Monday, March 31, 2014

Review: The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young

Book Title: The Treatment (The Program #2)
Author: Suzanne Young
Release Date: April 29th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Series: Book 2 in The Program duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Link: Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”

How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?


Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
How often is it that less than a week after you feature something in a WOW post, that you get access to an e-ARC of it? Well it happened to me. You may recall that I made The Treatment by Suzanne Young the featured book on my first WOW post. Imagine my joy and elation when I got the email from Edelweiss that my request was accepted.

You may remember that I loved the first book in this duology. My review of The Program is here. All I knew at the end of that book was that I needed more Sloane, James and yes, even Realm.

Well I got more of these three. I also got to meet some new characters. Dallas was a badass and I adored her to pieces.Cassanova "Cas" was a bit of a mystery throughout a lot of it. Then there was Kellan, Asa & Arthur and of course Evelyn. All of them played a part in how the book turned out.Even some returning characters such as Lacey, Kevin and Roger played a part in this sequel. 

I'm going to do my absolute best to keep spoilers out of this review but oh my goodness, I loved this book. It was emotionally taxing, but not quite as much as the first book had been. I ugly cried quite a bit while reading this one. There were connections that no one saw coming. There was one connection that I totally called, but for the most part, the bombshells came without a single hint as to what was going to happen.

I still adored James and Sloane's relationship. At times Sloane was a bit co-dependent on James but those brief moments were just that, brief.They were stronger together than apart and I rooted for them all the way through. I cannot always say that with couples in YA books so James and Sloane were a welcome exception.

Sloane was an awesome character. She was stubborn, she was compassionate and she was loyal. I absolutely adored her. Probably even more than I adored her in the first book. James was awesome too. He seemed different somehow and I couldn't quite put my finger on how. He seemed more hopeful (the Program creators probably thought it was because of them) He was totally loyal to Sloane, despite a girl making the moves on him.

Realm turned out to have a lot more secrets than anyone could have dreamed! The vast chunk of the bombshells connected to him in some way.By the end, I was no longer sure if he was trustworthy.

I am going to give this book five stars.The editing was great, the feels were back in full force and the characters were awesome and multi-dimensional, which always makes me really happy. It was absolutely perfect and I loved it completely. I definitely plan on pre-ordering a copy of this book.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #36

This feature is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

So I am about finished with this week. It has been a very long and stressful week. On Monday my mom & 13 year old brother were in a car accident that totaled my mom's car. So we've been frantically searching for a new car. It's stressful because we don't want to have to keep our rental car for too long but we also don't want to settle on a car.

I have still managed to keep the blog current which is great considering all the stress that's been happening this past week. I also got some good books. HarperTeen uploaded a lot of new books onto Edelweiss. I was good and only downloaded 1 of them. I'm only going to allow myself one book a week. I am finally starting to get a toehold on my TBR list and I really do not want to lose control again. I got approved for another book from Edelweiss as well as a book from NetGalley. I also got an e-ARC sent to me early Saturday morning.

Bought
-
Received for Review

-Edelweiss-
Biggest Flirts (Superlatives #1) by Jennifer Echols
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeliene Kuederick

-NetGalley-
Oblivion by Sasha Dawn

-From the author-
After The Storm (Angel Island #2) by Marie Landry

Gifted
Swag from author Marie Landry as a thank you for being on her Street Team. Sorry there are no pictures, I accidentally deleted the pics I took of the swag and didn't feel like taking the pictures again.

Won
-

So don't forget to link me to your Stacking the Shelves posts & vlogs. I'll try to drop by as soon as I can.

Weekly Blog Wrap-Up
Monday- Review of Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley
Tuesday- Review of Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West
Wednesday- Waiting on Wednesday pick Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell
Thursday- No Post
Friday- Discussion Post Mood Reading
Saturday- Review of Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review: Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell (Spoilers)

Book Title: Dear Killer
Author: Katherine Ewell
Release Date: April 1st, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA/Mystery
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from Katherine Tegen books via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Disclaimer 2: This review contains spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.

Review:
Okay there are a few things I need to say before I really get into the review for this book. One, this book is not for everyone. Some people will enjoy it and some people won't. Secondly, you really need to suspend reality to enjoy this book. To most people, murder is not okay, but in this book, in this world, it's all Kit knows.

