New to Me – August Voting

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.

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I’m not actually surprised by the winner in July. This book has been almost winning every month so it was bound to be the one selected. It has also been one that I have been meaning to read FOREVER. And with 63% of the votes my July book is:

Spoiler alert: I already read it and can’t wait to read the rest of the series! A review is coming soon.

Now it is your time to vote again and pick the book I will read in August. I will tell you that August is ARC August and I plan to read a lot of new and old ARCs I have in my possession, so I will try my hardest to read the book selected.  You have until 7/26/19 to get your vote in and tell me what book I should read next!

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Debut Review: The Best Lies – Sarah Lyu

Debut Review: The Best Lies – Sarah LyuThe Best Lies by Sarah Lyu
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: July 2, 2019
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four-stars

Remy Tsai used to know how her story would turn out. But now, she doesn’t even know what tomorrow will look like.

She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend—her soulmate—who understood her better than anyone else in the world.

But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest—

And it was Elise who pulled the trigger.

Was it self-defense? Or something deeper, darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.

Told in alternating timelines, Thelma and Louise meets Gone Girl in this twisted psychological thriller about the dark side of obsessive friendship.

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

As soon as I heard about The Best Lies it was immediately added to my TBR. I’m a sucker for a book that is told from alternating timelines and a book with an added thriller/mystery aspect…sold! And boy did Sarah Lyu deliver. The Best Lies was everything I had hoped for and more that I didn’t expect.

The Best Lies starts off with the death of Remy’s boyfriend who was killed by her best friend Elise. Remy is completely torn up on what she should do, what happened, who she needs to protect, and why it happened to begin with. While being interviewed by the police she relives the year of friendship with Elise, meeting Jack, and everything that happened that lead up to that night. As the story unfolds so does the reality of what really happened to Remy’s boyfriend and why.

I can’t fully review this book because I am terrified I will give something away but what happened the night Jack died. What I can tell you is that I loved Jack a lot and my heart broke for Remy. She didn’t have any easy time of things and Jack was her bright stop for a while. It was also super interesting to see how Remy and Elise began and how their friendship was formed.

Basically based on the description for The Best Lies, I knew this debut novel by Sarah Lyu was going to have me on quite the journey. But I never expected the journey to be as intense as it was and man was this book intense. It kept me interested from the get-go and never stopped. definitely one I would recommend picking up. I look forward to seeing what else this debut author will bring to the table.

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New to Me: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.

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New to Me: Princess of Thorns by Stacey JayPrincess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Published by Delacorte Press
Published: December 9, 2014
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three-stars

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Stacey Jay’s book, Princess of Thorns came out December 9, 2014. How long have I owned it? It has been on my shelf since December 30, 2014. Yup, I was so excited for this book I had it mere weeks after it’s release. So to say I was happy to see it as a New to Me suggestion and then a New to Me read I was thrilled. It was about time I read this backlist book I ran out and bought. Sadly though I didn’t end up loving it like I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but I really struggled with a lot of it which outweighed the good for me.

The story is about Aurora, a princess without a throne. She is on a quest to save her brother and the throne that rightfully belongs to her family. But in order to stay hidden and safe, she has to hide in plain sight as a boy. While on her journey she meets Prince Niklaas, a prince with a secret of his own. With an unlikely ally at their side, these two make a dangerous trek in order to save the kingdom, themselves, and maybe find love.

In theory, I should have loved this. A hidden identity book? A book with danger and intrigue and magic? There for it. Sadly the first 50% of the book was really hard to get into. It dragged a lot and the pacing was a little slow. And as much as I loved Aurora and Niklaas’ connection, it took a really long time for me to feel it. Truthfully I think that is really where my struggle was. I was missing something in those first 200 pages and I don’t know what it was. And then after all that build up, I didn’t feel there were enough pages to deal with everything that was left so the end felt a little rushed.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the book. But I just didn’t love it. By the end, I was reading like crazy to find out what happened, but I just don’t think there was enough for me to be satisfied. There are plenty of people that loved it though and you may be one of those people so don’t rule it out because I was just so so on it.

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And there you have it, June’s book selection for New to Me. I wasn’t sure I would finish in time but I made it work!

Looking for more books with a character in disguise? Check out this list on Goodreads.

 

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Review: Superfan – Sarina Bowen

Review: Superfan – Sarina BowenSuperfan by Sarina Bowen
Published by Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Published: June 25, 2019
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four-stars

Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Three years ago I met the most amazing girl in the world. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart.

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.

More information at SarinaBowen.com

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

It is no secret I’m a huge fan of Sarina Bowen. As soon as her books are up for preorder I have it purchased. Especially if it is one of the guys from the Brooklyn Bruiser hockey team. So when I heard about Silas’s book it was a natural auto-buy. And man was I not disappointed. Silas and Delilah’s story was what I was hoping for. It was filled with oodles of chemistry and heart and I was one happy reader.

Superfan is the story of Silas, the back-up goalie for the Brooklyn Bruisers. Silas is having the time of his career playing for the Bruisers after his first time playing pro was a bust, but something is missing for him, and it is Delilah, the girl that got away 3 years ago. When Silas ends up tweeting her while she is at a hockey game for the Bruiser’s rival team, the internet takes notice and soon a date is set up. But nothing is ever easy for Silas, especially when Delilah doesn’t immediately remember him, but her ex certainly does and will stop at nothing to make sure this reunion doesn’t happen.

What I loved about Superfan most was the chemistry between Delilah and Silas. Right from the start I noticed it and was sucked in. They both came from different worlds but they had the same drive and the same heart and I loved that. Silas was such a nice guy and he had felt terrible for 3 years for how things went down and made things right when the timing was right for both of them. I loved how they worked together to figure out a way to make things work for them when they each had two different careers on two different coasts. It wasn’t always easy, but it was what worked for them.

If I’m honest though, my favorite part was getting to see my guy Nate again. I missed him in Overnight Sensation so it was nice to be able to ‘catch-up’ and see how things were for him. Spoiler alert: Things were really good for Nate. 🙂

All in all, I had a fun time reading Superfan. There was some drama, but it didn’t outweigh the good stuff that made you smile and feel mushy in the middle. It was a welcome addition to this series filled with companion books and one I would recommend you read.

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Review: Call It What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer

Review: Call It What You Want – Brigid KemmererCall It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury YA
Published: June 25, 2019
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four-stars

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship...

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

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

I’ve been a fan of Brigid Kemmerer since I opened Letters to the Lost and read it in one day. There is something about the way that Brigid writes, not only romance but the friendship aspect as well. She also writes the best boy characters! Anyway, when I heard about Call It What You Want I was beyond thrilled to get a new contemporary from her. And I can happily say it hit the spot for the most part and I was happy to be on the journey with these characters.

Call It What You Want is the story of Rob and Maegan, two high school students that are in for a tougher year than they ever expected. Maegan has always been known to be the good girl that does the right thing until she has a serious lapse in judgment and makes a terrible mistake, and now is avoided at school like the plague. Rob, on the other hand, didn’t do anything personally, but his father did. His father got caught embezzling from half the town and Rob is left dealing with the repercussions, on top of taking care of his dad after his failed suicide attempt. When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a project these two outcasts start to learn something about themselves and start on a new kind of journey together. But not everything is as it seems.

Once again I loved the boy Brigid created. Rob was hands-down my favorite thing in Call It What You Want. He was so broken and in such a bad place. He had his whole life upended and was navigating a path he never saw coming. He broke my heart with how alone he felt. And he was so angry. Angry enough to make some really bad decisions that he would justify even knowing he was doing the wrong thing. But underneath all of that, he was just a scared kid. Maegan, on the other hand, had a terrible lapse in judgment and made a mistake that cost a lot of people. She was under pressure and did something she shouldn’t and was paying the price. I hated how she just accepted that people should treat her the way they did because of what she did. It made me sad to see her just accept it. In the end, I liked how these two interacted together. I like how they learned and grew by being around one another when no one else really wanted to be there for them.

I enjoyed Call It What You Want a lot. It had some really good, strong parts. There were also some parts that I just wanted more of and I didn’t get it. I think because of that I didn’t have as strong of an emotional connection as I did to Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell. But with that said, it still packed a punch and made me grateful Brigid shares her talent as an author with us. Pick this one up for sure!

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