Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gayle Forman's "Just One Year"

Oh Gayle. You sure do know how to tug at a person's hearstrings! This follow-up and conclusion to "Just One Day" is as awesome as you expect, but it did stress me out a little. I did enjoy JOD more than JOY, mostly because I liked Allyson's journey so much and identified with it a lot, and JOY is stressful will they/won't they stuff.

From Goodreads:

Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.

Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began....

When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .

The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.

This book is William's journey to find his Lulu, to find himself. We learn why he wasn't there when she woke up, and we learn all about his life. We learn that, while he is a bit flawed (a womanizer), he is, at heart, a really good guy. He is lost and lonely, and he uses traveling and girls to forget himself, to escape from his life, to avoid confronting his problems. This book chronicles his journey - across the world, to find himself - and it's a really good read. I tried to read it really slowly to make it last. 

Just a tiny selection of my favorite quotes - you should see how many post it notes I have in this book, marking favorite places. 

I wait more. I am adrenaline slammed into inertia: a fast car stuck in traffic.

Sometimes the wind blows you places you weren't expecting; sometimes it blows you away from those places, too.

"...I remember feeling a jolt. As if the universe was saying: pay attention."

"To dream is the ultimate dare"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sabrina Elkins' "Stir Me Up"

From Goodreads:

Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….

I admit it, I wanted to read this book because Pepe (and is that Sztella?) is on the cover. Blame Jennifer Armentrout. :) I received a digital copy of this book to review from NetGalley.

This book is a perfectly acceptable quick read. However, as a vegan, I feel compelled to state that this book mentions two of the cruelest animal based foods, veal and foie gras. If I'd known that ahead of time, that probably would have been enough for me to avoid it. That may seem silly, but I have hundreds of books on my TBR list, there's no need to waste time reading something that promotes cruelty. 

That being said, this book was definitely interesting enough to make me keep reading - I've read a few books lately that can't even compel me to finish them, so this is a definite plus. The characters were interesting and original and the story was good as well. Unfortunately, there are a few small quirks in the beginning 1/3 to 1/2 of the book that could have been fixed with editing - some of the scene transitions aren't really there and it's hard to figure out what just happened. There are also a few spots where I feel like some extra detail would be helpful.

So, if you aren't a vegan and you need a quick read, go for it!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Katie McGarry's "Crash Into You"

The newest addition to Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limit series is, quite frankly, the best yet. This book, Crash Into You, is available on November 26, 2013.

I read the 2nd book in the series, Dare You To, when I received it as an ARC. At the time I didn't realize it was the 2nd in a series, but luckily reading them out of order didn't mess me up in any way, though reading them all in order would clearly be best, in the interest of character building, and more time to love the characters. 

I loved Dare You To (DYT) and followed up by reading Pushing the Limits (PTL) and then the novella Crossing the Line (CTL), all of which I loved. Because of my love of the first 2 books and the novella, I was really excited for Crash Into You (CIY). I was so anxious for CIY that as soon as I saw it on NetGalley, I requested it and then crossed my fingers and luckily, Harlequin Teen approved me (hurray!). Of course I'll be buying my own print copy any day now (so I can snuggle with Isaiah in bed - don't tell my husband, okay?;). 

From Goodreads:

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane 

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind. 

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. 

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

In CIY we get to learn more about the wonderful Isaiah, the tough guy who's trying to recover from so much heartbreak, including the girl he thought he loved choosing another (see DYT). Because of this, he's closed himself off a little more than before, saying "I gave the girl everything inside of me and she still walked" (sniff!). 

On that note, here's Bastille's "These Streets," because Isaiah feels like he has to leave some important things behind, now that Beth has left him. A snippet from the lyrics:

These streets are yours, you can keep themIn my mind it's like you haunt themAnd passing through I think I see youIn the shapes of other women

So Isaiah. Poor beautiful, tortured Isaiah. Feeling all alone in the world. Acting like the tough guy even though he's hurting inside. He runs into Rachel Young (book #4 is about her brother, West), who's trying to escape her woes by racing away from them. They meet at a drag race! Stuff happens. He tries to stay away so the bad guy doesn't find her, it doesn't work. They come to each other's rescue! Nice. This book, like Ms. McGarry's other books, illustrates the importance of not judging a book by it's cover (but only when it comes to people, because, quite frankly, I believe in judging a book by it's cover when it comes to books, but her books pass this test as well with the pretty people on the covers), and of letting other people in to help you.

Cons - man, I hate at least 1/2 of Rachel's family - but that's sort of the point - no one ever really has it all, even if it looks like they do. Also, the part of the book I won't mention. 

For a brief startling few seconds, his forever-roaming gray eyes meet mine and I see it - seventeen. Within them is a small shred of the same vulnerability that consumes and strangles me.

Maybe her life is more complicated than I thought.

Rachel is the opposite of Beth with her brilliant smile and joyous laughter. A beam of light. Even when I was into her, Beth was nothing but darkness. 
And the fabulous Erik Hassle's "Are You Leaving," for Isaiah's insecure side.

And a more obvious song choice, for those of us who were teens in the 90s.

Go, read, enjoy!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Elizabeth Norris' "Unbreakable"

In May of this year I read Elizabeth Norris' "Unraveling," and as it was a Fringe/X-Files/Veronica Mars sort of story, I was a big fan. It took way too long, but my library finally got in a copy of the second and last book in the series (though there is a novella, "Undone," which focuses on Ben's story. If you read this series, read "Undone" in the middle of the two stories).

I like when I can look at a book cover and be reasonably sure about who each person is, so I'm going to say that, from left to right, this is Taylor Barclay, Janelle, Ben, and Cecily. It's also sort of Matrix-y, which I like.

From Goodreads:

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

I'd read something about this book that made me think it wouldn't be as enjoyable as the first, but I didn't find that at all. I do think this book wasn't quite as good, but I think that most 1st books are better than their follow ups (especially in the case of the 2nd book in a trilogy, because those are basically just traumatic, but this is a duet. And a half.) If you enjoyed the first book, definitely read this one. It's a nice conclusion (certainly better than the WTF HTF Fringe finale...). Also, I really like Janelle - she is strong and brave and kind. Certainly better than Katniss.


He squeezes lightly, and the look on his face is my undoing. His eyes are soft and the lines on his face express concern and worry - they say are you okay? I struggle to keep my emotions under control, keep the sting in my eyes from turning into tears. The truth is, sometimes it all feels like it's too much, like I can't take it anymore, like I don't know how to keep living like this.

My dad told me fear was just an emotion, something we felt when we thought someone or something was dangerous. He said it was empty as the air, and the only way to deal with it was to confront the danger with a plan to minimize it.

(I might change my video pick later . . .) 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Huntley Fitzpatrick's "My Life Next Door"

THIS BOOK. I love it. I saw the cover, knew I had to read it, and was really excited when my library actually had a copy. THIS BOOK! It's so good - I'm buying my own copy. I told my friend Becca to read it - she loves it too! That's good, that means I can keep her as a friend, because I LOVE THIS BOOK. It probably helps that the author, Huntley Fitzpatrick, is a good find New England woman like myself, and that this book is based in Connecticut, the state of my birth.

From Goodreads:

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

The thing about books I really love is that sometimes my words feel inadequate. I can tell you that I love this book, that Jase is my new favorite book boyfriend (along with Levi from "Fangirl," of course), that I wish I knew these people, that I want them in my life, but that doesn't really convey the awesomeness of this book. It is beautiful and touching and heart warming and then something bad happens (a total Jodi Meadows moment for me in that "bad things happen") and I thought I knew what was coming. I didn't. I almost spoiled the book for Becca before she even read it. (Also, you should go read her review - she is more specific than my random rantings of love.)

Okay, I'll focus on my new book boyfriend, Jase, who is, quite possibly, the perfect guy. He just sort of appears in Samantha's life one day and he fully integrates her into his life, his family. His family is big, warm, crazy, and is everything her family isn't. He's perfect, they're all perfect. 

Quote time!

The Garrets were my bedtime story, long before I ever thought I'd be part of the story myself.

"It's a good idea to keep your eye on the guys who think they know the one true path," Jase says reflectively. "They might just mow you down if you're in their way."

Jase nods slowly, looking at me. Everything he does seems so thought-out and purposeful. I'm used to boys just sort of hurling themselves through life, I guess.

"You seem," Jase observes, "to know a lot of annoying people. I'm just me, Samantha."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cover Reveal - Jennifer Armentrout's "Don't Look Back"

You know I love me some JLA! Here's a peek at her upcoming book. It's a standalone, which is great, especially since Jennifer loves to slay us with her cliff hangers :) Jennifer posted about this reveal on her blog.

Coming April 15, 2014

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all - popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her - even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory - someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Pre-order this book! From Amazon or from Barnes & Noble

About the Author

#1 NEW YORK Times Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you've heard about her state aren't true. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Terrier, Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Jennifer on Social Media

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cover Reveal - Chelsea Cameron's "For Real"

For Real by Chelsea M. Cameron

Coming in November 2013


Two people. One fake relationship. What could go wrong?
When virgin Shannon Travers gets fed up with her friends demanding that she find a boyfriend, she enlists the help of tattooed, mohawk-rocking graphic design student Jett. He’s more than happy to play along with their Fake Relationship, including the Ten Rules of Fake Dating that control-freak Shannon comes up with. Even if he likes to violate them. Repeatedly.
But what happens when Fake Dating starts to feel… not fake anymore? Will Shannon be willing to let go and embrace the first thing in her life that’s ever felt REAL?

Chelsea is giving away 3 crane-charm bracelets, inspired by the book, and 5 handmade paper cranes (created and signed by Chelsea!). There are 8 total winners! This contest is international.  

Author Information

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel; and Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, Listen coming out in 2014.