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
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
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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New to You (11): Ginger Reviews P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Next up for New to You is Ginger from G Reads!. I can’t even tell you how Ginger came into my life, but I’m so happy she did. We have a lot of great text conversations, stupid distance, and talk a lot about books. I really thought G would connect with this book when her and I were discussing it and I’m so happy she it. Let’s see what she thought about P. S. I Like You.

New to You (11): Ginger Reviews P.S. I Like You by Kasie WestP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point
Published: July 25, 2017
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-stars

Signed, sealed, delivered...While spacing out in Chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk, and added a message to her. Intrigue!Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters -- sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she's kind of falling for this letter writer. Only who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery, and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can't always be spelled out...Kasie West brings irresistible wit, warmth, and sparkle to this swoon-worthy story of love showing up when you least expect it.

I’ve come to learn about Kasie West novels that they sneak up on me and surprise me in the best way possible while reading them. This particular story was such a delight to read. From beginning to end, I found myself smiling from the adorable storyline, to the irresistible characters. I couldn’t get enough of this breath of fresh air.

Lily is a girl after my own heart. She comes from a very crazy hectic family that is so full of life. Immediately I was drawn to the addictive chaos that Lily called home. She is still a girl with her own dreams, and her own aspirations, on top of managing siblings and household duties. Her solace lies within lyrics. Her dream is to win a lyric writing contest, where she hopes to pursue a life long dream. Already I was rooting for Lily! What she doesn’t expect is for someone to discover her lyrics, which begins as an innocent relationship of pen pals between Chemistry classes. I found myself anxious, just like Lily, to discover the next hidden note that was waiting for her in class. As Lily began to develop a connection to this secret pen pal, I too, wondered who could be on the other end of those letters.

Though the reveal came almost half way through the novel, as the reader you begin to suspect early on based on the interactions Lily has with other classmates. Without spoiling the fun, I’ll just say that her secret pen pal is not at all who she thought it would be. And when she does realize who it is, there’s an instant disappointment. Lily had built up this pseudo relationship in her mind, only to be crushed when the reality of it was revealed. This is where the true beauty in this novel really began to shine. The story shifted from an adorable secret pen pal randevu, and melded into a solid, deeply rooted story about discovering real relationships in the most unlikely places, all while learning who Lily truly is herself.

Kasie West delivers again and I can’t wait to read another one of her novels. I am so thankful for Andi’s New to You feature because it has brought a book that’s been sitting on my shelf, for far too long, front and center in my reading world.

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Thanks Ginger for signing up for New to You! I’m so happy you joined and enjoyed this one. I still giggle thinking about one part of this gem! If you want to follow Ginger and see some great romance recommendation, check her out of Twitter.

My review of P. S. I Like You

Have you read anything Kasie West books? PS is my favorite contemporary book by her with Pivot Point being my favorite of her none contemporary.

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Review: P.S. I Like You – Kasie West

Review: P.S. I Like You – Kasie WestP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point
Published: July 26th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

Signed, sealed, delivered...

While spacing out in Chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk, and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters -- sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she's kind of falling for this letter writer. Only who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery, and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can't always be spelled out...

Kasie West brings irresistible wit, warmth, and sparkle to this swoon-worthy story of love showing up when you least expect it.

Kasie West has done it again. It’s true that I have been in love with Kasie’s books since I read Pivot Point and have loved her contemporary books as well, but P.S. I Like You blew all her other contemps out of the water.  I can’t really explain why but I felt like this book got me or how I feel half the time. It was basically perfectly perfect.

P.S. I Like You is about Lily, a self-proclaimed weird girl from a big family. She doesn’t really fit in with people and is very awkward in her own eyes. She has her best friend Isabel and a great family so that is all she needs. But when Lily gets bored in chemistry class and jots down lyrics to a song things change for her. All of a sudden someone writes back and Lily is opened to the possibility that she isn’t as alone as she thinks. Soon she is exchanging personal letters with a mystery boy and she is falling for him. However when Lily realizes who she is writing to she has to figure out just exactly what it is she is looking for.

I could sit here and split apart my review like I do. I could tell you about the plot (action) and the setting (background) but this book is amazing because of what the characters bring to the setting and the plot. Lily, Cade, Isabel and Lily’s whole family are what made this book what it was for me and I want to focus on that love.

