Friday, November 22, 2013

All Our Yesterdays

Title: All Our Yesterdays
Author: Cristin Terrell
Published: September 3rd 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review & purchased finished copy

"'You have to kill him.' Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice."

First line: Em- "I stare at the drain in the center of the concrete floor."

Thoughts: From the very beginning, I knew ALL OUR YESTERDAYS would be amazing. The summary, the cover, time-travelling...What's not to love? Something I wasn't expecting was how much this novel would affect me. It's intense, insanely emotional, and filled with both the perfect mix of nonstop action and romance. Swoon-worthy moments? Brace yourself!

The novel starts off with the bang to beat all bangs. Em is imprisoned in what I can only describe as a modernized Guantanamo Bay. You see, she knows something, and the evil scientists want to know what. They're not beneath things like oh, I don't know, torture and beatings. The thing about Em is she cannot be broken. And even though she's stuck in her prison cell, she can still hear and talk to Finn, her love and possibly the one person who can get her out of this mess. The only way to fix all of this is to travel back into time and kill the person who invited the time machine.

Enter Marina. Marina is the girl almost all girls can relate to. She's a little dorky and usually goes unnoticed, especially when she stands next to her two gorgeous best friends. It doesn't matter whether or not other guys notice her, as long as her next door neighbor James does. James is brilliant, awkward, and everything Marina has ever wanted. The catch? Well, as you can see, someone is trying to kill him. Did you put two and two together yet? Are you starting to? Good.

I'm so insanely grateful the author decided to write this novel in alternating points of views. It wouldn't have been the same if she hadn't. It was interesting to see Em in the future, Marina in the past, and how it all slowly played together. Though the novel is mainly plot driven, I still found the characters to be both relatable yet complex. The relationships between each of the characters (Em, Marina, Finn, and James) all had the perfect mixture of complicated and lovable. It was funny how I'd root for one person, then root for the next even though I knew what the future held for them. I easily fell in love with everyone, especially Finn. Not going to lie, there were moments, especially in the beginning, where I couldn't help but think "Dang it, Finn! Jerk!". Of course, he'd follow it up by doing something adorable or noble to where I couldn't help but swoon. Boys!

It's hard for me to go into details because I feel as though they may slip into the spoiler route. Just know that things aren't always what they seem and to please follow along. Things can get tied up or complicated if you don't pay attention. Seriously.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to all YA and book fans out there. Though the book deals with time-travelling, it's mainly about the sacrifices and crazy things people will ultimately do for the ones they love. It's so beautiful yet heartbreaking to where I actually shed a few tears in the end. And y'all, I hardly ever cry. That's how much this novel impacted me and really shows you how much I loved it. Honestly, I'm not doing the best job describing this book. I can't do it justice, and I knew that going into writing this review. Just listen to me when I say you need to read it.


5 Stars

Favorite Quotes:

“There are risks, but progress is always dangerous, isn't it? Most of the time, walls don't get dismantled brick by brick. Someone has to crash through them.”

“I tell her she's beautiful and perfect and she's going to be okay. I tell her she doesn't need to change herself to fit in with shallow girls or to matter to someone. I tell her everything I wish I had ever known. I tell her I love her, and I realize as I say it that I love me, too.”

“I squeeze Finn’s hand back, and my eyes fall closed. I feel something like the whisper of a touch to my face. Deep from the back of my mind, a voice that sounds a lot like my own speaks to me like a memory, telling me I’m strong and loved and that everything is going to be okay.

And, for some strange reason, I believe it.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each bloggers most anticipated books. This week my pick is WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart.

"A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.:

Why I Can't Wait: Seriously? It's E. Lockhart. I adore her Ruby Oliver series and will most definitely read anything she writes. I love the concept of a pack of friends that turns destructive. Lies upon lies? True love? You had me at "A".

Expected publication: May 13th 2014 by Delacorte Press

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To The Reluctant YA Reader

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is basically a "Choose your own adventure" topic- Top Ten Books You'd Recommend to _____. If you can believe it, there are still adults out there who are still reluctant to read YA novels. How? Why? No idea, but I've met they. THEY EXIST! Eek! Thus, here are the top ten books I'd recommend to them.

1. Pivot Point by Kasie West. I effing love this book. I mean, geez! It's about a girl who can look into the future and see multiple outcomes. She can see the effect before the cause! Throw her into a "Norm" high school, and you've got a recipe for win! Plus, the romance? Swoony!

2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. It's basically a fantasy version of The Hunger Games...but better. Wait, did I really just say that? I think I did.

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth. This one is kind of my "Go to" book when recommending YA novels to adults. There's something for everyone in it, and no one, not one person, has yet to tell me they didn't love it.

4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Seriously, who will say no to a futuristic, badass, loose retelling of Cinderella? The best thing about this novel? The sequels get better and better.

5. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. This is definitely my favorite Maggie Stiefvater book. I simply adore her writing style. She has an amazing way with words, and THE SCORPIO RACES is a great example of this.

6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. There aren't enough words in the dictionary to describe how amazing this book is. I'll be the first to admit that the first half of this book is slow and yes, hard to get through. The last half, though? Holy crap. I always recommend this one to historical fiction fans.

7. If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman. What I wouldn't give to be there person who gets to experience these novels for the first time. Definitely a fabulous rec for the hesitant contemporary fan.

8. Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally. Another book I'd recommend to contemporary fans who are iffy about taking the YA plunge. I do recommend reading both Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker first, but it's not necessary. Seriously though, read those two first and keep going.

9. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder. For fans of poetry, this is a fabulous book for you. This novel is written in verse and tells a beautiful story of loss and growth. Whenever I'm feeling blue, I turn to you, CHASING BROOKLYN. Okay, that was a little cheesy. My bad.

10. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I just finished this last night, and it's AMAZEBALLS! I would definitely recommend this to sci-fi fans who want to take a ride on the YA side.

There you have it! What books would you guys recommend to reluctant YA readers?

Wednesday, November 13, 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 ONLY EVERYTHING by Kieran Scott.

"High school romance is tough—even for a bona fide love goddess. Can Cupid succeed as a mortal matchmaker?

When Eros (aka Cupid) is expelled from Olympus for defying Zeus after falling in love with Orion, she is banished to what she believes to be hell. We call it New Jersey. If she ever wants to go back to the comforts of her old life, she will have to find love for three couples—without using her powers.

Eros, now calling herself True, immediately identifies her first project in Charlie and believes finding him love will be a piece of cake. Charlie is new at school and eager to break out of his old image of band geek, so it’s lucky for him when he falls in with the right crowd on his first day. But music is still his passion. That is, until he meets Katrina...

Katrina is floundering after the death of her father and takes refuge with a boy who, while not entirely supportive, will be there when she needs him, unlike her mother. Too bad True thinks any girl Charlie talks to is perfect for him. Can she get out of her own way and help Charlie and Katrina connect, or will she be stuck in New Jersey forever?"

Why I Can't Wait: I really liked Scott's He's So/She's So trilogy and will read anything she writes. I love the concept of Eros being banished to New Jersey and finding solace in playing matchmaker. Plus, the cover? GORGEOUS! Can't wait for this fabulous book!

Expected publication: May 6th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Redesign

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is the Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Resign. I couldn't come up with ten, but how about five? Sorry about the white blocks around the book covers. Didn't have time to edit it out.

ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins. I think the cover is pretty and most likely fits the story well (We'll see next year!), BUT I hate that it doesn't match the other two books. I'm a neurotic blogger and like all of my books to match. Now I have to buy all the paperbacks whenever they come out. Good job, Penguin!

TEN THINGS WE DID (AND PROBABLY SHOULDN'T HAVE) by Sarah Mlynowski. This book is HILARIOUS, and I wish the cover conveyed this. From the cover, it just looks like some cheesy teen book yet it's so much more than that.

NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL by Siobhan Vivian. I just don't like it. It's too plain and kind of boring. Love the book, though.

DEAD BEAUTIFUL by Yvonne Woon. I don't know. The cover with the font just doesn't work for me.

LEAVING PARADISE by Simone Elkeles. Love the book, dislike the cover.

There you have it! What are some of the covers you wish you could redesign?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Stacking The Shelves + Weekly Round-Up

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. I haven't done this in a couple weeks and have loads of books to share with you guys. Shall we?

For Review:

*Something Real by Heather Demetrios (goodreads)
*Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young (goodreads)
*To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (goodreads). THANK YOU SO MUCH, BECKY FROM STORIES & SWEETIES!!!
*Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker (goodreads)
*The Book of Love by Lynn Weingarten (goodreads)
*The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine (goodreads)

But wait, there's more...

