New to You (21): April reviews The Lies About Truth by Courtney Stevens {giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is April from Between the Pages. I feel like I have been suggesting books to April for ages so it was great when she signed up and I had two more to choose from to have her read. It was a tough call but in the end I thought The Lies About Truth would be a good fit for her. Let’s see what she thought:

New to You (21): April  reviews The Lies About Truth by Courtney Stevens {giveaway}The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by HarperTeen
on June 6, 2017
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This story from Courtney Stevens about hope and courage and the struggle to overcome the pain of loss.

Sadie Kingston is living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can't move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent's brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him. But Max looks at her scars and doesn't shy away. And Max knows about the list she writes in the sand at the beach every night, the list of things that Sadie knows she must accomplish before she can move on from the accident. And while he can help her with number six (kiss someone without flinching), she knows she's on her own with number three (forgive Gina and Gray) and the rest of the seemingly impossible tasks that must be made possible before she can live in the now again.


So this was a book that I was interested in reading, but kept putting off. I’m not sure why I did, but I did. So when I saw Andi’s New To You feature come out, I was intrigued and decided to sign up, knowing whatever book Andi assigned to me was going to be worth reading. Andi has yet to lead me astray when I ask for book recommendations. So I read it, finally, and I’m glad I did.This is the story of Sadie, a teenage girls whose life changed due to a car accident that took the life of one of her friends, and changed the dynamic of the rest of her friendships. This story was very relatable, not because I’ve been through what the characters have, but because the friendships involved changed throughout the story. I feel like this is something that happens in real life as well. I also loved that Sadie had parents that were there for her, and wanted to be there.

Because of the Accident Sadie closes herself off from her friends, not wanting to be around them, then by a chance encounter we start seeing how they sort of become friends again in a different way, maybe not as close as before, but the friendship is there. The story evolves as the characters become different people, and truths are uncovered, truths that could change things in bad ways, but maybe allow the characters to grow in a good way.  By the end of the story each character, at least to me, seems different from the start of the book, but it was great to see them grow and change throughout the story.

I have to admit I struggled with the book while I was reading it, not because of the content of the story but because I was slightly disappointed that parts of the story were one-sided to me. I would have liked to have seen more of Max’s answers to Sadie, then just trying to guess what he wrote based on what she did.

All in all I was glad I finally read this book.

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Thanks April for signing up for New to You. I happy you finally got to read this one. I need a reread. I devoured it when I read it and never got around to my review.

Giveaway is US only and ends on November 27, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

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New to You (20): Jennifer reviews Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson {giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Jennifer from YABookNerd. When Jennifer signed up I knew Second Chance Summer would be the perfect book for her to read. She told me why she put off reading and believe me I understand, but I also knew she would love it. Let’s see if I was right:

New to You (20): Jennifer reviews Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson {giveaway}Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
on May 7, 2013
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From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.


The news from Taylor’s Dad changed everything. Instead of the summer they planned, the whole family will be spending the summer at the lake house together. The lake house where they once spent every summer before life got in the way. The lake house where everything for Taylor fell apart – including the relationships both her best friend and her first boyfriend.

Now she’s back and everything’s different and yet the same.She has to face everyone again. Plus she has to face the fact that this is her last summer with her father. As the summer progresses, she must face both her past and her future.

My Thoughts: I adore Morgan Matson, but I put off reading this book because I knew it was going to destroy me. And it did. I made until the last little bit of the book and I bawled like a baby. My puppy grew so concerned that she came over to make sure that I was okay.

But besides the heart wrenching tears, Andi was right, this one is amazing. I loved it. I loved learning about the past and how that influenced the present. I enjoyed the moments at Taylor’s job – working with her ex-best friend and trying to navigate those waters. I liked learning how they both had changed in the years apart. I liked the banter between Taylor and Henry. I loved Henry’s little brother. I loved the dog and who he inserted himself in to the family. 


I have a hard time reading books that I know will make me cry, but I loved this book. I was sad yet hopeful and of course all about second chances. If you haven’t read this one yet, run out to the library and grab it! 


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Thanks Jennifer for signing up for New to You. I’m sorry your puppy was so concerned, but the tears are so worth it.

My review of Second Chance Summer.

Giveaway is US only and ends on November 15, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

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New to You (19): Kate Reviews Something Like Normal by Trish Doller {giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Kate from Beyond Bookish. When Kate signed up she mentioned how she heard some really great things about Trish Doller (ALL TRUE!) and how she has been meaning to read her. It was perfect! I love Something Like Normal so much and I hoped she would too. Let’s see what Kate had to say:

New to You (19): Kate Reviews Something Like Normal by Trish Doller {giveaway}Something like Normal by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
on June 19, 2012
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When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

As a school librarian I am constantly looking for stories that introduce my students to different types of characters and experiences. I generally have little issues finding female stories and characters but I constantly struggle reaching boys since many (in my specific experience) either do not like to read, or lean more towards nonfiction and/or sports books. Something Like Normal is an absolutely perfect realistic fiction that will definitely speak to the teens that I work with and has truly made an impact on my reading experience as well!

Here are three reasons to pick up this awesome book!

1. An Unlikely Hero
Travis, while being a typical (albeit flawed) teen is also a combat war veteran. I have never read or heard of a story that has a veteran protagonist in YA and it intrigued me from the very beginning! I knew immediately that Travis was going to be a very special character and I have been book talking him to many of students ever since. Travis is real, complex and complicated and it really shows that you can make mistakes, feel regret but strive to do better. Your mistakes do not define you. I personally identified with him because I felt like I grew up with boys just like him. Boys that went into things with the absolute best of intentions but face the harrowing and real challenges that they must deal with.

2. Imperfect Family and Relationships
Travis is not always painted in the best light but his family and friends certainly have their own issues as well. His father is emotionally abusive and constantly finds fault with his oldest son. Again this can be all too typical for many young people where in they feel their only way to escape is to get as far away as possible. Once Travis comes back home he is dealing with his own demons (plus a not so healthy dose of PTSD) which many of his friends are not sympathetic to, this is just a reality of life and I loved how the author approached it with such a beautiful amount of grace and humility. I certainly do not feel that we as the reader are meant to dislike his friends and family as much as we are to understand that these sort of relationships can be very complex especially surrounding the type of issues that Travis must face.

3. Treatment of Mental Illness
I love it when we get to see proper depictions of mental illness of young people in YA fiction. Even within the best circumstances (which Tyler doesn’t necessarily have) things like anxiety and depression can be a real problem and is a huge struggle for a large amount of teens. As someone who struggles with mental illness and family members who deal with PTSD I can understand this stigma surround therapy, medication and other treatments. In Travis’s case he feels that he must deal with any issues involving his friend’s death as a man and as a soldier which ultimately does not go in his favor. I think this is  probably a common view amongst men and soldiers which makes the barrier to treatment even that more difficult. It is rare to get this perspective in a YA story but I feel it is so important and a necessary piece for young people to see, those dealing with mental illness or not. Doller did a fantastic job of creating a story that is sympathetic but not preachy and allowed for a great journey as Travis continues to grow and learn as he begins to heal.

I could not recommend this novel more! I really am so grateful that Andi allowed me to read and review it. I really suggest this story for anyone serving teens (teachers, librarians, counselors), those struggling with mental illness and especially those who do not feel like they see themselves in what they read. We need more stories like this and I hope Something Like Normal is the catalyst for more amazing stories like it!

Twitter: @beyondbook_kate // Instagram: @beyondbookish // Blog: beyondbookish.com

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Thanks Kate for signing up for New to You. Travis still breaks my heart when I think about him. I’m so happy you loved this gem of a story!

My review of SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL

Giveaway is US only and ends on November 4, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

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New to You (17): Amber Reviews Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Amber from YA Indulgences. She will be reviewing a book that made me fall in love with dystopian stories when I was binging everything YA I could get my hands on. Let’s see what Amber thought about Delirium by Lauren Oliver:

New to You (17): Amber Reviews Delirium by Lauren OliverDelirium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1
Published by HarperTeen
on August 2, 2011
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Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe.I wonder whether the procedure will hurt.I want to get it over with.It’s hard to be patient.It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet.Still, I worry.They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness.The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.

CW: Suicide mentions, animal death

My first Lauren Oliver book was Before I Fall, I’ve owned Delirium for years. I was happy when I was finally given a reason to read it with Andi’s feature.

The first and only dystopian novel I ever read was The Hunger Games and even then I didn’t read Mockingjay. Delirium has a really interesting premise with not wanting people to feel love. I thought this aspect while fascinating ended up being a bit meh.

Love is described as having negative effects and even causing death. Due to this, once teenagers are eighteen, they are given a cure to stop it. In addition to the cure, they take evaluations for proper marriage “choices”. They are given four choices based on their evaluations.

The cure essentially erases people’s pasts as well. They don’t retain many loving memories from their life before much therefore their lives are dulled. I couldn’t really get behind the whole “Let’s cure people of love”, it seemed too far out there as far as dystopian consequences. It would have made sense to somehow “cure” people from feeling at all rather than just love.

Another issue with Delirium was the insta-love. Somehow in only three meetings, Lena and Alex fall in love. Somehow Lena is so positive towards the cure and in two months is completely against it after her eyes are opened. There’s a situation in the book where Lena and Hana (her best friend) talk and I felt like their roles really should have been reversed. I could not get into their relationship at all. I thought some moments were sweet but other than that, not at all believable to me. I liked Lena well enough, I thought she was a decent protagonist. I hate how I liked her more after she got to know Alex. It didn’t seem like she could stand on her own feet.

Now, onto the things I enjoyed, the look at the darkness of this world through raids and prisoners. It seemed so real, especially with the world today with protests. I loved Hana a bunch. I’m excited to read the novella involving her. I liked Lena’s friendship with Hana. I did love Alex, even if he did seem like a bit of a manic pixie dream boy. I was surprised at the ending which unexpectedly broke me.

Overall, I would rate Delirium three stars. I will definitely read or listen to the follow-ups.

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Thanks Amber for signing up for New to You! Sorry it was not an instant love for you, but that’s books for you. Personally I’m a massive fan of the audios for this series and recommend everyone trying them out!

Have you read anything by Lauren Oliver?

Enter to win a Kindle copy of Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Giveaway is US ONLY. Ends 10/12/18 at 11:59pm EST.

 

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A Buddy Read – Intercepted by Alexa Martin {+ a giveaway}

A Buddy Read – Intercepted by Alexa Martin {+ a giveaway}Intercepted by Alexa Martin
Published by Berkley Books
on September 11, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own...

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She's definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There's just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he's nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team's wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee's return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin's relationship to survive the season.

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 a fan of football romances this book was on my radar for a while. But when an opportunity was presented to do a buddy read with some of my fantasy football girls it was a no brainer. Seven of us read Intercepted together and we had a lot of fun doing it and being able to discuss it.

Intercepted is the story of Marlee. Marlee has been the perfect girlfriend to NFL wide receiver, Chris Alexander, for the last ten years. She was supposed to be his wife. Instead she discovers her relationship wasn’t want she thought. Suddenly single she swears off NFL players and all the baggage that comes with them. That is until she sees the new QB on the team, a guy she never thought she would see again after their one night together. Marlee soon realizes that giving up NFL players may not Be as easy as she thought. Especially with Gavin Pope underfoot.

Honestly, as fun as the book was to read with my fabulous football ladies, I didn’t love it as much as I hoped. It was good enough, and not a struggle to read, but something was off for me. There were things I was supposed to laugh at, I think, and I ended up being annoyed which made me sad. I did like some of the characters a lot though so that was a bonus. But what I really enjoyed was that the author was able to base the book off her experience from being an actually NFL WAG. That was hands down my favorite part of the story.

All in all it was a good book and I may read the next in the series. But really it was just fun to chat about with my girls. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a book club kind of thing and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Review Links:

Amazon || B&N || Kobo || Book Depository

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About Alexa Martin

Alexa Martin is a writer and stay at home mom. She lives in Colorado with her husband, a former NFL player who now coaches at the high school where they met, their four children, and a German Shepherd. When she's not telling her kids to put their shoes on...again, you can find her catching up with her latest book boyfriend or on Pinterest pinning meals she'll probably never make. Her first book, Intercepted, was inspired by the eight years she spent as an NFL wife.

Giveaway: 5 winners will receive a finished paperback of Intercepted. Open to US. Entrants must be 18+. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CDT October 8. Please enter via Rafflecopter below; winner will be chosen at random, and odds are determined by number of entries.

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A Buddy Read – Intercepted by Alexa Martin {+ a giveaway}Fumbled by Alexa Martin
Published by Berkley Books
on April 23, 2019
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A second chance doesn't guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she's built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it's all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he's moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they've suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they'll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

 

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