Thursday, June 22, 2017

Top 15 Most Anticipated Books for the Second Half of 2017

Here are 15 young adult books all releasing in the second half of this year that I am most crazily excited for. All but two are straight up contemporary. All (except one which is a companion novel) are stand alone titles. Some I have been waiting on for what seems like such a long time (I'm looking at the new Paula Weston ~ can you believe it is almost here!) and others I've more recently stumbled upon and have high hopes for. 

I am also so incredibly out of the loop regarding upcoming titles, both Australian and international, so I am sure there are other books out there that I really want too, haha, but these are my fave ones waiting on my goodreads TBR. 

It goes without saying that if Jaclyn Moriarty's new book suddenly gets a pub date in 2017, that will be my number one ;)

They are listed here in order of release date. All links (in the titles) go to goodreads.


What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Niven, and Rainbow Rowell.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her. 

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

July 11


Why I'm excited: Absolutely loved Julie Buxbaum's YA debut Tell Me Three Things. I got my sister to preorder this for me as a bday gift (even though my bday was in January, haha, it's a belated gift I am very excited for).



The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan


lake effect | n.

The effect of any lake, especially the Great Lakes, in modifying the weather in nearby areas

It’s the summer after his senior year, and driven, focused Briggs Henry is ready to leave behind his ex-girlfriend, his comically aggressive grandmother, and his parents’ money troubles for Lake Michigan and its miles of sandy beaches. He’s lined up a summer job working as a personal assistant and living in a gorgeous Victorian on the water—exactly the kind of house Briggs plans to buy his parents once he’s a multi-millionaire. But when he arrives, his boss, the eccentric Mrs. Bosic, tells him to get dressed for her funeral. Uh . . . It’s the first of many funerals they’ll attend this summer—to hilarious and eye-opening effect. Add to this a new set of friends-cum-enemies-cum-friends-again, and Abigail, the mysterious girl next door on whom Briggs’s charms repeatedly fail, and “the lake effect” is beginning to take on a whole new meaning.

July 11


Why I'm excited: I really liked I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by McCahan (which had a refreshing and unique voice and premise) and this cover is pretty much perfect




Lucky in Love by Kasie West

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.

July 25


Why I'm excited: Kasie West!!!! I adore her books (her sassy, smiley characters and her boys!) and her cruise-y, feel good reads usually end up being fave reads of the year for me. I love how prolific she is becoming and will be reading this immediately upon release.


Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea...

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn't himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn't know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn't let him kiss her. But she can't resist, and when they're caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it'll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?


August 1st

Why I'm excited: Uh, that title - can you go wrong? haha. Well, it just looks and sounds cute and the early reviews are so promising. This is a wild card read for me (new author) and I love the possibility of finding a new writer to love. 



The Undercurrent by Paula Weston

Eighteen-year-old Julianne De Marchi is different. As in: she has an electrical undercurrent beneath her skin that stings and surges like a live wire. She can use it—to spark a fire, maybe even end a life—but she doesn’t understand what it is. And she can barely control it, especially when she’s anxious.

Ryan Walsh was on track for a stellar football career when his knee blew out. Now he’s a soldier—part of an experimental privatised Australian military unit that has identified Jules De Marchi as a threat. Is it because of the weird undercurrent she’s tried so hard to hide? Or because of her mother Angie’s history as an activist against bio-engineering and big business?

It’s no coincidence that Ryan and Jules are in the same place at the same time—he’s under orders to follow her, after all. But then an explosive attack on a city building by an unknown enemy throws them together in the most violent and unexpected way.

Paula Weston, author of the much-admired Rephaim series, returns with a standalone work: a futuristic thriller that is only slightly futuristic—but utterly and undeniably thrilling. Great writing, heart-burning characters, probing questions about where technology is taking us—and a plot that zips and zings like an electrical current itself

August 


Why I am excited: From the author who brought as Gaby, Jude and Rafa! I love Weston's Rephaim series so much and am so thrilled to have more characters to meet and fall in love with. 




Because of You by Pip Harry

Tiny is homeless. Nola has everything she could ask for. They meet when Nola is forced into volunteer work for the writers’ group at the homeless shelter where Tiny is staying, and at first it seems impossible that two people who are so different could ever be friends. But despite her initial prejudice, Nola quickly learns that there isn’t much separating her from the people who live on the streets. And Tiny begins to see that falling down doesn’t mean you never get back up. Because of You is a story about homelessness, prejudice and the power of words to provide a little hope. 

At its heart is the friendship between Tiny and Nola, and how this relationship changes both girls at the core. Pip Harry doesn’t shy away from some heavy topics—Tiny’s story is heartbreaking and the details about life on the streets of Sydney is horrifying—but Because of You is ultimately a hopeful story about human resilience and the life-changing power of discovering your best friend. YA readers aged 14 and up who loved John Larkin’s The Shadow Girl and Cath Crowley’s Words in Deep Blue should be diving for this powerful coming-of-age story.

August

Why I am excited: I love Pip Harry. Her characters have always seemed so real and managed to crawl under my skin (not in a creepy way, lol). Also, how awesome does this blurb sound? I am ready to have my heart broken and patched up again. 


The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes 


Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen.

Pepper Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school.

And Ava Dreyman—the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall—is unlike anyone you’ve met before.

When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life—and death—than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers.
 


August 22

Why I am excited: From the author who brought us The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. That book broke me, and kept me up all night - so good. Pumped to read what else Stephanie Oakes has in store for her readers. 



Freshers is a YA novel about love, sex, and friendships in the first two months of college.

August 3rd

Why I am excited: I adore this duo! Lobsters and Never Evers are both fave books of mine. They are absolutely hilarious and I love the UK YA vibe. 



Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family's island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: "If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go." With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn't know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price. 


September 19

Why I am excited; Kristin Cashore!!! And, it also sounds intriguing :)



When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process. 

September 1

Why I am excited: Time travel, Berlin Wall, red balloons... This sounds unique and will hopefully be something special. 




Kate, a quiet boarder, making some risky choices to pursue the experimental music she loves.
Clem, shrugging off her old swim-team persona, exploring her first sexual relationship, and trying to keep her annoying twin, Iris, at arm's length.
Ady, grappling with a chaotic family, and wondering who her real friends are; she's not the confident A-lister she appears to be.
When St Hilda's establishes a Year 10 Wellness Program in response to the era of cyber-bullying, the three girls are thrown together and an unlikely friendship is sparked. One thing they have in common: each is targeted by PSST, a site devoted to gossip and slander that must have a source within St Hilda's.
Who can you trust when rumour is the new truth?
Take Three Girls is a collaboration between award-winning, internationally published authors Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood. With its themes of friendship, feminism, identity and belonging, it is honest, raw and funny, a novel that will strike a chord with young readers everywhere.

August 29

Why I am excited: Three of my fave authors <3





A gorgeously written and deeply felt literary young adult novel of identity, millennial anxiety, and first love, from the widely acclaimed author of The Mystery of Hollow Places

In Savannah Espinoza’s small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck—but that was before her father was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, leaving her and her mother to care for him. Now, she doesn’t have much of a plan at all: living at home, working as a performing mermaid at a second-rate water park, distracting herself with one boy after another.

That changes the day she meets Leigh. Disillusioned with small-town life and looking for something greater, Leigh is not a “nice girl.” She is unlike anyone Vanni has met, and a friend when Vanni desperately needs one. Soon enough, Leigh is much more than a friend. But caring about another person stirs up the moat Vanni has carefully constructed around herself, and threatens to bring to the surface the questions she’s held under for so long.

With her signature stunning writing, Rebecca Podos, author of The Mystery of Hollow Places, has crafted a story of first love and of the complex ways in which the deepest parts of us are hidden, even from ourselves. 


October 17

Why I am excited: I loved Podos's debut The Mystery of Hollow Places. It was a great match for me and I'm really keen to read more of her work. Also - working as a mermaid sounds cool, haha. 



I ran away on a Tuesday afternoon in late March. Six pm and I was headed south-west in a train that smelt stale.

