Sunday, December 29, 2013

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (81) Yay For More Gifts!!!

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews
   
Hello loves!! I hope that you all had a fantastic holiday!! Mine was exhausting, but wonderful. I have learned that my kiddo is absolutely spoiled by everyone in the family. She got so much that I have to get rid of pretty much all of her old stuff to find places for the new stuff. Mostly she was excited about all of her new leap pad games. She loves that thing, but I can't complain because she really is learning things while using it. Anyways, now onto the books. I didn't get a lot this week, but what I did get was super awesome!! It also makes me feel like I might be able to catch up on reading! Yay!


Books Mentioned
 
Review
Gifted
 Freebie
 Bought
 
A New iPod Nano (a purple one!) because my old one died on me and I can't very well listen to audiobooks without one. :) 

Thanks to St. Martins Press, Spencer Hill Press for having the free novella, and of course to my soulmate Giselle for being just totally awesomesauce!! She rocks my universe!!

So that's all I have this week. It was a toss up between buying myself a kindle fire or a new iPod, but I have a working kindle (just a regular one), but no working iPod, so that won out! I hope you all got some awesome things over the past week!! I can't wait to see all of your book hauls!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: Ruined by Jus Accardo

  • Publisher: Entangled Teen
  • Publication date: 12/30/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Hell is looking for a way to break loose…

Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world's first murderer, he's plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it's killing him.

After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can't outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she's thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she's been trying to forget.

Sam strains Jax's control over his darkness, but running isn't an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18545084-ruined?ac=1

My Thoughts

I don't think I have really read any books based directly on the story of Cain and Abel. I thought this was a very cool take on it. I started off not really liking the characters, but was really enjoying the story. Then I came to understand the characters more which changed my original assessment of them. The romance in this was great too. I was frustrated with it, but also understood why it was the way it was. I wanted so badly for Jax and Samantha to get their happy ending, though I couldn't see how that would be possible. I read this book rather quickly since I found myself totally immersed in it and didn't want to put it down.

Jax is cursed, living with a demon inside of him. He is constantly fighting for control. He doesn't want to give into the thing living inside of him, but he does what he needs to keep it happy.  It thrives on pain, suffering, and violence. Jax needs to commit horrible acts to keep the thing contained. Even if it means sacrificing his own happiness, which happens to be Samantha. After going back home to see his uncle, he encounters Samantha again and can't resist the urge to touch her, spend time with her, and feel happy. He tries over and over again to push her away though knowing that it can't happen. He came off as such a jerk. He is hurtful towards her, but I understood that he was doing it to help her. He is just ignorant to the fact that she cares about him no matter what. Instead of leaving again, he now needs to stay and protect her from whoever is trying to kill her. When we first meet Jax, we think that he is bad, but really he is such a good person. He is stronger than he thinks too. Even though he got on my nerves some of the time, I really did like him.

Samantha annoyed me to no end for quite a while. She was so stubborn and frustrating. She wants Jax, and I knew she was hurt and mad at him for leaving her, but she needed to chill out a little. She wants him, but pushes him away. Then gets upset when he tries to do the same to her. After a while when she finally knows about his secret, she gets better. In fact I liked that she refused to give up on him or let him give up on himself. And through all of this, she is also avoiding her attacker and trying to survive. She takes things pretty well and stays strong because she knows she has to. Instead of just letting Jax take care of things though, she is insistent on helping every step of the way. A character who I thought I would hate ended up being pretty great.

There were a few things that bothered me about the book, but not much. Like, I got sick of hearing constantly how the thing inside Jax was hungry and needed to feed. I get it, but I didn't need to hear about it all the time. Also his constant moodiness and hot and cold got old pretty quick. Besides that though, I really enjoyed the story and how everything all came together. I thought that how things are revealed throughout was great too. This was a pretty fast paced story that made it almost impossible to put down. I can't believe that this was the first book that I have read by this author. I have a few of them, but haven't gotten around to them. She is fantastic and I need to get to all of her other books ASAP!


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (80) - So Many Great Gifts!!!

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews
 
Hello everyone!! Can you believe it's almost Christmas?!! I have all of my shopping done and all my wrapping done too!! I feel very accomplished! Thinking of Christmas, I got some really fabulous bookish gifts this week!!I also got a few great review books that I am really looking forward to!
Books Mentioned

Review
 Gifted
Big thank you to Brittany Geragotelis, Entangled Teen, Macmillan Audio, William Morrow Books, Edelweiss, and Jenni!! She is such a sweetheart and I am so excited to read the great books she gifted me!! If you don't follow her at Alluring Reads, you should. She rocks!!

I pretty much sucked this week and only had two reviews post. Betrayal by Rhiannon Frater, and The Unseen by J.L. Bryan. Sorry I wasn't a better blogger this week. Lots of love to all of you and Happy Holidays!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: The Unseen by J.L. Bryan

  • Publisher: Self Published
  • Publication date: 10/26/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N  | Kobo

Cassidy is a young tattoo artist living in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta. She’s always suffered terrible nightmares, and sometimes the hideous creatures seem to follow her out of her dreams and into her waking life, though she’s the only one who can see them. Drugs and alcohol can blot them out, but never entirely chase them away.

When a demonic cult begins to take control of the people in her life, including her younger brother, Cassidy discovers that the unseen world of monsters is very real. She can no longer avoid it. To protect those she loves, she must accept her own hidden supernatural talents and face the forces of evil before the sinister cult achieves its twisted goals and casts the world into darkness.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18630803-the-unseen?ac=1

My Thoughts

I love creepy books. This one definitely hit the mark for me. This authors writing is fantastic and he really gives a well rounded story. Great plot, great characters, great atmosphere. The characters, while not all very likable, were all done really well. It's quite an accomplishment when I can still really enjoy the characters even when I don't necessarily like them that much. This book creeped me out, but it wasn't scary. It was more of a spine tingling type read. Don't get me wrong, it did have some scary parts, but it was just the right amount without being overdone. It is told in different perspectives, so we get the story from all sides.

Cassidy was a character that I felt very indifferent about. I didn't dislike her, but she wasn't a character that I really could like very much. She has made a lot of bad decisions, she doesn't seem to really be trying to fix her life all that much, and she's not very pleasant. I understand that she's had a crap hand in life, but she just wasn't a character that I cared for much. She has what she believes to be hallucinations, and that's enough to really mess with anyone. She does drugs and drinks to make them stop. She lives in a house with a bunch of other people who don't really seem to have their shit together either. She's a tough chick though. She definitely has that going for her. She's also super talented and an awesome tattoo artist. She does start to redeem herself a bit by the end of the book. I thought her character was great for the story, I just didn't particularly like her.

Her boyfriend, or ex really, is a bit of a tool. He comes from a family with a lot of money. He does a lot of drugs, doesn't really care about things very much and is just not a great guy at all. I apologize that I don't remember his name, I read this a while back and didn't take notes for when I was ready to review. He ends up meeting one of Cassidy's old friends, but doesn't know that they know each other. He then ends up kind of dating her, but really, she is evil and just wants him to come to her messed up demon church. He is easily taken with her and even though he doesn't jump right into anything with her because he still thinks he and Cassidy will end up back together, he still lets her spend time with him and hangs out with her and her friends. I felt that he was a big part of tying the story together with the past making it's way into the present.

The other characters were well done too. Cassidy's brother plays a huge part in the story. Her best friend does also. This story is full of supernatural awesomeness like demon possession, witchcraft, and a hidden dark world that exists along with the normal world. It is a slow book, but it works with this story. It slowly unfolds and it really adds to the creepy atmosphere of it all. There are some disturbing parts that make this book that much more awesome. The sacrificing and demon rituals were really messed up in a good way. I really enjoyed this book and of course will be reading more from this author. I have enjoyed every book of his that I have read!


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review: Betrayal (In Darkness We Must Abide Episode 10) by Rhiannon Frater

  • Publisher: Self Published
  • Publish Date: 12/14/13
  • Source: eARC provided by the author for review
Purchase: Amazon

*This is the 10th episode of the serial so my review may contain spoilers from the previous installments. It will not contain spoilers for this episode.

Episode 10:
The purge has arrived. Houston is burning. Roman's vampires are being slaughtered all over the city.

After she witnesses the Socoli Mansion ablaze, Vanora doesn't know if her older sister, Alisha, is alive or dead, or if any of her friends have survived. Aeron the White and Terrible,a dangerous ancient vampire, believes she is his destiny, but Vanora is determined to be the end of him. How much more will she lose before the night is over? And will she lose the complicated and mysterious vampire she loves to death or betrayal?


Serial Synopsis:

In Darkness We Must Abide is the epic saga of one young woman caught in the dangerous world of the creatures of the night.

Already living in the shadows due to her albinism, Vanora is just a little girl when her older brother inadvertently unleashes a terrible evil from the family crypt that changes their lives forever.

As she grows up in a world where beautiful deadly beings hunt by night, one captures her eye and her heart. Yet, can she trust the mysterious Armando? For there is a powerful entity plotting to claim her when she reaches adulthood in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy, and her enemy has enveloped her in a web of deceit, casting doubt on all she believes to be true. Soon, she will have to fight not only to save those she loves, but also for her very soul.

Rhiannon Frater delivers a chilling adventure once again with this multi-part epic serial with a dynamic cast, old school vampires, bloody action, a smoldering forbidden love, and a terrifying villain set against the backdrop of a modern day vampire war.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19262996-betrayal?ac=1

My Thoughts

Wow, things are getting seriously intense!! This serial is rocking my world!! The character development is just incredible and the story keeps you frantically reading because you NEED to know what is going to happen. Man, I don't even know what to say. It's so hard to review books or novellas once you are this far into things out of fear of ruining something for someone.

Vanora has come so far since the beginning of the series. Not only has she grown from a young girl to an adult, but she has become such a tough chick. She was always strong. She had to be, but she is totally kick ass now. She doesn't let her fear control her. She knows that Armando is keeping secrets, and doesn't want to know what they are because she knows that it may mean the end for them. She doesn't let any of that stop her though. Instead of running away from all the danger, she rushes right towards it. There is no way to hide, so why prolong it right? I totally loved her in this one. She stood up for herself and took control. She embraces her situation and tries to do what she can instead of trying to avoid it. It's been amazing seeing the changes in her through this series.

We also see the strength in the other vampires. We see how loyal they are and how much they are willing to risk for themselves, Vanora, and her family. And we get to see first hand how terrifying Aeron is. Okay, so we have gotten a bit of it, but this is just insanity. He is the definition of evil! At the same time, there is that allure to him. You know he is pretty much the most dangerous being there is, but he is intriguing and magnetizing. Even characters that I wasn't sure about really surprised me in this. There were certain ones who stepped in to help, when it's the last thing that I expected. Everyone in this series is so well developed that even though essentially it's about Vanora, you really get a full story outside of her as well.

I don't know that I have ever read back to back novellas, or novels for that matter, that are so continually intense and heart racing. Even when things aren't in the full swing of the action, you still feel that tension throughout! I have felt like my heart might beat right out of my chest if I don't read faster to know what comes next. I know that this review tells you pretty much nothing about the actual content of this episode, but it's really a fantastic serial that I highly suggest picking up!!





*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (79)

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Hello loves!!! Hope you are all staying warm and toasty. It's super cold here in Massachusetts and as of the time I am putting this post together, we are expecting between 6-12 inches of snow!! The kiddo is super excited about it. I figure, if it's going to be this cold it might as well snow. Anyways, I got some really great books this week. One in really cool packaging! (Macmillan, you rock with the coolness!)

Sorry it's so dark. I was in my daughters room and the light isn't great!
Books Mentioned

Review
Bought/Kindle freebie
Gifted
Thank you so much to Rhiannon Frater, Sourcebooks, Entangled Publishing (Jaime Arnold), Macmillan, and Kara!! You are the best! ♥ If you don't follow her blog (and Lyn's) you need to. Find it here. These books all sound so great and I can't wait to dive in and read them all!! 

Weekly Recap

Slow week for me this week. I only had two reviews post. These Broken Stars by Amie Kuaffman and Meagan Spooner, and The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine. I also posted about book gift giving in my Book Girls Don't Cry post. 

Hope you all had a fabulous week!! Stay warm and dry! I will stop by your posts to check out the awesome goodies that you got!! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry: Books Make Great Gifts!


