear her Delta Delta Delta sweatshirt with pride. STUCK at a lunch table with Shawna the Eyebrow Plucker and Sarabeth the Irish Stepper because she has no one else to sit with. But what if all isn’t lost?


 

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I was happy to be a part of the Sunday Street Team for this adorable book by reviewing an eARC from Netgalley. This book was 4 out of 5 stars for me.

 

I really liked Anna as a main character. This book was more MG in my opinion, but Goodreads also classifies it as YA. Overall, it was a really great read. Anna’s trying to find her spot in her new life now that her best friend dumped her, and she’s stuck with her dad and her stepmother, due to her mother trying to kill herself. I’m not going to lie, the book was a bit dark. It deals with suicide attempts, with some bullying, with a child who is utterly lost about where she exists in this “new” life.

 

Anna’s best friend deserting her was one of the best things that could have happened to her, because she found new friends, who are actually there for her in her times of need. I kind of don’t like Anna’s dad, but he grew on me a little by the end. And the way Anna sees her stepmother changes drastically throughout the book, which is another change I’m glad for. There were quite a few hilarious moments scattered throughout the book, in addition to the heartache and the bullying/teasing so well-known to middle schoolers. I definitely don’t miss being thirteen years old.

 

There were moments where I wanted to slap at least one person, moments where I wanted to gush my happiness/relief, moments where I wondered what was going to happen with all the new people rallying around Anna. I think this book should definitely be read widely. It helps people remember what it was like to be in middle school, helps them remember how harsh preteens can be to one another. And it helps bring to light issues that a lot of people skirt around: mental illness, suicide, bullying, etc.

 

Final note: Natasha did a great job with this book. It’s a fast, enjoyable read that focuses on some hot topic issues. I’d highly recommend it.

 

4 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Natasha Friend–wearer of silly hats, lover of press-on mustaches, admirer of Gloria Steinem, devotee of well-named nail polish shades–is also an author. When she is not writing books, you will find her playing Wiffle ball, turning cartwheels, making chocolate-chip pancakes, singing, dancing, and wishing she was in a talent show. Natasha lives in Connecticut with her husband, three kids, and dog. Where You’ll Find Me is her sixth novel. Visit her online at natashafriend.com

 


 

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January SST: The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. I definitely enjoyed this book, and ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

The Possibilty of NowTitle: The Possibility of Now
Author: Kim Culbertson
Publisher: Point
Publication date:
January 26, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): Mara James has always been a perfectionist with a plan. But despite years of overachieving at her elite school, Mara didn’t plan on having a total meltdown during her calculus exam. Like a rip-up-the-test-and-get-escorted-out kind of meltdown. And she definitely didn’t plan on never wanting to show her face again.

 

Mara knows she should go back,only she can’t bring herself to do it. Because suddenly she doesn’t know why she’s been overachieving all these years. So Mara tells her mom she wants to go live with her estranged dad in Tahoe. Maybe in a place like Tahoe, where people go to get away from everyday life, and with a dad like Trick McHale, a ski bum avoiding real life, Mara can figure things out.


Except Tahoe is nothing like she thought it would be. There are awesome new friends and a chance to finally get to know Trick, but there are also still massive amounts of schoolwork. Can Mara find a balance between the future and the now, or will she miss out on both?

 


 

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I was excited when I got approved to read the ARC of this book via Edelweiss for Sunday Street Team. It was an enjoyable read. The characters seemed realistic to me, and I especially loved Logan. Mara was a pretty great main character, and I loved watching her transform during her time in Tahoe, finally learning to let go a bit.

 

The book had a few slow moments, but overall it was entertaining. As someone who has never been skiing or snowboarding (shocking since I live in Wisconsin), it was really cool to learn some of the terminology and techniques. A lot of the time is spent on the mountains throughout the book, and I felt like the scenery and experience was very well done.

 

I really liked Mara’s character, since I could relate at least somewhat to her stress. I felt the need to push myself in high school and college, and at times, it was a little overwhelming. Logan was super adorable, and he’s a lovely addition to my book boyfriend list. I really liked Isabel as well. We didn’t see a ton of her in the book, but where she was featured, she was fantastic. As for Mara’s parents, I liked Trick. He was a little hands off (I mean he’s been out of her life for around 14 years), and later in the book we find out why. I wasn’t a huge fan of Mara’s mother. She felt a little too pushy to me, but thankfully Mara’s stepdad helped balance out her character. Ollie was another great character, when we saw him.

 

There wasn’t a huge focus on romance for most of the book, mostly due to misunderstandings, but what was there was great. There were a couple points that I didn’t fully understand by the end of the book, so I guess I’ll be left wondering.

 

Here are a couple of lines I liked from the book: “‘What’s the point of doing something if you’re not trying to get good at it?’ He gives me a funny look. ‘To just experience it.'” and “‘Hey, it’s the second-best thing for a’–he glances at my book–‘calculus study session.’ ‘What’s the first?’ ‘Me.'”

 

Final note: A cute contemporary novel with some romance and lots of skiing. I’d definitely recommend to any contemporary fan. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in this story!

 

4 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Kim Culbertson is the author of Catch a Falling Star; Instructions for a Broken Heart, a Northern California Book Award winner; and Songs for a Teenage Nomad. When she’s not writing young adult novels, she teaches high school creative writing. Kim lives with her husband and their daughter in Northern California. For more about Kim, visit www.kimculbertson.com.

 


 

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December SST: The Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received a PDF ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. The book is kind of a cross between MG and YA, leaning more towards MG in my opinion, if it wasn’t for the ages of the main characters. Overall, I enjoyed the book, and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

The Year of LightningTitle: The Year of Lightning
Author: Ryan Dalton
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Publication date:
January 12, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): When 15-year-old twins Malcolm and Valentine Gilbert moved to a new town, they never imagined that the old house across the street could bring them so much trouble. A secret machine has reawakened inside, with the power to pierce time itself.

 

Meanwhile, lightning storms are breaking out all over town. They’re getting worse every week, and seem to enjoy striking kids who just want to pass science class and mind their own business. When Malcolm and Valentine discover a connection between the house and the storms, their situation goes from mysterious to crazy stupid dangerous. Someone is controlling the great machine, and their purpose is nearly complete.

 

In a race against time, the twins must uncover the chilling plan, the mastermind behind it, and the force that’s driving the deadly storms. They’ll hunt a powerful enemy that threatens their town’s existence, and the only clues are written in the sky.

 


 

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This book sounded interesting from the summary, so I was happy to receive a PDF copy in exchange for a honest review. It was a little slow at first, and I think some of it could have been cut/explained quicker, so the book wasn’t so long. Overall, it was a fun, interesting read. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

Adventure type books like this one remind me of my Harry Potter love, at least a teensy bit. I think that’s why I decided to read this book, even though I’m not normally a huge adventure, sci-fi type person. I do like some fantasy books, but my major love is contemporary romance. Like I said, it was a little slow, but most of the characters I liked, and the book was pretty action packed at the end (and twisty!), so that made up for the slow parts.

 

Malcom and Valentine were pretty good main characters in my opinion. I had a little bit of a hard time relating to them at first, but by the end, I really liked them. I wasn’t a huge fan of their friends either, except John. Winter was okay, and I kind of liked Fred, but when he spoke, I kept thinking of Jamie Kennedy’s character in Malibu’s Most Wanted. I liked the older generation of people: Oma Grace, Walter, and Clive.

 

The beginning of the story is building up to the last 100 or so pages, where the action is fast and furious. I thought the book had a nice, cliffhanger-ish ending. It should definitely make readers want the next book ASAP. I want to find out what happens next with the gang, and see who is going to join in on the fun in the next book.

 

I felt like some of the issues with the twins could have been discussed a bit more. They were pretty much just swept under the rug, or ignored. A little less of the “chilling plan” and more on the twins personal lives would have been a nice touch. Maybe the book would have been 4.5, or 5, stars then. But regardless, I’d still recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure and/or sci-fi books.

 

There are no book boyfriends for me in this book. A couple of the guys were okay, but there wasn’t really any romance going on throughout the book, at least not to the extent that I like to see. I didn’t really keep track of any lines while I was reading, except for this one: “Ten pounds of crazy in a one-pound box?” That one made me laugh a little bit.

 

Final note: It was a good book overall. Not a 5 star read for me, but 4 stars is still really good. I can’t wait to see what happens with everyone in the next book.

 

4 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Ryan Dalton is author of the young adult Time Shift Trilogy. His debut novel THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING will be released on January 12, 2016. Ryan splits his time between writing books during the day, fighting crime at night, and hanging out in his awesome underground lair. Please do not tell anyone he’s Batman. It’s a secret.

 


 

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ARC Review: Frosh: First Blush by Mónica B. Wagner

First Blush

Title: Frosh: First Blush
Author: Mónica B. Wagner
Series: Frosh #1
Publisher: The Studio/ Paper Lantern Lit
Publication date: October 20, 2015
Pages: 307
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): During welcome week at Hillson University, the FROSH will hit the fan.

 

Type-A aspiring journalist Ellie plans to take freshman year by storm. But hell-bent on breaking a huge on-campus scandal, she risks becoming one herself—and getting the mysterious, heart-melting QB in serious trouble.

 

Grant, star quarterback and charismatic chick-magnet, is hiding a life-altering secret. The last thing he needs is an overeager (absolutely adorable) journalist asking questions. He’s got a reputation to protect.

