Book Feels: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

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

Book Feels: The Names They Gave Us by Emery LordThe Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 16th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Death & Dying, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Religious, Young Adult
Pages: 384
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five-stars

When it all falls apart, who can you believe in?

Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with all the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job.

Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be.

It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized.

poignantly -a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Emery Lord? That she’s a wizard when it comes to writing authentic and meaningful friendships. She’s mastered the art of developing a swoony romance. Her ability to develop complex and beautiful family bonds is second to none. She knows how to write a story that gets to the emotional core of what it means to be a teenager. But…you guys know all this. If you’ve read even one of her books (I suggest you read ALL of them), then you know what an amazing author Emery is and can understand why I include her on my list of all-time faves. With the release of her fourth novel (in only three years!!), she’s managed to make me love her (and her story-telling) even more than I already did.

Continue reading “Book Feels: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord”

five-stars
Sarah

Blog Tour: Show Me How by Molly McAdams {Mini Review & Giveaway}

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

Blog Tour: Show Me How by Molly McAdams {Mini Review & Giveaway}Show Me How: A Thatch Novel by Molly McAdams
Published by William Morrow Impulse on October 4th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 320
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three-half-stars

After her first love was ripped from her grasp four years earlier, Charlie Easton was sure she would never be able to trust anyone with the shattered pieces of her heart again. That is, until Deacon Carver forces himself into her life, and makes those pieces swirl in chaos. But Charlie doesn't know how to let him in… until a stranger stumbles upon a notebook filled with her innermost secrets, and shows her how.

Deacon Carver is known for sleeping his way through the town of Thatch, as well as the surrounding cities—something he used to take pride in. But that persona has haunted Deacon ever since he decided to leave that life behind for the girl he wants more than anything: Charlie Easton.

But when another girl falls into Deacon's life, allowing him to be himself without judgment for his past, will their conversations hinder his relationship with Charlie … even if he's never seen her?

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

I’m a newcomer to Molly McAdams books, but now that I’ve gotten a taste, I really want to check out the rest. Especially the first two books in the Thatch series, because I NEED to know the backstories of the characters I came to know in Show Me How. Having not read the first two books, I did feel a little lost at times and really wanting more info to help build the foundation of the story. But this book could be read as a standalone or you could go ahead and read Letting Go and To the Stars first. One thing is for sure, it’s clear that there is a lot of drama in these people’s lives! But, guess what? I LOVE drama, so this book was a total win for me. Continue reading “Blog Tour: Show Me How by Molly McAdams {Mini Review & Giveaway}”

three-half-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

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

Book Feels: Emmy & Oliver by Robin BenwayEmmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Published by HarperTeen on June 23rd 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
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five-stars

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

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Continue reading “Book Feels: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway”

five-stars
Sarah

Announcing: The Lexie Project by Heather Demetrios {GIVEAWAY}

Announcing: The Lexie Project by Heather Demetrios {GIVEAWAY}The Lexie Project by Heather Demetrios
on June 8th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Goodreads

Lexie Baker is ready for her close up and nobody’s gonna get in her freaking way.

Nearly a year after graduating high school and taking a hiatus from her family’s reality TV show, "Baker's Dozen: Fresh Batch," Lexie is in Los Angeles, on a mission to take Hollywood by storm. From red carpet premiers to helping her YouTube star roommate film weird videos, Lex fits right in with the droves of girls just as hungry as she is for some screen time. When Jax Wilson, a young, hot producer, offers to launch The Lexie Project, a reality show that will chronicle Lex’s adventures trying to make it as an actress in LA, she jumps at the chance. It isn’t an Oscar-winning role, but it’s a start.

Then she meets Liam, a film student who brings books to parties and is one of her twin brother’s closest friends. When it becomes clear that her brother, Benny, has a serious drinking problem—one that lands him on the front page of tabloids and threatens to get him kicked out of his university—Lexie relies on Liam to help her protect her brother. But spending time with Liam throws Lex into a spiral of self doubt: is this the life she really wants? And how far will she go for the stardom she’s always longed for?

The City of Angels soon becomes Hell on Earth and Lexie realizes that everyone—even Liam—has something they’re hiding. Fed up with Hollywood, Lexie decides she needs to find a new role to play–not the one she was cast in at birth.

The Lexie Project is a spin-off of the critically acclaimed novelized memoir, Something Real, by Heather Demetrios and features several of the major characters from the novel, including Chloe and Patrick.

THIS IS NOT A DRILL…you’re not dreaming, and yes, you read that right! One of my favorite authors, Heather Demetrios, is writing a sequel to one of my favorite books, SOMETHING REAL. This time we’re getting Lexie Baker’s memoirs told in real-time through weekly installments on Wattpad, and we’ll even get updates on our beloved Chloe and Patrick (swoon). I’m really excited for this project, as Heather has come up with a refreshing and unique way to share Lexie’s story! I can’t wait to read all about her adventures in L.A. as she tries to make it as an actress. Continue reading “Announcing: The Lexie Project by Heather Demetrios {GIVEAWAY}”

Sarah

Book Feels: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

Book Feels: All Played Out by Cora CarmackAll Played Out by Cora Carmack
Published by Harper Collins on May 12th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 336
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four-stars

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.Straight A's? CHECK.On track to graduate early? CHECK.Social life? . . . Yeah, about that . . .With just a few weeks until graduation, Antonella DeLuca's beginning to worry that maybe she hasn't had the full college experience. (Scratch that. She knows she hasn't had the full college experience).So Nell does what she does best. She makes a "to do list" of normal college activities.Item #1? Hook up with a jock.Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he's not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it's impossible to get hurt . . . again. But something about Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she's never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he's willing to take the chance when it's more than just a game.

All Played Out by Cora Carmack

What I loved…

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I’m going to be real here for a second…I love me some Cora Carmack because I know when I read her books I’m going to get an extra large dose of sexy times! The woman knows how to write a steamy scene with sexy boys that will make your pulse race a little quicker and you’re guaranteed to blush. If you read this book in public, just know that everyone once in a while you’ll sheepishly look up from your book to see if anyone is in on your little secret. All that being said, this is definitely a New Adult book and should be reserved for more mature readers.

I’m a huge fan of the Rusk University series, and All Played Out did not disappoint! Just like All Lined Up and All Broke Down, this third installment of the series delivers lots of humor, realism and some ridiculously steamy moments. Just the way I like it! Continue reading “Book Feels: All Played Out by Cora Carmack”

four-stars
Sarah

Blog Tour: Play On by Michelle Smith {Giveaway}

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

Blog Tour: Play On by Michelle Smith {Giveaway}Play On by Michelle Smith
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on April 21st 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult
Pages: 296
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four-stars

In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma's flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius; she's also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there's something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek -- he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa’s pain, it forces him to look beyond the façade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn’t everything—maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

Play On

What I loved…

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Play On is one of those “feel good” books that fills you with warm fuzzies while you’re reading, it’s filled with so many special moments. I absolutely adored that Austin was just a solidly good guy! He struggled with balancing his schoolwork and his dedication to the baseball team, but he’s so good to his momma, is achingly sweet with Marissa, and he’s an amazing teammate and friend to the guys he plays with. It’s such a refreshing change of pace to have the male lead in a book like this be such a good guy. It makes the pain and heartache he’s dealing with in life that much more heartbreaking for the reader. I just wanted to see Austin come to terms with his baggage. Speaking of baggage, Marissa has quite a heavy load of her own, and it was really moving to see how she and Austin navigate the personal struggles they both bring to the relationship.

One thing I really, really adored in this book was the same-sex relationship and the way in which it was handled, not only by the author but also by the friends of the people involved. I really appreciate that gay couples are being featured more in more in Young Adult novels and in this instance it really added so much to the story.

What didn’t work…

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I guess the only thing I could say is that there were times when it got a little heavy with the sports talk for me. To be fair, I am not into sports at all. I actually loved that baseball served as a back drop to Play On, but when it got to be a play-by-play of a game or a locker room speech, I tended to tune out. The same thing happened to me with the Rusk University series by Cora Carmack and we all know how much I love that series. Essentially, I would say that it’s just a matter of taste. A true baseball fan will no doubt love the chapters that feature game days, but it just didn’t hold my attention as strongly as the rest of the book did.

My “book feels” moment…

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As I mentioned, this book has some pretty heavy moments. There was one scene in particular that really broke my heart and I actually had to stop reading in order to compose my feels. Austin confronts Marissa during a very vulnerable time, and the way in which he handles the situation is just so moving and beautifully written. It was the most intense scene of the book for me, but also the one I loved the most. Yeah…I cried!

Final Thoughts…

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Play On has a lot of depth to it but still finds a way to be a lot of fun to read!  It’s the perfect balance of swoony romance with a thought-provoking and deeply moving story line.

PSSST…make sure to enter this fantastic giveaway before you go!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.

 

four-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

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

Book Feels: Becoming Jinn by Lori GoldsteinBecoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein
Published by Feiwel & Friends on April 21st 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
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three-stars

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit. To the humans she lives among, she's just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she's learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny. Mentored by her mother and her Zar "sisters," Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –


Becoming Jinn
was a fun and unique book, that took elements of both contemporary and fantasy genres, mixed them together and created a fresh take on a young woman’s coming of age story. Although it had a slow start, the book did end up clicking with me right around 100 pages. After that initial push, I really started to enjoy how Goldstein blended a contemporary and fantasy together. At its heart, Becoming Jinn is a book about girl struggling to find her identity and make sense of her past, but what really made it unique were the magical elements and the Jinn mythology that Goldstein drew on. It was interesting to see the main character, Azra, navigate the trials and tribulations of young adulthood, while also trying to come to grips with her Jinn heritage.

That being said…I had a difficult time connecting with Azra or feeling any sympathy for her. I totally get that she’s going through a LOT in life and not entirely pleased with the situation she’s been born into, but a lot of times Azra came off as a bit of a brat. I just wish her character could have been a little more forgiving of those around her. She was pretty hard on her mother and extended “family” of women who were (for the most part) there to support her, and I really didn’t like the way she treated a couple of very close friends who wanted nothing but the best for her. I realize that these are purposeful traits created by the author, but they just didn’t work for me.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed Becoming Jinn but I’m hoping that I can come around to having at least a bit of empathy for Azra and that she matures and develops as a character in the next book. I’m eager to see how the story resolves itself, as we’re left with several questions at the end that have me looking forward to the second book.

P.S. You may be wondering where my mood board/collage is. Have no fear…I did make one and will be debuting it here on the blog on Tuesday, April 14th as part of the Becoming Jinn blog tour. Stay tuned!

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three-stars
Sarah

Waiting on Wednesday: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Waiting on Wednesday: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley FitzpatrickThe Boy Most Likely To Published by Penguin on August 18th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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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.

 - hosted by Breaking the Spine -
– hosted by Breaking the Spine –

Judging by how much I absolutely adored Huntley Fitzpatrick’s previous novels, My Life Next Door and What I Thought Was True, I think it’s pretty much a given that I am going to LOVE this book as well. I really don’t even need to know what the book is about if I’m being totally honest.

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Fitzpatrick is on my auto-buy, no questions asked, will always buy every single book she ever writes list. I love everything about her writing and can’t tell you how excited I am that we’re getting a book about bad boy Tim ans good girl Alice from her first novel, My Life Next Door. Ohhhh, this one is going to be sooooo good!

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I’m assuming everyone else is anxiously awaiting this one as well. I was thinking…maybe Should we form a support group to help pass the time?

Sarah

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s FALL WITH ME Release Week Blitz {Excerpt & Giveaway}

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s FALL WITH ME Release Week Blitz {Excerpt & Giveaway}Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Harper Collins on March 31st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 384
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Jennifer L. Armentrout (also known as J. Lynn), New York Times bestselling author of the Wait for You saga, delivers a new novel of first love, second chances, and scorching chemistry.Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She's been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She's sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She's not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.But Reece isn't convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn't believe him, he's not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He's already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he's not going to let history repeat itself.

I’m so excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s, also known as J. Lynn’s, FALL WITH ME!! FALL WITH ME is a New Adult Contemporary Romance and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Wait For You Series, published by Avon Romance. I love this series and can’t wait to start reading Roxy and Reece’s story!

FWM available now

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Continue reading “Jennifer L. Armentrout’s FALL WITH ME Release Week Blitz {Excerpt & Giveaway}”

Sarah

Book Feels: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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

Book Feels: The Start of Me and You by Emery LordThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on March 31st 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
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five-stars

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances. It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

Every once in a while you get lucky as a reader and come across a book that, from the moment you start reading, you know it’s going to be special. I had one of those moments when I started reading Emery Lord’s second novel The Start of Me and You, which as it turns out, I loved even more than her debut, Open Road Summer. Which is saying a lot because I really loved that book!

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Continue reading “Book Feels: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord”

five-stars
Sarah