Friday, April 18, 2014

Follow My Book Blog Friday (132)

This is a meme hosted every Friday by Parajunkee, where book bloggers answer a question each week and check out how others answered it. It's a cool way for bloggers and viewers to connect and learn more about each other!

Question: Spring Break. Where would be your favorite destination spot if you could join in the Spring Break festivities? 

Answer: Haha, my Spring Break was actually three weeks ago….but I spent the week at home and it was glorious! There's nothing like just relaxing at home, away from the stress of classes, projects, and exams, and just cuddling with your puppy. I was so beyond excited to spend the week at home too. Seriously, the entire two hours it takes me to drive home, I was just like

Because nothing can beat an entire week of watching bad reality TV with your dad, seeing a million movies with your sister, going shopping with your mom, and staying up wayyyy past your bedtime to finish as many books as you can. Why did it have to go by so fast?? But I wouldn't have traded any Spring Break destination in the world for some much needed quality time with my family :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge

Will & Whit
By Laura Lee Gulledge
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Source: Library
Summary: Wilhelmina “Will” Huxstep is a creative soul struggling to come to terms with a family tragedy. She crafts whimsical lamps, in part to deal with her fear of the dark. As she wraps up another summer in her mountain town, she longs for unplugged adventures with her fellow creative friends, Autumn, Noel, and Reese. Little does she know that she will get her wish in the form of an arts carnival and a blackout, courtesy of a hurricane named Whitney, which forces Will to face her fear of darkness.
Laura Lee Gulledge’s signature visual metaphors will be on full display in this all-new graphic novel, a moving look at shedding light on the dark corners of life.

Review: I never read graphic novels. The only time I ever do is for class, so when I had to pick a graphic novel to read for my YA lit class, I thought this one sounded cute. And look how adorable the cover is! In the end, though, I just couldn't get into the graphic novel genre and didn't enjoy the story as much as I wanted to. 

Will has always loved making lamps as a way to fight the shadows of darkness that have haunted her ever since her parents' death. Now, she's living with her eccentric Aunt and trying to lessen the burden she is on everyone around her. As the end of the summer is approaching, Will simply wants to hang out with her friends away from the drama of the world. When hurricane Whitney approaches, the entire town loses power and Will finds herself helping out with an arts carnival, along with her best friends. Through the hurricane and carnival, Will has to face her fears of darkness and finally confront the loss she's been hiding from. 

From the cover, I thought this one was going to be a super cute romance in graphic novel form. Ha, I was so wrong. There isn't really any romance until pretty much the very end, and even then we don't get to see the romance actually happen. The entire story is just Will dealing with her fear of darkness and helping out with the arts carnival. I'm not that familiar with graphic novels, but I kind of wanted to more to happen than what actually did. 

Reading this book, I wasn't all that impressed with the characters or the story. Sure, the characters were fun, but that's about it. The story went by super quickly, so I didn't really have time to become really invested in the characters. That being said, I feel like I only got a surface reading of the story and didn't really get anything out of it. I did think Will'd passion for building lamps was really unique and cool, and I liked how she transferred that passion into actual art in the end. The arts carnival was fun. Other than that, I wasn't all that impressed with this book. 

So I guess I can say graphic novels are definitely still not the genre for me. I need more words and emotions than this book gave me, not to mention more depth from the characters and story. The pictures and illustrations were very pretty and I liked the whimsical style to them, but I needed more from the story to enjoy this one.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (139)

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

Rusty Nailed
By Alice Clayton
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Summary: In this sequel to Wallbanger, the second book in the Cocktail series, fan favorites Caroline and Simon negotiate the rollercoaster of their new relationship while house-sitting in San Francisco.

Playing house was never so much fun—or so confusing. With her boss on her honeymoon, Caroline’s working crazy long hours to keep the interior design company running—especially since she’s also the lead designer for the renovation of a gorgeous old hotel on Sausalito. So with her hotshot photographer boyfriend gallivanting all over the world for his job, she and Simon are heavy-duty into “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode. Neither has any complaints about the great reunion sex, though! Then Simon decides he’s tired of so much travelling, and he’s suddenly home more. A lot more. And wanting Caroline home more, too. Though their friends’ romantic lives provide plenty of welcome distraction, eventually Caroline and Simon have to sort their relationship out. Neither wants “out of sight, out of mind,” but can they create their own happy mid-ground cliché?

USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton delivers another delicious, frothy cocktail of a book, shaking up her characters, stirring in laugh-out-loud humor, and serving sizzling romance straight up!


I was absolutely obsessed with Wallbanger, the first book in this series, when I read it last summer. My sister had read it and told me it was amazing, so of course I had to read it right after her. And she was totally right! Since then, I have been waiting so long for the next book to come out! The anticipation is just killing me. I can't wait to see how Simon and Caroline are now that they're finally in a relationship together! If it's anything like the first book, I know I'm going to love it. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Release Week Blitz: Nova and Quinton: No Regrets by Jessica Sorensen

Nova and Quinton: No Regrets
By Jessica Sorensen
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Summary: Today is the first day of Quinton Carter's new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She's the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he's not ready yet.

Playing drums in a band and living with her best friends are just some of the highlights of Nova's life. But the best new development? Talking to Quinton on the phone each night. She wishes she could touch him, kiss him, though she knows he needs time to heal. Yet shocking news is on the way-a reminder of life's dark side-and Nova will need Quinton like he once needed her. Is he strong enough to take the final leap out of his broken past . . . and into Nova's heart?

Amazon // B&N // iTunes

“I have to tell you something else, but it’s not good—it’s bad.” Before I can chicken out, I hurry and sputter, “Someone gave me a bag of meth today and I have it underneath my mattress.” As soon as I say it, I wonder why the hell I thought this was a good idea, throwing this on her. I need to stop relying on her so much—need to stand on my own two feet.
I’m about to hang up, because really it’s the only choice, but then she says, “Did you do any of it?”
“No.” My voice shakes as I grip the side of the mattress and battle to breathe evenly.
“Do you want to?” she asks calmly.
“Yes.” My voice is full of desperation.
“Are you… are you going to?” There’s a hint of worry in her tone.
“I’m not sure,” I admit. “I want to, but I also want to throw it away.”
“Then throw it away,” she says, as if it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.
“I don’t think I can.” My hands quiver just at the thought of it and I rest my forehead on the mattress, still on my knees “It feels fucking impossible.”
“Yes, you can.” She sounds so certain and I have no idea how she’s doing it—managing to sound so calm when I know she can’t be. “Just take it and dump it down the toilet. You can do this. I know you can.”
“You have too much faith in me,” I say, slipping my fingers between the bed and the mattress, fighting the urge to hang up on her and turn to what’s only inches away from my fingertips.
“No, I have the right amount,” she replies. “Now let me know when you have it and you’re headed to the bathroom. And don’t hang up on me.” It’s like she can read my mind.
I sit there forever, going back and forth with what I want and need to do. At one point I grab the bag of crystal and put it back. Then pull it out again and open it, staring at the white crystals so close I can almost taste them. But I can also hear Nova breathing on the other end. Soft and full of concern. Acting calm, when I’m sure she’s freaking out. I want to throw them away just for her, but I have to wonder if it’s possible to care for someone so much that I’d give this up. Do I care for her that much?
After a lot of deliberating, I come to one simple answer.
Yes. I care about her that much.
I get to my feet and make my way to the bathroom, not speaking. Then I lift up the toilet seat and, shutting my eyes, I tip the bag over, pour the contents into the water, and flush them down.
“Did you do it?” Nova asks at the sound of the flushing.
I press my lips together, resting back against the bathroom wall, realizing how sweaty I am and how much I’m gasping for air. “I did.”
“See, I knew you could do it,” she says with relief in her voice. “I knew you’d do the right thing.”
The right thing? Is that what I just did? Sometimes it feels like it is, but there are other times when it feels like what I’m doing is so wrong and disrespectful to Lexi. But through the right and wrong, there’s always one thing that gives me hope and that’s Nova. She’s what keeps me going.

About the Author
Jessica Sorensen is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives with her husband and three kids in Idaho. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

Tour Giveaway

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things I'd Like to Own

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!

1. This mug pretty much sums up my life.
2. I would love to have a Great Gatsby sweatshirt!
3. This Wuthering Heights Tote is actually made up of the words from the novel. How cute is that? 
4. I love the colors of this Romeo and Juliet iPhone case
5. As a Janite, I need this Pride and Prejudice canvas pouch
6. A cat reading? I need this sweatshirt ASAP!
7. I have a couple, but I would die if I owned every single Penguin Clothbound Classic. They're just so pretty!
8. How perfect is this Pride and Prejudice quote scarf
9. A Harry Potter Ring! I want, I want!
10. These Mark the Plot Coasters are perfect for any bibliophile. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: What We Hide by Marthe Jocelyn

What We Hide
By Marthe Jocelyn 
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: Americans Jenny and her brother, Tom, are off to England: Tom to university, to dodge the Vietnam draft, Jenny to be the new girl at a boarding school, Illington Hall. This is Jenny's chance to finally stand out, so accidentally, on purpose, she tells a lie. But in the small world of Ill Hall, everyone has something to hide. Jenny pretends she has a boyfriend. Robbie and Luke both pretend they don't. Brenda won't tell what happened with the school doctor. Nico wants to hide his mother's memoir. Percy keeps his famous dad a secret. Oona lies to everyone. Penelope lies only to herself.

Deftly told from multiple points of view in various narrative styles, including letters and movie screenplays, What We Hide is provocative, honest, often funny, and always intriguing.

Review: From the summary, I expected this book to blow me out of the water with the various styles of writing used and the way it was described as "provocative, often funny, and always intriguing." Sorry to say, this book was absolutely none of those things. 

With the Vietnam draft calling Americans to war left and right, Jenny and her brother Tom decide to go to school in England, Jenny to a boarding school and Tom to university. At Illington Hall, Jenny can be whoever she wants, which means she tells a couple of little white lies to look cooler. Jenny's not the only one with secrets, though, and some secrets can hurt much more than others…

Okay, so I didn't like this book. First, the summary claims it's super unique because it uses multiple points of view and modes to tell the story. While reading, though, the multiple points of view became very confusing because 4 or 5 people had chapters to narrate and wouldn't even mention some of the other characters. Especially in the beginning, it was almost impossible to keep all of the characters straight and some of their stories were just boring. Well, most of them were. The movie screenplays didn't make sense and the letters didn't have a context when they started, so they were hard to follow. I wasn't at all engaged in their stories and could really care less how things would end. Things finally picked up in the last chapter, but then it all just ends rather abruptly. Needless to say, it wasn't a pleasant reading experience.

With the characters, you think I would have liked at least one of them. Wrong. The characters weren't given enough time to develop and I got lost switching so much between all of them that I didn't really get to connect with anyone. And it seemed like they were all obsessed with sex. Seriously, didn't they ever think about anything else? It would have liked if the story had just focused on Jenny, as it seemed from the first chapter it would, but after the first chapter, we don't visit her again until way later. There was too much going on through focusing on so many people, but a lot of it was still boring and I didn't feel like a lot actually happened. 

So, yeah, this book was not for me. The author had so much culture and politics to work with seeing as this was during the Vietnam war, but the only thing she really dealt with was how gays were treated then, and that's it. And that was only with two characters. If they hadn't mentioned the war in the beginning, I wouldn't have known that this book took place in the 70s because there were very little references to that time period. All of the other characters fell flat and there wasn't a whole lot of substance to work with. If you're looking for the next provocative and intriguing book, this is definitely not it.

Weekly Roundup [4/8-4/14]

Good morning, everyone! And what a good morning it is! There are only four short days standing between me and going home for Easter weekend! And that means only six short days stand between me and finally having chocolate after giving it up for lent. I can't wait to see what the Easter Bunny puts in my basket this year! Haha, anyways…I got a ton of reading done this weekend, but nothing really wowed me. I just want a book that'll sweep me off my feet, and that hasn't happened in a long time. What is going on? I keep on going into books with super high expectations and only end up thinking they're just okay, nothing special. Maybe my expectations are just too high? Or maybe I'm just not picking the right books. Either way, a good book better come my way fast, or I'm going to go crazy! 

Book Reviews
To Love a Highlander by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Never Ending by Martyn Bedford 
Bound by Lorelei James


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