Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (65)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 
_______________________________________________________________________


This Is Where It Ends
by Marieke Nijkamp
Release Date: January 5, 2016

From B&N:
10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

I was ecstatic when I got approved for a Netgalley a few months ago, but haven't had the chance to read this yet--sounds fantastic and I can't wait. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Review (76): Played by Liz Fichera

Played 
by Liz Fichera

Series: Hooked, #2
Other Reviewed Titles: Hooked 
Release Date:
May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

My Thoughts: 
An unlikely friendship blossoms between Sam Tracy and Riley Berenger when Riley accidentally slips off the side of a mountain and Sam goes after her. The duo spend the night in a rainstorm, wrapped in each others arms to fend off the cold. Sure they are close to death, the two share their deepest, darkest secrets and, once rescued, Riley vows to help Sam win over the love of his life. Sam wants little to do with Riley and her persistent attention; he prefers to spend his time with his friends from the Rez and away from the rich suburban princess and her obnoxious older brother, Ryan. However, Riley has no intention of backing off until she has repaid Sam for saving her life. 

This was a cute follow up to Hooked--the first book in the series and the story of how Riley's older brother Ryan fell in love with a girl named Fred. I really enjoyed Hooked and therefore was excited about this one as well. However, I read it such a long time ago that I couldn't remember either Riley or Sam's part in the first story. It was great getting to know them again while also having the characters from the first book make an appearance. 

I thought the dynamic between Riley and Sam was pretty funny. Sam is so surly and standoffish, yet it does not seem to faze Riley (who he refers to as Pink Girl a few times) one bit. She literally follows him home one day after school so she can check out his wardrobe and make sure he has the appropriate attire to attract the girl of his dreams. Despite all his protests, he can’t seem to tell her no and goes along with all her crazy schemes. They could not be more different but it works completely.  Both were pretty oblivious about their feelings toward one another and it was a little frustrating how long it took them to finally admit that they actually liked one another.

My favorite part about this series though is the diversity of the characters. Both Fred (from Hooked) and Sam are Native Americans who live on the nearby reservation. We actually get an in-depth look into what life on the Rez is like and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever read another YA book with characters that have this type of background. Representation is so important and I’m glad to see YA books that don’t shy away from that. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (64)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 
_______________________________________________________________________


Thicker Than Water
by Kelly Fiore
Release Date: January 5, 2016

From B&N:
Perfect for fans of Ellen Hopkins—a heartbreaking tale of family tragedy and drug addiction where sometimes the best intentions lead to the worst possible outcomes.

Cecelia Price killed her brother. At least, that's what the police and the district attorney are saying. Although CeCe is now locked up and forced into treatment, she knows the story is much more complicated. Cyrus wasn't always a drug-addled monster. He used to be a successful athlete, but when an injury forced Cyrus off the soccer field and onto pain medication, his life became a blur of anger, addiction, and violence.

All CeCe could do was stand by and watch, until she realized an effective way to take away her brother's drugs while earning the money she needed for college: selling the pills. Only she never expected what happened next.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Review (75): Rules of Seduction by Jenna Mullins

Rules of Seduction
by Jenna Mullins

Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: The Studio
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

My Thoughts: 
Dani Young has just graduated college and is ready to start her screenwriting/directing career in Los Angeles. Her very first day in the City of Angels doesn't go as planned, but she reunites with her childhood best friend, Elise, who snags Dani a job on the set of Vamp Camp--a popular teen show where Elise's boyfriend (Tate Lawrence) just happens to be the star. Burned from a past relationship, Elise asks Dani to seduce Tate because she wants to be sure that he's a loyal boyfriend even when she's not around. Dani sees no harm in helping a friend out seeing as she has no intention of ever falling for a shallow and egotistical celebrity. However, Tate surprises her and she has no idea how to derail their growing friendship. 

This is written as a flashback--the main character, Dani, is getting her hair and makeup done and begins telling the story of how disastrous her first few months in LA turned out. We don't find out what she's getting ready for or who exactly she's talking to until the very end when everything is wrapped up. I thought this was a unique spin that added depth to the story. 

