The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending #1)
By Rachel Harris
Publication date: Sept. 30, 2014
Spencer Hill Contemporary, 256 pages
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you’re friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.
With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.
But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.
— Goodreads.com description
Well, I can’t relate to Aly on the surface: I am not good at being friends with dudes. I never had a lot of guy friends…only my girl friend’s boyfriends or my boyfriends’ boy friends.
But, you don’t have to be “just one of the guys” to connect to Aly’s plight — trying to get people to notice you in a new, open way is an all-out toughie. So I enjoyed the comedy and romance of watching Aly try to stumble through that.
Important to note: This book is crazy predictable. Also important to note: When I’m in the mood for a book like this, I couldn’t care less about predictability. If you’re feeling critical — ALERT ALERT — this book is not for you.
Anytime I started to think critically about this one I did get irked, as I do with any makeover story (cough She’s All That cough). I mean, if it takes a makeover (looks AND personality) for a guy to notice you, is he really the guy you want? I don’t know.
Regardless, it’s cute. Don’t think too deeply about it, and you’ll have a fun time reading it. But also don’t expect a WOW.
All right, these are supposed to be series from the past two years or so. Which was sort of hard for me to come up with, because I’m good at starting series…just not so good at finishing them. Oops!
Anyway, here’s a list of 10 new series starters I’ve been meaning to try. Here’s where you come in: I need you to tell me if there are any on this list that I NEED to prioritize. Have you read any of these?
OK, where do I start?! Help!
Can you guys believe I — the big fantasy fan — have only read one (gasp! one!) Cinda Williams Chima book? I’ve heard so many good things about her Seven Realms & The Heir Chronicles series…but I really have no excuse.
Are you a fan? Should I read them? Let me know in the comments!
If you are dying to have your own copies of these books or, like me, haven’t tried them yet — you’re in luck. In honor of the release of The Heir Chronicles: The Sorcerer Heir by Cinda Williams Chima on Oct. 21, I’m giving aways the COMPLETE Heir Chronicles series.
Yeah, major, I know.
Check below for more info — and remember to let me know what you think about these books. Good luck and happy reading!
ABOUT THE SORCERER HEIR
The can’t-miss finale to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series.
The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely. Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series.
The Sorcerer Heir is a self-contained story, accessible to readers just discovering the Heir series, but loyal fans will be rewarded by visits from characters they love (and love to hate) from the earlier installments.
ABOUT THE HEIR CHRONICLES
The Heir Chronicles series will keep readers glued to their seats through riveting fight scenes, deadly political machinations, burgeoning romance, and the unfolding intrigues of a contemporary magical world.
The Warrior Heir
The Wizard Heir
The Dragon Heir
The Enchanter Heir
The Sorcerer Heir
Praise for the series:
“Chima offers a pitch-perfect blend of high fantasy and small-town reality…” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“Chima uses her pen like a wand and crafts a wonderfully rich web of magic, while thankfully leaving some dangling threads for subsequent tales.” –VOYA (starred review)
“A smoldering story soaked in tears, sweat and blood, constantly threatening to blaze into an inferno. Spellbinding.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cinda Williams Chima is the New York Times bestselling author of The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir, The Enchanter Heir, and the four books of the Seven Realms series: The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, and The Crimson Crown. Cinda is a graduate of The University of Akron and Case Western Reserve University. She lives in Ohio with her family.
Winner receives the complete The Heir Chronicles series. Prizing & samples courtesy of Disney Hyperion. Giveaway open to U.S. addresses only.
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Publication date: Oct. 14, 2014
St. Martin’s Press, 320 pages
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.
— Goodreads.com description
There are 12 AWESOME stories in this book, and I wrote down my thoughts as I read…and I didn’t even edit them. Yeah! UNFILTERED REVIEW!
Oh sweet Jesus that is some hot stuff. Kicking it off with a bang. If the whole book is this good…gah.
I have to Google who this is. A very mysterious story and I don’t get the ending but I like it. I want to know more.
Matt de la Peña:
Sweet. Made me feel thankful, which is a very X-massy thing. Why haven’t I read his books yet? Must remedy this.
ELVES! THIS STORY IS ABOUT ELVES! What! Jenny Han, who are you?! Also: Ahhh, the heartbreak begins. There you are, Jenny. It was only a matter of time before this book took a heartache turn…so good, though. Bittersweet! Can this be a Hallmark Channel holiday movie?
Mid-book thought: Can this book please never end?
Sooooo her. Love her characters. And their makeouts.
Ahhh, it reminds me of the uncertainty that comes with being a teenager.
I should have read this book without knowing who wrote what and then guessed. This felt very Holly Black to me. Strange, but enjoyable.
Finding myself dissatisfied that short stories means so little time with the characters. But I’m enjoying that the writers still get me to latch on to them and CARE so quickly.
Another sweet one. I like that she did a boy point-of-view.
I’m running out of ways to say these stories are “cute.” Again, I want to know more about these characters!!!
I liked the Hollywood stuff. These stories are going too fast!
Again, I wish I’d read this blind. I think I’d know this was her in a heartbeat. Quirky ancient world-building.
OMG WHY IS THIS BOOK OVER I WANT 12 MORE STORIES AT LEAST.
Okay, so good. Read this. The end.
Not in the Script (If Only… #3)
By Amy Finnegan
Publication date: Oct. 7, 2014
Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 392 pages
Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending years performing on cue, Emma can’t help but wonder if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her romances. She’s been burned by heartthrobs (and the press) one too many times, but there’s something about Emma’s co-star on her new TV show Coyote Hills that is irresistible. Jake Elliott is gorgeous, smart and actually cares about Emma’s charitable foundation. But she’s sworn off on-set relationships. They always end badly . . . don’t they?
This third novel in the deliciously fun If Only romance line proves that the best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script.
— Goodreads.com description
Sure, Not in the Script was predictable, but it was also sweet and fun. And, in my book, “sweet and fun”” rules all. So there!
The romance was Disney Channel movie-esque, which may not be your thing, but frankly it’s JUST what I need sometimes. And don’t pretend you’re too cool for school and don’t know what I mean by that.
Bonus: Jake and Emma were both nice and flirty-fun and seemed like genuinely GOOD people…which you don’t get too often in books that portray Hollywood.
So I’ll keep this short and sweet, just like the book. If you’re in the mood for something sugary but not saccharine (there IS a difference), check this one out.