Waiting on Wednesday : Permanent Record

New+WoW.JPG (200×188)Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that is all about sharing and putting a spotlight on upcoming unreleased books that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. My TBR pile is overrun with books that haven’t been released yet, but my choice for this week that I’m specifically looking forward to is…

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

(09/03/19 from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers)

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Synopsis:

“After a year of college, Pablo is working at his local twenty-four-hour deli, selling overpriced snacks to brownstone yuppies. He’s dodging calls from the student loan office and he has no idea what his next move is.

Leanna Smart’s life so far has been nothing but success. Age eight: Disney Mouseketeer; Age fifteen: first #1 single on the US pop chart; Age seventeen, *tenth* #1 single; and now, at Age nineteen…life is a queasy blur of private planes, weird hotel rooms, and strangers asking for selfies on the street.

When Leanna and Pab randomly meet at 4:00 a.m. in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn, they both know they can’t be together forever. So, they keep things on the down-low and off Instagram for as long as they can. But it takes about three seconds before the world finds out…”

I read Choi’s debut novel earlier this year and loved it so I obviously cannot wait to start her next release! Not only does it sound really enjoyable but the cover art is soooo cute. Choi has a talent for storytelling. I can’t wait to see what she does in her sophomore novel.

Check this book out on Goodreads!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Tropes

TTTHappy Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is a “meme” hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, every week there’s a new bookish theme and this week I’m listing Favorite Tropes

 

  1. Hate to Love romance (as can be seen in To Kill a Kingdom)

34499221. sy475 “Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?”

 

2. Oh no, there’s only one bed! (As can be seen in Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour)

7664334“Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move across the country and needs Amy to get their car from California to Connecticut. There’s just one small problem: Since her father died this past spring, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, the nineteen-year-old son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute … and dealing with some baggage of his own.

Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father’s death were not what Amy had planned on this trip. And traveling the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado mountains, crossing the Kansas plains, and visiting diners, dingy motels, and Graceland were definitely not on the itinerary. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you may need the most—and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.”

 

3. Being stuck together leads to romance (as can be seen in Starry Eyes)

35297469“Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?”

 

4. Fake dating (as can be seen in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)

15749186“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.”

 

 

5. Anonymous relationship (as can be seen in P.s. I Like You)

25486998 “While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…”

 

6. Friends to lovers (as can be seen in Emergency Contact)

35297272. sy475 “For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.”

 

7. Conveying words with a look (as can be seen in the Throne of Glass series)

7896527“After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.”

 

8. Unexpected friendships (as can be seen in The Way You Make Me Feel) 

35704397. sy475 “Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.”

 

9. Found family (as can be seen in Six of Crows)

23437156“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”

 

10. A secret crush (as can be seen in Hot Dog Girl)

Hot Dog Girl“Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

Jennifer Dugan’s sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love–and themselves–in unexpected people and unforgettable places.”

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ARC Review: She’s the Worst

shestheworst.pngAuthor: Lauren Spieller

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA contemporary

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Release date: 9/10/19

Synopsis:

“Sisters April and Jenn haven’t been close in years. Jenn’s too busy with school, the family antique shop, and her boyfriend, and April would rather play soccer and hang out with the boy next door.

But when April notices her older sister is sad about staying home for college, she decides to do something about it. The girls set off to revive a pact they made as kids: spend an epic day exploring the greatest hits of their childhood and all that Los Angeles has to offer.

Then April learns that Jenn has been keeping a secret that could rip their family—and their feuding parents—apart. With only one day to set things right, the sisters must decide if their relationship is worth saving, or if the truth will tear them apart for good.”

This book was so much fun and totally worth losing tons of sleep over! And no, that wasn’t sarcasm. I could hardly put this book down once I started it and I stayed up until VERY early in the morning devouring every addicting page. She’s the Worst is a lovely tale of two sisters that will keep you reading until you’re done.

The characters in this book were crafted masterfully. April and Jenn were both uniquely flawed and utterly human. The way their mind sets and feelings had developed from their toxic home environment were well written. It was interesting to see how these two girls, who were raised under the same roof, could become so. . . different in their understandings of the people in their family. I LOVE reading messy sister relationships in books and April and Jenn’s was no exception! When reading between their POVs it was impossible not to appreciate their individual voices (which WERE in fact distinguishable and different. There is nothing more frustrating than a book of dual POVs that have the same narrative throughout).

Oh, and I have a major crush on one of the side characters. Nate. The next door neighbor. I am a huge fan of friends to lovers romance/ boy next door romance and this one was so cute! It was sprinkled in and balanced with the plot perfectly. I couldn’t get enough of Nate and April’s adorable friendship bond.

The setting in this book brought the story to life. I felt completely transported into the sisters’ adventures throughout Los Angeles and all the unique spots they visited. From the family thrift store to an ice skating rink, She’s the Worst came alive in Los Angeles. It felt like I was there in the story getting to explore a city I’ve never been to, which is a feeling I love to get in contemporary novels.

My last note about this story is less positive (but not bad at all because, as you can see, I really enjoyed this story). I wanted to put it out there that if you aren’t a huge fan of miscommunication being used for the sake of plot you may not enjoy this book! It’s full of secrets, reveals, and characters not understanding each other’s actions. The development is crafted well but I wanted to include this note as I know some readers don’t love miscommunication in their stories.

Back to my gushing. . . THIS BOOK WAS SO CUTE. I’m here for the messy sister relationship, LA adventure, and excellent writing. I’m still exhausted after staying up to finish this, BUT I have no regrets. There’s nothing like a good book to keep you up at night.

Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of She’s the Worst in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Time of Our Lives

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that is all about sharing and putting a spotlight on upcoming unreleased books that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. My TBR pile is overrun with books that haven’t been released yet, but my choice for this week that I’m specifically looking forward to is…

 

Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

(4/21/20 from Penguin Teen)

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Synopsis:

A boy desperate to hold on, a girl ready to let go.

Fitz Holton waits in fear for the day his single mother’s early-onset Alzheimer’s starts stealing her memory. He’s vowed to stay close to home to care for her in the years to come–never mind the ridiculous college tour she’s forcing him on to visit schools where he knows he’ll never go. Juniper Ramirez is counting down the days until she can leave home, a home crowded with five younger siblings and zero privacy. Against the wishes of her tight-knit family, Juniper plans her own college tour of the East Coast with one goal: get out.

When Fitz and Juniper cross paths on their first college tour in Boston, they’re at odds from the moment they meet– while Juniper’s dying to start a new life apart for her family, Fitz faces the sacrifices he must make for his. Their relationship sparks a deep connection–in each other’s eyes, they glimpse alternate possibilities regarding the first big decision of their adult lives.

Time of Our Lives is a story of home and away, of the wonder and weight of memory, of outgrowing fears and growing into the future. ”

You must be living under a rock if you don’t know how much I love these authors!! Their other already published books (that you should definitely go read) are two of my all time favorites. They are incredibly talented and I have no doubt this book is make me laugh, swoon, and cry throughout every page.

Check this book out on Goodreads!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Love to be Besties With

TTTHappy Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is a “meme” hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, every week there’s a new bookish theme and this week I’m listing The Top Ten Characters I’d Love to be Besties With. 

 

  1. Roo from The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

42245770. sy475 “Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.

For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?”

 

2. Charlie Grant from Save the Date by Morgan Matson

32333338. sy475 “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, distractedly 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.”

 

3. Elle Winters from Geekerella by Ashley Poston

30724132“Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfieldmovie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.”

 

4. Nina Zenik from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

23437156Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first. ”

 

5. Hanna from Gemina by Amei Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)“Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.”

 

6. Lara Jean Covey from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

15749186“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.”

 

 

 

7.  Owen Okita from Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

34092885“Seventeen-year-old Megan Harper is about due for her next sweeping romance. It’s inevitable—each of her relationships starts with the perfect guy and ends with him falling in love . . . with someone else. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, Megan focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theater, and fulfilling her dream college’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible.

So when she’s cast as Juliet (yes, that Juliet) in her high school’s production, it’s a complete nightmare. Megan’s not an actress, and she’s used to being upstaged—both in and out of the theater. In fact, with her mom off in Texas and her dad remarried and on to baby #2 with his new wife, Megan worries that, just like her exes, her family is moving on without her.

Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright inspired by Rosaline from Shakespeare’s R+J. A character who, like Megan, knows a thing or two about short-lived relationships. Megan agrees to help Owen with his play in exchange for help catching the eye of a sexy stagehand/potential new boyfriend. Yet Megan finds herself growing closer to Owen, and wonders if he could be the Romeo she never expected.”

 

8. Elouise Parker from Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

35843729. sy475 “Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.”

 

9. Cameron Bright from If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

40087230“High school senior Cameron Bright’s reputation can be summed up in one word: bitch. It’s no surprise she’s queen bee at her private L.A. high school—she’s beautiful, talented, and notorious for her cutting and brutal honesty. So when she puts her foot in her mouth in front of her crush, Andrew, she fears she may have lost him for good.

In an attempt to win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. First, she’ll have to make amends with those she’s wronged, which leads her to Brendan, the guy she labelled with an unfortunate nickname back in the sixth grade. At first, Brendan isn’t all that receptive to Cameron’s ploy. But slowly, he warms up to her when they connect over the computer game he’s developing. Now if only Andrew would notice…

But the closer Cameron gets to Brendan, the more she sees he appreciates her personality—honesty and all—and wonders if she’s compromising who she is for the guy she doesn’t even want.”

 

10. Jude from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

26032825“Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.”

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Book Review: The Rest of the Story

therestofthestory.pngAuthor: Sarah Dessen

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: YA contemporary

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Release Date: 6/4/19

Synopsis:

“Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.

For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?”

I’ve only read two Sarah Dessen books before this one and I honestly didn’t love either of them. So, I was going into The Rest of the Story with lowered expectations and pure hope in my heart that I’d enjoy this one. And now I’m happy to report that I did overall enjoy this story!

What I enjoyed about this story:

  • I loved the large family dynamic! The North Lake family was hilarious and heartwarming. I wish I could just spend a weekend hanging out with all of them.
  • Emma Saylor’s character development. It was done perfectly!
  • The romance. OH MY GOSH. The friends-to-lovers romance was adorable and Roo is such a sweetheart. I will never be over cinnamon roll boys in books.
  • The setting was beautiful. Dessen described the lake in such a way that I wish I was a water person so I could enjoy the summer the way everyone at North Lake does.
  • This book was impossible to put down. I started it just planning to read a few chapters and ended up staying up ridiculously late trying to finish it!

What I didn’t enjoy about the story:

  • My only complaint about this book is that it was a little confusing to get into. As Emma Saylor begins living with her mother’s family I felt overwhelmed with the copious amount of new characters flying at my face. It was overwhelming and confusing while starting out in this new story.

So overall I really loved this story! It’s a lovely Summer read full of fun characters set at one of my new favorite fictional settings. It was a vivid story of growing up, falling in love, and discovering who you are.

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ARC Review: Frankly in Love

franklyinlove.pngAuthor: David Yoon

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA contemporary

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Release date: 9/10/19

Synopsis:

“High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.”

I feel like such an emotional puddle after devouring this book. Frankly in Love is a beautiful and emotionally charged story that was written brilliantly. It feels authentic and real as it tackles modern racism, growing up, and a journey of self discovery. I could hardly put it down. I mean, I was up until the early morning hours crying my eyes out with a fuel of determination to know what would happen. And OH MY GOSH. It’s difficult to put into words the feeling I had by the time I finished this story. It was this raw and empty feeling that left me wanting to hug everyone I care about close. It was unbelievably good.

