#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.

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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. 

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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
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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

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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.

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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. 

Book Blitz: Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Title: Dating the It Guy
Author: Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren, seems determined to get back into his life, along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

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EXCERPT:

“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.

 

Author Bio:

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

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If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Review of The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

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Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publication date: February 16, 2016
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Format: Hardcover (purchased)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

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


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Confession time: I have met C.J. Redwine over ten times (probably even more, but hey, who’s counting?). I love going to C.J.’s events and hearing her talk about her books, life, and her writing shenanigans. I’ve met her hilarious husband, while purchasing her first book; during our first meeting, he showed me his tattoo of the barcode for one of C.J.’s books (yes, he is just as awesome as C.J.). But even though I am a huge fan of the wonderful and passionate C.J. Redwine, and I own all of her books, this is the first book of her’s that I have read, and you guys, I loved it!!!

You guys, whenever I’m in Nashville for a book event, I make sure I am in C.J.’s audience. She’s a great public speaker, and even though she has faced many difficulties in her past, her power and fierce attitude shine bright when she talks about her work, and I love that about her. First off, I have heard C.J. talk about the beginning formation of The Shadow Queen at least 3 times. I know it started off after viewing The Huntsman starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth. I know that this is a planned series of 10 books, 4 confirmed to be published, and each book can be read separately. 

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Fantasy books and retellings will always be dear to my heart. They are my escape from reality. They are my dreams manifesting into unknown worlds filled with feisty and independent princesses, talking animals, and die-hard adventures. Fortunately, The Shadow Queen contained all the elements I love about fantasy books and MORE. 

The main character of The Shadow Queen, Lorelai Diederich, is now one of my favorite literary heroines. She is fiery, caring, and dedicated to righting the wrongs of her kingdom. Throughout the story, she stays faithful to her mission to save her kingdom, but she also faces each obstacle she encounters with relentless strength and  diligence. As a princess, a sister, a friend, and a warrior, she offers a lot to the story. Lorelai loses so much in this book, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, SHE PERSISTS! 

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And not to give too much away, but I love how magic and magical beings are immersed in this Snow White retelling. We have everything from poisonous apples, transforming dragons, mind-speaking pet birds, and terrorizing ogres. Magic is cherished in this book, and even though it may be used by some as a selfish means, it is also the perfect resource to conquering evil. 

Last, even though one of my favorite characters dies in this book (WHY?! THERE WAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL and DEVELOPMENT THERE!!), I really enjoyed this book. I honestly cannot wait to start The Wish Granter and read C.J. Redwine’s new twist on an old fairy tale. 

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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. I reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

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I am so excited that BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Ryan, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for 5 finished copies of book 1, WOLF BY WOLF! US only. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends November 15th. 

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About The Book:

Title: BLOOD FOR BLOOD

Author: Ryan Graudin

Pub. Date: November 1, 2016

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

The action-packed, thrilling sequel to Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf.
There would be blood.

Blood for blood.

Blood to pay.

An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.
Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

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ryan-2About Ryan:

Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at http://www.ryangraudin.com.

Website | Twitter |Tumblr | Goodreads | Pinterest | Blog

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Giveaway Details:

5 winners will receive a finished copy of WOLF BY WOLF, US Only.

Ends on November 15th at Midnight EST!

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Book Review: How to Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather

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Title: How to Hang a Witch
By: Adriana Mather
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

About How to Hang a Witch:

The more things change in Salem, the more they stay the same.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous Witch Trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam is not exactly welcomed with open arms. She is a descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those Trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that wasn’t enough, Sam finds herself face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff.

Soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting everyone with ties to the Trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first alleged witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.

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


My Rants and Raves of How to Hang a Witch

If you are in the mood for the perfect Halloween or Autumn read, I highly recommend adding How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather to your TBR list. As I was reading, I kept picturing the meshing of my two favorite movies: Hocus Pocus and Mean Girls.  This witchy book is the perfect blend of Salem, Massachusetts’ history, modern-day teenage gossip, family curses, and creepy apparitions. 

As a mood reader, I enjoyed the dark and spooky ambience of How to Hang a Witch. Each chapter was like stepping onto the cobble-stoned roads of the 17th century, hearing the creaks of old houses, and collecting old musty books filled with family secrets and town history. I loved the historical atmosphere that Mather creates for her main character, Samantha, to discover and uncover. Even more, I liked Sam as a character, because she portrays a character that is feisty, determined, and caring. 

Overall, I really enjoyed How to Hang a Witch and its “out of nowhere” surprising end. I think it’s a great book that connects the crazed witchhunts of the 17th century with the crazed persecutions that take place in our modern-day society. Additionally, I also loved the ghostly and witch figures sprinkled throughout the book. Their supernatural and magical presence brought a very eerie feel to the pages and made the book a constant page-turner for me. 

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.

4 star ratingMy Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

If you like How to Hang a Witch give these books and movies a try…

Release Blitz: THE RIFT UPRISING by Amy S. Foster

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Title: The Rift Uprising
Author: Amy S. Foster
Publication date: October 4, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
ABOUT THE RIFT UPRISING
Normal seventeen-year-old girls go to high school, binge watch TV shows all weekend, and flirt with everyone on the face of the Earth. But Ryn Whitaker is trying to save it.
Ryn is a Citadel. A soldier. A liar. Ryn and her fellow Citadels were specially chosen and trained to guard a Rift—one of fourteen unpredictable tears in the fabric of the universe that serve as doorways to alternate Earths. Unbeknownst to her family, Ryn leaves for school each day and then reports for duty as an elite, cybernetically-altered soldier who can run faster, jump farther, and fight better than a Navy SEAL—which comes in handy when she’s not sure if axe-wielding Vikings or any number of other terrified and often dangerous beings come through the Rift. A fine-tuned weapon, Ryn is a picture-perfect Citadel. But that’s all about to change.
When a young man named Ezra is pulled through the Rift, Ryn finds herself immediately drawn to him, despite her training. What starts as a physical attraction quickly grows deeper, and Ezra’s curiosity throws Ryn off balance when he starts questioning the Rifts, the mysterious organization that oversees them, and the Citadels themselves—questions that lead Ryn to wonder if the lies she’s been telling her family are just the surface of a much bigger lie told to her. As Ryn and Ezra desperately try to get to that truth, they discover that each revelation blurs the line between the villains and the heroes even more. 

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

 
amy-s-foster-author-photo-headshotABOUT AMY S. FOSTER
Amy S. Foster is a celebrated songwriter, best known as Michael Bublé’s writing partner. You might recognize her work in his four hit singles, including “Home” and “Haven’t Met You Yet.”  She has also collaborated with Destiny’s Child, Diana Krall, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and a host of other artists. She is also the author of the novel When Autumn Leaves. When she’s not in a studio in Nashville, Amy lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Amy is the daughter of singer B.J. Cook and the legendary music producer, David Foster. Fun fact about Amy: Her extended family tree includes Bella and Gigi Hadid, Sara and Erin Foster and Brody and Brandon Jenner, and Clay Aiken! The Rift Uprising, her YA debut, will be released on October 4, 2016.   

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Top Five Wednesday: Books You Want to See as TV Shows

Top 5 Wednesday

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY is a weekly meme created by Lainey @ GingerReadsLainey and is currently hosted by Samantha @ Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday a new topic is listed on the Goodreads group, and you list your top 5 books related to the particular topic.

This week’s topic is…

Books You Want to See as TV Shows

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All hail the writers, husband and wife behind Ilona Andrews, who have created the most innovative, heart-pounding, swoonworthy, kiss-ass heroine series. The Kate Daniels series needs to be a TV show RIGHT NOW! READ IT, PEOPLE! YOU WILL LOVE IT, AND WITH EVERY BOOK YOU WILL WANT MORE OF KATE AND CURRAN.  

 

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I cannot rave enough about this series. It is perfection at its finest. The writing is magnificent, the characters jump right off the page, and the story is so heart-wrenching and wonderful. This needs to be a TV series or at least a movie ASAP!

 

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I want a Steampunk TV show on air NOW, and I think this series would be a great way to go about that dream. 

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About five years ago, I was obsessed with this book series. Because of the humor and quirkiness in this series, it is definitely TV worthy. 

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I would love to see this book unfold into a TV show, and hopefully see how Kit and Nat live after Speare’s final chapters.