As a child, Kit's mother raised her to be a ruthless killer and to take over her mom's reign as Dear Killer when she is ready. Kit has managed to keep the terror of Dear Killer alive. Her destiny has been settled since she was a small child. Her mom believes that the only way to deal with the crappy things that happen in the world is by asserting justice on their own.

She doesn't kill everyone who sends her letters, she chooses her victims carefully from the letters that she receives. Yet things start to change when she receives a letter demanding that she kill a fellow high school student. Against her better judgement, Kit develops a friendship with Maggie even though that violates an unspoken rule to not get close to the victims.

Kit mostly sticks to herself so she won't violate the unspoken rule. Yet Maggie sneaks into her seemingly cold heart and that makes it difficult for Kit to imagine actually killing her. Yet the idea of going against everything her mom has taught her, is difficult. So now Kit has to decide what is more important, her long held beliefs, drilled into her by her mother or her growing realization that she wants more for herself. She wants to be held accountable for her actions.

Kit's home life is pretty crappy. Her mom deliberately married a man who is very emotionally and physically distant with her and Kit. He is very into his work and not really concerned about his wife and kids. One could call that convenient which of course is not a good thing, but then again I had to suspend reality for this book. Her mom didn't want anyone in the family to question what she was doing. Yet she and her mom are very close. They talk about everything which is really nice to see as that kind of relationship is underrepresented in YA.

There were some lulls at about 70% into the book and the character development wasn't as strong as I was hoping that it would be. It was an interesting concept that overall I enjoyed. I am going to give it 4 stars because I did enjoy the book overall.I can definitely understand why some people had problems with it, but I really enjoyed it and was glad to read something completely different than anything I had ever read before. I would recommend it mostly because it was such a unique read that I am really glad I took a chance on.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mood Reading

This post was inspired by Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner. She recently wrote a post on mood reading. This got me thinking as I am also a mood reader. I am also big on schedules so it's difficult to figure out which one will win out and it's always a different mindset that wins out every week. I love schedules and when it comes to book reviews I try to follow them but I refuse to force myself to read a book that I am not in the mood for.

I recently finished Dear Killer which is a YA Mystery and while I did enjoy it, I had to be in the right mood for it. If I had read it a month ago, it wouldn't have worked because I was in a YA Contemporary phase and reading Dear Killer at that time would have ruined the book for me because I was not in the mood for a YA Mystery.

The idea of throwing out my color-coded review schedule makes me super panicky and scares the crap outta me. I thrive on schedules and if I were to just throw out the schedules and just listen to my mood completely, I think my compulsive need to meet deadlines would screw with my head completely and possibly ruin my love for reading at least temporarily. However, I know myself well enough to know that if I read a book that I am just not in the mood for, my review & the attached rating will suffer.

So I am just going to embrace my mood reading and be okay with the idea that I might not meet every single deadline that publishers want me to make and that's okay. I would rather write a fair review and rate it correctly and have the review come in a little after the release date than write an unfair review with an incorrect rating and have it posted prior to the release date.

So are you a mood reader or are you more of a schedule reader?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #4 Summer On The Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It's a way to showcase upcoming books that we are excited about.


Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell. 

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.

Book Information
Book Title: Summer on the Short Bus
Author: Bethany Crandell
Release Date: April 1st, 2014
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBook Depository

My Reaction
How am I just now hearing about this book? It looks amazing and totally up my alley. In an upcoming review for Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern, I make a point to mention how underrepresented the teens with disabilities are in YA books.  In Summer on the Short Bus, we take a spoiled teenager and send her off to work at a camp for disabled teens. So YAY, more teenagers with disabilities are coming up in YA. That makes me super happy. I am so excited to read this book and I really wish it was out already.

So what upcoming book are you waiting for?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review: Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West

Book Title: Split Second (Pivot Point #2)
Author: Kasie West
Release Date: February 11th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Paranormal
Series: Book 2 in Pivot Point duology (My review of Pivot Point is here)
Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

Disclaimer: This book was a personal purchase.

Review:
Oh Split Second, how I loved you. Let me count the ways...

Just kidding, I am absolutely not that poetic, but holy crap this was an awesome book, from beginning to end. There were twists and turns frequently which I loved. Addie and Laila are still one of my all time favorite friendships. The friendship is beautiful, reciprocated and well balanced which I love. 

Unlike in Pivot Point, I loved Trevor. He was sweet and kind and so supportive of Addie. This time around, I bought their relationship and not only that, I rooted for them as a couple. Generally a Norm and someone with abilities do not mix well together, but with Trevor and Addie it just works and it works really well.

Connor and Laila were my favorite relationship in this book. Connor was the quintessential bad boy and Laila was the only girl to be seemingly immune to his charms. Yet, again, they work somehow. Maybe it's the opposites attract thing, I don't know. Laila needs Connor's help though and it's at that point, that you realize that Connor's bad boy image is just a facade.

My favorite subplot was Laila's brother Elliot. He hasn't Presented yet and he's scared that he won't Present. I was scared that he wouldn't Present and that he would be kicked out and made to live in the Norm world. Watching Laila try to help him was beautiful and at times, heartbreaking. I can never say enough about how much I love brother-sister dynamics in books.

I'm obsessed with the ending. It was quick paced and action filled to the point where I didn't want to put it down for anything, nope not even a bathroom break. Even the ending kept me guessing, which I absolutely loved. I am so sad that my journey into this world is now over and that I will never see these characters again. 5 stars to this book. I think everyone should read this duology.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Book Title: Don't Call Me Baby
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads:
All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.

Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.

When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.

Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and irrepressibly charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and the surface-level identities we show the world online and the truth you can see only in real life.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:

I knew this one had potential to be really great or really terrible but I decided to read this one now because I really needed a light and fluffy read. Thankfully, I did get that but unfortunately this book leaned on the terrible side. Normally, I don't make lists in my reviews but I will this time because I think it's going to be the only way that I am going to be able to sort out my feelings about this book.

Disliked
  • Immogene- She lacked any sort of backbone. She was very passive about her mom's blogging all about her. She lacked the anger that she swore she felt.
  • "Mommylicious" Meg- She was an absolute whackjob and she seemed to be more interested in her blogging life than in the real world- you know the place with sunshine and beaches and family time.
  • Meg's husband-Yup, yet someone else who was a doormat. I mean hello, it seemed as though Meg and her readers made all the decisions about what to do if/when Immogene acted up.
  • Sage- She really didn't understand where her mom's concern for eating right came from. To be fair, neither did I until the book was nearly over. However, if she had just TALKED to her mother, I think things could have improved a lot quicker.
  • Writing- It seemed very juvenile. It seemed to straddle the edge between Middle Grade books and Young Adult books despite Immogene being 15 years old.The dialogue seemed overly simplistic 90% of the time. 
Liked

  • Grandma Hope- She basically saved the book for me.
  • Immogene's longtime crush- He was all kinds of adorable. He clearly had a drastically different home life than Immogene had. I think that helped Immogene realize that her mom blogged about her because she loved her and was proud of her. 
  • The setting- I mean Florida, beaches? Great setting for this book.
  • The cover- It looked so serene and calm.
  • The ending- It was full of brutual honesty which I am all for.
So all in all, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I didn't particularly like most of the characters, but Immogene's crush and Grandma Hope totally made up for the other characters. I could probably get away with giving it 2.5 stars but the ending helped a lot. So I'll give it a firm 3 stars. Maybe others will enjoy it more than I did.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #35

This feature is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I'm back, everyone! You may have noticed that there was no Stacking the Shelves last Sunday. That was due to only having one book and I really didn't think it was necessary to have a post for only one book.

Thankfully, this week brought more books. I got a freebie off of Amazon (I probably should not have bought another book but oh well) A blogger friend by the name of Andi sent me two books. Thank you Andi. I also "won" a book from ARCycling, but it's not really winning in the typical sense, either way, I got it. Funny thing was, it was donated by my friend Stormy. I got a book from Edelweiss as well. Excited about this one, hoping it's as good as the cover makes it look. I also got a book from NetGalley this week.

Bought
Counting to D by Kate Scott

Received for Review

-Edelweiss-
Sublime by Christina Lauren

-NetGalley-
The Kiss of Deception (The Remmant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Gifted
Once (Eve #2) by Anna Carey
Rise (Eve #3) by Anna Carey

Won
Independent Study (The Testing #2) by Joelle Charbonneau

As always, leave me links to your Stacking the Shelves posts and vlogs.

Weekly Blog Wrap-Up
Monday- Book Blitz for The Right Moves (The Game #4) by Emma Hart
Wednesday- Review of Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1) by Anne Blankman
Thursday- Review of She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
Friday- Did Not Finish (DNF)
Saturday- No Post

Bloggers Mentioned
Andi of Andi's ABC's
Stormy of Book.Blog.Bake
The ladies of ARCycling

Friday, March 21, 2014

Did Not Finish (DNF)

I really do not like not finishing a book. It makes me feel like crap despite knowing that I don't want to waste my time on a bad book. I question myself about why I didn't finish the book. I wonder if I just didn't understand the book. It gets even worse when I appear to be the only one in the blogosphere that didn't enjoy a book. It feels like "Okay, what am I missing?" "What's wrong with me?" but in actuality, it's okay to not like a book. Not everyone is going to absolutely adore every single book.

There are many reasons that I choose to DNF a book but they basically come down to character development (no I don't have to love the character but I have to see some sort of effort in developing them) and writing style. There have been several books in which I hated the writing style but the characters were intriguing enough for me to keep going. There have been other books were the writing was beautiful and despite having flat characters, I finished the book.

Pacing is another big one. It's not a huge deal for me, but it's definitely a factor and if I am having a hard time trying to decide if I want to finish the book, pacing will come into play. Is it fast paced and trying to lure me in or is it slow paced and not really caring if I get drawn in?

Recently, I've DNF'ed 2 books. Both hyped (possibly overhyped) and at least one of them, I was the true black sheep for. It's disappointing but I definitely don't want to waste my time reading books that are just not working for me for whatever reason. I'd rather focus on books that I loved. I find that it is a much better use of my time.

So have you DNF'ed a book yet in 2014?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

Book Title: She Is Not Invisible
Author: Marcus Sedgewick
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Mystery
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers--a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.

Disclaimer:I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

Review:
I was very excited about this book and jumped into it as soon as I could. I loved the idea of a blind protagonist as that is something that is not seen in many, if any, literature. So I was curious to see how it would be written. I was not expecting it to be written in the way that it was written. It pretty much ruined the book for me. I read for pleasure and the last thing I want to feel while I'm reading is that I am in a philosophy lecture. Unfortunately that's exactly the way I felt while reading this.

Not only that, but you really have to suspend reality for a little while. Now I don't have any problems with Laureth being blind and traveling. I know lots of blind people who travel. But having it be so easy for Laureth and Ben to travel from London to New York without having hardly any issues at all? Um, no. So not possible. Especially when they have never traveled on their own before.

Ben and Laureth I really enjoyed.There aren't enough books that have a sister and brother that really enjoy being around each other. They were my favorite part of the book but even they weren't enough to make me enjoy the book. The writing style was really weird and I think that if there wasn't a philosophy lecture at every chapter, I could have overlooked the strange writing.

The ending was really anticlimactic. I was expecting something quite different from what I got and I was left feeling very disappointed. This book was just not one that I enjoyed. Hopefully others will find it enjoyable but I did not. I'll be giving it 2 stars. The overabundance of philosophy just really ruined the book for me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1) by Anne Blankman

Book Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1)
Author: Anne Blankman
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA/Historical
Series: Book 1 in Prisoner of Night and Fog trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Normally I hate any sort of historical fiction. I hated history in both high school and college and even now I find the subject of history to be totally boring. There's one exception to that and that is the Hitler era. Yes, I am aware of the terrible things that he did. I am aware of the concentration camps and the gas chambers that he put Jewish people through. Of course that is terrible and heartbreaking. Yet, it's those actions that make him so fascinating. So several months ago, when I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to have it. I didn't dive into it right away because I had other books to read first.

I was coming off another YA book last week, when I realized that I could pick this book up. It was time. I was ready to be wowed. I knew that this book could either be amazing or horrible. As I opened the book, I held on to the hope that this book would fall under the category of amazing.

And it did.

Holy moly, this book was amazing and perfect and just so... awesome.

When we meet Gretchen, she is fiercely loyal to her "uncle" Dolf and to the memory of her father. It is said that her father died a martyr and through his death, Gretchen and her family  have become household names. Gretchen's mother runs a boardinghouse and Gretchen's brother, Reinhard, is an up and coming important member of Adolf Hitler's plans.

Reinhard has always been awful to Gretchen and ever since her father passed away, her mother excuses Reinhard's behavior some way or another. Gretchen knows that her brother is awful but it's not until she sees him with other boys beating up on an old man, that she realizes how awful he is.

Meeting a Jewish boy changes things. Gretchen is now being forced to face the fact that her wonderful, kind father wasn't simply killed. He was murdered. Gretchen cannot understand why. Nothing makes sense to her. Until she starts really listening to what her "uncle" Dolf is saying. Gretchen realizes that he is a lot more dangerous than she ever knew and that Reinhard is very much like him.

I hate saying this, but the arrival of Daniel Cohen ignites feelings that Gretchen had never really had before. She had been constantly told that Jews were bad and that they must be gone. But Gretchen never realized how exactly Adolf Hitler planned to do that. She had always been told that Jewish people were dirty and unclean, yet Daniel is kind and sweet and without even meaning to, Gretchen is falling hard for him. It scares her to fall for a Jew. Not only is she disobeying her once beloved Uncle Dolf, but she's learning about creating her own life path.

Daniel is a wonderful guy who is willing to break down all of Gretchen's walls and her preconceived notions about Jews. He is kind, gentle, respectful and it becomes clear that he's falling for Gretchen though I bet my right arm, he never intended to fall for her. I rooted for this couple all the way through and that's when I know that this couple is a good one. I don't get behind every couple, and in fact I often like them better when they're apart. Not Daniel & Gretchen. Yes, they're opposites but they are also really good for each other.

The world building was amazing. I honestly felt like I was in Munich and I have never even been there before. It was like I was actually in the book and that was the best feeling of all. Making someone feel like they stepped into 1930's Munich Germany is awesome and I admire an author who is able to give her readers that feeling. I love that the author did so much research and provided her sources in the end of the book. That's a mark of an author who is committed to the book and wants to get everything as accurate as possible. 

I was so excited to find out that this book is the first in a trilogy. Cannot wait to see what happens next. I absolutely adored this book, I thought it was perfection and so it's getting an easy 5 stars from me. I definitely recommend it. Even if you don't like historical fiction, you should give it a try. I'll definitely be ordering a finished copy of this book.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List

This feature is hosted by the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish.

I was excited about this list as I have a lot of books that I want to read on my TBR this spring.But I had to narrow it down to the ten most important books. Since I have a ginormous TBR pile, I am going to do 5 personal books & 5 review books.

Review Books
Great by Sara Benincasa
-This book comes out next month so I definitely need to have it read soon.
Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington
-This book came out last week so I really need to read it-
Insanity by Susan Vaught
-This one came out last month but I haven't had a chance to read it yet-
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
-This one comes out next month and I am so excited to read it. i've heard nothing but amazing things about it-
The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting
-My blogger friend Andi has been pushing this one on me for the past month-

Personal Books
Siege & Storm (Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
-I have had this book since September but have not read it yet-
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
-This one is a recent purchase. It looks like something I'll enjoy and I am excited to get to read it-
A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
-Bloggers Giselle and Gillian sold me on this book despite it not being a genre that I read-
In The After (In The After #1) by Demitria Lunetta
-I have the sequel to this one in e-ARC format. Plus this one looks really good-
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
-I love contemporaries that make me feel and apparently this one will bring the feels-

So what books are on your Spring TBR?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Blitz: The Right Moves by Emma Hart

Book Title: The Right Moves (Game #3)
Author: Emma Hart 

Publication date: March 27th 2014 
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Her past is wrought with demons.

His past is full of heartbreak.

Yet he’s the one person that can remind her what it means to live.

Abbi Jenkins never thought she would leave the walls of the mental institution that’s housed her for the last year. Now she has, but that doesn’t mean she’s forgotten everything Pearce put her through.

She knows there’s only one way to deal with the depression that claws at her mind each day, and ballet becomes more than a hobby, a dream. Ballet – and Julliard – becomes a reason to live. Something to hold on for.

Blake Smith left London for one reason and one reason only. Running from the heartbreak of his past was never something he wanted to do, but with constant reminders everywhere he turned, it became his only option. When he arrives in New York City, he vows he’ll keep the promise he made to his sister and get into Juilliard.

But he doesn’t expect to be paired with Abbi in class, the girl whose eyes show a world of pain he’s seen before. Pain he knows too well. As each hour they spend together pulls them closer, Blake can’t fight his need to save her from herself.

Lines blur as their pasts are wrenched into the open, and they have to ask themselves whether they’re  too broken to ever to be fixed, or if they’re the healing the other needs.

Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase LinksAmazonBarnes & Noble
About the Author:
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and growing bump, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of juice and writes books.

She likes to write about magic, kisses and whatever else she can fit into the story. Sarcastic, witty characters are a must. As are hot guys. Emma is currently working too many books to even count - including Playing for Keeps, the companion book to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Love Game. She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to when all the ideas come to life.

Connecting with the author:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, March 15, 2014

My Bucket List- Inspired by Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy


A couple of weeks ago, Julie Murphy sent out a tweet asking if any bloggers would be interested in helping her with her launch of Side Effects May Vary. She wanted to turn the tables on us and so she asked us to compile out own bucket lists. This was an excellent opportunity for me to stop procrastinating and actually do one like I had planned years ago.

My Bucket List
-Fall in love. I have never been one to be in and out of relationships constantly. In fact I have only ever had 1 serious relationship and I have never seriously dated anyone else. Falling in love is terrifying and it's absolutely something I want to experience in my lifetime. A life without love, is no life at all.People talk about men being the committment-phobes, but in my case it's me. I'm the one terrified to commit. 

-Get Married at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria that is in my hometown. I went to a wedding reception there about 9 years ago and it was absolutely beautiful. Ever since then, I have known that's where I want to be married.


-Go skydiving. I am totally a adrenaline junkie so of course this one is going to be on my bucket list. I hope to be able to do this someday. I think it would be an amazing experience.

-Go to Hawaii. Hawaii has always been on my list of places to visit and it's looking like I'll get to cross this one off my list in about a year. We are planning a trip after my brother graduates from 8th grade.So excited about that.

-Buy a home, particularly in the area I live now. It has to be brick & have hardwood floors as well as a pool. Everything else, I am pretty lax about.

-Become a published author. I am working on 3 separate writing projects (1 NA Contemporary, 1 YA Contemporary & 1 YA Thriller) I am hoping to have at least one of them published by the end of 2014.

And lastly, I want to get a tattoo. Nothing big or gaudy as that is not me at all. I have had a design set in my mind for over a year and I still love it. My uncle told me that it reminds him of zany director Tim Burton, who I absolutely love, so I thought that was really cool.


So those 7 items are my bucket list. No it's not extensive but it's comprised of all the things I want to experience most in the world.

So let's learn a bit more about the author of Side Effects May Vary.

Julie lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie's debut novel. Julie can best be found on her website (www.juliemurphywrites.com), tumblr (www.andimjulie.tumblr.com), or twitter (www.twitter.com/andimjulie).

BUY LINKS:
IndieBound: www.indiebound.org/book/9780062245359
B&N: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/side-effects-may-vary-julie-murphy/1115554719?ean=9780062245359
Amazon: www.amazon.com/Side-Effects-Vary-Julie-Murphy/dp/006224535X

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #3 The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.It is used to spotlight books that we are eagerly waiting for.


The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty––because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence . . . and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Book Information
Title: The Jewel
Author: Amy Ewing
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Standalone
Genre: YA/SciFi

Book Link

Pre-Order

My Reaction
I absolutely love the cover. Yes it does remind me of the covers for The Selection series by Kiera Cass, but the book sounds amazing. I really think that it has the power to be one of those un-putdown-able books. I am completely obsessed with the tagline as well. How awesome does it sound? Not sure exactly how one is trained to be a surrogate, but I guess we will find out.

So what book are you waiting for?