Review – Fighting Fate (Joining of Souls #2)

Shaila Patel’s second installation of the Joining of Souls series comes out in FIVE DAYS! Today I’ve got an early review for you to help you get excited. Thank you, Shaila Patel, for my eARC. If you missed my review for the first book, check it out here: Soulmated. I also have an interview with the author after the first book’s release HERE, as well as an excerpt of Fighting Fate HERE!

Title: Fighting Fate (Joining of Souls #2)
Author: Shaila Patel
Published: April 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars
Cover: It’s Okay



Empath Liam Whelan is determined to protect Laxshmi “Lucky” Kapadia, the girl he loves, at all costs–even if it means breaking her heart to keep her alive. Stopping the joining cold means Liam’s life is in danger from the Soul Seekers and the ruthless Minister Gagliardi who now has designs on Lucky. Liam has no choice but to find the strength to fight his desires, fight the joining, and fight fate.

After the unthinkable happened, Lucky’s “hallucinations” have been working double-time. Heartbroken and plagued by doubts, she meets a man who gives her a mind-blowing explanation for her predicament. Her apparent savior provides her with an escape from her hell: run away with him or return to her drab existence and watch Liam move on with her heart in his hands. All Lucky ever craved was to be in control of her own fate, but when her only choices fight against her heart, can she find the strength to battle for what she wants?

“Who was the real Lucky?” (chapter 17)

Shaila Patel did it again! The characters were captivating, the connections between Liam and Lucky were descriptive, and my heart was beating out of my chest with ANOTHER cliffhanger! Why do you do this to me, Shaila?

One thing I particularly loved about this second book is the more in depth looks into Liam and Lucky’s individual cultures, as well as that of the empaths. The descriptions of the landscape of Ireland and the foods of Lucky’s Indian heritage created a desire to know more, to understand more. I even went and made myself some penda after reading the mouth-watering descriptions! There is also a bunch more background on the empath history, which sometimes slowed the plot down quite a bit, but it all ties up very nicely by the end of the book.


As Lucky learns more about what it means to be an empath, her powers and connection with Liam, and the dangers racing toward her, it honestly gave me some Twilight vibes. Let me preface this by saying I do NOT like the Twilight books, I DO like the Joining of Souls books. For starters, I think Patel writes these stories better than Meyers did. But the phenomenon of Lucky turning into this supernatural being and Liam teaching her about this world and her powers made me feel a ton of similarities between the stories. Thankfully, while Liam and Lucky can get pretty obsessive about each other, neither are whiney and selfish like Bella and Edward. In fact, one thing I admire a ton about their love for each other is how much they seek to put the other person before themselves, trying to give them what’s best for them. But, like typical teenagers, that’s not always actually the best thing for them.

There is still the tension of Lucky’s mom’s desires and Lucky being straddled between Indian culture, American culture, and empath culture, which is one of the most interesting conflicts in these books in my opinion. How does Lucky stand up to her mom without dishonoring her? How can she be one person split between so many people and worlds?

Patel does a fantastic job of jumping in right where Soulmated ended, while also slowly reminding you of things from the first book without being completely obnoxious. Yes, that’s a thing. I remember hating it way back when I was a kid reading the Nancy Drew books as a kid. YES I KNOW WHO NANCY IS BY THIS POINT, OKAY? The last fourth of the book had my heart racing. I was reading as fast as I can, devouring the drama. Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, Shaila LOVES her cliffhangers, so now I have to wait even MORE impatiently for the next book!

Blog Tour/Review – Breaking the Ice

Title: Breaking the Ice (Juniper Falls #2)
Author: Julie Cross
Published: December 2017

Rating: 4 stars
Cover: Like it

Breaking the Ice Cover


The second book in the Juniper Falls series from NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Cross, perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally and Abbi Glines.

Haley Stevenson seems like she’s got it all together: cheer captain, “Princess” of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she’s struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she’s sworn them off completely until college.

Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He’s always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he’s finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner.

But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who’s ready to break all the rules.

“She leans into my personal space, her eyelids fluttering, all innocent looking. “Are you scared of me, Fletch”” (chapter 13)?

Thank you Entangled Teen, Chapter by Chapter, and Julie Cross for a free ecopy in exchange for an honest review. You can check out the rest of the tour by clicking the banner below. I also reviewed the first book in the Juniper Falls world HERE.


Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

While it was fun to come back to the secret filled, hockey obsessed small town of Juniper Falls, I almost feel like I enjoyed this installment more than the last.

Fletcher and Haley both have to take Civics in summer school for different reasons: Fletcher to get ahead and get out of this gossip-filled town, Haley to make a better grade since hers have been suffering. There personalities are even wildly different. Fletcher keeps low under the radar, he is focused and driven, aiming to stay invisible except on the ice. Haley is the queen bee of the school, head cheerleader, easily distracted, but equally driven through her obsessive lists. Who knew they would need each other to get through this class?

The stakes in Breaking the Ice feel high, and are so interesting. The struggle to understand their relationship, their feelings, and the person underneath their labels is super believable and I was completely hooked. As Fletcher and Haley get to know each other, they find so much depth beyond their labels, which was fascinating to discover along with them. The tension between the two of them as they try to work as friends, even friends with benefits, but are so obviously crazy about each other, was just delightful.

Cross sends the reader through so many twists and turns throughout this book, it is almost impossible to know what will happen next. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was rooting for the two the whole time, through each of the twists. Cross’s characters have such depth and are incredibly enjoyable, especially the banter between them. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Anyone else begging for a Jamie story?

About the Author


Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, Chasing Truth, Off the Ice and many more to come! Julie Cross was a longtime resident of central Illinois but has recently moved her entire family across the country to continue her academic studies at Stanford University.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Book Review – The Big F

Title: The Big F
Author: Maggie Ann Martin
Published: August 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Rating: 3 stars
Cover: It’s Okay



Danielle effed up. Big time.

Danielle’s plans for the future were pretty easy to figure out… until she failed senior English and her single college application was denied. Suddenly she’s in hot water with very few options, because honestly who applies to a safety school when their mom is a semi-famous “college psychic”?!

Determined to get her life back on track, Danielle enrolls in her hometown community college with a plan: pass her English class and get back into Ohio State and her mother’s good graces. Romance isn’t on her radar… until she reconnects with her childhood crush and golden-boy-next-door, Luke.

Between family drama, first love and finding her own way, Danielle can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed. Thankfully she has her friendship with the snarky and frustratingly attractive Porter, her coworker at the campus bookstore, to push her to experience new things and help keep her afloat.

One thing’s for sure: This time, failure’s not an option.

“Sometimes your heart makes a shit show out of what you think you want” (Chapter 19)

I am extremely grateful to Xpresso Book ToursMaggie Ann Martin, and Swoon Reads for a free advanced reader’s copy in return for an honest review. Head over here to follow the rest of the tour.

The Big F starts off with Danielle and her parent’s plan for her life being completely derailed because of an F she got in a class she “had no business taking.” Her dream college aspirations went clear out the window and she was left with the pieces of her life, trying to figure out how to put them together again. Her mom, being a “college psychic,” did not take this failure well, causing she and Danielle to spend most of the book trying to avoid the wall of tension that gets taller every day. Much of the plot takes a look at how one person’s life can be affected by a single failure–not even just a failure. The themes look at how one little change in someone’s plan can provide a whole world of opportunities unavailable before. Danielle decides to take an english class at her local community college in order to be readmitted into her dream 4-year school. Because of this simple detour in her life plan, she was able to be reconnected with her old crush, Luke, she got a job at the campus bookstore and became close friends with her coworker and Luke’s roommate, Porter, and she learned more about who she is and what she is passionate about.

Danielle and Luke’s relationship is quick and cute. She already knows everything about him and is friends with his family. It’s easy. There are things that frustrate her like the fact that his football takes up so much time–a conflict that is only briefly mentioned and never resolved. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It doesn’t feel real. But the little times they do get to spend together are sweet and easy.

I loved how much Danielle grows. She struggles a lot with learning what she actually wants and how she’s going to go after them. She struggles with her relationship with her mom and the weird thing that happened with her and Porter. She’s a college freshman–she makes mistakes and sometimes doesn’t think about consequences. But I really appreciate how much she grows. One little mistake changed her whole life for the better.

Some things that bothered me: I felt like the only characters that got flushed out well were Danielle and Porter, especially when the plot focused on their friendship. Luke is so so flat. He brings up a little internal conflict later in the story, but really, I still feel like I know nothing about him. All the characters in Danielle’s life seem to come in just to teach her something–which is wonderful–but adds no depth to the characters. I also was annoyed that the book starts off talking about how Danielle’s mom is a psychic who is able to determine what schools are a good fit for prospective college students. But after the first mention, her psychic abilities are nonexistent. It seems more like she is just a good college advisor. That’s it. Her being psychic was absolutely useless.

The Big F is a cute, fluffy contemporary about a girl discovering who she can be after one F messes up her whole future. I empathized with both Danielle and Porter quite a bit and was rooting for them through the end. I just wish I felt that way about everyone else.

Purchase Links

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Maggie Ann Martin hails from Des Moines, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. The Big F is her debut novel.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



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Looking at the Artists Behind the Book Covers

Who judges books by their covers? *tentatively raises own hand* If you think about it, from a marketing standpoint, it’s totally natural to be drawn to something that is presented better than another. Books that are released with the whole package are way more exciting than ones with disappointing covers. Plus, I grew up in a very artistic-centered family, so a cover that disappoints is significantly less likely to be picked up than one that’s well done. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the correlation between what a cover looks like and the probability that you’d pick it up to read or buy. Are covers important to you?

As I spend more time in the bookstagram community, working with authors and publishers, and writing reviews, I’ve noticed a growing trend of cover revels for upcoming titles. Cover reveals help cultivate more excitement over an upcoming book and the author’s work, but most of the time I’ve noticed that there is no recognition for or mention of the artist who created the cover. To me, that’s just ridiculous. Why create hype over a piece of art without crediting the artists who made it? We credit the author and the publisher, but often times the artist gets completely overlooked for their contribution, unless they’re a big name like Jim Kay. I wanted to take some time today to show you some beautiful covers and let you know who made them. I hope you enjoy! Let me know which are your favorites in the comments.


catcher-in-the-ryeThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Artist: E. Michael Mitchell

TheGreatGatsby_1925jacketThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Artist: Francis Cugat

61aqO0sPF+L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Artist: J.R.R. Tolkein


51Ok9FmXxbLExes by Max Winter
Designer: Strick&Williams
Illustrator: Zohar Lazar

The_goldfinch_by_donna_tart.pngThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Designer: Keith Hayes
Artist: Carel Fabritius

22237161The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Designer: Rodrigo Corral
Illustrator: Matt Buck

Wolf_in_White_VanWolf in White Van by John Darnielle
Designer: Abby Kagan


039360909xNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Artist: Sam Weber


Annihilation_by_jeff_vandermeerAnnihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
Designer: Abby Kagan

9781101873786The Vorrh by B. Catling
Designer: Jaclyn Whalen

PaperGirls_Vol01-1.pngPaper Girls by Brian Vaughan
Artist: Cliff Chiang & Matt Wilson

9780316261241_p0_v3_s1200x630 by Ben H. Winters
Designer: Oliver Munday

vermilion-cov300.jpgVermilion: The Adventures of Lou Merriwether, Psychopomp by Molly Tanzer
Designer: Osiel Gòmez
Artist: Dalton Rose


51fLeSBiAuLGet in Trouble by Kelly Link
Designer: Caroline Cunningham

1501143107.1.zoomMisery by Stephen King
Designer: Will Staehle

Rant_by_Chuck_PalahniukRant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk
Designer: Michael Collica

29939268.jpgUniversal Harvester by John Darnielle
Designer: Abby Kagan

51xmzRflX5LWe Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley
Designer: Maria Carella


519sg-ItOaLThe Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson
Designer: Matt Dorfman
Art Director: Helen Yentus


AnimalThe Animal Under the Fur by E.J. Mellow
Designer: E.J. Mellow
Typography: Dan Covert


28504676Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
Designer: Kristin Logsdon

18718848Mosquitoland by David Arnold
Artist: Eileen Savage

28588459Sill Life with Tornado by A.S. King
Designer: Kristin Logsdon

25372971Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin
Artist: Jill De Haan

9780525425892We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Designer: Samira Iravani
Artist: Adams Carvalho


23719270Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Artist: Teagan White


Wink_poppy_midnight_book_coverWink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
Designer: Nancy R. Leo-Kelly


31369411The Graces by Laura Eve
Designer: Maria T. Middleton
Artist: Spencer Charles

9780399538537Tales of Peculiar by Random Riggs
Artist: Andrew Davidson

12180226Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby
Designer: Sheila Smallwood
Artist: Evan B. Harris

Thanks to my brother, Dylan, for helping me with this special blog post. Check out his artwork HERE

Blog Tour/Review – Girl on the Verge

Title: Girl on the Verge
Author: Pintip Dunn
Published: June 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

Rating: 4 stars
Cover: It’s okay


From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

“Don’t let someone else determine how you feel about yourself.” (chapter 8)

I am extremely grateful to Xpresso Book Tours, Pintip Dunn, and Kensington Publishing Corp for a free advanced reader’s copy in return for an honest review. Head over here to follow the rest of the tour. 

Girl on the Verge is an own voices young adult thriller about discovering who you are and learning to value what makes you different. Kan is a Thai-American who struggles with what that means for her culture and identity. With one foot in both cultures, she feels she can’t fit in anywhere and that her differences cause too much tension for her to be treated as an equal. To top that off, she frequently has to deal with racism and microagressions from those around her, even her friends.

Through this internal tension, Kan still chooses to see the best in people. She lets slurs roll off her back because she wants to believe that they don’t realize what they said. She welcomes the girl her mom brings home to stay with open arms and attempts to make her feel comfortable and wanted. Kan is crazy loyal and kind, while still going through angsty teenage drama within her family. She’s honestly the friend that everyone needs in high school.

Dunn’s writing is immersive and engaging. The set-up of the story felt natural and not forced at all. I honestly forgot I was reading a thriller and I should expect strange things until I was knee deep in the evidence. Though, I do distinctly remember starting to feel uneasy about Shelly’s manipulative friendship almost a fourth of the way through the book. The pace of the book started to snowball from there, getting more and more intense. I couldn’t put it down—I read the whole thing in less than 24 hours. While the beginning of the book didn’t reveal things too quickly, somewhere in the second half it felt like little facts were being revealed in much too obvious a manner, which allowed me to guess the last major plot twist a while before it arrived. I wonder if we didn’t get the chapters from Shelly’s perspective if that would’ve kept me in the dark enough that the ending would be more of a surprise with a side of “how did I not notice that?”

Of course, there’s a swoon-worthy guy in this book. It’s charming how much he wants to be able to save Kan and keep her from harm, but ultimately, she needed to be strong enough to do it on her own. He is so genuine and adorable, how could you not adore him just as much as Kan does?

Girl on the Verge is intense, relevant, and enjoyable, creating characters that are easy to connect with and a plot that keeps you glued to the page. This is my first read by Dunn, but I will definitely be coming back for more!

Purchase Links

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks



Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella BEFORE TOMORROW.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



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Book Review – Waters of Salt and Sin

Title: Waters of Salt and Sin (Uncommon World #1)
Author: Alisha Klapheke
Published: April 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

 Rating: 4 Stars
Cover: It’s Okay



When seventeen-year-old salt witch Kinneret learns of a lost island of silver, she sets out to find it, raise her status, and finally have a chance to wed Calev, the high-caste friend she secretly loves.

But when a madman enslaves her sister, Kinneret must make a deal with the local ruler: Find the island to secure the ruler’s place in history. In return, the woman’s fighting sailors will rescue Kinneret’s sister.

Using Salt Magic to navigate cursed waters, Kinneret and Calev struggle to hide their taboo, caste-breaking feelings, knowing if the ruler witnesses the attraction, she will cancel the agreement. But when Calev makes a terrible mistake, Kinneret must choose between the life of her only remaining family member and saving the boy she loves from a traitor’s death.

“Courage isn’t not being afraid,” Calev said. “It’s standing and fighting through your fear. Protecting those you love” (chapter 7).

Waters of Salt and Sin was such a fun read. I found myself captivated, unable to stop worrying about the characters and their safety. That’s one thing you need to know about this book—it is dangerous. No one is safe. However, not only do we get some kickbutt fighting scenes and many encounters with death, but we also get lovey dovey butterfly feelings and the fight for a non-traditional family. Plus, everything happens on the sea! You can’t get more excitement than this.

One theme that is engrained in the whole plotline is the tension between class statuses. More than anything, Kinneret just wants the safety and security that comes with a higher class status (or caste) than her own. Though this is a fictional world, this specific theme holds true to our world today. By putting such a focus on the quality of life between classes, Klapheke is commenting on the prejudices in our own society. It was such a bold commentary that no reader can come away from this book without considering how our own world handles these very issues. Kinneret even makes remarks that make it hard to ignore: “Caste meant nothing when it came to death” (chapter 40).

The world Klapheke created is so immersive, filled with beauty, ugliness, sorcery, and tales of treasure. The characters are even better! Kinneret is a badass who is loyal to the bone and won’t let anyone tell her she can’t do something. I love this about her. This quality makes her worth rooting for. But, where Kinneret can be a hothead, easily worked up about things, Calev is more grounded and rational. They are the perfect mixture, each having strengths that help the other person’s weaknesses. Be careful, you might get so connected with these characters that you can’t put the book down—don’t worry. There’s more books to come!

Hold on to your hats because Kinneret and Calev are about to take you on a trip across the seas that you’ll never forget!

“If we kept to safe things forever, we’d have no kind of life at all” (chapter 40)

Blog Tour/Review – Off the Ice

Title: Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1)
Author: Julie Cross
Published: February 2017
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4 stars
Cover: Like it

Off the Ice CoverSynopsis:

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

“I’m breathing hard, my pulse pounding. Dad snatches the puck from my glove and stares me down. I can’t tell if he’s pissed that I blocked his shot or surprised. All I know is that I want him to go back to the center ice and do it again. And again.” (chapter 23)

I have the privilege of being on Entangled Teen’s blog tour for Julie Cross’s new book, Off the Ice. When I first heard of this book, I got excited because I love stories that involve hockey. After all, The Mighty Ducks was one of the best movies to grow up on. The boyfriend and I are even planning on going to a hockey game next week – bring it on! The hockey element definitely added some fun and tension to this story, which I loved. Before I get started with my review, I would just like to point out that there are many other stops on this tour! Check the banner below for more reviews, interviews, and guest posts to get you excited about this book.



I went into this book thinking it would be a fluffy romance with some conflict on the ice, something that was easy to read and made me feel good. That impression was shot down almost immediately. This snow-covered town of Juniper Falls holds so many secrets and the drama they cause can sometimes be dark. I was on the edge of my seat almost the entire day and a half it took me to finish this book. The drama! To reiterate, this isn’t a fluffy romance; the plot includes sex, alcohol abuse, underage drinking, physical abuse, and language.

Juniper Falls is a small, fictional town in Minnesota that lives and breathes hockey. The boys are raised to be hockey players and the girls to cheer them on (ayyye, sexist much? Though, there is mention of a little girl taking hockey classes, so a point for equality.) Tate grew up in the shadow of his hockey star father, whose dream in life is to relive his glory through his son. During the first game of the season, the Otters’ goalie walks out, and Tate suddenly goes from being a benchwarmer second goalie to the star goalie for the season. But can he get out of his head for long enough to catch the pucks? And what is he supposed to do with all these secrets coming out of the woodwork, including his own? The thing about Juniper Falls is that they have this perfect picture of what their town should look like. Anyone who strays from these perfectly functioning idealisms is ostracized and shut out. Tate struggles with keeping his own secrets from coming out, while also figuring out how to respond to those that have had their life and choices put on display.

Claire was chasing her dreams of being an actress at college when her world got flipped upside down and she was called home to help with her father and his bar. She develops this strong, independent will that ultimately puts other’s needs before her own. Whether this means sabotaging her own dreams or pushing people away so that they can find their own, Claire constantly has a battle in her head about what she deserves and what other people need. Like Tate, she also struggles with the secrets she knows and how different people would respond to these.

Chasing dreams, making them your own, discovering the values of friendships, and finding a love worth fighting for, Off the Ice has such beautiful themes, which are diamonds in the darkness of the heavier themes found. The writing feels very much as if in a high schooler’s head, so it wasn’t exceptionally stimulating, but the plot definitely took my by surprise and gripped me until the very end. The climax(es) had my heart pounding, but the fight for love and dreams melted me to a puddle. Tate and Claire’s adventure is a rollercoaster you will need to buckle up your heart for, wrapping up smoothly with hopes for the future.

Purchase Links:

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Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, and Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credibilities, Julie Cross is a committed—but not talented—long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.


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Lose Me. – Book Review

Title: Lose Me. (ARC)
Author: M.C. Frank
Published: April 11th, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance 

Rating: 4 Stars
Cover: Like It


Jane Austen meets New Adult fiction in this compulsively readable romance.

“Today is not the day I die.”

Ari Demos starts every day with this thought. Fresh out of high school, she’s landed a coveted role as a stunt double in a new Pride and Prejudice adaptation starring the Hollywood phenomenon Weston Spencer. But this job isn’t going to be easy: Ari will be performing complicated water stunts and driving fast cars along the narrow cliffs of Corfu. One false step and she could lose not only her job, but her life.

And then Wes Spencer, Mr Darcy himself, arrives in Greece. He’s got dirty blonde hair, a mile-long yacht and a bored look on that gorgeous face. Ari wants nothing to do with the rich actor boy, but on the day she meets him, she has an accident. One that almost claims her life. And now she can’t hide from the truth any longer:
She might be much closer to losing everything than she thought. She might be dying. And the British actor is the last person she’d expect to save her life.

She’s a hard-working island girl. He’s adored by millions.
Falling in love was never supposed to be a part of the job.
Staying alive was never supposed to be a part of growing up.

Was this story ever meant for a happily ever after?

“The truth is, people don’t survive alone. And they certainly don’t thrive alone.” – p. 312

I recently received an advanced readers copy of Lose Me. from the author, M.C. Frank. I absolutely adored her No Ordinary Star series (reviews here and here), so I was pretty excited to hear that she had written something new and a little bit different. This is primarily why I picked up this book, whereas I would otherwise tend to stay away from NA Romance books. It seems that so many NA books out there have uncomfortable covers with shirtless guys, sometimes sensually grabbing onto a girl as if their life depended on it. What’s inside doesn’t get much more engaging. I’ve only read a couple books under this category, but the ones I have read or flipped through are filled with sex and sexual tension from beginning to end. Honestly, I’d rather not spend my time reading about the sex lives of flat characters. However, since I already know and love Frank’s writing, I decided to give it a shot. The first thing that told me this book would be different was the cover. Come on, guys—just look at that cover! It is way more inviting, creative, and well done than most novels in this genre. How could you skip over this beauty? Plus, the inside gets better! Once I picked it up to read, I cursed every distraction and responsibility that forced me to put it back down again.

Lose Me. is written in a carefree, conversational way as if Ari, our main girl, were sitting down with you, fingers curled around a mug of coffee, telling you all about her life. The story takes place primarily in Greece, with some appearances in New York and England. The descriptions of Greece are gorgeous and gave me a sense of wanderlust. I felt almost like I was there and had been there before, even though I’ve never even left the US in my life. The country’s beauty was captivating and felt like home. Frank, who is Greek herself, did a wonderful job of cultivating her sense of home and conveying that through her writing.

Without getting into spoilers, the middle of the book didn’t grab me as much as the as the rest, but I genuinely cared so much about the characters that I felt a sense of urgency to continue reading. I could feel the pain the characters were going through during some of the conflict and this pushed me on. I sometimes found myself wanting to yell at poor decisions made and tuck the characters in my pocket to keep them safe. Another disappointing aspect was that it felt like the book was rushed in the editing stages. Some scenes went on for a long time and were repetitive, and some of the edits just felt like they could’ve been better. Other than these two aspects, I loved this read.

A huge theme throughout this book is trust. Who should we trust our entire life with and when is it okay to not know? Everything Ari goes through boils down to this discovery: people need people. I absolutely love this and would smile (I’d say internally, but who knows what actually goes on with my face when I’m immersed in a book) every time Ari realized that she needed the support that the people around her are trying to freely give more than she needs to protect them and their emotions or to protect herself. You go, girl. Stop thinking so selfishly about yourself and let people love you. After all, how boring would life be if we didn’t have people near to our hearts to share it with, the joys and the trials? Life is much more rich when you have people to experience it with you, to encourage you, to challenge you, and to hold your hand when things get scary. “People don’t survive alone” (p. 312).

Gilmore Girls – Season Two

Welcome to Season Two of Gilmore Girls through my eyes. I’m sure by now most of you have watched the revival season. I’m watching it with my best friend, who introduced me to the show in the first place, so we’re still working on it – we both work full-time jobs. What do you think of the new season? Nothing spoilery, please!

If you are new here, this is my second installment of my Gilmore Girls Rewatch Commentary! Below you will find a running commentary from each episode, some of my favorite lines, and all of the movie/book/band/pop culture references I could catch. I hope you enjoy!


Episode 1 – Sadie, Sadie

Michel and his silly diets. *giggle*
Not only does Jackson have a cousin named Rune, but he has one named Bonbon, too!
Dean squiiiiiirming at the grandparents house! I approve – make him uncomfortable. Rory deserves better.
Man. I think the last time I had a Twinkie was when I was in middle school.

Favorite quotes:
Rory: Oh! You should walk down the aisle to Frank Sinatra with a bouquet of something that smells really good.
Lorelai: Pot roast.

Luke: The whole town should be medicated and put in a rec room with ping-pong tables and hand puppets.

Lorelai: I like my bank. It’s small and the teller’s name is Margie and she can’t count, and there’s something so poetic about banking in a place where the teller can’t count.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: “I Found Love” by The Free Design, Frank Sinatra, Guns and Roses, Cher, Greg Allman
Movies/Shows: All the Family, Fame, Funny Girl, The Tonight Show
People: Ivana Trump, J Edgar Hoover, Barbra Streisand, Stephanie Seymour, Zelda Fitzgerald, Joan and Melissa Rivers

Episode 2 – Hammers and Veils

Ugh. Dean is so clingy. Don’t tell Rory to blow off things she needs to do! He’s not supportive of her dreams at all. I hate him. I just…like…she’s not ignoring him? She genuinely has things she needs to do and he needs to get a life.
Aaaaall the tension!
Sooooo much pink and purple for the wedding shower desserts! *gag* Please tell whomever throws my wedding shower to avoid these colors?
Of course Lorelai wants Luke at her party. Because she loooooves him!
Jackson just said he’s hip! *dying*
I’m not crying because Lorelai and Emily made up. I’m not crying YOU are.

Favorite quotes:
Rory: Are you seriously going to be mad about the fact that you thought I was going out with Tristan even though I wasn’t for the rest of your life?
Paris: I have great commitments.

L: You have to accept that because I’m the mother, and you’re the daughter. And in some cultures that means you have to do what I say.

Rory: The only way you could be more important to me is if you had a Kit Kat bar growing out of your head.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: PJ Harvey, Bette Midler, Frank Sinatra, The Damned
Movies/Shows: Thelma & Louise, Speed Racer
People: Princess Grace, A. J. Benza, Xuxa, Abbott & Costello, Bob Vila, Fidel Castro

Kirk job #5 –> Party manager

Episode 3 – Red Light on the Wedding Night

I love how clueless Lorelai and Rory are about cooking! Kills me!
Their commentary during the movie is one of my favorite things to do with good friends!
Rory is so supportive of Lorelai and Max getting married, not matter what Lorelai says about how different it will be. What a good kid!
The unnecessary traffic light! I forgot about this episode.
Lorelai running away from things, like she’s so good at.

Favorite quotes:
Lorelai: Who defines right? And if eating cake is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

Dean: If you’re eating pizza, and Lorelai decides that the pepperoni is angry at the mushrooms because the mushrooms have an attitude, and then she holds up a pepperoni and the pepperoni asked for your opinion, don’t just laugh. Answer the pepperoni.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: Tom Waits, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews, Buena Vista Social Club, Enya, Janet Jackson, Celine Dion
Movies/Shows: Holy Grail, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, A.I.
People: Guy Fawks, Sinclair Lewis, Lord Byron, Mussolini, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Mike Todd, Yogi Berra

Kirk job #6 –> Photographer

Episode 4 – The Road Trip to Harvard

This B&B makes me want to vomit in my mouth. Wayyyyy too many FLOWERS!
Luke got SOOOO excited when he heard Lorelai and Max broke up. *heart eyes*
Oh my goodness, the guy from Heroes is in this episode! He looks so little.
They have soooo much Harvard paraphernalia. I’m dyyyying!
Lorelai is finally gonna open her own inn! Guess breaking up with Max was the kick in the pants she needed.

Favorite quotes:
Rory: Serendipity has never been kind to us.
Lorelai: Ah, yes but I talked to Serendipity on the phone last night. She feels bad about how she treated us.

Lorelai: Can I ask you stupid question?
Luke: There’s no such thing.
Lorelai: HOW does ink come out of pens?
Luke: Alright, there is such a thing.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: “My Highway to Hell” by AC/DC, Hootie & the Blowfish, “Anarchy in the U.K.”, U2, “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves”, Yo-Yo Ma, “Valley Girl”, Linkin Park, Elvis Costello, Nico, The Doors, Iggy Pop, David Bowie
Movies/Shows: The Munsters, Happy Days, Midnight Express
Books: Alice in Wonderland, Tuesdays With Morrie, Who Moved My Cheese, Oxford English Dictionary
People: Sigmund Freud, Liberace, Hello Kitty, David Lynch, Henry James, John Adams, W.E.B. Du Bois, Fred Gwynne, Seneca

Episode 5 – Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy

Lane memorized the address of a record shop she literally JUST discovered! I’m dying!
JESS IS HERE! (See guys, I may be a Logan fan, but I DO appreciate Jess.)
Like half of Jess’s duffle bag is books. *heart eyes for days*
Jess has such a problem with authority. Or even nice people. *rolls eyes*
Okay, okay, okay. I like the fact that Jess loves reading so much that he puts notes in the margins and such. I HATE the fact that he stole Rory’s copy of her book and marked it up without asking. If someone did that to me, I’d blow a gasket!

Favorite quotes:
Rory: Oh my god, I hate her.
Lorelai: Oh, me too.
Rory: You have no idea who I’m talking about.
Lorelai: Solidarity, sister!

Lorelai: Boys like them dumb, right Jackson?
Jackson: If you can navigate yourself around a tree, keep on walking.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: Charles Mingus, The Sonics, MC5, Fairport Convention, Bee Gees, Whistler Chaucer Detroit and Greenhill, “This is Hell” by Elvis Costello, “Girl from Mars” by Ash
Movies/Shows: The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, The Regis Show, Breakfast Club, Nick and Nora, Sid and Nancy
Books: The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion, Selected Letters of Dawn Powell, Oliver Twist
People: Henry the VIII, Barbara Walters

Episode 6 – Presenting Lorelai Gilmore

Rory is such a people pleaser in the sweetest way possible.
Oh my god, the other debutantes were getting ready since before DAWN and the thing doesn’t even start until 7:30‽ WHAT‽
What even is this snowflake dance thing? This is the most uncomfortable ritual ever.

Favorite quotes:
Dean: So how do you know how to do this?
Christopher: 17 cotillions, a dozen debutante balls, and a brief but scarring experiment with the Children of the American Revolution.
Lorelai: Where you wore nothing but the bow tie.
Christopher: A good idea on conception, but the sudden snowstorm instantly dampened the effect.

Christopher: Little tip. Never let a person know you’re on a first name basis with the bartender.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: Metallica, Neil Young, “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra, Journey
Movies/Shows: Spinal Tap, Battlebots, Dirty Dancing
Books: The Compact Oxford English Dictionary
People: Terrence McNally, George Lucas

Episode 7 – Like Mother, Like Daughter

I would never be able to read four books at the same time. Goodness gracious.
Why does Chilton keep a detailed list indicating whether or not Lorelai talks to other people at Chilton events? What even?
Do the Puffs talk about anything other than Homecoming?
For how much she complained about it, Emily sure is having fun in the fashion show.
Pooooor Paris.

Favorite quotes:
Paris: Well, how nice it must be to be you. Maybe someday I’ll stumble into a Disney movie and suddenly be transported into your body, and after living there awhile, I’ll finally realize the beauty of myself. But until that moment, I’m going to go in there and I’m going to become a Puff.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: Bay City Rollers, Barry Manilow, Spice Girls, Duran Duran, Dido, Oliva Newton-John, Mariah Cary, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
Movies/Shows: Fat Albert, Matrix, Wizard of Oz, Coming Home, Ya Ya Sisterhood, Hunchback of Notre Dame
Books: Snow White and Rose Red
People: Za Za Gábor, Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Faulkner, Gore Vidal, Eudora Welty, Sandra Day O’Conner, Kate Moss, Nancy Reagan, Anne Sexton

Kirk job #7 –> Mechanic

Episode 8 – The Ins & Outs of Inns

Sookie’s inn name ideas are so ridiculous, it kills me!
The mugs at Luke’s are HUUUUGE! *heart eyes*
Luke is arguing with Andrew about something that happened in FIRST GRADE! Goodness, this show slays me.
Nooooo. Lorelai and Sookie, don’t fight! *cries*
Rory is so loyal and sticks up for people. I love that about her.
It’s gotta be hard for Emily to know that Lorelai views Mia as more of a mother than her.

Favorite quotes:
Emily: Lorelai, would you like me to put a mirror in front of you so you can look at yourself while you have this conversation?

Mia: Nice to see you, Lucas!
Luke: You’re the only one in the world that’s allowed to call me that, Mia.
Mia: I know, dear.
Luke: I’m saying it for others who plan to try it later.
Lorelai: Whatever, Lucas.

Taylor: I speak for the Stars Hollow Business Association, the Stars Hollow Tourist Board, the Stars Hollow Neighborhood Watch Organization, and the Stars Hollow Citizens for a Clean Stars Hollow Council.
Luke: All of which are you!

Pop Culture References: 
Songs/Bands: Billy Idol, “Spring Released” and “Nothing Is for Sure” by Grant Lee Phillips
Movies/Shows: Lost In Space, Star Trek
Books: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye
People: Vincent Van Gaugh, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere, Donald Trump, Keith Richards

Episode 9 – Run Away Little Boy

Ugh. Cider ice cream sounds amazing!
Sookie is most supportive, real, and silly friend ever. I love her to pieces.
Okay. Like. Ugh. Be protective of your girlfriend, Dean. Yes. But don’t feed into Tristin’s taunts. Rory chose you. Ugh. Stop being all macho.
Every time Rory says something about Dean and like monster truck rallies, I get confused. Doesn’t really seem like him that much.
Hehe. Tristin messing with Paris is fun!
Aww. Tristin is being shipped off to North Carolina. That’s okay, I gotchu.

Favorite quotes:
Sookie: Raise your right hand and say, “May Destiny’s Child break up if I count these blueberries.”
Michel: Pick another group!
Sookie: Nope.
Michel: I hate you!

Rory: Mom made the dress.
Lorelai: Not to mention the girl inside of it.
Rory: Hello, gross!
Lorelai: I’m just sayin’.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: The Monkees, Destiny’s Child, Madonna
Movies/Shows: The Shining, Bringing Up Baby, The Sonny and Cher Show, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, On the Town, Twilight Zone, Mystic Pizza, Cocoon, AbFab, Leave it to Beaver, Doogie Howser, M.D.
Books: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III
People: Garth Law, Emily Post, St. Peter, William Shakespeare, Chang and Eng, Billy Graham, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clare Danes, Stalin, Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, Jerry Lewis

Episode 10 – The Bracebridge Dinner

Coffee solves everything.
The kitchen guy came and yelled fire at Sookie and she just went “Okay!” Oh, goodness.
Again with Dean playing the aggressive hero. *eye roll*
A guy could think Rory is swell and WAVE at Dean and he gets defensive. What a loser.
Richard and Emily flirting is so cute! I die!

Favorite quotes:
Sookie: That makes me so mad. And so sad. I’m smad.

Sookie: This needs something, and I cannot think of what it is. It’s that tart, kind of spicy, white–SALT! The word is “salt!”

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: The Pixies, Prince, Bjork, “Prague Symphony” by Mozart, “Hotel California,” “Human Behavior” by Bjork
Movies/Shows: Godfather III, The Shining, Ben Hur
Books: The Iliad, The Joy Luck Club, Dr. Doolittle
People: Francis Ford Coppola, Jack Nicholson, Tammy Faye Bakker, Charlie Parker, Stella McCartney, Washington Irving, Abbot & Costello

Kirk job #8 –> Server/Performer

Episode 11 – Secrets and Loans

Termites are actually terrifying.
I can’t believe Sookie shoved Jackson in the closet with Lorelai and Rory come over and then tried to make plans for hours, which means he’d have to stay in the closet that whole time. Bless her heart.
Whooooa. Lorelai turned on mom-mode! That was a little scary.

Favorite quotes:
Kirk: Thanks for the waffles.
Lorelai: Thanks for the horrifying news.
Kirk: Anytime!

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: “Que Sera Sera” by Doris Day, “Be True to Your School” by Grant Lee Phillips, John Waters, Nico
Movies/Shows: I Love Lucy, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Purple Rain, Coyote Ugly, Silkwood, The Honeymooners
Books: Nancy Drew
People: Shaq

Kirk job #9 –> Exterminator

Episode 12 – Richard in Stars Hollow

Goodness. I love Richard’s enthusiasm, but he’s being suffocating!
The town has a giant slinky and WE HAVEN’T SEEN IT‽
Seriously EVERY episode, Dean has to prove himself to someone and picks fights. Goodness gracious.

Favorite quotes:
Richard: And your boss doesn’t mind?
Lorelai: Oh, well, considering my boss is me, no, she doesn’t. I mean, she did at first, but then I bought her a cup of coffee, and I realized all the hostility she was expressing toward me was just jealousy, and we’ve been best friends ever since.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: The Judds, Tom Petty, Anita Bryant, “A Foggy Day in London Town” by Ira Gershwin
Movies/Shows: Three Days of the Condor, The Show, The Jerk, Three Faces of Costner, Bull Durham, Dances With Wolves, The Postman, Harold & Maude, Rosemary’s Baby, Taxi, Cool As Ice, Hudson Hawk, Electric Boogaloo, Legally Blonde, Star Trek, Bambi, Dumbo, Babe
People: Gustavo Flaubert, Winston Churchill, Ruth Gordon, Nancy McKeon, Angela Lansbury, Frank Capra, Reese Witherspoon, Patricia Krenwinkel, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, Kathie Lee Gifford

Kirk job #10 –> Video store clerk

Episode 13 – A-Tisket, A-Tasket

Geeeez. Dean always says Jess’s name with such distain. Give the guy a break, man. He doesn’t deserve that from you?
I’ve started singing along with the theme song.
Okay. Noooow he has a reason to be angry at Jess, but Dean is just such a whiny, possessive, angry kid and he needs to go.
Lorelai went to Luuuuuke when she needed help! *heart eyes for days*
Awww. Poor baby Lane and her first breakup.

Favorite quotes:
Taylor: Sold to the nice young hoodlum in the back for $90.

Jackson: I think we should get married.
Sookie: What?
Jackson: Soon.
Sookie: Are you pregnant?

Pop Culture References:
Movies/Shows: Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, Stalag 17, From Here to Eternity, Ghostbusters, Julia
Books: The Fountainhead, The Children’s Hour
People: William Holden, Lenny Bruce, Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy, Sigmund Freud, Ayn Rand, Earnest Hemingway, Jane Fonda, Sylvester Stallone

Episode 14 – It Should’ve Been Lorelai

Sherrie gives me the heebie jeebies.
“I’m so forcing myself, it’s embarrassing.” YES, IT IS, SHERRIE! Stooooop.
Daaaaang. Emily is vicious!
Sherrie is literally obsessed with Rory.
Okay, I agree with Chris – Lorelai is blaming him for her failed life. What was even that apology for?

Favorite quotes:
Lane: Hey, I am a fanatic audiophile! That comes with responsibilities that a grounding doesn’t alter. Now. I have to have this single, you have to figure out how to get it to me.

Rory: She’s a very cautious driver. She doesn’t roll through stop signs, doesn’t speed, always signals before she turns.
Lorelai: Commendable. Not the person I want driving our getaway car.
Rory: What are we robbing?
Lorelai: Sephora. We had it all planned out.
Rory: Slipped my mind.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: World’s Famous Polkas, Willie Nelson, Belle and Sebastian, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen
Movies/Shows: Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Two Fat Ladies, Ricki Lake Show, The Peewee Hermon Show, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Producers
Books: The Bible
People: Martin Sheen, Matthew Broderick

Episode 15 – Lost & Found

Jess needs to take his crabby pants off.
Dean looks sooooo bored while Rory is book shopping.
Why does Rory lie about her bracelet? She really didn’t realize it fell off, why can’t she just say that?
Michel’s sassiness is perfection.

Favorite quotes:
Luke: Maybe one place wasn’t so bad.
Lorelai: Oh, good! Describe it to me.
Luke: I dunno. It had walls with a kind of a floor with a light.
Lorelai: Okay, hold on here, Mister. If you tell me it’s got a roof, I’m stealing that baby out from under you.

Lorelai: And don’t worry. Worst comes to worst, if we can’t find it, we’ll follow Dean to work, hide behind the cantaloupes, jump him, blind him, and he’ll never find out.
Rory: As long as we have a plan.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: “Price Yeah!” by Pavement, The Shags
Movies/Shows: The 2000 Year Old Man, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, The Lord of the Rings, Autumn in New York, Bye Bye Birdie, Mission Impossible, Santa Clause
Books: Vanity Fair, Inherit the Wind, Letters to a Young Poet, Franny and Zooey
People: Ida Morgenstern, Mel Brooks, Euell Gibbons, Wayne Gretzky

Episode 16 – There’s the Rub

Emily wants to do everything with Lorelai – has this ever happened…ever?
Rory’s evening alone at home sounds super relaxing.
I like seeing Jess acclimate more and stop being AS rude.
Dean can’t take no for an answer and is freaking clingy and GOODNESS I do not like him.
Awww. Paris just covered for Rory. Is that the nicest thing she’s done for her yet? I think it is! And Rory just called them FRIENDS!
Awww, poor Emily is jealous of Lorelai and Rory’s relationship.

Favorite quotes:
Lorelai: Rory, you have to do something bad when Mommy’s out of town. It’s the law!

Rory: How much food is in there? This could feed 12.
Jess: Excuse me, I’ve seen you eat.
Rory: Fine, six.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: “Come Fly With Me” by Jimmy Van Heusen, “Fly Me to the Moon” by Bart Howard, “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Ira Gershwin
Movies/Shows: Risky Business, Driving Miss Daisy, West Side Story
Books: Frankenstein
People: J.D. Salinger, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Jane Austin

Episode 17 – Dead Uncles & Vegetables

Awww. Taylor goin’ crazy – guess there IS a way for him to go more nuts!
Lorelai’s diner talk is hilarious.
Oh my goodness. Emily has made Sookie nuts! Who wants a wedding like this?

Favorite quotes:
Taylor: Late again, are we?
Lorelai: Yes, I hope I’m not pregnant.
Taylor: What‽
Lorelai: These seats taken?
Luke: Don’t drag me into this.
Taylor: You really have to work on your punctuality, Lorelai. I banged the meeting in a half an hour ago.
Lorelai: GASP. Dirty.

Lorelai: What are you downloading from Prague?
Michel: Oh, this will much amuse you.
Sookie: Color samples for the big ceramic stands.
Lorelai: Big ceramic stands for what?
Sookie: For the giant papier-mâché mushrooms.
Lorelai: What are the papier-mâché mushrooms for?
Sookie: For the midgets dressed like angles to dance under, silly.

Lorelai: I came up with new diner phrases. Do you know what a “Lucky Duck Cluck” is?
Luke: No, what is it?
Lorelai: It’s Foie Gras with chicken and green shamrock frosting.
Luke: Why would anyone ever order that?
Lorelai: *scoffs* If they’re high!

Pop Culture References: 
Songs/Bands: “Wake Me Up Before I Go-Go” by Grant Lee Phillips, Celine Dion
Movies/Shows: I Dream of Jeannie, David and Lisa, Charlie Rose
People: Stephen Spielberg, Patricia Hearst

Episode 18 – Back in the Saddle Again

Clingy Dean!
Emily is soooo happy that Richard is focused on helping Rory with her business class.
Gack! Dean is ALWAYS there. Does he not have friends? Or school? Or his job?
Yayyyyy. Richard is going back to work!
I ALMOST feel bad for Dean when he comes to the conclusion that Rory likes Jess. Only almost, though.

Favorite quotes:
Michel: What are you doing here? I was to come pick you up at the airport, you wicked creature.
Giselle: I had to come early. I wanted to buy presents before I see you since I know you are a materialistic vulture.

Lorelai: Did your brilliant mother call it or what?
Rory: Yes, she did.
Lorelai: You’re damn lucky to have that magnificent woman in your life. You know that, don’t you?
Rory: It’s whispered in my ear every night when I’m about to go to sleep.
Lorelai: Well, you won’t let me write it in your underwear anymore.

Michel: Yes, well. You know what happens when you assume.
Lorelai: What?
Michel: I don’t know! Something about a donkey – it’s a stupid American phrase!

Pop Culture References: 
Songs/Bands: Ozzy Osbourne, Spice Girls, Elvis Costello
Movies/Shows: The Odd Couple, Who’s the Boss?
Books: Waiting for Godot, Huckleberry Finn, The Bhagavad Gita, The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band
People: Paul Cézanne, Mark Twain, David Letterman, Ivan Boesky, David Beckham

Episode 19 – Teach Me Tonight

Ooooh my goodness. Taylor just relinquished his movie picking crown to Lorelai! Is he ill?
BAHAHA! The chalkboard during Lane and Jess’s exam says, “There’s nothing fascinating on your palm, on your shoe, under your desk, on the floor.” I DIE!
Jess needs an attitude check. Seriously.
Luke is so adorable. Geez. Lorelai, get your head checked!
Goodness gracious, Jess. Why you gotta make things so difficult for people?
Where did they DRIVE for this ice cream‽ Stars Hollow isn’t even that big! They’ve been driving foreeeeever.
Okay. Lorelai is upset and hurting. But she said some really hurtful things to her best friend. Come on, man!

Favorite quotes:
Taylor: You’re not serious?
Lorelai: Not often, but just there, yeah, I had some serious going.

Luke: I made some brownies. I thought you might like some.
Lorelai: Oh, gee. Since I just ate half a bag of marshmallows, six pop-tarts, four bagel dogs, and a really stale cheese nip…Yup. It’s brownie time.

Kirk: Lorelai, I need one minute of your time.
Lorelai: I’ll give you two because you scare me.

Rory: Freak of sideshow proportions.
Lorelai: I love you, too.

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: “Guns of Brixton” by The Clash, Coldplay, Kurt Cobain, Stan Freberg, Ash, Sinead O’Connor, Marianne Faithful, “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” by Grandmaster Flash
Movies/Shows: Cocktail, All About Eve, The Yearling, The Wizard of Oz, The Sting, Rocky, Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Singing Detective, Arthur, Sophie’s Choice, Cabin Boy, Desperately Seeking Susan, Fletch, Urban Cowboy, Arctic Flight, Killer Shark, Where Are Your Children?, Sudden Danger, Suspense, Snow Dogs, Seven Samurai, The Facts of Life, Babe, Babe 2, Blue, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Schoolhouse Rock, Terms of Endearment
Books: Slaughterhouse Five, Please Kill Me, Othello
People: Lon Chaney Jr., Angie Dickinson, Pauline Kael, Akira Kurosawa, Asaad Kelada, William Shakespeare, Paula Zahn, Christiane Amanpour, Shirley MacLaine, George Clooney

Kirk job 11 & 12 –> Mail delivery, film director/producer/actor/dancer

Episode 20 – Help Wanted

So Dean’s world is better because Luke sent Jess back to his mom. Eye rolls for daeaaaays. It’s understandable that he’s upset that Jess crashed Rory’s car and she fractured her arm, I’m understanding of his overly angry outbursts in this minute, but it’s like suddenly no foul done because he doesn’t have to see Jess again.
I LOVE the office supply shopping trip with Lorelai and Richard. Probably one of my favorite scenes this season.
I definitely think Jess has an attitude problem, but I don’t like that people keep blaming him for the accident and looking at Rory as an angel. It was an accident – it’s not like he did it on purpose?
Luke is the only one that listens to Rory about the accident and he’s so sweet and I’m legitimately tearing up because I can’t handle how sweet Luke is.

Favorite quotes:
Lorelai: You’ll need a coffee maker. Let’s see…ugly, crappy, German–Ooo, pretty!
Richard: Oh, well, as long as it’s pretty…

Pop Culture References: 
Songs/Bands: Wu-Tang Clan, “Heavy Metal Drummer” by Wilco, The Who, Rush, Def Leppard
Movies/Shows: Happy Days
Books: The Little Locksmith
People: Don Rickles, Dawn Powell, Dorothy Parker, Sal Mineo, Keith Moon, Neil Peart, Rick Allen

Episode 21 – Lorelai’s Graduation

Oh, my goodness. Rory is so formal when she asks her grandparents to go to her mom’s graduation. I’m dyyying.
I love that Jess likes Washington Square Park more than Central Park. I feel ya, man!
Oh. My. Goodness. Sookie’s chocolate covered espresso beans cake sounds to DIE for!
Doooy. Rory. What are you doing? You’re gonna be late for your mom’s graduation!
Lorelai’s classmates are dumb.
Aaaand Rory missed her mom’s graduation.

Favorite quotes:
Lorelai: Hey, how many margaritas is too many margaritas?
Rory: Umm, if you can’t remember where the living room is.

Pop Culture References: 
Songs/Bands: Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Mick Jagger, “Dance This Mess Around” by The B-52’s, Sting, The Bangles, Slint, The Go-Go’s
Movies/Shows: The Lone Ranger, High Fidelity, Annie Hall
Books: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
People: Michael Landon, John Bonham, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Jessica Hahn, David Lee Roth, Woody Allen, Shaun Cassidy, Brax Luhrmann,

Episode 22 – I Can’t Get Started

Heyyyy. I just realized Dean is more bearable. He’s not constantly following Rory around and picking fights anymore.
Nooooo. Lorelai and Christopher, what are you doing? You’re gonna regret this later. You always do.
Jess wants back! The kid has an attitude problem, why is he worming his way into my heart? I mean, he does seem to have worked through some of his issues while he was gone. Maybe that’s it.
Love Emily’s sass.
Rory kissed Jess! *GASP*
Jackson’s little kilt. *giggle*

Favorite quotes:
Lorelai: Oy with the poodles already!

Pop Culture References:
Songs/Bands: “I Can’t Get Started” by Ella Fitzgerald, “Hey Jude,” “Seasons in the Sun,” “Cat’s in the Cradle,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “Walkin’ After Midnight”
Movies/Shows: Girl Interrupted, Basic Instinct, Brigadoon
People: Anne Sullivan, Paul McCartney, John F. Kennedy, Sharon Stone, Joel and Ethan Coen, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Gloria Allred, Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Martha Stewart, James Dean, Jodie Foster, Prince William