If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Review of Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

35297469
Title:
Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Synopsis:

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?


starry eyes banner

If you love second chance romances, complicated friendships, and downright brutally honest characters, Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett is the perfect book for you. Take everything you love about Bennett’s past young adult books (if you haven’t read them yet…OHMYGOD, READ THEM!) and then multiply that love by a bajillion, and you get Starry Eyes. This novel is a mix of coming-of-age discoveries, molding friendships, and holding on to the aspect that pure love exists in all shapes and forms. 

20

Starry Eyes is a meshing between Katherine Center’s Happiness for Beginners, an adult hiking story centered on new beginnings and self-discovery, and the messy complications of teenage life found in Jenn Bennett’s own Alex, Approximately.  The main characters in Starry Eyes, Zorie and Lennon, struggle throughout the pages trying to understand what happened to their past friendship, how did they come to this point in “hating” each other, and can their friendship re-ignite as they hike through mountains, fend off bears and snakes, and map their way to new beginnings. I love the chemistry between these two characters. Zorie and Lennon have a fantastic history between each other; it’s filled with inside jokes, the “great experiment,” and familial dynamics that balance on a thin line of love and hate. 

19

Furthermore, I really enjoyed Starry Eyes because it focuses on so many relevant topics and diverse characters. Without providing too many spoilers, Bennett takes a refreshing stance on modern-day families. She challenges the idea of the traditional sense of parents, and it made my heart grow 3 times bigger whenever I read a scene between Zorie and her stepmom. I also liked Bennett’s ability to write about positive and safe sex decisions in a young adult novel. Zorie and Lennon’s path towards discussing sex is based on affection, consent, respect, and love. 

18

In the end, this story is a beautiful mashup of star-gazing, glamping shenanigans, and a destined friendship that can withstand anything. I’m going to say it right now, Starry Eyes is by far my favorite contemporary book of 2018, so far. Zorie and Lennon’s fierceness, angst, determination, and quirks made them so captivating and so hard not to love and root for throughout each chapter. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romantic story filled with great character-development, laughs, swoons, and warm, slow-rising smiles. 

21

star rating

5 out of 5 Stars!

 
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 from a friend, and I reviewed the book at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are my own.

Waiting on Wednesday: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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.

32333338

Title: Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Publication date: June 5, 2018
Publisher:  Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review & Favourite Quotes of The Chaos of Standing Still


Title:
The Chaos of Standing Still
Author:
 Jessica Brody

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 28th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

 Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.

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


9

My heart holds a special place for books about grief, loss, and coping, and The Chaos of Standing Still did not disappoint in making me cry and laugh. This book focuses more on the coping aspects of grief and all the chaos that encompasses that helpless feeling. Many times I found this story heartbreaking, but the ending is like a breath of fresh air and a warm hug filled with hope.

Chaos 1

In regards to the main character, I oftentimes found Ryn to be very stubborn. She is stagnant in her grief of losing her best friend one year ago. While Ryn is cautious and an introvert, her late-best friend Lottie was a very outgoing and free-spirited teenager. But as Ryn’s story unfolds and we learn more and more about that terrible night that Lottie died, we find out how Lottie died and the heartbreaking scene of Ryn coming face-to-face with that reality. It is in these scenes, where Ryn allows herself to swim in memories of loss, that I began to understand that I’m not frustrated with Ryn’s approach to coping; instead I am heartbroken and shattered with her.

chaos 4

While the story focuses on Ryn’s 24-hour layover in an airport due to a blizzard, shenanigans ensue. She meets people who not only challenge her to step outside her own skin but they also challenge her to emotionally mature. I love that in less than a day, Ryn befriends people based on her phone case, fake names, train surfing, a midnight party, and the sudden burst of singing The Bangles.

chaos 3

Although sadness is a main emotion tackled in The Chaos of Standing Still, the reality of living–really living–brings so much hope to Ryn’s ability to accept life’s challenges even if they don’t have a definite answer. This book may be overwhelmed with Ryn’s grief and sadness, but it’s her ability to challenge herself and the overwhelming support of friends that makes this story unforgettable. 

Chaos 2


12

WIN  1 copy of THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL by Jessica Brody

a Rafflecopter giveaway


11


Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

 

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she will release two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (August) and Boys of Summer (April), and in 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitled, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, will hit bookstore shelves.

Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: “School of Secrets” series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original movie, Descendants!

Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. (Click here for a full list of foreign sales and publishers.) She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.

 

10

November 27th
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club & Pink Polka Dot Books– Welcome Post

November 28th
Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Interview
the bookdragon – Review
Her Book Thoughts – Review
The Mind of a Book Dragon – Review + Playlist

November 29th
The Clever Reader – Guest Post
Quite The Novel Idea – Review
A Bookish Abode – Review
We Live and Breathe Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

November 30th
The Heart of a Book Blogger – Review
Savings in Seconds – Review + Favourite Quotes
Wishful Endings – Review
Amanda Gernentz Hanson – Review

December 1st
Confessions of a YA Reader – Review
Donnie Darko Girl – Review
Belle’s Book Blog – Review
Latte Nights Reviews – Review + Favourite Quotes

December 2nd
Literary Meanderings – Interview
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf – Review
Here’s to Happy Endings  – Review
Life of A Simple Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes

December 3rd
Vicky Who Reads – Review + Playlist + Dream Cast
Supercalireader – Review
Books, Boys, and Blogs – Review + Dream Cast
The Inked In Book Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes

December 4th
BookCrushin – Guest Post
Library of a Book Witch – Review
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Review + Favourite Quotes
Storybook Slayers – Review

 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

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.

34466968

about the book - hoffman

Title: The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Publication date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Magic Realism, Historical, Supernatural

Synopsis

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

Goodreads | Amazon |Barnes & Noble

 

 

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

30969741
Title: 
An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson

Publication date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

About the Book:

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel. 

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


An Enchantment of Ravens Banner

An Enchantment of Ravens is one of the most beautiful and whimsical debuts I have read in 2017. Written in first-person narrative, the story wraps you in a decor of words submerged in vivid and embellishing descriptions. Margaret Rogerson’s prose of faerie lore is as wistful and rich as the season of autumn. As some of you might know, Autumn is a magical season for me. When fall approaches, I find the aura of the season to be lively and energetic; for me, fall is filled with change, restoration, and reawakening. And subsequently, Rogerson’s debut novel encompasses this enlivenment.

7

In An Enchantment of Ravens, Rogerson provides a longing and detailed scope of the dangerous fairy folk and their world. Their rules and enforced traditions are tested by the skillful human, Isobel (the main character), who is a notable painter. Isobel is highly-praised for her portraits, which are adored and prized by the fairy court. Often Rogerson’s tome focuses on the seriousness of the fair ones, but she also provides Isobel, and other characters, the opportunity to sneakily assert derailed humor throughout the chapters. I loved that these hilarious quirks regularly begged for a crooked grin and a mischievous side-eye directed at the faeries and their strict rules. 

6

Additionally, in An Enchantment of Ravens, Rogerson has created two of the most vigorously spirited characters that I loved swooning over. When they first meet, Isobel and Rook have immediate chemistry, and not to give too much away, but this is not an instant-love story. Instead their relationship begins with a bewitching encounter that slowly burns and then ignites. Isobel is cautious but daring. She’s stubborn, fierce, and now one of my most beloved, confident heroines. Rook is adorable, serious, and cordial. But what I love most of all about Rook is that he is the epitome of autumn: warm, brooding, and comforting. I found the repartee and banter between these two characters to be intense and passionate. Even if a potential relationship between these two characters would break the Good Law among the fair folk, I was rooting for them the entire time.

8

In the end, An Enchantment of Ravens is a well-paced story that focuses on the importance of family and daring societal traditions. As previously stated, I loved Rogerson’s florid detailing that flows throughout the pages. She litters the pages with full and vibrant warm colors, earthy smells, and a hint of magic that consumes my autumn-loving soul. Fall is approaching, and if you are looking for the perfect book to read while you curl up in a cozy blanket and sip warm apple cider, I highly recommend that you also have An Enchantment of Ravens opened in your hands. 


My Rating:
star rating

NOTE: Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books and Simon & Schuster/Simon Teen for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Please note that all graphics and photographs were created by me. All quotes are from the an advanced reader’s edition of the novel and are subject to change upon publication.