Rating System:

For those of you who don't know, I rate books based on their ability to hold my attention. I don't really like to rip apart someone's hard work. If I don't finish a book, then I don't feel comfortable rating it. So you might see a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings. However, if I do have issues with a book, I will always tell you. Enjoy! (:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Blog Tour: Aftermath


The Interview

First thing first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Maybe some little known tidbits?
I’ve lived in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois my whole life, but I’d love to live in Vermont or New Hampshire, or Prince Edward’s Island in Canada. One day.

Rumor has it that my great-great uncle worked for Al Capone. My great-great aunt denied it, but everyone else says it’s true.


I’m left-handed and when I write with pen and paper, instead of writing left to right, I write sideways and down to up. I always forget how weird that is until someone sees me write something and is completely gobsmacked. If we ever meet in person, ask me to show you.


I used to paint murals professionally. I also used to sing. But for the past few years, all of my creativity goes into writing novels.



In the forward for Aftermath you mention that this story has been in your head for a long time, can you tell us what inspired it exactly?
When I was twelve, a girl my age, from my neighborhood, disappeared on her way home from school. I knew about stranger danger and all that, but until then, I never really believed bad things could happen in my safe, suburban town to girls like me. It was the first time I truly felt unsafe and vulnerable. But I knew that the fear I was feeling was nothing compared to the terror the missing girl must be feeling.

Fortunately, she was found a few days later. She’d been kidnapped by a man who lived a few blocks away, and he kept her locked in a corner of his crawlspace. Following a lead, the police had searched the man’s house once, even going into the crawlspace, but the girl’s captor had terrorized her so much that she was too scared to call for help, and the police left without finding her. They came back later to search the crawlspace again, and she finally found the courage to cry out to them.

The girl and her family moved away soon after her rescue, and I never learned what became of her. But I never forgot about her. I made up a story about her recovery, and that story became Aftermath. I’ve thought of her often over the years. I want to know how she survived, how she recovered, what kind of impact the experience had on her and her family. I became fascinated with the subject of recovery from traumatic events – so much so that in college, I majored in psychology, sociology, and social services, with a minor in criminal justice. Triumph over tragedy is a frequent theme in the books I write.Although that girl’s experience inspired Aftermath, the book isn’t her story. Aftermath is Charlotte’s story. Charlotte is kidnapped just before her twelfth birthday and escapes when she’s sixteen. The book starts with her escape and follows her journey to recovery, as well as her family’s.


Throughout Aftermath there are a few really dark moments, did you ever just need to step away and take a breather or was your commitment to the story enough to keep you pushing through?
I’m an emotional person anyway, so I write with a lot of emotion. I got emotional all the time while writing Aftermath. After I wrote the first draft for NaNoWriMo 2011, I put the manuscript away for a few years because I felt such a connection to it that I wasn’t ready to share it with anyone yet. When I took it out again to revise it, I could barely re-read it because it made me so emotional. Every time I re-read a draft, I get teary at the same scenes.

Writing the darker moments, from Charlotte’s point of view, was tough. I was very careful to write those scenes in a manner that was tactful and not gratuitous. The hardest part was striking a balance between being painting a truthful picture about what happened in the attic while not being too graphic. My readers are smart. They will understand what happened without needing explicit details.

But ultimately, Aftermath is Charlotte’s journey from seeing herself as a victim to seeing herself as a survivor. It’s a journey that’s made even harder because many of her loved ones only see her as a victim. Others, who already see her as a survivor, are insensitive to her need to recover slowly. I hope I did her story justice.

Is there anything you would’ve done differently?
I wish I hadn’t put the manuscript away for a few years after I wrote the first draft. If I had it to do over again, I would have sent it to my agent right away. BUT! I’m not going to dwell on things I cannot change, and I can’t change the past. No regrets!

