Friday Reads #40: Every Day by David Levithan

Bookshelf in black and white with the word 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:

Book cover for Every Day by David Levithan.
Title: 
Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: August 28, 2012

Summary (from Goodreads): Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Goodreads | Amazon

Every Day is actually a re-read for me so that I can refresh my memory before the movie comes out. I chose to go with listening to the audio version, and I am really enjoying the narration. The concept of this series is so unique and the main character, A, is one that is so relatable, despite having to become a new person each and every day.

Book Beginning:

Day 5994

I wake up.

Immediately I have to figure out who I am. It’s not just the body–opening my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I’m fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you’re used to waking up in a new one each morning. It’s the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp.

Friday 56:

It’s one thing to be love-worthy when you are interacting with your boyfriend; it’s quite another when you act the same way with a girl you don’t know. I no longer think she’s just being nice. She’s being kind. Which is much more a sign of character than mere niceness.

 

 

Friday Reads #39: The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

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:

36194456Title: The Recipe Box
Author: Viola Shipman
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads): Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life—including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

Goodreads | Amazon

I am really loving this book so far! There are actual recipes in the novel that relate to each of the chapters, and I am itching to give some of them a try. The descriptions of the orchard and the surrounding Michigan countryside are also quite beautiful.

Book Beginning:

Starbucks was jammed with those who, like her, rose at dawn to start their day: construction workers, Wall Street traders, emergency room doctors, eager assistants. And struggling pastry chefs like me, she thought, looking around the coffeehouse.

Friday 56:

The apple blossoms were in full bloom, and the orchard looked as if it had been dusted in pink snow. Every few seconds, a gusty warm wind bellowed down the hillside and into the bay, a roar followed by a brief silence in which another sound would emerge: the hum of bees on the blossoms.

ARC Review: S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett

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Title: S.T.A.G.S
Author: M. A. Bennett
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Stars: 3/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Seventeen-year-old Greer, a scholarship girl at a prestigious private school, St Aidan the Great School (known as STAGS), soon realizes that the school is full of snobs and spoilt rich brats, many of whom come from aristocratic families who have attended the institute throughout the centuries. She’s immediately ignored by her classmates. All the teachers are referred to as Friars (even the female ones), but the real driving force behind the school is a group of prefects known as the Medievals, whose leader, Henry de Warlencourt, Greer finds both strangely intriguing as well as attractive. The Medievals are all good-looking, clever and everyone wants to be among their circle of friends. Greer is therefore surprised when she receives an invitation from Henry to spend a long weekend with him and his friends at his family house in the Lake District, especially when she learns that two other “outsiders” have also been invited: Shafeen and Chanel. As the weekend unfolds, Greer comes to the chilling realization that she and two other “losers” were invited only because they were chosen to become prey in a mad game of manhunt.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

S.T.A.G.S honestly surprised me. It is a very eerie story with a twisty plot and an intelligent main character. The story definitely strays from the classic private school book I was expecting. Although this book is a thriller, I feel like there isn’t enough action, and I would have enjoyed more suspense.

It’s so hard to describe this book without spoilers, but basically, it tells the story of a girl who is invited to the annual weekend trip with the most popular kids in school. She is skeptical, since she is considered an outcast, but goes on the trip anyways. As expected, the trip takes a dark turn, and she finds herself trapped in a house with no adults. It was originally the private school aspects that drew me to this book, but we don’t get to see a lot of the actual school. Also, I found that the book lacks action for the kind of story that is is, and everything happens at the end. The idea is very creative, but I just feel like it falls a bit flat.

I really enjoyed Greer’s character in S.T.A.G.S. As a scholarship student in a school for the rich, she doesn’t fit in with the others. However, on the trip, Greer is resourceful and clever, and she is good at manipulating those who are trying to manipulate her. She is also quick to defend her newfound friends, which I loved. The one thing I will say is that the constant movie references do get annoying, but other than that, she is likeable.

S.T.A.G.S. is a darker take on a private school weekend trip. The main character is likeable, and the concept is intriguing. However, I would have liked more action in this thriller, and a faster paced plot.

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

Wishlist Wednesday #138: Fresh Ink by Lamar Giles (Editor)

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:

31292315Title: Fresh Ink
Author: Lamar Giles (editor)
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 14, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads): In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

Goodreads | Amazon

This is one anthology that I am really eager to read. There are so many of my favourite authors represented in this book that I am not sure how I will wait until August to read it. Also, the format of this book is quite intriguing, and the fact that it incorporates a graphic novel and a play is so exciting!

Friday Reads #38: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

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:

35390135Title: Surprise Me
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: The Dial Press
Publication Date: February 13, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads): #1 bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s emotionally charged new standalone novel about marriage and family, and how those we love and know best can sometimes surprise us the most.

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprises, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

With a colorful, eccentric cast of characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella crafts a humorous, yet thoughtful portrait of a marriage and shines a light on the danger of not looking past the many layers of the ones you love to discover how infinitely fascinating–and surprising–they truly are.

Goodreads | Amazon

There is something about Sophie Kinsella’s writing that is so fresh and fun. I have laughed out loud quite a few times so far while reading, which is something that I have come to expect from her novels. I am really interested in finding out how the end of this one shapes up.

Book Beginning:

It begins on our tenth anniversary. Who would have thought?

Actually, there are two things going on here: 1. Who would have thought it would all kick off on such an auspicious day? And 2. Who would have thought we’d make 10 years in the first place?

Friday 56:

I can see Professor Russell’s eyes meeting Owen’s briefly, and I’m suddenly sure without a doubt that they’ve heard Dan and me fighting. Great. But almost at once, Owen smiles kindly at me.