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Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Start of Me and You – Emery Lord

The Start of Me and You coverThe Start of Me and You
By: Emery Lord
Available March 2015

Description:
It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for a year, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

This Blonde’s Review:
Paige is trying to find her way back to being a normal teenager, someone who is more than the girl whose boyfriend died. She creates a plan for how to get back to a normal life. Getting a new boyfriend, why not start with her old crush Ryan, and joining a club are the best way to start. Of course she didn’t count on Max. Max is Ryan’s cousin and he’s part of a club that she thinks she could be good at. Even if it isn’t a cool one, it could still work.

In some ways, following the plan works out for Paige. She gets to experience things she never would have tried before, she learns that there are people who care about how she’s doing, and she gets to be friends with so many new people. Including Ryan and Max. What she didn’t expect was to become so close to Max, or for Ryan to like her best friend. But she’s sure that’s a temporary setback. Somehow it’ll all work out.

Paige was so great. I can’t imagine being that girl who can’t get past something that happened to someone she barely knew. The death of her boyfriend has followed, and will continue to follow her, for longer than she knew him. She barely had time to care about him before he was gone. Clearly when you lose someone important to you it takes a huge toll. We never think about how it can impact someone who barely knew you, especially if that person was someone everyone would assume was a huge part of your life. She was such a great character though since there really was so much more to her than that. She was dealing with issues in her family and reaching for a goal that she was afraid to hope for. But she was going for it anyway, which made me love her even more and hope that she could make it all work.

I really loved Max. He sounded like he was so adorable. He and Paige were cut from the same cloth, they were great as friends but would clearly be even better as a couple. Her connection with Ryan is so superficial that we can’t help but like him but not want him for her. I love that they were able to become friends and count each other as someone they trusted.

I would love to see more about the rest of Paige’s friends since they were all so great. I loved seeing the way they were all so different yet were willing to do whatever they had to in order to be there for each other. This group of girls is basically the picture perfect idea of what a friendship with a group of girls should be. Then when you added the guys into the mix they didn’t take away from that at all, they strengthened it, even knowing that there was attraction going around.

I especially loved the class project at the end. After everything that happened and how bad everything seemed to be at that point, it was so perfect. I won’t give it all away but it made my heart all kinds of happy and I did not want to book to be anywhere near ending. I really want to see more of these characters in the future.

Basically this book gave me all of the happy feelings. It was so great because to me it showed exactly how everyone wants it to be. A great group of friends that you know you can lean on is central to making everything wonderful. Then finding a great guy who knows how wonderful you are before you even recognize what you really want and need is icing on the cake. If you like feel good books that make you want to climb right into them then you’ll love this book.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2014 in Around The World Tours, Book Review

 

Blog Tour and Giveaway! :: Anomaly – Tonya Kuper

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Tour schedule found here.

Anomaly coverAnomaly
By: Tonya Kuper
Schrodinger’s Consortium – Book 1
Available Today

Description:
Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…
Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

This Blonde’s Review:
Imagine finding out you could make almost anything happen just by willing it into existence. Josie has always been driven by logic and science so at first this is hard for her to understand. But luckily with her history she is able to understand the science and theories behind it and they can refer to things casually to give us a basic idea of how it works without a whole detailed explanation the way you would with someone without her background.

The other important thing we need is an attractive guy. Reid is supposed to train her, get her to trust him, but still keep his hands off. Obviously that isn’t going to be easy for him and we love that it isn’t. He doesn’t want to let her know his connection to her family or that he’s cared about her for a long time. Reid trains her to get her ready for an important mission, but he also helps her deal with the other issues in her life because he does care about her. Which makes him someone that is easy for us to care about too. I really enjoyed Reid and the way he does everything he can to help her, whether it means being hard on her to get her ready or stepping up and helping her when she needs it.

Josie is so great, I loved her intelligence and logical side. With her education she knows things that others wouldn’t since she has been in training for this her whole life without realizing it. It makes her better prepared than anyone else would have been, but the unusual upbringing also gives her some personality strengths that make her so great to read about as well. She has some family baggage she’s dealing with, but those issues added to the story rather than taking away, and I couldn’t help but feel for her. I wanted things to be better than they seemed and to get answers that would bring her family back.

I liked this book and I’m looking forward to the next books in this series since I will enjoy finding out more about what happens. I want to find out more about the organization that wants her dead and more about what happened with her brother. I want to find out about Josie’s father and what is happening with him. And I especially want to find out more about what could happen with Josie and Reid.

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About the Author
Tonya Kuper’s debut, ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger’s Consortium young adult scifi trilogy, releases November 2014 by Entangled Teen. She lives in Omaha, NE with her two rad boys and husband, is a music junkie, and a chocolate addict. Star Wars & Sherlock fan.

Author Links:
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Buy Links:
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There’s also a giveaway if you’re interested!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjM0OGI5ZGJmNWUwNzllYTYzNjAyYzhhZGU0MDc0OjM2Nw==/

Prizes:

Anomaly Prize 1

Anomaly Prize 1

Anomaly Prize 2

Anomaly Prize 2

Anomaly Prize 3

Anomaly Prize 3

Anomaly Prize 4

Anomaly Prize 4

Blog Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours
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Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Blog Tour, Book Review

 

Positively Beautiful – Wendy Mills

Positively Beautiful
By: Wendy Mills
Available March 2015

Description:
Jodi Picoult for teens meets Lurlene McDaniel. Beautiful written, beautifully moving, a vivid contemporary story of a girl’s unusual but terrible dilemma – and the love story that springs from it.

16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.

Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?

As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.

Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair – but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.

This Blonde’s Review:
I’m just going to start with a confession that this book made me cry. So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on shall we?

Erin’s father died when she was young so all she has had was her mother. When she finds out that her mother has breast cancer, while knowing that her grandmother died of cancer, she is devastated. She knows she has to be there for her and struggles to support her mother. But the way single mothers are, she wants her daughter to continue living her life and not give everything up for her. When Erin overhears a conversation and demands answers she learns that there is something called a cancer gene and that she may have it. As we all know, when we’re told not to think about something that doesn’t mean we won’t think about it. If anything, that means we focus more.

With the internet as an instant resource for anything Erin very quickly finds a message board in attempt to find answers. Mostly older women who tell her to forget it until she’s older, but she does make one friend who is her age. A friend that she connects with strongly. I loved hearing everything her new friend had to say, it was always so thoughtful and deep. Ashley was focused on living rather than letting a potential cancer gene hold anyone back from a fulfilling life.

Erin’s response to everything is to take up flying. When she’s finally able to fly solo she finds herself making the impulsive decision to fly towards Ashley before she even realizes her destination. All she knows is she wants to experience the peace that her friend seems to find.

Seeing Erin struggle to come to terms with her potential future and her mother’s heath was heartbreaking. I could see myself in her shoes, whether I would have responded the same or not. This story was heartbreaking and I loved it. I loved getting to know Erin’s family and friends. I loved everyone in her friend’s family, some more than others.

If you enjoy reading stories where people have to deal with the fear of losing the people they care about, and deciding whether to risk their own hearts, then you’ll love this one.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Around The World Tours, Book Review

 

Soulprint – Megan Miranda

Soulprint
By: Megan Miranda
Available February 2015

Description:
Alina Chase has been contained on an island for the last 17 years—whether that’s for the crimes of her past life, or for her own protection, well, that depends on whom you ask. With soul-fingerprinting a reality, science can now screen for the soul, and everyone knows that Alina’s soul had once belonged to notorious criminal, June Calahan, though that information is supposed to be private. June had accomplished the impossible: hacking into the soul-database, ruining countless lives in the process.

Now, there are whispers that June has left something behind for her next life—something that would allow Alina to access the information in the soul-database again. A way to finish the crimes she started.

