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.  

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