New Release: Natalie and the Nerd, by @Amy_Sparling

Amy Sparling has a new book out today! You’ve seen my reviews of a few of her books, so you know I’ve enjoyed her work. This new book is another that I’m looking forward to add to my Summer Reading TBR.

And, Amy has something special going on during release week. From May 30th until June 5th she’s having an “Instagram Blitz”. It’s a newer concept, so you should get in on the fun before everyone starts doing it! If you take part, you can be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book. For some more info, click HERE. And for more info on the book itself, please continue down the page…

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Natalie’s school work is the last priority on her long list of things to worry about. Since her parent’s divorce, her mom’s boutique—their only source of income—is about to go under, and Natalie spent all summer and most of her senior year trying to save the little shop. Now that she’s in danger of failing high school, the assistant principal (who happens to be her evil step mother) is making Natalie join daily tutoring sessions with Jonah Garza, the school’s valedictorian.

Taking math lessons from the rich nerdy boy is the last thing Natalie wants to do, but Jonah needs these community service hours to get into Harvard, so he’s not going to give up on her. In addition to working at the boutique and studying with Jonah, Natalie’s lifelong crush just started paying attention to her. She’s being pulled in so many directions, she doesn’t think to question why the son of the biggest business mogul in town is suddenly trying to win her affections.

When her crush betrays her and the store goes into foreclosure, Natalie has to choose between fighting harder to keep her mom’s dream alive, or fighting to pass high school and start a future of her own.

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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:

#Review: What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones

Title: What My Girlfriend Doesn’t KnowWhat My Girlfriend Doesn't Know
Author: Sonya Sones
Rating: 4/5 Stars

“My name is Robin.
This book is about me.
It tells the story of what happens
when after almost 15 pathetic years of loserdom,
the girl of my dreams finally falls for me.

That seems like it would be
good thing, right?
Only it turns out to be
a lot more complicated than that

Because I’m not gonna lie to you —
there are naked women involved.
Four of them, to be exact.
Though not in the way you might think.

Don’t get me wrong — my girlfriend’s amazing.
But the way things have been going lately,
I’m starting to believe that the only thing worse
than not getting what you want,

is getting it.” (description from Goodreads)

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Again, Sonya Sones brings a great novel in the form of poetry. What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know is the sequel to Sones’ free-verse novel What My Mother Doesn’t Know, and was a great addition to the first book.

It was a little weird going from book one to this book because of the POV switch from Sophie as the narrator to it being told by Robin, but in time I grew to like him, as well. I feel that Sones was able to capture the mindset of a teenage male accurately, and that’s part of the success of this book. While I didn’t like his voice all the time or some of the decisions made in the story, I feel that Robin did things how even I would have at that age.

The way Sones uses poetry to tell a story, rather than prose, is what makes her writing so enjoyable to me. There might be a lack of word count, but there’s just as much depth to what the sparse pages hold for the reader. I also liked how there were a few poem/chapters that were “concrete poems,” which  used words to create a picture instead of just having the words describe the subject.

I continue to be pleased with Sones’ work and can’t wait to see what else she has written.

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Want to read this book? You can grab a copy from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

(look into getting a used print version, due to it being MUCH cheaper than the ebooks)

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About the Author:

Sonya Sones is an American poet and author. She has written four young adult novels in verse, as well as a novel in verse for adults and a picture book.

You can find more about Sonya here: