Rock Legend by Tara Leigh (ARC Review)

4 Stars!

(adult romance read)

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This is the second book in a series about the band members of Nothing but Trouble (synopsis below).

Review: This second chance romance was full of ups and downs. I’m always interested to see how the book will proceed when huge life-changing events happen to the main characters right in the beginning. Is it going to be them just dealing with those events the rest of the book? Will another life-changing event happen? How will this affect the pacing of the book?

Tara Leigh did a good job of keeping the story engaging, which is a feat in and of itself after such a punch in the beginning. I saw one of the later events coming, but this is just because I’ve read so many romance books over the years. Even with knowing part of what was to come, I still wanted to find out what happened to these characters, and I believe that is due to the pacing of the story. I really appreciated that the characters took steps to grow, and didn’t just magically change over night. Little events happened to progress the story. Also, the characters were their own people. It is so wonderful to see that the character’s story isn’t just dependent on the love interest, but they have their own journey to complete.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I will definitely be checking out the other books in the series. I’ve read a few rock star romance series, and I’m still very interested who these specific band members are, and how they will each find their HEA.

Thank you to NetGalley and Forever Yours for the ARC to review!

 

Synopsis:

I’m no Prince Charming.

Most people know me as the drummer for Nothing but Trouble. Depending who you ask, I’m also a playboy, a loner, the life of the party, a screw-up, or according to my fans, “The Sexiest Rock Star on the Planet.” Apparently, I’m a legend.

Am I surprised? Hell, no. It’s a reputation I’ve earned behind my drum kit and behind closed doors. No one thought foster kid Landon Cox would become famous. Infamous, maybe. Notorious, probably. But successful? Never. No one except Piper Hastings. But I had to make a choice: my woman or my career. I picked fame and fortune… and spent every damn day since pretending I don’t regret it.

Now fate’s dropped Piper back into my life. I want to believe it’s a second chance for me – for us. But while I can give her a few great nights, I can’t give Piper a future.

Because there’s a difference between a legend and a fairy tale…
Only one of them ends happily ever after.

Release Date: July 17, 2018

Preorder here.

Get the first book here.

Add it to goodreads here.

Freshmen by Lucy Ivison & Tom Ellen (ARC Review)

4.5 Stars!!

I read this book in one sitting, that is how much I enjoyed it. I’ve also been in a horrific reading slump where I’ve started 5 different books, so this is saying something. I was completely invested in Phoebe and Luke, as well as their friends.

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE STRONG FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS!?!?!

This is what I hope for my students, friends that have your back and accept all your quirky differences. I loved the scenes with Phoebe, Negin, and Frankie! Not to mention D Dorm just rocked. I wish I had experienced college like this group. I just really enjoyed the exploration of starting college/university, and trying to meet new friends that you actually wanted to be around.The exploration of the character’s identity was just so realistic–especially the element of trying to fit in, which can cost you and not really lead you where you want to go.

The ending. I did not see that coming, which made me enjoy it that much more. It left me wanting to know where the lives of these characters are going (Psssst. Please do a sequel). Anyway, I really enjoyed this burst of college freshmen life, and I’d definitely recommend this to YA readers!

Synopsis:

Getting in is just the beginning.

Phoebe can’t wait to get to college. On her own, discovering new things, no curfew . . . she’ll be free. And she’ll be totally different: cooler, prettier, smarter . . . the perfect potential girlfriend. Convenient: the only person from her high school also going to York is her longtime crush, Luke.

Luke didn’t set out to redefine himself, but as soon as he arrives on campus, he finds himself dumping his long-term long-distance girlfriend. And the changes don’t stop there. In fact, being on a soccer team is the only thing that stays the same.

Just when things start looking up (and Phoebe and Luke start hooking up), drama looms on the horizon. Rumors swirl about the Wall of Shame, a secret text chain run by Luke’s soccer team, filled with compromising photos of girls. As the women on campus determine to expose the team and shut down the account, Luke and Phoebe find themselves grappling with confusing feelings and wondering how they’ll ever make it through freshman year.

Buy it here.

Add it to goodreads here.

Counselor Considerations contain SPOILERS.

Do not read further if you don’t want to PLOT SPOILERS!

School Counselor Considerations:

Social/Emotional: Family: Long distance/Away at college, Social: Meeting new people, searching for new friends, dorms, social identity, navigating social circles, peer pressure, strong female friendships, strong friendships, heavy drinking, sex, partying, marijuana,  adapting to college life, romantic relationships, casual relationships, standing up for what is right, feminism

College/Career: Responsibility, College Life, working while in college, joining on-campus clubs/sports

Academic: Studying, group projects

A Quick & Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson (ARC Review)

5 STARS!!!

I LOVE THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THIS BOOK! Gender neutrality is the future, and we all need to get onboard–this book is a great first step in the right direction. The authors work together to explain They/Them pronouns in a way that is so easy to understand, and with some perfectly timed comedic relief. They also acknowledge that this is a not a simple change, it will take time, but it is so very important to the people that are being misgendered.

