Verb Vixen

I read. I listen. I watch. I write.
Wednesday, July 23
Permalink

Coliloquy Summer Reading Challenge!

Colioquy is hosting their first Reading Challenge this summer and I’d like to personally invite you to participate in this fun reading adventure. If you are not familiar with this publisher, then you clearly don’t read my blog regularly. BUT I’ll forgive you and you can find out more about them and see a list of their titles here:  http://www.coliloquy.com/about/coliloquy/

The challenge will run between July 7 - August 31, and you can follow along on the Summer Reading Goodreads page and on Twitter using the hashtag #SummerReading. The challenge will be a point based system and depending on how you participate (i.e. blogger and/or reader), you will be eligible to receive FREE Coliloquy titles and win lots of cool prizes.  The more you do, the more you receive. And you get to have fun reading while doing it!

And it gets even better… to kickstart the reading challenge, Coliloquy has dropped the price of several titles. Just for the summer the following books will be offered for FREE across various platforms : King Solomon’s Wives: Hunted, Totlandia: Book 1,  Witch’s Brew, Spellspinners 1, and Georgetown Academy, Book 1. Additionally, Dead Letter Office, Parish Mail 1 and The Great Panty Caper are both available for FREE on Wattpad.

Also, for the new adult fans, Coliloquy is offering an EXCLUSIVE discounted price ($4.99) for Game. Set. Match. a sporty summer romance that has taken fans by storm! Click on the link below and enter promo code: GSM Summer Reading for this amazing promotional price! https://buy.coliloquy.com/obxtheseries

HOW TO EARN POINTS:

  • JOIN- Click on the link to the GoodReads page to join. This page will have updated information about the challenge, a list of participating blogs, eligible titles, discussions and fun challenge questions.(10 points)
  • READ & REVIEW- For each eligible title you read and review on Amazon, you will receive (25 points). Additional points are available (10 each) for cross-posting reviews on Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and a personal blog.
    • If you review a bundle, the  point value will be as follows:
      • Totlandia- 100 points
      • Spellspinners- 75 points
      • Georgetown Academy- 100 points
      • Getting Dumped (+) Great Panty Caper- 75 points
      • King Solomon Wives- 75 points
  • SOCIAL MEDIA- If you are like us and love social media, you can participate on these outlets as well.
    • TWITTER- You can receive up to (10 points) over the summer for tweeting about the challenge (1 tweet = 1 point). Here are some example tweets to use:
      • Join the #SummerReading Challenge with @Coliloquy http://bit.ly/coliloreading
      • The #SummerReading Challenge @Colilquy is starting now! (add link to your blog post)
      • I’m reading (name of book) for @Coliloquy’s #SummerReading Challenge.
      • Have you heard about @Coliloquy’s #SummerReading Challenge yet? (add link to your blog post)
      • Discover a new read through @Coliloquy’s #SummerReading Challenge! (add link to your blog post)
      • Read. Review. Win. Join @Coliloquy’s #SummerReading Challenge! (add link to your blog post)
    • INSTAGRAM- Take a picture of yourself reading a Coliloquy title in your favorite summer reading spot and hashtag it #Summer #Reading #Coliloquy. (10 points)
  • COMMENT- Comment on challenge posts / reviews from the different participating bloggers (max 10 points per week- 2 points per comment). The list of bloggers can be found on the GR page.
  • REFER A FRIEND-  if you are having fun, invite a friend to join! (25 points) after friend has joined and read/reviewed at least 1 title).

REDEEM-

  • Once you reach 100 points, you can cash in your points or you can wait to redeem your prizes at the end of the challenge. All tracking spreadsheets must be turned in by September 7, 2014.
    • 100 points = 1 free Coliloquy title of your choice:
    • 250 points= a 2nd free Coliloquy title of your choice.
    • For each additional 50 points after 250 (up to 500 / 5 entries), you will receive 1 entry into main giveaway. Giveaway includes: (1) Coliloquy Beach Swag Bag (includes: beach bag, silly sunglasses, Coliloquy swag & $10.00 Amazon gift card.

TRACKING

1. Click on the link to access the tracking spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/a/coliloquy.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgzxVSgLj7YjdF9UNnNvb3Y3bUhPRFUwNTFXTEROcWc&usp=sharing

2. Click File—>Download as an Excel file and save to your computer.

3. Use the google doc to track your progress. When you are ready to redeem your points, you can send the completed spreadsheet to SummerReading@Coliloquy.com

If you are interested in taking part in the challenge, please click HERE to join. Once you join, you  will be able to review specific details outlining the challenge details, prizes, tracking system and much more!  You can also follow along on Twitter by using the hashtag #SummerReading.

Tags:   #coliloquy #publishing #reading #summer #summer reading challenge #books #i read



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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, June 16
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Trial By Fire (WorldWalker 1)- Josephine Angelini
You may remember when I fell completely head over heels for Josephine Angelini’s first series, Starcrossed, Dreamless and Goddess. I love those books more than I can possibly convey with words. There would need to be jumping and hand motions and squeeing in an octave only dogs can hear to explain how much I loved those books. SO unsurprisingly, Trial by Fire was my most anticipated book of BEA and it did not disappoint.
The story follows a sick and hyper-allergic girl, Lily, as she gets thrown into a foreign world that is a mirror of her own, one where magic rules instead of science, where she’s not sickly but an extremely powerful witch, and where class differences are about to bring about a civil war. I found Angelini’s mythology and world building as wonderful as ever—-the intersection of magic and science is beautifully done and delightfully conceived for this science nerd. I loved Lily, who despite her fragile body has a warrior’s heart. And shall we discuss Rowan? Cause that boy is a perfect fit for Lily, matching her heart with his strength. But then again, Angelini excels at creating perfectly matched characters doesn’t she? What impresses me more, however, is how well developed her secondary cast of characters are, each of them as riveting as the main ones: Tristan, Caleb, Gideon, Juliet and Carrick all have really interesting story lines worthy of their own books. I for one can’t wait for more world walking, especially with the ending we get in Trial By Fire! I can already tell I’m going to reread this book when I’m in the mood for something a little witchy—-so the fall pub date is perfect; I’ll certainly want a little magic to get ready for Halloween.
love burns. worlds collide. magic reigns.
Overall: A+
Trial By Fire is due out from Feiwel and Friends in September. Pre-order your copy here. 
ARC provided gratis by Macmillan Publishers at BEA. 

Trial By Fire (WorldWalker 1)- Josephine Angelini

You may remember when I fell completely head over heels for Josephine Angelini’s first series, Starcrossed, Dreamless and Goddess. I love those books more than I can possibly convey with words. There would need to be jumping and hand motions and squeeing in an octave only dogs can hear to explain how much I loved those books. SO unsurprisingly, Trial by Fire was my most anticipated book of BEA and it did not disappoint.

The story follows a sick and hyper-allergic girl, Lily, as she gets thrown into a foreign world that is a mirror of her own, one where magic rules instead of science, where she’s not sickly but an extremely powerful witch, and where class differences are about to bring about a civil war. I found Angelini’s mythology and world building as wonderful as ever—-the intersection of magic and science is beautifully done and delightfully conceived for this science nerd. I loved Lily, who despite her fragile body has a warrior’s heart. And shall we discuss Rowan? Cause that boy is a perfect fit for Lily, matching her heart with his strength. But then again, Angelini excels at creating perfectly matched characters doesn’t she? What impresses me more, however, is how well developed her secondary cast of characters are, each of them as riveting as the main ones: Tristan, Caleb, Gideon, Juliet and Carrick all have really interesting story lines worthy of their own books. I for one can’t wait for more world walking, especially with the ending we get in Trial By Fire! I can already tell I’m going to reread this book when I’m in the mood for something a little witchy—-so the fall pub date is perfect; I’ll certainly want a little magic to get ready for Halloween.

love burns. worlds collide. magic reigns.

Overall: A+

Trial By Fire is due out from Feiwel and Friends in September. Pre-order your copy here

ARC provided gratis by Macmillan Publishers at BEA. 

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #macmillan #feiwel and friends #trial by fire #josephine angelini #starcrossed #dreamless #goddess #witches #paranormal #world walking #world walker #fantasy #reading



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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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Monday, May 12
Permalink
Talon (Talon #1)- Julie Kagawa
Julie’s done faries. She’s done vampires. And now, she’s doing Dragons and DAMN! Is she doing dragons! Talon was a riveting book, as much about being human as it is being “other.” Where the Iron Fey yielded interesting questions about humans and technology, Talon brings up questions that are more interior—investigating what it means to be truly human. From the start, we’re thrown in to a centuries old war that’s about as morally ambigious and complicated as you can imagine. What resonates most is Ember’s unfailing moral compass, her desire to be true to herself and live up to her own expectations rather than others. And Garrett? Well it’s hard not to pity the boy who knows less about being human than a dragon does, isn’t it? I really loved them. What bugged me a little was this love triangle thing with Riley. It reminded me a bit of the relationships in Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade series. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I can already tell there are going to be serious team factions for the Talon fandom. Frankly, Team Garrett Xavier Sebastian all the way. ;)
Overall: A
Talon is due out from Harlequin Teen on October 28th. Pre-order your copy here. 
ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen

Talon (Talon #1)- Julie Kagawa

Julie’s done faries. She’s done vampires. And now, she’s doing Dragons and DAMN! Is she doing dragons! Talon was a riveting book, as much about being human as it is being “other.” Where the Iron Fey yielded interesting questions about humans and technology, Talon brings up questions that are more interior—investigating what it means to be truly human. From the start, we’re thrown in to a centuries old war that’s about as morally ambigious and complicated as you can imagine. What resonates most is Ember’s unfailing moral compass, her desire to be true to herself and live up to her own expectations rather than others. And Garrett? Well it’s hard not to pity the boy who knows less about being human than a dragon does, isn’t it? I really loved them. What bugged me a little was this love triangle thing with Riley. It reminded me a bit of the relationships in Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade series. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I can already tell there are going to be serious team factions for the Talon fandom. Frankly, Team Garrett Xavier Sebastian all the way. ;)

Overall: A

Talon is due out from Harlequin Teen on October 28th. Pre-order your copy here

ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen

Tags:   #i read #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #books #reading #publishing #harlequin teen #julie kagawa #talon #iron fey #dragons #fantasy


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Comments
Thursday, April 17
Permalink
Georgetown Academy is a juicy series about the politics at D.C.’s most elite prep school. A cross between Scandal and Gossip Girl, it’s fans include Eva Longoria and nearly a million Wattpad fans.
To celebrate the series’ success, we’ve put together an amazing campaign that involves and benefits readers—the more participation, the more we’ll give. Here are the steps:
Book One is currently being featured on Wattpad. Add GTA to your public Wattpad reading list: http://www.wattpad.com/story/8095946-georgetown-academy-book-one
Share Book One’s Wattpad link via twitter (Using #GTScandal)

If GT fans hit 1k tweets by Wednesday, April 23, we will release Chapter 1 of Book 2 on Wattpad


if can hit 1.5k tweets by Sunday 4/27, we’ll release another Book 2 chapter (from the POV of a an unknown character) on Wattpad


If we hit 2k, the price of book 2, across all platforms will be dropped to $1.99

Join our Twitter Party! On Tuesday 4/22 @ 9 pm EST authors Jessica and Alyssa will answer all readers’ questions! Find out if Taryn will stand between Ellie and Gabe, and maybe their parents’ careers. Use the hashtag #GTScandal to participate. Follow us @GTownAcademy.
Other ways to participate in the campaign and spread the word:
Add the books on Goodreads! Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4 
If you’ve already read and loved the books, consider posting your review on Amazon.
So will you be attending the chat? Let me know in the comments :)

[Insert Book Cover Here] About Georgetown Academy:
Synopsis:
It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.
While freshmen—nicknamed “interns” for their willingness to jump into bed with anyone higher on the D.C. totem pole—navigate the not-so-friendly halls of GA searching for Algebra and Bio classes, the school’s lifers have other things on their minds.
For self-proclaimed D.C. royalty Brinley Madison (of those Madisons), the first day of school is all about establishing the social hierarchy and playing the part of perfect political wife to her boyfriend, the outgoing Vice President’s son. Too bad he has a wandering eye that puts Bill Clinton’s to shame. Can she keep him, and her own secret vice, in check?
Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, floats through the halls on the arm of golden boy Hunter McKnight (the JFK of GA). But when her ex-boyfriend, Gabe, returns to town and her Senator mother’s political nemesis is reelected, Ellie’s life starts to snowball out of control.
Shy, quiet Evan Hartnett is more into books than beer, and her closet is full of t-shirts and jeans instead of Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. No one’s ever really noticed her—but she’s been noticing them. When her star rises as an intern at D.C.’s most-watched political news show, she soon finds the two worlds colliding in ways that make her question what’s secret and what’s fair game.
New girl Taryn Reyes is all laid-back, California cool; with a father who’s in line to be the first Hispanic president, she’s ready to dive into the D.C. scene with an open mind. But when her fellow students turn out to be more interested in spreading rumors than making friends, she realizes that forging a drama-free path might be a lot harder than she thinks.
With so many new friends and former flames in the mix, things are bound to get a little heated. And while diplomatic immunity might keep the cops away, there’s not much it can do about the press.
In a town where one teenage misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at Georgetown Academy will have to be on their best behavior—or, at least, they’ll have to make the world believe that they are.
Because there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.
What’s Cool from Coliloquy:
As the party scene at Georgetown Academy gets under way, authors Alyssa and Jessica let readers decide which of the main girls to follow. You’ll see scandalous behavior, unexpected liaisons, and secret betrayals…all giving you a different perspective as events unfold.

Georgetown Academy is a juicy series about the politics at D.C.’s most elite prep school. A cross between Scandal and Gossip Girl, it’s fans include Eva Longoria and nearly a million Wattpad fans.

To celebrate the series’ success, we’ve put together an amazing campaign that involves and benefits readers—the more participation, the more we’ll give. Here are the steps:

Book One is currently being featured on Wattpad. Add GTA to your public Wattpad reading list: http://www.wattpad.com/story/8095946-georgetown-academy-book-one

Share Book One’s Wattpad link via twitter (Using #GTScandal)

  • If GT fans hit 1k tweets by Wednesday, April 23, we will release Chapter 1 of Book 2 on Wattpad

  • if can hit 1.5k tweets by Sunday 4/27, we’ll release another Book 2 chapter (from the POV of a an unknown character) on Wattpad

  • If we hit 2k, the price of book 2, across all platforms will be dropped to $1.99

Join our Twitter Party! On Tuesday 4/22 @ 9 pm EST authors Jessica and Alyssa will answer all readers’ questions! Find out if Taryn will stand between Ellie and Gabe, and maybe their parents’ careers. Use the hashtag #GTScandal to participate. Follow us @GTownAcademy.

Other ways to participate in the campaign and spread the word:

Add the books on Goodreads! Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4 

If you’ve already read and loved the books, consider posting your review on Amazon.

So will you be attending the chat? Let me know in the comments :)

[Insert Book Cover Here] About Georgetown Academy:

Synopsis:

It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.

While freshmen—nicknamed “interns” for their willingness to jump into bed with anyone higher on the D.C. totem pole—navigate the not-so-friendly halls of GA searching for Algebra and Bio classes, the school’s lifers have other things on their minds.

For self-proclaimed D.C. royalty Brinley Madison (of those Madisons), the first day of school is all about establishing the social hierarchy and playing the part of perfect political wife to her boyfriend, the outgoing Vice President’s son. Too bad he has a wandering eye that puts Bill Clinton’s to shame. Can she keep him, and her own secret vice, in check?

Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, floats through the halls on the arm of golden boy Hunter McKnight (the JFK of GA). But when her ex-boyfriend, Gabe, returns to town and her Senator mother’s political nemesis is reelected, Ellie’s life starts to snowball out of control.

Shy, quiet Evan Hartnett is more into books than beer, and her closet is full of t-shirts and jeans instead of Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. No one’s ever really noticed her—but she’s been noticing them. When her star rises as an intern at D.C.’s most-watched political news show, she soon finds the two worlds colliding in ways that make her question what’s secret and what’s fair game.

