Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday # 18


Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted @ Pen to Paper where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.







My pick here would be a book I'd been looking forward to reading for quite some time now:

The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider.


Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes? 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Boys of Bishop Mini Reviews

Author: Molly O'Keefe
ISBN: 0345549015
Book Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Book Source: Netgalley


Goodreads Synopsis:

As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ashley Montgomery has had enough of her parents’ expectations for her future and is going her own way, volunteering to work at a refugee camp in Africa. But her act of charity turns dangerous when she takes a boat trip and is abducted by Somali pirates. Enter Brody Baxter, who was a bodyguard for the Montgomery family ten years ago and doesn’t think twice about coming to Ashley’s rescue. Handsome and tough, Brody has always done what needed to be done. So he swoops in, saves Ashley, and brings her to a place where she can rest and recuperate without the glare of the press and her demanding family: Brody’s small hometown of Bishop, Arkansas. But Ashley soon realizes that she’s not the only one in need of healing.

Holed up with Ashley in a tiny apartment over his brother’s bar in Bishop, Brody is tempted and torn in ways he never anticipated. Beautiful Ashley, vibrant despite her ordeal, fearless enough to love him beyond his wall of self-punishment, is now determined to save him. But with a little faith and a lot of love, they just may find happiness in each others’ arms.

Review:

I read Wild Child just before getting around to Never Been Kissed, and I was really fascinated by the town and that unlike other towns I'd read about in stories, this particular one was drowning and in desperate need of saving. I loved the first few steps taken in book one as well as the introduction to many of the townsfolk, it was an interesting lead in to the characters in this story, especially with Cora, Sean and Brody.

I absolutely loved Sean as a character, Cora too seemed distinguished, but for some reason I never did pick up on the animosity between them until this story. It was such a shame that I didn't get as an in-depth view into their stories as I did with Brody and Ashley - but it was understandable since they were the main focus.

I like how the author always has more than one storyline going on in the book, not just the one you expect. In this one it was both brothers Brody and Sean, they each got their story in it. I really appreciated how well rounded the characters were, and the intriguing background stories I hadn't seen coming - especially with Brody. I didn't get as much out of Ashley as I'd liked, but I'm assuming her family life gets more exposure in Harrison's - her brother - story. I loved seeing all the characters struggle with their inner demons, their flaws, their presumptions and fears, and I found myself crying more than I had expected. It was certainly a surprising reading.

The writing was really great and I found myself done with the book before I even realized I'd gotten to the end. I'm definitely enjoying the small steps taken to making Bishop habitable and save it from being bankrupt. I can't wait to continue with the series and see both Shelby's as well as Harrison's!

Rating: 3/5!




Author: Molly O'Keefe
ISBN: 0345549031
Book Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: July 29th 2014
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:

After years of running, Wyatt Svenson has now parked himself in Bishop, Arkansas, trying to do the right thing and parent a son he didn’t even know he had until recently. Over six feet tall and packed with muscles and power, Ty likes to get his hands dirty, fixing his motorcycle at night and keeping his mind away from the mistakes he’s made. Then his pretty neighbor shows up on his driveway, doesn’t bother to introduce herself, and complains about the noise. First impression? She should loosen up. Funny that she turns out to be his son’s elementary school art teacher—and the only one willing to help his troubled boy. Ty needs her. In more ways than one.
Though Shelby Monroe is safe in her structured life, she is drawn to Ty’s bad-boy edge and rugged sexuality. What if she just lets it all go: her worries about her mother, her fear of heartbreak, and her tight self control? What if she grabs Ty and takes a ride on the wild side? “What if” becomes reality—intense, exhilarating . . . and addictive. But Ty wants more than a secret affair. He wants it all with Shelby. But will she take a chance and open her heart? Ty is determined to convince Shelby to take the biggest risk of her life: on him.


Review:

Of all the books in this series (and yes, I've read all four so far) I think this would have to be my absolute favorite. It definitely surprised me, since I hadn't expected much from Shelby's character after reading Wild Child, but the synopsis had intrigued me, and all the books in the series were certainly entertaining, so I decided to check it out and boy was I surprised to find it better than the rest.

Shelby, if you've read Wild Child, has been searching for love, affection, relationships, sex, she's hoping someone would stop looking at her in an asexual manner like everyone in Bishop seem intent on doing. That's why when Dean notices her in Wild Child and they have an affair, she's happy, for a little while, until she isn't anymore. Her character back then was so plain and I couldn't find myself the least bit hooked, even with the utter humiliation she suffered from on National television. 

But then came this book and I realized, that Molly with this particular character added so much depth, it was impressive. Both Ty and his son Casey as well had more to recommend them than all the other female/male leads in this series, which is why I practically devoured the book. Shelby had a traumatizing childhood that she can't seem to escape, but also seemed to have shaped her current personality and I'm not sure why I liked how screwed up she was. I also liked how Ty was out of his element but trying so hard with his son as well as fighting every urge to run. They felt so real to me, and I cried so much.

Rating: 4/5!







Author: Molly O'Keefe
ISBN: 0345549058
Book Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: November 24th 2014
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Book Source: Netgalley


Goodreads Synopsis:

With his chiseled jaw and his thick blond hair, Harrison Montgomery was born to lead. Four generations of Montgomery men have served the state of Georgia and now he’s next in line. Harrison, though, is driven to right wrongs: namely to clean up the political mess left by his father’s greed and corruption. But Harrison must first win his congressional bid, and nothing can get in his way—not even an angel who served him whiskey and gave him a shoulder to lean on and a body to love for a night. Problem is, she’s pregnant. Scandal is brewing and there is only one solution: marriage.
Damage control? Ryan Kaminski can’t believe that a cold, calculating political animal now inhabits the body of the emotionally vulnerable stranger who’d given her the most unforgettable night of her life. Really, she doesn’t want anything from Harrison, except to be left alone to have her baby in peace. But Ryan is broke, jobless, and essentially blackmailed by Harrison’s desperate family to accept this crazy marriage deal. For two years, she will have to act the role of caring, supportive wife. But what is Ryan supposed to do when she realizes that, deep in her heart, she’s falling in love.


Review:

I was disappointed that this particular book in the series didn't take place in Bishop, but I have certainly been looking forward to Harrison's story and I'm more than happy I got to read it!

Harrison is very different than the other male leads in this series, mostly because he's ice-cold and bad, for trying to be good. His father has shamed the family so much that Harrison feels like it's his obligation to fix the entire family's reputation by not stepping one toe out of line and being inhumanly good, which makes him more of a robotic presence than anything. He's also very isolated and alone, but there's more to him as is obvious from how worried he was about his sister Ashley in Never Been Kissed. But he also longs for a connection, even if it's from someone so ridiculously unsuitable like Ryan.

Ryan and Harrison were meant to be so different but for some reason only at the beginning of the book you notice that, Ryan fits in so well in Harrison's life, and I think it wasn't as convincing as I would have liked. She didn't struggle or embarrass him or take that long to transform, and that part really bugged me, because hello, the Montgomrey's are sticklers for rules and stuff, but apparently the public ate everything she did up and she was a paragon, so perfect and fitting, and yeah, I wasn't convinced. 

Again, I would have loved more of an in-depth insight onto both their background stories, and I feel like I didn't get enough. A tiny part of me felt hollow because of it. But I did love them and their struggles to connect as well as try to do everything to win Harrison his elections. I so badly wanted more time with Ashley, Brody and even Harrison's assistant Wallace. I absolutely loved Wallace.

Rating: 3/5.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Come Back to Me Blog Post: Guest Post

Title: Come Back to Me
Author: Mila Gray
ISBN: 9781447274407
Book Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: October 23rd 2014
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Synopsis:

Come back to me. That was the very last thing I said to him. Always. The very last thing he said to me.
Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have.
But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms.
What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.
When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for.
Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for. 
A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak. 



Guest Post:

First Character Crush - tell the readers about the first fictional character you had a crush on and how that character/book influenced your writing.
 My first character crush was actually on George Emerson from A Room With A View by E. M Forster.
It’s set in Edwardian England and Italy and he’s this free spirited lover of art and beauty. I adored how he ignored the social conventions of the day and his passion. He kisses Lucy in a field overlooking Florence and I remember I totally got the feels from that, even though it was so chaste in modern day terms. 
I’ve got a reputation for creating sizzling, steamy tension between characters that builds over time, and yesterday I read a lovely review about how I ‘truly understand how to capture the moments of erotic encounter’. I read so much ‘romance’ and ’new adult' that makes me roll my eyes. I really believe in a slow, believable build of tension and I love to evoke all those feelings that come up when you’re crazily attracted to someone and can’t keep your hands off each other. 
I’m also a believer in showing positive and healthy relationships - where passion goes hand in hand with respect and where women are strong. I love the way Kit really respects and takes care of Jessa in both a physical and emotional way. That to me is hot. 
My more modern crush would be on Alex Fuentes from Perfect Chemistry. He’s just so ridiculously hot. I also had a major thing for Gale from The Hunger Games when I read the books.


Author's Info:
Mila Gray is the pseudonym for author Sarah Alderson. Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non-profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and tutu-wearing daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. She now lives in Bali. She is the author of YA novels Hunting Lila and Losing Lila, as well as a further four novels and several short stories.



For more information please contact Lucie Cuthbertson –Twiggs on lucie.cuthbertsontwiggs@macmillan.com

Monday, October 13, 2014

Making Headlines Tour Stop: Playlist







Author: Erin Brown
ISBN13: 9781311969125
Book Genre: New Adult Contemporary 
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: 
Book Source: Inkslinger PR


Goodreads Synopsis:
When a one-night stand turns into an online photo scandal, Sophie Tucker and Luke McGraw become campus celebrities overnight for all the wrong reasons.
Sophie Tucker can’t wait to start her freshman year of college—she has a full scholarship to her dream school and her sights set on landing a coveted staff writer position on the college newspaper. But when a scandalous photo from a one night stand she barely remembers is posted on The Score List, a new tabloid-style gossip site the campus is buzzing about, Sophie realizes her freshman year isn’t going to be what she imagined. As more photos are posted, Sophie decides to use her journalistic prowess to take down the anonymous person behind the site.
Luke McGraw is that guy—the vice president of his fraternity, the online editor of the school newspaper, and the one every girl wants to date. When a photo of Sophie, the girl he hooked up with the night before classes started and can’t get out of his head, shows up on The Score List, he knows that he has to find out who is behind the site—both to avenge Sophie, and to save the reputation of his fraternity. 
When Sophie and Luke realize they’re both investigating, they decide to team up. But focusing on the investigation instead of each other proves difficult, especially when neither of them are sure the other can be trusted. 



Review:

The first thing I need to say here is that if you haven't read Taking Flight yet and intend to, you probably shouldn't read this book first, there are a lot of spoilers to book one, which kind of sucks because now I'm not sure if I can go back and read book one, but it definitely sounded interesting here so I'd personally recommend you'd read it first!

Now, this book is about Sophie, who starts her college life with a bang. Like most college girls, she goes to a party, meets a guy, has a wild night that she wants to forget all about, only someone won't let her. Someone has turned her into the campus slut and she's determined to know who. Luke, the one night stand in question, can't get Sophie out of his mind, and even though he knows she doesn't want more, he decides he wants to help her because not only does this make his fraternity look bad, the site is ruining a lot of girls in the process and it doesn't hurt his natural journalistic instincts. Both being wannabe journalists find themselves teaming up to find the crook and pay, yet they don't necessarily trust each other in the process. Sophie has had many failed relationships in the past due to her fixation on her job and passiveness with her boyfriends. Will she ruin yet another potential thing by doing the same thing she did back in school?

As you guys know I'm a huge fan of New Adult, so this book was right up my alley! Not to mention, it reminded me so much of Veronica Mars (a show I'm very in love with) which really only made me love it some more. The book was such a fun read, from the investigating journalist aspects, to the cute romance, and the mystery thing going on in the background. I absolutely adored Luke and found Sophie annoying at times, but the great thing about the dual point of views is that you get to see both sides and follow through with them as their journey advances.

Rating: 3.5/5.


I really love when there's a playlist that comes along with a book since it helps you get in the mood of the story. So here goes today's tour stop's main event, the book PLAYLIST:

  • Lookin’ for a Good Time—Lady Antebellum
  • Girl In A Country Song—Maddie & Tae
  • Bang Bang—Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nikki Minaj
  • Raised On It—Sam Hunt
  • Treacherous—Taylor Swift
  • A Little More You—Little Big Town
  • Love Lockdown—Pentatonix
  • Beast of Burden—Rolling Stones
  • You Never Need Nobody—The Lone Bellow
  • Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me—Hunter Hayes & Jason Mraz
  • Brave—Sara Bareilles
  • Closer—Nine Inch Nails
  • The Game Has Changed—Daft Punk
  • The Lion The Beast The Beat—Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  • Roar—Katy Perry
  • Fearless—Taylor Swift
  • My Eyes—Blake Shelton, ft. Gwen Sebastian 







Erin Brown Author PhotoAbout Erin Brown:

Erin Brown is a writer, Whedonite, Whovian, yogi, HGTV addict, and connoisseur of The CW’s TV line-up. She was born and raised in Arkansas, lived in New York City for five years, and recently moved to Singapore, where she lives on the beach, which is completely wasted on her because she is a ginger and the sun is not her friend. She is the author of Taking Flight and Making Headlines: A Taking Flight Novel. 



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Making Headlines Release Day

Making headlines RDL banner


Today we have a new book by Erin Brown. This is such a wonderful NA romance, and I'm so excited to share it with you. Check out the book and release day, and be sure to enter Erin's giveaway!!



Making Headlines_7
About Making Headlines:

When a one-night stand turns into an online photo scandal, Sophie Tucker and Luke McGraw become campus celebrities overnight for all the wrong reasons.

Sophie Tucker can’t wait to start her freshman year of college—she has a full scholarship to her dream school and her sights set on landing a coveted staff writer position on the college newspaper. But when a scandalous photo from a one night stand she barely remembers is posted on The Score List, a new tabloid-style gossip site the campus is buzzing about, Sophie realizes her freshman year isn’t going to be what she imagined. As more photos are posted, Sophie decides to use her journalistic prowess to take down the anonymous person behind the site.

Luke McGraw is that guy—the vice president of his fraternity, the online editor of the school newspaper, and the one every girl wants to date. When a photo of Sophie, the girl he hooked up with the night before classes started and can’t get out of his head, shows up on The Score List, he knows that he has to find out who is behind the site—both to avenge Sophie, and to save the reputation of his fraternity.

When Sophie and Luke realize they’re both investigating, they decide to team up. But focusing on the investigation instead of each other proves difficult, especially when neither of them are sure the other can be trusted.

In a story full of the scandal, mystery, intrigue, friendship, and cheeky, sexy romance, Making Headlines channels Veronica Mars and Greek, in the companion novel to Taking Flight.

Buy Links:





Erin Brown Author PhotoAbout Erica Brown:

Erin Brown is a writer, Whedonite, Whovian, yogi, HGTV addict, and connoisseur of The CW’s TV line-up. She was born and raised in Arkansas, lived in New York City for five years, and recently moved to Singapore, where she lives on the beach, which is completely wasted on her because she is a ginger and the sun is not her friend. She is the author of Taking Flight and Making Headlines: A Taking Flight Novel. 






Enter Erin's awesome giveaway!!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: Kissing Eden Review





Title: Loving Eden
Author: T.A. Foster
ISBN: 1502399741
Book Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: September 25th 2014
Book Source: InkslingerPr

Buy Now: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Smashwords

Goodreads Synopsis:
Have you ever thought of packing up everything you own and moving halfway across the country?
I’m talking about leaving your entire life behind—friends, family, school—with no turning back. No? Me either, but that was before a week of spring break changed my life forever. Before I did something I never thought I’d do at twenty-two. Before I fell in love with Grey.
Sometimes happily ever after isn’t always what you think it will be.

Review:

I am such a huge fan of New Adult lately, and when I read Kissing Eden I was kind of curious as to how things go from there, because it didn't end with much knowledge on where the future is taking Eden and Grey. So needless to say I was really excited to get this sequel and find out more on their life as a couple.

It's a kind of interesting change on book one because the main focus of that was Eden recovering from the break up with her douchebag ex, being in a new town all alone for spring break and staying at the weird Palm Palace motel because her ex stole her reservation. She's having a bad day that kind of turns into such a pleasant trip and a lovely spring break romance. Now book two on the other hand is more focused on the drama of moving across the country for the guy you love and trying to adjust to your new life together as well as saving a motel not just from falling apart, but from someone coming into the mix working so hard to tear it down.

I wasn't sure I'd like this side of the story because mostly it's the romantic part that appeals to me, not the domesticated part, but I did love it anyway, besides being with Grey is kind of like starting all over again with some of his jerk moves. This was such a fun read, and kind of cool to see how they both dealt with living together part as well as Eden dealing with her move to a new state and doing it all alone, I loved seeing her work hard to try and save the motel and make it work with Grey, definitely fun.

What I didn't like was Eden's friend Taylor, I'm sorry but I can't possibly imagine a worst best friend, very selfish with absolutely no 'sisters before misters' or support my best friend till the end moments. I love great friends, but she was definitely NOT one. I hate that not once was there an admittance that she was a bit sorry on hooking up with Grey and Eden's mortal enemy, even if she had no intention of breaking it off, just a small, 'I get it's wrong but I can't help it okay?' Kind of move. There was nothing, just a hissy fit when Eden pointed out how uncomfortable she was over it. Seriously, Eden was the one to try to make it up to her, I mean, what the hell?

I also think the last part was kind of rushed. I wanted more to the story. I quite enjoyed it and I guess I just found it to short. But I really liked this quick and fun read!

Rating: 3/5.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


T.A. Foster's Bio:
T.A. Foster once spent a monthlong spring break on South Padre Island, where she soaked in the Texas sun, beach, and learned what real Texas country music is. Sometimes fiction does spring from reality.

She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.


Author Links:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: The Fine Art of Pretending

Author: Rachel Harris
ISBN: 1939392284
Book Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Book Source: NetGalley 


Goodreads Synopsis:
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.
With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.
But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.


Review:

When Alyssa looked at the photos on her wall of shame (photos of all the pity dates she's had since starting high school) she decided she needed to do something about it in order to get an actual date for homecoming since it's her senior year. She thinks a complete makeover in 'Operation Sex Appeal' is all she needs until her best friend Brandon tells her that it has nothing to do with her looks and everything to do with the fact that she's a Commitment not a Casual. The plan changes slightly so that she'd find a way to convince all the guys that she's a Casual, and who better than the king of casual dating, Justin, to spread the word? In order to get Justin to notice her new persona and believe she's truly a Casual at heart, she ropes her best friend Brandon into pretending they're dating. Brandon agrees, mostly so that he could convince her that there's nothing wrong with being a Commitment, and anything with Justin is just plain bad. At some point Alyssa realizes that maybe Operation Sex Appeal and being a Casual were really not the things for her, but by then it's too late and everything has gone out of control.

I absolutely loved reading this book! Rachel's writing is incredible and has a lot of humor added to the mix. I really liked Brandon and Alyssa's relationship, well, before they started pretending to date. Alyssa's makeover was kind of fun and inspiring, but not in the way of clothes, more of in the way of gaining confidence to change herself and braving it out her comfort zone, I definitely admired that. I also loved how supportive Brandon was, and how loyal and brilliant he was as a friend, just not his commitment-phobe moments.

I enjoy reading books from both point of views, as well as seeing the friends on both sides and their reaction to the wild journey and experiment Alyssa was going for. There was also something entertaining about the countdown throughout the book to homecoming. The last part with Brandon wasn't as well developed as I had hoped for the realization to hit him, it had to be stronger or more dramatic, but otherwise the story was so great, such a fun and quick read, and absolutely well-written! I can't wait to read the companion novel as well as other books by the author!

Rating: 4/5!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: The Jewel

Title: The Jewel   
Author: Amy Ewing
ISBN: 0062235796
Book Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Release Date: September 2nd 2014  
Publisher: HarperTeen
Book Source: Edelweiss


Goodreads Synopsis:
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.


Review:

This book is about Violet, starting off with her last day bearing that name as she turns to toll #197 and from there to 'the surrogate'. In this highly oppressive dystopian world, girls from the Marsh are tested once they hit puberty if they have the surrogate gene, if they do, they're taken away to special facilities where they're under lock, trained, and in a way tortured into being perfect enough for the people bidding on them. They get luxuries they wouldn't have even dreamed of in the poor side of the Marsh and for that they're expected to be grateful, even though they get no choice to be a part of this life, they're basically slaves, bought and provided for until they bear a child then discarded without the ability of ever bearing other children, getting married of having any form of freedom. When the auction is over and Violet moves into her new residence, she learns that there is so much about the surrogacy life they weren't told at the Southgate facility and that terrifies her more than anything, especially as she bears witness to the horrific things happening around her, and her fear of her life as well as her friend who seems to be having drastic changes done to her. 

I can't believe how screwed up this world is, then again I guess I should have expected it from a dystopian novel, but it's still very irksome. I don't want to say more on the book because honestly the best part about it is the not knowing in advance much to go with it.

The powers the surrogates have with the auguries gave me a little Crewel by Ginnifer Albin feel, though they were by no means the same, the similarity lay in the women having a special power that presented itself in only specific cases and there was a level of talent and high expectations coming out of their ranking. Of course here, the ranking led to being auctioned off to the highest bidder, and had more importance in an inspired sort of way. In Crewel the talent was changing time and playing with the fabric of reality, in Jewel, the talent lay in the manipulation of objects as well as living beings. 

I think a large part of what makes a story successful is how much of it you can predict in advance. If you see a lot of it coming, it becomes kind of dull even if you like the writing or there are some minor twists that you hadn't anticipated. But in the grand scheme of things? Yeah, it would be kind of disappointing. Which is why, I can safely say this was definitely one successful storyline in which I couldn't predict a damn thing. Okay one tiny insignificant part, but otherwise all my predictions were absolutely wrong and I legitimately have no clue whatsoever where the author is going with this story and I find that surprisingly refreshing. I needed this, and I just can't wait for the next installment, I seriously hope it measures up to this one and by the end of the series I'm equally enamored and flabbergasted as I am right now!

The book left off on the worst possible cliffhanger and I'm just a ball of nerves right now unbelievably excited and agitated to know what happens next, especially with the interesting surprise that popped up at the end. I mean, I suspected something was off with one of the characters, but seriously didn't see the ending coming. It helps that the writing is absolutely incredible and the book is just so well written and the characters quite developed with rich background stories. I think the dystopian world was fairly explained and well planned out. Can't wait for more from this world!

Rating: 4/5!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: As Long As You Love Me

Author: Ann Aguirre
ISBN: 0373779844
Book Genre: New Adult
Release Date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.
Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.
Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.


Review:

I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy I Want it That Way, but I also had some issues with the depth of the characters in the story. Thankfully I didn't have such a problem with this book.

Lauren flunked out of college on purpose because she couldn't handle it anymore and it was making her miserable. Coming home she doesn't anticipate the sudden friendship she strikes with her best friend's brother (who just happens to be her all-time crush since she was thirteen). Both of them have things being whispered about them behind their back and a now uncertain future, but it's a good thing they have the other person to help them out.

Both characters Lauren and Rob are very insecure and have so many issues which honestly made me enjoy the book more because I love a well rounded character, it kind of solved the problem with the first book, both Ty and Nadia felt so flat and I had a hard time investing in them. I didn't with these two though. I also loved the other stories in the background with say Krista, her pregnancy and the story with her long distance relationship. I even loved Avery even though she was Rob's girlfriend at first and a complete bitch. The entire book is packed and definitely enjoyable.

What I didn't like however was the point of climax. The thing is, throughout the book I knew there had to be one, it's a common thing to expect from a story, the big point of conflict that causes some dramatic change and all, but throughout the book all the normal go to routes were exhausted before going there, so as glad as I was that Aguirre wasn't going with the normal cliché stuff with ex-girlfriends ruining things and a potential misunderstanding with Lauren's one night stand or whatever, I still found Aguirre's choice to be not so great or convincing. She could have gone with Rob's parents as an angle, it could have worked… actually that's another annoying part of the story. But focusing on her angle of choice, I just… it wasn't plausible. I'm not saying that angle sucked, but the way it was delivered did, I wasn't convinced and I found it ridiculously weak. On the other hand (the way she choice to insert the angle aside) the reasons behind the conflict were pretty plausible, the aftermaths were actually a good choice and how the story went from there to the end picked up a lot and made me go back to liking it. 

