Everything’s Not Fine ARC Review

 

everythings not fineEverything’s Not Fine is the kind of book that will draw you in and you won’t want to stop.

Everything’s Not Fine by Sarah Carlson is about a teen named Rose Hemmersbach whose mother has just overdosed on heroin. Now her family is dealing with social workers, struggling to keep the house clean and children out of trouble, and their grandmother suddenly being back in the picture. Not only that, there is also a new boy at school that she may be developing feelings for and her college applications looming ahead. Will things be okay for Rose and her family?

Note: Sorry if the summary was terrible.

The first thing I really liked about this book was the writing. The style of writing the author choose was very descriptive and captivating. The book has some build up, but for the most part it seems to get right into the story. The book is at a pace that is slow enough to allow you to get to know the characters, setting, and other factors of the book. However, it is also fast enough to keep you entertained and engaged till the very end.

Something else I enjoyed about the story was the character of Rose. Rose is sorta cynical and serious a lot of times. This is completely justified and understandable though based on the life she had. I feel like the story was not only extremely realistic, but the characters as well especially Rose. Her character writing was spot on and you can definitely root and empathize with Rose.

Finally, I really felt like Sarah Carlson did well in terms of realism. While this somewhat goes back to the character writing, I feel like every character and the actions taken by the characters were completely understandable and justified. Not only that, the story itself felt very brutally honest and truthful in terms of the situation that Rose and her family are in. I really felt like the author knew what she was talking about and did her research. Those are two things I really appreciate in authors and Carlson nailed them both.

If I had to say one issue, I felt like there were a few times when the book could be a little slow than I had hoped. For the most part it was pretty balanced, but I wished there were a few more lines of dialouge instead of descriptions in some of the spaces. This is just a small nit pick though and in no way should it defer anyone from reading this amazing book.

This book is honest, realistic, heartfelt, and filled with great characters. If you’re looking for a book that really takes a look at how a teen can be impacted by parents and drug use then please pick up Everything’s Not Fine in May.

Until next time dear readers.

-Jessica

I was sent this ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What You Wish For by Katherine Center ARC Review

WYWF Katherine Center Dear Readers,

I finished this book in a few hours and if I do that you know it is either a really short book or a really good one…in this case it was the latter.

Katherine Center’s What You Wish For is the story of a Texas school librarian named Samantha Casey. When the principal of the school – and the man who is like a father to Samantha – dies & Duncan Carpenter, a new principal of the school she works at is hired, Samantha is worried. This fun loving and goofy man is someone she had such a big crush on that it drove her to quit her previous job and move to her new home. However, Samantha’s worries soon are altered as the man before her is one who not only barely remembers her, but barely seems to resemble his old self as he is now a no nonsense principal with an obsession with school safety and security. Samantha was planning to quit, but now she feels it is her duty to her town, her coworkers, students, and friends to help fight Duncan on his rules and help keep the school a happy and fun loving place. While trying to change Duncan though, she may start to see some changes in herself as well…changes that include the return of old romantic feelings for Duncan.

I really love Katherine Center’s writing. She makes the story and characters especially come alive. I can picture every person, setting, and even the colors so vibrantly and realistically. It felt like I was reading about real people at some points rather than a fiction novel. Center’s books are perfect for anyone craving a good romantic comedy.

This novel also does a good job for the most part with balancing drama, comedy, romance, and family. The book tackles some darker themes, but it does so in a really mature and respectful way (similar to Center’s other books). This book handles the balancing of different themes splendidly. You will definitely find yourself getting both heartbroken and happy at different times while reading this book. There is no denying that.

There are only 2 reasons I did not give this book 5 stars. The first is I felt the build up at the beginning regarding why Samantha left was a bit of a let down. It felt like it was building up to something a little more than what happened and I felt a little disappointed especially since previous books by Center featured plot lines that felt a little more dramatic regarding why the main character was in the predicament they were in.

The second reason is I wanted a little more with the ending. I have read some of Center’s other novels and I felt like books like Things You Save In a Fire or How To Walk Away had epilogues with a little more finality and explanations regarding the future of the characters. There were some, but Center usually really ties up every loose ends and leaves the audience with everything tied up in a neat little bow. That is one of my biggest appeals for her and I did not really feel that when it came to this book. I’d like to point out that this is just an ARC and not the finished copy. A lot could changed between then and now, but I did just want to note this was my initial reaction after reading the ARC.

Overall, I really liked this book. I am not sure if I enjoyed it as much as Things You Save in a Fire or How To Walk Away, but I did like it. The characters are unique, the writing really helps the story come to life, and theme balance is done brilliantly. Besides those two little points (that again may be altered by the time the finished copy comes out), I really liked this book. If you are a fan of Katherine’s then I think this book will be a great addition to your collection. If you are a new fan of Katherine’s and wish to see what her books are like, then I think this may be potentially a good place to start. Whichever type of fan you are (or even if you are not a fan at all), this is one book you won’t want to miss out on come July.

As always please like, comment, and follow.

Until next time dear readers.

-Jessica

 

 

I received this eARC from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Tips for Being a Book Publicity and Marketing Assistant

Dear Readers,

For the past year or so I have been working as a freelance/remote book publicity and marketing assistant. It is a great way to earn money in my spare time and I get the chance to help so many different authors, publishes, presses, readers, and books through my work. I am really passionate about what I do and I wanted to give you tips on how to get into this business as well.

Here are 5 tips to help you start your own book publicity & marketing assistant business:

 

  1. Don’t Do It For the Money 

Freelancing can be a great experience and way to earn extra money. However, you won’t make enough to survive on probably just doing that (unless you have tons and tons of clients). I can make an extra couple hundred bucks a month which is nothing to sneeze about, but it is not enough where you will be able to make a living wage off of (again at least in my experience). This is just to say keep your expectations at a reasonable amount regarding compensation. And even though it may not be a ton of money, you can still make a decent amount of extra cash for the month to help you pay for rent, gas, or even just to have some extra cash for entertainment can be great.

2. Build Up Your Own Profile First 

You may wanna jump right in and start pitching to authors right away. First though it is good to try and get as much book marketing and publicity experience and skills before doing so. This does not have to mean internships or working for free (though those things can’t hurt if you are able to do so). Reading and reviewing ARCs or books on a blog can help. Also being well versed in various social media accounts and even posting about books on those accounts can help. Making your own content to promote books can help you understand not only how to promote books in the future, but it can help you with building a following and good understanding of the book community.

3. Educate Yourself 

Follow people who are influencers in the book community and authors similar to those who you want to or will be working for. Seeing how authors with similar statuses and genres to the books you would be or are working with run can be a great help to you in the long run.

4. Offer Creative Solutions 

Authors love to see creativity in their marketing & publicity campaigns and ideas. So try to offer those. It is good to offer a few basic services (posting photos they give you or editing a blog post), but giving authors unique ideas and helping them implement those ideas is a fantastic. If an author is writing a book about food offer to make their social media post about the book look like a menu or maybe you could try to pitch a book sale or event at a local restaurant instead of an indie bookstore or a bookstore that also has a cafe in it.  Going that extra mile can really help you.

5. Have Fun!

Freelance book marketing can be so much fun. It gives you a chance to be creative, learn new things, and make cool connections. So try to have as much fun with it and it won’t even feel like work someday. You know that quote about how “if you do what you love then you never have to work a day in your life”…well this is the perfect type of job for that if you love books, authors, and helping with book promotion.

 

Check out my portfolio for more information about my book marketing/publicity services and experience.

 

Please remember to follow, like, and comment.

Until next time dear readers.

-Jessica

Q&A with the Reel Bookish Box Creator: Montana Golin

ReelBookishDear Readers,

This week I was incredibly fortunate to interview the Reel Bookish Box’s creator Montana Golin. Montana is the creator of Reel Bookish, a book subscription box that combines a love of film and books. This box provides both custom boxes and monthly book boxes based on various films with books ranging from YA to Adult.

I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary custom box to review. To see what I received in my box and my thoughts please click here.

1. How did you come up with the idea for a book subscription box?

I was a book blogger for several years and while there were so many subscription boxes I loved, I saw an opportunity for Reel Bookish as there were no combined film and book subscription boxes that I was aware of. I majored in Film & Media Arts in college and I wanted a way to combine the films I loved with the books I loved especially as they’re both universal means of storytelling. My initial challenge was figuring out a way to incorporate film without including a movie itself. 
2. Did you always know you wanted to create a book subscription box?

It was an idea in the back of my mind for about a year before we officially launched.

3. What is the funnest part of your job?

I love introducing people to movies they may not have seen or heard of! For the monthly boxes, we’ll typically offer additional movie recommendations based on the main film and book chosen. For our La La Land box, we tied in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – a 1953 musical starring Marilyn Monroe that’s one of my personal favorites! Finding an item that seems to fit perfectly to the box theme is very satisfying too.
4. What is the hardest part of your job?
As the box is so based around movies, the hardest part of my job is figuring out what items to pick that will appeal to people who may not have seen or may not be particularly interested in watching the chosen movie! There are always some films that are outside a person’s typical genre – I try to make the items ideally appeal to both fans and non-fans alike. 
5. Do you find creating a custom box harder or easier than the monthly box?
Creating the custom box was a bit harder as I couldn’t work with bulk quantities and had to search out particular items for each individual box. 
6. Do you have any movies or box you hope to create a themed box for in the future?
I would absolutely love to do future boxes that tie in with The Breakfast Club, Avengers, When Harry Met Sally, Legally Blonde, and The Princess Bride.

7. Do you have a favorite book to film adaptation?

It’s impossible to pick just one but my top favorites are To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, AustenlandThe Fault in Our Stars, and TheHunger Games: Catching Fire film adaptations.

8. How do you pick the movies or books you will use in your boxes (do you pick one first before the other)?
I have some movies in the back of my mind that I’m hoping to tie in with a box. Although it depends, I tend to pick the book first and figure out a film that best ties in with the book.

9. What do you like to do in your spare time when not creating and sending out book boxes?
I work in the events industry so I get to work with weddings and corporate events! In addition to that, I enjoy hiking and going to the beach. Of course, I love watching new movies and reading books 😊
10. Do you have any future boxes or ideas for future boxes you could give us a hint about?
Two of the boxes you can expect this fall are a Knives Out box and a Mamma Mia box! 😉 

 

There is currently a Cratejoy promotion where first-time subscribers can order their first box for $19.99 plus shipping.

For more information about Reel Bookish, please visit their website.

 

I want to thank Montana again for this Q&A.

 

Please remember to follow, like, and comment.

Until next time dear readers.

-Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit Link 

Dreams of Thunder Excerpt

Hi Everyone!

Today I have a real treat for you.

Christian Cura was nice enough to offer me an excerpt of his latest book, Dreams of Thunder, to share with all of you.

If you are a fan of magic and fantasy then this is the book for you.

I have attached the synopsis below as well as the buy link to the first book in this series since Dreams of Thunder has yet to be released.

I want to thank Christian and I hope you will all look into getting your hands on this latest fantasy fiction novel when it is released.

 

Synopsis: Magical outlaws roam free on the West Coast. The Enforcers are stretched thin in their efforts to stem the tide of chaos. The Council Headquarters is on the brink of assault and the lives of the Council members hang in the balance. At the center of it all, is Saba Qureshi, a woman scorned by the draconian measures of the Council. They executed her grandfather and robbed her family of their status and fortune. Now Saba is coming for them and she’s not alone…

 

DOTexcerpt

Buy Link:

Amazon

Please remember to follow, like, and comment.

Until next time dear readers.

-Jessica

 

In The Role of Brie Hutchens ARC Review

in the role of brieI was never a huge soap opera fan. I had a ton of changes to watch them when I was younger since I was home during sick days, summer vacation, when I was going part time to community college, and various holiday breaks.

However In The Role of Brie Hutchens not only gave me a sweet story to read, but it even made me look up a few soap opera scenes that are discussed in the book.

Nicole Melleby’s In The Role of Brie Hutchens is the story 8th grader Brie Hutchens who ends up accidentally telling her mother that she has been chosen to crown the Mary statue at school to distract her mother when she walks in on Brie looking at photos of one of her favorite actresses. The problem is that no one has been picked for that honor yet. Brie will have to do everything she can to be chosen to crown Mary & get a good role in the school play if she wants her mother to approve of her attending a performing arts high school next year. All while this is going on Brie is dealing with struggles regarding her sexuality and her possible crush on one of her classmates named Kennedy.

First of all, I really loved the idea of a middle grade soap opera viewer. I have not read a lot of books that have characters who watch soaps let alone a middle grade novel. Not only that, I really liked the fact that each chapter started with a description of a coming out scene from a soap opera or just a scene from a soap opera that relates to the chapter in question. As I said before I have never really watched soap operas before, but  I definitely looked up a monologue that Brie recites and references in the book after reading about it.

The next thing I enjoyed about this book was the relationship between Brie and her parents. It felt extremely realistic especially in a Catholic household. I especially love and appreciate that arc that Brie and her mom go through. It was heartwarming, emotional, and just really helped give the story even more things to enjoy.

Finally, I really liked Brie and Kennedy’s relationship. It was cute & sweet. There was a semi “enemies to lovers” trope that the book did somewhat that I really liked too. They get to learn more about each other throughout the book including their interests, home lives, and feelings about the world as well as one another.  Their final scene painted a huge grin on my face and without giving anything away…well it just made me really happy. Brie and Kennedy also on their own were just fun characters as well as many of the people in this story. Every character was fleshed out, three dimensional, and realistic.

If I had to say something I didn’t like very much about the book I guess I wanted a more concrete answer to this one question that was being brought up throughout the book. In the end we kind of get a confirmation about something regarding Brie’s future, but it is not 100%. Since other plot points in this book were confirmed I had really hoped this would be something that we had an exact answer for. I understand why the author may have left if somewhat open-ended, but I just kind of wished that the results had been more concrete than what we are given. This is only a small nit pick though and in no way should be a deciding factor in whether you read this book.

Overall, this book is filled with fun characters, interesting relationships, and even a an almost contagious soap opera connection I was not expecting from a middle grade novel or really any novel. This book is perfect for anyone who loves a little fun & drama in their lives.

4 out of 5 stars

**** out of *****

As always please like, follow, and comment.

Until next time dear readers.

-Jessica

 

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit Link 

Book Spotlight: I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN

Dear Readers,

Today I have an awesome treat for you…a book spotlight on Chris Bedell’s I’ll See You Again.

Title: I’ll See You Again

Author: Chris Bedell

Release Date: March 6, 2020

Publisher: Deep Hearts YA

Book Synopsis:

It’s the start of his senior year, and Cyrus should be worried about college applications, procrastinating on homework, and staying up past his bedtime. And he does, until his mother’s cancer returns.

To make matters worse, Nico Valentine—the person Cyrus hates most—insists on being his friend. Carefree, flirtatious, and spontaneous, Nico is everything Cyrus’s childhood never allowed him to be. When their English teacher offers Cyrus extra credit to tutor Nico, Cyrus knows he shouldn’t accept. He could use the distraction, though.

A fling soon ensues, and Cyrus realizes they have more in common than he thought. What is more, Nico is the first person who seems to get him and who is there no matter what. But, if Cyrus wants his romance with Nico to turn into something real, he’ll have to do something he’s never done before—be vulnerable with another person.

Adam Silvera’s HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME meets Rachel Lynn Solomon’s YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE in this tale of heartbreak and second chances.

Is it OwnVoice?: YES!

Content Warning:
This novel contains discussions and scenes of self-harm and suicide ideation.

About The Author: 

Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His debut YA Fantasy novel IN THE NAME OF MAGIC was published by NineStar Press in 2018. Chris’s 2019 novels include his NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Paranormal Romance DEATHLY DESIRES (DEEP HEARTS YA), and YA Thriller COUSIN DEAREST (BLKDOG Publishing). His other 2020 novels include his YA Thriller I KNOW WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Thriller BETWEEN THE LOVE AND MURDER (Between The Lines Publishing), and YA Sci-fi DYING BEFORE LIVING (Deep Hearts YA). Chris also graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.

Ebook copies available on :

Paperback copies are available on:

Other Important Links:
Please purchase Chris’s book through one of the purchase links above.
I want to thank Chris and Deep Hearts YA for providing me with information for this book spotlight.

As always please like, comment, and follow.

Until next time dear readers.

-Jessica

 

It Sounded Better In My Head ARC Review

It Sounded Better In My HeadWhen you request an ARC you never know what to expect. Sometimes you expect something to be great and you end up hating it. Sometimes you don’t know what to expect from a book and end up loving it.

Then there are books that a mix of both.

It Sounded Better in My Head is an example of one of those books.

Nina Kenwood’s It Sounded Better in My Head tells the story of Natalie who is dealing with everything from graduating high school to her parent’s divorce to her best friends Zach & Lucy dating each other. Things may soon be changing for Natalie when she starts to possibly see Zach’s brother in a new light.

Let me start with the good around this book.

I feel like this book had a lot of truth and honesty to it in regards of being a girl Natalie’s age. She is honest about a lot of topics that I don’t see many YA books tackling sadly like periods or acne. I especially thought that the author did a fantastic job in regards to Natalie and her experience regarding acne. I have barely seen any books with teen girls struggling with acne even remotely the way it is done in this story.  The anxiety regarding being at a house party too felt pretty realistic to me. Natalie’s social anxiety and awkwardness really are truthful to what many people in her situation can feel at a party. So I have to give the author kudos for all the sincerity and openness she put into Natalie and the situations that occur in this book.

Something else I thought was nice in the book was the romance. I really thought the chemistry between Natalie and Alex was pretty good. I liked their romance and how it seemed to be both slowly developing and progressing at just the right times. Some books need a slow burn, but this one did not and didn’t really have much of a problem in regards to romantic development. I thought they matched each other pretty well and I enjoyed their dynamic a lot.

Finally, I really liked the ending. Without giving too much away, the book really does the best ending it can. It wraps up stuff nicely and also gives readers a little hint towards to future of these characters after the “happily ever after.” It is a satisfying ending that answers most of the readers’ questions and even leaves them with a few lingering ones (while at the same time not being too cryptic or annoyingly open-ended).

Now onto the reason behind my rating…

I don’t think this is a bad book at all and it is one that I would definitely recommend to my friends. However, I don’t think it was as great as I was hoping.

How good a book is can all depend on the person and their expectations and sadly I felt like my expectations were a little dashed when it came to this book.

I wasn’t totally disappointed and their were things I liked in this ARC, but most of the book (especially the beginning) I found kinda slow and dull. I felt like not much happened in it and it wasn’t as eventful as I had hoped it would be.

Another issue I had was that the description of the book seems to hint at Natalie seeing life as a TV show and that concept felt very appealing & different to me. However, reading the book I don’t really feel like we got that or at least as much as I was hoping. There are a few little scenes here and there with Natalie comparing her life and love life to a TV show, but I didn’t really feel like it was as present as I was hoping it would be in the story.

Again, this could totally just be due to how I was reading the book and since this is an ARC it could definitely change between now and the finished copy.

However, these negatives were sadly blatant enough for me to give this book the rating I did.

Overall, I don’t think this book is a bad book. It has a lot of honesty to it, a sweet romance, and a nice ending. However, it also felt kinda boring at times and the seeing life as a TV show aspect just was not as prevalent in the story as I hoped it would be.

That being said, if you’re looking for a nice and honest contemporary YA book to read this April, you can’t go wrong with It Sounded Better in my Head. 

3 out of 5 Stars

*** out of *****

As always please comment, like, and follow.

Until next time dear reader.

-Jessica

I received this ARC from Flatiron Books and US Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Photo Credit Link

 

What I Like About You ARC Review

What I like About You CoverI have read a few books in the past that have main characters who are also big book fans. From Hazel in TFIOS to Amy in The Bookworm Crush, there has been a positive trend lately of more and more main characters of YA books being bookworms themselves and not only that but also part of book fandoms. They are book bloggers or book event goers or bookstagram users. These books have been relatable, fun, and just stories that holds a special place in my heart.

However, none of these books can even try to hold a torch to What I Like About You.

What I Like About You is about a girl named Halle who loves book and runs a book blog called One True Pastry under the pseudonym: Kels. Online she is able to someone that isn’t the granddaughter of a famous book editor and is instead a girl who has fans, stability, and friends (especially in a boy named Nash). When Halle and her brother move in with their grandfather while their parents are away, she coincidentally ends up meeting Nash…who does not know Halle is Kelsey. As Halle’s online and IRL life begin to collide she may soon learn that having a double life is easier said than done.

If I could pick a 2020 ARC as my top 2019 books then I would definitely have this on my life (maybe I will after all). I don’t even know where to start with this story.

Actually I do.

First of all, the reality of book blogging, book twitter, and just the YA book fandom in general. This book is so honest and truthful to that type of life. It talks about getting excited to be sent ARCs, updating book blogs, being active on “book Twitter,” anticipation to work for with a certain publisher or author on a cover release, talking online with other fans of books, and more. The way books are discussed in this novel, the YA community is portrayed, and just everything bookish are just so spot on. If you’re someone with an active book blogging or bookstagram or even book twitter account then this is the book for you.

Something else I really enjoyed about the book was the fact that it brings controversy and issues that people on Book Twitter (especially YA Twitter) do face and are impacted by up. There are a lot of different drama or controversy or whatever you want to call it that has come up on book twitter in the past. This is not to say that it is bad commentary or not warranted or anything like that. In fact, this book does a really good job at discussing a few subjects related to authors and the Young Adult age group, book to film adaptations, and just YA book fandoms as a whole. There are a lot of different topics that I feel this author could have gone with when it comes to talking about “book fandom drama” (I apologize for this possibly negative sounding language, but I can’t really think of anything else to call it at the moment) and the fact that the subjects she choose are not always ones that I have seen talked about in books about book fans (or any books really) is pretty stellar and unique.

Finally, I really loved the character relationships that we get in this story. Nash and Halle have a sweet relationship, but I also enjoyed the fact that we get to see Halle have a relationship with her grandfather and her brother. The family dynamic we get in this book is unlike one I have seen in many books and I really appreciate that. I also enjoy the fact that we get to see Halle/Kels relationship online vs. in real life. We get to see her develop new friendships and continue/discontinue online ones. We get to see her learn more about her Jewish heritage and interact with other kids from her synagogue. This book does so well with balancing story, character development, character relationships, and more that it is close to perfect.

I don’t have too much bad for this book because like I said it is close to perfect. The only issues I really have with it would be that I felt like there could sometimes be too much focus on one thing rather the other. For instance, there is a scene that focuses on some cool friendship bonding moments but also focuses a little on drama happening on Twitter regarding an author’s comments about YA books. This was a scene where I was more interested in the Twitter drama than the bowling so it was a little irritating to have to focus on one things a little over the other. There were a few scenes like that where I wanted to focus on something else instead of what was happening in that exact moment. I also didn’t always feel that certain scenes needed as much detail as they did. These are however in now way major issues or things that I think should put someone off from reading this book.

Overall, this story is realistic to someone who is a fan of YA books and a book blogger,  has great relationships, and unique situations I was not exactly expecting. Whether you’re a book blogger, book tuber, or bookstagrammer yourself…or you just enjoy a good YA novel, this book has something for everyone.

4.5/5 Stars

**** & 1/2 out of *****

As always please like, comment, and follow.

Until next time dear readers.

-Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Photo Credit Link