Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Booksparks · Fiction · Giveaway · YAbooks

Witchy Wednesday GIVEAWAY of ‘Witch Wars’ by Alane Adams (#3 of Witches of Orkney series)

Witchy Wednesday GIVEAWAY time!! Thank you @booksparks & @alaneadamsbooks (partners) for my copy of ‘Witch Wars‘, book #3 in Alane Adams ‘Witches of Orkney’ series! (Sorry my pics are a little murky…had to take them in the evening with only artificial lighting…I think the kids did fantastic posing for them though, considering I interrupted their before bed gaming time!) Click HERE to go enter the book giveaway on Instagram or just to be nice & LIKE my post or SHARE it!

As a parent to 2 middle schooler’s, Adam’s books have been a nice addition to our daily reading. My kids (in the pics) are autistic, so patience & focus are often problematic, but when it comes to reading Alane’s books, they are engaged, tuned in & interested in what happens next. We read Adam’s ‘Eye of Zeus’ from her ‘Legends of Olympus’ series back when the pandemic started & it, too, was such a fun book! 

‘The Witches of Orkney’ series is ideal for Mid-School reading, as well as Adam’s ‘Legend of Orkney’ series. Fans of Harry Potter, fantasy, & magical, mystical creature-type books will love these w/ their blend of mythological fact & fiction.

Witch Wars: Abigail’s 2nd year at the Tarkana Academy has been an all-out disaster. She’s just unwittingly helped Vertulious, an ancient he-witch & powerful alchemist, destroy Odin’s Stone & restore his powers, & now all of Orkney is caught up in the threat of war as the witches prepare to destroy the helpless Orkadians.

Determined to set things right, Abigail & Hugo set off for Jotunheim, the land of the giants, to find a weapon to restore the balance. All they have to do is track down the God of Thunder & convince Thor to turn his hammer over to them. 
When their former-friend-now-foe Robert Barconian arrives w/ a band of dwarves, intent on stopping them, Abigail & friends must unite to prevent a war that will destroy them all. But has Abigail made the biggest mistake of all by trusting in the wrong ally?

Click HERE for more info on the book!

The kids & I are beginning Book 3 this weekend & I would love to have a copy sent to one of you to read w/ your kids or maybe give to a niece or nephew. With the holidays coming up. Adams’s series would be fantastic gifts for the young readers in your family.

(***The following is for FYI purposes only. All entries must be made on Instagram. Click HERE to go that post now.)
To enter:
1-LIKE this post.
2-Must be following @mom_loves_reading @alaneadamsbooks & @booksparks
3-Tag a couple bookish friends or comment w/ your favorite book(s) when you were in mid-school.
(Share post to your pg or stories for bonus 5 entries. You can even SHARE the giveaway just to be nice even if you aren’t entering.).
US res only. Giveaway starts 10/7 & ends 10/10/20 & is not affiliated w/ Instagram.

Click HERE to read more about Book 1 in The Witches of Orkney series
Click HERE for more info on Book 2 in the series

Alane Adams grew up in an old Quaker town called Whittier in Southern California. Adams attended Whittier High School & was active in every possible sport including basketball (proudly claiming the nickname Breakaway Adams!) & swimming & diving. For college, Alane attended the University of Southern California where she wanted to be an English major, but family convinced her to become an accountant to help run a family business. After spending the next few decades helping to build one of the largest recycling companies on the West Coast, Alane left the family business behind to pursue her writing career. Before launching into writing full-time, Alane began teaching full-time at a local university. Finally, the Legends of Orkney series was born when her then 12-year-old son challenged Alane to write a book he could read. She hasn’t stopped writing since that day. Alane’s favorite books include any story involving folklore, fantasy & fairytales. When Alane is not writing or teaching, she is hanging out with her 3 boys, each who have grown up having adventures to rival those of her characters. Find out more at: www.AlaneAdams.com

BeachReads · Book Reviews · Fiction · OwnVoices · Romance · RomCom · YAbooks

Book Review: ‘Dating Makes Perfect’ by Pintip Dunn (pub 8/18)

Click HERE to give IG post some LIKE love!

