June 17, 2019

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Risking It All by S.M. Koz

Risking It All by S.M. Koz
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Source: I received an e-ARC from the publisher through Xpresso Book Tours. Thank you!
My Rating:

Synopsis: A high-achieving teen who’s determined to become a fighter jet pilot is matched up with an accused criminal at an elite military boarding school in SM Koz’s YA novel, Risking It All. Paige knows exactly what she wants—to graduate from Wallingford Academy and become a pilot in the US Air Force. She’s inherited her father’s no-nonsense attitude and whip-smart intelligence, all of which have made her the perfect Wallingford cadet. Wallingford Academy is the last place in the world Logan wants to be. But after his girlfriend borrows his car and commits a crime, Logan takes the fall and ends up there with hopes of striking a decent plea bargain. For him, graduation can’t come soon enough. When Paige is asked to mentor Logan, it’s the perfect opportunity to prove her leadership skills—but she doesn’t account for the feelings that start to develop or the baggage from Logan’s past which could threaten both of their futures.

My Review

I haven't read a lot of military academy YA books, and not only did I learn a lot (the author notes in her acknowledgements that she talked to many military family members and friends), but I found it very interesting. Although I like routine, I would never have lasted with such early mornings.

I automatically loved Paige, the hard-working, honest, goal-driven, cadet who is on her way to joining the US Air Force. On the other hand, I automatically disliked Logan. Although loyal to his friends, he was lazy and extremely rude. When Paige is asked to mentor Logan things get interesting. Not only did I enjoy watching Paige and Logan's friendship grow, seeing them work through their own feelings and grow themselves made them seem very realistic. The novel is told in dual POVs from Logan and Paige, which I think enhanced the story.

Although the novel wasn't perfect, which is rare to begin with, Risking It All was an enjoyable read. My only complaint is that sometimes the transitions between scenes were nonexistent, and I would have to go back and reread a few lines to ease my confusion.

The Bottom Line: Risking It All is a cute read with an interesting setting and realistic characters.

The Author

SM Koz was born in Michigan, but moved to North Carolina for college and never left. She enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, photography, reading, spending time with foster kids who call her house home, and learning new things. When she’s not creating online training for pharmaceutical companies (her day job) or writing, Koz can be found at the local community college taking courses on various topics ranging from digital art to HTML to desktop publishing. SM Koz has written six novels. Although her stories differ by genre, ranging from contemporary realism to sci-fi to fanfiction, two things they all have in common are a young or new adult focus and romance. If you’d like to learn more about SM Koz, check her out on social media.



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June 11, 2019

TTT #96: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Books Everyone Seems to Love Except Me

After by Anna Todd
My Rating:
Goodreads: 3.74 average rating out of 73,958 ratings

The Paper Princess by Erin Watt
My Rating:
Goodreads: 4.03 average rating out of 66,882 ratings

Blood Bond by Helen Hardt
My Rating:
Goodreads: 3.91 average rating out of 1,943 ratings

Fallen by Lauren Kate
My Rating:
Goodreads: 3.37 average rating out of 448,498 ratings

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
My Rating:
Goodreads: 3.84 average rating out of  49,112 ratings

The Selection by Kiera Cass
My Rating:
Goodreads: 4.14 average rating out of 723,188 ratings

What is a book you dislike that everyone loves?

June 5, 2019

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words

It consists on answering these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I'm Currently Reading

I am almost done listening to Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. It is a crazy story! I just started reading Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and even though I am only on page 86, I am loving it!

What I Recently Finished Reading

I just finished reading To Best the Boys by Mary Weber, and although it wasn't quite what I was expecting, I really enjoyed it. I also just read Verity by Colleen Hoover in one sitting. Reviews coming soon!

What I Plan to Read Next

I will be reading Risking It All by S.M. Koz for a blog tour, and I just bought a copy of The Beholder by Anna Bright. Both sound like they are going to be fun reads.

What are you currently reading?

May 27, 2019

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Switchback by Danika Stone

Switchback by Danika Stone
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 28th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: I received a free copy of this book  from the publisher for this Xpresso Book Tours. This did NOT affect my honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
My Rating:
Synopsis: An epic YA adventure story about two friends lost in the Canadian wilderness from Danika Stone, the author of All the Feels. Vale loves to hike, but kind of hates her classmates. Ash is okay with his classmates, but kind of hates the outdoors. So, needless to say they are both fairly certain that the overnight nature hike with their PE class is going to be a hellish experience. But when they get separated from the group during a storm, they have worse things to worry about than bullies and blisters. Lost in the Canadian wilderness with limited supplies, caught in dangerous weather conditions, and surrounded by deadly wildlife, it’s going to take every bit of strength, skill, and luck they can muster to survive.

My Review

Switchback is a fast-paced survival story of two best friends lost in the Canadian wilderness during a school trip gone horribly wrong.

Vale is studious, kind, and is bullied. Ash is the class clown, a gamer, and has many friends, but Vale is his best friend. When they are forced to go on a class camping trip as part of their physical education class, they certainly didn't plan on getting separated from the group and getting lost in the mountains. Although their friendship grows and solidifies on this adventure, it was very awkward at times. I thought their dialogue although believable, fit more middle school aged teens than high school aged teens. (This opinion is based off the middle school and high school teens I work with as a Teen Librarian at a public library. I am not an expert, and every teen is different!) Overall, it was a nice change of pace to read a young adult survival book with a focus on friendship rather than romance.

From the weather and landscape to the wild animals, Stone does a great job at setting the scene with right amount of detailed descriptions of the wilderness. I was easily transported to the camping trip Vale and Ash are on, and was on edge of my seat during their times of struggle. They did not have it easy once separated from the group, and with each new obstacle they came across it had me hoping they would make it through to the other side unscathed.

Bottom Line: Switchback was a fun and easy read and is perfect for readers that enjoy survival stories. It also has aro-ace representation!

The Author

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens: INTERNET FAMOUS (Macmillan, 2017) and ALL THE FEELS (Macmillan, 2016); and adults THE DARK DIVIDE (Stonehouse, 2018) and EDGE OF WILD (Stonehouse, 2016). 

Ms. Stone’s work has received both recognition and literary praise. In 2017, Chapters included EDGE OF WILD in “Our Favourite Canadian Fiction”, and INTERNET FAMOUS was nominated for the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (2018) as well as selected as one of Fierce Reads’ “9 Perfect Summertime Reads” (2017). EDGE OF WILD (previously entitled TATHAGATA) was a quarter-finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (2013), a finalist in the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize (2015), and took second place in the Publish or Perish contest (2015). ALL THE FEELS was selected for Swoon Reads’ fourth list (2015) and was nominated for YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (2016), and for CYBILS’ Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (2016). 

When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.


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May 12, 2019

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon: Sign-up, Goals, & Updates

I can never say no to a Bout of Books read-a-thon! I went through a rough reading slump last month so I am hoping this read-a-thon will boost my reading numbers. I also wanted to participate in the 25infive read-a-thon, but work got in the way. Will you be participating in Bout of Books?
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My Goals

Reading Goals
  • Read at least four books
  • Take notes to help with reviews
Social Goals
  • Participate in one Twitter Chat
  • Participate in one Instagram Challenge
Book Options
  • The Bride Test by Helen Hoang - I pre-ordered this one and it is finally here!
  • Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - I don't think I really need to explain this choice.
  • Switchback by Danika Stone - I am participating in a blog to for this book.
  • We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai
  • The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson - I have an eARC.
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - I have owned this forever. It would go towards the Beat the Backlist challenge I am participating in.


I read two and a half books during the Bout of Books read-a-thon! I finished Aurora Rising and The Unhoneymooners, and read most of Switchback. I enjoyed all the books, but I think The Unhoneymooners was my favorite! It was really fun read and perfect for the warmer weather we are finally getting. I didn't really participate in any challenges or chats, but I got some reading done which was my main goal.

My Bout of Books post on Instagram!

May 1, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I decided to highlight a new Meg Cabot book! I read everything by this author, and I can't wait for her new book, No Judgements.  Not only does the book sound like a great romance that also features animals, but the cover is so cute! Are you a Meg Cabot fan?

No Judgments by Meg Cabot (Sept. 25, 2019)
+ Add to Goodreads
Goodreads Summary: The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life… When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake. But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker. But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.

What are you waiting on?

April 28, 2019

Book Review: After by Anna Todd (Spoilers Ahead)

After by Anna Todd
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: 582 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Library
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way. But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to. But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before. He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn't the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper. Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her? Unless…could this be love?

My Review

**SPOILER WARNING** This review contains spoilers for After by Anna Todd.

I don't get the hype for this one. I know there are a lot of fans of this series, but I can now officially say that I am not one of them. This book was not for me. If you are a fan of this series, that is perfectly fine and I am not saying there is anything wrong with that. I'm just not a fan myself.

After is pretty darn long, and I 'm honestly not sure if anything actually happened in its 582 pages. I chose to read this book via audio and the narrator was great, it's just too bad the characters and story were not. The format for this review is a little different than my normal style. In chronological order, these are the various opinions I had while reading the book. I am usually generous when giving star ratings and rarely harsh in my reviews. I can't say that for this one.

My Thoughts While Reading After:
  • Not a fan of the slut shaming. Come on! Let's not do that. Tessa is very judgmental. 
  • Hardin is pretty much just a straight-up jerk. I don't get the appeal.
  • Tessa cheats on her boyfriend, Noah. Not only am I not a fan of cheating, but she is a really big jerk too. Example: Noah, her actual boyfriend, comes to visit her after she insists/begs him to. Then she takes Noah's car without a good excuse because Hardin "needs" her, and leaves him behind. THEN she stays the night with Hardin instead of going back to her boyfriend who dropped everything and drove two hours to see her!?! Rude much?
  • Hardin tells her how she should dress and act. Ew.
  • Tessa keeps saying this is the "last time" she will talk to Hardin, and then immediately goes back to him and does whatever he says.
  • When Tessa is forced to come clean to her boyfriend, she blames Hardin for everything at first. I just yelled at the book "Tessa, it is called consequences! It takes two to tango!" 
  • Do Tessa and Hardin do anything but fight? I'm thinking no. Oh wait, they make out. That's healthy.
  • She is still dating Noah? Why? To torture him?
  • "Today has been the best time I have ever had with Hardin, despite his multiple outbursts." - Okay.... sure. Sounds like a fun day.
  • These two are giving me a headache. How am I only a little more than halfway done?
  • Hardin keeps grabbing Tessa's wrist/arm when she tries to walk away from him in a fight. Not loving that. He also never seems to understand what NO means. Does he have any redeeming qualities? Still undetermined.
  • This EXACT scene happened earlier in the book. Ah, this is why the book is so long. It is just a whole bunch of repeated scenes.
  • After 11.5 hours of listening to this audiobook, Hardin finally does something nice without being asked. Mind blown.
  • Oh. They have been dating for a hot second and now they are discussing marriage. Of course Hardin doesn't believe in marriage. Come on, Tessa! Are you really surprised?
  • This book is just too much.
  • More fighting. 
  • I have now set the speed to x 1.5 on my audiobook so I can get this book over with faster.
  • Hardin apologized! Whoa. Maybe he is, dare I say, getting some character development?
  • How is there still an hour left in this book? How?
  • Hardin is more than just jealous. He is controlling. He is rude. He is obnoxious. I take back my earlier comment about character development. I spoke too soon.
  • Tessa never told her one of two friends that she moved in with Hardin? Weird.
  • This whole book is basically just these two fighting and then having sex.
  • The author used an old romance trope from the 90s for the climax of this book? It wasn't even a good one, but a super problematic one! AND HE KEPT THE SHEETS FOR PROOF? WTF?!?! NOOOOO!!!!
  • The worst part? I am pretty sure they get back together in book two. I don't get it.
  • No, I won't be reading any more books in this series. Their relationship is toxic, everyone is a jerk, and the plot was surprisingly nonexistent given its length. It was just a whole bunch of the same scenes over and over again.
The Bottom Line: I can't with good conscious recommend this book to a single person. There are better New Adult Romance books out there if that is what you are looking for. This is just reads like a bad 50 Shades fanfic.

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