Blog Tour & Giveaway: Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

Title: Wesley James Ruined My Life
Author: Jennifer Honeybourn
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis: 

Sixteen-year-old Quinn Hardwick’s having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a home, her dad’s gambling addiction has flared back up and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend—until he ruined her life, that is.

So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn’s going to do is forgive and forget. She’s determined to remove him from her life and even the score all at once—by getting him fired.

But getting rid of Wesley isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to just get over it.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


First, how adorable and perfect is the cover? Wesley James Ruined My Life is definitely the definition of COVER LOVE. And like the cover, this book also has it’s adorable moments. The main character may be over-dramatic in some scenes of the novel, but overall this story is quick-paced and the perfect summer read. 

In reference to the main character, I found Quinn sometimes irrational and quick to judge. By the title, we acknowledge that Quinn has something against Wesley. Communication, or the lack of communication, definitely plays a high role in Quinn’s reasoning of why Wesley ruined her life. Even though I may not 100% agree with Quinn’s dislike for Wesley, I understand why she needed someone to blame for the unfair circumstances that happened in her life years ago. But you guys, this book gets more funny and swoony as the story unfolds. And I could not put this book down once Quinn started opening herself up to truth, honesty, and forgiveness.

In a nutshell, this is a story about revenge, but it’s so much more. In the end, Wesley James Ruined My Life is a story about maturing, accepting the past, and moving forward. It definitely has it’s swoony moments and a romance that I kept rooting for. I enjoyed the historical references often portrayed in the restaurant scenes, but most of all I really loved how positive, lively, and approachable Wesley was throughout the novel. Wesley was definitely my favorite part of the book, and I highly enjoyed his determination and fun-loving personality. I think I might have a new book boyfriend. *swoons*

About the author Pearl Thief

Jennifer Honeybourn works in corporate communications in Vancouver, British Columbia. She’s a fan of British accents, Broadway musicals, and epic, happily-ever-after love stories. If she could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, she’d have high tea with Walt Disney, JK Rowling, and her nana. She lives with her husband, daughter and cat in a house filled with books. Wesley James Ruined My Life is her first novel.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Giveaway Pearl Thief

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TOUR SCHEDULE PEARL THIEF

July 17th
Writing My Own Fairy Tale  >> Excerpt
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Review
The Avid Reader >>  Guest post
Fic Central >> Review
Mes Livres >> Review

July 18th
Tales of the Ravenous Reader >> Interview
The Bookish Thought >> Review
Writing Pearls >> Review
Rolling with the Moments >> Review
Here’s to Happy Endings  >> Review

July 19th
Book Briefs >> Review
Girl vs Books >> Review
A Dream Within A Dream >> Excerpt
Beauty and the Bookshelf  >> Review
Never Too Many To Read >> Review

July 20th
blogs and coffee  >> Guest post
The Heart of a Book Blogger  >> Review
Padme’s Library >> Interview
The Reader and the Chef  >> Review

July 21st
Dog-Eared Daydreams >> Review
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile >> Review
To Be Read  >> Review
The Bookworm Central >> Review
Wonder Struck >> Review

 

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser

CHASING EVELINE BLOG TOUR

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Title: CHASING EVELINE
Author: Leslie Hauser
Pub. Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Pen Name Publishing
Pages: 300
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonBarnes & Noble, TBDGoodreads

Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.

Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.

The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.


My Rants and Raves of Chasing Eveline

WOW, you all, my 1980s loving-heart is fully in love with this book. Chasing Eveline may take place in our world of skyping and cellphones, but this book definitely has all the best elements of a 1980s movie: teen melodrama, an underdog theme, great music, and a feel-good ending. This coming-of-age story will definitely fill your soul with nostalgia, warm fuzzies, and the appreciation of great music.  


As the main character, Ivy, is highly focused on her mother abandoning her family. And instead of accepting that her mom is truly gone, Ivy sulks, which then dominoes into other people in her life fading away. Luckily, Ivy finds a way to keep the memory of her mom anchored to her, which is rediscovering the 80s bands and music that her mom once shared with her. One of these beloved bands is Chasing Eveline. 

As a band with strong and heartfelt lyrics, Chasing Eveline becomes the catalyst and glue to Ivy’s story. They influence Ivy in the most positive ways–leading to new friendships, crazy ways to raise money, and adventurous traveling plans. I love that this band fills Ivy’s grief-filled heart with hope, peace, and willingness to try new things. In Chasing Eveline,  Ivy sometimes comes off as stubborn and naive. But even though she hates letting go of the past, I appreciated that Ivy also has the most heartwarming and hilarious ways of approaching life and moving forward.


Chasing Eveline is littered with 1980s movie references, which made me love Ivy and her story even more. When Ivy thinks she’s being innovative and creative, her love for Chasing Eveline often leads to the most awkward and funny scenes. I love that Ivy is passionate about music, but more importantly that she appreciates lyrics as the blood that keeps the song pumping. If you love a little teenage angst, 1980’s pop culture, and a beautifully executed ending, I highly recommend that you read Chasing Eveline ASAP! 

4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

About the author Pearl Thief

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I am a YA writer and middle school teacher. I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently reside in Los Angeles, California, with my dog Mr. Darcy.

When I’m not living in fictional worlds inside my head, I run all sorts of distances, torture my body at CrossFit, and DVR entirely too many television shows. I dream of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.

My debut novel CHASING EVELINE releases in 2017 from Pen Name Publishing.
Website |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Giveaway Pearl Thief
3 Winners will receive a finished copy of CHASING EVELINE, US Only.

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TOUR SCHEDULE PEARL THIEFWeek One:

7/17/2017- Novel Novice Excerpt
7/18/2017- Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile Review
7/19/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post

7/20/2017- Book Princess Reviews Review
7/21/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview

Week Two:

7/24/2017– Bibliobakes Review
7/25/2017- Wandering Bark Books– Excerpt
7/26/2017- The Pages In-Between– Review
7/27/2017- YA and Wine Interview
7/28/2017- Book Briefs– Review

Book Review: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

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Title: 
Song of the Current 
Author:
 Sarah Tolcser

Publication date: June 6, 2017
Publisher:  Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

About the Book:

Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

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


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Song of the Current did not work for me as a book. During one weekend, I binge read three pirate-y themed books, and this was my least favorite of them. I think the story has a hopeful premise, but in the end, the book fell flat for me. I will keep this review short, and just highlight both the rants and the raves that I had for the book.

Rants: I really had a hard time connecting and liking any of the characters; I found their personalities passive and dull. There is little to no change in character development by the end of the book. I also found the story to be very flat and predictable. I hate to admit it, but I felt bored during my read. At one time, I almost stopped reading the book, but kept pushing myself and convincing myself that it will get better (especially since I enjoyed the banter).

Raves: I liked the romance that brews in Song of the Current. It’s not one-sided and there is not instant-love. I really liked that the characters are very verbal in stating what they want and don’t want in a “relationship.” The banter is definitely worth finishing the book. Communication was one of the most favorable aspects of this novel. And when that communication is snarky and witty, I just had to keep reading. 

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I received this book in my subscription to UppercaseBox, which I bought with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Raves & Craves: Zodiac Rereadathon & Giveaway

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Hi everyone, thank you for joining me today for Penguin Teen’s rereadathon campaign of the Zodiac series by Romina Russell. Below check out information about Zodiac, my RAVING review and a snack recommendation for Zodiac, and enter the giveaway to win a set of the Zodiac series. Good luck and enjoy!

Zodiac
Title:  Zodiac

Author: Romina Russell
Publication date: December 9, 2014
Publisher:  Razorbill (Penguin/Random House)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance

About the book:

At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

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


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THE RAVES: A SHORT REVIEW

Zodiac is a unique read that blends both astronomy and astrology into a space adventure story that focuses on a young heroine, Rho, trying to make sure that good conquers evil. Throughout the novel, Rho is tested not only by her own home, the House of Cancer, but by the other Guardians and Houses that she is trying to convince are all in danger. Reluctantly, she has to warn everyone that their common enemy is someone that they all thought was only a legend. Zodiac is an action-packed page-turner with intense scenes, charming male characters, and a plot-line filled with twists, turns, and so many mysteries. I could not put this book down. 

THE CRAVES: GALAXY POPCORN

While reading any book, I usually have a snack at my side. Zodiac is filled with intriguing moments and scenes, and I was always reaching for something to munch on but never turning my eyes from the page. While reading Zodiac, I turned to one of my favorite snacks that I always crave but added a sweet twist to it: Popcorn with a hint of sweetness from sprinkles.

Ingredients:
For this snack, you will only need two ingredients:  popcorn and sprinkles. I decided to use regular popcorn, because I love the salty taste, and different colored sprinkles, which include star-shaped and sparkling sugar.


Directions:
Pop your popcorn, according to the directions on the packet, and then add your sprinkles of choice. WHA-LA! You have the perfect mix of a salty snack with a hint of sweetness. 



♦◊♦ ENTER THE GIVEAWAY ♦◊♦

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Enter for a chance to win either one (1) grand prize set of Romina Russell’s Zodiac Series in paperback, including Zodiac, Wandering Star, and Black Moon (32.97) or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive a copy of Zodiac by Romina Russell (ARV: $10.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on June 26th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on July 17, 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 July 21, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 


Don’t forget to join us for the Twitter Chat on July 16 hosted by Brittany at @BBOOKRAMBLES
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Note: Thank you Penguin Teen 
for allowing me to be a part of the #ZodiacBooks ReReadathon campaign. 

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

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Title:
 Daughter of the Pirate King
Author:
 Tricia Levenseller 

Publication date: February 28, 2017
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

About the Book:

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

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


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HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL…I can not get over how amazing Daughter of the Pirate King is. I am not a huge pirate-themed book reader (although, Cutthroat Island is one of my favorite pirate movies), but one weekend I decided to binge read three pirate-y books, and Daughter of the Pirate King was by far my favorite out of the three. AND OHMYGOD I WANT MORE! I loved how quick-paced but steady the book read. I adored the swashbuckling characters, the surprising twists and turns, and yes, I swooned over the romance that is filled with playful bickering, irresistible kissage, and sacrifice. 

I love books that turn the tables on stereotypes, so of course, I loved that Daughter of the Pirate King portrayed a well-developed female pirate that was not a “damsel in distress.”  What can I say about Alosa–one of the best female pirates I have ever read. She has all the best qualities that will make you laugh, cringe, and surprise you. She’s snarky, feisty, a badass, a crafty trickster, and ignites ever page with the fire of a thousand suns. And one of the best qualities about Alosa is that she is not stagnant–instead, as her journey throws her into a whirlwind on the sea, she rolls with the punches and allows herself to analyze every situation with a new perspective. Alosa is definitely a person I would want as a pirate captain and a friend. 

I do not want to give too much away, but The Daughter of the Pirate King is filled with mysteries, twists, disguises, secrets, and the best pirate fight scenes. From beginning to end, Tricia Levenseller’s book will have you enchanted and hooked. Every page is something new, something exciting, and a pure adrenaline rush of adventure, swoons, and quick-witted banter. The ending is a nail-biter, and trust me, after reading the last sentence, you will be begging for the sequel. (PLEASE, SOMEONE, GIVE ME THE SEQUEL NOW…). 


NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

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Title:
Blackhearts 
Author:
Nicole Castroman

Publication date: February 9, 2016
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Romance

About the Book:

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay. 

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


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I went into Blackhearts without reading the synopsis. All I knew was that this book was “pirate” themed and I was looking for some ARRRMAZING scenes (hahaha…see what I did there?). To my surprise, after finishing the book, discussing it with the book club I’m in, and then reading the author’s note, I discovered that Blackhearts is a retelling of Blackbeard–a notorious pirate who I had briefly studied in school. Also, to a greater surprise, I did not think this book was very “pirate-y” but that did not stop me from loving it. 

First off, I was a major fan of the slow burn romance that brews in Blackhearts. Not only was a huge fan of the romantic intentions that develop between the main characters, but I love that this relationship is based on the love for books and storytelling, hopes for adventure, and a passion to fall in love with someone based on strength, courage, heart, trust, and ferocity. I won’t give too much away on the relationship that I adored in this book, but I’m telling you, you will LOVE it and you will want to pick up the next book immediately. I need smoochies and I need a happily ever after ending…NOW! They deserve it!

Blackhearts is a fun and unique book. From the first page I was hooked, and the last chapter left me yearning for more of Anne and Teach’s story. The book is told in dual points-of-view, which allows the story to unfold in different perspectives that focus not only on a developing relationship, but also a story focused on challenging social status, race, and gender differences. I loved the diversity littered throughout the pages, and the multiple perspectives add a layer of heartwarming scenes, captivating dialogue, and great desire of wanderlust. Of course the ending comes too soon, but luckily, I immediately bought the sequel Blacksouls and I cannot wait to read it this weekend. 

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

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Title:
Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication date: April 4, 2017
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


Letters to the Lost

Where do I start with this amazing book? Letters to the Lost is a book about loss, grief, and unexpected friendships. We live in a world where we are always grasping for that chance of hope and happiness, but we are often overshadowed by the sudden windstorm of death. And instead of being forever lost in grief, Brigid Kemmerer’s book portrays a path of dealing with loss and creating new friendships, while also holding on to cherished memories.

In Letters to the Lost, Kemmerer’s characters experience grief and emptiness after the deaths of close family members, but by the happenstance of letters left at a cemetery, these characters form an unexpected bond through their vulnerable and heartbreaking words. But through misty eyes, I liked that their emotions steadily evolve and elate through a blind connection. What they believe to be just words written on paper turn out to mean the world to each other. 

As one of the main characters, Juliet, a current high school student, realistically portrays the emotional struggles of losing a parent. And in order to deal with her grief, she writes letters to her mother and leaves them at her grave site. But as the synopsis points out, the letters do not remain unread. This is when Declan, a fellow high school student, who is working his community service hours at a local cemetery, finds Juliet’s letters and begins responding to her. 

The mystery of writing letters to an unknown person under the umbrella of anonymity can feel frustrating, maddening, but also satisfying. By Juliet and Declan keeping their identities secret from each other, they do not feel physically exposed; they do not have to hide their honest feelings or the hurt that comes from the reality of death. Instead of bottling up their grief, both characters use their letters as an outlet to be loose cannons of emotional verbiage. I liked that this outlet opens them up to a unique way of healing, acceptance, and finally gripping to hope. 

One of the unique messages that I took away from Letters to the Lost is that the book challenges the characters to see beyond stereotypes. Stereotypes usually distort our views of people, especially in high school. We often think we know a person just by their physical appearance or what others have told us about them. Similar to many high school experiences, Julie and Declan have stereotyped each other and their classmates. But at the end of this book, they notice that these preconceived notions are just fabrications. They are then left to acknowledge that the only person they truly know is themselves and sometimes that is even ever changing.

If you are ever in the mood for a book that portrays the distress of loss and grief with the progression of finding conciliation and peace, I highly recommend Letters to the Lost. This book is full of emotions–pain and sadness–but it also contains a message of hope, discovering ways to cope with loss, and finding friends in the unlikely places.

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NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.