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

Click on the banner above to be taken to the giveaway!



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.

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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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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?

BLOG TOUR: So Glad to Meet You by Lisa Super [GIVEAWAY]

So Glad to Meet YouSo Glad to Meet You
by Lisa Super
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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SYNOPSIS: Seventeen-year-old Daphne Bowman, a bookish drama nerd in public school, might never have crossed paths with Oliver, the popular, outgoing mascot for his private school’s football team, but one event has bound them inextricably. Daphne’s older sister, Emily, and Oliver’s older brother, Jason, who were high school sweethearts, committed suicide together seven years earlier.

When Daphne uncovers Emily and Jason’s bucket list—a list comprised of their “Top Ten” places to visit before they die—she knows she has to tell someone. The one person who might actually get what she’s going through and who might not think it’s silly that she wants to complete the list, is also someone she’s never spoken to—Oliver Pagano. Throwing caution to the wind, Daphne sends Oliver a Facebook message that will come to change the course of both of their senior years—and maybe their entire lives.

Tackling grief with a wry voice and an unflinching eye, So Glad to Meet You tells the story of two people who, in searching for what they’ve lost, end up finding what they never knew they needed—each other.

EXCERPT: The extra mileage on the journey home paid off. When Daphne slipped the key into the knob and turned, demonstrating mastery of the silent unlock and door open, her dad was asleep on the La-Z-Boy. The light from the TV reflected off his balding head, and his overgrown blonde hair splayed with static electricity against the cushions. She could see his eyelids twitching, which meant he was gone for the night. Tiptoeing down the hallway, she silently praised herself for not choosing the coffee shop.

It was only when she crossed her bedroom threshold and closed the door with a miniscule click that she could breathe again. She plopped down in the chair and adjusted her laptop to her body. In moving the computer, she inadvertently knocked the nickel she had propped against it. The coin tumbled to the ground with a mocking, spinning chime. Daphne sighed. The perfect end to another perfect Tuesday.

Daphne scanned the floor, under the chair, under her feet. The nickel was nowhere. She knelt and, on further inspection, detected a flash of silver between two floorboards. There was barely enough room to stuff the tops of her fingers down into the crack. The sensation of her cuticles scraping against the wood ran down her spine, and the pain shot up her neck and into her molars. She gritted her teeth and shoved her hands down further, until a loose plank shifted.

Daphne pried up the floorboard. The nickel fell for a final time, resting next to a carelessly folded piece of notebook paper and a small bottle of perfume or cologne, Daphne wasn’t sure which.

She picked up the bottle. “FLAME” was printed across the barrel. The “A” was a lick of fire. She sniffed the nozzle but could only smell cold metal. She sprayed a fine mist into the air. The essence of Jason Pagano rushed into her mind through her nose—his shadowy figure slinking behind Emily everywhere she went, always disappearing behind a closed door. Daphne had liked his scent. It evoked the embers of summer camp and winter fireplaces.

Her jittery hands smoothed the paper open, cautious to not damage the relic, an archeologist discovering a Pharaoh’s tomb. Small pen doodles, like hieroglyphics, spread across the page. The horned head of a bull. A mountain. The Eiffel Tower. A parachute. A waterfall. A cactus. A brick wall. Stars in all the open spaces of the page, framing the words. It was a list, written with two different hands, one more legible than the other.

EMILY & JASON’S TOP TEN
1.) The Great Wall of China
2.) Jim Morrison’s grave
3.) Climb Mount Everest
4.) Skydive
5.) The Sahara Desert
6.) Own a pair of designer shoes
7.) Niagara Falls
8.) Running with the Bulls
9.) Go To Outer Space
10.)

The list trembled in her hands. For seven years, she had listened for the clue and this was her reward. Instead of finding treasure, she had found a map.


So Glad to Meet You Blog Tour

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Lisa SuperABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Lisa Super is a brunch enthusiast based in Los Angeles. She’s worked on a number of TV shows ranging from pop culture phenomenons (Flavor of Love) to traumedy gold (One Mississippi). While every day in LA is an adventure, traveling with her husband across the globe is her favorite hobby. SO GLAD TO MEET YOU is her first novel.

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

MOVIE TRAILER: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

It’s here!!!

What do you guys think about the trailer? Despite my initial reservations about some (one) casting decisions, I think this movie looks like it’s going to be great! I mean, I stand by my original post, but I’m excited for the movie despite that. I still think John Corbett is the best (and only) decision for Mr. Covey so I’m SUPER EXCITED for that.

To be honest though, I’m a little nervous about this movie because Netflix has gotten some serious backlash recently about certain shows/movies like 13 Reasons Why and The Kissing Booth (not making a comment on whether that backlash is deserved, just stating that it exists). I’m really, REALLY hoping that TABILB rises above all of that and is just a quality movie. The last thing I’ll say is that if that’s what John Ambrose McLaren is going to look like in future movies…I will be very upset (#TeamJohnAmbrose).

What were your guys’ initial thoughts after watching the trailer? Let me know in the comments!