Review: When We Collided



Seventeen year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he is not. With a mother lost in a deep bout of depression, Jonah and his five siblings struggle to keep up their home and the restaurant their dad left behind. But at the start of summer, a second change rolls in: Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town.

Vivi is in love with life. Charming and unfiltered, she refuses to be held down by the medicine she’s told should make her feel better. After meeting Jonah, she slides into the Daniels’ household seamlessly, winning over each sibling with her imagination and gameness. But it’s not long before Vivi’s zest for life begins to falter. Soon her adventurousness becomes all-out danger-seeking.

Through each high and low, Vivi and Jonah’s love is put to the test . . . but what happens when love simply isn’t enough?

My Thoughts:



Phew…enough partying…on to business.

I adored When We Collided. I’m always wary when I’m REALLY excited for a book because I’m scared that it won’t be nearly as great as I’m hoping. That said, I was scared going into this one because I LOVE Emery Lord’s past two books.

So, I did what any sane person would do…I didn’t even read the summary going into it.


I’m not going to lie, I wish that I HAD read the summary just so that I might have been a tiny bit prepared for what was about to happen to my heart.

So many books try hard to talk about mental illness and just come up short no matter how hard they might try.

This book though…it honestly hits the nail right on the head.

Sometimes people have problems for no reason at all. Sometimes they can bounce back- sometimes not. People get told to “get over it and move on.” There are so many ways to look at mental illness correctly and incorrectly. This gets it 200% CORRECT. We see both sides with the struggle and with outsiders learning how to respond to those that they love and it is just…beautiful.

I hate to say it, but I can relate to the descriptions of depression in the book, so I know how accurate the descriptions of feeling “nothing” are despite having no problems that SHOULD make one feel that way.

This is just such an important book and I can’t wait until the fall so that I can immediately purchase it for my library. I know tons of kids will be able to relate to the characters aside from the areas surrounding mental illness. These characters are living REAL lives that teens will be able to connect with!

Do yourself a huge favor and get When We Collided when it releases next week!


Waiting on Wednesday: Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson



From Morgan Matson, the bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone comes a feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans.

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?


Okay, so I’ve never read a book by Morgan Matson…but I want to.

I’ve wanted to read her books for awhile and just never got around to it, but I think this just might be where I start.

It sounds like the perfect, fun summer contemporary!

I can’t wait for this one and to hopefully find time to read Morgan’s other books soon!

Release + Giveaway: Summerlost by Ally Condie

Summerlost cover


Today I’m so excited to share the release of Summerlost!

Without further delay check out more on it from the author herself and keep reading for the giveaway link:


Dear Readers,


I think most of us have had our hearts broken. Sometimes we can see it coming, and sometimes it comes down with the unexpected force of a sudden gale of wind or a rising of waters that we thought were still and safe. Loss is universal to human experience, but the way we each feel and recover is one of the most personal things we do.


In Summerlost, Cedar is dealing with the loss of her father and younger brother. And my intent was to show how hard their deaths are for her. But this is also a book about the healing power of friendship. Most of us have been broken-hearted; I hope that most of us have also discovered the miracle of friendships that were just what we needed. Cedar and Leo’s friendship is based on someone I met when I was twelve. Like Leo, my friend was fun and liked to enlist me in crazy adventures (although we never gave a secret guided tour of our town the way they do in Summerlost). And, like Leo, he thought I was wonderful and of worth at a time when I needed it most.


SUMMERLOST is my attempt to pay tribute both to the pain we feel and the friendships that save us. Thank you so much for supporting this book, and for your willingness to give Cedar’s story a try. I hope it makes you think of a wonderful friend of your own, whether that is someone you met in the pages of a favorite book or outside, in the world where it is often hard and beautiful to live.


Best wishes and happy reading always,

Ally Condie


Huge thanks to Penguin Kids for this book. Go pay them a visit at their different sources:

Penguin Kids:

@PenguinKids ;


Go HERE to enter to win a copy of SUMMERLOST!

Purchase Links:

Penguin Random House:


Barnes & Noble:

And finally…

Go HERE to read an excerpt of the book!

Go check it out and I hope you enjoy!


Waiting on Wednesday: The Square Root of Summer



This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It’s a little bit like a black hole. It’s a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide―and someone’s heart is about to be broken.

With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

Why I’m Excited:

Time travel and a physics prodigy…SIGN ME UP.

I’ve been hearing a lot about his book.

Let’s be real- that’s a cute title and the cover is gorgeous.

Soooo…I looked into it some more.

This sounds so much fun! I’m also glad to have a MC who is a math genius. That’s not something that happens very often, so it’ll be different.

I can’t wait for this book and I hope that I enjoy it as much as I’m thinking that I will.

It releases May 3, so check it out when it is available!


Review: The Way I Used to Be



In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

My Thoughts:

One day I will quit doing this to myself and reading books like this, but today is not that day!


The blurb of being compared to Speak had me interested, so I had to read it and I’m glad that I did.

It was interesting to me to see the long term effects throughout the course of her high school career and that this was not something she easily moved on from. It was hard to read Eden’s story at times, but that’s actually what made the book so good.

I cannot recommend this enough, but be sure that you have tissues handy because your heart will hurt for Eden and also cheer her on.

The Way I Used to Be released TODAY, so go get a copy ASAP!


Review: When You’re Back by Abbi Glines



From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the next new adult novel in her beloved Rosemary Beach series, which continues the story of Mase and Reese from When I’m Gone.

She was where my home would always be. It was time I took the next step and proved to her I was all in. Forever.

