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  1. Spotlight Sunday on Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare 

     By now you know that when the four of us are together, in person or via the magic of the internet, the conversations almost always come back to books. We love them. We love the people who write them, the people who publish them, and the people who read them. In fact, we have so many feelings about books that we wanted to find a way to share our conversations with you! Welcome to a new week of Spotlight Sunday, hosted by Fiction Fare (Erin & Jaime) and Swoony Boys Podcast (Kassiah & Meg), where we dish about ALL things bookish. Each week we’ll post a topic, we’ll start the conversation by telling you some of our thoughts, and then it will be your turn to sound off in the comment section.
    Have a topic you’d like to discuss on Spotlight Sunday? Fill out the form here.

    To swag or not to swag? At events, people go crazy over swag. Why? What do you do with it?

    Meg: I love swag. Maybe too much. I have stockpiles of it and then when I look at it I think, “What am I going to do with this?” It does make good giveaways, but there are only so many bookmarks and bookplates a person can have! I do have a weakness for buttons or other unique pieces of swag that aren’t typical. (nail polish, chapstick, candy, etc,) What about you guys? What do you love and what do you hate?

    Jaime: I don’t mind swag… sometimes I find I have waaaaaay too much and have to do random giveaways because I don’t know what else to do with it, but it’s nice to include bookmarks in with our book giveaways and even some promo stuff - I know I grabbed a bunch of epicreads flyer thingies at BEA last year and have been tossing them into some of the packages I send out. I do like the more unique things - I think I have a Cress comb that my son has stolen from me and the chapstick or bags are always nice to have and of course I’m a button person - did you see my instagram picture! LOL - Oh Susan Dennard had these trading card things for her characters in Something Strange & Deadly and I loved those! I think I’ve gotten better about not grabbing a ton of stuff - usually just a few bookmarks to send with books and call it a day. I’m not sure there is anything I hate… okay, maybe stickers. I never know what to do with stickers. 

    Kassiah: I always want all of the swag, but like ya'll, don't really know what to do with it. Ya'll know my hoarding tendencies, though, and I find it hard to give up things. :) 

    Erin: I honestly have no idea what to do with most of it. I keep some of the bookmarks because I can always use more of those but typically I just add them to Jaime’s pile of stuff for giveaways. There are some really unique things that we get that I like to hold onto - like the stickers, pins, and chapstick (cause what girl doesn’t love chapstick) but typically the bracelets and other random things that I don’t use, gets given away to people who follow the blog or win something else in a giveaway. 

     Now that you’ve read some of our thoughts, let us know what you’re thinking in the comments below! We’ll be back next week with a brand new topic and lots more to talk about.

    Past Spotlight Sunday Topics

    By: Elizabeth May
    Publication Date:  May 6, 2014
    The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)

    Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

    Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

    Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

    Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

    But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

    About Elizabeth
    Elizabeth  MayElizabeth May was born in California, where she lived during her formative years before moving to Scotland. She is currently working on her PhD at the University of St Andrews.  When she isn’t writing or doing academics, she can be found with a camera in hand; her photography has been published on an array of book covers and in magazines.
    She currently resides in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her husband. THE FALCONER is her début novel. For more information, follow her on Twitter @_ElizabethMay or visit her website

    5 Things about Elizabeth May:
    1. She penned 9 unpublished manuscripts before finally writing THE FALCONER.
    2. Incidentally, she wrote THE FALCONER 3 times to get it right before trying to get it published.
    3. Her degrees are in anthropology, and her speciality is folklore. Which comes in handy when writing about Scottish faeries.
    4. Sometimes, her face ends up on book covers. This helps her pay university tuition.
    5. She wrote her first book at the age of 12, about a half-vampire with amnesia. She hasn’t been able to stop writing novels since.

    Erin's Thoughts

    The Falconer by Elizabeth May
    My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

    The Falconer is one of those books that I just couldn’t seem to put down. From the very first page, Elizabeth May grabs the reader and hurls them into Aileana’s life with no chance of stepping back out of it until the book is done. This book is filled with action, danger, mystery and some kissing….all things I love. Hopefully my rambling makes sense and helps you see just how good this book was…if not, just trust me and go read it! I am going to spoiler tag this - I don't think I give anything away but just want to be careful.

    (view spoiler)

    Overall this was a great book and I loved how May integrated the Steampunk aspect into this story. It really allows the story to be a bit different but also helps Aileana become more than just a society girl who happens to fight evil fae. Yes, she has her purpose as a Falconer but she is also smart and an inventor – continually trying to come up with new ways to defeat them but also protect herself and those she cares about.

    I am more than a little sad that I have to wait until 2015 to find out what happens next for these characters – especially since the ending was somewhat of a cliffhanger. The Falconer kept me turning the pages and if your heart can handle an ending that doesn’t quite give you the full story, definitely check this one out. This was a great book one in a series that I am looking forward to reading more about.

    Thank you to Edelweiss and Chronicle Books for the review copy.

    View all Erin's reviews


  3. What is Flashback Friday you ask?  

    I know... I know... As if you don't have a million and one memes to follow! BUT we're hoping that you might want to participate in just one more!  

    If you're like us, you read a lot... you add a ton to your 'to be read' lists and you sometimes forget about some amazing things because they get pushed down either your favorites list or that pile of books you need to read.  That doesn't mean those books are no less amazing!

    This is a way for us to highlight books that are older that maybe don't get as much recognition now because they have been out for a while.  Books that we read and loved or books that have been on our To Be Read lists for ages, but we just haven't gotten around to them yet.  

    On to the details - Pick a book... any book that meets the following criteria:  

    1.  Must have been published at least 2 years ago or 
    2.  Preferably is still in print or available to read

    Grab our button or make your own then simply feature it on your blog... See the example below, and then come back here and link us up!! AND Spread the word!!
    Jaime's Pick
    By: Susan Ee
    Publication Date: May 21, 2011 
    It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

    Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

    Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

    Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.


    Susan Ee is the bestselling author of the Penryn & the End of Days series which takes place in the San Francisco bay area. The first book, ANGELFALL, is being translated into 20 languages around the world. The second book, WORLD AFTER, was recently released in Nov. 2013 to international acclaim. The film rights to the series have been optioned by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Good Universe. Susan used to be a lawyer but loves being a writer because it allows her imagination to bust out and go feral.

    Social Media Blog Social Media Facebook Social Media Twitter Social Media Goodreads

    Erin's Pick
    By: Colleen Hoover
    Publication Date: January 5, 2012

    This was the very first book I read by Colleen Hoover and she immediately won me over.  I think Will was one of the first boys on my "Swoony Book Boyfriends" shelf in Goodreads.  Hoover writes characters that don't always have it easy and don't always do the right thing...they are human.  But she also does it in a way that has you rooting for them regardless of what happens - at least it was this way for me.  If you enjoy New Adult with a swoony boy who writes slam poetry (Yes, there is lovely poetry), definitely check out this series as well as the other books Colleen has since written.
    Slammed (Slammed, #1)

    Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope.

    Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

    Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

    Colleen HooverI love music. LOVE music. Namely The Avett Brothers, Lumineers, Pink, Eminem. I have eclectic taste? If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

    I'm addicted to diet pepsi and could tell you in a taste-test which restaurant it came from. It's a serious addiction, I tell you.

    I get stoked whenever I get a message from goodreads saying I have a new friend request me, dangit!

    If you want to know when I have new books out or just want to be inundated by random, pointless blog posts, follow me at

    Avoid my Twitter at all cost. It's propaganda.


    By: Claire LaZebnik
    Publication Date: April 22, 2014
    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....

    I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, went to Harvard and moved to LA.  (My name was Claire Scovell for a large part of all that.)  I’ve written five novels for adults, Same as It Never Was, Knitting under the Influence, The Smart One and the Pretty One, If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now, and Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts.  I’ve also published two YA novels with Harper Collins: Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting (due out in winter, 2012/3). With Lynn Koegel (who’s absolutely brilliant), I co-wrote  Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies and Hope That Can Transform a Child’s Lifeand Growing up on the Spectrum: A guide to life, love and learning for young adults with autism and Asperger’s.  I contributed to an anthology play called Motherhood Out Loud, and have been published in The New York TimesSelf, Vogue and other magazines.
    I live in the Pacific Palisades with my husband Rob (who writes for “The Simpsons”), my four kids (Max, Johnny, Annie and Will) and too many pets to keep track of.
    Social Media Website Social Media Goodreads

    Jaime's Thoughts
    The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Remember back to the days when all you were worried about was fitting in and not making a fool of yourself and making sure your friends accepted you?

    Lezebnik takes you back to those days with The Last Best Kiss. We first meet Anna Eliot as a freshman… not completely sure of herself and worried about doing the wrong thing, the thing that will make her an outcast amongst her friends, and so she tries not to stand out. But she meets Finn Westbrook when her sister offers him a ride to school in the morning. But Finn isn’t even on her friend’s radars. He was one of the nerdy kids who liked science and math and didn’t go to parties and hadn’t had that growth spurt yet.

    ”He’s perfect boyfriend material – you could carry him around in your pocket. He could be your pocket boyfriend, and you could take him out whenever you felt like it and then stuff him back in when you got bored.”

    Yet, Anna finds herself drawn to him and what starts as an innocent friendship sharing science facts and pictures eventually turns into secret dates and kisses, but when Anna humiliates him in front of everyone at school there is no turning back and she never gets the chance to apologize because that summer his family moves away.
    Fast forward to senior year. Finn Westbrook is back and he’s made his way into her group of friends and suddenly Anna is faced with how horrible she actually was to him and any effort she tries to make to form their friendship again is ignored… in fact, Finn seems to be falling for one of her best friends which makes things a million times worse.

    Let’s get the things that I wasn’t fond of out of the way. Anna’s family. I didn’t understand them and I didn’t understand their role in this story. Her mother is non-existent having left them and her father is more concerned with work and spending time with his middle daughter Lizzie for some strange and somewhat odd reason that is never really explained fully. The only family member that had some kind of impact on her was her sister Molly who helped her make sense of the situation she had with Finn. It was all just kind of weird for me and I struggled to figure out their roles in this story.

    Second – pretty much every single character in this story. I didn’t care much about any of them, except maybe Finn back in the 9th grade. I mean, all her friendships seem to be incredibly superficial, no one seems to actually care about anyone else, and they just don’t come across as supportive to each other no matter the situation. Oh… when that one thing happens they sort of all come together, but even then it all seemed so superficial to me.

    I did like some things about this … the story itself is a cute take on a reimagined version of Persuasion. The writing was wonderfully done and the pacing was good, there was definitely never a lack of things happening.

    I really enjoyed the growth of Anna’s character. I found that while she did some really mean things when she was younger to Finn, I liked that she took ownership of those actions and apologized and was really making an effort with Finn. Even though he was still kind of mean to her.

    If you’re looking for a cute coming of age story one with an authentic teenage voice then definitely check this one out. I’ll definitely be looking for additional stories from Lezebnik.

    Thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.


  5. REVIEW: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    THE TAKING (The Taking #1)
    By: Kimberly Derting
    Publication Date: April 29, 2014
    The Taking (The Taking, #1)

    A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing. 

    When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day. 

    Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men. 

    Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

    Kimberly is the author of the BODY FINDER series (HarperCollins), THE PLEDGE trilogy (Simon & Schuster), and THE TAKING trilogy (coming Summer 2014 from HarperTeen). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.
    Social Media Website Social Media Blog Social Media Facebook Social Media Twitter Social Media Pinterest Social Media Goodreads 

    Erin's Thoughts
    The Taking by Kimberly Derting
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    The Taking by Kimberly Derting is a Sci-Fi story that involves alien abduction, quite a bit of action and some romance on the side. This story had me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next and I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

    Kyra is a normal teenager. She and her softball team just won the championship and as with any sixteen year old, she is starting to think about where she wants to go to college. Because of her talent as a pitcher, her father is trying to get her to consider all of her options but Kyra has already decided that she and her boyfriend, Austin, are going to the same school no matter what she is offered. On the way home from the championship game, Kyra and her father have the same argument about this and she ends up making him pull over so she can walk instead of listen to the same talk he has given her over and over. That decision will change her life forever.

    When Kyra opens her eyes, she is behind the dumpster at the Gas ‘n ‘Sip, almost exactly where she got out of the car and unclear as to why she decided to stay there for the night. Regardless, Kyra makes the walk home and that is when things start to get even weirder. There is a strange man living in her house along with a young boy. Since Austin’s house is right across the street, she runs there to see if Austin can clear things up. When the door opens, Kyra realizes that the person she thought was Austin is really Tyler, his little brother, and he looks a lot older than he did the last time she saw him.

    As the story continues, we find that although to Kyra it only feels like a day has passed, she has really been gone for five years. This is probably one of the areas that I felt the most for Kyra. She gets thrown into this world where everyone has moved on with their lives and she is stuck at sixteen. This includes her parents divorcing, her mother getting remarried and having a new child, and the boyfriend she loved so much, moving on and starting a relationship with Kyra’s best friend, Cat. The one bright spot for Kyra is Tyler.

    Tyler is Austin’s younger brother but he is now the same age as Kyra (since she didn't’t age in the five years she was gone) and her first few nights home, he is the one to anchor her in the present. He admittedly had a crush on her when he was younger and when she knocks on his door, he sees it as a chance to get her to see him as more than just Austin’s little brother as well as the boy who does chalk drawings on the sidewalk. He does swoony things (chalk drawings) and is patient with Kyra. He also, no matter what she tells him, never doubts Kyra.

    As I mentioned, the Taking refers to the abductions happening and as the story progresses, this is a lot bigger than just Kyra vanishing. Not only has Kyra not aged, but she is starting to recognize that she is different. Add to this the fact that people are following her and she doesn't really know who to trust…except for Tyler.
    There are a lot of twists in this story that are linked to what happened to Kyra when she was gone. As Kyra adjusts to her life, she is also working to solve the mystery of what happened and how it is impacting her life now.

    There it is…I can’t say much more only because I don’t want to give anything away. Just know that if you like a good sci-fi story that has quite a bit of action, you will definitely enjoy this one. Add to that a swoony boy and some angst, and this book has a bit of everything.

    View all Erin's reviews


  6. Let's Get Lost
    By: Adi Alsaid
    Publication Date: July 29, 2014
    Five strangers. Countless adventures.One epic way to get lost. 

    Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most. 

    There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love. 

    Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

    So...What are you waiting for this week?

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine - make sure you head over and see what other people are waiting for!

  7. We are extremely excited that Jennifer L. Armentrout's DON'T LOOK BACK releases today!! DON’T LOOK BACK is a young adult suspense being published by Disney Hyperion!


    Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all—popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

    Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her—even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

    But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory—someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

    “This engrossing thriller packs a heady atmospheric punch with plenty of theatrical scares,” Kirkus Reviews

    “Armentrout has written another winner. From the first page to the last, she builds both terror and confusion to the point where readers will be hooked and on the edge of their seat. This standalone contains all of Armentrout’s usual trademarks– a strong and determined heroine, witty comments and hot guys–but she adds in an extra layer by ratcheting up the suspense to the highest degree and follows it up with an ending no one will see coming.” RT BOOK REVIEWS 4 1/2 Stars TOP PICK

    About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

    # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

    Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

    She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


    I didn’t recognize the name on the street sign. Nothing about the rural road looked familiar or friendly. Tall, imposing trees and overgrown weeds choked the front of the dilapidated home.  Windows were boarded up. There was a gaping hole where the front door had been. I shivered, wanting to be far away from here…wherever here was.

    Walking felt harder than it should be, and I stumbled off the chilly asphalt, wincing as
    sharp gravel dug into my feet.

    My bare feet?

    I stopped and looked down. Chipped pink nail polish peeked through the dirt…and blood. Mud caked the legs of my pants, leaving the hems stiff. It made sense, seeing as how I wasn’t wearing any shoes, but the blood…I didn’t understand why there was blood staining the knees of my jeans.

    My vision clouded and dulled, as if a gray film had been dropped over my eyes. As I stared at the weathered asphalt under my feet, large and smooth rocks replaced the tiny stones.  Something dark and oily seeped over the rocks, slipping through the cracks.

    Sucking in a sharp gasp, I blinked and the image was gone.

    Hands trembling, I raised them. They were also covered with dirt and scratches. My nails were broken, bloodied. A silver ring wrapped, encased in soil, around my thumb. Air froze in my chest as my gaze crawled over my arms. The sleeves of my sweater were torn, revealing pale flesh covered in bruises and gashes. My legs started to shake as I swayed forward. I tried to remember how this had happened, but my head was empty—a black void where nothing existed.

    A car drove by, coasting to a stop a few feet in front of me. Somewhere in the trenches of my subconscious, I recognized the flashing red and blue lights as a source of safety. Elegantly scrawled along the black-and-gray side of the cruiser were the words ADAMS COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.

    Adams County? A flash of familiarity came and went.

    The driver’s door opened, and a deputy stepped out. He said something into the radio on his shoulder before he looked at me.

    “Miss?” He started around the cruiser, taking tentative steps. He looked young for a deputy. Barely out of high school and able to carry a gun seemed wrong somehow. Was I in high school? I didn’t know. “We’ve received some calls into dispatch concerning you,” he said gently. “Are you okay?”

    I tried to respond, but only a hoarse squeak came out. Clearing my throat, I winced as the motion scratched and pulled. “I…I don’t know.”

    “Okay.” The deputy held up his hands as he approached me, as if I were a skittish deer about to bolt. “My name is Deputy Rhode. I’m here to help you. Do you know what you’re doing out here?”

    “No.” Knots formed in my belly. I didn’t even know where here was.

    His smile strained. “What’s your name?”

    My name? Everyone knew their name, but as I stared at the deputy, I couldn’t answer his question. The knots started twisting more. “I don’t…I don’t know what my name is.”

    He blinked, and the smile was completely gone. “You don’t remember anything?”

    I tried again, concentrating on the empty space between my ears. That was how it felt. And I knew that wasn’t good. My eyes started to tear up.

    “Miss, it’s okay. We’ll get you taken care of.” He reached out, lightly taking hold of my arm. “We’ll get this sorted.”

    Deputy Rhode led me around the back of his cruiser. I didn’t want to sit behind the Plexiglas, because I knew that wasn’t good. Only bad people sat behind the glass in police cruisers. I wanted to object, but before I could say anything, he settled me into the seat and wrapped a coarse blanket around my shoulders.

    Before he locked me in the bad part of the car, he knelt and smiled reassuringly.

    “Everything’s going to be okay.”

    But I knew he was lying, trying to make me feel better. It didn’t work. How could everything be okay when I didn’t know my own name?

    By: Emery Lord
    Publication Date: April 15, 2014
    After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

    i write books about complicated families and the friends who save your life just by showing up and your worst mistakes and that boy who gets you like no one else ever has and the summer that changed everything.
    Social Media WebsiteSocial Media TwitterSocial Media Goodreads 

    Jaime's Thoughts
    Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Kidding. A singer I am not.

    BUT there are definitely some talented singers in Open Road Summer. Reagan O’Neill is ready to spend the summer with her best friend, leaving the last tumultuous year behind her. Her best friend Dee, is none other than country superstar Lilah Montgomery which means they will be touring the country by bus as Lilah puts on concert after concert. Lilah herself is nursing a broken heart so their girls only tour is needed by both.

    But ‘girls only’ is put on hold when Matt Finch joins the tour to deflect some bad press. Reagan certainly didn’t expect to have a boy on the tour, much less one that she is having a hard time pretending she doesn’t want to get to know better.

    Let me just start off by saying that I almost bumped Jase Garrett from my top two list for Matt Finch.

    Go ahead and let that sink in for a moment.

    This book was one of my most anticipated for this year and I sat by jealously as blogger after blogger received an ARC of this book. I cried bitter tears of sadness each time I saw someone say how amazing it was.

    And then.

    Then I found it on Netgalley and I stared at my email waiting for the approval I hoped would come, and it finally did!

    First and foremost what I loved about this story was that it focused on friendship. Not just the superficial friendship of a couple of girls. I’m talking, deep down, life long, “I’d take a bullet for you” friendship and it’s done so amazingly well.

    Looking at Lilah from the outside you would think she has everything… fame and fortune doing something she loves. But we get to see a bit of the dirty side of fame in this story. It’s not all parties and fun. The press is trying to destroy her image with no thought to the consequences to her life. She's also had to give up some very important things in order to pursue this dream so coming to terms with it has been a struggle, and one that Lord portrays wonderfully.

    Raegan herself has had a rough year, but she’s taking the summer to turn everything around. She doesn’t like who she was for several reasons and she’s prepared to make the changes necessary to start turning things around.

    I’m a taped-together girl, but I can carry my own baggage. What I can’t do is pretend that I’m weightless, unburdened. Dee never hides her heartache from me, and that makes it okay to feel alongside her – no censoring, no embarrassment.

    I really loved her love for her friendship with Dee. Their relationship wasn’t complicated and I think that’s how the best friendships endure. It was a wonderful thing to read. But I also love that she didn’t lose herself over the incredible Matt Finch.

    His eyes are somewhere between gray and blue, and his hair somewhere between brown and blond, and I am somewhere between hostile and attracted.

    She makes no attempt to hide that hostility and she makes her stance very clear from the get-go with him about her trust… or lack of it until he earns it.

    Matt Finch

    That is totally a lie… he’s not perfect, but that’s what makes him perfect. I’m sorry if you don’t get that. LOL

    Matt grew up in the limelight – part of a family band he knows how tours work and he knows how the press is, and his squeaky clean image is exactly what is needed on the Lilah Montgomery tour. At the ripe old age of 19 he’s attempting a solo career, but his past year hasn’t been all that great either and going on tour might be just what he needs too.

    Matt is the quintessential boy next door - he’s sweet and he’s charming and he knows just how to make a girl swoon even if it wasn’t what he intended. He tells stories though his music and what girl doesn’t want to know a boy like that in real life? Plus… he totally knows when ice cream is appropriate and I swear I highlighted a ton of quotes but the following might be my favorite:

    “I really like you,” Matt announces, which somehow makes me feel more embarrassed. “You’re unpredictable and smart, and I basically want to spend all of my time with you.”

    I know what I said up there about this book being about friendship, but there is definitely a romance and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The build of the relationship between Raegan and Matt was so well done. She didn’t just fall at his feet and I loved that he worked to get to know her, and omg all the fluttery butterflies were present during reading…

    It’s not the first time he’s run his hands through my hair, almost absentmindedly. Normally I’d pull away from being petted like a house cat, but it isn’t like that. His fingers weave through my hair the way he touches his guitar strings, as if I’m something cherished, something he’s connected to. Instead, I stare back at him, at his salt lake eyes and the strong lines of his face. In coming on tour, I had hoped to find escape – enough distance to figure out how to start over. I still don’t know the whens and hows of repairing my own life. But I know that Matt Finch makes me want to feel everything. Instead of numbing myself in any variety of ways, I want each sensation; I want to feel the way they pool together – his touch and smell, the sound of his voice. I want the tipsiness, the giddy ache that comes as he slides his thumb across my lower lip, as his eyes fixate on my mouth.

    Characters aren’t the only thing I loved about this. Emery Lord’s writing is beautiful and captivating, her storytelling wonderfully done and once you start reading this, you won’t want to put it down. Lord hits all the right notes in this story about friendship, family, and love… pursuing your dreams and realizing your past is just your past and it doesn’t have to define your future.

    This will definitely be on my top of 2014 list and fans of contemporary YA absolutely need to put this on your ‘read immediately’ shelf so you grab it when it arrives. I will definitely be waiting as patiently as possible for more from Emery Lord!

    #sorrynotsorry for all the gifs

    THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH to Bloomsbury for the advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.