Review: The Names They Gave Us – Emery Lord

Review: The Names They Gave Us – Emery LordThe Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published: May 16th 2017
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five-stars

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake and spending quality time with her parents. But when her mom's cancer reappears, Lucy falters-in her faith and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend "pauses" their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp-one for troubled kids-Lucy isn't sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord's storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life's biggest challenges.

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.

Sometimes you read a book and you just don’t even know what to say about it. It is pretty much perfect in all the ways that surprise you yet don’t surprise you at all. It will make you feel things as you read, make you cry, make you laugh, make you swoon. That is what The Names They Gave Us did to me. In typically Emery Lord fashion I was blown away by this book’s beauty and realness.

I’m not really sure how to describe what I felt and loved about this book. First and foremost I feel like I should say that this is what you would call a “cancer book” or even a “religion book”. Sure those are huge parts of Lucy’s story, parts of who Lucy is, but I don’t think those are the two things that end up defining her. What ends up defining Lucy is Lucy. She decides to open her mind and heart to new experiences and to new people. And Lucy decides it is okay to not trust in her faith, to be angry at the hand she has been dealt. To me that is really what The Names They Gave Us is all about, finding out who you are and want to be and being okay with it. Don’t get me wrong, Lucy’s mother having cancer is a major part of this story and truly broke my heart for Lucy, but that is just the beginning of her story. With the help of a new camp, new friends and a boy to mend her broken heart a new, stronger Lucy is born and that is the heart of the whole story. Well that and the friends Lucy makes

Lucy’s friends at the new camp are truly amazing and inspiring. They are all dealing with something whether it is anxiety or illness or abuse. They all have some kind of baggage but they also don’t carry that baggage alone. They let each other help and they rely on one another for support. It is the definition of a true friendship. And they willing, okay, some more than others, take Lucy into their fold which is something she needed desperately without even knowing it.  And this isn’t even talking about the beauty that is Henry and what he adds to the change in Lucy. Gah. I’m smiling just thinking about Lucy and Henry.

Truth, I’m not convinced Emery Lord is human. Okay well I know she is because I have met her, but still. The Names They Gave Us is Emery’s 4th book (I’ve been a massive fan since Open Road Summer) and her 4th book to completely blow me away. Every time I read a book by her I think her next one can’t be better and then I read the next one. It’s unfathomable yet she manages to do it every time. There is something just so magical about her books. I swear if you are not a fan yet you will be as soon as you read something with her name on it. Make sure you add The Names They Gave Us to your TBR.

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Book a Date with Me…AGAIN

Welcome to the newest feature on Andi’s ABCs, Book a Date, a post about something you are excited for that is releasing in the future. It can be a TV show, a movie (in the theater or out on DVD), a clothing line, a video game, a graphic novel, and of course a book. Actually it can be anything you want.  If you would like more information or would like to sign-up you can click HERE.

Who booked a date this week? Well this week you get me. There was a problem with the person scheduled to go so I had to do one on the fly.

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The last time I booked a date, a measly 2 weeks ago I think, I talked about my trip to NYC for BookCon weekend. What am I booking a date for this time?

Book a Date with Me…AGAINA Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published: May 2nd 2017
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Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

It is finally almost here! Tuesday, May 2nd, the day when I will be dodging Goodreads and my Twitter feed and all things that have the potential to spoil me on my loves Feyre and Rhysand! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for this book. I mean the A Court of Thorns and Roses series may be one of my all time favorite series ever! It is so much in fact a favorite that I am reading A Court of Mist and Fury for the 2nd time…THIS YEAR. Yup, reading a 629 page book two times in one year and all before May. I just can;t get enough. I have the Kindle copy preordered and a hardcover preordered. I’ll be getting the audio when it is available, and I will be getting another copy signed when I get to co-moderate Sarah Maas’ signing when she is in MA on May 10th.

Yup, you read that right, I’m co-moderating, with Sarah from What Sarah Read, Sarah’s signing when she comes to the Burlington, MA Barnes and Noble. This will be my second time moderating for Sarah Maas and let me tell you I am even more of a fan girl now so this shall be interesting.

All I know is I’m booking my date for May 2nd and A Court of Wings and Ruin and you should too!

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On My Radar – May Releases (9)

I’m not sure if this is a common fact in the reading world, but I know us bloggers all know this…May is the month when all the books are released. I swear every week there is a new book we are all dying to read that is coming out. One year I had 3 favorite authors releasing books on the same day, I’m looking at your Sarah J. Maas, Morgan Matson and Kiera Cass.

Luckily this year I don’t have a ton releasing on one day. They are spaced out and I have been lucky enough to read three that I was really excited about. At least the pressure is off there. But there are still a lot coming out in May that I want so I figured I woudl share ones that are on my radar and ones that should be on yours.

On My Radar – May Releases (9)A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published: May 2nd 2017
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Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

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On My Radar – May Releases (9)The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published: May 16th 2017
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake and spending quality time with her parents. But when her mom's cancer reappears, Lucy falters-in her faith and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend "pauses" their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp-one for troubled kids-Lucy isn't sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord's storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life's biggest challenges.

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On My Radar – May Releases (9)The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Published: May 16th 2017
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There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

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On My Radar – May Releases (9)In a Perfect World by Trish Doller
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: May 23rd 2017
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Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp with the hope she’ll be her team’s captain in the fall.

But when Caroline’s mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline’s plans are upended. Caroline is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from her friends, her home, and everything she’s ever known.

With this move, Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But when she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege.

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On My Radar – May Releases (9)The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
Published: May 23rd 2017
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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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On My Radar – May Releases (9)When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: May 30th 2017
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A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

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I have been lucky enough to read The Names They Gave Us, In a Perfect World, and When Dimple Met Rishi. I highly recommend you get those books on my TBR if you don’t have them there already. They were all amazing and wonderful. Personally I’m waiting for ACOWAR the most because I need all the Rhysand I can get in my life.

If you are looking for other books on my radar you can check out my May shelf on Goodreads HERE.

What’s on your radar in May?

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A Year in Reading: 5 Star Reads

Since January 1st I have read 28 books. 6 of those books have been 5 star rereads, 4 have been unrated as of yet, and 12 have fallen somewhere in between. But in all 28 of those books I have managed to read 6 new books that I have loved so much I have given them 5 stars. Most of these books aren’t out yet (mostly summer releases), one will be out a week from tomorrow, and one came out last year. Truthfully though I’m thrilled that 21% of my reading for 2017 has included new 5 star books.  Since I’m so excited about these 6 books I thought it was only fair to share and get you excited for them too.

A Year in Reading: 5 Star ReadsLetters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published: April 4th 2017
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Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

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A Year in Reading: 5 Star ReadsAll Things New by Lauren Miller
Published by Three Saints Press
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From the author of PARALLEL and FREE TO FALL comes a novel about how it feels to be broken and what it means to be real.
Seventeen-year-old Jessa Gray has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn't help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and noticeable scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels. Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, but things go from bad to worse when she realizes she’s seeing bruises and scars on the people around her that no one else can see. She blames it on the accident, but as her body heals and the hallucinations continue, Jessa wonders if what she’s seeing could somehow have a deeper meaning. In her quest for answers, she falls for Marshall, a boy whose kindness and generous heart slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.
ALL THINGS NEW is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world.

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A Year in Reading: 5 Star ReadsA Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
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KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER...
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

Catalia "Cat" Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin's fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

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A Year in Reading: 5 Star ReadsThe Adjustment by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #3
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How do you go back to a life you can’t remember? Find out in this follow up to the New York Times bestselling The Program and The Treatment.

Tatum Masterson never went through The Program. She never had her memory stripped, never had to fight to remain herself. But when Weston, her longtime boyfriend and love of her life, was taken by handlers, she hoped he’d remember her somehow—that their love would be strong enough.

It wasn’t.

Like all returners, Weston came back a blank canvas. The years he and Tatum spent together were forgotten, as well as the week when he mysteriously disappeared before The Program came for him.

Regardless of his memory loss, Tatum fights to get Weston to remember her. And just as they start to build a new love, they hear about the Adjustment—a new therapy that implants memories from a donor. Despite the risks, Tatum and Weston agree to go through the process. Tatum donates her memories from their time together.

But the problem with memories is that they are all a matter of perspective. So although Weston can now remember dating Tatum, his emotions don’t match the experiences. And this discrepancy is slowly starting to unravel him, worse than anything The Program could have done.

And as the truth of their life together becomes clear, Tatum will have to decide if she loves Weston enough to let him go, or to continue to live the lie they’d build together.

Prepare for your Adjustment.

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A Year in Reading: 5 Star ReadsThe Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

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A Year in Reading: 5 Star ReadsWords in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
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Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

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What 5 star books have you read so far this year? Are any of these on your TBR?

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On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)

I am on a staycation this week so I hope to get a lot of reading done. Will that be the case? Time will tell since I have some cards to make (thanks for the order Kelsey!) and a hockey game to attend (I’m going today) and some other things to do. But I do like to get some morning reading in and with some caffeine some late night reading too.

When I plan to spend some time reading I like to have some idea as to what I want to spend time on. Here are about 4 books that are currently in my head to start and one that I need to finish (I took a break to read a crack book).

On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Published by Philomel Books
Published: February 2nd 2016
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Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.
Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

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On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)The Long Game (The Fixer, #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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The Kendricks help make the problems of the Washington elite disappear…but some secrets won’t stay buried.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington, D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate’s campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess’s guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can—and cannot—be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover firsthand that power always comes with a price.

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On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Published by Simon Pulse
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“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

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On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Published by Simon Pulse
Buy on Amazon
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A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

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On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)Coming Up for Air (Hundred Oaks, #8) by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
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Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

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On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake and spending quality time with her parents. But when her mom's cancer reappears, Lucy falters-in her faith and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend "pauses" their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp-one for troubled kids-Lucy isn't sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord's storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life's biggest challenges.

I know I won’t read them all and finishing Salt to the Sea will be accomplishment enough, but a girl can dream.

What’s on your book radar?

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