Review: How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozz0

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When I read Karole Cozzo’s debut novel, How to Say I Love You Out Loud, I knew I was on to something good.  So it was with great anticipation I began her new release.   And I just love when I can pass along five-star gems to other readers…

Nikki messed up big time, and she knows it.  After a party (unauthorized) at her house, pictures of a classmate end up on social media. And let’s just say these aren’t your average selfies.  Does it matter that she didn’t actually take and post the pictures?  Not really.  It was, after all, her house and her Facebook account.  Her punishment wouldn’t have been as hard to take if her friends hadn’t thrown her under the bus and left her to take all the blame.

A disappointment to her family and herself, she finds herself an outcast at her old school as well as at her new school.  She resigns herself to just getting by, not calling anymore attention to herself and making do until the end of the year.  But friendships do happen, and love interests do come along.  Nikki’s finding it harder and harder to forgive herself and to move on.  Will she be able to make amends and move forward?

This story takes a very real, very tough look at a topic very much in the headlines these days.  Where does personal responsibility begin and end?  Are you just as much to blame if you just stand by and watch? And how long does it take to earn back the trust of those you’ve disappointed the most?  Another outstanding story from this author!

~Thalia

~Buy It Now:  How to Keep Rolling After a Fall

 

Review: Love, Lies & Spies by Cindy Anstey

01 love A sweet romance filled with intrigue and early 19th century charm.

I was completely taken in by the cover. It looked like something I would enjoy and I was right. So cute!!

SYNOPSIS
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

From the very first chapter title and sentence, I was hooked. In fact, I read the first page to my kids, while they were eating lunch, and my daughter said she wants to read it. THAT right there is a good sign.

I was totally taken in by Juliana’s quirks. She seemed to get into trouble, without even trying. All she wants to do is stay out of the limelight and avoid any suitors, but the more she tries to be invisible the more she’s noticed, and sometimes not by the best people.

Spencer has a mission to do, and it doesn’t include falling in love. Actually, that’s the farthest thing from his mind. That is until he sets his eyes on a bewitching young lady with a talent for trouble.

There’s something to be said for the friends to lovers stories. Those are the some of the best. The heart wants what the heart wants and even if you, or anyone else, try and stop it, it always wins in the end.

“There are not enough superlatives in the English language to capture even a tenth of my emotions.”

~Melpomene

Release date: April 19th
Preorder Love, Lies and Spies

Review: How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo

How_to_Say_I_Love_You_Out_Loud_for_sitejpgModern-day readers are very fortunate. No matter what situation-ailment-predicament-life event they find themselves in, there’s a book for it. Nonfiction if they’re after factual information, fiction if they want to simply lose themselves in a story. And it’s the same for young adult readers. Almost every possible scenario has been imagined, everything from bullying to living with a mental illness. It’s not as common, however, to find a book that tells the story from the perspective of a family member. This wonderful book from Karole Cozzo does just that.

The story is told from the point of view of Jordan, a young girl living with a secret. To her it’s a terrible secret, one that’s led to embarrassment and isolation in the past. But it’s not something she can control. Her younger brother Phillip has autism, and it pretty much governs everything that goes on in her family. From family outings to alone time spent with her mom, it all revolves around Phillip and his unpredictable, ever-changing moods.

She survives by keeping a definite separation between home and school. A student at an elite school, she gets by well enough. She’s active in sports and does well enough academically. But she keeps her friends at arms-length, never letting down that boundary between the outside world and her home life. While not an ideal solution, it works for Jordyn. Until Phillip is unexpectedly and unavoidably transferred to her school. Now all her worst fears come true as the lines between home and school are crossed. And Jordyn has to confront some hard truths about herself. Is she using Phillip as an excuse to not let others into her life?

It’s hard to like Jordyn at first because she’s so hard on herself and her family. She’s embarrassed of Phillip, even to the point of pretending to not even know him. Most of us would find that inexcusable. But she’s a teenage girl, and that says a lot. Being a teen is hard enough, especially in an elite school. It’s entirely understandable to see how she’d want a little bit of normalcy, one area of her life that isn’t ruled by Phillip.

This was an outstanding story. It’s plausible and realistically written, and the descriptions of Phillip’s behavior as a person with autism ring true. It will hit home for anyone affected by autism, but will have readers of all kinds hooked until the very end.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: How to Say I Love You Out Loud