For Review:

*The Lure by Lynne Ewing (goodreads)
*Fugitive X by Gregg Rosenblum (goodreads)
*Pawn by Aimee Carter (goodreads)
*Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb (goodreads)


*Allegiant by Veronica Roth (goodreads). My name's in the back. I'm seriously THAT baller (And apparently arrogant).
*A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers (goodreads)
*Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage (goodreads). Super cute, sexy, and hilarious read. Just saying.
*Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee (goodreads)
*A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young (goodreads)
*The Program by Suzanne Young (goodreads)
*Heat Up The Fall : New Adult Box Set with books by Gennifer Albin, Colina Brennan, Mila Ferrara, Denise Grover Swank, Lyla Payne, and Alessandra Thomas (goodreads). Totally worth $1.99
*Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (goodreads)
*Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn (goodreads)
*Foreplay by Sophie Jordan (goodreads)
*Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins (goodreads)
*Trust In Me (Wait For You #1.5) by J. Lynn (goodreads)

***Special thanks to Harper Teen, Harlequin Teen, Berkley Trade, Macmillan, Simon Teen, Becky from Stories & Sweeties, and everyone who recommended books for me. I clearly meant it when I said I'd buy it.***

Now, the Weekly Round-Up. I've had a crazy busy week but somehow managed to still get at least one review posted. Guys, it's a good one!

*Wherein Lena reviews, swoons, gushes, and actually gets giddy over A LITTLE TOO FAR by Lisa Desrochers

There you have it! Have a great rest of your weekend! What books did you guys get this past week?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: A Little Too Far

Title: A Little Too Far
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Published: September 17th 2013 by HarperCollins
Source: Bought

"Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years … and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.

But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt … and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon … only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way."

First line: "My ex is a douche."

Thoughts: Can we just stop for a minute and talk about how insanely sexy and hilarious A LITTLE TOO FAR is? I'm fairly certain that while reading this novel I forgot what day it was and possibly what my name is. That's how enthralling this book is. Wowzas!

First off, Desrochers doesn't waste any time captivating the reader. You instantly get thrown into Lexieland and all the drama that this entails. Talk about a girl with guy problems! There's an ex, a stepbrother, and a hot Italian deacon. Wait, did I say problems? What's the opposite of problems? In this case, I'm going to have to say blessings. What I adored about this novel is even though things heat up between her and her stepbrother, she doesn't alter her life and drop everything for him. Lexie is an artist and has had this study abroad program planned for ages. Study in the land of art? Ahh, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica...Talk about a trip of a lifetime. Though the trip itself seemed like the perfect escape, I truly don't believe Lexie would have dropped everything for Trent. Her experience in Italy probably would have been drastically different, but where's the fun in that?

Another thing I admired about Lexie was her sense of humor. She would say and do things one would not deem inappropriate, and I loved every minute of it. Let's just say there's a confession in a certain chapel somewhere that is a tad on the risque side. Almost dropped my iPAd when I came across that scene. Yikes.

The romance in this novel is the perfect blend of angst, drama, and swoon. While I cherished the scenes between Alessandro and Lexie, I must confess I found the scenes between Trent and Lexie far more enticing. I liked Alessandro, but I found him to be more of a friend type. Did I love the conversations and exchanging between the two? Of course! Alessandro took her on an adventure and a great one at that. The thing is, in my personal opinion, Lexie and Trent had more chemistry. They had that sizzle you can't fizzle. With all of this said, it doesn't change the fact that I can't wait for the next book to come out. For those who have read A LITTLE TOO FAR, you know why.

Overall, I recommend A LITTLE TOO FAR to contemp fans and NA fans. I've noticed a lot of NA novels out there like to push the line between sexier than YA and erotica, however, I found the sex scenes in A LITTLE TOO FAR to be tasteful yet smoldering. NA books are either hits or misses for me, and this one was a big hit. I sense a reread in my future!


5 Stars

Favorite Quotes:

“'You never seem to run out of ways to blow my mind, Lexie. You’re my best friend, and you’re the one woman I can imagine spending the rest of my life with. Do you know how lucky that makes me?'”

“Passion can sometimes bring out qualities in a person that they never knew they possessed.”

“Yep. The tingle in my groin is unmistakable. I've got the hots for the good reverend. I thought I was going to hell before, but this pretty much cements it.”