Blog Tour: Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen [REVIEW, FAVORITE QUOTES + GIVEAWAY]

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Book Title: Happy Messy Scary Love
Author: Leah Konen
Published by: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

As everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends her a selfie of his own. Olivia is shocked by how cute he is! In a moment of panic, assuming she and Elm will never meet in real life, she sends a photo of her gorgeous friend Katie. But things are about to get even more complicated when Olivia’s parents send her to the Catskills, and she runs into the one person she never thought she would see. This sweet and funny summertime romance is perfect for fans of Love and Gelato and The Unexpected Everything.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

Having read and loved the author’s other work, The Romantics (you can read my review here), I was pretty psyched to find out I was given the opportunity to read and review her latest book. The premise of this book was just as interesting for me as The Romantics’ premise was, so I had no problem getting into this one.

Olivia Knight, also known as CarrieRevenge on Reddit, is an aspiring screenplay writer and is a huge horror buff. That’s why, on her late night escapades on Reddit, she met a fellow horror fan on there with the handle named Elm. They’ve hit it off right from the start and after months of online friendship, Elm sends a picture of him to Olivia (or Carrie) and asks one in return. So, in typical teenage fashion, Olivia lets her uncertainties get the best of her so she sends a picture of Katie, her best friend, instead. It’s totally fine because there’s no chance in hell that they would meet, right? Wrong!

From the beginning, readers get to be well-versed on who our main character is and what events prompted the mess that would eventually befall her. Olivia was an okay main character for me. Because although I do enjoy her enthusiasm for horror films and understand the self-issues she’s been dealing with, she never really warmed up to me all that much. Still, I really loved getting to explore about her happy, messy and scary summer romance.

Elm, on the other hand, was a character in the book that I absolutely adored. For a fictional character, he just seemed so real to me. He is so charming, nerdy and an overall sweet guy. That, amongst other things! Katie was another one that made the book so enjoyable! Another touch of spice and realism to an otherwise fictional story. She’s honestly the best best friend anyone can ask for; the one that’s always got your back but isn’t afraid to let you know when you’re being too much. Her own character was explored for a bit in this book too, despite the story not revolving around her, which I appreciate a lot.

The romance itself was sweet, because Olivia and Elm are perfect for each other, and thrilling, in the sense that I have this anticipation of when Olivia’s facade will all come tumbling down. The banter that they had, both online and in person, were a delight to read and I can see how they get on so well together. However, I do think that the ending wasn’t what I hoped it would be. It was a bit rushed, in my opinion.

Overall, though, this was a good read! Happy Messy Scary Love is a cute and fun read whenever you’re in the mood for something quick, especially during the summer season!


FAVORITE QUOTES

“Photos are a different level. Photos have flaws, pimples, and pores. You can’t capture your witty banter, your love for 1930s noir, in a photo.

“I know I’m playing with fire. I know that this is unsustainable, that it can’t go on this way. Only it’s so lovely, it’s so wonderful, seeing every side of him like I do.”

“When it comes to romance, sometimes right and wrong isn’t always so black and white.”

“I know I’m playing with fire. I know that this is unsustainable, that it can’t go on this way. Only it’s so lovely, it’s so wonderful, seeing every side of him like I do.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

p-1Leah Konen is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and creative writing. She’s the author of the forthcoming HAPPY MESSY SCARY LOVE, LOVE AND OTHER TRAIN WRECKS, THE ROMANTICS, THE LAST TIME WE WERE US and THE AFTER GIRLS. She lives in Brooklyn and Saugerties, NY, with her husband and their dog, Farley.

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GIVEAWAY

Win a copy of Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen (US Only)

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Blog Tour: Last Girl Lied To by L.E. Flynn [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

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Book Title: Last Girl Lied To
Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Published by: Imprint
Publication Date: April 16th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Something made him angry that night.
Something made her cry.
Something made Trixie disappear.
What if it was all the same thing? 

Fiona claims she doesn’t remember anything about the night her best friend left a party early and walked into the ocean. But the truth is, she wishes she could forget.

Trixie’s disappearance is ruled a suicide, but Fiona starts to believe that Trixie isn’t really dead. Piecing together the trail of a girl who doesn’t want to be found leads her to Jasper, Trixie’s former friend with benefits, and Beau—the boy who turned Fiona down, who loved someone else, who might be happy Trixie is gone.

The closer Fiona gets to finding out what happened, and the closer she gets to Jasper and Beau, the more she realizes that the girl she knew better than anyone may have been a carefully constructed lie—and she might have been waiting to disappear the entire time.