Aided by three people with their own secret motivations, Alina escapes, only to discover that she may have just traded one prison for another. And there are clues. Clues only Alina can see and decipher, clues that make it apparent that June is leading her to something. While everyone believes Alina is trying to continue in June’s footsteps, Alina believes June is trying to show her something more. Something bigger. Something that gets at the heart of who they all are—about the past and the present. Something about the nature of their souls.

Alina doesn’t know who to trust, or what June intends for her to know, and the closer she gets to the answers, the more she wonders who June was, who she is, whether she’s destined to repeat the past, whether there are truths best kept hidden—and what one life is really worth.

This Blonde’s Review:
In Soulprint we learn that souls go from one body to the next, that your soul likely came from someone who died near you when you were born. When Alina every baby was tested to find out if it belonged to a criminal named June. We don’t fully understand what June did at first, only that she was considered one of the worst criminals and so Alina is being confined for June’s crimes. They say she is being protected instead of imprisoned, but since her parents were criminalized for attempting to prevent the government from tracking her she isn’t exactly free to live her life.

She works in secret with someone mysterious to escape on her birthday. She doesn’t know who is helping her or why, only that she needs to escape. Alina is sure she’ll figure the rest out once she does. Except that it isn’t as easy as she thinks. She has to unravel clues left by June in order to figure out how to deal with the people who helped her escape and attempt to see if June’s legacy is really what is seems. There is more than meets the eye.

I didn’t know if I would like this book since I didn’t like the idea of people learning from birth who their soul used to belong to. We learn that this is a special circumstance and that most people learn later at their choosing. Some never find out who their soul used to belong to. Thinking about it as if that was something that could really happen, I’m much more comfortable with that concept. But then you run into the same problem that Alina ran into, where what if they decided for you. What if the crimes of someone else were held against you simply because their soul became yours. Could you be punished for someone else’s crimes? Or the fear that you may commit a crime as well? It becomes hazy.

I enjoyed getting to know the other characters in this one too. Everyone had their own secrets and motivations, yet they were all being manipulated by the same people without knowing it. At least until they learned what June knew and were able to do more with it than she could.

If you enjoy books that explore that gray area where ‘what if you knew’ and how people could use that information for their own power, then you’ll enjoy reading Alina’s story to see how it plays out.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2014 in Around The World Tours, Book Review

 

Finding Mr Brightside – Jay Clark

Finding Mr Brightside
By: Jay Clark
Available March 2015

Description:
Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. The funeral is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.

Fast forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a few months later. Abram is on Paxil. Juliette is on Adderall. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite her to Taco Bell. To both of their surprise, she agrees. And the real love story begins.

This Blonde’s Review:
Usually when I read one of these books I will feel like it is a book about one character or the other needing to find what is right for them. In this one it was really still about both of them and the way that they needed each other to help find their way.

Abram and Juliette are opposite in many ways. Juliette has to help care for her father since he’s in his own world writing, while Abram’s mother is more involved. Juliette is like a skittish deer, while Abram knows he wants to know her. Somehow they make this work. Abram moves slowly and lets her come to him, and she isn’t sure why she keeps going back. There is something about them that works, even though their parents’ history should push them apart.

While reading this book I wasn’t worried about whether they’d have a love story between them work out. I was caught up in the ways they help each other. Juliette is organized so helps Abram find a way off of his meds. But she doesn’t think she can do it until he helps her with hers. She opens up to him in ways neither of them expected and pushes him into things he wouldn’t have anticipated either. Seeing the way they healed each other while healing themselves was heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time.

If you like reading books with damaged characters who don’t know how to do more than look at life a day at a time, to see how they get back on their feet and start to care again, then you’ll enjoy Juliette and Abram’s story. You’ll want to see how the saying about opposites attracting can also apply to healing. Because the healing is what kept me in this story, more than the relationship they were building without meaning to.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2014 in Around The World Tours, Book Review