March 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #16: Kids of Appetite

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Because... This Author's Debut Novel was Amazing

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
Release Date: Sept. 20, 2016
Goodreads Summary: In the Hackensack Police Department, Vic Benucci is being questioned in interrogation room #3. Mad, the Stoic Beauty with an intoxicating punk cut, is in room #2. They’re both explaining how they found themselves wrapped up in a grisly murder. But in order to tell that story, they have to go way back…

It all started when Vic’s dad died. Vic has a rare neurological disorder—characterized by facial paralysis—which makes it hard for him to relate to others, as he can appear affectless and unfriendly. His dad was his best friend—in losing him, Vic lost a piece of himself. Even now, two years later, he can’t bring himself to touch his father’s urn.

But one cold December day, Vic falls in with a mysterious and alluring band of kids that wanders his New Jersey neighborhood: Coco, the spunky orphan from Queens; Baz and Nzuzi, Congolese brothers with murky pasts; and Mad, the girl who changes everything. Vic finds himself connecting to this ragtag group, and along with his newfound friendship comes the courage to open his father’s urn, the discovery of the message inside, and the epic journey it sparks.

What are you waiting on?

March 25, 2016

Take 5

This is how our puppy Bash likes to take 5.

I loved this Take 5 post by Chrstine @ Bookishly Boisterous and just had to do my own! I love making lists.

5 Things that I Wish I'd Do But Am Not
Read more
Organize my closet/dresser
Listen to podcasts
Workout every day (as Bash gets older we will take him on longer walks every day)
Finally getting my wedding rings re-sized

5 Bad Foods for You that I Not-So-Secretly Love
Kraft Mac & Cheese
Cheesy French Fries
Ramen Noodles
Movie Theater Popcorn

5 Things that Make Me Irrationally Angry
A Super Messy Room
Horrible Drivers
Getting Woken Up Unexpectedly

5 Things I'm Looking Forward To
A whole slew of book releases
My friend's wedding in April
BEA & BookCon in May
My husband's birthday in April
My birthday in April

5 Places I Wish I Could Go Right This Damn Second
Disney World
To Bed
March 22, 2016

TTT #58: Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven't Talked About Enough

I LOVE these types of topics. Throwing my favorite books at people's faces is my favorite thing to do. Not literally of course. Therefore, if you haven't read these books yet then you MUST! 

1. Velvet by Temple West | This book is fun, adorable, and has some vampires.
2. Mosquitoland by David Arnold | A fierce and unique coming of age story.
3. Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby | An emotional and beautiful story.
4. The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle | This is a unique horror novel you all should be reading.
5. Torn Away by Jennifer Brown | This book will break you.

6. Sanctum by Sarah Fine | This is a dark and highly addictive series.
8. Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott | Adoreable animals. 
9. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas | This is a great YA mystery/thriller.
10. First Visions by Heather Topham Wood | A mystery series with a little romance and some paranormal elements.

March 21, 2016

Review: Need by Joelle Charbonneau

Need by Joelle Charbonneau (2015)
352 pages
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: I bought a copy!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating: 
Goodreads Summary: What do you really need?

One by one, the teens in Nottawa, Wisconsin, join the newest, hottest networking site and answer one question: What do you need? A new iPhone? Backstage passes to a concert? In exchange for a seemingly minor task, the NEED site will fulfill your request. Everyone is doing it. So why shouldn’t you?

Kaylee Dunham knows what she needs—a kidney for her sick brother. She doesn’t believe a social networking site can help, but it couldn’t hurt to try.

Or could it?

After making her request, Kaylee starts to realize the price that will have to be paid for her need to be met. The demands the site makes on users in exchange for their desires are escalating, and so is the body count. Will Kaylee be able to unravel the mystery of who created the NEED network before it destroys them all?

My Review

Need is a hard book for me to rate. As I'm sure you know, I love reading young adult books. They are my favorite even though I do read adult books as well. Usually, I have no problem with the younger characters, but I had a slight problem with the teen characters in this novel. They were so very immature, and therefore even though I didn't love this book I think a lot of teens will enjoy it more than me. With that being said, I ended up giving Need 3.5 stars.

Need started off strong. I was interested in this website right from the start and I was liking Kaylee's character just fine. Then a handful of chapters in is where the teenagers became a little annoying to me. I just wanted to shake them and tell them that NEEDS are different than WANTS, but then again I even know some adults that don't seem to know the difference... I guess my personality was just really clashing with this story. (Don't get me wrong, I too don't always admit that some things are just wants and not needs...) On the bright side, not all of the characters were annoying and some were complex. There are 10 point of views, this was a little hard to follow at first, but since it mostly keeps going back to Kaylee it isn't too difficult to stay on track with who is who.

Now let's talk about plot. I was interested enough to want to know who was behind this sinister website. The requests of the students along with the website's request of what they must do to fulfill their needs escalated extremely quickly. I wasn't bothered by this since it kept me engaged, curious, and it was a shorter story. So basically what I am saying is that the pacing was spot on. Now for that ending, it was a little over the top and pretty predictable. I mean, the whole story was a little unbelievable, but still. On the other hand, social media is kind of a scary thing. You don't really know who is behind those profiles and websites out there. Do you ever stop and read the terms and conditions of the sites you use? Those ideas play a big role in this book, and that aspect/message is handled really well.

Overall, this book was a pretty solid read. I do think a younger audience will enjoy it more than I did, which makes sense since that is its target audience. I did enjoy Kaylee's company even if I wasn't a fan of the rest of the characters. I also thought the whole idea behind the novel was good. If you are curious I say give this book a try. I will say without a doubt that this author's Testing series is far superior, so you definitely without a doubt need to read that if you haven't yet.

March 16, 2016

Library Loot #43

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

** Even though I am still gathering more books from the library rather than reading them, I just can't help myself.

My Library Loot

1. Not only does this sound good, but I think it would be a good choice for a book talk for work.

2. I loved this author's first book and I can't wait to read this one!

3. Do you see that cover? Have you read the synopsis? 

4. I'm always down with a Sherlock story.

March 15, 2016

TTT #58: Ten Books On My Spring TBR List

Even though I rarely stick to it, I love making a TBR list for each season. I always tend to read certain books depending on the time of year. This time around I had a hard time coming up with my list. I feel like I am in this weird reading mood lately and that may be why. Who knows. All that matters is that I still had fun making this list and I look forward to reading these books! Share your spring picks in the comments below!

Sequels on My Spring TBR List

All New Books on My Spring TBR List

March 14, 2016

Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer (Feb. 2, 2016)
369 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: I bought it!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

My Review

The Keeper: This was the perfect story to kick-start this collection. I loved getting to read more about Scarlet's grandmother and Scarlet's life when she was younger. I also really enjoyed getting to read about this story first hand, the story where Cinder first makes her appearance on earth. I can't wait to read the next story. I already have so many feels!

Glitches: I don't think there is going to be a single story I won't enjoy in this collection. This story really sets up Cinder's life with her stepmother. I am glad I got to see a little bit into her past. Plus, spending more time with Peony was beautiful and heartbreaking. What a lovely girl.

The Queen's Army: This story wasn't as strong as the other two. The events that took place were nothing surprising, and I think that is why I didn't enjoy it as much. It did give me more respect for Wolf, but that is about it. I did like the story, but I am not sure it brought anything new to The Lunar Chronicles like the other ones have so far.

Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky: I can never get enough page time with Thorne. He was just as cocky and adorable when he was 13. This was a sweet story that highlighted a little bit of how Thorne grew up. I enjoyed getting to meet his parents. If only all the short stories were about Thorne's entire life, then I would be even more happy. ;) He is too charming for his own good.

After Sunshine Passes By: This story features Cress, who just so happens to be as cute and lovable as ever. We get a short glimpse of her life as a shell before she was stationed in the Satellite. My heart goes out to her. I liked this one a lot.

The Princess and the Guard: Honestly, Winter is the best. She is cute, captivating, and broken, yet stronger than anyone. Seeing Jacin and her together always makes me smile. This may be my favorite short story to date. I loved getting to see these two friends when they were younger. I really enjoyed getting to know them both a little better.

The Little Android: I am not sure how to put my feelings into words for this one. It was really good, and nothing like what I was expecting. This story isn't about any of the main characters from the series but a whole new one. It was interesting.

The Mechanic: I totally forgot there was going to be a short story where Cinder and Kai meet for the first time but is written from Kai's point of view! I do adore him so. This story just made me want to go back and read the whole series all over again!

Something Old, Something New: Sweet. Beautiful. Enchanting. Charming. Hilarious. I WANT MORE! I am forever thankful that Marissa Meyer gave us this little epilogue wedding story, but it still didn't fully fill my cravings for these characters. However, it really was a magical ending to a long and hard and wonderful series. I will miss these characters. Luckily I can always read the series again.

In the end... you are going to want to add this book to your collection! Don't miss out on these wonderful short stories. Who wouldn't want more time with these memorable characters? Read it. Read it now!

March 7, 2016

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Walk on Earth a Stranger (#1) by Rae Carson (Sept. 2015)
432 pages
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

My Review

It's time for a goodreads reading update style review! I only do these types of reviews when I start reading a book and just know sharing my reading updates with you will be the best review I can give you. Walk on Earth a Stranger turned out to be a pretty darn good book. Here are my reading updates from goodreads and my final thoughts on this book.

My Final Thoughts: I really did enjoy reading Walk on Earth a Stranger. I liked that it had some good surprises even when the action slowed down for a little bit in the middle. I loved Lee and all of the interesting and sometimes crazy characters she met on her journey. I do want to warn you that this story doesn't have a lot of romance just in case that is what you were looking for. Side Note: Reading this book really did bring back vivid memories of me playing Oregon Trail on the computer when I was younger, which I also love. There was really only one thing that really disappointed me, the lack of the fantasy elements the synopsis promises. I was thinking there would be a lot more times when Lee would be using her gold sensing abilities, but it just didn't happen all that often. However, I do think that will come more into play in the next book, which I do plan to read. Should you read Walk on Earth a Stranger? I think giving this book a whirl would be worth your time. 

March 4, 2016

I Binged Fuller House - My Recap of the First Episode

Full House was MY show when I was growing up. I was obsessed, and my obsession didn't stop when it was over. It was just so much fun, and as a kid it was my jam. Now I am all grown-up along with the cast and I have been both excited about and dreading this reboot. Now it is finally time to see if Fuller House lives up to the hype. Here is my moment by moment thoughts and feelings of the very first episode. (SPOILERS AHEAD!)

1. Old school opening credits! So many memories. Love this.
2. The house!
3. All three men are in the house! <3
4. I missed these people. They all aged well. Becky is adorable! (Becky and Jessi together make me smile.)
5. Steph looks a little weird, but I think it's just weird seeing them all grown up now.
6. That was a pretty funny dig at why Michelle isn't on the show.
7. So its a little funny so far, but definitely still in the 90's mode. I think that is on purpose though.
8. Look how big the twins are! Whoa. They are also kind of lame.
9. I do like how they keep slyly (but not so slyly) commenting that this is a reunion show.
10. Why does Steph have a British accent again?
11. It's getting a little more funny. I am really starting to dig this.
12. I always enjoyed the scenes centered around the dining table. This one was almost just as good. Almost.
13. The new opening was also very adorable and fun.
14. I just love seeing this house again. Have I mentioned that enough yet?
15. I see what they are doing... each girl represents the original three main guys. Duh.
16. Too cute scene from the past. I love it.
17. Mr. Woodchuck even makes an appearance. Is this too much for the first episode? Eh.
18. Will non-Full House fans enjoy this show nearly as much as us that grew up watching it? I am thinking perhaps not, but you never know!
19. Kimmy is still as cute and as annoying as ever.
20. One of my favorite appearances... Steve. I wonder where this is going to go.... hahaha It's so hard to guess...
21. I think my overall favorite is going to be DJ.
22. I can't get over how good Becky looks! I also love her character.
23. The Rippers are even here. They really did pull out all the stops for this first episode.
24. It's hard to care about the kids and not just the adults since they are new.
25. Max is pretty cute though.
26. I love the DJ and Steve interactions.
27. Why are they still not offering to stay and help DJ? Get to it!
28. Even Comet's legacy lives on.
29. This Max kid really is growing on me.
30. And "Cut it Out" has its moment of fame...
31. hahahahahhahaha
32. Man, this show now has me tearing up! Darn it.
33. I think these three girls together are going to make a fun show. It's time to pass the torch.
34. I really am enjoying this episode.
35. Cute. Very cute.
36. This was a very fun first episode giving the old show a nice homage.
37. Since the puppy woke me up and I have the day off I might as well keep watching....

FINAL VERDICT:  I binged watch the whole show on Friday when it came out! (It is only 13 episodes.) I had the day off and me and the puppy decided to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Fuller House may not be winning any awards, but it was very entertaining. I loved all the old catch phrases being brought back, I loved the character dynamics, and I loved that it was an adorable family show with both adult and kid jokes mixed in. I think Full House fans will not be disappointed. I just love how corny this show was and is.

March 2, 2016

Library Loot #42

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

** As I slowly being to pick up my reading pace that slowed down when I got the puppy, I continue to add to my rather large pile of library books.

My Library Loot

1. I have read a lot of mixed reviews of this one! We shall see what I make of it soon...

2. "THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new crossover fantasy novel."

3. Do you see that pretty cover? What about that interesting title?

4. My graphic novel pick of the week!

5. I have a soft spot for Nora Roberts' supernatural trilogies. 

6. For some reason the word cannibals is what grabbed my attention in the synopsis. 

March 1, 2016

TTT #57: Books To Read If You Are In The Mood to Travel Back in Time

I loved having a little bit of wiggle room with this week's topic, but it also made it hard for me to decide which genre to write about. I debated between focusing on magic or swoons, but I decided to go with something completely different, books that take you back in time.

Historical Fiction I have Read and Loved

1. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
2. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
3. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
4. The Diviners by Libba Bray
5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Historical Fiction I Can't Wait to Read

1. The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
2. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
3. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
4. Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
5. Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

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