Tag Archive | contemporary

Review: Finding Mr. Better-Than-You

Title: Finding Mr. Better-Than-You

Author: Shani Petroff

Date of Publication: January 14th, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

Camryn has been dating Marc FOREVER—since freshman year! She dropped out of volleyball to go to all his games, switched her schedule around to be in his favorite class, and has been busting her butt to get into Columbia so they can go to the same college. So when Marc suddenly, and very publically, breaks up with her a week into their senior year so that he can date the new transfer student, she’s absolutely devastated.

But why be sad, when you can get even? Inspired by her favorite movies, Camryn decides that the best revenge is a Senior Year well lived, starring a boy who is ever so much better than her ex. With a little help from her friends, Cam is going to have the Best. Senior. Year. Ever.

My Review: 

I’ve loved all of Petroff’s books, so I was excited to see what this story would bring to the table. Not to mention this one has a really super cute cover like her other books!

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What I like best about Petroff’s stories, especially this one, is that it always feels like real and genuine teens. My teen self would have connected so much with Cam. When I had my heart broken, it felt like the end of the world, like things would never run right again. But what I had, as does Cam, was an awesome group of friends. And sometimes with your friends, you fight and get annoyed by things, but the love there always wins out because you’re there for one another. So I loved the friendship aspects in this story!

Cam had wonderful growth, too. She just had to find out who she was, even though it had always been there. I would classify this somewhere between Easy A and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Netflix go ahead and make this a movie already! Cute, witty, and a real page turner!

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What’s your favorite contemporary book?

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Exiled to Freedom: Author Interview + Excerpt + Giveaway

Exiled to Freedom
This is my stop during the blog tour for Exiled to Freedom by SGD Singh. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 12 till 25 August. See the tour schedule here.

Exiled to FreedomExiled to Freedom
By SGD Singh
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Contemporary
Age category: Young Adult

Blurb:
Seventeen year old Joti lives a peaceful life on her ancestral farm in Punjab, far from political turmoil, foreign wars, and the struggle for independence. Until the summer of 1947, when her country is suddenly partitioned to create two sovereign nations—Pakistan and India.

Punjab erupts into a shattered land of nightmares, torn apart by death and destruction. Before the violence subsides, millions of people will have lost their lives and Joti will find herself amongst the countless refugees fighting to survive one of the greatest tragedies of the modern era.

In the summer of 2018, seventeen year old Priya travels from her home in New York City to her great grandmother’s farm in Punjab. Searching for meaning in her materialistic and shallow existence, she becomes determined to uncover the mysteries of the past and heal her family’s wounds, left too long unattended.

Priya soon finds herself on an adventure of discovery, learning what it is to love and what it means to know true peace.

Exiled to Freedom backcover

You can find Exiled to Freedom on Goodreads

You can buy Exiled to Freedom here on Amazon

Excerpt:

Monsoon season should have begun by now.

Armies of clouds gather their forces on chariots of distant thunder, darkening the summer sky, growing more engorged each day. But still, not a single drop of water falls to the earth.

Do the clouds hear the prayers of the farmers, toiling beneath them in the dust?

Perhaps thunder is their laughter, a call to celebration. Maybe they wait for the moment when their audience is most attentive, most frantic with anxiety, before they decide to pour blessed relief onto the choking crops far below them.

Or perhaps the elements mock our faithlessness in their ability to remember the season.

I watch the clouds blend together in a happy dance of reunion and I wonder, as I have wondered countless times before: Did the sky cry for us all those years ago? Was it the earths tears that tried to wash away the rivers of our blood? Was it her grief that covered our world in mud, disguising the bodies of countless dead and smothering the cries of the dying?

I turn from the sky to look down at my wrinkled hands, and I am suddenly and for the first time filled with a certain and inescapable realization. Those of us who witnessed the flames of hate rise into a raging infernowe are vanishing.

And those who acted as embers hidden beneath the ashes, waiting to ignite horror within mens heartsthey are each and every one dead and gone.

Very soon to be forgotten.

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write Exiled to Freedom?

I always thought more people should be aware of the events of India’s Partition in 1947, but it wasn’t until I heard the stories of my friend Parnita’s grandmother’s experiences during that horrific time that I had the inspiration for Exiled to Freedom.

Who is your favorite character in Exiled to Freedom?

Rohit was my favorite character to write while working on this novel.

Why did you want to become a writer?

I think I’ve always been a writer, even as a little kid telling stories in boarding school in India, writing plays I forced my classmates to act out, or short stories even the senior girls would pass around. What makes us become writers? We are writers because we write—that’s it. Wether we’re published by big companies or not, we write because we love it. We write because we must.

What is your favorite book?

This is an impossible question. Impossible! I’ll try to answer with the first three favorites that pop into my brain for various genres:

CLASSIC: The Three Musketeers, Germinal, The Brothers Karamazov

MYSTERY: Everything Sherlock Holmes, Curtain, Everything Nero Wolfe—they could be one volume, right?

SCI-FI: The Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dune

ROMANCE: Pride & Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities, Sense & Sensibility

FANTASY: The Princess Bride, The Chronicles of Narnia, Circe

HORROR: The Shining, Swan Song, Dracula

YOUNG ADULT: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Including Strange the Dreamer duology—it’s connected), The Scorpio Races, LIFEL1K3.

NON FICTION: Born A Crime, We Are Displaced, I Am Jackie Chan

CONTEMPORARY: I’ll Give You The Sun, Before I Fall, Call Me by Your Name

Okay, no. That didn’t work at all. What about Shakespeare? What about the rest of the COUNTLESS awesome books in the world?

What other books do you have planned?

I’m currently working on a zombie story—and trying not to think about my next trilogy!

What is your favorite color?

Blue. No, yel—aaaaaaaah!!

What is your favorite book you’ve written?

The Infernal Guard One: Emergence. The first will always hold a special place in my heart, even though the second was more fun to write.

SiriGuruDev SinghAbout the Author:
SiriGuruDev Singh lives in New Mexico and Punjab, India with her husband, two daughters, and various extended relatives and animals. She is the author of the YA urban fantasy trilogy The Infernal Guard and Exiled To Freedom, a YA historical fiction novel about India’s bloody Partition of 1947.

You can find and contact SGD Singh here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
Goodreads
Amazon

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Exiled to Freedom. There will be 5 winners who all win a signed copy of Exiled to Freedom. Open International.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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What did you think about the author interview?

Review: The Summer of Us

Title: The Summer of Us

Author: Cecilia Vinesse

Date of Publication: June 14th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

American expat Aubrey has only two weeks left in Europe before she leaves for college, and she’s nowhere near ready. Good thing she and her best friend, Rae, have planned one last group trip across the continent. From Paris to Prague, they’re going to explore famous museums, sip champagne in fancy restaurants, and eat as many croissants as possible with their friends Clara, Jonah, and Gabe.

But when old secrets come to light, Aubrey and Rae’s trip goes from a carefree adventure to a complete disaster. For starters, there’s Aubrey and Gabe’s unresolved history, complicated by the fact that Aubrey is dating Jonah, Gabe’s best friend. And then there’s Rae’s hopeless crush on the effortlessly cool Clara. How is Rae supposed to admit her feelings to someone so perfect when they’re moving to different sides of the world in just a few weeks?

Author Cecilia Vinesse delivers a romantic European adventure that embraces the magic of warm summer nights, the thrill of first kisses, and the bittersweet ache of learning to say goodbye to the past while embracing the future.

My Review:

After finishing Seven Days of You by the author, I knew I had to check out her other book because I loved SDOY one so much! Also, a book about backpacking across Europe to different cities sounded freaking amazing!

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In this book there are two POVs and two different couples which I seriously adored! Rae and Clara were probably my favorites! I also really loved Gabe and Aubrey’s connection. My one main issue was that Aubrey had a boyfriend to begin with who is friends with all four of them, so that rubbed me the wrong way a little bit. But Jonah and Aubrey’s relationship just wasn’t meant to be so I understood.

I swear, Vinesse writes the best contemporary prose that draws me right into the plot. I could visualize each city and every scene perfectly. And! This is the perfect read for the summer!

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What city would you want to visit?

Review: Seven Days of You

Title: Seven Days of You

Author: Cecilia Vinesse

Date of Publication: March 7th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?

My Review:

Contemporary is the genre where I’m the pickiest. Like, when I love it I love it, but it’s so hard for me to find that perfect one! What drew me into this one was the cover and the setting being in Tokyo.

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I loved Sophia. She had her struggles and acted like an actual teen! There was drama within her friendships which also made it seem like real life. And Jamie! Oh, dear lord, I loved him so much and his adorableness!

And the setting is in freaking Tokyo! I seriously would like to go and visit there one day. What made me really connect with this story was the wonderful writing, the witty dialogue, the gorgeous descriptions.

Honestly, I loved this book, and it goes right up there with my favorites like Anna and the French Kiss and all of Jenn Bennett’s contemporaries. My only complaint is that I would have been super ecstatic for an epilogue.

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What’s your favorite contemporary?

Review: A Season of Fireflies

Title: A Season of Fireflies

Author: Rebecca Maizel

Date of Publication: June 28th, 2016

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Goodreads Summary:

A year ago, Penny Berne was the star of her high school’s theater department, surrounded by a group of misfit friends and falling in love for the first time. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, her new best friend is the most popular girl in school, and her first love, Wes, ignores her. Penny is revered and hated. Then, in a flash, a near-fatal lightning strike leaves Penny with no memory of the past year—or how she went from drama nerd to queen bee.

As a record number of fireflies light up her town and her life, Penny realizes she may be able to make things right again—and that even if she can’t change the past, she can learn to see the magic where she never could before.

My Review:

So I was hoping for something light and fluffy and while this did have some of that, it also felt bland at times. I had “The Vow” movie vibes from the book with the whole memory loss and the mc being able to remember nothing after a certain year. It seemed super coincidental.

I thought Wes was really cute and sweet, and the beginning of the book made perfect sense with their fight with Penny acting like a dramatic teen. Even though Penny should have just told Wes the problem with her mom to begin with! But my biggest issue was that once she lost her memory, there weren’t many scenes between Penny and Wes to truly build that bond back up and recover the lapse in time. It felt very odd actually.

However this is a super quick and easy read with very cute moments, especially the star scene in the beginning.

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What’s your favorite contemporary book?

 

Bacon Pie for sale for only .99

Bacon Pie is on sale for .99 for a limited time! If you like Ten Things I Hate About You or books by Jenn Bennette, you’ll love this one!

Goodreads

“Hits the sweet spot!” ~New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins

Lia Abbie has the easy life—kicking it back with old school video games, hanging out with her best friend Barnabas, and alternating her living schedule between the apartments of her two dads and her mom.

Kiev Jimenez is a theater geek who loves him some Shakespeare and taking care of his pet armadillo. He has one set goal in life: obtaining the role of Horatio for the Hamlet school play.

When a showdown between Lia and Kiev lands them in the principal’s office, they’re forced into volunteer work at the cringe-worthy Piggy Palooza Festival, or risk being suspended. Lia and Kiev aren’t thrilled about the situation, especially when it interferes with Lia’s relaxed life and Kiev’s theater role. But by working together, they may find more than just bacon—possibly a little love in the air.

Purchase for .99 at these places! Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iBooks * Kobo

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Did you scoop up your copy of Bacon Pie?

Review: More Than We Can Tell

Title: More Than We Can Tell

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Date of Publication: March 6th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

My Review:

Letters to the Lost was so amazingly good and Rev was one of my favorite side characters ever. He gets his own story, right? What could go wrong? The other MC is what.

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Emma! She’s a gamer which is pretty freaking awesome in itself. The character even started out fine. I love feisty girls, but there’s a difference between that and just completely not nice. She was so mean to her mom, her best friend, and even Rev at times. I didn’t get it! I’m usually fine if the character has tremendous growth but I didn’t see that in her!

However, Rev was perfect. I loved him so much! And his story is so incredibly sad. His adoptive family was so awesome and caring and I’m so glad he got to have them! Also, the new addition of his foster brother Matthew was great! The poor boy had such a horrible backstory, and I think he should get his own book, too!

Overall, I think it would have been much better if it was only Rev’s story or if Emma’s personality would have still been spunky but not so hateful. Either way, if you loved Letters to the Lost then you should still check this out!

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What’s your favorite contemporary book?