Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~
It's a chance to share News. 
A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.
The Week in Review:
Monday, June 24, 2013: News and Updates
Wednesday, June 26, 2013: Waiting on Wednesday
Friday, June 28, 2013: Review of 'The Sea of Tranquility'
Saturday, June 29, 2013: Stacking The Shelves
Coming Up:
Monday, July 1, 2013: Review of 'Reboot' by Amy Tintera
Tuesday, July 2, 2013: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday, July 3, 2013: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday, July 4, 2013: Review and Giveaway of autographed copy of 'Breath' by Jackie Morse Kessler (P.S. Happy Fourth of July)
Friday, July 5, 2013: Review of 'Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, & Raven' by Lauren Oliver
Saturday, July 6, 2013: Stacking the Shelves
Sunday, July, 7, 2013: Sunday Post
In the next couple of weeks I will have updates about various Blog Tours I will be hosting in the very near future!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #2


'Stacking the Shelves' is a weekly book blog meme for posting the various books we have accumulated over the week. It is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Arcs for Review:

Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid
Pub. April 23, 2013
(Courtesy of Month9Books)

Pub. November 1, 2011
(Courtesy of All Night Reads)

Twigs by Alison Ashley Formento
Pub. September 18, 2013
(Courtesy of F+W/Adams Media)

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Pub. July 16, 2013
(Courtesy of Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse)

Pub. July 2, 2013
(Courtesy of Jess Haines)

Pub. June 26, 2013
(Courtesy of Gliterary Girl Media)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Review of 'The Sea of Tranquility' by Katja Millay

Goodreads Description:
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
About Author:
Katja Millay grew up in Florida and graduated with a degree in film & television production from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has worked as a television producer and a film studies and screenwriting teacher. The Sea of Tranquility is her first book.
My Review:
‘The Sea of Tranquility’ has one of the highest ratings I have ever seen on Goodreads. I also have read various reviews referring to it as powerful, life changing, and poignant. These were the reasons I decided to read this book, but I wasn’t entirely sure it could possibly be as good as all the hype made it out to be. I was especially skeptical because this is a debut novel.

After tearing through the pages in two sittings I must say I agree with the hype. And I still cannot believe this is the work of a debut author. The story is not necessarily unique: damaged girl meets damaged boy and they fall in love, but the depth Millay builds in these characters is uncanny. The female lead, Nastya/Sunshine/Emilia, isn’t even a very good person, yet I was rooting for her the entire time. The male lead, Josh, is a good person, but half the time I wanted to smack him. These characters are full of contradictions and surrounded by tragedy, yet they are incredibly real. They draw you in and you want them to find their happy ending even if it doesn’t seem likely. I cannot even fathom how Millay managed to write a character that doesn’t even speak for half of the book, but she did and she did it well.

The pacing of this book is perfect. It always bothers me when characters enter what I call ‘insta-love’, but there was none of that here. Both characters struggled and fought for their love and happiness right up until the end.

The subplots were also undeniably enjoyable. There were at least two other side stories going on with a few of the secondary characters that got just enough time and attention to keep me interested in them without drawing away from the main plot of the story.

One last thing I must mention is the fact that Josh, manly man that he is, is addicted to General Hospital. The book has a few different GH references. If you are or have been a GH fan then you can appreciate the references to the Spencer’s and the Quartermaine’s. I know I certainly enjoyed them. I felt like Katja Millay was sharing a private joke with me through these references.

A debut novel like this one will be hard to top, but I certainly hope Katja Millay tries and I will be first in line to read her next book.

My Rating:




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review and Giveaway of Richelle Mead's 'Something Borrowed - SixthDoctor: 50th Anniversary (Doctor Who)'


Goodreads Description:
A wedding on the planet Koturia turns out to be a far more dangerous proposition than the Sixth Doctor and Peri ever expected. It marks the return of a formidable old foe whose genius matches the Doctor’s. Can the Doctor outwit this villain, save Peri and stop the wedding in time?

Eleven Doctors, eleven months, eleven stories: a year-long celebration of Doctor Who! The most exciting names in children's fiction each create their own unique adventure about the time-travelling Time Lord.
To Purchase:
About Author:

Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.

My Review:

When I first heard at the beginning of June that Richelle Mead had been chosen to write a Doctor Who short story I was ecstatic. If you read my blog you know I am a huge Richelle Mead fan and if you follow me on twitter you know I am a Whovian through and through. I feel like this combination was somehow a personal gift to me.
First I want to point out that the sixth doctor is one I am less familiar with. The same goes for his companion, Peri Brown. The story is told from the point of view of Peri who just so happens to be American (I like to think this has something to do with why they chose an American woman to write it). I am posting a picture of the sixth doctor and Peri so that, if like me, you are not familiar with them you will know what they look like.


I was lucky enough to attend a reading and Q&A with Richelle Mead a couple of weeks ago and got to hear her thoughts on writing the story. She basically explained that she was chosen to write the story and that it was a somewhat nerve wracking experience to write a story based in a world with such a huge following and fandom. Well, I would just like to say, as a member of that fandom, that I fully enjoyed this story and thought she did the doctor and his companion justice.
I absolutely loved the concept of a world created based on Las Vegas. It's crazy, but makes sense in that unique Doctor Who way that we all know and love. I also love the fact that there were pigeon sized pterodactyls in this story. But most of all I loved that this wasn't some random stand alone story. It had an established villain whose evil plan made absolute sense in the overall story of the doctor. There was nothing forced about this story. I felt like it could have seamlessly fit into the series at the time as an episode.
Also I have a little bit of experience with older Doctor Who, but I have mostly just watched the newer incarnation of the show. I am not used to seeing any other timelords aside from the master and it was interesting to see the doctor interact with another of his kind, even if she was evil.
Richelle Mead combined a wedding, tiny pterodactyls, and an evil, brilliant timelord. Not to mention she managed to squeeze in just a smidgen of a love story, something no Mead story should be without.
I was excited to read this, but I wasn't sure if I would get a real feel for the sixth doctor and Peri--two characters I know little about--in such a short story. I feel like Mead pulled it off beautifully. She got the characters across through their interactions and the smallest of details. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

My Rating:

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Waiting on Wednesday #2


'Waiting on Wednesday' is a weekly post where I share the book I'm most excited about releasing the following week. 

My choice this week is For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Goodreads Description:
It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

What book(s) are you most excited for?




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #1

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is given and this weeks topic is:

Top Ten: Best Books Read in 2013

This is incredibly difficult. There have been so many good ones. I am going to list them in no particular order because I love them all so much. 

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
I just finished reading this and absolutely loved it. It's really hard to believe this is a debut novel. I won't say much because I will be reviewing it on Thursday.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
I read this whole trilogy this year and loved it. I have read all of Clare's books and this series is definitely my favorite. Of the trilogy this final book is my favorite. I loved both males in the love triangle so much I wasn't sure it could be ended without breaking my heart, but Clare managed to create a happy ending for everyone involved. 

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
I recently reviewed this book and gave it a rating of six stars out of five. I said it once and I'll say it again; this book is everything you could ask for in a YA contemporary novel. 

Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead
I spent the first part of this year reading every book Richelle Mead has written. Needless to say I am a big fan of hers and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite series of hers. I chose this book because it was such a good, satisfying ending to a solid series. I enjoyed the whole series, but this book pulled the whole story together. 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Once again I read this entire trilogy this year. I really enjoyed the series as a whole, but this second book really stood out to me as the best of the three. I think Oliver really came into her stride with this one. 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
I also recently reviewed this book. This book will be a lifelong favorite of mine and stand as a turning point in my reading life. This book helped me fall in love with contemporary fiction again. I will be forever thankful to this book for expanding my literary horizons. 

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Somehow I managed to just read this book this year. This book stands out to me as one of the better dystopians I've read and it introduced me to one of my all time favorite fictional characters; Tobias/Four. I have such a crush on him. It's probably not quite healthy. 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
This book had so much hype surrounding it I was a little scared to read it, assuming it couldn't possibly live up to it. I did read it though and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a bit predictable in my opinion, but the characters and writing sucked me in and kept me enthralled. 

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
This is another instance where I read the entire series this year. Next week I will be posting a review and giveaway of Breath (the final book in this series released this past April). I really loved all four of these books, but this first one was definitely my favorite. Kessler's writing is so beautiful and captivating. She brings YA writing to a whole other level. This book, specifically, was so beautifully heartbreaking. It will forever be in my list of all time favorite books. 

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
I absolutely love the Bloodlines series (maybe even a little more than the original Vampire Academy series). In this third entry in the series all of us Sydrian fans finally got what we were waiting for. The plot was engrossing and interesting, but even if it hadn't been this book still would have been in my top ten because of my love of Sydrian and, specifically, Adrian. It would  have been worth reading simply to see Adrian finally find happiness. 

That does it for my top ten. I want to hear about your favorite books. Please let me know what books have blown you away so far this year. 

And by the way I realize I used the term 'this book' about a million times throughout this post and I apologize. It was simply unavoidable. :-)

Cover Reveal and Giveaway for 'The Sugar Ticket' by Susan Jean Ricci



Only a few months into their marriage and everything seems grand. Learning to survive her marriage to Jay without the snarkiness Cindy has come to rely on is daunting to say the least. The Sugar Ticket chronicles the marital journey of two twice-divorced adults learning to accept and embrace the sweetness of their present. When the inevitable complications arise, will the DeMatteo’s gently overcome their obstacles by alleviating the sour taste of the past? Will their third attempt at matrimony flourish? Or will they sweep their issues under the proverbial taboo-topic carpet? Find out how these two mid-life adolescents meet their daily tribulations head on, as they conquer their fears, retirement woes, secrets revealed, and the most fundamental challenge of all: remaining in love forever.

ABOUT Author:

Susan Jean Riccci I've been writing since I was a wee child and discovered crayons weren't part of a food group. My sometimes controversial rants have appeared in my local newspaper, the Asbury Park Press, and I've won several awards via the Writer's Digest 78th Annual Writer's Contest and the Philadelphia Writer's Conference. Over the years, I've been fortunate enough to publish in Parenting Teens Magazine, Good Dog Magazine, and Aim Intercultural Magazine. I'm currently concluding the sequel to Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems, The Sugar Ticket. Then I will move on to revising a contemporary novel called, Slick Trespass My current release, Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems, is a humorous, contemporary romance about achieving mid-life adolescence, in spite of the baggage incurred with one's history. My eBook, Heart Marks the Spot: Three Short Stories can also be found on Amazon for Kindle as well. My husband, Joseph, and I live in a lovely town in New Jersey near the sea. Together we have seven children and nine grandchildren.



Author Website:

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Monday, June 24, 2013

News and Updates

I don't have a review for today because I have some other posts I'm planning and Blog Tour stops I'm working on. Tomorrow, 6/25, I have a cover reveal and giveaway post for 'The Sugar Ticket' by Susan Jean Ricci.
I will also have a Blog Tour stop on 7/16 for Naima Simone's 'Secrets and Sins: Gabriel'. This post will include a giveaway as well. 
I have a couple other Blog Tour stops coming up in the next month, but the dates are not set yet. I am really excited and honored to act as host for some really talented authors and great books! The moment I have more information about it all I will post it and let you all know. 
Oh! One more piece of news! I have a new Facebook page:
Please check it out and give it a like! I will be doing another book giveaway once I hit 150 followers. 

So that's all I have as far as updates go. I'm currently reading 'The Sea of Tranquility' by Katja Millay and will be posting a review soon. I'm also still working on my MS. I feel like I never have any time for my own writing anymore, but I'm still churning my words out slowly. I'll do another writing update once I hit a worthwhile milestone in my current MS. 

Thank you my lovelies! I leave you now with a picture of Pete the peacock who shows up at my door everyday because I feed him stale sugary cereal.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Lack of Review for 'The Testing' by Joelle Charbonneau

Goodreads Description: 

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? 

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. 

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one. 

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

My Non-Review:

I borrowed this book from the library with plans to read it and write up a review. Unfortunately I cannot in good Faith offer you a review. What I can offer you is a rant.
I am quite aware that due to the success of The Hunger Games trilogy, YA dystopian has become a widely published genre. I have read a good number of these books and enjoyed them. They are different enough from The Hunger Games. This book on the other hand was not. 
I only made it to page sixty before giving up, hence the reason I cannot review it. I have only ever given up on one other book in my life and I was forced to add a new section to my goodreads account entitled 'Gave-Up-On'. 
Not only the plot, but even the details, were exact replicas of The Hunger Games. Based on what I read both the literary world and physical world in the book were exactly the same. The Capitol was switched to Tosu City, the districts were switched to colonies, and Panem was switched to The United Commonwealth. Children are chosen in a Public ceremony called graduation instead of the tribute choosing ceremony. They go off to the capitol, I mean Tosu City, and are forced to fight and compete against one another with deadly consequences. Even the cover looks painfully similar with the blocky font and intimidating symbols. 

I have nothing to say about the writing, the characters, or anything really because I simply couldn't get past the story. My bottom line is this: I have already read this book. 

Disclaimer: As I have already stated I did not in fact read this whole book. For all I know the plot totally changes on page 61, but I doubt it. It may also in fact be a literary masterpiece, but I will never know. If you have read this book in its entirety please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #1

'Stacking the Shelves' is a weekly book blog tradition of posting the various books we have accumulated over the week. Because this is my first 'Stacking the Shelves' entry I am including books from the past two weeks. In the future though I will revert to the books accumulated over one week. 

From the Library:

1. Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver
2. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
3. Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz
4. Reboot by Amy Tintera
5. The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau  


1. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Won in Giveaways:

1. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
2. Replica by Jenna Black
3. Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman

ARCs From NetGalley:

1. Deeper We Fall(Fall and Rise Book 1) by Chelsea M. Cameron
2. Souls of Stones-Omnibus by Kelly Walker
3. Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey
4. Saving Wishes (The Wishes Series #1) by G.L. Walker-Smith
5. Autumn (Dog Days #1) by Sierra Dean

Review of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Goodreads description:

"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
''I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

About author:

Rainbow Rowell is the author of ATTACHMENTS. She has two novels coming out in 2013 -- ELEANOR & PARK in February and FANGIRL in the fall. 

Rainbow lives with her husband and two sons in Omaha, Nebraska. Right at this moment, she is probably arguing with someone about something that doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things -- or trying to figure out how Sherlock faked his death.

Blog and other stuff at

My Review:

I must start out by saying that when I read this book a month ago, it had been years since I had read a book that was not fantasy, science fiction, or some sort of supernatural. A while back I decided that books without a touch of the fantastic to them were not worth my time and that I just was not a fan of contemporary or literary fiction. Thats when I came across this book. I had heard so much hype about this book and read so many good reviews I decided to give it a try.

I did not realize it at the time, but this decision would change my life. Well, my reading life anyway. I fell in love with this book, and in turn, fell in love with contemporary and romance novels again.

The characters are so raw and real. I could relate to both Eleanor and Park on various levels. Their love story is epic and beautiful, but not in the least bit cheesy.

The writing is beautiful in its deceptive simplicity. The story is well paced and organized so that it grabs you in from the first page and does not let you go until that last hopeful page. I also could not write a review about this book without mentioning how much I love the 80s references throughout the book. Those references brought me back and dropped me right into the world of Eleanor and Park.

This book was equal parts happy and hopeful, sad and heartbreaking. There was a feeling of doom throughout the whole book, yet Rowell still kept me rooting for the characters and their strange and somewhat flawed love.

The ending of the book was a perfect representation of the novel as a whole. It is both devastating and hopeful. It made me cry, but I couldnt exactly decide whether they were tears of joy or sadness. The ending was definitely open to interpretation and I would not have wanted it any other way. A happily ever after ending would have gone against the brutal realism of the story, while a sad ending would be a betrayal to the beautiful love story.

The bottom line is I loved this book and I cannot wait to read what Ms. Rowell publishes next. Believe the hype. This is a powerful book.

My Rating: