Review: Fireworks – Katie Cotugno

Review: Fireworks – Katie CotugnoFireworks by Katie Cotugno
Published by Balzer + Bray
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

It was always meant to be Olivia. She’s the talented one, the one who’s been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, is the levelheaded one, always on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

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

Sometimes you pick up a book and you just don’t know how it is going to go for you. You’ve read books by the author and enjoyed one and was conflicted on the other. You like the premise but know it has the potential to go in a different direction than you expect. Because of these things you are almost scared to pick up the book. This was me with Fireworks. I was worried how I would feel about it. I was scared I wouldn’t love it. I was scared I would be disappointed or conflicted. Instead I got one of my favorite books of the year. Simply put…it was freaking fantastic.

There was so much I loved about Fireworks. The setting, the characters, the romance, the friendship, the plot, the writing. I loved it all and I loved it all because it meshed flawlessly together. As soon as I started reading and realized these girls would technically be my age now, I was sucked in. Then I got the the ‘boy band’ part and I was transported to the 90s. Then I got to the romance and I swooned. And finally I got to the heartache of strained friendships and I bawled. The book was magical in its beautiful woven parts and made me a fan for life.

I really can’t even find the words to tell you how genuinely in love I am with Fireworks. It was a book that just got me. I felt a connection to it and I just can’t explain why. It wasn’t what I expected yet it was what I wanted and more. Another must read in 2017.

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Blog Tour: Future Threat by Elizabeth Briggs + giveaway

Blog Tour: Future Threat by Elizabeth Briggs + giveawayFuture Threat by Elizabeth Briggs
Series: Future Shock #2
Published by Aw Teen
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

Six months ago Aether Corporation sent Elena, Adam, and three other recruits on a trip to the future where they brought back secret information--but not everyone made it back to the present alive. Now Elena's dealing with her survivor's guilt and trying to make her relationship with Adam work. All she knows for sure is that she's done with time travel and Aether Corporation.

But Aether's not done with her--or Adam, or fellow survivor Chris. The travelers on Aether's latest mission to the future have gone missing, and Elena and her friends are drafted into the rescue effort. They arrive in a future that's amazingly advanced, thanks to Aether Corporation's reverse-engineered technology. The mission has deadly consequences, though, and they return to the future to try to alter the course of events.

But the future is different yet again. Now every trip through time reveals new complications, and more lives lost--or never born. Elena and Adam must risk everything--including their relationship--to save their friends.
The second book in the New York Times bestselling Future Shock trilogy.

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

If you know me you know my love for all things time travel and parallel life. I’m a sucker for stories where you get to see the future or what life could have been my making a change. To me these two things really go hand in hand. If someone travels into the future they are now creating a parallel life where this happens and that will change things. It is an endless loop of mind games and questions. And the newest book in the Future Shock trilogy, Future Threat, does just that.

Future Threat takes place 6 months after the end of Future Shock. Elena, Adam and Chris are trying to get back to their normal lives after everything that happened to them and what the Aether Corporation have done to them. But getting back to normal is easier said than done. Each of them struggle with what happened and with the memories they can’t forget, especially Elena. Prepared to never think about Aether or time travel again the 3 of them are once again approached by the company needing their help. Reluctantly the 3 of them travel 30 years into the future to help bring back another team of time travelers. While they are there things don’t go as planned and soon they all find themselves fighting to find a way to fix a future that they could lose forever.

I will say that I found Future Threat predictable. Not in a bad way. I mean I knew how it was all going to go down almost immediately, but I still was on the end of my seat trying to figure out if I was actually wrong or not. I was 100% entertained and interested the whole time. Part of that interest was because of all the parallel worlds that were formed because of changes. I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about them and how each choice these teens made in the future would essentially effect not only the past but the future from that past, if that makes sense. I was fascinated by how things changed so easily from visit to visit and was curious what it would all mean to the main couple, Adam and Elena.

Oh Adam and Elena. Elena killed me in this book. She refused to get out of her own way and I wanted to shake her. Actually I wanted to shake Adam too because it was so obvious what she was doing and he ignored it. They definitely frustrated me. But I also really liked there story and how even when they were being weird with each other they still had each other’s back. That is really important to who they are as characters and I was happy that was still the case. I also really liked how they responded differently to things they saw in their futures and wanted to work to make it all happened.

In the end I really liked this installment of the story. I liked where the characters went and how they changed and learned. And I loved the time travel aspect. The end was a little too cliff hangery for my liking, but just all the more reason to look forward to book 3. Final thought…thumbs up.

*to see the other blogs on the tour click the tour banner.

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive finished copies of FUTURE THREAT & FUTURE SHOCK, US ONLY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Mini Reviews #4

Mini Reviews #4Wrecked by Maria Padian
Published by Algonquin Young Readers
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night.

Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked.

Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with.

When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school’s investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible--especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.

Wrecked offers a kaleidoscopic account of a sexual assault on a college campus. It will leave you thinking about how memory, identity, and who sits in judgment shape what we all decide to believe about the truth.

Wrecked was a weird reading experience for me. To be honest I hated the characters. There truthfully wasn’t one character that I actually liked. I don’t think I was supposed to like any of them so that was a bit of a struggle. But I loved the story and how true it felt. And it is a story that a lot of people need to read because like it or not these things happen more and more in college and I think we need to pay more attention to that as a society.

I guess the first thing I can say about Wrecked was I didn’t envy Haley’s position. It’s hard to put into words really. I 100% felt for Jenny, even if I didn’t like her all the time, I can’t imagine what she was going through and how hard it was for her. I also felt bad for Haley. What she was asked to do for Jenny would have been hard if it had been your best friend for years and years and years. But Haley and Jenny had only known each other a few months and here she was with this responsibility. It honestly made me think what I would have done in that position. It was a terrible place for both characters when it comes down to it and I didn’t want to be either one of them.

I guess when it comes down to it Wrecked is just an important book. It’s a book that realistically looks at a he said/she said argument in terms of sexual assault. It’s a book that shows you how sides are drawn and how people are put in the middle. A book that shows you how the victim is made into a criminal. Like the characters or not, it’s a book that should be read.

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Mini Reviews #4For This Life Only by Stacey Kade
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently.

Three minutes.

Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes.

And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s planned future is crushed, along with his pitching arm. Everyone keeps telling him that Eli’s in a better place, but Jace isn’t so sure. Because in those three minutes, there was nothing.

Overwhelmed by guilt and doubt, Jace struggles to adjust to this new version of the world, one without his brother, one without the certainties he once relied on. And then Thera comes into his life.

She’s the last girl he should be turning to for help.

But she’s also the first person to truly see him.

Having just read Stacey Kade’s book, 738 Days, not that long ago, I was excited with the prospect of reading another by her. The concept of For This Life Only sounded great. It totally seemed to be a book that was my kind of book. Sadly when I finished it I didn’t have the same feelings I felt when I read 738 Days. To be truthful I was really conflicted (still am) on how I felt about it.

I guess in all honesty it kind of threw me a little as I was reading. I didn’t expect For This Life Only to have such a strong religious theme to it and it did. Don’t get me wrong, I will happily read books that are religious themed (Pure by Terra Elan McVoy and Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker are two of my favorites) but I want to know it is going to be religious when I go in. I had no idea this book was going to be and it threw me a little.

I really liked the idea behind the book, still do, but in the end I felt like a lot wasn’t answered and the religious aspect was huge but really didn’t even add to the story. I guess I don’t know what felt off for me, but something did and when all is said and done I was sad. If you do decide to read For This Life Only know there are religious parts. Maybe knowing that going in will make a difference. I wish I did.

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Mini Reviews #4Game On by Michelle Smith
Series: Lewis Creek #1
Published by Bloomsbury Spark
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.

Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.

In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.

Game On is definitely my favorite of the two books in the Lewis Creek stories. Eric and Bri’s story was the perfect “girl next door” type of story. Seriously I just loved both of these characters so much. And they played off each other perfectly. They had a natural chemistry and you just couldn’t help falling for them. They were both in a place where they needed to grow and change and I think finding their lost friendship was a way for them to do that.

