Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (146)



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

From Publisher
Only a couple to review this week, but they look so good! I definitely miss historical romances, so I can't wait to get back into them with Mary Balogh's new release. And Opening Up looks like a great read as well! 

From Amazon
I have seen this copy of The Hunger Games on some UK Instagram accounts and I was OBSESSED with it. I found some used copies on Amazon that were only $6, so I ordered one! It took a couple of weeks to arrive, but it is in perfect condition and so gorgeous! I can't wait to collect the other two in the series of this cover style! I also got a copy of #scandal by Sarah Ockler, who I absolutely love. The book was only $5 used on Amazon (hardback) and came in wonderful condition. I'm so excited to read Sarah's newest book! 

From Half Price Books
Half Price Books was having a Memorial Day sale where everything was 20% off, so I could not resist a trip there. I ended up grabbing So Inn Love for $.80 and The Best of Roald Dahl for less that $2. I love Catherine Clark and am excited to have another one of her books to add to my collection. I also have loved Roald Dahl ever since elementary school, so when I saw this book compiled of his best stories, I did not even hesitate to snatch it up. 


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

Friday, May 22, 2015

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Kissing in America by Margo Rabb


Kissing in America
by Margo Rabb
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 26th 2015
Rate: 4/5 Stars

Synopsis:

I loved romances because when you opened the first page, you knew the story would end well. Your heart wouldn't be broken. I loved that security, that guaranteed love.

In real life, you never knew the ending. I hated that.

Sixteen-year-old Eva has never been in love. But when she meets Will, everything changes. With him, her grief over her father's death fades, and she can escape from her difficult relationship with her mother. Then, without any warning, Will picks up and moves to California. So Eva—with the help of her best friend, Annie—concocts a plan to travel across the country to see him again. As they leave New York City for the first time and road-trip across America, they encounter cowboys, kudzu, and tiny towns without stoplights. Along the way, Eva and Annie learn the truth about love and all its complexities.


When I first read the summary of the book, I was excited to finally have a main character who loved romance novels as much as I do. Eva has found solace in romances after her father died and those novels definitely influence how she views romance in real life. I couldn't wait to meet Eva and relate to her utter love of romance novels. 

For the past two years, 16-year-old Eva has been grieving over her father's death while her mother has buried herself in work and refused to discuss her father anymore. As if he never existed at all. Eva still can't move on, so she buries herself in romance novels as a way to escape the world. Her romances, though, create notions in her head about her own life and she soon finds herself head over heels in love with Will, a boy who understands her loss and grief. So when Will announces he has to move to California for the summer, Eva makes a plan to take a road trip across the country with her best friend to compete in a reality show just to see Will again. Along the way, Eva discovers things about herself, her family, and her grief. 

First off, this book deals a lot with grief and it's so sad to see how Eva and her mother differed in their grief over the loss of Eva's father. Eva is struggling so much inside and it seems like her mother doesn't even care. In reality, though, her mom just deals with the grief in a different way, which is really hard for Eva since it seems like she has to face it all alone. It only makes sense, then, that when a boy comes along that seems to really understand Eva, she falls hard and fast. I wasn't a huge fan of how quickly Eva became obsessed with Will. I mean, she literally traveled across the country to see him even though he seemed kind of flakey and not as willing to contact her as she did him. The end, though, was so realistic and I was actually really glad that things weren't all rainbows and sunshine for the characters (sorry, I'm trying to explain it vague enough so that I don't give anything away). I really loved Eva's character and how relatable she was when it came to having a crush and obsessing over that relationship. 

What I also loved about this book was how much Eva experienced throughout her road trip. Road trip novels are so much fun to read and it was great how Eva got such a diverse experience everywhere she went. She first stopped in Cleveland (being from Ohio myself, I loved the Skyline references!) and then met some real life cowboys in Texas. It was funny how Eva would describe some situations how they would be described in one of her romance novels. That was a fun quirk that made the romance connection tie in really well. While a lot of this book was about Eva chasing after Will and her insecurities in their relationship, there was still a lot that dealt with friendship and family. Annie was a great friend and I really enjoyed their relationship. Then, Eva was still trying to figure out how she wanted to deal with her mom and if she even wanted to go back to New York at all. Eva had a lot of learning and growing up to do in this novel, all while trying to follow her heart. 

Overall, I actually really enjoyed this novel. I thought it was kind of annoying in the beginning how obsessed with Will Eva was when they really hadn't even spent all that much time together, but as the story progressed and ended up, Eva's experience was actually pretty relatable and realistic. If you want a story that deals with the hardships of grief, tests the strength of friendship, and explores the naivety of first love, you should definitely check out Kissing in America
“Wonderful . . . Margo Rabb has created nothing less than a women’s map of American mythologies, navigating from Emily Dickinson to Barbara Cartland, from the cowboys of the rodeos to the makeup studios of Hollywood, and from the bottom of the Atlantic to the spacious skies of the USA.” — E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars

“A wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence and the inner lives of girls. Margo Rabb writes with compassion and clarity about lives that are worth telling, journeys that need to be taken, peace that needs to be reached. I loved it.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray Love

“That Margo Rabb can write a story so gorgeous, funny, and joyous that is also unsentimental and honest is a testament to her skill and to her heart. I loved everything about Eva and the supporting cast in this beautiful novel.” — Sara Zarr, author of The Lucy Variations

“Rabb eloquently gets grief right in this compassionate, perceptive, and poignant story, deftly leavened with irreverent humor, of a girl in conflict with her mother. Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting-not to be missed.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“With a full cast of multidimensional characters, this novel explores the complex nature of relationships and the many faces of grief and love with equal parts humor and poignancy.” — School Library Journal

“A smart teen’s novel. [The] characters are authentic and complex. Rabb knows the perfect point to interject humor to diffuse a potentially devastating situation—a leavening of sorts to the reality that death and love inexplicitly alter the landscape of a person’s life.” — Booklist (starred review)

“In this indelible coming-of-age story, Rabb seamlessly weaves together multiple narratives. Sprinkled with the poetry Eva reads and writes, this story makes for a hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Humor and depth . . . Often entertainingly snarky” — The Horn Book

“It is a marvel and I love every word of it: the carefully structured plot, the memorable characters, the wholly apposite style and tone. It is funny, sad, wistful, wise, and altogether memorable.” — Michael Cart



Follow the Kissing in America AUDIO TOUR that Epic Reads is hosting. You can win lots of prizes and hear excerpts from Margo Rabb's book. Click on the banner below to start following the AUDIO TOUR!


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Follow the Kissing in America by Margo Rabb Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.



Margo Rabb's stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Zoetrope: All Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, New England Review, One Story, and elsewhere, and have been broadcast on National Public Radio. She received grand prize in the Zoetrope short story contest, first prize in The Atlantic Monthly fiction contest, first prize in the American Fiction contest, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award. She grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two children. A complete list of her published work can be found here.


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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Release Day Launch/Giveaway: Shattered Duty by Katie Reus


Shattered Duty (Deadly Ops #3)
By Katie Reus 
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Summary: A new novel from the author of Bound to Danger who “has the amazing ability of pulling the reader onto the front lines of the action and drama.” (The Reading CafĂ©)

When his wife was murdered two years ago, Special Agent Levi Lazaro turned his back on everything he cared about. Ever since, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. Now he's finally uncovered the identities of those who killed his wife—and he's ready to destroy them at any cost. He won’t let anything stand in his way—not even a beautiful NSA agent on a mission of her own.

Special Agent Selene Wolfe prides herself on being the best. Her fearlessness and quick-thinking make her the perfect person to take down a deadly terrorist cell. But she needs Levi’s help, and the moment he shows up, Selene knows her objectivity—and her heart—are in trouble.

As the two strike an uneasy alliance, Levi finds himself tormented by his desire for Selene—a feeling he thought long dead. But when their mission takes an unexpected turn, he finds himself faced with an impossible choice: either put aside his need for revenge, or save the woman who’s reawakened his soul…
 




Surprising her, he sat directly next to her, invading all her personal space. He had a warm, spicy masculine scent that made her think of the forest. She tried to pull back but he wrapped his hand around the back of her neck, holding her in place.

His grip wasn’t hard and she was ninety percent sure he wouldn’t hurt her. Not the Levi she’d read about, anyway. He’d been a protector, a man dedicated to helping his country, not caring that he never received any public recognition. He’d been the best kind of warrior. But then his wife had died and Wesley said something inside him had broken. So there was a slim chance he could attempt to hurt her. But she hoped he hadn’t gone that far over the line. While she was trained, she wasn’t stupid enough to think she could take on a man like Levi one on one. She could defend herself enough to get away, but if it came down to a fight to the death, he had more training.

Selene hated what had happened to him and his wife and while she knew it wasn’t technically her problem, she owed Levi. He didn’t know it, but she did. So when it came down to it she wasn’t even sure if she could pull off her complete mission. Taking down Tasev she knew she could do but the other thing . . . Levi’s thumb rubbed gently against her pulse point, his eyes a midnight black, so dark she could barely discern the iris.

She fought the shiver that slid through her, not wanting him to know he was affecting her. And she didn’t like that he actually was affecting her.

“So you know who I am,” he murmured, his gaze straying to her lips.

She tried to find her voice, hating the way her nipples tightened as his gaze darkened with lust. “Yep. How did you figure out who I work for?” According to her intel there weren’t any listening devices on the dock—it would be a stupid place to keep them with all the water—but she didn’t want to come out and say Wesley or the NSA.

“The name Silva. I recognize it.”

“Bullshit.” Wesley and a small handful of people knew The Wolf was an NSA creation.

His jaw clenched, those eyes darkening, even if that seemed impossible. “I’m not lying.”

It struck her that there was a small chance he did know Selene Silva’s cover ID details. Meghan Lazaro had helped build the alias. It was against every regulation to tell her spouse or anyone else, but that didn’t mean the woman hadn’t. Married agents talked. Period. Selene eyed him cautiously. “Meghan told you.”

He jerked back as if Selene had slapped him. She regretted the effect her words had but gauged his reaction.

Jaw tight, his mouth pinched, he didn’t respond one way or another.

And even though she knew it might be a mistake, she continued, “I’m . . . sorry about what happened to her. I know words are meaningless from a stranger, but I truly am. She was a good woman,” Selene whispered. “I didn’t really know her, but she guided me on a couple of really tough missions early in my career.” God, it had been only a little over three years ago though it seemed longer. “She had an easy way with people.” She’d saved Selene’s life once because of a last-minute find and Selene would never, ever, forget that. She’d been stuck in the field, young and alone, with no backup and Meghan had been the voice on the other end of her com, keeping Selene sane.

He seemed frozen, staring at her as if he didn’t know how to respond. He didn’t drop his hand from the back of her neck but he let out a ragged breath, keeping his gaze pinned to hers. “I haven’t talked about her with anyone in years.”

In that moment the stark loneliness in his dark eyes clawed at Selene like razor wire. He looked completely adrift for just a fraction of a moment before that hard expression returned. And so did the pressure around the back of her neck.

About the Author

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom's stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn't always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.



Giveaway

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Review: The Happy Ever After of Rosie Potter (RIP) by Kate Winter

The Happy Ever After of Rosie Potter (RIP)
By Kate Winter
Release Date: May 21, 2015
Source: Publisher
Summary: Falling in love is never simple. Especially when you're dead.

When Rosie Potter wakes up one morning with what she assumes is the world's worst hangover, the last thing she expects is to discover that she's actually dead. With a frustrating case of amnesia, suspicious circumstances surrounding her untimely demise, and stuck wearing her ugliest flannel PJs, Rosie must figure out not only what happened last night, but why on earth she's still here.

Slowly the mystery unravels, but there are many other secrets buried in the quiet Irish village of Ballycarragh, and nobody is as innocent as they first appear. Aided by the unlikeliest of allies in her investigation, Rosie discovers that life after death isn't all it's cracked up to be, particularly when you might just be falling in love . . .

In this hilarious, life-affirming and romantic journey through Rosie Potter's afterlife, she shares the ghostly tale of how she lived, she died, and she loved (in that order).



Review: I have to admit, the first reason that I decided to read this book was the cover. How could I deny a book with such a colorful, whimsical feel to it? I was excited to see if the story inside was as fun as the outside. 

When Rosie Potter wakes up to find herself dead, she's shocked. With no memory of what had happened to her, Rosie is left to wander around and find out exactly how she died and how her family and boyfriend are coping with her death. As the mystery of her death slowly unravels, Rosie discovers things about her so-called perfect boyfriend that make her realize her life before wasn't as great as she had thought. And when an unlikely old friend shows up and just so happens to be able to see her, Rosie discovers even more about herself and her life that she had never known before. 

From the start, Rosie Potter had a distinct personality that carried this story from beginning to end. Reminding me a bit of a Bridget Jones character, Rosie is definitely not perfect and her attitude is so entertaining. When she woke up dead, she had thought she just had a serious hangover and noticed how she was wearing her ugliest pair of pajamas. Little details like that made Rosie's story funny and definitely kept me reading to see how exactly she did end up dead. 

Throughout Rosie's determination to figure our how she died, there were little memories interspersed of Rosie's friends and family. We get to see how she met her boyfriend, stories of her brother and his best friend, and stories of her own best friend. I really liked it, though, when it was uncovered that someone in the story could actually see Rosie's ghost and they sort of team up to figure out what had happened to her. The end was definitely not what I was expecting, but it definitely ended in the whimsical, funny attitude that is so Rosie Potter. 

If you can't tell, this is definitely a fun story with a fun voice coming from our main character, who just so happens to be dead. While not the most complex or intense of books, I loved the light-hearted story that ended up having a dash of romance in the end. If you're looking for a fun, light read for the summer, I'd definitely say you should try out The Happily Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter



About the Author

Kate Winter is a journalist, novelist and storyteller from the North West of Ireland who was lucky enough to grow up with no TV (though she didn't consider it a lucky break at the time) and lots of books. After graduating from University of Ulster with first class honours and the Ulster Television Award for her BA in Media Studies, Kate promptly forged a glittering career for herself in waitressing. Then one day, beside a swimming pool in Australia, Kate decided it was time to write a book. The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP) is Kate's debut novel.

Follow Kate on @KatiCut.



Waiting On Wednesday (194)


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

The Boy Most Likely To
By Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Summary: Surprises abound and sparks ignite in the highly anticipated, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:
- find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
- need a liver transplant
- drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:
- well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard. 

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle. 


Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this return to the world of My Life Next Door is a story about failing first, trying again, and having to decide whether to risk it all once more.

-------------------------------------------------

Um, is there anyone not dying for another book from Huntley Fitzpatrick!? My Life Next Door was such a hit in the YA world and I absolutely loved it, so you could say I'm a bit excited for the companion novel to come out in August. And look at that cover! All of Huntley's books are gorgeous and I just know that this one is going to be a lovely addition to my bookshelf.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Classics Editions



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 Favorite Classic Editions

This week was a freebie, so I decided to list my absolute favorite editions of classic novels. I am a huge fan of the classics, from Jane Eyre to Jane Austen, so I am always fawning over the new, gorgeous editions that seem to be always coming out. Here is a list of some of my favorite editions that I am just dying to own

Jane Austen Vintage Classics
I cannot even begin to talk about these books. Oh. My. Gosh. I already own way too many copies of Jane Austen's books, but these are just too gorgeous to pass up! I don't know how much longer I can wait until I give in and finally buy these editions…

F Scott Fitzgerald Anniversary Edition
HOW GORGEOUS ARE THESE BOOKS? Seriously, I am in love with them! Not to mention, they all come with bookmarks that match their gorgeous gold covers. How I don't own these already, I have no idea!

Penguin Clothbound Editions
Not only do I love these covers, but I also love the variety of classics that come in this edition. I own Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion in this edition and I love them so much. I've come so close to buying both Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice in this edition as well, but have resisted the temptation. It would be amazing to have an entire bookshelf full of these, though! 

Splinter Editions
I remember seeing these a couple of years ago on someone's blog and being SO jealous that they had received them from the publisher. I love the watercolor images and how they're all in different colors. So cute!


Mr. Boddington's Classics
I have been obsessed with these for years and still want these editions. They even have my favorites-- Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights! These would look gorgeous all on one of my book shelves, too! 

Pink Popular Penguin Edition
In 2013, Australia launched their pink line of Penguin classics and I am OBSESSED with them! I am so jealous that Australia has these beautiful books and I don't have any in my own collection. I want them all! 

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