Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A Season for Fireflies Blog Tour: Rebecca Maizel Picks Her Fantasy Movie Cast + TWO Great Giveaways! (US Only!)


Welcome to Day #3 of the A Season for Fireflies Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel (6/28/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Rebecca and 10 chances to win a copy of A Season for Fireflies, as well as a chance to win a Summer Reading Prize Pack in the Grand Prize Giveaway!

Fantasy Movie Cast by Rebecca Maizel







Penny: So I realize that I'm 35 but I LOVE the tv show Girl Meets World. I think Sabrina Carpenter has a lot of depth and it would be super fun for her to be Penny.



Panda: Lucas Hedges

Um. I love this face.




Wes: Tyler Sheridan - he definitely has that brooding sensitivity that I so love in Wes.




Kylie: Debby Ryan

This girl looks EXACTLY like Kylie to me.



May: Paris Berelc

She looks like May. Long brown hair - she has a sensitivity/gentleness too that I think works really well.



Richard: Me, Earl & The Dying Girl was one of my favorite books & movies in the last few years. I don't think RJ Cyler was in the movie enough. Love this actor and he would be an awesome Richard - dignified Shakespearean actor!


*****

Stop by The Book Cellar tomorrow for Day #4 of the tour!


Blog Tour Schedule:

June 20th – The Fandom
June 21st — Bookhounds
June 22nd — Daisy Chain Book Reviews
June 23rd  — Mundie Moms
June 24th — Supernatural Snark
  June 27th — A Dream Within A Dream
June 28th — The Book Cellar
June 29th — PageTurners
June 30th — Bookish
July 1st — Parajunkee




A captivating contemporary novel about first love, second chances, and the power of memory, by the author of Between Us and the Moon, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Katie Cotugno.

One year ago, Penny Berne was the star of her high school’s theater department, surrounded by a group of misfits and falling in love with her best friend, Wes.

Now her old friends won’t talk to her, her first love, Wes, ignores her, and her best friend is the most popular girl in school. Penny is revered—and hated.

But when a near-fatal lightning strike leaves Penny with no memory of the past year, or how she went from drama nerd to queen bee, Penny realizes she may have the second chance she never expected… 

BuyAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound  
Follow RebeccaWebsite | Twitter | Facebook




About the Author: Rebecca Maizel hails from Rhode Island, where she teaches high school literature at her alma mater the Wheeler School. She tries not to force her students to read her books, though. Rebecca is the author of several published novels for young adults, and recently achieved an MFA in Writing for Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She also enjoys Indian food, her dog Georgie, and running moderately long distances.


GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY


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In addition to the Grand Prize, one lucky reader will also win a copy of A Season for Fireflies.
+ This competition is open to entrants in the USA. You must have a US postal address to enter
 +This is a sponsored giveaway: please refer to T&C's for further information.
+ Fill in the Rafflecopter Form to Enter!



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Monday, 20 June 2016

Book Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.



Product details:  
Publisher: Simon & Schuster.
Hardcover, 519 pages.
Release date: May 3rd 2016.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

 Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?


 Seventeen year old Andie Walker doesn’t just have her summer all planned out, she has her whole life planned out. Ever since Andie’s Mom died five years ago, Andie has lived her life by a series of set rules – and she never steps out of line.  Andie’s summer plans involve an important internship at John Hopkins. For her life plans, she’s all about medical school, and as for romantic relationships, she fits those in too. As long as they don’t last any longer than three weeks, that is.  Andie likes to stick to the rules, yes, as long as they are her rules. But this summer, Andie is about to find out that rules are made to be broken, and that life doesn’t always go to plan.

Andie. Hm. She’s a tough one to get to know, in that she doesn’t readily let people into her life.  She’s guarded, and that’s because, with a congressman as a Dad, she has to be. Andie’s always watching her back, and she doesn’t let people into her life, or into her heart all too easily. Take Topher: these two have been hooking up for years with one thing in common – they both have parents that work in politics, so they get each other.  Also, Topher’s hot. However, Andie’s never going to give her heart to Topher. He’s her fall back guy, her friend with benefits for those times when she’s in-between relationships. Andie’s heart has been hurt by her Mom’s death, and it makes sense that she’s super-vigilant in protecting herself from any more hurt. Eventually, though, she’ll have to open her heart up to love, right? I know it. And you know it too!

So, Andie’s all ready for her summer internship, and then…Well, a political scandal rocks her father’s world and her internship is revoked (so unfair!) With a whole summer ahead of her and all the cool internships snapped up already, Andie is out of options. So, in order to get out of her house (where her Dad, currently out of a job, is hanging around ALL day), Andie takes a job as a dog-walker.  Initially, Andie’s attitude to her new job is not so great. Let’s just say that Andie definitely does not see dog walking as a future career option, but her furry friends soon win her over, and along the way she meets a cute nerd called Clark, who just might sweep her off her feet (if she lets him!)

Like Morgan Matson’s previous books, The Unexpected Everything is a pleasant, character-driven, coming of age read. At over five-hundred pages, it’s not a quick read, and I found it to be somewhat slow moving in parts. I will say that the ending of this book was worth the wait, though: it is heart-felt and honest and will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. It will probably leave you with a great big smile on your face too, which is always good. That said, this isn’t my favourite of Matson’s books (that’s Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, closely followed by Second Chance Summer) but it is a strong summer contemp, well-written and with a pretty swoony romance too (albeit with a few stumbling blocks along the way!)

Matson tends to focus heavily on friendships in her books: here Andie has a close group of girlfriends with confusing names like Bri, Toby and Palmer (I swear, for the first few chapters I thought they were all dudes!) Each of Andie’s friends comes equipped with their own hopes, fears, dramas and summer jobs, and I have to say that as the supporting characters in this novel, I’m not totally sure that they totally worked. For one, it takes a while to get to know each of them (three best friends, along with a long-term boyfriend and a crush) and this slows down the novel quite a bit. Also, some of these characters, (Ahem, Toby) kind of annoyed me. We’ve all had a Toby in our lives: she’s the needy, insecure, attention-seeking friend who won’t let you date the guy you like, because she has a crush on him too. It doesn’t matter that he’s interested in you, and never was interested in her at all. Gah. Drama. Maybe I’ve finally aged out of this stuff. (I SO haven’t!)

If you’re looking for a summer read that will last you your whole holiday long, then this is it. The Unexpected Everything is perfect for lazy days at the beach. Overall, I found it too long, though. The story of Andie’s summer just doesn’t merit 500+ pages. Or maybe I’m just impatient and I always want to get to the good stuff fast. And there is good stuff. Awkward dates, cute dates, lots of kissing. Adorable canines.  Other good stuff includes: Andie’s relationship with her dad, which I haven’t talked about at all here, but which is very well-written and reads very true.  A totally fun scavenger hunt, featuring a cameo appearance from none other than Emily Hughes (Since You’ve Been Gone) which includes an in-joke about lists (I laughed!) There are other cameos too, but I won’t say who – you’ll just have to read The Unexpected Everything to find out! 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Have You Heard About The Zoella Book Club?


Image via WH Smith

So, Twitter exploded yesterday (at least my feed did, I don't know about you!) when news was announced that lifestyle blogger and vlogger extraordinaire (and YA author to boot!) Zoe Sugg, AKA Zoella, was starting her very own book club, in collaboration with WH Smith. 

One of the biggest names on Youtube, Zoella has a reach of MILLIONS. Her debut novel, Girl Online is the fastest selling debut novel since records began, selling almost 80,000 copies in its first week of release. 

If you're an author, and your book happens to be on Zoella's book club list, then you're guaranteed a major boost in sales. In fact, per BBC Newsbeat, Zoella's Book Club is already having a major impact on sales, propelling some of her chosen books thousands of places up the charts. Amy Alward's The Potion Diaries jumped a massive 26,160 places overnight in the Amazon book charts.

Of course there's a marketing aspect to this, but aside from that, it's a really great idea, and most importantly, it will get people reading!

Here's more:


Image via Twitter


L-R Top: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
L-R Bottom: The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher.


All the books in The Zoella Book Club are exclusive to WH Smith. The selected books are available in exclusive special editions (check out the new cover art!) and feature lots of great bonus content. For example, if you buy The Zoella Book Club edition of Sara Barnard's Beautiful Broken Things, you'll get a sneak peek at her next book, A Quiet Kind of Thunder.


Image via @MyKindaBook


Image via @WalkerBooks


Find out more on Twitter: @Zoella @WHSmith #Zoellabookclub and on the WH Smith Blog.



Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Five of my All Time Favourite Summer Reads!

Another day, another list!

Here are some classic summer hits -- the books that will leave you with fond memories for years to come. These are the books you'll want to read over and over again, the books you'll want to read all summer long.

I'm sticking to YA Fiction here, but if you're looking for something a little more adult-y just click the Summer Spotlight tab in the sidebar.


*****



Jenny Han is an auto-buy author for me. Actually, all of the authors on this list are auto-buys for me. There's something really special about The Summer series, though. I love reading the story of Conrad, Jeremiah and Belly as it unfolds over the years. I should probably re-read this series sometime soon, as it's been a few years!

Read my review of the Summer Series by Jenny Han.


*****




I was late to the Sarah Dessen party, and I still have a lot of catching up to do. To date, I've read three Dessen books and this one is my favourite by far.  So adorable. And, for me, Wes will always be one of my favourite Boys of YA. So much sa-woon! I'm hoping to get to Along for the Ride this summer (although I said the same last summer!) Do you have any Dessen faves? I'd love to know!


Read my review of The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.

*****





Morgan Matson's debut is still my favourite of hers.  Second Chance Summer was a really good read too, but you know, tears. This one, though, is fun! It's got swoony romance, and as the title indicates, it's got an epic road trip (well, detour). P.S: I happen to know (from following her on Instagram) that Morgan Matson is in Italy right now. I also happened to leave a comment on one of her photos dropping hints that it would be really cool if her trip was a research trip for 'Amy & Roger's Epic Italian Adventure.' I'm really hoping that she sees my comment and runs with it.

Read my review of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.


*****




I guess by now you're sensing that there's a theme to my summer reading. That's right, as soon as the sun hits, I am all about beach-set contemporary fiction. And it doesn't get better than this. Nantucket Blue is one of my all time summer faves. I LOVE the setting of this book, and the romance is pretty fun too. The follow up, Nantucket Red is also one to add to your summer reading list. I'm hoping for another YA from Leila Howland very soon (she's been writing MG for the past few years). 

Read my reviews  of Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red by Leila Howland.


*****




All of Emery Lord's books to date have been pretty great reads for me, but this one, her debut, remains my favourite (totally have a fondness for debut novels!) I loved this story of country music superstar Lilah Montgomery and her best friend (with a bad attitude) Reagan O' Neill. 


Read my review of Open Road Summer by Emery Lord.


*****



This book divided opinion when it released last year. Oh boy, did it divide opinion! It's about cheating, you see: lots of cheating and lots of bad decisions and lots of mean girl antics too. Basically, this book is all about a lot of drama. And I loved it. I remember reading this one Saturday. I read it all in one sitting, because I just could not put it down, an that doesn't happen all that often for me. I'm a really picky reader - and I'm getting pickier as the years go by! I still haven't read Cotugno's debut How to Love. Need to get to that one soon.


Read my review of 99 Days by Katie Cotugno.

*****

Let me know what you think of this list!

And tell me your favourite summer reads!

Monday, 6 June 2016

Five Books to Add to Your Summer Holiday Reading List (Adult Fiction)

Continuing my round-up of Summer Reading Recommendations, here's some Adult Fiction that you really need to check out sometime soon. 

I have a tendency to pump for twisty thrillers set in exotic locations when it comes to my summer reading, but I've tried to mix it up a little here by including a bunch of different genres and settings. 

Hope you enjoy!

*****




LOVE the premise of this one. A tight-knit group of friends, living in Brooklyn, find that their bond is tested when their kids start sleeping together, and secrets from their past rise up again. Sounds full of drama, right? I'm really looking forward to reading it.  The cover illustration is by Leah Reena Goren (whose work I love!) Check out more of her work: here.


When is this available? It's out now!
Click to read the Synopsis.

*****




I think I may have found THE perfect summer read. The Invitation by Lucy Foley, with it's exotic locales - Rome, Cannes, The Italian Riviera - and storyline of star-crossed love, secrets and tragedy, definitely sounds like one for the beach! I have an inkling that this one will appeal to fans of Liza Klaussmann and Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.


When is this available? August 2nd in the US || July 14th in the UK.
Click to read the Synopsis.


*****




Probably my most anticipated book OF THE YEAR, I See You is the second book from Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go. Have I told you how much I loved I Let You Go? Pretty sure I have. If you want to see my full review of that piece of twisty brilliance GO HERE. I See You promises to be another unputdownable read. It's already getting some great reviews on Goodreads.

When is this available? July 28th.

*****




Set in California, in the summer of 1969, The Girls, which is inspired by the Manson Family cult, is garnering rave reviews just about everywhere. It's blurbed by none other than Lena Dunham, who describes the book as one which will: "break your heart and blow your mind". And it's next up on my TBR, once I get done with the 500+ page tome that is The Unexpected Everything.


When is this available? June 14th in the US || June 16th in the UK.
Click to read the Synopsis.


*****




 I've already read and raved about this one, so you can just GO HERE to read my review. tl;dr: It's a twisty,  tightly-plotted thriller that you definitely want to read, but not if you are going on a cruise.


When is this available? It's out now!
Click to read the Synopsis. 

*****

Is there a bonus book? Of course there's a bonus book!





The blurb reads: "From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover's past." Sounds good, right?   I still haven't gotten around to reading Debbie Howells debut, the bestselling Bones of You, but I have a copy ordered and I'll be sticking it on my TBR as soon as it arrives.  Have you read The Bones of You? I've heard very good things!


When is this available?  July 26th in the US || July 14th in the UK.

****


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