The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler #BookReview #Playlist #Dreamcast #Giveaway

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 2nd 2015

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, takes some mermaid lore and mixes it with contemporary. I loved the Cove and all it’s residents knitting together to make the story.

I loved Elyse. She is from Tobago, sister island of Trinidad, in the Caribbean and has come to the cove to escape the aftermath of an accident that caused the loss of her voice. She had dreamed of making it big as a singer with her twin sister Natalie. So losing her voice also meant losing a career for her. She is kind of going through the stages of grief and we don’t really even find out how it happened until the end. She has difficulty reliving it. The thing about Elyse is that she is a very strong woman inside and she doesn’t need a voice to be so. It just takes her some time in the book for her to really understand that.

The romance with Elyse and Christian was swoony and well paced. I liked all of their shared moments because we see them become more of friends first then things develop from there.

A very strong supporting cast. I love a book that takes characters that you would think you would hate but end up loving them. That’s kind of the case with Vanessa. I also loved Elyse cousin Kirby and Christian’s little brother Sebastian (he reminds me of my 5 yr old). There are also the others that breeze in and out like Lemon, Noah and some of the other girls. It made it really feel like a close community.

There are so many things brushed upon in the book. Women rights and the right to be who you are. Family dynamics and summers of no strings attached. Small businesses and keeping original character of a small town. It was great to see these things mixed in.

The mermaid lore was really interesting too because it’s a mix of a bunch of different tales. I loved that Elyse would go with Sebastian on his mermaid hunts.That little boy really knows his stuff.

The plot is enjoyable and I really liked how Elyse finds her true voice and that some things are left appropriately open ended. This a good contemporary and definitely a perfect summer read.

These too might be a little old now but when they were younger

Maisie Richardson-Sellers

Chace Crawford

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of young adult novels, including #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens' Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, hits the shelves in June 2015.

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she's not writing or reading at home in Washington, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Visit her website at or find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.


Spelled by Betsy Schow #BookReview #Playlist #Giveaway

by Betsy Schow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 2nd 2015

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.


I’m not a huge Wizard of Oz fan but Spelled kept catching my interest. Maybe it was the sparkly shoes on the cover, I don’t know but I’m glad it did. This was a cute and funny read that kept me hooked.

It’s no secret I love a good adventure story. One that takes our characters across all kinds of lands and all bunch of crazy places. That’s exactly what Spelled does and even though it’s a retelling of Oz, there are plenty of other fairy tales mixed in as well. The world building had to be fast because the characters are always moving, giving the reader samplings of each area. I loved the way there was a mix of modern real world and fairytale land too. An ebook is an Enchanted Reader or Dorthea’s Designer Gilda dresses. The subtle and comical references to Oz make the story enchanting.

Dorthea is a spoiled brat and even though she accidently screws up the land of story and has to try to save it. She still is a spoiled brat. I liked that she didn’t just magically become good off the bat. We see her change as she spends the book running for her life and figuring out how to fix the mistake she made. Which includes finally admitting she is the one who made the mistake. There is definitely character growth with her.

The character growth with Rexi and Kato wasn’t as strong but honestly as annoying as Rexi was at times. I didn’t really want her to change. I did want to smack her upside the head every once in a while.

I have to say that Hydra turned out to be one of my favorite characters. I hope to see more of her as well and her always changing shops.

The ending wraps up this part of the tale but still leaves more to be done. I will be curious to see how things go in the next book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

I loved these survival tips at the beginning of the chapters

Maia Mitchell

Alexz Johnson

Colton Haynes

BETSY SCHOW is the TODAY Show featured author of the non-fiction book, Finished Being Fat; however she’s been mixing up real life and fantasy for as long as she can remember. If someone were to ask about her rundown truck, she’s 100% positive that mechanical gremlins muck up her engine. And the only reason her house is dirty is because the dust bunnies have gone on strike. She lives in Utah with her own knight in geeky armor and their two princesses (that can totally shapeshift into little beasts). When not writing, she acts as the Tournament Director for Odyssey of the Mind and helps teach kids creative thinking (or how to turn their toasters into robots).

Her debut novel, Spelled, comes out June 2015 from Sourcebooks. She is represented by Michelle Witte, Mansion Street Literary Agency.


No-Where But Here Release Week #Excerpt #Giveaway

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Katie McGarry's NOWHERE BUT HERE! NOWHERE BUT HERE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance and is a part of Katie McGarry’sThunder Road Series, published by Harlequin Teen. Grab your copy today!!

Nowhere But Here - cover

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An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

From Oz's Point of View. Set up: Emily has been separated from her parents and after a long night of worrying, her emotions and exhaustion catch up to her and it causes Oz to have his first fluttering of emotion for Emily. 

WIND BLOWS IN FROM THE NORTH AND A FEW pieces of Emily’s dark hair sweep across her face. One min­ute Emily’s a bright flame, then a gust snuffs out her light. Her body sways like a top at the tail end of a spin and I lunge forward.
Emily’s knees give out and her eyes roll back into her head. I catch her inches before she crashes onto the porch. She’s light as I swing her into my arms and her head circles onto my shoulder, reminding me of one of those rag dolls Violet used to play with when we were kids.
“Emily!” Eli’s on top of me, attempting to yank her out of my arms. “Open your eyes.”
Her eyelids flutter, but remain closed as her hand limply clutches my shirt. Eli rams his arms underneath mine and he makes Emily a rope in a tug-of-war. I should let her go. I should want to let her go, but then Emily goes and screws it up for me. “Oz.” 
It was a damn whisper, but I heard my name on her lips and so did Eli. His eyes flash to mine and Cyrus’s words repeat in my mind. That girl trusts you. And screw us both for that.
“She’s exhausted,” I say. “Hasn’t slept at all tonight.”
Eli’s expression hardens as he glares at me. I’ve seen Eli throw a coma-inducing punch for less defiance and I readjust the sleeping girl in my arms. A reminder if he decks me now, he’ll be putting his daughter at risk.
Temporarily surrendering, Eli cups Emily’s face in his hands and angles her toward him. “Emily, please open your eyes.”
She does. It’s barely a crack and they’re completely glazed.
“Everything’s going to be okay,” Eli affirms.
“I want my mom and dad,” she mumbles.
“You’ll see them tomorrow.” Eli pushes a strand of hair from her cheek. “You’re safe here. I promise.”
She rejects Eli by curling into me. Her head fits perfectly in the crook of my neck and I loathe the wave of protective­ness that rumbles through my body. Emily’s fingers tighten their grip near my shoulders and the impulse is to shield her from the guys gawking at this intimate scene. Yeah, this is club business, but Emily never asked for any of this.

Katie McGarry Author PhotoAbout Katie McGarry:

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 LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE 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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