This Chick Read: Smash It! by Francina Simone

Liv is tired of being afraid to take chances and after showing up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts and a hoodie she decides to go for it, have experiences, and change her life! First up is trying out for the school play, a hip-hop version of Othello. Scared to death, her two best friends Dré and Eli, also try out and the drama begins. Having two boys for best friends has led Liv to make the safe choices but when a cute boy in the play asks her out, she risks it all. How will this affect her feelings for her two friends? You’re going to have to read this charming un-putdown-able novel.

I’m not even lying. I stayed up until 1am on a work night reading this book. How Liv feels about herself is so relatable to 90% of the female population. She thinks she’s overweight, has bad hair, and isn’t cute when she’s the complete opposite! She’s fun, funny, a kick butt singer, can dance, is curvy, and should be a self confident young woman. When she tries out for this play and says yes to her first date a whole new world opens before her and her two friends take notice!

What can I say about Eli and Dré? They were totally different from each other, had real problems that added a nice bit of conflict to the story, and both loved Liv to death. Their friendship was one of my favorite things about this book, and despite their lives changing as they got older, they could all rely on each other. To a point. But what would a story be without a little drama, right?

This was a totally fun book, that felt real. I didn’t feel like a middle aged woman reading a teen novel. I felt like these kids anxiety’s are what people of any age feel on a daily basis. Their stories were relatable, their triangle was interesting, and each of their story arc’s read true. Despite your own age, Smash It! is a book that needs to be read. It may make you look differently at your own life, but if not, it will at least entertain you with their’s. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Smash It!

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

* Amazon Associate- if you buy this book through the above link I may make a small stipend.

This Chick Read: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Taking place in the same neighborhood as The Hate You Give, wanna be rapper Bri, lives the dream of stardom in the hopes of helping her family’s circumstances. Following in her fathers footsteps in the Garden means walking between two worlds, gang and the Ring. Her father’s life ended early, being shot down by a rival gang but Bri is determined not to live that life despite living her dream of becoming a rapper.

Angie Thomas, through her storytelling again successfully gives the reader a look into two different worlds. Bri, lives in the Garden, her aunt a member of a gang, and her mother a recovering junkie, but the author gives us a contrasting look into what their lives can be. Bri’s brother has a college education and only comes back to live in the Garden to help support his family. Bri, herself, is bussed to a high school in a better area and doesn’t seek a life in the Garden and in fact is working really hard in trying to get her family out of it. The conflict in this novel comes from her being a teenager, and like a lot of teens, she doesn’t make the best choices. Her mouth often gets her into trouble and because of the color of her skin she’s racially profiled and treated pretty harshly by those in power around her.

“No matter where I’m at, keep an eye for police.

If they thinkin’ I’m suspicious, they ain’t trying to listen.

They’ll unload those mags, make me a hashtag.”

The poetry in Bri’s rapping tells a story of what her life is like, what it may look like, and what she hope’s it will look like. The story within this poetry was just as moving and eye opening as the story within the novel.

Bri’s Aunt Pooh, as a member of the GD’s takes on the role of protector and manager to Bri. One a role she’s willing to take on with a gun, the other a role she’s unsure how to maneuver. I thought her story in On The Come Up created the perfect contrast to Bri’s own struggle, as well as being the perfect example of why she wants to get out of that life so desperately.

Once I got into the rhythm of On the Come Up, I really enjoyed this story, and rooted for Bri to find her identity in a way that didn’t alter who she could be and even more importantly would want to be in the future. I loved her choice at the end of this book, it fit her character, and it made me want to read more and see her story continue. That’s the best way to end a book, isn’t it? ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* On the Come Up

Copyright 2020 the Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

Friday YA: Kind of a Big Deal by Shannon Hale

Josie Pie’s life peaked when she was in high school. Popular because of her gift for musical theater she dreamed of going on to become a big Broadway star. A dream that seemed all to real when her theater teacher got her an audition for a production in New York. Dropping out of high school to take that chance, Josie discovers that she may not be that big a deal as she thought. So, she escapes into books to live her life vicariously through the characters she reads and to forget about her own life’s problems.

When I read the synopsis about a girl who lives through the character’s she’s reading in books, I thought aha! Josie Pie may actually be a little like all of us voracious readers who try to escape their own realities by reading way too many books. However, Kind of a Big Deal took a twist in a direction I wasn’t expecting. This novel veers from ya contemporary into a ya fantasy, where as she lives each life, it becomes harder for her to leave the novel. Of course there are reasons for this that I can’t go into in this review, but it’s an interesting twist that may have saved this novel from being a little too safe.

Like a lot of teenage girls, Josie is a very self-centered character. To be fair, she’s self-centered because she has so many insecurities and a rather unhappy home life, but she has a LOT of things to work through in this novel. What I like the best is how each character she becomes gives her strength and allows her to see how she’s taken for granted all the people who supported her in the past, but she’s figuring out that part of becoming an adult is facing your past mistakes, owning up to them, and making the decision to improve yourself moving forward. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but this author does so in an original way that’s very entertaining.

Shannon Hale has produced a novel that skirts two genre’s but stays true to the lesson she’s trying to teach the reader. Growing up is hard! Being an adult does not mean that you know what the heck you’re doing and that you never make a mistake. We learn lessons throughout our lives and unfortunately have to keep owning up to our mistakes. It’s easy to escape into a book and living out happily ever after over and over again, but real life is about owning up to your decisions, making the best of them, and hopefully being happy while you’re doing that. Josie Pie may have been Kind of a Big Deal, but there’s more to life than high school, and you just have to keep on living it to see what’s next to come. If you like a mix of fantasy and reality in your young adult reading, I think you’ll like how Shannon Hale chose to deliver this lesson in Kind of a Big Deal. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Kind of a Big Deal

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

Friday YA: Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

Nina’s dad is a morning show host for a radio program so taking a radio broadcasting class her senior year should be easy, right? Well, the people who end up partnering with her to run their own radio broadcast are a group of misfits and include her neighbor and childhood friend Jamie, who she had been successfully avoiding and had hoped to continue to do so until she left for college. It quickly becomes apparent their show is a mess, their host doesn’t have any chemistry on air, and somehow they have two different musical groups fans engaging in a whisper campaign that could end up making their final project a complete failure. Somehow they’ve got to make this all come together!

Emma Mills is very good at drawing me into a story. This one about a high school radio broadcast could have been a very boring tale, but somehow the characters came alive, the dialog became witty, and I wanted to know not only the mystery of what happened between Nina and Jamie, but also what would happen to their final project. Would her father show up and speak or would he be a deadbeat dad. Emma Mills got those hooks in me and did not let go until I was caught hook, line, and sinker.

Now, I am not going to give away any part of the plot because it was very deftly written and truly just a lot of fun to read. What I will say is that Lucky Caller took me by surprise. I loved the family drama, her mom’s fiancé, and the bits with the fans from those two bands who dreamed of meeting their hero’s in person. It was all a little over the top, but you know what? It just worked! This was a fun little bit of drama that I know readers of all ages will enjoy. I would know since I’m well beyond the YA target this book was written for, but I loved how it engaged my imagination and let me draw comparisons to my own teenage life.

What was my favorite part of this story? There were just so many good ones. I really liked the realness of what had happened between Nina and Jamie’s friendship. That arc definitely took me back to my own poor choices. Was it the odd mix of friends that had nothing in common who totally jelled? I did really enjoy their exchanges and moments of verbal brilliance. Really I just think Lucky Caller was a well-rounded bit of contemporary writing. Emma Mills just consistently delivers!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Lucky Caller

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase the book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Beard With Me and Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers #6-7) by Penny Reid

Scarlet St. Claire has spent her whole life flying under the radar from her father and the kids at school. While doing exactly that, camping out in the woods behind the Winstons home, she comes to the attention of none other than Billy Winston, the boy that Scarlet has hated her whole life. What she doesn’t realize is that this boy that’s she’s run from may actually be the answer to her salvation. Beard with Me is the story of Scarlet and Billy, love found and love lost.

To say that I had been eagerly anticipating this novel would be an understatement. However, when the author, Penny Reid put out a statement saying that some people may not be happy with this story I paused on reading it. What did she mean people might not be happy? I hate second guessing my reading choices, so I waited until the follow up came out to read both novels back to back. Hence my late review.

Scarlet St. Claire is the daughter of Razor, the head of the local motorcycle club, and the bane of her existence. He is one seriously bad hombre and for some reason he is fixated on Scarlet, so she tries to remain as scarce as possible. This is tough for a 14 year old girl, and occasionally when she needs money she has to bite the bullet and deal with dear old dad. After one such incident Billy stumbles upon her campsite behind his house as she’s singing very loudly with headphones on. Captivated he decides to help her instead of reject her as he’s done numerous times before. Never having been helped by anyone who didn’t want something in return, Scarlet tentatively accepts his help and through those moments she and Billy fall madly in love.

This is not a light hearted Penny Reid novel, so now I kind of understand why some people may have rejected Beard With Me at first. I think if I didn’t have Beard Necessities to immediately read at the end of this novel, I would’ve had a hard time bearing the burden of this ending. It was a perfect set up for the next piece of their story.

Beard Necessities is the story of Billy and Claire (aka Scarlet). Misunderstandings, miscommunications, and broken hearts have kept these two apart for almost 20 years. I know what you’re thinking. Claire? Yes, Claire! She has been in almost every single one of the Winston’s novels. The reader knew there was some kind of back story between she and Billy because it was hinted at and in this novel we finally are told the whole story.

This novel takes place in Tuscany where the whole family is together. Unbeknownst to Billy and Claire, their lives are about to be managed. Thrown together at every circumstance (some of them are quite clever and funny) Billy and Claire finally overcome their bitterness and mistrust and dare to dream that they could find their happily every after.

Beard Necessities when paired with Beard With Me is the epitomy of a knockout punch. We are given the heart break of the first novel and see them struggle so much with all of their past beliefs about each other. Most of which were complete misunderstandings. Billy, when he finally realizes he has a chance to be with Claire/Scarlet is so tender. I think this story must be the most tender and beautiful of all the books in this series. Maybe it’s because I got so invested in these characters? I don’t know, but Penny Reid deserves an award for how full of love these characters are for each other. It was sad and beautiful all at once.

I believe this author said in that note I was talking about before that if you can’t handle it you can skip Beard with Me and just read Beard Necessities. I hope I got that message wrong because I think you really need to read Beard With Me first so you can feel as much heart ache as these characters do so you can be fully invested in their happily ever after in Beard Necessities. Without that first story, I think BN might have felt a little flat. Anyway, I’m glad I read them the way I did so I can only say to you how effective it was and how much I adored the conclusion to their story.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Click this link to read Beard with Me: First Love Small Town Romantic Comedy (Winston Brothers Book 6) and ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Beard Necessities: Second Chance Small Town Romantic Comedy (Winston Brothers Book 7)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Aug’20

I know, it’s so cliché to say this but wow, is it approaching August already? I feel like I just did this post for July. I haven’t even read all of those books yet. Oh well, let’s add to the TBR. LOL. Let’s get to it!

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED

Well, I always so there just aren’t enough gladiator novels out there to read, don’t I? I don’t? Well, I should! This book by the always fabulous Sara Raasch sounds fabulous! Why didn’t I know this one was coming out?

Synopsis:

Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games, throwing Madoc in Ash’s path. She realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.

Click this link to purchase!* Set Fire to the Gods

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED

I read the first book in this series, Mirage, and found it to be a really interesting mix of fantasy and fairy tale. I can’t wait to see where Somaiya Daud takes this second novel.

Synopsis:

On a planet on the brink of revolution, Amani has been forced into isolation. She’s been torn from the boy she loves and has given up contact with her fellow rebels to protect her family. In taking risks for the rebel cause, Amani may have lost Maram’s trust forever. But the princess is more complex than she seems, and now Amani is once more at her capricious nature. One wrong move could see her executed for high treason.

On the eve of Maram’s marriage to Idris comes an unexpected proposal: in exchange for taking her place in the festivities, Maram will keep Amani’s rebel associations a secret. Alone and desperate, Amani is thrust into the center of the court, navigating the dangerous factions on the princess’s behalf. But the court is not what she expects. As a risky plan grows in her mind, and with the rebels poised to make their stand, Amani begins to believe her world might have a future. But every choice she makes comes with a cost. Can Amani risk the ones she loves the most for a war she’s not sure she can win?

Click this link to purchase!* Court of Lions: A Mirage Novel (Mirage Series (2))

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED

I admit, I’m a sucker for YA contemporary novels. This synopsis sounds like the perfect mix of romance and old hollywood glamour. I mean, what are we going to find out about her famous grandmother?

