Review: 180 Seconds by Jessica Park


Amazon  –  Author’s Website  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Goodreads

Published: 25 April 2017

Publisher: Skyscape

Category: New Adult/Romance/Contemporary

Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

Rating: 2 Stars

The summary for this book had me thinking that this would be about someone who’d slowly, reasonably, learn to trust again. Having been in the foster care system since being abandoned at a safe haven as an infant, Allison’s trust issues were to be expected and I was curious about that, enough to request the book.

The first, say, quarter of the book wasn’t bad. Allison getting settled into her third year of college, the reader being introduced to the one person she does constantly open up to and trust, a former foster care housemate named Steffi, and her idiosyncrasies with regards to navigating life with as little interaction as possible.

Once Allison gets roped into the 180 Seconds social experiment, however, things started going downhill. That whole part of the story, staring into a stranger’s eyes and then having a passionate kiss/embrace made me really uncomfortable. I don’t know much about experiments like this, but it felt weird.

After Allison is properly introduced to Esben, the stranger she stared at for 180 seconds, she seemed to change almost too quickly for words. It felt like she trusted him far too quickly given her history and that part of her story became almost unimportant to the rest of it. Considering it was a core tenent of her being, I didn’t like how her and Esben’s relationship progressed.

Esben was an alright person, but for a social media star he seemed really naive about how people behave on the Internet. His sister and partner in crime, Kerry, usually deletes nasty comments from Esben’s videos and posts, but when she stops due to a relationship, he gets his first taste of the reality of Internet trolls. That didn’t ring true of someone in the 21st century who is, as described in the summary, a social media star. Even if he never saw the comment section of his own videos, he never came across any on other videos or Facebook posts or even Twitter messages? I couldn’t believe that.

Steffi was my favorite character for most of the book. She was Allison’s best friend ever since they met at a mutual foster care home and remained so, even after they were separated and moved, not only to different homes but different coasts for college.

I got frustrated when the book went from, what I gathered by reading the summary, a fairly light-hearted contemporary novel to a heartbreaking story of loss when it’s revealed that Steffi had cancer as a child, it’s returned, and now it’s terminal. Her reaction to the situation felt out of character (pushing Allison away), then once she’s changed her mind the sheer amount of luck involved in getting Allison and Esben to L.A. during an airline strike and Spring Break was unbelievable. Plus, the foster parents that supposedly said their time as foster parents was over when Steffi turned eighteen are suddenly golden because of a misunderstanding. Everything got wrecked and then tied up in a neat, if depressing, bow.

There didn’t feel like any tension or action between Allison and Esben getting together early on in the book and Steffi’s health crisis, which was an enormous chunk of the book. This made for a very dull read that I wasn’t enjoying. The first few chapters were good, which is why this isn’t rated one star, but it was close.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Release Week Blitz: Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn


Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn!

Check out the excerpt below, and
be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Congratulations Pintip!!




From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Kensington

Google Drive | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks




A fish swims beneath the open staircase in my Khun Yai’s house. A real live fish, with its translucent fins fluttering in the water, its belly gold-scaled and bloated from regular feedings. If I part my knees, I can catch long glimpses of its lazy swimming through the gap in the stairs.

Of course, I’m not supposed to part my knees. It’s not ladylike for a twelve-year-old girl, not here, not in Thailand. The land where my parents grew up; the place that’s supposed to be my home, too. That’s what the banner said, when my relatives came to pick us up at the airport. “Welcome home, Kanchana.”

Never mind that I only come to Thailand every couple years. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone else here, with my American build and my frizzy, out-of-control hair. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone in my hometown, either, since I’m the only Asian girl in school. Never mind that the only reason we’re here now is because my father’s dead and my mom can’t keep it together.

For a moment, pain lances through me, so sharp and severe that it might as well slice my heart in half, like in one of those video games my friends like to play. I squeeze my eyes shut, but that doesn’t keep the tears from spilling out. Neither do the glasses sliding down my nose. And so the tears drip down, down, down, past my unladylike knees, through the gap in the stairs, into the fish basin below.

The drops scare the fish, who swims away with its tail swishing in the water, no longer languid, no longer lazy. So, even this creature wants to get away from me—from my grief, from my strangeness—as quickly as possible.

“There you are, luk lak,” Khun Yai says in Thai, coming down the stairs. She is my mother’s mother, and since we arrived, she’s used the endearment—child that I love—more often than my name.

“You’re up early.” She pats her forehead with a handkerchief. It’s only seven a.m., and already sweat drenches my skin like I’ve taken a dip in the basin. No wonder they take two or three showers a day here.

“Couldn’t sleep. Jet lag.”

“I’ve been up for a couple hours myself.” She eases onto the step next to me, her knees pressed together, her legs folded demurely to one side.

Immediately, I try to rearrange my body to look like hers and then give up. My legs just don’t go that way.

“What do you want to do today?” Khun Yai asks. “More shopping?”

“Um, no thanks.” I make a face. “Didn’t you hear those salesgirls at Siam Square yesterday? They rushed up as soon as we entered and said they didn’t have anything in my size.” My cheeks still burn when I think about their haughty expressions.

She sighs. “The clothes there are just ridiculously small. We’ll go to the mall today. They should have something that will fit you.”

I stare at her diminutive frame and her chopstick legs. “One of the salesgirls asked how much I weighed. Another grabbed my arm and said I felt like a side pillow.”