One of the reasons this book was impossible to put down is how atmospheric it is. This entire world came to life in front of me and I didn’t want to stop exploring. I adored the characters in their flaws and realness. Their journeys of self discovery were powerful and well written. The relationships and dynamics between different characters were extremely interesting to dissect. I LOVED Yoon’s realistic use of how different people communicate with one another.  It gave the story an edge of realness. . . and also gave the story endless moments of humor and cuteness.

Frankly in Love is also impressive for it’s handle on racism and the complex relationship that Frank had with his ethnicity. It was powerful to read and written eloquently. This story managed to discuss such an important topic while still retaining all the charm of a YA contemporary composed of romance and self discovery. The planning of this book was clearly well done. The way the layers of story braided together demonstrates how talented Yoon is in storytelling.

However, there are two little reasons why I didn’t give this story a perfect 5/5 stars. I did enjoy it BUT I struggled with getting into it and something that I would really REALLY would have liked to see happen towards the ending didn’t. Let me explain. When I began reading I struggled a lot with being pulled into the story. The writing style and I just didn’t click right away. I got more used to it the further into the story I was, but it was frustrating in the beginning! Then towards the end there was a particular event/interaction that I wanted to happen. I was honestly disappointed when I didn’t. I can see and understand why It didn’t but personally it’s something I would have loved to see.

But, all in all, THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. It was cute, addicting, raw, emotional, and it felt stunningly authentic. I’m impressed with this debut novel. . . and so so SO happy that I was able to get into it after a hundred pages. ALSO! The romance was fun and a nice example of the fake dating story if you’re into that trope! Joy is such a quirky character and their chemistry was cute.

Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for sending me an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of Frankly in Love in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

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Ice Cream Combinations Inspired by Books

bookishicecream.pngOne of the most memorable parts of Summer 2019 to me was the fact that I actually began working at an ice cream shop! One day during a particularly empty shift I started dreaming up some ice creams creations inspired by books I love. . . which Is what this post is all about! I designed up these combinations based off of these books’ covers, aesthetics, and characters. I had a lot of fun coming up these combinations that are perfect to devour while reading the books they go with! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

 

Book #1 : If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

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My main inspiration for this ice cream creation was the gorgeous cover of this book! I wanted something that Iconically tasted of summertime while also capturing this story the best way I could.

Ice cream combination: Pink Lemonade Sorbet mixed with graham cracker pie crust, white chocolate chips, and yellow cake.

 

 

 

Book #2: Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

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Designing the perfect ice cream for Hot Dog Girl was a challenge I was determined to overcome! I loved this story and wanted to design up a summer creation that was iconic yet with a playful twist. Hot Dog Girl is a perfect summer read and coming up with a creation to match was a lot of fun.

Ice cream combination: french vanilla ice cream mixed with brownie, gummy bears, and kit kats.

 

 

 

Book #3: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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One of Us is Lying is a long time favorite of mine! I decided I wanted something as dark and delicious as this story but also something that had a little sweet balance. I never would have gotten this combination for myself, but now I’m definitely a fan.

Ice cream combination: Dark chocolate ice cream mixed with mini pretzels, caramel, and marshmallow fluff.

 

 

 

Book #4: The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan by Gia Cribbs

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This book is SO AMAZING and deserves so much more love than it receives. I knew when designing it’s flavor I needed something fun, bold, unexpected, and impossible to not finish quickly (much like this book).

Ice cream combination: Mint ice cream mixed with brownie, white chocolate chips, and golden oreos.

 

 

 

 

Book #5: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

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A little bookish fun fact about me: Girls of Paper and Fire was actually the first ARC I ever received from a publisher! Because of this it has always had a special place in my heart. I cannot wait for the sequel and knew I had to come up with some ice cream to help us all cope in our waiting!

Ice cream combination: Blueberry muffin batter ice cream mixed with rainbow sprinkles, yellow cake, and blueberries.

 

 

Dreaming up all these combinations have been a lot of fun! I hope you all love eating them as much as I do.

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