Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (102)

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

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
By Helen Fielding
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Summary: Bridget Jones is back!

Great comic writers are as rare as hen's teeth. And Helen is one of a very select band who have created a character of whom the very thought makes you smile. Bridget Jones' Diary, charting the life of a 30-something singleton in London in the 1990s was a huge international bestseller, published in 40 countries and selling over 15 million copies worldwide. Its sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, published soon after was also a major international bestseller. Both were made into films starring RenĂ©e Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

Set in the present, the new novel will explore a different phase in Bridget's life with an entirely new scenario. As Helen Fielding has said: "If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it then we'll all be very happy."

Ahhhhhhh Bridget Jones! In a new book! It's been so long since a Bridget Jones book came out, so when I saw in a Barnes & Noble email that this was a new anticipated bestseller, I absolutely flipped out. I love Bridget Jones, so I seriously can't wait to see how this new one turns out :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout

By Jennifer L Armentrout
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Source: Own Copy
Summary: No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Review: When I read the first book in the Lux series, I fell head over heels in love. Who knew a book about aliens could be so romantic and gosh darn awesome? Needless to say, I was ecstatic to read the third book of the series to see what happened next between Katy and Daemon. 

After discovering that she's a hybrid, Katy has way more questions about her boyfriend and his family than she's ever had before. Add onto that the betrayal by people she trusted and the death of a close friend, and Katy's life has become completely crazy. The only thing, or person, that seems to be able to keep her steady is Daemon, but now that his twin brother Dawson is back and the government organization capturing and testing hybrids could be around any corner, Katy can't seem to keep anything under control anymore. 

It seems like in every single one of her books, Jennifer Armentrout knows how to leave a reader hanging with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. But until that point, it the story tends to drag on until that heart-stopping moment. I'm not sure why, but I felt like the story just kind of moseyed along as Dee refused to talk to Katy and Katy became closer to Daemon and Dawson. Sure, there was one big action-ey moment in the middle when Katy and the aliens go on a "mission" with a few more interesting parts sprinkled in, but the in between stuff didn't really do that much for me. 

Even though it was slow, I still loved Daemon with all my heart. I don't know how he could get even more charming and irresistible after three books, but oh boy he does. Not sure how I feel about Dawson's character yet because I don't think we got to see a ton of his real character in this book, but I'm excited to see how he is in the next book. And not to mention I'm dying to figure out what will happen to Katy and everyone else after that insane ending!

If you've read the first two books of this series, then you HAVE to read this one. Especially before the fourth one comes out in August. I'm normally not one for a sic-fi/supernatural read, but the romance and YA aspect of this make it impossible to miss. So if you haven't already, go check out this series right now! Jennifer Armentrout is a phenomenal author who knows how to create a story where even aliens can make your heart race.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Beginning/Endings In Books

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 Book Beginning/Endings

Well, since I don't really want to ruin any of these books for those of you who haven't read them yet, I'll just list the books and not go into the details. But these are the ones that have definitely stuck out in my mind as having awesome/cliffhanging/surprising beginnings or endings. 

Favorite Beginning
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fiedling 
4. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Favorite Endings
7. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
8. Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout
9. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
10. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To
By Katie McGarry
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Source: Library
Summary: Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

Review: Holy cow. Please excuse me while I obsess over this book some more. 

Okay, I think I'm ready now. Wow. I loved Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, but it's been so long since that books came out that I forgot how amazing Katie's writing can be. And boy was it amazing in Dare You To.

Beth's life has been rough, coming from a rough neighborhood living with her mom and her mom's abusive boyfriend. But when Beth takes the fall for a crime her mom committed, her Uncle turns up and demands Beth comes and lives with him or else her mom will go to jail. Much to Beth's dismay, she has to live with her hot-shot Uncle and go to a new school in a new town where no one could possibly understand her past. Especially not baseball all star Ryan Stone. But as Ryan makes it his mission to play games with the new girl, they soon realize that what they're dong is far dangerous than any game they've ever played before. 

Oh goodness. Let's start with Ryan. Can I have him? Like, seriously, please? Not only is he insanely gorgeous and a phenomenal pitcher for his high school's baseball team, he's also so sweet and knows how to sweep a girl off her feet (even a hard headed girl like Beth). Since the chapters switch between Beth and Ryan's point of view, it was so awesome to be able to get inside of his head and learn just how great of a guy he really is. I couldn't help swooning with every turn of the page. 

I wasn't sure how reading about a girl with the damaged past would turn out since I'm so used to reading about the bad boy (like in Pushing the Limits and the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles), but I actually really liked Beth. She has a rough past and her stubborn attitude really works for her. And even though she has this bad girl exterior, she still really cares about her family and friends, and is super vulnerable when it comes to her heart. I ended up rooting for her to get the happy ending she deserves for having to deal with such a messed up mom and dangerous home life. 

So to say that I liked this book is a complete understatement. I freaking loved it! Haha, good thing I read it during a 12 hour car ride or else I don't think I would have been able to put it down to get back to real life. If you're a fan of Katie's first book or Simone Elkeles, then you DEFINITELY have to read this one. Even if you're just a fan of a good YA contemporary romance, I can guarantee you're going to really enjoy Dare You To. So read it now! I dare you to :)

Weekly Roundup [7/23-7/29]

Well, I'm back home and all I can say is that my week at the beach was amazing! I read at least a book a day and got a nice tan from laying out all day. But, it's time to go back to the real world and go back to work today. Since I was reading so much, I have A TON of reviews to write, so that's what I'm hoping to get down in between reading some more, working, shopping for some apartment stuff before school starts, and celebrating my 20th birthday on Thursday! It's going to be a busy week, but I have a feeling it's going to be great :)

Book Reviews
Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles 



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Giveaway Winner

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who entered the Rush and Fever Giveaway I had last week. These books are so awesome and I'm excited to see what the winner will think of their prize! So without further ado, the winner is...

Simonet Ayana Hodges

Congrats Simonet! I have emailed the winner and they have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. I've got some more great giveaways planned (including a giveaway for Rush, book three of the Breathless series by Maya Banks), so be sure to keep your eyes out for those! 

Book Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Anatomy of a Boyfriend
By Daria Snadowsky
Release Date: January 9, 2007
Source: Author
Summary: Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.

Review: With Anatomy of a Single Girl, the second book in this series, coming out earlier this year, I figured I should try this one out before going on to the second book by this author. As a coming-of-age novel, the honesty and relatable qualities of the main character caught me from the beginning. 

Dom has always been the focused girl. Get through high school, into college, and then go onto med school. She's never felt the need to have a guy in the picture, until she falls at the feet of Wes. Literally. Now, Dom finds herself with her first real boyfriend experiencing a whole lot of firsts together. But when it comes time to grow up and plan the future, can first loves really last? 

I wasn't sure how I thought I would like this book, but I have to say, I really ended up enjoying this story about Dom exploring her first relationship as a teenager. Normally, girls in books like that can be really naive and annoying with how insecure they feel about themselves. But not Dom. Daria Snadowsky definitely channeled her inner Judy Blume and created a book that all girls can relate to when it comes to boys and relationships. 

What I liked most about this book had to be how imperfect Dom is. She has her imperfections and insecurities (though not annoyingly so) and her relationship with Wes definitely has its awkward moments (who's doesn't?). Dom is just a real character and there were some pretty funny moments in this book. 

Overall, this was a great read about growing up and learning really important life lessons. And instead of focusing on the purely physical aspect of the relationship, the book had a lot to do with the actual relationship with Dom and her boyfriend, as well as Dom and her best friend. If you want an honest book that has a lot of its own quirks, I'd recommend picking this one up!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Follow My Book Blog Friday (96)

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 do you do with your books after you are done reading them? 

Answer: Keep them of course! Just the thought of getting rid of one of my precious books make me so sad...

Haha, but seriously. If it's a book for review or a book I bought, it goes right on my bookshelf when I finish reading it. If it's a library book, then I return it to a library of course! I can't bear the thought of giving away or getting rid of my books once I read them. That explains why my bookshelves are packed full of books. I keep them all :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Robin Palmer

The Corner of Bitter and Sweet
By Robin Palmer
Release Date: June 27, 2013
Source: Librarything
Summary: Gilmore Girls meets Postcards from the Edge crossed with L.A. Candy

Sixteen-year-old Annabelle Jacobs never asked to be famous, but as the daughter of Janie Jacobs, one of the biggest TV stars in the world, she is. Growing up is hard enough. Having to do it in public because your mother is a famous actress? Even harder. When your mom crashes and burns after her DUI mug shot is splashed across the internet? Definitely not fun. Then your mom falls for a guy so much younger than she that it would be more appropriate for you to be dating him? That’s just a train wreck waiting to happen.

From Robin Palmer, author of Geek Charming and Wicked Jealous, this is a novel about the most complicated relationship a girl ever has: that with her mother.

Review: One look at the cover of this book and I knew I had to read it. So when a copy arrived in the mail for me, I did a little happy dance, then immediately dove into the story. And wow, the story I got was definitely not what I was expecting at all. 

Annabelle has been taking care of her mom for so long, she can barely remember a time where her mom was the one taking care of her. As the daughter of a famous actress, Annabelle has grown up in the spotlight, trying to live life while hiding the fact that her mom's an alcoholic. So when her mom gets a DUI for driving on the wrong side of the highway, Annabelle needs to find a way to get her mom's life back together before their lives fall apart for good. 

I had no idea this book would be so centered around the relationship between Annabelle and her mother. I ended up really enjoying reading about Annabelle's character though. While her obsession with smelling play-doh and Barbie heads was really weird, her personality was really fun and so easy to connect with. All Annabelle wants is a normal life, yet her mom kind of makes that impossible. It's great seeing how she copes with her mom being pretty much crazy. 

The first half of the book took awhile to get through because it was mostly Annabelle complaining about her mom and how she's self centered and can't take care of herself. But once we get over all that and her mom gets a DUI, things get really interesting and actually start going somewhere. Annabelle's life changes and I really liked seeing her embrace a new life where she becomes friends with the people she least expected to bond with. Oh, and the photography aspect of her life was really cool too. It was great how she dealt with all of her stress and emotions through photography. 

By the end of the book, I really enjoyed reading about Annabelle and her family's journey towards getting their lives together. While the book had a slow start, things finally pick up and there's even a little romance thrown in, which is always a plus for me. And I definitely felt that Gilmore Girls vibe with the whole mother-daughter relationship. Not to mention the added Hollywood aspect made things fun and much more interesting. So overall, The Corner of Bitter and Sweet was a great read that deals with both the heavy, emotional side of family and the fun, crazy side of life in Hollywood.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (101)

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

To All the Boys I've Loved Before
By Jenny Han
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Summary: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters…

I am so in love with any book Jenny Han writes, and when I saw the cover for this one that comes out in April, I got way too excited. The idea of a girl writing a letter to all of the boys she's loved, then having someone mailing them out is so intriguing. You know some drama will definitely happen and I can't wait to see if the main character ends up with one of them in the end. Why does April have to be so far away? 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Review: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards
By Simone Elkeles 
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Source: Netgalley
Summary: After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Review: I tried to wait to read this book. I know it doesn't come out for another 2 1/2 months, but as soon as I got accepted to review this one on netgalley, it was just taunting me. How could I have a new Simone Elkeles book in my hand and not read it? So after about a week, I caved. And let me tell you, it was probably one of the best decisions of my life because I absolutely loved this book. 

After pulling an epic prank at his boarding school's graduation, Derek finds himself expelled and forced to live with his 25-year-old stepmom in Chicago. Not only does he have to live with this woman he barely knows while his dad is deployed, but her entire family as well, including her stubborn younger sister who just so happens to be his age. Ashtyn, however, is so not interested in having someone like Derek coming into her life. As kicker for her school's football team, Ashtyn is driven to live a life of football and she definitely doesn't need someone as annoying and, as much as she hates to admit, attractive as Derek distracting her. But as the two play more and more games with each other, things become more real for Ashtyn. Are they real for Derek too? Or is she just another prize for him to win? 

Gahhhhhh I really don't know how the heck Simone Elkeles does it, but I fell completely in love with this book. Seriously, I couldn't put it down and finished it in one day. I absolutely loved Ashtyn's character. Sometimes girls who play football in books can be a bit annoying, but Ashtyn was just perfect. She was driven and dedicated, stubborn and independent, but still had all the insecurities normal girls have when it comes to guys. It was refreshing to have such a real character who could handle herself around tough football players, but still was totally insecure and scared when it came to matters of the heart. 

But let's get to the real reason this book was awesome. Derek Fitzpatrick. Can you say yummy? Seriously, from the very first page I fell for Derek and was way too addicted to reading about him. How can a guy be so annoying yet so enticing at the same time? He was such a jerk at times, but you totally forgive him because you know how messed up his past is. Then, when he acts super sweet, you just fall even more in love with him. And talk about chemistry! I could not get enough of his relationship with Ashtyn and how much it grew throughout the story. The development of their relationship was absolutely perfect and watching them fall for each other was just too darn cute. 

Needless to say, I loved this book. Simone Elkeles has written yet another YA romance that hooks you from page one and refuses to let you go until the very end. The characters are charming and witty, and the moments Simone creates between Derek and Ashtyn are so perfect and precious. How the heck does she come up with those moments that are just so perfect that you can't help but reading them over and over and over again? Okay, I'll stop gushing. But seriously, when this book comes out in September, you have to pick up a copy. Like RIGHT AWAY. And until then, pick up her Perfect Chemistry and Paradise series. Because those are awesome too. After reading this one, I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me not to love every single thing Simone Elkeles has ever written. And I'm perfectly happy with that :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Topics/Words That Will Make You NOT Pick Up A Book

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 Topics/Words That Will Make You NOT Pick Up A Book

1. Zombies
As much as my Dad loves them, I just can't get into dead people eating other people. 
2. Insta-love
There's nothing worse than two people who are all the sudden all over each other and in love without ever even talking to each other. 
3. Books about girls who are full of themselves
I hate it when main characters talk about how awesome they are. One book I read, a girl even said she didn't understand why the guy she liked was talking to another girl (who was supposedly her friend) because she was by far so much prettier and had a much better body than her friend. That's just mean and I don't like reading about a person like that. 
4. Books about completely insecure girls
Ughhh I do not want to read about a girl who constantly puts herself down. 
5. Same gender romances
Sorry, just not my cup of tea. 
6. Depressing, serious books about natural disasters or third world countries
I've tried reading more serious books, but when I do, I don't have the urge to pick up that book and read for the rest of the day. Instead, I dread reading about the depressing topic and I'd much rather stick with my happy, fluffy romances. 
7. Non-fiction
I just can't seem to get into non-fiction books. I need a story and a plot to really get into things. 
8. Cheating
I don't know why, but cheating seems like a really popular topic in movies and books lately. I really don't like this concept because NO ONE should cheat on their significant other, so why should I want to read about it in a book? 
9. Main characters with alcohol/drug abuse problems
Things get too messed up way too quickly in books like that. 
10. Romance with HUGE age differences
Bleh, sometimes it's just gross the age differences in some stories. I think 10 years is really pushing things. Most of the time it's with an older guy, and I'd think it would be REALLY weird if it were a girl with a guy 10 years younger. Just stick to the same age range please! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Weekly Roundup [7/17-7/22]

Greetings from the beach! My family and I spent the entire day Saturday driving down to Myrtle beach and around 5pm we finally arrived! Yesterday was absolutely amazing, laying out under the sun and reading a great book. So far, in just two days of vacation, I've read three books and plan on reading much more as the week continues. I hope you guys are having a great Monday too! Well, I'm going to head out to get an early start lying out and working on my tan. Have a good day :)

Book Reviews
White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge Day 15

Day 15: Who are your blogging mentors? 
Oh gosh, where to start? When I began book blogging, I would visit the same blogs all the time and use them as inspiration and drive for my own blog. Here are some that I've been a fan of ever since I started blogging just over two years ago...

When I started blogging, Kristi already had TONS of followers and was getting TONS of review books. At that point, I had no idea you could even get sent books for review for free, so ever since I saw her IMM posts and all the comments she got on her blog, I knew I wanted to have a blog as successful as hers. Not to mention that she truly loves reading and you can tell that through her Goodreads and reviews. 

These girls are so awesome when it comes to their blog. I love visiting their blog and reading their reviews on books that I'm dying to read or have just read. Not to mention I love the design of their blog! The colors are so cute and perfect. 

Ginger's blog is so cute and she reads all of the books I love (basically everything YA). I love the design and she always posts fun stuff other than reviews. 

And those are three of the blogs I've been reading for forever and inspire me to be a better blogger as well! What blogs do you love reading everyday? 
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