Hello Sophomore Year! - The College Diaries

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Hey guys!

With August officially coming to a close today, college students everywhere are getting back into the swing of things. Although some of you may have been back at school for awhile already, it's safe to say that we're all pretty much in the same boat now (except for you, Rhode Island, for some inexplicable reason), and I'm super excited about it!

If any of you guys didn't know, this is going to be mine and Emily's second year of college. (We don't go to the same school, which sucks, but we've been friends since we were very little and will still be seeing/talking to each other all of the time!) I'm super excited because, as I've mentioned before on our Twitter, I'm in a YA fiction writing class this upcoming year with a professor who has been published by HarperTeen (my dream!♥) in the past. So that's pretty freaking awesome, if you ask me.

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So I just wanted to hop on the blog today to talk briefly about how exciting it is to be starting a new school year -- and even though I'm bummed that my reading time will probably slow down considerably now that I'm here, I'm excited for all of the blogging and publishing opportunities that will be popping up as I continue to work hard for my career. I'm even meeting another YA author at a few workshops being hosted at my school in the future, which I am so so excited about. Can't wait for this to be the best year yet!

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So those are just a few of my brief thoughts on going back to college. I'm excited to be with my friends and take fun classes and have another semester in the place I absolutely love -- so if you'll excuse me, I should probably be getting back to them!

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Waiting On Wednesday: Zenith (The Androma Saga #1) by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Emily's Waiting on:

Title: Zenith (The Androma Saga #1)
Author: Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
Genre: ScFi Fantasy 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: Jan. 16th, 2018

Summary: Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she's just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.
But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder's all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situationand at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi's past.
Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.
Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

I feel like everyone in the book world is waiting not so patiently for this books release. This was definitely one of the most coveted books at BookCon, with people waiting hours on line to try and snag an advanced copy. This book definitely has an interesting summary and I'm excited to dive into a new galaxy and see what thats like. I honestly don't think I've ever read a ScFi novel like this so I can't wait to find out what's in store for Andi and the Mirabel Galaxy. 

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back!

Blog Tour & Excerpt: I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin!

Hi guys!

Today on the blog is about to be a fun time -- we were lucky enough to be part of the I Hate Everyone But You blog tour and we get to share an exclusive excerpt with you guys! We recently read this book and loved it (check out the review here), so we are super excited for this awesome opportunity here today. So without further ado, welcome to the I Hate Everyone But You blog tour!

About The Book


Title: I Hate Everyone But You
Author: Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Hardcover, 352 Pages
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Summary: Dear Best Friend,I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.Sincerely,Ava Helmer(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)
We're still in the same room, you weirdo.Stop crying.So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?


1)   Birth. I poop inside my mom’s womb. I obviously don’t remember this. But I do remember all the times my mom talked about it at family events.
2)   Kindergarten. I try to sit on the teacher’s lap during naptime. She tells me that is inappropriate. In front of the entire class.
3)   Third grade. Becky Olsberg and Laura Jenner invite me over for a playdate. We share secrets. I confess that sometimes I eat flowers. They tell everyone that I am secretly a horse trapped in a girl’s body.
4)   All of middle school.
5)   Jordan F. asks me to come over to his house to ask me about you. (Did I ever tell you this? I knew you hated Jordan F. so I might have kept that as a silent shame until now. Oh, no. What if you DIDN’T hate Jordan F. and I ruined your one shot at true happiness as well as any chance of you staying in California for college? He goes to Stanford. I love him so much.)
6)   Prom. You remember.
7)    Day 3 of rushing. When I find out that only 3 of 10 houses want me back. EVEN THOUGH THE AVERAGE IS 7! Only getting asked back to 3 houses in the second round is unheard of. I’m mortified.

a.  One of those houses, Pi Phi, is like the COOLEST house on campus, so they 
have obviously just invited me back to be nice. Or as a cruel joke. (Please refer
to #3 above.) I don’t even want to go back to rush. If I do, I’ll feel like I’m asking for it. (Not sexually; I know women can’t actually do that.) I want to cry, but stupid Jessica won’t leave the room! 

A dead person, formerly known as Ava Beth Helmer

P.S. I’m already crying. Just really softly.


You told me about that Jordan F. thing immediately after it happened. You cried on the way home and I bought you fro-yo. Honestly, I’m the most hurt you don’t remember the fro-yo. I asked for whipped cream and everything.

