#ReadADessen: Dreamland Book Look + Giveaway

Note: I was provided a copy of  Dr. First, Dr. Fourth, Dr. Eleventh and Dr. Twelfth by Penguin Teen as a #PRHPartner to read and spotlight these books.

The countdown is upon us for Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, Once and For All, which is being released on June 6th.  I’m so excited for her newest book because wedding planning(!) but in the meantime, Penguin Teen put together a special blog tour, highlighting Sarah’s backlist books and encouraging readers to read or re-read everything during the countdown to Once and For All.  Today I’m posting a Book Look for Dreamland.  Dreamland is one of Sarah’s more serious books and the story is much darker than your typical summer contemporary.  It follows a girl named Caitlin who’s sister ran away and she’s dealing with the feelings of missing her sister and a mother who’s withdrawn when she meets Rogerson Biscoe.  From then on, it feels like Caitlin has entered a dreamland where nothing is quite real.  Rogerson is compelling and magnetic, but his darker and more dangerous side starts coming out and suddenly, being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him.

Dreamland

 

Dreamland by superspacechick

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Tour Schedule

KEEPING THE MOON

April 24 – In Wonderland

April 26 – Great Imaginations

April 26 – The Fox’s Hideaway

April 27Mary Had a Little Book Blog

April 27Confessions of a Book Addict

April 27Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile

April 28A Page with a View

Bumble Bee Books

Booksthetics

DREAMLAND

April 24 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader

April 24 – Reed’s Reads & Reviews

April 26 – Grownup Fangirl

April 26 – SuperSpaceChick

April 27Girl in the Pages

April 29A Little Book World

Swoony Boys Podcast

Oops I Read a Book Again

Bibliophile Gathering

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Kristin

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Mr. Men Books

Note: I was provided a copy of  Dr. First, Dr. Fourth, Dr. Eleventh and Dr. Twelfth by Penguin Teen as a #PRHPartner to read and spotlight these books.

Penguin was kind enough to send me the first four books in the Doctor Who + Mr. Men mash up books and after flipping through and reading them, I knew I *had* to share them here.  The series is written and illustrated by Roger Hargreaves’ son Adam and they’re retailing for only $6.  These beautifully illustrated books are the perfect opportunity to convert any child in your life into the Whovian you know is laying dormant inside them, just waiting to be awoken (and they’re also a pretty adorable treat for adults, chock full of easter eggs from the television series).  The first releases follow the First, Fourth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors (Eleven being my favorite of course!).

There are a ton of familiar faces as you read through each Doctor’s story.  I was most excited to see River Song but you’ll also see familiar baddies such as the Cybermen, Daleks, Silurians and Weeping Angels.  And each Doctor is illustrated with their signature accessories (and they totally nailed Twelve’s angry eyebrows).

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Fixer #2)

Personal Thoughts:  OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS BOOK.  After adjusting to teenagers being privy to the happenings of the US Government, I ended up enjoying The Fixer which is book one in the series.  I thought I would have similar feelings toward The Long Game but boy oh boy did the feelings this book inspired come out of nowhere!  The Long Game is exponentially better than The Fixer.  My only issue now is that the sales aren’t high enough and Disney hasn’t contracted Jennifer Lynn Barnes to write a third book (AND THERE NEEDS TO BE A THIRD BOOK, TRUST ME OKAY?!).

Plot Summary:  In this follow up to The Fixer, Tess Kendrick embraces her role as Hardwicke’s resident fixer.  Someone cashes in a favor and she ends up leading their campaign to become president of student council.  Meanwhile, her guardian, Ivy, is working on cracking a terrorism case unfolding in the United States and chaos ensues when both issues intertwine.

Critique:  The Long Game had much higher stakes than The Fixer which you might find hard to believe if you’ve already read book one.  I came to appreciate Asher even more in this installment because his comic relief was a necessary addition to the otherwise intense situations.  The Long Game is full of action in the best way possible.  The story pulls you in and there’s such a sense of urgency for every issue that it’ll get your heart rate pumping.  I also loved the parallels to the game of Chess which were prevalent in the story.  But best of all are the characters who shine even more than they did in book one.  The Long Game is overflowing with awesome female characters from Tess and Ivy, to Vivie, Emilia and Georgia, and as I mentioned above, the only disappointment is not knowing how their story will continue.  The series was sold as a dulogy, but there is a CLEAR cliffhanger at the end of book two.  It’s rather frustrating but I am still grateful that I was able to spend any time with these characters and I will forever hold out hope that a second duology or even just a final installment with some more closure will be on the horizon.  Also, if you’re looking for romance, this series is almost completely devoid.  It focuses much more on the politics and social issues.

Do I Recommend?:  YES PLEASE READ THIS AND HELP MY DREAM OF A THIRD BOOK BE REALIZED THANKS.

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Kristin

Super Space Chick’s Weekly Round Up (#2)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

Last week was pretty awesome.  My mom came home from the hospital on Tuesday (*insert party horn emojis here*) so we’ve all been getting back to a more normal schedule.  I’m so happy to have her home and she’s been able to get better quality rest in her own bed.  Andrew and I spent Easter with her, my dad, my brother and his girlfriend at the hospital and then the beginning of the week was dedicated to getting done all of the boring adult chores we’d been neglecting for the past couple of weeks.  On Thursday night I met up with Alexa at Books of Wonder- I wasn’t planning on buying anything but ended up walking out with two signed hardcovers of The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl.  Alex also was so kind to lend me her ARC copy of I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo which is a YA novel about a girl who decides to implement all of the dating advice she’s seen on K-dramas.  I’ve been highly anticipating that one and it’s going to be my next read! While everyone was obsessed with Starbucks’s Unicorn frappacinos, Alexa and I opted to go to Union Fare for unicorn croissants which were delicious.  The weather is also getting warm enough that Union Square park has a bunch of neon green tables set up and we were able to spend the remainder of our night there, chatting about books and anime as per usual.

Then Thursday night, my cousin Rachel came into town because she was able to score Hamilton tickets last year and the date of her showing is finally upon her!  She got to my apartment later than I normally go to sleep (#old) and we ended up staying up late catching up on general life happenings, our love of Marvel movies, and everything coming to Disney and Universal in the future.  The next morning we went to a quick brunch with my mom, grandparents and aunt and then sent Rachel off into the city.  I spent the rest of my day filming BookTube videos (I was SO behind) and then headed over to my parents to make them some dinner.

The next morning, Cassie and I planned a huge nostalgia brunch with some of our best friends that we don’t get to see as often as we’d like to.  I was really expecting some people to cancel but all 10 of the invitees made it! We went to La Flaca on the Lower East Side where I drank red sangria, ate huevos rancheros (my favorite!) and we accidentally got sucked into some very entertaining show called One Miracle Morning where a guy on a motorcycle was racing a goose.  After brunch, we headed to a bar called The Library where we met up with my brother.  I had a couple of root beer floats (stoli vanilla + rootbeer + a cherry) which were surprisingly delicious, and then we headed out to a place that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to try, Taiyaki NYC.  I love taiyaki but I haven’t ever been to the ice cream / pastry hybrid shop before.  While we were waiting for our ice cream, we met a couple of guys with lightsabers, so naturally, we asked if we could play with them.  Then this morning, Andrew and I somehow found the motivation to go for a run (how cool is the photo with my shadow in it?!) and then I made breakfast with what I can only describe as winning the avocado lottery.

Reading: I finished reading: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones which I enjoyed because I just kept picturing David Bowie every time the Goblin King was described, Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle because I wanted to read it before I started watching the television show, and The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher because Star Wars! I also started Geekerella which I’m completely in love with!

Watching: Pretty Little Liars came back this week so I was eagerly anticipating that! One more season and then I’ll be free.  Cassie and I are basically hate watching it together at this point and I’m mostly only still in it for our snarky texts.  I also started watching Famous in Love which is completely different from the book and we watched the only two available episodes of The Ancient Magus Bride anime which is wholly enchanting.

I posted less this week than normal because I ran out of prefilmed videos.  Although, I did get to post my Guide to Manga Genres video which I filmed so long ago that it has my old bookshelf set up!

