{The Paths We Choose Release Week} ARC Review of The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis

The Paths We Choose Release Week: Day One – My ARC Review

Hi, readers and welcome to day one of my The Paths We Choose Release Week. There are four days left until The Paths We Choose is released into the world and to celebrate I’m releasing a fun new post every day until the book is out. Today I have my ARC review of the book, and as you might have suspected already, I absolutely loved this book.

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The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis

Publication Date: April 6, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: New Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, and Romance.

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Selling points: Strong friendships, chosen family, and girls owning their sexuality.

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.

A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs. Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.

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Thank you, Maria Hollis, for my advanced review copy of The Paths We Choose. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

The Paths We Choose is amazing in its simplicity and grace. It shows us the story of two very different girls, Lily and Mayte, who after a one-night stand start a causal relationship before Mayte leaves for Florida to study her masters. This story is about two women proud of their sexuality and even if their agreement to only be friends with benefits is kept somewhat a secret they are not afraid to be open with what their relationship is, to a certain degree. This book is definitely one I would recommend if you love seeing girls supporting girls and just girls being proud of their sexuality. There is a strong sense of friendship and family, in the sense that family is not blood but instead it’s who you choose to love and stand by no matter what. What I love about Maria Hollis’s books is that she makes you feel as if you are a part of the girl gangs she portrays in her books and that you’re just as awesome and supported as they are. Her books are really positive and uplifting.

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ARC Review of A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: March 28, 2017.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin.

Genres: Fantasy and Young Adult.

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Selling points: Lyrical writing, amazing and fleshed out characters and magical world.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

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Thank you, St. Martin’s Griffin, for my eARC of A Crown of Wishes. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

A Crown of Wishes is a magical story that follows the Fox Prince and the Jewel of Bharata through a Tournament of Wishes with them seeking and fighting for their dreams and hopes. Roshani Chokshi with her lyrical writing has a way of pulling you in and making you feel every word on the page, every smell, touch, and feeling as if it were your own. If you love fantasy you are guaranteed to love this book, but even if fantasy is not what you usually read I know the writing and the characters in A Crown of Wishes will sweep you away like the wind.

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Review of My Year of Epic Rock by Andrea Pyros

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My Year of Epic Rock by Andrea Pyros

Publication Date: September 2, 2014.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.

Genres: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Music, Contemporary, and Realistic Fiction.

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Selling points: Amazing allergy rep, a cute gang of kids who all play in a band together, and calling out mean girls.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: If Life Was Like a Song.

Nina Simmons’ song would be “You Can’t Always Eat What You Want.” (Peanut allergies, ugh). But that’s okay, because as her best friend Brianna always said, “We’re All in This Together.”

Until the first day of the seventh grade, when Brianna dumps her to be BFFs with the popular new girl. Left all alone, Nina is forced to socialize with “her own kind”–banished to the peanut-free table with the other allergy outcasts. As a joke, she tells her new pals they should form a rock band called EpiPens. (Get it?) Apparently, allergy sufferers don’t understand sarcasm, because the next thing Nina knows she’s the lead drummer.

Now Nina has to decide: adopt a picture-perfect pop personality to fit in with Bri and her new BFF or embrace her inner rocker and the spotlight. Well..

Call Me a Rock Star, Maybe.

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“Bringing my EpiPen with me everywhere I went was like having a stupid pimple that never went away! Besides, like I was going to have the guts to stab myself with a giant needle in the leg if I ate something I was allergic to anyway. Wouldn’t I bet too busy barfing or fainting or something else awful to be my own doctor?”

I’ve had severe allergies since the day I was born, and it hasn’t really been easy or fun most of the time. Having allergies can be extremely lonely, and pretty scary too, especially when your allergies can kill you in a matter of minutes. This book is a book I wish I had when I was younger. We all know that representation matters, and as I read My Year of Epic Rock it was as for the first time someone else had all the same fears and quirks as I did about my allergies.

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ARC Review of Infini by Krista and Becca Ritchie

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Infini by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Publication Date: January 31, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, and Romance.

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Selling points: Amazing characters, family oriented story and lots of epic circus moments!

Purchase here: Amazon | iBooks

Synopsis: Some love is infinite.

“Don’t have a best friend that’s a girl” — this was the advice from my older cousin. I didn’t take it. Because he followed with, “friends don’t f*ck friends. And you’ll want to f*ck her.”

It was terrible advice.

My cousin should’ve told me that being best friends with Baylee Wright — since she was twelve — would be the best and worst decision of my life.
He should have told me to protect her from what was coming.
He should have told me that when a darkness crawled towards us, there’d be no safety net.

Now I’ve signed back on to the same Vegas acrobatic show as Baylee, working together for the first time in years. And she tells me that she’s having trouble in a certain “area” of her life — because of our past.

“You can help me fix it,” she says.
And then she hands me a list.

Recommended for readers 18+ for mature content. Luka Kotova is introduced in Amour Amour, and Infini takes place in the same acrobatic world. However, it’s not necessary to read Amour Amour prior to Infini.

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Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie tells the story of Jamaican-American Baylee Wright and Russian-American Luka Kotova and takes you on a captivating and unexpected journey that will sweep you away to the sound of the circus. Infini is nothing like I expected it to be, and everything I needed it to be, and more. It’s beautiful, full of culture, music, raw emotion and battles impossible to overcome. But as they say, the circus is where the impossible becomes possible. This book has a lot more angst than I expected, and with both the bff-to-lovers trope and the forbidden love trope, I’m absolutely certain that this book will move readers just as much as it has me. I was mesmerized from beginning to end, with not a single dull moment in sight. Infini deals with a lot of heavy topics, that are in no way romanticized. It deals with depression, kleptomania, bulimia, and abuse. All of this is mentioned in a detailed trigger warning at the beginning of the book. All of the topics are dealt with in a very respectful manner in the book but should be taken into consideration before reading.

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Book Review of Plastic Wings by C.T. Callahan

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Plastic Wings by C.T. Callahan

Publication Date: November 22, 2016.

Publisher: Three Little Books Co.

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, and Apocalyptic.

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Selling points: An amazing woman of color as the protagonist, character development, and unique world with angels.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository | Three Little Books Co.

Synopsis: When seven-year-old Evie Weiss discovers a strange, sickly boy in her otherwise familiar forest, she has no idea what it holds for her world. He is a dark angel, one of a race of humanoid beings that feed on humanity and tear Evie’s world down around her. Years later, as humanity mounts a counter-attack against the dark angels, Evie remembers the boy in the forest and finds herself torn between her loyalty to her own people and feelings of compassion for these strange creatures that first captivated her as a child.

It is the quest of one girl to unite two worlds so separated by war, but how can she close the gap between two races so determined to hate each other?

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Thank you C.T. Callahan for my copy of Plastic Wings. This book has officially become one of my new favorites and I’m truly grateful I won it in your giveaway.

Plastic Wings is one of my new favorite books, and it even sparked my love for fantasy. I’ve only been reading contemporary books for months now, and it’s so refreshing to be reading fantasy again, and one about angels too. I haven’t done that in ages. There are literally so many amazing things to highlight about Plastic Wings; the strong heroine of color that is the most relatable girl ever, the diverse cast and the epic world C.T. Callahan has created, are just a few.

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The Melody of You and Me Blog Tour: Review + Playlist

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Hi, readers! Today I have a post for Rich in Variety‘s blog tour for The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis. I have been following the author, Maria, for a while now on Twitter and when I saw that you could sign up to be a part of this blog tour, I just knew I had to do it. When I first read the synopsis for The Melody of You and Me I thought this book sounded great and now that I have read it, I can tell you this. I was wrong, it was better than great, it was amazing! You can read my review below and also see a playlist for this book.

About the Book

Author: M. Hollis
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 29, 2016
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT+
Page Number: 82

After dropping out of university and breaking up with her girlfriend of three years, Chris Morrison’s life is now a mind-numbing mess. She doubts that working at the small neighborhood bookstore is going to change that. The rest of her time is spent mostly playing guitar and ignoring the many messages her mother keeps sending her about going back to college.

But one day, an adorable and charming new bookseller waltzes her way into Chris’s life. Josie Navarro is sweet, flirty, and she always has a new book in her hands. The two girls start a fast friendship that, for Chris, holds the promise of something more. But is she reading too much into this or is it possible that Josie feels the same way?

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I can’t imagine a universe where The Melody of You and Me doesn’t get all the 5 planets (or as mundane people call it, stars) in the world, just for being absolutely fantastic. This story blew me away, in the best way possible. It’s funny, it’s cute and it explores so many topics that so many people just like to ignore instead of face head-on. The Melody of You and Me is about two girls, Chris and Josie, who fall in love over time spent working together in a bookstore. Their story will make your heart swell with love and will have you flailing in your bed, making weird facial expressions, from fangirling over how amazingly cute it is. Don’t doubt this for a single second, that’s just the way it is.

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ARC Review of Assassins: Discord by Erica Cameron

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Assassins: Discord by Erica Cameron

Publication Date: September 5, 2016.

Publisher: Triton Books (Riptide Publishing).

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, and LGBT.

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Selling points: Badass and dangerous girls, girls kissing and explosions.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository 

Synopsis: Kindra’s moral compass has never pointed north, but that’s what happens when you’re raised as an assassin and a thief. At sixteen, she’s fantastic with a blade, an expert at slipping through the world unnoticed, and trapped in a life she didn’t chose. But nothing in her training prepares her for what happens when her father misses a target.

In the week-long aftermath, Kindra breaks rank for the first time in her life. She steals documents, starts questioning who their client is and why the target needs to die, botches a second hit on her father’s target, and is nearly killed. And that’s before she’s kidnapped by a green-eyed stranger connected to a part of her childhood she’d almost forgotten.

Kindra has to decide who to trust and which side of the battle to fight for. She has to do it fast and she has to be right, because the wrong choice will kill her just when she’s finally found something worth living for.

