Monday, April 24, 2017

Sarah Dessen Readathon: This Lullaby
This Lullaby
by Sarah Dessen
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Publication Date: first published May 27th 2002
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780142501559
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

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She's got it all figured out.

Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy's got a whole set of rules.

Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.

But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don't seem to apply anymore.

Could it be that she's starting to understand what all those love songs are about?

My Thoughts...

This Lullaby is the next book on the list for my Sarah Dessen Readathon, and I’m super excited to read this book again. This Lullaby was the first book that I ever read by Sarah, and I read it many, many years ago, so a lot of the details from the book are super fuzzy in my mind. I'm excited to have the opportunity to read the story again!

As I mentioned above, I read This Lullaby a while back, in 2009 actually, and it was the first book I read by Sarah. I expected the story to come flashing back in my mind as I started reading the book, but it didn’t. That was totally ok with me, however, as it felt like I was getting a chance to read the story like it was a new-to-me read, and I liked that. Some details I did remember, like Dexter, who is hard to forget, but a lot I had forgotten. (Easily done, considering how many books I read in a year!)

Remy was an interesting main character to follow, and I definitely found her to be really relatable. People in the story saw her as a b-tch in the beginning of the story, but she proves as the story goes along that she’s anything but that. I appreciate her need for independence and such. I get it, Remy. Dexter, Remy’s love interest in the story, was definitely the highlight of the book for me, as a lot of Sarah’s leading males are. He made me sigh more than a few times throughout the book; he was just so, so sweet. Why aren’t more guys like Dexter? There are many more interesting secondary characters in the story, including Remy’s family and friends. I love the friendship she had with them all, especially with her friends.

The storyline for the book was, like most of Sarah’s books, relatable and completely engrossing. There’s just something about Sarah’s books that are so comforting to me, I can start a story and become completely engrossed. That’s exactly what happened with This Lullaby. It was set in the summer as well, which I loved, since summer is quickly approaching. Altogether, the characters, setting and storyline made for a really great read.

Overall; I really, really enjoyed re-reading This Lullaby, especially as I read it so long ago, and it felt like reading the book again for the first time. I really enjoyed the book, and I’m not excited to move on to The Truth About Forever, which I actually read last year for the readalong that Penguin Teen hosted, and it ended up being one of my most favorite books by her. I’m super excited to dive into it again!

My Thoughts: Meg and Linus by Hanna Nowinski
Meg & Linus
by Hanna Nowinski

Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781250098603
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Review Copy

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Can friendship, Star Trek, drama club, and a whole lot of coffee get two nerdy best friends through the beginning of their senior year of high school?

Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. It’s not always easy to be the nerdy lesbian or gay kid in a suburban town. But they have each other. And a few Star Trek boxed sets. They're pretty happy.

But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn't quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . . .

From crowdsourced young adult imprint Swoon Reads comes Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, a fun friendship story about two quirky teens who must learn to get out of their comfort zones and take risks—even if that means joining the drama club, making new friends, and learning how to stand on your own. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

To be completely honest, the first thing that drew me to Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski was the absolutely adorable cover. (I can’t help it, I adore a good cover.) Then I read the summary for the book, and knew that it was something that I needed to read. This book was super cute; a diverse story of love and friendship. I really enjoyed reading it!

In the story we follow Meg and Linus, who happen to be the bestest nerdy friends ever, through the first half of their senior year of high school. The story is told from the alternate perspectives of Meg, who just broke up with her long-time girlfriend, and Linus, who is experiencing his first ever crush on the new boy Danny. I really enjoyed reading the story from the alternative perspectives, as Linus was absolutely adorable experiencing his first crush ever, and my heart completely went out to Meg as she learned to cope with her breakup. I love these two characters, and their friendship was something super special. There were a lot of really great secondary characters as well.

The storyline for the book was super cute. It was about friendship, and being nerdy, and first loves and losses. But mostly it was about the friendship between Meg and Linus, which was great, and had its ups and downs just like everything in life. And I love that while the story had swoon-worthy moments for the characters, it was mainly about their friendship. There should definitely be more books in the world like this!

Overall; Meg & Linus was a super cute read, and I’m glad I was able to fit it into my TBR this month! I’m super curious to read more by Hanna Nowinski in the future! Do check out Meg and Linus for a super cute, diverse story of love and friendship!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week in Review • Week 16

Hey, Bookworms!!
Has this weekend been really great, or what??
Yesterday was Earth Day, and today is WORLD BOOK DAY!!
I looooove days where we get to celebrate the Earth, AND books.

Here's what I've been up to this week!!

