BEACH & BAKING: Small Town Hearts Review & Recipe

smallheartcoverSummary (From the publisher): Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?

 My Rating: 5/5 Stars

 My Thoughts:

If you’re ready to trade your winter jacket for your bathing suit and need a book to match the mood, look no forward than Lillie Vale’s Small Town Hearts. Better yet, if you’re seriously in the mood for a dessert (or three), Small Town Hearts is sure to spark the baking (or dessert-eating) within you. If you haven’t been able to tell yet, I was totally charmed by this adorable YA summer contemporary following one girl’s summer in her sleep Maine beach town.

Small Town Hearts has everything you need in a summer contemporary: days spent at the beach, working at the local coffee shop, and picking blue berries. There’s also plenty of friendship and romance to go around. Speaking of romance, outside of her amazing baking and barista skills, our main character, Babe, is a unique YA protagonist for her bisexuality. Babe deals with the past when her ex-girlfriend is back in town for the season as she breaks one of her most important rules: never fall in love with one of the summer boys.

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LIVE LOVE HISTORICAL FICTION: Within These Lines Review, Quotes & Giveaway

Summary:

Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family in 1941 is everything it “should be” until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.

Degrading treatment make life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world are treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out on behalf of all Japanese Americans, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.

With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their values and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.

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Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill 

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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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The Accidental Bad Girl Review & Favorite Quotes

Summary: After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex, Kendall Evans is no longer known as a good girl. Kicking off senior year ostracized and friendless, she counts down the days until she can escape from her Brooklyn prep school for good. But even that opportunity is threatened when Kendall discovers that her online identity has been hacked and she’s being accused of stealing a drug dealer’s stash. If Kendall wants to save her reputation and future, she’ll have to play the bad girl that everyone thinks she is. Or the one that she’s slowly turning into.

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The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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