Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Hi there! Can I tell you how excited I was to get this in the mail? I received an advanced copy from a publicist for review and I was so excited to read this. I saw it last fall and was immediately intrigued. I can’t wait for you guys to read it this May!

Synopsis:

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about

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two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Publisher: SimonPulse                                  Page #: 320

Expected Release: 30 May 2017                 Edition: ARC

My rating: 5/5 stars

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What a cute contemporary read! I couldn’t wait to see where these characters took me, and I loved how Menon characterized them! I am not entirely one for insta-love books, and it seemed like this one might be one, but I did appreciate all that happened within these pages.

I remember finishing it late the night before a scholarship competition and wanting to get up and dance around. Here are some of my initial thoughts (via Goodreads):

I love this book so much! Dimple and Rishi made me believe in so much.

I don’t think my sleep deprived brain had much more than this to type out. I enjoyed this book so much and have had some time to let my thoughts on it marinate.

One thing this book champions is the strength of Dimple as a female. I love it when female characters are hard on asserting themselves and there are always many obstacles that they face when this happens. I appreciated Dimple’s initial prickliness toward Rishi! Their first meeting is probably one of my favorite scenes in the book, especially seeing it from both sides of the story.

Rishi reminded me a bit of myself. I am a romantic (though not a hopeless one, and certainly not as much as Rishi), and I loved seeing him persist throughout this book. It was interesting to watch him develop as a character and more than just a boy in love. He’s sweet and kind, and I like that he doesn’t become overbearing and demanding of Dimple. He gives her room to be herself and appreciates her even more for her genuineness.

I cannot speak to how accurate this story was to Indian culture. I imagine, however, that with the author’s background that it was, at least to some extent, accurate. I like that it took the taboo idea of arranged marriages and made it something that the reader could understand in modern context. I think that people are really quick to judge arranged marriages, especially in the United States because we don’t understand it and what it means to people today. I think Menon did very well demystifying this for us, and I really loved the way she did it.

This is definitely one I’ll be rereading! I can’t wait to read it this summer again.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Blog Tours, Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Blog Tour: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

The Best Kind of Magic

by Crystal Cestari
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

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Synopsis:
Amber Sand isnot a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works ather mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?

The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and willappeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.
 
This book was so cute! Amber is a spunky and hilarious narrator throughout the entire novel. I really enjoyed getting to know her and the other characters through her point of view.
At first we start off with Amber being really unsure of herself and while she enjoys her matchmaking skills she doesn’t want to be a matchmaker only – she wants to be a baker. I love that there were other things that Amber was interested in and that she didn’t let her magic be the only thing that defined her. She becomes a more confident young woman as the story continues and I really liked that character development.
Amani was definitely one of my favorite characters. She’s complex and different and I can see where Amber would be frustrated with her as a best friend. However, I love their friendship and how they’re always there for each other even when things get a bit hairy. They support each other in ways that you want best friends to be there.
 
Here is the playlist I selected for the book! I picked these because they reminded me a lot of Amber and the plot, especially the end! Enjoy!


With rainbows in my hair and stories in my head, I am a writer drawn to magic in the everyday world.

My debut novel, The Best Kind of Magic, arrives May 16, 2017 from Hyperion. Follow Amber Sand, a magical matchmaker who can actually see true love, as she takes off on a fun and romantic adventure toward happily ever after.

We are giving away one (1) finished copy of The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari. This is open to US and Canada only and ends on May 26th. You can follow the rest of the tour for more opportunities to win, however you may only win once! Click here to enter the giveaway!
Happy reading,
Sophie 🙂
Posted in Bloggers, Q & A, Sophie

Interview: Laurie Forest, Debut Author of The Black Witch

Hi guys! Happy release day to The Black Witch and Laurie Forest (among soooooo many others I’m excited for)! Today we have Laurie on the blog with an interview about her debut novel.

Displaying The Black Witch jacket.jpgIf you’re wondering what her book is all about click here for a link to my review and synopsis of the book.

