January 2016 wrap-up!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

MAP OF FATES by Maggie Hall - rating to come! 

THE ORPHAN QUEEN and THE MIRROR KING by Jodi Meadows - both 5 BEAUTIFUL stars

My favorite book(s) had to be THE ORPHAN QUEEN and THE MIRROR KING! If you're looking for a high fantasy book with a kick-ass and kind heroine, a sexy vigilante, an array of deranged and malformed creatures that our MC has to constantly fight, and political drama, than I highly suggest picking up TOQ! The beginning was a little slow for me, but it picks up, so don't fret if you feel that way at fist :)

Happy readings!
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CHASING SPRING by R.S. Grey (ARC review)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Publication Date: February 1st, 2016
Pages: 249
Song I Played While Reading: All My Friends by Snakehips
Rating: 4 stars

I thought I’d left Blackwater, Texas behind for good. I didn’t belong in the small town, but my dad wouldn’t listen. He dragged me back home in his beat-up truck and dropped a bomb along the way: Chase Matthews was moving in with us. He was the golden boy of my high school, my former best friend, and the last person I wanted sleeping across the hall. His presence was too great a reminder of the ghosts I was trying to forget.

I didn’t ask for a hero. I don’t want to be saved. 

To me, Lilah Calloway meant late nights sneakin’ out, moonlit hair, and sparklers in July. She was my best friend until the day she left and I’d assumed Blackwater had seen the last of her. Then, like a tempest, she rolled back into town for the final half of senior year. The chopped hair and dark devil-may-care attitude warned most people away, but I knew if I fought hard enough, I could find the lost girl.

I didn’t want to be her hero. Some girls don’t need to be saved.

I've never read a book before that's left me so peaceful. I'm literally sitting here, just basking in the warmth and heartbreak and overall goodness that this book was. 

"I love secrets and I'm good at finding them. For the last two years, I've sat and waited and watched. I've learned to collect secrets, one by one, because secrets are flames and no place deserves to burn more than my small town."

Lilah was great for so many reasons; she didn't give a shit what anyone thought of her, she was content with being alone and reading and gardening, and she was simple. Broken, but still so incredibly simple. Instead of being the kind of person who drowned her sorrows in alcohol and drugs, Lilah stayed mostly away from those (for a good reason), and she didn't lash out at people. Sure, she did ignore some, but it wasn't out of an overall hatred of the world, which annoys me endlessly in characters who have difficult pasts. Just because you were dealt a shitty hand in life doesn't mean you should take it out on everyone. 
Chase Matthews was a GOD. Sign me the hell up, I'll take fifty of him. Though I struggled not to picture him as Chase Matthews from Zoey 101. 

But seriously, he would do the sweetest things for Lilah, even if she gave him some attitude in return. And it would be the kinds of things that wouldn't seem that major to him, because he didn't even realize was doing it. It was purely instinct to help Lilah in some way, or to be around her. The banana peel in her garden? I SQUEALED. If I snag a guy even half as selfless and kind as Chase was, then I'll never complain for the rest of my life (just kidding, I totally would, but future-hubby-Chase wouldn't mind because he thinks its cute). 

"Maybe she knew as well as I did that there's power in shining light on other people's secrets; it makes it that much easier to hide yours in the shadows."

The pacing and plot of this book were perfect. I was never bored, and was extremely caught off guard when all the shit hit the fan. I don't want to spoil anything, but SERIOUSLY, TRENT? GO ROT IN HELL. Another fantastic character was Harvey. You can never, ever go wrong with a dog. Especially a gold retriever. It's fitting with the golden boy vibe Chase had going on.
I really enjoyed the other supporting characters too, especially Kimberly, who could've been that cliche, bitchy mean girl who wanted the hot guy for herself and for Lilah to get the hell out of town, since she wasn't a part of the cool club anymore. But she surprised me by being considerate and kind, which I was so thankful for. I can't handle petty girl drama. Us ladies need to stick together! 

"Ten little white pills. Molly. I'd never met her, but I'd tried her friends, always hoping that one of them would answer my question: which little white pill makes mothers forget their daughters?"

The few issues I had were the ending and a specific scene where, without even talking about it or acknowledging it, Lilah and Chase were suddenly dating. It was never spoken of, and it wasn't made obvious, so I was totally caught of guard when she called him her boyfriend. I wish that had been cleared up more. And with the ending, honestly it's not very surprising. I'm a very picky person when it comes to endings. I have no idea why, and it's really annoying because it often brings the book down for me. A prime example would be November 9 by Colleen Hoover. I ADORED the first 70% of the book. And then the some things happened and it ended and I was just like, "Huh. Okay." Some endings are never enough for me. Either they're rushed, they don't have enough information to satisfy me, it's an open ending (*eye twitches*), or it's just... uneventful. Don't get me wrong, I got the ending I wanted in CHASING SPRING, but it was a little boring for me. I never know how to put it into words, but I always just want something more. 
But I refused to let that get to me, since CHASING SPRING was such a fantastic novel and so tender and beautiful and heartwarming. This was a wonderful coming-of-age story about self-acceptance, first love and complex family dynamics. I highly recommend getting your hands on this!

"Loving Chase wasn't a choice. Every day, I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, took a deep breathe, and shouldered the weight of my love for him. Even after everything we'd been through, that was my biggest secret, the one I tried to drown in my journal."

Picture and summary from Goodreads
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THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss
Publisher: DAW Books
Publication Date: March 27th, 2007
Pages: 662
Song I Played While Reading: Pray 4 Love by Travis Scott
Rating: 3 stars

My name is Kvothe.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings, I burned down the town of Trebon, I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life, I was expelled from University at a younger age than most people are allowed in, I treat paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day, I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature- the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one mans search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend. 

Where do I begin with this monstrosity? This is like Harry Potter on crack. I've heard soooOOOOO many good things about this trilogy, so my expectations were off the charts. Fantasy is my favorite genre, and this is a staple in it. Sadly, I was disappointed.
YES. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. I seem to be the only person that wasn't absolutely enthralled with this story. It had it moments, and I have to give Rothfuss a shit ton of credit for creating this incredible world, but it also didn't have it's moments.
To begin, I want to put out there that I love books rich with history. I'm nosy. I want to know the entire backstory of our main characters, the town and country they live in, endless descriptions of people and places and things. A prime example would be The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. If you've read that, and found it boring at times and didn't like the multiple narrations, know that's exactly why I loved it. I love seeing things from different perspectives. Sadly, we didnt get that in THE NAME OF THE WIND. We did, however, get a detailed description of our main character's life. That's good, right? We got all the mundane things thrown in there, and endless descriptions of people and places and things.
But Kvothe's story didn't do it for me. For many reasons.

The Writing
Rothfuss has some intense, eloquent, sophisticated writing. It took a while for me to adjust to it. But even with the adjusting, at some points everything would go over my head since it's so much information. Keeping track of characters, the names of the towns, the items he was handling, the currency, the buildings at the university, sympathy... it was a lot. And then throw in his writing style and it was like my head was exploding. And then occasionally I would come across a word I wouldn't even know. So it was a lot to take in at points.

I can count on one hand how many times I've disliked a love interest. And I'm pretty sure it was an instant dislike that slowly burned out until I adored them. But somehow Denna was the opposite; when we first met her, I thought she was okay, a little bland. But as we got to know her, she started getting on my nerves. I don't understand why everyone is so obsessed with her, especially Kvothe. Being pretty is not a legitimate excuse. I think her personality is as exciting as a potato sack, and honestly, she's kind of a bitch. She uses guys to get money, dresses, jewelry, etc, and then dumps them and wanders off. She complains that she has nothing, no family, friends, husband, money, blah blah blah, yet refuses to stick with a guy so she could build all of that. And most of them are very nice and handsome! So I don't understand. Either be with Kvothe or not, god damnit. Stop toying with him.

I knew there was a sequel. This kind of story is impossible to fit in just one book. But what I failed to realize was that the sequel, THE WISE MAN'S FEAR, was a continuation of his story. That may sound weird, but hear me out. The summary above makes it seem like Kvothe will do all of that in this one book. Why else would it be in the summary? Misleading summaries tick me off, and I was constantly trying to figure out how this plot was going to end. So once I finished it, I was mildly annoyed that we weren't even a quarter of the way done with his story. That probably sounds really dumb to you, but it's just the way I am. I wish I had known that this was a trilogy and that his story is broken up the way it is. I don't like being caught off guard like that.
Now, for being as smart as Kvothe is, he did some really stupid and reckless shit. Maybe it's because of his age, but I swear, sometimes his brain just shut off and he did things without even thinking about the consequences. The age thing could also be contributed to his overly-cocky attitude at some points, which annoyed me and made me want to smack him around a little so his head wouldn't get too big. There was this one part where Kvothe does something really reckless, and it ends with him burning down Trebon. There was no correlation with that scene and the actual plot of the story, except to boost his ego and give him even more of a reputation. That was the part where I almost DNF'd this, since it was soooooooo pointless and boring and annoying. Plus Denna was with him and I just wanted to smack her.

BUT. Even with all of that (which sounds like a lot) I really did enjoy THE NAME OF THE WIND. Enough so that I'm ordering the sequel ASAP. Rothfuss creates a fantastic magical world with characters that jump out of the pages. I was reminded a lot of Harry Potter, which is always a fun time, so if you enjoyed that and are ready take on a much more complex and adult version of that, than I highly recommend reading this.

"And then there was Ambrose. To deem us simply enemies is to lose the true flavor of our relationship. It was more like the two of us entered into a business partnership in order to more efficiently pursue our mutual interest of hating each other.

"It'll be a lot longer if you keep missing passes like that," Wilem said frankly. "She was doing everything but taking down another button for you."
Sim leaned over and lay his hand on my shoulder, the very picture of the concerned friend. "Kvothe, I've been meaning to talk to you about this very problem. If you honestly couldn't tell that she was interested in you, you might want to admit the possibility that you're impossibly thick when it comes to woman. You may want to consider the priesthood."

"Yes, since I am forced to pick, I would choose selas."
She looked at me. Looked away. "You think too much of me."
I smiled. "Perhaps you think too little of yourself."

"Was Fenton mad?"
"Furious," Willem said calmly, finally entering the conversation. "Said he was going to box your ears next time he saw you."
Sims grin widened. "He called you a fluff-headed E'lir with no respect for his betters."
"Made claims about your parentage and sexual tendency towards animals," Wilem said with a straight face."
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Happy Monday!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hi guys! This week I plan on persuading my teachers to let me take final exams early so I can go to BEA. It happens to fall on the exact two days I have my exams, so here's to hoping I can persuade them or else I will fall into a depression that will last until BEA 2017. WISH ME LUCK!

Read Last Week
Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Chasing Spring by R.S. Grey

Happy readings! :)
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Let's talk The 5th Wave movie!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Today was the day! The 5th Wave movie has finally come out and I was eagerly anticipating it. The 5th Wave is one of my all time favorite books, and from what I saw of the trailers, I had medium expectations. I always try and aim my expectations pretty low with book-to-movie/tv show adaptations, for many, many reasons. But I was pretty impressed with the trailers, so I raised mine up a little.

Overall, I'd give this a solid 4 out of 5 stars! I don't pay too much attention to how close they follow the plotline of the book. As long as it can hold it's own as a movie, it doesn't bother me. Even still, they followed the book pretty closely, which is always a plus (directors and producers of Allegiant, PLEASE TAKE NOTE). I'm not a huge fan of Chloe Grace Moretz, but can grudgingly admit she's a pretty good actor and played Cassie well enough. Movie Cassie definitely lacked the sass book Cassie had, which is kind of sad, since she's so ferocious and kick-ass.
Alex Roe SLAYED it as Evan Walker. Honestly, the man could have had the cheesiest lines in the history of cheesy lines and I wouldn't have even noticed or cared. I'd be too busy dreamily staring into his eyes or rewinding to the part with him in the lake washing off *heart eyes*. But he nailed Evan's quiet yet dangerous demeanor, and for that I am eternally grateful. Also, seriously.


Squad 53 was so cute and had great chemistry. Maika Monroe was a solid Ringer, though her acting could have been a wee bit better. Nick Robinson, who plays Zombie, was also really well done, though I wish they added more depth to his character. In the book he goes through an insane transformation, and we really don't see much of that in the movie.
I though the CGI effects, action sequences, and overall vibe of the movie was pretty spot-on! One thing that was a shame was Vosch. We had the perfect actor: Liev Schreiber. Yet he was so blah. In the book, he's almost a God to everyone in the camp, especially to Zombie. He's the sole reason Zombie transforms the way he does, with magnificent speeches and icey blue eyes and an overall tough exterior. They nailed the tough exterior part, but nothing else. The writers should have taken some lines from the one speech where he talks about being Michelangelo. Or something like that. You guys remember what I'm talking about, right?
Overall, this was really well done! I really hope this makes enough money to warrant the next installment, even though I have major mixed feelings on it. Mostly I just want to see more Evan and Cassie scenes and Ringer being a badass bitch.

What did you think of The 5th Wave as a movie? Were you as captivated by Alex Roe as I was? Because 10/10 I would most likely kill someone for a piece of that. *smiles nervously*
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The Blood of the Hydra by Michelle Madow cover reveal + giveaway!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra is the second novel in Michelle Madow’s Elementals series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

Title: Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: April 18, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #2
Format: eBook and paperback
ISBN: 9781311296788

Finding out that her new school had her in a special homeroom for witches was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. It’s a secret she needs to keep not only from the Head Elders, but from the super-sexy witch Blake, who she’s had undeniable chemistry with even before he broke up with his long-term girlfriend, the vengeful witch Danielle. 
Now Nicole and the four others gifted with powers over the elements, including Blake and Danielle, must stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. Three magical items are needed, including the blood of the slain hydra – ingredients that they must journey to the dangerous, mystical islands in Greece to retrieve. The monsters they face on this journey will be more threatening than anything they’ve encountered yet. But with the fate of the world on their shoulders, it’s up to the Elementals to return home victorious. Will they find the ingredients they need? Can Nicole and her friends pull off this mission while the tension between her, Blake, and Danielle threatens to ruin everything? And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers? Find out in The Blood of the Hydra, and join the Elementals on their next journey in their quest to save the world – or die trying. 

Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo Add to Goodreads And don’t miss the first book in the series, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! Click here to learn more. Rafflecopter for Cover & Blurb Giveaway: Michelle is offering one lucky winner a signed paperback of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway Add the Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra Countdown Timer to your blog!

About the Author: Michelle Madow has always loved writing stories, but the possibility of being an author used to feel more like a dream than a reality. She didn’t share her stories with anyone until her junior year of college, when she signed up for an Intro to Creative Writing course. Her teacher and classmates read the first chapter of a book idea she had, and they loved it so much that they told her she had to finish the book so they could find out what happened next. By the end of the school year, Michelle finished that book, which would later be published as her first novel, Remembrance. Michelle grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Connect with Michelle: Facebook: /MichelleMadow Twitter/Instagram: @MichelleMadow Email: michelle@madow.com Visit Michelle online at www.michellemadow.com, and be sure to sign up for her newsletterc and follow her on Amazon to get instant updates on her books!
Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
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Can we all mutually agree that Blake (who I'm about 99% sure is the guy on the cover) is gorgeous?! *heart eyes*
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FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Friday, January 22, 2016

FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: January 5th, 2016
Pages: 320
Song I Played While Reading: Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran
Rating: 4.5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criterion: he has a to a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward fumbling over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect time, the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her mother isn't home nearly enough to know about Mercedes' extracurricular actives, and her Auber-religious best friend, Angela, won't even say the word sex until she gets married. But Mercedes' doesn't bank on Angela's boyfriend finding out and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed. 
When Mercedes' perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her own reputation- and find out where her heart really belongs in the process. 

I don't judge people. I mean I do, but I don't. I lightly judge people sometimes by what they wear or say, but it's not a forever thing. I'll laugh internally to myself, and then get over it. But when it comes to serious things, or personal things (like what a person does with his or her own body) then I'm judgement-free. As long as it doesn't interfere with my life, then I say to everybody "You do you." That's the way my mom raised me. It may seem unconventional to some people, but whatever.
I knew FIRSTS was going to be the kind of book someone either loves or hates. It deals with two extremely touchy topics: cheating and slut-shaming. This could have easily turned into a train wreck, but Flynn was poised and in control, steering the plot of this story along a course that is a sad reality for some girls. Sex is such a tight-lipped thing in this community, and I think that needs to change. Not only does FIRSTS shine a light on a girl who enjoys sex and is comfortable with her body, but it also flashes onto a girl who is waiting until marriage. I loved seeing this parallel play out and thought Flynn composed it beautifully, which just enough of harsh reality to make it relatable. It's okay to enjoy sex! It's also okay to want to wait! And it's also okay to not want to have sex. It's your body. Do with it as you please.
Mercedes was an incredible character, and quite possibly my spirit animal. She was both the quiet girl at school and the confident queen at home. This was a huge deal to me because I always see these characters who are either portrayed as a sex goddess, whip smart and always flirting and being loud, or the shy girl, who likes school and doesn't go out. A character isn't just one personality. They're a compilation of both sides, and I like how Mercedes was this brainiac who had a whole drawer full of sexy lingerie.
The supporting characters were so incredibly important and precious, I could not get over it. Zach and Faye were the dynamic duo, helping Mercedes through the hardships without a second thought for themselves. Thats the kind of friend that I am, so I loved seeing the representation. Course, I don't think I would have gone as far as they did, but still. Friendship was a huge factor in this story, and along with the dynamic due we had Angela, who was so the polar opposite of Mercedes, yet vital to her growth. I loved seeing how deeply our main character cared for Angela and her beliefs.  It's so, so important to respect boundaries, and FIRSTS portrayed this to the T.
I cried way to many damn times while reading this book, mostly because my heart was shattering for Mercedes and the shit she was getting, but also because I thought it was a good idea to have Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran as my song???? Like???? I DONT EVEN LIKE TO CRY, YET I MADE THAT DECISION. IT'S ALMOST COMICAL.
Overall, if I could make it rain hearts and stars on Laurie Elizabeth Flynn for the rest of her life I would. She's absolutely brilliant, and you need this book in your hands ASAP.

"It's funny how giving up control can actually end up putting things back in place."

"I give her a tight-lipped smile. It hits me, how important numbers are to everybody. Jillian needs a seventy. I lost my own virginity at age thirteen. I slept with fourteen guys. Charlie wants to celebrate two years with Angela. The Bad Actor deserves less than zero.
But the only number that's important to me right now is seven.
Seven is perfect."

"I can control what happens in the chemistry lab. There's a formula and an equation, and I know exactly what the reaction will be when I mix on thing with another. Life, not so much. Love, not at all. No matter what elements you combine, you really have no idea what happens next.
It's scary not knowing what comes next.
But not knowing might also be the best part."

"Zach reaches across and wipes my cheek with his thumb. "What are you saying?"
I smile through quivering lips. "I'm saying I want to eat spaghetti with you."
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Cover reveal of THE BELTANE ESCAPE by Arielle Moon!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hi guys! Today I've got a gorgeous cover reveal for you :)

The Beltane Escape
Ariella Moon
(The Two Realms Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Lady Fenella, ever surrounded by guards, knows only responsibility and duty. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave.
But then Gran brands her, Lord Argonshire kidnaps her, and the Lady of the Lake makes her a pawn. The Highland heiress must betray her newly betrothed and fend for herself when she dives into a wormhole to save her cousin. She lands in a part of Fairy even fairies avoid, and joins forces with Talfryn, a half-Viking/half-Fairy.
Fenella must use her wits to find her cousin, free the Lady of the Lake, and reach the wormhole in Glastonbury by Beltane. Nine days to unshackle herself from a sorceress, prevent a war between rival clans, and decide in which realm—and with which lad—she truly belongs. Oh, and The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.

Author Bio:
Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her Two Realms Trilogy is a medieval fantasy adventure series with romantic elements. The Teen Wytche Saga is a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.
Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.
Ariella loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at http://www.AriellaMoon.com or visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ariellamoon.author

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DID I MENTION I NEED YOU? by Estelle Maskame

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DID I MENTION I NEED YOU? by Estelle Maskame
Publisher: Black & White Publishing
Publication Date: October 19th, 2015 (UK edition)
Pages: 387
Song I Played While Reading: Lose it (Jerry Folk Remix) by Oh Wonder
Rating: 3.5 stars

It's been a year since eighteen-year-old Eden Munro last saw Tyler Bruce: her stepbrother... and her secret love. Although they called time on their forbidden relationship for the sake of their family, Eden can't help but feel excited when Tyler invites her to join him in New York for the summer. 
Anyway, Eden is happy with her boyfriend Dean, and surely Tyler has moved on too. But as they spend a long, hot summer in the excitement of the city that never sleeps, it soon becomes obvious that the parent over each other. But can they resist temptation? 

DID I MENTION I NEED YOU? was a confounding book for me. I had crazy high expectations since I loved the first book, and the thought of Eden and Tyler together, alone, in New York city for an entire summer was tantalizing and agonizing. Now, before I get into this review, I would like to point out that I thought I was spoiled for the ending. I swear on my life that I read somewhere that Tyler had a secret girlfriend in Chicago. It was on goodreads, and was a review. BUT I CANT FOR THE LIFE OF ME FIND IT, AND I'M TRYING NOT TO SCREAM WITH EMBARRASSMENT AND ANGER. Not only was I outright pissed off that someone would blatantly spoil it for everyone, but it tainted the whole book for me. The entire time I was reading DIMINY, I was second guessing Tyler. I was thinking "How can he say all this stuff to Eden, about loving her and needing her, when he has a secret girlfriend?" There's a slight possibility that I may have read the review wrong, but I highly doubt it. Why would girlfriend and Chicago be in the same sentence? Huh?? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME, MYSTERIOUS REVIEWER WHO I KINDA WISH WOULD FALL DOWN A DARK HOLE?
I don't think that contributed to a lot of my unease over this book, though. It should have, but it didn't.  Overall, I wasn't thrilled with this storyline. Let me break it down for you.

The New Tyler
I like emotionally tortured boys. I find them fascinating and depressing. It helps when they're completely gorgeous too, so all that wrapped up in a toned body is a recipe for disaster. But I also like good guys too (who doesn't?) but they can be kind of boring. And that's how I found Tyler to be in this story. He was sooooo incredibly different from the Tyler we knew in DIMILY, which I found unsettling. He obviously grew up and found more inner peace over his past, but... I don't know. Something was off. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but he didn't have that same spark for me.

This damn girl. I don't think we'll ever see eye-to-eye. She can be a fantastic narrator, which she was for the most part in this book. She was confident and honest and more easily relatable. But as it happens, the bad overshadows the good for me (or at least stands out more), so when I think back on Eden, I think of her faults. She would get ridiculously jealous of any girl that would talk to Tyler, which wouldn't have been a problem if she didn't ACT OUT LIKE A CHILD. At one point, Tyler introduces Eden to his friend, Emily. And without even waiting to see what kind of relationship they have, or even saying hi to Emily, she storms past them into her room and slams the door, fuming inside that Tyler would lie to her about having a girlfriend. Not only is that completely wrong and obnoxious because YOU'RE HIS STEPSISTER AND ARE TRYING TO KEEP YOUR RELATIONSHIP A SECRET, but because how old is she?? That is so unbelievably rude, and it blows my mind that she actually did that. But Eden has a habit of being unthinkably rude (she did this a lot in DIMILY) so I shouldn't have been that surprised.
She also can be quick to assume and judge, and at one point, she found herself stuck in this situation that I firmly believe she could have wiggled her way out of by being honest.

The Setting + Characters 
This is still something I'm trying to work out, but I think them being in New York kind of messed me up too. On one hand, it was great, because you can clearly see the amount of work Maskame put into making this book rich and full of detail, which is always a feat because she isn't even from the US. I'm not even sure if she's set foot in New York, but regardless, major kudos to her. I could picture everything. It was fantastic. But maybe in my minds eye, Tyler and Eden will always be a California couple. It was similar to New Tyler; them being in New York was off putting.
Also, lord help me for saying this, but I actually missed all the horrendous characters in DIMILY. I DONT EVEN KNOW WHY (which seems to be my overall response to everything in this book), but I can't even describe to you the satisfaction I felt when some of them visited Eden. It was like coming home, and in true Maskame fashion, it brought so much delicious drama to the book that I was giggling.
I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the new batch of characters we got though! Snake and Emily were fantastic. Tyler literally could not have had better friends.

Now I'm not saying I wasn't also thrilled with this book. I love Maskame's writing and how a heavy portion of this is inner dialogue. Eden, even with her faults, is an incredible character who thinks and observes and wonders. I'm similar in that way, so it's nice seeing someone actually taking a step back and observing the world around her and acknowledging that she's in New York. She appreciates everything around her, even with all the drama in her life.
I still have more to say, but it'll spoil DIMINY if you haven read it yet, so shoo! I ordered the UK version through Amazon in case anyone was wondering, and the US version comes out on March 6th.  If you liked DID I MENTION I LOVE YOU? than I'm 95% sure you'll either like or love DID I MENTION I NEED YOU?

I wanted to talk about the whole Dean situation here. Many of us would like to think that we wouldn't have cheated on Dean with Tyler. That we wouldn't have kissed him, let alone slept with him multiple times, basically acting like we didn't have a boyfriend. I read a review where some girl was outright disgusted with Eden and her ability to cheat without a single thought.
First of all, don't be single-minded. Until you've personally been in Eden's shoes, or even Dean's or Tylers, don't judge. Don't act like God and condone people for things that are out of their control. Could it have been handled better? Of course. Could Eden have broken up with Dean before leaving for New York? Of course. Could she have not have slept with Tyler? Of course. But this is a tricky situation. I'm not saying cheating is ever okay, but when you have a relationship that has been in the works for two years, stopped by outsides forces and distance, than things are going to come up when they're finally together again, no matter their relationship status. I'm cringing at what I just wrote but it's what I feel, no matter how awful it may look. I've obviously never been cheated on, so I don't have any personal experience with it. But I'm a very open person and can understand that love can make people do crazy things.
And concerning the ending, I actually am really impressed with Tyler's decision to leave. It's a very mature choice, something that I would usually admire in someone, but he literally picked the worst time to do it. After outing their relationship to everyone, and promising Eden that he would never leave, he's doing just that, leaving the ugly mess for her to clean up. He should have either done this before they left New York, or while she was away at college. That would have been plenty of alone time for him.
Nonetheless, I'm desperately hoping to see Eden and Tyler get their happy ending in DID I MENTION I MISS YOU?

"However, when I glance down, it's not lyrics that I see. It's three words, scrawled messily in his handwriting. Three words, and they're in Spanish: No te rindas.
Before I can even open my mouth, Tyler's already answering the question that's on my lips.
"It means 'Don't give up'," he says quietly, toying with the pen in his hand."When it comes to you, it's simple: As long as you don't give up, I won't either."

 "Snake munches on several more chips as he thinks, tilting his head a degree to the side. "It's a little weird," he says again, "but I don't have a problem with it." He starts to smile but it quickly transforms into a smirk instead as he raises an eyebrow at Tyler. ""So do you guys have kinky family traditions?"

"I dont know what being in love with someone is supposed to feel like," Tyler admits with a breathy laugh, "but if being in love means thinking about someone every second of every day... If being in love means you'd do anything and everything for them," he murmurs, "than I am endlessly in love with you."

"Hey!" Snake yells from the kitchen. It's so abrupt that Tyler and I immediately pause, flinching away from each other before our lips can even brush. We both flash our eyes over to Snake, only to find that he and Emily are staring back at us from behind the kitchen counter. They're both smiling, their expressions playful. With a plate in his hand, Snake points it toward us. "No immortal kissing in the living room!"
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Top ten books I've recently added to my TBR!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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The Weight of Guilt by Jon Ripslinger review + giveaway!

The Weight of Guit by Jon Ripslinger
Publisher: Red Adapt Publishing
Publication Date: January 2015
Pages: 220
Song I Played While Reading: Drive by Halsey
Rating: 3.5 stars

Driving home from a bonfire party, eighteen-year-old John Hawk crashes, killing his girlfriend, Riley. Bullied and tormented at school, and crushed by his guilty conscience, John transfers to a school on the banks of the Mississippi River, where he attracts the eye of the principal’s daughter, Megan. Though he’s reluctant, she convinces him to be her prom date. The morning after prom, Principal Jones reports Megan missing. Four days later, her body is recovered from the river, and John becomes the prime suspect in her death.
Charley Cotton, Megan’s best friend, knows that Megan had a secret, but she doesn’t trust John because of his past. John is desperate to avoid adding to the shame he carries for Riley’s death, though—it’s destroying his life. With Charley’s help, he learns that others in Megan’s life had a motive to keep her quiet. But every effort they make to uncover the truth edges them closer to a desperate murderer with everything to lose.

I don't read a lot of mystery/crime fiction, so I picked this up eager for something new. I really enjoyed reading from John and Charley pov, though at times, it was a little confusing on who was who. All of the chapters had the names at the top, so we know who we're reading from, but the second chapter, told from Charley, didn't. If we hadn't been talking to Megan, who was saying how hot John Hawk was, than I probably wouldn't have realized we had switched pov's. There was no real difference between John and Charley's pov. They were too similar. 
Even with that, I enjoyed the writing. It was a little stiff at times, and Charley's though process wasn't very... I can't even think of a word for it. All I can think of is that it's obvious a male author wrote her chapters. Overall though, it was straightforward and fresh.
The plotline kept me hooked until the end. I had no idea who killed Megan, and was shocked at the turn of events. I was even more shocked once we realize how big the situation is. Proving John's innocence, and finding Megan's killer, turned out to be only the tip of the iceberg. It was a delicious thrill. 
One thing bothered me concerning Charley: she was so judgmental of John in the beginning. Ya'll must know that's a pet peeve of mine. But this was probably the most horrendous judgment in the world, even worse than Eden's in Did I Mention I Love You? because at least she had an excuse. But Charley sure as hell didn't.

"I study John Hawk again, reappraising him. Maybe he isn't so bad. He appears honest, genuine. Maybe he is concerned. But he's a wrestler. A sweaty, stinky wrestler who slams people around and bends their arms and legs backward. Who could even like a wrestler?

"Thought he grabbed my wrist, he doesn't seem like a guy who would deliberately hurt anyone. But you can never tell about guys. Like I said, he's a wrestler."

I couldn't tell if I should've laughed or cried because seriously, no one thinks like that. I mean, I would hope not. Just because he wrestles doesn't mean he's violent or a bad person, so I'm not sure where Charley got that stigma from.
If you're in the mood for a light crime fiction told from dual pov's than I suggest checking this out!

Now, time for the giveaway!

Here's a link to the rafflecopter, since I couldn't get the widget to show up. I swear technology hates me. 
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Happy Monday!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hello all! Another week is upon us, but this one is gonna be a scary one since I start school on Wednesday. *cue sad violin music* I despise school. Always have, always will. It's not my thing, and I've managed to push college back a year and a half. But it's high time I get my ass back on track, so here I am, starting school and planning on actually staying in it. WISH ME LUCK!

Read Last Week
The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge
Did I Mention I Need You? by Estelle Maskame

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Happy readings! :)
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Cover reveal of The Society by Jodie Andrefski!

The Society
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Welcome to Trinity Academy’s best-kept secret.
The Society.
You’ve been handpicked by the elite of the elite to become a member. But first you’ll have to prove your worth by making it through Hell Week.
Do you have what it takes?
It’s time to find out.
Samantha Evans knows she’d never get an invite to rush the Society—not after her dad went to jail for insider trading. But after years of relentless bullying at the hands of the Society’s queen bee, Jessica, she’s ready to take down Jessica and the Society one peg at a time from the inside out.
All it’ll take is a bit of computer hacking, a few fake invitations, some eager rushees…and Sam will get her revenge.
Let the games begin.

Buy Links:

About the Author

Jodie Andrefski has been passionate about reading ever since she was a little girl, when she used to climb trees to escape with a favorite book. She now lives and writes in a small town in Pennsylvania with her teenage daughter. Though still an avid reader, she now prefers a comfy chair over the crook of a tree. An unapologetic coffee fiend, she's even happier if her java comes with pie. Jodie often draws on her background in education and mental health counseling to bring real world experience to her writing. She is a firm believer in the magic of a first kiss, and insists that you should never, ever give up on your dreams.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

Who's excited for this book?! I definitely am! :)
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Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publication Date: August 27th, 2015
Pages: 318
Song I Played While Reading: Faded by Alan Walker
Rating: 3.5 stars

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magical bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to ear the Tower of Sorcercers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all - the Crown Prince Aldrik - she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcerer and leave the life she's known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she's always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla's indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

I first heard of this from a friend of mine on Goodreads. She had been reading it and one of her updates had been her screaming about how the love interest pushes our main character off a balcony. Naturally, I became insanely curious to see what Air Awakens was about. 
There were moments when I loved this story, and there were moments when I didn't. My conflicted feelings remind me of An Ember in the Ashes, since I felt similar with that. Some scenes drew me in and it was like the characters had jumped off the page, while I stumbled over other scenes, barely able to concentrate since I was either super bored or extremely pissed off. 
It's rare for me to initially dislike a love interest, especially when he's a sarcastic and dangerous bad boy. THAT'S MY THING. But Aldrik... he pushed the boundaries. I was disgusted with his attitude in the beginning: he was narcissistic and rude and heartless and scornful. I was not down for this guy, and was worried that this was going to be one of those horrendous relationships where the guy is a total asshole and the girl just takes it since she thinks she's in love with him. Thankfully it wasn't, and Vhalla turned out to have a little more spine than I originally thought, and Aldrik did a complete 180 with his attitude. Vhalla calls him out (I was cheering so hard for her here) and he storms off like the little prissy boy he is, and then in their next scene he's the perfect gentleman. He grew on me, not only because he ended up being a total sweetheart, but because you could tell he really cared about Vhalla. She may not have realized, but I did. They had a wonderful slow-burning relationship. 
Now, my feelings were a little more complicated with Vhalla. Similar to the storyline, I liked her at moments, and then didn't in others. She could be extremely sarcastic and witty, which were the parts I really liked, but in other times, she acted like an ignorant child (Aldrik called her that at one point and I had to hold back from cackling). She goes through a fantastic character arc, since most of this story revolves around her decision to either embrace her power or not. I like how she worked through it, acknowledging that she had been too quick to judge and ignorant of everything magic related. It really made her stand out, since I admire characters who own up to their mistakes and actually think. They don't rush into things. 
The climax of the story was probably the most difficult part for me to read. I got so frustrated with how Vhalla was acting. Instead of considering how she could use her power to get herself out of the situation she was in, she just stood there and did nothing. She literally did not think at all about using her power. That could have changed the ending in so many ways, though I did like the direction it ended up taking. 
I was pleasantly surprised by Prince Baldair and his role in the story. Not only was he sweet, kind, and understanding, but he complicated the story in a really good way. I can't really describe it, but I like the way he made Vhalla and Aldrik feel about each other. Obviously he made his brother jealous, which always gets me giddy. But it pushed them to realize how they truly felt.  
I really enjoyed the other supporting characters and thought they balanced the story out really well. Each helped Vhalla grow into a strong and independent woman. 
Overall, this was a strong first novel. I'm not sure if I plan on reading the next book, but I definitely am curious to see how it turns out, so we'll see! 

"You're that girl, Vhalla. The one that you just know is special. So much so that it's almost something you feel like you can't touch or you'll break it."

"They were sending her to war, so she would go and become something they had every right to fear."

"I may be a prince," he said as his lips brushed her ears lightly. "But I would trade it all to be a common man, even if only for tonight." 
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