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What Books will make my YA Summer Must Read List

What's on my Bookshelf and Reviews to be coming! Working on a YA Summer Reading List. I'm also working on a Middle Grade Reading List also!

What books will make my YA Summer Must Read List, check back and see. Review will go up as I finish them and decide if they make the list :)


Something Like Normal {YA lit}

by Trish Doller
published by Bloomsbury



 about the book: 

When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and car, and he has nightmares. But when he runs into Harper, life actually starts looking up. The plot contains profanity, adult situations and violence. 

 my thoughts:

 I know that I originally said I would only do books that my girls can read for middle and YA reviews. However occasionally you read a book in the YA genre that you feel you really have to share. Something Like Normal is one of these books. Would I let my 7th grader read it since she is reading YA? NO I wouldn't at least not yet. Would I let her read it when she is a senior sure. Something Like Normal was a great book with likable characters. I really liked Harper and Travis, they have such hard life stories to tell. You find yourself routing for Travis and Harper. 

Travis is back suffering for PTSD just like so many of our soldiers. He is having a hard time coming to grips with what happened while he was fighting, he has guilt that he just can't quite let go of just yet. But to live a life that is some what normal and let go of the nightmares that plague him he most let go. Harper is a girl that has grown up in town with a reputation that has plagued her all through the school years. She earned this reputation through a untrue rumor just like many have experienced. It's just her and her dad. She is trying to live life on her terms and not let what others say about her stop her from fulfilling her dreams. In walks Travis a boy she hasn't seen in quite a while. He has grown up a lot in those years he was away, but has he grown up enough. 

 Harper doesn't pass judgements. She is caring and willing to be there for Travis and might just be the answer to his prayers. With Harper on his side he is able to come to terms with the demons he brought back with him. Can their friendship and budding relationship survive? Can they help each other realize and fulfill their dreams! 

Something Like Normal is a great book for adults and older YA high school aged readers. It does contain war violence, language and a handful of adult situations. That being said it is a good book for older readers, and adults which is who she wrote this book for in the first place. Add this to your summer reading list or your teen's summer reading list (if they are older that is!). Even boys would like Something Like Normal! 

 This was a library book find, upon doing a google search to see if it had won any awards or was up for any I found out it is up for the Gateway award for 2014-2015

The Raft

by S.A. Bodeen



Robie lives on a remote island  called Midway Atoll of the Pacific. Her parents are research biologist for a wildlife refuge. Every things she is lucky when they hear that she lives on the island, is homeschooled and hangs out with dolphins, monk seals and alabatross. Hey my girls thought that sounds like a wonderful magical place.

However Robie is like most teens, she gets antsy with out any real tv or internet.So she visits her aunt AJ in Honolulu for a month. She's done this many times so why should this time be any different. Aunt AJ gets a job that she simply can't turn down and has to head to LA. Since Robie only has 1 more week, she talks her aunt into letting her stay in her apartment alone. Aunt AJ's friend is suppose to stop in daily to check on her. However that fall through. Robie is happy to hear it but soon gets bored. She decides to head out to McDonalds for dinner 1 night.

Things get scary and she decides to pack up and head back home. However that run in on the mainland wasn't scary compared to what she is about to face.

Robie soon is in a fight for her life and all alone in this fight. She does everything she can think of to stay sane and alert. Lucky for Robie she is a fighter. I also think her unconvential upbringing and lifestyle helps her in the end. Robie just goes to show just because we are girls don't count us out when it comes down to nitty gritty survival! We tough cookies and can do just about anything a boy can do! :)

The Raft is a great book! I enjoyed it very much and think your middle or high schooler would enjoy this book! Hey I think even you would. This book would appeal to teens, and adults alike! Make it a summer reading book for you to enjoy together. There are a lot of talking/discussion points I saw while reading it that could lead to some interesting survival type talks.

Red Rose Tea

I heart tea! a cup of tea and a good book and I'm a happy camper.  Some people need that morning cup of coffee not me I grab a cup of Earl Grey or English Breakfast. It's easier on my stomach, offers health benefits and tasty too!



We bought a first box of Red Rose original tea when I was out one day. I needed some tea and my youngest saw that you could get a figurine with that box of tea. So we brought it home. I got a good tea that I enjoyed a lot and she got a mermaid.  It was a win win. Then I read on the box that they support the International Fund for Animal Welfare. This tea brand was getting better and better. A tea you can enjoy and feel good about, plus my youngest says don't forget about the cute free figurines in the Red Rose Original Tea. 

When I contacted Red Rose about doing a write up about their commitment to the IFAW  and talk about the many teas they offer. They sent a wonderful 2 boxes of teas, 1 from Red Rose Teas and 1 from their other company Salada Green Tea. They are also offering a giveaway. Today's Giveaway is all about Red Rose.

Red Rose joined forces with IWAF in helping preserving the environmental habitats in Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, and India where they have sourced their teas for generations. Red Rose started in Canada in the 1890's and eventually started selling their teas in the United States in 1929. In 1985 Unilever Brooke Bonds foods (the manufacturer of Red Rose Teas). Unilever sold Red Rose tea rights to Redco Foods production started in Little Falls, NY in 1988. Still today they take the same care and use the same process that has been used with in Red Rose for over a century.

I  have to say these 2 tea boxes have been the best review ever! I have enjoyed sampling all the different varieties over the past week. All teas listed in this review are included in the giveaway box. You can keep all the teas for yourself :), gift it to a tea lover {would be a great mother's day gift along with a cute mug} or share it with friends and family.

My girls loved the coasters they sent in the Red Rose tea box. They are really pretty! They are going to hang them on the wall in little frames.


All Red Rose Teas are 100% Natural and Gluten Free! I enjoyed all teas both hot and cold, with or without sweetener!



Decaf Simply Indulgent Lemon Chiffon:  Black Tea blend with natural lemon chiffon flavors. Light, Fresh and Crisp. This tea is great, I loved it and the lemon flavoring taste like real lemons!



Simply Indulgent Creme Caramel: Black Tea blend with natural creme caramel flavoring. Just the right amount of caramel. Very tasty and even my friend that loves Caramel coffee said this was way better than caramel coffee! She said she is a Creme Caramel Gal now! :)



Simply Indulgent Vanilla Biscotti (kcup): Black Tea, Vanilla and Biscotti cookies all in one! This tea is my FAVORITE!!! Loved it so much! I'm hooked, it is a perfect blend. Wonderfully decadent, dessert tea at it's finest!



Simply Indulgent Spiced Chai (kcups): The best chai tea I've had and I've had a lot of chai. I enjoyed it hot and cold, with or without cream. This chai is a subtle blend of Indian spices: cardamon, ginger, clove star anise and cinnamon.



English Breakfast: Full bodied black tea that is great for that slight caffeine kick. Smooth English Breakfast tea. Great iced or hot and with a dash of cream or just straight black tea.



Earl Grey: Smooth subtle citrus undertones make this black tea with bergamot a great blend. Their Earl Grey has real lemon and orange peels to add that zest of citrus making this one a light tea.



Now's your chance to enter! Giveaway open now through the 27th. Giveaway for US residents only. Simple no blog needed just leave your email address so I can reach you if you are the winner! For extra entries you can post about the giveaway on your blog, instagram, twitter, facebook and/or google+, just leave a link to that info when you fill out the info.

NOW CLOSED! Winner has been contacted. Thanks to all who entered, a Green Tea giveaway will start next Monday!


Thank you so much RedCo Foods and Red Rose Tea for sending me all these lovely teas and the coasters for review, and hosting a giveaway for 1 lucky reader!