Overall though, I wasn't impressed. I felt like the dialogue was unrealistic and I didn't particularly like any of the characters except maybe Tate (who was a sweet, animal lover) and Dani's roommate, Brit (who was the most eccentric of the bunch and who was Dani’s only true friend in my opinion). Dani was a bit too snobbish for my taste and Elise was self-absorbed and annoyed me to no end. I thought that the drama between her and Dani ended a little too perfectly and conveniently to be believable. I also didn’t think that Dani and Tate had the best chemistry, but I did enjoy watching their friendship grow.

Even though this wasn’t one of my favorites, it is a quick, fun read and I think it might still be worth picking up if you like lighthearted new adult romances. 

| Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

* Thank you to the author and publisher for an eARC in return for my honest review *

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (63)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 
_______________________________________________________________________


What's Broken Between Us
by Alexis Bass
Release Date: December 29, 2015

From B&N:
From Alexis Bass, author of Love and Other Theories, comes her heartbreakingly beautiful second novel, perfect for fans of Gayle Forman and of Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything.

A year and a half ago, Amanda Tart’s brother got behind the wheel drunk, killed his best friend, and paralyzed his girlfriend. Today, he’s coming home from prison.

Amanda’s been the one living with the fallout, made worse by her brother’s recent unapologetic TV interview. People think he’s a monster. Still, she loves him. It’s her dark secret, until she starts getting close to Henry again—whose sister is paralyzed from the accident.

A year and a half ago, her brother destroyed his life. Now Amanda has to decide if she’ll let his choice destroy hers.

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

This sounds heartbreaking.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Review (74): Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru by Tera Lynn Childs

Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru
by Tera Lynn Childs

Series: Creative HeArts, #1
Other Entangled Reviews: 
Release Date: September 14, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen: Crush
Pages: 199
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

My Thoughts: 
After getting herself into quite a bit of trouble, Sloane’s parents decide she needs a change of scenery and to distance herself from the bad influences in her life--i.e. all of her New York City friends. The plan they come up with involves Sloane and her mom moving to Texas for the year while her brother and father stay behind in the Big Apple. To say she’s less than thrilled is an understatement, but she’s prepared to be on her best behavior if it means getting herself home early. The problem is that the troublemaker next door won’t seem to leave her alone. She promised her mom she’d stay away, but there’s just something about Tru that makes her almost forget how much she hates Texas. 

This was a quick, cute read. I really liked both Sloane and Tru. Sloane is outspoken and witty. She seems to be the black sheep of the family--the others don't completely understand her artistic side. I thought it was super cool that she had a secret online comic strip and was sort of jealous at the same time because I've always wanted that kind of artistic ability. 

Tru also has his fair share of family drama--more so than Sloane is some ways. But despite all that, he is very charming and was just a very likable goofball. I can definitely see why it was so hard for Sloane to resist him, and am glad that she didn't let other peoples prejudices about him decide their friendship.

I did think that the conflict in the plot was a little juvenile and unrealistic (I know this probably sounds vague until you actually read what happens, but obviously I'm not going to spoil it). I just honestly doubt something like this would happen in real life without someone taking notice early on. But overall I did enjoy the book and am glad it is part of a series; I'm excited to see what happens next with these two because they were both such great characters!

| Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

* Thank you to the author and publisher for an eARC in return for my honest review *

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (62)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 
_______________________________________________________________________

This Raging Light
by Estelle Laure
Release Date: December 22, 2015

From B&N:
Can the best thing happen at the worst time? 

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

I got a Netgalley of this so hopefully it's as interesting as it sounds.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Review (73): Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

Finding Perfect
by Kendra C. Highley

Other Entangled Reviews: 
Release Date: September 14, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen: Crush
Pages: 199
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

My Thoughts: 
“Perfect Paige” has her life all planned out; graduate high school as one of the top 5 in her class, attend Stanford University, and go on to medical school so she can take over the family practice. However, after getting a D on her latest calculus test she has to figure out how to pass this ridiculous class or risk the chance of her plans—and her parents’ expectations—going up in flames. Enter Ben Franklin: the sweet, smart boy from the wrong side of town. He agrees to tutor Paige if only she helps turn him into the kind of guy her best friend, and most popular girl in school, will consider dating. Paige hesitates, but can’t argue that this is the perfect plan…until she realizes that she wishes Ben was working this hard for her attention instead of Zoey’s. 

First of all, how freakin’ adorable is that cover? I mean seriously so cute. Just like this story. I thought it was going to be the typical cliche love triangle, but it turned out to be so much more--honestly the perfect contemporary romance. Ben has had a crush on Zoey for as long as he can remember. Unfortunately for him--and every other guy at their high school--he just isn't someone she'd ever notice on her own which is why he enlists Paige's help. As expected the two fall for each other the more time they spend together because they just make so much more sense. 

The twist though came with Zoey. She turned out to be a lot less like your typical self-absorbed queen bee than I had initially expected. Her and Paige could not have been more different; Zoey is completely laid back while Paige is anything but. Yet their differences work well together and Zoey is actually an amazing friend to Paige. Paige is a bit too nice—she can’t seem to say no to anyone—but she grows so, so much throughout the story. Ben is ridiculously hardworking and so incredibly sweet. He pushes Paige to finally be honest about all the pressure she's been feeling towards her future and gives her the strength to come clean to her parents--especially her dad. He helps her discover that perfection is overrated and that nothing but her happiness is important at the end of the day. I usually have a favorite character but I genuinely liked all of them which made this that much more of an enjoyable read.

The ending left room for a sequel and I really hope that is the case because I am definitely going to be reading anything else written by Highley if she continues writing such great characters and I'm definitely interested in seeing how Zoey's story continues!

| Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

* Thank you to the author and publisher for an eARC in return for my honest review *

Friday, December 4, 2015

Another amazing giveaway from Urban Epics

Hi guys! I just wanted to share another amazing giveaway being held over at UrbanEpics.com. It is for 10 more signed books by best selling authors (pictured below). 

Just look at all those beauties! Let me know if you enter.


Click HERE to enter!

Feature & Follow Friday (45) / Friday 56 (14)

Feature & Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkiee's View & Alison Can Read. Check out their blogs and the two Featured Bloggers of the week! This is great for finding amazing new blogs to follow and for gaining followers yourself!

This weeks question is: 
What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

I answered: 
Old Fashioned Butter Pecan, MMMM!
What about you? Leave your answer to this weeks question in the comments below.
___________________________________________________________________________

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Basically you flip to page 56 (or 56% in your eReader) of any book and post a sentence or two (more if you want) from that page without being too spoiler-y. This gives us a glimpse into what you are reading or have read, and may even prompt us to add your book to our TBR piles!

My teaser:
I thought back to the nasty words and I hoped Mary and Alicia and Sierra never read them, either. I imagined what it would be like for one of them to stumble across that post about being "bussed in," and I felt queasy all over again. I knew what it was like to be new, and something like that--well, that would make you want to crawl into a hole and nev
er come back to school.

Excerpt From: Elisa Ludwig. “Pretty Crooked.”

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Guest Post: A YA Author’s Guide to Holiday Gift Giving by Sharon Huss Roat

Title: Between the Notes
Author: Sharon Huss Roat
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 382

When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.

And it isn’t pretty.

Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.

As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.

Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.
A YA Author’s Guide to Holiday Gift Giving
by Sharon Huss Roat

Books for everyone this year! (Seriously. Go to one store and find something for every single person on your list. How awesome is that?) To make your shopping easier, I’ve put together a few suggestions:

For teen girls who love to read: BETWEEN THE NOTES by Sharon Huss Roat (ahem, moi.) People are saying it’s “unputdownable” and “stunning” and “the best book you’ll ever read” (okay, I may have made up that last one). My neighbor really liked it, though, and she’s a teenage girl.

For teen boys who love to read: Also BETWEEN THE NOTES! Girls read about boys all the time, yet boys are somehow expected to read only “boy books?” That’s just wrong, folks. Boys need to read about girls, too. And they would if y’all would stop telling them, “That’s a girl book.” I am not the first to say it: There are no boy books or girl books, just books.

For teens who feel misunderstood: You’ll never believe this, but Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) actually suggested BETWEEN THE NOTES for just those readers. They wrote, “Teens who feel misunderstood by their parents or their friends, and feel slighted by the world at large, will find a true champion in Ivy.” What can I say? This is getting embarrassing. 

For anyone who likes music: Did you happen to notice the piano keys in the window on the cover of BETWEEN THE NOTES? In addition to playing the piano, Ivy also makes friends with a badass clarinet player, listens to Swedish death metal with the boy next door, and fights off an ‘80s playlist with Broadway show tunes! What more could a music-loving reader want?

If one book is not enough for the avid readers on your list, please be advised that BETWEEN THE NOTES pairs up nicely with any number of other YA novels. Here are few of my favorite reads of 2015 that would also make amazing gifts:

DENTON LITTLE’S DEATH DATE by Lance Rubin
THE ONE THING by Marci Lyn Curtis
A SENSE OF THE INFINITE by Hilary T. Smith
THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY by Stephanie Oakes
HONOR GIRL by Maggie Thrash
UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee
A WORK OF ART by Melody Maysonet

Happy holidays!
_______________________________________________________________________

About the Author:
Sharon Huss Roat lives in Delaware with her husband and two kids. When not writing books for young adults, you might find her reading (YA of course), planting vegetables in her backyard garden, or sewing costumes for a school musical. BETWEEN THE NOTES is her first novel.

| Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook |

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (61)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 
_______________________________________________________________________


This Raging Light
by Estelle Laure
Release Date: December 22, 2015

From B&N:
Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Interview with Caylie Marcoe, Author of Love Found

Title: Love Found
Author: Caylie Marcoe
Release Date: Nov 13, 2014
Genres: Contemp, NA, Romance

Haley Cavanaugh’s heart is broken.

Shattered into a million pieces, and that’s just how she’d like it to stay.

She doesn’t believe she deserves happiness. She doesn’t understand how to move on while her life is falling apart and her reality is destroyed.

Enter Eli Park.

Eli is someone Haley thought she knew, but who turned out to be so much more than she remembered. He sees through her pain and refuses to be pushed away, even when she lashes out.

Eli’s patience is both frustrating and surprising. Haley was so sure she wanted to go on feeling nothing, but Eli stirs emotions she can’t deny.


Will Haley allow Eli to help her through this horrific time so she can find herself again? Or will she lose the only person who can help heal her heart?

Hi Caylie! Thank you for taking the time to talk with us! 
How'd you come up with the story for Love Found?
I always knew I wanted to write a more emotional story. One where the female lead was dealing with a major family issue, but also attending college, hanging with friends, and falling in love. There wasn’t a specific moment where this story idea came to me, I think it’s just always been sitting in the back of my brain waiting for the right moment to be written. 

Did you use any real life experiences in this book?
While it’s not an autobiographical story, there are some experiences from my life that I pulled on. For instance, my mom also passed away from cancer, and I was told months before she passed that she was dying and there was nothing we could do. The whole mother/daughter relationship was, I think, what I would have wanted to happen had I been older when she passed. 

Also, there are a few scenes that may have happened with my friends in college….I won’t divulge them all, but here are two that stick out to me. 

While the Kyler chair scene seems completely random, my real-life Kyler also called me in a semi-panic to help her build her chair, and it’s seriously one of the moments where I think, “Yep, this girl is going to be one of my best friends.” 

I also played Jeopardy with my guy friends before…the Saint Bridget thing still makes me mad to this day. 

Why did you decide to change the title?
Parting Chances was originally a working title. But I think in the end, it just stuck, because I couldn’t come up with anything else that worked. And the more I tried to explain to myself that it would work and that it made sense, the more I felt that I could roll with it.
The issue, however, was that I don’t think anyone else understood the title, unless it was explained to them. And I felt maybe that was why people were choosing not to read the book. They would see the title and go, “This makes no sense,” and click past it. 

With Love Found it makes so much more sense, without any explanation needed. 

What made you realize you wanted to be an author?
For as long as I can remember, I used to make stories up in my head. When my parents first got a computer, I sat down one day and started writing an ‘Nsync fan fiction (yes, I was that girl). And one chapter turned into two…and the next thing I knew, I had thirty two chapters and a legit full length novel. 

And it was fun writing. 

Fast forward to 2013, and I was a stay-at-home-mom to two tiny humans, and I read…a lot. And one day I thought, “Hey, I could have written this story.” So I sat down at my computer, thought about this recurring dream I’ve had, and wrote out a chapter. I sent the chapter to a friend to see what she thought, and she told me she wanted more. That was my awakening, if you will. It was the moment where I thought, “I could write these stories in my head, and people might actually enjoy them.” 

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Explain...
I’m a total pantser. I wrote Choose Us based on a recurring dream, and that was really only a very few scenes. The rest I just…wrote. 

With Love Found I just started writing and it led itself. However, I did get stuck towards the end and needed to plot some of the story, but for the most part, it was off the top of my head. 

I have plotted a few stories because, as of recent, I’ve been having a hard time writing anything. I thought maybe plotting would be a good idea and would help me write something. But….even that hasn’t worked out well.

Do you have any music that helps you write?
It depends on the story. For Choose Us it was a lot of pop-punk music, because of who Travis is. Love Found was a lot of instrumental piano music, because I needed to be focused and write some pretty difficult scenes. I have a story where country music helps me write. Or a Christmas story where…Christmas music works best. 

Again, it really just depends on the story. And I am an eclectic listener; I love most everything. 

Have you considered writing in any other genres?
I have. I would love to write a paranormal romance. I just have no idea how to dig into that world. Writing contemporary romances are so much easier for me.
But I wouldn’t turn down the chance to write a paranormal romance…with the right co-author, of course. ;) 

What's your favorite genre to read?
I would have to say contemporary romance. I love me some romance. But I do love paranormal, dystopian, fantasy, sci-fi (sometimes)…but they all need a little romance.

What can we expect from you next? 
This year has been tough for me with writing. I can’t pinpoint why, but every story I start, I only make it about five thousand words in before I bail. 

With that being said, I do have a story I’m working on about long lost love.
And then there is Nicki’s story…for those of you who have read Choose Us. It’s still being written, albeit slower than expected. 

Quick five Questions:
Fave food? 
Ice cream…mmmmm ice cream. Or pizza, you can never go wrong with pizza. 

Fave book? 
Oy vey. Um…I could give you a favorite book…from every author…I’ve even read. But to answer this one, I’m going to say the book(s) that I can keep going back to time and time again and never get bored. And that is the Harry Potter series. (One book…seven books…what’s the difference?)

Fave holiday? 
Thanksgiving! Delicious food. The time we decorate for Christmas. The only holiday we celebrate with just our family of four. And football…oh boy, football. CoughGoPackersCough!!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what book would you bring? 
A survival guide, because I am worthless in the wilderness (or desert island, in this case). 

Fave song? 
Right now, it’s “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. Of all time? Probably “Watch the Sky” by Something Corporate.  

Once again, thank you for sitting down with us & good luck with your next novel!
_______________________________________________________________________

About the Author:
Born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, Caylie fell in love with reading at a young age. With her lively imagination, she created numerous stories in her head throughout her childhood and teenage years.

Her first novel, Choose Us, released in April 2014 and became an Amazon Bestseller. 

When she isn't slaving away at the keyboard, Caylie is an avid reader, and lover of coffee... copious amounts of coffee. She also has an unhealthy addiction to coffee mugs, chapstick, water bottles, football, and tv shows--binge watching is her favorite.

She chases her two kids around the house all day, and has a husband whom she adores. 

If you want to stay tuned in to all of the new release news, sign up for Caylie's spam-free newsletter HERE. It only comes out when something exciting is happening...promise! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 27, 2015

Win 10 signed YA books & a $200 Amazon gift card!

Hi guys! I posted about this giveaway a few weeks ago, but just wanted to bring it back since it's ending soon and I think it's a great opportunity for fellow YA lovers. It's being held over at UrbanEpics.com and is for 10 signed books by best selling authors (pictured below) and a $200 gift card. 

Just look at all those beauties!


Click HERE to enter!

Feature & Follow Friday (44) / Friday 56 (13)

Feature & Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkiee's View & Alison Can Read. Check out their blogs and the two Featured Bloggers of the week! This is great for finding amazing new blogs to follow and for gaining followers yourself!

This weeks question is: 
Black Friday Eve! You have $100 (or pounds or whatever your currency is) to spend on books. What are you going to buy?

I answered: 
Honestly there are so many books I want to read and I never know which ones to buy when I actually have the chance. Plus, books are just way too expensive and I feel like $100 wouldn't buy as many as I would want (or need). So instead I would most likely put the money toward my Scribd subscription because it would pay for almost a full year of unlimited reading which just seems like a much better investment considering I don't even have room on any of my bookshelves.
(This kind of reads like an Ad or something, but it's not I promise LOL)

However, some of the books I've been wanting to get my hands on are:
What about you? Leave your answer to this weeks question in the comments below.
___________________________________________________________________________

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Basically you flip to page 56 (or 56% in your eReader) of any book and post a sentence or two (more if you want) from that page without being too spoiler-y. This gives us a glimpse into what you are reading or have read, and may even prompt us to add your book to our TBR piles!

My teaser:
"The piskie made irritated buzzing sounds, pointing at me and waving her arms, and Todd shook his head. 'I know, I know! But he's the Iron Queen's brother. He's the only one I could think of.' 
My heart gave a violent lurch at the mention of the Iron Queen, and I narrowed my eyes. 'What was that?' 
'You have to help us,' Todd exclaimed, oblivious to my sudden anger. 'These things are after me, and they don't look friendly.'"
Excerpt From: Julie Kagawa. “The Lost Prince.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (60)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 
_______________________________________________________________________


Until the End
by Abbi Glines
Release Date: November 17, 2015

From B&N:
The backstory that fans have been clamoring for—how Rock and Trisha fell in love—is the final novel in the Sea Breeze series from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines.

Trisha Corbin always knew how to hide a bruise. With her momma’s boyfriends unable to keep their hands off her, she had no choice. And as long as it meant the guys wouldn’t go near her little brother, Krit, it was worth it. But her days of dreaming that Prince Charming would ever come rescue her are far, far in the past.

Rock Taylor always had a plan. Through football, he would rise above the life he was born into. A full scholarship to play for a major college team was within his reach—assuming he didn’t let anything get in his way. But scoring a date with the hottest girl in Sea Breeze was proving harder than expected. Trisha Corbin was every man’s walking fantasy, and she wouldn’t even glance his way.

When Rock finally does get Trisha in his truck, it isn’t for a date. It’s because he picks her up on the side of the road, beaten and bruised and trying to get to the local hospital. Before Rock knows it, football is no longer his life. Trisha Corbin is. And he’ll do anything to save her. And keep her.

In addition to Rock and Trisha’s love story, this special conclusion to the Sea Breeze series contains the wrap-up stories of all your favorite Sea Breeze couples: Sadie and Jax, Marcus and Low, Cage and Eva, Preston and Amanda, Jess and Jason, Krit and Blythe, and Dewayne and Sienna. The steamy romance doesn’t stop until the very last page!

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

I'm pretty sure this actually came out last year (I think?), but I saw it on the coming soon section of B&N.com and I absolutely love this series but haven't had a chance to finish it so I thought I'd include this in a WoW. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Review (72): Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
by Ann Jacobus

Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

My Thoughts: 
After getting kicked out of her fourth boarding school, Summer Barnes moves to Paris to finish off her second senior year of high school. She has until the age of 22 to graduate from a four-year university or she risks losing a hefty inheritance—which seems easier said than done at this point. She’s felt lost and alone since the sudden death of her father five years earlier and believes that all her problems will go away if she just meets the right guy. Lucky for her, she catches the eye of two; one challenges her and helps her rediscover life’s beauty, while the other leads her down a path of self-destruction. When her damaging behavior manages to alienate everyone, she has to decide if she wants to continue down this road or if her life is worth living and fighting for. 

As the title sort of suggests this deals with some dark topics including addiction, depression, and suicide. It is not an easy read so be aware of that if these are things you are not comfortable with or find triggering. As someone who also battled depression at the age of 18, I completely identified with Summer. It was easy to be sympathetic towards her despite how frustrating she was at times because I know what it feels like to be in her shoes. She may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I thought she was very real and appreciated her straight forward voice. 

Moony was a great character as well. I can't even image how he has such an optimistic take on life after everything he's been through. I think he and Summer meet just when she needs him most. Kurt on the other had is the complete opposite and encourages her down an even more dangerous path than she is already on. They definitely did not have your average love triangle; it was more of a light vs. dark tug of war that was a lot different than I had expected from how it's written on the cover. 

I figured out the twist pretty early on but it was still interesting to see that aspect of the plot unravel. I don’t want to say much because I don’t want to give it away, but I thought it was an intriguing take on inner demons and the mental battle that is depression. Overall, I think this is a great read and I wish there were some others out there like it because depression and mental illness is still something that is not talked about enough. 

| Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

* Thank you to the author and publisher for an eARC in return for my honest review *

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (59)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 
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Did I Mention I Love You?
by Estelle Maskame
Release Date: December 1, 2015

From B&N:
Love is everything but expected.

Eden Monro came to California for a summer of sun, sand and celebrities — what better way to forget about the drama back home? Until she meets her new family of strangers: a dad she hasn't seen in three years, a stepmonster and three stepbrothers.

Eden gets her own room in her dad's fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother, Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He's got angry green eyes and ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She's never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pull her into their world of rule-breaking, partying and pier-hanging.

And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't...

Did I Mention I Love You? is the addictive first book in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame's DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak and forbidden romance.

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

I got a Netgalley of this so we'll see. Sounds interesting though--forbidden love is my jam.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Review (71): The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

The Ugly Stepsister
by Aya Ling

Release Date: June 10, 2015
Pages: 452
Format: eBook
Source: Author

My Thoughts: 
When Kat accidentally transports herself into one of her old fairytale books as Cinderella’s ugly step-sister, she finds herself in quite the predicament. The only way to get home is ensure that the story ends as it should—with a happily ever after. Unfortunately for her, the rest of the characters don’t seem to be playing along; she has no idea where the fairy godmother is hiding, the handsome prince seems to hate all the attention that comes with his status, her beautiful sister is dead set on becoming queen, and if all of that weren’t enough, Cinderella has her eyes set on someone else. How is Kat supposed to make sure the story runs smoothly and still learn how to navigate the social season as a highborn lady?

I am not a huge fan of retellings because I feel like they all end up being the same so I almost didn’t bother reading this. And omg, how horrible would that have been? Because I honestly loved everything about this! I think that just the small change of making this from the ugly stepsisters perspective added so much to the story. But that isn’t even the best part. The characters were so well-written and amazing. I loved every single one of them—even the actual evil, stepsister. 

Kat predictably started off as shy and clumsy but quickly turned into the brave heroine. It was great seeing her grow and become assertive and bold. She challenges various issues in the fairy tale world including child labor and sexism. I thought it was funny how everyone is either impressed or scandalized by her behavior and was happy that she felt the need to do something about these injustices despite knowing she wouldn’t be in Athelia long. Prince Edward is very down-to-earth and passionate about his position, despite the fact that he doesn’t like all the attention that comes along with being the crown prince. He was so cute and sweet and understanding—I just loved him. 

Another thing I really liked was the distinction between Kat’s voice and that of all the other fairy tale characters. They really sounded like they came straight out of a fairy tale while she had a modern vocabulary—it was very comical at times. Eventually she kind of starts to sound like them, but there was always that modern slang that confused the hell out of everyone else. 

This is by far one of my favorites and I hope Aya continues to write such amazing and strong female characters! The only thing I would change about this is the cover. The current one does not do this justice and I think this is definitely deserving of a prettier and more magical one. 


* Thank you to the author and publisher for an eARC in return for my honest review *

Friday, November 13, 2015

Win 10 Signed YA Books!

Hi guys! I just wanted to share an amazing giveaway that was brought to my attention. It's being held over at UrbanEpics.com and is for 10 signed books by best selling authors (pictured below) and a $200 gift card. 

Just look at all those beauties!


Click HERE to enter!

Feature & Follow Friday (43) / Friday 56 (12)

Feature & Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkiee's View & Alison Can Read. Check out their blogs and the two Featured Bloggers of the week! This is great for finding amazing new blogs to follow and for gaining followers yourself!

This weeks question is: 
What are the funniest books you've ever read?

I answered: 
I love witty characters so I'm going to say The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead because of Rose Hathaway and more recently I just finished Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist! by Kay Marie which was hilarious and amazing.
What about you? Leave your answer to this weeks question in the comments below.
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The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Basically you flip to page 56 (or 56% in your eReader) of any book and post a sentence or two (more if you want) from that page without being too spoiler-y. This gives us a glimpse into what you are reading or have read, and may even prompt us to add your book to our TBR piles!

My teaser:
"There is one benefit to knowing someone for your entire life. Sure, Ollie has dirt on me. And well, a lot of it, because as you know, I have issues. But I also have dirt on him. Oh you know, just little things like he used to let Bridge and I braid his hair--butterfly clips, fake pink hair strands, glittery ties, the whole shebang. And yes, before you ask, I have the photos to prove it. Dirt!"
Excerpt From: Kay Marie. “Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist!.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Guest Post: How to Deal with Writer’s Block [Fear] by Lily Velez (w/ giveaway!)

Title: The Secrets We Kept
Author: Lily Velez
Genre: Contemp, Romance, YA 
Release Date: November 8, 2015

One year. That’s how long it’s been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.

Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something’s different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can’t even begin to recognize, much less understand.

Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.

But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she’s determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever.

The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one…long before Sully’s resolve ever does.

The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.
How to Deal with Writer’s Block [Fear] 
by Lily Velez

This is probably one of the most popular questions an author receives, and I’m happy to share my insights about writer’s block in hopes that more aspiring writers will know the truth, which is that writer’s block does not exist

What we refer to as ‘writer’s block’ is instead typically one of three things: fear, resistance, or lack of planning. In this guest post, I want to especially address fear because I believe it’s something that every writer faces, but it’s also something every writer can overcome.  

Writing is like translating your secrets into written words, secrets that up until that point have only existed as precious thoughts within your soul. As such, this story you’re aching to share is dear to you, and chances are you’ve envisioned the final draft of your words in every form imaginable countless times. 

Then you sit at your computer and start to type, and the words you string together are nothing like the magnum opus you’ve dreamed of. Far from it, in fact. 
So fear sets in. 

You fear that what you create will fall leagues below the expectations you’ve set in your mind. You fear that you’re too inexperienced to tell the story in a masterful way. You fear that you’re incapable of crafting it so that it’s nothing short of brilliant. You fear that you’re not good enough to be the storyteller. You fear what people will say, what people won’t say, and what either scenario says about the value of your contribution to the world. 

Take a look at this quote: 

“Stop here for a few breaths and think about this because it is the key to making art, and very possibly the key to finding any semblance in life. Every time I have set out to translate the book (or story, or hopelessly long essay) that exists in such brilliant detail on the big screen of my limbic system onto a piece of paper…I grieve for my own lack of talent and intelligence. Every. Single. Time. Were I smarter, more gifted, I could pin down a closer facsimile of the wonders I see. I believe that, more than anything else, this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can’t write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself."  
—Ann Patchett, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Do you need to forgive yourself? 

The secret is: everyone feels this way! When it comes to writing, sharing your message, and baring your soul for all the world to see, we’re all scared out of our minds. But my belief is this: if you’ve been given a message or story that’s burning in your heart, a story you know people need to hear, then you have an obligation to share it with as many people as possible. 

It doesn’t matter how small you feel, how inadequate you feel, how incapable you feel, etc…people are depending on you to courageously step forth and shine your light and touch their hearts with your story. And to them, it doesn’t matter whether you sound like a J.K. Rowling, a John Green, a Suzanne Collins, or any of the present greats—they just want to feel something as a result of reading your words. 

So the next time fear creeps in and your courage has its tail between its legs, remind yourself of this: This is my story to share, and I have everything I need to tell it in the way that only I can tell it. 

At the heart of everything that you’ve ever read that moved you, touched you, changed your life, there was a writer’s fear. And a writer’s determination to say what he had to say in spite of that fear.

—Jeff Bulas
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About the Author:
Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at www.lilyvelezbooks.com.

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