Waiting on Wednesday #98: Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell

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

This week’s book:

28820996Title: Dear Reader
Author: Mary O’Connell
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: May 9, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): Gilmore Girls with magical realism! Dear Reader is an original, poignant modern-day take on Wuthering Heights, as a high school senior searches for her teacher and meets a boy who may just be Heathcliff come to life

For seventeen-year-old Flannery Fields, the only respite from the plaid-skirted mean girls at Sacred Heart High School at is her beloved teacher Miss Sweeney’s AP English class. But when Miss Sweeney doesn’t show up to teach Flannery’s favorite book, Wuthering Heights, leaving behind her purse, Flannery knows something is wrong.

The police are called, and Flannery gives them everything—except Miss Sweeney’s copy of Wuthering Heights. This she holds onto. And good thing she does, because when she opens it, it has somehow transformed into Miss Sweeney’s real-time diary. It seems Miss Sweeney is in New York City—and she’s in trouble.

So Flannery does something very unFlannery-like: she skips school and sets out for Manhattan, with the book as her guide. But as soon as she arrives, she meets a boy named Heath. Heath is British, on a gap year, incredibly smart—yet he’s never heard of Albert Einstein or Anne Frank. In fact, Flannery can’t help thinking that he seems to have stepped from the pages of Brontë’s novel. Could it be?

With inimitable wit and heart, Mary O’Connell has crafted a love letter to reading, to the books that make us who we are. Dear Reader, charming and heartbreaking, is a novel about finding your people, on the page in the world.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts:

Oh my gosh! This book just sounds super cute and I am so excited about the fact that it is a Wuthering Heights retelling. The whole mystery surrounding the teacher’s disappearance and the aspects of magical realism have me very intrigued. Definitely a great addition to my spring TBR!

ARC Review: Keeping the Beat by Jeff Norton and Marie Powell

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

Title: Keeping the Beat
Authors: Jeff Norton and Marie Powell
Publisher: KCP Loft
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): It was supposed to be the best summer of her life. Instead, seventeen-year-old Lucy finds her best friend, Harper, shot dead in an LA swimming pool. How did things ever go so wrong? The story circles back to trace the steps that led to this disaster.

Only Harper McKenzie could have taken five girls from their school and reinvented them as Crush, the top prospect to win the international talent contest Project Next. As soon as the band finds its footing, it scores a huge win in the UK semifinal. Next stop, LA!

The girls will spend a luxurious summer in Hollywood, living as reality TV stars while they prepare for their performance in the Project Next final. With a mansion to themselves, they’re the toast of the town … living every girl’s dream come true.

It’s way too late when Lucy discovers that Harper’s heart has never been in Project Next at all. Joining the competition was just part of Harper’s elaborate ruse to reconnect with her no-good ex-boyfriend. Harper will risk anything — from her friendships to the band’s reputation — to get him back.

Meanwhile, the other members of Crush are throwing themselves headfirst into sex, drugs and rock and roll. With the band in crisis and the final approaching, Lucy must decide whether she wants to play to Harper’s beat or set the rhythm for the rest of the band.

This fast-paced story takes unexpected twists, unraveling the mystery of Harper’s murder and exploring the complicated relationships among members of the band. Writing team Marie Powell and Jeff Norton — with many years in the entertainment business between them — deliver one-part wish fulfillment and one-part cautionary tale as they go behind the scenes to reveal what no one sees on “reality” TV.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Keeping the Beat is all about a girl band and the tough life on a reality TV show. Each of the girls are so different and really transform throughout the story. The big themes in the book, such as drugs and eating disorders, really add some depth and make the story more intense. I would recommend this book, as it does a good job of taking the reader behind the scenes.

This book is all about a group of girls who form a band and work their way to stardom. I loved the way that normal British girls are thrown into the world of music and must adjust to life in LA. What is interesting about Keeping the Beat is the fact that the ending is shown in the first chapter, and the book has a bit of a mystery aspect added to the girls’ life of luxury. I am a sucker for both arts and thriller novels, so I really enjoyed this combination.

There is such an amazing cast of characters in Keeping the Beat! The girls of Crush joined as (basically) strangers,  and it is so interesting to watch them get to know each other and become real bandmates. Each musician has such a unique personality, and the girls are all so different from each other. My favourite character is probably Iza, as she transforms from a shy and quiet girl into such an independent individual. Female friendships are something that I always love to see, and I was thrilled to see a girl gang in this book.

There are some pretty heavy topics discussed in the book, which really made it more than just some girls living a life of luxury. Right off the bat, one of the main characters is shot and killed. Drugs, eating disorders, and body image are also incorporated and show the reader how easy it is to get caught up in all of it. I enjoyed how Keeping the Beat shows the media’s image of beauty and what can happen if you try too hard to make yourself “perfect.” The pressure on girls to look and act a certain way is really strong, and the fact that this book is able to educate a little bit about this is excellent.

Keeping the Beat is about a British girl band and contains many distinct characters. The themes in the story are pretty intense, but also educate the reader. I would recommend this book, especially to fans of the musical genre.

🍀 10 Irish YA Books to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The one day of the year many celebrate all things Irish/green. I am always looking for themes in my reading and there are some themes in YA that are more difficult to find titles for. I have rounded up a few titles that I have discovered on Goodreads and beyond that are all set in the gorgeous country of Ireland. Most of these titles are older, as I couldn’t seem to find ones that are more recent. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments! Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

   The Radiant Road by Catherine Katmull


   Greener Grass by Caroline Pignat

   When Irish Guys are Smiling by Suzanne Supplee

   The New Policeman Series by Kate Thompson

 

   Notes From a Spinning Planet-Ireland by Melody Carson

 

   Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

   There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones

 

   The Carnaval at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley

 

   A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd

 

   Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Petals by Laurisa White Reyes

Petals
by Laurisa White Reyes
Genre: YA
Release Date: March 15th 2017
Skyrocket Press

Summary from Goodreads: Some memories refuse to stay buried…

On Christmas Eve, a horrific car accident leaves Carly Perez without a mom. After a year of surgeries and counseling, Carly’s life is nearly back to normal—except for the monsters—vague, twisted images from the accident that plague her dreams. When her father insists on spending their first Christmas alone in Guatemala with a slew of relatives Carly has never met, she is far from thrilled, but she reluctantly boards the plane anyway.

That’s where she first spots the man with the scarred face. She could swear she has seen him before. But when? Where?

In Reu, the Guatemalan town where her father grew up, Carly meets Miguel, her attractive step-cousin, and thinks maybe vacation won’t be a total waste after all. Though she is drawn to him, Carly’s past holds her back—memories that refuse to be forgotten, and a secret about the accident that remains buried in her subconscious. And everywhere she turns, the man with the scarred face is there, driving that unwelcome secret to the surface.

 

Excerpt: 

In sixty seconds, Mom would be dead.

We’re driving down Telegraph Highway, the two of us, a wrapped gift box on my lap. It is rectangular, maybe fifteen inches tall, in red foil paper with a white bow on top. We were lucky to find the drug store still open on Christmas Eve.

Mom is pleased. She’s humming along with the radio, which is playing a lively fifties holiday song. Her thumbs tap out the tune on the steering wheel. Her car keys sway in the ignition, jingling like bells.

Outside, the sky is dark. Through the storm, the road ahead looks like a long tunnel.

Snow is falling.

It happens so fast there is no time to react. Bright lights hurtle toward us on our side of the road. Mom’s arms brace against the wheel. She thrusts her foot against the brake, but the road is slick with ice. The car swerves.

I hear a car horn blaring. I hear the crunch of metal, the pop of glass shattering. A powerful force shoves me against the car door as everything suddenly whirls in the wrong direction. I feel pain. I scream.

And then it’s over.

When I blink open my eyes, everything is white.

Snow is falling.

CHAPTER ONE

His was the sort of face you couldn’t forget—yet somehow, I had.

I was slumped in a chair, blocking out the airport racket with my music and a pair of ear buds, when I first spotted him slipping quarters into a vending machine. His faded gray coveralls looked completely out of place amid the crowd of holiday travelers, and I wondered if he was an airport janitor or some kind of repairman. But it was his face that sent the jolt of recognition through me. His brown skin was disfigured with long, deep scars, as though shriveled by the sun like a raisin. I knew this man, the way I’d know a song by hearing the first notes of a melody. But where had I met him? I couldn’t remember.

“Are you all right, Carly?” Dad closed his Grisham novel and patted my hand. He was a handsome man, with cocoa-colored eyes and short black hair, completely at home in khaki Dockers and a polo tee.

 “I’m fine,” I said. But I didn’t feel fine. A wave of hot prickles crawled under my skin, like they did whenever I was somewhere I didn’t want to be. Dad meant well, but the truth was that I was still angry at him for guilting me into this trip.

The loudspeaker in our terminal crackled, and a woman’s nasally voice called our flight. I rolled up the magazine I hadn’t read and tucked it into my jacket pocket along with my phone. Then Dad and I got in line. Once on board, I slipped my art box (my only carry-on) into the overhead compartment and shut the cover. Dad settled in at the window, so I dropped into the aisle seat.

The other passengers continued to board. They moved slowly, a trail of human ants doped up on Dramamine, waiting for the inevitable deep sleep of late night air travel. I tried to imagine what secret lives they might be living, like mail carrier by day, stripper by night or something.

Then he got on.

My stomach lurched. Go to the back of the plane, I thought, as if summoning some latent power deep within my psyche. I read this e-book once on mental magic, about how our thoughts influence the world around us. I tried to move a paperclip just by thinking about it. It didn’t work, but that didn’t stop me from trying to will Raisin Face into sitting as far from me as possible. Instead, he took the seat directly across the aisle from me.

Dad and I sat in silence while the plane taxied down the runway. I leaned over Dad to look out the window. As the plane nosed its way into themidnight sky, I stared, mesmerized as the lights of Los Angeles spread out below me. The city from this vantage point was astoundingly beautiful, like a giant Christmas tree. My town, three hours north of Los Angeles, didn’t even have a regular traffic signal. It was snowing there when we had left that afternoon. I couldn’t believe I’d missed our first real snow day of the season.

After a few minutes in the air, the lights disappeared, blocked by cloud cover. It was so dark outside I could see my face in the glass. I squinted at the reflection staring back at me, narrow bronze features framed by long, brown hair topped by a white halo.

“You can take off your hat now,” Dad joked. “The sun went down hours ago.”

The hat, cotton canvas with a floppy brim, had been a gift from my mom.

“I like my hat,” I replied, tugging it tighter onto my head.

“Reminds me of Gilligan’s Island. You know. That old TV show?” Dad hummed the show’s theme song and took a pitiful stab at the lyrics. “A three-hour tour. A three-hour tour.” He looked pleadingly at me as though expecting me to chime in.

I settled back into my seat.

“Never mind,” he said, giving up.

It was well past midnight by the time the plane reached cruising altitude. The flight attendant came by, offering drinks. I accepted a plastic cup filled with Coke and ice.

“Peanuts?” she asked with a pasted-on smile. There was a swath of red lipstick on her teeth, and I wondered if I should do the polite thing and point it out to her. I curled back my lips like an orangutan, but her expression didn’t change. So, I pointed to my teeth. The skin between the attendant’s eyebrows creased. A possible sign of intelligence?

Dad sipped his drink. “This trip won’t be so bad,” he said.

“I already told you, I don’t want to talk about it,” I replied, and I didn’t. What I wanted was to spend the next three weeks in my own house sleeping in my own bed. Why did I agree to come on this trip? I could have chained myself to the tree in our front yard in protest, but then Dad would either have cancelled the trip and spent our entire vacation making me feel guilty about it, or I would have starved to death like a neglected Rottweiler. In either case, I really didn’t have much of a choice.

“I know you were mad,” Dad continued, “but you’re over it now, aren’t you?”

No, Dad. I am not over it.

I scratched at my front tooth. The attendant blinked twice.

“Peanuts?” she asked again.

Dad accepted a bag. Then she turned to me, expectantly. I gave her an exaggerated grin. If she wouldn’t get the hint about the lipstick, couldn’t she at least wipe that mannequin-esque smile off her face? I was not normally so critical of people, but this whole situation had set me on edge.

“No thanks,” I told the attendant. “Peanuts give me the runs.”

That did it. Her smile morphed into a slightly unpleasant expression.

Dad choked on his drink. “Carly!”

“What?” I said as the attendant moved on to the next passenger. “I’m allergic.”

“Since when?”

“Since you dragged me onto this plane and ruined my plans for winter break, that’s when.”

Dad opened his nuts, picked one out, and rolled it around his tongue to suck off the salt. Then he crushed it between his front teeth.

“Trust me, Carly. You’ll love Guatemala,” he said. He was relentless. “It won’t be so bad, spending Christmas there.” He poured the rest of the nuts into his mouth and chewed.

Personally, I had serious doubts about spending nearly a month in a third world country where half the people lived in mud huts.

“It’s a great place,” Dad continued. “Lush jungles, ancient ruins, coconuts—”

Malaria, sauna-like heat, amoebas—

“All I ask is that you give it a chance, Carly. Give them a chance.”

Them. The so-called family I never knew. For all my seventeen years, they had been nothing more than pictures on the mantle. Dad rarely spoke of them, so why he chose our first Christmas without Mom to change the status quo was beyond me.

“Why did I have to come?” I asked, my frustration piquing. “I’m old enough to man the house while you’re away. I can take care of myself.”

“We already went over this, Carly. They want to meet you. It’s important to me that they do.”

“If they’re so important, then why haven’t you seen them in two decades?” I didn’t expect an answer. I just wanted to get Dad off my back. But instead, he shrugged his shoulders and gave me an apologetic grin.

“Let’s just say we had our differences,” he said.

The flight attendant returned, this time offering a pillow. She was still smiling. At least the red mark on her teeth was gone.

I took the pillow and arranged it behind my neck. Dad took one as well, tucking it behind his head. I should have been glad to finally have some quiet time to myself, but curiosity got the better of me. I leaned over and whispered.

“What differences?”

“Go to sleep,” said Dad.

“What differences?” I asked again.

“Carly, it’s almost one in the morning. Even if you’re not tired, I am. Let me get some sleep. Okay?”

I looked around and realized that most of the other passengers had already dozed off.

“Do you need your pills?” Dad asked.

I shook my head. “If I take them now, I’ll be a zombie when we arrive.”

Although, maybe Guatemala won’t seem so bad if I’m in a drugged-out stupor.

“Night, Carly,” said Dad. Five minutes later, he was snoring.

Across the aisle, Raisin Face had a magazine open on his lap. He licked his thumb before turning each page. I didn’t realize I was staring until he turned abruptly to look at me. Our eyes locked, and in that sliver of a moment, my heart threatened to explode right out of my ribcage. I broke away from his gaze and jerked opened my own magazine, pretending to be absorbed in it.

When my heart returned to its normal rhythm, I set the magazine aside, turned on my music, and leaned back against the pillow. I closed my eyes, but thoughts kept racing through my head. I wanted to look at him again, to study his face and give my brain time to place him.

Is he watching me? I wondered. Does he recognize me too?

After a while, I started to relax. Oblivion was calling, but I desperately clung to consciousness, like a mountain climber gripping a rock by her fingernails while dangling above a precipice. The fall was inevitable, but I strained to hold on. It wasn’t that I had trouble sleeping, but the pills kept the monsters at bay.

Finally, unable to fight it any longer, I surrendered. Falling into sleep, I struggled to recall just where I had seen that man’s face before.

 

About the Author
Laurisa White Reyes is the author of the 2016 Spark Award winning novel The Storytellers, as well as The Celestine Chronicles and The Crystal Keeper series. Shelives in Southern California where she teaches English at College of the Canyons. Newsletter Sign-up – here.

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Waiting on Wednesday #97: The End of Our Story by Meg Haston

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

This week’s book:

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Title: The End of Our Story
Author: Meg Haston
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): Meg Haston’s romantic and thrilling new YA novel explores a star-crossed high school relationship in a tale rife with deeply buried secrets and shocking revelations.

Bridge and Wil have been entangled in each other’s lives for years. Under the white-hot Florida sun, they went from kids daring each other to swim past the breakers to teenagers stealing kisses between classes. But when Bridge betrayed Wil during their junior year, she shattered his heart and their relationship along with it.

Then Wil’s family suffers a violent loss, and Bridge rushes back to Wil’s side. As they struggle to heal old wounds and start falling for each other all over again, Bridge and Wil discover just how much has changed in the past year. As the fierce current of tragedy threatens to pull them under, they must learn how to swim on their own—or risk drowning together

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts:

Honestly, I love reading a great contemporary that is full of romance. The secrets, betrayals and this tragedy all seem intriguing to me. I already feel the need to know more about what this tragedy is exactly. Not much longer to wait for this one!

ARC Review: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

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I received a copy of this book from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

Title: A Crown of Wishes
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

A Crown of Wishes is just as incredible as I had anticipated. This companion to The Star-Touched Queen tells the story of a tournament to win a wish and focuses on the sister of the protagonist in the first book. As expected, the writing is stunning and filled with sass. Fans of Caraval will undoubtedly love A Crown of Wishes.

When I first heard of this book, I thought it was a sequel to The Star-Touched Queen, but I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that it is actually a companion novel. This story is about Maya’s sister and works as a stand-alone. A Crown of Wishes is all about a magical tournament to win, you guessed it, a wish. It reminded me a bit of Caraval, and I loved that, since this concept is so entertaining to read. The bits of Indian mythology woven throughout the book are also extremely interesting and original. If you loved The Star-Touched Queen, I would definitely suggest  giving Gauri’s story a try.

Gauri is such a fierce main character. Right off the bat, she is prepared to outsmart her captors and defend herself. Gauri is so clever and able to solve the riddles in the Tournament of Wishes with ease. I absolutely adored her connection with Vikram as well, since the two have such an adorable love/hate relationship that is hilarious to read.

I will never get tired of Roshani Chokshi’s writing. I already had high hopes considering how beautiful The Star-Touched Queen is, but I can honestly say that her writing has gotten even better. Roshani Chokshi’s style is so descriptive yet so snarky, which can be difficult to pull off. Her use of metaphors also adds to the beauty of the book, making A Crown of Wishes almost impossible to put down. I hope Roshani Chokshi will have more books out in the future, because I would even read her grocery lists.

A Crown of Wishes is the story of a magical tournament that contains such a sarcastic and strong main character. The beautiful writing is the best part, and even better than in The Star-Touched Queen. I absolutely recommend this book, even if you have yet to read the first!

ARC Review: The Really Quite Good British Cookbook: The Food We Love from 100 of Our Best Chefs, Cooks, Bakers and Local Heroes by William Sitwell (editor)

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Title: The Really Quite Good British Cookbook: The Food We Love from 100 of Our Best Chefs, Cooks, Bakers and Local Heroes
Author: William Sitwell (editor)
Publisher: Nourish
Publication Date: March 21, 2017
Stars: 5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): What do you cook for the people you love? Asked this question, 100 of Britain’s food heroes have shared their most beloved recipes to make this extraordinary cookbook. Nigella Lawson divulges how to bake her Chocolate Guinness Cake and Rick Stein fries up Shrimp & Dill Fritters with Ouzo. Yotam Ottolenghi would serve Pea & Mint Croquettes and for Jamie Oliver, an unrivalled Fantastic Fish Pie. These are just a few of the incredible recipes provided by the best and brightest on the British food scene, including chefs such as Raymond Blanc, Gordon Ramsay, Delia Smith, James Martin, Nigel Slater, Thomasina Miers, Mark Hix, Jason Atherton, Marco Pierre White, Claudia Roden and more.

Compiled by award-winning food editor and author William Sitwell, The Really Quite Good British Cookbook is keenly anticipated and a stunning object in its own right. Ultimately it is a celebration of the breadth, creativity and richness of Britain’s unique food culture.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Really Quite Good British Cookbook absolutely defies that old adage that the British serve bland and tasteless food. In this large collection of recipes from so many celebrated British chefs, you will find many interesting and exceptional dishes to prepare at home. Also, the images that are peppered throughout this book include breathtaking images of beautiful scenery as well as mouth-watering food.

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Warm New Potato Salad with Mint Leaves & Chives

What is most fascinating about this compilation of recipes is the fact that there are so many different types of dishes to choose from. There are breakfast ideas, fish, game, poultry, pasta, sides, and a number of desserts to create that really shows the breadth and changing palette of this diverse land. The Really Quite British Cookbook really has it all and if you are looking for one book that has a variety of recipes, this is the one you will want to check out.

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Brioche French Toast

For those of us who are not British, some of the ingredients may require a little bit of investigation if you are not familiar with some of the British terms. I definitely had to learn about caster sugar when creating the yummy Brioche French Toast recipe by Joanna Brennan, which really only required a little bit of molasses added to sugar. This was a really easy and delicious recipe that puts a twist on your standard french toast recipe with the use of brioche and vanilla paste.

Most notably, the images in the book are gorgeous and each recipe/chef is shown on a map to further describe the food of that particular region of Britain. This part of the book really demonstrates the changing landscape and food evolution that is taking place in Britain. Also, some the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Trussel Trust, which is a charity that runs Britain’s food banks. All the more reason to pick-up a copy of this amazing book!

If you are looking to try some new and interesting recipes, The Really Quite Good British Cookbook is one that I highly recommend. I can’t wait to try out a few more of the recipes included in this wonderful book. It is one that has something for everyone.

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I have linked this post over at  Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.

Book Blitz: Spring Fever Giveaway

Welcome to the Spring Fever Giveaway Party! A dozen authors over at YA Author Rendezvous have put an awesome giveaway together – with over TWENTY chances to win! One grand-prize winner will walk away with a signed, first edition hardback of Witch and Wizard which just so happens to be written by one of the biggest names in fiction – JAMES PATTERSON! On top of that, they get a $100 amazon gift-card!

Check out these other amazing prizes they have for you here.

Spring Fever Giveaway!

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Waiting on Wednesday #96: I See London, I See France #1 by Sarah Mlynowski

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

This week’s book:

26117336Title: I See London, I See France #1

Author: Sarah Mlynowski

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): Nineteen-year-old Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She’s spending the next four and half weeks traveling through Europe with her childhood best friend, Leela. Their plans include Eiffel-Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers. Her plans do not include Leela’s cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on the flight to London, falling for the cheating ex-boyfriend’s très hot friend, monitoring her mother’s spiraling mental health via texts, or feeling like the rope in a friendship tug-of-war.

In this hilarious and unforgettable adventure, New York Timesbestselling author Sarah Mlynowski tells the story of a girl learning to navigate secret romances, thorny relationships, and the London Tube. As Sydney zigzags through Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, and France, she must learn when to hold on, when to keep moving, and when to jump into the Riviera… wearing only her polka dot underpants.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts: 

This sounds like the perfect summer in the perfect summer book! I am looking forward to reading some summer-themed contemporaries this year and this one just screams, “pick me!” I have often enjoyed Mlynoswki’s YA novels and this series seems like a fun, upbeat type of read. Definitely one that I will have in my beach bag.

Tidbit Tuesday #9: 5 YA Retellings to Look For in 2017

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Tidbit Tuesday is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing bookish events, news and bits of books.

With the live action Beauty and the Beast moving opening soon, I figured it is only fitting to feature some retellings that are getting me just as excited! If I were to pick one genre that is my absolute most favourite of them all, it is a retelling. There is something exciting to me about reading a timeless tale that has been completely reinvented. Sometimes I will admit there can be disappointment with this genre, but most of the time I am totally swept away.

Here are a few YA Retellings that have yet to be released, but are already piquing my interest:

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Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer releases on April 11th. This is one Sleeping Beauty story that sounds as though it is going to be creepy and darker than the original tale. I can’t wait to read it!

Hunted by Meagan Spooner releases on March 14th. This Beauty and the Beast retelling is coming out just a few days before the film. So, I suggest that this is one book you try to tide you over if you are a fan of the Beauty and the Beast story.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao releases on October 17th. This fantasy is a reimagined Evil Queen from Snow White story that is based on Asian folklore. How amazing does that sound?

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen releases on September 12th. This fantasy is said to be a Beauty and the Beast origin tale. I am not sure that I have read anything that gives insight to how the story might have begun. I am really looking forward to reading it. There is no cover for this book yet, but Jensen’s Pinterest board does give some hints about the content of the story.

Piper by Jay Asher and Jessica Freeburg  releases on October 31st. I stumbled across this new graphic novel that reimagines the story of the Pied Piper when looking up information about Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. The fact that it is a love story that has a main character who has a disability is really intriguing to me. We are still waiting on a cover for this one as well.