Here’s a little bit about Laurie: 

Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (May 2017, HarlequinTEEN) is her first novel, and Wandfasted (The Black Witchprequel, Summer 2017, HarlequinTEEN) is her first e-book novella.

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Without further ado let’s jump into this interview!

Sophie: Hi Laurie! My name is Sophie and it’s pleasure to speak with you/work with you. I enjoyed the exploration you took while writing The Black Witch and I found everyone in the book fascinating! What inspired you to write this story?

Laurie: About eight years ago, my then pre-teen daughters started putting Harry Potter in front of me (I’d never really read any fantasy before, I preferred non-fiction almost exclusively). After watching them devour the books, dress up like characters in the books, style birthday parties around the books and get so excited about the movies, I broke down and cracked open the first book. I read through the entire series in less than two months.

I was instantly hooked and stunned that J.K. Rowling was able to tackle so many serious issues so effectively (and inspiringly) in a metaphorical/fantasy way. I started to read every YA fantasy book my kids handed me, and then some.

During this time, as I was immersing myself in vivid stories of dragons and werewolves and witches and wizards, a dramatic, real-life story was going on around us here in Vermont – the fight for marriage equality. My husband and I were involved in supporting marriage equality, which was a surprisingly hard battle. Prejudice I never knew existed came out of the woodwork against LGBTQ friends, completely blindsiding me.

This real-life story did have a happy ending – Vermont legalized marriage equality in 2009. But the darkness I had witnessed reverberated in my mind. It set me mulling over prejudice in more general terms (religion-based, gender-based, etc.) as I was reading The Golden Compass series. The spark of a story lit inside me – a fantasy story where people with wings are rejected by pretty much every religion/culture for no sound reason save tradition. On a lark, I started writing that first scene down and found myself as instantly hooked by writing as I had been by fantasy fiction (it felt like magic). My fledgling story rapidly found its own trajectory and rapidly veered off into pure fantasy territory.

S: Elloren is a character who is entrenched in her prejudices, what was it like writing a character like that? Why did you decide to write her brothers so different from her?

L: In The Black Witch, I really wanted to delve into where a prejudiced way of looking at the world springs from, so it was an interesting challenge to not only create a dangerous, destructive world-view, but to make it seem rational to the main character (via how sheltered she is and how many lies she’s been told – and there’s a strong religious justification for her world-view as well). My idea was to thrust the reader into that world-view along with the main character and then turn everything completely on its head. Elloren is a naïve sort who doesn’t start out very rebellious, so I think her easy acceptance of most of her cultural prejudices makes sense. Her brother Trystan, being gay, is already privately at odds with the culture, so I think it makes sense that he’d be a bit cynical about it all, although he becomes more of a rebel as the series goes on. They all do. And Rafe’s nature is free-thinking and open-minded, so I think he has a natural tendency to question everything and go his own way.

S: This book is riddled with difficulties Elloren must overcome, not to mention the political turmoil between the classes in that world. What was the most difficult part about writing this book?

L: The most difficult part was pulling so many threads into a coherent whole, especially since I wrote the book’s scenes out of order. I had to go back and streamline all the different cultures and the political timeline.

S: I found myself drawn to the Ulrich twins. Their sensitive natures and undying support really connected with me. Do you relate to any of the characters? Who?

L: At the moment I feel closest to Prof. Kristian. Or at least I want to be like him. He’s quietly heroic and very active, behind the scenes, in the Resistance. He has no magic, but he makes good use of the talents he does have (mainly his intelligence and knowledge of history) to try and shine a light on injustice and right it (we learn more about him as the series progresses).

S: My favorite character is definitely Diana! I love her fierce loyalty and strong character. Do you have a favorite? Why?

L: Right now my favorite is Ariel Haven, because she’s been so abused and misunderstood for so long, but she still hasn’t been completely broken. I feel like Ariel has the heart of a true hero underneath all the trauma.

S: Ariel is a great character. I really liked her rough edges. I don’t know how much you are aware of the negative reviewer on Goodreads, but I found her when I was adding The Black Witch to my “currently reading” shelf. Frankly, I was appalled and I disagree with what she is saying. Is there anything you’d like to say pertaining the message of your book?

L: The Black Witch, at its heart, is a critical exploration of the harmful nature of prejudice in whatever form it’s found. I think a narrative like this, with its condemnation of hate and dismantling of internalized racism, is quite relevant. My goal for the series is to promote diversity in an entertaining story. My overarching theme (I hope) is that any government or culture or religious system of belief that does not promote diversity can lead to a very dark place. Kind of the path to Mordor.

Or in the case of The Black Witch, Marcus Vogel’s vision for Gardneria.

S: The ending is such a cliffhanger! Are there any current projects you’re working on that you could share with us?

L: Book Two of The Black Witch Chronicles is written and I’ll be leaping into the editing/sensitivity readings of that very soon with my editor at Harlequin TEEN and sizable team of readers inside and outside of my imprint (it’s been important to me to have this narrative read by people from many different backgrounds to check for sensitivity – and I also get a lot out of online sensitivity discussions which have given me much guidance as well). We’re hoping to put

Book Two out next year. The e-book prequel to The Black Witch, Wandfasted, comes out July 1, 2017 (it’s currently up on Amazon for pre-order and the cover reveal is coming soon!). It’s being sold as a novella, but it’s around 250 pages – I can’t seem to write short, lol. Wandfasted happens 20 years in the past. It’s the love story of Elloren’s parents, Vale and Tessla (oh my, romance is fun to write). I like to think of it as Pride & Prejudice meets Lord of the Rings .

You get a glimpse of the original Black Witch on the front lines in this book (which was extraordinarily fun to write) as well as many characters from The Black Witch as young people – Aunt Vyvian, Uncle Edwin, Prof. Jules Kristian, Lucretia Quillen and Fallon Bane’s parents. And baby Gareth  Also, there are battling dragon armies in this e-book.

S: Thank you so much for your time, I had a pleasure chatting with you! Are there any closingcomments you’d like to make?

L: I’m looking forward to the book getting out there and hearing from readers. And I hope the book provokes further discussion! Thank you for taking the time to interview me and thank you for your review of The Black Witch 

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Be sure to check out The Black Witch!  I encourage you to read it and see what you think of it 🙂 If you lucky ducks live close to these places be sure to go see Laurie while she’s on tour!

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Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hi there! I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I know that it’s been warming up around Michigan so I’m excited to read outside! I was sent a copy of this book by Harlequin Teen for an honest review, and I’m pleased to shared it with you today.

Synopsis: A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa

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Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.

Publisher: HarlequinTeen                                My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Expected Release: 2 May 2017                        Source: HarlequinTeen/Publicist

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I don’t read reviews prior to reading books. I don’t think it’s a bad thing if you do! I like to form my own opinions of books before I see what others have to say, it’s just a personal preference of mine. That being said, I read a few of the reviews of this book when I was about half way through the book. I had been enjoying the book so far and was adding it to my Goodreads (finally). It had a low, low rating of 1.88 stars (avg), and it really caught my eye. I found that there was a reviewer on Goodreads who expressed extremely negative opinions about the book calling it racist, homophobic, and ablest – to name a few. While I don’t agree with her opinion, what really bothered me was that people jumped right on board with her before reading the book themselves and began to rate the book as 1 star. I think it’s fine that she rated it so low! People are entitled to their own opinions! However, it is unfair of the other members of Goodreads to immediately assume that that reviewer’s word is gospel. Her opinion of the book is just that – an opinion. What I write in my reviews may differ what you think about the book, and that is okay! I am allowed to think what I think and you are too. I think one thing people are forgetting here is that we need to read and think critically. And that means that we need to encounter things first-hand to see if things match up to what is being said before jumping to immediate conclusions.

With that rant out of the way – here are some more thoughts I had about the book!

I enjoyed this book! It was definitely high fantasy and a little different from the ones I’ve read before. I liked the various descriptions of the people and how intricate it was. I did find that a little confusing at times though, but not enough for it to really be a bother.

I found Elloren to be really annoying at first. She was irritating and I hated the thought process she went through and how she viewed her world. However, stepping back I could see the perspective the author wanted me to take. I read in the author’s letter that she was trying to mimic and grow a person who is prejudiced deeply, and Elloren really shows it. One thing I didn’t understand was how much more progressive her brothers were versus Elloren because they were raised in the same environment.

The development of the other characters was a fun thing to read about. I liked seeing the veil of prejudice come up as Elloren attended University. I felt like it showed how sheltered she was and ignorant of the world. My favorite character is Diana by far. She is strong willed and fierce.

The language of the book was a little awkward and repetitive at times, but I felt like it was pretty good for a debut novel.

Overall a good book to read, especially if you have time!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Book Review & Giveaway: Alex and Eliza by Melissa de La Cruz

Hi guys & happy (belated) Easter (if you celebrate it, my family does). I’m here today to celebrate the recent release of this awesome novel by Melissa de La Cruz  Alex & Eliza. 

What you want to know about the book:

1777. Albany, New York.

Alex and Eliza
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.

Publisher: Putnam                          My rating: 4/5 stars

Release Date: 11 April 2017          Source: Penguin RandomHouse

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Here are some initial thoughts when I finished the book:

I was enamored with this book! It was sweet and lovely. I love Eliza and her sisters – they seem to really pop off the page and become the women I would have wanted to be friends with. Eliza is like a real-life Lizzie Bennett – spunky, spirited, and quick-witted. She quickly became one of the women I love in literature. I definitely need to do more research on her!

I completely agree with my original self! It was a sweet read all around and I really enjoyed myself when I read it. Eliza was super fun to read and I love the voice that de La Cruz gave her. She is the woman I would have wanted to be if I had been alive during the Revolution. Throughout the book she becomes less of a woman in history (lesser known, too) to someone who is living and breathing within the pages. I love the life that de La Cruz has given her.

I haven’t jumped on the Hamilton craze yet. I know, I know, it’s pretty much blasphemy these days to say that but I haven’t had time to seek out the music. That being said, I really love how this illustrates history. I’m a big history junkie and this was right up my alley.

This reminded me of a colonial version of Pride and Prejudice. The banter between the main characters and the general voices of the characters really carried that vibe. I like to think that Darcy is a hopeless romantic at heart, so it was fun to see Alex’s side of the story as well as Eliza’s.

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Because I loved this book so much I’m giving away a hardcover copy! It’s US only (sorry guys, shipping isn’t cheap!). It ends on the 22nd (1 week from today). Just click the Rafflecopter link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Bloggers, Q & A, Sophie

Q & A Friday: Laini Taylor & Cecilia Vinesse Interviews

I can’t believe it’s Friday already. I feel like this week flew by! I am so excited to share with you some interviews I did for Justine with Laini Taylor and Cecilia Vinesse. Both of these ladies had events in the past couple of weeks and I had the pleasure of speaking with both of them.

Laini and I played a quick round of 5 Quick Questions. It was fun to hear how she would place herself within her book. You can find the link to the full article here. Here is a snapshot of it:

Would you rather be a Godspawn or human?

Godspawn, if I could choose!

Who wins in a fight, Lazlo or Thyon?

Oh man, what kind of fight? I’m gonna have to go with Thyon.

(Originally published on justinemagazine.com)

I got to have a full conversation with Cecilia. It was so fun speaking with the debut author (Seven Days of You). Our full chat can be seen here. Here is one of my favorite responses from her.

Sophie: Hi, Cecilia! So glad to have you here today. To kick things off, why don’t you tell us something that isn’t in your bio.

Cecilia Vinesse: Hi! Oh my, something that isn’t in my bio. Hmm, let me think about this. I was a really, really big musical theater person for a really long time. I had the all original cast albums of different shows, and I had all the lines memorized. I used to, this is embarrassing, I’m sharing something embarrassing, I used to, when my family was out of the house, we used to have this really steep set of stairs so I would play the music really loud and I would sing it at the top of the stairs like I was in a production of the show. I really thought that was what I wanted to do, like I really thought that was—for a large portion of my teen years that was my dream, but then I realized I’m actually really nervous in front of crowds and that I like telling big stories, but maybe in a quieter way. So slowly over the years all of my Broadway posters came down off the wall. I still like it but not in the same obsessive way that I used to.

(Originally published on justinemagazine.com)

I hope you enjoyed both of them, I know I had a blast.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Chat: Reading Slumps

Hello! Hope you’re having a great week thus far. I’ve got a short week this week at school, so I have a lot of time to read! (Well, and do other things like see Beauty and the Beast with my friend and watch more Glee.)

Today I wanted to talk to you about reading slumps. We’ve all been there. You’ve just finished a phenomenal book and you’re still living in the wonderful world that just ended (or didn’t if it’s a series unless it was the last book in that one). Alas, all good things must come to an end at some point. Yet, you want to go back in time and start reading that book for the first time again. I have felt that way with many books (The Upside of Unrequited being the latest probably).

As a book blogger, being in a reading slump is the worst. I need to read so I can review and stay up to date with all of the buzz! So what do I do to fight this? Here are a few of my tried and true tricks.

1) Read a contemporary. I love contemporaries because they’re light and fluffy. Many of them have strong underlying messages in them too, and I love them even more for that. It’s nice to take a dip into the “real” world and see someone go through something that you have (or haven’t) and sympathize with their plight. Also, I love how fast they usually go. Some of my go-to contemporaries are To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny HanThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, anything by Sarah Dessen, and the latest contemporary that I bought.

2) Re-read my favorites. I don’t know how you people expect me to have just one favorite book. I have some all-time favorites (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Shug by Jenny Han, You Were Here by Cori McCarthy to name a *few*). Re-reading a favorite book is an awesome solution because it’s revisiting a world that you’ve come to love. I always find that there are details that I missed the first time around and it’s fun to find all of the new things about the book that I love.

3) Start reading multiple different books. This one isn’t for everyone! I know it’s tough to read more than one book at a time for a lot of people, but if I’m feeling a slump come on I start a bunch of different books. Chances are one is going to grab me and suck me in. After I finish that one I have all of the other ones that I started that I can come back to. I slowly make my way through my books this way. (I have so much that I have to read vs. ones that I want to read in addition to this that it’s necessary to read more than one book at a time.) If the book that you picked up isn’t working for you then you can try one that you already started and come back to it later! This is how I finish so many books around the same time. It’s pretty effective when you have a huge tbr stack.

I hope my tips have helped! Are there any tried and true ways that you use to get out of a slump? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading,

Sophie

Hey there! I’m so happy to be working with Rockstar Book Tours today to bring you a review on Royce Rolls, the latest by Margaret Stohl.

Title: ROYCE ROLLS

Author: Margaret StohlRoyce Rolls(1).jpg

Pub. Date: April 4, 2017

Publisher: Freeform

Pages: 400

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads

Sixteen-year- old Bentley Royce seems to have it all: an actual Bentley, tuition to a fancy private school, lavish vacations, and everything else that comes along with being an LA starlet. But after five seasons on her family’s reality show, Rolling with the Royces, and a lifetime of dealing with her narcissistic sister, Porsche, media-obsessed mother, Mercedes, and somewhat clueless brother, Maybach, Bentley wants out. Luckily for her, without a hook for season six, cancellation is looming and freedom is nigh. With their lifestyle on the brink, however, Bentley’s family starts to crumble, and one thing becomes startlingly clear– without the show, there is no family. And since Bentley loves her family, she has to do the unthinkable– save the show. But when her future brother-in- law’s car goes over a cliff with both Bentley and her sister’s fiance inside-on the day of the big made-for- TV wedding, no less-things get real.

Really real. Like, not reality show real.

Told in a tongue-in- cheek voice that takes a swipe at all things Hollywood, Royce Rolls is a laugh-out- loud funny romp with an LA noir twist about what it means to grow up with the cameras rolling and what really happens behind the scenes.

Here’s a little about the author!

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Margaret Stohl got her start as the head of theMargie.png Dark is Rising fan club in third grade in a highly gifted magnet school in Los Angeles. Going on to study at a creative writing program at UEA Norwich, England, and to write and direct an autobiographical one-act play at Amherst College—where she founded the school’s first women’s literary magazine, Madness This—Margaret knew she was a writer. After optioning two feature screenplays to Nickelodeon Pictures and Clasky-Csupo, Margaret began a sixteen-year career in videogames, co-founding 7 Studios game developer with her husband Lewis Peterson, and contributing to both Marvel’s Spiderman (ActivisionBlizzard) and Fantastic Four (7 Studios / ActivisonBlizzard) among many other titles—Dune 2000; Command & Conquer Red Alert Retaliation; Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of Jack Sparrow; to name a few.

When Margaret co-wrote the first of the internationally bestselling Beautiful Creatures novels (published in nearly fifty countries, named Amazon’s top teen book of 2009, short-listed for the ALA’s 2009 Morris award, and released as a feature film from Warner Brothers) on a dare from her three daughters, she fell even more in love with teen culture. Her first sci-fi series, Icons, is now in development as a feature film with Alcon Entertainment. Her Black Widow series from Disney Publishing (Black Widow: Forever Red and Black Widow: Red Vengeance) is a welcome chance to rock a strong female character and to return to her beloved Marvel roots. She is also writing the Mighty Captain Marvel comics.

If asked, Margaret will tell you that the Women of Marvel panel at New York Comicon was the greatest single hour of her life, and that she fangirls all girls who read comics. As a co-founder of YALLFEST, the biggest YA book festival in the country, and its offspring YALLWEST, Margaret believes her readers are her kindred spirits and her tribe.

Margaret lives in Santa Monica with her husband, who builds drones and robots, and her three daughters, who are competitive epee fencers—and who, like Natasha Romanov, have always known how to rescue themselves.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Here are my thoughts about the book…

I had been putting off reading this book for a long time and I don’t know why I did anymore. After getting around the Core chapter I was instantly hooked into Bent’s story. She’s one that truly jumps off the page. 

One of my favorite parts was the family dynamic that is written into te story. It begins as this rigid business like thing but as the story goes on it evolves into something more closely resembling a real family. I love the relationhip between Bent and Bach. They have each other’s backs and it’s cool to see them fight for each other. I also liked the moments when the characters would do something out of their scripted roles. It made them more human and unpredictable. 

A defining characteristic of Bentley is her undying loyalty to her family. She goes to the end of the Earth to help them and doesn’t expect anything in return. (Though I think the latter is from years of doing these things and not being recognized for it.) I love that about her character, but I also love the way she developed into herself. She becomes her own woman and begins to assert herself, putting her dreams and wishes as a priority too. 

There’s a lot more mystery and intertwining pieces to this story than I originally thought. It was exciting to see how they all connected in the end and a bit of a surprise. I like how Stohl keeps you on your toes the entire time. 

There’s a giveaway for the book here!

3 winners will receive a finished copy of the book, US only. Click here for the link to the Rafflecopter!

Be sure to check out the other stops on this lovely tour!

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/10/2017- YA and Wine- Blogger Post

4/11/2017- The Mind of a Book Dragon- Review

4/12/2017- Novel Novice- Review

4/13/2017- Page Turners Blog- Blogger Post

4/14/2017- The Best Books Ever- Review

Week Two:

4/17/2017- Book Briefs- Review

4/18/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Blogger Post

4/19/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland- Review

4/20/2017- Mundie Moms- Review


4/21/2017- The Young Folks- Review

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Tour Stop: Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl Review

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Book Review:The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Hey there! I’m here with a review on Becky Albertalli’s latest The Upside of Unrequited. This is due out this Tuesday!!!!!!!! This book was a riot! I could not put it down and I was so excited to see that it was in our bookstore’s January whitebox.

