Blog Tour: Review – What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Blog Tour: Review – What to Say Next by Julie BuxbaumWhat to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Published by Delacorte Press
on July 11th 2017
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon, Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Niven, and Rainbow Rowell.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Admittedly it took me a long time to read What to Say Next, a book that is under 300 pages. I started it at the wrong time (right before a book I was dying for was released) and after I put it down and got sucked into other books it sat waiting. Because of this when I picked it up I struggled to get into the book. I was really sad about this because I had heard such great things. But the more I read the more I just fell in love with Julie Buxbaum’s story of Kit and David. And by the time I was done I was so sad there were no more words for me to read. To keep it simple…the book was fantastic.

What to Say Next is told from the perspectives of both David and Kit in alternating chapters. What I love about this format is that you get to see what is inside each of their heads. Sometimes this can take away from a book, but in this case I think it actually added to it. Knowing what Kit was thinking and feeling was really important. She is popular and has friends but after the feather of her father things changed and now she wants quiet and understanding. David, who is on the spectrum, is a loner. He sits alone and uses a notebook to help him determine who is well meaning and who to stay away from.  When Kit sits down with David though everything changes for both of them and soon feelings have forming and friendships are made and everything is changing.

It is hard to say at what point this story turned around for me.  According to my Goodreads updates it was around page 80. But honestly I think it was before that. There was something so endearing and magical about Kit and David’s friendship forming and blossoming. On paper Kit and David couldn’t have been more different, but from the start of the book something about their differences really just clicked. You could almost feel how they made each other whole and I loved that. I loved that this seemingly random twist of fate, the death of Kit’s dad, lead them to find their person. And I 100% believe they are each other’s person. The honesty they show one another is like nothing I have seen in a book. And to see their trust and relationship grow I was done for. Also David is 100% crush worthy.

What to Say Next is a great follow up to Buxbaum’s YA debut, Tell Me Three Things. It has heart and amazing story telling and characters you will love from the depths of your soul. I was honestly blown away by how much I ended up loving Kit and David’s story and I think you will too. I highly recommend this one for your TBR.

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About Julie Buxbaum

The author of the New York Times bestseller Tell Me Three Things, her debut young adult novel, as well as the critically acclaimed The Opposite of Love and After You. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two young children.

 

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Blog Tour: Excerpt of The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Blog Tour: Excerpt of The Idea of You by Robinne LeeThe Idea of You by Robinne Lee
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
on June 13th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.

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About Robinne Lee

ROBINNE LEE is an actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Ros Bailey. Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. The Idea of You is her first novel.

las  vegas

 

 

I suppose I could blame it all on Daniel.

Two days before my planned getaway to Ojai, he showed up at the house in a tux with our daughter, Isabelle, in tow. He’d left the car running in the driveway.

“I can’t do the Vegas trip,” he said, thrusting a manila envelope in my hand. “I’m still working on the Fox deal and it’s not going to close anytime soon.”

I must have looked at him in disbelief because he followed that up with:

“I’m sorry. I know I promised the girls, but I can’t. You take them. Or I’ll eat the tickets. Whatever.”

An unopened package of Da Vinci Maestro Kolinsky brushes was lying on the entry table, alongside a set of thirty-six Holbein watercolors. I’d spent a fortune at Blick stocking up on materials for my artist retreat. They were, like the trip to Ojai, my gift to myself. Forty-eight hours of art and sleep and wine. And now my ex-husband was standing in my living room in formal black tie and telling me there’d been a change of plans.

“Does she know?” I asked. Isabelle, having retreated immedi- ately to her room—no doubt to get on her phone—had missed the entire exchange.

He shook his head. “I haven’t had time to tell her. I thought I’d wait and see if you could take them first.”

“That’s convenient.”

“Don’t start, okay?” He turned toward the door. “If you can’t do it, have her call me, and I’ll make it up the next time the group’s in town.”

It was so like him to have a Band-Aid for everything. To walk away from commitments guilt-free. Would that I had acquired that gene.

Isabelle and her two girlfriends had been counting down the days to see the band August Moon, a quintet of handsome lads from Britain who sang pleasant pop songs and drove tween girls mad. Daniel had “won” the tickets at the school silent auction. Paid some formidable amount to fly four to Vegas, stay at the Mandalay Bay, and attend the concert and a meet-and-greet with the band. Canceling now would not go over well.

“I have plans,” I said, following him out into the driveway.

He slipped around the back of the BMW and withdrew a cum- bersome bag from the trunk. Isabelle’s fencing equipment. “I assumed you would. I’m sorry, Sol.”

He was quiet for a moment, drinking me in: sneakers, leggings, still damp from a five-mile run. And then: “You cut your hair.”

I nodded, my hands rising to my neck, self-conscious. It barely reached my shoulders now. My act of defiance. “It was time for a change.”

He smiled faintly. “You’re never not beautiful, are you?”

Just then the tinted window on the passenger  side  rolled down and a sylphlike creature leaned out and waved. Eva. My replacement.

She was wearing an emerald-green gown. Her long, honey- colored hair twisted into a chignon. There were diamonds dan- gling from both ears. It wasn’t enough that she was some youngish, stunning, half-Dutch, half-Chinese star associate at the firm, but that she was now sitting in Daniel’s 7 Series in my driveway look- ing every bit the princess while I was dripping sweat—now, that stung.

“Fine. I’ll take them.”

“Thank you,” he said, handing over the bag. “You’re the best.” “That’s what all the boys say.”

He paused then, screwing up his aristocratic nose. I anticipated a response, but none was forthcoming. Instead he smiled blandly, leaning in to do the awkward divorcé cheek kiss. He was wearing cologne, which he’d never done in all his years with me.

I watched him make his way over to the driver’s side. “Where are you going? All dolled up . . .”

“Fund-raiser,” he said, getting into the car. “Katzenberg’s.” And with that, he pulled away. Leaving me holding the baggage.

 

I was not a fan of Vegas: loud, fat, dirty. The underbelly of Amer- ica convened in one garish skid mark in the desert. I’d visited once, years before, to attend a bachelorette party that I was still trying to forget. The smell of strip clubs and drugstore perfume and vomit. Those things linger. But this was not my adventure. This time I was just along for the ride. Isabelle and her friends had made that clear.

They spent that afternoon running circles around the resort on a quest to find their idols, while I followed dutifully. I had be- come accustomed to this: my passionate daughter trying any- and everything, setting her mind and forging her way. Isabelle and her American can-do spirit. There was trapeze school and figure skat- ing, musical theater, fencing . . . She was fearless, and I loved that about her, envied it even. I liked that she took risks, that she did not wait for permission, that she followed her heart. Isabelle was okay with living outside the lines.

I was hoping to convince the girls to visit the Contemporary Arts Center. It would have been nice to squeeze some real culture into the weekend. To imprint something worthwhile upon their im- pressionable minds. I’d spent countless hours trailing my mother through the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as a child. Following the click of her Vivier heels, the scent of the custom-made fragrance she bought every summer in Grasse. How knowledgeable she was to me then, how womanly. I knew the halls of that museum as well as I knew my third-grade classroom. But Isabelle and her cohorts had balked at the idea.

“Mom, you know at any other time I would say yes. But this trip is diferent. Please?” she’d implored.

They’d come to Vegas for one reason only, and nothing would thwart their mission. “Our lives begin tonight,” Georgia, with the silky brown skin, had proclaimed on the flight in. Rose, the red- head, agreed, and the three quickly adopted it as their mantra. No expectation too high. They had their whole lives ahead of them. They were twelve.

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Blog Tour – Once and for All by Sarah Dessen: Book Inspired Wedding Invite + giveaway

I’ve been a Sarah Dessen fan for a while (even got to meet her a couple of years ago) and I’m excited to get to be a stop on her tour for her newest book, Once and for All, out June 6th. When reading this book, one of my top three Dessen books, I was inspired by a lot of different things. But my top inspiration was the wedding theme and the flowers and colors of the book cover. Scroll after the book and author info to see the wedding invitation I created by this inspiration.

Blog Tour – Once and for All by Sarah Dessen: Book Inspired Wedding Invite + giveawayOnce and for All by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
on June 6th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

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About Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is one of the most popular writers for young adults. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold more than seven million copies. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.

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The main supplies I used.

The inks I used.

I cut down the kraft cardstock to 5 x 7 and then used my T shape ruler to make lines to make sure things were straight.

