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Friday, May 30, 2014

Feature & Follow (#2)

How important is good writing to you? In an ideal world, a book would be beautifully written AND have great character development, plot, etc. But in the real world, which do you prefer: (1) Great Characters and plot with lousy writing or (2) Middling character development and plot but gorgeous writing?

Ooooohhhhhhhh.....This is a hard one. I seriously don't know how to answer this question. 

but I think I'm going to have to go with.....option number....I DONT KNOW. why such a hard question?!....

ok, ok, *flails* option number 1...I think. 

I think plot and character development are the most important things in a book for me. 
because no matter how well it's written, if the content sucks, i'm going to feel dissatisfied at the end. 
whereas if I see great plot and character, then I can chalk the writing up to inexperience or style or something.

But gosh, I'm such a sucker for prose too.... (I'm thinking of Shatter Me right now...) 

I guess that's my final answer. I'd rather have content than great writing. *shudders* I can't believe I had to decide between the two.

What about you? What book has the most attractive prose you've ever read? or the most fantastic character development?

(Be a dear and follow others on the hop!)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don't Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein

In this contemporary retelling of Rapunzel, seventeen-year-old Anya leads a secluded life in a house on the edge of town with her adopted mother. She doesn't go to public school, doesn't even have a best friend. But Anya doesn't seem to mind. She has her books, her photography, and her daydreams and would do anything to please her mom.
Until one day at the library, the only place Anya is allowed to go alone, she takes a picture of a beautiful boy. Before long she's lying to her mom, and sneaking out to meet Zander. But Zander wants more than a secret romance. If Anya wants to be with the boy of her dreams, she's going to have to risk her relationship with the only other person she's ever cared about.
Awwwww, this book is so adorable! Even better, the novel is exactly what is says it is. It's a light, no muss- no fuss Rapunzel retelling. I have no idea what i'm going to say in this review because there isn't anything for me to really analyze or dissect. it just is what it is. 

I enjoyed Anya and her original naivete, I love the detailing in her character, what her favorite color is, what her hobbies are, what she looked liked as a child....everything is just so perfect. It's done in this novel, without being overdone.

the ending is contemporary fairytale too. Further, I understand Anya's complex feelings for her mother. I understand that need to please some one who will never be pleased. One day, I hope to have an ending like Anya.

And maybe, a guy like Zander too. I mean, he takes her out for cupcakes.... I could would definitely go out with a guy that would buy me cupcakes and go stargazing..... and kissing in the forest.

but I digress. 

All in all, if you're looking for a halt the presses dystopian this is not your novel. 
BUUUuuut, if your looking for a pleasant page turner, with shades of Rapunzel, this is definitely for you. 
I give it four stars.

Add it to your Goodreads list!

Torn Away

You can purchase the book here:

About the Author:
Rachel Schieffelbein

Rachel grew up in a tiny town in Minnesota. She still lives there, with her husband and their four kids. She coaches high school speech and theater, rides Arabian horses, reads as much as she can, and writes stories.

Find her here!

Click the button below to view the other lovely ladies' posts!

This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review, as a part of YA BOUND book Tours. 
It didn't in any way influence my opinion of the book.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Liebster Award!

This award is given to those who have less than 300 followers. You're suppose to give 11 facts about yourself and then answer 11 questions that the person that nominated you asked, and then you nominate other bloggers. I was awarded by Casey at Story Notions. I don't know what questions I'm going to ask yet, or who i'm going to pick, but I'll update this post when I do.

The Rules:

  •  List 11 facts about yourself. 
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you. 
  • Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers. 
  • You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you. 
  • Go to their blog and tell them that they have been nominated!

Eleven facts:

  • I love animals I have a cat, four dogs, and three horses, plus, I count my grandmother's two dogs and three cats as my own as well. We really do love animals, and all but two of our animals are rescues!
  • I'm training to be a silhouette artist. You know, like the ones at Disneyland. It's grueling work, and it isn't easy, but practice makes perfect!
  • I have a part-time job as a medical biller
  • I'm going to college for art - I'm just getting my gen eds done at the moment
  • I miss my Nanny. My grandmother died in September and I miss her so much I cry when I make scrambled eggs sometimes or see something light blue.
  • My dad is my best friend. He always gives me hugs and tells me he loves me! He takes me places I need to go, and he helps me out when i'm struggling emotionally. 
  • I have a stuffed unicorn collection - they're adorable. Who doesn't like unicorns?!
  • My first book review was a really, really, really negative one.
  • I'm working on being less of a harsh critic.
  • I love Disneyland. I would live there if I could. Dole whips and churros everybody!
  • I'm going to ALA in just a short month! I went to BEA once, but ALA is superior, so I go to ALA instead.
Eleven Questions to Answer:
When did you start blogging? And why did you start?

