#NewRelease: Lana’s Ex Prom Date, by @Amy_Sparling

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Lana Clarke just got asked out by one of the hottest guys in school. Toby Fitzgerald is undeniably gorgeous, but his charismatic personality makes Lana the envy of every girl at West Canyon High School. Senior prom is right around the corner, and although Lana had planned on a stag outing with her friends, Ashlyn and Bennet, Toby asks her to be his date in the most romantic way ever. Her friends are bummed, but support her anyway. After all, Toby Fitzgerald is the boyfriend everyone wants.

Lana’s life is now perfect—until Toby breaks up with her three days before prom.

But he’s a nice guy, and he still wants to take her to prom as a friend. After all, they’d already rented a limo and picked out Lana’s dress together. Her friends think she shouldn’t ditch them for a guy who ditched her, but when she discovers Toby’s secret, she’ll have to choose between lying to her friends, or lying to the whole school.

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You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon

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About the Author:

Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She also writes books for older teens under the name Cheyanne Young.

Find out more:

#Review: In Every Way, by @Amy_Sparling

in-every-wayTitle: In Every Way
Author: Amy Sparling
Rating: 5/5 stars

“It’s the start of summer and Josh Graham will be working at his parent’s surf shop. When his best friend Colby goes on vacation, Josh is stuck working with Bryce—and all of Bryce’s terrible ideas for summer. They make a list of what the “perfect girlfriend” would be like, and now they plan to find her. It shouldn’t be too hard, since Josh is one of the hottest, most popular guys in school. Right?

Bess Navarre would rather read a book than go outside. She’s chubby, dorky, and a self-proclaimed loser. But when her grandmother volunteers her to work at a boutique on the beach, Bess has to comply, no matter how humiliating it is. Bikinis and Bess do not go together, and now she feels even dorkier than ever.

When Bess and Josh’s paths collide, sparks fly. But it won’t be that easy. Bryce wants Josh to date a supermodel. And although Bess might just fit all of the things on Josh’s list, she won’t give herself a chance to figure it out. (description from Goodreads)

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I’ve never read Sparling’s work before now, and I’m glad I started with this book. The description is what grabbed me. It sounded like a quick, light beach read of a romance. With summer winding down, the setting is something that definitely caught my eye, but there was more to the story that kept me reading.

I haven’t read many books set in that in-between time after high school graduation and before college starts. It’s a strange summer in limbo and a lot happens in an adolescence’s life. I enjoyed that aspect of this story. Both Josh and Bess grow over the period of time this book takes place. They’re done being high schoolers, but not quite adults. There’s young love, but maturity between both at times. It’s a fresh take on romances for me.

Sparling also touches on bullying, popularity, and self esteem issues in the book. Both are very real for the age group of these characters to deal with. They make the characters who they are, while at the same time the book isn’t bogged down by drilling these into the reader’s head. It’s there, it’s important, but the characters slowly overcome issues and I enjoyed how the author did it. And even in the end, like in real life, things don’t go away magically. People, and the characters in this book, need time to work through things.

In Plain Sight is a book that deals with Josh and Bess’ friends and if it’s anything like In Every Way was, I know I’m going to enjoy it. This book was a great way to end my summer reading. Maybe I can start my fall with more from the author.

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You can grab this book from:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She also writes books for older teens under the name Cheyanne Young.

Find out more:

#NewRelease: A Shattered Heart, by @AuthorTiffany

The second book in Tiffany King’s Fractured Lives series is here! Now you can all read A Shattered Heart like I did recently (here’s my review). I’m really enjoying this series ever since finishing A Shattered Moment earlier in the year. Now, I can’t wait to see what else King has for her readers. For now, here’s a bit more about her new book…

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A Shattered Heart

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From Tiffany King, USA Today Bestselling Author of A Shattered Moment, comes book 2 in the Fractured Lives Series.

A Shattered Heart is the story of Kathleen “Kat” Darby who discovers that although you can run away, you can never escape the ghosts from your past.

Physically, Kat Darby walked away relatively unscathed from the tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation. Emotionally, her scars run much deeper from the loss of two of her best friends and her longtime boyfriend, Dan. Unable to face the constant reminders of the person she thought she would love forever, Kat leaves for twelve months to study art in France before returning home to start her life again.

Life in Florida proves more difficult than Kat anticipated with remnants of the accident still lingering. The only solace she can find is in her love for art until she runs into Brian, the younger brother of her deceased former boyfriend. Finding they can lean on each other, Kat and Brian find comfort in their emotional common bond. When an unexpected romance develops, Kat must decide if she is willing to face the ghosts from her past in order to love again.

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This book releases next week, but you can find pre-orders on:

AmazonKobo | iBooks

If you’d like to read A Shattered Moment, you can find it  from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Tiffany King new profile pictureUSA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Find out more:

#ARC #Review: A Shattered Heart, by @AuthorTiffany

A Shattered Heart

Title: A Shattered Heart (Fractured Lives #2)
Author: Tiffany King
Rating: 4/5 stars

From Tiffany King, USA Today Bestselling Author of A Shattered Moment, comes book 2 in the Fractured Lives Series.

A Shattered Heart is the story of Kathleen “Kat” Darby who discovers that although you can run away, you can never escape the ghosts from your past.

Physically, Kat Darby walked away relatively unscathed from the tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation. Emotionally, her scars run much deeper from the loss of two of her best friends and her longtime boyfriend, Dan. Unable to face the constant reminders of the person she thought she would love forever, Kat leaves for twelve months to study art in France before returning home to start her life again.

Life in Florida proves more difficult than Kat anticipated with remnants of the accident still lingering. The only solace she can find is in her love for art until she runs into Brian, the younger brother of her deceased former boyfriend. Finding they can lean on each other, Kat and Brian find comfort in their emotional common bond. When an unexpected romance develops, Kat must decide if she is willing to face the ghosts from her past in order to love again. (description from Goodreads)

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Earlier this year I read Tiffany King’s A Shattered Moment. It wasn’t the first time I thoroughly enjoyed a book from King, but I think reading it got me back into the mindset to read her books after taking a little break. They often pack emotional punches and I need to space out my reading to not overdo it for myself. Those emotional punches, among other story elements I’ve come to enjoy from Tiffany King, are not absent in A Shattered Heart.

It took me a little longer to get into this story than with the first book in the Fractured Lives series, but that didn’t deter me from pushing through and coming out the other side glad that I read on. Kat, the narrator, may not be the most loveable character, but that’s what made the story work. She has her own issues to deal with and seeing her work through them and get her life back was worth the journey.

Not only does King give readers a chance to get to know minor characters from book one, she continues to develop the bigger picture: the relationship and struggles among the family of friends (and their families) Kat is a part of. This is where much of the emotion I felt came from, while reading. I enjoyed Kat and her story, but I also gained a new appreciation for people who go through hell and come out the other side, whether they personally went through it or watched a family member do so. Everyone’s effected and this book illustrates it well.

I like where this series went in book two, and I like where I see it going after this (at least I feel there’s another book coming). Will it be just as good at this one? I think so. I think there’s some bigger issues to address with that one, and I’m looking forward to every moment of it.

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This book releases next week, but you can find pre-orders on:

AmazonKobo | iBooks

If you’d like to read A Shattered Moment, you can find it  from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Tiffany King new profile pictureUSA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Find out more:

#Review: A Shattered Moment, by @AuthorTiffany

A Shattered Moment

Title: A Shattered Moment (Fractured Lives #1)
Author: Tiffany King
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

In the new series by the bestselling author of the Woodfalls Girls novels, six friends—fresh from high school graduation—discover that the future can come at you from out of nowhere.

This is Mackenzie’s story…

Mackenzie Wilson once had hope for what life had to offer, but everything changed on the night of her graduation. A year later, the only way she can find comfort is by keeping her head down and hoping she remains unnoticed at college.

When Bentley James discovered Mac in that twisted SUV, he was just a newbie EMT on his first call. It was a gut-wrenching moment that made him realize not everyone can be saved—and sometimes they don’t want to be.

A chance encounter on campus brings Bentley back into Mac’s life. Despite her initial resistance, he sets out to discover the girl hiding beneath a shield of seclusion. He evokes painful memories in Mac—but also feelings. As the spark between them grows, Mac must decide if she can let go of the past and believe in something as fragile as love… (description from Goodreads)

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It took me a little longer to get my hands on this book than I would have liked. When a Tiffany King novel comes out, I’m always eager to dive right in. Now that I’ve finally read A Shattered Moment, I can say that the wait was worth it. This book is another to put on my favorites shelf.

One of the great things about this book was that King packed in so much emotions without being heavy handed about it. There’s love, loss, anxiety, fear. It’s all within the pages of this book, but it’s spread out well and written to grab a readers’ attention, their heart, but not tear it out completely. Just tugging on it a little. A book dealing with issues like this one did could have gone overboard with it all, but I don’t think it would have worked well, that way.

It’d be hard to discuss what I enjoyed about the plot without chancing spoilers. It’s not that anything super crazy happened, but I think it’d best to go into this one blind. It’ll help everything have the full impact it deserves. What I can say is that this is another book with great characters, from King. I enjoyed the chapters from Mac’s POV best. What her character has to struggle with and through, seeing it through her eyes is the best way to let the story unfold. I didn’t mind Bentley’s POV either, though I felt like his voice changed a bit abruptly nearing the middle of the book. It changed for the better, though, and at first I wasn’t his biggest fan even if he was a nice guy. Even King’s secondary characters, while they’re seen and heard from only briefly, worked well.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the Fractured Lives series. I’m not sure what’ll have in store, but with writing like King gave readers in this book, I’m eagerly awaiting its release.

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You can find A Shattered Moment from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Tiffany King new profile pictureUSA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Find out more:

#Review: Aurora Sky, by @NikkiJefford

Aurora SkyTitle: Aurora Sky (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #1)
Author: Nikki Jefford
Rating: 4/5 stars

“If there is one thing eighteen-year-old Aurora Sky wants, it’s to get off the iceberg she calls home. Being kissed before she graduates wouldn’t hurt either.

Then a near-fatal car wreck changes everything. Government agents step in and save Aurora’s life in exchange for her services as a vampire hunter. In Alaska. Basically she’s a glorified chew toy. All thanks to her rare blood type, which sends a vampire into temporary paralysis right before she has to finish the job… by hand.

Now Aurora’s only friends are groupies of the undead and the only boy she can think about may very well be a vampire. And if he’s a vampire, will she be forced to kill him?” (description from Goodreads)

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This is the first of Jefford’s books that I’ve read, but I’ve known about her work for quite some time. Now, with this one under my belt, I’m not going to put off the rest for as long. This was a great start to what seems like an addicting series, and it seems I have some catching up to do with yet another book coming out soon.

I really enjoyed Aurora Sky, even if I had some issues with it, which I’ll get to. The big picture was great and I think the story was paced well to keep me hooked and moving forward. I think Jefford’s developed some enjoyable main characters and at times it felt like I was really in the cold, barren setting of Alaska.

I also thought the premise was a great one. (I’m not giving much away, this is mainly in the book’s description) The government has a “secret” vampire hunter department and Aurora is forced into it. I say forced because she doesn’t have much choice since they spent a lot of resources on keeping her alive after her car accident. This leads me to one issue: the government agents don’t train Aurora, but throw her out in the field hoping she’ll land on her feet. She’s a dull teenager before all this and is only taking kickboxing classes after school for a few weeks. I felt that if these agents were trying to rid of the world of bad vampires, they’d take the time to really train their hunters and communicate with them better on what their job is.

There was also a “big reveal” that I saw from very early on, which Aurora was oblivious to. It also supports my questioning of the agents’ training methods. Yet, despite all of this, I don’t feel it dampened my enjoyment of the book that much. It was easy to gloss over it and let the story grab me. I think it will be a great series after this, and more will be developed in terms of building this “underground” vampire/government world, and also the characters will have some room to grow and I’m sure many more great characters will show up along the way.

It was a quick, fun read and I don’t read too many vampire books. I’m going to have to start the author’s Spellbound series soon as well to see what that series has in store for me.

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If you’d like to grab a copy of Aurora Sky, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | KoboSmashwords

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About the Author:

Nikki JeffordNikki Jefford loves fictional bad boys and heroines who kick butt. Books, travel, TV series, hiking, writing and motorcycle riding are her favorite escapes. She loves meeting people from all walks of life, from around the globe, and wouldn’t trade her French husband in for anyone – not even Spike!

She’s a third generation Alaskan, born & raised in Anchorage, now living in Northern Washington. Crazy about her dog, Cosmo. (Writer’s best friend.) The dark side of humanity fascinates her, so long as it’s balanced by humor and romance.

Her favorite TV heroines are Buffy, Veronica Mars, and Dr. Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan.

Find out more:

#Review: Exposed, by Kimberly Marcus

ExposedTitle: Exposed
Author: Kimberly Marcus
Rating: 4/5 stars

“In the dim light of the darkroom, I’m alone, but not for long.
As white turns to gray, Kate is with me.
The background of the dance studio blurred, so the focus is all on her
legs extended in a perfect soaring split.
The straight line to my squiggle,
my forever-best friend.

Sixteen-year-old Liz is Photogirl—sharp, focused and confident in what she sees through her camera lens. Confident that she and Kate will be best friends forever.

But everything changes in one blurry night. Suddenly, Kate is avoiding her, and people are looking the other way when she passes in the halls. As the aftershocks from a startling accusation rip through Liz’s world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself shifts out of focus. What happens when the picture you see no longer makes sense? What do you do when you may lose everything you love most? Told in stunning, searingly raw free verse, Exposed is Kimberly Marcus’s gut-wrenching, riveting debut and will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson and Virginia Euwer Wolff.” (description from Goodreads)

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I’m always looking out for more novels in verse to read. Ever since I read my first, I can’t get enough. I found Exposed through a random Goodreads search, and I’m glad I came across it. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from the author in the future.

I thought the way the author chose to incorporated a X (real word omitted to avoid a spoiler) into the book, but not give X the main focus to be interesting. What could be the main plot line of another book was a “minor” plot point in Exposed. It helped to drive characters, family and friends, apart, but also allowed Liz, the main character and narrator, to show a view on X that isn’t often seen in literature. The view of someone caught in the middle, but not a main player.

Aside from the main conflict, I also enjoyed the author’s ability to use the verse novel form. It’s one thing to write a novel in verse, but to use a form that’s more limited with words, that makes the words used have more emphasis, there were many lines in the book that made it feel like a book of poetry as opposed to a novel. There were many moments of pure poetry to convey Liz’s emotions, her view of a situation, and (a favorite part of her character for me) what she sees through the lens of her camera.

This was a great young adult novel told in verse. It was also a great look into another view on an important issue we may all encounter at some point in life. Despite a few vague areas for me, I felt this was a great debut and as I said earlier, I’m looking forward to more from this author.

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If you’d like a copy of Exposed you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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Find more about Kimberly Marcus from her:

Website | Goodreads | Amazon author page