ARC Review: Meet Cute by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Others

meet-cute

Title: Meet Cute
Authors: Jennifer L. Armentrout and Others
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Stars: 3.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Meet Cute is just the anthology that I’ve been waiting for! This is an entire book featuring 14 incredible authors all about adorable first encounters. I personally enjoyed Jocelyn Davies, Kass Morgan, and Julie Murphy’s stories the most. I would definitely recommend this book to those looking for a feel-good read.

I adore the concept of this anthology. It is all about first meetings and, as the title promises, it is absolutely adorable. Meet Cute is incredibly diverse and contains a wide range of topics and genres. Not all the stories are 100% happy, which really makes the book more realistic. It is always hard to review anthologies because there are so many different contributions, but I enjoyed most of them, and overall, this collection lived up to the hype.

My favourite of the stories was The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling In Love by Jocelyn Davies. This story is about a girl woking on a research project about love at first sight and the probability of meeting the cute boy on the train again. I loved the main character and the mathematical aspects. This honestly needs to be a full book, it’s that engaging.

I also loved 259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan. This one tells the story of a boy applying for a one-way trip to Mars. There are some massive plot twists, which are pretty impressive for such a short story, and it is one of the stories that is pretty heartbreaking. Julie Murphy’s Something Real also captivated me. I loved the reality TV aspects and how supportive the girls are of each other even though they are competing for a date with a famous singer.

Meet Cute is an anthology about love at first sight. I enjoyed the diversity and the lovable characters. My favourite was Jocelyn Davies’s, but there were many other 5 star contributions. This is the perfect book to cozy up with this winter.

* I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

YA Debut Authors Bash 2017: Guest Post with Candace Ganger & Giveaway

2017 Debut Authors Bash Banner

Welcome to my stop on the 2017 Debut Authors Bash hosted by YA Reads! Today on the blog, Candace Ganger gives us a list of some lesser known facts about herself. Before we read the dirt on Candace, let’s take a look at her debut YA novel, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post to win your own copy of the book.

314506751Title: The Inevitable Collision of Birdie and Bash
Author: Candace Ganger
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): Birdie never meant to be at the party. Bash should have been long gone. But when they meet, a collision course is set off they may never recover from.

Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together: to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of-best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad, and to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near-Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything. But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled apart. A horrifying tragedy soon links Birdie and Bash together—but neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall—hard—the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo. Told in alternating perspectives, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger is a beautiful, complex, and ultimately hopeful teen novel that will move you to the very last page.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Top 10 Lesser Known Facts About Candace Ganger, Author of The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash

I have a long list of phobias, including, but not limited to, plastic cups, farm machinery, and bare mattresses. Every day, it seems there’s a new thing I’m terrified of.

I’ve never had an invisible friend, but talk out loud, to myself, 99% of every day.

  1. As an avid mental health advocate and someone who lives with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Distress Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder (yeah, it’s a lot), I’ve been pinching my toes together between passing objects since five years old.
  2. I’ve had a lot of jobs but my least favorites include door-to-door vacuum sales, an annoying telemarketer (sorry), and mortgage company receptionist where I was belittled every day until fired.
  3. In high school, I was in M-Club — a Marion (IN) Giants basketball cheering section where I regularly held signs asking old Coach Moe to marry me (and I see how incredibly inappropriate that is now…yikes).
  4. I performed at a Boys & Girls Club talent show in middle school and walked away with a second place trophy (I think they felt sorry for me).
  5. I eat a mandatory yogurt mixed-with peanut butter and chocolate chips every night before bed.
  6. My first real kiss wasn’t until my sophomore year.
  7. My husband and I met performing at the same open mic.
  8. I didn’t begin running until I turned 31 — a year after my son and I nearly died from his traumatic birth. In the time since, I’ve run 1 ultramarathon, 7 marathons — including Boston — 9 half marathons, and dozens of 5 & 10ks.

View More: http://merindabuchananphotography.pass.us/candaceCandace Ganger is a mother, blogger, contributing writer for sites like Teen Vogue, TWLOHA, Bustle, Romper, XO Jane & Hello Giggles. She’s also an obsessive marathoner and continual worrier (yay!). Her debut YA novel, THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH, is out now via St. Martin’s Griffin, and she’s part of a YA mental health anthology, LIFE INSIDE MY MIND, out April 10th, 2018 via S&S. Her forthcoming YA novel from St. Martin’s Wednesday Books, FALLEN LOVED ONES AWAITING TRANSFER (#float) doesn’t have a pub date yet, but will soon!

When she’s not writing for other people’s fame or stress baking, you can find her training for marathons in cemeteries or taming her two weird kids (not to be confused with her two weird cats) while consuming way too many Milky Way lattes. You can follow her obsessive cat picture posting shenanigans via @candylandgang on Twitter!

Website | Twitter

Giveaway:

Enter to win a copy of The Inevitable Collision of Birdie and Bash by Candace Ganger! Rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to check out all of the other stops along the Bash!

Friday Reads #36: Meet Cute by Various Authors

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:

33503607Title: Meet Cute
Authors: Various
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Summary (form Goodreads): 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.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

I am loving this anthology so far! It is, as the title hints, very adorable, and there is so much variety. This is the perfect book to warm your heart this winter, and I can’t wait to keep reading and see what else is in store.

Book Beginning:

The Department of Dead Love looks nothing at all like I expected. For instance, Cupid is not hanging by his entrails out front, bow and quiver lying cracked in a pool of viscous, semisweet pink fluids.

Friday 56:

“You’ll have to relive the whole relationship and then you’ll have to relive the moment it ended. It’s intense for most people.”

 

Wishlist Wednesday #133: The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

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:

29736467Title: The Beauty That Remains
Author: Ashley Woodfolk
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads): Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.

Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Each of them wonders: How different would my life be if this hadn’t happened? And now that it has . . . what’s next?

Goodreads | Amazon

I have a feeling from that synopsis that this book is going to be one that brings on all the tears. I really enjoy the theme of music in a novel, and it shall be interesting to find out if music does end up helping these characters in the end.  Also, is that cover not absolutely gorgeous?

Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

Book cover for The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Title: The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t.

And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

The Afterlife of Holly Chase truly surprised me. This is an original story based on the classic A Christmas Carol where the main character works for a company trying to save Scrooges every year. I found the main character to be likeable, even though she is intended to be dislikable, and I loved reading about the secrets at Project Scrooge. This is such a festive book that will definitely get the reader in the Christmas spirit.

This book has such an original concept! Basically, a spoiled rich girl is killed and wakes up to learn that she is the new Ghost of Christmas Past. Frozen in time, she must work for an organization dedicated to changing the ways of modern Scrooges for the better. I really enjoyed the complexity of Holly’s afterlife and how believable Project Scrooge is. The book is also witty, making it more fun than a typical retelling of A Christmas Carol.

Normally, I am not a fan of dislikable characters, purposeful or not, but I actually really enjoyed Holly’s character. She starts off pretty snobby, and is actually a failed Scrooge, but she really transforms as the story progresses. Holly’s snarky attitude and witty retorts are hilarious, and I loved her sass. She is also pretty daring and willing to do whatever it takes to follow her heart, which is such a nice characteristic.

What I most enjoyed about The Afterlife of Holly Chase is the fact that it isn’t a generic retelling of A Christmas Carol. It takes the idea of the original story and creates something entirely new. Every character assumes the role of one of the classic characters for the mission every year, and the book focuses more on the behind the scenes work at Project Scrooge. Also, the main character isn’t actually Scrooge, which I thought was a nice twist. This book is unlike any A Christmas Carol retelling you will ever read, and I would definitely recommend it this holiday season.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is an inventive story based on A Christmas Carol. I loved the sassy main character and the various twists on the original story. If you are looking for something different to read this winter, this is the perfect book to pick up.