Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"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 selection is...

's Pick:

Title: The Impostor Queen
Author: Sarah Fine
Series: stand-alone (?)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: January 5, 2016

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Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

First of all, I will always, always read a new Sarah Fine book. Her stories are so inventive and evocative and just amazing, and her characters always face such hardships. And a story about a girl who is not the chosen one? Yesh! I cannot wait for this. I've been taking my sweet time with Of Dreams and Rust just because I don't have another Sarah Fine book in my possession yet...

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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 the Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds (love reading, are writers, work at a bookstore, etc.):

Jen's Picks:

At first, I found it kind of difficult to think of nerdy characters I loved, even though I thought this topic would be super easy. But once I got going, I discovered way more than ten. I was able to narrow it down to just ten favorites though (books, not characters…there are a few couples in my list, lol): Hermione, Kami, Celaena, Josie, Beth & Lincoln, Elizabeth, Julia, Lara Jean, Paige & Max, and Cath & Levi. =)

Which novels made your list? Be sure to share a link to your TTT post so we can visit!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Some things that happened while I was away:

  • I got the most awesome The Princess Bride-themed birthday present from my older sister who just knows me so well.
  • I'm participating in the 3rd round of #otspsecretsister. It's my first time, but I'm really excited about my sister because I've been mildly acquainted with her almost since I started blogging, I think, but now I'll have a chance to really get to know her. =)
  • I taught my older sis how to use Instagram after she begged me to. And then she was like, "That's it?" :P She doesn't really get the appeal, and she asked it all I ever did was post pics of books. Ha!
  • I had the best dream about Celaena Sardothien as a badass superhero fighting alongside a Batman who had real bat wings and it was fucking awesome. Of course, anything that involves Celaena is fucking awesome.
  • ETA: OMG, I can't believe I almost forgot to mention seeing a Joseph Gordon-Levitt look-alike at the restaurant I was eating at in Austin on Saturday night. He was such an adorable suspender-wearing cutie, and I just wanted to beg him to lip-sync for me. Of course, he was there with some chick who had NO clue how lucky she was. 
Anyway, I'm back from vacation and I was supposed to put up a review or something or anything today, and I wasn't feeling it last night when we got home, so I just did nothing. Okay, well, not nothing because we watched Big Hero 6 and then finished up the night with the last of the Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family. Which, by the way, we'd started before we left my sister's house earlier in the day. =D #HarryPotterForever

But I digress. I just haven't felt any kind of inspiration to blog lately, not in any kind of formal way, at least. Like, reviews schmeviews, for reals. It's sooooo much easier for me to just word vomit like this than to actually think of something intelligent and eloquent to say about a book when it feels like I'm just repeating myself in all of my reviews. The heroine was badass. The story kept me turning the pages. The supporting cast of characters was well-drawn. Blah blah blah. So, I think I'm going to go all unprofesh on you guys and just gush away from now on. It's easier, and honestly, I don't even really think people are reading reviews on blogs that much anymore. I know I'm not. When I really want to check out reviews, I look up the book on Goodreads and peruse those before deciding whether to pick up the book or not...and even then I might just be looking at star ratings and nothing else. As long as I'm promoting the books I receive for review, it doesn't matter how I review them, does it? Or when, right...'cause I'm seriously tired of pushing back books I'm really excited about because of my "TBR schedule". So, yeah, I'm seriously going to go back to being just a book lover who gushes about the books she loves. It feels right.

And in the meantime, I hope to do some real writing. I've got an itch to write all of a sudden. I used to write all the time when I was younger, but I'm such a perfectionist that I re-read all of my stories later and threw them all away. I know. Except for some stupid essays that I wrote in high school and college, I threw everything in the garbage, except for some really, really bad poetry that should have been trashed. I don't know what I was thinking. But I think part of the reason I've been feelings so down and put-out lately is because I used to get out all my feelings on paper, whether it be in a journal or short story or really crappy poem. But it helps to have that outlet...and even if nothing comes of it, it'll still be time well-spent because maybe it'll help keep me sane. Writing is just so cathartic for me…at least when the words are flowing.

I'm not happy at work, and I haven't been in awhile. It's kind of trickling down into everything else. I should actually be working instead of typing this up because I'm rather behind after being out of the office for a week, but I can't find the here I am. The thing is, I'd love to change jobs, but I don't want to do what I'm currently doing anymore. I used to joke that I "work with numbers by day and words by night" and that it should be my superhero mantra or whatever, but the truth is, I hate numbers. I only work in accounting because it comes so naturally to me. And I really hate the direction my company is headed in. But I don't know what I'd do if not this. I'm not really qualified for anything else, though my BIL frequently tells me that the length of time I've been with my current employer would be a big sell for potential employers, regardless. It's been so long since I even had to consider all of this, though. And honestly, I just want to do something that involves writing or editing or reading or just books in general.

Reading would be ideal because I'm SO far behind on my TBR. Hah! Only in my dreams, lol. I thought I'd get a crap ton of reading done over vacation, but as it turns out, I only read one book in full. Pretty lame, right? But I did spend some quality time with Katie and I got to see my sis, whom I haven't seen since our last vacation to Universal Studios. It always comes back to Harry Potter, doesn't it? :0)

So, that's where I'm at right now. I know I had more to say, but that'll have to wait for another day. Or when I'm not getting ready to leave the office for the day. :P But I'm back, and I'll be around, lurking as usual. :D

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Weekend Update - 7.25.15

Saturday, July 25, 2015 with 6 comments
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!  =)

I was off the entire week, and I only made it fully through one book. :( But I enjoyed my time off with my Katiebug. :D And we're enjoying one last mini-vacation before summer is over at Schlitterbahn today while we're in Austin visiting family. Even so, I am so not ready to go back to work. =(

Anyway, here's what I scored this week:

For Review/Traded/Won:

For review, I received Storm Siren and Siren's Fury by Mary Weber, thanks to Wunderkind PR. And from HarperCollins, I received an unsolicited package featuring Very in Pieces, Infinite in Between, One, and Truest. I traded some awesome peeps for finished copies of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales and Winterspell by Claire LeGrand and an ARC of Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff for my collection. And thanks to the wonderful Jaime at Fiction Fare, I won signed copies of Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch and Open Road Summer by Emery Lord.

I've got a few more trades in progress, too. If you're interested in trading books with me, check out this post. =)


I can't believe I can say this again this week, but I actually didn't pick up anything from the library. Though, this mostly has to do with the fact that I've been doing so much re-reading lately. :)


I was a good girl this week. Though I did spend some time getting some pre-orders in. =)


MarchLittle Women (Little Women, #1)

I adored Louisa May Alcott's Little Women when I was younger, so I am definitely grabbing this week's SYNC audiobooks. You can find out more on how to download them for free yourselves here. :)

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

The Week in Review:


Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

Current Giveaways:

I'm thinking of doing a big grab bag box giveaway kind of like Jamie of FictionFare did on Instagram recently. Any interest in that? It'll be the books from my #booksfortrade list. =)

Promotional/Discussion Posts:  
  • This week's #TTT is all about diversity. Check out my favorite diverse characters/stories!
  • #WoW - The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller
  • SYNC Week #12 featuring March and Little Women

Jen's Currently Reading/Listening To:

The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door, #2)Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)As of the time I'm typing this up, I'm only about 20% into this book, but I already love it. I haven't been able to wipe the stupid grin off my face yet. Except, THINGS just happened, and I'm kind of scared for Tim and Alice and what it all means for their futures…separately and together. *bites nails*

My sis is reading this series for the first time, and she keeps talking about it, and it was on my list to re-read, so I decided to start the audiobooks, beginning with The Assassin's Blade. That was last week. I've already read HOF and it gets off to a slow start. The same is true of the audio, but I'm sticking with it, if only for Queen of Shadows.

Upcoming Reviews:

Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3)Burn (The Rephaim, #4)The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door, #2)

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss, book #3
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

It felt like we all waited ages for this book. The release date got pushed a couple times I thought. You would think I'd have read it right away.... but nope.. I didn't read it until almost a full year from release. I do that lot. I crave a book, buy it when it comes out, and then it sits forever. I still have Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey on my kindle. For shame! I loved the Fifth Wave and needed that book like immediately. Pathetic I tell ya. 

I considered doing Audio with Isla, but changed my mind because some the the reviews on Audible didn't speak too highly of the narrator, so I went with the kindle version. 

I liked it. I would almost say I loved it, but not as much as I had hoped I would. I adored Isla's character back when I read Anna and the French Kiss. We didn't see much of her back then, but I was intrigued and very excited when I saw she would be writing a book involving her. 

It didn't hold the magic Anna held though. You see, Anna and the French Kiss was the first YA Contemporary I ever read. So it's like my first love. Nothing else compares. My favorite part about Isla was the cameo's all the previous characters made towards the end. 

Now I'm not saying Isla and the Happily Ever After is a bad book. It's really quite good, but it's my least favorite so far of Perkins. While there were some really sweet swoony things, I didn't find Isla's relationship with Josh very realistic. Or even healthy at times. She was kind of obsessed with him to the point of creepy. I was cheering for her though. I had a huge crush for my last two years in highschool, and we finally hooked up once after graduation. It was awesome and disappointing all at the same time. lol. But mostly awesome because I always wondered. But anyway, I kinda knew how she was feeling when he finally saw her. ya know? 

Overall, it was cute. Even if Isla was annoying sometimes. I will still read anything Perkins writes, because she popped my literary contemp cherry. :) 

About the author:

Hi, there! I'm Steph, and I wrote ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, and ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. I also edited (and contributed a short story to) a romantic holiday anthology called MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME. My next YA novel will be horror—a teen slasher published by Dutton.

Find Stephanie:

Website | BlogTwitter | TumblrGoodreads

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