Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Newbie by Jo Noelle (Book Review / Contest Giveaway

In association with I Am A Reader Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Newbie by Author Jo Noelle!

Book Review


Newbie by Jo Noelle
Publisher: Little Box Press LLC
Publication Date: August 16, 2014
Format: Paperback - 382 pages
               Kindle - 1768 KB
               Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 978-0990529910
BNID: 2940150427273
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Buy The Book: Newbie
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by I Am A Reader Blog Tours.

Book Description:

The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile. At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching. Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty.

Praise for Newbie:

Loved this story. I thought it was crisp and funny. Sophie has a great character arch as she goes from the Real Estate world to a classroom of 1st graders. Love Liam. He is a nice breath of fresh air. He and Sophie's interactions kept me laughing and wanting more. I HIGHLY recommend this novel! ~ Author Sherry Gammon

In recent years I've become addicted to Sophie Kinsella's books. This book reminded me of hers, only cleaner, which I appreciated! It was sweet and witty. Definitely had me laughing out loud. Loved the ending :) ~Goodreads Review

I loved this book! I especially have a tender spot for books with children in them and this story about Sophie being "forced" to teach when the real estate market does so poorly captured my heart. The characters were warm and lovable, the story was fun and I enjoyed every minute of the book. ~Phyllis

I loved NEWBIE. Sophie's inner thoughts are a delight. She just makes me smile. Her journey as a newbie teacher is real and touching. ~Donna Weaver

Book Excerpt:

We get started a little late because of the interview/photo op in the hallway for the scrapbooking moms. Good thing I look fab. I introduce myself and write my name on the board—Miss Kanakaredes.

One girl yells, “You wrote Keslee, like my sister. See the K?” She rushes the board and jumps to point to the K. I turn her back toward her seat and begin to open my mouth, but another student quickly pipes up. “I can make a K, all by myself.” Comments popcorn from around the room.

“Is your name really Candy?”

“Our teacher last year gave us candy to be good when the principal came to our class.”

“I had Mrs. Thomas last year.”

“I didn’t go to this school last year.”

It seems every child in the room is telling a story or calling out some random thought. Is this what the first day of school is like? Are there are thirty rooms in this building all in complete mayhem? Do the children know that they could easily mutiny and take control of the school? When I did my student teaching, the children seemed cooperative for much of the day. What is going on here?

“Did you know my mom went to this school?”

“My mom is a teacher too. She says she has a bum deal this year.”

“We aren’t supposed to say ‘bum.’”

“It’s okay to say ‘bum’. That’s not the B-word.”

“The B-word is butt.”

Amazed at how quickly the conversation has gone astray, I hold up my hand and “shh” the class. “If you’re listening touch your head.” I touch my head, and a couple of students follow. “If you’re listening, touch your cheeks.” I have just about everyone now. “If you’re listening, touch your elbows.” I finally have all the students looking at me again. Oh, thank goodness that worked. We’ll have to practice the hand-raising thing.

My Book Review:

Newbie is an entertaining story that follows the trials and tribulations of twenty-four year old Sophie Kanakaredes' life as she transitions from a real estate agent to a "newbie" first grade teacher at Rio Grande Elementary School.

Told in the first person narrative, the reader is easily drawn into Sophie's story as she picks up the pieces of her life after the housing market crashes, sending her real estate career into a downward tailspin. Sophie accepts a position as a first grade teacher hoping that it would be temporary, that is until she meets her handsome co-worker Liam. And just when she is starting to get the hang of teaching little kids, Sophie gets a surprise when a lucrative real estate deal that she had previously worked on is closing, leading to a part-time venture and partnership with a handsome man named Kevin. What's a girl to do when she has to choose between two careers and two handsome men?

Newbie was such a fun and lighthearted story to read. I really enjoyed following Sophie on her journey as her life transitioned between careers with humorous bumps along the way, and a touch of romance thrown into the mix. Sometimes life brings unexpected and pleasant changes and choices that makes it well worth the risk.

Newbie is a delightful and enjoyable tale about life's unexpected changes, that sometimes takes a person down a different path, and provides them a chance to grow and find out what's really important in life.


Book Trailer


About The Author

   Jo Noelle

Author Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains.

Oh, and by the way, she’s two people— Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team. They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Love Life as their first completed work. Other titles include Newbie and Damnation.

Deanna attended college before marrying and starting her family.

Canda received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Reading Specialist endorsement, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her day job focuses on teaching teachers and children about literacy.

Contest Giveaway


Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/6/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Event

For the tour schedule, click on the above link!


  1. Thank you for sharing NEWBIE! Our goal in writing Sophie’s story was just to make the readers laugh. I'm glad you enjoyed Sophie's story, and I hope your followers like it too. :)

    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. Newbie is an enjoyable story to read. :)