Tag Archives: Liz Czukas

Throwing My Life Away – Liz Czukas

Throwing My Life Away – Liz CzukasTitle: Throwing My Life Away by Liz Czukas, Ellie Cahill
Publishing Info: December 20, 2016 by Independent
Source: Author
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: December 6, 2016
Related Posts: Ask Again Later, Top Ten Clues You're Clueless, When Joss Met Matt, Call Me, Maybe, Just a Girl

7 photographs, 2 weeks, an entire life to get back. No problem, right?
After her stepfather accidentally throws away her high school mementos, sentimental Mariska is pretty sure the world is over. That is, until she comes up with a plan. She's going to recreate her past, with a little help from her friends.
It's not easy to rally everyone into helping, especially Caine, who couldn't be less sentimental about anything if he were a park bench. But from a guerilla kite festival to convincing her ex-boyfriend to recreate her lost prom picture, Mariska is willing to do what it takes.
With a little nudging from Caine, Mariska starts to realize she can't actually get her past back. And maybe that's okay. Because while she's so focused on the past, she's missing out on the present, where her friends are busy having the summer of their lives. And where funny, quiet Caine might just be the future she never knew she wanted.

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I’ve read everything Liz Czukas has written and loved them all so I was so excited to hear about Liz’s newest YA release, THROWING MY LIFE AWAY! As usual, Liz Czukas brings to life some lovable characters, realistic situations, and of course, some amazing friendships. THROWING MY LIFE AWAY was one of the most realistic contemporary stories I’ve read that was on the fluffier side (i.e. not dealing with serious life issues). Liz Czukas did a great job of bringing the average teen to life! The friendships were fun but not over the top. The crushes were superficial and then something more. The parental relationships were complicated, but not too serious for the tone of the novel. It was a light, easy read full of fun, nostalgia, and a good message too.

What you need to know about THROWING MY LIFE AWAY is that it’s the story of Mariska, a girl who has just graduated high school and is enjoying the last summer at home before she and all of her friends leave for college. When her step-dad accidentally brings all of her old photos and memories to the shredder, Mariksa embarks upon an epic summer quest to try to recreate as many of those memories as possible. Now, I don’t doubt Liz Czukas but I was a little scared before I started that this story would be TOO perfect, imagining that Mariska would end up recreating all of her memories fairly accurately. Instead, I found an incredibly enjoyable story where Mariska’s memories got destroyed and her quest to recreate them didn’t totally work out. In fact, it actually came together in a much better way by ending up with new memories and different photos instead of her getting the exact pictures she used to have. I loved that she couldn’t recreate the past and instead, made a much better present and future.

I didn’t connect with this book AS much as I had with some of the other Liz Czukas books I’ve read, but that’s bound to happen when you read so many different and wonderful characters. I still loved everyone that I met and the situations were just delightful as well as insightful. I mostly have just connected with other books of Liz’s better, so that ends up affecting any future reads, this being one of them. I still think Mariska and her friends/family were incredibly realistic and they were so much fun to read about! The book was done so well and it’s such an enjoyable concept as well.

I’m a life-long fan of Liz Czukas and I’m so happy I got to read this book early! I’m always so happy to be able to read the latest from this wonderful author because I think in all of her books, whether that’s young adult or new adult (as Ellie Cahill), she does a wonderful job of keeping a light and fun tone but still incorporating some serious moments and realistic situations. I will forever be scrambling to pick up anything new from her!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Fluff yet real. “Real fluff” — this is my new favorite contemporary genre. Is a real thing? I don’t know. But Liz Czukas totally nails it if it is. It’s fun and light without being overly serious and yet it’s still very realistic and has a lot of thoughtful moments as well as life-lessons.
Left Me Wanting More: Character connection. I don’t know why but I didn’t connect AS much as I had with previous books. But I guess I can’t very well have everything be a super favorite!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

Start from the beginning and work your way forward through Liz’s books. She’s a gem and her books are too!

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BOOKS LIKE THROWING MY LIFE AWAY

(Click the cover to see my review!)

SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE    THE CHAPEL WARS

Cover Reveal & Giveaway | Throwing My Life Away by Liz Czukas

I don’t normally do cover reveals but this is a must-see for one of my favorite authors, Liz Czukas! Her books are so lovely, fun, and down-to-earth and THROWING MY LIFE AWAY is no exception! I had the pleasure of reading it early and you won’t want to miss this one!! But I know, I know, TL;DR you just want to see the cover…

Before we reveal the cover to you, here’s a little info about the book, here’s a special message from the author herself!

I am so excited to share this cover with you all! I am seriously in love with it. Sarah from Okay Creations did such an amazing job! I can’t wait for you all to read the book so you can see exactly how perfect each one of the images she chose is. Seriously when I saw it, I was almost spooked by how utterly perfect they were.

It’s completely surreal to be sharing this cover so close to the release! In only 5 days, Throwing My Life Away will be up on all digital platforms and also available in paperback. Such a change from the usual way, where we have to wait months just drooling over a gorgeous cover image before we get to see it in person.

And you guys, seriously, the paperback is possibly even more gorgeous. I’ll post pics as soon as I can.

Thank you Sarah, for the bee-you-ti-ful cover! I’m proud to have it among my covers. And a huge huge thank you to all the awesome bloggers who have helped to spread this cover far and wide. The support of the book blogging community is one of my absolute favorite parts of being an author.

Now for the giveway! You could win one of three paperback copies of Throwing My Life Away! If the winner is in the US, I can send a signed copy, but that doesn’t mean you international peeps can’t enter! You’ll get a paperback copy shipped to you, and I’d be happy to drop a signed bookplate in the mail to go with it!

Okay, READY??? Here’s the cover reveal for THROWING MY LIFE AWAY by Liz Czukas!!

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AHHH it’s absolutely gorgeous!! I absolutely love the font and colors and photos! 

THROWING MY LIFE AWAY will be on sale on December 20th! Check out all the details for the book below!

Title: THROWING MY LIFE AWAY by Liz Czukas
Publication Date: December 20, 2016
Genre: Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Goodreads: Throwing My Life Away
Synopsis: 7 photographs, 2 weeks, an entire life to get back. No problem, right?

After her stepfather accidentally throws away her high school mementos, sentimental Mariska is pretty sure the world is over. That is, until she comes up with a plan. She’s going to recreate her past, with a little help from her friends.

It’s not easy to rally everyone into helping, especially Caine, who couldn’t be less sentimental about anything if he were a park bench. But from a guerilla kite festival to convincing her ex-boyfriend to recreate her lost prom picture, Mariska is willing to do what it takes.

With a little nudging from Caine, Mariska starts to realize she can’t actually get her past back. And maybe that’s okay. Because while she’s so focused on the past, she’s missing out on the present, where her friends are busy having the summer of their lives. And where funny, quiet Caine might just be the future she never knew she wanted.

Hope you guys enjoyed the cover reveal! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!! Click on the image below to be taken to the giveaway entry!

Just A Girl – Ellie Cahill

Just A Girl – Ellie CahillTitle: Just a Girl by Ellie Cahill, Liz Czukas
Publishing Info: June 21, 2016 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Netgalley
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: March 28, 2016
Related Posts: When Joss Met Matt, Call Me, Maybe, Throwing My Life Away, Ask Again Later, Top Ten Clues You're Clueless

After getting kicked out of her own band—by her own boyfriend—Presley Mason finds herself back in Wisconsin, helping her parents run their renowned music store. Instead of belting out powerhouse vocals to sold-out crowds in L.A., she’s stocking shelves and inspecting rental violins. But the shop isn’t all bad: When she’s vacuuming up late one night, she bumps into the guitar teacher with the smoldering amber eyes and the killer tattoo. And that’s when things take an interesting turn.
Presley soon finds that Paul Kellerman is as good in bed as he is on guitar. So why isn’t he stoked to share his band, Jukebox Bleu, with her? Turns out Paul has crippling stage fright, which he’s been self-medicating without much success. But when Jukebox Bleu’s lead singer gets called for military service, the other members beg Presley to front them. Even though she swore never to mix men with music again, the temptation to perform is almost as intense as her chemistry with Paul. Now Presley must decide what’s more important: a second chance at love . . . or rock stardom.

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I don’t read a ton of New Adult but I do have my favorite NA authors and Ellie Cahill is definitely one of them! I fell in love with her YA debut ASK AGAIN LATER and her NA debut WHEN JOSS MET MATT and every book from her since has been an insta-read for me. When I got approved to read an early copy of JUST A GIRL, I started almost immediately because I knew the book would be fun, flirty, and just the kind of romance I was in the mood for!

I really loved the music hook/theme throughout JUST A GIRL and it added such a fun and unique vibe. I love books that can really pull off a music scene because I’ve read several that involve music but JUST A GIRL is one of those books that really pulls you onto the scene and makes you feel like a part of the action! Ellie Cahill does an amazing job at establishing the musical settings, from music store to concert stage to practice rooms, and creating characters that wholly encompassed the feel as well. I’m always so impressed with an author who can really bring music to life in a book because I feel like that’s the hardest sense to evoke when reading and I was constantly able to make up songs in my head or identify with already-existing songs when referenced. I also really loved Presley’s playlists in between chapters based on what had just happened to her! They really added a little extra something to the book and they were so much fun, not to mention totally spot on.

As with any New Adult read, you expect romance and that is surely what you get in JUST A GIRL! The romance was cute, fun, and realistic. Presley ends up falling for a guitarist that teaches lessons at her parents’ music store and the two instantly hit it off. I actually really liked that Paul (the love interest) was a bit shy and found it refreshing to see some social anxieties in a male character instead of stereotypically finding in a female character. Presley is strong and confident, loving the stage and while Paul loves music, he has incredible stage fright that really prevents him from sharing his music in any way. I really enjoyed seeing the two characters work together in a romantic and mental sense and how they grew from getting to know each other. Their relationship was easy-going and yet meaningful as they both worked through their own issues to end up better people on the other side of this story. I really appreciated how realistic the whole book felt even with a sense of celebrity attached.

The whole book was just a fun and easy read. I loved getting swept away by the romance and again, the musical aspect was also just such a great touch. I was nearly done with the book and things were going so well that I almost forgot there had to be a big conflict! I was afraid of a little self-sabotage on Presley’s part but I really liked how the whole story ended up resolving and I thought it was a great conclusion without being too over-the-top happy ending. It was a very satisfying conclusion and very grounded.

Ellie Cahill (or Liz Czukas if you’re reading YA) is always such a delightful author to read! I love the levity to her books while still addressing serious issues. Any book of hers is an instant read for me and I’m always waiting for more! If you’re in the mood for some fun romances, her books are exactly what you need! view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

just a girl ellie cahill

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Presley // Character Obsessions: Singing, performing, friendship, honesty.
Presley was a fun main character! She’s much more out-of-her-shell than I am so it was fun to have her take the lead in the story and I got to live vicariously through her a little! It was nice to see her have a little bit more of a confident and dominant personality over Paul and I kind of like that the stereotypical “norms” were flipped there.
Paul // Character Obsessions: Music, teaching, friendship, family.
Paul was a cute, boy-next-door-who-can-also-play-guitar type. He was a little bit edgy with his music a total softie and it was just adorable. I loved that sensitive side of him and that he had his own issues to work through that had nothing to do with relationship issues. It was great to see a different source of conflict and a thing to overcome that wasn’t a relationship hang-up.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Music in books. Gosh, it’s just so rare that music and a musical atmosphere really comes ALIVE when reading. I love how JUST A GIRL really made me feel like I was on the scene. I could totally picture everything!
Left Me Wanting More: Tender moments. There were plenty of swoony and sexy moments but I was hoping for just a teeeeensy bit more personal connection between Presley and Paul. Just a couple more cliche cutesy moments that didn’t relate to Paul’s anxiety would have sealed the swoon for me!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

If you’re a fan of any of Ellie Cahill’s books (well I guess this is the third NA so you only have two New Adult books to choose from so far…) then you need to grab JUST A GIRL! It’s fun, clever, and just a delight.

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BOOKS LIKE JUST A GIRL

(Click the cover to see my review!)

OPEN ROAD SUMMER    DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

Call Me, Maybe – Ellie Cahill

Call Me, Maybe – Ellie CahillTitle: Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill, Liz Czukas
Publishing Info: February 9, 2016 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Netgalley
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: December 21, 2015
Related Posts: When Joss Met Matt, Just a Girl, Throwing My Life Away, Ask Again Later, Top Ten Clues You're Clueless

Clementine Daly knows she’s the black sheep. Her wealthy, powerful family has watched her very closely since she almost got caught in an embarrassing scandal a few years ago. So when Clementine’s sent on a mission to live up to the Daly name, politely declining isn’t even an option. Of course, the last thing Clementine does before departure is grab a stranger’s phone by mistake—leaving the hunky journalist with her phone. Soon his sexy voice is on the line, but he doesn’t know her real name, or her famous pedigree—which is just the way Clementine likes it.
Despite all the hassles, Justin Mueller is intrigued to realize that the beautiful brown-eyed girl he met at the airport is suddenly at his fingertips. They agree to exchange phones when they’re both back in town, but after a week of flirty texts and wonderfully intimate conversations, Justin doesn’t want to let her go that easy. The only problem? It turns out that Clementine has been lying to him about, well, everything. Except for the one thing two people can’t fake, the only thing that matters: The heat between them is for real.

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I’m a huge fan of Liz Czukas’ YA novels and absolutely adored her first NA, WHEN JOSS MET MATT. When I heard about CALL ME MAYBE, I knew I had to get my hands on it quickly! Like all of her other novels, CALL ME MAYBE was a fun and quick read. It was also, however, the book of hers that I’ve had the most issues with to date.

CALL ME MAYBE started out incredibly cute. Readers get to know Clementine who seems just like the girl next door… if the girl next door’s family was filthy, filthy rich. Chaos and adorableness ensues when Clementine and mysterious hot stranger accidentally switch phones and end up making a connection while talking. The phone conversations were absolutely adorable and I was quickly falling in love with these two characters and their relationship! I loved how they got to know one another and since it’s New Adult, we got to dip more into the sexy side of flirting. Some of it actually really reminded me of text conversations I had while in college (well, maybe they weren’t sexy like that but the texts reminded me of my own) when I had all of the feelings for a new crush!

Fellow book bloggers might also love that Clementine is a book worm and blogger just like us! At first I was super thrilled because hey, she’s just like me! But as the story progressed, I sort of felt like I was reading something that I had written… but not really in a good way. Don’t get me wrong! This wasn’t the author’s fault, but I have a terribly, terribly bad habit of “writing what I know” aka, I fictionalize my own life when I run out of creative ideas when writing (seriously. This is why I’m a reader and not a writer) so it sort of started to feel like that for me. I also ended up having a hard time with Clem’s job choices and how easy/hard it was to find something in her field. Trust me — we as bloggers would love to write reviews and blog and get paid for it but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Some things just felt like they happened a little too easily since for me/us, the struggle is real.

My big hang-up, though, was that Clementine really ended up self-sabotaging and that was THE reason for conflict in the book. Things were going just fine until she started getting suspicious, jealous, and freaking out for honestly no reason at all. There really could have been some other conflict or maybe something more justifiable for her to freak out like she did but I really didn’t feel like her actions were warranted and that totally turned me off. I didn’t really feel sorry for her because any drama that happened, she really did it to herself.

I was so bummed that it started out so cute and really lost steam about halfway through. I just wanted so much more from this book considering WHEN JOSS MET MATT is still one of my favorite contemporary books and was easily a favorite from 2015. CALL ME, MAYBE just didn’t quite live up to its predecessor and was so sad that I didn’t fall in love with it.
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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

call me maybe gr updates

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Clementine // Character Obsessions: Reading, blogging, family, privacy. 
Oh, Clem. We hit it off so well and then you had to go and get all paranoid. It was really such a bummer because I was positively glowing at the beginning of the book and you can really see how quickly things changed for me by my updates. Such a shame that she had to get so insecure.

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Kept Me Hooked On: New adult. I don’t really read a lot of new adult but these books always remind me why I love the ones that I do. Though really, where was all of the good new adult sexy times in this?
Left Me Wanting More: Confidence. Clem didn’t have to be crazy confident but I would have appreciated something there that prevented her from getting so paranoid. That was really hard to watch and totally lost me.

Addiction Rating
Try it

The beginning was super cute and I loved where the book was headed. If insecurity doesn’t turn you off as much as it does for me, hopefully you won’t have a big issue! I just couldn’t look the other way.

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BOOKS LIKE CALL ME, MAYBE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT    THINGS I CAN'T EXPLAIN

The Flavors of WHEN JOSS MET MATT

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Welcome to the blog tour for WHEN JOSS MET MATT by Ellie Cahill!

I read WHEN JOSS MET MATT a couple months ago because I just couldn’t wait and I absolutely looooved it. I haven’t had the best track record with new adult books BUT I knew that this one was by Liz Czukas (who chose the pen name Ellie Cahill for her new adult adventure) and I’ve loved her other books so I felt confident I would enjoy WJMM as well — and the book TOTALLY exceeded my expectations!

Before hopping into the tour post, I want to share with you a little bit more about the book for those who aren’t already acquainted with it! 

When Joss Met Matt Eliie Cahill Liz Czukas

ABOUT WHEN JOSS MET MATT:

In the tradition of New Adult superstar Jessica Sorensen, Ellie Cahill’s debut novel is a charming friends-with-benefits story… with a twist!

  “What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to help “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, someone you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet.
    Joss and Matt have been friends since freshman year of college, meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her boyfriend. After a few drinks, Matt humors her with a proposition: that he’ll become her go-to guy whenever she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: They’ll never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.
    Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for each other when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or can they?

I’m friends with a lot of fellow YA readers and I feel like they’ve been in the same boat as me — the new adult books we’ve tried so far just really haven’t been the books for us, and that’s understandable. I feel like when I read mostly YA, sometimes it’s hard to change mindsets and if I’m reading books with straight-up romance (hello, this book has literally been designed around sex), I still find myself looking for great characters and plot and then some. I’m not normally an new adult reader and my NA choices are usually for the whole package and not just the romance. Anyway — long story short, you needn’t worry about WHEN JOSS MET MATT. It’s simply fantastic all around and it instantly became one of my favorites… like, ever.

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite aspects of the book and reasons I think you should read it if it’s not already on your list of books to read! Here are…

THE FLAVORS OF WHEN JOSS MET MATT

Lemon

WHEN JOSS MET MATT was a palate cleanser for me. Both in new adult selections and just reading in general. It was positively delightful, everything I look for in contemporary, and a breath of fresh air. It kind of gave me a book hangover… but it was also a very cleansing read!!

strawberry

The relationship between Joss and Matt is super sweet. Yes, they invent sorbet sex so okay, it gets a little spicy, but they have an amazing friendship going on and I love how they’re always there for each other no matter what. There’s a fair share of sexy times but that doesn’t take away from how sweet their relationship really is.

chocolate

I didn’t want to stop reading this book!!! Once I started, I didn’t want to put it down. I think a lot of people will feel the same way and just want to read it all at once. I don’t blame them! It was so easy to read, so much fun, and I was completely invested.

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I think all kinds of readers will make a connection with this one. It’s New Adult, but it also has great appeal to YA readers and I think anything can really extend upward to adult readers. I think this one will certainly be a crowd pleaser!

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There are some moments that make a reader cringe — but in a good way. Any conflict between Joss and Matt just made me sad, of course. But at the same time, it’s a necessary evil. They both go through some big changes and sometimes there’s a little tartness!

mixedberry

This book was just a great mix of everything. The relationships were great, the swoons were there, the characters were awesome, the setting was stellar (college! Wisconsin! — I’m a midwest girl so that appealed to me), and I really just loved everything about it. Every single piece came together to make one amazing book.

passionfruit

And of course, let’s not forget the passion (kidding. We couldn’t). The chemistry between Joss and Matt is GREAT and the sorbet sex! It sort of just makes your heart leap to see these two get together. Even besides passion for another character, each person really sort of has their own passion in life and that’s great to see as well.


WELL, if you weren’t convinced before, I hope you are now! Read WHEN JOSS MET MATT! You won’t be disappointed!!!

Don’t forget that you can find out more about the book and the tour below! The schedule will be updated as the posts go live so keep checking back! 

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Want to win a copy of WHEN JOSS MET MATT? (The answer is YES) Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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When Joss Met Matt – Ellie Cahill

When Joss Met Matt – Ellie CahillTitle: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill, Liz Czukas
Publishing Info: February 24, 2015 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Edelweiss, Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: December 5, 2014
Related Posts: Call Me, Maybe, Just a Girl, Throwing My Life Away, Ask Again Later, Top Ten Clues You're Clueless

    Ellie Cahill is poised to coin the term “sorbet sex” with her charming twist on the age-old ‘friends-with-benefits’ story.
    Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.

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I love Liz Czukas (sorry, I mean Ellie Cahill *wink*) and so I knew I would love WHEN JOSS MET MATT but I didn’t realize how MUCH I would love it. Her debut novel, ASK AGAIN LATER, totally won me over but WHEN JOSS MET MATT had me totally falling head over heels for these characters, the story, and how much I connected with absolutely everything (and I already have it pre-ordered).

WHEN JOSS MET MATT is everything I want New Adult to be. Always. We first meet the two during Joss’s first years of college and when a good relationship goes bad, she leans more and more on her new friend Matt who also helped her coin the new idea of “sorbet sex” (having sex with someone else after a bad encounter to wipe the slate clean). I’m not shy around sex in books but there are quite a few times in the new adult books that I’ve read that the sex scenes become tawdry and over-the-top and unrealistic, so although there is plenty of sex in WHEN JOSS MET MATT (hey, that is the whole concept of the book…), it never felt silly or awkward to read (well, except when it was supposed to be)!

The characters were fantastic too. I LOVE Joss and have been in her shoes so many times. I just really connected and although I may not have been in the exact same predicaments, everything was just so incredibly relatable no matter what it was. She and Matt are both just totally normal people. No one is over the top sexy or hunky but there’s enough attraction between the two to flirt with that line of best friends vs something more (MY FAV) and see how the two end up.

Books with flashbacks/flashforwards are often “take it or leave it” for me but I loved the back and forth in WHEN JOSS MET MATT. We start to get to know Joss & Matt in college but the story constantly flashes back and forth between their past and their present day (which also made me VERY NERVOUS but in a good way). It takes a great author to really make those scenes fit together plot-wise even though they’re not chronological and I love the way Ellie Cahill handled them.

But really my favorite part was just the overall feel. I loved that it took place in Wisconsin since I’m from Illinois (and one scene in Chicago!) and I felt that Midwestern vibe, which may not be much different than any other setting, but it really helps me connect that much more. Everyone is very down-to-earth and the situations these two ended up in felt like they could happen to me — or HAVE happened to me. The book was funny yet serious, sexy and sweet, and I absolutely love love loved the ending. If you’re not a fan of new adult, PLEASE try this book! I absolutely adored it and it’s one that I think could easily appeal to YA, new adult, and adult fiction lovers alike.

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

When Joss Met Matt reading updates

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Joss // Character Obsessions: Friendships, her job, her cat, Matt, sexy underwear.
Joss is just your girl next door. And I absolutely loved her for that. She’s not what you’d necessarily define as traditionally beautiful but she’s still a normal-looking girl and has a normal life. I loved her little quirks — especially her love for sexy underwear (because let’s be honest. It makes us all feel super sexy even if no one sees it) — and I just totally clicked with her. She has a great sense of humor and may say a little TOO much sometimes but I loved that she reminded me of a combination of both myself and a few of my friends.
Matt // Character Obsessions: Family, friendship, dating, Joss.
OH MATT. I loved him. He was a great best friend, so funny, so nice, and yet still a “typical” guy. He was so funny and had really great chemistry with Joss. Also infuriating at times, but hey, that’s what happens with both guy best friends and when you’re interested in your guy best friend. I just loved how relatable he seemed as well!

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Kept Me Hooked On: New Adult. YAYYYY this is what I want all new adult to be! I know the “typical” thought about NA is that it’s sexed up and well… this definitely has a lot of sex in it but it isn’t overly-explicit and I really think that extends its appeal to so many more readers. It’s not just a romance novel — it’s so much more.
Left Me Wanting More: Of this book! I didn’t want it to end. I just loved every second of this book and it was so, so perfect.

Addiction Rating
BUY IT!

No, seriously. BUY THIS BOOK. If you’re a fan of YA or NA or Adult contemporary, you should definitely read this. And buy it. And hug it. I loved it!

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BOOKS LIKE WHEN JOSS MET MATT

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        LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT      JUST ONE DAY

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless – Liz Czukas

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless – Liz CzukasTitle: Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas
Publishing Info: December 9, 2014 by HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 14, 2014
Related Posts: Ask Again Later, When Joss Met Matt, Call Me, Maybe, Just a Girl, Throwing My Life Away

    Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day:
5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market
4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi
3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm
2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)
1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000
Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

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TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS, in true Liz Czukas-fashion (which I will say having only read two of her books. But still) was so adorable and tons of fun. The book revolves around list-making Chloe and her day as it proceeds on this specific Christmas Eve — which she just so happens to be working at the local GoodFoods. The book continues in a Breakfast Club-style fashion when someone at the store is suspected of stealing a large sum of money and all of the juvenile workers are held in the store until the managers and employees can figure out who the culprit is.

One of the best parts about the book is how much I loved the Breakfast Club feel. Have today’s teens see The Breakfast Club? Because if not, they should both watch that movie and read this book (they can pick which order they do that in. And I may know what teens are reading but I don’t know what they watch haha). Movies like The Breakfast Club and books like TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS incorporate two things that are some of my favorites: story lines that take place within 24 hours and take place all in one location (for the most part). There’s just something really special about being able string a story together that just fits within a day. I’m not sure why, but it really adds something extra to a book for me.

TOP TEN CLUES was just adorable. I really enjoyed Chloe’s character (I love list-makers) and all of her co-workers were just really enjoyable to read about as well. They were all very different and there was quite a diverse cast and yet they all really came together in the end despite their differences, especially to rally against “the man” (ahhh, more Breakfast Club feels). Sometimes have a prominent and sizeable cast of characters causes me to get a little lost on who is who, but Liz Czukas did a great job of giving each one very different personalities as well as physical descriptions so the combination of each character’s traits really brought them to life for me and I never once felt like it was an overwhelming number. Each character enriched the story and made it that much better for me and getting to know each one along the way was so much fun!

The romance in the book was cute, but it didn’t quite have the swoon-factor that Liz’s previous book, ASK AGAIN LATER, did for me. (What can I say? I’m a sucker for the best friends.) I think it was just more of a personal history thing for me because picturing myself in the situation that Chloe was with Tyson, well… that situation just never worked out for me. The crush on a co-worker/classmate just never panned out for me personally in my own past so I think I just felt like the flirting was too good to be true. (Sorry, Chloe! Totally nothing personal.) I just didn’t quite get the heart palpitations I was hoping for with the romance, but it was still pretty cute.

TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS was such a fun book and such a breezy read for me. I finished in one afternoon! It was also a great book to get me in the Christmas spirit (even this early!) since it takes place during the holidays and I LOVED how much it made me feel Christmas-y even if I was reading it a bit early for the season yet. I connected more on a personal level with ASK AGAIN LATER but TOP TEN CLUES really solidified the fact that I’m a Liz Czukas fan and I’m totally ready to read anything she’s putting out! (Even *gasp* her new adult book that’s coming out soon!)

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

The Book Addict's Guide Top ten Clues You're Clueless

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Chloe // Character Obsessions: Making lists, blood sugar, Tyson, solving the mystery.
Chloe was a really fun character! I automatically identify with any characters who make lists so that was perfect right off the bat! She felt like a very real character and probably someone I would have hung out with in high school! I think I saw a lot of myself in her, especially how she handled certain situations.
Sammi // Character Obsessions: Bravado, cigarettes, loyalty. 
I really liked Sammi a lot. Out of all the characters, she’s the one that really felt the most dynamic the more I got to know about her. She had a tough exterior but there was so much more to get to know about her and I’m really glad we got to see more!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Liz Czukas. This is the second book I’ve read from Liz and I just love them both. Her writing is so much fun, relatable, and dabbled with a few great pop culture references that both add to the story and will stand the test of time.
Left Me Wanting More: Swoons. The only thing I could have asked for more of was swoons! I hate comparing books by the same author to one another, but with all of the swoons I had for Schroeder in AAL, I was ready for tons in TOP TEN CLUES! The romance was really cute and it was very fun, but I had just connected more to the one in AAL!

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

If you love light & fluffy reads, this book is perfect for you! Buy it for your friends for the holiday season and give them the gift of Christmas feels too!

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BOOKS LIKE TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS

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        the distance between us       sean griswold's head book cover

Ask Again Later – Liz Czukas

Ask Again Later – Liz CzukasTitle: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas
Publishing Info: March 11, 2014 by HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 15, 2013
Related Posts: Top Ten Clues You're Clueless, When Joss Met Matt, Call Me, Maybe, Just a Girl, Throwing My Life Away

Sixteen Candles meets Sliding Doors in this hilariously charming and irreverent YA debut. Fans of realistic teen fiction like Lauren Barnholdt's Two-Way Street and Sarah Mlynowski's Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) will love Ask Again Later's pitch-perfect tale of prom night drama—with a twist.
Heart LaCoeur has zero interest in a messy high-school romance, no matter what her name suggests. That's why she's decided to avoid prom angst by going with a group of single friends. And that's why, when two surprise prom invites derail her brilliant plan, Heart takes the only foolproof, drama-free solution: a coin flip—that somehow gives her the chance to live out both prom nights. Heads or tails, where they both end up might be the most surprising thing of all...

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ASK AGAIN LATER was adorable and just the book I needed! The story opens with Heart (and yes, that is her real name and she hates it) weighing her prom options. It being their junior year and none of them really dating anyone (except a couple), they decide to all go together, forming a crew called the No Drama Prom-a crew, a group I really wish I had had in high school! The book follows one story line until it’s time for Heart to decide on her new options for Prom: Her classmate in French, fellow theater nerd, and friend Ryan and her brother’s best friend and jock Troy who had just gotten dumped. Heart feels so torn and doesn’t want to hurt either guy so after her friend’s Magic 8 Ball continues to give unhelpful answers (hence our title “Ask Again Later”), Heart flips a coin and the two story lines split into how Prom night goes with Ryan and how Prom night goes with Troy.

The concept was very reminiscent of JUST LIKE FATE by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick or PIVOT POINT by Kaise West which was a big bonus for me because I truly enjoyed both of these and how they played out! It’s a sort of parallel universe without actually experiencing both, keeping it contemporary and not paranormal or sci-fi. We flip flop between heads and tails, seeing both sides of the coin (as you will) and how things go terribly wrong and awesomely right in each respective scenario. In each path, Heart learns a lot about herself and also in respect to her family and her relationship with her friends. Oh yeah…. And a ROMANTIC relationship which constantly filled me with butterflies and totally reminded me of my own high school experiences.

ASK AGAIN LATER felt very true and loyal to legitimate high school experiences (or at least the ones I had)! With a few exceptions where we lean towards the stereotypical “popular kids” like Troy the jock and other cheerleader/dance team/beauty queen girls in the jock Prom group, reading ASK AGAIN LATER really felt like it hit home with me. I loved Heart’s relationship with her friends and seeing the theater nerds because while I wasn’t a full-on drama person, I did a couple plays and musicals in high school and we had our own niche of musical & choir nerds so I can totally relate to that! It was so much fun to see and watch how relaxed they were with each other. I adore nerdy friendships and I loved seeing a solid group of friends who weren’t afraid to be silly and were truly comfortable with who they were around each other. I often tire of the catty girl friendships so this was so refreshing and truly enjoyable to read!

I’m not normally one to pick up books about Prom because too often I feel like I don’t connect with them or I’m easily turned off because dance scenes often lead to a drama-filled plot. Liz Czukas totally nailed this Prom-themed book though because although there was drama, I never felt weighed down or turned off by it. Yes, bad things happened to Heart. Yes, hearts were broken. Yes, tears were shed… But Heart has her friends to back her up and spend the night with, even if she doesn’t go solo with the No Drama Prom-a group and true to their motto, they make valiant attempts to make the best of each negative situation that comes their way. Heart finds herself in some truly compromising situations but her friends are always there to lend her support and she’s able to rely on them when she needs it most!

Okay NOW NOW NOW let’s talk about the most adorable romance! I personally think it’s adorable because this was about 90% of my dating (aka non-dating) life. Imediately, I latched onto Schroeder. His real name is Chase but instead of calling Heart by her real name, he instead calls her various internal organs like kidney and lung to be funny and Heart in turn calls him Schroeder playing on the fact that he resembles the Peanuts character and is a whiz at the piano. Ummm, ADORABLE. Okay, that may seem immature to some and totally not adorable, but that teasing is totally my kind of flirting and just somehow really just GETS me. Since the first time I met Schroeder, I was already rooting for Heart and him to get together. Throughout the book, the back and forth between Heart and Schroeder just totally tugged on my heartstrings and their friendship, their banter, and their feelings for each other were absolutely my favorite parts of ASK AGAIN LATER.

I actually double-checked my review just to make sure I covered all of my favorite points because there were really no parts of this book that I didn’t enjoy and you NEED to know about all of them. I had expected to like ASK AGAIN LATER, but I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the characters and really connect with this story as much as I did. It’s a lovely contemporary novel that focuses not only on the romance but also on the friendships, compassion for others, and not letting the negative get you down. I really hope others love this book as much as I did!!

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Heart // Character Obsessions: Taking a chance, going to Prom, not hurting others.
Heart was a girl after my own… heart. She wasn’t a total geek but she let her hair down around her friends and wasn’t afraid to show her goofy side. I also really identified being in her position being put in the middle of two people, neither of which she wanted to hurt even though she wasn’t that close with either guy. She also doesn’t want to hurt her friends by not going with the group and I totally understand being in that position and putting the happiness of others before your own and not wanting to upset the group!
Schroeder/Chase // Character Obsessions: Playing it cool, going to Prom, talking to Heart.
I loved Schroeder. He was such a fun character and really felt like just a combination of my own crushes in high school. I absolutely loved his interactions with Heart and he was totally my favorite part of the book.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Prom stories. You know. I tend to not like books about Prom. It’s just usually not my thing. Liz Czukas totally nailed it with ASK AGAIN LATER and I’ll make sure not to write off “prom books” in the future!
Left Me Wanting More: Geek love. I loved all the nerdy love, geeky friendships, and total lack of caring what other people thought. Heart and her friends were so much fun! I just wanted to see a touch more of their goofiness but it was totally there throughout the book!

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

I had such a blast with this book! I’ll surely be picking up a shiny new copy for my shelves when it comes out in March… on my birthday… BIRTHDAY PRESENT!?

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE ASK AGAIN LATER

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Just Like Fate           Pivot Point