Friday, May 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This week in Physical Form: 

In the End by Demitria Lunetta
The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor
On the Fence by Kasie West
The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson 

This week in E-book Form: 

Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Winterspell by Claire Legrand

I'm super excited to all of these titles and I have been doing happy dances for DAYS.

Huge thanks to HarperCollins, St. Martin's Press, Macmillan, Simon and Schuster, NetGalley and Edelweiss. 

This Week I... 
Started a new giveaway! Check out my giveaway for BAD LUCK GIRL here
I reviewed Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff and Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern.

Bad Luck Girl Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Title: Bad Luck Girl
Author: Sarah Zettel
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Series: The American Fairy Trilogy #3
ISBN: 0375869409

Fans of Libba Bray's The Diviners will love the blend of fantasy and jazz-hot Chicago in this stylish series.

After rescuing her parents from the Seelie king at Hearst Castle, Callie is caught up in the war between the fairies of the Midnight Throne and the Sunlit Kingdoms. By accident, she discovers that fairies aren't the only magical creatures in the world. There's also Halfers, misfits that are half fairy and half other--laced with strange magic and big-city attitude. As the war heats up, Callie's world falls apart. And even though she's the child of prophecy, she doubts she can save the Halfers, her people, her family, and Jack, let alone herself. The fairies all say Callie is the Bad Luck Girl, and she's starting to believe them.

A strong example of diversity in YA, the American Fairy Trilogy introduces Callie LeRoux, a half-black teen who stars in this evocative story full of American history and fairy tales.

This book is another great example of diversity in YA - and I am super happy to be a part of the blog tour and to announce a giveaway for BAD LUCK GIRL! 

It looks amazing and with all of the elements accounted for, I'm sure you will think so as well.

U.S. and Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Say What You WIll by Cammie McGovern [Review]

Title: Say What You Will
Author: Cammie McGovern
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: From Publisher for a honest review. 
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN:  0062271121
Goodreads    Amazon

John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

This book was not what I was expecting, I expected a light, easy read and what I got was a monsoon of emotion and a new found love for this title. It was wonderful, and I loved it.

This book connected with me in a way that I didn't expect it to. I read the synopsis months ago and new about the OCD element, but I didn't expect for it to go into such depth involving that real emotion and struggle. I suffered with OCD for much of my younger life, from 5th grade to 10th grade I was much like Matthew, making deals with my mind so I wouldn't have to go wash my hands between every single class I had. Still though, I always would end up losing that battle with myself.

While Matthew is afraid of hurting others, I was afraid of hurting myself. It was during a difficult time in my family life and I was convinced if I didn't do this, this and this, somehow I would die. There's no reasoning with OCD - it is in your mind and it controls you. I remember being petrified if I touched something I had decided in my head was "contaminated" and during one six month period I refused to sleep in my bed and rather slept on the couch because my head told me it was contaminated and that was that.

OCD is something you can't explain to other people. It's something no one else really understands. It's irrational, and it can control you extremely easily and that was such a wonderful aspect of this novel for me.

Someone understood what I went through - and that someone is Matthew.

Matthew and Amy's relationship felt incredibly real to me. They played off of each other and together were able to complement the parts of each other that other people may not have liked. Their relationship took months upon months to develop and the friendship that is shared between them is truly fantastic.

Amy may have had Cerebral Palsy but she didn't let it truly affect the way she lived her life or her disposition. Yes, she is an intelligent person, who just happens to have to do things slightly differently. She displays more drive than pretty much any person I know and that is truly inspiring.

These two people paired together, though seemingly different, create a beautiful tale about friendship, love, loss and what it truly means to be human in this world.

Overall: I will be recommending it to everyone in the next few months and I encourage you all to pick up a copy. For fans of contemporaries, or fans of wonderfully written heartfelt tales, you won't be disappointed. Seriously, just give it a try - it's completely worth it.

Release Date: June 3rd

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

 Six Feet Over it by Jennifer Longo
Release Date: August 26th
Home is where the bodies are buried.

Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.
Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers:

Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them.

At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite).

Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?

What do you guys think?! I love my contemporaries, but this one has a premise that makes me giddy. It's different and I can't wait! 

What are you guys waiting on?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Armchair BEA - Introduction

Not all of us can go to BEA. I wish I could. I wish I could travel to NYC, take the subway, wear the wrong shoes and regret it later... but I can't. So the people over at Armchair BEA have made us poor unfortunate souls feel less mediocre by giving us a distraction from the tweets and pictures and book stacks that will soon be coming our way!


Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?

Hello! I'm Christina and Books are Life has been running since 2009. I took a break from blogging around 2011 because I was in college and life got in the way, but I received my AS degree and am now a year away from my BA in American English Language and Lit with a minor in Communication. I have always loved books and reading, blogging about it was the natural step for me. In my real day to day life people would get tired of hearing me talk on and on about books that they had never heard of. I could feel them lose interest in me, so I had to take my talking elsewhere. The rest is history.

I am from the Southern United States - Tennessee to be exact. Because of this I am a

Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online.

Books are Life is quirky with a side of lemon pie - I like to talk about books of all sorts, but I focus on YA with topics that beg for discussion.

Twitter        Facebook     BlogLovin    

What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ .

I love fantasy and I talk about this all the time. My header is a fairy tale scene for goodness sake! Fantasy is my favorite, but I also love contemporary and historical fiction.

I love to read fantasy because it transports me to something completely different. I always dreamed of having an epic adventure, and this is the closest I can come. Any book that can transport me anywhere though is sure to leave me happy.

What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year?

Divergent was my favorite book read last year. It was fun, and I actually read it for school - which is how most things were read last year. Since though my school has calmed down, now I'm in the home stretch!

What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like? (Pinterest encouraged!)

Do you see this?! I NEED it!

What is your favorite blogging resource?

I found out everything that is going on while I'm on Twitter. Seriously - that is where I hear all of the news. I also look at Publisher's Weekly and try to keep up with Publisher's catalogs.

Spread the love by naming your favorite blogs/bloggers (doesn’t necessarily have to be book blogs/bloggers).

Candace's Book Blog

Good Books and Good Wine

Share your favorite book or reading related quote.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend - Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx  

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring? Why? What 3 non-book items would you bring? Why?

I would bring The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and something fantasy - maybe Harry Potter? Perhaps Poison Study?

I would bring water, a sleeping bag/pillow, and some food.

 What book would you love to see as a movie?

I would love for Poison Study to be a movie. It's such a wonderful series, it needs more love!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff [Review]

Title: Guy in Real Life
Author: Steve Brezenoff
Pages: 400
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062266853
Source: From Publisher for an honest review

From the acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Burning comes Guy in Real Life, an achingly real and profoundly moving love story about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident.

It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again.

But they don't.

This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other's lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn't belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren't in order to figure out who we are. A story of the roles we all play-at school, at home, with our friends, and without our friends-and the one person who might show us what lies underneath it all.

I wasn't sure what to think of GUY IN REAL LIFE initially.

Not many people know this, but I used to be a gamer. I was a terrible gamer, but a gamer nonetheless. I was a player in the World of Warcraft, and this book took me back to days where I raided and wiped the group over and over and over...

I also played DND for a while, though our group was definitely more focused on killing things than they were on the story, which is probably why I quit, I have experience doing both of the big activities in the book and I can say, it definitely brought back memories.

It's a world that if you're not a part of it - it gets really hard to understand. 

The book begins with a chance meeting, an ordinary run in that becomes more than that as the story is told. I'll be completely honest, not much happens in this book. It's very much a wake up, go to school, game, repeat kind of novel. It tells a story of average everyday life and while I don't think this is a problem I did fight the urge to put it down a few times.

I liked the story, and the characters, but I did feel it lacked action. It wasn't until the last seventy five pages or so that something BIG occurs, and this something big had me rethinking everything that I knew before.

I liked it, but I didn't love it.

I liked Lana, I think she and I would have been friends. Her focus on sewing, gaming, and doing other awesome things that others probably don't see as awesome was great for me.

Lesh felt less real to me. There were times when I really felt for him, but this may just be because I still haven't wrapped my head around the ending.

Which brings me to...
The ending is very abrupt, and I don't feel like it has a true conclusion. I know that it's almost a "What ending do you want" thing where you're supposed to determine how you feel - but I spent so little time knowing anything about this last part of the book that I don't know how I feel or what I think.

It wasn't a bad ending, it kind of blew my mind a little, but I wish I knew what actually happened.  I know this review is a bit strange, and it may sound as if I didn't like it, but that's really not the case. I did enjoy reading it, but the ending took me off guard and I feel like another read through would help me put together the pieces a bit more.

Overall: I would recommend this book, specifically to boys who like to game or if you're wanting to read something a little bit different. The idea is original and overall it is delivered, but watch out for the ending - pay attention to everything!

If any of you have read this title and wish to discuss the ending with me... please do. I want to know what others thought.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Physical Copies: 

(look at that cover! GORGEOUS)


Huge thanks to HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for these amazing titles. 

Also, be sure to check out my Giveaway for Fan Art by Sarah Tregay, five days left!

What did you guys get this week?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay Giveaway!

I am very happy to announce a super special giveaway! 

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay is a book that I am excited for. It's Diverse YA lit and it covers a great and different topic, so for being such wonderful followers here is your chance to win it!

The details... 

When the picture tells the story…

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most.
It will be out officially June 17th, but here is a chance to win it early!

US only (sorry) 

The only thing I ask, since this is a thank you for being wonderful followers giveaway, is that you do follow me somewhere. Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin, GFC, Feedly, or wherever. 

More details posted below. 

Thanks guys. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feature and Follow Friday!

 #FF is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!

Have you ever convinced someone to read a book, a series, or a whole genre? What book(s) and who was it? Did they like it?

Yes, I have been the reason for many of my friends picking up many things. I'm constantly suggesting titles to people I know. I have convinced numerous people to read Sarah Dessen (because she speaks to my soul) and I have never had any complaints. 

 What about you guys? 

I prefer these two types of followers, but that being said... Twitter is wonderful and I use it a ton - so we should be friends there.


Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige [Review]

Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #1
Pages: 452
ISBN: 0062280678

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

The premise of Dorothy Must Die had me feeling so full of excitement! I love retellings and this one seemed to have everything that I love about them incorporated into it. It was putting a HUGE twist on a classic, making Dorothy not the innocent little girl from Kansas but rather a destroyer of OZ.  It was original, fun, exciting, and I was eager to get my hands on it.

Overall, I wasn't disappointed. I love the world that Paige created. This was a completely different kind of OZ - one full of darkness where the line between good and evil is a blur for everyone around.

I loved seeing the classic heroine become the villain, Dorothy isn't the character that we know and love though I can see the familiar person within the evil princess she is in this new story. She is still a young girl and this can be seen in her ruling style. Rather than admit to the world she has created she instead insists that everyone is happy - while going completely Queen of Hearts and punishing people for things like wandering eyes.

She is a punisher, and she let the love of magic go to her head.

Her three goons are the lion, the scarecrow, and the tin man - an effect that I especially loved. Of course they would be her warriors and do her bidding and it was great to watch that dynamic. The lion is the leader of her soldiers/protection, the scarecrow is "the brains" doing scientific research to better the princess, and the tin man... well... he plays an interesting role in it all.

Amy was a good protagonist, though it took me a little bit to really get into her world I was eager to go through OZ with her. She had faults, but she didn't hide or run away from them. She wasn't perfect and she definitely makes mistakes but she is human, which means that she too is susceptible to the powers that OZ's magic has over people. 

The Wicked was a wonderful addition and I liked watching their undercover operation. I look forward to spending more time with these witches as the series progresses.

Overall, Dorothy Must Die was a fantastic start to this new series. It was missing something - some microscopic detail that I can't place, but I am extremely eager to see where the following books take it.

If you enjoy retellings, love fantasy, or just really love kick ass heroines - Dorothy Must Die is for you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

If you follow me on Twitter (and you should) you have probably seen me talk about this book already. I have called it "the book my heart wants to read," you know, because I'm creepy like that. 

 A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

AHHHHH! I need it. I want it. I MUST HAVE IT.
 We all know that fantasy is my thing. When knights, warriors, magic, and destiny combine I pretty much have a mini spasm and this one is proving to last for months. 

Add Snow Like Ashes to your Goodreads here and prepare for October 14th when the magic will be released for us all.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Books With Realistic Friendships

 Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

1.) Harry Potter:

Within the world of Harry Potter we see horrible things. We see death, destruction, heartbreak, but we also see love. Friendship is possibly the most central take away to be had from Harry Potter. Good can conquer evil... if you have some good friends.

2.) Pride and Prejudice/Sense and Sensibility:
 Any Jane Austen fan knows the love that Jane possessed between herself and her sister. This relationship was the most essential friendship she had and it was the basis for many of the wonderful relationships we see on the page. In these classic novels, friendship is not in short supply. 

And neither is a super attractive Colin Firth. Am I right? haha

3.) Sherlock and Watson: 

I love Sherlock and Watson, but it is really because of their amazing one of a kind friendship that I am so crazy about them. Where would they be without each other? Not on this list, I can tell you that much. 

4.) Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir: 
I love the Vampire Academy series, I haven't seen the film because I worry... but in the book Rose and Lissa had a great friendship. I truly believe Rose would do anything to protect Lissa, and not just because it is what she is "supposed" to do.

5.) Cinder and Iko:
The friendship between Cinder and Iko had me in tears at one point. I was surprised by how accepting I was of the android/robot thing with this novel in general, but being able to feel deeply for a robot - that was intense. I loved it. There relationship was extremely realistic... and I'm talking about a robot here, guys.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

"The John Green Effect," GreenLit and Other Realities

We all love John Green. It's almost a universal, he can be found everywhere from videos to books and while he is a voice for Nerdfighers everywhere, he isn't the only voice out there.

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about Green and his books. The success of "The Fault in Our Stars" is nothing to scoff at - this book put Green even more out there after he was already a very popular author, but now EVERYONE is talking about YA and reality.

Terms such as "Green-lit" and "The John Green Effect" are being thrown around as if he was the one who created contemporary Young Adult literature.

Comparisons to Green and Judy Blume have been discussed, accusations that a simple blurb from Green in the NYTBR is what has made novels successful and countless other things have been running around the interweb - all about John Green.


John Green has a YouTube following of two million people, a Twitter following of the same, and clearly he is popular. VlogBrothers has been around since 2007, and I was an early watcher who was always fascinated by how awesome John and Hank were. This hasn't changed.

What upsets me about all of this is how blame is being thrown in so many directions. 

We have articles sprouting up from the ground everyday exclaiming the success of Green and his novels, focusing of course on "The Fault in Our Stars." This book was always a recipe for success. This book by Green was the first of his novels to be written in a female's perspective - something which I believe contributed greatly to its popularity.

Previously Green's novels were all a little quirky but all were told from a male's perspective. Looking at the world of YA we see that the genre itself is mainly written by women, for young women... which I think is a problem. Green eliminating this small factor may have been one reason why everyone went crazy. He got rid of a key element that made his novels different.

By making his newest protagonist a female, he opened whatever few doors had previously been closed to him.

I have no issue with John Green. In fact, I love John Green, and I think he is one of the greatest authors we have today... but he isn't a revolutionary.

In his own words he is not leading a "YA revival." 

Contemporary Young Adult fiction has been around for DECADES. Real stories about real teens have never been in short supply in the YA world.

So many times I see people talking about Young Adult fiction as if it is one genre. For years much of YA was paranormal, now dystopian is leaking in, and before you know it we're going to see some other kind of focus take these other's place.

There will always be trends, but focusing on the trend and ignoring everything else out there does only harm.

Sarah Dessen is who I consider to be the queen of YA contemporary - at least in modern days. She has been gifting us with novels filled with love, loss, heartbreak, disorder, humor, tears, and every other emotion imaginable since THAT SUMMER was released in 2006.

After Sarah Dessen comes other wonderful writers like Jenny Han, Susane Colasanti, Sara Zarr, Elizabeth Scott, and countless others who have been giving us fantastic contemporaries for years.

Why are these wonderful people not being fawned over? Why is Rainbow Rowell's success in any way being attributed to John Green? Why are we still talking about this?

John Green doesn't even think we should be talking about it.

So, let us love John Green, but let us not forget every other person who has written beautiful things for us. John Green is just another person to add to the list of fantastic writers who have made us feel something - but he isn't the only one.

He isn't the only one. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Stacking the Shelves/IMM

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
This week was possibly the greatest book week I have ever experienced. 
So many wonderful YA titles and Kid lit titles that I don't know what to do with myself! 

The Run Down: Young Adult Titles

The Run Down: Kid Lit Titles

The Run Down: Adult Titles

So, that was epic. 

This week has been a fantastic week reading wise and blogging wise. I am offically over the pneumonia (hopefully) and it looks like I will have completed four books over the week which I can accept. 

Also, don't forget to check out my post on Feminism from my College Graduation! It's not what you think. 

Here is a picture of my cat, Loretta, because she's adorable. 

What did you guys get this week?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard [Review]

Title: Fool Me Twice
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: NetGalley for Review
ISBN: 1619632306

 Mackenzie and Landon were the perfect couple . . . until he dumped her and broke her heart. Fast-forward a year and they're back where they first met—Serenity Ranch and Spa, where they are once again working together for the summer. Talk about awkward.

Then, Landon takes a nasty fall and gets amnesia. Suddenly, he’s stuck in the past—literally. His most recent memory is of last summer, when he and Mack were still together, so now he’s calling her pet names and hanging all over her. It's the perfect chance for revenge. The plan is simple: keep Landon at arm’s length, manipulate him so he’s the one falling love, and then BAM, dump him. There’s just one problem: Mack can’t fall for Landon all over again.

The If Only romance line is all about wanting what you can't have, and Mandy Hubbard's hilarious break-up/love story is sure to captivate anyone who has ever wished for a second shot at love.

This book was wonderfully cute. I didn't know quite what to expect when opening it, I've always been a fan of Mandy Hubbard but this title seemed different than some of her earlier material, more fun and girly almost.

What I found was an adorable story that kept me drawn in. I've always been fascinated by stories involving amnesia and this one was refreshing. It wasn't the classic story of remembering after losing ones memory, but a story of falls and folly that leads to redemption.

I loved the setting of the ranch, for a story like this being away from a "normal reality" was necessary and I found the knowledge that Hubard displayed about horses to be kind of amazing. She knew what she was talking about and when it comes to cowboys - that's a necessity.

I normally have a problem with the "amnesia" storyline. It's just one of those story lines I often feel is overdone, this title however put a really great  original twist on it that I enjoyed. The antics of Mackenzie really make this part of the book fun and engaging. Constantly it's a game to see what is going to happen and it definitely kept the pages turning for me.

The small jokes they play on Landon throughout the novel were cute and it made the ride to big reveal more interesting. I enjoyed watching them fall for each other all over again.

This book is the perfect short, fun summer read. I was drawn in and at no point did I get bored. I was invested in discovering what would happen with Landon and what their story would hold.

In the end, I felt that this book really explored what, "Timing is everything" means. You can be the right person, at the wrong time and the way this book explored that reality  made it feel incredibly true.

When it comes to summer though, anything can happen...

All in all if you would like a fun summer read, this title has your name on it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Feminism in the Real World

So, this past Saturday I graduated from college, or at least the first part of my college career.
See, that's me... and my father. We graduated together which is actually a lot less weird than you would think, but anyway, moving on.

At my college's commencement speech we were told to pay attention to our big speaker because she was a "woman who made it." I don't declare myself to be a feminist, but these words bothered me.

Had it been a man up there speaking would he have specified the gender? There's no way to really know, but from my experience, he probably wouldn't have. It bothered me that because this person was a woman, that it was all of a sudden necessary to specify the significance of her gender - as if it made it more important.

In my graduating class 63% of us were female. While, it is not overly significant it meant that the majority of the people sitting beside me were of the female gender. The fact that this was a number that was being thrown around at all bothered me also.

Why is it necessary?

In my head, the very fact that it's being mentioned is a part of the problem.

I believe in equal rights for every person across the planet. I don't think women should be treated any different than men, and that includes how we are displayed in college commencement speeches. The woman standing before us is not a woman who made it - she's a person who made it. That's the significance that should be displayed.

The very fact that it is 2014 and we're still mentioning gender like it's a playing card IS the problem.

Your gender is not significant. Your drive is significant. Your intelligence is significant. Your perseverance is significant. What gender you are shouldn't even be worth mentioning - we are people who are doing people things.

I am not a woman who graduated from college. That doesn't make me special. I am a person who graduated from college that happens to be a woman.

Until we stop labeling ourselves this will always be a problem. We need diversity in more ways than just culture. We need diversity that everyone can find themselves in regardless of what these people keep telling us.

We are important because we are people - and that should be the end of it.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stacking the Shelves

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel 
Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard
 Birds on a Wire by Ellen Mulholland
The Chronos Clock by Wendy Callahan
Splintered by A.G. Howard

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

A super big thanks to Wendy Callahan and Ellen Mulholland! 

What did you guys get this week? 

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