June 28, 2017

Short & Sweet Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett (April 2017)
Length: 391 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet. Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush. Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter. And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

My Review

Alex, Approximately in Three Words: Adorkable. Beachy. Smiles.

This is THE book of the summer. No joke. When the mood hits when you want a sweeping romance with the perfect summer setting in California, then this is your book. Although it took me a little bit to really get into the story, (I believe that one was me not the book) once I fell, I couldn't climb back out.

Bailey moves out to California to live with her Dad, and has a summer she won't soon forget. Her dad gets her a job at a local museum, where she meets Porter Roth. A mysterious surfer who works hard, praises his sister, and still struggles with a past hardship. At first Porter and Bailey can't stand each other, but with any good contemporary romance, that soon changes. Fans of hate-to-love relationships will devour this one. Also, Porter is a catch!

Follow Bailey and Porter on their summer of finding new friends, starting a new relationship, surfing, working, conquering their pasts, family, and being adorable as heck.

Side Note: I don't get the book cover at all, it really doesn't represent the book well. Where is the beach or crazy museum?

The Verdict: I stayed up late to finish Alex, Approximately with no regrets. It's a must read this summer!

June 9, 2017

LGBTQ YA Reading List

In honor of June being Pride month I think it is important to highlight some YA LGBTQ titles. I made a list of some of my favorite LGBTQ books and a few that I have yet to read, but can't wait to do so! If you haven't read them yet you should give them a try.

My Favorites

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
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Summary: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
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Summary: Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won't be able to see past it. Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
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Summary: New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
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Summary: When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever. Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought. While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own. Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to.

On My TBR Pile

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
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Summary: There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets. Caden is a Nice: the boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: the brooding, dark-souled guy who is dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose the Nice or the Bad? Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be—whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die. What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
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Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi.The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. Her growing affection for Freddie makes her question her sexual identity.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
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An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

June 5, 2017

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: One S'more Summer by Beth Merlin

One S'more Summer by Beth Merlin (May 30, 2017)
Length: 264 pages
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Ink Monster LLC
Source: I received a free copy from the author as part of Xpresso Book Tours! This did not affect my honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: If you love Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin, you’ll love this heartwarming
debut from a fresh voice in contemporary chick-lit that offers a lighthearted and fun take on friendship, love, and how to recover from past mistakes. For twenty long years, Gigi Goldstein has been pining away for her best friend’s guy. She knows it’s wrong and it has to stop, but she hasn’t been able to let go ever since they all met on the bus to summer camp back when they were 7 years old. The same week that her best friends finally announce their wedding date, Gigi loses her high-profile design job. With all of her dreams unravelling, she runs to the last place she remembers being happy. Taking the Head Counselor position at Camp Chinooka, Gigi hopes to reclaim the joy she felt as a camper, but the job isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every scrap of the campground is laced with memories. When Gigi finally realizes she can’t escape the present by returning to her past, she’s forced to reexamine her life and find the true meaning of love. But will she be able to mend fences and forgive herself before she loses her one real shot at happiness?

My Review

One S'more Summer in Three Words: Charming. Summer. Nostalgia.

One S'more Summer was a fun read full of good summer vibes, new and old friendships, and some romance. I enjoyed the quick read and its interesting story.

When Gigi flees real life,  since the whole loving the guy your best friend is engaged to is a problem, she takes a job at her old summer camp as head counselor. While there she struggles with past memories while trying to make new ones. I loved the setting of a summer camp. If you have ever attended any kind of camp you will get a big wave of nostalgia thrown your way, and I really liked that. It put me in the summer mood. I could smell the campfires, envision the cabins, and delight in my own summer camp memories while enjoying Gigi's story.

Gigi was a main character that was hard to like at first, but grew on me just as she did throughout the book. She was always making such frustrating decisions that I wanted to smack her for, but her character has some growth, thanks to the help of her campers, her new friend, and Perry. Perry is the hot counselor that Gigi is always arguing with, but well... I'm sure you know what eventually happens between those two. I liked Perry more than Gigi, and found him to be mysterious and fun, two things I look for in a book boyfriend.

Camp shenanigans, summer romance, a well paced plot with a nice unfolding between the past and present, and interesting characters, are what drove me to give this book 3.5 stars. The ending left me a little annoyed, but there will be a book two so I think that will make a difference!

The Verdict: One S'more Summer is the perfect book to bring to the beach. It may have its flaws, but it was very enjoyable.

The Author

Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

The Giveaway

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