Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Start of Me and You (Early Book Review)

Sunday, March 29, 2015 3:55 PM with 2 comments

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The Start of Me and You

Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: March 31, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamicsThe Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

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My Thoughts:

Despite hearing absolutely nothing but good things for Emery Lord's debut, Open Road Summer, I have yet to read it. Sometimes I shy away from books that get a lot of love (I'm adversarial that way). Regardless, I was thrilled to snag an early copy of The Start of Me and You and dived into it a bit early when I found myself in the mood for a sweet romance. Thankfully, it delivered. While the book isn't only a romance, its tone and story was exactly what I needed in those last stressful days before the start of spring break when my students (and I) were feeling so restless.

Paige Hancock has spent the last year trying to get over the shocking drowning death of her boyfriend a year before. She has decided that things need to change at the start of her junior year and she makes herself a list of the things she wants to do to live the life she wants: date Ryan Chase, her longtime crush; start going to parties/social events; join a group of some sort; travel; and swim. Since Aaron's death, she has been terrified of getting in the water and even dreams of drowning herself.

Paige is in a tight group with three other girls, and before she knows it, her group of friends has befriended Ryan and his cousin Max. Max is a somewhat nerdy boy who used to go to school with all of them, but has spent the past couple of years at a private school. He and Ryan are incredibly close, though, so he has decided to come back to public school after Ryan recently went through a break-up with his long-term girlfriend. Paige is surprised how easy she finds it to talk to Max and finds herself agreeing to join the Quiz Bowl team that he belongs to. She is also surprised how easy she finds it to be friends with Ryan after crushing on him for so long.

Paige's family is going through a lot, too. After a nasty divorce, Paige's parents have started dating each other. Paige knows she should be happy for them, but she just cannot get over how bad it was when their relationship fell about the first time. In addition, Paige's grandmother, who she is extremely close to, is battling alzheimers disease.

I loved The Start of Me and You. I loved her group of friends (although I have to admit that I had a really hard time keeping the other three girls straight). I loved Max and Ryan and Max and Ryan together. I loved how realistic the story was, Paige was, her parents were, etc. I loved the writing--especially the different things the author had to say about friendship. I'm not even going to ramble on anymore. The Start of Me and You was adorable without being cutesy which tends to be my favorite type of story. Read it. (And yes, I will be reading Open Road Summer).  Now here are some of my favorite quotes (taking from the ARC, so quotes may change):

When it all closes in, there are only two kinds of people: best friends and everyone else.

In history class yesterday, she raised her hand to politely suggest that the teacher was slut-shaming Anne Boleyn. 


Definitely Recommend.

*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.*



Friday, March 27, 2015

Weekly Rewind 3.28.15

Friday, March 27, 2015 8:44 PM with 11 comments



Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves and my week in a nutshell.




Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves.



My Life and Blog

Life: Monday was the start of the fourth quarter which is just crazy. It was hard to go back into the classroom after spring break, for both me and my students, but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. I spent the week (and will be spending the weekend) finalizing their final third quarter grades. I have 100 journals to grade this weekend and spent the week with a big fat pile of essays. I should have done more over spring break, but frankly I needed the break. My classes spent the last couple of days reading/studying "The Monkey's Paw" which is one of my favorite short stories. Crazy that it is over a hundred years old and still relevant. 

Blog: I just didn't have the time to do any work on the blog this weekend. I hope to get a review typed up for The Start of Me and You this weekend, but school work will have to come first, of course. I should have more blogging time next week.

New books: April is going to be a great month. I can only hope I can find at least some time this weekend to read a little bit. 

For Review

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Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins
I didn't adore the first book of this series Rebel Belle, but it was pretty cute and I'm curious to see what happens next. 
Lies I've Told by Michelle Zink
A family of thieves and a comparison to Ally Carter. 
A perfect girl and a bad boy. I think I might have read this story already...but I'm willing to have an open mind.
Anastasia and Her Sisters by Carolyn Meyer
About The Romanovs--who I have to admit I only have passing knowledge of.
Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham
This looks like a sweet chick-lit novel about a love story told through emails and texts by both the man and woman and their friends. 

What I bought


How to Love by Katie Cotugno
I've been looking forward to reading this book about a couple that falls in love--twice--for a while now. I love this cover. I'm not usually a fan of huggy/kissy covers, but that wallpaper is so sweet. 
Don't Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout
This will be my first book by this author (I know!). This novel of a girl with a missing memory sounds intriguing. 

What I snagged from the library

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Books:
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
I have an arc of this, but wanted to read the finished copy since I never got around to it. 
Inherit Midnight by Katie Kae Myers
A grandmother decides to leave her fortune to the person who wins a global scavenger hunt. It sounds awesome, but I'm a bit weary based on reviews. 
Wayfarer by Lili St. Crow
A re-telling of Cinderella. I've been curious about this author.
Audio:
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
I recently listened to Little Big Lies by the same author. I love the narrator who is the same in both audiobook. The husband's secret is obvious early on and revealed before halfway through. While I'm enjoying the story, like Little Big Lies, I feel like it is going on to long and I'm finding one character particularly frustrating.
Movies:
Mockingjay starring Jennifer Lawrence
I watched this last night. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't nearly as good as Catching Fire. Mockingjay, the novel, is the weakest book in the trilogy. I think splitting it up into two films was a mistake. 
Life of Crime starring Jennifer Anniston
I'm not sure why this didn't really get any attention when it came out. It's about a wife who is kidnapped but the husband doesn't want her back. This looks funny and I'll watch anything with Anniston. 


Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.


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Instructions for the End of the World

Author: Jamie Kain
Publisher: St. Martin's Guide
Release Date: December 8, 2015

Link to Goodreads:

From the author of The Good Sister comes a gripping novel about two sisters who learn that there are things in life—love, loss, and self-discovery—that you simply can't prepare for.

He prepared their family for every natural disaster known to man—except for the one that struck. 

When Nicole Reed’s father forces her family to move to a remote area of the Sierra Foothills, one without any modern conveniences, it's too much too handle for her mother, who abandons them in the middle of the night. Heading out to track her down, Nicole’s father leaves her in charge of taking care of the house and her younger sister, Izzy. For a while, Nicole is doing just fine running things on her own. But then the food begins to run out, the pipes crack, and forest fires start slowly inching their way closer every day. Wolf, a handsome boy from the neighboring community, offers to help her when she needs it most, but when she starts to develop feelings for him, feelings she knows she will never be allowed to act on once her father returns, she must make a decision. With her family falling apart, will she choose to continue preparing for tomorrow’s disasters, or will she take a chance and really start living for today?

Instructions for the End of the World is a gripping, young adult novel that explores family, friendship, and love in the midst of the most difficult and dangerous circumstances.

Why I'm excited:

Growing up in Wyoming I have a few survival skills under my belt--I can build a fire and can fish, for example, but I don't know how long I would last in the woods on my own. If I was with my husband, I would be fine--he would probably love it--but on my own, it would be a rough go. This book sounds different from anything else I've read, and I'm definitely curious about it. I like the simplistic cover, too. Keeping my eye out for this one.

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Weekly Rewind 3.21.15

Friday, March 20, 2015 10:36 PM with 15 comments



Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves and my week in a nutshell.




Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves.

My Life and Blog

Life: My spring break has been exactly what I needed: completely uneventful and full of sleep, food, and hanging out with my husband. Though not at the top of the list of reasons it sucks for us to be apart, it has been hard to be on my own when it comes to meals because I don't really like left-overs all that much and cooking for one sucks ass. I've been making do with a combination of sandwiches, take-out, and pre-packaged meals. To make up for it, we've been cooking up a storm this week. Making these awesome collaborative meals like white-bean chicken chili (me) and homemade guacamole (him), or hand-fried shrimp (him) and homemade deviled egg potato salad (me). 

I've taken naps almost every afternoon, we've watched movies, I've read while he plays Playstation, we've hung out with friends and our neighbors. (I, of course, haven't done the one thing I should do: grade papers, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I'll have all day Sunday back in FL to worry about that. I'll be kicking myself on Sunday, but what do you do?) I don't want this week to end and am sad that I have to fly back tomorrow. Oh, well. Only 11 more weeks before this is over...at least for two months. 

Blog: I was somewhat productive this week and posted a TTT and a WoW post along with a new installment of Why, publishers, why?! This week's is probably my least favorite cover change of all time. It's seriously hideous.

New books: I've got a handful of books to show you this week, so without further adieu, I hope you all having fabulous weekends!

For review

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We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallasch
I'm about 70 pages into this and am enjoying it so far. It follows four high school seniors on the brink of major decisions regarding their futures while an asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. I really like how the cover photo is the focus of this cover, while the title and the author's name are both tiny and in the sky. 
I am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore
I am about 50 pages into this one, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. This is about a girl who has been sent to a boarding school by her mother to exact revenge on the son of the man her broke her heart...which doesn't sound like a big enough reason to me. I don't know. I love the boarding school setting and the main character is interesting.
Solitaire by Alice Oseman
To be honest, I don't really have a clue what this is about and that synopsis isn't helping...I know the main character likes to blog, so, yay?

What I bought


Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
I read this as an e-arc last year, but wanted a refresher before the sequel. Half-Priced Books must have known I was coming into town because there was a 50% off coupon waiting for me. 
Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
I've been meaning to read this one for awhile, so I couldn't resist snagging it. 
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
This is another book I've been meaning to read...and I could only buy pink books that day apparently. I'm always a bit wary of books about the death of a loved one, but I've heard nothing but good things about this one.


Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why, Publishers, why?! (Episode 8)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 11:37 PM with 4 comments
crying animated GIF 

My biggest pet peeve is when beautiful HBs turn into lackluster PBs. I completely understand that publishers may choose to change the cover due to various reasons, low sales especially, but the thing for me is: I don't buy new hardcover books. Ever. I can't afford them and I just simply prefer soft covers. Trade PB has always been my preferred format. So when I'm salivating over a HB cover only to have it change before it comes out in PB, it makes me CRAZY. Publishers would probably make MORE money on PB sales if they kept the amazing HB covers!

That's why I call this post:

Why, Publishers, Why?!

Today's pick: Broken Hearts,Fences, and Other Things to Mend 

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WTF is this!?! I can't. I can't even. This is the most inexplicable cover change I have ever seen in my life. LOOK at the HB cover. It is flawless. FLAWLESS!! The cutesy clouds, the hat, the colors, the typography. Everything about it is magical. WTF is this PB?! I just. What is this? It's like the publisher asked, how can we make the worst cover ever? I know, let's make the whole thing a garish pink and put a broken sucker on the front. Yep, sounds good. People will totally buy this. If I were the author of these books (who seems like lovely gal), I would be pissed that they did this to my book. I can't even type anything else about this, my blood pressure is going up.

Which one do you prefer? The HB or the PB? Neither? Sound off below!
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.


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The Next Together

Author: Lauren James
Publisher: Walker
Release Date: September 3, 2015

Link to Goodreads:

How many times can you lose the person you love?

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about reincarnation and the timelessness of first love from a talented young writer.

Teenagers Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?
Maybe the next together will be different...

In 1745, during the siege of Carlisle, in 1854 on the way to the Crimea, in 2019 and 2039 as first scientists and then students uncovering and rediscovering a dangerous plot, and in multiple timescales between, they are thrown together, with no memory of having met one another before, only an irresistible instinct that they must be with one another against all odds – even while the epic events unfolding all around seem sure to tear them apart.

Why I'm Excited:

That cover! In love. This sounds very cool. I love the idea of two reincarnated souls finding each other again and again. It sounds like more than a love story, too, which is awesome. I definitely have my eye out for this one. 

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Monday, March 16, 2015 11:53 PM with 15 comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list for today plus links to a whole slew of other blogs. After you read mine, of course.

Today's topic: Spring TBR List
TBR lists are my favorite things to make. I have several of these books, but haven't read any of them yet. The next few months are FULL of books I'm excited for. 

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The Fill-In Boyfriend 20698530 18710209 21570318
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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
April 28. The buzz about this book is intensifying. It's my understanding that this book has already been optioned for film. 
99 Days  by Katie Cotugno
April 21. This looks adorable. The 99 Days refers to how many days left until the protagonist leaves for college.
Rook by Sharon Cameron
April 28. In the city that was once Paris to people in an arranged marriage realize that their spouse isn't who they thought. 
April 14. I loved The Reece Malcolm List--the author's debut--so I have some high hopes for this book about two teens who vow to make things happen with their respective crushes.   
The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West
May 5. This looks like another cute contemporary from Kasie West.
P,S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
May 26. I'm excited to see what happens next in this sequel to To All the Boys I've Loved Before. 
Tiny Little Things by Sona Charaipotra
May 26. If you tell me a book is about ballerinas, that's pretty much all I need to know.
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
May 5. This is a reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood! It's a stand-alone! That cover!
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
May 5. A new Sarah Dessen just goes hand-in-hand with summer in my mind.
June 2. After a girl loses the ability to speak after an accident she falls for a guy who challenges her. I love this charming cover and title. 
Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
June 2. Time travel + summer camp. Sold. Totally sold. 
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
June 9. From what I can understand, a girl is placed in juvenile detention after the prophet of her cult is murdered. This looks so different and intriguing. 


Well that's it for me. What books are topping your spring TBR? Link me up!
Hey lovely readers: I love meeting new bloggers. If you decide to follow, my preference is through Bloglovin'. If you are a new follower, please let me know and leave a link so that I can follow back. Thanks!