The Impossible Vastness of Us, Samantha Young – Blog Tour

 

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again. Order your copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US today!

 

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About THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US:

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

 

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*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

The Impossible Vastness of Us follows the story of three teenagers – India, Finn & Eloise – and their journey of growing up. India is uprooted from her home to move to live with her mom and her high society fiance. She has to leave everything behind, everything she worked so hard for – her friends, her school, but mostly her stellar reputation on the top of the high school food chain that she spent years building. And then, it’s a new world for her because her stepdad is loaded and she’s never had so much money and because suddenly, she’s at the bottom of the high school food chain, with her stepsister, Eloise, and her boyfriend, Finn, at the top. She doesn’t particularly like Eloise and she starts to develop feelings for Finn, but as she spends more time in her new home and school, she learns that not everything is as perfect as it is being portrayed and she’s not the only one with life changing secrets.

 

What I like about India is that she is so resilient and strong. She’s been dealt a shitty hand and she makes the best of it. She stands up in the face of adversity and I love how strong she is. I admire her for being able to get up and do daily, mundane things such as going to school in face of what has happened to her. I don’t want to get into it a whole lot because I think it’s better read than said. I really, really, really liked reading about her. She’s an amazing MC.

 

Then, there’s Finn – the broody, mysterious guy, who also happens to be her step sister’s boyfriend. But, Finn & India fall for each other and of course, Finn has a secret too. His life isn’t as perfect as he’d like people to believe. His story is as heartbreaking as India’s and I’m really glad they had each other through the story. I mean, they’re such an adorable couple! I ship them, okay? I ship them hard. They’re amazing together. I love it.

 

The themes in this book were so on point. Not everyone has a perfect life and there’s so many bad things and obstacles. I love that. All the characters were multi faceted and there was so much to everyone’s story than what was on the surface. They were all complicated and flawed. Some characters I loved and some I hated, but they were all amazingly written and I loved how they were portrayed. Young has done an incredible job with that. Kudos to her.

 

Yes, the drama got a little too much for me at times, but I still loved the story and I was so hooked on knowing what was happening and why it was happening. So, points for being a page turner.

 

What I love about this is the open ending. It wasn’t all wrapped in a present with an HEA and the characters had a long way to go still, but they had changed so much from the beginning of the story and I love that. I mean, it was completely fitting to end the story on that note. I would have liked a more definitive ending in terms of the romance, but there are no guarantees in life and I was pretty okay with it.

 

All in all, this was a great coming of age story and I really enjoyed the journey these characters took.

 

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“This is Jay,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest in defiance at the stern look on her face.

I hated when she acted like she gave a crap.

“I don’t care who he is.” Hayley tried to fry his ass with her eyes. “You can leave.”

Jay stared back at her with as much defiance as I did, making me like him more. He turned to me and pressed a slow, intimate kiss to the corner of my mouth. “See you at school, babe.”

He laughed at the mischief in my eyes.

I waited until he’d brushed by Hayley without a word and I heard the front door close behind him. “Nice. Thanks.”

Hayley’s dark eyes narrowed into slits. “Don’t talk to me like that. I’m tired, it’s been a long day and now I come home and find my daughter being mauled by some walking hormone. Am I supposed to be happy that you’re dating some guy who looks like he’s seen the inside of prison more than once?”

“We’re not dating. We’re just fooling around.”

“Oh, well, then, why am I so upset?” She threw her hands up in exasperation.

“Hayley.”

She flinched, like she always flinched when I called her by her name (so she flinched a lot). “Don’t ‘Hayley’ me. I have a right to be upset about this.”

“Don’t be. I’m not serious about him. And I’m not getting pregnant. Anyway, you’re home early.”

“They put me on a shorter flight.” She dumped her purse on the couch as she moved farther into the room. “We’ll discuss Jay later. I need to tell you something.”

I tensed. “Yeah?”

She stared pensively at me for a few seconds before finally taking a seat by my side. “I’ve met someone.”

Dread instantly filled me.

