October 28, 2016

Recently Added to My TBR Pile

I love seeing the books people add on their shelves on Goodreads and I certainly really love adding books to my own TBR pile. (Perhaps a little too much.) Therefore, I thought maybe that when I add some good stuff I would share it with you guys! Here are some of the recent books I have added to my Goodreads shelf. I include a short summary from Goodreads along with a link in case you what to add these bad boys to your own TBR pile. Anything I can do to help out my fellow book nerds. ;)

Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly (Seriously Wicked #2)
Release Date: Nov. 1, 2016

Teenage witch Cam isn’t crazy about the idea of learning magic. She’d rather be no witch than a bad one. But when a trio of her mother’s wicked witch friends decide to wreak havoc in her high school, Cam has no choice but to try to stop them. Now Cam’s learning invisibility spells, dodging exploding cars, and pondering the ethics of love potions. All while trying to keep her grades up and go on a first date with her crush. If the witches don’t get him first, that is. Can’t a good witch ever catch a break?

Forever, Again by Victoria Laurie
Release Date: Dec. 13, 2016

Lily Bennett is less than thrilled to be the new kid as she starts her junior year in high school. But soon after classes begin, she meets a classmate, Cole Drepeau, with whom she forms an immediate and intimate bond. As Cole and Lily grow closer, Lily learns about the murder that divided the town more than thirty years before. In 1985, graduating senior Amber Greeley snapped, killing her boyfriend Ben—Cole’s uncle—and taking her own life. Lily feels inexplicably linked to Amber, and she can’t help but think that there’s more to the girl’s story.

Roar by Cora Carmack (Stealing Storms #1)
Release Date: June 13, 2017

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them. Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen, but she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people. To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, he seems like the perfect solution to all her problems, but the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her.

Are any of these books on your TBR pile?

October 26, 2016

Library Loot #53

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.

** Last week I watched two webinars for work that focused on a whole bunch of young adult books that came out in the fall or are coming out in the winter. This made my TBR pile explode and had me acquiring many new books from the library this week.

1. I have been meaning to read this book since forever. I am fianlly going to do it this Halloween!

2. A unique contemporary romance? Yes, please. This was an older title mentioned in the webinar.

3. This isn't what I would normally read, but I have heard quite a few good things about it.

4. The title and cover says it all.

5. The teens picked this for our next book club at my job.

6. A new Meg Cabot. Enough said.

October 25, 2016

TTT #69: Halloween Themed TV Episodes

I have done creepy book covers and scary movies, but I have yet to share some of my favorite Halloween themed TV episodes with you, until now. Here are my top ten eight favorite Halloween TV episodes.

8. How I Met Your Mother: Slutty Pumpkin
I thought Barnie stole the show in this episode.

7. Castle: Vampire Weekend
Castle plays his character from his other show Firefly. hehehe

6. Parks & Recreation: Halloween Surprise
Leslie dresses up as  Rosie the Riveter. A serious and funny episode.

5. Vampire Diaries: Haunted
This episode in season one is when I really started getting into the show.

4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Fear Itself
A haunted house at its finest.

3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Halloween 
The challenge between Jake and Holt is amazing.

2. Modern Family: Halloween
I love every Modern Family episode, but the Halloween ones are some of my favorites.

1. Friends: The One With the Halloween Party
I had to include a Friends episode.

Have you seen any of these? Do you have a favorite Halloween episode?!

October 24, 2016

Review: My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows (June 2016)
491 pages
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Review:
Goodreads Summary: Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

My Review

Describe My Lady Jane in Three Words: Hilarious. Fun. Unique.

I think teens and adults alike with be delighted by what My Lady Jane has to offer. The characters are complex. There is a great romance. The story is full of adventure and crazy backstabbing court antics. What's not to like?

Although I love the setting and the magic, the characters really make this book. The pages are filled with interesting characters. We have King Edward who is dying. Lady Jane, who is forced into a marriage and not too happy about it. Last but not least, we have Gifford, who prefers to be called G and spends his days as a horse who just so happens to also be Jane's new husband. There is also a full cast of other minor colorful characters that you will get to meet, but since I am anti-spoilers I won't go into detail about them. I will tell you that the relationship between G and Jane is the best! It was a blast watching their relationship grow throughout the novel.

The only con of this book was that it took me a few tries to get into it, but I'm not sure why. I think part of it was that the length of the book made me a little cautious. It wasn't a problem though. It may be longer, but it was completely entertaining pretty much the entire time.

What did I really take away from this book? I want to be able to transform into an animal. ;) I think I would like to turn into a wolf or maybe an owl. Any animal would be nice though. I'm not picky.

The Verdict: I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but I would if more of them were like this one! My Lady Jane will be a sure hit with many. It's one book you shouldn't pass up. You will probably regret it if you do.

October 21, 2016

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Let's be honest, I have had one crappy week and I need some time to escape from reality and this seems like the perfect way to do just that. I am FINALLY going to participate in Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon! Find out about this event here. It starts at 7:00 am tomorrow for me. The reason I usually skip this readathon is because of work, but since I only work four hours tomorrow I will just use that time as a little reading break to rest my eyes. I am pumped and ready to go!

The Books

I don't really plan on reading all of these, but I wanted a small selection just in case I wasn't in the mood for a certain one.

Like the photo above? Check out my Instagram account here!

Have you ever participating in this readathon? Share your experiences below!

Final Update

Total Books Read: 2.5 books
Total Pages Read: 856 pages (I was starting to read really slow at the end.)
Total Hours Spent Reading: 14.5 hours

** I think I did pretty darn good since four of the 24 hours I was at work and I only slept through 4 of the other hours. I would participate again, but I am a little tired today. Luckily, my husband let me sleep in this morning while he took the puppy on his morning walk and such.

October 20, 2016

Short & Sweet Review: If I Was Your Girl

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (May 2016)
288 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/LGBTQ
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:

Goodreads Summary: Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won't be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

My Review

If I Was Your Girl may not be perfect, but it is important. So very important. We need more diverse books like this.

Amanda is one amazing girl. She has been through so much and I was rooting for her from the very first page. She seems so real, which made her story that much more intense. I really felt for Amanda throughout the novel. The writing was excellent. This story broke my heart and mended it.

My only wish was that this book went a little further into Amanda's life. It was a little too short to fully explore all the different important issues If I Was Your Girl highlights. I think that it could have been even better, a little stronger, if it was a little longer.

When someone tells me they want to read a powerful LGBTQ book, or any book for that matter, I will hand them If I Was Your Girl.

October 17, 2016

ARC Review: Gemina by Kaufman & Kristoff

Gemina (#2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Oct. 18, 2016)
659 pages
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: I received an ARC at BEA. A big huge thanks to the publisher!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

My Review

OH. MY. GOD. Gemina was just as good as Illuminea. It was just as epic. It was just as amazing. 

I honestly don't know how to review this book without revealing too much. I will say that the unique formatting worked so well again and was a lot of fun to read. The new characters are just as interesting and charming as the ones from the first book. There is a lot of action, some horror, a little bit of romance, and some great surprises! I felt like the basic plot of the book was a little too similar to the first book, but that is my only complaint. So here is a look at my reading progress from goodreads. 

The Verdict: This book gave me all the feels. Go forth and read it! You don't have to wait long anymore. Gemina hits shelves tomorrow!

October 13, 2016

Throwback Thursday (2)

I totally got this blog post idea from Stefani @ Caught Read Handed.

It's Throwback Thursday time! My goal is to do this post at least once a month. I will be sharing with you the things that I loved in the past and still love today. Who is up for a little nostalgia? I decided to pick a year to focus on for this post. This week's 1998 picks...

The Song

Do you remember Ricky Martin? I was obsessed with him for a bit when I was younger.

The Books 

I bet that if I read these books today they would still freak me out!

The Movie

Is there anyone out there in their mid 20s who didn't watch this movie obsessively?

The Game

This game was a staple in my house when I was younger (and older). My brothers and I were always competing for the number one spot on the high scores list. I was always number two, and then one day I beat my older brother only to have him beat me once again soon after. Actually, after writing this I think I need to find out which of my brothers has the game so I can borrow it.


October 10, 2016

ARC Review: Just Fine with Caroline

Just Fine with Caroline by Annie England Noblin (Oct. 11, 2016)
368 pages
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Source: I received a free ARC from the publisher. This didn't affect my honest review.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
My Review:
Goodreads Summary: From the author of Sit! Stay! Speak! comes a tender, terrific novel complete with long-buried secrets, a three-legged pot belly pig, and an irresistible dog—an unforgettable story about love, friendship, and community. Perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe.

Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.

As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own.

Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.

My Review

Just Fine with Caroline is a sweet novel full of hope, friendships, family, secrets, and an adorable dog. This review may seem a little vague at times, but keep in mind that I didn't want to give away any spoilers.

I liked Caroline right from the start. She is a strong woman who is going through a tough time. Her mom has  Alzheimer’s so Caroline moved back home to help out her parents. The story takes place over the summer when Caroline opens up the family bait shop since her mother can no longer do it. One day when she opens shop she notices someone over at the old gas station across the street, the station that has been closed for years. With her trusty dog at her side she yells at him not to break in or she will call the cops, and that is when she meets Noah.

Noah is a pretty interesting character himself, and adds a little mystery and intrigue to the small town. I liked him a lot. Caroline and Noah together are even better than they are apart. I just wish there were a few more steamy scenes between them.

Just Fine with Caroline is a great light and fluffy read with a few serious moments. It has some long buried secrets between its pages that are bursting to get out for you to discover. Even if most of them are predictable, they are revealed at the perfect pace. I also think the author does a good job at showing how hard Alzheimer's is on everyone involved. I had a grandma with Alzheimer's and it was so very hard to see her suffer and all of my extended family suffer.

As for the setting, the Ozarks really shone through the writing. I could just imagine myself there. I have been there before in real life so I can say with confidence that I think the author did a great job at capturing the feeling and energy of the place.

I enjoyed reading Just Fine with Caroline and think many others will as well. It's a great book to snuggle up with on a rainy day. I know I plan on reading more books by this author in the future.

October 4, 2016

Library Loot #52

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.

** I haven't read a book in a little over a week now. WTF?! I don't know what my problem is. I have to break this slump ASAP. Hopefully some of my new library books will help.

My Library Loot

1. Look at the pretty.

2. I really enjoyed the first book and I can't wait to give this one a try.

3. This sounds cute and fun!

4. I have heard nothing but good things.

October 3, 2016

Review: It Ends With Us

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
373 pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

My Review

Although Maybe Someday is still my all time favorite Colleen Hoover novel, It Ends with Us is my new runner-up!

I had a million different feelings slap me across the face while reading It Ends with Us. The writing was fantastic. The characters memorable. The plot a little predictable, but intense. The tough subject matter was handled with frankness, heartache, care, and honesty. This story was so freaking real.

Lily is one amazing woman and a damn good main character. Lily had a tough childhood. So when she gets the chance she moves away to Boston where she makes her dream come true, while also battling her heart. I felt her love and pain. I wanted nothing more than for her to be happy. I too fell in love with Ryle just like Lily. I too wanted nothing more than for everyone in this story to have their happy endings, but I can't tell you if that happened or not without giving away the whole plot. Love, friendship, and families are a central part of this book, just like they are in life. My favorite character out of everyone has to be Ryle's sister, Lily's new friend. I hope you read the book so you can make a new friend too, because I know you will.

I don't have anything negative to say about this book. I absolutely loved It Ends with Us. It broke my heart and made me smile. I think it is a hard but important novel that everyone should read the next time they are in the right place of mind for something serious. 

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