Monday, September 15, 2014

Some Boys Blog Blitz + Giveaway



YA author, Patty Blount, is back with another novel that addresses one of today’s most pressing issues facing today's youth. SOME BOYS is a gutwrenching and edgy love story told from alternating points of view that's perfect for fans of Simone Elkeles and Katie McGarry.

"SOME BOYS belongs in every YA collection." - School Library Journal

"5 stars. Very well-deserved! This book did quite a number on me - unlike most books (contemporary or not), this one made me FEEL, and feel really strongly." - The Eater of Books

Want to get to know Patty better? Check out this exclusive interview!

Oh, crap, I’m late. I’m freaking late. I jog up the stairs and turn west and skid to a halt.

No. No, no, no!

Please let this be a mistake.

Mr. Jordan said he’d assigned locker cleanup to somebody besides me.

Oh, my God, I’m cursed.

They both turn when they hear me. I look for it—the expression on their faces that matches the expression on every other face when I walk by. The expression that says, Here comes the lying whore!
“You Grace?” the janitor asks, and I nod. “You’re late. I’ll have to report that to Mr. Jordan.”
Knock yourself out, pal. Principals don’t scare me.

Students do.

I pay only the slightest attention to the instructions the janitor provides. I’m watching Ian Russell out of the corner of my eye. Tall and lean. Great mouth, dark hair, and dark eyes that have their own gravitational pull, Ian’s easy on the eyes, but that’s not all. There’s some­thing about him, something that’s always been there every time I’ve looked at him.
I’ve looked at him a lot.

He’s got this restlessness, this energy that practically sizzles, and I don’t understand it, even though I always wanted to.
He’s on the lacrosse team. Why isn’t he on the field with the rest of the team? What did he do to get stuck with this job?
But none of those are the real questions I’m asking. I don’t want to think about the real questions. But how can I not? How much did Ian see? How much does Ian believe? Why did he help me that night?
The janitor gives me the master key and instructions on what to put where and then points to the lockers across from Ian.

Hell no.

He’s deluded if he thinks I’ll turn my back on any friend of Zac McMahon’s.

The janitor leaves, and I grab a pair of rubber gloves, anxious to get started. I keep Ian in my visual field, ready to defend myself if he so much as raises a hand to me, but all that dark hair hides his face. I spray a locker and can’t reach the top. And suddenly Ian’s right there, and my arms are too busy holding me up to fight.

“Here, I got it.”

Shit. I jump so hard I hit my elbow. He mumbles some apology, but I can’t hear him over the rush of panic. He backs off and returns to his own locker, and for a long moment I think about climbing inside one of the lockers—who cares if it’s clean—and just hiding inside until the shift is over. Six days. How the hell am I going to get through six days of this? I take some more deep breaths and scrub the hell out of the next locker.


Enter to WIN a $10 gift card for Amazon or Barnes & Noble + all 3 of Patty's books & SWAG including a SEND wristband, a TMI magnet and a Some Boys safety whistle!


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About SOME BOYS:

Some Boys go too far. Some Boys will break your heart. But One Boy can make you whole.

Seventeen-year-old lacrosse player Ian Russell—sidelined by a concussion—is sentenced to spend spring break scrubbing out lockers. It’s bad enough when Ian discovers his partner for the week is Grace Collier, the girl who claims his best friend raped her at a party in the woods a few weeks ago. But what sucks most of all is that he used to have a thing for Grace… before Zac MacMahon got to her first.
Grace wants to crawl into one of the lockers and die. Ian was the only reason Grace even bothered to go that stupid party, but he never showed up. Not until… after. Suddenly, someone was shaking her awake. The last thing she remembers is the expression on Zac’s face. But Zac told the entire school the sex was consensual and posted a video on Facebook to prove it. Her best friends have abandoned her and even her parents aren’t too sure.
But Ian and Grace surprise each other. He never disrespects her, and she even helps him when a dizzy spell hits. Ian still likes Grace with her bad-ass style. Unlike the rest of the school, who has rejected Grace, calling her a slut and a liar, Ian is funny and kind with secrets of his own. But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you challenge your best friend and call him a liar? How do you believe in love?





About Patty Blount:

In addition to writing novels for teens, Patty Blount writes technical information for a computer company. Her first novel, Send, was inspired after a manager suggested she learn more about social networks. A short version of that same novel finished in the top ten of the Writer's Digest 79th Annual Writing Competition. She is also the author of the young adult book, TMI. She lives on Long Island with her family. Visit her at pattyblount.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Of Monsters And Madness Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Title: Of Monsters and Madness
Author: Jessica Verday
Expected publication: September 9th 2014 by EgmontUSA
Source: eARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
Goodreads


"A romantic, historical retelling of classic Gothic horror featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee, from a New York Times best-selling author.

Summoned to her father's home in 1820's Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which he might be implicated. She is torn romantically between her father's assistants-one kind and proper, one mysterious and brooding-who share a dark secret and may have more to do with the violent events than they're letting on."

Thoughts: For those who know me, I'm a huge fan of retellings, especially ones involving classics. Needless to say, when I first heard of this novel, I knew I had to read it. Annabel Lee is probably my favorite of Poe's poems, thus, I was definitely interested in seeing how this novel went. Sadly, though I enjoyed the writing and found it to be lyrical, I just couldn't get into the story.

When I hear the word "retelling", it's exactly what I want. I want to see a connection between the classic poem and also a twist or some sort of modernization that differentiates the two but still leaving me satisfied with the overall connection. While some of the characters are referenced, I didn't this novel to be in any relation to the original poem at all. This was something that really disappointed me. It lacked that connection I was looking for, and I really tried to look past this but found it hard to do so.

Another issue I had with this book is the pacing. So, so slow. I felt like the whole book revolved around character development with very little plot progression. The ending definitely leaves room for a sequel, so maybe that's where the action will be? I hate to say it, but I really did struggle pushing myself to read until the end, and even then, I found myself skipping pages and apparently not missing much in the process. I will say that the last quarter of the book progressed much more rapidly than the rest, and I pretty much devoured this part of the book.

I know it sounds like I'm tearing this book apart, but I'm really not trying to. Like I originally say, the writing is beautiful, and that was the main reason I kept reading it. Verday has a way with words. The thing is, I just don't think this was the book for me. I was expecting one thing, and it ended up being something entirely different. I hear horror and except some, but there really wasn't any. It's more of a Gothic novel with a few disturbing elements.

For the most part, I liked OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS, but I don't see myself reading a sequel (if there is one).


Rating:

3 Stars






Giveaway time! Thanks to the fabulous people at Egmont, I'm giving away a copy of OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS. This giveaway is open to US/CA participants only and ends 9/26.

Be sure to check out the next few stops on the blog tour for my chances to win!

* 9/4: Actin' Up With Books
*9/5: Icey Books
*9/6: Tales of a Ravenous Reader and A Dream Within A Dream
*Link to the rest of the tour


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Bio:
Jessica Verday is the New York Times best-selling author of The Hollow trilogy. She wrote the first draft of The Hollow by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. The first draft of The Haunted took fifteen spiral-bound notebooks and twenty black pens. The Hidden took too many notebooks and too many pens to count. She lives in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, with her husband. You can visit her online at www.jessicaverday.com.

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...

*sigh*

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.


*Goodreads
*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
Goodreads

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."


Thoughts:
*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!




Rating:

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
Goodreads

"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".



Rating:


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!


Rating:

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.”