Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult contemporary
Format/Source: DRC, Edelweiss
Status: standalone

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

Review + Giveaway: Intercepted by Alexa Martin

This week I'm doing a fun pseudo-tour with some of my friends from our fantasy football group for Alexa Martin's debut romance Intercepted. Because of our great love for football, Berkley sent us copies of the book so we buddy read it! Scroll down to read my review, check out the other ladies' links, and enter to win a copy of Intercepted!

Rating: 3 stars
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: adult sports romance
Format/Source: paperback, from the publisher
Status: book 1 of the Playbook series

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own...

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She's definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There's just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he's nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team's wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee's return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin's relationship to survive the season.

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. This does not affect the content of my review.

Listmania Monday: Geeks, Nerds & Fandoms, oh my!

In 2018, it is no longer an insult to be a nerd or a geek. Nerds have gotten their revenge, geeks are chic, and being fully into fandoms, attending conventions, cosplaying characters, playing D&D, and creating fanfic and fanart is fully in. So today I'm going to share all the YA books that celebrate geeks, nerds, and fan culture!

Note: I am including some books about music fandom.

Adorakable - Sarra Manning
Adorkable - Cookie O'Gorman
All of This is True - Lygia Day Penaflor
All the Feels - Danika Stone
Analee, In Real Life - Janelle Milanes
Art Geeks & Prom Queens - Alyson Noel
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl series - Barry Lyga

Band Geek duology - Josie Bloss
Between Us and the Moon - Rebecca Maizal
Bookish Boyfriends - Tiffany Schmidt
Bookishly Ever After - Isabel Bandeira
The Boomerang Effect - Gordon Jack

Camp Boyfriend - J.K. Rock
Chaotic Good - Whitney Gardner
Close Encounters of the Geek Kind duology - Andy Robb
Comics Will Break Your Heart - Faith Erin Hicks
Cure for the Common Universe - Christian McKay Heidicker

Darius the Great is Not Okay - Adib Khorram
Don't Cosplay with My Heart - Cecil Castellucci
Draw the Line - Laurent Linn

Eliza and her Monsters - Francesca Zappia

#famous - Gagnon
Fan Art - Sarah Tregay
Fan the Fame - Anna Priemaza (2019)
The Fandom - Anna Day
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal - Kathleen Smith
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy - Sam Maggs
Final Draft - Riley Redgate
Follow Me Back series - A.V. Geiger

Gamer Girl - Mari Mancusi
Geek Charming - Robin Palmer
Geek Girl series - Holly Smale
The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading - Charity Tahmaseb & Darcy Vance
Geek High series - Piper Banks
Geek Magnet - Kieran Scott
Geekerella duology - Ashley Poston (2019)
The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Loves - Sarvenaz Tash
Geektastic - Holly Black & Cecil Castellucci
Gena/Finn - Hannah Moskowitz
Girls Like Me - Lola St. Vil
Going Geek - Charlotte Huang
Grace and the Fever - Zan Romanoff
Guy in Real Life - Steve Brezenoff

Hattie Moore duology - Rae Earl
Hero - Perry Moore
How To series - Cassie Mae

I Am Princess X - Cherie Priest
I Hate Everyone But You - Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin
I Kissed Alice - Anna Birch (2020)
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak - Brian Katcher
In Real Life - Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
In Real Life - Lawrence Tabak
Internet Famous - Danika Stone
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder - Julie Halpern

Kat and Meg Conquer the World - Anna Priemaza
Kill the Boy Band - Goldie Moldavsky
King Dork series - Frank Portman

Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil
Looking For Group - Rory Harrison

Mechanical Hearts series - J.C. Lillis
Meg & Linus - Hannah Nowinski
The Museum of Heartbreak - Meg Leder
My Faire Lady - Laura Wettersten

Nerd series - Leah Rae Miller
The Nerd Girls duology - Alan Sitomer
The Nerdy and the Dirty - B.T. Gottfred
Now a Major Motion Picture - Cori McCarthy

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You - Lily Anderson

Pilgrims duology - Stephanie Kate Strohm
Playing Defense - Cate Cameron
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for the Modern Geek - Maya Van Wagenen
The Pros of Cons - Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar & Michelle Schusterman
Pwned - Shannon Crane Camp

The Queen Geek Social Club series - Laura Preble
Queens of Geek - Jen Wilde

The Replacement Crush - Lisa Brown Roberts
The Rest of Us Just Live Here - Patrick Ness

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here - Anna Breslaw
Ship It - Britta Lundin
Shuffle, Repeat - Jen Klein
Signs Point to Yes - Sandy Hall
Smart Girls Get What They Want - Sarah Strohmeyer
Solving for Ex duology - LeighAnn Hopkins
The Square Root of Summer - Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Stranger Than Fanfiction - Chris Colfer

Tash Hearts Tolstoy - Kathryn Ormsbee
The Theory of Everything - Kari Luna

Unconventional - Maggie Harcourt
The Unforgettables - G.L. Thomas

What Happens Now - Jennifer Castle
When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon
Who's That Girl - Blair Thornburgh

PS I'm not including Carry On on this list because IT IS NOT ABOUT FANDOM. Fangirl is about fandom. Carry On is a straight up fantasy novel. FIGHT ME.

Blog Tour: Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll

Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: standalone
Links: check out my 4.5 star Unclaimed Baggage review!

Doris--a lone liberal in a conservative small town--has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Chicago to move to Alabama. Grant was the star quarterback and epitome of "Mr. Popular" whose drinking problem has all but destroyed his life. What do these three have in common? A summer job working in a store called Unclaimed Baggage cataloging and selling other people's lost luggage. Together they find that through friendship, they can unpack some of their own emotional baggage and move on into the future.

Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: First Second
Genre: young adult graphic novel
Format/Source: finished copy, from the publisher
Status: standalone

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

Epic Reads Epic Giveaway

I've been to several really cool author events in the past couple months, and you know what that means: it's time for a random giveaway just because I want to send someone a bunch of books! And since most of the events I've gone to have been signings with HarperCollins authors, you're getting an epic Epic Reads prize pack!

The Prize:
Heart of Thorns - Bree Barton (signed)
Two Dark Reigns - Kendare Blake (signed)
My Plain Jane - Lady Janies
The Towering Sky - Katharine McGee (signed)
As She Ascends - Jodi Meadows
These Rebel Waves - Sara Raasch (signed)
Epic Reads tote bag

The Deets:
One winner will receive all the books above. Open to US. Entrants must be 13+ with parents' permission. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CST October 1. Please enter via Rafflecopter below; winner will be chosen at random, and odds are determined by number of entries. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries that are not in accordance with my giveaway policies as stated in the Review & Site Policies tab at the top of the page. Good luck!

BTW this giveaway is NOT affiliated with HarperCollins & Epic Reads. I just named it that because all the books I have are Harper books. :)

Mary in the Library: Purchasing Digital Materials for My Library's YA Collection

If you guys read my first Mary in the Library post (it was a long while ago!), you'll know that one of the duties I have at the library is purchasing ebooks for the YA collection. Apparently many of my friends on Twitter did not realize that because last year when I was working on my next ebook order at the library, I tweeted this:
and I received several replies of concern for my personal budget. I may spend a lot of money on books, but I personally am not going to blow over $2,000 in one go! This happened again last week when I was talking about receiving a supplemental budget at the end of my library's fiscal year.

There were a few questions about why ebooks for libraries are so expensive and some about the process, and voila! A post was born! Just a head's up: this post is LONG.

Disclaimer 1: I am not a librarian as I do not have a degree in library science. I am a senior library assistant, which is a paraprofessional position one step below librarian in my system. This post is based on 4 years of purchasing experience for three different platforms.

Disclaimer 2: As always, since I haven't worked at another system, the only library I can speak specifics about is my own. Also, while the process for purchasing physical items is similar, I don't have experience with that so I'm just going to be talking about digital materials.

Disclaimer 3: Ebooks and digital audiobooks are two separate entities, and to keep this post from being completely massive, I'm going to primarily focus on ebooks.

Review: Unclaimed Baggage

Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: standalone

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. This does not affect the content of my review.

Doris--a lone liberal in a conservative small town--has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Chicago to move to Alabama. Grant was the star quarterback and epitome of "Mr. Popular" whose drinking problem has all but destroyed his life. What do these three have in common? A summer job working in a store called Unclaimed Baggage cataloging and selling other people's lost luggage. Together they find that through friendship, they can unpack some of their own emotional baggage and move on into the future.

Challenge Accepted: ARC August 2018 wrap-up

This month I participated in ARC August, and I'm delighted how well this year's challenge turned out for me! I deviated a little from the TBR I initially planned in my ARC August goal post in order to tackle the second part of the challenge: the ARC August BINGO card. At first, I figured I wouldn't hit any BINGOs because my goal was only 5 books. But... then I realized a lot of the books I'd picked fit the categories on the card so I began intentionally reading books that would fit certain spaces. Then I decided to get real and aim for filling up the whole board. It required me to add some books I hadn't initially included, and then I amended a couple times this past week in order to read more books from more publishers (because at first Macmillan was DOMINATING my stack!) and also to read some shorter, older ARCs just to finally clear them off my TBR. Buuuut I do think I did a good job of reading off that initial TBR.