Are you working on anything else currently? If so, can you share anything?
I’m currently working on two manuscripts that I hope to send to my agent soon. One is a dual-timeline, dual-POV, super-romantic YA mystery thriller. The other is a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines YA contemporary about grief, guilt, and forgiveness. Also, I recently got my rights back to my first two books, the Run To You series. They’re currently unavailable for sale. I love those books soooo much, and they’ve won awards, including the prestigious RITA Award for Best First Book, and they made several Best Of lists. So, my top priority is to get the Run To You series back on the market! Follow me on social media and subscribe to my newsletter to keep up on news about Run To You, Aftermath, and my next books.

Would you ever consider expanding on Charlotte’s life during her years in captivity? Or writing another story surrounding this topic?
I don’t know if I’ll ever go into more detail about Charlotte’s years in the attic. Maybe one day. But Charlotte’s story is her recovery from what happened to her in the attic—the aftermath. I’ve had some requests to rewrite Aftermath from her sister Alexa’s point of view. That would be an interesting project. But for now, I’m working on my current manuscripts, which also deal with the themes of dysfunctional family dynamics and triumph over tragedy.

What exactly draws you towards those darker topics?
I’m drawn to the darker side of storytelling because it’s how I face my fears: safely, through fiction.

About the Book:
Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad's a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte's twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life--the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.



About the Author:
Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.

Today Clara is a RITA© Award-winning author of dark fiction for young adults. Her super-romantic psychic thriller series, Run To You, was named an RT Magazine Editors Pick for Best Books of 2014, and Run to You Book One: Deception So Deadly, is the winner of the prestigious 2015 RITA© Award for Best First Book.

Clara’s latest release is Aftermath, a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines YA contemporary in the tradition of Room and The Lovely BonesAftermath is on Goodreads’ list of Most Popular Books Published in November 2016, and Young Adult Books Central declared it a Top Ten Book of 2016.

Clara’s favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.


Tour Schedule:

The Giveaway:
1: A "Do It Double" Aftermath tote bag from Blu Bear Bazaar (photos attached). Inspired by Aftermath's message to "Do it double, because some can't do it at all," Blu Bear Bazaar designed beautiful artwork for it and printed it on tote bags and throw pillows. Blu Bear Bazaar is generously donating a portion of all Aftermath product proceeds to RAINN and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Click here for more information.

2: Choice of TWO books from Clara's collection of YA novels. Clara will give the winner a list of the YA novels in her collection, and the winner can pick two. Some of the books are signed by the author.

*US/CAN for the above prizes. If the winner is international, the prize will be substituted by a book from Book Depository up to $18.00, winner's choice.

Good luck, and happy reading!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I just want to thank Hannah for having me on the tour and Clara for the awesome answers. I absolutely loved Aftermath and if you want you can check out my review here. Have you read Aftermath? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sad Perfect ARC Review

Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot
5 Stars

I was lucky enough to be included on a blogger ARC tour for this one and will be forever grateful. Sad Perfect is about an eating disorder that I had never even heard of beforehand. When I found out that it has had its mark on Stephanie and her family personally and I watched her daughter's video about it, I knew this was something I wanted to know more about.

Sad Perfect, where do I begin? Our main character, Pea, is dealing with a lot more than meets the eye. On the surface she may seem like a girl who is simply picky, but in reality she has struggles. Throughout the book we follow her as she meets someone new, tries to navigate through her eating disorder, fights her inner demons, and really tries to make a change. I found it quite powerful. Now to contrast our darker side of the novel, Stephanie has gifted us with Ben. Serious swoon. He is sweet, understanding, and caring like no other. I hope we are all lucky enough to find someone like him.

There were parts that were definitely hard for me to read. Some that made me want to hug Pea and some that made me want to knock some sense into her. I love when I can get so invested in a character's life that the decisions being made really irk me. High five, Steph. Sad Perfect is a journey and should be appreciated as such.

I highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy in February 2017. If you're interested, I will be posting the video I mentioned earlier down below.


If you'd like more information about Stephanie and Sad Perfect you can find it here. For more information about ARFID click here. I hope you'll check this one out. Seriously such a wonderful, emotional read. Thank you again to Stephanie Elliot for sending me a copy. And thank you McKaelen Elliot for sharing your story online. If y'all have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Whether they're for me, Stephanie, or even McKaelen.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Friday, November 18, 2016

Aftermath ARC Review

Aftermath by Clara Kensie
5 Stars

When I read the synopsis for Aftermath I knew I had to read it. To the best of my memory this is the first book I've read that has to do with being taken, surviving, and trying to return to normal. And to think that Clara has held this story in her mind since she was twelve years old just amazes me. I'm not going to lie and say this is an easy book to read because of it's subject matter, but it is worth the read if you're up for it.

Our main character, Charlotte, has been held by her captor for almost 4 years just dreaming of her family being happy despite her absence. Life goes on, you know? We meet this girl who has survived these horrors and she's so strong. Sure things aren't how she thought they'd be, but she is doing her best to make the best of things and make some changes. Doing it double because some can't do it at all. When you read this beautiful book, you'll get that line and maybe even cry the way I did. Alexa, Charlotte's twin sister, is kind of rough around the edges and understandably so. At the same time it's not always so easy to understand the way she is until we're finally shown why. Clara really did an amazing job with these two girls. To be honest, I was kind of expecting the twins to well be like the twins that Charlotte originally describes despite all the time that had passed. I'm so incredibly glad I was wrong.

Lastly, I want to talk about the detail Clara uses. I mean some parts made me sick to think about, but this story wouldn't be the same without them. The horrors are what make the journey through the aftermath so meaningful. That attic broke my heart. The hope inside Charlotte, her perseverance, kept me along for the ride. Honestly, I feel like we need more books like this one. It showcases real dangers that maybe we don't think about enough even though they're there all the time.

I highly recommend grabbing a copy of Aftermath for yourself. It isn't long and somehow it still packs quite the punch. Aftermath by Clara Kensie is out now and if you'd like to discuss it we totally can. Just leave a comment! You can also tweet Clara about it here. I do hope you'll give this one a chance. I'm so incredibly glad that I did. Thank you Clara, for sending me a copy.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Thursday, November 10, 2016

If I Fix You ARC Review

If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
5 Stars

I want to preface this review with how this book even came to be in my hands. Earlier this year I was standing in line to get my copy of Dorothy Must Die signed by Danielle Paige when I noticed the girl in front of me had super cute boots. We got to talking and she told me she had just sold her first novel and we exchanged information. Even if you're shy, always make friends. You never know who you'll meet. On to the review.

All I really knew about If I Fix You at first was that our main character's mother did something inappropriate and left. Honestly, that was all it took to get my attention. I was beyond stoked that I was able to read it this Summer. Jill is your average sixteen year old who enjoys hanging out with friends, looking at the stars, and fixing cars with her dad. She even has a cute boy or two in her life. In my opinion, If I Fix You is anything by average.

Throughout this one novel we deal with romance, friendship, betrayal, family, violence etc. Trust me, it all fits together seamlessly. Despite the bigger problems in these characters' lives Jill, Claire, Sean, and Daniel are completely real and relatable. If you've read any of my previous reviews you'll know that that's something I always try to find.

One of my favorite things about this book is that while it's got the darker side of things, there are also such fun moments within. One of my favorites is the night with the wall walking. I used to do that all the time. Another fun bit is definitely the Creeper World Cup talk. Good memories to lighten up the mood. Another plus is Abigail's ability to set the scene. Seriously, I live in Arizona and it's just so accurate to the weather, location, people I see around etc. Just wow.

There is so much I want to say about this book that I think I might reread and do a spoiler filled review because honestly, this one just isn't cutting it. This book deserves so much more. If you're interested, my book club will be reading If I Fix You in January and anyone is free to join. I 100% recommend the book and if you have any questions feel free to ask me in the comments or on my Twitter. I hope you'll grab yourself a copy and see what I love so much. If I Fix You is out now! And thank you Abigail for sending me a copy. Have a lovely day!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Where I've Been

Where's Gabriella?

