Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Release Date: May 3, 2016 

In this Bridges of Madison County for teens, Michelle Zink weaves a magnetic tale about summer love that stays with you long after the seasons change.

Rose Darrow never wanted to spend her life working on her family’s farm. But when her family is rocked by an unexpected tragedy she has no choice but to put her plans for the future—and dreams of escaping her small town—on hold.

Bodhi Lowell left home as a kid and hasn’t looked back. Years of working farm jobs has given him the one thing he wants most: freedom to travel without answering to anyone. He’s already looking past his job at Darrow Farm and plans on leaving in September—until he meets Rose.

Neither Rose nor Bodhi can deny the sparks flying between them, but with the end of summer looming, they must decide if it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.... 

What are you guys waiting for this week? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Let's Talk: Surprising Books You've LOVED!

So, have you guys ever received a book and expected not to like it? 

I think sometimes we condition ourself to our "thing" and then don't want to accept something outside of it. 

For instance, I am a historical, fantasy, and contemporary girl. I don't do mysteries, and I don't typically do anything too cutesy/serious. I don't like for drama to be too crazy, because it tends to throw me off. I also don't like for all of the characters in a book to read like they have a smile plastered to them. 

However, there are always the exceptions... 

Like these!

So, what are some books you guys didn't expect to like but ended up loving?

Did it change you as a reader, or do you still stay away from that type of book in general?

Let me know in the comments! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Release Date: May 3, 2016 

A romantic and exhilarating historical adventure about a girl who must unlock the secrets within Paradise Lost to save her father—perfect for fans of Revolution and Code Name Verity

Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects.

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s men arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Viviani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father . . . and tear apart the very fabric of society.

Historical fiction is pretty much my life. 

What are you guys excited for this week?  

Monday, February 29, 2016

Ten Books to Read if You are in the Mood for Adventure!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish 

What books fulfill your need for adventure?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Top Book Couples That I LOVE!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

This week was a Valentines day freebie, so I decided to make an awesome list of the book characters I love to feel the love with. 

1. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley: I feel like I need to go ahead and get this one over with. This couple made me fall in love with falling in love. I loved their chemistry and the slow build up that literally left us all frustrated from feelings of, "Come on, just let it happen already!" While the rest of the world is all excited for these additional Harry Potter things (and I am too) I am constantly hoping for a Hermione and Ron: The In Between Years story of some sort.

Forget the Mauraders, I want to read about Hermione and Ron's first official date and all of its akwardness.

2. Anne and Gilbert Blythe: I've talked about this one before, and I do feel like their relationship build up is actually quite similar to that of Hermione and Ron's. I don't think there is a word that has been discovered yet for Anne and Gilbert's kind of perfection though. It is a slow build, but it also has a great reward which is something I really appreciate. Anne and Gilbert make me very, very happy. 

3. Wes and Macy (from The Truth About Forever): I feel like contemporary fiction couples are often not as recognized as fantasy couples are when it comes to these kind of lists. Wes and Macy to me are just as good as a romance that spans a series because they just work. The beauty of The Truth About Forever, is that all of the characters interact together in such a way that they feel real, and the ultimate realization and obstacles that they overcome create a resolution that fits in with our own expectations. Maybe they don't change the world, and so what if not much hinges of whether they're together or not, but Wes makes broken things whole again, and Macy learns to look at perfection in a different way. 

4. Yelena and Valek: Just thinking about this couple makes me want to go back and reread. This is one of those romances that is just forbidden enough to make the story feel like you can't read it fast enough. I loved the way these two interacted, and the relationship felt very fleshed out. The author successfully creates a world that her readers believe in and cannot get enough of. We can probably read books about Yelena and Valek for years to come with no complaints. 

5. Rose and Dimitri: When I read Vampire Academy in high school I was obsessed with this couple's story. While I do feel the romance and relationship dissipated a bit as the books continued, those first few installments will always remind me of the intensity of that relationship. Just thinking about it makes me want to reread! 

6. Batman and Catwoman/ Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle: A true classic in the realm of couples that are loved, but sadly often forgotten. While there have been so many different attempts at the Batman and Catwoman story, you just can't deny that they belong together. As far as comic book couples go, these two will always be my favorite and I will never accept them with anyone else. 

That is all for this week, what couples did I miss?

What couples do you love to love? 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sit! Stay! Speak!: A Novel by Annie England Noblin [Book Review]

Title: Sit! Stay! Speak! 
Author: Annie England Noblin
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Received from Publisher for honest review.
Release Date: September 18, 2015

Echoing the novels of Mary Alice Monroe, Allie Larkin, and Holly Robinson, this charming debut novel tells the unforgettable story of a rescue dog that helps a struggling young outsider make peace with the past.

Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted. Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny. There she reconnects with some of her most cherished childhood memories. If only they didn’t make her feel so much!

People say nothing happens in small towns, but Addie quickly learns better. She’s got an elderly next door neighbor who perplexingly dances outside in his underwear, a house needing more work than she has money, a best friend whose son uncannily predicts the weather, and a local drug dealer holding a massive grudge against her.

Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. But not any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself. She’d come to Eunice hoping to hide from the world, but soon she discovers that perhaps she’s finding the way back—to living, laughing, and loving once more.

It should come as no surprise that I enjoy dog books. I am a huge believer in dogs as wo(man)'s best friend, and I do truly believe that without those fuzz balls in my life, life just wouldn't be as complete. I am an animal rescuer myself and am a proud dog mom foster failure (because I adopted them!) so I was greatly looking forward to this one as I felt I should be able to relate. Plus, I live in the South -- what is there not to love?!

Our story's heroine, Addie, is stuck in between her past and her future. She is unsure of what her next steps are and I found myself hurrying along trying to find out what she was going to do next.

Jasper Floyd is essentially country boy perfection. Not only does he work on his farm, but he is also a fancy pants lawyer. Talk about a swoon! If you end up in the middle of Arkansas, he is what you hope to find.

I found their relationship to be sweet, if not a bit fast at times. I wanted more build up to their actions, but I definitely felt an emotional pull for them which added depth that worked really well. If Jasper was gone for too many pages I started to get antsy, which is never a bad thing when reading any story.

I enjoyed Addie's relationship with her fellow neighbors, and I even enjoyed seeing the Southernisms through her eyes. As a Southerner I don't think things are odd or unusual until they're pointed out, and this book added some humor by using classic Southern charm.

I didn't always believe the extent of her ignorance for simple Southern things. For instance, I feel like everyone should know what a hush puppy is -- but then again I feel like the rest of the world should drink sweet tea as well. (BECAUSE IT IS DELICIOUS) Perhaps it is being a Southerner that makes this stretch hard, but maybe these things really are strictly "Southern" and don't appear above the Mason Dixon Line.

All in all I felt this was a nice, enjoyable and (mostly) fun read.  If you're looking for a nice and sweet story about a girl overcoming her past, and moving towards her future, this book will gel with you. If you're looking for a "dog" book, this may not suffice quite as much. The dog, Felix, in this story is really more of a background character and more of a plot device used to drive the story action rather than creating all of it. I enjoyed this, but if you want a story solely about a dog, you may be disappointed.

I enjoyed the simple mystery that drove the story's plot, and was greatly satisfied at its conclusion.

I am also slightly in love with the cover!

Ultimately, if you are a fan of dogs, or just enjoy good stories, this book is for you. If you like reading about characters who discover who they are and find themselves again, this book will be perfect to curl up with.

If you are not from the South and have read this book I would love to hear about your knowledge of these "Southernisms." Do you know what hush puppies are? I know they don't serve sweet tea up north... but be honest, don't you wish they did? 

Let me know what ya'll think! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. 

Release Date: April 13, 2016 

The first novel in Colleen Oakes’s epic, imaginative series tells the origin of one of the most infamous villains—the Queen of Hearts.

Dinah is the princess who will one day reign over Wonderland. She has not yet seen the dark depths of her kingdom; she longs only for her father’s approval and a future with the boy she loves. But when a betrayal breaks her heart and threatens her throne, she is launched into Wonderland’s dangerous political game. Dinah must stay one step ahead of her cunning enemies or she’ll lose not just the crown but her head. 

Evil is brewing in Wonderland and maybe, most frighteningly, in Dinah herself.

Colleen Oakes’s vivid reimagining of Wonderland proves heroes can become villains and fairy tales can become nightmares. Readers will delight in this fresh take on an infamous villain.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Settings I Love!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

The right setting can add a lot of dimension and beauty to a plot. I am a huge fan of the complexities a setting can add to a story, and I'm an even bigger fan of fantastic and historical settings. 

Here are a few of the settings I long to see more of! 

1.) Historic Rome: Though, historical accuracy is always a bit of a hard one with this setting, I would love to see more of it out there. I want to read a book set in Rome for all of the rich details. For centuries Rome was essentially the western world's epicenter --- think of all you can do with that! 

2.) Tudor England: I love it. When I was in high school I became obsessed with King Henry VIII after reading Philippa Gregory. I was convinced that Henry was the most misunderstood monarch ever, and I loved the complexities of his choices and their affects. I think he definitely had some issues -- and he definitely suffered from indecision. I do think there is something to be said for his need for a male heir when Elizabeth became arguably one of the greatest monarchs England ever had. I find it all fascinating, and I would love to see more. 

3.) Revolutionary America: There isn't much of this around at all, but I think it is something that could use some exploration. It could be on England's side, France's side, America's side, it doesn't matter to me. It just had some turmoil that would make a cool setting to be caught in the midst of. 

4.) The Medieval World: Knights were real. Can we start a kick starter to make this happen? 

5.) WW11 Germany: There was just so much happening, there are so many emotions to be explored that there can be many, many more before we even touch the surface. 

6.) Regency Era: I know there are a lot, but I can't get enough. I love the idea of having balls, and dancing with the Earl from Kent and what not. When I read Regency romances it is very easy to get caught up, which I love! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins [Book Review]

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: September 1, 2009

Sparks are igniting.Flames are spreading.And the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn.
I feel like the world loves this series, but as we have discussed before my love was slow to build and was only recently realized.

In this second installment I felt the characters come alive on a different level than they previously expressed in the first book. Katniss is much more aware of the responsibilities and the repercussions of her actions which gives good insight into the undercover world they live in.

The stakes are higher in this installment, and I read it not seeing a way out.

I enjoyed Collins' small hints throughout the book which lead to the final reveal. I found it fun to go back and think of the small hints and the build up with this one.

Katniss and Peeta's chemistry was every bit as wonderful for me, which brings me to one of the most important aspect of their relationship for me: I love their slowness. I love the fact that we don't have pages of make out sessions, and all kinds of perfection and happiness to sort through.

I know it sounds odd, but I love that things with them are rough. I love that Katniss battles with her emotions, and I love that Peeta is a steady rock, but not an overbearing one.

They live in a high stakes world, and I appreciate that their relationship takes a back burner, and I love how this second book doesn't over power the need for love.

Ultimately, The Hunger Games are becoming (one of) my favorite series and I'm still OBSESSED.

What about you guys, does Catching Fire hold all of the wonderful that The Hunger Games does for you? I know I have heard that the pacing throws some people off, but I appreciated it for its slow build. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine! 

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA print debut by Jen Malone, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.

Aubree Sadler can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop before their plan unravels, leaving her with an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t seem to help it.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

Do you guys see this? This is the kind of European adventure I can get behind and I am hoping it is as wonderful as I envision it to be!  

Friday, January 15, 2016

Let's Talk! If I Won the Power Ball: Bookish Things I Would Buy

Now, we all have heard by now that despite popular belief, I did not win the biggest power ball jackpot in the history of the world. 

However, if I had won - here are some of the things I would buy. 

1.) Home Library

I do have a room sorta, kinda dedicated to books but it looks nothing like this. I have four large bookshelves filled to the brim with books of mine, and honestly I have more books than my room can handle. My dream would be something like the above. In fact, I wouldn't even need to move if you could just build that for me in my current house. 

2.) Funk Pops

This one may seem kind of weird since these really aren't horribly expensive (generally) but when it comes to spending money on things I am kind of weird. I really love the Funko Pop trend and I think they're adorable - I just can't warrant spending the money on them because I want them all. Plus, the purpose they serve is to just exist. It truly is an aspect of my life the lottery would fix. 

3.) Audio Books

I really enjoy listening to audio books throughout my daily life, but I never want to pay for them. I never, ever, ever steal or download anything illegally. My audio books normally come from Kindle Unlimited or my local library, but since I am a Kindle junkie I can add audible narration to any book I have for no more than $5. 


Never. Even if I know I want to listen to it. So, if I won the power ball I would always buy the audiobook. 


4.) Pretty Things. 

As many of you know, the above picture is of Arwen's necklace from The Lord of the Rings. They sell these, some super cheap -- others for hundreds of dollars. If I won the power ball I would buy a good one and play dress up in the best of ways. 

5.) All the Books. 

I would buy so many books I wouldn't know what to do. I would need to fill up the massive home library after all, so might as well add as many as possible. I also would share the books I love with those around me. No longer would I fear to lend out my books to acquaintances due to fears of wrinkled pages and cracked spines -- I could buy them their own without any problem. 

I would make sure my local high schools  had all the good stuff (even the banned things I would sneak in) and I would generally just make sure that access was available so options aren't so limited like they were when I was in school. 

Providing books to people essentially feels like a way to save the world. 

What would you guys do with your power ball earnings? 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

February 2, 2016
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.
But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.
The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.
With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself? 

What are you waiting on this week?  

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 Releases I Meant to Get to but Didn't...

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This list is going to be depressing because there are way too many I just didn't get to! I have my excuses -- I was a college senior, I was just trying to graduate, but it makes this list no less depressing. 

Oh well, here's a go. 

On the bright side, I have a long list of books that need reading. 

What about you?

Were there any 2015 releases that you just haven't gotten to yet?

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