Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blog Tour: This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup {Review + Favorite Quotes}

8:20 PM



This Ordinary Life
by Jennifer Walkup
Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc.
Release Date: October 1st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Rate: 4/ 5 stars

Synopsis:

Sometimes Hope is the Most Extraordinary Gift of All.

High-school radio host Jasmine Torres's life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around. 

That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future. 

Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her. 

Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health--not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.


This Ordinary Life was an amazing read that really surprised me. Right of the bat we are introduced to the main character, Jasmine, who clearly has a less than easy life. She definitely has a lot of determination and a mind set on what she loves: being a radio host. She has an undying love for it and eyes set on an amazing scholarship opportunity. However, she has a lot on her plate. Her little brother, Danny, suffers from epilepsy and that, plus her mother's lack of responsibility since their father left, has resulted in her having to go out of her way a lot.

On top of it all, she encounters her boyfriend cheating on her. The devastation is unimaginable but Jasmine, being the strong, smart, and loyal person that she is, doesn't let it ruin her. Instead, she stands her ground and for that admired her a lot. She was just such a great character all around. Well shaped and articulated. And I loved how much she cared for her family and also how adamant she was.

Another amazing character, one that I will love forever, is Wes. Jasmine meets Wes, during one of her brother's hospital visits and he also happens to have epilepsy just like Jasmine's brother. They don't hit it off quite immediately, but once they meet again the rest is just history. What I loved and appreciated about this particular romance was how subtle it was at the beginning. it wasn't an instant love type of thing and that, in my opinion, made everything more adorable.

This Ordinary Life is an obvious gem. It's so well-written and perfectly paced which are both traits that are not as common as one would like. The author made a really adorable and cute story without overdoing the fluffiness. It was a fluffy story with a bit of more serious topics and one of the cutest love interests ever.


"What I like? Many things I probably shouldn't. Like him. The thought pokes from the recesses of my mind, from some corner where I've apparently tried to hide it. And it's true, even if I only admit it to myself and even if my heart is terrified of liking another boy after Sebastian. I can't help it. I like Wesley McEnroe. Definitely more than I should." (p. 131)

"No way. I can't. I'm worth more than he gave me." (p.79)

"Even if I wanted to, there's no way to keep the grin off my face as the energy from the morning show still pumps through me. Even the mess ups are quickly fading." (p. 114)




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Follow the This Ordinary Life Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.



Award-winning author Jennifer Walkup is most often found writing, reading, and spending time with her husband and young sons. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also works as an editor and creative writing instructor, and is an advocate for Epilepsy awareness. This Ordinary Life is her second novel.

To hear about Jennifer's upcoming books, sign up for her newsletter here:
http://eepurl.com/belmjH.




Win (1) hardcopy of SECOND VERSE by Jennifer Walkup and a swag pack (INT)
Win (1) of (2) swag packs (INT)





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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Blog Tour: Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian {Review + Dream Cast}

7:30 AM



Title: Like It Never Happened
Author: Emily Adrian
Release date: June 2nd 2015
Pages: 368
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, High School, Theatre, Fiction
Publisher: Dial Books
My rating: 4/ 5 stars
Stereotypes, sexuality, and destructive rumors collide in this smart YA novel for fans of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Siobhan Vivian’s The List, and E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close   with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.

Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off- stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe.





This book was just lovely. Lovely in the way in which it was written and what it was about. Which now that I think about it, is actually quite hard to pin point as one thing. In fact, this book is about a few things thrown into one entertaining and thoughtful story. In a nutshell, the story is about Rebecca Rivers', a 16 year-old junior in high-school, life. But it's also about the people who have been in and out of her life. And because of that, this story has a lot of depth to it, because in between all the drama (which was good drama btw) there were these little snippets of Rebecca's life that gave us an insightful view of her past friends, and just her life in general, and how all of it has led up to how her life currently is. 

Having Rebecca be a "drama geek"or thespian as they called it, was honestly such a cool and interesting aspect of the story. I typically enjoy books in which acting makes up for a huge part of the plot, but I absolutely loved it in this one. For some reason, I felt that the whole prospect of drama and acting was portrayed in a different way that really made me appreciate it. That and how it brought along one of my favorite character's in the story which was Rebecca's drama teacher, Mr. MacFadden. I liked him from the very begging, which *mild spoiler*: was honestly a bit of an issue towards the end. 

With the the drama aspect came all of Rebecca's friends. These all made quite the bunch, but some of them really annoyed me. Especially Charlie, but I can't be too mad because his relationship with Rebecca brought up the topic of sex and just relationship in general, which I found very thought provoking. A character which I had a change of heart about was Mary, Rebecca's sister. I really enjoyed the parts where we got to learn a bit more about her and her story and not too long after starting the book they became some of my favorites. Now, the book wasn't completely made up of very serious topics. It actually got funny at times and that made it all the more enjoyable. 



Follow the Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.





Emily Adrian was born in 1989 in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. After graduating from Portland State University, she moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she worked as a receptionist while secretly writing books.
Emily currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their dog named Hank. Like It Never Happened is her debut novel.




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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

7:00 AM

Title: None of the Above

Author: I.W. Gregorio
Release date: April 7th 2015
Pages: 352
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
My rating: 4/ 5


Synopsis:



A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.
What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?





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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #1: Top Ten Auto-buy Authors

8:00 AM

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is auto-buy authors.

1) Jenny Han


Jenny Han is queen, ok? *whispers* Jenny Han is queen.


2)  Jandy Nelson


Ever since I read The Sky Is Everywhere, I fell in love with Jandy Nelson's writing. I will literally buy anything she writes.

3) Stephen King


Stephen King is just an amazing author. It's as simple as that. And although I have yet to read ALL of his books, I feel compelled to buy every single one. My goal is to read all of his books someday.


4) Anna Banks


I find Anna Banks' books so fun to read. No matter what, you are guaranteed to have a  great time while reading her amazing books. And I will buy them all for sure.

5) Morgan Matson


I still have yet to read Since You've Been Gone, but that does not mean I can't put Morgan Matson in my Auto-buy Authors list! She always writes such cute romances and stories that you'll keep really close to your heart.


6) Beth Revis 


Beth Revis is the author who ignited my love for sci-fi. Her Across the Universe series is to die for. And because of that, I will absolutely purchase every book she ever writes.


7) Sarah Ockler


I don't think I've read every single one of Sarah Ockler's books, but I'm working on it. And the ones I have read, I have loved. Plus, I read Bittersweet when I was starting to get into reading so her books will always have a special place in my heart.


8) Veronica Rossi


Veronica Rossi's series, Under the Never Sky, is by far one of the best dystopian series I have ever encountered. I will read everything she writes. (btw, yes. I'll be dead until Riders comes out.)

9) John Green


Another one of the amazing authors that got me into reading. I will never forget sobbing, alone, in the middle of the night when I read that page in TFIOS. Ah, memories.

10) Gayle Forman


Yet another author who got me into reading! I loved If I Stay and, no, I haven't read every single on of her books, but I do own them all. And I plan on reading very soon.


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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Review: The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, Clayton Cowles

3:56 PM

TitleThe Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act (The Wicked + The Divine #1-5)

Author:  
Release date: November 12th 2014
Pages: 144
Genres: Fantasy. Mythology, Supernatural
Publisher: Image Comics
My rating: 3.5/ 5
Source: Bought

Synopsis:

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.



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Monday, August 10, 2015

DNF Review: Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

6:24 PM

Title: Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2)

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release date: April 7th 2015
Pages: 288
Genres: fantasy, paranormal, contemporary
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
My rating: DNF
Source: bought

Synopsis:


Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and her best friend, Bee, has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can focus on the important things in life: school, canoodling with David (her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie), and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or make her more powerful than ever.



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Saturday, August 8, 2015

ARC Review: A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride

8:53 AM

Title: A Million Times Goodnight

Author: Kristina McBride
Release date: July 28th 2015
Pages: 320
Genres: YA, Romance, Sci-fi
Publisher: Egmont USA
My rating: 4/ 5 stars
Source: Netgalley 

Synopsis:

One Night. Two Paths. Infinite Danger.

On the night of the big Spring Break party, Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend Ben’s car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.
Now Hadley has a choice: go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture or raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio as she can get.

Chapters alternate to reveal each possible future as Hadley, her ex-boyfriend, Josh, and her best friends embark on a night of reckless adventure where old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets are uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.
Like a teen Sliding DoorsA Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced contemporary thriller perfect for fans of Just Like Fateand Pivot Point.



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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Review: Reunion at Walnut Cherryville by Lauren Salem

6:00 AM

Title: Reunion at Walnut Cherryville

Author: Lauren Salem
Release date: March 20th 2013
Pages: 414
Genres: YA, Dystopian
Publisher: Self Published
My rating: 3.5/ 5
Source: Review copy provided by author

Synopsis:
Johnny Cockit accidentaly murdered a man when he was ten years old, which is why he was sent to Sonoran Correctional High School, a gender-segregated boarding school located in Phoenix, Arizona. Two months before graduation, Johnny and his friends are drugged and abducted by Walnut Cherryville secret watchers during an afternoon counseling session. Making decisions about the future has never felt important until the students are forced to work in a remote produce factory owned by the vengeful Quinton family. Walnut Cherryville is no ordinary factory; it’s the Quintons’ futuristic desert village governed by the principle that people live better-quality lives when they don’t make their own decisions. To ease the burden of life’s basic yet complicated choices, the government limits misdirection by choosing every citizen’s career path and lifestyle. Johnny and his friends plot an escape but must avoid being recaptured because abandonment of the village is a crime punishable by death. In a scandalous turn of events narrated by Johnny and his delinquent friends Vincent, Laura, and Collins, they discover that the reason they were captured roots back to an ancient family feud between the Cockit and Quinton families.


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Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead

11:59 AM

Title: Love Letters to the Dead

Author: Ava Dellaira
Release date: April 1st 2014
Pages: 336
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
My rating: 3.5/ 5
Source: Bought

Synopsis:

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that's as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl's journey through life's challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.




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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #14: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

9:24 AM


Title:  Underwater
Author: Marisa Reichardt
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Publication date: January 12th 2016

Synopsis:


Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself.


But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school. 


When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside. 


Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

           Goodreads  |  Amazon  | TBD



My thoughts:

Some of my favorite books to read are those that present main characters who suffer from some kind of mental illness. They never fail to move me or make me connect with the MC and the story itself. This one sounds like an amazing book and I can't wait to read it. 


What are you guys excited for? Let me know in the comments!





Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.








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