quotes Elisquared likes


"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green

12.18.2018

BLOG TOUR --- My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn [Review + Giveaway]



Title: My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life
Authors(s): Rachel Cohn
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
Edition: Hardcover, ebook; 384 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & 
Noble - iBooks - The Book Depository













Tour Schedule




Week One:
12/3/2018- Novel NoviceExcerpt
12/4/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
12/5/2018- A Court of Coffee and BooksExcerpt
12/6/2018- BookHounds YAReview
12/7/2018- A Gingerly ReviewReview

Week Two:
12/10/2018- RhythmicbooktrovertReview
12/11/2018- Do You Dog-ear?Review
12/12/2018- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt
12/13/2018- Daily WaffleExcerpt
12/14/2018- The Reading Corner for AllReview

Week Three:
12/17/2018- Lisa Loves LiteratureReview
12/18/2018- Eli to the nthReview (ME!)
12/19/2018- Dani Reviews ThingsReview
12/20/2018- The Pages In-BetweenReview
12/21/2018- Sincerely Karen Jo BlogReview

Week Four:
12/24/2018- Falling For YAInterview
12/25/2018- Smada's Book SmackReview
12/26/2018- All the Ups and DownsExcerpt
12/27/2018- Confessions of a YA ReaderReview
12/28/2018- Wishful EndingsExcerpt

Week Five:
12/31/2018- 
Under the Book CoverExcerpt

The Summary

"I'm here to take you to live with your father. In Tokyo, Japan! Happy birthday!"

In the Land of the Rising Sun, where high culture meets high kitsch, and fashion and technology are at the forefront of the First World's future, the foreign-born teen elite attend ICS-the International Collegiate School of Tokyo. Their accents are fluid. Their homes are ridiculously posh. Their sports games often involve a (private) plane trip to another country. They miss school because of jet lag and visa issues. When they get in trouble, they seek diplomatic immunity.

Enter foster-kid-out-of-water Elle Zoellner, who, on her sixteenth birthday discovers that her long-lost father, Kenji Takahari, is actually a Japanese hotel mogul and wants her to come live with him. Um, yes, please! Elle jets off first class from Washington D.C. to Tokyo, which seems like a dream come true. Until she meets her enigmatic father, her way-too-fab aunt, and her hyper-critical grandmother, who seems to wish Elle didn't exist. In an effort to please her new family, Elle falls in with the Ex-Brats, a troupe of uber-cool international kids who spend money like it's air. But when she starts to crush on a boy named Ryuu, who's frozen out by the Brats and despised by her new family, her already tenuous living situation just might implode.

My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life is about learning what it is to be a family, and finding the inner strength to be yourself, even in the most extreme circumstances.

My Review

I have been a Rachel Cohn fan for quite a while, so I was thrilled when I got to be a part of the blog tour for her latest book, My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life.  It contains so many things I love: private school, Japanese culture, and a sassy main character.  But above all, this is a story about family and finding out where you belong; something everyone can relate to in some way.

This book examines a lot of tough subjects: alcoholism, substance abuse, absentee parents, and cultural acclimation.  But what Cohn does so well, is weave those tough subjects with funny or sweet moments, much like real life.  So you get a good balance of intense subject matter with a light contemporary, so when you're reading, you feel for the characters, but you're never weighted down.  I think there is a time and place for those hard hitting contemporaries, but I must admit I prefer my drama with some humor and romance.

Elle is a great main character: she's funny, smart, and adaptable. You click with her right away, and get invested in what happens to her.  Elle was the main reason I blasted through this book so fast (while that's the hope for a main character, honestly sometimes it's the supporting cast that makes a book sing).  I will say that Elle was the most developed, but as this is her story I didn't find that to be an issue.  So while the supporting characters contain some layers, they are there to help Elle along in her journey.  Of course, Elle isn't perfect.  She makes some dicey decisions friend group-wise when she gets to Japan, but in her situation I find that totally believable.  I think the best way to describe Elle is as a girl you'd want to be friends with.

The school Elle attends is like something out of your wildest private school dreams.  I know when I was growing up, I wanted to go some place magical and exclusive, and the International Collegiate School of Tokyo delivered.  Competitive and exclusive, Elle has to really hustle to keep up with her classmates, but she succeeds on catching up.  Of course, she shines on the swim team, putting some balance into her life.  Here Cohn highlights the hierarchy of such a school, with the "Ex-Brats" running the show, and Elle trying to fit in.  While the setting isn't somewhere typical teens go, the social dynamics will definitely resonate.

Finally, one of my favorite parts of the book was the setting.  Taking place in Japan, specifically Tokyo, you get to see the city through Elle's eyes: the busy parts and the quiet parts.  The difference between American and Japanese culture are highlighted, showing both the good and the bad.  Elle's fraternal relatives see her as not part of the family, and remind her that she is both hafu (“half Japanese, half something else”) and gaijin (a foreigner).  But while they don't accept her, the "ex-Brats" and other students at Elle's school show her the welcoming parts of Tokyo.  If you don't want to visit Tokyo and Japan after this book, I don't know what will convince you.

The only issue I had with the book was the pacing.  Over half of the book is just setting Elle up in Japan, and then it all kind of fast-forwards, with the resolution coming together much to quickly to feel as genuine as it could.  Luckily, as this is more a character-driven story, the plot being rushed doesn't negate the enjoyment of the story.

A great mix of sweet and dramatic, My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life delivers a good read.  Out today, go pick up a copy!


Final Rating


About the Author

Rachel grew up in the D.C. area and graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in Political Science. She has written many YA novels, including three that she cowrote with her friend and colleague David Levithan. She lives and writes (when she's not reading other people's books, organizing her music library or looking for the best cappuccino) in New York City.

Giveaway

3 Winners will receive a finished copy of My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life, US Only.




12.10.2018

BLOG TOUR --- Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm [Review + Giveaway]


Title: Love à la Mode
Authors(s): Stephanie Kate Strohm
Publication Date: November 27, 2018
Edition: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook; 304 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & 
Noble - iBooks - The Book Depository Audible










Tour Schedule


Week One:
11/26/2018- Mary Had a Little Book BlogReview
11/27/2018- Oh Hey! Books.Excerpt
11/28/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
11/29/2018- A Gingerly ReviewReview
11/30/2018- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview

Week Two:
12/3/2018- Novel NoviceReview
12/4/2018- Do You Dog-ear?Review
12/5/2018- The Hermit LibrarianReview
12/6/2018- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt
12/7/2018- YA Book NerdReview

Week Three:
12/10/2018- Eli to the nthReview
12/11/2018- BookHounds YAReview
12/12/2018- Savings in SecondsReview
12/13/2018- Clarissa Reads It AllReview
12/14/2018- Kait Plus Books- Review

Week Four:
12/17/2018- Book Dragon LairReview
12/18/2018- EatingbetweenthelinesINCReview
12/19/2018- Smada's Book SmackReview
12/20/2018- Lifestyle of MeReview
12/21/2018- The Heart of a Book BloggerReview


The Summary

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 East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent's school in Paris, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Life in Paris, however, isn't all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes.

Henry Yi grew up in his dad's restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong love affair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent's school. He quickly connects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy over Rosie's growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry lash out and push his dream girl away.

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

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

Review

As sweet as dessert, Love à la Mode is the perfectly delicious rom-com that fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson will devour!

I am a sucker for A) meet-cutes, B) boarding schools, and C) food!  Guess what has all of these elements?!  Henry and Rosie are adorbs, and are such a sweet couple to fall in love with.  I really enjoyed the characterization of the main characters.  I felt like their responses were real, which is such an important aspect of contemporaries.  If I don't think the teens are reacting realistically, I tend to be turned off.  But Stephanie Strohm nails the voices of these two.  

I especially adore Henry; from a Korean-American household, you see those expectations that are often stereotyped: his parents want success for him.  But the interesting part, is that his parents don't necessarily agree on what that success looks like.  While his father is a chef, and supports his dream to become one as well, his mother is pretty vocally against it.  That pressure from his mother plays a toll in his relationship with Rosie, but don't worry about the angst: it all ends in fluff.

The group of teens at Ecole Denis Laurent are great, and real friends to Rosie and Henry.  I am not just a sucker for a good romance, but a good friend story, as well.  Friendship is sometimes more important than romance; who better to help you get over a guy or get with a guy, then your best friends?  And with this group, while they all come from different backgrounds, that just makes them come together even stronger.

Finally, the foooooooooood!  The food descriptions are out of this world. They make me wish for some sort of "Wonka-Vision", where I can just reach into the book pages and snap up whatever mouthwatering concoction being featured.  Definitely don't read this book hungry!

Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm is the perfect amuse-bouche: you will eat it up in one sitting!  Out in stores now, this would be a lovely addition to someone's presents this holiday season!

Final Rating


About the Author

Photo credit: Melissa Lynn
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, The Date to Save and Prince in Disguise. 

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. 

Giveaway

3 Winners will receive a finished copy of Love à la Mode, US Only.

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11.15.2018

BLOG TOUR --- The Color of Lies by C.J. Lyons [Review + Fave Quotes]


Title: The Color of Lies
Authors(s): C.J. Lyons
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: The Fantastic Flying Book Club
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & 
Noble - The Book Depository - IndieBound










Tour Schedule


November 5

That Artsy Reader Girl - Welcome Interview

November 6

Boston Book Reader - Review

November 7

Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile - Review
A Dream Within a Dream - Review
Rhythmicbooktrovert - Review

November 8

LILbooKlovers - Author Q&A
Savings In Seconds - Review
Bri's Book Nook - Review

November 9

Colleen's Conclusions - Author Guest Post
Vicky Who Reads - Review
Paper Reader - Spotlight

November 10

Another Book In the Wall - Review & Favorite Quotes
Here's to Happy Endings - Review
Resch Reads and Reviews - Review

November 11

Lisa Loves Literature - Review
Smada's Book Smack - Author Guest Post
Eli to the nth - Review & Favorite Quotes

Amy's Booket List - Review
Port Jericho - Review


The Summary

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author CJ Lyons comes The Color of Lies, a world drenched in color and mystery.

High school senior Ella Cleary has always been good at reading people. Her family has a rare medical condition called synesthesia that scrambles the senses—her Gram Helen sees every sound, and her uncle Joe can literally taste words. Ella’s own synesthesia manifests itself as the ability to see colors that reveal people’s true emotions…until she meets a guy she just can’t read.

Alec is a mystery to Ella, a handsome, enigmatic young journalist who makes her feel normal for the first time in her life. That is, until he reveals the real reason why he sought her out—he wants to learn the truth behind her parents’ deaths, the parents that Ella had always been told died in a fire. Alec turns Ella’s world upside down when he tells her their deaths were definite-ly not an accident.

After learning her entire life has been a lie, Ella doesn’t know who she can trust or even who she really is. With her adoptive family keeping secrets and the evidence mixing fact and fiction, the only way for Ella to learn the truth about her past is to find a killer.

Perfect for fans of Caroline B. Cooney, Ally Carter, and Jennifer Brown, The Color of Lies blurs the lines between black-and-white facts and the kaleidoscope of reality.
Review

The Color of Lies by C.J. Lyons is quoted as being a"thrilling tale of deception, murder, and heartbreak" (Booklist), but to me it was a little lacking on the thrilling part.  While the writing is beautiful and the characters area well-developed, the plot and pacing is off through the whole book.

There is a slow start, which in terms of a thriller, doesn't work for me.  The reader finds out that Ella's parents died right away, and that she now lives with her Gram Helen and Uncle Joe.  But you don't really learn more about the events that happened until half way through the book, even with Alec investigating everything.  Then, it does pick up, but the twists aren't all that twisty and resolve into a natural conclusion.

However, while the plot wasn't the most outstanding for me, this is a character-centric book, and so a lack luster plot won't both character-loving readers.  Ella is a sympathetic character with an amazing ability.  She isn't just a stereotype "damsel-in-distress"; she takes charge of her life, even when it's being turned upside down.    There isn't a lot of romance in the book, even though there is clear chemistry and love between Alec and Ella.  I appreciate that because a lot of YA books (when they aren't a romance book) bring the romantic element to the forefront, often to the detriment of the other plot elements.

Overall, The Color of Lies was a good book, and if you enjoy thrillers, it's one you'll want to pick up. Out in stores now!

Favorite Quotes

"Just a thick fog like when she'd piled her pillows on the floor and jumped off her bed and one of them burst open and let loose white, fluffy cloud-like stuff.  Only this fog circling around her hiding place, it didn't fall away like her pillow stuffing---it stayed there, growing thicker and thicker, a white blanket draped beneath the black sky." (pg. 144)

"And freeze, my entire body gone rigid with fear.  He's there. Standing in the moonlight.  A strange orange glow surrounds him.  The fire demon of my nightmares come to life." (pg. 158)

"I close my laptop---the crack in the screen is giving me a headache---and grab my notebook, flipping to a clean page.  Time to circle back.  Again,  Find the right thread to pull and I'll unravel everything." (pg. 262)

Final Rating


About the Author


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over forty novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. 

Two times winner of the International Thriller Writers coveted Thriller Award, CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).

Learn more about CJ's Thrillers with Heart at www.CJLyons.net


Giveaway

5 Copies of The Color of Lies by CJ Lyons (USA only)

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