So you may have noticed that my blogging has been severely slacking as of late. Well, the easy answer is that in the past three months I have only been able to finish two books. A major slump hit me in August at the same time that my life kind of picked up. I'm going to try to find a balance and I hope that you'll stick with me while I navigate through all of this. This coming week or so you can expect reviews from three different books that I have finished. These being If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti, and Aftermath by Clara Kensie. Thank you all for your understanding.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Rift Uprising Release Blitz

About the Book: 
Normal seventeen-year-old girls go to high school, binge watch TV shows all weekend, and flirt with everyone on the face of the Earth. But Ryn Whitaker is trying to save it.

Ryn is a Citadel. A soldier. A liar. Ryn and her fellow Citadels were specially chosen and trained to guard a Rift—one of fourteen unpredictable tears in the fabric of the universe that serve as doorways to alternate Earths. Unbeknownst to her family, Ryn leaves for school each day and then reports for duty as an elite, cybernetically-altered soldier who can run faster, jump farther, and fight better than a Navy SEAL—which comes in handy when she’s not sure if axe-wielding Vikings or any number of other terrified and often dangerous beings come through the Rift. A fine-tuned weapon, Ryn is a picture-perfect Citadel. But that’s all about to change.

When a young man named Ezra is pulled through the Rift, Ryn finds herself immediately drawn to him, despite her training. What starts as a physical attraction quickly grows deeper, and Ezra’s curiosity throws Ryn off balance when he starts questioning the Rifts, the mysterious organization that oversees them, and the Citadels themselves—questions that lead Ryn to wonder if the lies she’s been telling her family are just the surface of a much bigger lie told to her. As Ryn and Ezra desperately try to get to that truth, they discover that each revelation blurs the line between the villains and the heroes even more. 

About the Author: 
Amy S. Foster is a celebrated songwriter, best known as Michael Bublé’s writing partner. You might recognize her work in his four hit singles, including "Home" and "Haven't Met You Yet.”  She has also collaborated with Destiny’s Child, Diana Krall, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and a host of other artists. She is also the author of the novel When Autumn Leaves. When she's not in a studio in Nashville, Amy lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Amy is the daughter of singer B.J. Cook and the legendary music producer, David Foster. Fun fact about Amy: Her extended family tree includes Bella and Gigi Hadid, Sara and Erin Foster and Brody and Brandon Jenner, and Clay Aiken! The Rift Uprising, her YA debut, will be released on October 4, 2016.



I'd like to thank you for stopping by and I truly hope you check out this book!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cover Reveal: Proof of Lies

Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
About the Book:
Some secrets are best kept hidden…
Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.
And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.
She’sthe only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.
Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.


Book Links:

About the Author:
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is not the child of super spies, as far as she knows. But she is an avid traveler, and every scene in her books comes from a place she has lived or visited—from her senior year apartment in Boston, MA to the hotel where she stayed in Cortona, Italy. In addition to the Anastasia Phoenix series, Diana is also the author of the award-winning Amor and Summer Secrets series; the Mirror, Mirror short story collection; and essays in both Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories and Latina Authors and Their Muses. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing Instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. But of course, this all could be a masterly crafted piece of disinformation…

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you check out the book! Happy Monday!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Monday, September 5, 2016

Blog Tour: The Summer Before Forever

the summer before forever banner



About the Book:
Some boys break your heart. Others teach you how to heal it.

Chloe Stone’s life is a hot mess. Determined to stop being so freaking skittish, she packs up her quasi-famous best friend and heads to Florida. The goal? Complete the summer bucket list to end all bucket lists. The problem? Her hot soon-to-be stepbrother, Landon Jacobs.

Landon’s mom will throttle him if he even looks at his future stepsister the wrong way. Problem is, Chloe is everything he didn’t know he wanted, and that’s…inconvenient. Watching her tear it up on a karaoke stage, stand up to his asshole friend, and rock her first string bikini destroys his sanity.

But there’s more than their future family on the line. Landon is hiding something—something he knows will change how she feels about him—and she’s hiding something from him, too. And when the secrets come out, there’s a good chance neither will look at the other the same way again…

Book Links:
Goodreads | Entangled Teen | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


About the Author:
Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She’s a member of SCBWI and RWA including several local and online chapters thereof. She holds her B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee.

