#Famous by Jilly Gagnon

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#Famous is a fresh and new rom-com that follows Rachel and Kyle through some crazy insta-fame and the repercussions of an innocent tweet gone viral.

Rachel, a funny, somewhat nerdy kind of girl without many followers, tweets a picture of her crush, Kyle, in his Burger Barn uniform. It’s supposed to just go to her best friend, really, but the picture combined with her sense of humor make for a tempting retweet, and it goes viral in a matter of just a few hours. Suddenly Kyle’s dealing with fame, Rachel’s dealing with embarrassment at having revealed her crush to the world, and things are quickly spiraling out of control.

I loved this book, told in an incredibly well done dual POV, for its fun story and real characters. I loved that, while Rachel and Kyle certainly had their faults, they were both genuinely good people. I also loved that they learned some real and valuable lessons about the internet, fame, and relationships. Click here to see it on Amazon, or request it at your favorite book store!

Official Blurb:

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

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Guest Post: Rachel Harris, author of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

It’s a pleasure to have Rachel Harris, with us, author of the lovely My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, which I told you guys about a few days ago. You can see my recommendation here.

Hi everyone! First, I want to thank Melissa for having me on her blog today, and for featuring My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. This book was so much fun for me to write, and my main character, Cat Crawford is a hoot! Today, she’s here to give us all some quick and easy tips for how to dress in the Renaissance. It’s important to note that she’s a twenty-first century girl, so her opinions may not exactly be shared by her sixteenth-century cousins  (*grin*).

Take it, Cat!

Fashion Dos and Don’ts of the 16th Century with Cat Crawford

Okay peeps, as you may know, I recently returned from a time travel adventure to the past. Like, 500 years in the past. And there was a lot to love, but I also spotted some major faux pas going on. So today, I’m here to share Quick and Easy Renaissance Fashion 411 for all future time travelers.

Do:

  • Go for the natural look. People, the sickly white makeup with garish scarlet cheeks is not doing anyone any favors.

Don’t:

  • Immediately dismiss the men’s colored tights and puffy shorts look. I know, it’s not exactly what hotties today are sporting, but once you get over the eye-popping shock, you actually come to appreciate the yum-a-licious views of their legs. Well, when they’re attached to a hottie, that is.

Do:

  • Work the skirt. See, you’re gonna be in dresses—actually surcoats—the entire time, so start practicing the hip sway now. With those swishing skirts accentuating your shrunken waistline (we’ll get to that in a second), attention will be drawn away from the bazillion cultural mistakes you’re bound to be making. (Case in point: do not say the word dude or mention drinking water. Trust me.)

Don’t:

  • Freak out about the corset or corselet if you’re in Florence. The upside, you don’t have to wear them every day. The down side, they do exist. And they suck. And they are from the devil.

Do:

  • Sneak a couple pairs of underwear somewhere on your person before you depart. Chicas in the past? Yeah, lots of layers going on, but there’s no primitive version of Victoria’s Secret. I hear some wore option linen drawers, but I saw none of that. So, either embrace the commando or bring some undies from home. You’ll thank me.

And Finally, Don’t:

  • Forget to enjoy the hairstyles. Seriously, the most creative thing I do at home is a French twist or plugging in my curling iron. These women go all out. And bonus, you get your own maid to brush your hair. I guarantee you’ll turn into a pile of goo…unless you get a maid like my cousin Alessandra. Yanking sucks.

 

Click the image below to check find the book on Amazon!

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My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

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I really enjoyed My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century! It was lots of fun overall, especially if you like art from Renaissance times. There were some fun surprises in this book related to the Renaissance and things Cat was able to see on her magical trip back in time, and while there was some cheesiness in that “magic,” it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.

I thought Cat’s Renaissance family was fascinating and well written, Lorenzo was beyond dreamy, and I loved the clash between modern and Renaissance society as Cat tried to fit in. I actually laughed out loud at some of the situations she got herself into, and some of the modern language she used, that resulted in awkward, funny scenes.

 

Check it out on Amazon (where it’s currently on sale for $.99 on kindle!)or at your favorite book store. :)

Official Blurb from Goodreads:

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze. Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

 

No Fair! No Fair! And Other Jolly Poems of Childhood by Calvin Trillin

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I’ve spent this week getting my students excited about our upcoming Scholastic Book Fair, and a book preview video for No Fair! No Fair! has made me (AND every single one of the students who have seen it) chuckle every single time I’ve watched it. The author describes defending his portion of the backseat against his sister’s “expansionist backseat policies” and makes up rhymes about the ridiculousness of having to wear pants to school. I really can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of it, and I can’t recommend it highly enough based on what I’ve seen so far.

You can see the video with the author here. I promise, Trillin’s deadpan reading will make you laugh and, hopefully, it’ll make you want to read the whole thing too. Enjoy!

 

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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In P.S. I Like You, aspiring musician and generally awkward Lily Abbott falls into an anonymous pen pal relationship with a fellow Chemistry class sufferer. She and the pen pal hit it off and Lily’s having fun wondering who it could be… if only she could get her best friend’s ex, Cade Jennings, to leave her alone she’d be happy. Somehow they end up in verbal battles everytime they’re near each other. When Lily finally discovers the identity of her letter writer, she’ll have to take a step back and figure out how she really feels about everything. As usual, this book is not JUST a contemporary romance – there are family issues and big dreams and lots of real, relatable themes for teens. 

