Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

Title: All Broke Down
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 10.28.2014
Pages: 368
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports
Series: Rush University #2
Source: ARC from author

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

OK, I love Cora Carmack. Not just because she’s awesome and fun to hang out with, but in ALL BROKE DOWN she did something that I freaking love when authors do – she made me love a character I used to dislike.

Silas was an ass in All Lined Up. The distaste Dallas still harbors for him was similar to how I felt going into this book, but Carmack does a fantastic job of humanizing him. In fact, Silas Moore is one of the more realistic fictional characters I’ve read in a long time. He’s not just one thing—yes, he’s loyal and protective and hot, but he’s also pretty messed up, jaded, and (at times) a jerkwad. I love that Carmack didn’t try to tame him or downplay his assiness from book one. That is what compelled me to him even more.

Dylan was a good balance for him. Sweet and soft where he was bitter and hard. While I’m not crazy about Silas looking to Dylan to “fix” him, I can see why he was so drawn to her.
This series is one of my favorite new adult series. Carmack is a Texas girl and it shows in every football scene she writes, in every landscape she describes, and every character she infuses life into. You just can’t replicate that genuineness.

Buy: All Broke Down

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Letter: Dear Newbie

Dear Newbie Blogger,

Welcome to the wild world of book blogging! I'm sure you're looking around wondering what you've gotten yourself into. If you haven't deleted all traces of a fledgling blog over the last 10 days, then you're a champ, in my opinion.

No one would blame you for walking (running) away. Twitter has exploded with hashtags ranging from #HaleNo to #AuthorYes to now #BloggerBlackout. I get it - book bloggers are an overwhelming group, especially when you whip us into a frenzy. And lately, there's been a lot of frenzy happening that's shone a big ole spotlight on our community. For better or for worse, we are a community and now you're part of it. Of us. 

Again, welcome.

Maybe you're just considering blogging and haven't made the plunge. Maybe you're halfway into a blog design and about you launch yourself into the interwebs. Maybe you've been blogging for a day. Maybe a month. Maybe you've been blogging for a few months and this latest online disaster is making you consider throwing in the towel.

Drama aside, I get it. Bloggers are a tough nut to crack. I spent a long time on the fringes of the blogging community, not really feeling accepted. I would make attempts to interact with better know bloggers and would be met with silence or quick, dismissive comments. Even now, after 3 years of this, I still sometimes walk into a conference or an event or a twitter conversation and wonder what I'm doing here. 

Book blogging seems like such a simple thing: I love to read, so why not share that love? But there is a never ending TBR, and posts to schedule, tours to sign up for, promo posts to tweak, rafflecopters taking off and landing everywhere you look ... There's trying to build a rapport with publicists and readers and other bloggers. It's exhausting and for every mountain climbed, there's another one right behind it; another blow up on the horizon.

So why do it? Why throw yourself into this chaotic fray of html and social media?

Because, every now and then, you find those moments that make it all worth it.

You find that book that you never would have discovered without blogging. 

You find your best friend in a goodreads forum. 

You meet an author who is even more awesome in person than online and actually knows you.

You connect with a group of bloggers living less than a mile from your home that you can laugh with and go to movies with and bring you cupcakes when you have a sick day.

You find a whole group of friends willing to entertain your crazy ideas and let you be you.

So yes, this community is big. It can be scary and overwhelming and flawed, sometimes with more drama than an episode of Days of Our Lives. But it's ours and you're part of it. So go out there and do your thing. 

We've been waiting for you and your voice to arrive.

All my love,

Review: The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts

Title: The Bodies We Wear
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 9.23.2014
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from ALA

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
People say when you take Heam, your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only eleven when dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. But Faye didn’t glimpse heaven—she saw hell. And Christian died. 
Now Faye spends her days hiding her secret from the kids at school, and her nights training to take revenge on the men who destroyed her life and murdered her best friend. But life never goes the way we think it will. When a mysterious young man named Chael appears, Faye's plan suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Chael seems to know everything about her, including her past. But too many secrets start tearing her world apart: trouble at school, with the police, and with the people she thought might be her friends. Even Gazer, her guardian, fears she's become too obsessed with vengeance. Love and death. Will Faye overcome her desires, or will her quest for revenge consume her?


Heam, short for Heaven's Dream, allows you a glimpse of a beautiful place that many claim to be Heaven. So why wouldn't you want to try it? Even if you could die the first time. Faye can give plenty of reasons.

Faye is 17 but she seems so much older. What she has gone through and what she is working towards have aged her. It started when she was 11. Can you imagine keeping hate that long locked inside? When you finally learn why, you understand. It ruined more than just her life.

The world you get brought into is some depressing. Heam has completely changed it. Roberts has done an amazing job filling in the smallest details, yet important, to give you a world that justifies Faye's hate. Cue Chael and the light he brings with him.

Once Faye realizes who he is, everything in her little world goes upside down. The emotions she goes through are something anyone would feel. Roberts certainly knows how to carry those emotions out of the pages.

This is definitely one that I'll remember.

Buy: The Bodies We Wear

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blog Tour: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

It's no secret that YA is quickly taking over the world, including TV and movies. That being that, here's a dreamcast for the Dark Elements:

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout - she's not only an amazing writer, but also a fantastically witty and fun person to be around. That energy she lives with is infused into her books, her characters, and I think that's why people connect to well to them.

STONE COLD TOUCH picks up where White Hot Kiss left off. Layla is confused and grows more and more torn between Zayne and Roth. I typically establish my OTP ship in a series in book one and it doesn't change, but something about this trio has me unsure. I was firmly Team Roth going into this, but I can't deny the attraction with Zayne. There's a sweetness there and a vulnerability that I don't think Layla has with Roth.

By the end of the book I am completely at a loss for who I want Layla to end up with. So much has happened and been revealed, and truly either guy would complement her. But I guess I need to make up my mind soon since the choice of who Layla ends up with is in the hands of the reader.

In an unprecedented move, Armentrout has opened up the final book and is letting readers vote to determine the fate of Layla's heart. Good luck and choose wisely.

The choice is yours...

Beginning October 21st you’ll have 3 weeks to visit the series website, www.thedarkelementsseries.com, to take a poll and decide which guy Layla should ultimately choose in the final book in the trilogy, EVERY LAST BREATH.
At the end of 3 weeks, we will tally all the votes, and that’s when Jennifer L. Armentrout will start writing EVERY LAST BREATH. The guy who gets the most votes is the one Layla will pick.

To prevent early spoilers, we're not going to reveal who won the poll in advance…you’ll have to wait until EVERY LAST BREATH goes on sale on July 28th, 2015 to find out whether Zayne or Roth wins Layla in the end. We promise the book will be epic and definitely worth the wait!

Who do you want Layla to end up with? Go to www.thedarkelementsseries.com and vote for your choice! 


And don’t forget the previous books in The Dark Elements Series…



One signed print copy of STONE COLD TOUCH for each site to giveaway. US/Canada only Giveaway. Comment below to be entered to win.

Every touch has its price
Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden.  Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Title: In a Handful of Dust
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 9.23.2014
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Series: Not a Drop to Drink #2
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to 
Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.


Lucy has grown so much since Lynn first found her. She has grown accustomed to living like Lynn. She pulls her weight and helps with the sick. But she has a spark even if he doesn't know why.

She hasn't always lived like this. She came from the city. Or what was left it. She wants more and she will find a way. Lynn has been such a good mother to her and stands by her. Even if she doesn't think it's a good idea.

They embark on a journey that allows them both to learn more about themselves. And throughout the journey I almost died. It's so suspenseful and I was holding my breath. Like when you watch a scary movie and the music is playing and you're like oh no! I wanted the best for Lynn and Lucy.

When they i ally get to a town, you get that feeling like maybe this is it but there is that shadow of doubt once you meet the people. And I just want to say ew. Like I really can't believe what they have done. Mindy really gave you a surprise there. But it goes well with the hardness of the times and everyone's just trying to survive.

I got to the end and I let out a breathe that I forgot I was holding. I can only hope for just one more book that lets you know about their end journeys. Lynn is an amazing woman. Hardened by how she grew up and all that she has gone through. Softened only by the little Lucy. Lucy was so gentle and sweet but has learned from Lynn and has grown to understand what it means to live.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Dove Arising

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly waiting to get into our hands.

This week I'm waiting on....

By: Karen Bao

Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom:  that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble...

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.

Why I Want It:
I was so bummed this was pushed back and wasn't at BEA or ALA, but February is coming soon and I will have this book soon! This book sounds just phenomenal.

Dove Arising will be released February 25, 2015 by Viking Juvenile

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle

Title: Famous In Love
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: 10.21.2014
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series: Famous In Love #1
Source: ARC from BEA

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
When seventeen-year-old Paige Townsen gets plucked from obscurity to star in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a bustling movie set on the shores of Maui, and she is spending quality time with her costar Rainer Devon, one of People's Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie's famous love triangle, Paige's crazy new life begins to resemble her character's. 

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is -- and who she wants -- while the whole world watches.

OK, Rebecca Serle, you are freaking brilliant. I just need to get that out of the way because Holy Moses, this story was awesome. The premise, the cast, the settings … FAMOUS IN LOVE was like getting a tantalizing glimpse of the life behind the tabloids and every single thing about it was just sheer perfection.

Does it sound like I’m fangirling a bit here? Because I am.

GAH! It’s been weeks since I read this gem of a book and I am still having a hard time expressing just why I love it so hard.

This is a fun book. A guilty pleasure, stay up late and miss work kind of book. It’s not overly heavy or dramatic despite it being set in the glitzy yet troubling world of teenage Hollywood, but this book is pure entertainment. Maybe because it’s a little bit like fantasy fulfillment. Don’t tell me you never imagine being plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight where you meet an amazingly hot guy (or two)!

It’s just us girls (and guys?) here. You can tell me…

Look, FAMOUS IN LOVE is a feel-good book with extremely likeable characters. Paige is a great narrator and I actually loved that she was torn between these two guys. I can assure you the ending isn’t what you expect, but before you go freaking out like I did, there’s another book coming.

If it’s half as good as this one? Then I’ll love it, and so will you.
Buy Famous in Love
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