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Thank you Erica Cameron for my e-arc of Assassins: Discord. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Assassins: Discord is like those action movies you watch on TV where there are guns, explosions, and car chases. Only in this book, there are more girls than guys. The girls are complex, the girls are kissing and they’re more badass than anyone else. In other words, this book is like those action movies you watch on TV, only a thousand times better. I love Assassins: Discord not only because it’s refreshing and features a storyline that isn’t that often explored in YA but because these teenage girls are flawed, they’re lethal and yet they are just that, teenagers with raw and complex emotions. I also love how inclusive this book is. There are bisexual, asexual, intersex and gay characters and some of them are also of color. Erica Cameron really nailed this book in every aspect there is, it’s sassy, it’s filled with action and once you finish it you’ll literally be begging for more (very much like I am, please when’s the next one coming out *grabby hands*).

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ARC Review of Keeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas

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Keeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas

Publication Date: August 22, 2016.

Publisher: Entangled Crush.

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, and Romance.

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Selling points: Extraordinary f/f romance, magical writing, and diverse characters.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: Two girls. One Kiss.

The last person Riya Johnson expected to run into at her new summer camp is Courtney Chastain—her childhood best friend and the girl who broke her heart after a secret, mind-blowing, life-altering kiss. She definitely didn’t expect to be sharing a bunk bed with her for four long weeks.

Courtney has what every girl wants—she’s beautiful, rich, and the object of every boy’s desire at Camp Pine Ridge. Too bad none of them make her feel an iota of what Riya’s kiss did all those years ago. But Courtney needs to uphold appearances at all costs—even if it means instigating an all-out prank war with Riya as her main target.

Neither girl can stop thinking about the other…but that doesn’t mean they can give up past hurts and take a chance on a future together.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains drinking, sexual situations, and a fairy-tale romance sure to make your heart melt.

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Thank you Entangled Crush for my review copy of Keeping Her Secret. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Keeping Her Secret is a book that stays with you like a beautiful sunset is engraved in your mind for days or even weeks after you’ve seen it. This book is refreshing, beautiful and fills your heart with love and joy. Keeping Her Secret has now become one of my favorite books of all time, I already want to reread it and experience these emotions all over again. You can review a book where you analyze it point after point, however, the one thing that has always had the greatest impact on me is how a book makes me feel. Keeping Her Secret makes me feel a lot, in the best way possible.

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Book Review of The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

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The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Publication Date: February 23, 2016.

Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books.

Genres: Young Adult and Historical Fiction.

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Selling points: Captivating story as well as raw and relatable characters.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled.

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Thank you Wendy Lamb Books for my advanced review copy of The Smell of Other People’s Houses. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

The Smell of Other People’s Houses is a rarity you don’t see often. There’s something about this book that’s so incredibly captivating. The way it’s written and the voice Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock has in this book is so incredibly magical. She draws you in and makes you take the same journey as the characters you read about. Something we don’t often think about is how everyone and everything around us has a distinct smell. Your mom, when you hug her, the smell of her hair is the smell of security. The smell of your house, your school, your lover’s house. Even if you don’t think about, they all smell different and they all represent something different to you. These four main characters that we follow through the book convey this and shows us how something as trivial as the smell can mean so much and how it can play such an important part in one’s life. A perfect example of that is a quote from the first chapter:

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Book Review of Choosing You by Allie Everhart

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Choosing You by Allie Everhart

Publication Date: September 21, 2013.

Publisher: Waltham Publishing.

Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, and College.

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Selling points: Slow burn romance, mild suspense, and excellent banter.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository 

Synopsis: When Jade is given a scholarship to an elite private college in Connecticut, she sees it as a chance to finally escape her painful past and get a fresh start. She’s determined to succeed and that means keeping her focus on school and not guys. But her plan falls apart her first day on campus when Garret, a rich prep school boy with swimmer abs and a perfect smile, offers to help her move in.

Jade tries to push him away, but she can’t deny her attraction to him and Garret won’t let her. Things quickly heat up between them, but then come to a sudden halt when reality hits and Jade realizes that a relationship with Garret may never be possible. He comes from a world of wealth where there are rules, including rules about who he can date. And not following those rules has consequences.

As the two of them try to overcome the obstacles working to keep them apart, Jade is confronted with another challenge. On her 19th birthday, she receives a letter that her now deceased mother wrote years ago. In it are revelations that explain her traumatic childhood but also make her question the past she’s been running from.

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Choosing You is a book I didn’t expect to love but immensely did. It has been in my Kindle library for quite some time now and I finally decided to give it a try, something I’m now so happy about.

“He gives me a cocky grin. He knows damn well I want to see his nearly naked body. Every girl on campus would like to see that.”

Choosing You is a book filled with wit, banter, romance, wealthy families, and suspense. In my eyes, there are so many things this book is doing right. In a lot of ways, this is a typical rich boy meets poor girl story but the story is so much more than that. It’s complex, with a proper relationship build-up and clear character development.

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