Take a deep breath and remember: college students are idiots. You wouldn’t trust these girls to make you a coffee, why would you trust their character assessment?

Also, you got asked back to 3 houses! And 1 is cool?! Which is a shock to me because I assumed all sororities are inherently UNCOOL!

Maybe this Pie Phi house is the coolest because they have the smartest girls, and those smart girls are about to see how insanely awesome you are. Ever thought of that? Harry Potter was rejected 8 times
before Bloomsbury published one of the greatest gifts to Muggle kind.

Never give up. Never surrender.

(Unless you realize sororities are lame and YOU don’t want to be a part of THEM.)


P.S. Now I really want fro-yo.

About The Authors

Allison Raskin & Gaby Dunn are two best friends who live in Los Angeles. They started the comedy YouTube channel Just Between Us in 2014 and have since then spent far too much time together. Gaby’s journalism has appeared in pretty much every major publication and Allison has written some really funny group texts with her family. They hope to die within one hour of each other so neither has to plan a funeral. I Hate Everyone But You is their debut novel.

We'd like to once again thank everyone over at St. Martin's Press for making the review of this book and the participation in this blog tour possible. This was such an excellent, funny, hysterical book and we are so glad that it is hitting the shelves and becoming available to all of you guys! Add this book to your TBR if you haven't already -- we promise you won't regret it!

To My Freshman Book Blogger Self: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known

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Hi guys!

With the start of a new school year tomorrow (yay for college move-in day!!!), there's no better time to sit back and reminisce. It's not my first year in college anymore, but I decided to reflect and give my past self five tips that I wish I had known before starting my freshman year of college. And of course, since this is a book blog, I geared all of those pieces of advice towards blogging and reading -- because trust me, when I got to school, I was totally thrown and hadn't expected half of the things that ended up happening to me and the blog. 

So without further ado, here are five things I wish I had known about reading and blogging before starting my freshman year of college!

1. You will read wayyyy less books than you think. Don't pack 500.

Sitting in your room reading a book sounds like a good idea until all of your friends are hitting the city or spending the night gossiping over greasy fries at a nearby diner. You're going to be reading a lot less than you think, so only bring one or two books. As guilty as you may feel, it's okay to put down the book and go spend time with your friends -- in fact, it's encouraged. Your book will be there for you when it's 4am and the rest of the building is hushed with sleep -- but for the moment, go out and spend time with the other people who are taking this college journey alongside you.

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2. Similarly, you will be taking a lot more trips to bookstores than planned. Bring lots of money.

I've mentioned before that I go to school in New York City, which means, of course, that I am constantly falling victim to sales at The Strand and the Brooklyn Book Festival. Although I was bummed to have gone to school with so few books, I ended up buying so many when they were so affordable and so readily available to me. So it ended up being a good thing that I didn't bring so many books with me -- but I ended up coming home with a large amount anyway! If you can't find any of the good sales, check our Earnest for an option for low interest personal loans. Perfect way to get the books you need for your classes!

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3. Your posting schedule will slow down a lot, but that's okay -- your blog isn't the only one.

Before I went to school, we used to be posting once a day (every day!) on the blog. But once my reading time slowed down and I was constantly bogged down by classes and homework and studying, I found it a lot harder to put together posts and I felt really out of touch with the book community. I was even having trouble doing Waiting on Wednesday posts because I hadn't checked the blog Twitter in awhile because I didn't have any free time. The bottom line was that I felt really out of touch and didn't have any time to get anything done, I started to panic and felt like a failure as a blogger. But then I saw that there were other college bloggers that were struggling with this problem and working their way through it, and I realized that I wasn't totally alone in this situation. Which ended up being super calming when I wasn't the only one struggling. 

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4. You will meet more bookworms on your vast campus than you ever knew in your small hometown. (Nobody knows the science behind it. Life just kind of works out that way.)

Back in my hometown the only big readers I knew were my co-bloggers, but once I got to school, it was such a breath of fresh air to meet so many people that read the books I did and knew the authors I was talking about, and they even followed our blog and got involved and became a part of the book community. I felt more at home in my school's book community than my hometown's, which was honestly so surprising, but amazing, of course!

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5. You will be given so many incredible opportunities in your dream field that you would never expect. Take them all -- some might even end up benefiting your blog.

Similarly to me saying I was shocked to find other readers at my school, I was also surprised by all of the opportunities I was given in the publishing field at my school. For example, this summer we were given the opportunity to read Ask The Passengers by A.S. King, and now in the fall she's going to be running several writing workshops at my school. This past year I also had the opportunity to meet tri-lingual writer through our foreign language department and I got to go to a lecture where he talked all about this multiple writing processes and his travels throughout the world, which totally blew my mind. I never thought I'd get opportunities like that at my school -- especially since we weren't a big English school -- but I was pleasantly surprised.

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So those are the five pieces of advice that I wish someone had told me before I started my freshman year of college as a book blogger. While I hadn't had these tips outright, I was fortunate enough to be part of a groupchat with other college bloggers on Twitter where we were all able to talk about things such as blogging/reading in college, going to book events, life and blogging after graduation, etc. It has been a super amazing resource that I'm super grateful to have had the opportunity for.

(If you're a college blogger and would be interested in joining our college blogger group Twitter DM -- which has been super helpful! -- just follow us on Twitter at @thebookbratz and shoot us a Tweet asking to join!)

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Now if you'll excuse me, I have some more packing to do -- which includes having to select only a handful of my favorite reads to take with me. :'(

Review: I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

Title: I Hate Everyone But You
Author: Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin
Publisher: Wednesday Books
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 352 Pages
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017

Summary: Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We're still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I'm really glad that I got the chance to. This book had been on my TBR for quite some time and I was itching to relieve my glory days of reading Lauren Myracle's books (TTYL, anyone?) and marveling at the fact that I was able to pull an entire story out of a series of instant messages. This book was no different -- it was told entirely through emails (both brief and long) and text messages, and I was once again amazed at the incredible story that unfolded for me through the channels of today's social media.

As the summary explains, Ava and Gen are best friends. But when Gen goes across the country for college (to Emerson, which is a school I had actually been considering at one point!), Ava is devastated (and Gen is, too). They decide to make a pact that says they must email each other often (once a day, I believe -- it's mentioned towards the end of the book), so the entire story is their conversations back and forth, talking about everything from new friends to heartbreak to drama (and of course, about college life). 

What I really liked about this book was its ability to cover so many topics in just a few hundred pages worth of emails. In this story, the reader gets to explore everything from friendship to heartbreak to first relationships and college and Greek life, to first times, sex, sexual orientation, teacher/student relationships, academic integrity, and even mental illness. This book leaves no stone unturned in the best of ways. It was also really interesting to see how having co-authors create the story affected the writing -- Gen and Ava both had very clear, distinct voices which made the book very interesting and easy to follow.

Another part of this book that was really important to me (and perhaps my favorite part, actually) was the friendship between Ava and Gen. Even when things got rocky and there were some pretty heavy curveballs thrown into the mix, they managed to make their friendship work. Even when they were all the way across the country. When Gen was exploring her sexuality and also had a lot of struggles during her first semester in college, Ava was there to offer her some level-headed advice. And when Ava was trying to branch out a little bit and enjoy the college experience a little more, Gen was always there to encourage her with some helpful tips. In a lot of ways, Ava and Gen reminded me of my friendship with my best friend -- especially when it came to the witty banter and the inside jokes. 

Overall, I really enjoyed I Hate Everyone But You. It's not often that I rate a book five stars -- it has to be a book that I really loved -- but I couldn't imagine rating this book anything else. It was a quick, easy, entertaining read full of laughter and drama and, most importantly, friendship, and it made me want to pick up the phone and reach out to my lifelong best friends a little more often. (Spoiler alert: That's exactly what I did after I finished this book. I picked up the phone and texted my best friend.) If this book wasn't on your TBR already, it needs to be! It's a quick read that will make you laugh and feel all the feels at just the right times, and you'll finish this book with a burst of love for your best friends and, if you're anything like me, you'll finish this book smiling.

I'd definitely be open to reading more work by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin in the future, because this book was one of my favorites of 2017 by far! :-)

Author Interview: Helen Scheuerer

Hi everybody!

Today on the blog, we decided to host an author interview with Heart of Mist author Helen Scheuerer. But before we get to the interview, let's get to know her a little bit!

