Review: Start Here – Trish Doller {giveaway}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Make me a girl with a razor heart…

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

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

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

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

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Blog Tour Guest Post: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington{GIVEAWAY}

Today is my stop of the blog tour for Jessica Pennington’s sophomore novel, When Summer Ends (out in stores now!). For my stop on the tour, Jessica is posting the ABCs for her two main characters, Aiden and Olivia. Having already read the book (you can find my review HERE), I love what she picked for both of them. It is so spot on!

Without further ado, here are the ABCs:

Accessory: Doesn’t everyone load up their canoe with art supplies?? This summer, Aiden’s taking his art into the great outdoors, to be inspired by the beautiful landscapes and hidden spots of the Michigan beach town he calls home.

Book: Art has always been something Aiden loves, but this summer he needs it to help him in so many ways. And as he adjusts to his new reality, he’ll start looking at art like he never has before.

Clothes: Aiden has had to put away his glove since unexpectedly quitting the team on the last day of school, but he’s still rocking a baseball hat. Except this one’s for River Depot, the tourist trap his family owns along the river, where he’ll be spending his summer along with his cousin Ellis (and maybe a few new friends).

 

Accessory:  Who doesn’t love super cute journals from Rifle Paper Company? Olivia loves to tuck these in her bag so that she’s always ready to jot something down–whether it’s an idea for the essay contest that will snag her a dream internship, or a few lines about the cute new boy she’s sitting on the beach with.

Book: Olivia spent all of her time with her ex sitting on couches and in movie theaters, but this summer, she’s finding herself immersed in the great outdoors for the first time. And a surprising amount of her time is being spent in a canoe. Her first few trips weren’t so graceful–she needs to figure out how not to look like a total klutz with Aiden Emerson sitting right behind her.

Clothes: With a new job at River Depot, renting out canoes to tourists, indoors-inclined Olivia is feeling more than a little out of her element. All she wants is a pair of cute khaki shorts for her required uniform. Unfortunately, that’s not even close to what she gets.

Blog Tour Guest Post: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington{GIVEAWAY}When Summer Ends: A Novel by Jessica Pennington
Published by Tor Teen
Published: April 9, 2019
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Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he's losing his vision at seventeen?

Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she's starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.

Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.

About Jessica Pennington

Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. A serial entrepreneur with a B.A. in public relations, Jessica has a passion for grassroots marketing. She lives in a Michigan beach town, where she owns more YA novels than many teens and spends most of her time on a laptop, rather than on a beach.

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Link: http://theheartofabookblogger.com/announcing-the-when-summer-ends-blog-tour

April 1st
The Heart of a Book Blogger — Interview
Mel and Her Books — Review

April 2nd
The Candid Cover — Review
Mahkjchi’s Not So Secret Books — Aesthetic

April 3rd
Book Crushin’ — Creative Post
Buried in a Bookshelf — Video Interview

April 4th
Laura’s Bookish Corner — Dream Cast
Blunt Book Blog — Review

April 5th
Confessions of a YA Reader — Interview
Lala’s Book Reviews — Excerpt

April 6th
Ashleigh’s Bookshelf — Review

April 7th
The YA Book Traveler — Aesthetic

April 8th
The Clever Reader — Favorite Quotes
TBR and Beyond — Interview

April 9th
Smada’s Book Smack — Playlist
Belle’s Archive — Review

April 10th
Andi’s ABCs — Guest Post
Travel, Books, and More…Oh My! — Dream Cast

April 11th
Book Loaner — Review

April 12th
The Mind of a Book Dragon — Interview
Bookishly Slytherclaw — Review

Thanks so much, Jessica for stopping by and guest posting! And thanks to Jordan at The Heart of a Book Blogger for hosting the tour!

Go out and buy When Summer Ends today!

 

 

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Celebrate Good Times…{Giveaway}

Holy crap! Today is my 6th blogiversary. 6 years of sharing my life and love of books with all of you. Seriously, where does the time go?!?!

Over my past blogiversary posts (minus my 4th year as I was lazy and didn’t do one) I have talked about highlights from the past year and shared some of my favorite reads. While I did have some great highlights, I am going to skip that this year. I am going to focus on my favorite reads and on some bookish things I have coming up/planned for 2019. And make sure you scroll to the end to enter my giveaway.

The Books:

I read 100 books last year. My goal was 125, but I reached 100 which was enough for me.

Out of those 100 books, one of them was 992 pages long so I basically think you can say I read 102 books. 😛

Of course Anna was read again as was A Court of Mist and Fury. Those are my yearly staples.

Some Favorites (click on the cover to purchase on Amazon):

These are just a sampling of my 2018 5 star reads that are already available for purchase.

These are a sample of 5 star reads that will be out in 2019.

Bookish Events Early 2019:

ALA Midwinter 2019

In 2 weeks time I am heading to Seattle for the first time and hitting up ALA for at least one of the days I am there. I’m really excited to see a new city and Seattle has always been on the list of US places to see.

I read all 5 books (three from the Grisha Verse and 2 from Six of Crows series) in the end of 2018 to get ready for this book release and signing. I can’t wait to meet Leigh again on 1/30, and this time I have read her books.

Just a couple of days later I will be moderating the A. C. Gaughen and Brigid Kemmerer signing in Cambridge, MA. I love these two ladies and these two books so I’m super excited about this. I got to blurb Brigid’s book for the ARCs wish was AMAZING! And I think this is like the 4th time I have moderating a signing for A. C. Gaughen so it is becoming our thing. 😛

Image result for apollycon

And rounding out the beginning of the year I will be hitting up ApollyCon for the 2nd year in a row. I look forward to this event for months. I get to see some of my favorite people and I get to visit a city that is becoming one of my favorite places to see.

This giveaway is for an Amazon Fire 7, 7″ display Tablet with Alexa, a book of choice ($15 max) and a $10 Amazon gift card. The giveaway will run from 1/11/19 to 1/27/19 at 11:59PM EST. It is US ONLY. I love you my international readers but shipping is just too much. Giveaway accounts will be disqualified so please don’t enter if you are just a bot looking for free stuff.

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Make sure you stick around and follow Andi’s ABCs this year. I have the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge that I host, my new monthly feature, New to Me, and I am working with some great debut bloggers over the next few month.

Thanks for making 6 years go by in a flash. You are all the best! ♥

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New to You (22): Nicole reviews Altered by Jennifer Rush {giveaway}

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.

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For my last New to You of the year we have Nicole from Boundless Bookaholic. She read and reviewed an old favorite of mine, Altered by Jennifer Rush. Let’s see what she had to say about it.

New to You (22): Nicole reviews Altered by Jennifer Rush {giveaway}Altered (Altered, #1) by Jennifer Rush
Published: January 1, 2013
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three-half-stars

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who has stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Not a bad read, but not a favorite either. This one fell right in the middle of the rating scale for me. I’m giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I’ll be honest…when I started this book, I was not engrossed in the story. I was having a hard time connecting, and the writing style was part of the problem for me. I kept noticing the overly descriptive passages, how there was repetition sometimes, etc. But that being said, the plot was interesting and unique. There were even some twists that surprised me, which doesn’t happen often (i.e. almost never).
I liked Anna’s character quite a bit, and Sam, Cas, Nick, and Trev were super entertaining as well, especially Cas. He might have been my favorite character in this book because of his personality. Anna had a different “relationship” with each boy, but most of the focus was on her and Sam. Without spoiling anything, I will just say that Sam was swoony at moments, but he never lost sight of the important things. He was almost laser-focused, which makes sense considering everything they were dealing with.
This book could easily be read in one sitting; I didn’t want to put it down most days after I finally got hooked by the story. I need to know what happens next, so I’ll be checking out the rest of the series. If you love young adult sci-fi/dystopian books, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

 

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Thanks Nicole for signing up for New to You. Sorry this was middle of the road for you but happy you gave it a chance!

Giveaway is US only and ends on January 4, 2019  at 11:59pm EST.

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