Verb Vixen

I read. I listen. I watch. I write.
Wednesday, July 9
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The Swift Boys and Me- Kody Keplinger
Kody’s better known for writing contemporary young adult, but her debut middle grade won’t disappoint. The Swift Boys and Me is a story about loss, friendship, and change.
Nola Sutton has lived next to the Swift boys her whole life. They’re her best friends and her whole world. But when their dad leaves and the Swift boys are jilted into chaos, Nola’s left struggling to pick up the pieces. Nola loses her Swift boys for the summer, but in the process finds new opportunity, new friendships, and a maybe a new version of herself. 
I found Nola to be a bit clueless and naive in her idealism at times but it didn’t detract from the story. The story is very Southern—-both in the manners and language.  If anything, The Swift Boys and Me gave me renewed hope that childhood could still be filled with long summer days spent outside, tall glasses of lemonade, and friendships forged on bike rides and trampolines. It did this world weary heart of mine good.
Overall: A-
The Swift Boys and Me is out now from Scholastic. You can get your copy here. 

The Swift Boys and Me- Kody Keplinger

Kody’s better known for writing contemporary young adult, but her debut middle grade won’t disappoint. The Swift Boys and Me is a story about loss, friendship, and change.

Nola Sutton has lived next to the Swift boys her whole life. They’re her best friends and her whole world. But when their dad leaves and the Swift boys are jilted into chaos, Nola’s left struggling to pick up the pieces. Nola loses her Swift boys for the summer, but in the process finds new opportunity, new friendships, and a maybe a new version of herself. 

I found Nola to be a bit clueless and naive in her idealism at times but it didn’t detract from the story. The story is very Southern—-both in the manners and language.  If anything, The Swift Boys and Me gave me renewed hope that childhood could still be filled with long summer days spent outside, tall glasses of lemonade, and friendships forged on bike rides and trampolines. It did this world weary heart of mine good.

Overall: A-

The Swift Boys and Me is out now from Scholastic. You can get your copy here. 

Tags:   #i read #middle grade #mg #the swift boys and me #scholastic #kody keplinger #contemporary #books #publishing #read #reading #readers



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Monday, July 7
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Better Off Friends- Elizabeth Eulberg
There’s a few things you should know about Elizabeth Eulberg. She writes really good contemporaries, she is from Wisconsin and she absolutely loves the Green Bay Packers. And in Better Off Friends all three of those things combine to form a perfect trifecta, like when the Captain Planet crew combines their powers. 
Better Off Friends follows the story of Levi and Macallan as they meet in 7th grade and become best friends. It’s a modern interpretation for the generation that doesn’t know When Sally Met Harry as well as for those who love that movie. It’s a “will they, wont they” that asks the age old question: Can men and women ever be just friends?  
Levi and Macallan were fantastic characters—-not only because of their love of an obscure British tv show but because they were beautifully flawed, human in their miscommunications, and ultimately restored to the rights by trusting in their friendship first. The book is set in Wisconsin so there’s a lot of talk of cheese and the Packers; while Wisconsin is “home” for Eulberg, the story asks an interesting question—-at what point does a place or a person become home? The alternating point of view is useful and the dialogue between chapters is both funny and refreshing. It’s the kind of tale that warms the cockles of your heart. (I don’t even know what that means). 
Overall: A
Better Off Friends is out now from Scholastic. You can get your copy here!
PS bonus friend points if you knew that cockles of your heart line is from the Love’s Labors Lost Original Cast recording soundtrack from The Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park.
xoxo
VV

Better Off Friends- Elizabeth Eulberg

There’s a few things you should know about Elizabeth Eulberg. She writes really good contemporaries, she is from Wisconsin and she absolutely loves the Green Bay Packers. And in Better Off Friends all three of those things combine to form a perfect trifecta, like when the Captain Planet crew combines their powers. 

Better Off Friends follows the story of Levi and Macallan as they meet in 7th grade and become best friends. It’s a modern interpretation for the generation that doesn’t know When Sally Met Harry as well as for those who love that movie. It’s a “will they, wont they” that asks the age old question: Can men and women ever be just friends?  

Levi and Macallan were fantastic characters—-not only because of their love of an obscure British tv show but because they were beautifully flawed, human in their miscommunications, and ultimately restored to the rights by trusting in their friendship first. The book is set in Wisconsin so there’s a lot of talk of cheese and the Packers; while Wisconsin is “home” for Eulberg, the story asks an interesting question—-at what point does a place or a person become home? The alternating point of view is useful and the dialogue between chapters is both funny and refreshing. It’s the kind of tale that warms the cockles of your heart. (I don’t even know what that means). 