Taking my inks I used the Fresh Cut Roses layering stamps and stamped out the images I needed.

When the images were done I used my sharp, detail scissors and fussy cut them out leaving a small white border.

When I was done with the images I used the border dies (see the first pictures) and put them through my die cutting machine creating the borders. Then I adhered the flowers in the center of the top.

Finally I used my calligraphy stamp letters and some other stamps to create the body of the invite.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

 

Week One:
May 29 – Lost in Lit – Bookish Wedding Ideas
May 30 – The Young Folks – Top 10 Reasons to Read OAFA
May 31 – Icey Books – OAFA Spotlight
June 1 – Andi’s ABCs – OAFA Inspired Wedding Invites
June 2 – The YA Book Traveler – Bookish Wedding DIY

 

Week Two:
June 5 – Alexa Loves Books – OAFA Playlist
June 6 – The Perpetual Page-Turner – Author Q&A
June 7 – Ex Libris – Review
June 8 – Pop! Goes the Reader – OAFA Inspired Wallpaper
June 9 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – On Planning an Intimate (Fun!) Wedding

 

Week Three:
June 12 – The Fandom
June 13 – Booksthetics
June 14 – Once Upon a Twilight – Review
June 15 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
June 16 – Dark Faerie Tales – OAFA Inspired Photoshoot

 

Week Four:
June 19 – A Page With A View – Quiz: Which Dessen Character Are You?
June 20 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review & Photograph
June 21 – Fiction Fare – Favorite Quotes from OAFA
June 22 – ButterMyBooks – Review
June 23 – YA Bibliophile – Character Easter Eggs in OAFA

 

PREORDER INFORMATION:
 
Pre-order ONCE AND FOR ALL and enter to win a trip for two to Emerald Isle, the beachside town that inspires the setting in Sarah’s books! All entrants will receive a ONCE AND FOR ALL inspired pocket planner. (If you preorder you must go to the site and upload a photo of your receipt to enter.)
Pre-order URL: http://bit.ly/2rRHAV9

 

SARAH’S TOUR INFORMATION:

GIVEAWAY LEGAL COPY:
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Once and for All by Sarah Dessen (ARV: $19.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 29, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 26, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 

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Blog Tour: The Fashion Committee – Etsy Fashion Illustrations {giveaway}

Today is my stop n the blog tour for The Fashion Committe by Susan Juby. So far you have seen some reviews and a fabulous Book Look and you have some great things coming your way. For my stop though I am going to share with you something I have become obsessed with on Etsy (and in my crafty space), fashion illustrations. But first a little about the book:

Blog Tour: The Fashion Committee – Etsy Fashion Illustrations {giveaway}The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
on May 23rd 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

Charlie Dean is a style-obsessed girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes fashion. John Thomas-Smith is a boy who forges metal sculptures in his garage and couldn't care less about clothes. Both are gunning for a scholarship to the private art high school that could make all their dreams come true. Whoever wins the fashion competition will win the scholarship--and only one can win.

Told in the alternating voices of Charlie's and John's journals, this hilarious and poignant YA novel perfectly captures what it's like to have an artistic drive so fierce that nothing--not your dad's girlfriend's drug-addicted ex-boyfriend, a soul-crushing job at Salad Stop, or being charged with a teensy bit of kidnapping--can stand in your way. With black and white art custom-created by fashion and beauty illustrator Soleil Ignacio, the book is a collector's item, perfect for anyone with a passion for fashion.

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About Susan Juby

Susan Juby has written six acclaimed novels for teenagers. The most well-known is Alice, I Think, the first of the Alice MacLeod trilogy, which was made into a successful television series. She is also the author of a memoir, Nice Recovery, and the adult comic novel The Woefield Poetry Collective; its sequel, Republic of Dirt, has just been published in Canada.  She is currently working on another movel set at the Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design. 

 

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There is a huge selection of fashion illustrations on Etsy and I’m in love with like 97% of them and want them all. Since Charlie Dean and John Thomas-Smith spend a fair amount of their time having to draw and create looks I thought what better time to show you some of my fave prints from some super talented fashion illustrators:

The Shop by Melsys

Azul by HNIllustration

Fashion Illustration Print. Emma.b by SweetBWorld

Minimalist Fashion Print by akrDesignStudio

Fashion illustration print by IvanaIllustrations

Stripes + Floral by anumt

Lupita Nyong’o illustration by RongrongIllustration

Aren’t the all just gorgeous? If I had the money I would have a wall covered in them.

