Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout Tour

book tour

Hello, I Love You

Title & Author: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Publisher/Year: St. Martin’s Griffin/2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary, YA Music

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Other Books by Katie M. Stout: Debut Book!

My Rating: 5hearts

About the Book

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Buy Links

Amazon I Barnes and Noble I Books-A-Million

IndieBound I iBooks

About the Author

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Katie M. Stout is from Atlanta, Georgia, and works for an international charity that sends her to fun places like Spain and Singapore. When she’s not writing, you can find her drinking an unhealthy amount of chai tea and listening to Girls’ Generation, Teen Top, and all her other favorite K-pop tunes.

Katie’s Social Media

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7265923.Katie_M_Stout

Website: http://one-page-reviews.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katiemstout

Tumblr: http://katiemwrites.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/katiemstout/

My Review

Hello, I Love You was exactly what I had been needing in terms of a good book lately. I would catch myself with a big smile on my face as I read. I loved absolutely every word from the first page to the last page of this book. Katie M. Stout opened my eyes to new things such as KPOP, Korean drama, and customs of South Korea. I never ever imagined wanting to travel to South Korea, but after reading Hello, I Love You, Seoul is now in my top 10 places I’d like to travel to internationally.

I love books that take place at boarding schools and the international boarding school that Grace attends in Hello, I Love You made me incredibly envious because it sounded amazing. I was really envious of Grace throughout the entire book of everything she was able to do and experience. The closest experience I got to Grace’s was competing in American University’s Model United Nations Conference in Washington DC every year and those extended weekends were the highlights of my high school years.

I liked every single character from the book. They all had different personalities, but they all fit so perfectly together that it really made the book as good as it was. Grace was the easiest to relate to. She was close minded at times in the beginning of the book, but as it went on she was caring, kind and thoughtful. Sophie was the perfect best friend and roommate. She made sure to always include Grace in everything that she was doing and was always in a good, happy mood. The three boys of Eden, Jason, Tae Hwa, and Yoon Jae, were all interesting characters to say the least. Tae Hwa was a perfect match for Sophie. He wasn’t an in-depth character, but he seemed kind, sweet and generally caring towards Sophie. Yoon Jae was just as sweet. He made it clear who he had feelings for and I was kind of rooting for him although I knew it most likely wasn’t going to work out. Jason annoyed me in the beginning with his arrogant attitude but throughout the book he grew on me. He would let the real him shine through occasionally and when those moments came up, it is when he grew on me.

Throughout the book Grace is also dealing with drama back home in Tennessee. While the author brings in some characters from home like Grace’s mom and her younger sister Jane, the true story of what she is running from does not come out until the end. I was surprised by the reality of the situation and didn’t see it coming at all. Once it was out in the open, things that Grace hinted at or mentioned earlier in the book clicked into place and made sense.

Hello, I Love You is the perfect young adult romance book to bring along in your beach tote or to the pool. Although there’s nearly 300 pages, it will go by so quickly because you will not be able to put it down. The story and the characters are original and unlike other young adult books I have read before. If you like young adult romance or contemporary or you are into KPOP, this is the perfect book to add to your TBR list. For her debut book, Katie M. Stout totally kicked ass with Hello, I Love You and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel to see where the characters are.

Author’s Fan Casting

For part of my post for the tour, I chose to post Katie M. Stout’s dream cast for her book, Hello, I Love You. Here is what she had to say and who she picked for the main characters. 

I had a ton of fun fancasting my characters! Some of them were casted very early on in my brain while I was writing – I actually had two singers in mind while I was writing the rough draft of the book!

While these are who the characters look like in my head, I love hearing other people’s thoughts.  or I’d love to hear who you think Grace, Jason, Sophie, and everyone else looks like, so hit me up on Twitter or Tumblr with your picks!

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Grace – Lily James

I’m a Lily James fan in general. (I mean, how can you not love her as Cinderella?!) Plus, I think she has the perfect hair for Grace. And girl’s got attitude, which totally fits my sassy, broken protagonist.