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of

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rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

Publisher: HarperTeen

Expected publication: 11 April 2017

Page #: 352

Edition: Hardcover, US

My rating: 5/5 stars

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I remember before I finished this book, I was riding the train on the way to Chicago for a Model UN meeting and I told my friend that the book was making me so happy and I couldn’t wait to finish it. About 20 minutes later, I walked back to her seat sobbing because I had finished the book. Needless to say, this book was phenomenal. I loved it every minute I spent reading it.

Last year I read Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (review) and loved it. I was excited to read more by Albertalli, and I was definitely not disappointed. This is one of the books that, when I finished it, I instantly wanted to pick it back up and read it again. Is it possible that I can wipe my memory and reread it? Is that a thing? Better question, why isn’t it a thing yet? I bet you so many book lovers would love this. There is nothing better than reading a wonderful book for the first time.

But, I digress. Molly Peskin-Suso is so wonderful I wanted to hug her the entire book. I love the way her character develops throughout the story. She is absolutely hilarious – I found myself laughing out loud in public (no shame at all, the people staring at me were just jealous they weren’t reading what I was). She is a girl who struggles to find her voice and when she does it’s absolutely amazing.

The other characters are so wonderful too. I think I started eating more Cadbury Mini Eggs just because of Reid. Seriously guys, I’ve had more bags this year than usual and I’m totally tempted to buy more bags when they go on sale after Easter. Cassie is spunky and I love her spirit. Her character is a nice balance to Molly and it’s fun to see her interact with Molly. The entire Peskin-Suso family has to be one of my favorites, up there with the Weasleys. I love how mismatched they are and that even though they’re unconventional, it shows how much they are just like any other family out there.

I love the theme of sisterhood throughout the book. I have three sisters and a sister-in-law myself so I grew up with a lot of female bonds in my life. I love how Albertalli illuminates this special relationship and how it’s different for everyone. It’s sad to see Cassie and Molly grow up and apart but this is just a part of life that had to happen eventually. It’s one of the main struggles of the plot and I loved how it worked out in the end.

This is one you definitely need to get your hands on this year!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

Hi guys! I feel like I owe you an apology for being so on and off with blogging here (I realize I don’t, but I feel obligated to do so), so here is my sorry! I have been extremely busy with life things and it’s hard to find the time to sit and write. I have been working on school and other things like Justine Magazine (more on that later).

So, I’m trying really hard to get back into the swing of blogging. I’ll be back again once I get things worked out and school starts to wind down (only 30 days left!!!!). This means I’ll be writing when I can and maybe not always on time, so please bear with me while I get through everything!

Since I last blogged here, I published a few more articles on Justine‘s website. The first is part of a series of articles I’ll have out about How to Bookstagram and I start with an interview with Nani (@booksthetics). The other one is a list of summery books to help you stay warm in these wintery days! I’ve read every one of the books listed and I enjoyed them all! The Loose Ends List was definitely one of my favorites on there, but all of them are ones you definitely want to check out.

I’ve gone to a few book signings in the past week! They were incredible and well worth the three hour drive to Chicago. I had the opportunity to meet Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer) and Laura Ruby (Bone Gap) on Monday, and I met Cecilia Vinesse (Seven Days of You) and Jilly Gagnon (#famous) on the 30th. I also go to talk with them individually for Justine and hopefully those pieces will be out soon!

I was accepted to New York University, and until financial aid comes through am not committed to a college. Things are falling together and I’m excited to see where this takes me! It has been a tough year for me, and I’m almost to the end. I honestly can’t believe how fast time has flown.

Until next time!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

General Update: Hi, there…