TOUR SCHEDULE:
Week One:
May 22 – Pink Polka Dot Books – Review & Book Look
May 23 – The Fandom
May 25 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
May 26 – Andi’s ABCs – Favorite Etsy Fashion Illustrations
Week Two:
May 29 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Dreamcast
May 30 – Paper Trail YA – Review + Setlist
June 1 – The Hardcover Lover – TBT: Fashion Crafting in High School
June 2 – YA Romantics – Review + Fashion Quiz

GIVEAWAY LEGAL COPY:
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby (ARV: $16.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 22, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 5, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 7, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 

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Blog Tour – The One Memory of Flora Banks: Book Inspired Card {giveaway}

Hi all! The end of the The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr tour is quickly approaching and I’m the second to last stop. For the past 3 weeks bloggers have been showing off their creativity and reviews for this unique book and now it is my turn. First a little about the book:

Blog Tour – The One Memory of Flora Banks: Book Inspired Card {giveaway}The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
on Penguin Teen
Amazon, Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. She lives under the careful watch of her parents, in a town she is familiar with, among people who are equally familiar with her story. She has not been able to recall any part of her past since she was ten, when the tumor that was removed from her brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this singular memory breaks through Flora's fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake and their shared kiss are responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step in reclaiming her life.

With little more than the tattoo "be brave" inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is, how old, where she lives, and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to the land of the midnight sun--Svalbard, Norway. There she is determined to find Drake, and to explore the romantic possibilities and hopeful future that their reunion promises her. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must "be brave" if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

Rich with psychological twists, powerful moments of hope, despair, and confusion, and a landscape very much a character unto itself, FLORA BANKS is an emotionally compelling and immersive read that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, the depths of the human heart, and the power of the human mind.

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There are a couple of themes I noticed in Flora Banks right away. First Flora talks about being brave (even has it tattooed on her arm to remember) and second writing and notes are very important for her day to day life. Because of these two things I was immediately drawn to make a card that was inspired by Flora and her notes.

First I took my MFT Typewriter Text Background stamp, Gina K. Ocean Mist ink and cardstock, and put it in my Misti to create my panel for my card. I used the blue color because of the similarity to the book cover.

When that was finished I used my Avery Elle Wonky Stitch die with my Big Shot and created a frame. I adhered the frame with my ATG Gun and my card base was ready.

Setting the base aside I pulled out my book stamp from Unity Stamps and my Felicity Jane alphabet stamps. I decided to use silver embossing powder on the stamp of the book to go with the theme of the cover. Once that was done I used my letter stamps and Lawn Fawn Blue Jay ink to create the sentiment for the card.

With the panel finished I used some fun foam and adhered it to the back before inserting the panel on the base of my card in the spot left by the frame. When that was in place I took out some sequins and added a little sparkle.

And there you have my final product (which I will be giving away on Twitter later today).

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About Emily Barr

Emily Barr (www.emilybarr.com) began her career as a journalist at the Guardian before realizing that she was drawn more toward books. After taking a year to go backpacking for a column assignment, she returned home with the idea for her first book, the New York Times bestseller Backpack, and never looked back. She has since written 11 additional books for adults. The One Memory of Flora Banks is her young adult debut. Emily lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children. You can follow her on Twitter @emily_barr.

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Week One:
May 1 – Butter My Books – Guest Post
May 2 – Novel Novice – Svalbad Travel Guide
May 3 – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Review
May 4 – Pink Polka Dot Books – Review + Favorite Quotes
May 5 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Mood Board

Week Two:
May 8 – Midsummer Reads – Author Q&A
May 9 – Margie’s Must Reads – Review
May 10 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Author Q&A
May 11 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
May 12 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post

Week Three:
May 15 – Fiktshun – Guest Post
May 16 – The Book’s Buzz – Guest Post
May 17 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Flora Banks Inspired Recipe
May 18 – Andi’s ABCs – Flora Banks Bookish DIY
May 19 – In Wonderland – Review

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 22, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about May 24, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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