Blog Tour + Book Review & Giveaway | How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner

How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky SkinnerHow to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 14, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Wordery

Synopsis:
Kate’s father has been pressuring her to be perfect for her whole life, pushing her to be the best swimmer she can be. But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she’s been a part of her whole life.

Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn’t so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There’s only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.

As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?

My rating:
5 star
For almost ten years, Kates’s constant companion was nothing but the water. Her life usually revolved around swimming, but most of all, the pressure of competing and being the best so she can have her father’s approval.

All her life, she has been longing for her father’s affection that she thought she could earn by letting him control her every move. That was why when Kate caught her father cheating; everything she had built which constitutes her belief that swimming was all she is, changed.

When Kate and her mother moved in to Portland to have a fresh start away from everyone they used to know including Kate’s best friend, Harris, her mother played match maker and met Michael—the boy across the hall in their apartment building.

Once more, I decided to test my reading choice and went blind on this book. And it seems like I had another fantastic, unforgettable experience because I was instantly hooked the moment I started reading the book.

This story shows how everything turned out differently for Kate because she found herself caught in the middle of knowing who she really is and what she truly wants in life. Her love-hate relationship with the pool and memories of her father only gave her anxiety and panic episodes, and soon became a traumatic event for her that she needs to overcome.

Like everyone else, Kate experienced the same effects of toxic stress dealt from having helicopter parents. Her character is a real depiction of those children, young adults and sometimes, even adults who was put under an enormous amount of pressure and expectations by their parents who gear them up towards success.

I love how genuine her character was. Kate was a sixteen year old who struggled being the new girl, trying to adjust with her new life whilst fighting a crush over someone’s boyfriend, added a teenage feels that I’m sure most of us experienced when we were in high school. She also learned to be free from every expectations and gain not her father, mother or even her sister’s approval but her own, which was brave and admirable.

On the other hand, I understand why Lily, Kate’s older sister, ditched her own wedding even if she knew how much she loves Tom. The divorce of her parents gave her too much doubt that she feared her own relationship would end up to be like theirs. She may always be there for Kate but in the end, both of them are just the same—drowning, struggling to keep up with the wave of life.

That same goes with Michael. His tremendous love for his mother was truly touching and heart breaking and yet scary because he might be taking good care of his mother, but he wasn’t taking good care of himself. The pain both him and Kate experienced was what brought them together making the slow burn romance sweet and tragic all at the same time. And although his relationship with Kate somehow started as awkward, I love how in every furtive glance, comforting gestures and simple touch, the chemistry between them could steal each page time.

Michael’s character also shows how smoking may gave emotional comfort but like any other kind of addiction, the effect was totally frightening. He may have fought it once with Kate’s help but the moment he admitted he went smoking again but thriving to be better, was a real life story.

The issue about using drugs in the world of sports was also brought through Harris’ character that rooted from peer pressure. He wanted to be as good as Kate that he resorted the easiest way he knew.

The emotional depth pulled in each character including the supporting ones was what made this book easy to read. From Harris, Patrice to Coach Masterson and Kate’s mother, Vicky Skinner was able to write a story that vibrated a deeper connection between her readers and those of her characters.

The writing style brought me into a new journey of emotions, making me feel what they feel. And considering this, the story ended quite satisfying and eventful given that everyone may not have their own happily ever after but rather, the author leave the characters at their own pace.

How to Breathe Underwater is a story that renders how we go on freestyle when it’s too much and giving our best stroke when it is not enough. It is a heartfelt, moving story about pain, loss and new beginnings.

Thank you to NetGalley, MacMillian Children’s Publishing Group – Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tours and Vicky Skinner for providing me an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!

About The Author:
Born and raised in Texas, Vicky Skinner doesn’t act like much of a Texan. She likes cold weather and hates country music. She has a gorgeous husband, two dogs, and a Literature degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.

If she’s not at home reading a book or doing laundry, she is probably at the bookstore, nannying three rambunctious boys, or stuck on the side of the road with car trouble. She is a reader, a writer, and a bit of a crazy person.

Follow Vicky Skinner:
Twitter | InstagramRafflecopter GiveawayHowToBreathUnderwaterTourBanner

Want to know who joined the blog tour? Don’t forget to visit these amazing book bloggers to learn more about How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner.

August 13
A Book Addict’s Bookshelves >> Guest post
diary of a wannabewriter >> Review
— BooksBooks&More >> Interview
Beyourselfbebhaltair >> Review
Dani the Bookaholic >> Review
August 14
The Avid Reader >> Excerpt
Flipping Through the Pages >> Review
Lisa Loves Literature >> Interview
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile >> Review
Tale Out Loud (That’s me!)
August 15
The Heart of a Book Blogger >> Guest post
Character Madness and Musings >> Interview
The Book Dutchesses >> Review
Bookish Wisps >> Review
August 16
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf >> Review
Rainy Days and Pajamas >> Excerpt
Writing Pearls >> Review
LenniLand >> Excerpt
August 17
June Reads Books >> Review
Lauren is Reading >> Review
Adventures in Writing >> Review
The Reading Faery >> Review

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Blog Tour + Book Review & Giveaway | The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista

The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate EvangelistaThe Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 19, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pre-order Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Indiebound

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?

My rating:
3 and a half star
I am a super fan of brother’s best friend trope and probably my favorite trope in YA. You know, when the younger sister has a crush on her brother’s best friend but the brother has a number one rule that she is off-limits to his friends so, the hero fights his feelings out of respect for his best friend. The rest is history and the ending has always been the same.

Okay! that sounds like a negative way to start this review but I promise I didn’t meant it to be that way.

I found the relationship between Cam and Stella very usual but sweet. They may not see eye-to-eye most of the time but I felt how much they care for each other. I completely understand why Cam thought that there’s a need for him to protect his sister from every other guys but being the oldest and only remaining man in the family, Cam felt a deeper sense of responsibility to take care not just his sister but also his mother.

Considering that, familial bond became one of the strong points of the story. Coming from a typical Filipino family who always find time for special occasions to gather and celebrate, Stella made sure that she visits Will’s Nana every Friday; Sundays are always for her family.

The friendship between both Stella/Franklin and Cam/Will was one of my most favorite highlight in the story. Stella and Franklin has been best friends since grade school. Ever since they met in sewing class and shared the same dreams, they have become inseparable. Their relationship was funny, ideal and like any other friendship, imperfect. They might argue or not talk to each other but at the end of the day, they are always going to be best friends.

And let me just tell how you will going to love to have a Korean best friend like Franklin. He’s vivacious, loyal and the most sensible character you will ever going to read in the story. Because there’s a lot of reference about fashion and Project Runway, I’m sure you’ll all the more love the relationship between him and Stella.

That same goes with Cam and Will. I totally get why Cam thought Will betrayed him. He treated him like his own brother. However, Will broke not only their bro code but also the trust and promise that there’s nothing romantically going to happen between him and Stella. After all, how awkward would it be for Cam to have his best friend and sister together right? But news flash, it’s real and anyone who experienced the same setup could attest to that.

