Sunday, July 28, 2013

End of Summer Read-a-thon

 Lisa at Turning Pages and Audris at YA Bookmark are hosting the End of Summer Read-a-thon!
I've missed the past couple of readathons that have taken place recently so I was excited to learn about this one. It couldn't have come at a better time because I am trying to read as many books as I can before I head off to college!  

Here is more about the readathon:

What is The End of Summer Read-A-Thon?
The End of Summer Read-A-Thon is hosted by me (Lisa) from Turning Pages and Audris from YA Bookmark; running from August 9th through August 12th. The End of Summer Read-A-Thon is a long weekend filled with books, challenges, giveaways and other special posts.

What do you do?
All you have to do is gather up a big stack of books, either summer themed, or books you planned on finally reading this summer, and start reading and don’t stop until Monday August 12th!! I plan on reading books that have been sitting on my shelf for months now, unread. Also tons of giveaways, challenges, and special posts are planned out on both Turning Pages and YA Bookmark, so it’s easy to be able to join in on the fun!

How to take part?
All you have to do is fill out the form below, with all the information required, and you’ll be in! The information to take part in giveaways and challenges will be listed in each post.

What can you get?
Besides finally finishing those unread TBR books, each day Audris and I will host giveaways on our blogs! That means eight giveaways in four days!! Yes eight! Besides that, each day will hold a new challenge on both Turning Pages and YA Bookmark, completing each challenge will add another entry in our final HUGE giveaway! So yes, actually nine giveaways in four days! The more challenges you complete, the greater your chance is to win our final giveaway!

To sign up visit here

I'm not going to make a list of what I'm going to read because I'm notorious for not sticking to what I say I'm going to read. But, there are quite a few books on my shelf that I've had for quite some time. I'm going give you a taste of just some of the books that I may get to:
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
The Mediator: Haunted by Meg Cabot
Sirens by Janet Fox
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
Storm Born by Richelle Mead
And there's a lot more. 


Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility 
Katja Millay
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: November 13, 2012

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.
Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.
Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

I'm going to start this review by saying that those who are wary of the cover or description should or are turned off by new adult still look into this book. The Sea of Tranquility is more than just a romance, it's a story of healing.

Both of the characters in this novel have dark pasts that they are trying to recover from. Although Josh has his problems, too, The Sea of Tranquility mostly focuses on Nastya and her healing from losing everything that defined her. Both of these characters are unique and frustrating at times. I loved Josh's unique view of life and reading about his hobby of building.. And Nastya--she has an exterior that everyone so no one will want to get know her. She has experienced something terrible and needs to learn how to live with the after. 

Even though a romance is not the first word I would use to describe this novel, I do have to address the relationship between Nastya and Josh. Their relationship is very slow-building, which I appreciated. This is more of a story of how these two characters learned to let others in than how they fell in love. Both Nastya and Josh learned to let the other in, which led to letting other people in as well. More than anything, Nasty and Josh found a family--both with each other and with others. 

The Sea of Tranquility is a beautifully-written and well-paced novel that tells the story of two characters and how they learned to live again. 


Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Adult Review: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, #1)The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence #1)
Jessica Sorensen
Release Date: December 1, 2012

There are those who don't get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don't get saved.
Luck was not on Callie's side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it's all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it's a struggle just to breathe.
For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.
Now he can't stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. the more he tries to be a part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved. 
I was really surprised by this novel. When I first picked it up, I was expecting a cute, fun read. What I wasn't expecting was for this to pack such an emotional punch. 

Both Callie and Kayden have had painful pasts that they have yet come to terms with. Callie and Kayden were just so damaged. I definitely feel that I sympathized with them more than I empathized with them. But I just wanted them to be happy. Kayden was better at hiding than Callie, and it took me a good chunk into the book to realize how much he was hurting. Both of these characters came a long way from the beginning of the book, mainly with trusting others and letting each other in. They still weren't completely healed, though, which was very frustrating.

For a fairly short novel, I think it was paced well. The relationship between these two characters grew (for the most part) at a good pace. I thought that I had everything in this novel figured out, but I was wrong. The last fifty or so pages of this book really pack a punch. Sorensen through some last minute punches and killed me with this ending.

Overall, I was very impressed with this novel. It was an addicting read that had me rooting for the characters and screaming at the ending. I'm anxiously waiting for the next book in this series.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Most Anticipated Books of Fall

There are so many books coming out late summer/fall that I am so excited for and I wanted to share!

The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
I've become such a fan of Jessica Sorensen. The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden was soo good, and I need to know what happens next!
August 1, 2013

The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski
This is the sequel to The Edge of Never, which is such an amazing book. 
September 17, 2013

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
I am a huge Simone Elkeles fan, and I can't wait to embark on a new series of hers!
October 1, 2013

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
I loved The Poison Princess, unexpectedly, so much! I can't wait for the next book!
October 1, 2013

There are more books that I am super excited for coming out later this year, but that about concludes the fall and late summer. 

