Verb Vixen

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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



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Tuesday, March 25
Permalink

I am extremely excited to say that Nichole Chase’s RECKLESSLY ROYAL is now available!! RECKLESSLY ROYAL is a New Adult contemporary romance novel being published by HarperCollins Avon imprint and is a part of Nichole Chase’s Suddenly Series.

Recklesly Royal

RECKLESSLY ROYAL Synopsis:

Catherine has spent her life being the perfect princess. She’s kept her hands clean, her head down, and most importantly—men at arm’s length. After all, most men are after only one thing, and for Cathy there’s a lot more at stake than her bed; she has to worry about the fate of an entire nation. But at the rate she’s going, Cathy is afraid she’ll give the Virgin Queen a run for her money. She is tired of waiting for someone good enough to come along. She has a plan, and it all hinges on seducing the one man who seems utterly unimpressed by all things royal. The one man she is tempted by more than any other …

When David arrives at the royal wedding of his friend, the newly ordained Duchess Samantha Rousseau, he expected to feel uncomfortable and out of his element, but he wasn’t prepared to be targeted by Prince Alex’s gorgeous younger sister. With Cathy’s giant blue eyes, killer figure, and sense of humor, it won’t take long before he gives in. But when he finds out just how innocent the crown princess really is, will he play the part of knight in shining armor or the dashing rogue?

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Excerpt:

I was a bit sloshed, but I wasn’t going to tell Sam that. My legs slipped and I slid the rest of the way to the ground, my head stopping my fall. Maybe I was drunker than I thought. The doorbell rang as I scrambled up from my spot on the floor.

“I’ve got it!” Chadwick took off to the front door, his steps a little too loud.

Backing away from the pole, I took a running jump and grabbed directly in the middle. I used my momentum to swing my legs high in the air. Making sure I had a good grip on the pole, I spread my legs into a split.

“Wow.” A deep voice broke into my thoughts and I looked up. A man was standing next to Chadwick, wearing a backpack and carrying a large duffel bag. His dark eyes ran over my body and I shivered, which was a bad thing. My hands slipped and I fell, crashing to the floor with a loud oof.

“Are you okay?” Sam ran over and helped me stand up, but I wasn’t feeling any pain. In fact, I was feeling awesome. Looking past Sam’s shoulder, I smiled at the hottie and waved. He was perfection, from his messy dark hair down to his scuffed boots. And exactly what we needed to end the night with a bang.

“Heeeyyooou. I don’t remember hiring a stripper, but boy am I glad you showed up.” I let Sam help me up to my feet and wondered why she was making a choking sound. I slapped her on the back, worried. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Fine!” Sam barked a laugh. “That’s not—”

“Good! Because it looks like I outdid myself!” I turned her around with a flourish to look at the delicious man standing on the stairs. His shirt strained across his chest as he shifted his feet and I found myself thinking about tracing my fingers across those hard lines. I let my eyes run over him instead, taking in the tight plaid shirt, worn jeans, and work boots. There was nothing polished or metropolitan about him. Everything screamed outdoors. And I liked it.

“Cathy,” Sam tried to stop me, but I shrugged her off and skipped up the steps.

“What are you supposed to be? A lost lumberjack?” I pulled the heavy bag out of his hands and set it on the ground. “We’ll, c’mon! Someone start some music.” I gyrated my hips a little and wiggled my eyebrows. “Take it off, bab-ay!”

“If you insist, gorgeous.” His American accent gave me pause as a dim memory tried to fight through the fog in my brain, but it didn’t last long. His eyes stayed locked on mine as his calloused fingers worked the top couple of his buttons free. I wasn’t sure if it was the alcohol, or just his deep brown eyes, but I was entranced. I didn’t even notice when Sam climbed the stairs.

I couldn’t look away from him as he slowly unbuttoned his shirt and exposed the skin underneath. The need to touch that tantalizing bit of flesh raced through me and my fingers twitched. Hypnotized by eye the color of melted chocolate, I leaned forward. One corner of his mouth turned up into a smirk and it only added to his appeal. Where it might have been a turn off in another man, It simply added to this strippers appeal. I smiled in response, eager for him to continue.

“God, please don’t, David. I’ll never be able to look at you again.” She covered his hands with her own and laughed, her cheeks a bright red.

“David?” I looked at him, confused, before looking over my shoulder at Jess. She was nodding her head with wide eyes like I was supposed to remember something. “David?” I said the name again, mulling over what that could mean.

I looked down at the bag I had taken from him and my eyes landed on his boots. It was then that a moment of clarity surged through my mind like a stampede of wild horses and I covered my mouth.

“Oh God.” A wave of nausea hit me. “You’re Sam’s friend.”

I promptly turned around and threw up into a potted plant.

RecklesslyRoyal RDL Banner

Author Photo B&WNichole Chase Bio:

Nichole Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Suddenly Royal, Flukes, The Dark Betrayal Trilogy, and several short stories. She is also the instructor of Say What? a dialogue class at the Romance Academy.

Nichole lives in Georgia with her husband, energetic daughter, superhero dog, Sulcata tortoise, and two cats. When not writing, you may find her reading, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE! Website

Links:

Giveaways

Twitter

Facebook

Author Goodreads

RECKLESSLY ROYAL Goodreads

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #nichole chase #recklessly royal



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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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Thursday, January 23
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Devil’s Frost (Book 3 of Spellspinners of Melas County) by Heidi R. Kling

If this series were a movie, Devil’s Frost would be the summer action blockbuster. It has everything you want—-deadly action, sizzling romance, and lots of plot twists. The Gleaning ended with a hell of a cliffhanger and Devil’s Frost picks up right where things start getting good left off. This book is very Lily-centric and so we hear her version of events first, followed by Logan’s account. Kling nails the emotions—-the betrayal, the loss, the fear, the love, and most of all the confusion that both Lily and Logan are grappling with. There’s also a hot morally ambiguous bad boy, Jude, a frenemy to end all frenemies in Orchid, a complex parental situation, a Jafar like warlock villain, this looming tyrranical council and a major prophesy to fulfill. Not enough for you? Let’s go back to the romance then because that’s where Kling shines. I will never tire of Lily and Logan, not in eucalpytus groves, not in caves and certainly not on questing adventures in the next book.

The plot in Devil’s Frost moves quickly, the fastest of all three books so far and it ends in an interesting place. You can see the reprecussions coming like a tidal wave that will crush everything and everyone in the way. Unfortunately we have to wait for the next book to see who will be swept away.

Overall: A
Devil’s Frost is out now from Coliloquy. Get your copy here or get Books 1-3 here!

eArc provided gratis via Coliloquy.

Devil’s Frost (Book 3 of Spellspinners of Melas County) by Heidi R. Kling

If this series were a movie, Devil’s Frost would be the summer action blockbuster. It has everything you want—-deadly action, sizzling romance, and lots of plot twists. The Gleaning ended with a hell of a cliffhanger and Devil’s Frost picks up right where things start getting good left off. This book is very Lily-centric and so we hear her version of events first, followed by Logan’s account. Kling nails the emotions—-the betrayal, the loss, the fear, the love, and most of all the confusion that both Lily and Logan are grappling with. There’s also a hot morally ambiguous bad boy, Jude, a frenemy to end all frenemies in Orchid, a complex parental situation, a Jafar like warlock villain, this looming tyrranical council and a major prophesy to fulfill. Not enough for you? Let’s go back to the romance then because that’s where Kling shines. I will never tire of Lily and Logan, not in eucalpytus groves, not in caves and certainly not on questing adventures in the next book.

The plot in Devil’s Frost moves quickly, the fastest of all three books so far and it ends in an interesting place. You can see the reprecussions coming like a tidal wave that will crush everything and everyone in the way. Unfortunately we have to wait for the next book to see who will be swept away.

Overall: A

Devil’s Frost is out now from Coliloquy. Get your copy here or get Books 1-3 here!

eArc provided gratis via Coliloquy.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #coliloquy #kindle #witch's brew #the gleaning #heidi r kling #devil's frost #witches #warlocks #romeo and juliet



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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



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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, September 16
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Letters to Nowhere- Julie Cross
I haven’t read Julie’s timetravel series, Tempest, but I do love a good contemporary so I went into Letters to Nowherewith no expectations. Turns out, I LOVE sports books. Seriously love them. I want to work out the entire time I’m reading them. I also maybe have a small competitive streak the size of the Grand Canyon so sports books seem to play into my psychology well.
 Karen is an elite gymnast. I love Olympic gymnastics so this behind the scenes peak into what that life is like was fascinating for me. Don’t mistake me, this book is about more than gymnsatics; its about death and loss and grief. It’s about regret, fear, making your own life choices, expectations and of course, romance. The dynamic between the gymnasts, this fine line between individual and team, sisterhood and selfishness is done perfectly. I also love that the budding romance with Jordan wasn’t immediate and it wasn’t perfect. I appreciate a dose of realism now and again. Frankly, I though Letters to Nowhere was a read worthy of a ten from even that persnickity Russian judge and well worth a read. 
Overall: A
Get your copy here. For $3 it’s a steal on Kindle right now!
e-Arc provided gratis via Erica at The Book Cellar. Thanks Erica!

Letters to Nowhere- Julie Cross

I haven’t read Julie’s timetravel series, Tempest, but I do love a good contemporary so I went into Letters to Nowherewith no expectations. Turns out, I LOVE sports books. Seriously love them. I want to work out the entire time I’m reading them. I also maybe have a small competitive streak the size of the Grand Canyon so sports books seem to play into my psychology well.

 Karen is an elite gymnast. I love Olympic gymnastics so this behind the scenes peak into what that life is like was fascinating for me. Don’t mistake me, this book is about more than gymnsatics; its about death and loss and grief. It’s about regret, fear, making your own life choices, expectations and of course, romance. The dynamic between the gymnasts, this fine line between individual and team, sisterhood and selfishness is done perfectly. I also love that the budding romance with Jordan wasn’t immediate and it wasn’t perfect. I appreciate a dose of realism now and again. Frankly, I though Letters to Nowhere was a read worthy of a ten from even that persnickity Russian judge and well worth a read. 

Overall: A

Get your copy here. For $3 it’s a steal on Kindle right now!

e-Arc provided gratis via Erica at The Book Cellar. Thanks Erica!

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #julie cross #letters to nowhere #gymnastics #olympics #read #sports



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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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Tuesday, July 16
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The Trouble With Flirting- Claire LaZebnik
I really enjoyed The Trouble With Flirting, a theatre centered contemporary. In addition to Shakespeare (they hook me with Will everytime!), there’s quite a bit about costumes which was actually really different. I feel like I haven’t come across too many theatre books where the costume aspect is explored as a main plotline. I had no idea how much work that was. Franny is kind of adorable and her summer of working with her aunt turns into something so much more than she expected. I like that even though she isn’t conceited, she is confident and sure of herself and yet humble too. Even more importantly, the boys are hot. I liked her dilemma of being torn by past feelings and current chemistry. The supporting characters range from delightful to narcissistic and everything in between. I’d call it a great light summer read for sure. 
Overall: A-
The Trouble With Flirting is out now. Get your copy here!

The Trouble With Flirting- Claire LaZebnik

I really enjoyed The Trouble With Flirting, a theatre centered contemporary. In addition to Shakespeare (they hook me with Will everytime!), there’s quite a bit about costumes which was actually really different. I feel like I haven’t come across too many theatre books where the costume aspect is explored as a main plotline. I had no idea how much work that was. Franny is kind of adorable and her summer of working with her aunt turns into something so much more than she expected. I like that even though she isn’t conceited, she is confident and sure of herself and yet humble too. Even more importantly, the boys are hot. I liked her dilemma of being torn by past feelings and current chemistry. The supporting characters range from delightful to narcissistic and everything in between. I’d call it a great light summer read for sure. 

Overall: A-

The Trouble With Flirting is out now. Get your copy here!

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #the trouble with flirting #theatre #shakespeare #claire lazebnik



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Monday, July 15
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Welcome to Louisiana! Reading Road Trip Blog Stop!

I am a New York girl but I love, love, love Louisiana! It’s my go to vacation spot and frankly I’d live there if I thought I could slow myself down for more than a few days at a time. What isn’t there to love though—-jazz music, sweet tea, Creole cooking, parades, masks, and a decaying beauty that makes my breath catch every damn time. I often say that every city has it’s own heartbeat. To me, NYC has the frenetic heartbeat of a hummingbird—constant and almost a buzz. New Orleans, ahh New Orleans has something completely different—-the thready beginings of a jazz song, individual notes surrounded by silence. It’s lovely. But I’ve digressed—I wanted to highlight Louisiana with a great book that combines my love of New Orleans with lots of my other loves (like Greek Mythology) and well there was one series of books that jumped to mind as probably being under-read but deserving of more press and importantly, more readers: Darkness Becomes Her and A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton.

Set in New Orleans post a series of devastating hurricanes that have all but destroyed the city, Darkness Becomes Her captures both post-natural disaster NOLA and the magic of the city itself. Not only did the NOLA setting impress me, but the plot is well conceived—putting a mythological classic twist on the paranormal.  I love it when authors go old school, and by old school I mean ancient Greek. Goddess villains, shady adults, and a great band of misfits that make a family. Ah, but there is more!  A fiery female lead and a hot love interest.  It’s perfect start to a great Medusa series.

A Beautiful Evil is the sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.  The series transcends genres managing to be dystopian, paranormal, and mythological in a brilliant feat. A Beautiful Evil picks up right where Darkness Becomes Her left off and boy is that an interesting place. Ari and Sebastian just make sense and what they go through together in this book makes every page worth reading. In addition to a great romance this book is ALL ACTION.  Ari’s a doer more than a thinker and damn is she busy. Part of that is because Athena is such a good villain. What I love the most is that Keaton places these tiny details in her narrative that end up being important. The future destroyed and then reclaimed New Orleans is a great setting and there’s beauty amidst the decay and rubble. 

There are lots of other amazing books set in New Orleans—Dead Letter Office, Post Mortem, and Interview with a Vampire to name a few. And everyone knows that Charlene Harris’ books are set in Louisiana too (SOOOOOOKIE) If you’re interested in more recommendations or if you just want to talk about NOLA or books set in the crescent city, you know where to find me. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed your trip to Louisiana with me. It’s been a pleasure. And for those of you who don’t want you stop to end here, I’m giving away a set of Darkness Becomes Her and A Beautiful Evil to one lucky winner! Enter the rafflecopter here.

Bless Your Hearts,

V.V.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #young adult fiction #ya lit #publishing #reading #louisiana #reading road trip #road trip #Darkness becomes her #a beautiful evil #kelly keaton #paranormal #mythological #dystopian #new orleans



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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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