This week I read two review books, the first was Fireworks by Katie Cotugno, which you can see my thoughts for here, and also Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, which I'm hoping to have my thoughts up for soon.

I also read Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen, which is book 2 in her Sarah Scribbles series. I love these graphic books SO much. They are so very relatable. If you haven't read them, do it.

I also read This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen for my Sarah Dessen Readathon! I can't believe that I'm actually keeping up with this readathon. Usually I'm waaaay behind by now, but I'm actually keeping up! (It helps that the books are just SO good as well!)

I also re-read To All The Boys I've Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, to refresh my brain before Always and Forever, Lara Jean is released next month. I'm SO excited for the new book now, I can't hardly stand it!

This week I managed to squeeze in two movies, the first being The Boss Baby, which was SO cute and the kids really loved it, and the second being Before Sunrise, which I watched with  my book club girls and had never seen before.

I'm still behind on ALL the shows I've been watching recently, but I'm hoping to get caught up on those soon.

Not much else has been going on lately, thanks to my super overwhelming TBR. Haha! Six books in one week wasn't bad at all, but I'm still a bit behind, unfortunately. I am, however, almost completely caught up on my April TBR, I believe. Which is a good thing, because I *really* need to get started on my May TBR, which I am kind of dreading. ALL THE BOOKS COME OUT IN MAY!! Haha!

That's all for me this week, I suppose, so...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sarah Dessen Readathon: Dreamland
by Sarah Dessen
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Publication Date: September 1st 2000 (first published)
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 250
ISBN: 9780142401750
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

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Love can be a very dangerous thing.

After her sister left, Caitlin felt lost.

Then she met Rogerson.

When she's with him, nothing seems real.

But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Dreamland is the fourth book in my list to read for my Sarah Dessen Readathon, and it's one of the few books by Sarah that I've not yet read. To be honest, I've actually started to read this book in the past, and have promptly put it aside. For a reason. I know it deals with abuse, and books dealing with abuse tend to make me very angry. But, I wanted to read the book for this readathon, so I decided to dive in. I'm glad I did, as I can now finally mark it off the list of books I've read by Sarah.

I've read a lot of books lately where I've really been able to connect and relate to the main character, and this book was no exception. I totally get where Caitlyn was coming from regarding her parents and her sister, and I totally get why she did some of the things that she did. Been there, done that. And while I've never experienced firsthand the abuse that Caitlyn went through in the story, I do know someone close who has, so I instantly picked up on the signs from Rogerson. Maybe it's the overprotective parent in me as well, but I just know to watch for these things. It made me SO mad that no one around Caitlyn could see it. Seriously, I wanted to shout at everyone to OPEN THEIR EYES and see what is going on with this girl! Argh. This made me SO angry for her.

I knew going into Dreamland that the storyline for the book would be a lot darker than I am used to by Sarah. I totally prepared for this. I'm really astonished at how much darker it was. And though the storyline made me so angry, I'm also glad that books like this exist in the world, so that maybe someone reading the book is experiencing the same thing as Caitlyn will be able to relate. I wanted SO badly for Caitlyn to just talk to SOMEONE, to tell them what she was going through. There are people out there to help! No one should have to go what she went through.


Overall; Dreamland was a hard book to read, but I'm so glad I finally did. I'm totally going to have both of my girls read it asap. Now I'm moving on to the next book on my list, This Lullaby, which I have read before, but I am super excited to read again!! :)

My Thoughts: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno
by Katie Cotugno
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Publication Date:April 11th 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062660244
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: For Review

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From Katie Cotugno, bestselling author of 99 Days, comes Fireworks—about a girl who is competing with her best friend to become the new pop star of the moment—and all the drama and romance that comes with it—set in Orlando during the late-'90s boy-and-girl-band craze.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I was super curious to get started on Fireworks by Katie Cotugno, especially after reading her previous book, 99 Days, last year and really enjoying it. I had the pleasure of meeting Katie not too long ago, and she's such a fun person, and it really reflects in her writing!

The first thing that had me excited to read Fireworks was that it was set in the 90's. That was my era! The decade of boy bands and pop star girls. I fully expected to be completely immersed in memories of my childhood, but this book actually read just like any other contemporary novel, just minus the modern technologies. Not that there was anything wrong with that; it's always interesting to see someone else's version of the past. The book is filled with lots of drama, and the end took a bit of an unexpected twist that I didn't see coming, (but should have expected). It was also a really quick read. I read it in just a few hours time!

It was interesting to read the story from the main character, Dana's, perspective. She wants nothing more than to get out of her small town, and when the opportunity arrives to have something more, she totally jumps on it. I didn't really care for her best friend, Olivia, who seemed really great at first, or her mom, who made me cringe more than once. But I did like Alex, who is in a boy band, and who is really pretty awesome. I think he was my favorite character in the story. *grin*

Overall; Fireworks was a quick, interesting read. It's a definitely a book have on your spring and summer reading lists. I still need to read Katie's How to Love, which I'm hoping to get to soon, and I'm also excited for her next book, Top Ten, which is set to release in the Fall!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Week in Review • Week 15

I want to start this post today by saying Happy Easter to those who celebrate today!

I don't have too much to update this week, as it's been kind of insane with sick kids and such, but I do have a few things to share!

This week I read two books. (I know, I know... last week I said I have four to read. *blush*)
I did read two of those books, and DNFed another one, unfortunately. I have another book I'm almost finished with, so hopefully I can get caught up on it and a few others this week!

I read The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli this week, and it's SO good. You can check out my thoughts for it here! If you liked Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you will totally love this book.

I also read Dreamland for my Sarah Dessen Readathon, which was my first time reading the book. I'll be sharing my thoughts for the book tomorrow, but let's just say that this book was really well written, but made me pretty darn angry.

No movies or shows to update this week, although I did catch the last 5 minutes of Riverdale, and AHHHH!! The mom!! I have so many shows that I need to catch up on. It's so overwhelming!

This week has been insane! I didn't get as much reading done as I had hoped, but I DID get my garden out, which was really fun and completely exhausting at the same time. I really, really hope my veggies grow, the squash in particular, because I love a good grilled squash. Yum!

I'm hoping to have a really normal week next week. My plan is to finish up my April review books, so that I can get an early start on my May TBR. I currently have 16 review books on my May TBR. SIXTEEN! That's no including all the books I have preordered that I want to read, and the Sarah Dessen Readathon books as well. Yikes! I better get on those, and soon. :)

That's about all for my week this week, so...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #298 - Changes in Latitudes by Jen Malone
Changes in Latitudes
by Jen Malone
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Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062380173
Available for Pre-Order:
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A "road" trip romance that takes place at sea!

All Cassie wants is to get some solid ground under her feet following the shock of her parents' divorce. So when she learns of her mom's plans to take Cassie and her brother, Drew, on a four-month sailing trip from Oregon to Mexico, she's stunned. There is absolutely nothing solid about the Pacific Ocean.

Cassie is furious. And nervous. It's been hard enough keeping Drew sheltered from what Cassie knows about her mother's role in breaking their family apart, but living in such close quarters threatens to push her anger past its tipping point. Enter Jonah, a whip-smart deckhand who's as gorgeous as he is flirtatious. Cassie tries to keep him at a distance, but the more time they spend together--wandering San Francisco, riding beachside roller coasters, and exploring the California coastline--the harder it is to fight the attraction.

​Cassie wants to let herself go, but her parents' split has left her feeling adrift in a sea of questions she can't even begin to answer. Can she forgive her mom? Will home ever feel the same? Should she take a chance on Jonah? With life's unpredictable tides working against her, Cassie must decide whether to swim against them... or dive right in. (Goodreads)

Ahhh, does this book sound the MOST PERFECT summer read, or what?
I read Jen's Wanderlost last year and really enjoyed the story,
and I'm super excited to check out this new book as well!!
Is it July yet??
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My Thoughts: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
The Upside of Unrequited
by Becky Albertalli
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Publication Date: April 11th 2017
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780062348708
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Review Copy/Own

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Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I, like almost every other reader I know, absolutely couldn't wait to get my hands on The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli!! I read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda last year, and really enjoyed the story, so I just knew I would love The Upside of Unrequited as well. AND I DID!! Seriously, I'm totally giving this book ALL THE STARS!!

Can I first talk about the characters in the book, and how much I completely love them? There are SO many awesome characters for you to fall in love with, including the main character, Molly. Ah, Molly. I found her relatable in so many ways; my connection to her was super strong. I've been there, Molly, and I've felt the exact same as you did throughout the story SO many times. (And I still do.) She has an amazing family, including her twin sister, Cassie, who is also her best friend, and two amazing moms, and an adorable little brother. I love this family. I want to be a part of this family. Molly also has some really great friends as well, including some we've met before, which was a super wonderful surprise!!

Now let's talk about the story itself. The Upside of Unrequited is a companion novel to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, something that I actually did not know when starting this book. However, you won't have any problems getting into the story if you read it before reading Simon. I totally loved this story, so much. THESE are the types of stories that I absolutely love to read. It was completely addictive, and relatable as well. It made me laugh, it made me cry. I read the whole thing in just a few hours time; I couldn't help it, I absolutely could not put the book down. And I didn't want it to end either! Can we just have more of these books, please?? Because I love the stories, and the characters, and I want ALL OF THEM to have their own books! *grin*

Overall; I totally expected to love The Upside of Unrequited, but I ended loving it even more than that! This book was seriously so good. If you're a fan of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you're going to love The Upside of Unrequited. And if you've not yet read these books, DO IT. You won't regret it. Happy reading to you!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sarah Dessen Readathon: Keeping The Moon
Keeping the Moon
by Sarah Dessen
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Publication Date: September 1st 1999
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 228
ISBN: 9780142401767
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

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Never underestimate the power of friendship.

When Colie goes to spend the summer at the beach, she doesn't expect much.

But Colie didn't count on meeting Morgan and Isabel.

Through them, she learns what true friendship is all about, and finally starts to realize her potential.

And that just might open the door to her first chance at love... (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Keeping the Moon is the third book I've read for my Sarah Dessen Readathon! I have to admit, this readathon is seriously the best thing ever, as the more books I read of Sarah's, the more I look forward to the next book, and that makes me even more excited for Once and For All, Sarah's newest book which is due to release in June!

Some of Sarah's books I've read before, and some I haven't. Keeping the Moon is one that I've already read, but I can't really remember much about it. Bits and pieces, yes, but not much more. I was super excited to read it again to refresh my book-filled brain, and once I started reading the book, all the memories of reading it before came flooding back. I LOVE WHEN THAT HAPPENS!!

I really enjoyed both the characters and the storyline for the book. Colie, the main character, was very relatable in so many ways. I totally get her, and I loved watching her come out of her shell, with the help of her aunt Mira, and her new friends, Morgan and Isabel. I also really loved Norman, AND Cat Norman as well. LOL!

Overall; I really enjoyed rereading Keeping the Moon! It brought back a lot of memories for me from reading it before, and I really enjoyed diving back into the story. Now it's time to move on the Sarah's next novel, Dreamland, which is a new-to-me book, and I'm really curious to get started on it ASAP. :)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My Thoughts: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Letters to the Lost
by Brigid Kemmerer
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Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781681190082
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Review Copy

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Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

When Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer arrived on my doorstep one afternoon, I was intrigued. After reading up on the book, I was even more intrigued, and I decided to add it to my TBR, to be read as soon as possible. I'm so glad I did this. I'm so glad I read the book. I really, really enjoyed it!

I read Letters to the Lost in just two days time, and I was absolutely hooked to the story. The storyline was definitely engrossing, and relatable as well. I feel like I've read a lot of books that have dealt with death lately, and they all totally take on different approaches to them. I love this. These are the books that readers will read and be able to relate to. And it's not just about death. It's also about finding yourself and learning to take your own path, and knowing that there is always hope, even when things feel completely hopeless.

There are a lot of characters to like in Letters to the Lost, including the two main characters, Juliet and Declan. The story is told from their alternative perspectives, and I love that it is told this way, as we really get to know both characters so well. Both have had loss and tragedy in their lives, and learning their stories made me just want to give them the biggest hugs ever. There are some really great secondary characters as well, including Declan's best friend, Rev, who I totally want to know more about. (And we will, next year, when the companion novel to Letters to the Lost, titled More Than We Can Tell, comes out! I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!)

Overall; Letters to the Lost is the first book I've read by Brigid Kemmerer, but it definitely will not be my last! I love that the story completely grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. I need more books like this in my life. Do check it out!

Week in Review • Week 14

Hey guys!!
Not a whole lot to recap this week, as I've been sick and busy with the kiddos,
but I do have a few things to share!!

This week I was only able to read two books:

The first book was Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer, which I really enjoyed, and you can see my thoughts for the book here on the blog today! It was seriously so good, and I wish I had time to read it again. 😊

The second book was Keeping the Moon, which I read for my Sarah Dessen Readathon! My thoughts for the book will be up on the blog tomorrow, if you want to check those out. 😊

No new movies or TV to add again this week. I'm SO BEHIND.
Bummer. 😔
As you probably  know if you follow me on my social media accounts, I've have the worst case of allergies right now. Ugh, it's totally wearing me down, and has made me behind on pretty much everything, including my reading schedule. Because of this, I have about 5 books to read next week if I want to get anywhere near being caught up. 😳😳😳 I'm going to attempt to read them all, as I seem to work best under pressure, so wish me luck!!

Also, Teen 2 made the cheer squad again for the next school year! I'm super proud, and trying not to think about how much reading time I'm going to miss because of this. HAHA, just kidding!

That's all for me this week! Hopefully I will have a better update next week.
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