Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp Book Tour Post

Book Description

Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Publishing Date: April 5, 2022

Synopsis:

Clap When You Land meets On the Come Up in this heart-gripping story about navigating first love and overcoming grief through the power of music.

Aarón Medrano has been haunted by the onstage persona of his favorite musician ever since his mother passed away. He seems to know all of Aarón’s deepest fears, like that his brain doesn’t work the way it should and that’s why his brother and father seems to be pushing him away. He thinks his ticket out is a scholarship to the prestigious Acadia School of Music. That is, if he can avoid blowing his audition.

Mia Villanueva has a haunting of her own and it’s the only family heirloom her parents left her: doubt. It’s the reason she can’t overcome her stage fright or believe that her music is worth making. Even though her trumpet teacher tells her she has a gift, she’s not sure if she’ll ever figure out how to use it or if she’s even deserving of it in the first place.

When Aarón and Mia cross paths, Aarón sees a chance to get close to the girl he’s had a crush on for years and to finally feel connected to someone since losing his mother. Mia sees a chance to hold herself accountable by making them both face their fears, and hopefully make their dreams come true. But soon they’ll realize there’s something much scarier than getting up on stage—falling in love with a broken heart.

Book Links

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Indigo ~ IndieBound

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I decided that I had to read this book as I loved the author’s debut novel. I was so pleased to find that while this book is also a romance like the first one it was significantly different but just as great. There are so many sections of this book that I highlighted on my kindle because of how these lines spoke to me.

Something that I really enjoyed about this book was how our main characters communicate with each other and the world through music. It reminded me of how I use songs to convey my feelings and sometimes only songs or books completely understand the way that I am feeling. I liked that these two main characters were able to pour themselves into music and how music shapes their lives.

Something else that I loved about this book was the way that it handled grieving and how we see different ways in which people are handling grief. I thought it was great to see both guys and girls dealing with grief, and how both Aaron and Mia lost their parents in different ways. I think because of the way that they lost their parents, the grief that they experience is different and while one of each of their parents is alive, they still are grieving because it is the loss of the parent they had before.

I really enjoyed how this book added the musician into the story and how he was an important part of Aaron’s life and grieving process. I thought it was a great way to show how everyone can have mental health issues and I loved the way he took care of himself. I don’t want to spoil that for you so I’ll let you read to see more about him.

Characters: There are several characters that you get to meet through their interactions with our main characters, Mia and Aaron. You get introduced to Mia’s siblings, friends, and family, and Aaron’s family and friends too.

I loved reading the interactions that Mia has with her brothers and how they try to heal each other. I liked getting to see how they raised her and also getting to see each of them show their grief in a different way. I really liked getting the chance to see how one of her brothers was healing through poetry but how he was still hiding and he only gets the courage to present to show her that it is possible.

I also really enjoy the theme of found family in this book which you really see through the people in the neighborhood. I loved getting the chance to meet Mr. Barrero who takes care of both Mia and Aaron when they need an adult figure in their lives. I really liked seeing how this man has shaped both of these people’s lives and how important he is to them. I also like how we get to see his back story as well to understand why he feels the way he does about Mia.

Writing Style: This story is written from a dual point of view that goes back and forth from our main characters, Aaron and Mia. I really liked getting to read this story from both of their perspectives since I think they both add different things to the story. I really liked getting to go back and forth between these two characters because they had things going on in both of their lives that weren’t intertwined with each other.

Author Information

Laekan Zea Kemp is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her debut novel, Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet was a 2021 Pura Belpré Honor Recipient. In addition to writing she’s also the creator and host of the Author Pep Talks podcast, as well as a contributor to the Las Musas podcast. She has three objectives when it comes to storytelling: to make people laugh, cry, and crave Mexican food. Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health.

Author Links

Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

Tour Schedule

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2022/02/15/tour-schedule-heartbreak-symphony-by-laekan-zea-kemp/

Stuck with You by Ali Hazelwood Book Review

Book Description

Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn…

Logically, Sadie knows that civil engineers are supposed to build bridges. However, as a woman of STEM she also understands that variables can change, and when you are stuck for hours in a tiny New York elevator with the man who broke your heart, you earn the right to burn that brawny, blond bridge to the ground. Erik can apologize all he wants, but to quote her rebel leader—she’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.