Links:
WebsiteTwitterFacebookNewsletter








Excerpt from The Summer Before Forever

Chloe

It’s not like I didn’t know better. How many times has it been drilled into my brain—into the brain of every child over the age of three. Don’t get into a car with a stranger. But can the guy you’ve been melting for since the start of sophomore year really be considered a stranger…even if you never officially met him before?

I accidentally gun the gas as I squirm a little. Eight hours in a driver’s seat is hell on any behind.

It’s done. It’s over. In fact, I’m lucky. I got out of the nightmare with all my firsts still intact…well, most of them. Not quite the first kiss I have been waiting for these past sixteen years. But how juvenile is it anyway that a girl on the brink of seventeen would go un-kissed? Sweet sixteen and never been kissed—endearing. Seventeen and never been kissed—circus freak. At least that’s out of the way.

Jenna rouses in the passenger seat, yawning. “Oh my God. There’s the ocean.”

So it is, Captain Obvious. My Honda Civic starts its ascent up a fairly frightening looking bridge over an inlet.

“How long have I been asleep?”

“Couple of hours.”

She grabs her phone and squints at the screen. “Service. Thank God.”

I can’t help but smile. “What would Jenna Quigley do without social media for a day?”

“I have my fans to consider,” she says.

I give her a look.

“Kidding.”

Oh, but if only she was kidding. It’s amazing what placing eighth in a karaoke contest can do for one’s ego. Okay, so it was the most popular singing competition on any major network, but same difference.

She flips through her phone. “Oooh. I almost forgot. You’re going to love this one.”

Jenna and I are two of the most unlikely best friends in the history of friendships, but one thing that does bring us together is our shared love of music.

Unfortunately, our tastes couldn’t possibly be further apart on the spectrum.

“You’ve said that about the last five songs you played for me,” I say.

She holds up her free hand, the thumb on the other still scrolling. “I swear this is one of your people, not mine.”

She sets her phone down and stares at me with those huge green eyes as the synthpop sounds of St. Lucia fill my car.

I eye her. I wouldn’t call St. Lucia one of my people, but he definitely doesn’t suck. And as far as artists go that break the barrier between her pop roots and my alt rock ones, this is one I can live with. Besides, this song is highly danceable. My upper body moves to the beat without my permission.

She points at me. “See! I told you you’d love it.”

I let a smile through. “I don’t hate it. How did you get into him?”

“Mason,” she says.

And with that name, my shoulders still. Not that there’s anything wrong with Mason. He’s not the one who tried to force himself on me. No, that particular honor goes to his best friend, Trevor. I haven’t told Jenna yet. She’ll be crushed when she finds out—and then murderous. With the summer in front of us, I need to keep her living in blissful ignorance. If I don’t, she’ll blow up to Mason about it, and then it will become this huge deal around school.

As far as she’s concerned, Trevor and I kissed, and there was no spark.

“So this kid who’s going to be your stepbrother—what’s his name?” Jenna asks.

Here we go. I suppose I’ve put this off long enough. “I probably should mention… He’s not really a kid.”

“Great. Is he some pervy preteen who’s going to be peeping through the crack of my bedroom door?”

“Not exactly.” I don’t know if he’s pervy or not, but I do know he’s not a preteen. He’s only a year older than us. It’s stupid, but I’m not ready for Jenna to find out yet. If I’d told her when I found out, she’d have found him on social media and wrapped him around her pinky before we even arrived. I just want a chance to get to know him at the same time rather than the two of them being old buds and best friends before we even arrive…or worse, dating.

I stare past the road out into the sparkling ocean spread in front of us. Secretly, I’m hoping he’s more like me than he is like her. I’ve never had a brother. God, I need that right now. A guy I can trust, who’s got my back. I have these ridiculous fantasies of this guy who immediately takes me under his protective wing as he kickboxes Trevor in the balls for what he tried to make me do…for what he swears we will do someday.

“So? What’s his name?” Jenna repeats.

“I don’t remember,” I lie.

She glares at me. “Well, what has your dad told you about him?”

I hit the blinker, and we turn toward our home for the next two months. “You think my dad and I have actual conversations?”

