Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #5: Bookworm/Book Blogger Delights


I haven't done a TTT post in a minute, but this topic this week made me want to write a new one. 

Thank you to Jamie and Daisy of BrokeandBookish.com for creating the idea of listing different reasons why we do what we do. Why we get up every morning to finish a book we've been so dying to read, want to share our thoughts, feelings, rants and more. Why we love expressing and communicating with other book bloggers and Youtubers about the same books we've read. The sense of community and making new friendships with people worldwide. So without further ado, here are my top seven reasons why I love being a book blogger:

7. Never having to read alone. Since this blog started posting on books, covers, and more, I've felt less alone reading books that a few people or a lot of people have read. Especially on a tour, I get to read others' reviews and cover posts and interact with more people who have read the same book. Even if the book isn't as popular, the fact that we all get to come together to read and talk about it together is really nice. 

6. The free ARC's!! Now I know that as an up and coming book blogger, the struggle to buy new books takes a toll on me sometimes. Especially when it's a book that I'm really excited for. So that's why I turn to mobi and PDF versions and read from there. 

5. You get the first look at the covers. The cover reveals are fun because I get firsthand look at what the cover looks like before anyone else. 

4. Recognition from the author and/or publishing company. For the authors first starting out with their new books, it's nice to get recognition from them, and even their publishing companies on social media. It's awesome to support those artists because they need all the support they can get. With more popular authors and publishing houses, it's a little harder to get their attention, but it's still makes me feel special sharing and discussing their work. 

3. Meeting new friends on Instagram for booktags. I've met so many new friends with my book blog, reviews and more since starting my blog and touring. Who knows what would have happened had I not done it? I would have been stuck doing everything myself and not learning how to open up to new people, especially with booktags on Instagram. 

2. Online/offline book clubs. I've joined Goodread's Bibliophile Academy and they are some of the nicest, friendliest, most open members in all of book-club-world! We discuss all different types of books, from popular to indie, and it's such a good time getting to know more people who love to read. 

1. Book merch!! So far, the only book merch I've gotten was from Tonya Kuper's Anomaly series, and her book merch is so cute! Bookmarks, pens, pencils, buttons, stickers, pins and more make the book blogging experience all the more fun. It also brings the author-reader relationship much closer because it shows a different dynamic; readers feel special when they know that their favorite authors are thinking about them by giving them merch. 

What are some of your bookish delights as a book blogger/Booktuber/both? Leave comments below. 


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Teaser Tuesday #8: HOW TO BE COOL by Annie Carr

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Hosted by MizB from booksandabeat.com, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you share two (2) “teaser” sentences from your current read to try to entice others to want to seek it out.

Since the tour for Annie Carr's How to Be Cool is coming soon, with yours truly starting off the first review, it makes sense that I do a TT post about the book:

I see her out of the corner of my eye. Elsie Kahn. Elsie of Mr. Watson’s chemistry class fame, the girl who (accidentally?) set her homework on fire with the flame from her Bunsen burner. She got about as red as I’d ever seen a person get as Mr. Watson chewed her out in front of the whole class.

It seems like Elsie isn’t having a better day today. She’s running for the last of the school buses, but the driver doesn’t see her, and it’s obvious this is going to be a major fail. Her hair is whipping behind her head and her cheeks are all pink with exertion. She’s screaming, “Wait! Wait!”

It probably needs to be said about Elsie: she isn’t pretty. I’m not saying that in a mean way like my brother would, just in a factual way. She’s not. Her body is pretty nice, or at least it was the day of the chemistry fire, when she was wearing a maroon skirt that fell just above her knees and a clingy black shirt. And she’s got nice hair too—strawberry blond and silky. But it’s obvious even from where I’m standing that Elsie had been born with a cleft lip, and it didn’t get repaired right. You can see where the pieces of her upper lip don’t quite come together evenly.

So Elsie isn’t pretty. Big deal. The fact is, she’s something even better than pretty.

She’s attainable.

Owen comes out of the school at that moment, and I can see the pit stains on his shirt under his open jacket. He apparently worked up quite the sweat running to five different classrooms. But the good news is, he’s holding his Spanish book triumphantly above his head. “It was in the bathroom!” he declares.

The bathroom? Are you kidding me? And now this book is going to be in my car? Lucky for him, I’ve got other things on my mind.

“Hey…” I nudge Owen. “Elsie missed her bus. Maybe we should offer her a ride home.”

Owen looks up in Elsie’s direction. He makes a face like he’s not thrilled about the idea, but then shrugs and sprints for the car. “I guess so. But she has to sit in the back.” Did I mention Owen has already claimed eternal shotgun?

I look over at Elsie, and all of a sudden, I’m really nervous. If Elsie says yes, she will be the first girl to ride in my car, with the exception of my mom. I try not to drive myself crazy with the possibilities. I run my tongue over my teeth, because I don’t want there to be any spinach stuck in them (or whatever that green stuff was at lunch). Then I tighten my grip on the handles of my forearm crutches, and start limping awkwardly in Elsie’s direction.

Elsie’s got her phone in her hand and she looks like she’s seconds away from bursting into tears. “Elsie?” I say. And of course, my voice cracks, like I’m freaking thirteen years old. I clear my throat, hoping she didn’t notice.

Elsie looks up in surprise. “Yes?”

“Uh…” I can feel the heat in my face—I’m sure Elsie can see it too. I focus on getting the words out and not on how silky Elsie’s hair looks. “I’ve got a car, so, um, if you need a ride or something…”

Elsie is staring at me, which if you ask me, is kind of bad manners. First she stares at my face, but I’m okay with that. There’s nothing wrong with my face. All right, I’m not, like, Mr. Handsome or anything like my brother, but I’m not a guy who walked into a wall either.

Then her eyes drop and she’s looking down at my crutches and my legs. That part I’m not thrilled about. I’ve got braces going up to the knee on the right and up to the hip on the left. Even with the braces, my left leg always seems to rotate inward so that my left foot points about forty-five degrees toward the right one. Elsie keeps on staring for what feels like five hours, but if I’m being honest, it’s probably more like fifteen seconds. Not that it makes much difference. It’s long enough, anyway.

Elsie glances over at a group of girls standing nearby, watching us curiously. “No, thanks,” Elsie says, then she turns back to her phone.

Rejected. Ouch.

Elsie turns away from me, letting me know that there’s zero point in trying to persuade her. Yeah, as if I would. If Elsie doesn’t want to be in a car with me, then I’m not going to beg. Let her find her own goddamn ride home at this hour. Good luck with that, Elsie.

I make my way over to my car, where Owen is waiting. He’s leaning against the hood, probably making a huge dent in it. “So is she coming?”

I dig my keys out of my pocket and shrug like I couldn’t care less. “She found another ride,” I say.

Stay tuned for my full review coming May 9!


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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Book Blitz: UNDER MY SKIN by Laura Diamond


Under My Skin
Laura Diamond
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Bookish Brit Adam Gibson is one wonky heartbeat away from a fatal arrhythmia. But staying alive requires Adam to become keenly focused on both his pulse and the many different daily medications he must take in exactly the right dosages. Adam’s torn between wanting to live and knowing that someone else must die in order for him to do so. He needs a new heart.
The pressure is getting to him. Adam stops talking to his friends back home, refuses to meet kids at his new school, and shuts his parents out entirely. His days are spent wondering if can cope with having a dead man’s heart beating inside his chest, or if he should surrender to the thoughts of suicide swirling around in his head.
And then a donor is found…
Outspoken artist Darby Fox rarely lets anything stand in her way of achieving her goals . Whether it’s painting, ignoring her homework (dyslexia makes a mess out of words anyway), kissing a hot boy she doesn’t even know, or taking the head cheerleader down a peg , no one has ever accused Darby of being a shy. She also happens to be the twin sister to a perfect brother with good looks, good grades, manners, and the approval of their parents – something Darby has never had.
Darby’s always had bad timing . She picks the worst time to argue with her brother Daniel. In a car with bald tires, on an icy road in the freezing cold, the unthinkable happens. In a split-second, everything changes forever.
EXCERPT:
ADAM:
Best to get it over with now. I type: I had the thought today.
I click send.
For a few seconds, I watch the screen, waiting for her to reply. I can’t expect Dr. Shaw to be right there to answer me. She’s probably in session with someone.
A group of students pass by, chattering and laughing, light at bubbles. They halt at the curb to wait for the light to change. They’re all wearing NYU sweatshirts and carrying messenger bags or laptops with silkscreen logos about “being green” and “tolerant of diversity.” Adventurers embarking on the quest known as Life. What it must be like to have a whole lifetime to look forward to, no dead end staring back at you.
My mobile buzzes.
It’s Dr. Shaw. Tell me the exact thought and context.
I had a flutter. After, I saw Mum and Dad. Their backs were turned to me and I thought: They’d be happier without me. They’ll be fine after I’m dead. I click send and try to ignore the gnawing pit in my stomach. My message seems dramatic now that I’ve sent it off for her to scrutinize. It was better left unsaid.
A bubble with three dots surfaces at the bottom of my screen. She’s typing right now. I suck in a dry, exhaust laden breath.
She replies: What evidence do you have that they’ll be happy?
That was simple. They were laughing.
Your death will be devastating to them.
My heart twinges a bit. Will be? Does she somehow know I won’t make it until I find a donor? Maybe the surgeon told her I’m not a candidate. I blink and re-read her statement. No, I’m over-reacting. She’s just countering my argument with logic. It’s her style to challenge me with the opposite idea so I’ll find the reality somewhere between. Still, I’m not ready to admit she’s right. Mum and Dad don’t need me dragging them down. I text, Yes, but they’ll be alright.
Of course they will. Life goes on.
Dr. Shaw is unrelenting in her approach. So different from Mum who tries to comfort me with delusional happy thoughts.
Right. And I’m such a burden on them now.
Whatever you think they’re sacrificing is nothing compared to how much you mean to them.
I’m tired of waiting for my heart to stop.
Do you want it to stop? You won’t suffer anymore.


Author Bio:
Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.

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Cover Reveal: CONFESSIONS IN THE DARK by Inger Iversen


Confessions in the Dark
Inger Iversen
(Running in the Dark #3)
Publication date: April 30th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
After narrowly escaping from Vasily’s compound, Ophelia is on the run and fighting for her life. Her first goal is to get some help; too bad she’s stuck on an island owned by Vasily. Her second and third goals consist of going back and freeing her people, and killing Vasily—not necessarily in that order.
When Celtic warrior and vamp badass, Irish, senses something is amiss, he goes in search of the woman who has been on his mind since their first meeting. While his old friends adjust to their new lives, Irish heads off to the dangerous North Sentinel Island, in search of his woman. What he finds there will change everything in the battle against Vasily and his men.
Previous books in the series:
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Author Bio:
Inger Iversen was born in 1982 to Anne and Kaii Iversen. She lives in Virginia Beach with her overweight lap cat, Max and her tree hugging boyfriend Joshua. She spends 90 percent of her time in Barnes and Noble and the other ten pretending not to want to be in Barnes and Noble.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Cover Reveal: UNCOVERING OFFICER SMITH by Sheena Hutchinson


Uncovering Officer Smith 
Sheena Hutchinson
Publication date: May 1st 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
John Smith has been hurt before by a mysterious blonde that tumbles out of his cop car. Since she stomped on his heart, he’s made sure he’ll never feel that way again. He has developed two rules: Never more than one night and never a blonde.
The nerdy and conservative Becca Swanson has a plan for her life: college, law school, and rule the world. Nothing and no one will get in her way. That is, until she wakes up in a stranger’s bedroom with no recollection of the night before.
This one tumultuous night caused these two to cross paths. Becca is everything John told himself he didn’t need. Smart, sexy, and — blonde. When she becomes the victim of one of his cases he finally can’t deny the connection anymore. Worst of all, he’s beginning to fall harder than ever before.
It throws his rules and her plans out the window. Could it have been fate? Or will it become the biggest mistake either of them has ever made?


Author Bio:
Sheena is a born and raised New Yorker, even her writing can't seem to hide her hard sarcasm. She claims destiny has lead her back to her true passion for writing.
She constantly strives to be a positive role model and writes stories that empower and inspire. Sheena always roots for the underdog, believes in love at first sight, and that everyone should have their happily ever after.
While God is currently still writing her love story, she continues to put all her effort into her writing as she is constantly getting new inspiration.
For more info, updates, and fun facts visit her website at www.SheenaHutchinson.com

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thursday Quotables #5: MERITROPOLIS by Joel Ohman

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Hosted by: Bookshelf Fantasies
Description: Share a favorite quote, line, or passage from your reading each week!



Hank made a disgusted sound and turned toward the twins. “Okay, Hector, Lila, you two are the animal-freak experts. What do we need to know about bions?” 

They turned to look at each other and then back at Hank, their faces serene. “Well,” Lila began, glancing back at Hector, who shrugged in return, prompting her to continue. The twins’ usually buoyant moods appeared suddenly subdued. 

Charley set down his fork. 

“What? What is it?” Hank asked.

“Out with it. You might as well just tell us what you’re obviously trying to avoid telling us,” Sandy demanded. 

“Okay, well, we have heard some talk about a bion before,” Lila said. “They have very strong lion characteristics, part-lion, of course. So, king of the jungle and all of that. But the bion is, obviously, also part-bull, so, it also has the extreme muscularity and aggressiveness of the bull. And it has the normal helping of rage that all of the animal combinations have, thanks to the chemical after-soup of the Event.” 

Hector continued. “So, basically you have an animal that is the king of the jungle and isn’t content to just roar; he wants to prove he’s the king of the jungle to anything that moves.” 

“It’s a common misconception about bulls that they are incited to anger and will charge when they see the color red. In reality, even in the Old Days, all bulls are red– green color blind— the only reason they would charge a matador’s cape is just because of the movement,” Lila said. 

Charley spoke up. “So, basically, we are hunting an enormously muscular lion that charges anything that moves.” 

“That’s about it,” Lila said.

Things are getting heated in this book now that Commander Orson has ordered Charley, Lila and Hank to fight a freaking bion!! A bull-lion freak!! Scary!!

What books are you reading this week for Teaser Tuesday? Leave comments below.



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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Teaser Tuesday #7: MERITROPOLIS by Joel Ohman


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Hosted by MizB from adailyrhythm.com, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you share two (2) “teaser” sentences from your current read to try to entice others to want to seek it out.

This week's teaser:

Hector and Lila, the twin brother and sister High Scores— each quite obviously intelligent, but both possessing that sort of know-everything-teacher’s-pet quality that Charley had already fast found annoying in the classroom earlier— said at almost the same time, “It’s an animal combination.” 

Everyone looked in their direction, and Hector spoke again. “Kind of like a mutation, but cooler.” “Because they can reproduce after their own kind,” Lila added. 

“Usually, anyway,” said Hector. 

“Sometimes weird stuff happens. Or, weirder stuff happens, I should say,” said Lila. “And how exactly do you know so much about animal combinations?” asked Sandy. 

Charley was wondering the same thing. Not for the first time today, he also wondered just how much he could trust the twins. 

“Easy,” said Lila. “We read. A lot.” 

“And ask questions,” said Hector.

Hector and Lila remind me of Wiress and Beetee from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The way they are twins, and supersmart, always getting the short end of the stick when it comes to friends. Also, they stick together with the main protagonist, and the main protagonist has to decide whether to trust them. It's pretty interesting to read and imagine what they are going through.

Are you reading Meritropolis too? Leave comments below.


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Book Blitz: LIFE IN THE LUCKY ZONE by Patricia B. Tighe


Life in the Lucky Zone
Patricia B. Tighe
(The Zone, #2)
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Lindsey Taylor has been living a charmed life—always the lead in school plays, possessor of a healthy entourage and a hot boyfriend. But halfway through her junior year, the unthinkable happens. Her boyfriend dumps her. She screws up her audition for the spring play. And to top it all off, her theater teacher wants her to run lines with Trey Berger, a gamer guy who irritates her practically every time he opens his mouth. Lindsey needs to find some better luck and quick.
Trey Berger can barely tolerate Lindsey Taylor. It’s bad enough that their best friends are dating and he has to see Lindsey at group hangouts. Now they have to rehearse together. Berger would rather do just about anything else, even chill with his grandmother, whose dementia has forced her to move in with his family.
But as the semester continues, Berger discovers there’s more to Lindsey than the drama queen persona she puts on for everyone else’s benefit. And the person behind the mask might be someone he cares about. A lot. So what exactly is he going to do about it?
And while Lindsey desperately tries to change her luck and heal from the breakup, she slowly realizes Berger has become her best friend. This video-game-playing boy makes her laugh. And holds her when she cries. Could he possibly become something more?

EXCERPT:
People filled the baggage claim area, grabbing their items from the carousel, their conversations muffled by all the noise. I stepped out of the way of a man heading for the exit and scanned people’s faces. Where was Adam? Were his parents already here to take him home? That might make things awkward.

I edged through the crowd and finally saw him. Relief ran through me, but immediately drained away at the sight of the people with him. Dressed in a T-shirt and hoodie, Adam was placing a huge duffle bag on the floor beside an elderly couple and a teenage girl. A gorgeous teenage girl with dark hair. I didn’t know who she was, but I hated everything about her. From her long, curling hair to the tight shirt that showed off all her curves. Even the tiny belly curve.

Should I go over there? I kind of had to if I wanted to talk to him. But something held me back. Some sense that prickled up my neck. I shouldn’t meet those people. At least, not right now. Then the problem took care of itself. Adam straightened and looked across the room. Our gazes met. Locked. But I couldn’t read what might be in his. It was too far away.

He tilted his head down toward the others, said something, and then started working his way through the crowd. I knew the people he was with must be watching, but I only had eyes for Adam. He did not look happy.

Crap. I hadn’t planned on a fight. Surely that wasn’t what he had in mind. My pulse sped up, and I squeezed my fingers around the strap of my shoulder bag. And then he was standing in front of me, his hands hanging loosely at his sides, a vertical line between his eyebrows.

“Hey,” he said, with no kiss or hug. “What’re you doing here? I told you I had a ride.”

I made myself smile. “I wanted to surprise you.”

He ran a hand through his hair. It had gotten long; a couple of strands curled toward the snake tat on his neck. “How’re you doing?” he asked, sounding like he really didn’t care.

I could barely choke out the word. “Fine.” Touch me. Tell me everything’s okay.

Someone jostled him, and he stepped closer. “Look, you know things have been weird between us. I should’ve talked to you about this before I left, but I didn’t know how. Stuff has … changed.”


Author Bio:
The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in West Texas with her husband and two dogs. Her love of the written word caused her to get a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in 1980 and an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2008. When not writing or reading, she can be found walking the dogs or yelling at the TV during an NFL game. She's also a fan of British TV shows. Downton Abbey, anyone?

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Book Blitz Tour: SURVIVING HIGH SCHOOL by Lele Pons & Melissa de la Cruz


Surviving High School
Lele Pons & Melissa de la Cruz
Published by: Gallery Books
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Vine superstar Lele Pons—“one of the coolest girls on the web” (Teen Vogue)—teams up with #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost) in this lovable debut novel about the wilds and wonders of high school that’s as laugh-out-loud addictive as Lele’s popular videos. 
Ten million followers and I still sit alone at lunch. Lele is a bulls-eye target at her new school in Miami until, overnight, her digital fame catapults the girl with cheerleader looks, a seriously silly personality, and a self-deprecating funny bone into the popular crowd. Now she’s facing a whole new set of challenges—the relentless drama, the ruthless cliques, the unexpected internet celebrity—all while trying to keep her grades up and make her parents proud.
Filled with the zany enthusiasm that has made Lele into Vine’s most viewed star, this charming novel is proof that high school is a trip. From crushing your crushes (what’s up with that hot transfer student Alexei??) to throwing Insta-fake parties with your BFFs and moaning over homework (GAH) with your frenemies, high school is a rollercoaster of exhilarating highs and totally embarrassing lows. Leave it to Lele to reassure us that falling flat on your face is definitely not the end of the world. Fans of Mean Girls will love this fun and heartwarming fish-out-of-water story.
Read the Prologue:
To my lovely and beautiful readers. Before I tell you the story of how I vowed to survive high school, I’d like to talk about something near and dear to my heart.

See, every human being (and most animals, I find) have their own unique essence, an essence comprised of deeply rooted qualities that make them who they are. Ancient Greek philosophers would refer to this as the “soul”—but I am not an ancient Greek philosopher, I am a teenage girl, and so I will call it Lele-ness. Of course, you wouldn’t call it Lele-ness, you would call it Sara-ness or Jason-ness, or whatever your name might be.

My point is: I believe that YOU-ness is something very special, no matter who you are, and it ought to be celebrated. So I shall now tell you how I came to be truly Lele, a person I love for better or for worse.

Of course, part of your essence comes into this world with you at birth, but it’s really what happens next that starts to shape you into you. I was born in Caracas, a major city in Venezuela, but quickly moved to the countryside where I—get this—lived in a barn. I mean, can you even? Picture this: baby Lele running barefoot through cornfields miles and miles away from civilization.

I didn’t have dogs or cats as pets, instead I had baby tigers and monkeys as close friends. My whole childhood I knew nothing of shopping malls or (gasp!) the internet. For entertainment I had only nature—bird-watching and berry picking and, best of all, stargazing.

For as long as I can remember, language has been a struggle for me. Words didn’t come to me as a child, so I used my body to communicate. It felt so much more natural to express my- self that way. I felt comfortable drawing out my thoughts and feelings, instead of verbalizing them, so I’d often draw out storyboards—sometimes eight pages long—to explain to my parents or teachers what it was that I wanted. Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses: for me, artwork and movement were strengths, while speaking to others using words was a weakness.

Now take all of that and add immigrating to the United States, and you have a potential disaster on your hands. I knew nothing about American culture, and my differences paralyzed me with anxiety. For comfort and peace of mind, I turned to entertainment. I found I was embraced by my peers for being physically dramatic and, well, funny. I found that I knew how to make people laugh, and so I held on to that as a life raft in the sea of the most confusing and alienating time in my life.
I believe it was my wild upbringing plus my verbal disadvantages that led me to be the performer and one-of-a-kind weirdo with a heart of gold that I am today. It’s not always easy being Lele, but every morning when I wake up I say, “Bring it on,” and that attitude is what has taken me on this incredible journey.

I encourage you to think about the life events and circumstances that have made you truly YOU, and to celebrate every single part of yourself—the strong, the weak, the good, the bad, and the ugly— because each part contributes to making you special and AMAZING. Trust me.

So that is the story of how I developed my Lele essence. What follows is the story of how I survived my first year at Miami High and how I got to share my message with almost ten million followers. I hope you enjoy it!

XO Lele

Author Bio:
Lele Pons was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved with her family to Miami when she was five years old. She got her start when she created a page on the video-sharing app Vine in December 2013. Originally intended as a fun outlet to showcase her creativity, her vines evolved into comedic sketches and pulling practical jokes on family and friends. Her following grew from five thousand local followers to more than ten million by November 2015.
Today she is one of the most recognizable names on social media, and has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Time, and more. Lele has been nominated for three Teen Choice Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and a Streamy Award. In 2015, she was invited to the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama to help launch her campaign for disadvantaged kids to go to college. Lele graduated from high school in 2015 and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for readers of all ages, including the Witches of East End, Blue Bloods, and Descendants series.

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