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

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This Chicks Sunday Commentary: BookLoversCon #BLC19 Finale!

I’m sitting in line at the FedEx store waiting for it to open so I can mail home a box of books. I’ve whittled down the stash so that I am bringing the most anticipated, new to me authors, and swag. Most fit in my two bags but for a little 20 book pile. Oh to have those problems, right? This trip has been so much fun and I probably haven’t taken enough pictures to show but here’s a few.

Heather Graham showed up to the Historical Fiction party in her full Voo Doo regalia. She hosts an evening function with a different theme and kind of combo’d the historical dress with the VooDoo head gear. She was charming, beautiful and very down to earth. I loved this chance to chat briefly with her.

This picture shows the set up for most of the functions with one host per table. Some are themed-this was Entangled’s Candy and Spoons game. Always a very popular one as the winner walks away with a stack of about 15 new books. My sister was a lucky winner and her table got super rowdy! All in good fun but they pass out bandaids for a reason! Lol.

This picture shows my day two of swag. I received a few ARC’s at a Berkley Blogger party that I’m very excited about!

Book Fair! Some authors just show up for this super large signing. I took a couple of snapshots of a few I was excited to see!

Jasmine Guillory!

Susanna Kearsley!

Shannon K. Butcher/aka Anna Argent!

other big names including Kristen Ashley, Christina Lauren, Rebecca Zanetti, and so many more! It was overwhelming and fun!

This morning we end with a brunch which I hope to make but first priority mail those books!

Looking forward to next year when Booklovers Con will be in my city! Nashville!

Deborah

Booklovers Con! #BLC19

The first two days at the Booklovers Con have come and gone and my good intentions to post pictures every day has fallen by the wayside because of my need for sleep. Sorry guys! However, today I’ll give you two days of pics to satisfy your book loving needs!

I’ve met some really great authors and taken a few pictures to share. The first night was the kick off party with a Jazz Fest theme, after all we are all in New Orleans! We paraded into the ballroom to a great jazz marching band.

There were authors stationed around the room and I bee-lined towards Christine Feehan to say hi and take her pic.

Christine Feehan!

I’ll admit that I didn’t want to stand in line for food but there were food trucks galore and the band was fab. My sister and I ducked out to eat at a little Vietnamese place we spotted down the street. Yum!

Thursday was chock full of events. A Harlequin author signing and Indie author soirée were fun! Although the lines…not so much. Lol.

Julia London! (On the right)
Rebecca Zanetti!
Ooohhh my feet!

I really learned a lot from a workshop for bloggers and publishers and will endeavor to meet some new goals!

The evening wrapped up with a pretty amazing Fairy gala with a full dinner. The costumes and decorations were pretty spectacular!

Packaging paper turned into a magnificent dress!

Gorgeous centerpieces!

My sister and I were VIP’s ( we won it in a lottery) and got to sit for dinner at a table with an author. I sat with the wonderful fantasy author C. L. Wilson and she sat with Amanda McIntyre. It was a great hour spent getting to know these authors.

At the end of the day I had a pretty good book haul! Not as much in the past and definitely a smaller amount of swag, but you know what? The experience has been so much better and more intimate!

This is only day 1’s book haul!

I’ll try to get out one more post possibly Sunday from the airport! We are packing in the fun at the BLC19!

Deb

Friday YA: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Finale is a story about the meaning of love and how that meaning changes for each of the characters in this story. Tella’s love for Legend is tested by her confusing feelings for Jacks and Scarlett’s love for Julian is never wavering but her definition of love changes when she uncovers some truths about her past. Both of their journeys are tested but eventually love conquers all, and in this novel you can’t take that statement literally.

Stephanie Garber continues with the beautiful prose from the first two novels. Each word is imbued with ribbons of color which seems appropriate to the theme of love that runs through this story. At times though her lyrical style seems to distract rather than draw attention to, and I’ll admit my mind wandered a bit. I found myself scanning back through the pages wondering what had happened since I last tuned in. I still enjoyed the story, but it took a really long time for it to reach a conclusion.

Tella and Legend continued their tale of unrequited love. If an immortal feels the emotions of love it turns them human and Legend fights his fears through most of their storyline. I found Jacks’ emotions the more interesting of the two men, since he gave into his obsession and seemed to turn Tella’s head with his feelings, even though those feelings were rather unhealthy.

Scarlett’s story with Julian remained unchanged, however her character grew a lot more than Tella’s did in this conclusion. She learned a lot about why she could see the color of other people’s emotions and how she dealt with that knowledge uncovered strengths that she previously hadn’t really shown. I cared a lot more for the resolution of her story than I did for her sister’s which seemed a lot more shallow a tale.

Finale was my least favorite book in the series, but part of that was that the newness had dulled slightly. Some new characters (the Fates) were introduced and time was spent allowing us to get to know a few of these characters so that it helped build more of an impact to the conclusion of the story. The end felt a little too pat for all of that prior build up, but I did feel like I got the conclusion that I wanted for these characters and I was left feeling pretty satisfied. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Finale: A Caraval Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Sunday Commentary (Yes, I know it’s Wednesday!): April ’19 Wrap Up!

I feel like I just did my March wrap up, the days are just flying by too fast. April was a solid month for reading. I finished 17 books, including a few audiobooks and feel like I’m making progress on my stack of ARC’s. Do you ever feel like you’ve overcommitted yourself? Me too! I hate it when my favorite authors all have books coming out on the same day. Yet, I love it at the same time. It’s a love hate thing. LOL. Anyhow, here is what you missed if you haven’t been keeping track of The Reading Chick!

GREAT APRIL READS!

Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2) by Lucy Parker

I blew through the rest of this series in the month of April, but this book was my favorite!

“I think I wrote on Goodreads that I am now obsessed with Lucy Parker novels. I really am. Her stories could so easily be fluffy romances, but they aren’t! They are well written, her characters are rock solid and the build up in the romance is riveting to read. Her dialog isn’t too shabby either, it’s actually really fun!”

Full Tilt by Emma Scott

I actually read this book a couple months ago but had to clear my thoughts before writing the review. It was soo good, yet emotionally wrenching.

“I have never read a novel by Emma Scott, but after reading Full Tilt I know I will definitely be looking through her backlog for my next fix. Full Tilt was heavy, dark, desperate, uplifting, sad, and joyous. By the third chapter I was all in and I think I must’ve gone through a box of Kleenex while rooting for this couple to overcome the odds.”

Love Hacked (Knitting in the City series #3) by Penny Reid

Every time I read a book in this series I say, THIS is my favorite! I definitely chanted that mantra after reading Love Hacked.

“Needless to say, I loved this novel. I had picked it up so many times and put it down. I’m not sure why and am kicking myself for not enjoying their story before now. However, sometimes those novels that surprise you with their strength and your emotional impact to them are read when you need to read them. This was the perfect time for me.”

BLOGGER TO BLOGGER SERIES

We all met a few interesting bloggers this month on my series Blogger to Blogger. If you haven’t had a chance to read their interviews, please check them out!

Tina @ Reading Between the Pages

Kyle and Hannah @ But, First, Fiction

I am mulling over putting my Blogger to Blogger series on hiatus. If you would like to be featured, please contact me and let me know, and I’ll fit your blog in before I take a break.

THIS CHICKS SUNDAY COMMENTARY

Part of the reason I want to take a break from Blogger to Blogger is to spend more time coming up with topics for my Sunday discussion posts. I’ll admit, with a full time job it’s hard to find the energy, but I want to do better. Here are my posts from last month. If you missed any please click the links below to check them out.

March’19 Wrap Up!

My May’19’s Most Anticipated Releases

Happy Easter from the Reading Chick!

MAY’S TBR PILE

OH, Boy! I know I mentioned above that I’m backed up a little bit on my ARC’s. As you can see from this NetGalley snapshot, there are several releases that are all on the same day! Usually I try to space them out, but either I wasn’t paying attention or was overcome with greed at the thought of reading all of these great novels. I have read Romanov already (review to come this week!), but need to start on Finale to stay on track.

THEN you have the books on my Kindle that I’ve purchased, like Kristen Ashley’s FREE and Slow Burn, and my library books that are about to expire like Daisy Jones and the Six, and well, you get the problem!

On top of that my sister and I are going to the Booklovers Con in New Orleans 5/15-5/19! Woo-Hoo! Expect to see a daily post from me regarding all of the authors I will see and the fun activities to be had! I’m excited about that trip, but conventions don’t leave a lot of time for reading. LOL. Oh well, c’est la vie!

May looks to be a much more exciting month than April, and I can’t wait to read ALL of these books! LOL. (yeah right!)

Are you sitting on a big pile of ARC’s too? Give me a shout in the comments section and let me know I’m not the only one in this boat!

Until next Sunday, (or Wednesday, Tuesday or Saturday…)

Deb

Friday YA: The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter by Caroline Flarity

Anna Fagan’s mother was possessed and killed by a demon when she was a child. Her father never recovered from the loss and buried himself in his work, the exorcism of ghosts from haunted relics. Anna’s home life is definitely not the norm, but when she see’s people from school going off the deep end she starts to wonder if there’s not something going wrong in her hometown. When her own thoughts start to become murderous, she shies away from her best friends Freddy and Dor and tries to salvage the scraps of her sanity. What she doesn’t realize is that her friends lives are also getting blacker and by the time she realizes it, she’s almost too late to save them.

Anna’s home life was a wreck. Her father was not just a ghost hunter, but he was also a hoarder. His things a labyrinth that blocked light and created an even more creepy atmosphere for the setting of this story. Known as the “Goblin girl” at school because of her dad’s job, Anna struggles to overcome that stigma and her feelings of shame. It’s only because of her best friends support that she had any light in her day. It’s when she becomes fixated on a boy at school and her fixation starts to turn unhealthy that I got an inkling that I might become uncomfortable with the direction this novel was headed.

I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but I kept looking for those moments of light in this story where I’d finally get to start rooting for Anna. There was just so much going on, and all of it was pretty dark and depressing. Anna does realize the town has been taken over by an evil demon and she does overcome all odds to save the day, but that only happens near the end of the book. On my wait for that to happen we see her father advance further into depression and hoardom (is that a word?), her friends become suicidal, and the bully at school turn into being bullied (by Anna!). Not to disrespect this author because I could see the work she put into it, but it really just wasn’t for me.

I am a huge fan of urban fantasy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc. and I went into this with my eyes wide open, hoping for the best. If there had been a few more kernels of light or humor I think my feelings would have been different. I will say that I do believe every book has it’s reader and I just wasn’t a good fit for The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter. If you like creepy fantasy-type novels The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter may be the right fit for you, so please give it a try.

❤️❤️❣️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“The thing I loved most about this narrative was the supernatural lore. It was interesting and compelling, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before…. It was a rollercoaster ride of thrills, chills, and despair, and I loved every second!” UnabridgedBren

Click this link to purchase!* The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (4/29/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

In Her Sights (Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters #1) by Katie Ruggle

First Sentence: “I’m headed to the park,” Molly said as she let the screen door slam behind her.

JUST STARTED

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

First Sentence Read: My blood is my crime.

I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of Katie Ruggle. Her new novel came out last month and I had pre-purchased it and it got lost on my kindle. It’s a really cute romance, this time the leads are all sisters which I love!

Another topic I love is the Russian revolution. Did Anastasia really die? It’s always a fabulous fantasy and to mix magic into the tale? Perfection! I can’t wait to immerse myself in it.

Don’t you love starting a new book? It’s better than starting a new work week! What are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb

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

Happy Easter from The Reading Chick!

Spring is here, the flowers are blooming and even though today was 50° and I am wearing a sweater you can tell by the smiles on everyone’s faces that winter is over. Unless you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, then Winter is Coming. I couldn’t resist, sorry!

For those of us who celebrate this time of year for religious reasons, may you have a blessed holiday!

For those of us who are looking forward to seeing what kind of candy is in our Easter baskets… what number from the graphic below is your favorite Easter candy? Feel free to share your favorite from your own country if these aren’t familiar!

I am a Cadbury mini eggs gal myself!

May your Easter basket be filled with the blessings of your season, and chocolate! Happy Easter from the Reading Chick!

Deb

Friday YA: Come Find Me by Megan Miranda

Come Find Me is the story of two teens, Kennedy Jones and Nolan Chandler. Both of them have lived through terrible tragedies and in their own way are searching for answers. Kennedy by continuing her brothers search in space and Nolan on his radio frequency. One day they both notice an anomaly in that radio frequency and through an online blog find each other. They live only a few miles apart, could there be another answer for what has happened in both of their lives?

Megan Miranda hit all of the right buttons with Come Find Me. Kennedy and Nolan were both very easy to relate to, their tragedies were both eerie- although in different ways, and their discoveries led the reader through every emotion. A recipe for an un-putdownable novel!

I don’t want to spoil the mystery at all, but let’s just say that even though they found each other through tragic circumstances, as they investigated this strange frequency and other clues came to light their characters were able to lean on each other and grow stronger together. I loved how they had faith in each other and leaned on the other for strength. As the story reached the conclusion, both resolutions were tragic and yet it didn’t split them apart, that tragedy helped them be each other’s strength. An unusual concept in a teen novel and one I’d like to see explored more.

Even though I just said “teen novel” this didn’t read like it was written for that age group. Other than the fact that one of them didn’t drive, their thoughts and problems were very adult. It was almost as if two kids were swapped in for an adult storyline. Maybe that’s why I could relate to these characters so well? I don’t know, but I was totally enmeshed and enjoyed this novel thoroughly. If you like psychological mystery/thrillers, no matter your age, you need to give Come Find Me a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by it’s depth and emotional impact.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I’ve always enjoyed all of Miranda’s novels and will certainly read anything she puts out for us readers. Those who love the YA thriller genre should surely pick this one up – don’t let the slow beginning deter you. The build up of these characters resonate.” Jessicamap Reviews

“I loved that there was a supernatural element to the story. Though it is a realistic thriller, there is the suggestion that something extraterrestrial or supernatural is happening there. ” Jill’s Book Blog

Click this link to purchase!* Come Find Me

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate