Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Always Forever Blog Tour

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I am so happy to be a part of this blog tour for Always Forever. I'm really excited to read this book. Mary has been an awesome blogger friend of mine, and, on top of that, an excellent writer.

Displaying Always Forever cover (small).jpgSynopsis:
Music has been there for them, Always Forever

Colton Cruise has a determined, focused, hardworking attitude. He’s the manager of one of the most popular bands. However, all of his problems are coming from a smart mouth, petite, guitar player of the opening band.

Ivee Jamison is a blunt, outspoken girl who has been on her own for a while. She does whatever she wants. That is, until her new boss, Colton Cruise, starts barking orders.
The secrets that drive them are the one holding them back. Now will the music be able to save them once again? 

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Excerpt:
I walked into the dimly lit bar. I small grin crept onto my face. It felt familiar, maybe because 

I spent a lot of time here behind the bar, and with Shine. I strolled up to the corner of the bar. A 

large breasted blonde smiled from behind the counter, and strutted up to me. 

“We’re closed sweetheart.” Her bright white smile was completely fake.

“Let Wills know that Colton is here, and then bring me a Budweiser. Thanks.” I ignored her 

statement. She looked at me strangely, but nodded, heading to the other side.

I gazed around the exact room that helped me get Shine where it is today. There were no 

tables, no stools, only a large bar that covered the whole length of the building. In the very back, 

on a large platform, was the stage. 

That was where all the magic happened. 

Right there. 

It really wasn’t anything special if you looked at it in the light. It’s a black, elevated stage, 

which Wills built himself. But to Shine, and to me, it was everything.

“Colton,” Wills thick British accent made me turn toward him. “How the hell are you?” He 

wasn’t as tall as I was, but he was much larger. I knew that he had to be at least two hundred 

eighty pounds and had always been that way.

“I’m good.” I gave him a quick, firm hand shake.

“I’m glad that you could make it up here on short notice.”

“Now, I came up here because it was you, Wills, but why the fuck am I here?” I crossed my 

arms, as the blonde set my beer in front of me, and a drink in front of him.

“You’re looking for someone to open for Shine, right? For the North America tour?” Wills’ 

questions. 

I nodded.

“Well, look no further Mr. Manager-of-the-World’s-Hottest-Band, I have that opening act.” 

Wills smiled at me, pushing back his thick black hair off his forehead

Buy Links:

Information about the model/muse:

About the Author:
Displaying Mary Smith's author photo.jpgMary Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois but raised in Princeton, Illinois. She is currently living in
West Virginia with her amazing husband. Mary never misses a Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago 
Bears or a Chicago Bulls game. She loves her sports. Mary never goes anywhere without her 
Kindle, her laptop or a book in hand. If you can’t find her reading than she is reviewing books on 
her site, which she co-founded, Book Nerds Across America.

Mary Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois but raised in Princeton, Illinois. She is currently living in 
West Virginia with her amazing husband. Mary never misses a Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago 
Bears or a Chicago Bulls game. Mary never goes anywhere without her Kindle, her laptop or 
a book in hand. She is the author of the Amazon bestselling Sports Romance series, The Ice 
Series, and The Penalty Kill Trilogy, which she co-authors with Lindsay Paige.

Stalk Her:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

17332564Title: How to Love
Author: Katie Cotugno
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: Hardcover, 389
Publication: October 1, 2013

Synopsis:
Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he's never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated-and pregnant-Reena behind. 

After: Almost three years have passed, and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena's gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she's finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn't want anything to do with him, though she'd be lying if she said Sawyer's being back wasn't stirring something in her. After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?


I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I had held off reading for quite a while. (I got the book for Christmas and read it in April if that is any indication.) I honestly didn't know what to expect from it. The reviews had been mixed. They were raving from the people over at Epic Reads, but there were many negative reviews over at Goodreads. But I had to see for myself. This story goes much deeper than I thought it would. How to Love explores the complexity of human relationships and love in a way that draws the reader into the story. However, it took me a while to actually fall head over heels in love with this story.

Plot:
The story itself was unique. It wasn't the sweet and perfect love story that I had come to expect from most YA contemporary romances. It had dark twists and turns. The POV switches back and forth from before and after Reena has her daughter, and I really enjoyed that. It kept the story lively and entertaining.

Characters:
The main problems that I had with the book lie in the characters. Reena could be such an annoying main character. It was completely understandable how naive that Reena was in the before chapters. She was young and in love for the first time. First love makes characters do stupid things. However, in the after chapters Reena prides herself on being smarter than when she was with Sawyer for the first time. Whenever he was around, she made such stupid and thoughtless decisions. She reverted back to her pre-baby self, and it was annoying. She had her parents and her prior experience with Sawyer to guide her, yet, at times, she ignored both. Sawyer was a bit of the same way. He was reckless and stupid. But it seemed that whenever he was with his daughter, he became more responsible, which made his character development amazing.

Romance:
Man, do I love a slow burn romance. It took a while for Reena and Sawyer to get together, but when it happened, it was great. In the before chapters, their relationship was fun and reckless, but in the after chapters, their relationship matured and developed in ways that I didn't think was going to happen. I really enjoyed Sawyer and Reena together.


Overall:
Slow to like at first, but it pleasantly surprised me

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Sunday Post #5

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer created to share news and post a recap of the week.

So, from circumstances beyond my control, I've been gone for a while. This first month of summer has been EXTREMELY busy. I took the SAT and ACT, went to Disney World, started volunteering at two libraries, and got a job. I'm kind of proud at how much I accomplished this past month. But hopefully, summer will start mellowing out and I will be able to dedicate more time to this blog. I have some reviews lined up for the next couple of weeks, because I have read a lot... But I've also watched a lot of Netflix and YouTube, so below I decided to add in some favorite TV series, movies, and YouTubers that I've enjoyed this month.


New On My Shelves:
Sneak Peek: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (Netgalley)

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (Netgalley) (!!!!)

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Amazon Promo)
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay (ARC from HarperTeen via Goodreads)
Pawn by Aimee Carter (Harlequin Teen)
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The New College Reality

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (Library)
Sabriel by Garth Nix (Library)
Lirael by Garth Nix (Library)
United We Spy by Ally Carter (Library)
Heist Society... I know I already have a copy of this, but I couldn't pass up the paperback. I just love it so much. (Received from Library Summer Reading Program)


Recently Read:
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Boys Like You by Julianna Stone

The One by Kiera Cass
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
Frostbite by Richelle Mead
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

(So, I kind of went on a series binge of Vampire Academy. I recently saw the movie, and I absolutely loved it, so it inspired me to pick up the series again, and let's say I was not disappointed. This series is so addicting.)


Movies I Love:
Vampire Academy (4/5)
The Fault in Our Stars (5/5)
Christopher and His Kind (10 billion/5)




TV Shows I Love:
The Walking Dead (3.5/5)
Gossip Girl (4/5)



Youtubers I Love:
UberHaxorNova (gaming)
ImmortalHD (gaming)
AshleyElizabeth (make-up, hair, and advice)
TheCreatureHub (gaming)
EpicReads (books)



What did you guys get this week? Share in the comments below :)

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blog Tour: Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

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20647319Title: Branded (Sinners #1)
Author: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
Genre: Dystopia
Pages: eBook, 252
Publication: June 28, 2013

Synopsis:
Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. 
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a dystopian book. Not only that, it’s been a long time since I’ve read a book with a world that is so unique. The authors have created a world that is so elaborate and dark, and it’s just so interesting. I think that’s what I loved the most about this book.

The authors waste no time getting the story started. You’re thrown right into Lexi’s story. Lexi has been branded a sinner (specifically for lust), and is sentenced to a lifetime in the Hole, which is basically an extreme version of prison. Those first 50 or so pages, you’re fed so much information about the world and the character’s story that it’s a bit overwhelming. I think that’s the only criticism I have about this book. The first third of the book is so jammed pack, that for me, it felt like I didn’t have any time to breathe and digest everything that was going on.

But from that point to the end of the novel, I couldn’t stop reading. The story went by fast. And I loved how the characters developed. Lexi turned into a much stronger female character, which I always love going into books. Cole grew on me. I didn’t really like him at first. He was an asshole, but like most fictional boys I love, his assholishness subsided and his softer side came through. Cole and Lexi’s romance was really enjoyable. It was a slow burning romance that developed into something really passionate and amazing.

Overall, this unique world that the authors have created really made this book for me. While it had a few grammatical errors and had things moving a little too fast for my taste to be considered realistic, this was a really solid book. I’m excited to see how the story progresses in later books.

3.5 stars/ 5 stars

Purchase:

About the Authors
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Sunday Post #4


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. The Sunday Post is a chance to share events, blog posts, and showcase books from the week. 


Displaying IMG_20140510_211511.jpgIn terms of blog posts, this week has been pretty slow for me. About half way through the week the internet went out at my house, which completely sucked. I only got it fixed yesterday morning. Despite that, I did get to do a REALLY exciting thing that I had wanted to do for a long time. I got to meet John Green. (Well, not necessarily meet. More like breathe the same air.)

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Last Sunday, the details regarding the Demand Our Stars event were released. John Green, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolffe would go to four cities in the US. One of those cities happened to be very close to where I live. So, on Friday, I was able to go to Dallas and attend the event, which was really exciting. The event was hosted at the South Side Ballroom at Gilley’s and was crazy crowded.

Displaying IMG_20140509_181743.jpgMy friends and I waited in line for about 3 ½ hours, and were luckily among the 3000 people to get in to the event. While waiting in the line, I got to meet some really awesome nerdfighters from all over Texas. John hit the stage at about 7 and introduced an AMAZING 10 minute clip with never before seen footage from The Fault in Our Stars. The clip was spectacular. I was close to crying several times. (Not very surprising).

After the clip, John welcomed Shai, Ansel, and Nat to the stage. There were several questions asked from fans at the event, Twitter, and the Pop Sugar Instagram page. There were some really awesome questions. One thing that really struck me, was a girl named Caroline. Caroline had read TFiOS before she had been diagnosed with cancer in January. The cast, as well as the crowd, was moved by her story and her great question.


The event lasted about an hour and was honestly the best experience of my life. It’s so surreal to meet an author that you have loved for so long and who means so much to you. Also, it’s spectacular that I was able to see the people who took some of my favorite characters in literature and brought them to life on screen. I was so fortunate that I was able to attend the event.

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This week, I got a lot of really awesome books that I was extremely excited about.
The One by Kiera Cass (already read... Review will come later this week)
We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (already read… Review will come later this month)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Boys Like You Juliana Stone via Netgalley (pub: May 6, 2014)
Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki via Netgalley (pub: June 28, 2013)
Divided (Dualed #2)  by Elisa Chapman via Netgalley (pub: May 27, 2014)
Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols via Edelweiss (pub: May 20, 2014)
The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel via Netgalley (pub: April 29, 2014)

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore via Netgalley (pub July 22, 2014)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

18635084Title: Say What You Will
Author: Cammie McGovern
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: Hardcover, 352
Publication: June 3, 2014

Synopsis:
John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.
This sounds like such an intense, emotional, and amazing read. I have really high expectations for this one. Like, John Green expectations. I've recently been on a contemporary kick, probably because summer is so close, so this book will sate my contemporary fix. Plus, I really love this cover.

Me (probably) after reading this book:




Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame as Pieces of Art

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s topic:

Top Ten Book Covers I’d Frame as Pieces of Art

11870085
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Not only is the cover bright and gorgeous, it really means a lot to me.

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
All of the Grisha series book covers are amaaaazing; this is no exception.

8235178
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
I think this one goes without saying.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Who could not LOVE this cover?

16182304
Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
I just want to stroke this cover all day long. (That sounded strangely sexual bad.)

15745753
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Simple and cute. Two Things I love in book covers

10507293
The Selection by Kiera Cass 
*insert covergasm here*

18599901
Tease by Amanda Maciel 
While it may look a bit plain in the picture, the cover is actually REALLY shiny and reflective

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Evertrue by Brodi Ashton 
The hardcover of this is absolutely stunning.

15839984
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge 
SOOOOOOO pretty