I started book blogging in 2010. I started because my little sister's best friend joked "You should be one of those people they list on the back of the books, you'd be good at it." We laughed and continued eating our mexican food. But I got really sick at summer camp and her words kept bouncing in my head. With all my sick downtime my dad thought it would be a good thing for me. 
We knew nothing about blogs or anything, so I started out with a really tiny website. The thing just grew from there!

What's the last book you reread? And why did you reread it?

I last reread Doon by Carey Corp and Laurie Langdon. I reread it, because I felt like rereading a book with romantic Scotsmen in it. (with a strong female character.)

Favorite TV/movie? (that isn't based on a book)

The Amazing Spiderman, definitely. OH, or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Although, I guess both of those are based off of comic books. I'm just going to pretend that these qualify. If they don't, then I'd say The Mentalist is my favorite show. 

Book/series that changed/influenced your life the most.

The Shadowed Unicorn by Shiela Kelly Welch. It was the first book I picked up on my own and I actually got up at 3 in the morning to finish reading.  Also, it was a library book, so my first library book is important to me as well.

Fandoms you're apart of and your 'favorite'.

Oh, gosh. Agents of Shield, Marvel in general, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Sherlock, Harry Potter, Warehouse 13, Percy Jackson, Fullmetal Alchemist.... I think those are my major ones. I don't think I have a favorite. Harry Potter was my first real fandom, so perhaps that's my favorite just for sentimentality's sake.

Hogwarts house. 

Ravenclaw. Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure! CAW CAW!

Weird reading habits or needs to be able to read?

Pretty much just a book. Although my favorite thing would be my favorite homemade blanket (ITS  SO SOFT) and a bunch of pillows.

Favorite book that was, at some point, 'required reading' for any reason.

Where The Red Fern Grows. It makes me cry, everytime, and it is so beautiful. it was required reading in fourth grade and it was amazing.

What is your OTP(couple you most like/want together)? And what is your NOTP(two characters you should never be together romantically, in your opinion)?

I have so many OTP's that I'm not sure I have an OTP anymore. Ed and Winry evokes some pretty strong OTP feels, but I don't know, there are a lot of others.....OH!! FItzSimmons is definitely one of my top OTP's. They are just so adorable together. Or, Jane and Lisbon. I've always wanted them to be together and now they are. but my NOTP - is flat our Harry and Hermione. It just shouldn't ever happen. Ever. NOPE.

Do you like ebooks? How often do you read one? Do you have an ereader?

ebooks are ok, I read a few a week probably, I have a kindle. but I mostly read netgalleys and things of that sort on it. I get a lot of freebie ebooks on it.

What author, whose alive, do you most wish to meet and why?

J.K. Rowling. She's influenced millions of lives, including mine. I think she's a genius author and I would like a glimpse in to her infinite mind....

Waiting on Wednesday #2

I'm doing something a little different this wednesday!

I learned that I have an icky hospital visit tomorrow, but the good news is, when that happens, my dad takes me to my favorite place to eat, and then the bookstore.

I like just wandering in and seeing what catches my eye, but what books would you recommend?

I'm kind of in a summer book kind of mood, but i'm game for just about anything.

I'll be listening to your suggestions!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home. 
Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain. 
Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me. I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Wow. I didn't know quite what to expect when I decided to participate in the tour, but this wasn't it. In a good way.

One thing that's immediately notable, is the darkness. This novel is potentially the darkest I've ever read. but it had a light at the end of the tunnel and it had it's tissue moments.The book was wonderfully written, with great, varied cast of characters whom brilliantly brought the focus of the novel up to the front.

The focus of course, is emotion. (Which I wasn't expecting when I picked it up.)
and boy, is it wrought with emotion.

mostly low emotions, and whew! some spicy ones involving Cole, her guard and love interest. I adored some of the fuzzier moments. here's an teaser from one of my favorite fuzzies:

Heavy clouds, pregnant with water, drip, drip, drip down the windowsill. Zeus lies on the floor. I guess he was too hot on the bed overnight. Cole wraps around me, his warm breath caressing the back of my neck each time he exhales. We're so close, but at the same time, not close enough. While he's pressed against me, I trace the outline of his arm with my fingertips. His skin feels like silk, but it's firm at the same time. A sigh escapes his lips. I wiggle around some, and eventually he stirs, releasing his grip. He grumbles something like an apology and rolls over. Dang.         I shake him. "Hey, I hate to have to wake you, but you better get your butt in gear or you'll be late for roll call." I take the opportunity to touch his hair and rub my fingers down his faded haircut. He moans. "I'll never get up if you keep doing that." Oops. 
Cole is somewhat of a wild card. He enters, and leaves the stage with all the other characters at the end of the novel, without ever revealing exactly who he is and why he's been ordered to protect Lexi. I might have some guesses for that last question, but I'm not willing to believe until I see for sure.

I loved Lexi's unwavering determination to survive (something which she lacked at the very moment we met her.) and I LOVED ZEUS. He's an adorable, gawky dog, who steals the spotlight on a few occasions. He certainly stole my heart!

My only hangups for this novel:
 1) It was so so so dark. I have depression issues, so I had to put it down a few times to recoup myself. Although the novel ended on a good note, a LOT of bad things happen to Lexi throughout the novel.

 2) Cole, freakin Cole. Why was he so cruel in the beginning? How did Lexi come to terms with those past behaviors? I suppose it was just in case the Commander was watching, but his unexplained back story leaves a little to be desired. (perhaps a novella some where could help with this.) His transition from cruel guard to loving rebel was a bit blurry or rocky. What made him make those decisions when he did?

anyway, the good absolutely outweighs the bad I think. One of the best moments written in this book, is Lexi's relationship with Alyssa. I can't give you any other deets on that, because it would be too spoilery. But ultimately, even with the sadness and depression themes, I give it four stars.

Have you ever read a really depressing book, that totally made you bow down and respect it anyway? (or love it anyway?) (it's okay to respond with TFIOS, I understand *pats your back* mightier beings than you have been struck down with that one.)

Add the book to your goodreads!

Torn Away

Buy the book here!

About the authors:

Abi Ketner

Is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.

Melissa Kalicicki
Received her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan.

Follow them Here:

Release Day Blitz: Perfectly Messy by Lizzy Charles with Giveaway

Welcome to the Release Day Blitz for

Perfectly Messy (Effortless With You #2) by Lizzy Charles

presented by Swoon Romance!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Popularity isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota’s next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.
But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren’t enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin’s dad’s gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.
For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.
Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.

add to goodreadsPerfectly Messy by Lizzy Charles
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Available for Purchase:Amazon | Kobo | Chapters Indigo
Lizzy Charles
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Effortless With You
add to goodreads
Effortless With You (Effortless With You #1)
by Lizzy Charles
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Teaser Tuesday - Fat Boy vs. The Cheerleaders

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

Participation is really simple. 

Grab your current read
Share two sentences (NO SPOILERS)
Include the name and author of the book, in case others want to add it to their TBRs.

My two sentences are great! hahaha

And she kicks her legs like a sexy pony, and pretty soon we're all convinced we love her because we love lush-haired, spring-smelling ponies, because that's what the good life looks like on my computer, right? That's what the girls on advertising look like.
Ok, so maybe it just sounds crazy out of context and maybe none of you laughed. but you definitely would if you knew what this was all about.

anywhooo, I leave you alone now...well, not entirely, I have a blog tour post publishing later today, but you get the point.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Sunday Post #1

I'm sure if you've followed me in the past few days, you've noticed that I've accelerated my blogging. Part of that is due to meme's.

I'm in the process of converting my website to blogger, which gives me the wonderful opportunity to participate in memes!!

(I get really, really, really excited about this....)

So here's my first Sunday Post.

This meme is pretty flexible for it's content, so i'm going to use it as a kind of newspaper. What interesting things did I see this week? (like other blogger's posts) and also use it to look towards the future of the blog. What new things are coming? that sort of thing.

What's upcoming?                                                                               

I'll start with something big: 
A new blog design should be in within the next week or two!! Exciting, right?!!?!? *flails*
I'll have a new star rating system (ooooohh, ahhhh, I've never had one of those before!) and a beautiful, beautiful new theme created by Leah Christine designs. 

I won't share much more than that though, because I want to keep the suspense....
but I'll even have a MASCOT. ISN'T THAT AWESOME?!?

Upcoming Tours                                                                                  

My post date is the 27th so be on the lookout for this bombshell book's review
(Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki)

I also have another tour date on the 29th for Don't Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein 


Parajunkee did a wonderful post this week: Building Confidence as a Blogger
I know I struggle with some of this issues big time! All bloggers should read this post....

In other news Casey gave me the Liebster Award! So my post on that will be on Wednesday. Isn't it so cute!!!
That's so going on my sidebar.

