Posted in Bloggers, Book Chat, Sophie

Guest Post: Debut Author Amanda Stauffer

Today I share the blog with debut author Amanda Stauffer! Amanda is the author of the book Match Made in Manhattan which debuted today, the 23rd! Link to my review of the book in the caption of the cover!

Here’s a little about the book:

After two intense, dead-end relationships, serial monogamist Alison finds herself

Match Made in Manhattan
Goodreads | ReviewAmazon

confused, lonely, and drastically out of touch with the world of modern dating. Refusing to wallow, she signs up for a popular dating app and resolves to remain open-minded and optimistic as she explores the New York City singles’ scene. With the click of a button, her adventures begin: On one date, she’s dumped before the first kiss; on another, she dons full HAZMAT gear; she meets a tattooed folk singer turned investment banker, an undercover agent who tracks illegal exotic animals, and dozens of other colorful, captivating personalities.

Giving them each her signature “pants speech”–her pants aren’t coming off unless she has a real connection with someone–she desperately wants to push past the awkward small-talk phase to find true love, but finding “the one” is starting to feel impossible. That is, until she meets Luke, who is sophisticated, funny, and not to mention, hot. Alison finds herself falling for Luke harder than any guy she’s dated and finally letting her walls down, but will he stick around or move on to his next match?

Match Made in Manhattan is a fast-paced, contemporary story about the struggles of dating in the digital age. Replete with online profiles, witty dialogue, and a super-supportive group of female friends, this all-too-real and relatable debut novel will have readers laughing, crying, and rooting for Alison all the way to the end.

 

Get to know Amanda a little bit:

Amanda Stauffer is a graduate of Yale and Columbia Universities who works as an

Amanda Stauffer
Goodreads | Website

architectural conservator, restoring historic landmarks across the country. When she grew frustrated with New York City’s dating scene, Amanda headed to match.com. Her experiences provided her with a lifetime of warm and fuzzy memories, a few friends, and an abundance of material for a book or a career in comedy.

Amanda is a fan of Italian neorealist cinema, mojitos, and—well, you can just read her protagonist’s Match profile on page 20 of this book, because Alison lifted heavily from Amanda’s own profile. An erstwhile expat who has lived in Bangalore, Sicily, and Paris, Amanda currently lives in Manhattan, where she is busy writing her second book.

Without further ado, here she is with a dream cast!

When Sophie invited me to do a guest post, I sent her a couple ideas for brief essays and thought pieces. As always, she was super kind and wrote back:

I don’t have any particular idea in mind for content, so do what’s most convenient for you or interests you the most. A dream cast is always a good idea too!

Fantasizing about my dream cast for that day when Match Made in Manhattan makes it to the silver screen . . . or the TV screen . . . or the computer screen is pretty much my favorite hobby. So clearly her idea trumped all of my duller, more ponderous ones. 

Before you can round out the supporting cast, you need to pick an Alison, as her character is the linchpin to the narrative arc. If you don’t have a multi-dimensional Alison who can relate to each of her colorful and diverse dates in subtly different ways, a major theme—namely how different people can bring out different aspects of our personalities—gets lost. Once upon a time this would have been a great role for Reese Witherspoon or Rachel McAdams – strong, confident ingénues who can make a joke, take a joke, but also convey bouts of vulnerability. One early reviewer actually wrote up her dream cast and picked Emma Stone as Alison. My sister is convinced the role should go to Dove Cameron.

Without further ado, here is my ideal lineup:

Alison:  I’d love to see Emelia Clarke as Alison. I think she’d take the role to an interesting depth and profundity, while also expressing patience (a must for Alison on some of these dates) and charm. . . . 

Nicole: Anna Kendrick

Cassie: Priyanka Chopra

Brendan: Sam Claflin

John: David Lim

Jason: John Boyega

Forrest: Josh Hutcherson

James: Chris Evans

Younger Luke: Armie Hammer 

Older Luke: Matthew Morrison

Dan: Ryan Guzman  

And if there’s room, it would be awesome if we could work in a cameo for me. . . maybe as Alison’s sister? Or as the metal-welding assistant?  

************

Congratulations to Amanda for such an awesome debut!! I hope you all take a moment to read this delightful book!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

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Sneak Peek Sunday: Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer

HI GUYS! I know I resolved to write more here this year, but it has been hard to find the time to sit and write among all other things going on right now. It has already been quite a year despite being only 21 days in. I’m here to talk about the debut book by Amanda Stauffer — and I can’t wait for you to read it this Tuesday!

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Title: Match Made in Manhattan

Match Made in Manhattan
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Amanda Stauffer

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Expected Release: January 23, 2018

Source: ARC

My Rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

After two intense, dead-end relationships, serial monogamist Alison finds herself confused, lonely, and drastically out of touch with the world of modern dating. Refusing to wallow, she signs up for a popular dating app and resolves to remain open-minded and optimistic as she explores the New York City singles’ scene. With the click of a button, her adventures begin: On one date, she’s dumped before the first kiss; on another, she dons full HAZMAT gear; she meets a tattooed folk singer turned investment banker, an undercover agent who tracks illegal exotic animals, and dozens of other colorful, captivating personalities.

Giving them each her signature “pants speech”–her pants aren’t coming off unless she has a real connection with someone–she desperately wants to push past the awkward small-talk phase to find true love, but finding “the one” is starting to feel impossible. That is, until she meets Luke, who is sophisticated, funny, and not to mention, hot. Alison finds herself falling for Luke harder than any guy she’s dated and finally letting her walls down, but will he stick around or move on to his next match?

Match Made in Manhattan is a fast-paced, contemporary story about the struggles of dating in the digital age. Replete with online profiles, witty dialogue, and a super-supportive group of female friends, this all-too-real and relatable debut novel will have readers laughing, crying, and rooting for Alison all the way to the end.

***********

I remember when I was first contacted to read this book I was intrigued by the premise. I seem to be able to relate to the characters a lot more because I am seeing and experience the same frustration that Allison finds herself feeling.

The dating snafus that Allison goes through are SO GREAT. I loved how she navigated each situation differently and took it all in stride, even if it wasn’t easy. Her patience as a character is truly boundless, and you can tell how she handles herself in the wild situations she gets herself in with these dates.

Reading books like this one reminds me that I have high expectations for my own romantic life because of reading. It seems that while everything everything is going to hell for Allison, she still is able to find love and get out of her own head to experience falling in love. She gets to go on wild adventures even when things aren’t clicking for her. I love her spirit.

One of my favorite parts of the book was Allison’s job!! I learned so much about art and the architecture that I felt that I was there with her restoring buildings. It was lovely to see the world through her eyes.

All in all, I highly recommend this!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hi there! What better to start off the New Year than with a review! Happy release day to this lovely book and so many other ones.

Someone to Love
Goodreads | Amazon

Title: Someone to Love

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release date: January 2, 2018

Edition: Hardcover, US

Source: Copy Provided by Publicist

My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars

Constantly in the spotlight thanks to her politician father’s rising star, Olivia Blakely feels the pressure to be perfect. As the youngest girl in her class, she tries hard to keep up and to seem mature to the older boy she’s crushing on, even as she catches his eye. But the need to look good on camera and at school soon grows into an all-consuming struggle with bulimia.

As Liv works toward her goal of gaining early admission to art school, including taking part in an upcoming student show, her life spirals out of control. Swept up in demands to do more than she’s ready for, to always look perfect and to succeed, Liv doesn’t know who she is anymore. It will take nearly losing her best friend and even her life for Liv to learn that loving herself is far more important than earning the world’s approval.

***************

This was my last read of 2017! It was exciting to finish it because I was reading it right up until I left for my NYE plans 🙂

Here are some of my initial thoughts from Goodreads:

Last read of the year! Shoutout to my friend Logan and my mom for betting on me to finish 2 more books before the new year!! Crushed it 🙂

This book was interesting. I was sent a copy for review thanks to the publisher and publicist! Something that I liked was the truth to Olivia’s story. Her journey is a hard one, and I like the way it was captured.

More thoughts to come, Happy New Year everyone!

One thing I realized later in the book was that it was set in the same universe as Something in Between which was released in fall of 2016. (You can read my review of that book here.) This was one of my favorite aspects of the book. It was four years in the future, and I loved how you got to know the minor characters in that book much better through this book.

Liv is a very dynamic character. She is very stubborn and is worried about showing vulnerability. It’s something that speaks true to what it is really like to be human. I can’t personally speak on what it’s like to have anxious thoughts, but I feel that this book conveys it well. You read about Liv and her thoughts come so naturally that it doesn’t feel forced at all.

The supporting characters were well written as well. I feel that they have very common reactions that anyone from the outside would have. It seems that they represent all of the different ways that someone could react.

Generally this was a good read. It was something I had to pick up and put down a few times, but I was compelled enough to finish it. I wanted to know the outcomes of all of the different characters, and Liv was a lovely character.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz

Sneak Peek Sunday: Everless by Sara Holland

Hi guys! I’m here to wrap up the year with one last review. Be sure to check this one out right as the new year begins 🙂

Everless (Untitled #1)
Goodreads | Amazon

Title: Everless

Author: Sara Holland

Publisher: HarperTeen

Expected Release: January 2nd, 2018

My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

*******************

I finished this book last Wednesday, and OMG!!! I can’t get this story out of my head. I love it so much. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THE SECOND BOOK OMG SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME DETAILS ABOUT IT I’M DYING OVER HERE!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are a few things I had to say on Goodreads in my initial review:

BUCKLE UP KIDS BECAUSE THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE HECK OF A YEAR! I absolutely loved this book; it was unputdownable. I can’t get over the lush world that Holland creates between these covers, and I am DYING to know what happens in book two already!! (Seriously, if you know anything pls send them to me!!!)

There are a lot of characters, but that doesn’t make it confusing. Jules was an awesome character. She was strong, confident, and strong willed sometimes to her disadvantage. However I don’t think this takes away from her, it just adds to it.

I can’t wait to see what becomes of Ina in the second book! We don’t see much development of her character, but toward the end of the book we get to understand more of who she is. I want to know more. I also want to know how Caro develops too. I like the way Holland left them at the end of the book, but I’m excited for the direction she may take them in.

Something that confused me a little bit was the whole concept of blood = time and how it worked within the world. I wasn’t sure how the whole system worked, but I feel that it worked itself out as the book went on. I wish there was a more articulate way to express my exact confusion, but this will have to do.

The fairy tale elements within the book worked well. I like the different fragments that were included and how Holland created it. This isn’t a huge part of the story, but it gives a lot of back story and is one of the key details.

Overall I highly recommend this one. This gave me a lot of Red Queen and Strange the Dreamer vibes so if any of those are what you’re into, you may like this one!

Happy reading and Happy New Year!

Sophie 🙂

Well, it has been quite the year, hasn’t it? Hi there! If you’re new to the blog, welcome, and if you’ve been with us here for a while then thanks for sticking around.

A lot of major changes happened not only in my life, but in the lives of many this year. With the new administration being ushered in during January to the recent wave of women raising their voices together, it was a time of social change and upheaval. This is the time in which we make a difference. I am so excited (and nervous!) to be part of this.

A few things that changed for me…

Well one of them is that I graduated from high school! It was exhilarating and quite the whirlwind. I can’t believe it happened. Senior year was something for sure. It was a whole year full of lasts — last band camp, last band concert, last Model UN conference… I can’t believe all of that happened within the span of nine months. I mean, WHAT?! Mind = blown

Something else new? College! Here are some snapshots

I’m so lucky to have met all of these wonderful people this year, pictured and not. I can’t thank them enough for bringing such happiness to my life. Thank you to those who have stuck by me all of these years. They have been there for me in truly some of the worst times, and I can’t wait for many more years of friendship.

This has been a hard year with a lot of growing pains. I am in disbelief of the turn of world events. It is something that I couldn’t fathom happening in 2016, but I have hope that it will bring better change. It has certainly brought louder voices and more awareness to the injustices of today’s society. I can’t help but appreciate all that has been done thus far.

Book-wise…

I read almost 105 books this year! My goal was to read 80, but I finished that in late October, and one does not simply stop reading. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have books to get me through some things. I unfortunately fell really behind on my reviews here, but I am hoping to change that in the new year!

And in 2018…?

I am really looking forward to the change in the calendar year. It will bring the end of my freshman year of college and the start of my sophomore year. I hope to meet so many more new people, and I hope to keep a lot of my old friends.

My reading goal will be set at 100 this time, and I really hope to reach it (again). I want to blog more, and I want to make more time for writing. I feel that it’s something I want to improve upon and sharpen. Who knows, maybe I’ll start writing my own book at some point.

With that, I bid you farewell 2017. Thank you, dear readers, for your continued support. ❤

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

2017 Wrap Up: Graduation, College, and Books (Of Course!)

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Book Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Let’s talk about the last book by one of my all-time favorite authors. Jenny Han is a freaking goddess, and I had the pleasure of meeting her this past May when her book released. It was a phenomenal experience that I will never forget.

Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)
Goodreads

Author: Jenny Han

Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Edition: Hardcover, US

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks…until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

*********************************

Oh Lara Jean, I have missed you dearly. I am Team #JohnAmbroseMcClaren, but I understand why people are Team #Kavinsky. I just feel that John Ambrose was so much kinder to Lara Jean, but that’s not really the point of this review right now, right? 😉

If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, I’m going to redirect you to my review of those right here. This will be spoiler free of the third book, but I can’t review this without making references to the previous two in the series.

I read this right at the tail end of my own senior year of high school, and all of the stress that Lara Jean goes through I had just been through. It was like reading about my own college application process from afar, which was a bit weird and meta. One thing that irks me with books is that they still include paper applications in their application process. This isn’t very realistic because most, if not all, applications are done online now. There are no longer paper applications that you have to reach out to certain schools to request that I’m aware of.

That small complaint aside, the emotions are all the same. The stress, the worry, the panic — it’s all the same whether you’re applying on paper or digitally. Han captures the thoughts and feelings of the application process well, and I’m sad to have a conclusion for Lara Jean and the gang.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Blog Tours, Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Blog Tour: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber Review, Playlist, + Giveaway

Hi there! I hope you’re doing well this holiday season. I’m so excited to share this book with you.book cover.png

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1)

by Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 6th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Synopsis:
Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel, Earth’s charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

About the Author

MaryMary Weber is the multiple-award-winning author of the bestselling young adult Storm Siren Trilogy, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series (all by HarperCollins). An avid high school, middle school, and conference speaker, Mary’s passion is helping others find their voice amid a world that often feels too loud. When she’s not plotting adventures involving tough girls who frequently take over the world, Mary sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Comic-Con, and the ocean.

Mary’s debut, Storm Siren, was featured in the Scholastic School Book Fairs, and her novels have been endorsed by bestselling authors Marissa Meyer, Jay Asher, Wendy Higgins, CJ Redwine, and Jonathan Maberry.

You can also find Mary’s fun interviews in the paperback of Marissa Meyer’s NYT bestselling, CRESS, and in Jay Asher’s 13 REASONS WHY movie tie-in edition. Most recently, you can see her and her family as extras in the NETFLIX Original Series, 13 REASONS WHY.

She gets nerdy at @maryweber.com, FACEBOOK @MaryWeberAuthor, INSTAGRAM @MaryWeberAuthor, TWITTER @mchristineweber, and GOODREADS. Come say hi!!

Review

This was an interesting read. It’s told in alternative perspectives, and I liked both narrators. Miguel and Sofi (NAME TWINS) were generally good story tellers, but I preferred Sofi to Miguel.

Something that I liked most was the development of the Delonese and their relationship with Earth. It was an interesting dynamic of one where a planet (somewhat) peacefully while advancing Earth technologically and environmentally (wrt climate change and global warming — it’s an ice planet).

A main focus of the book is the sibling relationship between Sofi and Shilo. I absolutely loved it, and as someone with 4 siblings, it reminded me a lot of my own. It was great to see that this was at the forefront of Sofi’s mind and her main motivation — not a love interest. This made the book refreshing and even more relatable.

Miguel is bilingual and I love the way it’s portrayed through his perspective. It gives you a look into what it’s like to think in two languages. I don’t have much personal experience with it (I am somewhat conversational in Spanish), but I felt that I could understand someone who does. It isn’t something that is often seen in novels in general, and I think the way Weber did it was very well done.

Let’s just say the ending was out of left field! I can’t wait for the second book!!!

Favorite Quotes

I didn’t have many notes on the quotes of the book, but I think this one says it all:

“We are one,” Danya translated. “In soul. In beliefs. In harmony. In favour.”

Follow the Tour

December 11th

December 12th

Bibliobibuli YA – Guest Post
JusticeReads – Review + Playlist
Hauntedbybooks13 – Promotional Post

December 13th

T’s Stuff – Interview
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post

December 14th

Marrok Macintyre – Guest Post
Wishful Endings – Review
Literary Meanderings – Promotional Post

December 15th

A Bookish Abode– Review

December 16th

postcards for ariel – Interview
Lisa’s Loves(Books of Course) – Promotional Post

December 17th

The Mind of a Book Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
Library of a Book Witch – Review + Playlist

Giveaway

Sofi Snow prize pack

Prize: Everything in the picture — Backpack, earbuds, hardcover copy of the book

US/Canada only

Starts: 12/11

Ends: 12/29

Here’s the link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86274/

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Sneak Peek Sunday: Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Hi guys! How is your holiday season going for you so far? I’ve been focusing on finals and then I can really get into the holiday spirit. I can’t wait to go home and be with my family and my cats 🙂 Today I’m here to talk about a cute contemporary that’s perfect for the holidays!

Title: Prince in Disguise

Prince in Disguise
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Expected Release: December 19, 2017

My rating: 3.5/5 Goodreads stars

Someday I want to live in a place where I never hear “You’re Dusty’s sister?” ever again.
Life is real enough for Dylan—especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most perfect, popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan on the TRC television network’s crown jewel, Prince in Disguise, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV.

As the camera crew whisks them off to Scotland to film the lead-up to the wedding, camera-shy Dylan is front and center as Dusty’s maid of honor. The producers are full of surprises—including old family secrets, long-lost relatives, and a hostile future mother-in-law who thinks Dusty and Dylan’s family isn’t good enough for her only son. At least there’s Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsman who might just be the perfect antidote to all Dylan’s stress . . . if she just can keep TRC from turning her into the next reality show sensation.

*****************************

This book was like watching a Hallmark movie, but better because it was significantly less cheesy and still gave you the same gooey feelings. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the plot twists within it.

Dylan is such a fun character. Her distrust of TRC affects her relationship with her sister greatly, but you see that no matter what she will stick her neck out for family. Her loyalty is something that is hard to come by, but once you have it she will defend you to the death.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Jamie until the last third of the book. I was suspicious of him the whole time, and I was ready for him to be someone he wasn’t. However, I loved his bookish nature and incessant need to reference literature. (THE WHOLE DISCUSSION ON JANE AUSTEN MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD!!)

The story was interesting and unique. The only book I can think of that is also about reality T. V. is Royce Rolls by Magaret Stohl, but that has a very different tone. It was smart and the literary references were sprinkled throughout which made me really happy to see. It didn’t feel forced, and everything was well placed.

I liked the plot twists in this book. They moved the story forward and weren’t too trite. I predicted something different would happen with Jamie than what actually happened, but I’m glad I was wrong. All in all, I highly recommend this one for your winter reading list!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