Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (21) 8.31.13

Saturday, August 31, 2013 8:53 AM with 27 comments

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews. This meme allows us to share the books we've recently added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! *Clicking the link of a book's title will take you to Goodreads.


E-Book ARCs

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The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
I have been positively drooling over this cover. I really enjoyed Mind Games by Ms. White and am excited to see what she does with Egyptian mythology.
Until it Hurts to Stop by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Another absolutely gorgeous cover. I sometimes struggle with books about bullying, but they can be really good if handled correctly.
Living with Jackie Chan by Jo Knowles
After a teenager fathers a baby he moves in with his karate-obsessed uncle.
Unthinkable  by Nancy Werlin
I've owned the book Impossible (the first book in this series) for about 2 years now but haven't read it. I need to get on that.
Relativity by Cristin Bishara
I'm really excited for this one. I love books that follow multiple planes and this one has 9!
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I'm so excited for this book about college aged girls that sounds absolutely nothing like typical "NA". Plus fan fiction!
The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
Several people in a small town go mad and commit murders on a day that is coined "the killing day." I'm not exactly sure what this one is about beyond that, but it looks creepy and dark.
The Hive by Gill Hornby
Mom mean girls and queen bees. I love books that take an honest look at female friendships.
Cherry Money Baby  by John M. Cusick
A trailer park girl who plans to marry her high school sweetheart after high school gets swept up in a visiting starlet's life.
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson
A group of witches in 1612...or something. It's Jeanette Winterson so it's bound to be pretty awesome.

So that's it for me this week. I'm pretty excited about what I added to my shelves. What did you add to your shelves? Link me up!
 
Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (20) The Geography of You and Me

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 7:15 AM with 16 comments
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.



17735600 The Geography of You and Me

Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Number of Pages: 352

Synopsis from Goodreads:
 
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

Why I'm Excited:

I'm sure this is going to be extremely popular this week, but I don't care. This just sounds so charming. I loved This is What Happy Looks Like and this sounds like another great romance. I love that the narrative includes postcards and emails--I adore epistolary writing. I'm not crazy about the cover, but I don't think it's horrible. I just love a good contemporary YA romance...I may have mentioned that, you know, a billion times.

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

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013



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 is: Top ten most memorable secondary characters

Instead of focusing on single memorable secondary characters, I decided to do books that have great secondary characters in general.

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Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
I love Jessica and Marcus, the stars of this series, but I also love the members of the "Clueless Crew", the three girls that Jessica is stuck with after her best friend moves away: Bridget, Sarah, and Manda. Also Scotty, the football player she went out with in junior high; "Pepe", the freshman in her French class that has a crush on her; Paul, the senior she crushes on who inadvertently leads her to college in NY; Hy, the new girl who's hiding a huge secret. I love this series so much and cannot recommend it enough if you haven't read it.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
The Garretts! Especially George. 
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
From the powerful magicians pulling the string to the performer of the circus to the young boy who is dared to wonder into the gates during the day. This book is-there is no other word-magical. 
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howard
I loved the people at the inn where she worked and the boy who eventually turned into her love interest. 
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, Rue, Prim. And on and on and on. Seriously.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Oh, those raven boys. I love each one in his own way.
Twilight by Stephanie Meyers
The Cullens.
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
I mean, right? The Wesleys, the Dursleys, Dumbledore, Malfoy, Snape, etc, etc, etc. 
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Gandalf, Sam, Tom Bombadil. Again, and on and on. 
Prep  by Curtis Sittenfeld
This book here. I cannot even explain the depth in which this author delves. Secondary characters galore.

So those are my choices for books full of memorable secondary characters. What books or characters make your list? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

How My Life is About to Change

Monday, August 26, 2013 8:26 AM with 28 comments

As most of you know, I'm starting my semester of student teaching today. Well, today is actually my student teaching orientation and tomorrow is my first day in the classroom. I'm excited and scared and, frankly, kind of ready for my graduate school program to be over with so I can call myself a real teacher and join the thousands of out-of-work teachers looking for a job. So I'm on the last leg of my master's degree journey and I know that it is going to be a stressful, extremely busy time in my life as I've decided to try to hold on to my current job on a part-time basis so I can, you know, eat.

