Monthly Archives:: February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books to Read If You Are in the Mood for Romance

February 29, 2016 Features 12

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week focuses on a different topic to make a list about. This week, the topic is about books to read when you are in the mood for whatever you choose to write about. I picked romance since that’s my favorite genre. These are all YA contemporary books that I loved. If you’re also a fan of the genre, I’m sure that I’ve chosen some books that you likely enjoyed, but I also hope that some of these are under the radar books that you may have not gotten around to checking out yet. I hope you enjoy my list!

1. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

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This book is all kinds of adorable. It’s just been a few weeks since I read it for the first time and I’m still not over it. Seriously though, I’ve gone back and read all my favorite parts countless times. I haven’t been able to give another book a five star review since I read this. Anyway, this is an incredible romance and story in general.

2. The Distance from A to Z

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Oh man, you need this book in your life. Zeke is ridiculously swoony and I ship him and Abby so freaking hard. This ebook is ridiculously cheap, so buy it right away!

3. Meant to Be

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I highly recommend this one for fans of Anna and the French Kiss. The romance in this book is one that you’ll be cheering for from the very start. Well, you’ll hate the LI at first, but then he’ll quickly grow on you! It’s a great read if you’re looking for something relatively low on the angst side of things.

4. Every Last Word

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Honestly, this isn’t the book for you if you’re looking for something super fluffy and light. It’s about OCD, so obviously the topic is a little heavier. However, I just love how the romance works in this novel. It feels so realistic to me. So if you can overlook some darkness, this book is definitely worth it.

5. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

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I’ve bragged so much about this book, but I couldn’t leave it off of this list. There’s countless swoony moments in this book. If you liked My Life Next Door, you’ll likely enjoy this one.

6. Whatever Life Throws at You

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Do you like reading Miranda Kenneally books? Me too, I’ve read them all. If you do, I recommend that you read this book. Most of Miranda’s sports stories center on high school athletes, while the LI here is a pro baseball player. I still rec it because they have similar elements: sports, swoon, and a kickass female love interest. What more could you possibly need?

7. Everything, Everything

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I ship Madeline and Olly so hard. There’s really nothing else to say about it!

8. First & Then

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Another sports contemporary romance that I adore and talk about a lot. Ezra is not your typical book boyfriend, but that’s why I love him so much.

9. What I Thought Was True

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I already mentioned My Life Next Door, but I also love What I Thought Was True just as much. The romance is very slow building (in a way) and I love every minute of it.

10. This Lullaby

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This list would be incomplete without a Sarah Dessen book on here. This is my personal favorite for a number of reasons. My biggest reason is Dexter. He’s the lead singer in a band but he’s also this totally awkward kid. He’s unique, and that’s what makes him so great. This book also holds a special place in my heart due to my obsession with music.

So there’s my list for the week! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted for TTT, but I’m happy to be back. I can’t wait to look at all of your lists, so be sure to share them with me. Hope you guys have a great rest of the week! 🙂

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Audiobook Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

February 28, 2016 Reviews, Young Adult 2 ★★★★½

Audiobook Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on April 9th 2013
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-half-stars
A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

I’m not a huge listener of audiobooks. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, it’s just that they cost quite a bit of money. It also requires a lot of time commitment. However, once I heard that Lin-Manuel Miranda narrated this book, I knew I had to listen. I’ve seen nothing but positive reviews for this book, so I was excited to be able to form my own opinion about it. I think the awesome and relatable thing about this story is that it’s really about two lonely teenagers trying to find their place in the world. To be honest, it doesn’t have the most complex plot, but the characters and the stories make it worthwhile. I highly recommend this beautifully written novel.

I might be in the minority here, but sometimes it bothers me thinking about these audiobook narrators who are (often) 20 to 30 year olds pretending to be teens. I don’t always find it convincing. With Lin-Manuel Miranda, this was not a problem at all. His narration was filled with such passion, angst, and all the right emotions throughout. Every single voice was so spot on to me, his girl voices seriously cracked me up. Specifically, one of Ari’s friends from school, Gina. Anyway, I could go on and on about how great this audiobook is, but I’ll spare you most of my general ramblings about it.

More on my thoughts about the book itself: how incredible is Dante? At certain points, I wanted to hit Ari for denying things about himself and his feelings. On the other hand though, Dante was a character who knew who he was and he wasn’t afraid to feel everything. Another note, I loved Miranda’s voice for Dante. His voice was higher pitched and rather squeaky. I laughed out loud the first time I heard it. So yeah, Dante was my favorite character by far for a number of different reasons. He’s sweet, loving, passionate, smart, and just the best. I loved the part where he told Ari that he’d never run away because he actually loves his parents unlike most teens. How can you not love him?

I related to Ari a lot more than I thought that I would, at the beginning of the novel, he was an angry teen with no friends. Once he meets Dante at the pool, he becomes a little less lonely. Ari’s brother is in jail and his parents never talk about him, so it feels as if he’s dead. Another reason for his anger is that he doesn’t really fit in with any of the boys in his neighborhood. But he’s not afraid to get in a fight or two if he has to. His angst can definitely get annoying, but I still liked him overall. Another major part of this novel was his incredible parents. I’m not going to say much more, but let’s just say that you’ll love them both at the end for a pep talk they give Ari at the end. Like I said, Ari isn’t my favorite but I did feel like his POV was interesting and full of personality.

Basically, this book probably isn’t for everyone. I still found it to be a beautiful coming-of-age story. It might not appeal to everyone because it can be slow at times, especially in the beginning. Personally, I recommend listening to the audiobook because I was never bored and hung on every single word Miranda read. All the poetic words the author has written translate so smoothly in an audiobook format. It’s an emotionally charged book, prepare to laugh and cry a ridiculous amount.

four-half-stars

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Strong Signal Review

February 26, 2016 Reviews 2

Strong Signal (Cyberlove, #1) by Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell
Published by Megtino Press on February 15th 2016
Pages: 235
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2), Overexposed (In Focus, #4), Daring Fate (Silver Tip Pack #1), Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2), Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs, #1), Sunset Park (Five Boroughs, #2), First and First (Five Boroughs, #3), Interborough (Five Boroughs, #4)
Reading Challenges: Contemporary Romance Challenge
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.
That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel.
I never expected to become fixated on someone who'd initially been a rival. And I'd never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn't planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.
But it did. And now I can't stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it's love at first sight.
Except, like most things in my life, it doesn't go as planned.
Strong Signal is a standalone, full-length novel with no cliffhanger

Honestly, this was my first M/M New Adult book and I was so impressed with the writing from Erickson and Hassell. This book kept me completely glued to the page from start to finish. There’s tons of positive things to say about this read, I really don’t know where exactly to start. I guess I’ll say this: if you’re looking for a mature and hot read featuring a military man and a video game geek, this is for you. I know this sounds super specific, but it’s just a great feel good book that also has some serious depth to it. Kai and Garrett are both well rounded and fascinating. You’ll love them both equally, I didn’t have a favorite.

I wasn’t sure if the whole military and video game thing was something that appealed to me. I gave it a shot anyway because I’ve heard positive things about Erickson’s M/M books and so I started here. I’m SO glad that I tried it because these two worlds colliding work in a compelling manner. Kai has serious social anxiety and has barely left his apartment the past three years. Instead he hides behind the safety of his video games and makes a living from his Twitch stream. Basically, he has a large enough following on this popular streaming site that he makes a decent amount of money. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of ignorant when it comes to video games and I thought that the authors had made the site up because I know that gamers release YouTube videos. However, I had no idea that this community existed and it was surprisingly intriguing reading about it. Though I did love Garrett just as much as Kai, I felt a special connection to the latter because I know how crippling social anxiety can feel. I really enjoyed Kai’s personality and his character growth that gradually develops throughout Strong Signal.

On the other hand, Garrett is a man who works on military vehicles over in Afghanistan. I absolutely adore his strong personality that shines through the pages. He doesn’t feel like he belongs in the military, he just went there to avoid being stuck in his small town in Pennsylvania. This was also something that I could relate to, not wanting to live in the same place you grew up in for your whole life. Anyway, playing video games becomes a distraction for him as he tries to make it through the rest of his deployment and then never go back. While playing his favorite game, he gets killed by a popular and experienced streamer. Of course, this turns out to be Kai. More on Garrett’s character though, he’s a gruff guy who has a totally incredible heart. I really felt for him concerning his romantic life. He’d never really connected with another guy on a romantic level before. He was just being used by guys in the past and then he comes across Kai and everything changes for both of them.

So the relationship begins by Garrett emailing Kai and then the basic friendship between them quickly grows into more. I had no idea how hot this relationship could be before the two even meet each other in person. In today’s world, it’s very much believable to me that this could happen. The emails turn into instant messaging which then turns to Skype. Obviously, these sessions get rather steamy. Truth be told, Garrett’s dirty talk is a major reason why those sessions get so intense. Beyond the physical stuff, the two just get each other and want to be together in person. Eventually, Garrett comes back to the states and the first place he goes is to Kai’s apartment. Kai’s initial reaction is not a positive one, he slams the door in his face because he is definitely overwhelmed by him just showing up there. What comes out of it though is a fabulous scene between the two that you don’t want to miss! All I can say is the swoon is pretty amazing. I love them as a couple, they balance each other out. Garrett never pushes his boyfriend too far, he respects that his social anxiety is a very difficult and real thing. I could ramble on about it more, but I’ll let you judge for yourself.

This was a book that I couldn’t put down. I told myself I’d read just a few more chapters, but that quickly became more and more until I reached the end and wanted to read another romance like this from Erickson. Though I have no idea which author wrote which voice, I feel like they were both filled with personality and heart. I’m interested in reading more from Hassell now, and I’ve read some reviews saying that his writing style is more gritty and a little on the darker side while Megan has a lighter (well besides Focus on Me) style. Regardless, I ended up enjoying it. This was a well written story that has a fabulous HEA. So if you’re a fan of those, I’m sure this will be something that you will like. I can’t wait to read Costigan’s story, a character who was over in Afghanistan with Garrett and struggled with his sexuality big time. Admittedly, he’s a douchebag with a strong personality from what we can see, but I still want to see him find his own happy ending like Garrett was able to have!

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Blog Tour: How Willa Got Her Groove Back Review

February 25, 2016 Blog Tours, Reviews, Young Adult 0

How Willa Got Her Groove Back by Emily McKay
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Creative HeArts #2, companion series
Publication: February 25th, 2016

When your life feels like a bad movie, rewrite the script.

When Willa Schofer’s father comes home from a business trip with an über-famous new fiancée, Willa’s senior year blows up in paparazzi-fueled flames. Overnight, she has a new house, a new car, and a new soon-to-be stepbrother–the unbelievably hot, unbelievably arrogant, Finn McCain. Thank god he’s constantly pushing her buttons, or she might do something irresponsible. Like fall for the jerk.

Just when Willa’s decided to avoid him for, oh, ever, Finn lands in the center of her senior project team. Seriously–how hard is it to shake a guy? At least her work on the project snagged the attention of the (second) hottest guy in school. He might only be into her because of her famous stepmom, and he’s not quite as exciting as a certain annoying housemate, but at least she’s allowed to crush on the guy.

Because crushing on your annoying stepbrother? So not cool.

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Review
How Willa Got Her Groove Back” is an interesting and angsty novel. It’s the second book in the Creative HeArts series from Entangled Crush, but it’s more of a companion. Meaning, you can read the first book before this one, but this book is written by a different author and the only main similarity is that the characters in both stories attend the same school. Sloane and Tru do make a few brief appearances here. Anyway, this was a well written story filled with tons and tons of high school drama. It also explored family, love, and relationships. Though not the darkest book this publishing company has released, it still has a lot of depth. Meaning, this isn’t just a fluffy romantic read.

Willa is a witty and funny protagonist. I loved her narration and getting inside of this relatable character’s head. Yes, at times she was definitely frustrating when she refused to give Mia a chance. On the other side of things, I did get WHY she was so fearful for her father since he’s planning on marrying a wildly popular actress. My point is, I think she was a well layered MC that many teens (and adults who love YA of course) will be able to identify with.

Another thing I liked about the book, Willa specifically, was the love and appreciation of writing and books. Willa attends art school in order to write. I personally wanted to see even more of her writings. However, I just really respected the fact that she was into writing in the first place. It’s always awesome to see! She’s also a huge fan of reading and I can already picture the gorgeous bookshelves she describes. Additionally, I liked seeing this awesome art school that Willa attends. Through her voice, we get to see a new side to the school since her focus is different from Sloane’s was. Sloane attended the school to focus on art.

The lack of romance here honestly bothered me because it’s typically a pretty huge part of the plot in the novels from Entangled Crush. In a way though, I think this worked in Emily McKay’s favor because there’s a true buildup that makes you cheer for a romance. The tension between them is obvious from the beginning, but it’s not insta-love really, which I like to see.

Naturally, I feel like I need to talk about Finn for a little bit here. I found myself charmed by him to say the least. He’s far from perfect, but there’s definitely something alluring and appealing about him from the very start. Though he keeps his guard up most of the time, he’s much more likable when he opens up more to Willa. I loved his POV’s, which are written in third person while Willa’s is in first person. He’s charming and I loved how protective and caring he was towards Willa.

This is a fast paced read that will have you DYING to get your hands on the next book once you finish. Unlike the first book in the series, this one has a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the fascinating life of Willa, Finn, Mia, (her future stepmother) her father, and her loving group of friends from school.

Rating: 3.5/5
About the Author

Emily McKay is a life-long fan of books, pop-culture and anything geeky. She has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and baking cookies. When she’s not kicking-ass and scooping cookie dough, she’s watching videos from Screen Junkies (her favorite Youtube channel) or Pemberly Digital or Classic Alice. Okay, she has a Youtube problem! She’s seeking help. Really. Though, she may also have a slight problem with procrastination.

When the internet is down and there are no chocolate chips in the house, she does write books – everything from Harlequin romance novels to post-apocalyptic YA. Though her interests may appear broad, the common denominators are swoony heroes and snarky humor.

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Hamilton Book Tag

February 23, 2016 Features 0

So I’m excited to share this Hamilton book tag with you guys! Technically, I wasn’t tag in this, but I’ve been seeing it pop it up on a lot of blogs and YouTube so I couldn’t help myself. It’s such an amazingly creative musical that deserves all the awards and attention it’s been receiving. I’m definitely obsessed with every single song. So yeah, read up on the musical if you don’t know much about it. This tag was created by Maureen Keavy.

The Room Where It Happens | Book world you would put yourself in

“I wanna be in the room where it happens.”

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Is this too obvious? Probably but oh well, it’s true!

The Schuyler Sisters | Underrated Female Character

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“I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine / so men say that I’m intense or I’m insane.”

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My girl Kestrel is pretty BA. I kind of want to be her.

My Shot | A character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anything stop them

Hamilton GIF- Broadway- Lin Manuel Miranda GIF- Alexander Hamilton GIF- Not Throwing Away My Shot

“Not throwing away my shot.”

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Though she’s taken it Glass Sword, Mare Barrow is definitely a character who doesn’t let anything stand in her way.

Stay Alive | A character you wish was still alive

This picture is technically from the Stay Alive Reprise, but it’s the only one I could find.

“Save your strength and stay alive.”

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I’m not going to say WHO because it’s a huge spoiler. But if you’ve read this series, you know who I’m talking about.

Burn | The most heartbreaking end to a relationship you’ve ever read

“You have torn it all apart / I am watching it burn.”

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

Is it too soon to say Blue and Gansey? I just love them so much and knowing they don’t get a happy ending breaks my heart.

You’ll Be Back | Sassiest villain

“I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love.”

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Stealing Sarah’s answer here because I literally can’t think of any other villains that you could consider sassy. But honestly, Amarantha is a badass bitch.

The Reynolds Pamphlet | A book with a twist that you didn’t see coming

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“Never gon’ be President now / that’s one less thing to worry about.”

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This book is ridiculously twisted. I’m still not over it.

Non-stop | A series you marathoned

“Why do you write like you’re running out of time?”

I’m probably cheating because I already used it once, but the Divergent series. I read all three books in just three days. Oops.

Satisfied | Favorite book with multiple POVs

“He will never be satisfied / I will never be satisfied.”

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This book has four POV’s and they are all equally fabulous!

Helpless | A relationship you were pulling for from the very start

“Look into your eyes, and the sky’s the limit.”

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I was torn between this one and Anna and the French Kiss. I went with this one because I love Cricket so much.
Say No To This | Guilty pleasure read

“I don’t know how to say no to this.”

These books are just filled with all kinds of drama but I can’t help but love them!
What Comes Next | A series you wish had more books

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“You’ve been freed / do you know how hard it is to lead?”

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So I cheated here, this is technically a standalone. But I want it to be a companion series because so many of the supporting character’s were not completely resolved. I need Nick’s story right away!

Right Hand Man | Favorite BROTP

“We gotta make an all out stand / Ayo, I’m gonna need a right hand man.”

I love Cam and Jase’s bromance. They are hilarious and I love them both so much.

So I added a few of my own because I love these songs and really wanted to throw them in.

Alexander Hamilton | A character with a round background/childhood

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“There’s a million things I haven’t done / but just you wait.”

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My girl Sara had such a rough childhood, but I love how she never let it bring her down.

Dear Theodosia | A book with a good parental relationship

“When you smile, I fall apart / and I thought I was so smart.”

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I love Simon’s relationship with both of his parents. I might be a bit biased because they remind me a lot of my own. Regardless, I definitely love them.

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2016 Love-a-Thon: An Invitation to Tea

February 21, 2016 Features 7

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This is the final challenge in this years Love-a-Thon. It makes me sad that it’s almost over, but I’m still excited to share my results for this one. The challenge is to choose a fictional character, blogger, and author who you’d like to have tea with and why. I hope you enjoy my answers!

Menu: I don’t know that much about tea flavors honestly. So I think that someone else at the party should select it. Or it could just be an Earl Grey flavor and some others as well. Of course Green Tea would be an option.

For food there would be lots of scones. Including: lemon, cherry, orange cranberry, orange poppy seed, and some others.

Sandwiches:

Cucumber, chicken salad, and maybe a ham sandwich thrown in there for good measure.

Character:

My girl Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries:

Obviously I wouldn’t be having tea with the fabulous Anne Hathaway, I believe the fictional Mia is much more awkward than Anne portrayed her to be. Anyway, I chose Mia because she’s far from being a classy person who casually sips tea, but she’s still fun. She’s also learned a lot about manners and how to behave as she’s gotten older. The only adult book from The Princess Diaries proves that Mia hasn’t lost her wit and sarcasm. My point is, the girl knows how to have a good time and I’d love to hangout with her and drink tea.

Blogger/YouTuber:

I cheated here and chose two bloggers instead of one.

Kristin from Super Space Chick

I chose Kristin because I love her blog and we’d have tons to talk (and fangirl) about. We could talk about Hamilton, comics, fashion, and books of course. Plus I saw in her bio that she loves tea so it just makes sense haha!

Lauren from Bookmark Lit

Lauren is one of my closest blogger friends. We always seem to have something to talk about, specifically football and books. I just feel like it’d be awesome to hangout with her. I’d definitely want her at this cool tea party!

Author:

Stephanie Perkins

I feel like I don’t even need to explain why I’d want to have tea with Stephanie. She’s just such an amazing writer, but more than that, she seems like such a down to Earth person. Besides, she knows everything about the future that each of her characters will have. I’d totally pester her about it, but we’d also talk about other stuff too like Making of a Murderer and books.

I had so much fun with this challenge. What about you guys? Who would be at your tea party?

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2016 Love-a-Thon: Book Spine Poetry

February 21, 2016 Features 3

loveathon

So I’m really excited about this mini challenge! It was honestly so much fun to make book spine poetry. If you don’t know what it is, it’s pretty self explanatory. You just take your book spines and do your best to make some poetry out of them! I doubt I’m cut out to be a poet, but I still tried my best.

Photo Feb 20, 11 25 29 PM

This is Not a Test / Find You in the Dark / Not If I See You First

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The Geography of You and Me / This Raging Light / Every Last Promise / Along for the Ride

Photo Feb 20, 11 17 10 PM

This is What Happy Looks Like / Whatever Life Throws at You / Every Last Word / Play On

Photo Feb 20, 11 11 35 PM

The Wrong Side of Right / Finding Mr. Brightside / Famous Last Words

Photo Feb 20, 11 08 52 PM

Searching for Beautiful / Like it Never Happened / The Sky is Everywhere / What Happens Next

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2016 Love-a-Thon Questionnaire

February 20, 2016 Features 8

loveathon

Hey guys! I know that most people posted answers to the Love-a-Thon questionnaire at midnight, but I totally forgot about it so mine is a little late. Anyway, this was really fun to fill out and I love reading how everyone else responded to the questions!

What’s your name?

Rachel!

Where in the world are you blogging from?

Over in the United States. Specifically, Huntington, West Virginia.

How did you get into blogging in the first place?

I loved blogging about general stuff because writing is my favorite. Then I became more aware of the community from Goodreads, and decided to start a blog dedicated to books.

How did you come up with your blog name?

It actually used to be my Twitter name when I was younger and I couldn’t think of anything more creative, so I just rolled with it.

What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?

Young Adult, specifically contemporary and romance. I’m also a big fan of New Adult books. I’m trying to read more YA fantasy and historical though!

What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?

Top Ten Tuesday, blog tours, giveaways, and other random features. I hope to add more this year!

Best blogging experience so far?

Just getting to interact and talk about books with so many awesome people! I hope that I’ll get the chance to attend more author events and conferences in the future.

Favorite thing about the blogging community?

How supportive and loving people are. It’s just great to be surrounded by a community that is so accepting and fascinating.

Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2016!

Every Exquisite Thing, The Winner’s Kiss, P.S. I Like You, When We Collided, and The Unexpected Everything.

Name the 5 books you want to read this 2016 that you didn’t get to in previous years!

Throne of Glass, Twenty Boy Summer, Under The Pained Sky, The Fixer, and All The Bright Places

What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?

Audrey, Wait! By Robin Benway.

Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?

Taylor from Jellicoe Road, Simon from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Anna from Anna and the French Kiss, and many more!

Which book boy or girl would be your book boyfriend/girlfriend?

Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door and countless more.

Who would you recruit for your apocalypse squad (5 characters max)

Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road, Four from Divergent, Katniss Everdeen obviously, Mare Barrow & Cal from Red Queen.

Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?

Watching baseball, basketball, and football. Listening to music, and some other stuff!

Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?

Clothes and shoes. Especially when big sales are going on!

Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book.

I’m still hoping for Looking for Alaska to be made into a movie! Also any Sarah Dessen book because I think it’s so sad that only ONE of her books (well technically two but it was smashed into one movie) was adapted.

What would your dream library look like?

Just like Belle’s from Beauty & the Beast. I really can’t think a more creative or beautiful library than hers! Except maybe my bookshelves would be a little more colorful but it’s the same idea.

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Blog Tour: To the Stars Review + Excerpt

February 18, 2016 Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews 2

To The Stars - Tour Banner

We are so excited to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Molly McAdams’ TO THE STARS! TO THE STARS is a contemporary romance novel being published on February 9th by HarperCollins’ William Morrow Impulse imprint and is the second novel in Molly’s Thatch Series.

My Review:

Molly McAdams has already established a pretty awesome fan base among New Adult and Contemporary Romance readers. She writes really beautiful character driven stories that never fail to take your breath away and shock you. Not to mention she writes some wonderfully swoony book boyfriends. Anyway, fans of Molly will be beyond pleased with her latest release. I hope that it attracts new fans as well, but I recommend reading the first book in this series even though it’s technically a standalone. I think you’ll connect to the characters better if you read the first book, but obviously, the plots alone are extremely different. Honestly, To the Stars is nothing like anything that McAdams has ever written before and I think you’ll love the intensity and emotions in this book.

Harlow just might be my favorite female character from Molly yet! I desperately wished that she was a real person so I could be her friend and give her a great big hug and solve all her problems. She was an extremely passionate and fiery girl back when she was a teen, and though she lost a lot of that due to her horrible abusive husband, there was still fire left in her in the end. Was her personality alone all that unique? Not really, but I still sympathized with her and wanted her to be safe.

Knox is naturally my absolute favorite thing about the book. I really liked Jagger from the first book in the Thatch series, but Knox might actually have him beat! He’s a sexy firefighter who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. Yes, it bothered me a little that he was such a manwhore but still continued to pine over Harlow. I get that she’s married so obviously it’s not even close to being cheating, it’s just always bothered me when the “alpha males” deal with their romance issues that way. Back to what I like though, Know has always been clear about how he feels about Harlow. Even years after everything between them ended, he still doesn’t even try to deny how he feels. He lets her know right away that he’s still waiting for her. In the end, he’s not exactly the perfect character, but his flaws are real and believable to me in every way.

So before I talk more about the really difficult part of the story, I wanted to talk a little more about the romance between Knox and Harlow. At the beginning of the book, there are tons of flashbacks that highlight the first time they met when she was 15 and he was (almost) 18 up until she finally turned 18 and everything between them changed. Basically, there’s a total case of insta-love between them. I’m never going to like insta-love honestly, and at times the romance moved way too quickly for me in general. I feel like they’d barely hungout at all before Knox was telling her that he loved her to the stars. I did think this scene (which later becomes many scenes since they say it to each other a lot) was somewhat sweet, but it also just felt so cheesy to me. I did like the relationship between them as a whole, it just wasn’t my favorite.

The rest of this book is painful to talk about and even more devastating when you read it. If reading about abusive relationships isn’t your thing or if it is a trigger for you, I recommend not reading this book. To the Stars doesn’t shy away from the topic in the slightest. It’s downright descriptive when it comes to the abuse from evil Collin. You’ll want to murder him literally everytime he appears on the page. You’ll also find yourself on the edge of your seat as you cheer for Harlow to find some way out of this without any of her family or Knox getting hurt. The reason why she has yet to leave Collin is because he threatened to kill her family if she did. That’s right, the asshole is definitely as crazy as he sounds. This is an emotional rollercoaster, but I truly enjoyed it and recommend it!

Rating: 3.5/5

Excerpt:

“Happy birthday, Low. I waited for you.”

The instant his voice filtered through the phone, my body stilled and warmed at the same time. My breath came out in a soft, audible huff, and my eyes shut as hundreds of welcome memories flooded my mind.

I didn’t have to look at the screen to know who was calling. I would know that voice anywhere, and I should have been expecting his call. Not just his call. This call. We’d been preparing for and talking about this call for two and a half years now.

My lips and fingers trembled, and I almost dropped the phone as I tried to make my throat work.

“I waited for you”, played over and over again like a broken record. A broken record with the most beautiful music still coming from it.

Turning my head just enough to look over my shoulder, I eyed the guy shrugging into his shirt, and my chest ached when I faced forward again.

No longer seeing the dorm room I was standing in, I let our memories consume me. “I—” I took in a shaky breath, and my voice came out as a strained whisper. “I didn’t wait for you.”

There was nothing. No sound, no response—only the most heartbreaking silence I’ve ever endured.

 

 

To The Stars

Grab Your Copy Today!

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Molly McAdam’s TO THE STARS Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

February 10th

Southern Belle Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

A Sky Full of Stars Blog – Review & Excerpt

Books Unhinged – Review & Excerpt

Carver’s Book Cravings – Review & Excerpt

FMR Book Grind – Review & Excerpt

This Wacky Momma reads! – Review & Excerpt

Novel Grounds – Review & Excerpt

Perusing Princesses Review & Excerpt

February 11th

Book Bitches Blog – Review & Excerpt

Bookaholic Confessions – Review & Excerpt

Extreme Bookaholic’s – Excerpt

Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review & Excerpt

Jen’s Reading Obsession – Review & Excerpt

Lustful Literature – Review & Excerpt

Maari Loves Her Indies – Excerpt

Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt

February 12th

Brittany’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Excerpt

Author Groupies – Review & Excerpt

Best Book Boyfriends – Review & Excerpt

Lushbookreviews – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

February 13th

Morning Books and Coffee – Review

Musings and Ramblings – Excerpt

Read Love Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Reading Cow – Excerpt

Crazy, Chaotic Book Babes – Review

Meli’s Book Blog – Excerpt

February 14th

A brit & A Yank – Excerpt

Vera is Reading – Excerpt

Pop Fizz Clink Read – Excerpt

The Book Reading Gals – Review & Excerpt

Beneath The Covers Blog – Excerpt

Once Upon A Twilight – Review & Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review

February 15th

2 Greek Girls Reading – Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Review

Books Need TLC – Review

The Cover Contessa – Excerpt

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review & Excerpt

The Dirty Book Girls – Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

February 16th

Fictitious Delicious – Review & Excerpt

Brooke Blogs – Excerpt

A Bookish Escape – Review

Bound By Books Book Review – Review & Excerpt

Fangril Moments and My Two Cents – Excerpt

Stories and Swag – Review & Excerpt

A pair of okies – Excerpt

February 17th

A girl and her books – Review

Friends Till The End Book Blog – Excerpt

Reading Lark – Review & Excerpt

Smart & Savvy with Stephanie – Review & Excerpt

The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog – Review

Those Crazy Book Chicks – Excerpt

Have Words Will Scribble – Review & Excerpt

Movies, Shows & Books – Review & Except

February 18th

My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt

Wrapped Up In Reading – Review & Excerpt

Alpha Queen’s Book Obsession – Excerpt

Eye Candy Bookstore – Review & Excerpt

Go Read A Book – Review & Excerpt

In Between The Pages – Review & Excerpt

Reviews from the Heart – Review & Excerpt

Three Chicks and Their Books – Review & Excerpt

February 19th

Booklover4lifeblog – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

ScandalousBook Blog – Review & Excerpt

Love Affair With Fiction – Review & Excerpt

Ripe For Reader – Review & Excerpt

StuckInBooks – Review & Excerpt

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Excerpt

I’m A Book Shark – Review & Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Excerpt

 

 

 

To The Stars - Tour Teaser 1

 

 

About TO THE STARS:

In the second standalone book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was two and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

To The Stars - Tour Teaser 2

 

 

And don’t miss the first book in the Thatch Series…

Letting Go - cover

LETTING GO

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes ** Kobo ** GooglePlay ** Audio

 

 

Author PhotoAbout Molly McAdams:

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

 

 

 

 

Website ** Tumblr ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Google+

TO THE STARS Goodreads ** Molly McAdams Goodreads

 

 

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Glass Sword Review

February 16, 2016 Reviews, Young Adult 3 ★★½

Glass Sword ReviewGlass Sword (Red Queen, #2) by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on February 9th 2016
Pages: 448
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
Reading Challenges: Flights of Fantasy
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
two-half-stars
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

I have such mixed feelings about Glass Sword. On one hand, I feel like it was a story that kept me on edge at certain points. But I also wasn’t a fan of Mare in this book at all. I also wanted much more on the romance side of things. However, I did enjoy some of the characters and some of the intense scenes. In the end though, it just didn’t feel like enough for me. Most of the book is honestly boring and it’s difficult to get through. If you ask me, the author could have shaved off a good 100 pages from the beginning or middle part of the book. I felt like the ending was extremely strong and filled with just the right amount of action. But the meat of the story was seriously lacking. I was disappointed by Glass Sword, and looking around at reviews from other bloggers shows me that I’m not alone with that feeling. I do recommend this to people who loved Red Queen, but I still don’t believe this was anything all that special.

Red Queen wasn’t my favorite book, but it still kept me on the edge of my seat from the very first page. Glass Sword did have some intense moments in the middle that had me holding my breath, it just took too long to get there. Pacing is important to me as a reader and this one moved way too slow and it made it easy for me to put the book down for days before picking it back up again. Maybe part of the appeal of Red Queen for me was the appeal of being in a castle. Whatever it was, this book didn’t have it.

I don’t remember the last time I disliked a YA protagonist as much as I disliked Mare in this book. I understand that she was burned by someone that she shouldn’t have trusted, but she lets that impact her relationships with literally EVERYONE that she comes into contact with. Look, I get that anyone can turn on anyone, but what about Cal? You chose to believe his evil little brother Maven over him even though he did nothing to betray you, and you still have trouble trusting him? This might not be a problem for some readers, but I loved Cal so much that Mare doubting him for even a second bothered me. I miss how full of life and willing to take risks that she was in the first book, now she seems to be missing all that fire completely. Her attempts to become a hardcore badass towards the end had me rolling my eyes. All I have to say is, MARE GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND STOP AVOIDING CAL.

Cal is a fabulously developed character but we didn’t see nearly enough of him. I loved getting to see him be such a natural leader yet again. Look, Cal had been through way more than Mare if you ask me, but he still didn’t let that change him completely. He still continued moving and doing whatever Mare and company needed from him. Additionally, I understood why he was hesitant to be in Mare’s group. I’m avoid more specific details so I don’t spoil everything. His hesitancy came from being aligned with the people from where he grew up, or this new place. I understood him, and I just wanted to give him a hug since Mare did a rather crappy job at comforting him.

The cruel thing about this book is how intense the ending was. After reading that, I know that I’m going to keep reading this series, though this one caused me so much frustration. I will admit that Aveyard definitely knew what she was doing by ending it the way she did. Like how could people NOT want to pick up the next installment when it ends on such a legendary cliffhanger? Despite not being impressed by the story as a whole, I will not be giving this series up just yet. What did you guys think? Are you planning on reading this book or have you already read it? Let’s talk about it!

two-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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