Jenna sits up and gasps, staring out the window. “No. Freaking. Way.”

A massive stone archway with sleek, aqua letters reading Sea Glass Cove welcomes us into a resort covered in pastel beach bungalows, a crazy big golf course, and a pool that looks like it was hijacked from Atlantis.

“Why didn’t you tell me your dad was loaded?” Jenna asks.

“He’s not,” I say. “This is his fiancée’s house.”

She snickers. “Score, Mr. Stone. Your dad must be hotter than I remember.”

I make a face. “Gross, Jenna.”

“Does he have a huge penis?” She pokes me in the side.

I swerve. “You’re going to get us killed, nasty.”

Jenna stabs a finger across my face. “265, there it is.”

I turn into the driveway of a two-story baby blue house. A black Jeep sits next to a shiny red Porsche SUV in front of my Honda. All this belongs to my future stepmother. Geez. Does my dad have a huge penis?

I open the door, and the salty sea air hits my face like the smell of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. Florida, even the humidity that’s so thick I think I might need an asthma inhaler, is my temporary escape for the summer.

I know I have to go back home to Cliff Ridge eventually, but when I do, the evil Trevor will be gone for college. As much as the next two months are going to win the award for most awkward daughter/dad summer ever, it’s better than the alternative of spending it back home looking over my shoulder.

I open the trunk and start gathering our bags.

“Cute,” Jenna says.

I glance at the house next door. “Yeah, you won’t find lavender houses in Cliff Ridge.”

“Not the house,” Jenna says out of the corner of her mouth.

“Let me get that.”

I look up to put a face with the unfamiliar male voice. Holy Zac Efron. Who in the… Oh no. I bet this is—

“Hey.” He grins at Jenna. “Which one of you is my new little sister?”

Jenna’s eyes go wide and she elbows me in the side. “Thank God not me.”

Great. Just…great.

He gives her a mischievous lift of an eyebrow, and then shifts his gaze to me. “Chloe?”

This guy has got the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen and short, shaggy, dark hair that falls all around his face in that totally messy and totally doesn’t care kind of way. Standing at least six feet tall, he towers over me, but I’m used to that. A light sprinkling of freckles decorates his tanned face, whereas I look like I’ve been hiding under a UV protected rock my whole life.

I scratch my eyebrow. “Yeah. Landon, right?”

“I thought you couldn’t remember his name,” Jenna mutters.

I cut my eyes at her in warning. He offers me his hand, and I take it.

“So you’re the new sister. You’re my first.” He gives the slightest hint of a smile and lets go of my hand. We watch as he wrangles our big roller bags out of the trunk and carries them both by the handles into the house.

Jenna rests an elbow on my shoulder. “Who needs to use the rollers when you’ve got muscles like that?”

She looks at me for a reaction, but I turn to the trunk to avoid her.

“So, some kid brother you got there,” she says. “What the hell, Chlo?”

I tug the rest of the bags out of the trunk and load us both down with them. “I said he wasn’t a kid…exactly.”

Jenna points to his backside as he climbs the front porch steps. “Not a kid, exactly? That is a full-fledged man. His boy parts grew up years ago.”

I anchor a canvas bag to her right shoulder. “Don’t be gross.”

I shut the trunk, and we make our way toward the house.

Landon holds the door open for us, and we scoot past him into the foyer. It’s weird stepping into this house that I guess will be my home in a way. My dad lives here after all, but it’s not really his…at least not yet. I glance around at all the white and aqua stuff, including a pristine white couch. God, I hope I don’t spill anything on that.

“This is a beautiful house,” I say.

“My mom’s a real estate agent. She’s into decorating houses and stuff.”

I glance around. “Is my dad here?”

“They just texted. They’ll be here in just a little while. They’re getting dinner stuff.” He smiles. “I think they’re going all out for your first night.”

I suppose that warms my heart a tad. Doesn’t really make up for my dad’s virtual complete absence from my life for the past five months, but who’s keeping score.

“Where will we be sleeping?” Jenna asks with innuendo.

“Upstairs. Follow me.”

As he leads us up the stairs Jenna points at his behind again and gives a thumb’s up. I give my throat a slice in warning, and it just eggs her on.

He hauls our suitcases into a pale yellow room. Jenna tosses her bags on one of the twin beds, and I sit down on the other.

“I’ll let you settle in. Nice to meet you, Jenna…Chloe.”

“Likewise,” Jenna says as he shuts the door to our room behind him.

I glare at her.

She flops onto the bed she claimed. “What’d I do?”

“We’re going to be here two months,” I say pointedly.

“So?”

“So if you hook up with him now and things go sour next week, it’s going to be a long two months.”

She sighs and sits up. “Point taken. Besides that, he’s just the first one we’ve seen. I bet there are a whole slew of them down at the beach. Let’s go.” She rips into her suitcase and comes up with a hot pink bikini.

“I want to wait for my dad to get home. You go.”

“That’s cool. I’ll wait with you.” She pulls her phone out of her pocket and flips through one of her seven or eight social media apps, I assume.

“Ah, look at my sweetie.”

“Who?” I ask. It could be anyone.

She glowers at me. “Mason.”

I nod. Of course. They hooked up the same night I had my fiasco with Trevor. Jenna never clarifies what she means by hooked up. I’m guessing it’s somewhere between a peck on the cheek and full-on sex.

I hang clothes in one of the two closets, and then pull out the bag with my shower stuff. As I go to set my shampoo down on the corner of the tub, I notice a bottle of men’s body wash. I realize that the door I assumed was to a linen closet is actually too big to be a closet door. I creep toward it and give it a little shove. It leads to another bedroom. A guy’s bedroom.

Gray, t-shirt material sheets pool on the unmade bed. A football poster decorates one wall, while another poster of Kate Upton in a bikini hangs on another. At least sixty or seventy hardbacks line the shelves of a bookcase. I check the door, and then take a few steps closer to read the titles—biographies, many of world leaders or prominent figures in history. I spot one sitting on his desk with a bookmark peeping out of it. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

He’s redeemed for the Kate Upton poster.

A classic tennis racket in a wooden case sits on a shelf above his bed. A toddler-sized jersey hangs in a frame on one wall next to a shelf housing a single trophy. I come closer and read the plaque. The Mean Green Gorillas, Team Participant. I can’t help but giggle.

“I don’t come in your room and laugh at your stuff.”

I jump a mile and spin around.Landon lounges against the doorframe.


Thank you so much for stopping by! If you're interested you can find the rest of the tour right here!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pokemon Go Book Tag


To those who read my last post, this should come as no surprise. I'm addicted to playing Pokemon Go and have put myself into a slump because of it. So here we go, the perfect tag!

It's really hard to pinpoint the book that sparked my love of reading. I know that I started reading because I wanted to be just like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, my favorite move to this very day. I remember reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White with my grandma when I was little and I loved it. Throughout my life I have fallen in and out of reading several times. A few books that have brought me back after straying include Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar, Private by Kate Brian, and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. It always seems to be a series that brings me back because I simply need to know what happens next.

I actually haven't read that many classics. Does Charlotte's Web count? *Laughs nervously* I would love to read some classics someday though so feel free to give me some recommendations along with why you love them.

Wow, it's actually hard to choose. I'm going to go with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I went so far as to purchase this book a few years ago and I have yet to even touch it. I haven't even seen the movies. I get that everyone loves the series, but that kind of makes me not want to read it for some strange reason. I have vowed to read it someday. I mean I did spend money on it, but lord knows when that will be.

I actually tend to ignore tropes within books. If I'm enjoying a story, who cares? Today I watched Michael from Michael BookLion mention The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and while I have only read book one, I did enjoy it and didn't mind whatever tropes there might have been.

I can think of several books for this one. Size definitely intimidates me when it comes to books simply because of the commitment. We'll start with the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. I purchased the boxed set so I could marathon it and a year later I haven't even touched them. The same goes for The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I also feel obligated to mention the big guns here, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Those books/series are HUGE. I don't know if I'll ever start the last two. Lastly, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. I will read that series, but probably not until every single book is out in the world. I decided this because the wait between each of her A Court of Thorns and Roses books is killing me.

A book that kept me up would be A Court of Mist and Fury for sure. A Court of Thorns and Roses as well. Sarah J Maas just gets me. I just need more of these characters and this world and ugh. Let me live in the Night Court. Those are my people.

My bookish OTP, or one true pair, is Rhysand and Feyre from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. I am absolutely in love with the two of them. I also ship myself with Rhysand, no big deal. I feel obligated to mention Juliette and Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi as well. If you haven't read these two series, do it now. I know almost everyone has, but if you're like me and behind on trends *cough cough Harry Potter* then I'm giving you this heads up now.

The Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I think I read the whole series in about a week because I was sick in bed and thoroughly enjoying myself. I also found the Thirst series by Christopher Pike to be quite fast paced as well. I wish more people would give those books a chance. Seriously, Thirst may be about vampires, but it is anything but typical.

Percy Jackson, hands down. Rick Riordan has me hooked on his books and his characters. Also, I'd love more books on the characters from A Court of Thorns and Roses. If you haven't guessed by now Sarah J Maas and that world own me as well. SO AMAZING.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. My best friend Grace had been pushing me to start the series forever and while I am nowhere near finished with the series, I did enjoy the first book. She was so right and I will forever trust her recommendations. Check her out at The Grace Lucy Review. Savages by Don WInslow surprised me too. A movie about drugs and the whole business didn't seem like my thing at all, but I read the whole book in a day. The Prequel, The Kings of Cool was amazing. The way everything was weaved together, damn. Highly recommend.

I do not want to call Harry Potter overhyped, but I couldn't think of anything else. I am one of the few people of my generation that has not finished the Harry Potter series. I know, gasp. I am so stoked to finish these books. I only have two left and I know they're going to crush me, but how could one not be excited?! The Harry Potter series by the brilliant J.K. Rowling is in no way overhyped, it is worth the hype and the adventure is everything.

It would be amazing to own the collector's edition of the illustrated Harry Potter books. I believe it cost around $200 or something, but it was absolutely gorgeous. If there were ever a collector's edition of any of my favorite books, I would be all over that. However, as of this moment I don't think there are any that I'm itching to get. Unless the Barnes & Noble edition of The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan counts.

I have already read this one, but trust me when I say that it is absolutely amazing and I need the finished copy as soon as humanly possible. Are you ready? Caraval by Stephanie Garber. The world she created is just mind blowing to me. Everything is so magical and you never know what's real and what's a misdirect and the dress, oh the dress. January 2017 cannot come soon enough in my opinion. Some others that I love and want you to read as soon as you can are Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow and If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson. Ones that I have not read and cannot wait for are Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot , After the Fall by Kate Hart, and Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. I'm absolutely positive that there are more, but you don't have all day and neither do I.

I have too many auto-buy authors to count, but I just really love the books I read and supporting such wonderful people. I will always buy a Paula Stokes book. I consider her a friend and I genuinely love her writing. Girl Against the Universe is my favorite of hers so far. And my book club Better Read Than Dead is reading her latest book, Vicarious, in September if you'd like to join us. Some others would include John Green, Rick Riordan, Abigail Johnson, Kathleen Glasgow, Danielle Paige, Nicholas Sparks, Veronica Roth, JK Rowling, and so many more. I could probably go on forever. Give me all of the books.

It feels like I've been waiting forever for the sequel to Winger by Andrew Smith to come out. In reality it's been out for almost a year. I just had to wait for the paperback in order to have a matching set because I'm a tad anal like that. Alas, it finally comes out at the end of next month and I get to enjoy what others already have. I've also been waiting for The Goal by Elle Kennedy to release and it comes out next month as well. I don't know if it will top The Score though, Dean forever has my heart. I seriously love a good steamy new adult.

There you have it. The Pokemon Go book tag sure is fun, but now I want to go catch some Pokemon. Thank you, Aentee, for creating this tag! I tag anyone and everyone who wants to do this, leave me your link in the comments. Do you play? What team are you on? What's your strongest Pokemon? Tell me everything!
Xoxo,
Gabriella