March 2017 Book Haul

Hi everyone!😄

Here is my book haul post for this month, which includes every new book I got my hands on. I hope you enjoy!💘


Borrowed from my school or public library:

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Received from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review:

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Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review:

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Received from authors/publicists in exchange for an honest review:

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Received from my dad (THANK YOU! I love you so much!💞)

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A warm thank you to Indigo, Netgalley, and authors Scott Burn and Mitchell Charles (via publicist Kelsey Butts) for providing me with all the ARCs!💕

So tell me, have you read any of these books? If so, what were your opinions? What books did you haul this month? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

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Top Ten Thursday #45

Hi everyone!☺️

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, then you probably know that contemporary is my #1 favourite genre, no doubt. I mention a contemporary book or author in *almost* every one of my posts, haha! But today, I wanted to focus more on other genres I don’t read as much, such as dystopian, fantasy, historical fiction, and sci-fi, so I will be centring this week’s Top Ten Thursday around my favourite authors NOT from the YA contemporary genre.

So let’s-a-go!☺️


1.

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I really enjoyed Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy along with her new release Carve the Mark. When’s the second book in her new series coming out? I’m hungry for it!😛

2.

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Since S. Jae-Jones is a brand new author, I have only read her beautiful debut Wintersong, but I really hope to read some more of that lyrical prose. No, scratch hope. I’m desperately aching to!😫

3.

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Claudia Gray’s Firebird series, in my eyes, was a definite winner. I am aware that she has more books (yay!), so I have my fingers crossed that I’ll get to them sometime!💞

4.

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Haha, there is no way I could have written this post without mentioning the amazing Marissa Meyer and her gorgeous Lunar Chronicles books. I am STILL intimidated by Winter and thus have not gotten around to it, and I am also still waiting to read Heartless, but I am positive that they will both earn a special spot in my heart.💜

5.

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Panic is NOT my favourite Lauren Oliver book whatsoever, but it was just the first one I found in my photos, haha! Anyway, I do have pretty mixed opinions towards Oliver’s books, but I absolutely loved her Delirium series!

6.

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TAHEREH MAFI IS LITERALLY THE BEST AND I NEED A CHANCE TO HAVE THE BEAUTIFUL FURTHERMORE IN MY HANDS!!💞 😫

7.

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Admittedly, I have only read the first three Harry Potter books, but hopefully that will change into a larger number soon. I absolutely love J.K. Rowling’s writing and imagination!👌

8.

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By now, you guys should all know about my love for Kiera Cass’s books and The Selection, but if not, I will scream it out loud and right into your ear: I LOVE THE SELECTION!❤️

9.

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As far as YA historical fiction authors go, I haven’t read multiple books from very many of them, but Kathy Kacer impresses me every time with her amazing stories. I even met her when she visited my school, too, so that’s a bonus!💞

10.

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Ugh, I haven’t read a Kit Pearson book in such a long time! It’s bothering me now. Maybe I should go out and find one before I go crazy!😂


So tell me, have you read any of these books? Opinions? Do you like any of these authors, too? Who are some of your favourite authors from outside your preferred genre? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

*All author images and book covers are from Goodreads or Google- they do not belong to me under any circumstance.*

The Art of Being Normal Review

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Title: The Art of Being Normal

Author: Lisa Williamson

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, LGBTQ+, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth: David wants to be a girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal: to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in his class is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

Source: Public library

How I Found Out About It: Netgalley

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A while ago, I found The Art of Being Normal for the first time on Netgalley. It had such an interesting concept and I hadn’t yet read too much about LGBTQ+ themes, so I requested it, but being the tiny blogger I was back then, I was denied. In spite of the denial, though, I added the book to my TBR, crossed my fingers, and hoped to find it elsewhere.

Luckily, I was able to get my hands on it at the library, and I am so thankful to have been able to. Just as I’d expected, this was such a great book with diverse themes and I think way more people should be hyped up about it.

Basically, this story follows the dual-POVs of teens David and Leo. David has a desire to be a girl, but he has kept it a secret from most people for his entire life. Leo, on the other hand, is new to his school, and when he stands up for David when he gets bullied, the two bond very quickly over their troubles. But Leo has a secret- one that could destroy his whole reputation.

David was an honest, sweet guy, and I felt as if I was able to relate to him very well, even though we haven’t experienced the same things. Though I liked David, I have much more to say about Leo’s character, whom I enjoyed reading about as well. He was so strong and fierce; never feeling afraid to say what was on his mind and stand up for his beliefs, which was evident throughout the entire story. He did sometimes feel the need to go and hide because of his feelings, but I saw lots of growth in him by the end of the book, as well as in David. Woo-hoo for character development!🎉

Many books of this type have little to no plot, but boy, was this one riveting! I found it so hard to put down- once I opened the book, I could barely close it as there were twists and turns in every corner. I also have to say that this book’s storyline ran rather fast for a contemporary, as well.

At first, I found myself not really feeling the chopped up, somewhat young-sounding writing style, but then again, David is fifteen, whereas most YA protagonists are in their late teens. Despite the fact that I wasn’t in love with the writing at the start of the book, as I got to know the characters and the plot, the writing improved with them.👌

All in all, The Art of Being Normal was a fascinating, important book that I believe many people will benefit from reading. It was a very uplifting, diverse story about self-pride and being able to freely express who you are. Honestly, I think that everyone deserves a shot at reading this fantastic novel- there needs to be many more stories like this in YA.

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ARC Review: The Upside of Unrequited

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Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, LGBTQ+, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

Source: Thanks so much to Indigo Books & Music Inc. for providing me with a physical ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

How I Found Out About It: Blogging

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was honestly one of the cutest, fluffiest books I’ve ever read. Since I loved pretty much every page of it, when I found out that Becky Albertalli had another book coming out, I knew I needed it in my life. So, I got sooooo giddy when I found this book as an option in the weekly Indigo ARC newsletter, thus I requested it right away!

For a brief synopsis, The Upside of Unrequited revolves around a teenage girl named Molly. She’s had 26 crushes, but none of them returned her feelings, so she has become afraid of rejection. Her sister, on the other hand, meets a girl whom she immediately falls head over heels with, and the good news is that she also comes with another cute guy for her to like. There’s also one of Molly’s coworkers, a guy named Reid. She considers him as a good friend, but could it be possible that she could develop feelings for him, too?

I have to say that I ADORED Molly. She had all the traits I like in YA protagonists- she was quirky, perceptive, witty, relatable…. and the list goes on and on and on with absolutely zero stops of stopping. She had many similar thoughts to the ones that ramble around in my head every day, and I was very happy to finally be acquainted to a book character who thinks at least a tiny bit like me. I also loved the sisterly bond between her and Cassie- YAY for family ties!!❤️

Reid was just adorable, and I felt myself swooning over him throughout the entire story. There was a tiny bit of a love triangle and Molly found herself indecisive between Reid and another guy named Will, but I know that I will always be shipping Molly and Reid– no matter what!

All in all, The Upside of Unrequited without a doubt checked all the boxes for a new favourite. I loved all the characters, the writing was once again awesome, and the plot was engaging. There was also a big dab of family ties and diversity, both of which we NEED more of in YA. I think any avid YA contemporary lover looking for something diverse will definitely devour this one!

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*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review.*

Sunshine Blogger Award 11.0

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(Image credits go to Laura)

Hi everyone!☺️

My awesome blogger friend Laura @ thebookcorps has nominated me for my 11th Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you so much, Laura, and you all MUST check out her amazing blog!💞

Anyway, the questions I’ve been receiving for these tags and awards have been getting a little bit redundant, as they are all quite similar and I have been answering them time after time. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you should have literally no trouble guessing what some of my answers to the questions are. For this reason, I will only be answering them in this post using short sentences or pictures. Honestly, I don’t have the patience or the time to type out similar answers to the same questions over and over and over again.


The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and then write 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger award logo in a post/on your site.

Laura’s Questions:

Do you prefer books with one POV or multiple POVs, and why?

One POV, please! Books with multiple POVs often confuse me.

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What is the best book you read in high school? (Or primary/elementary for those still in high school)

I am currently in high school, but the best book I’ve had to read so far in my high school career has been… you guessed it, didn’t you? Looking for Alaska!😂

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Can you remember the book that got you hooked onto reading?

I’ve always loved reading, but this was my first ever favourite story:

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What is a quote from a book that has stuck with you?

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”

-Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

What is your favourite TV show?

Honestly, I haven’t been watching pretty much ANY TV lately, so I don’t have one right now, sorry!

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If you could live in one fictional world (book, movie, show, etc), which would it be and why?

Hogwarts! Enough said.😉

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Is there a character you absolutely hate? Who and why?

I hate Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles- the characters really don’t deserve the trouble that they are getting from her.😞

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Who is your go-to author (author who releases a book and you buy and read without looking at blurb)?

MORGAN MATSON!💜

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Pick your two favourite characters of all time. Now sacrifice one! (The universe is at stake)

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It’s Harriet Manners from Geek Girl vs. Penny Porter from Girl Online! Ugh, how will I choose?!?!😫

Okay fine, Penny wins. I’m soooo sorry, Harriet!😟

Is there an author/book you refuse to read? Why?

I can’t think of anything super specific right now, but I’d probably refuse to read any book that is discriminatory against any race, culture, age, gender, and anything of sorts.

What is your favourite genre and why?

Oh my goodness. I get this question in literally EVERY tag and award I receive. Honestly, if you don’t know by now after reading so many of them, I’m just going to give you a quick link to this post so you can learn all about my favourite genre and why I love it so much.😂


My questions:

  1. Where was the last place you travelled, and when was it?
  2. How many physical books do you own?
  3. Under what circumstances would you DNF a book?
  4. What was the last movie you saw in theatres? Did you enjoy it?
  5. Share your favourite meme or GIF!😂
  6. Tell me a teaser sentence from the book you’re currently reading!
  7. What device do you use to write your blog posts (computer, phone, etc.)?
  8. Tell me a little known fact about you that no other bloggers know.
  9. If you could travel anywhere in the world right this instant, where would you go, and why?
  10. What song is stuck in your head right now? (if any)
  11. Give a shoutout to 5 awesome bloggers, and spread the love like confetti!😊

I nominate…

  1. Joanne & Bryan @ yaguitarist
  2. Rebecca @ Powder & Page
  3. Hannah @ Fully Booked Reviews

I know that most people have probably already done this award, but I have happily done it 11 times (😂 ) and would love to see your answers to my questions! As always, though, you guys are not obligated to doing this.

So tell me, have you read any of the books mentioned? Opinions? How would you answer my or Laura’s questions? Do you agree that the questions asked in tags and awards sometimes get redundant? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between Review

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Title: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

Source: Public library

How I Found Out About It: Goodreads/Blogging

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Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was such an adorable story, which I was totally expecting after reading a couple of other very cute stories by Jennifer E. Smith. I can honestly tell you that I was drowned in feels and that I was super entertained by both its inner and outer beauty!

For a brief summary, this book revolves around a teenage couple, Clare and Aidan. They are just about to set off to college and are faced with the very hard decision of splitting up for good or staying together even as they go their separate ways. In the next twelve hours they still have, they revisit all the places they went together as a couple, and those landmarks help them decide: stay together? Or become single again?

Smith really has a knack for crafting 3D characters, which definitely showed in this instalment of hers. Aidan was very easy-going and soooo sweet to Clare, and even though I was admittedly not Clare’s biggest fan at first- she was quite whiny- I feel like I was able to warm up to her by the end of the story.

Jennifer E. Smith is also the absolute queen of creative plots. In every book of hers that I delve into, a new concept that I haven’t thought too much of before pops up, not to mention the addition of travel which I absolutely adore. Many contemporary romances I read have quite similar plots, but I love how Smith writes about common teenage topics in such interesting, never-thought-of-before ways.

I also loved the morals in this story, which include being able to do anything you set your mind to, especially keeping in touch with someone if you’re going to be apart. In a time full of social networking and connecting, it is now easier than ever to talk with someone halfway across the world in an instant, and for this reason, I liked how realistic this story was to current times. 

Overall, I really enjoyed my time reading this book, and I’m surprised it’s not talked about more often in the YA blogosphere! It had good characters, a unique premise, as well as valuable morals. Readers interested in fluffy romances with a hanging question to be answered by the end will definitely fall in love with Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between!

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ARC Review & Author Interview: The Kingdom of Oceana

Hi everyone!☺️

I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to read and review The Kingdom of Oceana as well as interview the author, Mitchell Charles. Thank you so much to the author and publicist Kelsey Butts!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!💜


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Title: The Kingdom of Oceana

Author: Mitchell Charles

Genre & Age Group: Fantasy, mythology, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.

Source: Thanks so much to publicist Kelsey Butts and Mitchell Charles for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

How I Found Out About It: Email request

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I am not the biggest fantasy and mythology fan, but I just couldn’t resist taking a chance at this book when I received the publicist’s request- seriously, it takes place in Hawaii, someplace I’ve always wanted to go!

I did enjoy this book, and I was especially pleased to after reading so many other mediocre fantasies. Enjoying The Kingdom of Oceana has probably opened up a whole new door to other books of this type, and for that I am so happy!

For a brief synopsis, this story revolves around a prince named Ailani. On his Hawaiian island, he and his brother find a mysterious ancient tiki mask as well as a wicked curse that could cause a threat to their land. So, he decides that it’s time to take action. Thus, Prince Ailani gathers together many sidekicks, friends, and a potential love interest in order to overcome the curse and hopefully reign himself as the next king.

I liked Prince Ailani’s character a lot, as he was strong, brave, and never afraid to take risks. I also love the fact that he formed an alliance of so many diverse creatures to fight the curse, as well as how everyone came together and bonded. Even though he went through some sibling rivalry with his brother, he still seemed to me like he was a great one, as he was always, always there for him.

Like most fantasies I read, the plot took some time to speed up, but once it did, I was mesmerized. There was a lot of action in this book, definitely more than what I’m used to and enjoy, but it went quite well with the beautiful setting, and I definitely warmed up to it!

Lastly, I adored the descriptive writing style- it hooked me from the start and never let go. I was able to visualize the gorgeous state of Hawaii so well, and the writing made me all the more eager to take a nice, relaxing vacation there!

All in all, I wasn’t disappointed by The Kingdom of Oceana, and I think this book has made me much more confident and eager to try some more mythologic fantasies. I’d recommend this story to those interested in reading something full of fantasy and magic with a strong protagonist in lovely Hawaii, because I believe that many more people should be reading this one.

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About the Author:

Mitchell Charles

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Here is some background information about him, which was directly taken from his page on Goodreads:

Mitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked. He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.

Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.

These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic.

Mitchell is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit http://kingdomofoceana.com/

The Interview:

KK: How many times have you travelled to Hawaii, and what areas or attractions would you recommend for those wishing to go?

MC: I’ve probably made about 50 trips to Hawaii. On the Big Island, Kilauea National Park is a must-see because it’s an active volcano. For SCUBA divers, I recommend night diving off the Kona coast where you can swim with giant manta rays. On Maui, Hana is very beautiful and lush. It’s reminiscent of old Hawaii. I also recommend a trip to the top of Haleakala Crater. Everywhere on Kauai is so beautiful!

KK: Which character in The Kingdom of Oceana do you think is the most like you?

MC: I get asked this question a lot. I’d say as I teenager I was most like Prince Ailani. As an adult, I think I’m more like King Haga.

KK: What other authors and books have inspired you in your writing of The Kingdom of Oceana?

MC: The Alchemist was very inspirational for writing Prince Ailani’s personal journey.

KK: Were there any struggles you faced while writing your novel?

MC: I was fortunate not to experience writer’s block, but I did struggle early in the process making Ailani heroic. His character was rather whiny in the first draft. 

KK: If you had to recommend one young adult book for teenagers to read, which would it be and why? 

MC: That’s a really tough question. I think everyone needs to find that one book that resonates with them personally.

KK: What is your biggest piece of advice for those wishing to become writers in the future?

MC: Write every day. Pick a specific time and make yourself sit down and write. There’s no shortcut. I write early in the morning, often starting before sunrise.

KK: I hear you’ve been writing a sequel! What should readers expect?

MC: The sequel picks up the story about 25 years later when Ailani is king with three children of his own. Nahoa comes back and seeks his revenge.

Thanks so much, Mitchell, for answering my questions! I had a lot of fun reading and reviewing The Kingdom of Oceana! As well, here’s another thank you to Kelsey Butts for making this possible!😄


So tell me, have you read this book, or are you planning to now that you know a bit more about it as well as the author? Do you agree with anything Mitchell said? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

*I received a digital ARC of this book from publicist Kelsey Butts and author Mitchell Charles in exchange for an honest review.*

Mystery Blogger Award 5.0/6.0

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Hi everyone!☺️

Today I am back with 2 more Mystery Blogger Award nominations, this time from three amazing bloggers: Debby @ Always Booking as well as Meg & Leah @ Twin Reads. Thanks so much, guys!❤️ For those of you reading who haven’t yet checked out their blogs, you should definitely do so now!

Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
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The Rules:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog!

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well.

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

6. You have to nominate 10-20 3 people.

7. Notify each of your nominees by commenting on their blog.

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

9. Share your link to your best post(s) I’ve already done this, oops!

My Facts:

  1. I have an over 700 day streak on Duolingo! It is so fun to play and I love strengthening my French skills on the app.
  2. I have been trying to get into reading more sci-fi and fantasy books lately, but they have all been mediocre (I’m talking 3 star ratings, possibly even 4 if I’m lucky). I need recommendations, guys! Please tell me some good sci-fi or fantasy reads for contemporary romance lovers like me!💗
  3. I have probably already answered at least 75% of these questions below somewhere on my blog, but I’ll answer them again out of respect, haha!

Debby’s Questions:

Who are some of your auto-buy authors?

I don’t buy too many books, so I will be changing this to auto-read authors. Morgan Matson, R.J. Palacio, Lucy Keating, Kiera Cass, Zoe Sugg, and of course my amazing Aunty Robyn Levy are some of the authors whose books I can always count on for a good time!💜

If you could live in one book/series, which would it be and why?

I would love to live in the world of Harry Potter and experience Hogwarts for myself!

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What book have you bought strictly because the cover was amazing and the book turned out to be equally amazing??

I always, always, ALWAYS read summaries before picking up a book, no matter how beautiful its cover is. But two amazing books that I could not resist adding to my shelves are:

Shout out your favourite best buddy blogger😄(Not really a question but… eh)

I have so many, including Maddie, Lola, Stephanie, Diana, and Kelly, and I know I’m forgetting a multitude of people, but honestly, you guys are all my blogging besties.💗

Silly question:  Could you please share you favorite funny meme or GIF ??  Thanks!!

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I cannot look at this meme without hearing the song blast inside my head!😂

Meg & Leah’s Questions:

What is your favourite way to spend your free time?

Reading and blogging of course, DUH!😉

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What is your favourite subject in school?

Since I love to read and write and all, you’d probably presume that my favourite subject is English, but NOPE! I absolutely love French. The language, the culture, everything.🇫🇷

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What is your favorite book or TV show?

For books, it is SO HARD to choose between all my favourite babies. But if I had to choose just one, I… ugh. I can’t, sorry. But some of my absolute favourites include Looking for Alaska, Since You’ve Been Gone, Second Chance Summer, Wonder, The Selection, A List of Cages, Everything Everything, Dreamology, and this list could go on for miles, I tell you!

As for TV shows, I don’t currently watch any, so😛.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be and what would you do? (this is the weird one)

Honestly, I know this probably isn’t what is being looked for, but I wouldn’t want to be anyone but myself. I can’t think of a person whose body I’d rather be in, as I could mess things up badly for them, and I am fine with being and staying myself.☺️

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If you could describe yourself as a character from a book, which character would it be?

Penny from Girl Online!

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My questions:

  1. Where was the last place you travelled, and when was it?
  2. Tell me a teaser sentence from the book you’re currently reading!
  3. What song is stuck in your head right now? (if any)
  4. Under what circumstances would you DNF a book?
  5. Silly: Share your favourite meme or GIF!

I nominate…

  1. Emma @ The YA Hunt
  2. Shouni @ Through the Book Portal
  3. Sarah @ Reviews & Read-a-Thons

No worries, you guys have no obligations to participate, but I’d still love to see your answers!☺️

So tell me, have you read any of the books mentioned? Opinions? Would you (dis)agree with any of my answers? How would you answer my questions or the ones given to me? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

Top Ten Thursday #44

Hi everyone!☺️

For this week’s Top Ten Thursday, I wanted to list some books that have strong family aspects.

In many of the YA (and middle grade) books I read, the protagonist experiences some family issues- whether it be with missing, deceased, or divorced parents, absent family members, and more, so in this post, I will be recommending some books with just sweet family fluff.💜

So let’s get on with it, shall we?

1.

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It’s a summer for first love, last wishes, and letting go.

Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops two bombshells: (1) Gram is dying. (2) She’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dreams come true—but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home.

With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends in her fellow Wishwellians, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets even closer to her quirky family, and falls for painfully gorgeous Enzo. But despite the copious laughter, headiness of first love, and wonder of the glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.

THIS BOOK WAS SOOO SWEET ASDFGHJKL!!💜

2.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

This fluffy book about sisterly relationships will for sure leave you wanting more!👭

3.

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Teva goes to school, studies for her exams, and spends time with her friends. To the rest of the world, she’s a normal teenager. But when she goes home, she’s anything but normal. Due to a genetic abnormality, Teva unwillingly clones herself every year. And lately, home has become a battleground. When boys are at stake, friends are lost, and lives are snatched away, Teva has a fight on her hands—a fight with herself. As her birthday rolls around, Teva is all too aware that time is running out. She knows that the next clone will soon seize everything she holds dear. Desperate to hang on to her life, Teva decides to find out more about her past . . . and uncovers lies that could either destroy her or set her free.

The main character, Teva, has many clones in this book who are basically like sisters to her. This was a pretty cool read which I’d totally recommend!👍

4.

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Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

Belly has close relationships with both family members and friends in this book- it’s a real gem.💙

5.

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From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

Second Chance Summer had me laughing, smiling, as well as COMPLETELY BAWLING by the end- if you pick this one up, please be warned to feel the most feels you have ever felt from a book!

6.

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The first day of senior year:

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

Just READ this beautiful book, OKAY?! Enough said! *throws you the book*

7.

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

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

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

I didn’t give this book the highest of high ratings, but the family ties were still absolutely stunning to see.💞

8.

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From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

“Touching and utterly real.” —  Publisher’s Weekly

Fangirl was about a whole bunch of different things, once of which was the sisterly bond between Cath and Wren. It wasn’t the greatest at first, but it definitely shaped up by the end of the story.💘

9.

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Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they?

The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to

It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.

Since its launch in May 2004 on Funbrain.com, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day.

F&P level: T

Diary of a Wimpy Kid protagonist Greg, I have to say, doesn’t appreciate his family nearly as much as he should, but the ways his family bonds and spends time together is still great!👌

10.

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Wild meets The Breakfast Club in this story of a girl who must survive an extreme wilderness experience to prove to her mother that she has the strength to pursue her dreams.

Then
Ingrid traveled all over Europe with her opera star mother, Margot-Sophia. Life was beautiful and bright, and every day soared with music.

Now
Ingrid is on a summertime wilderness survival trek for at-risk teens: addicts, runaways, and her. She’s fighting to survive crushing humiliations, physical challenges that push her to her limits, and mind games that threaten to break her.

Then
When the curtain fell on Margot-Sophia’s singing career, they buried the past and settled into a small, painfully normal life. But Ingrid longed to let the music soar again. She wanted it so much that, for a while, nothing else mattered.

Now
Ingrid is never going to make it through this summer if she can’t figure out why she’s here . . . and why the music really stopped.

Despite the fact that Ingrid’s mom is gone, she still looks up to her as a role model and knows to still try to impress her in her actions.

So tell me, have you read any of these books? Opinions? What are some of your favourite reads centring around family ties? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

ARC Review: The Last Thing You Said

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Title: The Last Thing You Said

Author: Sara Biren

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.

Source: Thanks so much to ABRAMS Kids/Amulet Books for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley!

How I Found Out About It: Netgalley

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Coming across The Last Thing You Said on Netgalley, I was immediately attracted to that wondrous cover. Just LOOK at it! Yum!😍 When I pressed on the book and read the synopsis, I knew I had to read itI really enjoy coming-of-age romances, so it was no surprise to me that I really enjoyed this story.

This book follows the dual perspectives of teens Lucy and Ben. The summer before, as the two were on a raft about to ask each other out, Ben’s sister and Lucy’s best friend Trixie’s heart stopped and killed her while swimming, which scarred them. This grief of someone so dear to them made them both drift away from each other, as well as wallow around in pity. But then the year anniversary of Trixie’s death rolls around, and the two realize that their grief can bring them back together again.

Books with dual POVs tend to be hit or miss for me, but for this one, I think I can safely say that the two characters had unique voices which set them apart, and I was easily able to tell who was speaking by flipping to any random page. If I don’t like a multiple POV book, it is because all the perspectives confuse me, and I can honestly say that I wasn’t confused at all while flipping between the two.

I found that both Lucy and Ben were able to develop immensely throughout the story. At first, they were wretchedly grieving over Trixie and blaming themselves for unexplainable reasons, but once they bonded again, it was quite easy to tell that they were slowly- but surely- reaching the upward turn of their sorrow. Also, this relates to Lucy especially, but they were both very strong and resilient characters, able to bounce back rather quickly after having trouble. Also, can I just mention how adorable little Emily was? Like AWWW!💞

I really liked the morals that this book entailed, which showed that life is what you make it, so you must make the best of what you have and the people you love. Nobody was expecting Trixie’s heart to fail while she was swimming- she was a trained, experienced swimmer with nothing to lose- but she ended up losing it all that one day. This just goes to show that you shouldn’t take anything for granted- every so often you should stop and think about what makes you thankful, because like Trixie, you could find it all taken away from you in the blink of an eye.

All in all, The Last Thing You Said was a great story. I have to admit that it does blend into the crowd with a lot of other YA books, but I know I will still remember it for its great characters and lessons. Anyway, this book is a great pick for those who are into coming-of-age romance stories which pull two lovers together because of grief, because the last thing I’m going to say is when April 4th comes, READ IT! *throws you the book*

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*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*