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

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”


“Stranger Than Fanfiction”: YA Road Trip & Giveaway

“Stranger Than Fanfiction”: YA Road Trip & GiveawayStranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer
on February 28th 2017
Genres: Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Mental Health Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 272

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer comes a funny, heartbreaking, unforgettable novel about friendship and fame.

Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television show Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, they are shocked that he actually takes them up on it. Chased by paparazzi and hounded by reporters, this unlikely crew takes off on a journey of a lifetime – but along the way they discover that the star they love has deep secrets he's been keeping. What they come to learn about the life of the mysterious person they thought they knew will teach them about the power of empathy and the unbreakable bond of true friendship.

In this touching novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer takes us on a journey full of laughter, tears, and life-changing memories.

Happy Friday, friends! Today, I’m teaming up with my friends at Little, Brown to share this epic giveaway featuring the newest book from Chris Colfer (YAY, Glee!), “Stranger than Fanfiction”! This new release features a celebrity and four of his fans embarking on a cross-country road trip and all the adventures they have along the way. What starts out as a crazy adventure, turns into a much deeper experience filled with revelations and lessons learned.

I thought it would be fun to map out my own cross-country road trip…but with a twist. So check out the YA across the USA I’ve mapped out below and buckle up! It’s gonna be a feels-filled ride! Continue reading ““Stranger Than Fanfiction”: YA Road Trip & Giveaway”


Book Feels: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood {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.

Book Feels: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood {GIVEAWAY}The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Published by Roaring Brook Press on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Time Travel
Pages: 304

This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral.

To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.

With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

-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 –

The Square Root of Summer

I went into this book not exactly knowing what to expect. Was it sci-fi? Was it contemporary? Was it the secret to life cleverly disguised as a unique and compelling young adult novel. Turns out, it was a combination of all three. “The Square Root of Summer” was unlike any book I’ve read and by the time I flipped to the last page, I felt like I had just read a user’s guide to the meaning of life and the secrets of time travel. Continue reading “Book Feels: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood {GIVEAWAY}”


Book Feels: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Book Feels: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarryNowhere but Here by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin on June 1st 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, Love & Romance, Motorcycles, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns into an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

-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 –

Nowhere But Here

Continue reading “Book Feels: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry”


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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

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…

triangle border

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…

triangle border

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…

triangle border

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…

triangle border


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.



Blog Tour: Soulprint Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Soulprint Review + GiveawaySoulprint by Megan Miranda
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 368

Seventeen-year-old Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned on a secluded island—not for a crime she committed in this lifetime, but one done by her past self. Her very soul is like a fingerprint, carried from one life to the next—and Alina is sick of being guilty.Aided by three teens with their own ulterior motives, Alina manages to escape. Although she’s not sure she can trust any of them, she soon finds herself drawn to Cameron, the most enigmatic and alluring of the trio. But when she uncovers clues from her past life, secrets begin to unravel and Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat history.This stunning “new world” romance from acclaimed author Megan Miranda will leave readers wondering how far they would go to escape the past.



Welcome to the official Soulprint blog tour, hosted by Bloomsbury Publishing! Soulprint released this past Tuesday and to celebrate I’ve created a mood board that was inspired by the book and am sharing my thoughts today in a review. I want to thank the team over at Bloomsbury for inviting me to be a part of this tour, I’m a big fan of Soulprint and am excited to have the opportunity to tell all of you about it!


Alina has spent her whole life under the watchful eye of others, ensuring that she doesn’t fulfill the same destiny as the person who carried her soul before. As she grows older, Alina begins to realize that she’s  become a prisoner in her own world and dreams of a future outside of the four walls she’s all too familiar with. I was immediately intrigued with this story because the author built  a strong history for Alina and gives the reader a real insight as to how trapped and desperate she is to break free. I was sufficiently creeped out by the island “home” of Alina’s and the people who monitor her every move, and was just as anxious as she was to find a way out.

Thankfully, Alina is broken out of her prison by a trio of strangers who give no explanation as to why they are helping her out. The entire escape scene had me so nervous and I found myself trying to read as fast as I could because I wanted to know what was going to happen and WHY it was happening. As this trio begins their journey together and the story unfolds, we learn along with Alina that not everything is as it seems. The evolution of Alina’s individual relationships with the people she’s traveling with is an important aspect of the book, and I appreciated that they all brought something different to the story. Each character is fully formed and as the reader I appreciate that we are given the opportunity to understand the various motives flying around.

Out of all the fantastic plot points in this book, the concept of the soul passing along from person to person was the most fascinating to me. The author took that concept to a whole other level by expanding on the idea and creating a fully formed society and history around it. If you enjoy psychological thrillers, then Soulprint would be a great choice for your next read. There is so much in this story that completely threw me for a loop and was so unexpected, by the end you’re left with more questions than answers. Don’t get me wrong, you get some really big (and shocking) answers, but I love the fact that in doing so, a whole new level of craziness is discovered!

I love a book that keeps me on my toes, and Soulprint was a wild ride filled with mystery and intrigue. It’s a fast-paced, intense story about one young woman’s journey of self-discovery but with an fresh twist.


February 2nd – That Artsy Reader Girl
February 3rd – Nose Graze
February 4th – Effortlessly Reading
February 5th – Andi ABCs
February 6th – What Sarah Read
February 9th – Across the Words
February 10th – Great Imaginations
February 11th – The Eater of Books
February 12th – Step Into Fiction
February 13th – Dana Square

Enter below for a chance to win your very own copy of Soulprint!


This is a US only giveaway for one hardcover copy of Soulprint.
Must be 13 years or older to enter!

triangle border

Miranda_picAuthor Information

MEGAN MIRANDA is the acclaimed author of Fracture, Vengeance, and Hysteria. She spends a great deal of time thinking about the “why” and “how” of things, which leads her to get carried away daydreaming about the “what-ifs.” She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Visit Megan online at and on Twitter at @MeganLMiranda.








Book Feels: Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Book Feels: Winterspell by Claire LegrandWinterspell by Claire Legrand
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 30th 2014
Genres: Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Fantasy & Magic, General, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 464

Darkly romantic and entirely enchanting, this reimagining of The Nutcracker from Claire Legrand brims with magic, love, and intrigue. New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer (Cinder) says “this is not your grandmother’s Nutcracker tale.”After her mother is brutally murdered, seventeen-year-old Clara Stole is determined to find out what happened to her. Her father, a powerful man with little integrity, is a notorious New York City gang lord in the syndicate-turned-empire called Concordia. And he isn’t much help. But there is something even darker than Concordia’s corruption brewing under the surface of the city, something full of vengeance and magic, like the stories Clara’s godfather used to tell her when she was a little girl. Then her father is abducted and her little sister’s life is threatened, and Clara accidentally frees Nicholas from a statue that has been his prison for years. Nicholas is the rightful prince of Cane, a wintry kingdom that exists beyond the city Clara has known her whole life. When Nicholas and Clara journey together to Cane to retrieve her father, Clara encounters Anise, the queen of the faeries, who has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime. Clara finds that this new world is not as foreign as she feared, but time is running out for her family, and there is only so much magic can do...

I was obsessed with the Nutcracker ballet when I was a little girl…like listened to the music year-round and danced with my Nutcracker doll every night obsessed! I actually started ballet lessons because of my love for it, and eventually was able to perform in my dance school’s yearly production. To this day, the Nutcracker ballet holds a very special place in my heart and will always bring back amazing childhood memories. I can’t really remember when I first heard of Claire Legrand’s adaptation of this classic, but I can tell you I was immediately intrigued. The Nutcracker always had a mysterious and darker quality to me, and I was so pleased to hear that someone was writing a book that drew on that inspiration and played on its themes.

Images from Claire Legrand’s Winterspell Pinterest board. Click for more.

After reading Winterspell, I can say it is unlike any book I have ever read before and it not only met, but far exceeded my expectations.

Winterspell is dark, sinister, mysterious…even creepy at times. It was such an interesting comparison to see how Legrand’s New York City so closely mirrors her fae world of Cane. The worlds that Legrand built-in this story are corrupt, dangerous and ultimately, shells of their former selves.  On the other hand, both worlds are ruled in very different ways; one by a power-hungry faery Queen willing to do whatever it takes to completely beat down her people, and the other by a weary mayor who can’t control the corruption in his town. The world-building as a whole is on a completely other level. I felt transported into the lands of this book and applaud Legrand for crafting worlds that are so detailed and filled with history and legend. The alternate world of Cane is mystical and filled with beauty, but also frightening and dangerous.

The characters of Winterspell are as fully formed and compelling as the worlds in which they travel. To watch Clara’s transformation and character arc is so satisfying, and I found myself cheering out (and crying out) for her several times during my reading. She has spent her life wondering how her life ended up the way it has and the spectre of her mother’s death always hangs over her. When she begins uncovering the truth about her mother’s death and is faced with the abduction of her father, she does whatever it takes to find the answers. Even if it means forcing herself to break out of the prison of self-doubt that holds her back.


There are SO many amazing characters in Winterspell and I could easily devote a paragraph talking about each, but that would make this review crazy long! I will say that each and every one of her relationships is complicated, intense and riveting. From her godfather Drosselmeyer who knows so much more than he lets on, Nicholas who bursts into Clara’s life to help her unlock the clues to the fate of her parents, and the faery Queen Anise, one of the creepiest and most confusing villains I have ever encountered. Throughout the novel Clara never quite knows who to trust and Legrand does a fantastic job of portraying that confusion and distrust to the reader. I constantly found myself changing my mind as to who was really there to help Clara. Which I absolutely loved as a reader because it kept me on my toes for all 454 pages.

Like I said, I could seriously go on and on about Winterspell. I mean, I could stop right here and then start all over with a second review. But I’ll leave it up to you discover all of the magic and intricacies of Clara’s life-changing journey. If you like complicated and dark tales that weave the stories of heroes and villains together into one, then you’ll truly enjoy Winterspell.