Tag Archives: debut

Five Books I Want to Read This April By New To Me Authors

One of the reading challenges that was provided to me by a friend for the month of April was to read more books by authors who were new to me. I own so many books by authors I’ve never read before but having been dying to check out for years. I thought I’d share with you guys five books I hope to tackle this month but authors who are definitely new to me, or who may be debut authors who I may want to read more of in the future.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love
by Maurene Goo (Release Date: May 30th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

I saw this book while I was at OLA back in Feburary, and had been at Raincoast Books booth. The cover really caught my attention, and when I read th back, I knew it would be the kind of contemporary story I’d adore. This book is for the Kdrama fans, and those who love fun romance fluff. I also like that the heroine feels like Kdramas are going to be the way to understanding romance and dating. I am very excited to read this book, and isn’t the cover adorable? IT’S ADORABLE.

When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon (Release Date: May 30th 2017 by Simon Pulse)

This is an upcoming debut that I have been so excited to read since it appeared on my doorstep. If I am being honest, part of me wished I had read it as soon as I had gotten it, while the other half of me kept saying “No, wait until closer to release.” I’ve only heard positive things about When Dimple Met Rishi both as a romance novel and as a comedy. While I am not always the biggest romance lover, books like this one come along and they basically scream “SHUT UP YOU LIKE ROMANCE NOW READ ME.” Also I love reading about other cultures and this comes from the perspective of two Indian-American teens whose families want to instill parts of their culture that don’t necessarily work nicely with American culture. I feel like this is going to be a very fun read.

Short
by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Released on January 31st 2017 by Dial Books)

So I am going to point out that I actually own two books by this author (the other being Counting By 7s) and somehow I haven’t read anything by her yet? Many of my friends who I trust and who love middle grade adore Holly Goldberg Sloan’s books. Short definitely caught my eye because it’s focuses on The Wizard of Oz, which I LOVE. Regardless, this month I am going to read one of her books. The ultimate question really will be which one!

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1)
by Kara Taylor (Released on July 30th 2013 by St. Martin’s Griffin)

Over the years, Molly my amazing co-blogger has sent me lots of books. This particular series is one she sent me her extra copy of and told me it was a fun and quick read. I’ve been needing more fun and quick in my life, and I feel like this is the kind of silly teen mystery novel that will just pass the time and be delightfully entertaining. It’ll be good to get some non-ARCs off my TBR this month!

The Girl with All the Gifts (The Girl With All The Gifts #1)
by M.R. Carey (Released on June 19th 2014 by Orbit)

So I have had my copy of The Girl With All the Gifts since last summer and still haven’t read it. Story of my life. The worst part is that this book has insane hype behind it, every friend who has read it has loved the living crap out of it, and I’ve been told it’s just one of those highly originally stories that seems to stick with you long after the story is over. I need to get back into reading more adult fiction, and clearly I need to make time to read this beloved novel. I feel like this book is totally up my alley and I keep going “I’ll get to it later!” Real answer however: NEED TO READ SOONER NOT LATER.

So these are five books by five authors I’ve never read that I’d like to tackle soon. Have you read any of these books? If so, please let me know in the comments of what you thought of any of them. I am always happy to hear varying opinions.

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ARC Review – Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson

28114583Title: Midnight Without a Moon

Author: Linda Williams Jackson

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: Rose Lee Carter, a 13-year-old African-American girl, dreams of life beyond the Mississippi cotton fields during the summer of 1955. Her world is rocked when a 14-year-old African-American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. A powerful middle-grade debut perfect for readers who enjoyed The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Brown Girl Dreaming.

Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

Midnight Without A Moon is a timely read given the world’s political state at the moment. While it is a historical novel based on the event of Emmett Till’s murder in the summer of 1955, a lot of the events in this story are sadly things that are still happening in today’s world. While Rose’s story is not new, but what Linda Williams Jackson presents in this story is reminder of the world before and a world we need to need to make better.

I loved Rose, by the way. I loved her curiosity, her tenacity and her kindness. She’s a character I feel like a lot of young women can identify with and respect, as she holds such strong ideals for a better world. What’s heartbreaking is that Mississippi seems to be a place that no one can escape from, and if you do return back, you are forever changed. What really saddened me was Ma Pearl’s response to Rose’s desire to leave, especially because there is this mentality to keep your head low and just do what you are supposed to — in a way I couldn’t fault Ma Pearl, but again it’s a mentality that is a product of the time period.

There is so much hardship and prejudice in this story, and it’s so easy to engage with and be reminded that we’ve both come a long way, but also have reverted back into primitive forms of dealing with racial prejudice and oppression. Rose is a fantastic character because she believes in bigger, better, ideals, and I found myself nodding along to her values and what she wanted throughout the story — to have acceptance.

I felt like I learned so much from this novel, and the way in which the historical information was presented was truly well done. It never felt overpowering (which can sometimes be an issue in historical fiction) and its integrated in a way where it just feels organic to the progression of the story. Jackson’s prose is also just so beautiful and raw, making this book so wonderful and thoughtful to read.

Midnight Without a Moon is a very powerful middle grade novel, and one that offers a lot of thought even after the book has long been completed. It’s timely, it’s smart, and it reminds that the world has a lot of growing still to do. Beautifully written and emotionally charged, this is an amazing debut novel that should be read by everyone.

Fierce Reads Blog Tour! Reviews and Q&A with the Authors

Raincoast approached me to be a participant in the Fierce Reads Blog Tour, which I happily said yes to. I had the pleasure a few years back of going to the first time Toronto got to host Fierce Reads and it was such a fantastic event. Fierce Reads is back in Toronto on October 17th, and is featuring Leigh Bardugo, Leila Sales, Josephine Angelini, and Emma Mills! I was given the chance to review two of the books for the tour, and I got to ask the other two authors a question in regards to their works.

I received an advance reader’s copy of the following books thanks to Raincoast/Macmillan, and the thoughts and opinions expressed are purely my own.


22294935Title:  Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Rating:  ★★★★★

Synopsis:  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. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Review:

Those who know me, know I am a sucker for a good heist story. Needless to say when details started trickling out about Six of Crows, I knew I had to have it. I admit, I enjoyed the Grisha trilogy, even with all its flaws, but I feel like Six of Crows shows what a much stronger writer Leigh Bardugo has become over the years.

While this book has us following multiple perspectives, all of them are well intertwined. If you’ve read the Grisha Trilogy, than Six of Crows in terms of it’s world building will not feel foreign to you, including the series terminology. Even though there’s multiple perspective at play, each character in the story feels full developed and well realized, and each makes for an engaging point of view to read about. My favourite point of view to read, easily was Inej’s, if only because she’s a character who I easily gravitate towards when I read fantasy: mysterious, tough as nails, unafraid to be herself, but on the downside isn’t easy to warm up to others, and definitely has trust issues. She also easily gets some of the best lines in the story as well.

The additions to the Grisha world in this book is fantastic and so much more grittier than what the original series provided. I loved the grim, dark atmosphere, and I loved how Bardugo really plays with description in this novel. Everything about this novel is epic in scope, and you constantly feel like you’re being tossed around in a hectic storm. I admit, I was slow reading this at first, but once I hit parts four and five, I found I couldn’t put the novel down. I was invested in the heist, invested in the characters, and I needed to know that they were going to be okay.

I WAS NOT OKAY READING THIS BOOK. I was not, I admit it. I had moments where my heart was racing, I was panicking for the characters, and Bardugo is evil for that. She’s great at tugging on the reader’s heart strings and making her characters vulnerable. It makes for such a great reading experience. If you loved the Grisha trilogy, you’ll love how the world has been expanded with Six of Crows. However, if you want a starting point into Bardugo’s work, I strong recommend reading Shadow and Bone, if only to give yourself more familiarity to the world that’s crafted. Believe me, it’s one hell of a world, and one heck of an experience.

4575289Leigh Bardugo is the author of the New York Times-bestselling series The Grisha Trilogy. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.  leighbardugo.com / grishatrilogy.com


23310761Title: Tonight the Streets Are Ours

Author: Leila Sales

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

Review:

One of my favourite books in 2013 was This Song Will Save Your Life. I found the novel moving, something I could relate to in a strong way. Needless to say, I was thrilled that Leila Sales was putting out another novel, one I was hoping to have a much stronger emotional connection towards. I have to admit, however, that while I enjoyed parts of this novel, I struggled to suspend my disbelief in some situations.

I will concede that I loved the idea of this novel being an unexpected love story, and I loved the exploration around this concept. I think Sales does a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention to show obsessed Arden becomes with the blog and the man behind the words. It’s easy to become infatuated with someone else’s words or the way in which they tell their stories, but I admit, I disapproved of Arden’s actions in going to NYC and seeking Peter out in real life.

I just had such a hard time suspending my disbelief for that, and I feel uncomfortable with the idea that someone would go that far to stalk someone’s blog. I recognize that it happens, but my discomfort comes from the fact that it at first comes across quite unwelcomed? Perhaps there’s just a part of me that was confused by how this was supposed to be a romantic gesture of sorts — and like my co-blogger said, there’s that part of me that felt out and questioned how Arden could be so damn trusting towards Peter. I understand that she feels like she knows him, but on the other side of the coin does she really? Again, the level of trust and lack of discomfort really threw me for a loop, and admittedly, I’m surprised that Lindsey as her friend would go along with this (mind you, she’s the more adventurous type compared to Arden). I really enjoyed the reveal in regards to Peter, and I loved that Arden learns how one-sided everything is after confronting him about his relationship with Bianca. I kinda wish Arden had been more upfront with Chris, but I do like how Sales shows cheating as a learning experience, though I still wish she hadn’t done that!

I will say, I actually loved the friendship between Arden and Lindsey. For me, that was the best parts of this novel — the way they had each others back, the way they could call each other on their crap, the way in which they took care of each other was pretty admirable. I also loved Arden’s growth in terms of her family problems and how she eventually is able to speak out about it to her parents and others. For me, those were the more interesting parts of the novel since I struggled to buy into the Peter relationship and the blog stalking. I just found those aspects so hard to connect with mostly because I was screaming STRANGER DANGER every few seconds.

I think Tonight the Streets Are Ours is definitely an engaging read, especially if you can suspend your disbelief with how easy a lot of aspects fall into the place. I found I liked the novel, but was just also very disappointed in how simple and easy a lot of the situations were. I wish there had been more to the consequences, because that really did frustrate me. I’m disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this book the way I did This Song Will Save Your Life, but I do recommend it to those who can suspend their disbelief and enjoy the narrative for what it is.

Leila Sales (www.leilasales.com) is the author of the novels This Song Will Save Your Life, Mostly Goodleila Girls, and Past Perfect. This Song Will Save Your Life garnered two starred reviews, was included on the American Library Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list, was one of Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of the Year, and was listed as one of the Best YA Books of 2013 by Buzzfeed.com. It has been published in ten foreign countries, and it has been optioned for stage and film development. 

Leila grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Chicago. When she’s not writing, she spends her time thinking about sleeping, kittens, chocolate, and how to get more of all of them. Leila lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works in children’s book publishing. Follow her @LeilaSalesBooks.


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Q&A Time! Featuring Emma Mills and Josephine Angelini

Every participant got to ask a question to the authors about something they were interested in. My question to Emma Mills and Josephine Angelini was: “In your opinion, what makes a book a “fierce read” and how would you apply your definition to your novel?”

Emma Mills: For me, a “fierce read” is one that’s enthralling—a book that you just can’t quit! I hope that the relationships in FIRST & THEN—romantic, platonic, and familial— are able to draw people in and get them invested in the story!

Josephine Angelini: Strong characters.  High stakes.  A heartbreaking love story and a killer twist at the end.  That’s a fierce read to me.  I hope that’s what I delivered.

emmaEmma Mills is a debut author better known to her subscribers as vlogger Elmify. She is also co-creator and co-host of the “life skills” channel How to Adult. youtube.com/user/elmify

joseJosephine Angelini is the internationally bestselling author of Trial by Fire and the Starcrossed series. She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. Originally from Massachusetts, Josie now lives in Los Angeles with her screenwriter husband, her daughter, Pia Marie, and three shelter cats. You can visit her on Facebook, her website josephineangelini.com, or follow her on Twitter @josieangelini.


I want to extend a huge thank you to Raincoast for giving me this opportunity, as well as the authors for taking time out of their busy schedule to answer my question! Make sure to stop by the other tour stops below, and I hope to see you on October 17th at the Fierce Reads Tour Stop! And don’t forget to use the hashtag  #FierceReadsTakesTO!

blog tour

ARC Review – Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz

22460399Title: Fig

Author: Sarah Elizabeth Schantz

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: Fig’s world lies somewhere between reality and fantasy. But as she watches Mama slowly come undone, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is not, what is fun and what is frightening. To save Mama, Fig begins a fierce battle to bring her back. She knows that her daily sacrifices, like not touching metal one day or avoiding water the next, are the only way to cure Mama.

The problem is that in the process of a daily sacrifice, Fig begins to lose herself as well, increasingly isolating herself from her classmates and engaging in self-destructive behavior that only further sets her apart.

Spanning the course of Fig’s childhood from age six to nineteen, this deeply provocative novel is more than a portrait of a mother, a daughter, and the struggle that comes with all-consuming love. It is an acutely honest and often painful portrayal of life with mental illness and the lengths to which a young woman must go to handle the ordeals—real or imaginary—thrown her way.

Huge thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I have to admit a few things about Fig before I discuss it. One: I knew nothing about the book and went into it blind, and two: I am all the happier having read it. This book does not read like a début novel, nor does it fall into trappings that many YA novels about mental illness face. There’s no romance, no Romeo to save a Juliet, this book is about family and how metal illness can manifest in ways that are so difficult to discuss.

Parts of Fig mirrored my own life. Fiona, or Fig as she likes to be called, lives with a mother who suffers from schizophrenia. As Fig grows up she learns to develop ways into understanding her mother’s illness, and in this harsh reality of having to grow up quickly, becomes someone who sacrifices her life for the care of someone else. This boat: this is one I am familiar with, though with slightly different circumstances. I understood Figs desires to want to be perfect for her mother, to be the thing that she can always rely on. But I also saw the parts where Fig was losing herself, and in ways where it would be difficult to come back to the land of the living. Fig suffers, though how the Sarah Elizabeth Schantz portrays it, it is a suffering she chooses to endure for the price of love and understanding.

Interestingly, because this novel works through Fig’s various ages, you see Fig moves from a level of innocence to experience. She learns what it means to sacrifice, to lose having a ‘normal childhood’, and the hardship of what it means to grow up early. Throughout the story many of the characters treat Fig as though she is abnormal — no social skills, a lack of wanting to participate in the world, and yet Fig is never really given those opportunities in the narrative and it’s so damn heartbreaking. This is a story of family coping with mental illness, just as much as it is a story about understanding what others cope with every day. My heart went out to Fig, and yet as a character she was so strong and very preceptive.

The writing in this book is vivid and beautiful. Sarah Elizabeth Schantz draws the reader into Fig’s world, sometimes it reading like a dream, and other times being as sharp as a knife. There’s something to be said about characters that stick with you, and watching Fig and her mother’s evolution in the story is both sad, yet bitter-sweet. By the end of the book, I found myself thinking back on everything I had read, and admittedly, I wanted to cry. The writing does this amazing job of evoking emotion, and making you connect on that emotional level with the characters.

Is Fig’s story sad? Yes, but it’s also filled with redemption. Fig is one of those books that will leave you thinking about what you’d read, and make you question the stigmas of mental illness and how it affects everyone including those suffering, and those trying to escape. Thought provoking and intense, Fig will linger long after you’ve read the last page.

Cover Reveal – Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McNulty #M9BFridayReveals

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 Sign-up for a Month9Books Friday Reveal with Chapter-by-Chapter!

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1)
by Amy McNulty
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Hi, everyone! River & I feel insanely privileged to reveal the cover for Nobody’s Goddess. Amy is a dear friend of ours and we couldn’t be prouder of her accomplishment of getting this book finally out there into the world. With the help of Month9Books and Chapter-by-Chapter, we get to share this little bit of gorgeousness with you all. Are you ready to see it?

…three…

…two…

…one…

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Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McMulty
Publication date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Add it on Goodreads

Let me tell you how in love I am with this cover. First off, it is beautiful. I am completely enchanted by it. I also may want that purple dress… and I don’t even like dresses. Want to know what it’s about? Let me tell you:

In a village of masked men, each loves only one woman and must follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Where the rest of her village celebrates this mystery that binds men and women together, seventeen year old Noll is just done with it. She’s lost all her childhood friends as they’ve paired off, but the worst blow was when her closest companion, Jurij, finds his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever loved her: she is in fact the goddess of the mysterious lord of the village, a Byronic man who refuses to let Noll have her right as a woman to spurn him and who has the power to fight the curse. Thus begins a dangerous game between the two: the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither Noll nor the veiled man is willing to lose.

author

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Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently spends her days alternatively writing on business and marketing topics and primarily crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: (if you choose to include it)
• One (1) digital copy of Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McNulty
• Open Internationally
• Winner will be drawn January 30, 2015
• Winners will receive their book on release day

Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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ARC Review – Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

18667454Title:  Prisoner of Night and Fog

Author: Anne Blankman

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet. Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

Huge thank you to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss for this ARC!

River’s Review:

This was so good! I almost didn’t pick it up because I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but I loved the cover (yes, I am drawn to pretty covers) and when I read the synopsis I was SO curious to find out how it would all work out so I dove in. And I’m so glad I did. This story is GRIPPING. I couldn’t put it down and was flying through it so fast that I had to force myself to take a break because I was skipping things.

Gretchen’s father, an old war buddy of Hitler’s, saved Hitler’s life and in turn Hitler favors Gretchen and her family thanks to her father’s heroic sacrifice. Gretchen enjoys a semi-well-to-do life where she helps her mother (who’s the manager of a boarding house), attends school to become a doctor, and tries to keep her psychopath brother from hurting her.

Then Gretchen meets a young, dashing (he is SO dashing) Jewish reporter who turns her world upside down by throwing around accusations that Gretchen’s father’s “sacrifice” was anything but…

First of all, the writing in this is BEAUTIFUL. It’s rich and detailed, but not too heavy-handed. Part of what I dislike about historical fiction is that I often feel like I’m reading a textbook. This did not feel like that, so I was able to get very caught up in the story without having to work too hard at it. The pacing is perfect, and the the characters and their development is so well done. Gretchen goes from Hitler’s “pet”, a scared girl who more-or-less blindly believes what she is told to a young woman who fights for herself, for what is right, for what she loves and for the truth. And I loved that she doesn’t do all of that for a boy, she does it for herself.

Yes, there is romance in this, but it is not the central story. Gretchen meets Daniel but she does not insta-love him from the very moment she meets him. The build of their relationship is gradual and sweet. There’s actually a lot of the story that takes place with them apart. They rely on each other from afar, and it goes both ways. Daniel is constantly impressed with Gretchen’s resolve and her courage. He also cares for her where other’s throw her to the curb, and helps her when she has no one else to turn to.

I loved the mix of real events vs fictional (they’re explained in an afterward by the author), and the mix of action, romance and mystery. I could totally see this being turned into a beautiful period film. And I’d BETTER to get a sequel or something!

If you’re up for a historical fiction based in fact with a sweet romance, a thrilling action-packed mystery and some beautiful writing then you wont want to miss out on this!

ARC Review – Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

16081202Title:  Open Road Summer

Author: Emery Lord

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Huge thank you to Walker Children’s and Netgalley for this ARC!

River’s Review:

This book is cute, fluffy, full of feels and really really sweet. But Reagan was annoying and I didn’t like her and that really killed most of this book for me. I LOVED Dee. I really wish this book would have been WAY more about her. Any part with her was just the best. Matt was super nice too, but he didn’t swoon me as much as it seems he did everyone else.

But man. Reagan. She’s ~the bed girl~. And she WILL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT. And that is something that I hate. I dislike super self-aware people both IRL and in books. It just seems like you’re trying too hard to be something you aren’t. And this was my problem with Reagan. She’s labeled herself SO WELL and then goes around saying how she aims to be unpredictable and someone that can’t be categorized. But she’s ‘the bad girl with a criminal record that loves to drink, wears too few clothes, too high-heels, and too-dark make-up’. Sorry, but THIS IS A LABLE REAGAN. All of her self-aware ‘I am a bad girl with a lot of cleavage’ or ‘I need a cigarette’ or ‘my clothes are so tiny’ moments drove me crazy. I just wanted to say WE GET IT.

I also really didn’t like how she caused so much drama and was so self-centered. Dee puts up with a lot of Reagan’s stuff because Reagan is so broken and needs someone, but then Reagan gets super jealous and dramatic and Dee puts her in her place which made me so happy. I mean, I loved Dee and Reagan’s relationship (there were moments when I teared up with BFF feels), but man, Reagan needed a smack-down.

I also hated how Reagan was judging other girls who were JUST LIKE HERSELF. She was calling girls trampy and trashy and cheap and bitches but then turning around saying how it was unfair that she was labeled those things as well. Despite labeling herself AND those other girls.

So what did I like? I loved Dee and her music. The songs were SO GOOD. I could totally hear them in my head. I loved Matt and how he worked through his problems. I could relate to Corinne and her relationship with Matt. I could understand her motives and even though some of them were shitty, they were real. The whole tour around the USA was so fun to read about too.

Anyway, most everyone else loves this, so if you can get past Reagan then you might really love this too.