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Jason – Jung Yonghwa

Yonghwa was actually the first character I casted in my head. I knew while I was still rough drafting that he was who Jason looked like. Actually, if you’ve ever seen the Korean drama Heartstrings, you may recognize some of the outfits I describe Jason wearing as ones he wore in that drama. I just loved those sweaters and colorful shoes so much!

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Sophie – IU

Sophie is another character I knew early on who I would cast. IU has been one of my favorite KPOP singers since I saw her in the drama Dream High, and I think she perfectly embodies Sophie’s sweetness and charm.

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Yoon Jae – Ok Taecyeon

I wanted Yoon Jae to be really striking, where you turn your head when he walks by. I also wanted him to have a little bit of a baby face. Really, there’s no one else I could choose for him besides Taecyeon, who’s both super hot and super cute. And really, he’s perfect for the character I would have chosen to date if I were Grace.

Tae Hwa – Seungri

Seungri is one of the hottest guys in KPOP, I think (despite his scandals). And I had to choose someone great for Sophie, who’s probably my favorite character in the whole book. Really, I maybe had too much fun looking for good pictures of him…

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The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtist

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Title & Author: The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

Publisher/Year: Disney-Hyperion/September 8,2015

Genre: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Debut Book!

Rating: 5hearts

 

What This Book Is About

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won’t invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn’t interested in rehabilitation, not when she’s still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie’s whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she’s ever met. Ben’s life isn’t easy, but he doesn’t see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn’t have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she’s currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie’s new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben’s brother.

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future…before she loses everything she has grown to love.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

When I received The One Thing in the mail, I had forgotten that I had requested to read and review it. Upon reading the back of the book, I wondered why I had because it didn’t seem like a book that would interest me. I wasn’t reading anything else at the time and since I had agreed to both read and review it, I started it. I was instantly hooked from the first chapter. I fell in love with the book and the characters as every page went on. I could only kick myself for all of my original thoughts.

I had never read a book before where one of the main characters had a disability like being blind. Now looking back, most characters in books are in a way pretty flawless. Sure they have their small issues and face difficult choices, but it was eye opening in a way to go through the story through the perspective of someone who cannot see all the things I can. It also made me think of stuff I had never thought of before and I enjoy reading books that make me think outside of my comfort zone.

I loved the main characters, Maggie, Ben, and Mason. As each chapter ended, my love for them only grew. Maggie had her whole life planned out until losing her sight to meningitis. She had to learn how to do so many simple everyday tasks all over again, this time not being able to see what she was doing as she was doing it. She had a wicked sense of humor and I loved how sarcastic she could be. Ben was such a happy, positive kid even though the odds have been against him in life. He always looks at the bright side and doesn’t let anything stop him from doing what he wants and when he wants to do it. Mason was moody and rude, but you could tell there was something deeper in him and when his true colors showed, I was swooning as hard as Maggie.

The one thing I wasn’t too fond of, but it did not change my rating or love for the book, was why Maggie could see Ben. I just felt like it was expected, yet I was hoping the whole time that’s what it wouldn’t end up being. I did, and still do, classify The One Thing as a contemporary or realistic fiction novel, but question my choice of genre because of this reason. Like I said though, it didn’t change my rating or the way I feel about this book in anyway.

If you’re looking for a new book to read in the fall, The One Thing is definitely a book I’d recommend. If you have a 2015 TBR list, seriously add The One Thing to it and read it before 2015 is over. This book is in my top books of 2015 list so far and I anticipate it staying there until the end of the year. It just warms your heart that it is impossible not to enjoy every word of it.

’89 Walls by Katie Pierson Book Tour!

book tour

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Title & Author: ’89 Walls by Katie Pierson89WallsCover

Publisher: Wise Ink

Release Date: June 5, 2015

Format & Pages: Paperback & 240

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Other Books By Katie Pierson: Debut Book!

My Rating: 4hearts

SYNOPSIS

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity. 

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

BOOK EXCERPT

Quinn used the three extra minutes before class that day to turn in her cap-and-gown order form at the office. She made sure no one was looking before skipping down the marble staircase like a little kid. She watched her light-green sundress rise and settle with each bounce. The translucent afternoon sun had managed to warm the foyer by the entrance doors as if spring might actually stick. A tiny breeze jiggled the branches of the narrow pine trees framing the building’s entrance. The stretch of blue sky spanning the transom window reassured her, like it was telling her that years of self-conscious high school angst were almost over.

Only Trish understood how crucial Quinn’s façade of success was to the fact of it. As long as she stuck to the script—Take the advanced placement classes. Study. Join the debate team. Perform.—she could hold herself together. She could no more drop the script than let her bones dissolve.

Quinn hated the debate team.

She stomped on the final step. As she rounded the bottom of the stairwell, she saw Seth walking to class from the opposite direction. His dark-blond hair looked like it wanted to cover his eyes but was failing at it. Even looking at him made her feel defensive.

He drew near enough for Quinn to read his T-shirt. A cartoon of Uncle Sam silk-screened in black-and-white on the front said, “Join the army. Travel to exotic, distant lands. Meet exciting, unusual people. And kill them.” On the inside, Quinn rolled her eyes; why did liberals like him act as though people like her invented war and they alone wanted peace, love, and teddy bears? Quinn read his shirt again. Okay, maybe it was kind of funny. But it looked out of place on a guy who never smiled.

They had less than a minute before the bell rang, and the hallway had emptied out. He probably wouldn’t acknowledge her; he never even said hi unless she said hi first. But he passed the classroom door. He was headed straight for her. His tan cheeks glowed bright pink, and his eyebrows scrunched together. Quinn felt her shoulders creep up as their eyes met. Was he going to call her out on something right now?

She saw Ilene slipping into the classroom and waved at her. Quinn tried to veer out of Seth’s path; if he wanted to tangle, he’d have to wait until class, when Mr. Levine could referee. But he sidestepped in front of her, forcing her to stop. What the hell? They stared at each other for several seconds. Quinn noticed that the dark brown of Seth’s eyes blended right into his pupils. He also had broad shoulders for a lean guy, but he was barely three inches taller than she was.

Seth started to say something but then kind of deflated. He pressed a limp, folded piece of notebook paper into her hand. Scowling at the floor, he mumbled something under his breath before charging into the classroom.

Quinn looked around in confusion to see if there had been witnesses. There hadn’t. She walked into room 105. She sat down next to Ilene and said hi back to a few people. Taking a huge, slow breath, she slid the letter into her folder and pulled a pen out of her backpack.

            Waiting for the slackers to trickle in, Mr. Levine strolled over to his desk and pried the lid off yesterday’s McDonald’s drink. He poured the light-brown liquid into the spider plant. Then he flipped off the lights and closed the door. He rubbed his hands together with that sinister glee that teachers saved up for things like pop quizzes. Then he slapped an outline on the overhead projector, on which he’d chicken-scratched the title “South Africa.” As the class groaned, Mr. Levine shrugged out of his sports jacket. He tossed it across his desk with one of the sleeves inside out.

As soon as he starting talking about apartheid, Quinn flipped open her folder to read the note.

Dear Quinn,

Here’s what I’ve wanted to say to you for a long time: I’ve liked you since the beginning of tenth grade. We haven’t had any big conversations, but I feel like I know you.

I know that you’re genuinely nice. Even though you have a lot of friends, you make a point of saying hello to people like me (the shy, antisocial types!). You’re really pretty, especially when you wear that green dress. You’re also smart. I hear George Washington University figured that out, too. Congratulations on getting in.

I wondered if you’d like to go to a movie sometime. I know it sounds weird coming from someone you’ve barely talked to (and especially from someone who would tease you about being a Republican), but I hope you’ll say yes.

Seth

BOOK LINKS

-’89 Walls is available on Amazon

-Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble

-Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Katie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.

MORE INFORMATION

-Visit Katie Pierson’s website

-Connect with Katie on Facebook and Twitter

-Find out more about Katie at Goodreads

-Visit Katie’s blog

MY REVIEW

I’m not usually a fan of books that take place in the past, even if it’s only 26 year in the past. I usually stick to present/modern day stories. ’89 Walls though grabbed by interest from the summary and it sounded like a book I would enjoy, and it most certainly was. In all it took me two days to finish this book. I will admit I even read it while I was at work and supposed to be paying attention. I fell in love with the main characters and had to see what was going to happen between them.

The book brings up a lot of political references from 1989 and there are debates between the two main characters, Seth and Quinn, along with Quinn and her father throughout the whole book. While I could see why this may be a turn off to some readers, I actually enjoyed reading the debates and seeing both sides. It also gave me some insight to things that were going on in the few years before I was born that I had never heard or learned about before. It also made me open my mind at times during the debate and I myself not only enjoy a good debate but also love any book that can open my mind up to new thoughts and ideas.

I really liked both of the main characters, Seth and Quinn. They both had their flaws but that only added to their stories. Seth was such a kind and caring guy who not only tried to please Quinn, but also takes care of his mother who is suffering from MS. Quinn was a strong, independent female character who in the end stood up for what she believed in even if it was a different view than her parents. They both made their fair share of stupid decisions and mistakes throughout the book, but in the end that made them they characters they were. There were also quite the amount of minor characters including Seth’s mom, Quinn’s parents, Quinn’s ex-boyfriend Jason and her friend Trish. Some I liked more than others, Seth’s and Quinn’s mothers, some really annoyed me during their brief time in the story, Quinn’s ex-boyfriend Jason, and other’s I just ended up feeling bad/sad for, Quinn’s father. Although they were only minor characters, they gave a lot to the story.

Once I finished reading ’89 Walls, I was a little more convinced that it is probably geared towards the older side of the Young Adult genre for some of the topics discussed and actions that took place, even though the two main characters are both high school students. I think ’89 Walls is a great book if you’re looking for a young adult romance with some depth to it and one that will make you think (politically not romantically). It was definitely refreshing, although familiar to other young adult romances at the same time. I cannot wait to see and read Katie Pierson’s next young adult book.

“Still,” she said, “it’s kind of embarrassing to cry over a book.”

“I like people who cry over books. It makes me trust them.”

-Quinn & her father

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

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Title & Author: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Publisher/Release Date: St. Martin’s Griffin/June 9, 2015 (TODAY!)

Genre: YA Thriller, YA Contemporary

Format: Finished Hardcover

Source: St. Martin’s Griffin in exchange for an honest review

Other Books by Author: Charm & Strange, Complicit

My Rating: 3hearts

What This Book Is About

When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.

Emerson Tate’s a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That’s why Emerson’s not happy Sadie’s back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won’t ever let him.

Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That’s what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.

But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it’s all of theirs.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

When first reading the summary of Delicate Monsters I had thought it was going to be more of a thriller/mystery and thought, “I need to read this book”. As soon as I received it from the publisher I immediately began reading it that night. While it wasn’t what I had been expecting, I was instantly hooked from the beginning. The book is told in alternating chapters between the three main characters, Sadie, Emerson and Miles. Each chapter was short, yet left readers with just enough to want to know what was going to happen next.

The story itself had it’s thrilling moments and a lot of the storyline actually shocked me. It shows realistically some of the not so pretty things teenagers go through on a daily basis. It was actually a nice change of pace from all the lovey dovey young adult romances I had been reading lately. The characters themselves and their development throughout the novel is what had shocked me the most though. As the book went on, the dirtier the character’s secrets got. The end of the book really got me as well. I kind of suspected it to some degree but not in the way the author had ended up playing it out and I love when the ending is not what I had been suspecting throughout the whole book.

