Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: No Place To Fall

Title: No Place To Fall
Author: Jaye Robin Brown
Published: December 9th 2014 by Harper Teen
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities."

First line: "The man talking on the local news has it out for me."

Thoughts: I really wanted to love this book. I mean, just look at the cover. How cute is it? Music, cute guy, and a girl following her dream? What more could a reader ask for? Sadly, and I really hate saying this, but this book and I just didn't click.

First off, let's talk about the main character for a bit. In the summary, the first line reads, "Amber Vaughn is a good girl.". When I think of good girls (especially good church going girls), I think of someone who works hard at school and can really do no wrong. Golden child and whatnot. I don't think about girls who runs off to go hiking with a boy and then smokes pot with him. While I know things like this happen and understand that sometimes this is a rite of passage or whatever, I just don't think I would classify Amber as a good girl. Her actions throughout the novel just make me question where in the world this supposed good girl went wrong. I just don't know. She wasn't ever really that good. For the most part, I just never truly connected with Amber and kind of disliked her throughout the novel. That being the case, it was hard for me to like the book when I didn't really like the heroine.

As far as the other characters go, I just felt like they lacked depth, and the overall story fell a bit flat. The only thing I enjoyed about the novel were the random funny quips from Amber's best friend Devon. He was a fun character, and I think he's the main reason I'm giving this review two stars versus one.

Now, let's talk about Will for a bit. I pains me to say that I didn't find Will swoon worthy at all. I get the appeal- good looking guy who is also a musician, but he wasn't anything special. He was kind of bland, and I guess I just wanted him to be something more. Be more of a sweetheart or a jerk, I don't care. Just something more.

To be fair, I almost didn't finish it, but I really wanted to know how it'd end...

And it was just so very underwhelming.


Maybe it just wasn't the book for me.


2 Stars

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Save Me Blog Tour- Review + Giveaway

Welcome to the next stop in the SAVE ME Blog Tour. I liked this book, so let me just go ahead and jump into the review. Woohoo!

Title: Save Me
Author: Jenny Elliott
Published: January 6th 2015 by Swoon Reads
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"Debut-novelist Jenny Elliott’s thrilling romance, chosen by readers, writers, and publishers for the first list in the new Swoon Reads imprint, pours on the tension and danger in an addictive combination that will keep you turning pages!

Something strange is going on in the tiny coastal town of Liberty, Oregon. Cara has never seen a whale swim close enough for her to touch it—let alone knock her into the freezing water. Fortunately, cute newcomer David is there to save her, and the rescue leads to a bond deeper than Cara ever imagined.

But then she learns something about David that changes everything, and Cara is devastated. She turns to her best friend for support, but Rachel has changed. She’s suddenly into witchcraft, and is becoming dangerously obsessed with her new boyfriend….

Cara has lost her best friend, discovered that her soul mate is off limits, and has attracted the attention of a stalker. But she’s not completely alone. Her mysterious, gorgeous new friend Garren is there to support her. But is Garren possibly too perfect?"

First line: "Cara Markwell pulled into the lot above the dock at Liberty Charters and glimpsed the grille of a red sedan barreling toward her."

Thoughts: To be fair, I'm always on the fence when a book is part contemporary, part romance, and part (here's the kicker) paranormal. Being as this is by a debut author, I went into the book blind not knowing what to expect. What I found was a beautifully written novel that kept me intrigued from the beginning until the end.

First off, Cara is a very likable character. She's the type of young lady I hope most girls at least try to be. Smart, kind, and loyal, it's no wonder why her friends and two, yes two, boys care for her so fiercely. I loved that she played Scrabble. If she were real, I'd challenge her to a Words With Friends match. Most of all, I adored that she believed in the people she cared about, even if the odds were stacked against them. Speaking of odds being stacked against them, let's talk a bit about David.

Oh, David. Swoon reads indeed. Now, I'm not trying to come off as some weirdo here, but I have this strange infatuation for forbidden romances. In this case, it's more of a semi-teacher (do interns REALLY count as teacher-teachers?) and student relationship. Just to be clear, I find this subject enticing in books, but not in real life. Anyway, Cara meets David while on a cruise ship together prior to school starting. Their first date was so incredibly romantic that it actually gave me butterflies. Wind blowing in her hair, him brushing his lips against hers? *dies* From the beginning, I cheered for the two and practically fist bumped the air when something actually worked out. It's a great relationship, and I think other readers, including younger readers, will enjoy it.

Now, downside. I will say that there were times where I did think the story dragged a bit. The writing was great, but sometimes there were a lot of words and not a lot of action. To me, the pacing kind of read like adult fiction as oppose to YA. It wasn't as fast paced as I'm accustomed to. I would've also have liked to see the supernatural aspect of the novel pushed up a notch. I know it's primary contemporary, but I guess it's about my personal preference.

Overall, if you're a Pretty Little Liars fan (the show since it seems to be completely different from the book series now) and enjoy the complicated relationship between Aria and Ezra, as well the secrecy and the drama, I would recommend this book to you.


3 Stars

Jenny Elliott is a lifelong resident of Washington State and lives in Spokane with her husband and four kids. Writing fiction is her favorite method for avoiding insanity. Other avoidance techniques include reading, playing Scrabble, and browsing social media sites. Save Me is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter at @jennykelliott.

Swoon Reads is the crowd-sourced teen romance imprint founded by Jean Feiwel and published under Feiwel and Friends, a division of Macmillan. Swoon Reads is a community where members are included in every step of the publishing process, from acquiring manuscripts to choosing cover directions. To find out more and discover the best in swoon-worthy novels visit or follow us on Twitter at @SwoonReads.


Thanks to the fabulous people at Swoon Reads, I am giving away one copy of SAVE ME. This giveaway is for US participants only and ends January 30th. Be sure to stop by the rest of the blog tour for more chances to win!

1/3: Gusher Books
1/5: The Book Bratz
1/6: My Corner of the Library
1/7: Dana Square
1/8: YA Interrobang
1/9: Curling Up with a Good Book
1/14: Tripping Over Books
1/15: Addicted 2 Novels (That's me, duh! ;))
1/16: Bumbles and Fairytales
1/19: Mac Teen Books
1/20: Green Bean Teen Queen
1/21: Books and Makeup
1/22: Two Chicks on Books
1/23: Alice Marvels
1/26: Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
1/27: A Reading Nurse

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Black Iris Cover Reveal

"It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn't worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She's not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it's time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She's going to show them all."

Thoughts: Okay, how stinking gorgeous is this cover?! I love that it's both beautiful and eerie, just like the summary. Reader's UNTEACHABLE left me feeling all kinds of wrong, but I loved it, and cannot wait to read her upcoming novel! Squee!


April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot said, and that’s because it kills. It’s the month with the highest suicide rate. You’d think December, or even January—the holidays and all that forced cheer and agonized smiling pushing fragile people to the edge—but actually it’s spring, when the world wakes from frostbound sleep and something cruel and final stirs inside those of us who are broken. Like Eliot said: mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. In the deepest throes of depression, when sunlight is anguish and the sky throbs like one big raw migraine and you just want to sleep until you or everything else dies, you’re less likely to commit suicide than someone coming out of a depressive episode. Drug companies know this. That’s why antidepressants have to be marked with the warning MAY CAUSE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

Because what brings you back to life also gives you the means to destroy yourself.


Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago. Visit her at

Find Leah online:

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble


Monday, January 5, 2015

Half Bad Giveaway

Thanks to the fabulous people at Penguin Teen, I am giving away the Winter Witches Brew Prize Pack. One very lucky winner will receive a copy of HALF BAD as well as a branded tumbler and some tasty hot chocolate. To enter, all you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter listed below. Extra entries will be rewarded to people following certain Twitter accounts as well as


He has a powerful Gift. It’s how he uses it that will show if he’s good or bad.

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and sixteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his seventeenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.

ABOUT HALF WILD (in stores March 24):

In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he’s on the run–but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.

The Half Bad trilogy has been translated into 47 languages. TIME Magazine calls it “highly entertaining and dangerously addictive.” Kate Atkinson says it’s ”brilliant and utterly compelling.” London’s Daily Telegraph has named author Sally Green “the new J.K. Rowling.” Discover the story that readers all over the world are raving about.


Sally Green lives in north-west England. She has had various jobs and even a profession, but in 2010 she discovered a love of writing and now just can’t stop. She used to keep chickens, makes decent jam, doesn't mind ironing, loves to walk in Wales even when it's raining, and will probably never jog again. She really ought to drink less coffee. Half Bad is her first novel.

