Spotlight + Giveaway: Private Internship by Kitsy Clare

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Private Internship (An Art of Love Novel Book 2)
Title: Private Internship (An Art of Love #2)
Author: Kitsy Clare
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Date of Publication: September 30, 2014
Genre: NA romance

Sometimes sugar isn’t so sweet and secrets can be deadly...especially with matters of the heart.

Sienna’s bestie, Harper warned her not to intern for famous bad boy artist, Casper Mason. After all, he just fired Harper who helped Sienna get the interview. But the moment Sienna sees Casper—or Caz—sweaty, practically shirtless and swinging from chains as he works on his sculpture, she’s hooked. He’s the richest, hottest artist in New York, and he lives in the fabulous Williamsburg Sugar Factory. But he’s also an incorrigible game-player, who seems to relish testing Sienna’s loyalty with a string of unsettling tests.

She knows she should get away fast. But by the time Sienna sneaks into his locked storage room and begins to unearth his dark and terrifying secret, she’s fallen way too hard for the handsome, charismatic Caz.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Kobo


It’s blessedly warmer in here and I realize this warehouse is so enormous he’s only heated the renovated parts. In two of the corners Caz has deposited huge piles of sugar packets—ones tediously counted by spurned interns?

My attention is drawn to the larger of the piles. Its packets are shifting ever so slightly. Ah! The jig’s up; Caz is hiding under it. Sugary mosh pit here I come! I tiptoe forward, ever so slowly and pounce, landing with a shockingly loud crunch. Burrowing down into the packets, my hand hits a leathery cowboy boot. I grip onto the top lip for all its worth. “Tag!” I shriek. “Gotcha.”

Caz explodes upward, like a giant cake surprise, his hair all at wild angles. Grabbing me by the waist he pulls me down. We wrestle like kids, sending packets flying in all directions. He’s stronger than me, so it’s not long before his corded arms circle around me and pin me there, some big kid winning one over on his little brother or sister.

But Caz is not like a big brother, not at all. Not sure what we are now, as he gazes at me with his deep brown eyes, animated, sparkly and questioning. Wide, as if he’s seeing me clearly for the very first time. “You’re fun,” he whispers, his sculptural, perfect mouth so near mine.

About Kitsy Clare

Kitsy Clare hails from Philadelphia and lives in New York. A romantic at heart, she loves to write about the sexy intrigue of the city, and particularly of the art world. She knows it well, having shown her paintings here before turning to writing. Model Position, her new adult novella is about artist Sienna and her friends. Living in a Bookworld says: "Beautifully written! We get to learn things about art & painting, which is refreshing. A colorful story from a promising new adult author." The next in her Art of Love series, Private Internship launches in September with Inkspell.

Kitsy loves to travel, draw, read romance, speculative fiction and teach writing workshops. She also writes YA as Catherine Stine. Her futuristic thriller, Ruby's Fire was a YA finalist in the Next Generation Indie book awards. Fireseed One, its companion novel, was a finalist in YA and Sci-Fi in the USA News International Book Awards, and an Indie Reader notable. Her YA horror, Dorianna, launches fall 2014 with Evernight Teen. She's a member of SFWA, RWA and SCBWI.


{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Guest Post + Giveaway: The Kitchen When It Sizzles by Chrissie Peria

Monday, September 29, 2014

Today, I'm kicking off the blog tour for Chrissie Peria's THE KITCHEN WHEN IT SIZZLES, a food-themed sexy contemporary romance I'm sure you'll all love. I'm here with an excerpt to entice you and a guest post from Chrissie so we can learn more about the author herself. Chrissie's also giving away food-themed prizes so don't forget to join the giveaway. Here goes!

The Kitchen When it Sizzles
Title: The Kitchen When It Sizzles
Author: Chrissie Peria
Date of Publication: August 16, 2014
Genre: sexy contemporary romance

Olivia Nadal is an almost perfect girl with an almost perfect life. She has stunning good looks, an exciting job that pays well, men lining up to date her, and a homey little condo she calls her own. The only thing keeping her from perfection is her utter inability to cook.

Enter Nate Olivarez, a hotshot chef who's filling in for Olivia's cooking instructor. Sparks fly when they meet, but a fling with the visiting hottie is the last thing Olivia needs. But as things keep heating up in the kitchen, she can't help but wonder. Can things work out between her and Nate? Or is the sizzle all set to fizzle?


Olivia pounded on his chest, but it was a futile effort. He just grabbed her wrists and went on kissing her. She felt her knees weaken as the kiss intensified, so much that she found herself clinging to him just to stay upright. 

“What do you want from me, Olivia?” he asked, voice deep with wanting, when they surfaced for air. He stared at her so earnestly, his eyes pleading for her to utter the words he wanted to hear. It was a desperate look, one that said he’ll finally walk away if that was what she wanted.

Olivia didn’t know what to do. She was attracted to Nate, she knew that at least. But what did she want? Her hands slid from his shoulders to his nape. She searched his face for answers. Her brain told her to walk away, but all she could hear was her heart thumping his name in an odd rhythm. Nate. Nate. Nate. 

This time, it was she who was reaching up to kiss him. Tentatively, as if she was hoping to find the answer between his lips. Her fingers made small movements on his nape, the tips flicking through the stubby hair by the top of his spine.

“Liv, we can’t go on like this,” he protested, desperately not wanting to get caught up in uncertainty. “I’m through with this pointless game. What do you want from me?”

Olivia stared at Nate, asking herself the same question. With Nate’s arms wrapped around her, everything was so real. But reality was fickle, and this same Nate could pack his bags and fly off the next day, a wave going where the current takes him. Still, Olivia knew what she wanted. 

“You,” Olivia replied. She was done fighting her feelings. Perhaps she would regret it all later. But for now, Nate was hers. Possibly just for the moment, but hers nevertheless. “I want you.” She went crashing into him, the full weight of her emotions finally making itself known. 

Guest Post

What are five of your favorite books for mature readers, and why?
(Answers by Chrissie Peria)

It's a tough question since I don't really choose books based on category / genre. I read a little bit of everything so my selections don't necessarily belong to the "mature" genre.

Julia Quinn's Bridgerton Series

Your classic Regency series, the sex scenes are restrained befitting the genre, but it's always full of heart, humor, and endearing characters. I've read almost all of Julia Quinn's books but the Bridgerton series is my hands down favorite. 

Huntley Fitzpatrick's My Life Next Door

While this is YA, I decided to include this because I love how Ms. Fitzpatrick writes her love scenes. It's never a graphic illustration of what happens between the sheets, but a delicate emotional unfolding that takes you into the character's mind and heart. 

Everything Yoshihara Yuki

I am a voracious reader of Japanese manga, and my favorite mangaka when it comes to sexy reads is Yoshihara Yuki. Her handling of relationship dynamics are a memorable mix of sexy and funny, delivering laugh out loud scenes and sweet yet steamy moments.

Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate

Sensual and magical, Like Water for Chocolate is a sensory treat that tugs on your heartstrings and leaves an indelible mark. The narrator's retelling of her great Aunt Tita's sad tale is wistful, romantic, and leaves one yearning for food and love. 

Bianca Mori's One Night at the Palace Hotel

I don't get to read many Filipino mature titles written in English, so the short stories that were part of #buqosteamyreads were very welcome. One standout among the ones I've read is One Night at the Palace Hotel because it delivers in both story and sizzle. And despite it being about the rich and the really rich, I found it pretty compelling, the same way you'd be engrossed to high society gossip. 

About Chrissie Peria

When not obsessing over fictional people doing fictional things, Chrissie obsesses about food: the eating, the cooking, and the procuring of it.

An advertising copywriter in her past life, she now spends most of her time writing, taking photos, cooking, and babysitting a tiny human and a curly-haired dog. She still plays with dolls and she thinks that bacon is the answer. Her first book, All's Fair in Blog and War, is a finalist in the 2014 Filipino Readers' Choice Awards.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Follow the Tour

Stacking the Shelves (39)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Uhm, so, every single book in the bought section was from National Book Store or Powerbooks. September was basically sale month and it was also the month I lost all my money to books. The Manila International Book Fair was also this month, although it was underwhelming and disappointing to me. So here are 'em books!

