Tag Archive | Chicago

Anyone But You, by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes (book review) – hate, love, & Chicago pizza

book cover of Anyone But You by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes published by Merit PressFeuding Italian families,
star-crossed secret lovers,
a deep-dish pizza war?

Welcome Shakespeare’s most-famous couple into the 21st century as Roman Monte and Julietta Caputo fall in love during the third generation of their Chicago families’ bitter restaurant rivalry. This third book in the Twisted Lit series takes us back into the early 20th century, too, as we discover what turned best friends into bitterest enemies.

Be sure to check out the Dear Teen Me site where Amy and Kim wrote letters to their teen selves.

Can true love have a happier ending this time?

Book info:  Anyone But You  (Twisted Lit #3) / Kim Askew & Amy Helmes. Merit Press, 2014.  [Kim’s website]  [Amy’s website]   [series site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk:  A missed rendezvous at the World’s Fair leads to an Italian restaurant feud decades later, and the boy who makes Gigi swoon is on the wrong side of these marinara wars in this Chicago-based version of Romeo and Juliet.

Gigi’s 16th birthday party at her family’s restaurant is marked by her first kiss, a handsome rival for an investor’s icky son, and potential mayhem from a rival restaurant family – all in the person of  Roman Monte, whom her Caputo cousins would gladly pummel into pesto.

Why the big fight between the Caputos and Montes? Warned by longtime waitress Carmen about digging up old secrets, Gigi and Roman stealthily go on dates and try to uncover what started the feud… something about two pals sneaking into the Chicago World’s Fair ages ago, mistaken identities, social class differences, and pizza?

In this third Twisted Lit book based on Shakespeare’s plays, chapters alternate between Gigi and Roman’s growing relationship in the present and the past when Nick and Benny began a pizzeria only to lose their friendship. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Portrait of Us, by A. Destiny & Rhonda Helms (book review) – different art styles, masterpiece together?

book cover of Portrait of Us by A Destiny and Rhonda Helms published by Simon PulseShe’s a nerd, he’s a jock.
Her family is well-off, his struggles to get by.
Her art is classic in perspective, his is post-modern slashes and blotches.
They’re like oil and water – how can they make collaborative artwork?

Meet Corrine and Matthew here at the art studio in chapter 1 (free!) as they find out about the big art contest, then see other Flirt series “first love, first kiss” books here.

Ever fall for someone who was your opposite?


Book info: Portrait of Us (Flirt series) / A. Destiny and Rhonda Helms. Simon Pulse, 2014.  [Flirt series site]   [author site]   [publisher site]   Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: To win the prestigious young artists’ competition, Corinne and Matthew must get past bad first impressions to mesh their wildly conflicting art styles into a masterpiece.

Corrine is so happy to be in Teni’s studio this summer, but thinks the artist-in-residence wants her to abandon her controlled painting style by partnering the Chicago teen with Matthew, all bold and raw visuals, for the big contest.

Jock guy and nerd-perfectionist girl have a long way to go before they can even begin to put paint to canvas, so different are they in every way.

After several false starts, Corrine and Matthew begin to see how they can create a joint work of art for the national competition, and Corrine begins to fall for Matthew! But what if he’s ready to move on after they finish their summer project?

Part of the Flirt series from Simon Pulse, this Portrait of Us reflects Corrine’s first experience with something she can’t control – love.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)