Monday, June 30, 2014

The Possibility of Us by Lisa Burstein

  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Series: Entangled Embrace 
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

 One weekend together could change everything…

When her friend called to tell her about the funeral, Cassie wanted to say no. She had enough to handle with her own hollow existence. But she knew she should pay her respects to her old camp counselor…as long as her ex, Ben, wouldn’t be there.

Except Ben is there. Still gorgeous, still angry, and still able to penetrate her defenses with one intense stare. All the reasons they left each other in a flurry of heartache start to fall away over one long, snowy weekend.

But tough Cassie can’t truly open up to Ben when she knows confessing her secrets will leave her raw, defenseless. And the possibility of forever might not be enough to gamble on all the impossibilities of now.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18499688-the-possibility-of-us?ac=1

My Thoughts

I have really enjoyed the books in this series, and I really liked Cassie's character. She's very abrasive, but that's what I like about her. She's been hurt, she's hurt others, and she doesn't quite know where to go in her life at the moment. She has things that she needs to overcome and move on from, or to accept and take responsibility. This was a great story of what happened after Turning Pines, and how things turned out where they are with Ben.I of course love that it's a dual POV so we get to hear things from both Cassie's side, and Ben's side.

Cassie is her normal foul-mouthed self, but she's also heart broken and confused. This one takes place mostly at a hotel where they are staying for her Turning Pines councilor's funeral. When Ben shows up, she is angry, but also glad to see him. She doesn't want to fall back into things just to have them fall apart again, but she also misses him and knows that she is in love with him. She is still having trouble letting him completely in. Being there at the funeral makes her really think about things in a way she didn't before. Now she just has to wonder if it's too late and if she has enough strength inside to do what she needs to.

Ben was a favorite of mine in Dear Cassie. I just love his personality. He was mysterious in that, but in this one he is pretty much an open book. He is also not as much the fun loving Ben. That part of him is still there, but he is hurt, and he uses sarcasm and an attitude to cover it. (Kind of like Cassie herself.) He wants so much to be with Cassie, but also wants her to let him in and not keep hiding important parts of herself anymore. He wants the trust he deserves from her. He is so sweet and I love how he's always wanting to protect her and be there for her, but I really liked that he also wanted to be important too. Not have it always be all Cassie, but about them.

The  romance was a slow build up in this. We have already had a romance between these two, but this is like starting over. There is also bad history with it since they are both hurt from what happened between them. They obviously still care about each other a lot, but aren't sure exactly how the other feels, or if they are willing to try to make things work. Or for that matter, if it's fair to want that from the other. Things are tense between them, but they slowly let each other back in. They know that the other is important to them, but will they be able to make it work beyond the weekend?

I loved the characters in this, and I really liked getting the continuation of their story. Getting to know Laura and Ben's brother was really fun. We get to know a bit more about Ben's past where we knew almost nothing. I thought that the emotional connection of the characters in this book was a strong point. Cassie bothered me in this one more than she had previously though. I know that F*$% is her favorite word, but it seemed almost overdone in this. Like it was there all the time even when it seemed totally unnecessary. Besides that though, I really loved this, and I thought it was a great addition to these books!! Lisa Burstein continues to be an author that I adore and can't wait to read more of her books.


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


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Audiobook Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (HarperCollins)
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Read by: Devon Sorvari
  • Length: 14 hours and 12 minutes
  • Source: Digital Audiobook provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | The Book Depository

I didn't ask for any of this.
I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road—but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18053125-dorothy-must-die

My Thoughts

I love The Wizard of Oz, so a retelling of this story was a must read!! I really enjoyed this take on the book. It was fun, adventurous, and I really enjoyed the characters.The main character Amy is spunky, snarky, and fun. I really liked how she viewed everything and her thought process about things.This was dark, but humorous book and I really liked listening to it.

Amy is our main character. She hasn't had the best life. Her mom has a lot of issues, and Amy doesn't really have friends. She gets ranked on by the popular girl, who also happens to be pregnant. This may not seem to matter in my review, but little details about things in the book do matter later when you think back on them, and when Amy thinks back on them. She wakes up in a messed up version of Oz and is convinced that she is hallucinating. As she travels through Oz, meets people, and discovers herself, she really does grow a lot as a character. I really enjoyed her "don't give a crap" personality. She as a fun character to follow through this journey.

We get all of the great characters from The Wizard of Oz in creative ways. Especially Dorothy. Now she is quite a character. She in nothing like the sweet and innocent Dorothy we are used to. She is too perky, too fake, and too evil. She is power hungry for magic, and will do anything she can to make sure everyone and everything follow her rules. The munchkin we meet is really awesome too. I really liked her. Mostly, I really loved how good and evil are opposite in this.

The audio of this was really great. I thought the narrator was perfect for the story. She put the emotion into the story. She made me believe that she was Amy. She was able to make all the characters their own as well. I was able to get completely into the story and found myself wanting to keep listening.

This was a fun adventure and a great take on one of my favorite stories. It had a lot of humor, a lot of action, and just a fun journey to follow. Each chapter ended to make you not want to stop and just read one more. I did want to know more about some things, but overall it was told very well, and didn't leave me wanting much. This is an author that I can't wait to read more of!!





*An advanced digital audiobook copy was provided by the publisher for review. I did not receive any compensation.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Upcoming Blog Name Change


Hi everyone!!! So, today I was randomly googling my blog name. (Silly, I know, but I do it every once in a while) As I scrolled down the page through many of links to my blog posts, I saw a Book Loving Mom that wasn't me. *Gasp* Of course I had to click on it. The shock that someone stole my blog name made me mad, sad, and frustrated. That blog is just over a month old! I've been using this blog name for almost 3 YEARS!! They have no contact button, so I couldn't nicely email them about it. (I'm not rude enough to actually post on their blog that they are a name stealer) But really, a quick google search would have shown them that someone already was using that blog name. 

I went through hours of anger and sadness. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to think. How can people really not google something before setting up something like a blog? I mean, if you are setting up a blog, you should probably know how to use google!! I took to twitter and talked to a few fellow bloggers. They helped me to not feel so frustrated, and helped me to come to a decision about my blog.

First, I will go into some of the little things about it. My URL is not matching my blog name and instead it's booklovingme.com, (when I purchased my URL the one matching my name wasn't available, but I came across no other blogs with the name) so this person easily scooped up the mom.com URL. So what can I do? I know I shouldn't have to be the one to change my blog name that I have had for years, but I though about it, and is it worth the headache to deal with this blog name stealing person. (I know I sound mean, but it's upsetting even though I don't think the person did it on purpose.) 

So, after thinking about it, and ranting quite a bit, I have decided I will be changing my blog name to Book Loving Me. It will match my URL, and I think that my followers will still know it's me. It's going to be the same website you have been using, just a different blog name. I hope that if anyone goes to the other Book Loving Mom blog, they won't be confused since that is totally not me. After almost 3 years, my name is changing. It's sad, but I'm okay with it and even really like the name. The change will not be official until after I get a new banner, and grab button. I suppose I will probably need a new meme banner for StS too, but that isn't super important right at the moment. Once it is official. I will have a post about it with my new banner and button to grab with the new name. I just wanted to let everyone know in advance the name is changing and that the other Book Loving Mom is not me. I will be Book Loving Me soon!!

Love you all!!!

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (97)

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews

Hello everyone!! Happy Summer!! I love it when it's warm and I can lounge outside and read! This is my first summer being back working since I've started my blog, so I only get the weekends, but I take advantage when I can. Things are much more settled now, and I have gotten quite a bit of reading done. I just have to write a bunch of reviews now. I am hoping to be able to start getting a bunch scheduled in advance so I don't have days on end with no posts. 


Books Mentioned

Review

Thank you so much to Random House, Disney-Hyperion, Netgalley, and Bloomsbury! I am really excited about these books!

I only had two reviews posted this week. One was Journey Into the White (IDWMA Ep. #12) By Rhiannon Frater, and The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu.

That's it for me this week. Now to get all caught up on reading and posting. Hope you all had a great week. I will check out your posts to see all the great new additions you got.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Source: ARC Provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.

http://us.macmillan.com/thetruthabout...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18465507-the-truth-about-alice


 My Thoughts

Everyone has fallen for the rumors spread about someone at one point in time. This book is a perfect example of that. It's easy to believe something about someone, and then let it all get out of hand. The pressure of High School and popularity are hard things. When faced with going along with everyone else, or believing in the person rumors are flying about, it's a tough choice for some people. As an adult, I would love to think that people should have their own minds and not judge, but I admit, I fell for the same types of rumors when I was in school at one time or another. Not for popularity reasons, but because if everyone is saying something is true, it's hard not to believe it. This is told from outside perspectives, and it was fabulous!!

This book starts off from Elaine's POV who is miss popularity. She tells us about how Alice is a slut and what she did at her party. How it's her fault that the most popular boy in school (and her on\off boyfriend) is dead. We learn bit by bit about their past, the party, and the events that occur after and through the school year. Elaine was hard to like, and I don't think we are supposed to. By the end of the book, I did understand her more though. I didn't hate her, and I thought that she grew up a lot. 

We also hear from Josh, who was Brandon's best friend. He tells us about how awesome they were, how chicks loved Brandon, and how he misses Brandon more than anything. We hear about things they have been through, how tough things were after the accident, which he was in too, and what really happened that night. 

Kelsie was Alice's best friend until after all the stuff happened. To Kelsie, being popular is more important. She doesn't stick by Alice's side like a real best friend would. She lets a stupid thing from their past seethe into hurt and anger to the point where she is willing to spread a lie about Alice to fit in with the "cool girls". She knows that it's wrong, but she doesn't want to be the girl she used to be. She has also been through something horrible, but she never shared it with anyone, and she lets that hurt and pain rule over her. Alice is the easy way to direct the things wrong in her life. 

Kurt was one of my favorite POV's. He is shy and doesn't have friends, but he is okay with it. He doesn't care to fit in. He's super smart, and a really great guy, but not great socially. He has always liked Alice. He just knew she wouldn't have given him the time of day. But yet, she had actually acknowledged him even when she was popular, even if it was just using him for help. He sees more in her than anyone else does, and he is her rock through the school year. While she is totally an outcast, and being treated horribly by everyone, he tutors her, and is also a friend. He is keeping something from her, but he has really good intentions. 

Alice is the root of the story. Even though we don't hear from her except one instance, we get to know her through all of the others. We hear about her friendships, how she acted, how she is now. My heart broke for this girl. Even though she seems to shut herself off, she is so strong. It had to be hard to deal with everything put on her. She is still a bit selfish and a bit of a jerk at times, but I really loved getting to know her. She is a broken shell of a girl who doesn't let the world tear her down. 

This is such a great book that really does cover so much of the behaviors that happen in school when you are teenagers. It's very honest and at times painful to read. I think that being told from four outside perspectives was a fantastic idea and made it such a well rounded story. So many times, I feel like I am missing something. This book leaves me feeling like I got the whole story. Or most of it anyways. We don't hear Alice's recount of the past year, but it doesn't really seem to matter in the end. We get so much from the others around her. I recommend this book to all teenagers, as well as adults. It was amazing. 


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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: Journey Into the White (In Darkness We Must Abide #12) by Rhiannon Frater

  • Publisher: Rhiannon Frater
  • Publication date: 6/16/2014
  • Series: In Darkness We Must Abide , #12
  • Source: eARC provided by the author for beta and review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

*This is episode 12 in a serial. My Review may contain spoilers for previous episodes, but it does not contain spoilers for this one. I think I have kept it pretty spoiler free in general, but continue at your own risk. 

Vanora’s only hope to escape her destiny and save those she loves is wrapped in a magic ritual that will not only reveal the supernatural conspiracy formed by a millennia of magic, but also unlock her secret powers.

Deep in the throes of the spell, Vanora witnesses Aeron the White and Terrible's journey from a kindhearted warrior to a deadly creature of prophecy. But the longer she spends time with him, the more dangerous the situation becomes, and Vanora must face the truth hidden in her heart and soul.

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/22463191-journey-into-the-white

My Thoughts

Okay, these are getting a lot harder to review. I love this serial because it's awesome, but also because each one is like a story all in itself. I love that they are readable in just a short period of time, but it all contributes to the story as a whole. This one is probably one of my favorite episodes so far. It's not fast paced or super scary, but we get to know the story of Aeron. We get to see the changes in him from a child to where he ends up and how he got to be the way he is. I also loved how the future and the past were so integrated together and it made things make a whole lot of sense.

In this episode, we get mostly all Aeron and his past. Vanora unlocks the memories of the past and she takes the journey through parts of Aeron's life with him. Even though it is just a vision, somehow she is present in it. He may not be able to see her, but he knows that she's there. He can feel her and sense her presence. At first I thought it all weird since she technically didn't exist yet, and she can't actually change the past, but the way it was done makes sense if you have followed along and loved this serial like I have.

Vanora has become increasingly stronger as she goes through things. I love her character so much. She doesn't deny the connection she has with Aeron, she doesn't deny the love, but she can choose not to follow her destined path and that's exactly what she does. She won't let fate or a prophecy rule her. She is more determined than ever after this to make sure the prophecy doesn't happen.

I know that this is such a super vague review, and they all seem to be getting this way, but this episode was outstanding. I love Rhiannon's writing and I love her characters. It's so easy to connect with the stories and fall into them. Even not being a huge fan of third person perspective, the way she writes makes me love it. I don't feel the disconnect as I often do with this type of writing. I know I have said this a million times, but if you haven't started this, you really should. The first two seasons are being sold as a set so you don't need to buy them individually and you can just read the episodes straight through. I wish I could buy this serial for everyone because I am seriously in love with it!!


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

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (96) and Superhero Scramble Recap!!

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews

Hello everyone!!! Happy Father's Day to the fathers out there and single moms that fill the role!! I know I have been horrible lately. I have had a lot going on, and reading and blogging has been on the back burner. Hopefully now things are all settled, and I don't have any events or things coming up that will take my attention away from it. I didn't do one of these last week because I was doing the Superhero Scramble Obstacle Race. It was so fun and hard. I was really sore for a few days after, but I felt really accomplished. There were only 2 obstacles I failed at. Anyways, enough about that. There will be pics below. Onto the books now. (I was going to include the pics in my video, but my thing was being stupid.
My hair is so fluffy from the humidity!

Books Mentioned

Review
Bought
 Thank you to Macmillan, Entangled Publishing and Cindy Madsen!!

I hope you all had a really great week. Check out my pics from the Superhero Scramble below!! My friend also posted some videos on FB and I have shared them on my timeline for any of you who are friends with me on there!

 This obstacle was so fun!! The Leap of Faith! 12 feet to the water.

 This was Hell Freezes Over. We just jumped the fire pit, next we have to dive under a beam in a muddy ice pit! That was my least favorite. It hurt so bad!!

 This was one of the obstacles I failed. The rings were really far apart, and there was a big difference in height.


 I love this pic!!


 The face I am making is epic! That slime crawl was so gross!


And here we are holding hands to go through the finish line!!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: Zombie Tales from Dead Worlds by Rhiannon Frater

  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/25/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the author for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

…ZOMBIES, INFECTED, DEADERS, BLIGHTERS…

Zombie Tales from Undead Worlds contains three exhilarating short stories and three white-knuckle novelettes set in alternate versions of an Earth inhabited with frightening variants of zombies to haunt your waking hours and fill your nightmares.

In The Blanket, a little boy hides as the end of the world enters his home…
In The Scavengers, two unique survivors struggle to carve out a life for themselves while being threatened by the most frightful beings of all: humanity…
In The Building, a teenage girl lives in a walled-in neighborhood and hopes to escape to the luxury of the high-rise apartment building that towers over it. But to reach it, she must risk the Deaders that roam the streets…
In The Necromancer, a Cleric must deal with hordes of the destructive undead as they threaten a settlement in a futuristic world…
In The Race, seven friends scramble to reach the safe zone while evading the dangers of the murderous Blighters and each other…
In The False Start, a young couple is torn apart as the undead plague begins to take hold of Austin, Texas…

Award-winning author Rhiannon Frater creates vivid new stories set in alternate worlds where people face nightmarish creatures that only desire one thing: to destroy the living.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22025932-zombie-tales-from-dead-worlds?from_search=true

My Thoughts

As all of you probably already know, I am a huge Rhiannon Frater fan. I am always excited about her next book and can't wait to dive in as soon as possible. Her zombies are amazingly scary and awesome, so I knew these stories would leave me with chills. I am also a fan of short stories. I know a lot of people aren't, but when they are good like these are, it's fabulous to get the enjoyment out of reading something quick!

The first story is The Blanket, which is very short, but sets the creepy tone for the book. I loved the little boy and how he perceived what was going on. It totally gave me the chills thinking about this little boy in his bed hearing the zombies in the house and attacking his family.

The next is The Scavengers. This was a unique and really cool story. Totally creepy too. The zombies can actually think and go about somewhat normally. Patsy was quite a character. She likes to look very made up and pretty, and wants nothing but a normal life with a family. Her husband will do anything to make her happy. It's sweet while still being a messed up zombie tale.

The Building is definitely a survival story. A community has built up a wall to reinforce them to keep the zombies out. They have mostly what they need inside, but there is a building that looms outside their safe haven where they think they could go to be safe and have everything they need. Letty's mother was working in the building, so she thinks that if they can make it there, they can be together as a family again. The zombies in this one are scary. They are fast and in hordes. I loved being along on the journey to see what she would find if she got there.

 The Necromancer is about different groups. Each one has something that benefits the other so they can help each other out. Only there are secrets, and selfish power-hungry people. I really enjoyed this one a lot.

The Race was a story that was very high intensity. It goes from being in the action to what happened before the event started. It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering if the group, or any of the group at all would make it to safety. I loved the way this story was written. I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time.

The False Start is the last story in the book and I thought that it was fantastic. A woman scorned who thinks her loser of a boyfriend is lying to her about being in the hospital. That is until she ends up right in the middle of the zombie apocalypse and starts to think that maybe he wasn't lying to her at all. Also, it makes me need to read The Living Dead Boy since it's connected to that novel. That is one of the novels of Frater's that I have not read yet.

Overall, this was a really great short story collection. All the stories in it were so unique and different that it was like reading a mini book with each one. I was able to feel for the characters even in the short time that I was in their world. I think that this collection is a must read for zombie fans and fans of this author. It is a treasure trove of awesome that needs to be found by readers of all kinds!



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

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (95)





*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews

Hello everyone!! Sorry I have been so MIA. I had super bad allergies, then this week was just rough. I can't believe it's June already!! On Saturday I am doing the Superhero Scramble Obstacle Run and I am so excited!! I don't know if I will have a StS next week since I will be gone the whole day on Saturday out in the Boston area for it, and that's when I normally film them. It looks hard, but like a lot of fun too!! Anyways, I have quite a big haul since I haven't posted a StS in a little while so I will get on with it. I will try to be quick! 



Books Mentioned

Review


Bought/Free
Thank you so much to Macmillan, HarperTeen, Edelweiss, Simon and Schuster Audio, and Hyperion!! I have so many fabulous books to read and review!! 

I only had one review this week for the Rain Blog Tour, and A guest post for the My Last Kiss Blog Tour.

That's my few weeks worth. Hope you all had a fabulous week!!