FOREIGN EXCHANGE Cover Reveal and ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER Giveaway!

I’m very excited to be part of Denise Jaden’s cover reveal for her upcoming release Foreign Exchange. This is extra exciting for me because one of my students connected with Denise a few years back after reading Losing Faith. Through this connection, my student started reading parts of Foreign Exchange as a beta reader and Denise used her name for a character in the book (Tristan Bishop). So cool! 🙂

Thank you, Denise, for letting me take part in the cover reveal and the giveaway of your copy of Isla and the Happily Ever After!

Here are a few of Denise’s thoughts on Foreign Exchange and its cover…

I’m so incredibly excited to share my cover of Foreign Exchange with you! This book holds a very special place in my heart. I wrote it during a very difficult year of my life, and the characters and their stories were a real bright spot for me.

Because this book is so important to me, I’m giving away something VERY important to me to go along with this cover reveal. I was fortunate enough to receive an early copy of the highly-anticipated Isla and the Happily Ever After by one of my all-time favorite authors, Stephanie Perkins. ISLA and Foreign Exchange are both romances with swoon-worthy boys, and they’re both set partially in Europe. So I want one lucky person to receive my advanced copy of ISLA in to get you excited for Foreign Exchange!

Read on, check out my cover, and read the first chapter of Foreign Exchange below. It’ll all help you in earning extra entries to win my copy of Isla and the Happily Ever After!

And here is the beautiful cover…

 

Jamie Monroe has always played it safe. That is, until her live-for-the-moment best friend, Tristan, jets off to Italy on a student exchange program. Left alone with her part-time mother and her disabled brother, Jamie discovers that she is quite capable of taking her own risks, starting with her best friend’s hotter-than-hot older brother, Sawyer. Sawyer and Tristan have been neighbors for years, but as Jamie grows closer to the family she thought she knew, she discovers some pretty big secrets.

 

As she sinks deeper into their web of pretense, she suspects that her best friend may not be on a safe exchange program at all. Jamie sets off to Europe on a class trip with plans to meet up with Tristan, but when Tristan stops all communication, suddenly no one seems trustworthy, least of all the one person she was starting to trust—Sawyer. 

 

 “Foreign Exchange is a fresh contemporary YA that will keep readers compulsively turning pages until the very end. Combining international intrigue with a steamy forbidden romance makes for a can’t miss read.”

 – Eileen Cook  Author of Year of Mistaken Discoveries. 

“A pitch perfect voice and delicious chemistry kept me turning those pages!”

– Tara Kelly, author of Amplified and Encore

“Foreign Exchange is heart pounding and suspenseful…the teenage dream of escaping the boredom of suburbia by travelling Europe and spending quality time with a hot guy shifts into a dangerous nightmare.”

 – D.R. Graham, author of Rank and the upcoming Noir et Bleu MC series.

 

One of the entries in the Rafflecopter below will ask you a question from the above chapter!

This contest is open internationally!

Don’t forget…this copy of ISLA could be yours…

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

* Note – If you cannot access the Rafflecopter Widget through this blog, access it HERE.

Review: Never Enough by Denise Jaden

Title: Never Enough

Author: Denise Jaden

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: July 10th, 2012

Interest: Author / Contemporary

Source: ARC received from the publisher

Summary (From Goodreads):

From the author of Losing Faith, a novel about two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family.

Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special… even if that means betraying her sister.

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship —and her sister—before it’s too late?

For some reason I’m having a tough time writing this review like normal, so I’m going to try a bullet list review today featuring what worked and didn’t work for me.

What Worked for Me:

  • I like the dynamics in Claire and Loann’s relationship.  It’s easy to identify with Loann and understand how disconnected from Claire she’s become.  In the beginning of Never Enough it’s hard to say whether Claire feels this way as well, but Loann feels it.  She feels awkward and ugly in comparison to Loann, and like she isn’t interesting enough to spend time with Claire and her friends.  Claire is set up as this perfect doll who can do no wrong.  It’s obvious that Claire isn’t perfect, especially based on the summary, but she’s found a way to deceive those around her.  This deception is one of the biggest reasons why Claire and Loann struggle with their relationship because Loann finds that she can’t trust her sister.  Loann’s always looked up to Claire, even when her family and friends are constantly comparing her to Claire.  They share a tight bond which falters as the story progresses.
  • I like Marcus’s character.  He brings out a different side of Loann; he brings out her more confident side.  She’s not always confident around Marcus, but she discovers that she can be more than Loann’s sister when she’s around him.  As their friendship grows, Loann begins to detach herself from Loann’s shadow, even though she’s still constantly thinking about her and comparing herself to Claire.  This is when Loann finds photography and independence.  She feels comfortable around Marcus and can be herself.  Even though it’s difficult for Loann to stop comparing herself to her sister, the reader can see her character growing and finding herself.
  • When looking for a book dealing with eating disorders, Never Enough doesn’t fall into that usual category since we’re not in the shoes of the character dealing with the actual eating disorder.  We’re watching everything through a bystander’s, Loann’s, eyes.  We see how it affects her and her relationship with her sister.  Denise Jaden has written a book that those who have a friend or relative battling with an eating disorder can read and connect with.

What Didn’t Work for Me:

  • The pacing and length are off in Never Enough.  I had read almost 200 pages and was left wondering when the real conflicts in the story were going to develop.  At this point there had been hints about Claire’s eating disorder and a lot of story set up, but nothing major was going on.  There is one big development between Loann and another character that shocked me, but that was about it.  I wish that either the story moved faster, or that there were less side stories tied in (Marcus’s home life, Loann’s parents’ marriage faltering, etc.)  I will say, however, that by the end of the book I could see what Denise Jaden was doing by writing the story this way and I appreciated it.  I’m worried, though, that my students might not stick with the book because of the “slow parts” as they would say.  Never Enough would probably work better for me if it were about 100 pages shorter.
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