Books

Book Haul

stuckinthislife_review

FOR REVIEW FROM AMAZON VINE

  • The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
  • The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

WON

  • Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

 
 

stuckinthislife_netgalley

NEGALLEY

  • Herbs for Stress & Anxiety by Rosemary Gladstar
  • Oblivion by Sasha Dawn
  • Sugar Baby by Gesine Bullock-Prado
  • 18 Truths by Jamie Ayres
  • The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel
  • Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off by Jill Steeples
  • The Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine
  • Undone by Shannon Richard
  • Sing Sweet Nightingale by Erica Cameron
  • Witchfall by Victoria Lamb
  • Crazy For You by Emma Heatherington
  • My Date From Hell by Tellulah Darling
  • Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor

 

I didn’t snap a picture of the books I bought because they’re all on my Kindle annnnd I forgot haha.

 

What did you get this week?

Book Review: Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Hundred Oaks #3
Published: March 1st, 2013 from Sourcebooks Fire
Genre
: Young Adult > Contemporary
Rating
: 2 out of 5
Source
: From publisher via NetGalley (Thank you Sourcebooks Fire!)
Summary
:
Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her. Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

~*~

Things I Can’t Forget is a companion novel to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker both of which I own but haven’t read yet. Thankfully, this is a series where you don’t need to read the first two in order to get the third one.

Kate as a character annoyed the crap out of me. I’m not big on religion, at all. I grew up a Roman Catholic and in 2006 changed my religion so the talk of God and the intensity at which Kate views God and religion sort of annoys me. It doesn’t annoy me that she believes, it annoys me that she tries to shove it down everyone elses throat. She blames herself for “sinning” when she did nothing wrong, the whole time I kept thinking about how freakin over dramatic she was being. She wasn’t her own person with her own thoughts, everything she did (her views on befriending someone or dating someone) was pulled from something someone else said. She didn’t make HER OWN decisions.

So when Matt steps in — a boy she use to go to religion camp with who is now all grown up and in a frat, she doesn’t know what to believe. Could a Christian still be in God’s good graces and be in a frat? Everything to Kate was black and white until she finds herself back at her old camp with a boy and a new friend who help her see that everything isn’t black and white.

I really liked Matt, he was a decent guy. Although he wasn’t that geeky outcasted kid that Kate remembered, he was still funny and caring and the fact that Kate meant so much to him was apparent. Apparent to everyone but Kate (though isn’t that how it always goes? Strange, right?). He was patient with her while she sorted her feelings and her beliefs and never pressured her.

I also really liked Parker (and now I’m very tempted to read Stealing Parker to know her story), she was exactly what Kate needed in order to move on from the things she was holding on to. Also, I just really like Parker cause she’s intense about animal rights. Whoo! Go Parker! 😛

Though I have to be honest, by the time Kate realizes this, I didn’t really care much for her character at all at that point. Although I didn’t enjoy this read as much as I thought I would, I’m still looking forward to the rest of the series.

Book Review: After Hello by Lisa Mangum

After Hello by Lisa Mangum
Published
: Sept 4th 2012 from Shadow Mountain

Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary
Rating: 3½ out of 5
Source: From publisher via NetGalley
Summary:
What if the first day of your relationship was the only day you had?

Seventeen-year-old Sara is a seeker. She’s always on the lookout for the perfect moment to capture with her ever-present, point-and-shoot camera, especially on her first trip to New York City.
Sam is a finder. He has a knack for finding what other people can’t—a first-edition book or the last two tickets to a sold-out Broadway show. In New York, there is always something interesting to find.
When Sam and Sara’s paths cross, neither one of them is prepared for what they will find out about each other—and about themselves when they form an unlikely partnership in search of a seemingly elusive work of art. They have one day to find the impossible. Fate brought their talents together, but what happens when time runs out? Will love be able to overcome fate? This new novel from award-winning author Lisa Mangum explores what happens after hello.
~*~

After Hello was a hard book to get into in the beginning. I just didn’t really understand what was going on. Like the blurb states — Sara is a seeker and Sam is a finder. The more you read into it, the more their roles begin to make sense and once they unravel themselves, you find that Sara is seeker because she’s looking for answers and Sam is a finder because he’s lost his way. For Sam, finding things for other people and making them happy is what he does best, to make up for things that are too late. He’s confident that he can find almost anything anyone is looking for by trading. It all starts with a sugar packet. Yes, a sugar packet. Impressive, right?

What surprised me the most about this read was even though I was pretty close to giving it a DNF (Did Not Finish) rating, it surprised me by being one of those books that really make you think after you’ve flipped the last page. There’s something comforting about telling a stranger all your secrets. Maybe it’s because they have no prior memories or knowledge of you, so you can be whoever you want to be. After Hello I felt was also about letting go and moving on from things you can’t change in your past. From things you didn’t understand before and from things that aren’t going to change no matter how much you wish they would.

Book Review: Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood

 

Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood
Published: July 4th, 2012 from Novelicious Books
Genre: Fiction > Contemporary > Chick Lit
Rating: 4 our of 5
Source: Bought on Amazon for Kindle
Summary:
Your bum does not look big in that dress.

Mmm, it tastes delicious!

Of course you’re better looking than Jon Hamm.

 

Newly engaged Natalie Butterworth is an easy-going girl. She’ll do anything for a quiet life and if telling a few teensy white lies keeps her friends and family happy, then so what? It’s not like they’ll ever discover what she’s really thinking…

Until one night, thanks to a pub hypnotist, Natalie’s most private thoughts begin to bubble up and pop out of her mouth. Things get very messy indeed. Especially when some sticky home truths offend her fiancé.

Natalie must track down the hypnotist before the wedding is officially cancelled. So along with bad influence bestie Meg, Natalie finds herself in the Yorkshire Parish of Little Trooley – a small village bursting with big secrets, nosy old folk and intriguing Wellington-wearing men.
When the girls get stranded in the village with no means of escape and no way to break the hypnotist’s spell, Natalie is forced to face the truths she has been avoiding her whole life…

 

 

Yours Truly follows Natalie, a newly engaged… pushover. I guess that was sort of mean. But she is! Natalie has a hard time letting people down or well, telling them when she’s not pleased and I do mean PEOPLE. Not just family members, but anyone and everyone. Her fiancè Olly is a total tool. The guy makes food that tastes like cardboard, requires that you shower before you sleep with him (and he showers before AND after) and has a habit of asking if it was good when he’s done. I mean, COME ON! Then there’s Natalie’s mom and sister who just irritated the utter crap out of me. How — why — I mean — seriously these two were just infuriating!

Natalie’s friend talks her into going to a hypnotist show as moral support to be hypnotized but the hypnotist doesn’t want her friend, he wants her so he pretends to hypnotize her friend only in reality to be hypnotizing Natalie! Natalie doesn’t realize this until she goes home later to find that she can’t filter her mouth to stop saying what she really thinks.

This begins her journey hours away from home to a small town where she ends up snowed in trying to find the hypnotist to reverse it all but in the process realizes a few things about herself, her fiancè and the people around her.

I will say I really enjoyed this book. Even though Natalie frustrated me, I was rooting for her the whole time. I loved her snarky attitude and I loved the heavy British slang that goes on in this book! I always tell myself to read more chick lit and I’m glad I finally am!

October Reads

Every year I put together a challenge in October of books to read. The first year I did it was to push myself to read scary books. I use to LOVE scary books when I was a kid but it’s so much harder for me to read scary books now. Strange right? But the challenge isn’t for just scary books, it could be anything that also falls into the paranormal category. My list this year is a bit longer than it is most years, but I’m pretty confident I can finish the majority of these reads.

  • Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White
  • Kiss of Frost (Mythos academy #2)by Jennifer Estep
  • Flight (The Crescent Chronicles #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy
  • Demons (Seers #2) by Heather Frost
  • Spellbound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins 😦
  • Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan & Justine Larbalestier
  • Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed & Larkin Reed
  • The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade
  • Under My Hat by Various Authors
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hallow by Washington Irving
  • Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

I probably won’t be able to post reviews of all of these books on the blog, but I’ll be picking my top 4 and posting reviews of those!

What’s a book you’re itching to read this month?

Book Review: Beneath The Glitter by Elle & Blair Fowler

Beneath The Glitter by Elle & Blair Fowler
Beneath The Glitter #1
Published: September 4th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary
Rating: 1 out of 5
Source: NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley & St. Martin’s Griffin!)
Summary:

Welcome to a place where dreams are made.  And where nothing—and no one—is ever what it seems.
After their make-up and fashion videos went viral on YouTube, sisters Sophia and Ava London are thrust into the exclusive life of the Los Angeles elite.  Here fabulous parties, air kisses, paparazzi and hot guys all come with the scene. Sophia finds herself torn between a gorgeous bartender and a millionaire playboy, and Ava starts dating an A-list actor.  But as they’re about to discover, the life they’ve always dreamed of comes with a cost.

 

Beneath the glitter of the Hollywood social scene lies a world of ruthless ambition, vicious gossip…and betrayal.  Someone close to them, someone they trust, is working in the shadows to bring the London sisters falling down. And once the betrayal is complete, Sophia and Ava find themselves knee-deep in a scandal that could take away everything they care about, including the one thing that matters most—each other.

 

 

Beneath The Glitter is about two sisters rise to fame via their YouTube videos on fashion and makeup going viral. Sounds a lot like the authors lives right? Both Elle & Blair have mentioned that the novel is “loosely” based on their lives but to be honest after finishing the book, it didn’t seem “loosely” at all.

The book opens up with the sisters being arrested so off the bat you know there’s a betrayal going on but this betrayal is only mentioned in the first chapter and the last page of the book. It isn’t mentioned or really hinted at at all through out the rest of the book and since there’s a flood of nothing but romance, you sort of forget about it. With that said, the book read more like a day-to-day check in with the lives of the two London sisters — Ava and Sophia. There a lot of talk about boyfriends, parties and overly descriptive posh settings.

The thing that annoyed me the most was how superficial both girls seemed and how multiple paragraphs were written in all caps. There should be no reason for that — ever! It just looks tacky. What editor would let that slip?! There was no character development at all, there was no suspense and there was no climax.

The only thing I enjoyed about this book was one character — Giovanni who was sort of an “all knowing” kind of guy. I liked his advice and his attitude but I didn’t like how Sophia was fixated on if she should kiss him or not because he’s a bartender (hello superficial!). Other than that, I wouldn’t really recommend this book.

Book Review: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Published: Feb 14th, 2012
Genre: Fiction > Chick Lit > Contemporary
Rating: 5 out of 5!
Source: Borrowed from the county eLibrary
Summary:
Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

 

 

I stumbled on I’ve Got Your Number in Target awhile back and was intrigued by the cover. Not to mention the blurb sounded interesting. The price however was not. So it remained on my Amazon wishlist up until now. It was available in my eLibrary so why not pick it up? And join the 43 other people on the wait list (I guess I wasn’t the only one not interested in the price lol)?

I’ve Got Your Number is about a really cheerful and mostly optimistic girl named Poppy (isn’t that a cute name or what?!) she’s about to marry the man of her dreams (whom she just met 6 months prior) in a few weeks.  While having an outing with her girls at a hotel, she loses her engagement ring during a fire drill and to top it off, someone steals her phone. BUT! She manages to find one in a nearby bin. That phone belongs to a businessman named Sam and he is not in the least bit amused at Poppy’s “finders keepers” theory.

I’ve Got Your Number takes us on a rollercoaster of a journey in which Poppy has to juggle not only hiding the fact that the engagement ring is lost from both her fiance and his parents but staying on top of forwarding Sam’s messages to him, trying not to butt into his personal life, take over wedding planning for her incompetent wedding planner and trying to fix the wrongs she’s done in Sam’s life by responding to his emails on behalf of him.

I really liked Poppy. While she seemed blinded and dense most of the time she was a very likeable character. Like a puppy if you will. Where you just want to coo it and tell it everything will be okay. If you just stop shitting everywhere. She trusted everyone a little too easily but seeing her break out of that was fantastic.

I also really liked Sam. He was a bit of a jerk at first but if you had the job he had, I suppose you would be too. He’s got to keep everything professional and orderly. He’s very private which made him very interesting and he lets a lot of things roll off his shoulders. Watching him unravel and be human did this thing where my eyes would soften and all I could think was aww! I just wish he would had been more clear and professional to Poppy!

Like with most chick-lit titles, I’ve Got Your Number is a predictable read. But that doesn’t take away from the journey you go on with Poppy. Watching everything unravel was nerve wrecking! Poor Poppy! The trouble she gets herself into with Sam is both embarrassing and hilarious. And the ending? The ending was just too cute for words!

Highly recommend this book if you’re in the mood for something entertaining, witty and funny!

YA Kindle Deals (1)

Sometimes books on the Kindle and Nook go on sale for a ridiculously low price. But it doesn’t stay that way for long and you’re lucky if you catch them! I caught some today I thought I’d share with you.

All links direct you to the product through Amazon for the Kindle*.

 

$.99

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

 

$1.59

Hourglass by Myra Mcentire

 

$2.99

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

 

*Links provided by my Amazon Affiliate page

Book Review: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

 

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
A Tale Dark and Grimm #1
Published
: November 11th, 2010
Genre
: Middle Grade > Retelling > Fairy Tales
Rating
: 2 out of 5
Source
: Bought
Summary:

Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales. An irreverent, witty narrator leads us through encounters with witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after. Because once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.

 

 

A Tale Dark and Grimm is a title I’ve been looking forward to since its release in 2010, but I just never got around to picking it up. I finally gave in and bought it for my Kindle recently (because it was a significantly lower price and well I don’t have much room left for physical books) and I’m a little sad to say…. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

A Tale Dark and Grimm follows Hansel and Gretel through a series of lesser known fairy tales in which they play significant parts in. The story is guided by 3 crows who can tell the future (and started this whole fiasco in the first place) and by the author who inserts himself in various places telling you to beware of the “scary” scene that is about to follow. I know some people really liked this but I for one didn’t. It was alright the first few times but after several stories I didn’t need him to “warn” me about the upcoming “scary” scene.

I will say that this book is a lot darker than I had imagined it would be and I would not recommend it for children even if it is a middle grade book. I have no problem with dark novels or darker fairy tales but I do have a problem with excessive unnecessary violence! In almost every story someone either dies or kills someone. In detail. There was one story where a handsome man throws a young girl on a table, reaches down her throat to pull out a white dove (which is suppose to be her soul), throws the dove into a cage with other doves then chops the girl into pieces and eats her for dinner.

I mean seriously? Was all of that really necessary?!

The only thing I really took away from this book was the exposure to fairy tales I had never heard of before and figuring out who the dragon that was destroying the kingdom was at the end of the book. The next book in the series has to do with Jack and the Beanstalk and I’m really disappointed to say I probably will not be picking that one up.

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi*
Shatter Me #1
Published: November 15th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult > Dystopia
Rating: 6 out of 5 (seriously)
Source: Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review (Thank you Amazon Vine!)
Summary:
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
 

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

 

 

Guys, if you like The Hunger Games then I would suggest this book. It has action, suspense, a little more romance (there’s a scene in the shower that’s just — wow. Hottest YA shower kissing scene — EVER) and it’s incredibly fast paced. Also, it was one of my top 3 reads of 2011 and I finished it under 12 hours. Yeah, seriously.

Shatter Me took me by complete surprise. It was one of my anticipated reads of 2011, but I was not expecting it to grab me and throw me around. Emotions. EVERYWHERE. The whole day I would put it down and tell myself I’ll go do something else and read more before bed but that didn’t work out because like a fly to a light it magically kept appearing back in my hands before I gave up, accepted the fact I wasn’t going to get anything done that day and finished the book.

Shatter Me is a bit of a dystopia based novel. The world is in crumbles but Juliette, our main character is stuck in a holding cell. Her parents sent her away because she has the ability to suck life from people. And so the book starts off with her telling us that she has not touched another person in 264 days. Until one day, a boy she recognizes is thrown into her cell with her. The prison knows what she’s capable of, why would they throw another person into the cell with her?

Juliette’s voice was strong. Especially in the beginning when it was just her and her notebook. Being in her mind made you feel trapped, much like how Juliette felt. You could feel the core of her loneliness and sadness and once she figures out who this “mystery” boy is, betrayal. Overall, I loved Juliette. She was snarky, she stood her ground and she had this incredibly faith in humanity despite what her life has been like. I really admired that.

Adam, oh Adam. He was completely, COMPLETELY swoon-worthy. The way he cared for Juliette was obvious and the risks he was willing to take to make sure she was safe and to assure her she could trust him were sweet.

Warner on the other hand, I think he’s a bit misunderstood. Sure the guy is a little power hungry, a little impatient, a little bit of an asshole but maybe if he just sat down, relaxed and thought things through he might be an okay person. Maybe, just maybe.

Kenji was also one of my favorite characters. He was the *best* comic relief ever haha!

Favorite Line

“Go to hell.”
He works his jaw. Walks to the door. “I’m working on it.”

&&

“You can make yourself invisable?” Adam looks more irritated than interested.
“Just blew your mind, didn’t I?”

LOL!