December 8, 2016

Scar Girl - Len Vlahos

Title: Scar Girl
Author: Len Vlahos
Pages: 272
Publisher: Egmont USA
Source: Netgalley
About: Told as an interview with the band after they reach the pinnacle of success, readers will hear from Cheyenne, Harry, and Richie as they discover the ups and downs of being a rock musician, complete with meltdowns on stage and fights that test the limits of the band. 
This is the Scar Boys in their own words.

I read The Scar Boys and loved it, so I knew as soon as I saw Scar Girl go up on Netgalley I had to request it.  The tiny description that I could find for it basically tells you what you need to know.  It’s framed as an interview with the band, which I’m not totally sure I loved.  The transition from interview to story didn’t always make sense to me.  I couldn’t tell if it was all supposed to be told in interviews and the story parts were just one person talking for a long time, or if there was supposed to be a clear separation between them.  This also may have just been an issue with the formatting of the e-galley.  The title made me think this book was going to mostly focus on Cheyenne, but you really get time with the whole band still.  Be forewarned, this is not a happy book, but if you read The Scar Boys, I think Scar Girl is a must.

November 24, 2016

Phantom Limbs - Paula Garner

Title: Phantom Limbs
Author: Paula Garner
Pages: 368
Publisher: Candlewick
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads rating: 

About: Otis and Meg were inseparable until her family abruptly moved away after the terrible accident that left Otis’s little brother dead and both of their families changed forever. Since then, it’s been three years of radio silence, during which time Otis has become the unlikely protégé of eighteen-year-old Dara—part drill sergeant, part friend—who’s hell-bent on transforming Otis into the Olympic swimmer she can no longer be. But when Otis learns that Meg is coming back to town, he must face some difficult truths about the girl he’s never forgotten and the brother he’s never stopped grieving. As it becomes achingly clear that he and Meg are not the same people they were, Otis must decide what to hold on to and what to leave behind. Quietly affecting, this compulsively readable debut novel captures all the confusion, heartbreak, and fragile hope of three teens struggling to accept profound absences in their lives.

I spent the majority of this book yelling THIRTEEN like Luca from the Babysitter's Club movie.

Hey Luca, you alright buddy?

First of all, I just don't buy this deep, epic love that Meg and Otis supposedly had because THEY WERE THIRTEEN (look it's happening again).  I'd buy best friends, I'd buy crush, but this first everything overwhelming can't imagine being with anyone else love that they bring up throughout the whole book?  No.  And I'm a sucker for the whole best friends to lovers thing, so it's a double bummer that I couldn't get on board with these two.

It took way too long to get to the point of the Meg/Mason story.  Mason is Otis's little brother who died, which is the catalyst for Meg and her family moving away.  You know that Meg was somehow involved in Mason's death and everyone hides it from Otis, but it takes waaaaaaaaay too long to get to the point.  And because it takes so long, the reveal doesn't feel big enough.  Or maybe the reveal not being big enough makes it feel like it takes longer.

My big problem with this book is that it feels like there was too much going on.  Just look at Dara.  She's training Otis to help him get to the Olympics, she's dealing with her phantom limb pain from her shark attack (really), her dad not ever being home, her self acceptance issues, her first girlfriend, her suicidal tendencies, her jealousy of Meg.  Too much!  And she's not even a main character!

I'm starting to see this one pop up on a lot of best of lists and I just don't get it.  The oversold soulmate feelings, underwhelming mystery death, and all the issues ever! make this book too much and not enough at the same time.  I didn't find myself rooting for any of the characters, and when I can't get on a friends to lovers story you know something's wrong.  Phantom Limbs was not a winner for me.

November 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (89)

Title: Talking As Fast As I Can
Author: Lauren Graham
Pub. Date: 11.29.16

In her first work of nonfiction, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls—the first and second time—and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood. This collection of essays is written in the intimate, hilarious, and down-to earth voice that made her novel, Someday Someday Maybe, a New York Times bestseller.

“This book contains some stories from my life: the awkward growing up years, the confusing dating years, the fulfilling working years, and what it was like to be asked to play one of my favorite characters again. You probably think I’m talking about my incredible achievement as Dolly in Hello, Dolly! as a Langley High School junior, a performance my dad called “you’re so much taller than the other kids.” But no! I’m talking about Lorelai Gilmore, who, back in 2008, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again. Also included: tales of living on a houseboat, meeting guys at awards shows, and that time I was asked to be a butt model. A hint: all three made me seasick.”—Lauren Graham

My entire brain is Gilmore Girls this week and I'm not even sorry.  Only a few more days!!

November 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (103)

I love Thanksgiving.  We usually have a quiet day at my house, but the food is amazing.  We try to tackle all 9 of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes (we usually fail), we play the states game (fail again), and there's the first White Christmas viewing of the season.  However y'all celebrate, I hope it's a good one!  This week's topic is bookish things I am thankful for.

1. The new Archie (or Hot Archie, as it were.  Though I'm more of a Jughead girl myself).  If you would have told me a year ago that I was going to devour the new Archie comics I would have called you a filthy liar.  I don't really like comics, but I put that aside when Jem and the Holograms came out because, hello, Jem is more important to me than most things.  Then I picked up Archie and I was totally hooked.  It's such a fast read and so fun .  I love seeing how they've updated the characters while still keeping their essence.

2. Bookshelves!  I moved into a new apartment this year and I finally have bookshelves in my room.  I am in love with having shelves where my books and my vinyl pops can cohabitate.

3.The bookish Twitter community, especially after this hellish election.  They really helped me keep my head on straight and continue to as we figure out what we need to do now.

4. Those never-ending Stephanie Plum books.  Honestly, they're not even that good anymore, but I can't stop until she finally ends up with someone.  And by someone, I mean Morelli.

5. My sister, whose book knowledge is out of this world.  I trust her recommendations above any other and am so thankful we share a similar taste.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

August 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (88)

Title: The Odds of Lightning
Author: Jocelyn Davies
Pub. Date: 09.20.16

Extraordinary things happen when we least expect them.

Tiny, Lu, Will and Nathaniel used to be best friends. Then life-defining events the summer before high school tore them apart. Now, three years later, they hardly talk anymore. Nathaniel has become obsessed with winning the prestigious science scholarship that his genius older brother once won. Will has risen from anonymity to popular soccer star. Lu grew into a brash, impetuous actress. And shy, poetic Tiny has slowly been fading away.

But fate weaves their lives together again the night before the SATs, during a wild thunderstorm that threatens to shut down New York City. And lightning strikes.

Before they know what's hit them, the four teens embark on an epic all-night adventure to follow their dreams, fall in and out of love, reconcile the past, and overcome the fears that have been driving them since that one lost summer. And by the time the sun rises, odds are they’ll discover that there’s a fine line between science and magic, and that the mysteries of love and friendship can’t be explained.

August 10, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (87)

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Pub. Date: 09.20.16

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

August 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (86)

Title: A Song to Take the World Apart
Author: Zan Romanoff
Pub. Date: 09.13.16

Hanging out with Chris was supposed to make Lorelei’s life normal. He’s cooler, he’s older, and he’s in a band, which means he can teach her about the music that was forbidden in her house growing up. Her grandmother told her when she was little that she was never allowed to sing, but listening to someone else do it is probably harmless— right?

The more she listens, though, the more keenly she can feel her own voice locked upin her throat, and how she longs to use it. And as she starts exploring the power her grandmother never wanted her to discover, influencing Chris and everyone around her, the foundations of Lorelei’s life start to crumble. There’s a reason the women in her family never want to talk about what their voices can do.
And a reason Lorelei can’t seem to stop herself from singing anyway.

July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (85)

Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Pub. Date: 09.06.16

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (84)

Title: Sometimes We Tell the Truth
Author: Kim Zarins
Pub. Date: 09.06.16

Jeff boards the bus for the Civics class trip to Washington, DC, with a few things on his mind:
-Six hours trapped with his classmates sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.-He somehow ended up sitting next to his ex-best friend, who he hasn’t spoken to in years.-He still feels guilty for the major part he played in pranking his teacher, and the trip’s chaperone, Mr. Bailey.-And his best friend Cannon, never one to be trusted and banned from the trip, has something “big” planned for DC.
But Mr. Bailey has an idea to keep everyone in line: each person on the bus is going to have the chance to tell a story. It can be fact or fiction, realistic or fantastical, dark or funny or sad. It doesn’t matter. Each person gets a story, and whoever tells the best one will get an automatic A in the class.
But in the middle of all the storytelling, with secrets and confessions coming out, Jeff only has one thing on his mind—can he live up to the super successful story published in the school newspaper weeks ago that convinced everyone that he was someone smart, someone special, and someone with something to say.

July 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (102)

This week's topic is ten books set outside the U.S.  I love traveling.  Okay, I don't love traveling (I get hella travel anxiety), but I do love being somewhere else.  Travel envy is the worst though, and nothing gives you travel envy quite like reading something set in a place you want to go.  Here are my picks for this week:

A Mad, Wicked Folly - Sharon Biggs Waller
It's no secret that I love England.  I went to London and Liverpool last year and I was basically dying to go back as soon as we touched down at home.  A Mad, Wicked Folly shows you a glimpse of historical London.

Falling in Love with English Boys - Melissa Jensen
I've said it before, but screw the boys, the best part of this one is the friendships Cat makes during her summer in London.

The Royal We - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
I had the distinct pleasure of reading The Royal We curled up in my hotel bed in London and on the train to Liverpool.  Like, how lucky was I?  Also, I expected this to be kind of a nothing book - just some fluff about an American girl becoming English royalty, but I completely fell in love with it.  It dives so deep into the characters and families and expectations...I never wanted it to end.

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
I said in my review for this, one of my favorite contemps of all time, that it made me want to give Paris another shot (which is huge for me because I HATED Paris when I went.  I think I wasn't old enough to really appreciate it).

Just One Day - Gayle Forman
After Allison takes a post-grad tour of some assorted European locales, she and Willem spend one day (/night) in Paris and it sets her off on a year of self discovery.  So good.

The Accident Season - Moïra Fowley-Doyle
I read this just after getting home from Ireland and it was like I was still there.  The absolute perfect setting for this story.

Decked with Holly - Marni Bates
This might be stretching it a little, but they're cruising to Mexico I'm totally counting it.  Also, FAKE DATING, my favorite thing ever.  I am trash for fake dating.  Also, fake dating a rockstar, did Marni Bates hop into my brain???

Wanderlove - Kristin Hubbard
I wanted to travel so much when I read this one.  Though, not in the way that Bria does.  I'm so not built for backpacking.

Saving Francesca & The Piper's Son - Melina Marchetta
I don't know what to say about these two other than just read them.  Melina Marchetta is a gem.

What are your favorite books that don't take place in the States?  What are your favorite places not in the States?  Tell me some travel stories y'all, I want to hear 'em!

July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (83)

Title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Pub. Date: 09.06.16

In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.
 Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. And what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.

July 6, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (82)

Title: A Torch Against the Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Pub. Date: 08.30.16

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead. 

July 5, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (101)

This week's topic is top ten books I've enjoyed that have fewer than 2,000 reviews on Goodreads.  This was a fun one to look at.  I honestly didn't expect any of my picks to have as few reviews as they did.  I tried not to go with anything too new (for obvious reasons). 

1. September Girls - Bennett Madison
When Sam's dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he's all for it-- at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him. 
Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she's different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he's going to get her back, he'll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here. 

2. Exile - Kevin Emerson
(and the sequel, Encore to an Empty Room)
Catherine Summer Carlson knows how to manage bands like a professional—she’s a student at the PopArts Academy at Mount Hope High, where rock legends Allegiance to North got their start. Summer knows that falling for the lead singer of her latest band is the least professional thing a manager can do. But Caleb Daniels isn’t an ordinary band boy—he’s a hot, dreamy, sweet-singing, exiled-from-his-old-band, possibly-with-a-deep-dark-side band boy. And he can do that thing. That thing when someone sings a song and it inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will.
Summer also finds herself at the center of a mystery she never saw coming. When Caleb reveals a secret about his long-lost father, one band’s past becomes another’s present, and Summer finds it harder and harder to be both band manager and girlfriend. She knows what the well-mannered Catherine side of her would do, but she also knows what her heart is telling her. Maybe it’s time to accept who she really is, even if it means becoming an exile herself. . . .

