Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (*SPOILERS if you haven't read the first two books!)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each blogger's most anticipated books. I keep forgetting about this crazy fun meme and thought I'd get back into the groove of it. This week, my pick (and most likely on everyone's I-NEED-THIS-NOW-Wishlist) is THE WINNER'S KISS (The Winner's Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski.

"War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.

But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win? "

Why I Can't Wait: After the freaking cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers in THE WINNER'S CRIME, I'm both dying, desperate, and a little dreading to see what happens next. How will it all end? Some people have been complaining about how "cheesy" the title is, but I personally love it. It gives me hope in a world where there is very little hope. Please have a HEA, PLEASE!

Expected publication: March 1st 2016 by Farrar Straus & Giroux


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each bloggers most anticipated books. My pick this week is THE ONE THING by Marci Lyn Curtis.

"Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie's whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she's ever met. Ben's life isn't easy, but he doesn't see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn't have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she's currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie's new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben's brother.

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future...before she loses everything she has grown to love."

Why I Can't Wait: You guys, I love it when the cover of a book is simple but fits the summary oh so perfectly. I love the fact that this book seems to be about losing something we all take for granted and possibly has a bit of redemption in it as well. Also, Ben sounds adorable, and I'm curious to see (to pun intended) why he's the only one Maggie can see. Plus, hello. His older brother Mason? Hottie who is also the lead singer of a band? Sing Sign me up!

Expected publication: September 8th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Blog Tour: Pretending To Be Erica Review + Giveaway

Title: Pretending To Be Erica
Author: Michelle Painchaud
Expected publication: July 21st 2015 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"We Were Liars meets Heist Society in a riveting debut!

Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again.

Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle.

But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor’s edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut. "

Thoughts: "We Were Liars meets Heist Society" is definitely the best description for this novel. Going in, I didn't have any expectations. Based on the synopsis, it seemed like an interesting novel, but I hadn't really heard anything of it. I was pleasantly surprised to find an enticing, addicting novel that kept my interest until the end.

Violet was adopted by Sal, a con artist that teaches Violet everything she needs knows about the Silvermans in order for her to slip in perfectly and pretend to be their missing daughter Erica. If that wasn't enough, she has had multiple surgeries to perfect her Erica-like nature. Her goal? Go inside, be Erica, steal an expensive piece of art work, and get out. What she wasn't expecting to find were the emotions and attachments that come with pretending to be someone so loved.

What I liked most about this novel is how complex Violet-Erica was. There were moments where Violet's "Erica" ran so deep that she truly thought she was the person she was pretending to be. On top of that, she began falling in love with the people and the life. I mean, how could you not fall in love with Mrs. Silverman? After being raised by someone who clearly didn't love her, only used her for his gain, it felt nice to have a mother who loved her simply because of who she was. Of course, with all of this comes guilt, especially knowing how this wonderful woman loves a person who no longer exists.

Though I enjoyed Violet-Erica's complexity, I truly had mixed feelings when it came to her as a person. Part of me knew she wanted to be a good person, and another part of me knew she's only doing this because she was raised to, but that doesn't excuse any of it. The people she will hurt, taking advantage of these grieving people, the pain and all of it was just something I semi-hoped I wouldn't have to read about. Of all the characters, my personal favorites were James and Mrs. Silverman. They were just so wonderful, and it made extra difficult to get to know them and carry on with Violet-Erica's deception.

As far as the ending goes, it is what it was. I don't know how to explain it better than that. It wasn't what I personally would have liked nor did it have ultimate closure, but it was realistic and made sense. I liked the direction the author chose to take, even if it wasn't ideal for me.

All in all, though I found the middle of the book to be a bit slow-paced, I enjoyed reading PRETENDING TO BE ERICA and would recommend it to fans of I AM HER REVENGE and THE HEIST SOCIETY.


3.5 Stars

Giveaway: Thanks to the fabulous people at Penguin Random House, I am giving away a copy of PRETENDING TO BE ERICA. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to US participants and ends July 31st.

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

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About Michelle Painchaud:
Michelle Painchaud was born in Seattle, but grew up gate-crashing parties in sugar cane fields in Hawaii. Cats and anime take up what little part of her brain isn't harassed by stories of teenagers kicking ass. This is her first novel. She lives in San Diego, CA.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Review: Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6)

Title: Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6)
Author: Samantha Young
Published: June 2nd 2015 by NAL
Source: Finished copy sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Logan from Echoes of Scotland Street is back with his own smoldering story, as the New York Times bestselling On Dublin Street series returns…

Logan spent two years paying for the mistakes he made. Now, he’s ready to start over. He has a great apartment, a good job, and plenty of women to distract him from his past. And one woman who is driving him to distraction…

Grace escaped her manipulative family by moving to a new city. Her new life, made to suit her own needs, is almost perfect. All she needs to do is find her Mr. Right—or at least figure out a way to ignore her irresistible yet annoying womanizer of a neighbor.

Grace is determined to have nothing to do with Logan until a life-changing surprise slowly begins turning the wild heartbreaker into exactly the kind of strong, stable man she’s been searching for. Only just when she begins to give into his charms, her own messy past threatens to derail everything they’ve worked to build…"

Thoughts: Samantha Young's novels come with a certain expectation for me. I expect them to be addicting, I expect to swoon, and I also expect to laugh out loud at least twice before the novel ends. With that said, I can finally say that this book met all of my expectations, even if (to be honest) it wasn't my favorite from this series.

It's a bittersweet feeling knowing this is the last novel in the series, and having to say goodbye to everyone I've grown to love these past few years. MOONLIGHT ON NIGHTINGALE WAY starts off with Grace hearing her new neighbor doing...eeerr, having a "really good time", if you know what I mean. Blogger really needs to add some emojis to their template, because this is the perfect time for me to throw in a few winky faces. ANYWAY, after finding a pair of panties in the hallway they share, she decides to both introduce herself to her new neighbor and possibly ask if he could be more considerate. What she wasn't expecting to find was Logan...Hot, gorgeous, sex on a stick Logan who seems less than pleased to meet her.

To say they didn't get along at first is an understatement. Logan thinks Grace is posh, and Grace thinks Logan is a manwhore. Now, if you've read ECHOES OF SCOTLAND STREET, you'll remember Logan as Shannon's brother. You know that he's a good guy, having spent two years of his life in jail for getting back at the man who abused his sister. He comes off as rough around the edges, someone who doesn't give a hoot, but it's only because life hasn't been kind to him.

It isn't until Maya is introduced that Grace and Logan begin spending time together. Grace is immediately attracted and drawn to Logan, and it seems like Logan feels the same way. He's jealous whenever she goes on a date with another guy, and even though he says they're just friends, there's something about the way he acts that says there could be more. Of course this frustrates Grace, but she has to live her life. After all, the fabulous Jocelyn Carmichael (EEK) has recently asked her to edit some of her work. Life is great, am I right?

You guys, this book is filled with frustration, angst, and so many sexy good times. Whenever Grace and Logan get together, it's explosive. It's crazy hot and probably the best first sexual experience the two could possibly have. Now, Logan enjoys having Grace in his life. Part of him doesn't think he deserves her, thus leads to him constantly pushing her away to the point where I just wanted to shake him and yell explicit things. Even though I found Logan to be very sexy, I couldn't help but be annoyed by all of this. He ended up not being my favorite Young boy, but it doesn't mean he wasn't swoon worthy.

I had the opposite feelings when it came to Grace. She's probably one of my favorite Young gals with Jocelyn still holding the number one spot. I enjoyed how she interacted with Maya and every one of the old Young ladies. That's right, you'll get a cameo from each and every one of them. It's fabulous.

As for the ending, some people will think it's cheesy, but I thought it was the perfect way to end this incredible series. It brought back so many feelings, and I couldn't be happier to see some of my favorite fictional characters filled with such pure and absolute joy. All in all, MOONLIGHT ON NIGHTINGALE WAY was a great sendoff, and though I wasn't ready to say goodbye, I'm glad it was done like this.


4 Stars

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Review: Between Us And The Moon

Title: Between Us And The Moon
Author: Rebecca Maizel
Published: June 30th 2015 by Harper Teen
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"A luminous young adult novel that evokes Judy Blume’s Forever for a new generation.

Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life and love are impossible to predict."

Thoughts: Going into BETWEEN US AND THE MOON, completely based on the cover and summary, I was expecting a light beach read with maybe a bit of conflict to spice things up. What I wasn't expecting to find were the amount of pure and raw emotions mixed in with deceit and heartache. With that said and done, this is the type of book that left me with mixed emotions.

I've actually put off writing this week for a couple of weeks now. Quite frankly, the book left me feeling so angry and hurt that I needed some time just to think and let everything marinate. First off, I started out liking Sarah. After what happened with Tucker (in the first chapter no less!), I felt a big sister need to just cheer for her and hope she has the best summer of her life. I loved that she was smart, organized, and so passionate about astronomy. I wish I had the drive she did whenever I was her age!

In the beginning, Tucker mentions to Sarah that she watches things from afar rather than living life. This becomes a major theme in the book, self-discovery and trying to figure out who Sarah "Bean" really is. Now, this is where the story starts becoming a bit muddled for me. Instead of being herself, she attempts to transform herself into her sister. What would Scarlett do? She begins to test this theory on Andrew, a boy she meets who also happens to live in the beach town her family is visiting. Even though she's trying to be Scarlett, pieces of herself slip out without her realizing. Natural since no one can keep up a charade like that for very long, however, Andrew seems to love and fall for these moments of the real Sarah rather than "Scarlett-Sarah". She's his Star Girl.

