Posts Tagged: YA

Monday, July 16, 2018

Giveaway: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

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Hi guys! We are huge fans of Paula Stokes over here so we’re really honored and excited to be bringing you a giveaway for Paula’s latest book! It’s a return to mystery and it sounds amazing! Turning over to Paula now!

Paula: Hi peeps 🙂 A big thank you to Rashika and Giselle for having me on Xpresso Reads to talk about my forthcoming mystery, HIDDEN PIECES, releasing on Aug 28. Of course there is a giveaway, but first here’s a little info about the book in case you’re unfamiliar.

Giveaway: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes
Hidden Pieces
Paula Stokes
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Publication date: August 28th, 2018
by HarperTeen

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“Stokes delivers a classic whodunit, masterfully played.” –ALA Booklist, starred review

Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move...is murder.

Character Profiles

Embry:

Embry Woods is an 18-year-old girl who likes photography and the ocean, but isn’t sure what she’s going to do after she graduates from high school. Her mom is recovering from breast cancer, and even though she’s in remission now, Embry worries obsessively about her. Embry and her military boyfriend decided to take a break when he deployed overseas, but he’s made it clear he’s still in love with her so she feels horribly guilty that she’s started seeing someone else…who just happens to be her best friend’s Julia’s ex-boyfriend. Embry knows she should tell both of them the truth, but she can’t figure out a way to do it without losing someone important from her life. The fire at the start of the story adds to Embry’s feelings of guilt and helplessness and it takes being pushed to the very edge by a threatening stranger for Embry to find the courage to do finally what’s right. But will she change her ways before someone she loves pays the ultimate price?

Embry’s mom:

Claire Woods is a 38-year-old woman who got pregnant with Embry at age 19 by an older married man. A scandal ensued, resulting in Embry’s father moving away with his family and Claire becoming the town pariah. Despite that, she has always believed that Embry is the very best thing in her life and she would do anything for her daughter. Gradually, people got over Claire’s “bad behavior” and she returned to work at the family café, which she now owns, though she took the summer off from running it to recover from her radiation and surgery.

Holden:

Holden Hassler is an 18-year-old vegan who enjoys reading and painting. (Yes, he’s a quintessential Portland boy, minus the man bun). He’s also one of the smartest kids at Tillamook High. Despite that, he’s not interested in going to college and is considering trying to get an apprenticeship at an auto repair shop in town because he currently works at the gas station and enjoys fixing cars. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mom, a local police officer, so he spends a lot of time trying (and failing) to stay out of trouble. The word on the street is that he looks like a young Jared Leto, but I’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Julia:

Julia Worthington has been Embry’s best friend since she and her family moved to Three Rocks during middle school. The girls spent all their free time at the beach in seventh and eighth grade, but as they got older they developed different interests and have started to grow apart. Julia wants to work in politics someday so she spent the previous summer interning with a think tank in Washington D.C. She plans to attend Harvard or Georgetown to major in political science and is currently working on applications for both.

Betsy:

Betsy is a Golden Retriever and very good (okay, mostly good) doggo. But animal lovers, rest easy, nothing bad happens to her during the book, unless you count the time she has to do her business outside in the rain.

About the Author




Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts. She’s the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious and Girl Against the Universe. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers.

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Giveaway!

One (1) winner receives:
Copy of the book

  • OPEN INT! U.S. winner will receive a signed ARC and INT winner will receive pre-order + signed bookplate mailed separately.
  • Xpresso Reads will not be responsible for any lost/damaged items
  • You must be 13+ or have parental permission to participate
  • No Cheating Allowed
  • A new winner will be picked if the initial winner does not respond within 48 hours.

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Imperfect but 100% Lovable: From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Imperfect but 100% Lovable: From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Posted by on 07/11/2018 • 1 Comment

So, even though When Dimple Met Rishi was one of my most anticipated books of 2017 and I winded up with two/three copies of it, I actually never ended up reading it. Of course, Sandhya Menon is a champ and regardless of whether or not I had read When Dimple Met Rishi, From Twinkle, With Love was already on my TBR and most anticipated for 2018. Of course, May went back, Twinkle came out and I still hadn’t read it because that’s WHO I AM. A PROCRASTINATOR. But. then. I decided to do a thing. I decided to read the GODDAMN BOOK and it was absolutely, 100% worth it. 

I think it is worth it to mention that I found that Twinkle wasn’t as easy to get into. It’s written exclusively in letters so it…

The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Posted by on 07/04/2018 • 2 Comments

There have been so MANY amazing anthologies on my radar this year but A Thousand Beginnings and Endings might have been my most anticipated for the year. 

I’ve talked this about a lot so I sometimes feel like a broken record, but it is an important point and a huge part of my love and excitement for this anthology so it is worth repeating. I grew up without much rep which was weird and confusing. Obviously, this review is not meant to be an analysis of my trauma but even as a teen, this was so evident when I’d open all those angel/vampire books that were soaked in Christian and western myth. Myths I grew up on, or other people grew up where never part of mainstream media even though they…

Summer Road Trip: Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

Summer Road Trip: Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

Posted by on 06/25/2018 • 0 Comments

That Thing We Call a Heart was one of my favorite books of 2017 so obviously, when I heard about Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, I was ecstatic and ready to dive in. This review is particularly hard because even though, overall, I definitely enjoyed Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, there were times when I felt let down by some of the things the characters said.

I am grappling for words as I attempt to describe my feelings because I want to be respectful and clear that these experiences aren’t invalid but one of the biggest dichotomy in the book is how Mariam is raised vs how her friends are raised. Mariam grew up in a household that wasn’t religious or super connected to their cultural roots and her mom was super…

Really Funny and Over-the-Top: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Really Funny and Over-the-Top: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Posted by on 06/21/2018 • 2 Comments

Save the Date is neither unpredictable nor does it really break any moulds. It is exactly what you would expect it to be and it is fucking amazing. If you, like me, are a connoisseur of rom-coms & chick-flicks and are upset by how few are being made lately, this book is what you deserve.

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this week, her family home is being sold, and her brother who she nor her parents have spoken to in almost two years is gonna be coming back for the wedding. To add to the stress, Charlie’s long-time crush and her are feeling the sparks which makes things awkward because a certain brother is crashing with her crush instead of with the fam. Charlie just wants…

A Delightful Summer Read for Your TBR: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

A Delightful Summer Read for Your TBR: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Posted by on 05/31/2018 • 3 Comments

I Believe in a Thing Called Love was one of my very few five star reads of last year so I was eagerly anticipating the release of The Way You Make Me Feel. While The Way You Make Me Feel was not a five star read for me, it was still absolutely delightful.

Clara Shin is the class clown. Her life revolves arounds making snarky remarks and pranking her enemies. When her prom prank results in the school almost being burned down, both her and her arch nemesis are suspended. Clara’s dad is able to negotiate a deal that may just be worse. She has to spend the entire summer working on her dad’s food truck with her arch nemesis Rose and use her earnings to pay the school…

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…

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…