Though I initially felt that the Boyfriend Bracket has something to do for Stella to get Will’s attention, I wish there’s more actual scenes and conversations with the guys (yes! I knew the names but only because, Stella and Franklin mentioned them) who were in the bracket that could reveal her dating experience or how it turned out, no one from any of them has worked out for her.

Instead, the Boyfriend Bracket became just an ordinary backdrop to the story, which ended up completely forgotten. After all, the title of the book and what went with it—8 boys. 16 dates. 1 perfect boyfriend—was what I expected. There’s also an undercurrent about the issue of bullying done by jealous, annoying mean girls that was merely discussed in the story.

Nonetheless, even how predictable it was, I actually had so much fun and “kilig” reading this besides the romance between Stella and Will or how they support and encourage each other’s dreams—Stella, being a fashion designer and Will being a comic book writer.

The Boyfriend Bracket is a breezy, entertaining read that certainly live up to the hype of a classic romance trope. It is also a story about family, first love and friendship.

Thank you to NetGalley, MacMillian Children’s Publishing Group – Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tours and Kate Evangelista for providing me an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!

About The Author:
Kate EvangelistaWhen 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.

Follow Kate Evangelista:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramRafflecopter GiveawayThe Boyfriend Bracket Tour Banner

Want to know who joined the blog tour? Don’t forget to visit these amazing book bloggers to learn more about The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista.

July 2
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  (That’s me!)
July 3
Rainy Days and Pajamas  >> Excerpt
June Reads Books  >> Review
RiverMoose-Reads  >> Interview
Pages and Pugs  >> Review
July 4
A Book Addict’s Bookshelves  >> Excerpt
Underneath the Covers  >> Interview
The Book Slayer  >> Review
Firstbooklove  >> Review
July 5
The Nocturnal Fey  >> Review
Character Madness and Musings  >> Guest post
Lisa Loves Literature  >> Review
Book Dragon Lair  >> Review
July 6
Abooktropolis >> Review
Sincerely Karen Jo  >> Review
What’s Better Than Books?  >> Review
The Hopeless Romantic Bookworm >> Review
Supercalireader  >> Review
Elley the Book Otter  >> Excerpt

Blog Tour + Book Review & Excerpt | The Distance by Zoë Folbigg

The Distance by Zoe FolbiggThe Distance by Zoë Folbigg
Published by: Aria Fiction
Publication date: July 26, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pre-order Links:
Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Google Books

Synopsis:
From the author of the bestselling novel, The Note, comes this beautiful, romantic tale of finding love in the most unexpected places. 

Under the midnight sun of Arctic Norway, Cecilie Wiig goes online and stumbles across Hector Herrera in a band fan forum. They start chatting and soon realise they might be more than kindred spirits. But there are two big problems: Hector lives 8,909km away in Mexico. And he’s about to get married.

Can Cecilie, who’s anchored to two jobs she loves in the library and a cafe full of colourful characters in the town in which she grew up, overcome the hurdles of having fallen for someone she’s never met? Will Hector escape his turbulent past and the temptations of his hectic hedonistic life and make a leap of faith to change the path he’s on?

Zoë Folbigg’s latest novel is a story of two people, living two very different lives, and whether they can cross a gulf, ocean, sea and fjord to give their love a chance.

My rating:
3 star
The first thing that drawn me into reading this book was the cover which greatly captures the setting and reflect the story’s theme. However, the way the story was laid out felt more like all over the place. I found the timeline a bit confusing that if you’re not really paying attention with the sudden switcheroo of the year a specific chapter was told, you wouldn’t know where were you exactly in the story.

The author tried to weave Kate, Cecilie and Hector into a web of both their past and present lives but Kate was more of a filler in which to be honest, I would like to read in a separate novel given that she has an interesting life story to tell about her experience of betrayal in her marriage.

Well, it happens that Kate’s character has something to do to spice up a little bit, or more likely to delay Cecilie and Hector’s finally meeting in person after five years. Well in the end she had done her part, didn’t she?

While I admire Cecilie enduring the painful moments of her heart being broken so many times, from the endless waiting to almost giving up, I didn’t quite find her character strong or appealing. She hasn’t actually changed a bit except for that one time she chop her hair into a bob or going out with Andreas. Other than that, she never made a life-changing decision and I wished she became more firm or quit being weak when Hector tried to win her back.

Hector, who felt miserable to be with a woman he really doesn’t love, has becoming selfish more and more as the story went on. Even after Cecilie pointed out that it was both unfair to her and to Pilar, he still wanted to keep her for a friend, which in fact, was impossible when he knew Cecilie’s feelings for him.

For me, Hector’s backstory and friendship with Benny made so much sense since I learned how much of a changed man he is, leaving the crooked ways he once led his life with and putting the bad influence behind him. And for the most part, I understand why he stayed with Pilar or why he looked after her.

Mexico’s vibrant culture, which is a total opposite of the simple, quiet Norwegian life impressively, speaks volume on how two people from poles apart could fall in love without seeing each other.

Even I had some issues with the story; I still find this book a fair read. It has a cute, romantic ending like those I’ve watched in the HEA movies with bubble hearts floating in the air before the closing credits. Perhaps, like that of Love, Rosie.The Distance by Zoë Folbigg is a story about finding love on the other side of the planet, taking chances and waiting no matter how it truly hurts. 

Thank you to Melanie Price of Aria Fiction for including me on this blog tour, to NetGalley and to Zoë Folbigg for providing me an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!The Distance ExcerptCecilie wasn’t looking to cause trouble for herself the day she met Hector Herrera. She was in the library at 8 a.m., as usual, before chief librarian Fredrik came in at 8.30. The two of them would always chat quietly, genially, and be ready to open for 9 a.m. Cecilie always loved to hang out in the library before anyone else got there. It’s such a peaceful time of day. Dark in the winter; light all summer, the huge glass façade of the modernist four-storey building looks out onto the small grid of the town, the harbour, its bridges, its mountains beyond, the world below. Sometimes in winter Cecilie can see the Northern Lights through the window that rises all the way to the top floor. A green whisper arcing overhead, reminding her how isolated she is from the world she reads about in the books on the shelves.

That day, Cecilie didn’t go to the basement first, to sort out the children’s activity table. She didn’t put out the pencils and paper ready for the school trip, or the soft-back books and tambourines in anticipation of the baby rhyme-time session. That light and bright June morning, Cecilie got herself a milky coffee and went up the open staircase to the rows of computers on the first floor. She turned the machines on with a satisfying switch switch switch of the clean white sockets behind each terminal.

She looked up to the top floor, to the quiet reading and writing areas among the rows of books, but decided not to go up and turn the lights on, she didn’t want to draw attention to her private world in the public glass space. Anyway, it was June, and there was sufficient light night and day to not warrant them.

