Waiting on Wednesday (170)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Dare You to Lie by Amber Lynn Natusch 
Release Date: September 4, 2018

When her FBI agent father is framed for murder, Kylene is forced to move in with her grandfather, back to the small town that turned its back on her, and the boy who betrayed her.

All Ky cares about is clearing her father’s name, but someone won’t let her forget the photo scandal that drove her away two years ago. As the threats gain momentum, Ky finds an unlikely ally in the rookie FBI agent sent to keep an eye on her.

Determined to expose the town's hidden skeletons, Ky unwittingly thrusts herself into a much bigger plot. They thought she’d forgive and forget. They’re about to learn they messed with the wrong girl.

I stumbled upon this one in Tor's Fall 2018 catalog and it instantly caught my eye. I'm always in the mood for a new mystery read, and Dare You to Lie sounds like it'll definitely fit the bill. Small towns are also a favorite of mine, and I'm a curious about this rookie FBI agent - will they be a love interest? 


Blog Tour: Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade (Review & Giveaway!)

Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade
Release Date: March 20, 2018 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Contemporary 
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 
Felicity meets Fangirl in this contemporary novel about a young woman who must leave behind her fantasy life—inspired by her favorite WB show from the 1990s—and create a real one at college.

Caroline Sands has never been particularly good at making friends. And her parents’ divorce and the move to Arizona three years ago didn’t help. Being the new girl is hard enough without being socially awkward too. So out of desperation and a desire to please her worried mother, Caroline invented a whole life for herself—using characters from Felicity, an old show she discovered online and fell in love with.

But now it’s time for Caroline to go off to college and she wants nothing more than to leave her old “life” behind and build something real. However, when her mother discovers the truth about her manufactured friends, she gives Caroline an ultimatum: Prove in this first semester that she can make friends of the nonfictional variety and thrive in a new environment. Otherwise, it’s back to living at home—and a lot of therapy.

Armed with nothing more than her resolve and a Felicity-inspired plan, Caroline accepts the challenge. But she soon realizes that the real world is rarely as simple as television makes it out to be. And to find a place where she truly belongs, Caroline may have to abandon her script and take the risk of being herself.


Between 2017 and now I've been seeing more and more books featuring a college setting, and I couldn't be any happier. I wish they were around four years ago when I was starting my freshmen year! 

Finding Felicity is quirky and heartwarming. Stacey Kade perfectly captures the feeling of not only freshmen year but also starting anew. 

When Finding Felicity first begins we're quickly let in on Caroline's big secret: she's created a fake friend group inspired by the old 90s show Felicity to appease her mother. It started innocently enough - her mom was upset that she wasn't fitting in at her new school - but over the last few years it's morphed into something huge: one big fat lie Caroline was hoping she could run away from once she started college. 

I think everyone has felt like Caroline at some point in their lives: feeling the need to reinvent yourself because you don't particularly like who you are. Caroline's always been the quiet girl, the girl most like to fall into the background. Sure, she has acquaintances and club-friends, but she's never found her "group," her second family. As someone who took a while to find their friend group as well, I could definitely relate to that area of her life. Sometimes it's hard to find people you click with, especially when you're in a new setting, and while most of us don't got to Caroline's lengths of reinvention, I feel like readers will definitely be able to relate and understand her overall feelings as well as actions. Additionally, I loved seeing Caroline slowly grow comfortable in her own skin - making friends, engaging in those horrible orientation ice breakers (they still give me the chills to think about four years later!), experiencing her first frat party, and, most importantly, finding comfort in the unknown and unexpected. It had me reminiscing back to my freshmen year of college, and given the realistic feel, I think it will give college bound readers a tease of what's to come. 

In addition to Caroline, a wide variety of other characters were introduced. I found the majority of them to be lovable (with the exception of Caroline's long-time crush who was a jerk), and I enjoyed getting to know them. Out of the bunch, Lexi, Caroline's moody roommate, was my favorite. At first I didn't know what to make of Lexi. She was such a wild card, and not a very nice one at that; however, over the course of the book, she truly grew on me. Like Caroline, she's trying to find her place as well after a tumultuous year, and once again I found her story and voice relatable as well as realistic. 

Finding Felicity is more of a character-driven novel than action-driven, but never once was I bored, or wanting to put the book down for long periods of time. The exact opposite in fact - I read this book in one sitting! As I've mentioned before, I loved Felicity's coming of age. It drove the book at a nice speed, and once again, I felt that the college setting was well constructed as well. While I do wish it would've been a little longer - I felt that the ending came way too soon but then again I wasn't quite read to let go of Caroline and her friends just yet - and even a tad more developed (more info about her friends, her relationship with her parents, etc.) I was happy overall. 

Overall, Finding Felicity is a heartwarming tale of one girl's new start featuring the good, the bad, and the oh-so-awkaward parts of freshmen year. I can't wait to read more by Stacey! 

Last but not least: you don't need to have watched Felicity to understand the book completely. Caroline does a great job of summarizing the key points, and as someone who has never watched the TV show, I wasn't lost one bit. 

4 stars!! 

About the Author:
The daughter of a minister and a music teacher, Stacey Kade grew up reading Harlequin romances on the sly in the basement. Kade is the author of two young adult series (The Ghost and Goth trilogy and the Project Paper Doll series). Her first adult contemporary romance, 738 DAYS, was released earlier this year.

Prior to writing full time, Kade worked as an award-winning copywriter for several Fortune 500 companies. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and their two retired racing greyhounds.
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr


Prize: 1 finished copy of FINDING FELICITY by Stacey Kade
Starts: 3/14
Ends: 3/29
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Match 15th

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March 16th

We Live and Breathe Books- Review & Favorite Quotes

March 17th

Books, Boys, and Blogs!- Creative Option

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Life at 17- Review

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Bookmark Lit- Creative Option
Book Crushin- Review

March 20th

Staircase Wit- Review


Review: Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell

Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: eARC provided by publisher via First to Read in exchange for an honest review
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The autumn morning after sixteen-year-old Audrey Harper loses her virginity, she wakes to a loud, persistent knocking at her front door. Waiting for her are two firemen, there to let her know that the moment she's been dreading has arrived: the enormous wildfire sweeping through Orange County, California, is now dangerously close to her idyllic gated community of Coto de Caza, and it's time to evacuate.

Over the course of the next twenty-four hours, as Audrey wrestles with the possibility of losing her family home, she also recalls her early, easy summer days with Brooks, the charming, passionate, but troubled volunteer firefighter who enchants Audrey--and who is just as enthralled by her. But as secrets from Brooks's dark past come to light, Audrey can't help but wonder if there's danger in the pull she feels--both toward this boy, and toward the fire burning in the distance.

Nothing Left to Burn has been high on my wish list ever since I first heard about it, and as the buzz continued to build over these last few months my excitement did as well. I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy! 

Now that I've read it I can definitely say it was well worth the wait. Nothing Left to Burn is fiery and enthralling...the kind of book that calls to be read in one sitting. It's about the secrets a person keeps and the lies they tell themselves to protect the ones they love. It's about falling in love - so hopelessly in love - that they begin to loose parts of themselves along the way. It's about growing up and taking responsibility, finding strength at the most unexpected times. Basically, it's the kind of YA contemporary that reminds me just how much I love YA contemporary. 

Nothing Left to Burn is set over a twenty-four hour period. At first I was worried about this characteristic. I wondered if the book would feel complete, if the story lines as well as the characters would be fleshed out. As per usual, however, my worrying was for nothing. Heather does an excellent job of using the twenty-four period to her advantage. I loved the quick nature of the book. The chapters were fast paced and to the point; however, they never felt incomplete. I was always satisfied with what I received. I also loved that she included flashbacks. It helped to drum up intrigue as well as suspense, especially when the hinted at event was broken up into several parts. 

Nothing Left to Burn is told through Audrey's perspective. I found Audrey to be an interesting main character. I can't say I always loved her or fully stood behind her choices, but there was something about her that made her story so completely compelling. I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to know why she loved Brooks, why she seemed to be keeping her friends and family at such a distance, why she felt so guilty, and what exactly happened between her and her best friend's brother. I also loved how real she felt. She wasn't perfect. She was actually far from it, but over the course of the book, she aims to become a better person, to tell the truth, to take responsibility, and I admired that about her. I could even see parts of my high school self in her, and I feel that many others will be able to relate to her as well, especially when it comes to her toxic relationship with Brooks. 

Talking about Brooks, he definitely wasn't the most likable love interest. There wasn't anything swoony about him, and I could  never quite see the appeal to him even in his and Audrey's happy days. He was brooding and dark, and the more I got to know him, the more I wanted Audrey to run. Like with Audrey, however, I was curious to learn more about him, and I will say I appreciated the overall role he played. It offered up a lot of interesting twists as well as introspections. 

Nothing Left to Burn is a slow-burn read. It takes a while to get to the action, or the meat of the novel, but it was so worth it in my opinion. I loved getting to know the characters first, of really getting a feel for the California setting...Heather just did such a great job of building everything up. I also appreciated the focus on wildfires. As someone who doesn't live in an area impacted by them, I don't think too much about them. Therefore, it was eye-opening to see one through Audrey's eyes. It broke my heart to see what Audrey and her friends went through, and it's nutty to think about how much can change with just one fire. 

Overall, Nothing Left to Burn is a unique, carefully crafted contemporary. Even though I finished it days ago, I'm still thinking about it, especially the ending. Gosh, it was twisty and ambiguous, but I don't think it could've been more perfect. I can't wait to read more by Heather! 

4.5 stars!!
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