January 30, 2019

Mini Review: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: I received a free e-ARC from Netgalley. This did NOT affect my honest review.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Synopsis: Jesse Lachlin is cursed. So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland. Scarlett Copeland is psychic. Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin. Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

My Review

Only a Breath Apart in Three Words: Mesmerizing. Heartbreaking. Sweet.

Katie McGarry has done it again. She makes her characters come alive and does an amazing job at setting each scene. Only a Breath Apart is both heartbreaking and beautiful.

Jesse and Scarlett were friends, until they weren't. Now destiny is bringing them back together again. Their story truly captivated me. There are a lot of tough issues these two have to go through, but the ending makes reading through it all totally worth it.

I do wish there would have been a little more to what I thought was going to be some magical realism elements, but other than that I have no complaints.

Note: There are scenes of physical and verbal abuse.

The Verdict: I highly recommend you give this a try, especially if you have enjoyed reading other books by Katie McGarry.

If you liked Only a Breath Apart try:


January 21, 2019

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me

The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh (Jan. 22, 2019)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Source: I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Lacey Burke is the last person on the planet who should be doling out sex advice. For starters, she’s never even kissed anyone, and she hates breaking the rules. Up until now, she's been a straight-A music geek that no one even notices. All she cares about is jamming out with her best friends, Theo and Evita. But then everything changes. When Lacey sees first-hand how much damage the abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum of her school can do, she decides to take a stand and starts doling out wisdom and contraception to anyone who seeks her out in the girls' restroom. But things with Theo become complicated quickly, and Lacey is soon not just keeping everyone else’s secrets, but hers as well.

My Review

The Bids, the Bees, and You and Me is an inclusive sex positive young adult novel, which is freaking awesome! This book would be a great resource to open up some dialogue about sexual health with its readers.

The main character Lacey is sweet and passionate. This is also such a small thing, but I was also so happy to see a teen MC play the viola! That never happens, and I used to play one as a teen! Anyway, Lacey is trying to figure out what she wants to do after high school. She loves playing with her friends in their band and is passionate about music, but she is also discovering her love of being a Doola and having frank discussions about sex and helping improve the school's sexual education curriculum. Does she want to focus on music or nursing after high school? That is the question.

While she is trying to figure out her future she is also juggling her feelings for her best friend Theo. There is just one big problem about that, her other best friend Evita used to date Theo so he is totally off limits. I adored Lacey and Theo's friendship, but I wasn't really caring if it turned into something more. That whole plot line just seemed like it was there because it had to be. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. However, Lacey's struggle with her feelings seemed authentic, if not predictable. Evita on the other hand was such a wonderful outspoken and fun character, and her and Lacey's friendship ringed true and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. However, this book constantly pushes its message in your face, making the friendships and romance stories take a backseat, which was kind of a bummer.

The Bottom Line: The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me is an overall fun story with some great/important discussion-worthy scenes. I loved this line "Like, which is better for keeping us healthy: shame or information? It seems like a no-brainer."

The Author

Olivia Hinebaugh loves all stripes of literature for children. When she isn’t writing fiction, she can be found writing freelance, making art, discovering new songs on spotify, texting her writing buddies, or folding laundry. She lives near Washington, D.C. with her spouse, three kids, a dog that looks like a coyote, and a one-eyed cat. The Birds, The Bees, And You And Me is her debut novel.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

January 18, 2019

Cover Reveal: Handle with Care by Helena Hunting

I am very excited to announce that today I get to share with you the cover reveal of Helena Hunting's Handle with Care, the next book in her sexy Shacking Up series. I highly recommend this series! Read my review of Shacking Up here and my review of I Flipping Love You here. The only sad news to share is that we have to wait until August to read this beauty.


Without further ado... here is the cover. I love it!


NOTE: This is an unedited excerpt and is subject to change.

I’m startled out of my thoughts when my brother jumps up and shouts a bunch of profane nonsense, hands flailing like he’s trying to swim on land, or approximate the chicken dance while on an LSD trip.
“You can’t do this! It’s absolute bullshit!” Armstrong yells.
I look around the table, trying to piece together what I missed.
“I’m sorry, Armstrong. I know this is a shock, but we feel it’s in the company’s best interest to put Lincoln at the helm during this transitional stage,” G-mom says firmly.
At the helm? I look to G-mom who’s busy not looking at me.
Armstrong jabs at finger at himself. “But I’m the one who’s put in all the time here! I deserve to run the company! Lincoln doesn’t know the first thing about Moorehead. All he knows how to do is dig wells and forage for food in the wilderness. How are those valuable assets here?” He turns his attention to our mother. “Did you know about this? How can you let this happen? Look at him. How can that be the face of our company? He looks like he crawled out of a gutter and mugged a twenty-year-old college kid on a bender. How is this better for our bottom line?”
My mother clasps her hands in front of her. “I’m sorry, Armstrong, but this decision wasn’t mine to make. I know this is hard for you, but your grandmother and fath—”
Armstrong stomps his foot, exactly as a toddler would. “The company is mine! Lincoln can’t have it!”
I raise a hand, half to quiet my brother and also to find out what the freaking deal is. “Whoa, let’s back this bus up.  Can someone explain what’s going on?”
“You’ve been appointed as the CEO of Moorehead Media, according to the will,” Christophe—no R, because that would make it far too pedestrian a name—my father’s lawyer says.
I’m working on trying to remain calm as I address my grandmother. “You didn’t say anything about me being CEO. You said you needed my help.”
“Running the company, yes,” she says through a practiced, stiff smile.
It’s her warning face, but seriously, when she said she needed my help for a few months I figured it meant I’d be keeping Armstrong in line while she sorted out who was going to take over the company, which I realize now was a stupid assumption.
“I didn’t think that meant CEO. How am I going to run a company with this dickhead on staff?” I motion to my brother.
“The name calling is unnecessary,” G-mom replies.
“Lincoln’s not even part of this family! He hasn’t attended one event in the past five years except for Dad’s funeral. He didn’t bother coming to my wedding and now he’s going to run the company? How is that fair?”
I snort. “Your wedding was an expensive joke.”
He crosses his arms over his chest. “I was set up. Amalie had cold feet and made me out to look like the bad guy.”
The woman beside him shoots him disgusted look.
Armstrong clears his throat and tugs at his collar. “My wedding is not the real issue. The point is that you’ve never involved yourself in any part of this family and now you think you can come in and take over. I will not stand by and let this happen!” He keeps jabbing his finger at me, as if he’s engaged in a finger sword fight.
I lean back in my chair and lace my fingers behind my neck. Armstrong has always been reactive. And self-absorbed. For a while it seemed like he finally had it together—back when he was engaged. But ever since that fiasco of a wedding he seems to have come completely unglued. Again. But worse this time. “Someone needs a timeout.”

January 17, 2019

Book Review: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Length: 387 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: The Library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Synopsis: Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say. Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home. There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary? In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.

Allegedly in Three Words: Shocking. Compelling. Somber.

Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. This is her story. Readers will immediately be pulled into the depressing reality Mary finds herself in after she is released from prison and living in a group home. While in prison she was mostly on her own, and now she must try and survive the other teen girls living at the group home with very little supervision, and it certainly doesn't help that they think she is a baby killer. Mary is a complex character who is just trying to survive. The author doesn't shy away from describing Mary's horrible living situation and her rough childhood.

This book is dark and gritty and may not be for everyone, but I always enjoy a well-written thrilleresque novel, and Allegedly fit the bill. I was sucked into Mary's story and was desperately reading it late into the night so I could get some answers/closure. I was in for a surprise. I won't go into details because there is a lot going on and I don't want to give away any of the surprises.

The Verdict: Allegedly is a must read. This page-turner will throw you off balance and make you stop and think about many things. I will be reading this author's other works.

January 8, 2019

TTT #94: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

This week's topic is books that you are looking forward to in the first half of 2019. It was really hard to narrow down this list, and I ended up choosing 11 because I just couldn't narrow it down any further.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (Jan. 29, 2019)

Is there a single Grisha Trilogy fan that isn't going to read this book? Nikolai has his own book people!

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (May 14, 2019)

I love reading books about royals, and this is a book about the First Son and the Prince of Wales falling for each other. Hell yes!

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell (May 26, 2019)

I don't read a whole lot of sci-fi, but when I read this "Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables." I was sold.

Birthday by Meredith Russo (May 21, 2019)

I appreciated and loved this author's other book If I Was Your Girl, and I can't wait for her new one. It sounds amazing.

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio (May 7, 2019)

I can never have enough books that have a college setting. I also love the cover.

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (April 16, 2019)

At this point I will pretty much read anything by Jenn Bennett, especially if it involves a mysterious author and cuteness.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis (March 12, 2019)

This book sounds heartbreaking and is written by an author I admire.

The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton (March 5, 2019)

I loved the first book in this duo-logy, The Belles, so much it made my best of 2018 list. Of course I am excited for its sequel!

You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook (March 5, 2019)

The title alone piqued my interest for this one! A joke about swapping murders turns into reality...

The Wicked King by Holly Black (Jan. 8, 2019)

I loved The Cruel Prince and I have heard its sequel is intense and crazy and awesome. I can't wait!

Slayer by Kiersten White (Jan. 8, 2019)

As a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer I can't possibly pass up this new canon.

Did any of these books make your list?

January 6, 2019

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

Grad school is done! That can only mean one thing... I can participate in the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon. It has been a long while since I participated in one of these. I am ready!

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, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 24 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 while reading so I can write a decent review
Social Goals
  • Participate in one Twitter chat
  • Participate in some of the Instagram challenges
Book Options
  • Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black
  • Unnatural Disasters by Jeff Hirsch
  • The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh
  • Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
  • Internment by Samira Ahmed


I started reading The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh.

Not a lot of reading today.

I finished The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me! I have read a total of 304 pages.

I didn't have time to do anything for fun.

I started reading The Borden Murders by Sarah Miller.

I had lots of family stuff today. No reading. :(

I finished The Borden Murders! I have now read a total of 592 pages! Not the best, but not the worst.

January 2, 2019

My First Read of 2019

Hosted by Book Journey

I absolutely love sitting down and planning out what my first read of every year will be. As a planner, I find it fun, but also a little bit of a challenge. I want to pick a book that I am pretty sure I will like. No risks here! This year I am also choosing an older book so it can count towards the Beat the Backlist Challenge I signed up for. What better way to kick off the new year than by checking off a book for a challenge? I was still being really indscicive about which book I want to be my first, perhaps I was putting too much pressure on myself. And then, as if by magic, I got an email saying an ebook I had on hold was ready for me. That book is Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson which just so happens to be on my Backlist Challenge and of which many people have been saying I need to read it. Therefore, I finally chose my book!

My First Book of the Year

What will be your first book of 2019?

January 1, 2019

TTT# 93: Best Books of 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I read 107 books in 2018! Here are some of my favorites.

My Favorite Graphic Novels

My Favorite Adult Books

My Favorite Young Adult Books


Did any of my favorites make your list?

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