Excerpt + Giveaway| Some Kind of Normal | Julianna Stone

Book cover Some Kind of Normal Julianna Stone

Some Kind of Normal | Excerpt + Giveaway

What is normal? For Trevor, normal was playing fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes, and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves him with no band, no teammates, and no chance of graduating. It’s kind of hard to ace your finals when you’ve been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor, those beautiful blue eyes catching every flaw.

For Everly, normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service, and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor’s daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed.

This achingly beautiful story about two damaged teens struggling through pain and loss to redefine who they are, to their family, to themselves, and to each other is sure to melt your heart.

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I’m really excited to be able to share an excerpt of Juliana Stone’s SOME KIND OF NORMAL with you guys today! It’s a wonderful contemporary with great characters, a heart-warming romance, and difficult issues that aren’t always touched on in YA books. YAY!

Check out the little taste of the awesome below and then enter to win a copy of SOME KIND OF NORMAL!!


“You got any?” he asked.

“Any what?”


“Me?” I had to laugh at that. Wow. Before last year that would have been grounds for major punishment. Heck, up until my senior year, I hadn’t been allowed to wear lip gloss. Now I wasn’t so sure that my mom would even notice, and since I avoided my dad whenever I could…

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “My skin is untouched.”

His eyes widened a bit, and I felt heat creep up my neck. Great. Now I was blushing again.

“Untouched,” he said with that lopsided smile that made my stomach dip. “I like that.”

“You do?”

“Yep. A clean slate. There’s something almost poetic about that, you know? Tragic too. How many people get a do–over?”

Trevor reached for my hand, and though my first instinct was to snatch it back, his long fingers enveloped mine before I had the chance. He turned my hand over so that my palm faced up and then traced the little blue lines that ran down my wrist.

I can’t lie. It felt weird and good, and my heart took off once more, so fast that I was surprised he couldn’t hear it.

“This is…kind of…like ink,” he said, his words a little slow as if he was thinking hard. “But it’s alive.”

He glanced up again, and all I could do was nod before my eyes dropped to his hand. Mine was still there, small and pale next to his large palm and tanned skin. I saw the thin blue veins that ran down my wrist, the ones that carried blood from my heart, electrifying my cells and feeding my body.

His thumb rested just beneath my pulse, and I swallowed thickly. Crap, he was going to feel how fast it was, and that would be embarrassing.

“Your fingers are rough.” I blushed harder and thought that there was no way I could sound any more like an idiot. Not even if I was trying.

“Yeah,” he answered. “It’s from playing guitar. I practice a lot so my calluses are nice and strong.”

“I used to play piano.”

Wow. Good comeback. I guess it was better than a clarinet or trombone, but really. Dork much?

…Had he always looked this intense?

“What?” he asked. He smiled again and I thought that on a scale of one to ten, his smile was a total eleven. “You’re into the classics. That’s cool. Didn’t picture that.”

“Really. What exactly did you picture?” Shoot. Did I really want to hear this?

“I don’t know. PBS and that Jane Austen?”

Okay. First off, I was impressed that he knew who Jane Austen was, and secondly…he knew who Jane Austen was!

I dropped my eyes, because I was pretty sure that my cheeks were as red as the roses planted just outside the library. Trevor Lewis wasn’t anything like what I thought he’d be. He wasn’t stupid and he wasn’t arrogant. He wasn’t slow or weird.

He seemed pretty normal to me.

You know, for a guy with tattoos and blue hair.


SOUNDS SO GOOD, RIGHT?! This book is definitely worthy of a prime spot on your TBRs, friends. You’ll love Trevor and Everly and their slowly building relationship. To ensure that you all have an opportunity to read about these two awesome kids, Sourcebooks Fire is giving away a copy to one lucky winner! HUZZAH!

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Juliana Stone

USA Today bestselling author Juliana Stone fell in love with books in the fifth grade when her teacher introduced her to Tom Sawyer. A tomboy at heart, she split her time between baseball, books, and music—three passions that carried over into adulthood. When she’s not singing with her band, she’s thrilled to be writing young adult and adult contemporary romance, and does so from her home in Canada.

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Book Cover Boys Like You Juliana Stone

Also by Juliana Stone:


Boys Like You

Sourcebooks Fire

Two Broken souls…one hot summer

Nate Everet’s life was all about acoustic guitar, girls in short shorts, and hot Southern nights.Until the accident.

Monroe Blackwell’s life was full of soccer goals, flirty skirts, and bright city lights. Until the accident.

Now Nate has a best friend who might never wake up, a summer of community service, and enough guilt to drown him. Monroe has a family that’s falling apart, a summer of banishment to her grandma’s, and a choking grief that makes it hard to breathe.

