Wednesday, December 11, 2013

#Readingcram : Top Books I Read in 2013

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak
The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
Splintered by A.G. Howard

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Actually, these books (excluding Bloodlines) were the ONLY nine I rated 5 stars this year. Bloodlines was my best 4 star. Hopefully, I'll get a lot more 5 star winners in 2014.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Review: Up in Flames by Nicole Williams

Title: Up In Flames by Nicole Williams
Series: Stand-Alone
Released: December 19, 2012
Source: Nook Book
Genre: Contemporary/ Mature YA
Rating: 3/5

Summary from Goodreads:
One small town girl with a bright future. 
One smokejumper with a dark past. 
One summer that will forever change them both. 
They’re going . . .

Up In Flames. 

Elle’s life couldn’t possibly get any more small town than it already is. She was raised in the same home as the two generations before her were, her family owns the iconic downtown cafe, and she’s been dating the pastor’s son since she was allowed to go on her first date at sixteen. 

Cole’s life couldn’t possibly get any larger. He’s tried. Roaming from town to town for the past three summers as a smokejumper, Cole dreads the thought of putting down roots. The only thing he avoids more than that is settling down with one woman, especially when there are as many willing women as there are trees in the forest he jumps out of planes to save.

Elle Montgomery’s life is going one way. And Cole Carson’s is going the opposite. There’s no reason their paths should ever intersect, even in a small town in central Washington. 

But summer in the Methow Valley has other plans for Elle and Cole. After an awkward run-in at the local swimming hole, Elle tries to keep away from the guy who looks at her like she’s already lying beneath him in bed. She fails. Cole is about as successful at staying away from the girl who seems immune to his charms.

As the summer heats up, and tensions between Elle and Cole run high, he begins to realize there’s more he’s attracted to than Elle’s body, and she discovers there’s a lot more to the man that jumps out of planes into raging forest fires than meets the eye.

UP IN FLAMES is a New Adult Romance intended for mature readers due to steamy content and saucy language.
I am a huge fan of Nicole William's Crash series, but this one didn't impress me quite as much. It was a really entertaining and quick read, it was just missing that something to really make it stand out.

Basically, this is the story of Elle, whose life isn't really her own. She lives day after day doing whatever her father and boyfriend, Logan, ask of her. They pretty much make all her decisions and plans for her and she never questions them; she never really even thinks of questioning them. It's the summer after high school and Elle's future promises a marriage and settling down into family life with Logan... even though Elle secretly sent out a bunch of college applications. And then she meets Cole.

Cole is a sexy smoke-jumper and the complete opposite of Logan. He comes to town, shakes up Elle's world and makes her questions everything about her life.

Lots of angst and drama ensues.

I liked this book, and like I said before, it flowed nicely and was very entertaining, it just lacked a certain depth. Elle and Cole seemed much more lusty to me then crazily in-love and they had only known each other a very short time anyway. I had no issues believing their lust for each other, but I did have issues believing their love.

If you're usually a fan of the new adult genre I'd recommend Up in Flames. All the elements are there; girl figuring out who she is in the world, abnormally hot guy, and lots of steamy scenes.

Enjoyed it, but wasn't blown away.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday: New and Unusual Things in 2013

hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
Tell us at least one new or unusual thing you’ve done in 2013.

Well, the biggest "new" thing I've done this year was start nursing school. Which in itself leads to many more new things and I guess even usual things. But because of laws and stuff I can't really talk about that stuff on here.

Another new thing I did earlier in the year was volunteer at my local humane society. One of the most fun and awesome experiences ever. Also, further sealing my obsession with cats!

Oh, and I started working as a CNA for the first time, too! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

2014 TBR Pile Challenge

I'm participating in the 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge!
All of the information can be found here
My goal is to read between 21-30 books from my TBR pile. (Any books NOT published in 2014.)
This puts me at the "First Kiss" level.
My bookshelf and Nook are full of books needing to be read and I have quite a few on my Kindle app too. I have a whole system in place to get through all these books though and this challenge should be a lot of fun!
Good luck to everyone participating! <3

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Bangin': Contemporary Boys!

Contemporary fiction has some AWESOME book boyfriends. Here's some of my favorites:

Daniel from Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover: Because, seriously, funny & smart-ass guys are the best guys!
“It feels sort of euphoric, like we're in some sort of fairytale. Like she's Tinkerbell and I'm Peter Pan. No, wait. I don't want to be Peter Pan. Maybe she can be like Cinderella and I'll be her Prince Charming. Yeah, I like that fantasy better. Cinderella's hot when she's all poor and sweaty and slaving over the stove.” 
Holder from Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover: (Sorry, but she writes really hot boys!)
“I wonder if it's possible for people to fall in love with a person one characteristic at a time, or if you fall for the entire person at once.”

Jude from Crash by Nicole Williams: I've been swooning over him for the whole series!
“How does a guy like you promise someone forever at eighteen?”
“Easy,” he said, pressing a soft kiss into the corner of my mouth. “He finds a girl like you.” 
Matt from Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park: Probably one of my favorite book boys of all-time. I just have a thing for the geeky ones!
“I did it, Finn. I did it. I was ready to jump, and now she’s jumping with me.” 
Beau from The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines. This doesn't even need explanation.

And for the hottie of the month:

COLE from Up In Flames by Nicole Williams 
Because he jumps out of planes to fight forest fires, duh!

Book Review: Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak

Title: Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak
Series: The Airship Racing Chronicles #1
Released: December 4, 2013
Source: Won through giveaway
Genre: Adult Steampunk
Rating: 5/5

Summary from Goodreads:
An opium-addicted beauty.
An infamous poet living in self-imposed exile.
An ancient treasure about to fall into the wrong hands.

Melanie Karsak's Chasing the Star Garden takes readers on a thrilling adventure from the gritty opium dens of gaslamp London to the gem-colored waters of the ancient world. Lily Stargazer, a loveable but reckless airship racer with a famous lover and shattered past, reluctantly plunges into a centuries-old mystery in a romantic adventure best described as Dan Brown meets Mary Shelley.

It all begins on one of the worst days of Lily’s life. She just lost the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix. To top it off, a harlequin fleeing from constables shoved a kaleidoscope down her pants, told her to fly to Venice, then threw himself from her airship tower. What’s a girl to do? For Lily, the answer is easy: drink absinthe and smoke opium. 

Lily’s lover, Lord Byron, encourages her to make the trip to Venice. Lily soon finds herself at the heart of an ancient mystery which has her running from her past and chasing true love and the stars along the way.
Okay, I know that no book is perfect, but I love absolutely everything about this one. I mean, read that synopsis! It's everything that it claims to be and so much more. This is my first time reading this author and this genre so I had no idea what to expect, but what I got was awesome! I was hooked from the first page and did not want to put it down.

I really enjoyed the writing. A lot of traveling and adventure takes place and the scenery gets set up fantastically. I had no problems imagining these foreign places, that I've never been to personally, in their historic setting. In fact, it was quite like I got to travel right along with these characters as well.

What we also get is a great crew of characters. I loved Lily as a main character and I was rooting for her the entire time; to finish her quest and find love. <3 (And yes, the romance, while not a main role in this story, is very good and realistic! Not rushed, fake, or over-the-top!)

My favorite thing about this book was the adventure, mystery, and mythology all rolled into one and the excellent way it was carried out. The plot moves along so smoothly and quickly that you can easily read for hours and not even realize it. Major points for no slow moments and no fluff! Just plain good writing and a wonderfully entertaining story!

I highly recommend!

Amazing! I'd make time to re-read it!
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