Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books You Recently Added To Your To-Be-Read List

Oh yay!  I'm so excited to be doing this again.  I've missed this meme.

Diving right in...  These are the ones that I am most excited about.  To check out my TBR, here's a link.  Beware.  It's long.

  1. The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Ann Noble.  Hello, gorgeous cover.  Hello, brilliant synopsis.  HELLO.  Give it here, okay?
  2. Even When You Lie To Me by Jessica Alcott.  Why this book has me so excited, I have no idea.  But this SYNOPSIS.  It gives me chills.  It gives me the sense that these characters won't have a happy ending, or if they do it will defy all YA odds.  Ya feel me?  I mean, seriously.  And it's for fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Lauren Oliver.  Oh.  Hell.  Yes.
  3. Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty.  I just discovered this one Sunday.  SHERLOCK AND MORIARTY AND COMPETITIONS AND MYSTERIES AND JUST. YES.
  4. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira.  This looks sooo cute and like something I'll really relate to.  Cannot wait to get my hands on it!!
  5. Love in a Time of Monsters by Teresa Yea.  Go look at that cover, go on, and tell me that you're not fascinated.  I must get this book THE SECOND it is released.
  6. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.  HELLO!  I know I have had this book on my shelf from the library for, like, three weeks - I haven't added it to Goodreads somehow?!  Like, what went wrong and where?  So confused.  But I am soooo excited to read it because...it looks like it's going to be awesome.
  7. The Waterborne Blade by Susan Murray.  EEEEP!  Fantasy that I am soooo excited about.  And I LOVE Angry Robot books... Can't wait to dive into this one in May!
  8. Da Vinci's Tiger by Laura Malone Elliott.  I don't normally read books like this, but that COVER.  And the synopsis actually has me really intrigued, so I will give it a shot.  I will probably get it from the library, but I'm looking forward to it.
  9. Soundless by Richelle Mead.  This woman has me hooked on Sydney and Adrian right now, so I'm looking forward to reading this new series.  I mean, Chinese folklore?!  YES PLEASE!
  10. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith.  This woman and her titles and her beautiful couples and ALL THE FEELS.  You guys know how much I love Smith, right?  If you don't, read this.  But really though.  I preordered this the second I found out about it.
And that's my list!!  What's on your TTT this week?


Monday, March 30, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark


I totally enjoyed this book!  It was fast-paced and so unique, and definitely had me hooked from the first chapter.

Abram and Juliette were interesting characters to read about.  They had their own quirks, struggles, etc., and it was so realistic.  Actually, if I'm honest, they are some of the most realistically written teenagers I've ever read about in YA.  (It was so weird to read about a boy named "Abram", though, as my name is "Abrams". I see it as a last name, not a first name!  Even though I totally know it is...haha)

I think my favorite part about this book was the uniqueness of their situation.  Both have been avoiding each other because of their parents' mistakes.  They are both on some kind of prescription drug, but what they really need is each other.  The setting was basic and enjoyable, and there wasn't any high school drama - it was just them, their story, and basically nothing outside of that except for a few minor characters.  Their vacation to the beach house was my absolute favorite - so much happened and it made me feel feels, let's just say that.  They learned to get out of themselves, and focus on each other, and that was so awesome.

My one gripe with the book, and why I gave it 3 instead of 4 stars, is that I wanted more.  More from the characters, more details, more depth.  Their relationship was believable, but there was still something missing for me.  I wanted more from them before they fell in love.  For two people who are so closed off (at least Juliette was), it was surprising that they fell so fast.  The skeptic in me came out.

But aside from that...  If you don't care about that and want just a fun, romantic read with a truly happy ending, read this book!!  You will be so glad you did.

NOW - on to the giveaway!!

US entries only - sorry, INT followers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.

Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a few months later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite her to Taco Bell. To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins.

Some cursing (mild), some sex jokes, and a scene that I'm trying to figure out if they ended up having sex or not?  I think they stopped and just talked, but the implications were...strangely worded.  Anyway.  That's all...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Category 12: A Classic Romance

Since I've read a lot of classic romances, I wanted to try an author/era I hadn't tried before. And by era, I mean writing era. Georgette Heyer wrote her books in the 50's and 60's, about Regency Romance. I AM SO EXCITED TO TRY IT OUT.

Luckily for me, my book club ladies picked this for next month, so yay for tomong!!!

Category 11: A Book You Haven't Read by an Author You Love

Because I can never have enough Maggie.

I picked this for book club and I'm excited to read/discuss!!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (#1)

Forever Favorite


You know those books that come to you at JUST the right time?  You open them, expecting one thing....and what you get is unexpected and life-changing.  Life saving.  GAME CHANGING.

Well,  To All the Boys is that book for me.

I LOVED EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT IT.  (I'm sorry-not-sorry, there will be a lot of caps.  Just get ready.

One:  The writing.  HAN KNOWS HOW TO WORK HER WORDS, OKAY.  I fell in love with the first chapter and how fast I was reading and omg must finish this book noooowwww.

Two:  The characters.  THEY ARE REAL.  They are everything I wanted them to be.  They were more than what I wanted.  They showed me a unique side of YA contemporary that I've been wanting to see a lot more of.  Laura Jean is innocent and sweet - and that doesn't make her any less interesting.  She loves her family and being crafty and is a hopeless romantic.  She's not rebellious.  And yet, there was still plenty of story to go around.  Plenty of conflict.  Plenty of relatable material.

Three:  The stooorrryyyy.  My goodness you guys - it reels you in and doesn't let you go.  I was groaning and laughing and experience major secondhand embarrassment, and just head-over-heels in love with everything about the way this was set up.  Especially the romance.  My goodness, it was so natural and sweet and totally made my heart pound, without being insanely over the top and/or romanticized.  I loved that 1/4th of the way through the book, I was rooting for the unexpected male lead.  I had no idea how big of a deal Peter would be, and all of a sudden I wanted him on EVERY DAMN PAGE.  Thank you, Han, for granting all my wishes.  Or, most of them.  I'M STILL REELING OVER THAT ENDING. BOOK 2 WHERE ARE YOU?!

I have a million things I could say.  A million things I want to say.  But what's too much to say?  I don't want to spoil anything.  I want you to pick up this book and read it ASAP, so I won't talk about it anymore - JUST GO READ IT.  Everything about it is wonderful and perfect.

I thought surely it couldn't be on that many peoples' favorite 2014 book lists for no reason.

There is definitely a reason.


Buy it.


The end.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

This book is very clean.  Brief strong language in a heightened situation, and reference to teenagers doing dumb things.  But Laura Jean is a sweetheart.  Her POV was refreshing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Category 10: A Book With A Color in the Title


I'm currently 50 pages into The Dream Thieves, so as soon as I'm done with that, probably Thursday, I'll start Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  I'M FREAKING OUT OVER HOW BEAUTIFUL EVERYTHING IS.  HOW TRAGIC AND LOVELY.  These books defy all nature and I love it so much.




Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (#3)


This review gets to be short. I don't have a lot to say about Ruin and Rising because...well...I didn't feel too much about it. I didn't feel deeply.

I hate saying this. I wish I had been caught up in the story and characters. But it lacked something. Something vital.

It lacked character. This devastates me to say because I LOVE the world and the concepts are so intriguing, and I really enjoyed the other 2 books. Buuuut....this one felt flat. Like she brushed over everything. (!!!SPOILERS!!!: Like the scene with the Phoenix....soooooo quick and disappointing. And the big reveal? It fell short for me because the promised action and suspense wasn't there.)

Those are just the basics of my problems with the book. I wish there had been more from Alina. I liked Mal the most in Ruin and Rising than the other 2 books, but he still didn't rise to the great potential he had. And the Darkling......ugh. Bardugo did that thing that I hate: (SPOILERS!!!) In the end, she tried to make me feel sorry for him.

NO NO NO AND NO. He's the freaking villain, and I want to be terrified of him. He just didn't cut it in Ruin and Rising as he did previously, especially in book 2. He was blindingly terrifying in Siege and Storm. But Ruin and Rising lacked that because Bardugo pulled the poor-unfortunate-souls card.

Nooooo thank you.

So. Those are my feelings. Those are the reasons why this book doesn't get 5 stars. The reason why it gets 3 stars still are this: HER WRITING. Bardugo is a master of words. She sucked me into the story instantly, with prose that makes angels weep. Not even kidding you.

And I did enjoy the book for what it is. When I finally resigned it, about 2/3rds of the way through, I just plowed through and got what I could out of it. And THAT ENDING. The little epilogue thingy....it was SO BEAUTIFUL. Like. Exactly what I'd always wanted.

And honestly? I say read this book. If you've read the other two books, just keep reading. You'll be happy you got closure. And many people enjoyed it more than I did.

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Some kissing, implied sex.  No language that I can remember.  If there was it was quick and mild.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

DNF Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking (#1)


I'm coming to learn something about myself and reading this year.
It's that if a book doesn't make me feel something, whether negative or positive, I'm most likely to put it down.

Let's be upfront:  This book is not bad.  Not that I'm aware of.  Hocking has a nice writing style and okay characters.  I wasn't too keen on the story, which felt choppy to me, but it wasn't all like that.  I assumed it would get better, smoother.

But these are all problems I have with Switched:  It wasn't more.  It didn't make me want to sit down and read for hours.  It didn't even pull me in, not in the slightest.  The characters were just there and the writing style seemed complacent.  So not bad, but in my eyes, not good, either.

If I'm going to spend time on your book, I want it to be more.  Whether a good more or a bad more...it doesn't matter.  Just make it worth my thoughts and my energy and my emotional attachment.  Make sure I will have an emotional attachment to it.  I did not have that with Switched, even though I really wanted to.  I really thought I would from the beginning.

So, while it was a DNF for me, how was it for you?  Did you try it?  Did you like it?
Let me know in the comments!