Search Results for: passion

Review: Passion and Pain by Kathy Petrakis

Passion and Pain final coverPassion and Pain (Dancers and Divas #1)
written by Kathy Petrakis
published by Antartis Publishers

find it here: Barnes & NobleAmazonSmashwordsGoodreads

Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by the author, Kathy Petrakis, in June 2013. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book:
This book was alright. It didn’t blow me away but it kept me reading to see how it would end.

I was expecting Elena to be all about dance. I didn’t think she was going to be an all-around artist—dance, singing, acting. I would have preferred it if she were just focused on dance. I think the story would have been much better that way. I like to read books that center on the performing arts. It’s a world that is fascinating and interesting. I just wish that Elena hadn’t been in all of the arts. Dance is her thing and that’s what I wanted to read about when I picked up Passion and Pain. I know that a lot of dancers are also singers and actors. It was a bit hard to believe that she was so good at all three.

I enjoyed reading about the rehearsals and everything that Elena went through to prepare for her plays and dances. As I said, I find it fascinating and fun to read about it. Dance books are up there with skating books for me. I love to read them. However, I should have written the review as soon as I finished reading Passion and Pain because at this point, a few months later, I don’t remember much about it. It was an alright read, but not that memorable.

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Would I recommend it: I may recommend this book if you like Young Adult and performing arts. This is not a New Adult book but would not be suitable for anyone under the age of 15.

Will I read it again: I will not.

chrissysig

About the book – from Goodreads: 
Does passion and desire guarantee success? Can friends really be trusted? Can true love be found beneath lust and deceit?

These are questions tenacious street dancer Elena Martinez faces as she struggles to compete against the most talented students at New York’s top Performing Arts High School. Along with her best friend, the carefree and mischievous Sebastien Duval, they are determined to make center stage.

But the singing diva Letitia has other plans. Beautiful, talented and popular, her desire for revenge could ruin everything for Elena and Sebastien. Now, they must fight against prejudice, treachery and deceit as Letitia sets out to destroy Elena’s friendships, her romance, her dignity and her dreams. Can Elena win the battle for true love, happiness and success?

 

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

 

Blog Tour: Passion and Pain by Kathy Petrakis (spotlight of books #1 & 2, giveaway)

Dancers and Divas BLOG TOUR banner

Passion and Pain final coverPassion and Pain (Dancers and Divas #1)
written by Kathy Petrakis
published by Antartis Publishers

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Does passion and desire guarantee success? Can friends really be trusted? Can true love be found beneath lust and deceit?

These are questions tenacious street dancer Elena Martinez faces as she struggles to compete against the most talented students at New York’s top Performing Arts High School. Along with her best friend, the carefree and mischievous Sebastien Duval, they are determined to make center stage.

But the singing diva Letitia has other plans. Beautiful, talented and popular, her desire for revenge could ruin everything for Elena and Sebastien. Now, they must fight against prejudice, treachery and deceit as Letitia sets out to destroy Elena’s friendships, her romance, her dignity and her dreams. Can Elena win the battle for true love, happiness and success?

Kathy Petrakis - color

Find Ms. Petrakis here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, mailing list

 

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!

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Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

 

Jaclyn’s Review: Death of a Flapper by Marva Dale

Death of a FlapperDeath of a Flapper
written by Marva Dale
published by Dark Oak Mysteries, 2012

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
UGH. I did NOT like this book! The writing wasn’t good, the characters weren’t likable, and the plot was a cheap ripoff of The Great Gatsby. The 1920s was such a great era–I can’t believe the author couldn’t come up with a more original story.  This one was a painful, slow, and disappointing read.

Would I recommend it: Nopity nope nope nope. If you are even considering reading this, go back to your notes on The Great Gatsby from 11th grade English–that’s all the author did.

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: The Roaring Twenties — a decade of wealth, abundance and decadence…. When two weeks pass with no contact from her daughter, Lucille Prado enlists the help of Tin Pan Alley ace private eye, Carney Brogan to find Alice — a NYC career girl. With a dollar retainer, Carney quickly identifies Alice Prado as Arabella Germaine, the ultimate flapper girl, a beautiful platinum blond who loves a good time and ingratiates herself into all the right circles — and who has just turned up dead at the city morgue. As Carney digs further, he finds a whole slew of suspects… Sally Blair, the actress and Arabella’s roommate Victor Cathcourt; the flapper’s mentor The wealthy Landon siblings, Robert and Regan….and more… From the Landon’s Long Island estate to the dark streets of the Bowery, Carney follows the clues. But after a run-in with mobsters, has to wonder if he can survive long enough to discover who really wanted the gorgeous party girl dead. About the Author: Marva Dale is the pen name for author Debra McReynolds. Retired from the public relations field, Debra now spends her free time indulging in her passion for writing. “I used to fill my school notebooks with stories,” Debra relates, “and then add artwork to go along with them. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Daley, predicted that I would be a writer one day.”

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2017: The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor (Chrissy’s review)

 

The Shark Club
written by Ann Kidd Taylor
published by Viking, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did enjoy The Shark Club. I read it every free chance I had and couldn’t put it down.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a marine biologist, and I happen to love watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, so I was so excited to read this book. The Shark Club has marine biologists, sharks, a hotel with rooms based on authors, a chef, and a precocious 6-year-old who loves sea life and prehistoric animals! This book has so many things I love. The love stories/triangles worked well. I loved Maeve’s relationship with her grandmother and with Hazel, the founding member of The Shark Club. And the men in her life are great characters, each different and distinct.

This book left me with a smile and a warm, giddy feeling. I loved the whole book, especially the ending.

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely. This is a great summer read!

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
A warm and wonderfully vivid novel about taking second chances—in life and in the sea

One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-traveling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.

While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads: Should she rekindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?

Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, calypso bands, and perfect ocean views, The Shark Club is a story of the mysterious passions of one woman’s life: her first love and new love; the sea and sharks that inhabit it.

 

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2017: July Books and a Giveaway!

 

This month brought some really great reads for BookSparks’s Summer Reading Challenge! Check out these awesome book boxes and books!

 

 

A Game of Ghosts
written by John Connolly
published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Internationally bestselling author John Connolly returns with another superb fusion of noir and the supernatural (My Bookish Ways) in this latest thriller in his gripping Charlie Parker series.

It is deep winter and the darkness is unending. A private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Charlie Parker is assigned to track him down. Parker s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator he is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker is drawn into Eklund s world: a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts…”

 

 

The Captain’s Daughter
written by Meg Mitchell Moore
published by Doubleday Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: For fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emma Straub comes an emotionally gripping novel about a woman who returns to her hometown in coastal Maine and finds herself pondering the age-old question of what could have been.

Growing up in Little Harbor, Maine, the daughter of a widowed lobsterman, Eliza Barnes could haul a trap and row a skiff with the best of them. But she always knew she’d leave that life behind. Now that she’s married, with two kids and a cushy front-row seat to suburban country club gossip in an affluent Massachusetts town, she feels adrift.

When her father injures himself in a boating accident, Eliza pushes the pause button on her own life to come to his aid. But when she arrives in Maine, she discovers her father’s situation is more dire than he let on. Eliza’s homecoming is further complicated by the reemergence of her first love–and memories of their shared secret. Then Eliza meets Mary Brown, a seventeen-year-old local who is at her own crossroad, and Eliza can’t help but wonder what her life would have been like if she’d stayed.

Filled with humor, insight, summer cocktails, and gorgeous sunsets, The Captain’s Daughter is a compassionate novel about the life-changing choices we make and the consequences we face in their aftermath.

 

 

 

Eden
written by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Becca Meister Fitzpatrick–wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community–is the dutiful steward of her family’s iconic summer tradition . . . until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter’s boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood, and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel–with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship–will react.

Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca’s family–her parents’ beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother’s own secret struggles in the grand home her father named “Eden.”

 

 

A Work of Art
written by Micayla Lally
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Letting go after her abrupt break-up with Samson is harder than Julene thought it would be, especially since her ex has wasted no time in burying himself in the local dating scene. But during an extended visit to her parents overseas, Julene rediscovers her love of art, and a burgeoning career develops. Samson, on the other hand, after trying valiantly–and unsuccessfully–to forget Julene, has settled instead on his own new career. 

When Julene returns home to Australia, a coincidental meeting leads to an emotional reunion–but her love and patience will be tested when she finds out just how busy Samson has been in her absence. Yes, they have both made mistakes they can work through and move past–but when a specter from Samson’s past looms, Julene wonders: Can she trust him again?

