Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book Review: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle
By Jeannette Walls
Release Date: January 17, 2006
Summary: The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

The Glass Castle is truly astonishing--a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.

Review: I know that I say this for every nonfiction book I review, but I pretty much never read nonfiction. I'm not a huge fan of it and I just prefer my fiction books. As part of the memoir class I am taking, though, The Glass Castle was one of the required books. And let me tell you, it is amazing. 

Jeannette Walls has spent more time growing up in her family's car than she has in any other normal "home." With an alcoholic father and a self-centered mother, Jeannette learns fairly early on how to take care of herself and her three siblings. No matter how poor, hungry, and downtrodden their family is, though, Jeannette's parents make everything seem like an adventure and Jeannette puts her family above all. 

When I started this book, I had no idea what it was about. All I knew was that Jeannette's dad was an alcoholic. I had no idea that this book would be absolutely heartbreaking! Jeannette perfectly captures the voice of herself during her childhood as she grows up poverty stricken and often without anything to eat. The worst part about her situation, though, is how utterly horrible her parents are. Jeannette truly loves her family and her parents, but they are portrayed as two of the most selfish people who have no business raising children. Her mother refuses to work because it cramps her creativity and her dad is constantly on the run, dragging his family along with him. That is absolutely no way to raise a family. 

I think the most breathtaking part of this book was how Jeannette constructed her family and their relationships to one another. As a child, Jeannette found wonder and magic in her parents, who did have one or two good moments in the plethora of horrible moments. As she grew up, though, Jeannette's parents slowly showed their true colors as Jeannette slowly realized that their hunger and poverty were completely the fault of her parents. 

Very rarely do I become that emotionally involved in a book, yet I definitely did with The Glass Castle. Reading more like a novel than a memoir, this book dumps you into the life of poverty and introduces you to a little girl you will want to do everything in your power to save.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Book Review: Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen

Breaking Nova (Nova #1)
By Jessica Sorensen 
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary: Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she's getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.

Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn't want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he's done, what he's lost. He's sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he's too damaged to get close to her, yet she's the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?

Review: There's no question that I love Jessica Sorensen's writing. Not only are her book covers always gorgeous, but the stories are so emotional and really explore the gritty reality of relationships. When I had the chance to review her Nova series, there was absolutely no way I was going to pass that up! 

After losing the person closest to her, Nova Reed doesn't know how to live anymore. She hasn't touched her drum set since her loss and relies on her trusty routines to get through each day. The moment she meets Quinton Carter, though, Nova finds her routine life threatened by the guy who reminds her so much of what she lost. Little does she know, Quinton has known his fair share of loss and finds it a struggle to make it through each day. Quinton knows that Nova is too good for him and the lifestyle he's chosen to cope with his mistakes, but he finds it harder and harder to be the good guy and let her go…

Okay, so first off, I've got to say there is a lot of drug use in this book. A lot. I think that drugs are a MAJOR turn off with any guy, whether in real life or in books, but it didn't really put me off of Quinton because of why he was so dependent on drugs. Both Nova and Quinton have experienced serious loss in their lives and don't have the support from family and friends that they really need to heal and move on with life. Especially Quinton. That poor guy has a seriously awful life and I just want to hug him and take care of him myself. He feels so good with Nova, but doesn't feel like he ever deserves to be happy again, so he continues to push her away. Nova is so tired of everyone telling her that she's too good for things when she doesn't feel that way anymore at all, which causes her to lash out and make some poor choices because she doesn't know how else to cope with her life. It was so hard to watch Nova go down a bad road in life, but we were on that ride with her and watched her at her best and at her worst. 

When I say that Jessica Sorenson writes emotional books, I mean EMOTIONAL. We get inside of both Nova and Quinton's heads as the book switches between their perspectives and I think that alternation was detrimental in my connection to this story. If it were only from Nova's perspective, I probably would have hated Quinton. But getting inside of Quinton's head showed me just how damaged he was and how he really did not know any other way to cope with what had happened to him. Nova and Quinton lose people in very tragic ways, and it was people who they really loved, so living life without those loved ones is extremely difficult. If you want a heart wrenching story about two people who are lost and don't know how to love again, you must read Breaking Nova

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cover Reveal: Bounce by Noelle August

Today, I am very excited to share with you all the cover of Bounce by Noelle August! Bounce is the third book in Noelle's Boomerang series and is set to be released August 25, 2015 from William Morrow Paperbacks. I love the covers of her Boomerang series and am in love with the newest one! Check it out! 

About the Book

Playing the occasional club gig just isn’t cutting it for twenty-two-year-old cellist Skyler Canby, who’s trying to support herself and her mother back home in Kentucky. Persuaded by her best friend Beth to accompany her on an audition for the first feature film launched by Blackwood Entertainment, she figures why not? Beth’s a shoe-in for the lead, but maybe Skyler’s newly dyed pink hair will help her stand out enough to score a small speaking part.

Never in her wildest dreams does Skyler imagine she’ll land the lead role or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss her audition partner, Grey Blackwood, plants on her—a kiss that feels very real and not at all “acted. ” 

After throwing a party that causes thousands of dollars of damage to his older brother’s home, reckless musician Grey Blackwood gets roped into working off his debt on the set of his CEO brother’s newest project. Grey spends his days fetching coffee and doing odd jobs around the studio, but he lives for nights when he performs with his band. He knows if he can stay focused, success as a singer is just around the corner. But that’s tough with a distracting pink-haired girl occupying his every waking thought. 

Skyler and Grey have every reason to resist each other. But, like a song neither of them can get out of their minds, they have no choice but to go where the music takes them.

About the Author
NOELLE AUGUST is an anagram for Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger. Just kidding, it's a pen name!

VERONICA ROSSI is the author of the New York Times Best-selling UNDER THE NEVER SKY trilogy for young adults. The books are available in more than thirty countries and the film rights have been optioned by Warner Bros.

Veronica completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons. She is fond of dresses with pockets, fluffy dogs, and cheese and chocolate -- but not together.

LORIN OBERWEGER began her storytelling career by captivating her first-grade class with tales of her summers on a kibbutz in Israel.

Lorin had never been to Israel.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Trailer Reveal: Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Trailer Reveal for Katie McGarry's NOWHERE BUT HERE! NOWHERE BUT HERE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance being published by Harlequin Teen and is a part of Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road Series. It is being released on May 26th, 2015!!

Nowhere But Here - cover


Nowhere But Here preoder banner   

Pre-Order NOWHERE BUT HERE, Register your Pre-Order and you’ll get the eBook you’ve been asking for, Abby’s Story, CHASING IMPOSSIBLE absolutely free! PLUS, you’ll also be entered to win a $500 VISA Gift Card! Register at

And check out the amazing trailer for



An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home. 

About the Author

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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Waiting On Wednesday (190)

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

21 Stolen Kisses
By Lauren Blakely
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Summary: When I first met him I resisted. 
Like any forbidden love, I told myself he was a crush, and it would pass.
That was a lie. It never faded.

And I never expected he would fall for me just as hard. 

There were so many reasons that should have kept us apart, least of all, the decade that separated us. Growing up in New York City, I learned early on that love is a double-edged sword. Love broke up my parents, love took away my friends, and love — the big, intense, never-been-like-this-before love — landed me in therapy. Now I’m heading to college, and it’s time to give love a clean slate again. But, can I really start over when he’s still in my life because the one man I’ve always wanted, is also the only guy I absolutely can’t have…And he wants me just as fiercely.

Can I settle for anything less than the love of my life?


Forbidden love? Yes, please! Haha, boy do I love a good book about forbidden love! Also, I love how this book is set in New York City! I'm interested to see what hurt the main character of this book so badly when it comes to love and why she can't be with the guy who she really wants, who wants her back. What's keeping them apart?!? I can't wait to find out! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Promo/Teaser: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings


Today we are revealing chapter one from THE MURDER COMPLEX by Lindsay Cummings. For a very limited time, you can get THE MURDER COMPLEX ebook for just $1.99!
An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna. Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision. The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family? Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

Chapter One


It is the key to survival, the key to life. My father’s old dagger. 
“Peri!” I call out over the waves to my little sister. An old can bobs up and down in the water, mesmerizing me for a moment. Beyond the Shallows, the sea is packed with boats. Some of them are still afloat, with their masts stretching like arms to the sky. Others are half-submerged, shipwrecked and covered with moss. 
Among the boats are other things. Old tires, half of a rusted car, plastic. A body lies facedown in the waves, her hair spread out like seaweed. 
Behind me, in the city, the Night Siren wails. It starts low, then whoops higher and back down again. Everyone on the beach hurries into the shadows, knowing all too well what happens when the sun goes down. 
It isn’t safe anymore. I call out to Peri again. “It’s time to go!” 
She holds up a tiny hand and gives me the signal: two grubby little fingers held high above her head. 
Two minutes. It is always two more minutes with her. 
The sun is sinking, a massive orange ball melting into the sea. It sets fire to the sky, and everything is dancing in colors. Reds, oranges, yellows. It reminds me of blood, it reminds me of my mother. 
Peri comes running up to me, kicking a spray of sand behind her. “I found a periwinkle!” she squeaks, sounding like a startled seagull. “Like me!” 
“Yeah? Let’s see it.” I cast a glance over my shoulder, at the few people who still litter the beach, before kneeling down to her level. Peri’s big gray eyes, the color of sea foam, widen as she places the tiny shell in my outstretched palm. It’s twisty and fat, with a sharp point at the top. A mollusk sticks out. Though it has barely enough meat for anyone to eat, I’m still tempted to shove it into my pocket. But somehow the Initiative would find out. As sure as the tide comes and goes, the Initiative will always discover our secrets. 
“It’s a good one,” I say, smiling down at her. “But we can’t keep it.” 
The thick black numbers tattooed onto her forehead crease in frustration. 72050. Peri’s Catalogue Number, just one number different from mine. Our barcodes show the Initiative where we are, who we are, every moment of our lives. As Peri grows, it will grow, and it will never fade or wrinkle because of the healing nanites we all have in our blood. 
“Tell you what.” I point the tip of my dagger toward the shell. “We’ll mark it. That way, next time you find it, you’ll remember.” I etch a small heart into the side of the shell. It’s crooked, and hardly legible. I drop the mollusk on the sand, let the waves take it away. Peri smiles triumphantly. She’s a miniature version of me. Silver hair that hangs in loose curls to her waist. Like our mother’s. 
“Okay, time to go.” She grabs my hand and tows me along the sand, humming the tune to an old lullaby under her breath. Soft, so no one but the two of us can hear it. Peri knows the value of silence in the Shallows. 
At the far end of the beach, a jetty of large rocks juts out into the ocean. Waves crash on the rocks, and we get soaked, but it doesn’t matter. The heat of the summer clings to me like fog. 
Peri goes first, clambering on hands and feet up the jetty and over to the other side. I climb down after her and my breath catches in my throat. 
They’ll do anything for extra Creds. The Initiative pays them to guard the shore and take care of minor problems, as well as find and report the citizens who break the four Commandments of the Shallows. 
Commandment One: Honor the Initiative. 
Commandment Two: Thou shalt not attempt to cross the Perimeter. 
Commandment Three: Honor the Silent Hour. 
Commandment Four: Thou shalt not harbor useful items from the days Before. 
“Pay up,” one of the Pirates says. He stands from his spot by a blazing campfire. They are cooking fish. 
We could never afford an entire fish. Whatever we gather is sent to the Rations Department, and mixed and pureed with other nutrient-rich foods for distribution. 
“We don’t want any trouble tonight,” I say. I press Peri closer to my side. “We just want to get to our boat.” 
The Pirate laughs, and the two men with him join in. They are all covered in tattoos. One of them has an Initiative tattoo—an open, unblinking eye—on his neck, just below his chin. “You want to go to sea, little girl, you gotta pay.” 
My hand finds the dagger on my thigh. There are only three of them. If I were alone, I could end this at once. But Peri tugs on my shirt, and I see the fear in her eyes. I cannot risk her safety. Not now, when the Dark Time is so close. And I have nothing to give the Pirates, nothing to buy us passage. 
But Peri does. 
She wears a pair of too-large tennis shoes, and the laces are still intact. Something like that is precious, and it kills me that I will be the one to take them from her. 
“I’ll give you the laces,” I tell the Pirates, pointing at Peri’s feet. “Then you’ll let us go.” 
The largest man lets out a whistle. His breath is rotten. “I’m feeling generous tonight, little girl. Next time, you better come prepared. Understood?” 
I nod my head. “Next time you might not get away with your life.” 
He thinks it’s a joke. 
I stoop to untie the laces. Peri frowns, but does not cry. 
She’s strong, my little sister. 
The Pirates snatch the laces and go back to their fish, laughing. Peri and I pass safely and run down the beach. We yank the palm fronds and seaweed from our boat. It is a tiny dinghy, large enough for only two people. I quickly untie the line, push the boat into the waves, and we leave the shore behind. 
“Meadow? Will we eat tonight?” Peri asks me as I row, weaving through the maze of waste and litter. The wind blows her hair back from her face, and I notice how her cheekbones stick out, how her eyes are slightly sunken. She’s losing more weight. 
“Yes.” I nod, looking away. The way she’s studying me, as if I am the only thing in the world worth loving, makes my heart fill with guilt. If she only knew what I do to make sure she can eat. To make sure that all of us survive. 
Two miles from shore, I stop and stare out at the black sea, feeling my shoulders burn from the effort of rowing. The dinghy bumps up against our houseboat. It is quiet here, a still night, the waves lapping the boat, the same way they always have. When my mother was murdered, I thought the world would end with her. But it goes on. 





THE FEAR TRIALS (The Murder Complex, #0.5)



THE DEATH CODE (The Murder Complex, #2)


About the Author

Lindsay Cummings is the 24-year-old author of THE MURDER COMPLEX series from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins.

Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, can’t get enough of her two pesky German Shepherds, wolf cub, and two horses. She's still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts--it was probably just lost in the mail. You can follow Lindsay on twitter @authorlindsayc

Author Links
Author Goodreads:
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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (142)

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

From Publisher

Lots and lots of goodies in my mailbox this week! Most of these are from authors I have already read and loved, so I am definitely excited to read some more books from them! 

From Amazon

I found this gorgeous edition of Breakfast at Tiffany's on Amazon and knew that I had to have it. It was shipping from the UK, though, so it took about two weeks longer than it said it would to get here. That means I waited almost two months for this one. But it's so pretty!!! Well worth the wait :)

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