“They didn’t mean any harm. It is just the Thai way to be blunt.” She catches my chin and tilts up my face. “You are so beautiful. I wish you could see that.”

I could say so many things. I could tell her that I’m ugly not only in Thailand but also in the United States. Even though I’m not big by American standards—far from it—I could confess how the boys call me Squinty. How those Thai salesgirls snickered at my poodle-fuzz hair. I could explain how I’m from two worlds but fit in neither.

But I don’t. Because my words will only make her sad, and there have been enough tears in our family.




Pintip is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip’s first novel, FORGET TOMORROW won the RWA RITA® award for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella, BEFORE TOMORROW. She is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads



Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway






All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Waiting on Wednesday: Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we highlight a title we’re looking forward to reading. You can find their website here.

My TBR is enormous, well on its way to 2000 books. What can I say, there is an amazing back catalogue out there and more good books are being released every day. The book I want to talk about today is Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst.


Amazon  –  Author’s Website  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Goodreads

Published: 6 March 2018

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Category: Fantasy/LGBTQ+/Young Adult

Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to dictate the future by writing with her blood. To keep her power secret, she leads a quiet life as a healer on a remote mountain, content to help the people in her care and spend time with Ina, the mortal girl she loves.

But Asra’s peaceful life is upended when bandits threaten Ina’s village and the king does nothing to help. Desperate to protect her people, Ina begs Asra for assistance in finding her manifest—the animal she’ll be able to change into as her rite of passage to adulthood. Asra uses her blood magic to help Ina, but her spell goes horribly wrong and the bandits destroy the village, killing Ina’s family.

Unaware that Asra is at fault, Ina swears revenge on the king and takes a savage dragon as her manifest. To stop her, Asra must embark on a journey across the kingdom, becoming a player in lethal games of power among assassins, gods, and even the king himself. Most frightening of all, she discovers the dark secrets of her own mysterious history—and the terrible, powerful legacy she carries in her blood.

I will admit, first and foremost, that I haven’t read Audrey’s other book, Of Fire and Stars, though I did receive it in an OwlCrate last year. I’ve been meaning to, I really have, and since Inkmistress doesn’t come out until March next year, I just might be doing that sooner rather than later.

Audrey has said that the working title for this book was “Bisexuality and Bloodshed”. That alone would be enough to get me interested, but then I saw this summary and I have so many questions about how the tale will go down that I’m jumping up and down, hoping to get an arc (if there are any). I’ll definitely be preordering it once my paycheck comes through.

First of all, there’s a demigod with a dangerous gift that is trying to prevent it from getting out. Then there’s her beloved girlfriend whose family is in danger and of course the demigod wants to help, but that ends up being the catalyst for a lot of dangerous stuff that goes down, including her now ex becoming a dragon. O.O Say whaaat?

Now Asra the demigod has to re-enter the world and…do what? Save her ex? Save the king her ex is going to kill? What will her mission end up being? Will she be able to do it without her powers taking over? We’re going to have to wait and see, unfortunately, but March will be here before you know it! 🙂




All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty


Amazon  –  Author’s Website  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Goodreads

Published: 9 May 2017

Publisher: Imprint

Category: Fantasy/Young Adult/Romance

An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

Rating: 1 Star

The cover for this book was very lovely and drew me to it at first, plus the description promising a girl who refused to be married and was a spy of sorts? That sounded like it would be pretty interesting, combined with the fact that this girl’s country is apparently on the brink of war. However, once I got to reading it, I found that it boring, dull, and had story lines that didn’t make sense.

Let’s start with Sage. She’s the main female character, meant to be this strong person who is a spy for the matchmaker, enabling the woman to make stronger matches. However, the time jump between when she meets the matchmaker (as a candidate herself, which does NOT go well) and 5 months later when she’s into her apprenticeship is quite awkward. When she’s sent away from the initial meeting with Darnessa the Matchmaker, she’s given the task to observe a visitor to her uncle’s home to gauge her aptitude. We never find out how she did! One has to assume she did well to get the apprenticeship, but glossing over the whole event felt jarring. Plus, we never find out what Sage’s uncle has to say about the apprenticeship when he was the one pushing for her to get married, not a peep!

Then there’s the matter of espionage. Sage and Darnessa are escorting brides to the Concordium, a big meeting where they’ll be matched. Escorting them are about 30 soldiers and some officers. Among these officers, multiple ones are engaged in using false names and alternate identities; starting early on in the book, this device felt problematic because it wasn’t clear. I understand wanting to be mysterious for the sake of a spy novel, but there’s mysterious and then plain messy. Not being able to keep a story line straight falls into the latter of the two.

 Speaking of the brides that Sage is traveling with, we hear almost nothing about them! There’s one that’s slightly mean to her (Jacqueline), one that’s nice (Clare), and that is all we hear about nearly a dozen or so young women. They never factor into the story, really, other than being mentioned, and really the whole thing could have been done without them. If they were going to be mentioned as the reason for the journey, I would’ve expected to get to know them, at least the ones mentioned like Jacqueline or Clare, beyond the bare necessities we get (we hear a little of Clare’s family, but not enough to really get to know her as a person).
40% of the way through the book I felt like I was dragging myself through the story and truly wanted to DNF it because I didn’t care about anyone involved. There was anyone that was interesting, especially not the main character! Sage get’s built up as this strong willed girl who won’t be married, who’s going to make a life for herself, and I’ll bet you can guess what happens by the end: engagement! Like nothing up to this point mattered because that was going to be the end game anyway. I would’ve been more interested if she’d been one of the Concordium brides that fell into spying with the soldiers and found a way out of her arranged marriage.
The political intrigue in this book tried so hard and fell flat. There was plotting within the country with enemies that had been annexed some four decades ago, but the traitor was not a very bright man and ended up being an arrogant sod rather than someone I thought could pull anything off. The only thing he did that made me feel something other than boredom was hatred when he killed the 9 year old brother of the main male character. At that point I wanted to throw the book across the room. What was that for, really? It added nothing to the story because the character in question already had sufficient motivation to kill this man.
The Traitor’s Kiss tried to be far too many things: a romance, a medieval political thriller, and other things I’m sure. I wouldn’t recommend it because the writing got far too uninteresting much too quickly and never recovered.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read So Far in 2017


Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find the prompts here.

I remember last year being so anxious for it to be done and for 2017 to get here. I didn’t realize just how fast it would go once it actually got around to arriving. *lol* Nevertheless, here we are at the halfway point of the year and I’ve read 71 books out of my 100 book Goodreads Challenge. I’m proud of myself because last year was a failure; I missed out by a few dozen books and I’m determined to make it this year, raising my goal eventually if I need to.

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is about the best books I’ve read so far this year. I’m going to skip over the rereads because there turned out to be rather a few of them and as I’ve talked about them a lot in the past, I want to share with you some of the newer to me titles I picked up. These will all be either 5 or 4 star reads.

In no particular order these are the best books I’ve read so far this year:


George by Alex Gino

BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not….

I’d heard of this book before and since I’m trying to consciously read more LGBTQ+ books this year, I knew it was time to finally pick it up.

George/Melissa’s story was difficult because we were seeing a young girl’s experience being transgender when everyone is trying to tell her that’s she’s something she knows she isn’t.

My review: link.


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

There are so few books about conventions (as far as I know) that when I saw this one I knew I wanted to pick it up. When I started reading it and learned that Charlie was this bad ass, a bisexual woman who wasn’t going to let a studio dictate how she acted (i.e. fake a hetero relationship for the sake of a film), I was pumped! Taylor, the other main character, felt really relatable in terms of how she acted at the convention: toting around a box set, hoping to get it signed, and her enthusiasm for her fandom.

There’s a lot of good stuff in this book and the only real downside was that it was too short!

My review: link.


The Backstagers #1 by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh

James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal, The Woods) teams up with artist Rian Sygh (Munchkin, Stolen Forest) for an incredible yet earnest story about finding a place to fit in when you’re kinda an outcast.

When Jory transfers to the private, all-boys school St. Genesius, he figures joining the stage crew would involve a lot of just fetching props and getting splinters. To his pleasant surprise, he discovers there’s a door backstage that leads to different worlds, and all of the stagehands know about it! All the world’s a stage…but what happens behind the curtain is pure magic!

I requested this comic because the cover reminded me a lot of Steven Universe, one of my favorite cartoons at the moment. I hadn’t realized it was only issue one rather  than volume one, so hopefully I will get to read more soon. Anyway, the art is amazing and the story just got started telling us about the crew behind the drama club and their magical backstage area.

My review: link.


Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen

Sarah Andersen’s hugely popular, world-famous Sarah’s Scribbles comics are for those of us who boast bookstore-ready bodies and Netflix-ready hair, who are always down for all-night reading-in-bed parties and extremely exclusive after-hour one-person music festivals.

In addition to the most recent Sarah’s Scribbles fan favorites and dozens of all-new comics, this volume contains illustrated personal essays on Sarah’s real-life experiences with anxiety, career, relationships and other adulthood challenges that will remind readers of Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half and Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. The same uniquely frank, real, yet humorous and uplifting tone that makes Sarah’s Scribbles so relatable blooms beautifully in this new longer form.

Sarah just has a way of connecting to how I feel at any given moment, especially with her comics about anxiety. This is her second collection and it was just as amazing as the first. The line art is simple yet well done and her characters manage to have a lot of personality whether they’re in one comic or multiple.


Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

I had no idea, beyond the summary, what to expect from this book. I didn’t know when I got it that I would stay up all night to finish it. I didn’t know how blown away I would be by the ending. There was so much to enjoy about this book, from the pacing and the writing to the characters, as well as so much to learn. It is easily one of my favorite books of the year.

My review: link.


It Had To Be You by Lizzy Charles

James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?

Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.

When I got the chance to review this for a tour and heard it had Gilmore Girls traits, I was more than happy to read it because that show is one of my all time favorites. This contemporary was a fun read and had a funny LI who wasn’t a complete ass like I’d have thought he might be, being the “rich boy who’s about to be expelled”.

My review: link.


A Pattern for Pepper by Julie Kraulis

Pepper is getting a dress made for a special occasion. It’s the first dress that has ever been made just for her, and she wants it to be perfect. But what pattern is right for her? Pepper is particular, and nothing works at first. Dotted Swiss? Too plain. Houndstooth? Not enough color. Pinstripe? Too glum. As Pepper learns about each fabric, she finds a reason why it’s just not the one. Will Pepper ever be able to find the perfect pattern?
Julie Kraulis takes readers on a journey through gorgeous patterns and their origins–from the mountains of Switzerland to the green grass of Scotland–in search of Pepper’s ideal pattern. The incredible illustrations make for a dress, a character and a book that are impossible to forget.

I’m more of a knitter than a sewer but even I could appreciate this book. It celebrated the wide range of fabrics that were available for Pepper to choose from for her new dress. The illustrations were beautiful and the variety of these samples was interesting to see. It’s been one of my favorite picture books so far this year that I can recommend for adults to read themselves and to share with their children.

My review: link.


Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Saints, Misfits, Monsters, and Mayhem is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

Sadly I do not remember who recommended this on Twitter or I would be thanking them a hundred times over. This debut blew me away with the writing style, the information without being info-dumping, and the multi-layered story for the main character, Janna, as she struggles with something that’s happened to her, her community, and what her personal feelings as a Muslim teenager.

My review: link.


March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1950s comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

This book proved very educational and relevant to current times. I don’t know why I hadn’t read it before, but I’m looking forward to reading the next two volumes.

My review: link.



If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

This was recommended several times over on Twitter and I’m glad I finally read it in January. The story of a transgender teen, there were quite a few gut-wrenching scenes in this book. It has highs, lows, and lots to tell. The author was sure to point out that it wasn’t a story that spoke for all transgender people, which I appreciated.

My review: link.


Have you read any of these books this year or in the past? What did you think of them? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. 🙂




All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: The New Beginnings Coffee Club by Samantha Tonge


Amazon  –  Author’s Website  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Goodreads

Published: 5 May 2017

Publisher: HQ Digital

Category: Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit

Everyone deserves a second chance…don’t they?

Jenny Masters finds herself living the modern dream. Wife to a millionaire, living in a mansion and mother to Kardashian-obsessed ten-year-old April, there isn’t anything missing. Until, her whole world comes crashing down, forcing Jenny and April to leave behind their glittering life and start over with nothing.

With village gossip following her wherever she goes, she finds refuge and a job in the new coffee shop in town. As the days pass Jenny fears she doesn’t have what it takes to pick herself back up and give April the life she always wanted to. But with the help of enigmatic new boss Noah, and housemate Elle, Jenny realises it’s never too late to become the woman life really intended you to be!

Rating: 2 Stars

The New Beginnings Coffee Club sounded like the perfect summer read, just the thing to kick off the weeks of sunshine and cool drinks (frappuccinos, anyone?) ahead.

Sadly, once I started reading the book, I found that it lacked the spark I thought it might have after sampling the summary. It relies quite heavily on cliches of the genre: a wife, whose entire identity has become wrapped up in her husband and child, finds out her husband is cheating on her (with her “best friend” no less) and she must find the strength to create a new life for herself and her daughter.

Jenny, the protagonist and wife in question, was perplexing. She didn’t come from money and while she’s gotten used to certain comforts being married to a millionaire, her utter lack of sense regarding the real world astounded me. Surely she couldn’t have forgotten everything in only ten years? What it’s like to not pay hundreds or even thousands for silly little things?  It was odd when compared to the fact that she was the  only one between her and her husband that could see selling their mansion was the only way to make some dent in their near bankrupt state. She got slightly better over time, getting back to the fashion ideas she had as a college student, so that is something in the way of her development.

What I didn’t like about her, even as we got toward the end of the book, was that she kept making excuses for Zak’s behavior regarding her friend/housemate, Elle, and their own relationship. He says and does things that are reprehensible and yet Jenny makes excuse after excuse. I get that he is the father of her child, but that doesn’t mean letting him get away with murder like this.

Aside from the problems I had with Jenny’s character, I didn’t get much of a sense of familiarity with many of the people that she came into contact with in the village: Noah (the new love interest), Martini (a grandmother whose grandchild makes friends with April), etc. The person I liked the most was Elle, whose story I found much more fascinating that Jenny’s, to be honest. Something I noticed was that the gossip that is alluded to in the summary actually has next to nothing to do with Jenny at all and more to do with Elle and the revelation that she’s transgender. It’s strange that they make Elle’s story about Jenny and how it affects her. It didn’t rub me wrong in the moment, but thinking back on it I get an off feeling and don’t care for how Elle’s unwilling outing was used as a plot device.

Setting was not a problem, exactly, just not as necessary to the story as the title made it seem like it would be. The shop attached to Noah’s cottage, where Jenny and April end up living, could have been any kind of shop and it wouldn’t have mattered one whit to the overall plot. We didn’t hear enough about Noah’s supposed coffee bean passion, except a couple of sentences at the beginning, to make it a worthwhile setting.

The writing was a letdown as well. It didn’t have anything special to offer, which saddened me, because good writing can make up for an awful lot in a substandard or bare bones plot, but I didn’t get any of that here. This was, regrettably, not the summer escape read I thought it would be.




I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman


Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Goodreads

Published: 2 May 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Category: Contemporary/Young Adult/Romance

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves?

Rating: 5 Stars

I was sad for Anise because her whole summer was planned out. She was a good student, ready to enjoy her vacation before a jam-packed senior year and before her recently graduated friends leave for college. When an accident puts her aunt on the sidelines and unable to care for her three children for weeks at a time, Anise and her father fly to Nebraska, leaving behind any plans Anise had, including her end-of-the-summer surfing bash.