What books are you most excited for?


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)
Rick Yancey
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: May 7, 2013

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

The 5th Wave is a very unique story. I'll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of alien stories. But, the world that Rick Yancey created is unlike anything that I've read before. The premise is (to me, at least) extremely creepy which I love. But Yancey took an intriguing premise and turned it into an engaging read.

One of the thins that I appreciated most about this novel is the sense of humor that Yancey was able to weave into this novel. You wouldn't think such an intense post-apocolyptic novel could include humor, but there was comic relief at just the right times. 

The 5th Wave is told through multiple points of views, all of which were interesting. The main character, Cassie, was filled with fight and spunk. Remember the comic relief I mentioned? Yeah, most of that came from her. She was funny and sarcastic despite everything that was happening. She is very believable as a teenage girl who has lived through terrifying events and has endured many losses. 

Now, I'm not going to completely rave about this novel. There has been plenty of hype surrounding this novel, and I didn't love it as much as some others did. It's a very addicting, well-written story, but it's not making my favorites shelf. Regardless, it was good and I'm looking forward to the next chapter in this story. 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Slammed (Slammed #1)
Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: September 18, 2012

Falling in love can feel like poetry. Or it can feel like a slam to the heart.
Colleen Hoover’s romantic, emotion-packed debut novel unforgettably captures all the magic and confusion of first love, as two young people forge an unlikely bond before discovering that fate has other plans for them.
Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she's losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her.
Not long after a heart-stopping first date during which each recognizes something profound and familiar in the other, they are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery brings their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together and the forces that tear them apart. Only through the poetry they share are they able to speak the truth that is in their hearts and imagine a future where love is cause for celebration, not regret.

I have fell in love with this novel. Slammed was a beautiful novel and unlike anything I've read before. 

Within the first few pages Slammed took a completely different direction than I was expecting. This story is unlike any other. There were several twists in this novel that may have not been completely surprising to me, but still left me in shock. 

Layken is a very feisty character. One minute she would make me want to scream at her and the next I was laughing at her. And could she act crazy sometimes. But she loved wholeheartedly and she was willing to fight for what she wanted. 

I also loved Will. He's not the macho love interest we see a lot of in books, but is just as swoon-worthy as anyone. He's smart and caring and has a lot of fight in him as well. He had been through so much and had to mature very quickly, but that's what made him so lovable. 

The other characters in this novel are also worth mentioning. Both Lake and Will's younger brothers, who were very humorous. And Lake and Will's friends were also entertaining. Heck, even Lake's mother was a great character. 

Slammed can be summed up in one statement: completely original. This novel is not only a story of love, but of loss, grief, family, friendship, and growing up. Colleen Hoover is a talented author. I can't wait to read her much-talked-about novel Hopeless, but I hope that Slammed is not over-looked. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys #1)
Abbi Glines
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 30, 2012

There was something wicked about Beau that drew me to him. What was wrong with me? Why did I want to sin so badly?
Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it's his cousin Beau who catches Ashton's eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she's ever seen, and even though he's dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him.
Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer's girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That's why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he's been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer's absence, Beau knows he should say no.
Ashton and Beau don't want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It's getting way too hard to resist...

I have been reading a lot of Abbi Glines lately, and I've been wanting to get my hands on The Vincent Boys for a while now. 

This novel contains some really interesting characters. I thought Beau and Ashton were really fun, especially together. Ashton drove me nuts sometimes, but, honestly, I was okay with that. She was so obsessed with how people perceived her, but I loved watching her really discover who she is despite what others think. And I fell in love with Beau, just as Ashton did. I will say I wasn't the biggest fan of Sawyer, although I'm sure that will change in The Vincent Brothers. 

I am not a fan of cheating stories, but The Vincent Boys is more than that. There were plenty of surprises throughout the novel. There was even an emphasis on family (or at least, family secrets). The Vincent Boys is well-paced and addicting. 

I didn't quite enjoy The Vincent Boys as much as I thought I would. It wasn't anything super-spectacular, but it was an enjoyable, fun read. I'm looking forward to reading Sawyer's story!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June Wrap Up

Long time no see, eh?

But, I am here, and today I bring you my June Wrap Up.

I've been in a reading slump for so long, not wanting to read at all, and not reading at all. I recently went on a road trip which gave me plenty of reading time. I am glad to say that I am finally reading again. I read a lot in June (Or at least a lot compared to other months this year). 

Here's what I read:
 Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Lost and Found by Nicole Williams
Pure by Jennifer Armentrout
How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer
Forever Too Far by Abbi Glines
Crush by Nicole Williams
The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
Deity by Jennifer Armentrout
Oath Bound by Rachel Vincent
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey 

So, 13 books, not bad coming from about five books a month. I just hope I keep this up!

What are your favorite books this month?