Sadly, I ran out of time Friday night when I had 120 pages left in Wildcard to read but only 24 minutes left in which to read them so I admitted defeat for BINGO. But then Octavia extended the challenge two days SO I GOT TO FINISH! I got my mojo back!! Thank you Angie, Octavia, and Shelly for this amazing challenge!!

Books read goal: 5
Actual books read: 19 + 1/2 of one & 64 pages of another

Reviews goal: 5
Actual reviews written: 3 1/2 (lol)

Books read:
The Chase - Elle Kennedy
Dance of Thieves - Mary E. Pearson
Check, Please!: #Hockey - Ngozi Ukazu
Star-Touched Stories - Roshani Chokshi
Famous in a Small Town - Emma Mills
The Real Deal - Lauren Blakely
Heart of Thorns - Bree Barton
Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
Before She Ignites - Jodi Meadows
Unclaimed Baggage - Jen Doll
See How They Run - Ally Carter
To Be Honest - Maggie Ann Martin
Seafire - Natalie C. Parker
Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating - CL
Love à la Mode - Stephanie Kate Strohm
Heart of Iron - Ashley Poston
Take the Key & Lock Her Up - Ally Carter
Mirage - Somaiya Daud (half)
Illegal - Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin & Giovanni Rigano
Wildcard - Marie Lu
Darius the Great is Not Okay - Adib Khorram (64p pages)

I also thought it would be fun to do a section on my ARC August stats, kind of like the yearly reading wrap-ups Jamie of Perpetual Page Turner, Brittany of Book Addicts Guide, and Andi of Andi ABCs do so here's how my ARC August books stack up:

Average books per day: .61
Total pages read: 6,654
Longest book: Strange the Dreamer (544 pages)
Shortest book: Illegal (128 pages)

Young Adult: 18
New Adult: 1
Adult: 2

Physical ARC: 11
Digital ARC: 3
Finished copy: 7
└Hardcover: 6
└Kindle ebook: 1

Fantasy: 6
Realistic: 2
Contemporary Romance: 8
Sci-Fi: 3
Mystery/Thriller: 2

Type of Fiction
Novel: 18
Graphic Novel: 2
Short stories: 1

Pre-release: 8
Read before release but now published: 2
Already published: 11

By year
2015: 1
2016: 1
2017: 2
2018: 16
2019: 1

Series vs. Standalone
Standalone: 8
Part of a series: 13
└First book: 9
└Middle book: 1
└Last book: 3

By publisher
Self-published: 1
Disney: 1
HarperCollins: 3
Little Brown: 1
Macmillan: 8
Penguin: 3
Scholastic: 2
Simon & Schuster: 1
Sourcebooks: 1

5: 4
4: 9
3: 5
2: 1
1: 0
Not yet rated: 2

Favorite: Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll and
 Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Least favorite: The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely and Mirage by Somaiya Daud

ARC August went so well for me that I'm going to try to do a personal challenge this month called Series September because I have been really bad about finishing series! So my new goal is to knock out at least 10 last books in series!

If you participated in ARC August, how did your challenge go? Are you participating in any other challenges this month or this year?

Blog Tour: Here Be Dragons: As She Ascends by Jodi Meadows

YOU GUYS. I have an AMAZING post for you today! To celebrate the upcoming release of As She Ascends, Jodi Meadows is stopping by the blog to share some tidbits about the dragons that populate the Fallen Isles, I'm sharing some amazing DIY dragon crafts, AND there's a giveaway! PLUS PLUS PLUS if you haven't yet preordered your copy of ASA (honestly, why haven't you??), I've got all the information you need to snag some fantastic goodies from Jodi!

Release Date: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: DRC, from the author
Status: Book 2 of the Fallen Isles trilogy

Mira Minkoba is on the run with her friends after a fiery escape from the Pit, where she’d been imprisoned for defending the dragons she loves. And she wants answers. Where have all the dragons been taken? Why are powerful noorestones being shipped to the mainland? And did the treaty she’s been defending her whole life truly sell out the Fallen Isles to their enemies?

As her connection to the dragons—and their power—grows stronger, so does Mira’s fear that she might lose control and hurt someone she loves. But the only way to find the truth is to go home again, to Damina, to face the people who betrayed her and the parents she’s not sure she can trust.

Home, where she must rise above her fears. Or be consumed.

The second page-turning novel in Jodi Meadows’ Fallen Isles trilogy scorches with mysterious magic and riveting romance as one girl kindles a spark into a flame.