Owlcrate Unboxing

“OwlCrate was created to share the joy of reading with the world. We believe in the importance of literature, and the magic of the written word. Stories help to expand our minds, expose us to new experiences, and show us that we’re not alone. But we also know that reading can often feel like a solitary activity, and we wanted a way to bring book nerds together. ” (OwlCrate).

Card

Hello everyone! It’s almost summer! School is almost over! The days are getting warmer! What better way to celebrate that then to do an unboxing from Owlcrate with the theme of “Sailors, Ships, and Seas.” For a little background, Owlcrate is service – similar to LootCrate – that ships out a package every month filled with book related items. I used to be subscribed to this monthly, but unfortunately I cannot afford it anymore. Luckily for me, this past Memorial Day, they put the past boxes on sale and I was able to buy this one!

Washi Tape

The first thing I pulled out was the mermaid washi tape. I’m not going to lie, this is one of my favorite things in this box. I am a huge fan of mermaids and so I’m super excited to decorate my new room next year with this. It’s so simple and probably not something everyone loves, but I thought it was so cute.

 

 

 

Towel

The second thing was this towel. This actually surprised me because I’m so used to knickknacks and other smaller things (like the tape). But this is a really cute hand towel and something I would want in my actual kitchen! It says it is washing machine safe too, so we’ll see how this holds up.

 

Notepads

The next thing was simple, but cute. In a previous box, I had gotten a little To-Do List from boygirlparty.com and I love it. I still use it daily and especially during finals. So even though this is simple, I think it is very cute and something I will likely use a lot.

 

 

 

 

Pin

There isn’t much to say about this little guy. He’s the Owlcrate mascot dressed up in a pirate’s costume. And it’s a pin. Cute!

 

 

 

 

 

Necklace

So this is the back (my mistake) and the front is down below. This necklace is so cute! I know not this isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re really not one to wear nerdy/bookish things on you. But I think its a really cute compass necklace. I’m wearing it right now even!

 

 

 

Book

“There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.” (Source)

Add-Ons
Along with the book, it came with a little temporary tattoo, signed bookplate, and a note from the author (which I think comes in every box). Something about this just really ties in the box as a whole. It adds something more personal from the author and I love it.
Everything
Overall, this box was totally worth it. To be honest, I think if you can afford Owlcrate, it is totally worth it. Even though its a little bit much, you’re getting a bran new book along with a bunch of other cute things. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with a box from them. On top of that, the people running the company are the nicest people ever. It just is a really nice, wholesome, awesome company. It’s a really nice present to others (or to yourself). Every time I would get one in the mail, it would make my day. So overall, I’m very happy with this box!
Where to Find Them:
Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

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Splintered

12558285Title: Splintered
Author: A. G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
Format: Paperback
Release Date:  February 18, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Summary

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers–precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.


Review

Plot:
This story is about a girl named Alyssa who is a descendant of Alice (from Alice in Wonderland). This tells the story about how Alice left Wonderland and was cursed. All the women in her family start to go mad after a certain age. However, we start to realize that maybe she’s not going mad, and that Wonderland is still with them. Alyssa is forced to return to Wonderland along with her best friend Jeb and her childhood friend Morpheus. The plot is somewhat similar to Alice in Wonderland, but not quite the same at all. It’s weird and interesting and you can’t really tell where the plot is going the entire time.

Characters:
Alyssa- I thought Alyssa was an alright female lead. She was pretty strong, but the angsty teen was definitely played up. She just screamed “emo rebel girl.” I understand where a lot of the turmoil comes from, with her mom being in an insane asylum and whatnot. But it just seems a little much at times. I also felt like it was very out of character for her to be pining away for guys. The writer made her out to be a strong independent female character, but kept having her fall back to the guys in her life.
Jeb- I genuinely did not like him. There was definitely a love triangle in this book, so I’m not sure if Jeb was a fan favorite. But I can tell you that I did not like him. He was just so controlling the entire time. Telling Alyssa was to think and how to feel. And he kept hitting on her and force his way in, all while he had a girlfriend – who by the way bullied Alyssa. So Jeb just didn’t really seem like a good friend or boyfriend at all.
Morpheus- I will say that he was a better option than Jeb. If I had to pick one, I probably would pick him. But he also just bosses Alyssa around and pretends like they have this “connection.” Although to be completely honest, teenage Brooke probably would have loved him.

Cover:
The cover is one of the things that first drew me in. I actually had no idea that this book was about Alice in Wonderland because the cover doesn’t really scream it. Bugs, leaves, and the title Splintered doesn’t really seem like the traditional Alice in Wonderland I know and love. But I thought it looked like a good young adult cover nonetheless. I like it on it’s own, but not so much for the book.

Closing Thoughts:
Apparently, I’m getting pickier when it comes to books. Either that or I’m just on a bad streak. This book wasn’t terrible, and it definitely picked up in the middle. But I was just so annoyed with the characters that it was hard to care what happened. I think characters aside, this book was really interesting. There was a lot of weird Wonderland stuff going on and it was overall a fun read. But it was missing something. Then, to make things worse, I read Marissa Meyer’s new book Heartless right afterwards. That right there is a good spin on Alice in Wonderland (which I will be reviewing on here later). So all in all, I’d say skip this one. There are even more books in this series, and I’m not planning on continuing.

Where to find A. G. Howard:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

We Are Okay

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSwlk50FdAFSkjvMR1RT6xCoiVXfDATv9OB7zqUL528hdhFwDIsrQ
First things first, Happy Pride Month from me to you! I love seeing a lot of LGBTQ positive books all over my feed for this month. This next book I just read today and I wanted to review it now because it seems perfectly timed. It is not a huge LGBTQ book (as in that is not the main point of this book) but I thought it was really sweet and real.
28243032Title: We Are Okay
Author: Nina LaCour
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: Febuary 14, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ

Summary

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.


Review
Plot: I went into this book having no idea what it was about. I saw the cover and thought it looked beautiful so I just impulse bought it. What I learned was it was about a girl named Marin who was alone and in a dorm room for winter break. For three days her old best friend (who she hasn’t talked to for months) is coming to visit. This book doesn’t really have a straightforward plot. It takes place in those three days, but it also takes place in the past. We get to see Marin and Mabel’s friendship grow and how it all fell apart. It is heartbreaking but in a very simple way. 

Characters:
Marin – While I couldn’t relate to the tragedy she was going through, I definitely related to her way of grieving. You don’t really understand why Marin is so distraught at the beginning, but you know that she is not coping well. She wants to curl up and be alone, but yet she doesn’t like being lonely. She pushes everyone away even though it hurts herself and others. I could see some people finding her angsty or dramatic, but I thought her reactions were all very perfect.
Mabel – At first, I didn’t like her. I thought she wasn’t being sympathetic enough with her snide comments. “You’re good at disappearing” she says numerous times with anger. But as the story goes on, I start to understand the situation a little more and I can understand how hurt and upset she must have been. The fact that she flew out there to be with someone who was ignoring her showed how much she cared about the friendship. In the end, I fell in love with Mabel and I wish I could be her friend, too.

Cover:
This cover is exactly what brought me in. It kind of reminded me of the Lost at Sea cover or something similar. Even though the book was small and I had no idea if it was something I would like, I just couldn’t help but buy it. It felt so nice holding in my hand. I love the art style and the color theme. Overall, just a very pretty cover. 

Closing Thoughts:
I read this book in a total of two hours. I went out on the grass in the sun and just read. I have a hard time finding the time (or motivation) to read now that I’m in college. Another thing Marin and I have in common. But this book made me miss reading again. It was so simple, short, and yet beautifully written. Some of the chapters are only a page, which hit harder than the rest. The relationship between Marin and Mabel is sweet and complicated. I wasn’t expecting it at all and I think I loved that even more. It wasn’t an overtly LGBTQ book, but it was just enough that it felt even more realistic. LaCour didn’t use it as a niche or cliche thing, but as a real look into a young budding romance. I could relate to a lot in this story, while also learning a lot about grief. Not only do I enjoy the story, but I think LaCour is an excellent writer. Definitely pick this book up if you get the chance. It’s short and sweet – perfect for the reader with not enough time on their hands. 

Where to find John Corey Whaley:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Highly Illogical Behavior

26109391Title: Highly Illogical Behavior
Author: John Corey Whaley
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Genres: Young adult, LGBTQ, Mental illness, Contemporary

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.


Review
Plot: This books is mainly a “coming of age” story about Solomon. ‘Sol’ struggles with his mental health and is extremely agoraphobic. This isn’t where teenagers like to stay in their rooms. This is a boy who has a panic attack at the thought of walking out the front door. But in spite of this, he actually isn’t that upset about it. He likes the little world he lives in, for better or worse. Then in comes Lisa. She hears about Sol and decides to make him her little project as a psychology student. This honestly really bothered me.  The fact that she takes this human and turns him into a good story for college just doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe if she had talked to him about it and made sure it was alright. Or even just his parents or another adult or SOMETHING. But she basically just decides “hey, here’s a good opportunity for some real life psychology experience” and goes for it. As someone studying psychology, this really bothered me. But that aside, it opens up the door and Sol slowly learns more about himself and starts thinking about the world outside of his house. Aside from my issues with Lisa, I thought that this was a really well written book about mental illness. You really learn to love Sol and want him to heal. I thought it was endearing and it definitely made me cry. 

Characters:
Sol- I really liked his character in this story. I thought he was a very lovable, yet sad character. I know people who struggle with very similar problems so this hit home to me. He portrays anxiety is such a real way that I loved it! He was also very aware of his issues. He wasn’t confused about his mental illness, and he knew exactly what he needed to do when problems arose. He’s also a really cute nerd and I liked that. 
Lisa- As I suggested before, I didn’t really like her. I think this was a little bit the point, was that Lisa wasn’t perfect either. She wasn’t this perfect girl curing Sol, she had her issues as well. But I just really didn’t like her throughout. She would get annoyed that Clark was spending time with “her project” and would get weirdly jealous at times.
Clark- Loved how nerdy and cute he also turned out to be. At first, I thought he was going to be this stereotypical boyfriend, but he actually was really cool and nice to Sol. He cared a lot about him in the end.

Cover:
Honestly, this is one of the best covers I’ve seen for a book. I like how he’s standing in this very black, boring room (a room in the book) and the outside is all colorful. And to me, this isn’t because the outside world is magical and better, but because it’s a lot to take in. To Sol, the world is just too much and it’s overwhelming. I felt like the cover was not only just cute, but really meaningful when looked at again. 

Closing Thoughts:
Overall, I really liked this book. It wasn’t my favorite and I wasn’t raving about it at the end. But it was cute and it told a good story. I have been really tired of the genre of “sick/dying/mentally ill teens trying to find love” and this wasn’t that. It was realistic and more about friendship than love. This is probably my favorite and more authentic mental illness work of fiction I have read. Not too dramatic, not too boring. It did take me a while to get through because the pacing felt a little strange. Not really slow, just weird. But it’s a short book and an easy read. I did cry though, so probably prepare for that if you’re a crier. 

Where to find John Corey Whaley:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Stalking Jack the Ripper

28962906Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series:  N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Genres: Historical fiction, young adult, mystery

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


Review
Plot: Stalking Jack the Ripper is a very interesting story. It reminded me of a historical ‘criminal minds’ in the way that they were trying to understand the motive and mindset of Jack the Ripper. It follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who has a morbid curiosity for the dead. There isn’t really anything wrong with her curiosity except for the fact that she is a young woman in the 1800s. She is trying to solve these murders while also sneaking around from her own family. I will say the story started a bit slow for me. I was extremely excited to read this book because there were so many elements I was interested in. But it took me forever to get through the first quarter or so of the book. I’m not completely sure why, but it was just very slow. But there was a point where things just completely sped up for me. It took me about a month to read the first 50 pages and then I read the rest in about two days. The ending wasn’t a complete surprise to me, but it definitely was what I hoped was going to happen.
Characters: Audrey Rose- Her character was fantastic! Audrey Rose had such good character development throughout the story that I really admired. From the beginning of the story, she is a headstrong and brave girl. But there are times where she seems a little naive and stubborn. It’s clear that while she means well, she doesn’t always make the best decisions. But throughout the book she goes from a stubborn girl to a brave, smart girl. There is a scene where she finally tells off her father and it was so empowering.
“Those who deserve respect are given it freely. If one must demand such a thing, he’ll never truly command it. I am your daughter, not your horse, sir” (pg. 224).
That scene just completely shifted Audrey Rose’s character for me. Not only did she have a strong mindset, but she finally stood her ground. Throughout this whole book Audrey Rose grows stronger and more confident in her abilities as – not a woman – but a person. I loved it.
Cover: The cover of the book is fairly basic for a young adult book, but it did draw me in enough to pick it up. I think the London streets in the background and the font of the title is a good fit. A girl on the cover is fairly overused, but I thought that with the knife it looked nice anyways.
Closing Thoughts: This book surprised me in the best way. In the beginning it was slow and just lacking something. I was really bummed about this because it had so many elements I was interested in. But as the story progressed, it got much quicker and more intense. I had a really hard time putting this book down once I got into it. I even had one of those nights were I stayed up way too late on a school night reading this – something I haven’t done in a very long time. I think that Maniscalco wrote this book very well. At the end of her book, she talks about what exactly was fictitious and what parts were true. I thought this was incredibly interesting because I’m actually interested in Jack the Ripper himself. I think that you should all give this book a try because it definitely was a good read! 
Where to find Kerri Maniscalco:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: April 16-29

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

April 17:

33280983Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.

When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.

Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.

Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus’s quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.

On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love. (Source)

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Girl In Pieces

Trigger Warning: This post discusses self-harm and suicide, along with other tough topics.

29236380Title: Girl In Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Genres: YA, Mental Health, Contemporary
Rating: B

Summary

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.
(Source)


Review
Preface: I would like to start this review out by saying this book is a little bit of a special case. This book deals with some very difficult topics. The main topic being severe self-injury. There is also drug use, sexual abuse, and pretty much every sad topic you can think of. Normally I don’t like to put “trigger warnings” on things, but this book can be difficult at times to read. I especially advise caution if you struggle with any of these things- especially self-harm/suicide in particular.
Plot: This book’s plot is a rollercoster of emotions. It is written in a very disjointed and weird way. The “chapters” are short, almost like journal entries. But that almost makes it seem more personal. The story starts out with Charlie being in a mental hospital after a suicide attempt. Originally, I thought this is where the story was going to take place. Surprisingly, this was only a small portion of the story. After she can no longer stay there, she moves to Arizona to be with her friend, Mikey. Thus begins the journey of trying to figure out how to live a normal life! She gets a job working as a dishwasher and meets an interesting cast of people, including the bad boy Riley. Soon she gets caught up in Riley’s troubled life and paired with her own, things don’t go so well. In this story, things just get more and more sad as the book goes on. You think it can’t possibly get any worse and BOOM it goes and gets worse. This book doesn’t leave you feeling very optimistic about life, but it is an emotional journey to tag along with.
Characters: Charlie- Charlie is just overall a mess. She starts out the story as a (selective) mute and eventually learns to speak. Then she’s a mess of trying to figure out how to be a person. It is a little bit hard to adequately review her. She’s not meant to be a good, strong leading lady. She’s constantly doubting everything and is scared of pretty much just leaving her room. She finds a way to make all the bad decisions while trying so hard to be good. Charlie is not really a hugely relateable character, but one that feels real. And I’m sure there are those out there that can relate more than I can. I could on a smaller level, but not quite to that extent.
Riley- I wanted to talk about Riley for a little bit. I hated him throughout the whole book. There was never a moment where I went “oh yeah, this is a good idea.” He was poison for even the most stable person, and stable Charlie was not. Near the climax of the book, he really shows how evil and terrible he can be and my heart just bled for Charlie. However, I understand that what Glasgow was trying to do was show the destruction of addiction. He wasn’t necessarily himself during that horrible time. And at the end of the book, she tried to give him a little redemption and show that there was hope for him. I’m just glad that they didn’t end up together somehow. It was a healthy way to have some closer. Although I did just kind of want to hit him a little bit.
Cover: The cover is definitely what drew me in. I could tell exactly what kind of book it was going to be just from the cover, and I think that says a lot. The cuts through the title really just hit me as powerful for some reason. It made me buy the book right there in the store, something I don’t often do.
Closing Thoughts: Rating this book was difficult for me. The book itself wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. It took forever to read and didn’t really keep me hooked the whole time. Plus, reading this I’ve learned that there really is such a thing as too sad. It just felt like she put every sad story/issue in this book. And while it addressed a lot of issues, it was hard to handle all in one book. In contrast, I really liked how emotional it was. I, personally, have struggled with some of the things in this book and I think that’s why I liked it a little more than the average reader. I think if you like these kinds of emotional, sad books, you’ll enjoy this book. Just take it little bits at a time so you don’t overload yourself with sadness. And I also recommend that if you are struggling with things like self-harm, it may not be the best book. It definitely is triggering at times and isn’t the best to read if you are in recovery. But I think it leaves you with a positive message in the end that is good overall.
Where to find Kathleen Glasgow:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: April 9-15

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

April 11:

25314447Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given. (Source)

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Spring Update!

update flowers 2 final

Hello all! I am sorry I have been gone for a while. I’m a college student and things got very stressful for a while. Winter quarter was not my best quarter. However, I am back to the blog and I’m trying out new things!

  • I have decided to stop rating my book reviews. I am really bad at accurately rating things because I want to give everything a good grade. Going back and looking I’ve realized I gave a lot of books much higher ratings than I should have. Now I’m not going to rate them, I’m just going to tell you what I honestly think about them. The last review I posted was written that way, and the future ones I am working on are as well.
  • I have been reading a lot of really interesting books for school and I think I am going to start a new segment reviewing specifically what I read for my school classes. Not textbooks really, but the more interesting books I was assigned throughout my classes. I won’t talk about them all (because some are real boring and not something I want to write about), but I’ll highlight the key ones that really make important points or I learned a lot from.
  • I want to work on my blog in general and make it even better for you all. I’m not totally sure what is to come, but there will hopefully be some changes throughout the year to make it even more fun!

So that being said, I just wanted to let you all know I am working on things and have many more plans for this blog. I know there aren’t many of you even reading, but I want to keep you updated!

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: April 2-8

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

April 3:

33128455Steph Bowe is back. Night Swimming is a love story with a twist, and a whole lot of heart.

Imagine being the only two seventeen-year-olds in a small town. That’s life for Kirby Arrow—named after the most dissenting judge in Australia’s history—and her best friend Clancy Lee, would-be musical star.

Clancy wants nothing more than to leave town and head for the big smoke, but Kirby is worried: her family has a history of leaving. She hasn’t heard from her father since he left when she was a baby. Shouldn’t she stay to help her mother with the goat’s-milk soap-making business, look after her grandfather who suffers from dementia, be an apprentice carpenter to old Mr Pool? And how could she leave her pet goat, Stanley, her dog Maude, and her cat Marianne?

But two things happen that change everything for Kirby. She finds an article in the newspaper about her father, and Iris arrives in town. Iris is beautiful, wears crazy clothes, plays the mandolin, and seems perfect, really, thinks Kirby. Clancy has his heart set on winning over Iris. Trouble is Kirby is also falling in love with Iris… (Source)

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