*ARC Review* The Best Week that Never Happened- Dallas Woodburn

48902976What if, when you died, you got to relive The Best Week of Your Life—but you died too soon, and The Best Week of Your Life hadn’t happened yet?

After her parents’ bitter divorce, family vacations to the Big Island in Hawaii ceased. But across the miles, eighteen-year-old Tegan Rossi remains connected to local Kai Kapule, her best friend from childhood. Now, Tegan finds herself alone and confused about how she got to the Big Island. With no wallet, no cell phone, purse, or plane ticket, Tegan struggles to piece together what happened. She must have come to surprise-visit Kai. Right? As the teens grow even closer, Tegan pushes aside her worries and gets swept away in the vacation of her dreams.

But each morning, Tegan startles awake from nightmares that become more difficult to ignore. Something is eerily amiss. Why is there a strange gap in her memory? Why can’t she reach her parents or friends from home? And what’s with the mysterious hourglass tattoo over her heart?

Kai promises to help Tegan figure out what is going on. But the answers they find only lead to more questions. As the week unfolds, Tegan will experience the magic of first love, the hope of second chances, and the bittersweet joy and grief of being human.

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My Review:

“I am not certain of anything. Life is a mystery, just as death is a mystery. The best answers come from listening to the murmurs of your heart. Your heart is wise. Your heart is strong. Let yourself love, dear one. Let yourself, love, hugely and bravely. That is all any of us can do.”

This is a book that made me think about my own life while I was reading it and way after I was done reading it. Have I lived my best week yet? Or is it still to come? We never know when our time is up but that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying to live our best lives.

From the start, you know that something about this book is going to make you emotionally break. I felt the weight of that the entire time while reading. You know that the devastating truth was going to fall but not really sure when. I was sitting on pins and needles with my heart in my throat.

Kai and Tegan are our star-crossed lovers who find their way back to each other after a tragic accident strikes. Their relationship seems perfect and they fit easily together. The week they spent together was the sweetest thing that I’ve ever read. But I was waiting for my heart to drop when one or both of them find out the truth. When it happens, it wrecks you. Even though I knew it was going to happen and I waited for it. The emotion that drips through these pages will make you weep.

The Best Week that Never Happened was heartbreaking and mesmerizing. Words escaped me when I finished because I was so enthralled by the beauty of this book. Nothing has ever made me feel this way after reading. Prepare yourselves for a book that will make you appreciate everything that you have in your life and you’ll fall in love all over again.

stacy

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 12/9/19

This week I’m going to be reading some arcs that I’ve received in the mail and a book for the library book club.

What are you reading?

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Echoes Between Us- Katie McGarry

46361458. sy475 Echoes Between Us is bestselling author Katie McGarry’s breakout teen contemporary novel about a girl with everything to lose and the boy who will do anything to save her.

Veronica sees ghosts. More specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages of blinding migraines caused by the brain tumor that keeps her on the fringes and consumes her whole life haunt her, even as she wonders if it’s something more…

Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but his adrenaline addiction draws him to Veronica.

A girl with nothing to live for and a boy with everything to lose–can they conquer their demons together?

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Infinity Son- Adam Silvera

34510711. sy475 Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.

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All the Bright Places- Jennifer Niven

18460392The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

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*First Line Friday 11/22/19* The Shadows Between Us- Tricia Levenseller

35702241Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

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“They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart.”

*First Line Friday 11/15/19* Birthday- Meredith Russo

43924017. sy475 Boyhood meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this unconventional love story by award-winning author Meredith Russo!

Meet Eric and Morgan.

Born on the same day, at the same time, in the same place. They’ve always shared this one day together, but as they grow up they begin to grow apart.

Everyone expects Eric to get a football scholarship, but no one knows he’s having second thoughts.
Former quarterback Morgan feels utterly alone, as she wrestles with the difficult choice to live as her true self.

Both of them are struggling to be the person they know they are. Who better to help than your best friend?

Told on one day every year, over six years, this is a story about how change pulls people apart… and how love brings them back together.

An LGBTQ+ YA One Day perfect for fans of Love, Simon, Birthday is a beautiful love story by the best-selling #ownvoices author of If I Was Your Girl.

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“I’m holding my breath, hovering between wavering sunlight and deep, dark blue, arms twirling while my feet kick up and down, slow as tides.”

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 11/11/19

This week I’m going to read a book that I started on Saturday, an amazing arc that I stumbled upon, and a book that I received from BookWorm Box. And maybe… just maybe if I have extra time I’ll read a book that I won from Goodreads.

What are you reading this week?

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Find Me Their Bones- Sara Wolf

41085224No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

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Elvira: Transylvania 90210- Elvira

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In her first hairdo-raising adventure, Elvira meets the weirdos next door–a pasty-faced group of coffin-carrying bloodsuckers! Elvira likes vampires as much as the next ghoul. But when they start chomping on her friends, the new creeps on the block receive a little visit–from ELvira’s unwelcome wagon. This book begins a new series starring America’s favorite glamour ghoul.

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More of You- A.L. Jackson

46664137My daddy warned me never to fall for a boy like Jace Jacobs . . . The second I saw him walk through the door, I knew he was trouble. A gorgeous rebel with a bad attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder.My heart warned me. I didn’t listen. I saw something protective and good beneath the fierce, tough exterior. I fell hard and fast. He promised we’d be together forever, and then left me with a broken heart. Now, ten years later, Jace Jacobs is standing at my door.Sexier than he’s ever been. Provocative and commanding.Successful and powerful. The man I always knew he would become. But I promised myself I’d never lose my heart to him again.Even time couldn’t dim our chemistry. One glance of his intense eyes, and I become weak. One brush of his hand, and he brings me to my knees. Little do I know, Jace holds the key to everything I’ve lost and everything that threatens my future.Now he will either save me, or he will break me all over again . . . More of You – a Confessions of the Heart second-chance, stand-alone romance.

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The Sun Down Motel- Simone St. James

45885644The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

 

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 10/7/19

This week I’m going to be reading a few highly anticipated arcs, an arc I won on Instagram, and I’ll let you know what I read last weekend that wasn’t on my list.

What are you reading?

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I started a book on Saturday afternoon and finished it on Sunday. It was the perfect fall read to set the mood for Halloween.

Winterwood- Shea Ernshaw

43822698Deluxe edition with special embellishments on first printing only.

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magicwhere dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

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The Starless Sea- Erin Morgenstern

43575115. sy475 From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

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The Madness Blooms- Mackenzie Lee

45043431Love is a fever.

Holland, 1637. Lena Schoon is an orphan, sold to the owner of a flower shop, along with her older brother, Bas. When Lena and Bas’s master dies, Bas inherits the flower shop at the height of Tulip Mania, a time when single tulip bulbs were being sold for prices equivalent to that of Amsterdam’s finest houses.

Along with the shop come debts that threaten to uproot the siblings, leaving them without a home or a trade. In desperation, Lena hatches a plan to dress as a man and attempt to sell a fake Semper Augustus bulb, the rarest and most valuable tulip of the time, to the one merchant in town with the money to pay for it.

But when Lena meets the merchant’s daughter Elsje, she is smitten. And her plan to save her shop and her home is suddenly challenged, both by her heart putting down its roots, and also by questions about her own identity that emerge the longer she lives as a man…

Mackenzi Lee’s The Madness Blooms is perfect for the teen and adult fans of Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist)Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring), Sarah Waters (Tipping the Velvet), and Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea).

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Resurrection Girls- Ava Morgyn

44174348Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.

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*Review* Match me If You Can- Tiana Smith

34993791Mia’s best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn’s matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.

Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn’t count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince – the guy she knows is right for her – and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn’t find out that Mia’s been matchmaking behind her back.

Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?

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My Review:

“I can help you get a boyfriend. All you do is scream and run away when they chase you.”

Mia has been crushing really hard on Vince and decides that she is going to take matters into her own hands. Her best friend, Robyn has a side business where you pay her a small fee, fill out a form, and she’ll romantically match you with your true soul mate. Mia logs into her friends email and responds to Vince’s form matching Mia to him. She even makes a suggestion as to where he should take her.

Who Mia really gets paired with is Logan. He’s cute but he’s absolutely no Vince. When Vince makes this grand gesture to ask Mia out, what she doesn’t expect is for Logan to get in her way and into her heart.

Now she must decide what and who is more important to her, Vince, the all-star soccer player who has the looks or Logan, the photographer who makes her heart race and who can melt anything with his smile.

Can she fix all of this before the big Homecoming dance? Or will Mia’s perfect life crumble with her in it?

This book was cute and really funny. Most of the book had me overjoyed and laughing my ass off. But it did start off a little slow and lost me in some places. Plus, Mia wasn’t the best of characters. She went out of her way to do some terrible things and she does get some backlash but not as much as she should have.

Parts of this reminded me of my relationship with my Husband. You’re my favorite is the phrase we repeat to each other every day and it’s something that brings up closer together.

Overall, this was a great read with swoon worthy moments. It was super fast paced and can be read in one sitting. Logan will instantly steal your heart and you’ll definitely want to get into photography after this. The fluffiness will bring you out of any reading slump.

Nothing in life is ever perfect but with a little help from your friends, anything is possible.

stacy