Adult Contemporary, Reviews

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Holding Court by K.C. Held

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GoodReads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity knows exactly what’s in store at her new job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times. Some extra cash, wearing a fancy-pants dress, and plenty of time to secretly drool over the ever-so-tasty–and completely unavailable–Grayson Chandler. Except that it’s not quite what she imagined.

For one, the costume Jules has to wear is awful. Then there’s the dead body she finds that just kind of…well, disappears. Oh, and there’s the small issue of Jules and her episodes of what her best friend calls “Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome”–spontaneous and uncontrollable outbursts of seemingly absurd prophecies.

The only bright side? This whole dead body thing seems to have gotten Grayson’s attention. Except that the more Jules investigates, the more she discovers that Grayson’s interest might not be as courtly as she thought. In fact, it’s starting to look suspicious…

Copy of HC24Liz’s Review

K.C. Held’s debut novel Holding Court is laugh out loud funny and vivacious. I started and finished this novel in the same day. I was also at the gym while reading and, let me tell you, no one wanted to get on the elliptical next to me because I looked like I was crazy. I couldn’t stop laughing. Held’s writing is snappy, whimsical, and absolute.

The plot moves along quickly, keeping the reader satisfied, but also, at the same time, wanting more. I couldn’t figure out who the murderer was and the way the story winds, there were potentially three or four people who could’ve done it, including Jules herself.

The characters are characters themselves. Jules comes from a family with “gifts”. An aura reading, matching-making grandmother. A mother who can determine if an antique is real and where/when it was crafted. Jules’ best friend is quirky, giving Jules the nickname Blurt- which suites her quite well. Grayson is charming in a squight kind of way.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a funny, thrilling, off-the-wall read.

Veronica’s Review

OMG. FREAKING ADORABLE. *squeals*

Copy of HC22At the beginning of Holding Court I was a little hesitant because I did not get what was going on. Part of the reason was that I just dove into the book without reading the synopsis. Did not know the main character was psychic so it was a huge surprise when it was mentioned in the book.

I really really like Jules. She is funny, down to earth, and did I say she is hilarious?! Her love obsessions opened the door to many hilarious occurrences and went perfectly with the murder mystery we had going on in the story.

I wish we had an epilogue, but I guess I can be okay with what we got. It was a good ending. But I wanted MORE.

Overall, if you are looking for a hilarious fun read, look no further. Holding Court is everything you didn’t know you were looking for!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks |Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Page

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K.C. HELD was born and raised in California with stopovers in Honduras, Mexico, and France. Married to her high school sweetheart, and mom to two avid bookworms, she holds an MFA in costume design and is an accomplished seamstress with a background in opera, theater, film, and television. Although she once spent a summer working in a castle, there were no dead bodies involved.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads

KC Held

Just an FYI, K.C. Held is an awesome person in general! Go buy her book!

Rating: 5 out of 5

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read this ARC. Receiving this ARC for free does not influence my review. 

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Special Review, ya contemporary

ARC Book Review: For Real by Alison Cherry

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Disclaimer: Thank you Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.

Goodreads Summary:

No parents. No limits. No clue what they’re in for.

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister’s shadow. While Miranda’s life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it’s Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They’ll outshine Miranda’s fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life… or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what’s for real?

Review:

Cutie-Patootie! That’s how I’m describing this book. It was fun, adorable, and downright what I needed on a bad day. I was talking to Kayla (The Thousand Lives) and she kept telling me to read it. She said it would get me out of the reading slump I’ve been in and I wasn’t listening to her until a few days ago, and boy was she right.

For Real is a story that will slowly start winning you over until you are completely enamored with it and are so invested you literally have to shush yourself in the middle of the night because your roommates are sleeping and it wouldn’t be cool if you woke them up with your fangirling. (Although for a second there I was like FORGET NICE! But then… I decided to stay quiet. My roommates should thank me.) I absolutely loved that Claire would do something like that for her sister. That level of loyalty isn’t seen in fiction that much anymore. Although I don’t approve of revenge, what Claire was trying to do for her sister, putting herself in an uncomfortable situation for all to see, was beautiful. I may not have a sister, but I do have a cousin that I see as a sister and for some time, I was Claire and she was Miranda. Experiencing that type of relationship in some way made the story very believable and I think that’s what I loved the most about it. That I was able to make this personal connection to it. I was rooting for Claire every step of the way!

I don’t want to spoil anyone with any crucial details of the story (which is what I totally want to discuss, but alas I will not) so all I will say is. Buy it, Read it, and don’t forget I was the one who told you to read it. You’re welcome.

The book came out today in bookstores everywhere so go snatch yourself a copy. I shall be doing the same as soon as I can!

Rating: 5/5

Special Review, ya contemporary

Blog Tour Part 1: Lessons I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy by Liz Maccie

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Disclaimer: Thank you Diversion Books and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.

Today is the fourth day of the Lesson I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy Blog Tour and I am happy to participate in the tour of this wonderful book. I’ve divided today’s festivities into two posts. Part 1 (which is this post) will focus on my thoughts of the book and such. Part 2 will consist of Ms. Liz Maccie’s guest post that she was so kind enough to write for my blog. Click Here to check out Part 2.

Lessons I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy (Small)

BOOK DESCRIPTION

“Liz Maccie’s debut novel is as tough, optimistic, and beautiful as her heroine, Roberta Romano. Roberta’s voice is heartfelt and funny. Her story is exceptionally moving and honest. I love this book and the hope it has for young women everywhere.” —Stephen Chbosky, New York Times bestselling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The most important lessons aren’t learned in the classroom.

It’s the first day of sophomore year for Roberta Romano, but instead of the comfort of her local high school, she’s been thrust into the elitist embrace of the affluent Meadowbrook Academy.

Surrounded by wealth, Roberta battles her own insecurities to prove her worth and maybe land the boy of her dreams. With the help of two unlikely allies—and an inflatable toy raft—Roberta embarks upon a journey of dark secrets and self-discovery to learn the true meaning of friendship and acceptance.

“Roberta will charm and delight you with a voice that’s candid, hilarious, and hopeful, as she narrates her first day at a new high school, reminding us of the epic nature of each hour in our adolescent lives. Lessons I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy will make you laugh, cringe, cry, and cheer for the power of friendships that can change us in a single day.” —Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead

“You wish your first day of prep school was this epic! Every single page of Lessons I Never Learned sparkles with heart and humor. Like a teenage Bridget Jones, Roberta Romano will make you laugh, cry, and cringe as she tries to navigate her first day at Meadowbrook Academy. She finds friends and enemies, earns detentions and serious respect, and makes memories that will last her a lifetime.” —Siobhan Vivian, author of The List

Review:

Our narrator is none other than Roberta Romano. She is a spunky Italian teenager that will leave you laughing or cringing (in a good way) every step of the way. Roberta is a sort of oxymoron because she is just like your average teenager and at the same time, she is not. She has characteristics that a teenager and even someone much older can relate to because we have all thought the same things and acted similarly when we were that age.

What I really loved about LINLAMA is that it talks about issues that should be talked about. Ms. Maccie does a wonderful job at not only making a relatable character, but also showing her grow and learn some very important lessons along the way.

There are a few sections in the book that captured my attention and that truly spoke to me and made me pause and reflect on what I had just read and realize how true those statements were. Here are a couple of those statements:

“Next time I was told by someone they had experienced the most amazing food ever, I would remember to ask who they were with and what they were doing before I asked what they were eating.”

“In my life, I have cried a lot. And I have felt really bad about many things. To be honest, I’ve always thought that no one else in the world could possibly understand just how much things hurt sometimes. But sitting there, watching Annie, thinking about everything the three of us had shared day, I realized that there is a lot of pain in the world. And I’m not the only one who feels it.”

It is very important for YA authors to write these type of realizations into characters. Teenagers today need to hear they are not alone when it comes to suffering and pain. That the meal they eat isn’t so much about the food being eaten, but the company that they are sharing it with. I would have loved to had read this book 10 years ago when I was a freshman in high school myself and I could have understood sooner that in this life YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It may feel like you are at times, but you are not, correction, We are not alone.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Author photo

AUTHOR BIO

Liz Maccie was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Bucknell University.  After college, she moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television writing.  She has had two movies produced, “The Thirst” and “Black and Blue.”  She went on to work at The Disney Channel until she found a home at the breakout ABC Family show, “Make it or Break it.”  She is currently adapting the wildly popular YA book, “The List” for MTV as a television show.  “Lessons” is Liz’s debut novel.

If you would like to know more about Liz Maccie or follow her on social media:

LINKS

Website: http://lizmaccie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizMaccieAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lmaccie

Purchase LINLAMA: http://diversionbooks.com/ebooks/lessons-i-never-learned-meadowbrook-academy