3. Inland - Kat Rosenfield
After nine years spent suffocating in the arid expanses of the Midwest, far from the sea where her mother drowned, Callie Morgan and her estranged father are returning to the coast. And miraculously, Callie can finally breathe easily. No more sudden, clawing attacks and week-long hospital stays. No more wary, pitying glances from classmates and teachers. She can be more than a sickly freak, coughing her way between nondescript inland towns every year.
But something waits for Callie in the water. Just as her life begins to feel like her own, with an almost-family and a first love and a circle of loud-mouthed friends, her body starts to rebel in new ways. She finds herself fighting the intoxicating pull of the black waters right outside her window. Her dreams turn wild and real, and she wakes up with salt water in her hair. Family secrets and whispering doubts flood her brain as she leads herself and those around her into danger, jeopardizing everything she once longed for. Is it madness, or is there a voice, beckoning her to come to the sea’s deepest heart; to come home?

4. The Scar Boys - Len Vlahos
In attempting to describe himself in his college application essay--help us to become acquainted with you beyond your courses, grades, and test scores--Harbinger (Harry) Jones goes way beyond the 250-word limit and gives a full account of his life. 

The first defining moment: the day the neighborhood goons tied him to a tree during a lightning storm when he was 8 years old, and the tree was struck and caught fire. Harry was badly burned and has had to live with the physical and emotional scars, reactions from strangers, bullying, and loneliness that instantly became his everyday reality. 
The second defining moment: the day in 8th grade when the handsome, charismatic Johnny rescued him from the bullies and then made the startling suggestion that they start a band together. Harry discovered that playing music transported him out of his nightmare of a world, and he finally had something that compelled people to look beyond his physical appearance. Harry's description of his life in his essay is both humorous and heart-wrenching. He had a steeper road to climb than the average kid, but he ends up learning something about personal power, friendship, first love, and how to fit in the world. While he's looking back at the moments that have shaped his life, most of this story takes place while Harry is in high school and the summer after he graduates.

Sixteen-year-old Catherine Vernon has been stranded in London for the summer-no friends, no ex-boyfriend Adam the Scum (good riddance!), and absolutely nothing to do but blog about her misery to her friends back home. Desperate for something-anything-to do in London while her (s)mother's off researching boring historical things, Cat starts reading the 1815 diary of Katherine Percival her mom gives her-and finds the similarities between their lives to be oddly close. But where Katherine has the whirls of the society, the parties and the gossip over who is engaged to who, Cat's only got some really excellent English chocolate. Then she meets William Percival-the uber-hot descendant of Katherine-and things start looking up . . .

6. Wildflower - Alecia Whitaker
The best songs come from broken hearts.

Sixteen-year-old Bird Barrett has grown up on the road, singing backup in her family's bluegrass band, and playing everywhere from Nashville, Tennesee to Nowhere, Oklahoma. One fateful night, Bird fills in for her dad by singing lead, and a scout in the audience offers her a spotlight all her own.
Soon Bird is caught up in a whirlwind of songwriting meetings, recording sessions, and music video shoots. Her first single hits the top twenty, and suddenly fans and paparazzi are around every corner. She's even caught the eye of her longtime crush, fellow roving musician Adam Dean. With Bird's star on the rise, though, tradition and ambition collide. Can Bird break out while staying true to her roots?
In a world of glamour and gold records, a young country music star finds her voice. 

