12 August 2018

Review: See All The Stars by Kit Frick

See All The Stars by Kit Frick
Publisher: McElderry Books
Release Date: August 14, 2018
# of Pages:
Book Format: Hardcover
Synopsis: Part love story, part thriller, We Were Liars meets Goodbye Days in this suspenseful, lyrical debut.

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.

THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.

NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.

THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love.

NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.

The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself.

Meet Kit:

Kit  Frick  is  a  novelist,  poet,  and  MacDowell  Colony  fellow Originally  from  Pittsburgh,  PA,  she  studied  creative  writing  at  Sarah  Lawrence  College
e  and  received  her  MFA  from  Syra-cuse  University.  When  she  isn’t  putting  complicated  characters  in  impossible  situations,  Kit  edits  poetry  and  literary  fiction  for  a  small  press,  edits  for  private  clients,  and  mentors  emerging  writers  through  Pitch  Wars.  Her  debut  young  adult  novel  is  See  All  the  Stars
  (Simon  &  Schuster  /  Margaret  K. McElderry  Books,  August  14,  2018), and  her  debut  full-length  poetry collection  is 
A  Small  Rising  Up in the  Lungs
  (New  American  Press,  fall  2018).


See All The Stars by Kit Frick follows a group of friends who never thought they would be seperated. The four of them are held together by one person acting as glue, but do they see that? Do they see that all it would take is one falling out to send them off in separate directions forever? Not until it's too late…

The novel is categorized under young adult and displays many of the themes expected in that genre. Young group of friends who think they are inseparable until some major falling out happens that drives them all apart. The difference here is that Frick doesn’t just tell the story in chronological order, like every other novel, she goes back and forth between what she calls THEN and NOW.

The THEN details what the group of friends were like in the beginning; how they came together, how they functioned, what made them tick and really just their entire friendship as a whole while the NOW made up the aftermath of the falling out. The group was made up of four girls, main character Ellory, head of the pose Ret followed up by Bex and Jenni. Each of these girls were very different from the next. Ellory is quiet and very much keeps to herself. When she isn’t with her friends she spends most of her time working on her artwork in the schools art dungeon. Ret is the glue, she met and befriended each of the girls pulling them into the circle. She makes their friendship run smoothly. Everything they do is with her approval or with her in mind, she is the leader. Bex and Jenni are always in the background either jealous of the relationship between Ellory and Ret or just rolling with it in hopes for a good time.

Things start to go south when Ellory meets a boy. She is supposed to be sticking by Ret’s side but she wanders off bumping into the infamous Matthias, who she has admired since Freshman year. The two hit if off and the two are the next IT couple. Ret doesn’t like this, she calls the shots and she definitely isn’t okay with “her” Ellory being occupied by someone else, especially a boyfriend. Soon enough Ret turned into a passive aggressive version of herself making it painfully clear that she missed her friend and wanted her back. Frick did a great job in focusing the reader on the relationship between Ellory and Matthias than what Ret was doing in the background.

Every other chapter references a new point in time, each represented a month that had gone by in the past as well as the present. In the NOW, readers witness Ellory struggling with what was referred to as “the fall,” and how to give each one of her old friends and boyfriend forgiveness in order to move on. On the flip side, Frick is making it hard to stop turning the pages in order to discover what was terrible enough to rip a group of friends completely apart and send Ellory spiraling into a dark pit of guilt and depression.

Frick allows us to get close to each of her characters. She shares with us, what makes them tick, their secrets, and what makes them happy. Being that the novel starts out with a big happy group of friends and ends with one lone sad girl makes it hard to not feel for her and yank on our heart strings. See All The Stars is sure worth the read, with every flip of a page the story gets more and more intense leaving you with nothing but the desire to know what “the fall,” really was and why it happened. 



07 July 2018

ARC Review: The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger

The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: June 5, 2018
# of Pages: 304

Book Format: ARC
A poignant, deeply funny coming-of-age story about first love, first loss, and the power of history to give life mean

History buff Ray knows everything about the peculiar legends and lore of his rural Connecticut hometown. Burgerville's past is riddled with green cow sightings and human groundhogs, but the most interesting thing about the present is the new girl--we'll call her Jane Doe.

Inscrutable, cool, and above all mysterious, Jane seems as determined to hide her past as Ray is to uncover it. As fascination turns to friendship and then to something more, Ray is certain he knows Jane's darkest, most painful secrets and Jane herself--from past to present. But when the unthinkable happens, Ray is forced to acknowledge that perhaps history can only tell us so much.

Mixing humor with heartache, this is an unmissable coming-of-age story from an exciting new voice in YA.

My Review:
I received, The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger from the publisher and this is my honest review.

The History of Jane Doe follows a young man by the name of Raymond who finds joy in knowing and teaching his friends the history of their beloved town. His world changes for the better when he meets a girl who he refers to as Jane. She doesn’t seem like the type of person who would like a small town like Williamsburg but Ray makes her move here as fun as he possibly can.