I will admit I did not exactly “like” any of the main characters. I think my favorite had to be May, both who was a minor character. Sadie Su was not your average teenage girl, dreaming of having the perfect boyfriend and into most teenage girl things such as shopping and hanging out with their best friends. Sadie had been expelled from three boarding schools for her behavior, which is incredibly cruel and is shown throughout the entire book. Emerson had to be my least favorite of all. While possessing some normal teen qualities, he also had some pretty sick and dirty secrets. I thought it was bad in the beginning but they continued to get worse throughout the book and my dislike for him only grew as well. Miles, Emerson’s younger brother, was the main character I liked the most. He was different and quirky, yet always down in the dumps which got a little old. I actually felt bad for Miles towards the end of the book though once his secrets were revealed and things had finally fallen into place and made sense. May was a minor character in the book and was only shown in some of Emerson’s chapters, but she seemed genuine, thoughtful and caring whenever she was present.

I really did enjoy Delicate Monsters and read the book within 2 days. It’s a light read page wise but subject wise it really makes you stop and think while you’re reading. I brought it into work with me the other day and already got a few coworkers interested in it. If you enjoy YA fiction of any genre I’d suggest you pick this book up and give it a chance.

Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

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Title & Author: Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

Publisher/Year: Harper Teen/2015 (June)

Genre: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Infinite Days, Stolen Nights, Eternal Dawn

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

A luminous young adult novel that evokes Judy Blume’s Forever for a new generation.

Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life and love are impossible to predict.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Let me start off by saying I loved this book. I would use the word ‘loved’ more than once, but the amount of times I’d use it to express how I felt about this book would make this post so incredibly long. If you’ve been reading and following my blog for a while you know I am a total sucker for summer themed young adult books. Throw in some romance and I am completely in love. A few days before beginning Between Us and the Moon I read a not so great review on Goodreads and I am so happy I read Between Us and the Moon despite what that person wrote because I completely disagree with it.

Sarah has lived in her sister Scarlett’s shadow her whole life so when they go on their yearly summer vacation to Cape Cod, Sarah decides she is going to do ‘The Scarlett Experiement’. Sarah figures if she dresses an acts like her sister, she will easily make friends and guys will like her the way they like Scarlett. When Sarah gets the attention of an older guy, Andrew, she pretends to be older. As summer goes on and Sarah and Andrew’s relationship progresses, so does Sarah’s lie. When summer comes to an end Sarah needs to decide between falling in love or being the Sarah she is on the inside.

I immediately loved the summary and knew I was going to fall in love with the storyline, along with the characters. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did.

Sarah, the main character, was pretty much a homebody in the beginning of the story. After her boyfriend/best friend breaks up with her because she “watches the world”. Once their vacation begins Sarah changes, but at the same time she doesn’t. She launches into ‘The Scarlett Experiment’, but after meeting Andrew, she still has a lot of her true features, like her love for astronomy, shine through past. Sarah not only lies about her age, but also that she is attending college, MIT to be exact, in the fall. Honestly, I don’t blame her for lying and it didn’t make me feel any differently for her character. I felt like I was easily able to relate to Sarah (other than having the same name) in many ways. I feel like we same(d) many of the same personality traits and characteristics when I was in high school. Also, let’s admit it girls, we all tell some kind of lie to a guy at least once in our life.

Andrew, a good guy with genuinely good hearted motives, is three years older than Sarah and a sophomore going to college in Boston. Him and Sarah continue to run into each other while Sarah is being a klutz and often tripping over her own feet. He finally takes the opportunity to introduce himself when he see Sarah on the beach. From there they begin a summer filled with romance. Andrew is so sweet to Sarah. He is also coping with the loss of someone close to him and dealing with the guilt he feels about it. Andrew is exactly the type of guy I personally would love to find in life. He is absolutely perfect that even the imperfections he does have just make him so much more appealing.

