Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tuesday Reviews (On Thursday!): Don't Get Caught by Kurt Dinan


Title: Don't Get Caught
Author: Kurt Dinan
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: April 1, 2016
Format Read: ARC
Rating: Four Stars

Description from Goodreads: 10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he's Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He's Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him that this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it's also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust...

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-- who also received invites-- are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security "catches" them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It's time for rule #7: Always get payback. 

Let the prank war begin.

Let me start out by saying that even if you aren't attracted to the premise of this book, you need your own copy. There are flip book cows on the corners of the pages, and I am in love with them. Especially being someone who lives on a farm and has cows of her own.

But back to the book!

I really enjoyed this one. The characters were fantastic, the idea surrounding the plot was solid, and the pranks pulled throughout the entirety of the story were hilariously completed and expertly thought out. So well done, in fact, that it made me sorry that I was such a by-the-book and follow-the-rules type of person, because all I could think about were the stunts pulled in this book and how much fun was had doing them. It screams anti-Steph, but things like these are things that I always wish I had the guts to do, but know I never would or could because of the dangers and consequences. 

Because of that, though, I loved reading about the Water Tower 5 and the Chaos Club. Their adventures became mine, and the thrill extended through the pages and reached me at all the right times. The few twists at the end, I can say that I definitely did see coming. They arrive on the last few chapters,a nd I had suspected both of them from pretty close to go, but there were other things that I definitely did not guess that caught me off guard.

An issue I had with this book is that, a handful of times, I found myself feeling a bit lost. There were instances when something would be referenced, and it wouldn't be explained until later, or times when I'd find myself in the middle of a scene or conversation and I wasn'tsure how I'd even gotten there. It felt like those things came out of nowhere, and I did find them frustrating, since it took me a page or two to catch on and piece together what was going on.

DON'T GET CAUGHT earned itself four stars from me. It's one that I'm glad I requested, and one that I now like for more reasons other than the flipbook cows. If you enjoy epic high school tales, this is for you. Fair warning, though: this book is not short on sexual innuendos and references by any means, and language makes its appearances. My question is... will there be a sequel? I feel like it left a perfect opening, and I'll be interested to see where it goes from here.

Happily,
Stephanie

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday Reviews: You Were Here


Title: You Were Here
Author: Cori McCarthy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Format Read: ARC
Rating: Four Stars

Description from Goodreads: Grief turned Jaycee into a daredevil, but can she dare to deal with her past?

On the anniversary of her daredevil brother's death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake's favorite hideout-- the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother's exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn't bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Ever since I read the description, I've wanted to read this one. Sibling stories are some of my absolute favorites (We have an incredible lack of them in the YA world) and when I find one that sounds deep and dark and emotional, I'm all over it. So I requested YOU WERE HERE, and pretty quickly it came in the mail. The excitement level was high, and though it wasn't quite as epic as I was hoping, it was still a great read, and I'm glad I read it.

Rotating between five points of view, not each chapter is written. Some characters' chapters are consistently drawings or paintings or some sort of art form, while another's is composed of a graphic novel format. This, plus the changes between first and third person pov, made YOU WERE HERE an interesting read.

And then you get to the plot, Jaycee recreating the dares that her brother accomplished, while forming and mending friendships that end up healing her in ways she never would have imagined, and you want nothing but to read this story and see how it plays out. Each of the characters were distinctly different, and fresh, and their own life struggles meshed into the overall plot in a perfect way.

YOU WERE HERE is a four star read for me, and I recommend it to those who enjoy a good, emotional contemporary. It's about finding yourself, and coming to terms with the bad things that have happened in your life, and the importance of friendship, even when college is right around the corner. Be warned, though. This book is not light on language and/or sexual references. It is the one thing that dampened this book for me, so if you do not enjoy those things then you may want to stay clear of this one.

Happily,
Stephanie

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday Thinks: Goodreads Reading Challenge


I don't generally set goals for how many books per year I want to read, for no reason other than I never felt that it was necessary. I don't want to read for the sake of meeting a goal, I want to read for the sake of reading. Because in the end, if you're only reading to tally it up, you're not reading for the reason books are intended for-- to be enjoyed.

I do keep a reading journal, though. I keep track of what books I read, in what months, and then at the end of the year, for fun, I add them up.

In 2014, I read 71 books.

In 2015, I read 58.

I didn't like that drastic gap between the two, and was pretty shocked at how low of a number I read in 2015, so when I kept getting notifications for the Goodreads Reading Challenge and could see all of the people setting their own goals, I decided to give it a shot. After figuring out exactly how it worked (I'm not good with computers, you guys. You have no idea.) I set my goal to 100 books-- 100 books to read in 2016. And while I'm hoping I read more than that, it'll be my base line.

As of right now, I'm at 19/100-- technically three books behind schedule, but I'm happy with it. I've been a busy bee with my reading, and I'm proud to say that I'm not reading for the numbers, though there is a bit of pride when I watch that number change each time I add a book to my "READ" shelf. Something that helps, though, is the fact that my current TBR is a stack of books I need to have read for an event in April.

So yeah, that's where I'm at right now in terms of my Reading Challenge. You can start your own challenge and keep track of the books you read this year by clicking this link and logging in. hover over your profile icon, and select My Reading Challenge from the drop-down menu. After that, have at it. And start reading.

If you'd like to watch my progress throughout the year, feel free to add me! Let's be friends, and I'll watch your progress, too.

Happily,
Stephanie

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday Reviews: Violent Ends edited by Shaun David Hutchinson


Title: Violent Ends
Author: Anthology, edited by Shaun David Hutchinson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Format Read: Hardback
Rating: Five stars

Description from Goodreads: It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

But this isn't a story about the shooting itself. This isn't about recounting that one unforgettable day.

This is about Kirby and how one boy-- who had friends, enjoyed reading, played saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before-- became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates.

Each chapter is told from a different victim's viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he'd become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kissed or late-night parties.

This is a book of perspectives-- with one character and one event drawing them all together-- from the minds of some of YA's most recognizable names.

For being such an amazing book, VIOLENT ENDS seems to be pretty low on everyone's radar. Today, my job is to try to fix that.

I read this book, and I find it easily comparable to THIRTEEN REASONS WHY in terms of grittiness and depth and raw emotion. It took me only two days to read it, and by the time I finished, I found myself looking at the book with such respect. The anthology was perfectly put together, and each story was exactly what it needed to be to make the spirit of the story be felt. 

Reading this book, you got to experience Kirby through the eyes of his friends and classmates. You were able to see the events that led him to such drastic measures, and see how each of their actions tied into his ultimate decision. 

One thing I loved about this story is that it's never told from Kirby's point of view. You never get to see through the shooter's eyes, no matter how much you want to, and something about the way that was done makes the story ten times more ominous. And the stories are not each character's retelling of the shooting-- some of them are years before that day, when Kirby was a child; some are from Middle and High School, and some even from after the shooting-- which was an element that I adored.

Being an intense, emotional book, I found myself unable to put it down. I wanted to spend as much time reading it as I could, just so that I could immerse myself in the story and understand Kirby more. Because of this, VIOLENT ENDS is a five star read for me. It was a beautiful, tragic story, but it was such an incredible one. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys novels about the real lives of high schoolers. Things that give you an inside view on the types of people you are around/were around every day for four years, and how each of you affects the other. If you liked THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, this is definitely a book for you.

Happily,
Stephanie

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday Thinks: Green With Envy


Happy St. Patrick's Day, readers! Today is officially the day to celebrate your Irish roots (I've got them, too!), eat and drink green colored things, and search for a pot of gold. Don't forget to wear something green and save yourself from a day of pinches. My favorite thing to do is wear something small, maybe an earring or a pin, so that it's hard for people to find your green. And if they pinch you before they see it, you can serve them with a revenge pinch *waggles eyebrows*

Since today is all about the color green, I wanted to do a post about books I'm green with envy over. In other words, books or series that I (as an aspiring author) wish I would have written. Ones that I've gotten so much enjoyment out of, or have fallen so deep in love with, that they make me want to be a better writer. This post is reserved for those special few that really move me. There are seven of them, and here they are-- in no particular order.



VIOLENT ENDS, an anthology edited by Shaun David Hutchinson. 

This is a novel told from seventeen points of view, all revolving around a fatal school shooting. These stories are not about the shooting in itself, but they are all pieces to one big puzzle-- How Kirby Matheson was able to go from a normal high schooler, to a boy with so much hate inside of him that he felt the need to take six lives, including his own. Not only does the story explore the events leading up to the shooting, but it explores the days after, and each story gives you a little bit more information than what you previously had. By the time you get to the last page, you understand what drove Kirby Matheson to such great lengths, and you come away from it with a new outlook on the world; how every event is somehow connected to another one, and how small things can add up to something bigger in the blink of an eye.





THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher

This novel is told largely in the form of voice recordings from Hannah Baker, a girl from Clay's class who recently committed suicide. It's a telling of how Clay listens to Hannah's story, and comes to see things through her eyes. Sees why she made the decision to end her time on this world, and how he, along with twelve other kids, had a hand in bringing her to the idea. Not only do you see how you affect other people, but you learn how other people can affect you. You find yourself witnessing things that, sadly, are part of every-day high school life, and realizing that you can do something about it. THIRTEEN REASONS leaves you seeing the way people are treated, and it makes you want to do something about it. It inspires you to make a difference in the world, one smile and friendly word at a time.





THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

Set during WWII, THE BOOK THIEF is the story of a girl named Liesel, a child living under Hitler's reign. It is about her journey through life, learning to read and adore books, making friends, and staying alive whilst living amongst a family of Jewish sympathizers. This book shows the trials and tribulations of being a child during the Holocaust, as well as the extra complications brought about when one does the right thing-- no matter what the cost. BOOK THIEF is a very deep, very dark novel, and it's something that many people cannot handle, but for me it remains one of my favorite reads, because of the raw truth and honesty found along the pages. As historical fiction, especially in the YA category, this is one that goes above and beyond in serving it's purpose of helping you to truly understand what the Holocaust was like from a child's point of view.




THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

I honestly feel like this one needs no explanation. If you haven't read it, please... PLEASE do. If you have, you can cry along with me, because you know why this one made the list.






SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the story of a girl who was, as a child, mauled by wolves. She's grown up watching them run in the woods behind her house, but she always favor the one with the yellow eyes-- the one that saved her from the other wolves when she was just a kid. It's there, watching her as she watches it, and she becomes fascinated with him and his pack. And then one day, a boy shows up on her front porch. He has the wolf's eyes, and Grace immediately knows that somehow, this boy is the wolf who saved her so long ago. But the fight to keep him human is a tough one, and Grace doesn't know if she'll succeed. I can tell you that this trilogy (now quartet *cheers*) is my absolute favorite trilogy. It's a beautifully written paranormal romance, and is the series that really gave me that push to start seriously pursuing writing.





CITY OF BONES (Book one in the Mortal Instruments series) by Cassandra Clare

If you know me, then you probably expected this one to be on the list. Cassie needs no introduction, she's the absolute Queen of Fantasy, and I hold her on the top of my Authors I'd Like to Be As Successful As shelf. Her writing... well. It's my favorite. She crafts her worlds seamlessly, executes her stories with zero plot holes, and creates these characters that I never want to let go of. Reading any of her books is like writing fuel for me, and I aspire to one day have a series comparable to Cassandra Clare's. She is literally author goals, and there's nothing more to it, since you probably know all about her books if you've known me for more than .247 seconds.

See my review of her newest book, a series-started called LADY MIDNIGHT, here



These are the books that I am the most green about. I love them all to pieces, and am extremely grateful to the authors for pouring their hearts and souls into these stories. These are the ones that push me forward. These are the ones, who ignite my passion for writing. And these are the ones that mean more to me than words are able to describe.

Happily,
Stephanie


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday Reviews: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare


Title: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Format Read: Hardback
Rating: Five stars

Description from Goodreads: The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare's Newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. LADY MIDNIGHT is a Shadowhunters novel.

It's been five years since the events of CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn't lead her in treacherous directions...

Making things even more complicated, Julian's brother Mark-- who was captured by the faeries five years ago-- has returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind-- and they need the Shadowhunters' help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn't recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters about in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare's Dark Artifices series.

Let me just start out by saying that I am such a huge, and I mean HUGE, Cassandra Clare fan. The Mortal Instruments has been a big part of my life, and it's one of those series that I can think about, or see a cover for, and immediately fall back into my obsession with it. It's a love that never dies-- it just goes through days of calm and days of burning intensity-- and it's all because of Cassandra's writing. She knows how to spin and craft her words into such a beautiful, tangled web that you find yourself okay with being stuck in. Clare is the spider and you are the fly. Your sanity depends on what happens in her next book. You hang on every word, every book, and even when it's finished, you crave more. It's a truly insatiable hunger. Because of this, it's nearly impossible for me to explain to you how deep my love for the Shadowhunter world. It's something that I wanted to express my appreciation for when I met Clare in 2014, but was unable due to being shell-shocked at seeing her in person. 

When you read a work of Cassandra Clare's, you know you're going to be hooked. You know that before you even read a single word. Having read both of Clare's series, the eagerness for LADY MIDNIGHT was immense, especially when it was revealed that the story was to revolve around Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn (BLACKSTAIRS IS MA SHIP). And then we got a title, and a cover, and a release date, and finally the day arrived... the day when I was able to walk into Barnes and Noble and pick up my near-700-page copy of LADY MIDNIGHT (Complete with A LONG CONVERSATION). It was a long time coming, since the last full book in the Shadow world, not including short stories, was CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE, which released in May of 2014, so we've been ready for a full-length novel for about two years now. And finally, we have it.

Of course, it was nothing but perfection.

Having known a little bit about Emma and Julian from TMI, I was excited to see them as teenagers and see how their lives were going to start to play out. Of course, I shipped them from the very first time we got an Emma POV, so that was another thing that kept me on my toes for the book. And then when it came to actually reading the story, I fell in love with the characters just as deeply as I did the characters in either of Clare's previous series, which is something that I adore about the way Cassandra writes. Not only are her worlds solid, but her characters are real. They have their flaws, and their quirks, and they feel like real people versus page people, especially when it comes to Julian and Emma. They have this parabatai bond that makes them the ultimate pair of best friends, and it's something that, as you read, you start to want for yourself. You want a counterpart as protective as Julian, and as fierce as Emma, someone who always has your back, and your best interests at heart. These two have become some of my tip top Clare characters, and I must admit, Julian is one of my top guys, falling second only to Jace Wayland. Another thing. The secondary characters in LADY MIDNIGHT... wow. I found myself growing these attachments to each one of them, even those who only popped in for a scene or two, Ty and Mark being my two favorite secondaries from LM.

As for the plot of the story, I was shocked with it. It went places that I did not expect it to go, and the "Bad guy" ended up being someone that I didn't even have an inkling of suspicion towards, which completely caught me off guard. As per usual, there were zero flaws or holes to be found, and the amount of thought and planning that went into the story was incredible. The way each character has ties to characters from previous books and/or series, and yet the story focuses on THIS series, and not ones that came before.

This is definitely one of those books that, once you start it, you do not want to put it down. I read LADY MIDNIGHT in two days, due to having prior commitments that kept me from just sitting in my chair and reading all day (Like I wanted to). The one night of sleep I got between reading was filled with dreams of Emma and Julian and their Shadowhunting skills, and it consumed every bit of me until I was able to grab the book and finish it.

And when I did finish it.

WOWOWOWOW

Clare has a way of shocking the crap out of us with her twisty endings and then making us wait a year for the next installment *Shakes fist as tears roll down my face*. So much so, in fact, that I ended up finishing the book about ten minutes after my best friend did, and we Skyped as soon as I finished the last page, and the first thing we did was spend a moment in silence with these perplexed expressions on our faces, before screaming and discussing the book and listening to each other's theories and opinions. It was a review in its own self, and I now wish I would have recorded it to share with you guys.

I would give LADY MIDNIGHT five stars. I want to give it more, I want to give it everything, but since I rate on a Goodreads scale, five is the most I can give. It exceeded my expectations by a landslide, and now I'm left in shocked awe, waiting for May of 2017. But at least I have TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY in November to tide me over. Otherwise, I'm not sure how I'd survive this year long wait. 

Nothing but praise for LADY MIDNIGHT. Don't ever abandon this world, Cassie. It's the best one out there.

Happily,
Stephanie

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tuesday Reviews: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys


Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Format Read: ARC (After Release)
Rating: Five Stars

Description from Goodreads: Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies... and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloft, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

When I received a copy of SALT TO THE SEA in the mail, I was curious. I hadn't heard much about it in terms of plot, though I had definitely heard the title when ARCs had dropped in the blogger world. It had been a big deal to a good chunk of bloggers, and my interest was at a peak when I won an ARC via a twitter giveaway. Let me tell you, the book did not disappoint.

Based during the Holocaust, SALT TO THE SEA follows four kids' experiences as they live under Hitler's reign: Joana, who'd been training to be a doctor; Florian, a Soldier in Hitler's army; Emilia, a Polish girl; and Alfred, a German sailor. These teens' journeys are seamlessly woven together-- their stories haunting-- and I don't think I'll be forgetting them anytime soon.

Not only was the writing style beautiful, but the dialect was another thing that drew me into the story, along with the way that the characters bumped into each other throughout the story. Add that to how loveable the characters were, and how easy it was to become attached to them, and you can't find a much better story than that.

Being someone who always enjoys novels about the Holocaust and finds those tales to be the most gut-wrenching and emotional, I can tell you that Sepetys' book rates right up there around THE BOOK THIEF. If you find WWII interesting, SALT TO THE SEA is a must-read for you.

I give a five star rating to this book, and I can't wait until I finish my TBR and can pick up Sepetys' BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. I recommend this book to everyone, simply because of how much it captures the raw truth of the Holocaust, and urge you to pick it up. This is one of the greats.

Happily,
Stephanie

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Thursday Thinks: Logo Creating

    Let me tell you a thing. Creating a logo is much more difficult than you might think. 

When you don't have an artistic bone in your body, it's hard to figure out exactly what you want, and get it drawn up. In fact, it has taken me over a year to get this done. 

But I am happy to say that things are indeed underway, and I'll be able to present my new logo to you soon. Things have been rocky, starting out, but now that they are starting to go a bit smoother, I'm excited to see the endgame.

Soon. And once the logo is here, I'm thinking of redesigning the website to match, so be prepared for site construction. I will, of course, warn you ahead of time, so that you won't be confused when you click on the blog and see something different than what you're used to.

Keep your eyes peeled. Things are about to change around here, and I can't wait.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tuesday Reviews: The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan


Title: The Leaving Season
Author: Cat Jordan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Format Read: ARC
Rating: Three Stars

Description from Goodreads: Middie Daniels calls it the Leaving Season: the time of year when everyone graduates high school, packs up their brand-new suitcases, and leaves home for the first time.

This year, Middie's boyfriend Nate is the one leaving. Nate, who's so perfect that she can barely believe it. Nate, who makes her better than she is on her own. Nate, who's promised to come back once he's finished his gap year volunteering in Central America. And when he does, it'll be time for Middie to leave, too. With him.

But when a tragedy strikes, Middie's whole world is set spinning.. No one seems to understand just how lost she is... except for Nate's slacker best friend Lee. Middie and Lee have never gotten along. But with the ground ripped out from under her, Middie is finding that up is down-- and that Lee Ryan might be just what she needs to find her footing once more.

Cat Jordan's heartbreaking story proves that no matter the season, no matter the obstacles, love can help you find yourselves in the most unexpected places.

Receiving this ARC in the mail was such an amazing experience. The package came with the official HarperTeen stamp on it, and I was the over-the-moon-kind-of-giddy. I set it on the top of my review stack, and finished the two ARCs I'd been reading, and then set to work on this contemporary.

Let me start out by saying that this was an interesting read for me, due to the fact that the main character was like my polar opposite. Most of the decisions she made, I was trying to convince her to do the opposite, but she never seemed to listen to me.

Dating Nate, though... that decision I can definitely agree with. He's everything you want in a book boyfriend-- sweet, caring, steady, and solid. He knows what he wants and has a plan for the future, and that plan has always included Middie. Their relationship is so cutesy. It's the kind of sweet and honest relationship that makes everyone "Awwwwh" because they're just so dang adorable. The pieces of the story that Nate appeared in were hands-down my favorite.

Now, this tragedy. I was not planning on crying my eyes out on the car ride home from the mall, but that's what I ended up doing. I don't want to say what the tragedy was, because spoilers, but let me tell you, it HuRt. It was real, and achingly sad, and you will absolutely need a box of tissues with you when you read this. It's one of the more upsetting twists I've ever read in a contemporary novel, and it was perfect.

To help herself through it, Middie attaches herself to Lee Ryan. As you read in the GR description, he's Nate's best friend, and he's Nate's polar opposite. Where Nate is quiet and reserved and mature, Lee is boyish and immature and only wants to have fun. Middie is a lot like Nate in terms of personality, and the way she clashed with Lee was a lot of fun to experience. The differences between the two of them were drastic, but those drastic differences are what helped them to bond. 

There are more than a couple plot twists in this book, and all but one of them caught me unawares. They made for such a more pleasing and unpredictable story, and I enjoyed reading it and getting shocked as things unfurled. 

THE LEAVING SEASON was a three star read for me. The characters and the plot were special each in their own ways, and with such a unique storyline, I was impressed by the way things turned out. If you enjoy heart-wrenching contemporary romances set in high school life, this is just what you need, especially as 2016's Leaving Season creeps closer and closer.

Happily,
Stephanie

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