Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Happiness Blog Tour, Giveaway and Review

Bryan Cohen here, guest poster and author, promoting my new book The Post-College Guide to Happiness for The Happiness Blog Tour. I'm giving away free digital review copies of the book and doing a giveaway for paperback copies, audio copies and even a Kindle Fire! Read on and check out the info below the post.

"Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you."
Hafiz of Persia How to Be Found Some people spent their entire lives looking for happiness without success. That's the path I felt like I was taking after I graduated from college. I loved the people I met working at the popular coffee shop. I loved doing improv comedy and performing in front of crowds. I even loved the grind of trying to produce shows on a tiny budget. Despite these wonderful things in my life, I wasn't happy and I felt like I would never find happiness. That's when I decided to let happiness find me. I love this quote from Hafiz of Persia, because most of us think that the "pursuit of happiness" is one-way. We are the ones looking for happiness and it is our responsibility to find this ill-defined state of being. What if, however, at the same time we're looking for happiness, happiness is actually looking for us as well? Have you ever gotten separated from a group of friends at a mall or a festival of some kind? It seems like no matter what happens, you keep missing each other until half an hour later you talk about all the places you hunted to find each other. If you had stayed where you were instead of moving consistently, it's likely that your friends would have found you sitting on that bench. Perhaps it's the same thing with happiness. We are drawn to the new exciting thing or the get-rich quick scheme or the person who we think will change our lives. These ideas and people tend to pull us away from who we are and what we are used to doing. Obviously, we need to change and grow in life, but if we don't check back with where we have been and who we are deep down, happiness may miss us. I realize that this is a bit of a metaphysical way of looking at things, but I think it's important to keep in mind the two-way nature of happiness. It's not running away from us and it's not hiding in some deep cave that we haven't discovered yet. If we think about happiness as something trying to find us, it will be much easier to track down than if we assume it's some mythical, unobtainable relic. Give yourself a better chance to find happiness by looking inside yourself to see where this joy might be looking for you. You may be surprised with what you discover.
 -- Bryan Cohen is giving away 61 paperback and audio copies of The Post-College Guide to Happiness and a Kindle Fire between now and May 7th, 2012 on The Happiness Blog Tour. All entrants receive a free digital review copy of The Post-College Guide to Happiness. Bryan hopes to give away at least 1,000 copies during the blog tour. To enter, post a comment with your e-mail address or send an e-mail to postcollegehappiness (at) Bryan will draw the names at the end of the tour. Entries will be counted through Sunday, May 6th.

Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing.

He has written nine books including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job and his new book, 1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More. His website Build Creative Writing Ideas helps over 25,000 visitors a month to push past writer's block and stay motivated. Feel free to follow along with the tour at The Happiness Blog Tour Hub Page or on the book's Facebook  Page.

My Thoughts:  
Wow, I feel happier already after reading Bryan Cohen's The Post-College Guide to Happiness. No really, I do. A few years ago I picked up the book The Secret. I don't know what possessed me to pick it up I just did. I brought that little book home and started reading, and I was completely transformed. I really was. I had been an extreme worry wart and was pretty negative on top of the constant worrying. I haven't read that book in a while and Bryan's book came to me at the perfect time. I had begun slipping back into those old habits of worrying irrationally, and the negativity was starting to creep back in.
I really love Bryan's style of writing. He is informative and inspirational while maintaining a light entertaining  tone that is easy to read. He not only talks about being happy but includes ways to practice becoming happy. In chapter 7: God and High Spirits Bryan mentions that some people might have problems with bringing religion into being happier. I have to say that was actually my favorite chapter. Obviously that is an area that I have been needing to think about at this time in my life.
I have already started recommending this book to my daughter, and I know I will be recommending it to many more people in the future.
Thank you Bryan for the pleasure of joining your blog tour, and for writing such a wonderful guide to happiness.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3/28/2012) Frost

Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Expected Release Date: April 3, 2012
Summary from Goodreads: 

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person might end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing weather and threat of monster attacks, or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and treachery just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest, a young man from beyond the Frost named Gabe, Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable. 

She saves his life. 

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in serious trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel, and her village has nothing to do with them. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him. 

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle her farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but each move she makes puts her in greater danger. Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we (bloggers) are anxiously awaiting. So what book are you excited about right now?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (3/27/2012) Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Anyway, I think Dad's right. What difference does it make what college I go to? There are idiots at Yale whose fathers get them in. There are illeterate football players at all of the state schools. Bottom line--the only thing I care about is how much my education will cost. Because Dad has made it clear that I am paying. 

Teaser from page: 91

Summary from Goodreads:
Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

Please Ingnore Vera Dietz was released October 12, 2012

Miz B hosts Teaser Tuesday every week, check her out for the official rules.  I never seem to be able to stick to the rule about only 2 sentences.
I love reading teasers so let me know where I can view yours in the comments. Have a great day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Eve Eden vs. The Zombie Horde Tour, Giveaway and Guest Post

Please note that due to publishing issues Eve Eden and The Zombie Horde is not currently available. No date has been released as to when it will be released at this time. I will update when I know more. 

Eve Eden Vs The Zombie Horde
By Suz Korb
Genre: Paranormal YA

Kidnapped by a vampire, epically farted on by a pug and dragged through the pits of Hell. Welcome to Eve Eden’s world in the small and strange town of Twin Forest.

Eve has goals. She has dreams and ambitions that don’t involve staying in this weird, podunk town. When supernatural forces collide, dropping her into the heart of England, she’s not pleased. When Eve said she wanted to get the heck out of dodge, she didn’t mean getting transported into a castle dungeon.

A hellish incident turns Eve’s hair white. She can’t explain a slight attraction to a vampire who’s been sent to kill her. Can life get any worse? Apparently it can, because just around the corner at Twin Forest’s cemetery…
waits the zombie horde. 

Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win your very own e-copy of Eve Eden vs. The Zombie Horde!!!!

Guest Post by Suz Korb
Readers really do have a neurotic love affair with books, right? Of course we do! We love books! And Nathan Kane A.K.A. the vampire, has a beyond neurotic obsession with Eve Eden. He’s positively possessed with her essence, as you’ll discover when reading certain chapters of Eve Eden vs. the Zombie Horde.

Poor Eve, all she wants to do is enter her design into the high school fashion show. Alas, she has a bi-polar vampire to deal with as well as skull chomping zombies! Not only that but the devil herself has it in for Eve. That’s right, the devil seems to be a woman by the name of Lucy who has a terrible sense of fashion. In Eve’s opinion anyway. She’d never dress herself from head to toe in red leather, thank you very much.

Eve likes to read too, but it’s not like she has time to delve into any good books lately, not with the zombie horde waiting for her around the corner at the Twin Forest cemetery! Now Eve Eden’s neurosis has been exacerbated by hellish circumstances galore!

An excerpt from Eve Eden vs. the Zombie Horde starring Thunderbug: the epic farting pug.
 After everything I've seen. After everything I've been subjected to over the past... however many days, this has got to be the most confounding experience of all.
As Nathan's lips gently (gently!) touch my own, my face burns. My eyes start to water and I don't have a clue what I should do. So I just shut my heavy lids.
I've never been kissed.
Least of all by a blood-sucking vampire!
I'm so panicked and confused my brain wanders off to the random thought of dogs. In fact, I can actually hear a dog barking in my imagination right now.
Nathan pulls away from me.
There's a rush of air between our faces now, it immediately cools my cheeks.
"Bark! Bark! Bark!"
Bark, bark, bark?
"Where did that dog come from?" Nathan says.
My eyes fly open. I whip my head around to see none other than Thunderbug bounding towards us on his little pug paws.
"That pup belongs to Bubbles!" I say with a smile. I've never been more happy to see someone else's dog in my entire life.
Turning my whole body toward the racing pug, I go down on one knee and reach my arms forward. I'm ready to catch him. At the rate he's running though, he might succeed in knocking me back.
Thunderbug leaps over a stalagmite on the floor of the cave. Then he jumps over an even higher one. Impossibly, the flat faced little scamp next flies over a ten foot stalagmite. He heads toward me, jumps in an arch over my head and I watch as if in slow motion as he crashes into Nathan's chest.
If I expected the pug to bounce off and crash to the floor, I'd be wrong.
Thunderbug totally takes Nathan down.
I barely have time to register the look of surprise on his face, before he vanishes. What's more is, Thunderbug disappears too.
No wait! Nathan's over there, in the far corner of the cave. There's Thunderbug too! How is it possible for a doggy to move as fast as a vampire? I don't know, but Thunderbug is doing so.
Actually, the pug is now flashing around the room in locations different to where Nathan is appearing. During the last flash of re-appearance, Nathan blinks into the place just behind Thunderbug's rear end.
Uh oh...
Yep. Thunderbug, lets out a gaseous explosion from his butt that is so epic, I swear I see a mushroom-cloud blast into Nathan.
He goes down. The vampire has just been farted into submission by a super flatulent pug.

Author Bio
Author Suz Korb writes supernatural comedy-horror novels with a splash of paranormal romance. The first novel in her Bedeviled trilogy, Eve Eden vs. the Zombie Horde, is a young adult adventure tale of hellish proportions.

Visit Suz at her website

Want your own copy of Eve Eden vs. The Zombie Horde? Just leave a comment to enter and I'll announce the winner next Thursday, March 29, 2012. Good Luck!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lichgates Hidden World Blog Tour and Review

“Snag Your Copy of Lichgates”: Links

The Grimoire turns its own pages and can answer any question asked of it, and Kara Magari is its next target. She has no idea what she's getting herself into when she stumbles across the old book while hiking a hidden trail. Once she opens it, she's thrown into Ourea: a beautiful world full of terrifying things that all want the Grimoire's secrets. Everyone in this new world is trying to find her, and most want to control her. 

Braeden Drakonin grew up in Ourea, and all he’s ever known of life is lying. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. He has one question to ask the book – one question that can fix everything in his broken life – and he’s not letting Kara out of his sight until he gets an answer. 

There’s no escaping Ourea. There’s no going back now. 

My Thoughts
S.M. Boyce has done an great job of bringing a fantasy world alive. Her descriptions of Ourea are beautiful and detailed without being verbose. Characters Kara and Braeden are well developed, and watching them grow as individuals was enjoyable. As with the few other fantasies that I've read there are lots of hidden messages and lessons throughout the story that could be applied to not only the characters but to the readers as well.

Unfortunately, Lichgates won't be making it to my favorites shelf. I have finally come to the realization that the fantasy genre in general is not for me. While I didn't love Lichgates I have no complaints about Boyce's writing style or plot. Lichgates is by no means a badly written book, and I would recommend it to fantasy readers. I truly believe that the reason  Lichgates fell flat for me is my own lack of love for the fantasy genre. However, if you find yourself drawn to reading about warring nations, betrayal, crazy beasts, and magic then I think you'll find yourself entranced in S.M. Boyce's Lichgates.

“Connect with Boyce” Links:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing Blitz Tour

Today only you can purchase The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing for only $2.99

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing
Author: Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
ISBN: 978-1-933353-22-7
Genre: Reference/Writing
Format: Trade paperback
Price: $16.95 print, $4.99 ebook
Pages: 180
Chapter excerpt:  

**I am currently reading The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing and so far I am finding most of the information incredibly helpful. I have a feeling this will be a book that I keep on hand every time I sit down to write a new review. I'll be posting my full review soon. **

Today only you can purchase The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing for only $2.99

Practical Advice to Remember When Reviewing
Mayra Calvani

Keep your writing style concise, direct and reader-friendly. Don’t try to impress readers with fancy words.

Whenever possible, try to specify the intended readership. Some books are specialized and appeal to only one group of people.

Stay away from clichés like “A real page-turner!” “Un-put-down-able!” It’s a pity, but even big newspaper reviewers sometimes use these expressions. You see them on the back of paperbacks all the time.

Don’t let a few typos affect your review if the book is good. Even books published by major houses sometimes have small errors.

Be advised that the most commonly preferred tense when writing a review is the present.

Read different types of reviews to get a feel of what a review should be like. Soon you’ll be able to differentiate the well-written reviews from the mediocre.

Try not to review books from family members, friends or people you know. The less you know about the author or publisher, the less chance of conflict of interest and the more freedom you have to be honest.

If you read all kinds of books, then review all kinds of books, but if you mostly read books in one genre, then it’s more sensible to only review books in that genre. Your reviews will have more insight, more ‘meat’ when you’re familiar with other authors and books in that particular genre.

Try to review books in the order in which you receive them. This will help in keeping up with deadlines and is only fair to the person who submitted it.

If you plan to review books in all categories, make sure you understand the various types of genres and subgenres. It’s embarrassing to complain in your review that a story has highly improbably situations if the story in question happens to be a parody!

Don’t be prejudiced. Don’t assume that a self-published or small press book will be poorly written. Give it a fair chance and let it speak for itself. Likewise, never assume a book published by a major NY house has to be good.

Q&A with Mayra Calvani

What inspired you to write The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing?

I wish there had been a book on how to write reviews when I started reviewing. It would have prevented a lot of amateurish mistakes from my part. Actually, on second thought, I’m glad nobody wrote such a book—that’s the reason I came up with the idea in the first place!

After several years of reviewing, I felt confident enough to put together a set of ‘rules’ and guidelines for beginners, a manual of sorts to help aspiring and beginner reviewers hone their craft. I mentioned my idea to my dear friend, author and reviewer Anne K. Edwards. She was excited about collaboration and we jumped into it. In six months we had the first draft.

Besides being a reviewer, you’re also a novelist and children’s picture book author. How do you handle negative reviews of your own books?

I once heard an author say about negative reviews: “If you’ve never received a negative review, there aren’t enough people reading your book.” That’s become one of my mantras.

That’s not to say negative reviews don’t sting. Of course they do—a little. But I always put the situation under perspective. A review is, after all, one person’s opinion, and the fact is that not everybody is going to like my book. Some might love it, others might hate it. If I can please some people some of the time, that’s enough for me.

If you read reviews of well-known books by famous authors, you’ll see a wide range of reviews, from the very good to the very bad. If famous New York Times best-selling authors sometimes get bad reviews, why can’t I? I don’t let my ego get in the way of my common sense. That said, positive reviews are definitely ego boosters! (grin)

Nowadays, many aspiring authors review books on their blogs. What are 5 benefits of reviewing for beginning writers?

If you’re an author or your goal is to become one, the benefits of book reviewing are enormous.

  • You learn about the craft of writing because you get to identify both the weaknesses and strengths of a book. You learn what works and what doesn’t, and eventually you become more apt in avoiding amateurish mistakes when you write your own books. You can do this because you’re able to look at someone else’s book objectively, something that it’s hard to do with your own writing. In this sense, reviewing can make you a better writer and a better judge of literature. This comes very handy if you belong to a critique group or serve as judge at contests.
  • Your writing becomes easier and better. Reviewing is writing, after all, and the more you write, the better it gets. Reviewing helps to hone your skills as a word builder.
  • You become familiar with publishers and the type of books they publish. This is especially helpful if you review in the genre that you write in and if you’re looking for places to submit your work.
  • You become familiar with agents and the type of books they like to represent. How do you know this? Most authors thank their agents in the acknowledgements page.
  • You develop an online presence, a platform. If you have an attractive blog where you post honest, intelligently written reviews, eventually you’ll build a good reputation as a serious reviewer and readers, publishers, authors and publicists will want to become your followers. Having lots of followers will instantly make you more attractive in the eyes of a publisher when you submit your book for consideration.

What is the difference between a review and an endorsement?

At its most basic, a review can be positive or negative, but an endorsement is always positive.
A review’s primary purpose is to inform the reader and help him make a decision on whether or not he should spend his money and time on a book, while an endorsement’s primary purpose is to help promote a book.
Also, unlike a review, an endorsement doesn’t have a certain structure that includes an opening or lead, a brief summary of the story, and an evaluation. An endorsement is simply a 1-3 sentence recommendation of a book. Often, publishers approach well-known authors to write endorsements on an upcoming title. These endorsements, or parts of it, are often placed on the front or back cover of a book.
When reviews are positive, however, snippets of it can be used as endorsements for the book. So parts of a review can be used as endorsements, but endorsements aren’t reviews.
Obviously, the advantage of an endorsement is that it is always positive, but endorsements, unless they come from a well-respected source, are viewed by readers with suspicion, especially when written by fellow authors.
The con of reviews is that, of course, they might not always be positive, and authors may not always be able to use them as endorsements. But reviews are considered a more trusted resource and, unlike the endorsement, give the reader a well-rounded evaluation of a book.

Can a freelance reviewer make a living reviewing books?

Take it from James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief of Midwest Book Review: “The only way to make money as a reviewer is to marry rich!”

How important are book reviews for the sale of a book?

Book reviews are one of the most effective tools of book promotion. In fact, some experts consider reviews the most effective tool.
For librarians, top review publications such as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, School Library Journal, etc., play a vital role in the selection of titles. Reviews are the strongest criterion for selection. While it’s true booksellers look at different criteria when making a decision about which books to stock, reviews are a tremendously useful and helpful factor, especially when in doubt or when the author is unknown. Pre-release review publications like the ones mentioned before play an important role in the selection of books, allowing bookstores to order titles in advance of their official release dates, thus making them available to the public immediately after their release. Online reviews are particularly important when selecting titles from small presses or unknown authors who often don’t get reviews in the major pre-release publications.
The fact is, most people read reviews. Reviews and readers go together like wine and cheese. Before spending money on a book--especially in the case of expensive hard covers--most people turn to reviews to get an idea of the book’s quality and whether or not there’s a recommendation. In this age of computers when almost every person has a PC at home, it’s easy for booklovers to access the Internet and read book reviews. With the rise of so many niche review sites, book blogs, and readers sharing their reviews on sites like Amazon, it’s popular to read reviews. Also, the more reviews about a book, the more buzz and exposure.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

I have always found Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and The Right to Write, incredibly inspiring.

She says: “Writing is about getting something down, not about thinking something up.”

These powerful words were very revealing to me and changed the direction I took with writing. If I have to ‘think something up,’ writing becomes something lofty, something I may not be able to grasp. I’m straining. On the other hand, if I focus on getting something down, I have a sense of attention but I’m not straining. It’s like I’m taking dictation. Or like I’m watching the movie in my head and writing down what I see.

This simple philosophy completely freed and revolutionized my writing.  

How about offering an online crash course in book reviewing?
Actually, I do teach book reviewing courses at as well as individually. Information can be found on my website at

Authors’ bios:
Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. She’s had over 300 stories, articles, interviews and reviews published both online and in print, in publications such as The Writer, Writer's Journal, Acentos Review, Bloomsbury Review, Mosaic, and Multicultural Review, among many others. A reviewer for more than a decade, she now offers numerous book reviewing workshops online. She also offers workshops on the art of picture book writing. She's represented by Mansion Street Literary and Savvy Literary. Visit her website at  
Anne K. Edwards is an award-winning multi-genre author, reviewer and editor of Voice in the Dark Ezine. Her latest novel is the suspense thriller, Shadows Over Paradise, published by Twilight Times Books. Visit her website at

Friday, March 16, 2012

Neurotic Thoughts - The Boyfriend Thief

The Boyfriend Thief
Author: Shana Norris
Release Date: April 30, 2011
Genre: YA Contemporary 
Publisher: Shana Norris
Source: Purchased 
Summary from Goodreads:
Avery James has her life planned out: this summer she'll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she'll graduate at the top of her class, and after that, college and medical school. Perfect, planned, total order.

The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah Cohen, her biggest competition for the valedictorian title, makes an unexpected offer: If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and make him break up with Hannah before the end of the school year, a check for five hundred dollars is all hers. Faced with the prospect of spending yet another summer working as a giant hot dog, it's an offer Avery can't refuse.

Zac is nothing like Avery expected. Within his chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, her total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. But just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?

The Boyfriend Thief is one of those feel good types of books. Avery has a tiny bit of OCD concerning her life since her mother just up and left. She has definitely been scarred by her mom leaving. Her dad is a a bit clueless about about how to deal with Avery, and she acts more like a mom than her dad is like a dad. I'll admit that the book is slightly predictable. The characters aren't bad but they aren't overly amazing either. I did really enjoy the scenes of Avery at work especially when it is her turn to dress up as the hot dog and dance around. Hannah Cohen is not your average mean girl she actually reminded me of Paris from Gilmore Girls without the snarky humor or dramatic fits that Paris is well known for. Zac is a pretty lovable character. I love his attitude, he is definitely what you would call a goofball. An adorable goofball. If you are in the mood for a fun, light romantic read that won't change your life but will make you smile then I think you will enjoy The Boyfriend Thief.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teaser Tuesday Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

"I've been in the Wilds for a month and a half now, and in that time I've almost forgotten about the fences. It's amazing how close I have been, all this time, to my old life. And yet the distance that divides me from it is vast."

Page 91 of the advance reader's edition

Summary from Goodreads:
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex, 
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, 
like Raven taught me to do.

The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.
Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimedNew York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.
Miz B hosts Teaser Tuesday every week, check her out for the official rules.  I never seem to be able to stick to the rule about only 2 sentences.
I love reading teasers so let me know where I can view yours in the comments. Have a great day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Neurotic Thoughts - New Girl

New Girl 
Author: Paige Harbison
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published by: HarlequinTeen
Source: HarlequinTeen through NetGalley
Summary from Goodreads:
They call me 'New Girl'... 

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her. 

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault. 

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be. 

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

The most exciting part of New Girl and probably what inspired me to finish the book was the fact that I wanted to know what had happened to Becca. I was never as taken with her as the students of Manderly Academy, of course as the reader we are privy to some of her inner thoughts and let's just say....she is not a very nice person, at all. That didn't stop me from wanting to know how she disappeared though. 

Other than that I wasn't overly impressed with this book.  I had a hard time connecting with pretty much all of these characters because I just didn't "get" them. They were mean and snotty and not at all like the teens I knew in high school or the ones that I now know.  I couldn't figure out what their motives were for their actions. My favorite character was "new girl" as she was the most real character in the whole book.  I didn't notice until the last page that we never got "new girls" name until then, I still don't know how that escaped my attention while I was reading. The only other character that made any kind of impression on me was the principal and he is only in one scene but he was pretty darn awesome! The rest of the characters were shallow and really just for the most part awful people. I didn't even really enjoy the love interests because I thought "new girl" deserved better than both of the boys that seemed interested in her. This was definitely just an OK book for me. I have a feeling it will be one of those that I forget about pretty quickly.

Just so you know: This book talks a lot about "hooking up" and contains a lot of scenes with underage drinking. 

If you know me at all you know I hate writing reviews that don't favor a book. However, when I agree to review a book I always state that I will give my honest opinion. I do like to share links to more positive reviews though because hey, everyone likes different things so I like to share other perspectives. Here are a few links to reviews that enjoyed New Girl. 

Book Whales 4.5 rating

I Heart YA Books 5 rating