Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Weekend Update - 4.18.15

Saturday, April 18, 2015 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!  =)
Goodreads tells me I'm doing great on my challenge, but I can't help but feel I'm lagging. I'm ahead of my projected goal, but I just haven't been able to find as much time to read lately. And I'm SO behind on review copies that I'll never catch up, so I'm just going to forge ahead and maybe grab some of those on audio instead. It's an uphill battle, but I still want to read all the books. I'm totally ready for evolution to kick in and grant me the power to know the contents of a book through osmosis. Any day now...

Anyway, here's what I scored this week:

For Review:



City Love by Susane Colasanti - a signed ARC for me and an extra to give away, plus some sidewalk chalk to promote #citylove in my neighborhood :D
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough - so excited to read this and review it for the tour at the end of this month!


Gifted/Traded:

Nothing this week, though I know some awesome things are on the way. =)


Library:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaBetween the Lines

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - I've heard such great things about this novel. As is usually the case, I had a review copy, but I didn't get to it and now I really want to read it so I picked up the audio from my library.
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer - Grabbed the ebook of this so I can read the ARC I received of Off the Page, which is a companion/sequel of sorts.


Purchased:

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1)

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel - Loved this one on audio!  [review]



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



The Week in Review:

Reviews:

Vision in Silver (The Others, #3)ConfessThe Wondrous and the Wicked (The Dispossessed, #3)
Current Giveaways:

Check back soon for more contests...I'm still in the middle of Spring Cleaning, so there will definitely be more giveaways to come! Plus, our 4 year blogoversary is on the horizon, so expect something epic soon!

Promotional/Discussion Posts:  
  • The #TopTen inspirational quotes from books we love
  • #WoW - this week, we're waiting on The Heir & Truthwitch
  • Finding the Worm guest post on young love

Jen's Currently Reading/Listening To:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaRookRight from the start of this book, I knew it was my kind of story. Fast-paced and full of intrigue, not to mention it's set in an alternate/futuristic version of Paris where technology has gone the way of the dodo. So effing good.








Just starting this one, so I don't have much to add to the conversation yet, but I have a good feeling about it. :)


Upcoming Reviews:


An Ember in the AshesRookEnd of Days (Penryn and the End of Days, #3)





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Friday, April 17, 2015

Title: The Wondrous and the Wicked
Author: Page Morgan
Series: The Dispossessed, book #3
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
For fans of Lauren Kate's Fallen series comes the exciting conclusion to the trilogy that includes The Beautiful and the Cursed and The Lovely and the Lost. The Waverly sisters must save themselves before all is lost.

Since the Waverlys arrived in Paris, the streets have grown more fearsome by the day. As Ingrid learns to master her lectrux gift, she must watch Axia's power grow strong enough to extend beyond her Underneath hive. By all indications, the fallen angel's Harvest is near-and the timing couldn't be worse.

Targeted by vengeful gargoyles, Gabby has been exiled to London for her own protection. Meanwhile, the gargoyle castes are in disarray, divided between those who want Luc to lead them and those who resent him and his fondness for humans. The Alliance is crumbling from the inside as well, its members turning against one another, and possibly against the Waverlys, too.

Axia has promised that the world will burn. And now, unable to trust the Alliance, separated from Luc, Gabby, and her twin, Grayson, Ingrid is left to face the demon uprising alone.


Guys, if you haven't started this series yet, you are missing out on one of the most unique shifter stories out there. Forget that comparison to Lauren Kate in the synopsis up there. I liked those books when I didn't know what else was out there, but now I know better. Now I know that there are books like this out there. Books full of heart, great characters and twists that leave me begging for more.

From start to finish, the novels of The Dispossessed series have been on point. I'm not the biggest fan of stories told in third person, especially when there are so many perspectives, but it really works for this series. The large cast of characters makes it nearly impossible not to give the major players a voice. Having insight into so many characters' thoughts and feelings was not only necessary to the plot, but it made me fall for the characters even harder, something I usually only find with first person point-of-view.

The characters have suffered immensely over the course of this series, and that's not about to stop now. There's a lot more hurt to go around, but there's also still hope for them: that they'll overcome ex-angel Axia, that they'll manage their special gifts, that they'll move past the losses they've already endured. There was so much to wrap up in this final installment, but the author resolved it all…if not in a realistic way, at least in a way that made sense to the story at large.

That includes all of those romantic entanglements. I'll be honest, I truly liked both of Ingrid's love interests, and I understood the pull she felt to each. But there was definitely one that I favored over another. I was pretty anxious about how all of that was going to be resolved, but I should have trusted that Ingrid would be her frank, honest self and make things right…and that she'd pick the right guy. *wink* I was also happy to see that the other Waverly siblings got their shot at love, too, even in the midst of the turmoil they were facing. Those two romances weren't quite as intense as what Ingrid was faced with, but they burned no less brighter, and I reveled in their inclusion in this series.

Some might find the ending a bit too easy but not this girl. Not after everything these characters have been through. Things that might normally bother me in a story were easy to rationalize away when it comes to the Waverlys, the Alliance, and my favorite gargoyle. I honestly don't think I could have asked for a better end for these characters. Well…I might have changed one or two things, but then the overall impact of the novel's end would have been lessened and it wouldn't have been the same.

I really wish this series got the attention it deserves. I mean, it's a pretty high-octane story featuring shape-shifting gargoyle protectors in a gothic Paris overrun with demons and an English family that finds themselves right in the thick of things. What more could you want? And the fact that it's solid from beginning to end doesn't hurt either. I am seriously over the moon with how this final book finished out the series: equal parts daring, romantic, and flat-out thrilling. I can't wait to see what Page Morgan writes next!

GIF it to me straight:
Gasping gargoyles! Lots of surprises in this one!!!




The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed, #1)The Beautiful and the Cursed: Marco's Story (The Dispossessed, #1.5)The Lovely and the Lost (The Dispossessed, #2)The Wondrous and the Wicked (The Dispossessed, #3)

About the author:

Page Morgan has been intrigued by les grotesques ever since she came across an old, black-and-white photograph of a Notre Dame gargoyle keeping watch over the city of Paris. The gargoyle mythologies she went on to research fed her imagination, and she became inspired to piece together her own story and mythology for these complex stone figures. Page lives in New England with her husband and their three children.

Find Page:

WebsiteBlog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: Confess by Colleen Hoover

Thursday, April 16, 2015 with 3 comments
Title: Confess
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies.

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…
I have pretty much loved every book I've read by Colleen Hoover. With the exception of Never Never, that story just had a totally different feel for me. I'd be lying if that didn't make me nervous going into Confess, but there was no need.

Confess was like coming home. All of the feelings I'm so accustomed too in a Hoover novel, were there waiting for me. *happy sigh* 

There is just something about her characters. I fall madly in love with them. I think that was part of my issue with Never Never, because I hated those characters. But then again, she co wrote that, so the characters might not have really been her doing. 

Oh but Auburn Reed and Owen Gentry. They were perfect. Well, as perfect as they could be. I wasn't completely sold on Owen straight away, but he grew on me.. once I got to really know him. Auborn, while I loved her to death, I wanted to slap her at times. But I understood completely why she did the things she did. She didn't have much of a choice. There is always a choice, but in this instant... her motives were in the correct place. 

And guys, there is a dinger of a surprise in here. I was like... whoa! But I had some suspicions, that I shrugged off and ended up true. lol. 

Oh and the art through out the story was awesome. I love how Hoover incorporates the arts in her stories. It adds so much and I love it. 

The ending to this story was just wonderful. I was drunk of the perfection. It was just that good. Once again Hoover has stolen my heart with her words.. and I cannot wait until her next novel comes out. <3 






About the author:

Colleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, and This Girl. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.

Find Colleen:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I don't read nearly as much Middle Grade fiction as I'd like to, but when the publicist for Finding the Worm contacted me about the title, I was admittedly intrigued. This book is a companion/stand-alone sequel to Twerp by Mark Goldblatt, and both novels sound like something I'd like my own kiddo to read. Katie's only in first grade right now, but I'm sure she experiences some of the same things Julian deals with in the sixth grade. I know I did. Here's a little more about the book:

FINDING THE WORM
By Mark Goldblatt
In stores now!!! 

Add to Goodreads

Order Finding the Worm:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Here's the blurb:
Trouble always seems to find thirteen-year-old Julian Twerski. First it was a bullying incident, and now he’s been accused of vandalizing a painting. The principal doesn’t want to suspend him again, so instead, he asks Julian to write a 200-word essay on good citizenship. Julian writes 200 no’s instead, and so begins an epic struggle between Julian and his principal.

Being falsely accused is bad enough, but outside of school, Julian’s dealing with even bigger issues. His friend Quentin has been really sick. How can life be fair when the nicest guy in your group has cancer? Julian’s faith and friendships are put to the test . . . and the stakes have never been higher.

Growing up is hard enough without adding all that to your plate...


by Mark Goldblatt

I’ve been touring for a few months now for Finding The Worm, the sequel to my 2013 novel Twerp, and I’m surprised how often I’m asked why Julian Twerski, the narrator of both books, is so clueless about girls. There’s a lot of highfalutin stuff going on in Julian’s 12-13 year old mind—in the first book, he’s wrestling against his own conscience, and in the second he’s struggling with the age old question of why bad things happen to good people. But readers seem to home in on the fact that’s he’s a total nitwit in matters of romance.

It’s embarrassing to confess, therefore, that the reason Julian is clueless about girls is that he’s based on me, and at that age I was pretty clueless about girls. (How much that’s changed in the intervening three-and-a-half decades is debatable.) One of the most painful memories of my childhood, for example, is the time love cost me my Bobby Murcer rookie baseball card….

Bobby Murcer, in case the name doesn't ring a bell, was a New York Yankee baseball player in the late 1960s. I idolized him. I lived and died with his every at bat. I cut out articles about him from the newspaper and pasted them into a spiral-bound scrapbook; I learned to convert fractions to decimals by calculating his batting average. Heck, I even liked his name. Murcer was a true Bobby. It was his actual first name. Not Robert. Not Rob. Not Bob. That tickled me: I mean, Bobby was something you were called, not something you were named! Bobby Kennedy was Robert Francis Kennedy. Bobby Darin was Walden Robert Cassotto. But Bobby Murcer was, well, Bobby Murcer. No Robert about it. That sealed the deal. My devotion to him was absolute.

My prize possession was his 1967 rookie baseball card. I can still see it in my mind’s eye: Bobby’s face was so round and lit up by a smile that his teammates would nickname him “Lemon.” When Murcer was hitting, life was good. Existential concerns were not to forget my clip-on tie on assembly-Thursdays and not to flinch when I got my booster shots. Thanksgiving dinners with grown up relatives were to be endured because aunts and uncles arrived with 10-packs of Topps baseball cards…always the old series, to be sure, but even these were useful to scale during recess and as trade-bait whenever a teacher left the room. Such were the Edenic days of card collecting, when the idea of resale would have been laughable, indeed incomprehensible, when “got it” and “need it” were the sole determinants of free-market worth. I kept my Bobby Murcer rookie card not in the sock drawer, with the rest of my cards, but on my desk, leaning against the base of my tensor lamp, where I could keep an eye on it. It was the first thing I saw when I woke up every morning. Puberty, that source of unending mischief and chagrin, was what cost me my Bobby Murcer card. In a moment of weakness, I gave the card to Heidi Rifkin, the first girl I ever got to like me. To consecrate our eternal union, she insisted we exchange our most precious possessions. Heidi gave me her 45 rpm single of Bobby Sherman (Robert Cabot Sherman!) singing “Little Woman.” I forked over Bobby Murcer. It was the sort of gesture only the nitwitted sincerity of a thirteen year old boy can produce; had I handed her Joe Pepitone instead of Bobby Murcer, she would've never known the difference….

You’ve probably guessed the ending by now. When Heidi and I broke up less than a month later, she flung the card back in my face. In two pieces. (Her Bobby Sherman record, I might add, was returned without a scratch.) She’d sheared the card in half, straight down the middle. The cut was precise, surgical. Scotch tape does no good in such situations. I didn’t even keep the halves.

So, yeah, I guess some of my naiveté and befuddlement with the opposite sex bleeds into the character of Julian. What can I say? Le twerpc’est moi!

About the author:

MARK GOLDBLATT is a lot like Julian Twerski, only not as interesting. He is a widely published columnist, a novelist, and a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Twerp was his first book for younger readers. He lives in New York City.

Find Mark:

Website | Goodreads

OMG, that might be the cutest guest post I've ever had the pleasure of hosting on the blog. That period between being a child and a full-fledged adult is sometimes difficult and sometimes awful, but we wouldn't have stories like the one the author shared if it weren't for those trying times. =) It makes me want to read and share these books with my girl that much more.








"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 Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #4
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015

Add to Goodreads
Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.



Normally I can be a pretty picky reader. So I was surprised by how much I've been enjoying The Selection books. I've been eating them up like candy. They are just fun and paired with some of the tear jerkers I've read lately, it makes for a perfect balance.

Thankfully I don't have too long to wait for The Heir. They probably could have just left the series as is. Which is what I thought they would do originally, but I'm still going to be all over this shit and I'm once again dragging my buddy reader Jess with me. lol. :)

And these covers.. they are gorgeous. I think this one might be my favorite. It looks so Spacey.





's Pick:



Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands, book #1
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: January 2016

Add to Goodreads
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well. Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
That cover is so fiercely awesome, guys...I can't even. And then to read Susan talk about the fierce friendship in this book and what it means to her....YAAAAASSSS! I just read another book -- though, for the life of me, I cannot remember which one -- where one of the characters was able to discern whether someone was telling the truth, and I loved how that ability was employed. I can't wait to see how it's used in this novel!


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



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