New Release: 180 Seconds, by @JessicaPark24

A new book from Jessica Park? Yes! That’s what I have for you today. It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to share a new one from Jessica, but the wait is always worth it.

And if reading about the book today doesn’t make you buy the book, I may be able to convince you a bit more in the near future. I have an ARC of this one to read. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to read more than a few chapters yet. Life’s gotten in the way of my reading time…but I’m really into what I’ve read so far! So stay tuned for that review. It’ll be coming hopefully soon.

And if 180 Seconds isn’t enough book for you today, be sure to check out Lia Riley’s brand new release It Happened on Love Street. Click on that title to read more about it. Continue down this post for more about Park’s. I’m enjoying both right now, no matter how slowly I’m moving along.
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Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

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Want to grab a copy now? You can find it over on

Amazon

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About the Author:

Jessica Park is the author of LEFT DROWNING, FLAT-OUT LOVE, the FOL companion novella, FLAT-OUT MATT., FLAT-OUT CELESTE (new!), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. Jessica grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After spending four years in the frigid north, including suffering through one memorable Halloween blizzard, Jessica hightailed it back to the east coast. She now lives in (relatively balmy) New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dogs named Fritzy and Finn, and a selfish cat. When not writing, Jessica indulges her healthy obsessions with Facebook and complicated coffee beverages.

 You can e-mail her HERE. Tell her about your ex-boyfriend who was a font nerd. Or send pictures of awesome Flat People on adventures. (You get bonus points for this. Possibly some sort of award, too.) Stories of online romance. Apartment rental disasters. Skydiving experiences… Whatever you want. And like any normal person, she has an online addiction, so you can find her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER where she updates with much greater regularity than she does on her blog.

Jessica is a huge proponent of self-publishing — after all, it worked well for her! — and has put together some thoughts for other authors on the self-publishing process and its pros and cons on this site.

Find more on:

#NewRelease: Restless Waters, by @JessicaPark24

Do you remember when I raved about Left Drowning a few years back? You know, that amazing novel from Jessica Park? Well, I have a treat for you today. Park’s released the sequel!

It’s sort of a sneak attack, and one I welcome with open arms. I already one-clicked it over on Amazon once I saw it was live…I didn’t even have to see what the book was about. But if you need to know more, there’s all the information you might need below. And if you need a refresher on Left Drowning, here’s my review from 2013.
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Restless Waters

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From New York Times bestselling author Jessica Park comes the long-anticipated sequel to Left Drowning.

A storm is coming, and with storms come restless waters.

Pulled from the depths of catastrophe and depression, Blythe McGuire has learned to escape from her past while embracing the future. A future now entwined with the Shepherd siblings.

With Chris, she shares a staggering romance that kicks heartbreak’s ass.

With Sabin, she shares an intense friendship, one that’s becoming more complicated than either had expected. A friendship now being put to the test because Sabin’s brutal past still haunts him. Because trauma is the gift that keeps on giving without mercy.

Now Sabin is the one left drowning and struggling to breathe, and his turmoil threatens to send all three into dark currents they cannot escape. Even after going through her own hell, saving Sabin will take much more than Blythe had anticipated. Their connection and their love could help, but getting him to reach for her hand could be Blythe’s biggest challenge ever.

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Want to grab a copy now? You can find it over on

Amazon

…and if you still need to read Left Drowning, you can also find it on

Amazon

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About the Author:

Jessica Park is the author of LEFT DROWNING, FLAT-OUT LOVE, the FOL companion novella, FLAT-OUT MATT., FLAT-OUT CELESTE (new!), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. Jessica grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After spending four years in the frigid north, including suffering through one memorable Halloween blizzard, Jessica hightailed it back to the east coast. She now lives in (relatively balmy) New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dogs named Fritzy and Finn, and a selfish cat. When not writing, Jessica indulges her healthy obsessions with Facebook and complicated coffee beverages.

 You can e-mail her HERE. Tell her about your ex-boyfriend who was a font nerd. Or send pictures of awesome Flat People on adventures. (You get bonus points for this. Possibly some sort of award, too.) Stories of online romance. Apartment rental disasters. Skydiving experiences… Whatever you want. And like any normal person, she has an online addiction, so you can find her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER where she updates with much greater regularity than she does on her blog.

Jessica is a huge proponent of self-publishing — after all, it worked well for her! — and has put together some thoughts for other authors on the self-publishing process and its pros and cons on this site.

Find more on:

#NewRelease: Clear, by @JessicaPark24

JESSICA PARK HAS A NEW BOOK OUT!

Oh, sorry. didn’t mean to yell at you so soon. But I’m a very happy reader right now. Jessica Park, one of my favorite authors, has a new book out today. Release days from Jessica Park are one of my favorite days of the year and I can’t wait to read this one. Maybe you feel the same. Find out more below…

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Clear

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Stella Ford’s grasp on reality is already loose, and it’s about to come undone.

When the college junior flees Chicago and leaves her toxic family behind, she heads for coastal Maine to find the one person who brought her peace years ago: Sam Bishop. But the Sam she once knew now has painful secrets.  

Stella is determined to heal them both. Healing, however, is a challenge when the walls of her everyday existence collapse. And when Sam’s best friend is his worst enemy.

When the line between life and death blurs.

When an end is just a beginning.

When lust and rage rule.

Yet during extraordinary chaos, there can be extraordinary love, even if that love comes with a twist.

Welcome to death tripping.

A thriller, a paranormal, and a passionate romance, CLEAR crosses genres and breaks boundaries.

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Want to grab a copy of Clear? You can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Flat-Out Love | Flat-Out Matt | Flat-Out Celeste

Left Drowning

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About the Author:

jessicaparkJessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Find out more:

#CoverReveal: Clear, by @JessicaPark24

What’s this? A cover reveal for a Jessica Park book? Yes, that’s right! I’m pleased to announce that one of my favorite authors has a new book coming out. You know that I’ve loved the Flat-Out series, as well as Left Drowning. This time around Park will be bringing readers a paranormal romance. This is new territory for Park, at least to my knowledge of her work, and I can’t be more excited for the February release.

Clear

Release date: February 17, 2015

b3459-goodreads-badge-add-plus-2d25bb0f32eeac8660c13a521cf00c8e

Stella Ford’s grasp on reality is already loose, and it’s about to come undone.

When the college junior flees Chicago and leaves her toxic family behind, she heads for coastal Maine to find the one person who brought her peace years ago: Sam Bishop. But the Sam she once knew now has painful secrets.  

Stella is determined to heal them both. Healing, however, is a challenge when the walls of her everyday existence collapse. And when Sam’s best friend is his worst enemy.

When the line between life and death blurs.

When an end is just a beginning.

When lust and rage rule.

Yet during extraordinary chaos, there can be extraordinary love, even if that love comes with a twist.

Welcome to death tripping.

A thriller, a paranormal, and a passionate romance, CLEAR crosses genres and breaks boundaries.

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This book won’t be released for a few weeks, but Jessica Park has other books out that you can take a look at. They’ve been some of my favorite books. If you’re interested, you can find out more from my reviews of:

Flat-Out Love | Flat-Out Matt | Flat-Out Celeste

Left Drowning

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About the Author:

jessicaparkJessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Find out more:

2014, A Year in Review(s)

Now that it’s 2015, it’s time to take a quick look back at the 2014 reading year. I’ll be the first to admit it was a strange year (for reading and otherwise). The book world has changed a lot since I started blogging, and in the last year the trend continues, sometimes at a rapid increase.

You may have noticed a change in my blogging, as well. I started out the year with a challenge to read 5 short stories a week and post mini-reviews. That series, A Storied Week, was short lived, though it was fun while it lasted. I also wanted to focus more on my writing and less on reviewing. That was only partly accomplished. I didn’t have as many reviews and I wrote a few things. I hope that, even with the change and less frequent posting, you’ve still found pleasure in stopping by and that you’ve found some great books to check out.

In 2015 I think it’ll be much of the same around here, though I hope that with the recent start of Story Time Friday, reading the blog will be a better experience each week. We’ve already had some great work in the first few weeks. I’ll be trying to include my own work more often this year. And don’t worry, even though I don’t plan on opening my doors for review requests any time soon (closing them was the BEST thing I could have done for my reading and my sanity), I’ll still be reviewing much of what I read. I don’t think that’ll ever change.

So, now that I rambled about all that, how about you continue to the rest of the post, to what you’ve all been waiting for. Here are my “best books read in 2014” lists. As always, there’s no specific order to the lists inside the categories. The first isn’t necessarily my favorite. Also, I decided not to do a list for short stories this year. I read too many, but had many duds.I also read many of them early in 2014, so it’d be hard to recall them for a best of at this point.

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NOVELS

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VERSE NOVEL

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POETRY

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NON-FICTION

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GRAPHIC NOVELS/COMICS

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FAVORITE AUTHORS

  • S.M. Boyce, for her Grimoire Saga which concluded this year with Illusion. I’ve go on and on about Boyce’s writing for years, ever since I read Lichgates in 2012. I was both happy and depressed when her series ended, but it just means I can move onto the next project Boyce has in store for her readers. I’m already clearing space off my shelves for whatever it is.
  • Francesca Lia Block, who first caught my attention years ago with Weetzie Bat. I reacquainted myself with that book and the rest of that series this year. I’ve also ventured into a good chunk of Block’s body of work and 2015 is sure to be a continuation of that journey.
  • Chelsea M. Cameron, one of the authors I met back in September. I’ve known her online early on in this blog’s life in 2012 and have finally begun to read her novels and I’m not sure why I waited so long.
  • Jessica Park will stay on my favorite authors list for some time. Even though she takes her time writing and releasing books (like my other favorite author S.M. Boyce) I know that with my patience I’ll be rewarded with a book worth the wait. This year’s Flat-Out Celeste, a sequel to Flat-Out Love from a few years back, blew me away.
  • Rebecca Makkai, the author of The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House. I read these both this year and have recommended them to many friends since. I’ve also checked out some of the short fiction Makkai has out and it’s just as high up on my list of great work. I’ll be eagerly awaiting this author’s next book. Part of me is hoping it’ll be a collection of short stories.
  • Honorable mentions: Tiffany King (she’ll always be one of my favorites), Tara Sivec (another great author I keep coming back to), Richard Stephenson (his New America series is worth checking out. Book 3 out in the spring), Megan Erickson and Christina Lee (two authors I discovered late in the year but who I know will be filling my “read pile” in 2015).

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BEST OF:

2012 | 2013

Line curvyPlease feel free to comment on this post with some of your favorite reads and authors of 2014. We should always be about sharing the book love!

 

#NewRelease: Flat-Out Celeste, by @JessicaPark24

Recently I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of Jessica Park’s newest book, Flat-Out Celeste. You may have seen my review of it already. Today, I’d like to let you in on some great news…Flat-Out Celeste has been released for your reading pleasure!

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Whether you were charmed by Celeste in Flat-Out Love or are meeting her for the first time, this book is a joyous celebration of differences, about battling private wars that rage in our heads and in our hearts, and—very much so— this is a story about first love..

For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.

But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him.

Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.

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You can purchase Flat-Out Celeste from:

Amazon | B&N

If you still need to grab the other Flat-Out books before you read Flat-Out Celeste:

Flat-Out Love

Amazon | B&N (print only)
My Review

Flat-Out Matt
(companion to FOL, should be read after)

Amazon
My Review

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About the Author:

Jessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Find out more:

#ARC #Review: Flat-Out Celeste, by @JessicaPark24

FOCTitle: Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love #2)
Author: Jessica Park
Rating: 5/5 stars

Whether you were charmed by Celeste in Flat-Out Love or are meeting her for the first time, this book is a joyous celebration of differences, about battling private wars that rage in our heads and in our hearts, and—very much so— this is a story about first love.

For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.

But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him.

Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.” (description from Goodreads)

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*This is an ARC review*

Even though this goes against my normal reviewing norms, I have to say that I flat-out LOVED this book. Yea, cheesy I know, but it’s true. Like the books I’ve read from Park in the past, this one has also blown me away. I read Flat-Out Love, and it’s companion Flat-Out Matt last year as an introduction to Park’s work. Those two books, to this day, have stuck with me for their characters, story, and more.

When I first heard that Jessica Park was taking one of my favorite characters from FOL and giving that character her own book…I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Celeste, Matt’s sister, was a big reason why I enjoyed the other books. She, like the rest of the Watkin’s family, went through major trauma and developed some issues from that. In FOL we see her in her early teens, and while we sympathize with her, we don’t get her POV really.

Now, in Flat-Out Celeste, Celeste is a senior in high school. She also still has major anxiety in social situations, no friends, and the pressure of trying to be as “normal” as she can be. It’s not easy, though we can see early on that she’s changed since we first met her. Her peculiarities (and the fact that she still doesn’t use contractions often, if at all) made her easy to sympathize with, while not being one to pity. Park created Celeste to be an oddball, but she’s more than that. I think readers can see themselves to an extent in the character. No one’s perfect. Many people have some thing that causes anxiety, especially in social situations. Following along with Celeste as she deals with a first love and the pressure of choosing a college brought it all home in a way. Even though she might exhibit her quirks in an extreme way, I felt I could relate to much of what she was feeling and much of what was going through her mind.

Justin Milano was also a great character. In many ways he was the opposite of Celeste, while having his own quirks. I found the chemistry between them perfect, and that alone would have made a great story. We also get to enjoy Matt, with his great collection of geeky shirts, and some other secondary characters new and old.

If I continue, I run the risk of either fan-girling too much or spoiling the book, or both. Fans of Flat-Out Love are likely to love this book, as well. Even new readers could pick this one up and enjoy it, but for the full effect, I’d recommend reading FOL first. I loved seeing Celeste’s character grow. I think it has a great romance element, but there’s an even more important message about fitting in and being comfortable with who you are that I think Park presented in an expert way through her out of the ordinary characters. FOC is already one of my favorite books of the year and will be tough to top.

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Flat-Out Celeste is set to release later this month. You still have time to check out some other flat-out amazing books from Park!

You can purchase Flat-Out Celeste from:

Amazon | B&N

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Flat-Out Love (#1)

Amazon | B&N (print only)
My Review

Flat-Out Matt (#1.5, companion to be read after FOL)

Amazon
My Review

and Left Drowning, one of my favorite books from 2013 (not in the Flat-Out series)

Amazon
My Review

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About the Author:

Jessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Find out more: