Love A La Mode Blog Tour: Book Review and Giveaway


About the Book:

Title: LOVE A LA MODE 

Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm

Pub. Date: November 27, 2018

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 304

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

Take two American teen chefs, add one heaping cup of Paris, toss in a pinch of romance, and stir. …

Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. But she never expected that she, a random nobody from EastLiberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent’s school inParis, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Lifein Paris, however, isn’t all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challengingcurriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes.

Henry Yi grew up in his dad’s restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong loveaffair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent’s school. He quicklyconnects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy overRosie’s growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henrylash out and push his dream girl away.

Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before whilesparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonderwhether they have what it takes to become real chefs.

Perfect for lovers of Chopped Teen Tournament and Kids Baking Championship, aswell as anyone who dreams of a romantic trip to France, Love la Mode followsRosie and Henry as they fall in love with food, with Paris, and ultimately,with each other.

Review:

This book was far more adorable than I could have possibly imagine it would be. It was a super quick read but super lovable and feel good.

From the moment Rosie got on the plane and began the journey to fulfilling her dream, I knew this was going to be the book that would put me in a good mood. Rosie’s character was just so… real. She was down to Earth, genuine, believable, and honest. The girl did not ever mess around with games or double talk. She had real emotions about baking, confident in who she wanted to be, and proud of where she came from. How can you not love a character like that? Henry was just as lovable. The boy did have small issues with not asking and assuming the worst, but who doesn’t get that way sometimes when it comes to their first love? The rest of the characters were just as enjoyable. Sure, they were a little rotten and hard to stomach in the beginning, but they were competing at a school so I cut them some slack. They really were not as bad as they were trying to make themselves out to be.

The author did an amazing job of painting me a picture of just how exotic and delicate the foods were. They sounded DELICIOUS and made me so hungry. If that was her intent, then BRAVO. This author did a wonderful job of describing everything about the food – the smells, the tastes, the texture, the colors, all of it. I felt as if I could have reached out and taken a bite, it was that well done. 

The budding romance was hands down one of the most precious I have read in a while. I enjoyed how the competition of the school did not overshadow the love connection and vice versa. It really was the right balance to make this story perfect.

Reading my review back, it sounds like I keep throwing in food references, I swear I’m not! This book really was that good. I encourage everyone to read it, I promise it will put you in one of two moods: happy and/or hungry. Maybe both?

About Stephanie:

Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of It’s Not Me, It’s You; The Taming of the Drew; Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink; Confederates Don’t Wear Couture and the upcoming The Date to Save and Prince in Disguise (Fall 2017). She grew up on the Connecticut coast, where a steady diet of Little House on the Prairie turned her into a history nerd at an early age. After graduating with a joint major in theater and history from Middlebury College, she acted her way around the country, performing in more than 25 states.

Although she was born in New York, she currently lives in Chicago, and doesn’t discriminate against any type of pizza. When she’s not writing, she loves baking, walking her dog Lorelei, taking dance cardio classes too seriously, and playing board games with her husband. Photo credit: Melissa Lynn

Website |  Twitter | Facebook | InstagramPinterest |  Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a signed finished copy of LOVE A LA MODE, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2856/?

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/26/2018- Mary Had a Little Book Blog– Review

11/27/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Excerpt

11/28/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

11/29/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

11/30/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

Week Two:

12/3/2018- Novel Novice– Review

12/4/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

12/5/2018- The Hermit Librarian– Review

12/6/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

12/7/2018- YA Book Nerd– Review

Week Three:

12/10/2018- Eli to the nth– Review

12/11/2018- BookHounds YA– Review

12/12/2018- Savings in Seconds– Review

12/13/2018- Clarissa Reads It All– Review

12/14/2018- Kait Plus Books– Review

Week Four:

12/17/2018- Book Dragon Lair– Review

12/18/2018- EatingbetweenthelinesINC– Review

12/19/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

12/20/2018- Lifestyle of Me– Review

12/21/2018- The Heart ofa Book Blogger– Review

Advertisements

ARC Review: The Disasters

The Disasters

This story was just so much fun!  I’m not sure how else to describe this other than a rocking good time. It had everything I wanted in an action packed space adventure where I happily cheered for the rejects to win.

Short recap: Nax has only ever wanted to be a pilot. He got his chance to earn his license when he was accepted to the Ellis Station Academy but his hot-shot ways and bad decisions got him kicked out. While being walked out, Nax runs into three other students that are being escorted off of the station. This was their blessing in disguise as the station goes under attack at that exact moment and they are the only students/people that escaped and lived to tell the tale. There is one problem… the people that took over the station know that a ship escaped and they have blamed the entire thing on Nax and the others. They have proof of their innocence but will they be able to get it in the hands of the right people?

I will be gushing about this sci-fi adventure for a very long time as I loved everything about this story. The characters were flawed and believable, the storyline was compelling with enough romance and heart-tugging acts to make my feels hurt, and the world-building was magnificent. Let’s start with the characters. Nax was the protagonist and I was a fan of his from the beginning. His quick witted snarky responses made me instantly like him, but it was his backstory that made me really root for him. He was the underdog that deserved to win as he constantly reminded me of a Chris Pratt-type character. Amazing. He was also biracial and bisexual – he owned that! He was confident in who he was and what he wanted, I admired that. The rest of the crew was just as outstanding and were a breath of fresh air. They were all beautifully flawed and full of faults, which made me enjoy them that much more. I loved how diverse this cast was.  There were people of color, bisexual, trans, multi-racial and more, which helped to strengthen the story. None of the characters or backgrounds were used to check a box or thrown in for the sake of conversation. They were were very well represented but never used in a derogatory way. The same goes with religion and multi-cultures. They were mentioned and discussed but never in a negative way.

The world building blew my mind. From the start I felt completely immersed in the world of Nax & crew, Ellis Station Academy, Swift Kick, and the various planets they visited. This was an excellent story where England was masterful with her “show me don’t tell me” abilities. She knocked it out of the freaking park. This was just so well done that I cannot stop thinking about it.

I really will not be able to stop saying enough good things about The Disasters. The action was non-stop and it made the story fly by. When I was not reading this, I was thinking about reading it because I just had to know what happened. If you are on the fence about this sci-fi adventure, think of it as Guardians of the Galaxy meets Firefly. This is a story you want to be one of the first to read because you will want to recommend it to everyone. Please get your hands on this book when it releases. You can come back and thank me later.

The Reckoning of Noah Shaw Blog Tour: ARC Review!

Author Bio

Hodkin Author PhotoMichelle Hodkin grew up in Florida, went to college in New York, and studied law in Michigan. She is the author of the Mara Dyer trilogy, including The Unbecoming of Mara DyerThe Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer. Visit her online at MichelleHodkin.com.

 

 

2950337_orig

Book Synopsis

Reckoning Cover Image

In this sequel to The Becoming of Noah Shaw, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, legacies are revealed, lies are unraveled, and old alliances are forged. Noah’s reckoning is here.

Noah Shaw wants nothing more than to escape the consequences of his choices.

He can’t. 

He’s sure the memories that haunt him are merely proof of a broken heart.

They aren’t. 

He thinks he can move forward without first confronting his past.

He’s wrong.

2950337_orig

Book Review

I read the Mara Dyer series because a good friend strongly recommend it. She was right. That series was fantastic! But it made me want a story from Noah’s POV. BOOM! Hodkin delivered! Now while I had some hiccups with the first book, I gave the second a try and I devoured it.

Book two picks up right where the first book left off. The way the story played out had me confused at first because it didn’t seem to fit the storyline of the first book, but everything did come together. Plus, more information was given and more questions were answered. I was absolutely on board for that!

This felt like a great growth and development for Noah, which was deeply needed. While I did tear through this book, it helped bring an added depth to his character. More of his past is discovered, uncovered, and explored. It was fascinating. I could not get enough of him and his adventures.

Are you hooked enough to want to read this? I HOPE SO! Please add it to your TBR or start reading now. Noah is one of those characters that deserves to shine and this trilogy is allowing him to do just that.

2950337_orig

Blog Tour Schedule

November 5 – The Lovely Books

November 6 – Too Fond of Books

November 7 – Downright Dystopian

November 8 – Pure Imagination

November 9 – The Book Loving Nut

November 10 – a GREAT Read

November 11 – The Eater of Books!

November 12 – My Guilty Obsession

November 13 – Arctic Books

November 14 – A Gingerly Review

November 15 – Ex Libris Kate

November 16 – Girl in the Pages

 

sara-signature11

Five Feet Apart Blog Tour – ARC Review!

 

Author Bio

Version 9Rachael Lippincott was born in Philadelphia and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She holds a BA in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, splitting her time between writing and running a food truck with her partner.

 

 

 

2950337_orig


Book Synopsis

Five Feet Apart CoverSoon to be a major motion picture starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson in March 2019!

Click this link to see the trailer! Have a box of tissues handy… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cJ7MT1RTqs

In this moving story that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives.

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

2950337_orig

Book Review

How can I begin to write the review this book deserves? I had no idea I was going to fall so hard for Stella and Will and end up fighting for them. They really do rank up there with Hazel and Gus. I hope you trust me enough to know that I would not ever say that unless it was warranted.

Stella has CF and has been fighting every day for her lungs to work. She follows her regime and knows she cannot give up hope that she will get a new pair of lungs. When she goes back into the hospital for a fever that won’t go away, she finds a new resident on the floor – Will. The chances of a teenage boy with CF being on the floor are slim to none but there he is even though he doesn’t want to be. He has a very horrific and aggressive form of CF that will be deadly if he comes into contact with other people with CF. That means he has to be kept a steady and consistent six feet away from other patients. Something stirs within Stella and she wants to help him get better. She wants to help him beat his diagnosis. Can she and still keep her health?

This was a very quick read but it was one that I won’t soon forget. Sure, I had moments when I did not like Stella’s reactions to situations but I gave her a lot of leeway since I cannot begin to imagine what she was going through. Her parents divorced and her sister is not in the picture. Stella put so much pressure on herself to keep what was left of her family together. She knew she had to fight to save her parents. Talk about too much pressure!! I did admire how mature she was about her disease. I know that may sound crazy but hear me out. She knew what she had, she knew how to protect herself from catching bacteria that may harm her, she knew that a fever could mean more than just a fever. The girl was smart and did whatever she could within her power to try to get better. Will, on the other hand, was a defiant hard-headed teenage boy that came from a wealthy family. He never wanted for anything and resented his mother for throwing money around. I cannot blame him for that either. He only wanted to be loved by his parents, not thrown in hospital after hospital. His battle was endearing to read. I found myself quickly cheering for him.

I won’t tell you everything that happens but HOLY COW. That ending tore part of my soul out. I really expected it to take a different turn but I am still in awe of what I read. This was one story that I am forever glad I read and was given the opportunity to read. I strongly recommend it to everyone and hope they give it a chance.

2950337_orig

Blog Tour Schedule

November 12 – That Artsy Reader Girl

November 13 – Vivacious Bibliophile

November 14 – A Gingerly Review

November 15 – Life of a Simple Reader

November 16 – A Glass of Wine

November 17 – Book is Glee

November 19 – Bumbles and Fairytales

November 20 – Adventures of a Book Junkie

November 21 – Jen Ryland Reviews

November 22 – Joyous Reads

November 23 – Chasing Faerytales

November 24 – Folded Pages Distillery

November 26 – Oh, Hey! Books

November 27 – Book Briefs

November 28 – Novel Knight Book Reviews

November 29 – A Dream within a Dream

November 30 – My Guilty Obsession

 

 

 

sara-signature11

ARC Review: The Chaos of Now

The Chaos of Now

 

**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.**

 

 

I have been struggling with my review for this book. I wanted to like it so much but it never clicked with me. A book about coding and hacking should be right up my alley but this story failed to prove to me it was about coding and hacking. What I read was a mash-up of several different stories… bullying, suicide, coming of age and broken families. It was almost like this story didn’t know what it wanted to be when it grew up.

I won’t do a short recap because as I stated above, this was a confusing story to read. I really expected the main focus of the story to be coding and hacking but it wasn’t. It seemed to center more around bullying and suicide – both very serious and relevant topics. However, I do not believe they were handled well in this story. I feel strongly that the message the author was trying to get across about these two topics was lost in the mess that was just too many topics crammed into one story.

The MC was a very unlikable character. I could not find one redeeming quality about him. He claimed to be this self-learned master coder/hacker but he walked around most of the story talking about how sexually frustrated he was, how much he hated his new step-mom, how upset he was at his dad, and how he was basically full of teenage angst. Pick ONE topic and stick with it. All of these elements combined made for a poorly developed story that caused me to never connect with any character or the story.

As mentioned, I felt the topics of bullying and suicide were almost skirted over. There were times the characters talked about their classmate’s suicide as a selfish act. I’m sorry, what? How about the author use this platform as a way to really talk about the subjects and make a statement. Instead, it felt like it was thrown into the story as an afterthought and a way to move the story along. I was appalled by this.

I’m sure there is an audience for this story, one that will really enjoy it, but sadly it was not me. I’m not upset that I read it but I am disappointed by what I read.

 

sara-signature11

ARC Review: Phantom Wheel

Phantom Wheel: A Hackers Novel

 

**I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as a LBYRPartner. This had no influence on my thoughts and opinions.**

 

This was one of those books that I was honestly curious to read since I haven’t read a lot of stories about teen hackers, or hackers in general. What I read was entertaining but I often became lost in the verbiage and felt as if I should have been smart enough to follow along easily. Unfortunately I’m not a coder or a hacker so when it came to all of the coding speak, and there was a lot, I had no clue what was being said.

Short recap: Six teens who had never met before believed they were being recruited by the CIA for their impressive hacking skills. If they won, they could win a college scholarship. Pretty tempting for anyone. Only one of the six teens refused to write the code asked of him, the other five wrote with no issue. It was’t until after the “testing” did they realize they were played. They were not being recruited by the CIA or any other government agency. The largest cell/technology company had these unassuming teens write code that when put together would create the most deadly virus every created. Now they have joined forces to put a stop to the virus known as Phantom Wheel from being released.

Sounds pretty amazing, no? Well, as I mentioned it was an entertaining read but it took me far longer to finish this novel then it should have. The characters were compelling, the story line was interesting, however, it was the heavy – and I do mean heavy – use of computer/tech speak that cause my eyes to glaze over. These six teens obviously knew their stuff, but making constant references to Red Hat and Linux coding was unnecessary. That meant nothing to me. I didn’t understand why it was so important. It was never explained why these coding languages were so important or what they were. It gave me the sense that I was not smart enough to understand what was going on and I am not a fan of that type of story. No reader should ever feel that way when reading a book.

That being said, there was also an enormous info-dump during the first third of the book that did not feel logical. Sure, backstory is important but it felt like overkill here. As mentioned, there were six characters but three to four POVs. That was okay as it helped give more depth to those characters, but why not give a voice to all characters? Why just those select few? Also, there were “character assessments” sprinkled randomly throughout the story but it wasn’t revealed who was compiling these assessments until the very end of the story. When the person was outed, it did not feel like a masterful reveal that blew my hair back. Instead, it caused me to say, “But… why?”

The pacing of the story itself felt a little off. There were sections that moved at lighting speed while others felt they lasted the length of the book. It was probably just me but the parts where the teens were coding felt to drag on, maybe because I didn’t understand half of what they were talking about or doing. When the story was coming to conclusion, things simply rocketed and the story was over. The ending felt incredibly rushed and wrapped up in a few pages. That did not sit well with me because it did not feel resolved. Maybe it is setting up for a sequel, I’m not sure but I know how I felt about what I read.

Overall, I was able to finish the story but this is not one I plan to ever read again. If you are curious, I urge you to give this one a try. It just did not work for me but that doesn’t mean you might not enjoy it.

 

sara-signature11

ARC Review: Otherearth

OtherEarth

 

I finished this a couple of days ago and still have mixed feelings about it. On one hand it is a very quick read and easy to get back into the story, on the other it felt unoriginal, as if it was a fanfic that combined Ready Player One and Warcross/Wildcard.

Short recap: Simon and his girlfriend, Kat, know the dark secret of OtherWorld – the creator has died and the Company is covering it all up. They also know that the patches or “disks” used to enter OtherWorld are not safe. If you die in OtherWorld, you die in real life. It is up to Simon, Kat, and two new friends to unravel the mysteries still hidden within OtherWorld before the new and improved Otherearth is released to the public.

While I loved the first book, this one suffered from Middle Book Syndrome big time. It did a good job of recapping what happened but most of the book was spent with the characters within the game of OtherWorld itself. Many chapters were spent describing new simulated characters, new Children, new worlds within the game. I felt there was just too much time spent describing things that did not matter to the overall story. Hence the reason I said this was a true Second Book.

On top of that, nothing really stood out to me. The characters did not have arcs like they should have, and if they did they were so slight that I missed it. Simon was still leading the misfit bunch of characters hellbent on discovering this secrets needed to bring The Company down. He would always walk around bold as brass in the game and sometimes in real life, but when it came to his girlfriend, he was still meek and shy. Either man up or don’t – quit going back and forth. Kat did not feel developed in this story. I knew she was there but she didn’t really stand out to me. As mentioned already, there are two new friends/characters added to the Simon/Kat team but I won’t spoil them here. Just know that they are very vague and felt like they were added for nothing more than convenience. They help the story line along but I never truly cared about them.

It is hard for me to say really what the plot of this story was about because again – vague. Most of this book is vague as if they authors were trying like hell to hook me (the reader) into sticking around for the final book. After what I read in this one, I’m not sure I will go on to the last book. This was overly cryptic for no reason I can figure out. Several ideas and concepts repeated many times over for some reason and that annoyed me. Plus, the ending made me wonder what the hell was happening because it made zero sense. NO SENSE. I’m quick to pick up on foreshadowing and repetition – this book was peppered with that. I’m not the biggest fan of books that constantly repeat themselves because it feels like filler, if that makes sense.

I’m not sorry I read this story but I am disappointed. This felt like someone read Ready Player One along with Warcross/Wildcard and decided to create their own fanfiction. The ideas within the story just did not feel original or originally done. I would read a scene and say, “Yep, that was done in RPO” or “Well, that is a scene straight from Warcross“. Talk about hurting my soul. Do I recommend this? EEEEEEHHHHHHHHHH… not really. Will I pick up the third book? That remains to be seen. As of this review, I don’t care what happens next but my mind may change by this time next year.

 

sara-signature11