This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My most anticipated releases- June ’19

It’s summer! With the change in season summer vacations are being planned all around the world. Along with those vacations we book lovers are planning how to bring all of the books we want to read. Pack an extra bag chickadee’s, these are my most anticipated books being released in June ’19. I know you’ll want to add a couple of these to your own reading plans.

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MY MOST ANTICIPATED JUNE 2019 RELEASES

5) Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Release date: 6/11/19

Publisher: Berkley

Synopsis:

A rom-com-obsessed romantic waiting for her perfect leading man learns that life doesn’t always go according to a script in this delightfully charming and funny novel.

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?

Click the link to purchase! Waiting for Tom Hanks

4) The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Release Date: 6/4/19

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Synopsis:

Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when Emma was twelve. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family that she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is also divided into two people. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.

For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her—Emma or Saylor—will win out?

Click this link to purchase! The Rest of the Story

3) Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Release Date: 6/4/19

Publisher: Berkley

Synopsis:

A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

Click this link to purchase! Ayesha At Last

2) Storm and Fury (Harbinger #1) by Jennifer Armentrout

Release Date: 6/11/19

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Synopsis:

Enter a world of gargoyle protectors, rising demons and one girl with an explosive secret.

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

Click this link to purchase! Storm and Fury (The Harbinger Series)

1)Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Release Date: 6/4/19

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens comes an imaginative fantasy about an apprentice at a magical library who must battle a powerful sorcerer to save her kingdom.

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

It looks like my most anticipated releases are heavy on the Young Adult genre. Unfortunately 6/4 is this week! Yikes! I better get reading!

What is your most anticipated June release? I’d love to add to my TBR!

Deb

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Friday YA: Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Hugo is all set for leaving his six siblings behind for his vacation in America with his girlfriend Margaret Campbell, but then gets dumped. His girlfriend very graciously gives him the trip anyway but there’s one problem. She was the one who booked it so unless he can find someone with her exact name, he won’t be able to use the trip. With his brother’s help he puts out an ad online for a Margaret Campbell who’d like a little adventure taking a cross country train trip with a stranger. Surprisingly, he gets a lot of responses! No surprise though, he ends up going with a girl his age, named Mae. Field Notes on Love ended up being a journey of discovery for both of them. They learned a lot about who they are singularly, but also who they were together.

This novel really took me by surprise! Hugo, the youngest of sextuplet siblings, he has always been a follower, going along with whatever plan his siblings have made. This vacation is the chance for Hugo to venture off on his own and make some discoveries about himself. Mae was the exact opposite. She made things happen, but when her life’s plan falls apart, she is adrift. She takes this cross country adventure as a chance to prove to others that she can shake things up and gather life’s experiences. Through getting to know each other they find out a lot about themselves.

My favorite thing about this novel was how Mae and Hugo interviewed their fellow travelers about the meaning of love. As we heard each person’s story we’d learn a little more about Mae and Hugo’s lives. Those intertwining moments really set this book apart from other YA contemporary novels and made it special.

This is my second novel by Jennifer E. Smith, having read Windfall and been equally charmed by that story. She has a knack for gently leading her readers in a direction and then “thwack’! hitting them over the head with the power of her words. I like that a lot and will keep coming back for those gentle smacks. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Smith is excellent at writing charming, sweet, lovely romances, though. And this hit all the notes. Hugo and Mae were endearing and sweet, and I loved the cross-country train trip, which was something a little different. It’s completely unobtrusive and utterly delightful.” The Book Nut

“This story doesn’t seem to broach into tough aspects in life, just a few problems that can be solved if one knows how to approach it. So, I find that it made my reading process easy and breezy. It was a story where I can forget about reality, go on an adventure and just unwind in these characters and what they have to say. It really felt as though I was there with them, boarding on trains all across America.” Legenbooksdary

Click this link to purchase!* Field Notes on Love

Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross

Claire O’Connor’s back in Juniper Falls because of an all hands on deck family emergency. Helping get her family’s restaurant and sports bar back on solid footing after her father’s stroke is more important than being at school. Tate Tanley was her best friend’s little brother and when she catches sight of him she wonders where that little boy that she shared a secret with the night before she went to school went. Now he’s the goalie of their high school hockey team and all grown up and that secret brings them back together.

I recently read the third book in this series, On Thin Ice, when I got an ARC through NetGalley and was rewarded by reading a really good story! I immediately went to my local library to take a look at the other books in the series. Off the Ice is the first and it also didn’t disappoint. These characters are dealing with so much more than a high school romance. The stories are packed with emotional plots and Off the Ice’s is another doozy.

There were so many things I liked about Clair and Tate. Even though Claire always dreamed of a life outside of her small town of Juniper Falls, her family was the most important thing in her life and she dropped following her dreams to come home and help out when her father grew ill. I did struggle a little bit with her waffling over whether she should give Tate a chance but then we’d have lost a little bit of the tension that kept the story moving forward. Tate was a fabulous character. He was dealing with a dud of a father, pressure as the new goalie on the team, and a recent break up with his long time girlfriend. He was singleminded in his pursuit of both Claire and his game that you couldn’t help but admire how he was dealing with all of this pressure. I really liked how he helped Claire see her future both at school but also with him. They were well matched.

I love contemporary novels with a hint of romance that revolve around sports. Especially if they are actually playing the game! This novel had quite a bit of hockey being played which made it even more enjoyable to me. If that’s not your thing, I think you’ll really appreciate how these characters grow and become each others anchor through some of the crappy things that are happening in their lives. Either way, it’s a book to enjoy and I’ll be reaching for the second in the series next. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Off the Ice (Juniper Falls)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Birdie Lindberg is a quirky eighteen year old, by day aspiring private detective and by night front desk clerk at an old historic hotel. Home schooled and raised by her grandparents on an island off the coast of Seattle she has led a pretty sheltered life. One night after a job interview she meets Daniel Aoki, aspiring magician and overall nice guy at her favorite diner. Their instant connection turns into a flirtation that ends as a tryst in the back seat of his car. Horribly embarassed, Birdie runs off hoping to never see him again. Little does she know that she would soon be working the night shift alongside Daniel, and that they’d investigate a mystery that would bring them close once again.

I loved the quirkiness of this novel! Our heroine, Birdie is sweet, but also socially awkward yet her innocence and naiveté are so charming the reader can’t help but be drawn to her. She is the first character I can recall reading who has narcolepsy and it’s fascinating to read how she deals with that secret. Daniel is also adorably quirky with his magic tricks and wry smile giving us clues that all may not be as they appear on his surface. They have an old world feeling that fits right in with the Sam Spade type mystery they are trying to solve. As a side note the other characters in this book were just as charming and added to the overall feel of the story.

Hidden beneath their colorful exterior are some serious subjects. Birdie’s secret narcolepsy is one, but Daniel also has his own dark background. The reveal is quite a pivotal scene in the book and I don’t want to spoil the story but just as in the land of OZ there is a lot hidden behind that magic curtain and not all of it is fun and games. I love how this author led up to the conflict really making the reader care for this characters yet didn’t lose any of the curiosity’s that make the book so special.

I loved Starry Eyes, also by Jenn Bennett, and somehow missed reading Alex, Approximately when it came out. After reading Serious Moonlight I’ve reminded myself why I love Jenn Bennett’s books and will be fixing that error asap! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“There truly is something a little magic about this book. It just glows and I loved every minute of it. From the all-too-real confusion and embarrassment Birdie feels as she navigates her relationship with Daniel, to the hilarious moments between family (Birdie’s aunt and grandfather are amazing and I loved Daniel’s family). And can I just say that card trick Daniel does???? Whew. Be still my beating heart.” Madison’s Library

“Overall, I enjoyed Serious Moonlight. While there were a lot of heavier topics to deal with, at it’s heart it was a cute contemporary romance that I shipped. I really liked Birdie and Daniel together. There were many cute moments between them, including one of the coolest first date experiences I’ve ever heard of. I think fans of more serious YA contemporaries will enjoy it.” Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Click this link to purchase!* Serious Moonlight

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

Olivia thinks that she has her life all figured out until her boyfriend ghost’s her, her summer internship falls through, and her guardian gets a new job that means they’ll be moving across country for her senior year. When she gets a job at the local outdoor company she gets to know Aidan, the golden boy pitcher on her high school team who quit suddenly at season’s end. They become unlikely friends who help each other learn to find a new brand of happiness, a happiness that includes each other.

Olivia has definitely hit a rough spot! She has imagined her future as part of her boyfriends family as a kind of replacement for what she’s lacked in her own life. She was abandoned by her mother and that fear of being alone makes her forgive a lot of things in her boyfriend that she might not have forgiven otherwise. When she and Aidan start their friendship they have so much in common. Although Aidan has a great family life, his own life is changing drastically due to his failing vision. He find solace in his art, and she finds solace in her writing. They have that creativity in common, and together they challenge each other, which is a big contrast to the safe relationship Olivia had previously. Their relationship felt real and was one I could easily buy into.

Aidan was a great YA hero. He was slightly tragic with his failing eyesight but was a truly wonderful guy. You really wanted Olivia to get over that old boyfriend and give Aidan a chance to win her over. Jessica Pennington’s style of writing is so comfortable and easy to read. While this story didn’t give me any extreme emotions I did really enjoy reading it and would recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of YA contemporary novels and wants a great book to read for the summer.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I loved how the characters complemented each other; as the reader, I ended up rooting for them. They deal with their issues in their own way, and I liked how they tried to make the best of their situation despite everything. They were inspiring.L.M. Durand

“Olivia and Aiden are two different characters who fit together perfectly. They each have did so much growing through out the book. I love the friendship that blossoms between them and the relationship that eventually develops. If you’re impatient like I am, I’m warning you that I found this to be slow-burn romance and literally every time I read it I was like “JUST GET TOGETHER ALREADY I DONT HAVE TIME FOR THIS.” Kayla Reads and Reviews

Click this link to purchase!* When Summer Ends: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Lacey Barnes has landed her first big role in a movie opposite a big name teenage heart throb. Wanting to focus 100% on doing her absolute best acting as the love interest/zombie she is foiled by her father who wants to make sure she is keeping up with her school work and not working more hours than an underage performer should be. He hires a local high school student, Donavan Lake to tutor her. When someone starts sabotaging her chances on set, Donavan becomes the one person she can trust to help her find out who is behind these pranks.

I liked Lacey and her drive to succeed quite a bit. She is charming on set and that charm carries over to the reader very well. She and Donavan have some great dialog and I liked him overall, but I thought their romance was a bit contrived. Yes, he was her tutor and they were thrown together but I thought the story would have been stronger if they stayed friends. I don’t know, I guess I have mixed feelings because I did really like each characters on their own. I thought the movie plot was cute and kind of liked how each chapter began with a scene that they’d be working on in the next chapter. It tied the movie to the plot really well.

I really felt let down when it came to the relationship between Lacey and her father. I would’ve like to have seen the relationship grow a bit more than it did. He and her mom are divorced and this was his chance of living with his daughter and their relationship didn’t have enough depth and because of that his scenes felt flat. I didn’t feel the emotion that the scene was trying to build towards which was disappointing.

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss is a stand alone novel set in the same world and with the same characters as in Love, Life, and the List. Lacey’s best friend is Abby from the previous book, which would make this the second book in a series? BUT, it can be read as a standalone since Abby and Conner show up towards the end and don’t really need more explanation than what is given to the reader. I do think reading Love, Life and the List first would be helpful only because you learn a little of Lacey’s back story and without that the reader is thrown into the story. Overall, I enjoyed reading Fame, Fate and the First Kiss, but it was not my favorite Kasie West novel. Funny enough, that title goes to Love, Life, and the List. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“This is the perfect escapist read. It’s got enough suspense and intrigue to keep you hooked, but it’s delivered with in such an airy tone that it’s just a pleasure to read.” YA & Wine

“Overall, Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss was a knockout YA romance for me—it was cute, fun, a quick read, had enjoyable characters, didn’t rely on overusage of tropes, and the main character is acting in a horror movie, which was such a fun detail to the story.” Howling Libraries

Copy this link to purchase!* Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Megan is the girl who will be voted Biggest Flirt in the year book, and she’s OK with that. Her last boyfriend dumped her for her best friend, and she’s ok with that too. In fact, every guy she’s ever hooked up with has left her and immediately found THE one. She thinks that’s what her role in life is supposed to be, but then Megan unexpectedly lands the role of Juliet in the school play and she discovers maybe she does have it in her to be the leading lady.

Always Never Yours seemed like a lighthearted romp through a high school romance, but Megan was actually a lot more complex a character than I thought I was getting from reading this synopsis. By having flirtations instead of relationships, Megan was protecting her heart. Her parents split and her father’s new family had done a number on her belief in love and truthfully, her taste in guys was pretty bad, so they were always cementing her belief that love was just not for her.

If it wasn’t for Owen I’d wonder if these authors had never met a teenaged boy who wasn’t driven by their hormones. OK, yeah all teenage boys are driven by their hormones, even Owen, but at least he had a brain as well as some morals. He was inspired by Megan’s being so casual about being “the girl before”. The comparison to Rosalind, Romeo’s “girl before” Juliet, I thought, was inspiring. How does that girl go on to find her own love story? Well, if you read Always Never Yours, you’ll find out.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I guess, in the end, I’d recommend this book if you were a theater kid and you want a nostalgic look back at those days. I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend it as a romance, but you could certainly do worse if you’re looking for a quick summer read.” The Bibliophagist

“Always Never Yours is a cute YA contemporary story, and while there’s more to this book than meets the eye it is still a little predictable in places. Still this is a perfect read for an afternoon when you have nothing else to do (or read) and Megan is a character you can’t help but root for.” Reading Every Night

Click this link to purchase!* Always Never Yours

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Annie Mathers is the daughter of two country music stars who had a tragic ending. Living outside the stage lights of Nashville, Annie tried to ignore her calling but she was born to write and sing. After she releases a couple of songs on YouTube her star starts rising. Clay Coolidge is one of the country’s hottest young stars, but he’s going down the path her parents took. After another drunk bar fight he’s told that he has to go to Michigan to talk Annie into opening for his summer concert tour. With his record deal on the line, Clay convinces Annie and her band to join them. Even though they are complete opposites, she the good girl and he the bad boy, they strike sparks both on stage and off.

You’d be Mine had a lot of the things I look for in a YA contemporary novel, great character growth, a simmering love story, and a great hook. What I wasn’t expecting was the magical poetry this author wrote for their music lyrics and the gritty feel to the story. Annie was an easy character to like. I’ll admit that she walked a fine line between being a “good girl” and kind of a prude, but it fit her back story and gave her the heart and soul she’d need to sell the reader on her chemistry for leading man Clay.

Clay also had a great back story. A brother who is a fallen war hero and a line of people who want to ride his coattails, making his bad choices pretty realistic. If there was one fault with his part of the story I’d say his demon battling went on just a touch too long. I wanted the story to speed up and it lagged just a tad in the middle. The supporting characters were loyal, funny, and charming and I adored all of their antics and support. Even though this was a story about music and love, at it’s heart it was about family and these characters gave the reader a solid base line on what family should look like.

I mentioned above my love for the poetry in the music lyrics. You could tell this author has a feel for writing lyrically and if she hasn’t done so already, she should think about her own songwriting career! They were pretty special and the story itself? Good, very, very good. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I was given a free ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“You’d Be Mine is a cute little contemporary romance that reminded me a bit of the television show Nashville. This has all the ins and outs, the ups and downs and intrigue of the behind the scenes of the music business. The characters were likable and fun to root for and the story felt as if heading right out on tour along with them giving all the emotion of their journey along the way.” Carrie’s Book Reviews

“This was a fun story about the lives of these two talented performers. I am not a big country music fan, but I found myself cheering for these young country stars. I would definitely recommend this young adult book!” Welcome to our Campfire

Click this link to purchase!* You’d Be Mine: A Novel

Copyright Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell

Claire and Poppy grew up in the social media limelight. Their mother blogging about their lives until the three of them became household names. Now in high school Claire discovers her history isn’t all as it was blogged and as she researches past facts she realizes her life’s ambitions may not be the same as her sister’s. When she meets Rafael and learns his story he helps her realize that her definition of family may not be as pretty as the blog posts but her feelings and ties to her sister are real.

Even though Claire and Poppy were internet stars they had the drama and emotions of normal high school teenagers. Claire was the more introverted of the two sisters and so felt each emotion and comment cut deeper. That sensitivity made her afraid to speak her feelings until they grew so large in her own head they overwhelmed her. I’ll admit I grew frustrated with most of the characters in this novel because a little communication would have allayed so many of their fears, but then I guess we wouldn’t have had much of a novel to read!

Rafael ended up being my favorite character, yet, he too was not 3D. Having lived all over the world with his father with Doctors without Borders should have given him a broader frame to draw his experiences from, yet he never got past the drama and his own teenage insecurities. My expectations may have been set a little high, but I was really looking for a reason to love this novel and instead never got past like.

As a blogger myself, I thought I should have found this plot more interesting. Their life as bloggers was actually kind of fun and I’d have liked to see more of that. Part of the problem was that some of the subject matter, while deep, was written with a lighter touch that seemed to de-emphasize the importance of what was happening in that scene, so the tone of the novel was too light for the drama it was trying to represent. It kept me from connecting with these characters in a way that I needed to do to enjoy their journey. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of the ARC for my honest review and it was honest.

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

” …read this in a day and enjoyed it SO much. It feels really timely, with how many mommy bloggers and instagrammers there are in the world- it makes you think about their kids and how they might grow up to view everything (including invasion of their privacy).” the bookish beagle

“Overall, this was a fascinating read with an insightful look into the private lives of social influencers and I think it’ll be quite enjoyable to younger readers. I think it’s a great debut attempt which could have done with better execution.” My World of Books

Click this link to purchase!* Just for Clicks

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Slight Spoilers Ahead.

“Don’t live to please the starfish, especially when their happiness is at the expense of yours. That is not love. That is narcissism. There’s an entire ocean out there, Kiko–swim in it.”

Kiko Himura has a narcissistic mother who has consistently beaten down her self confidence until she can only see herself through her mother’s eyes. Her only escape is through her art, something that she excels at and enjoys. Against her mothers wishes she applies to Prism, an art school, and sets all of her hopes and dreams upon getting in.

Despite her social anxiety Kiko’s best friend Emery talks her into going to a party where she runs into Jamie, the boy who was her best friend from childhood. He and his family had moved to California and their friendship had not survived the distance. Pretty quickly their friendship resumed but Jamie could see that this Kiko was not the same happy, friendly girl he had left behind years ago.

OK, I’ll be honest. This was a really difficult novel for me to read. Knowing a little bit about narcissistic relationships I recognized those signs immediately. However, my own relationship was not desperate and hurtful as Kiko’s was, but I could feel her pain because it easily could have been. It’s hard to read about a subject that is familiar and see that character take a different path than your own. I’ll admit that I was really frustrated with Kiko. I wanted her to be immediately stronger than she was but found the patience to keep reading because I wanted to see if she found her happy ending.

Jamie was just wonderful. As soon as he saw Kiko again he knew they were meant to be together. He was infinitely patient and old beyond his years, but then his household had it’s own difficulties. His treatment of this girl who was obviously fragile was to lend her his strength and the knowledge that despite everything he would be there for her, in whatever manner she desired. That is true love.

Although this was a difficult read for me, I did enjoy how the author slowly gave Kiko strength and through that she found her own self. I loved that.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I think the emotional journey of the characters was the strength of this book; I definitely had a lot of feelings about Kiko and her relationship with her family and her heritage, the latter important because of her mother’s constant undermining of the value of it. I got to the end and was just… emosh. And like I said, I thought the way the romance was handled was really important and sensitive.” Miriam Joy Reads

“I loved the way this story was written, with stunning descriptions that really sparked my imagination. All the descriptions of Kiko’s art actually made me want to start painting again, which I haven’t really done in years. All in all, this book was gripping, emotional, dark, emotional and hopeful. I really liked it, and will definitely be reading future books by this author.” Reading Sanctuary

Click this link to purchase!*Starfish

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate