Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #171 - A Court of Thorns and Roses By Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses
(A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
by Sarah J. Maas
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Publication Date: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
ISBN: 9781619634442

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

When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it ... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. (Goodreads)

Confession: I've never read anything by Sarah J. Maas before.
I know, right?!
I must remedy this soon.

A Court of Thorns and Roses has the most stunning cover.
And the story sounds pretty fantastic as well.
I can't wait to read it!

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pre-Order Giveaway: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.

Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter. TO ENTER:
  • You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to
  • Fill out the rafflecopter below
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014
  • Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
  • Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)
  • If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.

(1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER: 1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt) 2. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson 3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White 4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt 5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf 6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured) 7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings 8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances) 9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured) 10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards 11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)
2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)
1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.
Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.
With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.
Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

Follow Kimberley:
About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at
Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
(The Raven Cycle #3)
by Maggie Stiefvater
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Publication Date: October 21st 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 391
ISBN: 9780545424967
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Netgalley | Own

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There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel. (Goodreads)
I absolutely could not wait to get my hands on Blue Lily, Lily Blue. I’ve been anxiously waiting to read this since I finished reading The Dream Thieves last fall. Of course, now that I have read the book, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series!

Blue Lily, Lily Blue picks up right where The Dream Thieves leaves off, with the Raven Boys and Blue still searching for the elusive Glendower. While they still have a way to go, they are closer than ever to finally finding him. Despite everyone having issues of their own to have to deal with, they must work together and help one another to reach their final goal.

One of the things that I love most in this book, and in the whole series, is the relationship between these boys. They have one of those super strong bonds that prove to be durable even when you wonder if it is at its breaking point. And they’ve pulled Blue in on this bond as well, and now she is like one of their own, and I love so much that they have included her in their little group. These characters, these boys and Blue, are so great and I love reading their stories.

While we’ve already met most of the characters from the previous novel, we are also introduced to a few new interesting characters as well, including the Greenmantle’s, a couple that took disturbing to a whole new level, and Jesse Dittley, who quickly became another of my most favorite characters in the series. There are even more interesting characters in the novel as well, but I will let you ‘meet’ them for yourself when you read the book.

The storyline for the book follows the same plot as the two previous novels in the series, although this book seemed to go at a bit slower pace than the two previous books. The book ends with a bit of a cliffhanger which left me wondering what the heck had just happened. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series, which comes out in 2015, to see what’s going to happen next!

Can I also mention how much I enjoy Stiefvater’s writing style? Even when writing the littlest things, the writing seems almost lyrical. It’s beautiful, and I love the feel of it when you are reading her novels.

My only complaint with the book is between Blue and Gansey. For those of you that have read the previous books, you know why these two can’t be together, and it’s driving me CRAZY. This is the most frustrating relationship that I’ve read so far. I need these two to be together. It’s such a tease!

Overall; Blue Lily, Lily Blue was a great addition to this ‘The Raven Cycle’ series. I’m really excited to get my hands on the next book in the series in 2015 to see where this storyline is going to go, and how the story will end. If you’ve not picked up this series yet, I implore you to do so!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #170 - Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil
Get Dirty
(Don't Get Mad #2)
by Gretchen McNeil
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Publication Date:
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062260871

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore . . . they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree stuck in juvie, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he—or she—is out for more than just revenge.

The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Donté is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, Bree is under house arrest, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend . . . or die trying. (Goodreads)

Have you read Get Even? (Don't Get Mad #1)
Because if you did, (especially if you read the end of the book),
you'll know EXACTLY why I need this sequel in my hands.
Get Even was SO good. I can't wait to get back into this story.

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Stitching Snow
by R. C. Lewis
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Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781423185079
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Sci-Fi
Source: Netgalley

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Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back-but that's assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane's arrival was far from accidental, and she's pulled into the heart of a war she's risked everything to avoid.

In her enthralling debut, R.C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy's future-and her own-in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival. (Goodreads)
I was really looking forward to reading Stitching Snow as I’ve really enjoyed most of the fairy-tale retellings that I’ve read lately, and I couldn’t wait to see how this story went. The book definitely did not disappoint!

Essie, also known as Princess Snow, is the missing daughter of King Matthias, who will stop at nothing to get Essie back. But that’s proving to be a bit impossible because she’s well hidden on the freezing planet Thanda, where she spends her days coding and repairing drones that work in the local mines, making life a whole lot easier, and safer, for the miners on the planet. But all that changes when newcomer Dane crash-lands near her home, and changes her world completely.

Essie was a really interesting character. I was definitely able to relate to her being a bit of a loner, for the most part. She was also super smart when it came to coding and building her drones and working on computers. I love the work that she did on the drones, and these drones in particular were really awesome as well. She was a very strong-willed, determined and very stubborn, which made me like her a whole lot.

Dane was a really interesting character as well. I appreciated his determination to keep Essie safe, despite the fact that he felt he had to kidnap her to get what he wanted out of her in the beginning. (I know, I know… without this happening, it would have impacted the story differently, but still.) I also appreciated that their relationship wasn’t insta-love in any way. The relationship had a very rocky start and grew over time, but in the end was really cute.

The storyline for the book was very interesting and kept me intrigued as I turned the pages. I enjoyed that while this was a retelling of Snow White, it also had a sci-fi theme to it. It definitely kept me turning the pages.

Overall, I found Stitching Snow to be an enjoyable read. I’m really looking forward to reading more by this author in the future!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #169 - The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
The Devil You Know
by Trish Doller
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Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: 9781619634169
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia Wells just wants to live up to her namesake. She wants adventure.

Cadie, as everyone calls her, is a recent high school graduate, who lives in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother. Since her mom died three years ago, Cadie's spent most of her time working in her dad's grocery store, going to school, taking care of the household, and raising her little brother. Then, one night, Cadie goes to a campfire party at the state park where she meets a couple of cute guys who are on a road trip. They invite her to accompany them—just the adventure she's been craving. But what starts out as a fun, sexy trip turns frightening when she discovers that one of the boys is not at all the wholesome boy she fell for. (Goodreads)

Ummm... Does this book sound intense, or what?
I read Trish Doller's Where the Stars Still Shine last year,
and totally fell in love with the story.
I am super excited to read this book to see what Trish has come up with for us!

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
My True Love Gave To Me
Twelve Holiday Stories
by Stephanie Perkins and More

Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781250059307
Genre: Young Adult | Holiday Stories
Source: Netgalley

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If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. (Goodreads)
I was super excited to read My True Love Gave To Me not only because it was edited by Stephanie Perkins, but also because the book of full of really awesome writers, and I couldn’t wait to read their holiday themed short stories.

A few of my favorite stories from the book came from Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Gayle Forman and Ally Carter. It’s hard to pick between them all, because they were all great stories. Even though these were just short stories, they all would have been wonderful as whole books. The characters were well written and likeable, and I really wanted to keep reading long after the stories ended. (Luckily I was distracted by the next story!) I really enjoyed reading all of these stories.

I also really loved the holiday feel to the book. It put me in the Christmas spirit, and that usually doesn’t happen this early in the year. Now I am itching to read even more Christmas stories!

My only complaint about the book is that the stories weren’t long enough! Yes, I know that these are just short stories, but with each story I started to get attached to the character and storyline, and I didn’t want it to end. But they did. As I mentioned before, all of these stories were well written, and would have made excellent books.

Overall; If you want to read a book of Christmas stories by some really great authors, definitely check out My True Love Gave To Me. It is well worth the read, and will put you in the Christmas Spirit!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Black Ice
by Becca Fitzpatrick
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Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781442474260
Genre: Young Adult | Mystery
Source: Edelweiss

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Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…(Goodreads)
I was really looking forward to reading Becca Fitzpatrick's Black Ice because I had read the Hush, Hush series in the past, and it’s one of the first series I read that got me hooked on this genre. So I couldn’t wait to see what story Fitzpatrick was going to come up with next with Black Ice. Unfortunately I didn’t love the book as much as I expected to.

I’m going to start off by saying that I currently have a like/hate relationship with Black Ice. My issues are mostly with the characters in the novel. The main character in the story, Britt, was a bit of a disappointing character for me. She made really bad decisions all throughout the story, including going into a decrepit cabin in the middle of nowhere with two strangers who she seemed to automatically trust just because they were cute. Seriously?? Why would she do this? Yes, I understand that she was in the middle of a snow storm and she just wanted to be warm and fed, but these guys were so weird the moment we first met them, they immediately threw up red flags for me. (Yes, I can see how we wouldn’t have a story if this hadn’t have happened. But, as a mom to a teenager, this really bothered me.)

Also, I really, really, really don’t get the whole ‘hating your best friend’ relationship that Britt had with her best friend, Korbie. I’ve seen it in quite a few books that I’ve read lately, and it is super annoying. I just don’t understand why people would choose to be friends with someone that obviously doesn’t like them.

Another thing that really bothered me was that Britt was still so in love with her ex-boyfriend, when it was obvious that he was a super jerk. She spends most of the novel waiting for the ex, her dad, her brother, or any available male to come along and save her, instead of taking advantage of the situation and saving herself. Eventually she does manage to somewhat take control of the situation, but we don’t see this for quite a while.

Then there was Mason/Jude, who was one of Britt’s captors. The term Stockholm syndrome was thrown around in the story quite a few times, but I really don’t feel that Britt ever had this issue with him. It felt like she just wanted male attention so bad, that she pretty much fell in love with whoever was available.  Also, even though he wasn’t a total bad guy like the other captor was, and most of the things that he had done he did for reasons that he thought were right but really weren’t, he never was held accountable for the bad things that he had done. That just felt kind of wrong to me. I really, really wanted to like Mason/Jude, I really did. But he had so many secrets and had done so many things, that I just never felt like I could really trust him, unfortunately.

While I didn’t really care for the characters in the book, there were some things about the book that I did enjoy. The writing style for the book felt very much to Fitzpatrick’s previous books. The storyline was very suspenseful and mysterious; it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the book. So I did enjoy that part of the book. I think that with a slightly different storyline, and a stronger set of characters, I really would have enjoyed this book more.

Overall; Black Ice is a book that I didn’t love, but I also didn’t hate. I’m sure a lot of people will love the book despite the issues that I had with it, but unfortunately, it just didn’t work all that well for me.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing
The Jewel
(The Lone City #1)
by Amy Ewing
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Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 358
ISBN: 9780062235794
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Dystopia
Source: Edelweiss

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The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for. (Goodreads)
I was initially drawn to The Jewel by its stunning cover. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a book with a gorgeous cover! The Jewel has a very intriguing story to go along with its pretty cover as well.

In the center of the city is The Jewel, the place where all Royals live. To live in the Jewel means you have money, beauty, and all the things you could ever want, except for the one thing you can never have; offspring. This is where surrogates come in; children that were born in the Marsh that are auctioned off to the highest bidder continue a bloodline. Violet has been trained for years to be a surrogate for Royal, but once the auction is over and her new life begins, she realizes that nothing in her new world is quite what it seems.

Violet was an interesting main character. By other people’s standards, she should be proud to be a surrogate, to help the royals keep their linage going. But that’s not what Violet wants at all. She longs for her own life, one where she can live free to do what she wants, and to not live in servitude to the royals. She’s a very strong character, and at times we see her rebellious side come out. I know we are going to see great things from this character in the future.

There were some secondary characters in the story that I really loved; the most being Lucien. I really hope that we get to know more about him in the next book.

The storyline and world-building for the book is definitely intriguing and creative. It kind of has a familiar plot to a lot of dystopian novels that I’ve already read, but it also seemed to stand out as well in some ways that were really unique. The book ends with a pretty huge cliffhanger; one that has me wondering what exactly this means for the next book in the series. Regardless, I’m dying to find out what’s going to happen with these characters.

Overall; I thought that The Jewel was an interesting start to what should prove to be a very fascinating series. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #168 - All The Rage by Courtney Summers
All The Rage
by Courtney Summers
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Publication Date: April 14th 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 9781250021915
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary

Available for Pre-Order:
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In her hardcover debut, from the author of Cracked Up To Be and This is Not a Test, comes a powerful new young adult novel. 

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous.But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now—but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive? (Goodreads)

I read This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers last Halloween,
and I really enjoyed the story.
All The Rage sounds like it's going to be a really intense read as well.
I've been wanting to read more by Summers,
and I this book will be the perfect 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.**

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Rain Reign
by Ann M. Martin
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Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780312643003
Genre: Middle Grade | Realistic Fiction
Source: From Publisher

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In her most powerful novel yet, Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin tells the story of girl with mental/emotional challenges and the dog she loves.

Rose Howard has OCD, Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.
Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.

Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view. (Goodreads)
I was pretty excited to read Ann M. Martin’s Rain Reign. Martin’s The Baby-sitters Club books were a huge part of my childhood, I adored those books, but I hadn’t read anything by her since. I’m glad to have now changed that. I adored this book SO much.

Rose is such an amazing, complex character. She has Aspergers syndrome, as well as an obsession with homonyms and prime numbers. She explains all of this to us as we read the story, which is from her point of view. The relationship that Rose has with her dog Rain, who her father brought home one rainy night, is more than your average child/pet relationship. They have this really amazing bond that goes above and beyond a normal friendship, and I loved this bond so, so much.

Rose’s father was a difficult man to like. Unfortunately he was not a patient person, and you have to have patience and understanding when you have a special needs child. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t love her in his own way, and wanted to do good for her at times. He just came across as very unlikeable for me. Luckily she had her uncle, Weldon, who was amazing with her and I am so glad that Rose had such a wonderful person in her life.

Having a niece with Autism and a nephew with Aspergers, I feel that I am pretty knowledgeable on the disability. I was curious to see how Martin’s character would be written. She definitely did her homework, or has previous experience/knowledge on the subject, because she hit the nail on the head with this character. So many of Rose’s characteristics were familiar to me, and I love that Martin wasn’t just writing how she thought a character would be, this character was spot on for Aspergers.

I loved the storyline for this book. It talks about a wide variety of things beside autism, including bullying, parental frustrations, love, loss and so much more. I discovered the hard way that this is not a book that you will want to read in public. The last few chapters had me in tears while I was waiting for my daughter’s gymnastic class to end, and I had to stop reading the book a few times to take a breath and calm down.

I love seeing more and more books come out that have characters with autism. There are still SO many people in the world that are uninformed and do not understand this disability. This is one great way to get information out and inform people.

Overall; Rain Reign has won a spot on my Top Ten Favorite Books of 2014 list. And it totally deserves to be on that list. I loved this book so much. You must add it to your to-read list, and read it as soon as possible!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard
The Perfectionists
by Sara Shepard
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Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062074690
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Mystery
Source: Edelweiss

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From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Pretty Little Liars comes a thrilling new novel about five perfect girls who are framed for a murder they didn’t commit.

In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke...until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes another story of dark secrets, shocking twists, and what happens when five beautiful girls will do anything to hide the ugly truth. (Goodreads)
The Perfectionists is the very first novel that I’ve read by Sara Shepard. (Shocking, right?) I’ve had her Pretty Little Liars series on my to-read list for a while now, but have never had time to start the books. I’ve seen a few episodes of the PLL show on TV, so I kind of knew to expect some drama when starting this book, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for how much would be involved.

The Perfectionists revolves around 5 girls -- Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker -- who have all been tormented at the hands of the most popular boy in school, Nolan Hotchkiss. When the girls jokingly discuss how they would get rid of Nolan if they could, they never suspected that he would actually end up dead, and in the exact same way they had imagined. Now it’s up to these girls to find the real killer before their lives are destroyed forever.

The story is told from each of the 5 main characters point of view. It was really interesting how each of these girls were different and unique in their own way. The book reminded me a lot of another book I read recently where the girls were unlikely friends in the beginning, but they formed a friendship out of their hatred for the one particular person who had done them wrong, and learned the real value of friendship in the process.

The storyline for the book was very riveting, it felt like watching a train wreck, and I couldn’t look away. And, this book has SO much drama in it. This being my first Shepard novel, I knew to expect some, but not how much. The lying, deceit, and distrust ran rampant in this novel. The book also kept me guessing as I turned the pages. Who was the bad guy? Why were people so freaking dramatic? What the heck is going on in this book?  All of these things blended together in the story to make this a very fast paced, engrossing read. I finished this book in just a few hours time.

I went into the book thinking that it was a standalone novel, but now I see that it totally isn’t. I kept expecting a resolution the closer and closer I got to the end of the book, but by the last page, I figured that we weren’t going to learn anything in the end. This book has one of the worst cliffhanger endings EVER. It left me DYING to know who the bad guy was, and what is going to happen to this group of girls.

Overall; I thought The Perfectionists was a really intriguing read!  I’m super curious to see where Shepard is going to go with this storyline, and what is going to happen with all of these characters.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes
Anatomy of a Misfit
by Andrea Portes
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Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Harper Children’s
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062313645
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

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This emotional, hilarious, devastating, and ultimately triumphant YA debut, based on actual events, recounts one girl’s rejection of her high school’s hierarchy—and her discovery of her true self in the face of tragedy.

Fall’s buzzed-about, in-house favorite.

Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika — from laughter to tears, and everything in between. (Goodreads)
I was really looking forward to reading Anatomy of a Misfit, especially when I discovered that the book was based on actual events that happened to the author.

Anika was a really interesting character, she was snarky and sarcastic, popular and pretty, but deep down she was something else entirely. It did take me a bit to warm up to Anika, as she does some things that were really disappointing. But she also surprised me when she did something completely opposite, like standing up for the underdog. I felt like I never really knew what to expect from her, and I flew through the pages to see what she was going to do next. She wanted to do good things, she really did, but she wasn’t willing to risk losing her status to do so, unfortunately.

Anatomy of a Misfit is one of those books that will really make you stop and think, “Is it worth it?”. Was it worth it for Anika to be part of the popular crowd? To just do the things she did so that she wouldn’t be shunned by the people in her school, at the hands of her bully best friend? Is it worth it to instead go along with the bully and feel like crap for the things that you do? I remember being in high school, and it definitely is a tough time. But there’s one thing to always remember, these people you go to high school with, you will most likely never see again after graduation. So why do anything you don’t want to do to impress someone else? I wanted to shake some sense into Anika throughout the book to make her see this point.

The book was definitely written for a different time period, which I assume was close to the time of the authors’ youth. There is no mention of cell phones, computers or anything modern. That doesn’t take away from the story at all, however. The book had its moments and gave me a mix of emotions. I laughed, I sighed, I felt disappointed, I teared up a bit… It made me feel all these feelings in such a short amount of time. The ending of the book was both heartbreaking and hopeful. What I found most interesting about this book was that it was a semi-autobiography. And I thought my high school years were wild!

Overall; Anatomy of a Misfit was a really interesting read. It’s definitely a book that will make you stop and think. I am really looking forward to reading more by this author in the future!

Blog Tour: Divinity by Michelle L. Johnson

by Michelle L. Johnson

Publication Date: September 23rd 2014
Publisher: Spence City
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781939392350
Genre: Paranoramal | Angels

Available for Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

"When Julia climbs into a flaming car to save a trapped child, she's left wondering why either of them survived. Then she learns that her father is the Archangel Gabriel, and that she is half human, half Archangel. With guidance from Michael, the most powerful Archangel, Julia sets out to discover her own history and explore her angelic powers. But her journey is cut short when an evil force, invisible to human and angel alike, tears her world apart. Now Julia must fight through her despair, harness her newfound gifts, and risk her very soul to stop the A'nwel and protect the family she never knew she had. What she doesn't know is that Archangels have secrets too."

Michelle L. Johnson was born in Ohio and adopted by Canadians. They traveled all over North America, and when they weren't on the road Michelle could be found with her nose buried deeply in the pages of a book. With all of her travels and adventures, she hopes to bring some of her unique perspective to the pages and to entertain others the way all of her heroes have for her. When she's not hanging out with her feathered friends, she's busy being a literary agent with Inklings Literary Agency. She says wherever she hangs her coffee mug is her home, and right now that's a toasty warm Jacksonville, Florida with her happy Cocker Spaniel and her small family.


When I was contacted about this book, I was warned that the book was a highly addictive read.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to finish reading the book before this post went live,
but the parts I did read were really good. I'm looking forward to finishing this book
as soon as possible.

Add it to your to-read list today!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #167 - The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Crime
(The Winner's Trilogy #2)
by Marie Rutkoski
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Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
ISBN: 9780374384708
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy

The Winner's Trilogy Official Website

Available for Pre-Order:
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Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them. (Goodreads)

I read The Winner's Curse earlier this year
and I thought it was a really creative story.
The characters were great; I especially loved Kestrel and Arin.
I'm hoping that a lot of the questions that I had left at
the end of the first book will be answered in this book.

I can't wait to read The Winner's Crime and get back into this story!

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