An interesting aspect of this book is that it seems to be characterized for a younger audience since the book says right on it young readers, but there are some very mature themes within this book that I feel like some might cause some controversy on whether or not this should not be marketed toward a young audience. But at the same time, these themes need to be introduced to the younger crowd eventually and in a delicate way so maybe this is the perfect platform for some younger to start hearing about some of the themes in this book.

The themes strewn throughout the book include sex, suicide, death, and divorce. All of these situations can be hard to go through and everyone handles them differently so I feel like featuring these themes in this book for a younger audience to see is almost necessary so they can begin to understand what these different things mean and how to handle them in different ways. The biggest message I get from The History of Jane Doe is to cherish all relationships, never take any for granted and it is okay to express yourself and to let out your emotions. Those are important messages for not just a younger audience but those in an older age group as well.

I loved the characters in this book so much they were all so close and as a reader, I could feel the bond that the three main characters especially had. A lot of young adult and even middle-grade books portray their main characters as a female especially in other books that deal with themes such as the ones this one does. Belanger does something so different as to chose Ray as a male main character. It’s so refreshing because there are not that many books out there that accomplish what this one does.

I’m extremely glad I accepted this for review and cannot wait to see what else Michael Belanger puts out there in the world regardless of the age group because this was a fun read. I oftentimes found myself laughing out loud especially when it came to milk jokes. But there were also times when I felt my heartstrings being pulled during the many heartfelt moments between Ray and Jane. So, overall, I loved it and this book is definitely one to check out!

28 March 2018

Review: The Interns Handbook by Shane Kuhn

The Interns Handbook by Shane Kuhn
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: April 8, 2014
# of Pages: 276
Book Format: ARC
Synopsis: Interns are invisible. That’s the mantra behind HR, Inc., an elite "placement agency" that doubles as a network of assassins-for-hire, taking down high-profile executives who wouldn't be able to remember an intern’s name if their lives depended on it.

At the ripe old age of twenty-five, John Lago is already New York City’s most successful hit man. He’s also an intern at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, clocking eighty hours a week getting coffee, answering phones, and doing all the grunt work no one else wants to do. But he isn't trying to claw his way to the top of the corporate food chain. He was hired to assassinate one of the firm’s heavily guarded partners. His internship is the perfect cover, enabling him to gather intel and gain access in order to pull off a clean, untraceable hit.

The Intern’s Handbook is John Lago's unofficial survival guide for new recruits at HR, Inc. (Rule #4: "Learn how to make the perfect cup of coffee: you make an exec the best coffee he’s ever had, and he will make sure you’re at his desk every morning for a repeat performance. That’s repetitive exposure, which begets access and trust. 44% of my kills came from my superior coffee-making abilities.")

Part confessional, part how-to, the handbook chronicles John’s final assignment, a twisted thrill ride in which he is pitted against the toughest—and sexiest—adversary he’s ever faced: Alice, an FBI agent assigned to take down the same law partner he’s been assigned to kill.

My Review:
I received this book from the publisher and this is my honest review.

The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn follows a young man who has never known anything but death. It’d be one thing if this death was coincidental, but John Lago, our main character, is an assassin which means he is behind all of the death he deals with. Lago lost both of his parents or so he thought at birth and at a young age was recruited by Bob, who trains him to be the fully equipped assassin he is today.

This novel is set up as a guide book for all of the new “interns” that are beginning their careers as assassins just as John did 25 years prior. To give you some background, the company Lago works for is called Human Resources, INC all of the employees aka assassins are disguised as interns whenever the person they are hired to kill works. This novel is set in an office building where John pretends to be an intern while he’s working on getting close to his target. Things go crazy from there.

Characters need to make you feel for them and love them while reading to make for a good book. I felt something whether it be hate, pity or love for each and every character which is a good sign. The main character comes off as a hard and a no feeling type of guy, but buy the end we see him break, we see emotions which makes him extremely indelible as a character. My heart breaks for him quite a few times and that's how you know you’re reading a good book.

Kuhn does a fantastic job describing all of the action scenes. I get nervous reading action scenes in book for fear of being bored but everything within this novel is so bloody and gorey I couldn’t tear my eyes away during those scenes I was so into it the entire time. Everything was so pictureable as If I was watching a movie in my head while reading.

Not only is this book filled with death and gunfire but there is also a lot of laughs and even a hint of love mixed in the pot to make one hell of a read. I cannot wait to dive into book two to see what is in store there because this book was wrapped up nicely enough to be a standalone so I’m really interested to see what's next. If you read this book then you know what I mean when I say I hope there is more of Marcus and Alice.  


12 February 2018

300 Subscriber Giveaway!

Guys! I reached 300 subscribers on you tube! It's such a small feat but I'm extremely excited and for that I'm throwing a giveaway!

The Details:
1 winner will receive any 2018 new release (it says teen but I'm pretty okay with buying you anything for $25 and under) Tell me which book you want and I'll send it your way!

US only sorry guys! I'm a broke college student!

You have until the end of February to enter. Don't miss out! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 January 2018

January 2018 Book Haul

Good evening lovelies! How was your Holiday? Did you get anything cool? Do anything fun? Tell me in the comments!