 

 

American Family
written by Catherine Marshall-Smith
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Richard and Michael, both three years sober, have just decided to celebrate their love by moving in together when Richard driven by the desire to do the right thing for his ten-year-old-daughter, Brady, whom he has never met impulsively calls his former father-in-law to connect with her. With that phone call, he jeopardizes the one good thing he has his relationship with Michael and also threatens the world of the fundamentalist Christian grandparents who love Brady and see her as payback from God for the alcohol-related death of her mother. Unable to reach an agreement, the two parties hire lawyers who have agendas far beyond the interests of the families and Brady is initially trusted into Richard and Michael s care. But when the judge learns that the young girl was present when a questionable act took place while in their custody, she returns Brady to her grandparents. Ultimately, it s not until further tragedy strikes that both families are finally motivated to actually act in the best interests of the child.”

 

 

The Shark Club
written by Ann Kidd Taylor
published by Viking, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

My review of this fantastic read will be up tomorrow!

About the book – from Goodreads: A warm and wonderfully vivid novel about taking second chances—in life and in the sea

One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-traveling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.

While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads: Should she rekindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?

Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, calypso bands, and perfect ocean views, The Shark Club is a story of the mysterious passions of one woman’s life: her first love and new love; the sea and sharks that inhabit it.

 

 

Hello, Sunshine 
written byLaura Dave
published by Simon Schuster, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestseller Eight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves.

Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.

Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.

And then she gets hacked.

When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.

In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.

 

 

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Melissa’s Review: Rapture of the Deep by David A. Grindberg

Rapture of the Deep: A NovelRapture of the Deep
written by David A. Grindberg
published by Indian Grass Books, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
Absolutely. It’s one of those books that’s too good to read quickly. Grindberg’s prose is downright beautiful, and his storytelling is spot on. The characters were big and complex and full of those teeny little details that make them truly come to life. Well done.

GOLDEN LINES

“Meg really believed that friendship would and should trump everything else, including this indiscretion. It never occurred to her that even the most casual of friendships are always predicated upon an assumed, nearly invisible, honesty. Thus when Meg left Jeff, when the honesty was discarded and it became clear that Meg was not the wife, the mother, the person she pretended to be, that nearly invisible foundation began crumbling. Naivete. Meg really believed that her affair was a private matter and that other than Jeff and her girls no one else could or should claim a stake. It never occurred to her that when nearly invisible foundations start crumbling, even the most casual of friendships have a way of becoming casualties. For eleven years Meg said she was Jeff’s wife. For eight of those years she said she was Molly and Maci’s devoted mom. What she didn’t understand is that when it comes to everything else and everyone else, being who you say you are matters.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: Again, absolutely.

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads:

In the middle of the night, the doorbell rings, and Jennifer Johnson is pulled from a deep sleep. Outside her front door stand two police officers, messengers bearing tragic news. Joe, Jen’s recently estranged husband, is missing, the victim of a scuba diving accident.

Joe “Puck” Johnson is a master carpenter. He is quiet, thoughtful, and passionately loves his deeply scarred wife. Their separation, unwanted, painful, and immersed in unfinished business, is now punctuated by this unfathomable loss.

Tom Hyden is a high profile banker. He has the perfect home, the perfect wife, the perfect child, the perfect everything; yet beneath the surface of his well manicured life Tom carries a dark and shameful secret.

Born and raised in the small Iowa town of Lake Pulaski, these two men cannot remember a time before their friendship. It is a bond most recently sealed by their mutual love of scuba diving. Beneath the waves diving provides a peaceful respite. However on the surface, their worlds are reeling and the peace they so desire is being torn asunder. Both men find their families disintegrating and their lives twisting apart, the result of events they cannot talk about, even with each other.

So Tom and Joe are lost, and they must now take a journey that for one will lead to tragedy and the other redemption…

 

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Blog Tour: Shadow by Colleen Oakes (Chrissy’s review)

 

Shadow (Wendy Darling, Vol. 3)
written by Colleen Oakes
published by SparkPress, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did. The Wendy Darling series is a fantastic series that gives a different glimpse into the Neverland world. You can read my reviews of Stars and Seas at the links provided.