Told in alternating chapters between the past and the present, Last Girl Lied To is a gripping emotional thriller.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve read a contemporary YA thriller so I was really excited when I started reading this one. From the sound of the synopsis, I find it really promising and in the end, I liked the story.

Last Girl Lied To started out full of intrigue which hooked me from the very beginning. The book focuses on Fiona’s journey in unearthing the mystery about her best friend’s enigmatic suicide. Although the book’s concept isn’t new in the genre, I found myself liking the book still. Peppered with a few twists and surprises in the plot, the mystery really tied itself up well.

Unfortunately, I failed to connect with the main character, Fiona, no matter how hard I’ve tried to. I just didn’t see much development in her which disappointed me, thus, factoring in to my indifference to her. The book’s pace was also a little bit too slow for my liking which put me off a tad bit. But the ending was quite good and I think it wraps everything quite good.

Overall, despite having a bit of issues with this one, I still found myself enjoying Last Girl Lied To for its great mystery and suspense!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

k1250025.jpgLaurie Elizabeth (L.E.) Flynn is the author of Firsts and the upcoming psychological thriller Last Girl Lied To, along with an untitled thriller to follow in 2020. She is also the author of Wattpad featured series The Boys Tell All. Her other short fiction has been named a finalist for the John Kenneth Gailbraith Literary Award.

Flynn is a former model who worked in Tokyo, Athens, and Paris. She now lives in London, Ontario, with her husband, daughter, and the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua. When she’s not writing about unlikable girls, you can likely find her hiking in the woods with her family, perusing thrift stores for vintage dresses, or binging reality TV.


GIVEAWAY

Get the chance to win 1 copy of Last Girl Lied To by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (US only)

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Blog Tour: Smoke and Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg [REVIEW, FAVORITE QUOTES + GIVEAWAY!]

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SMOKE AND SUMMONS COVER (1).jpgBook Title: Smoke and Summons
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Series: Numina Trilogy #1
Publisher: 47North
Publication Date: February 1st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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A captivating world of monsters and magic from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series.

As a human vessel for an ancient spirit, Sandis lives no ordinary life. At the command of her master, she can be transformed against her will into his weapon—a raging monster summoned to do his bidding. Unlike other vessels, Sandis can host extremely powerful spirits, but hosting such creatures can be fatal. To stay alive, she must run. And in a city fueled by smoke and corruption, she finds a surprising ally.

A cunning thief for hire, Rone owns a rare device that grants him immortality for one minute every day—a unique advantage that will come in handy in Sandis’s fight for freedom. But Sandis’s master knows how powerful she is. He’s determined to get her back, and he has the manpower to find her, wherever she runs.

Now, to outwit her pursuers, Sandis must put all her trust in Rone and his immortal device. For her master has summoned more than mere men to hunt her down…


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m so excited to finally be able to share my thoughts about this book. This is the first I’ve read of the author’s works and I must say that I am impressed! The writing is spectacular and it kept me reading, more and more.

Smoke & Summons was unlike anything I’ve read before. It has a unique plot, with our main character starting out as a vessel for summoning unearthly beings to do unspeakable acts at the command of her owner.

Also, this book involves a rich background and history of both the main characters and the fantasy world itself. It is evident that this has been well-thought of and has been executed perfectly. Aside from that, I want to let you know that I’ve read this faster than I anticipated, despite my hectic school schedule. That’s how hooked I was. There definitely wasn’t a dull moment in this book, and it always kept me wanting more!

If that isn’t enough, Sandis and Rone were very likable main characters. Sandis, having lived most of her life growing up isolated and underground, is still pretty shell-shocked about the life above ground. I love her so much, that precious human. She has gone through so much but she has been nothing but nice still. I sympathized with her throughout the whole book. On the other hand, Rone definitely knows his way around. He is strong, hard-willed and adaptable to different situations. This makes them such a great duo since their personalities clash. They make great teamwork and it’s funny seeing Rone crack a sarcastic remark to just go over Sandis’s head! 😂

Overall, Smoke & Summons was truly a fantastic read. For someone getting into YA fantasy (and even those who mainly read books in that genre), this is an amazing book, jam-packed with action and excitement that will surely get you going! I’m very much looking forward to read the next in the series and the author’s other works.


FAVORITE QUOTES

She’d always loved the sun. No matter how hard things got, the sun was a bright constant against the city’s smoke and fear.

“You talk like you’re a thing.”
“To him, I am.” Her touch crept up to his neck. “I’m glad you don’t think so.”

Sandis hugged herself, trying to hold the sensation in. She balled her body around it, protecting that last semblance of love.

She could protect them, even when no one had protected her.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author.jpgBorn in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. Her fantasy Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Her stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance, and her novel The Fifth Doll won the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction. She is a board member for Deep Magic Ezine and currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at http://www.charlienholmberg.com.

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GIVEAWAY

Win a finished copy of Smoke and Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg (US Only)

Start Date: 10th February 2019
End Date: 5th March 2019

Blog Tour: That’s Not What I Heard by Stephanie Kate Strohm [BOOK REVIEW + MOODBOARD]

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Book Title: That’s Not What I Heard
Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: January 29th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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What did you hear?

Kimberly Landis-Lilley and Teddy Lin are over. Yes, the Kim and Teddy broke up.

At least that’s what Phil Spooner thinks he overheard and then told Jess Howard, Kim’s best friend. Something about Teddy not liking Kim’s Instas? Or was it that Teddy is moving to Italy and didn’t want to do long distance? Or that Kim slid into someone else’s DMs?

Jess told her boyfriend, Elvis, that he needs to be on Kim’s side. Especially if he wants to keep her as his girlfriend. But Elvis is also Teddy’s best friend.

Now, Kim’s run out of school for the day. Jess is furious. Elvis is confused. And half the lunch period won’t talk to Teddy. Even the teachers have taken sides.

William Henry Harrison High will never be the same again!


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

That’s Not What I Heard has been on my radar recently since I saw it from a fellow blogger’s post/tweet. I thought the premise quite interesting and fun, but I didn’t expect the book to be this entertaining!

The book started off by introducing the most important thing (apparently) in William Henry Harrison High, Kim and Teddy. Their relationship, albeit only been briefly explored, was enough to make me wish for my own. I’ve always been such a hopeless romantic so a bit of romance impacts me a ton! Then the story continues on to the breakup of the said couple. A random student, who happened to be just buying chips from the vending machine, overheard the breakup and told someone who told someone who told someone… You get the idea. From then on, the rumors started getting more and more ludicrous that it ultimately led to their school’s chaos.

That’s Not What I Heard is told in the multiple perspectives of the characters. It was so interesting to read about since each of their thoughts were so different from one another, and the gravity of the situation can really be felt through this.

The story was really entertaining, I enjoyed every single page of this. Its flair for the dramatic got me laughing so damn hard at times! The different characters were fairly likeable and I love that each of them has their own quirks and personalities.

Also, I’m not sure if it’s just my deep, dramatic side that wants to take a lesson out of everything, but the message of the book was pretty good! Rumors are like wildfire; once lit, they destroy everything in their way, causing social structures and order to come tumbling down.

Overall, That’s Not What I Heard was absolutely worth the read. If you’re looking for a quirky and obnoxiously fun read, I really think think that this one’s for you!


✨ MOODBOARD BY YOURS TRULY ✨

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of The Taming of the DrewPilgrims Don’t Wear PinkConfederates Don’t Wear CoutureIt’s Not Me, It’s You and Prince in Disguise. She grew up in Connecticut and attended Middlebury College in Vermont, where she was voted Winter Carnival Queen. Currently she lives in Chicago with her fiance and a little white dog named Lorelei Lee.

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Blog Tour: A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma (Review & Giveaway)

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37792722Book Title: A Room Away From the Wolves
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Mystery
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave…


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

The moment I read the synopsis for this, I just knew I had to sign up. Being such a huge fan of mystery and seeing as I enjoy reading about mother-daughter relationships, the premise of this book appealed to me. Now, after having read it, I’m glad to say that I quite liked the book.

This was a fairly quick read and offers an eerie and mysterious reading experience. Along most parts of the story, I was literally clueless as to what was going on. I like that in a book because it keeps me thrilled and doesn’t let my interest dwindle. The characters were mysterious to me and I wish I could have known the more. The author’s writing style was a bit different from those I normally read but regardless of that, I still really enjoyed A Room Away From the Wolves.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend this to fans of mystery and magic in books.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center. She worked for years behind the scenes in publishing, at places such as HarperCollins, Penguin, Marvel Comics, and RAW Books, and now she teaches writing workshops. She is from various small towns across the Hudson Valley and lives and writes in New York City.

Find Nova online at novaren.com and on her blog distraction99.com.


GIVEAWAY

One winner will get a copy of A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma (US only)
Giveaway ends on 9/5.

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