For Review

The Memory Keepers by Natasha Ngan
This Book is Gay by James Dawson
Feral by Holly Schindler
The Fall by Bethany Griffin
Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
State of Grace by Hilary Badger


The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
swag from Jennifer E. Smith


Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
Betrayal by Gregg Olsen
Lullabies by Lang Leav
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav
Immortal City by Scott Speer
Ditched by Robin Mellom
Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Glass by Ellen Hopkins
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Legend by Marie Lu
Prodigy by Marie Lu
Champion by Marie Lu
Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
Starters by Lissa Price
Enders by Lissa Price
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
The Storm Makers by Jennifer E. Smith

Thank you to Hot Key Books, HarperCollins International and Hardie Grant Egmont for the review copies! But more importantly, thank you to National Book Store for bringing one of my favorite authors EVER, Jennifer E. Smith. And thank you to Jen for the signed copy of The Comeback Season. I'm still not over #JennandLissainPH and I already miss Jen. She's so sweet and humble and sigh, I just love her and her books. So thank you, National Book Store!

And yes, this is what happy looks like. <3

{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Giveaway: Before He Was Famous by Becky Wicks

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Before He Was Famous (Starstruck, #1)
Title: Before He Was Famous (Starstruck #1)
Author: Becky Wicks
Date of Publication: May 29, 2014
Genre: contemporary new adult romance

One guy, one girl. One in the spotlight. One in the shadows.

Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton - the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?

The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?

A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong.

From International Bestselling HarperCollins Author, Becky Wicks, comes a new adult romance that will leave you starstruck.

***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and mature situations. Not intended for young adult readers.***

Purchase from Amazon



He didn't take off my underwear. He sat up, pulled me on top of him so I was straddling his solid waist, grabbed my head in his big hands for a moment and searched my face. I could see he was asking me if we should stop. Years passed as I saw us playing, laughing, singing, fighting and now... what the hell? A lightning bolt of reality struck my brain but the sparks shot off into my blood before anything made too much sense. I was on fire, suddenly. I needed to keep burning else I'd die, I knew it.

I pulled his head to me with one hand, reached down for him beneath me with the other. I found him so hard for me that I gasped and as he kissed me with a fever I gripped him tighter with my legs until my crotch was pressed against him; until the only thing rooting me to reality was the feel of this brand new part of Noah.

Touching each other everywhere, drinking each other in, rolling with our limbs entwined it felt like we were riding some crazy fucked up fairground ride. When he let out a groan, pulled the fabric of my underwear aside roughly and pushed hard into me, I clutched him tight with all the strength I had left.

'Chloe,' he cried out, grabbing my hips, my sunburnt shoulders, moaning as I sped up and slowed down and sped up again, pulling him harder and further into me with every thrust. I couldn't stay steady. The knowledge of what just happened in my world kept hitting me like waves of a tsunami. Again and again they blasted through me till all the pieces of myself were driftwood in my body and the only thing I could do to feel whole was to keep on crashing into Noah.

When he came, he came so hard I could feel his orgasm jolting through me, too, almost becoming my own. I buried myself in the feeling, the sweet surrender to nothingness that saw the horror of the day fly out of the tree house for a nanosecond, leaving only love. Only us.

Only us.

About Becky Wicks

I’m a writer, originally from the UK. Since graduating Lincoln University with a degree in Media Production I’ve lived and worked in London, New York, Dubai, Sydney and Bali, and at the moment I’m alternating between the UK and the US, trying to figure out where I belong.

People often ask me how I got into writing. The answer is, I wrote. A lot. I wrote about everything. And if I didn’t have anything to write about, I wrote about my lack of inspiration until something flowed. Blogging helped. I’ve been a blogger on one site or another since I was 21, back when I did the amazing Mountbatten Program in New York (which totally changed my life, by the way).

It’s only been the last few years or so (I’m now 34) that I’ve been able to write on the move. But sticking with my passion definitely paid off. I’ve done a LOT of work.

Three years ago I moved to Ubud, Bali, to write ‘Balilicious – The Bali Diaries‘ (published in December 2012, HarperCollins Australia). This was the sequel to my first book ‘Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries! My third travel memoir Latinalicious – The South American Diaries, hit shelves December 2013. Get your e-copy here. All three were ridiculously fun to write. I’m surprised I actually found time, actually… I was travelling SO much!

Now I’ve slowed down a bit, come back to Bali, and I’m focussing on fiction. The Starstruck Series is a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at fame, celebrity culture and reality TV. I love to write love stories and I’m still trying to dream my best male characters to life. Wish me luck.


Review: Remember Me by Romily Bernard

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

You guys. I dig this series so much it's all I talk about for weeks now. And now, Remember Me, the second book in the series, is here! If you're not on the Romily Bernard train yet, now's a good time to start.

Remember Me (Find Me, #2)
Title: Remember Me (Find Me #2)
Author: Romily Bernard
Publisher: Harper Teen
Date of Publication: September 23, 2014

In the sequel to Find Me, Wick Tate, sarcastic teen hacker, is back and once again dealing with criminals and corrupt cops…and a brooding new love interest. Will Wick persevere when some secrets refuse to stay hidden?

Wick had thought her troubles were over.

But she should’ve known better.

Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.

The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.

Remember Me is an edge-of-your-seat thrilling read that’ll have readers turning the pages at lightning speed! The paperback of Find Me is on sale simultaneously, and a digital original novella from Romily, featuring Griff, is on sale just a few weeks before!

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for the review copy! Receiving a copy did not affect my views in any way. There will be spoilers from the first book so read at your own risk!

I really liked FIND ME (click for my review) but this series got elevated to I-love-it status after I've read Griff's prequel novella, LIE FOR ME (click for review). I've had an eARC of REMEMBER ME in my Kindle for months but only after squealing like a sugar-high kid because of Lie for Me did I turn into NEED-TO-READ-REMEMBER-ME-NOW. In fact, I dropped everything I was doing and just read. Screw reading schedules, I needed my dose of awesome hacker Wick, her intense chemistry with Griff, Griff, and the expected mystery thriller YA novel Romily Bernard will surely deliver. And goodness, delivered on your doorstep with a freebie on the side (*ahem Milo ahem*). I've actually read Remember Me twice already. Yeap. That good. So, what exactly makes Remember Me awesome?

The mystery, specifically, the murder. So in Find Me, Wick's friend Tessa committed suicide because of someone and that person was targeting Wick's younger sister Lily next. It was up to Wick to find who pushed Tessa to take her own life and who's threatening her sister. With her hacking skills and with Griff's help, she solved it but without repercussions. A bad arm, fear of darkness and some more issues are the scars left by Wick's previous dash with danger. It isn't at all different in here because Judge Bay's assistant was murdered, with the words "Remember Me". It is now again up to Wick to solve the murder, thanks to Carson, the cop who is now using her to solve his cases, with Wick's illegal extracurricular hacking activities as his leverage.

The extra mysteries. Not only do we have a murder on hand, someone is also sending Wick evidence about her mother's death. Not only that, we also get another dead body and another dead body too. Romily Bernard has made this all the more darker than the first book! *giddy eye glint* I believe that the more deaths (in mysteries), the merrier!

Illegal activities abound! More hacking, more breaking and entering, more illegal things. It might not be realistic but who cares! I read books because I can live a thousand lives through them! All that breaking and entering by Wick. The explosives. The tracking. Everything.

Wick's personal issues. Picking up from the events of the first book, Wick and Lily are now living with Bren and after everything that went down, Bren becomes overprotective. And very hardworking too because the town is looking down upon Bren. Aside from Wick's difficulty in connecting with Bren, especially now with her receiving all these DVD tapes about her mother, we also get more of a feel of what Wick thinks. How she wants to be good but ultimately ends up being bad. How she doesn't want to be fragile around Griff but he makes her feel special, wanted and breakable. How she will and actually did sacrifice her own freedom just so she can protect the ones she love. We read a lot of Wick's internal struggles and thoughts and I just love that Romily Bernard further explored Wick's character and personality.

The romance and Griff, oh Griff. I mean, COME ON. Griff is at the top of my favorite YA heroes. A hacker, rides a motorcycle, an artist, caring, altruistic, has a self-deprecating humor, filial, sensitive, supportive, sexy, really, this list can go on and on. Like the previous book, Wick and Griff's chemistry was sizzling and SERIOUSLY, how did you do it, Romily? This book is for YA readers but I felt hot while reading it. Just proof of how great Romily is at writing scenes oozing with romantic chemistry and leads that you just want to grow up and translocate to a new adult novel. Haha!

We also get a third wheel in the whole romance. Yes, there's a love triangle but while some of you might feel off about this, I was like, GAME! Wick became a bit of a noble idiot in here but for once, I didn't care. I thought Milo's entrance into Wick's life, who's a computer builder who believes that Wick should do what she's great at which is hacking, was organic. He wasn't introduced just because we need a love triangle to shake things but he was the opposite of Griff's kind character. While Griff would be a person who'll tell authorities about a bully, Milo and Wick are the type who'll get revenge. I love the contrast that Romily showed and so, I was down with Wick loving Griff but liking Milo too because he understands her. And don't we all crave understanding? Plus, Milo's hot too. Hehe. I will be Team Griffick forever but that's because I want Milo for myself. Kidding! Haha! But really, I still ship Griff and Wick.

I hate to say this but Remember Me was gearing up to be a five-star read for me right from the start but the drop in the rating was caused by the big ole reveal and the resolution. It felt rushed to me and while I didn't guess right away whodunit (like I did with Find Me) because my brain was pretty much a mush, the conclusion wasn't satisfying to me. Not only did it felt rushed but for me, it came out of nowhere? Or maybe I wasn't just paying attention because like I said, mushed brain.

However, damn that ending! Romily Bernard definitely knows how to write endings because BAM I need the third book!

I highly recommend the Find Me series to any mystery-loving YA reader because this series rock, you guys. Hacking! Illegal fun times! Cracking cases! Romance! Sarcastic badass heroine and a very sweet hero! Just, READ THIS SERIES.

About Romily Bernard

I graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, I’ve worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep.

So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.

Review: Forever Kinda Love by Clara Stone

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Forever Kinda Love
Title: Forever Kinda Love (Lovelly #1)
Author: Clara Stone
Date of Publication: August 13, 2014
Genre: mature YA contemporary romance

Life’s. Little. Surprises.

The last thing seven-year-old Carrigan "Ace" Casper foresaw was an eight-year-old Heath Lovelly walking into her life the day her mother died. From that moment on, Heath sticks by her side, slowly becoming her strength, her confidant, and her entire world. What she doesn’t know is, she's his saving grace, too.

Ten years later, Ace is handed another crippling challenge that threatens everything in her almost perfect life. Only, this time, she doesn't turn to Heath, hiding the truth instead. But Heath knows Ace too well and won't back down easily. He's ready to do whatever it takes and will stay by her side until she accepts that their love is the kinda love worth fighting for.

Will he be her forever triumph or her unexpected downfall?

Two lives.

One story.

And an unexpected journey to falling in love.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks


My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Clara Stone/Priya Kanaparti for the electronic review copy! This in no way affected my views of the novel.

I really wanted to like this novel. Priya is ultra sweet and kind and I've been hearing great things about the Dracian Legacy he wrote as Priya. This is Priya's first foray into contemporary romance as Clara Stone and it pains me to say that I didn't like this book one bit. I don't hate it like how I hate some of my 2-star reads but I just didn't connect with the characters nor did I immerse myself in the story. I pretty much scoffed all the way. Here are the reasons why...

This is supposed to be a best friend romance. Ace and Heath are best friends ever since they were kids but I never got the memo. Right from the start, it read as if they're finding each other sexy and are having feelings for one another. I always get told that they're best friends but HOW? WHEN? I didn't glean much of that relationship. Because all of a sudden Ace and Heath wanted to jump each other. The bane of best friend romances is the slow build-up to something more. That creeping awareness that what if, just maybe, you actually love your best friend. Ace and Heath did wonder but it was all too soon, in my opinion.

I shipped the other guy. Who had a very small role because we all knew from the start that it would be Ace and Heath as endgame. So my poor shipper heart was totally not in it at all. Vincent was nice and definitely not a caveman like Heath and I just wished he was THE ONE but of course who am I fooling. We all know that your ship greatly affects your opinion of the novel, well, for subjective and emotional readers like me, they do. Oh well, life is unfair and almost always evil to my shipper heart.

