Tuesday, April 11

Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: April 4, 2017  
Publisher: BloomsburyUSA
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400

Summary:  Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

My Thoughts:  This one will probably have to be a shorter review from me. I may cry the whole time writing it. I basically cried most of the time reading it.  

We are introduced to Juliet who lost her mother. She visits the cemetery and leaves her mom a note. Because she always wrote her mom notes. She’s dealing with her death the best way she knows possible.  But when someone responds to the note, it's a whirlwind of emotions for Juliet. That was a private note, why would anyone even write back?

We also meet a boy named Declan who is a loner. He’s a good guy, but doesn’t have the best past. People are afraid of him.  I fell for him from the start. He was such a good character and I just knew he had a big heart.

They start to communicate back and forth. They have both been through so much.

This story is so raw and beautiful. But if you’ve lost a parent I do believe it makes it just so much more emotional. I’ve lost both parents now. And its rough. I could feel everything Juliet was feeling. I could see the pain. I could feel the pain.

Overall: If you like contemps, this one should be on your read list this year. It was addicting and beautiful, yet it made me cry. It made me happy seeing how much they start to care for each-other, but it’s also heartbreaking to see Juliet go through everything she has.  Add this to your TBR now!!!! I’d definitely give this one 5 cupcakes!

Cover:  Honestly, I probably would pick this one up once I read the back. I just don’t think the cover gives it justice!!!!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, April 7

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 4, 2017  
Publisher: Simon Pulse  
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages: 400   

Summary:   In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

My Thoughts: Oh my gosh, when I saw this summary I knew I had to read it as soon as I could get my hands on it! And I wasn’t disappointed. It was such a fun and cute one!

We are introduced to Bailey who has been living with her mom but when things start to get awkward she decides to go and spend the summer with her dad whom she hasn’t seen in awhile. It's a little inconvenient for her social life but it’s also a chance to find the boy she’s been crushing on through the internet. She’s been chatting with a boy across the country for quite a while and she does kind of want to hunt him down!

She moves and gets a job at a museum! This was really fun! I liked experiencing it with her! It was so intriguing and a lot of work!  She also meets a boy there and she despises him at first but once she gets to know him, things go a different way. I loved getting to know Porter and all that there was to him!! But this definitely puts a halt in her finding her dream mystery boy!

I just loved Bailey! I loved her personality. She was shy and not always sure of herself but another part that was determined and very loyal.

Overall: This one brought a lot of smiles and laughs to me. I enjoyed seeing what was going to happen next and read it in a day. One of those that you sit down and can’t stop! I really really enjoyed this one, and that ending, whoa! And the dinner scene, yep I laughed! I really enjoyed!!! I think this is a 4.5 cupcake rating for me.

Cover:  Love it! Even though it kind of makes it feel like a book that takes place at a beach, and I guess it does in a way. It’s a very cute cover!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, April 4

The End Of Our Story by Meg Haston

The End Of Our Story by Meg Haston
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen  
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages:  288

Summary:  Meg Haston's romantic and thrilling new YA novel explores a star-crossed high school relationship in a tale rife with deeply buried secrets and shocking revelations.

Bridge and Wil have been entangled in each other’s lives for years. Under the white-hot Florida sun, they went from kids daring each other to swim past the breakers to teenagers stealing kisses between classes. But when Bridge betrayed Wil during their junior year, she shattered his heart and their relationship along with it.

Then Wil’s family suffers a violent loss, and Bridge rushes back to Wil’s side. As they struggle to heal old wounds and start falling for each other all over again, Bridge and Wil discover just how much has changed in the past year. As the fierce current of tragedy threatens to pull them under, they must learn how to swim on their own—or risk drowning together.

My Thoughts: I was really torn on this one. We are introduced to Wil and Bridge. They have been friends since they were kids, and then got romantically involved, and then things didn’t turn out quite how they wanted it too.

