May 31, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
Dare You to  by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits, #2
Source: Won
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 7, 2013
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....
I'm not interested in second place. Never have been. Never will be.

So, I just finished Dare You to. Overall, I really liked it! But I have this condition where I don't like companion novels as much as the original-- for whatever reason. I have yet to figure it out, but if you have an answer let me know.

I guess we'll go with the "dislikes" first, because it needs to be said before the "likes".

The beginning was really slow. As in, about 200 pages in I was about to die, and I was wondering why someone would tease me with Beth's romance and not deliver. Sooooo slllooooowwwww. It was terrible-- I was basically just sitting around waiting for something to happen.

Another one of my issues was Ryan. Don't get me wrong, I grew to love him, but at first he was kind of bleh. "Country boy! Whee!" (My thoughts in beginning.) "You self-serving little jerk." (My thoughts before he grew on me. Seriously, that boy likes winning. He doesn't lose. Good for him, but I don't need to hear it all the time. *strangles*

This issue was really prevalent in the beginning, but went away towards the end-- dawg. I have never heard a guy call another guy "dawg". I've heard bro. I've heard several cuss-words, along with insulting terms. But I have never heard a boy call another boy "dawg".

It seems like all my issues were in the beginning (they really were), so now we should move onto the rest of the book! AKA, the last 250 pages.

In the last bit, we get to know our main characters, Beth and Ryan a lot better. Turns out the Ryan isn't so bad after all-- he's got great manners, and country boy charm is working for him. Just sayin'! He made me like him in the last half, he really did. He's trying to be a better guy. And it's fantastic.

Beth though-- I just don't have her pinned down as a character. Sometimes she can be so open and honest, no holds barred and all that jazz. But other times, she gets all closed off and pushes people away like crazy. So, yeah. I don't know what I think about her, I just know that she's a really good character.

I enjoyed Noah and Echo's cameo appearances! They still make a really cute couple, and Noah almost snapped Ryan's head off for staring, so they're still the same. I love cameos, I really do! They make a companion believable, in my eyes.

All in all, I really enjoyed Dare You to, but I think that it's missing the original intensity that we saw in Pushing the Limits.
I feel Ryan's lips tug into a smile before he says one word: "Can." ~ Pg. 462, ARC

May 30, 2013

Addicted to You by Krista and Becca Ritchie Excerpt + Giveaway!


Addicted to You (Addicted, #1)
Addicted to You by Krista and Becca Ritchie (aah!)
Series: Addicted, #1
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
No one would suspect shy, Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But when they go on a family boat trip, surrounded by open seas and limited male bodies in sight, Lily’s confronted with a big fear. Only one guy onboard can fill her addiction, and she’s sworn off going there with Loren Hale ever again.

Now the only person who can truly help her, can barely help himself.

**This is a New Adult book recommended for readers 18 and up**


Author Website || Goodreads || Twitter
Becca Ritchie is a carnivore of pop culture, television, film and of course YA and NA books. While in college, she worked at The CW television network and put her vampiric knowledge to good use, blogging about hit series and swooning over actors’ abs. When she’s not blogging, she writes novels and has teamed up with her twin sister for their New Adult novel ADDICTED TO YOU. Available July of 2013.

Krista Ritchie is the mind behind popular trading website YA Book Exchange and created Nawanda Files, a book blog that also features books into movies news. When not pouring over entertainment news and the newest releases, she spends her time conducting research in a genetics lab. She’s happy to join forces with her sister, harnessing their twin powers to produce the first in a New Adult series.
Excerpt:

“So…are we okay?”
            “Are you?” His eyebrows rise.
            “Mmm-hmm,” I mumble and avoid eye contact by grabbing a slice of pizza and scurrying back to the safety of my chair. Safe distance, check.
            “I’ll take that as a weak yes, considering you can’t so much as look at me right now.”
            “It’s not you; it’s me,” I say through a mouthful, licking sauce off my finger.
            “Again, what every guy loves to hear.” I can feel his eyes grazing my body. “I’m not even coming on to you right now.”
            “Don’t even start,” I warn, holding up a finger. “I swear, Lo.”
            “Okay, okay.”

Oooh, don't tell me you don't love that!
Giveaway:
This giveaway is international! YAY!a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 29, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #22


Fangirl
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Series: N/A
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?
Doesn't this just sound SO GOOD? I love the idea of a girl not growing out of her fandom, it just appeals to me. I can't wait to meet Cath! And I have to admit, I'm hoping for some romantic guy to sweep her off her feet. *sigh*

May 28, 2013

Bruised by Sarah Skilton

Bruised
Bruised by Sarah Skilton
Series: N/A
Source: Won
Publisher: Amulet
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
When Imogen, a sixteen-year-old black belt in Tae Kwon Do, freezes during a holdup at a local diner, the gunman is shot and killed by the police, and she blames herself for his death. Before the shooting, she believed that her black belt made her stronger than everyone else -- more responsible, more capable. But now her sense of self has been challenged and she must rebuild her life, a process that includes redefining her relationship with her family and navigating first love with the boy who was at the diner with her during the shootout. With action, romance, and a complex heroine, Bruised introduces a vibrant new voice to the young adult world -- full of dark humor and hard truths.
By the time my brother arrives, he can't get to me.

For me, Bruised was an interesting change from my normal reads. The only reason that I read it was because I got it from the SARC. I would have missed out on a fantastic book, to tell you the truth. It was nothing like what I expected. The synopsis made it sound fairly boring, but there was not one dull moment!

The very first scene was the scene. And I don't say that lightly. I loved the mystery behind the shooting-- Imogen is blocking it from her mind, and I really wanted to know what happened. It all unfolds beautifully towards the end, I must say.

Actually, a lot of things unfolded beautifully towards the end.

But let's talk about the beginning. The beginning was intense, y'all. We witness a shooting, then we witness life after a shooting for a black belt. The guilt that Imogen felt was so real and sad that I could imagine why she felt that way.

I loved Imogen, I really did! When we first met her, I feel like her spirit was crushed. But over the course of the story, she starts to really gain it back-- I love that kind of development. It felt so real and natural, but I wish that she hadn't been so hard on herself. I also wish that she hadn't been so hard on Ricky.

For the most part, I really enjoyed Ricky! Sometimes he said or did something that was a little off-color, but he made a great friend, and he was just so sweet and nice. I don't think that I could stress enough about his perfect mix of bad-boy and sweet-heart. He was such a gentleman!

All in all, Bruised was a fantastic read about putting yourself back together after tragedy.

May 27, 2013

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
Series: N/A
Source: Won
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

Don't mess with a girl with a great personality!

Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

four hearts
Applying butt glue to my sister's backside is, without question, not the first way I'd choose to spend a weekend.

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality delivers exactly what the title says; we get revenge and a girl with a great personality. Make that an awesome personality, because I loved Lexi so much! She was so snarky and sweet and innocent, and she was just so funny! I wish I had half the sense of humor that this girl does!

Not only was she funny, she was so three dimensional and such a fan character to read about! She has some strange worries for sure, with her little sister being such a drama queen....at seven. I really have to applaud Mackenzie as a character-- I could see how she could be so nasty, but she's just a little girl. I mean, I get super grumpy when people prod at me too!

It's no excuse, but she's just a kid-- and we see phenomenal character from her and Lexi. I think that they truly learned from their mistakes, and I don't think they'll be repeating them. I love when characters have growth like that!

I also liked the family dynamic-- it wasn't functional by any means, but it gave us such insight into Lexi. Her mother is so terrible. I think that I would have strangled the woman long before she had so much control over my life. o.O

She made a really good villain.

Moving on, before I start ranting. I loved all of the secondary characters. Logan, Taylor, Benny and Cam all just made my day. They were each fairly good friends to Lexi, and I was constantly rooting for all of them. I was so proud when Benny talked to Chris, and when Lexi went out on a date...and I was especially proud of Cam for being such a good friend!

All in all, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality was a fantastically unique read with awesome characters.
Meg's Signature
I know some people settle for something that they wanted (or thought they wanted) but I'm not that kind of person. I know I deserve better than that. ~Pg. 259

May 24, 2013

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You
Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates
Series: N/A
Source: Traded for
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 21, 2012

It wasn't like she had not warned us.

It wasn't like she had not prepared us.

We'd known that something was wrong those last several months.

But then, Tink hasn't actually vanished. Tink is gone, and yet--she is here somewhere, even if we can't see her.

Tink? Are you--here?

 
Not going anywhere. No way.
You guys would screw up totally if I did.

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You was one of the most frustratingly good books that I have read in a long time. It was frustrating because the language was weird-- a mish mash of italics, parentheses, and run-on sentences. It was good because I felt like I could relate to Nadia and Merissa, and maybe even Tink in my own way.

They are three very different girls with very different problems, but they all relate to each other, and they all knew each other. I say "knew" because Tink is dead, from suicide. But we get to know her too, as the book plays out-- she's always in the background.

The first half was all about Merissa, who's problem is that she's anorexic, and that she cuts herself. I can't relate to that, but I appreciate a character who has a problem and doesn't seem all fake and forced. In a weird way, I actually adored Merissa. It's clear from the very beginning that she has some serious problems, but it was nice to read through her eyes and to find out why she does it.

The second half moved onto Nadia, who I honestly didn't like as much. She was whiny and very easily led. Which is how she gets into trouble-- like Merissa, she's super worried about her weight, but she resorts to extreme dieting. I don't understand the urge to just not eat, but if they...sigh. Nadia's other problem would have to be that she's constantly seeking approval, and she get's a largely inappropriate crush on one of her male teachers-- needless to say, it doesn't turn out well.

This entire book could be summed up like that: it doesn't turn out well. I'm not sure that either of these girls had any real character growth, nor did they seem to resolve their problems-- life threatening problems, at that!
It was easy, Tink. You'd understand.
Like grasping a razor between your fingers firmly.
And bringing it down on your skin, and in, cutting.
And when the pain starts, not letting go. ~ Pg. 64, ARC

May 23, 2013

What I think about *Book Hauls*

To be honest, I'm a HUGE fan of book hauls. I love seeing what all my blogger buddies (and idols!) got in their mailboxes. I love drooling over them, and even though sometimes I get crazy jealous and wish I had that book, I still love them.

But I've noticed lately that a bunch of people don't. They think it's "gloating" or "bragging", and I disagree. It's just a way of sharing your excitement over books that you got! That's all I think it is. Sometimes, maybe we're gloating. That's usually not how it goes, though. Usually it's just GENUINE excitement.

Recently I've quit doing them because I got a little flack about it, and because it just doesn't fit into my schedule anymore. I just don't have the time to take pictures of my books, and then link them all up on goodreads. I just can't, and I LURVE surprising y'all with what I'm reading! It's so nice to be able to just put my books up on the shelf when I get them. Those are my reasons for quitting the book hauls-- lack of time.

Sometimes I miss doing it, but I'm mostly at peace with my decision. I'm just curious as to why some people don't like them, though. I'd love some opinions!

May 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #21


Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, #3
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?


The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.
When they first revealed the cover for this one, I about DIED. And now they expect me to wait til October? *cries* I need this. Soon. Very soon. I hope that Tris and Four fix their differences-- the second book was just too much relationship drama. That about covers it. ;)

May 20, 2013

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Things I Can't Forget
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks, #3
Source: Won
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…
Things I Can't Forget was much better than I was expecting. All I've been hearing about is how judgemental Kate is, and how snooty she is. But honestly, I didn't see that at all. Kate was actually a lot deeper than that-- I think that she was just a confused teenage girl. She's just figuring out what she believes, and whether or not she is the person she wants to be. That's what I saw. Yes, she did judge people, but I feel like I can be honest here: she's a girl. We don't like to say it, but we have opinions on everything, and sometimes they're not nice.

It's true. Anywho, moving on. I enjoyed the cameo appearances of Jordan, Sam, Will and Parker. It was great to see them all again, and it shows that Kate really was trying to be nice. Two points for her! I also seriously adored the camp setting-- I've been a counselor, and I think that it was a fairly honest portrayal. But our camp has "girl" sides and "boy" sides. Far as I know, no one crosses that. ;P

Onto Matt. I think that he was a good fit for Kate, because he kind of mellows her out, and she needed that. The character growth for both of them was phenomenal. Just sayin'! Matt was really sweet, and I adore his big family. I love when there are large families in books, especially when they all have fairly healthy relationships with each other. Plus, they totally make me giggle!

I wasn't a particularly big fan of the secondary characters, but I definitely appreciate what all of them bring to the table. All in all, Things I Can't Forget was a good read that I recommend for when you're in a mellow kind of mood.
Matt is the rock. He makes me want to stand up for what I think is right. Maybe all that matters is that he's right for me, and I'm right for him. ~ Pg. 274

May 17, 2013

Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy
Easy by Tammara Webber
Series: N/A
Source: Bought
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.
I was so built up about this one-- all I've heard about is how emotional it is, etc. But I find myself disappointed. I don't know if I'm some kind of robot or something, but it sure takes a lot to make me cry. And this one just didn't cut it.

Lucas just wasn't as swoony as everyone made him out to be. He has a lot of problems, and although he's seriously hot, I'm disappointed in him. I feel like he could have been more as a character. He had several great points that the author could have built off from, but I feel like it was focused a bit too much towards Jacqueline-- I would have loved more development on his side. I appreciate that he's sexy, but that just doesn't cut it for me.

Jacqueline was better, but I'm not sure that I would have jumped into a relationship with someone so soon after being almost raped and breaking up with my long-time boyfriend. It seems a bit far-fetched, but I'm willing to let that go. I'm very proud of her, actually. She took the initiative to attend a self-defense class. That shows some strength.

Actually, going on after that shows some strength. That scene right in the beginning was downright terrifying, as it should be!

All in all, I can definitely appreciate the story behind this one, but I wish that I could have loved it a lot more. It sounded so good, but it left me feeling kind of let down, even though Lucas is shamelessly sexy, that boy needs to learn to trust people. And Jacqueline should learn to be less trusting-- I just wasn't feeling the love for this one.
"Choosing to be with you isn't a difficult decision, Jacqueline," he breathed, pulling back one final time to stare into my eyes. "It's easy. Incredibly easy." ~ Pg. 310

May 16, 2013

What I think about *Bad Reviews*


Essential. Bold. Honest. Don't Hold Back.

These are the thoughts that rush through my head when I'm reading or writing a bad review. Because I think that it's necessary. Not everyone will love every book, that's a given. So why is it bad to express your dislike of a book? We see all the time that bloggers and independent reviewers are being attacked for bad reviews. And I just don't understand why. Why shouldn't I be able to tell you exactly what I think about a book? It's called freedom of speech, darlin'.

I'm gonna tell you, and if that offends you, well, shouldn't ought to be reading it, now should ya? That's what star ratings and such are for. If you can take a bad review, and be happy (well as close to happy as you can get) after reading it, I am so much more likely to read your book. If you attack someone, you kind of lose all respect from me.

I'm just gonna say it, to put it out there:

I'll read your book if I read a negative review and it expresses dislikes that I enjoy as a reader.


I'm ten times more likely. The thing about negative reviews is that sometimes I disagree with what the reviewer is saying. Sometimes we go a bit over the top, don't you think? Sometimes I just have to shake my head and whisper, "Naw, that ain't right." Because maybe they just insulted the author. Maybe they just said they wouldn't ever read another book by them.

To get this straight, I love snark. If I'm reading a review that's snarky as all get out but has valid points, I'll probably be dying of laughter. I'll be nodding my head yes and giggling at your gifs or language. But say something negative about the author? I'll be upset. But I'll get over it.

I feel like bad reviews make a largely good impact. I love reading them, and I will seek them out-- especially if I felt strongly either way about the book in question. Love the book? Check. Seek out negative reviews. Hate the book? Check. Seek out negative reviews. Either way, I love them.

How do you feel about "bad" reviews?

May 15, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #20


Burning

Burning by Elana K. Arnold
Series: N/A
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Ben: Having just graduated from high school, Ben is set to leave Gypsum, Nevada. It's good timing since the gypsum mine that is the lifeblood of the area is closing, shutting the whole town down with it. Ben is lucky: he's headed to San Diego, where he's got a track scholarship at the University of California. But his best friends, Pete and Hog Boy, don't have college to look forward to, so to make them happy, Ben goes with them to check out the hot chick parked on the side of Highway 447.

Lala: She and her Gypsy family earn money by telling fortunes. Some customers choose Tarot cards; others have their palms read. The thousands of people attending the nearby Burning Man festival spend lots of cash--especially as Lala gives uncanny readings. But lately Lala's been questioning whether there might be more to life than her upcoming arranged marriage. And the day she reads Ben's cards is the day that everything changes for her. . . and for him.

Oh, doesn't this just sound amazing? I love the idea of a gypsy girl in modern times, and I love the idea that there's probably love involved in this one! *be still, my beating heart*

May 14, 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Audio Clip!

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Series: Cinder, #2
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
 The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

You remember my five star review of Scarlet, right? You remember how impressed I was? Well, when I was given the option to post an audio clip of it, of course I jumped at the chance! Below you'll find that audio clip. So sit back, relax, and listen to some rocking storytelling! (:
video

May 13, 2013

The Month of MG!

On the collab blog, we're working on an awesome challenge and event that's going to happen in August! Basically, we're challenging ourselves to read MG books throughout the month of August! We'll have interviews, and hopefully a few giveaways for sure. (I'll sponsor one!) Anywho, I'm shooting for:


Level 2, Making an Effort!

In August, I'd like to read 10 MG books!

I'm not sure what they'll be yet, because I kind of go with the flow. But they will be rocking!! Stop by this post to read the rules, and happy reading!