Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Recommendations



Monday is one of the most hated days of the week. Whether you have to return to work or school, Mondays are terrible. To lighten this dreaded day of the week, I thought I would share some of my favorite books that make me happy enough to conquer any Monday.





The Arcana Chronicles is a Young Adult post-apocalyptic series with a unique addition of Arcana cards. The series is a one-of-a-kind gem that is highly underrated. It is one of the most underrated series I have read. I have met few individuals that have read the series, but those who have read the series have loved the series as unconditionally as I do. 


The Arcana Chronicles is Kresley Cole's only Young Adult series, but I need more books written by her. She has numerous Adult books and series, but I have yet to read any of those. Even though her Arcana Chronicles was not extremely popular, I hope she is not discouraged from writing future Young Adult books. She has an amazing talent that I would love to see explore more Young Adult genres.

While I deeply love the third novel in the Arcana Chronicles, Dead of Winter, the second novel, Endless Knight, is my absolute favorite. I adore the interactions between the characters as well as the extension of the world and the characters' backstories in Endless Knight

I cannot stop smiling when I think about my favorite characters from the series. I cannot fathom how much I love this series and how much it breaks my heart knowing that not many people know about or appreciate this series. If you ever take any recommendation of a Young Adult series to read, I really hope it is the Arcana Chronicles. The series deserves more love, it is truly one-of-a-kind.








The Shatter Me trilogy is one of my absolute favorite Young Adult trilogies. I was beyond excited when it was recently announced that there will be three new sequels to the trilogy. I cannot wait to be reconnected with my favorite characters. I have missed Juliette, Warner, Kenji, and the rest of the crew dearly since the release on Ignite Me in 2014. 

I am petrified that my dearly beloved characters are now at the mercy of Tahereh once more: however, these are her children as well, so any harm that comes to them will hurt her the same, if not more than me. No matter what happens to them, I am excited and ready to face it. 

Long before the announcement of the new additions to the trilogy, I would constantly revisit my favorite passages of Unravel Me and the entirety of Ignite Me. I love revisiting the growth of the characters as well as all the shocking revelations and tender moments between the characters. The relationship between the characters, two of them in particular, warms my heart and always leaves me wanting more. I just hope I can handle everything that will be thrown at these characters in the near future.







Cora Carmack is one of my favorite New Adult authors. She has written three New Adult series, two of which are based in contemporary settings, and the third is based in a paranormal/mythology setting. 

My favorite New Adult series by Cora is her Rusk University series. All Played Out, the third novel in the Rusk University series, is my favorite of the series and my favorite book by Cora. The Rusk University series follows football players at Rusk University as they navigate their lives and their love-lives. All Played Out follows Nell, a character extremely similar to myself, and her Rusk sweetie, Mateo. They are each others missing half and their love makes my heart happy.

I am excited for the upcoming fourth novel in the Rusk University series, All Closed Off, which is expected to be released in July. Cora also has her first Young Adult novel, Roar, the first novel in an epic Young Adult fantasy series, releasing on June 13th. Cora Carmack is an amazing Young Adult and New Adult author and all her books are must-reads.






The Deal is the first book in the four-book New Adult Off-Campus series. The Off-Campus series is a New Adult companion series that follows four male Hockey players at Briar University as they find love. I have yet to read the fourth and final book in the series, but The Deal is by far my favorite of the three I have read. 

Whenever I initially started The Deal, I was worried I would not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. However, after a few chapters, I was hooked and in love. I absolutely love the romance and banter between the love interests, Hannah and Garrett. They both make my heart melt and I am constantly rereading my favorite scenes between them. 

The Deal is perfect for individuals that have sworn off New Adult books because they are full of tropes and are extremely stereotypical. The Deal is truly refreshing. I cannot express how much I love The Deal

For a limited time you can order the original Ab covers of the Off-Campus series. If you are a long-time fan looking to complete your collection or are a new fan who wants the old covers, you have until the end of May to get your orders in. If you live in the U.S., you can order yours here. If you are located in Canada or Internationally, you can use that same link to get to Elle Kennedy's website then go under her purchase tab and choose the correct form.




Those are the five books that I love to revisit when I am down or need a pick-me-up. I am struggling to get through the remaining weeks of school, so these books will most definitely be in my thoughts throughout the day. Let me know in the comments what books you turn to when you are feeling down or need a helping hand. Also, let me know if you have read any of the books I mentioned and what you think of them. 

No matter where you are going today or what you are doing, I wish you a fantastic Monday! 








