Holding Court by K.C. Held

After kind of a crazy day at school and a long evening of running errands with two kids in tow, I came home to this amazing package from Entangled Teen:

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In case you can’t tell from the picture, that’s actual magnetic poetry (magnetic “prophecy” for the sake of the book), and I was ridiculously excited by this. I started reading immediately and couldn’t have been happier with what I found within those pages.

Because it’s a unique premise, let’s start with the official blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity knows exactly what’s in store at her new job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times. Some extra cash, wearing a fancy-pants dress, and plenty of time to secretly drool over the ever-so-tasty–and completely unavailable–Grayson Chandler. Except that it’s not quite what she imagined.
For one, the costume Jules has to wear is awful. Then there’s the dead body she finds that just kind of…well, disappears. Oh, and there’s the small issue of Jules and her episodes of what her best friend calls “Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome”–spontaneous and uncontrollable outbursts of seemingly absurd prophecies.
The only bright side? This whole dead body thing seems to have gotten Grayson’s attention. Except that the more Jules investigates, the more she discovers that Grayson’s interest might not be as courtly as she thought. In fact, it’s starting to look suspicious…

Now, a YA romantic comedy mystery? Count. Me. In.

The protagonist, Jules, is a fascinating, lovable, honest, and quirky character that I just couldn’t get enough of. Her seemingly random psychic blurting made me LOL more than once, and her love of Grayson Chandler’s abs created plenty of adorably awkward teenage crush moments.

I don’t remember reading anything with a premise quite like this before, but it reminded me of a fun, younger version of Psych, which was one of my favorite shows when it was on. The dead body finding and mystery solving kept the story moving at a good pace, along with the hope that Grayson and Jules would actually get together.

Holding Court is pleasantly clean, too – a few little cuss words, but nothing major, and an appreciation of Grayson in Tudor tights and a flowy shirt, but no actual sexual situations. I’m 100% comfortable with putting this in my school library, which is awesome.

I really, really look forward to more from K.C., and I’d love to see Jules (and her family and friends and, of course, Grayson) in a few more books. Definite series potential! Find it here on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore!

Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

hello i love you

 

I loved this. And, since there’s so much going on in it that I can’t possibly explain any better than the official blurb does, read this:

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

So, I would imagine that I’m not the only one who didn’t know anything about K-Pop before reading this, but after some googling (oh my goodness, fandom insanity) I got a pretty good feel for the K-Pop culture. It made for a fun setting for Hello, I Love You because it’s not just set in Korea but also sort of within this subculture that I found fascinating. As a character, Grace is flawed and very human, and as a result of recent tragedies doesn’t start out this book as a very likable person. By the end, though, Grace’s transformation is realistic and hopeful. I loved Jason and Grace together and rooted for them the whole way through.

In a word, I thought is was wonderful. Check it out here on Amazon or get it from your favorite book store!

What should you binge-watch this summer?

I’m a serious fan of TV with smart writing, and the best-written show I’ve seen in a very long time is Jane the Virgin. Now, had I judged the series by its title, I never would have watch it. But oh my goodness I’m so glad I saw the original trailer that got me hooked on it. Every episode makes me laugh out loud, but the protagonist (Jane, who is in fact a virgin even though she’s pregnant) is a seriously strong young woman with an admirable set of morals and dreams she’s not afraid to go after. Find some episodes on The CW’s website, or watch the series from the beginning on Monday nights on The CW, or just give in and stream the entire first season on Amazon for less than twenty bucks. It’s really good stuff.

 

Kissing Ted Callahan (and other guys) by Amy Spalding

kissing ted callahan

 

Kissing Ted Callahan is fun, quirky, sweet, and funny all at the same time. With a glowing compliment from on of my favorite YA authors, Stephanie Perkins, on the cover and a comparison to Easy A, I knew I had to read it. I’m glad I did, too!

In it, two L.A. teens, Riley and Reid, challenge each other to act on their crushes after finding their other two bandmates in a compromising position. They chronicle their adventures in a notebook that they trade back and forth, and what results is a story full of music and fun and the hope of romance, and it gets bonus points for making me laugh. I like Riley’s parts better, but it was all good stuff.

This book is out now, so check it out! You can find it here on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller.

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

geek girl

Ok, I’m a real fan of British things. Like, not in a creepy way… I just think British comedies and romances and TV (hello, IT Crowd and Sherlock) are fantastic. Geek Girl, the first in a series of books from acclaimed British author Holly Smale, is equally wonderful. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I enjoyed it as much as the first book in Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicholson series (the funniest books I’ve ever read).

Anyway, in Geek Girl we get to know Harriet Manners, a self-proclaimed geek and anti-fashionista, who sort of accidentally gets “discovered” as a model. And not just a little local ad company model, but an international supermodel… which makes you wonder how on earth she thought she could keep it a secret! Serious laugh out loud opportunities and swoony moments with a male model are all through this, along with a good, valuable message in the end.

Because this is the first in a series, I asked Holly Smale if the other books would be coming out quickly here (several are already out in the UK), and she said they’ll be following Geek Girl in the upcoming months. I know that I, for one, can’t wait!

Check out Geek Girl here on Amazon or find it at your favorite book store. It will be out on January 27th, so preorder!

How to Hook a Bookworm by Cassie Mae

bookworm

I’ve been a fan of Cassie’s since her very first release, but I think How to Hook a Bookworm has pretty solidly taken its place as my new favorite Cassie Mae book. The book is funny (I LOL’ed several times while reading it this morning – my kids thought I was crazy), it’s swoony (OMG with Jay and Adam), and it’s relevant (Brea is an impossible not to love, realistic, flawed teenager with problems that face many students today).

The whole “How To” series has been really great, and Bookworm is the perfect ending. While you could pick this up and read it as a standalone, you won’t get everything out of it that there is to get, so do yourself a favor and begin with How to Date a Nerd first. Or, be stubborn and start out with How to Hook a Bookworm. It’ll leave you wanting more and more of Cassie’s books!

Paper or Plastic by @ViviBarnes: Cover Reveal!

Paper or Plastic
Release Date: 2015
Entangled Teen
Summary from Goodreads:
Welcome
to SmartMart, where crime pays minimum wage…
Busted. Alexis Dubois just got caught shoplifting a cheap
tube of lipstick at the local SmartMart. She doesn’t know what’s
worse—disappointing her overbearing beauty-pageant-obsessed mother for the zillionth
time…or her punishment. Because Lex is forced to spend her summer working at
the store, where the only things stranger than the staff are the customers.
Now Lex is stuck in the bizarro world of big-box retail. Coupon cutters, jerk
customers, and learning exactly what a “Code B” really is (ew). And for
added awkwardness, her new supervisor is the totally cute—and adorably
geeky—Noah Grayson. Trying to balance her out-of-control mother, her pitching
position on the softball team, and her secret crush on the school geek makes
for one crazy summer. But ultimately, could the worst job in the world be the
best thing that ever happened to her?

Pre-Order Links:

About the Author

Originally from East Texas (the accent comes out
more often than not), I now live in the magic and sunshine of Orlando, FL with
my very understanding husband and three kids. I’m an extrovert with awkward
blogging tendencies. My debut novel, OLIVIA TWISTED, came out November 5,
2013 from Entangled Teen!

 

You can connect with me on Facebook,TwitterGoodreadsPinterest. Or visit the official Olivia
Twisted site atwww.oliviatwisted.com.

Author Links:

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