Friday, July 3, 2015

Review: Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel
Between Us and the Moon
by Rebecca Maizel
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Publication Date: June 30th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780062327611
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Publisher

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Available for Purchase:
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A luminous young adult novel that evokes Judy Blume’s Forever for a new generation.

Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life and love are impossible to predict.
I absolutely couldn’t wait to start reading Between Us and the Moon. It sounded like the perfect summer read, and summer-themed books are my absolute favorite at the moment!

Sarah’s love for the stars has consumed her life to the point where she is watching the world, instead of living in it. She’s smart and has her whole future planned out, including landing a scholarship that will pay for the next few years of her schooling. But she’s also always lived in her dazzling sister’s shadow, always in the background, never seen by anyone, including her parents. All that changes during the summer on Cape Cod, when she meets Andrew, a boy who sees her like no one else has ever seen her, and changes her life forever.

While I could totally relate to some of the things that Sarah went through in the story, the lying really, really bothered me, to a point where I was pretty uncomfortable with some parts of the story. I could totally understand how she felt about being in her sister’s shadow, and even wanting to reinvent herself so that she would finally be ‘seen’ differently by people. But the way she went about it was so wrong. The lies just built up, one on top of the other, and eventually blew up in her face. She was selfish, and her actions could have messed up not only her future, but could have totally ruined Andrew’s as well. But even though she was selfish and na├»ve throughout most of the story, the things that she experiences throughout the summer make her a completely different person, and we see that changes in Sarah as we turn the pages. I do believe that she learned something from all the mess she made.

The romance between Sarah and Andrew in the book was a really conflicting emotions for me. Had they been closer to the same age, I would have thought it of a lot differently. I didn’t expect for things to go as far as they did between the two, and it really made all of Sarah’s lies bother me even more. In another situation, it would have been really sweet and swoon-worthy, but for this story it kind of made me really uncomfortable, especially with Sarah being so much younger and lying about it as well.

The character I liked the most in the book would definitely have to be Andrew. WHY can’t all guys be like him? He was so sweet and kind and caring, and all throughout the story I felt so bad for him for the lies that Sarah kept telling him. I just wanted him to know the truth already, especially before things got as far as they got between the two. He was definitely a great character though, very well written.

I really like the idea for the storyline of the book. It’s a great coming-of-age, summer romance, and there is so much I did enjoy about the book. The setting is awesome, who wouldn’t love spending the summer at the beach? And there were also some really great secondary characters in the story as well. The only other issue I had with the book was the ending. After EVERYTHING that happens in the story, that’s how it ends?? I wanted more, and more, and a little more, please! Sigh.

Between Us and the Moon is one of those books where I’ve had a difficult time writing out my review, not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because even after typing out my thoughts, I’m still processing everything that I read.  While I liked the book a lot, I keep wondering what the story would be like if there hadn’t been so many lies, and such a big age difference between Sarah and Andrew. I think it still would have been a pretty epic love story without all the mess, in my opinion.

Overall; despite a few issues I had with Between Us and the Moon, I found the book to be an interesting and thought-provoking read. It is definitely a book that will keep you thinking, long after you turn the last pages, and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more books by Maizel in the future!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #205 - The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
The Shadow Queen
(Ravenspire #1)
by C. J. Redwine
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Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062360243

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose. (Goodreads)

It's a Snow White retelling, you guys!!
Not only does the story sound freaking awesome,
but the cover is absolutely stunning as well!
Do you guys have this on your to-read list yet?
Because you should!
I can't wait to have this in my hands! :)
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Wrap Up & Book Haul

*Books Read in June*

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
After Hours byClaire Kennedy
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle*
*not pictured

*June Book Haul*

Paperweight by Meg Haston
Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel
The Good Girls by Sara Shepard
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Deadfall by Anna Carey
The Leveller by Julia Durango
Talker 25: Invisible Monsters by Joshua McCune
Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
First & Then by Emma Mills

Beautiful Sacrifice by Jamie McGuire

June has been a bit of a busy month for me, but I still managed to read 9 books.
Not too shabby!!
I've read a few of the books from my book haul already,
and I really can't wait to dive into the rest of them!!

Now I'm ready to bring on the JULY BOOKS!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015

June 30: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015

1. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord - This was the very first book I read in 2015, and it's definitely one of my most favorites of the year. Emery Lord is the best!
(Add to Goodreads)

2. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - I got to the party a little late when reading this book and just read it a few months ago. I really, really enjoy the story, and I love Peter K!
(Add to Goodreads)

3. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes - I read this book with my book club ladies and I am SO glad I did. It's definitely not only one of my faves of 2015 so far, but it's one of my faves of all time as well. I love this book so much, and I can't wait for the movie!
(Add to Goodreads)

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas -This was my first experience with Sarah J. Maas, and I enjoyed the story and her writing style SO much. I can't wait to read her Throne of Glass series next!
(Add to Goodreads)

5. Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry - I LOVE KATIE MCGARRY!! And I was super excited to start her new series. I loved it SO much!
(Add to Goodreads)

6. I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios - This book was another first for me! I'd never read a book by Demetrios before, but I absolutely loved I'll Meet You There, and I'm dying to read more by her!
(Add to Goodreads)

7. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen - I knew I was going to love Saint Anything, because let's face it, Sarah Dessen is full of awesomeness! Not only is it a fave so far this year, but it's also one of my favorite Dessen books as well!
(Add to Goodreads)

8. Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn - So, I just started the Broken Hearts & Revenge series this year, but O-M-G this series is great! I love the drama. I didn't know if the this sequel would top the first book in the series, but it totally did, and I'm hooked!
(Add to Goodreads)

9. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - I'm sure Red Queen is going to be on a lot of lists today, and it totally deserves to be! This book was freaking amazing, and I'm dying for the sequel!
(Add to Goodreads)

10. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir -I didn't know what to expect when I first started this book, but the story I got totally blew me away. This book was so unique and creative, I loved every minute of it!!
(Add to Goodreads)

That's my Top Ten list this week!
Leave a link in the comments so I can check out your list as well!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Emmy & Oliver
by Robin Benway
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Publication Date: June 23rd 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780062330598
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Publisher

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Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story. (Goodreads)
I was really, really excited to finally start Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway. I had heard many great things about the novel, and I couldn’t wait to dive in an experience it for myself. Having read the book I can say it is definitely worth the read!

Emmy’s life changes the moment Oliver is kidnapped by his dad. Her whole world is completely crushed by the loss of her best friend, and through the pages we get to see what it was like for Emmy to have to grow up in that environment, and see how it affected not only her, but everyone around her. I can’t even being to imagine how her parent’s felt in the situation, but I can see how they would want to put her in a plastic bubble and keep her safe from all the bad things in the world. But you just can’t do that, because in the end it will end up pushing kids away. Fortunately Emmy was such a great kid, so very strong, especially considering everything that she had been through in her young life. She takes everything in stride the best she can, especially when Oliver reappears in her life 10 years later. Oliver is a really great kid as well. The poor guy has so many conflicting emotions throughout the story, and you can’t help but sympathize for all that he has been through. Together, Emmy and Oliver make a really great team, and I can totally see why they were such great best friends from the start.

There are a lot of great secondary characters in the story as well. I adored Emmy’s best friends Caro and Drew, they were both really awesome and I really loved them. As I mentioned before, the parents in the novel were a bit over-the-top, which was understandable considering all they went through just seeing how Oliver’s kidnapping affected everyone around them. While they drove me crazy at times, I couldn’t help but appreciate them anyways.

One thing that I really loved about the book is that given the storyline, you will go into this book expecting it to be an emotional read, but you won’t expect to feel such a wide range of emotions as you turn the pages. Yes, the book deals with a lot of sensitive issues, ones that will make your heart hurt in many ways, but there are also parts that will make you feel so many happy emotions as well. Also, there is romance in the story, and it was cute and sweet and totally swoon-worthy.

Overall; I found Emmy & Oliver to a really great read. I went into the story expecting to feel completely overwhelmed by the storyline, but instead I ended up really enjoying the story and the characters as well.  I’m really, really looking forward to reading more by Benway in the future!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #204 - Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Reign of Shadows
by Sophie Jordan
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Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062377647

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best. (Goodreads)

Sophie Jordan's upcoming release has a cover!!
I've been waiting six months to see this baby, and it's absolutely gorgeous!!
I am so super excited to get lost in this new world Sophie created.
Judging by the summary, it sounds like it's going to be a really awesome read.
I can't wait to check it out!!

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

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