Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Release Day Celebration: Consumed (Barren 2)

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
Consumed (Barren 2) by Elizabeth Miceli
presented by Swoon Romance!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
 
Happy Book Birthday, Elizabeth!
 
Consumed Cover
 
Stacey Lorenzo has finished treatment, but is still devastated by her past as she enters college. With drugs and alcohol so readily available, so much freedom, and barely any supervision, Stacey falls back into old habits. Soon it’s a daily dose of partying, self-medicating, and having sex with lots of different guys. As her relationship with Eli destructs, she falls for Jesse, who just so happens to be a drug dealer. Every time she starts to fall back into the memories of her past, Jesse makes it easy to snort away the pain.
But she snorts too much one night; it forces her to question the man she loves and acknowledge her mental and emotional instability. In the second installment of The Barren Series, Stacey must overcome her addiction and make peace with her past if she is ever to be truly happy again.
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Consumed (Barren 2) by Elizabeth Miceli Publication Date: August 31, 2016 Publisher: Swoon Romance
 
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
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*** PUBLISHER’S ALERT: MATURE CONTENT WARNING ***
Recommended for ages 16+. Includes scenes that depict drug use, teen sex, and sexual assault.
This book contains mature content and depiction of a seventeen-year-old girl’s rape at the hands of another student. It is a chilling first person point of view account of something that occurs across the country at parties just like the one depicted in this story, and we wanted the fictional account to feel raw and as devastating. We also understand that these scenes may be difficult and uncomfortable for some. We recommend this novel for readers ages sixteen and older.
“I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Caitlin and me baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper, and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was a damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.”
Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless and with an eating disorder, she turns to partying to cope. Things go from bad ot worse when she is raped, a crushing blow to her psyche from which she may not recover. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to dull the pain. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out.
Barren is written by debut author Elizabeth Miceli. It is a devastating and dark account of one girl’s plummet to the very bottom of the human experience and the horrific and petrifying road to recovery and self-worth.
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About-the-Author2
Elizabeth Miceli
 
Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Psychology. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.
 
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (18)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Back To School Books! 
This week's topic was a back to school freebie! Whether you're headed back to school, be it high school or maybe college, or you just want to read some books that will put you in the mindset of going back to school, these are some of my favorites that I think will get you ready! 

1. Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
-It had to be said! So I figured I might as well make it number 1 and get it out of the way! Every book begins (for the most part) with the trio on the Hogwarts Express to start another year, and I can't help but love rereading books from this series during the fall when everyone is headed back to school! 
2.  To All The Boys I've Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
3. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
-Quite possibly one of my FAVORITE books about going off to college and trying to adjust, especially if you're more of an introvert. Although in all honesty, I think a lot of people can relate to what Cath goes through her first semester at school. 
5. Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler
-Another one of my favorite books that focuses on going to college and meeting new people. If you like romance at the NA level, this is a good one to start with! I need to read the next book in the Radleigh University Series by Dahlia soon!
6. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
-If you've ever felt like the outcast at school, the one who always got picked on or just never quite fit in, you'll totally feel for Lena in this series. 
7. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
-This book always reminded me of The Outsiders that I read in high school! Two kids meet who are basically from opposite sides of the "track," AKA one comes from the burbs and the other from the sketchier part of town, meet and fall in love. It's absolutely adorable and also a very intense book at the same time.
8. Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1) by Abbi Glines
9. Anatomy of A Misfit by Andrea Portes
10. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
-A new favorite of mine!

Release Day Celebration: Joshua and the Arrow Realm (Lightning Road #2) by Donna Galanti

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
Joshua and the Arrow Realm (Lightning Road #2) by Donna Galanti
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
 
Happy Book Birthday, Donna!
 