New girl Taryn Reyes is all laid-back, California cool; with a father who’s in line to be the first Hispanic president, she’s ready to dive into the D.C. scene with an open mind. But when her fellow students turn out to be more interested in spreading rumors than making friends, she realizes that forging a drama-free path might be a lot harder than she thinks.

With so many new friends and former flames in the mix, things are bound to get a little heated. And while diplomatic immunity might keep the cops away, there’s not much it can do about the press.

In a town where one teenage misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at Georgetown Academy will have to be on their best behavior—or, at least, they’ll have to make the world believe that they are.

Because there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.

What’s Cool from Coliloquy:

As the party scene at Georgetown Academy gets under way, authors Alyssa and Jessica let readers decide which of the main girls to follow. You’ll see scandalous behavior, unexpected liaisons, and secret betrayals…all giving you a different perspective as events unfold.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #reading #coliloquy #georgetown academy #gta #GTScandal #politics #private school



Comments
Tuesday, December 31
Permalink
Guys. This Cover. I Die. 
1. I love the blue! It matches my summer hair.
2. There’s something sinister here, perhaps the evil red eye that whispers of the darkness that this book promises.
3. I mean, is there a better way to end a year then with a magical read? I think not.
4. Is there a better way to start a year then with a magical read? I think not.
5. I love how it’s sort of reflective of the current state of the world. When winter’s darkness descends, I want to see something reflect that desolation and despondency. I’m constantly thinking about Queen Mab and winter courts, but now perhaps I’ll think of witches who are being a bit wicked.
Anyway, this cover makes me super excited Devil’s Frost. Devil’s Frost is the third book in Heidi R. Kling’s #sexymagic series…The Spellspinners of Melas County. To celebrate the cover reveal, there’s a witchy giveaway you can enter via the rafflecopter here.
xoxo,
V.V.

Guys. This Cover. I Die. 

1. I love the blue! It matches my summer hair.

2. There’s something sinister here, perhaps the evil red eye that whispers of the darkness that this book promises.

3. I mean, is there a better way to end a year then with a magical read? I think not.

4. Is there a better way to start a year then with a magical read? I think not.

5. I love how it’s sort of reflective of the current state of the world. When winter’s darkness descends, I want to see something reflect that desolation and despondency. I’m constantly thinking about Queen Mab and winter courts, but now perhaps I’ll think of witches who are being a bit wicked.

Anyway, this cover makes me super excited Devil’s Frost. Devil’s Frost is the third book in Heidi R. Kling’s #sexymagic series…The Spellspinners of Melas County. To celebrate the cover reveal, there’s a witchy giveaway you can enter via the rafflecopter here.

xoxo,

V.V.

Tags:   #i read #books #reading #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #coliloquy #devils frost #spellspinners of melas county #heidi r kling #sea #witch's brew #the gleaning #witches #warlocks #magic #cover reveal #giveaway



Comments
Thursday, December 5
Permalink
I’m so excited to bring you the cover and a sneak peek at Geoff Herbach’s new book, Fat Boys vs The Cheerleader! It’s not just a war against the “in-crowd,” it’s a revolution! It’s going to be an awesome read! Check out the exercept below and pre-order your copy here!xoxo
V.V.
Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders
by Geoff Herbach
Sourcebooks Fire
MEMORANDUM
From: Henry P. Rodriguez, Attorney at Law
Submitted To: Seventh District Court, Otter County
Re: Case No. 1745321—Gardener et al v. MLA Independent School District
SHORTLY BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON JUNE 15, GABRIEL JOHNSON, A SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD FROM MINNEKOTA, MN, WAS APPREHENDED OUTSIDE CUB FOODS BY OFFICER REX McCOY. JOHNSON POSSESSED $17.75 IN SMALL BILLS AND CHANGE, WHICH HE CONFIRMED HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM THE VENDING MACHINE AT MINNEKOTA LAKE AREA HIGH SCHOOL.
POLICE SUGGESTED THE ALLEGED ROBBERY WAS RELATED TO A LARGER CONFLICT INVOLVING ASSAULT, VANDALISM, AND DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER THAT HAS COME TO BE KNOWN AS THE SPUNK RIVER WAR.
THE FOLLOWING TRANSCRIPT IS GABRIEL’S VERBATIM ACCOUNT, RECORDED IN A CONFERENCE ROOM AT THE MINNEKOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT BETWEEN 10 A.M. AND 5:40 P.M. ON JUNE 16.
WE SUBMIT THIS DOCUMENT AS CONTEXT FOR THE ABOVE NOTED CASE. THERE IS A SPECIFIC HUMAN COST WHEN THOSE IN POWER WIELD POWER ARROGANTLY. THIS CASE SUPPORTS A TEENAGER’S FIGHT FOR DIGNITY, OPPORTUNITY, AND FAIRNESS.
Chapter 1
Ripping off the pop machine last night wasn’t meant to be funny. It was my duty to all the geeks, burners and oddballs in school, because that machine sucks. Robbing it was serious business, okay?
Why are you laughing, Mr. Rodriguez?
I did it myself. I robbed the machine all by myself.
There were sheep in the school this morning? Real sheep?
How—? Oh, wait, I remember now. I must’ve let them in there by accident. Whoops. Like, left the door open after I robbed the machine and all those sheep wandered in by themselves.
No, it’s not funny, sir. Really.
I’m telling you, I’m the one who stole the money. It was eighteen dollars, but I lost a quarter when Officer McCoy roughed me up. Look at my chin! I have scrapes all over my stomach and knees, too.
That stupid pop machine. Stupid pop! It all started with that stupid…
Yeah I hate that machine! For so many reasons.
For instance, in May, me, Justin Cornell and Camille Gardener did this pop study for health class. The study was Camille’s idea, because she turned into a health nut when her dad started organic farming last year (they grew like two tomatoes and a one giant zucchini—they’re not the best farmers). Anyway, out of Camille’s concern for student health, she got us to study usage of the pop machine, her theory being that unhealthy kids would be the heaviest users.
Big, bad study, sir. Mr. Luken, our Health teacher, gave us passes to hang out in the cafeteria all day. We made a chart of jocks, brains, music geeks, gamers, burners, and “others” (sad sacks who are hard to categorize because they have no social connections to anyone) and we took note of who purchased a product from the pop machine and what specific product they purchased.
Almost nobody paid attention to us while we took notes. Only a couple said stuff like, “What are you staring at, dorks?” Seth Sellers, a jock, made fart sounds when he saw me.
This pop project was eye-opening, sir.
After school that day, me, Camille and Justin went to Bitterroot Coffee Shop down on Main Street to tally things up.
“Nick, Gamer, purchased three Pepsis in four hours,” Justin said.
“Kendra, Burner, four different pops in five hours,” Camille said.
“She’s pretty overweight,” Justin said.
“Not as big as Tiff, Other, who bought four bottles of Sierra Mist,” Camille said.
“Oh Lord Mother of all Balls,” I said.
Camille plugged the data into a spreadsheet, squinting.
Justin shook his head, sucked his latte and was all like, “Whoa.”
Then Camille sat back, sipped her green tea and was all like, “Just as I suspected.”
I smiled and said, “Holy Mother of all Balls, right?” I drank a mocha with whipped cream, which has a million calories, by the way.
Here’s the scoop, sir: Purchasers of pop at Minnekota Lake Area High School are fat asses, trailer park kids, addicted gamers, and burner chicks who eat cigarettes for breakfast. Dozens and dozens of these kids. Most of them went for second rounds later in the day. Some for thirds. A couple, fourths (me, for instance). Very few jocks purchased pop from the machine. (Seth Sellers bought one bottle of Pepsi late in the afternoon, so he was able to greet me with the aforementioned fart sounds.) Two cheerleaders purchased from the machine, but they both bought diet. That diet stuff will kill you, but not make you fat on the calories.
What does that tell you, Mr. Rodriguez?
I tried not to show my concern, but Justin and Camille were clearly concerned.
“You drink a lot of pop, Chunk,” Justin said. “Could be part of the problem,”
“Oh, is there a problem?” I said. “I wasn’t aware of a problem!” I smiled big and raised my fat mocha like I was making a toast.
“There’s a problem, Chunk,” Camille said. “A big problem.” She didn’t smile. She didn’t toast me.
“I’m just sayin’,” Justin said.
Yeah. Really. A problem. I drank a hell-ton of Code Red Mountain Dew every day—four bottles, five bottles—and the only pants that fit me were stretchy pants (elastic waistband, sir).
I knew it, too, knew pop was part of my issue. But, see, I also thought it was part of my success! I was winning by buying all that pop! All the vending machine money went to fund the band! I’m a trombone player, you know? That’s one badass, hilarious instrument, right? Trombone! Awesome instrument. I love band so much so I figured I was paying myself by drinking all that pop. Winning it huge.
No. Stupid.
The truth is, I’ve gained a load of weight in the last couple of years. Kids call me fat ass, sausages, fudge balls, butter balls, cake balls, lard ass, 8 Butt Johnson. All kinds of names. I laugh and go along with it, but those names hurt my feelings.
Even my stupid gym teacher calls me names!
The day after our pop study, I was depressed, so it took me a long time to get to school, so I was late to gym class, so Mr. McCartney ordered me to “orbit,” which means run laps. I didn’t want to get detention (McCartney had been threatening me with detention, because I make jokes and I’m quote unquote mouthy). So I did what I was told.
While I was jogging around the gym, Seth Sellers shouted, “Planet turd in orbit!”
I smiled. “Yeah, watch out, planet earth. This shit ball might crash out of the night sky!” I faked being out of control and weaved off course like I was crashing.
McCartney got pissed. “This isn’t a joke, Chunk,” he said. “This is a punishment.”
“Okay,” I said. “Sorry.” I jogged on, but when I got to the far end of the gym, Janessa Rogers, this nasty cheerleader, said, “Shake it, Chunk! Shake it!”
I puckered my lips duck-face style and started shaking my ass while I jogged.
Everybody laughed.
Everybody except McCartney. He freaked. Way out of control. His face turned dark red and sweat streamed down his forehead. He started yelling, “You wanna be a clown, Chunk? You wanna disrupt my class? Oh, you’re real hilarious!”
I stopped my ass shaking,
“God, I’m sick of it,” McCartney shouted.
I stopped jogging all together. Stared at him, because he was screaming. Everyone else stopped whacking their birds (we were in a badminton unit).
McCartney walked toward me fast. “I’m so sick of your baloney. Sick of your face.”
“My face?” I asked, because I was surprised, because I always thought McCartney sort of liked me, even if I annoyed him.
“Your fat face! Get out of my gym, you sack of shit. Get your fat ass out of here.”
Everybody stared. Everybody’s mouth hung open.
I swallowed hard. Stared at McCartney for a second. Then said, “Okay.” I put my head down and bumbled out of there as fast as my fat legs could carry me.
Terrible. Teacher verbally assaults you like that?
Hey. Why are we talking about this, Mr. Rodriguez? Shouldn’t we be talking about how…how you’re going to keep me from going to jail or something? I’m a little nervous about my crime.
The whole story, huh? Okay. You asked for it. I can talk forever.
Pop. The night after I was kicked out of gym, I pulled five empty bottles of Code Red Mountain Dew out of my backpack (there isn’t recycling at school, so I bring my empties home). One bottle didn’t have a cap on it. A little Code Red dribbled out onto my bedroom rug. It made a little stain. I squinted at it and my heart beat hard.
This stain reminded me of Doris our cleaning lady back when Dad was trying to pick up the pieces after Mom hit the road (Mom ran away to Japan while I was in eighth grade, by the way).
Doris was a tiny old lady. She spilled dirty mop water on the carpet. She said, “Better laugh than cry.” She broke a lamp when she whacked it off a side table with the duster. “Better laugh than cry.”
Poor Doris! She was terrible. She could barely lift a broom, she was so old. Dad had to fire her, which made him cry (serious sobbing breakdown, which he did a lot back then), but what was he going to do? She plugged the toilet with Clorox wipes. She broke a whole set of plates. She fell off a stool and ripped down our shower curtain. Dad had no choice. But when the taxi dropped her off at our place on the day he actually fired her, he broke down like a weak-ass baby. “I’m sorry,” he cried. “I’m so sorry, Doris.”
Doris shrugged and smiled and put her coat back on. I was so nervous about how she would react. What if Doris cried about getting fired? What would we do then? But she didn’t seem to care at all. “Better laugh than cry,” she said. Then Dad drove her home.
And I exhaled. I relaxed. And I thought: Doris has it right, right? Better laugh than cry. I don’t want to be a fool sobbing mess like my dumb dad, who can’t deal with his wife leaving him (my mom left me, too, and I wanted to cry, but seriously, better laugh than cry). That became my whole way of dealing.
A couple years later, there I was, ass dancing in the high school hallway while Seth Sellers mocked me with fart sounds. Laughing all the way, man.
But I stared at that Code Red stain on my rug and my heart beat and I thought, that’s not funny. For the first time, sir, it occurred to me that my total lack of dignity is not remotely funny.
That feeling continued into the night.
Grandpa, who you met this morning, moved in with me and Dad last summer to help us out. He cooks really well and sort of cleans—better than Doris, I guess. After he got too old to be a professional body builder, Grandpa ran a diner in town and the dude can make comfort food like nobody’s business.
Yes, you heard me right, body-builder.
Why are you laughing?
Everybody in town knows about Grandpa. He was Mr. Minnesota 1977, Mr. Rodriguez. I’m serious. The ladies loved him. Grandpa was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s main competition back in the day.
That’s what he told me and I believe him.
Long story short, sir, that night Grandpa cooked up some steaks and a bunch of mushrooms in butter sauce and mashed potatoes and green beans and fixed us salads. The deal is I never ate the green beans or the salad part. I doubled up on mashed potatoes, because oh balls, yes, do I love the awesome flavor of my grandpa’s cream cheese infused mashed potatoes.
While I was sucking down the potatoes, Grandpa stared at me. He said, “Boy, the lack of roughage in your diet accounts for that big gut of yours.”
I looked up, stared back at Grandpa’s pinched face. I remembered Mr. McCartney calling me a fat ass in gym. My heart sank. My chin quivered. “Big gut?” I asked.
"You heard me," he said.
I swallowed hard, thought I might cry, because all these names… But then my Doris philosophy kicked in. I said, “I’m out of here!” I put the rest of the potatoes in my mouth—a giant wad—jumped up from my chair and ass-danced out of the dining room.
“Sure love the spuds, don’t ya, ya Chunk,” Grandpa called after me.
“Ha ha ha!” my dad laughed.
Back downstairs in my room, I stared at the stain again. What the hell is so funny? Am I really just a joke? I pictured Doris’s quivery arms and unsteady gaze and her wrinkled old face.
Then it hit me! Oh man, I thought. Crap! You’re not Doris, you idiot. 
Total realization, sir. Doris couldn’t help it that she was so old. What was she going to do? Cry about living so long she no longer had control of her body? Better laugh than cry makes sense for her. I, on the other hand, have a choice. I’m a powerful young buck. Ass dancing isn’t the only option, right?
Don’t get me wrong, sir, I like being funny. But I don’t like…
You asked for it! The whole story! This totally has to do with the pop machine.
See, I was already pretty crabby that last week of school. Because I tried to limit my Code Red intake to three bottles a day, because I didn’t want to be a victim anymore, didn’t want to just laugh it all off. I wanted to do something for myself. I’d become dependent on the sugar and caffeine in the freaking pop, okay?
 Justin and Camille both commented on my bad mood.
“Why so sad?” Justin asked while driving me to school.
“Someone hit you with the sad stick?” Camille asked during chemistry.
“Bah,” I replied to both of them. “Screw everything.”
See? I was already evolving the attitude that caused me to become the criminal I am today.
Then, Wednesday that last week of school we had the first tiny event of what has since come to be known as the Spunk River War.
What a stupid name. Spunk. That’s a bonehead name.
Sure thing, sir. Go ahead and get coffee. I’ll be here when you get back. Not like I can go anywhere.

I’m so excited to bring you the cover and a sneak peek at Geoff Herbach’s new book, Fat Boys vs The Cheerleader! It’s not just a war against the “in-crowd,” it’s a revolution! It’s going to be an awesome read! Check out the exercept below and pre-order your copy here!
xoxo

V.V.

Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders

by Geoff Herbach

Sourcebooks Fire

MEMORANDUM

From: Henry P. Rodriguez, Attorney at Law

Submitted To: Seventh District Court, Otter County

Re: Case No. 1745321—Gardener et al v. MLA Independent School District

SHORTLY BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON JUNE 15, GABRIEL JOHNSON, A SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD FROM MINNEKOTA, MN, WAS APPREHENDED OUTSIDE CUB FOODS BY OFFICER REX McCOY. JOHNSON POSSESSED $17.75 IN SMALL BILLS AND CHANGE, WHICH HE CONFIRMED HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM THE VENDING MACHINE AT MINNEKOTA LAKE AREA HIGH SCHOOL.

POLICE SUGGESTED THE ALLEGED ROBBERY WAS RELATED TO A LARGER CONFLICT INVOLVING ASSAULT, VANDALISM, AND DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER THAT HAS COME TO BE KNOWN AS THE SPUNK RIVER WAR.

THE FOLLOWING TRANSCRIPT IS GABRIEL’S VERBATIM ACCOUNT, RECORDED IN A CONFERENCE ROOM AT THE MINNEKOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT BETWEEN 10 A.M. AND 5:40 P.M. ON JUNE 16.

WE SUBMIT THIS DOCUMENT AS CONTEXT FOR THE ABOVE NOTED CASE. THERE IS A SPECIFIC HUMAN COST WHEN THOSE IN POWER WIELD POWER ARROGANTLY. THIS CASE SUPPORTS A TEENAGER’S FIGHT FOR DIGNITY, OPPORTUNITY, AND FAIRNESS.

Chapter 1

Ripping off the pop machine last night wasn’t meant to be funny. It was my duty to all the geeks, burners and oddballs in school, because that machine sucks. Robbing it was serious business, okay?

Why are you laughing, Mr. Rodriguez?

I did it myself. I robbed the machine all by myself.

There were sheep in the school this morning? Real sheep?

How—? Oh, wait, I remember now. I must’ve let them in there by accident. Whoops. Like, left the door open after I robbed the machine and all those sheep wandered in by themselves.

No, it’s not funny, sir. Really.

I’m telling you, I’m the one who stole the money. It was eighteen dollars, but I lost a quarter when Officer McCoy roughed me up. Look at my chin! I have scrapes all over my stomach and knees, too.

That stupid pop machine. Stupid pop! It all started with that stupid…

Yeah I hate that machine! For so many reasons.

For instance, in May, me, Justin Cornell and Camille Gardener did this pop study for health class. The study was Camille’s idea, because she turned into a health nut when her dad started organic farming last year (they grew like two tomatoes and a one giant zucchini—they’re not the best farmers). Anyway, out of Camille’s concern for student health, she got us to study usage of the pop machine, her theory being that unhealthy kids would be the heaviest users.

Big, bad study, sir. Mr. Luken, our Health teacher, gave us passes to hang out in the cafeteria all day. We made a chart of jocks, brains, music geeks, gamers, burners, and “others” (sad sacks who are hard to categorize because they have no social connections to anyone) and we took note of who purchased a product from the pop machine and what specific product they purchased.

Almost nobody paid attention to us while we took notes. Only a couple said stuff like, “What are you staring at, dorks?” Seth Sellers, a jock, made fart sounds when he saw me.

This pop project was eye-opening, sir.

After school that day, me, Camille and Justin went to Bitterroot Coffee Shop down on Main Street to tally things up.

“Nick, Gamer, purchased three Pepsis in four hours,” Justin said.

“Kendra, Burner, four different pops in five hours,” Camille said.

“She’s pretty overweight,” Justin said.

“Not as big as Tiff, Other, who bought four bottles of Sierra Mist,” Camille said.

“Oh Lord Mother of all Balls,” I said.

Camille plugged the data into a spreadsheet, squinting.

Justin shook his head, sucked his latte and was all like, “Whoa.”

Then Camille sat back, sipped her green tea and was all like, “Just as I suspected.”

I smiled and said, “Holy Mother of all Balls, right?” I drank a mocha with whipped cream, which has a million calories, by the way.

Here’s the scoop, sir: Purchasers of pop at Minnekota Lake Area High School are fat asses, trailer park kids, addicted gamers, and burner chicks who eat cigarettes for breakfast. Dozens and dozens of these kids. Most of them went for second rounds later in the day. Some for thirds. A couple, fourths (me, for instance). Very few jocks purchased pop from the machine. (Seth Sellers bought one bottle of Pepsi late in the afternoon, so he was able to greet me with the aforementioned fart sounds.) Two cheerleaders purchased from the machine, but they both bought diet. That diet stuff will kill you, but not make you fat on the calories.

What does that tell you, Mr. Rodriguez?

I tried not to show my concern, but Justin and Camille were clearly concerned.

“You drink a lot of pop, Chunk,” Justin said. “Could be part of the problem,”

“Oh, is there a problem?” I said. “I wasn’t aware of a problem!” I smiled big and raised my fat mocha like I was making a toast.

“There’s a problem, Chunk,” Camille said. “A big problem.” She didn’t smile. She didn’t toast me.

“I’m just sayin’,” Justin said.

Yeah. Really. A problem. I drank a hell-ton of Code Red Mountain Dew every day—four bottles, five bottles—and the only pants that fit me were stretchy pants (elastic waistband, sir).

I knew it, too, knew pop was part of my issue. But, see, I also thought it was part of my success! I was winning by buying all that pop! All the vending machine money went to fund the band! I’m a trombone player, you know? That’s one badass, hilarious instrument, right? Trombone! Awesome instrument. I love band so much so I figured I was paying myself by drinking all that pop. Winning it huge.

No. Stupid.

The truth is, I’ve gained a load of weight in the last couple of years. Kids call me fat ass, sausages, fudge balls, butter balls, cake balls, lard ass, 8 Butt Johnson. All kinds of names. I laugh and go along with it, but those names hurt my feelings.

Even my stupid gym teacher calls me names!

The day after our pop study, I was depressed, so it took me a long time to get to school, so I was late to gym class, so Mr. McCartney ordered me to “orbit,” which means run laps. I didn’t want to get detention (McCartney had been threatening me with detention, because I make jokes and I’m quote unquote mouthy). So I did what I was told.

While I was jogging around the gym, Seth Sellers shouted, “Planet turd in orbit!”

I smiled. “Yeah, watch out, planet earth. This shit ball might crash out of the night sky!” I faked being out of control and weaved off course like I was crashing.

McCartney got pissed. “This isn’t a joke, Chunk,” he said. “This is a punishment.”

“Okay,” I said. “Sorry.” I jogged on, but when I got to the far end of the gym, Janessa Rogers, this nasty cheerleader, said, “Shake it, Chunk! Shake it!”

I puckered my lips duck-face style and started shaking my ass while I jogged.

Everybody laughed.

Everybody except McCartney. He freaked. Way out of control. His face turned dark red and sweat streamed down his forehead. He started yelling, “You wanna be a clown, Chunk? You wanna disrupt my class? Oh, you’re real hilarious!”

I stopped my ass shaking,

“God, I’m sick of it,” McCartney shouted.

I stopped jogging all together. Stared at him, because he was screaming. Everyone else stopped whacking their birds (we were in a badminton unit).

McCartney walked toward me fast. “I’m so sick of your baloney. Sick of your face.”

“My face?” I asked, because I was surprised, because I always thought McCartney sort of liked me, even if I annoyed him.

“Your fat face! Get out of my gym, you sack of shit. Get your fat ass out of here.”

Everybody stared. Everybody’s mouth hung open.

I swallowed hard. Stared at McCartney for a second. Then said, “Okay.” I put my head down and bumbled out of there as fast as my fat legs could carry me.

