If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: A Million Junes by Emily Henry

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Title:
A Million Junes

Author: Emily Henry
Publication date: May 16, 2017
Publisher:  Razorbill
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy 
Format: e-ARC from Penguin’s First to Read site

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Romeo and Juliet meets One Hundred Years of Solitude in Emily Henry’s brilliant follow-up to The Love That Split the World, about the daughter and son of two long-feuding families who fall in love while trying to uncover the truth about the strange magic and harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations.

In their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, the O’Donnells and the Angerts have mythic legacies. But for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them, except to say it began with a cherry tree.

Eighteen-year-old Jack “June” O’Donnell doesn’t need a better reason than that. She’s an O’Donnell to her core, just like her late father was, and O’Donnells stay away from Angerts. Period.

But when Saul Angert, the son of June’s father’s mortal enemy, returns to town after three mysterious years away, June can’t seem to avoid him. Soon the unthinkable happens: She finds she doesn’t exactly hate the gruff, sarcastic boy she was born to loathe.

Saul’s arrival sparks a chain reaction, and as the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers conspire to reveal the truth about the dark moment that started the feud, June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored. And she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all of the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


My Rants and Raves of A Million Junes

Last year, Emily Henry’s debut novel, The Love That Split the World, won me over. It was beautifully written, the story was intense and intriguing, and honestly that book still sits well in my heart. And you guys, Henry’s new novel, A Million Junes, is just as impeccable. The novel is a meshing of generational curses, smart and quick-witted dialogue, and eccentric magic.

In A Million Junes, Emily Henry’s words are lyrical. She writes at such an elegant and wistful pace that I often forgot I was reading a book. Not only do her words melodically carry you through a world that merges reality and fantasy, but her writing transcends you into alternate worlds where memories exist by the seed of a dandelion. Henry’s storytelling took me on a collision course of in-between worlds that carry the reminisced emotions of comfort, laughter, heartache, and sorrow. A Million Junes is mesmerizing and thought-provoking and truly a gem to read. 

In reference to the main character, Jack “June” O’Donnell IV often wears her heart on her sleeve. Her sarcasm and wit have no filter, which carries well-needed humor in a story that is filled with grief and haunting despair. June’s attitude and opinions change as the story progresses, and I like that her growth is driven by both emotion and reason. And when this sassy, passionate teenager meets Saul, an enemy to her family, I love that June’s world is set into a whirlwind of challenges and transformation. 

The friendship that develops between June and Saul is beautifully weaved through white lies, snarky jokes, and good rapport. Their chemistry and fast-paced repartee are both heartwarming and hilarious. After their first encounter with one another, I wanted every page dedicated to their conversations. EVERY! SINGLE! PAGE! 

After reading A Million Junes, I hugged the book to my heart. I am 100% sure that this book will be one of those novels that I reread, because I will forever want that enchanting feeling back in my soul. I truly think A Million Junes will be my cure for future reading slumps. I love that this book exists and I love what it stands for. A Million Junes carefully situates two characters in a familial feud that darkens the pages with curses and haunting memories, but, in the end, it manifests that sorrow into experiences of forgiveness and moving forward.

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NOTE: Thank you to Penguin’s First to Read program for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

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#ReadADessen & Giveaway: Keeping the Moon–Who Said It Challenge

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Hey guys, I’ve joined with Penguin for the #ReadADessen campaign, which leads up to the release of Sarah Dessen’s new book ONCE AND FOR ALL (release date: June 6, 2017). This week, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite quotes from Dessen’s book Keeping the Moon, and challenging you to match the quote with the the character who said it.

about keeping the moon

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Title:
Keeping the Moon
Author: Sarah Dessen

Publisher and Publication date:  June 2012 by Speak (first published September 1st 1999)
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

Never underestimate the power of friendship.

When Colie goes to spend the summer at the beach, she doesn’t expect much.

But Colie didn’t count on meeting Morgan and Isabel.

Through them, she learns what true friendship is all about, and finally starts to realize her potential.

And that just might open the door to her first chance at love…

GoodreadsAmazon |Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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who said keeping the moon

Match the quote with the following list of characters:

  • Colie: Insecure protagonist, trying to find confidence.
  • Mira: Colie’s aunt and the heart of the book.
  • Norman: A kind friend, and artist who collects and paints sunglasses in portraits. 
  • Morgan: Has a good heart, and looks for the best in everyone. 
  • Isabel: The grumpy, sarcastic friend that always seems like the pessimist. 

5

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6

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7

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8

Answers found at the end of the blog post.

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giveaway read a dessen
Giveaway sponsored by Penguin Teen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).  NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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about the author sarah dessen
Sarah Dessen picture
Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her newest novel, Once and for All, will be released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.
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about once and for all

once and for all
Title:
Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication date: June 7, 2017
Publisher: 
Viking Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
Genres:
Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

GoodreadsAmazon |Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Note: A big thank you to Penguin for a finished copy of Keeping the Moon, and for allowing me to be a part of the #ReadADessen campaign. 

Answers:
Quote One = Norman
Quote Two = Morgan
Quote Three = Colie
Quote Four = Isabel
Quote Five = Mira

Waiting on Wednesday: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

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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.

Today I am aiming the spotlight on…

Our Dark Duet

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about the book dark duet

Title: Our Dark Duet
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publication date: June 13, 2017
Publisher:  Greenwillow Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository

I can sum up my want for this book in one picture…

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Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

HOSTED by The Broke and the Bookish


This week’s topic is…

Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

  1. Overly used flowery language and purple prose.

  2. Books with more than two points of view. 

  3. If I’m told the dog dies. NOPE, NOT FOR ME!

  4. Pirates: I’m just never in the mood to read about pirates. I’m hoping this may change in the future, but right now I don’t care about pirates.

  5. Mermaids: I’m not a big fan of merpeople books; I couldn’t even tell you the last one I read.

  6. It’s a “Wuthering Heights” retelling. Ugh, no. I’m not a fan of WH, and I probably won’t be a fan of any retellings. 

  7. Cheating/affairs: I deal with divorces every day with my job, so I don’t want to read about them too. Give me a happy, swoony book and I’m good.

  8. Erotic fiction: No, thank you. I will pass on your odd descriptions of sex and overuse of vegetable comparisons.

  9. Terminal illnesses: Reading is my way to escape from real-life issues like this. Also, I just hate crying. 

  10. Christian fiction that comes off too preachy. 

What are some things that make you instantly NOT want to read a book?

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche

Last Semester
Corine Mekaouche
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Breathe, Rob! Just breathe!” I demand in a panicky voice from the back seat as we swiftly pull up to the entrance of the hospital. Clutching his chest in pain next to me, he heaves out a few spouts of air, but it’s not enough to help him.

Shit!

I watch my roommate Rob’s cheeks turn from a shade of deep pink to a dark crimson red. “A.J.! He’s getting worse!” I yell to my other roommate in the driver’s seat. He rolls his eyes then turns around.

“Calm down, Jo!” he exclaims. “I can’t think when you’re yelling like this!”

Drew, our other roommate, and usually the voice of reason, says nothing as he quickly jumps out of the Range Rover and runs into the hospital entrance.

“Can’t. Breathe,” Rob manages to force out of his mouth, then before I know it, his body falls limp and his head somehow ends up on my lap. His eyes roll to the back of his head.

“I think he’s dying!” I whine and suddenly I’m losing my breath.

Releasing a loud groan, A.J. climbs out of the SUV and casually walks into the hospital as if nothing is wrong.

Why is he so calm and I’m flipping the hell out?

I begin to shake Rob’s shoulders but he doesn’t respond and I’m almost positive that he’s not breathing at all now.

It’s official.

I killed my roommate.

Okay, maybe he’s not dead yet, but if death was a road, he just made a left turn for the worse then ran over a few annoying potholes and some week old roadkill…and probably drove off a cliff or something…

Ugh! I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! I feel guilty for doing this to him and I feel even more guilty because I kinda hate his arrogant, smug ass, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, does it?

The back door opens and I see A.J. and Drew standing outside with a wheelchair. A.J. roughly wraps his arms around Rob’s body and begins to pull him out of the car. “Fuck! He’s like the size of an ogre,” he complains as he struggles to get Rob into the wheelchair. The fact that Rob is as useless as a wet noodle right now makes it difficult for A.J. to adjust Rob’s body in the chair. I cringe just watching it.

“I knew this was going to happen one day,” Drew says shaking his head. “The inevitable always happens.”

Shooting Drew a snarling glare, A.J. grits his teeth. “Just roll the goddamn chair into the hospital,” he instructs. Drew turns the chair around and begins to jog into the emergency room with Rob’s body leaning to one side. A.J. looks at me in the SUV, annoyed. “Well, are you coming?” he asks and I just freeze.

Do I stay? Do I go? I don’t know what to do with myself!

Taking a quick yet deep breath, I climb out of the SUV, shut the door and join A.J. on the other side of the vehicle.

“I’m horrible,” I blurt out and I can feel wetness welling in my eyes. “I’m a horrible person.”

“Dammit, Jo! I hate it when girls cry,” he complains as he shuts the other back door and begins to walk into the hospital. He pauses in his tracks when he notices that I’m not following him.

I’m frozen.

Author Bio:

The geek and a dreamer, Corine Mekaouche has always had the vision of becoming a writer. While growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, Corine spent her childhood immersed in music, novels, and writing. To her, the arts was the best escape ever. For college, she attended Rutgers University majoring in English and minoring in Theatre Arts. Somehow, Corine survived the college experience and became somewhat of a grown-up yet still kept the vision of being a writer alive because it may be all she’s qualified for. So, she wrote and wrote until Last Semester, a new adult novel about college life and growing up, was born. Currently, she is writing other novels and plays for future release. When she’s not writing, loudly singing to songs in her car or dancing in random places for no apparent reason, Corine is being an awesome wife and a mom residing outside of the wonderfully flawed New York City..

Website / Twitter

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#ReadADessen & Giveaway: Someone Like You–Character-Inspired Popsicle Pairings

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Hey guys, I’ve joined with Penguin for the #ReadADessen campaign, which leads up to the release of Sarah Dessen’s new book ONCE AND FOR ALL (release date: June 6, 2017). This week, I’m aiming the spotlight on Dessen’s amazing story about love and friendship: Someone Like You.

Someone Like You was my first Sarah Dessen book I had read. I remember being on summer break from high school, soaking up the sun, eating a cherry-flavored Popsicle, and not putting the book down. Dessen adds a lot of character development in each of her books, and what I love most about her writing is the friendships that she creates and allows to grow throughout the pages. This book has and will always feel like summer and freedom to me.

When I first read Someone Like You, I instantly became attached to these characters and easily melted into each of their stories and personalities. And during my most recent reread of it, I was inspired to create a tasty post. So instead of doing a typical “Rants and Raves” review of Someone Like You, I thought I would creatively pair the characters to Popsicle flavors based on their personalities. Enjoy!

About the Book popsicle

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Title:
Someone Like You
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication date: (Reprint) June 1, 2012
Publisher:  Penguin
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

The world is a terrible place not to have a best friend.

Scarlett was always the strong one.

Halley was always content to follow in her wake.

Then Scarlett’s boyfriend died, and Scarlett learned that she was pregnant.

Now Halley has to find the strength to take the lead and help Scarlett get through it.

Because true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

GoodreadsAmazon |Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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Halley Popsicle

At sixteen years old, Halley is still establishing who she is. Like an Orangesicle, Halley has two main layers. She is quiet and introverted, but she’s also a teenager that gives herself the opportunity to challenge herself and her beliefs. Halley is a trusting and dedicated friend, and deep down she always tries to do what is right.

Scarlett popsicle

Scarlett is Halley’s best friend. Just like watermelon she is sweet on the inside, but tough on the outside. Even with a broken heart and the challenges life throws at her, Scarlett remains determined and confident in herself and her decisions.

Macon Popsicle

Macon is like summer: he’s hot and he’s fun to be around. In his typical bad-boy fashion, Macon is wild and rebellious, but he also has a sweet and mysterious side. But even with his “Firecracker” and carefree attitude, Macon falls short of being responsible and notices that his choices have consequences. 

giveawayGiveaway sponsored by Penguin Teen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).  NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

About the Book Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen picture
Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her newest novel, Once and for All, will be released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.

About once and for all

once and for all


Title:
Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication date: June 7, 2017
Publisher: 
Viking Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
Genres:
Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

GoodreadsAmazon |Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Note: A big thank you to Penguin for a finished copy of Someone Like You, and for allowing me to be a part of the #ReadADessen campaign. All statements and opinions are my own. 

W…W…W…Wednesday: 04/19/2017

W…W…W…Wednesday

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W…W…W…Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words and includes Three Ws:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

(Click on the book cover to be linked to its Goodreads page)

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I saw a fellow blogger raving about this book, and hinted that it contained Steampunk elements, so I had to pick it up.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I was in the mood for a swoony New Adult book, and this one did not disappoint. I loved the fun banter and the romance that gradually developed throughout the pages. I haven’t read a 5-star NA book in a long time, and I’m so glad I picked this one up. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Book club meeting is coming up soon, so I really need to sit myself down and read this one, hahaha. 

How does your week of reading look