Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Weekend Update - 12.20.14

Saturday, December 20, 2014 with 1 comment
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 the next few weeks, 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 since I'm not using a specific meme title anymore.  April's also doing her own Stacking the Shelves posts on Sundays.  Stop by and say hi!  =)
Woohoo!!! Vacation time!!!!!!! And less than a week until Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay. I might be a little overexcited, but really, isn't that expected this time of year? :)

Work really sucked this week because I had less time to get everything done this month because of the holidays, so I worked a @*&$-ton. But I got it all done so that my sis doesn't have to do it all while I'm out. (She's kind of my assistant.)

But my bookish week fared soooooooo much better. I got some of my most seriously coveted ARCs, as you'll see below. I hit up an Audible sale. I borrowed more than a few titles from my library. AND my Black Friday Book Outlet order finally arrived. I know I just did a huge purge -- which, incidentally, all got reshelved so that the Christmas tree could make its debut -- but I could NOT pass up those deals. I'll post about that next week, though. There are already enough books in this post and I'm too lazy to add them all right now, lol.

Anyway, here's what I scored this week:

For Review:

You can see all of these images in their full glory on Instagram. =)
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab - aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart - sounds adorable!
All the Rage by Courtney Summers - I read the first chapter somewhere and it made me SO ragey! Can't wait for more!


Love and Other Foreign WordsThe Distance Between UsFiendishThe Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides (Adventures of Kit Bristol, #1)

Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West (audio) - re-read/listen (review)
Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff (audio) - DNF (review)
The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp (audio) (review)


JackabyThe Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)Catching Jordan

Audible was having a sale again, so I ended up with these three titles for about $15:

Jackaby by William Ritter (audio) - I now have this in galley, signed finished copy & audio :P
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (audio)
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (audio)


Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little (signed) + swag

So, that's my haul. How about you? What did you get this week?

The Week in Review:


Current Giveaways:

Check back soon!

Promotional/Discussion Posts:  
Jen's Currently Reading/Listening To:

JackabyA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)I couldn't NOT read this the second I had the ARC in my hands. I mean, it's SJM. And a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which is my biggest weakness when it comes to retellings. I'm already SO in love with this story, too, but I'm trying to savor it.

I'm on a bit of a Sherlockian kick these days. Just finished up Every Word earlier this week, and now I'm listening to Jackaby. Oh, and I've just discovered the squee-inducing show that is Sherlock, so I'll probably be camped out on the sofa for much of my holiday vacation streaming it on Netflix. =)

Upcoming Reviews:

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Crimson Bound

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Friday, December 19, 2014

We so borrowed this idea from Sara at Forever 17 Books, who got the idea from an article on Babble called Judging a Book by Its Cover: A 6-year-old Guesses What Classic Novels Are All About. Basically, it's about getting a child's perspective on the story inside the book based on just the cover art. It can be hilarious, but it can also be enlightening.

Okay, I totally missed doing these posts with Katie, and it looks like it's been right at a year since our last one. While cleaning recently, I found the folder that I kept her previous iterations in -- all 33 of them! -- so I begged April to see if Aubrey would be up to contributing, too. Lucky for me, she was! =)

This week, the girls are working on the following book:

Title: Golden Son
Author: Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising Trilogy # 2
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

Behold, the girls' attempts at recreating Golden Son by Pierce Brown...

Aubrey's masterpiece & guess:

Aubrey says:
"I there are dragons. Lot's of them, and they are burning stuff with their fire breath."
Ya know, she's kinda off.. Okay, like really off, but I can see where she would get that idea from the cover. At least the fire part. lol. :)

I read Red Rising last year and it's become one of my favorite books of all time. I'm currently reading this one slowly. The holidays have made that difficult, because there is just so much going on. I refuse to rush through it though, I'm savoring every page, and let me tell you it's phenomenal so far.

Katie's artwork & thoughts:

Katie says:
"A boy sees a wreath that's on fire. Maybe the boy sees a sun that's all gold. I think it's what caught the wreath on fire."
I actually only know very little about this series, but I'm pretty sure it's not about the burning of a wreath, lol. I should also preface this with the fact that before telling me what she thought the book was about, Katie asked, "Is it like a son that you have? Like a baby? Or the sun in the sky?" I thought it was pretty clever of her to ask me to make that distinction. And yet, she included both in her thoughts. :P

Also, aren't their drawings so similar this week?

Have you read this book or do you plan to? What do you think of the girls' artwork and their thoughts on the story's premise?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Life in the Cemetery

Thursday, December 18, 2014 with 6 comments

Today since I have nothing to review, I thought I would talk a bit about working in a Cemetery. Many of you know I started a new job in the fall. I've mentioned it over and over but I haven't went into detail about it.

Working for a cemetery is "different". I'll be honest, when I started, I thought it was going to be more about paper work, and less about the cemetery. It's not easy. There are some days I just want to come home and cry. Then there are other days where I get to roam the grounds and get great shots like that one above!

I'd have to say the hardest thing for my has been the families. Sometimes they come in upset. Very upset, naturally. I've had to hold back tears myself talking with some of them. Nothing, I mean nothing can prepare you for that. It's been a challenge and I don't think my heart will ever harden or get used to it, but I'm becoming a bit more comfortable. Day by day. Along with the bad comes the good too, though, because I've already become attached to some of our customers.

Also, with a new job comes tons of new responsibilities to learn, and it's overwhelming. Pair that with the Holidays and what you get are posts like these because reading has landed on the back burner. I have hopes that after the New Year, things will settle down.

As of Monday, I've made it to 90 days! 

Woo hoo! Party time! lol. Seriously though, as hard as it can be some days, it's going well so far. My boss is fantastic and my co workers are pretty great. I've learned so much already. Things I would never have known, had I not started working here.

I started reading a book back in early August. I didn't like it and I DNF'd it, but my job has inspired me to give it another go. Soon I hope.


It's about a girl who sells graves for her family-owned cemetery. I wasn't digging the humor, but I think I may be more invested in it now, just because.. 

Also, I have this one for review that I must get to...


Why you ask? A hearse on the cover. Duh. I've witnessed a ton of funerals over the past few months, but I have to say the white ones are my favorite. These black ones are classic and all, but the white ones are so pretty. I've always preferred white tuxes over black too. Maybe that has something to do with it. 

But anyway, this book is about a world where everyone knows the day they will die. This poor kid is about to die tomorrow, the day of his prom. I'm really curious how.. I'm gripped, and I'm dying to get reading it. 

haha, dying.. I crack myself up. 

Anyway, that's all I have for you all today. What do you all do for a living? We all talk about books all the time, but never about our careers. 

I'll leave you with a pic of my cemetery in a snow storm. So pretty. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selections are...

's Pick:

Title: The Summer After You + Me
Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Series: n/a
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 1st, 2015

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Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?
I need this book. I live in Pa, so the Jersey Shore has always been a summer destination for us. Until Sandy rolled through and destroyed Sea Sides Board walk. It's back up and rebuilt, but without all the rides and stuff that used to be there. Its just not the same. I can't wait to read this, just for the setting alone. :) Plus.. summer romance and all. I love that stuff.

's Pick:

Title: Lion Heart
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Series: Scarlet, book #3
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: May 19, 2015

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The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They cannot rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?
I only just discovered this series right before the last book released, and I am a forever fan now. A girl impersonating a boy and carrying on as a thief, falling in love with Robin Hood? Yes! A thousand times YES! If you haven't picked up this series yet, you don't know what you're missing. But maybe you should wait until this final book is out, after that cliffy in Lady Thief...yikes.

What are you desperately waiting for this Wednesday? Let us know in the comments or share a link to your own WoW post!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 with 7 comments
Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno
Series: n/a
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Source: received from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

I'm just going to get to the point straightaway: there probably won't be many in-betweeners on this one. 99 Days is a book that you're likely to either love or loathe, depending on your stance on cheating and love triangles and how open-minded you are to either concept. I don't particularly enjoy reading about these things, but I'm not opposed to reading for great writing, despite what happens in the story. And I really, really liked How to Love, so I knew I had to give this book a chance.

I'm really glad I didn't let ideas that make me uncomfortable keep me from picking up this story. 99 Days was genuine, gritty, and realistic. It was complicated. It was messy. But there's so much more to the story than just cheating. It also explores society's tendency to automatically assume the girl is at fault when something like this happens, to start with the insults and end with harassment while the guy sees no punishment for his actions. This book also features a unique mother-daughter relationship that was painful to read about and probably much worse to endure in real life.

Every single character in this book is just so flawed. I don't think you're necessarily supposed to like them, but I actually found that I did, even if I didn't always (read: ever) agree with their choices and actions. But I get it. At eighteen, you don't always make the best decisions. I know I didn't. I always feel the need to divulge too much when a story likes this comes along, but I'm going to refrain from that now. Instead, I just think it crucial to point out that many of us have made mistakes of this proportion, even if they weren't necessary of this caliber. Also, everyone deserves a second chance.

The relationships in this book are just as complicated as the characters in them. From the flawed mother-daughter relationship I mentioned earlier to the brother triangle the main character finds herself in, these characters have issues. I appreciated that self-deprecating Molly was able to acknowledge in the end that it wasn't just her own actions that resulted in her current circumstances but a culmination of hers and those that loved her. She started this book out so miserable and alone, and even though the ending was rather bittersweet -- but entirely of her own making -- I still smiled at the fact that Molly was getting her second chance.

99 Days was a hard book to read but also a very difficult story to put down. There's just something so addicting in reading about someone else's misery, especially when it's so relatable. It's hard to look away from something like that, and this story is no different. It's not even 2015 yet, and this book has already made my favorites list for the year.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.

Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is out now from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. 99 DAYS will follow next spring.

The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston with her husband, Tom.

Find Katie:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr

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