Review: 16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler


16 Things I Thought Were True
Janet Gurtler
Series: None
Released: March 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: I'm a little all over the place, okay?
Reviewed by: Mel

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Heart attacks happen to other people

When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need

With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.

Review: The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik


The Last Best Kiss
Claire LaZebnik
Series: None
Released: April 22, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 3 stars
Word Rating: I see flaws, but it was still cute, okay?
Reviewed by: Mel

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Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.

Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.

All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too....

With her signature wit and expertly authentic teen voice, Claire LaZebnik (the author of fan favorites Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting) once again breathes new life into a perennially popular love story. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic tale of first loves and second chances.

Waiting on Wednesday - The Fall by Bethany Griffin


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is The Fall by Bethany Griffin.

The Fall
Bethany Griffin
Series: Standalone?
Released: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Waited on by Blythe

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Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #1
Released: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: I know, finally
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day!


On behalf of the creeps peeps at Finding Bliss in Books, we wish y'all a Happy (belated) Valentine's Day! (This is Mel writing the intro by the way.) Originally, this post was going to be posted on Valentine's Day but we ended up getting more authors for guest posts than we had planned. Nevertheless, we are going to celebrate Valentine's Day the bookish way with a giveaway! *cue squealing* *throws chocolate hearts everywhere* We decided to create a BuzzFeed-ish type quiz so you can decide which book would be more suited for you to win (because this way it's way more fun). All you need to do is choose one answer (A, B or C) to the questions and then it gets quite self-explanatory after that.

1. If your love life was a book, its title would be:

A. Nights of Cake and Puppets
B. Maybe One Day
C. Ruin and Rising

2. What's your favourite type of romance?

A. Friends falling for each other.
B. The slow burn.
C. From hate to love.

3. You respond with:

A. "Heeeeeyyyyy."
B. "What's up?"
C. "Nope."

4. You're writing The Ideal Date Mate Manifesto. How would you start?

A. Blind me with your charm.
B. Dazzle me with your wit.
C. Smite my enemies.
(Thanks Meg, for putting it so eloquently)

5. Which bookish date would you want to reenact?

A. Reading each other stories à la Fangirl
B. Career days à la The Distance Between Us
C. Battling enemies side by side à la Finnikin of the Rock

6. You'd abbreviate Valentine's Day as:

A. V-Day
B. Valentine's

7. Pick a Valentine's Day card:




8. A good relationship functions on:

A. Banter
B. Honesty
C. (Sexual) tension

9. Pick a dessert:

A. Cupcakes (Yes, plural)
B. Pudding
C. Sachertorte

10. Which trope are you, admittedly, not entirely burned out on yet?

A. Faking it
B. Love triangles
C. Bad boys

11. Pick a Stiles:




12. Which flaw are you able to tolerate best?

A. Your partner can be completely clueless.
B. Your partner can be a bit of an asshole at times.
C. Your partner has a quick temper.

13. Ideal hairstyle:

A. Floppy-haired
D. Bedhead
C. Full of secrets

14. Choose a bad pick-up line:

A. Feel my shirt. It's boyfriend material.
B. I seem to have lost my number. Can I have yours?
C. There's a party in my pants and you're invited.

What did you answer most?

Mostly A

A perfect book for you would have the following key words: cute, adorable, fluffy. You love banter and misunderstandings that lead to more banter and ultimately, love/like declarations that make even the coldest heart (read: Ellis) go aaaaawww. Shipping the ship is where it's at, especially if it comes with a delightful dose of humor.

Blythe recommends:

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Mel recommends:

 On the Fence by Kasie West

Ellis recommends:

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Mostly B

You like it when a book features a normal and realistic portrayal of love. That doesn't necessarily mean it's less funny or shipworthy than A, just that there are more ups and downs in the (budding) relationship. Strong friendships are often part of the deal and it isn't that uncommon to start yelling at one or more of the characters. You're just that invested.

Blythe recommends:

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Mel recommends:

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Ellis recommends:

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Mostly C

You're fond of the darker forms of romance, which often come in the shape of tortured and/or forbidden love. Inappropriate is another word for it. Hate-to-love isn't that uncommon, as is unresolved sexual tension.

Blythe recommends:

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

(Cruel Beauty was, of course, my initial choice for this; however, since we've already given that away for the event, Dangerous Girls is also worthy of this spot because WHOA UNHEALTHY ROMANCE. And it's glorious.)

Mel recommends:

Stolen: A Letter To My Captor by Lucy Christopher 

(I had originally chosen Dangerous Girls but Blythe chose that one. I've heard that this one would be suiting though.)

Ellis recommends:

The Falconer by Elizabeth May


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Finding Swoons in Books: Sharon Biggs Waller

Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you're forcing your significant other to inundate you with chocolate or choose to hang with friends and that same chocolate, I'm sure every one of us has it in them to make this at least an okay day. Because chocolate. Speaking of happy places, from creepy but not too creepy romance to romantic spots in the C of A, it has been quite the eventful week over here at Finding Swoons in Books, a.k.a. the aforementioned happy place in case you didn't catch that. Now, for our final day of guest posts, we have Sharon Biggs Waller, author of the severely underhyped A Mad, Wicked Folly, here with us to talk a little about love in an Edwardian place. So give it up for Sharon, Vicky and chocolate! Always chocolate.


Finding Swoons in Books: Claire LaZebnik

Finding Swoons in Books is slowly coming to a close, but we're not there yet. Today's post is by Claire LaZebnik, author of last year's The Trouble with Flirting and the upcoming The Last Best Kiss. Mel recently read and really enjoyed The Last Best Kiss, and thought the romance was really cute; so, today, Claire is sharing how her main characters in The Last Best Kiss would spend their Valentine's Day together, and, mostly, what they would give each other to celebrate! If you're just tuning in right now, all the Finding Swoons posts are right here.


Finding Swoons in Books: Paula Stokes

The thing with Valentine's day shoving all kinds of couply lovey-dovey things in your face is that some have resorted to calling it Single Awareness Day. It's a bit morose, but I can kind of see that. As a person who's been a single lady for most of her life - and I'm being quite serious about this. Put my dating life on a pie chart and you'll have this very small sliver that says "possibly not single" - I am thrilled to announce that Finding Swoons is catering to the fun-loving single crowd today. (Not that couples don't love fun. I mean, Blythe and horse masks. Just saying.) Stopping by today is Paula Stokes, the fantabulous author of the equally fantabulous contemporary romance The Art of Lainey. Her characters Lainey and Bianca - a.k.a. 2014's hottest galmance - are here to talk about 10 ways to have fun with friends on V-Day. Let us know if you agree, if you're totally ditching you romantic type person thingy now or if you have your own suggestions!

Finding Swoons in Books: Rachael Allen

At first, there was Rosamund Hodge and the gift of Ignifex. I hope you were grateful because HOT DAMN. Then came the second day, and it brought Elizabeth Fama, and the secret to the mega-intensity of the romance in her upcoming novel Plus One. The third day, we went to find swoons with Alyssa Scheinmel, who thought these five places in The North (of California, where winter is never coming) were ideal for that sort of thing. Then came day four, which introduced us to the brilliant mind of Dahlia Adler, as she showed us around the parameters of healthy and badass romance. She called Ellis brave, so obviously everything Dahlia says is truth. And here we are. Finding Swoons  - Day Five. Let's all channel our inner Effie Trinket and Welcome! Welcome! Rachael Allen, who clues us in on what she thinks the best 17 movie kisses are. Let us know what your Top 17 Kisses are, whether it's movie-, book-, or life-related.


Finding Swoons in Books: Dahlia Adler

Day four! Today we have Dahlia Adler, author of the upcoming Behind the Scenes, and she is awesome and a good friend of mine. She's one of the people I come to when I look for contemporary romance (and NA) recommendations, and she'll be putting her recommending skills to use in today's post; in this post, she'll be discussing her favorite types of romances and romance-related tropes in YA, and shares some recommendations for each romance type and trope. Let us know if you've read any of her recommendations, and any other types of romance and romance tropes you like best!


Finding Swoons in Books: Alyssa Sheinmel

Welcome back to day three of Finding Swoons in Books! If you're just now catching up, yesterday Elizabeth Fama wrote about her upcoming novel, Plus One, as well as her writing process while creating the romance. Also, The Princess Bride. Yeah. Then, to kickstart the event, Rosamund Hodge wrote about the romance in her amazing debut, Cruel Beauty, and how she tried to make it creepy, but at the same time not too creepy. And now today, Alyssa Sheinmel is writing about the top five places in California (where her upcoming novel, Second Star, takes place) her MC, Wendy Darling (I know, right?) thinks are romantic. Enjoy! And if you live in California, let us know what your top five romantic places are, or if you agree with any of Wendy Darling's picks!

Finding Swoons in Books: Elizabeth Fama

Hey, everyone! Today as part of Finding Swoons in Books, Elizabeth Fama, author of the fantastic Monstrous Beauty and upcoming Plus One shares a bit about her writing process for the romance in Plus One and just Plus One in general. Enjoy!


Finding Swoons in Books: Rosamund Hodge

As most of you probably know, Mel and I are huge fans of Cruel Beauty (which Ellis hasn't read yet, so you could, you know, go after her with pitchforks later). It's seriously one of my favorite books of all time, and it has one of my favorite romances of all time as well. And today's kick-off post by Cruel Beauty author Rosamund Hodge explains exactly why: it's creepy, but not "too creepy," and it's realistic and Ignifex is complex and fantastic and ah, I could go on for hours. 

But this is Rosamund's post; so now, find out how Rosamund Hodge managed to make her romance in Cruel Beauty creepy but not too creepy!


Are You Ready for Finding Swoons in Books?

... Because swoons are all something we hope to find in books, right? I hope you answered "right!" in response to that because, in celebration of Valentine's Day coming up, we'll be having some fun, romance-filled posts on the blog for the next week. It's kind of like what we did for Halloween with Finding Fright in Books, but this is DIFFERENT. Because DIFFERENT HOLIDAY. And DIFFERENT AUTHORS.

And there's the next thing about this event--the posts will be written by a bunch of awesome authors whose books, a) either have romances we adore, or b) have romances that look adorable. These posts will contain many fun and swoon-y things, all leading up to a big post on Valentine's Day! So, prepare yourself for some awesome posts and some swoon-y swoons and some fun this week! 

So yeah. 

Waiting on Wednesday - Everything Leads to You


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour.

Everything Leads to You
Nina LaCour
Series: Standalone
Released: May 15th, 2014
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Waited on by: Blythe

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A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan


Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited, #1
Released: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: FUN!
Reviewed by: Mel

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The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

Carriers are like a cancer to this once great nation. And like any disease, sometimes the only way to battle it is with poison.

Review: Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood


Kathryn Littlewood
Series: The Bliss Bakery, #1
Released: February 14th, 2012
Publisher: The Inkhouse
Rating: 2.5 stars
Word Rating: Pretty cute
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Rosemary Bliss’s family has a secret. It’s the Bliss Cookery Booke—an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Stone Sleep Snickerdoodles and Singing Gingersnaps. Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke under lock and whisk-shaped key while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. “Aunt” Lily rides a motorcycle, wears purple sequins, and whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, nonmagical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily—a lot less fun.

So Rose and her siblings experiment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke.

A few Love Muffins and a few dozen Cookies of Truth couldn’t cause too much trouble . . . could they?

Kathryn Littlewood’s culinary caper blends rich emotional flavor with truly magical wit, yielding one heaping portion of hilarious family adventure.