Thank you @entangledteen for my gifted copy of ‘Dating Makes Perfect‘ by Pintip Dunn! (pub date 8/18)

QOTD: Do you like reading YA fiction or rom-coms? Which one’s did you love the most & recommend? (Please leave a comment. I love to see other readers recommendations!)

The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.
Until now.

In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.

In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.

The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.

If only he weren’t her sworn enemy…

Told in an authentic, Thai-American #ownvoice , ‘Dating Makes Perfect is a contemporary YA rom-com that will warm your heart, make you laugh & sigh out loud, & you may even find yourself GrubHub’ing some local Thai take-out after reading some of the drool-worthy chapters! Culturally immersive, richly layered in emotion, wit, & realistic family dynamics, these complex, well-fleshed out characters will make your heart swoon! And you will adore Winnie & the rest of her sisters!

Overall, a feel-good, coming of age, family dram-com & second chances at love story that you don’t have to be a young adult to enjoy! A perfect summer read!

Click HERE to add ‘Dating Makes Perfect’ to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to visit Pintip Dunn’s website.
Click HERE to visit Pintip’s Instagram page.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post some love!

What others are saying about ‘Dating Makes Perfect:

“Dunn, a first-generation Thai American, takes on the enemies-to-lovers romance trope with punchy dialogue and adorable twists while paying tribute to the culture’s prioritization of food and family. A laugh-out-loud YA romance with a smart cast.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
“Sweet, spunky, witty, and wise – I feel in love with Winnie and her sisters. Pintip has a rare knack of blending action and adventure into a contemporary rom-com that keeps the pages turning.” – Abigail Hing Wen, New York Times bestselling author of LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI
 
“A witty culturally immersive romance with enthralling dialogue and captivating characters… A masterful story about family obligations, first crushes, and second chances.” – Nisha Sharma, award-winning author of MY SO-CALLED BOLLYWOOD LIFE
  
This book made my Thai-American heart soar. Every detail–from the mouth-watering foods to Winnie’s tight-knit but strict Thai family–serve to tell a story that is authentic, layered, and rings so true.“- Christina Soontornvat, author of A WISH IN THE DARK

“A smart, funny, and endearing portrayal of budding romance, the power of sisterly love, and the pressure to be the perfect daughter.” – Farrah Rochon, USA Today Bestselling author of The Boyfriend Project 
 
“A delicious rom-com concoction that immerses readers in a Thai teen drama they’ll adore. Add a pinch of sister envy, the cute guy you love to hate, immigrant parent dynamics, a few kaffir lime leaves, and you’ll get a dish that’ll keep you entertained until the last page.” – Lydia Kang, award-winning author of Young Adult Fiction 
 
“Bubbling over with charisma and charm, DATING MAKES PERFECT is a swoontasm of adorable characters, sparkling wit, and captivating Thai culture. You will totally want to date this book!” – Darcy Woods, award-winning author of SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS
 
“An absolute feast for readers. The characters are deliciously complex, the family dynamics are rich and intense, and the tension between the main character Winnie and her enemy Mat is drool-worthy. This book will completely quench your hunger for a believable enemies to lovers rom-com!” – Becky Wallace, author of STEALING HOME and FAR FROM NORMAL

“So. Much. Fun! Pintip Dunn’s rom-com is an authentic, hilarious and irresistible love letter to Thai culture–not to mention desserts. Foodies, be warned–don’t read this on an empty stomach!” – Vanessa Barneveld, award-winning author of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE and THE ABDUCTION 
 

A first-generation Thai American, Pintip Dunn grew up in a tiny town in Kansas. She went on to graduate from Harvard , magna cum laude, with an A.B. & to receive her J.D. at Yale Law School.
Pintip is a two-time RITA® award winner & a NYTimes bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her books have been translated into four languages, & they have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award & a Kirkus Best Book of the Year.
She’s obsessed with penguins, & her childhood dream was to marry someone whose last name was “Gwynn”―so that her name could be “Pin Gwynn.” Alas, she got stuck with Dunn instead, but her husband & 3 children are worth the sacrifice. They all visit Thailand yearly in order to stay connected with her family.

BeachReads · Book Reviews · Fiction · RomCom

Book review: ‘Loathe at First Sight’ by Suzanne Park

Click HERE to give my IG post some LIKE love!

Thank you @booksforwardpr @avonbooks for my gifted copy of ‘Loathe at First Sight‘ by Suzanne Park! (pub 8/18)

Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with challenges: an insufferable CEO; sexist male coworkers; & an infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—intern, Nolan MacKenzie, aka “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss.”

Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes. While joking with a friend, she creates a mobile game that has male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Suddenly Melody’s “joke” is her studio’s most high-profile project—& Melody’s running the show.

When Nolan is assigned to Melody’s team, she’s sure he’ll be useless. But as they grow closer, she realizes he’s smart & sexy, which makes Melody want to forget he’s her intern. As their attraction deepens, she knows it’s time to pump the brakes, even with her Korean parents breathing down her neck to hurry up & find a man.

With her project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a devastating trolling scandal. Could the man she’s falling hard for help her play the game to win—in work & in love?

So, this book is not really what it appears to be from the blurb or cover. It’s about 15% funny, rom-com about a Korean woman in the gaming  industry w/ a charming enemies-to-lovers story woven in.

The other 85% is more “let’s get the reader fired up w/ some real, hard hitting, serious issues” such as: toxic work environment, racism, harassment, discrimination, humiliation by co-workers, stalking, online trolls who threaten violence, cyberbullying & misogyny. (The photo comment above & below from the publisher are somewhat misleading. Smart- yes! Hilarious- here & there, maybe.)

I enjoyed ‘Loathe at First Sight’, but it did make me angry & triggered memories from the past where I, too, dealt w/ several of the above issues. I am not a gamer (wait, does Words w/ Friends count?), so learning about the industry was fun. Overall I thought the book was well-written, insightful, & very thought-provoking & I really rooted for Melody & her fight against the patriarchy in a male dominated work place.

Also featured in my Instagram post (pictured at top of blog post) is Park’s other 2020 new release, ‘The Perfect Escape‘, which published in April from Sourcebooks Fire.

The Perfect Escape‘ is a hysterical comedy about a teen boy who teams up with his crush to enter a survivalist competition, only to discover that love is its own battlefield.

Nate Jae-Woo Kim wants to be rich. When one of his classmates offers Nate a ridiculous amount of money to commit grade fraud, he knows that taking the windfall would help support his prideful Korean family, but is compromising his integrity worth it?

Luck comes in the form of Kate Anderson, Nate’s colleague at the zombie-themed escape room where he works. She approaches Nate with a plan: a local tech company is hosting a weekend-long survivalist competition with a huge cash prize. It could solve all of Nate’s problems, and she needs the money too.

If the two of them team up, Nate has a real shot of winning the grand prize. But the real challenge? Making through the weekend with his heart intact…

A great pick for readers who want:

  • comedy books for teens
  • books for teen boys
  • multicultural books for teens

Editorial reviews for ‘Loathe at First Sight’:

Loathe at First Sight bursts with humor, heart, and great energy. I loved it! Park is a hilarious new voice in women’s fiction.” (Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient)

“Hilarious and poignant, Park’s debut sparkles as a great addition to the new voices of the rom com renaissance.”

(Roselle Lim, author of Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune)

“Park gives us the story that only she could create. It’s hilarious, smart, and the rom-com we need!” (Alexa Martin, ALA Award-winning author of Intercepted)

“Park has created a wholly original, smart, fierce heroine (with a hilarious inner voice) who takes on an industry hell-bent on underestimating her…Just like the “entertaining, fresh, snarky” video game she conjures in her novel, Suzanne Park has written a fast and fun debut, putting females in the lead.” (Amy Poeppel, author of Musical Chairs and Small Admissions)

“A smart, funny workplace romance set in the world of video game design.” (Popsugar)

“[A] punchy adult debut set in the world of video game design. Park makes tough topics go down easy by couching them in wry humor and lighthearted romance, and her fierce, snarky heroine is irresistible. This smart rom-com is a winner.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Park’s first book for adults is a funny and feminist geek novel… Readers into both gaming and women’s fiction will scramble for this fast-paced charmer.” (Booklist)

“Melody’s characterization and voice shine throughout. Smart, punchy, and memorable.” (Library Journal)

Suzanne Park is a Korean-American writer who was born and raised in Tennessee. As a comedienne, she was selected to appear on BET’s “Coming to the Stage.” Suzanne was also the winner of the Seattle Sierra Mist Comedy Competition, and was a semi-finalist in NBC’s “Stand Up For Diversity” showcase in San Francisco.

Suzanne graduated from Columbia University and received an MBA from UCLA. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, female offspring, and a sneaky rat that creeps around on her back patio. In her spare time, she procrastinates. Loathe at First Sight is her adult debut. (‘The Perfect Escape’ is her YA debut.)

Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love!
Click HERE to add ‘Loathe at First Sight’ to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to add ‘The Perfect Escape’ to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to find either book & others at a local independent bookstore near you using BookStoreLink.

And be sure to follow Mom Loves Reading on all my other socials: (I give away A LOT of free books, just saying…)
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Instagram

BeachReads · Book Reviews · Fiction · RomCom · YAbooks

Book Review: ‘The Mall’ by Megan McCafferty (7/28)

Click HERE to give my IG post some LIKE love!

Thank you @wednesdaybooks (partner) for my gifted copy of “The Mall” by Megan McCafferty! (pub 7/28)

New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes & ‘90210’ are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she & her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education & happily ever after.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, & ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places.

Megan McCafferty, beloved author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

Ok, by show of hands, who here still has a mall in their city or one nearby that you may or may not frequent? I kinda remember when my local mall was built in 1977. Every store slot was filled & the anchor stores were JCPenney, Elder Beermans, May Co & Montgomery Ward (later that became a Sears. (The only one of those still there [barely hanging on] is JCP.)

My first job was at The Gap at our mall & I also worked at The Limited, Deb & Sam Goody (which is a major part in this book in a couple ways.) Even though this is geared towards the YA gen, I feel those of us that were teens (or maybe young 20’s) in the early 90’s will appreciate & relate to the name drops, fashion style & pop culture references even more.

From Bath & Body Works (hello, cucumber melon) to Spencer’s Gifts (STILL at my mall), to Cabbage Patch dolls (who have a co-starring role in this story), McCafferty’s ‘The Mall‘ was a true blast from my past & I really liked it. It’s a pretty quick read, laugh out-loud at times, atmospheric, & also touches on a couple heavier subjects.

The Mall‘ is a coming of age, nostalgia-filled, journey back in time, with a fun, mall based treasure hunt (like ‘The Goonies’ minus the gangsters & murder).

(Oh, & remember when Mark Wahlberg was dancing around with his Calvin Klein underwear showing & singing about ‘Good Vibrations’ w/ his Funky Bunch before becoming a huge actor??) Yes, that’s right, fellow Gen X’ers…Marky Mark is almost 50 now!

Click HERE to add ‘The Mall’ to your Goodreads TBR list.
Click HERE to find it at a local independent bookstore using BookStoreLink.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love!
Click HERE to visit Wednesday Books on Instagram.

What others are saying about Megan McCafferty’s ‘The Mall‘:

“With wit and more than a little hairspray, McCafferty dives into the 1990s with this snappily written self-empowerment novel set beneath the fluorescent lights of a suburban New Jersey mall.” – Publishers Weekly

“Megan McCafferty departs from her best-selling Jessica Darling series to conjure this charming throwback.” – Columbia Magazine

“Complete with Orange Julius, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Sam Goody, this book is a blast to the past!” – Manhattan Book Review

“The Mall was to 1991 teenagers what the iPhone is to today’s generation: EVERYTHING. This delightful novel about that particular time and place is loaded with fun, warmth, intelligence, big hair and an even bigger heart. I loved it.” — New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cohn

“Both a laugh-out-loud pean to those bygone cathedrals of the 1990s, and a zippy coming-of-age tale, THE MALL is a delightful read for any generation. So tease your hair, grab your hotdog on a stick and prepare to have a freaking blast!” — Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay and I Have Lost My Way

“What a pleasure it is to spend time in a McCafferty universe. Her writing is sharp, smart, sexy and oh-so-real. I’ll read her forever.” — Rebecca Serle, New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years

“Totally rad! This former 1990s mall teen loved The Mall, an ode to tall bangs, boys with good taste in music, and female friendship, set in the only place that mattered. What a joy to have a new book from Megan McCafferty, who knows exactly how to make us laugh, cry, and fall in love with her characters.” — Amy Spalding, author of The Summer of Jordi Perez and The New Guy

“A delightful, funny, sweet and affecting real life adventure with such a big heart, it’ll make you cry the happiest tears. The Mall is something special.” — Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie

Megan McCafferty writes fiction for tweens, teens and teens-at-heart of all ages. The author of several novels, she’s best known for Sloppy Firsts and four more books in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series.

Described in her first review as “Judy Blume meets Dorothy Parker” (Wall Street Journal), she’s been trying to live up to that high standard ever since.

Audiobooks · Book Reviews · LibroFm

Audio Book Review: “The Voting Booth” by Brandy Colbert

Click HERE to give my IG post a LIKE!

Thank you @dreamscape_media @disneyhyperiondesign & @librofm for my gifted audio copy of ‘The Voting Booth’ by Brandy Colbert! (pub 7/7)

From Stonewall Award-winning author Brandy Colbert comes an all-in-one-day love story perfect for fans of The Sun is Also A Star.

Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, & what better way than to vote in her first election?Duke Crenshaw is so done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight. Only problem? Duke can’t vote.
When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling & registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time & again, trying to do one simple thing: vote.
They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (& find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.
Romantic & triumphant, ‘The Voting Booth’ is proof that you can’t sit around waiting for the world to change & some things are just meant to be.

I listened to this book in one afternoon. When it started I thought it would be a light read basically talking about the importance of voting starting as soon as you are legally allowed to. But it became so much more than that!

‘The Voting Booth’ touches on so many important subjects, not just for teens, but especially for teens of color, all POC…ALL people in general. It’s a YA romance meets voter activism & the harsh realities of voter suppression. Some subjects included: the importance of voting, knowing if & where you are registered, loss of a loved one to gang violence, interracial relationships, the pressure teens put on themselves to be perfect & get into the best college, anxiety, standing up for what you believe in w/ peaceful protests & the challenges/obstacles POC of color face in this world, including a sort of intense scene towards the end involving being pulled over by the police.

No sex scenes in it, but some language. Basically your typical teen talk when parents aren’t around. There’s also some fun stuff like “Eartha Kitty” (aka: Selma) the cat, who has a huge following on Instagram. (see pic above) The story takes place in a single day, we meet several side characters along the way & as for politics, there is bias & no mention of names or parties. Overall, the book pleasantly surprised me & I really liked it.

To get a 2-for-1 audiobook deal from Librofm, use my code MOMLOVESREADING. They support indie bookstores w/ our audiobook sales. You choose the indie bookstore to support from their list of affiliated stores, too. I love using Libro.fm! When a new release comes out, it may be 3-6 mos before it is available to borrow using my library audiobook app, so luckily, I have my Libro.fm subscription. No holds, no waiting, & the audiobook stays in your Libro.fm. You only need to download the book you are listening to on your phone or device, so you won’t even have to use data when you listen to it because you aren’t streaming.

Be sure to check out Brandy Colbert’s other recent new release for middle schoolers, ‘The Only Black Girls in Town’. Click HERE to read more about it on Goodreads.
Click HERE to add ‘The Voting Booth’ to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to goto my Instagram page.