Heath was such a caveman. HELLO, THIS IS 2014. Gah, I hate guys who punch people for a girl's honor preemptively. I mean, if thugs were harassing the girl, sure. But if you know nothing, please. Heath was so jealous all the time too and nada, not gonna fly with me. He thinks and feels that Ace is his. No, YOU own YOURSELF. Please.

All those plot arcs. There's a fine line to toe in cramming plot arcs. You want the novel to be meaty but you don't want it so jam-packed that the plots lose their weight. I felt like Forever Kinda Love tried to discuss so much that the ending felt all rushed. Plus, THAT TIME LEAP. Sigh. I think I'd rather read a novel chronicling Ace and Heath's story in that said time leap.

I'm really sorry Priya. But the good news is, if the next novel is about Harrington, I am sooooo reading that. From the small bits I read of Harrington, I may already know why he's so allergic to commitment but I adore his humor so I'd read that. Plus, he's Colton Haynes in Priya's dream cast and OH, HELLO, COLTON. LEMME DROOL ON YOU.

Even with my thoughts regarding this book, I still suggest you go pick it up. Maybe it's for you!

About Clara Stone

Clara Stone lives in the beautiful city of Boise, ID. Unlike what most believe about Idaho, it’s more than a sack full of potatoes. When she’s not writing, you’ll catch Clara reading YA and NA books, mostly romance, and enjoying time with her family. She is a proud CW TV addict.

She also writes YA paranormal romance under the name Priya Kanaparti. She is published through Reuts Publications.

Review: Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Friday, September 19, 2014

Don't Even Think About It
Title: Don't Even Think About It (Don't Even Think About It #1)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date of Publication: March 11, 2014

Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have).

We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming.

Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same. So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Praise for Don't Even Think About It

“Sarah Mlynowski does it again with a fresh, fun, and fabulous story filled with secrets, surprises, and a sixth sense. Don’t even THINK about passing up this hilarious read!” —Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club

“Finally, someone understands that if you develop powers as a teenager, it’s not the government you have to watch out for—it’s your best friends. Funny, realistic, heartfelt, satiric, and unpredictable.” —Ned Vizzini, New York Times bestselling author of It’s Kind of a Funny Story

“A tour-de-force comic narration that will leave you gasping in awe—if you ever catch your breath from laughing.”—E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars

"Mlynowski continues to make comedy look easy in this smart and frequently hilarious novel, which features a collective first-person narrative that fits the premise like a glove... Filled with heartbreak, hilarity, and some brutal truths, Mlynowski’s novel will leave readers thinking about the gaps between our private and public selves and the lies we tell others and ourselves." --Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

"Mlynowski hits all the right notes. There's enough levity to keep readers laughing, but this is far from fluff--the real-life commotions are engaging, and the characters are fully developed. The story is funny, sweet and true to life, as readers have come to expect from Mlynowski. Her teens are emotional without being drama queens, amusing but not twee. A perfect read."--RT Book Reviews


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Random House - Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the review copy! Having received one did not affect my views of the novel.

*This review is super late. The draft has been sitting since March and I read it last March so forgive me if I can't remember details! This review will be short too because like I said, I can't remember everything and I don't take notes.*

Honestly, I wasn't planning on reading this one as early as I did if not for Nina of The Bookish Confections. (Click on the link for her review!) She said she recently read it and enjoyed it so I had to check it out and see for myself. I've been eyeing it and so I requested for it but I wasn't planning on reading it sooner but thank gods I did!

Fun fun FUN!!! I had a blast reading this. The style takes a bit of getting used to as it seems like there's an omnipresent narrator when in fact, all of them are narrating it. Sounds confusing? You see, after getting flu shots, most of this class (oh lord, I can't remember their class name!), suddenly got telepathic powers. They now know what everyone is thinking and now, all of their secrets are out in the open with them. Mackenzie cheated on Cooper (poor, poor Cooper!!!), Tess is in love with Teddy and he doesn't, and who's hooking up with who. So now, they're all telling us all the stories because really, what someone thinks about is common knowledge to all of them. Once you get the hang of the narration, all you'll have is FUN.

Going into detail, I just love how Sarah captured teenspeak and teens perfectly. Sure, their concerns might appear shallow but it's nice to look into these teens because everyone's been in their shoes. And while some people might think this is a shallow read, for me, it didn't appear shallow. I think it subtly tackles privacy and the knowing how other people think can be a metaphor/analogy for today's social media, where we know what everyone thinks or everyone wants you to think about.

As for the characters, I loved them all. We get all the stereotypes in high school: the shy girl, the couple, the mind-in-the-gutter guy, the nerds, the short guy, the scary girl, everyone! It's like a heightened version of high school because this class knows everything and they also know what each other are thinking. How do they keep secrets? As expected, everyone is irritated with someone and it was so campy and addicting to read about these teenagers get at it or be passive-aggressive about it. I especially enjoyed being able to win over a guy because you know what he wants. That's a smart way of using your power! But ultimately, not fulfilling because kids, you should be who you are. No pretending. :)

Before I end up writing yet another long review, just know that I really enjoyed reading this and that's all it matters at times. So looking forward to the sequel!

About Sarah Mlynowski

Sarah is the author of the Magic in Manhattan and Whatever After series, as well as Gimme a Call, Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have), Milkrun, and more.

Her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages and optioned to Hollywood. Sarah was born in Montreal but now lives and writes in New York City.

Review: Played by Liz Fichera

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Played (Hooked, #2)
Title: Played (Hooked #2)
Author: Liz Fichera
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Publication: May 27, 2014

This Game Is Getting All Too Real

He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.

She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for the review copy. This in no way affected my views of the novel.

I'd try and make this short because I really don't have anything great to say. I love Sam but I just can't stand Riley. Gah. She was so shallow and vain and sigh. I just can't connect with her. It was even more irritating because Played is told in both Riley and Sam's perspective so I had to deal with her shallow nature half the time. Her first chapter, her first scene, was getting a botox. Girl, you're in high school!!! You don't need Botox because heck, you're young. Seriously, I couldn't stand her vanity.

Not only that but I don't exactly empathize with her trying to be a bad girl because she's always been the good daughter. I understand but then I couldn't get on with it because it isn't as if her mother is sick and she needs to pretend to be the best daughter ever. You could be playful and mischievous without bordering on being a pain in the ass. Or she can always just do whatever she wants. I mean, I get all about expectations because I'm the eldest kid, but I guess the way it was presented, I just can't connect with Riley's need to break expectations. I broke expectations when I'm out with friends but okay, maybe this is my irritation speaking.

It just saddens me that I haven't liked any of Liz's works except for her short story. I really liked Sam's perspective but that's just about the thing I liked. The whole getting stuck in the forest, getting wet from the rain, stripping to share body warmth, sigh. It would have been super cute and fun to read had I loved Riley. I admit to fast forwarding Riley's parts because this girl just irritated me so much.

I mean, you want to repay Sam for saving your life by getting him with Fred, who's your brother's girlfriend. WHAT THE EFF??? You're gonna play matchmaker and homewrecker? Oh, hell to the no. Hell to the no. I cannot connect and empathize with a character like this. I didn't think Riley had any redeeming qualities and honestly, I don't get why Sam likes her!

Moreover, the plot devices were so forced and totally came from nowhere. There's this bit where they go to a beach and then thugs just appeared and accosted them and then they just moved on and left. What was the purpose of that? Creating a conflict that is. But that conflict didn't have any emotional stakes at all so it just appeared super random and all.

Anyway, I'll stop here because I'm obviously ranting and I ended up saying a lot. Just, sigh. This book.

About Liz Fichera

I'm an American author living in the American Southwest by way of Chicago.

Born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who’d never seen snow. I was wrong. It certainly didn't hurt that I met my future husband in Phoenix too.

Most of my stories are set in the American Southwest because I think the desert is a cool place. Living in Phoenix, I'm surrounded by Native American culture and influences, not to mention intriguing Hohokam petroglyphs and centuries-old canals. There are over 20 tribes in Arizona and I'm lucky to be neighbors to the Gila River and the Salt River Indian Communities.

When I'm not busy writing my next novel, I like to travel, visit museums, support local theater productions, hike, and pretend that I'm training for a triathlon. I post a lot of photos from my desert and mountain hikes on my Facebook and Twitter pages. In no particular order, I've been chased by javalinas, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and even one curious black bear.

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