At the second terminal in, on the first row of machines, Cecilie leaned over the desk without sitting, typed in the staff login, and waited for a sand timer flipping over and over on itself to align her to another time. Another latitude she had no idea she would soon long for.

Switch switch switch. She stalked the library, awakening, opening, connecting, before coming back to the second terminal. She sat down at a screen, facing out over the Arctic Circle below her.

Cecilie tied her locks into a thick trunk running down her back and took a sip of milky white coffee, holding her cup with her thumbs threaded through holes in the wrist of her jumper. Cecilie went on her usual journey across the world: NRK for her news fix before the bundle of papers arrived. Facebook to see what friends who had set sail from this port town were up to, as far afield as Oslo, Edinburgh, San Francisco and Quito. Then her habitual look on NME to see what was going on in her favourite music sphere. At home Cecilie unwinds by playing the harp to an empty house, but picks herself up again to British synth-pop and electronica.

Depeche Mode played Leipzig last night.

Cecilie took a sip and sought out gig reviews, finding herself in a chatroom for other 80s electronica Anglophiles in no time. She thought she might scour the reviews, the forums, the chat, to find out about future concert dates that hadn’t yet been announced. She logged in and gave herself a moniker: Arctic Fox. With delicate hands that had dry pads for fingertips, she typed.

Arctic Fox: Anyone know if DM are coming to Scandinavia?

I Feel You: More likely Scandinavia than Mexico @arcticfox! Been too long since they came here.

Cecilie’s eyes widened and she marvelled at the world she was connected to. Like-minded music fans thousands of kilometres away.

About The Author:
Zoe FolbiggZoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com.

In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She has since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons. She is the bestselling author of The Note.

Follow Zoë Folbigg:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Distance Blog Tour PosterWant to know who joined the blog tour? Don’t forget to visit these amazing book bloggers to learn more about The Distance by Zoë Folbigg.

Book Roll Call | New Releases For June 2018

Another month of book excitement, discovering an endless list of new stories where we can be lost in both worlds of fantasy and imagination or give us the chill and thrill feeling of adventure.

If you’re following me on Twitter, you know that I put a monthly #TBR18 thread where I share a curated list of books across all types of genres being published in the forthcoming month. But I’m still trying to catch up and update the thread since there are a lot of books coming out each month.

That being said, I roll call a total of 53 BOOKS for the month of June! If you’re not sure what to read next, I hope you can find at least one book that will pique your interest or anything that’s base on your reading preference here on the list I made.June 5Fat Girl on a PlaneFat Girl on a Plane  by Kelly deVos
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
From debut author Kelly deVos comes an unforgettable novel, told in dual Fat and Skinny perspectives, about smart fashion, pursuing your dreams, and loving yourself.

High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat too fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.

Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true? 


The Summer of UsThe Summer of Us by Christina June
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
FA swoon-worthy story about five best friends on a whirlwind trip through Europe, perfect for fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer E. Smith.

American expat Aubrey has only two weeks left in Europe before she leaves for college, and she’s nowhere near ready. Good thing she and her best friend, Rae, have planned one last group trip across the continent. From Paris to Prague, they’re going to explore famous museums, sip champagne in fancy restaurants, and eat as many croissants as possible with their friends Clara, Jonah, and Gabe.

But when old secrets come to light, Aubrey and Rae’s trip goes from a carefree adventure to a complete disaster. For starters, there’s Aubrey and Gabe’s unresolved history, complicated by the fact that Aubrey is dating Jonah, Gabe’s best friend. And then there’s Rae’s hopeless crush on the effortlessly cool Clara. How is Rae supposed to admit her feelings to someone so perfect when they’re moving to different sides of the world in just a few weeks?

Author Cecilia Vinesse delivers a romantic European adventure that embraces the magic of warm summer nights, the thrill of first kisses, and the bittersweet ache of learning to say goodbye to the past while embracing the future.


The Kiss QuotienThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Publisher: Berkley

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…


Mariam Sharma Hits the RoadMariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim
Publisher: Harper Teen

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Three Pakistani-American teenagers, on a trip through the land of pork ribs, mechanical bulls, and Confederate flags. It’s going to be quite an adventure.

The summer after her freshman year of college, Mariam is looking forward to working and hanging out with her best friends: irrepressible and beautiful Ghazala, and religious but closeted Umar.

But when a scandalous photo of Ghaz appears on a billboard in Times Square, Mariam and Umar come up with a plan to rescue her from her furious parents. And what could be a better escape than a spontaneous road trip down to New Orleans?

With the heartbreaking honesty of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ mixed with with the cultural growing pains and smart snark of When Dimple Met Rishi, this wry, remarkable road-trip story is about questioning where you come from—and choosing the family that chooses you back.


Little Do We KnowLittle Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken in months. Not since the fight—the one where they said things they couldn’t take back.

Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah’s strong faith is shaken when her family’s financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places—and people—for answers to the difficult questions she’s suddenly facing.

No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can’t. Not anymore.

Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of the accident, all three struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. But when a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory’s argument ultimately comes to light, they must all reexamine the things they hold true.

In alternating chapters, a skeptic and a believer piece together the story of their complex relationship and the boy caught somewhere in the middle. New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone deftly crafts a moving portrait of faith, love, and friendship.


Summer of SaltSummer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Publisher: Harper Teen

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
A magic passed down through generations. An island where strange things happen. A summer that will become legend.

Georgina Fernweh waits impatiently for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has touched every woman in her family. But with her eighteenth birthday looming, Georgina fears her gift will never come.

Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, falling in love, and the mystery behind one rare three-hundred-year-old bird—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.

In Summer of Salt, Katrina Leno weaves another gorgeously original novel of magical realism and coming-of-age. Fans of April Genevieve Tucholke and Anna-Marie McLemore will be swept away. 


Dear Rachel MaddowDear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
In Adrienne Kisner’s Dear Rachel Maddow, a high school girl deals with school politics and life after her brother’s death by drafting emails to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in this funny and heartfelt YA debut.

Brynn Haper’s life has one steadying force–Rachel Maddow.

She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project–and actually getting a response–Brynn starts drafting e-mails to Rachel but never sending them. Brynn tells Rachel about breaking up with her first serious girlfriend, about her brother Nick’s death, about her passive mother and even worse stepfather, about how she’s stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping out.

Then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. One student representative will be allowed to have a voice among the administration in the selection of a new school superintendent. Brynn’s archnemesis, Adam, and ex-girlfriend, Sarah, believe only Honors students are worthy of the selection committee seat. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position, the knives are out. So she begins to ask herself: What Would Rachel Maddow Do?


Just Under the CloudsJust Under the Clouds by Melissa Sarno
Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Can you still have a home if you don’t have a house?

Always think in threes and you’ll never fall, Cora’s father told her when she was a little girl. Two feet, one hand. Two hands, one foot. That was all Cora needed to know to climb the trees of Brooklyn.