A chance meeting in Rosemary Beach has turned into a fairy-tale romance as Reese prepares to move in with Mase on his family ranch in Texas. With the loving support of the Colts, and her recent discovery that she has family of her own, Reese can finally move on from the dark horrors of her past and into a bright future.

But Aida isn’t going to let that happen. The beautiful blonde has been raised to think of Mase as her cousin, but it’s clear to Reese that Aida doesn’t love Mase like a cousin should.

And then there’s Captain, the inescapable stranger who has connections in Dallas and Rosemary Beach—and who conveniently shows up wherever Reese happens to be. Hot, mysterious, and plain-speaking, Captain isn’t afraid to tell Reese what he thinks about Mase—and how he feels about her.

As the competition for Mase and Reese’s hearts heats up, Reese’s past begins to unravel, illuminating shocking truths that will forever change the lives of the happy couple—and set the final stories of Rosemary Beach in motion.

My Thoughts:

Last May, a friend and I went to RT Convention in Dallas, TX, where she was excited to meet Abbi Glines. I hadn’t read any of her books before, but her latest release at the time, When I’m Gone, caught my eye.

I read it and loved Reese and Mase’s story, so I immediately preordered the follow-up.

When You’re Back has been waiting on my Kindle for months and I finally decided to read it as a way to get out of a reading slump. Turns out that it was just the book that I needed because I zoomed through it!

I enjoyed resisting the characters from the last book so much and getting more form Reese and Mase. However, it is important to not that, though this IS part of the Rosemary Beach series, you do not have to read the entire series. I do eventually want to read the entire story to get more about the rest of the supporting character, but I’ll get to those when I hit another slump and need a quick, fun read.

Granted, this book isn’t anything extravagant- it’s a romance novel, but it’s a fun one. Sometimes, though, a simple read is exactly what’s needed, right? I suggest this one if you find yourself in that position or if romance is just your thing. You’ll definitely find yourself hooked on wanting to know what will happen next!


Friday Thoughts: SPRING BREAK, y’all!



…that still wasn’t good enough. Let’s try again….


There. That one did it. Thanks, Dumbledore!

Now, on to business…

Tomorrow, or really NOW, starts my week off for Spring Break.

Now I’ll be the first to tell you- school work schedules are the BEST. Sure, I can only take vacations when places are crazy crowded, but it is still awesome!

But that’s not why I’m here…well, it is, but it isn’t.

I’m here to talk about my goal for the week…a goal that I need encouragement to meet.

I plan to use this week to binge read the Throne of Glass series.

You read that correctly.



I intended to read the first book a few months ago and got distracted and then…a phenomenon happened at work.

Or rather, this series happened.

I’m not even sure what happened. I ordered all 4 books in the fall and got them. Then I recommended it to one kid…she loved it.

And then…well…I honestly CANNOT keep these on my shelf!

So I’ve decided that it’s time to see what the hype is about. Sure, I’ve heard tons of great things about it in the book world, but my kids at work are LOVING these, so I’ve got to catch up to what they’re so excited for.

Also, (self gloating here…) that’s how you do it.

I hadn’t read them, but knew my kids would love it. I bought it and suggested it to the right person and now they’re all hooked.


Now, if you’ll excuse me—I have a book series to binge.


(Seriously though, I only anticipate being able to finish the first two this week, but we’ll see.)

Also, this is probably what I looked like when the bell rang to go home know…only a tiny bit excited and all:


Waiting on Wednesday: Summer Days and Summer Nights



Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Why I’m excited:

Hello, world, I have ADD.

I just love short stories! They’re easy for me to focus on because I can handle sitting long enough to finish.

Not just that…look at the author list on this collection!


Stephanie Perkins is one of my favorite writers and I enjoyed her first anthology My True Love Gave to Me, which was a collection of winter holiday themed stories.

With that in mind, it can’t get any better than summer romances!

I’m counting down to getting this!


Review: The Forbidden Wish



She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world… 

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years — a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

My Thoughts:

Full disclosure: I struggled with this one for a couple of weeks.

I honestly think it was a case of “it’s not you- it’s me,” but who really knows.

I’ve loved the trend in retellings and this book was a great addition, but for some reason I struggled to get done no matter how much I was enjoying it as I read.

That said, I’ve already ordered it for my library because I know that my students will adore it!

The writing and descriptions were beautiful, but…there was just something that didn’t set right with me. I really think it was just that it wasn’t what I wanted to read at the time.

In that sense, I’m struggling to even write about it- as you can tell- but don’t turn away from this just for my feelings. Again, I really think it was just me. I think I would’ve adored it if it was what I was in the mood to read when I started.

So…fun retelling and great writing, but I’m stuck in a rut and don’t know what I want to finish.

Go me!

Now back to trying to find something I can be excited about and zoom through. I hate when I get stuck in a rut and just feel “eh” about stuff that I would normally otherwise LOVE. I’ll definitely be giving Forbidden Wish a reread later on.


Review: Rebel of the Sands



She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

My Thoughts:

Full disclosure: This isn’t the type of book that I’d normally read and enjoy. It just isn’t.

With that said…I absolutely LOVED it!

I’m not sure what it was really. Maybe it was just the right book at the right time, but I was hooked. I struggled to put it down and had to know what was going to happen next.

I was engrossed in the world building and could perfectly picture the desert sands and all of the creatures that were described.

Overall, this was a great story and I cannot wait for the next installment. As much as I could not put Rebel of the Sands down, I was still taken by surprise when the book ended because I didn’t WANT it to end.

This was such a surprise enjoyment for me and I can’t recommend it enough! It releases NEXT TUESDAY, so please be sure and pick it up. You won’t regret it!