26 April 2014

Stacking the Shelves

Books have finally started to arrive after the holidays. I'm still waiting for To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. It will probably be here sometime next week.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters is HUGE! When I got the package I thought Fishpond packed both Laini and Jenny's books together but nope. It was just this beast. I still haven't read Days of Blood & Starlight.

What I Thought Was True is so pretty. I could stare at the cover for hours.

25 April 2014

Blitz Post: Finally, Forever by Katie Kacvinsky

FINALLY, FOREVER by Katie Kacvinsky

May 9th, 2014
New Adult Contemporary Romance
First Comes Love, #3


Author's Note: Can be read as book three of the First Comes Love, or as a standalone .

College baseball player, Gray Thomas, had to go far out into left field to find a girl like Dylan, the ex-love-of-his-life. More than a year later, literally at a crossroads, they find each other together on a journey that is a pause between a painful past and an uncertain future. In this sexy and offbeat summer read, Gray and Dylan discover that a destination isn't always a place. More often, it's a person. Now it's time for them to finally decide, is this forever?

Interview with Gray Thomas, college baseball player from Finally, Forever.

What do you look for in a person?
A sense of humor.

What is the worst mistake of your life?
 I let someone amazing slip through my fingers. I think I made the right decision for her, but it was a crappy decision for me.

What do you think is important in a relationship?
Sex. Lots of incredible sex. Okay, I’m kidding. No I’m not. Seriously, I think compromising is important—just being on the same page with each other. Relationships will never work if you aren’t on a mutual path. I’ve definitely learned that.

What song are you obsessing over right now?
This spring I was in a coffee shop meeting with a study group. There was a song playing by Beck. It’s an old song, called Loser.  That song intrigues the hell out of me. The lyrics make NO SENSE. I’m a Beck fan in general, so I did some research, and the lead singer claims that’s the point of the song. It’s not supposed to make sense. They are just random lines meant to get a rise out of people, to surprise them, to entertain them and keep their attention. I think that’s a great metaphor for life in general. And it’s a pretty awesome song.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Dylan said something to me a few years ago that I’ll never forget. She reminded me to stop taking myself so seriously. She said you need to take life seriously, but not yourself. She’s right. Focusing on yourself is detrimental to your happiness.

Do you think you will play professional baseball?
That seems to be my calling. Baseball has always come naturally to me. I like the control on the field, it’s so different from how out of control it is in the real world. The field is my escape. I love being at the pitcher’s mound and staring down a batter. I love the feeling of striking him out. It’s a strange sort of therapy.

If you couldn’t play baseball, what would you do?
I don’t know. I’d probably stalk Dylan and see what she’s up to.

What is your strength?
I have a really good memory. It’s hard for me to forget anything. Or anyone.

What is your weakness?
I have a really good memory. It’s hard for me to forget anything. Or anyone.  

If you had to pick a musician to write a soundtrack to your life, who would it be?
That’s tough because my mood changes and so does my taste in music. If I’m having a bad day, I would say Eminem. If I’m inspired, then probably The Killers. But I think I would have to go with Ryan Adams.

24 April 2014

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy 
Publisher: Harper Teen      
Publication date: March 18th 2014
My rating: 5 stars

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? 
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.
Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most? 

Alice, Alice, Alice... You stubborn, cold girl! I admire you. I really do. And I admire Julie Murphy for taking the biggest leap with Alice being Alice. You see, Alice is horrible to everyone and she has cancer. She uses her parents and her best friend, Harvey whenever she can, because she can. No one's going to say no to a dying girl, right? 

Then something happens-her cancer's gone and now it's time to go back to school and start living. She left a trail of enemies in school and Harvey has expectations about their relationship that blossomed while Alice was sick. 

Harvey reminded me of Kent from Before I Fall which for so many reasons but the main is the bitchy MC. Harvey stands by Alice even when she abandons him for a year or two. He starts taking care of her when she's sick and helps her pool pranks on other students. He loved her ever since they were kids. But Alice pushes him again, after she enters remission. He still wants to be around her. He's a good guy. A bit of a pushover but it's why I like him. He cares about Alice and he would do anything for her. He does grow a backbone towards the end. Just so Alice could see they should be equal partners. 

I mentioned this in one of my previous reviews-if I connect with the main character, not a lot of things can go wrong after that. I just follow the character and their problems which makes me understand them and even feel protective like in cases when people start talking smack about them. Yes! I am ready to fight and defend them. Why do we need to read about the same old, boring, nice characters when there's someone like Alice around? Why not read about a bitchy character? Sure, we probably wouldn't want to hang out with Alice in real life but this is a book we're talking about. Take a risk, people! 

So many people didn't like this book and gave mediocre ratings. It just makes me so mad they didn't see what I did while I was reading Side Effects May Vary. This book is for those who are willing to take risks and plunge into the unknown with a 'horrible' heroine. Are you willing to gamble? 

16 April 2014

If I Stay Movie Trailer

So, last night the trailer for If I Stay came out. I gotta say, I didn't expect much to begin with mainly because I didn't love the first book as much as Where She Went which blew my mind. I read it so long time ago and it was one of the first contemporary books I've read. It's one of the reasons YA contemporary is my favorite genre.

I liked the trailer a lot. Like I said, I didn't expect much. I've been following the progress of this movie on the official Facebook page and checking the various paparazzi snaps of the cast on set. Chloe doesn't look like the Mia I pictured. Well, I did see the girl on the cover as Mia, not someone as baby-faced as Chloe. She always looks the same and it's like she never changes from role to role.

Can't say I have any objections about Jamie as Adam. I love Adam. He's one of my favorite book boys.

The parents and Teddy are great as well. sniff, sniff I wasn't prepared for the moment the crash happened. I don't even know how I'm going to see it once the movie gets out.

All in all, the trailer looks wonderful and emotional. Hope the movie will be even better so that I can see Where She Went in theaters as well because I've been dreaming about that moment forever. I need those angsty scenes with Adam.

15 April 2014

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley 
Publisher: Harper Teen      
Publication date: September 9th 2014
My rating: 5 stars

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.
So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What’s she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty...no matter how much she wants him.As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.At any cost.
Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

Wow! What a wonderful book! 

In February I was checking out new catalogs from Harper Teen and saw the cover for Rites of Passage. Since it seemed like a 'boy' book I decided to check out the blurb as well. It's not a 'boy' book! It's about something I've never read. I had to get it! I prayed to God, Jesus, Buddha, Zeus and Loki the lovely peeps from Harper Teen would grant me the wish to read it before everybody else. haha Well, my wish was granted and I couldn't be more happier because the book rocked! 

Sam joins the first class of girls to attend the Denmark Military Academy or DMA. Her brother dared her to do it before he killed himself so Sam felt she had to do it. Her father's in military, her two brothers as well so it was obvious she would follow in their footsteps. After her brother killed himself everything changed; her mother started popping pills, father wasn't around and her brother who's with her in the DMA wasn't talking to her. Aside from the family drama, Sam had to deal with hazing from the members of the school's secret society who want her and 3 other girls gone. She's not sure who to trust and who her real friends are. 

Throughout the whole book I was on the edge of my seat. It was as if I was Sam and I was being hazed every day for 9 months. I felt her pain and anger. I wanted to reach out and help her out somehow or at least punch the bastards who were abusing her daily. Some of the scenes were hard to watch. It just made me wonder how many people go through the same thing in real life. You'd think being a soldier is something to be proud of but just like in every other job there are good and bad people. The world is not black and white. 

I don't want to talk too much about the plot since the blurb already covered that part but you should know this book is worth the time. I think I'm going to persuade my friends to read it once it gets out because they can't miss this outstanding debut and you shouldn't either! 

14 April 2014

The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel
Publisher: Harlequin Teen      
Publication date: April 29th 2014
My rating: 4 star

Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 

After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.
One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.
No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.

Well hello there, Ms. Break-Up Artist! I want to have your carrier or at least see what it feels like to be wicked. 

When I first heard about this  book I was immediately interested. Who doesn't want to read about someone breaking up couples for money? For me it just screams Let's be bad together and Pick me! Pick me! And the hipster-ish cover looks great. 

The best thing about this books was the MC. I don't usually relate to characters and when I do I can't help but to fall in love with the story. Becca's the break-up artist. I've never destroyed someone else's relationship, just my own (haha) but I do think Becca and I have something really important in common. We both don't believe in love. It's strange to even say that. Becca's sister has been dumped on her wedding day and her parents don't show affection to each other easily so Becca doesn't believe people are meant to be together forever. Another thing that's great about Becca is that she's not afraid to do something bad. She's not bad and she's not good either. She's just a normal, regular person. We can read about 'perfect' characters but things aren't so easy in the real world. 

I also enjoyed the break-up process. Becca's newest target were the power couple in her school, Steve and Huxley. Huxley was a bitch but at the same time she wasn't altogether bad, just like Becca. Gosh! I liked every character in this book: the sleezebag boyfriend trying to fool around with other girls, the best friend who's desperate to find a boyfriend, a girl who changes herself completely when she's in a relationship and even Becca's mopey sister. 

I really want this book to get the attention it deserves. It's fresh and fun! So easy to read and the characters seem like real teenagers, not the whinny messes we've been fed for the last couple of years. And another thing, I had no idea the author's male. Oops. I didn't even see his name right up to the point when I started writing this review. I applaud him for writing teenage girls correctly. It was almost like he was a teenager himself. 

If you're looking for a book with different characters you came to the right place. Don't miss this exciting debut! If you're still not impressed, remember, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Hannah Harrington and Lauren Morrill liked it as well. 

12 April 2014

Stacking the Shelves

Haven't posted StS since early March so I thought I would share with you guys what I got since then. I bought all of them except Side Effects May Vary and Charm and Strange. I won those two books. And, my mom bought Lola and the Boy Next Door for my birthday since she knew how much I love Stephanie Perkins and her characters(especially Lola and Cricket). 

I still need to read Ruins, Into the Still Blue, Charm and Strange, Cress and The Winner's Curse

I'm currently reading Side Effects May Vary and it's really interesting. Plus, the main character doesn't give a damn about anything or anybody which is refreshing since most of the main characters I've come across with are too good to be true. 

Sorry for the day/night pictures. I took them a couple of minutes apart and they still look weird. 

11 April 2014

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Publisher: Harper Teen      
Publication date: February 18th 2014
My rating: 4.5 stars

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
Everybody knows how much I love to read realistic stories. I can never get tired of them. At first I didn't want to read Maybe One Day because the first cover was giving me some fantasy/paranormal vibes. I didn't read the blurb so I ignored it altogether. And then one day, the cover was changed and I had to read the blurb. Once I did, I knew I would be reading it sooner of later. It turned out to be later because I didn't read the book for months. I'm not even sure why that happened. 

Zoe and Olivia were inseparable. They've been friends since they were little. They were thinking about being professional dancers one day and living in Manhattan together and then Olivia got sick. What seemed to be a simple case of flu, turned out to be leukemia. Now both girls need to find a way to stay strong despite everything that's going on. 

Maybe One Day was a hard book to read. I'm still not sure what to say about it. I did cry towards the end a lot. I was expecting it because Kantor did prepare us for the worst. I was waiting for it to happen a lot sooner but I'm glad it didn't. 

Zoe was impulsive and in the moment type of person while Olivia was usually the kinder person who was well liked in every circle. They complimented each other in every possible way. Their friendship was the center of this novel. Nothing else came even close. Not even the romance which was believable and hot despite the fact Zoe and Calvin not having a lot of scenes. He was suck a good guy I found myself wishing he was a bigger part of the novel even tough it was obvious he would be there for Zoe, no matter what. 

i'm glad I read this book even though it made me feel mad sad and mad at the same time because not everyone can win against leukemia. I'll be on the lookout for other Melissa Kantor books because she proved herself as a writer with this wonderful story about friendship. 

10 April 2014

A new day, a new blog design

Hi, lovely people! I'm so happy I finally finished my new blog design with a little help from my friend who happens to be an awesome designer, Doroty. She helped with css which I know nothing about.

I made 3 test blogs with different designs. Crazy, right? The biggest problem for me was that I liked them all. It wasn't an easy job to decide which template goes up. In the end this one looked the best. All of them are minimalist but this one was a little more upbeat, even though it's gray.

I'm glad to be rid of the old design which I started hating and didn't even want to visit my own blog.

09 April 2014

Cover Reveal: Rival by Penelope Douglas

Title: Rival
Series: Fall Away, #2
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: NA / Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 26, 2014
*Pre-order links*


From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the three years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Three years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….

*Purchase books 1 & 2 of the Fall Away series*
*Buy Links - Bully*

*Buy Links - Until You*

*About Penelope*
Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, the show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.

*Connect with Penelope*


(5) $10 GC from either Amazon or Barnes&Noble
(1) Signed set of Bully & Until You (original copy)
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