Seventeen-year-old Adelaide is sick of being expected to succeed on other people’s terms. She’s made a new plan: drop out of her fancy boarding school to read and dream. She just needs to stick it out at home for one more year and then she’ll be free.

But before she can work out her next move, Addie’s grandad offers her a job at the local historical society. It’s dusty and messy, like her hometown, like her new life. Then she accidentally kisses Jarrod, the boy who spends his days getting into trouble. But he’s as stuck as she is and Addie starts to wonder that maybe when you really want something in life, you’ve actually got to do something about it.

A heartfelt story about love, friendship and untidy towns.

October

Why I am excited: Sounds like my kind of read, and I've long since followed author Kate O'Donnell's blog and she has the most gorgeous and impeccable taste in books. I love this cover, too <3


The First To Know by Abigail Johnson

Don't miss the second gripping and heartfelt story from the author of If I Fix You! A girl's plan to find her father's birth family turns potentially devastating when the secret DNA test she has done reveals that she has a half brother her age she never knew about. 

Dana Fields's father never knew his parents. When Dana secretly does a DNA test for her dad, hoping to find him some distant relatives for his birthday, her entire world implodes. Instead of a few third cousins, Dana discovers a half brother her age whose very existence means her parents' happy marriage is a lie.

Dana's desire to know her half brother, Brandon, and the extent of her dad's deception, clashes with her wish not to destroy her family. When she sees the opportunity to get to know Brandon through his cousin, the intense yet kind Chase, she takes it. But the more she finds out about Brandon, her father's past and the irresistible guy who'll never forgive her if he discovers the truth, the more she sees the inevitable fallout from her own lies. With her family crumbling around her, Dana must own up to her actions and find a way to heal the breach—for everyone—before they're torn apart for good.


November 7

Why I am excited: I unexpectedly loved Abigail Johnson's debut (If I Fix You) so I'm thrilled to be able to follow it up so quickly with her second novel release :)



 Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson


The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer. 

1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mother's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer's going to be great.

November 21

Why I am excited: I loved The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You. This sounds just as awesomely good and I really am holding out for it!

Just putting this post together has gotten me pretty excited about the rest of my 2017 reading life, tbh, lol! 

Are any of these books on your wishlist for 2017?
What upcoming books are you most excited for?

Hope all is well in your world,

:) Nomes



Saturday, June 17, 2017

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure


Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she's about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend's brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure's soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.




Right from the first chapter I had that awesome feeling that this book was about to become a new favourite. It hooked me from the start with a captivating and believable scenario, characters who related to one another with ease (and drew me into their world) and prose that was fresh with little touches of ... whimsy? lyrical-vibe? slightly off-beat? (Hard to capture the prose-essense, but it felt kind of melodious to read).

I enjoyed my time with this, but it fell a little short of becoming a fave new contemporary YA read for me. On reflection, I *think* it was just a little bit too short, making some of the plot threads feel scattered, or like they jumped from one stage to another leaving me wondering 'why is this character doing that?' and 'wait, what?'.

I loved the depiction of Lucille and her little sister, Wren. I also loved the vibe at Lucille's restaurant workplace ~ lively and upbeat and fun. I would have loved to know the workplace characters a little more, they had all the makings of stand-out, unique characters and I'd love to explore some of their back stories.

Laure captured the next door neighbour relationships really well. The best friend thing had awesome history and a great vibe where they felt like best friends in all the little interactions. The swoon for the best friend's brother storyline was perfectly set-up and I was absolutely on board.  But halfway through, I really felt confused by the weird tension in the BF relationship (and even in resolving this, it just seemed contrived) and also mystified by the complications in the romance side of things where the characters never actually talked about their complex changing relationship. I wish more time had been given to Digby and Lucille's relationship because it didn't feel as central to the story as the blurb had led me to believe it would be and it was hard for me to invest in it, in the end.

I hardly say this (mostly the opposite is true) but I wish this book had been longer. I would have liked more scenes with Digby and Lucille (either form present or past) so I could be a part of their story. I would have loved more restaurant scenes, and to know more about the co-workers (I loved the atmosphere built) and a little bit more of the neighbours (both sides) and also more about Lucille's parents and their family life ~ before it all fell apart (so I could have a sense of what was truly lost, and to see her mum and dad as more than just parental figures, but as unique characters). Because everything was there, in place, for me to love this book but it just flew by
too fast without giving me a chance to settle in and feel emotion alongside everyone.

This Raging Light is a gorgeously written, unique and completely readable promising debut. I am looking forward to Laure's next book (a companion!) ~ I think Laure is an author to watch out for (for all lovers of contemporary YA).


Check out all these gorgeous editions of This Raging Light! <3


US Edition
Spanish Edition
German Edition
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Italian Edition
Dutch Edition
Czech Edition
Polish Edition

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Interference by Kay Honeyman


I will not get involved…I will not get involved…I will not get involved…

As a congressman’s daughter in Washington, DC, Kate Hamilton always pushes to make things right. But when a scandal sends her family to Red Dirt, Texas, she decides to step back for a while. She’ll take pictures for her portfolio. She’ll volunteer at her aunt’s animal shelter. And most of all, she’ll stay out of politics (including her father’s latest election) and away from guys (especially after her ex’s betrayal).

But…

If Kate’s political skills can be useful in Red Dirt, should she really let them go to waste? After all, her friend Ana Gomez and quarterback Kyle Stone would be a perfect match. Her dad’s campaign could benefit from a teenage perspective. The irritatingly handsome Hunter Price should learn he doesn’t know everything…When Kate’s plans backfire, she must find the soul beneath her DC spin, and risk her heart—the biggest involvement of all.


Interference is an Emma-inspired retelling (Jane Austin) that is really cute and full of energy, politics, football and a Texas small town vibe. 

Also included: ill-inspired matchmaking (see: Emma retelling), new friendships, hidden agendas and unexpected enemies, an animal shelter, plenty of mishaps and a swoony guy. 

Interference was lots of fun to read and Kate really is a force to be reckoned with. She is often brash, relentless and frequently found plotting and scheming. She's also vulnerable, determined and charming. Kate really makes a mess of a lot of things and has to face the consequences, but through it all you see her big heart and well meaning intentions. A lot of her relationships with other characters were complex ~ I loved that nothing felt straightforward and there were layers to both the relationships and the characters. 

 I found Interference fast-paced and my only complaint is that at times it felt like there was a lot of story threads going on so the plot felt cluttered in the middle ~ but they all tie up brilliantly in the end.

Some fave moments: the calf birthing scene, on top of the water tower scenes, learning to drive, photography scenes with Ana (what a gem <3), and, really, any of the scenes between Kate and her love interest (ha!).  

I will be reading more from Kay Honeyman and absolutely recommend you check Interference out if you're a fan of YA contemporaries ~ especially if the football, small town, politics (and cute guys) premise intrigues you.  

Interference @ goodreads

Monday, June 5, 2017

May favourites

My reading in May began beautifully with three back to back really good reads. Three in a row is a rare occurrence for me and I loved that buzzy feeling I got from having just read a great book times three. It reminded me of how awesome books can be and how having a great book currently waiting on my bedside table makes everything in life seem brighter. That sweet anticipation of getting home and getting back into my newest favourite literary world =  <3

The rest of May evened out into a few hit and misses and finally getting to some titles that had been wallowing on my TBR for way too long. At this point I am also impressed by my commitment to the whole audio book thing! Until this year, I'd only listened to a handful of audiobooks by myself (but having enjoyed heaps of middle grade audiobooks on car trips with the family). I have been finding time for audiobooks while walking my dog, doing dinner prep and solo driving about doing errands. It's a really easy way for me to sample books that are on my TBR as well - I've listened to heaps of openers and gotten a few chapters in to a few books before deciding to move on to something different.


May book total: 15
Books: 11 (including 1 reread)
Audiobooks: 4

Fave reads of May


Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan (My review)
This upbeat, warm and fierce novel is one of my most fave reads of this year! Add this contemporary YA to your TBR if you're looking for a breezy, charming read with a smart lead character. Swoony, fun and a little bit quirky ~ I found the whole novel to be so charming and completely refreshing and addictive reading experience. 

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
I had no idea I would love this book so! It's definitely different to my usual YA read (with kind of moody characters and darker themes) but everything was just handled to beautifully and honestly. It's a completely compelling, additive and affecting novel - all the love and lots of hugs for these characters. Review to come!


Fave audiobooks

White Cat by Holly Black
This was so good! Creative and clever and funny with a tightly plotted mystery and some great twists and reveals. Cassel is such a likeable narrator ~ Black does a great job of making this con artist with a conscience likeable and so easy to root for. The Curse Workers world feels fresh and original and I'm so happy to have a new YA series to get into. I've already got my 16 year old son started on this. Why did I take so long to get on board with this?

This whole series is narrated by Jesse Eisenberg and he does such an outstanding job as a voice narrator.  Def recommend checking out the audio of this. Plus its very un-intimidating at a very doable 6 hours 40 minutes. It had me smiling from the first chapter. What do you think of the different covers?

Massive thanks to Trish (from Trish Talks Texts) for recommending this to me as one of her fave male YA POV series. 




When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
The audio version of this book was really engaging and conversational. Charming and clever with a cast of characters who are a little eccentric but feel completely real. It also has a beautiful kind of sad and wistful ending. A super-quick listen which had me thinking back on all the clues planted throughout once the reveal took place and the mystery was being solved. And the naked guy (after the reveal!)! Haha! My daughter and I had a good laugh about that :)

Other recommendations


Hunted by Meagan Spooner

A very compelling and original Beauty and the Beast fantasy retelling which was a totally immersive reading experience for me.

Fave things: 

  • the characters (just gorgeous narration and fully fleshed characters everywhere - all with unique characteristics and strengths and struggles)
  • the setting (the winter and the woods and the cottage and the castle vibrantly came to life) 
  • family love (the fatherly and sisterly bonds just sang from the pages) 
  • the mystery of it all (why? How? What is going to happen?) 
  • plus discovering and being surprised with the unique twists and angles in revisiting this familiar story


Smidgen disappointed because: I wanted a bit more of the romance and swoon between this Beauty and her beast. But that was not the books focus ~ it was more focused on Beauty's own journey, and the character struggles of the Beast ~ their restlessness and striving to find their place in the world (and Spooner did an outstanding job of exploring this). In the end, their inner struggles, desires and outlook on life made them kindred spirits (in some ways a stronger bond than a more romantic love). I think I may have loved this more if I known beforehand it was not romance focused (so my reading experience would not be clouded by those swoony hopes! haha). Hunted still strongly resonated with me and I'm really keen for more from Meagan Spooner.




Interference by Kay Honeyman

Review to come of this Jane Austin retelling. Lots to love here! Especially if you like football, small town politics and cute boys!

Whoo! Awesome reading month and I'm really keen for the books next up on my TBR which include:




Have you read any of my fave reads of May? 
Or any from my June TBR list? 
What was the best book you read in May?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan


Science geek Meg is left to look after her little sister for ten days after her free-spirited mum leaves suddenly to follow up yet another of her Big Important Causes. But while Meg may understand how the universe was formed, baby Elsa is a complete mystery to her. 

And Mum’s disappearance has come at the worst time: Meg is desperate to win a competition to get the chance to visit NASA headquarters, but to do this she has to beat close rival Ed. Can Meg pull off this double life of caring for Elsa and following her own dreams? She’ll need a miracle of cosmic proportions …

Fans fell in love with the warmth, wit, romance and fierce friendships in Flirty Dancing, Love Bomb, Sunkissed and Star Struck, and Stargazing for Beginners has all that and galaxies more. This is the best kind of real-life fiction – with big themes and irresistible characters, it goes straight to your heart.


Stargazing for Beginners was an unexpectedly awesome a new fave for me - swoony, fun and a little bit quirky. I found the whole novel to be so charming and completely refreshing and addictive reading experience. 

I love it when my fave literary things align to create a a brilliant read. Stargazing for Beginners had so many magic components for me: 


  • Meg is just so delightfully endearing. 
  • Though there are deeper issues in this book ~ it did not cast a dark shadow over the whole tone of the book. I love finding novels that are funny, whimsical and light-hearted at the same time as dealing with some more serious themes. 
  • I love how a motley crew of friends slowly assembled - the side characters felt like protagonists of their own lives - fully nuanced and unique and diverse in a way that reflects real life. 
  • Some of the teachers in this novel really steal the scene. So. Hilarious and bumbling and charming. And, sneakily, caring and making a real difference. I love seeing teachers advocate for students - and teachers who don't mind being seen as daggy for the sake of genuinely caring for their students and wanting to inspire and nurture them.
  • The comedy! The laughs! Those awesomely awkward situations and moments! 
  • And Ed! Swoon! Fun! Antagonistic kind of rivalry with this slow burn of maybe liking? So many classic scenes together. LOL at the science fair, and the takedown moment on the science excursion. And the showstopping finale! 
  • Science! Smart kids. The whole universe and solar system and all that stuff :)



Finishing this book left me with a warm buzzing glow and I was straight away texting some reading BFF's to get on with reading it asap. Stargazing for Beginners was an ultimate feel good read with depth. Take note: it opens fairly dramatically and perhaps some of you may think: Eh? What's going on here? This might be too quirky for me? 

But it really settles into a groove and everything becomes so genuine and heartfelt I really believe so many people will find a lot to love in this upbeat, warm and fierce novel. Absolute fave for me - I'm still smiling just thinking about it now. 

Add this contemporary YA to your TBR if you're looking for a breezy, charming read with a smart lead character.

Stargazing for Beginners @ goodreads

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Night That Changed Everything by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice


Rebecca is the only girl she knows who didn't cry at the end of Titanic. Ben is the only man he knows who did. Rebecca’s untidy but Ben doesn’t mind picking up her pieces. Ben is laid back but Rebecca keeps him on his toes. They're a perfect match.

Nothing can come between them. Or so they think.

When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten.

Can they recover from the night that changed everything? And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?

The Night That Changed Everything is a funny, feel-good and bittersweet story, told in alternate chapters by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice.
 


This was so, so good! I loved the characters, the leads and all their crew, and the overall storyline, which felt fresh and unexpected. This book had the perfect mix of levity, humour, and heart-in-stomach moments. I was completely swept up, equal parts swooning and bereft. 

Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice are really onto something with their alternating chapters (each author writing their male/female counterpart POV). I enjoyed their combo in their previous work as well ~ they have the right blend of humour and realism without ever getting too soppy or over-the-top ridiculous. It's authors like these and Mhairi McFarlane that have ruined me for other books in this chick-litty genre. 

I have a real love for these kinds of cruisey chick-lit novels set in the UK and spend considerable time sampling so many authors in the genre. So far these two authors and Mhairi MacFarlane are my faves! They both have a cruisey addictive feel, and manage to give real depth to their characters and stories (plus plenty of humour, swoon and unpredictability).


Also! I could not put this book down. A very addictive, unpredictable and immersive reading experience. That ending! 

Waiting for news of Jimmy Rice and Laura Tait's next novel is killing me (please let it be soon!). If you're in a romantic comedy/drama kind of mood I absolutely recommend this to you! Especially if you favour spending bookish time in the UK. This was a stand-out read of 2016 for me and a new fave - so much love for this!


The Night That Changed Everything on goodreads


Also very good and completely recommended is their (2014) debut title The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me :Everyone remembers their first love. 
Holly certainly remembers Alex. But she decided ten years ago that love wasn't about mix tapes and seizing the moment - though she's not exactly sure it's about secret dates with your boss, either. 

But what if the feelings never really went away? 
Alex wants to make every moment of his new job count. It's a fresh start in a big city, and he's almost certain that moving to London has nothing to do with Holly. Almost. 

How do you know if it was meant to be... Or never meant to happen at all? 



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