Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies Book Review

Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies

By Laura Stampler

Genre: Chick Lit, YA

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Blurb

The Devil Wears Prada meets Sex and the City in a wickedly funny debut novel about a girl who lands a dream internship at a magazine in New York City. If only she hadn’t lied about being a dating expert on her resume . . .

Harper Anderson has always thought she should have been born somewhere more glamorous than her sleepy Northern California suburb. After all, how many water polo matches and lame parties in Bobby McKittrick’s backyard can one girl take?

Already resigned to working at a Skinny B’s Juice Press for the summer, Harper is shocked when the ultra-prestigious teen magazine, Shift, calls to say they want her to be their teen dating blogger for the summer. All she needs to do is get her butt to New York in two days.

There’s just one teeny, tiny problem: Apart from some dance floor make-outs, Harper doesn’t have a whole lot of dating experience. So when Shift’s application asked for an “edgy” personal essay, Harper might have misappropriated her best friend’s experiences for her own. But she can just learn on the job…right? Will the house of lies Harper has built around her dream job collapse all around her, or will she be able to fake it until she makes it in the big city?

Harper Anderson is Carrie Bradshaw for a new generation, and debut novelist Stampler writes from experience – she has been writing about dating in the Big Apple for years, most recently as a reporter for Time, where she wrote about the intersection of technology and culture, covering everything from apps to her Tinder mishaps. Inspired by Stampler’s first-hand experience not only on the dating scene, but also in the glamorous (and sometimes not-so-glamorous) world of New York City media, LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES is the perfect accessory for every girl’s summer beach bag.

My Review

I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book and am voluntarily reviewing it. This was a really cute and fun teen read! 4 out of 5 stars.

Harper Anderson is a writer for her high school newspaper who decides to apply for a summer internship in New York for a fashion magazine. She doesn’t have much experience with dating (do spin the bottle games and a horrific prom experience count?) and is applying to be the arts writer, but gets invited to be the dating writer. She probably shouldn’t have stolen her more worldly best friend’s story for her application, but Harper is determined to cram in some dates so she has something to write about.

Harper lives with a very interesting character in New York and struggles to make friends with the other interns. Luckily, she has a friend in dog walker Ben and starts becoming more lucky in love. Can she keep the charade up forever?

I loved that this book was set in New York and really enjoyed reading about Harper as a “fish out of water.” There were a lot of interesting characters- from flashy Aunt Vee to extremely ambitious Makayla. This was almost a coming of age story with Harper making some mistakes and finding out who she really is. There was a lot of character development. This book had a lot of funny parts, like when Harper gets a fake ID and is furiously trying to memorize all the details about her “character” and the other girls are acting like she’s crazy. I must say that her intermittent blog posts throughout the book were also a really fun addition to the story. I have some friends who would love to play online dating bingo!

Overall, this is a really fun read for young adults. I would recommend it for older teens, since some of Harper’s escapades are too adult for pre-teens to be reading about (in my opinion). Fans of young adult chick lit will love it!

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Outward Blonde Waiting on Wednesday

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Outward Blonde

By Trish Cook

Genre: Young Adult

Today, we are excited to feature a young adult book with a hilarious premise! We can’t wait for it to come out on October 18. Check it out!

Book Summary

Teen socialite Lizzie Finklestein has all the qualities of a trainwreck in the making.  With a physically absent father, an emotionally absent mother, and an addiction to shopping and hard partying she can’t seem to shake, Lizzie is on a certain path to destruction.  Rock bottom finally comes when one of her public drunken escapades gets caught on camera and shared with gossip sites.

Lizzie’s parents decide it’s time for a change of scenery.  They have her whisked away from her Manhattan penthouse apartment in the middle of the night and dropped at Camp Smiley, a gritty wilderness survival program for troubled teens deep in the Rocky Mountains.  Surrounded by a motley crew of campers all facing their own demons, she’s convinced she has nothing in common with these misfits.

Lizzie must learn to survive in the harsh conditions of the outdoors, including how to dig her own toilet and build a fire by rubbing two sticks together.  Lizzie feels that she’s only left with two options: get with the program, or get out of there.

 

PUB. DATE: October 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-945293-04-7

Barnes & Noble LINK: HERE

*Content and cover photo provided to us by the publicist*

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Orphan Train Book Review

Orphan Train

By Christina Baker Kline

Genre: Historical fiction, young adult

4 out of 5 stars! I really enjoyed reading this book. I particularly liked that it highlighted a little known part of history. In the early 1900′s, orphans were taken by train to various cities to find adoptive homes. However, these homes were not at all screened (how different things are today!). Orphans were mostly “adopted” to do labor for their new “parents.”