As things start becoming more serious with Andrew, the lies she fed him start eating at her. My complaint about this is, why didn't she blurt out the truth before things got so heavy? It killed me inside, but I'm not Sarah, so I can't identify with her. The only thing I can think of is that she was unhappy with her life and wanted to just live in this moment a bit longer. There was one scene in the book (you'll know the one once you read it) where I cringed and even almost shouted out-loud "TELL HIM!". She became very selfish and should've just told Andrew the truth, which is when I began to dislike her. I somewhat understood, but it doesn't make it okay.

The conflict was resolved a handful of pages towards the end. This left me even more angry. It's kind of like being the passenger on a road trip, having the driver randomly stop somewhere, and exclaim it's over. What do you mean it's over?

There's a part in the book where Sarah talks about the light of stars taking four years to reach us and this giving her hope. Please tell me this means there will be a sequel. I'm sorry, but I cannot imagine both Sarah and Andrew's story ending like this, even if it's realistic, even if it's not my story to tell. Please, Rebecca, for the love of all that is good in this word, write a sequel! If you decide to write a New Adult sequel, that's even better.

Overall, while I had some issues with this novel (mainly with the main character), I couldn't help but devour the writing as well as swoon and fall for Andrew. He was simply the sweetest guy who has seen far too much pain in his life. That's mainly why I became so enraged with Sarah. All in all, I liked this book, but I would love it more if there's a sequel. I know, it's a sin to judge a book based on whether or not there will be follow-up, but I can't help it! Isn't it funny some books have you craving closure more than others?

For now, I'll just mope and whine and hope for more.


3 Stars

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Interview With Kim Karr + Toxic Giveaway

You guys, I'm really excited to have Kim Karr on my blog today. I read THE 27 CLUB (which is currently on sale for $3.99) earlier this year and really liked it. It's safe to say that I'm excited for TOXIC's release today.. Without further ado, here's Kim!

1. What inspired you to write TOXIC?

I’d read an article about underground nightclubs and thought it was such a cool idea. People show up in the oddest of places to party and then move to another. That transformed into Jeremy’s business in a more legit way. As for Phoebe and friends, I wanted to create a group that was somewhat against the grain of how we think of socialites.

2. Do you listen to any music when you write and if so, who is your go to band/singer?

I love quiet when I write. But my favorite band is Maroon 5!! I love Adam Levine.

3. Do you like to drink or eat snacks while writing? Possibly both? What is your go to snack/drink?

Coffee and water are by my side at all times.

As for snacks, I’ve stopped eating while writing now because those 40 pounds of snacks I’ve eaten the last 3 years are incredibly hard to lose.

4. What are you currently working on? If you can't answer that, what are you currently reading?

I have already written my next two books, which I haven’t announced titles yet. Both center on a secondary character from Toxic but the story is in no way like Toxic. It takes place in Boston and is different from anything I have ever written.

5. In Twitter fashion (140 characters or less), please let everyone know why they should read TOXIC.

A standalone second chance romance in NYC with an elite and beautiful crowd and a passionate and heartfelt journey to reunion #TOXICLOVE

About the author: I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I've always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

I wear a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of the family. However, I always find time to read. One of my favorite family outings use to be taking my kids to the bookstore or the library. Today, my oldest child is in college and my twins are juniors so they no longer go with me on these outings. And although I don't need to go to the actual store anymore because I have the greatest device ever invented—a Kindle, I still do. There's nothing like a paperback. So now my four year old and I make dates out of going to the bookstore--it's time I love and cherish.

I like to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. I love to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.

Giveaway time: I'm giving away a copy of TOXIC. To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends July 21st.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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 PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken.

"Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragedy has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn't even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time.

Etta wakes, confused and terrified, in 1776, in the midst a fierce sea battle. Nicholas Carter, the handsome young prize master of a privateering ship, has been hired to retrieve Etta and deliver her unharmed to the Ironwoods, a powerful family in the Colonies--the very same one that orchestrated her jump back, and one Nicholas himself has ties to. But discovering she can time travel is nothing compared to the shock of discovering the true reason the Ironwoods have ensnared her in their web.

Another traveler has stolen an object of untold value from them, and, if Etta can find it, they will return her to her own time. Out of options, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the mysterious traveler. But as they draw closer to each other and the end of their search, the true nature of the object, and the dangerous game the Ironwoods are playing, comes to light -- threatening to separate her not only from Nicholas, but her path home... forever."

Why I Can't Wait: If you've ever read either BRIGHTLY WOVEN or THE DARKEST MINDS books, you know that Alexandra is a gift storyteller. Her books are so imaginative to where I wonder if she can actually travel to difference universes and turn them into books. Music, time-traveling, and possible magic? Sign me up! Plus, did you see that cover? Crazy gorgeous!

Expected publication: January 5th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
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