I guess what I liked the most was how Michelle Smith told the story of Eric and Bri. They didn’t go from not being friends to being friends in the blink of an eye. It was a process and it slowly happened, naturally happened. And when it did they remembered all the things that had made them besties in the first place and built off of that. That was what I enjoyed the most and what made Game On a book I would recommend.

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Review: Disruption – Jessica Shirvington

Review: Disruption – Jessica ShirvingtonDisruption by Jessica Shirvington
Published by HarperCollins
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

The heart-stopping first chapter in bestselling author Jessica Shirvington's Disruption series.

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?

What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation's M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loved most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it. Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer - heir to the M-Corp empire - has become key to Maggie's plan.

But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin's involvement destroy everything she's fought for?

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.

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

I had read a Jessica Shirvington book, Between the Lines/One Past Midnight, about 2 years ago on the suggestion of a friend that knows I love a good parallel life book. I really enjoyed it so I was excited when I saw her name as the author Disruption. I was even more excited when I saw what the book was about and then even more excited when a friend told me that I would love it because I loved Suzanne Young’s The Program series. Consider me hooked. And hooked on the book I was. Disruption was like The Program meets Free to Fall (Lauren Miller) meets Unleashed (Sophie Jordan) meets the love machine episode of Saved by the Bell and it was fantastic.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I loved about this book. It could be the characters (Maggie and Quentin and Gus!!!), it could be the romance, it could be the plot, or it could be all 3 things.   The truth is, this book is addictive and I think it is because of all those things. I was on the end of my seat wondering what would happen to Maggie and Quentin. And even when I had an inkling on what I thought would happen I still wanted to read more just to know if I was right. It all unfolded so perfectly that I didn’t even care that some was a little predictable.

I guess in the long run I loved that this book reminded me of some many of my other favorite stories. It had so many moving pieces and the characters were so interesting I was sucked in from the start. In the end I was left dying for book 2 because I need to know what is going to happen after everything that went down in the final 30 or so pages. Disruption was a total surprise for me and I loved every minute of it.

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Review: All in Pieces – Suzanne Young

Review: All in Pieces – Suzanne YoungAll in Pieces by Suzanne Young
Published by Simon Pulse
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

“Anger-management issues.”

That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.

The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.

Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own; a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself, except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.

And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely.

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

It isn’t often that you get the privilege of reading a book that wraps you up in the story so much that you actually forget you are reading. Usually when I read I’m aware there is a book in my hand, aware I’m flipping pages on my Kindle, aware that I’m reading fiction. All in Pieces was one of those rare occasions where I forgot I was reading. I forgot that I wasn’t part of the story. I forgot it was fiction. I forgot everything but the beauty of the story Suzanne Young crafted to perfection. I can’t say enough how much I loved this book.

All in Pieces! What do I say about All in Pieces?? The book was mesmerizing and beautiful and heartbreaking and gorgeous. That’s what I can say about it. The way Suzanne told the story of this poor girl that was dealt a crappy deck of life cards just blew me away. Savvy tried so hard, loved so much, and did everything she could for her brother and she just never felt like it was enough, like she was enough. She would have given everything she could of for her little brother, Evan, and my heart broke because there was then nothing left for her. The way she loved Evan was just beautiful and pure and it made me love Savvy all that much more.

Speaking of Savvy I also loved her family. When I say family I don’t mean it in conventional terms. For Savvy her family was made up of her two friends, Travis and Retha, who had her back no matter what. They were the ones that made her believe in herself and if it wasn’t for Retha I don’t think Savvy ever would have let Cameron in. Cameron, oh Cameron. He was so imperfectly perfect and the best person Savvy would ever invite into her life and heart. He was so patient and loving and kind and just awesome. Instead of walking away (which I think most people would have) he gave her time to trust and open up and I think that right there was everything to Savvy. Basically he and Savannah were perfect together.

All in Pieces is everything I wanted and needed in a book that I didn’t know I wanted or needed. It’s the kind of book that gives you a plethora of feels and just leaves you wanting more. I was a sobby mess in the end and I’m so thankful for this book and for Suzanne Young for writing it. A must add to your TBR.

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