Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
Guy in Real Life
by Steve Brezenoff
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 386
ISBN: 9780062266835
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

From the acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Burning comes Guy in Real Life, an achingly real and profoundly moving love story about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident.

It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again.

But they don't.

This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other's lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn't belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren't in order to figure out who we are. A story of the roles we all play-at school, at home, with our friends, and without our friends-and the one person who might show us what lies underneath it all. (Goodreads)
The synopsis for Guy in Real Life had me intrigued. The story sounded like it would be a fun read, and the cover was super cute, so I couldn’t want to check it out.

The story starts off with a bang, and because of that I had really high hopes for the novel. I had read a lot of great reviews for the book, even some which compared it to the writing style of two of my most favorite authors. Unfortunately I couldn’t seem to get into the book as much as I really wanted to.

The storyline for the book mostly revolves around gaming and role-playing. I’m not much of a gamer anymore, even though my husband is a huge gamer. Unfortunately I wasn’t really interesting in any of the gaming talk. I actually ended up skimming through most of it. However, I can see how people that are gamers would find it interesting.

I did enjoy the ‘real life’ parts of the book, where the characters weren’t involved in the game. I found myself looking forward to those chapters the most. The chapters rotated between the two main characters points of view, which kept things pretty interesting.

The two main characters in the story were Lesh and Svetlana. Svetlana was a really interesting character. She was referred to in the novel quite a few times as a hippie, and I think that is a pretty accurate description for her. I found her to be a very likeable character. Lesh, the metalhead, was a much more complicated character. It almost seems that he is ‘finding himself’ in the story.  There is a bit of a plot twist for Lesh at the end of the story, and I was actually left kind of confused with this twist, but I think that Lesh was pretty confused about it all as well.

Overall; while I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, I can definitely see the potential and can see other people really enjoying the story. Unfortunately it just didn’t work for me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #149 - Get Even by Gretchen McNeil
Get Even
by Gretchen McNeil
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Publication Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062260857

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose. (Goodreads)

SO SUPER EXCITED to read this book!
I've only read one other book by McNeil, and that was TEN.
I really enjoyed the book, and I have two of her other books waiting on my shelf to be read.
I can't wait to add this to the list!

What are you WAITING for this week??

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: Tease by Sophie Jordan
(The Ivy Chronicles #2)
by Sophie Jordan
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Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780062279897
Genre: New Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

What happens when a girl who always calls the shots meets a guy who's too wild for even her?

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She's always chosen her hookups carefully, and she's never broken her three cardinal rules:

Never let them see the real you.
Never fall in love.
Always leave them begging for more.

Then Shaw comes along. A hottie from the wrong side of the tracks, he's immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn't even try to take her to bed—he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy, dark-eyed, bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, Emerson finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she's throwing out her rule book. Suddenly, she's the one panting for a guy she can't control—a guy who won't settle for anything less than the real Emerson and who forces her to do things she's never imagined, including facing a past she thought she'd buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more. . . . (Goodreads)
Tease is the second novel in Sophie Jordan’s ‘The Ivy Chronicle’s’ New Adult series, and is the much anticipated follow up to Foreplay. I read Foreplay last year and really enjoyed the story, so I couldn’t wait to dive into Tease and continue this series!

Tease is the story of Emerson, who we first met in Foreplay. Emerson is, as the book’s title describes, a tease, and she’s totally ok with that description. She likes to be the one in control, and she’s not looking for any type of long term relationship. She’s definitely not the easiest character to like at first. It was frustrating to see her constantly pushing people away. She has major control issues as well. We find out the reasons for the reason Em is the way she is as we read the book, and you have to sympathize with the girl for all that she has been through.

When Em meets Shaw, he totally rattles the player vibe that she has going on, and this is a change that she doesn’t take well to. And while she wants to resist him, she also can’t help but find him totally irresistible.  Shaw is definitely a swoon-worthy character. He never gives up on her, even when she pushes him away. I love his protectiveness over Em, even when she proves that she can take care of herself. I thought that Shaw was the perfect person for Emerson.

I really loved that all of the characters that I loved from the first book were in this book as well, especially Pepper and Reese. They are SO stinking cute together. Georgia is awesome as well, and I can’t wait to read her story next. I love the friendship between these three girls, they were always there for each other, and didn’t even let boy come between them.

I knew this book was going to be a quick read, and I ended up reading it in just a few hours time. While I did like the book, Foreplay is still my favorite in the series so far. I do feel like there were a couple of loose endings when I finished the novel, but it wasn’t anything super huge. I did want to know where some things stood, however.

Overall; if you’re read and enjoyed Foreplay, you’re really going to enjoy Tease. Now I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series, ‘Wild’; I can’t wait to read Georgia and Logan’s story!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
The Art of Lainey
by Paula Stokes
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Publication Date: May 20th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780062238429
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be? (Godoreads)
I was really looking forward to starting The Art of Lainey as it has gotten lots of great reviews lately, and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. This book definitely did not disappoint, and was a great book to kick of my summer break!

When Lainey’s boyfriend dumps her in the middle of a crowded café, all of future plans that she had made for the summer and her senior year drift away. Determined not to let him go without a fight, Lainey and her best friend Bianca set out to win him back, with the help of a book called The Art of War.

To be honest, I didn’t really think that I was going to like Lainey when I first met her in the novel. She was popular and pretty shallow, and there were times in the novel when I wanted to shake some sense into her. Thankfully she grew throughout the book, and I really started to like the person that she was becoming.  I really adored the relationship between her and her best friend Bianca. Even when Lainey was being insane, Bianca was there for her. She was a really great character and such a great friend as well. Their plan to win the boyfriend back was both brilliant and hilarious.

Micah was definitely the highlight of the story for me. He was such a great character, and he was so perfect for Lainey, even though it took her a while to catch onto this. I loved the ‘dates’ that they went on together, some of the places that Micah took her to were insane! The thing that I love most about Micah was that he was just such a caring and all around good guy and you don’t get to see that very often.

The storyline for the book was a lot of fun, and at times, very relatable. (Who hasn’t acted totally crazy after a breakup?) This book is definitely a quick read as well, when I actually had time to sit and read, I pretty much flew through the pages. The romance in the book is really sweet, and the author took time to build it throughout the novel. No insta-love here and that was a pretty refreshing.

The only thing that I really didn’t care for in the book was the teenage drinking. I’m not a fan of drinking in general, but even less a fan of teens drinking, and especially driving after drinking. This was not the main character, but another one of her friends who I didn’t really care for. I am hoping that this part of the novel was just included so that Lainey would finally open her eyes to see what a bad person this friend was, but then Lainey goes on to do almost the same thing, just without the actual driving.

Overall, I found The Art of Lainey to be a really cute read. It will be a great book to add to your summer reading list! I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by this author in the future!

Don't forget to add Infinite Repeat,
a novella from Micah's POV, to your reading list!
Out August 5th!

Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #148 - The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
The Darkest Part of the Forest
by Holly Black
Website | Twitter

Publication Date: January 13th 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780316213073

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough? (Goodreads)

Does this book sound awesome, or what?
I've really enjoyed all of the books that I've read so far from Holly Black,
and I have a few of hers that I still need to read.
But this book sounds like it's going to be a whole lot of fun to read.
I can't wait to check it out!

What are you Waiting for this week??

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

Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: Breakable by Tammara Webber
(Contours of the Heart #2)
by Tammara Webber
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: Penguin Berkley
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780425266861
Genre: New Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Source: Own

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.

As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…

As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat. (Goodreads)
The first thing you should know before starting this book is that Breakable not a sequel, but is more of a companion novel to Easy. In this book we get to see Lucas’ side of the events that happened in Easy, but we also get to see the person that he was before he met Jacqueline, when he was Landon Lucas Maxfield, a young boy who suffered a tragic event that changed his world forever.

I fell in love with Landon Lucas Maxfield when I first met him in Easy. He was such a mysterious and complex character. While we did get some of his back story in the Easy, we didn’t know everything that had happened in his past, and how he became Lucas. Landon’s story is, at times, truly heartbreaking.  We get to see all the events that happened in his childhood and teenage years, and it was interesting to see how completely different he was during this time. All of the events in this past and everything that happened to him definitely shaped him into the Lucas that we love so much, and honestly, I’m so glad that he changed for the better.

I know a lot of people really aren’t fond of books where the story is the same as a previous book, just told from a different character. That really isn’t the case for this story. While we doing get to see Lucas’ viewpoint on some of the things that happened in Easy, it still felt different than what we saw from Jacqueline in Easy. When we ‘see’ Lucas from Jacqueline’s eyes in Easy, he seemed like such a mysterious, tattooed bad boy, but once we see the story through his eyes, we realize how much more there is to him. I really enjoyed seeing this side of him.

While Breakable can be read as a standalone novel, I definitely recommend reading Easy first.  It definitely made reading parts of Breakable even more special to me.

Overall; I really enjoyed reading this book! If you’ve already read and loved Easy, I definitely recommend that you check out Breakable. If you haven’t read this series yet, and are a fan of New Adult Contemporary novels, I totally recommend you adding this to your reading list today!

Also in this series:


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #147 - This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
This Shattered World
(Starbound #2)
by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Website | Twitter  *  Website | Twitter

Publication Date: December 23rd 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423171034

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The second installment in our epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war. (Goodreads)

First off -- If you haven't read These Broken Stars,
I definitely recommend that you do so.
As soon as possible.
Seriously, the book was fantastic.

I'm ECSTATIC to see the cover for This Shattered World!!
The synopsis for the book sounds amazing.
I can't wait to get back into this world.

What are you WAITING for this week??

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

Friday, May 9, 2014

Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry
Take Me On
(Pushing the Limits #4)
by Katie McGarry
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Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9780373211180
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for. (Goodreads)
I was super excited to hear that Take Me On was going to be the fourth book in the ‘Pushing the Limits’ series.  I’ve loved Katie McGarry’s writing style every since I first started the series, and I absolutely could not wait to read West and Haley’s story. Now that I’ve finished the book, I can honestly say that if you’ve enjoyed the series so far, you’re definitely going to love this wonderful addition!

Haley is a titled champion kickboxer who vowed to never step in the ring again after a tragic night that changed her world forever. But when the guy she saves late one cold night accepts a fight in her honor, she once again finds herself back in the ring. Training West shouldn’t be too hard, he’s got raw talent and he knows how to use it, but he’s definitely not someone that Haley wants to get involved with. When a bond starts to form between the two, Haley and West must overcome their fears and family issues, and discover that love is a risk worth taking.

Haley is a really awesome character. Life has not been very kind to her and her family, but they struggle through and make the best of what they have to deal with. She’s definitely not shrinking violet, but is instead a trained fighter, who can even take down an experience fighter when she has to. But some things in the past have changed her, and she has had a hard time overcoming the fears that haunt her.  Even so, she’s still a strong character that loves her family and will do whatever she has to do to keep them together. I love her determination and strength; it was really admirable considering all that she has gone through.

When we first met West in Crash Into You, I honestly didn’t think much of him. As I read Take Me On and get to know him better and the reasons why he did some of the things that he did in the past, things start making more sense regarding him. I love his stubbornness and his protectiveness over Haley. I love that while he was considered a ‘playboy’, he was completely faithful to her. I always love that in a bad boy. These two characters are so well written and so complex, you can’t help but to love them.

The book is told through both West and Haley’s point of view. I really love books that are written this way, as we get to climb inside both characters heads and see exactly what’s going on with them and how they feel. West and Haley were made for each other. Both were stubborn and determined. They made such a great pair.

I fully expected to take my time and read this book slowly to savor each little bit of the story, and at 544 pages, I totally could have dragged it out to be a long and enjoyable read. But once I started reading the story, I absolutely couldn’t stop. I read the bulk of the book in just a day’s time. I can’t help it, I was totally hooked! The storyline for the book was really touching. The struggles that both characters had to face made them such stronger people, and I really felt bad for both of their situations. But they are fighters, both in the physical and emotional sense, and I think that together they could overcome just about anything.

I also want to mention that I love that in McGarry always includes includes some characters from her previous books. In this book we get to see Rachel, Isaiah and, of course, Abbey, who I absolutely love and who I hope gets her own story in the future. It’s great to see these characters that I love once again. Isaiah is one of my most favorite bad boys ever. I would read just about anything with him in it. *wink*

Overall; If you haven’t read this series before, I definitely recommend that you do so. Take Me On is an excellent addition to the Pushing the Limit’s series. I can’t wait to see if there are more stories in this series in the future. I am totally hoping that there will be!

Pushing the Limits   |   Dare You To   |   Crash Into You

Crossing the Line   |   Red at Night

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
Biggest Flirts
(Superlatives #1)
by Jennifer Echols
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: May 20th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781442474468
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated… (Goodreads)
Tia is the life of the party, always the fun girl to be around. Her plans for senior year include hanging with her friends, hooking up with boys and never getting serious. That’s until new boy Will shows up in town and everything changes, especially when the two are voted ‘Biggest Flirt’s’ in the school yearbook.

Tia was a very unusual character. She was super smart, but didn’t really want to apply herself or to be taken seriously. She aimed to be a slacker, even though she wasn’t really fooling anyone. Why? Fear of responsibility and commitment, which was understandable considering some things that had happened in her life. As a result, Tia aims to be a slacker, does drugs and drinks, and would rather have casual sex than to be in a committed relationship.  She was a really funny character, but I wasn’t able to really connect with her all that well.

When Tia meets Will, she slowly starts to change the way she thinks about things. While she doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship, she didn’t really want Will to see anyone either.  Will, on the other hand, was dead set on having a girlfriend, even after being in town for just a short while. I didn’t really understand the need for this, or if he just really wanted to be with Tia. It was kind of confusing at times, these being so cute and flirty together, but not being together. I did find that I was able to relate to Will because he is an introvert, and I am the same way. ;)

There were some parts of the book that were really fun, and some that made me want to grab the characters and shake some common sense into them. I liked the setting of the book, and that the main characters were in the marching band. There were a couple of issues that I felt were left unresolved. I don’t know if we will see any of these issues resolved in the rest of the series, but I’m thinking we won’t as the next story will be with a new set of main characters.

Overall; I did think that this was a fun, cute read. I’m curious to see what happens in the next two books in the series.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #146 - The Fall by Bethany Griffin
The Fall
by Bethany Griffin
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
ISBN: 9780062107855

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

Look for it- Fall 2014! (Goodreads)

Does this book sound really awesome, or what?
I really enjoyed Griffins 'Masque of the Red Death' series,
so I'm looking forward to seeing what her next book is like!

What are you Waiting for this week??

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

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
The Secrets of Lily Graves
by Sarah Strohmeyer
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780062259608
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Mystery
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim. (Goodreads)
What drew me in first about The Secrets of Lily Graves was the cover. I admit it, I can’t resist a pretty cover, and this one was definitely pretty. I’m really glad I decided to read this book, it made for a quick, mysterious read!

When the senior class president is found dead just a day after attacking Lily Graves, things in the small town of Potsdam start to fall apart. But was this death exactly what it seems? When Lily herself becomes a suspect, it’s up to her to figure out this mystery, before someone else becomes a victim.

The main character in the story, Lily, was a very interesting character. Having grown up in a funeral home, death does not bother her in the least. She lives in a funeral home full off women; her mother, grandmother and aunt, who all run the family business. These are all a great group of women, by the way, and it was nice that she them watching over her. I love that while Lily is definitely not part of the ‘in’ crowd, she still manages to feel good about herself and she doesn’t let others get her down. I love that!

Matt was the love interest in the story. To be honest, when we are first introduced to him, I thought he was a pretty big jerk, and I felt that way through a bit of the book. It really took a while as the story progressed for him to ‘prove’ himself to me, but I kind of liked it that way, if that makes any sense at all. There’s not really a whole lot of romance in the story, and I liked that because it wasn’t there to overpower the story.

The storyline for the book was really mysterious and interesting as well. I guessed who the killer was pretty early on in the story; I’m really rocking my detective skills lately. It wasn’t really obvious who it was either, and sometimes I wonder if I was wrong, but I wasn’t. That being said, there is still a pretty huge surprise at the end of the book that left me feeling really bad for Lily. I really enjoyed the mystery in the story, and I think that Lily would make an excellent detective.

Overall; I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick and mysterious read that kept my interest very well. I’m really looking forward to read more books by Sarah Strohmeyer in the future.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Review: The Sound by Sarah Alderson
The Sound
by Sarah Alderson
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Publication Date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781442499331
Genre: Young Adult | Mystery | Thriller
Source: Edelweiss

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A British nanny looking for a low-key summer finds buried secrets, murderous attention, and unexpected romance when she visits the Nantucket Sound.

The Nantucket Sound is a beachfront playground for the privileged and elite, where the sunny days are filled with scenic bike rides, backyard picnics, and bonfire parties.

But all Ren Kingston—a visiting Brit still reeling from heartbreak—really wants is a quiet summer as a nanny for one of Nantucket’s wealthy families. Getting acquainted with handsome Jeremy and his young group of trust fund, private school kids was not part of the plan. Neither was befriending the local bad boy whose reputation is more dangerous than charming.

After a dead body is found next to The Sound’s postcard-perfect view, Ren starts to wonder where the real threat lies. Because it’s becoming clear that her newfound “friends” are much more than they seem. They’re hiding secrets. Secrets that Ren wants no part of.

But once The Sound has you in its current, it won’t want to let you go… (Goodreads)
The Sound is a story about a British girl named Ren, who, while recovering from a breakup with her boyfriend, comes to Nantucket to be a nanny for a wealthy family for the summer. After getting acquainted with a group of young, privileged kids her age, she realizes that with these kids, there’s a whole lot more than meets the eye.

Ren was a really interesting character. She was sarcastic and humorous, I loved her attitude. She was also British, and I haven’t had the privilege of reading many main characters that were British. She loves music with a passion and even blogs about it. While there are some parts of the story that made me want to shake some sense into Ren, she definitely had a good head on her shoulders.

The bad boy in the story, Jesse, is definitely swoon-worthy. I wondered at first if I was going to like him or not, but I ended up really liking him. Though he has a bad reputation, Ren sees something in him that no one else does, and befriends despite everyone warning her not too. I love his protectiveness, not only of his family, but of Ren as well. Swoon!

The novel has a diverse group of secondary characters as well; some that you will really like, and some that you will really dislike. Far too many to mention by name, so read the book for yourself to see who you like and dislike!

The book starts off with a bang, and keeps on going from there. Within the first few pages I was completely hooked. I really loved the mystery in this book. There were SO many people that I kept picking as the ‘bad guy’, and just when I thought I had it narrowed down to one person, something would happen that would make me suspect someone else. Everyone was a suspect!! It definitely kept me guessing, and kept me hooked to the story. I read this book in just a few hours time; I just couldn’t put the book down until I figured out what was going on.

Overall; The Sound is the first book I’ve read by Sarah Alderson, but it definitely won’t be the last! She managed to draw my in with this mysterious story, and had me hook to the pages throughout.  Now that I’ve gotten a taste of Alderson’s writing, I’m really looking forward to reading some of her other books, starting with Hunting Lila! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
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Publication Date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Random House Children's
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780385741262
Genre: Young Adult | Mystery | Thriller
Source: Netgalley - Publisher

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A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. (Goodreads)
I was really looking forward to starting E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, as it seems to be one of the more popular upcoming releases this year. I can’t say that the book was exactly what I was expecting, but it did make for a pretty enjoyable read. I’m going to try to write this review as vaguely as possible, as to not give away any spoilers.

I want to start off by saying that there is a LOT of characters in this novel. I had to put forth a bit of effort to keep up with everyone. A few characters stood out more than the rest, but for the most part, most of them were really unlikable. It was kind of awkward reading the story through the main characters viewpoint, as she was pretty confused about everything that was going on herself, but I think that added a lot of the mystery to the book.

The writing style was really different and unique—almost poetic, in a way. The storyline was very dark and addictive; I couldn’t stop reading because I HAD to know what happened to the main character, and what the family was keeping from her. I dove into this story not really knowing what to expect, especially after reading the somewhat vague synopsis. That, however, was probably a good thing, because the story definitely kept me guessing all throughout the pages. The ending of the book was a bit of a shocker. It was pretty much the opposite of what I was expecting to happen, although now that I think back, I totally should have seen it coming. The ending did feel a bit abrupt, but I’m thinking that the author may have wanted it to be that way for a particular reason.

I think the one thing that I really enjoyed the most about the story was the setting. How awesome would it be to have your own personal island, and everyone in the family has a house there. That would be really cool, as long as I got to pick which family members lived on the island. Haha!

Overall; if you are into mysterious, thriller type reads, then you should definitely check out We Were Liars. I think a lot of people will really appreciate the unique writing style, and the super mysterious storyline.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Review: How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark
How to Meet Boys
by Catherine Clark
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Publication Date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780062264510
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

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Find out what happens when you fall for your best friend's worst enemy in this timeless and hilarious story of a forbidden first love and forever friendship.

Lucy can't wait to spend the summer at the lake with her best friend, Mikayla. But when Jackson, the boy she's been avoiding ever since he rejected her, reappears in her life, Lucy wonders if this summer to remember is one she'd rather forget.

Mikayla's never had much luck talking to boys, but when she (literally) runs into the cutest guy she's ever seen, and sparks fly, she thinks things might be looking up...until she realizes the adorable stranger is the same boy who broke her best friend's heart.

As things begin to heat up between Mikayla and the one guy she should avoid, will Lucy be able to keep her cool or will the girls' perfect summer turn into one hot mess?

Catherine Clark, the author of beach-read favorites Maine Squeeze and Love and Other Things I'm Bad At, has once again crafted a hilarious and spot-on portrayal of what it's really like to be a teenager. Readers will love this irreverent coming-of-age story…and will be breathlessly turning the pages to find out what happens next. (Goodreads)
Lucy and Mikayla have their summer all planned out; staying in a cottage by the lake, provided by Lucy’s grandparents, jobs that will earn them some extra cash, and plans to have the most perfect summer ever. But when Lucy’s worst enemy, Jackson, comes into the picture, it could change all of the summer plans entirely.

The two main characters in the story are Lucy and Mikayla. I found Mikayla to be the most relatable character of the two. She was clumsy and very shy, especially around boys. Lucy was a lot more confident than Mikayla, even if she did have major trust issues, which caused her to overact over Mikayla basically trying to keep from hurting her friend’s feelings. I guess that’s just a teenage girl for you, it’s been a while since I’ve been one. Haha!

This book was just a really cute and quick read. Since the setting is in the summer time, it would make for a great summertime read. The writing style for the book has a really ‘simple’ feel to it, if that makes sense at all. The story alternates between the two main characters, and thankfully the chapters are titled with the character whose viewpoint you are reading. The book is a very quick read; I read the bulk of it in just a few hours time. I think teenage girls are really going to enjoy the drama and angst in this book.

Overall, if you’re looking for a fun, quick read to pass the time, you should definitely check out How to Meet Boys. It will definitely make for a great summer read.