to all the boys i've loved before by jenny han

Release Date: April 15th 2014
Source: ARC (Thanks so much, Ksenia!)
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon, Indiebound

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once? 

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved–five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han is like the perfect cake slice: light, sweet but not too sweet, perfectly fulfilling but you would definitely not turn down seconds. (Spoiler alert: you won’t because there is a companion to this book. Just thought you should know, right off the bat.)

I want to go the clichéd route and say “to all the ways I’ve loved this book” but it will be evident soon enough. I loved everything about this book! It hits all my sweet spots: a strong bond between family, a darling heroine, a dashing gent, letters, and most importantly: FOOD. The food descriptions were parfait from mocha sugar doughnuts to black-cherry sodas to rice balls. I love, love the way Jenny Han writes. I tried to think hard about how I would describe her writing style because it’s airy but not without substance. Then I realized: it sort of reminds me of Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (especially the food)! Really gentle writing that sticks with you.

Lara Jean is someone I want to be friends with, not only for her baking skills. By that I mean, it’s ALSO for her killer fashion sense. We can totally swap clothes and look at Asian fashion blogs together. I digress! Lara Jean is ridiculously charming and funny too. There were many times where I laughed out loud at something she said or did, which I never do because I don’t have a sense of humor. HAHA JOKES! (I do have a sense of humor, JUST A TERRIBLE ONE and Jenny Han manages to surpass that! It is genuinely funny, I promise) Lara Jean is the middle Song girl so she’s not always as nice as her older sister, Margot, but she is so sweet anyway. Oh my gosh, those Song girls are amazing. Margot, who moves to Scotland in the beginning of the book, is studious and motherly. Lara Jean is dreamy eyed. Kitty, the youngest, is well, young because she’s nine and desperately wants a puppy more than anything. I looooooved their bond in this book! Obviously, their relationship wasn’t always perfect because hi, they’re siblings but even through fighting or bickering or anything, there was clearly love underneath it all. Pretty sure I won’t be the only reader who wants to be a Song girl after reading this.

V important to note: Lara Jean is half-Korean and Jenny Han portrayed this so effortlessly. It’s the perfect example of it being a part of a character’s identity, not their WHOLE identity. There are moments like when Lara Jean’s dad still cooks them Korean food because he wants them to remember their mother. Even if his bossam came out too salty. Or when Peter, the boy Lara Jean pretends to date in the book, asks, “You guys are a no-shoes house, right?” I want more characters like Lara Jean. I would have LOVED this book as a teenager and I’m so thankful for Jenny Han.

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open road summer by emery lord

Release Date: April 15th 2014
Source: ARC (Thanks so much, Bloomsbury!)
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon, Indiebound

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.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord is a book I fell in instalove with as soon as I heard about it. Sometimes marketing pitches can be tricky (I do not need another comparison to The Fault In Our Stars, thanks) but this was Taylor Swift meets Sarah Dessen SO HOW COULD I NOT WANT TO READ IT? Here were my immediate reaction upon finishing the book:

  1. OMG I NEED TO TRY JENI’S ICE CREAMS (and this still holds true a year later, I am obsessed. the amount of times I’ve gone to their site and tried to look up if it’s near me is nuts. LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO ME, LORD) (by Lord, I mean Emery Lord just in case that wasn’t clear) It is kismet that I have FINALLY tried Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams right as the book comes out because OMG IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT. Um, I can totally wax poetic about this ice cream but I shall save it for another day. Just another thing I have to thank Emery Lord for!
  2. holy eff this was goooood
  3. I want to re-read it
  4. Emery Lord just earned a spot in my coveted spot of Contemporary Authors I Get Heart Eyed Over
  5. OKAY I’M GOING TO RE-READ IT

Obviously, the Taylor Swift comparisons are inevitable so I’m just going to go all out with it. I know it’s really easy to compare Dee (or more accurately her famous moniker: Lilah Montgomery) as Taylor Swift because they’re popstars with a generally good image but I think Reagan is pretty Swift-like too. I’m going to try not to write an essay about Taylor Swift here but a thing I like about her is that she’s so not perfect. She can be mean and petty and make terrible decisions but I think she has a good heart underneath it all. WHICH IS BASICALLY REAGAN, who is a mixture of “Better Than Revenge” and “The Best Day.” In case you are confused by that comparison, “Better Than Revenge” is Taylor at her meanest and “The Best Day” is Taylor at her nicest. Like Taylor, Reagan struggles with slut shaming and how she views other females. She definitely needs to grow as a person in regards to that but flaws are what make Reagan such a great character. One moment I really appreciated in the book was Dee staying up late to write a blog post about how it’s not okay to call a girl a slut, even though she knew she couldn’t post it. Isn’t that one of the most earnest things a character could do? I think it really exemplifies the fact that ALL these characters in the book are trying.

When we first meet Reagan, she has a broken wrist and a history of bad decisions. She’s not prone to trusting people and one of the people she truly trusts is Dee, her best friend who is now an up and coming popstar on tour. They’ve been best friends for ages and their friendship is one of the things I love most about the book. They complement each other so perfectly and always have each other’s backs. Reagan needs someone like Dee, who always sees the good in people, to balance out her cynical nature and Dee needs someone like Reagan who keeps her grounded. It’s amazing how you can find one person that understands you completely and who supports you unconditionally. Dee and Reagan are two halves of a whole, sisters, and they’re best friends for infinity.

What I really liked about Open Road Summer is that even though romance is a part of it, it never takes precedent over the friendship. It’s like Dee says, “boys don’t matter nearly as much as friends.” That isn’t to say the romance isn’t great though because it is SO GREAT. Matt Finch joins Dee on tour as a result of an incident. Reagan is initially distrustful of him because she’s protective of Dee, as people are wont to be, but he quickly wins over everyone’s hearts. Even Reagan’s despite her denial. I like that Reagan thought about Dee first always and THEN Matt because so often, once a love interest appears, everything else is ignored. FRIENDSHIP FIRST!!!!!! I love Matt Finch so much (he’s basically Friday Night Lights personified because he is that genuinely good) but I love the friendship MORE. It is the most important part of the book and it is the one that stays with me.

I’m going to be quite frank in that I’m usually ambivalent towards music in books because most of the time, it’s so contrived and cringeworthy. NOT IN THIS CASE! It is a testament to Emery Lord’s writing that she makes me actually want to hear the songs in the books. Her writing is perfect for summer: sun-speckled and filled with promises of something more. I rooted for all these characters from Reagan to Dee to Matt to Jimmy. Now, I’m rooting for Emery Lord.

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Hiiii everyone. This is slightly overdue but BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, right? Also, I am not so organized to actually take notes during any of these events so this post is going to be like a grandma trying to narrate a story of her yesteryears. Except this only happened a week or so ago and I am definitely not a grandma. THIS IS GOING TO BE FUN, GUYS!

david levithan & rainbow rowell & nyc teen author festival

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Happy Friday! I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of Open Road Summer by Emery Lord and DEVOURED it immediately. As soon as I finished reading, I knew it was a true gem and already holds a top spot among my favorite contemporaries. High praise that I do not take lightly! That is why I am pleased to debut the book trailer for Open Road Summer. This one is all about BEST FRIENDS, which means it is made of sunshine. Plus, you may or may not spy a picture of me in it. ;)

& here’s some info on it!

open road summer by emery lord

Release Date: April 15th 2014
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon, Indiebound

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.

Add it to your TBR lists if you haven’t yet. Seriously. Now for a very important request: please tell me about YOUR best friend!! I love, love best friend stories. Here are some of my favorite fictional BFFs btw.

Hi! Today, I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour for The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen, who you may know from Young Adult Book Central. She’s sharing her playlist for the book under the cut.

57livesofalexwayfareblogtour

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