Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Momentous Month: June 2015!

WOW. I can't believe that it's already the end of June and tomorrow is the first day of July! I finished my junior year of high school earlier this month, so I can't believe that this is my last summer before I start my senior year. It's crazy to think about because I started this blog when I was in eighth grade!

Anyway, onto the books! I definitely got a lot of reading done this month, which surprised me! I also already beat my Goodreads challenge, as I thought I'd read around 50 books again this year because that's what I did last year. However, I'm at 73 right now already!

Books Read:
'89 Walls by Katie Pierson
After Hours by Claire Kennedy
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Forever For a Year by B.T. Gottfred
Daisy and the Front Man by Rebekah L. Purdy
Halfway Perfect by Mark Perini and Julie Cross
Deception so Deadly by Clara Kensie
Deception So Dark by Clara Kensie
Letters to Zell by Camille Griep
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
What Happens in London by Jen McConnel
What Happens in Paris by Jen McConnel
What Happens in Berlin by Jen McConnel
What Happens Abroad by Jen McConnel
Bomb by Sarah Mussi
Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Reviews Posted:

To Be Read for July:
In the Beginning There Was Us by Ingrid Jonach
Don't Ever Change by Beth M. Bloom
Storm Siren by Mary Weber
Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith
All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
You and Me and Him
Naked by Stacey Trombley
No Such Person by Caroline B. Cooney
Show and Prove by Sofia Quintero
Anya and the Shy Guy by Suze Winegardner
The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak
Damage Done by Amanda Panitch
Favorite Book of the Month:
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Favorites in Each Genre:
Contemporary Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Dystopian/Science Fiction N/A (HOW DID I NOT READ A SCI-FI BOOK?!)
Fantasy I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Paranormal Deception So Deadly by Clara Kensie
Favorite Cover of the Month:
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Favorite Characters of the Month:
Bianca from Letters to Zell
Jesse from Jesse's Girl

Favorite Setting of the Month:
The Cafe in After Hours

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015



We Were Liars by E. LockhartJust One Day by Gayle FormanFangirl by Rainbow RowellMaterial Girls by Elaine DimopoulosNone of the Above by I.W. GregorioMia and the Bad Boy by Lisa BursteinCenter Ice by Cate CameronAimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia LondonThe Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda SalisburyThe Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Monday, June 29, 2015

Across the Miles Book Blitz!


Release Date: 03/01/15
New Adult
340 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Sebastian Miles was twenty-three years old and living a charmed life. Loving family, beautiful girlfriend, and lead singer of the rock band, Paradox. Their debut album shot to number one on the charts, and they had just come off a worldwide tour, performing in venues filled to capacity. Then, one night, a tragedy rocked his world in a whole new way, turning him into someone he no longer recognized. Now, two years later, and on the other side of his own private hell, he learns to stop taking everything and everyone for granted. Yet, he is still alone. Then, one day he meets her, and suddenly, his darkened world is once again filled with hope.

Brooke Caldwell is a twenty-four-year-old prodigy in the culinary world. After a lifetime filled with heartache, she decides to pursue the opportunity of a lifetime by interviewing for a world famous chef in Los Angeles. While visiting the city, she is reminded how cold and calculated the world can be. Until she meets him, and he shows her a world filled with the love and support that she never knew growing up.

Two wounded souls. Two hearts that continue to beat, in spite of all the damage that has been done. What happens when their damaged hearts collide? And, could they possibly be the half that finally makes the other whole?


Buy Links:
Amazon

Excerpt:

“Mind if I join you?” came a deep voice, sounding a little out of breath and dangerously close. I turned and gasped, immediately drawn to the sapphire blue eyes staring back at me. Butterflies instantly began fluttering around in my empty stomach. My gaze flitted over his face, and I couldn’t help but linger over the pair of perfectly shaped lips that turned up into a slight grin when I didn’t stop staring. Two small silver studs winked at me from the lower right side of his mouth. They were called viper bites. I only knew this because one of the young guys that worked kitchen prep at my restaurant had the same piercing. On him, it looked slightly weird. On this guy, it was unbelievably hot. He looked vaguely familiar, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on where I had seen him. Perhaps he was one of the many famous people that adorned this city, or maybe he just resembled one of them. Either way, he was breathtaking, and for a brief moment, I completely forgot what had led me to sit on this bench in the first place.

About the Author
Rhonda dreamed of being an author for more than thirty years, writing her first novella at the age of fifteen. She has written two novels since that have yet to be published. Across the Miles was the first work she felt compelled to share with the rest of the book loving world. While her first two novels were adult romance, this is her first attempt at reaching out to the New Adult genre. She lives in Michigan, with her husband of twenty-two years, and their two adult children. They share their home with dog, Baily, two cats named Molly and Walter, a crested gecko named Izzy, and a yard full of chickens. When not writing or reading, you will find her in the kitchen, preparing homemade soups, marinara sauce, and meatballs, just to name a few. Her love of bacon is unnatural, and her obsession with technology borders on the insane. She is a natural-born hugger, and if you meet she will channel her character Sebastian Miles, and you will most likely be the latest recipient of a bone crushing hug (don’t worry, no bones are actually crushed during this process).

Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Book Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

23341894Title: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Netgalley
Edition: eARC

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.
Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd... until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.
**Thank you to Disney Hyperion for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!**

Every Last Word follows a girl named Sam, who is part of the popular crowd. These girls are rude to others and aren't very welcoming to outsiders. Sam is best friends with them, but she knows she doesn't fit in with them. She also has OCD, and she hasn't even told them. She's been keeping it a secret from them for years.

She struggles to feel normal and accepted because she is always so scared of what her friends think of her, which is why when a new friend named Caroline shows her this group called Poet's Corner, she instantly feels like everything could be okay again. She has a new close friend and she even begins to fall for a guy named AJ who initially hated her. Things are going good for once in her life, and things couldn't have been better.

I felt so bad for Sam a lot of the time. Nobody should have to worry about what others think of them, especially when it comes to best friends. Sam was constantly scared to be without her friends even though they were ruthless and horribly mean to others, just because she didn't want to be alone. She didn't know how to live without them, which was quite saddening. That's why I was so proud of her when she met Caroline and had tons of new friends. Sam was beginning to branch out and experience things for herself without the guidance of The Eights.

I absolutely adored AJ. I felt so bad for everything that had happened to him in the past, and honestly I was surprised when he decided to let it all go because he saw how much Sam had changed. That was very big of him, which was impressive. AJ was also just so sweet and kind all of the time, as he was so welcoming towards Sam. She definitely needed someone like him in her life. I also really liked Caroline. She instantly took Sam under her wing and showed her that she can be herself because there are more accepting people in the world than The Eights.

The Poet's Corner was just the coolest idea ever. If my high school had a club like that, I'd definitely join. I love writing though I am probably not the best at poetry (trust me, I've tried). Anyways, there was a lot of poetry strewn throughout this book which was just brilliant. I loved how one character always wrote her poems to read on fast food wrappers and then how after they read their poems to the group they were handed a glue stick so that they could paste their poetry on the wall. It was just such an artsy group of people that welcomed anyone and I loved it so much. The Poet's Corner was a place to be free and not judged. Everyone could be themselves without the constant pressures of high school hierarchy getting in the way.

This book was completely bittersweet towards the end and I was so surprised by the ending plot twist that I had to go back and reread this one section a few times just to make sure I was understanding what was going on correctly. It was a complete mind-bend! I'd definitely suggest giving this one a read if you have the chance. Beautifully written and extremely heart-warming at times, Every last Word is a book you won't regret reading.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Interview with Christina of Books & Prejudice!

Today I am lucky to have an interview with Christina of Books & Prejudice to share with you all! I definitely suggest checking out her blog. :)

1. Hardcover or Paperback?
I prefer hardcover, but paperback is okay so long as no one rips the cover on me.
2. Book or e-copy?
Book. Definitely book.

3. Library or book store?
Book store.  I don't mind libraries, but the library system here is terrible.  They are limited on every genre.  So I don't even have a card anymore.

4. New books or used books?
I'm perfectly happy with either.  I buy most of my books new.  But I have been known to spend hours looking at the book sections in thrift stores.

5. If you were in a book, which type of character would you be? (ex: hero, villain, sidekick, love interest, etc.)
Sidekick.  I'm just not special or cool enough to be a villain or a hero.

6. Would you want the book you were featured in to be turned into a movie? Who would play you?
No.  Book movies are generally bad.

7. If you could live in any possible genre, which would you choose and why?
Fantasy, so I could live in like... a fantasy?  Also magic.

8. If you could meet any one author, who would you meet and why? 
George R.R. Martin: I want to yell at him about book 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire. He made it too long. Books 4 and 5 should have been split into 3 books rather than 2.

9. If there was a book about your life, what would it be called?
Confusion

10. Which character in a novel most resembles you and why?
Cress from The Lunar Chronicles.  Physically because I'm super short.  I also sing some kickass opera.  And I'm pretty reserved but can have cojones when I need to.

11. How many times have you read your favorite book and will you read it again?
That is a tough question.  I am not sure what my favorite book is.  But some books I have read four times.  And I would likely read them again.

12. Besides reading, what are some of your other favorite hobbies?
Singing and watching movies.

13. What's your favorite book to movie adaptation?
Weirdly enough, Dune by Frank Herbert.  The movie wasn't great, but I think they did a really good job of being loyal to the book.  Tied is the original The Time Machine (1960) by H.G. Wells.

14. What's your favorite book cover color?
I have never even thought about this question before. Red.  I don't have many that color I just noticed.

15. How do you organize your books on your bookshelf?
So complex.  Alphabetical by author.  Then alphabetical by book title.  However if it is a series it goes by series name and the series is in chronological order (because it would kill me to have Mockingjay before Hunger Games)

16. What's your favorite genre of music? Your favorite bands?
That changes.  I listen to a lot of stuff.  I like a lot of progressive and power metal.  But I also listen to current alternative rock.  I don't really have a favorite band anymore

17. What are some of your favorite bloggers or booktubers?
No favorites.  I just like to read anything I can about books.

18. What's your least favorite genre and why?
I've never been a fan of the Harlequin Romance... Just not into that. 
 
19. Who's your favorite author? 
I have so many favorites.  My favorite of the classics would have to be Jane Austin.

20. Do you like to listen or snack on food while you read, or do you like it really quite?
I like it quiet enough.  Sometimes I will put on music.  But I hate it when people try to talk to me.  Hello? I'm reading?

21. How many books do you usually read at a time?
Usually one, but sometimes two.  Though I guess since I have A Dance of Dragons sitting on my nightstand for the past few months and I read a little every now and then you can add one to each of those numbers.

22. If you were allowed to have a party and you could invite any three book characters, which three book characters would you invite and why?
1) Uriah from Divergent, because he's so jovial, it wouldn't be a party without him. 2) Ford from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for pretty much the same reason. 3) Both of the Will Graysons because we need some wallflowers.

Christina's Links:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

22896551Title: None of the Above
Author: I.W. Gregorio
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Giveaway Win
Edition: Hardcover (352 pages)

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.
What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?
When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.
But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned-something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though outwardly she looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."
Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

None of the Above was a brilliantly beautiful book that I'm extremely grateful was written. It follows Kristin, who finds out that she's intersex after going to the doctor after having some troubles with her boyfriend. Sam, her boyfriend, ends up finding out that she's intersex and completely stops talking to her, and soon enough, the whole school finds out as well. The way everyone treated her at school after finding out was petty and cruel, though it's sad because things like that actually happen in some schools.

This book is definitely an important addition to young adult literature. It gives insight on what being intersex actually means by allowing the reader to experience it all through Krissy's eyes. It was tough to read at times because of the cruelty she experienced, but after Krissy survived all of that, she was a very strong person who knew which friends of hers were actually her true friends.

My favorite character would definitely have to be Darren. His mother used to date Krissy's father, so they knew each other for quite a while. He seemed to be the only one besides Krissy's father that fully accepted the person that Krissy was and realized that it didn't change her at all just because she had different chromosomes. I knew from the beginning that Darren was the good guy.

I definitely suggest giving this one a read because it's enlightening and eye-opening. You won't regret it.

Notable Quotes:

Love isn't a choice. You fall for the person, not their chromosomes.

You know I love you too, sweetie. Forever and ever, until the sun fades.

The biggest difference between boys and girls is how people treat them.


 Have you read this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Stacking the Shelves (66)

For Review:
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Naked by Stacey Trombley (For Blog Tour, thank you to YA Bound Blog Tours and EntangledTeen!)
Storm Siren by Mary Weber (Thank you to Wunderkind PR!)
Letters to Zell by Camille Griep (Thank you to Wunderkind PR and Amazon!)

233956892339534023395349
Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith (Thank you to Penguin Random House!)
No Such Person by Caroline B. Cooney (Thank you to Penguin Random House!)
Show and Prove by Sofia Quintero (Thank you to Penguin Random House!)

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What Happens in London by Jen McConnel
What Happens in Paris by Jen McConnel
What Happens in Berlin by Jen McConnel
What Happens Abroad by Jen McConnel
(Thank you to InsklingerPR!)

Purchased:
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Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
Winger by Andrew Smith

Borrowed:
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The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Won:
Finding Audrey18217960
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella from Christy @ The Reader Bee!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Signed copy!!) from Jackie @ No Bent Spines!

What books did you receive this week?