Mundie Moms

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Review - Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Written by: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Release Date: 1/8/2013
Source: ARC provided by publisher for review
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | amazon |

Rating: 5 out of 5 macarons, I mean stars - simply brilliant.

Synopsis:A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

There are reviews that are impossible to write because you love a story so much that you just don't know where to start. So I'll dub this the All Over the Place review. I hope you read on.

As I read her story, I related so much with Allyson (we won't even begin to discuss that we shared failed pre-med freshman semesters). She is a classic pleaser, over-achiever and all around good girl always doing what is safe. But what happens when she takes that European tour with her best friend and meets a boy? A boy who promises to show her Paris in a day. Oh, Willem. Oh, the trouble you caused. And oh Gayle. Oh, the trouble you caused. Yes, Gayle, the author. She caused all this lovely, conflicted trouble in my mama heart and I thank her for every, single word.

I'll confess that I haven't read Gayle's If I Stay series, so being introduced to her writing through Just One Day has been one of this year's pleasant surprises. Her characters are so layered that just when you think you have them pegged, they'll become different -- more mature, sadder, riskier and just the kind of people you want in your own life. Again, I can't begin to describe how hard I fell for  Allyson's story. The moments of happiness and discovery were beautiful. The moments of depression and self-questioning made me crave macarons (more on that later). Another huge thank you to Gayle for writing Dee. He's just the kind of guy Allyson needed at that very moment, and in reading their chapters, I remembered how friends have entered my life just when I needed them the most. Of all the things that rang true in this story, their friendship touched me the most.

Macarons, you say. See that picture of the recipe book I had to buy when I spied it at Barnes and Noble? I am going to try making them. Wish me luck. They'll probably turn into lovely looking, inedible hockey pucks, but I needed to have one after reading about Allyson's experience with these melt-in-your-mouth morsels.

And now that I'm dreaming about macarons, I'm thinking about characters like Celine (hello, French mean girl). She wasn't supposed to be someone I'd understand, but by the end of the book, I did.

I'm avoiding the mention of Willem, aren't I? The swoony, Shakespearean actor and serial heart-breaker. Here's why. That last chapter simply melted my heart. And to say that I need his version of the story, Just One Year, like NOW is to underestimate my love for French pastries, cafe au laits and small art galleries in Paris.

If you enjoy a story about a character who evolves and discovers the person she wants to be -- pick up Just One Day. But a warning from me: this book will linger with you and you'll flip back to re-read about tulip greenhouses, cobblestone streets and kindness in the most unexpected of people. And Willem. You'll want your passport stamped with Paris, if only to spend those 24-hours with him.

Shrapnel Blog Tour: Excerpt

Welcome to today's Evernight Teen blog tour stop for Stephanie Lawton's SHRAPNEL. I'm excited to be able to share an excerpt from Stephanie's newest book with you guys today. Happy Reading!

“Jesus, it’s creepy out here,” Jake whispers.
I guess he’s right. To a normal person, the shadows cast by the full moon would send the blood racing. Wind rushing through millions of live oak leaves would make you shiver. And being outside after midnight on haunted grounds would feel … wrong. Illegal.
Not to me. I never feel so alive as when I’m confronting the unknown. There’s nothing more beautiful and peaceful than a world asleep under a glowing moon. No one analyzing my every move, no cameras in my face. Just me and the spirits who have kept me company my whole life. Jackson said he likes strong girls. I wonder if Jake does too, or if he thinks I’m a freak for getting off on this. He’s here with me, and not with Ashley. Is that my answer? I shouldn’t care so much.
“I want to start by the tree,” I tell him. “Remember earlier when the Ovilus kept saying tree over and over? That’s got to mean something.”
“How do you know it’s this tree?”
“Dude, you’re questioning the psychic?” I punch his arm. He digs the Ovilus and K-II out of his pockets, handing the former to me.
“So …” He kicks an acorn across the sidewalk. “What do you think happens when we die?”
I go slack and tilt my head. “Really? You’re asking me now? You wanna know the meaning of life, too?”
He stares after the acorn he just assaulted. “I know, it’s just, this weekend has gotten me thinking. I mean, Ashley’s freaking about her brother, and Ethan is dead but he’s still in this house. And the whole church thing she brought up. I don’t have that much experience with actual ghosts, so … it’s a bit much.”
I ignore him and circle the tree a couple times, gazing up into its shadowy branches. A quick movement to my left catches my eye. A shape flies out of the dark and straight at my face.
Jake doubles over in laughter. “Watch out for those killer squirrels, Dylan. God’s punishing you for ignoring my question.”
I point right at his nose. “And that right there is why I don’t want to talk about it.”
“God’s army of killer squirrels?”
Jake’s doing that squinty thing people do when they want to ask a serious question but don’t want to be all heavy. “You think he punishes people?”
“I know it.”
“Want to explain?”
“Nope.” I am not having this conversation. The memories start poking their way to the surface.
“C’mon, you can’t leave me hanging like that. Does it have to do with the cross shape branded on your thigh?”
Anger. It whips through me faster than I can think, scorching my nerves and setting my scar on fire. “Just shut up, okay?”
“Easy, Dylan. You want to talk about it? Is it, like, some weird cult initiation or something? You a closet Jesus freak?”
“You think I did this to myself?” I rub my thumb over my thigh. The memory of that day makes me tremble.
Jake’s eyes widen. “You’re terrified. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. I just thought—”
“What? You’d pry into my business? Make the freak talk?”
“Fine. You want to know? I was in the bathroom at school. Four girls came in. They dragged me into the handicapped stall, pinned me to the floor and pulled down my pants. One took off her cross necklace and heated it with a lighter. Then she pressed it into my leg while her friends sat on my arms and legs and laughed. Now I have a scar. Happy?”
“God, Dylan.”
“Exactly. God. He and I aren’t on such great terms.”
“They did that because you see spirits?”
“That’s one reason.”
“There’s more?”
He has no idea. And if I can help it, he never will. “Look, I didn’t come out here to talk. You want that, hit up Ashley. I’m sure she’d be happy to help you out. I came here to investigate. You’re free to do whatever the hell you want. Just stop asking questions.”
Jake runs his fingers through his messy hair and kicks another acorn. “I’m sorry, Dylan.”
“Yeah, fine. You ready?”
He nods. “Show time.”
Slowly, I turn the knob on the Ovilus.
Tree. Tree. Bad.
Jake and I stare at each other with matching expressions. Then the Ovilus pipes up again with a different word.

About The Book:

It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her.
Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities.

None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.

Publication date: January 2013 by Evernight Teen:

Author bio:

After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.  
A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

Author website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads

Cover Reveal: RECLAIMED by Sarah GUILLORY

Happy Friday! I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Spencer Hill, and a few other bloggers to reveal Sarah Guillory's cover for her upcoming release RECLAIMED. Check out this cover and the synopsis below.

Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.  
All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother.  She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.
Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember.
Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.
The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.
Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return.
Jenna, Ian & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you. 

Title: Reclaimed
Author: Sarah Guillory
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary (
Release Date: October 15, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-937053-88-8 
Formats: paper, e-book
Find Sarah Online: 

What do you guys think? I'm totally intrigued! I can't wait to learn more about this storyline.

Daniel Sharman in The Studio Recording Clockwork Princess

The other day I posted about the news that Daniel Sharman, the Teen Wolf hunk/star is set to record/narrate The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Princess. Yesterday Cassie quoted from Hollywood Crush:

From Hollywood Crush: Remember yesterday when we told you that handsome”Teen Wolf” actor Daniel Sharman would be narrating the audiobook version of Cassandra Clare’s long-awaited “Infernal Devices” conclusion, “Clockwork Princess”? Well, here—for your viewing pleasure—is an image of Daniel in the recording studio, primed to read Cassie’s words with his swoon-worthy British accent. All together now: SWOOOOOOOOON! 

But also, we should probably be totally jealous, right? Because in front of him, in all its glory, is a finished copy of “Clockwork Princess”—something we won’t be able to get our grubby little hands (or ears) on until March 19. Do you think Daniel would accept a two-day-old PB&J sandwich bribe to tell us how it all ends? No? Bloody hell!
Are you counting down the days until the release of “Clockwork Princess”? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!
I don't know what's more exciting, getting to read the book or listening to Daniel read it. Who's purchasing the audiobook? *raises hand*