Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)
By Rachel Caine
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Source: Publisher
In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…
Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.… 
When I saw that Rachel Caine had a new series coming out, I was super excited. Who didn't fall in love with the Morganville Vampire series? I remember getting them from the library in high school as they were coming out. I couldn't wait to see what Rachel Caine had for us next with the Great Library of Alexandria! 

As the greatest container of knowledge in the world, the Great Library of Alexandria has a presence in every city and closely guards it's precious source of knowledge through books. The Library is able to give others access to the content of the greatest works in history, but personal possession of books is forbidden. Jess Brightwell has grown up in a family whose business is stealing books and selling them in the black market. Jess's family sends him to the very heart of the library to spy, but as he enters training, Jess isn't so sure who his loyalty lies with anymore and how great the Great Library really is after all. 

Okay, I have to start off by saying that since this book is so unique, it definitely takes a lot of focus and attention in order to understand the world it takes place in. This book takes place in the future, but it seems so much like the past because the Great Library has survived and copies of books don't exist. Literally only first copies of rare books exist, so no one is allowed to have originals. That's where Jess comes in. Wow. He definitely has lived a unique life helping his family sell books in the black market, only to pass an extremely difficult test to enter a "competition" to become a part of the Great Library itself. I loved the competition aspect of this book and how there were over 30 people sent to the actual Great Library to study and learn how to become good enough to protect and work for the library. The other contestants were all determined to be one of the final 6 chosen and I was on the edge of my seat when there was the threat of elimination. I didn't know who, whether it was Jess or anyone else, was going to be in the final six. 

Since this book takes a lot of attention to understand, I thought that the beginning was slow and took awhile to get into. But when Jess went to the Great Library to compete, I definitely got into this book and the characters and the secrets the library was holding. And holy cow, talk about secrets! Seriously, there were so many secrets going on in this book and you still don't know all of the answers by the end. Oh, and I can't write a review without talking about the romance! I was reading reading reading and was so sad that there wasn't going to be any romance. Then, BOOM, someone shows up and it's such an intense relationship with Jess. YAY ROMANCE. 

In the end, I ended up really enjoying this very unique, heart-pumping story. The characters were all so vibrant and added their own little element into Jess's story. Jess's character was definitely complex with his family history and then his love for and value of books and the library. I would definitely recommend this one, but I warn you to hang on for the slower beginning fifty pages before the action picks up.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (151)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what books they got throughout the week!

From Publisher

I GOT A COPY OF THE BOURBON KINGS. I am so excited!!! I am so grateful for Berkley NAL and how wonderful they are for working with bloggers. Some of my favorite authors publish with them and I could not turn down the opportunity to review JR Ward's upcoming release. Hopefully it's as good as it sounds! 

From Amazon/Barnes and Noble 

My friend Sarah told me that I had to read Scorched by Jennifer L Armentrout, so I went ahead and ordered myself a copy from Amazon. The cover is GORGEOUS and I am definitely excited to read this one! 

For some reason, I have never gotten around to reading this concluding novella to Gayle Forman's Just One Day series. I HATED how there was the same exact cliffhanger in both books and I am dying to know what happens to our main characters! 

That's it for me! What did you all add to your shelves this week? 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Book Review: Toxic by Kim Karr

By Kim Karr
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Source: Publisher
Summary: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not...

New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling new novel that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite.

In Toxic, Jeremy McQueen, a sexy, intense, sometimes brooding entrepreneur goes after what he wants—the woman he left behind years ago. Phoebe St. Claire, a put together, in control socialite-turned-CEO has been drifting through life searching for something she thought she'd never find again—the right man to share her future.

Review: Kim Karr can do no wrong. Seriously. I am so in love with her Connected series and enjoyed The 27 Club, so I definitely had some high expectations for Toxic. I did not expect such an intense, hot book with major emotion between the two main characters. Needless to say, I loved every second of it. 

Phoebe St. Claire fell head over heels for Jeremy McQueen and their intense attraction to one another. But her secrets caught up with them and their relationship was over as quickly as it had started. Five years later, Phoebe's family hotel empire is in trouble and Jeremy has shown back up in her life. Phoebe knows that Jeremy is the key to saving the family business, but spending so much time with Jeremy makes it harder and harder for Phoebe to ignore their immense physical attraction. WIth their history, though, can Jeremy and Phoebe ever trust each other completely? 

Holy smokes. Talk about heat. There is absolutely no doubt that Phoebe and Jeremy had chemistry. From the moment Jeremy walked back into Phoebe's life, Phoebe was physically aware of where Jeremy was at all costs. They didn't even touch for what seemed like forever, yet you could feel their heat and spark. And when the did get together…oh boy. I could definitely tell why Phoebe never forgot Jeremy! While I'm not normally a fan of second chance romances, I could not get enough of this story. There was such a complicated history between Jeremy and Phoebe, which made their relationship that much more intense and emotional. I loved how Kim Karr wrote chapters in the present and then chapters from their past relationship near the beginning of the novel so that we were able to really experience the beginning of their connection and understand the struggle Phoebe faced in the present. 

While the story very much focused on Phoebe and Jeremy trying out a relationship again, there was an arsenal of amazing secondary characters that made up this novel. Phoebe had an amazing group of unique friends who I came to really care about and wanted to know more about. Jamie was fantastic and I wish we got to see more of Lily while she was off in France. Oh, and Phoebe's neighbor was so unique and I absolutely loved how she helped out Phoebe. On top of that, I loved Phoebe's obsession with Audrey Hepburn! As an Audrey lover myself, I smiled at every reference. 

Not only did Toxic have an addicting romance and incredible chemistry between the main characters, there were lovable secondary characters and an emotional past to create a much more complex storyline. Every Kim Karr fan needs to pick up this book and if you haven't read any of Kim's books yet, you better get out and grab a copy of Toxic because you won't be able to put it down.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review: Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks #6)
By Miranda Keneally 
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Source: Author
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

Let me just start off this review by saying that this is a Miranda Kenneally book. I LOVE Miranda Kenneally. Beathe, Annie, Breathe is one of my favorite books ever and I just could not wait to get my hands on Jesse's Girl

Maya Henry has always loved music, but she's never had the courage to perform alone. With her band, she can have music and also have the courage to perform on stage. When career mentoring day approaches at her school, Maya never imagined she'd be shadowing Jesse Scott, hot shot country star. When their day starts, though, Maya is tested in both her music and her patience as Jesse is brutally honest and not so trusting. But the more time they spend together and the more Jesse and Maya let each other in, Maya tries to find the courage and faith in herself to follow her dreams. 

From the beginning, I loved Maya and Jesse's initial distrust for one another. Jesse was used to people using him for his fame and money, so he didn't trust Maya for one second. Maya was such a likable character with her insecurities, but also her ability to stand up to Jesse and hold her own. Maya was dealing with being dumped by her sort of boyfriend and being kicked out of her own band, so she was already feeling pretty low. As the story progressed, though, Jesse's walls started to break down and they just started to have fun and forget all of the troubles they were both facing. This had a sort of Ferris Bueller vibe where they just ran around without Jesse's agents or people and just had fun. 

Most of this book takes place in a couple of days, so it's all about Maya and Jesse spending time together and pushing each other's buttons. My only issue was how Jesse would completely turn off with Maya after they made some progress because of how untrusting he was. I get that his past made it hard for him to trust people liking him for him, but it seemed more for plot than for plausibility when it happened. Other than that, though, I loved their adventures together and the special places they show each other. Also, watching Maya become more confident in herself was great and the eventual romance between them wasn't bad either!

Overall, this was another cute, heartwarming romance in MIranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series. It wasn't my favorite of the series (nothing can beat Breathe, Annie, Breathe), but I still really enjoyed the growth and the romance the characters experienced. Every single person needs to read Miranda's Hundred Oaks series because you're missing out on endearing characters, great romance, and real teenage experiences.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Blog Tour Review/Interview: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything
By Nicola Yoon
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Source: Publisher
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Going in, I knew that this book was going to be unlike anything that I've ever read. I mean, how often do you come across a girl who is literally allergic to everything, so she's forced to stay in her purified home? Then, throw in the fact that a gorgeous boy moves in next door and you've got yourself one intriguing YA novel. 

Madeline is allergic to the world, which means she hasn't left her house in 17 years. She spends her time learning online from tutors, reading, working on construction projects, and spending time with her mom and nurse. When she spies a moving truck moving in the new family next door, she's struck by the dark, yet lively boy name Oliver. While watching from her room, Olly catches Madeline staring and strikes up a friendship that helps Madeline feel more than she's ever experienced before. 

Wow, I had no idea that this book would be as engaging and emotional as it was. Maddy started to get to know Olly through email and IM and it's so adorable watching them get to know each other. What's more incredible, though, is watching Maddy learn what it's like to live and want that feeling more and more. She's literally closed off from the world in a vacuum-sealed white room. I don't know why, but I found myself hating her mom for keeping her from the world so much. Maddy had to keep Olly a secret because he mom doesn't want Maddy to ever have her heart broken by a guy who wouldn't be able to handle her illness. How does her mom know how her relationship with Olly will turn out? Maddy deserves so much to just live and that's what she ends up fighting for in this novel. 

As Maddy and Olly's relationship progressed, I loved seeing Maddy slowly fall for Olly and discover feelings she'd never felt before. She feels butterflies, she feels giddy, and she feels heartbreak all for the first time. Ugh, seriously. And the end of this book was not at all what I was expecting and it made me feel so many emotions. Oh, and I almost forgot! There are a lot of unique, whimsical pieces added to this book, like emails, IMs, notes, poems, etc. that make this that much more fun to read. Since Maddy is a reader, she also talked a lot about books and how they correlated with what she was going through when she read them, which I loved. This was definitely a fast read, but it still had some serious emotions.

In the end, Everything, Everything exceeded my expectations and I loved every minute of it. This is a story of a girl who's never lived learning how life should really be. 

In three words, how would you describe Everything, Everything?

Love is daring.

Where did you get the idea to write a romance revolving around a girl allergic to the outside world falling for the new boy next door?

I started writing the book when my daughter was just 4 months old. Like any new mom, I worried about protecting her from everything – the common cold, falling down, eating dirt. She was so tiny and fragile. My protective instinct was going haywire! Anyway, all that worry made me wonder what life would be like for a girl who needed constant protection all her life, not just when she was a little baby. I wondered what kind of relationship she would have with her mom and how that relationship would change if/when other people came into her life.

How much research went into writing a novel about a girl allergic to the outside world?

I did quite a bit of research, but it’s important to note that this isn’t a medical book. It isn’t about being sick so much as it is about what it really means to be alive.

If you could be any character from Everything, Everything, who would you be and why?

I’d like to be Madeline when she’s experiencing everything for the first time. A lot of the fun of being the mom of a 3-year-old is that I get to see the world through her eyes. I get to experience some of her wonder and joy when she has her firsts. I’ll always remember how wide her eyes got when she first saw the ocean and how she tried to run right into it like it was made just for her.

What does it look like when you write? Do you need music? Silence? Write at home? Somewhere else? What helps make the writing magic happen?  

I write longhand into notebooks from 4 – 6 AM from my home office. I wear headphones and listen to ambient sounds, usually a rainstorm. The other thing I need is my electric kettle so I can drink all the tea in the world!

What can we expect next from you?

I’m on deadline for book two right now but I can’t say much about it!! Let’s just say there’s love involved. :)


I want to give a huge thank you to Nicola Yoon for her interview here on Peace Love Books! If you haven't yet, check out Everything, Everything for an unforgettable story! 

Waiting On Wednesday (200)

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of! 

Untamed (Thoughtless #4)
By SC Stephens
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Summary: The spotlight doesn't only shine. Sometimes it burns.

Being the bad-boy bassist for the world's hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife, Anna. The one thing it hasn't brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.

Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he's caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos. One that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he's seen an ache in her eyes--and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers


HOLY MOLY IT'S GRIFFIN'S BOOK. O. M. G. Like, I can't even get coherent words out because I'm so excited. I absolutely loved the first three books of this series and then the book from Kellan's point of view. I am beyond excited to see how the heck SC Stephens is going to write a book about Griffin without making the reader throw the book down in disgust. Haha, Griffin wasn't exactly someone you like when reading the other books in this series, but I really loved him with Anna. Can't wait!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Read so Far in 2015

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given. So hopefully I'll have a new list to share with you all each week!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Books I've Read so Far in 2015

How is it already halfway through 2015?!? Seriously, this year is going by so fast. And a lot has happened! I completed my long awaited semester of student teaching, graduated from college, got a job, am going to move out of my parent's house, and will be starting my job in August! Needless to say, 2015 has been and will continue to be a memorable year. I haven't been able to read as much as I have in the past years because I've been teaching and not just attending classes as a college student. However, I have read some AMAZING books and those books have made my list of best books I've ever read. They're that good! I actually made a youtube video of my favorite books a couple of weeks ago, so I'll go ahead and include that in this post! But if you just want a quick look, here are the covers and links of my favorite reads of 2015 so far! 

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
2. Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven 
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

4. Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen 
5. Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross
6. One Tiny Lie by KA Tucker

7. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
8. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey 
9. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 

10. Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
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