I really appreciated that they thought of possible scenarios that may happen, and gave examples of possible responses. Overall, I think they really accomplished the goal they were shooting for when creating this book. I can’t wait to buy it and share it!

As a School Counselor, I sincerely appreciate the simplistic and accessible format of this book. I will be able to share it with students and co-workers alike.

Thank you to NetGalley, Limerence Press, & Oni Press, Inc. for the ARC to review!

Intercepted by Alexa Martin (ARC Review)

4 STARS!

(adult contemporary romance)

This book was really interesting to me in that it had a lot of typical romance story characteristics, but it didn’t fall into the extremely over dramatic—don’t get me wrong there were a few things that could “only happen in a book,” but that didn’t take away from the story for me. It was a little long, but once I finished I saw why the author did what they did. I like the innocent mistakes Gavin makes, because they make him more real. I also enjoyed the contrast between him and Chris. And I loved Marlee’s sass! She has very normal ups and downs which I appreciated.

Gavin 🙂 That’s all I’ll say about that.

AND DONNY! I almost forgot about Donny, the loud mouthed and obscene agent. I loved him, and I just wanted more of his antics!

Overall, if you love to read romance stories, you’ll enjoy this read. It comes out September 11th of this year!

I received this ARC from the First to Read program through Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review!

Synopsis:

Marlee thought she scored with the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. Now there’s a new player on the horizon and he’s in a whole league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s sure had enough practice, dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers her wide-receiver boyfriend has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. Only one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex and what a future can be like for them. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. Gavin’s teammates’ wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with her return, and they have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when their gossip attack makes Marlee public enemy number one to the rabid fans of the team, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Fearing she’s causing Gavin’s life more harm than good, she tries to ignore the articles and the comments. However, when Gavin makes a life changing decision without her, she’s hit with the fact that she’s allowed herself to fall back into the back-seat life of an NFL girlfriend she promised to leave behind. Marlee must learn how to balance loving Gavin without losing the independence and respect she’s worked so hard to gain; otherwise their relationship may not survive the season.

Release Date: September 11, 2018

Pre-order it here.

Add it to goodreads here.

The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger (ARC Review)

4.5 STARS!

I usually read to escape, but this is BEAUTIFUL, WITTY book deals with real issues that are so very important. I enjoyed the alternating time perspectives, and the author really did a good job at making me invested in the characters. I love that Ray and Simon are unapologetically themselves, and I love their obsessions–Simon with milk and Ray with history. As a school counselor, I believe these books are so very important. Representation matters, and we need to normalize mental health conditions to fight the stigma and raise awareness with the goal of preventing fatal outcomes. I will definitely add this book to my collection.

I received an ARC from First To Read through Penguin Random House LLC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

A poignant, deeply funny coming-of-age story about first love, first loss, and the power of history to give life meaning.

History buff Ray knows everything about the peculiar legends and lore of his rural Connecticut hometown. Burgerville’s past is riddled with green cow sightings and human groundhogs, but the most interesting thing about the present is the new girl–we’ll call her Jane Doe.

Inscrutable, cool, and above all mysterious, Jane seems as determined to hide her past as Ray is to uncover it. As fascination turns to friendship and then to something more, Ray is certain he knows Jane’s darkest, most painful secrets and Jane herself–from past to present. But when the unthinkable happens, Ray is forced to acknowledge that perhaps history can only tell us so much.

Mixing humor with heartache, this is an unmissable coming-of-age story from an exciting new voice in YA.

Release Date: June 5, 2018

Order it here.

Add it to goodreads here.

Counselor Considerations contain SPOILERS.

Do not read further if you don’t want to PLOT SPOILERS!

School Counselor Considerations:

Social/Emotional: Family:  Supportive, Involved Social: Bullied, Navigating Social Expectations, Strong Friendship, Emotional: Depression, Suicide, Coping Mechanisms

College/Career: N/A

Academic: N/A

Fierce Friday (Yallwest Day 1)

This was my first time attending the Fierce Friday event, and I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t too crowded, and there were some amazing authors there! We waited in line to get wristbands, one author per hour, and then we could get into the back of any other line. I managed to get five books signed! Plus I played Trivia twice and hung out with and met some new bookish friends! Honestly, I LOVED the Fierce Friday event!

 

 

I brought three books to get signed (The Hate U Give, The Belles, and The X Files), I bought one at the Mysterious Galaxy table (I Believe in a Thing Called Love), and then I received four ARCs! I won Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over in a trivia game, and Aminah Mae Safi was signing her ARC of Not the Girl’s You’re Looking For. To Be Honest and The Brightsiders (review is up for this amazing LGBTQIA+ read) were included in this awesome Swoon Reads tote bag, that I received for voting on a cover at their table. It was wonderful to meet authors and be able to snag some free books. Truly, book nerd heaven!

Author Signings:

Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give

 

Maurene Goo – I Believe in a Thing Called Love

 

Dhonielle Clayton – The Belles

Kami Garcia – The X-Files: Agents of Chaos

Aminah Mae Safi  – Not The Girls You’re Looking For (ARC)

TRIVIA WIN!

Shani Petroff – Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka (ARC REVIEW)

3.5 STARS

Overdramatic drama students?! This book was cute, and I loved the premise. The tie in of Shakespeare’s plays, and the main character, Megan, as the Rosalind to multiple Romeo and Juliet’s was a wonderful plot line. I never knew I needed to know Rosalind’s story until now. Also, I loved Owen as a male lead. He was a good friend and that’s what we all really need, right?

The following will give away general plot ideas, but no specific details:

I appreciated how this story addressed the idea that who we fall in love with isn’t always in our control, but I don’t feel like it really held the people accountable for their poor actions in situations where this came up. It kind of felt like the story was saying, “it’s okay to act in a way that hurts someone, because they will eventually get over it.” And the cheating really turned me off during multiple parts of the story. Lastly, there were a few times when I thought, “this book really could have been a bit shorter.”

The theatre aspect was really adorable and just so much fun to read, but it just couldn’t redeem the story for me. Overall, this book is a cute teen read, that touches on navigating the relationships teens have with their family, friends and significant others, and how those relationships can impact each other. There is a HEA.

Counselor Considerations contain SPOILERS.

Do not read further if you don’t want to PLOT SPOILERS!

School Counselor Considerations:

Social/Emotional:Family: Blended Families, Step-Parent Families, Single Parent Families, Distance from one parent, Family leaving childhood home after HS graduation, Social: Labels, Owning your Labels, Attention Seeking Behavior, LBGTQIA+, Diversity, Loss of Virginity, Sex, Serial Relationships, Cheating in Relationships, Mending Friendships, Empathy

College/Career: College Bound, Fulfilling College Requirements, Career Driven,

Academic: N/A

From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon (ARC REVIEW)

4 STARS!

I’m a total sucker for romances like this, so I was excited when I received this ARC. I was a little wary of the formatting (i.e. letters, social media platforms, etc.), just because a book of just letters sounded questionable. I needed not worry, this book was adorable and had me laughing out loud multiple times. Plus it was really cool that the letters were to famous female directors! There were fandom references, feminism, and a woman of color doing big things!
Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to quote this book at you yet, but that’s something to look forward to once this book comes out on May 22nd!!

Also, new book boyfriend?! Yes, I loved Sahil. Him and Twinkle both have some serious insecurity issues they are working out, but Sahil was just so sweet. It was refreshing that he wasn’t perfect, but for the most part he was a really caring guy.

When Twinkle went a little dark, I kind of fell out of love with her. Sandhya Menon really had me questioning how far Twinkle was going to take things. Luckily, the ending definitely made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

And let’s not forgot about Dadi! I can’t wait for you all to meet her. I’ll just leave it at that.

Counselor Considerations contain SPOILERS.

Do not read further if you don’t want to PLOT SPOILERS!

 

Counselor Considerations:

Social/Emotional: Family: Cross-Generational Family, Indian Families, Low Income Family, Disconnect from Parents Social: Labels, Insecurity, Navigating Social Circles, Unhealthy Friendships, Mending Friendships, Empathy

College/Career: College Bound, Fulfilling College Requirements, Career Driven

Academic: Mentioned: Studying, Different Learning Styles

Happy Ever After (HEA)

The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy by B.T. Gottfred (ARC REVIEW)

5 STARS!!!

I LOVE THIS BOOK! It is for everyone that has felt they don’t fit into the socially constructed genders and has been completely confused by their desires.

This is a beautiful story of teenagers coming to understand that gender, sexuality, and attraction are on a spectrum, and not so binary as we’ve been taught to believe.

B.T. Gottfred always writes such realistic story lines, and this one blew my mind. He beautifully represented the confusion of exploring sexuality in your teenage years.

Don’t even get me started on Art, he is AMAZING!!! And his charts, just wait until you see his charts. He is unapologetically himself and greater for it. Not to mention he is hilarious!

This book is just pure magic, and I’m so excited for it to be out in the world on May 8th!

Synopsis:

Everyone assumes that Zee is a lesbian. Her classmates, her gym buddies, even her so-called best friend. So many people think that Zee likes girls, even Zee is starting to wonder. Could they be onto something?

Everyone assumes that Art is gay. They take one look at his nice clothes and his pretty face and think: well, obviously.

But there’s more to Zee and Art than anyone realizes. When Art first meets Zee, he knows he’s found someone special–someone magical. Zee may not be able to see that magic in herself, but Art is bound and determined to show it to her.

What develops is a powerful connection between two people who are beautiful in all the ways they’ve been told are strange. As they explore their own complexities in gender, sexuality, and identity, they fall for the complexities they find in each other. With his trademark frankness, B.T. Gottfred delves inside both characters’ heads in this story about love and living authentically.

Add it to goodreads.

Buy it here!

 

Counselor Considerations contain SPOILERS.

Do not read further if you don’t want to PLOT SPOILERS!

 

Author Website: https://www.gottfred.net

School Counselor Considerations: Sexual content, navigating sexual discovery, fitting in, fighting stereotypes, gender fluidity