The Books:

From Work:
Tempest and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
A kind of Miraculas Paradise by Sandra Allen

Christmas Gifts:
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
Strange Weather by Joe Hill
Avery by Ken Kratz
Member of the Family by Diane Lake

Indefensible by Michael Griesbach

Thanks for stopping by!

26 September 2017

Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Book Format: ARC
# of Pages: 272
Synopsis: The unrequited love of the girl next door is the centerpiece of this fiercely funny, yet heart-breaking debut novel.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him.

Humorous and heart-wrenching, A Short History of the Girl Next Door is perfect for readers who fell in love with All the Bright Places' Finch or Stargirl’s Leo.

Meet Jared, (Taken from Goodreads)
Jared Reck lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two daughters. He teaches 8th grade Language Arts, where he has been reading awesome books and writing alongside his students for the past twelve years. A Short History of the Girl Next Door is his first novel.
Learn more about Jared at jaredreckbooks.com and follow him on Twitter @reckj.

My Review:
I was sent this book by the publisher and this is my honest review.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck tells the story of a classic love story with a twist that I wasn’t expecting. Matt & Tabby grew up together, and had been inseparable since the day Tabby’s mother left. Her dad needed the help taking care of a newborn baby and the Wainwrights enjoyed having little Tabby around all the time. Everything changes when Matt realizes that he’s in love with his best friend.

In the beginning, I had the feeling that the story was going to be a typical love story. Neighbors grew up together, the boy falls in love with the girl, they have some falling out but then they make up and fall in love. BUT that is not what this book was like at all. Without any spoilers it had most of the typical love story aspects but in the middle nearing the end the book took a turn that I didn’t see coming.

I don’t normally read mushy love stories so I found myself really loving the initial relationship between Matt and Tabby. Even though it was typical I just loved them so much. I loved how close Tabby was with Matt’s family especially his little brother and grandparents. I also loved that even though she was becoming a little more popular by dating the popular senior at school she still loved Matt as a friend and didn’t treat him any differently.

Another favorite part of the story was the school aspects of the story. All of the teachers were so involved in the lives of all of their students especially Matt and Tabby and they stood by them when tragedy struck. I love how everybody in this book was so good to one another everybody was so supportive and it just felt like such a great community to be in.


07 September 2017

Review: Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone

Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone 
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: September 7, 2017
Book Format: ARC
# of Pages: 208
Synopsis: Allie Navarro can't wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. CLICK'D pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it's a hit. By the second day of school, everyone is talking about CLICK'D.

Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone's making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone's secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt-all before she steps on stage to present CLICK'D to the judges?

New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone combines friendship, coding, and lots of popcorn in her fun and empowering middle-grade debut.

Meet Tamara: (Taken from Goodreads)
TAMARA IRELAND STONE is the author of Time and Time Again, a collection of her two novels Time Between Us and Time After Time, and the New York Times best seller Every Last Word.

A Silicon Valley native, she has worked in the technology industry all her life, first testing Atari game boards in her parents’ garage, and later, co-founding a woman-owned marketing strategy firm, where she worked with small startups as well as some of the world’s largest software companies. She enjoys skiing, music, movies, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Listen to playlists and learn more about her books at www.tamarairelandstone.com.

My Review: 

I received this book for review from the publisher and this is my honest review.

Click’d by Tamera Island Stone follows 12 year old Allie who has just finished coding camp and which helped her to create an app to help anyone looking to make friends easily. Because of her brilliant app her teacher nominates her to compete in a competition for young coders who also created games or apps. In the book Allie beta tests her app using her middle school as testers to help her chances in the competition.

It was really interesting to me to read this being that I have read bits and pieces of her other more mature works. I’m not sure how I feel about Stones middle grade title, the writing is so different which is to be expected but I felt as if the writing was more simplified than it really needed to be, but it could just be because I am 21 reading a book for younger kids. Another aspect I had trouble with was the ages of some of these characters. The writing was really young but I don’t think the characters fit with the writing. There were some scenes in which the characters seemed to act their ages but there were also times where Allie for example seemed a lot older than 12 she was always seemingly out on her own, and her friends were way to boy crazy and mature than 12 year olds seem in my experience.

I really love this story Allie and her coding experience could be something so inspirational for younger kids who will be reading this. While reading this I had the urge to play games on my phone like the girls who were having so much fun and wanted to make things just like Allie was doing. This book could do wonders for kids giving them the courage they need to be creative and create just like Allie and Nathan are doing in this book.

On another note, even though I kind of had issues with the ages of the characters I did enjoy the relationship they had together. Allie was such a sweet girl and tried to be good to her friends and others despite the issues she was dealing with trying to launch her new game. Not only is this great for inspiring kids but it also great to teach kids how easy it is to make friends and that they never have to be alone. Stone did a great job keeping it interesting and inspiring for all ages I definitely will check out anything of hers in the future.

I just finished a teen book that has to do with coding and creating games and I think that book, Nexis by A.L. Davroe and this go together so well keep an eye out for a video on my youtube channel about both of these books to introduce users to the joy of coding as well as both of these novels.

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