For readers around the globe. :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Woodstock

Woodstock: The 1969 Rock & Roll Revolution.
 
This book really sets the scene for me. It doesn't glorify the festival like so many nostalgic books do. It point blank says, it rained and everything was covered in mud, there was hardly any food left by the end of the first day, bathrooms were non-existent, and the campgrounds were not near as boujee as they are today.
 
But that's not to say it didn't hit on major events. Musicians from all over the world came to Bethel, New York, for an unknown music festival. Musicians who had already created a name for themselves in rock history and some who became rock legends there on the Woodstock Stage. Listening to the pitfalls of the festival just made me appreciate it even more. Founder, Michael Lang, and his crew cared for the people at the festival and wanted them to have the best experience of their life, regardless of the weather and other extenuating circumstances. They wanted this festival to be everything these kids hoped for and then some more. They spoke of peace, music, love, art, and most importantly camaraderie. Without the help and understanding of those attending the festival, Woodstock would not have been near as historical as it is now. 
 
This coffee table book delves into the most historic music festival. It highlights the best and worst parts of the festival and leaves you wishing you were there, but also incredibly thankful of how far we've come in the music scene. I'm incredibly grateful to have been given an earc of this book via NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group! 
 
Looking for other books on Woodstock?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

What You Hide: Excerpt + Giveaway

I am pleased to share an excerpt of Natalie D. Richards latest YA thriller!
Check it out below, enter the giveaway, and check out my reviews!

Spencer
Thursday, October 19, 1:13 a.m.
Fairview Public Library

I've broken curfew for plenty of stupid reasons, but climbing the public library? I can't really be thinking about doing this.
I am, though.
Not that I could tell you why. Why would a perfectly rational guy decide to take a jog at one o'clock in the morning? Any why did that jog turn into a dead-panic sprint, until I stopped in this alley, sweaty and alone on the narrow strip of pavement between the parking lot and the book drop?
I can't figure out most of tonight, but I know this: I want to climb to the top of the Fairview Public Library.
It's not a good idea. Climbing that wall has Terrible Choice written all over it.
But it'd be easy. Thirty, maybe thirty-five feet tall, which I could scale in my sleep. Especially with all those chunky slabs of stone creating perfect crevices for my fingers and toes. I can't believe I've never noticed them. Back in fourth grade, I walked here every other Tuesday for class visits It was a building full of books then. Now it's an unexplored vertical trail, my ticket to a view I've never seen.
I do this a lot: scan buildings for ascent routes. That's what happens when you love climbing. I want to climb rocks and trees and the football stadium and the water tower. And apparently the library.
Seriously, I could do it in five minutes. Maybe less.
Which is still plenty of time to get arrested in this town.
Here, tucked close to the side of the building in the alley, I'm not easy to see from Main Street. Halfway up the wall, though, I'd be exposed.
So, don't be stupid.
****
I'm twenty-five feet up with no harness. Thais fact hits me square in the chest, and in the span of one breath, my heart turns to a bag of worms. I grip my toes and push close to the wall to steady myself. Panic and stupidity lead to most climbing accidents, and I've already covered the stupidity bit.
"Not smart," I tell myself, and that's all I allow. I'll have to rub this lesson in later, when I'm back on the ground without an assortment of broken bones.
When my heart slows to a steady thud-thud-thud, I start looking for a better route. I'm maybe ten or fifteen feet from the top. With my adrenaline wearing off, it feels doable. This is not a difficult climb. Once I'm up, the fire escape ladder on the back of the building will make for an easy way down. I just need to do it.
I relax into my feet and start up the path closest to the second-story window. I still have that sill if I need it.
I push off my right foot as I reach up, a good pinch at a comfortable reach. Excellent. Plus, I see a perfect lip for my left hand, so I push through that leg to snag the next hold. My grip sticks, but something snaps. My left foot drops hard, leg scraping stone. I lurch in the opposite direction, forcing my center of gravity to the right.
 Was it the brick? I glance down at the wall below, seeing freshly cracked stone where my foot used to be. Bits of mortar and rock lay in the grass, and my stomach drops into my feet.
I was standing on that seconds ago. If it had broken any earlier, I'd have fallen. I lick my lips, heart pounding. Nothing about that brick looked wrong. There was zero warning.
Which means there might not be a warning next time.
 ****
Unbelievable. I kicked in the freaking window.
A shard hits my big toe, and it jolts me into action. I drag myself to the right of the mess, my face scraping mortar. The window I broke is tall and wide with arched glass that looks...expensive.
I'll worry about it later. I need to finish this and get down before something else goes wrong.
Nothing does. The rest of the climb passes without incident. At the top, I haul myself over the concrete cornice and drop to my backside, panting in relief.
I should bolt for the ladder, by my legs have turned to jelly. I need a minute to catch my breath. I enjoy the view, which is nothing to sneeze at. Fairview is easy on the eyes from up here. A row of postcard-worthy businesses line Main Street, embellished with flower boxes and understated window displays. Here and there, iron benches rest under neatly trimmed trees- an invitation to linger.
Beyond Main Street, the streets give way to a sleeping patchwork of lush, green lawns with curving gardens and winding paths. And houses. Large, beautiful houses.
One of those houses is yours.
My throat squeezes, and I lean forward, staring at the soft glow of streetlights and curved streets. It is the definition of peaceful and safe, but I'm not feeling either of those things. I feel like I'm peering into another dimension. Like I'm seeing something I've never seen. Which is ridiculous. I live down there. Fairview has always been home.
Always?
A flash of blue and white lights. The police. There's a single cruiser six or seven intersections down Main Street, so someone must have seen me. Adrenaline floods my senses.
Get up. I have to get up.
My body is heavy. Immobile. What the hell is wrong with me? I need to run!
 But I don't. Moments later, the cruiser turns into the library parking lot, and it's like my body is frozen. My eyes follow the car as it parks, then trail the beam of the spotlight across the library walls. Shrubs and mulch are illuminated. Then, the cherry tree. Next, my discarded socks and shoes.
I wonder what they'll do when they figure out I'm up here.
I wonder what it'll feel like when they take me away.


Looking for reviews of Natalie D. Richards books?

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I'll Be There For You: The One about Friends

Kelsey Miller, will you be my friend?

This felt like I walked into Central Perk, ordered coffee from Gunther, and sat down to relax while listening to my friends talk about their favorite people.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a Friends super-fan. I regularly re-watch the entire series 3, 4, 5, 6 times a year. I could easily walk into a room, see Monica on the screen, recite her next line, and then describe the entire episode. That's how bad my addiction is...

Not going to lie either, last weekend I went out drinking with my real life friends and began talking to them about Friends and this book and the characters as if I knew them personally.... I may have a problem!

Kelsey Miller wrote The One about Friends so flawlessly. It's easy to read, it follows the plot of the show, hits on details that many people find problematic in the show today, as well as how the show managed to stay relevant nearly 15 years after the last episode aired.

Friends has been referred to as a "comfort food show" which I can 100% agree with that statement. I watch Friends because it's familiar, it's relatable, and it makes me feel peaceful. I can honestly say I have never had another show that makes still me smile after seeing the exact same episode 17 times. So yes, Friends is my comfort food. It's my relaxation show. It's my go to show for anything and everything. I am thrilled to have grown up watching it and now, as a functioning adult, I can look back and be grateful a show like this ever existed. Nothing will compare to Friends.

Huge thank you to NetGalley and Hanover Square Press for the e-arc!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Dare to Fall: Excerpt + Giveaway

I've teamed up with Sourcebooks Fire to share an excerpt and giveaway for Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame!

I've never known why Monday gets all the credit for being the worst day of the week. I disagree entirely. Sundays are. There's just something so quiet and still about Sundays that I've really grown to hate. Maybe it's because half the town goes to church in the mornings, while the other half attempts to cook a pot roast before giving up and finally ordering takeout. That tends to be the case in my family at least. Or maybe it's because half the people we got to school with are at home rushing to finish all those assignments that have been left until the last minute, while the other half spends the entire day in Dairy Queen because there's nowhere else to go. We belong to the latter half.
"Do you want another?"
I didn't realize I'd zoned out until now. Tearing my gaze up from the table, I blink a couple of times at Holden while straightening up a little from my slouched position in the booth. I didn't even notice him get up. "What?"
Holden looks down at me and nods to the remainder of my iced coffee. There's only a small dribble left. "Do you want another?" he repeats.
"Oh," I say. "No thanks. I'm good."
As he turns around and heads to the counter to order again for what must be the fifth time tonight, I rub my hand over my face, remembering too late that I'm wearing two thick layers of mascara. I curse under my breath and grab my phone from the table, opening up my camera. My eyes are now smudged and rimmed with black. I reach for a napkin and try my best to clean up the mess I've made, but I only seem to make it worse.
Will lets out a laugh, and I fire a heavy glare across the booth. He's chewing on the straw of his chocolate shake, but he quickly ducks when I scrunch my napkin into a ball and hurl it at him.
"You'd think you were hungover," he says as he sits back up, flicking his hair out of his eyes.
I can't remember the last time he had a haircut, but he definitely needs one.
"I'm just tired." I breathe a sigh and turn my attention to the trash that's amassed on our table. I swear, all we do on Sundays is eat because there's nothing else to do in this town. There are at least half a dozen empty cups, three of which are mine, and most of the food wrappers are Holden's. The ice-cream tubs are Will's.
 "Have you noticed who's here?" Will asks, lowering his voice. He tilts his head down and leans over the table, subtly giving a pointed glance over my shoulder. "I think this is the first time I've actually seen her out."
I shift in the booth and steal a quick glance behind me, and spot her immediately: Danielle Hunter.
Over in the booth right by the door, Danielle is sitting with her hands wrapped around a cup, her black hair falling over her eyes. She's with three other girls, all of whom are engaged in conversation, but Danielle is staring blankly at the table as though she is entirely tuned out of her surroundings. As I study her from across the restaurant, a lump forms in my throat. It's a surprise to see her here. She rarely goes out. No one ever sees Danielle Hunter anywhere other than school these days.
 "Well," I murmur as I turn back around to face Will. "That's new." I steal another glance over my shoulder, feeling strangely unnerved by the sight of her. I haven't spoken to her in a long time, so I am praying she doesn't spot me, but I am intrigued by how alone she seems.
I only turn my attention away from her when Holden returns to the table with another burger, his third of the night, and slides back into the booth next to me. The football team lost against Pine Creek yesterday, so he's in a sulky mood, disappointed with his performance, and Will and I have agreed not to mention it.
 ****
I leave the two of them goofing around and head to the restroom. The closer it gets to ten o'clock, the more empty Dairy Queen becomes, though there're still some people from school hanging around. Once the manager kicks us out, that is: there's nowhere else to go other than back home. I briefly give Jess Lopez a smile and a "hey" as I pass her table, but she's with some girls I don't know all that ell, so I don't stop to chat.
 I continue into the cramped restroom instead and lock myself in one of three tiny stalls. While I'm there, I send my dad a quick text to let him know I'll be home within the next hour, resigned to the fact that Sunday is almost over. I slip my phone into the pocket of my jeans as I unlock the door and swing it open. My heart stops for a split second when I glance up and there's someone there, standing motionless in front of the sinks. I hadn't heard anyone come in, and the moment I realize it's Danielle Hunter, I freeze on the spot. Her back is to me, but in the mirror's reflection, her eyes meet mine.
I haven't said more than a few words to Danielle since last year. I've barely seen her, and when I hve, I've never known how to act or what to say. So I just don't say anything at all. What are you supposed to say to someone who's grieving the death of her parents? I don't know. No one does.
But right now, I can't just turn my eyes to the floor and keep on walking like I would do otherwise. I'm suddenly aware of how small it is in here, and she's watching me with those blue eyes of hers. They are such a stark contrast with her newly jet-black hair that is just doesn't quite look right. Her entire face is blank, emotionless. I swallow and shift past her to the sink farthest away. I turn on the water, staring robotically at my hands as it cascades over my skin. Do I say something? I know I should, but I don't know what and I don't know how. My cheeks feel hot from the pressure bearing down on my while I deliberate over whether now is the right time to finally say something to Danielle Hunter. I have always wanted to talk to her again but never could.

I have the rest of the chapter that I would be more than happy to send to anyone who asks!!

Giveaway!
US and Canada ONLY
Open December 4-31

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Someday

I've been waiting for this book since, well, basically forever. I was not disappointed! If this doesn't sell you on the fact that this series is deeply rooted in love is love, then I don't know what will.

So this picks up after A leaves Rhiannon with Alexander; not to mention the continuation of Reverend Poole as someone like A.

I don't really know how to give a summary of this book so I'm just going to jump right in.
 Rhiannon and Alexander have such an adorable relationship. They are so beyond comfortable with each other, you'd think they were together for years. But when A comes back into Rhiannon's life, everything kind of falls apart. She begins spending less time with him and more time with whoever A is that day. Now, A feels grounded around Rhiannon. She's the only one that sees him for who he really is (I'm using he as the pronoun because that's how I see A).

So, Reverend Poole had his life taken over by X. X is like A, he travels from body to body without ever knowing who he will become. But he's found a loophole, he can stay for longer than a day. He's set himself up with his own bank accounts, made a life for himself, while borrowing the time of someone else. When he finds A is someone living the same type of life, he wants more. He wants to talk more with A but is going about in a way that makes A nervous. He's hurting people close to A, he's tearing families apart, he's ruining lives...all because he believe A is going to bring him power. He believes A is someone he can mentor.

There was far less romance in this book than in the others, which was quite beneficial to the book. If I'm getting the right feeling, David Levithan has set this up to be an even bigger series. I love, love, loved reading Someday. Everything about this series has been fantastic and has honestly taught me so much. I'd love to hear the various versions of A and X that everyone has had!

Looking for the rest of the series?
Everyday (book one)
Another Day (book two)

Looking for other books by David Levithan?
 Will Grayson, Will Grayson
The Realm of Possiblity