Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: November 7, 2017

I LOVED the first two books in the Mara Dyer series because of Noah Shaw.  He is one of my favorite YA characters, so I was beyond excited to see there would be a new book/series from his point of view.  In fact, my biggest problem with the final book in the Mara Dyer series was the fact there wasn't enough of Noah.  He is what kept the pages turning and brought life to the story in my opinion.  A complete book with Noah is an absolute must have for me.

Goodreads Overview:

The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions, #1)In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

COYER Summer Reading List Sign-Up


It is almost time for the Summer COYER challenge.  As usual we have three amazing hostesses: Michelle @ Because Reading is Better than Real Life, Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun.  The official sing-up post is over at the COYER web-site.

I have participated in the COYER challenges since the summer of 2015 and always look forward to it.  I am REALLY excited about this challenge because the rules are almost non-existent.  ANY book on your TBR list will count as long as it was acquired legally.  
The challenge will run from Midnight on June 17th and ends September 8th.  The review link will close on September 9th.

I am going to join the Summer Reading List Challenge and selected the following 30 books to read this summer.  
  1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
  2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  3. United We Spy by Ally Carter
  4. Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout
  5. Crossed by Ally Condie
  6. Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray Kacvinsky
  7. High Five by Janet Evanovich
  8. Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell
  9. Mrs. de Winter by Susan Hill
  10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  11. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
  12. The 6th Target  by James Patterson
  13. Elegy by Tara Hudson 
  14. Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
  15. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
  16. Love Show by Audrey Bell
  17. Ensnared by A.G. Howard
  18. Between the Lines by Tammara Webber
  19. Until the Beginning by Amy Plum
  20. Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
  21. Invaded by Melissa Landers
  22. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  23. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  24. Never Never by Colleen Hoover
  25. See How They Run by Ally Carter
  26. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan
  27. Cress by Marissa Meyer
  28. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  29. One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank
  30. Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
This was a bit of a challenge in and of itself because I'm never quite sure what I'm going to read next.  The hostesses; however, were kind enough to create a loophole.  For every five books completed you can add an additional five books to your list.  This will allow you to add an ARC that arrived unexpectedly or that amazing find in the little free library that you simply can't wait until fall to read.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review: The Death Cure by James Dashner

The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)

The Death Cure is the third book in the Maze Runner series.  In this installment WICKED continues its research to find a cure for the Flare virus, which is threatening to eliminate the human race.  They have been studying the brain patterns of the immune population, but their tactics are becoming more and more desperate.  Thomas and his friends escape from WICKED and join the resistance, but they soon discover their end goals aren't in sync.  They ultimately decide to work with them because they feel their is safety in numbers with the hopes of converting them to their line of thinking.

Overall, I thought The Maze Runner had a great premise with the "gladers" trying to escape from the maze.  It was very original and I enjoyed the characters with their unique language and quirks.  I gave the first book 4 stars and jumped right into The Scorch trials.  I was a bit disappointed with book two and gave it 3 stars.  In keeping with this trend, The Death Cure fell even shorter from the mark and I ultimately decided to give it 2 stars.

 It felt like the author was grasping for straws to continue the series and wasn't really sure how he wanted it to conclude.  Should everything be doom and gloom to keep with the majority of the series or should there be a happily ever after?  I think he tried to give readers a combination of the two, but it came across as awkward.  I also didn't feel like there was a lot of new content to keep the story going.  We kept rehashing the same things and fighting the same people with very little progression to the story.

I realize my opinion is not part of the majority.  This was a very popular series that received a lot of hype in YA circles and was even converted into a movie series.  I wouldn't discourage someone from reading it if it is on their TBR list, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to others.  


Friday, May 12, 2017

Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

Unhinged is the second book in the Splintered series, which is based upon Alice in Wonderland.  Alyssa is the descendent of Alice and is half human / half netherling.  She must decide if she will embrace her magic and help save Wonderland or if she will remain in the mortal world with her human boyfriend Jeb. 

When Wonderland starts to invade the human realm it is no longer an option.   Alyssa must fight to defeat Red or she will lose everyone she loves.  She also discovers that her feelings for Morpheus aren't as black and white as she thought.  Morpheus is her childhood friend from Wonderland, who has been teaching and preparing her for this moment her entire life.  She always thought his intentions were self-centered, but the more she learns about their past the more she realizes he has always protected her and had her best interest in mind.