Not even the most sophisticated of Sadie’s superstitious rituals could have predicted such a disastrous reunion. But while she refuses to acknowledge the siren call of Erik’s steely forearms or the way his voice softens when he offers her his sweater, Sadie can’t help but wonder if there might be more layers to her cold-hearted nemesis than meet the eye. Maybe, possibly, even burned bridges can still be crossed….

To read Mara and Hannah’s stories look for the novellas Under One Roof, available now, and Below Zero, coming soon from Berkley!

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I really enjoy the way that these novellas give you a glimpse of what is to come before the story really starts for our main characters. I actually liked this one a lot more than the first one because I liked the characters and how long it took for us to find out why we were supposed to hate Eric Novak.

The only thing that I was not a big fan of in this one is there is no real reason to dislike Eric because it is all a big miscommunication between the two of them. I wanted him to be conniving and sneaky about what he did so that there was a reason to dislike him. I wanted them to have tension between the two of them that went beyond a ha-ha opps we both were thinking different things moment. The build-up for that was all there so I was quite disappointed when we didn’t get that from either of our characters.

I’m also really not into insta-love, lust is one thing like go ahead and have all these girls lust over the MC, I can see that happening but instantly love him without knowing him? I don’t know if that’s just me being Demisexual/Demiromantic thing or if it puts anyone else off as well. It just doesn’t seem realistic that they see this man and are instantly like I love him. I do like that Eric seems to have liked her for quite a while before this moment so that makes sense to me but her reactions don’t.

Characters: In this story, you get to meet Eric and Sadie, plus you get a brief glimpse at Sadie’s friends which you meet more in-depth in the other novellas. I really liked the characters in this novella more than the first one because I think we got to know them separately from hating each other. We got to learn a little bit about Sadie and then a bit about Eric from what others tell Sadie about him.

Writing Style: This novella is told through the perspective of Sadie which made the miscommunication trope even better. I think had we been able to see this story in the third person or even get a glimpse at what Eric was thinking it would have read differently. I also like that this perspective allows you to see Sadie make a fool of herself multiple times which always makes me laugh.

Author Information

From Ali Hazelwood’s website

My favorite thing in the world is to explore traditional romance tropes—and to picture how they’ll play out in academic settings.

Rival scientists falling in love despite their better judgement?

There’s only one cot in the lab?

Fake dating during faculty meeting?

Sign me up!

I’m originally from Italy, lived in Japan and Germany, and eventually moved to the US to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. I recently became a professor, which absolutely terrifies me. Oh, the sheer dread of being entrusted with the care of young minds!

When I’m not at work you can find me binge-watching shows with my feline overlords (and my slightly less feline husband), running, or eating candy.

Oh, and I’m a New York Times Bestselling Author.

I’m represented by the amazing Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown Book Review

Book Description

When Andrew stumbles upon Jamie’s house, he’s injured, starved, and has nothing left to lose. A deadly pathogen has killed off most of the world’s population, including everyone both boys have ever loved. And if this new world has taught them anything, it’s to be scared of what other desperate people will do . . . so why does it seem so easy for them to trust each other?

After danger breaches their shelter, they flee south in search of civilization. But something isn’t adding up about Andrew’s story, and it could cost them everything. And Jamie has a secret, too. He’s starting to feel something more than friendship for Andrew, adding another layer of fear and confusion to an already tumultuous journey.

The road ahead of them is long, and to survive, they’ll have to shed their secrets, face the consequences of their actions, and find the courage to fight for the future they desire, together. Only one thing feels certain: all that’s left in their world is the undeniable pull they have toward each other. 

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I was a bit wary about reading this book because I knew it would deal with our current pandemic, I knew that there would be commentary about it and I was worried about my feelings getting in the way of enjoying this book. I am glad that I decided to read it anyway because dystopian books are my favorite and I have yet to see a queer one.

This book is covered in sticky notes with my thoughts all over it and a lot of those are me just gushing about all of the characters and the slow burn romance. There is no part of this book that I do not love but there are moments in which I was worried for the boys.

Something that I really enjoy about this book is how this book makes commentary about how the Covid-19 pandemic was handled. I really appreciated these pieces but also enjoyed how it didn’t feel like I was just reliving the past two years of our pandemic. I liked that this book was about a pandemic but it was so much more than that, it had these boys figuring out who they are among this disaster of a world, it has people who were destroyed by this pandemic emotionally and mentally, it has loss and trying to come back from that loss, and it has love at the end of the world.

I liked how each place that the boys come across is described and we get to walk this trail with them. I felt like I was on this journey along with them and was scared every time they were scared. I also really liked how we got to meet several different groups of people along the way. I thought that was really reflective of the way that the C-19 pandemic has affected out world.

Characters: In this book you get introduced to several characters through their interactions with Andrew and Jamison. I really enjoyed so many of the characters that we meet throughout this story even the bad ones because of how developed they were.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Andrew and Jamison, and the way it develops throughout the story. I love that they start off as friends but also love how instant their trust for each other is. I liked the slow burn romance between them because when they finally admit their feelings to each other it makes it so worth it. I also really enjoyed how everyone who met them knew of their feelings for each other and while Andrew knew of his feelings, Jamison was still questioning his feelings and neither knew about the other’s feelings.

Writing Style: This book is written in dual point of view alternating between Andrew and Jamison throughout the book. I really enjoyed getting to be in both of their heads and see this pandemic through both of their eyes. I really liked that we get to go along the journey with Jamison as he questions his sexuality due to his feelings for Andrew. I thought it was great getting a chance to see how each of them feel not just about each other but also about the things that are happening in this story.

Author Information

Erik J. Brown is a writer based in Philadelphia, PA.

In 2009 he graduated from Temple University with a degree in Film and Media Arts with an emphasis in Writing for Media. When not writing, he enjoys traveling (pre-pandemic), collecting disco compilations on vinyl, remodelin

g his haunted house with his husband, and embarking on the relentless quest of appeasing his Shiba Inu, Charlie.

In 2021 he was selected as a Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow.

His debut Young Adult novel, ALL THAT’S LEFT IN THE WORLD will be published in early 2022 by HarperColllins/Balzer+Bray.

You can find him on Twitter @WriterikJB, and Instagram @ErikJB

Books to Read while on Vacation

It’s been a while since I’ve gone on vacation because of Covid but today I am on a plane to Walt Disney World. I thought about books to bring with me so that I could read while waiting in line or when I want a break but instead of physical books I decided just to load my kindle book so my luggage would have space. These are a few of the books I suggest taking with you on vacation to either read on the plane, in your hotel, by the pool or while you wait for things.

Kiss & Tell by Adib Khorram 

A smart, sexy YA novel about a boy band star, his first breakup, his first rebound, and what it means to be queer in the public eye, from award-winning author Adib Khorram

Hunter never expected to be a boy band star, but, well, here he is. He and his band Kiss & Tell are on their first major tour of North America, playing arenas all over the United States and Canada (and getting covered by the gossipy press all over North America as well). Hunter is the only gay member of the band, and he just had a very painful breakup with his first boyfriend–leaked sexts, public heartbreak, and all–and now everyone expects him to play the perfect queer role model for teens.

But Hunter isn’t really sure what being the perfect queer kid even means. Does it mean dressing up in whatever The Label tells him to wear for photo shoots and pretending never to have sex? (Unfortunately, yes.) Does it mean finding community among the queer kids at the meet-and-greets after K&T’s shows? (Fortunately, yes.) Does it include a new relationship with Kaivan, the star of the band opening for K&T on tour? (He hopes so.) But when The Label finds out about Hunter and Kaivan, it spells trouble—for their relationship, for the perfect gay boy Hunter plays for the cameras, and, most importantly, for Hunter himself. 

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. 

Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan

 In this YA contemporary queer romance from the author of Hot Dog Girl , an openly gay track star falls for a closeted, bisexual teen beauty queen with a penchant for fixing up old cars.

Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school’s code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can’t deny their growing feelings. But while Morgan–out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start–doesn’t want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret, Ruby isn’t ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp 

 A story of first love, familial expectations, the power of food, and finding where you belong.

Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans—leaving Pen to choose between disappointing her traditional Mexican American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she’s been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself.

Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for just that—a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo’s, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family and himself.

Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong in order to save the place they all call home.

Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood Book Review

Book Description

A scientist should never cohabitate with her annoyingly hot nemesis – it leads to combustion.

Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn….

As an environmental engineer, Mara knows all about the delicate nature of ecosystems. They require balance. And leaving the thermostat alone. And not stealing someone else’s food. And other rules Liam, her detestable big-oil lawyer of a roommate, knows nothing about. Okay, sure, technically she’s the interloper. Liam was already entrenched in his aunt’s house like some glowering grumpy giant when Mara moved in, with his big muscles and kissable mouth just sitting there on the couch tempting respectable scientists to the dark side…but Helena was her mentor and Mara’s not about to move out and give up her inheritance without a fight.

The problem is, living with someone means getting to know them. And the more Mara finds out about Liam, the harder it is to loathe him…and the easier it is to love him.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I was a little hesitant to read this one because it is a novella and I was worried that I would want more of the book. I was also a little worried that this would read too much like The Love Hypothesis for me to enjoy it as a separate story. My library hold came in though sooner than I expected so I had to listen to it and I am glad that I did.

I am so glad that my hesitations were proven wrong and I was able to enjoy the book. While the snarky banter from The Love Hypothesis is in this story, I found that the characters were different and I also thought that their relationship with one another was different.

There is so much to love about this one from the forced proximity, enemies to lovers, witty banter, and more. I just loved the way the story begins and how it builds up throughout to give us the ending that we are waiting for.

Characters: There are two main characters in this book, Liam and Mara, but you also get to know Helena briefly. I loved all of the characters that you get to meet throughout this whole book. There is nothing to not love about any of these characters including Mara and Liam’s friends who you briefly get to learn about.

While you don’t ever get to meet Helena since she passed away before our story really begins I really loved her as a character. I loved the relationship that she had with both Liam and Mara and how you can see through them speaking of her how important they each were to her.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Liam and Mara and how this relationship begins because of Helena. I love how even from the grave she is trying to set them both up with a partner like she has been doing their whole life. I love that they are forced to have some sort of relationship because Mara has to live in that house as she has nowhere else to go. I also love how they become friends before anything happens between the two of them.

Writing Style: I thought it was interesting that this book was published as an audiobook before any other format. I actually really enjoy listening to romance books as audiobooks so I was quite pleased to know that this book was going to first be released as an audiobook. I can’t wait to read it as an e-book to see if the reading experience differs if the format is different.

Author Information

From Ali Hazelwood’s website

My favorite thing in the world is to explore traditional romance tropes—and to picture how they’ll play out in academic settings.

Rival scientists falling in love despite their better judgement?

There’s only one cot in the lab?

Fake dating during faculty meeting?

Sign me up!

I’m originally from Italy, lived in Japan and Germany, and eventually moved to the US to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. I recently became a professor, which absolutely terrifies me. Oh, the sheer dread of being entrusted with the care of young minds!

When I’m not at work you can find me binge-watching shows with my feline overlords (and my slightly less feline husband), running, or eating candy.

Oh, and I’m a New York Times Bestselling Author.

I’m represented by the amazing Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

Long Story Short (2021) Movie Review

Streaming on: Netflix

Length: 1 hour and 34 minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Comedy

Director: Josh Lawson

Writer: Josh Lawson

Stars: Rafe Spall, Zahra Newman, and Ronny Chieng

Teddy wakes up the morning after his wedding to discover that every few minutes he’s jumping forward to the next year of his life.

Romance Recommendations 2022

I don’t read a lot of romance books but I realized that most of the books that I read have some romance in them. I wanted to give you all a few books you can get lost in this valentine’s day weekend in case you don’t have any plans.

Serendipity by Marissa Meyer (Editor)

Love is in the air in this is a collection of stories inspired by romantic tropes and edited by #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer.

The secret admirer.
The fake relationship.
The matchmaker.


From stories of first love, unrequited love, love that surprises, love that’s been there all along, ten of the brightest and award-winning authors writing YA have taken on some of your favorite romantic tropes, embracing them and turning them on their heads. Readers will swoon for this collection of stories that celebrate love at its most humorous, inclusive, heart-expanding, and serendipitous.

Contributors include Elise Bryant, Elizabeth Eulberg, Leah Johnson, Anna-Marie McLemore, Marissa Meyer, Sandhya Menon, Julie Murphy, Caleb Roehrig, Sarah Winifred Searle, and Abigail Hing Wen. 

The Love Hypothesis (Love Hypothesis #1) by Ali Hazelwood

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding… six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland 

A romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country.

When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible.

Most notable is her bunkmate and new nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who is grumpy, combative, and also the hottest guy Moon has ever seen.

Moon is certain she hates Santiago and that he hates her back. But as chance and destiny (and maybe, probably, close proximity) bring the two of them in each other’s perpetual paths, Moon starts to wonder if that’s really true. She even starts to question her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was.

Could this summer change Moon’s life as she knows it?

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk,Nicola Yoon 

Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teen love to this interlinked novel of charming, hilarious, and heartwarming stories that shine a bright light through the dark.

A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…

A first meeting. 

Long-time friends. 

Bitter exes. 

And maybe the beginning of something new.

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.

Beloved authors—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city. 

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp

A story of first love, familial expectations, the power of food, and finding where you belong.

Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans—leaving Pen to choose between disappointing her traditional Mexican American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she’s been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself.

Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for just that—a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo’s, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family and himself.

Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong in order to save the place they all call home.

Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters

Kacen Callender meets Becky Albertalli in a deliciously geeky best friends-to lovers romance from award-winning author Julian Winters!

School’s out, senior year is over, and Isaac Martin is ready to kick off summer. His last before heading off to college in the fall where he won’t have his best friend, Diego. Where—despite his social anxiety—he’ll be left to make friends on his own. Knowing his time with Diego is limited, Isaac enacts a foolproof plan: snatch up a pair of badges for the epic comic convention, Legends Con, and attend his first ever Teen Pride. Just him and Diego. The way it should be. But when an unexpected run-in with Davi—Isaac’s old crush—distracts him the day tickets go on sale, suddenly he’s two badges short of a perfect summer. Even worse, now he’s left making it up to Diego by hanging with him and his gamer buddies. Decidedly NOT part of the original plan. It’s not all bad, though. Some of Diego’s friends turn out to be pretty cool, and when things with Davi start heating up, Isaac is almost able to forget about his Legends Con blunder. Almost. Because then Diego finds out what really happened that day with Davi, and their friendship lands on thin ice. Isaac assumes he’s upset about missing the convention, but could Diego have other reasons for avoiding Isaac?

The Girl in the ’67 Beetle Blog Tour Guest Post

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE GIRL IN THE ’67 BEETLE by Linda Lenhoff Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway! Link in bio.

About The Book

Title: THE GIRL IN THE ’67 BEETLE

Author: Linda Lenhoff

Pub. Date: June 18, 2021

Publisher: Laurel Canyon Press

Formats: Papreback, eBook

Pages: 284

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N, TBD, Bookshop.org


Amy Shepherd greets the one-year anniversary of her divorce by throwing herself a celebratory dinner of once-forbidden foods (frozen dinner from Trader Joe’s, no salad at all, and lots of dessert) and giving away all of her married-life possessions. The art director of Kids Press, Amy has been assigned to revise the story of Goldilocks, and she finds her own life reflecting a similar tale. Will she fall for a man who’s a little too old (but exciting), a man who’s a little too young (but awfully exciting looking), or a man who’s just right, at least as far as her friends are concerned? Or will she bring Goldilocks’ story—and her own—up to date with a little help from high-technology and the Goldilocks Planet theory? Can Amy resolve issues with her ex, her failing publishing company, plus her best friend’s quandary about working in a museum that’s been universally panned? Amy will have to decide how her own tale will end, all the while driving her beloved powder blue convertible through the streets of Santa Monica, where she has become known as the Girl in the ’67 Beetle, the only thing in her life that, so far at least, feels just right.

Linda Lenhoff is the author of Life a la Mode and Latte Lessons.

Praise for The Girl in the ’67 Beetle
“I am so happy to keep company with smart, witty, and lovable characters. I rooted for all involved and applauded every romantic and professional payoff that The Girl in the ’67 Beetle delivered.
Elinor Lipman, author of Good Riddance, On Turpentine Lane, and The Family Man

I enjoyed this book so much I realized I wanted to start dating again and joined an online dating site! The Girl in the ’67 Beetle is an utterly charming novel that zips along at a fun, brisk pace. You’ll love the wide range of funny, quirky characters and the witty dialogue throughout will make you laugh out loud time and again. What a delight!
Renee Swindle, author of Shake Down the Stars, A Pinch of Ooh La La, and Please Please Please

Book Dream Cast

Photos from IMDB.com

Amy, an artist for a children’s publisher, main character: Drew Barrymore, Zooey Deschanel, or Kristen Bell

Best friend Susan: Hannah Simone (from New Girl)

Handsome mechanic Ben: Milo Ventimiglia

Attractive, sweet, but quirky dentist: Josh Radnor

Goofy older professor love interest: Patrick Dempsey (with touches of gray hair). Or Bill Murray!

Extremely handsome bad ex-husband: James Franco or Gerard Butler

Advice Columnist Aunt Lucile: Diane Keaton

About Linda Lenhoff

Linda Lenhoff  has worked in publishing as a writer and editor for several years, having edited nearly everything from makeup techniques (apply blush up and over the “apples” of your cheeks) at Seventeen Magazine to migraine studies (cut back on that chocolate) at research institutes. She has earned an MFA in Creative Writing, and her next novel, *Your Actual Life May Vary, will be published in 2022. Linda lives in California’s Bay Area with her husband and daughter.

Contact Linda at lenhoff@informativity.com, https://lindalattelessons.wordpress.com. Author photo by Haley Nelson.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

Giveaway Details

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE GIRL IN THE ’67 BEETLE, US Only. Enter Here.

Tour Schedule

Week One:

2/7/2022Rockstar Book ToursKickoff Post
2/7/2022Mythical BooksGuest Post/IG Post
2/8/2022Cindys Love of BooksReview
2/8/2022Daily WaffleExcerpt/IG Post
2/9/2022Unconventional Quirky bibliophileGuest Post/IG Post
2/9/2022@jaimerockstarbooktoursIG Post
2/10/2022Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
2/10/2022Jaime’s Book WorldExcerpt
2/11/2022Lisa Loves LiteratureGuest Post
2/11/2022The Momma SpotExcerpt

Week Two:

2/14/2022@coffeesipsandreadsReview/IG Post
2/14/2022WebreakforbooksIG Post
2/15/2022Rajiv’s ReviewsReview/IG Post
2/15/2022Coffee and Wander Book ReviewsReview/IG Post
2/16/2022Fire and IceReview/IG Post
2/16/2022The Girl Who ReadsReview/IG Post
2/17/2022Buried Under BooksReview
2/17/2022BookHoundsReview/IG Post
2/18/2022#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee BlogReview/IG Post
2/18/2022Prison Wife ReviewsReview/IG Post

No Filters and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado Book Review

Book Description

Title: No Filter and Other Lies 

Author: Crystal Maldonado  

Publisher: Holiday House

Publication Date: February 8th, 2022 

Genres: Young Adult contemporary romance 

Synopsis:

You should know, right now, that I’m a liar.

They’re usually little lies. Tiny lies. Baby lies. Not so much lies as lie adjacent.

But they’re still lies.

Twenty one-year-old Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, and a glittering life filled with adventure. With tons of followers on Instagram, her picture-perfect existence seems eminently enviable.

Except it’s all fake.

Max is actually 16-year-old Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic teenager living in drab Bakersfield, California. Nothing glamorous in her existence–just sprawl, bad house parties, a crap school year, and the awkwardness of dealing with her best friend Hari’s unrequited love. But while Kat’s life is far from perfect, she thrives as Max: doling out advice, sharing beautiful photos, networking with famous influencers, even making a real friend in a follower named Elena. The closer Elena and “Max” get–texting, Snapping, and even calling–the more Kat feels she has to keep up the facade.

But when one of Max’s posts goes ultra-viral and gets back to the very person she’s been stealing photos from, her entire world – real and fake — comes crashing down around her. She has to figure out a way to get herself out of the huge web of lies she’s created without hurting the people she loves.

But it might already be too late. 

Goodreads ~ Blackwells ~ Amazon ~ Book Depository ~ Barnes & Noble

Review

Thoughts and Themes: When I saw that the author had another book coming out soon I knew that I had to read it since I enjoyed Fat Chance Charlie Vega so much. I loved this book just as much and think that Charlie and Kat would be such good friends.

I thought that this book does a great job of addressing the complications of social media especially for teenagers and what messages are being passed through social media. Kat first creates Max’s account out of spite and anger with Becca, he co-worker who didn’t want to attend a high school party. Kat only wants to get her art out there to more people but her own account isn’t working too well so she thinks that by using Becca’s face, she’ll have more luck. It doesn’t stop there though as Max/Kat starts speaking to Elena and Elena has a crush on Max who doesn’t really exist.

This book touches on not just social media and how so many things are fake on there but it also brings up being a person of color and being fat within the social media space. I thought it was great that we see Kat bring up how she’s pretending to be a white girl in order to gain popularity online. I also enjoyed seeing the interactions between Elena and Kat during their first photoshoot and how Elena points out photo editing certain parts of herself away.

This book takes a bit to get into what we know is going to happen which is Kat posing as Max but it does a good job of building this up. There are things that have to take place for this idea to pop into her head and there are also actions that need to happen for her to reach this point. I liked the build up that leads to this point and then I liked getting to read as this whole thing plays out. I felt bad for Kat as this whole thing plays out but I also felt bad for the people who were involved in this Max situation without their consent, such as Becca and Elena.

Characters: In this book you get introduced to several characters through their interactions with Kat. You get to meet the members of her family, mom, dad, brother, and grandparents, her friends, Hari, Luis, and Marcus, her co-worker, Becca, and Elena her online friend.

I really liked all of the characters that you get introduced to in this book and enjoyed Kat’s dynamics with each of them. I thought it was great to see her be a different person depending on who she was interacting with and what each person brought out in her. I liked that Kat has people she can be herself with rather than the person she thinks everyone expects her to be.

Something that this book does a great job with and that I really enjoyed in particular was the friendship between Kat and Hari. There were so many times that it could’ve gone wrong and how it could’ve ended the way I expected it to, with a guy who has feelings for a girl throwing that girl away when she wants no more than friendship. I was so glad that they were able to have a conversation about their feelings and navigate these circumstances in a way that didn’t harm their friendship. I thought this was so important because Hari is Kat’s person and she was having such a hard time not having anyone to go to with her secret regarding Becca.

Something else that I liked about this book was the way that it portrayed Kat’s relationship with different members of her family. Kat has to lie about who she lives with and her relationship with her mom, dad, and brother in order to keep her mom happy so it only makes sense that she would want a little control over her life. I liked getting to see the role that Kat’s grandparents play in her life and how she was raised by them. I liked that this book portrayed family in a different way and made it something that Kat didn’t need to be ashamed of.

Writing Style: This story is told in first person through Kat’s perspective. I really liked getting to hear the story through Kat’s perspective because you don’t know how others are feeling. You get to only see what Kat is thinking and get to be in her head about the actions that she is taking.

I love that the only times you get to see how someone else is feeling or their thoughts is when they are interacting with Kat. I love that we get brief glimpses of Elena and her feelings but we never get everything because we only get what she reveals to Kat.

Author Description

Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, is a 2021 New England Book Award winner, a Cosmopolitan Best New Book, and a POPSUGAR Best New YA Novel. Her next novel, No Filter and Other Lies, explores teenage life in the social media age—and the lies we tell to ourselves and others.

By day, Crystal works in higher ed marketing, and by night, a writer who loves Beyoncé, shopping, spending too much time on her phone, and being extra. Her work has also been published in Latina, BuzzFeed, and the Hartford Courant.

She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog. 

Website ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Instagram 

Tour Schedule

February 7th

Unconventionalquirkybibliophile – Mood Board

Books_and_Dice – Favorite Quotes

A Bronx Latina Reads – Review Only

February 8th

Pastelwriter – Review Only 

Sanjariti – Review Only 

The Veronica Review – Review Only 

February 9th

Faydrielreads – Review Only 

@yanitzawrites – Review Only 

Metamorphodani – Review Only 

February 10th

CurlytopReads – Review Only 

A Cup of Nicole – Review Only 

The Cozy Archives – Review Only 

February 11th

@c.isbusyreading – Playlist

The Book View – Mood Board

@idleutopia_reads – Favorite Quotes

February 12th

Bookloversbookreviews – Reading Vlog

Love, Paola – Reading Vlog 

@aventuras.en.esl – Review Only 

February 13th

@jainnyreads – Review Only

@loveroflibros – Review Only

 Thecafeconlecheshow – Favorite Quotes

Single All The Way (2021) Movie Review

Streaming on: Netflix

Length: 1 hr 41 minutes

Genre: Rom Com, LGBTQ+, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Director: Michael Mayer

Writer: Chad Hodge

Stars: Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, and Luke Macfarlane

Desperate to avoid his family’s judgment about his perpetual single status, Peter convinces his best friend Nick to join him for the holidays and pretend that they’re now in a relationship.