Terrible. Teacher verbally assaults you like that?

Hey. Why are we talking about this, Mr. Rodriguez? Shouldn’t we be talking about how…how you’re going to keep me from going to jail or something? I’m a little nervous about my crime.

The whole story, huh? Okay. You asked for it. I can talk forever.

Pop. The night after I was kicked out of gym, I pulled five empty bottles of Code Red Mountain Dew out of my backpack (there isn’t recycling at school, so I bring my empties home). One bottle didn’t have a cap on it. A little Code Red dribbled out onto my bedroom rug. It made a little stain. I squinted at it and my heart beat hard.

This stain reminded me of Doris our cleaning lady back when Dad was trying to pick up the pieces after Mom hit the road (Mom ran away to Japan while I was in eighth grade, by the way).

Doris was a tiny old lady. She spilled dirty mop water on the carpet. She said, “Better laugh than cry.” She broke a lamp when she whacked it off a side table with the duster. “Better laugh than cry.”

Poor Doris! She was terrible. She could barely lift a broom, she was so old. Dad had to fire her, which made him cry (serious sobbing breakdown, which he did a lot back then), but what was he going to do? She plugged the toilet with Clorox wipes. She broke a whole set of plates. She fell off a stool and ripped down our shower curtain. Dad had no choice. But when the taxi dropped her off at our place on the day he actually fired her, he broke down like a weak-ass baby. “I’m sorry,” he cried. “I’m so sorry, Doris.”

Doris shrugged and smiled and put her coat back on. I was so nervous about how she would react. What if Doris cried about getting fired? What would we do then? But she didn’t seem to care at all. “Better laugh than cry,” she said. Then Dad drove her home.

And I exhaled. I relaxed. And I thought: Doris has it right, right? Better laugh than cry. I don’t want to be a fool sobbing mess like my dumb dad, who can’t deal with his wife leaving him (my mom left me, too, and I wanted to cry, but seriously, better laugh than cry). That became my whole way of dealing.

A couple years later, there I was, ass dancing in the high school hallway while Seth Sellers mocked me with fart sounds. Laughing all the way, man.

But I stared at that Code Red stain on my rug and my heart beat and I thought, that’s not funny. For the first time, sir, it occurred to me that my total lack of dignity is not remotely funny.

That feeling continued into the night.

Grandpa, who you met this morning, moved in with me and Dad last summer to help us out. He cooks really well and sort of cleans—better than Doris, I guess. After he got too old to be a professional body builder, Grandpa ran a diner in town and the dude can make comfort food like nobody’s business.

Yes, you heard me right, body-builder.

Why are you laughing?

Everybody in town knows about Grandpa. He was Mr. Minnesota 1977, Mr. Rodriguez. I’m serious. The ladies loved him. Grandpa was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s main competition back in the day.

That’s what he told me and I believe him.

Long story short, sir, that night Grandpa cooked up some steaks and a bunch of mushrooms in butter sauce and mashed potatoes and green beans and fixed us salads. The deal is I never ate the green beans or the salad part. I doubled up on mashed potatoes, because oh balls, yes, do I love the awesome flavor of my grandpa’s cream cheese infused mashed potatoes.

While I was sucking down the potatoes, Grandpa stared at me. He said, “Boy, the lack of roughage in your diet accounts for that big gut of yours.”

I looked up, stared back at Grandpa’s pinched face. I remembered Mr. McCartney calling me a fat ass in gym. My heart sank. My chin quivered. “Big gut?” I asked.

"You heard me," he said.

I swallowed hard, thought I might cry, because all these names… But then my Doris philosophy kicked in. I said, “I’m out of here!” I put the rest of the potatoes in my mouth—a giant wad—jumped up from my chair and ass-danced out of the dining room.

“Sure love the spuds, don’t ya, ya Chunk,” Grandpa called after me.

“Ha ha ha!” my dad laughed.

Back downstairs in my room, I stared at the stain again. What the hell is so funny? Am I really just a joke? I pictured Doris’s quivery arms and unsteady gaze and her wrinkled old face.

Then it hit me! Oh man, I thought. Crap! You’re not Doris, you idiot.

Total realization, sir. Doris couldn’t help it that she was so old. What was she going to do? Cry about living so long she no longer had control of her body? Better laugh than cry makes sense for her. I, on the other hand, have a choice. I’m a powerful young buck. Ass dancing isn’t the only option, right?

Don’t get me wrong, sir, I like being funny. But I don’t like…

You asked for it! The whole story! This totally has to do with the pop machine.

See, I was already pretty crabby that last week of school. Because I tried to limit my Code Red intake to three bottles a day, because I didn’t want to be a victim anymore, didn’t want to just laugh it all off. I wanted to do something for myself. I’d become dependent on the sugar and caffeine in the freaking pop, okay?

 Justin and Camille both commented on my bad mood.

“Why so sad?” Justin asked while driving me to school.

“Someone hit you with the sad stick?” Camille asked during chemistry.

“Bah,” I replied to both of them. “Screw everything.”

See? I was already evolving the attitude that caused me to become the criminal I am today.

Then, Wednesday that last week of school we had the first tiny event of what has since come to be known as the Spunk River War.

What a stupid name. Spunk. That’s a bonehead name.

Sure thing, sir. Go ahead and get coffee. I’ll be here when you get back. Not like I can go anywhere.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #reading #publishing #sourcebooks #fat boy vs the cheerleaders #geoff herbach



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Thursday, November 28
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Season’s Greetings: A Parish Mail Short (Parish Mail 2.5) by Kira Snyder
Alternatively titled: Why this novella is like a hug plus my recipe for Peppermint Hot Cocoa
I love the holidays. I love everything about them. It’s the only time of year I turn into a sappy, cheesy Hallmark movie loving fiend. I also find myself reading a lot in December and I’m particularly fond of winter themed books—-does it have snow? hot chocolate? ice skating? Great, I’ll read it. That’s part of the reason I was so excited to get to read Season’s Greetings.
The Parish Mail books, Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem are a series of paranormal mysteries set in New Orleans. Now go back and read that last sentence and tell me how many of those things I love. Yep, all of them. That’s part of why I love the Parish Mail series so much! Then when you add Coliloquy’s active fiction aspect—Oh, you’re going to let me choose which boy she calls? Oh, you’re going to let me decide where she goes? It’s like a dream come true. Also if you’re like me you’ll go back and reread every option at every available choice point. 
Now combine all of my loves into one novella and you have Season’s Greetings. The story continues the Parish Mail world—this fight of good versus evil and of restoring balance through solving crimes both in the past and the present. There’s three smexy boys vying for Celia’s attention, an amazing witchy best friend and a great family support system too. The plot of Season’s Greetings feels less ominous and dangerous but has a wonderful holiday message at the core of which is love and family. At the end you feel warm, full of joy and somehow renewed which is why this novella is just like a hug.
In the spirit of the holidays, I recommend a warm delicious beverage to accompany this book: Peppermint Hot Cocoa. It’s simultaneously cool and warm. It’s like Icy Hot for your mouth if Icy Hot were delicious. To make: Add a packet of Swiss Miss with mini marshmellows to your mug. Add boiling water, a splash of milk and 1 capful of this peppermint syrup from Starbucks. Stir. Top with some more mini marshmallows and a cute little candy cane as a stirring utensil. BOOM! INSTANT HOLIDAY CHEER and a perfect accompaniment for Season’s Greetings!
Overall: A+
You can get a copy of Season’s Greetings here, as well as Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem.
eARC provided gratis by Coliloquy 

Season’s Greetings: A Parish Mail Short (Parish Mail 2.5) by Kira Snyder

Alternatively titled: Why this novella is like a hug plus my recipe for Peppermint Hot Cocoa

I love the holidays. I love everything about them. It’s the only time of year I turn into a sappy, cheesy Hallmark movie loving fiend. I also find myself reading a lot in December and I’m particularly fond of winter themed books—-does it have snow? hot chocolate? ice skating? Great, I’ll read it. That’s part of the reason I was so excited to get to read Season’s Greetings.

