Friday, January 11, 2019

Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

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I received this book for free from Henry Holt and Co. in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma MillsFamous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on January 15th, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Henry Holt and Co.
Buy on Amazon

For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.

The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.

What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.

I slept on Emma Mills for AGES but with a little peer pressure, I finally binge read all of her published books last year. I can honestly say that it was life changing. Not necessarily because her books in of themselves changed my life but they were so good and I was so happy to finally have them in my life. WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY is that if you still have not read a single Emma Mills novel in your life, you need to fix that. If you have, then I am guessing you’re gonna pick this book up regardless of anything I have to say so hope you have a nice life. Here, have some cookies on your way out! I made them myself!

Lately, I feel like there has been an upsurge in novels where characters struggle with change and that’s so, totally, completely my thing. I hate change so much and I struggle with it a lot so anytime I get to read about a character who is as stubborn about change as I am, I feel so seen. Sophie does not like change. There are reasons for this I cannot elaborate but if it were up to her, she and her friends would stay frozen in time and in their small town forever. Which does make it seem like she is a shitty friend, but I promise she is the most loyal friend in the world and unafraid to both be there for her friends but also call them out when they are WRONG.

There is a lovely romance in this novel, but at its core, this is a novel about friendship. I mean, its a novel about Sophie but her friends make up a huge part of who she is because her friendships are so essential to her existence. And of course, the best part about these friendships is that they are honest and complicated and lovely. Sophie messes up. Her friends mess up! But at the end of the day, they are there when it matters. This feels redundant because I already talked about the kind of person Sophie is but I do feel that emphasizing how important and well-written these relationships are because they are what make up this novel and give it life.

The one thing I am not entirely sure about within this novel was a twist that appears later on. It’s not that I saw it coming that bothers me. It is that I didn’t see it coming? Which implies that it is well written but honestly, it just seemed to be thrown at us for maximum emotional punch and no unpacking???????? AND THAT IS THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. I do want to say that it didn’t necessarily impact my overall enjoyment of the book (BECAUSE TRULY, I Love these characters) but it was still upsetting and felt so unlike Mills.


Anyway, so, if you’re an Emma Mills fan and still reading, I’d say read the book because twist aside, it has her characteristic goodness and charm. If you are new to Mills, READ THIS but not first. She has three other books out and all of them are excellent. YOU HAVE A LOT TO CHOOSE FROM.


3.5 Hot Espressos

Fresh Batch (January 6th – 12th)

Fresh Batch (January 6th – 12th)

Posted by on 01/05/2019 • 1 Comment

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

C Slayer Kiersten White Series: Slayer #1 Publication date: January 8th 2019by Simon Pulse

Goodreads Purchase

Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a…

And That’s a Wrap: 2018 Edition

Posted by on 12/31/2018 • 2 Comments

Last year, I just did a general roundup trying to include best books and all that jazz but this year I wanted to do a more detailed book roundup. I wasn’t sure if I should do a personal roundup too but its such a good way for me to reflect on the year and figure out what I want from the next one SO HERE WE ARE!

– I survived???? I really haven’t accomplished much this year but with the amount of turmoil I’ve experienced, I feel like surviving is a huge feat. *gently pats self on back*

-I also baked a lot this year and I stepped outside of my comfort zone! I made pain au chocolat, made the perfect batch of cookies, a good scone, biscuits…

Fresh Batch (Dec 30th – Jan 5th)

Fresh Batch (Dec 30th – Jan 5th)

Posted by on 12/29/2018 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Similars Rebecca Hanover Series: The Similars #1 Publication date: January 1st 2019by Sourcebooks Fire

Goodreads Purchase

When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to…

Xpresso Reads’ Best Books of 2018

Posted by on 12/28/2018 • 3 Comments

Wow. I genuinely cannot believe the end of the year is here???? And I have to pick favorite books I’ve read?? (EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A COUPLE MORE I WANT TO READ) Ugh. I decided to bring back this format from 2016 because it is way more fun then just listing a bunch of books I liked.

A book with a title that SCREAMS ‘read me’

Yes. I am secretly 10. I mostly read this book because this title made me feel like I was going to dive into a cute read but holy fuck, Death by Toilet Paper hit all the right emotional notes. This book is funny but more than that, its actually heart breaking????? I did not expect a book with a title like this to…

Twelve 2019 Books I Am Most Looking Forward To

Posted by on 12/27/2018 • 6 Comments

I’ve been so bad with new releases this year that I am not sure I even deserve to do a post about 2019 books I am most looking forward to but you know… every year is a good year for books and 2019 is no different!!! These occur in no particular order and there are tons I haven’t mentioned but I wanted to keep this as short as possible. 

1. What Lies Between You In Me by Courtney Milan

Its funny because I mentioned this last year as a sequel I was looking forward to in 2018 but 2018 has passed and I am still waiting. I JUST WANT TO BE REUNITED WITH MY 55 yo son. 

2. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki…

Ridiculously Awesome and Fun: The Disasters by M.K. England

Posted by on 12/24/2018 • 1 Comment

I dove into The Disasters with almost no expectations. I had grabbed it on a whim and only vaguely remembered it had something to do with space. I’d say I regretted doing this but honestly, it was truly the best way to read this book because I ended up being taken completely by surprise by its awesomeness and just, IT WAS SO GOOD and it’s so GREAT to have a book completely surprise you.

There are many space books out there and it’s likely you’ve read and loved some of them. I am here to tell you The Disasters is better (or at least I think it is.) It’s the space book I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I NEEDED. Are you tired of all those space books that are super…

Summer-y YA for Winter Blues Mini Reviews

Posted by on 12/19/2018 • 1 Comment


Love & Luck Jenna Evans Welch


Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds…