Review: New Year’s Kiss

Title: New Year’s Kiss
Author: Lee Matthews
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Underlined
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A fun and upbeat paperback original romance about a girl who has a New Year’s resolution to make the coming year epic in every way—and is willing to put herself out there for love.

Tess and her opinionated older sister Lauren are spending the week after Christmas at the snowy Evergreen Lodge in Vermont and they aren’t happy about it. Their stern grandmother, who owns the holiday resort, is not known for her warmth and good humor. But when shy, straight-laced Tess meets Christopher in the lobby, things are suddenly looking up. And when she decides to get out of her comfort zone and create a bucket list of things to accomplish before the New Year-like singing in public and skiing a black-diamond slope-Christopher is happy to help, even as he keeps a secret that could turn everything upside down. When the ball drops, will Tess and Christopher share a magical kiss-or will Tess start the new year off alone?


Sixteen-year-old Tess and her older sister Lauren are sent to stay with their grandmother at her ski resort after Christmas. Their parents are getting divorced, so they want the girls to spend some time with their grandmother over the holidays. Lauren wants to take chances and deviate from the schedule that their grandmother plans, while Tess always follows the rules. When Tess meets Christopher, a guest at the resort, they create a bucket list of things she wants to do to get outside of her comfort zone before the new year. However, Christopher has a secret that could ruin their new friendship.

This was a cute New Year’s Eve story. It was set during the days after Christmas and until New Year’s Eve. I haven’t read a story that had a theme around the New Year like this before. Rather than make resolutions for the new year, Tess wanted to do some new things before the year ended. Some of these things were sing in public, wear high heels, and talk to a stranger.

The only thing I didn’t really like about this book was the ending, when Tess was close to completing her list. This may be a bit of a spoiler but there was a reason that she couldn’t do a couple of items on the list. She learned something about herself, which made it so she couldn’t do one of the tasks and I think she should have known about it before. It felt like the story was written into a corner and something had to be made up to add some tension at the end.

This was a short, cute holiday story.

What to read next:

All I Want for Christmas by Wendy Loggia

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

Have you read New Year’s Kiss? What did you think of it?


TBR Thursday – December 31

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Love and War (Alex and Eliza #2) by Melissa de la Cruz.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

1780. Albany, New York. 

As the war for American Independence carries on, two newlyweds are settling into their new adventure: marriage. But the honeymoon’s over, and Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are learning firsthand just how tricky wedded life can be. Alex is still General George Washington’s right-hand man and his attention these days is nothing if not divided–much like the colonies’ interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza’s relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: Clap When You Land

Title: Clap When You Land
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. 


Teenager Camino lives in the Dominican Republic with her aunt. She loves the summer when her father visits from New York. When she goes to pick him up from the airport, she finds a crowd of devastated people who have just learned that the plane from New York to the Dominican Republic has crashed. At the same time, Yahaira is called into the school office in New York. She finds her mom there with the news that her father’s plane to the Dominican Republic has crashed. In the aftermath of their father’s death, Yahaira and Camino learn that he had a secret life that neither of his daughters knew about, including the existence of each other. His death devastated both of them, but it brought them together when they learned that they shared a father.

This was a heartbreaking story. Both Camino and Yahaira kept replaying the events of their father getting on a plane, hoping that he survived it. They counted the days after they got the news, in hopes that something would change. This story was inspired by a plane crash, which happened between New York and the Dominican Republic. Once that plane crash was determined not to be a terrorist event, the news stopped reporting on it, but it was still a life changing event for the family members of the victims. This story shows how the devastation affects the family, but it can also bring something positive to the survivors.

This was a beautifully written novel in verse. This is the perfect medium for this emotional story. The narrative switched between Camino’s and Yahaira’s perspectives, but I could always tell who was speaking because they had distinctive voices. The verses were easy to read. One thing that sped up my reading was that the word “and” was replaced with an ampersand (&). It made me notice how many times the word “and” is used, but it looked much neater on the page without the repetition of the word.

This really is a beautiful story! I highly recommend it.

What to read next:

Fight Like a Girl by Sheena Kamal

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Have you read Clap When You Land? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – December 30

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is The Project by Courtney Summers. The expected publication date is February 2, 2021.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo’s sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there’s more to the group than meets the eye. She’s spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.

When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its leader, Lev Warren and as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what’s real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn’t know if she can afford not to. 

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Today Tonight Tomorrow

Title: Today Tonight Tomorrow
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 28, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

The Hating Game meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by way of Morgan Matson in this unforgettable romantic comedy about two rival overachievers whose relationship completely transforms over the course of twenty-four hours.

Today, she hates him.

It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight, she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.

Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.


Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been high school rivals for the last four years. On the final day of high school, they are going to learn who is the valedictorian. They have the same grades and are even co-presidents of school council. After Neil wins the title of valedictorian, Rowan wants to win the final prize of their senior year. The graduating class does a special scavenger hunt every year, with this year’s price being $5,000. When Rowan learns that another student is planning on sabotaging Neil, she teams up with him to win. This is the first time they’ve spent time together not competing against each other, which makes them acknowledge their feelings for each other.

This is an amazing story! I could relate to Rowan’s experience in high school. I wasn’t the top of my class, but I had different expectations on what high school would be like. Rowan wrote a list of things she thought she would accomplish in high school when she was a freshman. When she opens the list on her final day, she realizes she didn’t do anything that she thought she would. This is such an honest representation of high school. Usually in movies or tv shows, high school focuses on the most popular kids who follow that typical idealized version of school. There are very few, if any, students who fulfill that role in high school, so I think Rowan would be relatable to many readers.

Rowan loves romance novels but no one else in her life thinks they’re worth reading. I could relate to this too. I loved reading when I was younger, but my friends in my teen years weren’t big readers, so I drifted away from it. If my friends didn’t approve of something I liked, I ended up putting it down. Now I know I should have stood up for what I liked, but it’s difficult to do when you’re a teenager trying to fit in. I think this part of Rowan’s life would be relatable to readers too.

I loved this book! I can’t wait to read Rachel Lynn Solomon’s adult debut next month!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally

Have you read Today Tonight Tomorrow? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Favourite Books of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Favourite Books of 2020. It was so hard to only pick 10 out of the 300+ that I read! Here’s my list:

1. Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

2. The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

3. Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

4. Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

5. Followers by Raziel Reid

6. Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon

7. Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

8. In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

9. Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker (editors)

10. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

(All book covers from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Review: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)

Title: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.


It’s been four months since Kell and Lila defeated the stone from Black London. They have both moved on. Lila is fulfilling her dream of sailing. Kell is pining after her, without knowing where she’s disappeared. They’re both brought back to London again for a tournament called the Essen Tasch, or the Element Games. However, the shadow that they thought was gone forever begins to come back.

This was a thrilling story from beginning to end. The two main characters, Kell and Lila, were actually apart for most of the story, but they were thinking about each other. Their paths almost crossed a few times, which made the tension between them build. I don’t usually like stories that keep the characters separated like that, but it worked in this story.

There were a couple of short scenes of a particular character in another London. The scenes were just snapshots of what that character was doing. Though there wasn’t that much action in those scenes, the way that the scenes kept appearing built the tension until that part of the storyline could join the main plot. This was a clever way to weave multiple plots together until they could all join at the end.

This story ended on a great cliffhanger, so I’ll have to read the next one soon! I loved this sequel.

What to read next:

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri

Other books in the series:

Have you read A Gathering of Shadows? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – December 28

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading The 100 (The 100 #1) by Kass Morgan.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – December 27

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 8 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?