Hiya! So we took a little unexpected hiatus from our NAILED IT feature (somehow 3 months has passed) but we’ve still been painting our nails and sharing new colors with each other. (Our latest addiction is the Sinful Colors brand you can pick up at the drugstore. The polish was recently highly rated in Consumer Reports for being long-lasting and well-priced. [$2!!] I bought a few and it’s true — the color lasted longer than a week! Worth picking up.) Anyway, we’re back with some gorgeous book covers + color palettes! Hope this inspires you to get colorful and get reading!
Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana (Released 6/17/2014)
Big thanks to Jen from Pop! Goes the Reader who put this title on my radar. She + I are huge fans of Disney theme parks and when she told me this was a time traveling book that focused on a now abandoned water park, I was all in. I just got it in the mail this week so I can’t tell you my thoughts quite yet but how romantic is this cover? I absolutely love the colors and how subtly magical it all looks. I love dark colors like Octavia on my toes in the summer, and switching between Princess Grace and Paulette would be so fun. Don’t you think? I never wear enough orange-y colors.
Paulette | Princess Grace | Octavia
Boomerang by Noelle August (To Be Released 07/8/2014)
Elements of this book that make me excited: it’s a new adult about two people who happen to work at the same place (where dating a co-worker is off-limits) AND they’re competing for the same job. *claps hands excitedly* I love that this cover is eye-catching and has such bold colors. (And I kind of love the outfit the girl is wearing, though I’d never be cool enough to pair those colors together in real life.) I had to throw in the bonus color, Soraphine, because who doesn’t want to rock white nail polish while they have a gorgeous summer tan? I already own Amy… and maybe Myriam, too, (I forget), but I would most certainly love to add these other two to my ever-growing polish collection. As well as this book…
Amy | Myriam | Alma | Soraphine
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And in case you missed it:
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Don’t forget to say hi below! Any fun nail obsessions lately??
Psst. We got a shiny instagram account this week! Follow along if you’d like!
Oh man. It’s been about a month since I did one of these. But hello! I’m here. How are you all doing? It’s been a busy few weeks so far — friends visiting, lots of work changes, James finally got a small break from school, the weather is nice — you know the drill. Basically the books keep piling up and I haven’t shared them with you. Well, well, well. Today is your lucky day. Hope you find something in these piles that catches your eye!
Oh hey, it’s the first day of summer! Do something fun! And go wish Anna of Anna Reads a happy birthday!
Let’s get started:
From Jamie (Perpetual Page Turner) ♥
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (I read this + loved it.)
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang (September 2014)
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick (September 2014) — verse book!
From Elena (Novel Sounds) ♥
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Starstruck by Rachel Shukert
The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith (The original cover!)
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (prepared to give this a second try)
From Maggie (Just a Couple More Pages) ♥
Boomerang by Noelle August (July 8 release)
From Bloomsbury (Thanks Courtney!)
My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter (A favorite of 2014 for me.)
When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan
From Harlequin (Thanks!)
The Fragile World by Paula Treick DeBoard (October 2014)
Behind the Scenes by Dahla Adler (out 6/24; I really enjoyed it!); thanks Rachel!
Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor; thanks Lauren!
Since Last Summer by Johanna Philbin
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (My original copy got rained on.)
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins ($1 at my used bookstore) * verse + grown up book *
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers ($1 at my used bookstore)
(For my Nook)
Fever (A Songbird Novel) by Melissa Pearl
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
Just One Night by Gayle Forman
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
In Deep by Terra McVoy (Out Jul8 8; read it this week + omg, can’t get enough)
Make It Real by Sabrina Elkins (eBook out July 1)
Big thanks to those who contributed to my book collection in the past couple of weeks! xoxo
Actually, I’ve done pretty well on the “not buying as much” thing. Really! This is been a month of progress.
What’s been in your shopping bag lately?
Psst. Thanks for stopping in… we’ll be back tomorrow with a long overdue NAILED IT!
Make It Count by Megan Erickson ( web | tweet )
Book 1 of Bowler University series.
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Target audience: Mature young adult/New Adult
Keywords: college, tutoring, learning disability, romance, friendship
Format read: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss. (Thanks!)
Summary: Kat is desperate for help in statistics and can’t believe her luck with her boyfriend’s roommate, Alec, turns out to be her tutor. He has absolutely never liked her. Suddenly, she’s looking forward to tutoring sessions because of, well, not the smoothies or the statistics. It’s true Kat isn’t much into long-term commitments; she lets a relationship run its course and then moves on. But there is something about Alec — she wants to talk to him about things she never brings up with anyone. After a lousy breakup with his high school sweetheart, Alec isn’t ready to trust anyone again but when his tutoring gig leads him to Kat; he finds himself feeling a way he hasn’t let himself in a long time even though he knows he shouldn’t.
five (see? I’m being mathematical) reasons to pick up MAKE IT COUNT
1. I feel like I need to say this is not a cheating book. I know a lot of readers have a hang up about this so I don’t want this detail to deter you from picking up Megan’s book. When we meet Kat and her boyfriend, Max, it’s so obvious things aren’t working out. Max is acting differently; Kat is holding back and it’s only a matter of time. Even so, Alec and Kat’s tutoring sessions lead to an automatic friendship. (A playful, almost-immediately intimate one.)
2. Kat is not a perfect student, and as the story goes on, readers learn about her struggles even as a young kid. Her parents didn’t push her to go to college because she was never much of an academic. Right off the bat, I admired Kat’s drive. But the second part? I have yet to read a book where a character had a learning disability. She goes through a range of emotions (esp. in the way she finds out about it) and I think Erickson wrote this part of Kat’s character with so much care and thoroughness. Too many times characters in NA don’t have this kind of depth and I appreciated this layer to Kat and how this struggle caused her to grow as the story went on.
3. Alec is geeky hot. And his nickname is Zuk like Danny Zuko in Grease. How adorable is that? Immediately, Alec felt like a mature and super laidback character. He was concerned about his friends; he has that “fixer” quality that I so understand in people. (I have it too.) He’s also respectful and super thoughtful. But he’s also not perfect. Like anyone, he doesn’t know how to handle all situations even though he wants to be. He hasn’t had the happiest childhood (though his mom is a treat) but has used tragedy to propel him forward. As a leading guy, he knew to keep his distance because his friendship with Max was important to him (they are childhood pals) but also preferred having Kat in his life SOMEHOW. Even if it wasn’t the way he wanted it to be, at first.
4. Let’s hear it for the supporting characters. Erickson did a great job of evolving each of the main character’s separate stories. Alec’s voice of reason was Danica, one of his classmates, who always tells him how it is (even when he doesn’t want to hear it). And for Kat, there’s Tara. The two girls have obviously spent a lot of time together, they know each other’s families and there’s just a nice comfortable feeling to their friendship. Even as we got further into the book, Erickson did not stop developing great side characters. I had a nice handle on this group of people, how they operated, and how important they were to each other.
5. The best for last? The chemistry between Alec and Kat was insane. Despite all the “life” things on my mind this week and all the plans we had, I could not could not get Alec and Kat out of my mind. WOULD THEY EVER KISS? OMG I CAN’T STAND IT. CAN I POSSIBLY SNEAK MY BOOK AT THIS VERY INOPPORTUNE MOMENT? Yes, it was that kind of book. A nice, slow burn. Totally worth the wait. Bonus: you could tell the author worked carefully to create Alec and Kat as two separate characters. Yes, they complimented each other but they weren’t dependent on one another to live their lives. I respected that. Yay for healthy relationships!
I think you know where I’m going with this…
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He Said She Said by Kwame Alexander ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: South Carolina, arts education, opposites attract, diverse YA
Format read: ARC sent to me by Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner. (Thanks!)
Summary: The last thing Claudia wants to do is be stuck working on a project with Omar “T-Diddy” Smalls, high school football player star and a guy who has been with just about every girl at their school. But when T-Diddy bets his friends he can get with Claudia, he gets involved with her latest cause: the lost of arts education in their school. Can they become friends? Will T-Diddy’s reputation with ladies be ruined? Will Claudia let her guard down? And most importantly, will they save all the extracurricular in their school by putting their heads together?
I had no idea what to expect from this book especially with a character named T-Diddy who thinks Claudia has “a butt for days.” But you know what? I laughed, I smiled, and I totally enjoyed reading He Said, She Said.
They say opposite attract but Claudia is not having any of T-Diddy’s advances and he is sure she won’t be able to resist him. Told in alternating chapters from each of their POVs, the reader is in on the innermost thoughts of Claudia and Omar (she refuses to call him T-Diddy because it’s silly). You see, Claudia is Harvard bound and doesn’t have the patience for high school boys, but when the school board cuts arts at their school and all the students respond so well to Omar’s help with the cause, she has no choice but to work with him and evoke some change. Suddenly, Omar is like… uh oh, is Claudia more than someone I want to just spend one night with?
THINGS ARE CHANGING.
He Said, She Said is definitely one of those books that shows us we shouldn’t be quick to judge people. (Even though we are all so guilty of this.) Both Omar and Claudia are surprised about what they find out about each other as they spend more time together. But nothing’s easy. Not getting closer, not bringing marching band and art back to school, and certainly not their pasts. The author integrates social media updates via Facebook and Twitter, tracking the “silent classroom” movement Omar and Claudia organize to get the school board’s attention, flirtation (a.k.a bickering) between Omar and Claudia, and a typical pinch of high school drama. This addition really speeds up the pace of the book and was a fun way to get to know these students.
Honestly, I could barely put this down without picking it back up almost immediately.
Vibrant dialogue, clever use of social media, a unique romance (that doesn’t discount individuality), and, most importantly, issues that plague our schools all the time (but I barely find in my books) were so well advocated for in He Said, She Said. I love being surprised by a book and, best of all, discovering a new writer.
I will be sure to have my eye out for Alexander’s next book.
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On the Fence by Kasie West (twitter | website)
Previously Reviewed: The Distance Between Us
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: strong sibling relationships, athletic female, single-parents
Format Read: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!)
Summary: Super athlete Charlie finds herself having middle-of-the-night conversations with her next door neighbor, Braden, whom she’s always considered to be like a brother. Neither of them can sleep and find solace in discussing things (such as who knows who better) between the fence posts when no one else is around.
First impressions and crazy thoughts that went through my head about On the Fence:
- Holy crap this is so so so so so so so good.
- I love the relationship between the siblings. There are four of them. Hmm. Would Dustyn want four kids? I want my children to grow up close and protective of one another like them. (Truth: I did talk to Dustyn about this possibility after finishing On the Fence. Second truth: I’ve never considered having four kids before. I’ve always had a “we’ll see what happens” mentality.)
- Whyyyyyyy did it have to end? I just wanted to keep reading forever and ever.
- Must. Preorder. Finished. Copy.
Cohesive thoughts to justify my fangirling:
Sitting on a bookshelf in my bedroom is a copy of The Distance Between Us. Estelle loved it last year; she recommended we all buy it. So I did. And I’ve had nothing but the best intentions for wanting to read it since then. Yada yada yada — I was pregnant and a foster mom and blah blah blah — fast forward to now. As we were discussing the review books we had to read, Estelle suggested I be the one to read On the Fence. (I think she knew I needed something REALLY good to pull me out of full-time-mommy-mode so I could enjoy some much needed reading time.)
And crap. Now I’m 100% irritated with myself that I haven’t read TDBU because I feel like I have sincerely missed out on greatness. Kasie’s writing in On the Fence is undeniably fantastic. Within a few paragraphs, I was hooked and completely ignoring all life responsibilities. (Don’t worry; Everett was already in bed for the night.) Charlie is the youngest sister to three older brothers (four brothers if you count their neighbor, Braden, who practically lives at their house); she’s tough and fast and very un-girly. She’s eager to hop into a football or soccer game. She doesn’t expect the boys to take it easy on her because she’s a girl. Charlie’s never had a boyfriend, but her brothers would give any guy she brought around the third degree. Her brothers are her best friends.
When Charlie finds herself with another speeding ticket (oops?), her father forces her to get a job to pay him back for it (and the others). The place she finds unemployment is very un-Charlie-like with clothes she’d never be caught dead wearing in front of her brothers and makeup she doesn’t know how to use. Despite her anxiousness to do her time and pay her dad back, she finds herself becoming friends with girls she never would have expected to and creating outfits she didn’t know she was capable of.
But Charlie also has this other thing: she doesn’t sleep well at night. She stays as active as possible so she is completely worn out when she goes to bed in hopes that she’ll have a good night of sleep. More often than not, she finds herself awake in the wee hours of the morning. Oddly enough, she soon realizes that Braden is up at strange hours too. They find themselves outside on either side of a fence, having candid conversations about things they’d be too shy to discuss in the daylight. (Swoon.)
On the Fence has every element I desire in my books: family background, strong friendships, a believable relationship, a great sense of time and fantastic pacing, and a strong setting. I became so wrapped up in Charlie’s life that I felt they were real. I wanted to know these people. I wished I could visit them and watch Charlie kick ass in a football game. I greatly admired Charlie’s dad and how protective he was of his baby girl, but also how hard he tried to be the parent he needed to be for her, especially with the absence of her mother. Every aspect feels so perfectly authentic and real; I laughed out loud and I really never wanted On the Fence to end. I think it’ll be topping the charts as a 2014 favorite for me.
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