Because I know there is a good chance I'm not going to have any time to myself, I know this blog is will probably suffer during this semester. I've spent the last week pre-writing some of the memes I participate in and writing some reviews, but I know there is no way I'll be able to keep up with this blog in the way I have in the past four months since I started it.

I just want to say I love all of my new blogger friends and being a part of this community. I appreciate every person who stops by and reads my little corner of the blog-sphere and the conversations we have in our comments and on Twitter. I'm going to try to keep up with it all as much as I can, but I have to be realistic about the amount of free time I'm going to have between teaching full time, helping with the school play (which is so bad-ass--my corroborating teacher runs the drama program and I get to help teach an acting class!), holding down two part-time jobs (I'll never relinquish my spot at the library), and my own class course load (I have to take some sort of student teaching seminar and also a special education case study class). Just thinking about it all makes me exhausted. But it is only for four months and after that I'll probably be unemployed so I'll have plenty of time to devote. God, I hope that's not true...

Anyway, thank you for all your support. Again, I love my place in this community and will do my best to keep in touch.

Wish me luck!!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (20) 8.24.13

Saturday, August 24, 2013 8:22 AM with 37 comments

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews. This meme allows us to share the books we've recently added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! *Clicking the link of a book's title will take you to Goodreads.

I'm beyond excited about a few of these. I definitely plan on spending this last weekend of freedom holed up in my bedroom reading.

E-Book ARCs

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Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
The synopsis for this book contains the words: magic-wielding serial killer. That is pretty much all I needed to know.
Jessica Darling's It List by Megan McCafferty
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Jessica Darling is my spirit animal. I'm simultaneously excited and terrified to start this book.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown  by Holly Black
I have to admit I've been shying away from most paranormal for the past couple of years, but this one sounds bad-ass.
Two Lies and a Spy by Cat Carlton
I'll read pretty much anything that features teen spies.
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
I can't wait to dive into this time travel book. I featured this on a WoW post a couple of months back and now it's mine!
Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair
This book about a girl who kidnaps a baby and runs away sounds beyond intriguing.
Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard
For some reason the government has decided it's a good idea to clone serial killers. Which sounds like a pretty silly plan, but I love me some serial killers. (Yes, I'm aware that sounds completely deranged. And yes, I'm aware of the drama-rama surrounding this book.)
Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange
A bully and a boy with Down Syndrome have an unusual friendship. It just sounds interesting.
A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchinson
A retelling of Hamlet told from Ophelia's point of view? SOLD!
A friend's child goes missing while a woman is watching her. Being billed as for friends of Gone Girl
The Social Code by Sadie Hayes
Twins at Stamford start their own Silicone Valley business.
Leaping at Shadows by Megan Atwood
A mystery at a dance academy. At 100 pages, I'm guessing this is MG. 

So that's it for me this week. I'm pretty excited about what I added to my shelves. What did you add to your shelves? Link me up!
 
Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting on Wendesday (19) Tsarina

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:32 AM with 34 comments
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.



Tsarina Tsarina

Author: J. Nelle Patrick (AKA Jackson Pearce)
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: February 27, 2014

Synopsis from Edelweiss. Link to Goodreads:
 
A daring noble girl must find the mystical Faberge egg in order to save Russia in this heartstopping romance.
Scared for her safety in a city spilling over in chaos, Natalya has a dangerous secret—she has laid eyes on the hidden Constellation Egg. This shimmering Faberge egg holds a power so great it protects the tsar and the one he loves.

When the Constellation Egg disappears, Natalya sets out to find the egg and save her beloved Alexei, the tsar-to-be. But is thwarted by a handsome, dark-haired Red named Leo who has plans of his own for the egg, and for Natalya.

Swirling with mysticism, Natalya’s heart-stopping journey through Russia is perfect for fans of Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty.
Why I'm Excited:

Faberge eggs, Russia, the Romanovs. This book sounds awesome. That cover is amazing. The synopsis references Libba Bray. The heroine's name is Natalya (which is close enough). I cannot wait to get my hands on this.

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

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Blog Design

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 8:53 PM with 34 comments

 

So you've probably noticed that I have a brand new blog design thanks to the lovely Stephanie over at Hopeless Romantics. She contacted me via email to let me know that she does work on blog banners but wants to get into whole blog design and that she had something in mind for my little blog.