7. Cherry Money Baby - John M. Cusick
Cherry Kerrigan loves her simple life, her family’s tiny trailer, even working at Burrito Barn. Forget college — she’s marrying her sweetheart from next door. But here comes Ardelia Deen, a glamorous starlet who sweeps Cherry into a world of fast cars and penthouse parties. Now Cherry’s small-town life just seems so . . . small. When Ardelia drops a bomb of an offer — one involving a baby — Cherry knows her life will change forever, no matter what she decides. John M. Cusick focuses his signature wit on Hollywood royalty and the wide-eyed dreams of Small Town, U.S.A. in a novel about discovering who you are . . . and changing your mind.

8. Firecracker - David Iserson
Being Astrid Krieger is absolutely all it's cracked up to be.

She lives in a rocket ship in the backyard of her parents' estate.
She was kicked out of the elite Bristol Academy and she's intent on her own special kind of revenge to whomever betrayed her.
She only loves her grandfather, an incredibly rich politician who makes his money building nuclear warheads.
It's all good until...
"We think you should go to the public school," Dad said.
This was just a horrible, mean thing to say. Just hearing the words "public school" out loud made my mouth taste like urine (which, not coincidentally, is exactly how the public school smells).
Will Astrid finally meet her match in the form of public school? Will she find out who betrayed her and got her expelled from Bristol? Is Noah, the sweet and awkward boy she just met, hiding something?

9. Blood and Salt - Kim Liggett
“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.
Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.
As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.

10. The Sweet of Salt - Cecilia Galante
Julia just graduated as her high school valedictorian, has a full ride to college in the fall and a coveted summer internship clerking for a federal judge. But when her older sister, Sophie, shows up at the graduation determined to reveal some long buried secrets, Julia's carefully constructed plans come to a halt. Instead of the summer she had painstakingly laid out, Julia follows Sophie back to Vermont, where Sophie is opening a bakery—and struggling with some secrets of her own. What follows is a summer of revelations—some heartwarming, some heartbreaking, and all slowly pointing Julia toward a new understanding of both herself and of the sister she never really knew. 

Are you as surprised as I was by any of these titles?

June 30, 2016

Suffer Love - Ashley Herring Blake

Title: Suffer Love
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Pages: 352
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads rating: 

About: “Just let it go.”

That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone.

Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.

Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth? 

Suffer Love had...potential.  A slow start - there was a bunch of 'these people are acting this way because of REASONS, but these REASONS will not be discussed yet.  But rest assured there are REASONS.'  So yeah, it was kind of slow.  I really liked the middle section though.  Hadley and Sam start seeing each other on the DL (hello, dating myself) and it's really nice to watch their worlds start to come together.  The supporting cast is also really fun to watch.  I really liked spending time with Livy, Ajay (why is it spelled this way, why??), and Kat.

Now onto the parts I didn't love.  I know it was on purpose, but Hadley's mom was such a nightmare.  Like, stop with your passive aggressive bullshit and deal with your problems.  Stop vacuuming in the morning because your cheating husband prefers it quiet and don't put pepper on his food because he's allergic.  It's not healthy for anyone.  I also didn't find Hadley's making out with a bunch of boys all that extreme (probably because I read Firsts not too long ago, and hello, that was extreme).

The ending suffers (heh) from a little bit of melodrama.  As expected, once the secrets fall away Hadley and Sam have to try and figure out where they want their relationship to go.  It just becomes so overdramatic.  No one's dying, no one's at war.  "Seeing you and not being with would be torture."  What are you, 17?  Re-fucking-lax.  "That's living, Sam.  It's always uncertain."  Bleck.  I can't.  I just couldn't get past it.

I go back and forth on Suffer Love.  A slow start and a super dramatic end is offset by a lovely little relationship in the middle.  The friends are fun to hang with for a while, but the parents are annoying and terrible.  All in all, this was a middle of the road contemporary for me.

June 29, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (81)

Title: How to Keep Rolling After a Fall
Author: Karole Cozzo
Pub. Date: 08.02.16

After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance.

The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That's all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl's suicide. Now Nikki's been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can't look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates - almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it's like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance... and everyone deserves to be loved. 

June 28, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (100)

This week is a freebie week, so I'm going back to do one that I've been meaning to do for a while, top fictional BFFs.

