REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas

I’m so excited to be on the tour for The Good for Nothings! This book was filled to the brim with adventure, friendship and humor! So check out my review below and enter in a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy! ♥

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Good for Nothings by Danielle BanasThe Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Cora Saros is just trying her best to join the family business of theft and intergalactic smuggling. Unfortunately, she's a total disaster.

After landing herself in prison following an attempted heist gone very wrong, she strikes a bargain with the prison warden: He'll expunge her record if she brings back a long-lost treasure rumored to grant immortality.

Cora is skeptical, but with no other way out of prison (and back in her family's good graces), she has no choice but to assemble a crew from her collection of misfit cellmates—a disgraced warrior from an alien planet; a cocky pirate who claims to have the largest ship in the galaxy; and a glitch-prone robot with a penchant for baking—and take off after the fabled prize.

But the ragtag group soon discovers that not only is the too-good-to-be-true treasure very real, but they're also not the only crew on the hunt for it. And it's definitely a prize worth killing for.

Review:

The Good for Nothings was an incredibly fun twist on Guardians of the Galaxy meets YA.  It had heart, humor and charm wrapped up in a story that was oh so fun!  This is the type of book that is impossible not to devour in one sitting.  And space pirates?!  I. Was. Obsessed!  With characters that were flawed and relatable, I found myself deeply caring for this fabulous group of misfits.  I could read so many stories about their antics together!  So if you’re looking for a book that is filled to the brim with adventure, friendship, and humor, then you have to add this one to your tbr!

We’d broken a criminal’s only rule.
We got caught.

From those first few pages, I was sucked right in.  This story started out in a situation that mixed humor and action, along with technology like nothing I had ever seen.  I was completely addicted.  But eventually Cora and her android friend Elio ended up in jail together.  And from there they met Wren and Anders.  When the four of them were offered their freedom in exchange for going on a dangerous treasure hunt across the galaxies, they were all in!  They had SO many obstacles in their way!  Including themselves.  But I adored the four of them so much.  Especially while they were trying to figure out how to work together as a team.  The storyline was a wild ride and these characters etched themselves into my heart.  So here’s a little bit about each of them…..

The only way I could steal from them was if they trusted us completely.

Cora:

My family was in the business of lying, and I could confidently say the best lies were the ones that you believed to be true.  They were the ones that you wanted so desperately; they were your first breath of air in the morning and the last before you went to sleep at night.

Cora was from a notorious crime family and her best friend in the world was her android friend, Elio.  They had the most beautiful friendship ever, one that felt like true family.  I loved Cora right away because she was brave, fierce and cared so deeply for Elio. I love that she tried her best but at times, life got in the way.  Be prepared for her to have the most random and bizarre distractions, during a crisis ha.  She was just so easy to connect with and love.  But Cora was keeping secrets and lies.  I understood the whys, I just knew my emotions were going to get tangled in the inevitable fallout.

Elio:  

Beep! Beep! Beep!”
I couldn’t lose him.  Not like this.  Not when we were so close.

Elio was the cutest android ever and was such a wonderful friend to Cora.  His heart felt so pure and I loved all of his little quirks.  Like wanting to eat and smell food, even though he wasn’t a human or alien.  He was smart and I loved how fast he was able to process things, even sarcasm *heart emoji eyes*.  Elio was someone who was not only brave but resourceful and he rounded out their little group perfectly.  He is definitely going to charm everyone that picks up this book.  There’s no way he won’t sneak into your heart.

Wren:

Wren reached under her veil and squeezed my hand.  “Together we will accomplish great, but possibly not legal, things,” she whispered.
Against my better judgment, I squeezed back.  “Aye aye, Captain.”

Wren was impossible not to love too!  She was bubbly, fun and cracked me up!  But that girl knew how to steal stuff like no other.  And she could easily steal everything in sight ha!  She was a fabulous pilot, was beyond loyal and she was someone I’d want to be best friends with and have by my side for treasure hunts and battles.  Wren’s heart of gold and bravery was commendable!

Anders:

There were too many words to describe the sensation, like the endless stars in the sky, the endless galaxies in the universe.  Even when we pulled apart, I knew that I would carry this moment, this brief little flash of existence where time and space held still and there was us – only us – with me for infinity.

Oh boy.  At first I wasn’t sure what to think of Anders, since he was so closed off.  He tried his best to keep his walls up, but when they would fall down from time to time, the peaks we would get of him *sigh*.  Yup.  I was obsessed.  When his humor started to poke through I was a goner.  Anders was brave, fierce, deadly and someone I swooned very hard over!

He didn’t need to know that whatever minuscule bit of camaraderie we had cultivated was a game that I desperately wanted to make real.

I absolutely loved the Good for Nothings!  There was a little bit of a romance going on that made me so happy!  And the moments where I got to be a part of their inside jokes, I felt like part of the team!  But deals with the devil were made.  Secrets were kept.  And impossible journeys and obstacles were around every corner.  This story even made me shed a few tears.  So if you’re looking for a story that will make you smile, laugh and get lost in then definitely add this one to your TBR!  This is the second book I’ve read by Danielle Banas that I’ve loved and I can’t recommend her books enough!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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About Danielle Banas:

Danielle Banas is the author of THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME and THE GOOD FOR NOTHINGS. She earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University, where she spent slightly too much time daydreaming about new characters instead of paying attention in class. When she isn’t writing, Danielle can be found loudly singing show tunes, spouting off Disney World trivia, and snuggling with her puppy. She lives in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

 

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BOOK REVIEW: The Mall by Megan McCafferty

BOOK REVIEW: The Mall by Megan McCaffertyThe Mall Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans...

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

Reading The Mall, by Megan McCafferty, was absolute joy. It felt like slipping on a worn-in sweatshirt and catching up with old friends, even though all of the characters and situations were new. The way McCafferty writes just invokes a lot positive feelings out of me and I always feel so deeply connected to her characters. If you can’t tell already, I loved the Sloppy Firsts series. I read them over and over again in high school. They held up when I reread them in grad school. They are warm and familiar.

The Mall continues in this way, even as it brings new characters and is set in an earlier time period (the 90s). There are a few easter eggs to characters from the Sloppy Firsts, which made me smile. But this story is unique and of its own and a great standalone novel that will appeal to current teens, as well as those of us who are bit beyond our teen years.

Troy had always loved that our names were heavily featured in Greek myths. Troy was the city fought over in the Trojan War. Cassandra was the princess of Troy, who saw visions of the future.

Clearly, I had not seen this coming.

The Mall is centered around Cassie Worthy, who is in between graduating from high school and going away to college. Her plan is to work at the mall with her boyfriend for six weeks before heading off on their next big adventure. But that plan is scrapped when her boyfriend breaks up with her and she’s left to figure out what she’s going to do next.

This bizarre and unwanted interaction was my first hint that 900,000 square feet was not nearly big enough to avoid all the people I never wanted to see again.

Cassie sets out to find a new job and eventually lands in a higher-end women’s fashion store with her former best friend. They slowly come around to each other (for the most part) but especially bond over a treasure hunt involving Cabbage Patch Dolls, basements, storerooms and maps. It’s a bit crazy and over the top, but also a lot of fun.

This made him smile, which made me smile. My parents would’ve recommended refitting a new retainer, but I liked his mouth just the way it was when it wasn’t smirking.

There’s a lot of fun and nostalgia to be had. For those of us who grew up with malls as the main source of entertainment and shopping, (Amazon did not exist my middle school days. I was also still listening to CD’s, since the iPod was still a year or two away) it was nice to go back to a different time when everything seemed shinier and simpler. My closest mall was a 45 minute drive, so it was always a day-long affair and a big deal.

I thought I’d avoided the vicious cycle of romantic mistakes, but I was no better off now than I was as the start of the summer: rejected and dejected. How could such a smart girl be so dumb?

I really loved watching Cassie grow, even if sometimes it was slower than I would have liked. But I realize she’s a teenager going through a lot of changes and expecting her to be perfect is unrealistic. I loved the summertime fling aspects and the friendships shown in the book as well. There’s a few cringe moments here and there, but I can overlook them.

If you’re looking for a fun, nostalgia-filled, trip back to the 90’s with a book that features a lot pop culture references, funny moments and a side of romance, then be sure to tie your hair back in a scrunchie and dive in.

REVIEW: The Queen by Jennifer L. Armentrout

REVIEW: The Queen by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Queen by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes the next installment in her Wicked series.

The King must have his Queen....

Bestowed the forbidden Summer’s Kiss by the King of the Summer fae, Brighton Jussier is no longer just human. What she is, what she will become, no one knows for sure, but that isn’t her biggest concern at the moment. Now Caden, the King, refuses to let her go, even at the cost of his Court. When the doorway to the Otherworld is breached, both Brighton and Caden must do the unthinkable—not just to survive themselves, but also to save mankind from the evil that threatens the world.

Review:

The Queen was impossible not to devour in one sitting!  This story was emotional and packed with friendship, love, lies, secrets and betrayal.  It was a wonderful ending to the Wicked Series and that epilogue was more than I ever could have wished for.  So don’t tell Ivy and Ren, but this spin-off is my favorite series in their world.  Plus it left the door open to future spin-offs, which I’m keeping my fingers crossed for.  So if you love fantasy, romance or Jennifer L Armentrout’s books, then you definitely need to pick this one up!

I’d always dreamed about the kind of love where someone was willing to risk everything. I never thought I’d be on the receiving end of it, but I wanted it—wanted it so damn badly.
But was that kind of love worth everything?

With that huge announcement at the ending of The King, I desperately wanted to read this book.  But when we started to learn how the fae’s lives worked, I was shocked, just like Brighton.  It all felt so hopeless.  Brighton was left with the choice of her happiness, or the safety of the world.  All the while, she was still mentally suffering from when she was held captive.  Her flashbacks were suffocating.  But Brighton was rational, strong and knew what she had to do.  Even if it meant keeping Caden at arms length and hoping her heart wouldn’t shatter in the process.

He took a small, measured step forward. “But things are different. You have me now. You have all of me.”
It felt like a knife being shoved straight into my heart. His words shouldn’t make me feel that way. They should bring me nothing but happiness.
This isn’t fair.

I. Loved. Caden!  The King, Caden, was loving, protective, strong, loyal and intoxicating.  Even though the world rested on his shoulders, there was absolutely nothing he wouldn’t do to keep Brighton safe.  He cared so deeply and purely for her.  And as we got to see all that he would do for her, it made me fall that much deeper in love with him. I was obsessed.  Caden and Brighton seemed to be embedded into each other’s hearts and souls.  So how could he choose another?  And how could she deny him the truth?  It all felt like an impossible feat.

He took my face in his hands. “You hold a part of my soul, Brighton. You are my everything. Nothing will change that. Ever.”

With the appearance of so many favorites from the previous books and series, The Queen had it all.  Tink made me laugh so much that my sides hurt.  I loved that there was lots of laughter in the pages, but there was also so much that made my heart hurt.  This book was definitely heavier on the emotional aspect, then the action.  But it still felt like there was danger around the corner.  And I just want to say, I knew it!!  This book wrapped up with an epilogue that absolutely breathtaking.  And the door is wide open for future spinoffs, since there are some unanswered questions.  So yes, I absolutely recommend this series.  Just be prepared to not be able to put The Queen down!!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & iBooks (click on titles)

The Prince   #1

Review:
Jen

The King #2

Review:
Jen

The Queen   #3

Review:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Wife by Karen HamiltonThe Last Wife by Karen Hamilton
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down.

Nina and Marie were best friends—until Nina was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before she died, Nina asked Marie to fulfill her final wishes.

But her mistake was in thinking Marie was someone she could trust.

What Nina didn’t know was that Marie always wanted her beautiful life, and that Marie has an agenda of her own. She’ll do anything to get what she wants.

Marie thinks she can keep her promise to her friend’s family on her own terms. But what she doesn’t know is that Nina was hiding explosive secrets of her own…

Thank you to Harper Collins for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

I promised Nina I’d look out for her family. No matter what, I’m here to stay. I’m becoming more convinced that it’s what Nina would’ve wanted, even if some people won’t see it that way.

This was my second Karen Hamilton book and while I didn’t love it as much as her first one, I still enjoyed it. I’d call it more of a mystery/family drama than a thriller, which seems to be a trend right now, for better or for worse.

Being here no longer feels solely about survival and loyalty; it’s about entitlement.

The story is told from the perspective of Marie, who is a very interesting character. We learn a lot about her childhood and the struggles she has gone through over the years. Some of it was out of her control and other parts are of her own doing. She has attachment issues, especially around her best friend Nina.

As with most mysteries/thrillers these days, we jump around a timeline. There’s essentially the present (which is post-Nina, as she has passed away from cancer at a young age) and the past (mostly around a certain accident and the years that followed). We learn that Marie’s ex-boyfriend died in a tragic accident and that Nina and Camilla may know more than they ever let on. We also learn that even though Nina and Marie drifted apart as Nina began to have children and Marie struggled with her own infertility, Nina asked Marie to watch out for her family after she was gone. And how Marie took that literally.

“This is going to come back and haunt you, Marie. Everyone know what happens when you play with fire.”

I struggled with if I should call Marie an unlikable narrator. She is manipulative, selfish and has boundary issues. But I also feel for her at times, even when she makes the wrong decision. It does seem like her heart is in the right place sometimes, but she doesn’t know how to act like a “normal” person would.

As I mentioned before, there’s a lot of family drama and a little mystery regarding the big accident from Marie’s past. It was a fairly quick-paced story and it kept my attention, but I could see how others could be turned off by the lack of intrigue and mystery. The ending does land a bit of a punch, but it takes a while to get there.

I’m entitled to something of my own. This is my story now.

About the author:

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy and, having now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband, she satisfies her wanderlust by exploring the world through her writing. She is also the author of the international bestseller The Perfect Girlfriend.

Keep up with Karen:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Not Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Not Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein

I am so thankful to be on this tour! I fell madly in love with this book and I’m so excited to share my 5 Star Review of Not Another Love Song! So check it out and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy ♥

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Not Another Love Song by Olivia WildensteinNot Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

An aspiring teenage singer finds herself playing a different tune when she falls for a boy who could jeopardize her future dreams in Olivia Wildenstein's romantic YA novel, Not Another Love Song.

Angie has studied music her entire life, nurturing her talent as a singer. Now a high school senior, she has an opportunity to break into Nashville's music scene via a songwriting competition launched by her idol, Mona Stone. Discouraged by her mother, who wishes Angie would set more realistic life goals, she nonetheless pours her heart and soul into creating a song worthy of Mona.

But Angie's mother is the least of her concerns after she meets Reedwood High’s newest transfer student, Ten. With his endless collection of graphic tees, his infuriating attitude, smoldering good looks, and endearing little sister, Ten toys with the rhythm of Angie’s heart.

She’s never desired anything but success until Ten entered her life. Now she wants to be with him and to be a songwriter for Mona Stone, but she can’t have both.

And picking one means losing the other.

Review:

Why did I have to develop feelings for someone who hates everything I love?

Not Another Love Song made me laugh, smile and fall in love.  From just those first few pages, I knew this book was going to be an instant favorite.  With an enemies to lovers vibe and music surrounding the story, I was mesmerized.  The story flowed so seamlessly and easily wove its way into my heart.  The relationships between friends, family and the romance……oh my gosh you guys, I found a new favorite author.  I went and added all of Olivia Wildenstein’s books to my tbr because she’s a beautiful storyteller!  If you’re a fan of young adult and romance, then you definitely need to add this one to your tbr.

Tennessee strolls by us, his gait even and so damn self-assured. The child in me wants to trip him. Not that I’ve ever tripped anyone. But if I had to trip someone, Ten would be that someone.

Music was such a huge part of Angie Conrad’s life.  She played the piano, sang songs, wrote music and her idol was a famous musician, Mona Stone.  Music ran in her blood and was woven into her life.  At seventeen, Angie felt so real to me.  Quirks and all.  Yes she was naive and insecure at times, and sometimes she saw the world through rose colored glasses.  But Angie’s heart was huge and I loved how she stood up for others.  Even when she was in the middle of an emotional mess in her own life.  Plus I loved how Angie’ thoughts could crack me up so easily, especially when it came to Tennessee Dylan.

“What about yourself, Tennessee Dylan? What sort of girls do it for you?”
“Hmm…” He lifts his hand, then runs the pad of his thumb over my chin, over the scab I camouflaged with foundation.
I think the band has stopped playing, but I could be wrong. The feel of his thumb, the smell of spice and soap lifting from his neck is confusing the heck out of my senses.
“Spirited ones,” he finally answers, voice so raspy my skin bursts into goose bumps.

The way Angie and Ten met, oh I loved it so much.  Fate can be so funny at times, I laughed out loud when they ran into each other the next time!  But you have to meet Ten, he had me from the first moment he graced the pages.  Ten stole all of my attention and I was enamored with him.  He was quiet yet mysterious.  He was thoughtful and gave me butterflies.  And he could be so swoon worthy, especially when he tried again and again with Angie.  He kept pulling me in and I wanted to know every single thing there was about him!  Ten was the ultimate book boyfriend who easily went on my favorites list!

I dip my chin and start playing it, wishing that every beat of the day were accompanied by a melody— a soundtrack to life. Music would spill from the sky, curl from the grass, and seep out of the asphalt.
Ten would hate it.
I falter and hit a wrong note.

Ten and Angie could butt heads so easily but at the same point, they meshed so perfectly.  Any time they were around each other, there was something there.  I melted when they talked, smiled when they were near each other and sighed when they didn’t fight what was between them.  So I desperately wanted to push them together.  The magnetism and connection between them was inspiring and gave me so much hope.  But there was a definite line in the sand, and my heart was holding out hope that Ten and Angie could make it work.  Somehow.

“I really wish you could make it easier for me to dislike you.”
He stops walking and pulls his shoulders back, pulls his head up.
“Why?”
Oh …
No …
I said that out loud.

Secrets, friendship, lies, love and bullying splashed across the pages.  Along with a mother daughter dynamic that was refreshing and true.  Friendships that resonated with me.  And a romance that I rooted for.  I loved this book with my whole heart, and even when I felt like I was going to cry and everything was broken, there were still so many where I couldn’t stop smiling.  Not Another Love Song was a beautiful love story that pulled at my heart, I can’t recommend it enough!

I might have to adjust my aim, shoot for the stars instead of the moon. Stars might not light up the world as brightly as the moon, but it doesn’t make their shine any less dazzling. I’d rather be a fleck of light in the darkness then not burn at all.

PS Nev.  Oh she’s a ray of sunshine and one of my favorites but I’m keeping my lips zipped about her.  Other then be prepared to absolutely love her!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

About Olivia Wildenstein:

USA TODAY bestselling author Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City and earned her bachelor’s in comparative literature from Brown University. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for the writing life, which made more sense considering her college degree.

When she’s not sitting at her computer, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, and attempting not to forget one of her kids in school.

She has a slight obsession with romance, which might be the reason why she writes it. She’s a hybrid author of over a dozen mature Young Adult love stories.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

Tour:

Catch up on the tour here.


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