I was pretty hesitant at first. I'm not really up on HTML code and other such things (hence the pretty lackluster blog design I was rocking before), but she made it really easy and I absolutely love it.  I love my new header and background and I love finally having the little buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc. which I couldn't figure out how to do for the life of me.

Long story short: She is completely awesome and I wanted to post something with my sincere thank you to her.




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 is: The top ten things that make my life as a blogger/reader easier


1. Goodreads
I was writing reviews on GR for a couple of years before starting this blog which was great practice for creating my own review site. It's also how I met a lot of my blogging friends. And it is definitely helpful for most weeks' TTT as it gives me a way to shift through the hundreds of books I've read when trying to find the perfect ones for my lists. It's also helpful when searching for books to feature for WoW posts. I have to admit I'm on GR way less now that I have this blog, but I still find it an invaluable resource.

2. The library
As most of you know, I've worked at my public library for going on 8 years now. There is no way I'd be able to read as much as I do if it weren't for the library and its awesome free-ness. My city has an amazing library system where all of the (many) branches are linked together, so you can order literally almost any book, movie, cd, audiobook you want and have it delivered directly to your library. It's awesome.

3. Other bloggers
Um, bloggers are freaking awesome. It is so fun to be a part of this community of like-minded people who quickly accept newbies into their fold. I LOVE YOU PEOPLE!

4. Netgalley and Edelweiss
Is there anything in this world more awesome than these two sites? Just thinking about all the amazing books that await me on my Kindle everyday just makes me giddy happy. I love getting to read some of the most anticipated books early. It rocks in a way very few things do.

5. Bloglovin
This site makes finding out what my favorite bloggers have posted so easy. I love to scroll through recent posts.

6. Half Price Bookstore
So in a few select cities in the US there is a magical place called Half Price Books which is seriously the most amazing second-hand store ever. In my Northeastern city there are 4 (2 close enough to go fairly regularly). Every time I go in there I make a beeline right to the clearance section where books are only $1 or $2.

7. Twitter
I'm not on twitter as much as I should be because I find it kind of exhausting, but it is a great way to connect with the community and to find out what everyone's up to.

8. Audiobooks
My commute is about to get a lot longer and my life a LOT busier, so I just ordered a bunch of audiobooks from the library. I know I'm not going to be able to read nearly as much as I do now starting in one week, but at least with audiobooks I can "read" while driving. 

9. Blogger
I know it's not everyone's favorite, but I like my set up and find it easy to use. Personally, I hate having to enter in my name, email address, and website - it's a lot to type - just to leave a comment and like that you don't have to do that with Blogger.

10. Kindle Fire
I was definitely one of those people who swore that I could never love an e-reader, but once I started requesting books from EW and NG it became a necessity and now I heart it so hard. I love having hundreds of choices at my fingertips and being able to read in bed in the dark. Plus I have my Netflix on my KF and all sorts of fun games. I love it. It is probably my favorite possession.

Those are the things I find helpful as a reader/blogger and I'm willing to bet most are the same ones other bloggers find helpful. What are your tools of the trade? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Just Like Fate (Early Book Review)

Monday, August 19, 2013 12:17 PM with 18 comments

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Just Like Fate

Authors: Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Number of Pages: 304
Release Date: August 27, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...


**********************************************************************************
MY THOUGHTS:

It's pretty clear that multi-verse/parallel world novels are the hot thing in YA right now. This is the third book I've read this year that has followed a girl living on two different planes (Pivot Point and Parallel were the other two) and I'm pretty excited for some upcoming parallel worlds novels that come out this fall, including Relativity and Tandem. What I've been enjoying about this trend is that although they all have the same basic premise, all of the books I've read so far have been different and original. There really are so many various avenues books that follow different planes can go. As far as trends go, this is probably my favorite. 

So while I really am enjoying  this craze, I do have to say that I found Just Like Fate to be a bit lacking when compared to the other two parallel worlds books I've read this year. Just Like Fate is a very simple story, and while there is nothing wrong with that per se, it's hard for me to not compare it to the Pivot Point and Parallel whose concepts were just frankly more interesting.