Mia & Lily - The Princess Diaries
These two shaped so much of who I am as a person.  Those lists that they made in G&T?  Their pop culture feelings?  I internalized them all.  We watched a Baywatch marathon on Memorial Day and in my head I was totally like Mia was right.  They don't always get along, but that's life.  They're better for having known each other and I think that shows now that they've grown up.

Gena & Finn - Gena/Finn
I loved seeing an internet friendship turned real life friendship explored in such real way (probably because I am sooooo bad at being internet friends with people.  I just don't get it, I'm constantly awkward and hard to keep track of.  I'm not cut out for this life.)  I've been in fandom for close to twenty years now [super yikes] and I've seen these friendships form.  It was really cool to see it reflected on the page.

The Raven Boys & Blue - The Raven Cycle
Do I even need to?  Yes, I do.  The best part about these friendships (besides all the v. hot face touching, Gansey and Blue, see me after class) is that they're all so unique.  With a group that big I feel like it's really easy to fall into 'and yeah Blue and Ronan are cool whatever,' but it never does.  Blue and Ronan have a completely Blue and Ronan relationship.  Adam and Gansey are totally different than Adam and Noah.  Maggie is a master.

The girls of Rose & Grave - Secret Society Girl
Ok, so the deal with this is they're the first class in the history of the super elite secret society Rose & Grave to admit girls and not everyone (alumni, current members, etc) is thrilled about it.  These girls have been through the trenches together.  As someone who pledged a sorority in college I can definitely attest to the fact that those bonds last.

Hermione & Polly - Exit, Pursued By a Bear
A super recent addition (I read it last week), but man, these two.  Polly is so fiercely there for Hermione and vice versa.  I feel like so many of the rape books that I've read show people who have been ostracized in some way because of what happened to them.  It was nice to have one where the main character has a really great, realistic support system.

Who are your favorite fictional BFFs?

June 22, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (80)

Title: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Pub. Date: 07.26.16

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. 

Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history is about to repeat itself. 

June 21, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (99)

This week's topic is favorite 2016 releases so far.  I can't believe the quality of stuff that I've read this year.  It made it so hard to choose just ten.

1. The Raven King - Maggie Steifvater
The best and also most important.  I had no chill leading up to this book, I had to know if my sweet nightmare children were going to be okay (of course not, nothing's okay, it's Maggie).

2. Remembrance - Meg Cabot
Meg Cabot can do no wrong.  I read the whole Mediator series for the first time this year and it was a blast.

3. Wink Poppy Midnight - April Genevieve Tucholke
I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on this one, but I absolutely adored it.  Tucholke does atmospheric like no other.

4. The Serpent King - Jeff Zentner
I don't know what else to say about this book, so I'm just going to go back to my review:  This book is struggles and loss and feeling trapped by circumstance, but it's also hope and perseverance and discovery.  It's so true to life and it is a beautiful read.

5. Passenger - Alexandra Bracken
This is basically a treasure hunt through time hosted by a hot privateer (read: pirate) and it is fantastic.

6. Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton
With a tagline like 'More gunpowder than girl' did you think this was one I'd skip.  Amani is the bomb and Jinn... *fans self*

7. Blackhearts - Nicole
There seemed to be an influx of pirate books at the beginning of this year and I am hella here for it.  Also, this cover is GORGEOUS.  I can't wait for Blacksouls!

8. Firsts - Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
I said in my review for this one that it made me feel like an old and I stand by it, but I completely fell in love with these complicated characters.

9. Kill the Boy Band - Goldy Moldavsky
I've been a boyband fan basically forever.  I got New Kids sheets for my first grade birthday.  I still (often) think about the fact that I didn't get tickets to BSB's Millenium tour (I'm not even joking I have so much concert FOMO it's not funny).  I have a tumblr that currently has 708 pages of One Direction posts (yikes).  There was literally no way in hell I wasn't going to read and love this one.

10. Gena/Finn - Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson
I'm still really impressed by how much they totally get fandom in this book.  Also, by their ability to build an interesting, complex story even if you're not totally into fandom.  I'm echoing my Goodreads review, but really, 1000 stars.

Which 2016 releases have you guys loved so far?