FASHION & FOSSILS: Mammoth Review

Summary: The summer before her junior year, paleontology geek Natalie Page lands a coveted internship at an Ice Age dig site near Austin, Texas.  Natalie, who’s also a plus-size fashion blogger, depends on her retro style and persona to shield herself from her former bullies. However, her vintage dresses and designer heels aren’t great for fossil digging. But nothing is going to dampen her spirit.  She’s exactly where she wants to be, and gets to work with her hero, the host of the most popular paleontology podcast in the world.  And then there’s Chase, the intern, who’s seriously cute, and Cody, a local boy who’d be even cuter if he were less of a grouch.

It’s a summer that promises to be about more than just mammoths.Until it isn’t.

When Natalie’s paleontologist hero turns out to be anything but and steals the credit for one of her accomplishments, she has to unearth the confidence she needs to stand out in a field dominated by men.  To do this, she’ll have to let her true self shine, even if that means defying the rules and risking her life for the sake of a major discovery.  While sifting through dirt, she finds more than fossils—she finds out that she is truly awesome.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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The Seven Torments of Amy & Craig Review & Giveaway

THE SEVEN TORMENTS OF AMY AND CRAIG

Seven Torments of Amy and CraigSummary: Janesville, Wisconsin (cold in the sense that there is no God). 1994

The worst thing that’s ever happened to Craig is also the best: Amy. Amy and Craig never should’ve gotten together. Craig is an awkward, Dungeons & Dragons-playing geek, and Amy is the beautiful, fiercely intelligent student-body president of their high school.

Yet somehow they did. Until Amy dumped him. Then got back together with him. Then dumped him again. Then got back together with him again. Over and over and over.

Unfolding during their senior year, Amy and Craig’s exhilarating, tumultuous relationship is a kaleidoscope of joy, pain, and laughter as an uncertain future-and adult responsibility-loom on the horizon.

Craig fights for his dream of escaping Janesville and finding his place at a quirky college, while Amy’s quest to uncover her true self sometimes involves being Craig’s girlfriend?and sometimes doesn’t.

Seven heartbreaks. Seven joys.Told nonsequentially, acclaimed playwright Don Zolidis’s debut novel is a brutally funny, bittersweet taste of the utterly unique and utterly universal experience of first love.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

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BROADWAY TO BOOK: Dear Evan Hansen Review

Summary: Thanks to a letter that was never meant to be seen, Evan Hansen finds himself drawn into a family’s grief over their lost so . Evan feels forced to stick to the lie that he never meant to tell, that he was Connor Murphy’s secret best friend. Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore- to the whole school and even to the girl of his dreams. Connor Murphy’s parents treat Evan as their own, and through it all, he finally feels like he belongs. No longer trapped by his anxiety, this new Evan Hansen has a purpose. Until things slowly, but surely start to unravel and Evan finds himself face to face with his biggest obstacle: himself.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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IT’S TIME FOR KINGDOM OF ASH: Throne of Glass Cast Book Recommendations

Kingdom of Ash is coming TOMORROW, and I am not prepared. The final book in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series, KoA is surely going to break my bookish soul. In anticipation of KoA, I’m going to be kickstarting a new series on Fangirl Fury, ToG style. Today I’ll be sharing book recommendations based off ToG characters. I would love to continue sharing recommendations based on characters in my favorite books and TV shows.

I’ve chosen 8 ToG characters to share recs for because we’d be here for a longggggg time if I even did recs based off all the main characters, let alone every character in the series. Long live this 992 page finale.

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Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Summary: (From the publisherIt’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down. (less)

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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YA LIFE & MUSE OF NIGHTMARES: Morristown Book Festival

Books and bookish events ALWAYS go hand in hand.

On Saturday I attended the Morristown Book Festival with Emily from @emily_reads_everything. This year, the festival hosted a variety of authors, including some of my favorite YA authors.

After a quick bite to eat in Morristown (one can never go wrong with Panera macaroni and cheese), Emily and I made our way to the main square. The Morristown Book Festival is a bit smaller than some other well known festivals, like YALLFest, so there aren’t any publishers’ booths. It’s mostly composed of a few book-for-sale tents, food trucks, and hand-on activities for young kids. In the “YA Loft” of a local church, we caught the end of the Rebels, Romantics and Everything In Between Panel with Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova, and Kass Morgan, where they were discussing how long it takes them to write a book.

Soon after, the YA Life As We Know It Panel began with Emily X.R. Pan, Ibi Zoboi, and Jennifer E. Smith. Everyone can guess that this contemporary reads girl was super excited for this panel, especially since Jennifer E. Smith is one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. I had also read all the books that these authors were promoting at the festival, including The Astonishing Color of After, Pride, and Windfall.

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