Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stacking the Shelves


This week's shelf-stackers all come from the cute litttle used bookstore that I have to pass by to get home from work.  Don't ask how many times I actually make it by the store without stopping.


Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1)

Goodreads Summary:


There are six things very wrong with my life:

1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.

2. It is on my nose

3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.

4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.

5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.

6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst of being a teenager. In the spirit of Bridget Jones's Diary, this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it's "Fabbity fab fab!"


Going in Circles


Buy on Amazon: Going in Circles 

Goodreads Summary:



Charlotte Goodman has had enough surprises.In fact, she reached her life’s quotient when her husband of five months walked out on her, only to abruptly change his mind a few weeks later and move back in. Stung by a whiplash of grief, resentment, and confusion, Charlotte calls a time-out, taking a small apartment where she can figure out what she wants. Instead, the thought of making even the simplest choices triggers an anxiety attack. In order to get out of bed in the morning, she must concoct a to-do list for each day, The Plan, one with absolutely no surprises.



“Without The Plan, horrible things can happen. I’m likely to end up sitting on a curb beside a taco truck on Sunset Boulevard, crying over a carne asada burrito, wondering where my marriage went. I can’t handle being the Weeping Burrito Girl.”

Charlotte knows all this self-absorbed introspection isn’t good for her, but she’s running out of people to turn to, as seemingly everyone in her life is pressuring her to make an immediate decision about her future. Then her new friend Francesca—an impulsive, smartass co-worker—offers Charlotte salvation in the unlikeliest of places: the fast-paced, super-tough, bump-and-bruise-filled world of roller derby.

Sure, it’s dangerous. Yeah, she could get hurt. But what’s a little physical pain when healing your soul is at stake? The question is: whether she’s on or off the track, will Charlotte be strong enough to stand on her own two feet?


What Would Emma Do?

Buy on Amazon: What Would Emma Do?

Goodreads Summary:


Thou Shalt Not Kiss Thy Best Friend’s Boyfriend...again...
There is no greater sin than kissing your best friend’s boyfriend. So when Emma breaks that golden rule, she knows she’s messed up big-time...especially since she lives in the smallest town ever, where everyone knows everything about everyone else...and especially since she maybe kinda wants to do it again. Now her best friend isn’t speaking to her, her best guy friend is making things totally weird, and Emma is running full speed toward certain social disaster. This is so not the way senior year was supposed to go.
Time to pray for a minor miracle. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Emma to stop trying to please everyone around her, and figure out what she wants for herself.


What Would Emma Do?



Goodreads Summary:

She's been chosen to fight the elusive enemy among us....
Phoenix Germaine has been trying to earn back her mother's trust after going into rehab and kicking Onadyn -- the drug of choice for New Chicago teens. But when a party in the woods turns into an all-out battle with the most ferocious aliens Phoenix has never seen, she's brought home in what appears to be an Onadyn-induced state. Hello, reform school.
Except, what her mother doesn't know is that Phoenix has just been recruited to join the elite Alien Investigation and Removal agency, where she'll learn to fight dirty, track hard, and destroy the enemy. Her professional training will be rigorous and dangerous, and the fact that one of her instructors is Ryan Stone -- the drop-dead gorgeous, nineteen-year-old agent she met in the woods that night -- doesn't make things any easier. Especially when dating him is totally against the rules....
Wildly imaginative, action-packed, and thrilling, Red Handed launches Gena Showalter's stunning new alien huntress series.

What are you filling your shelves up with this week?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday



I'm a little late in posting this, but don't they always say "better late than never"?

Top Ten is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we list our top tens! This week’s topic is "favorite beginnings and endings in books".  Some of these are opening lines.  Some are the parting thoughts.  All are outstanding and thought provoking and meant to grab your attention.


Monday, July 29, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Searching for Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn

Today Nyrae Dawn and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL, which releases on March 4, 2014.   Also, enter below for a paperback or ebook copy of Searching for Beautiful.

On to the reveal!
Blurb:
Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.
When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.
But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?


Excerpt for Searching for Beautiful:

Christian looks at me. I wait for a smart-aleck reply or a smile but get neither. Just his blue eyes sucking me in like a whirlpool. “That’s what I thought you would say. So you just have to keep fighting for it. Keep fighting to get it back.”
    My eyes won’t leave his and his won’t leave mine. And he’s cute. God, he’s so cute, I just want to focus on his cuteness. I want that to be all that matters. When his hand comes up and cups my cheek, I gasp. He brushes his thumb under my eye and licks his lips and I’m frozen and on fire and close to having a heart attack and anxious all at the same time.
    Slowly, he leans forward and I know he’s giving me time. And my heart is leaping and I want to feel his lips. This is Christian. The boy who asked me to dance. The boy I ran to my mom about and told her that I loved. And now he’s my friend. The first person who has made me feel normal since everything happened.
    But I’m so scared. Scared of messing it up. Scared he’ll decide he doesn’t want me. Scared of losing him. Of getting hurt.
    He gets closer and I smell his sweet, sugary scent. See his mouth and wet lips and that hair I want to touch.
    See the one person besides Emery who I have. The one person I can’t lose. “Wait,” I say and Christian stops moving. He’s still close. So very, very close that his lips are only an inch away from mine. “I’m scared,” I admit.
    “I won’t hurt you.”
    And I swear a part of me believes him. Maybe all of me. But how do I know if that’s the right decision or not?
    He runs his hand down my face and touches my hair. Love that he’s not nervous to do it the way I am with him and I watch his fingers, brown against my red hair.
    “Go out with me, Bryntastic. Let’s go do something this weekend. Don’t keep running. I won’t even try to kiss you again unless you tell me to. Or I’ll wait for you to do it. Just let go. Live.”
    His words are what I want. I want them so badly and they sound so perfect that it’s hard not to just scream, “Yes!” right now. “Why?” I ask him. “Why are you so nice to me?”
    I love his strength. Love that he doesn’t even hesitates before saying, “Because you were my first crush. Because I used to watch you conqueror anything and used to listen to you laugh with your friends. You were happy and I loved your smile. Because I had to work up the courage to ask you to dance and I did, and then I left and the one thing I missed was that smile. I watched my sister lose hers and watched my family fall apart and when I came back here? I wanted to see your smile again. Because you’re beautiful when you smile and you’ve lost it now. I want you to conquer this because what the hell is the purpose in it all if the first girl I ever danced with loses her smile?”
    I don’t realize I’m crying until Christian wipes my tears. “You think I’m beautiful?”  


About Nyrae Dawn: 

Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. There have been times in her life where she wasn’t able to chase that dream the way she desired, but she always found her way back to telling stories.

One of her loves has always been writing about teens. There’s something so fresh and fun about the age that she loves exploring. Her husband says it’s because she doesn’t want to grow up. She doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing and luckily for her, he doesn’t either.

Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she’s a total romantic at heart and proud.

Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.

When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her.

She writes for Entangled Publishing, Grand Central Publishing and is self-published.

Nyrae is represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management.



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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Demons - A Review of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


(Goodreads Blurb)
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
This was an incredibly beautiful read.  Not only is the world that Bardugo created unique and fascinating, it is unlike anything you could even imagine.  But somehow, her writing makes you feel like Ravka is a place you could visit. 

After being orphaned at a young age, Mal and Alina are raised by the Duke.  Mal and Alina watch out for each other their whole lives.  When they are older, they both join the First Army; Mal as a tracker, and Alina as a cartographer.

Mal is the good-looking charismatic boy that causes all of the girls to swoon and chase after him.  Alina watches as her heart breaks.  She pushes her feelings aside in favor of their lifelong friendship even as she wonders if Mal would ever feel for her as she does for him.

While trying to cross the Shadow Fold, the First Army is brutally attacked and lose many of their numbers.  Mal fires the arrow that saves Alina's life, and just as Mal is about to lose his own life, Alina stands between him and certain death.  And blacks out.

Alina is taken from Mal and the First Army to the Darkling and into the heart of the Grisha.  Everyone is frightened of her and the power she supposedly showed while in the Shadow Fold.  She is thrown into a world she does not understand.  Everyone is expecting Alina to have some great power, but she cannot seem to access it.  The Darkling talks about how together they are going to save the future of Ravka.

The Darkling is beautiful.  He is powerful.  And he stirs up feelings in Alina that she had thought were reserved for only one man.  He is also conflicted about what he is feeling for Alina.
“The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak.”
Even as Alina grows closer to The Darkling and her powers, she wonders what has become of her best friend, Mal.  Among whispers of betrayal and treason, in this new world of power, is there really anyone that Alina can trust?

This is a unique story that is filled with the classics of  adventure, seduction, intrigue, and betrayal.  A story of how a young girl can save the world.


This is a playlist compiled of songs that people have connected with the story on various blogs and even from the author herself.




Normally I wouldn't use so many lyrics in a blog post, but this song seems to have been written by The Darkling himself.

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide


Friday, July 26, 2013

Welcome To My Life: A Review of Since You Asked... by Maurene Goo




Since You Asked... by Maurene Goo


(Goodreads Blurb)
A humorous, debut novel about a Korean-American teenager who accidentally lands her own column in her high school newspaper, and proceeds to rant her way through the school year while struggling to reconcile the traditional Korean values of her parents with contemporary American culture.
That summary, while not very exciting, is actually what got me to read the book.  My husband's mother is a Korean-American and that was enough to convince me that I needed this story in my life.

Holly Kim is less than thrilled with her life.  Her Korean-American parents tend to be over-bearing and, at least in Holly's mind, completely unreasonable.  Why does her family think that Christmas should be celebrated in Las Vegas?  Holly really would like to celebrate a tradition American Christmas just once.

(I laughed out loud many times while reading about Holly's family.  My husband made me read those parts aloud to him.  He even said that he thinks he and Holly may actually share the same mother.)

While not outcasts, Holly and her group of friends are not exactly what you could call popular.

First there is Carrie, who's hippie-chic parents seem so laid back and if it wasn't for their dinners of chard and tempeh, Holly would consider them perfect.  Carrie, like Holly tends to dress for comfort, not impressing others.  She's an "energetic ball of klutziness trapped inside a petite athletic build."

Next is Liz.  Her Persian parents not only are wealthy and give Liz everything she could possibly want, they try to embrace American traditions with whole-hearted enthusiasm.  Liz could totally fit in with the popular crowd, but she sought out Carrie and Holly because she was sick of the Barbie dolls.

David rounds out the friendship quartet.  He is half Chinese and he understands many of Holly's parents' rules and prejudices.  The written descriptions of David are not very flattering, like maybe he was trying a little too hard, but I still liked him best of all.
I spun around to see David rolling up on his trusty skateboard.  Tall and lanky (I swear he grew a foot over the summer), he wore a knit beanie pulled over his mop of brown hair and a pair of Ray Bans.
"Wow.  Uh, nice shades," I said.
He grinned.  "I'm trying out a new look.  I'm hoping it'll discourage people from talking to me this year.  Do I look standoffish?"
"No, you look douche-offish." 
The friendship between these four is fantastic.  They are loyal and stand up for each other, encouraging one another in their endeavors whether it be ballet (Liz), Battle of the Bands (Carrie and David), or almost getting arrested for under-age holding-of-a-beer (Holly).

Through a funny accident, Holly earns a column in the school newspaper she calls "Since You Asked...  There she "barfs" her opinions every month and feels very smug about it.  To her horror, Holly is assigned to do the feature on Matthew Reynolds, popular jock, and king of the rich and entitled.

After witnessing Matthew in his home environment, Holly and Matthew strike up a tentative friendship that is looked on with wonderment and a little disdain by both of their groups of friends.  Holly's traitorous heart seems to flip flop every time she hears Matthew call her "Holly K".

Since You Asked... is a fun story of friendship and family with hints of romance.  I enjoyed the author's writing style.  The language felt just right for a group of fifteen year-olds without it feeling like the author was trying to throw in too many teen-isms.  Also, normally I'm the type of gal that likes more than just a hint of romance, but I l liked this story just the way it is.

4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Scholastic Inc for providing an ARC for a fair and honest review.

Buy the Song: Welcome to My Life by Simple Plan




Can You Keep A Secret: COVER REVEAL! Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Secret (Elemental #4) by Brigid Kemmerer

(Summary)
Nowhere is safe. Not even home…
Nick Merrick is stretched to the breaking point.
Keep his grades sky-high or he’ll never escape his hometown.  
Keep his brother’s business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.
Keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his own twin—-or he’ll lose his family.
Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who’s supposed to be his “girlfriend’s” partner.
Of course there’s also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers.
There’s a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.
Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?
I've been a HUGE Elementals fan from the beginning.  The Merrick brothers and their friends never cease to thrill and excite me.  Their stories are action-packed, but they always take time to include a little romance.  I'm looking forward to Nick finally getting his turn. 

Secret is expected to release in January 28, 2014, 
but you can pre-order on Amazon by clicking:

Secret (Elemental)

Also available at:
Barnes & Noble:

Indiebound: 

Book Depository: 

Add on Goodreads
Secret (Elemental #4)


Get to Know Brigid Kemmerer



Brigid Kemmerer is the author of The Elemental Series, about a family of four brothers who control the elements, and their battle with those who want them dead. Storm, Spark, and Spirit are available now wherever books are sold. To read the novella introducing Nick’s story, be sure to check out Breathless
 (http://www.brigidkemmerer.com/books/elemental-novellas/breathless/)
available as an e-book only from major e-book retailers. 
(Read FicWishes review of Breathless HERE)
You can learn more about Brigid and the Elemental boys at www.brigidkemmerer.com.

Can You Keep a Secret by The Cab

The words to this one seemed to go so well with Nick's story.  
It just had to be included.

Buy the song:


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves


Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews It is a list of what books you have received over the previous week, either for review, from the library, from the bookstore, or from trades.

ARC's approved this week

 




Did you get anything new this week?  Leave me a comment and let me know. 
 I'm always looking for something new to read.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Die Young - A Review of Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess


Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess 

Good reads Blurb

Fantastically funny, fresh and utterly relatable, Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess is the first novel in her brand new series about five twenty-something friends—Pia, Angie, Julia, Coco and Madeleine—sharing a brownstone in hip, downtown Brooklyn, and discovering the ups and downs and ins and outs of  their “semi-adult” lives. The first story belongs to sophisticated, spoiled, and stylish Pia, who finds herself completely unemployed, unemployable, and broke. So what is a recent grad with an art history degree and an unfortunate history of Facebook topless photos to do? Start a food truck business of course! Pia takes on the surprisingly cutthroat Brooklyn world of hybrid lettuce growers, artisanal yogurt makers and homemade butter producers to startSkinnyWheels—all while dealing with hipster bees, one-night-stands, heartbreak, parental fury, wild parties, revenge, jail, loan sharks, playboys, karaoke, true love, and one adorable pink food truck. And that's without counting her roommates' problems, too. Gemma Burgess has captured the confusion, hilarity and excitement of the post-graduate years against a backdrop of the pressures and chaos of New York City life, with heartfelt empathy, fast humor and sharp honesty.

A charming debut series about five twenty-something girls and the humor, heartbreak, and drama that bring them together.
 
Thank you to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Pia and her roommates are twenty-something professionals living and working in New York City.  After starring in some NSFW photos on facebook, Pia is fired from the cushy PR job her parents had helped her get.  These same photos have also now made Pia completely unemployable.  After trying her hand at waitressing, Pia decides that what she should really do is start her own business operating a food truck. 

This was just 'meh' for me.  The voice of Pia was simply annoying.  And the whole cast of characters just seemed flat.  For a girl who lives in New York City, Pia seems rather naive.  I mean, she graduated from college, but when she had ZERO dollars and no job, she thought it would be a great idea to take out a $10,000 loan to start a business she knows nothing about.  I didn't hate it, but it also didn't hold my attention.  The whole time I was trying to read it I was constantly being tempted to read other things.

This book earned 2 out of 5 stars.  And a Kesha song.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Retrace - A Review of Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer


Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer



Author website
Liza Palmer On Twitter
Liza Palmer on Facebook
Add on Goodreads
Goodreads Blurb
A brilliant, hilarious, and touching story with a Texas twist from Liza Palmer, author of Conversations With The Fat Girl (optioned for HBO)

Queenie Wake, a country girl from North Star, Texas, has just been fired from her job as a chef for not allowing a customer to use ketchup. Again. Now the only place she has to go is home to North Star. She can hope, maybe things will be different. Maybe her family's reputation as those Wake women will have been forgotten. It's been years since her mother-notorious for stealing your man, your car, and your rent money-was killed. And her sister, who as a teenager was branded as a gold-digging harlot after having a baby with local golden boy Wes McKay, is now the mother of the captain of the high school football team. It can't be that bad…

Who knew that people in small town Texas had such long memories? And of course Queenie wishes that her memory were a little spottier when feelings for her high school love, Everett Coburn, resurface. He broke her heart and made her leave town-can she risk her heart again?

At least she has a new job-sure it's cooking last meals for death row inmates but at least they don't complain!

But when secrets from the past emerge, will Queenie be able to stick by her family or will she leave home again? A fun-filled, touching story of food, football, and fooling around.

"Hatred is not the opposite of love - indifference is." 

Queenie Wake has always felt like an invisible outsider no matter where she's lived.  And she's lived many places.  After being fired from her latest position as chef, Queenie is scraping rock bottom emotionally and financially.  Queenie has nowhere else to go than to return to the small Texas town where she grew up.  Her sister is still there and has always been Queenie's touchstone, but not even Merry Carole's hair is big enough to help Queenie face the demons she left behind in North Star, Texas.  

Against the advice of everyone she knows, Queenie accepts a job making last meals for a prison and she really finds peace in it.  Morning jogs with her teenage nephew gives Queenie some focus, and the professor, Hudson Bishop, keeps Queenie occupied and her thoughts away from Everett.

Everett Coburn, the Golden Boy of North Star, was Queenie's best friend, first love, and greatest heartbreak.  Though she knew Everett loved her deeply, he still married someone else.  Learning that he is now divorced does nothing to help Queenie's mental state.

Struggling to escape the stigma of being B. J. Wake's daughters, and facing a town that treats them like the whore their mother was causes Queenie and Merry Carole to live life in fear of how the town people will react.  Her return to North Star brings out the gossips, but also causes Queenie to find that she carries her own prejudices about others and herself.  She quickly learns what she's been trying to get everyone else to believe, that things aren't always as they seem.

This is a excellent story about prejudice, forgiveness, and learning when to let go... and when to hold on for dear life.

This song, Retrace by Anberlin, just shouted at me several days after I finished reading Nowhere but Home. Here are some of the reasons why:

Oh how I've tried to get you out of my head

And I lied, the broken words I said
Never thought I'd walk on this street again
Standing where it all began

And I tried to forget
When I left this town
But it takes me right back
When I come back around



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Official FRIGID Video Trailer Reveal!!!

This is it. The video trailer for 

Jennifer L. Armentrout's latest book, Frigid.


 

Ebook released early, July 15, 2013


For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn’t anything new. They’d been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the ‘man’ in man-whore. He’s never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn’t want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.


Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she’s perfect and she’s everything. But the feelings he has for her, he’s always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.


But when they’re stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor’easter, there’s nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.


To Purchase
Amazon


# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


The author is currently running a contest on her website.  Grand prize is a $100 Amazon/B&N giftcard.  You can check it out HERE.  And honestly, if you are reading this post after the contest is closed, just keep checking back on her website.  She is almost always having some sort of giveaway.