Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don't Own Yet.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks topic is the top ten books I really want to read but don't own yet. Umm, narrow this down to ten? I guess I'll try...

1. The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons. I absolutely LOVED Kristen's ARTICLE 5 series, so I'm definitely looking forward to her next novel,. The Handmaid's Tale meets Blood Red Road? Innnnnteresting.

2. Winterspell by Claire Legrand. Hello, this book was inspired by The Nutcracker. Enough said.

3. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. I keep hearing amazing things about this book.

4. Come Back To Me by Mila Gray. Another one I've heard great things about!

5. Even In Paradise by Chelsey Philpot. This one sounds like a great yet possibly heavy beach read!

6. No Place To Fall by Jaye Robin Brown. You guys, how cute is the cover? I'm also seriously in love with the summary.

7. The Bridge From Me To You by Lisa Schroeder. Umm, why don't I own this book yet, and why haven't I read it? I pretty much love all of Lisa's books, so I need to remedy this ASAP!

8. On The Fence by Kasie West. No idea why I don't own this one yet, especially since I loved PIVOT POINT.

9. Pointe by Brandy Colbert. We've pretty much established how much I stink at book buying lately...

10. I Was Here by Gayle Forman. Love this lady and all over her books. Very much excited about this one!

There you have it! What books do you really want to read but don't own yet?

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Infinite Sea Giveaway

"The riveting follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The 5th Wave, hailed by Justin Cronin as “wildly entertaining.”

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate."

Let us all take a moment and appreciate the cover of THE INFINITE SEA...


Okay, for those of you guys who have read THE 5th WAVE, I'm sure you're as excited about THE INFINITE SEA as I am. Rick Yancey couldn't write fast enough. We're less than one month away from the release, and it still feels too long. Ack!

Thanks to the fabulous people at Penguin Young Readers Group, I'm not only giving away a copy of THE INFINITE SEA, I'm giving away a SIGNED copy. WOOHOO! We'll go over that in a bit, but first let's take a moment and watch the epic trailer for this book.

EEK! Are you excited yet? If so, I'm got another surprise for you. You can actually read an except from this novel NOW! Check it out...

Okay, and now it's time for the giveaway. To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and answer this question in the comments below: What 3 books would you want to bring in the event of an apocalypse? This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends September 16th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and remember... They are coming for us. All of us.

*Follow Rick Yancey on Twitter
*Follow PenguinTeen on Twitter
*Rick Yancey's Website
*Penguin Young Readers Group

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published: August 14th 2014 by Dutto
Source: Bought

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

First line: "It's midnight, it's sweltering, and I might be high on Vicodin, but that guy- that guy right over there- that's him."

*slow claps*

I can honestly say this is the best book I have read all year. From the very first sentence, the author pulls you back into her world filled with laughter, friendship, art, and so much love leaving my heart aching by the end. I've recommended quite a few books this year (thus far), but guys, this is THE book. This book tops every other book that you've read and will literally have you both smiling due to it's epicness yet crying because it's over.

One thing I highly recommend doing prior to reading ISLA is rereading both ANNA and LOLA. I personally read ISLA before rereading the other two, then went back and reread them all. The second time around (the one with the rereads) somehow made this whole experience much more magical. Every loose end is tied up, and it's done beautifully. Honestly, prior to the rereads, I forgot who Isla was. I loved that the author left little breadcrumbs in each book leading you towards the end. Quite frankly, I haven't read such genius since J. K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series.

Out of the three heroines, I must admit Isla is my favorite. I love that she adores wearing dresses and high heels. As a five foot nothing woman married to a six foot two man, I can assure you sometimes flats just don't work. I actually have a couple engagement photos that look like my husband is walking a small child rather than his future wife. At any rate, like most girls her age, Isla is confused about where her life will take her. Should she attend a university in New York or Paris? Maybe she should explore somewhere she hasn't been? What should she do with her life? As seniors in high school, we all ask ourselves these questions. There are a few that know exactly what they want to do with their lives (Josh being one), but I think it makes it even harder for people that don't know to be around people that do. Perkins does a great job of displaying this in her novel and to me, it makes the characters much more real.

Josh ended up being more complicated than I originally remembered. I didn't realize how sensitive he was nor how boyish he can be, but if anything, he is the epitome of a hopeless romantic. To all the single ladies, if you ever find a guy like this, do not let him go. He is a rarity and sees beauty in this world that you can't even imagine. I love that he's an artist who loves graphic novels. I love it even more that if he sees something spectacular, he has to drop everything and draw it. Memories come and go but drawings? Those can last forever.

Now, my favorite part of this book is the romance. Wowzas! I can see why this book is recommended for people 14 and up. The angst, the confusion, the chemistry, all of it led up to these intricate, perfect moments that had swooning all over the place. I felt like a cesium atom bouncing in a stable gravitational cavity. You guys, I'm actually sighing right now just thinking about it. I will admit sometimes the angst was just too much for me. Agony, so much agony! Can't we all just kiss and make-up? Alas, the world is not perfect, but all we can hope and ask for is a happily ever after.

All in all, as you can see from this ranting and raving review, I cannot recommend ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER enough. I loved this book so much that I ended up not only purchasing it but also purchasing the paperback copies of both ANNA and LOLA as well. Yes, I do own the hardbacks but hey, I have to have my favorite ladies matching, right? Right!


5 Stars

Favorite Quotes:

“I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?”

“There's no story,' I say. 'I saw you one day, and I just knew.”

“Josh grins. It’s wide and relieved and reveals a rarely seen pair of dimples. I could live inside those dimples for the rest of my life.”

“You know that because you asked me out, you’re the one who has to pick the place, right?”
Throat. Dry.
Dry throat.
All of the dryness in my throat.
“Whatever you suggest.” He grins. “I’ll say yes. You’ll definitely get a yes. If that helps.”

Friday, August 15, 2014

All Lined Up

Title: All Lined Up
Author: Cora Carmack
Published: May 13th 2014 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Source: Bought

"New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel."

First line: "In Texas, two things are cherished above all else- football and gossip."

Thoughts: Look at that first line. Just look about it and think. If you're from Texas, you know that truer words have never been spoken, especially if you grew up in either a small town or an urban subdivision outside a major city (the latter would be me). Also, if you're from Texas this world, that must mean you're very familiar with Friday Night Lights (If not, we need to have a serious talk about your life choices). This book is pure Friday Night Lights (minus season two) all wrapped up into a well-written, entertaining, and purely fun read. I must say this is Cora Cormack at her best, and I couldn't be happier.

Like most NA novels, this book is told in alternating points of views. You have Dallas (named after the Cowboys) who is a dancer and wants to separate herself from her dad's coaching life and her past. She hates that she lives in and attends a small town college and dreams about moving somewhere with a more established dancing program. The only thing is her protective and hard-headed father won't let her. Their relationship is strained, leaving Dallas stuck between a rock and a hard place. Now, mix that in with Carson, the newest member of the Rusk "Bleed Red" football team, and you've got a formula for drama. Hello, coach's daughter and one of his football players? Lights, camera, action!

Of the two characters, I found myself enjoying Carson's character more. He was just so laid back and easy to love. I love that he has this alpha protective nature but is also a complete and utter sweetheart. His actions on the field very much describe him as a person. What I mean by this is he's a loyal, hardworking, and passionate man who simply wants to find himself. Hey, isn't that what college is for? Plus, hello...he's a quarterback. You know what that means, right? Killer arms + six-pack abs. WOWSA!

The romance between the two was the perfect mixture of angst, yearning, and steam. Both the chemistry and passion were palpable, and it had me thirsty for me. Oh, and those kissing scenes? Can you say swoon? I'm smiling right now just thinking about it.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to all fans of FNL and well, fabulous books in general. I'm trying to think of any issues I may have had with this novel and am coming up blank. Seriously, I can't emphasize this enough, READ THIS BOOK. As Coach Taylor would say: "Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose".


5 Stars

Favorite Quotes

“God, do they make WD-40 for flirting? Because I am rusty.”

“I swallow and stare and swallow again, because dear, sweet Jesus riding a unicorn, he's perfect.”

“I don't know anything about this guy except that his eyes make my mind fuzzy, and his muscled arms make my mouth water, and the things he keeps saying... they burn – beginning in my flushed cheeks, blazing through my blood, and curling between my legs until I feel like I have to squeeze them together just to keep from combusting on the spot.”

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Kiss of Deception

Title: Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Published: July 8th 2014 by Henry Holt
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
Barnes & Noble/ Goodreads

"In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love."

First line: "Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born."

Thoughts: Mind = blown. KISS OF DECEPTION gave me one of the biggest book hangovers I've had in such a long time. I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks. Even as I continued to read other novels, thoughts of Lia, Rafe, and Kaden slowly drifted back into my thoughts. Annoyance followed by excitement crept in as I sat there wondering and questioning what will happen in the sequel. My love and hatred intensified as I thought about the cliffhanger ending. Why a cliffhanger? Why?! Without a doubt, KISS OF DECEPTION is currently in a three-way tie for best book I've read this year thus far.

The novel is told in a very unique way. Though it's not uncommon to have alternating points of views, especially in a fantasy novel, there were alternating chapters told through the prince and the assassin's view. The biggest question I constantly asked myself was which person was which. Is the prince Rafe or is he the assassin? What about Kaden? I don't know. This drove me to the brink of insanity, and I loved every minute of it. The mystery sucked me in allowing me to devoured each and every page.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You would think it would be easy to figure out between the two which one was the assassin. After all, the assassin has to be some kind of jerk, right? WRONG! Both of these guys were completely charming and swoon-worthy. Though Lia is clearly attracted to both, there isn't a love triangle. It's obvious she loves one and not the other. Just please, don't let this person be the assassin.

All in all, I highly recommend KISS OF DECEPTION, especially to fantasy lovers out there. Lia, the heroine, is both likable and smart, which is always a plus. Some people may consider the pacing in the beginning to be a bit slow, but honestly, this is how a lot of fantasy novels are. There has to be some sort of world and character building before the good stuff happens. As for the ending, lets just say it wasn't something I was expecting. Shocking, much?

I do have to mention that KISS OF DECEPTION left me with more unanswered questions than answered ones, but I guess that's why there's a sequel...or shall I say squee-quel? I'll pretty much be squeeing and possibly pacing around my room until the sequel is released, and I get my greedy little paws on it!


5 Stars

Favorite Quoites:

“A six-inch blade. I smiled. Did he buy it? It was actually just shy of four—but very nicely weighted—and as Aunt Bernice noted, a little exaggeration was always expected when describing weapons, victories, and body parts.”

“We all have our different skills. You’re patient to a fault, which sometimes doesn’t work to your advantage. I, on the other hand, have the patience of a wet cat. Only on rare occasions does that come in handy.”

“Sometimes we’re all pushed to do things we thought we could never do.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Blogging Confessions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks topic are your top ten blogging confessions. Let's do this!

1. It's easier for me to write a review for a book I hated as oppose to a book I love. Maybe it's because emotions are high, but I always feel like when it comes to a book I dislike, the words just flow naturally together. As for books I love, my reviews seem to be a blur of adjectives and verbs. "I loved it!", "I devoured it!", "I was completely absorbed in the story.", etc. Fangirling is inevitable.

2. I often feel overwhelmed by ARCs. Hear me out before you judge! I absolutely love receiving them and am beyond grateful whenever a publisher sends me ARCs I either requested or randomly received. The only thing is, I tend to buy a lot of books as well and end up not finding the time to read them. Do you know how many books I have on my shelves that I haven't read yet? Too many. I mean, I still haven't read MOCKINGJAY yet, and part one of the movie comes out in November. *hangs head in shame*

3. For me, taking a break from blogging is often a must. As you all know, blogging is very time consuming. During the months leading up to my wedding, I tried very hard to keep up with my blog but simply couldn't find the time. In the end, I ended up taking a month off mainly because of time, but also because I didn't want to have another thing to worry about or commit to on top of everything else. I usually only take a week or two off a year, but this past spring was a little different.

4. Sometimes, I don't review books I bought and read for fun. This has only happened to a handful of books, but it doesn't make me any less guilty. Whenever I read a review book, I bust out the sticky notes and mark quotes I love or things I didn't like or things I thought were important in general. It's basically the way I read required books in high school and college, and it sometimes makes whatever I'm reading less enjoyable. So, whenever I read a book I bought for fun and loved, I sometimes don't post a review on my blog. I do end up gushing about it on Twitter or Goodreads, and not reviewing it on my blog makes me a bad blogger, especially when I adore the author, but can't I just have something to myself? Something I can just enjoy and not feel forced to work on?

5. I delete review requests from people who don't take the time to read my review policy. Honestly, I don't do it to be cruel or mean or to say I'm too good for this. That's not how I function. If someone isn't going to take the time to read my review policy, why should I take the time to read and review their book? Also, my name isn't "Addicted 2 Novels". It's Lena. It's also not Leanba or Anna or Lebron James. It's Lena. The least someone can do is get my name right.

6. I hate recommending books to my good blogging friends. I love more things than I hate, and my friends sometimes hate the things I love. They're judging me... eek! No, I know they're not judging me, but it's so hard to recommend a book to someone who reads as much as you do. THE PRESSURE! I just can't.

7. BEA scares me. It totally does! The only reasons I would go to BEA are for the people and the parties. I'm always jealous of the parties everyone goes to, but what if I don't get invited to them? Half the reason I want to go is gone. Also, I've seen photos of how incredibly hectic it is, and I've also heard horror stories involving biting, pushing, and shoving. I'm 5 feet tall. If you push me, I'll fall, and who will be there to save me?

8. I suck at posting reviews on time. I try so hard to post reviews the week of the release and fail more than I'd like to admit. Do you know how many drafts I have saved on my blog? Too many my friends. Too, too many.

9. I get annoyed whenever people rate books on Goodreads they haven't read yet. Can someone please explain this to me? I don't care if it's one star or five. If someone hasn't read a book yet, they shouldn't rate or judge it. Didn't like the previous book in a series? What does that have to do with the current/next book? Love every book an author has written? That's great, but why do people give a book five stars before the author is even done writing it? Calm your pits, people!

10. My nickname should be "Sucks At Leaving Comments". I do, and I hate myself for it. I keep telling myself I'll be better at leaving comments on other people's blogs, but I still stink at it. Ack!

There you half it, folks! What are some of your blogging confessions?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Poolside Reading And Other Various Fourth of July Things

That's right, I just posted a photo of apple pie/crisp/whatever you want to label it! At any rate, Happy 4th of July to all of you American bloggers, friends, and readers out there. Is there anything better than a three day weekend? Maybe a four or five or not having to go to work at all, but I'll take what I can get. It's pretty much a trademark in our household to celebrate this weekend with fireworks, sitting by the pool/lake/beach, bbq-ing, and aweosme outdoorsy things, even if we (or maybe just me) aren't very outdoorsy.

Since I plan on spending my weekend by the pool reading, I thought I'd share some of my favorite poolside books with you guys. Here we go!

Before we dive into our weekend of fun in the sun, let's not forget what today stands for. It's Independence Day, and far too many soldiers have lost their lives fighting for our great nation. For those who make it back, the majority struggle with PTSD or with the everyday lifestyles that we've all grown accustomed, if not spoiled, to. SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL helps remind us to pray for not only our brave soldiers but also their family, friends, and loved ones. Really, it's the perfect 4th of July read.

Ahh, is there anything better than small vacation towns? How about summer romance? I cannot tell you guys enough how much I simply adored WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE. It truly is the perfect beach read.

Whenever I read the title of SINCE YOU BEEN GONE, I can't help but start singing the Kelly Clarkson song in my head. At any rate, this is such a great summer read or really a fabulous book in general. It's about friendship- the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's fun, complex, sometimes difficult, but overall perfect. Read it, yo!

In my world, Sarah Dessen is a staple as far as summer poolside reading goes. I cannot tell you how much I love this book or really count how many times I've reread it. ALONG FOR THE RIDE is one of my favorite SD novels, tied with THIS LULLABY.

For you campers out there, THINGS I CAN'T FORGET is the book for you. For you noncampers out there, this book is still for you. Right now, I'm stuck between whether this one or Miranda's upcoming novel (BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE) is my favorite. Anywho, it's easy to devour this book by the pool/lake/beach and accidentally get sunburnt because you lost track of time. I know this all too well.

Now, let's talk about treats. While apple pie seems to be an American signature dessert, I can't help but declare and fangirl over my love for macarons. I've been on this CRAZY macarons kick lately and simply cannot get enough of these delectable treats. In fact, I even took a macarons baking class. Low and behold, for I have created heaven in bite:

Needless to say, these are easily becoming my favorite poolside treat. Well, this and a pitcher of margarita...because I'm an adult and can do what I want! I have three awesome macaron recipes: Chocolate with a salted caramel filling, lemon with a raspberry buttercream filling, and earl grey with a chocolate filling. Honestly, you can mix and match any of the fillings, and they all taste great. If you're interested, email me at addicted2novels(at)gmail(dot)com. I'd love to share these recipes with you!

Regardless of what you guys do this weekend, please remember to be safe, enjoy a book and have fun. Till next time, this is Lena signing out.