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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine


Release Date: August 25, 2015 

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.
Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.
As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.
West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

I just recently began to watch Friday Night Lights and I want MORE. I saw this book and thought it looked incredible. It has some of my favorite elements, as a southerner I love books that take place in the south and football is a serious thing here so this one definitely caught my eye. 

What are you guys waiting on this week?  

Top [Five] Books I've Read in 2015 So Far!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

I'm feeling pretty picky this week, so here are the top 5 books from 2015 so far! 


I haven't posted the review for E&O yet, but it was incredible. I loved it and I'm still trying to formulate my love into words. Review will be up later this week! 


I loved 99 Days, I found it positively swoon-worthy and I loved this girl's perspective. Slut shaming is a thing, and this book brought it to light and I loved every second! 


Were there any doubts? You can't have a list and not put Sarah Dessen on it. She's my favorite, and this book was heart breakingly wonderful. It was darker than her other books (except perhaps Dreamland), but it is so good. And so worth it! 


The Sin Eater's Daughter was the perfect mix of fantasy and love story. Once I became indebted I couldn't flip the pages fast enough. Don't miss this one! 


The Revenge Playbook was a fun summer read. There was just enough sass and girl-power to make it a very entertaining ride. 


What were some of your favorite books this year? 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Here are the books that I've had the fortune of receiving via Edelweiss over the past couple weeks. Thanks HarperTeen and Antheneum! 


Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.
When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.
Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?
From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

Author Jen Malone draws on her real-life experiences as a movie studio publicist to bring you an insider peek at love, Hollywood-style. 
The California dream was supposed to give seventeen-year-old Annie Shelton a fresh start far removed from her dad’s unusual betrayal. But when things don’t go according to plan in La La Land, Annie’s mom snags a last-minute gig as makeup artist to a teen movie idol and finagles a spot for her daughter on his European promotional tour.
Down-to-earth Annie would rather fangirl architectural sights than an arrogant A-lister. That is, until behind-the-scenes Graham Cabot turns out to be more sweetly vulnerable than she could have imagined. 
Too bad falling for a poster boy isn’t all red carpets and star treatment, especially when you factor in obnoxious fans, an overprotective assistant, a stage mom/manager, and a beefy bodyguard.
But it isn’t until the paparazzi make an appearance that things get really sticky… 



Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.
When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families. 



A girl’s dark destiny could cause the unraveling of the world in this spellbinding novel from the author of A Creature of Moonlight, which Kirkus Reviews called “cumulatively stunning” in a starred review.
Heed this warning, mortal: stay far away from the three sister Fates. For if they come to love you, they might bring about the end of the world…
Chloe is the youngest. Hers are the fingers that choose the wool, that shape the thread, that begin it. The sun smiles upon her. Men love her without knowing who she is. She has lived forever and will live forever more. She and her sisters have been on their isolated Greek island for centuries, longer than any mortal can remember. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human life. They are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape.
So when a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. But in seeking to protect them, Chloe discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As her path unwinds, the three Fates find themselves pulled inextricably along—toward mortal pain, and mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen [Book Review]

Title: The Revenge Playbook
Author: Rachael Allen
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 16, 2015
ISBN: 0062281364


In this poignant and hilarious novel, Rachael Allen brilliantly explores the nuances of high school hierarchies, the traumas sustained on the path to finding true love, and the joy of discovering a friend where you least expect.
Don’t get mad, get even!
In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That’s a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it’s only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred. All they have to do is beat them at their own game.
Brimming with sharp observations and pitch-perfect teen voices, fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Mlynowski are sure to fall head-over-heels for this sharp tale—by the author of 17 First Kisses—about the unexpected roads that can lead you to finding yourself. 

I read Rachael Allen's debut novel, 17 First Kisses, last year and it was incredible.  I loved the characters, the emotions, the feels it gave me, and essentially it had my hopes for this follow up extremely high. This was a really great second novel, though it is very different than 17 First Kisses and I will tell you why!

In The Revenge Playbook we are shown a group of girls, each experiencing different troubles, but each seems to stem from the same source... their high school football team. These girls come together through a single purpose - to get revenge.

I really enjoyed this book, and I was interested from the beginning. The girls each dealt with their own problems and issues, but they did so in ways which felt real to me. Slowly throughout the novel we are shown their back stories and their relation to each other, which makes everything become clear.

This is a fun contemporary and it feels lighter than Rachael Allen's debut. This book deals with some deeper issues very well, but ultimately the idea of revenge and the girl's antics towards each other make it feel lighter and fun.

Having said that though there are some very important issues in this book that make the girl's reactions and their antics towards the team make complete sense. Not to mention there is some serious girl power that should be around more in books. At times this book shows the worst in people, but it shows the best in them, too. This book was more powerful than I expected initially upon seeing the cover, and I really enjoyed what was found in the pages.

While I did enjoy this one a lot, I did miss the emotions that 17 First Kisses gave me. There were so many characters to care about with this book that I felt I didn't feel the same connection. Rachael Allen's writing is still fantastic though, and the feelings were there, they were just lessened a bit.

Ultimately this book is about girl power and friendship - if you like contemporary's you should check this one out.



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!




Release Date: November 3, 2015 

Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.
As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.

This one sounds so good! I actually met this author at a signing not too long ago and can't wait to read this one! 

What are you guys waiting on this week?  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Follow Friday!


Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read

This week's question... 

IF YOU WERE TO GET A TATTOO, WHAT WOULD IT SAY OR WHAT WOULD THE GRAPHIC BE? OR IF YOU HAVE A TATTOO, SHARE A PICTURE AND ITS MEANING. 

I have thought about getting a tattoo on multiple occasions but I'm kind of afraid of commitment... I would want something literary, but also deeply personal. I'm sure there will be a time when both of those things overlap and I discover the perfect thing, but that hasn't happened yet. 

Obviously, I would need something so special i don't mind carrying it with me forever.

What about you guys, do you have tattoos? Want tattoos? Plan on getting any tattoos? 

Let me know if you follow so I can visit you and thank you for hopping by! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley [Book Review]

Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
ISBN: 0062320521
Source: From Publisher via Edelweiss for honest review.
Release Date: April 28th 2015

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. 
Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. 
So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.
Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. 
Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
This book started off absolutely fantastic. I read it immediately after finishing The Sin Eater's Daughter, which I adored, so I felt I was on a surreal amazing book streak!

Up until around thirty percent in I remained obsessed. I was flipping my virtual pages with the fervor of a T-Rex hunting prey. I did slowly begin to lose interest as things took a rather odd turn, which I need to explain a bit.

I am a fantasy junky, so I'm all for some fantasy/sci-fi elements mixed in with my contemporaries, but this book took the genre bending to an entirely different level. The first half reads like a completely separate novel, and in many ways the second half doesn't quite fit. In my mind there is a "before" and a "after" which feels strange to me. I don't think this is necessarily bad, but it did take some serious adjustments on my part to get into the feel of "Magonia."

I loved Aza's time in Earth, and I adored the attention to detail placed into the small things - like the reason for her name, and her and Jason's relationship. Jason and Aza were as perfect as it gets, and I was all in. I was in that relationship for the long haul, and it was by far my favorite aspect of the novel.

The sci-fi aspect was also enjoyable, but it was slightly confusing at times. Half-way through the novel we get an onslaught of new characters and it feels like an entirely new beginning (because it is) so it takes a bit to get used to. I don't think I was as indebted after the introduction of Magonia as I was prior to the introduction of that world, partly because I was a Jason fan girl and I just wanted that life back. That being said though, the fantasy/sci-fi aspect was completely original and I never lost interest.

This book involves fantasy elements I have never read about before - like bird people who fight pirates. And sharks in the sky. In this world you sing to get things done... and it was different. Not bad different, but it was so different that it stood out. I actually almost forgot I was reading a sci-fi until I got to that section, because I was super indebted to Earth Aza. We were in it for the long haul.

Ultimately, I enjoyed Magonia, but if I had to explain to you why I enjoyed it I would have a hard time. It is one of those books that are so different it takes you a minute... and I'm still reassessing how I feel.

It was kept open for a possible sequel (yay!) and I have to say, I would be very happy to find myself in Aza's world again.

Overall: I really enjoyed Magonia and would recommend it to any fantasy/Sci-Fi lover. If you love Science Fiction I think this book would be of particular interest to you -- after all, how often do you read of birds flying airships in the sky?



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine


This week I can't wait for... 



Release Date: November 10, 2015

Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.
When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.

This one looks absolutely amazing to me. I almost can't handle how many elements that I love are mentioned! History! Love! Art! I need it now. Right now.  

What are you guys waiting on this week? 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: The Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

There are so many fantastic books that are coming out over the next few Summer and Fall months that I can't wait to get my hands on them so I can READ ALL THE THINGS! 

I even found this meme so I could express my emotions in color. 


The list of mythical summer wonders is... 
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.
With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.


When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…
The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.
Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.
Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.
Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.

Laia is a slave. 
Elias is a soldier. 
Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. 

I know I'm behind on these, but... I WILL get to them this summer. I am determined!



 Winning what you want may cost you everything you love... 
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. 



Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.  



And, the Fall books that I am most eager for... 


What books do you guys need yesterday?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury [Review]

Title: The Sin Eater's Daughter (#1)
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Edelweiss for Review
ISBN: 1407147633

I am the perfect weapon.I kill with a single touch.
Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.
Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.
Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen's, some truths should not be told...

Review: 

I LOVED this one, but I didn't always. For this review I just have to get that out there on the table. When I began this book I thought it was interesting... but it is a bit on the weird side. There are many ideas/concepts that stick out until you're immersed in the world and initially it may seem like a lot to take in.

If you feel this, please just KEEP READING. The world building is so fantastic that it will all make sense soon.

Now that those warnings are out there, I can fully start to rave!

The world building was incredible, and once I became immersed and I accepted the things that threw me off, I couldn't get enough.

Twylla, our heroine, was born a Sin Eater's Daughter. I have heard of Sin Eater's before, but the way it was illustrated in this book was interesting. The Sin Eater literally eats food to represent the sins of the individual, the more disturbing the sin, the more unsatisfying the food. The Sin Eater's position is passed down through families, so Twylla should be next in line to serve as the Sin Eater... but things happened which makes that not the place.

This is where the world building becomes intense and wonderful. There are so many varying aspects and storylines that go into the story/world building that it can feel a bit overwhelming. Sin Eater's are outcasts, and Twylla has lived off and separated from society, just  to join the court and be separated again due to the God's favor and her ability to kill.

I enjoyed the storyline surrounding Twylla's "gift." I loved that the story was slowly revealed so there were always questions that needed answering. This really moved the story forward and I was often surprised by what I found.

I may be in the minority with this one, but I adored the story of Twylla and Lief. I loved their relationship and I found myself unable to stop reading because I needed to know what would happen. Even with all that took place... I think I still am rooting for them, though I do feel bad for Merek. This is one love triangle that I didn't mind. I loved to love them. All of them. I need them back in my life.

The Queen is a character that really had no redemptive qualities, but more on that when you read the book. :)

Overall: If you love fantasy, love stories, and icky governments that need fixing -- this one is for you! Numerous times I was on the edge of my chair with no idea how it would all work out in the end. Not very often to I care as much about a group of characters as I did about Twylla, Lief, and Merek.  I can't wait to continue the series!

Seriously though, if you guys want to talk about my abundance of feelings for this title, comment below or send me a tweet -- I need to talk about that ending!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

This week's Waiting on Wednesday post is for Ash & Bramble, a Cinderella story which seems to be of epic proportions. 


When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…
The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.
Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.
Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.
Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight. 

We all know that I love fairy tale retellings and this one looks promising. Be sure to check it out!
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