The Boyfriend Whisperer by Linda Budzinski

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The Boyfriend Whisperer by Linda Budzinski is a fun, young adult clean read! Lexi has made a small business of helping young women gain the attention of guys they are interested in. She calls herself The Boyfriend Whisperer and no one knows it’s Lexi, except her assistant Abi. All seems fine until Lindsay hires the boyfriend whisperer to help her get Chris, Lexi’s best friend and long time crush. Lexi questions her matchmaking business, her friendships, her future as a basketball player and even her relationship with Chris. It becomes a roller coaster ride of teen angst and young love. This realistic fiction and romance story is cute and charming with a wide range of characters that keep Lexi on her toes; 5 stars for this enjoyable read!

Mosaic by Sarah Fine

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and 47 North for the opportunity to read and review Mosaic by Sarah Fine; the last book in the Reliquary trilogy. Asa and Mattie travel around the world together. Asa is captured and Mattie spends her time frantically trying to figure out how to get him back. Mattie discovers a lot about Asa and his family as she searches for him. This new adult story is like a maze of uncertainty and heartbreak with an ambiguous ending, 4 stars!

Off the Ice by Julie Cross

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Actually, 4.5 stars!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Off the Ice by Julie Cross. This first book in her Juniper Falls series is told by Tate and Claire through alternating points of view beginning in the prologue. The story picks up one year later in Chapter One. Claire is two years older than Tate and she has taken a semester off of college because her dad has an inoperable brain tumor and she wants to be with him and help him and her mother. Tate is a high school junior and a varsity hockey player. The two have known each other since they were children and now their friendship is growing into something more. Tate feels like he has to live with his father overshadowing everything he does and it’s suffocating him. Tate and Claire each have their own problems to deal with while trying to figure out their relationship and their future plans. A mature and realistic story line shows that being a young adult isn’t always easy and the people around you are either helpful or harmful. 4.5 stars for a young adult story with the gritty situations that make it feel real!

The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy

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The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy is an enjoyable read and, first of all, the cover is gorgeous! So cover love definitely drew me into the book along with the promise of a frosty supernatural read. The poetry of Lord Byron sets the tone of icy winter and opens the story. The prologue describes the accident Salome survived when she was six years old. She fell into the frozen pond on her grandparents’s property and she heard voices. Since then, Salome has been terrified of winter. Now at the age of seventeen, she has to be the caretaker of her grandparents’ house and property in the middle of the dreadful winter. Colton and Salome have been secretly crushing on each other since elementary school and they finally begin to date. While she’s enjoying her new relationship with Colton, Salome meets Nevin, who mysteriously appears when she’s on her grandparents’ land. Salome is drawn to both guys, but unsure of both of them. I thought it was so cute when Colton took Salome on a sleigh ride to help her feel more comfortable with the cold weather. Salome’s safety is endangered when she believes a woodland supernatural creature attacks her several different times. Colton shows too much aggression in protecting Salome and scares her off. Nevin blurs reality and makes Salome doubt her feelings for him. Gareth, who she met at the local coffee shop, makes her feel the safest. For each season represented, a famous author (such as Edgar Allan Poe) is spotlighted with a piece of their writing. This romantic winter fantasy, full of the Fae, is an entertaining read and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Summer Marked. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, setting and characters but there are a few grammatical errors, so I’m rating the book 4 stars!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the opportunity to read and review Caraval by Stephanie Garber! ¬†Scarlett and Donatella are treated harshly by their father. They have both always wanted to see Caraval since their grandmother told them stories about it years ago. They plan on running away to see Caraval and never coming back to their father. He has threatened them with harm if they ever leave and he has even gone to the extreme lengths of committing murder to keep Scarlett and Donatella on the island with him. Tella left their rooms a mess to make their father believe they were kidnapped while they sailed with Julian to Caraval, Legend’s private island. The game on Caraval that Legend controls is adventurous, daring, mysterious and frightening. Scarlett never knows, from beginning to end, what is real and what is just the game. I grew to care about Scarlett and I wanted her to finally find happiness. I also admire her for the bravery and love she demonstrates to help her sister, Tella. Their father is selfish and violent and I wanted the sisters to be free of him. I also like the setting and time the story takes place in. It was familiar but also new at the same time because of Stephanie Garber’s clever writing. 5 stars for the magical mystery of the game and all of its characters!

Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle, which is the first book in the North Pole series! In the Minnesota town of North Pole, the town that celebrates Christmas year round, two sporting goods stores are competing for business. The two stores have been owned by the same families for fifty years and have been archenemies for decades. The families are both dealing with their own problems and difficulties among the business competition and within their families. We get to know the main characters, Elena and Oliver, well because of the alternating points of view. I enjoyed reading about the creative ideas that both businesses came up with to help gain customers, such as a North Pole version of Pokemon Go and the seasonal themes of both stores. This cute romantic story earns a 4 star rating from me for a diverse set of supporting characters and a unique setting!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is set in the American South where Confederacy is still very important to its residents. Ethan lives in Gatlin, a small southern town where nothing changes. He hates it. He has been having dreams of saving a girl. Ethan cannot see her face and he doesn’t know who she is. He wakes up with dirt under his fingernails and on his sheets. He has also started hearing a voice and the song, “Sixteen Moons”, plays randomly on his MP3 player and the radio, even though he’s never heard of the song before. A new girl, Lena, moves into Gatlin and lives with her uncle who is known as the local recluse. Lena and Ethan get much more than they bargained for when they become friends. Both of their families are keeping secrets from Ethan and Lena and when they find a locket that gives them shared visions of the past, they start keeping secrets of their own. Their ancestors are entwined somehow and that might be the key to saving Lena from her possibly dark future. I enjoyed the southern setting and the intense differences of the characters – 5 stars for this fun and suspenseful supernatural read!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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I have finally gotten around to reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This book is monumental and legendary in how it faces life head on. The story contains everything from adolescence that defines us – teen angst, popularity or lack thereof, family struggles, dysfunctional families and the relationships that we form during this impressionable time that will help shape our futures. Empowering and overwhelming, this contemporary classic bears its soul for the world to see, learn from and to grow with- 5 stars!

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser! This translated book begins with Amy and her mom, Alexis, packing for a trip to a Scottish Island for a well deserved break. Alexis is from this island and her mother lives there and that’s where they will be staying. Amy’s family has a special gift that her mother has kept a secret until now. The Lennox family, along with the neighboring family that also inhabits the island, are book jumpers. Book jumping is both of their family’s legacy and responsibility. They book jump to keep the stories and characters in line and to keep the plots from going astray. Amy, Betsy and Will book jump to solve the mystery of why stories have all of a sudden become unpredictable. They discover that the ideas are being stolen from several different stories, but they don’t know why or by whom. I enjoyed how the author brought literary classics into the story with the details readers know and love and also used these stories as the main point of the mystery. The Book Jumper is a refreshing read with characters to love and characters to hate, as well as an imaginative plot, some romance and suspense – 4.5 stars!

Waking in Time by Angie Stanton

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to read and review Waking in Time by Angie Stanton! Abbi has recently lost her grandma to cancer and now Abbi is determined to attend her grandma’s Alma-mater in Madison, Wisconsin, even though her mother will be left alone in Ohio. Abbi receives a package from her mother that contains notes and photographs of her grandma’s. One of the photos shows someone who looks just like Abbi standing next to her young grandma. Abbi drinks at a party with her friends and the next morning, she wakes up in her dorm room but the year is 1983! Next, she wakes up in 1970! Each morning, she awakens in a different time. In 1970, she finally meets someone who knows what she’s going through, Professor Smith, her physics professor. She doesn’t get any helpful information and a few days later she wakes up in 1961! In 1961, Abbi meets Will, a fellow time traveler. But where Abbi is traveling to the past, Will travels to the future. Will knows Abbi well and apparently they have a close, romantic relationship. When she wakes up in 1951, her young grandma happens to be her roommate. Next, Abbi wakes up in 1930. Will and Abbi meet and fall in love. They try to conquer the time travel issue so they can stay together, but it seems that no matter what they do, time travel is inevitable for the both of them.
I especially like the author’s information about historical facts contained in the story and the personal connection that the author based the story on. Complex and suspenseful – 4 stars!