Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Genre: Young Adult

Publication Date: September 16th, 2014

Book Description:
When home no longer feels like home - where can you go?
When your best friend won’t listen - who can you turn to?
When love makes you feel weak - how do you protect your heart?

With constant fighting at home, Emma decides working at High Street Books and practicing avoidance is the best method to save her from more heartache.

She doesn’t expect to meet Jake, the shop owner’s nephew,
who makes her stomach do crazy things.
But Jake is intent on pushing her away, and Emma must ask herself:
Is he scared? Or is he hiding something?

Tastes Like Winter is a story of love, family, and friendship and, when everything is uncertain, trying to figure out where you fit in.

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As some of you may know, I don't read a ton of YA because I'm surrounded by it ALL DAY LONG from August to May (I teach high schoolers) and I suppose dealing with their drama in real life makes it hard for me to want to deal with it in my off time. I realize that means that I missing out on some great YA novels and writers and it's something I should remedy...it's on my to do list. All of this to say that when I started reading this novel I went in blind and didn't realize it was YA. Admittedly I was a little wary..for the reasons listed above. So, what did I think? Awww Shel. I tend to agree more lately, that I have shied away because lord knows I am glad I am no longer a teenager...but I was very, very excited about this book because Cece is a blogger like us and we're so proud that she published her debut novel!

Emma and Jake are challenging. They both are dealing with family ugliness and it makes them less than willing to get involved in a relationship..and it's quite understandable as they are too young to realize that they don't have to live in fear of repeating their parents' mistakes. As the novel moves through the school year, we get a taste of the sweet and infuriating romance between Emma and Jake. 

That is the perfect description of Jake! He is so sweet, then so hot and so cold, and so very infuriating! OMIGAH. If you wanted a more realistic wishy washy teen hero, we got him. He didn't know what he wanted. And you know how long it took me to realize that is okay? A lonnnnnng time. I related to Emma in that she is having trouble in her coming of age and how she relates to other people. She finds her "people" in Jake and his Aunt at this independent book store, and I loved that that becomes a great setting for this story to unfold. 

CeCe did a great job of capturing the melodrama that is young romance--where every moment is analyzed and questioned and internalized; where worry and angst and hope bloom eternal. She was able to write these teenagers in a way that was realistic--these weren't teens thinking like adults, they were teens thinking like teens, making dumb and smart choices and learning how to deal with it all. I appreciated this; all too often we read a book written by an adult and the teens are either too childlike or too adult and it simply wasn't the case here.

Shel said that perfectly. I really loved this novel. A lot. In that it was so realistic, and I begged for certain things to turn out a different way. Begged I tell you, to the point that Cece had to basically say "Okay, enough. Here's why this is going to be this way, and I know you don't feel this way but it isn't changing so suck it up." Okay, she didn't tell me to suck it up. She was very sweet about it, but I'm telling you, I stage-five-clinged to this idea that things could turn out differently for a certain character while I was reading. I felt a lot of feels during this book, and I might've shed some tears. I loved it a lot. 

I was also happy by the ending; it didn't end in a cliche and I feel like it definitely left the door open for Emma and Jake to revisit us in another book. But even if they don't, I was very satisfied in the realistic way that it ended. Realistic, bittersweet, and beautiful is how I felt about the ending as well. I felt like we got to know these characters in a slow burn type of way, and I didn't want to leave them. I hope people give this new book a shot, because it definitely deserves it! 

About the Author:
CeCe began writing as an escape from her days as a corporate slave laborer. She grew up splitting her time between the beautiful beaches of New Jersey and the bustling city of New York. Currently, she lives in Massachusetts with her super handsome and talented husband and two adorable, but often-sassy cats. CeCe gets excited easily, mostly about travelling, food, and of course, her first love: books.

Contact Links
Website: http://www.cecewrites.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cecebooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cececarrollauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/photo/author/8346222.CeCe_Carroll

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