Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!!

***Spookified a book Kendare Blake signed/doodled for me way back when***

Happy Halloween, Everyone! I seriously love this time of year. Pumpkin carving, crazy decorations, candy, and all sorts of treats. As Cady Heron would say, "In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.". Though I haven't dressed up in years, I did find this gem in my photo stash:

Yep, that's me as Little Red Riding Hood and my friend, Cory, who came as Tiger Woods. Oh, college. Enjoy it while you can!

To kick of this awesome day, I thought I'd share with you guys some of my all-time favorite spooky books. Remember this jewel?

How is this book even a children's book? Seriously, I cannot tell you how many times SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK almost made me sh*t my pants. Do you remember the illustrations? I sure do. They're forever burned into my memory no matter how hard I try to delete them. *shudders*

Another one of my favorite Halloweenish books is this beauty right here:

Duh, I had to include ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. To those who have read it, you know why this is on my list. Ahh, the humor, the gore, the overall "Eek" factor...awesome.

The next and final book on my list definitely delivers when it comes to the scary, horror factor. I give you...

There are no zombies or vampires, but there are plenty of horrific and "Dang, that's effed up" moments that kept me up at night. I wasn't the same after reading THE DIVINERS.

To all of those going trick-or-treating tonight, may the odds be ever in your favor. Be sure to be safe and if you're in Houston, bring an umbrella with you. What are some of your favorite Halloweenish reads?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each blogger's most anticipated books. My pick this week is DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT by Sarah Mlynowski.

"Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have).

We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.

So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening."

Why I Can't Wait: TEN THINGS WE DID (AND PROBABLY SHOULDN'T HAVE) is one of the funniest, best contemporary books I have ever read. I loved it, so it's kind of obvious that I will read anything Sarah Mlynowski writes. This book sounds hilarious and awesome. Telepathic teenage girls and high school drama? Bring it!

Expected publication: March 11th 2014 by Random House Children's Books

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Fault Line

Title: Fault Line
Author: Christa Desir
Published: October 15th 2013 by SimonPulse
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.

But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.

Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?

Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves."

First line: "I thought Ani could be fixed."

Thoughts: To say this book is an emotional roller-coaster is an understatement. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to stop reading it, due to too many feels, yet couldn't. The need to know what will happen next and how things will play out kept me going. I wanted to throw-up, and I wanted to keep reading. Seriously, that's how well-written and beautifully done FAULT LINE is.

When I initially read the summary, I had a pretty good idea of what I thought happened to Ani the night of the party. What I didn't expect to find was how insanely extreme and intense the situation truly is. It's amazing how one night can change a person forever and in this case, it altered two lives. From the very first page, you get a glimpse into how severely messed up Ani and Ben are. After that, it jumps back to six months before, back to the beginning until you reach the end. In so many words, the book is told from what I call a Tarantino perspective: Start from the end, flash to the beginning, and end where it began.

FAULT LINE reminded me of so many recent cases I've read about online. I cannot fathom how teenagers can grow up knowing their peers can be so dangerous and evil. Whatever happened to going to the movies and grabbing a bite at Chili's? It's a cruel world out there, and Desir isn't afraid to talk about it.

How many times did I just want to reach out to Ben and hug him? Plenty, my friends. Plenty. You can just tell how much he loves Ani and wants to help her. The thing is, some people just don't want to be helped. I wanted to hate Ani. I did but couldn't because what happened to her was awful. How can you hate someone who had to deal with such an ordeal? Thus, all you can do is watch the train wreck unfold and pray for some sort of resolution or miracle.

One of the things I kind of wish the author did was split the points of views between both Ben and Ani. Though you get to witness through Ben how distraught and broken she is, you can't fully grasp why she's doing the the things she does. She doesn't let Ben in and even though she kind of tells him why, it's not enough. That's how I felt, and that's totally my opinion. After all, this is Ben's story to tell. Maybe Desir should write a few short stories through Ani's point of view and post them on her blog? I would love that!

Overall, I would recommend FAULT LINE to all fans of realistic contemporary novels. If you're looking for a light and easy read, look away. If you're looking for a fantastic novel with raw, real emotions, you've come to the right place. I will say this novel is a bit on the sexually explicit side. Some events are very detailed, so if that's something you're uncomfortable with, I would not recommend this book for you. For those who are on the fence about reading this book, just do it. It's worth it. I really liked it and think you will, too.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to follow this book up with a cocktail and a few cheesy 90's movies.


4 Stars

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Character Names I Love/Found Unusual

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. The name of the game is character names! Some are fabulous,, not so much. Shall we play?

1. Harper. I'm sure several people have encountered this name, but the book I remember it from is SAVING JUNE. I love it when authors pay homage to legendary authors (aka Harper Lee). Love!

2. Charlie/Charley for girls. What can I say? I love boy names for girls. A LITTLE WANTING SONG first made me fall in love with it, and INTO THE DEEP reminded me how much I adore it.

3. Wren for girls, not boys. Though Wren from THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US annoyed me at times, I couldn't help but think about how great her name is. I'd like to change my name, please!

4. Raleigh. Okay, so technically Raleigh is the bad girl in UNTIL IT HURTS TO STOP. Either way, her name has this southern yet unique edge I love.

5. Nastya. Okay, so this goes under the didn't love category. In THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY, it just didn't fit the main character's personality nor looks. Plus, I just think it sounds too similar to the word nasty. How are you suppose to love someone nasty?

6. Kaspar. Kaspar reminds me of Caspar The Ghost. It's hard to swoon over a guy named Kaspar, especially in THE DARK HEROINE- DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE. Boo.

7. Ezra. LOVE this name. It worked so well for the main character in THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING. Made me love him even more.

8. Jude. Again, love the boy names for girls. I know I've seen it several times but most recently in THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS.

9. Kaleb. I just don't like it. It kind of sounds like "Kay, love!" which makes me think of a British boy and when the boy turns out not to be British, I end up feeling disappointed. Weird, I know. It doesn't help that I can't stand Kaleb in THOUSAND WORDS.

10. Delilah. Love it. Since I'm a 00s chick (2000s), I automatically think of the Plain White T's song and start to swoon. Such a fabulous name for a protagonist. With a name like that, how could I not pick up FIXING DELILAH?

There you have it! I clearly love more names than hate. What can I say? I guess I'm a lover, not a hater.

What are some of your favorite and least favorite character names?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stacking The Shelves + Weekly Round-Up

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. You guys, I'm having the best book week ever. Ch-ch-check it out!

For Review:

*Landry Park by Bethany Hagen (goodreads)
*The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe (goodreads)
*The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder (goodreads)
*What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fiztpatrick (goodreads)
*Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira (goodreads)
*Plus One by Elizabeth Fama (goodreads)

***Special thanks to the fabulous people at Penguin Teen and Macmillan. You guys rock!***


*Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee (goodreads)
*Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage (goodreads)

Weekly Round-Up Time!

*Waiting on Wednesday which, ironically enough, features a book I received in the mail. Proof Santa exists? I think so...
*Wherein I fangirl like crazy over INTO THE DEEP by Samantha Young

That's all, folks! Can you believe it's already October? Where in the world did this year go? Yikes.

I hope you guys have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Into The Deep

Title: Into The Deep
Author: Samantha Young
Published: August 9th 2013 by Samantha Young
Source: Bought

"Live young. Live hard. Love deep.

Charley Redford was just an ordinary girl until Jake Caplin moved to her small town in Indiana and convinced her she was extraordinary. Almost from day one Jake pulled Charley into the deep and promised he was right there with her. But when a tragic incident darkened Jake’s life he waded out into the shallows and left Charley behind.

Almost four years later Charley thinks she’s moved on. That is until she takes a study year abroad in Edinburgh and bumps into none other than Jake Caplin at a party with his new girlfriend. The bad-boy-turned-good attempts to convince Charley to forgive him, and as her best friend starts spending time with Jake’s, Charley calls a truce, only to find herself tumbling back into a friendship with him.

As they grow closer, the spark between them flares and begins playing havoc with their lives and relationships. When jealousy and longing rear their destructive heads, Charley and Jake struggle to come to grips with what they mean to one another.

And even if they work it out, there is no guarantee Charley will ever trust Jake to lead her back into the deep…"

First line: "'Did you go food shopping yet?'".

Thoughts: I wish so badly that I could be the person who hasn't read INTO THE DEEP yet. I'd love to experience the angst, love, laughter, and hurt for the first time all over again. Going into this novel, I had somewhat high expectations. You see, I absolutely adored ON DUBLIN STREET, so I already know how delicious Samantha Young's books are. She knows how to create lovable yet flawed characters you can easily fall in love with. With all this said and done, it's no wonder why I savored every page of this delectable story.

As you can see, INTO THE DEEP is a second-chance love story with a rather tragic twist. The relationship didn't fall apart because the couple stopped loving each other. Something terribly tragic happened and with the way the story is written, you can't help but be curious as to what went wry. The novel begins in the present (Four years later, studying abroad) but flashes back to when Charley first met Jake. The chapters continue to alternate until you finally get to the part where things went wrong. I honestly loved this about the novel. If you wanted to, you could skip every other chapter, and it'd feel like you're reading a whole different book. This constantly left me both frustrated as well as intrigued. Sometimes, the chapter would end in a bit of a cliffhanger leaving me waiting for at least ten or so pages to find out what happens next. I'm not going to lie, I was tempted on several occasions to just skip the flashback chapter and jump back into the present. I wanted to, very badly, but didn't. I'm glad I didn't because I would have missed out on this beautiful chemistry developing between the two love interests.

Unlike many New Adult novels out there today, INTO THE DEEP doesn't have extremely graphic sex scenes. Is there sex? Yes, but it's done tastefully and doesn't go into excessive details like an erotica novel would. It's actually quite sweet yet steamy. I definitely found myself fanning my face a few times due to all the sexual tension and swooniness.

Other characters in this novel I adored are Claudia (Charley's best friend and roommate), Beck (Jake's best friend), and Lowe (A possible love interest and great friend). Honestly, this book has loads of charming characters and possibly leaves room for other books to be written from their points of view. Do it, Samantha. Write a book from one of their points of view. I'll love you forever!

Honestly, I can gush over this novel forever, but I won't. I will say I simply cannot wait to get my hands on OUT OF THE SHALLOWS, the sequel to INTO THE DEEP. While the story has a very well-rounded and satisfying ending, it still leaves room for more. I'm curious to see what will happen between Charley and Jake and also the other characters in this novel (*ahem*, Claudia and Beck). I recommend INTO THE DEEP to all contemporary fans, especially supporters of second chances.


5 Stars

Favorite Quotes:

“'I knew after weeks of meeting you that I was never going to love another girl like I love you. You’re it for me. They write books about what we have.'”

“I’m going to kiss you when you least expect it. And it WILL be epic.”

“'You’re not…jealous?' He eyed me warily.

I shrugged. 'I’ll always be jealous of any girl who’s had that part of you, but I’m not worried about it. If you wanted her, you’d be with her. But you’re not. You’re with me. A sound choice, I might add.' I smirked suggestively.”

Jake threw his head back in laughter. 'God, my girl is cocky'

'Pot, meet kettle.'

'Good thing we’re both attracted to cocky, then, huh?'

'Good thing.'

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each blogger's most anticipated books. This week my pick is WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

"From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.
Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti."

Why I Can't Wait: Seriously? I absolutely loved MY LIFE NEXT DOOR and have been looking forward to Huntley's next book ever since. I shed several tears when I found out I would have to wait two years to get my hands on her next novel. WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE sounds amazing. A push-me-pull-me romance with depth? Right up my alley! EEEK, can't wait!

Expected publication: April 15th 2014 by Dial Books for Young Readers

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stacking The Shelves + Weekly Round-Up

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. I haven't done one of these in a while. Let's see if I even remember how!

For Review:

*The Lair (The Farm #2) by Emily McKay (goodreads)
*Sekret by Lindsay Smith (goodreads)
*Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci (goodreads)
*Desert Tales- A Wicked Lovely Companion by Melissa Marr (goodreads)
*The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney (goodreads)

***Special thanks to Berkley Trade, Macmillian, and Harper Teen***


*Into The Deep by Samantha Young (goodreads)
*Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage (goodreads)

So this past week has been pretty crazy for me. Lots going on in my personal life. With that said, I failed as a blogger. Only posted one review. *SMH*

*Wherein I gush and swoon over JUST ONE YEAR (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman

Don't forget, there's a Dark Days giveaway going on. You can win a surprise pack of books courtesy of Harper Teen!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review: Just One Year

Title: Just One Year (Just One Day #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Expected publication: October 10th 2013 by Dutton Children's
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"The heartrending conclusion—from Willem’s POV—to the romantic duet of novels that began with Allyson’s story in Just One Day

After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem’s story, picking up where Just One Day ended. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson’s own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself."

First line: "It's the dream I always have: I'm on a plane, high above the clouds."

Thoughts: I swear, there is nothing like that feeling you get after reading a truly exceptional novel. JUST ONE YEAR is everything I hoped for and believe me when I say I had high hopes for this novel. This book will have you questioning fate, how things just fall into place, and the other side to every story.

First off, if you couldn't tell from the summary, JUST ONE YEAR is Willem's story. One of the biggest cliffhangers in JUST ONE DAY has to be what in the world happened to Willem. Where did he go? Why wasn't he there to meet Ally-Lu? Was that blasphemous teacher-tour guide right? Are all men truly scum? Well, JUST ONE YEAR will answer all of these questions and much more. This novel is basically a puzzle waiting to be solved. While you know the general ending, you still have to figure out how he got there.

I have to mention how spectacular Willem's journey truly is. Willem's tale, much like Ally-Lu's, involves travelling and self-discovery. His story, in my personal opinion, is much darker than Allyson's. Though they're both attempting to figure out who they are and where they'll end up, Willem is also dealing with the loss of a loved one and trying to reconnect with those he let go along the way. You get to experience him recapping his thoughts on his journey with Lulu and how he felt about her. He most definitely had me swooning all over the place. Not even gravity could hold me down. If I ever questioned Willem's motives before, I stopped after reading JUST ONE YEAR. I may not know how I feel about hagelslag, but what I do know is that I truly adore Willem. Even after finishing this novel, I'm still remembering certain scenes and wanting to reread them over and over again. Needless to say, this is a book you'll rush to finish, and then reread just so you can experience it just one more time.

Overall, I believe fans of JUST ONE DAY will fall in love with JUST ONE YEAR as easily as I did. Dare I say this is possibly my new favorite book by Gayle Forman? My only complaint is even though I cherished the ending and believe it to be well-rounded, I couldn't help but want more. I didn't want the story to end but alas, everything must come to an end. With all this said and done, I highly recommend JUST ONE YEAR to all fans of contemporary YA and good books in general. If you haven't yet, get your hands on this book as soon as possible. You'll regret it if you don't.


5 Stars

Favorite Quotes:

“Sometimes fate or life or whatever you want to call it, leaves a door a little open and you walk through it. But sometimes it locks the door and you have to find the key, or pick the lock, or knock the damn thing down. And sometimes, it doesn’t even show you the door, and you have to build it yourself. But if you keep waiting for the doors to be opened for you... I think you’ll have a hard time finding single happiness,let alone that double portion.”

“I’ve since come to understand that the universe operates on the same general equilibrium theory as markets.It never gives you something without making you pay for it somehow.”

“Loving someone is such an inherently dangerous act. And yet, love, that’s where safety lives.”

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dark Days Live Blogger + Giveaway

Last Friday, a few fabulous Pitch Dark Days authors visited Htown. Y'all, I have to tell you guys how hilarious these five women are. If you ever want someone to throw you a really awesome Star Wars themed party, be sure to hire Mindy McGinnis, Sherry Thomas, Rae Carson, Michelle Gagnon, and Madeleine Roux. Anyway, I believe it's time to enter the dark side. Shall we?

Here's a picture of Mindy and Sherry. I'm not quite sure what they're talking about, but there were many laughs that night. Some advice from Mindy... If you want to live, you need to buy NOT A DROP TO DRINK. Learn how to filter water and shoot people. Lynn, the heroine in this novel, is basically a female Daryl from The Walking Dead which is pretty badass.

As far as THE BURNING SKY goes, Sherry described it as a book about cross dressing, magic, and kissing. Nice!

FYI, these ladies looooove kissing scenes!

RAE CARSON! If you haven't read THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, what are you waiting for? Rae was here promoting the last book in her trilogy, THE BITTER KINGDOM but also gave us insight on her next project. She's writing another trilogy and described it as Michael Bay meets the Gold Rush but with kissing. Looooove kissing!

Michelle Gagnon and Madeleine (Maddie) Roux! Michelle confirmed that the PERSEFoNE series will be a trilogy. I personally haven't read DON'T TURN AROUND yet, but after listening to her and the other ladies talk about it, I definitely need to remedy this.

Madeleine discussed her book, ASYLUM, and I have to say it has the creepiest cover I have ever seen. There's no kissing in this book, however, there is an awkward date. Sounds like my entire dating history! Oh and FYI, Madeleine had a fantastic idea. The next Pitch Dark Days signing should be held in a bar. I agree with her 100%.

After many laughs and discussions as to why Elisa from THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS should date Luke Skywalker (she's from the desert, he's from the desert), it was finally time to line up and get some books signed. Though I don't have a picture with all the ladies, I do have one with Sherry Thomas.

I found out that Sherry went to UT grad school. We're basically sisters since I'm a longhorn and she's a longhorn. Texas Exes, wha wha!

If these ladies are coming to a town near you, GO! Seriously, you'll laugh all night and wish they could have stayed longer.

Without further ado, a special giveaway courtesy of HarperTeen. It's a surprise pack of books! Even *I* don't know what's in it, but I do know it's made purely of win. To enter, all you have to do is follow the instructions and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends October 20th. The winner will be emailed so come October 21st, CHECK YO EMAIL!

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

a Rafflecopter giveaway