Her aunt is the closest family member Anise has besides her father, considering her mother abandons her family for months or years at a time. Even though this is her mother’s sister, Anise is loyal to her aunt and helps out, watching her cousins as best she can while dealing with her own hard feelings about missing her friends and with the fact that she’s as far from home as she’s ever been. Nebraska is vastly different from Santa Cruz, California. A landlocked state full of hills and farmland, there’s no ocean in sight, but there is skateboarding…and  Lincoln, the boy who could make things better.

I loved reading this book, aside from the initial sadness of Anise being taken away from her planned summer and her home due to her aunt’s injury. While we don’t get to spend as much time with surfing as Anise would like, you could feel her love for it in the brief glimpses we got and once skateboarding was introduced. I’ve never done either sport, but I’ve watched them and they’re beautiful, in a way. There’s a danger element (drowning/breaking bones on cement), of course, but the adrenaline, the speed, the lines as the sportsperson flies along the water or ground, there’s magic in that.

It wasn’t just the main characters Anise and Lincoln that made this book fun, though. While like the surfing we don’t get to see or hear as much of her as I’d like, Anise’s friend Tess was a joy for the brief time I knew her on the page. She was evidently someone that loved Anise and was crushed that she wouldn’t be around to share things with over a crucial summer.

Laura Silverman’s debut novel gives me a good feeling that her future work will be just as good. Her writing style in this contemporary novel was suitable to the genre and was really easy to sink into and read almost straight through. Sometimes a contemporary novel can be difficult because real life is not always something I want to read about; usually I read to get away from that kind of thing. Whether her next book is a contemporary, fantasy, non-fiction, or otherwise, I’m sure I’ll be picking up the next Silverman work, no question.



I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: Mexico: Stories by Josh Barkan


Amazon  –  Author’s Website  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Goodreads

Published: 24 January 2017

Publisher: Hogarth

Category: Short Stories/Fiction/Mystery

The unforgettable characters in Josh Barkan’s astonishing and beautiful story collection—chef, architect, nurse, high school teacher, painter, beauty queen, classical bass player, plastic surgeon, businessman, mime—are simply trying to lead their lives and steer clear of violence. Yet, inevitably, crime has a way of intruding on their lives all the same. A surgeon finds himself forced into performing a risky procedure on a narco killer. A teacher struggles to protect lovestruck students whose forbidden romance has put them in mortal peril. A painter’s freewheeling ways land him in the back of a kidnapper’s car. Again and again, the walls between “ordinary life” and cartel violence are shown to be paper thin, and when they collapse the consequences are life-changing.

These are stories about transformation and danger, passion and heartbreak, terror and triumph. They are funny, deeply moving, and stunningly well-crafted, and they tap into the most universal and enduring human experiences: love even in the face of danger and loss, the struggle to grow and keep faith amid hardship and conflict, and the pursuit of authenticity and courage over apathy and oppression. With unflinching honesty and exquisite tenderness, Josh Barkan masterfully introduces us to characters that are full of life, marking the arrival of a new and essential voice in American fiction.

Rating: 2.27 Stars

The Chef and El Chapo: (3 Stars) while I’m not sure I understood the point of the story, it was well written and full of emotion: passion for cooking, terror when El Chapo takes over the restaurant, and fear/regret once the chef has completed the task set before him. The ending felt a twee bit hollow, but I hope the chef was able to find comfort in his decision.

The God of Common Names: (3 Stars) this is the story of a teacher and the Romeo & Juliet situation he finds between two of his students. While that seemed like it might play a large part in the story, in the end it didn’t really. The story of Sandra and Jose was more of a catalyst for the resolution of the teacher’s own familial difficulties. I was more interested in the pain and hardship he and his wife and father-in-law were experiencing, due to the teacher being an atheist Jew and the father-in-law an Orthodox Jew. The length of the tale was adequate, though I’m not sure that the ending was quite as tied up as the author would like us to believe. It felt temporary, like there will be more trouble ahead for this teacher and his family, but that is a story we will never get to see.

I liked the thought behind the title, though: how, even though we give different names to the same thing (in this case, the teacher’s idea of a greater power and his father-in-law’s God), it is should be alright because we should know they’re the same thing, just by a different name.

I Want to Live: (2.5 Stars) The summary of this collection insinuates that the primary characters’ stories run up against cartel violence, but I would argue that this is an instance in which that was not true. We are introduced to a former nurse from the U.S. who has relocated to Mexico City. Five years later she is in a hospital waiting room, trying to decide is she should have a preventative mastectomy, when she meets Esmeralda, an orphan who grew up and met a rising star of the cartel world.

It is Esmeralda’s story that is told through the bulk of I Want to Live and it was her’s that was most interesting. The few interjections that the former nurse made made her sound like a selfish character, something that Esmeralda observes more than once herself. She got Esmeralda to tell her her story because she made uninformed observations about Esmeralda’s physical characters and, when confronted by evidence to the contrary, she badgers her into explaining how these marks occurred.

This made the nurse an unlikable character to me and I did not care one whit about her decision in the end because it didn’t matter. Esmeralda was the person that I was more interested in hearing about, though I am curious as to what she was doing in the same hospital waiting room as our American nurse. There was never anyone in to see her, to take her away to an appointment. It felt like a very contrived meeting arranged just for the nurse’s “benefit” in the story. In the end, despite what the nurse decided and her rudeness toward Esmeralda (both in asking about her story and her assumption that Esmeralda wanted to tell the story to her despite no evidence of such), I found Esmeralda’s strength profound.