I don’t want to spoil Stars and Seas, or Shadow for that matter, so my review will be on the vague side. Read those books, then this one. Seriously.

Shadow had me staying up WAY past my bedtime reading. I had to know how this story ended. The emotions were there, and dang it if Ms. Oakes didn’t have me tearing up again. (I’m telling you, I don’t cry during books, movies, etc. But man, this one had me misty-eyed just like Seas.) Seriously, I was on the edge of my seat. I was heartbroken. I was happy. I was every emotion at some point. Some questions were answered; some hopes were dashed.

Shadow is a fitting end to this fabulous Peter Pan retelling. Am I satisfied with the finale? Yes. Do I wish for more? Absolutely. But, sadly, all stories must end sometime.

 

 

Would I recommend it? Yes, but definitely read the first two books first. Seas is my favorite.

 

Chrissy

About the book: 
Wendy Darling has found herself once again in the arms of charming Peter Pan, the god-child who desires power above all things. This time, though, Wendy burns not with passion but with a secret: with Hook as her ally, she is there to defeat the evil that lies inside of Peter, the evil that holds all Neverland hostage—the Shadow.

To do this, Wendy must quietly undo Peter from inside his heart while at the same time convincing Tink to betray the twisted love that binds them together. This is a task made nearly impossible by the arrival of Booth, her sweetheart from London and a new pawn in Peter’s manipulative game—a boy whose heart she must break in order to save his life.

As all of Neverland prepares to fight, Wendy races to untangle Peter’s connection to the Shadow, a secret long buried in the Forsaken Garden. When the time comes, pirates, mermaids, Lost Boys, and the Darling family will all rise—but if Wendy can’t call the Shadow, they will all be destroyed by Peter’s dark soul. War has come to paradise, and Neverland will never be the same.

 

 

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Book Blogger Hop – July 7 – 13, 2017

About the Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013.

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

This week’s question:

In one sentence, describe your passion for reading. (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

 

The best way I can describe my passion for reading is with the title of my blog: I read Every Free Chance I have.

 

I kind of want to do the buffalo sentence. Can I? Yeah, I totally can. Ready? Here we go!

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

 

How would you describe your passion for reading in one sentence?

 

Melissa’s Review: What We Leave Behind by Matthew Alan

What We Leave BehindWhat We Leave Behind
written by Matthew Alan
published by Createspace, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
No, but in my defense I likely should not have tried to read it while on vacation.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Here’s a synopsis: Jane undergoes scores of tragic, stereotypical events and becomes a strong, beautiful, selfless, wonderful, amazingly loving person with no flaws. Then, she dies. It’s depressingly predictable. Maybe if I’d have read this while PMSing after just having been dumped I might have enjoyed it more. Maybe.

Would I recommend it: No.

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads: 
What We Leave Behind – A story about struggle, a story of hope, and mostly, a story about love. A journey with a unique young girl who is so sure of what is out there waiting for her, that she never compromises her belief in finding it. Jane Rawley Solomon’s humor, character, and passion for others, serve as a reminder that we choose our own path to happiness, regardless of the events that impact our lives.

 

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Chrissy’s Review: Kim vs. the Mean Girl by Meredith Schorr

Kim vs. the Mean Girl
written by Meredith Schorr
published by Meredith Schorr, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I really did! It was a great YA prequel to Blogger Girl and Novelista Girl. I read it every free chance I had and finished it in about a day.

I liked learning about Kim and Hannah when they were in high school. It puts the relationship between Kim and Hannah in the other books into perspective. In fact, I think I liked Kim vs. the Mean Girl more because I read the adult Kim and Hannah stories first.

 

Would I recommend it: I would, especially if you have read Blogger Girl and Novelista Girl.

 

Chrissy


About the book – from Goodreads: 
High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?

Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

“In Blogger Girl we meet the irrepressible Kim Long and her nemesis Hannah Marshak. Kim Vs. the Mean Girl takes us back to high school with Kim and Hannah 101 in this delightful prequel. I gobbled it up in one byte…er, I mean bite (this is the era before a cell phone was in every backpack). When Kim declares war on Hannah, it takes some unexpected, and at times amusing, turns, and though the enemies don’t emerge as friends, or even frenemies, they each come away the better for it. A fun read for all ages.” Eileen Goudge, New York Times best-selling author.

 

 

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