Overall: A

Better Off Friends is out now from Scholastic. You can get your copy here!

PS bonus friend points if you knew that cockles of your heart line is from the Love’s Labors Lost Original Cast recording soundtrack from The Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park.

xoxo

VV

Tags:   #i read #ya #young adult fiction #ya lit #scholastic #elizabeth eulberg #better off friends #when harry met sally #contemporary #friendship #wisconsin



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Monday, June 23
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Even In Paradise- Chelsey Philpot
When I read Even in Paradise, it was my fourth book of the day. I picked it up thinking it would be a novelty, an easy contemporary which I crave in the summer. Don’t let the cover fool you, this book is not easy. It is the kind of book that leaves you permanently altered, the words sinking under your skin like a tattoo. The “secret” was evident to me from the beginning, but it didn’t matter because I was as fascinated with the Great Buchanan’s as Charlie was—pulled into their wondrous web.
The book is clearly influenced by The Great Gatsby (which is referenced in the book itself); I’d say it’s a parallel story, but more than that it joins in a conversation with Gatsby that I find enchanting. At time the prose rivals Fitzgerald’s, maybe exceeds it in its simple beauty. Each and every character draws you in and charms you into loving them. The twists and turns of the story, every emotion, every separation, every occurrence is as much your own as they are Charlie’s. I could not have put the book down I was so ensorcelled.
No, this book is not easy. It leaves you with questions that burn deep in your gut and with answers that seem to wriggle just out of your grasp. It leaves you uneasy, broken, hopeful, but mostly it leaves you with a desire to live deeply.
It is my second MUST READ of the year and certainly a book that will haunt the edges of my consciousness. I’m glad of that though; we’ll just let it linger there at the edges as it unfolds secrets and subtleties.
Overall: A+
Even in Paradise is due out from HarperTeen October 14th. Pre-Order your copy here. 
ARC provided gratis by HarperTeen at BEA.

Even In Paradise- Chelsey Philpot

When I read Even in Paradise, it was my fourth book of the day. I picked it up thinking it would be a novelty, an easy contemporary which I crave in the summer. Don’t let the cover fool you, this book is not easy. It is the kind of book that leaves you permanently altered, the words sinking under your skin like a tattoo. The “secret” was evident to me from the beginning, but it didn’t matter because I was as fascinated with the Great Buchanan’s as Charlie was—pulled into their wondrous web.

The book is clearly influenced by The Great Gatsby (which is referenced in the book itself); I’d say it’s a parallel story, but more than that it joins in a conversation with Gatsby that I find enchanting. At time the prose rivals Fitzgerald’s, maybe exceeds it in its simple beauty. Each and every character draws you in and charms you into loving them. The twists and turns of the story, every emotion, every separation, every occurrence is as much your own as they are Charlie’s. I could not have put the book down I was so ensorcelled.

No, this book is not easy. It leaves you with questions that burn deep in your gut and with answers that seem to wriggle just out of your grasp. It leaves you uneasy, broken, hopeful, but mostly it leaves you with a desire to live deeply.

It is my second MUST READ of the year and certainly a book that will haunt the edges of my consciousness. I’m glad of that though; we’ll just let it linger there at the edges as it unfolds secrets and subtleties.

Overall: A+

Even in Paradise is due out from HarperTeen October 14th. Pre-Order your copy here

ARC provided gratis by HarperTeen at BEA.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #Young Adult Fiction #ya lit #even in paradise #chelsey philpot #harperteen #contemporary #the great gatsby #gatsby #epic reads


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Wednesday, May 14
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Let’s Get Lost- Adi Alsaid
Every once in a while there’s a book that presents such a crystal clear truth so beautifully that it cuts you like a knife with its sharpness and insight. Let’s Get Lost did that to me. More than once. At one point while reading I tweeted that it would hurt less if Adi had just stabbed me. That’s completely true. “All the lives we’re not living” is all I’m going to say. The moments of truth are sprinkled throughout the book, and you know them immediately when you read them.. deep down, as if they were the clear ringing of a bell in your soul.
The book follows Leila as she takes on an epic summer road trip to see the Northern Lights. We meet her through the eyes of the five people she encounters on her trip. What immediately gripped me was how empathetic Leila was, how insightful, how she could see what a person needed before they even knew it. It’s a bit more complex than that but from the start I saw her as an old soul, full of wisdom, and frankly, my kind of heroine. So in case you’re wondering, Leila’s my fictional new best friend. 
My experience reading: When Bree describes her thoughts on carpe diem and “the day” I found myself nodding and whispering “yes! exactly!” to the pages. There were plenty of times when I laughed out loud reading this book—“We’ve reached that point in the night, It’s epiphany o’clock” (I’m so using this in my real life) or “I like you because you’re not a murderer” which is definitely a classic line. I struggled not to cry during the Northern Lights story and managed it by some sheer force of will, though I was definitely misty-eyed and shaking from the effort. Did I mentioned I was at the airport? People definitely think I’m nuts. I’m probably on some watchlist now.
Anyway, the bottom line: this book was just breathtaking. This is an absolute, non-negotiable MUST READ if you want to be my friend or you know, just a good human. So go on loves, Let’s Get Lost. 
Overall: A+
Let’s Get Lost is due out from Harlequin Teen on July 29th. Pre-order your copy here.
ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen.

Let’s Get Lost- Adi Alsaid

Every once in a while there’s a book that presents such a crystal clear truth so beautifully that it cuts you like a knife with its sharpness and insight. Let’s Get Lost did that to me. More than once. At one point while reading I tweeted that it would hurt less if Adi had just stabbed me. That’s completely true. “All the lives we’re not living” is all I’m going to say. The moments of truth are sprinkled throughout the book, and you know them immediately when you read them.. deep down, as if they were the clear ringing of a bell in your soul.

The book follows Leila as she takes on an epic summer road trip to see the Northern Lights. We meet her through the eyes of the five people she encounters on her trip. What immediately gripped me was how empathetic Leila was, how insightful, how she could see what a person needed before they even knew it. It’s a bit more complex than that but from the start I saw her as an old soul, full of wisdom, and frankly, my kind of heroine. So in case you’re wondering, Leila’s my fictional new best friend.

My experience reading: When Bree describes her thoughts on carpe diem and “the day” I found myself nodding and whispering “yes! exactly!” to the pages. There were plenty of times when I laughed out loud reading this book—“We’ve reached that point in the night, It’s epiphany o’clock” (I’m so using this in my real life) or “I like you because you’re not a murderer” which is definitely a classic line. I struggled not to cry during the Northern Lights story and managed it by some sheer force of will, though I was definitely misty-eyed and shaking from the effort. Did I mentioned I was at the airport? People definitely think I’m nuts. I’m probably on some watchlist now.

Anyway, the bottom line: this book was just breathtaking. This is an absolute, non-negotiable MUST READ if you want to be my friend or you know, just a good human. So go on loves, Let’s Get Lost. 

Overall: A+

Let’s Get Lost is due out from Harlequin Teen on July 29th. Pre-order your copy here.

ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult fiction #ya lit #road trip #summer #contemporary #let's get lost #harlequin teen #publishing #reading


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Wednesday, April 30
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The Edge of Falling- Rebecca Serle
As some of you may remember, I absolutely loved Rebecca Serle’s When You Were Mine. I’ve awaited her second standalone, The Edge of Falling with baited breath. No, really I was turning blue over here (Violet, you’re turning violet Violet!). Let me tell you: It Was Worth The Wait.
I am hard pressed to think of another author that writes mental illness as well as Serle. What’s more, her characters aren’t to be pitied—they are nuanced, complex, and fully human at times fragile and at times fearsome. McCallister Caufield’s story begins as one of privilege but as we come to know Caggie we see the trauma, grief and guilt underneath her gilded NYC life. I reacted with nothing short of complete fascination and empathy. What I found perhaps the most encouraging part of this plot was Caggie’s slow return to agency and the idea that heroism, at the end of the day, is saving ourselves. The NY setting—both in the city and the Hamptons—did this Long Island girl’s heart proud. I could wax poetic about how I find the NY setting to be in perfect symmetry with Caggie’s tale but really I suspect no one wants to read that. Instead, you should go read The Edge of Falling!
Overall: A+
Edge of Falling is out now from Simon Pulse! Get your copy here!

The Edge of Falling- Rebecca Serle

As some of you may remember, I absolutely loved Rebecca Serle’s When You Were Mine. I’ve awaited her second standalone, The Edge of Falling with baited breath. No, really I was turning blue over here (Violet, you’re turning violet Violet!). Let me tell you: It Was Worth The Wait.

I am hard pressed to think of another author that writes mental illness as well as Serle. What’s more, her characters aren’t to be pitied—they are nuanced, complex, and fully human at times fragile and at times fearsome. McCallister Caufield’s story begins as one of privilege but as we come to know Caggie we see the trauma, grief and guilt underneath her gilded NYC life. I reacted with nothing short of complete fascination and empathy. What I found perhaps the most encouraging part of this plot was Caggie’s slow return to agency and the idea that heroism, at the end of the day, is saving ourselves. The NY setting—both in the city and the Hamptons—did this Long Island girl’s heart proud. I could wax poetic about how I find the NY setting to be in perfect symmetry with Caggie’s tale but really I suspect no one wants to read that. Instead, you should go read The Edge of Falling!

Overall: A+

Edge of Falling is out now from Simon Pulse! Get your copy here!

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #Young Adult Fiction #ya lit #publishing #contemporary #rebecca serle #the edge of falling #when you were mine



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Tuesday, February 25
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Kiss and Sell by Brittany Geragotellis

I was in a bit of a reading slump. The kind of slump where you dont want to even pick up a book and try to read. Well I finally forced myself to start Kiss and Sell, and then here was this sweet little book reviving my love of reading again. The entire time I was reading this I saw a made-for-tv movie of it in my head and let me tell you it would be fabulous! It’s smart and sassy; the kind of story that leaves you with the warm and fuzzies and maybe, just maybe, a little nostalgic for your own first kiss. 

I loved Arielle Sawyer’s from the very beginning and watching her grow into self-confidence was a delight. While putting a first kiss up for sale on Ebay sounds odd and unsafe, if you suspend reality enough to get past that this book gives you so much more. Who doesn’t remember their first kiss or more appropriately the time before their first kiss when all you wanted to do was check that box off the bucket list? Also, Arielle has some kick ass friends and a disturbling cool and smart mother. There are mean girls, swoon worthy boys, and an empowering story of taking your life and fate into your own hands and growing into your confidence. Now that’s a story I can get behind. I highly recommend giving Kiss and Sell a try—-you just might fall in love all over again.

Overall: A

Kiss and Sell is out now, you can get yours here.

Synopsis: Arielle Sawyer is freaking out because she’s the last in her class to be kissed. Frustrated and wanting to get it over with, she and her friends decide to sell her first kiss on eBay! Suddenly, this former wallflower finds herself the focus of everyone’s attention. But as her popularity grows and her friendships start to weaken, Arielle begins to wonder why she put the post up in the first place. In the end there will be a winner, but will Arielle’s first kiss end up being everything she’s ever dreamed of?

About the Author: Brittany Geragotelis, a former Olympic-bound gymnast and magazine editor, is a self-professed pop culture junkie turned author. Her paranormal action book, LIFE’S A WITCH, received 19 million reads on the writing site Wattpad before being sold to Simon & Schuster in 2012. Both LIFE’S A WITCH and the prequel WHAT THE SPELL (which appeared in an episode of “Glee”) debuted in 2013. The third book in the series, THE WITCH IS BACK, will be published Jan 2014. Brittany recently moved to Los Angeles with her husband Matt, and her two cats, Murray and Cohen. Visit her at www.thebookslayer.com.

eBook provided gratis in exchange for a fair review

Kiss and Sell by Brittany Geragotellis

I was in a bit of a reading slump. The kind of slump where you dont want to even pick up a book and try to read. Well I finally forced myself to start Kiss and Sell, and then here was this sweet little book reviving my love of reading again. The entire time I was reading this I saw a made-for-tv movie of it in my head and let me tell you it would be fabulous! It’s smart and sassy; the kind of story that leaves you with the warm and fuzzies and maybe, just maybe, a little nostalgic for your own first kiss.

I loved Arielle Sawyer’s from the very beginning and watching her grow into self-confidence was a delight. While putting a first kiss up for sale on Ebay sounds odd and unsafe, if you suspend reality enough to get past that this book gives you so much more. Who doesn’t remember their first kiss or more appropriately the time before their first kiss when all you wanted to do was check that box off the bucket list? Also, Arielle has some kick ass friends and a disturbling cool and smart mother. There are mean girls, swoon worthy boys, and an empowering story of taking your life and fate into your own hands and growing into your confidence. Now that’s a story I can get behind. I highly recommend giving Kiss and Sell a try—-you just might fall in love all over again.

Overall: A

Kiss and Sell is out now, you can get yours here.

Synopsis: Arielle Sawyer is freaking out because she’s the last in her class to be kissed. Frustrated and wanting to get it over with, she and her friends decide to sell her first kiss on eBay! Suddenly, this former wallflower finds herself the focus of everyone’s attention. But as her popularity grows and her friendships start to weaken, Arielle begins to wonder why she put the post up in the first place. In the end there will be a winner, but will Arielle’s first kiss end up being everything she’s ever dreamed of?

About the Author: Brittany Geragotelis, a former Olympic-bound gymnast and magazine editor, is a self-professed pop culture junkie turned author. Her paranormal action book, LIFE’S A WITCH, received 19 million reads on the writing site Wattpad before being sold to Simon & Schuster in 2012. Both LIFE’S A WITCH and the prequel WHAT THE SPELL (which appeared in an episode of “Glee”) debuted in 2013. The third book in the series, THE WITCH IS BACK, will be published Jan 2014. Brittany recently moved to Los Angeles with her husband Matt, and her two cats, Murray and Cohen. Visit her at www.thebookslayer.com.

eBook provided gratis in exchange for a fair review

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #kiss and sell #contemporary #romance #brittany geragotellis #indie #self publishing #publishing #amazon



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Tuesday, October 29
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Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3)- Katie McGarry
McGarry is a genius when it comes to broken characters. An actual genius. Her characters are consistently believable walking the razor’s edge between dark and light, innocence and experience. Crash Into You’s Rachel and Isaiah find in each other both someone who understands, who loves with out conditions or constraints, and who reflects their own internal struggles. Point and counterpoint, a mix of other and same.  It’s mindboggling to me that each Pushing the Limits novel not only showcases compelling characters but does so with an authentic narrative which balances between   a harsh reality and hopeful optimistim. I loved this story just as I suspect I’ll love the next one too. Crash Into You is definitely worth the read and the emotional rollercoaster.
Overall: A
Crash Into You is out November 26th from Harlequin Teen. Pre-order your copy here!  Want to read the first two? Pushing the Limits and Dare You To are out now!
ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3)- Katie McGarry

McGarry is a genius when it comes to broken characters. An actual genius. Her characters are consistently believable walking the razor’s edge between dark and light, innocence and experience. Crash Into You’s Rachel and Isaiah find in each other both someone who understands, who loves with out conditions or constraints, and who reflects their own internal struggles. Point and counterpoint, a mix of other and same.  It’s mindboggling to me that each Pushing the Limits novel not only showcases compelling characters but does so with an authentic narrative which balances between   a harsh reality and hopeful optimistim. I loved this story just as I suspect I’ll love the next one too. Crash Into You is definitely worth the read and the emotional rollercoaster.

Overall: A

Crash Into You is out November 26th from Harlequin Teen. Pre-order your copy here!  Want to read the first two? Pushing the Limits and Dare You To are out now!

ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen

Tags:   #i read #books #publishing #ya #harlequin teen #katie mcgarry #pushing the limits #crash into you #romance #contemporary



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Thursday, October 3
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In honor of The Great Panty Caper coming out October 8th, here’s one from the V.V. archives.
Getting Dumped Part 2- Tawna Fenske
Getting Dumped Part 2 picks up right where Part 1 left off and BOY was that a cliffhanger. I have to say I’m quite pleased with the plot arc of the book and here we solve not one but 2 mysteries. There’s something absurdly delightful about characters who fancy themselves detectives and throw themselves headfirst into danger and mayhem to solve a crime. It’s indulgent and escapist and totally unlike reality (where at least I’d run screaming in the other direction). It’s wonderful! The relationship between the sisters is particularly enjoyable and I find the constant food references hilarious if not hunger inducing.  I was slightly miffed at the end that she hasn’t chosen at man yet, but that’s mostly for a reader’s benefit so we can choose who she pursues in the course of the future books in the series.  And given the ending of part 2, we can be fairly certain there are more adventures in our future. I know I’ll be choosing a certain sexy Brit at all the active fiction choice points. AHEM. But in short, Getting Dumped (pt 1 and 2) is a perfect read for an easy sunny beach day.
Overall A-
Getting Dumped Parts 1 and 2 are out now from Coliloquy! Get your copies here.

In honor of The Great Panty Caper coming out October 8th, here’s one from the V.V. archives.

Getting Dumped Part 2- Tawna Fenske

Getting Dumped Part 2 picks up right where Part 1 left off and BOY was that a cliffhanger. I have to say I’m quite pleased with the plot arc of the book and here we solve not one but 2 mysteries. There’s something absurdly delightful about characters who fancy themselves detectives and throw themselves headfirst into danger and mayhem to solve a crime. It’s indulgent and escapist and totally unlike reality (where at least I’d run screaming in the other direction). It’s wonderful! The relationship between the sisters is particularly enjoyable and I find the constant food references hilarious if not hunger inducing.  I was slightly miffed at the end that she hasn’t chosen at man yet, but that’s mostly for a reader’s benefit so we can choose who she pursues in the course of the future books in the series.  And given the ending of part 2, we can be fairly certain there are more adventures in our future. I know I’ll be choosing a certain sexy Brit at all the active fiction choice points. AHEM. But in short, Getting Dumped (pt 1 and 2) is a perfect read for an easy sunny beach day.

Overall A-

Getting Dumped Parts 1 and 2 are out now from Coliloquy! Get your copies here.

Tags:   #i read #books #reblog #publishing #mystery #romance #contemporary #coliloquy #getting dumped part 2 #tawna fenske



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Wednesday, October 2
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In honor of The Great Panty Caper out October 8th, here’s one from the archives—Getting Dumped- the first Schultz sister mystery!
Getting Dumped is the second “active fiction” book I’ve read from Coliloquy and I have to say I love the format. The choices I made as a reader were much more important here and reflective of my personal opinions on plot then they were in Witch’s Brew. That being said, Fenske has given the reader three interesting leads to choose from:
Collin, the smexy Brit.
Pete, the protective movie star.
Daniel, the asshole ex.
Did I give away my feelings there? Probably. Fenske also writes a very accurate sister relationship. In fact, the plot line was new and compelling too—a job move from corporate to the dump. Who knew I could be so invested in that? There’s a bit of good old Nancy Drew to the storyline as well.
None of this compares however to the major cliffhanger ending that could kill you. No seriously it could. I might be writing this from the afterlife.Overall: A-
Getting Dumped is available for Kindle Users. Get your copy here.

In honor of The Great Panty Caper out October 8th, here’s one from the archives—Getting Dumped- the first Schultz sister mystery!

Getting Dumped is the second “active fiction” book I’ve read from Coliloquy and I have to say I love the format. The choices I made as a reader were much more important here and reflective of my personal opinions on plot then they were in Witch’s Brew. That being said, Fenske has given the reader three interesting leads to choose from:

Collin, the smexy Brit.

Pete, the protective movie star.

Daniel, the asshole ex.

Did I give away my feelings there? Probably. Fenske also writes a very accurate sister relationship. In fact, the plot line was new and compelling too—a job move from corporate to the dump. Who knew I could be so invested in that? There’s a bit of good old Nancy Drew to the storyline as well.

None of this compares however to the major cliffhanger ending that could kill you. No seriously it could. I might be writing this from the afterlife.

Overall: A-

Getting Dumped is available for Kindle Users. Get your copy here.

Tags:   #i read #books #mystery #romance #contemporary #coliloquy #tawna fenske #getting dumped #archives #reblog



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Wednesday, July 17
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Going Vintage- Lindsey Leavitt
Going Vintage is predicated on an interesting idea—that the world is more complicated because of technology. As we come to rely on technology and that technology changes the way we communicate and interact, I think the idea of “going vintage” while slightly insane is actually quite a novel idea. When Mallory finds her boyfriend is emotionally cheating on her with his “online wife,” Mal decides she’s done with this decade. She ends up slightly romanticizing the 60s as an idyllic time when it was actually far from that but the book (and her sister) also calls her out on that.  While she sort of misses the forest for the trees, the results of her decision forces her to stretch outside her comfort zone and discover new things and new people. It’s appropriate for even young teens and I think the message is actually useful for all ages—Get offline and go live your life; the results may surprise you!
Overall: A-
Going Vintage is out now from Bloomsbury. Get your copy here!

Going Vintage- Lindsey Leavitt

Going Vintage is predicated on an interesting idea—that the world is more complicated because of technology. As we come to rely on technology and that technology changes the way we communicate and interact, I think the idea of “going vintage” while slightly insane is actually quite a novel idea. When Mallory finds her boyfriend is emotionally cheating on her with his “online wife,” Mal decides she’s done with this decade. She ends up slightly romanticizing the 60s as an idyllic time when it was actually far from that but the book (and her sister) also calls her out on that.  While she sort of misses the forest for the trees, the results of her decision forces her to stretch outside her comfort zone and discover new things and new people. It’s appropriate for even young teens and I think the message is actually useful for all ages—Get offline and go live your life; the results may surprise you!

Overall: A-

Going Vintage is out now from Bloomsbury. Get your copy here!

Tags:   #Going vintage #i read #books #reading #publishing #lindsey leavitt #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #contemporary #the 60s #vintage


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Friday, July 12
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V is for Virgin- Kelly Oram
While the title may throw you off, V is for Virgin isn’t a preachy story about abstinence. Not really. It’s a story about taking ownership of your life and decisions, about not giving in to peer pressure, and about the changes that one person can bring to the world. It has a great message especially for women to stand up for themselves and their needs. It also raises interesting questions about fame and paparazzi and living in a world where anything you do can be the next Internet sensation. The chemistry with rock star Kyle Hamilton and Valerie is electric and their banter is hilarious. My only pet peeve was the ending—-it was unrealistically happy in my opinion. All of these characters were married by like age 20, who does that anymore? No one in New York that’s for damn sure. And frankly I feel like it undermined the women empowerment that it built earlier in the story. You end the whole thing with all these women getting married or being in relationships? Wow, how very unsubversive to patriachial culture. It’s just weird. Apart from the overly happy ending, it was a good read, thought provoking and inspiring.
Overall: A-
V is for Virgin is out now. Get your copy here!

V is for Virgin- Kelly Oram

While the title may throw you off, V is for Virgin isn’t a preachy story about abstinence. Not really. It’s a story about taking ownership of your life and decisions, about not giving in to peer pressure, and about the changes that one person can bring to the world. It has a great message especially for women to stand up for themselves and their needs. It also raises interesting questions about fame and paparazzi and living in a world where anything you do can be the next Internet sensation. The chemistry with rock star Kyle Hamilton and Valerie is electric and their banter is hilarious. My only pet peeve was the ending—-it was unrealistically happy in my opinion. All of these characters were married by like age 20, who does that anymore? No one in New York that’s for damn sure. And frankly I feel like it undermined the women empowerment that it built earlier in the story. You end the whole thing with all these women getting married or being in relationships? Wow, how very unsubversive to patriachial culture. It’s just weird. Apart from the overly happy ending, it was a good read, thought provoking and inspiring.

Overall: A-

V is for Virgin is out now. Get your copy here!

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #v is for vigin #kelly oram #contemporary #romance #feminist



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Thursday, July 11
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Serial Hottie- Kelly Oram 
Okay so overall, I liked Serial Hottie. However, there are parts of the romantic relationship that scared me a bit. Ellie was an awesome main character—strong, tough, full of moxy. Plus she plays hockey-you go girl! I loved her. But Seth, well, Seth was controlling and violent and frankly terrifying at points. It’s necessary to the plot and I get that but still sort of questionable behavior in my opinion. What is more interesting is that the whole time I was reading, I was wondering if Seth was autistic, which would have explained all of the behaviors and actually sort of made me feel bad for him. He honestly couldn’t understand what he was doing wrong and frankly, throughout the whole book he does try to be better. I liked that a lot and it redeemed him a bit in my mind. There’s a great plot twist and I should warn you, I definitely had trouble falling asleep after this one because hello, serial killer stories are scary! Definitely worth the read even if you have to leave the light on to go to sleep.
Overall: A-
Serial Hottie is out now. Get your copy here!

Serial Hottie- Kelly Oram 

Okay so overall, I liked Serial Hottie. However, there are parts of the romantic relationship that scared me a bit. Ellie was an awesome main character—strong, tough, full of moxy. Plus she plays hockey-you go girl! I loved her. But Seth, well, Seth was controlling and violent and frankly terrifying at points. It’s necessary to the plot and I get that but still sort of questionable behavior in my opinion. What is more interesting is that the whole time I was reading, I was wondering if Seth was autistic, which would have explained all of the behaviors and actually sort of made me feel bad for him. He honestly couldn’t understand what he was doing wrong and frankly, throughout the whole book he does try to be better. I liked that a lot and it redeemed him a bit in my mind. There’s a great plot twist and I should warn you, I definitely had trouble falling asleep after this one because hello, serial killer stories are scary! Definitely worth the read even if you have to leave the light on to go to sleep.

Overall: A-

Serial Hottie is out now. Get your copy here!

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #serial hottie #kelly oram #publishing #contemporary #serial killer #thriller



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Wednesday, July 10
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The Avery Shaw Experiment- Kelly Oram
The Avery Shaw Experiment was one of those perfect, light summer reads. No seriously, it’s so adorable I can’t even stand it. I loved the alternative viewpoints between Avery and Grayson. The idea of getting over a heartbreak using the stages of grief and a little scientific method was a great plot concept.  It was laugh out loud funny from page 1 and by the end it just gave me that feel good feeling sigh. You know what I mean, the one where you exhale and you realize you’re smiling so hard it hurts and you feel relaxed and just joyful. I love that feeling and maybe that’s part of why I loved this book so hard. But I know that it was so phenomenal that I immediately went and bought every other book that Kelly Oram has written, and that’s an unusual buying pattern for me which really speaks to how fantastic this book is. So if you’re looking for a light, easy, contemporary that will leave you feeling good about life look no further than The Avery Shaw Experiment.
Overall: A
The Avery Shaw Experiment is out now and is a STEAL at only 99 cents! Get your copy here!

The Avery Shaw Experiment- Kelly Oram

The Avery Shaw Experiment was one of those perfect, light summer reads. No seriously, it’s so adorable I can’t even stand it. I loved the alternative viewpoints between Avery and Grayson. The idea of getting over a heartbreak using the stages of grief and a little scientific method was a great plot concept.  It was laugh out loud funny from page 1 and by the end it just gave me that feel good feeling sigh. You know what I mean, the one where you exhale and you realize you’re smiling so hard it hurts and you feel relaxed and just joyful. I love that feeling and maybe that’s part of why I loved this book so hard. But I know that it was so phenomenal that I immediately went and bought every other book that Kelly Oram has written, and that’s an unusual buying pattern for me which really speaks to how fantastic this book is. So if you’re looking for a light, easy, contemporary that will leave you feeling good about life look no further than The Avery Shaw Experiment.

Overall: A

The Avery Shaw Experiment is out now and is a STEAL at only 99 cents! Get your copy here!

Tags:   #i read #books #young adult fiction #ya #ya lit #young adult #publishing #the avery shaw experiment #kelly oram #science #high school #contemporary #romance



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Tuesday, July 9
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Dare You To- Katie McGarry
Dare You To continues McGarry’s success in deep gritty contemporaries. I loved exploring and learning more about Beth, a character we’ve met previously in McGarry’s first book, Pushing the Limits. In this book we get baseball and dares, love and self-confidence, and an exploration of relationships in all their various forms. True to her hallmark style, romance isn’t the only plot here and the character development rivals that of Simone Elkeles. Tough issues, tough characters and tough decisions seem to be a hallmark of McGarry’s writing. Be prepared to face the gamut of human emotions reading this book, including some pretty serious violence, but don’t worry too much you’ll get a reasonable happy ending. 
Overall: A+
Dare You To is out now from Harlequin Teen. Get your copy here!
ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen

Dare You To- Katie McGarry

Dare You To continues McGarry’s success in deep gritty contemporaries. I loved exploring and learning more about Beth, a character we’ve met previously in McGarry’s first book, Pushing the Limits. In this book we get baseball and dares, love and self-confidence, and an exploration of relationships in all their various forms. True to her hallmark style, romance isn’t the only plot here and the character development rivals that of Simone Elkeles. Tough issues, tough characters and tough decisions seem to be a hallmark of McGarry’s writing. Be prepared to face the gamut of human emotions reading this book, including some pretty serious violence, but don’t worry too much you’ll get a reasonable happy ending. 

Overall: A+

Dare You To is out now from Harlequin Teen. Get your copy here!

ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #dare you to #pushing the limits #katie mcgarry #harlequin teen #contemporary #romance


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Friday, July 5
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This Song Will Save Your Life- Leila Sales
I appreciate Leila’s contemporary novels because they are always unique. I didn’t think anything would top Past Perfect, but This Song Will Save Your Life certainly does. I love that the story really focuses on Elise and her growth out of the depths of suicidal depression. Rather than shirk away from tough issues, the book explores them without being cliche, preachy or utterly depressing. Rather than being about suicide it is about finding your place in the world, finding your people, and recognizing that what other people see doesn’t define you. The music throughout the book and it’s central place to Elise’s healing rings true to the crucial role music can play in our lives. Frankly, it me want to listen to a really long playlist of these songs. I hope you have one ready, Leila. 
Overall: A-
This Song Will Save Your Life is due out in September from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Pre-order your copy here. 
ARC provided gratis via TEEN AUTHOR CARNIVAL

This Song Will Save Your Life- Leila Sales

I appreciate Leila’s contemporary novels because they are always unique. I didn’t think anything would top Past Perfect, but This Song Will Save Your Life certainly does. I love that the story really focuses on Elise and her growth out of the depths of suicidal depression. Rather than shirk away from tough issues, the book explores them without being cliche, preachy or utterly depressing. Rather than being about suicide it is about finding your place in the world, finding your people, and recognizing that what other people see doesn’t define you. The music throughout the book and it’s central place to Elise’s healing rings true to the crucial role music can play in our lives. Frankly, it me want to listen to a really long playlist of these songs. I hope you have one ready, Leila. 

Overall: A-

This Song Will Save Your Life is due out in September from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Pre-order your copy here

ARC provided gratis via TEEN AUTHOR CARNIVAL

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #fsg #this song will save your life #leila sales #contemporary


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