Throwback Thursday Mini-Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

10594356Title: Going Vintage
By: Lindsey Leavitt
Release Date: March 26, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gift

About Going Vintage:

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

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


My Rants and Raves of Going Vintage

Warning this review contains some spoilers. 

I went into Going Vintage thinking that the main character was going to be a stereotypical “whiny” teenager, who believes her boyfriend is cheating on her because he created an online avatar that is “married” to another online companion. Although, he wasn’t physically cheating on her, the main character, Mallory, convinces herself that cyber-flirting is a form of cheating–especially when “I love you” emails are involved.

Instead of being a whiny, dramatic teenager, I like that Mallory takes it into her own hands to step away from modern technology–cell phone, computer, internet, and even Friendspace (similar to Facebook or Myspace). Her younger sister helps her accomplish this goal, and throughout the novel Mallory creates lists to help her achieve her goals to change her teenage life and go back to the “simple” things. I love that Mallory challenges herself, and through lists, determination, and an independent will, Mallory is able to forgive those who have hurt her in the past, experience the fashion trends of the 1960s, create new friendships and school-related experiences (like start a pep club), and discover her true self as well discovering and understanding her ever-changing family and friends.

Mallory is a fierce female character and a breath of fresh air. In the end, Mallory proves to herself that it does not matter what time period you were born in, every person goes though heartache and rough times; however, it is up to your own self to change and mold the world around you in order to enjoy life.

4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Note:   This review was previously posted on my Goodreads account on May 4, 2015, and has been updated for my blog. I received a copy of this book as a gift from a friend.  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher as an exchange for a review; I reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Throwback Thursday Mini-Review: How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo

Throwback Thursday Mini-Review: How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo

22718802Title: How to Say I Love You Out Loud
By: Karole Cozzo
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Physical ARC
Source: Received in a Swoon Reads Tote Bag Giveaway at Joseph Beth Bookseller’s Cincinnati, Ohio book event

About How to Say I Love You Out Loud:

When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they’re related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can’t shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again. Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?

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


Mini-Review: My Rants and Raves of How to Say I Love You Out Loud

At first I thought this book was going to be a typical formulaic contemporary read, but I’m so glad I was wrong and kept reading.

I went into this story without reading its synopsis, and I think not knowing what the book was about made me like it more. Throughout the book, Jordyn, the main character, creates a boundary between her peers and her home life–the truth is that she has an autistic brother, and in the past she has always been labeled as the sister of the autistic kid. She is in her second year of starting a new school, and for once she is only Jordyn. But as the story progresses, her brother (Phillip) unintentionally bombards her school life, and people begin whispering how “weird” he is and find out that he’s related to Jordyn.

In the end, I loved the development of Jordyn. She accepts who she is, and more importantly she accepts the challenges that life throws at her. She becomes brave, opens up her heart, and doesn’t worry what other people think about her or her brother.

Karole Cozzo has a knack for real-life storytelling, and her development of creating Alex to push Jordyn to challenge herself is beautifully written. Jordyn’s story is beautiful and well worth the read.

4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Note: This review was previously posted on my Goodreads account on August 2, 2015, and has been updated for my blog. I received an Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) from a giveaway hosted by Swoon Reads at a book event held at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, Ohio during the summer of 2015.   I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in exchange for a review.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Throwback Thursday Mini-Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

18190208

Title: The Witch Hunter
By: Virginia Boecker
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 362 (Hardcover
Format: ARC
Source: Won from NOVL newsletter (2015)

Synopsis:

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.


MY RANTS AND RAVES OF The Witch Hunter

The Witch Hunter is a beautifully written and action-packed, debut novel about a young girl named Elizabeth Grey. Elizabeth has grown up learning the art of witch hunting. In the craft of witch hunting, she is inculcated with the idea that she is providing justice and purification for a kingdom that she is willing to protect. However, through life’s unexpectancies, Elizabeth’s world is put through a whirlwind, and she finds herself being accused of witchcraft. After weeks of incarceration, she is saved by the single wizard that she was told was her worst enemy–Nicholas Perevil. In Perevil’s protection, Elizabeth is healed by magic–something she was conditioned to loathe. More importantly, she discovers that she plays an important part in breaking the curse casted on Perevil by someone she trusted.

Elizabeth’s journey is filled with betrayal, a handsome healer, jolly pirates, whimsical forest parties, fancy ball gowns, cursed tablets, mythical swords, giant red-eyed rats, the crumbling of old friendships, and the growth of new friendships.

The Witch Hunter is a fast-paced, fantasy novel that will engross you in an enchanting world of betrayal, redemption, and a passionate heroine set forth to change a world she once loved.

star rating

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER/RETAILER 

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Book Depository 

NOTE:          This review was previously posted on my Goodreads account in May 25, 2015, and has been updated for my blog. I received an Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) as a winner of NOVL’s monthly newsletter giveaway.  Thank you, NOVL and Little, Brown Books! All statements and opinions in this review are mine.