Posts By: Rashika

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Review + Giveaway: The First to Know by Abigail Johnson

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Review + Giveaway: The First to Know by Abigail Johnson
The First to Know
Abigail Johnson
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: November 7th, 2017
by Harlequin Teen

Dana Fields's father never knew his parents. When Dana secretly does a DNA test for her dad, hoping to find him some distant relatives for his birthday, her entire world implodes. Instead of a few third cousins, Dana discovers a half brother her age whose very existence means her parents' happy marriage is a lie.

Dana's desire to know her half brother, Brandon, and the extent of her dad's deception, clashes with her wish not to destroy her family. When she sees the opportunity to get to know Brandon through his cousin, the intense yet kind Chase, she takes it. But the more she finds out about Brandon, her father's past and the irresistible guy who'll never forgive her if he discovers the truth, the more she sees the inevitable fallout from her own lies. With her family crumbling around her, Dana must own up to her actions and find a way to heal the breach—for everyone—before they're torn apart for good.
-A copy was provided by [author] for review-

Abigail Johnson is a new-to-me author so I had no idea what to expect but The First to Know blew me away. It’s a heartfelt family drama and totally worth it.

Dana Fields just wants to do something nice for her dad for his birthday. What starts off as a heartwarming gesture soon turns into Dana’s worst nightmare. In her search for her father’s family, Dana discovers that she has a half-brother her age that no one knew about.

When she confronts her half-brother, he wants nothing to do with her. With no one she can really turn to, she does what she really shouldn’t, she turns to her half-brother’s cousin (she and the cousin aren’t related by blood.)

I know, I know. This all sounds like a soap opera and it kind of is but in the best way possible. Johnson clearly knows how to write her dramas. The book is just dramatic enough, the angst just right enough that it doesn’t become overbearing. Instead, you feel sympathetic to Dana’s dilemma who really doesn’t know what to do with this new found information that has the possibility to tear apart her nearly perfect family.

Watching the tension build up and Dana struggle to figure out what to do is truly satisfying in some ways because nothing about the situation is easy. There is no simple answer and there is no right or wrong. Johnson forces readers to step outside of our occasional black and white binaries to truly examine the complexity of the situation at hand. I loved every single minute of it.

Of course, like all books, this one isn’t perfect either but it IS good and one I’d recommend to anyone who loves some substantial angst and good drama. The First to Know is absolutely worth the read and I do hope you’ll choose to give it a shot!

In the meantime, our US followers can enter to win a copy of this fabulous book!



Two (2) winners receive:
Copy of the book
Lip Balm + Bookmarkers


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Abigail was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snow storms for year round summers, and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip (in a purple spiral bound notebook that she still has) and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and becoming a published author.

Just Finished Watching: Grace and Frankie

Just Finished Watching: Grace and Frankie

Posted by on 02/05/2018 • 2 Comments

Hi. Yes. I recently finished bingeing another show and it was a good time. Maybe this will become a regular feature with the amount of shows I’ve been binging? Not promises though because I don’t want to pressure myself into watching something. ANYWAY. SO. Grace and Frankie. It is a SHOW. I had no idea it was really a show until my friend mentioned it to me right before season 4 came out. She pitched it to me and I was vaguely intrigued and in need of a sitcom and whoops. Look what she made me do. BINGE A 4 SEASON SHOW in 8 days.

Did you ever watch the cult-favorite Golden Girls? Surely you’ve seen the 100 million gifs of it floating through the webosphere? Well anyway, I never watched…

Diverse Books Out January 2018

Diverse Books Out January 2018

Posted by on 02/04/2018 • 5 Comments

Last year, I attempted to do a monthly round up of diverse books out and somewhere along the way I stopped doing that. I am going to try to get back on the horse though because the feature was always a great way for me to discover new books as well as help you discover new books! When I curate these roundups, I try to make sure I don’t miss anything and try to make sure I don’t include anything with bad rep. Let me know if something slips by me though!


Any of these on your TBR? What are you most looking forward to diving into??

Didn’t Love: American Panda by Gloria Chao

Didn’t Love: American Panda by Gloria Chao

Posted by on 02/02/2018 • 3 Comments

American Panda was one of my most anticipated novels of 2018 so it is truly unfortunate that I did not, in fact, love it. I do want to start off by saying that I don’t intend to discourage anyone from reading the book in this review, just convey my experience with it. We are at a point in time where even though there is a large influx in diverse books, we still don’t have nearly enough. Stats show that the number of diverse books published by diverse authors every year is so dismal. I hope that this book will allow many many many kids to see themselves reflected in the story and that they will be able to cherish it.

That said, my biggest issue with the book is not…

What I’ve Been Reading: January Update

What I’ve Been Reading: January Update

Posted by on 02/01/2018 • 3 Comments

I’ve never done a roundup. But, if you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I challenged myself to read more sequels and more backlist books this year. I started 2018 by doing a cleanse of my Goodreads TBR shelf. I got rid of 300 books on there and it’s still a work in progress. I’ve also realized that for me to truly catch up on all the sequels, I need to SERIES so I’ll have to work on that this year too!

I read 6 sequels in January!!! There are still 139 more to go (plus even more as I add more sequels) BUT at this pace, I might read around 60 sequels in total this year which is NOT BAD AT ALL.




6 Film Adaptations of Books I Am Looking Forward to 2018

6 Film Adaptations of Books I Am Looking Forward to 2018

Posted by on 01/31/2018 • 14 Comments

2018 is the year I am finally gonna be hyped about film adaptations of books. Maybe you know this or maybe you don’t but I avoid film adaptations of books like the plague. I hate them and am always wary of them. There are so many good ones happening this year and there are so many books I ~know~ would be great on the big screen so I AM FINALLY ON BOARD.

1. Crazy Rich Asians

I absolutely adore the novel and am gonna die when I finally get to see the movie. I am 100% on board with the casting and cannot believe this movie is happening. Everyone is invited to my funeral once I pass away after watching the movie…

2. Love, Simon

I was a little wary…

A Fairy tale about Fairy tales: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

A Fairy tale about Fairy tales: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Posted by on 01/30/2018 • 4 Comments

I think it’s fair to say there has been some mild hype surrounded The Hazel Wood. I mean, that gorgeous cover and the synopsis are kind of hard to resist so it makes sense. BUT, is the book worth it? This is a slightly complex question to answer because I ~know~ this book won’t be for everyone. To be honest, I also kind of avoided reminding myself what the book was about before I read it because I dreaded the hype getting the better of me and my tastes. I came out pleasantly surprised.

The Hazel Wood is part urban fantasy, part fairy tale and part a book about stories. If someone had told me that before I read the book, I would be intrigued but also nervous because…

5 Questions Bookworms are Tired of Answering

5 Questions Bookworms are Tired of Answering

Posted by on 01/29/2018 • 14 Comments

If you’re a bookworm and openly identify as one, people will sometimes ask you questions that you cannot help but role your eyes at. We bookworms love spreading our love for reading but sometimes, people are just a hassle and we wish we were with a book instead.

1. Aren’t ebooks putting print books out of business?

No? but also, Let’s not pit the two against each other? Whatever format the book is in, it’s still a good old book and fun to read.

2. What kind of books do you like to read?

Maybe it’s just me but this is such a hard question to answer. I read more commercial fic that adult literary fic and I can feel the judgement pouring in from some groups of people when…