Category: Teenage Relationships & Friendships

#MyYASummer Book Review | “Summer by Summer” by Heather Burch | #ReadingIsBeautiful No.2 (part of #YASRC 2015)

Posted Friday, 21 June, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#ReadingISBeautiful Summer YA Reading Challenge by BookSparks

I had fully intended to read my #ReadingIsBeautiful selections hugged closer to the months when the books were meant to be reviewed (Summer of 2015), however, those of whom have caught my posts relating to circumstances which wicked out hours and derailed my attempts to read along with the rest of the book bloggers who took up the same challenge are already in the loop realising my readings of these stories will come quite a bit later than planned (by a few years).

To recap the events for those who are visiting me for the first time,
please direct your attention to the following posts:

You can read a fuller disclosure of my readings of these novels on my review for “Vote for Remy” in the top anchour section of the post.This marks my six review overall spilt between #SRC2015,#ReadingIsBeautiful (the YA selections) and #FRC2015, however, it is the fifth Summer Reading Challenge selection I am reading.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I originally found BookSparks PR Spring 2014, when I came upon the Summer Reading Challenge a bit too late in the game. I hadn’t forgotten about it, and was going to re-contact them (in Spring 2015) to see if I could join the challenge in 2015 instead. Coincidentally, before I sorted this out, I was contacted by one of their publicists about Linda Lafferty’s Renaissance historical novel, “The Shepherdess of Siena”. 

I started to participate in #SRC2015 during Summer 2015 until lightning storms quickly overtook my life and the hours I could give to the reading challenge. Summer ended hard and with a newfound resolve to pick up where I had left off, I posted as many reviews on behalf of BookSparks blog tours and/or the three reading challenges I had committed myself to participate inside (i.e. #SRC2015, #ReadingIsBeautiful (YA version), and #FRC2015).

I am unsure if I can resume hosting with BookSparks once my backlogue is erased, however, my main motivation in resuming where I left off was to ‘meet the stories’ even if my days of being a blogger with BookSparks ended the day I couldn’t keep up with the reviews when life interrupted my postings. I continue to hope as my reviews arrive on my blog the authors and the publisher(s) will forgive my delays. Life kept interfering with my plans to read these novels – in late 2016 my Dad had his stroke, 2017 marked his year of recovery and in 2018 I had ten months of health afflictions. I simply didn’t have a lot of time to re-attach into the stories despite re-attempting to read them off/on for the past few years.

I received a complimentary copy of “Summer by Summer” by BookSparks. By participating in the #SRC2015 – this is the YA version of that 2015 challenge called #ReadingIsBeautiful – I am reading the novels in exchange for my honest reviews; whether I am receiving a complimentary copy or borrowing them through my local library. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My selection process for #sRC2015 + #Yasrc directly:

I made four selections for the #YASRC challenge – they were spilt rather evenly between Fantasy and Contemporary YA, as I made two selections for each genre. The interesting bit is that I hadn’t realised Summer by Summer was a Clean Reads selection for young adult (or adult) readers who are seeking a gentler side of YA. One of my personal contentions for reading YA as an adult reader and as a Prospective Adoptive Mum in the future, is how adult YA is becoming. Meaning, it is hard to find YA written for a true young adult reader – wherein, there isn’t strong language or overtly graphic violence. Whenever I find stories of YA which have vulgarity inclusive to their narratives, I either mention it directly on my reviews, find those stories to be DNF’d and/or they fall into what I place as a category for Upper YA due to the rather adult situations, strong language and/or other inclusive depictions of life I’d categorise as being nearly ‘outside the YA genre’ altogether.

What is beautiful about accidentally finding Blink YA Books is that this is a publisher who is striving towards keeping YA “YA” by the definitions that I appreciate myself for the genre! You can read more about how they’re doing this on their Info Page about their publishing practices. I personally can’t wait to read more stories by them as a result!

