Friday, January 31, 2014

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Publication Date: April 28, 2008
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pages: 266
Keywords: science fiction, genetics, amnesia
Other Books Reviewed: The Miles Between

Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

Guys, I received this book so long ago, and I vaguely remember reading it, but I don't think I actually really READ it. Because this time through, it kind of blew me away.

There's not a whole lot I can do plot-wise without being spoiler-y,  but I think what struck me most about this was the sentence style and the gorgeous prose Pearson used. Periodically, there were pages written in verse that led to extremely thoughtful chapters from the MC that really brought up a lot of interesting questions about ethics, and what to do if your friends lie on the other side of the argument. Some lines floored me with how poignant and real they were, and this brought up a lot of real-world issues as well.

The only thing that keeps me from giving this a 100% thumbs-up is it did move a little slower than most YA books. I don't think that's a bad thing, but I know a lot of people don't like when books aren't all action all the time. With this, the action has already happened. We're in the aftermath and in the dark with Jenna as she tries to piece together her life.

Read When : You want a good science fiction piece with some really intriguing questions that will make you want to discuss with as many people you can find that have read this book. 

Also, as a side note, my copy is signed and LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

TFiOS Trailer

IT'S HERE. I can't.

I was being productive today until now. Now I've watched this close to 10 times. And counting.
 

I don't think I can wait anymore for the movie.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Heartbeat

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott (web | tweet)
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 256
Keywords: grief, family, friendship
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley


Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.
But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.
Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

First of all, happy release day to E. Scott and Heartbeat! I've linked above if you want to go get it!

This is one of those books I really wanted to read, and then I read some reviews on Goodreads and was kind of worried because a lot (I mean a LOT) of people marked it as DNF or gave it only one star.

But (and this is obviously just my opinion) BEING ANGRY AT THE CHARACTER OR HER ACTIONS ARE NO REASON TO HATE THE BOOK. Okay, I'm calm again.

The central focus of the story revolves around Emma having to come to terms with the fact that her mom has just died, and her stepdad has chosen to keep her alive because she's pregnant. She is naturally very angry with him for making her continue to know that her mom is dead but machines are keeping her breathing, and to her, this keeps her mother from finding peace. She hates her stepdad now and locks herself physically and mentally off from him.
But regardless of whether or not I agree with what she's doing, I completely understand her actions. Her mother died less than thirty days ago, and it is still an extremely sensitive time for her. EScott captured this perfectly, and her writing is beautiful as it tells Emma's struggle to come to terms with what is happening.

I was so impressed with the subject she tackled, and the romance line kind of took the back burner, which I was so happy with. I didn't want it to be the focus since it wouldn't have been the focus of Emma's life at the time.
(It also made me extremely intrigued as to what would happen in real life were this to happen, and recently there was a case in Texas where the husband wanted to take his wife off life support because there was most likely a lot of brain damage and harm done to the baby inside, but the hospital refused to take her off. The case was just ruled a few days ago.)

Overall an extremely poignant and challenging novel that brought up a lot of questions about what I personally believe and how people handle grief.

Read When : You're ready to think about a book instead of just getting a mindless romance. This one will make you want to do research into what you believe about life support, unborn babies, and dealing with loss.

Anyone else read this? What did you think?
(Please, refrain from mean comments in regards to life/choice debate. I love discussion a lot, but anything that is mean or condemns the other side will be deleted)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: February 3, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 441
Keywords: love, rebellion, dystopia


Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure.

*hangs head in shame*
I got an ARC of this BEFORE IT WAS PUBLISHED. Yep, in 2011. So I probably received this around 2010. And I JUST NOW read it.

I know. Scold me later, please. Moving on.

THIS BOOK.

I was mildly intrigued at the beginning, starting another dystopian novel where the MC (teenage girl hero) rebells against the government. It started a bit slow for my taste for dystopian, but Oliver did a really amazing job of world-building and really immersing the reader into the society and how the whole of the country was set up. That was extremely helpful for what would happen later on.

Now onto Lena. She was a refreshing YA MC. And here's why: she was confused. She wasn't innately rebellious. She believed the cure was a good thing and would help her. She tried to talk her best friend out of second-guessing the government's choices, and I liked that. Most of us aren't naturally going to shout and protest. Instead, we'll be quieter, wondering if this is truly the right thing or not. So she was a great change of pace from the traditional dystopian heroine we usually see.

As far as the rest of the book went, once the issues started to escalate, things got interesting and moved a lot faster. The ending is KILLING me as I don't have the next one yet, so I'm desperate to know what happens.

But, this book brought up really important issues of censorship, and what the government should and should not be allowed to do with things like music and the internet. It was so intriguing reading about a society where the MC only knew that the Internet was censored and there were only certain sites she could access. She hears "unregulated" music for the first time and is blown away by the emotion it brings her. These are things that are hugely relevant today, and censorship is consistently a topic brought up in Congress, so I loved seeing those issues in YA.

Let's discuss in comments! Do you think the government should have access to censor anything? If so, what? What of Lena? You think she'll make it? (No spoilers please! I hate when things are spoiled!)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Birthday Giveaway!

That's right! Today is my birthday! Cheers! I'm 22, which is a bit terrifying because out of nowhere, I feel so old and like I'm supposed to be a grown-up — yikes! (But don't worry, I still prefer YA books to grown-up ones any day)

And yes, I'm aware this doesn't really make sense, but for my birthday, I'm starting another choose your own ARCs giveaway from my shelf!

That's right! Out of this magical pile of ARCs (and possibly just books), the winner gets to choose which FOUR books he/she wants me to mail him/her. (So many slashes!) So just head to the rafflecopter below :)


Monday, January 20, 2014

Why I Love YA

Guys. This is a huge issue for me.

For those that don't know, I'm a senior in college, getting ready to enter the real world (yikes!). And to this day, I still struggle sometimes in the library or bookstore because I'm in the YA section. Sometimes I rock it. Sometimes I pray to anything that's listening that I won't run into anyone I know. And it makes me sad that I feel this way. Because guys?

YA is AWESOME

It's some of the most innovative, creative literature out there. It's not "young" and "naive" and "immature." It's brave for taking bold risks with plots and characters and doing what regular fiction doesn't do. It invents worlds, but not just fantasy worlds, it creates young characters who are struggling in one of the hardest moments of their lives. If you're older than teenagers, like me, take a minute to think about all the crazy hard things young people are asked to do.

College, majors, where to live, who to like, who to be friends with, first heartbreak, successes and failures, grief and loss.

All these things are things young people are experiencing for the first time, and it's a difficult thing to come to terms with. These books are not just lighthearted reads meant for teens and then when you grow up you read "real" literature. These are books for helping people figure out how to do that or to help people remember what that time of their life was like.

Young people are brand-new on the planet, and it's a hard thing to figure out — how to be a person — and suddenly, they are thrown into this chaotic place and expected to handle it all with grace and poise. It's simply not going to happen.

So for all the non-YA YA readers out there, be proud of sticking to the young adult section. Tell others why they should put down the generic mystery book they're holding and try something new. Something brave. Something daring.

Because YA is AWESOME.

In the comments, does anyone else feel this way in bookstores and libraries, etc? How do you get over that?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 313
Keywords: cancer, romance, grief
Format Read: Hardcover (DUH I bought it) 

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

I did a rereading of this recently and realized I'd never put it up here on the blog. I'm not really going to review it. I mean, it's awesome. One of the best. Ever.

But I think most people know that by now (if you don't, explain to me, where exactly is the rock you've been living under?). I mainly just wanted to put this up here to talk about the impact John Green's writing has on teens (and grown-ups. and in-betweens like me) all over the world. His stories prove that teens are naive and that teens are mature. They are both and everything in between. But so are people, not just young people. And his stories are about PEOPLE. They are real, they resonate with us, and they stay with us forever. His hilarity and poignancy are what make the novels so great. Because they are real, they aren't 100% depressing and they aren't 100% happy ending. They are that odd, gray, in between state that is life, and his books have just impacted my life so much, I wanted to talk about them for a bit.

(And bonus points to those who know who this is for)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 384
Keywords: science fiction, aliens, romance
Format Read: ARC via NetGalley



It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.


I'll be the first to admit it — it was slow going. I started this way back at the beginning of December, and it took me quite a few attempts to make it to the 20% mark on my Kindle. But once I did...

HOLY CRAP.

So it got way more intense once I finally reached the point of the book where the stakes were upped and the characters felt more real and everything was already going. Here's where I talk about what I liked. The whole premise, plot, etc. of the book. This was like, the first ACTUAL science fiction young adult book I've read. I don't count dystopia. That's its own whole category. This was legitimate science fiction, and I loved that. I'm a huge sci-fi girl, so I was extremely excited that this book was even in that genre. And it completely fulfilled and surpassed my expectations as far as what physically happened in the book and how the characters dealt with it.