So, all in all, this book had more dark elements than the first one, with more characters unhinged, reminding me of why I love new adult as a genre, and I loved how much Lauren grew throughout the book and I definitely like how the storyline went, even with Rob. I definitely liked Rob's character growth. Besides, the writing was just as great and it was hard to dislike the story for long. I definitely can't wait for the last book with Max's story!

Rating: 4/5!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: Sway

Title: Sway
Author: Kat Spears
ISBN: 1250051436 
Book Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:

In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school senior Jesse Alderman, or "Sway," as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want---term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.
But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her life, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?
A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist, Sway is told from Jesse’s point of view with unapologetic truth and biting humor, his observations about the world around him untempered by empathy or compassion---until Bridget’s presence in his life forces him to confront his quiet devastation over a life-changing event a year earlier and maybe, just maybe, feel something again.


Review:

"Jesse is fashionably indifferent," Bridget said without a hint of irony in her voice. 

I think I'm kind of in love with this book. It's like reading Looking for Alaska only the hero is the Colonel. The male lead isn't the usual meek, impressionable student. He isn't the most popular jock either, he's just this guy people keep around because things can go bad if he goes against them, or because more often than not they need him for something. But he's not someone you'd exactly call a friend, just someone to keep on speed dial when you need absolutely anything. And for Sway, well he doesn't exactly do favors for anyone, everything is a business transaction. No matter how minor the request is, if there's no money involved, he's not interested. Though, he's not always open to all kinds of requests, he's picky and a bastard at heart. He has no friends except for Joey who's become more of an annoying sister figure / business partner than anything. 

He justifies his shady and less than orthodox business inclinations with this:

Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so. Shakespeare was the one who said that. It's the only interesting thing I've learned after three years of high school.

The thing is, Sway (Jesse) is pretty damn smart, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's going to use his head for something as mundane as studying and school. The breaking point in which he changed to this gem of a persona happens right after his mother's death, where he becomes numb to most human emotions, and doesn't form attachments or believe in any good in the human nature. He becomes this no nonsense, no bullshit kind of person and gives everything with brutal honesty (unless he needs something from someone, then he knows how to butter them up).

"You visit your grandmother, you volunteer at Seigel Center - what do you do for fun on the weekends - rescue kittens or work in a soup kitchen?" I asked.
"Now you are making fun of me," she said. I lengthened my stride so I could reach the door before her and hold it open. She thanked me as she walked through.
"I'm not making fun of you," I said. "I'm truly interested. The concept of altruism fascinates me, though I don't really believe in it. You must have a selfish motive for all of your good deeds."
So Jesse is this enigma, a mix of all kinds of good and bad, in a way that shows you he's right, you can't exactly classify someone as something in particular, but also as his numbness starts to fade away throughout the book, he's forced to face emotions again and it's not a pleasant journey for him. Now don't get me wrong, he doesn't pull a 180 and become this paragon of sainthood all of a sudden or anything, but he slowly begrudgingly allows some things to affect him, or force a reaction out of him when normally they wouldn't. He's very wry and smart and full of these quirky elements of humor that help in rounding up this loaded mess of a personality he has.

He took a moment to look around the deserted yard, make sure he was not overheard. "I want you to get me a girl," he said."Well, you know, that's not really my line. Not that I object to it on moral or legal grounds," I said, holding up both hands in supplication, "but, strictly speaking, I don't mess with prostitutes or call girls."

This book was seriously hilarious and such a fun ride! Especially with Jesse at first who appears to be seriously morally reprehensible, I mean a guy who borrows an old man and claims he's his grandfather to get a girl to talk to him, use her sick brother as a way to get to her and basically gives things she says to him in confidence to this douchebag who wants to date her for two hundred bucks isn't exactly the modal citizen. But his ride to the end line was a great one to watch!

Rating: 5/5!

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Each week they will post a new Top Ten list  that one of their bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.


This week's Top Ten Tuesday is: Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List


1) The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris


2) Red Rising by Pierce Brown


3) Stay With Me by J. Lynn



5) In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

6) If I Stay by Gayle Forman


7) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

8) The Unbound by Victoria Schwab


9) The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien


10) Allegiant by Veronica Roth




Monday, September 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: For Now


Today is the cover reveal for Chelsea M. Cameron's upcoming New Adult title, FOR NOW. This is the 2nd book in her Rules of Love series. FOR NOW will be released later this fall.

UNOFFICIAL BLURB:
Two people. A one-night stand. What could go wrong?
Javier Cruz definitely isn’t relationship material, but that suits Hazel Gellar just fine. She’s not a relationship girl and doesn’t plan on ever being one.
But after a mind-blowing, panty-ripping, bed-breaking night, she knows once isn’t going to be enough. Fortunately, Javi feels the same way. Soon, what started as just one night turns into a lot of nights, and Hazel doesn’t know what to do.
Will she and Javi make the choice to be together for longer than just right NOW?
Previous book in the series…
Buy Links:Amazon US - Barnes & Noble


AUTHOR INFORMATION
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, LIsten coming out in 2014.
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: Right Kind of Wrong

Author: Chelsea Fine
ISBN: 1455583170 
Book Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:
Sometimes wrong can feel oh so right . . .

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to keep her safe-but what’s not safe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.
Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.


Review:

I think this particular installment in the series was the one I highly anticipated, mostly because the weird relationship between Jack and Jenna was mentioned in book one and a glimpse of it was shown in book two. Now I can safely say it was so worth the wait. Though I should mention the impression I got of Jack in the first two books was completely off, he is sooo much better than I had expected. So first thing's first, if you haven't read any of the books in this series, you kind of should. I mean, they can work as standalones, however, Fine has a way of intertwining the stories so characters from other stories pop up at the most bizarre times and make the best kind of entrance. Believe me, you get hooked and find yourself forced to read the rest, it becomes rather involuntary.

Onto the book, a year ago Jenna and Jack had a one night thing. One Jenna is hell-bent on pretending never happened. Jack on the other hand doesn't want to pretend, and until Jenna decides to finally talk about that night, he is determined to torture her every way he can. The one thing they have in common is their fixation with their pasts, Jenna doesn't want a repeat of hers, and Jack wants to never look back at his. When they both find themselves in need of heading back home at the same time, Jack decides to hitch a ride with a not-so-pleased Jenna. Needless to say there was a lot of grumbling and arguments involved, ones like this:

"I can't believe I even considered driving back home with you. I would've ripped your head off long before we crossed the Texas border." Heaving open the inn's front door, I charge through and shoot my eyes over my shoulder. "Frankly, I'm impressed we made it this far without me killing you."
He grins. "What's with all the death threats? Is that how you handle all of life's problems? By committing murder?"

I call out, "I'm ready when you are, diva!"Complete agitation covers her face as she whips around with narrowed eyes and yells, "Don't. Call. Me. DIVA!"I grin. "It never gets old.""God!" she exclaims, thrusting her arms up again.The look on her face is priceless. I could do this all day. I might, actually.

It's pretty obvious Jack's on a mission to drive her insane, and I just loved their interactions with one another. There's this obvious chemistry between them, but at the same time, they're actually close friends who genuinely like one another, even though they drive each other mad every now and then. The best part about those two characters is that you get a fairly in-depth look into both their lives as they head home. I love when I get to dissect the characters and see their past, their pain, their insecurities, their times of joy, what they treasure and what they lost. It's the journey of how they grow from there, how the learn and get back up on their feet that makes me love a book and I had that with this book.

Strength isn't about what you can and cannot achieve. It's about what you will and will not do in order to achieve. And on that, I know exactly where I stand.

Now Jack, as goofy and funny as he is at the start of the book has this lethal side you get to see when he gets home and his life turns into a more adult version of Simone Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry. The many sides of him you see with his friends, his enemies, Jenna, his family and her family, was pretty awesome, I feel like I got a well rounded view of him.

If all of that isn't enough to get you into this book, then there's the writing. I'm seriously hopelessly and ridiculously in love with Chelsea Fine's writing. She's perfected this balance of absolute laugh out loud moments and tear your heart out moments, finding the right ways to portray both and blend them together. I am just so in love and can't wait to read more!

"Okay, ew," Pixie teases. "There are children here." She looks around at where there are clearly no children anywhere. "Okay, well, there's a goat here. Get a room."

I think I have a seriously unhealthy obsession with the story behind the goat. Seriously. I want Zack and his baby goat to get a happily ever after.

Rating: 4.5/5!