Jul 22, 2017

ARC Review: Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Title: Little & Lion
Author: Brandy Colbert
Publisher: Little, Brown
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Published August 2017

Summary: When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.


I received an advanced copy of this book at BookCon, and I'm not even ashamed to admit that I had total cover lust with this one, and that's what originally drew me to it when I had my choice of books to select as a prize for a spin-the-wheel game. And then when I read the summary, I was definitely drawn in -- because you guys, this book covers so many important topics and subjects and it was just an eye-opening experience on so many levels that I really appreciated and enjoyed reading about.

So, the summary of this book doesn't even remotely begin to cover all of the important topics that this story discusses. For starters, Little & Lion are both siblings in an "unconventional" family, Little and her mother being black, and Lionel and his father being white. In addition to having to answer question after question about her relationship with her brother, Suzette (dubbed "Little" by Lionel himself) is also Jewish. And bisexual...or at least, that's what she's contemplating when we get to the start of the book. She's not exactly rushing to put a label on her feelings, which she hasn't even figured out for herself yet. And to top it off, Lion has bipolar disorder -- which is the reason that she ends up being sent away to a boarding school. (Which is explained in depth in the book, but I won't be spoiling that for you here today!!)

What I really enjoyed about this book was how many important topics that it covered. In just 320-ish pages, Brandy Colbert managed to dig deep into family ties, expression of religion, sexuality (and the feelings and fear behind questioning it), sibling/friend loyalty, polyamory, race, and mental illness. Each character in this book has some sort of rich, important story, which will help the reader delve deeper into one of the aforementioned topics. Not only did I find it interesting to see all of these topics incorporated into one incredible story, but I also learned some things about each of them that I haven't previously known before.

If I had to choose, I'd definitely say that my favorite character in this book was Little. Even though she found herself in some tough situations that required making some undesirable choices (many of which she ended up regretting later, but some which she did not), she faced the consequences head on and just seemed so brave, and, most importantly, so genuine. I could really see myself being friends with somebody like Little. And the relationship she had with her family and her brother? I envy it. I have multiple siblings, but none of us are as close to one another as Little & Lion are.

I also really enjoyed Lion's character as well. For starters, he is a total book nerd, which my heart goes out to (as I'm sure yours does too, since you're on a book blog reading a book review). I also feel that Brandy Colbert did a great job of portraying the ups and downs of his mental illness without making it seem too theatric or fake. Even his episodes, as scary as they were, seemed genuine and real and had me on the edge of my seat. 

Emil was another great character in this book. (Minor spoilers ahead so skip to the next paragraph if you don't want anything spoiled for you!) He was always so kind and calm and compassionate, and level-headed when the situation called for it. He was also super sweet and a total gentleman to Little, which made my heart melt every single time. I shipped the two of them from the beginning (oh, my fangirl heart), and I was actually pretty pleased when the book didn't end the way I was expecting it to. (But how did it end, exactly? You'll just have to read the book to find out!)

Overall, I really enjoyed Little & Lion. If you asked me what category to stick this book into, I'd honestly have a hard time telling you, since it fits into so many important realms in YA lit. If this book isn't on your TBR already, it definitely needs to be (and I know I say that a lot, but I seriously mean it this time!), because this book will cover so many important topics, from relationships to romance to friendship and family to even mental illness. Seriously, this book leaves no stone left unturned and I was incredibly surprised (and grateful) for it.

So hats off to Brandy Colbert, because I really enjoyed this one. I'm looking forward to reading more books from her in the future! 

Jul 20, 2017

Release Week Blitz: Meet Me Under The Stars by KD Proctor!


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Author: KD Proctor
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: BookFish Books (www.bookfishbooks.com)
Cover Designer: Anita B. Carroll, Race-Point US (www.race-point.com)  

About the Book...

When ratings for her popular DIY show start to circle the drain after the sudden death of her sister, Charlotte “Charlie” Conti has only one mission—to plan a comeback. But her sister had other plans. As part of the will, Charlie must work with *him*  to create a memorial scholarship in her sister’s memory. The same *him*  Charlie fell in love with three years ago while working at a summer camp.

The same *him* she dumped to protect his heart.
Sexy British player, Nate Walsh, has sixty days to find a new job or he’ll be deported back to England where he’s no longer welcome. He doesn’t have time to work on a memorial scholarship with *her*. The same *her*  who shattered his heart without explanation or warning.
The same *her*  he’s never gotten over.
Unable to agree on a benefactor for the scholarship, Nate and Charlie challenge each other to a winner-takes-all competition. They both know the only way to win is to turn up the heat and tease one another with the one thing they both want: each other. But as sparks fly, their true feelings resurface. Nate and Charlie must decide if their love is worth the effort or if they'll allow their disastrous past mistakes to destroy their chance at forever.


About the Author…

KD Proctor loved college so much that when it came time to graduate, she didn’t want to leave.  Trading in her textbooks for student handbooks and policy manuals, she began a career in College Student Personnel and she fulfilled her wish to stay on a college campus forever.  She always joked that one day she’d write a book about college students, never expecting that to come true!

KD lives in West Central, Minnesota with her husband and fur-kids.  She likes to write fun twists on the usual tropes that we all love. Her characters are smart, funny, and always swoony.  And yes. They always get their happily ever after.

Before being accepted for publication, MEET ME UNDER THE STARS (formerly titled IF YOU'RE EVER IN TOWN) was the 2016 YARWA winner for the New Adult category.

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Rafflecopter link- Two SWAG boxes with $25.00 gift card, signed paperback, and other goodies!

Find KD here:

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/kd_proctor/


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We'd like to thank the lovely team over at BookFish for including us in another spectacular blitz! Based on the teasers alone, the book is definitely something that we want to be checking out. If this book isn't on your TBR, add it ASAP -- because we are, too!

Jul 19, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Jessica's Waiting on:

Title: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Publisher: Putnam
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017 

Summary: Ever since Esther Solar's grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther's father is agoraphobic and hasn't left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck. The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them. Esther doesn't know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares. Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn't counted on: love.

I know that the golden rule is to not judge a book by its cover, but it was definitely the title of this book that caught my eye at first. Not only did it made me laugh, but it clued me in to the idea that this book was going to be funny while also a little serious, which is just how I like things. 

And then, upon reading the summary, I was even more hooked. The idea of facing everything that you're terrified of? Totally badass. The potential for love to be involved? Even more adorable. I didn't even know I needed a book like this until I came across it, and now it's one of my most anticipated reads for the slew of upcoming September releases. 

So yeah, I'm definitely really excited to read this one. Both the title and the summary (and yes, even the cover) caught my eye, and I'm excited to see where Esther and Jonah's adventures take them, and all of the places and things they discover along the way. Can September come soon enough?!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so I can stop back!