Saturday, November 30, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted Tynga's Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Happy Holidays everyone!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. I got lots of books for the month of November! While I am super happy to get all the books I want, sadly I cannot get as many books anymore due to a family crisis. Not sure how long I will be able to do this, but we'll see. So here is my awesome haul I got!


BREATHE by Sarah Crossan
THE DEMON KING by Cinda Williams Chima
FIRE by Kristin Cashore
FALSE MEMORY by Dan Krokos
REACHED by Ally Condie
ADAPTATION by Malinda Lo
WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang
THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
THE INDIGO SPELL by Richelle Mead
TANDEM by Anna Jarzab
HOW TO LOVE by Katie Catugno
All these books I haven't read and I'm dying to read them! I have to know the ending to Ally Condie's Matched Series, and I really need to catch up with The Indigo Spell. I love that series!
I won this from the awesome Kayla DeGroote at The Bibliophilic Nerds
THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas
Chrys from Oh, Chrys hosted A Bookish Christmas, where bloggers participate in a Secret Santa (but we know who our partner is) so to speak. The super sweet Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings gave me this book! Thank you Anya, I cannot wait to read it!
TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson, plus a Snow White mug hehe
This was a gift from The Hubs because he loves me so much lol!

THE WOLF GIFT by Anne Rice
When I was in Vegas for the Vegas Valley Book Festival, Anne Rice was going to be in L.A. signing her new book. My sister and cousin are huge fanatics of her, so they went and got a signed copy for me too!
THE BITTER KINGDOM by Rae Carson and THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas
During the time I was in Vegas, I knew that the Pitch Dark Tour was there previously in September. I went to that B&N to see if they had any signed copies left. Low and behold they had these lovely beauties and they look so pretty in person!
TEARDROP by Lauren Kate
THE EYE OF MINDS by James Dashner
PERFECT RUIN by Lauren DeStefano
SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo
FINDING IT by Cora Carmack
FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK by Melina Marchetta
STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson
That is the lovely stack I got. What did you get over the month of November?! Link me up if you like!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: November 26, 2013
Pages: 474
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

     Wow, Katie McGarry has managed to do it again with this tremendous story! She really knows how to connect with broken characters and make them so genuinely authentic. I loved Isaiah's story, I'm so glad he got his own story because he was awesome in Pushing the Limits. I did read the books out of order, but it in no way causes confusion. Unless you don't want spoilers, then don't read them out of its order.
     Isaiah's story begins with him being heart broken over a certain girl. He thinks he's done with girls for now, but low and behold he comes to the rescue of a girl named Rachel. Rachel is the awkward, rich girl that everyone makes fun of for puking years ago. You see, she has a phobia of speaking in public, so she gets panic attacks and throws up. The only thing that makes her feel comfortable and in self control is when she drives. One night, she decides to make an idiotic move to drag race. Isaiah urges her to leave knowing she is getting into the wrong kind of trouble, but she doesn't listen. Now she and Isaiah are stuck owing debts to a gangster. This leaves a insta-love kind of story, but I believe it works well for them. They are two lost souls who believe that they can help each other and that is when they fall in love. There was definite chemistry between the two. They also had their steamy moments where you couldn't help but fan yourself hehe.
     I loved reading Isaiah's point of view. He was confident, cocky, HOT, yet he had the warmest heart and he just wanted to belong to someone. Growing up in foster care has left Isaiah isolated with no real family except for his friends, Noah and Echo. Now that he is almost eighteen, his mother from prison has been out, and has wanted to get in contact with him. He has conflicting emotions running through him because he does not want to see a mother who has left him over ten years ago, yet deep down he is curious about his past. I felt so horrible for him because Isaiah wants to have a good future and not be one of those kids who went bad in the system. The only thing he excels at is cars. Cars are his passion and he devotes himself in his Auto mechanics class in hopes that he can get a good job when he graduates high school. He also has a real compassionate side. Yes, he's had all the girls he can get, but when he loses Beth he is done being a one night stand kind of guy. When he develops feeling for Rachel, a brand new side comes out of him that he didn't realize existed. He becomes happy and hopeful when Isaiah is around Rachel, and that gets him to see that he can have a bright future.
     Rachel on the other hand was a bit of a struggle. I liked her, but I didn't love her. She had a good heart and she would blossom when she was around Isaiah, though every time she left him, she was such an insecure person. Rachel always doubted everything, and she didn't have a back bone to boot! There were times I wanted to yell at her to stand up to her family, especially her brothers who always babied her or put her down. Her brothers were jerks! I did not like them in the least bit. Also, her mother was a pain in the ass too. Rachel's mother always compared her to her first daughter, Colleen who died of Leukemia. Colleen was the perfect daughter, making never ending comments on how Rachel should be just like her. I did feel bad for Rachel on that part, but I wanted to strangle her for not saying anything. After many battles with herself, she FINALLY sticks up for all that she's been hiding with her family. That is when I started to really like Rachel.
     The side characters were great. Some I really enjoyed such as Logan and Abby, but then there were the bad ones like Rachel's brothers. Ethan, the twin brother of Rachel, was okay. He at least put Rachel's feelings into consideration so he wasn't a complete (pardon my language) asshole. Abby on the other hand was awesome! I loved her abrupt straight forward personality. She some how became Rachel's impromptu best friend. They clicked in a weird way because they both didn't really have friends before and they had awkward conversations. Abby was a bad ass friend too who stuck up for Rachel when there was danger, and she flirted with boys like it was nobody's business. I really hope she gets a story of her own in the future. The next book in the series is Take Me On with West's point of view. I'm not sure how I feel about that since I didn't care for him in this book, but I'm also curious to see why he has such anger issues. We will see when the time comes.
     This was a spectacular companion novel to Pushing the Limits. Katie's writing is wonderful and she really knows how to send me to the core of my emotions. She just gut wrenches me lol. This novel made me cry especially towards the end, and you will know when that part comes. I'm so happy that Isaiah got his happily ever after. I really recommend this book if you want some steamy, angsty romance. Or if you have started this series, I believe it's a fantastic sequel.
Favorite Quote:
"It's only then that I realize that we're both angled across the table. We're mirrors of each other and we are shockingly close. So close our foreheads almost touch and I can feel the heat radiating from his body. Our heads tilt in the same direction and, in the center of the table, our hands are a breath's distance from a caress.
The energy and the warmth surrounding us...butterflies swarm in my stomach and take flight. This isn't me. None of it. I'm not the girl who hangs in a bar. I'm not the girl who is comfortable talking to guys. And I'm sure not the girl who leans over the table to be close to anyone. Yet I'm doing all those things and I'm loving every freaking second."
Pg. 73 Rachel thinking about Isaiah.        


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (8): The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Waiting on Wednesday (WoW) is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights future releases we are eagerly anticipating! Here it is...
In the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Cassandra Clare comes this brilliant, unputdownable, star-crossed romance about the curse of winning.
Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music.Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

     First off, let me just say this cover looks so amazingly beautiful!!! I want this book just on the cover alone lol. The synopsis seems very interesting and very mysterious, which makes me want to read it even more. Why is the main character's life at stake for buying that slave? What kind of world is this? It all looks so awesome and I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

The Winner's Curse will be released on March 4, 2014 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
What book are you waiting for?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: Losing It by Cora Carmack

Published: October 15, 2012
Pages: 204
Genre: NA Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5

Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible - a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.

     Warning: I may have written some minor spoilers, so if you don't want to know what happens, don't read this review! I went into this story with no expectations and just for a good time because I needed a break from my life. This was a fun, light hearted, and cute book. The main character, Bliss, is looking to lose her virginity before she graduates college. In actuality, it's her friend that is forcing her to have sex. Bliss hasn't found the right guy she wants to have sex with, and though it is clichéd it does happen. As luck would have it, she meets a very handsome British guy at the bar. The chemistry between them sparks right away so they go off to her apartment to have sex. Halfway through the sheets, Bliss loses her courage and bolts out of her own apartment, in her underwear none the less! The next morning, she thinks all is forgotten and she will never see the guy again. Well, I guess Karma got to her because her one night stand, turned out to be her professor, Garrick.
     This begins the forbidden romance that a teacher/student should not have a relationship. They try so desperately to forget about each other, yet they keep running into one another, and they can't stop thinking about each other. Some people hated this story because it was unoriginal, but I thought it was quite enjoyable. Yes, Bliss was naïve at times and she was the typical unknown pretty girl, but she at least stuck with her guns. There was a potential love triangle that I worried was going to happen. I'm so happy that didn't happen though! Bliss knew what her heart was telling her and she didn't have it in her to pull strings along with another man. Also, in the beginning I thought Garrick was going to turn out to be a womanizer since he was so willing to have sex with a stranger, yet he delightfully wasn't a player. He was every bit the gentleman and he actually did have morals. I know that's a total turn off for some people, but I actually liked it!
     This was a sweet, short story that I enjoyed very much. I enjoyed that it wasn't such a complicated love story. Bliss and Garrick clicked real well and I liked that there love blossomed into something other than lust. If you are looking for something light to read with a cute love story, then try this book out. I will continue reading the next book Faking It with Cade and Max's story! That one looks fun too.  

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Covers That Need a Redesign!

This week's topic is The top ten books I would like to redesign. Let's face it, sometimes when books get published, some books come out absolutely horrible, or it just doesn't fit the story well. Here are the top ten books I really wish they would change!
 While I don't think this cover is bad, I loved the original cover! The original cover was so beautiful and it just looked so magical. Why they changed it I don't know, but this cover looks more of a hoax than the original.
 Why oh why did they have to put this specific picture on Covet?! It looks absolutely horrific! The model looks like she is stoned, she has on way too much eye shadow, her hair is weird, it all looks just so wrong!!! Doesn't it look like they made her try to look like Lady Gaga? Well, it wasn't a good job in my opinion.
 Why did they have to change the cover of the Crewel series?!?! I loved, loved, loved the original cover! It was just so different and unique. The colors were vibrant, the hardcover was bright green, and the font was pretty. Now when I look at this cover, I just feel let down. The color is bland, I don't care for the model, and I don't like the hourglass they put on it.
 I don't like both covers from this series to be honest. The old Starters cover looked scary and I felt the model didn't fit the story. Now the new model fits better with the story, but I still don't like it. There's something off putting about it that I can't quite put my finger on.
 What were they thinking when they chose this as their cover for this book? I guess I can understand a little why the model looks high because the main character is drugged up through out half the book. I feel it could have been done with more taste though. What's with the pony too? I don't get it, or the whole cover for that matter.
 Another cover change that I do not agree with. This one is not horrible, but I prefer the original cover. The font on the last one was lovely, where as this one is too blocky.
 This cover is okay, but I feel the photo shopping could have been done better on the model. The dragon looks more realistic than the girl when you see it in person. Like I said though, it's not bad, but the photo shopping needs to be better.
 What happened to this book compared to the others in the series? This book looks like it was made in the 80's/90's! I'm not sure if it was horrendous photo shopping again, but it looks like they went back a generation lol.
 Ugh another horrible photo shopping job. At first when I saw the cover it looked pretty. The more I started looking at it though, and actually seeing it in person really put me off. First, the model looks disproportionate, too gangly looking maybe? And her face looks weird (like its faded out).

I know this is a horror book and its meant to be scary, but this book gives me the heebee jeebees!!! Every time I see it, I pass on through real fast so that way I do not have to look into those eyes haha. I just don't like it, change it!
So that's my list! What books do you believe need a cover change? Link up your TTT in the comments!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vegas Valley Book Festival + a Giveaway!

     (Warning: This post is fairly long so I hope I don't bore you). On Saturday, November 2nd, I went to the Vegas Valley Book Festival! I don't remember how I heard about it because it was all the way back in May I think, but I knew I had to go! (Luckily my in-laws live in Vegas so it wasn't that hard to persuade the Hubs hehe). Off we left at 5:30 in the morning to get there early. I met up with my friend, Steph (thank goodness for her) and we got there early at 10am. We walked around for a bit, but I made sure we went to the B&N tent to buy an early copy of Crash Into You by Katie McGarry, plus The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Let me tell you, the cover is so pretty and I love that it is bright red! While we were in line, I bumped into my blogger friends Charlene and Paola! (Charlene has a recap also if you want to read her POV). It was great to see them and chat for a while.
     Now it was time for us to go sit at one of the panels. There were two panels in two tents at every hour. While I really wanted to sit at Tent 2: Secrets, Serial Killers and Surprise Endings to see Kate Brian and Jennifer Lynn Barnes, I couldn't because Steph wanted to see the other Tent. This panel was called Around the World in 80 Myths with Tera Lynn Childs, Alyson Noel, Josephine Angelini, Colleen Houck, Ingrid Paulson, Brodi Ashton, and Tracy Deebs.
     I did not take notes this time so I apologize for not getting the questions and answers at the panels. They were a great bunch of ladies. They were hilarious, arguing which book boyfriend was hot in their opinion. Then they would say that the boys they wrote are pretty steamy too! Next we went the panel: Classical Remix with Stacey Jay, Eileen Cook, Claire LaZebnik, Mary Lindsey, Gena Showalter, Vivi Barnes, and Anita Howard! I was really excited for this event because Anita and Gena are some of my favorite authors!!! They were really great. I believe this was my favorite panel to go to. Although I didn't know Vivi Barnes and Eileen Cook, they were absolutely hilarious! This panel was just plain goofy but in a good way lol. One of the questions asked was:
What was the last book that made you cry?
I wanted to hug Stacey Jay because she said A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness really made her cry. She said as soon as she finished that book, she got her kids and just hugged them. Stacey even got teary eyed on stage! Poor thing. Vivi Barnes' answer was the sixth Harry Potter book lol!
     The next panel we saw was: The Language of Love panel with Amy Plum, Lauren Morrill, Kim Culbertson, Katie McGarry, Stephanie Strohm, Terra Elan McVoy, Robin Mellom, Jennifer E. Smith, and Leila Howland. The first question that was asked was:
What is one thing that you love?
 Kim Culbertson said she loves her students because that is what inspires her to write her books. Katie McGarry's answer was the sweetest! She said she loves her husband (he was there in the audience), because he puts up with her writing and loves her no matter what. Amy Plum said she loves Paris. Wherever she's at, since she was younger, she has always had a place in her heart for Paris. She fell in love with it so much that she moved there about 15 years ago. After, someone asked Jennifer Smith if she has found love in an airport. She laughed, saying no. The closest thing she's come close to love at an airport was talking with an 82 year old man about life lessons and love. Ha! Lauren Morrill then said she sat next to a really hot Chilean man on a flight and he kept flirting with her. She told him she was engaged and he told her that when she gets tired of him, come find him. Everyone in the audience said "Oooooo!" Lauren still likes to tease her now husband about it haha.
Steph and I needed a break, so we did not stay for the next panel. I did however get an awesome shot of Kasie West!!!
After we ate, we went to the panel: Resurrecting the Future with Alexandra Bracken, Kimberly Derting, Anna Carey, Chris Howard, Karri Thompson, and Lydia Kang. I don't remember much, (sorry guys). I just remember Anna Carey saying she loves bacon. Give her anything with bacon and she will eat it. They were an awesome panel because I was idolizing Alex, Kimberly, and Anna lol! I also can't wait to read Lydia Kang's book Control when it releases later this year.

     Finally it was time for the signing! All of Tent 1 authors got to sign first at 4:15. Steph and I made our rounds. Thank God I had my suitcase because I would have died carrying all those books haha. At first, I was worried that I would not be able to get ALL my books signed since I had so many, but the lines for each author were short! It was very pleasant and casual that we did not have to rush to get our books signed. Tent 1, I got my books signed by Tera Lynn Childs, Rachel Caine, Emily McKay, Gena Showalter, Mary Lindsey, Colleen Houck, Josephine Angelini, and Anita Howard. They were all super nice, especially Mary and Anita! Mary and I spoke about the weather of all things lol. Yup I'm not a good conversationalist haha, but hey she was great about it. Although I did not speak with Anita much, she is one of the kindest, most down to earth person you will ever meet. I'm so bummed I didn't get a picture with her though. Oh by the way, Steph made both of us these awesome t-shirts and they were a hit! Almost all the authors loved them and said our shirts rocked! Here is a picture of the shirt because silly me, I forgot to take a picture with it on...oops.
     Next at 5:15pm, all the authors from Tent 2 signed our books. I got my books signed by Rachel Harris, Jennifer Smith, Amy Plum, Kasie West, Kate Brian, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Tamara Ireland Stone, Anna Carey, Alex Bracken, Kimberly Derting and Katie McGarry. When I went up to Jennifer Smith she asked if my suitcase was filled with just books? I told her yes, and she said that was awesome! I headed over to Kasie West's line waiting because her line was a little long. She asked if she knew us because she feels she should know everyone from online hehe. I told her no, but that she knows my friend Cee! As soon as I said her name, Kasie knew who she was and told me they took photo booth pictures together! (So there you go Cee, she said hi back at ya!) After, I went to Tamara I. Stone. I told her that I was the first person to show a picture of her book online. She asked for my Twitter name and she remembered!!! I was squealing with delight that she remembered! Eventually, I made my way over to Katie and I was fangirling as usual. She is also one of the nicest people I have ever met! I told her she is one of my favorite authors and that Pushing the Limits was my favorite book this year. She thanked me and told me that while she loves Noah, Isaiah has a very special place in her heart. Now I am all the more excited to read Crash Into You!!!
 From left: Anna Carey, Josephine Angelini, Gretchen McNeil, Alex Bracken
Katie McGarry and I
My stacks of books I got signed!

     So there you have it! I had the time of my life with such amazing people. I can't wait to go again next year and you should too! To end my recap with a big bang, I am giving away a signed Hardcover of Crash Into You by Katie McGarry. It was the most anticipated book I wanted at the book fest, and now I am sharing it with you too! By now you should know the rules, but here they are just in case:
No CHEATING! I check for cheating guys and if I catch you, I will eliminate you automatically. This is a US giveaway only (I'm sorry I cannot mail outside the US). You must be 13 years of age or older. I am not responsible for lost or stolen items. Once it has left my hands I cannot replace it, I'm sorry. Once a winner has been chosen, he/she has 48 hours to claim their prize. If no one contacts me, I will have to pick another winner.
Thank you reading my recap, I hope you enjoyed it! Good luck and as Meredith says on her blog, May the odds be ever in your favor!

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