 

High-society legacy student Devon is ready to catch the football hottie of her dreams. If the tabloids feature her with the “it” boy on her arm, her tainted past will be buried—or so she thinks.

 

Charlie, pre-med, is done being the sweet and funny geek that girls like Devon ignore. But if he tries to impress her with a new edgy, spontaneous attitude, will his heart end up in the emergency room?

 

FROSH intertwines the stories of Ellie, Grant, Devon, and Charlie in Mónica B. Wagner’s sexy NA debut series, about falling in love and falling apart.

 

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I thought this book was pretty well done. I’m not usually a huge fan of multiple POVs, but Mónica did a great job with the different characters. It was a bit predictable though, so I didn’t love it completely. I ended up giving this 4 out of 5 stars. Thanks Netgalley for giving me a copy in exchange for a honest review.

 

I really loved the two guys, Grant and Charlie. Usually I’m more in tune with the girls, what with being a girl myself, but I felt like the guys were better in this book. Devon was a biatch during most of the book and Ellie was cute, but she was also a little annoying at times. And I wanted to shake her during parts to make her realize how stupid she was being. This book is a pretty quick read, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out, especially with that cliffhanger ending that leaves readers wanting more. I’m not sure I’ll survive another year without finding out what happens next.

 

I loved the pairings in this book. I was rooting for them the entire time, and I’m glad the couples I wanted to get together ended up together. I thought there was a bit too much drama maybe, but it made the book more interesting to read, so it was fine by me. I really liked the romantic parts of the book, like Grant’s note to Ellie, etc. So cute!

 

A couple of my favorite lines were: “His mom’s usual saying popped into his mind: ‘The hard-to-get girls are hard to get for a reason, Granty.'” and “Pencils don’t get pregnant ’cause they wear rubbers on their ends.”

 

Final note: A cute NA romance read. I already purchased my ebook copy, and can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Is it 2016 yet?

4 stars

ARC Review: Touching Fate by Brenda Drake

Touching Fate

Title: Touching Fate
Author: Brenda Drake
Series: The Fated #1
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crave
Publication date: October 12, 2015
Pages: 194
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn’t. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift-with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person’s fate.

 

Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday-and Reese’s is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death…only to find the one person who can save him.

 

Aster doesn’t know that the hot Dutch guy she’s just met needs her help-or that he’s about to die.

 

But worst of all…she doesn’t know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.

 

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I really liked this book. Aster and Reese were good characters, and I even enjoyed some of the secondary characters like Leah and Jan. I ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you Netgalley for giving me a copy in exchange for a honest review.

 

I think Brenda did a great job with the characters. Dual POV can be hard to pull off, but she did it. I think Reese was pretty true to how a guy would think/act. My one problem with the book was that it felt a bit rushed, especially the romance part. I think if it would have been a longer book, it would have been better. That way there could have been some more suspense and more time for the characters to get to know each other.

 

The story was fantastic. I thought it was really interesting, and unique, to read about a fate changer. The execution of Aster’s journey through learning she could change fates until the end was great. One other minor thing that detracted a little bit from the book was some of the language/dialogue felt a little off to me. It felt like it was trying too hard to sound like a teenager and overreached a bit.

 

There were some loose ends that came up throughout the story, so I’m assuming they’ll be addressed in future books. I’m not sure if the next book in the series will be told from both Aster and Reese’s POVs again, but I can’t wait to keep reading. When’s the next book coming out?

 

Final note: A good start to the series. It was a little predictable and a little fast paced, but it was an interesting story. I’d definitely recommend it.

4 stars

Mini Book Reviews: Ruby Oliver Novels by E. Lockhart

Just as a preface before we get to the reviews, I read all four books in four days. I couldn’t put them down! But because they’re so short, I don’t think I can do a normal sized review for each. Hence why I am doing mini reviews for all four novels in this post.

 

The Boyfriend List

Title: The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver
Author:
 E. Lockhart
Series:
 Ruby Oliver #1
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
 March 22, 2005
Pages:
 229
Source:
 Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she’s had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she:

 

lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list),

lost her best friend (Kim),

lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket),

did something suspicious with a boy (#10),

did something advanced with a boy (#15),

had an argument with a boy (#14),

drank her first beer (someone handed it to her),

got caught by her mom (ag!),

had a panic attack (scary),

lost a lacrosse game (she’s the goalie),

failed a math test (she’ll make it up),

hurt Meghan’s feelings (even though they aren’t really friends),

became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch)

and had graffiti written about her in the girls’ bathroom (who knows what was in the boys’!?!).

 

But don’t worry—Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.

 

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I’d never read the Ruby Oliver novels before, and I was definitely missing out. The first book starts out the series with a bang. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. I think Ruby is a great character, even if she is kind of neurotic. I love all the lists found throughout the novels. I love making lists, and this made me bond with Ruby even more. I can’t even imagine having all that stuff happening to me all at once. It’s no wonder she’s having panic attacks and needs to see a shrink. Doctor Z was a great secondary character. I loved learning about how Ruby was involved with the various boys on her list. The boy stories were pretty hilarious and interesting. I read this book in one sitting and I knew I had to read the rest of the novels right away.

5 stars

 

The Boy Book

Title: The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them
Author:
 E. Lockhart
Series:
 Ruby Oliver #2
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
 September 26, 2006
Pages:
 208
Source:
 Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): Here is how things stand at the beginning of newly-licensed driver Ruby Oliver’s junior year at Tate Prep:

 

Kim: Not speaking. Far away in Tokyo.

 

Cricket: Not speaking.
Nora: Speaking–sort of. Chatted a couple times this summer when they bumped into each other outside of school–once shopping in the U District, and once in the Elliot Bay Bookstore. But she hadn’t called Ruby, or anything.
Noel: Didn’t care what anyone thinks.
Meghan: Didn’t have any other friends.
Dr. Z: Speaking.
And Jackson. The big one. Not speaking.

 

But, by Winter Break, a new job, an unlikely but satisfying friend combo, additional entries to The Boy Book and many difficult decisions help Ruby to see that there is, indeed, life outside the Tate Universe.

 

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This was my least favorite of all the Ruby Oliver books, but it was still great nevertheless. I ended up giving The Boy Book 4 out of 5 stars. So Ruby’s old friends pretty much suck, which you learned about in the first book. In this book, they continue to suck. But Nora starts to suck a little less. Once again the series continues to be hilarious and engaging. I loved reading about Ruby’s encounters with the opposite sex, trying to figure out what she’s going to do/who she might date next. As she continues to go to therapy, Ruby keeps picking up on “therapy talk” and realizing what kind of things her shrink would say as the series progresses. This book just wasn’t as good as the other three, but I still enjoyed it.

4 stars

 

The Treasure Map of Boys

Title: The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon—and me, Ruby Oliver
Author:
 E. Lockhart
Series:
 Ruby Oliver #3
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date:
 July 28, 2009
Pages:
 248
Source:
 Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): From E. Lockhart, author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which John Green called “utterly unforgettable,” comes The Treasure Map of Boys, the third book in the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels.

 

Ruby is back at Tate Prep, and it’s her thirty-seventh week in the state of Noboyfriend. Her panic attacks are bad, her love life is even worse, and what’s more:

 

Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby’s already-sucky reputation is heading downhill.

 

Not only that, she’s also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavymetal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats, and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances.

 

In this companion novel to The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book, Ruby struggles to secure some sort of mental health, to understand what constitutes a real friendship, and to find true love—if such a thing exists.

 

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This book was another hilarious addition to the Ruby Oliver series. I ended up giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. Ruby has been in her state of “noboyfriend” for quite some time, and I think it’s helped her grow as a person and learn more about what she deserves for a boyfriend. And of course because she’s Ruby Oliver, there’s no short supply of boys around. If I had her kind of game in high school, things would have been very different. Ruby’s old friends still suck, except Nora, so she’s befriending new people (or at least trying to). Of course, because it’s high school, there’s drama afoot. Ruby’s trying to figure out what she wants and what she’s willing to risk in order to get it.

5 stars

 

Real Live Boyfriends

Title: Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren’t Complicated, I Wouldn’t Be Ruby Oliver
Author:
 E. Lockhart
Series:
 Ruby Oliver #4
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
 December 28, 2010
Pages:
 225
Source:
 Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): From E. Lockhart, author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which John Green called “utterly unforgettable,” comes Real Live Boyfriends, the fourth book in the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels that finds Ruby Oliver as neurotic and hyperverbal as ever as she interviews her friends for a documentary on love and popularity and while doing so turns up some uncomfortable truths.

 

She’s lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.

 

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This was such a great ending to the series. I absolutely adored this book. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Ruby has had a rough time of it throughout the series, but she still manages to keep her chin up and is finally a senior at Tate Prep. This book takes us through some of her newest losses and how she survives them. The last scene of this novel definitely makes the entire series worth reading, even though each book is great. I loved the last scene. I squealed aloud (thankfully I was at home, alone). I felt like Ruby’s friend throughout the series, rooting for her to find true love…or at least true friendship. I’ll definitely miss this hilarious, interesting character.

5 stars

 

 

Final note: Such a great contemporary YA series. Each of the books is pretty short, so it’s a series you can read quickly. I bought all the books after I read them, because I’ll definitely want to reread them in the future. Check this series out if you haven’t already!