Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Wrap Up & Book Haul

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin
Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols
Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross
Shutter by Courtney Alameda

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Half Bad by Sally Green
How to Say I Love You Out Loud by K.A. Cozzo
Revenge, Ice Cream and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn
Joyride by Anna Banks
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass
Beautiful Redemption by Jamie McGuire
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
City 1 by Gregg Rosenblum
The Prey by Tom Isbell

Lots of lovelies in my mailbox this month!
I can't wait to start the ones that I haven't read yet. :)


Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross
Tear You Apart
(Beau Rivage #2)
by Sarah Cross
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Publication Date: January 27th 2015
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781606845912
Genre: Young Adult | FairyTales | Retellings
Source: Netgalley

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An edgy fairy tale retelling of "Snow White" set in the world of Kill Me Softly for fans of Once Upon a Time and Grimm.

Faced with a possible loophole to her "Snow White" curse, Viv goes underground, literally, to find the prince who's fated to rescue her. But is life safe in the Underworld worth the price of sacrficing the love that might kill her? (Goodreads)
Tear You Apart, the second book in the Beau Rivage series, is an edgy, modern fairytale retelling that follows along the Snow White curse. I read the first book in the series, Kill Me Softly, when it first came out, and I really enjoyed the story. I was really glad to see series continue on and I was also excited to see where the author would go next with this storyline.

The main character in the story is Vivian who has the Snow White curse. Since she knows every detail on how the curse plays out, she has major trust issues, especially with her step-mom and the Huntsman. And who can blame her, honestly? Viv’s step-mom, Regina, is young, hot, and pretty much the definition of evil, and doesn’t mind letting Viv know exactly how she feels about her. She will do anything she has to do to get Viv out of the picture, including turning Viv’s best friend, Hensley, against her.

Viv has two love interests in the story; one being with the Hensley, the Huntsman, who she has known and loved pretty much her whole life, and also with the ‘prince’ from her storyline, Jasper, who lives in the underworld. While she loves Hensley, she doesn’t know if she can trust him not to kill her when the time comes. And even though Jasper claims that he can protect her as long as she stays in the underworld, she has to wonder if she can trust him as well.  What’s a girl to do??

I have to say that I absolutely love the fairytale storyline for these books. I am a pretty big fan of retellings, and I love that this book pretty much has them all in one. And sometimes it’s not the ‘Disney’ version of the retellings that the story follows, but the horrible ones that were made long, long ago. Also, the world-building for the book was totally engrossing, not just the fairytale town in which they live, but also the underworld as well. This, along with the characters, will have you completely hooked as you turn the pages.

Overall; If you’re a fan of fairytale retellings, you’re definitely going to want to check out Tear You Apart, and Kill Me Softly! These books will take you on an adventure that you won’t soon forget.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #183 - Daughter of Sleep and Silence by Carrie Ryan
Daughter of Deep Silence
by Carrie Ryan
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Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult | Thriller
ISBN: 9780525426509

Available for Pre-Order:
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A delicious tale of revenge and identity from Carrie Ryan, the bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

In the wake of the deadly devastation of luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace, rescued from the ocean after torturous days adrift with her dying friend Libby, knows that the Persephone wasn’t sunk by a rogue wave as survivors Senator Wells and his son are claiming—it was attacked.
To ensure her safety from the obviously dangerous and very powerful Wells family, Libby’s father helps newly orphaned Frances assume Libby’s identity. Frances has spent years in hiding, transforming herself into Libby, and she can no longer allow the people who murdered her entire family and Libby to get away with it. After years of careful plotting, she’s ready to set her revenge plans into motion—even if it means taking down the boy she’d once been in love with: the senator’s son.
The game has just begun, and Frances is not only playing dirty, she's playing to win. (Goodreads)

Is this book gorgeous, or what?
And it sounds pretty awesome as well.
I've had Carrie Ryan's *The Forest of Hands and Teeth*
series on my to-read list for a really long time.
I'd love to read it as well!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Club

January 24th:  Ten Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Club

I’m currently in an online book club, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Club, and we Skype chat about every three months. I love chatting books with these ladies because we have the BEST conversations!! And since we all pretty much read a lot of the same things, we always have a lot to discuss when we chat.

This is a list of books that I’m sure I will be discussing at some point or another with my book club girls, or books that I would like to discuss with them. Me and You by JoJo MOyes is on our list to read for next month, and I’m super excited to start it!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Geek Girl
(Geek Girl #1)
by Holly Smale
Twitter | Goodreads

Publication Date: January 27th 2015 (US Release)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780062333575
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

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Geek + runway = a hilarious runaway hit! This bestselling UK debut is full of humor and high-fashion hijinks—and now it’s coming to America.

Harriet Manners is tired of being labeled a geek. So when she’s discovered by a modeling agent, she seizes the chance to reinvent herself. There’s only one problem: Harriet is the definition of awkward. Does she have what it takes to transform from geek to chic?

Geek Girl is the first book in a hilarious new trilogy. It was also the #1 bestselling YA debut of 2013 in the UK, where it was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Best Book for Teens. With all the humor and fabulous shenanigans of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson and Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries, Geek Girl is about to become an international superstar. (Goodreads)
Geek Girl may be a new release in the US, but it’s a much loved series in the United Kingdom, and having read the first book, I now know why the series is so popular! This book was hilarious and super fun read!

Harriet Manners is the definition of the word Geek. She has very few friends, is bullied by the most popular girl in school, and she has her very own stalker, who is also geek. When Harriet is offered the opportunity to become a model, of course she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself. But will changing everything about herself really make her life better??

Despite being a geek, Harriet has a pretty interesting life. I found most of her story to be pretty relatable, and I imagine most people have dealt with the issues that she had in one way or another. While she didn’t have such a great school life, she had a good support system at home. Her dad and stepmom are a bit eccentric; but they prove to be really great people as the story goes along. Her best friend, Nat, is also great, despite the few rough patches that they have throughout the story. Her whole life changes when she becomes a model, but I love that despite the changes, the old Harriet still shines through. It was interesting to watch her character grow throughout the story.

The storyline for the book was fast paced, funny and refreshing. I read this during National Readathon Day, which is a four hour readathon, and I pretty much flew through the book during those four hours. I laughed and giggled as Harriet went on new adventures, I cringed as she had mishap after mishap, and even teared-up a time or two throughout the story. But I love how much this book made me laugh. I was rolling at certain parts. I’m really looking forward to reading more of the series to find out what’s going to happen with this story, and especially with the characters!

Overall; if you want a quick, fun read that will make you laugh and laugh, you should definitely check out Geek Girl. After finishing the book, I can see why the series is so popular. I absolutely can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #182 - Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
by Emmy Laybourne
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Publication Date: June 2nd 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9781250055194
Genre: Young Adult

Available for Pre-Order:
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*People would kill to be thin.*

Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

*But will they die for it, too?*

Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong. (Goodreads)

I've always wanted to read something by Emmy Laybourne.
I've had her Monument 14 series on my to-read list for a while now,
and I'm planning to squeeze it into my reading schedule this year,
if it's the last thing I do!

That being said, does SWEET sound awesome, or what?
I'm so excited to meet Tom and Laurel.
They sound like they are going to have a pretty interesting story,
and 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.**

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock
(Hemlock #3)
by Kathleen Peacock
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Publication Date: January 6th 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780062048714
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal | Werewolves
Source: From Publisher

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Willowgrove is Kathleen Peacock's riveting conclusion to the Hemlock trilogy, a dark, romantic, paranormal suspense series that pits friendship against survival, and trust against love.

Ever since Mac's best friend, Amy, was murdered, Hemlock has been a dangerous place. But now that Mac, her boyfriend, Kyle, and Amy's ex, Jason, have investigated a mass breakout from Thornhill, a werewolf "rehabilitation" camp, the danger has only grown. Fear of the infection spreading is now at an all-time high, and anyone with a scar is suspected of being a wolf.

What makes Mac even more afraid, though, are the dark experiments that the warden of Thornhill was performing on wolves in a secret asylum called Willowgrove. Uncovering the truth about what happened may be the only way for Mac to save everyone she loves and end her nightmares for good.
Willowgrove is the third and final installment in the Hemlock series by Kathleen Peacock. I started reading Willowgrove right after finishing Thornhill; as I just couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next in the story. The book definitely did not disappoint!

The story picks up shortly after where Thornhill leaves off. The gang is back in Hemlock, but everything is different, especially after the breakout at Thornhill.  With fear and suspicion at an all time high, not just in Hemlock but around the country as well, will Mac and friends be able to find the truth about what happened before it’s too late?

The characters in this series have been so great. Mac is strong willed and super determined to do what’s right, even when everyone else thing that it is wrong. She loves her friends and her family and is willing to do whatever she has to do to keep them safe. Kyle is strong and swoon-worthy, and I love the romance between him and Mac. They are so super cute together. Jason, who had me worried there for a while in the beginning of the series, proves to be such a great friend to all of these people, and Serena, despite all that she’s went through in her time at Thornhill, proves to also be an amazing friend as well. These four characters are what really make this series so special.

But while there are characters that you will really love in the series, there are those that you are really going to hate as well, and I mean really hate.  But even while you hate them, you can’t help but be impressed by how well they are written.

The storyline for the book follows the same plot as the rest of the books in the series, and I was super curious to see how Ms. Peacock was going to bring this series to an end. The book, just like the previous books in the series, was filled with lots of action and suspense. Not to mention the plot twists and bombshells that was thrown at me as I turned the pages. It’s been a long time since a book has kept me on the edge of my seat like this one did. I could hardly put the book down, and hated the moments when I actually had to. I just wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen with this story.

Overall; Willowgrove was a great end to a really great series. If you’ve not yet checked out the Hemlock series, I highly recommend that you do so, especially if you’re a fan of werewolves. I feel that this series definitely doesn’t get the attention that it deserves, because they are really awesome books. Check them out!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #181 - Emancipated by M.G. Reyes
by M.G.Reyes
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Publication Date: May 26th 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 9780062288950

Available for Pre-Order:
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The good girl, the bad boy, the diva, the hustler, the rock star, and the nerd. Six teens legally liberated from parental control for six different reasons, all with one thing in common: something to hide.

Now they’re sharing a house in Venice Beach, acting like a family, and living their lies. No parents. No limits. No alibis. One witnessed a crime, another might be a murderer—and one’s been spying on them all.

As they cling to a fantasy of freedom and slowly let down their guards, the past creeps up on them. And when one of them gets arrested, everyone’s carefully constructed facade comes crumbling down.

In this steamy, drama-filled series, relationships are tested and secrets revealed as lies threaten to destroy their perfect setup. (Goodreads)

Can I tell you how much I am looking forward to starting this book?
It really sounds like it's going to be a pretty interesting read,
and I really can't wait to check it out!
And hopefully soon!)
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols
Perfect Couple
(Superlatives #2)
by Jennifer Echols
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Publication Date: January 13th 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781442474482
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

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Perfect Couple is #2 in the Superlatives series about seniors at a Florida high school who are selected for their class's superlative categories in the yearbook, and how the labels change the way they view themselves and alter the course of their lives.

Can your heart be put to a popular vote?

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for capturing those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents' bitter divorce has left her wondering what a loving relationship would look like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody the “Perfect Couple That Never Was,” her friends have been on her case to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack in female admirers, but Harper can't see herself with him. He seems confused about why they were matched together, too. They’re total opposites—the last people in the world who would ever be compatible, let alone the “perfect couple.” Yet ever since the class paired the two of them, they've found themselves drawn together--first by curiosity, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they're very attracted to each other and both of them admit this, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating clearly. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But after they walk away, both of them feel so changed from making the effort that they can’t forget each other. What if that means this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all? (Goodreads)
I have to admit, I was pretty curious to start Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols. I read Biggest Flirt last year, and enjoyed the book, despite some issues that I had with the main character. I was eager to see what was going to happen with the next couple, Harper and Brody.

Perfect Couple picks up just a few days after Biggest Flirt leaves off, but it’s a whole new set of characters this time around. Harper is a senior, and photographer for the high school yearbook. Brody is the star quarterback of the high school football team, who Harper has had a crush on for forever. When they are paired as ‘The Perfect Couple that Never Was’ for the high school yearbook, and at the insistence of her best friends, Harper decides to find out if the school is right about their choices.

I found Harper to be a relatable character because she was a self-proclaimed introvert, much like me, who needed her quiet time away from people every so often. Also, she loves photography and that’s another of my most favorite hobbies. I felt a connection to her because of this. There were a few things in the novel that she did that kind of drove me crazy, but otherwise she was a likeable character. I enjoyed watching her grow throughout the novel, and to go after what she wanted in life. And to go after Brody, who is the love interest in the novel. Brody is oh-so-swoonworthy, but not without issues of his own. While they didn’t get off to the best start, it was interesting to watch their relationship grow. I really liked Brody. Ms. Echols’ has a knack for writing really adorable male characters.

The storyline for the book followed along the same line as the previous book. The story was a super quick and fun to read, but it also dealt with a lot of the issues that teens face today, like sex and peer pressure.  I liked that the book had different main characters, but we also get to see the characters from the previous book as well. I enjoyed seeing them all again. Also, I loved the photography aspects in the book, it helped me to connect with the story even more.

Overall; Perfect Couple was another charming addition to The Superlatives series. I’m super curious to see what’s going to happen in the next book between Kaye and Sawyer!

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

January 13th:
Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

Even though I read a over 100 books last year,
I still didn't get to read half of the books that I REALLY wanted to read.
This is something that I need to work on,
because it always seems to be an issue lately.
These books were on the top of my list,
and I'm hoping to get to them this year!

What books did you not get to read in 2014??

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin
All the Bright Places
by Jennifer Nevins
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Publication Date:
Publisher: Knofp
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780385755887
Genre: YA | Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
Source: Netgalley

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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Includes a PDF Help Line Resource Guide and a Note Read by the Author. (Goodreads)

When I first heard about All the Bright Places, I knew this was a book I needed to read. I love a good story that makes you stop and think. The book is very realistic, and deals with bullying, suicide and many other things that teens face today. It was a very interesting read.

One thing I wanted to mention before I start this review is that the summary for the book compares it to The Fault in Our Stars or Eleanor and Park, but I kind of feel that is misleading. I would compare it more to 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher instead.

The main characters in the story are Finch and Violet. Finch is obsessed with death; it’s something that is always on his mind. He even keeps a journal with notes of all the different ways he could end his life. Violet knows death, especially after surviving the accident that took her sisters life. Death is something that has crossed her mind as well, although she’s not quite as obsessed with it. When their paths cross on the ledge of the school bell tower, it’s not really clear who saves who, but now that they’ve met, their lives are changed forever.

Violet and Finch were so different, yet so much alike in many ways. Violet was a popular girl. Before her sister died, she was a cheerleader who ran a popular website, and was happy for the most part. But all that changed when her sister died. She found herself moving along the best she could; a victim of Extenuating Circumstances. But once she meets Finch, she starts to see things differently. She changes and grows and I wanted nothing more than for her to happy in her life.

Finch was a hard character to figure out. He was definitely troubled, and had been through a lot in his short life. A victim of bullying and with parents who seemed to care but also didn’t seem to care. He had moods that he couldn’t seem to control and feelings that he couldn’t contain. I longed to help this boy. To make the people around him open their eyes and see what was going on with him. His story was heartbreaking. But there were good times as well, mostly when he was with Violet. Unfortunately we all have demons that we can’t escape sometimes.

When the two are paired together for a school project, I didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a really interesting experience. Not only did this make them grow closer, but it was also pretty fun to ‘see’ through their eyes al l the places that they visited. I stopped reading the novel quite a few times so that I could look up the fascinating places, and I was pleased to discover that they were all real places in Indiana. I definitely enjoyed this going on this journey with these characters.

The storyline for the book was very thought-provoking; it definitely makes you stop and think.  It touches on a lot of different subjects that teens deal with in their lives, including bullying, sex, drugs and even death. One thing that really got me with this book was how relatable the book was. I remember feeling some of the things these characters felt when I was a teenager, and it made me sympathize with them even more.

Overall; All the Bright Places was a heart-breaking and thought-provoking story. This book is one that will stick with you long after you finish reading it. I hope people will read it and know that help is there, that you are not alone, and that there are consequences for things we do. This is a very touching story, and I implore you all to read it.