Saturday, December 3, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (221)

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

From Authored Adornments 

I have never ordered a bookish subscription box before, but when I saw the next theme for the box from Authored Adornments was Outlander, I couldn't resist. I love their bookish jewelry and was SO excited to get this box for $30. To be honest, though, I was a bit disappointed. A ring and a necklace were in the box and I could never see myself wearing the ring (it's a bit big and gaudy). As for the necklace, it's cute and says "Jamie," but I expected something better than a simple, small circle pendant.  The necklace I have from their shop that is from Jane Eyre is so detailed and beautiful, so I expected something like that in this box. The bag is cute and I like the art print, but the art print doesn't scream Outlander to me. I am, though, excited to try the tea! Overall, I don't think this was worth the $30, but I am excited to have some new Outlander accessories! 

From TBTB Secret Santa

Now this was one package I was NOT disappointed in! I have been so spoiled every year for TBTB Secret Santa and this one is no exception! Malissa from Reads All the Books had me and her package was amazing. I am freaking out that she sent me Six of Crows and Royally Screwed, which are two books that I have been dying to have and read! She sent me socks, London inspired gifts, an adorable mug, a manatea (get it…manatee mixed with tea…hehe) diffuser, some tea, and adorable bookmarks of the characters from Six of Crows. How did I get so lucky??? Thanks, Malissa, for the amazing gift!!! 


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

Friday, December 2, 2016

Book Review: The One Real Thing by Samantha Young

The One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #1)
By Samantha Young
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Source: Publisher
Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for….
If you haven't read Samantha Young's On Dublin Street series and you've been following me for awhile, what are you doing?!? Go get those books now! Since I love that series so much, I was definitely excited to read a new book from Samantha Young in a whole new series. 

Doctor Jessica Huntington is dedicated to her job as the doctor at a women's prison and tries not to become too connected to anyone in her life. When she finds letters hidden in the binding of a book at the prison, Jessica is touched by the heartbreaking romance an inmate of the prison had experienced. Jessica feels a connection to the small town described in the letters and, on a whim, decides to visit Hartwell to deliver the letters to the man they were written to. When Jessica arrives, she falls in love with the people and the charm of Hartwell, or maybe just the charm of the owner of the pub on the boardwalk. Cooper Lawson isn't ready to trust anyone after his ex-wife cheated on him with his best friend, but one look at Jessica and Cooper wants the doctor all for his own. 

This book had so much potential, but from the start I had a hard time connecting with Jessica. She was very hesitant to become emotionally attached to anyone, so it took her awhile to even warm up to the idea of starting something with Cooper. I wasn't a huge fan of her cold personality and just couldn't connect with her. I really did enjoy Cooper's character and how he was still hurt by his best friend and ex-wife, who both betrayed him. Jessica and Cooper definitely had a hot and heavy relationship and had some serious chemistry, which added to Jessica's conflicted feelings over returning to her emotionless life or staying longer in the charming town that made her feel for the first time in a long time. 

What I think made me not love Jessica and Cooper as much was the other storyline regarding the side characters and their potential romances. I know that as the first book, Samantha Young had to establish other characters who could have their own stories later on in the series, and I found myself caring more about Bailey than I did about Jessica. I am so excited to read Bailey and Vaughn's story and I am definitely more intrigued by their characters, so I have high hopes for the second book in this series. 

In the end, I didn't love The One Real Thing as much as I wanted to. The story was still sweet and had some serious fire to the relationship, but I wasn't as connected with the main characters as I wanted to be. That doesn't mean, though, that I won't continue on in the series because I am definitely interested in the characters who will star in the next book. Hopefully I'll get the romance I know and love from Samantha and fall in love with the characters of book two!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Book Review: Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton

Diplomatic Immunity
By Brodi Ashton
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Source: ALA
Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity...it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.

Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the country’s most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—and winning will ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.

Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the intense competition in the journalism program—and the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school. And Piper knows access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.

The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s chance to get the full scoop. But as they spend time together, Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it could destroy the boy she just might love?

I was so excited to get my hands on this book at ALA. The cover just screamed my name and when I learned it was about a journalist who finds herself earning a scholarship to a private school in DC, I knew I had to read it. 

Piper Baird dreams of going to Columbia and becoming a reporter, but she has to find a way to get there and the answer is Chiswick Academy. Piper's only way to get to college is earning a prestigious scholarship from one of the most elite private schools in DC. Piper knows she has to write the story of her career to earn the scholarship, and what better subject to write about than the privileged students she attends school with everyday? Piper decides that the Spanish Ambassador's son Rafael will be her in to the lives of the DIs (students with Diplomatic Immunity), but the more time she spends with Raf, the more there is behind his good looks and privileged life. The lines start to blur between Piper's subject and the boy she finds herself starting to fall for…

This book started out so promising. I was on my school's newspaper in high school and absolutely loved journalism, so I totally connected with Piper and her desire to be a journalist and to be always on the hunt for a story. I also loved how she was a scholarships students at an elite private school. I love the Private series by Kate Brian and I was obsessed with the TV show Gossip Girl, so I loved how Piper was thrown into the world of the elite and was like a fish out of water. It was fun seeing Piper really immerse herself into their lives, get to know them, and fall for them as the real people beneath their money and privilege. 

While I liked this book in the beginning, by the end I was not as immersed in the story. Things started going by a little to quickly with not enough explanation and the ending was wrapped up in maybe 10 pages. I wanted so much more after the big climax in the end and I feel like Piper didn't really have to work for what happened at the end. There were also other issues that were explained/resolved in only a sentence or paragraph when they should have been discussed more. Even Piper's own issues with money and college never really seemed completely resolved or dealt with fully in the story. Also, I wanted a lot more background information on our rich and privilege characters. Giselle was not as fleshed out as I wanted her to be and I would have liked more of Raf's past as well. 

While this book started off strong, I was ultimately a bit disappointed with how the characters were fleshed out and how all of the conflicts were (or were not) resolved in the end. I still really connected with Piper's character and loved her drive to becoming a successful journalist. Overall, this was a cute idea and a cute read, but I was left wanting more.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (164)

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

By Your Side
By Kasie West
Release Date: January 31, 2017
In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?


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Who doesn't love an opposites attract romance? I am so excited to figure out who Dax really is beneath that bad boy exterior that everyone else sees. Of course, no matter how close Dax and Autumn grow, the real test is going to be when they're released from the library and out in the real world. This one sounds like it's going to be very cute and deal with the complicated aspects of teenage relationships. I can't wait! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Blog Tour + Gilmore Girls Gush: Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham


Hey, everyone! I don't know if you've noticed, but Gilmore Girls has made a comeback not only with the revival on Netflix but also with Lauren Graham's new book that is coming out TODAY in the US and December 6th in the UK! My sister and I absolutely love Gilmore Girls and grew up watching Rory and Lorelei talk too fast, read too many books, and drink too much coffee. To celebrate the release of Lauren's book, I am sharing my favorite Lorelei moments from the show! 


First, I have to show off the t-shirt I got to celebrate the release of the Netflix revival that came out on Black Friday. Isn't that shirt adorable?!?! And it was only $15 on Groupon! Yay for deals! All right, now that we are dressed and ready to go, let's get to my favorite moments! 



1. Every time Lorelei smells snow. It is so magical and her love for snow is so contagious! It brings a smile to my face any time she mentions that she can smell snow :) I'm so happy they started the first episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life with this moment! 


2. Every time she talks about her love for coffee. You aren't a Gilmore if you don't take you coffee in an IV! Not to mention every time she talks about coffee, it's pretty much always a quotable moment. 


3. Lorelei's insane outfits! I couldn't find an image for it, but I absolutely loved when it was laundry day and Lorelei had to go to Chilton to meet Rory's headmaster. Gotta love the Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots look to meet the principal of you daughter's private school! 


4. How even through the ups and downs of their lives and their relationship, Lorelei and Rory were always there for each other. 


Talking as Fast as I Can
By Lauren Graham 
Release Date: December 6, 2016
In her first work of nonfiction, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls—the first and second time—and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood. This collection of essays is written in the intimate, hilarious, and down-to-earth voice that made her novel, Someday Someday Maybe, a New York Times bestseller.

“This book contains some stories from my life: the awkward growing up years, the confusing dating years, the fulfilling working years, and what it was like to be asked to play one of my favorite characters again. You probably think I’m talking about my incredible achievement as Dolly in Hello, Dolly! as a Langley High School junior, a performance my dad called 'you’re so much taller than the other kids.' But no! I’m talking about Lorelai Gilmore, who, back in 2008, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again. Also included: tales of living on a houseboat, meeting guys at awards shows, and that time I was asked to be a butt model. A hint: all three made me seasick.”—Lauren Graham


Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Review: Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn

Remember Yesterday (Forget Tomorrow #2)
By Pintip Dunn
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Source: Publisher
The sequel to the sci-fi hit Forget Tomorrow is a twisting, turning roller-coaster ride—the perfect sci-fi futuristic read.

Seventeen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries -- if only she'd let TechRA study her. But after they kidnapped and experimented on her as a child, cooperating with the scientists is the last thing Jessa would do. 

But when she discovers the past isn't what she assumed, Jessa must join forces with budding scientist Tanner Callahan to rectify a fatal mistake made ten years ago. She'll do anything to change her past -- even if it means aligning herself with the enemy she swore to defeat.




I was so excited when a copy of this book showed up in my mailbox. I had reviewed the first book in this series for Entangled Teen and hadn't expected them to send me the second book as well. After the ending of the first book, I was definitely excited to see what would happen next and read from Jessa's point of view now that she was all grown up. 

After her sister sacrificed herself for the future of all humanity, Jessa can feel her legacy in every relationship she has. Everyone loved her sister and she did all she could to make sure that Jessa could live and future memory could not. Little did they know, TechRA was still working to invent future memory and create an evil future. Tanner Callahan has been raised by scientists and is one of the most promising scientists of the generation. When Jessa discovers a secret that goes against everything she's been told, she has to team up with Tanner to help their future. 

Since we only knew Jessa as a toddler in the first book in this series, it was very interesting getting to meet her in this book. It was sad how Jessa felt like she would never live up to her sister who had sacrificed so much for her. Jessa's characters was so strong and spunky, though, and I really enjoyed how much she tried to make things right. And you know I love a good romance, so I enjoyed how close she grew to Tanner. Tanner was one of the last people she should think of getting involved with, so they definitely tried to push each other away, but it was cute how they spent more time together and started to find it harder to ignore their feelings. 

While the characters did sound a bit juvenile at times, I kind of felt like it was just a part of who Jessa was since she was babied a lot while she grew up. There is definitely a lot of this sci-fi world that Jessa has to navigate and deal with, and I felt like there was definitely a shift in the society they lived in. I liked how some details from the first book came full circle in this one and you got to learn more about the characters and their pasts. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this second addition to the Forget Tomorrow series. I was a bit over the cliff-hanger endings and wasn't all that excited for another one, but I still want to continue on in this series to figure out what happens next. I enjoyed Jessa as a narrator just as much as I enjoyed Callie in the first book and it was fun seeing this world evolve and become even more complicated. For a unique sci-fi with strong characters, you should check out Forget Tomorrow.



Release Day Launch + Giveaway: Fire In You by Jennifer L Armentrout

fire-in-you-rdl-banner    

Some are born with fire in them.


✮✮✮SECOND CHANCES, HOPE, & RED-HOT CHEMISTRY…FIRE IN YOU, the final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Wait For You World is here! Don’t Miss Brock and Jillian’s passionate and richly moving story in this standalone contemporary romance!✮✮✮

Let the FIRE IN YOU burn and grab your copy today!

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About FIRE IN YOU:

From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.


She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything
And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.



   
fire-in-you-rdl-teaser


Order a digital or paperback copy of FIRE IN YOU by Jennifer L. Armentrout, writing as J.Lynn, AND fill out THIS FORM by December 3rd, and get an exclusive bonus scene-an Epilogue featuring POVs from all the major couples throughout the Wait For You World!


FIRE IN YOU will be available in paperback and eBook November 28th, 2016!

Just enter your name, age, email address, and the order number from your digitalor paperback pre-order receipt at https://a.pgtb.me/M7KhMC to receive your exclusive FIRE IN YOU bonus scene! All entrants will receive the bonus scene on December 5th, 2016 through email using the email given when the entrant filled out THIS FORM.


Making my way through the narrow pathways between the tables, I headed back toward the bathroom. Only once I pushed open the double doors and stopped in front of the water-spotted mirror did I realize I’d left my purse at the table, so there’d be no reapplying my lipstick.

I pumped soap onto my hands and waved them under the facet. Water flowed, washing away the suds as I slowly lifted my gaze to my reflection. Normally when I looked at myself, I didn’t really pay attention longer than was necessary to put makeup on without ending up looking like a tutorial gone wrong.

Standing here now, I really looked at myself, though.

I used to wear my hair up all the time, but I’d stopped doing that every day. My hair now hung in waves and the ends curled over the tips of my breasts. I also used to have heavy bangs, but thank God they were long gone. I’d finally learned how to put on eyeliner. That was another miracle.The slight flush of my face darkened my naturally tan skin. My lips were fuller and my nose straight.

My hair was parted to sweep to the left so it shielded my cheek…and my cheek didn’t look that bad, especially considering how it looked the first time I’d seen it after…after days in the hospital.

Hell, my entire face had been one hot mess.

There was a deep indentation in my left cheek, almost like an icepick had been shoved in there, and as I stared at my right jaw line, I was still amazed by what reconstructive plastic surgeons could accomplish. Half my face had literally been pieced back together with an iliac crest graft with a reconstruction plate and a crap ton of dentistry to give me back a full set of functional teeth.

Plastic surgeons didn’t have magic wands, but they were magicians. If you weren’t looking at me straight on, you’d have no idea that my right jaw was thinner than my left.

You’d have no idea what had happened to me that night. 

Now I stared back at myself just like I had done that night, six years ago, standing in a bathroom, mere minutes before my entire life came crashing down.

It wasn’t that I hated the way I looked now. The fact that I was alive meant I was one of those rare, walking and breathing statistics.

But even knowing how lucky I was didn’t change the fact that I felt…deformed. That was a harsh word to use. I didn’t like to whip it out often. Doing so on what was so far a pretty good date was probably not a good idea.

Taking a deep breath, I shook my head. I didn’t need my thoughts going in that direction tonight. So far, the dinner had been amazing. Grady was nice and he was cute. I could maybe see myself going out with him again, to an art exhibit, and maybe coffee.

And that was what had freaked me out.

I was not going to let living freak me out.

Nope.

I could give him a chance and not worry about whether or not I was settling.

Turning from the sink, I dried my hands and then readjusted my hair so it fell forward, over my left shoulder and cheek. I walked out of the bathroom and into the narrow hall, gaze trained on the floor as I took about two steps before I realized someone was standing right outside the door, leaning against the wall. Before I nearly plowed into him.

Gasping, I took a step back. All I could see were finely cut black trousers paired with…with old black and white Chucks? What an odd combination, but those shoes reminded me of…


I gave a little shake of my head and stepped to the side. “Sorry. Excuse—”

“Jillian.”

I stopped.

Time stopped.

Everything stopped except my heart, because it was suddenly pounding in my chest too hard, too fast. That deep, rough voice. I recognized it all the way to my very core. Slowly, I lifted my gaze, already knowing what I was going to see but refusing to believe it.

Brock Mitchell stood in front of me.

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About the Author
  author-photo-jla_j-lynn

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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