[Review] I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe — probably not, but maybe — more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.

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Easter Egg Hunt

Hey hi, happy Easter Monday (if you celebrate) or just Monday (if you don’t)!

While going back through my blog archives for [secrets redacted 🤫], I found this tag I created for Bookending Spring two years ago and thought it might be fun and timely to revive. There are no small children in my life so I haven’t gone Easter egg hunting in a very long time; I kind of miss it.

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Why do we blog?

One scene in Fangirl (by Rainbow Rowell), which has stuck with me for multiple reasons, features Professor Piper asking the students in her Fiction Writing seminar why they write. Although the ensuing conversation is arguably somewhat cliched, it does provide great early insight into the characters — and, to get to the point of this post, I think the question bears thinking about, even in the real world.

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[Review] Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.

Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked “KING CITY” by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can’t seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels.

Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane’s started to see her son’s father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it.

Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: “KING CITY”. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures … if they can ever find it.

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