The Parish Mail books, Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem are a series of paranormal mysteries set in New Orleans. Now go back and read that last sentence and tell me how many of those things I love. Yep, all of them. That’s part of why I love the Parish Mail series so much! Then when you add Coliloquy’s active fiction aspect—Oh, you’re going to let me choose which boy she calls? Oh, you’re going to let me decide where she goes? It’s like a dream come true. Also if you’re like me you’ll go back and reread every option at every available choice point. 

Now combine all of my loves into one novella and you have Season’s Greetings. The story continues the Parish Mail world—this fight of good versus evil and of restoring balance through solving crimes both in the past and the present. There’s three smexy boys vying for Celia’s attention, an amazing witchy best friend and a great family support system too. The plot of Season’s Greetings feels less ominous and dangerous but has a wonderful holiday message at the core of which is love and family. At the end you feel warm, full of joy and somehow renewed which is why this novella is just like a hug.

In the spirit of the holidays, I recommend a warm delicious beverage to accompany this book: Peppermint Hot Cocoa. It’s simultaneously cool and warm. It’s like Icy Hot for your mouth if Icy Hot were delicious. To make: Add a packet of Swiss Miss with mini marshmellows to your mug. Add boiling water, a splash of milk and 1 capful of this peppermint syrup from Starbucks. Stir. Top with some more mini marshmallows and a cute little candy cane as a stirring utensil. BOOM! INSTANT HOLIDAY CHEER and a perfect accompaniment for Season’s Greetings!

Overall: A+

You can get a copy of Season’s Greetings here, as well as Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem.

eARC provided gratis by Coliloquy 

Tags:   #i read #books #reading #seasons greetings #holidays #christmas #parish mail #coliloquy #kira snyder #dead letter office #post mortem #mysteries #seasonal #publishing #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #recipes #hot cocoa #peppermint



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Monday, November 18
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Cover Spell by T.A. Foster

November 2013

Find it on Goodreads :   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18586516-cover-spell

Tags:   #books #inkslinger pr #coverspell #romance #ta foster #time spell #series #reading #publishing



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Wednesday, November 6
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In anticipation of the release of Season’s Greetings on 11/19 here’s my review of Book 1 of the Parish Mail Series
Dead Letter Office (Parish Mail Series #1)- Kira Snyder
Do you like:New Orleans? Ghost stories? History? Mysteries? Choose your own adventures? Stories set in high school? Magic? Swoon worthy boys? Girls with gumption?
If you replied yes to ANY of the above then you’re going to love Dead Letter Office!
The first book in the Parish Mail series throws you right in with a killer first line: The dead man smiles at me. WELL THEN why don’t we just get started, eh? Who doesn’t love a good old mystery or a ghost story. Great news: this is both! While certainly unsettling from ghosts to zombies, evil fiends to Voodoo, there is no shortage of the creepy, supernatural or paranormal here. However, I wasn’t scared out of my wits mainly because my curiosity for the mystery and my inner historian took over. We also have a leading lady who doesn’t wallow, who is recklessly brave, endearingly hopeful and most of shines with an inner strength and resolve that we often don’t see in heroines in contemporary YA these days. Add to that mix THREE boys from which to choose (no, literally it’s part of the choose your own adventure aspect) and an equally impressive best friend in Tilly. I’m hard pressed to find a reason NOT to read this series. 
And now time for a little fan girl rant: Snyder does an amazing job of capturing the setting—-New Orleans, where and I may be paraphrasing the past brushes up against the present and sometimes it pokes through. Having been a dedicated NOLA obsessee for years now, I can say with all honestly this book does the town justice. From the mansions of the garden district to the cities of the dead in the cemetery, every description takes you to the place itself. I can almost smell the moss and sweet tea.
Lastly, as a Coliloquy title, Dead Letter Office, features that hallmark choose your path points in the book where we as readers influence the story’s direction. This book however has many more of these points than other Coliloquy titles I’ve read and that’s a great thing. It felt quote like reading a Goosebump choose your own adventure and I loved that!
You don’t want to miss out on this series. And if you do, well then something is seriously wrong with you. Overall: A 
Dead Letter Office is out now from Coliloquy. Get your copy here (it’s a steal at $5!). 

In anticipation of the release of Season’s Greetings on 11/19 here’s my review of Book 1 of the Parish Mail Series

Dead Letter Office (Parish Mail Series #1)- Kira Snyder

Do you like:
New Orleans? Ghost stories? History? Mysteries? Choose your own adventures? Stories set in high school? Magic? Swoon worthy boys? Girls with gumption?

If you replied yes to ANY of the above then you’re going to love Dead Letter Office!

The first book in the Parish Mail series throws you right in with a killer first line: The dead man smiles at me. WELL THEN why don’t we just get started, eh? Who doesn’t love a good old mystery or a ghost story. Great news: this is both! While certainly unsettling from ghosts to zombies, evil fiends to Voodoo, there is no shortage of the creepy, supernatural or paranormal here. However, I wasn’t scared out of my wits mainly because my curiosity for the mystery and my inner historian took over. We also have a leading lady who doesn’t wallow, who is recklessly brave, endearingly hopeful and most of shines with an inner strength and resolve that we often don’t see in heroines in contemporary YA these days. Add to that mix THREE boys from which to choose (no, literally it’s part of the choose your own adventure aspect) and an equally impressive best friend in Tilly. I’m hard pressed to find a reason NOT to read this series. 

And now time for a little fan girl rant: Snyder does an amazing job of capturing the setting—-New Orleans, where and I may be paraphrasing the past brushes up against the present and sometimes it pokes through. Having been a dedicated NOLA obsessee for years now, I can say with all honestly this book does the town justice. From the mansions of the garden district to the cities of the dead in the cemetery, every description takes you to the place itself. I can almost smell the moss and sweet tea.

Lastly, as a Coliloquy title, Dead Letter Office, features that hallmark choose your path points in the book where we as readers influence the story’s direction. This book however has many more of these points than other Coliloquy titles I’ve read and that’s a great thing. It felt quote like reading a Goosebump choose your own adventure and I loved that!

You don’t want to miss out on this series. And if you do, well then something is seriously wrong with you. 

Overall: A 

Dead Letter Office is out now from Coliloquy. Get your copy here (it’s a steal at $5!). 

Tags:   #dead letter office #coliloquy #parish mail series #kira snyder #books #reading #publishing



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Saturday, October 5
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The Great Panty Caper- Tawna Fenske
Want some mystery? Want some romance? Want some adventure? The Great Panty Caper has them all! A short novella, The Great Panty Caper continues where the Shultz sisters left off in Getting Dumped Parts 1 and 2. As always, there’s sexy men, interesting plot choices that YOU the reader get to choose and of course a good old fashioned mystery to solve. JJ is still torn between two boys and well we’re all still getting over Lori’s last boyfriend debacle. O.o. Add some more fashion, some new characters and a new setting and BAM—more Shultz sister hi-jinks ensue.
I loved The Great Panty Caper for it’s light-hearted humor and portrayal of sisterly love. That being said….I WANT MORE. I always do.
Overall: A
The Great Panty Caper is out from Coliloquy publishes on October 8th! 
eArc provided gratis by Coliloquy publishers

The Great Panty Caper- Tawna Fenske

Want some mystery? Want some romance? Want some adventure? The Great Panty Caper has them all! A short novella, The Great Panty Caper continues where the Shultz sisters left off in Getting Dumped Parts 1 and 2. As always, there’s sexy men, interesting plot choices that YOU the reader get to choose and of course a good old fashioned mystery to solve. JJ is still torn between two boys and well we’re all still getting over Lori’s last boyfriend debacle. O.o. Add some more fashion, some new characters and a new setting and BAM—more Shultz sister hi-jinks ensue.

I loved The Great Panty Caper for it’s light-hearted humor and portrayal of sisterly love. That being said….I WANT MORE. I always do.

Overall: A

The Great Panty Caper is out from Coliloquy publishes on October 8th! 

eArc provided gratis by Coliloquy publishers

Tags:   #books #reading #i read #read #mystery #romance #coliloquy #publishing #the great panty caper #tawna fenske #getting dumped #shultz sister mysteries #novellas



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Friday, September 13
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Chaos- Christine O’Neil

I really enjoyed Chaos by Christine O’Neil. The semi-god plot plays well into my love of mythology while the romance was a bit Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy and who doesn’t love that trope?! I like how much time we spent getting to know and engage with the complexities of Maggie. The friendships in this book with Bink and Libby stand out almost as much as the romance with Mac does and I’m grateful for that balance. Love in all its various forms is the glue that holds this story together and it was lovely to stop and think about that for a while. I found Chaos to be a great start to the series, one which leaves open lots of obstacles to overcome and potential danger to avoid. I’m looking forward to reading more of “Magpie” and Mac as soon as possible!

I should also mention that Chaos is one of two books on the Ember tour, so you may want to check out Dark Days from Jus Accardo as well. These are the first books from Entangled Teen’s new imprint, Ember. If this story is any measure, the books we can expect from them will make us burn with wanting more.

A message from Ember: Our fires burn brightly for our readers and as a way to say thanks to our readers we’ve launched our latest division of Entangled Teen and it’s name is Ember. We have two exciting launch titles: Darker Days by Jus Accardo and Chaos by Christine O’Neil. Read away!” Entangled Teen Ember is a division of Entangled Teen that specializes in digital-first YAs.

Overall: A-

Thanks to InkSlinger PR you can enter to win a gift basket from Jus Accardo or a prize pack from Christine O’Neil using the rafflecopter here!

Don’t forget to order your copy of Chaos here!

About the Author: 

Christine O’Neil was born and raised in Connecticut, where she spent most of her childhood outdoors catching salamanders, frogs and colds. When she wasn’t terrorizing Mother Nature, she was curled up under the covers with her nose in a book. As an adult, she’s stopped stalking amphibians, but still loves books. When she isn’t reading, she likes to spend her time people-watching. In fact, she’s probably watching you RIGHT NOW O_O She’s also pretty obsessed with writing YA books, but if she had to pick another profession she would be a ninja…or a Professor of the Dark Arts. Christine also writes adult romance under the pen name Christine Bell.

 Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Synopsis of Chaos:

My name is Maggie Raynard. After sixteen years being just plain me, suddenly, when I lose my temper, my fingers become weapons of mass destruction. Turns out I’m a semi-god, descended from Aphrodite. Sounds cool in theory, but when I accidentally put my ex-boyfriend in a coma, things go downhill pretty fast.

Now some new guy named Mac Finnegan has made it his mission in life to continually piss me off. I’m stuck learning how to use my new powers while also dealing with regular high school problems, and with this annoying and super-hot—guy all
up in my business, I’m about to flip out.

But it gets worse. I just learned there’s this watchdog council of semis who keep an eye out for any bad apples. They think I’m the baddest one in the bunch and want to take me out before I do any more damage. My nemesis Mac might turn out to be my salvation, only he’s got secrets of his own…and they may just kill us both.

e-Arc provided gratis via InkSlinger PR 

Tags:   #i read #young adult #young adult fiction #ya lit #ya #books #reading #publishing #chaos #christine o'neil #macmillan #entangled teen #ember blog tour #inkslinger pr



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Tuesday, September 3
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Sweet Legacy Blog Blitz with Tera Lynn Childs!
I’m obsessed with mythology if you didn’t already realize that and I’ve been in love with Tera Lynn Child’s take on the Medusa myth since page 1 of Sweet Venom. The best news: the third book Sweet Legacy is out now! I had a chance to ask Tera five fast questions. In addition, there’s a blurb and a CONTEST OF EPIC PROPORTIONS below! Read on friend…
xoxo,
V.V.
Fast Five with Tera Lynn Childs


Favorite Word? Equality
Least Favorite Word? Hate
Favorite Sound? Thunderstorms
What profession other than author would you like to attempt? World traveller (what, that’s a profession)
Favorite Greek God or Goddess? Athena

About Sweet Legacy
Greer has always known she was privileged, though she had no idea how special her second sight made her, even among her triplet monster-fighting sisters. But when a god starts playing with her mind, can Greer step up in her pretty high heels to prevent anything from stopping her sisters’ mission?
Grace loves her adopted brother, Thane, but now that he’s back and has joined her sisters’ team, it’s clear his past is full of dark mysteries. She wants to trust him, but will Thane’s secret put the girls in even more danger?
Gretchen knows she can rely on her sisters to help her stop the monsters. But after getting to know some of the beasties in the abyss, she finds her role as a huntress comes with more responsibility than she ever imagined. How can she know what her birthright demands of her now?
The girls cannot hesitate as they seek the location of the lost door between the realms, even as monsters and gods descend on San Francisco in battle-ready droves. In this exciting conclusion to the Sweet Venom trilogy, these teenage heirs of Medusa must seek the truth, answer the ancient riddles, and claim their immortal legacy.
The Giveaway! Enter to win lots of books!
Grand prize is a complete set of Tera Lynn Childs books that includes her demigod, mermaid and Medusa series: Oh.My.Gods!, Goddess Boot Camp, Forgive my Fins, Fins are Forever, and Just for Fins, Sweet Venom, and Sweet Shadows, and of course, Sweet Legacy. That’s EIGHT books!
Additional prizes include: 3 complete Sweet Venom trilogies, 6 copies of Sweet Venom, 6 copies of Sweet Shadows, and 6 copies of Sweet Legacy.
To Enter the giveaway use the rafflecopter here!
Where to buy Sweet Legacy:
Indiebound (hardcover)
Amazon (hardcover | kindle)
Apple (ibookstore)
Barnes & Noble (hardcover | nook)
Books-a-Million (hardcover)
Book Depository (hardcover)
Follow Tera Lynn Childs through her website, twitter, facebook.

Sweet Legacy Blog Blitz with Tera Lynn Childs!

I’m obsessed with mythology if you didn’t already realize that and I’ve been in love with Tera Lynn Child’s take on the Medusa myth since page 1 of Sweet Venom. The best news: the third book Sweet Legacy is out now! I had a chance to ask Tera five fast questions. In addition, there’s a blurb and a CONTEST OF EPIC PROPORTIONS below! Read on friend…

xoxo,

V.V.

Fast Five with Tera Lynn Childs
Favorite Word? Equality
Least Favorite Word? Hate
Favorite Sound? Thunderstorms
What profession other than author would you like to attempt? World traveller (what, that’s a profession)
Favorite Greek God or Goddess? Athena

About Sweet Legacy

Greer has always known she was privileged, though she had no idea how special her second sight made her, even among her triplet monster-fighting sisters. But when a god starts playing with her mind, can Greer step up in her pretty high heels to prevent anything from stopping her sisters’ mission?

Grace loves her adopted brother, Thane, but now that he’s back and has joined her sisters’ team, it’s clear his past is full of dark mysteries. She wants to trust him, but will Thane’s secret put the girls in even more danger?

Gretchen knows she can rely on her sisters to help her stop the monsters. But after getting to know some of the beasties in the abyss, she finds her role as a huntress comes with more responsibility than she ever imagined. How can she know what her birthright demands of her now?

The girls cannot hesitate as they seek the location of the lost door between the realms, even as monsters and gods descend on San Francisco in battle-ready droves. In this exciting conclusion to the Sweet Venom trilogy, these teenage heirs of Medusa must seek the truth, answer the ancient riddles, and claim their immortal legacy.

The Giveaway! Enter to win lots of books!

Grand prize is a complete set of Tera Lynn Childs books that includes her demigod, mermaid and Medusa series: Oh.My.Gods!, Goddess Boot Camp, Forgive my Fins, Fins are Forever, and Just for Fins, Sweet Venom, and Sweet Shadows, and of course, Sweet Legacy. That’s EIGHT books!

Additional prizes include: 3 complete Sweet Venom trilogies, 6 copies of Sweet Venom, 6 copies of Sweet Shadows, and 6 copies of Sweet Legacy.

To Enter the giveaway use the rafflecopter here!

Where to buy Sweet Legacy:

Follow Tera Lynn Childs through her website, twitter, facebook.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #young adult fiction #ya lit #tera lynn childs #sweet venom #sweet shadows #sweet legacy #medusa #greek mythology #mythology #publishing #reading



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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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