Scrutinizing me for a reaction and getting none, Hayley smiled reassuringly. “He’s wonderful. His name is Theo and he has a daughter who’s actually your age. He lives in Boston. We met on one of my flights out there.”

My stomach churned. “How long?”

“Several months ago.”

“I knew something was going on,” I muttered.

“I’m sorry I kept it from you for so long… I just wanted to make sure it was real between us.”

“And is it?”

“Very much so. We’ve fallen in love.”

“That’s some long-distance relationship.”

“I stay with him when I fly out there. I see him as often as possible.”

I snorted. “And you think he’s faithful all the times you’re not around?”

“Don’t.” She cut a hand through the air. “Those are your trust issues, India. Not mine.”

My blood boiled with indignation. She was completely naïve if she thought for one second this guy wasn’t’ a loser. She had chosen badly before, after all. I had a right to the dread that was making me feel sick.

“I just wanted to give you a heads-up that it’s serious.”

“What does that even mean?”

“It means that if this is going where I think it’s going, then that might mean a big life change for us.”

Oh, hell.

I stared at her in horror.

Hayley sighed wearily at the expression I wasn’t even trying to conceal. “I’m going to make a cup of tea. I’m tired so we’ll talk about Jay another time.” She turned but then stopped to stare at me sadly. “Thanks for being so happy for me, by the way.”

That didn’t even deserve a response.

There was a time Hayley couldn’t give a damn about my happiness. I felt it only fair that I feel apathetic now about hers.

 

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Samantha Young’s THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US – Review & Excerpt Tour

June 19th

BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt

Clare’s Mad About Books – Review & Excerpt

Joyful Shimmy – Review & Excerpt

Little Red’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Naturally Nerdy Books – Review & Excerpt

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Boyfriends – Review & Excerpt

June 20th

Beware Of The Reader – Review & Excerpt

Books For The Living – Review

Kindle and Me – Review & Excerpt

Melissa’s Book Obsession – Review

Read more sleep less – Review

To Be Reviewed Books – Review & Excerpt

June 21st

A Fortress of Books – Excerpt

Becky on Books – Excerpt

Enjoying life a day at a time – Review

Mustreadbooksordie – Review & Excerpt

MrsLeif’s Two Fangs AboutItBook Reviews – Review & Excerpt

SJ’s Book Blog – Excerpt

June 22nd

Actin’ Up with Books – Review

Books,Dreams,Life – Excerpt

Fiction Fare – Review & Excerpt

Movies, Shows, & Books – Excerpt

Take Me Away To A Great Read – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

June 23rd

A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

BJ’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Review

Kimberly’s Hot Reads – Review & Excerpt

Read, Write, Design – Review & Excerpt

June 24th

Ali’s Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Lacey’s Love Of Literature – Review & Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review & Excerpt

June 25th

All Romance Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt

PBC – Excerpt

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

TSK TSK What to Read – Review & Excerpt

With Love for Books – Review

June 26th

Angie and Jessica’s Dreamy Reads – Review & Excerpt

Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt

Calling All Bookaholics – Review & Excerpt

Liezel – Review & Excerpt

Reads & Reviews – Review

The Readdicts – Review & Excerpt

June 27th

4 the Love of Reading – Review & Excerpt

ADDICTED TO BOOKS – Review & Excerpt

Lisa Loves Literature – Review

Miss Riki – Review & Excerpt

Peace Love Books – Review

The Inked In Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

June 28th

Bookalicious Babes Blog – Review & Excerpt

Greyland Reviews – Excerpt

Literary lust – Review

My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt

Read Love Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Life of a BooknerdAddict – Review & Excerpt

June 29th

Author Groupies – Review

Blushing babes are up all – Review & Excerpt

Book Enticer – Review & Excerpt

The Book Avenue – Review & Excerpt

The Review Loft – Review & Excerpt

Three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt

June 30th

I Read Indie – Excerpt

Shh Moms Reading – Review & Excerpt

The Bookish Introvert – Review

Total Book Geek – Review & Excerpt

Vi3tbabe – Review & Excerpt

Witchy Richey’s Booktastic Reviews – Review & Excerpt

July 1st

Book Babes Unite – Review & Excerpt

Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review

Southern Belle Book Blog – Excerpt

The Fairest of All Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 

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Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