But now Cora is a middle schooler, a big sister, and homeless. Her mother is trying to hold the family together after her father’s death, and Cora must look after her sister, Adare, who’s just different, their mother insists. Quick to smile, Adare hates wearing shoes, rarely speaks, and appears untroubled by the question Cora can’t help but ask: How will she find a place to call home?

After their room at the shelter is ransacked, Cora’s mother looks to an old friend for help, and Cora finally finds what she has been looking for: Ailanthus altissima, the “tree of heaven,” which can grow in even the worst conditions. It sets her on a path to discover a deeper truth about where she really belongs.


The High Climber of Dark Water BayThe High Climber of Dark Water Bay by Caroline Arden
Publisher: Turner

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
“How brave are you?”
“Not very.”
“Well, you will be tomorrow.”

Twelve-year-old Lizzie is in trouble. She used to live a comfortable life with her loving father, but after the stock market crash of 1929 and his sudden death, she and her family now live in poverty. Lizzie is expected to help support the family, but she can’t even cook without burning food. One day, a letter arrives. Her wealthy uncle has offered her a paying job as a summer governess for her two young cousins at a remote logging camp, so she travels alone into the wilderness of Vancouver, British Columbia. To her horror, she discovers that her uncle is missing from the camp. Penniless and stranded, Lizzie’s worst fears are soon confirmed–she is being held hostage by the camp’s boss. “Accidents are easy to explain in the woods,” he writes in a ransom letter to her uncle. Lizzie learns that in order to survive, she will have to perform the most dangerous job at the camp–the high climber. She has one chance to save herself and return to her family. Her intelligence and bravery will be tested to the limit as she pulls on the climber harness to prove to everyone, including herself, what she is truly capable of.


The Book of MThe Book of M by  Peng Shepherd
Publisher: William Morrow & Company

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.


Tell Me No LiesTell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she’s finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat… That’s safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.


Sweet Black WavesSweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

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Synopsis:
Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved.

Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine: Branwen. For fans of Graceling and The Mists of Avalon, this is the first book of a lush fantasy trilogy about warring countries, family secrets, and forbidden romance.


Invisible GhostsInvisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

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Synopsis:
Rose Asher believes in ghosts. She should, since she has one for a best friend: Logan, her annoying, Netflix-addicted brother, who is forever stuck at fifteen. But Rose is growing up, and when an old friend moves back to Laguna Canyon and appears in her drama class, things get complicated.

Jamie Aldridge is charming, confident, and a painful reminder of the life Rose has been missing out on since her brother’s death. She watches as Jamie easily rejoins their former friends–a group of magnificently silly theater nerds–while avoiding her so intensely that it must be deliberate.

Yet when the two of them unexpectedly cross paths, Rose learns that Jamie has a secret of his own, one that changes everything. Rose finds herself drawn back into her old life–and to Jamie. But she quickly starts to suspect that he isn’t telling her the whole truth.

All Rose knows is that it’s becoming harder to choose between the boy who makes her feel alive and the brother she isn’t ready to lose.


Always Forever MaybeAlways Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi
Publisher: HarperTeen

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Synopsis:
When Betts meets Aiden at the candy store where she works, their connection is like a sugar rush to the heart. Betts already knows the two of them are infinite. Inevitable. Destined to become an us.

Betts has only ever kept one secret from her best friend, Jo, but suddenly there’s a long list of things she won’t tell her, things Jo wouldn’t understand. Because Jo doesn’t see how good Aiden is for Betts. She finds him needy. Possessive. Controlling.

She’s wrong. With a love like this, nothing else matters.


What You Left MeWhat You Left Me by Bridget Morrissey
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

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Synopsis:
Martin and Petra meet for the first time at graduation, and though they’ve shared the halls of their high school for four years without crossing paths, there’s an instant connection the moment they’re seated next to each other at the commencement ceremony.

Then a car accident puts Martin into a coma, and Petra is somehow left picking up the pieces, using friends, family, and shared dreams to keep their surprise connection going.

Together they must unlock the truth of his situation, and with time running out, their bond becomes Martin’s best shot at waking back up to the life he’s left behind.


Bruja BornBruja Born by Zoraida Córdova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

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Synopsis:
Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…


City Of BastardsCity Of Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

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Synopsis:
Tilla, bastard of House Kent, has it made. Safe from her murderous father in the dazzling capital of Lightspire, she lives a life of luxury under the protection of the Volaris King, alongside her boyfriend Zell and best friend, Princess Lyriana.

So why isn’t she happy? Maybe it’s the whispers and stares that follow her wherever she goes, as the daughter of the traitor waging war against Lightspire. Or maybe it’s the memories of her beloved brother, Jax, who lies cold in his grave even as she tries to settle into a life in the city’s prestigious University.

Then, Tilla stumbles upon the body of a classmate, a friend. The authorities are quick to rule it a suicide and sweep it under the rug, but when Tilla herself is attacked by a mysterious man with terrifying powers, she’s convinced of a conspiracy. Her friends beg her to stay silent; what she’s suggesting is impossible… and treasonous.

But Tilla can’t, won’t, let it go. And the deeper she digs, the more questions she uncovers. How is the West beating the supposedly invincible Lightspire Mages in battle? Is it connected to the shadowy cult wreaking havoc in Lightspire? Nothing is as it seems in the glorious capital, and Tilla’s presence might just be the spark that sets the Kingdom aflame.


Whisper of the TideWhisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser 
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Buy links:
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Synopsis:
The second in the immersive series set along the waterways of a fantasy world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir.

Caro has settled into a routine: Wake, eat breakfast, try to figure out who is going attempt to assassinate Markos today. The currents aren’t exactly calm. Markos is in constant danger, and his claim to the Akhaian throne is largely unsupported. Without military strength he doesn’t have a chance. Relief appears on the horizon when a powerful Archon wants to side with Markos in his fight for the throne. But in exchange for an army, Markos must marry the Archon’s daughter. They must decide which is more important: their love for each other or the fate of Akhaia. And Caro will have to decide if her destiny is to sail with the tide, or chart her own course.

With shipwrecks, lost treasure, old and new enemies, dark magic, and devastating romance, Sarah Tolcser weaves another epic story about chasing fate.


Smoke in the SunSmoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

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Synopsis:
The highly anticipated sequel to Flame in the Mist—an addictive, sumptuous finale that will leave readers breathless from the bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn.

After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice—to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor’s ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.

With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and very the safety of the empire.


The PiscesThe Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

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Synopsis:
As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

The Bird and the Blade is a lush, powerful story of life and death, battles and riddles, lies and secrets from debut author Megan Bannen.


 HeartseekerHeartseeker by Melinda Beatty
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers

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Synopsis:
You’re a Fallow of the Orchard. You’re as tough as a green apple in summer…

Only Fallow was just six harvests old when she realized that not everyone sees lies. For Only, seeing lies is as beautiful as looking through a kaleidoscope, but telling them is as painful as gnawing on cut glass. Only’s family warns her to keep her cunning hidden, but secrets are seldom content to stay secret.

When word of Only’s ability makes its way to the King, she’s plucked from her home at the orchard and brought to the castle at Bellskeep. There she learns that the kingdom is plagued by traitors, and that her task is to help the King distinguish between friend and foe. But being able to see lies doesn’t necessarily mean that others aren’t able to disguise their dishonesty with cunnings of their own.

In the duplicitous, power-hungry court, the truth is Only’s greatest weapon… and her greatest weakness.


The Way You Make Me FeelSave the Date by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books For Young Readers

Buy links:
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Synopsis:
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.June 12The House That Lou BuiltThe House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books

Buy links:
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Synopsis:
A coming-of-age story that explores culture and family, forgiveness and friendship, and what makes a true home. Perfect for fans of Wendy Mass and Joan Bauer.

Lou Bulosan-Nelson has the ultimate summer DIY project. She’s going to build her own “tiny house,” 100 square feet all her own. She shares a room with her mom in her grandmother’s house, and longs for a place where she can escape her crazy but lovable extended Filipino family. Lou enjoys her woodshop class and creating projects, and she plans to build the house on land she inherited from her dad, who died before she was born. But then she finds out that the land may not be hers for much longer.

Lou discovers it’s not easy to save her land, or to build a house. But she won’t give up; with the help of friends and relatives, her dream begins to take shape, and she learns the deeper meaning of home and family.


he Color of Bee Larkham's MurderThe Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris
Publisher: Touchstone

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
A captivating mystery about a boy with synesthesia—a condition that causes him to see colors when he hears sounds—who tries to uncover what happened to his beautiful neighbor, and if he was ultimately responsible.

Thirteen-year-old Jasper Wishart lives in a world of dazzling color that no one else can see, least of all his dad. Words, numbers, days of the week, people’s voices—everything has its own unique shade. But recently Jasper has been haunted by a color he doesn’t like or understand: the color of murder.

Convinced he’s done something terrible to his new neighbor, Bee Larkham, Jasper revisits the events of the last few months to paint the story of their relationship from the very beginning. As he struggles to untangle the knot of untrustworthy memories and colors that will lead him to the truth, it seems that there’s someone else out there determined to stop him—at any cost.

Both a refreshing coming-of-age story and an intriguing mystery, The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder is a poignant and unforgettable read—perfect for fans of bestselling authors such as Fredrik Backman and Graeme Simsion.


Little Big LoveLittle Big Love by Katy Regan
Publisher: Berkley

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Synopsis:
About a Boy meets Parenthood in this smart, big-hearted love story about a family for whom everything changed one night, a decade ago, and the young boy who unites them all.

Ten-year-old Zac Hutchinson collects facts: octopuses have three hearts, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth. But no one will tell him the one thing he wants to know most: who his father is and where he went.

When Zac’s mother, Juliet, inadvertently admits that his dad is the only man she’s ever loved, Zac decides he is going to find him and deliver his mom the happily ever after she deserves.

But Liam Jones left for a reason, and as Zac searches for clues of his father, Juliet begins to rebuild what shattered on the day that was at once the happiest and most heartbreaking of her life.

Told through the eyes of Zac, Juliet, and grandfather Mick, Little Big Love is a layered, heartfelt, utterly satisfying story about family, love, and the secrets that can define who we are.


Tell Me No LiesTell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

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Synopsis:
Everyone’s hiding something.

Lizzy Swift is a senior in high school, shyly emerging from her nerd chrysalis to take her first gamble on the Argyll social scene. She braves a relationship with her longtime crush, Matt Ashley, and befriends the reckless, enigmatic senior transfer, Claire Reynolds, who introduces Lizzy to downtown Philadelphia—its clubs, street life, and vibrant art scene. Soon art and passion take priority over homework, after-school jobs, and her longstanding Ivy League ambitions.

But almost as quickly, these delights and distractions are clouded by suspicions and doubts. Sometimes Lizzy feels that she and Matt are soul mates; other times it seems he’s holding back from her. Claire can be moody, and while she confesses bits and pieces of a breakup so heart-wrenching she changed schools, she won’t tell Lizzy the whole story. Lizzy wants Claire to confide in her, even as she keeps her own secrets from her new best friend. When startling revelations inevitably come to light, they just might shatter these delicate bonds of love and passion, friendship and loyalty.

Set against the neon pop of the late eighties and told with authentic voice and inimitable prose, Adele Griffin’s heart-racing novel takes readers on a journey through the thrill of rebellion and the complications of first love.


Tell Me LiesTell Me Lies by Carola Lovering
Publisher: Atria Books

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Synopsis:
Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.

Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.

Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.

Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. With psychological insight and biting wit, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the yearning ambitions, desires, and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should.


Final DraftFinal Draft by Riley Redgate
Publisher: Amulet Books

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Synopsis:
The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.

At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.


A Flicker in the ClarityA Flicker in the Clarity by Amy McNamara
Publisher: HarperTeen

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Synopsis:
For as long as Evie can remember, she and Emma have been best friends. They’ve gone through everything together—only Evie understood what it was like for Emma to lose her older brother in a car accident. And though they couldn’t be more different—Emma is the life of the party while Evie is shy—the dynamic has always worked for them.

But then Evie makes a careless mistake that ends up having serious consequences for Emma. They’ve had their squabbles before, but this is different. When Evie tries to apologize, Emma ignores her texts, gets a new best friend, and completely freezes her out. Evie didn’t mean to betray Emma in the way that she did, and she’s desperate to get back in Emma’s good graces. Who is Evie without Emma?

Then Evie meets Theo, a kindred spirit unlike any boy she’s ever encountered. With him, she can at least pretend like her life is normal. But just as she’s about to let go and fully fall into whatever is happening with him, Emma resurfaces, miraculously letting Evie back in—though it’s not without consequence. Erratic behavior, drunken incidents, and panicked late-night calls are only some of the hoops Emma makes Evie jump through. All Evie has wanted is to get her best friend back—but Emma seems hell-bent on self-destruction. Evie is used to swooping in to pull Emma out of her troubles, but how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?


A Reaper at the GatesA Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: HarperTeen

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Synopsis:
Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.


The Fallen StarThe Fallen Star by Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Publisher: Turner

Buy links:
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Synopsis:
Billy Smith has been crowned king of a besieged goblin city, thanks to a resourceful (if somewhat cowardly) goblin named Hop. Now all Billy has to do is save the goblins from a genocidal human army. No pressure.

The day after Billy’s coronation, the human Army of Light, from the distant kingdom of Hanor, lays siege to the goblins’ underground capital, Kiranok. The Hanorians, led by the blood-thirsty High Lord Jiyal, plan to kill every last goblin in Kiranok. Desperate, Billy tries to come up with a plan to save his new subjects. While scouting the enemy army, Kurt and Lexi spot a falling star as it comes crashing to the ground far in the distance. In the goblins’ world, meteorites can be used as sources of magic to power tremendous spells. If they can retrieve the falling star before the humans, they can use it to save their city. But if the humans get it first, the goblins are doomed.

June 14ArrowheartArrowheart by Rebecca Sky
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

Buy links:
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Synopsis:
The gods are gone.
The people have forgotten them.
But sixteen-year-old Rachel Patel can’t forget – the gods control her life, or more specifically, her love life.

Being a Hedoness, one of a strong group of women descended from Greek God Eros, makes true love impossible for Rachel. She wields the power of that magical golden arrow, and with it, the promise to take the will of any boy she kisses. But the last thing Rachel wants is to force someone to love her . . .

When seventeen-year-old Benjamin Blake’s disappearance links back to the Hedonesses, Rachel’s world collides with his, and her biggest fear becomes a terrifying reality. She’s falling for him – a messy, magnetic, arrow-over-feet type of fall.

Rachel distances herself, struggling to resist the growing attraction, but when he gives up his dream to help her evade arrest, distance becomes an insurmountable task. With the police hot on their trail, Rachel soon realizes there are darker forces hunting them – a group of mortals recruited by the gods who will stop at nothing to preserve the power of the Hedonesses – not to mention Eros himself, who is desperate to reverse the curse . . .

Rachel must learn to do what no Hedoness has done before – to resist her gift – or she’ll turn the person she’s grown to love into a shadow of himself … for ever.


Bookshop GirlBookshop Girl by Chloe Coles
Publisher: Hot Key Books

Buy links:
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Synopsis:
Bennett’s Bookshop has always been a haven for sixteen-year-old Paige Turner. It’s a place where she can escape from her sleepy hometown, hang out with her best friend, Holly, and also earn some money.

But, like so many bookshops, Bennett’s has become a ‘casualty of the high street’ – it’s strapped for cash and going to be torn down. Paige is determined to save it but mobilising a small town like Greysworth is no mean feat.

Time is ticking – but that’s not the only problem Paige has. How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And, more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?


How Do You Like Me Now?How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Buy links:
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Synopsis:
Who the f*ck is Tori Bailey?

There’s no doubt that Tori is winning the game of life. She’s inspired millions of women to stick two fingers up at convention with her bestselling memoir, and she has the perfect relationship to boot.

But Tori Bailey has been living a lie.

Everyone around her is getting married and having babies, but her long-term boyfriend won’t even talk about getting engaged. And when her best friend Dee – her plus one, the only person who understands the madness – falls in love, suddenly Tori’s in terrifying danger of being left behind.

When the world tells you to be one thing and turning thirty brings with it a loud ticking clock, it takes courage to walk your own path.

It’s time for Tori to practise what she’s preached, but the question is: is she brave enough?

The debut adult novel by bestselling author Holly Bourne is a blisteringly funny, honest and moving exploration of love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties.

June 15
WavehouseWavehouse by Alice Kaltman
Publisher: Fitzroy Books

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Sixteen year-old Anna Dugan is a super surfer who feels most at home when taking off on a ten-foot wave. But surf culture bores Anna big time. While other surfers follow trends and speak the lingo, Anna harbors a secret desire to be an artist, drawing houses made of waves. It’s not the most practical dream for the daughter of a single mom living in Kendall’s Watch, a beach town where most kids are so surf-centric they think ‘Current Events’ have something to do with ocean tides.

Anna is not only the best surfer in Kendall’s, she’s also the shyest. When a surf scout comes to town to gage her talent, Anna freaks out and refuses to let him watch her. To protect herself from the pressure and the panic, Anna decides to only surf at her private break, Secretspot, for the rest of the summer. But Secretspot becomes treacherous in ways Anna never imagined, and the danger has nothing to do with waves. When a gorgeous stranger paddles out, smiling a bewitching smile and surfing like a god, their chemistry is impossible to ignore. A series of events are set in motion that will change Anna’s life forever; events that raise difficult questions about love, honesty, betrayal and family ties.

In the end, is it worth it? Dive in to Wavehouse, life-preserver recommended, and the decision is yours.June 19ProvidenceProvidence by Caroline Kepnes
Publisher: Lenny

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
A propulsive new thriller about the obsessive nature of love when an intensifying relationship between best friends is disrupted by a kidnapping.

Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other, though they can never find the words to tell one another the depth of their feelings. When Jon is finally ready to confess his feelings, he’s suddenly kidnapped by his substitute teacher who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.

Mourning the disappearance of Jon and facing the reality he may never return, Chloe tries to navigate the rites of entering young adulthood and “fit in” with the popular crowd, but thoughts of Jon are never far away.

When Jon finally escapes, he discovers he now has an uncontrollable power that endangers anyone he has intense feelings for. He runs away to protect Chloe and find the answers to his new identity–but he’s soon being tracked by a detective who is fascinated by a series of vigilante killings that appear connected.

Whisking us on a journey through New England and crashing these characters’ lives together in the most unexpected ways, Kepnes explores the complex relationship between love and identity, unrequited passion and obsession, self-preservation and self-destruction, and how the lines are often blurred between the two


TakedownTakedown by Laura Shovan
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books/Random House Children’s Books

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
“You’re only as good as your partner.”

Mikayla is a wrestler; when you grow up in a house full of brothers who are die-hard mat heads, it’s in your DNA. She even has a wrestling name: Mickey. Some people don’t want a girl on the team. But that won’t stop her. She’s determined to work hard, and win.

Lev is determined too–he’s going to make it to the state championship. He’s used to training with his two buddies as the Fearsome Threesome. But at the beginning of sixth grade, he’s paired with a new partner—a girl. This better not get in the way of his goal.

Mickey and Lev work hard together, and find a way to become friends. But at States, there can only be one winner.

This warmhearted, engaging novel by the author of the highly praised The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary explores competition among athletes, how it influences family and friendships, and what happens when one girl wants to break barriers in a sport dominated by boys.


The MermaidThe Mermaid by Christina Henry 
Publisher: Berkley

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
From the author of Lost Boy comes a historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea for love and later finds herself in P.T. Barnum’s American Museum as the real Fiji mermaid. However, leaving the museum may be harder than leaving the sea ever was.

Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn’t bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he’d heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid.


Everything I Know About YouEverything I Know About You by Barbara Dee
Publisher: Aladdin

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Misfit Tally is forced to room with queen bee Ava on the seventh grade field trip to Washington, DC, and discovers several surprising things about her roommate—including the possibility of an eating disorder—in this timely new novel from the author of Star-Crossed and Halfway Normal.

During a class trip to DC, twelve-year-old Tally and her best friends, Sonnet and Caleb (a.k.a. Spider) are less than thrilled when they are assigned roommates and are paired with kids who are essentially their sworn enemies. For Tally, rooming with “clonegirl” Ava Seely feels like punishment, rather than potential for fun.

But the trip is full of surprises. Despite a pact to stick together as much as they can, Sonnet pulls away, and spider befriends Marco, the boy who tormented him last year. And Marco just might “like” Tally—what’s that about?

But the uneasy peace in Ava and Tally’s room is quickly upended when Tally begins to suspect something is off about Ava. She has a weird notebook full of random numbers, and doesn’t seem to eat anything during meals. When Tally confronts Ava, Ava threatens to share an embarrassing picture of Tally with the class if Tally says anything to anyone about her suspicions. But will Tally endanger more than her pride by keeping her secret?

This is one class trip full of lessons Tally will never forget: how to stay true to yourself, how to love yourself and embrace your flaws, and how being a good friend can actually mean telling a secret you promised to keep…


The Boyfriend BracketThe Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Swoon Reads

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
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?


Chemistry LessonsChemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein
Publisher: HMH

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
For seventeen-year-old Maya, the equation for happiness is simple: a dream internship at MIT + two new science nerd friends + a perfect boyfriend = one amazing summer. Then Whit dumps her out of the blue.

Maya is miserable until she discovers that her scientist mother, before she died, was conducting research on manipulating pheromones to enhance human attraction. If Maya can finish her mother’s work, maybe she can get Whit back. But when her experiment creates chaos in her love life, she realizes that maybe love and loss can’t be understood using the scientific method. Can she learn to trust the unmeasurables of love and attraction instead?


When Katie Met CassidyWhen Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
From the acclaimed author of The Assistants comes another gutsy book about the importance of women taking the reins—except this time, when it comes to finding sexuality, pleasure, and love sometimes where you least expect it.

Katie Daniels is a perfection-seeking 28-year-old lawyer living the New York dream. She’s engaged to charming art curator Paul Michael, has successfully made her way up the ladder at a multinational law firm and has a hold on apartments in Soho and the West Village. Suffice it to say, she has come a long way from her Kentucky upbringing.

But the rug is swept from under Katie when she is suddenly dumped by her fiance, Paul Michael, leaving her devastated and completely lost. On a whim, she agrees to have a drink with Cassidy Price-a self-assured, sexually promiscuous woman she meets at work. The two form a newfound friendship, which soon brings into question everything Katie thought she knew about sex—and love.

When Katie Met Cassidy is a romantic comedy that explores how, as a culture, while we may have come a long way in terms of gender equality, a woman’s capacity for an entitlement to sexual pleasure still remain entirely taboo. This novel tackles the question: Why, when it comes to female sexuality, are so few women figuring out what they want and then going out and doing it?


Not the Girls You're Looking ForNot the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.


A Stitch in TimeA Stitch in Time by Daphne Kalmar
Publisher:  Feiwel Friends

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
An orphan grapples with her unpleasant aunt and the even more unpleasant idea of moving to Boston in this poignant middle-grade debut that handles loss and renewal.
Donut is an eleven-year old geography buff who keeps her taxidermied mice hidden in her late mother’s hope chest. Her pops passed away, leaving her an orphan. Aunt Agnes has moved in, bringing along her lumpy oatmeal, knitting, and a plan to drag Donut off to Boston forever.

Donut stands to lose everything: her friends, her village, her home, the woods, and walks where the memories of her pops are stored up.

While Donut dodges the ache of missing her pops, she and her best friend Tiny plan how to keep her where she belongs. Holed up in a cabin on Dog Pond, Donut clings to the hope that Aunt Agnes will throw in the towel and leave Vermont without her.

A Stitch in Time is shot through with gorgeous, evocative language, and gets right to Donut’s heart.


Dive SmackDive Smack by Demetra Brodsky
Publisher: Tor Teen

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Theo Mackey only remembers one thing for certain about the fire that destroyed his home: he lit the match.

Sure, it was an accident. But the blaze killed his mom and set his dad on a path to self-destruction. Everything else about that fateful night is full of gaping holes in Theo’s mind, for good reason. Maybe it’s better that way. As captain of the Ellis Hollow Diving Team, with straight A’s and solid friends, he’s only one semester away from securing a scholarship, and leaving his past behind.

But when a family history project gets assigned at school, new memories come rushing to the surface, memories that make him question what he really knows about his family, the night of the fire, and if he can trust anyone—including himself.June 26My Plain JaneMy Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows & Brodi Ashton
Publisher: HarperTeen

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Move over, Charlotte Brontë. The authors of the New York Times bestselling My Lady Jane are back with an irreverent spin on Jane Eyre—a tale of mischief, romance, and supernatural mayhem perfect for fans of The Princess Bride or A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.

You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester—and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Bronte, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.


The Museum of UsThe Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd
Publisher: Random House/Wendy Lamb Books

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Secrets are con artists: they trick you into letting them out.

Sadie loves her rocker boyfriend Henry and her running partner and best friend Lucie, but no one can measure up to her truest love and hero, the dazzling and passionate George. George, her secret.

When something goes wrong and Sadie is taken to the hospital calling out for George, her hidden life may be exposed. Now she must confront the truth of the past, and protect a world she is terrified to lose.


The Fragile OrdinaryThe Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Impossible Vastness of Us and the On Dublin Street series comes a heartfelt and beautiful new young adult novel, set in Scotland, about daring to dream and embracing who you are.

I am Comet Caldwell.

And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.

People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.

But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.

When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.


Wild Blue WonderWild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak
Publisher: HarperTeen

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
There are two monsters in this story. One of them is me.

Ask anyone in Winship, Maine, and they’ll tell you the summer camp Quinn’s family owns is a magical place. Paper wishes hang from the ceiling. Blueberries grow in the dead of winter. According to local legend, a sea monster even lurks off the coast. Mostly, there’s just a feeling that something extraordinary could happen there.

Like Quinn falling in love with her best friend, Dylan.

After the accident, the magic drained from Quinn’s life. Now Dylan is gone, the camp is a lonely place, and Quinn knows it’s her fault.

But the new boy in town, Alexander, doesn’t see her as the monster she believes herself to be. As Quinn lets herself open up again, she begins to understand the truth about love, loss, and monsters—real and imagined.


Your Destination is on the LeftYour Destination is on the Left by Lauren Spieller
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Dessa Rhodes is torn between leaving her modern nomadic life and pursuing her dreams of becoming an artist in this fun, contemporary debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson.

Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving?


Your Destination is on the LeftThe Boy, The Boat, and The Beast by Samantha M. Clark
Publisher: Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
The Graveyard Book meets Hatchet in this eerie novel about a boy who is stranded on a mysterious beach, from debut author Samantha M. Clark.

A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home.

This gripping adventure will have readers hooked until its jaw-dropping and moving conclusion. Samantha M. Clark’s first novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice.


Learning to BreatheLearning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books For Young Readers

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Indy struggles to conceal her pregnancy while searching for a place to belong in this stunning debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Amber Smith and Sara Zarr.

Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy’s rules—to study hard in school, be respectful, and to never let a boy take advantage of her. But it hasn’t always been easy, especially while living in her mother’s shadow.

When Indy is sent to live with distant relatives in Nassau, trouble follows her. Now she must hide an unwanted pregnancy from her aunt, who would rather throw Indy out onto the street than see the truth.

Completely broke with only a hand-me-down pregnancy book as a resource, Indy desperately looks for a safe space to call home. After stumbling upon a yoga retreat, she wonders if perhaps she’s found the place. But Indy is about to discover that home is much bigger than just four walls and a roof—it’s about the people she chooses to share it with.


A Thousand Beginnings and EndingsA Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Buy links:
Amazon | Book Depository
Synopsis:
Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.

From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.

The Brightsiders: Revisiting Old Favorite Movies by Jen Wilde

The BrightsidersThe Brightsiders by Jen Wilde
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 22, 2018
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, LGBTQ
Pre-order Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound

Synopsis:
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out, and life in the spotlight after being labeled the latest celebrity trainwreck in Jen Wilde’s quirky and utterly relatable novel. 

As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck.

Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing.

Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own?Behind The Pages With Jen Wilde
Hi guys! Today’s special guest for the author spotlight, a segment I’m calling Behind The Pages, is Jen Wilde who will be sharing her favorite movies in celebration of the release of The Brightsiders. Also, don’t forget to enter the Giveaway at the end of this blog post.

THE BRIGHTSIDERS: REVISITING OLD FAVORITE MOVIES

Whether their cheesy or dramatic, fact or fiction, I always love a good rockstar story. To celebrate the release of my new book, The Brightsiders, about a teen rock band dealing with fame, family and friendship, I’m revisiting some of my fave movies about musicians.

The Runaways
A biopic about Joan Jett, Cherie Currie and The Runaways? Yes, please! I was so excited when this movie was released, back before Kristen Stewart was out as queer – and before I was out, too. KStew and Dakota Fanning rocked their performances in this indie flick, and rocked my little closeted queer heart in the process.

Dreamgirls
This movie is worth watching just for its incredible cast. Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Anika Joni Rose, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy give stellar performances – Jennifer Hudson even won an Academy Award for it. Beyond the triple threat leads, this movie has it all; glitz, glam, betrayal, friendship, and an amazing soundtrack to boot.

The Sapphires
I’m not sure how well-known this film is outside of Australia, but if you’ve never heard of it I definitely recommend watching it. A true story about an Aboriginal girl group who travel to Vietnam to perform for the troops, it stars Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell and Chris O’Dowd. It pays tribute to four incredible women and tells their story with love, truth and power.

Almost Famous
While it hasn’t aged that well and is now more of a cliché, oh how I loved it when I was a teen. Before I knew what a manic pixie dream girl was, I loved Penny. I loved the whole 70s aesthetic. And I loved the bus singalong of Tiny Dancer.

Rock of Ages
Look, I know everyone – including Alec Baldwin – says this movie is a disaster…but that’s kind of why I like it. It’s cheesy. It’s casting was questionable to say the least. But it’s also about rock in the 80s which means an awesome soundtrack and ridiculous hair and fashion, and I just can’t say no to that.

About The Author:
Jen WildeJen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (As They Rise), witches (Echo of the Witch) and fangirls (Queens of Geek). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller. Her next book, Going Off-Script releases Summer 2019.

When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay.

Follow Jen Wilde:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour + Book Review & Giveaway | Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm OverAirports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 15, 2018
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Pre-order Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound

Synopsis:
A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart… what could go wrong?

After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can’t get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari’s. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev!

When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart!

My rating:
3 star
If I ask my eighteen-year-old self and put my own shoes on Sari, I would also feel terrible and cheated. But the rational part of me would kick in to do a gut check before setting the score and make myself swallow in pity or be miserable for a potential breakup.

I understood that Sari was hurt but if only she had listen, plain and simple, everything would turned out differently. She, herself said that she trust Zev but she instantly jump into conclusion that he was cheating when she chose that exact moment to find him from a pool of partying teenagers and caught him kissing someone. Worst was, it was Bethanne, Zev’s ex-girlfriend

I felt the same frustrations Zev had. No matter how he explains to Sari that he loves her, she was too stubborn without giving him the benefit of the doubt. Even when Zev did everything — chasing the mad storm on her and trying to prove himself, she was too caught up with her emotions that it’s so hard to reason with her.

In the first place, if Zev really cheated and didn’t care for Sari at all, he won’t follow her down to Florida just to apologize, right? Gaaaaahhh! See my own frustration there?

There were enough swoon-worthy and cheesy moments for me to like this book but for the most part, Sari confuses me because her reactions are exaggerated and insensitive to Zev’s feelings. When she met Fitz, there’s this one moment I wish they could have ended together instead but I’ll give Zev credit and an A++ for the effort wouldn’t still be enough. I know you could tell by now how much I rooted for him but man, if only you have read the story, you will totally understand.

I love how patient Zev was and even if the story was written on Sari’s POV, I could feel so much of him. Same goes with the supporting characters that added fun to Sari’s drama, like Trina who gave her an all-out support and always there ready for FaceTime when she needed someone to talk to. I also love the concern on Sari’s mom, sending her a million texts just to know how she was and in the end, her wisdom was what Sari needed to finally realized what she’s missing.

Special mention to Fitz and Dylan for being a good friend to Sari who gave her and Zev a ride to NYC even if they didn’t really know each other that well. After the awkwardness they had of knowing that Sari and Zev were a couple, being inside the same car in the middle of a storm, I found them cool and hoped that there’s something more for them in the story.

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over is a fun, fast paced story about trust and relationship in a setting where disaster happen, flight got delayed there and then or people tangled and caught in a string of unfortunate events. I could say that the chaotic experience Sari and Zev in the airport was identical to the emotional mayhem their relationship had.

Thank you to NetGalley, MacMillian Children’s Publishing Group – Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tours and Shani Petroff for providing me an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!

About The Author:
Shani PetroffShani Petroff is a writer living in New York City. She’s the author of the “Bedeviled” series, which includes Daddy’s Little Angel, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Dress, Careful What You Wish For, and Love Struck, and is the co-author of the “Destined” series which includes Ash and Ultraviolet.

She also writes for television news programs and several other venues. When she’s not locked in her apartment typing away, she spends a whole lot of time on books, boys, TV, daydreaming, and shopping online.

Follow Shani Petroff:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Want to know who joined the blog tour? Don’t forget to visit these amazing book bloggers to learn more about Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff.

May 14
It’s a Book Life >> Review
Twirling Book Princess >> Excerpt
The Bibliophagist >> Review
The Writer’s Inkwell >> Excerpt
The Heart of a Book Blogger >> Review
May 15
Koko’s Secrets >> Review
Sunny Shelly Reads >> Review
The Curious Chapter >> Review
May 16
The Book Maiden >> Review
The Book Dutchesses >> Review
Smada’s Book Smack >> Review
The Avid Reader >> Guest post
May 17
Lisa Loves Literature >> Review
Kindle and Me >> Guest post
— Tale Out Loud (That’s me!)
Mervreads >> Review
The Candid Cover >> Review
Abooktropolis >> Review
May 18
Dani Reviews Things >> Review
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile >> Review
Books Direct >> Review
Belle’s Book Blog >> Review
The Cover Contessa >> Interview