Monday, June 30, 2014

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner
By: Maggie Stiefvater
Released: July 1, 2014
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I loved Sinner! Not only did I love the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, but I'm also a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater. I've been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it because it has my two favorite characters from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and it's set in Los Angeles. Cole and Isabel were just fascinating characters to me and I always wanted more of their story. 

Sinner alternates between Cole and Isabel's point of views. Cole is returning to Los Angeles to make his comeback in music after disappearing. However, now being back in the spotlight means that he has to hide that he can shift into a wolf. Also he must prove to almost everyone that he won't fall back into his old addiction habits. Cole hasn't just returned to LA for the spotlight though, Isabel is there too. However, Isabel has her own hands full with classes and ignoring her family. 

Cole and Isabel may not be likable people, but I love them. They are two of my favorite Young Adult characters because they are strong, flawed, and vulnerable. Isabel says what is on her mind and is honest even when it's something that the person doesn't want to necessarily hear. I love the voice that Maggie gives to both of them because it just brings them to life. Cole's voice is all over the place most of the time and you really get a sense of how much is going through his mind all the time. While on the hand Isabel is calm and collected. Cole and Isabel just simply balance each other out well. 

From the first line (which is probably the best opening line to a Young Adult book ever) I was hooked. The alternating chapters helped move the story along well. I actually loved that this book didn't focus so much on the wolves. For the majority of the book I mostly forgot that Cole was even a wolf and instead felt like I was reading a contemporary book. I also loved the role that music played in this story. I loved reading the moment that Cole came up with a new lyric. 

Overall I absolutely loved Sinner. I definitely recommend picking this book up if you are a fan of The Wolves of Mercy Falls series or even if you haven't read them yet. This book is the perfect example of why I love Maggie Stiefvater's writing style so much. 


My Rating:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #159: Blue Lily, Lily Blue


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
By: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Add It On Goodreads


I haven't found a synopsis yet, but I'm so excited for this book! I love this series so much!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence
By: Kasie West
Released: July 1, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high." (Summary from goodreads.com)


I loved On the Fence! This has become one of my favorite contemporary books of the year. From the moment that I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down.

On the Fence is the story about Charlie who is a tomboy. She's grown up in a house with brothers and next door neighbor, Braden. Charlie was such a great character and she is also developed very well. I love how she is just one of the guys and holds her own while with them. She is realistic and easy to relate to. Charlie grows and learns so much through the course of this book and I enjoyed being on this journey with her.

There are so many wonderful side characters as well. First up I loved her brothers Gage, Jerom, and Nathan. I loved the relationship she shared with her brothers, especially with Gage. They are a really close knit family and really look out for each other. Then there is the next door neighbor, Braden. He's practically a part of the family as well. It was easy to quickly fall in love with Braden.   

From the beginning this story quickly captivated me. I read this book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. It's filled with sweet and funny moments, but also some really emotional moments as well. Now some aspects were predictable, but that didn't make me love this book any less. I loved that this was a story not only about growing up and falling in love, but also about family. I especially loved how family played a really big role in this story.

Overall I loved On the Fence! This is a book that I can reread over and over again so I definitely recommend picking it up! 


My Rating:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4)
By: Katie McGarry
Released: May 27, 2014
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help. West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future. Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I'm such a huge fan of the Pushing the Limits series, so I couldn't wait to rush out and buy Take Me On the day it came out. What I love so much about this series is the realistic characters. Take Me On is another great addition to this series. 

Take Me On is the story of Haley and West. Haley is a champion kickboxer who has sworn she will never fight again. However, West gets mixed into her world and accepts a fight. Now Haley is training West to fight and hopefully survive the match. 

Haley and West were both well developed and realistic characters. Haley is such a strong protagonist, especially after all that she has been through. I loved learning all about mixed martial arts from her too. It's something that I knew nothing about before this book and I loved that I walked away feeling like I learned at least a few things. Then there is West, who we briefly met in Crash into You. I wasn't a fan of him after what happened in the last book, but that all quickly changed when I read his perspective. I also loved seeing the return of some characters from the previous books and meeting some new ones. I'm really hoping for an Abby book soon!

This book captured my attention on the first page and I couldn't put it down for long. I loved how the plot and both of these characters back stories slowly unraveled. There's this great balance of drama and romance. Both West and Haley come from really complicated families. Both of these characters have so much in common, but also so many differences too. McGarry truly wrote another beautiful and honest story. Every book in this series has moved me personally.

I really enjoyed Take Me On. I highly recommend this series to any contemporary fans.


My Rating:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #158: Six Feet Over It


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Six Feet Over It
By: Jennifer Longo
Release Date: August 26, 2014

"Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers: Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them. At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite). Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?" (Summary from goodreads.com)


 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Breakable by Tammara Webber

Breakable
By: Tammara Webber
Released: May 6, 2014
Source: Publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*Note this is a New Adult book
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed. All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy… As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat." (Summary from goodreads.com)


I really liked Breakable a lot more than I was even expecting too. Breakable is Lucas' point of view to Easy, but there's more to it. Often times it could get boring when it's another character retelling a story I've already read, but this book was not that case at all. Breakable isn't just only a retelling of Easy. It adds a whole new level to Lucas' and Jacqueline's story.

Lucas was such a great character already in Easy and I loved that now we got to learn even more about him. He is developed so much more in this book and we learn his whole back story. It just made me fall in love with him even more. I also loved reading his side to things that happened in Easy.

The plot was captivating and heavy to read at times. I read this book over the course of a couple of days and it reminded me all over again of the reasons I enjoyed Easy so much. It made me want to go reread Easy right away again. One of my favorite things about Easy was how real the characters felt and that definitely translated in to Breakable too. I loved that it alternated with the flashbacks of Lucas as Landon. It might sound like that could get confusing, but it actually never did. It was a really different way for Webber to tell the story, but it worked really well. 

Overall I really enjoyed Breakable a lot. I definitely recommend it to fans of New Adult books and to fans of Easy
My Rating:

Monday, June 16, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire
By: Cassandra Clare
Released: May 27, 2014
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons? When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned..." (Summary from goodreads.com)

The Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite series and City of Heavenly Fire was a fantastic conclusion! This was the fastest I've ever read a book because I just couldn't put it down.

City of Heavenly Fire picks up where City of Lost Souls left off. Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must stop Sebastian as he continues to turn Shadowhunters against each other. All of these characters have come so far from the first book, especially Clary. I love that they are still the same in some ways, but in other ways they have grown up and developed into more complex characters. I loved seeing the return of many beloved characters and seeing them in different situations. I also loved meeting new characters like Emma and Julian. 

The plot was exciting, funny, sad, and cute. One of my favorite things about this series is the humor and I loved that it was still there. The action was great and I thought that this was much more exciting than the previous book. Some aspects were predictable, but there were also still some twists that took me by surprise. 

Overall I loved City of Heavenly Fire. As a huge fan of this series, I was really happy with the conclusion. I'm also really looking forward to The Dark Artifices now that I've met the characters.

My Rating:
 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #157: Forget Me


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Forget Me
By: K.A. Harrington
Release Date: August 14, 2014

"On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as "Evan Murphy." She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive. Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents' involvement in this massive web of lies" (Summary on goodreads.com)


 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

17 First Kisses
By: Rachael Allen
Released: June 17, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment. Until Claire meets Luke. But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible. With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I really enjoyed 17 First Kisses. Allen makes a really fantastic debut and I will definitely be looking forward to what she writes next.

Claire has kissed many boys but has trouble finding a good boyfriend, especially a boy who isn't interested in her best friend. Then she meets Luke and they instantly make a connection. However, Claire's best friend, Megan, is interested in Luke too. 

I liked Claire and found her to be a realistic teen. She could be really frustrating at times and make really poor decisions, but she was always believable. I understood her motivation for making the choices that she did. There were also some really great side characters. I especially loved Sam.

The plot was interesting and I liked that it wasn't just about romance, but instead I thought it was more about friendship and family. I thought this whole book was very realistic. I also loved that the chapters alternated between the present and then a past kiss. It all came together really well and I liked how it all slowly unraveled the truth about Claire's family. The end was predictable, but that didn't cause me to enjoy this story any less. However, the pacing felt a little rushed in the middle and end though. I would have preferred to see some more development in certain scenes. 

Overall I really enjoyed 17 First Kisses. I definitely recommend this book to fans of realistic contemporary stories. 


My Rating:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

Royally Lost
By: Angie Stanton
Released: May 6, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince. Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't have...is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour. When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?" (Summary from goodreads.com)


Royally Lost was a cute and quick read. It is the story of Becca who is on a tour of Europe with her family when she meets Nikolai. Nikolai is a prince and heir to the throne, but he doesn't want it so he runs away. Becca was a fairly well developed character who learns a bit about herself while on this trip and from meeting Nikolai. I did find that Nikolai was the more interesting character though. He just wants his freedom and doesn't want to be tied down with all that comes with being a prince. I really enjoyed reading about his family too. 

The plot was enjoyable and I loved jumping from city to city with these characters. I did however wish that the setting in each city was developed more. I love a book that can take me away to a new place and this book only partially did that for me. I wanted more details. I also would have loved to read more of Nikolai and Becca's relationship developing. I know that they only had a couple of days to spend together, but it felt a bit too much like insta-love for me at times.

Overall I did like Royally Lost because it was a really cute story. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a light and fun book.    


My Rating:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #156: They All Fall Down


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

They All Fall Down 
By: Roxanne St. Claire
Release Date: October 14, 2014

"Every year, the lives of ten girls at Vienna High are transformed. All because of the list. Kenzie Summerall can't imagine how she's been voted onto a list of the hottest girls in school, but when she lands at number five, her average life becomes dazzling. Doors open to the best parties, new friends surround her, the cutest jock in school is after her. This is the power of the list. If you're on it, your life changes. If you're on it this year? Your life ends" (Summary from goodreads.com)

 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

BEA 2014 Recap


This was my third year at BEA and I think that this was actually my favorite year yet and that is mostly because of the bloggers.

My favorite part of attending BEA each year is getting to see some bloggers again and meeting new ones. It was great to see Teresa from Readers Live a Thousand Lives,  Nicole from Paperback Princess, and Kassiah from Divergent Lexicon again. (I especially owe a huge thank you to Nicole for being so amazing and always knowing where everything is!) It was also so great to meet Asma from A Reading Kabocha, Vania from Por Essas Paginas, Susan from Read This Eat That, Tonya from Lilybloombooks, Shanese from The Bo0ki3, and Emily from Oktopus Ink. (I'm sorry I know I'm forgetting a lot of people still).


I also loved meeting the teachers, librarians, authors, and publishers. It was so great meeting Julie Kagawa, Robin Talley, Alexandra Adorenetto, Christina Lauren, Adi Alsaid, Morgan Matson, Jennifer Donnelly, Rebecca Serle, Martina Boone, E. Lockhart, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Michelle Madow, and Leslie Connor. I especially want to say thank you to all of the publishers and authors who attended.

(This Is Where I Leave You Panel)
On Friday night I attended the This Is Where I Leave You panel which featured the author Jonathan Tropper, Tina Fey, and Jason Bateman. It was a really great panel discussing how you adapt a book into a movie. I loved that the author would read a passage from the novel and then we would watch a clip of that scene in the movie. It was really great discussion on what goes into deciding what parts of the book stay and what can be taken out when trying to adapt it into a movie. I'm definitely really looking forward to this film adaptation now.

(TFIOS Panel)
On Saturday I attended The Fault in Our Stars panel which featured John Green, Nat Wolff, Josh Boone, Wyck Godfrey, the screenwriters, and executives. First it was absolute chaos to even get into this panel. I have never in all my past four years at New York Comic Con seen a mob and line like the one there was to get into this panel. It was terrifying because at one point people just charged in the line and were hitting each other. Not only was I genuinely concerned about my own safety, but there were a lot of young children in that crowd. I was relieved when I saw cops beginning to arrive and start calming the crowd down. I just hope that next year Book Con will figure out a better way to organize the event because this just wasn't safe. Once I got into the panel, it quickly began and so I quickly turned into an emotional mess. The panel was fantastic. I loved hearing what went into adapting the novel and the stories from set. There was also a hint at a possible Looking for Alaska movie announcement coming in the next few days.        

Overall I thought that the whole conference went really well. Book Con was just really chaotic though. I'm so thrilled to see so many people excited about books, but I don't think it was organized very well. There were just too many people all squeezed into one small space. However, this was the first Book Con ever so I hope that they took note and that next year is organized into a larger space. I loved getting to see so many people again and meeting so many new faces as well. Everyone was so nice and it reminded me why I love to be a part of the blogging community. I'm really excited to share reviews on the few exciting books that I did pick up in the next upcoming months. (If you were curious as to what those books are then you can find a link to the pictures on my instagram account on twitter). Again a huge thank you to the publishers and authors who attended!