Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Why it was hard? I read this in high school, by choice, because at the time I was really into classics. Except this one. I know a lot of people love this book, so don't hate me. I just had an awful time slugging through it, and this was before I DNF'd.

The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
Why it was hard? Well I loved this book. LOVED IT. But the emotional turmoil it cast upon my heart was awful.
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simon
Why it was hard? Again with the emotional turmoil. Seriously, tears for days.

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Why it was hard? Great book, but the subject matter was tough. If you've read this one, you know what I am talking about.

My Sister's Keeper
by Jodi PicoultWhy it was hard? Again the subject matter. I just wanted to scream at all these characters through the whole book, Just, ugh.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Why it was hard? Everything! I was curious what the fuss was about. You know that phrase? Yeah, curiosity killed the cat. Well, this killed Kelley's brain cells. No offense intended to those who loved this. Just not for me.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Why it was hard? I REALLY wanted to love this book. So bad. And I didn't. And I read the entire thing anyway hoping and hoping I'd get into it. And I just didn't.

The Stranger by Albert Camus
Why it was hard? This was an assignment for AP English Lit. I know I read it. I was passed all the quizzes and wrote the papers. But at this time I can't tell you a single characters name or a single thing that happened. All I can tell you is existentialism. 

And eight is all I have. I am pretty good at DNF'ing the books I'm not feeling now, it takes a lot to get me super emotional, and I don't read very many "tough issue" books.  But if you'd like to recommend some tear your heart out books go ahead! Love those!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I Recommend: Christian Historical Fiction Series

One genre I really love is historical Christian fiction. Especially series. I haven't read one in a long, long, time because of blogging and all the amazing YA books, romances, etc that I have found. I used to read a lot of these though, and I thought today I would share a few of my favorites, just in case anyone else maybe interested. But really, this ended up being me really trying to sell Janette Oke, haha!

Love Comes Softy series by Janette Oke (8 books)
These books are set in the pioneer west (with a very Little House kind of feel) and follow Clark and Marty Davis (and their children) as they struggle through all the challenges of that time period and environment. These are quick books and I read the whole series in maybe two weeks in high school. Oh, and a few of them are also made into movies now, as well. Definitely one of my favorite series across all genres.

The Canadian West Saga by Janette Oke (6 Books)
Another one of my all time favorite series. I read this in high school as well and the story still sticks with me. This one follows a woman named Elizabeth, who takes a teaching job in the Canadian frontier. A whole new world for her, considering she was raised in city-life on the East Coast. I read all of these books in just a few days. I devoured this story!

A Prairie Legacy by Janette Oke (4 Books)
ALMOST as good as Love Comes Softly. This series falls Marty and Clark's granddaughter, Virginia. I can see this appealing to YA fans because it's a coming-age-story for Virginia. Shes really trying to find out who she is and her place in the world and how she fits in with her family and her friends. 

Abram's Daughter series by Beverly Lewis
This one set off my love for Amish stories! This one follows for Amish sisters. Another coming-of-age type story for the YA fans. I don't want to give too much away though! All of the series definitely focus on a love story, which may also be appealing for the romance fans. I would honesty give all these series an overall five, for sure! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Published by Dutton
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last? 
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. 
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

I have to say, as much as I liked the other two books, this is by far my favorite of the three. I honestly had an actual smile plastered on my face during 80% of this story! Definitely worth the wait.

One of the reasons I connected to this book a little more than the other two was the main character, Isla. I saw more of myself at that age in Isla then I did with Anna or Lola which made me able to understand Isla's motivations and emotions. I loved being able to experience the magic of falling in love for the first time with Isla.

The story starts out on a rainy night in Manhattan. Under the influence of some meds from her recent wisdom teeth removal, Isla gets the courage to speak to her long-time crush, Josh, when she sees him sitting alone in a restaurant. They talk for awhile and he ends of drawing her and then taking her home because she's a little too loopy to get there herself. They don't see each other again until school starts back up in Paris.

Eek, I loved the descriptions of Paris. And Barcelona. And even Manhattan. Isla and Josh were just a freakin' amazing couple! They balanced each other out so well and they really needed each other. Isla was too used to only have her one friend, Kurt, and Josh was alone from all of his friends graduating already and they found each other at the perfect time. Josh with his entire future planned out gave Isla, who had no clue how where her future was leading,  that little push out of her shell.

I am having a hard time writing this review, because really, all I can say is that it's beyond adorable. I read this book in pretty much one sitting and it just made me so happy. I immediately had to run and give my fiance a huge hug after the last page because I remember when that was us. So, you know, this was pretty much a perfect book for me. In my opinion, no flaws. Loved it from first page to last. From the crush, to the falling in love, to the challenges and the character growth, it all made my heart swell with the goodness.

5 out of 5

Friday, September 19, 2014

DNF... Lately

If there's one thing I hate, it's DNF'ing books. I want to love every single book I start, but sometimes that just isn't the case. My TBR pile is so out of control that I just don't have the time to spend on books I'm not really enjoying. So I'm not going to review the following books, per se, I'll just explain what made me not able to continue with them.

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre
This was my first book by the author and I was so excited to read it. The summary sounded so good. The first chapter was good, but then by the second and third I knew this book wasn't going to be for me. I just couldn't get with the MC's personality and her way of speaking and then after she gets made perfect I disliked her even more. I couldn't keep going, personally, but I know this has been a hit for a lot of readers and I am happy for that.

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
Actually, this was just a case of right book at the wrong time. The writing was superb and I was enjoying the first 25%, but on the day I picked it back up, I just wasn't in the mood for this particular kind of story. We all the know the "mood dilemma". And I had this huge pile of other books that I was really feeling just yelling for me. This is some pretty deep subject matter here and I was looking for some light and fluffy. I sent it back to the library, but maybe one day when I'm looking for a book that has that "something more" I will look into it again. This book has some excellent ratings and I can't ignore that, because I could tell it was going to be a great book... just not right now, for me, in my reading life.

Something Sweeter by Candis Terry
Another one I was really excited for because hey, bride on the cover, and I'm a bride! But I only got to page 20 or so when I knew I just couldn't do it anymore. It was all just "I'm such a hot playboy and this chick is so hot and I just want to do her why won't she pay attention to me" and then the girl being all "I'm so hot and he's so hot but blah, blah, blah" and she kept saying "Hoooo Boy!" which I understand must be Texas thing, and I respect that, but it was driving me nuts. I should have just known better because I'm not usually a fan of adult contemporary romances like this (for the things stated above) but I know others are so they'd probably really like this. I learned not to judge books just by brides alone. I will just stick to my historical romances from now on. :)

So these are just my opinions and how I took these books but I am sure they'd be really enjoyable for others. I know they all have very decent ratings on Goodreads, especially the last two. They just weren't my cup of tea. If the summaries sound good to you, though, you should still give them a try.

* P.S. If you know who that is pictured above and love him, too, and/or love FOB, hit me up on Twitter cause we are going to be the best BFFs ever!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bookstores I'd Love to Visit (Around the World)

Sooo... my fiance... he doesn't walk into bookstores with me. You, see, I do this thing where when I walk in, I have to take a giant breath in... because the "bookstore smell" is one of the best ever. I don't know, I guess this embarrasses him? Like, get over it.

Anyway, if I ever get the opportunity to travel the world I want to eat in delicious restaurants and visit these bookstores. After all, I am very sheltered when it comes to bookshops. My town has two Books-A-Million and one used shop. That's it. The used store is great for romances but the rest of the stock is pretty limited. We used to have a Barnes and Noble and I'm not lying when I said I cried in the middle of an aisle when I found out they were closing.

It's a dream to get to visit and buy from these wonderful looking places.

Photo credit
Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy
Books in gondolas and cat-saving owner. Need I say more?

Photo Credit
El Ateneo, Buenes Aires, Argentina
You can sit in theater boxes to read your books! Isn't it pretty?

Photo Credit
Books Actually in Tiong Bahru, Singapore
I mean, really? Look! Look at it! And omg, that cat! Yes, please!

Photo Credit

Word on the Water, London
Okay, seriously, how cool is this?
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Shakespeare and Company, Paris, France
The bookstore I'd love to visit the most! But France is, in general, the top country I dream of visiting.  It just looks so cozy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Give me more of these authors' books!

Top Authors I Have Only Read One Book From But Need To Read More!

1.) The first one is super easy: RAINBOW ROWELL! I have only read Landlines, but I loved it SO much that I have Fangirl, Eleanor & Park, and Attachments sitting in my BN.com cart right now.

2.) Julia Quinn uhm because historical romance! and Bridgertons! I have read The Duke and I only but I have all the rest of the books in the series on my bookshelf.. just waiting...

3.) Katherine Longshore: I just read Brazen and it was excellent. Gilt and Tarnish are high on my list right now.

4.) Deanna Raybourn: I really enjoyed City of Jasmine and the first three Lady Julia books are on my kindle... also just waiting...

5.) Tarryn Fisher: The Opportunist had me feeling all of everything... I was a mess. And those are the best books to me! I own both the other books in that series plus Mud Vein and now that I am thinking about it.. I might skip everything else just to read these.

6.) Jessica Park: Flat-Out Love is one of my favorites and I am very interested in reading her other works now.

7.) Miranda Kenneally: Again, I loved Catching Jordan, but I just haven't found the time to read the rest of the Hundred Oak books.

8.) Melina Marchetta: On the Jellicoe Road was another book that just made me feel. And I would love to be able to capture that again.

And this will have to stop at 8 because usually when I read an awesome book I immediately start on an author's backlist. These are just authors I have read recently and haven't had time to get to more of their stuff yet. BUT I am spending all of October catching up on sequels which will help me with a few of these. (*cough* Tarryn Fisher *cough*)

Monday, September 15, 2014

My First Bloggiesta: To- Do List


My To-Do List:

  • Update About Me and write a review request policy
  • Fix tags/labels for all old posts
  • Create fun blockquotes
  • Update archive and add all links
  • Write at lease three pre-scheduled posts
  • Comment on other Bloggiesta participants blogs
  • Gameplan books for both Oct. and Nov. events I'm participating in
I may come up with a few more ideas as a I go along. I have a ton of bookmarks for "blog improvement" articles that I need to go through as well. 


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stacking the Shelves [9.13.14]

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Hosted by Tynga's Reviews

What I Got This Week:

Small, but full of awesome!

This week on the blog:
Have a great weekend everyone and happy reading! xoxo

Friday, September 12, 2014

Discussion: When an awesome book temporarily ruins all other books.

You know that feeling when...
you finish a wonderful book....

 and go to start a new one and just can't?

Like, you had a pile of books you were fully planning on reading next and suddenly none of them look appealing anymore? 

You just stare at your shelves that are literally OVERFLOWING with books but you just can't bring yourself to feel interest in any of them?

Poor things... it's not their fault...

It's just that the book you just closed... it was SO satisfying. It had everything you wanted. You were so invested in the story. You became friends with the characters. Not it's over and there is a hole. A missing piece you didn't even no was there until it was full for a few hours/days while you were reading. And you're left missing these characters like they were truly your friends.

The latest book to do this to be? Brazen. I seriously had three books I was planning to read following it and now I have no interest. 

Other books that have done this to me:

-The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
-Just One Day by Gayle Foreman
-The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
-The Harry Potter series
-On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Has this ever happened to you? How long does this feeling usually last for you? And do you have strategies to deal?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review: Brazen by Katherine Longshore

Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Series: Stand-Alone
Published by Viking
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Tudors
Goodreads * B&N * TBD
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for? 
This book was so good! I flew through it!

Here we have the the story of Mary Howard who finds herself married to Henry Fitzroy at the young age of fourteen. They barely even know each other and haven't even seen each other since they were (even younger) children. Even after the marriage ceremony, they barely come into contact with each other and Mary is left wondering what it's like to be in love and even what it is like to be kissed.

Eventually, however, these two do get to have various encounters. These meetings are very important in that they do get the opportunity to get to know each other and eventually, truly, fall in love.

I really liked Mary from the very beginning and I really wanted her to be happy. I had no prior knowledge of her or Fitz so I had no idea what to expect from their story. I was nervous, however, that Fitz would be too much like his father and that this wouldn't be much of the love story that I was hoping for Mary. Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about. Fitz was a great guy and totally sweet and loyal to Mary, just as she deserved.

So I totally love this period in history. I am enthralled by the Tudors, the Boelyns, the Howards, all of it. I completely at this story up and it was very satisfying. Longshore does a wonderful job in giving details of court-life and letting us feel as though we are right in the midst of it. We actually get to see a lot of the Henry/Anne drama which I enjoyed, but it didn't revolve around them, so if your tired of their story, you can still easily enjoy this one.

The length of this book worried me at first, but I like I said before, I flew through it. The story is broken up into pretty short and quick chapters that all tell a different scene and different days which keeps the pace going quickly and leaving no dull moments. Longshore also does a excellent job in helping the reader keep the many characters and events straight, which I appreciated.

The first half of the novel focuses on Mary and her friendship with Marge and Margaret, which was interesting, but I was really anticipating some Fitz scenes, which finally came in the second half. I liked all of the characters though and their little group of the three girls, Fitz, and Hal. We truly get to know all of these friends and its fun to read the scenes with all of them together.  My favorite part of the novel was watching Mary go from a young girl who thinks she is "just a Howard" to a young woman who knows that she is her own person and can't be defined by her parents, her title, or the king.

The only thing holding me back from giving Brazen a full five stars is that it didn't quite produce full emotions in me. There were scenes that should have had me crying, or at least choked up and really feeling but I didn't quite get to that point. I wasn't 100% invested in the love story or the characters like usually am with my five star books.

This book definitely satisfied my craving for some Tudor fiction and I will be eagerly awaiting some time to read Gilt and Tarnish. 

4.5 out of 5

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: I Married the Duke by Katharine Ashe

I Married the Duke by Katharine Ashe
Series: The Prince Catchers #1
Published by Avon Romance
Format: eBook
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Goodreads * B&N * TBD

Three very different sisters beguile society with their beauty and charm, but only one of them must fulfill a prophecy: marry a prince. Who is the mystery Prince Charming, and which sister will be his bride?
On the way to marry a prince in a castle, a lady should never:
1. Bribe an infuriatingly arrogant and undeniably irresistible ship captain,2. Let him kiss her senseless on a beach,3. Battle thieves at his side,and4. Exchange wedding vows with him, even under the direst circumstances.
But daring, determined Arabella Caulfield isn’t just any lady. And Luc Westfall is no typical ship captain. He’s the new Duke of Lycombe, and to defeat a plot that could destroy his family he must have an heir. Now he knows just the woman for the job . . . and he’s not above seduction to turn this would-be princess into a duchess.
What a fun adventure of a book! We begin this series with the three sisters as young girls visiting fortune-telling gypsy. They are hoping to get some clues about their parents and the strange ring that their mother left with before sending them off. The gypsy claims the ring belongs a prince and that he would have their answers.

I Married the Duke revolves around middle-sister, Arabella. It seems to me that she is the fierce, spunky one of the three. Arabella is a governess and finds herself employed with all of the "best" families in hopes she will get their daughters married off to the best prospects available. We meet her as she is trying to get passage onto a ship that will take her to the prince she is dreaming of marrying: the one who will have her answers! Little does she know what this ship is captained by a handsome duke and her life-plan is about to drastically change.

This story is full of twists. A few things happened (which I won't spoil) that found me saying, "what, really?" and then I'd finally understand just for another twist to occur. By the last four chapters I was completely enraptured and flying through the pages to see how this would all end. The whole thing, in my opinion, reads almost like a mystery and there are may climatic scenes as different characters get themselves into and out off some pretty tight spots.

The undertones and the story-line had a pretty serious undertone to me. This wasn't all balls and gossip and sewing circle. We get a lot of deep subject matters, which I totally wasn't expecting, but it really worked out and added a new level to the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this one and will be continuing on with the series. The next book features Ravenna, and from what I have seen from her in I Married the Duke, I think I am going to really like her. I am very curious about these girls' history and what happened to them as children.

3 out of 5

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books

My Ten Favorite, but Underrated, Books
Mostly NA, a couple YA and Adult

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

 When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.
College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.
But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?
Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.
To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

Now that Willow Avery is out of rehab, she's got one chance left to prove herself before she’s officially on every producer’s shit list. At least, that's what her parents and agent are claiming. She doesn't really give a damn if she never makes another movie or not—she just wants to get on with her life, get back to her friends, and find her next escape. But Willow is broke. And whether she likes it or not, acting is the only job she knows how to do.
When she accepts the lead in a beach drama, Willow finds herself in Hawaii. And in Hawaii, she finds Cooper, the gorgeous surfer hired to train her for her new role. With the bluest eyes she’s ever seen and the sexiest Australian accent she’s ever heard, Cooper’s different from the men she’s used to. He doesn’t want to use her. And he refuses to let her fail. But when an old friend re-enters Willow’s life—a friend whose toxicity she’s been drawn to time and time before and whose presence brings about the painful memories she's tried so hard to suppress—Willow will have to choose between the girl she was and the person she’s becoming. The lifestyle that helps her forget the pain and the guy she’s falling hard for.

 Romance, velvet, sequins, and murder...
Hale Ferrer is the rising star of the hottest cabaret in New Orleans. And her one goal is escape. Escape from the lies, from the crime, and from her growing fear that one day she'll have to earn her living in the secret back rooms, where the dancers do more than dance.
But she won't leave behind Teeny, the orphan-girl she promised to protect.
Freddie Lovel is rich, handsome, and in love with Hale, and he's ready to sweep her away with him to Paris. But her heart is captured by Beau, the poor stagehand with eyes as blue as Louisiana iris flowers.
Denying her fears, Hale is ready to choose love and a life with Beau, until a predator hidden in the wings launches a chain of events that could cost her everything--Teeny, their one hope of escape, and possibly even her life.

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.

 For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country--that's how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode--and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can't ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?
Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century. Source notes are extensive and interesting.

 Set against the lush, exotic European colonial outposts of the 1920s, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn delivers the captivating tale of one woman who embarks upon a journey to see the world—and ends up finding intrigue, danger and a love beyond all reason. 
Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke never expected to see her husband, adventurer Gabriel Starke, ever again. They had been a golden couple, enjoying a whirlwind courtship amid the backdrop of a glittering social set in prewar London until his sudden death with the sinking of the Lusitania. Five years later, beginning to embrace life again, Evie embarks upon a flight around the world, collecting fame and admirers along the way. In the midst of her triumphant tour, she is shocked to receive a mysterious—and recent—photograph of Gabriel, which brings her ambitious stunt to a screeching halt. 
With her eccentric aunt Dove in tow, Evie tracks the source of the photo to the ancient City of Jasmine, Damascus. There she discovers that nothing is as it seems. Danger lurks at every turn, and at stake is a priceless relic, an artifact once lost to time and so valuable that criminals will stop at nothing to acquire it—even murder. Leaving the jewelled city behind, Evie sets off across the punishing sands of the desert to unearth the truth of Gabriel's disappearance and retrieve a relic straight from the pages of history. 
Along the way, Evie must come to terms with the deception that parted her from Gabriel and the passion that will change her destiny forever...

 Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

 It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.
Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

 What if Little Red Riding Hood was real? 

Ninety years before the Brothers Grimm penned their version of "Little Red Riding Hood," an historic, gruesome series of events shocked all of Europe. Starting in 1764, an unidentified wolf-like animal ferociously mauled dozens of peasants in the G√©vaudan region of France. 
Whispered rumors of unnatural creatures blended with age-old superstition to cause mass hysteria. A werewolf was blamed for the carnage. Alarmed, King Louis XV sent his best huntsmen to rid the province of the beastly scourge, but this legendary massacre had only just begun. 
Scarlette, a 19-year-old seamstress who is laboring to make ends meet, lives under this dark threat. Although fearful of the nightmarish monster lurking in the surrounding forest, she remains skeptical of the supernatural gossip.
Until her grandmother is attacked. 
Scarlette learns that her grandmother has been infected by the animal’s bite. Desperate to save her, Scarlette begins to uncover the dark secrets of her village and finds there are those who wish to keep their pasts hidden. As time grows short, Scarlette is befriended by a local nobleman and a woodcutter who both share an eerie history with the wolf. 
Scarlette must unravel the men’s connection and solve a long-forgotten crime. But as she pieces together the clues, Scarlette finds herself torn between the two men. Both of them desire more than friendship and together hold the key to the cure. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reading Queue: September

Reading Queue is hosted by Book Tasty and Books: A True Story

It's September already? Wow! This year is flying. But I guess that is what happens when you graduate college, get engaged, start a brand new job, and begin planning a wedding. Anyway, I have a goal to make September an amazing reading month! This post might help me stay on track a little bit.

August Reads
Well in August I was going through the chaos of beginning my new job so I okay, but not like I was hoping. (Plus I wasted a bit of time on three DNFs!)

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes  (It feels like forever ago that I read this even though it's only been a month!)
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Sonata for a Scoundrel by Anthea Lawson
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Envy by Anna Godberson
Daring Miss Danvers by Vivienne Lorret
The Truth About Faking by Leigh T. Moore
Splendor by Anna Godberson

My September Reading Queue

I can't even tell you how excited I am about reading Brazen! It sounds perfect for me!
Oh, and in October, I will be all about "series catch-up" and trying to finish as many series that I've already started as possible. I'm pretty excited for that, as well.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Series: Stand-Alone
Published by St.Martin's Press
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Goodreads * B&N * TBD

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.
Maybe that was always beside the point.
Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.
When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.
That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .
Is that what she’s supposed to do?
Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
Thank goodness for this book! It pulled me out of a very sad book rut! I was going through a lot of 3 and 4 stars and even some DNFs before I finally got to this fantastic 5 star. Landlines had everything I was looking for without even really knowing what I was looking for. I totally fell in love with Georgie's and Neal's story.

So we have Georgie, a very busy TV writer. She's been working on one particular "dream show" with her best friend Seth since they were in college (so ten-ish years), when they finally get someone who may be interested in picking it up. This all happens just a few days before Christmas and Seth convinces Georgie to work over the holiday instead of going to Omaha with her husband, Neal, and their two girls, Alice and Noomi. This comes up after years of many night home late, etc. It's pretty clear from the start that there are a few troubles in this marriage.

Throughout the week that Neal is gone, Georigie ends up staying in her old childhood home with her mother, younger sister, and step-father. That is one quirky bunch! In her old bedroom is a yellow, rotary, landline phone that somehow lets present-day Georgie communicate with college Neal. Georgie just thinks she's going insane.

My favorite element of the book where the flashbacks to college. I really enjoyed watching Georgie and Neal fall in love and learning about how they came to be. Everything about "early" them was so sweet and made the whole story become such a heartwarming read. All of the characters were awesome and made me love them in their own ways. Georgie's mom, Seth, Heather (the sister), and even the two girls. It's awesome when the supporting characters in a love story are just as great as the couple. The humor was also spot on and actually works very nicely with the drama.

There's really nothing I didn't enjoy, hence the perfect rating. I mean, honestly, I had a few questions leftover at the end, but that's okay, I will just make-up my own answers to them. For a while now I've been wanting to read a love-story and a novel that would stick with me and I finally found it.

Favorite Quotes:
“You don't know when you're twenty-three.You don't know what it really means to crawl into someone else's life and stay there. You can't see all the ways you're going to get tangled, how you're going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten - in fifteen. When Georgie thought about divorce now, she imagined lying side by side with Neal on two operating tables while a team of doctors tried to unthread their vascular systems.She didn't know at twenty-three.”
“Wasn't that the point of life? To find someone to share it with?
And if you got that part right, how far wrong could you go? If you were standing next to the person you loved more than everything else, wasn't everything else just scenery?” 
“How does anyone ever know whether love is enough? It's an idiotic question. Like, if you fall in love, if you're that lucky, who are you to even ask whether it's enough to make you happy?”  
I am eagerly anticipating reading the other three of Rainbow Rowell's books currently out.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: 9/2/2014

1. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series: She would be my BFF, course. I was just like her in school. We'd probably study together during our lunch breaks.

2. Diana Holland from the Luxe series: My romance girl! She always wanted to be a novel heroine and have great adventures. She'd just be fun!

3 and 4. Lola and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door: Are you kidding? I freakin' loved Lola! How much fun would she be to hang out with? And you can't have Lola without Cricket.

5. Matt from Flat-Out Love: Gotta love those nerdy boys. :)

6. Beau Vincent from The Vincent Boys: Because he'd totally be my boyfriend. Duh.

7. Allyson from Just One Day: The was another character that I saw a lot of myself in. She'd be my other

8, 9, and 10. Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad from the Summer series. I loved all three of these characters and thought the whole time I was reading these books that I would love to hang out with them. Plus, if things don't work out with Beau, Jeremiah is a great choice!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Discussion: On Being A Reader

Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul.
—  Joanne Harris

The first book I ever remember reading where a set of Sesame Street hardcover picture books. I had to have only been around 4-ish and I think I only looked at the pictures and made up my own stories. My next reader memory is reading Dr. Seuss books a lot to my mom in the morning on our car-ride to drop me off at school. And my first favorite book? The Little House on the Prairie series, which I first read in 2nd grade. Second grade is also around the time my teacher decided I needed to be checking out and reading books on a fifth grade level. Fifth grade is when my teacher let me use her school library card on Fridays to check out a whole pile of books to get me through the weekend.

And speaking of libraries: that was my magic place. We went to a story-time group once a week, every week, in the summer. After the reading was over I would get to roam the shelves to pick out my next pile to read over the next week. So many Nancy Drews and Sweet Valley Highs.


Then high school came and books took a serious backseat to boys and friends. I remember reading Twilight and Harry Potter but that's about it. Then about a year into college I was in the library waiting on my boyfriend to finish up on the computers. To pass the time I began to search through the shelves and decided that maybe I should pick up a book to read. That book was The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. That was the catalyst to rekindling my love affair with reading. Five years later and I read about two books per book.

I currently have:
228 unread books on my bookshelves
30 unread books on my kindle
44 unread books on my nook

I have virtually no one in real life who loves to read. Not my friends, fiance, or family. This is why I love book blogs and sites such as Goodreads so much. I also have a hard-time finding people in real life who even understand my love for reading. They usually just look at me funny when I say I love books. Oh, and don't even get me started on how they look at me when they find out how many books I own...


My Favorite Books of All-Time:
- The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
- Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons
- Gone With the Wind by Margerat Mitchell

Other Favorites (in no particular order):
- The Harry Potter series
- The Hunger Games series
- On Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
- Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
-Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

The only negative thing I can see about being a reader is that there is too many books I want to read and now enough time!
So that's it. That's a little bit more about me and why I do this.

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