Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

I was on the hunt for a great summer read.  I'd come across this title several times, and had already added it to my TBR list a while back but for some reason another read always bumped it down on the list.  Looking back now, I can't believe I denied myself the chance to read Smith's work until now.  I could not have found myself a better read for these hot summer months we're having.  It was light, fun, filled with a lot going on, but yet never enough.  Smith's main characters were everything I wanted and so much more.  The scenes she painted were detailed and full of life, and had me wanting to get myself to the closest airport, and eventually the beautiful city of London.  As if I didn't already want to make my way over to that historic city, Smith had me itching to buy my ticket across the pond that much more!
I'm not sure how to describe my thoughts when it comes to this read, but I can say that everything Hadley and Oliver went through and every way they handled situations was a joy to experience.  I loved their fast paced conversations that seemed to come so natural to them as they flowed across the pages.  Their personalities were infectious and truly the whole thing was just adorable from start to finish.
When Summer rolls around, it's hard for me to tackle books that are as thick as tomes and contain material that brings nothing but suspense and anxiety.  I like fun adventures, and light material while I'm trying to avoid the heat waves we experience.  Smith delivered all of that and more.  I know some reviewers have critiqued the lack of an epilogue and the way Smith decided to wrap things up, but if you ask me she did it just right.  She knew her characters better than anyone and I think she nailed it!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

In My Mailbox (103)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.


While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.


Jodi knows that any slip-ups made by the Ophi--a special group of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac--will fall on her shoulders... and that Hades is just waiting for them to screw up so he can wipe out the Ophi line.

Unfortunately, Jodi has only convinced one Ophi to join her school: A hot guy named Chase who jeopardizes her relationship with Alex. Jodi loves Alex, but Chase can enhance her powers with just a touch—making her stronger than any Ophi has ever been.

Her mixed emotions send her powers surging out of control, and the dead start rising without her conscious summoning—exactly what Hades doesn't want! If she chooses Alex over Chase, she may lose the battle to Hades, leading the Ophi race to extinction. If she chooses Chase, she might be able to stop Hades for good… but lose everything else.

Jodi needs to figure things out fast--because death is stalking her at every turn.

Breaking Glass by Lisa Amowitz (Thanks to Spencer Hill Press)

On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he's not sure whether they're real or if he's losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy Weekend!!!

I've got myself some awesome fashion and photography coffee table books that I've recently added to my collection and I can't wait to check them out.  I've been holding off because I didn't want to rush through them, but to take my time and appreciate all they have to offer before I put them back out on display!  I can't wait to see what they've got and what kinds of new fashionistas I'll be envious of, not to mention the locations where the pictures were taken....I've got a love/hate relationship going on with these tomes that I adore so much!
Happy Weekend and as always...Happy Reading!!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

I'm not quite sure where to begin with this review.  For anyone out there who has already read this book, you might be able to understand where I'm coming from and how I'm feeling after finishing the last pages of this epic read.  Epic is just about the only word I can think of at the moment to describe this book, and yet it really doesn't do it justice.

Let me be clear...I both love and hate this book.  I want to encourage everyone to read it, and yet I also want to steer everyone away from it at the same time.  I'm completely torn and while it's driving me crazy, I also have to admit that it's probably the biggest red flag that makes that book stand out as such an epic tale.  It's drawn every single emotion out of me possible and honestly it left me drained.  Completely and without a doubt...drained.

Without question, John Green was meant to be a writer.  I can't imagine him in any other profession, and the idea that readers could have in some alternate reality been denied his talent for words and stories, leaves me chilled.  There is no way to go into any detail about this book at all without the risk of ruining something with a terrible spoiler, so I'm not even going to attempt it.  All I can say is this is a book in my opinion, that you must enter with at your own risk.  I found myself taking it with me everywhere so that I wouldn't have to miss out on a good reading opportunity should one arise.  I made the huge mistake of taking the time to read some parts of this one on my lunch breaks at work.  Huge mistake!  I found myself scrambling for tissues, and doing everything I could to make it appear as if I hadn't been crying at my desk.  Who knows what my coworkers thought of my appearance after a pretty emotionally draining chapter or two.

So if you're planning on picking this read up, and like I said, I can't encourage you to go one way or the other on that choice, but if you do take a chance, carve yourself out some time when you're alone and can truly immerse yourself in these pages.  Because no matter what your plan is, everything else will fade away when you crack open this cover.  Everything else will fall to the wayside, because to be quite honest, even after I'd put the book down when I needed a break from the emotional roller coaster I was on, it stayed with me.  Followed me everywhere I went, and I know it will still cross my mind for years to come.  There's no turning back once you start in on one of John Green's adventures!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Just One Day (Just One Day, #1) by Gayle Forman

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Gayle Forman is a genius!  She is apparently incapable of writing a story that is anything less than perfect, and I've learned from experience that tissues are required to be on standby before I pick up any of her writing from here on out.  She has this ability to weave a story that pulls out every emotion in the book...literally.  Her characters are irresistible and the depth she gives them will leave every reader questioning whether they're imaginary or real when they finish a book because it's impossible to not feel as if you know them personally.
Forman struck gold as far as I'm concerned when it comes to Allyson/LuLu and Willem.  I couldn't imagine her creating more wonderful characters than she did in her If I Stay series, but these two have officially become my all time favorites.  I was rooting for LuLu to come out in full force and for the adventures to really begin for the two of them.  I must also mention that after reading this book I convinced myself that I needed to learn French.  I've always loved the idea of Paris and hope with all my heart that I will make it there one day to see for all of it's magnificence myself, but while I wait...Forman did a phenomenal job of describing everything to enjoy there down to a tee.  I felt like I was walking these streets right alongside these two.
The details, the turn of events, her secondary characters as well as her main stars...there's no stopping the talent that comes across the page when Forman sets to work.  There are always good books, and even some great ones.  I try my best to spread the word to my friends, family and fellow bloggers, because who isn't always on the lookout for the next good read?  But there are also those select few...the ones that are without question the pieces that deserve to be put on a pedestal, they don't come along very often, but they're there, and when you find them, you can only cherish them and shout it from the rooftops to anyone and everyone that will listen.  This is one of those very books.  A gem hidden among the vast world of young adult fiction.  I truly hope that for anyone out there who hasn't had the opportunity to read Forman's latest series, that they'll correct that problem immediately, because they're missing out.  There's no other way to put it.  This book was a masterpiece and I cannot wait until I get the chance to read her sequel, Just One Year, to see where things will go for Allyson/LuLu and Willem.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Perfection by J.L. Spelbring

The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.

Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.

Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.

But he does.

His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.
Spelbring givers readers a chilling idea of what things could be like should genetic testing and experimentation that we take part in goes seriously wrong.  I know there are plenty of stories out there where readers are presented with someone trying to create a "perfect" soldier...or whatever their idea of perfect is.  Here we're told emotions are a weakness, but Ellyssa quickly learns that they're wrong, her emotions can prove to be just as much a strength as they can be a hindrance.
I enjoyed how Spelbring gives history a rewrite so to speak.  Now I'm not saying I enjoyed the circumstances that came from the rewrite, genetic manipulation as a way to hopefully eradicate all less superior races, etc...but I guess I found myself appreciating our current circumstances even more because of the rewrite.  I felt lucky that our society isn't going through what Ellyssa's world is described as, and grateful things turned out the way they did.
I think readers will enjoy the journey Ellyssa is forced to embark upon and possibly feel like they're right there with her.  It was a great experience in my opinion, watching her discover new emotions, wend her way through deciphering who she can trust and above all else, falling in love.  It was one of my favorite things about this book, I know big surprise there! 
Everyone has their own ideas and opinions on what makes the perfect combination for a great book.  I had fun with this one, it was action packed, I felt like the characters were well developed and there were a few that I couldn't help but grow to love, and at the same time there were others that I couldn't stand...but I'm pretty sure that's what Spelbring was going for with those in question.  All in all at the end of the book, I found myself enjoying the characters and scenes flashing before me, that of course I'm going to be hoping for a continuation for the story and characters.  Check it out for yourselves and report back!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) by Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
A lot of pressure was riding on this series opener after Bracken got such an impressive response from her debut novel, Brightly Woven.  It was one I loved so much that after a few years I'm still wishing that it had a sequel.  Not all authors can live up to that kind of a challenge and become remembered as having a great debut novel, but not much else.  I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that being the case, sometimes an author has enough material for one great book, and that's more than I've ever come up with, so no judgement is coming from this direction.   But I will admit that it still becomes a disappoint when I've fallen in love with the way an author writes, or the way they're able to shape their characters so fully that I have no choice but to fall in love with them instantly, and then later not get to enjoy the same experience in a new book by the same author all over again.  Any reader can relate to this feeling.
I'm not sure how she can keep up this level of talent, but Bracken managed to create yet another world and group of characters that were irresistible, and this girl isn't complaining!  On top of her unique world and creative characters, she managed to break into the dystopian genre with a fresh take and one that was all too believable if you ask me.  So many dystopians out on the shelves now days are fantastic but contain premises that no matter how exciting and engaging just never feel possible or realistic in any way...not the case for Bracken and this series opener.  She portrays the big bad government in just the right way so that anyone who is in any way familiar with the way things are run on the politic spectrum can actually see something like this developing in the future.  I'm hoping we can avoid something of this nature, but Bracken sure left me with a few serious doubts and more than an occasional bad feeling when it comes to experimentation just for starters.
This is a book where readers will have no choice but to become emotionally invested and fully engaged from page one all the way through until the bitter end.  And when I say bitter end, I'm not exaggerating...Bracken crafted a cliffhanger that had me over the moon that I already was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of the sequel, because if I had to wait even a second longer to see where things would pick up I might have gone over the deep end.
For readers out there who are familiar with Bracken's work and loved it as much as I did, do yourself a favor and pick up this first installment, because I honestly can't imagine how it could disappoint anyone in even the slightest way.  My hat is off to Bracken and I can't wait to see where she plans to take her readers next!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Moon Spell (The Tale of Lunarmorte, #1) by Samantha Young

Enter a world of fierce wolves, stunning magic and romance...

It’s bad enough feeling different among the human crowd, but feeling different among wolves?

No one said returning to her pack would be easy, especially after ten years without them, but seventeen year old Caia Ribeiro is unprepared for the realities of the transition. Raised in a world where kids aren’t scared by bedtime tales of the bogeyman but by the real life threat of enemy supernaturals who might come creeping into their community to kill them in their sleep, Caia is used to the darkness; she’s used to the mystery and the intrigue of the ancient underworld war she’s bound to by chance of birth. What she’s having trouble with are pack members treating her with wary suspicion, the Elders tucking secrets behind their backs out of her sightline, and her young Alpha, Lucien, distracting her, with a dangerous attraction, from her decision to uncover the truth.

But as the saying goes ‘the truth will out’ and when it does, Caia will only have so long to prepare herself before the war comes pounding on their door threatening to destroy the safe, secret lives of the wolves… and the girl they protect.

As a fan of Young's adult series I was optimistic that I'd find her young adult books equally enjoyable but also realized that sometimes authors are meant to write for one or the other audience and sometimes can't relate to both.  I have to admit that I was thrilled to discover that Samantha Young is an author that is able to transcend the different materials and manages to adapt well for all audiences no matter their age!
Young sets her readers up in a great way...our main character Caia has been estranged from her pack (family and friends) since she was little and now it's finally time for their reunion of sorts.  It makes for a perfect set up so that while Caia is being reintroduced back into their pack, readers are given just as much of an explanation and background as she herself is getting.  Readers aren't left to feel like they're already a few steps behind, but instead will experience everything right along with Caia.  It also makes it nearly impossible not to immediately relate and/or empathize with her character in general.
There is so much to take in, but in only the best possible way, because all the new characters are richly described and easy to stand behind.  It doesn't hurt that the pack's Alpha, Lucien is delicious in all ways!  He's determined to make sure her transition back into the pack goes smoothly and that's she not met with any hesitancy on the pack's part.  Protectiveness is running strong with this guy, and I'm not sure you can blame it all on his roll in their heirarchy.  Readers won't be quite sure if he has ulterior motives for going out of his way for her or if just comes with the territory of being everyone's protector.  You'll have to read on to find out more.
Young goes even further to make sure that her series does not get jumbled into yet another generic werewolf tale by adding in  a few extra elements...and by elements I'm referring to Caia's additional abilities.  I don't want to go into much further detail as to avoid any spoilers on my part, but regardless, readers can be assured that there is a lot of fun and excitement within these pages, and I'm positive no one will be disappointed with Young's ability to weave this story together.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

In My Mailbox (102)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1) by Gayle Forman

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Slide (Slide, #1) by Jill Hathaway

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth--her sister's friend Sophie didn't kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn't actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else's mind and experiences the world through that person's eyes. She's slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed "friend" when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie's slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can't bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting distant lately, especially now that she's been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Dark Promise (Between Worlds, #1) by Julia Crane & Talia Jager

Rylie has it all - great friends, dream boy, loving family. But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, her perfect little world shatters. A stranger claiming to be her real mother appears with a secret: Rylie is a faery whose powers will be unleashed on her birthday. Captured and forced into a new life, Rylie struggles to keep everything she loves and discovers a terrifying truth: some promises cannot be broken.

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy Weekend & Happy Birthday Nana!!!

My dear sweet and fabulous Nana turns 84 today!!!!  I cannot tell you guys how much I adore her and wish her only the best on this very special day!  I wish I could be there to celebrate with her, but I'm planning on making it up to her with a remix celebration the next time I get up to visit her!  I hope you guys have something to jump around about this weekend and once again....Happy Birthday Nana!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

ARC Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Talk about a lesson in all things country music, blue grass, rockabilly and Nashville!  I'll admit that Nashville has always been on my list of places I want to visit.  So once I learned of Echols' new release centering around this location and the music community its so well know for and I was sold!

Echols has long been one of my favorite contemporary romance writers and I think she hit another one out of the park.  Her characters and their inevitable romances always pull me in and have me rooting for them every step of the way.  Bailey and Sam were no different.  For a reader who didn't know a whole lot about the Nashville scene I enjoyed how Echols laid the groundwork and introduced and worked through all the dynamics through Bailey's eyes and experience.  I found myself taking mental notes of bands and singers I wanted to remember to check out and maybe even finally finding the time to get that trip to Nashville together that I've always wanted to take.  When I do get there, I've got a few places I'd like to check out, that Echols mentioned and described throughout the story.

Bailey and Sam were both experiencing their own struggles and working together and apart in order to grow and move toward that nearly impossible dream of making it big always in the forefront of their minds.  I couldn't help but want to see all their talent and hard work and dedication pay off and I think this is a read that fans of Echols will enjoy as well as any who are looking for some fun and romance!

I gave Dirty Little Secret 4 shamrocks!!!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Happy Weekend!!!

Just because the holiday is behind us, doesn't mean we don't still have stuff to celebrate right?!  I'm ready to kick back and dance this weekend away!  I've got some great titles to dig into and hopefully some fun nights out with my friends....enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: Verity (Cursed, #1) by Claire Farrell

Perdita Rivers has spent her entire sheltered life being told what to do. Lately, she’s felt ready for a change and the universe seems to agree. Her new best friend’s brother is the boy of Perdita’s dreams. Literally. Even though he plays hot and cold, she’s sure there’s more to it, but she’s kind of distracted by the sense she’s being followed, not to mention the rumours of wild animal sightings that seem to mean more to her new crush’s family than they should. Perdy’s on a mission to find the truth, but maybe the truth is the danger she should hide from, after all. 
Ok so right from the start I must admit that this read felt like a hit or miss for me.  While I enjoyed the story line and the characters Farrell filled the pages with, it was a pretty quick read and one that I was in and out of, mainly I think due to a reading rut.  While it didn't pull me in right from the start, I think readers might want to give this one a little more of a chance, because once it finally got off the ground and running I had fun tearing through the rest of the pages.
On the downside...there isn't a whole lot of mystery within this book.   There are of course a few revelations and some twists and surprises, but overall it was something I feel like a lot of readers will have seen somewhere similarly or at least experience a small sense of deja vu.  So if it reminds you of something you enjoyed, all the better....if it's a theme that you find yourself bored with, this book might not be for you, but I'll cross my fingers it could be a quick and light summer reader most will enjoy.
There were without a doubt a jumble of characters that Farrell put together and I enjoyed meeting each of them, but of course some more than others.  I had to say right off the bat that I cannot stand Tammie!  I wish I could say my feelings changed throughout or eventually, or however you want to put it, but nope...not happening...I just don't like the girl and I don't think I'll be alone in that opinion.  But the rest were pretty fun.  Perdy was fun to watch explore this new world and the dialogue and slang that was thrown in due to their backdrop was a nice surprise for me.  I enjoyed hearing the way they spoke and even sometimes wracking my brain as to what they were exactly talking about due to the small language barrier I seemed to have.
Perdy will keep readers rooting for from start to finish, and watching her try to find herself and make a way and future for herself was admirable and definitely had me turning into a cheerleader for her plight.  It was my favorite part of the book, which is saying something since usually it's the romance that sticks out in my mind or the action and all that jazz.  But I'm looking forward most especially to seeing how Perdy continues on and how her and the rest of the gang with move forward after the intense ending Farrell left her readers with in this series opener.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: Elixir (Covenant, #3.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Aiden St. Delphi will do anything to save Alex.

Even if it means doing the one thing he will never forgive himself for.

Even if it means making war against the gods.

So this review will kept short and sweet since this is a novella for the series and not a full installment.  But there was no way I could pass up saying a few words regarding this title.  Readers finally get the chance to see things from Aiden's point of view this time around, and oh how sweet that was for a change.  Everything he had to go through, all this emotions and the feelings he has for Alex nearly had me picking up the box of tissues because it was just all too much...but in the best possible way.

Although I love our heroine Alex throughout this series, it was a nice change of pace to see things through Aiden's eyes as well as the chance to see our gang of misfits teaming together and sticking by each other through all this was inspiring and gave me just one more reason to love them all...even Lea kind of grew on me.

Each character grew just a little bit more throughout this novella, with the exception of Alex...but she had so much going on with her, and while the hateful things coming out of her mouth nearly pushed me over the edge, I just kept reminding myself that it wasn't the "real" Alex.  This would of course then put me in a huge melancholy over how much she was dealing with and what Aiden was forced to do to her and for her in order to stabilize everything the only way possible....heartbreaking to say the least.

This was most definitely one of the first and only novellas that I've ever read where I actually felt content after reading it, instead of feeling like it was merely a teaser to hold me over until the next installment.  It had grit and substance and in my opinion both of those traits are rare when it comes to short pieces like these.  A must read for sure!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Review: Deity (Covenant, #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

"History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time. "

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden.

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...
I was extremely stressed out throughout this entire book!  Armentrout left us with one heck of a cliffhanger last time around and this installment picked up right where that one left off...major anxiety for sure.  Alex is now back and training like always but she's got the HUGE cloud hanging over her head with what happened in New York and is constantly fearful that she'll be found out, along with everyone else involved.
With all this on her shoulders, she's still got Prime Minister Telly on her case, and his little surprise special visit for Alex had me in knots and wanting to cry for her...just awful, that is one character I couldn't stand...and still can't!  Her awakening is quickly approaching and speeding up a lot faster than she'd like and as if the girl doesn't have enough on her plate, throw in the awfulness that revolves around all things Aiden and Seth that she's always dealing with and it's enough to drive readers crazy with anxiety, stress and a roller coaster of other emotions when they find themselves on empathy overload!
I honestly don't know how Armentrout keeps delivering these new and amazing story lines with each installment but I'm sure not complaining and hoping that it's not going to end any time soon, because I'm not sure I'll ever get enough of these characters, this world and all the action and romance that's packed in between!
Each time I think I couldn't fall in love with one of her characters more, she proves me wrong...but on the flip side, just when I don't think I can take a certain character's nastiness and deceit, they one up themselves again and I'm lost in how much I want to throw the book across the room after shaking said characters.
There's nothing not to love in this third installment and with all the action, romance and fast paced writing, I think it's one that all readers will find themselves enjoying.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: Pure (Covenant, #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

There is need. And then there is Fate...

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

I cannot imagine what it feels like to put out a sequel for any author, let alone one that's received such a wonderful and positive response to her series debut.  We're talking major pressure, don't you think?  But Armentrout had nothing to worry about because she knew exactly what she was doing with this sequel and has all her readers overly enthusiastic about yet another one of her titles.
While Half-Blood, the series opener was a strong start, Pure managed to keep the momentum rolling as well as the fast pace she's known for and action packed pages.  Readers got to know a little bit more about each of the characters we all fell in love with in round one, and this time around it was even harder to resist them.  I'll also add that Armentrout had me feeling it all within these pages.  I was ecstatic one moment and devastated the next.  It was a roller coaster of emotions with everything that was going on, but I wouldn't trade one second of it for a smoother scenario.  It was perfect and I instantly had to get my hands on the next installment in the series. 
When it came to Alex and Aiden there's no way to condense is all into a short review of how their interactions made me feel.  There was just so much tension and chemistry from start to finish that it was hard to keep up, but in the best possible sense.  The way they interact and the depth of Alex's feelings and confusion when it comes to Aiden were impossible not to empathize with her.  But then Armentrout had to go and throw Seth into the mix and I was constantly feeling like I had whiplash with all the changing dynamics.
This series, along with everything else I can get my hands on by Armentrout will forever cement her in my opinion as one of those authors that I will always keep on auto-buy.  She delivers masterpieces with each title she launches, and she's yet to disappoint me with anything that she writes to hit the shelves!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

In My Mailbox (101)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:
Lives of Magic by Lucy Leiderman (Thanks to Dundurn Group)

Seventeen-year-old Gwen is settling into her new home in Oregon and looking forward to senior year when she is kidnapped by Kian, who warns her that she is in terrible danger. An ancient war was fought between magical Celtic warriors and three evil magicians. Those magicians are alive and well and need Gwen's magic to regain their power. If they succeed, they'll be unstoppable. To save the world, Gwen must unlock the magic trapped in her memories of a past life in Britannia.

As Gwen starts to recover her lost memories and awakens to her power, she suffers the consequences of a divided soul. Gwen and Kian travel to New York and then to England to find others of her kind. Gwen, Garrison, Seth, and Moira need each other to solve the puzzle of their last days in ancient Britannia. They are only as strong as what they remember, but a troublesome history threatens to doom the world. One way or another, a deadly showdown is inevitable, ready or not …

The Smart One by Jennifer Close

With her best-selling debut, Girls in White Dresses (An “irresistible, pitch-perfect first novel” —Marie Claire), Jennifer Close captured friendship in those what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. Now, with her sparkling new novel of parenthood and sibling rivalry, Close turns her gimlet eye to the only thing messier than friendship: family.

Weezy Coffey’s parents had always told her she was the smart one, while her sister was the pretty one. “Maureen will marry well,” their mother said, but instead it was Weezy who married well, to a kind man and good father. Weezy often wonders if she did this on purpose—thwarting expectations just to prove her parents wrong.

But now that Weezy’s own children are adults, they haven’t exactly been meeting her expectations either. Her oldest child, Martha, is thirty and living in her childhood bedroom after a spectacular career flameout. Martha now works at J.Crew, folding pants with whales embroidered on them and complaining bitterly about it. Weezy’s middle child, Claire, has broken up with her fiancĂ©, canceled her wedding, and locked herself in her New York apartment—leaving Weezy to deal with the caterer and florist. And her youngest, Max, is dating a college classmate named Cleo, a girl so beautiful and confident she wears her swimsuit to family dinner, leaving other members of the Coffey household blushing and stammering into their plates.

As the Coffey children’s various missteps drive them back to their childhood home, Weezy suddenly finds her empty nest crowded and her children in full-scale regression. Martha is moping like a teenager, Claire is stumbling home drunk in the wee hours, and Max and Cleo are skulking around the basement, guarding a secret of their own. With radiant style and a generous spirit, The Smart One is a story about the ways in which we never really grow up, and the place where we return when things go drastically awry: home.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy Weekend!!!

I packed up my stuff and hit the road to head down to the beach for the holiday weekend.  I hope you guys got to enjoy some fireworks, delicious cookout and backyard barbeque foods and of course quality time with your friends and family!  I'm crossing my fingers for great weather and no sun burns for me!
Happy belated 4th of July and as always...Happy Reading!!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

From Books to Movies

Everyone I'm sure can agree that when you find yourself a book you love you don't want it to end.  Saying goodbye (even knowing you can revisit these pages) to the unique worlds, wonderful characters, etc... is tough.  So I always worry that things will be changed, it can't do the original justice, the castings are never who I pictured, and the list goes on and on.  That's what goes through my head when I hear a favorite book of mine is going to hit the big screen.  But the bottom line though is that its another chance to visit a favorite book and hold on a little big longer.  The book will always win out, but I'm not going to complain about all the YA novels recently picked up for possible movie and TV transitions.  Are you?  Check out some of the potentials I'm looking forward to and let me know what you're counting down to hit the move theaters or TV screens.

The first in Veronica Roth's trilogy is tentatively scheduled for release on March 21, 2014 so we've got less than a year to go!  Summit Entertainment picked this winner up and put Neil Burger in the director's seat.  He can take credit for films such as Limitless, The Lucky Ones, and The Illusionist for the director's role.  Filming was scheduled to start in April and to last around 60 days, most of which would be in the great city of Chicago.  Fans can look forward to Shailene Woodley as Tris, Theo James as Four, Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews, Jai Courtney as Eric and Maggie Q as Tori.  I'm still working out how I feel about the cast and trying to picture it all together, but I'll get there.  If you're not already, start following the movie on Instagram for sneak peek scenes from shooting and more posters like the Dauntless one at the right!

Ender's Game
This release will hit the big screens on November 1st in order to take advantage of the holiday ramp up, Summit Entertainment looks to have another potentially huge hit on their hands.  With Gavin Hood directing, you'll know him for X-Men Origins: Wolverine and I was super excited.  Asa Butterfield from Hugo, Abigail Breslin for Little Miss Sunshine and Harrison Ford...need I say more?  I've got my fingers crossed for some awesome visual effects, and with all the action going on throughout these pages, there's a huge potential for this film to be just out of this world...pun intended.  I know I'm also glad that while November might not be right around the corner it gives me plenty of time to FINALLY read this book.  I've been meaning to for so long and for one reason or another I kept pushing it to the side.  Now I have no more excuses left...I hate seeing a movie based on a book before I've ever read the book...bad form in my opinion.  I know I'll want to see this movie as soon as it comes out, so I've got a few months to bump it up on my TBR list and get cracking!  I mean how cool does this movie poster alone look?
Vampire Academy
With a title like Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters I wasn't sure what to think, and decided to hold off on judgement.  We can hope to see this release on Valentine's Day next year thanks to The Weinstein Co. who bought the U.S. rights.  They're more well known for movies with adult themes, like Silver Linings Playbook, but hopefully they're attempting to widen their repertoire and reach the highly popular teen audiences and the rest of us who devour these types of books.  Mark Waters will direct (you might know him from Mean Girls and 500 Days of Summer) and his brother Daniel Waters wrote alongside.  I've been a fan of his work from Heathers and can only hope he hasn't lost his magic touch.  Zoey Deutch, best known for Beautiful Creatures and Ringer will play Rose Hathaway, Danila Kozlovsky is set to play Dimitri Belikov, and Lucy Fry the sweet Lissa Dragomir.  I completely unfamiliar with Danila and Lucy, but the pictures I've seen haven't been far off what I've always pictured in my head so for now I'll hope for the best.  Either way I'm excited to see how this one transitions to the screen since it's been one of my favorite series for a long time.

If I Stay
How to describe how I feel about this one being made into a's too hard to put into words.  This is a book that was so moving and haunting that even after finishing the last pages I knew it would stay with me for a long time to come.  So while I know this one has been in and out of production since 2009, I'm still undecided if I'm excited to see it happen for real, or am I okay if it doesn't end up making the cut.  Dakota Fanning was originally slated to play Mia, but now it's said that Chloe Grace Moretz is rumored to have taken the role.  I enjoyed her in Dark Shadows and look forward to her playing Carrie...although I don't think anyone can hold a candle to Sissy Spacek in that role.  I'm hopeful that if R.J. Cutler (from the September Issue) will be in the director's chair that it's got potential...I hope.  I'd be even more optimistic if Gayle Forman herself would be put in a VERY big role as far as contributing to the screen play, etc...because than at least I'd feel some reassurance that they wouldn't stray too far from the masterpiece that she put together.
Amber Entertainment snagged the rights to Catherine Fischer's YA series and is helping to put this movie into motion.  Unfortunately after Fox 2000 dropped the rights to this film in 2012 there hasn't been much new information other than it being picked up and hopefully revamped shortly by Amber Entertainment.  There were rumors that Taylor Lautner and Emma Watson were going to be filling in the roles for the main characters, but those can now be classified as just that...rumors...or at least for the time being.  I've got no problem with Lautner, but honestly I can't see him in the role of Finn, so part of me hopes that whoever ends up playing this part will feel more right to fit the mold of the character I've got pictured in my head.  Only time will tell.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

If the cast and the screenplay turn out as good as they've got the potential to, I think all the fans out there for this YA mega hit will be pleased.  With Stuart Beattie in the driver's seat of this screenplay after Universal picked up the rights, I got excited.  He's done great work with Collateral, and 30 Days of Night...a little dark, but I think a book like this will need someone who can tap into material like that.  And to top it all off we've got Joe Roth producing as of right now.  If you guys haven't seen Snow White and the Huntsman, or The Great and Powerful Oz, both of which are two of his masterpieces, get on that immediately.  I've got to admit that I'm feeling optimistic when it comes to this book hitting the big screen.  For some reason or another I can actually picture what it could be like, I can see the potential and hopefully with a great team, which they've already started putting together, a great cast will soon follow!

The Selection
Now we've ventured into the TV screens with this one.  Kiera Cass' hit series seems to know no bounds.  With the recent release of this series' sequel, The Elite, fans just can't seem to get enough.  The CW has a pilot for this series set to come out this year, still not sure when, but you know what that means....we've got no guarantees that it will keep coming back until the pilot and maybe the first couple episodes (if we're lucky) do well.  Only after receiving great ratings and all that other jazz that goes into deciding whether or not to keep a show gets factored in will we know if we'll see this baby stick around.  I took a look at the cast they have on and I'll admit that I'm wary.  I'm not sure how I feel about the people listed so far, all I can say is that just from their head shots...they're not at all what I was picturing for the characters they're slated to all!  But they've got Alex Graves directing, and one of my favorite shows ever, The West Wing, is on his resume and that's all the endorsement I needed to put my absolute faith that he'll work his magic and do the best that can be done!

The Mortal Instruments
There was no way I was leaving this one off the list, but of course I wanted to save it for last.  With this baby hitting the big screen next month, I know everyone is just on the edge of their seat to see what awesomeness will translate into the movie theaters across the country.  The trailers alone just put a smile on my face because honestly, from what I've seen so far...they're nailing it!  At least all except for the casting of Jace...I'm not saying he won't do a great job, he's just not at all what I had pictured in my head...but that's my problem, lol.  With this being the first in the world-wide bestselling series, there's a ton of pressure on just about every aspect of this film, but I'm rooting for everyone to pull it off!  By leaps and bounds, so far my favorite casting decisions were found with Magnus Bane and Valentine Morgenstern...perfection in my opinion!  Perfection!


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