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Personal Thoughts:  As I may have (definitely) mentioned, Katie Cotugno is one of my favorite contemporary YA authors.  In fact, she’s definitely in the top three.  I love her words to pieces so when I heard that her newest novel would be set in Orlando in the 1990’s during the boy band craze, I couldn’t possibly be more on board.  And the cover! And the endpapers! While Fireworks didn’t end up being my new favorite of her’s (the number one spot still belongs to How to Love), I did thoroughly enjoy it, especially for the setting. And possibly the most exciting part (for me) is that a character in the girl band is named Kristin! Spelled the same way as me! I didn’t even care that she’s kind of a bitch because I’ve never read a book with a character that has my name and for it to have been in a Katie Cotugno book just amplifies my excitement.

Plot Summary:  Best friends Dana and Olivia leave their small Georgia town and head to Orlando where Olivia is going to be auditioning to become a pop star in a new all girl band being formed and Dana is there as her moral support.  During the audition, Dana gets picked out of the crowd to show off her skills and both girls end up being chosen to move to Orlando to start rehearsing.  But things get complicated when Dana’s lack of formal training start inhibiting what has always been Olivia’s dream and the girls start to become each other’s competition.

Critique:  Fireworks is yet again, another messy and complicated story from the brain of Katie Cotugno.  I love the way she tackled the evolution of Dana and Olivia’s friendship as the girls begin to grow up and their circumstances change.  It’s so easy to fall into a routine and to believe that one person is your be all and end all when you haven’t experienced anything else and Orlando really opens up both of their eyes about what else is out there in the world.  There’s also an adorable love interest named Alex who’s a member of Hurricane State, a boy band similar to N’SYNC who’s just starting to make waves in the industry.  Alex is honest and supportive and quite honestly, he put up with a lot for someone just starting a relationship.  The best part of the novel is hands down the setting.  I love the little nods to the 90’s and just Orlando in general.  I felt like I was reliving my own early childhood while reading and I could perfectly picture myself running around in jean shorts and eating ice cream cones on hot summer nights.

Do I Recommend?:  Yes! Especially if you are a fellow fan of the Britney Spears / Christina Aguilera and Backstreet Boys / N’SYNC era.

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Personal Thoughts:  To be completely honest, I had no intention of reading Thirteen Reasons Why.  I had the book on my Amazon wish list for years without ever purchasing it and I just felt like I got to the point where I lost interest and wouldn’t ever get to it.  Then Penguin Teen was kind enough to mail me the cutest promotional package in celebration of the Netflix adaptation of Thirteen Reasons Why (which actually airs today March 31st!).  It came with a plastic popcorn container (I’ve always wanted one of these for some irrational reason), a box of Mike & Ike’s (my deceased uncle’s favorite candy), a pack of tissues (because have you read the premise?!) and a copy of the TV-tie in edition of the book.  After one of those brief crises where I’m incapable of choosing what to read next, I remembered that the show would be releasing in just four days and so the book called to me.

Plot Summary:  Thirteen Reasons Why follows Clay Jensen, an average teenage boy who returns home from school one day to find a mysterious unmarked package waiting for him.  The package is full of seven cassette tapes and when he begins playing the first one he instantly recognizes the voice as that of Hannah Baker, a classmate of his who committed suicide two weeks earlier.  Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons that contributed to why she made her decision and whoever receives the tapes is one of the reasons.  Clay spends the entire night following a map that Hannah left and listening to each tape, anxious to discover how he was a contributor to such a tragic end for a girl he really liked.

Critique:  It’s hard to say that I enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why because of the sensitive subject matter, but I can say that I am very happy I chose to read it.  It was heartbreaking to hear Hannah’s narrative explaining the reasons that snowballed into her reaching her eventual end.  I liked that Clay’s internal commentary is given to us in real time instead of having to wait for pauses to understand what he’s thinking or how his viewpoint differed from Hannah’s.  It really makes the reader think about such seemingly little moments in our own lives and how they can affect others in ways that we would never foresee ourselves.  There were definite wrongs committed by the people Hannah places blame upon and I like to imagine that many of them would’ve acted differently had they known what would happen, (even though it’s doubtful because so many of these high school boys she interacted with are garbage humans).  The book talks about very important issues like rape culture, underage drinking and of course, suicide (including signs and prevention tactics).  There are so many pivotal moments in Hannah’s narrative that could’ve changed and prolonged her life if only anyone had been persistent about offering help.  I’m so curious to see how faithful the adaption is, even though it’s going to be difficult to relive Hannah’s story two times in one week.

Do I Recommend?:  I do.  Thirteen Reasons Why covers incredibly important subject matter and I think all teenagers should be required to read this as part of their school curriculum.  If it could impact even half of the kids in a way that makes them more sensitive to their peers, I would argue that it’s worth it. I’ve since finished watching the Netflix adaptation and I actually think I liked it better than the book.  The changes they made worked really well to modernize the story and I appreciated that we’re given insight into the other characters that have effected Hannah.

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Kristin

Super Space Chick’s Weekly Round Up (#1)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a new blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

For my first weekly recap, I’m actually going to be recapping the past two weeks.  I had every intention of starting this blog series last weekend but things have been crazy around here and I just didn’t have the time.  Right after I had the idea, I was so excited to begin writing and then my mom ended up in the hospital again so naturally, that took priority.  Even today as I’m writing this on Easter Sunday, Andrew and I are about to start getting ready to take a train into NYC and head over to Sloan Kettering to see my mom.  But do to some pre-planned events, I do have other things to share as well.  Last weekend, my sisters and I planned the most fun weekend ever!  My sister-in-law Kristin (yup! same first and last name, spelled the same way!) and I drove into Brooklyn to meet up with Brittany and Molly at their Williamsburg apartment.  We briefly stopped at Barcade where Andrew and his brothers Joe (Kristin’s husband) and Greg were hanging out as part of the weekend Andrew and Joe planned for Greg’s bachelor party (Molly had extra game tokens to give them).  Then we continued on our way to Smorgasburg which I’ve always wanted to go to!  We got giant mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz, way too many french fries with garlic lemon aoili sauce from Home Frite, and churro ice cream sandwiches with sea salted caramel ice cream.  Which is WAY too much food for any one person but so worth it.  I really want to plan a trip back to try more!

Then we went to a cute little dive bar on Bedford Avenue where you get a free personal pizza which each drink you order.  We also saw a really cute pig in a sweater named Franklin at the local hardware store before heading home to meet up with our future sister in law Moira.  I also saw She’s the Man starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum for the first time ever and I could not stop laughing.  I’m so sad that I missed out on this wonderful movie during my younger years but I’m so happy it’s in my life now.  And I love that it’s based on Shakespeare!  The next day we all had brunch together and Brittany shared her White Girl Rose with us which was delicious.  And we played some Cards Against Humanity with all 6 of the siblings I’ve gained in marrying Andrew before driving back home.  There’s so many of us so it’s always a blast when we all get together!

Then we spent our next couple of nights at the hospital with my parents and my brother (side note, my brother got to interview Axel Alonso of Marvel, how cool is that?!)  But later in the week, Andrew and I already had tickets to Broadway shows on both Thursday AND Friday.  We went to the W Hotel in Times Square for some pre-show drinks (I had rose with bubbles and Andrew had Dark and Stormy’s).  I love it there.  It’s such a fun atmosphere- there are lots of neon lights and the table set up makes you feel a bit like your in a spaceship.  Actually, the ladies room even had a giant poster slide show of Star Wars images which I was not at all expecting.  We saw Waitress starring Sara Bareilles (she’s playing the starring role of Jenna for 10 weeks only!) and we really loved it.  I got a mini key lime pie and they actually infuse the scent of pies into the theater before the show and during the intermission.  We had previously seen half of Waitress when Jesse Mueller was in it because we made the mistake of eating at a sketchy Asian restaurant beforehand and we both needed to leave at intermission.  This time around we got to see the full thing and I thought Sara was amazing! My favorite characters are Dawn and Ogie though.  They’re basically the cutest couple ever.

Then on Friday night we saw Bandstand with Kelly and Gil!  Unfortunately, my mom was in her fifth surgery of the week and before the show was starting, I still hadn’t heard an update from my dad or brother.  I think that combined with the false report of an active shooter near Penn Station and being seated in the middle of the row, feeling like I couldn’t get out without disrupting anyone if my dad was going to call triggered a major anxiety attack.  I didn’t get to enjoy the show as much as everyone else because I was mostly trying to calm myself down and tell myself that everything would be okay.  Even after hearing that everything went well from my dad, I still was having trouble calming myself down.  I did really love the music in the show and I was able to pay attention enough to understand the story but I do wish I could’ve gotten more lost in it.  The play was really sad and the music was all 40’s style, taking place right after World War II ended.  It’s a very accurate portrayal of what soldiers experience once they get home (it’s actually the only Broadway play approved by “Got Your 6 which highlights projects that depict veterans both accurately and responsibly.”- a piece of trivia Kelly told us after the show).  Once the play ended and we left the theater, I felt almost instantly better and calmer.  Then on Saturday morning, Andrew and I went to the local high school and jogged around the track.  When I told my dad he was like wait YOU were running though?  I’ve always hated running so this is a pretty big deal.  It ended up being really good for me and despite being completely sore in every place you can imagine today, it also feels really good.  When we got home, I made pizza with a cauliflower crust for the first time and I’m definitely adding it into our weekly dinner rotation.  Anyway, these will be much shorter in the future but I wanted to highlight the good things in the past couple of weeks because it’s been EXHAUSTING.  We’ve been getting home from the hospital between 11-12AM each night and then we get up between 5-6AM for work so it’s been a lot.

Reading: I finished reading: The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson #3) by Rick Riordan which I enjoyed much more than the first two books, The Long Game (The Fixer #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and I’m DYING for a third book so everyone please buy the first two so she can write and publish a third, Fireworks by Katie Cotugno which takes place in Orlando in the 90’s during the boyband craze and once again Katie wrote an incredibly messy and addicting story, and Princess Jellyfish volume 3 which went in a different direction than I was expecting but I’m still enjoying this series very much!

Watching: We finished watching: 13 Reasons Why which is such an important story and will hopefully help teens realize how much our actions can affect other people, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid which I really hope gets a second season because this anime has a very special place in my heart and we continued watching iZombie season 2 which seems to keep getting better, and our usual shows: New Girl, Fresh Off the Boat and we started Powerless which is pretty funny!

I posted a bit less over the past two weeks.  I did happen to bulk film a bunch of videos right before my mom went into the hospital so I was able to post regularly for the first week but last week when the exhaustion kicked in, I only managed to get one video up.  But I should be back to normal shortly!

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Kristin

Spines With Wines: Caraval by Stephanie Garber + April Book of the Month

This month Cassie and I finally coordinated our schedules to discuss Caraval by Stephanie Garber for the Spines With Wines book club!  Caraval was supposed to be our February book of the month, but we just couldn’t get it together for our liveshow until the first weekend of April.  So we’ve decided to skip March (since it’s over already anyway) and we’ll be resuming with our April book of the month.  You can view the full video below:

April Book of the Month:

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (Summer #3)

Personal Thoughts:  To say I’d been putting off reading We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han would be an understatement.  Being my last currently published unread work of Jenny’s, I found myself unable to pick it up because I was so not ready to say goodbye to Cousins, Belly, Jere and Conrad nor to the prospect of having another book of hers to read should the mood strike.  Since Always and Forever Lara Jean is releasing in just over a month, I finally decided to go for it.  I can also say that my subconscious fully backs up the above reasoning because the night that I finished We’ll Always Have Summer, I had a dream that I was vacationing at Zoella’s house, eating an ice cream cone and perusing her bookshelves when I found a never before seen Jenny Han YA book (the cover had a boy and a girl laying in the grass- the girl was wearing a red polka dot dress and heart sunglasses) and I was in all my glory.  Imagine the disappointment when I awoke to find that I had no ice cream, nor the new Jenny book that my mind invented to fill a deep need.

