Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Book Review: Sometime After Midnight by L. Philips

Sometime After MidnightHey everyone, happy summer! Hope everyone is enjoying their time off and reading some good books along the way. A few weekends ago I sat down and read Sometime After Midnight by L. Philips in about two sittings and absolutely adored it! Here's a summary:

In a dingy Los Angeles club late one night, Cameron and Nate meet and find they have much more in common than their love of an obscure indie band. But when Nate learns that Cameron is the heir to a record label, the very one that destroyed his father's life, he runs away as fast as he can. The only evidence of their brief but intense connection is a blurry photo Cameron snaps of Nate's Sharpie-decorated Chuck Taylors as he flees. 
Considering that Cameron is a real life Prince Charming--he's handsome, famous, and rich--it's only fitting that he sets out to find the owner of the Sharpied shoes. Cameron's twin sister, a model and socialite, posts the picture of Nate's shoes on Instagram to her legions of fans with the caption, "Anyone know the gorgeous owner of these shoes? My hottie brother is looking for him." The internet just about breaks with the news of a modern fairy tale and the two become entwined in each other's lives in this sparkling story about the power of music, the demons that haunt us, and the flutterings of first real love.

I am always a HUGE fan of modern retellings of old stories, and so when I read the summary for a queer Cinderella about music, I was instantly hooked. This book is character driven and L. Philips does it perfectly, with well developed, fleshed out, realistic characters that keep you rooting for them. And while this book has several typical YA romance tropes, the author does them so well that they make the book even better. I went in, expecting this to be a coming out novel, as most queer YA books are, and was so pleasantly surprised to see both characters perfectly comfortable in their identities and surrounded by supportive family and friends. But while I loved the slow-burn romance, believable chemistry, and wonderful romantic and platonic relationships between the characters, I also loved that the book touched on some heavier topics as well.

The discussions of mental health, suicide, and the often harsh realities of the music industry in regards to Nate's dad were so important, so well written, and added so much to the novel. Philips does an incredible job of slowly building the information the reader knows about the past, continuing to leave you intrigued, concerned, and invested up until the very end. And even with a nice, rom-com ending to wrap up the story, it isn't perfect, and there is still some uncertainty left, and I really liked that she didn't just wrap it up in a bow and finish the book off. 

And of course, I have to mention, I LOVED all of the music in this novel. The discussions of music, the subplots about touring with bands, the writing of music, all of it was incredible and I loved it. In the end, I loved this book and its perfect balance of wholesomeness and reality, and I would 100% recommend it, especially this summer when you have a little extra time to read it all together.

See you all next month!

find the book here!
amazon barnes and noble goodreads

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Introducting Your Next Favorite YA Mystery

Happy, happy, happy summer! I hope that you are all enjoying a nice, relaxing, and not too sweltering summer break! In my opinion, summer break is truly the absolute best time to curl up with a good book and get lost for a couple of hours in another world. If this sounds like a good way to spend your summer days, I have a great suggestion for you! Two Can Keep a Secret, by Karen M. McMannus, is a phenomenal mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat (or beach chair) until the very last page.

                This book is truly one of the best young adult mysteries that I have read in a long time. The plot follows two teens, a decades old mystery, and a murderous homecoming, creating one of the rare situations that you would not want to be on the homecoming court. The story is told from the perspective of Ellery, a quirky twin who is slightly obsessed with murder mysteries and the unsolved disappearance of her aunt Sarah, and Malcom, a bit of an outcast trying to prove that he is not like his brother, one of the primary suspects of a murder five years before. The small town of Echo Ridge is the perfect setting for the ensuing murder mystery that begins when Ellery comes to the small town to live with her grandmother and threatening sign is posted that says that homecoming will be just as dangerous this year as five years ago, when the last murder took place. McMannus skillfully creates a setting that enhances the spooky suspense of the mystery through small town gossip, perfectly creating an Andy Griffith Show gone tragic feeling. One of the best things about Two Can Keep a Secret is McMannus’ uncanny ability to write in the voice of a teenager, with refreshing and realistic characters that you certainly want to be friends with. The secondary characters were just as well written as the main characters, creating a three-dimensional world to get lost in for a couple of hours (in case you were missing school and wanted to return in a book). One of the other main triumphs of this novel is the ability of McMannus to weave together past mysteries seamlessly with the present mystery, throwing in multiple plot twists that manage to keep the reader guessing until the shocking conclusion. I personally was unable to put the book down, spending a morning buried in the pages until I read that brilliant last sentence. Yes, the last sentence of the book is absolutely amazing. No, you will not understand the last sentence if you peek before reading the rest of the book. Yes, you will have to read the entire book to understand what I am referring to. Have I managed to intrigue you? I suggest that you satiate your curiosity and pick up a copy at your nearest bookstore. Still not convinced? What of I told you that there was a health helping of sleuthing, homecoming drama, difficult family relationships, and a dash of romance? There is no reason not to pick up a copy of this thrilling tale and get lost in its pages. And there really is no better way to spend a summer day than hanging out in Echo Ridge, trying to solve a homecoming mystery
Two Can Keep a Secret cover from Amazon's website

                Feel the urge to go and immediately buy this book? I don’t blame you (it really is that good). In fact, here is a copy of the handy link to, making it incredibly easy for you to get this book in your hands:

Have fun in Echo Ridge! Happy summer and happy reading!