Blog Tour: The How and the Why by Cynthia Hand {Giveaway}

Blog Tour: The How and the Why by Cynthia Hand {Giveaway}The How and the Why by Cynthia Hand
Published by HarperTeen
Published: November 5, 2019
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five-stars

A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…

Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.

But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.

Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

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.

Back in 2015, I picked up a book called The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand. She was a new to me author (although I had heard of her Unearthly series). It had been on my TBR for about 9 months and I decide to read it and fell completely in love with it. I was engrossed from the start and devoured it in 2 days. So to say I was excited for The How and the Why when I got my hands on it is an understatement. But just like she did with The Last Time We Say Goodbye, Hand once again blew me away with The How and the Why. Simply put, it was phenomenal.

The How and the Why is about Cassandra McMurtrey, a girl that was adopted and given an amazing life with two parents that love her and have given her almost everything she has wanted. No matter how much they want, they can’t give her answers about her birth parents. But there are letters out there written to Cassandra that may just hold the answers to what she is looking for. It is just a matter of deciding if it is worth the effort to find out or if it is better to stay in the unknown.

First and foremost, what I loved about this book was the way the story was told. Each chapter alternates between Cassandra’s search for answers and the letters written 18 years earlier. It was a genius way to have the story unfold. As a reader I was able to see what Cassandra was feeling and the feelings of her birth mother at the same time. I was able to notice similarities between the two stories and make connections while I read which I really enjoyed.

I don’t want to say too much more because I don’t want to give anything away about the story. And really all I wanted to do for this review was to yell to read the book, but I will tell you that it is powerful and emotional and you may need the tissues. This is a book you do not want to miss, especially if you like realistic contemporary YA. A must read!

About Cynthia Hand

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens, including the UNEARTHLY trilogy, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, MY LADY JANE and MY PLAIN JANE (with fellow authors Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows), THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, and the upcoming novels THE HOW AND THE WHY and MY CALAMITY JANE (also with Ashton and Meadows). Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in fiction writing. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, with her husband, two cats, one crazy dog, two kids, and mountain of books.

Prize: Win a copy of The How and the Why (US Only)

Stars: 30th October 2019
Ends: 13th November 2019

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October 30th

October 31st

Lost in Storyland – Interview
Andi’s ABCs – Review
Phannie the ginger bookworm  – Review + Favourite Quotes
Snark & Squee – Review

November 1st

Wishful Endings – Interview
Magical Reads – Review + Playlist
Musings of a (Book) Girl – Review + Favourite Quotes
Devourbookswithdana – Review + Favourite Quotes

November 2nd

Books of Amber – Review + Playlist
Kait Plus Books  – Review + Favourite Quotes
_bookishaestha_  – Review + Favourite Quotes

November 3rd

Here’s to Happy Endings  – Review + Favourite Quotes
The YA Obsessed – Review
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Dream Cast + Playlist
Life With No Plot – Review

November 4th

Moonligh Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Hauntedbybooks – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Clever Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Story-eyed Reviews – Review

November 5th

BookCrushin – Guest Post
Emily The Book Nerd – Review + Dream Cast + Playlist
Dazzled by Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Maddie.TV – Review
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Blog Tour: Permanent Record – Mary H. K. Choi {Excerpt + Giveaway}

Blog Tour: Permanent Record – Mary H. K. Choi {Excerpt + Giveaway}Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
Published: September 3, 2019
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Emergency Contact, which Rainbow Rowell called “smart and funny,” comes an unforgettable new romance about how social media influences relationships every day.

On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn’t have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Plus, he’s up to his eyeballs in credit card debt. Never mind the state of his student loans.

Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents. The brand is unstoppable. She graduated from child stardom to become an international icon and her adult life is a queasy blur of private planes, step-and-repeats, aspirational hotel rooms, and strangers screaming for her just to notice them.

When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter it’s absurd to think they’d be A Thing. But as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy the deafening expectations of everyone else, Lee and Pab turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get properly complicated.

~~~~~~~~~~~

About Mary H.K. Choi

Mary H.K. Choi is a writer for The New York TimesGQWired, and The Atlantic. She has written comics for Marvel and DC, as well as a collection of essays called Oh, Never Mind. Her debut novel Emergency Contact was a New York Times bestseller. She is the host of Hey, Cool Job!, a podcast about jobs and Hey, Cool Life!, a podcast about mental health and creativity. Mary grew up in Hong Kong and Texas and now lives in New York.

I double tap without hesitation. The gauntlet has unquestioningly been thrown. Let the record show I am game.

But for what?

For three full days I contemplate the futility of a DM slide while waffling maniacally as to whether or not I should leave a comment. I decide not to. I wish there were a field guide for this. Someone to ask about the rules. Quora, unsurprisingly, is unhelpful. That’s always an accurate gauge for desperation. If I’m on the Quora part of the Internet, it’s a cry for help.

In an effort to exert even a modicum of chill, I do absolutely nothing and writhe in self-loathing while being extra vigilant around the deli just in case she really does live in the area. The loserish feelings have reached a deafening, skin-crawling crescendo by the time she comes back.

Which she does.

Just like that.

Leanna Smart strolls into the store. This happens in a disembodying dreamscape slow motion. I’m basically Dare­devil I’m delivered so much information at once. The way she smells (different from the perfume bearing her name), the way her head bobs when she speaks, her teeth. I can’t even explain how in the moment it feels impossible but entirely inevitable. Like the end of the world in certain mythology where everyone knows it’s coming but you don’t fully believe it until it arrives. Except of course this is different. It’s a beginning.

Finally.

“Hey, Sad Boy,” Leanna Smart calls to me exactly eleven days after we met. Again at an ungodly hour.

I’m stunned as thousands of windows in the browser of my mind explode to play a manic GIF of me fist pumping the sky. I am jubilant. Triumphant. I am also tempted to poke through her cheek to make sure she’s not one of those freakish flight attendant holograms you get at the airport now.

This time she’s wearing an enormous puffer coat with a fur collar and sweats.

“Uh, hey,” I tell her. And then, “What’s up, Suarez?” Since calling her Leanna Smart feels insane. Like calling someone Mickey Mouse. Or Coca-Cola.

“You know,” she says. “I’ve eaten your food and huddled to you for warmth, but I don’t know your name.”

She smiles easily. As though we’re friends. As though we’ve been friends.

Me, I’m working on a delay. I’m stuck on her lips, the way they move. Her cheekbones. The hand brushing a strand of hair away from her forehead. Her short thumbs that make better big toes than fingers. Statistics fly through my head: 345,112,459—the number of times people have viewed Leanna Smart’s multi platinum single “Tower” from her bestselling fourth studio album Milestone. One hundred and forty-three million—Leanna Smart’s follower count across all social media platforms (rando bots notwithstanding). How her left eye’s slightly bigger than her right one. Sadder. Sadder? Yes, sadder. Slightly. And the voice, the voice, the voice. Deeper than you’d ever imagine. Gravelly. No, raspy. Textured. Tangible.

“I know ‘at Munchies Paradise’ isn’t your government name,” she says evenly. “Unless your parents are Frito-Lay industry plants and you’re the poster child for early-onset type 1 diabetes. Plus gout.”

She smiles at me, tilting her head in a way my mind recognizes as A Thing Leanna Smart Does from the hours of interview videos I’ve studied.

I remind myself to clear my browser history.

“Can you imagine?” I ask her coolly. My heart is thundering in my chest—spelunk, spelunk, spelunk—but I keep it together. “If that were what my parents ultimately wanted for my life? I’d have to tattoo junk food logos on my body like NASCAR patches.”

“That would be amazing,” she says. “Part SoundCloud rapper, part Nestlé ad.”

She approaches with her hand extended. “You can call me Lee,” she says, and I feel a warmth at the prospect of calling her anything since I thought for sure I would never see her again.

Lee. My mind furiously attempts to reconcile the syllable with building-size ads and the countless—so very many—photographs from every conceivable angle that I’ve absorbed. Lee. As in the title of the only-just-announced fifth studio album from one Leanna Smart. Allegedly the grown-up one. The . . .

Shit. Answer her.

“Pablo,” I tell her, taking her hand. It’s cold. I release it reluctantly. “And don’t think my parents did me any favors. Pablo Neruda’s my first name. Last name Rind.”

“The poet?”

Usually I dread this. People who recognize the name ask me to recite something, as if to make them closer to a dead Chilean poet laureate. Then again, I’m happy that Leanna— Lee—knows who he is. Tons of people don’t.

“Yeah,” I say.

“Jesus. That’s emo.”

She’s not wrong.

“So, wait,” she says. “Do I call you Pablo Neruda as your full first name?”

“Nah. Pab’ll do.”

“Pab’ll it is.” She smiles goofily.

 

August 26thVicky Who Reads
August 27thAdventures of a Book Junkie
August 28thUtopia State of Mind
August 29thRead by Tiffany
August 30thRich in Color
August 31stYour Tita Kate
September 2ndBooks on Pointe
September 3rdAndi’s ABCs
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September 5thTwirling Pages
September 6thBookshelves & Paperbacks
September 9thYA Bibliophile
September 10thMary Had A Little Book Blog
September 11thChasing Faerytales
September 12thNicole’s Novel Reads
September 13thMel to the Any

One winner will receive a hardcover copy of Permanent Record. US ONLY. Ends September 10, 2019 at 11:59pm EST.

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Review: Start Here – Trish Doller {giveaway}

Review: Start Here – Trish Doller {giveaway}Start Here by Trish Doller
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: August 13, 2019
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five-stars

Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.

Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.

From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.

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’s safe to say I’m a Trish Doller fan girl. I don’t think she could write anything that I won’t love. My love started with Something Like Normal, her debut, and has only grown. So when I heard about Start Here I was so excited. There is something I love about a good friendship book and mixing one of my favorite authors with a favorite kind of story? YES PLEASE! And I am happy to say Trish hit it out of the park with this one.

Start Here is the story of Willa and Taylor, two girls left behind after their best friend Finley dies. The plan was always for the three of them to sail from Ohio to Key West, but when Finley dies before graduation the two remaining girls reluctantly decide to go using the 25 clues that Finley left for them. With time and a lot of distance to go, Willa and Taylor try to figure out if they have a friendship without Finley or was she the glue that held them all together.

What I personally loved about Start Here was the journey. Not the literal journey of the 2000 miles from Ohio to Key West, but the journey of Willa and Taylor. Both of these girls are just lost without the one person that made them feel like they were special like they had someone to belong to. With her death, they were both gutted and not sure how they fit in the world or with each other. Over their trip and with the help of Finley’s clues, they learn who they are, what they are made of, and how they work as a duo instead of a trio. That was what I loved the most. Watching these 2 girls figure things out and have meltdowns and fights and breakdowns was what made this book a 5 star read. It captured the essence of loss and moving forward and uncertain friendships to perfection.

Start Here is a book that you definitely need to add to your TBR. It is romance light, but friendship heavy and something everyone should read. I highly recommend going on this journey with these complicated characters.

Giveaway for one copy of Start Here by Trish Doller. US ONLY. Ends 11:59pm EST 8/19/19.

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The Book Push – Girls with Sharp Sticks and Girls with Razor Hearts {giveaway}

There is no denying that I am a fan of Suzanne Young. Everything she has written I have loved. She manages to craft these worlds that are so familiar and comforting but adds an element that completely turns the world upside down. I have become very lucky over the years and have gotten to know Suzanne and she is just as amazing as her books. In 2018 she sent me a draft of the first book in her new duology, Girls with Sharp Sticks, and the day she sent it to me I devoured all 400 pages, not stopping until I was finished with every word. It was by far the best book she has ever written and I told her so. It was creepy and entertaining and a story you just didn’t expect. It was also timely in a sense and something a lot of people will want to read. And if you haven’t read it yet, stay until the end for your chance to win a copy.

Anyway, since finishing Girls with Sharp Sticks I have been dying for Girls with Razor Hearts, the follow-up book. Suzanne has been kind enough to share some of it with me as a draft and guys…IT IS SO GOOD! I haven’t gotten to read the end, but I have read about 75% of the first go and it is just beyond words good. And on Friday the cover was released for it and it perfect is so perfect.

 

 

How amazing do they look together? I’m obsessed! Here is a little more about Girls with Razor Hearts:

The Book Push – Girls with Sharp Sticks and Girls with Razor Hearts {giveaway}Girls with Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young
Series: Girls with Sharp Sticks #2
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: March 17, 2020
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It’s time to fight back in this second novel in a thrilling, subversive near future series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young about a girls-only private high school that is far more than it appears to be.

Make me a girl with a razor heart…

It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.

The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.

And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.

The winner receives 1 copy of Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young. Ends at 11:59PM EST on August 5th and is US ONLY. Must be 16 or over to enter.

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Blog Tour: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud {Giveaway}

Blog Tour: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud {Giveaway}Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud
Published by Point
Published: July 30, 2019
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three-stars

Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She's excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she's definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who's an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming...and undeniably cute. Zora can't ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother's big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora's not sure it's something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that's like The Princess Diaries for a new generation.

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 go through phases where I find myself reading books set in certain settings. Sometimes I will read 4 different hockey romances in a month. Some months I will read a group of fantasy books with magic. This month it was all about the royalty. For some reason I found myself reading a lot of books about princes and princess and soon to be kings and queens. And to kick off my royal reading, Truly Madly Royally.

Truly Madly Royally is the story of Zora, a girl that wants to change the world. She finds herself enrolled in a prestigious summer program where she is surrounded by mostly white classmates making it hard for her to fit in. That is until she meets Owen in the library and they immediately click. But what Zora doesn’t know is that Owen is an actual prince. Soon everyone is talking about the two of them and it only gets worse when Owen invites Zora to the wedding of his brother. From private person to gossip headlines Zora has to figure out if her feelings for Owen is worth the scrutiny or if she wants to break his royal heart.

Truly Madly Royally was an entertaining, albeit a light read. I immediately felt the Harry and Meghan vibe as soon as Zora and Owen met. I could see where the author possibly got her inspiration and I liked that. I think YA readers will appreciate that too. A ‘ripped from the headlines’ feel but not in a dramatic way, but in a fun, love story way. Zora is the kind of character that will be relatable to readers. She has a great moral compass and does what she can for her community. (Personally, my favorite part of this book was Zora’s best friend and Zora’s brother. I totally want a book about the two of them. They had such great chemistry.)

If you are looking for a quick read about royalty, then you should pick up this book for sure.

About Debbie Rigaud

Debbie Rigaud was born in Manhattan to a Haitian immigrant family. The third of four daughters, she’s certain her first greeting into this world was, “A girl…encore?” At the time of her birth, her family lived in Brooklyn. But before Debbie could say “Theodore Aloysius Huxtable,” the Rigaud ’rents packed up the fam and headed to East Orange, NJ to break from city living. (Ha!)

Debbie began her writing career covering news and entertainment for magazines, including Seventeen, Twist and CosmoGIRL!. She’s interviewed celebs, politicians, and social figures, but enjoyed interviewing “real” girls the most. Her first work of Young Adult fiction, the novella “Double Act,” was featured in HALLWAY DIARIES/Kimani Tru. Soon thereafter, romantic comedy PERFECT SHOT/Simon Pulse became her first standalone book. Debbie’s non-fiction essays have been published in anthologies IT’S ALL LOVE/Broadway Books and DEAR BULLY/HarperTeen. Her humorous short story “Voila!” is included in the critically-acclaimed book OPEN MIC/Candlewick Press. Look out for her upcoming rom-com TRULY MADLY ROYALLY (Scholastic/Point) releasing July 30th! And HOPE: PROJECT MIDDLE SCHOOL (Scholastic), her Middle Grade debut co-written with activist Alyssa Milano, releases October 1, 2019. Book 2 in the HOPE series is coming April 2020.

Beyond bylines, Debbie has edited Middle Grade and Children’s stories for publisher Just Us Books, and has been a finalist in Bermuda Music & Dramatic Society’s annual playwright contest. For tween girl retail giant Justice, she currently scriptwrites a tween variety show webseries and a magical folktale series. A total Jersey girl at heart, Debbie and her husband live in the Columbus, Ohio area with their preschooler daughter and toddler son in a vibrant home brimming with child safety locks and baby gates. (They have lots & lots of cabinets!)

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of TRULY MADLY ROYALLY by Debbie Rigaud (US Only)

Starts: 24th July 2019
Ends: 7th August 2019

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July 24th

July 25th

Book Slaying – Guest Post
Book Rambler – Review
The Clever Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookmark Lit – Review

July 26th

Musings of a (Book) Girl – Review + Favourite Quotes
Wishful Endings – Review
Struck by Stories – Review
Phannie the ginger bookworm – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 27th

Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post
Flying Paperbacks  – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 28th

The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
Andi’s ABCs – Review
Inky Moments – Review + Favourite Quotes
Kait Plus Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 29th

The Candid Cover – Review + Playlist
The Reading Faery – Review + Favourite Quotes
Magical Reads – Review + Playlist

July 30th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Bibliophile Confessions – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookish_Kali – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post

 

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