I really liked Bridge and Wil both but at times, I was hesitant to like either of them. Each had their ups and downs to their personalities.  I really enjoyed the plot of this one.  Wil’s dad isn’t who everyone thought he was, and there was more to the story. And when it all comes out, Wil knows what he must do and it’s hard for him. It’s hard to really even admit his dad wasn’t the perfect guy everyone thought he was. And Wil is afraid he’ll be just like him.  This one was complicated as heck!

This one really pulled at my heartstrings. It was just so emotional and having lost people in my life, I understood the heartbreak.

I liked this one, and while reading it I needed to know what happened next. I haven’t read Paperweight yet by this author, so I will add that to my list!

Overall: I’m not sure if I ever really liked Bridge or Wil.  This one did make me tear up a few times but at others, I wanted to throw something! HAHAHA.  I’d say this is probably more between a 3.5 and 4 cupcake rating for me!

Cover:   Love it! It’s so romantic. I really like it!

What I’d Give It:

Sunday, February 5

By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side by Kasie West
Release Date:  January 31, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages:  352

Summary: 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 Thoughts: I always look forward to Kasie West books and I always have to read them as soon as I get the chance. So when I got the chance to review By Your Side, I jumped right onto it!!!  

We are introduced to Autumn who likes to hang out with her friends, and the guy she likes. She’s always out doing something with them, and even getting her parents to let her stay the night at a cabin. They trust her, and she checks in with them quite a bit.

One night they are studying at a library and a snowstorm starts and they all pile into the car to head to the cabin.  Well Autumn doesn't quite make it into the car and she gets stuck in the library while all her friends are away away away!  It sucks nobody realized she was missing.

Well, she has to make do in the library and another guy is there as well. His name is Dax and he’s known around her school as a quiet maybe troublemaker kind of kid. Keeps to himself.

I loved exploring the relationship with Dax and Autumn. It wasn’t so simple and he had such an intriguing backstory as well. As time went on, and things happened, I fell more and more in love with him. I just wanted him to be safe and taken care of.

Autumn really grew throughout the novel as a person. She started off scared of what others might think of her, but she did gain some self confidence in there.

I really liked this one!

Overall: I want to say I really liked this one, but actually I think I loved it!! I really liked Dax and Autumn both. I loved their personalities so that made the whole book better! I loved the plot and I love all the little things that happened!!!!

Cover:  Love it! And it just fits right along with all her other cover’s books!! Cute as heck!!!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, January 31

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416

Summary:  Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

My Thoughts: Okay, so I had heard really great things about Caraval, but I wasn’t real sure what it was even about. But I knew I had to read it if I got the chance!

We are introduced to sisters Scarlett and Tella. Scarlet always has been so protective of Tella. Their father has a habit of punishing them for the most ridiculous things and he’s brutal.  They have heard things about Caraval, a place like no other. Stories from their family that they must explore. So, Scarlett has written to the master of Caraval many times with no response. But she finally hears back, finally!

Caraval is a game like no other. It’s a game full of surprises, mysteries, and nobody really knows much about it. Not really. There are stories of course. And the winner gets a wish. Any wish they want. It’s magic. It’s amazing.  Scarlett gets an invitation to play along with a guest, which is meant to be her soon to be husband.

Tella and Scarlett go to Caraval and the game starts. It’s crazy. We also meet a few different boys. And the person who organizes it all, Legend. I wasn’t sure what to think about him as we never really know him or who he is. Just stories. And then another boy who I absolutely fell in love with. He was so sweet yet so dangerous. Whoa. Swoony!
This one was such a magical beautiful book! I want to tell you all about the games, and all the different great characters. But this is one of those you need to experience yourself so I’m going to keep this review somewhat short.

Overall: Caraval was everything I hoped it to be! It was magical, excruciating at parts, and just plain AWESOME! It will probably be one of my favorites this year!!!  

Garber you did everything right!!!!!

Cover: Love it! It fits. It lures you in and doesn't give anything away.

What I’d Give It:


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