Thursday, January 31, 2013

Follow My Book Blog Friday (73)

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: What is the first thing you would do if you woke up in your favorite book?

Answer: Well, first I'd freak out...

And then, since my favorite book is literally changing all the time, I would just follow around the guy that I'm probably obsessed with (right now, it's Daemon from The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout). 

And I'd literally be glued to his side. All day. And then I'd make him help me blog like Katy did. Gosh that was so darn cute. Can I please have him???

Book Review: Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker

Chasing Jupiter
By Rachel Coker
Release Date: December 26, 2012
Source: Publisher
Summary: Scarlett Blaine's life in 1960s Georgia isn't always easy, especially given her parents' financial struggles and the fights surrounding her sister Juli's hippie lifestyle. Then there's her brother, Cliff. While Scarlett loves him more than anything, there's no denying his unique behavior leaves Cliff misunderstood and left out. So when he wishes for a rocket to Jupiter, Scarlett agrees to make it happen, no matter how crazy the idea might be. Raising the rocket money means baking pies, and the farmer's son, Frank, agrees to provide the peaches if Scarlett will help him talk to Juli. The problem is, Scarlett really enjoys her time with Frank, and finds herself wondering if, someday, they could be more than friends. Just as she thinks everything might be going her way, Cliff suffers an accident that not only affects the rocket plans, but shakes Scarlett's view of God. As the summer comes to an end, Scarlett must find a way to regain what she's lost, but also fulfill a promise to launch her brother's dream.

Review: I very rarely read Christian fiction, and I had no idea that this was a Christian fiction novel until I started reading some reviews after I had gotten it in the mail. Nevertheless, I decided to give this one a try and I'm really glad I did!

It's the 1960s and Scarlett has to deal with a lot when it comes to her family; her parents are constantly fighting, her sister is always off with her bad boy boyfriend, her grandpa is crazy, and her little brother is, well, unique. But Scarlett loves each and every one of them. When her brother Cliff decides he wants to be the first person to walk on Jupiter, they make it their plan for the summer to sell peach pies until they can raise the money to build a rocket, enlisting the help of Frank, a guy Scarlett slowly finds herself falling for. But after a horrible accident, Scarlett's world comes crumbling down, putting her love for her family and faith in God to the test. 

I really love reading books that take place in other times, so it was really cool reading about Georgia in the 1960s. Scarlett was such a sweet character and I loved how she had a passion for baking. Frank was great too with his obsession with helping animals and his desire to help out Cliff and Scarlett. Cliff, though, had to be my favorite character. Yes, he's strange, but that's what makes him so lovable. His infatuation with Spanish and Jupiter are so cute and I couldn't wait to see what crazy idea he would have next. 

While the beginning of the book was pretty slow, about halfway through things started to pick up a lot. There wasn't a huge emphasis on the religion until near the end, so I was pretty happy about that. I was really able to focus on Scarlett and her family issues rather than how she felt about God. 

Overall, Chasing Jupiter was a sweet book that was just nice to read. If you're looking for your next favorite read, this probably won't be it. But it's still a really great story that keeps you going along until the end.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (76)

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

Dirty Little Secret
By Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Summary: From the author of the “real page-turner” (SeventeenSuch a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

ANOTHER JENNIFER ECHOLS BOOK! Oh my goodness, I don't think I could be more excited. Jennifer is one of my favorite authors ever and I absolutely loved her last release Such a Rush. I'm really excited to see how this one turns out. The whole music theme is really intriguing and a cute guitarist? Yes please! Why does July have to be so far away? I'll definitely be counting down the days until this one comes out!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Giveaway: Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

I'm so excited to announce that I have an awesome giveaway for my amazing followers! I have one hardcover copy of Notes From Ghost Town and the new paperback release of The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison! Here is a little bit more about the books...

The Butterfly Clues
By Kate Ellison
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Penelope "Lo" Marin has always collected beautiful things. Since her brother's untimely death, her collection has become an obsession. When she finds an antique butterfly necklace that belonged to a murdered girl at a flea market, she impulsively steals it and becomes fixated. As Lo delves deeper into the life of this girl she feels an otherworldly connection to, she finds herself in the middle of a violent underworld of crime, drugs and sex. But the more questions she asks, the more danger she is in. Can Lo uncover the killer's identity, or will she become the next victim?

Notes From Ghost Town
By Kate Ellison
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Summary: They say first love never dies...

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death. 

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself. ***Check out my review of this amazing book here

About the Author

Kate Ellison spent a lot of time as a child, in Baltimore, pretending to be things she wasn't: a twin, a telekinetic, a benevolent witch with a box full of magical stones, a spy, a soccer player. She trained as an actor in Chicago and has walked across the entire country of Spain. She is a painter and jewelry-maker, and has at least one artist friend who really does keep his true name a secret from the world. He told her, but don't ask her to tell you—she's not gonna do it. Kate lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Butterfly Clues is her first novel.


Time for the giveaway! Like I mentioned, I have one copy of each book to give away to one lucky winner! Just fill out the rafflecopter below! Ends 2/5 ***US and Canada Only***

For more information about Kate and her novels, check out the links below...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Frustrating Characters Ever

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: Most Frustrating Characters Ever

Okay, so for this one I could only come up with five. But these five are ones that REALLY stuck with me. I figured if I'm still bothered by these characters, even after all this time has passed after reading the books, they are definitely the most frustrating characters ever. I didn't want to force myself to pick another five because that would just mean that they bothered me, but didn't really annoy me. So these are the characters that made me want to shut the book and never have to deal with them ever again. 


Cassia (Matched
I really don't know what bothered me about her except for the fact that she seemed like a 5-year-old throughout the entire book. I actually couldn't finish this one because I was tired of her thinking and acting like a child. I know their whole society was supposed to be like that where they were totally clueless, but I was just annoyed with her. 
Anastasia (50 Shades of Grey)
Oh boy, where to start? STOP BITING YOUR LIP. Honestly, I got it after the first five hundred times you did it, so you don't have to do it another freaking five hundred times. And who the heck lets a guy get away with the stuff she lets Christian do? I'm sorry, but no matter how insecure you are with yourself or how hot you think a guy is, you really shouldn't put up with that kind of craziness. 
Jacqueline (Easy
I know a lot of people loved this book, but I'm sorry, is she an idiot? Yes, she had to deal with some pretty serious issues, but she almost got raped by the same guy like three times. TELL SOMEONE. And things just went too perfectly for her regarding her professor giving her another assignment when she fell of the face of the earth when her boyfriend broke up with her. I'm sorry, but that's not how reality works honey. 
Belly (We'll Always Have Summer
Belly didn't annoy me that much in the first two books, but boy did I want to smack her upside the head in the last Summer book. Jeremiah was PERFECT and then you had to go and completely ruin him. Seriously, he became this gross frat guy who was not at all like the Jeremiah in the first two books. Belly has to be stupid and not know which brother she likes, so she just flips back and forth between each brother FOREVER. I was getting some serious whiplash by the end of the series. 
Bella (Twilight
I really don't think I have to explain myself.  

Book Review: Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Notes From Ghost Town
By Kate Ellison
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary: They say first love never dies...

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death. 

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.

Review: I'm always a little hesitant going into books with serious themes. I knew that this one dealt with mental illnesses and murder, so I had to make sure I was in the mood to get into a book that wasn't the normal lovey dovey book I love reading. But you know what? I had absolutely nothing to worry about with this one because it was awesome! 

Olivia's life went from being absolutely perfect to absolutely horrific in a matter of days. Her best friend and the love of her life Stern was murdered and everything points to her schizophrenic mom as the murderer. Then, Olivia goes colorblind, flunks out of art school, and is stuck living in a new house with her Dad and his brand new fiancé. With her mom's trial coming up, Olivia knows in her gut that her mom wouldn't kill Stern and when Stern's ghosts starts popping up, Olivia doesn't know if she's going as crazy as her mother is. Either way, Olivia knows she has to get to the bottom of Stern's death and find out who the real murderer is. 

Wow, after I got about 10 pages into this book, I couldn't put it down. I loved how this was sort of a mystery and you got to follow Olivia around, trying to discover who really murdered her best friend. Was it really her mom? I don't know! I think Olivia's character was really cool how she was an artist but had gone colorblind. How tragic would that be? And even though she likes to put on this tough girl, rebel attitude, her relationship with her Dad's fiancé's five-year-old daughter is so adorable. Olivia is so much more vulnerable than she shows on the outside and I loved being able to get inside of her head. 

Even though we only meet Stern alive in the first chapter, I really liked his character as a ghost because you can tell he really cares for Olivia. And then there's Austin. I didn't know how to feel about him at first because Stern is supposed to be Olivia's love interest (at least in my mind), but he really grows on me throughout the book as he helps out Olivia figure out her life and everything else going on. 

The mystery of this book definitely made it impossible to put down. Add the great characters and you'll find yourself flying through it. I'm so happy Notes From Ghost Town was way more than I was expecting! If you're into that darker kind of book where people don't know if they're going crazy and there are murders to solve, definitely pick this one up! Kate Ellison creates a story you won't forget.

Weekly Roundup [1/22-1/27]

Wow, this weekend went by way too fast! I got to go home for a little bit on Sunday, which was so great! Waiting for me were three awesome books that had come in the mail and I really can't wait to get to them. I also had time to bake some delicious brownies with my mom, play with my puppy, and do a little shopping. So I'd say it was a very well spent day :) I hope you guys had a great weekend as well! 

Immortal Craving by Kendra Leigh Castle
Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Review: Immortal Craving by Kendra Leigh Castle

Immortal Craving
By Kendra Leigh Castle
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary: The last-and most lethal-of his kind . . . 

Wild, uncontrollable, and powerful, the lion-shifting Rakshasa were hunted down by vicious rival vampires who feared their dark, magical abilities. Somehow one survived, and now, after centuries of hiding, Tasmin Singh reemerges as fierce and fearless as ever at the door of the Lilim queen, seeking answers . . . and sanctuary.

The human best friend to a vampire queen, Bay Harper traded her quiet, comfortable life for a world filled with immortal assassins, warring werewolves . . . and this hauntingly sexy shifter. Only Bay's gentle touch can subdue Tasmin's inner demons, even as he brings out a passion and sensuality she never imagined she could feel. But when a bloody struggle threatens to tear them apart, can Bay risk everything on her faith in him-or will his dark side be stronger than even their all-consuming desire?

Review: Oh, where to start? I knew I was going to love this book as soon as I saw the yummy cover, and boy was I right!

Tasmin has just woken up from hundreds of years of sleep to find his world completely turned upside down; he has a demon living inside of him and he's the last living member of his Rakshasa bloodline. Trying to find the answer to why he slept so long and what state the world is in now, Tasmin stumbles into Bay's grooming shop. Bay is completely taken aback by this extremely attractive yet lethal man. She knows he wants answers from her best friend turned vampire queen Lily, but Bay can't help but be intrigued by this mysterious man. As tension builds between the bloodlines, promising a bloody battle in the near future, Bay has to remember she's merely a mortal while Tasmin has to fight his demon for control. especially when his feelings for Bay are concerned. 

It's been a while since I've read a really good paranormal romance, so reading this one was such a fantastic change! From the moment we met Tasmin, I was completely gone. He is such a strong lion/vampire (which in itself is awesome. Who knew you could be a lion shape-shifter and a vampire?) and he'll do anything to keep control and stay true to who he is. And it's completely adorable how he addresses Bay by her full name, Bailey. Being basically the only mortal in this paranormal read, Bay's character was pretty awesome too. She's a really strong-willed girl who can take care of herself and she owns an adorable pet grooming shop. Grimm, though, had to be my favorite character. He's Bay's huge, slobbery dog who has a personality all of his own. 

Basically, I loved everything about this book. The chemistry between Bay and Tasmin was perfect; they're relationship developed at just the right speed and it was so sweet watching them grow closer. The paranormal conflict of the story was really intriguing as well. You didn't know who was on what side and if the demon would take control of Tasmin once and for all. 

I don't know how it took me so long to read one of Kendra Leigh Castle's books! This one is the fourth in the Dark Dynasties series and I know for sure I'm going to pick the first three up as soon as I can. This one has unique paranormal characters with a steamy romance you can't help but get addicted to. If you're a fan of paranormal romances, you have to check this one out. You'll definitely be in for an awesome, addicting read.

Stacking the Shelves (38)

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

From Publisher

When I heard that this one was written by a 17-yaer-old and it was her SECOND book to be published, I was really interested. Then, I read the summary and it sounded like a pretty good read! I'm excited to see how it turns out. 

From Library

I was looking through the nonfiction section of the library the other day (something I pretty much never do) and decided to pick up these books. They seemed pretty fun and not like what I normally read. Hopefully I'll enjoy them!

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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Follow My Book Blog Friday (72)

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: What is the last book that kept you late into the night just to finish it? 

Answer: I always read before bed, which means that I always fall asleep while reading a book, wake up a couple of hours later with the light still on, turn off the light, and go back to sleep. So it has to be a super good book that would make me NOT actually fall asleep and make me stay up way past my bedtime and forget that I was even tired in the first place. Who needs sleep when you have an awesome book? 

The last book I remember this happening was when I read...

Effortless by SC Stephens 

This is the second book in SC Stephens' Thoughtless series and I am in love with her books They're new adult books about a girl who falls for a guy in a band. Well, there's a lot more to them than that, but I don't want to ruin anything! Mmm they're just so addicting! Check out my review of Effortless right here if you're interested! I have the third and final book of the series on my shelf and I am so excited to get to it. I bet I won't get any sleep the day I decide to pick it up :) 

That's my pick! What was the last book to keep you up all night? 

Book Review: Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines

Fallen Too Far
By Abbi Glines
Release Date: December 14, 2012
Source: Own copy
Summary: To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter. 

She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother. 

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far.

Review: Once I saw this cover, I knew I had to add this one to my to-read list. Once I saw that it had a 4.45 star rating on Goodreads, I knew I had to get my hands on it RIGHT NOW. Haha, so I did! And I must say, I was expecting a bit more than I actually got overall. 

Blaire's life is tough; her twin sister died 5 years ago, her dad walked out on her and her mom right after, and her mom just died of cancer. Left with no one to turn to but the father who abandoned her when she needed him the most, Blaire has to leave Alabama to move in with her dad and his new wife. When she shows up though, Rush was not who she was expecting to find. Instead of finding her father, Blaire learns that he's out of the country on a trip with his new wife, so Blaire is left to walk in on her gorgeous brother-in-law Rush in the midst of one of his frequent outrageous parties. One look at him, though, and Blaire has no idea how she's going to survive under the same roof while keeping her hands off of him. 

When I started this book, I had thought I was reading about high schoolers until Rush said he was 24 and Blaire said she was 19. So I was really surprised that this was a New Adult book. Once that was established, though, I actually liked the characters A LOT better than when I thought they were high schoolers. I think I thought they were younger in the beginning, though, was because they were a little juvenile. But when they started acting more mature, the characters grew on me. What still bothered me, though, was how instant the attraction between Blaire and Rush was. It was like, they looked at each other and *BAM* they were totally gone. Really? I wish there was at least a little development on Rush's part in how he was so enamored with Blaire and vice versa. 

Getting over that beginning, though, the rest of the story was absolutely fantastic. I loved the drama and how Blaire and Rush find themselves obsessed with each other. They big secret that Rush is hiding from Blaire is awesome and I'm so mad how it ended (mad in a frustrated in tell me what happens next NOW!). And I loved the chemistry between Blaire and Rush. Yes, it just came out of no where in the beginning, but once things got going, I just couldn't stop reading, wanting to know what would happen next between them. 

So while I don't think this book lived up to my super high expectations because of the rushed emotions, the rest of this book was awesome. I can't believe I waited this long to read an Abbi Glines book! I'm definitely going to look into more of them and find a way to get my hands on the second book when it comes out in March!

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