Thursday, February 14, 2019

Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell-- Review & Giveaway

Just for Clicks

by Kara McDowell
Publisher: Amberjack
Release Date: February 19th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they're expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as "just Claire"? And what should Claire do about Mom's old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don't sound like Mom's perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

I knew I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw that it was about blogging.  I've always wondered what it was like for the children of "mommy bloggers" once they grow up-- and now I've had the chance to read about some!!

It was effortless to fall into this story of twins who grew up in social media spotlight. This book is very NOW-- famous bloggers, Instagram influencers, vlogging, and doing it all for the clicks/likes/comments.  Chloe is the twin who feels uncomfortable with being so exposed, Poppy is the one who thrives on it.  When Claire meets someone (Rafael) who seems to not know anything about her online life, her heart soars at the possibility of being able to be someone different around him.

I really liked Claire, but wanted just a tad more from her. She didn't delve into her feelings quite enough for me. Also, I could not visualize her as 1/2 of a famous duo.  They would talk about doing hair tutorial vlogs or Q&A vlogs, and I just could not picture her as one of those upbeat cheery people.  I mean, I knew she was faking it, but I couldn't even picture her doing that convincingly.  She was so unhappy and disinterested in it.

Rafael was adorable and very needed in this book.  The relationship was super slow and more of a friendship for the majority of the book (which is what Claire really needed anyway).  Poppy was a surprising non-factor. I wish she didn't just disappear from the story right when we started to get to know the characters.  Her and Claire's twin connection could have and should have been stronger-- especially after the big twist is revealed.  Where did she go during all of that turmoil??

This book was a happy surprise for me.  I haven't been reading as many fluffy contemporaries and if there are more like this one, I just may get back into them.  It was fun, but had enough serious issues to keep me turning pages.

OVERALL: Cute and thought-provoking!  I fell into this story and ALLLLL the issues that being social media famous brings.  The romance is adorable and slow, the family issues are complicated and scandalous.  I totally recommend this one-- a great debut for this author!

My Rating: 4/5

Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.

JUST FOR CLICKS is Kara's debut novel.

  • 1 copy of JUST FOR CLICKS by Kara McDowell
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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday-- Recent Couples

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (February 11th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Favorite Couples In Books

  • This is kinda hard for me because I haven't been reading as many romantic books in the last few years.  I also don't really read fantasy-- which usually have a lot of couplings.
  • I do have a lot of OTPs from back in the day (Sam & Kent from Before I Fall, Katniss & Peeta from THG, Cinder & Thorne from TLC), but I'm going to limit this list to the last 10 couples that caught my eye.

1.  Claudia & Gideon
Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
  • This story wasn't really about the romance, but seeing if these 2 were heading towards "friend zone" or something more was a fun part of the book.
2.  Mia & Owen
Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
  • I am a sucker for broken hearts and those 2nd chance romances.
3.  Chloe & Grady
  • I loooooove Chloe Snow.  And I love her with Grady.
4.  Jessa & Max
Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda
  • Max was everything in this book.
5.  Ellie & Owen
A Week of the Mondays by Jessica Brody
  • Ellie wasn't my fave of all fave main characters, but BFF romances are adorable.

6.  Annie & Jeremiah
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
  • I had complicated feelings about this romance, but I ended up liking how patient Jeremiah was.
7.  Sarah & Ryan
The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
  • YES.  Being in love with your best friend's boyfriend may be wrong, but it makes for such good build up in books.
8.  Sasha & Xavier
Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten
  • Okay, so maybe I'm not supposed to ship anyone in this book-- but I don't care, I do.

9.  Emmy & Oliver
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
  • Emmy & Oliver were adorable together-- even after so many years, they still had that connection.

10.  Juliet & Declan
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
  • There was a lot more to this book than just a romance, but I liked how Juliet & Declan were able to find each other to help deal with similar situations.  It always helps to have someone to talk to that has gone through what you are going through.

So those are my most recent favorite couples.  Who are you shipping right now?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday-- Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (February 5th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Upcoming Releases I'm On The Fence About

  • I am a notorious slow reader (at least compared to some of you guys), so I **think I want to read these upcoming books, but with a limited reading schedule will I really have time??  Help me decide which of these should be definites and which are mehhhh.

1.  Screen Queens by Lori Goldstein- the cover screams ME, but will I like a book about a tech competition??

2.  Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen- I'm picky about romance, but this one sounds cute & I like the premise.

3.  This Book is Not Yet Rated by Peter Bognanni- I haven't really heard anything about this book, but I'm all about saving the nostalgia!!

4.  Fan the Flame by Anna Primes- There's only so many "dangers of the internet" I want to read, so should this one be one of them??

5.  Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard- I've never read anything by this author and I kind of want to??

6.  Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich- I didn't love the one book I read by this author, but I do like mysteries that play out over time...

7.  When I Was Summer by J.B. Howard- I am super picky about road trip books (and band books TBH).

8.  What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman- Another book with a road trip, but it sounds a lot darker?

9.  When the Light Went Out by Bridget Morrisey- I haven't really heard anyone talking about this one, but there's a reunion of old friends and a scavenger hunt to solve a mystery???  Sounds kind of interesting.

10.  The Devouring Gray (#1) by Christine Lynn Herman- I really don't read Fantasy, but my goal is to try to fit in at least 1-3 per year.  This could be a candidate.

So, have you read any of these yet??  Heard anything about them??  Think any sound like they should be keepers?

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Throwback Read: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten Rule

Sarah has always kind of liked Ryan-- but currently, he's Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah has always been there for Brianna and she doesn't want to betray her best friend, but Ryan just seems to get her unlike anybody else.  As hard as she tries to stay away, the more it seems like she keeps getting put in situations where she's alone with Ryan.

Will Sarah be able to keep her feelings at bay, and will her friendship with Brianna be able to survive this betrayal?

Sometimes I need a blast from my reading past to remind me why I read and love YA.  It's not that I forget, it's just that sometimes I get into a slump and start feeling like maybe I'm starting to get bored.  Reading this book, a book by one of my favorite authors that I hadn't previous read, proved to be exactly what I needed to get back on track.

It's a common trope, girl is in love with boy, but boy is dating girl's best friend.  The difference here is this one had FEELING.  I felt every single thing that Sarah felt.  I cried.  My robot heart short circuited a little because Sarah was in so much pain-- and I felt that.

It helped that Brianna wasn't all that likable.  She overlooks Sarah and Ryan's feelings time and time again because she's so into herself.  Her redeeming quality is that she's going through some pretty horrific family stuff, so at times it's understandable that she be self-centered.

My favorite part of this whole book is the reminder that sometimes toxic friendships exist no matter how much you love the person.  I had a friendship that I loved the person like a sister, but had to let her go-- and I think about her all the time, but I can't be friends with her and it sucks.  I think that's what is really at the heart of this book, and for that, I'm thankful.

I think we all need to read books that touch our hearts, and I'm so happy I found this at a time when I needed it.  So many of Elizabeth Scott's books have been at the right place and the right time for me over the years (my fave is: Love You, Hate You, Miss You), and I really wish she would write a new book soon!

OVERALL: Tropey, but in all the best ways.  If you want to read an "I'm in love with my best friend's boyfriend" book, go no further.  This book had the trope but did it in the exact right way.  Plus, any book that can make me cry these days is pretty special.

Date Published: 3/16/2010
How I got this book: Purchased
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 5/5

Character: Sarah Houplin
Book: The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby

  • I think Sarah's tennis shoe designs mean more to her than she's admitting, and I'd bet she'd really like to read a book about other creative teens.

Monday, January 28, 2019

WE TOLD SIX LIES by Victoria Scott-- What is the worst lie you've ever told?

I am so excited to be participating in the WE TOLD SIX LIES Prompt Tour-- where the last week of January is devoted to Molly- and her's and your untruths!

Follow along with the tour (including HERE) and answer the prompt question for a chance to win one of two signed copies of WE TOLD SIX LIES by Victoria Scott.

We Told Six Lies

Remember how many lies we told, Molly? It’s enough to make my head spin. You were wild when I met you, and I was mad for you. But then something happened. And now you’re gone.

But don’t worry. I’ll find you. I just need to sift through the story of us to get to where you might be. I’ve got places to look, and a list of names.

The police have a list of names, too. See now? There’s another lie. There is only one person they’re really looking at, Molly.

And that’s yours truly.

Release Date: 2/5/2019

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Entangled Publishing