This novel switches between the present day and the past. Molly is a foster child in the current day who begins helping an older women, Vivian, clean out her attic for community service hours. Vivian is a former orphan train rider, although Molly doesn’t know it. I would’ve liked to have had a little bit more about Molly’s past story. It was a little vague, compared to Vivian’s. However, I thought it was very interesting for the author to compare and contrast “orphans” in the past and current day. If you’re interested in history or adoption, I would recommend this story. It’s a quick read that keeps your interest.

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Review of Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park Book Review

Title: Eleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Young Adult

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I expected to. I LOVED The Attachments by this author and I liked Fangirl. There was just something about this book that wasn’t great. It took me reading a few other negative reviews to figure out why, I think. I just didn’t believe the romance between these two characters. Eleanor is the new kid in school. With red hair and a strange fashion sense, she is instantly a target for bullies. Park is half-Asian, but has some association with the popular kids. He feels bad for Eleanor and lets her sit next to him on the bus. At first, he ignores her so he isn’t bullied as well, but eventually, romance blossoms.

I was so much more interested in Eleanor’s difficult home life than in the romance. Their relationship did seem sudden and I just didn’t believe that these two characters were really in love. I can’t put my finger on more of a reason why. Of course, I have been more easily annoyed by YA romances as of late. I guess I’m getting old.

This book also lacked an “I can’t wait to see what happens next” element until the very end. I didn’t have a problem finishing it, but I wasn’t sucked into it. I think maybe it didn’t have enough of a plot. Things were going on in the story but there wasn’t one main plot driving it. As there were less and less pages left, I still had no idea how it was going to end.

The ending did get exciting, but then it ended in a totally weird way. I do not like books that end with uncertainties. I can’t say too much without giving things away, but I didn’t understand why Eleanor was acting the way she did near the end. It made no sense to me and seemed to negate the rest of the book. I liked the idea of two misfits falling in love, but I didn’t like how it played out in this story. 3/5 for it being well-written.

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Vampire Academy Review

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I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. A friend recommended it with some reservations, so I had low expectations going in. Maybe that’s why I was blown away!

The whole vampire trope has been so overdone ever since Twilight. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good vampire story! It’s just that the bookish market seemed to be flooded with fang stories, leaving me sick of them.

What sets this book apart from typical vampire stories is its roots in mythology and folklore. Reading up on the author, I learned that Mead has a background education in comparative religion and spent significant time researching mythology. Her reading sparked the idea for this series, and it is very evident. The concept of moroi vs. strigoi (light vs. dark vampires), and the half human dhampirs who serve as guardians to the preyed upon moroi FELT believable. It seemed like it could actually happen. Its very plausibility is what puts it far ahead of books featuring sparkly vampires (ahem!).

The concept of the bond Lissa and Rose share was fascinating. Weighing the ethical dilemma of diving into her best friend’s head, which on one hand, is an invasion of privacy, but on the other, a method of keeping her safe, was truly interesting! I kept going back and forth between being pissed at Rose for doing it, and then also relieved since it allowed her to come to the rescue on more than one occasion.

It should come as no surprise that I LOVED the love interest, Rose’s mentor Dimitri. Kind of creepy about the age difference, and the fact that he’s kind of her teacher… but whatever. I shipped it!

Another noteworthy element in the book was Lissa’s psychological issues. She would feel so overwhelmed with emotion, that she would cut herself. Feeling that physical pain allowed her to better deal with the mental pain. The way Mead handled this topic, and expertly wove it into the story, was incredible. I never really understood the point of cutting, but Lissa’s emotions seemed to vibrate off the page. I get it now.

Another aspect of the story that I LOVED was Rose’s bitchiness. Let’s get real. There are very few female leading ladies that are allowed to be hard core, super snarky, sometimes downright mean, bad asses. Women like that are generally not likeable characters. Mead manages to make Rose kind of bitchy, but totally relatable. I was rooting for her, despite not liking her on occasion. This was very well done, and I wish more authors would write “real” characters like Rose more often.

Overall, I ended up really, really liking this book! Shockingly so! With hearing mixed reviews going in, I was prepared to feel ambivalent. Instead, I was sucked into the story and was freaking out at some of the scarier moments. I can’t wait to read the next one! (My cruel husband said I had to wait until next week to purchase Frostbite, since I spent too much money on books this week. Meanie! I want to know what happens next RIGHT NOW! Lol!)

Purchase the book HERE!

 

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Cover image obtained from Goodreads.

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