Liv’s father left she and her mother to go back to Greece and search for the lost city of Atlantis. I know, it sounds crazy, right? Well, Live thinks so too. She’s so embarrassed by it that she hardly ever mentions him to her boyfriend. She has dropped the O-L and E from her name and re-invented herself as smooth and chic when underneath she’s rather a geek like her father. When she starts receiving post cards from him out of the blue it’s totally upsetting and she shoves them away physically and emotionally until her mother makes her accept an invitation by her father to visit him in Greece. A father that she hasn’t seen or spoken to in eight years. This unplanned vacation interrupts her plans for the summer and she starts off the trip resentful but she soon discovers life is a journey and sometimes the unexpected trip is the greatest journey of them all.
I have read all of the books in the Love & Gelato series and enjoyed the first two Love & Gelato and Love & Luck. I can say with all seriousness that Love & Olive is by far my favorite of this series. That the teen finding herself trope that this author has stuck with was fine tuned and wonderful making Olive and her father’s reunion an emotional and eye opening book. Her love interest Theo was pretty unexpectedly wonderful too.
First and foremost, yes, there is a great deal of hunting for the lost city of Atlantis. A tale that Olive and her father bonded over in her youth and something that Liv is totally cringing about now. BUT she still remembers all of those facts about this city and she finds herself being drawn into that story again. Her father brought her out to Greece to work on a project with him for National Geographic and as Olive and Theo run around following clues and getting b-roll she can’t help but think her father may be slightly delusional but well, maybe he’s onto something.
The majority of this story takes place on Santorini, and that island and setting are a character unto itself. The white buildings with painted blue roofs, the churches, the blue waters of the ocean surrounding it. In my mind it wasn’t such a bad place to be stuck for 10 days, especially with a father who so obviously loves her and with a charming, cute Greek boy. I think Olive starts to think the same thing. Of course, there is a bit of emotional trauma that rocks the boat, some sour searching Olive must do, but in the end with hard work Olive’s world turns out alright.
You do not have to read any of the previous books in this series before reading this novel, AT ALL. So if you are looking for a quick, fun vacation read please download, purchase the paperback, or borrow it from a friend. This one is charming, fun, and has an emotional kick that will surprise you. In this bloggers opinion Love & Olives is a five star read. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Aubrey’s parents do not get along. Always fighting, she’s been stuck in the middle wondering why they stayed married if they hated each other that much. When a new neighbor moves in next door Aubrey befriends him and Webster Casey becomes not only her second best friend, but she thinks they could be something more. Going out on a limb despite not believing in love Aubrey asks Webster to Homecoming but when the night comes he stands her up. When she finds out he’s at the dance she figures there was a misunderstanding and drives to meet him there just to be humiliated in public, destroying her hope that love actually does exist. Fast forward a year later and she meets this cute guy at a party who just happens to be Webster’s cousin AND Webster becomes her lab partner for a year. Does she take a chance again on love?
I liked this premise and Aubrey. I can remember also living in a house where my parents fought but unlike Aubrey I didn’t let their relationship taint all of my own. As the book starts a year after the incident Aubrey and Webster are NOT friends, in fact they go out of their way to antagonize each other. I was kind of surprised that she was willing to give his cousin Holland a shot because she was so down on romance. As her relationship with Holland progresses I was surprised that she tried so hard to not like him too much. In fact it became apparent that she wasn’t going to allow herself to really like anyone. This is when I started to get a little tired of her character. Aubrey was a big downer and it took her entirely too long to come face to face with her little problem.
At first I really didn’t like Webster. I mean he was not a very nice guy to Aubrey, and when I still cared about her character it was hard to overlook him standing her up. However, I quickly realized there might be a little more to this story. Aubrey had just too many problems. Granted, they were both pretty immature, hello they were in high school, but he seemed to be so much more together. He was bi, had come out to everyone at school, and seemed to have a good relationship with his mom and friends. Other than Aubrey. Needless to say there was another reason, which I won’t spoil for you all if you’d like to read this book.
Now, I will say the book wasn’t all bad. The story entertained me and I enjoyed some of the side characters. I also think there were some great lessons Aubrey learned by the end of the book that slightly redeemed her down on love attitude. For that reason I gave this novel a 3.0 rating. I never gave up on it despite it making me mad at times and I did like how the book ended. Do I think everyone will feel the same way I do? No. So, please, if this book looks good give it a shot and make your own judgement. ❤️❤️❤️❣️
I received a copy of this novel through NetGalley from the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.
When Abby sends her DNA in to one of those services to support her friend Leo who’s trying to find his family she doesn’t expect to get anything back but the normal ancestry results. Instead she unexpectedly finds out that she has a full blooded sister and she only lives across town. When she meets up with Savvy, she’s talked into heading off to summer camp to get to know this older sister she never knew she had and find out the story of how her parents gave up their first child.
After having read the ultra sweet first novel by Emma Lord titled Tweet Cute, I knew I’d read You Have a Match. This author’s style is very readable and her characters very identifiable. Abby is easily the girl next door whom we can all see a little bit of ourselves in, but this situation is something we’d only read in, well, a novel. Savvy’s personality is the complete opposite of Abby, an Instagram blogger with a huge following, Savvy is constantly looking for the best shot. Abby, too is looking for the best shot, but she takes pictures of wild life, and her best friend Leo has created an Instagram account and logged all of her best shots. She’s never even opened it up to take a look.
Abby had all of the usual high school problems including that one incident with her best friend Leo that turns their friendship into almost something more. That tension between them hangs over their heads through the entire novel in a will they or won’t they that didn’t get too tiring because of the larger story between Abby and Savvy. Ultimately, the romance was interrupted by a family drama that was oh so much more interesting. I liked how these kids handled their “adult” issues. Their actions didn’t seem so out of the norm for a normal teenager, yet was youthful enough where I didn’t feel like I was reading about adults in 16 year old bodies which was refreshing.
You Have a Match was not quite as cute as Tweet Cute but was a solid second novel. I’ll have to keep Emma Lord on my must read if she keeps putting out stories like her first two novels. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this novel through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest!
This week has been more about watching the news than it’s been about reading but I did manage to finish one book and start another. Again, I’m sticking to romance novels where I’m guaranteed a happy ending because I still feel the need for that kind of resolution in my own world. 🙂
This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.
This novels struck the right chord at the right time for me. I loved the characters, the feeling of family, and the love story. I’d recommend it completely should you be in the right mood for a romance!
I just started this novel but I have high hopes based on Emma Lord’s last novel Tweet Cute, which I thought was adorable. This is a YA contemporary novel and the characters seem interesting so far! I’ll let you know what I think.
What books are you reading this fine Monday? Please let me know in the comments below!
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!
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.
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? ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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!
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
Ummm, Hunger Games meets Caravale? Sounds kind of cool! I was lucky to get an ARC for this one.
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.
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!
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.