Joshua2 Cover
 
Joshua never thought he'd return to the world of Nostos so soon. But, when King Apollo needs his help in the Arrow Realm, Joshua's will and powers will be tested in order to save him.
With his loyalties divided between our world and theirs, Joshua wonders whether he alone can restore magic to the twelve powerless Olympian heirs, or whether he is being tricked into making the one mistake that might cost them all.
JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM is the exciting follow up to JOSHUA THE LIGHTNING ROAD which the Midwest Book Review called, "a heart-pounding thrill ride."
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Joshua and the Arrow Realm (Lightning Road #2) by Donna Galanti Publication Date: August 30, 2016 Publisher: Tantrum Books
 
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
 
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Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.
Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.
To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.
In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.
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About-the-Author2
Donna3Small
 
Donna is the author of the Joshua and the Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs..., a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at www.donnagalanti.com and www.ElementTrilogy.com. Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.
 
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Monday, August 29, 2016

An Ember in the Ashes Review


Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Rating: 5 Stars

Book Title: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1)

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Release Date: February 9th, 2016

Pages: 446

Publisher: Razorbill

            I’ve been wanting to start this book since I attended BookCon this year and heard about it from a few people, but somehow it kept slipping my mind! When I heard Sabaa Tahir was coming to a bookstore near me for a signing next month though, I rushed to pick up a copy and see if the series was as good as everyone said! Needless to say I LOVED this book and I can see this series being an overall favorite for me and I can’t wait to meet Tahir next month and get the next book in the series, A Torch Against the Night, signed by her!

Favorite Bits:
o   The Trials: It was very Hunger Games meets The Arcana Chronicles meets The Divergent Series.  Or if you’re a Harry Potter fan and the rest of those references are lost on you, just think The Triwizard Tournament from book 4, but with expected casualties by the end of the competition. The Augurs know people will die; it’s just a matter of which of the 4 contestants will die first and which will have a chance of becoming the new Emperor/Empress.
o   The myths/legends: I loved the inclusion of legendary creatures such as the jinn, ghuls (a new one for me), efrits, and wraiths, and I enjoyed how their appearance was gradual because few people believed in their existence.  These creatures were ones that they grew up listening to stories about, not things that lived in their world with them.  The further into the book you get though, the more they realize just how real these legends really are.
o   Izzy: She was one of the bravest, most selfless minor characters I’ve encountered yet and for that I couldn’t help but adore her. From Laia’s first day of work, Izzi does whatever she can to help her even though she risks punishment at the Commandant’s hand. What’s more is that Izzi has been a slave working at the Blackcliff Military Academy since she was a child, so you would think she would be the most withdrawn person Laia is working with, but she’s not.  The second Izzi finds out Laia’s real reasons for being there she instantly offers to help. For someone who has endured so much suffering Izzi is more than the timid servant girl everyone believes her to be.
o   The honesty: There’s a few scenes, especially one in particular, where the characters are tested and their decisions aren’t necessarily what you think they’re going to be. I feel like we, as readers, always give our favorite characters the benefit of the doubt and expect them to do the right thing when reading books, but doing so doesn’t allow room for error. Humans make mistakes, and An Ember in the Ashes does a great job of showing this. There’s also the fact that many of the important characters in this book are brought up a certain way, whether that’s to be ruthless, obedient, or brave. Whatever role they are expected to fulfill is one that’s been drilled into their head for a long time. So fighting against that, even if it’s the right thing to do, comes with its hardships.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a featured post hosted by Breaking the Spine that discusses upcoming releases that bloggers are excited about. 


This week's book I am looking forward to in 2017 is:




Author:Sophie Jordan
Expected Release Date: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen

The richly suspenseful sequel to Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy Reign of Shadows.

Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.

Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler's and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.

Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (17)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Top Ten Books That Have Been on My TBR Since I Started Blogging  
*Insert emoji covering eyes. I KNOW! But as the saying goes, I feel like my TBR has only grown over the course of the last two years, not shrunk! Being a part of the book blogging community will do that to a person! Here are some that have been on my TBR since I first started blogging and have yet to get to! Any that you've read that I need to bump up on my reading list? 
1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
3. The Giver by Lois Lowry
4. Sabriel by Garth Nix
5. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
6. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
7. Panic by Lauren Oliver
8. The Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
9. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
10. Ella Enchanted by Carson Gail Levine

Release Day Celebration: Into the Light

IntoTheLightRDC
 
Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
Into The Light (Into The Dark #2) by Caroline T. Patti
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
 
Happy Book Birthday, Caroline!
 
Into the Light Cover
 
Mercy’s family is back together and the threat of danger appears to have passed. But any relief she feels is short lived as she is ripped from her body and thrown in jail. Gage and Nathaniel’s plans to break Mercy out won’t exactly be easy. Stuffed full of a chemical binding agent, Mercy is trapped inside the body of a convict without the ability to breach and set herself free. Unfortunately for Mercy, being trapped in jail becomes the least of her problems when she meets her evil twin, Justice.
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Into the Light (Into the Dark #2) by Caroline T. Patti Publication Date: August 23, 2016 Publisher: Month9Books
 
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
 
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A girl’s sweet sixteen party is supposed to be among the most memorable events of her life. But on the night of hers, Mercy Clare wakes in the waiting room of a hospital with no memory of how she got there. To make matters worse, she’s wearing something she’d never be caught dead in: her best friend Lyla’s clothes.
Mercy’s nightmare is just beginning. The doctor arrives to tell her that it’s she who lies in the hospital bed waiting to die. A trip to the bathroom confirms Mercy’s fears, as Lyla’s face stares back at her and Lyla’s curvy figure pokes through her tight clothes.
But finding out what’s really going on won’t be easy. Because if Mercy wants her body back, it might just cost her Lyla’s life.
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About-the-Author2
Caroline-Patti-225x300
 
Caroline T Patti is the author of The World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan. You can chat with her on Twitter: carolinetpatti or find her on Facebook: Author Caroline T Patti.
 
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: Built


The first in the new SAINTS OF DENVER series from NYT bestselling author of the MARKED MEN series, Jay Crownover

Sometimes you have to tear everything down to build something new…

Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight.

Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms.

Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam…



Rating: 4 Stars

Book Title: Built (Saints of Denver #1)

Author: Jay Crownover

Release Date: January 5th, 2016

Pages: 352

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

 

 

 

            You know what I love: books that break down stereotypes.  Built (Saints of Denver #1) by Jay Crownover does just that.  Although many might argue the majority of Jay’s books do that, since most of them feature bad boys that actually turn out to be really great guys, I think Built is a perfect example of this.  Here you have an ex-convict covered in tattoos, who, at first sight, seems like a pretty rough guy.  Most of the time Sayer sees Zeb he’s covered in dirt and grim, wearing clothes that have seen better days. And to some, it might seem like Zeb is a pretty scary dude, one that matches all the age-old stereotypes.  Those that know Zeb know otherwise though. Sure, he has a past and he definitely has some tattoos. And maybe he’s not the guy you want to meet in a dark alley if you’ve pissed him off, but he’s definitely not the bad guy many have him pegged as. Just ask any of his friends, family, or employees who know him well.  He has a big heart and he’ll do anything to protect those he loves, which we find out right away in the story.  And those old clothes don’t mean Zeb doesn’t take himself seriously. But working on a construction site all day (which he owns by the way) with new clothes would be silly. Goes to show you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover! Although you can definitely judge this book by its cover because boy oh boy, is this book HOT.
           
Favorite Bits:

o   The lawsuit: Now we all know it wouldn’t be a Crownover book if there wasn’t some steamy bits and HELLO there most certainly are. For me though, the romance factor of this book wasn’t even my favorite part (though I’m not complaining whatsoever about those parts because they were really good :) ).  I thought the lawsuit that Sayer helps Zeb with was actually my favorite part, because it goes to show just how compassionate Zeb is.  It broke ALL the stereotypes Zeb thought the court would have against him, which they seemed to have initially, but as he starts to prove himself and show that he is capable of what he set out to do, everyone realizes what a great guy he is. And I loved that! We all make mistakes and even though we tend to pass judgement rather quickly on others, I loved this book because it shows how wrong you can be about someone if you do that.
o   The setting: One of my favorite parts about this book and the last Crownover book I read (Rule: A Marked Men Novel) was the setting, which was in Colorado.  Colorado is on my bucket list, so anytime I find a book set there I have a hard time passing it up. 
o   Sayer and Poppy: I LOVE FLAWED CHARACTERS WITH TROUBLED PASTS. I’m sorry, I would never wish terrible things upon anyone but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t make for a really great story! And I’m not saying that to be cruel, but books are 10x more valuable to me as a reader when authors present characters that have a troubled past and are learning to confront their demons.  The characters are so much more relatable and as a reader I can take their lessons and learn from them in my own life. Sayer and Poppy are great roommates for this reason, because they are both recovering from hardships of their own and getting to see how both of them cope with this was one of my favorite parts of this book.  

         
 
 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Review: Tell Me Three Things


Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

Rating: 5 Stars

Book Title: Tell Me Three Things

Author: Julie Buxbaum

Release Date: April 5th, 2016

Pages: 336

Publisher: Delacorte Press

 

            I wanted a copy of Tell Me Three Things for quite some time and finally managed to snag it in a book trade a month or so ago.  Despite being on the lookout for it though, I knew nothing of the book other than that I loved the cover and figured if there were waffles on the cover, that book was already a winner in my eyes! Ok, I kid, but seeing all the 4 and 5 star reviews everyone was giving it was enough to sway me in the right direction, so thank you to everyone who convinced me to read this! 

Favorite Bits:
o   “I can’t believe I was stupid enough to IM drunk. I need to get a phone-locking Breathalyzer. Does that exist? If not, I’m going to invent it, disrupt the industry, and make a bajillion dollars.”
     
SAME. *Inserts crying/laughing emoji.  One of my favorite parts about reading Tell Me Three Things is that Jessie’s humor and thought process aligned so much with my own. Short of being a narcissist here, it was nice to know I’m not alone in the awkward department, even if it means I can relate to a fictitious character! But I’m sure there are plenty of girls out there like me who feel the same way and can relate to Jessie so much.

o   “We’re all better versions of ourselves when we get that extra time to craft the perfect message.”
                 
Tell Me Three Things presents this interesting case of relationships online: can they work? Or are they TOO good to be true, because like Jessie points out, you get to be a better version of yourself when you have time to mull over what you want to say and make it perfect before you respond.  In real life though, we don’t get to do that, and I think it says a lot about the Internet and technology.  Has it helped our relationships, or just complicated them for the worse? I spent a decent amount of time pondering this as I read Tell Me Three Things, because I was in a similar situation as Jessie was just a few months back.  Granted I knew who I was talking to and Jessie did not, but spending more time behind a screen getting to know someone was a much different experience than the dating I’m used to.  Although it didn’t work out in the end, I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s one of the problems my generation is having to deal with when it comes to dating these days. I loved seeing how Jessie handled this and how it played out in the end.

o   “She’s getting what she always wanted, to love and to be loved, even if it’s not exactly how she pictured it all.” 

It’s insightful! I don’t want to be one of those pretentious people who says things like, “it’s insightful to the human condition…” but it kind of is!  I LOVED this quote from Tell Me Three Things.  I mean come on, I know the book was referring to Scar in this instance, but what girl doesn’t feel this line 100%? Or guy for that matter! So many parts about Tell Me Three Things just hit life right on the bulls-eye, whether it was about loss and grieving, love and how to handle it, or just dealing with tough shit.  Even though this book is YA and there was the occasional high school drama that Jessie deals with at her new school, the book itself felt like so much more than just another contemporary romance for young readers.  Tell Me Three Things speaks to a much larger audience and whether you’re a teen, an adult who likes YA, or even someone who doesn’t typically read this genre, I think you can get a lot out of reading this book by Buxbaum.

     
       

 

 

      


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