2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge

Phantasmic Reads

Here are all the deets:
  • The 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge runs from January 1st until December 31st, 2014
  • Sign-ups will remain open until December 31st, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
  • Grab one of the buttons to show off your participation! Parajunkee did a great job with them!
  • You DO NOT have to have a blog to join this challenge. You just need to have some books received for review and a place online to review them
  • Create a sign-up post announcing your intention to participate and link up below. If you do not have a blog, you can link up to your Goodreads profile that shows your 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge shelf
  • Please link back to the hosts in your sign-up posts
  • This challenge is to help clear up books you’ve received for review. Any format, or any length, as long as you received the book specifically for review, is allowed.
  • There will be a kick-off post on January 1, 2014 at both Fiktshun andPhantasmic Reads where you’ll be able to leave your links for any January reviews. (No 2013 reviews) At the beginning of every month, starting in February, these posts will alternate between both blogs. (See schedule below)
  • If you forgot to leave your review link in the challenge month in which you reviewed the book or the linky list closed before you had a chance to leave it, you can leave it in a future month. (No duplicates.)
  • There will also be monthly giveaways – make sure you check in each month!
  • Use the hashtag #RPRC2014 to share your progress and connect with other participants on Twitter

The monthly RPRC schedule:
January 1 – Kick-off at Fiktshun and Phantasmic Reads – January Reviews
February 1 - Fiktshun – February Reviews
March 1 – Phantasmic Reads – March Reviews
April 1 – Fiktshun – April Reviews
May 1 – Phantasmic Reads – May Reviews
June 1 – Fiktshun – June Reviews
July 1 – Phantasmic Reads – July Reviews
August 1 – Fiktshun – August Reviews
September 1 – Phantasmic Reads – September Reviews
October 1 – Fiktshun – October Reviews
November 1 – Phantasmic Reads – November Reviews
December 1 – Fiktshun – December Reviews
January 1, 2015 – Wrap-up at Fiktshun and Phantasmic Reads + Giveaway

I'm aiming for the Grand Master level (31-40) books. Lord knows I have at least that many to read.
I'm a little late to the party, but ah well, I'll just start now and challenge myself.

I'm pretty sure all bloggers could use this challenge. We always have things to read! I know I always feel "Behind."
How about you?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Feature Follow (#1)

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've done this quite a few times, but the one that stands out the most is probably my first one.

It was a recommendation to my little sister's best friend. She HATED reading with a passion, and I convinced her to read Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman. I knew that the interactive style would hook her. 

She LOVED it, even if she was semi-terrified of the videos. She's gone on to read a few other series I've recommended to her. She's not an avid reader now, but she does read for fun sometimes. 

That was the whole goal! To get her to see the fun in reading. Mission accomplished!

How about you, what was your first recommmend?
Be a dear and follow some more people on the hop!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

Born and raised in the Midwest, Jersey Cameron knows all about tornadoes. Or so she thinks. When her town is devastated by a twister, Jersey survives -- but loses her mother, her young sister, and her home. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she's sent to live with her only surviving relatives: first her biological father, then her estranged grandparents.In an unfamiliar place, Jersey faces a reality she's never considered before -- one in which her mother wasn't perfect, and neither were her grandparents, but they all loved her just the same. Together, they create a new definition of family. And that's something no tornado can touch.
I'm not usually one for contemporary novels (although a few are amongst my all-time favs), but the idea of creating your own family from tragedy resonates with me, so I took a leap of  faith and joined the blog tour.

This book was amazing. It gripped me from the start and just pulled me a long with the story. I really identify with Jersey, as I've found myself in a few similar situations. She struggled with hopelessness, grief, and displacement. I can sense her long journey a head to deal with her panic and loss. This book brings reality to readers, and confronts the truth that most have to adapt in the face of tragedy.  If I had to describe the book in one word, it would be RAW.

The way it was written was also a plus. It was beautiful, real and  raw. She writes with a rare symmetry that I adore. (I don’t find it often enough in novels.) I loved how Jersey learned, and dealt with lies uncovered. I reacted similarly when I discovered an important family secret. I wonder if Jennifer has ever gone through something similar, because it. was. just. so. real. 

I absolutely recommend this book. However, I would not recommend it to depressed people, as there is practically no light in this novel. I found it very depressing, but put it in context. Often, you can’t impact readers unless heavy weight is thrown around. If you aren't depressed, I would absolutely recommend this novel. I know I'll cherish this one for a long while.

Add the book to your To-Reads list!

Torn Away

About the Author:
Jennifer grew up in a Kansas City-area suburb called Lee's Summit, and she's proud of her rural Midwest heritage. There is a lot of adventure there. Growing up, she spent lots of time battling sweat bees and playing King of the Mountain on a family farm, building pretend worlds with neighborhood friends, and setting out on long, sibling-battling road trips.She believes that those were the moments that helped her develop an imagination that could sweep her away. To this day, she loves adventure, and is easily talked into hurtling herself down rivers in rafts and down mountains on bicycles.

Follow her here!

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