Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Reading Weekly Update #3

Hi everyone. It's the last day of June and I haven't done one of these in awhile. I suppose I "failed" my 30 books challenge for this month but I'm glad I had the opportunity to read so many great books. I think I still have around 7 books to read. Still, 23 books is very good!

What I've read since June 15:

  • Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson-This is a huge tear-jerker and I absolutely loved it!
  • Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown-Such a unique take on mermaids but there was a bit of insta-love.
  • Forgotten by Cat Patrick-Loved the idea for this one and was executed very well.
  • When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle-I loved this retelling of Romeo and Juliet. It was amazing!
  • Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson-I was super excited for this one but it fell a little flat.
  • Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen-Great premise but overall not the best read. 
  • For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund-OH MY GOODNESS! I really love this book. 
  • Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins-A fabulous book to end a fabulous series. I'm going to miss Sophie and the gang.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo-I just finished this yesterday and I'm in love. It was amazing. I can't stop thinking about it!
Currently Reading:
I haven't made it too far into The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa but I can't wait!

The Plan:
My original plan was to finish up the books that I didn't finish this month. But I'm not quite sure. I think I'm just going to see where it goes. But here's a couple of books I know I will be reading in soon!

Friday, June 29, 2012

In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Bought
Add to your shelves 

Summary: Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn't seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences? 

Review: In Honor is a fantastic read. There's almost no words that will even do it justice. Kirby has total control over your emotions. I was crying one minute, smiling the next, and then rooting for things to go okay for Honor and Rusty. In Honor is a whirlwind of a read, and despite being short will capture you until the very last page. 

Can I just say how much I absolutely love road trips!? And the road trip in In Honor is just how I like them. This road trip is filled with tension, complications and, of course, maybe some romance. The characters were what really made this an amazing read for me but the road trip brought it up a couple of levels into something better and even more unique.

There was not a moment during this book where I didn't feel for Honor. She's a funny girl that tries to be brave but she has many moments of vulnerability. I loved how she was willing to break out of her shell a bit and try things she never did before. It was absolutely amazing seeing Honor change and grow. I'm not sure how you couldn't love Honor. Honor does have a road-tripping partner, of course. Rusty is not exactly a nice guy when we first meet him. But he did grow on me. He was there for Honor when it mattered and I think readers will be able to admire him for that. I know that I certainly did. 

I loved Kirby's writing ever since I read Moonglass last summer. I'm very happy to report that it is even better in her second book. Honor's voice is gorgeous, well-written and heart-breaking.

In Honor is a sweet book that tackles road trips, grief and most importantly moving on from that grief. I just loved it.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Speed Date with Maggie: One Moment by Kristina McBride

Hi! This feature is hosted by Mary over at The Book Swarm. Speed Dating is basically giving a shorter review of the book and it's ton of fun! Go check it out!

Title: One Moment
Author: Kristina McBride
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and Egmont
Add to your shelves 

Summary: This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

The latest novel from the author of The Tension of OppositesOne Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.

Review: One Moment is a sad, heart-breaking tale of a girl forced to deal with her friends and her boyfriend's actions after he dies.

The friend dynamic in this was absolutely spectacular. Each of the six friends were both unique and memorable. But the main character, Maggie, had to be the best of all of them. Maggie has to deal with pain and memory loss after her boyfriend, Joey, dies and that is exactly what makes this book so good. It's so easy to immerse yourself in this book, so much that you can feel all of Maggie's heartbreak and pain. But Maggie is also insanely determined to figure out her boyfriend's secret. It's a bit predictable but if you look at it from Maggie's stand point it becomes more realistic.

One Moment has a gorgeous writing style. It's one of the main reasons you can relate with Maggie.

One Moment is a special book that's able to worm its way into your heart and really mean something to you, the reader. 


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (85)

Hi everyone! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine to share books we got during the week! 

This week's pick is:
The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez
October 16, 2012

From the author of Virtuosity, a novel about two sisters and the secrets they tell, the secrets they keep, and the secret that tears them apart.

Amelia is used to being upstaged by her charismatic younger sister, Charly. She doesn’t mind, mostly, that it always falls to her to cover for Charly’s crazy, impulsive antics. But one night, Charly's thoughtlessness goes way too far, and she lands them both in serious trouble.

Amelia's not sure she can forgive Charly this time, and not sure she wants to…but the situation is even worse than either of them realizes. Amelia has no choice but to give up everything--her friends, her future, her dream--in order to cover for Charly’s huge mistake.

Amelia doesn't understand how her sister could have done this to them both. What she doesn't know is that Charly is hiding a terrible secret—one with the potential to change everything.

Jessica Martinez. That's all it took for me to add this to my TBR and after reading the awesomeness that was Virtuosity last year. Now, I can't wait for this to come out. Other than this cover being way too pink, I'm always in the mood for a good story about sisters. I can't wait!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

E-Book Galore: June 24 Haul

Hi there everyone!

I recently got a couple of e-books for my Nook. The only reason that I didn't buy actual copies is because my bookshelves are absolutely exploding!

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini-I really liked Starcrossed and I'm anxious to see where this series while go!
The Selection by Kiera Cass-There's so many mixed reviews on this one that I just had to see what I thought of it myself! 

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti-I've seen some great reviews for this one. I've never read Colasanti before but this seems like a great place to start!

Did you get anything exciting this week!?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Speed Date with Laurel: Destined by Aprilynne Pike

Hi! This feature is hosted by Mary over at The Book Swarm. Speed Dating is basically giving a shorter review of the book and it's ton of fun! Go check it out!

WARNING: My review will not contain spoilers but the summary contains mild ones. 
Title: Destined
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Library
Add to your shelves 

Summary: Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea's reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon's final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series. 

Review: Destined is a wonderful conclusion to the Wings series but it wasn't as engrossing or exciting as I expected it to be.

I just don't like the characters in this series. Laurel infuriates me with her lack of skills. Sure, she's an amazing Fall faerie but she couldn't defend herself to save her soul. The love interests are a bit better in this installment because they actually contribute to helping the plotline move. (Sorry, about my little rant there!)

Destined is just one huge battle that takes place maybe in one or two days. Those two days are filled with interesting developments and fighting which definitely redeemed the book.

The thing I liked most about Destined was the sense of conclusion that it gave me. It was truly a lovely ending that had me feeling a bit sad for the characters because not all the characters got their happy ending. I'm sad to see this series go but I definitely looking forward to seeing what Pike comes up with next. 

Rating: 3.5 stars

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (84)

Hi everyone! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine to share books we can't wait to read!

This week's pick is:
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
October 9, 2012

Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind.


Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days. 

It'll be brutal . . . and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her. 

Doesn't this just sound awesome yet totally creepy at the same time!? First of all, the cover is amazing. But the plot sounds so dang good! I'm very curious about Marks' interpretation of purgatory and the jobs everyone must to. Very interesting....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial
Publication Date: June 14, 2012
Source: Bought
Add to your shelves 

Summary: “One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

Review: From the second that I started reading My Life Next Door, I knew that I had something absoluetely amazing in my hands. That thought stayed with me and grew throughout this whole book. My Life Next Door is a gem of a book. And when it ended I automatically thought of re-reading this perfect book.

My favorite part of My Life Next Door has got to be the characters. Samantha was so amazing. I admired her in every way possible. She was strong, brave and had a fantastic voice. Her little comments throughout the story always had me cracking up. And Jase, well he was almost even better. He's absolutely adorable and the absolute perfection gentlemen. Jase and Samantha's romance will have you feeling warm and fuzzy inside, in the best possible way.

 If amazing main characters weren't enough the supporting characters are just as wonderful. I don't think I've seen supporting characters that were this well written in forever. Everyone of them makes an impact on the book.

There's even a twist in the middle of the book that I never saw coming. And when that event comes reader's hearts will be pounding because you just care so much for the characters in My Life Next Door.

I know that My Life Next Door is now one of my favorite reads of all time. It has all the components of a great book: romance, fantastic, three-dimensional characters you care about and a well thought out story line. And with all those blended together it makes My Life Next Door one brilliant read.

Rating: Stars to infinity and beyond

Monday, June 18, 2012

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Title: Something Like Normal
Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and Bloomsbury
Add to your shelves 

Summary: When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

Review: Something Like Normal is a fantastic book. It has the ability to make you smile, hurt, but most of all it has the power to make you care something fierce about the characters. 

I automatically liked Travis. He's more than a bit sarcastic, funny, and he's been through more things that I can even begin to imagine. Sometimes male points of views come off wrong and fake sounding. This never happened once in Something Like Normal. Travis had the most realistic voice of a guy that I've read in a long, long time. I also loved watching Travis grow throughout the book. It's amazing how much character development was packed into such a quick read. 

The romance in this one is downright adorable. I doubt Travis or Harper would appreciate me saying that but it's just so true! Ever minute they spent together was sweet and just so unexpected. I was hoping Something Like Normal would have a good romance but it's even better then that. 

Something Like Normal does a great job with showing what life is like with post-traumatic stress disorder is like and what it's like overseas. It doesn't sugarcoat things it just shows the way things really are, and I loved that aspect.

Something Like Normal is a book that can change your mood from elated to sad in a moment. It has gorgeous writing but an even better main character in Travis. If you're into contemporary I think you'd really be missing out if you didn't read this one. 


Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Book You Have to Read this Summer: June 17th Haul

Hi everyone I hope your day is starting of great!

I only got one book this past week but it was fantastic. Now I have a physical copy of the book but my camera is currently being used so no picture today!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

The cover of the one is way more gorgeous in person and the spine is all nice and striped. I know that sounds weird but this is a gorgeous book, both on the outside and especially on the inside. I expect to have a review of this up next Monday. Seriously, go run and get this now. It's just that amazing.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just a little notice

Hi there everyone!

I just wanted to drop by and tell everyone that I won't be able to comment and visit blogs for quite a while. I'm going on vacation but don't worry I have posts planned till I get back. I'm definitely excited to catch up on all the posts I'm going to miss!

P.S. I don't think that my 30 days challenge will fare very well but maybe I'll have lots of car time! :)
Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Reading Weekly Update #2

Hi everyone! I hope your Friday is fantastic! I'm a bit behind in my 30 books challenge but maybe I'll catch up one of these days. I'm not stressing about it at all which is really unique for me! 

What I've Read: Since June 8

  • One Moment by Kristina McBride
  • Destined by Aprilynne Pike
  • Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
  • Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
  • In Honor by Jessi Kirby
  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  • Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
My favorite out of all these books has to be My Life Next Door! It's absolutely, hands-down one of the best books I've read all year. It's perfect. 

Currently Reading: 
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: I loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and I know this one will be just as awesome!

The Plan:

  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
  • When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
  • Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
  • Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen--does that guy on the cover have Elvis hair or what?!
  • Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Speed Date with Dani: All These Lives by Sarah Wylie

Hi! This feature is hosted by Mary over at The Book Swarm. Speed Dating is basically giving a shorter review of the book and it's ton of fun! Go check it out!

Title: All These Lives
Author: Sarah Wylie
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux  
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and  Farrar, Straus and Giroux 
Add to your shelves 

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky.  She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal.  And Jena is wasting away.  To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives.  Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one.  Someone like Jena.  But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization.  Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all.  Maybe she really only ever had one. 

Review: The main thing that I liked most in All These Lives was Dani's voice. Dani might not be the best or the nicest person but her voice is amazing. It's truly unique and I literally felt like I was in Dani's head. I initially thought Dani was a little crazy. Most people don't think they have nine lives if they survive many near-death experiences but Dani certainly does. I felt like this just added to her character. I caught myself almost believing this whole "nine lives" thing, which was more than a little scary.

All These Lives is a very short book. I was able to polish it off in a single morning because not only is it short but it's engrossing. I might not have liked Dani but I was definitely invested in her story.

The ending of All These Lives was more than a little abrupt but I didn't feel like anything else needed to be said. All These Lives is perfect is you're looking for a short book with a unique main character. 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (83)

Hi everyone and happy Wednesday! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine to share books we can't wait to read!

This week's pick is:
The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton
October 2, 2012

A bloody escape, a deadly threat, a shocking revelation...

Tiki’s greatest fear suddenly becomes all too real: the fey have returned to London seeking revenge. As war escalates in the Otherworld, Queen Victoria’s youngest son, Prince Leopold, is attacked. In order to protect her family and the ones she loves, she needs to know the meaning of an fáinne sí, the birthmark that winds around her wrist. But will Tiki be brave enough to face the truth?

I loved the first book in this series, The Faerie Ring, and I'm so excited to see where this series will go. I love Tiki and her little family of orphans and, of course, Rieker! And these books are historical fantasy! It can't get any better than that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Title: Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Source: Library
Add to your shelves 

Summary: Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 
Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page. 

Review: I knew that this would be a hard book to review the moment I started reading it. I finished this over a week ago and trying to write a review that shows just how great this book is will be hard. So I'm just going to say it. Code Name Verity is a fantastic book. It'll made you cry but it'll also make you so hopeful that maybe something good could come out of something so tragic.

I feel that if I mention one minuscule detail from the plot of Code Name Verity that it'll ruin the entire book. Because in this book it's the details that matter. It is the details that take this book to a whole new different level. 

I loved the characters in Code Name Verity. They were all so real. It was easy for me to forget that I was just reading a book that was fiction and not reading about real people. The characters in Code Name Verity popped off the page making me read even when it was hard to read. 

Code Name Verity is actually very slow in the beginning. I personally thought that the slow parts were interesting. Like I said, there's a lot of details but it's so fascinating. I'm always drawn to learning new information, especially in historical books. Code Name Verity gets a lot more exciting and even more emotionally draining in part 2. 

Code Name Verity is an amazing book. There's hardly a day where I don't go without thinking about the characters or just how real this book felt. I think Code Name Verity has the power to stay with readers and maybe even change how they think about this time period. 


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