Friday Reads: I LOVE HIM, I LOVE HIM NOT (Westgate Prep Book #2) by Ella Martin

If you loved the first book in Ella Martin’s Westgate Prep series, WILL THE REAL PRINCE CHARMING PLEASE STAND UP?, then I’m POSITIVE you’re going to love this one, too. I’m so stoked I finally have time to start this, because I’ve been wanting to read this forever but just haven’t had the time (*shakes fist at adult responsibilities*). So if you’re looking for me this weekend, I’m sorry but my “Do Not Disturb I’m Reading” sign is up on my door.

About the Book: YA Contemporary

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Talia Nicoletti’s life has been turned upside down–and that’s probably an understatement. Her mother goes off on a business trip… and comes back married. Her estranged father wants to be less estranged. And her best friend Jake DeSantos suddenly has a new confidante who Talia doesn’t want to like but kind of does anyway.

Talia has to unravel her tangled up emotions to figure out what she really wants. Does she want to accept her father back in her life? Can she trust her new-stepfather? There’s too much hitting Talia at once, and she’s not ready to deal with any of it. The one person she can always turn to is Jake, and he’s being secretive and isn’t exactly available. And that hurts her more than she thought possible. Talia hates that she’s jealous of the new girl in Jake’s life, especially since she can’t decide if she loves him … or if she loves him not.

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Have a fabulous weekend!

xo~

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Waiting on Wednesday: How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You by Tara Eglington

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How fantastic does this one sound? Not that I want to rush through summer, but I can’t wait for October 25, 2016.

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From Goodreads: From talented debut YA author Tara Eglington, this is a page-turning, funny and delicious romp of a book that both kissing and non-kissing teenage girls will adore. Ages: 12+

Sweet sixteen and never been kissed – and that’s the way Aurora Skye wants it to be. She’s too busy finding Potential Princes (TM) for her two best friends, counseling her sensitive New Age dad and dealing with the unexpected return of her long-absent mum. But always in the background there’s Hayden Paris, the boy next door, the bane of Aurora’s life. Smart, funny, and always around to see her at her worst, he ‘gets’ her like no-one else …and that’s what makes him so infuriating. When Aurora and Hayden are coerced into the lead roles in the school production of Much Ado About Nothing, things can only get worse. How is Aurora going to save her first kiss for the secret admirer who wooed her with poetry and a spectacular bunch of flowers on Valentine’s Day if she doesn’t know who he is and she’s obligated to lock lips with Hayden in the play’s final dramatic clinch?From talented debut YA author Tara Eglington, this is a page-turning, funny and delicious romp of a book that both kissing and non-kissing teenage girls will adore.

 

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New Release Tuesday: April 19, 2016

Scarlett Epstein

From Goodreads:

If Amy Schumer and Rainbow Rowell had a baby, she’d be Anna Breslaw. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here is a witty, hilarious, heartwarming novel that’s perfect for fans of David Arnold’sMosquitoland and Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
 
Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her weed-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.

When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them…until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett’s stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.

 

Emerge

From Goodreads:

Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia’s entire community at risk.

So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right? That is, until Lia finds out she isn’t the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn’t realize the danger he’s in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.

 

Darkest Corners

From Goodreads:

The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

 

Madonnas

From Goodreads:

Five teens backpack through Europe to fulfill the mysterious dying wish of their friend.

Jesse lives with his history professor dad in a house covered with postcards of images of the Madonna from all over the world. They’re gotten used to this life: two motherless dudes living among thousands of Madonnas. But Jesse has a heart condition that will ultimately cut his life tragically short. Before he dies, he arranges a mysterious trip to Europe for his three cousins, his best friend, and his girlfriend to take after he passes away. It’s a trip that will forever change the lives of these young teens and one that will help them come to terms with Jesse’s death.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: THE DARKEST CORNERS by Kara Thomas

About the Book: YA Psychological Thriller

Author: Kara Thomas

Release Date: April 19, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte

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Blurb from Goodreads:

The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

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You guys, this comes out next week! I love me some psychological thrillers, so I cannot wait read to this.

What are you waiting on this lovely Wednesday?

 

xo~

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Manic Monday: Ruta Sepetys

I have a question or two.

Have you read any of Ruta Sepetys’s fantastic YA historical novels?

If you answered no, WHY HAVEN’T YOU?

via GIPHY

Seriously, though, you’re totally missing out if you haven’t. Even if you don’t enjoy historical fiction, check out her novels. Totally worth it. She’s a master of writing. Her characters transcend time. Also, she is one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

So, if you haven’t read any of her books, there’s a chance to win her latest SALT TO THE SEA below. But first, check out all her novels.

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GOODREADS

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Friday Reads: A CRIMINAL MAGIC by Lee Kelly

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I’m actually about halfway through this book already. The setting is fun and the magic is well developed. I’m hoping the characters pull through, so we’ll see! What got me to pick it up is the pitch: The Peaky Blinders meets The Night Circus. I mean, yes please!

From Goodreads:

THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly’s new crossover fantasy novel.

Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.

It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’ performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.

A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.

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New Release Tuesday: March 22, 2016

I love Tuesdays. Partly because Monday is past which means you’re that much closer to the weekend, Fixer Upper is on tonight, and of course, my favorite – Book Birthdays! Here are several new releases to check out!

 

Wink

From Goodreads:

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

 

Moth

From Goodreads:

It started as playful, if barbed, banter before rising to a fateful wager with a most notorious rake—the Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury—who may have finally met his match in a lovely, if haughty, handmaiden, Despina. But she, too, seems to have met her match in the handsome Jalal. What begins as a tempestuous battle of will and wit in short order becomes a passionate affair spurred on by tragedy of the worst kind.

 

The Way

From Goodreads:

In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

 

World Ends

From Goodreads:

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.

Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance in a second novel.

 

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Trial By Fire

GoingDownInFlames_fullThe third book in the Going Down In Flames series comes out next month. In Trial By Fire, Bryn is trying to navigate ever changing relationships while facing real world problems. Here is the first chapter of Trial by Fire. If you’d like to add it to your Goodreads want-to-read list here is the link.

Chapter One

She must’ve been insane when she’d planned this. Sure it had seemed like a good idea at the time. Let’s throw a Welcome Back to School party so students injured in the attacks on campus would receive a formal invitation to return to school. This was meant to circumvent the Directorate’s policy of suggesting injured students stay at home with a private tutor. The Directorate’s sucky rationale? Something about culling the weak from the herd, which was total crap since the Directorate had failed to protect the students in the first place. So, this may have been her plan, but it was her grandmother and Jaxon’s mother Lillith’s idea that she host with him. She didn’t know what his problem was, but he was being more obnoxious than usual.

“Jaxon, I swear to God, if you don’t stop bitching, I will set your hair on fire.” Bryn spoke through clenched teeth as she smiled and nodded at the students streaming past her into the Welcome Back to School Gala. “Aren’t you

supposed to have this fake socialite crap down to a science?” “It’s not the greeting people I mind.” He nodded at a group of students who entered the dining hall. “It’s your

proximity.”
That was it. She didn’t care what her grandmother and

Lillith wanted. If she had to listen to Jaxon make one more rude comment, she was going to lose it and roast him like a marshmallow.

“Bryn.” Garret walked toward her, his dark complexion a bit pale for a Green dragon, his brown eyes appeared wary, and his injured left arm hung limp in a sling.

And now she remembered why she was doing this. “I’m so glad you came.” Only half of all the students injured during the attacks at the Institute for Excellence, aka shape- shifting dragon school, had been willing to return. The other less-than-perfect dragons had allowed the Directorate, the governing body of Dragon society, to bully them into private tutors.

A ghost of a smile crossed Garret’s face. “I told the Directorate my left arm may not work and I may not be able to fly, but my mind was still functional, and they owed me for failing to provide adequate protection. You should’ve seen the looks on their faces.”

“Good for you.”

Garret headed toward the tables where the Green dragons sat.The color-coding still threw Bryn sometimes.All the Greens had the same dark hair, eyes, and skin as Garret. All the upper-class Blues, like Jaxon, had golden-tan skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. The artsy Black dragons always looked a bit Goth with their ivory skin, black hair, and dark eyes. The middle class Reds seemed Irish with their red hair,

green eyes, and freckled skin. The two lone Orange dragons with their bronze hair, skin, and eyes, looked Hawaiian. Since her mom had been a Blue and her dad a Red, Bryn didn’t fit in with any group of dragons. She wasn’t as thickly muscled as the Reds and not as graceful and lithe as the Blues. She’d changed her blond, red, and black striped hair to blond, to make peace with her grandfather, but she still didn’t blend in with the Blues. Far from it.

She envied the greeting Garret received from his Clan and loved that they acted like nothing was wrong. Then again, they were the smartest dragons, so it made sense they’d figured things out. Now, if only the rest of the Clans would catch up and realize the injured students didn’t reflect badly on them, life would be good.

“You think this is a positive development,” Jaxon said, “but you’re wrong.”

“That’s it.” Fire crawled up the back of Bryn’s throat. Smoke drifted from her lips as she spoke. “Get the hell away from me.”

“Gladly.” Jaxon stalked off to join his Clan-mates.

Bryn’s best friend, a Black dragon named Ivy, bounded over with her boyfriend Clint in tow. “I won,” Ivy announced.

“You won what?” Bryn asked.

“She bet you’d try to roast Jaxon within the hour.” Clint ran his fingers through his Mohawk. “I bet within the first thirty minutes.”

“You made it forty minutes.” Ivy grabbed Bryn’s hand. “I declare your door greeting duties officially over.”

Once they were seated at their usual table, Bryn sighed. “Finally, I can relax.”

Ivy’s eyebrows went up. “Maybe not.”

Bryn heard the click of high heels on the marble tile. She cringed. That had to be her grandmother, Marie Sinclair. “Bryn, why aren’t you greeting people at the door?”

Turning to face her grandmother, Bryn gave a tight smile. “Most of the guests are here, my feet hurt, and I was five seconds from setting Jaxon’s hair on fire.” The woman could choose whichever reason she liked.

Her grandmother frowned. “It’s inappropriate to leave the entrance unless you find someone else to greet your guests.”

“This isn’t my party. It’s a school party.”
“That’s not what we discussed,” her grandmother said. “I didn’t realize you meant I had to stand at the door all

night.”
Marie Sinclair appeared unswayed.
Bryn pushed to her feet. “If I find someone to greet

people, will that make you happy?”
“No.” Her grandmother said in her cold, upper-class

Blue dragon tone. “But it will do.”
“Fine.” Bryn scanned the room. Who did she want to

dump door duty on? Better yet, who could she convince to do it?

Rhianna stood on the outskirts of the Blue Clan, clutching a glass of punch. Coming back to school after her injury was one thing. Playing hostess was another. Still, it didn’t hurt to ask.

Bryn approached Rhianna and spoke in a quiet voice. “I have a favor to ask. My grandmother won’t let me sit down unless someone else takes over greeting guests. Do you think you’re up for it?”

“I’m not sure.” She nodded at her classmates. “My

reception hasn’t been what I hoped for.”
“Idiots.” Bryn frowned. Where was Jaxon? And then it

came to her. “You could ask Jaxon to go with you. He’d be far happier standing up there with you than he was with me.”

“Maybe.” Rhianna caught Jaxon’s gaze and waved.

He said something to the group of males he stood with and came over to hold Rhianna’s hand. “What’s wrong?”

“Bryn needs someone to take over greeting at the door. Would you do it with me?”

“Of course. We should have done it that way in the first place.”

Okay, he was being nice to Rhianna, but did he have to be such a jerk to her? Not wanting to deal with him, Bryn clamped her lips shut and rejoined her friends at their table.

Clint pointed to her hair. “I see you decided to go native.”

She rolled her eyes. “My grandfather interpreted my red, blond, and black-streaked hair as lack of pride in my Blue Clan heritage. So I went blond to appease him.” She reached up to touch the inch-wide red streak by her temple. “He still hates this nod to my father’s Clan, but I refuse to change it.”

“I miss the black stripes.” Ivy said.

“Me, too. But my grandparents took me in, so I’m trying to keep the peace.” With her parents gone, it’s not like she had anywhere else to go. If she alienated her grandfather, she’d be homeless. “Let’s talk about something happier.”

“I got my driver’s license,” Clint said.

“That’s great.” And it gave her an idea. “Maybe you could teach me how to drive.”

Ivy shook her head. “Not a good plan. He drives like a

maniac.”
“I do not.” Clint puffed out his chest. “I’m a fabulous

driver.”
“You took out the bushes at the end of my driveway,

on both sides.” Ivy laughed. “I don’t know who gave him his driver’s test, but they must’ve been caffeine deprived.”

“If I could have your attention.” Mr. Stanton, the Elemental Science teacher and head of the Green Clan stood near the punch bowl holding a microphone. “I’d like to welcome all of you back after the Christmas Holidays. I’m sure the new year will be an exciting time for all of us. The Directorate has taken security measures to protect the campus from any more disturbances.”

Disturbances seemed like an understatement given the severity of the attacks that had occurred on campus before Christmas.

“Please enjoy your friends’ company but remember, classes start bright and early tomorrow. Make sure you rest up this evening.”

“Please.” Clint threw his arm around Ivy’s shoulders. “I’ll be a zombie no matter what tomorrow. We might as well stay up tonight and have fun.”

A growl echoed through the room. Bryn whipped around to see Jaxon facing off with a male from his Clan. “Rhianna does not reflect poorly on our kind.”

The other male narrowed his eyes. “Really? Then why did your father void your marriage contract?”

Uh-oh. Jaxon wouldn’t speak against his father or the Directorate, which left only one option. This was about to get ugly.

The air around Jaxon shimmered as he shifted to dragon

form. The other male shifted, but backed up a step. Big mistake. Ceding ground showed weakness. Jaxon lunged, blasting frozen flames and striking out with his talons. The coppery scent of blood filled the air.

Jaxon backed the boy up to the wall and pinned him there with his talons digging into the boy’s neck.

“That’s enough.” An all too familiar voice boomed through the room. Her grandfather, Ephram Sinclair, was here. Great.

Jaxon released the boy’s neck, but didn’t retreat.
“Shift back,” her grandfather ordered. “Now.”
Even though he shifted back to human form, Jaxon

never took his gaze from his opponent.
“Jaxon Westgate, what do you have to say for yourself?”

her grandfather asked in a voice that rang throughout the room.

“What I have to say, sir, is that the members of my Clan will treat Rhianna with respect.”

“Not just me.” Rhianna stepped forward. “My injury wasn’t my fault. Neither was Garret’s or any of the other students who were injured in the attacks. We have every right to be here. Don’t you agree, Mr. Sinclair?”

Holy crap. Rhianna had just called her grandfather out in front of all these people. Bryn wasn’t sure if she should cheer, or duck and cover.

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Waiting On Wednesday: A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS

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From Goodreads:

From an impressive sisterhood of YA writers comes an edge-of-your-seat anthology of historical fiction and fantasy featuring a diverse array of daring heroines.

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They’re making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

 

With stories by:
J. Anderson Coats
Andrea Cremer
Y. S. Lee
Katherine Longshore
Marie Lu
Kekla Magoon
Marissa Meyer
Saundra Mitchell
Beth Revis
Caroline Richmond
Lindsay Smith
Jessica Spotswood
Robin Talley
Leslye Walton
Elizabeth Wein

 

OMG does this not sound like the cutest/most kick-butt/girl power book ever?! I am so freaking excited to read this! And the best part is it comes out next week!! Go. Set a reminder on your phone for March 8th because you DO NOT want to miss this! It sounds amazing!

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