Book Review + Giveaway | Jesse’s Girl | Miranda Kenneally

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 + Giveaway | Jesse’s Girl | Miranda KenneallyJesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #6
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA, Relationships, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Also in this series: Catching Jordan
Also by this author: Catching Jordan
Source: the publisher via NetGalley
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Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

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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.

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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.

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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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.


Book Review | Isla and the Happily Ever After | Stephanie Perkins

Book Review | Isla and the Happily Ever After | Stephanie PerkinsIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Published by Dutton Juvenile on August 14, 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA, Relationships, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought it
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Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

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Book Review | I’ll Give You the Sun | Jandy Nelson

I received this book for free from BookExpo 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 Give You the Sun | Jandy NelsonI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers on September 16, 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA, Families, Young Adult
Pages: 371
Format: ARC
Source: BookExpo
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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.

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Series Love | Marked Men | Jay Crownover

Marked Men Jay Crownover

New feature time!! WAHOO! I hope that you guys will enjoy it as much as I will (do)!

So basically, I am an unapologetic lover of series books. I know that standalones are becoming increasingly sought after for their inherent singularness, and I love those books too. Lots and lots and lots. But when I hear about a new series starting, or find out how many books a beloved series will be, and I get this comforting feeling of hunkering down and getting ready to dive in and get utterly lost. I crave it, that feeling of prolonged escape.

In an effort to share some of my love for series books–especially ones that I haven’t had a chance to review on the blog–I’m starting Series Love. It’s basically going to be my way of highlighting the books that are out, what ones are to come (if any), what they’re about generally, and why I love them so much. YAY!

For my inaugural Series Love post, I’m shouting out a new obsession of mine: the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover. Tattoos! Seksi times! Intense feelings! Three cheers!

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Top Ten Tuesday (111): Books That Will Make You Swoon

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

Swoony books are just the best, aren’t they? There’s nothing quite like reading a book and getting warm-fuzzies/butterflies/tingles when two characters are so well-suited and their relationship is so satisfying, even if they encounter troubles along the way. (Especially if they encounter troubles! That tension increases me swooning!) Of course, there are more than 10 books that will make you swoon and so this list will always be too short. But these ten books had a pretty high swoon factor for me for all kinds of reasons. SIGH…SWOONS.

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Book Review | Where the Stars Still Shine | Trish Doller

Book cover for Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish DollerTitle: Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller (web | twitter)
Genre: Contemporary YA
Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release date: September 24, 2013
Source: ARC from the publisher via NetGalley (Thanks, Bloomsbury!)

Summary: Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

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Book Review | The Moon and More | Sarah Dessen

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 | The Moon and More | Sarah DessenThe Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Juvenile on June 4, 2013
Genres: Contemporary YA, Young Adult
Pages: 435
Format: eARC
Also by this author: Saint Anything
Source: the publisher via NetGalley
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Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer

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