Happy Thursday, book nerds!
I’m thrilled to announce that I’m taking part in the Chapter by Chapter blog tour for Love and Other Secrets by Christina Mandelski. Read on to learn more about the book, my review, the other tour stops, AND your chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card!
Synopsis & Purchase Links:
Love and Other Secrets by Christina Mandelski
Title & Author: Love and Other Secrets by Christina Mandelski
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Release Date: September 3, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen (Crush)
Series Details: Companion Novel
Page Count: 150 pages (ebook)
Description: “Star lacrosse player Alex “Kov” Koviak has it all. Or so everyone thinks. He’s real good at pretending his life is perfect…until he meets Bailey. The girl challenges him and pushes him and makes him laugh like he’s never laughed before. Their friendship is their little secret, and he’s happy to keep her to himself.
Between school, two jobs, and trying to get into NYU film school, Bailey Banfield has zero time for a social life. But then she meets Alex in her express lane at the grocery store, and their secret friendship becomes the only place she can breathe. She refuses to complicate that with more. No matter how charming Alex can be.
When Bailey decides to film outrageous promposals for her NYU application, she enlists Alex’s help to plan an over-the-top, epic promposal to someone else. Too bad the only prom date Alex wants anywhere near Bailey is him.
For a guy who seems to have it all, he’s about to lose the only thing he’s ever wanted.”
“With how much everyone talks about it, you’d think prom is a huge deal at our school, but it’s really the promposals that get everyone worked up.”
Opening a month before the big day, Love and Other Secrets tells the story of a seemingly mismatched pair dancing the sacred “will they won’t they” dance while navigating the pressures of youth, high school, and their futures.
Alex “Kov” Koviak (a.k.a. “teenage Thor”) is your typical carefree jock who devotes his days to no-strings relationships, lacrosse, and playing matchmaker for his friends.
Bailey “Raven Girl” Banfield is your typical goal-oriented super teen who spends her days studying at school, working 2 jobs, and perfecting her A/V assignment in hopes of landing the funds — and a spot — at her dream school: NYU.
On the surface they seem like polar opposites — in fact, you’d never even guess they were friends. But over weeks of secret late-night movie screens this duo become close and internally debate whether they should take the next step — publically and formally. And right when Kov decides to take the plunge and prompose to Bailey, she burst his metaphorical bubble by asking for his help promposing to another dude. In order to keep his disappointment under wraps, Kov agrees to help Bails with “Operation Ultra-Mega Promposal to the Death,” which ends up being more challenging than either of them ever expected.
“Sometimes it’s easy to forget that everyone has a story…”
What I loved the most about Mandelski’s YA contemporary was how genuinely youthful it read. There are moments that will make you cringe due to the missed connections and errors in communication. There are moments that will make you swoon due to Kov’s impressive displays of game (slow dancing serenades in the Blue Room, anyone??) But at the end of the day it just felt so dang relatable. Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of times where I wanted to strangle our MCs because so much of their drama could have been instantaneously eliminated if they’d gather up the courage to TALK to one another. But at the end of the day, that’s the blissfully frustrating part of growing up — a feeling I remember all too well.
You see, the reason I’m trash for prom stories is because my first date with my husband was our senior prom — well, sort of. We didn’t actually go to the dance together because of (you guessed it) communication issues. Between him recruiting his best friend to ask me who I was going with — in front of him — me panicking and not wanting to look like a loser and claiming a date I hadn’t yet acquired, friend dates brought along to make the other party jealous, and more laughable incidents I don’t have time to go into now, I totally get how these characters ended up in the positions they did. It’s frustrating and funny (in hindsight), but eventually works out in the end. We got our act together by the after party and you’ll have to check out Mandelski’s novel to see how Kov and Bailey fared.
While it does read young and can — at times — be rather repetitive this cute contemporary is sweeter than the Psychedeliccinos Bailey serves at the Java Infusion. If you’re looking for a quick flashback read, or are needing some inspiration for your own promposal, check out this butterfly-inducing romance today!
Thank you to Entangled Publishing (Crush) & Chapter by Chapter for providing a copy of this ARC/ebook in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Christina Mandelski was born in South Florida where her love of reading was cultivated in a house full of books. Stories like The Little House series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Secret Garden, filled her imagination and fueled her dreams to be a writer. That dream came true when her first young adult novel, THE SWEETEST THING, was published in 2011, and she’s beyond thrilled about her upcoming series for Entangled Crush. Chris lives in Houston with one handsome husband, two beautiful daughters, and two freakshow cats. She has a fondness for the beach, her family and friends, and she still loves to read (especially curled up with a good cup of coffee)! She also enjoys shopping, traveling and eating, especially cake. Always cake. When she’s not doing these things, you can find her holed in a cozy spot with her laptop, writing. Visit her at www.christinamandelski.com.