Such A Good Girl, Amanda K. Morgan – Blog Tour

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32333302Things to know about Riley Stone:

Riley Stone is just about perfect. (Ask anyone.)
She has a crush on her French teacher, Alex Belrose. (And she suspects he likes her, too.)
Riley has her entire life planned out. (The plan is nonnegotiable.)
She’s never had a secret she couldn’t keep. (Not ever.)
Riley is sure that her life is on the right track. (And nothing will change that.)
She’s nothing like a regular teenager. (But she doesn’t have any problem admitting that.)
Riley doesn’t usually play games. (But when she does, shealways wins.)

She thinks a game is about to start…
But Riley always has a plan…
And she always wins.

Continue reading

The Star Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi – Book Review

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25203675Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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The Star Touched Queen is the story of Maya. Maya, a princess of Bharata, has a terrible horoscope which states that her marriage will result in death and destruction. Because of this, she is shunned in the palace. All the bad things that happen around her are blamed on Maya’s horoscope, stating that her presence was the bad omen which made bad things happen. Maya just wants people to stop treating her the way they do. She dreams of being a scholar, because she knows that after knowing her horoscope, no one will want to marry her and she couldn’t descend to the throne as she is a girl. But, her life changes when her father arranges for a swayamvara, for her to chose a groom for herself from a platoon of princes, for a political alliance. Maya choses Amar and starts to fall for him, but he has his own secrets, which cause a rift between them and leave Maya in a place where she is fighting, not only for her own life, but for that of the world.

What I absolutely loved about the story was the writing. It was lush and beautiful, full of imagery and context and simile. The narrative is captivating and you can’t help but love it. Yes, the extreme amount of ‘purple prose’ used got on my nerves in places, but it was such a refreshing change to read something like this. A feast for the eyes. This book is extremely well written with SO MANY PRETTY WORDS. I adore that!

The plot is basic and simple. I think that is the beauty of it. The motivation of characters to act the way they do is simple – love, jealousy, revenge. It shows how far a person can go to just extract revenge for something they believe is the fault of someone else. The whole book revolved around the revenge plot of one woman who felt that Amar had wronged her.

I liked Maya, the MC, an okay amount. She started as this headstrong girl who wanted to break free of the patriarchy and carve her own path herself. I really admired that about her. But, halfway through, she did such a stupid and naive thing. I mean, I couldn’t believe she did it. Her character arc for the first half had shown that she was reluctant to trust anyone, but then, suddenly, she’s blindly trusting this one person, just because she saw one memory of the two of them together. I didn’t like that part. I mean, Amar had been trying to gain her trust for half the book and she didn’t trust him, was quick to write him off, but she trusted this person within seconds of meeting them. It didn’t make any sense to me. Especially since the story started moving forward only from there.

And then, there’s Amar. He was an enigma and mystery in the beginning of the story and he stayed that way till the end. Literally. By the end of the story, all I knew about Amar was what job he had and that he loved Maya unconditionally. That is it. Amar and Maya had maybe 10 complete, meaningful conversations in the story and more than half of them were before Amar could tell Maya anything about him and his kingdom. I would have liked to know more about Amar, about who he is as a person. Is he kind, smart, charming? Or is he villainous and cruel? I don’t know. I wish I did.

The worst disappointment about this book is how stilted the romance is. Maya and Amar both are prima facie great characters and they had amazing chemistry in the beginning. Their relationship could have been beautiful, but, it was not explored in the story. I wish they had interacted more, spent more time together, gotten to know each other. Amar appears after 5 – 6 chapters in the story and the second half is virtually free of him. He only appears in the last 30 pages. So, yes, he didn’t have much screen time, but what time they had together is glossed over, just saying that Amar was showing Maya around the palace and all its intricacies. They could have been a great couple and I wish that their relationship had been given more screen time. I really do.

What I absolutely adored about this book was all the references to Indian Mythology that were scattered throughout the book. Some of them wove into the main theme beautifully and some were mentioned in the passing as stories and folk tales, but I loved them all. It felt so good to read about them.

I felt that this book could have been so much more beautiful if the author had explored Amar’s character more. There were good things and bad things, but overall, reading TSTQ was a beautiful journey and I enjoyed it, for the most part.

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13695109Roshani grew up in Georgia, where she acquired a Southern accent but does not use it unless under duress. She has a luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She is the 2016 finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and a 2016 Locus finalist for Best First Novel. Her short story, The Star Maiden, was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

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Internet Famous, Danika Stone – Blog Tour

Internet Famous

by Danika Stone

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Release Date: June 6, 2017

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Romance

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Synopsis:

High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

Oh, I had so much fun reading this one! It is such a cute, adorable read!
Internet Famous is the story of Madi, a blogger, and her romance with Laurent, who is an ardent follower of her blog. Yes, dream story right there, ladies and gentlemen! I mean, all of us here who blog can relate to so many things in this story. The pressure of posting, the need for good content and the trolls. All of it. Which is what I loved about this. I identified with a lot of stuff that was happening in Madi’s life. But, I’m nowhere near as famous as she is (she is Internet Famous, after all. She has like, 60000 followers and innumerable hits on all her posts.)
I like how Madi, despite her internet fame, is a shy, reserved girl who doesn’t boast of her follower count to anyone who will listen. With huge following she has and all the fan merch she sells, it would be easy to slip and become condescending, but she isn’t like that. In fact, she is so baffled that people follow her blog. I really like that about her. And I love how she takes care of her sister, Sarah. Sarah plays a huge role in the book. She has special needs and gets thrown off when her schedule changes even by a minute. Her life is meticulously planned and Madi is a huge part of this meticulous life. So, she’s always there for her sister and I adore how much effort she puts into her relationship with Sarah. It is endearing. She is such a great MC. I like how she has no airs and she behaves like a normal teenager. Simple stuff aggravates her and she is moody and short tempered at times. She feels like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. It’s great to read about her because I was exactly like her when I was 18.
And, then, there’s Laurent! He’s such an adorkable little cinnamon roll. I adore him so much. He’s always there when Madi needs him. He’s a great boyfriend and an even better friend. He’s supportive and a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, whenever Madi has issues. He’s just… He’s amazing. I adore him. I love how he goes out of his way to make sure that Madi is okay and how he’s always reassuring her with all the drama going on in her life. He just makes it so easy to love him.
I love how family centric this is. Sarah is always mention atleast once every two pages and her parents are always there in the background. She has a conversation with her father every so often and he takes an active interest in the life of both his daughters. I don’t particularly like Madi’s mom. She assumes too much and comes off as really selfish in majority of the book. It feels as though she believes that Sarah is a responsibility and not a kid. I felt that she just pawned off all her responsibility on Madi and her husband so that she could go follow her dreams. Yes, following your dreams is important, but she had responsibilities and it felt as though she just shunned them. She always runs away from conflict, so it feels as though she can’t stand up for anyone. Sarah’s issues are highlighted regularly, but it isn’t like the author is forcing it out of the blue. It’s always there, humming in the background, making it’s presence known in subtle ways. I especially love how that is handled in the book. Kudos to Danika for doing it so well.
All in all, Internet Famous is an enjoyable read and I definitely recommend it to others!
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Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) adults (Edge of Wild and Intaglio). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

 

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  • Runs through 6/21

 

Roar, Cora Carmack – Release Day Review

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Now available, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Grab your copy today!

 

About ROAR (Stormheart #1):

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Continue reading

Kiss Me, Kill You, Larissa C. Hardesty – Book Review

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35106941First kisses should be legendary—not deadly.

Emmy Duivel believes in true love: heart-stopping kisses, candlelight dinners, and a connection that lasts forever. But not the kind of kisses that land your date in the hospital. Emmy always knew she was different, but not in the supernatural sense. Not in the succubus sense.

Paul Andinn had only one job: watch over Emmy and make sure she doesn’t expose the supernatural world. It should have been easy, but the moment he looked away, she kissed that boy, and everything changed.

He should be more upset. But he can’t. Not when he’s falling hard for her.

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*ARC received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Kiss Me, Kill You is the story of Emmy and how she comes into her succubus inheritance. Emmy is a normal teenager who’s world changes when a boy she kisses ends up in a coma. It is then that she learns that she and her best friend are succubi and she needs to understand who she is so she can live her life.

I like Emma’s character. She behaves like a proper sixteen year old where everything seems like the end of the world. She is sweet and smart and a nice person. She is quirky and awkward and I like that. Not all girls are prim and proper and cheerleaders. Yes, she was very whiny in parts but I think that that was a given for a girl her age. In fact, that made me relate to her character as a teenager even more because I remember whining about every little thing when I was that age.

The romance in this book is forbidden and cute. Paul is Emmy’s bodyguard and an incubus. So, of course, when she first asks him out, he turns her down. But, he can’t stay away from her because he’s her bodyguard. And, surprise, surprise. He has  feelings for her too. Though it seemed like insta love, it was not because these two had crushes on each other since before the story even began. I would have liked to see how their feelings came to be, but just as well. They were really cute together.

What I don’t understand is why Emmy’s mom never told her about this. It seems stupid. She should have known from the get go. That way, she could have been careful and not brought harm upon others. Did her mom really think she wouldn’t even kiss someone before she was 16? Seems far fetched. It seems even more stupid when you look at the fact that Emmy’s best friend, who is also a succubus, has known forever.

It was a cute book, but nothing to drive home about. I enjoyed it a decent amount, but it wasn’t all that great.

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Girl on the Verge, Pintip Dunn – Blog Tour

Girl on the Verge
Pintip Dunn
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

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EXCERPT

“Hey. Look at me, please.” I nudge her shoulder, and she lifts her tear-stained face. “I messed up tonight. But it won’t happen again. No boy is going to come between us. I promised.”

She widens her eyes. “You still plan to keep your word?”

“Of course. I don’t make promises just for the hell of it, you know.”

A smile ghosts across her lips, but I can tell she’s still hurt. My heart contracts even more. “I’m here for you, Shelly. How can I prove that?”

“Well, there is one thing. . . .” She glances over her shoulder, although no one else is here. “Never mind. You’re going to think it’s silly. Forget I said anything.”

“I won’t. We’re friends, right? You can tell me anything, and I won’t think you’re silly.”

She takes a deep breath.

“Okay. Fine.” The words tumble out. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, ever since I was a kid. Problem was, I never had anyone to do it with.”

“What is it?”

“I want us to be blood sisters.”

A chill creeps up my spine.

Blood sisters? As in, my blood mixed with hers? This is unsanitary at best, deadly at worst.

“You hate the idea, don’t you?” she moans. “Forget it. I knew it was silly. . . .”

“No, no. You just surprised me, that’s all.” My mind spins, as I try to think of how to respond. “I don’t have anything against the idea, in theory. But you know all that stuff we’ve heard, about AIDS and other diseases and infections. Maybe I’m just being silly. . . .”

“Hey, it’s a valid concern. And I could tell you I’m clean, but you can never be too sure, right?” She wrinkles her forehead. “I’ve got it! We can do our own modified version. We’ll drop our blood onto a clean surface and let the liquid mix there. That way, we’ve performed the ceremony, but we’re still protecting ourselves. What do you think?”

“Um . . .” NO! my mind screams. Every cell in my body rebels against the thought. Mixing our blood is just gross. And weird.

There’s nothing in me that wants any part of this. I rack my brain, searching for a reason, any reason at all that won’t offend her.

“Look, I know we only met a couple weeks ago,” Shelly says in a small voice, “but I feel this connection with you. Like we were always meant to be friends. This ceremony represents that. You’re my sister, through and through.”

I take a deep breath. This idea she’s suggesting is more than a little creepy. But Shelly’s been through such a rough time lately. It’s not going to kill me to drop a little blood on a cutting board. If it makes her happy, I should just say yes. It’s not that big a deal . . . even if it makes all the hair stand up on my neck.

“Okay, fine,” I say, before I can change my mind. “Let’s do it.

Author Bio:

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella BEFORE TOMORROW.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at http://www.pintipdunn.com

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When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon – Book Review

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28458598A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about 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.

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It Had To Be You, Lizzy Charles – Book Review

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34530550James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?

Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.

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*Review copy received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

It Had To Be You is a cute contemporary romance featuring Edelweiss and James. Edel, who is home schooled, wants to experience high school before she goes off to college. So, her parents enroll her into this one boarding school. She meets James, who is, of course, the most popular boy in school and they quickly start a fake relationship so that they can both find advantage out of it.

The book is full of cliches – from the naive, new girl in school to the popular boy and their fake relationship turning to a real one to the bitchy ex that the boy has. This book has it all and then some.

What I really liked about this is that it was a quick read. I was done in some two hours and that’s great for my TBR! I like that the characters, though cliche, were endearing and I couldn’t help but like them and their story. Of course, they do stupid stuff, but hey! They’re teenagers. As a whole though, Edel and James both seem wise beyond their ages. Their relationship, though, was really cute and I found myself rooting for them from the beginning. They’re so cute and adorable together and their relationship is healthy. I like it.

I like how James isn’t a bad boy, bad boy, but just a boy who made some bad decisions, as people his age tend to do. He’s scared of horror movies and he’s a literature nerd! So, there. I love that.

I also loved how this book has diversity. So, bonus points for that!

What I didn’t like was all the lack of communication in the book. Like, so much of the conflict could have easily been resolved if people just TALKED TO EACH OTHER. Plus, the bitchy ex was a little too bitchy and I am not okay with it. Like, girl, let go. You do not need to do all this shit just to prove a point. You’re good just the way you are!

Also, too much drama!

All in all, an okay read that I enjoyed! It was definitely better than I expected, but could have been made better in a few more aspects!

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Goodreads | Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

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7149579When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

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Blood of the Prophet, Kat Ross – Book Review

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30228183Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…

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*Review copy received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

I cannot express in words, the amount of love I have for this series. I absolutely LOVED THE FIRST BOOK and dove right into the second one, not giving myself a chance to come out of the world of The Fourth Element Series. I’m glad that I had all the books before I started reading because I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THIS!

The world building is insanely amazing. I have no words. Really. I’ve blabbered about it in the review for the first book, but I don’t have words as to how much I love it. It’s so good. And the characters. My, my! Such good characters. They’re understated in the best way and they’re so different and complex and you don’t realize just how multi faceted they are in the first go. They’re constantly changing, growing and building. I love that!

I love that there was no love triangle. Thank you, Kat! Seriously, I LOVE THAT FACT. SO VERY MUCH. Love triangles are a sort of pet peeve of mine and I don’t like them, but they’re sort of given in most books and I brave through them because I like the other aspects of the book. But, here, it was just Darius and Nazarfeen and no unwanted third players and I really like that. I also like that the romance was not overtly done. While it’s a huge part of the story, it’s not everything. Many a time, the romance tends to overshadow the rest of the plot, but that didn’t happen here. And, the characters didn’t go about declaring their love for each other constantly or making any grand gestures, but the ove they felt for each other was visible in the way they cared for each other, in the way they were always around each other. I admire that.

The story was a little slow in the beginning, but it was still good and the end left me with no complaints. I really liked the way it was written and all the situations and all the plots and sub plots were great!

All in all, it is an absolutely amazing read and it does complete justice to the first book in the series! I can’t wait to start reading the next one in the series which I’m gonna do as soon as I’m done posting this!

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I’ve always loved to read more than anything in the world, especially so-called genre stories—mysteries, fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, horror. I like books that take you by the hand and lead you out of the mundane. That ease back the curtain and show you the wondrous and dark and unexpected lurking just around the next corner. I worked in journalism for a long time before I returned to writing fiction. Guess which is more fun?