Especially as I’m an active reader of YA (and Middle Grade stories) inasmuch as the fact I’m a hybrid reader who moves between mainstream and INSPY markets. It is an uplift of joy to realise there are publishers out there who get why a lot of us like YA for what it can give not just young adult readers but for adults like myself who have re-discovered the beauty of YA Reads (hence why #iReadYA is a lovely tag, too) for the joyfulness of reconnecting with a part of our readerly lives we still love to discover today as older adults. Secondly, as a future parent I am also mindful of the stories I’d like to encourage my children to read themselves and as a book blogger I’ve been able to garnish a list of stories I would feel comfortable allowing them to read.

The reason I did select Summer by Summer was due to the premise involving a nanny on vacation to South America. I love stories involving nannies and au pairs – not just in fiction but in films, such as the Gregory Harrison Au Pair series of films on the previously known Fox Family Channel starring opposite Heidi Noelle Lenhart. Each Summer since 2015 I’ve been striving to focus on this novel and I can’t even count how many times its been prominently featured on my bookshelf or compiled into my #SummerReads selections for each of those Summers. For whichever reason, it remained a firmative fixture of my backlogue of Reviews until this Summer, 2019.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Summer by Summer Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

Summer by Summer
by Heather Burch
Source: Publicist via BookSparks

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780310729631

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), New Adult Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Blink YA Books

on 7th April, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 288

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Listen to the synopsis as shared by the author:

Published By: Blink (@BlinkYABooks)
an imprint of HarperCollins Focus

Note on classification of genre: Although this was marketed for YA audiences, I felt upon reading the synopsis again for the first time in a few years combined with the context of the opening bridge of the novel – this felt like it fits better within the branch of Upper YA and/or New Adult. Especially considering Summer isn’t a young teenager – she’s employed as a nanny, a young woman who started the job as an eighteen year old and soon celebrated her nineteenth birthday.

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #SummerbySummer & #ReadingIsBeautiful + #YASRC

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 21 June, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christianity, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Mental Health, Modern Day, Mother-Son Relationships, New Adult Fiction, Post-911 (11th September 2001), PTSD, Realistic Fiction, South America, Suspense, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

#EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads this #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of “Tiger Lily” by Wende Dikec with a small extract from this YA Paranormal Romantic Urban Fantasy!

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I crossed paths with this Speculative Fiction author in the twitterverse, as we would regularly converse about various literary and bookish topics. Quite randomly, truly, and then, I remember she offered me to read this novel of hers which I was excited about at the time. I can’t remember exactly what took me away from reading it closer to when it arrived as this is part of my backlogue of reviews – where a few years ago I simply lost traction with my review requests and had to put them on a backburner. Last year, during #WyrdAndWonder, this was one of the books I was meaning to read and showcase – however, due to health reasons I had to push it forward til our 2nd Year.

I received a complimentary copy of “Tiger Lily” direct from the author Wende Dikec (now known as Abigail Drake) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

What first drew my attention
into wanting to read “TIger Lily”:

I know. YA can be really dark and gritty now, can’t it? I don’t write that way. Someone called my book “Legally Blonde meets The Sixth Sense”. It’s actually more of a funny book than a scary book. – Wende Dikec / Abigail Drake response to my initial enquiry

Before I agreed to accept Tiger Lily for review, I wanted to enquire about what I would find inside the book itself as I have had a propensity for being particularly particular about the kind of Young Adult and/or Middle Grade stories I accept for review consideration. I’ve been burnt a few too many times in the past – to where either the undertone ran too dark for me or the overall gist of the novel was delving into deeper and darker waters than the ones I would prefer to tread upon.

My biggest concern for this YA novel was what set it apart from the pack, how did it tackle the Speculative aspects of its story-line and was it a gritty book or was it simply a light-hearted paranormally inclined YA story which anchoured itself well into the niche I call #SpecFic?

When I receive this response from the author, I knew I would alright picking up the story and seeing where it would take me. One of my favourite kinds of paranormal stories are GHOST STORIES – this is a parallel interest of mine, as they’re not just in PNR (ie. Paranormal Romance) narratives or in Urban Fantasy niches of interest (which happens to be my preferred sub-genre) – they can become inclusive to Cosy Horror, Gothic Literature and other genres of note including Historical Suspense or Psychological Suspense narratives wherein you can parlay a ghost story into the background of nearly any story you wish to direct the reader’s attention. The truth in the pudding for me is how the writer handles the discourse from there and augments our perspective not just strictly on the ghost themselves but on the overall world-building therein.

When she assured me there wasn’t any strong language, that the story itself was rather tame and innocent – appealling to readers between 13-16 years (but would benefit a broader audience outside that range), I knew I had found the right story to be reading.

Of course, her greatest compliment to me is when she said “feels like a Jorie story”.

For #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 – it felt rather fitting I would be reading Tiger Lily as this isn’t the only ghost story I’ll be showcasing this May! Ironically or not, a few other ‘ghosts’ snuck into my TBR for the event and I couldn’t be more delighted! I definitely have wanted to dig inside this novel ever since it first reached me in [2016] and I am very thankful I could finally put my heart round it to see what was awaiting me as the years shifted forward.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Tiger Lily Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

Tiger Lily
by Abigail Drake
Source: Direct from Author

Lily Madison thought dying because of a bad manicure was the worst thing that could happen.
She was wrong.

Waking up in the hospital and realizing she’s being stalked by an entire herd of naughty little ghosts turns her entire world upside down. She begins to doubt her own sanity until she realizes she isn’t alone. A Goth girl, named Zoe, can see the ghosts, too.

Most of the ghosts look like fuzzy blobs, but one is not blobby at all. He’s a very hot, very annoying dead guy named Nick. Although they dislike each other on sight, Nick soon realizes Lily is his only hope. With the help of Zoe and Mr. Wan, the manicurist who almost killed her, she has only days to get Nick and the other ghosts back where they belong or the whole world will be in terrible danger.

But sending the ghosts back means saying goodbye to Nick forever, and Lily isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to let him go.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781939590770

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance, YA Paranormal Suspense, YA Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Inkspell Publishing

on 28th January, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 200

Published by: Inkspell Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

The author included a small extract for my readers:

Mr. Wan raised one bushy gray eyebrow and peered at me over his spectacles. “Do you have a problem now, with ghosts?” he asked quietly, not that Miss Lin or her customer could have heard him. She’d moved onto complaining loudly about cauliflower now.

My mouth dropped open in shock. “How did you know?”

Mr. Wan sighed, and put the brush into the bottle of polish, swishing it back and forth as if trying to think about how to answer. “Once, when I was a young boy in my village in China, the same thing happened. A girl died, and then came back to life. We were all so happy, until we realized that she hadn’t come back alone.”

“What do you mean?” My fingers were still extended over the soft white towel that separated us on the table. I couldn’t move. I could hardly breathe.

Mr. Wan grabbed my left hand and went back to work, talking as he painted. “When you cross over the barrier between life and death, things sometimes follow you back. They might be ghosts, or they might be something else. Either way it is a problem for you.”

About Abigail Drake

National award winning author Abigail Drake (previously known as Wende Dikec writes Young Adult Speculative Fiction with romantic and humorous elements. An avid traveller who spent many years abroad, she now lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband, three sons, a puppy named Capone, and a very well used espresso machine.

NOTE: The following links for this author are a combination of what I had previously for "Wende Dikec" and what I found recently for "Abigail Drake" as she has changed the name she's using as a writer. I have the previously released version of "Tiger Lily" which I read for this review as it was part of my backlogue. The Book Site takes you to the NEW listing for "Tiger Lily" via GoodReads.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Indie Author, Mediums & Clairvoyants, Near-Death Experience, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Urban Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction