Hey y’all! I hope this post finds you healthy and safe. It’s a crazy, crazy landscape we live in right now, but I’m hoping that it will take us to a better future. If you’re cooped up at home like most of us, one of the best ways to pass the time is escaping to another world, through reading of course!
Today I’m reviewing Siobhan Vivian’s latest release, We Are the Wildcats, which came out on March 31st this year. Thank you so much to Simon Teen for asking me to be part of this blog tour!
Hi everyone, and hello 2020! It has been a whirlwind of a holiday season for me, and I was able to finish a couple books! One of the books I finished was Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning, which is out this Tuesday from Little, Brown. Thank you so much to The Novl for sending me an early copy for review!
Title:Throw Like a Girl
Author: Sarah Henning
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Expected release: January 7, 2020
My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars
Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.
When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she’ll have to convince their coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched… Every. Single. Day.
Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he’ll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the Spring. But it will take more than the perfect spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland’s halls, and behind that charming smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.
With well-drawn characters and a charming quarterback love interest who’s got brains as well as brawn, Throw Like a Girl will have readers swooning from the very first page.
I’m glad to start off my new year with a review of a book! I’ll start this by saying that I really did enjoy this book, but it took me a bit to get into it.
The first chapters detail what happened to Liv and how she got herself kicked out of her prep school. It provided a nice backstory while still getting right into the action. I like how the novel began and ended in the same spot — on the softball field. It brought things full-circle.
I loved the relationship between Liv and her best friend. They were always supportive of each other and did their best to see each other’s respective games. It could have been really easy to set them as enemies in this novel, but it was refreshing to see their relationship grow and change in a positive way throughout all the conflict in the novel.
I think a big challenge with sport romances is that they can sometimes get old, but this one does not disappoint. I was excited to see a woman playing a male-dominated sport and owning it. Liv’s confidence and abilities really shined even though she sometimes couldn’t see it.
The relationship between Liv and Grey was okay. It wasn’t my favorite part of the book, honestly. I think it was a good part of the plot, however I liked the parts that focused more on Liv over the scenes between the two of them.
All in all, this is a great book to start your new year off with! Be sure to get it from shelves on January 7, this Tuesday!
Hey y’all!!! It’s still night so I’m going to pretend it’s still Sunday, so bear with me 😉 I’m so so so excited to share this book with you! It’s one of my anticipated debuts of the year, and I could not be more in love with it! Without further ado, here is a spoiler free review of When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis. Thank you so much The Novl for selecting me to be an early reader!
Title:When the Stars Lead to You
Author: Ronni Davis
Publisher: Little, Brown BYFR
Expected release: November 12, 2019
Eighteen-year-old Devon longs for two things.
The stars. And the boy she fell in love with last summer.
When Ashton breaks Devon’s heart at the end of the most romantic and magical summer ever, she thinks her heart will never heal again. But over the course of the following year, Devon finds herself slowly putting the broken pieces back together.
Now it’s senior year, and she’s determined to enjoy every moment of it as she prepares for a future studying the galaxies. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school. Can she forgive him and open her heart again? Or are they doomed to repeat history?
From debut author, Ronni Davis, comes a stunning novel about passion, loss, and the power of first love.
Like I mentioned earlier, I absolutely loved this book! It was a really great read, and I loved the development of the characters over time.
Devon was awesome, and she was so complex. She behaved like you would probably think a teenager would in her situation, and I’m glad to say it ended in the way I wanted it to. Her pride and strength showed when she had to deal with the difficulties she faced from her own school and her relationship with Ashton.
I also really appreciated Ashton a lot. He was difficult to love sometimes, but I think Devon demonstrated nicely that patience is something to be valued in these situations. (That’s not to say that setting boundaries isn’t good, because I think they both learned a lot about boundaries in this book!)
The overall story line was executed well. The pacing of the novel fit well with the tone, and I was always turning the page to find out more! It took me some time to finish, but not because the book wasn’t amazing–school is seriously wack over here!
One aspect I really appreciated was Devon’s pride in being biracial. I feel like there isn’t enough of this representation in novels, and I was really excited to see this identity represented in this book. I believe this is an #OwnVoices novel, and I was glad to see everything so well written.
Another part that was done well was the mental health representation. One of the characters struggles deeply with depression, and Davis writes eloquently and respectfully on the subject. This story is about living with depression and what it may feel/be like to have someone in your life who struggles with depression. If you read the author’s note at the end, Davis is very candid about her own experience with depression.
Fun side story: I have gone to a few book events where Ronni Davis was there, but I was too shy to actually say hi. But I have been following her on social media for a while, and I’m legit so excited to see her book in people’s hands!
I highly recommend this novel to people looking for something similar to All the Bright Places or something that will get you in your feels.
Hey folks! Hope you’re doing well wherever you are. I’m here with a new review of one of the best books I’ve read this year. I first read Emily Lloyd-Jones’s These Hearts We Sold, which I loved. I can’t wait to talk about this amazing book! Thank you so much The Novl for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Bone Houses
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Expected release: September 24, 2019
My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars
Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.
The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it about Ellis that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?
Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.
I have had a hard time getting into books until I picked this one up, and it got me out of my slump a little bit!
What I loved most about this book was the world building. It is set what seems like a magical version of the British Isles. I loved returning to this area right after leaving Ireland! It was nice and familiar, but the way Lloyd-Jones built the world was delicious and fantastic. I loved every single detail, and it felt like I was trekking through the forest with Ryn and Ellis.
The Bone Goat was one of the best companions in this book. It was so great to see all the side characters get fleshed out in a small way, and the Bone Goat was one of them. I also appreciated the representation that Lloyd-Jones was able to include through the small details like dialogue. It was never the thing, but it was subtle enough to get the message across.
I also loved how the folklore was woven throughout this book. It was awesome how Lloyd-Jones brought it to life through the story. It became a big part of the narrative, and I appreciate when an author can do this.
The atmosphere of the book itself was so spooky and eerie. I loved how the setting lended itself to this.
Overall, I recommend that you read this if you love world-building and spooky feelings.
Hi, folks! I’m here to talk about one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry are two of my go-to, auto-buy authors, and I could not have been more stoked to see that they were writing together! I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC, and I brought it with me on my short trip to London last weekend!
Title: Hello Girls
Authors: Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Expected release: August 6, 2019
My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars
Best friends are forged by fire. For Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, that fire happened the night they met outside the police station—both deciding whether to turn their families in.
Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.
Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and generations of barely getting by.
One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt.
This book was such a riot! I loved it so much. Henry and Cavallaro are such a fantastic duo. I want more from them already, and this one isn’t even published yet!
I ate this book right up!!! I loved every page, and couldn’t wait to see what would happen. Emily Henry and Brittany Cavallaro are superb storytellers, and their writing together can’t go wrong. I can’t wait to writ up a full review for you!
Goodreads initial thoughts
And here that full review is! I’m really going strong on that review game (for now, ha!). But seriously, folks, let’s get down to the nitty and the gritty — Hello Girls.
This one was such a page turner. Every time I thought I knew what would happen, something wilder and more outrageous would happen, and I about pooped myself seven different times. Cavallaro and Henry know how to keep you on your toes!
Winona was such a fun character. She leapt off the page and straight into my brain. She was dynamic, and her scars made her stronger. It was so fascinating getting to know her and watching her grow and change throughout the book. Her initial innocence is tested and we see her become a woman who doesn’t flinch in the face of a huge roadblock.
Lucille was so relatable for me. Some of the parts where she talked about her relationship with Winona reminded me a lot of me and my best friend. It’s like she reached into my brain and my heart and pulled out the deepest things I feel and fear sometimes. Her fierce loyalty kept me coming back for more.
Lucille and Winona had a friendship that reminded me of my own best friends. They’re people I would steal a car and drive across the country with and not bat an eye. Their loyalty to themselves and to each other is admirable, and it’s something I saw reflected in myself.
The plot itself was a little fantastical, but that was probably one of the most fun parts of it. You could tell that Henry and Cavallaro were having fun with the characters and the setting. I’m not familiar with Thelma and Louise, but this is exactly what I imagine could happen with the two of them.
All in all, I really hope you go pick up a copy or pre-order it for yourself! This book is perfect for you if you love roadtrips, best friends, and gritty women.
Hi! SURPRISE! IT’S MEEEE! Back with another review of a fantastic novel. I read Amber Smith’s debut novel The Way I Used to Be, and that one was amazing. Today I want to talk about Smith’s third book, Something Like Gravity, which comes out this coming Tuesday! It’s such a wonderful book, I hope you take the time to read it
Title: Something Like Gravity
Author: Amber Smith
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Expected Release: 18 June 19
My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars
For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.
Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.
A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.
But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.
The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.
But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?
Here were my first thoughts after finishing the book:
Absolutely loved this one!!! Once I started, I couldn’t put this down. I’m so in love with Amber Smith’s writing. I can’t wait to share this book with everyone!!
I need to reiterate what I said above, because this book was amazing. It was so great to read such a deeply touching novel, and it was so well told. Chris and Maia are two characters I won’t forget about in a while.
The plot of the novel was well paced. It was intriguing right from the start, and I was intrigued to find out what would happen in the future. I knew that Maia’s secret would be a catalyst, but I didn’t see it playing out the way it did. I was pleasantly surprised, and I think it lends more of a realistic feel to the novel overall.
Chris and Maia are complex characters, and I enjoy how well they were developed. Their relationship to each other didn’t feel forced, but real and something that I was cheering for. Through their other relationships, we get a better picture of the people they are, the people they used to be, and the people they could be. I loved how we could see so much about them in these pages.
Is it superficial to talk about the cover? Maybe, but you don’t have to pretend you don’t judge books by their covers in front of me. I won’t tell 😉 I love this cover design. It fits well with the book, and I love the space feel.
I definitely recommend this to people who are looking for a LGBTQIA+ read (specifically trans), books about dealing with loss and grief, and ultimately coming of age. Chris and Maia’s stories are the one for you!!
Hi guys! I’m so excited to be here to help promote When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington. I had the chance to be part of the street team for this book, and it was so much fun!
Title: When Summer Ends
Author: Jessica Pennington
Release Date: April 9, 2019 Published by: Tor Teen/Macmillan
Two teenagers discover how an unexpected turn of fate can bring new love to heal old wounds in Jessica Pennington’s stunning, romantic YA novel When Summer Ends.
Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?
Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.
Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.
Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. A serial entrepreneur with a B.A. in public relations, Jessica has a passion for grassroots marketing. She lives in a Michigan beach town, where she owns more YA novels than many teens and spends most of her time on a laptop, rather than on a beach.
Hi, Jessica! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions and for being here today. I can’t wait to discuss your next book as I loved the first one so much!
How about starting off by describing your book in emojis?
We get to see a more in-depth appearance of Riverton this time! I love how you based it off your own West Michigan town. What was your favorite part about fleshing out this world? Did you include anything from your own town in Riverton?
Yes, I was so excited to explore Riverton further, after it made its appearance in Love Songs & Other Lies. Riverton is a mash-up of three Michigan beach towns—the one I grew up in, the own I currently live in (very close by) and one further North, where I vacationed for a week every summer with my family. All three towns are somewhat similar, but I mixed and matched pieces of them to create my ultimate Michigan beach town. Almost every location in When Summer Ends—from the beach scenes and River Depot, where they work, to the dunes they climb—is inspired by a real-life place.
This book is an ode to summer jobs and ruined plans. How did your own experiences influence your writing of Olivia and Aiden?
The real-life place that inspired River Depot, where Aiden and Olivia work, is one of my favorite places, and I always thought it would have been a really cool summer job. Much cooler than the one I had.
Did you have a summer job? If so, what did you like about it?
Not much? Okay, a little! I worked at a garden center during the summer, and mostly I was covered in dirt, and out in the hot sun (it had that in common with River Depot) and it was pretty miserable. But like Olivia, I lived in a small town and my options were limited. I would have given anything to have somewhere great like River Depot to work! But we did sell bulk candy in the gift shop, and I got to work with some of my best friends, so that was by far the best part!
When Summer Ends also includes disability rep. Why was it important for you to include this? How were you able to accurately capture this experience?
The visual impairment rep in When Summer Ends is 100% based on my own experiences in high school being diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease. This isn’t a book ABOUT visual impairment, but it was important to me to write a character that shared that experience with me, because it had a huge impact on my high school experience, and into adulthood. As far as his vision goes, everything that happens to Aiden was pulled from my own experience. Minus being a star pitcher. I was a very mediocre pitcher LOL.
Hi guys! I hope you’re having a great Monday. I’m here to discuss one of the books I just finished.
I received a copy of this book for an honest review thanks to the publisher. This does not reflect the way I read and review this book.
Title: The Fever King
Author: Victoria Lee
Release date: March 1, 2019
Source: Hardcover, US
My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
This book starts right off in the action. I loved how much I was sucked into this world. It takes a lot of the real-world issues we’re dealing with and discussing and offers a perspective we don’t hear often enough. I think this is one of the best things it does. The book discusses serious issues like immigration and offers a complex argument that shows both sides. It addresses how there are multiple sides of the issue that need to be addressed, but also doesn’t say there is a right or wrong way to handle the issue.
I’m not even just talking about the cool magic in this world. As you read on, you uncover more pieces of the world and what you think you know, through Noam, unravels until you’re not sure who to believe anymore.
One of my favorite things about this book was how it complex the characters were. Even now that I’ve finished it, I don’t know how to feel about Lehrer. He was a chaotic something, and I don’t think his full intentions were shared with the reader.
I do wish some of the other people on Level IV were developed more, but I understand in the scope of the book only Dara and Ames were pertinent to the story. I hope to see more of them in the future! I want to know how they deal with the fallout of book 1.
The writing was excellent. It was a debut novel, but you could tell that Lee and her editor(s) spent a lot of time combing through this novel. I also really liked the style of writing. It’s in third person but focuses on Noam’s voice especially. Because he was the main driver of the novel this made perfect sense.
Overall, I highly recommend this book! It was fun, fast-paced, and the magic and world were awesome.