As far as these Sliding Doors type stories go, this one was by far the closest to the film. [Sliding Doors is a film from the 90s starring Gwyneth Paltrow that follows the two courses of her life that occur from a simple twist of fate: she either catches a train or she doesn't. This film is awesome. I've seen it a hundred times and would definitely recommend watching it if you haven't already.] In Just Like Fate, the course of Caroline's fate hangs on a choice: should she go to a party while her grandmother is dying in a hospital or should she stay at the hospital with her family.

Caroline has lived with her grandmother for the past few years and is closer to her than she is with any other member of her family. Caroline had escaped to live with her grandmother while her parents were going through a nasty divorce and now must go back to deal with the family she has mostly avoided, especially her older sister Natalie who was so hurt by Caroline's abandonment that the sisters do nothing but fight when they are around each other. 

In the path in which Caroline stays she is able to say good-bye to her grandmother and moves back in with her mother and Natalie. On this path she also starts to receive the attention of Joel, her long-term crush that she has been pining over for years...even though he has a girlfriend.

In the path in which she goes to the party, Caroline is devastated to find out that her grandmother passed while she was at the party and that she never got to say good-bye. This course has her moving in with her father and his new wife who live in a town about a half hour away from her mom and her old high school. This town has a local university that her older brother attends. It is also where Chris, the cute guy that she met at the party, attends school.

As with both Pivot Point and Parallel, Just Like Fate gets away with having two love interests without it falling into the trite love triangle. Even if it isn't the same old love triangle, however, it is quickly becoming the parallel worlds version of it. As with PP, or any book with more than one love interest, there is an obvious winner here.

What I did really like about Just Like Fate was that the relationships that are explored in the two courses are not just romantic. I really liked the importance of the sister relationship between Caroline and Natalie and the ways in which that relationship evolves in both paths. I also liked the relationship between Caroline and her best friend, Simone. In the path where she goes to the party, Caroline struggles to not blame Simone for "making her go" to the party thus missing her grandmother's final moments. I thought both romances were handled realistically and definitely enjoyed the ways in which "fate" is handled on both planes. 

Overall, Just Like Fate is a cute, but not too cute, addition to the parallel worlds universe. I wasn't blown away by it, but I did appreciate its simple story and think that fans of this trend will enjoy this new addition. 

*I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Stacking the Shevles (19)

Saturday, August 17, 2013 11:15 AM with 26 comments

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews. This meme allows us to share the books we've recently added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! *Clicking the link of a book's title will take you to Goodreads.



So this was my last full week at work. As many of you know, I start student teaching in a little over a week, and while I've decided to keep my office job on a part-time basis, I'm so excited that this will be the last week of my career (hopefully) where I will have to sit in front of a computer day in and day out (although it's been good for my blog).

Book-wise, I have some pretty great titles to share with you all this week.

E-Book ARCs

13522285 The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3) 16059410 17197791 
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The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
About a golden boy adjusting to life after a horrible accident that he believes has ruined his life. Based on star ratings, a lot of my GR/blogger friends seem to have liked this, but I haven't read any reviews yet. 
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
I've told myself a billion times to stop requesting titles that are the second or third book in a series where I haven't read the first book, but I just continue to do it. I have started The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I'm not loving it, but I've heard the second book is much better.
Taste Test by Kelly Fiore
I absolutely love the show MasterChef and think this book about a teen cooking competition looks adorable. 
Overpowered  by Mark H. Kruger
I'm honestly not exactly sure what this one is about...teens develop super-powers I believe.
To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones
A story of a teen pathological liar told in verse.
The Year of Shadows  by Claire Legrand
I don't read a lot of MG, but this book about a girl who lives with her father and cat in a run-down concert hall who meets ghosts who need her help sounds adorable. And I love that cover.
Thrice Told Tales by Catherine Lewis
I so intrigued by the concept of this book: Writing advice using the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice.

What I snagged from the library

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Bubble World by Carol Snow
I've enjoyed Carol Snow's adult novels and I love this cover. I'm not exactly sure what it's about, but it sounds like a teen girl finds out her perfect life isn't really perfect in a Truman Show sort of way. 
The Academy: Game On by Monica Seles
The first book in a series that follows a group of teens at an exclusive sports academy.
Earthbound by Aprilynn Pike
I got roughly 30% into the e-arc I have of this book, but was having trouble following. I'm hoping the finished version will be a bit clearer. 

So that's it for me this week. I'm pretty excited about what I added to my shelves this week. What did you add to your shelves? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!