G. Bianco, 2019
From the bestselling author of They Wish They Were Us comes another YA thriller about how far two sisters will go to be the best. Set to be released on July 27th, They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman will have you wondering just how deep everyone’s secrets run.
Stella and Ellie Steckler are only a year apart, but their different personalities make their relationship complicated. Stella is single-minded, driven, and she keeps to herself. Cross-country running is her life and she won't let anything get in the way of being the best. Her sister Ellie is a talented runner too, but she also lets herself have fun. She has friends. She goes to parties. She has a life off the course. The sisters do have one thing in common, though: the new girl, Mila Keene. At first, Ellie and Stella view the new star athlete as a threat. But soon Ellie can't help but be drawn to her warm, charming personality. After her best friend moved away and her first boyfriend betrayed her, Ellie's been looking for a friend to share her secrets. Stella finds herself noticing the ways she and Mila are similar. Mila is smart and strong--she's someone Stella can finally connect with. As the two get closer, Stella becomes something she vowed she'd never be: distracted. With regionals approaching and college scouts taking notice, the pressure is on. Each girl has their future on the line and they won't let friendships get in their way. But then, suddenly, Mila goes out on a training run and never returns. No one knows what happened, but all eyes are on the Steckler sisters.
Ok I binged this book in 36 hours and it’s out today so I don’t know what else I need to say to convince you to read this book! (But if you need more convincing, keep reading lol).
Let it be known that I’m not the biggest fan of thrillers. So trust me when I say that this book is AMAZING! Not only do we have a small town where everyone has their own agenda, but we also get missing persons cases, a competitive cross-country team, and two sisters with a boatload of secrets. The plot was engaging and kept me on my toes the entire time. And when I thought I had it all figured out, everything got flipped on its head and I was shocked at who the actual culprit was!
Aside from the mystery and thriller aspects of the story, readers get Stella and Ellie’s POVs narrating the events going on and analyzing their own relationship as sisters. I loved the way these two, despite competing with each other and being jealous of one another their entire lives, can push aside any animosity and protect one another when the time is right. Their relationship is so complex, but fascinating to read about and is truly a testament to the power of sisterhood.
Binge-worthy and jaw-dropping, this YA thriller is a must-read! Goodman is definitely turning into an auto-read author for me!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book is for all of the people out there who secretly wish they could get revenge on someone! Publishing on July 27th, Sonia Hartl’s new book, Heartbreak for Hire, shows just what happens when you mess with the wrong people, and sometimes the people aren’t quite what they seem…
Brinkley Saunders has a secret. To everyone in the academic world she left behind, she lost it all when she dropped out of grad school. Once a rising star following in her mother’s footsteps, she’s now an administrative assistant at an insurance agency—or so they think. In reality, Brinkley works at Heartbreak for Hire, a secret service that specializes in revenge for jilted lovers, frenemies, and long-suffering coworkers with a little cash to spare and a man who needs to be taken down a notch. It might not be as prestigious as academia, but it helps Brinkley save for her dream of opening an art gallery and lets her exorcise a few demons, all while helping to empower women. But when her boss announces she’s hiring male heartbreakers for the first time, Brinkley’s no longer so sure she’s doing the right thing—especially when her new coworker turns out to be a target she was paid to take down. Though Mark spends his days struggling up the academic ladder, he seems to be the opposite of a backstabbing adjunct: a nerd at heart in criminally sexy sweater vests who’s attentive both in and out of the bedroom. But as Brinkley finds it increasingly more difficult to focus on anything but Mark, she soon realizes that like herself, people aren’t always who they appear to be.
This book was so funny and adorable!! I was immediately intrigued by the Heartbreak for Hire business and how Brinkley did her job, but the addition of the drama and antics of the men joining the company took the plot to the next level. I also really liked how even though this was a romance book (and we got a little bit of spiciness), the emphasis was really on Brinkley and how she grew as a person and learned to take more risks in life and allow herself to put her dreams into action. Also, seeing the sleazy guys throughout the novel get their comeuppance is quite satisfying and funny to read about!
If you’re looking for the next binge-worthy romcom, this is the book for you! I know I’ll definitely be checking out Hartl’s other books in the future.
*I received an ARC from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Looking for a cutesy read to add to your TBR? Might I suggest a “Princess and the Frog”-style romcom that comes out on July 27th? If that plot sounds intriguing to you then you have to check out Saranna DeWylde’s newest addition to her Fairy Godmothers Inc. Series: Men Are Frogs!
Disgraced wedding planner Zuri Davis is so relieved to be offered a job with Fairy Godmothers, Inc., she’s willing to trade the excitement of Chicago for the small-town charm of Ever After. Falling for one of her grooms, even unintentionally, was enough to destroy her career—and also to prove that all men are indeed frogs. But then she meets gorgeous B&B owner Philip Charming… Three hundred years as a frog by day and himself by night, is enough to test any man’s patience--even if Philip knows he deserved Petunia’s curse. It certainly taught him not to mess around when it comes to making promises. And Zuri is a woman he’d like to promise his heart to—if only he weren’t a sometimes-frog. Can he hope for True Love’s Kiss from a woman whose trust has been so thoroughly broken?
I have a confession to make: I did not have high hopes for this book…
While I liked the first book in this series, it was cheesy and a little too heavy-hitting with the amount of side plots to the story at times. However, this sequel was so much better! The main plot was great and the little side plots were interesting, but also didn’t overpower Phillip and Zuri’s romance.
I also feel like I knew what I was getting into with this story compared to its predecessor since I knew most of the characters and was familiar with DeWylde’s writing style. The fairy tale village is just the right amount of corny that you’ll want to visit Ever After yourself and see all the sights! If you go in expecting a cutesy romance set in a fairytale village rather than a hard-hitting dramatic romance, then you’ll definitely enjoy the story more! Also, can I get a one-way ticket to Prince Charming’s castle so I can get served hot cocoa every night via magic? Because the castle might’ve been my favorite part of this story!
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading what matchmaking antics the Fairy Godmothers will get up to next!
*I received an ARC from Kensington Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
Calling all fantasy fans: Lexi Ryan’s new book, These Hollow Vows, is the YA book you need to add to your TBR! Set to be released on July 20th, this book shows just how far one girl will go to get what she wants.
Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she'll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court. Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie's only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm. Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.
I only have six words: HOLY GOODNESS WAS THIS BOOK GOOD! Ok so maybe I have more than just six words… 😂
I’ve read quite a few books with Faeries and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the world-building in this book was unique to any other book I’ve read. Obviously there can be similarities drawn to other novels because they are rooted in the same folklore, but I was still so enthralled with the fantasy elements of this story.
Love triangle tropes can sometimes be hit-or-miss for me, but I absolutely adored the romance in this book! The choices Brie must make and the contrast in her relationships with both Sebastian and Finn takes the drama in this book to another level! The morally gray characters in this story are so well written that readers won’t know what to believe or who to trust! If you like a bit of political intrigue in your fantasy books, then you’ll definitely find that here!
If you loved The Cruel Prince or A Court of Thorns and Roses then this book needs to be added to your TBR immediately! I know I am eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel to see what will happen next!
*I received an ARC from Clarion Books via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Jennifer L. Armentrout has written dozens of novels over the years, but her most famous book arguably has to be the first novel in her fantasy romance series From Blood and Ash. Picked as a Goodreads Choice Award Winner in 2020 as the Best Romance Book of the Year, this novel has quickly become a fan favorite on social media and for good reason, too.
Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched, looked upon, spoken to, or experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers. The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden. Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.
I don't know if I can say anything about this book that hasn’t already been said, but I will try my best! This Bookstagram-Made-Me-Do-It read further proves that sometimes the internet really knows what it’s talking about! I absolutely loved it! This book is dark, steamy, action-packed, and just all-around exciting to read! Any fantasy lover will immediately be enthralled in Poppy’s story and the world building/political intrigue in this book. Some portions of this novel were a bit hard to read (I’m looking at you Chapter 13), but it just added more depth and emotion to the story. The romantic aspects of this story were definitely prominent, but not so much so that the action got overshadowed. Overall, the plot was very well-balanced and gave this 600 plus page book bingeable quality.
In addition to great storytelling, the characters are just fabulous! Poppy is a naive, yet courageous, narrator who isn’t afraid of fighting for herself or those she cares about. Surrounding herself with an amazing cast of characters, including the handsome and dangerous Hawke as her love interest, this book definitely gets an A+ in the characters department.
Any fans of Sarah J. Maas will adore this book and I cannot recommend checking out this series enough! I am eager to start the next book in the series to see how Poppy’s story will continue to unfold.
Have you ever wanted to pull an all-nighter or wondered what hijinks can go on at night? The fabulous young adult authors of Up All Night: 13 Stories Between Sunset and Sunrise (edited by Laura Silverman) delve into the possibilities of the night. Set to be released on July 13th, this anthology is sure to suvk any reader into the mysteries of the night.
When everyone else goes to bed, the ones who stay up feel like they’re the only people in the world. As the hours tick by deeper into the night, the familiar drops away and the unfamiliar beckons. Adults are asleep, and a hush falls over the hum of daily life. Anything is possible. It’s a time for romance and adventure. For prom night and ghost hunts. It’s a time for breaking up, for falling in love—for finding yourself.
If you’re looking for quick little stories to add to your Summer TBR then this is the book for you!! These YA short stories are sure to hook you in from the beginning and will make you want to see just what kind of shenanigans you can take part in while pulling an all-nighter! I think my favorite story might have been either “Never Have I Ever” by Karen M. McManus or “Old Rifts and Snow Drifts” by Kayla Whaley, but all of the stories are varying degrees of amazing! On top of all of that, these stories are chock full of diverse characters and narrators!
Here’s my individual ratings of each story:
“Never Have I Ever” by Karen M. McManus- 5 stars
“Like Before” by Maurene Goo- 4 stars
“Old Rifts and Snow Drifts” by Kayla Whaley- 5 stars
“Con Nights, Parallel Hearts” by Marieke Nijkamp- 4 stars
“Kiss the Boy” by Amanda Joy- 4 stars
“Creature Capture” by Laura Silverman- 4 stars
“Shark Bait” by Tiffany D. Jackson- 3 stars
“A Place to Start” by Nina LaCour- 5 stars
“When You Bring a Dog to Prom” by Anna Meriano- 4 stars
“Missing” by Kathleen Glasgow- 3 stars
“What About Your Friends” by Brandy Colbert- 4 stars
“Under Our Masks” by Julian Winters- 5 stars
“The Ghosts of Goon Creek” by Francesca Zappia- 5 stars
If you have to add only one anthology to your TBR this summer, make it this one!
*I received an ARC from Algonquin Young Reader in exchange for my honest opinion.
From the best-selling author of The Roommate, Rosie Danan comes from her ground-breakign debut with another romance that challenges all stereotypes and stigmas. Centering around a former adult performer and rabbi, The Intimacy Experiment explores the boundaries of love in a stunning and binge-worthy way.
Naomi Grant has built her life around going against the grain. After the sex-positive start-up she cofounded becomes an international sensation, she wants to extend her educational platform to live lecturing. Unfortunately, despite her long list of qualifications, higher ed won't hire her. Ethan Cohen has recently received two honors: LA Mag named him one of the city's hottest bachelors and he became rabbi of his own synagogue. Taking a gamble in an effort to attract more millennials to the faith, the executive board hired Ethan because of his non-traditional background. Unfortunately, his shul is low on both funds and congregants. The board gives him three months to turn things around or else they'll close the doors of his synagogue for good. Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a buzzy seminar series on Modern Intimacy, the perfect solution to their problems--until they discover a new one--their growing attraction to each other. They've built the syllabus for love's latest experiment, but neither of them expected they'd be the ones putting it to the test.
I will admit, this book was vastly different from The Roommate. It was not as steamy and not as fast-spaced; however, this novel was still phenomenal! I actually didn’t mind the slow-burn romance between Naomi and Ethan and how their relationship blossomed. Instead, I found it really perfectly developed with the pacing of the book.
The focus of the story being on a former adult movie star who learns to care more about developing the emotions in a relationship rather than rushing the physicality of it was so interesting to see and I think Danan did a great job of showcasing both Naomi and Ethan’s character developments.
In addition to the fabulous romance and engaging plot, I learned so much about Judaism! While I am not Jewish myself, I gained such an appreciation for different religions while also giving me a greater appreciation for my own faith.
Overall, I adored this book and highly recommend it to all romance fans. If you have not checked out one of Rosie Danan’s books then what are you waiting for?!?!
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!