Friday Reads #25: Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

33799302Summary (from Goodreads): Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship:

10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.
9. Then there was our awkward phase.
8. When you were in love with me but never told me…
7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.
6. Through terrible fights…
5. And emotional makeups.
4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.
3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.
2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.
1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

I have just started this one, but I am really enjoying it so far. Katie Cotugno is one of my favourite contemporary authors, and I have been looking forward to this one for a while. I am loving the format of the characters reliving their top ten moments together, and their experiences are so real. I am excited to keep reading about Gabby and Ryan’s memories together!

Book Beginning:

Sitting with his ankles crossed in Gabby’s leafy green backyard two hours after their high school graduation, Ryan tilted his head back and squinted up at the proud June sun.

Friday 56:

It wasn’t a thing a lot of people knew how to accomplish, and she doubted he’d done it on purpose or even with any awareness that that’s what he was doing, but there it was.

ARC Review: Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider

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I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Kiss Me in New York
Author: Catherine Rider
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): It’s Christmas Eve at JFK in NYC.

Charlotte is a British student, waiting for a flight home after the worst semester of her life. Anthony is a native New Yorker, surprising his girlfriend at the airport after three months apart. Charlotte has just been dumped, and Anthony is about to be dumped, right in the middle of the holiday crowd.

Charlotte’s flight is canceled when a blizzard blows in, and Anthony can’t bear to go home. So, they set out into the city together, clutching a book Charlotte picks up in the airport gift shop: Ten Easy Steps for Getting Over Your Ex. For this one night, they’ll focus on healing their broken hearts … together.

Step-by-step, the two struggle to put the past behind them. But the snow is so enchanting, and the holiday lights are so beguiling, that soon their shared misery gives way to something else. Soon, they’re not only over their exes — they’re falling for each other.

Then a subway ride splits them up by mistake. Will they reunite before Charlotte’s flight leaves New York forever?

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Kiss Me in New York is a cute read that will cheer you up this winter. Although a bit clichéd, the story of two strangers meeting at an airport in New York is so entertaining. The idea of two people bonding over a breakup is heartwarming, and the main character is logical and doesn’t whine. This story is super short and can easily be read in one sitting.

This book tells the story of two people who meet at an airport coincidentally after they are both dumped. Together, with the help of Get Over Your Ex in Ten Easy Steps, they attempt to move on from their past relationships while exploring New York City at Christmastime. I loved watching Charlotte and Anthony’s relationship grow as they complete each step in the book, and reading about their adventures and mishaps is so entertaining. Kiss Me in New York is a super short and quick read that is perfect for fans of books like Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares.

I really enjoyed Charlotte’s character in the book. She is a British girl on her way home to her family after studying in America, but her flight gets cancelled and leaves her stranded. She is strong and not too whiny about the cancellation, and I liked how she is both rational and impulsive at the same time. Because Charlotte is British, she uses British slang, and it is so comedic watching Anthony, who is American, react to the difference between their words. Charlotte and Anthony are both enjoyable narrators, and their relationship is so adorable.

Kiss Me in New York is a short and sweet read that is perfect for the Christmas season. The main characters’ adventures in New York are so amusing, and Charlotte is a strong and considerate main character. Definitely add this book to your winter TBR!

Wishlist Wednesday # 122: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by  Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about and have yet to read.

This week’s book:

23197837Title: The Belles
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: February 20, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads): Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts:

I am so intrigued by this book! Not only does the cover draw me in, the entire concept is fascinating. Camellia sounds like a character that will be both relatable and strong-willed. I can’t wait to find to get into this world and discover how the book unfolds.

ARC Review: The Dinner Plan by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion

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I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Dinner Plan: The Keepers Guide to Weeknight Meals and More
Authors: Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion
Publisher: Abrams
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): From the authors of the IACP award-winning cookbook KEEPERS, an entirely new and personalized approach to tackling the dinner dilemma:

Between juggling work, family activities, mismatched schedules, and often bare refrigerators, there are all sorts of situations that make weeknight cooking a universally challenging—and frustrating—experience. The Dinner Plan offers five meal strategies—Make-Ahead, Staggered, One-Dish, Extra-Fast, and Pantry—that will help get dinner on the table no matter what the workweek throws at you. The 135 recipes—from main dishes to sides to salads and “lifesaver” condiments—provide lots of practical options whether time is super-tight, you haven’t had a chance to run to the store, or everyone is coming home at a different time.

And most importantly, all of the recipes are “keepers”—brag-worthy, reliable, crowd-pleasing preparations that you’ll confidently turn to again and again. Shrimp Scampi, Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas, Foolproof Carbonara, and Mexican Skillet Lasagna are just a few examples of doable recipes that will earn their place in any busy cook’s repertoire. Rounded out with plenty of tips and a bonus section on healthful snacks called The Forgotten Meal, The Dinner Plan is every home cook’s indis­pensable weeknight dinner guide.

Goodreads | Amazon

If there is one thing that I am always on the hunt for, it is a recipe that is quick, delicious, and simple to make. The Dinner Plan is a well-organized, eye-catching book that has some fantastic suggestions to get a healthy dinner ready no matter what your day has in store. The ideas take into account all sorts of different lifestyles, but they are most definitely geared towards family meals.

What sets The Dinner Plan apart from other time-saving cookbooks isn’t really the actual recipes. In fact, it is in the way the recipes are categorized as to whether it is a make-ahead, staggered, one-dish, pantry, or extra-fast. Knowing what type of ingredients are needed and the time commitment needed to prepare certain dishes takes the guess-work out of where to start. There are also tips included in the book that include what sorts of ingredients and equipment to buy.

If you have a family that eats at different points of the evening, you will most likely find a dish that will satisfy the needs of your family. Making a meal that can be served at any point of the day, or easily reheated makes some of these recipes really unique. For instance, the Kitchen Sink Burritos that I prepared can be made fairly quickly and then the fixings can be set out for anyone to put together at their own leisure. This recipe is also a much lighter and cheaper version than the ones you can purchase at a local burrito bar, as there are no added preservatives.

burrito

The Dinner Plan is an interesting take on how to serve dinner to your family when life just seems to get in the way. If you are on the hunt for suggestions on how to eat healthy meals for a busy lifestyle, this may be the book for you. It will give you a new perspective on how to make meals without the stress over the time commitment involved.

Friday Reads #24: Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

34220850Summary (from Goodreads): It’s Christmas Eve at JFK in NYC.

Charlotte is a British student, waiting for a flight home after the worst semester of her life. Anthony is a native New Yorker, surprising his girlfriend at the airport after three months apart. Charlotte has just been dumped, and Anthony is about to be dumped, right in the middle of the holiday crowd.

Charlotte’s flight is canceled when a blizzard blows in, and Anthony can’t bear to go home. So, they set out into the city together, clutching a book Charlotte picks up in the airport gift shop: Ten Easy Steps for Getting Over Your Ex. For this one night, they’ll focus on healing their broken hearts … together.

Step-by-step, the two struggle to put the past behind them. But the snow is so enchanting, and the holiday lights are so beguiling, that soon their shared misery gives way to something else. Soon, they’re not only over their exes — they’re falling for each other.

Then a subway ride splits them up by mistake. Will they reunite before Charlotte’s flight leaves New York forever?

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

This book is so cute! It’s kind of like Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares since it tells the story of two people who explore New York City over the holidays. Charlotte and Anthony are both getting over a breakup and work through a book with steps instructing them how to get over an ex. Although the holiday season is still a ways away, I am still enjoying this one and can’t wait to keep reading!

Book Beginning:

A broken heart changes a lot of things. For example: I’m not usually the type of person who scowls when a smiling lady at JFK Airport wishes me “Happy holidays!” as she checks me in for my flight.

Friday 56:

When I see what Step Three is, I frown. This one’s not going to be easy…