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




10 Truths and a Dare
Authors(s): Ashley Elston
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook; 304 pgs
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Kindle Audible
Bookshop.org - Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One
5/1/2021 - The Book View - Review

Week Two
5/2/2021 - What A Nerd Girl Says - Excerpt
5/3/2021 - YA Books Central - Excerpt
5/4/2021 - Fire and Ice - Review
5/5/2021 - BookHounds YA - Excerpt
5/6/2021 - YA Book Nerd - Review
5/7/2021 - Lifestyle of Me - Review
5/8/2021 - Moonlight Rendezvous - Review

Week Three
5/9/2021 - Jenguerdy - Review
5/10/2021 - Ficticiouswonderland - Review
5/11/2021 - Book-Keeping - Review
5/12/2021 - Amani’s Reviews - Review
5/13/2021 - booksaremagictoo - Review
5/14/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review
5/15/2021 - Emelie's Books - Review

Week Four
5/16/2021 - Kait Plus Books - Excerpt
5/17/2021 - Zainey Laney - Review
5/18/2021 - onemused - Review
5/19/2021 - Midnightbooklover - Review
5/20/2021 - amandainpa - Review
5/21/2021 - Geauxgetlit - Review
5/22/2021 - two points of interest - Review

Week Five
5/23/2021 - Book Briefs - Review
5/24/2021 - Momfluenster - Review
5/25/2021 - Star-Crossed Book Blog - Review
5/26/2021 - michellemengsbookblog - Review
5/27/2021 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
5/28/2021 - Do You Dog-ear? - Review
5/29/2021 - Books and Zebras - Review

Week Six
5/30/2021 - My Fictional Oasis - Review
5/31/2021 - Popthebutterfly - Review

The Summary

This companion to Ashley Elston's beloved 10 Blind Dates follows Sophie's high-achieving cousin Olivia as she juggles last-minute P.E. credit, end-of-year parties, and a secret new romance in the chaotic week before graduation.

It's Senior Party Week, that magical in-between time after classes have ended but before graduation, chock-full of gimmicky theme parties, last-minute bonding, and family traditions. Olivia couldn't be more ready. Class salutatorian and confident in her future at LSU, she's poised to sail through to the next phase of her life.

But when the tiny hiccup of an unsigned off-campus P.E. form puts Olivia in danger of not graduating at all, she has one week to set things straight without tipping off her very big and very nosy extended family. Volunteering to help at a local golf tournament should do it, but since Olivia's mom equipped her phone with a tracking app, there'll be no hiding the fact that she's at the golf course instead of all the graduation parties happening at the same time. Unless, that is, she can convince the Fab Four--her ride-or-die cousins and best friends Sophie, Charlie, and Wes--to trade phones with her as they go through the motions of playing Olivia for the week.

My Review

A quick, cute comedy full of a big family, solid friendships, an unexpected romance, and a whole lot of golf, 10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston, the follow up to her book 10 Blind Dates, delivers in the fluffy fun category of YA contemporary!

In 10 Truths and a Dare, we meet back up with the Messina family, but this time we're focusing on cousin Olivia, the got-it-all-together Salutatorian.  Buuuuuut there is one tiny little snag in her grand graduation plans--she never passed her P.E. credit (oops, guess golf wasn't the priority).  And that is where the shenanigans begin!  Olivia doesn't want her nosey, yet loveable, family to find out, so she enlists the help of the other 3 of the Fab Four (Sophie, Charlie, and Wes) to run interference between her parents/grandparents/everyone while Olivia works to get those credits!  Oh, and while she's hustling, there may be a little romance, as a treat.

I adored 10 Blind Dates, so I was very excited to pick up 10 Truths and a Dare!  Not quite as adorable as the first book, this one has an underlying tone of ethics.  Not in the big, preachy way, but just as a life lesson of integrity.  This balances the book out, so that the quirky interference the cousins are running doesn't overpower the story.  But this is 100% still enjoyable, full of moments that made me snortgiggle. Just how I like my YA contemporaries--I can't read something too sugary sweet, or it doesn't ring true to me.

Elston has a knack for creating lovable, but real, characters.  Learning more about Olivia, and in turn her family, made me like them all the more.  Elston crafts real teenagers (because yes, they sometimes, who'd've thunk it, overreact), all people I could see knowing as a teenager.  While we didn't see the whole big Messina crew constantly, the focus on the Fab Four was great.  I am not close with my cousins, but I am super close with my siblings, and the relationships between all four friends (because to be clear, Wes is not their cousin) felt really similar to my own family.  Olivia and crew get up to some antics for sure, but she also learns more about herself, where her priorities should lie, and how to come clean when you mess up--all important lessons tempered with a half-baked, switch phones, fib-to-the-family plan.  

A read-in-one-sitting book, this is the perfect read to wrap up the end of a tough school year.  Check out 10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston for your next YA contemporary pick!

Final Rating

About the Author

Ashley Elston is the author of several novels including: 10 Blind Dates (a Top Ten ALA Quick Pick and the companion to this book), The Rules for Disappearing (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Writers Thriller Awards), This Is Our Story, and The Lying Woods. She has a liberal arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Shreveport with her husband and three sons. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

 Goodreads | Amazon

3 winners will receive a finished copy of 10 TRUTHS AND A DARE, US Only.




Stuffed: Into Darkness
Authors(s): Liz Braswell
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook; 315 pgs
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Kindle Audible
Bookshop.org - Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One
4/26/2021 - Kait Plus BooksReview
4/26/2021 - PopTheButterflyReview
4/27/2021 - Nerdophiles  - Review
4/27/2021 - booksaremagictooReview
4/28/2021 - The Momma SpotReview
4/28/2021 - BookHounds Ya  - Review
4/29/2021 - For the Love of KidLitInterview
4/29/2021 - fictitious.foxReview
4/30/2021 - Moonlight Rendezvous  - Review
4/30/2021 - I'm ShelfishReview

Week Two
5/3/2021 - MidnightbookloverReview
5/3/2021 - Two Points of interestReview
5/4/2021 - Books a Plenty Book ReviewsReview
5/4/2021 - Eli to the nthReview
5/5/2021 - Little Red ReadsReview
5/6/2021 - Lifestyle of MeReview
5/6/2021 - Celiamcmahonreads  - Review
5/7/2021 - michellemengsbookblogReview
5/7/2021 - A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt

The Summary

No Stuffy has ever gone into the Darkness and returned....

Clark can’t wait to go away to camp this year. For the first time ever, he has actual friends to hang out with. Catherine-Lucille and D. A. will both be at Camp I Can with Clark, and C. L. has already promised to induct him into her exclusive camp club—the one for campers who know everything there is to know about the world of Monsters and how Stuffies protect kids from them. And now that he knows (or suspects . . . very strongly) that his grandma-made Stuffy, Foon, heroically saved his own father from a horrible fate, Clark is obviously bringing Foon to camp along with him.

But once Clark gets to camp, he and his friends discover things are off. There are strange, gooey findings in some of the bunks, the adults are acting weird, and, worst of all, their Stuffies and dolls go missing right at the moment they need them the most—when they go on the intersession camping trip and end up trapped in a creepy old cabin. What Clark and his friends don’t know, and what the mighty Foon soon discovers, is that the Monsters have launched a revenge campaign against Foon—a campaign that entails sucking the very life out of Clark. Now it’s up to Foon to enter the World of Darkness and take on the Monster in charge in order to stop the plot and save Clark’s life. 

In the long tradition of Stuffies vs. Monsters, this one’s a battle for the ages—one that will certainly go down in Stuffy history.

My Review

The second book in the series by Liz Braswell, Into Darkness (Stuffed #2) expands upon the world we are introduced to in Stuffed--the world of monsters and Stuffies.

Now just like most kids, I had some beloved stuffies (I still have a few that keep me safe), and I knew that they had special abilities.  In Stuffed, we were introduced to this world, and in Into Darkness, this world will have to be defended once again.  Because you see there are terrible, horrible, disgusting monsters that live in the creepy corners and the shadows; ones who suck the energy from unsuspecting humans.  But Stuffies keep their humans (and even humans they may not know) safe from the monsters.  And there is no more heroic a Stuffy than Foon, the warrior stuffy that saved the Boy's (we know him as Clark) Dad from a horrible death at the hand of the King of all monsters.

Now that Clark is keyed into the world of monsters versus Stuffies, he and the friends he made at Camp I Can are tracking the monster activity.  Meanwhile, Foon and his fellow Stuffies are preparing for what seems to be an even more sinister monster plot.  Into Darkness brings Humans and Stuffies together again, working to fight back the monsters.

This is action-packed, funny, and a little frightening--a perfect combo for the adventurous middle grade reader.  The world of Stuffies is one all kids can relate too, and so many adults (because who didn't have/still has their favorite Stuffy?).  The pacing is a little slow at times, but when the action flows, it makes up for it.  I love seeing the human world from the stuffies perspective, and then also getting the view point of Clark and his friends.  Once you dive in, you'll never see your own stuffed animals the same way.  Pick up Book 1, Stuffed, and Book 2, Into Darkness, at your local bookstore as soon as possible!

Final Rating

“So how do we stop the Monsters?” Saneema asked. “Especially if none of us are here on Saturday and Sunday?”

“Well, we can start by figuring out how they’re getting into camp,” Catherine-Lucille said. “We’re in the middle of nowhere. Monsters usually hate that. They like being around people they can torture and feed on. There’s no scary bedrooms here, and we keep all our stuff under the bunks. There’s no basements or attics for them to hide in. So where are they, and how are they getting here?

“We need to keep our eyes and ears open, listen at doors when the counselors are talking. We need to make sure every weird incident is reported to us. First. So we can see if there’s a pattern or something. We need to find every potentially scary location at the camp. Dark, deserted, dismal—Monster spots. We need to ID them and set up guards.

“And we need. To make. More. Stuffies.”

About the Author

Liz Braswell spent her childhood reading fairy tales, catching frogs, and going on adventures in the woods with her stuffed animals. She has a degree in Egyptology from Brown University (and yes, she can write your name in hieroglyphs). After making video games for ten years Liz now writes full-time and plays video games for fun. She has written Snow, Rx, The Nine Lives of Chloe King, and several books in the best-selling Twisted Tale series, including Part of Your World and As Old as Time. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two children, a cat, a part-time dog, three fish, and five coffee trees, and still sleeps with a Stuffy.  

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon

3 winners will receive a finished copy of STUFFED: INTO DARKNESS (Stuffed #2). US Only.




Take Me Home Tonight
Authors(s): Morgan Matson
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook; 416 pgs
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Kindle Audible
Bookshop.org - Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One
4/26/2021 - For the Love of KidLit - Excerpt
4/27/2021 - PopTheButterfly - Review
4/29/2021 - Do You Dog-ear? - Review
4/30/2021 - Book-Keeping - Review
5/1/2021 - Kait Plus Books - Review

Week Two
5/2/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review
5/3/2021 - BookInNeverland - Review
5/4/2021 - Fictitiouswonderland - Review
5/5/2021 - Emelie's Books - Review
5/6/2021 - onemused - Review
5/7/2021 - What A Nerd Girl Says - Review
5/8/2021 - Not In Jersey - Review

Week Three
5/9/2021 - Fire and Ice - Review
5/10/2021 - Moonlight Rendezvous - Review
5/11/2021 - booksaremagictoo - Review
5/12/2021 - Feed Your Fiction Addiction - Review
5/13/2021 - BookHounds YA - Spotlight
5/14/2021 - Midnightbooklover - Review
5/15/2021 - I'm Shelfish - Review

Week Four
5/16/2021 - Book Briefs - Review
5/17/2021 - Dazzled by Books - Review
5/18/2021 - A Dream Within A Dream - Review
5/19/2021 - Books and Zebras  - Review
5/21/2021 - fictitious.fox - Review

The Summary

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist in this romp through the city that never sleeps from the New York Times bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone.

Kat and Stevie—best friends, theater kids, polar opposites—have snuck away from the suburbs to spend a night in New York City. They have it all planned out. They’ll see a play, eat at the city’s hottest restaurant, and have the best. Night. Ever. What could go wrong?

Well. Kind of a lot?

They’re barely off the train before they’re dealing with destroyed phones, family drama, and unexpected Pomeranians. Over the next few hours, they’ll have to grapple with old flames, terrible theater, and unhelpful cab drivers. But there are also cute boys to kiss, parties to crash, dry cleaning to deliver (don’t ask), and the world’s best museum to explore.

Over the course of a wild night in the city that never sleeps, both Kat and Stevie will get a wake-up call about their friendship, their choices…and finally discover what they really want for their future.

That is, assuming they can make it to Grand Central before the clock strikes midnight.

My Review

This book was so great! I have read a lot of contemporaries, but every time I pick up a Morgan Matson book, I am never disappointed, and Take Me Home Tonight is no exception!  It had everything: humor, romance, hijinks, drama, and crime.  Sucks you right in, and keeps it coming until the end!

The book starts off normal enough, with two friends, Stevie and Kat, awaiting the casting announcement for their Fall play, King Lear.  But, alas, the norm is disrupted when their Theater teacher says he "needs more time" on it.  This sends panic through the group, but none more than Kat, who has played up this role as the most important thing for her Senior year.  And of course, she expects her best friend, Stevie, to feel the same.  But Stevie doesn't, and is focused on her own drama in the form of her Dad canceling on her for her 18th birthday dinner.  

Typical high school drama, and Matson could've just kept it that way.  But nope, Kat and Stevie are off to magical New York City (being from Connecticut) to try and salvage both Stevie's birthday night and (secretly) Kat's chances at her "once-in-a-senior-year" role.  
What could go wrong?

Matson focuses on the relationship between Stevie and Kat in such a realistic and beautiful way.  My best friends in high school were my everything, and that is what Kat and Stevie have, as well.  But growing up sometimes means growing apart, and the girls realize this in a very inconvenient, stuck in NYC kind of way.  They have to fall apart to come back together, and the events that plague the girls (some good, some bad, and some outrageous) all add up to develop a deeper friendship than they had before.

The supporting cast in this book is a delight, and if you're a Matson fan, you will see some returning characters from her previous books, so keep a sharp eye out for that.  Within these supporting roles, both Kat and Stevie have some really great friends and family, and Matson takes the opportunity to explore, albeit lightly, how love works romantically and familiarly.  But the love one has for their friends is the overarching focus, and each encounter leads, in a way, to Kat and Stevie's relationship.

Now, all that makes this book sound very serious, and it is in some parts, but this is a plot filled with crazy, the kind that you always read about happening in NYC, but even more crazy (at least to me) then I think actually happens.  I loved it though; I think that the over-the-top escapades helped highlight the realistic, more grounded instances within the book.  Also, they were just so fun to read about.  And live yourself (I can't be the only person who dreams of the fantasy of NYC, no?).

Fast-paced, twisty, and turney - Kat and Stevie's adventure through one New York night will keep you entertained and glued to the page (oh and their friend Teri has some very crazy stuff happen to her that takes place simultaneously - all I'm going to say).  Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson is a real winner, and might just be one of my favorite of her books so far.  Pick up your copy wherever books are sold on May 4, 2021!

Final Rating

About the Author

Morgan Matson is a New York Times bestselling author. She received her MFA in writing for children from the New School and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author for her first book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which was also recognized as an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. Her second book, Second Chance Summer, won the California State Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at MorganMatson.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

4 winners will receive a finished copy of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, US Only.


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