Personally, I am on team Morpheus.  Alyssa can't live in the human world without being perceived as crazy or "unhinged".  If she were to choose to live in Wonderland she would be Queen and all would be right in that world once again.  Besides, I love Morpheus's cocky attitude and who doesn't love a British accent?

This was an excellent sequel to Splintered and I can't wait to see how this series will conclude.  Ms. Howard left most of the characters hanging in the balance at the end of this installment, which will certainly encourage readers to jump right into the final book in this series.  I gave Unhinged 4 stars and will definitely include Ensnared on my Summer TBR list.

I had the chance to meet A.G. Howard at BEA in 2014 and picked up an autographed copy of Unhinged.  I absolutely love the cover of this book and will keep the signed copy even though I have now completed it.  I typically tear out the autographed page from free books I receive at conferences to add to my collection and place the books in my local little free library.  I feel it is better to share the books with other readers than to hoard them on my shelves collecting dust, but I don't think I am going to be able to part with this one.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Starlight Nights by Stacey Kade



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

Starlight Nights by Stacey Kade
Release Date: January 9, 2018

Stacey Kade is the author of the Ghost and the Goth series as well as the Project Paper Doll series.  738 Days was her first NA book and is an exceptionally good read that I would highly recommend.  It is about a girl who was kidnapped and escaped after 738 days.  The majority of the book is about Amanda coping with life after the incident.  We were also introduced to Chase Henry, who was a child star who has fallen from grace in Hollywood.  They both have everything to gain from the media attention their meeting has sparked, but this relationship turns into far more than either of them could have imagined.  Starlight Nights is a companion novel to 738 Days, so Amanda and Chase will not be the focus of the story, but I can't wait to see how life has been treating them since the conclusion of 738 Days.  

Overview:

At twenty ­three, Calista Beckett is trying to overcome her early fame and fortune. The former savior of the world on Starlight is now a freshman at college—miles away from L.A. and her former existence. She sees it as her start to a new life, a normal life, one where she won’t make the same mistakes she made before—a brush with heroin addiction and losing her freedom to her controlling mother, thanks to a court order.
Eric Stone played her older brother, Byron, on Starlight. But she’s been in love with him pretty much since they kissed—her first kiss—while auditioning. When Eric shows up on campus out of the blue, Calista’s struck immediately by two things: first, in spite of everything that’s happened, she still feels something dangerous for him, and second, she’s absolutely determined not to let him ruin her life again.
Only Eric’s not going away so easily.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review: Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready

Lust for Life (WVMP Radio, #4)

Lust for Life is the fourth book in the WVMP Radio series, which is about a group of vampires working as DJ's at a local radio station.  I gave the first three books in this series 5 stars and eagerly picked up an autographed copy of this "recently released" final book in the series.


Well...The release date was November 2012 and I purchased my copy at the 2013 RT Convention in Chicago.  I can't believe it took me 4 years to finally read this book, but I'm certainly glad that I did.  All of my favorite characters were back for another action packed adventure.

Shane and Ciara are busy planning their wedding and their best friends/co-workers are expecting their first child.  Just when you think everyone is going to receive my version of a happily ever after, one of Shane's ex-donors calls to tell him that Jim (another vampire DJ who is being held at a Control facility after attacking Ciara in the previous book) changed her into a vampire shortly before his incident with Ciara..  Shane and the other WVMP staff take her under their wings, but that is just the beginning of their problems.  Jim escapes from the Control facility and the story takes off from there.  

I have read a lot of fiction over the years and can easily comprehend the rules of vampires.  They can't go out into the sunlight, they live forever, they have compulsions, etc.  Overall, I loved all of the characters and their stories throughout this series; however, I could not grasp the unusual turn of events that took place the last several chapters of this book.  Taking liberties with "the rules" is one thing, but this was unbelievable in my opinion.  You can rationalize why things happened all you want, but the ending of this book was a bit too unrealistic for me.  It really felt like Jeri jumped through hoops to provide the characters with her version of a perfect ending.  

Perhaps my expectations were a little high, but I ended up giving this book 3.5 stars.  It is still a very entertaining read, but I just can't get past the fact that it took the word fiction to a whole new level.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Bookish Goals Status Update: April 2017


In an effort to help keep myself on track, I am going to post monthly status updates showing where I stand for each of my 2017 Goals.

Anything highlighted in gray is currently in progress, but not yet completed.

  • Read and review at least 40 books 
    1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
    2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
    3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
    4. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
    5. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
    6. The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
    7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
    8. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
    9. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready

  • I am once again participating in the New To You Challenge hosted by The Herd Presents.  I'm going to aim for 12-15 books. Any book over 80 pages qualifies as long as it is new to you.  New author, new genre, new series, etc.
    1. Three Dark Crowns - New Series and New Author
    2. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout - New Series and New Author
  • Read at least 10 New Adult books (My definition of NA = protagonists are post high school, but under 30)
    1. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
    2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
    3. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready
    • Last year I read three of the books that had been on my TBR list the longest.  I now have 46 books that were all added on September 7, 2010 that would qualify.  I plan on reading at least 3 more of them this year. 

    • Finish reading at least 5 series I have already started.  (I have several trilogies with final books I still need to read. 
      1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater - The Raven Cycle Series
      2. This Girl by Colleen Hoover - The Slammed Series 
      3. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton - Everneath Series
      4. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready
    • TBR Challenge.  For this challenge I want to read at least 20 books that were on my TBR list AND were published prior to January 1, 2017.
      1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
      2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
      3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
      4. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
      5. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
      6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
      7. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
      8. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready

      • Achieve a Professional level in the 2017 Prequel and Sequel Challenge hosted by Novel Heartbeat with 76 - 100 points. You can click on the link for the sign up.
        1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #4_ - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #2) - 2 pts for a sequel
        3. This Girl by Colleen Hoover (Slammed #3) -12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        4. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #3) - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        5. The Black Circle (39 Clues #5) - 2 points for a sequel
        6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman (If I Stay #2) - 2 pts for a sequel
        7. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready (WVMP #4) 12 pts (finished series +sequel)

                                                          Total Points = 54
      • I joined the New Release Challenge hosted by Unconventional Book Views and Books, Movies, Reviews Oh My! My goal is to reach New Release Newbie level with 16 new releases read/reviewed during 2017.  The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages. 

      Sunday, April 23, 2017

      Stacking the Shelves: Flourless to Stop Him




      Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, be it physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

      Tynga publishes her post each Saturday, so be sure to link up your posts and check out what books others have added to their shelves that week.

      From My Local Little Free Library

      I traded my copy of The Raven King for Flourless to Stop Him.  I have seen these Baking books around and even discussed one with a lady while waiting in line at BEA.  I've never read one, so I decided it was time now that I found one in our little free library.  I love mysteries, so this sounds like something I should enjoy.
      Flourless to Stop Him (A Baker's Treat, #3)

      Thursday, April 20, 2017

      Review: Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

      Obsidian (Lux, #1)

      I bought a copy of Obsidian at the 2013 RT convention to have signed.  Book Nerd Mary and a few others told me "I had to read it", yet it has remained on my TBR shelf ever since.  In fact, I didn't have a clue what it was about until I started reading it a couple of weeks ago.

      Katy Swartz is originally from Florida.  After the death of her father her mother decides to relocate to West Virginia for a change of scenery.  Jennifer Armentrout is from WV, so she is clearly giving her home state a little love, but I can't imagine how that would impact a high school senior.  In addition, her mother chose to live in a REALLY small town filled with "strange" people.

      Katy is a book blogger, so it was funny to hear her geek out about her In My Mailbox or Waiting on Wednesday posts.  A shipment of books would arrive and it was like Christmas in July.  She was also worried about getting a new library card, which I'm sure would be on the top of my to-do list if I moved, so Katy should definitely appeal to most readers.

      Living next door to Katy are the Black twins, Dee and Daemon.  They will be starting their senior year as well and Katy quickly becomes best friends with Dee.  Her relationship with Daemon is very hot and cold to say the least.  He can be sweet one minute and a complete ____ the next.  Katy can't figure out why Daemon and his friends think there is something inferior about "her kind" until she begins to notice some unusual things.  Daemon and Dee seem to move faster than humanly possible at times.  Daemon can swim under water WAY longer than he should be able to.  After witnessing several more dramatic events, she take the news that they are aliens pretty well.  The fact that there are beings known as Arum trying to kill her Luxen friends, and now her due to her association with them, is a different matter. 

      Overall, I thought this was an action packed and tension filled start to the series.  Once we got past the whole "you aren't one of us" issue and the truth was out there, the story really began to flow.  Katy must guard their secret with her life and she is forced to do so on more than one occasion.

      The only issue I had with the book was the word choice.  I'm sure everyone has seen the posts about why moist is the worst word ever and shouldn't be used.  She didn't use that word, but there was another cringe worthy word used on at least two occasions that needed to be removed.  If you have read the book and would like to guess the word I'm referring to, please leave a comment and I will be sure to reply.  Maybe it is just me, but I'm guessing not...

      There are 5 books in the series, so it is a bit of an undertaking if you want to start this series.  I can tell you that the ending of this book left me wanting to jump right into the next book, but  I'm committed to reading the books on my spring TBR list first.  I will be sure to include Onyx on my Summer TBR list!

      Wednesday, April 19, 2017

      Waiting on Wednesday: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake



      Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

      One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
      Release Date: September 19, 2017

      I received an ARC of Three Dark Crowns at BEA last year.  I found the first half of the story to be a little slow, but the last half really took off.  The ending left readers with a major plot twist that I never saw coming.  Now I can't wait to see how the battle for the throne will play out.  

      One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns, #2)Goodreads Overview: 

      The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

      With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

      In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.


      Wednesday, April 12, 2017

      Waiting on Wednesday: Lucky in Love by Kasie West



      Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

      Lucky in Love by Kasie West
      Release Date: July 25, 2017

      The Distance Between Us is the only one of Kasie's books that I have read so far, but they all sound really cute.  This one is already on my TBR list along with several of her books that have already been released.  Hopefully I will be able to catch up soon!

      Goodreads overview:

      Lucky in LoveIn this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture. 

      Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

      She wins!

      In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

      Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

      With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

      Tuesday, April 11, 2017

      Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unique Books I Have Read


      Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Every Tuesday they post a new Top Ten List on something bookish.  Click on the link above if you wish to participate.

      Top Ten Most Unique Books I Have Read

      The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
      The story is told from the dog's POV.

      The Art of Racing in the Rain

      The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
      Children chosen at random to fight to the death isn't something you read every day.

      The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

      The Night Circus
      There was just something magical about how the characters created their own world.

      The Night Circus

      Easy by Tammara Webber
      This book deals with a difficult subject in a way you don't usually see.

      Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1)

      It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
      This book takes a different approach at discussing domestic violence.

      It Ends with Us

      If I Stay by Gayle Forman
      The majority of the book is told from the POV of a character in a coma.

      If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

      Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
      This book involves a set of triplet girls born every generation with magical powers.  They must fight each other to the death to take over the throne.

      Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)

      The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
      I can't think of another series that builds a world inside a skyscraper and establishes class based upon how high up you are in the tower.

      The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor, #1)

      The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
      Everyone should be familiar with the magical world of Harry Potter.

      Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

      Miss. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
      I loved how he tied all of the old pictures into the storyline.

      Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

      Monday, April 10, 2017

      Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

      Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)

      This was an exceptional sequel to If I Stay!  It is rare that a book I loved has a 5 star sequel, but Where She Went definitely earned its 5 star rating and then some.  I would not; however, recommend reading this as a stand alone.  It is a continuation of the first book and the reader would lose a tremendous amount by skipping over the original installment.  

      Where She Went was told from Adam's point of view, which I absolutely loved.  We get to see how he was affected by the accident that changed Mia's life forever.  We can see that he was just as much a casualty as the rest of her family.  While the world thinks Adam is on top of the world with the success of his band, he is barely hanging on.  Even after three years time he hasn't been able to cope with Mia walking out of his life with no explanation.

      Mia appears to have moved on and is completing her Juilliard education.  She is one of the up and coming classical musicians and is beginning her tour at Carnegie Hall.  Adam happens to be in New York for an extra day before heading to London to start his tour.  He is walking past Carnegie Hall and notices an advertisement for Mia's performance.  He is able to get a ticket and the story takes off from there.

      From their awkward reunion to their heart breaking confessions you could feel the emotion radiating from these characters.  Throughout their day together, Mia takes Adam around to all of her favorite places in New York and they slowly begin to reconnect.  I wasn't sure where Gayle would leave them at the end, but the ending couldn't have been more perfect.  I finally felt like I could be at peace with the story vs. the way she left readers hanging at the end of If I Stay.  I had no idea there was a sequel and I couldn't believe that was the end to Mia and Adam's story.

      I haven't read any of Gayle's other books, but I have added them to my TBR list based solely on this exceptional series.  I would absolutely recommend these two books to any YA fan.  

      Sunday, April 9, 2017

      Stacking the Shelves: Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter



      Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, be it physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

      Tynga publishes her post each Saturday, so be sure to link up your posts and check out what books others have added to their shelves that week.

      From the Library

      Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

      This is the fifth book in the six book Gallagher Girls series.  I started the series back in 2013, shortly before the release of the final book.  I don't know why I didn't just binge read the series, but I've decided it is time to see how the series concludes.

      Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)

      Saturday, April 8, 2017

      Review: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman (39 Clues #5)

      The Black Circle (The 39 Clues, #5)

      My son and I have been reading the 39 Clues series together.  The one thing that I have enjoyed about this series is that it that it is historical fiction, so I feel like he is learning something while enjoying the fictional elements of the story.  In the fifth installment, Amy and Dan are off to Russia in search of their next clue.  This time we learned about the Romanovs, which was the Russian royal family.  They focus mostly on the Romanov children Anastasia and and Alexei.  We also learned about Rasputin and his involvement with the Romanovs.

      It was very coincidental, but my son was learning about Rasputin and the Romanovs in school while we were reading this book.  In addition, my step-dad suggested that I start listening to these "Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths" podcasts.  When I pulled them up, the first podcast was about Rasputin, so I feel like quite the expert after this comprehensive history lesson.

      Amy and Dan were forced to work with their cousins, the Holts, in order to accomplish this mission.  The clues were spread out all over Russia and there was no way any one team could collect all of them on their own in the designated time frame.  Amy and Dan continue to receive help from the unknown "NRR" .  We finally find out who NRR really is, which was a major surprise.  I don't want to give away any spoilers, but it wasn't who I thought it was all along.

      The Kabras trail the Holts and Irina Spasky mysteriously turns up in places Amy and Dan are searching.  She is definitely working against them, but at one point it seemed like she was genuinely concerned about their safety and offered them a warning.  Of course, the kids took it with a grain of salt and continued on with the quest.

      Their final discovery appears to be leading them to Australia.  I can't wait to see what we will learn about Australia in book 6.

      Friday, April 7, 2017

      Bookish Goals Status Update: March 2017


      In an effort to help keep myself on track, I am going to post monthly status updates showing where I stand for each of my 2017 Goals.

      Anything highlighted in gray is currently in progress, but not yet completed.

      • Read and review at least 40 books 
        1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
        2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
        3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
        4. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
        5. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
        6. The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
        7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
      • I am once again participating in the New To You Challenge hosted by The Herd Presents.  I'm going to aim for 12-15 books. Any book over 80 pages qualifies as long as it is new to you.  New author, new genre, new series, etc.
        1. Three Dark Crowns - New Series and New Author
      • Read at least 10 New Adult books (My definition of NA = protagonists are post high school, but under 30)
        1. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
        2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
        • Last year I read three of the books that had been on my TBR list the longest.  I now have 46 books that were all added on September 7, 2010 that would qualify.  I plan on reading at least 3 more of them this year. 
        • Finish reading at least 5 series I have already started.  (I have several trilogies with final books I still need to read. 
          1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater - The Raven Cycle Series
          2. This Girl by Colleen Hoover - The Slammed Series 
          3. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton - Everneath Series
        • TBR Challenge.  For this challenge I want to read at least 20 books that were on my TBR list AND were published prior to January 1, 2017.
          1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
          2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
          3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
          4. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
          5. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
          6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
          • Achieve a Professional level in the 2017 Prequel and Sequel Challenge hosted by Novel Heartbeat with 76 - 100 points. You can click on the link for the sign up.
            1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #4_ - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
            2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #2) - 2 pts for a sequel
            3. This Girl by Colleen Hoover (Slammed #3) -12 pts (finished series + sequel)
            4. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #3) - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
            5. The Black Circle (39 Clues #5) - 2 points for a sequel
            6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman (If I Stay #2) - 2 pts for a sequel
                                                              Total Points = 42
          • I joined the New Release Challenge hosted by Unconventional Book Views and Books, Movies, Reviews Oh My! My goal is to reach New Release Newbie level with 16 new releases read/reviewed during 2017.  The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages. 

          Sunday, April 2, 2017

          Stacking the Shelves: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella



          Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, be it physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

          Tynga publishes her post each Saturday, so be sure to link up your posts and check out what books others have added to their shelves that week.

          Traded in our Little Free Library:

          I had an ARC of Three Dark Crowns that I finished reading and traded for:

          Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

          Sophie Kinsella is usually good for a light and fun read.  I'll probably take this on my summer vacation.


          Wedding Night

          Wednesday, March 29, 2017

          Waiting on Wednesday: Once And For All by Sarah Dessen


          Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

          Once And For All by Sarah Dessen
          Release Date: June 6, 2017

          I have read several of Sarah's books and have yet to go wrong with any of them.  They are all stand alone novels, which is nice in an age where every one book you read seems to add several more to your TBR list.

          Once and for AllGoodreads Overview:

          As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine. 

          Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants. 

          Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.


          Tuesday, March 28, 2017

          Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Have Met


          Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Every Tuesday they post a new Top Ten List on something bookish.  Click on the link above if you wish to participate.

          Top Ten Authors I have Met

          This is actually a difficult topic since I have met far more than ten authors and genuinely do not want to exclude anyone.  I'm not going to list authors simply because they have #1 books, or their books have become movies, or they are at the top of every favorite author list.  I'm going to select authors that I felt genuinely showed an interest in their readers.  These individuals actively engaged with their readers, put on a great presentation/book discussion, participated in speed dating sessions, etc.  

          Stacey Kade
          Stacey is the author of The Ghost and the Goth and Project Paper Doll series.  She also has a few stand alone novels that I really enjoyed.  I have had the opportunity to meet her on a few occasions and she is ALWAYS super sweet.  She will engage with readers on twitter and Facebook and was highly entertaining at the RT author events.


          Tammara Webber
          She is the author of Easy, which is part of the Contours of the Heart series, as well as the Between the Lines series. I met her at RT and of course I had to ask her how she selected Jacqueline for her main character's name since it is spelled the same as mine.  She answered several questions about the book and I have since participated in blog tours to help promote her books.


          Stephanie Perkins
          Author of Anna and the French Kiss

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          Jeri Smith-Ready
          Author of the Shade and WVMP Radio series.  She used to spend an insane amount of time entertaining fans by tweeting as the main characters from Shade. I always enjoyed following the conversations.  She also took the time to sit with us while we were having dinner at a conference and indulged our fangirling.

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          Amy Plum and Josephine Angelini
          The book nerds loved Amy's Die For Me series as well as Josie's Starcrossed series.  Amy lives in Paris and was even kind enough to give me a recommendation for somewhere to stay.  It just so happened to be across the street from the building she based Jules's art studio after.

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          Ally Carter
          Author of the Gallagher Girls, Heist Society, and Embassy Row series.

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          David Levithan
          He was a busy bee at BEA this past year.  He had his own book signing and assisted with Maggie Stiefvater's signing.  He could be found mingling in the Scholastic area and speaking on several panels.  He was very engaging and entertaining.


          David Baldacci
          He came to speak at the grand reopening of the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.  He was an excellent speaker and highly entertaining.  He signed books after the presentation and was even kind enough to sign my son's copy of Flush, which was written by a good friend of David's.  He couldn't wait to tell Carl Hiaasen he got to sign one of his book. He also told Preston he would sign any book if it encouraged children to read. (I did take my copy of King and Maxwell, which is the latest book in David's series, so we didn't look completely crazy).

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          Caleb Roehrig
          Caleb is the author of Last Seen Leaving.  Mary and I were fortunate enough to meet him at  the Fierce Reads blogger event at BEA last year.  I had never heard of him until this event, but he was definitely the life of the party.  Here he is in the little hat from the photo booth, which became his signature for the weekend.  He even took it to his signing.  After this event I bumped his book up to the top of my TBR list and I'm definitely glad that I did.  I gave it a solid 5 stars.