Coming in June: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella's first YA novel, Finding Audrey, will be available this summer! She revealed the cover today via social media (including her new Instagram account!) and shared an excerpt via USA Today

Expected publication date: June 9, 2015


Description of Finding Audrey:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.


Will you follow Sophie to YA Lit or do you prefer her Chick Lit? What do you think of the cover? Leave a comment below! And click the heart if you're excited to read Finding Audrey!

Book Review: Twin Piques by Tracie Banister

In Twin Piques, identical twins Sloane and Willa Tobin couldn’t be more different. Their personalities, the way they dress, their careers, the way they view the world and what’s important to them are always at odds. Sloane is a workaholic forensic accountant striving for a big promotion and always puts her career before her love life. Willa is a quirky pet psychic who longs for true love when she isn’t interpreting the thoughts and feelings of animals to their clueless owners. Sloane is logical, focused, determined, and unfeeling while Willa is easily distracted, emotional, slightly delusional, and overly trusting to a fault.

I can really relate to Sloane and Willa in different ways. I’m a hopeless romantic like Willa, but I can also be incredibly cynical like Sloane. I actually found myself favoring Sloane much more and rooting for her, and rolling my eyes and shaking my head at Willa. Sloane’s domineering personality is quite refreshing, especially in chick lit. Too often in this genre the heroine is the bumbling, weak character to start out and then discovers who she is and how to assert herself throughout the novel. In a way, that is Willa. But what’s great is that Sloane is a narrator as well, and varying by chapter, we get to see both of their perspectives and read the story from their very different points of view. Sloane is a very strong character from the start, and I'm drawn to her because of that. I’ve read Willa before, and she’s too familiar. I’ve even written a similar character to Willa (Marlo in my novel, True Love Way. I think Willa and Marlo would be best friends!). We need more heroines like Sloane in chick lit. But that’s not to say that I don’t like Willa. I do. I just found myself getting bored with her and reading quickly through her chapters so I could get to Sloane’s chapters. Another issue for me is that I don’t really like Willa’s love interest. He is too perfect or maybe Willa’s extreme enthusiasm for him and optimism cloud his faults and real personality. As a result, I feel like I don't know him that well. I don’t connect to him, so it's hard to invest in their romance. I have a stronger connection to both of Sloane’s guys.

Note to authors: The book’s description needs to appeal to readers and intrigue them enough to buy your book without giving major plot points away. I’m sure I’m guilty of this, but if I write another book, I’ll be more mindful of it. There’s very little mystery in the description of Twin Piques. The description gives too much away and everything “hinted” at in the description happens. There are a few unexpected moments throughout the story, but they all lead to what’s put forth in the official synopsis. There is a big surprise at the end that I didn't see coming, so I have to acknowledge that, but I would have liked more twists and turns. The over-sharing in the synopsis reminds me of what the Hallmark Channel does. They air a lot of original romantic comedies and romance movies, and in the commercials, they often show the final scene of the couple kissing. A few weeks ago, I sat down to watch Surprised by Love and right before it began, they showed the final kissing scene in a what’s-coming-up-next promo. Throughout the movie, I was hoping that scene would happen halfway through or anywhere else but the end, but sure enough, it was the very last scene before the credits. Don’t do that to me! I know the couple is going to fall in love and live happily ever after in romantic comedies and chick lit. That’s the way it works. But don’t give it all away upfront. Don’t set up who will be with who or show me how it will happen before I even start reading or watching. There’s comfort in predictability, but too much of it is a turn off.

Anyway,  I love the bond between Sloane and Willa. Even though they’re so different, I believed in their strong connection right from the beginning, and it stays solid throughout the book. They always have each other’s backs. Overall, despite some typical chick lit tropes and a middle that drags a bit, Twin Piques is a great read. Tracie Banister’s writing is on point and extremely impressive, especially in Sloane’s chapters. I like that the intimate scenes are sexy, but not described in too much detail just for shock value. There’s enough on the page and enough left to the imagination. Just the right balance. The ending of the book is unique and hilarious and pretty much perfect. I love how it all comes together.  


4 stars

Twin Piques by Tracie Banister

It's the official release day of Twin Piques by Tracie Banister! Don't you love the cover? It's one of my favorite covers. It's so eye-catching and gorgeous. Well done to the designer, Lyndsey Lewellen! I'm really excited about this book because I love Tracie's writing style. Her previous book, In Need of Therapy, is fantastic! I haven't read her debut novel, Blame It on the Fame, but it's definitely on my to-read list. Tracie's writing in In Need of Therapy is really sharp, witty, and clever. I started reading Twin Piques a few days ago (I'm reviewing it a week from today, so stay tuned!), and I can already say the same about the writing in her new book. I'm enjoying it so far! Tracie is definitely an author to watch in Chick Lit. She self-publishes her novels, and I'm guessing that's by choice because it's hard to believe an agent and major publisher haven't discovered her and signed her by now. 

Here's the synopsis of Twin Piques: Forensic accountant Sloane Tobin and kooky pet psychic Willa may have the same face, but that’s the only thing these identical twins have in common. 

How she can read the hearts and minds of animals has always been a mystery to Willa, and her rotten luck with men is equally baffling. Although she’s been looking for “The One” for what feels like forever (A teenage marriage to a French mime and dating a guy named Spider seemed like good ideas at the time!), optimistic Willa refuses to give up on love. When she meets Brody, the handsome rose expert hired to save her grandmother’s garden, she’s instantly smitten, but why does he keep sending her mixed signals? Does he return her feelings, or is their attraction all in her fanciful head? 

Unlike her twin, Sloane has zero interest in romance. Her passion is her job, where she uses her gift for numbers to take down slimy embezzlers and asset-hiding spouses. When she’s assigned two high profile cases, Sloane feels confident the promotion she’s been angling for is within her grasp. But will her plan to climb the corporate ladder be thwarted by difficult clients, her co-worker-with-benefits, or – most surprisingly of all – her own sister? And how’s she supposed to stay focused on the drama at work when her childhood friend, Gav, moves in next door and the spark between them becomes impossible to ignore? 

To get what they both want, can Willa and Sloane band together and rely on each other’s strengths? Or will their differences drive them apart once and for all?

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play that she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.) Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Twin Piques is her third Chick Lit release. The pet psychic character in this novel was inspired by Tracie’s rascally rescue dogs. She’d love to know what goes on in their heads!

For more information, please visit Tracie's blog and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.