Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Twelve Days of New Adult Giveaway Hop

I wasn't going to do another giveaway, and I even skipped out on a blogoversary one this month. But then I heard about this hop over at Stuck in Books, and I just had to add myself to the linky because...
I. LOVE. NEW. ADULT.

I never really used to read contemporary/realistic fiction. It was always fantasy or Christian romances or mysteries. That was basically the only tastes I had, especially in high school. But that was before I started my blog and was introduced to everything I never knew I'd been missing. I found authors I never would have looked at twice, and they've become some of my favorites. I've discovered books that I probably would have skipped over, and they've become ones that have latched onto my heart because they impacted me that much. And so many of those have been New Adult.

Sure, this genre has been overworked. Full of cliches and the same old story retold over and over again. Bad boys with issues, anyone? I've been burned by many of them, but that hasn't outweighed the ones that have become favorites. And this is my age group! These are the characters I can relate to the most because this is my life (minus the bad boys with chiseled abs and the romance). These characters are "new adults" who are probably in college or at least trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. They are balancing all of these changes to their routines and life. They are letting go of their childhoods and emerging into becoming (mostly) responsible adults. There is so much about this time of your life that makes you appreciate books that show the struggles and mistakes and highs and lows, and then shows you that it gets better. That you should cherish this time of your life because it doesn't last forever.

New Adult is realistic fiction that most often revolves around a romance, a couple who make each other better. They're about life and relationships and identities and love and hope and healing. They are about characters who have real problems and issues finding the strength to move on and take back control of their lives. They are books that give me hope and courage and laughter and make me fall in love. <3
***

***GIVEAWAY TIME!***

What am I giving away? Your choice of one of my favorite New Adult books from the list below! :)
*If you choose Hopeless or Deeper or Easy, you can opt to have the UK covers instead!
*If you choose Best Kind of Broken, it's a pre-order. It won't ship until January 13th.
*If you choose Addicted to You, it will be the older cover (the one above) and won't match the series.
***If you would really like a different book in one of these series (they all have companion novels or are part of a series), then that will be fine so long as it's available on The Book Depository.

The Fine Print:
  • You must be 16 years or older to enter!
  • You can enter so long as The Book Depository ships to your country. Here is the list if you don't know.
  • NO CHEATING! If you cheat, all of your entries will be deleted! And trust me, I check every single one of them. Make sure you verify with the correct information, please!
  • If you are the winner, you'll be notified via email. You must respond within 72 hours, or a new winner will be chosen. And whatever information you give me will NOT be shared with anyone.
  • I've checked out The Book Depository, and all of these books are available. But in the case that they aren't, you'll have to choose another from the list. And please don't ask for another book than the ones listed above.
  • I am not responsible for lost and/or damaged packages in the mail.

Linky is giving me a heap of trouble, so if you just go to Stuck In Books you can find all of the other participating blogs in the post! Seriously, you won't want to miss out on all of these awesome giveaways. :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Tag

I'm kind of confused on whether this is a tag or an award. But since I love doing tags and I want to keep my blog award-free, I'm calling this a tag, okay? I also don't know who started this, but they're awesome. Anyway, I was nominated by Sarah (who is a Mitten blogger too, so yay) over at The Book Traveler. Thanks, girl! :)

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their website.
2. Post the award’s logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions you have been asked.
4. Nominate ten other bloggers and ask them ten other questions.

Sarah's Qs!
1. What is your favorite book to movie adaptation?
Series: Lord of the Rings (though I've never actually read this trilogy) and The Hobbit. One that can stand all on its own: Catching Fire (which was freaking amazing!)

2. What is your favorite genre to read?
FANTASY. <3 <3 I love getting lost in other worlds and the creativity and the courageous characters and the writing and just gah, I adore everything about this genre. It's my go-to.

3. When did your love for reading begin?
Honestly? I have no freaking clue. My friend and I were just talking about our earliest memories, and I've come to realize that I don't remember much from my childhood. And so I don't know when it began. I just know that I've always loved reading.

4. What author would you most like to meet (alive or dead)?
Colleen Hoover. Because she is awesome and amazing and funny and seriously a riot. That would be one hilarious encounter.

5. How many books do you buy in a month?
You really want an estimate? Oh, dear Lord. Okay, maybe a dozen. But probably more. However, that's mostly kindle books (all those deals just get me, yo).

6. What book would you recommend everyone read?
Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts. My all-time favorite. I adore everything about this series, and I wish more people would read it so I can fangirl and flail with them. Standalone: Between Shades of Gray, an honest and heart-wrenching portrayal of life in the concentration camps.

7. Did you have a favorite childhood book (if not, what’s your favorite book now?)
Again with the childhood memories! And again, I can't answer it because I honestly don't remember! I think it was a picture book with cats. Or something. I definitely know it was about cats, though!

8. What book character do you most identify with?
Probably Kacey Cleary from Ten Tiny Breaths. She's like the complete opposite of me: crazy, wild, bold. But I felt such a connection to her while reading, especially in the way she dealt with her grief and what her healing process was like. Or Moira from the Circle Trilogy. She's studious, quiet, courageous, strong. Someone who will do what needs doing, even if it's hard. 

9. Are there any popular books you refuse to read?
I'll never refuse to read a book, but there are some that I've DNFed and let's be honest, I'll probably never get back to them. Ever. One would be This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas. I tried to read it... but no. It was so boring and kind of ridiculous.

10. Why do you love reading?
Reading is my safe space, my hideaway. It's my escape from reality and the thing that keeps me grounded when I'm lost. And some books impact me deeply, and those are the ones I keep close to my heart. <3

***

I CHOOSE YOU:

My Qs:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. Do you have any quirky reading habits?
3. What book have you reread the most?
4. What do you do when you're in a reading slump?
5. Do you judge a book by its cover?
6. If you could live in one fictional world, what would it be?
7. What's one of your pet peeves in books?
8. When thinking about reading a book, do you research it and ask friends about it, or do you like taking chances and going in blind?
9. Which fictional character would you love to spend the day with?
10. Who is your favorite OTP (one true pairing)?

I hope none of you have been tagged, but if you have, well, you're getting tagged again. So that means you should probably answer my questions before I hunt you down and... Wait, this turned creepy. Aaaaanyway, I hope y'all like tags and answering questions. :)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Rush Review: A Deadly Game

Title: Rush (The Game, #1)
Author: Eve Silver
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
*Physical review copy kindly provided by the author*

From Goodreads...
So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game — her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. 

In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

My Review!
*I received a free copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My only thought after finishing Rush was: What is this? I'm not exactly sure how to classify this genre and I'm not entirely 100% certain I even understand what this book is about or where it's going. I'm very curious about the sequel, though.


It took a little bit for me to get into the book, after that explosive first chapter. I think it lost some of its momentum throughout the story-line, and sometimes I didn't know if I wanted to continue. Not that the book was bad, but I just wasn't invested in the story or characters that much.


I liked Miki a lot more in the beginning than the the rest of the book. I understood her well and felt a connection because I know what it's like to let the grief rule everything, to not even recognize yourself anymore, and that feeling of being completely lost and lonely. She was also a little sassy. However, she became a Mary Sue of a character. She was so special but she didn't even know it. Everything about the game came easy for her; she never had trouble with the Drau, although her kendo training did give her an edge. She was kind of set on a pedestal against the other female characters, which showed with the little bit of high school drama. It was almost like she could do no wrong. The story also centered around her, which left everyone else one-dimensional.


Speaking of one-dimensional: cue Jackson Tate, the love interest. I didn't necessarily have a problem with his character; I just didn't believe him. His I-am-an-island attitude and "bad boy" appeal came across as unauthentic, given all of the contradictions between his words and his actions. I also would have liked more background on his character, because I felt that he could have been much more genuine if he'd had more going for him than his looks and sudden and unexpected interest in our MC. Their chemistry also felt forced in the beginning, like it was trying too hard to happen.


Miki's relationships with the secondary characters felt immensely underdeveloped, which made the high school drama all the more annoying. I hated that the one with Luka was tainted by forced jealousy and friendship drama. I thought he could have been a great friend to Miki. I also didn't care for the way her friendship with her childhood best friend was treated. It didn't even seem that important for the MC because of how easy it was that a guy could come between them. The only "relationship" that had any depth was the one with Jackson. And even that was sorely without that much growth. Because when the L word was thrown around, I just didn't believe it.


And I had a love/hate relationship with the plot. On the one hand, all of the mystery left me curious to know everything about the Drau, these aliens who destroy planets, and what the game actually is. On the other hand, all of the non-answers seemed like a carrot being dangled in front of a horse's nose so it will keep walking in the hope of receiving the treat. In this case, all they did was make me mad that I wasn't learning anything new and in a timely manner. I also found it ridiculous that Miki would get "pulled" into a game like this with absolutely no information or training whatsoever, with a leader who won't even give her the most basic details to help her survive the missions without needing him to swoop in and save her. I'm still mostly confused about everything involving this story-line, and I'm not even sure I get it. But I still want to find out after that cliffhanger, albeit cliché, ending.


One little annoying pet peeve of mine in this, aside from the non-answers was the fact that all of the characters seemed able to read minds. Apparently nothing needed to be said because everyone knew what the other was thinking. There was a lot of assuming that way, and it took away from the development of relationships because no one was honest with each other.


Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story. It was a surprisingly quick read, even though it lost me a few times throughout. Rush had a unique concept that I hope will be developed more thoroughly in the sequel.



RATING:
3 Paw Prints!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waiting for Wednesday #25

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

This week I'm waiting on Devoted by Jennier Mathieu!
Expected publication date: June 2nd, 2015.

Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.

***

Why am I waiting for this book?

I loved The Truth About Alice so freaking much. It's one of the most powerful YA books that I've read, and I would recommend it to teens everywhere. It took a sensitive subject like bullying and just made it realistic and genuine and it didn't shy away from it. It was an honest portrayal that I greatly appreciated. And that ending was so beautiful. So, naturally, I'm excited about her next book. This sounds so intriguing, and I like that Rachel is a Christian who has a curious heart and mind. I can't wait to read her story. :)

What book are YOU waiting on this week? As always, leave me a link! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

(19) Top Ten Books on My Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Normally I would mix my TBR; throw in some ARCs, a few that are on my wishlist that I'm hoping to get, and many that I've been meaning to read for a long freaking time. However, I plan on spending my Christmas break knocking down all of those books I had been excited about but never read, the ones that were at the top of my wishlists but somehow kept collecting dust on the desk or falling further down my Kindle library. So, all ten of these books are ones that I own that are at the top of the TBR pile and were probably on all of my highly anticipated lists in the last two years. And I hope to read ALL of them during my Christmas break!



So, what books are YOU planning on reading during the winter? Do you think you'll be able to stick to the TBR list that you made? As always, drop me a link! :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Snark From the Ark: "The 100" Episode 2.5 "Human Trials"

Welcome to Snark From the Ark, a feature in which myself and Shannon from It Starts At Midnight fangirl and flail and snark over The 100. This particular recap is from season two, episode five: Human Trials. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!



What did you think of the episode?



I hated it! But in a good way?
I mean Finn... I was yelling at the TV!
And, let the record show, I was right about Jaha being tied in with the rest of it!




 That's exactly what I thought when I saw Jaha: Shannon was right. Good call.





Thank you, thank you ;)
And your thoughts?


Well. I was really happy with the Bellarke reunion. THEY HUGGED AND IT WAS PRECIOUS AND I JUST LOVE THEM.




I know! That was TOO cute! It was perfect- not over the top where we wouldn't believe it, but sweet.





BUT OMG FINN. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY ABOUT HIM.




I wanted Murphy to shoot him SO badly!





Dude. You know Finn's gone insane when Murphy is the voice of reason.




Exactly! But why didn't he shoot him? I am sorry, but if you and I are in the woods and you start killing innocent people.. I am going to take you down.



BUT I THOUGHT WERE FRIENDS SHANNON.





Then stop killing the villagers, Holly!



Fine, I suppose I'll stop killing the villagers. You ruin all the fun.
The look on Murphy's face, though, when Finn was shooting up the village. My God, I can't believe that happened. Can I just pretend that Finn didn't do that?
How did he go from who he was in the first season to THIS?


I know, I want to too. I think Murphy should have shot him in the leg at least or something. Maybe Clarke will!


I thought Murphy should have done more, but I also thought that if he'd tried to stop him, Finn would have shot him! Which, I mean, I guess he would deserve it.
I don't think anyone would have had a problem if Murphy would have been shot. Haha


Yeah that is probably what Murphy would think since he is a huge coward.
And I love how Finn was all "oh hey guys!" like he hadn't just massacred a whole town.


"I found you." The fuck you did, Finn. 
I needed several moments after that happened to slow my racing heart and ask WHAT THE HELL DID FINN JUST DO.




I know, I was so horrified. I just sat there, unable to compute.



There are just no words for it.
And it just doesn't make that much sense for his character. Why him? Because of losing Clarke, because of the "war" that they fought? Because he's always had it in him? I am so confused!


I know, it doesn't exactly "flow". Especially because he barely knew Clarke, really. Talk about insta-love.
"I only know you a bit, I have a kind-of girlfriend, but you're missing so I am going to kill ALL the women and children for you, 'kay?"

I'm just really upset about how his character has been written this season.
Maybe the writers are Bellarke fans and wanted an excuse for Clarke not to like Finn? Because who would after what he did...


I think that is kind of it. I mean, they probably don't want her to seem fickle by ditching him for Bellamy but.. wouldn't the fact that he hadn't been upfront about Raven been enough?
Oh, maybe the Raven thing shows his true colors!

See? I was pissed at Finn for all the shit he put Raven through, because I LOVE her and thought she got a sucky deal in everything. I didn't care for how he handled that. But seriously, this whole "crazy" side of him feels like a stretch.


It does feel like a stretch, I agree. But I suppose they need drama from somewhere, and Murphy being the only real "bad guy" from inside was also too easy.



Yeah, but we got creepy old guy in charge of the Mount Whateverians and his scary, mad scientist son who IS DOING SOMETHING TO MY POOR LINCOLN AND I WANT IT TO STOP.
Murphy's not the only bad guy.


And I know, the Lincoln thing is awful, but damn if the scientist guy wasn't creepily attractive.
I HATE old guy. But I think I hate the son more. And the DOCTOR. Get rid of HER please and thank you.
I am sick of Mount Whateverians already. I think the whole Maya thing was faked. The doctor did it on purpose so Jasper would volunteer.
Also, LOVING Monty!

Dude, I thought he was totally attractive too...
But still creepy! Also, I hate the doctor and I KNEW the thing with Maya was staged. It was planned to see what would happen to Jasper. Or maybe see how much he cared for her so it could be used against him?
And Monty is freaking AWESOME!

Yes, probably all of the above. Plus, easy way to test on the kids without having to do it in a shady way.
I hope Monty breaks out.


Monty is so sassy, I hope he's around for a long time. I love how he was all like: Bitch, please, I don't trust you and I'm going to watch every single thing you do to my friend.


I know, he was so funny! We NEEDED the bit of comic relief to survive the hellish episode too.



Monty's like the underrated guy in this series. I want him to have more face-time like he did in the first season.



He really is. Maybe now that he is the only one who seems to care that Clarke is MIA, he will have more of a story line.



Maybe he'll breakout and take Lincoln with him!
One can only hope...



Now THAT would be great. Though Monty trying to carry Lincoln would be pretty hilarious.



We shouldn't underestimate Monty's power!
Duuuude, did you watch the preview for the next episode? LIKE WHOA.




Yes, it looks so, so good. But two WEEKS!?! I can't wait 2 weeks. Nope, can't do it.



I'm so freaking nervous about what's happening with Lincoln!
But I'm glad that it looks like Bellarke and gang is gonna go after the Mountain people. 


I think he will be okay. I mean, they won't kill him off without Octavia ever knowing he was still alive.




Their romance is one of my favorite parts of the show, so I hope it all works out!



Yes I think it will. People would freak out if Lincoln died. Plus, with Anya gone, who else would be their connection?



And oh, can we just appreciate how awesome Raven is? I mean, Abby slaps her and she forgives it because she understands that Abby is sick with worry over Clarke and emotional about it.



Yes! I love how amazing Raven is being. Like, it was realistic when she was initially a mess over her paralysis, but now she is so damn determined. It is inspirational.



I just love her character so much, and I really want a Raven/Wick romance.




Oh is that the guy's name? I don't know anyone's name.



Yes! 
Hey, we're forgetting about Kane's story-line. Not that he's that memorable...



Yeah that was dumb. It seemed like filler. We all knew it was a trap, how stupid.
Typical Arker behavior right there.



Arker? 
I was kind of hoping it wasn't a trap but I should have known better.



Yeah, a person from the Ark? Would Arkian be more appealing?
I knew it was a trap. I mean, I hoped not too, but come ON.



Arker. Arkian. I like Arkian better.
I wonder what's going to happen to him and Jaha.



Oh, you know they'll both be all selfless "kill me, the people need you" "no, the people need YOU", blah blah blah.



Like on the ship! Haha. 




Exactly! Such a stupid game. Maybe someone should bring Abby in so all three of them can spew the same crap.
Maybe someone who wants to survive should take charge, cause this bunch of martyrs is pissing me off!


And then they all keep surviving anyway! It's all so pointless.



Yep. They are getting on my nerves. I would have volunteered to go to the ground just to escape those morons!
Take your chances with nuclear fallout, has to be better than being governed by them.


They just don't learn.



Did anything else even happen this episode?
Other than Clarke and Abby's "But MOM, you never let me find my friends in post-apocalyptic war grounds. All the other kids got to find THEIR friends."


Not much, aside from the evil experiments from the Mount Whateverians.
HAHAHA. That is SO perfect, though. I think Clarke needs to slow down a little and just chill.



I mean, I get her concern, and Abby IS a moronic Arkian after all, but like, eat a sandwich, take a quick shower maybe?


The girl just needs to breathe. 
I loved Abby in season one, but for some reason, I've liked her less in this one.



I agree. Maybe the weird space air killed off some brain cells. Maybe they all received head injuries upon re-entry?



Probably. I wouldn't be surprised.
Their stupidity has been phenomenal this season.
Okay, so what do you think's gonna happen in next week's episode?



Well, next week's episode will be a repeat, so I guarantee I know what will happen ;)





I forgot there won't be a new episode until 2 weeks...



As for the next new episode... Jaha and Kane brooding.
Clake and Bellamy figuring out what the hell to do with Finn.
Creepy old man Whateverian plotting to drain all the kids.
The doctor and the scientist fighting.
Arguments about going to Mount Whatever.
Idiots from the Ark trying to decide if they should look for Kane



Lincoln turning into a monster.
Bellarke kiss.
They should just let Kane stay where he is.



Oh definitely Lincoln being a monster. In fact- I could see Lincoln having something to do with capturing the 47.
I really hope you get your Bellarke moment. You deserve it.


I don't want them to use him for their own dark and sinister plans!
We both know I won't get a Bellarke moment because everything's going to be about Finn... 



Ugh, but I am bored of Finn.




ME TOO.



So, what did you think of last Wednesday's episode? And, the most important question: are you a Bellarke fan? If so, we need to be friends. :)