*Visit the Half Bad website
*Find Sally Green on Twitter and Wattpad
*Share using hashtag #HalfBad

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gone Too Far Blog Tour- Review/Excerpt + Giveaway

Gone Too Far
Author: Natalie D. Richards

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: January 6th 2015

Keeping secrets ruined her life. But the truth might just kill her.

Piper Woods can't wait for the purgatory of senior year to end. She skirts the fringes of high school like a pro until the morning she finds a notebook with mutilated photographs and a list of student sins. She's sure the book is too gruesome to be true, until pretty, popular Stella dies after a sex-tape goes viral. Everyone's sure it's suicide, but Piper remembers Stella's name from the book and begins to suspect something much worse.

Drowning in secrets she doesn't want to keep, Piper's fears are confirmed when she receives an anonymous text message daring her to make things right. All she needs to do is choose a name, the name of someone who deserves to be punished...

Review: There is just something about the way Natalie D. Richards' writing that completely captivates me. After reading her debut novel SIX MONTHS LATER, and absolutely loving it, I knew I had to get my hands on her next novel. I think one of the many things I love about this book so much is that, even though it's a mystery novel, it reads like a contemporary YA story... Just creepier.

GONE TOO FAR jumps right into the story. You basically get a page or two of Piper's typical life, but only a couple of pages. Then comes the eerie, dreadful elephant in the room, so to speak. What the heck was up with that notebook? I mean, sheesh! It's like an episode straight out of FEAR THY NEIGHBOR. I adored how well Richards completely captured Piper's character as if she was either me or someone close to me. Each emotion perfectly displays how I would've both felt and reacted. I'm not going to say Piper was perfect, but neither am I.

Then there's Nick. I loved Nick from the moment he was introduced. Sure he's popular and a jock, but he's also a good guy. Even though his friends can be jerks (well, more than jerks, but we won't go there), he knows right from wrong and does his best to keep both himself and his friends in check. Every high school in every generation should have at least one Nick.

Overall, from the addictive writing to the even more enticing storyline, I loved every minute of GONE TOO FAR and highly recommend it to both mystery and contemporary lovers alike. If you've read SIX MONTHS LATER, know that this sophomore novel is just as good, if not better. Natalie D. Richards is easily becoming out of my auto-buy authors, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what kind of twisted yet lovable story she has up her sleeves!


5 Stars


Chapter One

Late. So late. I slam the car door behind me and race across the parking lot. My hair is tangled in the strap of my messenger bag, my shoes are untied, and I have no idea how I’m going to get to my locker without getting caught. I have to try because I need those chemistry notes.

Technically I needed them last night when I’d actually had the time to study for my midterm, but I didn’t think it was a big deal. I know the materials and I figured I could do a little last-minute cramming during first period homeroom. It was a decent plan until my phone battery died, taking my morning alarm down with it. Now I’ll be lucky to catch the last ten minutes of first period.

I hop the curb and slow as I slide into the shadow of the ancient brick school. It’s probably not classy to barrel through the door like an escaped convict. Of course, it probably wasn’t classy flying into the parking lot doing Mach 2 either.

I check my barely charged phone for the time as I climb the first step. My foot slips on something halfway up the stairs. It’s like hitting a patch of ice. I lunge gor the handrail and jerk myself upright, glaring down at the thing that tripped me –a dropped notebook.

Nothing special. It’s a plain, spiral-bound pad, the kind you can get at the drugstore for less than a buck. Pretty much worthless, excerpt I know it’s probably chock-full of notes. Notes seomone will need during midterm week.

Oh, fine.

I snatch the notebook off the steps and shove it into my bag. Lost and Found is going to have to wait though. It’s in the student store, which is on the opposite side of the school.

Amazon paperback:
Barnes & Noble (B&N):

At seven, Natalie D. Richards wrote about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes.) Now she writes about awesome girls, broody boys, and all things dark and creepy. Natalie lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her techno-wiz husband, three amazing kids, and a seventy pound dust-mop who swears he's the family dog. Her psychological thriller, Six Months Later, will be released in October 1, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire. Until then, you'll probably find her writing her next book or trying to wade through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom.


Giveaway: Win a finished copy of Gone Too Far, a copy of Six Months Later and some swag (US Only)

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*Be sure to follow the rest of the tour*