Book Review- #famous

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#famous by Jilly Gagnon
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on February 14, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Goodreads
Amazon

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

This book really didn’t do much for me. Yeah, it was cute and I wanted Rachel and Kyle to get together, but at the same time I really didn’t care that much. I was like “oh, okay this is happening. Wonderful. Have a good life.”

Honestly the whole time I was reading this book I was thinking “Alex from Target” (remember him?). The story didn’t feel all that original, the characters were kind of flat, and it felt like there was a lot of drama thrown in just to fill space. Half of the stuff that happened was just unnecessary and didn’t add anything to the story.

A lot of stuff in this book also just felt forced. I didn’t really love any of the characters. They were boring. The story was predictable. Everything was just kind of “eh.”

If you follow my reviews, you probably know that I am not the biggest contemporary fan. I decided to pick up this book because the premise sounded cute, and because I’ve been having some luck with the last few contemps I read. But sadly this one just did not do it for me.

If you are into YA contemporary romance, maybe this book is for you. Maybe you’ll have more fun with it than I did. The story was definitely cute, and there was nothing “wrong” with it… it just really wasn’t for me.

I am going to give #famous two out of five hearts.

♥ ♥

Author Q&A- Peyton Garver

It is been quite a while since I’ve posted an Q&A, but I am so excited to have had the opportunity to interview Peyton Garver and share it with you guys! Peyton Garver is a high school teacher and a YA author, and has recently published a book called Sublime Karma.


Author Q&A With Peyton Garver

Q:Hi! Peyton! Thank you so much for doing this Q&A! What is something you think everyone should know about you?

A: What I like most about teaching is making a difference in the lives of my students. I want to inspire them and give them the confidence to pursue their dreams.

Q: Tell me about your book, Sublime Karma. Where did the idea for this book come from?

mA: Sublime Karma is about a girl who transfers to a new high school as a senior and doesn’t quite fit in. But, there’s a reason why she is the way she is and Jake is intent on finding out her story. It is an emotional novel, but what I hope my readers get from it are the morals. I hope I did the job of promoting advocacy for self and others and to stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone. I tried to get the message across that you never know the story behind the mask.

The idea for Sublime Karma came from years of my experience teaching teens. I have been witness to challenges, heartaches, and triumphs. And, although bullying has been in the headlines these past few years, it’s not a new phenomenon. I have seen introverts become victims and unlikely students become advocates, standing up against the crowd. So in essence, the idea for Sublime Karma came from my students and thus my book is dedicated to them.

Q:Do you have any writing rituals? How do you find your inspiration?

hgA: I don’t have any rituals per se, but I get my inspiration from my students. My novel is purely fiction but the situations could be very real in any school. The issues that are present in Sublime Karma are not uncommon among adolescents.  Another form of inspiration is music. Sometimes I’ll hear a song on the radio and it inspires a whole scene. I’ve actually posted a playlist of songs that have been the inspiration for portions of Sublime Karma.

*The last song on the list is by the fictional band, Sublime Karma, in the novel.

Q:What is something you want the world to know?

If everyone followed the Golden Rule think about how much better our world would be. I love this Maya Angelou quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Author Bio

imageWhen not writing, Peyton is a full time teacher. She has developed characters who resemble real world teens dealing with real issues: relationships, jealousy, bullying, and depression. Her newest novel, Sublime Karma, is a contemporary story filled with emotion, depth, wit, and suspense. Sublime Karma was published in the fall of 2016 as an ebook by Soulmate Publishing. The print copy was released in 2017.

When she’s not teaching or writing, Peyton enjoys traveling. The Caribbean Islands have become a favorite vacation getaway for Peyton and her husband. “Nothing is better than sitting on a beach, in front of the crystal sea, enveloped in the warmth of the tropical sun with a frosty piña colada and a good book that I just can’t put down.


Find Peyton Online

Visit her website

Follow her on Twitter

Follow her on Facebook


I’d like to say a big thank you to Peyton for doing this interview, and to you for reading it!

Book Review- The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

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The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 3, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 304
Goodreads
Amazon

Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?

I fell in love with Jenn Bennett’s writing when I read Alex, Approximately. I thought it was impossible to write a cuter and more heart warming contemporary romance, BUT I WAS WRONG.

This book was amazingly adorable and swoon worthy. I immediately fell in love with Bex. She is quirky and strong willed and all together amazing. She is determined to draw cadavers, and win a scholarship in an art contest at the end of the summer. And, when she goes to the hospital to try to get permission, she meets Jack.

I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW ADORABLE THEIR RELATIONSHIP IS. Like I can’t even put it into words. There is this push and pull between them that made me swoon SO MUCH and even thinking about it makes me want to go read this book again.

BUT GUYS, this book was not only a romance. There was so much more going on. I don’t want to give too much away, but lets just say both Bex and Jack had some stuff to face and figure out. Their families weren’t perfect. There were secrets to be kept.

I think what I loved most about this book was the fact that it was not drama driven. The plot was driven by circumstance, and there actually wasn’t a lot of drama at all! It was kind of amazing. I usually stay away from both contemporary and romance because drama-driven plots are not really for me… but this is A PERFECT EXAMPLE of an amazing contemporary romance that is filled with trial  and discovery and the building of a beautiful relationship.

I could spend all day telling you HOW MUCH I ADORE THIS BOOK, but instead, I’ll leave you with this: GET THIS BOOK!!!! Seriously, if you are looking for a feel-good, adorable, quirky, and all-together swoon-worthy YA contemporary romance–wow that was a mouth-full–look no further!

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart gets five out of five hearts from me!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Just Friends

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Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock
Expected publication by Swoon Reads on August 1, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Goodreads
Amazon

A new spin on the classic smart-girl-and-bad-boy setup, this witty contemporary romance shows how easily a friendship – even one built on an elaborate lie – can become so much more.

Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.

With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all.

Okay, so most of you who know me know that I’m not big on contemporary or romance. So why then would I pick up this book? Because even I could not resist how cute this book sounded. And guys, it was just as cute as promised!

This book had me enraptured from the first few words. I could not put it down, and read the whole thing in one sitting (which meant I stayed up until 1 in the morning)! The friendship between Jenny and Chance was adorable and so swoon worthy. I was rooting for them the whole time.

Also I loved how the story was told from both points of view, in alternating chapters (although it is told in third person). Seeing the miscommunication between them is infuriating in the best way possible. It made the story gripping, and like I said before, I could not stop reading!

The plot in this book was very character driven, but so very entertaining. The characters, while not the most dimensional or original, were still very realistic and enjoyable to read about. Chance and Jenny were the most faceted, considering the book is about them and their “friendship” (romance). They each had such well crafted back stories and personalities and I just loved it.

This book was so light and adorable and wonderful. I fell in love with the characters and really just enjoyed every second of it. This is a must-read for lovers of contemporary and romance, and I would definitely recommend this book to people who, like me, are not that big on those genres but want to find a book that they will enjoy.

I am going to give Just Friends four out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Unscripted Joss Byrd

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Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor
Published by Roaring Brook on August 23 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 224
Amazon
Goodreads

Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.”

Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.

I was really excited to read Unscripted Joss Byrd. I’ve been having luck with the last few contemporaries I’ve tried, and I love stories that explore life behind-the-scenes. This one promised to be awesome. But, I was sadly disappointed.

Let me just start by saying that it took me half the book to even figure out how old Joss was. At first I thought she was 14 or 15, and then she would say something that would make me think she was 8 or 9. Finally, it was revealed that she was 12, but gosh did that take FOREVER.

As for the characters, they felt so fake. This book didn’t throw me behind the scenes of a movie; it sat me awkwardly in front of cliché characters that were trying too hard to create a story that might be worth reading. I don’t mean to bash the book, I just was really REALLY disappointed by it. The characters were all so ONE DIMENSIONAL and PREDICTABLE, I could barely stand it.

In books where the characters are lacking, usually the plot is the savior. NOT IN THIS CASE. The plot was kind of boing, and was not original by any means. There were no surprises, no major twists, and nothing that made it special. The whole thing was just kind of “blah.”

Now, I’ve never  been big on contemporary novels, so that could be why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was hoping. But I really just felt like it was trying too hard, and didn’t deliver. I didn’t feel anything for this book. NOTHING. NONE OF THE FEELS. So disappointing.

I wouldn’t really recommend this book to anyone, unless they are big fans of contemporary. Maybe they will be able to find something in the pages that I didn’t.

I am going to give Unscripted Joss Byrd two out of five hearts. Its not the worst book I’ve ever read, but it was not anywhere close to what I image it could have been.

♥ ♥

Book Review- Grit

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Grit by Gillian French
Published by HarperTeen on May 16 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 304
Amazon
Goodreads

It’s summer in rural Maine; when seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss isn’t raking berries with her sister, Mags, and cousin, Nell, during the day, she’s drinking and swimming with the boys in the quarry by night. She knows how to have a good time, just like anyone else, but when you’ve been designated the town slut, every move you make seems to further solidify your “trashy girl” reputation.

But the fun is what’s been keeping Darcy’s mind off the things she can’t forget: a disturbing secret she shares with Nell, the mysterious disappearance of her ex-best friend, and that hazy Fourth of July party that ended with Darcy drunk, on her back, wondering how she let it get this far.

Then someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel, almost laughable gesture that can only be the work of someone with a score to settle. Everything Darcy has been trying to keep down comes bubbling to the surface in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.

Grit was a lot different than I thought it would be. Honestly I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, I just know that it was not what Grit turned out to be.

Darcy was surprisingly easy to relate to, and had so many dimensions that I’m not sure one book was able to explore them all completely. What I loved even more than that, though, was how dimensional ALL of the characters were. Each character felt like a real person. I wish that some of the characters were more explored *ahem Mason* but for the most part all of the characters had a chance to give some of themselves to the story.

I loved the emotions in the book, and I found myself at the edge of my seat on more than one occasion. Emotions are a large driving force in the story, not just for Darcy, but for the other characters too. Everything that happens feels so real, because of what causes each event to happen.

The ending of the book was amazing, but I wish there was a little more explanation of what happened to all of the characters. I feel like there are a few loose ends to be tied up. But, for the most part, I really liked it.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good, short summer read, or anyone who likes contemporary mystery. I am going to give Grit four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

* An ARC of this book was provided to me by the author, however this in no way influences my review.

Book Review- The Love Interest

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The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Expected publication Feiwel & Friends on May 16, 2017
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Glbt
Pages: 384
Goodreads
Amazon

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be: whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

I was seriously disappointed by this book for a lot of reasons. It promised to be so good. Like SOOOO GOOD. Come on, two hot spies fighting for their lives and the love of a girl, all while secretly falling in love with each other!!?? There is some serious potential there. However, as I said, I was MAJORLY disappointed.

Firstly, what threw me off was the narration, and Caden’s style of speaking. It’s pretty obvious that the person writing the book SET IN AMERICA is NOT FROM AMERICA. And, as an American, the words like “bloody” (and a bunch more that are escaping my memory) stuck out like a sore thumb.

Secondly, the plot was just too unbelievable for me to buy into. I’m the kind of person that is willing to believe anything that a book puts before me, but something about this plot and the LIC was just too fake feeling. It felt like someone took a half developed idea and stuck some clichés in there and hoped for the best.

Thirdly (I’m almost done, I promise), the characters were so darn ONE DIMENTIONAL that it hurt. It physically hurt me. There was barely any depth to the main characters, and there was no hope for anyone else. It was like combing through the book of stereotypes, picking a few, and throwing them in to fill empty spots in the already-falling-apart-plot.

So yeah, this was not my favorite read. And the worst part is that the potential is there. This book could be so amazing, and the fact that it’s not just really makes me want to throw the book at a wall and then pick it up and find that the story magically developed into everything that I dreamed that it would be.

I am going to give The Love Interest one out of five hearts.

*I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publishers. This in no way affects by views of the book.