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Blog Tour Review + Giveaway | My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

I'm delighted to be a part of the blog tour for Julia Whelan's debut novel My Oxford Year. I'll confess this beautiful cover is what initially drew my eye. It's just a book I wanted to have on my shelf aesthetically. But even before I saw the cover, I'd heard of this title. It's as though it's been floating around in the ether for awhile now, what with a major motion picture already being in development. Truthfully, that level of advance hype gave me pause, as did the implied titular time constraint. Something about it fairly screamed, "Unplumbed depths of pain lurk beneath this charming cover." I was wary. But some gut instinct kicked in, encouraging me to give this one a chance. I am so very glad I did. The novel is an adaptation of an original screenplay (a fact I found out after turning the final page), and I sat with that for awhile sussing out how I felt about it. In the end, I don't think it really alters my experience with this text. I…
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Review | Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

This cover seduced me from the moment I clapped eyes on it. It is so perfect that when I saw it in person I had to actually take a moment before I could touch it. With the gold foil? And that precise shade of blush? I mean, I mounted a token resistance. But nobody was fooled. And then yesterday it was so beautiful out, right? It was sunshine and blossoms on trees and my feet told me they were just going to take me for a short walk around the city center, when what they actually did was march me right down to the nearest bookstore and over to the C section of the stacks. I didn't stand a chance at that point. We were going home together, and neither of us had any questions on that score.

Penny Lee can see the end in sight. She has her acceptance letter to UT Austin in hand, and if she can just withstand her clingy mother and her well-meaning but doltish boyfriend a couple more days, she'll be free. And so it is with equal amounts relief and trepidation that she moves into her …

Review | Any Groom Will Do by Charis Michaels

So, for the past few weeks, I have basically been on one massive historical bender. It has been rather wonderful, really. And it's probably worth warning you that the highlights are going to be making their way here over the next few weeks. The whole thing began with a Laura Lee Guhrke reread, which led to a binge of her recent books, which led to one headlong Julie Anne Long tear. Somehow, I'd only read three of her Pennyroyal Green books and inexplicably decided that was as far as I was going? Utter nonsense, that. I happily downed at least five more charming entries in the series and, somewhere along the way, I discovered Charis Michaels. For which thing I am absolutely delighted. Because Ms. Michaels has just a lovely touch. I started with her first series and moved on to her most recent release Any Groom Will Do―the first in her new Brides of Belgravia series. While I've enjoyed each of her books, this one is my favorite. Allow me to tell you why.

Willow has a plan. …

Sherwood Cover

Um. Hi. Hi, there. Did you, by chance, hear that Meagan Spooner is doing a Robin Hood retelling and that this is its cover?! I had to take a few deep breaths to let my heart slow down before I could even string words together. After the note-perfectness that was Huntedlast year, I struggle to contain my glee at the thought of what we have in store when she turns her hand to Robin Hood. As you know, I have feelings and opinions when it comes to this tale. And exactly none of them are mild. You likely know the usual suspects that make up my beloved versions. So try, if you will, to approximate the expression on my face when I read this will be a gender-bent take, in which Marian dons the hood, in which the first line of the blurb is "Robin of Locksley is dead." I feel like someone may need to start giving me oxygen at any moment. Certainly, long before this Sherwood is out March 19, 2019. Challenge accepted, Ms. Spooner. Take my money.

Bridge of Clay Cover

Oh my word. I can't quite believe it's here and happening this year! Markus Zusak's new novel Bridge of Claywill be published October 9th. This is not a drill. Here is the announcement in Publisher's Weekly. I love that he says, "Every book we write means something to us, but sometimes it comes to mean everything." It's been 13 years, you guys. Thirteen years since The Book Thief. I've longed for this next book for so long, but I don't feel any resentment at all that it took how long it did. I trust the author implicitly. Zusak (like Megan Whalen Turner) can take precisely how long he needs, and I (like Ronan) will be right here, waiting for him to tell me where to go. I am so looking forward to meeting the five Dunbar brothers and joining them in their story.
How about you? Will you be buying your copy on release day? Or will you wait for the initial reviews to come out (or your library hold to come in) before diving in?

One-Sitting Books

A little while ago, Book Riot published an article on "one-sitting books." The post was part of their Read Harder challenge and included suggestions for books you might be able to inhale in a day, should you be so inclined. Though making a habit of it would likely wreak havoc on my health, I love it when a one-sitting book reveals itself to me out of the blue, when I find myself swallowed up in a novel and it dawns on me that I'm going to be finishing it in one gulp. That, in fact, I don't really have much of a say in the matter—the characters, the writing, the sheer magic of it all have me in that much of a glorious stranglehold.

So I thought I'd share a list of titles I actually did read in one 24-hour period the very first time I cracked them open. These memories are all choice ones for me, as evidenced by the fact that the sights and sounds of where I was when I read them are imprinted in my memory. I can still feel the slats of my son's crib pressing in…

Review | Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

It has been too long since I've had a new Alpha and Omega novel in my hands. Dead Heatwas a solid entry on my Best of 2015 list, and I have missed Anna and Charles (and Bran) ever since. Burn Brightis, if you can believe it, the fifth installment in the series. So it's no wonder I began reading and instantly felt how good it was to be back in Aspen Creek again with all of Bran's crazy foundlings. By now, Patricia Briggs' books are firmly comfort reads for me, whether they're brand new or not. They feel like home. Which is probably why the dedication in this one made me tear up. I'm so glad we go on. I'm so glad words go on. And that we are connected to one another through them.

Anna and Charles are somewhat housebound in Aspen Creek since the Marrok up and took off for Africa to see a man about a horse how Sam is doing. And, in his absence, it is Charles the pack looks to for leadership, enforcement, and otherwise keeping things in line until Bran returns.…