Tuesday, August 30, 2016

{TTT} Back to School Favorites

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 with No comments





Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. Apparently, they are overly fond of list-making and love to share their bookish lists with the rest of us book nerds.  =) We're game.







This week's topic is a Back To School Freebie:


Jen's Picks:




For this week's back-to-school freebie, I chose some contemporary novels that simply put me in the mind of going back to school, even if I've been out of school for much longer than I care to admit. From the first day at a new school, to studying abroad, to the first day of college, there's something here for everyone.

How did you incorporate back-to-school in your Top Ten Tuesday picks this week?



Monday, August 29, 2016

In celebration of the release of Furthermore tomorrow, Penguin asked for a little creativity from bloggers, in addition to providing an awesome prize pack full of Tahereh Mafi's favorite things. I chose the following content:

BOOK-LOOK: Alice lives in a world of color. Born without pigment, she loves to dress in colorful skirts and bangles of every shade – take a style-cue from Alice and share a photo of a brightly-colored outfit inspired by both Furthermore and the ever-stylish Tahereh Mafi.

I've never done a book-look before, but I thought I'd give it a try...


Of course, I had to include fabulous shoes because we're talking about Tahereh Mafi here. But I also wanted to incorporate a fox somehow because a) I love foxes and b) there's one on the cover so it must be pretty important. And I couldn't pass on that adorable elephant coin purse. So. Cute.

I haven't read the book yet, though I do have both the ARC and audio in my possession, so it shouldn't take me long to get through it. :) But it seems like the kind of thing Katie would love, so I'm waiting on her.

Here's a little more about the book:

Title: Furthermore
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
The bestselling author of the Shatter Me series takes readers beyond the limits of their imagination in this captivating new middle grade adventure where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn't miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it's been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she's about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she'll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit--and with a liar by her side in a land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice's wits (and every limb she's got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself--and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.


And thanks to Penguin Random House, not only did I receive a copy for review purposes, but I've been given the opportunity to give away the following prize pack:


One (1) winner will receive the following:

· a copy of Furthermore


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Penguin Random House.

About the author:

Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series. She can usually be found over-caffeinated and stuck in a book.

She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California, where she drinks too much caffeine and finds the weather to be just a little too perfect for her taste.

When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts.

Find Tahereh:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram



Saturday, August 27, 2016

So, since my end-of-the-week post isn't just about what I got in my mailbox or on my Kindle each week -- though that is a big part of it, I won't lie -- I decided to change up the title and intro a bit.  I might tweak the format a bit over time, but for the most part, it'll contain the same stuff: stuff I got, stuff I did, and stuff that's coming up on the blog.  Plus, I get to use the awesome GIF you see here and blow kisses to all the people who sent me lovely books and bookish things.  Oh, and I've started linking up to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer since I'm not using a specific meme title anymore.
First week of school down! And Katie got one of her same teachers from last year because she moved up a grade and switched from math to reading as her concentration, so that works out well and put Katie's anxiety to rest. She likes her afternoon teacher, too, who is new to the district but not to teaching. I think it's going to be another great year! (I'm going to keep up the optimism until it kills me, lol.)

Katie's at a sleepover and Jerrod's at work, so I'm really hoping to get some reading done today. Though, left to my own devices, I usually end up binge-ing some Netflix. I'm in the middle of my Gilmore Girls rewatch and it's going smashingly. But I'm the only one who likes it in my house, so I don't get to watch often, and I really want to be done by Thanksgiving when they air the reboot. Here's hoping. Or maybe I should just call in sick again - a few times! - before then, lol.

Okay, okay. On to the books. Here's what I scored this week...

From Publishers/For Review:



I received some gorgeous finished copies this week, along with some really, really anticipated ARCs. I'll be hosting a promotional stop for Furthermore this week, and I can't wait to start reading A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherlock fan that I am, but you know I was MOST excited to receive that amazing Marie Lu box of awesome. =D =D =D

It Ends with UsLove & GelatoThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

Got these awesome titles from Simon & Schuster Audio this week! Just in time, too, because I was dying for some new listens and these are sure to be awesome!

Traded:

Be on the lookout for a new trade post soon...a different kind of post, too. I know there's been a lot of drama over on the tag lately, but I still want to complete my collections and help some others along the way. I've thought about posting something regarding all the drama, but what I want to say most is that just because that's what you see on the tag doesn't mean that there isn't beauty happening behind the scenes. I've helped more than a couple people with their collections without asking for anything in return...except maybe some good karma. :) I just wish people focused on that aspect more...

I just posted a new #booksfortrade | Have You Seen This? post this week! I updated my lists, too! I'm still looking for a few high profile ARCs, like Throne of Glass, On the Fence, and Scarlet (Gaughen), plus some other 2016 releases, including Wintersong and Traitor to the Throne, plus others.


Library:

The Luckiest Lady in LondonBecause of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1)The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel, #1)Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1)Jane Steele

Can you tell I'm still in a regency romance mood? :P


So, that's my haul. =) What fabulous bookmail did you get this week?



The Week in Review:

Reviews:

How to Hang a Witch

Current Giveaways:

Check back soon!!!

Promotional/Discussion Posts:

Currently Reading:

The Edge of EverythingI've only just started this book, but it had me at the prologue. The humor and the snark are on point and the voice is perfect. I imagine I'll have this book finished by tonight if everyone leaves me alone. =) Also, this book is making me wish for colder weather, though I don't want a storm like Zoe is facing.




Currently Listening:

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1)Like I said above, I've been on a romance kick. I had to do something since my library hasn't uploaded any new YA titles in weeks, maybe months. I'm dying over here. Or rather, swooning...especially with the rakish Ralston on the loose. :D







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Friday, August 26, 2016

Hi Everyone. I know I haven't been around posting much this summer, but school starts up again this week so hopefully I'll have more time soon. I've read a lot, so I have many things to review.

Right now though, I want to share something that happened to us last weekend. I'm just going to go ahead and copy paste what I posted to my facebook. I've shared it around to different animal shelters I follow as well.


ATTENTION FELLOW CAT OWNERS...

If you own a no-touch/automatic soap dispenser. Please get rid of it now. It is deadly to your cat if he or she gets any on her.

Friday night, our 6 month old Kitten jumped up on the sink and set it off. Some of it got on his fur. I didn't notice it right away, but when I did, I wiped as much off as I could not thinking much of it. I've been beating myself up inside ever since, because I should have known better.

Saturday Morning we woke up and he wasn't acting like him self. His tongue was hanging out, and he wouldn't eat or drink. He felt hot to the touch. Thank goodness this didn't happen when we were away because we had family checking on them every other day. He would be dead right now if we hadn't been home.

I immediately started googling cat tongues hanging out and quickly came to the realization that he had been poisoned from the soap dispenser the night before. A 65 dollar call to the Poison Control number, and we were on our way to the vet.

It is now Sunday night and he's hopefully spending his last night in the animal hospital. We were told he's doing well and starting to eat and drink again. He will hopefully be able to come home tomorrow. The remainder of the soap he licked off burned his mouth and throat. It could have been so much worse. He could have died.

I seriously never gave it a thought. It's just hand soap right? Well it's not. And as convenient as it was to wash our hands in the kitchen without having to pump the soap out, it certainly isn't worth our cats life. Or worth the 600 dollar vet bill we will be paying to get him better.

I'm posting this knowing I will probably get some negative feed back. Trust me, I know now I should have been a smarter pet owner and put him the tub right away. But I'm also posting this because a few of my friends and family expressed that they would never have thought about it either. In fact, if you look on YouTube, there are people video taping their cats walking under these things and laughing about them setting them off. It's not funny at all. :(

So please please please! Learn from my mistake and don't let this happen to your kitty. I've since removed our hand soaps and will be replacing our cleaners with more animal friendly options.

Nimbus is home now and back to himself. Thank goodness. He's been getting extra love and attention, but lets be real, I've always spoiled him so it's not much more. lol. He's my baby. Pixie has kinda taken to the hubby, but Nimbus, he's a momma's boy for sure.


He has a few shaved spots from where they and to put the IVs. :*( Poor little guy. The vet was wonderful and while it was expensive, it was worth it to have my boy safe and healthy again.
This is a copy of the vet bill.


I wanted to share this on here because a lot of people really don't know the danger of these things. Even the Vet tech assistant was surprised when I was telling her the story. It's just not something you think about. So please be safe kitties and throw those things away if you have them.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Title: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Narrator(s): Adriana Mather
Series: How to Hang a Witch, book #1
Length: 10 hrs 41 mins
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers, Listening Library
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Source: ARC received from publisher, audiobook received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.


It's kind of funny to me how varied the reviews have been for this book. I guess you either like witchy books or you don't? But it probably goes deeper than that. How to Hang a Witch came highly recommended to me by a close friend, so I already had pretty high expectations for the novel. And then the publisher sent both the ARC and the audio for review, and it was rather an obvious decision. I switched between the two formats as I read, and I honestly don't know which version I prefer.

The author narrates her own book and I almost always love that because they know the inflections they intended, how long a pause should be and any accents or pronunciations that might not come through in the standard text version. However, I found the audio a little too...slow. I think all audiobooks are slow, though, which is why I usually speed up the playback to twice the normal speed. My husband thinks I'm listening to chipmunks or the Gilmore Girls, but it's what works best for me. Audiobooks available on the new Volumes app from Random House, however, don't have this feature, which kind of sucks because that's how review copies are sent out now. Bummer, but it's a doable bummer. It only changes the listening experience slightly, and it's no fault of the actual narration, which was actually good otherwise.

This novel was definitely different. I just love a good witch story, though...especially one so steeped in history. You've got the mean girls. The historical aspect. The ghost and practicing witches. And then you've got an author descended from Cotton Mather himself. I genuinely enjoyed the novel and found that the story as a whole came together in a very pleasing fashion: very The Craft meets Hocus Pocus with a bit of real-life history thrown in for good measure.

Here's the thing: I like a really atmospheric read. And this book was exactly that. I just wish I'd read it during the fall when I definitely will be rewatching Hocus Pocus, The Craft, and all of my other Halloween favorites. A gorgeous summer day just didn't cut it for me. So, maybe that has something to do with why some aren't loving this book. I think listening and reading put me in the right frame of mind for this story eventually, but obviously not everyone will have that opportunity bestowed upon them like I did.

This story also lends itself to a lot of theorizing. And some will find it easy to guess what's really going on -- like I did -- while others will find themselves led astray easily, guessing all manner of outcomes. I suppose part of your reading enjoyment will be derived from how you feel about guessing correctly and possibly early.

Also: how you feel about doomed romances and love triangles in general. Both are sort of present to some degree, but I honestly thought they took a backstage to everything else. The author uses key historical events to make events in the book more relevant - and creepy - and I found that aspect much more enjoyable.

The entire story was compelling and very readable, from the ostracized Mather in a town of witch descendants to the ghost stuck on this earthly plane to the curse that encompasses them all. I'll definitely be featuring How to Hang a Witch on my fall and Halloween favorites lists. And I'm pretty excited to see that there's going to be a sequel now. The ending was satisfying, but I can't help wanting more.

 Instagram

GIF it to me straight:






About the author:

Adriana Mather is the 12th generation of Mathers in America, and as such her family has their fingers in many of its historical pies – the Mayflower, the Salem Witch Trials, the Titanic, the Revolutionary War, and the wearing of curly white wigs. Also, Adriana co-owns a production company, Zombot Pictures, in LA that has made three feature films in three years. Her first acting scene in a film ever was with Danny Glover, and she was terrified she would mess it up. In addition, her favorite food is pizza and she has too many cats.

Find Adriana:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Instagram


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