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The Here and Now by Ann Brashares Book Review



An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world... if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.
Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.
This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.
Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.
But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.
From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.
Source: Publisher

Pat of Silver Bush by L.M Montgomery Book Review

Pat of Silver Bush (Pat of Silver Bush, #1)From the beloved author of Anne of Green Gables comes another lively heroine with great imagination. Patricia Gardiner loved Silver Bush more than anything else in the world. She was born and raised in the beautiful old-fashioned house on Prince Edward Island. From her first day at school to the arrival of her new own first romance, Pat shares her experiences with her beloved friends and discovers the one thing that truly never changes: the beauty and peace she will always find at Silver Bush--the house that remembers her whole life.
Source: Publisher For Review
Pages: 356 pages
Release Date: March 4, 2014 (New Edition; Original Pub 1933) 

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes Book Review

The Art of LaineySoccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.
And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can u
se the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.
What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss 
Pages: 384 pages 
Release Date: May 20, 2014

Played by Liz Fichera Blog Tour Stop


Played (Hooked #2)
by Liz Fichera
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 27th 2014

Synopsis:

This Game Is Getting All Too Real

He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me. 

She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.




Excerpt:
Rain trickled down my back as I worked.  Drip drip drip. It was going to be a long hour, a long night, a long weekend— I had no way of knowing. If we were lucky, the storm would blow across the valley before sunset and we could try to hike back to the campsite. I started thinking through several scenarios, one of them including carrying Riley on my back.
She was tall but thin. I could probably manage it. Satisfied with our makeshift bed, I leaned back on my heels to give it a final once-over. “Well,” I said, turning to Riley.
“It’ll have to do,” she said, her teeth chattering again.
I sighed and then moved closer to her on one knee and then the other. Without another word, I put my arm around her and pulled her toward me before she could object, which, knowing what I knew about Riley, she would. But she surprised me. Again. Instead of complaining, she exhaled against me, curling into my shoulder. I sat with my back against the tree trunk, Riley’s body pressed against my chest. My arms wrapped around her, tighter, as she shivered. Her warm breath heated my neck, the closeness of our bodies heating us both. I tried to ignore that she smelled all girl, her hair like flowers mixed with fresh pine. It kind of became hard for me to speak, but after an excruciatingly long silence, I forced out a word.
 “Warmer?”  It came out like a squeak. I rubbed the side of her arm.
She nodded, her hair brushing up against my chin. “Should we start a fire or something?”
“It’s kind of raining, in case you hadn’t noticed.”
She turned her face to mine. “You mean, you don’t know how to start a fire?”
My back stiffened.
“I thought you would know… .” Her voice trailed off.
“You mean, I should know because I’m Native?”
“No,” she said, her whole body rising in place. “Because you’re a boy. Weren’t you a Boy Scout or anything?”
I pulled back and stared at her, speechless. A second ago, we were sharing a moment. Now I wanted to get far away from her all over again, which was pretty much impossible given our current living quarters. We both seemed to be counting back our outrage. One second. Two seconds. Three…
We glared at each other. It became a staring contest. And then, when we both absolutely had to blink, we both burst out laughing. In that moment it was as if a balloon had popped between us as we sat tangled together on our mostly dry makeshift bed of pine needles and branches.
“Believe it or not, Boy Scouts wasn’t exactly a big thing
on the Rez.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean—” she began, still laughing.
But I stopped her. “Forget it. No offense taken.”
“Sure?”
“Yeah.” I’d certainly heard crazier than that. During my freshman year, a guy had actually asked me if I lived in a teepee. And he’d been serious. To which I’d replied, “Dude, you need to get out more.” It hadn’t exactly made us friends, and he’d looked at me strangely for the rest of the semester.
“In case you were wondering, I wasn’t a Girl Scout.”
“No?” I said. “I thought all girls north of Pecos Road were Girl Scouts at some point. You know, with the lure of the thin mints and all.” So much for stereotypes.
“No.” Riley lifted her chin. “I was a Bluebird.”
“What the heck is a Bluebird?”
“Someone who didn’t want to be a Girl Scout.”
“Did they happen to teach survival techniques to Bluebirds?”
“No.” She looked up at me, totally serious. A raindrop clung to her eyelash and I thought about reaching down to wipe it away with my finger. “But I did get a cooking patch for making macaroni and cheese from scratch.”
“Totally useless right now.”
“Agreed,” she said, grimacing.
We laughed again and Riley blinked, the lone raindrop trickling down her cheek. I leaned back against the tree trunk again with Riley pressed against my chest.




"The book stands out in its nicely realistic portraits of the teens." (Kirkus)


"The plot is the perfect mix of real-life scenarios and swoon-worthy romance, while the issues of race and class that Fichera interweaves into the story add substance. In an alternating first-person narration style similar to Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park, readers are given insight into the characters' thoughts and feelings. The tale sticks to the formula but the captivating ways in which the sequence of events plays out keep this take fresh and exciting." (School Library Journal)


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Follow the FFBC Played blog tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.



I'm an American author living in the American Southwest by way of Chicago.  

Born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who’d never seen snow. I was wrong. It certainly didn't hurt that I met my future husband in Phoenix too. 

Most of my stories are set in the American Southwest because I think the desert is a cool place. Living in Phoenix, I'm surrounded by Native American culture and influences, not to mention intriguing Hohokam petroglyphs and centuries-old canals. There are over 20 tribes in Arizona and I'm lucky to be neighbors to the Gila River and the Salt River Indian Communities. 

When I'm not busy writing my next novel, I like to travel, visit museums, support local theater productions, hike, and pretend that I'm training for a triathlon. I post a lot of photos from my desert and mountain hikes on my Facebook and Twitter pages. In no particular order, I've been chased by javalinas, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and even one curious black bear.


Do you prefer lighter or more serious contemporaries? I feel like Hooked and Played do a great job at balancing both the lighter aspects and the heavier ones :)

Win (1) signed copy of PLAYED by Liz Fichera (INT)




Only With You by Cecilia Gray Blog Tour Stop



Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph…

Only With You : A Modern Retelling of Emma (The Jane Austen Academy Series, #5)
Emma has it all - looks, money, and luck. It's not like she keeps it all to herself - she's totally committed to helping those less fortunate. AKA, everyone. She invites her heartbroken friend to help with a weekend charity event with an eye to matchmake, but when that friend turns her eye toward the guy Emma wants for herself, how will she choose between friendship and her own feelings?

* * *

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

The Jane Austen Academy series are modern retellings of Jane Austen classics set at a beachside California boarding school.

Goodreads  Barnes and Noble Amazon
Excerpt:
 
Emma threw open the front doors to the circular driveway, which - perfect timing - Knight was rounding. The Corvette swung out parallel to her and stopped hard. Knight threw open his door and leaped out.

Knight's gray T-shirt was rumpled, as if her text had found him sleeping. Likely, given his aggressive napping schedule. He must have pulled on the first pair of dark jeans he could scrounge up from the foot of his bed. The sleeves of his brown leather jacket were pushed up to his forearms, and one of the shoelaces of his Converse was untied and flopped to the ground. His brown hair stuck up at odd angles, skyward and sideways. He must have fallen asleep with gel in again. (Knight wasn't one for Emma's strict grooming rituals.) While she should have frowned in disappointment at his haphazard appearance, she found herself smacking her lips with approval.

He did manage to make disheveled look adorable.

Knight's warm, coffee-colored eyes wildly roved her body from head to toe and back. "Oh god. You look okay." His right arm latched around her neck. He pulled her against his side and laid a quick kiss on the top of her head. "You are okay, right?"

"Of course I am." With a grunt, she disentangled herself from his arms.
"What is it then? Don't say your mom."
"Why would I say your mom?"
"Emma." He let out an exasperated sigh. "So…everything's okay?"

"Better than okay. Dazzling! Don't worry about your lack of luggage. I'll have some clothes brought to the house. But first we must go for a ride." She walked around to the passenger side of his Corvette and opened the door. She noted that he wasn't moving and waved her hands for him get in.

Knight's brow crinkled, and he heaved out a breath that ruffled his bangs. He ran a hand through his hair, which made the dark strands puff up even more, and then pulled his phone out of his back pocket. Reading the screen, he said, "9-1-1. I need you now." He held the phone out over the hood of his car for her to read. "Is this how your phone autocorrects, I'm doing nothing important, swing by whenever?"

"Everything I do is important." Emma crooked her finger. "Let's go."



Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.
She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige.
Author Links:www.ceciliagray.comhttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061397.Cecilia_Grayhttps://www.facebook.com/ceciliagrayhttps://twitter.com/ceciliabooks






May Contemporary Challenge Review Link-Up


Hi everyone! The review link-up and giveaway for this month's contemporary challenge are both attached below. The book just has to be a contemporary published in 2014 and if you could link up with this format: Being Sloane Jacobs @ The Book Belles, that'd be great. Good luck! :)

Royally LostHow to Meet Boys



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Nantucket Red by Leila Howland Blitz Tour Stop

Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)Cricket Thompson's lifetime of overachieving has paid off: she's headed to Brown University in the fall, with a spot on the lacrosse team and a scholarship that covers almost everything. W
ho knew living in the dorm cost money? An Ivy League education seems to mean living at home for the next four years.

When Cricket is offered the chance to earn enough cash to afford a real college experience, she heads back to Nantucket for the summer. But the faraway island challenges Cricket in ways she hadn't anticipated. It's hard to focus on earning money for next year, when she finds her world opening up in entirely new ways-to art, to travel, and, most unexpectedly, to a future completely different from the one she has been working toward her whole life. A friendship blossoms with Ben, the gorgeous surfer and bartender who encourages Cricket to be free, even as she smarts at the pain of seeing Zack, her first love, falling for her worst enemy.


