Chemistry Lessons – Blog Tour and Book Review

Welcome to the Chemistry Lessons blog tour!

Summary:

For seventeen-year-old Maya, the equation for happiness is simple: a dream internship at MIT + two new science nerd friends + a perfect boyfriend = one amazing summer. Then Whit dumps her out of the blue. Maya is miserable until she discovers that her scientist mother, before she died, was conducting research on manipulating pheromones to enhance human attraction. If Maya can finish her mother’s work, maybe she can get Whit back. But when her experiment creates chaos in her love life, she realizes that maybe love and loss can’t be understood using the scientific method. Can she learn to trust the unmeasurables of love and attraction instead?

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Book Aesthetic – The Emerald Sea

The final installment in Richelle Mead’s sweeping, enthralling Glittering Court series answers the trilogy’s biggest question: what is the secret that drives Tamsin to win at all costs?

Tamsin Wright is unstoppable. She must become the Glittering Court’s diamond: the girl with the highest test scores, the most glamorous wardrobe, and the greatest opportunities to match with an elite suitor in the New World. Training alongside other girls in the Glittering Court, Tamsin immerses herself completely in lessons about etiquette, history, and music–everything a high-society wife would need to know. Once she’s married, she’ll be able to afford a better life for her family, so the sacrifice is worth it if she can be the best.

When her friendship with Mira and Adelaide, her roommates at the Glittering Court, threatens her status as the top-ranked prospect, she does the only thing she knows will keep her on track: she cuts them out of her life. But when her voyage across the sea goes off course, Tamsin must use her unrelenting grit and determination to survive the harsh winter far north of her intended destination in hopes of making it back to the Glittering Court in time to secure a proposal–and a comfortable future for her family.

Experiencing new cultures and beliefs for the first time, Tamsin realizes that her careful studies haven’t prepared her for everything, and with new alliances formed with roguish tradesman Jago Robinson and good-natured minister Gideon Stewart, Tamsin’s heart begins to be pulled in different directions. But she can’t let her brewing attraction get in the way of her ultimate goal: protecting the secret she holds closest to her heart, the one that would unravel everything she’s worked for if it’s uncovered.

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This book was an amazing conclusion to the Glittering Court series, and I really enjoyed reading Tamsin’s story! I wasn’t expecting to like this book nearly as much as I did, because Tamsin wasn’t my favorite character, but after finishing The Emerald Sea, Tamsin is my favorite of the trio! Click on the images below to find the books on Amazon!

*Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, if you click through the link and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission from your purchase.*

 

Summer Reading Essentials – Author Guest Post

by authors of Always Never Yours, Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Summer’s coming up! Unathletic and easily sunburned nerds that we are, our favorite part of summer is summer reading. We’ve compiled a few essentials to improve the upcoming sweltering days spent with books.

Romeo and Juliet

Obviously, we’re a bit biased. We did just write a whole book about this unforgettable romantic tragedy. But whatever. If there’s one thing we could throw onto your summer TBR, it would be this iconic play. Don’t worry if you’ve read it before, either. We’ve found it gets better with every reread. Full disclosure: We weren’t even big fans the first time we read R&J for high school English. But with every return, Tybalt’s insults get more savage, Romeo gets more endearing despite his ridiculousness, and the conclusion gets more heartrendingly inevitable.

Perfect iced tea

One of the perks of summer is reading outside. If you’ve brought your book into the backyard, to the beach, or onto the campus green, you’re going to need the perfect ice-cold drink. We’re iced tea people, and we’re waiting for the right summer day to brew one of these recipes and head onto the balcony. Peach ginger pairs nicely with Much Ado About Nothing, right?

and reading snacks

When you love what you’re reading, you don’t want to put the book down even to eat. Which is why you need reading snacks! We recommend the obvious, from Simon Spier’s sandwich cookie of choice to Trader Joe’s peanut-butter pretzels. If you have time and Nutella (and honestly, who doesn’t?) our favorite reading fortification would have to be this recipe for Nutella-filled blondies. Bring a platter onto the couch and we have a hunch before long you won’t be reading by yourself.

The right bookmark

Done right, bookmarks are way more than markers for your page. They’re reading inspiration, reminding you why you love books in the first place. Case in point: the beautiful YA-inspired bookmarks from FangirlPixieJar, BookishAdventures, and DrawnToThePages. What better to get you into summer reading than a favorite line from Illuminae or Six of Crows?

Bookish pillow

In order to really get the most out of summer reading, you need to be comfortable. Whether it’s lounging outside or on your bed, you might as well surround yourself with pillows and blankets with artwork of your favorite quotes and characters. Personally, we’re dreaming of the day we have a dedicated reading nook in our home. Until then, though, we’ve turned our entire apartment bookish-themed with help from Evie Seo’s wonderful work. In particular, allow us to direct your attention to the Mr. Darcy pillow.


Always Never Yours hits shelves today, so be sure to go check it out wherever you get your books from. You  can also click on the book’s image below to purchase it from Amazon.

*Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, if you click through the link and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission from your purchase.*

Now a Major Motion Picture – Book Review

Title: Now A Major Motion Picture

Author: Cori McCarthy

Pages: 400 (paperback)

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Published: April 3, 2018

Summary:

Iris Thorne wants to blaze her own path. That’s easier said than done when you’re the granddaughter of M. E. Thorne, famous author of the Elementia series, hailed as the feminist response to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And with a major motion picture adaptation of her grandmother’s books in the works, Iris can say goodbye to her dream of making her own way in the music industry.

So when Iris and her brother get invited to the film set in Ireland, she’s pretty sure the trip will be a nightmare. Except Iris can’t deny the rugged beauty of the Irish countryside. And brushing shoulders with the hot, young cast isn’t awful, especially the infuriatingly charming lead, Eamon O’Brien. Iris even finds the impassioned female director inspiring. But when the filming falls into jeopardy, everything Iris thought she knew about Elementia—and herself—is in question. Will making a film for the big screen help Iris to see the big picture?

Review:

Now a Major Motion Picture was such a fun read, and had me dreaming of going to Ireland and exploring all of the beautiful places that are described in this book. Iris Thorne wants nothing to do with her grandmother’s famous fantasy novels, or the film adaptation that’s in the works. Her little brother desperately wants to go, and their father decides Iris will go and chaperone him, much to her dismay.

Throughout the book, Iris grows a lot, and learns what it means to be Iris Thorne on her own terms, and not based off of her father’s expectations for her. Iris meets a lot of strong women who help her to come into herself, and learn who she really is. The cast of characters in this book is really strong, and so diverse, which is always a positive in my book. The world needs ALL of the diverse books.

NAMMP does a great job of showing the other side of fandom and fan culture. The fans of Elementia are extremely passionate, and they have no issues making their thoughts known. I think a lot of people can relate to the fans in this book, wanting an adaptation of a book to be just right, and scared that it won’t live up to their expectations. I’d never even thought about what that would be like from the actor’s perspectives until I read this book. It was an interesting perspective that I had never considered.

One of the things that I love most about Cori McCarthy is that their books are all so different. There’s Breaking Skywhich follows group of badass pilots, and You Were Hereabout a girl who goes through a tough time after her brother’s passing. Cori’s writing is so versatile, and everything they write captivates me and keeps me flipping the pages. I really loved Now a Major Motion Picture. I give it 5/5 stars, and you should definitely go pick it up when it hits shelves.

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

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Prince in Disguise – Book Review

Title: Prince in Disguise

Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm

Pages: 320 (hardcover)

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Published: December 19, 2017

Summary:

Someday I want to live in a place where I never hear “You’re Dusty’s sister?” ever again.

Life is real enough for Dylan-especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most perfect, popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan on the TRC television network’s crown jewel, Prince in Disguise, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV.

As the camera crew whisks them off to Scotland to film the lead-up to the wedding, camera-shy Dylan is front and center as Dusty’s maid of honor. The producers are full of surprises-including old family secrets, long-lost relatives, and a hostile future mother-in-law who thinks Dusty and Dylan’s family isn’t good enough for her only son. At least there’s Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsman who might just be the perfect antidote to all Dylan’s stress . . . if she just can keep TRC from turning her into the next reality show sensation.

Review:

Oh my goodness, I loved this book so much! I need at least a dozen more like it! Prince in Disguise has everything I never knew I wanted in a contemporary. It has travel, sassy Southern belles, and sexy Scots. Dylan and Jamie’s dynamic is so hilarious and cute, and at times it just makes you cringe how awkward and obvious things are between them.

There is also a reality tv element to this book, and I think it really added to the drama and hilarity of the book. I’d like to think that some of the things that the production crew in this book do are so far-fetched that they couldn’t possibly be true, but I majored in broadcast communications and did a lot of reading about reality tv production in school, and I don’t doubt for one second that every thing that’s mentioned in this book has happed on some reality show.

One thing that I absolutely love about books set in foreign countries is that it really makes me want to travel more to see all of the amazing sights our world has. I’ve wanted to go to Scotland for so long now, so reading a book that is set there almost gives me that experience, at least enough to hold me over until I actually can convince someone to go with me. I swear, I don’t just want to go because I love Outlander so much…

Prince in Disguise is a fun, quick read, perfect for getting you out of a reading slump, or when you’re looking for the right book to enjoy on a beautiful rainy day. It’ll definitely make you swoon and wish that you were in Dylan’s situation. I would absolutely love to see a sequel to this book, because I am dying to know what happens to all of the characters! I give it 5/5 stars.

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Starry Eyes – Book Review

Title: Starry Eyes

Author: Jenn Bennett

Pages: 432 (hardcover)

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Published: April 3, 2018

Summary:

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

Review:

I am a big fan of contemporary books taking on tough issues. A lot of times, contemporaries can be just sweet and “fluffy,” for lack of a better term. There’s obviously nothing wrong with this, as I’ve read more than my fair share of these kinds of books. In fact, they’re kind of my guilty pleasure. But when a book can touch on tough topics that are incredibly relevant in today’s world, such as cheating and divorce, I absolutely love it.

Zorie is faced with a lot of tough decisions throughout the course of the book, that really give her a chance to grow and discover who she is outside of a family setting. Zorie is a character who typically plans everything down to the tiniest of details, so when things start going wrong and throwing her plans out the door, she has to decide if she can learn to roll with the punches.

I did not expect this book to make me nostalgic for camping, but it sure did, and now I feel the need to go camping this summer. Starry Eyes has a lot of fun and hilarious moments, and I absolutely devoured it. I felt like the characters were extremely easy to relate to, and they show a lot of growth and character development. I gave Starry Eyes 5/5 stars. It’s a perfect summery read.

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

In Her Skin – Blog Tour and Book Review

Welcome to the In Her Skin blog tour!

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest heist of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.

When Jo takes on Vivi’s identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety, or escape the danger around her before it’s too late.

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Hope Nation – Blog Tour and Excerpt

Title: Hope Nation

Editor: Dr. Rose Brock

Pages: 304

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Philomel Books

Published: February 27th, 2018

Summary:

We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and—in some cases—even hopeless. The teens of today are the caretakers of tomorrow, and yet it’s difficult for many to find joy or comfort in such a turbulent society. But in trying times, words are power.

Some of today’s most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal nonfiction collection of essays, poems, and letters, each a first-hand account that ultimately strives to inspire hope.

Like a modern day Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul or Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, Hope Nation acknowledges the pain and shines a light on what comes after.

Authors include: Marie Lu, David Levithan, Gayle Forman, Renee Ahdieh, Alex London, Julie Murphy, James Dashner, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Sarah Mlynowski, Jeff Zentner, Ally Condie, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Romina Garber, Angie Thomas, Howard Bryant, Aisha Saeed, Margaret Stohl, Ally Carter, Nic Stone, I.W.Gregorio, Kate Hart, Atia Abawi, Libba Bray

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Winner Take All – Blog Tour and Book Review

Welcome to the Winner Take All blog tour!


Summary:

For Nell Becker, life is a competition she needs to win.

For Jackson Hart, everyone is a pawn in his own game.

They both have everything to lose.

Nell wants to succeed at everything—school, sports, life. And victory is sweeter when it means beating Jackson Hart, the rich, privileged, undisputed king of Cedar Woods Prep Academy. Yet no matter how hard she tries, Jackson is somehow one step ahead. They’re a match made in hell, but opposites do attract.

Drawn to each other by their rivalry, Nell and Jackson fall into a whirlwind romance that consumes everything in their lives. But when a devastating secret exposes their relationship as just another game, how far will Nell go to win?

Visceral and whip-smart, Laurie Devore’s Winner Take All paints an unflinching portrait of obsessive love, toxic competition, and the drive for perfection.

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The Chaos of Standing Still – Book Review

Title: The Chaos of Standing Still

Author: Jessica Brody

Pages: 403

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Published: November 28, 2017

Summary:

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

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Review:

I have never spent overnight stranded in an airport, but if I had, this book pretty much sums up everything that I imagine happens in situations like that. The Chaos of Standing Still is such a fun story, and while it has a lot of lighthearted moments that come with contemporary novels, it also touches on some tough topics, such as coping with the death of a best friend.

Ryn has a lot of interesting quirks, one of which is that she compulsively Googles things. I thought this was such a unique trait to explore, because I also Google the answers to random questions that pop into my head all the time! Not nearly to the extent that Ryn does, but still, I could relate.

The cast of characters that Ryn meets while stranded in the airport are absolutely hilarious, and they add a lot of comedy to the story. This is great, because it helps to lighten up the story, which could have otherwise been very serious and sad. Ryn manages to get herself into a lot of… interesting situations with her new friends.

I also really loved that Jessica Brody chose some interesting names for her characters! Ryn and Xander are such unique names, and while a name might not seem like the most important part about a character, I think that each of their names really fits with their personality.

I give The Chaos of Standing Still 5/5 stars. It strikes the perfect balance of hitting on hard topics while maintaining that fun feel of a contemporary novel.

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

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