The thing about Lily is that she is so completely relatable. She is awkward and weird and doesn’t know what to say a lot of the time. She is basically all of us. Lily finds that she can communicate so much more easily when she is writing things and that is how I think a lot of us feel. It is easy to say things when you are putting “on paper” and not face to face. Her interactions with some of the boys made me cringe and giggle and made me feel like I was her. She is amazing. Honestly I don’t know what I liked to read about more, her back and forth banter with Cade, her awesome friendship with her bestie that accepted her for who she was, or her with her family. They were all these parts of Lily that made up her whole person and I just loved it.

Seriously though Lily’s family was the bees knees and I so want them to adopt me. They were so chaotic and not perfect and just people. How can you not fall in love with that crew? They reminded me a lot of my house on Thanksgiving. You honestly never know what will happen which makes it entertaining to say the least. In total though they were just a great support system for Lily. No really, can they adopt me?

All I can really tell you is I was left swooning and smiling and wanting to be a part of Lily’s life. It was everything I wanted in a Kasie West book and maybe even more. She nailed it and it was utterly fantastic.

P.S. Read It!

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Blog Tour: Two Summers by Aimee Friedman (Deleted Scene + Giveaway)

twosummers

Today on the blog we have Aimee Friedman, author of Two Summers. Aimee is sharing with us a scene that was deleted from an earlier draft and it is pretty awesome! Go forth and enjoy.

This scene was actually in an earlier draft of the book, when I had a slightly different plotline for Summer: she was working at the local bookstore alongside her crush, Hugh. This scene takes place before an author reading at the store; Summer and Hugh are busy getting ready and have A Moment.

 

I stop for a moment, breathing in the musty scents of paper and leather binding. Then I hustle past the tables stacked high with fat paperbacks and shiny hardcovers. I head into the dusty back storeroom, determined to prove that I can be useful. I pick my way past cardboard boxes, careful not to dirty my white sundress. I am kneeling to open the mini-fridge when someone else walks in.

Hugh.

The tiny room suddenly feels even smaller, and heat fills my face. As Hugh maneuvers around me, his elbow brushes the back of my neck.

“I don’t mean to be in your way,” he says. “I’m just getting another table.”

“No problem,” I mumble. You’re just giving me heart palpitations. Carry on.

I turn slightly to study him. He’s dressed well for the reading, in a button-down light-blue shirt and dark slacks. His sleeves are rolled up, and I take in his nicely toned forearms as he easily lifts a folding table from the corner.

Before he can catch me staring, I whip back around. The fridge’s cold air is like a balm on my flushed cheeks. I yank out the plastic-wrapped plate of cheese cubes and stand up so fast I stagger backwards, crashing directly into Hugh.

Of course.

“You OK?” Hugh says, putting a hand on his shoulder to steady me. I glance back at him, humiliated, and notice that his cheeks are kind of red.

He blushes, too, I think, surprised. He’s not a different species.

I know he’s only blushing because I’ve almost knocked him over, and not because our faces are so close that I can see the faint scar above his top lip. My heart is racing.

“Hugh? Summer? Where are you guys?”

Blog Tour: Two Summers by Aimee Friedman (Deleted Scene + Giveaway)Two Summers by Aimee Friedman
Published by Point
Published: April 26th 2016
Add to Goodreads

ONE SUMMER in the French countryside, among sun-kissed fields of lavender . . .

ANOTHER SUMMER in upstate New York, along familiar roads that lead to surprises . . .

When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she’s dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants, handsome boys, and art museums. In the other, she remains home, in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue — but nothing is as it seems.

In both summers, she will fall in love and discover new sides of herself. What may break her, though, is a terrible family secret, one she can't hide from anywhere. In the end, it may just be the truth she needs the most.

From New York Times bestselling author Aimee Friedman comes an irresistible, inventive novel that takes readers around the world and back again, and asks us what matters more: the journey or the destination.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About Aimee Friedman

Aimee Friedman was born and raised in Queens, New York, in an apartment filled with books and different languages. She wrote her first story at the age of five, and was off and running from there. Aimee wrote all through her years as a student at the Bronx High School of Science and then Vassar College. After graduating from college in 2001, she became a children's book editor, a job she still does, and loves, to this day! Aimee published her first novel, the New York Times bestseller, South Beach, in 2005, and is now the author of several novels for young adults, the latest being Two Summers. Aimee lives in New York City, where she can usually be found writing in cafes, window-shopping, or searching for the perfect iced latte.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/27/2016- Novel Novice– Guest Post
6/28/2016- Page Turners Blog– Review
6/29/2016- The Cover Contessa Interview
6/30/2016- Just Commonly– Review
7/1/2016- YA Book Nerd Interview

Week Two:
7/4/2016- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
7/5/2016- Andi’s ABCs– Guest Post
7/6/2016- A Dream Within A Dream– Review
7/7/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book– Guest Post
7/8/2016- Margie’s Must Reads– Review

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of TWO SUMMERS and TWO SUMMERS travel bags, US Only.

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Review: Two Summers – Aimee Friedman

Review: Two Summers – Aimee FriedmanTwo Summers by Aimee Friedman
Published by Point
Published: April 26th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-half-stars

ONE SUMMER in the French countryside, among sun-kissed fields of lavender . . .

ANOTHER SUMMER in upstate New York, along familiar roads that lead to surprises . . .

When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she’s dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants, handsome boys, and art museums. In the other, she remains home, in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue — but nothing is as it seems.

In both summers, she will fall in love and discover new sides of herself. What may break her, though, is a terrible family secret, one she can't hide from anywhere. In the end, it may just be the truth she needs the most.

From New York Times bestselling author Aimee Friedman comes an irresistible, inventive novel that takes readers around the world and back again, and asks us what matters more: the journey or the destination.

I’m a parallel life book fanatic. I mean they have to be some of my favorite topics in the YA genre. I love the possibility of seeing the what-ifs because even if we don’t admit it we all sometimes think ‘what-if I decided to ____ instead of ____’. It’s human nature to wonder so as a reader seeing these outcomes enthralls me. Which brings me to Two Summers, a book by Aimee Friedman that I happened to have fall into my lap by chance, and a book that added even more flame to my love of all things parallel life.

Two Summers is about Summer, a girl on her way to France to spend the summer with her father and leave her small town in New York behind her. When Summer is about to board the plane she receives a phone call that splits in life in two. In one world she stays in her home town and in the other she flys to France as planned. As Summer navigates her life in both settings she is faced with some realities she didn’t expect and a secret that is destined to be exposed no matter the what-ifs.

The thing about parallel life books is they can go epically bad if the author is not careful. One small thing that goes unnoticed can lead to confusion and the reader not able to follow what is happening. Aimee Friedman made sure that was not the case with Two Summers. There was something that she need that made both lives separate and on their own but she wove a thread through them that still made them connected in a subtle but important way. I never once felt like I was taken out of the story when the life changed and it all flowed really seamlessly which is huge when writing this kind of book. Bravo to Aimee for nailing it. Also I love the almost double meaning of the title. I found that a really clever play on words and meanings.

Well half the book takes place in France so um yeah, total winner right there in terms of backdrop. You can’t really miss when you have France as a guest star. Between the food (I’m looking at you Aimee for my new found love again of Pain au Chocolat), museums, artistry and descriptions I was completely in love with this setting. And I admit, I kind of loved Summer’s hometown too. It was one of those small quaint places where Summer had lived her whole life but one summer changed everything for her. Instead of living in the bubble she found herself in she found places she never knew existed and opened her eyes to the possibility of more. (Side note: the use of the camera in both lives was genius to get all of this across.)

Truthfully, this book didn’t get 5 stars because of Summer. I actually really liked her, but she read a little old for 16 and because of that I personally couldn’t give it all the stars. If it wasn’t mentioned that she was turning 16 I would have thought her to be 18. That aside, I did love the changes and growth of the character in both stories. She had a lot come to light in a short period of time but I really liked the way she handled things. I also really loved the romance aspect. It’s hard with a parallel because you can sometimes love boy boys. But for me I had a favorite from the beginning. What I didn’t like was Summer’s BFF Ruby. I got what she was saying. I understood her point, but I did not like how she did what she did. That to me was not cool. But all in all the characters in both France and New York really drove the story.

If you are a fan of Lauren Miller’s book Parallel, you will love Two Summers. That’s what I can compare it to and if you know me you know that is huge as I am a big fan of Lauren Miller. Two Summers was just really smartly done. I didn’t have any questions at the end. I didn’t question which timeline was the ‘real’ timeline. Honestly I didn’t want to know. And the epilogue, yes, the epilogue, tied every part of the story together in the best of ways. It was the perfecting ending for a parallel life book. Basically read it. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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