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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review: Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THIS REVIEW WILL HAVE SPOILERS. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE THEM, THEY WILL BE MARKED.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is a touching and heartbreaking novel that will make you laugh, cry, and fully believe you are Madeline.

Madeline has a rare disease. It prevents her from leaving the house. She is alergic to the world. As Madeline turns 18, something special happens. A new family moves in next door, and with it, a teenage boy. Madeline falls in love with Olly (him), and starts to want to get out into the world. What will happen next?

The cover of this book is brilliant, just like the book itself.

I wondered right away why Madeline couldn't live in a bubble like bubble boy. SPOILER: [When I read the end I totally understood.]

Madeline is a nice teenager who can be depressed, sarcastic, and funny. She is polite to the few adults she gets to be with, like her nurse Carla. Carla is the only person that Madeline gets to be with except for her mom. Olly is a sweet boy who doesn't like his family. They abuse him.

This book moves fast, and I finished it in two days. It was addicting and I couldn't put it down.

Like I said earlier, this book is filled with emotions. Nicola Yoon adds so many emotions that make you love Madeline and maybe even feel like her.

SPOILER: The ending of this book is brilliant. Madeline sneaks out of the house with Olly and goes to Hawaii, the last place she was considered healthy. She has no symptoms, except for getting really sick after a few days. When Madeline found out that she wasn't really sick, it was amazing. Her mother just didn't want to lose her like she had lost her husband and son. Madeline just had a very weak immune system from being so sheltered.

Overall, this is an amazing book that is definitely making my top ten list for the year!

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: The Taming Of The Drew

The Taming Of The Drew The Taming Of The Drew by Stephanie Kate Strohm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I RECIEVED AN ARC FROM EDELWEISS IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPINIONS OF IT IN ANY WAY.

This was a very cute contemporary read.

Summery from Goodreads:
Cass McKay has been called stubborn, temperamental, difficult, and that word that rhymes with “witch” more times than she cares to count. But that’s all about to pay off. She has finally landed the role she was born to play—Kate, in The Taming of the Shrew—in the summer apprentice program of a renowned Shakespeare theater company in the forests of Vermont.

But Cass can barely lace up her corset before her troubles begin. Her leading man, Drew, is a complete troll, and he’s going to ruin Cass’s summer. Even worse, Cass’s bunkmate Amy has somehow fallen head over heels for Drew. Cass can’t let Amy throw herself at a total jerk, so she comes up with a genius plan to give Drew the personality makeover he so desperately needs: they’ll tame Drew just as Petruchio tames Kate! But as Shakespeare’s classic plays out offstage, Cass finds it harder and harder to resist falling for Drew herself.

The cover of this book isn't that cool in my opinion. However, I do like the font the title is in.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Cass was snarky and cool. Her voice was always unique, and she wasn't afraid to express herself. I also liked her attitude about boys. Drew is a cute jerky boy who Cass hates. He is cool hut also a real pain. Amy is Cass's friend, and she is pretty cool, except for the fact that she likes Drew.

It was neat how this book was written around a play, and the play was the one they were reading for drama camp. I don't know a lot about Shakespeare, but I still found it interesting.

The plot moves at a perfect pace all throughout the book, and the romance is the leading aspect. Cass falls for Taylor, a cute skateboarder. It makes the story cool, although I disliked the love triangle.

Overall, this is a cute "dramatic" read!

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Catching Jordan is a cute sporty contemporary novel about first love.

Jordan Woods loves football. She is the quarterback for her high school's football team. She is friends with most of the boys and has never been in love. But everything changes when Ty Green moves into her town. Ty is adorable and the perfect boy for Jordan. She starts getting feelings for him, and the romance blossoms. But how will Jordan manage first love?

The cover of this book is gorgeous and totally reflects the point of the bok. However, it isn't quite as good as some of the sporty covers I've seen
I liked Jordan's attitude. She loved football and would do her best to get into Alabama State. However, she got pretty clueless. When Henry admitted that he loved her, she just stood by and did nothing. This was the biggest thing I didn't like about this book. I just hoped Jordan would come to her senses and stop being so stupid. She turned into a girly girl wherever Ty (or Henry) was concerned.

Ty started out as a good sweet guy. But after Jordan started dating him, he got pretty pushy and demanding. It didn't help that he was competing for her position as quarterback. He did have a good reason to be that way. His dad had died in an accident and his mom was paralyzed. Ty had to keep his mom and little sister fed and properly cared for in his grandmother's house.

Henry was a sweet character who was just one of the boys. There were a lot of different football boys in this book that made it confusing.

I liked Jordan had her mind set on going to Alabama for college. However, when she applied there, they started using her as a poster girl instead of telling her she was going to play.

It was neat how Jordan's dad doesn't want to play football. He is afraid of her getting hurt. He should know because he is a pro football player.

The ending of this book was sweet.
I really enjoyed this sporty novel.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Book Blitz: Bryce




Bryce
Natalie Decker
(Scandalous Boys #1)
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: February 23rd 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Bryce Matthews doesn’t do the whole nice boyfriend thing. Chocolates and flowers—girls can forget all that. And he certainly doesn’t care about the gossip and rumors that follow him at school and around town. If anything, the talk amuses him. Bryce isn’t lacking in confidence. He knows himself and he knows his limits.


One of those hard limits is Madison Issac. Bryce can never have her, and he’s perfectly fine with that. Sometimes the fantasy is better than the reality anyway.


Madison Issac thought she was a pretty good judge of character. But she’s surprised at how gentle and comforting resident bad-boy and next-door neighbor Bryce Matthews is when we finds her crying in the park.


Maybe there’s more to Bryce than people think? So Madison begins to wonder.


Can a guy like Bryce ever change his ways?


Can a girl like Madison really be into a guy like Bryce?


With hearts and reputations on the line, this kind of love can be scandalous.






EXCERPT:


A yellow cab pulls up to our home, and Kyle walks out to greet the driver. My parents are hugging the little blond, blue-eyed monster. I stare from my window for a second or two, and then I turn my attention to my room. My queen bed is disassembled and up in the attic. Before me now, a twin bunk bed. The brat is going to want the top, and of course I’ll have to oblige because she’s going through a rough time.


What about me? What about my rough time? This girl tortures me. She takes and takes and has never once given back. If you ask me, all that’s happening to her? It’s called justice. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. Maybe she’s changed some since she lost her big house with the pool, her rich friends, and her glamorous lifestyle. Maybe she’s a little kinder.


Sucking in a breath and feeling a little guilty for being a snot, I go downstairs and greet Sarah. She enters the house as I reach the bottom step of the stairs. Dark shades mask her eyes, and they match her black sun hat and her black dress. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she was dressed for a funeral.


“Hi, Sarah.”


She moves her shades down her nose a little and sneers at me. “I see you haven’t changed much, Madison. Didn’t like the highlights?”


She knows I didn’t like them. The evil troll! At Easter, she said she wanted to do my hair. I thought she was being nice. She said we could make it pretty, and I agreed. Stupid me. She said red tints would give my dark brown hair a summery glow. She didn’t put red tints in. She made my hair pink. She claimed she picked up the wrong box. I had to go to school with bubblegum-pink highlights in my hair for almost a week before someone could fix it. A hundred and fifty dollars down the tube.


I smile. “Guess it wasn’t really my thing.”


She rolls her eyes. “Yeah, being cool never has been.”


I knew it! I knew the evil monster did it on purpose. She mocks my clothes, says I dress like a hobo, and all that stuff. My clothes are nice; sure, I didn’t spend $200 for any summer dresses in my closet, but who cares? I’m certainly not going to spend $800 on a stupid purse. Um, hell to the no!


But my cousin has—excuse me, had—over $2,000 to spend per week. I barely have $200 in my bank account. Working five to twelve hours a week for eight bucks an hour is nothing to brag about.


“Where’s my room?” She shoves her sunglasses up her nose and makes her way to the stairs.


“You’re sharing with me. Come on.” I head up to my room, not waiting for her.


She gasps. “Sharing? I’m … Never mind. Apparently, that will have to do. We’ll just redecorate your room.”


I stop and turn on the last step to look back at her. “What do you mean ‘redecorate’?”


“Maddy,” my mom bites out as she follows us up the stairs. “Change can be a good thing.” She walks past me and mumbles, “Remember what the therapist said.”


That quack told us we had to make sure we didn’t try to force Little Miss Unwanted Guest to conform to our ways. He said we should try to appease her as much as possible and ease her into the change. But right now, I wish she was on a boat to China or some other faraway place.


Gritting my teeth, I say, “You know what? My room could probably use a makeover.”


Sarah smiles and enters my room. She looks around, instantly frowning. “I’m getting top bunk.” My mom carries in a few boxes, and Sarah smiles at her. “Thanks, Auntie Heather. Where are the boxes I had shipped here?”


“Oh, I’ll have the guys carry them in.” My mom hugs Sarah. “I know this is a hard time for you, but we’re glad you’re here.”


Pffft! She might be glad, but I’m not, so she can drop the whole “we” business.


As soon as my mom leaves, Sarah removes her sunglasses and hat. She looks around the room and shakes her head. “Well, it’s clear you’re in need of some decorating tips, that’s for sure.” She runs her hands over the matching comforters my mom bought for the bunk beds and laughs. “Seriously, this floral motif is so out.”


I nod like I care. I really don’t. It’s a blanket. It keeps me warm. That’s all that matters. I’m not the homeless one. She is. I’m not the one with parents going to jail. She is. But, hey, maybe this is her way of coping with all that, so I will bite my tongue and not say a word.



“Maddy! Graham and Bryce are here!” my mom calls to me.


I instantly smile, feeling better. My heart is humming to see Graham. As if in another world, I leave my cousin and race down to the two boys. I’m not really keen on Bryce, but that’s because my whole life, he’s been in and out of juvie more times than I can count. He’s a bad boy with a temper. I don’t know why Graham is friends with him.


Graham smiles before I reach the bottom step. “Hey, Maddy! We were … oh, um … Hi.” His attention goes from me to the stairs. I look back and see Sarah. I turn back to Graham and realize he’s looking at her as if she’s the whole moon and stars.










Author Bio:


Natalie Decker is the author of RIVAL LOVE series. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn't her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She's a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she's not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she's off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!











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Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Riot

I am on a sort of riot, and I thought I would share it with you because it is bookish.

Topic:
Is the young adult genre overpopulated with fantasy and science fiction?
This may be a dumb question, but doesn't it make you wonder.  There are a lot more young adult fantasy books out there than there are contemporary.  My question is: Why?  Why is fantasy so popular.  I get that it is transferring you to a whole new world, but still.  We all know that I enjoy contemporary books more than I do fantasy for the most part, but this is still an unbiased question.  I don't feel like ranting much more. 
Please share your opinions with me in the comments.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review: Soundless

Soundless Soundless by Richelle Mead
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Soundless by Richelle Mead is an interesting and odd book.

Fei lives in a dystopian society where she is an artist and everyone is deaf. There are artists, miners, and servants in her Chinese community. The miners mine metals which they trade down the mountain they live in exchange for food. But when miners start going blind as well and can't mine as well, they get less food. At that same time, Fei starts to realize that she is able to hear.
When Fei hears that a young brave miner named Li plans to go down the mountain and bargain for more food, she wants to go along. But what they find in the place under the mountain is not what they expected.

The cover of this book is gorgeous. I think that is a picture of Fei, but what she is wearing doesn't really fit with what they say in the book about their clothing. It would have been better if they would have her wearing a red silk dress.

I don't really know how they call this book Chinese. The characters have Chinese names, and the clothing might be Chinese, but other that that there isn't much Chinese stuff.

I also don't get what genre this is. I checked this out from the library thinking it was sci-fi, and that is what it started out as. However, in the end, it turned into fantasy. There were flying big magical birds that could grant wishes.

Fei was a pretty good character, but she just believed what her society told her. She was kind of selfish, and seemed like she had no imagination. Li was the perfect miner boy, and even though they didn't really describe him in huge detail, he was still cute sounding. He was kind to Fei and also very brave.

The end of the book was very strange. The whole town rebelled against Fei when she came back to tell them the truth, and a huge war broke our. It was interestingly strange, but was probably the fastest paced part in the book.

Overall, this is an interesting fantasy-science fiction novel that wasn't really my cup of tea. I give it 3.5 stars. 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Cover Reveal: Kisses on a Paper Airplane



Kisses On A Paper Airplane
Sarah Vance-Tompkins
Published by: Inkspell Publishing
Publication date: May 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Drama student Hannah Evans isn’t kissing any frogs on her path to find Prince Charming. She’s determined to share the perfect first kiss — with the perfect boy — in the perfect place — or she’s not kissing anyone at all. When Hannah meets a cute ginger-haired boy in first class lounge in the London airport, she knows he’s ‘The One.’

Pop star Theo Callahan is on the road to get as far away as possible from his back-stabbing best friend, and his supermodel girlfriend who broke his heart. Until one shy smile from Hannah has him rethinking all of his travel plans.

Theo is smitten, but he’s worried she’s just a groupie in search of the ultimate selfie. Can Theo learn to trust Hannah in time to share one perfect first kiss, or will Hannah be forced to kiss a frog?








Author Bio:

Sarah Vance-Tompkins was born in a small town in northern Michigan. She spent every summer exploring the sugar sand beaches near Sleeping Bear National Park. She left her heart behind when she moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. She received an MFA in Film Production and went on to work in feature film development in Hollywood. She has worked as a reporter for a weekly entertainment trade publication, and been paid to write obituaries, press releases, the directions for use on personal lubricant bottles, and breathless descriptions of engagement rings for an online jewelry store. She lives in a small town north of Los Angeles with her husband and three cats.





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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: The Assassin's Blade

The Assassin's Blade The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually really enjoyed this high fantasy novel.
It is a collection of short stories about Calaena, the main character in the Throne of Glass series.

I haven't read any of the other of the Throne Of Glass books, but figured this would be a good way to start off.

This review will be short, so I apologize in advance. I am still getting used to writing reviews about short stories.

I liked the action in this book. It really made it fun. The romance worked well, and it was beautifully written.
I am going to use this review to mainly fangirl about Sam. I thought he was a jerk at first. Am I the only one to think that? As Caleana grows to love Sam, so do I. He is caring and willing to do anything for her. I will cut this review short for those of you who haven't read this book yet, but I will continue this review with spoilers.
(view spoiler)

Overall, this was a good fantasy book, and I can't wait to get more into the series.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Book Blitz: Abandoned












Abandoned
Elisa Dane
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: February 15th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My name is Tierra Owens, and I like to kiss. A lot. It numbs the hollow ache in my chest and—for a few minutes—makes me forget how truly alone I am. My mother is an alcoholic. She hates me and insists I’m the reason she’s not married to my father, whom I have never met. My best friend, Kaylee, is the only person who knows the real me. Everyone else sees what I want them to: a happy, confident, popular girl who has the world at her feet.


I am a fraud.


Relationships are forbidden. I avoid them at all costs. Sex? Emotions? Those things make a person vulnerable, and vulnerability always leads to heartbreak. When my childhood crush, Mattie shows up at school my world tumbles off its axis. The shell I surround myself with feels more like a pathetic crutch than a protective barrier, and I find myself wanting things. Daydreaming about what it would be like to have a boyfriend, a relationship—love.


The sad fact is: I’ll never have any of those things. I am unworthy—trash. Which is why my mom abandoned me.






READ CHAPTER ONE:


Kissing: You’re either good at it, or you suck. Zachary Harris sucked at kissing. Actually, it wasn’t so much that he sucked. It was more like he slobbered. All over my chin. My neck. My ears. My skin felt like flypaper—sticky and gross.


Then, of course, there was the issue of the very prominent bulge grinding furiously against my hip. With a groan, Dirk Diggler in disguise muttered a low “fuck” and licked a gooey trail across my collarbone. “God, you smell good. I want to lick you all over and make you scream.” Captain Slobber was, indeed, on a fast track to making me scream, but not in the way he intended. I didn’t care how popular he was—if I had to endure another second of his gross, reptilian tongue slithering over my flesh I’d vomit. All over him. It was a damn good thing kissing can be taught. This guy needed a crash course, stat.


Calloused fingers trailed a back-and-forth pattern between the hem of my top and the waistband of my jeans. My skin tingled from the soft caress and I dug my fingers into his hair, desperate to feel close, needing the contact, and ashamed of myself for getting it this way. When his fingers began fiddling with the button on my jeans, I shut him down.


“That right there is a no-parking zone, baby.” I slid my hand from his arm to his shoulder and shoved. “You need to slow down.”


A pair of dark eyebrows slashed over a set of brilliant blue eyes, the skin between them creasing in confusion. “Slow down? But we were just getting started.” He sat back on his hip, his gaze falling to my bed, then to my half-unbuttoned shirt. The right side of his mouth curled up into a wolfish grin. “I thought this was what you wanted. I mean … you did bring me into your bedroom. I thought you were hot for some action.”


Heat prickled across my skin like wildfire. I was hot, all right. Just not for him. The sooner he realized that, the better.


No guy got past second base with me. Ever. The stupid craving I had to feel close to another person was just that: stupid. Sex, emotions … They make you vulnerable. And vulnerable got you hurt.


I ran my fingers over the small pearl that hung from the gold chain around my neck, the tiny bead smooth and cool against my skin. I’d been foolish enough to love someone once, and the devastation I felt when he walked out of my life was more than I could bear. I wasn’t about to share that with Zach.


Kissing, though, I liked. A lot. It curbed the lonely ache I carried in my chest and took away the sting. And if the guy was cute, well … I might be persuaded, on occasion, to allow a bit of groping, here and there. But that’s where the fun ended. I might be the daughter of the town slut, but I was no whore.


I scooted back against my headboard with a sigh and grabbed a nearby throw pillow, hugging it tight. What I really needed was a towel to wipe the Saliva King’s spit from my neck and chest. Mopping up with a decorative pillow was less than efficient, and more than a little gross. In fact, there was a good chance I’d end up throwing the thing away when all was said and done.


“Look,” I said, trying my best to be inconspicuous as I blotted my skin with the fluffy, pink square. “I’m gonna give you the same speech I share with all my guy friends. I—”


Zach held his hands up. “Hold on a sec.” He flashed me an impish grin. “Let me just get … comfortable.” Smooth skin stretched over taut muscle, the deep grooves in his arms bunching as he pulled himself to the far side of the bed, resting his back against the wall.


I bit down on the inside of my lip as I watched him settle in and found myself wishing he didn’t kiss like a St. Bernard. With his sandy blond hair, sapphire eyes, and bone structure that reminded me of Channing Tatum, he was impossibly easy on the eyes and the true definition of what my mother referred to as “man candy.”


Sitting casually with his arm resting on one bent knee, he raised a brow and signaled for me to continue. Amusement flickered behind his eyes.


Jackass.


I found his attitude both ballsy and irritating. Half of me applauded his confidence. The other half wanted to jam my foot against the giant tent decorating the front of his pants.


“I don’t do relationships, and I’m not looking for a boyfriend. Graduation is just around the corner and I don’t plan on sticking around after. So, if you wanna hang out every once in a while and mess around a little, I’m your girl. If you’re looking for something serious, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I won’t chase you around and beg you to spend time with me, and I won’t have sex with you.”


Zach’s eyes flashed wide, and I could see the wheels turning inside his head as he mentally worked through what I told him. “So, no actual sex?”


I shook my head.


“But you’ll let me kiss you and stuff, and you won’t follow me around at school the next day and expect me to pay attention to you?”


I plastered a fake smile across my face and nodded. Clearly, Zach was all brawn and no brain. Somewhere, out in the farthest corner of nowhere, a village was missing its idiot. “Way to go, Einstein. You catch on fast.”


He swiped a thumb across his lips and sucked in a slow breath through his nose. “Is this the same arrangement you had with Tommy Silva?”


My reaction happened so quickly I was fairly positive he didn’t notice, but at the mention of Tommy’s name, I stiffened. Douche Nozzle.


Much like Zach, Tommy was a pretty boy. Captain of the varsity swim team, he was tall, lean, cut like a statue, and manscaped to within an inch of his life. Smooth. The boy was smooth as a baby’s butt, and I harbored an almost sick fascination with his tan, satiny skin. We hung out off and on for a good four months until he decided what I had to offer wasn’t enough. He tried, and might I add, failed, to put his hands down my pants. I, on the other hand, did not fail when I took a swing at him. My righteous fist met his chiseled nose with uncanny accuracy, resulting in a loud crack, loss of blood (on his part), and a string of curse words, half of which I’d never heard before.


I told Tommy to get lost.


Tommy told everyone I chromed his dome.


Asswipe.


Lips pursed, I raised a brow. “Tommy wanted more than I was willing to give, so I ended it with him.”


Zach barked out a single laugh and shook his head. “According to Tommy, you were very willing, and you gave a lot.” He lifted his hand from his knee and thrust a finger at me. “He said he dumped you.”


It was clear Zach was trying to get a reaction out of me. He’d failed miserably. I didn’t play into the normal teenage “He said this about you, what are you gonna do about it?” bullshit. Mostly because I just didn’t care. I valued one person’s opinion: my best friend, Kaylee. Everyone else could suck it, as far as I was concerned.


Come June, Kaylee and I were gone. Valencia Hills and everyone in it—including my mother—would be nothing but a distant memory.


“Believe what you want,” I said with a shrug. “If you want to hang with me, you know the rules. If you want to stay, great.” I tossed aside the pillow and started doing up the buttons on my chambray top. “If not, you know the way out.”


Zach shot forward and grabbed hold of my wrist. “I want.” He paused for a brief moment, then grinned up at me like he knew something I didn’t. “I’ll get you to want more too. Just you wait and see.”


My lips curled up into a smile. Boys were so predictable. I’d yet to have one turn down my offer. Captain Saliva and I would hang out until he asked for more than I would give, and then we would be over. Assuming, that is, that I was able to do something about his drool problem. As far as me wanting more from him? Nope. Wasn’t gonna happen.


I leaned forward, fully intent on schooling him in the fine art of tongue kissing when the slow, rumbling whir of the garage door opening caught my attention. “Dammit.” Heart pounding, I shot to my feet, grabbed hold of Zach’s wrist and yanked. “My mom’s home early. You have to leave. Like, now.”


Zach stared at me like I’d sprouted another head and frowned. “What’s the big deal, Tierra? It’s not like we were doing anything. We’re fully fucking clothed.” He rolled his broad shoulders and tugged at the hem of his black T-shirt. “We’re cool.” He waggled his eyebrows. “All parents love me.”


Whether there was any truth to that statement or not, I didn’t care. Being caught alone in my bedroom with Zach wasn’t the problem. My mother didn’t give two craps about what I did, or who I did it with. No. I didn’t want Zach to meet my mother.


Desperate to get him gone, I tugged him over to my window, got behind him, and pushed. “Out!”


Zach’s expression morphed from one of surprise to outright irritation. “You have got to be kidding me. You want me to take a dive out your window?”


I shoved past him, released the lock, and slid the aging glass pane sideways. “Damn straight, Skippy. It’s time to channel your inner Olympian. Tuck and roll.”


My mom’s voice sounded from the other side of the house. “I’m not going to change my mind. We’re through!”


My shoulders fell. Crap. Another break-up. Zach needed to leave. Things were about to get ugly, and there was no way in hell I’d let anyone witness the shameful reality that was my home life. My mother hated me, blamed me for her so-called crappy life, and made it a point to tell me what a burden I was every stinking day.


I could deal with her hatred. No one but me knew about it. But her addiction to booze and sleazy men? That wasn’t so easy to hide. I’d worked hard to shroud the truth about my home life over the past few years, and I wasn’t about to let my saliva challenged friend jack things up by hanging around for my mother’s latest breakdown.


Zach continued to gape at me, forehead creased, eyes narrowed. My earlier assessment of village idiot was apparently spot on.


“Why are you just standing there?” I placed one hand on the middle of his back, grabbed the waistband of his jeans with the other, and shoved him toward the window. “Move!”


“Fucking hell! All right,” he snapped before launching himself through the small space. A loud rustling noise echoed from outside, followed by a labored groan and a few choice curses. “Goddamned bushes!” He shot up, face twisted in a combination of pain and irritation, and pegged me with a hard stare. “You’re lucky you’re beautiful, T.” He jabbed a finger toward the ground. “Cuz this shit hurts!”


The sound of glass breaking echoed from the opposite side of the house.


I placed a shaky hand on the wall near the window and swiped the other across the front of my jeans, thankful my anxiety transferred to my hands and not my forehead. The old saying “Never let them see you sweat” had become somewhat of a mantra for me. On the inside, I was terrified, mostly of what might be happening on the opposite side of my bedroom door. Of people finding out the mask I’d presented to them was a total sham.


But on the outside?


On the outside, I was the smiling picture of cool perfection.


In keeping with my charade, I rolled my eyes at Zach and thrust a hand toward the street. “Leave! Before we’re caught!”


Zach gave a nod and held up his hand. “You’ll meet me at Dallas’s later?”


Crash!


My pulse skyrocketed as the commotion grew closer to my bedroom door. “Yes! I’ll see you in a little bit. Now go!”


The combination of moonlight and the yellow glow floating between the houses from the street lamp a few yards away cast an eerie glow across Zach’s toothy grin, likening him to the Joker. He pressed two fingers to his lips and took off with a spring in his step that told me I had, at the very least, a couple month’s worth of meaningless make-out sessions with him before he’d screw up.


Crash!


Thud!


“Angelo! S-stop … Please!”


Molars grinding together, heart ping-ponging against my ribs, I turned away from the window, crouched down beside my bed, and pulled out my own makeshift version of Professor Plum’s lead pipe.


The dented, secondhand metal bat felt cool against my skin as I stalked toward my bedroom door, frightened, yet resolute in kicking some loser’s ass had the slimeball hurt my mom. The woman might hate my guts, but dammit, she was my mom, and I wouldn’t abandon her in her time of need.


Oh yeah. Tierra Elizabeth Owens was totally going to down her mom’s ex-boyfriend, in the living room, with the lead pipe. Take that, Colonel Mustard.










Author Bio:


ELISA DANE is a self-proclaimed book junkie. A lover of handbags, chocolate, and reality television, she's a proud mother to three All- Star cheerleaders. Writing is her absolute passion, and it's her mission to create stories that will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but help you find a new respect and interest in the sport of All-Star cheerleading.


Elisa is no stranger to the publishing world. She writes steamy paranormal romance under her real name, Lisa Sanchez. Her adult works include the Hanford Park series (Eve Of Samhain, Pleasures Untold, and Faythe Reclaimed), Obsessed (an erotic suspense), and a paranormal novella, Cursing Athena. Elisa lives in Northern California with her husband, three daughters, and a feisty Chihuahua who stubbornly believes she's human.











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Review: Double Take

Double Take Double Take by Melody Carlson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Double Take by Melody Carlson is a touching story about two teenagers who switch lives for a week.

Madison Van Buren is a rich teenage girl living in NYC. It is spring break of her senior year, and she is sick of everyone putting pressure on her. Anna Fisher is an 18 year old Amish girl who wants a chance to experience the "English" life. When their paths cross at a train station, they decide that since they look the same, they will switch places for the week. Will they realize that they are lucky for the life they live?

I have read a few Amish fiction books before, and have enjoyed them. This book was a bit different. It was half Amish, but that half wasn't even told from the perspective of an Amish person. One series that is kind of similar is Summerhill Secrets, Volume 1 and Summerhill Secrets, Volume 2.
Another reason I picked up this book is I love books about two people switching places. Not just books, actually, but also movies and TV shows. This looked like a perfect take on that.

The cover of this book is kind of corny. Just look at it. Would you pick up this book on the cover alone? However, you are not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, so I will try not to do that.

I liked how different Madison and Anna were. Madison was the typical rich girl afraid to get her hands dirty. Anna was a good old fashioned Amish teenager, about to start looking for a husband. I also like how they both adapt to their temporary lives. Madison has a hard time living the simple and hard-working life at first. She soon adapts and develops a closer relationship to God. Anna has a really hard time getting into the English world. She talks funny, dresses funny, and has a hard time talking to Madison's friends.

The writing style in this book isn't anything special. I wanted to enjoy it, but it just wasn't as special as I thought it would be. Anna's scenes were very choppy, but that could just be the fact that she was speaking and thinking like an Amish person.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone.

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review: The Fix

The Fix The Fix by Natasha Sinel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Fix by Natasha Sinel is a good book about romance and abuse.

Summery from Goodreads:
One conversation is all it takes to break a world wide open.

Seventeen-year-old Macy Lyons has been through something no one should ever have to experience. And she’s dealt with it entirely alone.

On the outside, she’s got it pretty good. Her family’s well-off, she’s dating the cute boy next door, she has plenty of friends, and although she long ago wrote her mother off as a superficial gym rat, she’s thankful to have allies in her loving, laid-back dad and her younger brother.

But a conversation with a boy at a party one night shakes Macy out of the carefully maintained complacency that has defined her life so far. The boy is Sebastian Ruiz, a recovering addict who recognizes that Macy is hardened by dark secrets. And as Macy falls for Sebastian, she realizes that, while revealing her secret could ruin her seemingly perfect family, keeping silent might just destroy her.

The Fix follows two good-hearted teenagers coming to terms with the cards they were dealt. It’s also about the fixes we rely on to cope with our most shameful secrets and the hope and fear that comes with meeting someone who challenges us to come clean.


I received this book in a giveaway, and finally got around to reading it. It took me longer than I should because I have been so busy, but here I am with the review.

The plot of this book was pretty good. It started off with Macy meeting Sebastian. After that, he gets put in a mental hospital because his mom read his journal. Macy start seeing him there while also dating Chris. Will she find her one true love out of these two guys.

I liked Macy's character. She signifies all the teenage girls who aren't really sure where they stand in this world. Sabastian was a good character and he sounded adorable, but I felt like he was a little too much of a "strange" character. What I am trying to say is that he is preachy and kind of makes the story theological. Chris is the ordinary boy Macy is dating but doesn't want to be. Macy's mom is a selfish and mean character, according to Macy.

I thought this book was pretty ordinary, but it also had a little spark. It kind of reminded a Sarah Dessen book. The romance really bloomed, and the characters made the romance more interesting. I also learned a lot through the back story, which was about sexual abuse. Macy had gotten abused by her adopted brother, and she doesn't know what to do about it. This seemed like a pretty fresh perspective on a real avoided topic.

Overall, this was an interesting romance book with some flaws.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights

The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Voice That Challenged a Nation is a very interesting biography of Marion Anderson. I will not give a summary of it, because it just describes her life and singing career.

I will start off by saying that this book was not something I wanted to read. However, I was stuck reading it for a reading competition. It really wasn't near as bad as I thought, and was pretty good. I couldn't believe that Marion Anderson dealt with civil rights issues. It was neat that she was friends with Eleanor Roosevelt. Marion dealt with real problems, and I could actually say I related to her at times.

This book looked pretty long, but it was a pretty easy read. There were a lot of pictures which added to the story, and the writing was pretty big. I actually enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a historical biography.

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Review: The Art of Not Breathing

The Art of Not Breathing The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I RECIEVED A ARC ON THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.  THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPIINIONS ON IT IN ANY WAY.

I enjoyed this book. It is a touching and raw love story.

Elsie is going through a very hard time. She doesn't know where she belongs, and is in a state of depression since her twin brother drowned and died in the ocean 5 year ago. Her whole family is still screwed up because of it. When Elsie meets Tay in the beach house she hides in, her whole life changes. Tay is a free-spirited diver who falls in love with Elsie. Will she learn how to recover, or will she get in trouble.

I thought this book was very interesting. It was different than what I usually read because it was more depressing and raw. It also had a strange plot and unusual characters.

This book seemed to start out slow. It just talked about how Elsie met Tay and they slowly fell in love. It got a little more interesting when Elsie starts freediving under Tay's instructions. Tay disappears soon after he and Elsie start to get close, and that makes the book more interesting. Near the end of the book, after Tay comes back, it gets really confusing after Elsie finds out a lot more about her brothers death.

One interesting addition to this book is the set of flashbacks spread out throughout the book. They show Elsie and Eddie (her brother) when Eddie was still alive. I also enjoyed how the book was separated into parts, and each title page for a part had a joke from the joke book Eddie received in one on the flashbacks. Eddie's joke book was a pretty big part of the book.

There are a lot of characters in this book, which made it confusing to me. Elsie was a girl who was very confused about how she was supposed to live her life. She decided to betray her parents wishes not to go into water, and finds out who she really is. However, she doesn't necessarily like this discovery all that much. Tay is a rebel who loves Elsie. He wants her to be happy, but isn't always willing to pay the consequences for the things he did wrong. Tay has some friends that aren't real significant, but one of them stands out. His name is Danny, and he is really protective of Elsie. Elsie's mom and dad are very screwed up.

The end of this book is very touching and will leave you in tears. It sums up the book perfectly and is probably the best part of the books. My one complaint about it is that it wraps it up very fast, and gets a little confusing.

Overall, this is a okay drama book that would be perfect for a tragedy book lover.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: Desire in Frost

Desire in Frost Desire in Frost by Alicia Rades
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Desire in Frost is the second book the Fire in Frost series by Alicia Rades. It is a pretty good book.

This book again focuses on Crystal Frost as she maneuvers yet another mystery because of a her psychic ability. She sees a ghost who wants her to save this little girl in her town. After going of a vacation, and realizing the abducted 6 year old is nearer than she thought, she gets into major danger. Will she find Hope, the child? Or will she be seriously hurt?

The cover of this book is more stunning than book one. I love the purple shades. Crystal's hair in this picture is amazing, and the blue eyes stand out wonderfully. This certainly doesn't look like an indie book cover, and I can't wait to see the cover for Inspired in Frost, the third book in this series which isn't out yet.

Crystal again amazed me with how much she actually sounded like a teenager. Alicia Rades must really know what a teenager sounds like. All the characters actually have flaws. I liked how Teddy, Crystal's stepfather, didn't go along with everything she said. He doubted her occasionally, just as he should have.

I loved how there was a bit more romance in this book. The romance between Crystal's friends, Derick and Emma, was very cute. I really enjoyed seeing the romance between Robin and Crystal as well. It made the story more well rounded. It also made it go a bit faster. Robin is Teddy's nephew, and is usually a jerk and pretty reserved. Around Crystal, he started to show the real him.

This book was a bit darker than the first one, but it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. The mystery made me wonder why I ever stopped reading mystery in the first place. It made the suspicious scenes more dramatic. This book started out slow, but got faster quickly. I read all but the first 30 or so pages today.

There were two ghosts in this book. Penny was an important teenager who ultimately solved the case. Scott was an adult who they thought was a suspect in the beginning. The ghosts were interesting, but kind of one sided.

Overall, this book is a good paranormal mystery.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Book Blitz: In The After






In the After
Elisa Dane
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Sadie Reynolds is a liar with secrets. At school, she’s part of the popular crowd known as AE, despite being broken inside. She hides it well. She has to. The slightest bit of imperfection will land her in the same shoes as her Geeky neighbor named Ian.


Ian and his only friend are the object of Sadie’s friends’ ridicule, ire, and entertainment. The AE rule the school with intimidation and retribution against anyone who would dare question their supremacy.


Sadie steers clear of most of it, terrified someone will find out her secret. She isn’t the least bit perfect. In fact, she suffers from PTSD stemming from the murder of her mother right before her eyes when she was a child. She can barely cope from day-to-day, hiding her truth and trying to fit in. But she knows it’s only a matter of time.


Hayden is a “Waverly,” a kid with the misfortune of living in the small farming town of Waverly that borders the very affluent Lexington Parrish. The AE doesn’t mix with “Waverlies.” Ever.


Desperate to get away from her oppressive friends, Sadie crashes into Hayden at a bonfire and the attraction that sparks between them is nothing short of electric. But Hayden’s an outsider and when things heat up, Sadie will be forced to choose between her friends and her new boyfriend.


Only Queen Bee Britt isn’t having it. She will not allow Sadie to cross her. Sadie can either do what Britt wants her to do or she will reveal Sadie for the PTSD freak that she is.


Sadie does some soul searching about who she is and who she wants to be. She can’t live her life like this. Not any more. One fateful night will help her see how much things have to change.


She’s determined to no longer allow the AE to rule her life. She will be strong, stand up for Ian and love who she wants in Hayden. Determined and invigorated, Sadie goes to school feeling hopeful for the first time in forever.


But, the unthinkable happens.


Shooters attack dozens of students before the two eventually take their own lives, leaving the school a decimated shadow of what it once was.


Suddenly who lives where, wears what or loves whom seems like the least of Lexington Parish’s problems as everyone and everything changes forever in the after.


IN THE AFTER by Elisa Dane is a hard-hitting and heart-warming story of tragedy, love, loss and redemption. It is recommended for readers 14+.






EXCERPT:


“No! Stop it! Don’t hurt her. Mom! Mommy!”


I thrashed awake, my throat on fire, my skin cold and soaked with sweat along with my pajamas and sheets. That damn, fucking night. That final image of my mom bleeding out across our hardwood floor before the monster tied me up and locked me in the closet—it wouldn’t disappear. Burned into every deep, dark crevice of my mind, it haunted me daily, and replayed itself on an endless loop every night while I slept.


The three night lights dousing my room with a soft, warm glow, failed to provide the sense of safety and comfort they normally did and I hugged my blanket to my chest in a vain attempt to chase the chill away. My room wasn’t cold. The chill lay deep inside me in the place the darkness had taken up residence. Dying of thirst, I reached for the glass of water sitting on my nightstand.


“Sadie!”


My body seized, my arms flew up with a scream, and water rained down over everything within a five-foot radius as the glass tumbled through the air. It shattered upon impact with the wood floor. Mocha went crazy. The fur at the nape of her neck standing on end as she paced back and forth at the end of my bed, growling and barking.


Barely able to control my limbs they were shaking so badly, I floundered around for my cell phone, which had gotten lost somewhere between my sheets.


“Sadie! Let me in.” The window shook each time the attacker rammed his fist against the glass and panic spiked, a high-pitched wail blowing past my lips as I ripped apart my bedding.


I found my phone buried beneath the blanket near my feet. Dizzy and hyperventilating, I fumbled with it, repeatedly stabbing the touchscreen in a vain attempt to unlock the damn thing.


“Come on! Come on, you stupid thing.” My heart felt like it was in my throat and my chest felt like it was going to explode any minute.



“Ginger! It’s me, Hayden.”


It felt like I’d been trapped under water and was finally able to surface and take a deep breath. The thick haze of fear slowly dissipated, the fog inside my head clearing enough for me to recognize his voice. “H-Hayden?”


Hot tears trickled down my cheeks as I stumbled out of bed and made my way over to my window. I grappled with the extra locks my dad had installed when we first moved in, unable to contain the loud sob that blew past my lips when the window finally slid open.


Hayden was in my room with his arms around me before I had a chance to draw breath. “I heard you screaming and I got scared.” His body stiffened and he pulled away, his gaze scanning the room. “Did you hear something? Is that why you were screaming?” He took a step toward my bedroom door, stopping when I caught his wrist.


“It’s okay, Hayden. No one’s here. I had a nightmare.”


He stared down at me with narrowed eyes, then closed the gap between us, drawing me into his arms again. His arms felt warm and strong, the space at the center of his chest where I laid my head as though it was made for me and me alone. As if on autopilot, his hand found its favorite spot on the side of my neck, his touch both soothing and electric as he peered down at me with concern. “Nightmare? You were screaming like someone was trying to murder you.”


I flinched.


His eyes grew wide for a millisecond, realization and understanding warring for dominance behind his eyes. Thankfully, the gentleness I craved in his deep blues returned as quickly as it had left. He swept me off my feet without warning and carefully placed me on my bed, sliding between the sheets right along beside me. I rolled onto my side, my body shuddering in relief when he pulled me against him and wrapped his arm around me. “Sleep, princess. You’re safe. I won’t let anyone hurt you.”


Safe. It was such a small word with such a big meaning. Lives either flourished or fell apart in search of it. I’d known the warmth of safety. Taken it for granted. Wasted the warmth and comfort that came with it like a spoiled child. I also knew the festering terror that came with the absence of safety. I walked in its darkness. Choked and smothered beneath it nightly. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I would truly feel safe again. But, for reasons I couldn’t explain, that’s exactly how I felt in Hayden’s arms. Completely safe.


And so very tired. Too tired to care about my dad’s warning about talking to Hayden and letting him in the house. My lids grew heavy and I was asleep within moments.










Author Bio:


ELISA DANE is a self-proclaimed book junkie. A lover of handbags, chocolate, and reality television, she's a proud mother to three All- Star cheerleaders. Writing is her absolute passion, and it's her mission to create stories that will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but help you find a new respect and interest in the sport of All-Star cheerleading.


Elisa is no stranger to the publishing world. She writes steamy paranormal romance under her real name, Lisa Sanchez. Her adult works include the Hanford Park series (Eve Of Samhain, Pleasures Untold, and Faythe Reclaimed), Obsessed (an erotic suspense), and a paranormal novella, Cursing Athena. Elisa lives in Northern California with her husband, three daughters, and a feisty Chihuahua who stubbornly believes she's human.











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