Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Monday, January 15, 2018
Meet Cute by Jennifer L. Armentrout (+13 more)
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Published on January 2, 2018
Genres: Short Stories, YA, Romance
Description: Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.
Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.
I am a sucker for short stories. I love them. I love how you can sit down and read the entire story in one setting with no real issues. I love that they are often tied up all nice and neatly at the end so I get that closure that I secretly long for. Don't get me wrong. I do enjoy the long novel that draws you in and forces you to live completely out of your world for an extended amount of time but short stories are fantastic.
I was excited about this book. I have read novels by many of the contributors and I was very hopeful. They did not disappoint. Such a fun read. Some of them draw you deeply in while others just let you watch from a distance.
I am rating this book Five Blue Books because it has a little bit of everything. A wonderful collection. I highly recommend it.
Sunday, January 14, 2018
After You by Jojo Moyes
Published by Pamela Dorman Books
Published on September 29, 2015
Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary
Page Count: 368
Description: “You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?
Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.
Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .
For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.
When I found out that Me Before You was getting a sequel, I was extremely hesitant. It was such a strong book that I was unsure if a sequel would add to it or take away from it. These were characters that I had developed a love for and I didn't want my memories of them to potentially be tarnished. Think about it. The reader grows attached to the characters. One wrong move and you altar their preception of that character and not necessarily in a good way. That being said, I did wonder how Lou was doing after the events of Me Before You. Tricky business, sequels are. Very very tricky.
I wish that I could say that I went into this book with a totally open mind but I find that impossible to do. I did not go into with a completely open mind because I was so invested in the story. The first book was so extraordinary that it set this one up to potentially fall on its face. Unfortuantely, in some ways, it did. It was nice to see how Lou was doing but some of the events completely came out of left field and I was not quite sure how to process them. Good character development for some and so so for others.
I am rating this book Three Orange Books because it fell short but I did not hate it. Predictable in some ways. Random in others. Upon finishing it, I hoped that any future books in the series would bypass this one. I wish that I could rate it higher because I loved Me Before You so much but I cannot. Not a horrible read but not up to the standards that the author gave us in the previous book. On the fence about recommending.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
OFFICIALLY RELEASES ON JANUARY 17, 2018. AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW.
Brix Kelley is a typical, small-town girl, who grew up with scraped knees and dirty fingernails. Nash Cooper was the defiant teen of the town, who’s been in trouble with the law, practically from birth. The two have been friends for longer than they can remember, and somewhere along the way, a flame ignited.
They were inseparable. Then, suddenly, when she was just 15 years old, Brix left town, leaving behind everyone she’s ever loved, in search of a fresh start. She cut off contact with all five of her closest, childhood friends, never intending to return. But, when a tragic event forces her to go back six years later, she’s hesitant and unsure of what kind of reception she’ll receive…especially from Nash.
Still tortured by the ghosts of his past, Brix finds Nash as rebellious as ever, but for the first time since they met, his anger is aimed at her. Just when it seems as though things might be looking up, secrets, which have been long held and deeply buried, begin to surface, throwing them both into a tailspin.
With all the outside forces meant to keep them apart, can they find their way back? Was the love they shared as teens strong enough to bond them again as adults, or will the secrets from the past cause irreparable damage?
The corner of his mouth twitches ever so slightly, as he takes a step closer to me.
“Have you told him you love him?” he says, taking another step. My heart beats wildly, as I look anywhere but at him. He steps closer again, until he's just inches away. “Have you?” I turn my head, but his hand touches my chin, steering it back to center. “Brix.” His voice is soft, seductive, and I’m not sure how much longer I can take being this close to him. “Look at me and tell me.” I finally find the courage to look at him, and it’s as if his eyes pierce through to my soul. “Have you told him you love him?” I open my mouth to speak, but I can't say the words. He sees my hesitation and goes in for the kill. With his hand still on my chin, he lets it slide around to the side of my neck. His fingers easily glide into my hair, and his thumb rubs gently back and forth against my cheek. “I need to know,” he says, just above a whisper. I close my eyes, my lips part fractionally, and my heart is about to leap from my chest. I can feel his warm breath against my cheek, as his lips graze my ear. “Yes or no, Brix?” A sharp intake of breath fills my lungs, before I exhale in desperation.
“No,” I say, and it’s as if I've just confessed every sin I’ve ever committed. The relief is profound, but now I know I've opened up an enormous gate. I feel him smile against my cheek and hear his satisfaction as he hums his exhale.
“Good. I can work with that.”
You can read the first full chapters of all Kate’s books on her website, www.KateSquiresAuthor.com
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson
Published by Penguin Books
Published on September 13, 2016
Genres:Biographies & Memoirs, Comedians, Actors &Actresses, Essays, Humor
Page Count: 265
Description: A former child actor best known for her starring roles in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire, Mara Wilson has always felt a little young and out of place: as the only kid on a film set full of adults, the first daughter in a house full of boys, a Valley girl in New York and a neurotic in California, and a grown-up the world still remembers as a little girl. Tackling everything from what she learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to discovering in adolescence that she was no longer “cute” enough for Hollywood, these essays chart her journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity. They also illuminate universal struggles, like navigating love and loss, and figuring out who you are and where you belong. Candid, insightful, moving, and hilarious, Where Am I Now? introduces Mara Wilson as a brilliant new chronicler of the experience that is growing up female.
I am sure many of you recognize the little girl on the cover of this book. For years, she was the go-to adorable angelic girl that captivated the world. She appeared in many movies and shows. You may recognize her as the youngest daughter in Mrs. Doubtfire or as the title role in Matilda. That role sealed her into the hearts of many. One of my favorite books as a child had been made into a movie and I was delighted. She was everywhere and then one day, she was gone.
I saw this book and automatically thought, "Matilda!". I had to read it. I had enjoyed Mara's work in many roles but Matilda was my very favorite. She had taken a character that I adored and made her real life and I will forever love her for that. I wanted to know the woman behind Matilda. Sadly, I have never really thought of her as a grown up. The magic of film had caused her to be frozen in time in most minds so we never really thought of her as aging. I sat down to read this a little nervous but exicted.
I was quickly enveloped in her life. She welcomes readers into her world and doesn't hold back. She invites us into some very private moments and I found myself truly moved. There were moments where I laughed. Some moments I cried. At some points, I felt a little guilty because I had never really seen her as a person. I didn't think about how hard it must have been to not only go through puberty but to do it in front of the world.
I am rating this book Four Red Books because it was a very good memoir. She brings us into her world and tells us what it is like to go from an extremely famous child to a not so famous adult. Insightful and well written. Highly recommend.
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Roadswell Editions
Published on May 2, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Short Stories, Fiction
Page Count: 41
Description: When Elena decided to camp out for the next Star Wars movie, she was expecting a celebration, a communion — a line full of people who love Star Wars so much, they have to share it.
She wasn’t expecting this: a freezing sidewalk, nowhere to pee, and three nights stuck with a boy who decided not to like her before they even met.
It’s enough to make a girl leave the line…
But Elena came here for Star Wars, and it will take more than bad weather and a dumb boy to squash her spirits.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this short story. I related so much to Elena. Her love of Star Wars driving her to step completely out of her comfort zone was relatable and endearing. Love the premise. A beautifully executed story about belonging and not being afraid to march to the beat of your own drum.
I am rating this short story Five Blue Books because it was a truly delightful read. If you have not read any of Rainbow Rowell's work, I suggest you do. Highly recommend!
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery
Page Count: 288
Description: The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, but after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything; instead, they "check out" large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends, but when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its walls.
I picked up this book one day because it looked like something that I might enjoy. Then life occurred and it became buried in my TBR stacks and I forgot about it. It wasn't until I was researching books for my book group that I remembered it. Then it was offically chosen and it finally got its turn.
I geniunely enjoyed this book. I found myself picturing the story while reading it and I longed to see this bookstore in real life. The idea of a bookstore containing unusual books that most people have never heard of is exciting to me. It definitely makes me wonder what gems may be hidden in my nearest bookstore.
I am rating this book Four Red Books because it drug in some spots and was predictable. I enjoyed it but I did have a few moments where I felt like I was reading an advertisement rather than a novel. The characters were likeable and relatable. The premise was fantastic and I would love to find a bookstore like the one from the story. This is the first book that I have read by this author and I will be looking into his other titles. Great read!