Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday 211: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart


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

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
By: Jenn Bennett
Release Date: November 3, 2015

A mysterious graffiti artist, an anatomy-obsessed artist, and a night bus that will bring the two together. Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart? (Goodreads)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word
By: Tamara Ireland Stone
Released: June 16, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling. Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist. Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear. (Goodreads)

Every Last Word was a stunning story that had a really surprising twist. As soon as I started to read this book, I couldn't put it down. 

Every Last Word is the story of Sam who is a part of the most popular clique of girls in her junior class and hiding that she has OCD. Then Sam meets Caroline, who brings her to Poet's Corner. It's a secret room at school where a group of students meet to perform their poetry.

Sam is a well developed and realistic protagonist. There are different forms of OCD and Sam has Purely Obsessional OCD. I think that Stone did a great job at getting the reader inside of Sam's mind and all of her thoughts. OCD doesn't define who Sam is though. She loves swimming and discovers this passion for writing. I enjoyed watching Sam grow and find this whole new side to herself because of Poet's Corner. Writing becomes this type of release and freedom for her. The side characters were also great and I especially loved the whole Poet's Corner group.

The plot hooked my attention from the beginning and the more I read, the more I became invested in these characters. I really liked how this book took a surprising turn that I definitely wasn't expecting. I also loved that Every Last Word touched on a whole range of issues from mental illness to toxic friendships. There were so many beautiful quotes that I found myself writing down too.

Overall I really enjoyed Every Last Word. It was a story about discovering yourself and finding the passion for writing. I definitely recommend picking this book up.     

My Rating:


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #210: A Million Miles Away


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



A Million Miles Away
By: Lara Avery
Release Date: July 7, 2015

When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister. As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want. (Goodreads)
 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Emmy & Oliver
By: Robin Benway
Released: June 23, 2015
Source: Publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart? Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life. She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared. Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart. He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling. Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?" (Summary from goodreads.com)


I really enjoyed Emmy & Oliver. I love stories about friendship and this was exactly just that.

Emmy & Oliver is the story of Emmy and her best friend Oliver, who was kidnapped by his father when they were little. Now it's 10 years later and Oliver is finally coming back home. However, so much has changed in those years apart from each other.

Both Emmy and Oliver were well developed characters. Ever since Oliver disappeared, Emmy's parents have become really overprotective. She wants to be living her own life and surfing, but instead her parents are controlling every aspect of her life. She is forced to hide what she loves to do and her own dreams because she doesn't want to make her parents worry even more. I also loved Emmy's other best friends, Drew and Caro. They were great side characters and I loved the bond that they all shared.

Then there is Oliver who is now back home, but it doesn't feel like home for him anymore. He isn't the same kid who disappeared all those years ago. He doesn't remember much about before he was kidnapped and for years he has been living a different life with his dad. Both Emmy and Oliver grow and learn a lot about themselves through the course of the story. I loved how the relationship develops between them. They were best friends before Oliver disappeared and now there is this 10 year gap. I also really enjoyed the few chapters that were stories from Emmy and Oliver's childhood. It was great to see how close they were before they were separated.

The plot was captivating and paced fairly well. It did get to be a bit repetitive in the middle though. There was plenty of drama in this story, but there were some really cute moments too. I also really loved the way that Benway showed how much the kidnapping had an effect on Oliver, Emmy, and their families.

Overall I really enjoyed Emmy & Oliver. I think that it was a really great story about friendship and family. I definitely recommend picking this one up! 

My Rating:


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #209: Truthwitch


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

Truthwitch
By: Susan Dennard
Release Date: January 5, 2016

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 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. (Goodreads)


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi


The Night We Said Yes
By: Lauren Gibaldi
Released: June 16, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life. But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan. And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of. Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future. In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave. (Summary from goodreads.com)

I liked The Night We Said Yes. It was a fun and quick read.

The Night We Said Yes is the story of Ella and Matt. Matt is back in town again after he broke Ella's heart almost a year ago. He now wants to recreate the night that started it all between them.

Ella and Matt were both interesting characters. I really liked how the chapters alternated between the present and the night that they shared a year ago. It was a great way to show how they first met and why Matt would want to try to recreate that night again. I think it really gave a sense of the type of relationship they shared. I also liked the side characters Meg and Jake. I loved the group of friends they formed. 

From the first chapter this book grabbed my attention. It was a quick read because it all takes place in the matter of one night and one night a year ago. I loved the whole idea of them saying "yes" to everything for the whole night. It got them into some interesting and funny situations.

Overall I liked The Night We Said Yes. It was just a really fun and cute book.


My Rating:



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #208: Soundless


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


Soundless
By: Richelle Mead
Release Date: November 10, 2015

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation. But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon. Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever... (Goodreads)