Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY — Not Pretty Enough by Jaimie Admans

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Today we are excited to participate in the blog tour for Not Pretty Enough by Jaimie Admans.  Not Pretty Enough is a young adult contemporary book that was released August 1, 2013.

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Book Blitz & GIVEAWAY — Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon

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Today’s book blitz hosted by Xpresso Book Tours features Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon.  Life, Love, & Lemons is a young adult contemporary book that will be released August 20, 2013.

About the Book

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Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon
Publication date: August 20th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Synopsis:

When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.

Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off.

Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it’s crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.

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Excerpt

“Are you okay?”

I sat on the cold tile floor of the break room with my head between my grease stained knees. The last person I expected to come back and check on me was Kai.

In my frenzied cry I somehow managed to blurt out that I female problems and that got Jason to find someone else to do the sweeping. No guy ever wants to fight that one and Jason’s face turned red when I mentioned it.

“I’m fine.” I sniffled, hoping that Kai would just go away. I wanted to be alone. How could my friends have done this to me? It was bad enough that I already lost my house, my school, and now some of my best friends since grade school. To top it all off I had some kid with hot pink shoes acting like I was the one with issues.

“Well obviously you’re not.” He reached his hand out toward me.

I crossed my arms firmly over my chest. “I don’t need your help.” It came out whinier than I intended.

Instead of walking away, he just plopped down beside me and spread his long legs out next to mine.

“You can only try and make lemons into lemonade for so long before you just have to say, screw the lemons, and bail.” He stretched his arms out over his head.

I couldn’t help but smile. “I didn’t think anyone but me actually used that expression.”

“Well looks like you were wrong.” He slowly stood up and turned to face me. “Now c’mon and let me show you what else you’re wrong about.”

As I looked at him, I didn’t know what came over me. Maybe it was just my girl emotions working overtime or maybe it was his pleading puppy dog eyes, but for some reason I took his hand and followed him out the back door.

“So where are we going?” I questioned, letting go of his hand as soon as we got outside. I was really glad we exited out the back so no one saw us. I really didn’t want people getting the wrong idea. Kai was a nice guy and everything, but I knew the other co-workers would have a field day if they saw us together. Luckily it was just my little red mini and a giant orange car in the parking lot.

“Just get in and you’ll find out,” He said conspiratorially and opened the passenger door of the giant orange thing.

“What is that?” I pointed at the car, tilting my head.

“This would be my car, a Ford Falcon.” He motioned again for me to get into the car.

Slowly I approached the car and got in as he slid over the hood of the car to the driver’s side.

“Isn’t that like something out of Star Wars?” I asked as he got in and started the car.

“No, that would be the Millennium Falcon, and that would be Star Trek.” He smiled and pulled out of the parking lot.

“Sorry, I’m not up on my geekery.” I laughed and I held out my palms toward him.

“It’s okay I didn’t really expect you to be.” He slid his long fingers over toward me. I thought he was going to reach for my hand but instead he turned on the stereo, letting a loud screaming guy’s voice blast over the speakers.

“Ugh!” I put my hands over my ears and screeched, “What is that?”

Kai sighed and turned down the music. “It’s the Circle Jerks, you know Punk Rock.”

I shook my head. “Never heard of them, maybe you have something else that I might like.” I reached up into the CD visor and browsed through his CD’s. Bad Religion, The Misfits, Dead Kennedys —All these bands I had never heard of and sounded really depressing.

“How about we just turn on the radio?”

“You’re kind of demanding you know that?” Kai looked at me out of the corner of his eye and leaned back in his seat.

“Gee, you’re such a charmer,” I mocked. “But seriously, where are we going anyway?”

“It’s a surprise,” he said mischievously, smiling as he turned down State Street.

“Okay,” I said and pulled my uniform top over my head.

“JESUS, what are you doing?” Kai swerved the car and almost hit the curb in the process, causing me to almost bounce my head off the dashboard.

“Ugh!” I folded the shirt in my lap and then ran my fingers across the straps of my white tank top that I had on underneath. “I just didn’t want to show up to wherever we were going in my uniform; what did you think I was doing? Trying to strip down in the Star Trek car?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged. “I thought the Falcon had some magical powers or something.”

About the Author

Magan

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.

Connect with Magan

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Now comes the fun part!  Today’s giveaway is an individual e-book copy of Life, Love, & Lemons, thanks to the author exclusive to my blog.  Please be sure to complete each item on the list BEFORE you click it, as they will be checked prior to giving out the prizes.  Good luck!

To enter to win ONE e-book copy of Life, Love, & Lemons, click below:
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My contest will run August 28 through September 12 (12 a.m. Eastern Time).  There is no purchase necessary and the contest is void where prohibited.  Open to & US/Int!  A big thanks to Magan Vernon and Xpresso Book Tours for this gift!  

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock — Book Review

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The Deets

author: Matthew Quick

released: August 13, 2013

format: e-book, hardcover

pages: 288 pages

publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Read: July 19

Book Pages: Amazon.com • Goodreads.com •  Author’s Website  

Book Type: YA, coming-of-age, contemporary, realistic fiction, tough/emotional issues

The Down-low

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was—that I couldn’t stick around—and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out. (From Goodreads.com)

Why You Should Buy It

A modern day Catcher in the Rye, Matthew Quick captures the complexities of what brings a person to their breaking point.  Rather than show a school shooting, we get to see the mind behind the mask, the lost soul so desperately seeking some form of human interaction.   This emotional-charged and haunting tale proves once again Quick is a master in his craft.  Your heart will break for Leonard Peacock in this poignant novel of bitter despair and hope against all odds.

My Thoughts

*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.*

I feel like this book is an ode to Holden Caulfield.  In fact, I highly recommend that English teachers read this book and offer it as a response to Catcher in the Rye.  There is so much that I could say about just how much this book affected me.  On the surface, my heart broke deeply for Leonard.  Obviously he had a rough life and we see that from the very beginning of the book.  But beyond that, we get to see Leonard as a broken human being who is desperately trying to form human connections.  Leonard is awkward and deeply troubled, and yet he still wants what everyone has.

We see Leonard go through his birthday craving those connections, giving off a vibe that frightens everyone he comes in contact with.  Leonard’s mind is broken, and as a first person narrator, we get to see that first hand.  When done right, this allows us into the troubled mind of the narrator, able to really truly understand what it is like for him.

As a person who was awkward once (well, still, but I’ve come to terms with my nerdiness), I emotionally connected with Leonard.  And as a parent, I found myself wanting to give him a hug and tell him that he was a person who mattered.  And the other characters that Leonard comes into contact with were so masterfully crafted — the teacher who saw beyond the shell that was this broken boy, the neighbor who taught Leonard to appreciate things like old movie stars, and the absent parents who were so caught up in their own lives they didn’t see the fragile and truly pained child that was right in front of them.

I sat down to read Forgive Me, and did not get back up until I had finished.  The deep emotions that Matthew Quick is able to tap into was frighting.  I spent most of the book in tears.  This is a book I highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of Catcher in the Rye, Perks of Being a Wallflower, or Looking for Alaska and one I won’t soon forget.

Overall

Five point Five Stars

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