Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blog Tour: This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup {Review + Favorite Quotes}

8:20 PM



This Ordinary Life
by Jennifer Walkup
Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc.
Release Date: October 1st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Rate: 4/ 5 stars

Synopsis:

Sometimes Hope is the Most Extraordinary Gift of All.

High-school radio host Jasmine Torres's life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around. 

That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future. 

Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her. 

Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health--not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.


This Ordinary Life was an amazing read that really surprised me. Right of the bat we are introduced to the main character, Jasmine, who clearly has a less than easy life. She definitely has a lot of determination and a mind set on what she loves: being a radio host. She has an undying love for it and eyes set on an amazing scholarship opportunity. However, she has a lot on her plate. Her little brother, Danny, suffers from epilepsy and that, plus her mother's lack of responsibility since their father left, has resulted in her having to go out of her way a lot.

On top of it all, she encounters her boyfriend cheating on her. The devastation is unimaginable but Jasmine, being the strong, smart, and loyal person that she is, doesn't let it ruin her. Instead, she stands her ground and for that admired her a lot. She was just such a great character all around. Well shaped and articulated. And I loved how much she cared for her family and also how adamant she was.

Another amazing character, one that I will love forever, is Wes. Jasmine meets Wes, during one of her brother's hospital visits and he also happens to have epilepsy just like Jasmine's brother. They don't hit it off quite immediately, but once they meet again the rest is just history. What I loved and appreciated about this particular romance was how subtle it was at the beginning. it wasn't an instant love type of thing and that, in my opinion, made everything more adorable.

This Ordinary Life is an obvious gem. It's so well-written and perfectly paced which are both traits that are not as common as one would like. The author made a really adorable and cute story without overdoing the fluffiness. It was a fluffy story with a bit of more serious topics and one of the cutest love interests ever.


"What I like? Many things I probably shouldn't. Like him. The thought pokes from the recesses of my mind, from some corner where I've apparently tried to hide it. And it's true, even if I only admit it to myself and even if my heart is terrified of liking another boy after Sebastian. I can't help it. I like Wesley McEnroe. Definitely more than I should." (p. 131)

"No way. I can't. I'm worth more than he gave me." (p.79)

"Even if I wanted to, there's no way to keep the grin off my face as the energy from the morning show still pumps through me. Even the mess ups are quickly fading." (p. 114)




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Follow the This Ordinary Life Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.



Award-winning author Jennifer Walkup is most often found writing, reading, and spending time with her husband and young sons. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also works as an editor and creative writing instructor, and is an advocate for Epilepsy awareness. This Ordinary Life is her second novel.

To hear about Jennifer's upcoming books, sign up for her newsletter here:
http://eepurl.com/belmjH.




Win (1) hardcopy of SECOND VERSE by Jennifer Walkup and a swag pack (INT)
Win (1) of (2) swag packs (INT)





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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Blog Tour: Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian {Review + Dream Cast}

7:30 AM



Title: Like It Never Happened
Author: Emily Adrian
Release date: June 2nd 2015
Pages: 368
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, High School, Theatre, Fiction
Publisher: Dial Books
My rating: 4/ 5 stars
Stereotypes, sexuality, and destructive rumors collide in this smart YA novel for fans of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Siobhan Vivian’s The List, and E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close   with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.

Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off- stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe.





This book was just lovely. Lovely in the way in which it was written and what it was about. Which now that I think about it, is actually quite hard to pin point as one thing. In fact, this book is about a few things thrown into one entertaining and thoughtful story. In a nutshell, the story is about Rebecca Rivers', a 16 year-old junior in high-school, life. But it's also about the people who have been in and out of her life. And because of that, this story has a lot of depth to it, because in between all the drama (which was good drama btw) there were these little snippets of Rebecca's life that gave us an insightful view of her past friends, and just her life in general, and how all of it has led up to how her life currently is. 

Having Rebecca be a "drama geek"or thespian as they called it, was honestly such a cool and interesting aspect of the story. I typically enjoy books in which acting makes up for a huge part of the plot, but I absolutely loved it in this one. For some reason, I felt that the whole prospect of drama and acting was portrayed in a different way that really made me appreciate it. That and how it brought along one of my favorite character's in the story which was Rebecca's drama teacher, Mr. MacFadden. I liked him from the very begging, which *mild spoiler*: was honestly a bit of an issue towards the end. 

With the the drama aspect came all of Rebecca's friends. These all made quite the bunch, but some of them really annoyed me. Especially Charlie, but I can't be too mad because his relationship with Rebecca brought up the topic of sex and just relationship in general, which I found very thought provoking. A character which I had a change of heart about was Mary, Rebecca's sister. I really enjoyed the parts where we got to learn a bit more about her and her story and not too long after starting the book they became some of my favorites. Now, the book wasn't completely made up of very serious topics. It actually got funny at times and that made it all the more enjoyable. 



Follow the Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.





Emily Adrian was born in 1989 in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. After graduating from Portland State University, she moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she worked as a receptionist while secretly writing books.
Emily currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their dog named Hank. Like It Never Happened is her debut novel.




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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

7:00 AM

Title: None of the Above

Author: I.W. Gregorio
Release date: April 7th 2015
Pages: 352
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
My rating: 4/ 5


Synopsis:



A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.
What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?





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