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.

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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
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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: Lucky in Love – Kasie West

Review: Lucky in Love – Kasie WestLucky in Love by Kasie West
Published by Scholastic
Published: July 25th 2017
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four-stars

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Another Kasie West book? Sign me up please! That was my first reaction to hearing about Lucky in Love. I’m a Kasie West fan. There is no denying it. I have loved just about every book she has released (Pivot Point and PS I Like You are my two favorites). But the the hesitation set in. Her last book was not a favorite of mine so I was a little nervous going into Lucky in Love. I wasn’t sure if I would bet a PS I Like You gem or if I would be disappointed. I can happily say Lucky in Love was delightful and I was not let down at all.

The concept is simple when you think about it. Poor family that struggle for everything they have. They fight because money is a stressor. Girl randomly buys a lottery ticket, because she is basically forced into it, and wins. Everything changes and makes things seem better, but does money really solve all problems? But West brought her own style to the story that made anything other than simple. What Maddie went through after winning the lottery made it feel real and it was all believable. I understood why she thought money would fix everything and why she was spending it like a crazy person when she actually is a responsible person.  When you are given the opportunity to have no financial burden you are definitely going to make some bad choices. And man did Maddie ever. The only choice I think she made that was right was getting close to Seth.

I mean can we talk about Seth for a minute? Could a boy be any sweeter or adorable? He was the perfect counterpart to Maddie and all her current uncertainty. I feel like Seth, by Maddie not telling him about winning, was her grounding point. He was her reality that didn’t change and that was exactly what she needed. I loved everything about their friendship and relationship and the time they spent together. Seriously, did I mention how perfect he was??

All in all I really enjoyed Lucky in Love. There was a part at the end that wasn’t my favorite, but aside from that I found it to be a great, solid story.  I’m really happy I didn’t let me nerves get the better of me because I would have missed a really fun book. Also, I’m not sure I would ever tell anyone if I won the lottery. 😉

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Review: Sinner – Maggie Stiefvater

Review: Sinner – Maggie StiefvaterSinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4
Published by Scholastic Press
Published: July 1, 2014
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four-half-stars

found.Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get Isabel Culpeper back. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn't just want her. He needs her.

lost. Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It's not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes...but what's the point? What is there to win?

sinner.Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to save each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.

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.

Cole St. Clair, how much I missed you. That was the first thought I had while reading Sinner.

It had been a long time since I was in the world of Cole and Isabel. Stiefvater ended the Wolves of Mercy Falls series in 2011. That’s about 3 almost full years since I was a part of that world so I was nervous going in. I remember what I loved about the first three books was the beautiful writing, but not so much the wolf aspect. But when I heard there was a new book coming out and it was staring Cole and Isabel I swallowed my worry and got my hands on it. Jumping back into this series after 3 years taught me one thing…Cole and Isabel are everything!

Sinner is a very different book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. When we last left off Sam and Grace were headed to college and Isabel was headed to Los Angeles. Sinner kind of picks up where Forever left off. Isabel is in fact in LA and that is exactly where Cole heads when he decides to start his music career back up. With Narkotika over, Cole signs on to a web reality show with an internet sensation, Baby, running the show. Too bad everyone that was ever in contact with Baby has ended up crashing and burning. Clean now Cole refuses to let her make him fall apart because he is after more than just music, he is also there for Isabel. The question that remains is does wounded, closed off, tough girl want him to be there for her?

Have I mentioned yet how much I love Cole St. Clair because I do. He is possibly the most perfect flawed character I have read in any book, or at least in a really long time. There is nothing about him that is typical. He speaks before the thinks, makes bad choices sometimes, can’t sit still, has addictive behavior, and is a wolf, but he is so amazingly perfect. His delivery is so spot on it’s crazy and his connection to Isabel is indescribable. They two of them really just work well together. They have this chemistry that leaps off the page. On the surface they are two totally different people, but when they are together they are unstoppable. Isabel always has the hard exterior shell so she doesn’t get hurt and Cole just expects to get hurt so when combine that you have fireworks.

Honestly though, what I really loved about Sinner was Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. I was fortunate enough to listen to Maggie speak at an event in Boston. It was really my first book event and I never got to meet her but I got to listen to her talk. And what I got from that is that Sinner sounds just like Maggie does! If I had no clue who wrote this book I would 100% know it was her just from that hour long event. She has such a way about easy humor that just translated perfectly to Cole and Isabel’s personalities and that made this reading experience all the more enjoyable.

Sinner was everything I never knew I was missing from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. It made me smile and miss everything about Cole and Isabel when I was done.( And it also had one of the most romantically weird dates in a book FYI. HA.) I loved being back in this world and seeing it though different eyes and seeing how they coped on their own. It was fun and fantastic and something you must read if you were a fan of the series.

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Review: Better Off Friends – Elizabeth Eulberg

Review: Better Off Friends – Elizabeth EulbergBetter Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
Published by Scholastic
Published: 2014
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four-stars

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY . . . for teens, from romantic comedy star Elizabeth Eulberg.

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can't be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan's friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they're best friends -- which wouldn't be so bad if they didn't keep getting in each other's way. Guys won't ask Macallan out because they think she's with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can't help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again -- and one kiss away from true love?

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.

thoughts1 Basically I was beyond thrilled to get the opportunity to read this book. I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Eulberg since I read The Lonely Hearts Club(I just reread it!) a few years back. I enjoyed her writing style and her storytelling ability. So when I saw she had a book coming out with my all-time favorite plot I was over the moon. And I’m happy to report that she lived up to my expectations. Better Off Friends was exactly what I expected to get from a Eulberg story and I’m so happy to have read it.

Better Off Friends is the story of Levi and Macallan, two best friends of the opposite sex. Since they met in the 7th grade they have become part of each other’s lives in a way that you sometimes can’t see where one ends and the other begins. They’ve been through a lot together and apart, but through it all they were loyal to each other and their friendship. They’ve weathered the questions over and over on whether or not they are a couple. Normally they just push them under the rug. But when they start questioning their friendship on their own they realize maybe it is time to figure out what they mean to each other and if they truly are better off as friends.

What I loved most about this book is easy to pinpoint because it was the friendship between Levi and Macallan. Let’s face it, neither one of them was perfect. Macallan was negative a lot of the time and Levi was desperate to fit in. They both got on each other’s nerves as friends do, but they had each other’s backs in a weird sort of way too. Something about the two of them just clicked and it was fun to read them grow from 7th graders to high school Juniors and to see how their friendship and dynamic evolved. The jealousy when either had a significant other was pretty funny because they refused to see it as jealousy. And their banter was pretty epic. Pretty much they had off the hook crazy chemistry. But they also fought the attraction to prove they could just be friends which may be harder than you think, but entertaining to read. Because really, they were their own worst enemies. Ha.

Simply put, this book was adorable and a complete Elizabeth Eulberg kind of book. It had heart and sass and humor. And her love of her football team. 🙂 It was just a cute contemporary book about friendship, love and growing up. It was the perfect story of falling in love with your best friend and how that effects everything around you. There were ups and downs and smiles and frowns. But all in all it was a pretty amazing story and one I think many people will love to read.

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Second Chance Sunday – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Second Chance Sunday – Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsMockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #3
Published by Scholastic Press
Published: August 24, 2010
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five-stars

My name is Katniss Everdeen.Why am I not dead?I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans--except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.


What to say about Mockingjay? Mockingjay was completely different than the other two but just as fantastic.

In Mockingjay, you learn what was truly going on in Catching Fire and how it was all set in motion by the Head Gamemaker to stage a rebellion by the people of District 13, the long assumed dead district. District 12 has been destroyed, Katniss and her family and friends, including Gale, are now living underground in 13 with Finnick, Beetee and a whole new cast of characters. Peeta is a prisoner of the Capitol and President Snow and Katniss’s world is completely upside down. Her emotions are all over the place. She feels guilty for what she has put people through, she feels hatred for what Snow has put her and everyone else through, angry at what the people of 13 expect her to do(including her mentor Haymitch) and she feels complete agony over the fact that Peeta isn’t there with her through anything.

Slowly she begins to gain her strength and make the decisions that set her apart from everyone else in the other two books and the strong Katniss we all know and adore arrives. but she arrives not without consequences. Her life is even more peril then it was in the other parts of the story and it is from two opposing forces: one that will stab you in the front and one that will stab you in the back. And while all this is going on, Peeta now seems to hate her since Snow turned him on the one thing he said he would always love.

There are so many twists and turns you have no idea who to trust and what side is the side you should be rooting for to conquer all.

In the end, Mockingjay will rip your heart out into tiny pieces and leave you in tears at parts. The things that Katniss has to survive yet again are just unbearable. The change of her best friend, the loss of the Peeta she has come to rely on, the death of Prim, her world completely changing for her. And through all that, she comes out on top. She may be a little more broken then when the series started, but like she was once told, they had all been changed forever.

The Hunger Games series is one of the best I have ever read. Everyone needs to pick these books up.

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