Of course there are several supporting characters throughout the novel that add to the storyline and without them, the book just wouldn’t have been the same. Sarah’s parents, her aunt Nancy, her Gran, Scarlett, and Scarlett’s boy for the summer Curtis just to name a few. They all were part of the story from the beginning to the end and each had something to contribute to the storyline. I really liked all of the characters, even the ones that were much harder to like than others.

Between Us and the Moon will be the absolute, perfect beach/summer book when it is published. It will make you laugh and smile and it will break your heart at times as well. At the end of the book I was so upset that it was over and I am definitely suffering a mild book hangover now. As I read Between Us and the Moon as part of a book tour and I will be mailing it out to the next reader later today, I will definitely be adding my on copy when this book hits the shelves in June. Between Us and the Moon is a book I see myself re-reading several times and I’m already looking forward to reading it for the second time. I of course would LOVE a sequel as a follow up for the next summer. I am unsure if there will be one but until then I will keep my fingers crossed!

Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

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Title & Author: Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

Publisher/Year: Henry Holt and Co./March 24, 2015

Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: The Edumacation of Jay Baker

Rating: 3hearts

What This Book Is About

Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.

Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a few months later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite her to Taco Bell. To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

 When I began reading Finding Mr. Brightside, I had really high expectations. It seemed like many other books I have read and loved before, so I imagined I’d love this one as well. While it was a good book, it wasn’t one of my favorites I have read this year. I felt like the plot line itself was very unrealistic therefore making it difficult to actually enjoy what I was reading and relate to the characters. The reasoning and emotions of the characters at some point just made me stop and think, “wait what?!”. I know for a fact that if my father was having an affair, my mom would NOT want me associating or befriending my father’s mistress’ son, much less starting a relationship with him. I wouldn’t even want anything to do with him so that right away was a turn off.

The main characters, Juliette and Abram, are high school students, but both seem to be in way over their heads. Juliette’s dad has completely shut down and she is now acting as the parent while still attending school. Abram’s mom on the other hand just seems way too over eager to have her son become friends with Juliette. The characters at one point take a trip, a 6 hour drive, to Abram’s family’s beach house during a school week. I wouldn’t have ever even thought to ask my parents in high school if I could go to the beach for a long weekend with my boyfriend. Never would have happened.

Their relationship was cute once I was able to look beyond the fact that their parent’s had an affair together. I just wish I had been able to relate to the book a little bit better and that it was more realistic. I also wish the book had been longer and wasn’t so quickly paced because it only took me a day to finish. I don’t mean to sound so negative, but I also want to be honest when I post a review. If Finding Mr. Brightside is on your TBR list, I’d suggest reading it.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

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Title & Author: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Publisher/Year: Dial/2014

Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books From Author: The Sky is Everywhere

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Wow is the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book. It was absolutely amazing and unlike any other YA book I have ever read before. When I first began reading it I will admit it took me some time to get into, which is why I gave it 4 hearts instead of 5. It wasn’t quite what I had been expecting, but once I got into the story I no longer cared. I loved how Noah told his and Jude’s story when they are 13, and then how Jude told their story when they are 16. Each chapter was long, which I loved and when it was finished I couldn’t wait to get back to Jude or Noah’s side of the story. It was almost as if I was reading two different books that had been put together to make one. The alternating between the years and characters really gave this book something special and unique.

I loved the main characters, twins Noah and Jude. I have a brother (2 years younger) and we were incredibly close growing up so I could easily relate to a lot of issues that went on between Noah and Jude as well as their friendship. I’m still not sure if I liked one character more than the other. There were times during Noah’s story where I would get frustrated with Jude, and then there were times during Jude’s story where Noah would frustrate me. I also liked the other characters that played a big part in Jude and Noah’s lives. Noah’s crush Brian had his moments where I didn’t like him, but in the end I think he was a great character. As for Jude’s crush, Oscar, I think almost every female who reads I’ll Give You the Sun will now have a crush on a fictional character. He’s the sensitive guy every girl says they want, he rides a motorcycle, and has an accent, plus the way he truly cares about Jude makes him my number one fictional character I have a crush on now.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed I’ll Give You the Sun. It was original, funny and heartbreaking and I would definitely read it again in a heartbeat. I hadn’t realized that Jandy Nelson also wrote The Sky is Everywhere until I saw the cover of this book. I purchased The Sky is Everywhere back in May and am definitely putting it at the top of my to-read pile now and I’d recommend you add I’ll Give You the Sun to the top of yours.

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

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18309670Title/Author: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

Publisher/Year:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) – April 28, 2015

Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books from Author: Creed, SILO

My Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

“A girl takes over her twin sister’s identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.”

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy’s shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she’s chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy’s world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy’s life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister’s life.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Just by reading the summary of The Secrets We Keep, my heart broke for the main character, Ella. I could tell that not only would this be an emotional story, but it also seemed very original as well and I definitely love originality. From the minute I began reading, I was just sucked into the story. I loved absolutely everything about it from the plot line to the characters. The only single complaint I would have is that it didn’t go on forever. I loved the main characters, Ella/Ella as Maddy, Josh and Maddy’s boyfriend. I feel like a lot of other reader’s will probably have mixed feelings on Maddy’s boyfriend, but I honestly liked him. I felt like he knew the whole time Ella was pretending to be Maddy and he still was there for her and helped her through everything. As for Ella and Josh, they are perfect. My heart broke for Ella a million times throughout the book. I wanted to jump into the story and tell her that her parent’s love her as much as they loved Maddy and that she had friends who cared whether or not she survived. Ella is the kind of character I could see myself being friends with or getting along with in real life and I think that’s another reason why I really liked her. As for Josh, where is a boy like him in my life? He was such a sweetheart and so caring and just overall the ideal boyfriend. Guys around here should take some lessons from him.

I felt so much emotion when I read this book. I shed some tears when the accident happened and I got frustrated with Ella a few times when she would come up with these crazy ideas in her head that everyone loved Maddy more. I couldn’t put The Secrets We Keep down because I had to know what was going to happen and know what Ella was going to do next. I personally don’t have sister but reading this story and hearing what Ella did for Maddy, I feel like I may have done the same thing for some time before coming clean. I felt sorry for her for how guilty she felt and how she felt like she had to “be Maddy” since she felt like she was the one who killed her.

Honestly, The Secrets We Keep is just one of those amazing books that will claim a spot in your heart and you will love it. I definitely did and I will be buying my own copy and rereading it countless times when it is published. Rarely do I find a book where I loved it so much that I am almost speechless because I feel like my review could never do it justice and The Secrets We Keep is hands down one of those books. The one thing that I have to say it read The Secrets We Keep when it comes out. You’ll love it (it’s impossible not to) and thank me for it later.

Monthly Wrap Up – August 2014

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Wow, I cannot believe that today is already September 2nd. The last month of summer completely flew by, and while I’m sad that it’s time to say farewell to summer I cannot wait for fall to begin. I love when the weather gets chilly and I can finally wear jeans, hoodies and yes…Uggs. I also love crunchy leaves, back to school, the smells of autumn and of course Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I have not started classes yet, but I only have today left and then the new semester stars Wednesday. I am taking a full course load, 6 classes or 16 credits, although one is cardio kickboxing so it’s more or less like gym class in college. I’m not quite sure how crazy I will be with homework and studying, but I am currently still out of a job so I will have plenty of time to juggle my course work as well as reading and posting reviews on here. I will probably have to cut back to 2-3 reviews a week, which in my eyes isn’t too bad at all. As always I will also still be doing Top Ten Tuesdays.

Now onto the wrap up for August…

Books I Read In August:

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

#scandal by Sarah Ockler

Forget Me by K.A. Harrington

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Famous Last Words by Katie Alender

Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

The F- It List by Julie Halpern

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Promposal by Rhonda Helms

-Death Date by Victoria Laurie – Finished on August 31 but review will be posted in September

I cannot even begin to imagine where I got the time to read 13 books in August. I began reading Sublime by Christina Lauren and wasn’t able to get into it so I passed on it. I also am about halfway through The Accident by Kate Hendrick, but I started to get bored so I left off where I was to read some other books for now. Had I finished both I would have been up to 15 books in one month which is just crazy for myself.

I have also been insanely lucky with the books I have chosen to read lately. I don’t post a review on my blog unless I am rewarding the book 3 stars or higher. With the exception of one of the books mentioned above, I have really enjoyed every book I have read the past month. I’m sure I just jinxed myself but hopefully not.

Now onto exciting news.

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I won a bookish contest for the month of August for my review on Rites of Passage for the Debut Author Challenge 2014 and cannot wait to receive my prize in the mail and see what awesome goodies are in it. (By the way Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley has been on of my favorite books I have read so far this year so definitely check it out!) I have a few more Debut Author Challenge reviews I will be posting in September as well. Also on September 11th, I will be featuring Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins on my blog as a part of a blog tour. I am excited to post the review, so definitely be sure to check out my post for the day. The review will remain my top post all day so it will be super easy for you to find.

As for September (although we are already 2 days in) I am excited to see what happens and am going to just take things as they come. As I mentioned before I plan to stay consistent on my blog and post a few reviews a week. I have a break for almost 2 hours between two classes twice a week so I will be getting in as much reading as I can during that time. Hopefully this month goes smoothly and things don’t get out of control too much 🙂

The F- It List by Julie Halpern

I put The F- It List on my TBR list a few months back and I just decided to check it out at the library. I didn’t remember what about this book caught my eye, maybe the cover or maybe the original title. Either way, The F- It List was amazing! I feel like I have been way too lucky with reading really great books lately and I am just waiting for the dud to come along.

The F- It List by Julie Halpen

How I Acquired This Book: Library Rental

4stars

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With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.

Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again—Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend—you do it.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Something either about the title or cover is what drew me into The F- It List. I unfortunately had to wait a couple of weeks to read it though because someone already had it out at the library. When I finally was able to check it out, I began reading it as soon as I got home. I immediately was drawn into the story. It was way different than what I had originally been expecting. I myself have made a bucket list (consisting of way more things than Becca’s) and I thought this was going to be a typical bucket list. Becca’s “bucket list” however was a complete mix from absolutely crazy to completely random. The F- It List also didn’t start off how I was expecting or what I was used to and I liked that I literally laughed out loud in the first paragraph.

The two main characters, Alex and Becca seemed like typical best friends. They were super close, have arguments every now and then, and then make up within a day. I have to give Alex props though because I am not sure I could ever forgive a best friend for sleeping with my boyfriend. I really liked both of the main characters, but I do think I liked Alex more. She was super supportive and was constantly trying to be positive and optimistic for Becca. She also agreed to help Becca finish her bucket list and was very open about which ones she had completed. I also really liked Alex’s “love interest” in the book. It definitely showed a typical teenage relationship and didn’t sugarcoat it to sound like it’s all rainbows and unicorns.

I did think there was a bit too much death in the book. I feel like every book I have read lately there has been at least one death (including murder). It’s on thing to have several deaths if the book is a murder mystery or thriller, but one death to me is plenty for a contemporary young adult book. After the second I kind of sit there and think, “Geez was that necessary?”, because the book is fictional and I feel like most teens and young adults don’t face several deaths in a year.

Overall I enjoyed The F- It List and am definitely going to buy my own copy when it comes out in paperback. It’s a good book when you just need a break from serious novels or if you are looking for a light, funny contemporary.