Estelle’s Shelve It for 6/23/2013: Books, Pals + Events, Oh My!

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week


Why oh why do these summer weekends go so fast? I’ve had a great couple of days celebrating a friend’s birthday, seeing Monsters University (so cute!) and hanging out with a few fancy bloggers at Books of Wonder this afternoon! I was so thrilled to finally meet Leila Howland, author Nantucket Blue, too! She is such a gracious, sweet, adorable gal and I can’t wait to see where her career takes her. It’s been such a pleasure to follow her and her debut! (Ahem, go read it. Go.)

Here are a few pictures from today’s event at Books of Wonder!

Leila Howland Nantucket Blue with Bloggers 6232013 - 2

From left to right: Estelle, Leila, Rachel from Rachel Reads, Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, Betty from Book Rock Betty, and Gaby from Ella Bee Reads.

Leila Howland Nantucket Blue and Estelle from Rather Be Reading

Leila Howland Nantucket Blue with Bloggers 6232013 - 1

Um, each and every one of these ladies are AWESOME. Visit their blogs, tweet them, be their friends, and then drink beer (or wine) with them. You will not be sorry.

I also filmed one of these:

Books mentioned:

Burning by Elana K. Arnold (Rachel Reads review) thanks Elana!

Mason Jar Crafts by Lauren Elise Donaldson thanks Lauren!

>> Cottage Journal is Lauren’s blog!

The Secret Ingredient by Stewart Lewis thank Shanyn!

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West (July 2nd release)

Jessica Darling’s It List by Megan McCafferty (September 3rd release)


What you might have missed this week:

My eee! review of Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Magan tells us about Jennifer Echols’ Dirty Little Secret

Sweet Summertime Reads: our beach bags for night and day!

My first review of a re-read: Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares


Help me with this book hangover, I beg you! Dangerous Girls ruined me! (But I am also so so glad that it did.) What have you read lately that absolutely blew you away? Tell me, tell me!

Thanks again for stopping in! Enjoy your week and as always, happy reading!

Estelle: The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy SpaldingThe Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 352
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: California, family, theatre, moving, starting over
Format read: ARC from NetGalley via Publisher (thanks!)

Summary: When Devan’s father dies in a car accident, she is shipped off to Los Angeles to live with Reece Malcolm, the mother she never knew and the best-selling author that she has carefully collected facts about over time.  Getting used to living with her mom is one thing, there’s also fitting into her new performing arts high school (she’s a singer and actress), making new friends, and crushing on a guy that continues to puzzle her.

Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better book to be released on my birthday.

A main character who is an extreme theater geek (I was dying over all the references from classic Broadway to Troy Bolton a.k.a. Zac Efron), and a story that did an amazing job of balancing the lighthearted moments with the more serious ones?


Devan grew up in a house with a father who didn’t understand her interests or really talk to her and a stepmother who wouldn’t give her the time of day. When she discovered her mom was bestselling author, Reece Malcolm, she began compiling a list of facts about the woman who said very little to the media. So when Devan’s dad dies suddenly and she is sent off to live with Reece in Los Angeles, she’s not exactly sure what to expect. Can things really be  worse than the way they were before?

But she does know what she wants. She wants a warm mother who is going to wrap her in her arms and hold her, let her cry about her dad, and apologize as much as she can about never contacting her once in her sixteen years. Instead, Devan gets someone very standoffish, who clearly knows nothing about kids, and who is not going to easily indulge why she’s been so absent or what exactly happened between her and her father all those years ago.

Reece may make fun of Devan and openly admit that it weirds her out how much her boyfriend (Brad) wants to do “family things” with her yet she, no questions asked, gets Reece an audition at a great performing arts high school, takes her on shopping sprees (Devan loves fashion), and is pretty laidback when Devan starts to make plans with new friends. I really liked how atypical their relationship was. Because, gee, there is nothing normal about their situation or their relationship, and I’m glad no one was putting on airs about what their shared DNA should mean.

So on top of this new shiny (and frustrating) home life, Devan is also thrown into a new school. She’s mega-talented and takes this talent really seriously, and while not everyone is very supportive at first, Devan does get folded into a circle of friends (who have layered storylines as well) pretty immediately. (So unlike her last school.) I really liked her weighing how suddenly she should trust new people and let them in. She still had so,  much to figure out in her personal life… it wasn’t like she could just confide in anyone immediately. Even with boy situations, the author makes nothing black and white and that was so entirely REAL high school for me.

Amy Spalding writes The Reece Malcolm List in an incredibly intelligent way with flawed characters, intricate details, and a true love for theater. At 16, Devan may not have known everything about life — in fact, she often wavered between incredulous actions and wise observations about the world. Life isn’t always the happy song that musicals portray, not everything falls perfectly into place. And it takes time for people to let their guard down and to understand who they truly are. It’s like this ongoing journey, even for an adult like Reece who is hard to love and hard to get close to.

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