Spotlight Tour: The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood (Review, Giveaway, and Excerpt)

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other in this captivating new novel by Jessica Spotswood.

Kat lands the lead in the community theater's summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn’t sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen…

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend...so it's not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?

As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it’s hard to dream big when she's so busy taking care of everyone else.

Told through four alternating points of view, readers will laugh, cry, and fall in love alongside the Garrett girls.


The one word that perfectly sums up The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls


Honestly, if this isn't the perfect start of summer read, I don't know what is! 

My favorite thing about this book? The Garrett Girls of course! I'm always a little leery of books with multiple POVs; however, Jessica did a fantastic job of not only alternating between the girls but also making their voice's sound distinctive and completely originally. I loved that each sister was so different. 

Des, the oldest, holds the "mom" role in the family. Ever since the sisters lost their mom, Des has tried her best to step into her role. She cooks, she cleans, she keeps track - it's not an easy job but she loves her sisters. Des is strong, resourceful, and hardworking. I admired what she did for her family; however, there were so many times I wished she would start living her own life a little more, stepping out of her comfort zone. The introduction of a new, potentially wild friend pushes this into play, and I enjoyed seeing the outcome. 

Next up: Bea. To the outside world, she has the perfect life: a long-term boyfriend she'll most likely marry and acceptance to one of the best colleges in the country. The only problem? She's tired of it all. She doesn't want any of it anymore. She wants adventure, to find her true purpose, not to live up to everyone else's expectations of what she should be doing. I found Bea to be the most relatable out of all the girls. I think everyone's reached that point in their lives where they stop and think "wait, why am I doing this? And this really what I want?" I know I have. Over the course of the story, Bea takes some risks, makes some bold choices, and while they aren't always ideal, I gave her props. She started to take control again, no matter how messy everything became. My only compliant? I wish she would've been a bit more straightforward with her boyfriend. I felt bad for the poor guy. 

Kat is the wild child. Dramatic and sassy...it's no surprise that Kat is an actress. After landing the lead role in her town's play this summer, Kat knows she should be excited, but she's letting her boy troubles get in the way. She wants revenge against her ex, but for some reason it's getting harder and harder to achieve it...At first, I wasn't the biggest fan of Kat. She seemed immature, and I wish she would let the whole ex-boyfriend thing go. He seemed like a jerk, definitely not someone to waste time thinking about. As the book continued, however, I started to like Kat more and more. She became more "human." She got involved in a "fake" relationship that became more and more real by the second, and she was scared and confused. Could she let someone back in her life in that kind of way? Also, more was revealed about her past. She's struggled with an eating disorder most of her life, and she's tired of her sisters always focusing on it. 

Last but not least: Vi. Vi's the youngest. She's bookish and quiet, preferring her favorite books to the company of other's more times than none. But there's one person she'd put down her book for: CeCe. I couldn't help but root for Vi the whole way through, especially when it came to her getting the girl. Cece and Vi were adorable together. I loved how they bonded over their love of books. I also liked that Jessica spent a good amount of time developing their relationship. It started as unrequited love turned into friends and then maybe into something more. Honestly, out of all the girls, Vi was probably the strongest sister. She knew what she wanted, and even though she was used to letting her fears get in the way of her wants, she wasn't letting that get her this time. She was a cool girl, and I wanted nothing more than for her to have a happy ending. 

As can be expected, the plot mainly focuses on the girls's summers. The drama, the romance, the adventure, the risks....It's what moved this book forward, but as I alluded to above, the girls are what made this book so special. I also enjoyed the shore setting. It added such a wonderful summer vibe to the story. 

Overall, The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls is must read in my opinion! Funny and emotional, The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls will have a little something for everyone. My only compliant? I wish it was longer! I needed more of the Garrett's, that's for sure! 

About the Author: 

Jessica Spotswood lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and works as a children’s library associate. Visit jessicaspotswood.com.
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2 Copies of The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls
Runs June 8th -30th (US & Canada only)

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Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James  
Release Date: March 20, 2018 
Publisher: Berkley 
Genre: Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction 
Source: ARC provided by the publisher via First to Read in exchange for an honest review 
The “clever and wonderfully chilling” (Fiona Barton) suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, now in trade paperback!

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .
Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

I'm always in the mood for a new thriller/mystery read. Therefore, as soon as I saw the intriguing summary and haunting yet gorgeous cover for The Broken Girls by Simone St. James, I was sold. I couldn't want to learn more about Idlewild Hall and how the two mysteries - years apart! - connected. 

The Result? The Broken Girls was EXCELLENT! Combining two nail-bitting mysteries and a touch of the paranormal, The Broken Girls successfully intrigues, compels, and thrills. 

The Broken Girls beautifully blends together two timelines - Vermont, 1950 and Vermont, 2014. I thought Simone did a wonderful job of developing both times, and I especially enjoyed seeing Idlewild Hall at its prime as well as at its ruin. Learning about the private school and the bad as well as good it brought the girls firsthand truly added to the quality of the novel - it was nice to put faces to specific stories. I also enjoyed the additional mystery Vermont, 2014 had to offer. 

Idlewild Hall and the small town provided such a haunting setting. I read The Broken Girls at night, and some parts of me regretted that decision. From the decaying buildings to the intimidating ghosts to the dead bodies yet to be discovered, even the bravest of readers will surely find something to be frightened by. 

The Broken Girls features five POVs - the four Idlewild roommates (Katie, CeCe, Sonia, and Roberta) and Fiona Sheridan. To be honest the five POVs worried me at first, especially since those of the four Idlewild roommates blended together in the beginning. As the story continued however, each POV started to stand on its own, and by the end, I can truly say I got to know each girl on a personal level. Even with decades between the four roommates and Fiona Sheridan, all five women are incredibly similar - they're lost and flailing through life, hoping one day they'll find their peace. The four Idlewild roommates truly struck a cord in me. Their stories were so terrible yet they still managed to try their hardest to move on and make the best of the scary Idlewild Hall. Additionally, I enjoyed how Simone incorporated parts of history within their narratives - some parts of history that even I didn't know much about. 

In all, The Broken Girls is an incredibly strong thriller, and while it does plenty of chilling and thrilling, it also gives a story and face to some of the worst past and present history has to offer. 

5 stars!!


Cover Reveal: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

Today, I'm excited to be part of the cover reveal for Only A Breath Apart, Katie McGarry's new book coming this JANUARY! Katie's one of my favorite authors so as soon as I heard she had a new book coming out I instantly added it to my TBR! Check out the cover and synopsis below and let me know what you think! Personally, I think the cover is fabulous! 


Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. “Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART will be available on all retailers on January 22, 2019!

About the Book: 

Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no.Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.

“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.”
―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series

About the Author:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.
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