Play On by Michelle Smith
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on 2015-04-21
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.
Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma's flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius; she's also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there's something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek -- he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.
As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa’s pain, it forces him to look beyond the façade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn’t everything—maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.
I’m SO SO SO excited to be participating in the release day blitz for Play On by Michelle Smith. I haven’t read the book yet but I’m hoping to get my hands on a copy for myself very soon! I’ve seen this one be compared to Katie McGarry’s books and if you’ve followed along here at all, then you know how much I love her! Plus, I’m a huge fan of sports romances like Miranda Kenneally’s books. So to say I’m looking forward to this book is a bit of an understatement.
For the release day blitz today, I have information on the book for you guys, its Goodreads and purchase links, an author interview, and a giveaway! So check it out!
Interview with Michelle Smith
1. Play On touches on several sensitive topics. What do you hope your readers will take away from reading it?
I hope they come away knowing that illnesses do not define us. That setbacks, mistakes, scars, whatever we’ve done in the past—none of that defines who we are. That yes, you can fall to rock bottom, and you can still thrive after that fall. There’s laughter, and happiness, and hope, and love waiting for you—there’s so much love. And I hope they know that they’re worthy of that love.
It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to reach out. It’s okay to admit that you need help with this crazy life-thing. Because none of us have all the answers—we’re just doing the best we can.
And we’re all in it together.
2. What scene do you most regret having to cut?
Not really a scene itself, but one of the lines. In the original draft, Austin had an ex-girlfriend that was, in a word, vengeful. One night, Austin told her to leave, and she came back to slash his truck’s tires. After discovering what happened the next morning, his mom said, “Your breakup really brought out the redneck in that girl.” That line always made me giggle. (There’s no ex-girlfriend in the final version, by the way. She got the cut in my first round of edits.)
3. On the flip side, what was your favorite scene that got added during edits?
My favorite scene in the entire book was added during edits! It takes place toward the end and involves stars, hand-holding, and Austin and Marisa talking about what’s to come, rather than the past. It’s a sweet moment that makes me grin like an idiot.
4. Biggest writing quirk?
I have to have something on my feet, whether it’s socks or shoes. Like, I absolutely cannot write with cold feet.
5. Are you working on any new projects?
I am! I can’t say too much at the moment, but I will say that we haven’t seen the last of Lewis Creek.
All prizes US Only.
Prize One: Finished copy of Play On
Prize Two: $10 Amazon/bookstore gift card
Prize Three: Bookmarks
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.
Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.
Author Social Media Links
Website * Twitter * Facebook * Tumblr
Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London
I received this book for free from the Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Backstage Pass #1
Published by EntangledTeen on 2015-04-14
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: the Blog Tour
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble •
He never noticed her before, but now she’s all he can see…
Miles Carlisle is every teen girl’s fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn’t interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he’s interested in is not only his best friend’s little sister―and off-limits―but won’t even give him the time of day…
As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles…until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she’s outgrown both him and her pigtails. the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn’t exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested. Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback.
But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak…
I’m so excited to be a part of the tour for this book! Besides the gorgeous cover, this book was just a whole lot of fun. It’s the perfect book to take on your trip this spring or summer, the perfect book to read when you want something light and fast and fluffy and enjoyable. I definitely smiled quite a bit while reading this book and I really hope you’ll take a minute to learn more about it and add it to your TBR piles! It’s definitely worth it! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!
This book was so much fun! It wasn’t groundbreaking in any way or incredibly original but it was really fun and quick and made my teenage dreams of falling in love with a hot boy band member very happy. I’d definitely recommend this book if you are/were a fan of boy bands or musicians and love romance. Aimee and the Heartthrob was an awesomely fun way to get the inside story of how these guys live on the road and make music. And fall in love. And I loved reading about it!
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, Aimee needs a place to stay while her parents are out of town during the summer and the only place left is with her brother, who will be touring with the band Seconds to Juliet as a tech intern. He got the job because he is best friends with one of the band members, Miles, aka the Heartthrob. Before Miles joined the band, they were all friends back home. And Aimee had a huge crush on Miles. So much so that when the band started, she started a blog and made up stories about them and called herself Mrs. Carlisle and named their babies, etc. But when her brother told her how Miles (who doesn’t know about the blog) really felt about her, she shut it all down and moved on. Now she’s stuck with him again and is torn between the crush she thought was over and the hurt feelings left from the truth. But she’s living every teenage girl’s fantasy by being on tour with the hottest boy band and won’t be able to avoid Miles forever.
This book was told from the 3rd person points of view alternating between Aimee and Miles. I love books like that. I know some people will argue that it takes something away from the story but I actually like being able to get inside both characters heads and learn about their pasts and how they emotionally reacted to those events and their current situations. I really liked both Aimee and Miles. Miles, of course, is much different than he originally appears and has a lot of stuff from his past that might be surprising. Aimee is sweet but also reserved due to the pain she has experienced from some past relationships. I liked being able to see how they both warmed up to each other after being apart for so long and dealt with their own issues at the same time. Plus their voices were really distinguishable. That’s always my biggest complaint with books written this way and it wasn’t a problem for me here.
My biggest issue with this book was that sometimes the characters, especially Aimee, felt pretty young. I know she was sixteen but sometimes she felt even younger. And things like “dafuq” and “#$@&%*!” were used during her POV and I was not a fan of that. I just think there are better ways of conveying those thoughts and feelings than that. But I suppose it is somewhat realistic. Also, it was very cheesy and dramatic. I really enjoyed it but if you have problems with characters blowing things out of proportion and grand gestures, you might not like this book.
Like I said above, the very best thing about this book was just how much fun it was. I read it very quickly and just wanted to finally see Aimee and Miles confess their feelings for each other! I wanted to find out more about Miles’ past and see how they’d deal with Aimee’s brother. I also really enjoyed getting to “watch” the band’s performances. It was all very addicting. If you ever had a crush on a boy band or dreamed of dating a musician, you need to read this book! I can’t wait for the rest of the band’s books!
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
$25 iTunes gift carda Rafflecopter giveaway
Forever Now by Elise Sax
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Forever #1
Genres: Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble •
When Tess's mother abandons her during her senior year at high school, she must find a way to keep the secret and survive until graduation. She's surprised when Cruz, her crush and an aspiring model, moves in to help. Tess has dreams of studying in Paris, France and becoming a writer...impossible dreams without money or family. But as Tess and Cruz's relationship grows closer, Cruz will do anything to make sure Tess's dreams come true. But at what price?
Forever Now is the first book in the Forever young adult / new adult trilogy about finding love, living dreams, and overcoming great odds.
Forever begins now.
I thought this book sounded so interesting from the synopsis and was really excited to give it a try. Plus, it has a bunch of great reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. But this book just did not work for me. It looks like I’m most definitely the black sheep for this one because, like I said, so many people have loved it already. But the main character was so different from what I want in a book and I didn’t feel the love connection like I had wanted. I really just barely made it through this book. And now I’m disappointed and wondering if maybe I just read it completely wrong to be so far off from what other people have said about it. Still, I would not recommend this book. But, as always, you should decide for yourself if it sounds like a book you want to read.
The first, and biggest, problem for me with this book was the main character. She was awful. I don’t say that often but this girl drove me completely crazy. She was the classic damsel in distress. Her mother leaves her. And at sixteen, that is awful. I totally agree with that and would definitely put on a pity party for myself. Especially with the situation she was in. But she had also talked about how her mother was not even really a mother and she had been taking care of herself for a long time. Then she completely fell apart. And the only reason she survives without her horrible mother around is because some guy comes in and takes care of her. He literally does everything for her and she does just enough so that it doesn’t seem like she’s doing nothing. Then another friend comes in a saves her from something else. Seriously, this whole book was just things happening to this girl and then other people coming in to take care of her. And that’s fine, in real life it’s what should happen. A sixteen year old shouldn’t be left on her own. But in a book, I want a heroine that can take care of herself. I want to read about someone who will take charge. And sure, have some help along the way from her friends, but I want it to at least feel like the MC is being proactive. Things would happen and she’d just be like, ‘well, there go my dreams.’. Then Cruz would come in and fix something else and she’d be happy again for a while. It drove me insane. And then he leaves for a bit and she literally falls apart. She says she stops eating and caring about everything, stays in bed, time passes and she doesn’t remember what she’s done, and she says he made her whole and she’ll never be that again. (Cue the New Moon flashbacks.) It was not good. It was pretty much all the things I hate about MCs rolled into one. I wanted to shake her and tell her she shouldn’t need a man to make her feel whole and that she can do things for herself and she can be strong. But then I remembered everything else I’d read about her and honestly wasn’t sure if she could have survived on her own. It was really disappointing.
Another thing that bothered me was the relationship between Cruz and Tess. I just didn’t get it. She just talked about how hot he was (seriously, the hottest guy ever, future model, lickable from head to foot, super hot, etc…) and that was he’s going to be a model (really, in the book he’s going to be a model) and that’s pretty much all we know about him. Oh, and he’s a high school drop-out. So that he could work to take care of her. I don’t know anything else about him. I don’t understand why he likes Tess, why he has this need to take care of her, what he saw in her. I have no idea. I feel like this book would have been much more interesting from Cruz’s POV (he was actually doing things) and then maybe we could also understand their relationship a little bit more. They have nothing in common except that their parents left them. I wish I could understand what he saw in her and why she thought he was the love of her life (especially after some of the things he did).
Overall, I would not recommend this book. The MC made it almost unbearable. If I hadn’t received this book for review, I would have stopped reading around 20%. I still kept hoping it would get better, remembering all of those great reviews I’d read. At one point the MC does actually stand up to her mother but that doesn’t even turn out to be the climax. Just something that happens. Other people come in and still end up fixing everything. So her best moments ended up being worthless. So I recommend just skipping this book. There are plenty of other books out there about abandoned teens with dreams who actually try to fix their own situations.
I’m really excited to be participating in the monthly new release giveaways again! This time they’re hosted by Librarian Lavender and It Starts at Midnight. I love these giveaways, I hope you guys do too, and I’m so happy to be back to hosting them again. This month I have a few options available for you guys to choose from. I hope there is something here you’re interested in!
* Play On by Michelle Smith * None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio * The Girl at Midnight be Melissa Grey * Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli * Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger *
Rules for the giveaway:
- You must be at least 18 years old or 13 years old with a parent’s permission to enter.
- The contest is open to International readers, so long as The Book Depository ships to you. <—check here if you aren’t sure
- There will be one winner who will receive their choice of book shown above.
- I will contact the winner via email and they must respond within 48 hours or I will have to choose another winner.
- One entry per household.
- I’m not responsible for items that may get lost or damaged in the mail.
- I will delete entries that don’t follow the instructions. So read carefully and please don’t cheat.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by The Broke and The Bookish and allows us to combine our love of books with our love of lists. This week’s topic is: Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books.
I’m terrible with quotes. I read them, I like them, and then I forget to mark them. I always want to put them into my reviews, I love it when people do that. But like I said, by the time I’m done with the book, I forget where they are and I don’t want to go back to find them. Sometimes I check Goodreads for them, they have a pretty good setup for quotes. If not for that, I’d have no luck with this at all. I do hope to get better at this but until then, these are the quotes that have stuck with me over time. They might not all be the most inspiring, but I love them anyways.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” – Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?” – Anna Oliphant, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
“No one knows for certain the impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.” – Hannah Baker, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
“I do what I do because I will always believe that no matter how awful life gets for however many of these people, there is something I can do about it. There is something I will do about it.” – Robin Hood, Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
“Just…isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m just going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.” – Cath and Levi, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
“I know you aren’t perfect. But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”- Cricket Bell, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
“I know that the whole point – the only point – is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go.” Also “I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.” – Delirium by Lauren Oliver
“There is more to living than not dying.” – Jem Carstairs, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Even though I don’t mark a lot of quotes, it was still hard to narrow this list down to just ten. I can’t wait to see what quotes you guys came up with for this week!