Monday, December 16, 2019

Blog Tour: Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Montlake
Publish Date: December 10th, 2019
Series: Stand alone
Source: Finished copy from publisher in exchange for honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

**Spoilers (in my opinion) in synopsis, read at your own risk!**

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.
Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.
While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

My Review:

This was the first book by Collen Hoover that I've read and it definitely will not be the last! I seriously could not get enough of it! I went into this knowing nothing about this book. I didn't read the book blurb and to be honest, I'm glad I didn't because I feel like there are huge spoilers there and I liked not knowing. 

Morgan and Clara - mother and daughter - are two if the main characters in this book, and we switch between their point of views which I really liked. I liked seeing the perspective of a predictable, comfortable mother, and her teenage daughter, and I think Colleen Hoover nailed it! (Being the mother of a teenage daughter myself, I probably enjoyed this more than some others) I loved seeing their relationship change throughout Regretting You. The two of them go through so much, and instead of leaning on each other, they find support in the ways of a and old friend and a new friend. And watching each of these relationships unfold was exciting and intoxicating at times. 

This is definitely a book review that I want to keep simple and without any spoilers, but I also want to get across to you how amazing this book is! Colleen Hoover has a way with words for sure. Regretting You was raw, intense, funny, sad, you name it, at some point, you will probably feel it. Each character is written with so much...character. They unravelled throughout the pages until the very end. 

Get Your Copy Today!
* Indigo * Amazon (CA) * Amazon (US) *

Also available to order through your local independent bookstore. 

About Colleen Hoover: 

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including the bestselling women’s fiction novel It Ends with Us and the bestselling psychological thriller Verity. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Hoover and her family founded the Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service that offers signed novels donated by authors. All profits go to various charities each month to help those in need. Hoover lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit

Follow Colleen:  

Giveaway Details:  -Canada Only (excl. Quebec—full rules found in the T&C on Rafflecopter -Giveaway begins on December 9th and ends on January 5th, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST -Winner will be drawn randomly through Rafflecopter, contacted via email & will have 48 hours to claim their prize

a Rafflecopter giveaway
A huge thank you to Colleen for writing such an amazing book, and the publishers for sending this one to me! Now I'm off to find some other books from CoHo that I can get my hands on!

\\Happy Reading\\

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Book Review: Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: October 22nd, 2019
Series: Stand Alone
Source: E-galley from publisher in exchange for honest review

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

My Review:

This was my first ever Christina Lauren book, and it will not be the last! Fun fact that I just found out - Christina Lauren is actually 2 people; best friends who write together which is phenomenal! I think that's so cool, and definitely makes me want to read more of their books.
Twice In A Blue Moon was a great read, it starts off with a before narrative in Tate's POV. She meets handsome Sam and they instantly connect. Some could even say it was love at first sight. The two of them have plans for after London, and then abruptly, it all ends. Flash forward 14 years, and Tate has it all. She's an up and coming actress who's about to film the movie that will win her awards. But as you might guess, Sam comes back into the picture and Tate wonders, can once in a blue moon actually turn into twice in a blue moon?

The writing was great, and the story was told very well. It reminded me of Emily Giffin and K.A. Tucker. The fluid story telling made it so I could pick up the book wherever I left off and continue reading without having to backtrack a few paragraphs (or pages!). Also, isn't the cover of Twice In  A Blue Moon so pretty? Now go and read this book while I check my local library for The Unhoneymooners written by this duo!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Book Review: Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

Publish Date: July 30th, 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: Shatter the Sky #1
Source: ARC from publisher in exchange for honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.
If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…
With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?

My Review:

I struggled to get into this book for some reason. I'm not too sure why, it just didn't hook me immediately. But I was not willing to give up, I knew there was something to Shatter the Sky and I'm glad that I kept to it. I don't actually read a lot of fantasy books like this so that may explain the lack of interest right away. 

Maren and Kaia, two girls in love are separated and Maren sets out in a world unknown to her to find and rescue Kaia and along the way learns so much about herself and the world she lives in. I wouldn't say that there was anything that made Maren stand out as a main character, I think I preferred Kaia and her carefree, exotic ways, but seeing as Maren was on the rescue mission, we got to follow along with her. 

I will say that once the dragons entered the picture, the story became more enjoyable and we'll see what Storm the Earth (book #2) brings us in 2020. I think overall, Shatter the Sky was a good debut but I have so many unanswered questions and a need to know more. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Book Review: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Publish Date: April 16th, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Stand Alone
Source: e-galley from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.

My Review:

I couldn't stop staring at this book cover! Seriously, isn't it beautiful!? Unfortunately, I spent more time looking at the book than actually reading it. I had such a hard time getting into this one, and I have no idea why. The reviews have been great, as of today (release day!!) on Goodreads, its a 4.14 star book but I struggled! I think it was Birdie - I had a hard time connecting, in fact, I just didn't like her! Daniel, on the other hand was likable. I found that I was reading for him. About halfway through I was a little more invested and was able to fly through the second half. The story was interesting, and fun! But I felt like there could have been a better focus on one or 2 story lines - I still have a few unanswered questions. 

In the end, I finished Serious Moonlight and a few people were intrigued while I was reading my ARC so I know that at least one person was eager to get their hands on this one thanks to me! By the quick look on Goodreads, if you've loved Jenn Bennetts other books, then chances are you'll love this one too, it just wasn't for me. Instead, I'll showcase the cover and take a quick look at it when I need all the feels that it gives me.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Book Review: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: November 20th, 2018
Series: Stand alone
Source: e-galley from publisher in exchange for honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

My Review:

The cover is gorgeous. That's what first got my attention I must say. Then it was the movie trailer that piqued my intrigue and one day, an e-galley showed up in my inbox and I was so excited.

Five Feet Apart is a heart-warming YA love story. We meet Stella, who basically lives in the hospital because of CF. She's been on this journey for as long as she can remember, and for as long as she can remember, she's been in control. She makes lists, crosses off lists, takes her medicine and everything else with care and routine. It's not until Will shows up at the same hospital, with CF that things start to get out of control. He's reckless, and cute, and not willing to let his illness control anything. Stella and Will share the same sickness but not much else. But friendship blossoms with Will's carefree attitude and Stella finds herself doing and feeling things she's never felt before. 

I must admit, there was a bit of medical jargon that had to do with CF that I had to Google. I needed to know what B. Cepacia is and how the medical vest worked and so much more before continuing so I will say that reading Five Feet Apart has made me a hell of a lot more aware of what cystic fibrosis is. So I got awareness of this awful disease if nothing else. But there is so much more to Five Feet Apart. It's definitely a book that will make the reader smile and then cry, and smile all over again. It is worth the read! And I cannot wait to see the movie! 

If you haven't already watched the teaser trailer, you can now!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Book Review: Only A Breath Apart by Katie McGarry with Excerpt and Giveaway!

Publish Date: January 22nd, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

Jesse Lachlin is cursed.
So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.
Scarlett Copeland is psychic.
Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.
Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

My Review:

"Stay, Tink." These two little words pulled on my heartstrings and from that moment on, I knew I'd fall in love with Jesses character.

Only A Breath Apart, a book about young love, curses, and deep dark secrets is yet another amazing read by the very talented Katie McGarry. How she continues to write books that make me fall in love again and again is amazing, and I was thrilled to get an ARC.

Jesse and Scarlett grew up together, and were inseparable when they could sneak about the land Jesse lived on with his gran. They climbed trees, chased fireflies and lived a carefree life when together, just the two of them. Things at home with Scarlett were not quite as carefree though and one day Jesse downright stops talking to Scarlett altogether. They go years without talking, and it's an unfortunate event that brings them slowly back together: Gran's funeral. Jesse may be able to inherit the land on which he came and went as a child and which keeps him grounded, but he has a lot to prove to some very different people.

Jesse, a young man who's been through so much in his short life has to deal with the whole farm land now that Gran is gone. It's a lot of work, but he's cut out for it. It's what he lives for. I really enjoyed this character and his commitment to his Gran and her farm. I felt like he was a loyal and kind friend with a few minor issues, but overall, I felt like Jesse was a true gentleman. I would really have liked more background on his friends, V, Leo and Nazareth though. I felt like these characters and their stories could have been expanded tenfold and it would help understanding Jesse a little more.

Scarlett, broken-hearted Scarlett. This poor young lady has been through so much heartache and it keeps tearing at her. She tries ever day to get up, go to school and be emotionless. It's just easier that way. But seeing Jesse at Gran's funeral stirs up emotions that she's not ready for, and Glory, town psychic says that Scarlett and Jesse may have to depend on each others help.

Only A Breath Apart is a book that deals with dark issues, it will make the reader cry and feel every emotion from beginning to end. Isn't that was makes a good read though, when you FEEL the book? (and also some pretty hot and steamy kissing scenes!) I'd encourage fans of Katie's other works and anyone else really to pick up Only A Breath Apart - you won't be disappointed. 

Once again, I have an exclusive excerpt for those who stopped by:

“I thought you said you were meeting Camila.”
I jump at the sound of Dad’s voice and spin in his direction. “I am.”
Dad studies me, and I hide my hands behind my back to conceal the slight quiver that could announce my guilt. When I left him, he was in good spirits, but his moods can quickly shift. There are two patched up holes in my bedroom that can testify to this. Dad replaced the drywall, covered it with fresh paint, but the perfection can’t take away the memory of the way my heart pounded through my chest as he drove his fist through the wall.
He inclines his head toward the booth of balloon animals. “Camila appears to be working.”
“She’s getting off soon,” I say too fast as I bite back the need to ask why he didn’t go home like he said he was.
“Why did you leave us if she’s still working? You said Camila would be done by five-thirty.”
My mouth dries out, and the tremble in my hands travels to the rest of my body, but I force out a cleansing breath. Show no fear. Don’t give him any reason to doubt a thing I say. “She was supposed to be off by now, but her parents asked her to work a few more minutes.”
“If Camila isn’t getting off until later, you should have told me,” There’s a subtle sharpness to his tone that causes hurricane warnings in my brain. “I was showing you a great deal of trust by letting you find Camila on your own.”
“She’s only running a few minutes late. Her parents are watching me so I’m okay.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I glance over and my heart lifts when I notice Camila’s mom watching us. Her stare gives credibility to every falsehood rolling off my tongue. She’s not watching because she thinks I need a babysitter, but probably because she’s mentioned to Camila that she’s perplexed by my father’s strict rules.
I touch the crystals on the table as if I’m interested in them. It’s difficult to act normal as Dad looks at Camila’s mom then studies me. Please believe me, please believe me. Please.
I’m so stupid. I should have never left Dad early. I should have never lied. But I did. Dad was having fun at the fair, Mom was having fun and my sister, Isabelle, was having fun. They were all laughing and smiling. They’ve forgiven him, and I haven’t. I can’t, not again, and this is one of the many ways life is no longer simple.
I want to peek at him in an attempt to understand my fate, but I don’t. Eye contact doesn’t help when he’s angry. It only makes it worse.
Being in public won’t soothe his temper. He’ll just be more discreet. Like last year when Dad had arrived early to pick me up at a football game and saw me heading to the bathroom by myself. After I had returned to my friends, he called me away with a smile on his face. He had placed a seemingly loving arm around my shoulder, but his fingers dug into my arm as he severely whispered in my ear how I was irresponsible and that it was time to go home.
Dad didn’t cause a scene at the game. The yelling started the moment we were alone in his car and continued until he left me in my room. I stayed on my bed for hours, curled up in a ball and sobbing.
My throat swells as I think of how this will play out. Will it be like Christmas? Will he throw a lamp and force Mom to clean it up as I watch? Or will it be like this past spring and he’ll flip the kitchen table, breaking all the dishes that had been placed there for dinner?
Dad steps closer to me, and I’m filled with dread. “Next time, in a situation like this, you return to me and have Camila text you when she’s done working. I don’t like the idea of you being alone.”
All I want is to be alone, for my thoughts and actions to belong only to me. But he’s not angry, he’s believing me, and I release a breath I had unknowingly held and take the small win. 

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*For your chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift card*

A HUGE thank you to Katie McGarry and her team at InkSlinger / Tor Teen for allowing me to take part in the cover reveals, excerpt reveals and for providing me the ARC for the review and giveaway. I'm so lucky to be part of such a great network!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Only A Breath Apart - EXCERPT REVEAL!

Would you dare to defy destiny?Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. “Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART will be available on all retailers on January 22, 2019!

Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.
Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.
Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no.Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.

Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.”
―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series

Add it to your Goodreads today!

The Excerpt:

 I’m defying my parents by attending a funeral. Reckless and adventurous teenage behavior, I know. Most seventeen-year-olds lie to their parents so they can go on a date with a forbidden boy or attend a party where there will be questionable behavior. Me? I’m outright lying to my dad, and it’s because Jesse Lachlin’s grandmother died.
The entire way here I’ve questioned my sanity, but I don’t know how I’d live with myself if I stayed home. Jesse Lachlin used to be my childhood best friend. We were inseparable. We had the type of friendship people strive to have, and then, a few years ago, he cut me so deeply that I still bleed. But ten-year-old me would have never abandoned a hurting Jesse. So today I’m not only honoring the memory of Jesse’s grandmother, but also the memory of our dead friendship.
On my way to the funeral, the high grass of the field swats at my legs, but I don’t mind the sting. I love walking barefoot in grass, I love the smell of the earth and I love that brief feeling of freedom open spaces can provide.
It’s the dog days of August. The type of hot that starts when the sun rises and makes you sweat through your clothes within minutes. While my skin and palms are on fire, the pads of my feet are cool against the dirt. The heat is unwelcome, but the sky is deep blue and the sun is bright, and for that, I can be grateful.
Walking out of the field, I stop short of crossing the one-lane road to slip on the flats that dangle from my fingertips. My mother would be mortified if she knew I was entering a church in a cotton daisy-print sundress. It’s not one of the dresses with stiff fabric and impossible back zippers she would have picked for me at an overpriced department store. It’s the type that’s machine-washable and breathable. The type of dress Jesse’s grandmother would have given her stamp of approval.
I can practically hear my mother heavily sigh and mumble my name, Scarlett, as if it were her personal, private curse word. Mom believes there’s a certain way to dress and behave, and I’m breaking all sorts of her rules today. Watch out, world. I’m officially rebellious.
I smile to myself because I’m the opposite of rebellious. For the last few years, I’ve followed every rule. I’m the teacher’s pet and the girl with straight A’s. I’m the poster child of perfection, and have earned every snarky ice princess comment Jesse’s friends whisper about me in the school hallways because he and I no longer speak.
There are only six cars in the parking lot of the white church, and that makes me frown. I thought more people would have wanted to attend. Jesse’s mud-covered pickup is there, and so is an unnaturally clean black Mercedes that belongs to his uncle. This ought to be interesting. Jesse and his uncle have a mutual hate for each other that runs deeper than any root of any tree.
Movement to my right and I slowly turn my head. Shivers run down my spine at the sight of Glory Gardner. Even though I’m seventeen and too old for ghost stories, I still can’t shake the ones regarding this woman. Girls would whisper over lunch boxes that Glory was a witch. As I grew older, I understood that witch meant con artist. She claims she can read palms, tarot cards and “sees” spirits from beyond the dead. All for a glorious fee.
She’s a beautiful woman—long dirty blond hair that’s untamed, even in a bun, and she has an eclectic taste in clothing. Today she wears a white peasant shirt and a flowing skirt made of material that shimmers in the sun.
Glory watches me like I watch her, with morbid curiosity. I knew her as a child, back when Jesse and I ran wild in the fields near her home, but we haven’t talked in years.
She stands under the shade of a towering weeping willow. There are lots of those trees around here. Mom says it’s because there is too much water in the ground. I say it’s because the people in this town have cried too many tears. Mom doesn’t like my answer.
I tilt my head toward the church, an unspoken question if Glory will be joining me. She shakes her head no. I’m not shocked. According to rumors, Glory will go up in flames if she enters the house of God. But who knows? Maybe I will, too.
The church is one of those picturesque, historical, one-room school buildings squeezed between a cornfield on one side and a hay field on the other. A huge steeple with a bell attempts to reach the heavens, but like anything created by a human, it falls tragically short.
The foreboding wooden door makes no noise as I open it, and I’m able to slip in without a huge, squeaking announcement. Orange light filters in through the dark stained glass windows, and its struggling beams reveal millions of dancing particles of dust.
On the altar, there’s no casket, but there is an urn. My heart dips—Suzanne is dead. I used to wish she were my grandmother, and many times, she treated me as if I belonged to her. Suzanne was the epitome of love, and the world feels colder now that she’s gone.
Choosing a spot in the back, I drop into a pew, and as I scan the church my stomach churns. How is it possible that this place is so barren?
Besides the Funeral Brigade, or the FB, as I like to refer to them, there aren’t many people here. The FB are the older group of woman who attend every funeral in our small town even if they didn’t know the person. Attending funerals isn’t my idea of fun, but who am I to judge?
The FB sit directly behind the one person the town believes to be the lone sane member of the Lachlin family, probably because he isn’t blood related—Jesse’s uncle.
On the left side of the church is Jesse. Only Jesse. And that causes a painful pang in my chest. Where are his stinking friends? The anarchists in training who follow Jesse wherever he goes? Where is the rest of the town? Yes, Suzanne was polarizing, but still, where is any respect?
Quietly, so I don’t draw attention to myself, I slip from the right set of pews to the left. Someone should be on Jesse’s side, and it’s sad it has to be me.
A door at the front of the church opens, and the pastor walks out from the addition the church build on as a small office ten years ago. I would have thought any pastor assigned to this place would be as ancient as this church. Sort of like an Indiana Jones Knights Templar scenario where he lives forever as long as he stays inside. But no, he’s the youngest pastor from the main, newer church in town. His name is Pastor Hughes, and he’s a thirty-something black man with a fit build who is just cute enough that he should be starring in a movie.
The pastor looks up, and he flinches as if startled. I peek over my shoulder then sigh. Clearly, he’s surprised to see me. Flipping fantastic.
His reaction, and the fact he won’t stop staring, causes every person to turn their heads. Lovely. I’ve had dreams like this where I enter a room and become the center of attention. Only in my dreams it’s at school, it’s my classmates and I’m naked, but still, this is disconcerting.
Eventually, the FB and Jesse’s uncle return their attention to the front, but Jesse doesn’t. He rests his arm on the back of the pew, and it’s hard to ignore that he’s made me his sole focus, but I do my best to act as if I don’t notice.
To help, I concentrate on what my mom taught me as a child—to make sure the skirt of my dress is tucked appropriately so that my thighs don’t show. I then fold my hands in my lap and straighten to a book-on-head posture. I can be the ice princess people claim me to be.
Five pews separate me and Jesse, and it’s not nearly enough. My cheeks burn under his continued inspection. Jesse has done this a handful of times since our freshman year. Glance at me as if I’m someone worth looking at, someone worth laughing with a little too loud and smiling with a little too much. Then he remembers who I am and snaps his gaze to someone else.
But he’s not looking away now.


Katie McGarry Bio:
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITSDARE YOU TOCRASH INTO YOUTAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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