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Thursday, July 24, 2014

2014 Beach Reads


I'm heading to the beach this Friday, which means that a huge bag full of books is coming with me! I am beyond excited for my upcoming week on the beach because I get to read all day long, soaking up the sun and working on my tan. I thought I'd share with you guys the books that I'm super excited to dig into, so here they are…

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Ten Tiny Breaths by KA Tucker
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

I am so excited for this pile of books! I have been dying to read some of these for forever, so I am determined to get to them over the next week. Have any of you read any of these? What would you recommend I read first? I'm going to read If I Stay in the car, but after that it's up in the air! So I would love some advice as to what I absolutely have to get to first. Friday can't come soon enough!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (153)


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

Anatomy of a Misfit
By Andrea Portes
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Summary: Fall’s buzzed-about, in-house favorite. Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika—from laughter to tears, and everything in between.


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I love books about people who don't seem to belong anywhere. I hate it when the main character is perfect and everything goes their way, so I'm always on the lookout for main characters who are just different. Books with misfit characters are so much more relatable and believable, and I end up falling in love with the character and their story. Anika sounds like quite the character, with her secret inner life she doesn't let her popular friends see. And what about Logan? Former geek turned total hottie? You can bet that something very interesting is going to happen between him and Anika! I can't wait to see what it is!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review: The Year of Chasing Dreams by Lurlene McDaniel

The Year of Chasing Dreams
By Lurlene McDaniel
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: In the vein of Eat, Pray, Love, this YA novel intertwines a family saga with a grand love story and is the companion to The Year of Luminous Loveand Wishes and Dreams. For fans of Sarah Dessen's The Moon and Moreand Ann Brashares's Forever in Blue. 

Ciana Beauchamp hasn't seen or heard from Jon Mercer in months. Until now. He's back in Windemere to see her. Deep down Ciana is filled with joy and relief. She's never stopped loving him. It's proof of Jon's love that he has returned, but what will their future be?

When tragedy strikes, almost no one in town is left unscathed. Tragedy has a way of bringing people together, but it can also tear them apart. Ciana can hardly face her choices, but she knows she must, and there are now people who she can turn to if only she is willing.


Review: When I first read Lurlene McDaniel years and years ago, I fell in love with her utterly emotional stories dealing with love and loss. While I wasn't a big fan of The Year of Luminous Love, I thought I'd give the companion a chance to see if I could find that amazing writing again. 

After losing their best friend, Eden and Ciana are forced to face reality again now that they're back from Italy. Being back, though, Ciana hasn't seen Jon Mercer in months and Eden has no idea what happened to Garrett, the Australian guy she left back in Italy. When vandals start threatening Ciana's farm, Jon shows up and moves into Ciana's house to keep watch and protect her land. With him so close, Ciana's feelings come rushing back and it's impossible to ignore their attraction. Eden, on the other hand, attempts to track down Garrett and let him know she never meant to leave him…

After not loving the first book, I was hoping I would like the characters and their stories a bit more in a second novel. Sadly, their story was just as unrealistic and rushed as the first book. In the first book, I had a problem with how these girls are supposed to be 17 or 18, yet they have some serious issues with their family and get to do things normal girls don't get to do. They jetted off to Italy for three months and fell madly in love without any real development in their relationships. In this companion novel, the same thing happened. Eden literally dropped everything and flew to Australia and stayed for three months. What teenager does that? Also, both Eden and Ciana reestablished their feelings for the guys they fell in love with in the first book, but it happened so fast and was barely developed. They met and, BAM, they were madly in love again. I wanted a lot more emotional development and realistic emotions from the characters. 

I did, however, enjoy Ciana's life and dilemma with selling her farm. This element was very realistic in how someone was trying to buy up the farm land to build a more commercial area for the town. Of course there are going to be conflicting feelings over this, and the danger that it put Ciana in was very troubling. People vandalized her property and put her life in danger. Ciana is such a strong-willed character, though, that she'll do anything to keep her farm. Oh, and the whole mystery behind her grandmother's diaries was very interesting. I loved how she learned about her grandmother's life through those diaries and understood her mother more. Those elements made Ciana's story more realistic than her love life did. 

Overall, this one was more of a miss for me. I needed a more realistic teenage life and not such an excess of drama. How many bad things can happen to two girls in one novel? If you're still interested in reading this one, definitely make sure you read The Year of Luminous Love first. I hadn't read it in a while, so I was completely lost as to what was going on until I went back and reread the summary of the first novel. While this series hasn't been for me, those who don't mind some unrealistic drama would enjoy the novels more. 



Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Would Want With Me On a Deserted Island


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 Characters I Would Want With Me On a Deserted Island


1. Jeremiah from Breathe, Annie, Breathe. He's a total daredevil and would do all of the dangerous things to get us food and water. Oh, and I kind of love him! 

2. Nate from Before Jamaica Lane. I would pass the time talking about movies with him and he would keep my self-esteem super high by giving me compliments all the time, no matter how self-concious I would feel about myself being with a shower for so long…

3. Bennett from Time Between Us. Bennett could just zap us to wherever we wanted to go and we'd be saved! 


4. Isaiah from Crash Into You. Just because I freaking love him. 

5. Quentin from Paper Towns. If I ever got lost on the island and separated from everyone, he would totally go looking for me and not give up until I'm found. 

6. Cath from Fangirl. Cath just rocks and would be so much fun to hang out with. 


7. Holder from Hopeless. We would go on runs together every morning and it would be fantastic.

8. Daemon from Obsidian. Who wouldn't want a super hot alien to protect her from all of the dangers of a deserted island? 

9. Simon from The Mortal Instruments. He's the best Best Friend ever and would always have something quirky and funny to say. 


10. Lori from The Boys Next Door. That girl knows how to scheme and would be awesome at hatching up a plan of what to do next on the island.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: Undeniable by Shannon Richards

Undeniable (Country Roads #2)
By Shannon Richard
Release Date: June 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: THEIR LOVE WAS UNDENIABLE

Grace King knows two things for certain: she loves working at her grandmother's café and she loves the hunky town sheriff. She always has. As she bakes him sweet treats, Grace fantasizes about helping him work up an appetite all night long. But whenever she thinks she's finally getting somewhere, he whips out some excuse to escape. Growing up, he never looked twice at her. Now Grace won't rest until she has Jax's undivided attention.

Jaxson Anderson can't deny that his best friend's kid sister is the sexiest woman in Mirabelle, Florida. Unwilling to burden Grace with his painful past, Jax keeps the sassy blonde at arm's length. Yet one heated kiss crumbles all of his carefully built defenses. But when a town secret surfaces, threatening to destroy everything they believe in, can the man who defended Grace from bullies as a child protect her now?


Review: I fell in love with Shannon Richard's first novel Undone and have been dying to get my hands on another one of her novels. With such a sweet romance and lovable characters, I could not stop reading. So when Undeniable was finally released in paperback, I knew I had to get my hands on it! 

Grace has been in love with Jax for as long as she can remember. But at 24-years-old, Grace still has not revealed her feelings, and every relationship she's ever been in could never live up to her feelings for Jax. And what makes it worse is that Jax is always around as someone Grace can never have. As the town sherif, Jax constantly stops by the cafe Grace works in and has been protecting Grace ever since she was a kid. Recently, though, Jax has been seeing Grace as more than his best friend's kid sister. But can Grace handle his scared past and show him that he really can be loved? 

I shouldn't be surprised, but I absolutely loved this book. Seriously. We got to see the sexual tension between Grace and Jax in Undone, but that doesn't even begin to compare to the passion and chemistry they have in this book. The minute we met Grace, I was instantly connected to her and how hopelessly in love with Jax she was. Grace is such a sweet girl and uses baking as a way to relieve her stress, which only made her even more endearing. Grace's adorable personality made it very clear why she was the only one who can make the serious Jax crack a smile. With such a strong history between those two, the moment they finally got together made the experience that much more powerful. 

I absolutely loved Jax and how protective he was of Grace. From the very first page, Jax has been protecting Grace from the evils of the world, whether they were bullies on the playground or life-threatening situations. No matter how strongly he felt for her, though, Jax had some serious issues with his family and had a hard time letting people in, especially Grace. He'd grown up thinking he could never be good enough, so he thought Grace can do so much better than him. My heart ached every time Jax would put himself down just because other people put him down, because he was so much more than that. Jax was so strong and what girl wouldn't want a hunky sherif protecting her every minute of the day? 

Not only was the romance passionate, but there was also a little mystery behind who was breaking into businesses around town and threading the safety of the residents of the town. Jax and Grace definitely go through a roller coaster of emotions and things only get even more intense when danger crosses their path. I would definitely recommend Shannon's Country Roads series to any contemporary romance fans who has a soft spot for small town romances. While I'm sad that we won't be getting Shep's story in the next novel, I can't wait to get even more of this small town romance with characters who have completely stolen my heart.


Weekly Roundup [7/15-7/21]


Hello, everyone! I hope you guys had a fantastic weekend! My last couple of days have been nice and relaxing. I went to our local farmer's market on Saturday and then saw Begin Again, which was amazing. There hasn't been a lot of promotion for the movie, but Kiera Knightly, Mark Ruffalo, and Adam Levine are all in it and it was great! Then on Sunday I went to Half Price Books again, even though I definitely don't need any more books. But with a 50% off coupon, how could you blame me? Looking forward to next weekend, I am beyond excited for Saturday to come because I'll be relaxing on a beach in South Carolina and that will only be the beginning of my week long vacation. I already have a stack of 9 books I'm taking on the trip with me and I absolutely can't wait to spend all day for seven days straight lying on a beach and reading to my heart's content. I'll share my stack of vacation reads sometime soon, so be sure to keep your eye out for that! Until we leave on Friday, though, I'll be working and packing! Is five days before leaving too soon to start packing?

Book Reviews
When Day Breaks by Maya Banks
Hexed by Michelle Krys

Memes

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (109)


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

From Publisher

I got some books that I am beyond excited for in the mail this week! I am a huge Shannon Richard fan, so I can't wait to read books two and three in her Country Roads series. Then, ever since I saw the cover and read the summary of A Little Something Different, I knew I had to read it. I still can't believe I have an ARC of it! Lurlene McDaniel's newest novel came and I'll be reading that for a blog tour next week, so make sure to stop by for that. The other two showed up as well and they both look awesome! 

From Half Price Books

Half Price Books is having their coupon week this week, so of course I had to go on the 40% off day. I got Right of Way for only $4! I am obsessed with Two-Way Street and have read it three times, so of course I'm beyond excited to read another one by Lauren Barnholdt. Hopefully Lauren's companion book is just as good. Then, I saw The Affair in the clearance section and was definitely intrigued by the summary. It's set during the filming of Cleopatra, which I thought sounded fun. I can't wait to read these two!


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