Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: April 21st, 2015
Pages: 384 (eGalley)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads | Amazon Author 

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done. 

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.” 

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

99 Days begins with a welcome home in the shape of a splattered egg.  It's not a secret that our main character, Molly, is one of the most disliked people in her small town.  She did something regrettable, and instead of facing her problems head-on, she ran away from them.  Now, thanks to her mother's book, all of her secrets have been released.  Although it's a work of fiction, it's very obvious to anyone who knows Molly that the lying, cheating main character is based off of her and the family she destroyed.

There are plenty of people who will hate this book.   There are plenty who will love it.  I loved it, despite all of the sneaking around, the betrayal, the cliche love triangle, and the fact that Molly seems to have more flaws than good qualities.  Aside from all of the things people might hate about this book, I must say that the story is pretty honest and realistic.  I could see myself knowing someone like Molly in real life.  She doesn't get everything she wants, but she learns a lot about herself in the process.

What Molly's mother did by turning Molly's biggest mistake into a bestseller was so completely wrong, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her.   I can't imagine coming back home to face everyone's judgement after spending her senior year at a boarding school, but Molly handled it the best she could.  The romance in this book was tricky, but you get so involved.  On one hand, there's Gabe, who is almost as hated as she is.  He understands her, he doesn't judge her.  It was just as much his decision to cheat on his brother as it was hers.   On the other hand, there's Patrick, her first love.  They say that first loves never truly go away, and as the story goes on, we see how true that is.

Katie Cotugno's writing style is so easy to read and she knows how to keep readers hooked.  Not everyone makes the best choices, but what matters is how you learn from them.  While everything and everyone Molly knew has changed, over this last summer before college, she gets a reminder of what once was.
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Saturday, July 25, 2015

July Book Haul

-One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart
(signed, from Lisseth @ Read-A-holicZ)

-Rome in Love by Anita Hughes
(finished copy from St. Martin's Griffin)

-Devil's Pocket by John Dixon
(unsolicited copy from Gallery Books)

-Moleskine journals and Staedtler triplus fineliner pens
-Harry Potter and Severus Snape Funko Pop figures


-A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
-A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
-This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nukamp
(eGalleys from Disney Hyperion and Sourcebooks Fire)

-This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
-The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill
-The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
(eGalleys from HMH, Delacorte, and Margaret K. McElderry)


-Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
-Has to Be Love by Jolene Perry
-We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean 
(eGalleys from Balzer + Bray, AW Teen, and HMH) 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Jesse's Girl
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: July 7th, 2015
Pages: 304 (eGalley)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads | AmazonAuthor 

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol. 

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

Maya has always loved music.  It isn't just a career choice for her, it's who she is.  When the principal of her school introduces her to his nephew, a popular country music star known as Jesse Scott, her preteen dreams come true.  Shadowing him would have been an exciting experience, if only he wasn't a jerk in real life.  Over the span of the time they spend together, Maya learns a lot more about Jesse than she intended to and he helps her find what's been missing from her life.

Like every other Miranda Kenneally book I've read so far, I enjoyed every second of this.  Watching a relationship develop is my favorite part of any contemporary romance, but I especially loved seeing everything unfold between Jesse and Maya.  Jesse keeps to himself, but Maya sees that he really needs someone that he can trust.  While she offers him friendship, he helps her realize her full potential.  They both learn to trust and believe in each other, which only strengthens their bond.

The day they share isn't the typical planned shadow day.  When left to their own devices, they pull a Ferris Bueller and ditch the rules.  The paparazzi has a field day trying to keep up with the two teenagers as they run around town unaccompanied by security, much to Jesse's manager's dismay.  Though the day is filled with excitement, every time Jesse is recognized, Maya realizes that she may never live this life once her time with Jesse is over.

Jesse's Girl is a charming read.  Although it starts with Maya questioning her talent and future, being kicked out of the band she created, and losing trust in those who were closest to her, the most unexpected person is the one who makes everything better.  Jesse helps Maya find her confidence.  He gives her singing lessons and pushes her to try going solo.  Both characters grew exponentially throughout the story, and it was both because of their trust in each other.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #98

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: First & Then
Author: Emma Mills
Release Date: October 13th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.

Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

This book is being marketed as Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights, which is a very interesting combination.  Of course, since it's a contemporary novel, I was all over it.  When I found out that Emma Mills is also Elmify on Youtube, someone I used to watch regularly a few years back, I became even more excited to read this one!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

P.S. I'm currently holding a giveaway for a signed copy of Renee Ahdieh's The Wrath & The Dawn.  INTL- Ends 8/3  

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Wrath & The Dawn Giveaway

In May, I was lucky enough to meet the wonderful and incredibly talented Renee Ahdieh.  I was able to pick up an extra signed copy of her debut novel and two beautiful Wrath & The Dawn themed scarves to give away to one of you!  I'm also adding a tiger ring because it's gold and red, matching both the cover and the main character's love interest.  It fit the story too perfectly not to!

It's been a while since I hosted a giveaway, so I'm making this one international.  Anyone can enter