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

33843251

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.

 

Friday Reads #35: Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz

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:

35685590Title: Someone to Love
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 1, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads): 

Look for the haunting and powerful new novel from Melissa de la Cruz, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Isle of the Lost and Something in Between 

Constantly in the spotlight thanks to her politician father’s rising star, Olivia Blakely feels the pressure to be perfect. As the youngest girl in her class, she tries hard to keep up and to seem mature to the older boy she’s crushing on, even as she catches his eye. But the need to look good on camera and at school soon grows into an all-consuming struggle with bulimia.

As Liv works toward her goal of gaining early admission to art school, including taking part in an upcoming student show, her life spirals out of control. Swept up in demands to do more than she’s ready for, to always look perfect and to succeed, Liv doesn’t know who she is anymore. It will take nearly losing her best friend and even her life for Liv to learn that loving herself is far more important than earning the world’s approval.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

The theme of this book is one that is very hard-hitting. It has been a long time since I have read a YA novel that digs deep into eating disorders. I am about 30% into this one so far, and while I am not liking the main character and her choices, I am definitely empathizing with her.

Book Beginning:

The stall door won’t shut all the way. What the hell kind of bathroom doors does our school have?

Friday 56:

We each share a secret now. I hope she forgets by tomorrow.

ARC Review: Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm

25844635

Title: Prince in Disguise
Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: December 19, 2017
Stars: 4.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

I am always a sucker for books about royalty, so I knew I would love Prince in Disguise the moment I saw it. This story is all about a reality TV show set in Scotland and contains a likeable main character. This book makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, making it perfect for the winter.

This book has such an original concept! The main character’s sister is getting married to a (barely) prince, and the wedding and the planning are all being aired on a reality TV show. Dylan wants nothing to do with the cameras and the fake reactions, but she has to deal with them as her sister’s maid of honour. The plot thickens as the production crew uncovers some of her secrets and turns her life into the subplot of the show. I enjoyed how the book portrayed life as a reality TV star and shows how hard it is to have everything about you shown on screen. I really sympathized with Dylan and her strict contract.

Since Dylan’s sister marries Scottish royalty, the wedding is set in Scotland. I haven’t read too many books set there, but I would definitely love to see more. I adored the descriptions of the castle and its secret passageways and the frequent use of Scottish slang. There is also some traditional Scottish dancing and food, which was so interesting to read about. After reading this book, I would definitely like to go visit Scotland.

I enjoyed Dylan’s character in Prince in Disguise. She has a sense of humour and is pretty sarcastic. She also has a strong relationship with her sister, and they stick up for one another. I loved how Dylan wants to make her sister happy on her special day and is supportive of her decisions, even if they aren’t what she would have done. Dylan is just such a relatable character, and reading about her misadventures is so entertaining.

Prince in Disguise is a witty and adorable story set in picturesque Scotland. I loved the main character and the bond between sisters. If you enjoyed books like The Selection, you will love this one!

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

Wishlist Wednesday #132: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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:

29589074Title: Truly Devious
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 16, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads): 

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

This sounds like exactly my kind of book! I love the boarding school setting, and I always appreciate a good crime story. It is so interesting how the school is filled with riddles and set up for artists and geniuses. Truly Devious sounds kind of like The Amateurs and We Were Liars, and I am excited to see how it turns out. I can’t wait for its release next month!

ARC Review: Three Sides of a Heart by Natalie C. Parker (editor)

26837046

Title: Three Sides of a Heart
Authors: Natalie C. Parker (editor)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: December 19, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): You may think you know the love triangle, but you’ve never seen love triangles like these.

These top YA authors tackle the much-debated trope of the love triangle, and the result is sixteen fresh, diverse, and romantic stories you don’t want to miss.

This collection, edited by Natalie C. Parker, contains stories written by Renee Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagan, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, EK Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.

A teen girl who offers kissing lessons. Zombies in the Civil War South. The girl next door, the boy who loves her, and the girl who loves them both. Vampires at a boarding school. Three teens fighting monsters in an abandoned video rental store. Literally the last three people on the planet.

What do all these stories have in common?

The love triangle.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Three Sides of a Heart is an anthology not to be missed. These sixteen short stories by some of my favourite authors each put a spin on the classic love triangle trope. There is definitely something for everyone, and it might even change your opinion on love triangles.

I love the concept of this anthology! The love triangle gets a lot of hate in YA, but honestly, I can appreciate one that is well-executed. Three Sides of a Heart takes this trope and twists it, giving the reader a whole new perspective. There is something from every genre with all kinds of pairings, and many of my favourite authors have contributed stories. Even if you loathe love triangles, I would still recommend this anthology, as there is so much to it that you are bound to find something you like.

My favourite of the stories was Sabaa Tahir’s Waiting. One of the love interests is in jail, which isn’t common in YA, and the story features letters between him and the main character, which I always love. The main character is strong and sassy, and there is actually a bit of humour, which I appreciated. Waiting is such an emotional story that is so well-written, and I would definitely read a full book with its plot.

I also really enjoyed Renée Ahdieh’s La Revancha del Tango. This story is set in Buenos Aires and is all about the tango. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about the tango before, so I found the originality to be refreshing. Unus, Duo, Tres by Bethany Hagen intrigued me as well. I’m not really a fan of vampire stories, but the emotion and plot twists kept me captivated.

Three Sides of a Heart is an anthology focusing on love triangles. There are many excellent works in this book, but I especially enjoyed Sabaa Tahir’s contribution. There is so much diversity and so many different genres, so I would absolutely recommend this one.

* I received an ARC from HCC Frenzy’s Frenzy Presents in exchange for an honest review.

Friday Reads #34: Three Sides of a Heart 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:

26837046Summary (from Goodreads): You may think you know the love triangle, but you’ve never seen love triangles like these.

These top YA authors tackle the much-debated trope of the love triangle, and the result is sixteen fresh, diverse, and romantic stories you don’t want to miss.

This collection, edited by Natalie C. Parker, contains stories written by Renee Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagan, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, EK Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.

A teen girl who offers kissing lessons. Zombies in the Civil War South. The girl next door, the boy who loves her, and the girl who loves them both. Vampires at a boarding school. Three teens fighting monsters in an abandoned video rental store. Literally the last three people on the planet.

What do all these stories have in common?

The love triangle.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

I am loving this one so far! It is so interesting how the book focuses on love triangles, and not cliché “girl must choose between two boys who both love her” love triangles. Some of my favourite authors have contributed to this anthology, so I am very excited to continue reading!

Book Beginning

“All right,” Steven says grandly. “You walk into a room with a kerosene lamp, a candle, and a fireplace. What do you light first?”

Friday 56:

The first thing I know is that I’m curled up on my side, suspended in loving warmth. My body adrift in a tropical ocean of blue water.

Book Giveaway Hop: December 2017 New Releases

dec17-3

Welcome to the November 2017 New Release Giveaway Hop hosted by It Starts at Midnight!

It’s hard to believe that the year is coming to an end already! It has been such an amazing year for book releases, and I think that the December new releases are so fantastic. Foolish Hearts sounds like such an interesting story and I am so excited to read the new Kasie West novel, as well.

This giveaway is open to international entries, as long as The Book Depository ships to you! You can enter to win any book published in November 2017 that you are most excited for, worth up to $20 USD. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to a notification email with their address and choice of book. Rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to stop by the other giveaways along the hop!

Review: Kissing Snowflakes by Abby Sher

2108745

Title: Kissing Snowflakes
Author: Abby Sher
Publisher: Point
Publication Date: November 1, 2007
Stars: 3/5

Summary (from Goodreads): This fun, sweet, wintertime book is filled with humor and romance. The picturesque mountain ski lodge is the perfect place to spend winter break if you have a boyfriend! Otherwise, that cozy leather couch in front of the crackling fire looks a lot less inviting. Good thing that there are lots of cute, blond, sweater-wearing ski instructors around to choose from.

Goodreads | Amazon

Kissing Snowflakes is a wintry drama with plenty of skiing. The more serious topics in the book balanced out the fluff, and the resort setting is so peaceful. However, I found the main character to be dislikable, so I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I had hoped.

This book tells the story of a ski trip celebrating the remarriage of the main character’s dad. On the trip, Sam meets a cute ski instructor and finds herself falling for him. However, the more time she spends with him, the more she realizes that he might not be the one for her. I loved the resort setting and the relaxing winter break vibes. There is also a good mix of drama and fluff. I was actually surprised to see topics like divorce discussed in the story, since books like this one aren’t typically too heavy. Kissing Snowflakes is overall super cosy and perfect for the winter.

I didn’t really like Sam’s character. I found her to be too clingy and naive, and the way she acts can be so immature. I also didn’t like the way she treats her best friend from home and how she doesn’t even give her stepmom a chance. Some of Sam’s actions are understandable, but most of them are pretty frustrating. I would have preferred if she was more considerate and listened.

Kissing Snowflakes is a cute and wintry read filled with skiing and drama. I enjoyed the relaxing resort setting, but the main character didn’t satisfy me. I would still recommend this one, though it would be better suited for those new to the YA genre.