Synopsis:

Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .

Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress—her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.

With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma—and herself.

Click this link to purchase!* Now That I’ve Found You

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED

Ummm, Hunger Games meets Caravale? Sounds kind of cool! I was lucky to get an ARC for this one.

Synopsis:

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

Click this link to purchase!* Where Dreams Descend: A Novel (Kingdom of Cards (1))

MOST ANTICIPATED AUGUST 2020 BOOK RELEASE

Another Hidden Legacy novel continuing Catalina’s story. Ilona Andrews is always a must buy for me, and I’ve done that with this novel, the audiobook, and even got an ARC this last week! I’m feeling extreme amounts of joy about this one. Really!

Synopsis:

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart. 

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart. 

I know we all have different tastes in books and seriously there are a TON of great books coming out in August if you haven’t take a look at the list. Here’s the link where I usually find mine.

Most Popular Books Published in August 2020- Goodreads

I’d love to hear which books you’re looking forward to seeing released next month! Let me know in the comments.

Enjoy, and as always, happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Vada Carsewell’s music knowledge serves her well working at the Loud Lizard and writing her reviews of bands on their music blog. What she really wants is to get into Berkeley’s music program and become a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. Luke Greenly, podcaster and son of an aging punk rocker, doesn’t factor into her life until they get paired up on an assignment at school and she finds out they share a love for lyrics and music trivia. When his brother releases one of Luke’s songs on their podcast, and it goes viral, she can’t help but dream that the song is about her, but is it?

When I read this author’s debut novel, You’d Be Mine, I knew I was going to keep an eye out for her next release. I wrote in that review about “my love for the poetry in her lyrics” and she again captures those same emotions with her lyrics in More Than Maybe. However, More Than Maybe has a completely different tone and got to the heart of the love story sooner which made me love it just a tad bit more.

What can I say about these characters? I can’t help but start with their names. Vada Carsewell and Luke Greenly sound like they should be the hero’s in a Cassandra Clare novel wielding magical swords, instead of magical lyrics. Despite those otherworldly names, I found these characters very down to earth. Vada’s vast knowledge of music and lyrics was fascinating to a woman (me) who can’t remember the titles of her favorite songs. I loved how she and Luke used song titles and lyrics to hint at their emotions and level up the tension to their romance. Luke’s shy charm and interest in composing rather than performing only made him an even more perfect fit for Vada. They were a very easy pair to fall for and from their first text exchange I was all in.

The title ‘More Than Maybe‘ coincidentally was exactly how I felt as I settled into this novel. I had medium expectations from having read Erin Hahn’s first novel and some hesitations over whether she could follow up such a great debut with another hit. My hope for a ‘More Than Maybe’ story quickly changed as I got caught up in this music themed YA novel. Maybe this author should re-title the book ‘Better Than Good’? Or Much Greater Than Average? Just kidding, the title is more than apropos for what happens in the story, but my feelings upon finishing it were “Much Greater Than Expected” and I was very pleased with that discovery. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* More Than Maybe: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this novel through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- July’20

I’m a little behind in getting out my thoughts on the book releases I’m looking forward to next month. Sorry! I’ve just scanned through a few of my lists and am surprised by the titles that I need to add to my TBR! One of my favorite authors announced just last week that she’d publish her next book in July. Yay! So without further ado….

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I read the first in this series last year and thought Waiting for Tom Hanks was adorable, so I’m all on board for this one!

Synopsis:

What happens when your life is a rom-com . . . but you don’t even believe in true love?

Chloe Sanderson is an optimist, and not because her life is easy. As the sole caregiver for her father, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, she’s pretty much responsible for everything. She has no time—or interest—in getting swept up in some dazzling romance. Not like her best friend, Annie, who literally wrote a rom-com that’s about to premiere in theaters across America . . . and happens to be inspired by Chloe and her cute but no-nonsense boss, Nick Velez.

As the buzz for the movie grows, Chloe reads one too many listicles about why Nick is the perfect man, and now she can’t see him as anything but Reason #4: The scruffy-bearded hunk who’s always there when you need him. But unlike the romance Annie has written for them, Chloe isn’t so sure her own story will end in a happily-ever-after.

Click this link to purchase the book! Not Like the Movies

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

This YA contemporary sounds as cute as this authors debut novel You’d Be Mine. It also has music as a central theme, which I love. This one’s release date got pushed back due to Covid, so I’m ready for this fun novel now!

Synopsis:

Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out of this world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

In More Than Maybe, Erin Hahn’s swooniest book yet, Luke and Vada must decide how deep their feelings run and what it would mean to give love a try.

Click this link to purchase this book! More Than Maybe: A Novel

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

Katherine Center’s novels always serve up a lesson. I can’t wait to find out what our characters learn about themselves in this novel. It looks like just what I need to escape today’s world.

Synopsis:

Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living.
But she wasn’t always that way.
Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.
But he wasn’t always that way.

And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.

As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.

With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.

Click this link to purchase this book! What You Wish For: A Novel

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

The Soulwood series was my entreé into Faith Hunter’s urban fantasy world and I’m sooo excited the next novel is out! Great characters, interesting mysteries, and a budding romance. yay!

Synopsis: Nell Ingram faces a dark magic with no known origin in the newest pulse-pounding paranormal procedural in the New York Times bestselling Soulwood series.
 
Nell is a rookie PsyLED agent, using the powers she can channel from deep within the earth to solve paranormal crimes. Together with her team, she’s taken on the direst magic and the most twisted foes. But she’ll need to tap into every ounce of power she has for her newest case.
 
Nell is called to the Tennessee mansion of a country music star and finds a disturbing scene—dead bodies rapidly decaying before everyone’s eyes. The witch on her team, T. Laine, has never seen magic that can steal life forces like this. PsyLED needs to find this lethal killer fast. But when a paranormal-hating FBI agent tries to derail the investigation, and the dark magics begin to spiral out of control, they find themselves under attack from all sides.

THIS CHICKS MOST ANTICIPATED JULY’20 BOOK RELEASE!

If you’re a fan of Mariana Zapata’s then you know… Zac has his own book! One of the characters from my favorite Mariana Zapata novel, The Wall of Winnipeg, got his own novel. I will be putting all books down and picking this one up as soon as I know it’s been released.

Synopsis:

Before he was Big Texas, he was Zac the Snack Pack.

Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)

She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold.

Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.

Did I miss any? I’m sure I must’ve! Let me know which books you’re most looking forward to reading next month when they come out.

Happy Reading!

Deb

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase one of the books their the links above, I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases – June 2020

Ahh summer! The season where we look forward to vacations, the beach, and reading a lot of great summer releases. Cue the sound of tires screeching! This year my vacation is delayed, I’m scared of the crowds at the beach, and will probably spend any time off in my own home where I will be living vicariously through the characters I’m reading about. The new normal, at least for a little while longer.

When I was looking at the June releases I was surprised at the number of books I’m interested in reading! I know my ARC schedule is pretty packed but there are even a few more that I didn’t realize were coming out next month that I’ve now added to my TBR. Here are my top 5 most anticipated.

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

Penny Reid is giving Cletus and Jennifer from the Winston Brothers series their own mystery series! My hope is that it’s as quirky and fun as the Winston Series. I have a feeling I’m going to be surprised!

Synopsis:

Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil . . . and now they’re engaged!

But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most “fowl” need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancé. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear.
Sabotage!

Will an undercover mission unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked?

‘Engagement and Espionage’ is the first book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries series, is a full-length cozy mystery, and is a spin-off of Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series. This novel is best read after ‘Beard Science,’ Winston Brothers #3.

Click this link to purchase!* Engagement and Espionage (Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries Book 1)

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

A romantic retelling of Jo & Laurie from Little Women’s romance. Wait, what? Yes, if Jo & Laurie had a romance, here is what Margaret Stohl and Melissa De La Cruz have imagined it to be. How can I pass this one up?

Synopsis:

Bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz bring us a romantic retelling of Little Women starring Jo March and her best friend, the boy next door, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence.

1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration–museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!

But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?

Click this link to purchase!* Jo & Laurie

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I’m going to let the synopsis speak for itself. It looks so good!

Synopsis:

It’s 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city—and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew. 

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it—you’ll regret it.” Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours—and shots of tequila—the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn’t be worse—Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can’t seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head. 

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who heseemed to be? 

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth—in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

Click this link to purchase!* The Lies That Bind: A Novel

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

OK, I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for a good sports romance, especially if it’s the girl that’s the athlete. I’ve never read a book by Hannah Orenstein before, but the synopsis caught my interested and I’ll be reading this one sooner rather than later.

Synopsis:

From the author of the Love at First Like and Playing with Matches, an electrifying rom-com set in the high stakes world of competitive gymnastics, full of Hannah Orenstein’s signature “charm, whimsy, and giddy romantic tension” (BuzzFeed).

The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.

Perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jasmine Guillory, Head Over Heels proves that no one “writes about modern relationships with more humor or insight than Hannah Orenstein” (Dana Schwartz, author of Choose Your Own Disaster).

Click this link to purchase!* Head Over Heels: A Novel

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I can’t even tell you how excited I am that we have another book in the Hollows series! I don’t know how she got talked into writing another Rachel Morgan book after the series had been completed, but THANK YOU!

Synopsis:

RACHEL MORGAN IS BACK–AND THE HOLLOWS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.

What happens after you’ve saved the world? Well, if you’re Rachel Mariana Morgan, witch-born demon, you quickly discover that something might have gone just a little bit wrong. That the very same acts you and your friends took to forge new powers may have released something bound by the old. With a rash of zombies, some strange new murders, and an exceedingly mysterious new demon in town, it will take everything Rachel has to counter this new threat to the world–and it may demand the sacrifice of what she holds most dear.

Click this link to purchase!* American Demon (Hollows Book 14)

These are the books I’m most looking forward to reading when they’re released next month, but gosh, there are so many more than what’s on this list! What June releases are you most looking forward to reading? Let me know!

Happy Reading!

Deb

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase a book through one of the above links, I’ll receive a small stipend.

Friday YA: The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh

Lacey Burke is a self professed musical geek, want to be composer, and walking sex ed factoid. Brought up by a mother who was pregnant at 16, Lacey has been given educational safe sex tips by her now nurse mother, since she achieved “that” age. Now, due to her frustration with the abstinence based sex education at her high school this virgin is giving safe sex tutorials in the rest room at lunch. All she wants to do is play music with her band and maybe get her first kiss out of the way!

I really enjoyed the contradiction between virginal and slightly naive Lacey with the girl who can spout facts about condom usage and how-to instructional’s. I can honestly say I learned something useful while reading this YA novel, all while enjoying a tale about a girl who has a crush on one of her best friends! The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me was a different kind of YA novel. Full of safe sex conversations, but also eye opening about how clueless this fictional school system was in how to speak to the teens of today.

I loved Lacey. She was a great main character surrounded by zany friends who were sexually active and different. She has two best friends, both of whom have hooked up with each other, but still remain best friends. Evita identifies on the ace spectrum and is President of their high school LGBTQIA group. Theo is their third, definitely hetero, and has a girlfriend that neither Evita or Lacey like. He’s an all around nice guy, but there are moments when he deserves a swift kick! When Lacey’s feelings for Theo change, the book also introduces Lacey’s own sexuality into the mix. For a girl who had never kissed a boy until Theo, she was very well informed and prepared.

I love stories where an underdog gets to fight for her beliefs and gets the chance to turn the tide towards something good and right. This novel pits Lacey and her friends against an aged school curriculum and at the same teaches young adults about safe sex, without it being a tutorial. I thought the author did a good job at avoiding a massive dump of information, and instead allowed Lacey’s advice to speak for itself.

The author also did a good job of introducing a diverse cast and making their interactions relatable and real. It seemed especially applicable to the world we live in today and I can only think this novel would have a broad appeal because of it. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t heard more mentions about this one? Hopefully, if it has been on your radar, my mention will push it to the top of your list!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I think the main reason why I didn’t give The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me a full four star rating is that I wasn’t 100% invested in the relationships. I did enjoy Lacey’s relationship with her mom (who is a nurse and SUPER open with her daughter, in a way that sometimes provides comic relief), but overall, the relationships weren’t super exceptional for me, and I was sort of wishing for less of the friends and dating drama.” Blossoms and Bullet Journals

“Overall, I loved the characters. They were entertaining, funny, and passionate. I loved the message the story was sharing. It’s one I really could have used in a book when I was young and learning. I loved all the parental support the kids had from their parents. I only wish this book had been longer. ” Classy x Book Reviews

Click this link to purchase!* The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me

Copyright Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate