New to You (7): Kathleen Reviews Open Road Summer by Emery Lord {+ a 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.


Next up for New to You is Kathleen from Books, TV and More…Oh MY!. When I found out Kathleen hadn’t yet read an Emery book I knew what book I was going to have her take on. Everyone needs a little Matt Finch in their life, not to mention a strong female friendship that Emery does so well. I’m excited to see what she thought! (Make sure you check out the giveaway at the end!)

New to You (7): Kathleen Reviews Open Road Summer by Emery Lord {+ a giveaway}Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
Published: March 3, 2015
Buy on Amazon
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After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O'Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. Her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah's 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of healing hearts and break-up ballads.

But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in this growing genre, Emery Lord's gorgeous debut hits all the right notes of contemporary romance.

I heard about Emery Lord a couple years ago and knew immediately that I wanted to read what she wrote. Since that time I’ve acquired all of her books, but haven’t read one yet. I know, what’s wrong with me?! Thankfully Andi decided to do her “New to You” feature and I jumped at the chance to participate. I gave her a few options of books that I owned that were on her list and after chatting with Gail, they both decided I needed some Matt Finch in my life. Spoiler: They were both right!

Open Road Summer was so beautifully written. I felt like I was physically there on the road with Reagan, Dee, & Matt all summer. While Dee and Matt are singing superstars, they are so down to earth. The first thing I thought of when Dee was described was Taylor Swift, which I’m sure Emery would approve of. Reagan, her best friend and MC of the story, is a strong and loyal. Her tough shell really resonated with me and I liked that she embraced her faults and past and learned from them. Matt is the boy next-door kind of guy. He’s sweet, kind, and honest. All three of the characters are relatable and I can see my friends and myself in each of them.

They all have their own struggles and I think the way they were revealed was very realistic. You feel as though you’re a part of their life and privy to such emotional information. I also think these struggles is what helped form the bond between Reagan and Matt. I liked that the roles were reversed in their case. Reagan was the bad girl and Matt was the good guy. I feel like there aren’t a lot of books that explore that and it was a refreshing change. They dynamic between them was electric at times and at others, you could feel the heartache. One of my favorite parts of the book was the songs Dee and Matt wrote. I feel that music unites everyone and you could feel the connection between Reagan, Dee, Matt, and Jimmy (Dee’s ex-boyfriend).

I absolutely loved this book and look forward to reading the rest of Emery’s books soon! Thanks again Andi for lighting the fire under me, and getting me to read Open Road Summer sooner rather than later.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 12, 2018. It is US ONLY!

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Thanks Kathleen for signing up for New to You! I’m so happy you enjoyed Open Road Summer. Matt Finch will always be one of my babies!

My Open Road Summer review.

Have you read Open Road Summer yet?

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First Reads

There is nothing like reading a book for the first time and falling in love. You really can’t explain it but that first read through is magical. You get to know settings and people and feelings and emotions. But after you read that book for the first time you never get to experience that feeling like you did. I mean a reread is great (I’ve read Anna and the French Kiss 11 times) but that first read is…♥.

I was thinking about this concept when trying to figure out a blog post and it got an idea brewing. If I could go back in time and read a book for the first time again what books would I love to read?

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton: This is probably one of the more quiet YA books that is on my TBR. I’m not sure how many people have read it but it isn’t talked about a lot. It was so fantastic though. I loved the story and the characters so much. How could I not want to read this for the first time all over again.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler: TBS is one of my favorite YA books I have ever read. I read it for the first time when I was just starting to read YA back in 2011 and I fell in love with it. I have since reread it but there is nothing like the first read of this amazing story.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: This book broke my heart and was the first book I actually cried while reading. Like ugly cried. And you know what? I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was so fantastically done and made me fall in love with all of Morgan’s books.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski: Out in about a month I was lucky enough to get to read this final book in the Winner’s Trilogy and I would read it for the first time all over again if given the chance. It was one of those series enders that just works.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: My introduction to Emery Lord was perfect. Matt Finch and Dee and Reagan gave life to one summer. It was such a great friendship and love book that I would give anything to read it for the first time again.

Parallel by Lauren Miller: Another quiet YA on my favorites list. Parallel opened up my love of parallel life books. It was done so perfectly and I just loved everything about it. It was a YA-like Sliding Doors. I would love to have all those 1st read feelings again.

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta: A book I almost didn’t read. I read the first one after a reading deal with a friend and I wasn’t in love with the book nor the character of Froi. But something compelled me to continue and see how it played out. Froi is by far the best literary character I have read and I would love to read this for the first time all over again.

And of course:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Like this wouldn’t have been on the list.


What  book would you love to read for the first time all over again?

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Helen’s Jewels…a Review


Helen’s Jewels is an online jewelry site that sells a variety of different jewelry pieces. They have everything from necklaces to earrings to rings to pendents. Helen’s Jewels though does more than just sell jewelry. Every sale sends a percentage to a Non-Profit organization to help raise awareness of healthy living. Find out more HERE.

What does this have to do with Andi’s ABCs I’m sure you are all asking. Well about a month ago I was contacted by Helen with an offer of a collaboration. Having looked over the pieces and more about the company I was happy to help. Helen had me selected a handful of piece which she so kindly sent me to wear and review for all of my lovely readers.

Since this is mainly a book blog I decided to add a book spin to the 4 pieces I got by pairing them with the main character of a book that I think would wear the item.

helen2Hematite Spike Stone Stretch Bracelet
I’m not one to wear a lot of silver on a normal basis, but when I saw this item on Helen’s Jewels I knew I had to see it. It is fun and sparkly but not too much. It has a heavy feel to it as it is hematite which is a tab heavier of a metal. I has small wrists so sometimes bracelet fit is a struggle but I didn’t have any trouble with this one. And I found the product very comfortable.

When pairing a book with it I had to go with my girl Reagan from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. The sparkle and spikes just seemed like something she would wear. It was girly enough but had that edge that we all know and love about Reagan.

Verdict: A piece I’m happy to have in my jewelry box.


Gold Hammered Stud Earrings
I used to wear earrings a lot more than I have been so when I saw these I figured it would be the perfect time to start wearing them again. What I liked about these is the hammered look to the gold. Even though they are a pretty simple piece that gave them a little more interest than gold gold would have. Also I liked that they weren’t too heavy or too big on my earlobes.

For a book I had to go with Isla from Isla and the Happily Every After by Stephanie Perkins. Isla is a classic girl by nature. She likes roses and simple things. Her most extravagant jewelry item is her compass necklace. When I saw these I could 100% see her wearing these on a date with Josh or even just for the school year.

Verdict: I’ll be wearing earrings more.


Aged Gold Multi Feather Necklace
I love a good long necklace. I like pairing them with simple, classic dresses so I was excited when I got this one. I loved the feather detail too it mixed with the beads and the extra long chain. The feathers are made of a really light material. Probably not the longest lasting of necklace material but it wasn’t heavy so that was a plus. The only downside was that it was loud. It made a lot of noise when I walked because of the material and the length of the chain.

I pictured Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson for this necklace. I’m not really sure why but to me it seemed like something she would have liked to own and would wear.

Verdict: If it wasn’t so loud I would wear it more often.


Gold Variety Charm Bangle Bracelet
Alex and Ani bracelets are my go to for arm wear. When I saw this one on Helen’s site I loved it. I knew it would fit right in with my Alex and Ani’s and it did. It is lighter than the Alex and Ani’s and makes extra noise because of this, but it still was a great fit and I liked it a lot. The turquoise charm was a nice pop of color too.

As for the character, it was one person and one person only that I could think of for this bracelet, Elyse for The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler. The flower charm and the turquoise are really what stood out for me for Elyse to wear this. It has a laid back beach vibe and that is exactly what I got when I read Elyse. This would definitely be something that would adorn her arm for sure.

Verdict: My favorite of the 4.

I would like to thank Helen for this opportunity and for sending me these lovely pieces to review for all of you. Helen has so kindly offered to give my readers 20% off their first purchase on her site. If you are interested please use the code FIRSTBUY20

Here are two of the items I got worn in real life.

2 1

*pieces provided by Helen’s Jewels but opinions are my own.

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An Open “Letter” to My YA Self & a giveaway


I’m very happy to take part in the fabulous feature thought up by Ginger at GReads Books where a bunch of awesome bloggers (and some authors) have written letters to themselves when they were young adults. I struggled with this a little as I’m not a huge letter writer. But as I thought about it I thought about who I am and what seemed more me than writing a letter.


Anna and the French KissTrouble From the StartThe Devil You KnowEmmy & OliverOpen Road Summer

And now the fun part, the giveaway. You can win one of these FAB books thanks to the generosity of the lovely Ginger.


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Thanks for having me Ginger!

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Challenge Updates: January Check-in


Along with my Goodreads Challenge (you can find my progress on the side bar) I also challenged myself to 2 other challenges for 2015. Every month I will check in with my challenge updates.

Re-Read Challenge

Back in December I signed up for The Re-Read Challenge hosted by Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With. Honestly I didn’t expect this to be a problem and so far it hasn’t. I’m on track to reach my goal of 12-14 books without a hitch. My January reads:

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Date Reread: January 1, 2015
Type: Hardcover

I read this book 10 times. You all know my thoughts on it. You all know how much I love it. You all know how I want to read it 10 more times. It is just the epic feel good book and I’m proud to call it my favorite.

Original review found HERE.



open2Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Date Reread: January 5-7, 2015
Type: Audio

I loved Open Road Summer the first time I read it. It is one of those books you just want to hug when you are done. This time I decided to do the audio and it was just as good the second time around. In fact listening to it made me just want to read it again.

Original review found HERE.



I also committed the the Flights of Fantasy challenge run by Alexa Love Books and Hello, Chelly. As you may have heard, I am new to the fantasy genre (thank you Sarah J. Maas and Throne of Glass for this!) and I thought it would be good for me to challenge myself with this one. I have decided to do 12 so I only have to read 1 a month, but I’m off to a great start. The full reviews for this books will be coming soon.


Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Date Read: January 5-8, 2015
Type: eARC

A little Hunger Games meets Divergent at the end, but enjoyable. Some holes in the story but I still became addicted and needed to know how it would end. And end it did. Now I need book 2.

Check back for the full review.





Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LaFevers
Date Read: January 23-26, 2015
Type: Paperback

I fought reading this one until I was basically book bullied into it by like 16 bloggers and 1 author and it was gifted to me. I will say, I’m glad you are all so persistent. I really enjoyed it and LOVE Ismae and Duval.

Check back for full review.

 January Post Wrap-Up


So there you have it, but January check-in. How did you do on your challenges so far?

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