BLOG TOUR: Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene [GIVEAWAY]

Amber and DuskAmber & Dusk
by Lyra Selene
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

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SYNOPSIS: Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.

So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.

But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.


Amber and Dusk BT

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Lyra SeleneABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lyra Selene was born under a full moon and has never quite managed to wipe the moonlight out of her eyes. When she isn’t dreaming up fantastical cities and brooding landscapes, Lyra enjoys hiking, rainstorms, autumn, and pretending she’s any good at painting.

She lives in New England with her husband, in an antique farmhouse that’s probably not haunted. AMBER & DUSK is her debut novel.

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Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

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NEW SARAH DESSEN BOOK

I’m sure a lot of you have already heard, but contemporary romance queen, Sarah Dessen, is coming out with a new book next year! It’s going to be called “The Rest of the Story” and it releases June 4, 2019. She’s moved to a different publisher now (she was with Penguin, but is now with HarperCollins) and she’s also created a new lake town (!!!) which will be the setting of this book. I have a special place in my heart for Colby, so I’m a little disappointed it won’t be set there, but this is still exciting! I’m hoping we still get cameos from some of our favorite characters–I bet Louna and Ambrose will be there for a summer wedding for sure.

Here are some quotes from Sarah regarding this new book:

  • “I realized that I wanted to do something different, so I created a new lake town”
  • “It is a summer novel, taking place in the summer, like many of my other books. Some of this book came from the fact that I am a regular reader of my local obituaries. There are all kinds of strange things in this book that I love. I want readers to know that it’s going to be a new chapter in the world that I’ve created and I can’t wait for them to join me there.”
  • “[This book is] a big-hearted, sweeping novel about a girl who reconnects with a part of her family she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl—and falls in love, all over the course of a magical summer.”

Yes. Please.

This book already sounds amazing and I’m excited about the promise of many more books set in this new town. Also, obituaries? I’m intrigued.

How do you guys feel about Sarah moving away from Lakeview and Colby? Who do you hope to see in a cameo?

Lastly, HATE SPINNERBAIT.

Source: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/78562-ya-author-sarah-dessen-moves-to-harpercollins.html

BLOG TOUR: The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody [Giveaway]

The Geography of Lost ThingsThe Geography of Lost Things
by Jessica Brody
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult – Contemporary, Romance

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SYNOPSIS: In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.

After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?

Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.

He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.

And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.

REVIEW: If you’re looking for a nice road trip book, then this is for you. I, personally, LOVE road trip books and this one checked all of the boxes. It definitely makes me want to take a drive along the Western coastline of the US!

Ali and Nico were both likable characters and I thought the pacing of the book was really good. We didn’t have to spend too much time in the car with them, but were given just enough as a reader to feel like our characters were on a journey and not just appearing in different cities.

The plot of the book was good as well. I thought it created a really good atmosphere for Ali to grow and develop as a character. I thought the flashbacks were written well and didn’t detract from the pacing of what was supposed to be happening currently. I love the idea of trading up for things even if I think it’s a tad unrealistic.

Overall, I thought this book was great! My only issues really, involved Ali and Nico’s relationship. Specifically, I felt like the amount of time we spent in Ali’s head thinking about the demise of their relationship was too much. Either tell us what was in the freaking glove box already, or stop bringing it up! Other than that, though, this book was a good read–perfect for summer or maybe just when you wish it felt a little more summery.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Mild
Violence: None
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Mild


The Geography of Lost Things blog tour

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Jessica BrodyABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she will release two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (August) and Boys of Summer (April), and in 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitled, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, will hit bookstore shelves.

Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: “School of Secrets” series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original movie, Descendants!

Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.

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Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

BLOG TOUR: Perfect Harmony by Emily Albright [GIVEAWAY]

Perfect HarmonyPerfect Harmony
by Emily Albright
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Genres: Young Adult – Contemporary, Romance

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SYNOPSIS: Pippa Wyndham is a top cellist―she’d never settle for anything less. Determined to get into the nation’s most prestigious music college, nothing’s going to stand in her way… Until her senior year of high school when a new guy from a fancy New York conservatory transfers to her school.

Declan Brogan’s cocky, and he knows how amazing he is at the cello. He has every intention of knocking Pippa out of first chair and showing her who really belongs on top. Forced together when assigned a duet, their personal competition and mutual dislike transform into a teasing friendship.

Torn between her childhood crush and the boy who threatens her dreams, Pippa finds herself at risk of losing her best friend, her future, and the boy who makes her heart melt. Struggling to make things right, Pippa discovers that sometimes the thing you want the most doesn’t always end up being the thing you need.

REVIEW: I’ve really enjoyed Emily Albright’s books in the past, so I was really excited for this one. Pippa is younger than Albright’s other protagonists and I think that made the whole book feel a little more immature than I would have liked. She has like…no self control around Declan. Which is weird because it seems like someone at such a high level of musical talent would have to have at least a modicum of self control, but hormones I guess.

Pippa and Declan were both fine as characters and I liked Phillip and Jenna, but Quinn and Noah were both just awful characters in my opinion. Quinn is not a good friend and I wish Jenna had gotten more screen time because she seemed awesome.

The plot wasn’t anything revolutionary, but it was enjoyable nonetheless in the same way that rom coms are enjoyable. You know what’s going to happen but not exactly how it’s going to get there and when it does, it’s still satisfying. Even though I knew how the book was going to end, I feel like Albright still created some tension and there was a little niggling bit of doubt as to how it might end.

Overall, this book was good but not great. I appreciated learning about the cello and some of the different music schools across the country–I honestly only knew about Julliard. One thing that stood out to me that I didn’t really like was some unnecessary descriptions that the author included. I think I read different paragraphs about Pippa unlocking her car and loading her cello into the back about 50 times. Other than that, the book is enjoyable and doesn’t take too much brain power. If you’re looking for something light and musical to read, this is your book!

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: None
Sexual Content: Mild


Perfect Harmony Blog Tour

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Emily AlbrightABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Emily Albright is the author of EVERYDAY MAGIC and THE HEIR AND THE SPARE, both available now from Simon Pulse. Her next novel PERFECT HARMONY will release 9.18.2018.

She’s a writer, a major bookworm, a lover of romantic movies, a wife, a mother, an owner of one adorable (yet slightly insane) cockapoo, and uses way too many :).

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Fantastic Flying Book Club 2

Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Overall thoughts after rereading the TATBILB trilogy [SPOILERS]

The first time I read these books, I remember LOVING the first book. The second and third books were okay for me, but that’s mostly because I’m 100% #TeamJohnAmbrose. This time around though, I’m struck by how incredibly immature Lara Jean is. She’s selfish and petty and dramatic. I mean I guess that’s just being a teenager? But she’s trying to have this incredibly grown up relationship with Peter and it’s 1,000,000% clear that she’s not ready for something this deep and heavy.

So that’s pretty much my problem with Lara Jean. I find her slightly unlikable because of how immature she is. I feel like there are quite a few instances in each book where Kitty is more mature than she is and Kitty’s just a kid (though, obviously the superior character–Kitty rocks).

My next issue is obviously the fact that Lara Jean picks Peter over John Ambrose. I mean…excuse me, Jenny Han? You can’t just write the literal most perfect teenage boy character/potential love interest who LITERALLY has no faults and then not have your protag pick him. There is literally no good reason why Lara Jean decided to stick with Peter. I mean, Lara Jean says it’s because Peter got there first, but that is NOT a good reason. I challenge anyone to list John Ambrose’s faults. I’ll wait. THEY DON’T EXIST. He gives her the most perfect birthday present and he and Lara Jean are about to have this wonderful life together and then Peter walks up because he’s jealous of John Ambrose. If Peter hadn’t felt threatened by John Ambrose would he have wanted to get back together with Lara Jean? I submit that he would not.

Then in the third book they paint Peter to be the sweetest guy who is doing all of these things for Lara Jean like getting her chocolate chip cookies and recreating the scene from Sixteen Candles…but all of those things are so OBVIOUS. If Lara Jean was dating John Ambrose in the third book, he would be doing all kinds of sweet things that Lara Jean didn’t even know she wanted until he did them. He also would have been super supportive of Lara Jean going to whatever school she wanted and wouldn’t have made her feel bad or guilty in any way.

But whatever. Lara Jean and Peter deserve each other. I’ll wait for the next book which will feature the two best characters of the whole series falling in love (Kitty and John Ambrose). Lara Jean will be mad because John Ambrose is HERS but Kitty won’t care because she’s Kitty and she does what she wants. Margot will be a little freaked out because of the age difference, but again, Kitty won’t care because she’s Kitty and she does what she wants. Trina will just say, “You go, Kitty!” and Kitty WILL care because she loves Tree, but also because Trina is supporting Kitty doing what she wants.

A brief issue with bookstagram

I’ve been noticing that a new trend has hit bookstagram some time in the last year… All of these bookstagrammers are posting pictures of paperback books with the cover folded all the way back so you can see the title page. What is this madness? Every time I see one of those pictures I just think about how that poor cover is never going to lay flat again! I would post some examples, but I don’t want to put anyone specifically on the spot–especially since it seems like EVERYONE IS DOING IT. I mean, people can do whatever they want with their own books, but I could never imagine making that sacrifice for the gram.

Do you guys have any bookstagram pet peeves?

Everything wrong (and right) with the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie [SPOILERS]

Does anyone else spend a ton of time on Buzzfeed or is it just me? One of the things I really enjoy is reading articles where someone is doing a stream of consciousness type review for a movie or TV show (usually the Bachelor/Bachelorette). So here’s my stream of consciousness review for the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie–I’m literally typing this as I watch it. Prepare yourselves for lots of book vs movie comparisons and I guess there will probably be some spoilers for people who haven’t already watched the movie. Here we go!

  • BEAUTIFUL opening scene and KITTY IS THE BEST.
  • I don’t like that the girls are ragging on Dr Covey’s Korean food. From what I remember from the book, it’s not always terrible.
  • Josh walking into the house with his shoes in his hand is pretty weird. Like, either he should have left them on the porch or taken them off inside.
  • What Asian family eats that little rice with a meal?
  • Margot is making this dinner supes awk questioning Josh about the plane ticket but once again, Kitty is the best.
  • EWWWWW MARGOT GETTING INTO LARA JEAN’S BED WITH HER SHOES ON
  • John Corbett is the perfect guy to play the Song girls’ dad. There is no one else.
  • Why haven’t Lara Jean or Kitty called Margot “Gogo” yet? It’s such a cute nickname!
  • LOL at Lara Jean’s awkward school picture smile.
  • Okay, so I know they’re in Oregon, but Lara Jean’s wardrobe seems a little too Fall for the first day of school. She’d be way too warm!
  • Gen doesn’t look as clichĂ© popular girl as I would have imagined…and I don’t really get why she’s making fun of Lara Jean’s boots? They look super trendy to me… I will say that Lara Jean’s defense of “They’re vintage? But I got them on Etsy?” isn’t super helpful though.
  • DISLIKE that they made Lara Jean’s kiss with Peter into a spin the bottle thing. That changes the WHOLE dynamic between her, Peter, and Gen imo.
  • Josh is super awkward and stiff and I can’t tell if it’s the character or the actor.
  • How is there popcorn all over the couch when the popcorn bowl looks like it’s been untouched? It’s the little things…
  • KITTY IS THE BEST
  • No, no, no, it erases an entire vindictive side of Kitty for her to be sending out the letters with good intentions. I want evil Kitty!
  • For anyone who doesn’t recognize Jenny Han, she’s just looking like the world’s most awkward chaperone.
  • I’m really digging this soundtrack.
  • KITTY IS THE BEST!!!!!!
  • These letters seem to be MUCH more cringeworthy than they were in the book.
  • That fall out of her window would hurt SO BAD.
  • This whole diner convo between Lara Jean and Peter is super stiff and awkward.
  • There has to be a better time for Lara Jean to talk to Peter that’s NOT in the middle of Lacrosse practice.
  • I am so glad that Peter is pointing out the weirdness of the “hand in back pocket” thing. No one does that anymore! It was weird when Jason Segel did it in Freaks and Geeks and it’s still weird–not romantic.
  • It’s very distracting that every time we get a view of the contract, “Ski Trip” is written differently.
  • LJ–solid nickname for Lara Jean. That should’ve been in the book for sure.
  • Like I said, the hand in the back pocket is NOT cute.
  • I’m so glad Dr Covey is less clueless in this movie than in the book. I cringed so hard when he thought Peter was taking Lara Jean to a birthday party in the book.
  • No one’s hair looks that good coming straight out of a ponytail.
  • Peter, what part of FAVORITE SCRUNCHIE do you not understand?
  • Obviously at this point in the movie, Peter is starting to like Lara Jean but it still feels like it’s coming out of nowhere. This is another point that the book does a lot better.
  • Josh is coming on super strong and way too intense right now. It makes it seem like he’s having a hard time getting his lines out and makes the scene hard to watch.
  • Awkward sofa pillow fight.
  • This conversation in Peter’s kitchen feels way more natural than any of their other conversations.
  • Blatant Subway product placement.
  • I don’t really see how Josh can shed any light on Lara Jean’s situation with Peter. Oh, surprise, he doesn’t. He literally just says, “I don’t know what to tell you.”
  • Instagram posts weren’t in the contract, Peter. If you wanted that, then you should’ve included a social media clause.
  • Chris rocks. She’s asking the question that we all want to ask male gynecologists. Also, she’s the best actor in this whole movie (besides John Corbett).
  • Again, ballin’ soundtrack.
  • Lucas is great too. There’s some really good secondary cast going on here.
  • I’m not really understanding Lucas’ logic here, though. He kind of makes it sound like Peter’s liked her since the beginning (which isn’t true) and how does he make the leap to Peter waiting for her in the hot tub?
  • Okay wait, but how is Lara Jean’s night gown now completely dry???
  • *sigh* classic high school angst created by miscommunication (or refusal to communicate in this case).
  • Josh is such a lurker. What is he doing slinking around the Covey’s house with his hood up?
  • Yes Kitty, you ORDER that pizza, girl! Also, I would watch a whole movie of Kitty and Dr Covey playing chess.
  • THIS MAKES NO SENSE. If Kitty really wanted Lara Jean to have a boyfriend, she wouldn’t have sent out the letter to Josh. An 11-year-old would recognize that couldn’t work and would only cause family drama. This is why we need vindictive Kitty back who sent the letters out for revenge. That makes so much more sense.
  • Who exactly took that picture of sleeping Peter and Lara Jean for her phone background?
  • Another reason the spin the bottle kiss was a bad change–it makes Gen way crazier than she is in the book. I mean, she’s crazy in the book, but in this movie I feel like she’s completely unhinged.
  • The movie also makes Peter’s notes way more romantic than they were in the book.
  • Lara Jean is making this whole thing so awkward. First, she makes Peter turn around and then she does the most awkward shoulder tap in all of history.
  • There’s no reason for John Ambrose to be wearing his Model UN blazer here. But whatever, I’m die hard #TeamJohnAmbrose.

Okay, overall the movie was pretty good–probably especially if you haven’t already read the book. It’s a cute idea and kind of different from other teen rom coms coming out right now. However, I felt like most of the acting was about a 4/10 for me. Everything just felt so stiff and scripted. If you want to see teen conversations that actually feel real, just watch any episode of Friday Night Lights–that’s the real stuff.

But that’s just my opinion, what did you guys think of the TATBILB movie?