Book Review: Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren

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Book Title: Cold Day in the Sun
Author: Sara Biren
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: March 12th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

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Holland Delviss wants to be known for her talent as a hockey player, not a hockey player who happens to be a girl. But when her school team is selected to be featured and televised as part of HockeyFest, her status as the only girl on the boys’ team makes her the lead story. Not everyone is thrilled with Holland’s new fame, but there’s one person who fiercely supports her, and it’s the last person she expects (and definitely the last person she should be falling for): her bossy team captain, Wes.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

With the summer season just around the corner, a book about ice hockey and perpetual snow probably doesn’t seem all that appealing to most of you. I understand there are tons of other YA contemporary reads which are all summer-y and more appropriate for the season, but I ain’t about that right now. I personally prefer cold weather rather than hot, and this is a great book for escaping this heat that I dislike so much.

Set in a small town in Minnesota, Holland grew up with a special love (and skill!) for hockey. Growing up with three brothers who all share the same passion for the sport, she grew accustomed to playing with the boys. So this ultimately led to her decision to play for the boys’ hockey team of her school, instead of the girls’. Of course that doesn’t come easy as Holland constantly gets criticized and belittled because of her decision. So, she always has to try extra hard to prove them wrong and to “earn her spot” in the team. Regardless of the people who don’t believe in her and try to bring her down, what Holland doesn’t expect is that she has a passionate supporter in the form of their awfully crabby team captain, Wes. Now she’s not sure if that would complicate things, especially when feelings get involved.

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

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Cover Reveal: Lost Horizon by Michelle Hercules [GIVEAWAY]

It’s been quite long (in my opinion) since I’ve done a cover reveal here on my blog so here’s one that sounds quite interesting. I’ve always loved The Wizard of Oz and this book being pitched as Oz in space has got me all sorts of excited!


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Book Title:Lost Horizon
Author:Michelle Hercules
Series: Oz in Space, #1
Publication Date: June 10th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

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A magical planet torn apart by war. A defiant space pilot cadet determined to save the ones she loves. The adventure of a lifetime.

Oz like you have never seen before.

Space Academy prodigy Dorothy Hanson doesn’t have time for love nonsense. She has one goal, complete the mission her parents started before their untimely death.

When a cosmic disturbance hits the Kansas Space Station, Dorothy seizes that opportunity to go on her first space voyage. She didn’t expect to be sucked into a vortex nor land on a strange planet ravaged by war.

Stranded, she must embark on a perilous mission to the Land of Oz, the only nation that possesses the technology to send her home. Three strangers join Dorothy in her quest, all carrying reasons of their own for reaching Emerald City. A man without memories marked with a strange symbol on his face. A cyborg with a chip on his shoulder and a mysterious past. And a scarred hellioncat plagued by nightmares in the dark.

Dorothy doesn’t know if she can trust them, but as their journey progresses, their bond becomes stronger and Dorothy’s feelings evolve from suspicion to caring too much. Torn between contradicting emotions, she must find the strength to fight the evil forces that stack up against them along the way. Surviving the trip on the yellow road is priority number one, but can she survive losing her heart?


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This honestly looks so good!! I’m even more interested in picking this one up. I’m even thinking of requesting an ARC of this.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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USA Today bestselling author Michelle Hercules always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would write a novel. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first book, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.

Michelle Hercules resides in The Netherlands with her husband and daughter. She is currently working on the Legends of Gattica series.

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Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for organizing this cover reveal!

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Blog Tour: Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

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Book Title: Small Town Hearts
Author: Lillie Vale
Series: None (Standalone)
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: March 19th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Rule #1 – Never fall for a summer boy. 

Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?


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

MY THOUGHTS

Hi! I would like to apologize for my consistent absence both here on my blog and on Twitter because of academic reasons, ugh. But now, our midterm exams are finally over so I get to do more reading, which is always good!

I’ve just started this earlier today and finished it in a day. And considering that I’m a painfully slow reader, that says a lot about how much I adored this book!

Let me start off by saying that the characters are spectacularly-written. If you know me, then you probably know that I am a character-driven reader which means my reading experience largely depends on the characters of the book. So it came as no surprise that I would rate this so highly. Granted, a couple of characters were superficial and “just-there” but I feel like they weren’t really valuable to the main story. The ones that are, though? They were so realistic and I loved every single one of them.

I instantaneously liked Babe Vogel, our main character, mainly because I feel like we’re very similar individuals in the sense that we both fear change, however minuscule it may be. She is also mind-numbingly sweet and loyal to her friends, even though she ends up getting hurt most of the time. But most of all, I liked her since she developed so well through the course of this story. I actually felt like a friend, so proud of who she’s become by the time the book came to a close! Not to mention, she also cares for the environment as she still picked up her trash to throw away even in the middle of a thunderstorm! AND she bakes!!! If all those reasons didn’t convince you in the slightest that she’s one of the best main characters there is, then I don’t know what will.

Poppy, Babe’s best friend, is a character with many flaws which grew on me. I was initially aghast at how Babe managed to be on good terms with Poppy for so long because it seems to me like Poppy was a selfish and manipulative person. However, I understood that she had her reasons and came to realize that she was one of the most realistic characters among them all.

And then there’s Levi. I can’t stop swooning over Levi while reading, and as I’m typing this, I’m falling head over heels in love with him once more! He is definitely the epitome of a perfect book boyfriend. Aside from being extremely talented, he knows exactly how to treat a girl [Babe] right. He was very mature in the entirety of the story and I admire him for that, especially considering that he’s eighteen.

On the other hand, as if the fantastic characters weren’t enough, the storyline of Small Town Hearts is breathtakingly genuine and the romance so heartwarming that I just couldn’t get enough of it!

Small town. Coffee shop. Friendships. And a summer boy. Those are four of my soft spots so seeing them all in one book and be executed properly? Lillie Vale has outdone herself on this debut novel.

Oar’s Rest indeed sounds like paradise, plus the food, coffee and baked pastries mentioned made my mouth water numerous times! The romance was everything I could have hoped for too! It was equal parts charming and honest, which was made extra special since it was the only thing that was mostly going right in Babe’s summer that turned upside down. And although it didn’t touch upon much familial aspect, this book shined because it deals with problems on close-knit friendships as everything seems to change the summer before college. 

Overall, I absolutely recommend Small Town Hearts because aside from being such a sweet and romantic read, I think this is an important book for young and new adults such as myself. This book has definitely made its mark on my heart! I would definitely be on the look out for more of this author’s works!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lillie.jpgLillie Vale, upon discovering she could not be one of Santa’s elves or attend Hogwarts, decided to become a writer to create a little magic of her own. Enjoying the romantic and eerie in equal measure, she’s probably always writing a book where the main characters kiss or kill. Born in Mumbai, she has lived in many U.S. states, and now resides in an Indiana college town where the corn whispers and no one has a clue that she is actually the long-lost caps lock queen. She can be reached on Twitter @LillieLabyrinth and Instagram @labyrinthspine. Small Town Hearts is her debut novel.

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Win a print copy of Small Town Hearts (US/CAN)

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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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