Blog Tour Review: Summer of Chasing Mermaids – Sarah Ockler {giveaway}

Blog Tour Review: Summer of Chasing Mermaids - Sarah Ockler {giveaway}

 Blog Tour Review: Summer of Chasing Mermaids – Sarah Ockler {giveaway}The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon Pulse
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five-stars

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

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 have been a Sarah Ockler fan since I read Twenty Boy Summer in 2011. Since reading that one my love for her has only grown. But I must confess that I was scared when I read the concept for this story. You see The Little Mermaid is my all-time favorite Disney movie. It has a special place in my heart for reason and I just couldn’t see how it would translate to inspire a book. I mean I knew I would read it because it is a Sarah book, but I was scared that I wouldn’t love it. Well SHAME ON ME! The Summer of Chasing Mermaids was FANTASTIC and the inspiration translated beautifully.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is about Elyse, the youngest of 6 sisters from Tobago, that had the voice of an angel. She was slated to be a star until an accident took that from her but taking her voice. Needing to get away she heads to the Oregon coast to stay with a family friend. While there Elyse has to deal with what her new life will be now that she can’t sing or talk, and what this means for her and her place in her family. As she navigates the grey skies of Oregon and gets closer to her neighbor Christian Kane , who she knows she should stay away from, she must figure out how to be heard when she has something to say and how to let the past pain go so she can move on to the now.

I loved this book more than I could imagine. Elyse’s story hit me hard for some reason. My heart just broke for this poor girl that was alive but had her whole life taken from her. She didn’t know how to fit in with her family anymore, or how her family fit in with her so she ran. She took refuge with people that knew her but didn’t know her and she tried to fit in. But Elyse was never about fitting in. It was about her standing out and finding how to voice what she felt without being able to talk. It was about opening herself up and allowing herself to feel and even love and to trust in herself and the sea.

What I really loved about this book beside Elyse was the side characters. Christian, Lemon, Vanessa, Kirby and Sebastian. They are all vitale to Elyse’s growth and her growing trust and they are used in a way that is befitting to the story. They aren’t just there as background or to move the story along. They are 100% the support characters that Elyse needed to give her the push and the drive. Between Christian open Eylse’s heart to love, Lemon opening her home to this lost girl, Vanessa and Kirby showing what it is like to go after what you want/believe in and the adorable Sebastian (read the book for him alone) opening Elyse’s up to life, you have a perfect cast of characters that only added to the story.

I don’t know how Ockler did it but what she did with The Summer of Chasing Mermaids was amazing. She took the best parts of Twenty Boy Summer, Bittersweet and Fixing Delilah and made me fall in love with her writing and storytelling at a whole new level. The book is emotional and real and will make you smile and then break down in tears. It is a journey of a girl trying to fine her place in the world and I promise you won’t be sorry you read it. You may be singing The Little Mermaid songs in your head, but your heart will be filled with love. READ IT!

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About Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of young adult novels, including #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens' Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, hits the shelves in June 2015.

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she's not writing or reading at home in Washington, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Follow the Summer of Chasing Mermaids Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

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giveaway

 GIVEAWAY:

Details: Win (1) of (2) Sarah Ockler’s prize packs that include a hardcover copy of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and paperback copies of #Scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts and Bittersweet (US Only)

Giveaway starts on MAY 27th and finishes on JUNE 8th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: Trouble from the Start – Rachel Hawthorne

Review: Trouble from the Start – Rachel HawthorneTrouble from the Start by Rachel Hawthorne
Published by HarperCollins
Published: April 28th 2015
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four-half-stars

Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Lauren Barnholdt, and Susane Colasanti, Trouble from the Start is a sweet and romantic read about a good girl who falls for a bad boy.

Avery knows better than to fall for Fletcher, the local bad boy who can't seem to outrun his reputation. Fletcher knows he shouldn't bother with college-bound, daughter-of-a-cop Avery. But when their paths cross, neither can deny the spark. Are they willing to go against everything and let their hearts lead the way? Or are they just flirting with disaster?

A companion novel to Rachel Hawthorne's paperback original The Boyfriend Project, this title is perfect for fans of summer beach reads and sweet treats.

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.

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I have been a Rachel Hawthorne fan for a long time. Actually when I first got big into reading 4 years ago Rachel’s books Love on the Lifts, Thrill Ride and Labor of Love were 3 of my favorites. She just has a way about her writing that makes you smile and feel good about life. So when I saw she was finally coming out with a new book I was beyond thrilled. I knew it was what I had been waiting for for a long time. And I can say it lived up to every one of my high hopes and expectations. It was amazingly awesome!

Trouble from the Start is the story of Avery, the daughter of a cop, the good girl. She has done everything by the book for as long as she can remember. She picks the right guys, does the right thing, makes the right friends. But when her path begins to intersect with Fletcher, the local with the bad reputation, Avery starts to develop feelings for the guy she knows she should stay away from. And honestly the last thing Fletcher needs is to date the daughter of a cop. But as they two of them get closer and closer they need to decide is it better to be who they are supposed to be or give in to the feelings of love.

Have I mentioned how much I loved this book? I can’t really describe what it is about a Rachel Hawthorne book that just makes me so happy. She just has this way about writing her characters that pulls you into the story and makes you invested. I mean Avery and Fletcher could not have been farther from each other’s type but Hawthorne made it work. She made the perfect girl see past the bad boy image and the bad boy see more than a goody two shoes. She made me believe they were the perfect match.

Seriously when all was said and done I loved Fletcher and Avery’s relationship so so much. Fletcher really hurt my heart. I wanted to hug him so bad and I was so happy that he ended up with someone like Avery and even Avery’s family, in his corner. The kid had a bad go of things and he just needed people to be there for him. And Avery was pretty great too. She had trouble being herself around people because they all expected her to be a snobby tattletale and she wasn’t . She was smart and dorky but she wasn’t what everyone thought her to be. Reading about her and Fletcher together really filled me with an amazingly happy feeling.

Basically I didn’t realize how much I missed Rachel Hawthorne until I was lucky enough to get to read another Rachel Hawthorne book. She gets teenagers in a way that so few people do. Her books are fun and with heart and a great story. I highly recommend picking up Trouble From the Start and any other Hawthorne books you can get your hands on!

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Don’t forget to check out my Blog Tour post from 5/1 with a giveaway for this book and The Boyfriend Project or One Perfect Summer.

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Blog Tour: 99 Days – Katie Cotugno (giveaway)

Blog Tour: 99 Days - Katie Cotugno (giveaway)

Blog Tour: 99 Days – Katie Cotugno (giveaway)99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Published by HarperCollins
Published: April 21st 2015
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four-stars
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.
Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”
Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

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.

 

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I’m not usually one for books that involve brothers and one girl. I mean I read the Summer Series by Jenny Han and loved it, but I read another brothers and one girl book that I found just too icky to even review. So I was on the fence about 99 Days. But the more I read the description the more I was leaning towards reading it. And I’m really happy I did. I really enjoyed it in a way that I didn’t expect. But man did it give me massive amounts of anxiety.

quote199 Days is about Molly Barlow and her last summer before college. She has to make it through just 99 days and then she can leave her town behind her and start over. But before she goes she has to face the boy those heart she broke, his brother she used to break it, her friends she left behind, and the mother that exposed it all. 99 days doesn’t seem all that bad in Molly’s head but coming face to face with both Patrick and Gabe makes 99 days seem like a lifetime.

My stomach was in such knots reading 99 Days. Honestly I have never been filled with so many nerves while reading a contemporary book. Molly, Gabe and Patrick where so completely self-destructive. They did everything in their power to destroy anything they had left. Molly was so torn-up by what happened with Patrick, who had been her best friend, and yet she couldn’t stay away from Gabe, the brother that she used to tear him apart. And Patrick was dead set on getting back at Gabe anyway he could, at one upping his older brother. While Gabe wanted to rub everything in Patrick’s face. I was so completely frustrated by all 3 of them. But I also kind of loved them because they were real. They weren’t perfect. They made mistakes. And boy did they ever make mistakes.

quote2The funny thing is that I didn’t want to like Molly when I started the book. I mean she crossed a line that really is never supposed to be crossed. She tore apart a family and then took off. But the more I read of her the more I liked her. She was 17 and stupid. She needed comfort and took it from the wrong place at the wrong time. Who I really didn’t like was Molly’s mother. She was a terrible person and I just couldn’t let that go. Molly made a mistake and was lying about it, but she came to her mom for advice and comfort and that was used against her in a way a mother should never. She really infuriated me.

In the end I enjoyed 99 Days, anxiety and self-destructive decisions included. What I really liked about it is that it did feel real. It didn’t feel manufactured or forced. It felt natural. These people were entangled in each other’s lives in a way that was bound to get messy. I’m really happy to have read this one and I look forward for more from Katie Cotugno.

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Follow the 99 Days by Katie Cotugno Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.
Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Nerve.com. Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is due out from Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013.
The great loves of Katie’s life include child’s pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston (and in sin) with her boyfriend, Tom.
 

 

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Review: Things We Know by Heart – Jessi Kirby

Review: Things We Know by Heart – Jessi KirbyThings We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
Published by HarperCollins
Published: April 21st 2015
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five-stars

In this unforgettable teen romance that fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti will devour, Quinn Sullivan falls for the recipient of her boyfriend's donated heart, forming an unexpected connection that will leave readers utterly breathless.

After Quinn's boyfriend, Trent, dies in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the fragments of her now-unrecognizable life. But whoever received Trent's heart has mysteriously remained silent. The essence of a person, Quinn has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent's, then in a way she still has a piece of him.

Risking everything to find peace once and for all, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she's falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she's lost . . . and all that remains at stake.

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.

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I have been a fan of Jessi Kirby’s books for a long time. I’ve read all of her published books and loved them so it was a given I would read Things We Know by Heart. What wasn’t a given was how freaking much I LOVED it. I mean I knew it would be good, it is Jessi Kirby after all, but I didn’t know it would be as amazing as it was. I was sucked in from the start and never wanted to be pulled out by the end.

Things We Know by Heart is a heartbreaking story of Quinn, the girl that lost the love of her life Trent, to a terrible accident. Quinn is completely lost without Trent, but Trent was an organ donor so she takes to contacting the people that have a part of the boy she loved. She is able to connect with everyone expect for the one boy that got Trent’s heart, Colton Thomas. Determined to reach out to him she goes against the rules and finds Colton on her own. But Quinn doesn’t find just the heart and spirit of Trent, she finds something else that could be even scarier than losing Trent, she finds the beginnings of love. But is it worth it?

The feelings Things We Know by Heart gave me are pretty hard to put into words. I was an emotional wreck reading Quinn and Colton’s stories. That is the easiest way to put it. I mean it doesn’t do my real feelings any justice, but the book wrecked me. I couldn’t fathom being in either Quinn’s or Colton’s position and dealing with everything they were dealing with while also falling for each other. It was just heartbreaking but so beautifully done at that same time. It was a story that just felt real and felt true. You felt how desperately Quinn was holding on to Trent while falling for someone else. And how Colton wanted to forget how close he was to dying while he was once again living.

Basically Things We Know by Heart will tug at your heartstrings. You will tear up and invest yourself in this sad story about grief and moving on and how much of your soul is connected to your heart. You will hurt for Quinn and even want to shake her at times. You will fall in love with Colton but want to tell him to stop being so stupid. You will be a part of their story. And as a reader, there is nothing better than that for me. A must read. Thank you Jessi Kirby for putting this beautiful book out into the world!

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Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye – Cynthia Hand

REVIEW

Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye – Cynthia HandThe Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
Published: February 1st 2015
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five-stars

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

Since her brother, Tyler, committed suicide, Lex has been trying to keep her grief locked away, and to forget about what happened that night. But as she starts putting her life, her family, and her friendships back together, Lex is haunted by a secret she hasn't told anyone—a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

In the tradition of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, Gayle Forman's If I Stay, and Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a thoughtful and deeply affecting novel that will change the way you look at life and death.

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.

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Have the tissues handy. Loads and loads of tissues because The Last Time We Say Goodbye is so emotional and heart aching and sad that you will need them. But trust me when I tell you, you will be a better person after reading this book and feeling Lex’s pain and guilt.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye is the emotional story of Lex, a girl that is consumed with guilt after her younger brother commits suicide. Seem before Tyler killed himself things were good for Lex. She was happy and had a family she loved, and boyfriend that was her perfect match. She was at the top of her class and had everything going for her. She had friends and a life. And just like that her brother was gone and so was everything in Lex’s life that was important. After Tyler she is nothing but the girl that could have saved her brother…if only she answered his text on the night he killed himself, the text no one knows about.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye ripped my heart out and tossed it into a blender. Click To Tweet

This book punched me in the gut. It ripped my heart out and tossed it into a blender and made me cry no less than 4 times. It destroyed me. And yet it was one of the best reading experiences that I have had in a long time because it was real. Lex KILLED me. She was so broken and wracked with guilt and no one was there for her. She was barely holding on and yet she was looking out for her mother, dealing with her father whom she had never forgiven from breaking up their family, hiding from her friends and being suffocated by guilt over the fact that she believed she could have saved Tyler. My heart was crushed for Lex and I felt like I was the only one. Yes, I felt like I was the only one that hurt for the main character because I felt like part of the book.

I guess when you get to the heart of the story it isn’t really about Tyler’s suicide or Lex’s parents or even the text message. The story is about Lex figuring out that her brother was depressed and she couldn’t have saved him if he didn’t want to be saved. It was about her seeing that it was okay for her to be in love and be happy. That it was okay to be mad at her father and to tell him she was mad. That it was okay for her to dream and live out those dreams even though Tyler didn’t get to live out his. That it was okay for her to be mad at him but to also forgive him That was what really killed my soul because Lex didn’t know all of this things and she was just flat out scared of living her life. GUTTED. ME.

I can’t tell you enough to read The Last Time We Say Goodbye. Even though I was demolished by feelings I wanted to read it again after finishing it (I actually got the audio the next day) and I still want to read it again. It is a book about real life and dealing with death and how it is okay when you are the one left behind. It’s a book you must pick up and read. You won’t be sorry even through your tears.

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