Acapulco: (1 Star) The first couple of paragraphs had me disliking the narrator. In a book of stories that take place in Mexico, this person started off disparaging the country straight away, saying that police reports cannot be taken seriously, older Mexican men are all unfaithful and have lovers on the side of their marriages, but he (the narrator) is better than that because he left that all behind when his parents sent him to study in Harvard. He goes on to try to make it sound like saying this is all okay because he considers himself to be from Mexico because he was raised there, his family is from there, but he is a citizen of the world. That sounds like he is either a) distancing himself from his Mexican culture/heritage or b) someone who was born abroad, raised in Mexico City, but thinks himself better than natives. His arrogance was appalling and had me viewing him with a side eyed expression.

He continued to talk down about the people he came in contact with, especially his client who wore a gold Rolex, which apparently in his mind was bad because it reeked of new money whereas his (the narrator’s) money was old (as though that meant something in the grand scheme of things).

This was my second least favorite story because this man, this architect, was an arrogant person that, after encountering a near death experience, seems to have learned something, but that revelation feels false in light of the arrogance he demonstrated in the beginning.

The Kidnapping: (1 Star) This one started doff with a bad taste in my mouth when the author used a derogatory word beginning with a T to describe sex workers in the character’s neighborhood. There was no reason for it, no learning from it, just…ick. 😠 The character using this word, the painter who is a kidnapping victim, uses the term again in a reminiscence and once more at the end of the story and it still sucks.

Aside from the offensive language used more than once, there was a distinct lack of characterization that made the story suffer. I didn’t know enough about this painter to care when he was kidnapped or when the kidnappers tortured him. All I had to go on was his disrespect for transgender people and that made me dislike him.

The Plastic Surgeon: (2 Stars) The problem I had with this story was that it had the storyline meant for an faster paced piece and the writing did not live up to it. The telling became almost philosophical and that didn’t mesh well with story of the plastic surgeon who is forced to makeover a narco boss. With a conclusion that was anything but conclusive, I found that I was bored by The Plastic Surgeon and couldn’t really find a facet of it that would save it in my esteem.

The Sharpshooter: (No rating) This story wasn’t bad, exactly, it was simply of a type that wasn’t for me, thus I found it painfully boring. The story of a young soldier full of ideals, dealing with a friend and fellow soldier who betrays him and their company, didn’t interest me; most Army stories don’t. If this were a book on its own, I wouldn’t give it a rating because this is a case of a story that I can tell is simply not my thing, but there are people that might appreciate it, perhaps people that enjoy reading about soldiers and their personal conflicts.

The Painting Professor: (1 Star) Like the last story The Sharpshooter this one was also ridiculously boring, but unlike the previous story this one wasn’t written well, even from an objective point of view. It didn’t seem to have a point and what thread of coherence it had got lots in the rambling writing.

The American Journalist: (2 Stars) There wasn’t much development in this story, either from a character perspective or otherwise. By this point it seemed all of the short stories in the collection took place in the same area or nearly so, so the setting wasn’t as big of a let down, but I didn’t care much about the journalist or his friend that was shot.

The most interesting thing about this to was from the beginning, when the journalist talked about how his paper, the Houston Chronicle, and other papers like it, only cared about running stories that fit into a certain narrative. For example, one about bombings in other countries that then make the American people feel safe because they don’t live there. It can be incredibly difficult to get a story through mainstream media because of such “comfort” and his pointing that out from a journalistic standpoint was interesting.

Everything Else Is Going to Be Fine: (1.5 Stars) If ever there was a disjointed story in Mexico, it is this one. The character “told” the reader his story and that felt off. The pieces of story we did get might have worked in a better narrative, but combined as they were felt like pages had been ripped out of a book and sewn back together badly. Whats-more, I felt badly that he had been molested and raped as a child, but I felt like the author was using that part of the character’s past to explain his possible asexuality. That confused me and made me uncomfortable, upset, and not at all pleased with the story.

The Prison Breakout: (4 Stars) I favored this story for the feeling of non-fiction it gave me. The main character, a man that helps find the history of men on death row in order to explain why they may have committed their crime, starts out the story talking about growing up, seeing crimes happening on a global scale, and knowing they were wrong, voicing his displeasure with them, but ultimately not doing anything about it. That’s something that should resonate with a lot of people today, with the atrocities we see being committed against people because of their gender/race/sexuality/etc. For all the talk, what do we really do?

The Escape From Mexico: (4 Stars) When I got to this story, I was feeling rather disheartened by the collection overall. The first few stories had been alright, but then I was hit by a bunch that were, in my opinion, just bad. I felt suckered in and upset about that. This story, while it doesn’t save the collection, made me feel at least a little better that I stuck it out to the end.

This is the story about Gordi, a young boy who runs up against another young man, one who is in charge of a gang at the age of fourteen and has marked Gordi for punishment: either death or gang recruitment, for a crime Gordi did not commit, but that this person holds him responsible for. The terror of the weeks where Gordi is searching for the watch, then trying to avoid the gangster, trying to find a way out of this, was palpable. His mother comes into the story too, a true testament to a mother’s love and willingness to do anything to save her son.

What I did not like about the story was that, midway through, there was a brief change in perspective, from Gordi to his mother, but it remained in first person and there didn’t feel like enough of a difference in the voice of each perspective. If it were not for pronouns or the mother out and out saying that she was Gordi’s mother, I would not have realized what happened.

Summary: First of all, this book was mostly a letdown. It felt like it told only about the bad things in Mexico without any of the good, playing upon the stereotypes that Americans have of the country. I’m not saying that these things don’t happen, but if all we see in literature about Mexico is the type of content in this book, what sort of view will the readers form?

Second, one of the oddest things about this collection was that the title, Mexico, gave me cause to think that it would be about the people. While it was, in a way, the main characters for the majority of the stories were American. What characters were Mexican were often involved in the drug word, portrayed as some other kind of criminal, or spoken of in slurs by the narrating voice. I expected there to be some violence, as the summary spoke of the narrowing of the divide between the cartel world and the “real” world, but this played too heavily to that theme.

I was disappointed in the overall quality of the stories because it seems like the author really could have written something fantastic.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

BookNerd Addict Blog Tour – The Color Project by Sierra Abrams Tour: Review!


thumbnail_Book Cover

The Color Project by Sierra Abrams

Release Date: July 18 2017

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press

Amazon  –  Author’s Website  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Book Depository  –  Goodreads

Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.

Rating: 3.75 Stars

Within a few chapters I was convinced that Sierra Abrams’s The Color Project was a contemporary that could convince me to try more of them. I do read a fair amount, but contemporary is not normally my go-to genre. There were, however, a lot of facets in this book that had me enjoying this book a lot.

The family and friends dynamic felt really authentic, especially with the siblings Bee, Astrid, Millie, and Tom. These sisters and brother, while they had moments of bickering and rough edges, displayed love for each other that felt real. Then there were the boys at Mike’s car shop. Mike and the rest are friends of Bee’s older brother, Tom, and they could easily ignore her as an “annoying younger sister” character, but even with the teasing it’s like she’s a part of their family.

Bee’s attraction and falling in love with Levi also felt good. It didn’t feel rushed, which I tend to shy away from. Her stumblings, her blushing, it was cute and added to the sweet feeling of the book.

Levi was a character that I wish I knew in real life. He was a very industrious young man who knew that he wanted to help people of all kinds and, even though he could’ve asked his father for anything when he left Levi’s mother, he asked for control of a charity in order to do some good. That’s huge! I don’t think I’ve seen that kind of character in real life often, which is a shame.

There were little details in the book that I liked as well. Within each chapter, for example, separating certain scenes were little flowers with a leaf off each side. Even in black and white it was a lovely illustration that reminds the reader of Bee’s job as and passion for being a florist. There were also books mentioned constantly, which really speaks to the author’s nature as a bookworm, and of course there were specific authors mentions (Green, Stiefvater, Rowling) which made Bee more familiar, sharing similar tastes in books (though I wouldn’t say quite such a hard no to Harlequin like her). 😉

I did have a couple of issues, which you might have guessed from this being a 4 star book rather than a 5 star. There were some consistency issues, which I’m hoping will be cleared up before the final book is released (a sweater changing color in the same scene with no explanation, lighting at 8 p.m. in the summer, time zones being wrong, attention called to an amount of wording that gets the amount wrong). There was one character that, aside from the pretentious father of the love interest, annoyed me.

Albert was a volunteer at The Color Project and we don’t get to know much about him except that one of his habits is that, when people are rude to him, he throws glitter at them or blows it in their face. Not only is that dangerous, especially if they’re working at a charity with some clients being people with medical issues, but it’s rude in and of itself. Albert also doesn’t seem to have a scope for rudeness, such as well he blows glitter in Millie’s face when she asks his name. There’s no context for the action and while the others at The Color Project will say he’s annoying for doing it, no one ever does anything about stopping it.

The pacing also got snagged about halfway through. Around the halfway mark, things felt like they were beginning to drag. I still wanted to keep going, so it wasn’t to a standstill, but I definitely felt like there was maybe a bit too much time being spent on in-between times rather than main-action scenes.

Something that confused me was the fact that the summary made the secrecy of Bee’s name sound like a dire secret she had to keep or something bad would happen. I kind of kept expecting something to crop up that would explain why it was promoted so much, but it felt like in the beginning it wasn’t much more than she was embarrassed by it, though I believe that as the book starting to move into the finals acts that it became something of a defense mechanism; Levi even makes a comment to that effect at one point.

The secondary part of the summary, the news of an illness (an understatement), did not get discussed really until the midway point of the novel, around the same time that the pacing lagged. There were hints, but with so much book left afterwards it made the revelations feel unbalanced. Once it was, however, the way the family handled it felt truly heartfelt and heartbreaking, so while the story got sad, it improved in a way.

There were a few stumbles along the way in The Color Project, though I think that Sierra did recover on most of them. I still think the book felt a bit longer than it needed to be, especially for a contemporary, but it was overall a pretty good read, especially with the musical chapter headings giving it that extra oomph of atmosphere.

Special Feature – A Playlist!

What I loved most about this book, that extra oomph I just mentioned, is that those chapter/song titles were so easy to find and add on a Spotify playlist and listen to the song as I was reading the relevant chapter. Doing that made the experience more special because each song was more or less the length of time it took me to read the chapter, with a few exceptions, so I really got the sense of why Sierra chose those songs to represent her words.

If you’d like to listen to The Color Project Playlist I created, click on the bold playlist title there and it should take you right to the playlist. If you’ve got an arc and have the chance to listen ahead of the release date for the book, great. If not, between not and July 18th would be a great time to listen to the variety of musicians on this list. I had not heard of a lot of them prior to reading The Color Project and was really pleased to be exposed to new music.

About the Author

thumbnail_Author Pic

At 7 years old, Sierra Abrams decided that one day she would publish a book. For over a decade, in between exploring other career options, she kept coming back to that very first dream. Now her life consists of writing books of all kinds…Kissing books, angsty books, killing books, whimsical books, and sometimes books that are all of the above. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, traveling, consuming sushi, or daydreaming about Henry Cavill.Website  –  Twitter  –  Instagram  –  Goodreads



Rafflecopter Giveaway

To celebrate the blog tour for The Color Project, you can enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to win the tote bag pictured below! Just click on the link below the photo and you’ll be take to the appropriate page.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour:

  There are a TON of other stops on this tour and all kinds of posts to check out from interviews to more reviews, excerpts to guest posts, and creative posts as well! Be sure to check them all out at the links below. 🙂

Monday June 19
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Interview – Brittany´sBookRambles

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Review – ReadsandThoughts

Tuesday, June 20
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Excerpt of The Color Project – TheYABookTraveler

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Review – TheHermitLibrarian

Wednesday, June 21
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Review – YAandWine

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST -Guest Post – LimeLightLiterature

Thursday, June 22
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Review – AvdReader

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – DIY: The Color Project Bookmarks – LoisReadsBooks

Friday, June 23
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Excerpt of The Color Project – TheReader&The Chef

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Mini Review & Favorite Quotes – TheLifeOfABookNerdAddict

Saturday, June 24
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Interview – CurlyHairBibliophile

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Mood Board – WonderfullyBookish

Sunday, June 25
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Review – MorrissaReads

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Guest Post – AThousandWordsAMillionBooks

Monday, June 26

In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Ways To Support Your Favorite Causes – TalesOfTheRavenousReader

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Review – InkDin

Tuesday, June 27

In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Review – ILoveBooksGirl

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST –  Interview – Brooke-Reports

Wednesday, June 28

In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Book Hangover  – FablesandFae

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST –  Guest Post – Tiffthebooknerd

Thursday, June 29

In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Review – BookWyrmingThoughts

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Excerpt – SimplyNicollette

Friday, June 30

In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Review – LittleRedsReviews

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST –  Creative Post – LostInEverAfter

Saturday, July 1st

In The Morning at 8:00 AM ESTReview – Biscottosbooks

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST –  Interview – ANewLookOnBooks


I received a free copy of this book as part of a book tour in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: Other Breakable Things by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood


Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Goodreads

Kelley York Website

Published: 4 April 2017

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Category: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance

According to Japanese legend, folding a thousand paper cranes will grant you healing.

Evelyn Abel will fold two thousand if it will bring Luc back to her.

Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again.

And now it is.

Sick of hospitals and tired of transplants, Luc is ready to let his failing heart give out, ready to give up. A road trip to Oregon—where death with dignity is legal—is his answer. But along for the ride is his best friend, Evelyn.

And she’s not giving up so easily.

A thousand miles, a handful of roadside attractions, and one life-altering kiss later, Evelyn’s fallen, and Luc’s heart is full. But is it enough to save him? Evelyn’s betting her heart, her life, that it can be.

Right down to the thousandth paper crane.

Rating: 1 Star

Why did I pick up this book?

I saw this book’s cover and was intrigued. My husband is very into origami and is constantly making origami cranes; he has probably made at least a thousand by now. Reading the description made it sound like maybe Evelyn would share some of this interest as well, plus the road trip held some interest. The Death With Dignity Act is something I believe in and as Luc was intending to go to Oregon with this in mind, I thought it would be a unique book to read.

My review

I wanted to like this book so much, but oh. my. god. was it slow and painfully dull. I was sorely disappointed and found myself considering DNFing it at 25%, but ended up skimming it as best I could.

I never felt any real connection between Evelyn and Luc. Their relationship felt flimsy at best before they met up again after not having seen each other for three years and the relationship that panned out over the story felt really fake, especially the ending. As of writing this review, it occurs to me that they remembered “being close” before Evelyn moved away prior to this reunion, but how did she never realize he was sick? His heart would have been an issue long before that and as far as I can remember, this never came up in even the lightest of manners.

The origami cover and Evelyn’s tendency to fold didn’t really make that much of an impact on the story. The summary made it sound like she would sincerely be trying to fold at least one thousand, perhaps two thousand, in order to get the wish that one is granted if the feat is accomplished. By the end of the novel, I think she’d only managed one hundred. It felt like a letdown because it was built up visually and summarily.

There were also some events of the novel that felt kind of skeevy, particularly Luc marrying Evelyn so that she will be taken care of by his insurance policy. That was awkward enough, though I suppose I can understand why his parents would’ve taken the policy out, but when he mentioned knowing the suicide clause, that was creepy. However, that became a moot point when he died via car crash, a horrific call back to how he go his heart in the first place. That whole situation felt weird and I hated that they got married because as much as he professed to love her and want to protect her, leaving her a widow seems like a good option? The money seemed more important; taking emotion out of it I get it, but reading it, I felt like my skin was crawling.

Would I buy this book?

Very much no. My problems with the story aside, the writing was terribly slow and uninteresting.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.