It’s no secret that I love everything Kasie writes, but I swear she gets better and better with each book she writes. I started reading P.S. I Like You one evening and couldn’t put it down… I did eventually fall asleep, but finished the story quickly the next morning and thought about Lily and Cade all day long.

I found this excerpt on GoodReads and had to share. Enjoy it, and check out this book!

“I nodded toward Cade’s wrist. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fun. I get a man bracelet.”

I smiled. “I don’t think you get to keep it. She’s just using you as her model.”

“Her model?”

“It’s a fact, not a compliment.”

“Because if you gave me a compliment you might have a stroke.”

I laughed. “Probably not a stroke, but my brain would definitely revolt in some way.”

He didn’t laugh along with me, just looked at the cording on his wrist.

“Oh, stop, you don’t need me to tell you that you’re hot to know that it’s true.”

“Are you okay? Did that hurt your head?” Cade asked.

I kicked his foot with mine and he laughed.

“So you think I’m hot?” Cade’s eyes sparkled.

“Doesn’t every girl?”

It surprised me when his cheeks turned a light shade of pink. I wasn’t sure why that embarrassed him in any way. I was positive he already knew it. He ran one hand through his hair. Then he said, almost too quiet for me to hear, “You’re not every girl.”

― Kasie WestP.S. I Like You

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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As summer winds down and back to school sales take over the stores, I find myself wanting to cling to summer for as long as possible.

One great YA title that might help us all hold fast to summer days is Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything, a seriously cute and heartwarming novel that showcases everything there is to love about YA literature.

In it, Andie is a teenage girl with a very clear plan for her summer, for college, and for life in general. She’s the daughter of a politician, so her childhood has been lived under public scrutiny, and she strives for perfection. She hardly sees her dad, and since her mom passed away when she was young, she has basically raised herself. She’s fiercely independent and has very little relationship with her father, but somehow she’s satisfied with the way things are. She has her plans for the future, she has her friends, and she knows where she’s going.

But what will Andie do when a very public political scandal sends those plans sailing out the window? How will she deal with her lost summer internship? What will her unexpected summer be like when she had so many clear expectations that just won’t happen?

After she answers a help wanted ad that turns out to be for a dog walking service, all kinds of unexpected things pop up: a dad who’s suddenly in town a whole lot more than usual, a part time job without the prestige of a medical internship, a seriously great group of friends, a cute boy who keeps popping up, and so much more. What I love about The Unexpected Everything is that it’s fun and authentic (the text conversations, complete with emojis, are fantastic), but it still has strong themes of family and friendship and the power of change. We, along with Andie, get to see that sometimes beautiful things happen when life veers off the path we’ve decided it should stay on.

This novel is perfect for teenage girls and grown up women alike, and it’s especially fitting for these days when we’re still sort of in our summer state of mind but also making plans and looking ahead to the fresh opportunities that a new school year brings. Check it out, and enjoy!

2016 Debut Authors Bash: K.C. Held and HOLDING COURT!

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I should start out by telling you all that, when I read the blurb for HOLDING COURT, I e-mailed the publisher immediately and begged for a review copy because it sounded just that perfect. When I got the review copy in the mail, it came with one of the coolest swag packs I’ve gotten, and you get a chance to win one! You can see what it looked like, and why I love this book SO MUCH, here. Also, here’s the link to purchase HOLDING COURT on Amazon.

Now, I’m happy to turn this post over to K.C. as she tells us about her favorite mystery influences and how they helped shape HOLDING COURT!

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Hi Melissa! Thanks so much for hosting me!

I’ve always been a huge mystery fan, and my taste runs the gamut, but in crafting HOLDING COURT I was definitely influenced by Janet Evanovich’s STEPHANIE PLUM series. I wanted to see if I could take this wacky idea I had about a character who blurts out random statements that turn out to be premonitions and mold it into a YA mystery featuring colorful characters involved in potentially ridiculous hijinks.

Rounding out my top five favorite mystery influences are:

Elizabeth Peters and her ability to “mingle intelligent whodunits with sheer lunatic hilarity.” I’m fascinated with art history and have a background in historic costume (which came into play in HOLDING COURT) so her art historian sleuth Vicky Bliss is a particular favorite.

Agatha Christie, the grand dame of mystery fiction. I devoured her books as a kid. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite but I’ll always have a soft spot for Miss Marple, who gets a shout-out in HOLDING COURT.

Meg Cabot and her MEDIATOR series. Much like Suze, Jules has a special ability that leads to unusual challenges and hilarious situations. Meg also wrote a blog post on the anniversary of 9/11 that had a huge impact on me. “Why I Write Funny Books” transformed the way I saw myself as a writer and validated my natural instinct to write things that make people laugh.

Ally Carter for writing funny “clean teen” books like the GALLAGHER GIRLS series that fill a niche for in-between readers and anyone who likes to read funny/and or sweet YA, like me!

Thanks again for letting me visit Pimples, Popularity, and Protagonists!

I hope you have a killer summer! ;)

K.C.

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CHECK IT OUT: a Rafflecopter giveaway for a HOLDING COURT swag pack (magnetic prophecy kit, signed bookplate, bookmark, coloring postcard w/multi-colored pencil, and castle pin), open to US & CAN.
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