Genre: Young Adult

#BookBlitz
Death by the River
by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
@alexandreaweis @XpressoReads

#BookBlitz Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor @alexandreaweis @XpressoReads

#BookBlitz Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor @alexandreaweis @XpressoReadsTitle: Death by the River

Author: Alexandrea Weis, Lucas Astor

Published by Vesuvian Books on October 2, 2018

Genres: Horror, Young Adult

Pages: 357

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A high school “American Psycho.”

SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.

SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux. 

And that someone will pay with their life.

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo

 

EXCERPT:

Leslie followed him along the shoreline until they came to a rusted iron gate with a No Trespassing sign secured to it. Decorated with crosses and swirls, the sign marked the entrance to The Abbey grounds. Stepping through the open gate, she peered up at the imposing structure.

Two spires of white limestone, shaped like the tip of a sword, cut into the blue sky. The structure of red brick and limestone, the front windows and doors secured with loose scraps of plywood, sat in the middle of a field of high grass. The squat stone building of cloisters behind The Abbey remained intact. The Benedictine monks who had run the seminary school demolished the dormitories, refectory, and library after the site had been abandoned.

Some place, huh?” Derek let go of her hand and trudged his way across the high grass.

Leslie’s apprehension bloomed in her chest. The grounds, unkempt after years of neglect, were a hodgepodge of weeds, overgrown trees, and green vines. On the way across the thigh-high grass, they passed a beautiful triple-tiered fountain with an angel on top, raising her arms to the heavens—a silent witness to the past.

How do people come here at night?

“You ever wonder why those priests just up and left it?” she asked, uncomfortable with the eerie quiet. Even the birds had stopped singing. “I know everyone in town says they got a better offer from the seminary in New Orleans, but it seems funny a bunch of people abandoned the place for no reason.”

“They left because it’s a wreck.” Derek parted a thick pile of tall grass with his shoe. “My mom told me it was falling apart when she was a kid, and the Archdiocese didn’t have the money to fix it. So they packed up the seminary school, the priests, and all the staff and shipped them to New Orleans.”

“Seems a shame, though. I read once that the structure dates back to the early 1800s when the Devereaux family built it as a private church.” Leslie eyed the frame of the empty belfry atop one of the square-shaped towers. “You’d think they’d want to save it.”

Derek nudged her with his elbow. “Maybe the ghost drove the priests away.”

Beau’s tale had been in the back of her head the whole time, but Derek’s comment spooked the crap out of her. “By ghost, do you mean the lady in white?”

“Yep.” He scanned the land around them. “They say she wears a glistening white cloak and wanders the priests’ cells. She only appears when the moon is full or during storms.”

The thought of being alone in such a disturbing place terrified her. “Have you ever seen the ghost?”

Derek searched the thick foliage ahead of them. “Nah. I’ve come here a few times with Mark and Andrew to hang out, but we’ve never seen anything.”

Granite steps rose out of the high grass as they drew near the entrance.

Leslie kicked herself for letting him talk her into coming to the remote location. “What about the wild dogs? Have you seen them around The Abbey?”

“Not to worry, baby. I’ll protect you from ghosts, wild dogs, and Beau Devereaux.” He climbed the granite steps, encouraging her to join him. “But I have to draw the line at your mother. There’s no way I’m taking her on in a fight.”

On the porch, beneath the cracked and chipped stone arch over the front doors, she waited while Derek wrestled with the plywood covering the entrance. She scanned the landscape, searching for any hint of trouble. But despite the creep factor, the lush green trees encircling them did have a soothing effect. Leslie breathed in the fresh pine scent and mossy aroma of the tall grass. Then a fly zipped past her face.

Thud.

She spun around to the source of the noise. Derek had pushed one of the large pieces of plywood securing the door out of the way, leaving a nice sized gap to crawl through.

“How did you do that?”

Derek held the plywood to the side for her. “The loose boards have been rigged to open easily. Found out about it the first time I came out here with Mark.”

Leslie dipped her head and looked through the doorway. “You sure it’s safe?”

His smile won over her fears.

“Baby. I wouldn’t bring you here if it wasn’t.”

 

About Lucas Astor

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.

About Alexandrea Weis

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

 

GIVEAWAY!

One (1) $20 Amazon Gift Card (Blitz-wide, International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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#BlogTour #Excerpt
Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming
@GraemeCumming63 @matadorbooks
#RavensGathering #Lovebooksgrouptours

#BlogTour #Excerpt Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming @GraemeCumming63 @matadorbooks #RavensGathering #LovebooksgrouptoursTitle: Ravens Gathering

Author: Graeme Cumming

Published by Matador Books on March 16, 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult

Pages: 432

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds.  Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it.  She felt him move in behind her.  After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security. 

“You know what they are, don’t you?” 

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident.  For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but unease increases following a brutal attack.  As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences. 

And only a select few know why the ravens are gathering.

 

Excerpt:

In the darkness of his bedroom, he wondered for a moment whether the drums had just been part of a dream. Then he heard something familiar from downstairs. The rhythmic rattle of a latch hitting a strike plate. It was the sound his mother regularly complained about when he came in from playing and didn’t close the door properly. Someone had left a door open, and it was swinging back and forth in the night air.

Sitting up in bed, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. In truth, the sleep was illusory, the pause an unconscious effort to give him a moment to rein in his emotions. And those were wide and varied, covering a range that ran from puzzlement to fear. He realised it must be the middle of the night. The only illumination was the faint glow of a nearby streetlamp through his curtains. So why would his parents leave a door open?

His bed was close to the window, so he pushed the bedclothes back and knelt up, leaning forward to lift a curtain to one side. The street was deserted. Looking to the left, he saw no sign of life. To the right, there was barely enough light to see anything. Just one streetlamp 50 yards away, then nothing.

He had hoped a quick look outside might explain everything, but it didn’t. Now he had to face the prospect of getting out of bed and negotiating the darkness of the house. And the first thing he had to concern himself with was the crocodile under the bed.

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

Thank you to Graeme Cumming for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Graeme Cumming

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country. He has wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction so he’s conscious that his thrillers can cross into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as more traditional arenas.
When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista
@KateEvangelista @XpressoTours

#BlogTour #BookReview The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista @KateEvangelista @XpressoTours

#BlogTour #BookReview The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista @KateEvangelista @XpressoToursTitle: The Boyfriend Bracket

Author: Kate Evangelista

Published by Swoon Reads on June 19, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 240

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Xpresso Book Tours

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The only way to get over a hopeless crush is to find someone new…Enter: The Boyfriend Bracket!

Putting a new spin on a classic trope, Kate Evangelista explores family bonds, changing relationships, and senior year as our heroine tries to get over her brother’s best friend.

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of―starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend, Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan . . . right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

The Boyfriend Bracket puts a new spin on a classic genre in a fun, unforgettable way.


Review:

Cute, charming, and sweetly romantic!

The Boyfriend Bracket is an engaging, heartwarming tale that takes us into the life of Stella, a young, Filipino senior who is determined that with the help of her best friend Franklin this is the year she will get over her longtime crush on her brother’s best friend, Will and find herself the perfect boyfriend.

The writing is witty and light. The characters are diverse, supportive, loyal, and endearing. And the plot told from differing perspectives is a unique, uplifting, coming-of-age tale about overprotective brothers, teenage struggles, dreams, goals, Filipino culture and traditions, first love, and the power of friendship.

Overall, The Boyfriend Bracket is an entertaining, easy, enjoyable read and even though I would have liked the romance to be a little more gradual, the amusing characters, heartfelt moments, and happy-ever-after ending still left me completely satisfied.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                              

 

 

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Kate Evangelista for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kate Evangelista

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines.

 

Giveaway:

Tour Wide Giveaway: Print copy of The Boyfriend Bracket (US/CAN)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Boyfriend Experience

Blog Tour

 

July 2nd
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!  >> Review
The Candid Cover  >> Guest post 
Whatever You Can Still Betray  >> Interview
Smada’s Book Smack  >> Review
Tale Out Loud  >> Review

July 3rd
Rainy Days and Pajamas  >> Excerpt
June Reads Books  >> Excerpt
RiverMoose-Reads  >> Interview
Pages and Pugs  >> Excerpt

July 4th
A Book Addict’s Bookshelves  >> Excerpt
Underneath the Covers  >> Interview
The Book Slayer  >> Excerpt
Firstbooklove  >> Review

July 5th
The Nocturnal Fey  >> Review
Character Madness and Musings  >> Guest post 
Lisa Loves Literature  >> Excerpt
Book Dragon Lair  >> Review

July 6th
Abooktropolis >> Review
Sincerely Karen Jo  >> Review
What’s Better Than Books?  >> Review
The Hopeless Romantic Bookworm >> Review
Supercalireader  >> Excerpt
Elley the Book Otter  >> Excerpt

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Divine Heart by Danielle R. Mani
@DanielleRMani @YABoundToursPR

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Divine Heart by Danielle R. Mani @DanielleRMani @YABoundToursPR

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Divine Heart by Danielle R. Mani @DanielleRMani @YABoundToursPRTitle: The Divine Heart

Author: Danielle R. Mani

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 21, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 178

Format: Paperback

Source: Danielle R. Mani

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Elle Collins has spent most her life waiting for someone else to die…

When a heart donor is found, Elle awakes from surgery gifted with more than just a new heart. Clairaudient messages and spiritual apparitions haunt her until she is convinced that she must be insane. Either that, or her donor is sending a message.

Desperate for answers the medical community can’t provide, Elle’s divination leads her to the family of her donor, a young girl named Cas. With the help of her best friend, Rob, the guy who’s proof that her new heart is capable of love, Elle must make sense of the clues Cas is sending. As pieces of Cas’s life and death emerge, Elle will discover that she and Cas share more than just a heart.


Review:

Mystical, heartwarming, and deliciously suspenseful!

The Divine Heart is a compelling, coming-of-age mystery about friendship, family, transplants, mental illness, first loves, and teen drama all interwoven with a thread of the paranormal.

The characters are young, strong, and adventurous. The prose is clear, crisp and precise. And the plot has just the right amount of tension, angst, danger, emotion, and excitement to keep you intrigued right until the very end.

Overall, I think The Divine Heart will really appeal to teens and young adults, and even though I think I’m a little older than the target demographic, I found it unique, heartfelt, and completely satisfying.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                        

 

 

 

Thank you to Danielle R. Mani and YA Bound Book Tours for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Danielle R. Mani

Danielle R. Mani (Danielle Rodriguez-Cinquemani) is a fan of the paranormal in both print and film. Her books combine supernatural fiction with the everyday dramas of young adulthood. Ms. Mani holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in communications. She is currently a teacher at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, and hopes to earn her doctoral degree in parapsychology. She resides in Westchester, New York, with her husband, four children, two dogs, and three rescue cats.

 

#BookReview
The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride
@McBrideKristina @skyponypress

#BookReview The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride @McBrideKristina @skyponypressTitle: The Bakersville Dozen

Author: Kristina McBride

Published by Sky Pony Press on August 8, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.


Review:

Mysterious, unpredictable, and sinister!

The Bakersville Dozen is a young adult novel that takes us to the small town of Bakersville, Ohio where five popular, senior girls have one-by-one gone missing after being featured in a libelous video with eight of their peers.

The characters are nervous, bold, and at times impetuous. The writing is edgy and taut. And the plot is filled with an abundance of teenage drama, secrets, danger, jealousy, murder, red herrings, tension, and romance.

Overall, The Bakersville Dozen is a well-paced, suspenseful YA whodunit that reminds me of those classic 90s teen thrillers like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer that had you thinking “why would you do that?” while you simultaneously gripped the edge of your seat. It’s captivating, entertaining and has an ending you definitely won’t see coming.

If you haven’t had a chance already to check out my review for A Million Times Goodnight by McBride you can find it here:

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristina McBride

Kristina McBride is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. She lives in Centerville, Ohio with her husband and two young children.

#BookReview
A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride
@McBrideKristina @skyponypress

#BookReview A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride @McBrideKristina @skyponypressTitle: A Million Times Goodnight

Author: Kristina McBride

Published by Sky Pony Press on July 5, 2016

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

One night. Two paths. Infinite danger.

On the night of the big spring break party, seventeen-year-old Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend Ben’s car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.

Now Hadley has a choice. She can go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture. Or she can raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.

Each storyline plays out in alternating chapters. In one strand, Hadley embarks on a reckless adventure with her best friends, spinning the perfect plan for revenge. In the other, stuck in a car with her ex-boyfriend, Josh, she’s forced to revisit the mistakes they each made, including whether they should ever have broken up at all. As events of a wild night race toward an explosive conclusion, old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.

A Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced romantic contemporary thriller ripped right from the headlines.


Review:

Mysterious, thought-provoking, and romantic!

A Million Times Goodnight is a young adult novel that reminds us that every choice has a consequence and sometimes those consequences have far-reaching ramifications.

The characters are young, fearless, and at times irresponsible. The writing style is unique and delves into the idea of parallel universes by utilizing alternating chapters to present the different “what if” scenarios. And the plot is a fast-paced, twisty thrill ride full of adventure, heartbreak, and surprises.

It is, ultimately, a story about life, love, secrets, deception, betrayal, teenage drama, and friendship.

A Million Times Goodnight is a very intriguing novel that at times is quite moving. And although I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to I think teens, the target demographic, would definitely be able to identify and relate to their behaviour, mindset, and choices more readily.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristina McBride

Kristina McBride is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. She lives in Centerville, Ohio with her husband and two young children.

#BookReview
Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
@GwenCole_ @skyponypress

#BookReview Cold Summer by Gwen Cole @GwenCole_ @skyponypressTitle: Cold Summer

Author: Gwen Cole

Published by Sky Pony Press on May 2, 2017

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 322

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.


Review:

Harrowing, intense and poignantly emotional!

In this debut novel by Cole, she gives us a time-travel piece full of familial dynamics, friendship, teenage angst, fear, guilt, abandonment, trust, disappointment, unconditional support, and young love.

The writing is earnest and smooth. The characters are troubled, vulnerable and coming of age. And the plot, although a little inconsistent in pace at times, provides a captivating, heart-rending look at the psychological and physical effects of war, the struggles of finding one’s identity and place in the world, and the nervousness and excitement of falling in love for the first time.

Overall, I would have to say this is a quick, enjoyable, moving YA read with endearing characters you can’t help but root for and hope they find peace and happiness.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press and Gwen Cole for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gwen Cole

Gwen Cole grew up in upstate New York and then moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college. Instead she played bass guitar in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She enjoys large jigsaw puzzles, playing Xbox and softball, and watching movies. Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and very large dog, where she longs to live in the country again.

#BookReview
The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
@AnnBrashares

#BookReview The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares @AnnBrasharesTitle: The Whole Thing Together

Author: Ann Brashares

Published by Penguin on April 27, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 295

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Random House, Goodreads Giveaways

Book Rating: 6.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

We live in the same place, but never together.

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.


Review:

Poignant, tragic and excessively complex!

In this latest novel by Brashares she delves into the emotional and psychological effects of blended families on all those involved and highlights the challenges faced by those specifically caught in the middle.

The characters are vulnerable, troubled and coming of age. The prose is simple and clear. And the plot, which is ultimately about guilt, love, life, loss, yearning, heartbreak, deception, friendship and family just seems to have a little too many subplots, too much angst, too much drama and too many issues, including class, divorce and race to not get bogged down and overpower the characterization and fluidity of the main storyline.

I am a huge fan of Ann Brashares from The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series and I look forward to reading other novels by her in the future but for me this one wasn’t one of her best.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways, especially Random House Canada, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ann Brashares

Ann Brashares is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now, 3 Willows, The Last Summer (of You and Me), and My Name Is Memory. She lives in New York City with her family.

#BookReview
93% Chance I Don’t Hate You by L. Taylor & Amy H. Lynn

#BookReview 93% Chance I Don’t Hate You by L. Taylor & Amy H. LynnTitle: 93% Chance I Don't Hate You

Published by L. Taylor and Amy H. Lynn on September 27, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Pages: 138

Format: eBook

Source: L. Taylor and Amy H. Lynn

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Ashton Lewis doesn’t have a care in the world. His only sources of stress are passing mixed media art classes and setting up a tattoo parlor one day. But when the one-night-stand-only lifestyle no longer appeals to him, Ashton decides it’s time to settle down. A drunken mistake and a poorly chosen pseudonym later, Ashton finds himself on a blind date with his classmate, Carter Redford, the stuck up rich girl whom Ashton is pretty sure hates him. 

College junior Carter Redford has been groomed to take over the family business since before she could talk. Heiress to a major entertainment journalism company, almost every aspect of her life is controlled by her overbearing parents, from the clothes she wears, to who her friends are, and eventually, the man she marries. 

While this is not ideal for Carter, she is ready to sacrifice her own happiness if it is what her family needs. That is, until one day, when her best friend Jackson convinces her to try blind dating. More specifically, to use an app called Blinder. 

Expecting someone business minded and type A, Carter is astonished to learn that her blind date is with none other than her fellow student – Ashton Lewis. Though he is gorgeous and a talented artist, Carter is hardly pleased with his “devil may care” attitude, and would rather take her chances on the man her parents have picked out for her than a laid back slacker. But when Carter’s curiosity gets the best of her, and Ashton manages to pull her into his unstructured lifestyle, Carter may not be able to resist the rushes of freedom and rebellion he encourages. 

A laugh out loud romantic drama, 93% Chance I Don’t Hate You is a novel about overcoming prejudices, standing up for oneself, and learning how to live life on one’s own terms.


Review:

Sweet, charming, and funny!

This is a coming-of-age story filled with familial pressure, friendship, self discovery, partiality, and love.

The writing flows nicely. The characters are young, interesting, complex, and steadily grow on you more-and-more as the story progresses. And the plot has a nice amount of angst, humour, and romance to keep you engaged and intrigued throughout.

Overall, I think these two young indie authors did a really good job on this novel and I look forward to reading a lot more from them in the future to come.

 

This book is due to be published on September 27, 2016.

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to L. Taylor & Amy H. Lynn, the authors, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. It was a real pleasure.

#BookReview
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

#BookReview The Outliers by Kimberly McCreightTitle: The Outliers

Author: Kimberly McCreight

Series: The Outliers #1

Published by HarperCollins on May 3, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7/10

 

Synopsis:

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help.

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?


Review:

I was really excited to read this novel as I have previously read Kimberly McCreight’s other two novels, Reconstructing Amelia and Where They Found Her, and really enjoyed them.

This story, for me, started off really well, in fact it was positively creepy. The plot was interesting, mysterious, and suspenseful. And all the twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat and totally engrossed.

However, the second half of the book seemed a little less intriguing. The plot lost a little momentum, became a bit disjointed, and felt slightly unrealistic.

Overall, though, I think it’s a good story. The writing is strong. And the characters are complex, flawed, and determined. 

This book is certainly unique and interesting, and I think it is definitely worth a read.

 

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