If it’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: A Review of The Map from Here to There by Emery Lord

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Title:
The Map From Here to There
Author: Emery Lord
Publication date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★

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Synopsis:

Acclaimed author Emery Lord crafts a gorgeous story of friendship and identity, daring to ask: What happens after happily ever after?

It’s senior year, and Paige Hancock is finally living her best life. She has a fun summer job, great friends, and a super charming boyfriend who totally gets her. But senior year also means big decisions. Weighing “the rest of her life,” Paige feels her anxiety begin to pervade every decision she makes. Everything is exactly how she always wanted it to be–how can she leave it all behind next year? In her head, she knows there is so much more to experience after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?

Emery Lord’s award-winning storytelling shines with lovable characters and heartfelt exploration of life’s most important questions.


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Well, you guys, it’s official, Emery Lord is a contemporary writing queen. Throughout The Map from Here to There, Emery made me swoon, cry, and laugh. My anxiety peeked at the most vulnerable and heartbreaking moments, but in the end, after calming my hammering heart, I highly enjoyed Paige’s story and her ability to battle the stress that ensues during her senior year of high school.

As a sequel to The Start of Me and You, one of my all-time favorite contemporary books, The Map from Here to There will tug at your heartstrings. Lord’s passionate writing gives life to the most realistic and dynamic characters. She immerses the pages with familial dynamics, strong female friendships, and swoon-worthy relationships. Her knack to encompass anxiety, mental health, adolescent decision making,  and the streaming thoughts of panic and worry of a teenage girl’s future endeavors bursts throughout the novel. I could not put this book down.

Although The Map from Here to There is a sequel, the book can be read as a standalone tracing Paige’s journey through her senior year and focusing on big choices regarding college, her future, anxiety, and deeply rooted relationships. This novel is filled with hopes, dreams, struggles, and frustrations; it’s a must read for contemporary bibliophiles. Lord’s writing surrounds you like a comforting hug, as Paige, Max, and her friends deal with life-changing decisions while truly finding themselves one step at a time. 

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Blogger Note: Last year, I received this book as a gift from the author during a book event. I was not asked to review or promote the book. I reviewed the book at my own discretion.  All fangirling, statements, and opinions in this review are my own.

Waiting on Wednesday: What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: What I Like About You
Author: Marisa Kanter
Publication date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Synopsis

Can a love triangle have only two people in it? Online, it can…but in the real world, it’s more complicated. In this debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson, Marisa Kanter hilariously and poignantly explores what happens when internet friends turn into IRL crushes.

Is it still a love triangle if there are only two people in it?

There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.

He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…

Except who she really is.

Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.

That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.

Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.

If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

I am thrilled to be hosting a stop on the LUCKY CALLER by Emma Mills Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

Title: LUCKY CALLER
Author: Emma Mills
Pub. Date: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 336

With the warmth, wit, intimate friendships, and heart-melting romance she brings to all her books, Emma Mills crafts a story about believing in yourself, owning your mistakes, and trusting in human connection in Lucky Caller.

When Nina decides to take a radio broadcasting class her senior year, she expects it to be a walk in the park. Instead, it’s a complete disaster.

The members of Nina’s haphazardly formed radio team have approximately nothing in common. And to maximize the awkwardness her group includes Jamie, a childhood friend she’d hoped to basically avoid for the rest of her life.

The show is a mess, internet rumors threaten to bring the wrath of two fandoms down on their heads, and to top it all off Nina’s family is on the brink of some major upheaval.

Everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control―but maybe control is overrated?

PRAISE FOR LUCKY CALLER
A well-crafted, bittersweet comedy of errors filled with realistically flawed
characters and taut, witty dialogue. – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

raving review

Give me an Emma Mills book and I will devour it within hours. And guess what, Lucky Caller was no exception. Although the novel started off slow, the steady pace allowed the weaving of Nina’s old memories with her current situation as a senior unfold into the happily ever after ending I was hoping for.

Nina is awkward, but her dry, sarcastic sense of humor was the perfect ingredient to add to her radio broadcasting group. While being grouped with fellow flawed and truly relatable students, Nina and her radio group of misfits provide endless scenes of laughter, bickering, and great 90s-themed music. Nina at times seemed stagnant, but with the push of her radio peers, sisters, her mom, and future stepdad, Nina opens up and provides the reader a realistic outlook of teenage life, mixed-family dynamics, and the rekindling of old friendships.

Lucky Caller is more than a contemporary novel; it’s a pages upon pages of pragmatic circumstances littered with familial problems, adolescent issues, bumbling acts of kindness, and high tension of breaking promises and unfortunately making common mistakes. This book ticked all my boxes: a quiet, sweet, and easy to talk to cinnamon roll of a boy; swoons galore; original characters; and a strong sisterly bond. Emma Mills has a knack of crafting the perfect books that effortlessly mingle witty characters into chaotic situations, and Lucky Caller doesn’t lose that representation of flawed characters trying to make sense of the messy world that surrounds them.

about the author
About Emma:

 

Emma Mills is the author of First & Then, This Adventure Ends, Foolish Hearts, Famous in a Small Town, and Lucky Caller. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and has recently completed a PhD in cell biology.
 
 
 
 
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Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of LUCKY CALLER, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
1/6/2020
Review
1/6/2020
Review
1/7/2020
Review
1/7/2020
Interview
1/8/2020
Review
1/8/2020
Review
1/9/2020
Review
1/9/2020
Review
1/10/2020
Review
1/10/2020
Review
Week Two:
1/13/2020
Review
1/13/2020
Review
1/14/2020
Review
1/14/2020
Guest Post
1/15/2020
Review
1/15/2020
Review
1/16/2020
Review
1/16/2020
Review
1/17/2020
Review
1/17/2020
Interview

 

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway of Finding Mr. Better-Than-You by Shani Petroff

Title: Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
Author: Shani Petroff
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

A heartbroken teen, with the help of her best friends, goes on a quest to find the perfect boyfriend, and in the end learns that some things are more important than boys in Shani Petroff’s fun YA contemporary novel Finding Mr. Better-Than-You.

Camryn Roth has it all planned out: a perfect senior year with her friends and then it’s off to Columbia with her boyfriend, Marc. But the first week of school, everything falls apart. Not only does she not have enough extracurriculars for her dream school, her relationship falls to pieces when Marc publically dumps her!

With the help of her two best friends, Camryn is determined to pull her life back together. Step one, more extracurriculars. Step two, get over Marc and find someone better.

Shani Petroff’s newest rom-com is a love letter to friendship: to those who help you find your true self, stand by you no matter what, and support your plans even when they know they’re doomed.

Praise for Shani Petroff:

“Fans of holiday movies, rom-coms, and ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ will enjoy My New Crush Gave to Me . . . Petroff’s festive story will have readers baking gingerbread cookies and buñuelos at any time of year.” —VOYA, on My New Crush Gave to Me

“A worthwhile read. Flirty and fun.” —Booklist, on Romeo & What’s Her Name

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play


raving review

As a very engaging and fast-paced high school romance, Mr. Better-Than-You threw a few curve balls my way. Camryn Roth is ready to rock her senior year of high school. She and her high school sweetheart are deeply in love and they both have the same dreams to attend Columbia for college. But Cam’s world is thrown into a whirlwind after meeting with the school counselor and then later having her heart broken at a local diner. After moping and piecing together her broken heart, Cam takes initiative to improve her college resume, her love life, and even herself.

Cam is a rom-com aficionado. As a dedicated fan of romantic comedies, she lives and breathes romantic tropes. However, when her own happily ever after ending is crushed, she takes matters into her own hands. On a mission to find a boyfriend better than her ex-boyfriend, Cam’s definition of love changes throughout the novel and morphs into self-appreciation and the value of friendship.

One of the most unexpected things about Mr. Better-Than-You is that this book is not your typical rom-com. While dating shenanigans ensue throughout the pages, Cam’s mindset of love is altered and molded into a variety of understandings of “what is love?” As a must-read, I highly recommend this book to readers who are fanatics of watching female friendships blossom and characters who take initiative into finding their true selves through heartache, laughter, and the support of the people around them.

about the author


Author Bio:

Shani Petroff is a writer living in New York City. Please visit her website at http://www.ShaniPetroff.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

giveaway

Win a hardcopy of Mr. Better-Than-You

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson 

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: The Year of the Witching
Author: Alexis Henderson 
Publication date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: ACE
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal

Synopsis

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself, with terrifying and far-reaching consequences, in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Waiting on Wednesday: Beach Read by Emily Henry

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Publication date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. But as the summer stretches on, January discovers a gaping plot hole in the story she’s been telling herself about her own life, and begins to wonder what other things she might have gotten wrong, including her ideas about the man next door.

Goodreads | AmazonBarnes & Noble

Emily Henry is one of my all-time favorite authors, and I will read anything and everything she writes. In 2019, I fell into the adult romance genre hole, and I’m so excited to see what amazing story Emily brings to the genre. Give me the laughs and swoons, please! 

My Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2020

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Hello, Book Ravers! Happy 2020, which means New Year, New Books! Every since these books were announced, I have been so (im)patiently waiting for these new book releases, so I am so happy 2020 is finally here.

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  1. The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord: AHHH! The sequel to The Start of Me and You is almost here, and I am freaking out. I loved Paige and Max’s story, and I cannot wait to see how their story unfolds in this next book. GIMME GIMME GIMME!

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Title: The Map From Here to There
Author: Emery Lord
Publication date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis

Acclaimed author Emery Lord crafts a gorgeous story of friendship and identity, daring to ask: What happens after happily ever after?

It’s senior year, and Paige Hancock is finally living her best life. She has a fun summer job, great friends, and a super charming boyfriend who totally gets her. But senior year also means big decisions. Weighing “the rest of her life,” Paige feels her anxiety begin to pervade every decision she makes. Everything is exactly how she always wanted it to be–how can she leave it all behind next year? In her head, she knows there is so much more to experience after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?

Emery Lord’s award-winning storytelling shines with lovable characters and heartfelt exploration of life’s most important questions.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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2. The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski: I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy, and when I found out about The Midnight Lie, I knew I had to have it. Set in the Winner’s world, I’m so excited to see if we get a cameo from Kestrel and Arin. Please, book gods, let there be a cameo by these two! Plus the book comes out on my birthday, so the book fairies are giving me the best birthday present of the year.

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Title: The Midnight Lie
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publication date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Fierce Reads/Macmillan)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.

Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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3. Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett: GIVE ME ALL THE JENN BENNETT BOOKS! If you aren’t new to my blog, you know I adore Jenn and her books so, so much. I love her quirky characters, the swoons, and Bennett’s realistic depiction of teens, sex positivity, and adolescent issues. When I first found out about Chasing Lucky, I may have screamed and immediately added the book to my TBR. There’s a family owned bookstore and a brooding boy . . . OHMYGOD just kill me with your addicting and musing words now, Jenn.

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Title: Chasing Lucky
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publication date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon Teen)
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis

In this coming-of-age romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, a rule-abiding teen embraces her more rebellious side while falling for her ex-boyfriend’s arch-nemesis.

Josie Saint-Martin is well-versed in the art of concealment. Bullied as a child, she’s spent most of her life with her single mother, moving from city to city, covering up what she doesn’t want others to see, comfortable behind the lens of her favorite vintage camera . . .until Josie’s grandmother dies and they return to her mother’s historical New England hometown to run the family bookstore. There, Josie pulls off the ultimate camouflage: dating Adrian, the Harvard-bound son of the most influential man in town.

But her smokescreen is blown when Adrian breaks up with her during his high school graduation party, and Josie’s poorly executed act of revenge lands her big-time trouble—jail alongside the last person she’d want to share a mugshot with: the mysterious and brooding son of the boat mechanic next door, Lucky Karras.

Forced to spend the summer together in mandatory community service, Josie and Lucky become the talk of their coastal town—shamed, trolled, and publicly disgraced. The weird thing is, Josie starts to not mind, because the pair have more in common than she once thought. A lot more. But during a summer of secrets, in a town built on gossip, everything rises to the surface. Can Josie and Lucky swim past these obstacles, or will they both go down together?

Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble

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4. Beach Read by Emily Henry: OH, hi there new adult novel by one of my favorite young adult writers in the world. 2019 was the year I fell into an adult romance genre hole, and I’m so excited to see that Emily Henry is writing a book that will have me falling in even deeper. Give me the swoons, please! 

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Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Publication date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. But as the summer stretches on, January discovers a gaping plot hole in the story she’s been telling herself about her own life, and begins to wonder what other things she might have gotten wrong, including her ideas about the man next door.

Goodreads | AmazonBarnes & Noble

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5. Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust: HOLY MOLY this cover is gorgeous. When cover love strikes, you better believe I am looking up the synopsis of the book. I am in need of a deeply rooted fairy tale-esque novel, and this book checks all my boxes: magic, mystery, and curses.

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Title: Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Publication date: May 12, 2020
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young adult, Retelling

Synopsis

A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble