Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Wind Chime Wedding by Sophie Moss

WCW_Release_Blitz_Banner_Sophi_Moss_IndieSage

Tour: Wind Chime Wedding by Sophie Moss
Title:Wind Chime Wedding (Wind Chime, #2)
Author: Sophie Moss
Publication Date: June 30, 2015 
Genres: ContemporaryRomance 

Second-grade teacher, Becca Haddaway, is weeks away from walking down the aisle when she learns that the Heron Island Elementary School is about to be shut down. In the midst of a whirlwind of wedding planning, she launches into a last-ditch effort to save it. But the one man who can help her is determined to make her question every decision she has ever made—including the man she’s about to marry.

Former Navy SEAL and son of the current Maryland governor, Colin Foley, is finally starting to feel whole again after losing his leg on a career-ending deployment in Afghanistan. After struggling for months to figure out what to do with his post-military life, he’s found a new mission—opening a rehab center for wounded veterans on the peaceful Chesapeake Bay island. All he needs now is a woman to share his new life with…and he knows exactly who he wants. With a little help from the island’s magical wind chimes, can Colin convince Becca to change her mind before it’s too late?

Add to Goodreads

Buy On: Amazon

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About the Author:
Sophie Moss is a USA Today bestselling author of five full-length romance novels. She is known for her captivating Irish fantasy romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with realistic characters and unique island settings. As a former journalist, Sophie has been writing professionally for over ten years. She lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where she's working on her next novel. When she's not writing, she's testing out a new dessert recipe, exploring the Chesapeake Bay, or fiddling in her garden. Sophie loves to hear from readers. Email her at sophiemossauthor@gmail.com or visit her website sophiemossauthor.com to sign up for her newsletter.

(33) Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2015

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

This week's theme: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2015!

*these are not in any particular order!*


1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: THIS BOOK AND THIS SHIP ARE EVERYTHING. *drops mic* *picks it back up* Okay, I'll give you more than that. The descriptive writing was amazing, and it made the story so rich in detail. And there was something just so magical about this book.

2. Tessa Ever After by Brighton Walsh: This author KNOWS how to write characters, and man did I love both Jason and Tessa. And the romance was passionate and steamy, a relationship I can root for! I'm also not usually a fan of kids in books, but I adored Haley, and especially how Jason was with her. Talk about swoon!

3. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: This was my very first read of 2015, and it is STILL a favorite. I loved Finch and Violet and their relationship and how they both found a friendship that gave them something different. It was a heartbreaking book, but it was also a special one.

4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: This was my first Victoria book and it's not going to be the last! What an amazing story! The writing and world-building were fabulous, but the characters were definitely my favorite part. Especially Kell and Delilah. So much shipping and slow-burning feels.

5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: I think I loved this more than the whole of the Grisha trilogy and that's saying something. I loved all of the characters and their relationships to each other. It was a group of misfits you could definitely root for, and their banter was perfect. Also, KAZ KAZ KAZ. <3

6. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken: Yeah, I'm kind of cheating with a 2016 book on here, but it deserves to be on this list! Loved this so much. The characters were amazing, the writing was wonderful, and the historical aspect was SO good. I'm a history nerd so this made me just giddy with happiness.

7. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson: It should come as no surprise that the sequel to one of my top 3 reads of last year is on this list. The stakes were higher, the deception was stronger, and the characters were pushed and prodded and demanded to grow. I am so invested in their stories and in this series that I'm already dying for the finale even though I don't want it to end.

8. Uprooted by Naomi Novik: Agnieszka is one of my favorite heroines EVER. She's amazing, this book is amazing, the friendship is amazing, this ship is amazing (holy hell so much swoon and steam and hate-to-love fire GIMME MOREEEEE). It did take me awhile to finish, but boy, was it one to savor.

9. Play On by Michelle Smith: I think, out of all of these, this is my #1. This book will forever hold a special place in my heart. It had one of the best male POVs I've ever read, and the mental illness aspect of it was brilliantly done and also took it in a different direction than most. I could connect and relate to these characters and so much about this book hit home for me. I could go on, and on, and on...

10. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey: I wavered between this one and a different book but ultimately settled here. I love this one despite its flaws, and there are many flaws, believe me. It is a lot like Laini Taylor's series (and many people haven't been able to separate the two). But I DEVOURED this book in almost a single afternoon. I was hooked and I was shipping all the ships (first time for an OT3, man).


It was surprisingly EASY to narrow down this list, because believe it or not, I haven't had a lot of 5 star reads or ones that I was immediately like OMG A NEW FAVORITE. But I have had a good year in reading. Especially in fantasy because holy hell look at all of these fantasy reads! You can tell it's my favorite genre. :) I'm curious to see how many of these will get kicked off by the end of the year!

*****

What have been YOUR favorite 2015 reads so far? Gimme some new recs! :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Read-A-Thon Accepted: Make Me Read It

hosted by Val @ The Innocent Smiley & Ely @ A Book So Fathomless

My loveliest bloggy pal, Val, has planned a fun readathon with a friend! It's obviously called the Make Me Read It Read-A-Thon, and it basically means what it says. You're going to pick a list of books that you want to read and ask people to vote on them. By the time the readathon starts, which is on July 20th and lasts a whole week, you're going to read the books by order of what got the highest number of votes to the lowest number. Alright? Sound good? You can check out Val's post for more information. But for right now, I need YOUR HELP!

I have a list of 15 books here that I want you to vote on. Now, I am not going to read all fifteen of them! In fact, I'm only shooting for 5 books for the week of the readathon. So, PLEASE, only vote for FIVE of them! I just created a larger list because I wanted to give you lots of options to choose from (even though they're basically only a few genres, so really, they're not that different). Also, if I happen to read more than five during the week, awesome. I just didn't want to overwhelm myself, and I think 5 is a doable number, especially during the summer.

Most of these are books I've had on my shelf for AGES that I've been neglecting for a number of reasons. Some are REALLY hyped, and you know how that freaks me out. A few were ones I was excited to read and then just forgot about after they showed up at my house. And they NEED to be read so I can cull my bookshelves more often! I want more room, and for that to happen, books have to go. So basically you're helping me figure out which ones to get rid of, and isn't that great? :P


  SO. ANYWAY. VOTE ON, PEOPLE!
    MAKE ME READ SOME BOOKS.
What books should I read, lovelies?!


This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Friday, June 26, 2015

Blog Tour and Excerpt: Untimely by J. & L. Wells


Untimely by J & L Wells
(An Untimely Romance #1)
Publication Date: January 4th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Time-Travel

Synopsis:
“An Untimely Romance is a beautiful breakout novel where love is found in the hidden corners of time. A must read for fans of time travel romance!” ~ The Kindle Book Review

Heather Richardson is a seventeen-year-old British girl whose life quickly becomes an emotional roller coaster when she meets Ruben Brown, a twenty-year-old man who works for her father at Freesdon Manor. As much as Heather wants to love Ruben, the cracks in their relationship begin to show as her eighteenth birthday draws nigh. In a surprising turn of events Heather is confronted by Frank, an intriguing man from a past that dates back to the nineteenth century. His untimely presence changes everything. When she’s thrown back in time by an unrelenting force, Heather realizes that her life is not what it appears to be. Her future has already been written, and it seems she cannot escape her fate, a fate determined by a love lost long ago. In her struggle to find herself, Heather must chose her destiny amidst a dangerous love triangle, vengeful lovers, and passions controlled by the hands of time.

Untimely is book 1 in a new romance series that you are going to love!

Purchase:

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Excerpt!
“I’ve reserved our own private box for this evening,” Ruben said, pulling back a floor-length curtain.

“I could get quite used to this,” Heather said, before sitting herself down.

She felt more than a little privileged as she peered down to the mass of heads below.

“Back in a sec,” Ruben said, touching her shoulder.

Heather hardly noticed his absence, engrossed with the comings and goings of people seating themselves in the boxes, lower balconies and stalls. She felt a draft as the curtain opened.

“Here,” Ruben said, passing her a small pair of binocular-style opera glasses and a cold beverage.

“Ruben, the suspense is killing me. What are we watching?”

“Madame Butterfly. Heard it’s really good,” Ruben replied, sitting beside her.

She could feel the intensity in his eyes; it was as though he could hardly draw them from her.

“Heather, you look so beautiful.”

She smiled; her face was aglow. She felt his hand slip into hers as the orchestra began to play. She watched intently as the curtain rose, revealing the first scene. The binoculars hardly left her eyes; she was captivated by the arias and the beautiful dresses of the geisha girls. Her fingers tightened around Ruben’s as her emotions were overwhelmed by the portrayal of this enchanting love story. Though it was spoken in Italian throughout, this did not bother Heather, as her heart felt every emotion acted out before her.

Tears welled up in her eyes, spilling over like tiny pearls, encompassed by shallow breaths on reaching the tragic finale.

The orchestra played on during the final curtain call, while the whole auditorium was on their feet with a crescendo of hands meeting and cheers. When the musicians had laid down their instruments for the final time, they walked backstage in single file to the audience’s mounting applause. As the applause died down, Ruben stood gentlemanly like, pulling the chair from beneath her and taking her arm. She was quiet as they walked down the stairs, for she was still very much lost in the love story.

The summer evening was now cloaked in darkness as they walked out to their awaiting car, its soft top now down for their journey home. Heather wearily laid her head on Ruben’s shoulder, relaxing to the purring sound of the engine. She was not tired in a sleepy way, but more from a feeling of contentment. Lost in her daydreams, she envisioned how her life could be. Maybe one day a perfect fairy tale wedding, holidays abroad and more trips to the theatre. It was just a shame that the wrong person was sat at her side.


******

AUTHOR BIO:
Laura Wells is a swimming teacher, with a love of books, animals and, of course, Jane Austen. Once a national swimmer, she now runs three swim schools of her own. She enjoys spending her spare time with her family and two mad Shiba Inus. She lives in Staffordshire, England.

Judy Wells works at a school; in her spare time she enjoys writing poetry and novels, and spending time with her animals. She also lives in Staffordshire, England.

Laura and Judy are a mother and daughter duo; with Judy’s love of poetry and writing and Laura’s ideas, they work extremely well together. Time-travel and historical romance novels are their passion, and they hope that after you have read their books, you will feel the same.


Author Links:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Feels and Fight: The Heart of Betrayal Review

Title: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: July 7th, 2015! PRE-ORDER NOW!

From Goodreads...
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.


Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.


My Review!
*Spoilers if you haven't read The Kiss of Deception yet! There also might be minorish spoilers for this book. They're tiny, but I do allude to a few things. Just to warn ya. :)

And the deception continues! No, but seriously, there was a lot of deception happening in this book, maybe even more so than the first. It was interesting to see how the relationship dynamics changed, how they evolved throughout the story unfolding around them. It is definitely more character-driven, though the plot never grew boring or predictable to me. I was enamored by the fantastical elements just as much as I was enamored by the three main characters and their journeys.

Lia has always been one of my favorite heroines, and that fact didn’t change when I reread The Kiss of Deception and then dived into the sequel. If anything, I love her even more now. What she does, how she survives, who she has to become to keep herself alive? It took so much strength and courage, something that solidified the fact that Lia will do whatever it takes, damn the consequences. She’s an intelligent, determined princess who is forced to face what she left behind in the first novel. She’s forced to make impossible decisions and to bend until she almost breaks. I know some people are going to burn her at the stake for what she does in this book, for her choices and actions, and for what she has to do to survive. But, to me, she turned around a gut-wrenching situation and OWNED it. She was quiet but defiant, let herself feel all the emotions and also gave herself the power to just want. To, even when she was pushed almost to the breaking point, want more. And she stole whatever moments of love she could because they made her feel like a girl again and that she would make it through this. Also? Lia puts the bad in badass.

Rafe, oh Rafe. The guy I thought I fell in love with when I read TKOD the first time. (But in hindsight, I think it was actually Kaden, oops sorry Rafe I still love you blame it on Mary Pearson’s excellent deception skills). He grew a lot as a character, and through this story-line, we see the many sides of him. The politician, the smooth liar, the graceful servant, the handsome prince. Like Lia, he had to do whatever it took to survive in Venda. He was pushed so beyond what he was ever prepared for, but he handled it as well as he could. He’s still that arrogant, smirky little devil from the first book, but he became so much more than that. He grew up, not just grew. He put Lia first, above and foremost, even when his life was on the line (as she did for him, they’re such martyrs). He’s an intelligent, sassy creature who loves his girl and will do whatever it takes to get her out of Venda, bring her back to his kingdom, and marry the hell out of her to appease both of their families. But not just their families anymore. A marriage, a normal life, is what they want together.

But Kaden, damn him and his complicatedness. I was so set on Rafe in The Kiss of Deception, but I found myself falling for the “wrong” guy in the love triangle (this rarely happens to me) in this book. He’s so much more quiet, so mysterious and appealing to me. And yes, he is BAD, in the sense that he is bad for Lia. I know this, and I respect her and her choice in Rafe (if any of you were worried about the love triangle, trust me, it’s over in HOB). But he is such a multifaceted character, a young man who grew up in a certain way, with certain beliefs and opinions. A guy who starts to realize that maybe those values aren’t what he believes and thinks anymore. He starts to question himself, and with Lia, we see a better side to him. A facet of himself he forced deep down inside, someone who wants to do right but isn’t sure how to make it happen. But he tries his hardest, even when he keeps failing. And there is so much more to his past that I want to know. I want the author to dig even DEEPER with him. Because that guy? He’s so worth it. Also I spent half the book wanting to give him a giant bear hug even though he didn’t exactly deserve that. I’m crushing hard.

Oh God, I could talk your ear off about Kaden, and this love triangle. But I feel I’ve already discussed the romance through my comments on the two guys, both of whom bring out a different side of Lia. With Rafe, she feels safe and wanted, and he literally raced across the world for her. With Kaden, she feels love of a different kind, of friendship, full of forgiveness and a little deception on her part (remember those choices I said would make people want to burn her at the stake? Yeaaaah). But ultimately, she is in love with Rafe, and that is who she chooses. It was apparent in the first book, but it was solidified in the sequel. Whatever happens in this book, Lia chooses for herself, first and foremost. And I loved that.

There were many secondary characters, a few I really loved. The little servant girl, for one, who stood up for Lia even when she shouldn’t have. So, so brave. The tribe of people who accept Lia as their own and who give her courage to stand up to the Komizar. Speaking of the Komizar, what a truly complicated villain. What a creepy man who looks like he’s Lia’s age, which means yes he is handsome. But no, he’s not a good guy. I would never root for someone like him, but he made much of what happened in this so interesting, especially his relationship with Kaden. They were like brothers, but this book really forced Kaden to pick a side and that complicates his friendship with the Komizar. One that definitely has consequences by the end, for the both of them.

The plot was packed with emotional punches, action scenes, and blurred lines. It upped the stakes for the three main characters. It’s a book that explored survival, and what people would do when backed into a corner. It’s a book that pits brother against brother, friend against friend. One that shows that there is no black and white when it comes to people. It’s a gray area, and relationships are complicated. It was also full of more fantastical elements than in the first book, and I was constantly trying to figure everything out. It is so difficult to do that! (So that means I need to reread these books again and again. :D). They’re definitely a more subtle part of the story-line, but they’re there, and they have importance especially to Lia. I has theories, but I cannot confirm anything at this moment. I need the third book, so WHERE IS IT, MARY? I HAVE A STRONG NEED FOR IT.

I have to admit, I was wary of this sequel and that it would suffer from second book syndrome (which is totally a thing guys, books can suffer too). But I had no reason, obviously! I loved The Heart of Betrayal so much. Maybe not as much as TKOD, as that one holds a special place in my heart. But it was a brilliant sequel that tore out my heart, stomped on it, and then put it back in my chest still damaged (yes still damaged, I’m not over this at all). I felt all the feelings, and my love for these characters knows no bounds. I’m already dying for the third book, and this one isn’t even out in stores yet. WHY CAN’T I HAVE THE UNTITLED SERIES ENDER NOW?

RATING:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

So I Finally Read Throne of Glass

So back in March, my lovely friends and I buddy read Throne of Glass. Aaaaand didn't discuss it until May. Haha. But we are finally posting our small discussion of it (since we all forgot much of what happened). HOWEVER. I only have part two

Right now, I'll bet you're wondering where part one is, BUT I DON'T HAVE IT. Val, Shannon, and I decided to split our discussion three ways and then post our parts on the same day. So if you wanna read all of it, check out part one over on The Innocent Smiley, and part three over on It Starts at Midnight. :) I know, I know, we suck. But we wanted to do something different!

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*There are SPOILERS, so don't read this if you haven't read the book. I wish I could do tags for them individually, but oh the woes of blogger and not having a white background. Anyway, they really aren't *that* major. But if you're like me, and you hate even smaller spoilers, then I would steer clear of this.


Love Interests
Holly: Can this even really be called a love triangle? I didn’t find there to be a choice to be made, and did she end up actually being in love with either of them in this? I can’t remember. 

Val: I guess not with this installment? I mean I guess that’s why everyone is on team KALE, because there are just hints of romance here and there, but it isn’t explicit.

Holly: I think a lot of this was just about developing the relationships between all of them, whether they were romantic or friendly. 

Val: To be honest I felt that Celaena thought that romance with Dorian was just a game. I don’t think she truly loved him. But she just BROKE UP WITH HIM like that in the end! I thought the triangle would be more “defined” or...uh..”angsty”? I don’t know if that is the right word.

Holly: I agree with you on Celaena seeming to play a game with Dorian, but I think she actually came to care for him. I don’t know, but I was never convinced of them as a couple. To me, their “romance”  was largely an exploration, on both of their parts. But I think they were better off as friends.

Shannon: I am assuming that the romance part takes more shape in the next book? Because this one was VERY light on the romance. Very. Which was good, really, because I feel like we got a chance to know the characters without all the drama and such. 

Val: If this book had romance drama I think I would’ve DNFed it though.

Holly: It could easily have turned into an annoying as hell love triangle.

Plot
Holly: Oh. Right. Plot. Okay, well, I was never BORED with the story-line. I liked how character-driven it was, how not much happened but there was a lot of development with the characters. A lot of it was just training, dialogue, and that mystery behind the killings in the castle. But I was intrigued to find out what was going on.

Val: Again, I never saw that mystery coming. I thought it would be a straight-forward “train+romance” type of thing. BUT MYSTERIES MAN. That definitely kept me on track!

Holly: Mysteries will always keep me entertained and interested. I mean, I did have a feeling that it involved the fae, or at least, the supernatural. There were always those symbols that meant something. 

Val: I actually wasn’t expecting an actual plot that involves Celaena as some sort of “chosen one.” Ok maybe that’s the wrong term, but she’s definitely different from everyone else. And then the whole thing with the beast, and the fae powers. 

Holly: I kind of forgot everything to do with the whole Fae story-line. 

Val: Oh yeah me too. Definitely. My poor brain. I read Crimson Bound, and the MC there is like a MORE badass version of Celaena, like uncaring-wise, and I just have both of those storylines mixed up and I’m doomed.

Holly: Like, what exactly happened at the end again, the last Trial or whatever? Someone summoned some creatures or something? Haha. I clearly need to reread this before I continue the series.

Val: Yeah the last guy, the one who was SUPPOSED to win, was EATING everyone in the castle or something, which is why he grew stronger each time. And then during the final battle, Celaena was poisoned, but then the Queen (????) came to her rescue. AND I DON’T REMEMBER HER FRIEND. Celaena’s friend had a part in this and I don’t remember her.

Holly: Shit, what was her name? She was a princess, sent there to learn their ways, to try to make peace with the King. I know she did something during the battle.

Shannon: I LOVED the friend. Someone help, what WAS her name?! I kept mispronouncing it in my head… Nehemia. Who I pronounced as the male name “Nehemiah” every chance I could get. Huge win for me, clearly. 

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So head on over to Shannon's blog if you want to read part three! I hope you've enjoyed this! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Have You Seen This?

*credit to the image is theirs*
Have You Seen This was a feature created by Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide and Andi @ Andi's ABCS. It's a feature where people can trade for those hard-to-find ARCs and special editions that they want for their book collections. It's such a GREAT idea and I hope I can find what I'm looking for! :)

*****
Priority ARCs:
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord --thanks Amber girl!

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay -- thank you, Kat!

On the Fence by Kasie West -- thank you, Emma!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (thank you, Anna!)
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (thanks to a lovely friend)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater


Priority Non-ARCs:
Off Course by Sawyer Bennett - original cover (this one)


*****

I honestly never really saw the appeal in trading books, or in building a collection. And a big reason I haven't traded is because I am suuuuch a book hoarder and can't seem to let go of anything. But then I traded for one of my favorites, and I got addicted. I don't want many, but there ARE a few favorite series/books I'd love to get ARCs of so I can build up a collection. Because I like collecting things, but especially books. (I swear I'm not a hoarder, okay).

If you want to trade, firstly let me say, THANK YOU for being more than willing to help me out! I don't have much by way of ARCs (especially newer ones), and I'm still working up a trade pile (and trying hard to let go of books I don't want). But I am more than willing to work with you on the trades! So please email me @ skizzles_22_hju(at)yahoo(dot)com or send me a message on Twitter. I am seriously ALWAYS on Twitter, so that's probably the best option to contact me. :) 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Announcing the #BookNerdBoost Chat!

Raise your hand if you've been feeling uncreative, discouraged, disinterested, or any number of negative emotions with your blog lately? *raises hand high* Me too. In fact, it's how this whole chat came to be. Earlier today (when I say this, I mean around 3 in the morning EST), I started lamenting on Twitter like I always do. I've talked to a few people about this, how they've been feeling disconnected and down about their blogs, how they didn't know if a break would even help. And I've been witnessing this sort of talk a lot, especially on Twitter, and I've discussed it with a few friends. It seems, to me, that the book blogging COMMUNITY is in a slump. We've noticed how quiet it's been around here (but not just because of what happened on Monday night with the booktubers), and I've noticed how there seems to be less and less interaction on blogs. And I knew I couldn't be the only one feeling this way, so I took to Twitter to discuss.

And while talking with Faye (The Social Potato), she suggested doing some book nerd love thing on Twitter today, but then when Amber (YA Indulgences) jumped in, we all came up with the #BookNerdBoost (thanks for the name, Faye) chat. We wanna lift up everyone's spirits and we wanna spread the love around. I'd been wanting to come up with something like the #Loveathon back in February because I've felt like we've needed a sort of boost in the community. A love boost. A love fest. Something to help us connect again, to make us remember why we joined book blogging to begin with, and why we've stuck it out. This community would be NOTHING without everyone in it, and I wanna reconnect with people, and help us all let go of the negative and revel in why we love this so much.

I wish I had some sort of banner, but this is REALLY last minute and I'm lazy. So here's the pitch: join Faye, Amber, and I for the #BookNerdBoost chat on Saturday, June 20th! We'll be starting the chat at 12 p.m. EST but don't know how long it'll last. We'll have a bunch of fun questions to answer about yourself and blogging, but most of all, we just wanna talk with y'all! We wanna immerse ourselves in book nerd love and reconnect with everyone. We know it's last minute (sorry about the late notice, but we thought this weekend was the perfect time to bring something positive out of everything that's happened and how quiet things have been lately). But we hope you can join us! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

(32) Top Ten Books On My 2015 Summer TBR

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

This week's theme: Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015!

Since I've got the #SummerofSeries challenge, I'm going to refrain from adding books that are parts of series (so I just took off a few already because of that. Haha. This is going to be HARD). I also refrained from putting BEA books on here, since it's a given that most of them will be read, and I wanted to showcase books I'd been meaning to read for AGES. And here they are!

*****


Well hell, look at all of these contemporaries (can you tell I don't read them as much, haha). So basically all of these have been sitting on my shelves, just waiting for me to pick them up. But I haven't yet, obviously. And I want to! So this summer I plan on reading from my physical stacks more often, especially when it's a book I'd been excited about but completely ignored after I got it. So yeah, I probably won't read all of these, especially since they are almost all contemp, but I'll try! I definitely want to read a few of them more than others like Fangirl, My Last Kiss, and This Song Will Save Your Life.

*****

What books are on YOUR summer TBR? Have you read any of these; if so, what did you think?! :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Feel-Good Read: Open Road Summer

Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker Children's
Release Date: April 15th, 2014

From Goodreads...
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

My Review!
*Contains minor spoilers!

I was warned about the slut-shaming. I knew it would be in this book, and when I started it, I looked for it. I waited for it. And I am so disappointed it was even in here. Because, like many have pointed out, it didn't make sense in this story. It was particularly disconcerting because Reagan herself is a sexually confident female. She knows she's hot, she knows guys like her, and she dresses to that effect. So it was hypocritical coming from her, especially since the only thing these girls had done was go to Matt's concert and scream for him. Like they would for any celebrity singer they were near, I'm sure. So yeah, I kind of wish this had been addressed or that Reagan realized how bad it was and showed remorse over being overly critical to girls who are only having fun at a concert with one of their favorite, and hot yes, artists. All it did was show what a petty bitch the main character can be, which is fine and good. I love flawed females. I just don't appreciate slut-shaming. Ever. Especially when it's ignored and doesn't seem needed in the story.

*takes deep breath* I'm glad we got that out of the way, because it needed to be said. And I needed to set that aside so I can review this book. Because aside from the slut-shaming, I loved every single thing about this story. And I didn't want my love to be clouded over a small, seemingly inconsequential, detail (just fyi, slut-shaming is never inconsequential to me, I'm just more sensitive to it than most).

Reagan O'Neill is a flawed female character. I know this. I love this. She had a lot of growth in the story, and I appreciated her development. It wasn't going to change over night; she wasn't going to change over night. And Reagan knows she needs change. She knows she's made a mess of herself, and she wants to fix the broken parts. She wants to do better. And she wants to spend this summer with her best friend and learn from her mistakes and be a better person. I respect that so much. I respect Reagan for the respect she gives herself and the attitude of I can't change but I can do better. She's not perfect by any means. She's angry, hurt, and tough. She hides behind the attitude because it lets no one see her vulnerability. But she can be judgmental as all hell, stubborn, and just plain mean. She's brutally honest and can hold her own against a guy who seems determined to get to know her. But she doesn't think he'll want her, and if he does, that it'll pass like a summer fling at the end of the tour. However, Matt Finch won't let her get away with her usual tricks. He pushes her, challenges her, and makes her start to believe that opening up her heart can be so, so worth it.

Matt Finch is the type of literary boyfriend who is everything good and kind and wonderful. He was a genuinely good, down-to-earth guy who didn't let his celebrity status define him. He didn't put up with Reagan's shit, and he quite honestly deserved more than how she treated him at times. Yet he fell for her, looked past all of her insecurities and tough exterior, and he found someone who didn’t just look at him like a country singer. But as Matt, someone more than just his talents, more than just his status.

Their romance was full of the fun banter and sparks that I love in books. It was a rocky road sometimes, given how much these two argue (I'm pretty sure they do this just for sexual foreplay, just sayin') and what happens in the story. Now, I already said Reagan's flawed, but I could totally understand her reactions to The Kiss That Shall Not Be Named. Given her history, and her lack of trust in people, it was normal for her to retreat. To pull away. To not even give him a chance to explain (like I would have, but I am not Reagan). It made her feel insecure, Matt's friend made her feel insecure in the beginning. And when it happened, Reagan was forced to face those insecurities and the wound from her last breakup reopened. It was her natural reaction to it. But Matt was right; Reagan had only been looking for an excuse to leave him, and she found one. However, he was never going to let her get away with that. And I was so happy when they found their way back to each other by the end.

I'm not gonna lie, the music might have been my favorite part of this book. I don't know if Emery wrote the songs herself, or someone else did, but they were amazing additions to the story! Especially Matt's, and when he basically serenades Reagan up on stage in front of thousands of fans. Talk about swoon! Also, I ADORED, absolutely adored, Reagan’s relationship with her friend, Dee. It’s one of my favorite book female friendships. I loved how they had each other’s backs through everything, even when they were fighting, even when they weren’t sure of themselves or their lives. They had each other to fall back on. And Dee was just so darn cute and kind and good-natured. I loved how big her personality was, and her heart.

Open Road Summer was a feel-good book that just made me so happy to read.

RATING:

*****

I read this back in April during my weekend away from life, but didn't finish my review or was able to post it until now. Haha. Emery Lord's got such talent; I can't wait to read her next books! :)