The rules for swimming are simple:Rule #1: There is no lifeguard on duty.Since her mom died three years ago, nineteen-year-old Zosia Easton’s been treading water. Living at home. Community college. Same old Saturday nights. So when her father breaks the news he’s taken a job transfer—and by the way, it means renting out the house that’s been her refuge—a summer in Tokyo feels like it just might be a chance to start swimming again.Rule #2: Beware of unexpected currents.Finn O’Leary has spent God knows how many years trying to drown out his past. Juvenile detention. Bad decisions. Worse choices. He’s managed to turn it around – MIT, Dean’s List, a sexier-than-thou body with a smile to match – at least on the surface. When his mom asks him to spend the summer with her, Tokyo seems as good a place as any to float through the summer.Rule #3: Swim at your own risk.
Arrive at work at 7:58 A.M. sharp. Check. Count forty-seven steps to cubicle. Check. Arrange pens in their red-blue-black-green-purple order of importance. Check. Apply hand sanitizer before opening email. Double check.And that’s just the first few minutes of her work day.Thirty-one-year-old proofreader Bailey Mitchell is a slave to her tics. She inherited Obsessive Compulsive Disorder from her father, and it’s done nothing but inhibit her love life. She’s run the gamut of boyfriends—none of them willing or able to cope with her condition.Enter 32-year-old Reece Powell, her new coworker at Beach Elite Marketing Firm. He’s more than willing to cope. He finds her habits cute and quirky . . . for now. Reece wins her over, and life coasts along for them until Bailey experiences a devastating blow. Tragedy exacerbates her OCD, and Reece realizes her tics aren’t so cute and quirky anymore. Just like all the others, he has the choice to leave.But Reece isn’t like all the others.
“Annie!” I squealed, running and scooping her up before she had the chance to escape. I rained kisses all over her face. She was clearly confused, but she seemed to like it. The evidence? She dropped her doll and squeezed my neck.
Erica stared at me through narrowed eyes. “No one, including me, likes my children that much. What is going on?”
Annie giggled on cue, like she understood her mother’s words. I laughed outright.
“Your momma’s silly, isn’t she? Isn’t she?” I asked, poking Annie’s sides.
“Oh my God, who are you?” Erica demanded. “Where’s my BFF who promised me she’d never have children so I could live vicariously through her? I swear to God if you’re pregnant…”
“Calm down,” I said over the top of Annie’s head. She twisted in my arms signaling she was over my show of affection. I placed her on the floor beside her discarded doll. “How would I even be pregnant?”
“Sex. It’s called sex,” Erica replied. She finished folding the last of Little Noah’s shirts, then tossed it in the laundry basket.
“Don’t say s-e-x in front of the baby!” I chided.
“B, she doesn’t know what sex is.”
“She’ll repeat it.”
“Oh, so you want to be the mother with the kid who knows the bad words?” I asked.
“Bad word?” Erica asked, laughing.
“You know what I mean,” I said. “You want to be the mother who all the other mothers gossip about? Like about how bad your parenting skills are?”
Erica placed her hand on her hip. “Yeah, I do. Fuck ‘em. Fuck all those mothers. Fuck their playdates and mommy groups and fucking Melissa and Doug puzzles. Fuck their running strollers and baby couture and breastfeeding advice. Fuck their—”
I looked down at the floor, but Annie was gone. She’d walked away somewhere, no doubt the kitchen since that seemed to be her favorite place to play.
Twenty-three year old, Kamryn Cunningham has left all she’s ever known and moved to a small town where no one knows her name, who her parents are, or her social status in the horseracing world. Months after opening her own bakery and evading attempts of being set up by her new best friend, she meets Brody. Kamryn fights the instant pull between them because there’s a detail she can’t dismiss. Brody’s married.To say that twenty-six year old, Brody Saco has had a rough marriage would be an understatement. After marrying his pregnant girlfriend, he spends the next six years in a relationship filled with hatred, manipulation and guilt involving a tragedy that happened five years earlier. When he keeps running into his sister-in-law’s best friend, Kamryn, he can’t ignore that she makes him feel more with just one look than his wife ever has; and soon he can’t continue fight his feelings for her.When staying apart proves to be too difficult, Brody and Kamryn enter a relationship full of stolen moments and nights that end too soon while they wait for Brody to file for divorce. But the guilt that comes with their relationship may prove to be too much for Kamryn, and Brody might not be strong enough to face the tragedy from his past in order to leave his conniving wife.
When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.
Instead of making a playlist for the book, this is a bit different. I’m posting the playlist featured in the book, the playlist Malcolm made for Liv which he called Liv, Forever. Yes, that’s where the title of the book came from. I still have so many feelings left over from reading LIV, FOREVER and I couldn’t let go yet so here I am. Here goes!
What a great playlist, right? Clearly shows Amy’s great taste in music (She wrote about music for magazines before!) Hope you enjoyed (and made you interested/buy/mark as to-read LIV, FOREVER) the songs!
Friends don’t let friends marry the wrong woman…Chad Walker may be a take-no-chances man with a plan, but there’s no way Amelia Snyder is going to let her best bud marry Mean Girl #1—even if the wedding is solely so he can secure the controlling shares in his family’s company. But free-spirited Amelia’s at-the-altar groomnapping scheme takes a surprising turn when she ends up as the blushing bride instead.Suddenly, with Amelia living in her handsome husband’s home—in his bedroom, no less—she starts to reconsider their strictly platonic arrangement. But Chad’s always been anti-risk and definitely anti-love, and betting a lifetime of best friendship on the chance at forever might be the biggest gamble of all.
I bought this on a whim because it was on sale for only $0.99. I thought it would be just the perfect book when I need palate cleansing from all the review books and I wouldn’t feel pressured to review it because I bought it. HEA is certain + best friend romance + groomnapping + being trapped in a cabin/close proximity = sounds fun and shallow and fluffy and the exact read I was craving for last Wednesday. I did enjoy my time reading but this book was definitely just an okay read, which is why I gave it 2 stars.
The plot was predictable and the characters were stock ones. We have best friends who obviously like each other but both have their own issues about love. Amelia won’t stay in one place for too long and keeps running away. Chad doesn’t want to love so he wouldn’t lose himself when the one he loves leaves him. Two common characters we see in films and in books so getting to know them deeper wasn’t needed. The writing was okay (and I hate to say this but kind of “pedestrian”) and in the third person perspective with an omniscient narrator. I think the book could have benefited from a dual perspective from Amelia and Chad because their thoughts and feelings would have been more tangible in that way. The premise was flimsy and you could see through every plot arc from a mile away but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of reading some light-hearted and breezy romance past midnight to reward myself for a hell week at school and work.
So even if technically speaking this book wasn’t great, if you could get past undermining the plot and overanalyzing everything and being a critical reader, you’ll at least smile or even have fun.
Being a teenager is tough, especially when you have to pretend to be something you’re not, and you’re in love with someone you shouldn’t. 115 years ago, a small planet called Arcadia was invaded by a vicious alien race and nearly destroyed. Cut off from their resources, the Arcadians turned to Earth for help. A group of Arcadian explorers discovered a Prophecy that claimed their salvation lay in the hands of two children from Earth. To ensure their safety, the Arcadian Council sent their most gifted youngsters to Earth to act as protectors. Samantha is one of them.To succeed in her mission she must learn to control her Arcadian powers and keep her true identity from her best friend, and the girl she swore to protect, Alexia. But Samantha will soon realize that nothing is as it seems. Someone is trying to prevent the Prophecy from taking place and the prophecy boy hasn’t been found yet. There is also a new drug circulating at school that is turning students into freakishly strong menaces.To make matters worse, distractions keep getting in her way. Such as her love/hate relationship with her “cousin” Matthew. Or her confused feelings toward popular and mysterious Julian. She wants nothing more than to be free to live her life. But the survival of Arcadia depends on her and her friends. Free will is not an option.
Books, Authors, Blogs – Excerpt
Letter Trails – Excerpt
Brooke Blogs – Excerpt
Clever Girls Read – Review
Mythical Books – Guest Post
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Excerpt
My Book Addiction – Excerpt
Chicklit vs Fantasy – Review + Excerpt
Little Miss Reader – Review
deal sharing aunt – Excerpt
TeamNerd Reviews – Excerpt
Tressa’s Wishful Endings – Excerpt
Fastidious Reader – Excerpt
Addicted Readers – Excerpt
Once Upon a YA Book – Excerpt
Indy Book Fairy – Excerpt
Reviewed the Book – Interview + Excerpt
Refracted Light – Excerpt
Always Lost in Books – Excerpt
Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.
–In this alternate history, eighth graders are assigned part-time jobs after school in areas they excel and in fields they are eventually likely to work in. Students with no particular academic strengths or who are poor performers in school are assigned to manual labor or factory jobs.
Bio for Trees
–This is a high school basic biology class, which got its nickname because “you can be as dumb as a tree and still pass it.”
Ciel Le Coeur
–Sol’s brother, a programming expert who has been reassigned from Night to Day, and who hasn’t seen Sol for two years.
–The natural biological clock that has been observed in many living organisms. In humans, there are phase markers over a roughly twenty-four-hour cycle, including melatonin secretion of the pineal gland, core body temperature changes, and level of cortisol in the blood.
–Supplements (in pill form) that “Smudges,” or night-dwelling people, take to maintain health in their sunlight-free lives. CircDiem is melatonin, to help induce drowsiness during the day, and vitamin D compensates for their lack of UV exposure.
–Rays live from sunrise to sunset, while Smudges live from sunset to sunrise. The moment of sunrise is defined astronomically: when the upper limb of the sun breaks the plane of the horizon in the east. All cell phones count down to both curfews by tenths of seconds and sound an alarm bell.
–The Day medical apprentice who treats Sol’s injured finger at the hospital. His mother, Helene [acute accent on the first e, grave accent on the second e!], is his mentor. D’Arcy is talented at his work.
Day Pass/Night pass
–Important hospital staff have permanent passes that allow them to travel beyond curfew. However, they are still subject to random Hour Guard inspections.
Fifty-Ninth Street Pier
–A beautiful spot on the lakefront on the south side of Chicago, opposite the Museum of Science and Industry. In Plus One, the pier is the site of at least one important hostage negotiation.
–D’Arcy’s mother’s mom’s maiden surname. D’Arcy’s mother uses it in the hospital to grant anonymity to VIP patients. It becomes the nickname of the Night Minister’s baby.
–Sol Le Coeur’s newborn niece, whom she sets out to “kidnap” (if only for an hour or two) from the Day hospital.
–a French word that means “fiesty” or “spirited,” and is used by one character to describe Sol. Also used by French speakers to refer to unbroken horses.
–The leader of the local Noma tribe, a gang that somehow operates outside of the law, including breaking curfew. Sol observes that Fuzz is like a small mountain and has hands the size of hams.
–A member of a local Noma tribe, Gigi is as tough as nails. She swears, smokes, carries a switch blade, and has abdominal muscles like a weight lifter. But there’s something tender beyond that rough facade. Gigi is the subject of the Tor.com short story “Noma Girl.”
Global position software/credit functionality
–Every Smudge and Ray has a cell phone with his or her identity, school records, work history, and health status stored inside. The phones also locate them for authorities using GPS, and allow them to make purchases without carrying cash.
Harper Memorial Library
–A beautiful “concrete Gothic” building on the campus of the University of Chicago, where some of the actiony-est action of Plus One takes place.
–D’Arcy’s mother and mentor, a Day medical doctor specializing in emergency medicine. She and her husband were born in France. D’Arcy was born in the U.S.
Hour Guard/Officer Dacruz
–Hour Guards enforce the mandatory curfew by checking the Day/Night designation on cell phones. They are allowed to stop anyone, at any time. Dacruz is the officer in charge of Sol’s violation.
–Also called a hypnic jerk, this is the involuntary spasm you sometimes experience when first falling asleep. Often accompanied by a split-second illusion of falling, or stumbling.
“I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”/The Ink Spots
–Poppu’s favorite song, made famous in the 1940s by a crossover Smudge band called The Ink Spots. Poppu plays it on a ukulele, which makes for a lighter, jauntier cover than the languid Ink Spots arrangement. Sol and Ciel swing dance to it in happier times.
–D’Arcy’s dad: kind, free-spirited, French, scientific, suntanned, full of secrets.
–Ciel’s new wife, a Ray, and the mother of their baby, Fleur. Kizzie is kind and calm, and provides much-needed balance to Ciel’s intensity.
Maquoketa Caves State Park
–A beautiful but very tiny state park that I seem to have inflated beyond it’s stature, given that my Norwegian reader Mari wants to travel to Iowa rather than the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone when she visits the U.S.! Maquoketa is charming–full of caves and nature–and only three hours away from Chicago.
–A technique that real-world researchers at the University of Chicago use to study the biorhythms of Siberian hamsters. Not recommended for humans.
–The barred spiral galaxy that contains our Solar System. To us it looks like a band of stars, because we’re viewing its disk structure from within. If you haven’t seen the Milky Way, please allow me to add it to your bucket list.
–That would be the SS. Francisco Morazan, to you. This ship ran aground on a shoal off South Manitou Island, Michigan, in 1960. The wreckage is now a sort of eco-tourist site, since it has become a habitat for fish and nesting cormorants. Camping on South Manitou was something Sol, Ciel, and Poppu did in their younger days.
Mr. Thomas/Mr. Jones
–Undercover agents, or perhaps government-sanctioned thugs? Also known as Suits, because of their penchant for wearing crisp business attire, and their generally good grooming.
–A hairstyle that is associated with the 1980s, but was worn as far back as the sixth century, and is clipped short at the front and sides but long in the back. Noma women all sport a black mullet. Noma men wear a bleached-blond crewcut.
–A large group of starlings. Thousands of birds will often fly in amazing, giant, cloud-like formations that are breathtaking and give you a whole new reason to rejoice in life! There’s a moving video of one of these mass murmurations here.
Night Minister/Jacqueline Paulsen
–While the Federal government is run by Rays (Day people), the regional Night Ministers have limited local control. Jacqueline Paulsen is the ambitious, seemingly ruthless Night Minister in Sol’s district.
–A semi-nomadic group, classified as hoodlums by both Smudges (night-dwellers) and Rays (day-dwellers), and who somehow seem to straddle the Day/Night divide. Sol’s brother, Ciel, may have business ties to them.
–One of Sol’s most endearing quirks, in my opinion. Because of her brutal honesty, she sometimes blurts out seemingly off-topic–but always powerful, raw, and heartfelt–comments.
Old resistance/new resistance
–Sol’s parents were part of the old resistance against the Day/Night divide. Their group, like the radical Weathermen of the 1960s, used a campaign of bombings to try to start a revolution against the U.S. government. The new resistance, organized by Grady Hastings, is more of a peaceful resistance, in the style of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi.
–A necklace given to Sol by her brother, Ciel, and made of two parts: the sun and the moon.
Plus One (patient transport)
–A perquisite for medical doctors that allows them to transport sick patients within and to the hospital, beyond the patient’s Day or Night curfew.
–The maternal grandfather of Sol and Ciel. Poppu is Belgian, and moved to the U.S. to take care of his grandchildren, accepting Smudge designation in order to do so.
–The Tagalog (Filipino) word for “heart.” Used by one of the characters in Plus One as a fictitious surname.
–The ability to re-program a cell phone when it’s not in your possession.
“Share Space Fairly By Sharing Time Fairly”
–a slogan created by the Committee on Public Information to promote acceptance and understanding of the Day/Night divide.
–Slang terms for Night and Day people, used by both groups.
–Our main character! Sol is a Smudge, living with her dying grandfather. Her narration is sometimes raw and wounded, but she is always in command of her powerful feelings, despite the lack of command in her life.
–A pandemic that swept the globe in 1918-19, killing up to 100 million people. In Plus One, the population was divided into Day and Night during the second wave of the disease, to control the spread of illness and to provide relief to health care workers (with the addition of medical apprentices to boost staff).
–A state park about 100 miles west-northwest of Chicago, along the Illinois River. Sol and Ciel have been there many times with Poppu, who loves nature.
–A system of tunnels underground in some older U.S. cities, through which heat is channeled to buildings from a steam plant.
Tarte au maton
–A delicately sweet dessert of Belgian origin that Poppu makes every year for Sol’s and Ciel’s birthdays.
–An important book in Sol’s practically-homeschooled education, given to her by Poppu on her thirteenth birthday. Sol sees parallels between Telemachus and her brother, Ciel.
Uncensored text/future text
–Clever cell-phone hacking tricks that Ciel has developed (and more importantly, cloaked) from authorities. An uncensored text is one that is sent without the government reading it; a future text is sent ahead of time, to be delivered on a particular day and time in the future unless called off with a passcode.
–A Noma boy who is a hacking prodigy, like Ciel. In fact, Ciel is Zen’s idol. Because of his affection for Ciel, Zen also admires Sol.
–Zen’s mother. A kind woman who is a hairdresser by trade, giving mullets and crewcuts to fellow Noma.
–A very mild French swear, similar to “shoot!” or “heck!” and something D’Arcy says when frustrated.
Some say love is deadly. Some say love is beautiful. I say it is both.Faith Watters spent her junior year traveling the world, studying in exquisite places, before returning to Oviedo High School. From the outside her life is picture-perfect. Captain of the dance team. Popular. Happy. Too bad it’s all a lie.It will haunt me. It will claim me. It will shatter me. And I don’t care.Eighteen-year-old Diego Alvarez hates his new life in the States, but staying in Cuba is not an option. Covered in tattoos and scars, Diego doesn’t stand a chance of fitting in. Nor does he want to. His only concern is staying hidden from his past—a past, which if it were to surface, would cost him everything. Including his life.At Oviedo High School, it seems that Faith Watters and Diego Alvarez do not belong together. But fate is as tricky as it is lovely. Freedom with no restraint is what they long for. What they get is something different entirely.Love—it will ruin you and save you, both.