Friday, May 19, 2017

ARC Review: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

SummaryThere is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
 (Via Goodreads.com)



Pages: 373

Publisher
: Feiwel & Friends 

Expected Release Date: May 16th, 2017

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Review:
I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of The Love Interest through an ARC swap on Twitter. While I had read few reviews about the novel, individuals I follow on Twitter were captivated by the book and so was I. The Love Interest follows a teenage boy, Caden, who is a Love Interest. The mission of a Love Interest is to make an important individual fall in love with them so they can gather important information for their secret spy organization who sells the secrets to the highest bidder. However, the plan goes awry when Caden falls for the Love Interest he is competing against to win the heart of their Chosen.

The Love Interest is an utterly unique debut from Cale Dietrich. The novel puts an interesting spin on the classic love-triangle trope and develops a unique and compelling plot. The characters and the secret spy organization were well developed and intriguing; however, the ending of the novel was it's major flaw. While the ending was extremely cliche, I could overlook it. However, the ending was hurried and sloppily done. The pacing of the end was extremely fast and, although I constantly reread sections, I was still confused as to what had happened. It was disappointing being addicted and in love with a novel that's ending was hurried and barely finished. I did read an advanced copy so the ending could have been slowed down; however, the version I read was very fast and rather confusing. 

The Love Interest made me question myself. It prompted me to begin thinking about my value of self-preservation in comparison to my value of others. The novel raises questions pertaining to selflessness, love, and the value of others. 

The Love Interest was not only an intriguing and addicting read, it was also an important read. Unfortunately, I cannot divulge much more without spoiling the novel; however, my lack of words is because I simply do not have enough words to describe my love for this book. The Love Interest was thrilling, romantic, and addicting. I cannot wait to see what else Cale publishes. If The Love Interest is an indicator, he has the potential to become one of my absolute favorite authors. I highly recommend getting a copy of The Love Interest and I also recommend putting Cale Dietrich on your radar.



Excerpt Reveal: Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

   

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Releasing June 13, 2017, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below!




  New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack's young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora's been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.
Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.


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Add to your Goodreads







There was a hole in her chest, an awful, gaping hole that screamed like she wanted to. Like a cyclone, it seemed to suck up everything in its path until her knees were curled into her chest and her body hunched, and she just kept collapsing in and in and in. Suddenly unable to breathe, she clawed at the beaded fastenings that connected her headdress and necklace. One of her fingernails bent and splintered as she scrabbled for the hooks; when she could not find them, she took hold of the beaded cord and pulled until it broke, beads scattering across the stone floor around her.

The headdress tipped sideways, tugging painfully on her hair. Again and again, she pulled at the ties until her palms felt raw and beads littered the floor around her. The headdress began to sag, and she was nearly done, nearly free when someone stepped through the archway, and she froze.

Novaya.

Thank the skies. The dark-haired servant held an urn full of steaming water in her hands, and she stared in horror as if she had stumbled upon a monster rather than a crying girl. Nova had been Rora’s closest friend before she cut herself off from everyone at her mother’s command. Girls with secrets the size of Rora’s could not have friends. Nova took a step forward, paused, then knelt down, her large brown eyes carefully blank.

“Should I call for your guards? The queen?” Nova asked.

“No!” Softer, Aurora said, “No. Please don’t tell anyone.”

Once upon a time, Nova had kept all her secrets. Now the two rarely even looked at each other in the eye when their paths crossed, and it was all Aurora’s fault.

“Your Highness? What happened?”

Rora shook her head and returned to tugging at the headdress still tangled in her hair. She couldn’t say the words aloud, couldn’t let anyone see how much of a fool she was. Aurora had become accustomed to her shortcomings as a Stormling, as an heir. But she’d thought she had her mother’s strength, tenacity, and intelligence. But maybe that was wishful thinking. Maybe she was altogether…inadequate.

“Stop, Princess. You’re hurting yourself.” Nova put the water aside, crawled forward, and grabbed Rora’s wrists. “Aurora, stop.”

All the years spent missing their friendship came rushing back, and she froze at the sound of her name. Not Princess. Not Your Highness.Aurora. But the moment she stopped moving, it all came crashing down on her. Her naïve plan to kiss him, to experience something real. She should have known that her future would hold only more lies. As if she knew anything about real life, real anything. She lived in this palace, protected and pampered and put away like a doll on a shelf, too fragile for anything but appearances. And it seemed that’s all she would ever be.

Cassius wanted control of the city for himself. He thought he’d have to fool her to do it, but the moment the world found out that Rora had no magic, he’d become the ruler in truth, and she’d be the puppet at his side. He wouldn’t have to feign interest in her then. He wouldn’t need her at all.

She wound her arms about her legs and rested her forehead on her knees. Nova moved closer, and Rora sat still and silent as the girl worked to remove the headdress. Her old friend had grown into a beautiful young woman—flawless bronze skin, shiny black hair, stunning features. She’d recently begun assisting the royal seamstress in addition to her position as a maid. She probably had more friends than she could count. Aurora could not help imagining how different her life would be now fi she had never become heir.

The headdress finally gave way, and Nova slipped it off and laid it on the stone floor beside them.

“Tell me what happened.”

Rora leaned back against the wall. It was cool against her abused scalp, and she muttered, “Nothing happened.”

At least she had that much. She hadn’t kissed that beast. But what she had done felt worse. She had hoped. And hope broke more hearts than any man ever could.

“Should I get someone? A friend?”

Rora let out a bleak, cold laugh. As if she had any of those. Softer, she said, “I don’t want to see anyone. I just need this dress off. The makeup too. I need to breathe, and I can’t do it through all this mess.”

“I can do that. I came to help remove the headdress and gown. Stand up and we’ll go to your room. Everything will be fine, Your Highness.”

She didn’t tell her old friend how wrong she was, not as she peeled the dress off her and unlaced the corset. Not as she wiped away the powder that was smudged and striped on Rora’s face, thanks to falling tears. Another maid came in with more steaming water for a bath and Rora let them clean her up, wishing it was as easy to wipe away the last few hours.

She sat in the bath until the water grew cold and her skin shriveled like dying fruit. She had to face the facts. The Rage season was coming, as was this sham of a wedding. And she didn’t know how to fight it any more than she knew how to stop a storm.

But she would not give Cassius any more opportunities to see her vulnerable. Nor was she giving up. If there were no other way, she would marry Cassius.

But she had six days. Wars had been won, empires toppled, and cities leveled in less time. If there was a way out of this, Rora would find it.





Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she’s thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website www.coracarmack.com.   


  

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads








 








Monday, May 15, 2017

ARC Review: Salvaged (Saints of Denver #4) by Jay Crownover

Summary: The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series.

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes. 

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him. 

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it. (Via Goodreads.com)

Pages: 334

Publisher: William Morrow

Release Date: June 20th, 2017

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review:

It is hard to believe that Salvaged marks the end of the Saints of Denver and Marked Men series. Before I officially start this review, I want to thank Jay Crownover and Melissa Shank for allowing me to read Salvaged early. They were hosting a giveaway for Salvaged ARCs in Crownover's Crowd, a Facebook group dedicated to Jay's novels. I am extremely thankful for the ARC, Salvaged is my most highly anticipated novel of 2017 and it did not disappoint.

If you are unaware, Salvaged is the fourth and final novel in Jay Crownover's Saints of Denver series. The Saints of Denver series is the spin-off series of Jay's Marked Men series. Both series are New Adult companion series that have an order; however, the reader can decide if they want to read each book in the series or if they only want to read the stories of specific characters. 

Salvaged follows Poppy and Wheeler who are two of my absolute favorite characters from both series. They have both been through the ringer. It was amazing to finally read their happily ever after. Salvaged also included plenty of scenes and mentions of the other Marked Men and Saints of Denver characters. At times, it got rather emotional to see where all the characters currently are. While it is sad that these characters will no longer be written about, at least anytime in the near future, it is comforting to know that they are all living in safety and are happy. 

It is hard to describe my love for Salvaged without posting spoilers. It was a wild ride, but my love for these characters only grew stronger as the story continued. It was great to see the blossoming of Poppy and Wheeler's relationship while also seeing the development of the relationships between the characters in each of the Marked Men and the Saints of Denver novels. Poppy and Wheeler's relationship was beautiful and worth the wait.

I, without a doubt, loved Salvaged, but Built, the first novel in the Saints of Denver series, is still my favorite Jay Crownover novel. Poppy and Wheeler's story was fantastic, but Zeb and Sayer will always have a special place in my heart. For that matter, all of the Marked Men and Saints of Denver characters have a special place in my heart, but Built knocked me off my feet. 

My favorites in the Marked Men series are Nash (Book 4), Rowdy (Book 5), and Jet (Book 2). To give the novels a ranking after Built, I would need to reread them all, which would be a delight, but I do not have enough time to do so. Sometime in the future, I plan to revisit these characters. I have been with the Marked Men and Saints of Denver for the last two years and the journey I have had with them is unforgettable. Whether you are a long-time fan or a new one, I hope you pick up a copy of Salvaged on June 20th and devour it.













Friday, May 12, 2017

My Dream Subscription Box




The Convention Lover's Box




with a Signed Bookplate and Note from the Author!


Geekerella Summary: Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.


Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. (Via Goodreads.com)






Photo Taken from CoolBookmark's Etsy Page
This Darth Vader Bookmark Can be Purchased Here


Photo Taken from BeedooTO's Etsy Page
This BB-8 Magnetic Bookmark Can be Purchased Here





This pamphlet would feature a compiled list of upcoming conventions for various forms of media and interests. Such as bookish conventions, anime conventions, etc. It would also feature helpful tips, such as what to bring, what to do, etc.




I love simplistic boxes and I have been very nostalgic since I am unable to attend San Diego Comic-Con this year, so the Convention Lover Box would be the ideal subscription box for me. It would provide me with a newly released book that focuses on a convention or "nerdy" event. The bookmarks would also be put to good use since I love Star Wars and I am always in need of a bookmark. While the pamphlet would be time consuming to produce, I have missed out on several conventions because I had not been informed about them. The pamphlet would allow more fandom lovers to be in the loop about nearby and upcoming conventions. 

I also love the fact that the subscription box would be gender neutral because countless subscription boxes I know about constantly supply their subscribers with fandom jewelry. Many men and women do not like jewelry and catering to a larger audience would allow more individuals to try and hopefully love a subscription box. I also do not enjoy receiving bath bombs or candles.

I would love to hear about your dream subscription box in the comments below. Also let me know if you would be interested in receiving the Convention Lover's Box as well. I would love to thank Lootcrate for inspiring this post. If you are interested in gifting any subscription boxes, I highly recommend checking Lootcrate's Gift Page!




Friday, April 28, 2017

ARC Review: North of Happy by Adi Alsaid

Summary: New from critically acclaimed author of LET'S GET LOST and NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES. In the wake of his brother's untimely death, a teen chef runs away from home to find his true path in life.

Carlos Portillo has always led a privileged and sheltered life. A dual citizen of Mexico and the US, he lives in Mexico City with his wealthy family where he attends an elite international school. His friends and peers-fellow rich kids-have plans to attend college somewhere in the US or Europe and someday take over their parents' businesses. Always a rule follower and a parent pleaser, Carlos is more than happy to tread the well-worn path in front of him. He has always loved food and cooking, but his parents see it as just a hobby.

When his older brother, Felix--who has dropped out of college to live a life of travel--is tragically killed, Carlos begins hearing his brother's voice, giving him advice and pushing him to rebel against his father's plan for him. Worrying about his mental health, but knowing the voice is right, Carlos runs away to the US and manages to secure a job with his favorite celebrity chef. As he works to improve his skills in the kitchen and pursue his dream, he begins to fall for his boss's daughter--a fact that could end his career before it begins. Finally living for himself, Carlos must decide what's most important to him and where his true path really lies (Via Goodreads.com).


Release Date: April 25th, 2017

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review:
  
I was fortunate enough to read an advanced copy of North of Happy through an ARC Hop the author, Adi Alsaid, organized. Thanks again for organizing it, Adi! North of Happy is the first novel by Adi Alsaid that I have read, but it will not be my last. North of Happy is one of my absolute favorite novels of 2017 so far. It was refreshing, unique, and an all-around amazing book. If you have yet to pick up a copy of North of Happy, I highly recommend doing so.

North of Happy follows the character, Carlos, who is grieving with the sudden death of his brother. Following his graduation, Carlos unexpectedly travels to Washington state to eat at a restaurant his brother always wanted to visit. In Washington, he begins to rethink the life his family has planned for him. The plot of the story is heartbreaking and tragic, but the story itself is still fun and lively while still being raw and impactful. While I am not going through the same problems as Carlos, I was still able to relate to him. I am approaching my senior year of high school and my impending future terrifies me. I was able to relate to the hesitance he has towards his future. It was nice to be able to identify with in a book that featured a similar topic that I am going through.

The novel also featured a lot of cooking. I have never read a novel before that had a character who worked in a kitchen or avidly cooked, so the uniqueness was refreshing. I also love the Food Network, so I was instantly addicted to the involvement of cooking. The novel is also uniquely formatted where each chapter is a recipe. The chapter begins with a specific food item and its ingredients, and the "method" of the recipe is the actual story. It was amazing to see the food items tie into the chapter and to see the preparation of the food items. I cannot tell you how frequently I craved food in general or the food that was prepared in each chapter.  I was introduced to new foods and recipes I hope to try out in the near future. Warming: do not read this book on an empty stomach!

North of Happy also featured diverse content. The main character is a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States and the novel takes place in both Mexico City and the state of Washington. I have previously visited Mexico; however, I have yet to make it to Mexico City. It was interesting to read about the city and learn facts about Mexico I never knew. The novel also features mental health issues because Carlos sees and hears his brother following his death.

North of Happy featured the perfect blend of heartbreak and self-discovery with a dash of romance. If you are in the mood for a Young Adult contemporary novel, I highly recommend reaching for North of Happy. It is a quick read that remains resonant with its readers long after the last page.




Monday, April 17, 2017

ARC Review: Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

SummaryToday, he’s a high school dropout with no future. 
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.
 (Via Goodreads.com)

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Expected Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Review:

I was fortunate enough to read an advanced digital copy of Cold Summer from the publisher through Edelweiss. I had originally heard about Cold Summer from emmmabooks on her Youtube video about 2017 YA Mental Health Fiction Releases. Whenever she mentioned the plot of Cold Summer, I was extremely intrigued and I could not wait to get my hands on a copy of it. Cold Summer did not disappoint me.

Essentially, Cold Summer follows Kale Jackson, a time-traveler, who uncontrollably travels throughout time. Recently he has been coming back to a specific battle during World War II and he develops PTSD as a result. An old friend, Harper, moves permanently next door and Kale has to face his PTSD, family issues, and rekindle his friendship with Harper. Harper is also facing her own crisis and wonders if she made the right decision moving in with her uncle. The novel takes place in alternating points of view between Kale and Harper. The summary that comes with the book spoils events that occur over halfway throughout the book. So, if you happened to skip the end of the summary or decided against reading it, I would recommend not rereading the summary if you have already read it or not reading the summary if you have not read it. I would recommend deciding if you want to read the novel based on the small blurb I just provided and the remainder of my review. 

Recently, I have been extremely annoyed with the romances I have been reading in YA novels. Many of them have featured a romance that was too prevalent in the story or characters that fell in love too fast. However, Cold Summer featured the perfect YA romance. Kale and Harper's romance was prevalent enough in the story to be considered a romance, but the problems plaguing Kale and Harper were the foremost issues. Their relationship developed as the story progressed, but it never overshadowed the problems plaguing either character, which I absolutely loved.

Neither character also 'fixed' each other. A common theme throughout YA and NA literature is the fact that the main two characters dissolve each others problems. Kale and Harper were supportive of each other, but they did not 'fix' each other. They were the only ones who could appropriately deal with the issues plaguing them. It was so refreshing to see them dealing with their own issues, not trying to fix the other. 

I have never suffered from PTSD or known anyone who has suffered from it so I cannot say whether the representation was accurate or not; however, PTSD and other mental illnesses are extremely important topics and I am glad that mental health is being portrayed in YA fiction. If you have read any reviews addressing the portrayal of PTSD in Cold Summer or have read the novel and suffered from the illness, please comment below or feel free to contact me about the representation. I would really like to be informed about the topic and know if PTSD was portrayed correctly in the novel.

One of the problems I had with Cold Summer was the foundation of the novel. While the foundation of Kale's time-traveling ability was explained and made sense, the foundation for the story itself was lacking. The novel took place over the course of a summer, but it seemed to go on forever. While I rarely know what day it is during summer vacation, it seemed as though months went on but summer never ended. They never mentioned that school was only a matter of days or weeks away, only that it was coming. The novel starts at the beginning of July and after Independence Day. The novel has no grasp in time. At first I thought that the no grasp in time would make sense in Kale's point of view since he is constantly time-traveling and losing himself to PTSD; however, the same timelessness was occurring during Harper's characters and she did not suffer from either of his problems. Many readers might not have a problem with the timelessness, but it made the novel seem to be going on forever without any real end point. 

My second problem with Cold Summer ties in with my first issue: The length of the novel. While reading Cold Summer I had no idea how long the novel was, due to the fact I was reading a digital copy; however, according to Edelweiss, the novel is going to be 334 pages. It is relatively short in comparison to an average book I read, which is 500 pages, but the timelessness of the book made it drag on and a couple of the chapters were rather unnecessary. Aside from a few action scenes when Kale is back in time, there is very little action to the story. It is mainly a character driven novel, which I appreciate at times, but it dragged in a couple areas and made it a likable novel for me, not a lovable one. My issues with the novel could be fixed with another revision of the novel. These changes could have easily been changed from the version I read of the story to the finished one.

The story, the characters, the romance, and Gwen Cole's writing was intriguing enough that I finished Cold Summer in a matter of days. It was a short, yet powerful novel that deserves to have a place in bookstores across the world. I highly recommend purchasing your own copy of Cold Summer on May 2nd or borrowing a copy from a local library. Cold Summer was Gwen Cole's powerful and stunning YA debut. I cannot wait to see what she will be publishing next.