Plot Summary:  I think this goes without saying but as this is the third and final book in the series, there will be spoilers ahead.  We’ll Always Have Summer picks up two years after It’s Not Summer Without You ends.  Belly and Jere have been dating and attending college together and Conrad’s been off at med school in California.  After Belly and Jeremiah’s relationship hits a really rough patch, things between them start accelerating and then Belly must decide once and for all which brother her heart belongs to.

Critique:  This book definitely won’t be for everyone.  Heck, if Jenny Han hadn’t written it, chances are it that it wouldn’t have been for me either.  It’s hard to get behind a series that leans on the angsty side of teen romance and who’s plot revolves around a love triangle.  As if that weren’t enough, it’s a sibling love triangle to boot.  But nonetheless, Jenny Han has once again gotten me invested in the characters she crafts.  No matter how immature Belly may act, how self destructive Conrad can be or how possessive Jere is, I had to read their story through to the very end.  There were a ton of moments where I wanted to slap each one of them, especially in this final installment, but still, I needed to know the outcome of their story.  I don’t want to get into the plot of this final book because there’s an event that sets the whole thing in motion and I don’t feel right spoiling either the trigger or the actions taken afterward for you.  I can tell you that this is the most satisfying conclusion I could’ve hoped for.  My ship has sailed!

Do I Recommend?:  I thoroughly enjoy Jenny Han’s characters and storytelling so if you’re in the same boat I would recommend you give this series a try.  As I mentioned above, the Summer series revolves around a sibling love triangle for all three books so this book is definitely not for everyone.

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Personal Thoughts:  I made it a goal of mine to read at least one book from several different authors this year (I actually made a video about it if you’re interested!) and Huntley Fitzpatrick was one of the names I planned on crossing off my author bucket list.  I think it’s good to branch out and try new authors because you never know if you’ll find a new favorite which is what happened to me with Huntley when I finished reading My Life Next Door.  I decided to read her books in publication and after finishing, I found out that her second novel, The Boy Most Likely To is actually a companion novel (following one of my favorite characters!!!!) so now I’m even more thrilled to have more to look forward to.

Plot Summary:  Samantha Reed is the daughter of a politician with a seemingly perfect life, and yet, she takes nothing for granted.  Despite money being no object, Samantha works several jobs, studies hard and always follows the rules her mother has set forth.  But still, Samantha has spent a lot of her time sitting outside her window watching the family next door, the Garretts, with their many children live life in a way that her own mother has always deemed irresponsible.  Still Samantha, yearns to get to know them and everything changes for her when Jase Garrett climbs her roof and the pair start falling deeply in love with one another.  Samantha keeps Jase at arms length from everything and everyone in her life but she has no issue falling into Jase’s.  And as most stories go, once everything seemed perfect, tragedy strikes and Samantha is torn between Jase’s family and her own.

Critique:  This book is just full of swoons.  Samantha is a really likable protagonist.  She always tries to do the right thing, plus she’s responsible, caring and trusting.  When Samanatha’s sister leaves for the summer and her mother hires a new campaign manager / much younger boyfriend, she finally opens up to the incredibly handsome boy next door about her life. Jase is such a sweetheart- the quintessential nice guy- who does everything he can for the people he loves.  Jase is great with his younger siblings and he works hard and trains hard to make college an attainable future path for himself.  Despite how different Jase and Samantha are, they form such an incredible bond and it is a pleasure to see their love for each other grow.  Sam also has twins Nan, a nut about getting into the perfect college, and Tim, an addict who is basically a ticking time bomb to contend with.  What I loved most about this book is the big family aspect.  Every member of Jase’s family has such a distinct personality and I love how open and accepting they are of everyone.  Their house might not be the tidiest, but there’s just so much love there!  Each character had an intriguing story arc- whether on a personal level or as a contributing factor to the overall story- and there were some really high stakes conflicts that I did not see coming.  While this may seem like a cute fluffy contemporary, do not be fooled! There is depth galore and some really high stress moments.

Do I Recommend?:  Yes! I really and truly loved this book and I cannot wait to read the companion novel!  The Garretts are not a family that I’ll be letting go of anytime soon.

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Kristin
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