eARC REVIEW | You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Title: YOU’D BE MINE

Author: ERIN HAHN

Released: 2ND APRIL 2019 by WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: TEENS + YA/CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Rep: POC | TWs: DRUGS, SUICIDE, DEATH, GRIEF, ALCOHOL ABUSE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE

“I wrote this song for a boy. A boy I fell in love with against impossible odds. So this award is for you, Jefferson. If I had to choose my favorite, you’d be mine.”

Oh my goodness, what a super cute story! I really loved Annie and my heart truly went out to Jefferson/Clay. It was so well-written and sweet. I felt it truly captured the modern country music scene, as well. Annie’s backstory is heartbreaking, but not too far off my own childhood. There is so much grief in this novel! Both Annie and Clay are dealing with loss in very different ways (you could actually argue he isn’t truly dealing with it) and trying to cope while also taking on the country music scene and everything that goes along with it.

The alternation of chapters really allows you to get inside both of their stories rather than being entirely one sided. This truly is a story about them both and their intertwining journey to healthy places in themselves. They are truly beautiful together and I love it. Annie worries that her relationship with Clay will end up being as co-dependent as her parents’ marriage. Clay thinks he’s not good enough for Annie, seeing her for what she’s worth. I felt that essentially tells you all you need to know about this story. There’s a lot more to it, but they are so damaged in the beginning. This story shows them allowing each other to grow, amongst several setbacks, and heal from their individual traumas. It tells a story of how people respond very differently to trauma, but, when you have support, you can overcome nearly anything.
My favourite aspect was the theme of being better than your parents were. It reminded me a lot of my own journey. My parents both had their separate issues, but I like to think I’ve overcome my upbringing to become more successful than I could have been if I’d followed either of their paths. I saw a lot of myself in Annie. I also have a parent with a drug problem and it’s hard to live with the thoughts that come with that. It’s very clear the drugs come first and children are an afterthought for those types of people. There’s nothing we (as their children) can do to change it. People have to want help before they’ll get clean. It’s definitely never easy.

I thoroughly enjoyed the addition of song lyrics. Although, I think the duet they sing is Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton (not Dolly Parton – that was a different duet).

I’ve told so many people to add it to their lists, so if you haven’t already, go check it out. I loved this FIVE STAR read.

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Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Thank you so much to Erin Hahn and Wednesday Books via Netgalley for the ARC.

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ARC REVIEW | The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown

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Title: THE TRUTH ABOUT KEEPING SECRETS

Author: SAVANNAH BROWN

Released: 7TH MARCH 2019 by PENGUIN

Genre: TEENS + YA CONTEMPORARY/MYSTERY & THRILLER

Rep: POC, LGBT+, MENTAL HEALTH | TWs: DEATH, GRIEF, DOMESTIC ABUSE, MENTION OF SUICIDE, NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY

Savannah Brown has written a gorgeous debut novel with TTAKS (of course she’s a poet!). She explores some deep themes in death, grief, and learning to live with loss, and she does it beautifully and with the respect it deserves. Those of us who have gone through a loss, expected or not, will find solace in Sydney’s story. Grief is messy and variable because everyone experiences it differently, but damn is it hard! I absolutely cried reading this book…

The characters are realistic and unusual – I just loved them entirely. Brown has given us some real gems in this story. Just the right amount of flaw and validity, plus the intriguing storyline. I was hooked from the off! I nearly felt my heart was being dragged out of me with each chapter. Now, the ending I had an idea who did it, but the way she brings it all together is stunning!

My favourite side character has to be Leo, though. He’s just so funny and brings the perfect amount of levity to Sydney’s life exactly when it’s needed.

Totally had to be a FIVE STAR read for me. Have you picked it up yet?


A stunning coming-of-age tale from poet and writer Savannah Brown.

Sydney’s dad is the only psychiatrist for miles around in their small Ohio town.

He is also unexpectedly dead.

Sydney believes the crash was anything but an accident. And when the threatening texts begin, and June Copeland – homecoming queen and golden child – appears at his funeral out of nowhere, she’s sure of it.

But through Sydney’s newfound relationship with June, she’s given a glimpse of a life without the darkness of an unresolved grief and the chance, just maybe, of a fresh start.

Until it’s clear that the secrets won’t go away, and the truth might bring everything crashing down…

Imperfect friendships, the shadow of grief and the sweet pain of romance – this is a poetic, thrilling ode to being human.

Thank you so much to Savannah Brown, Penguin, and DeptCon4 for the ARC.


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ARC REVIEW | When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

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Title: WHEN SUMMER ENDS

Author: JESSICA PENNINGTON

Released: 9TH APRIL 2019 by TOR TEEN

Genre: TEENS + YA/COMING OF AGE/CONTEMPORARY

I really loved this story. I’ve been following Jessica’s journey as an author ever since I heard about Love Songs & Other Lies, which I haven’t gotten to read yet, but will be adding it to my TBR for next month now that I’ve gotten to read this.

Olivia and Aiden trade narrating throughout. I generally love this style of writing, so I was able to immerse myself in it all the more. The perks of this style are that you get two PoV’s and so more details regarding various scenes, but this can be a serious downside if one of the characters is boring. Luckily, Jessica writes amazing characters, so I was happy to read both PoV’s throughout the novel. The pacing of the story was also really great. It was quick enough that I was able to read it fairly quickly, but still detailed enough that I felt I could nearly step into their story. 10 points for storytelling!

Olivia learns early in the story that her aunt, whom she lives with, has taken a new position in a different state – taking Olivia away from her hometown right before her senior year of high school unless she can find an alternative. She asks her boyfriend, Zander, if they can talk to his parents about her living with them. Said conversation doesn’t go to plan. Aiden is the varsity pitcher of the baseball team, and also Zander’s teammate. Aiden, it turns out, is having some issues with his pitching, so quits the team and takes a job with his family’s business – River Depot. Where Olivia ends up getting a summer job!

I think the bit I struggled with most was her mother re-entering the scene. I have had a tense (non-existentent) relationship with my own mother for more than a few years now. Obviously, it wasn’t the same situation, but I don’t believe I would have been able to forgive mine so quickly or easily as Olivia did in the novel.

I really enjoyed the setting of River Depot because it’s exactly the kind of place I would have loved to work at during the when I was in high school! It is quintessential summer on the river. This was a cute summer story with some heavy topics explored throughout. I felt some of it deep in my soul… There are a few themes I’ve struggled with in my own life, such as abandonment by a parent as well as the vision issues, so that was a bit hard for me. Made me relate to Olivia and Aiden, and I think it made me love it even more. Pennington explored those topics very well and I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Had to be a FIVE STAR read for me.


Two teenagers discover how an unexpected turn of fate can bring new love to heal old wounds in Jessica Pennington’s stunning, romantic YA novel When Summer Ends.

Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?

Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.

Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.

Thank you so much to Jessica Pennington and Tor Teen via Netgalley for the ARC.

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Book Review | See All the Stars by Kit Frick

Title: SEE ALL THE STARS

Author: KIT FRICK

Published: 14TH AUGUST 2018 BY MARGARET K. MCELDERRY BOOKS

Genre: YA LITERATURE FICTION

We Were Liars meets Goodbye Days in this thrilling debut novel that sweeps readers away as they try to solve the mystery of what happened then to make Ellory so broken now.

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.
Then: They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. (Venus. Earth. Moon. Sun.) 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.

I thought this was a beautifully written book. I sometimes find literary fiction a bit difficult to get into, which was the case at the beginning of this story. Once it started to pick up, though, I was pretty engrossed. This was told by way of two timelines – then and now. I wasn’t a massive fan of that set up, however, we wouldn’t have been able to watch Ellory work through the most difficult experience of her life.

By virtue of alternating timeline, we are aware of some massive event that occurs between Ellory and her friend, Ret, and we get inside Ellory’s head since the chapters are her POV. The chapters set in the then timeline are compulsive page-turners. I just couldn’t stop reading those. The ones set in the now timeline, didn’t keep my attention quite so well until near the end. I just wanted to get through them to find out what happened.

I did really enjoy this story because it shows teens working through the difficult concepts of grief and betrayal. And the ending completely surprised me. I think my final words were ‘oh my gosh.’ I gave it FOUR STARS. It’s well worth a read.

Will you be reading it?

Thank you & T10T – Most Anticipated

My dearest Wayfarers,

 

I am so very sorry for the unexpected hiatus these last few weeks. If you read my last post, you’ll know I was going through a rough time with the family… Well, his mom passed later that day and her funeral was last week. It’s been a struggle to say the very least and there are days it doesn’t feel real. It’s like a nightmare we all have to learn to live with, but we’re supporting each other and we WILL get there..eventually. So, thank you all for sending your positivity and kind thoughts our way. ❤

 

Right! So, let’s get back to business with my top 10 most anticipated releases coming soon!

  1. Kingdom of Ash by SJM (because duh – if you’ve read ToG, you get me! coming at the end of October)
  2. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (releases TODAY! I’m loving Strange the Dreamer)
  3. The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody (I got an ARC of this from my friend who went to YallWest just for me and it was SO GOOD!)
  4. The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke (because OMG it’s so freaking amazing! I loved the 4 girls and their journey..also, have you seen the UK cover? Absolutely stunning!)
  5. Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand (I read an ARC of Furyborn by Legrand and loved her writing style, so have been itching to get my hands on this for ages. It’s also on my spooky Halloween TBR – it’s out today so BRB:reading)
  6. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (also releasing today – looks like it’ll be a great story)
  7. Damsel by Elana K. Arnold (Just got an ARC of this in Book Box Club September box – did you say dragons? Count me in!)
  8. The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth (Europe, siblings, witchery? Yup, *adds to list*)
  9. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (I’ve heard loads of wonderfully amazing things, so can’t wait to get into this world)
  10. Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (Slated as fairytales and folklore so I’m definitely reading this soon!)

 

Thanks for reading! Is there anything you’re really looking forward to this season? Tell me in the comments

Top 10 Tuesday – Best Books of the First Half of 2018

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks prompt is Best Reads of 2018 (So Far)! We’re already more than halfway through 2018, and I still feel like it’s March…. It’s actually crazy how quickly time has flown by this year. And so much has happened! I finally got my Irish Residency in March, started a business in the same week, applied for my driver’s test (which is strange considering I’ve been driving since 2010…), and moved my blog to WordPress! I’ve also started 2 new jobs (dog training assistant and off licence clerk), so I’m very busy. I always make time to read, though! Which finally brings me to this weeks topic. Best reads…oh, what a hard decision… Fine, I’ll limit myself to only books that have been released already.

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1. Sky in the Deep – Adrienne Young
Everyone who knows me or has had even half a conversation with me knows this has been my most favourite novel of the year! I absolutely LOVED this book, so go read it as soon as you can! I struggled for months to get the ARC and ended up getting one personalised, plus a personalised finished hardcopy and signed Owlcrate edition. So, I love life. I reviewed it here

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2. The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw
What a dark beauty of a book… The contents are creepily satisfying and appeal to my love of spooky mysteries and hauntingly brilliant writing. Will be likely to reread during the Halloween season… I reviewed it here

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3. LIFEL1K3 – Jay Kristoff
This was one of the BEST Sci-Fi’s I’ve read – EVER! It’s hands down amazing and I cannot wait to read book 2! I reviewed it here

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4. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

What a hell of a murder mystery! I love these crime thrillers that f*ck with my head… You DEFINITELY need to pick this up and just try to figure it out before Turton ties it all up. I reviewed it here

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5. Fat Girl on a Plane – Kelly deVos

Such a body positive novel. Well, mostly, I guess? There are some issues throughout the book, and some TW, but I felt the majority of the novel made up for it. I enjoyed it, anyway, and reviewed it here

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6. Wasted Words – Staci Hart

I have loved Staci Hart for years.. She is an amazing novelist and puts SO much into her writing! This was one that KILLED me.. I kinda love some Friends to Lovers novels…

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7. What He Doesn’t Know – Kandi Steiner

This duology killed me so many times… Wahhhhh – These types of novels really make me sad and complete me at the same time! Check Kandi out! She’s a phenomenal author..

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8. Tristan – Karla Sorensen

The Bachelors of the Ridge series was brilliant! Tristan was a slowburn romance that was well worth waiting for… Karla is a master of romance!

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9. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

Inej FOREVER! Kaz is cool, too, I guess? bahahahh Looking forward to Crooked Kingdom! I ended up getting the duology set with sprayed pages and I love it!

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10. Furyborn – Claire Legrand

I loved so much of this novel… Especially the bounty hunter babe, Eliana! I reviewed that here


Did any catch your eye? Or have you already read some of these? Let me know in the comments!

The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody (ARC review)

geographyTITLE: The Geography of Lost Things

AUTHOR: Jessica Brody

RELEASES: October 2nd 2018 by Simon Pulse

GENRE: Teens + YA Contemporary Fiction

His words are so spot-on, his comprehension so profound, I flinch and look at him.

Ali’s outlook on life really spoke to my soul. Even if I have very different character traits, there were still a lot of very relatable aspects to her, such as her goal of becoming a vet (I wanted to be a vet for the longest time!), her job in a dog hotel (I worked in one last year), and her desire to go to UC Davis, which was one of my top choices when I was applying to schools!! I felt like this book was pretty much written about me…minus the adventure with the ex-boyfriend. Their trip was unreal, though. I loved seeing Nico’s social experiment come together and their chemistry was phenomenal. *swoon* I think I might be in love with him.. I just loved this book start to finish!

“You must be looking for something…or you wouldn’t be here.”

Ali’s emotional and internal journey is so moving. I found myself rooting her on so many times, but also thinking ‘wtf are you even doing?’ Kind of like you do when you’re watching your sister or a close friend going through something and you just want to tell them what to do, but can’t. Yeah, that’s how I felt! Her father has died and she’s struggling to come to terms with the way life was when he was still alive. She had a very complicated relationship with him, which I must say I completely understand, and still has a few things to resolve when she goes on this road trip. What starts out as a simple journey to sell a car she can’t wait to be rid of turns into a much deeper coming-of-age journey. The people they meet along the way all have a lesson to teach, even if they don’t necessarily want to learn. And the relationship that we see grow between Ali and Nico is f*cking amazing. She learns to let him reveal himself and his past in his own time, rather than demanding answers when she wants them, and learns they may have more in common than she initially thought. I also loved Nico so much. He has such a massive impact on her in this short time.

And I’m definitely a different person now than I was five days ago.

This was one of those books that touches your soul and makes you all the better for it. It’s stayed with me since I finished it, and I think it’ll be resonating in my mind for a very long time to come.


In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.

After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?

Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.

He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.

And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.

Thank you so much to Simon Pulse for providing me with an ARC. All quotes are taken from an ARC and may not match the final release.

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