Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Jess, Chunk, and the Road to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
"The last time Jess saw her father, she was a boy. Now she’s a high school graduate, soon to be on her way to art school. But first she has some unfinished business with her dad. So she’s driving halfway across the country to his wedding. He happens to be marrying her mom’s ex-best friend. It’s not like Jess wasn’t invited; she was. She just never told anyone she was coming. Surprise!

Luckily, Jess isn’t making this trip alone. Her best friend, Christophe―nicknamed Chunk―is joining her.

Along the way, Jess and Chunk learn a few things about themselves―and each other―which call their feelings about their relationship into question."- summary from Amazon

Clark's second novel is a great road trip book- I really enjoyed reading Jess' and Chunk's journey together. It was a very compelling, emotional roller coaster where they both figured out things about themselves and about their long friendship. Clark does a great job depicting a friendship that's fallen into a rhythm and Jess has gotten to a place where she doesn't really question their relationship or anything they talk about. It becomes a learning period for Jess throughout to become more comfortable with herself as well as her relationship with the world. This was such a fantastic read; I highly recommend it!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall
"Gideon always has a plan. It includes running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. It does NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend, Kyle. It’s a distraction, it’s pointless―Kyle is already dating the head cheerleader, Ruby―and Gideon doesn’t know what to do.

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. So when both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong."- summary from Amazon

This was such a cute, funny and sweet gay romance and a quick read in between my fantasy/paranormal reads that I had a lot of a few months ago. I'm so glad I picked this one up on a whim- it was just a great respite from the darker books I'd been reading and a breath of fresh air. It was such a beautiful romance and I loved spending time with these characters. I highly recommend this book- while it came out a few months ago, it's the perfect read to have on a day inside with some hot chocolate.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Romantics by Leah Konen

The Romantics by Leah Konen
"Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely adored this book- it was such a clever and interesting way to tell a story. I loved reading Gael's journey through first love, first heartbreak, first broken friendship, first rebound, and the beginnings of a first real relationship. Love's asides and footnotes throughout the book were so funny and on point. The book is a bit open-ended and I kinda want to read a companion book about the guy it ends on (I'll keep the name under wraps so I don't spoil anything). This also made me really want to read Konen's previous book, which I already own but have never gotten around to.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Saving Red by Sonya Sones

Saving Red by Sonya Sones
"Right before winter break, fourteen-year-old Molly Rosenberg reluctantly volunteers to participate in Santa Monica’s annual homeless count, just to get her school’s community service requirement out of the way. But when she ends up meeting Red, a spirited homeless girl only a few years older than she is, Molly makes it her mission to reunite her with her family in time for Christmas. This turns out to be extremely difficult—because Red refuses to talk about her past. There are things Molly won’t talk about either. Like the awful thing that happened last winter. She may never be ready to talk about that. Not to Red, or to Cristo, the soulful boy she meets while riding the Ferris wheel one afternoon.

When Molly realizes that the friends who Red keeps mentioning are nothing more than voices inside Red’s head, she becomes even more concerned about her well-being. How will Molly keep her safe until she can figure out a way to get Red home?"- summary from Amazon

I'm such a huge fan of Sones' books and always love when a new book comes out from her. This book was very emotional and heartbreaking but extremely hopeful as well. Following along on Molly and Red's journey throughout the book, Molly initially wants to help Red out but through her time with Red, finds a new friend as well as some wisdom from Red for Molly's own past guilt. There's also a small but very sweet romance in the story between Molly and a guy Cristo she meets while searching the streets for Red. Like all of Sones' other books, this one is also told in verse, which she does beautifully and also makes this a very compelling, quick read.

FTC: Received e-galley from Edelweiss. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Nemesis by Anna Banks

Nemesis by Anna Banks
"Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?"- summary from Amazon

This book took me a little bit of time to get into- I've read a lot of fantasy lately and it was becoming a bit paint-by-numbers for me and I almost DNF'd it but I should've known Banks wouldn't let me down. I always enjoy dual perspectives too and this was even more fun since the reader gets to see the slow build in Tarik and Sepora's relationship and the obstacles in their way. Both of them are fantastic main characters and Banks did a great job writing a compelling narrative as well as building a strong world. I had hoped that this was a stand-alone but at least since it's a duology, I don't have to follow along with it (or keep up with the narrative) for two extra years. I'm definitely eager to see how this all turns out.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.