Tag: romance

Summer Constellations

Author: Alisha Sevigny
To Be Published: May 1, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: April 12-17, 2018

Book Description:

Julia Ducharme is ready for a fresh start. Her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, and now she just wants to enjoy peak season at the campground her family owns. Maybe this will be the year her annual summer fling with Dan Schaeffer becomes something more?

But her summer dreams are quickly shattered. First, Dan arrives for vacation with a new girlfriend in tow, and then Julia discovers this may be her last summer in the only home she’s ever known.

Crushing medical bills have brought her single mom to the brink of bankruptcy, and a wealthy developer is sniffing around the campground. He sees what Julia sees: lush woods, a pristine lake, miles of trails for adventure. Unlike Julia, he thinks this is the perfect spot for a casino resort.

Heartbroken and afraid, Julia looks to the stars for some perspective. Taking her telescope down to the dock one night, she has a chance encounter with a guitar-playing boy who offers some helpful advice. Too bad this handsome stranger is the developer’s son, Nick Constantine.

As plans for a resort move forward, Julia is desperate to find a solution that doesn’t mean leaving the lake. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his father’s aggressive business tactics. He promises that, together, they can thwart the sale.

But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever she trust him with her heart?
Jessica’s Review:

If Summer Constellations  had been published when I was a teenager, it would have most likely been one of my favorite books! It is a perfect summer read for a teen girl, especially if she is going camping.  I am not the target demographic for this novel, but I still enjoyed it!

There is the whole summer romance involved  and Julia is just the ‘normal’ teenage girl. I would have identified with her as a teen.  When she finds out her mom may be selling the only home she has ever known she is not happy at all. She works to try to do everything she can to prevent the sale from happening.  And then there is Nick…. Oh wow: Should she trust him or not? Is he just taking advantage of her situation to get what he wants? And what does he really want?????

I am not a quick reader but had this one read in a few days.  It is a quick and enjoyable read and I wanted to know what was going to happen. Was mom going to sell the campground or not????   I was rooting for Julia to be successful in what she wanted.  The middle did drag a little for me, but the ending made up for it being bittersweet and it really gets moving in the last 50 pages.

Sevigny really captured everything I loved in this novel.  She even did well with the realism with how mom felt with the financial situation.  You could feel how torn mom is about selling.  If you have a teen daughter, let her read this novel.

Summer Constellations is recommended. Thank you KCP Loft for my ARC copy!

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK (Publication Day is May 3rd)

Someday, Somewhere

Author: Lindsay Champion
Published: April 3, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 28-April 11, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Dominique is a high school junior from a gritty neighborhood in Trenton, where she and her mom are barely getting by.

Ben is a musical prodigy from the Upper East Side, a violinist at a top conservatory with obsessive talent and a brilliant future.

When Dom’s class is taken to hear a concert at Carnegie Hall, she expects to be bored out of her mind. But then she sees the boy in the front row playing violin like his life depends on it — and she is transfixed.

Posing as an NYU student, Dom sneaks back to New York City to track down Ben Tristan, a magnetic genius who whisks her into a fantasy world of jazz clubs and opera, infatuation and possibility. Each sees something in the other that promises to complete them.

As Dom’s web of lies grows, though, so does Ben’s obsessive need to conquer Beethoven’s famous Kreutzer Sonata. But Ben’s genius, which captivates Dominique, conceals a secret, and the challenges of her life may make it difficult to help him.

Author Lindsay Champion’s deep roots in theater and music are evident on every page — structured like a sonata with hints of West Side Story, her debut novel hits all the right notes.

Jessica’s Review:

Someday, Somewhere is Lindsay Champion’s debut novel, and it is quite the debut! She takes what she knows of music in life and brings it to us on the page.  I was in band in high school, so I was looking forward to the musical aspect of the novel to ‘bring me back’ to that time.  And let me say this about the cover: It is beautiful!

We have two alternating points of view in Someday, Somewhere  and going between both Dom and Ben keeps you wanting to read the next chapter to see what happens next. You can’t help but like all the characters, but my favorite was Cass. I know the story is Dom and Ben’s but Cass stole the show for me. I wanted more of Cass and need a Cass in my life!

Yes, they are both teens and they make the mistakes that teens will most likely make.  You can’t help but root for Dom and Ben and want them to be happy though things are against them.  I pictured Ben as David Garrett, even though Ben’s hair is dark. It is the talent that both Ben and David have that made me compare the two.

Someday, Somewhere is more than a sweet YA romance; it deals with some serious issues including race, poverty, lies, and abandonment. Don’t think you are going into this novel with a sweet, pleasant outcome: It deals with real issues with a real ending. I applaud Champion for ‘going against the grain’ of having a happy ending. As long as you keep this in mind you should enjoy Someday, Somewhere. These are lifelike characters that make ‘real people’ mistakes.

Someday, Somewhere is recommended. Thank you to KCP Loft for sending me a copy to read and review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Rebel with a Cupcake

Author: Anna Mainwaring
Published:  April 3, 2018
208 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 20-27, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Jesobel Jones is bold and brash, the daughter of a hand model and a washed-up rock star. Jess sees no need to apologize for her rambling house, her imperfect family, her single status … or her weight. Jess is who she is. She makes her own cupcakes and she eats them, too. No regrets.

That is, until Own Clothes Day rolls around at school. Jess and her friends dedicate the requisite hours of planning to their outfits, their hair and their makeup for the one day they are free from school uniforms. But a wardrobe malfunction leaves Jess with a pair of leggings split open at the worst spot, and a mean girl calling her the one thing that’s never bothered her before: fat.

The encounter shakes Jess’s formerly iron-clad confidence, and she starts to wonder if she’s been just a little too comfortable in her own skin. When the boy of her dreams invites her to a party, she must decide whether to try to fit in for the first time in her life, or remain true to herself — whoever that really is.

Jessica’s Review:

**This review will have spoilers without giving too many in depth details.**

I liked Jesobel (Jess), she is spunky and embraces herself for who she is…then she has a wardrobe malfunction at school.  It is like Mean Girls and The Duff but worse. You see how catty teen girls are to teach other now.  Jess is far from perfect which makes her seem all the more real. I liked how she enjoys cooking AND eating.  I liked the Jess at the beginning where she embraces herself.

Despite liking Jess, the story is not original.  It is the typical teen ‘makeover type’ story as Jess has a crush on the popular boy at school. When she begins to get attention from him she has varying questions: Does he like her? Is this a date or not?  She is unsure of his intentions- is he interested in her or is this something else?

I did not like that Jess tries to change herself for a guy.  Also, her mom buys her a dress for prom that is one size smaller than she wears.  Mom means well (she used to be a hand model); she is just going about it the wrong way.

In the end Jess does end up comfortable with who she is and accepts herself.  She even writes an article for a blog that goes viral. And she gets the guy… but which guy?

I liked how each chapter started with an ‘invisible rule’ or ‘observation’ made by Jess. Let’s have a whole book like that! It was very Bridget Jones like, and I love Bridget!

This is a novel that has a good message of embracing yourself for who you are.  No one is perfect and we are our own person. Trying to change yourself for someone else won’t help.  Be comfortable with who you are!  Don’t let those “mean girls” tell you who you should be.

I did like Jess, but for the most part I did not really connect with the novel. I think the teenage drama in this novel was a bit much for me.  It makes me glad I am not a teenager now.  Other than the issues I had I would say  I would recommend it as it does have an overall good message.

Special thanks to KCP Loft for sending me a copy to read and review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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