Waiting on Wednesday
July 27, 2016 posted by Pavan

Waiting on Wednesday #123

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

This week the novel I am anxiously awaiting for is….

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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

 

Hunted

To Be Released: 14th March, 2017

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24485589-hunted 

 

Oh my goodness this blurb just shouts BUY ME BUY ME!!! I adore fairytale re-tellings so this sounds right up my ally. Also, even though I haven’t read anything by Megan Spooner alone, I have read the Starbound Trilogy by both Megan Spooner and Amie Kaufman which I absolutely loved, so I am hoping it lives up to that standard!

 

Which book are you waiting for?

Blog Tour
July 26, 2016 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour and Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

PS Banner

P.S.-I-Like-You-CoverABOUT P.S. I LIKE YOU:

What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered — and kind of feels like she’s falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer — but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.

 

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT KASIE WEST:

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I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

 

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook 

My Review:

Holy cuteness! YOU GUYS! Okay, first off, P.S. I Like You is the very first Kasie West book that I’ve read. Shocking, right? I know. Trust me, I get it! I’m behind the times. Is her other stuff just as good as this book? Better? Let me tell you, I’m definitely a new fan of Kasie’s! This book was SO GOOD. I’m so overwhelmed by all the cuteness going on right now that I don’t even know what to say.

PS I Like You started off strong from page one. There were no stumps or bumps, nothing to detract from this book at all. Kasie’s writing is beyond fabulous and powerful. I don’t even know the right words to praise her phenomenal writing. I sucked this one down like it was ecstasy laced crack. Too much? Not enough.

What I really loved about this book was the letter writing between the main character and the “guy.” I don’t want to give out any spoilers, so that’s all I’m going to say about them. The letter writing was unique, clever, witty, old school, and amazingly cute. LOVED!

Another thing that I really enjoyed was the side characters. From Lily’s entire family, down to her best friends, cleaaaaar down to the minor or unpleasant characters. I loved them all. Everyone was so unique and so full of personality. I loved them all.

Overall, I was a huge fan of this book. I can’t wait to read every single Kasie West book that currently exists or that will be existed in the future. Need I say more? GO READ THIS BOOK! And be sure to check out Pavan’s review of PS I love you tomorrow!

Rating: : ★★★★★

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

 

Giveaway:

2 Finished Copies of P.S. I LIKE YOU (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book of the Month
July 25, 2016 posted by Pavan

Book of the Month: Ten Things We Didn’t Know About Kasie West

Book of the Month

Hi Everyone! I have always wondered what are author’s different quirks or even just some interesting facts about them. Today I am able to spotlight author Kasie West and Ten Things We Didn’t Know About Her!!

Kasie:

This is a really hard task for me because I’m an open book and most things about me are easily find-outable. But also because I’m pretty boring and the things that are not well-known are not noteworthy. So I will try my hardest to think of both interesting and unknown things about myself but I might have to finish this list with things everyone knows. J

 

  1. I live in a zoo. Okay, not a zoo, but we have lots of animals. 2 rabbits, 2 desert tortoises, 1 dog, 2 cats, 3 fish.

 

  1. I was a total drama geek in high school.

 

  1. Speaking of high school, my closet is as messy now as it was then. (I always thought I’d get the adult ‘loves to clean’ gene when I reached a certain age. I guess that doesn’t exist.)

 

  1. I am a night owl, which means I hate mornings. Hate is really not a strong enough word for how I feel about mornings, actually.

 

  1. I have 4 kids and 3 of those children were over 9 lbs at birth. And all three were early. Yikes.

 

  1. That last fact could be because my husband is 6’8”. I always thought I was tall too (5’8”) but these days I feel short. I generally wear heels though so if you ever meet me, you’ll think I’m a giant.

 

  1. I love to sing really loud when I’m alone (and I’m really bad at it).

 

  1. I love Autumn so much that I named one of my children after it.

 

  1. My husband is the funniest person I know, which is awesome because laughing is my favorite.

 

  1. I would eat only chocolate for all three meals if I could survive on it.

 

I loved reading this list! I would also totally eat chocolate for every meal if possible!!

Book Reviews
July 25, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Broken Prince by Erin Watt

broken princeThese Royals will ruin you…

From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

She might be right.

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.

My Review:

Broken Prince is the second book in the Royals series by Paper Princess and takes place immediately after where Paper Princess ends. I would definitely recommend that all readers start out with the first book and don’t just right into Broken Prince. These are not standalone NA books and need to be read in order. Otherwise, you’re going to miss a bunch of important stuff.

Unlike Paper Princess, Broken Prince starts out with Reed’s POV and alternates between Ella and Reed’s POVs throughout the entire book. Upside: we got to learn more about Reed. Downside: books with alternating POVs are never as good as they could be. It’s sort of awkward to be jostled around to several different POVs. The only way it’s going to work is if the authors pull a 50 shades of grey and rewrite the entire first book from Reed’s POV. I’m obviously not a very big fan of books that alternate POVs.

For the most part, Broken Prince was absolutely amazing. However, it wasn’t as good as Paper Princess. That slightly disappointed me because Paper Princess was SO GOOD that I expected the very same from Broken Princess. No. That’s not right. I expected more. I expected to be mind blown and to not be able to put the book down. While I did stay up until 1:30 am reading this book, I did take quite a few breaks. Unlike with Paper Princess where I read the book straight through with barely any bathroom breaks to help me survive.

Don’t get me wrong. I did LOVE this book. However, I thought it was slightly odd how Ella went from HATING Reed to LOVING Reed without really any breaks inbetween. I was waiting for a pivotal moment that never happened. A moment where Ella would open her door, see Reed, and then allow him in her room. A crucial moment between Ella and Reed that would tear the hearts out of readers. Instead, it just sort of….happened. No pivotal moment. No heart-wrenching scene. Nothing that crushed my heart into little pebbles. With all the build up of Ella absolutely despising Reed, I was super let down. I expected more.

Another thing that I wish I would have seen was more appearances from both the twins and Gideon. Let me say this: the authors either need to decide to 1) give each of them their own book or, 2) Give them a bunch of show time in the third book. There is so much going on with the side characters and, honestly, I like some of the better than Ella and Reed. Decisions need to be made. I’m going to be pissed if I get to the third book and their stories aren’t told or choppily done so. I was also a little peeved off that Easton didn’t get much show time. All of the side characters seemed to get a lot of page time in Paper Princess and crazy ignored in Broken Prince.

On a more positive note, I thought this book was FULL of action! From beginning to end, I was absolutely hooked on the storyline.  Do I think some areas needed to be more defined? Yes. Do I think this book rocked my socks off? Yes.

The ending of this book…….wow. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I will say that it will leave readers DYING for the third book. Most readers are probably going to be extra shocked. I actually saw a lot of it coming. I wish that I would have been a littttttle more shocked than I was. However, it left off with a really strong ending that left the third book open for so many possibilities.

Overall, I absolutely adored this book. I know that I had a lot to grumble about but that’s mostly just because I love this series SO MUCH that I have SO MUCH to say! Don’t get me wrong, though, I 100% recommend this series for all readers! However, I might recommend that you wait until all three books are released….

Rating: : ★★★★☆mu

Book of the Month
July 24, 2016 posted by Pavan

Book of the Month: Kasie West’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2016

Book of the Month

Hi Everyone! I absolutely love hearing about what books we are all looking forward to, so today I have Kasie West’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2016!!

Kasie:

I am a contemporary freak, as you might have guessed, so most of my most anticipated reads this year came out of that genre. I was dying for the latest Emery Lord (When We Collided), Morgan Matson (The Unexpected Everything), and Miranda Kenneally (Defending Taylor) books.

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But I also was looking forward to some new-to-me authors like Jen Malone’s Wanderlost, Jenn P. Nguyen’s The Way to Game the Walk of Shame, and You Were Here by Cori McCarthy.

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I also had some friends releasing books like JR Johansson and Natalie Whipple and I always love to hold the words I’ve read in their infancy in actual book form.

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Finally, and I know this isn’t exactly a 2016 series, but the final book came out this year and I just discovered the entire series this year so I think it counts: Raven Boys. I do have to stray from contemporary every once in a while to mix it up and keep my creativity on its toes.

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Thanks Kasie for sharing these fantastic books!

Book Reviews
July 23, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

cinderHumans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

 

 

My Review:

First off, I would like to give a huge thanks to my Secret Sis for getting this book for me! I know, I know. I’m really way behind the times with this series!

I’ve had it stuck in my head for a long time that I don’t like retellings. I can only presume that this opinion stems from the fact that I’m really not the biggest fan of fairy tales to begin with. Why I thought that had anything to do with YA books is beyond me. Cinder is a YA Cinderella retelling and, let me tell you, I LOVED IT. I loved every single moment of it!

Even though I loved Cinder, it did take me a little bit to get into the book. This probably resulted from two different reasons: 1) The first so many chapters were a little slow moving. Nothing major and it didn’t take very long for the story to pick up, but it was a little slow to progress into awesomeness. 2) I honestly just haven’t read very many YA books this year. Cinder is probably like the second or third YA books that I’ve read in about seven months. Since I’ve read close to 60 books this year, you can probably see the gap. I’ve been so stuck on the NA and adult contemporary genres that YA hasn’t really appealed to me. So, even when I decided that I loved this series, it was a little difficult to put my other amazing books down. I’m glad I did, though, because this book rocked!

Science fiction, dystopia, and steampunk genres don’t often appeal to me. It’s just a fact about me: I’m really not the biggest fan of those genres and usually avoid them. Honestly, that’s probably why I didn’t read this series when it first came out. The synopsis just didn’t really appeal to me. After years of other bloggers and readers telling me how amazing this series is, though, I broke down. I put it on my wish list. Let me tell you, I’m glad I did! Even though the above listed genres are incorporated into this book, I would probably lump it more as a retelling with those subgenres. Retellings are a genre of their own, so that makes sense to me. My mom read this book before me and tried to tell me that it was high fantasy………..it’s not. I think sometimes she forgets that, even though she’s read some really cool high fantasy books in the past, I probably have several hundred books on her record. So, if someone tries to tell you that this is high fantasy, please just ignore them. This book is amazing in it’s own right, but it is NOT high fantasy!

Cinder and Kai were amazing leads! I was a bit disappointed that their relationship was a bit cliché. Their moves and actions were fairly predictable. I also would have liked to see maybe some more character development and growth. Same goes for the supporting characters. Everyone kind of stayed at the same pace and not much growth happened from the beginning of the book to the end of the book. This really wasn’t a major complaint for me throughout the book, but it was something that I definitely recognized.

On a more positive note, I really enjoyed some of the twists and turns that happened throughout Cinder. There were some things that happened that I just didn’t see coming. In contrast, there were definitely some roll of the eye moments going on. Some times that happened were definitely a little too predictable for my taste.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am very excited to read the rest of the books in this series and to see how it progresses!

Rating: : ★★★★☆

 

 

Book of the Month
July 22, 2016 posted by Pavan

Book of the Month: P.S. I Like You Excerpt

Book of the Month

Hi Everyone!

We are back with our Book of the Month segment! Today I have a wonderful excerpt from P.S. I Like You.

Kasie:

What can I share with you from the book? I thought about this for a long time and finally decided that since the book is about letter writing, I would share with you one of the letters written. As a set up, neither letter writer knows who the other is but they’ve been exchanging letters under a shared Chemistry desk for weeks.

Excerpt:

Letter:

Track 4 is my favorite too. And also, Track 8 on Blue is amazing. You were right, not depressing at all. (I’m not just saying that because the cool guitarist in my new band said she likes it the best.)

         By the way, I don’t play guitar so there will be no stealing your solo time here. That means it’s official, right? We need a band name now. Something overly sweet like Rainbows & Roses. Then all our songs should be angry. It will make for a good contrast. I have a lot of angry material right now—awful stepdad, distant mother, absent father. That’s some solid fodder, right? Here, I’ll come up with a good first line right now…Parents (a pause in lyrics for a dramatic guitar solo for you) are (pause for a drum solo) lame. Hmm…maybe I shouldn’t be the lyricist either. My musical skills don’t translate to a band. Where does that leave me? I can stand in the background and dance. Oh, also, if Mr. Ortega catches me writing you this letter, I am committed to shoving it in my mouth and swallowing. I hope I can count on the same commitment from you.

Wow, this just makes me more excited to read P.S. I Like You! 

Guest Post
July 22, 2016 posted by Nichole

Sixth Prime by Dan O’Brien: Defining Characters and Representing Female Characters

index2.3.5.7.11.13. A war brews as a galaxy struggles to maintain a peace treaty signed in haste. The Commonwealth boasts sprawling cities built upon slums. The Sovereignty has placed the yoke of industry upon its citizens. Sixteen men and women are connected in a way they cannot yet understand. A murder of a prominent artist begins a chain of events that will ultimately determine the fate of the universe. Only thirteen will remain. In the end, there can be only one Prime. Are you a Prime?


 

When I started writing Sixth Prime, I decided early on to do something very deliberate: I would make half the main characters female; I would make sure the personalities better reflected the myriad of the human experience; and I would describe characters without using skin color or any physical identifiers.

You might be wondering: what exactly is the point of that?

Women represent half the population.

I would be remiss if I ignored the statistics right in front of me. 82% of readers are female, so why wouldn’t you include female characters when so many readers are women. I don’t mean the traditional roles of queens and romantic interests; I’m talking about adventurers and villains, scientists and soldiers, and everything in between. The goal should be to tell the best possible story. I waited until I had outlined everything, and then randomly assigned characters as men and women (this includes romantic relationships as well, so buckle your seatbelts).

Personality guides behavior and decision-making.

I went to graduate school for psychology, and as such I’ve always had a fascination with why people do what they do. This, naturally, translated into thinking about how I could smuggle personality psychology into a narrative. The Prime saga, beginning with Sixth Prime, is an attempt to do just that. I wanted readers to feel like they were represented by one of the characters in such a way that the decisions and consequences felt more real to them.

The reader should decide how the characters look.  

I know it’s a long shot, but maybe (just maybe) the Prime Saga becomes a movie or limited series. I bring this up because nothing is worse than people arguing how characters should look or the kinds of actors or actresses who should play them. Really, even if an adaptation is not in order, I love the idea of people coming to their own conclusions about how a character should look based on their choices, personality, and behavior. I want the characters to be defined by how they make readers feel; I want a reader to be able to see themselves in the character and as the character.

Here is the working teaser:

2.3.5.7.11.13.

A war brews as a galaxy struggles to maintain a peace treaty signed in haste. The Commonwealth boasts sprawling cities built upon slums. The Sovereignty has placed the yoke of industry upon its citizens. Sixteen men and women are connected in a way they cannot yet understand. A murder of a prominent artist begins a chain of events that will ultimately determine the fate of the universe.

Only thirteen will remain.

In the end, there can be only one Prime.

Are you a Prime?

Interested yet? I sure hope so. If you are, then how about a brief excerpt? Check it out at: http://authordanobrien.com/2016/03/05/preview-of-sixth-prime/

Perhaps you want to order the Kindle version for only $2.99? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ENLPOVG


rustic-author-danDan O’Brien has written over 50 books, including the bestselling Bitten (which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012). Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. You can learn more about his literary and publishing consulting business by visiting his website at: www.amalgamconsulting.com.

Book Reviews
July 21, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) by Sarina Bowen

SarinaBowen-TheIvyYears#1The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.

What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.

Also, he’s taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.

My Review:

This is a little hard for me to say, especially because I’ve been loving Sarina Bowen lately, but I really just didn’t click with this book. It really came down to three things 1) I didn’t think that the two main characters had very much chemistry 2) it was difficult for me to connect with this been and to connect it with the New Adult genre and, 3) I had a problem with the cheating aspect of the book.

Some may disagree, but I didn’t think that Corey and Adam had much chemistry. Yes, they were friends. Yes, they had some really cute moments in this book. That being said, there were no moments between Corey and Adam that made my heart swoon. There were no moments that made me fall in love with either of the characters. In fact, I ended up doing a lot of skimming throughout this book, because everyone just bored me. Also, I really didn’t like the supporting characters. There were one or two supporting characters that I definitely am interested in reading more about. Mostly, though, I felt that the majority of the characters blended together and didn’t really have their own personalities.

While I loved the fact that this book focused on main characters with disabilities, I honestly had a difficult time relating to it. I definitely think that there should be more books like this out there, it was just a struggle for me to relate to it. Another thing that was really difficult for me was relating this book the NA genre. I associate most NA books with tons of chemistry, several hot and steamy scenes, etc. There was really none of that going on in this book….. It was just…mehhh.

Finally, I hated all of the cheating going on in this book. Yes, cheating is a real part of the world. Yes, the cheating in this book probably made it more realistic. Did I like it, though? No. I wouldn’t put up with someone cheating on me. I also wouldn’t put up with someone cheating with me on someone else. It was all very unattractive and unappealing. I wasn’t interested.

Overall, I just didn’t care for this book. I’m going to DNF it, because I actually did a ton of skimming at the end and find it unfair for me to give it a star rating. This one just was not for me.

Rating: DNF

Top Ten Tuesday
July 19, 2016 posted by Pavan

Top Ten Books Set Outside The US

toptentuesday21-300x166

Hi everyone! I have this week’s Top Ten Tuesday for you all. This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today’s topic is Top Ten Books Set Outside The US. I am using this topic to highlight the wonderful books set here in Australia! We have an amazing #LoveOzYA movement going on and hopefully this highlights some books you may pick up!

(I am also going to cheat a little bit with this list because I have a couple of books by the same author which I absolutely LOVE and deserve to be an option on their own.)

 

1. On The Jellico Road by Melina Marchetta

2. Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

3. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

4. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

5. Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden

6. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

7. Every Breath by Ellie Marney

 

I could go on and on about all the fabulous books set in Australia! What books do you love that are set outside of the US?