Treat Yo Shelf & Giveaway: April 2017 Recap

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April 2017: Monthly Recap

Welcome to my monthly recap post, in which I fangirl over the books I read in the last month, bookish items I acquired, book events I attended, bookish news, and/or subscription boxes I received in the month of April.

what did I read

what did i review

(Click on the banner to be linked to blog post)

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publishers and authors

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monthly raves

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April’s Uppercase Box

 

April’s Stars Hollow Monthly Box

April’s Owlcrate Box

 

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April’s Whimsify Monthly Box

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April’s #OTSPSecretSister Package

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Purchases from Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green, Kentucky (Meet & Greet w/ authors and signings)

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Independent Bookstore Day purchases and goodies

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I am currently hosting a giveaway on my Instagram account. In order to enter, click on the picture below, which will redirect you to the Instagram giveaway and rules. Good luck!

Instagram giveaway

How did you treat your shelves in April? What books did you read and would highly recommend?

Raves & A Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

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Title: By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Publication date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?


My Top 5 Raves of By Your Side

1.If you’re already a Kasie West fan, you are going to love By Your Side. It’s fast-paced, swoony, funny, and you will definitely fall in love with the two main characters, Autumn and Dax.

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2. Some of you may already know this about me, especially if you follow me on Twitter, but my brother is my best friend. And in By Your Side, Autumn is also very close to her brother, Owen. Their dialogue is witty and hilarious. I adored when these two were together in a chapter. One of my rants about this book is that there was not enough scenes between these two. GIVE ME MORE AWESOME SISTER-AND-BROTHER SCENES, PLEASE!

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3. Kasie’s books always gives me John Hughes’ movie FEELS, and of course I went into this book hoping for inspired The Breakfast Club library scenes. Now, the library dancing and sprinkling of PixieStix on a sandwich didn’t happen, but I think Autumn and Dax handled being locked in a library for a weekend really well. Being locked in a library is definitely a way to challenge yourself, but in this story, it was also a good start to a new friendship. And although Autumn already has some preconceived notions about Dax having a “bad boy” reputation, she finds out that Dax is very resourceful, honest, and trustworthy.

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4. Autumn is a realistic protagonist worth rooting for. She has her flaws, but don’t we all. One of my favorite things about Autumn is that she is not as angsty as many cliché female leads are portrayed in contemporary books. I found Autumn to be strong-willed, caring, and overconscientious. 

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5. Last, I really enjoyed that By Your Side focuses on a multitude of situations: family, friendships, teenage love, foster children, and anxiety. Kasie West doesn’t shy her characters away from making mistakes or misconstruing situations. Instead, the characters use their cleverness, humor, and courage to conquer the world. Give me a Kasie West book any day, and I will always walk away with fluff in my heart and laughter in my soul.

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4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

RELEASE DATE: January 31, 2017

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

Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

15283043Title: The Distance Between Us
By: Kasie West
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 312 (Paperback)
Format: Kindle 
Source: Purchased

About On the Fence:

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

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


My Rants and Raves of The Distance Between Us

Reading The Distance Between Us was like watching a John Hughes’ film. I must say I enjoyed the story and the gradual relationship that grew between the two main characters, Caymen and Xander. I mean, there’s even a Blaine in the story, so this book has to be Pretty in Pink – John Hughes inspired!!!

My number one love for this book was the dialogue. I thought the dialogue between Caymen and Xander was witty and funny. With each chapter I looked forward to the quick, sarcastic banter that Caymen brought in Xander’s direction. I thought a few of the scenes were over-dramatic, but overall I did like how quirky both characters were and how well they connected. More importantly, I enjoyed how they dared each other out of their own comfort zones. 

Additionally, I really liked that this book was focused on self-acceptance, instead of it being another contemporary read about a poor girl that falls in love with rich boy and vice versa. Even though I did not enjoy some of the angsty scenes, I enjoyed West’s writing, and I appreciated that The Distance Between Us encompassed a very heartfelt and slow-building story littered with love, jealousy, secrets, friendship, family, humor, and trust. If you love 80s’ films, especially if you’re a John Hughes fanatic, give this book a try. 

3 star rating

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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

Book Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Title: On the Fence
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By: Kasie West
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 296 (Paperback)
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

About On the Fence:

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

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


My Rants and Raves of On the Fence

I read On the Fence for July’s book club pick. In all honesty, I did not enjoy reading this book; maybe I wasn’t in the mood for a contemporary (but I really thought I was at the time), but this book is my least favorite of Kasie West’s. 

One of the main reasons that I did not enjoy this book was due to the main character, Charlie. I tried to give Charlie a chance, but I found her SO ANNOYING! I realize her mother past away when she was younger, so she was raised by her father and three brothers, so she is characterized as a complete tomboy. But her love for baseball, or any sport, did not shy me away from the story; instead it was her attitude problem that had me wanting to throw the book across the room. Throughout the novel, Charlie is constantly fighting off people who are trying to help her. I could not connect to Charlie or her story, because she was constantly being stubborn and frustrating. UGH, just thinking about her actions, still gets me fired up. 

I almost gave up on this book, but in the end it was a very quick read. I did enjoy the dynamics and the unique relationships between Charlie and her brothers. They were fun, humorous, and protective. And I also liked her friend/neighbor, Braden. Braden is definitely a good guy that cares deeply about Charlie; their encounters and fence talking were honest and adorable. 

Overall, this is a classic girl crushing on the “boy next door” story; it is a quick read, but be prepared for a main character that is stubborn as hell. 

1 star rating

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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

W…W…W…Wednesday:07/13/2016

W…W…W…Wednesday

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?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I loved David Arnold’s Mosquitoland so much, so I don’t know if KOA is going to top it, but right now it’s definitely climbing its way up my favorites list.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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This book doesn’t come out until October, but I’m going to tell you right now, you will want this Contemporary novel in your life this Fall. IT’S SO GOOD AND OUTRIGHT HILARIOUS!

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Traitor Angels has been sitting on my shelf for a few months, so hopefully I pick it up next.

What does your own W…W…W…Wednesday look like? 

Throwback Thursday Mini-Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

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Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
By: Kasie West
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 344
Format: Physical ARC
Source: EpicReads’ Early Readers Group (2015)

About The Fill-In Boyfriend:

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER/RETAILER OR 

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Book Depository 


My Rants and Raves of The Fill-In Boyfriend

WOW this story reeled me in and I don’t want to be casted back out! If you know me, I have never been a go-to contemporary reader; however, in the last year, I am trying to change this fact about me and read more YA contemporary novels. I have never read a Kasie West novel, and after reading this book, I may have to gobble up her other books ASAP!

West’s main character Gia is portrayed so accurately as a modern-day teenager–at first she is self-involved and constantly worried about what her “friends” think, but over time she begins to mature. Straight from the beginning, Gia recognizes that her words and actions are self-centered. But after asking for a favor from a concerned stranger (that would be Hayden, the fill-in boyfriend/Bradley), Gia starts to analyze herself, her friends, her frienemies, her family, her actions, and social media’s influence on her life. And throughout her analysis, she begins to change and develop into a likable and self-conscious person.

This book is well-paced and each word tugs at your heart and your gut. Gia straight out says or portrays that she needs to change, and as a reader, I enjoyed that process of her evolution. The Fill-In Boyfriend is a quick read–I couldn’t put it down–and adding a smart, observant, “geeky,” and a lay-it-all-out-on-the-table fill-in boyfriend, like Hayden, to expose Gia’s flaws and strengths made the story 10 times better. Hayden is swoon-worthy and definitely a friend to be trusted.

The only flaw I saw with the book was that I thought it was too short, but I may be acting bias because I want more Gia and Hayden banter/conversation.

Favorite lines:

“The librarian lowered her brow disapprovingly. ‘I don’t think we have any biographies on people who had to deal with d-bags'” (page 217 of the ARC).

“I was thinking about vanilla but then I thought, ‘That is so boring, Gia will think I’m the most boring person ever.'”…”So then I thought, ‘I bet Blake here will tell me what to order,’ but he was no help whatsoever. Thanks a lot, Blake.” (page 225 of the ARC).

star rating

5 out of 5 Stars

Note: This review was previously posted on my Goodreads account in May 19, 2015, and has been updated for my blog. I received an Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) from Epic Reads as a participant reviewer for their new Early Readers Group in the summer of 2015.  Thank you, Epic Reads and HarperTeen! All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West: Review & Giveaway

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Title: P.S. I Like You
By:  Kasie West 
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Point
Format: ARC
Source: Blogger Book Exchange

Goodreads Summary:

What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered — and kind of feels like she’s falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer — but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.


The Rants and Raves of P.S. I Like You

Last year, Epic Reads provided me an advance reader’s copy of The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West for their Early Reader’s Program. And you guys, I fell in LOOOOVE with this book; it was quirky, innovative, fun, swoon-worthy, and so heart-quenchingly adorable. The Fill-In Boyfriend was the first Kasie West book I read, even though she had several other publications before it. When I found out that Kasie had a new book coming out this year, P.S.  I Like You, I immediately added it to my TBR list and my personal “2016-Wishlist.” Luckily, through a book exchange with a fellow book blogger (THANKS, Heidi!), I received an ARC of P.S. I Like You (EEEeekkk!!!).

Now I didn’t love P.S. I Like You, but I also didn’t hate it…I guess you could say I liked it. At first, I was not a big fan of the main character, a high schooler named Lily Abbott. She is very sarcastic, which I liked, but she is also a bit stand-offish, defensive, and very self-involved in her own little world.

Even though Lily has her faults (well, we all do, right?), she does have some likable qualities. First off, she is a very talented and self-determined songwriter. Lily is fierce and witty–overall, she doesn’t put up with people’s shenanigans.

She is also very family oriented. I really enjoyed the scenes of her interacting with her family. And her family members are off-the-wall hilarious. Lily’s family consists of her quirky and competitive parents, her rambunctious brothers (Thing One and Thing Two), and her wise, feisty older sister, Ashley. Even the family pet rabbit, Bugs Rabbit, was a fun highlight in the book and a pain in Lily’s butt, HAHAHA. The dynamics of the Abbott household are entertaining and very heartwarming. Their quirky traditions and the love that they all have for each other is very comforting. The Abbott family dynamics  definitely won me over in this book. 

The plot and twists in P.S. I Like You are quite predictable, but I still enjoyed the development and secrets that unfolded throughout the pages. While reading the first 200 pages, I thought the plot was too slow and I wanted something to happen. I mainly wanted to go beyond Lily’s grudges, wallowing, and self-pity. But as the story progressed, Lily became a more likable character. When she starts exchanging letters and song lyrics with a mysterious boy who shares her desk in a different Chemistry period, Lily begins to open up. Once these letters become a natural part of her day, I really liked how Lily challenges herself and, more importantly, her attitude becomes more tolerable. The main events that happen in the last 100 pages are definitely my favorite (SWOON!) and worth reading the whole book.

As I stated before, I did not find Lily to be a very likable character and her pessimism almost turned me away from reading the rest of the book. But I’m glad I finished the novel, because the ending was definitely worth all its swooning. Although I was not a fan of Lily, I was a HUGE fan of her “enemy” Cade. He’s funny, witty, and his attitude/actions are unexpected and swoony. He is an excellent choice to be Lily’s binary in P.S. I Like You.  

3 star rating

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

P.S. I like you

Follow me on Twitter @CassieopiaB and Retweet this Tweet to enter the chance to win an ARC of P.S. I Like You

 

PRE-ORDER P.S. I LIKE YOU FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER/RETAILER 

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Book Depository 

NOTE:          I received this Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) through a book trade with a fellow blogger. I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher for a review. All statements and honest opinions are mine.