With the holidays coming up quickly, and possible still some people to shop for, why not think books? Books make great gifts for people who love to read!! So, this week our topic is books we would recommend. Not everyone likes every genre, so I will try to give some suggestions for different ones. 

Other Book Girls
 Don't forget to stalk visit their blogs.

Urban Fantasy Lovers

The Shifters Series by Rachel Vincent



Just thinking about this series makes me want to go back and read it again. I am a huge Rachel Vincent fan, but this is most definitely my favorite series of hers.

Gritty, Emotional, Dark Contemporary

Flawed by Kate Avelynn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13503247-flawed?ac=1

This book had me a wreck!! I loved the emotional impact it had. It has very dark subject matter, but oh my God the feels!!

New Adult

The Edge of Never by J.A Redmerski

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16081272-the-edge-of-never

I loved this book!! The writing is fabulous and the story is amazing!!

Middle Grade

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16248113-the-school-for-good-and-evil?ac=1

What a fantastic and magical story. I especially love the girl power element of it!!

There are way too many awesome YA books to even try to come up with something less than 10 recommendations lol!! Anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout for sure. I also love Rachel Vincent, Lisa Burstein, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Tahereh Mafi. I could go on and on. Anyways, books are great, we all love them, we should spread the love by gifting them to others!! Happy Holidays book lovers!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review.
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17844678-the-promise-of-amazing?ac=1

My Thoughts

This book had my hopes high. Beautiful cover, awesome title, synopsis sounded great. Unfortunately, The Promise of Amazing was anything but that for me. It fell short in so many areas and had me feeling very disappointed in it all. It had insta-love, unlikable characters, lying, letting people walk all over the other, and annoying teenage talk. (I'm talking soooooo annoying. You know, whateverrrrrr.) I just couldn't really care either way if the characters were able to work out whatever issues they had, which was many. On top of that, only one side character was enjoyable for me.I was expecting a cute contemporary that would be enjoyable, but instead I got a story that was just meh for me. Not to say others might not like it, it just wasn't quite my thing.

Wren wasn't a bad character at first, but as the story went on, I liked her less and less. In the beginning, she seems very smart, a little down about school things, and not knowing what she wants to do with her future, but otherwise she was pretty normal. Then she seemed to start to get whiny about things, even if just in her head. Along comes Grayson, and she's instantly obsessing over him and if he likes her or doesn't. Then she pushes him away only to really want him around. When she finally gets him, she lets his lies go over and over again. It's not like they are tiny little things either. I wanted her to grow a pair and stand up for herself. Tell him off and not deal with his constant secrets and lying all the time. She did start to stand up for herself to other people, but she was so whipped by Grayson that I couldn't respect that at all.

Grayson seemed nice. He was a guy who got into some trouble, but wanted to be a better person and had learned from his mistakes. Nope, wrong. He keeps doing stupid things. He is a pushover with his friends. He lets Luke pretty much control him even though he abandoned him when he got into trouble before. Then he meets Wren and it's like instantly he knows he needs her in his life. He even gets all stalker on her and goes to her school to seek her out and starts working where she works. A bit pathetic and creepy if you ask me. Then he lies to her over and over again, and is all upset when she gets mad about it. I mean, what does he expect. It's like he's stuck in Grayson World and refuses to see things around him. What he's done to other people, what he continues to do to people, and most importantly, what he's doing to himself. He is very selfish and he doesn't even know it. He does have his sweet side, and he finally does seem to want to change in the end, but not until he is pretty much forced into it.

Sadly, I didn't enjoy this book much. There was too much predictability and more drama than I could handle. I didn't think either of the main characters had many redeemable qualities. I know that sometimes the people who don't seem right for each other make you want that so much more for them, but I just couldn't convince myself of that for them. Eben was the one beacon of light in this story. He was real, funny, and had a great personality. Man, this sounds so negative, but I don't mean it to. I know that a lot of people like a lot of drama and aren't as turned off by the things that bother me. This book will definitely have it's audience that likes it, but it just wasn't a book for me.





*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 12/10/2013
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

--

A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13138635-these-broken-stars?from_search=true

My Thoughts

When I first saw the cover for this book, I knew I had to have it. I mean, it's just so pretty!! Also, I'm a sucker for survival stories so that pretty much sealed the deal. Now I know that you have probably heard all of the Titanic in space things about this, but I assure you it's not. Okay, so the beginning is a little, but after that it's definitely a whole other thing. I did find it a bit insta-lovey, but when you are probably the last (or only) people on some unknown planet, with not much hope of being rescued, that's expected. I actually liked it when usually it's quite a turnoff for me. In between chapters, we also get the pleasure of reading snippets of Traver's interrogation. It really intrigued me, and I felt that it worked well with the story rather than disrupting it. I found the world building was done really well, and the character development was amazing. Oh, and it's told in dual POV, which is my favorite!!

I will start with Tarver since really, I think it was more his story than anything. He is the son of a scholar and a poet. He didn't grow up in luxury. Now all of the sudden he is a decorated war hero being followed by the paparazzi and mingling with the elite crowd. He feels completely out of his comfort zone and would rather just be a normal soldier. When the ship goes down and he gets out with Lilac, things are definitely intense. She is daughter of the richest man in the Galaxy, used to luxury and not having to do anything for herself, and now they are on a quest to survive. He is drawn to her, but knows there is no way that someone like him could ever be with someone like her. He is also very frustrated with her. She makes things much harder, and it slows down his progress. I really liked Traver. He was serious, but he was also snarky, fun, sweet, and charming too. He had some of the best lines ever and had me laughing out loud. More than all of that. He is a very caring and sensitive person. I loved being in his head and getting to know him.

Lilac was irritating at first. I was hoping that she would get sucked into a black hole or something. It's not entirely her fault though. That is just how she was brought up. She was so concerned about her appearance, and clothes, and shoes. Oh, and it would be a horror if she had to get dirty. Well, that was only a teeny-tiny part of her. We learn that she is not the prim and proper princess that she comes across to be. Especially faced with survival and finding a way to be rescued. She is much tougher than most people would be, and she is very, very stubborn. She refuses to give up. She also isn't as cold and steely as she appears either. She is actually a broken, sweet, caring person underneath her hard protective shell. I liked seeing the changes in her a lot. She has an immense amount of growth through the story that I thought was amazing. I really loved her by the end of the book.

The romance was fun. They both act like they can't stand each other, they think the other could never like them, but are both falling for each other. They get through most days by being absolute assholes to each other. When they are being nice, the other thinks it's just because of the circumstances. There was a lot of hot and cold between them, but it made sense to the story. If it had been any other way, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it so much.

There were so many times through this book that I found myself almost holding my breath, gripping the book with a bit too much intensity, or had my heart beating out of my chest. There was plenty of action, a lot of tense situations, and of course the characters love/hate thing going on. I think the only thing that I didn't quite like was that we never find out why they live in space on different planets. What happened to Earth? If they have so much technology, why couldn't they go to Earth if something had happened? We don't get any backround information on that, but it didn't affect the story. It's just a thing of mine to want information on why things are the way they are. Overall this was amazing. The authors did a fantastic job. The writing was great and I loved just about everything about it. This is the first of a trilogy of companion novels. I will be looking forward to the other books in this series.


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weekly Recap/Stacking the Shelves (78) The One Where I Have No Self Control!

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

So since I had only a few books last week I decided not to do a StS post, but then I went a little buying crazy for my kindle (there were so many awesome deals!) and a bit crazy on Edelweiss too. So, What I thought would probably be a decent sized week ended up a bit large. I didn't do a vlog since it would have been boring with me trying to rattle off the books real quick, and I'm far too lazy to post ALL of these book covers. All titles are linked to Goodreads though as usual. :) 

Books Mentioned

Review
Bought/Kindle Freebie
Won
Movie Purchases (these link to Amazon)
Big thank you to HarperTeen, Simon and Schuster, Edelweiss, Macmillan, Valerie, and Tiffany King. 

Weekly Recap

I reviewed Crash Into You by Katie McGarry as part of a blog tour, and also reviewed The F-It List by Julie Halpern.

I took part in the teaser tour for Lisa Burstein's upcoming book, Sneaking Candy. (It comes out tomorrow!!) 

Our Book Girls Don't Cry post this week was Holiday Themed Books!

Lastly, I did two cover reveals this week. One for Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle (It sounds amazingly awesome!), and Dirty London by Kelley York. (Which also sounds amazingly awesome. She is one of my favorite authors too!!)

No super fun or interesting search terms, but I do love that I still get search terms for Jennifer L Armentrout's Covenant series almost consistently every week in some form. 

Sorry this post was long. I was totally not expecting that. I apparently have no self control whatsoever. What did you get this week? I would love to know. :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry - Holiday Themed Books


Hello everyone!! This week our topic on Book Girls is Holiday Books. Do you read them or not? I know a lot of people really love them, but some people could do without. I haven't really read that many, but I do find that I have enjoyed the ones I have. 

Other Book Girls
 Don't forget to stalk visit their blogs.

One adult book that I enjoyed a lot was Secret Santa Baby by Robin Covington. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17155796-secret-santa-baby

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

A fantastic YA book that I really enjoyed was Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7741325-dash-lily-s-book-of-dares?auto_login_attempted=true

 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

I know that there are more that I have read, but I just can't seem to think about them right now.

A great winter book that I guess could be holiday themed is Frigid by J. Lynn.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16122034-frigid?ac=1
  

I am sure that if I sat here long enough I could think of more, but I am pretty much having a total mental block and don't feel like searching my Goodreads shelves.

I do like holiday themed books, but it seems that I don't have enough time around the holidays to actually read them. I am sure they are good any time of year though. :) Do you have any great holiday book recommendations? I would love some. Also, what you think of holiday books. Love you all bunches!! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Teaser Tour: Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein Teaser and Giveaway!!


Hello!! Today is my stop on the teaser tour for Sneaking Candy by the amazingly awesome Lisa Burstein!! I have a great picture teaser with an excerpt to go along with it!


About SNEAKING CANDY

All I ever wanted was to make a name for myself as Candice Salinas, creative writing grad student at the University of Miami. Of course, secretly I already have made a name for myself: as Candy Sloane, self-published erotic romance writer. Though thrilled that my books are selling and I have actual fans, if anyone at UM found out, I could lose my scholarship…and the respect of my faculty advisor, grade-A-asshole Professor Dylan.
Enter James Walker, super-hot local barista and—surprise!—my student. Even though I know a relationship is totally off-limits, I can’t stop myself from sneaking around with James, taking a few cues from my own erotic writing…if you catch my drift. Candy’s showing her stripes for the first time in my real life, and I’ve never had so much fun. But when the sugar high fades, can my secrets stay under wraps?
"SNEAKING CANDY is fun, sexy and sweet, with a hero every reader will swoon over." Monica Murphy, New York Times Bestselling Author of One Week Girlfriend
"SNEAKING CANDY lives up to it's title, it's a treat every time you pick it up!" Jennifer McLaughlin, New York Times Bestselling Author of Out of Line.
"With smart, strong leading characters, an original premise, and a plot that will keep you guessing until the end, SNEAKING CANDY is a breath of fresh air." Lyla Payne, USA Today Bestselling Author of Broken at Love
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18183828-sneaking-candy

Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Special Teaser!!


“Candy, who’s here?” my roommate Mandy yelled from the kitchen.

I looked up at James, and he gave a small nod.

I’d answered this question in so many ways, but now it was time to use the right word. “My boyfriend,” I said, watching James smile, almost bashfully.

“Finally,” Mandy said, coming up behind me. “Maybe now we can go on a real double date.”

“I’d love to,” James said, his arms still tight around me. Arms that would always remind me I’d made the right decision.

“Good,” Mandy said. “If you guys leave the table this time, I’m drinking your beers.”

I turned and handed her the candy apples.
“What the hell am I supposed to do with these?” she asked, holding up the candy apple sticks like a torch and leaving us at the door.

“There’s more good news,” he said, unable to hide his excitement. “I wrote ten pages last night.”

“Really?” I asked, pulling back to look at him, “What about?”

“A gentleman doesn’t write and tell,” he teased.

“Since when are you a gentleman?”

“Your clothes are still on, aren’t they?”

“We could fix that,” I replied.

“Let’s take a ride first,” he said his brown eyes shiny. “I thought we could go to campus and make out on the quad.”

“Newly exhibitionist?” I asked, smiling.

He shook his head. “There were a lot of places I wanted to kiss you before. I figured we could start there.”


I am so looking forward to this book!!

To celebrate the awesome blurbs Sneaking Candy has received Lisa is giving away books from Monica Murphy, Jennifer Mclaughlin & Lyla Payne! Make sure to follow Lisa on twitter for more teasers and chances to win all week long!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: The F-It List by Julie Halpern

  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 11/12/2013
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.

Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again—Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend—you do it.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17286812-the-f--it-list?ac=1


 My Thoughts

I have read books that deal with cancer, but this was totally different. Yes, it had an emotional impact, but it was also full of hope. It was light-hearted, while still having an emotional impact. This was not told from the perspective of the person with cancer, but by her best friend, who has just been through her own tragic issues. I loved the idea of the bucket list and Alex trying to complete it for her best friend. She not only is doing something for her friend, but she discovers herself along the way.

I liked Alex, but some things about her irritated me. She is very selfish at times, but I do get that she is still having a hard time with the things that happened in her life. She at least knows that she is being selfish and feels bad about it. She realizes that her issues are small in comparison to fighting for your life, and not knowing if there is a future. She not only helps her friend and is there for her, but she discovers her own happiness that she didn't think she would find with so much hurt in her life. She fights it, thinking that she doesn't deserve to feel good. She is very broken inside and uses humor and sarcasm to create a wall around her. I felt bad for her and also wanted to yell at her to tell her to stop trying to act like the world can't hurt her. Of course with the help of a romance and her best friend, she is able to let herself out slowly and let that solid wall down bit by bit. Not that it was that easy. In fact, she created more hurt for herself while fighting to keep her feelings and emotions hidden away.

Leo was a character that I instantly liked. He wasn't overly charming, or one who tries too hard. He gives her what she needs, but doesn't want to push too far. Though he is falling for her, he still tries to play it off for a while like it's just fun like she wants. He has some of his own issues to deal with too, but he knows that she is going through a lot and wants to help her. They have a weird sort of relationship, but it works. I really liked his character. It fit with the confusion and feelings that teenagers go through, especially under the circumstances in this book.

This book tackles many issues such as family death, cancer, tested friendships, relationships, and family. It wasn't so dramatic that it seems like every other sad tragic book in this genre, it was very light, but very real. I loved that Becca wasn't letting herself completely fall apart, and in fact she was stronger than Alex while she was the one facing cancer and the treatments. She was very funny and it kept the story from seeming too intense and emotional, but the emotion was still there. I think that the most emotional parts of the story were other issues that were tackled. There were moments when I felt like it all might be too much for one book, but it worked since the way things went in the book really do reflect real life. I love contemporary books, and I love finding ones that are light and make you feel good even when there seems to be so much tragedy. A book full of hope in desperate situations was just what I was looking for, and this totally delivered.





*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cover Reveal: Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle

Hello everyone!! I'm happy to share with you a great cover reveal today! Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle!

Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle
Publication date: February 24th, 2014
Genres: Horror, Romance

Synopsis:
***A Standalone Horror Romance coming February 2014***

Jake McGraw was unlike anyone I’d ever known. He was brash, rude, unapologetic and arrogant; chauvinistic, close-minded, and terribly stubborn. He was built like a tree, tall with a hard chest and wide shoulders and hands that looked like they could wrestle a bear. He was a cigar-chomping, scruffy-faced, beast of a man. I was pretty sure I hated him. And I know he hated me. But among the flesh-eating monsters in these snow-capped mountains, he was the only thing keeping me alive

The year is 1851 and pioneers in search of California gold are still afraid to travel on the same route as the tragic Donner party did years before. When the last wagon train to go into the Sierra Nevada mountains fails to arrive at their destination, Eve Smith, an 18-year old half-native girl with immense tracking skills is brought along with the search party, headed by an enigmatic former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw.

What they find deep in the dangerous snow-covered terrain is a terrifying consequence of cannibalism, giving new meaning to the term “monster.” While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization.

***This is NOT New Adult***
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18524947-donners-of-the-dead?ac=1


AUTHOR BIO
 
The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she's preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.

Author Links: 

 
This book sounds awesome and I love the cover!! I am really excited for this one!

This post brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blog Tour: Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry


Welcome to my stop on the Crash Into You blog tour!!! I am so excited to be part of this. I have my review and the tour giveaway!! For the full tour schedule, click on the tour banner to be taken to the YA Bound Tour page.

  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen
  • Publication date: 11/26/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for tour/review
 Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo | The Book Depository

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17233800-crash-into-you?ac=1

My Thoughts

You know when you read a book and you don't think there is any way to write a review that shows how much you really love it? Yeah, that's how I feel about this book. Katie McGarry is fabulous at putting so much emotion into the characters and the story, and leaving you choked up and breathless. What seems on the surface like a typical pretty, rich girl falls for bad boy from the wrong side of town story is anything but. For anyone who knows anything about this series, we know that Isaiah isn't really the bad boy that people think he is, and we discover that Rachel is not the perfect rich girl who she seems to be. Their story falls together perfectly. Yes, it has the forbidden love type of scenario that it suggests, but it's much deeper than that. This book made me feel like I was there with them every step of the way. It was like they were actually people I knew and not just characters in a book. I love it when a book can do that to me.

I admit that I did not read Dare You To, so I don't know the extent of what Isaiah went through in that book, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of this book at all. In fact, it makes me want to go back and give that book a try again even if it didn't work for me the first time around. Isaiah was a favorite of mine after reading the first book, so it was natural that I was dying to read his story. It was even better than I imagined. He is very broken, but he is also one of the greatest guys you could meet. He makes bad decisions, but when you are faced with bad or worse, you do what you can. I loved seeing him open up and let his walls down for Rachel. He falls for her despite trying to convince himself it's a bad idea. He doesn't think he is good enough for her, he doesn't want to bring her down, he doesn't want to give in to love because all he knows of love is that it will hurt you. It was very emotional to see him letting go and just doing what his heart wanted.

Rachel was a character that I immediately liked. She is all dolled up, living the fancy life... but hating every second of it. She just wants to escape and go drive her Mustang and clear her mind. She feels free when she is in her car. She loves cars. She likes working on them, and knows more about them than most guys. She reminds me of myself in that way. She also suffers from really extreme panic attacks, and trying to be the perfect daughter only makes that worse. She only wants to please her family even if it makes her miserable. They don't know the real her. The only one she lets see her for who she is, is Isaiah. Only she hides how bad her panic attacks are because she doesn't want to show weakness. She has always felt like the weak one her whole life, and Isaiah thinks she is strong. She doesn't want to change that. I enjoyed seeing her come out of her shell too. Even through her fear, she really is strong. Stronger than she thinks. The only thing that makes her weak is her fear to be herself.

The romance is sweet, intense, and emotional. McGarry sure knows how to invest you into the relationship and practically want to beg that things will work out for them. She made my heart ache for them, and also fill with love at how they care about each other. I felt all the emotions they felt. I wanted to dive into the book and tell them everything would work out somehow for them. I thought the progression of their relationship was perfect. Rachel has never had a boyfriend so she is very unsure of things, but yet trusts Isaiah. He is very sweet and patient with her. He wants her to feel safe and special. He doesn't want her to do anything she doesn't want to, and he is willing to wait forever if that's what she needs. Neither one of them have felt the way they do about anyone, and I thought that it was done fabulously. It's all new to them both. Isaiah may be physically experienced, but mentally it's unfamiliar to him. It scares the crap out of him, but he also knows it's something he wants. Their chemistry is off the charts, and they really push each other to be themselves. As unlikely a couple as they seem, they really are perfect for each other.

This book was really intense. I loved the racing, I loved the danger, and I loved the romance. On top of that, the secondary characters were just as awesome. This was not just a story about Isaiah and Rachel, but about everyone around them as well. It never felt like the others were brushed aside or unimportant. I especially liked getting to know Abby and Rachel's brothers. (The next book is West's story!!) Not many authors can fully invest me into a story where I want to know everyone and everything. Where I leave the book feeling like I am going to be away from friends for a while and look forward to reuniting with them again. This book was everything I wanted and more!!


*An advanced copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.


Other books in the series

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10194514-pushing-the-limits


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16069024-crossing-the-line


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13561164-dare-you-to



About the Author

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

***Author Links***


Tour giveaway!!

10 finished copies of Crash Into You (US & CAN only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post brought to you by YA Bound Blog Tours