Nate and Monroe are two lost souls struggling with grief and guilt. But together, they have a chance at acceptance and finally finding the forgiveness they crave.

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Juliana Stone

Waiting on Wednesday | Come Back To Me | Mila Gray

Waiting on Wednesday

Come Back To Me • Mila Gray

Book cover Come Back To Me Mila Gray

In this heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, a young Marine and his best friend’s sister plunge into a forbidden love affair while he’s home on leave.

When a Marine Chaplain knocks on her door, Jessa’s heart breaks; someone she loves is dead. Killed in action, but is it Riley or Kit? Her brother or her boyfriend?

Three months earlier, Marine Kit Ryan finds himself back home on leave and dangerously drawn to his best friend Riley’s sister, Jessa: the one girl he can’t have. Exhausted from fighting his feelings, Kit finally gives in, and Jessa isn’t strong enough to resist diving headfirst into a passionate relationship.But what was just supposed to be a summer romance develops into something far greater than either of them expected. Jessa’s finally found the man of her dreams and Kit’s finally discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for. When it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither one is ready to say goodbye. Jessa vows to wait for him and Kit promises to come home to her. No matter what. But as Jessa stands waiting for the Marine Chaplain to break her heart, she can’t help but feel that Kit has broken his promise.

Riley or Kit? Kit or Riley? Her brother or her boyfriend? Who’s coming home to her?

I always, ALWAYS will want to read books that feature anything military, you guys. ANYTHING ANYTIME. So seeing that COME BACK TO ME is about a Marine who comes home on leave and gets the FEELINGS for his best friend’s sister immediately puts this book on my radar. But yo: This twist? The “which Marine is dead?” thing? That’s probably going to be a heartbreaker. I’M IN.

Also, I love this cover. I love the smooch and the hand on her neck and all the things.

COME BACK TO ME comes out December 8, 2015 from Simon Pulse

Come Back To Me Mila Gray

Waiting on Wednesday | The Boy Most Likely To | Huntley Fitzpatrick

Waiting on Wednesday

The Boy Most Likely To • Huntley Fitzpatrick

Book cover The Boy Most Likely To Huntley Fitzpatrick

A surprising, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door—great for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this novel is for readers of The Spectacular Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Paper Towns.

I CAN’T EVEN with how excited I am to read THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO. Huntley Fitzpatrick gets the contemporary thing RIGHT, guys. I’m excited to reread the book where we first met Tim, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, before diving headfirst into his story. I remember loving him even though he was always a little troubled. ESPECIALLY because he was a little troubled. Also because I think he’s a ginger and we all know how much I love those.

Huntley Fitzpatrick is quickly becoming one of my favorite, go-to summer romance authors, guys. I’m really looking forward to this one.

THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO comes out on August 18, 2015 from Dial

The Boy Most Likely To Huntley Fitzpatrick


Book Review | I Was Here | Gayle Forman

Book Review | I Was Here | Gayle FormanI Was Here by Gayle Forman
Published by Viking Juvenile on January 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA, Suicide
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought it
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Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

[Read more…]

On the Same Page | Anna and the French Kiss | Stephanie Perkins

on the same page

Anna and the French Kiss • Stephanie Perkins

Guys, I was pretty stoked when we chose our March book for this year. When Alyssa said she wanted to read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, it made me super happy. Not only because she would be reading it for the first time, but because I’d be reading it for the, I think, 6th time, and I LOOOOVE rereading this book. It’s one of my go-to, happy mood, slump breaker books, so I find myself reaching for it often. There’s nothing quite like a perfectly sweet romance to get me out of whatever doldrums I’m in. Plus, ANNA AND ETIENNE. I die.

Since I’ve read this book so many times, and since rereading is something I do ALL THE TIME, I decided I’d talk about my impressions of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS after this reread. The things I notice, the things I always forget, the things that change or not from one read to another. I can give you a spoiler right now, though: One thing that NEVER changes? My love for this book and the way it warms my heart.

[Read more…]

Book Review | All the Bright Places | Jennifer Niven

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | All the Bright Places | Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Published by Knopf on January 6, 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA, Mental Illness, Relationships, Romance, Suicide
Pages: 388
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher via NetGalley
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Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

[Read more…]

Waiting on Wednesday | The Next Together | Lauren James

Waiting on Wednesday

 The Next Together: The Next Together #1 • Lauren James

Book Cover The Next Together Lauren James

How many times can you lose the person you love?

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about reincarnation and the timelessness of first love from a talented young writer.

Teenagers Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?
Maybe the next together will be different…

In 1745, during the siege of Carlisle, in 1854 on the way to the Crimea, in 2019 and 2039 as first scientists and then students uncovering and rediscovering a dangerous plot, and in multiple timescales between, they are thrown together, with no memory of having met one another before, only an irresistible instinct that they must be with one another against all odds – even while the epic events unfolding all around seem sure to tear them apart.

AHHH, ok. *Calms self* Guys, THE NEXT TOGETHER just sounds so fun and emotional. Like, I feel like I’m going to read it and cry. “Tragically separated” sounds so devastating, but I’m completely intrigued. I’m loving the historical fiction vibe, the contemporary romance vibe, and the dystopian conspiracy vibe. It sounds like time travel slash reincarnation, and that’s no small thing to attempt, but I’m curious enough to be UTTERLY STOKED.

Also, it’s impossible for me to NOT dig this cover. It’s got TEXTURE! Like I wish that each column was three-dimensional and I could open them like flaps. I’ll probably be ordering this one from overseas.

THE NEXT TOGETHER comes out on September 3, 2015 from Walker UK

The Next Together Lauren James

Book Review | The Conspiracy of Us | Maggie Hall

I received this book for free from eARC from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | The Conspiracy of Us | Maggie HallThe Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
Series: The Conspiracy of Us #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on January 13, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary YA, Thriller, Travel
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: eARC from the Publisher via NetGalley
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A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance–perfect for fans of Ally Carter

Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family–but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she’s falling in love with.

[Read more…]

Book Review | I’ll Meet You There | Heather Demetrios

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | I’ll Meet You There | Heather DemetriosI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on February 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary YA, Disabilities, Military, Relationships, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

[Read more…]

The Boy Next Door Blog Tour | Guest Post + Giveaway

The Boy Next Door


Book Cover The Boy Next Door Katie Van Ark


Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.

Gabe can’t imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.

But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?


Guys, I’m really excited for today’s post, from Katie Van Ark, the debut author of THE BOY NEXT DOOR. Everyone say hi! *waves to Katie*

When I heard that THE BOY NEXT DOOR was basically a YA The Cutting Edge, I got VERY excited, so I obviously couldn’t say no to a stop on the blog tour! (Thanks, Swoon Reads for including me!) I really wanted to know if all of the figure skating in the book was based on Katie’s own experience or if she had to do research on it. So I asked her! Here’s what she said:


I’ve spent over ten years now competing in figure skating and I drew heavily from my own training and competition experiences to create Maddy and Gabe’s story. I gave Maddy my absolute love of everything ice. I gave Gabe my own fear of jumping. I even took a pair test to help accurately convey the experience of skating as a pair.

The coolest thing about my own figure skating story, though, is that I didn’t start skating until I was an adult. Growing up, I always wanted to skate but my hometown didn’t have a rink. My father helped me build an outdoor rink one year in our backyard but with fickle lakeshore temperatures, it was a labor of love and we weren’t able to skate much on it. It was also pretty small – about ten steps and you were at the end of it.

After college, an old friend and I were at her New Year’s Eve party lamenting how out of shape we’d gotten since our swim team days and we made a New Year’s resolution to try a new sport together. We signed up for a skating class. I thought maybe I’d finally learn to do crossovers and stop without crashing into the boards. When our instructor taught us how to do a little two foot spin at the end of our first eight week session, we were hooked. When she told us that U.S. Figure Skating had an adult competition track with its own national competition, we had yet another resolution.

Like Maddy, my friend had a lot more natural talent – she kicked my butt at every jumping contest we ever had. But I was determined and dedicated and we both made it to several national competitions. Now that I have two little girls at home, I don’t get to train the way that I used to but I have a great group of ladies that I skate together with on a synchronized skating team.

January is National Skating Month and a lot of rinks celebrate with free skating sessions and sometimes even free lessons, so if you’ve ever wanted to experience Maddy and Gabe’s world in real life, check it out!

Thanks, Katie! 

Because the lovely folks at Swoon Reads are fabulous, and because THE BOY NEXT DOOR is really cute, they’re giving away a copy to one lucky winner! HUZZAH! Few rules: Must live in the US/Canada, be 13 or older, and respond to my “YAY, YOU WON!” email within 24 hours.

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Katie Van Ark (c) Jennifer HefkoAuthor Links/Info

  • Learn more about The Boy Next Door.
  • Learn more about Swoon Reads.
  • Join in on social media with #BoyNextDoor (bonus points if you also tag @SwoonReads!)
  • Add The Boy Next Door to your to-read list on Goodreads.

Visit Katie’s website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.