And I even liked the development of the characters. Obviously, you don't have to like the characters for a book to be good, but everything these characters did and said and tried was completely believable to who they were and who the authors made them to be. And yes, Lilac seemed petty and annoying at times, but let's be real guys, she was basically a princess who got thrown from the spacecraft and had to trek through the unknown environment in her dress and heels. So yeah, I'd probably be a little unsettled too. I really loved Tarver a lot. I loved his actions, his stuggles, and his point of view chapters. Pretty much everything. And I know a lot of people said they were too young, but I disagree. Tarver was older, and Lilac was seventeen, but she experienced a lot and seemed very mature (even with all the huffing and whining) and I thought it worked well for what it was.

The only thing holding me back was how slow the beginning was and how long it took for any sort of interesting action to happen, but once it got going it was great.

Read When: You want a legit sci-fi story with a lot of high tech happenings and exploration with a definite romance line.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blog Tour: Green Valley & Interview with Israel Parker

Green Valley Blog Tour Welcome to today's Blog Tour stop for Israel Parker's Green Valley. Below is some exciting information like summary, author info, a short and spectacular interview with the author himself, and a rafflecopter giveaway (for a Kindle Paperwhite and 2 signed copies of the book)!

Green Valley by Israel Parker
Publication Date: November 2013
Publisher: IJP Press


A serial killer is on the loose in Green Valley, but what if he's the good guy?

The year is 2036 and the United States is pulling out of an economic crisis, thanks to new industries and technologies that thrive in Green Valley, Ohio. Regarded as "America's Hope," the city also boasts being named the safest city in America for five years running. But now Green Valley, one of only a handful of cities protected by the still-experimental Unified Enforcement Police, struggles to catch a new-era murderer who continues to kill and elude capture. As the elite federal police close in on the killer, they discover that something darker has infiltrated their perfect city.

Happily bumbling through his predictable life, Milton Simon comes face-to-face with murderer Clarence Jasper and is surprised to find that the killer has a message for him: JOIN ME. Milton soon learns that not only is Green Valley not the safe haven everyone perceives it to be; it’s Hell on Earth.

And if this isn't awesome enough for you, Israel Parker was kind enough to answer a few questions!

What gave you the idea for your book?
I don’t know exactly what gave me the idea for the book. My writing process starts with me at the keyboard with a blank page. I don’t outline and don’t plan. Not for a while anyway. After I get some words down, usually around 20,000, I have an idea where the story is going. Then the ideas come from…hell, I don’t know where they come from. I think they’re a combination of what I read in the news, the people I meet, and the books I’ve read in the past. They all come together in a mush that I try to flatten out into my own thoughts. I don’t know if it’s the most efficient process, but it’s the most fun. 

If you could sum up the MC in one word, what would it be and why?
Unnatural. The whole story is about the changing world. It tells the story of how nature is and has been manipulated, and motivations of people to manipulate it. It’s a fun, wild ride that will have you wanting to both look away and not able to look away at the same time. I take great pride in ensuring that the details and realism are there for the reader’s enjoyment.

What is your ideal writing environment?
I like to write with the following two different conditions: loud music or complete silence. With my busy schedule however, I just really shoot for a constant. If it’s going to be loud, I just need it to be consistently loud or vice versa. Either way enables me to disengage from the rest of the world and go into the world between my ears.

What are three things you cannot live without right now?
My family. My writing. Books.

What's the most exciting part of having a book published?
This one is easy. Seeing people’s reaction to the story. I love talking with readers afterwards and hearing their thoughts on the story. Recently I received a 3 star review on Amazon in which the reader was simply scared or couldn’t stomach the book. This would probably bother normal people, but I love this kind of feedback. As an artist I want to get a strong reaction from the reader. This shows me that they were moved, whether negatively or positively, and that is what I am after.

Israel Parker is a former Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer, Coast Guard Officer, and author of widely successful YA book, The Anne Marie.
In 2004, Israel was stationed at Air Station New Orleans, one of the Coast Guard’s busiest air, search and rescue units. One year later, Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed the Crescent City. He participated in countless daring rescues. These experiences fueled his desire to tell his stories.
Israel currently is stationed in Barboursville, West Virginia with his wife Melanie, their two children and their faithful Basset Hound, Roxanne. He remains on active duty, serving his country as a Coast Guard Officer.



Now, what you've been waiting for: The giveaway!


Check out the official tour page for a full list of who's hosting when!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Gravity of Birds

The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 295
Keywords: memories, art, family
Format Read: ARC from author in exchange for honest review (thank you so much!)

Sisters Natalie and Alice Kessler were close, until adolescence wrenched them apart. Natalie is headstrong, manipulative, and beautiful; Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds. During their family's summer holiday at the lake, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter, Thomas Bayber, in whom she finds a kindred spirit. Natalie, however, remains strangely unmoved, sitting for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered.

Decades later, Bayber, now a reclusive, world-renowned artist, unveils a never-before-seen work, Kessler Sisters -- a provocative painting depicting the young Thomas, Natalie, and Alice. Bayber asks Dennis Finch, an art history professor, and Stephen Jameson, an eccentric young art authenticator, to sell the painting for him. That task becomes more complicated when the artist requires that they first locate Natalie and Alice, who seem to have vanished. And Finch finds himself wondering why Thomas is suddenly so intent on resurrecting the past.

Elegant prose and mysterious, well-crafted characters Guzeman nailed them. I was constantly blown away by her lyrical writing, and I'm just going to place on of my favorite quotes here to give you an idea (for context, he's speaking to the artist of a painting):

"You have been praised for your rendering of minute details in your work." Stephen paused, thinking about the first time he'd seen one of Bayber's paintings. "It's like looking at a puzzle, isn't it? The longer and closer you look, the more you see. And once something is seen, it cannot be unseen. The viewer is never able to take in the piece as he did the fist time — indeed the initial impression is gone and cannot be recalled."

The art history nerd in me loved every second of the discussions about art and the details they contain. The family connections were especially intriguing, and it was like a soft mystery throughout the course of the novel. I desperately wanted to know what happened in the past to make certain characters the way they were and why some of them no longer talked with others.

This was just one of those books that is so thoughtful and makes you read slowly because you want to read every single word on the page. And it wasn't action-packed or anything, and at times I felt like the plot moved excruciatingly slowly (which was the only negative I took away from the book at all), but even then, Guzeman's writing was so intriguing that it almost didn't matter.

Read When: You're looking for a more poignant piece that makes you truly think about the words in a book rather than speeding through it for fun.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Roomies: My Story and a Sweepstakes Giveaway

As part of the promotional tour for Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando, I'm sharing a roomie story and yes, a giveaway for a finished copy of the book (which, by the way, is SUPERB, and you can find my review here)!


My freshman year of college was great. I made a lot of friends, took some interesting classes, etc. I lived in the honors dorm (that's right, I'm cool), and didn't know my roommate ahead of time. She was an art therapy/art education major, and we ended up getting along superbly. We were both crafty and liked to make things and rearrange the room about once every three months. 

It went downhill when her friend started visiting. This girl lived a few doors down the hall, and for some reason, claimed she couldn't sleep in her own room. So she brought a sleeping bag and slept on our floor. Six nights a week. She was also an athlete who had to get up around 4:30 for practice. Enter the alarm. I am not a morning person. I was not a happy camper every time this alarm went off. So this began the weirdness of room shuffling. Every time she came to our room around six in the evening to hang out, be loud and disruptive, and eat my snacks (?), I grabbed my stuff and ran for safety further down the hall with my friend Ellen*, who was also having roommate trouble. 

Hers was more along the lines of having attachment issues to boys she thought she was dating. And she would sob for hours and days about the latest one she was upset about not having dated. So Ellen and I found ourselves shuffling between our rooms, trying to avoid the crazies. 

Sophomore year, we became roommates, and are still excellent friends to this day. We watched TLC (including Little People, Big World and Sister Wives) at bedtime and talked about other people's lives, she wrote me bedtime lullabies and sang along with her guitar, and we generally were just really silly and awesome roommates. So I'm glad I dealt with the strangeness that I did or I never would have become such good friends with Ellen.

And everyone needs a crazy roommate story at some point. That's where all the good stories come from. :)

*Name is changed to keep this anonymous

I hope you enjoyed my roomie story, and now for the giveaway! One lucky winner (US only per request from the publisher!) will receive a finished copy of Roomies! And trust me, I've read it, you definitely want this book in your collection.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sara and Tara will also be on tour at the following places! I'm not anywhere near them, but I'm sure it's going to be excellent, so if you're close, you should go!
  • January 12, 2014 – New York, NY: McNally Jackson [venue link]
  • January 15, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT: The King's English [venue link]
  • January 16, 2014 – Provo, UT: Provo Library [venue link]
  • February 4, 2014 – San Francisco, CA: Books Inc, Opera Plaza [venue link
  • February 5, 2015 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield's Books [venue link]


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Year Giveaway

With the start of a new year, I'm celebrating by purging my bookshelf! This is the first in a series I plan to continue throughout the year, with the books always rotating to be fresh and exciting!

How it works is the winner will get to choose THREE, yep, THREE books from the pile of ARCs for that month I have on rotation (I picked them off my shelf at random, and I hope to be able to keep changing them out every month). The ones that aren't chosen will be put back in the rotation!

Here's the photo of what you can choose from! If you have any questions leave a comment below!
US only (sorry, but I'm a poor college student, someday maybe I can ship internationally :)



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions

This meme is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

There aren't ten because that's a lot of things to resolve to do, but let's get to it:

1. Read more e-books. For those of you who read regularly, you know I'm not a fan. I have a Kindle. I don't like it. But, my ratio on NetGalley is suffering (I think, like everyone else's). I need to catch up and stop requesting so many books I don't actually have the time to read. Until I can read 5, I'm not allowing myself on NetGalley to look at any more.

2. VLOG! Yep, vlog. This is a thing I'll be trying (this week, actually) so any tips, other vloggers to follow, or anything at all really will be welcome. I am planning on vlogging reviews/thoughts on books. Not full-fledged reviews, but an aspect in particular that made me think about a certain topic (hint, I'll be starting with Allegiant).

3. Put down books I don't like. I'm a terrible book-quitter. I try so hard to like everything, and it puts me in a book slump when I get stuck on a book I loathe. So I'm going to put down books this year I don't want to read!

Again, tips on vlogging would be extremely helpful! What are your resolutions? How are your NetGalley piles?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: December 2, 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 372
Keywords: Paris, romance, boarding school
Format Read: Hardcover (gift from my Secret Santa!)


Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all... including a serious girlfriend.

I have wanted to read this forever, and for some unknown reason (I'm poor), I never got around to getting my hands on a copy. So when it showed up in my secret santa box, I literally started it that second.

What really impressed me was how thoughtful this book really was about young people getting out on their own and figuring out who they are and what they can do with their lives. Anna moves to Paris on her own (attending school with many other Americans, but it's still unsettling to be in an entirely different country) and has to orient herself with her classmates and the city.

The story also tackled a lot really well in the way of young love and figuring out how to deal with the hard stuff. There's a bit of romance-gone-wrong, betrayal, long-distance issues, crushes currently involved with other people, and the list could go on. I was so impressed with how real Perkins depicted the struggle all the kids dealt with as they tried to make sense of how they felt and what was happening.

I also loved the relationship between Anna and her friends at the school, not just the focal relationship that the story revolved around. They were so honest and real friends, and I truly believed they were a tight-knit group of people in real life, reminding me a lot of some of my friends I grew up with.

This book, on the surface that seems like another teen romance in a foreign city, actually delves a lot deeper and manages to be extremely thoughtful about problems young people are facing — long-distance struggles, learning to be on your own, and transitioning to college — and I was really pleased with the result.

Read When: You want to be swept away to a romantic city, and don't forget to pour yourself a glass of wine before you start this.

Friday, January 3, 2014

This is What Happy Looks Like

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 416
Keywords: summer, celebrities, romance
Format Read: library book



When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. 

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

Initially I was drawn to this book because of the cover and because I'd heard so many things about Smith's books, I grabbed it from the shelf at the library.

And it was cute. But I'm finding that's really all I thought it was. I wasn't bored by it, and I was interested in the characters, but they didn't really seem to have anything to them other than the fact that they were two people who weren't supposed to meet but did. I didn't see who Ellie and Graham were apart from one another, and they didn't seem to know who they themselves were apart from each other, which was kind of disappointing.

There was a whole second side plot that could have been really interesting as well, and I found myself wishing Ellie would go for that rather than pursue this thing with Graham. I wanted her to discover more about her family and learn to grow and be her own person rather than feel so hopelessly united to this celebrity boy she had just met.

It was cute. It wasn't realistic, but it was cute, and I was okay with that. It kept me reading, and I liked it in general, and I definitely think it's a poolside summer read.

Read When: You need a cute, lighthearted romance that you know will absolutely defy all odds and be happy in the end.