About the Author

Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Heart of Mist is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. It explores themes of identity, belonging, loyalty, addiction, loss, and responsibility. After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like Throne of Glass, Elantris, The Queen’s Poisoner and The Queen of the Tearling inspired Helen to return to her childhood love of fantasy. Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (www.writersedit.com), an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world. Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong and a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney. Helen now works as a freelance writer and editor, while she works on the second book in The Oremere Chronicles.
 Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads Writer's Edit

Heart of Mist Excerpt

Bleak’s gut clenched as she vomited onto the dirt that spun before her. And again. And again. She lay there on the ground, a line of sick and phlegm still dangling from the corner of her mouth. Her body heaved several more times and bile burned the back of her throat. Gods, she felt like rubbish, and the sound of people clanging about their daily business was doing nothing for her pounding head.
She had returned the night before from yet another failed quest to find herself a healer in Heathton. It had been her fourth journey to the capital in a month, and the seas had been savage. Her small sailing boat had been thrown about as though it were a child’s toy. She had only just managed to moor in the docks before the storm fully hit, and she’d promptly made her way to the local tavern. It had only taken her a quick four pints of their watered-down ale and the last of her silver to remember that their brews did nothing to cure her problems. With no coin left to spend, and her condition still pulsing wildly, it had been back to the warehouse, where her home-brewed mead had burned its way through her body, drowning out the voices and her most recent shortcomings.


1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was about seven and wrote my first story. I think I was around 9 or 10 when I was first “published” in the school newspaper. For someone who’s usually got a terrible memory, I can remember that moment vividly, and what it was like to see my name in print. I don’t think I’ve wavered from that dream since!

2. What inspired you to write Heart of Mist?

I was actually in the middle of finalising edits on a literary fiction novel when I started Heart of Mist. The edits for the lit fic book were driving me mad, and I just wanted an escape.

In hindsight, I’d lost sight of why I loved writing. My editor and I had very different visions for the book. I was reading a lot of YA fantasy during this time, I was completely addicted. And then, I guess you could say I had a bit of an epiphany: why aren’t I writing what I love reading?

Not long after, I signed up for NaNoWriMo with some writer friends, and about 6 weeks later, the first draft was complete!

3. In your opinion, what is the hardest part of the writing/publishing process?

Ahhh dear, this is a tough one. There are so many challenges that come with this industry, but there are also always challenges that are unique to the book you’re working on…

For Heart of Mist it was that I’d gone from writing a standalone, contemporary lit fiction novel to a fantasy series. My experience with writing series was pretty limited. As an early teen I’d written a ‘trilogy’ but they were really just three notebooks with a short story in each. For Heart of Mist, I had to consider the storyline of a full-length novel but also of the overarching plot as well. Trying to look at the big picture like this can be really overwhelming at times.

Another challenge was getting my head around the fact that I’ll be with this world and these characters for four years, and that publishing a book per year is an incredible challenge in itself. It can be hard to manage the stress, your time, and the biggest one for me - the guilt. The guilt that comes when I’m working on something else, when I let down friends and family because I’m too anxious about writing… However, I’m very lucky in that I’m surrounded by such supportive people.

4. How did you go about getting your novel published? (I.e. What advice to you have for aspiring authors?)

I’d encourage all authors to consider all publishing options before limiting themselves to just one path.

While breaking into the industry can be really difficult, there’s not just one gateway any more. There are so many options that authors can experiment with, in order to get their work out there. It really depends on the author and the book they’re writing.

For me, I’d been involved in the industry for years before Heart of Mist was even an idea. I’d been running an established writing and publishing website for years (Writer’s Edit www.writersedit.com), had completed a Masters of Publishing and had my literary fiction manuscript signed with a publisher. All these experiences gave me a unique insight into the industry, and what I thought could and couldn’t work for Heart of Mist.

Through Writer’s Edit, we already had a small press that had published three creative writing anthologies (Kindling Vol. I, II & III), and so the natural step was to set up Talem Press - a fantasy imprint.

I received offers and a lot of interest from bigger publishers in Heart of Mist, but ultimately, decided that the best thing for me as the author and the book itself, was to opt for the independent route.

5. What other authors do you look up to for ideas and inspiration when writing?

Haha, this could be a very extensive list! I’m absolutely addicted to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon at the moment. I’ve just finished Voyager (the 3rd book) and am just in awe of her ability to create such addictive characters and vast storylines.

A guilty pleasure of mine is Sarah J Maas, who’s written the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy.

The work of Sabaa Tahir and V.E. Schwab can be equal parts intimidating and inspiring...

6. Do you have any new books coming out in the near future/what else would you like to write about?

Well, after Heart of Mist is released on August 31st, the second book in The Oremere Chronicles will follow in 2018, with the third due for release in 2019.

However, in between each of the books, the publication of short prequel stories will continue. These prequels have had a great response so far, and I love writing them!

You can get the first two for free here -> http://bit.ly/2szZpYl

About Heart of Mist


Title: Heart of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Publisher: Talem Press
Publication Date: August 31st, 2017

We'd like to thank Helen for stopping by our blog today and answering our interview questions. She's super sweet and it was a fun experience, and you should definitely add Heart of Mist to your TBR if you haven't already!

Waiting on Wednesday: This Witch Doesn't Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Jessica's Waiting on:

Title: The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One
Author: Amanda Lovelace 
Genre: Poetry 
Publication Date: March 2018

Summary: Not Yet Released

I recently read Amanda Lovelace's first book of poetry, The Princess Saves Herself In This One, and I loved it so much. I hadn't read much poetry before that, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up really enjoying the book and even recommending it to several friends. The book was filled with so many poems about so many different topics that all led to a road of empowerment and realizing your self worth and strength, which was something I hadn't even known that I really needed at the time, but I did. So I have high hopes that this book will be no different. ♥

I'm excited for more details to release for this book, and also for the book's actual publication next year. I'm hoping for another great book of poems that will make me gasp, grip the pages tighter, and at times be overcome with such a sense of empowerment that I have to turn to my own notebook and get my thoughts out before they spilled out onto the floor. If it's Amanda Lovelace's poems, I'm very confident that I'll be doing just that.

Is it 2018 yet? Because I'm really looking forward to this one!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so I can stop back!

Review: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

Title: The One That Got Away
Author: Melissa Pimentel

Publisher: Penguin
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 400 Pages
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2017 (Two days!)

Summary: Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't. Ten years later, Ruby's single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years. But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there's nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past...

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I wasn't sure to expect at first. This book is set around Ruby, a woman who has long since graduated high school and college and is now working at a fancy marketing firm in New York City, living the constantly-rushing life that is common for New York business moguls. She thinks that she has everything she could ever want, but one thing is missing -- the love that she let go so many years ago for selfish, stupid reasons. 

The reason I wasn't sure what to expect in regards to this book was the fact that Ruby was a full-fledged adult at this point in the story, so it wasn't like a typical YA book, and I never really had a good track record with adult books. I found it hard to put myself into their mindset and understand their problems, being that I am still a teenager myself. (But less than one year left!)

However, Ruby's narrative was super easy to read, and before long I got into the book easily. For the first time in a very long time, I found myself staying up and reading until my eyelids felt heavy and I had to physically stop myself because I couldn't go on any longer. I really, really missed that feeling, and I'm so glad that this book was able to give me that again. Ruby's story was really easy to follow, and I liked that the story constantly switched between present-day and the past, to give some context to Ruby and Ethan's relationship and eventual fallout, so when they met up again in England things made a lot more sense!

So, as the summary explains, Ruby and Ethan had dated a long time ago, and then they broke up (for reasons that will eventually be explained in the book, that I will not spoil for you here). And now, many years later, Ruby's sister is marrying Ethan's best friend, and they find themselves together once again at a wedding in England, doing their best to forget about and not rehash the past. 

The only problem? In the years since Ethan and Ruby had broken up, Ethan went from being a small-town bartender to one of the biggest tech moguls of the century. I'm talking cool enough to be taking pictures with Steve Jobs, people. He becomes that big. 

So yeah. Ruby tries very hard not to imagine what life would have been like if she had stayed with Ethan, but sometimes it was very difficult not to. So the book is pretty much narrating her trip to England for this disaster of a wedding while also trying to avoid Ethan to keep old feelings at bay while also trying to appear totally nonchalant and not bothered whenever she finds herself in his presence. So this book is definitely an emotional roller coaster filled with a lot of drama! 

My favorite character in this book was definitely Ethan. He was sweet all of the time, both in the flashbacks and in the current moments, even when he didn't have to be. He always seemed to be thinking of other people and putting his best foot forward, and it was clear from the very beginning that he worked very hard for his success and totally earned it, which was sometimes the reason that Ruby resented him so much. But throughout the entire story Ethan kept doing things that were so hopelessly adorable and kind towards everyone around him, and it continuously made my heart melt.

As for Ruby, I liked her a lot, but sometimes I felt that just reading about her life was stressing me out a little bit. Especially when the book is narrating her typical morning in New York, I started to feel badly for the girl and worry about her fictional health. She was so determined to prove herself and make herself worth something, especially as Ethan continued to soar with his success, and at times she was wearing herself down so much that I really began to feel bad for her. However, it was positive to see that as the book went on Ruby began to learn what was more important than work and forced herself to take a little bit of a break -- Lord knows she needed it!

(Spoilers here so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) And oh my goodness guys, the ending of this book totally made my heart stop. It was so freaking cute. I had been shipping Ethan and Ruby since the beginning of their reunion (even when it was a little rocky), so I was so glad when everything worked out, even after Ruby admitted to the horrible thing she'd done back in New York all those years ago that led to their split in the first place, even when Ethan had no idea about it. The book leaves off in a place that gives you enough context to guess what will happen, but I still wish it went just a little bit further so I could see Ruby and Ethan's relationship (and maybe even marriage???) continue to bloom!! *heart eyes*

Overall, I really enjoyed The One That Got Away. I'm so glad that I got an opportunity to review this book because I ended up liking it a lot, and I can even think of a few friends that I'll be recommending it to soon. I flew through this book because I enjoyed it so much that I didn't want to put it down, and Ruby and Ethan's story took me on an emotional rollercoaster that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. I'd definitely be open to reading more of Melissa Pimentel's work in the future, because it's safe to say that this book certainly got me hooked! 

Review: Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

Title: Ask The Passengers
Author: A.S. King
Publisher: Little, Brown
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 304 Pages
Published October 2012

Summary: Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions--like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl. As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives -- and her own -- for the better.

I didn't know much about this book (or about A.S. King) before I started it, but this book was something that I had an option to read for the summer for my college English program, because A.S. King will actually be coming to my school and hosting some writing seminars in the fall! So I was super excited to read this book and also meet the author, and there are even a few blogging friends that I know that have read and loved books by A.S. King before. 

As the summary explains, Astrid Jones is a New York City girl that finds herself moving with her family to a small town in Pennsylvania, where narrow-minded thinking and concern about appearances were the main attractions. She has a mother who is obsessed with her reputation, a father who is stoned all of the time, and a sister who barely speaks to her because she's so busy trying to fit into their new life. So, with nobody else to talk to or be loved by, Astrid spends a lot of her free time on her picnic table, looking up at the sky and sending her love to the passengers flying in the planes overhead. (Speaking of which, I really enjoyed those little inserts with the brief stories of some of the passengers. They were detailed enough to be interesting and for you to get a grip on the person's character, but just vague enough that you were always left wanting more.)

And of course, living in such a small, close-minded town, Astrid was pretty sure that everyone -- including her own family -- would hate her if she told them that she was gay. She could only imagine how the whole town would react, let alone her own parents. Her mother, Claire, is one of those people who spews ridiculous nonsense such as "I can't be a homophobe because I know gay people and I don't hate the." (*cringe*) 

But then something happens, and Astrid can't control the fallout. (What it is, I won't tell you -- read the book yourself! -- but I will say that it's pretty shocking and leads to some pretty messy stuff.)

My favorite character in this book was definitely Astrid. She had moments where she was so complex and acknowledged that she didn't want to label herself right away, and that she wanted to take her own time to find out how she was really feeling. She had several moments of such clarity where she realized that she wasn't going to conform to everything that everyone else expected of her. I was rooting her on in those moments and was glad to see all of that empowerment for sure. (Even if the people around her were really crappy in how they handled it.)

As for the characters that I really didn't like in this book, they would have to be Claire, Ellis, and Kristina. Claire was so concerned with appearances (and so was Ellis) that it made me disgusted at times to see that was the first thing she was thinking about when things went bad -- her reputation -- rather than her own daughter. She was definitely a pretty crappy mom -- but perfect for that small-minded town of Unity Valley. And as for Kristina, I felt like she used Astrid a lot, and lied, and did everything she could to save her own reputation rather than being a good best friend. She was definitely a pretty crappy one.

What I really liked about this book was how, despite the crappy life Astrid sometimes felt like she had, she managed to keep a level head and not get sucked into the Unity Valley image of perfection that everyone else was so desperately seeking. She knew who she was, even when it wasn't the most popular thing to be, and she stuck to it despite all of the rumors and hate and pettiness that was thrown her way. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Ask The Passengers. I'm glad that this book was chosen to be the summer read for my school's English program, because I probably wouldn't have known about it without it being selected. This was a quick, easy read that I breezed through and liked from start to finish. I'm glad that I've been introduced to A.S. King's work, because I'll definitely be reading more of it in the future!