Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: Legendary - Stephanie Garber

Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval, #2
Genre/Age: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Blog Tour: The History of Jane Doe - Michael Belanger

The History of Jane Doe
Michael Belanger
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Dial Books
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
A poignant, deeply funny coming-of-age story about first love, first loss, and the power of history to give life meaning.

History buff Ray knows everything about the peculiar legends and lore of his rural Connecticut hometown. Burgerville's past is riddled with green cow sightings and witches' curses, but the most interesting thing about the present is the new girl--we'll call her Jane Doe.

Inscrutable, cool, and above all mysterious, Jane seems as determined to hide her past as Ray is to uncover it. As fascination turns to friendship and then to something more, Ray is certain he knows Jane's darkest, most painful secrets and Jane herself--from past to present. But when the unthinkable happens, Ray is forced to acknowledge that perhaps history can only tell us so much.

Mixing humor with heartache, this is an unmissable coming-of-age story from an exciting new voice in YA.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Discussion: Blog Design

As you may have noticed, WLABB has recently redesigned the blog to a new, Sloth-tastic theme! Today we'll discuss the inspiration behind the design as well as some of the elements of the new design.

Featuring American Sloth-ic

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Road Trip!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is...

Road Trip!

Fact: I don't get to travel as much as I would like to, therefore, road trip books are some of my favorites. Besides taking me to places I have been or would like to visit, they are usually filled with fun hijinks and mishaps. Below are some road trip books I have read and really enjoyed.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Blog Tour: Not the Girls You're Looking For - Aminah Mae Safi

Not the Girls You're Looking For
Amina Mae Safi
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.

Debut author Aminah Mae Safi's honest and smart novel is about how easy it can be to hurt those around you even if —especially if—you love them.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Review: Now I Rise - Kiersten White

Now I Rise
Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerers, #2
Genre/Age: Alternate History, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
She has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself.

After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada Dracul is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won…and souls will be lost.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Discussion: Let's Jump Ahead

We have recently bid a fare adieu to a show which held a special place in my heart, The Middle. I will dearly miss the Hecks and their chaos, but I am so thankful to the writers for that wonderful ending. You see, they did one of my most favorite things - they jumped ahead, and that is what I want to talk about this week.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Blog Tour: Just One of the Royals - Leah & Kate Rooper

Just One of the Royals
Leah and Kate Rooper
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Star hockey player Daniel Sacachelli wants only two things: 1) for the Falcons to win next season, and 2) for his secret — the fact he’s actually the prince of Eldonia — to never make its way to Chicago. But if Daniel keeps avoiding his crown, their family will lose their kingdom forever.

Madison Myong can’t believe that her will-they-or-won’t-they best friend Daniel is really a prince! He’s always seemed more rebel than royal. But now, he needs to clean up his image, fast. Posing as his long-time girlfriend, Madison accompanies him back to Eldonia, intending to give Daniel a makeover fit for a king.

Only, the more royal Daniel becomes, the more Madison misses her best friend. And if she does her job right, she’ll lose him forever...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Geography of Lost Things - Jessica Brody

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for The Geography of Lost Things!

The Geography of Lost Things
Jessica Brody
Series: n/a
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Waited on by: Sam
In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.

After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?

Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.

He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.

And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: California, Here We Come!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is...

California, Here We Come!

This year, I embarked on a challenge to Read All 50 States, and what I have been noticing is that I read A LOT of books set in California. This week, I am sharing some books I read this year, which are set in California.

Monday, June 4, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

The Game Can't Love You Back
Karole Cozzo
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars
Eve is used to being the odd woman out. As the only girl on her school's baseball team, she knows exactly how to put sweaty, macho baseball players in their place, and she's focused on one thing and one thing only—being the best pitcher she can be.

But when a freak accident forces her high school to be absorbed by the neighboring town, Eve has to contend with a new group of guys who aren't used to having a woman on their team. And the new team's star pitcher, Jamie, has no interest in being ousted from his throne. He can't afford to give up his starting slot to a new pitcher—even worse, to a girl.

As the competition between Jamie and Eve starts to heat up, so does their attraction to each other. Can they keep their heads in the game, or will they end up getting played?

Friday, June 1, 2018

Blog Tour: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik - David Arnold

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
David Arnold
Series: n/a
Genre/Age: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Viking
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.

Then Noah → gets hypnotized.

Now Noah → sees changes—inexplicable scars, odd behaviors, rewritten histories—in all those around him. All except his Strange Fascinations . . .

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Discussion Post: What Inspires You?

I know you've heard me cry about how hard discussion posts are for me. Hey, I'm a reader, not a writer, but I'm trying. What I have been wondering about lately is how do you come up with your discussion topics.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Snow in Love

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Snow in Love!

Snow in Love
Melissa de la Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friedman, Kasie West
Series: n/a
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Publisher: Point
Waited on by: Sam
What's better than one deliciously cozy, swoon-worthy holiday story?

Four of them, from some of today's bestselling authors.

From KASIE WEST, a snowy road trip takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed.

From AIMEE FRIEDMAN, a Hanukkah miracle may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love.

From MELISSA DE LA CRUZ, Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents.

From NIC STONE, a scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport turns totally romantic.

So grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Iconic Performances of the 2000s

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is...

Iconic Performances of the 2000s!

My mother is always amused by my description of 2000s movies/characters/songs as Iconic, so she suggested this topic. While the fashion choices of the 2000s were possibly questionable (I mean, I kind of love it and hate it at the same time), this period was filled with incredible, Iconic performances. While there are many Iconic performances of the time, I've chosen ten of my favorites to share below (in no particular order). Shoutout to 2004 for having so many Iconic performances.

Monday, May 28, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews - The Broken Hearts Edition

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights. I am calling this one "the broken hearts edition", because each of the narrators in these three books had their hearts broken. They all dealt with this heartache in very different ways, but in the end, they gained some clarity and insight into themselves.

Dating Disasters of Emma Nash
Chloe Seager
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Don’t miss the laugh-out-loud novel of the year!

Online, you can choose who you want to be. If only real life were so easy…

Emma Nash may be down, but after months of wallowing, stalking her ex online and avoiding showering—because, really, who’s going to care?—Emma’s ready to own her newly single status, get out with her friends and chronicle her dating adventures on her private blog.

But life online doesn’t always run smoothly. Stumbling upon her mother’s Tinder dating profile, getting catfished and accidentally telling the entire world why her ex-boyfriend Leon’s not worth any girl’s…um…time… Okay, those were disasters.

But surely nothing else can go wrong?

Filled with fun, flirty encounters and heartwarming friendships, Dating Disasters of Emma Nash will shock and delight scores of readers looking for something fresh.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

I have been so busy preparing for my daughter's move to Chicago, and am therefore really grateful for this three-day weekend. I have little plans, other than trying to do some last minute packing. We will be driving on Thursday and Friday, and then trying to take care of as many things as possible before I leave Chicago on Sunday. I am exhausted just thinking about it. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I have good weather and little traffic.

I am a little sad, that I will not be attending BookCon since it started. Yep, I even went the year it was in Chicago, but I hope everyone who is attending has a fabulous time.

If you haven't done so yet, and Book Depository delivers to you - GO and enter our blogiversary giveaway.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Discussion: Is It Historical?

What makes a book "historical" fiction? This is what I have been contemplating lately, and I am hoping you guys have some ideas for me.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Review: Listen to Your Heart - Kasie West

Listen to Your Heart
Kasie West
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Point
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Two Dark Reigns - Kendare Blake

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Two Dark Reigns!

Two Dark Reigns
Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns, #3
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Waited on by: Sam
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake returns with the highly anticipated third book in the Three Dark Crowns series!

Katharine sits on the throne, Mirabella and Arsinoe are in hiding, and an unexpected renegade is about to wage a war of her own. The crown has been won, but these queens are far from done.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is...

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

Since May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I thought I would share books written by authors, who are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent. These are all books I have read, but I also have a ton on my TBR.

Monday, May 21, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

Julie Murphy
Series: Dumplin', #2
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
It is a companion novel to Dumplin', which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean's star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

It was another tough week for us here in the US. My heart goes out to all those, who were affected. I taught high school science for 12 years, and I get really emotional when things like this happen in our schools.

However, it was a big week for us here at WLABB. We celebrated 5 years as a blog, and I was really happy that my co-bloggers had time to reflect on this happy occasion. I was also happy to post Kiersten's reviews. I bet some of you were confused to see a non-contemporary book on the blog, but that's why I love having co-bloggers.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Blogiversary - Look Who's 5!!

Today is a special day here at WLABB. It's our 5th Blogiversary! In honor of this special day, the WLABBers want to share their thoughts on how their lives have changed since the birth of this blog.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review: Thunderhead - Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of a Scythe, #2
Genre/Age: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Summer of Us - Cecilia Vinesse

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for The Summer of Us!

The Summer of Us
Cecilia Vinesse
Series: n/a
Release Date: June 14, 2018
Publisher: Poppy
Waited on by: Sam
Aubrey and Rae have been planning their trip around Europe practically from the moment they became BFFs in primary school. And, now, it ought to be the perfect way to spend their last summer together before university.

But things are more complicated at eighteen than they were at ten. There's Jonah, Aubrey's seemingly perfect boyfriend, and his best friend Gabe, the boy Aubrey may have accidentally kissed. And there's Clara, the friend Rae is crushing on, hard, even though there's no hope because Clara is definitely into guys, not girls.

Five friends. Ten days. Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Florence, Barcelona. And a messy, complicated, can-this-really-be happening love story, or two ... because how could there not be?

Monday, May 14, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

Bobby Sky: Boy Band or Die
Joe Shine
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Suspense
Publisher: Soho Teen
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
At fourteen, Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson is out of luck. His charm and singing voice—and penchant for bursting into song at all the wrong times—can’t keep him out of trouble anymore. When he’s arrested (again): he’s given a choice: die in juvie or become a Shadow: the fearless, unstoppable, and top-secret guardian of a Future Important Person, or FIP.

With nothing to lose, Hutch accepts. After two grueling years at the Future Affairs Training and Education (FATE) Center, Hutch can barely remember the boy he once was. His entire existence has been erased. Ready for anything, he expects to be plunged into a battle zone.

Instead he learns that his FIP is someone named Ryo Enomoto. Yes, the Ryo Enomoto: front-man of world-famous boy band International. Worse, Hutch has to put his old talents to use. He must join the band and change his name to Bobby Sky. Is this for real? Has he really turned himself into a lethal killing machine . . . only to become a teen pop sensation?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

To everyone out there, who is celebrating:

Friday, May 11, 2018

Blog Tour: Love & Luck - Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Luck
Jenna Evans Welch
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hidden Gems: Phantom Limbs - Paula Garner

Hidden Gems was inspired by Bee at Quite the Novel Idea. I think we all have those books, which we loved so much, but are just overshadowed by bigger releases. This post will celebrate those books,  and I hope you will join me in sharing your own hidden gems.

Today's gem is...

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Little White Lies - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Little White Lies!

Little White Lies
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: n/a
Release Date
Publisher: Freeform
Waited on by: Sam
"I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But."

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn't expect to find is friendship, but as she's drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn't the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother's glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer's search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.

Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Blog Tour: Spies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts

Spies, Lies, and Allies 
Lisa Brown Roberts
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Summers are supposed to be fun, right? Not mine. I’ve got a job at my dad’s company, which is sponsoring a college scholarship competition. I just found out that, in addition to my job assisting the competing interns, I’m supposed to vote for the winner. Totally not what I signed up for.

There’s a crazy guy running the competition like it’s an episode of Survivor. Then there’s Carlos, who is, well, very distracting –– in a good way. But I can’t even think about him that way because Crazy Guy says any fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.

As if that’s not enough, an anonymous weirdo with insider intel is trying to sabotage my dad’s company on social media…and I’m afraid it’s working.

Much as I’d love to quit, I can’t. Kristoffs Never Quit is our family motto. I just hope there’s more than one survivor by the end of this summer.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

I am writing this in-between graduation and packing the car, so I'll be brief. It's wonderful seeing my child again. I get to have her for one month, and will treasure every second. I am also excited to see Noor, our fellow WLABBer, again. We will dine and celebrate together.

I didn't get to read as much, since I spent almost all of Friday in the car, and Saturday doing packing/graduation things, but I did listen to a lot of audiobooks, and I chose wisely, because the ones I listened to in the car were fantastic!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Discussion: How Do You Review Audiobooks?

Once upon a time, I didn't think I would like audiobooks. It took me a while to find the type of stories that work for me, and now I LOVE audiobooks! They have helped me beat my backlist, and I love passing the time as I do chores or drive listening to a good book. I have only done an "official" review for one audiobook, but I would love to work more audiobook reviews in with my other book reviews, but I struggle a little with these reviews.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Blog Tour: Tradition - Brendan Kiely

Brendan Kiely
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Prestigious. Powerful. Privileged. This is Fullbrook Academy, an elite prep school where history looms in the leafy branches over its brick walkways. But some traditions upheld in its hallowed halls are profoundly dangerous.

Jules Devereux just wants to keep her head down, avoid distractions, and get into the right college, so she can leave Fullbrook and its old-boy social codes behind. She wants freedom, but ex-boyfriends and ex-best friends are determined to keep her in place.

Jamie Baxter feels like an imposter at Fullbrook, but the hockey scholarship that got him in has given him a chance to escape his past and fulfill the dreams of his parents and coaches, whose mantra rings in his ears: Don’t disappoint us.

When Jamie and Jules meet, they recognize in each other a similar instinct for survival, but at a school where girls in the student handbook are rated by their looks, athletes stack hockey pucks in dorm room windows like notches on a bedpost, and school-sponsored dances push first year girls out into the night with senior boys, the stakes for safe sex, real love, and true friendship couldn’t be higher.

As Jules and Jamie’s lives intertwine, and the pressures to play by the rules and remain silent about the school’s secrets intensify, they see Fullbrook for what it really is. That tradition, a word Fullbrook hides behind, can be ugly, even violent. Ultimately, Jules and Jamie are faced with the difficult question: can they stand together against classmates—and an institution—who believe they can do no wrong?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Cheerleaders - Kara Thomas

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for The Cheerleaders!

The Cheerleaders
Kara Thomas
Series: n/a
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Waited on by: Sam
There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Need in My Grabby Hands - NOW!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is...

Books I Need in My Grabby Hands!

This week we are talking about books that we would love to be reading RIGHT NOW, but, like, we don't have them or a time machine so that we could travel forward in time and make them be released. BUT! until then, we have these wishes in our hearts, and will pray to the book gods for approvals, book mail, or Goodreads wins.

Monday, April 30, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews - Dark Side Edition

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights. Both these books are on the grittier side for me. They involve the drug world, violence, and even murder. Yes, very different from the fluff I normally like to ingest, yet, I enjoyed them both.

White Rabbit 
Caleb Roehrig
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian—the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to "talk." Things couldn’t get much worse, right?

But then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. And then he and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney.

April swears she didn’t kill Fox—but Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth. April has something he needs, though, and her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

This time next week I will be in North Carolina. Please forgive me if I am quieter than normal, because I have the drive from NJ to NC, graduation, and then packing to move my child temporarily home.

Speaking of graduations, congratulations are in order to the other three WLABBers. Kiersten,  Noor, and Amrutha are graduating! Congratulations ladies, and I know the future holds lots of wonderful things for you.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Blog Tour: Love Songs & Other Lies - Jessica Pennington

Love Songs & Other Lies
Jessica Pennington
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Tor Teen
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
It’s summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you’ll never forget.

Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.


“Reading Cam & Vee's past and present romance reminds me of This is Us! This is going on my keeper shelf.” ―Simone Elkeles, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author

“Fun and full of heart, with a hero who stole my heart!” ―Katie McGarry, author of Long Way Home and Pushing the Limits

“Boys in bands, second chance romance, and pitch-perfect chemistry. Love Songs & Other Lies hits all the right notes!” ―Gina Ciocca, author of Last Year's Mistake

“A music-infused romance about a pair of perfectly imperfect teenagers who will have readers rooting for their happily ever after. Equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful, contemporary young adult fans won’t be able to put this debut down!” ―Katy Upperman, author of Kissing Max Holden

Friday, April 27, 2018

Review: Royals - Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins
Series: Royals, #1
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.
I am not a royal watcher, but I am a fan of Rachel Hawkins' books. Her previous work has been mostly paranormal. Therefore, I was surprised when I learned she would be writing a contemporary romance. No need to worry! There may be no supernatural elements in this book, but it still was fairly magical for me.