But one night, when Cricket finally lets herself break all her own rules, she realizes she may have ruined her carefully constructed future with one impulsive decision. Cricket must dig deep to fight for her future, discovering that success isn't just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she's been trying to ignore-her own heart.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N


LEILA HOWLAND loves to read, explore L.A., and engage in funny and meaningful conversations with her friends and family, especially her brother who calls from Washington D.C. whenever he’s waiting for the bus. A lot gets discussed in those phone calls, but they tend to end abruptly when the bus shows up. She can really cut the rug, but wishes she could sing without people covering their ears. A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila spent five years acting in New York where she was a company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. It was a lot of fun and she often talks about “getting back into it.” The closest she has come was a stint as an extra on The Young and the Restless in 2010. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs. She teaches high school English and blogs for HelloGiggles.
www.leilahowland.tumblr.com | http://twitter.com/leilahowland
 






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Prejudice Meets Pride Blog Tour Stop

Prejudice Meets Pride Tour Banner

Hi everyone! I always love retellings, and so far Prejudice Meets Pride is a great one. I'm very excited to feature this novel on the blog :) Here's an excerpt and some additional info about the book: 

Prejudice Meets Pride (Meet Your Match, #1)After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, an
d no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome new neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.
Fun, compelling, and romantic, Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.

Amazon

Excerpt:
Kevin leaned down, and his shoulder brushed hers, making her arm feel more sensitive than usual. Emma couldn’t decide if she wanted to stay put or slide farther away. Kevin was her neighbor and now her boss—someone who felt the need to step in and help her out at every opportunity because he seemed to think she couldn’t handle anything on her own. The last thing Emma wanted was to give him yet another reason to roll his handsome dark eyes at her—eyes that were now staring at a list of names on the computer screen.

Emma sat up straighter and jabbed her finger at the monitor. “How did you do that?” she blurted.

“Do what?” Those amazing dark eyes turned on Emma. He was so close. Too close. A slew of butterflies knocked against the wall of her stomach.

What had he just said? Wait—what had she just said? Belatedly, Emma realized her slip. So much for playing it cool and figuring things out on her own. Why hadn’t she simply observed and paid closer attention to how he’d accessed that screen?

Kevin lifted an eyebrow in question, and since Emma couldn’t think of a logical reason she’d asked the question, other than the truth, she gave up and nodded toward the monitor. “How did you find that list of all the patients in your database?”

“Oh, easy.” Kevin clicked the ESC key, returning the screen to the main menu. “Just click on Members, then All. And voilà.” The beautiful screen appeared again, listing all of the patient names. Thank goodness there were a lot of A and B surnames, so if there were duplicate Carson, Benjamin entries, at least he couldn’t see them.

Until he started scrolling down. His eyebrows knit together when five of the exact same names appeared. Emma wanted to drop her head to the desk and bury her face in her arms. Could she not catch a break with this guy? It seemed to be her destiny to constantly prove how incompetent she was.

Kevin’s gaze moved from the monitor to the stack of papers on her desk, where he undoubtedly saw Benjamin Carson’s name on the top of the stack. His lips twitched as he continued scrolling down the list. “I had no idea that Benjamin Carson was such a popular name.”



Author Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.
Website * Twitter * Facebook

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/31/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord Book Review

Open Road SummerAfter breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Source: Purchased
Pages: 342 pages
Release Date: April 15, 2014

Stacking The Shelves #61

Bought:

For Review via Edelweiss:
Blackbird (Blackbird Duology, #1)On the EdgeExquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1)Get Even (Don't Get Mad, #1)Even in ParadiseThe Half Life of Molly PierceSnow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson: I found this at my local Barnes & Noble and Morgan Matson is one of my all time favorite authors, so I'm so incredibly excited for this! I'm planning to read this during the Bout of Books readathon.

Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard: This new series from Bloomsbury sounds like so much fun! This one sounds especially hilarious ;) 

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae: I wanted to buy a finished copy of this book, and it seems like it's going to be adorable.

Blackbird by Anna Carey: I really enjoyed her Eve trilogy, so I'm curious to check out this new series.

On The Edge by Allison Van Diepen: This book was compared to Simone Elkeles' novels, which definitely caught my attention.

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios: I enjoyed Something Real, and this one sounds incredible! I've never read a book that involves genies before, either. 

Get Even by Gretchen McNeil: I haven't yet read a book by Gretchen McNeil, and this one sounds the most interesting to me out of this and her previous three.

Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot: We're currently reading The Great Gatsby in my English class, and I'm loving it. This has been compared to it, so I'm looking forward to reading Even in Paradise! 

The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno: I'm currently enrolled in psychology and this book definitely sounds like an interesting take on what I'm guessing is dissociative identity disorder.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch: This one sounds incredible, and I've been dying to read it ever since I saw it as Emily's WOW pick

What did you receive this week? I'd love to check out your Stacking The Shelves! :)