Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bookshelf Additions for June

Sunday, June 30, 2013 with
Hi everyone,
We can't believe it's the last day of June already. Time sure flies! Here are the books we received in the last two weeks of June:
A Midsummer Night's Scream by R.L. Stine (unsolicited)
Playing Tyler by T.L. Costa (for review)
Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky (for review)
Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky (for review)
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (for review)
[[I'm so excited to read All Our Yesterdays! All the reviews have been great so far.]]
Audiobook of Primal Bonds by Jennifer Ashley (won)
Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti (signed; won)
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn (gifted from St. Martin's Press)
Fated by Alyson Noel (gifted from St. Martin's Press)
Switched by Amanda Hocking (gifted from St. Martin's Press)
Tidal by Amanda Hocking (gifted from St. Martin's Press) 

We also got awesome swag, including feather earrings, bookmarks, temporary tattoos and an iPad cover (which we'll most probably include in a future giveaway since we don't own an iPad).

What did you guys get this week? Leave your link and we'll check it out!

Happy reading,
Michelle & Leslie

Friday, June 28, 2013

#FridayReads and Follow Friday

Friday, June 28, 2013 with
Labels:
Hello everyone,
Happy Friday! We decided to combine #FridayReads and Follow Friday together again this week. This is what we are reading this weekend:

Leslie didn't get to do much reading this week because she's busy doing her summer homework for AP Lit. She's still reading Sarah Dessen's The Moon and More  Here's a teaser from chapter 17 where Leslie is currently on:
"It was a good thing I was still half-asleep, not to mention coughing too hard to be expected to explain, because I was busted."
As for Michelle, she's reading the novella Uncharted by Tracey Garvis-Graves, which is a follow-up to the fantastic On the Island (btw, it's the perfect summer read).

Here's a bit of happy domesticity with Anna and T.J. from chapter 1 of the e-ARC edition:
"What's it going to be? Caillou or Dragon Tales?" T.J. asks the twins.

"Dragon Tales," they shout.

"One episode and then it's bedtime, okay?"

"Okay," they say, and then run out of the room.

"I'll turn on the DVR for them," Anna says. She stops in front of T.J. on her way out the kitchen. "I'm going to lay this one down in her crib. She's about to fall asleep."

The baby smiles, eyes heavy, and T.J. kisses her. "Night night, baby. Sleep tight."
If guys are interested in Uncharted or The Moon and More, just click on the links and you'll be taken to Goodreads.

***
 
Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of this meme is to increase blog followers and make friends and we are all about both. For complete rules on how to participate, click here.

The Feature and Follow question this week is What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

Michelle:
I like physical books (hardcover or paperback, it doesn't matter--whichever is cheaper is the one I'd buy and read) and e-books equally.
Leslie:
I prefer reading a hardcover book over a paperback--it feels better in my hands. No e-books for me. I've never read an e-book and I'm not planning to read one any time soon.

Thank you for stopping by our blog! Please follow us and if you get to us before we get to you, please leave a link to your blog so we can follow you back.
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Have a great weekend everyone and happy reading!

-Michelle & Leslie


P.S. We are using Disqus commenting for the first time with this post. Please let us know if there are any problems or if you cannot comment.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How awesome is the cover of No One Else Can Have You?! It's very tongue-in-cheek and it hints of a humorous read. And I'm a sucker for mysteries so this book is all WIN!!

book cover
Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.
No One Else Can Have You will be released on January 7, 2014. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.


 
"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here on Wednesdays. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Welcome to my stop on the Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

book coverE-ARC: 288 pages 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: June 18, 2012
ISBN: 9780373210480
 
Source of my copy: author
Series: Confessions #2


Synopsis (from Goodreads) 

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.


When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.



(Warning: Some spoilers, especially if you haven't read book 1, Confessions of an Angry Girl)

First of all, you need to read Confessions of an Angry Girl to enjoy this novel. Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend picked up a few months after Angry Girl ended. Rose's goal for her sophomore year was to lie low after all the drama that happened during her freshman year, but drama seems to follow Rose wherever she goes.

I have to admit I had mixed feelings about the previous book, Confessions of an Angry Girl--I couldn't quite connect with any of the characters, including the main character, Rose. While I thought Rose was smart, snarky and at times funny, she got herself in some stupid situations and into a lot of drama in Angry Girl.

Rose grew up a little in Almost-Girlfriend but she was still grieving the loss of dad and she has new stuff to deal with--her constant clashing with her mom both in and out of the therapist's office, her worry for her brother and his escalating substance abuse problem, wondering about the hot-and-cold attitude of her almost-boyfriend Jamie, being caught between the swim team/thugs' (who were not only bullies but also homophobes) hazing of Regina's brother, trying to find her place musically... these are only some of the stuff she's dealing with. And, like in Angry Girl, there was a lot of confusion, anger, frustration and raw emotions as Rose tried to deal with everything.

While reading Almost-Girlfriend I felt almost bogged down by all the drama but there were flashes of humor, usually through Angelo (Jamie's best friend--it was great to see more of him because he was pretty much the only character I liked in Angry Girl) and Rose's signature snark, which kept things somewhat light and kept me reading.

There were a couple instances this novel got blatantly preachy, not unlike it was in Angry Girl with the teen sex bit, only this time it's about abuse, bullying, hazing and homophobia. Yes, the information is relevant today and very important, but I thought it could've have been executed better.

I was happy to find that Rose had better friends in this novel than in the previous. Her best friend Tracy did a complete 180, from a self-centered, annoying wanna-be popular girl in Angry Girl to a more supportive and helpful friend in Almost-Girlfriend. Tracy stopped trying so hard to be popular (instead, she focused her energy on her fashion aspirations), she dumped her toxic boyfriend (who got even more awful in this book) and she became more confident and became her own person.

Unfortunately, I still failed to see the appeal of Jaime, the "almost-boyfriend" in the title. He did break up with his awful girlfriend Regina (who bullied Rose and made her entire freshman year a nightmare) but he was really hot-and-cold in Almost-Girlfriend. I don't know if he's the right guy Rose. We do learn more about him and his connection with Regina and her family.

Overall, I think where this book/series truly shined was in Rose's realistic, authentic voice. I was able to connect with Rose more in this book. Yes, she can be whiny and immature but the girl had A LOT to deal with and she's only fifteen. By the end of this novel, she did become a little stronger and found a little bit of herself but, needless to say, everything cannot be tied up nice and neat by the end of this novel and I am curious enough to see what will happen next to pick up the next book in the series.

If I'm giving this novel a star rating, I'd give it 3/5 stars.



About the Author
Louise Rozett is an author, a playwright, and a recovering performer. She made her YA debut with Confessions of an Angry Girl, published by Harlequin Teen. The next book in the series, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, is due out June 2013. She lives with her 120-pound Bernese Mountain dog Lester (named after Lester Freamon from The Wire, of course) in one of the world's greatest literary meccas, Brooklyn... and also in sunny Los Angeles. (Being bi-coastal is fun!) Visit www.Louiserozett.com for more info.




Giveaway
One lucky winner will get a signed copy of ANGRY GIRL, a signed copy of ALMOST-GIRLFRIEND, and a $25 iTunes gift card! (US only)

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Friday, June 21, 2013

book coverARC: 480 pages 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 28, 2013
ISBN: 9780373210639
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
 

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 loved Katie McGarry's debut Pushing the Limits, but was wary of her new book Dare You To (a companion to Limits) because its main character was Beth Risk, one of the best friends of Limits's love interest Noah. I wasn't sure I'd connect to Beth as she was an intimidating girl with a lot of walls and had had a hard life. But I was curious and since I liked Pushing the Limits so much, I was like, what the heck. Boy, was I glad I did because I ended up loving it.

Dare You To was similar to Pushing the Limits but the conflicts and drama were much more intense. Beth's top priority was always protecting her mother, so when she was given the choice, she sacrificed her own happiness for her mom's freedom. Now, she's begrudgingly under her uncle's care and has moved back to the town where she spent her childhood years. Beth tried to keep as much distance between her and everyone around her, but people, like her uncle, her childhood best friend, and worse of all, the golden boy Ryan, forced her to break down her walls and reveal her raw, broken self. Soon, Beth began to grow roots and living almost without the pain and burden she's always known. But when she must save her mother again, Beth must decide if her own happiness and well-being is more important. 

Individually, Beth and Ryan had such heavy burdens on their shoulders--I felt for them and rooted for them all throughout the book. Without his perfect golden facade, Ryan was just as confused, scared, and burdened as Beth, but he was also very talented, protective, and loving. I am almost jealous of Beth for having him--I want my own Ryan. Beth was a very headstrong heroine--she was stubborn, hardcore, confused, and frightened but she has her caring, loving, and responsible side too, especially toward her family and friends. Both Ryan and Beth were great characters!

Reading Dare You To reminded me of the many reasons why I loved Katie McGarry and her books. She writes the best heavier themed YA contemporaries with a heavy dose of romance. Both Dare and Pushing explored a whirlwind of emotions and events experienced by individuals who are searching for themselves and learning about themselves--just my kind of read! Books like ones written by McGarry remind me that I'm not alone in my confusion and fears. 

I also really like McGarry's writing style--I like how she develops and delineates events and characters very well. I will most definitely pick up McGarry's next book Crash Into You, which feature Noah's other best friend Isaiah and then, well, I will pretty much read anything Katie McGarry writes.

Both Pushing the Limits and Dare You To can be read as standalone novels. However, I recommend you read Pushing to better appreciate Dare. If you love darker, more angst-y YA contemporary novels with a heavy dose of romance like I do, you gotta pick up McGarry's novels.
Hello everyone,
Happy Friday! We decided to combine #FridayReads and Follow Friday together this week. This is what we are reading this weekend:

Leslie is reading Sarah Dessen's newest, The Moon and More, and she is liking it so far and is  Team Theo. Here's a scene with Emaline and Theo from the chapter [ch. 7, pg. 142] Leslie is currently on:
"...I'd be happy if I never had to see anyone from high school again."

"Really," I said. "Aren't you only, like, a couple of years out, though?"

"Doesn't matter. Even in ten years, I still won't want to see any of those people."

The light changed and we moved forward.

"Sounds like it was pretty bad."

"There just wasn't much for me there," he said. "It was jock-centric, seriously elitist. As a computer geek into the history of cinema and my trombone, I functioned mostly as a school-wide joke or a punching bag. Usually both."
As for Michelle, she just started True Spies by Shana Galen, a historical romance which won't be out 'til September 3rd. Here's a little bit from chapter 1 of the ARC edition:
"Mother, you cannot wear that."

Elinor almost laughed. "Why not?" She turned to Bridget. "Do I have any rogue?"

"Mother!"

"Caroline!" Elinor echoed her daughter's outraged tone. "I am a mother, not a corpse. I do not want to look like one."
If guys are interested in True Spies or The Moon and More, just click on the links and you'll be taken to Goodreads.

***
 
Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of this meme is to increase blog followers and make friends and we are all about both. For complete rules on how to participate, click here.

The Feature and Follow activity this week is to share a favorite literary quote:

Michelle's favorite:
“Is a person worth more because they have someone to grieve for them?” ―Melina Marchetta, Jellicoe Road
Leslie's favorite:
“It is a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Thank you for stopping by our blog. Please follow us and if you get to us before we get to you, please leave a link to your blog so we can follow you back.
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Have a great weekend everyone and, as always, happy reading!

-Michelle & Leslie

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

book coverPaperback: 394 pages 
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: June 13, 2013 (pbk ed)
ISBN: 9780142426043
 
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: standalone
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
 

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.




My Life Next Door was one of those books I wished I read sooner. I don't know why I didn't pick up this novel sooner because I remember ooohh-ing and awww-ing over the cover (which is gorgeous and so perfect for the novel) when the hardcover released last year. I devoured it quickly and wanted a second helping of more awesomeness even though the entire thing was completely satisfying. I am going to be re-reading this one for sure!

My Life Next Door followed Samantha Reed who lived next door to the Garretts, a large (eight kids and counting), loud, boisterous, affectionate family. Samantha's family is the complete opposite of the the Garretts. Samantha and her older sister were raised by their mother Grace, a Stepford-wife type of lady who makes lemonade with special ice cubes with little lemon peel and mint frozen in them made out of lemonade, who vacuums her already spotless house as a form of relaxation and always turned her nose up and disapproved of the Garretts. But Samantha couldn't help but be fascinated by the family and she watched them from her balcony over the years.

Then, Jase Garrett climbed up her terrace one summer evening and changed Samantha's perfect but gray world to one of color.

With her mother busy with her reelection campaign and Clay Tucker (her new boyfriend/campaign manager) and her sister away for the summer, Samantha and Jase grew close and fall in love. Soon, Samantha was spending a lot of time with the Garretts, who welcomed her and quickly made her one of their own. But just when things couldn't be more perfect for Samantha and Jase, the unthinkable happens--Grace is involved in a hit-and-run accident [[highlight to read the spoiler --> Grace, driving while slightly intoxicated with Samantha sleeping in the backseat, hits Jase's father. To avoid any scandal that will ruin her reelection campaign, she drives off.]] and Samantha must make an impossible decision between her beloved Garretts and her mother's dreams and ambitions.

All of the **feels** in My Life Next Door--it was fantastic! I loved Samantha's character. I really connected with her and was there with her the entire novel. I fell in love with Jase along with her--he was smart, funny, handsome, hardworking, he loves his family and so very sweet and thoughtful. He was the perfect boy (and if I have one tinny tiny issue with this novel, it was that he was too perfect). The way Samantha and Jase's relationship developed with mutual respect and love was just too lovely and swoon-y for words. I absolutely loved it!

Besides Samantha and Jase, the secondary characters were wonderfully fleshed out as well. I enjoyed meeting the Garretts (the little kids were hilarious!), Samantha's best friend Nan and her twin brother Timmy had an interesting secondary plot line and Clay Tucker was perfectly odious and Grace was a complex character (I wanted to hate her but I can't completely bring myself to).

The novel was Huntley Fitzpatrick's debut novel and I detect no debut novel awkwardness--it was superbly written with depth that you do not always find in YA contemporary novels. For me, My Life Next Door is right up there with Anna and the French Kiss (Perkins) in terms of characters, romance and writing--if you liked Anna or reading contemporary YA in general, this novel is a must-read. And the release of the paperback edition was timely because My Life Next Door is the perfect summer beach read.

I urge high school-aged teens* and adults to read My Life Next Door this summer. Run to your nearest bookstore or library and pick up your copy. This book cannot be missed!
Click the image for more M&L-Approved Beach Reads

*This book may not be appropriate for younger teens due to language, some drug and alcohol use and teen sexuality.
I love reading feel-good contemporary YA and This Song Will Save Your Life sounds like my kind of read.

I really like the cover too!

book cover
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice,
This Song Will Save Your Life is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
This Song Will Save Your Life will be released on September 17, 2013. For more info about the novel, visit the author's website. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.


 
"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here on Wednesdays. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

book coverHardcover: 360 pages 
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: June 4, 2013
ISBN: 9780425263990
 
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Psy-Changeling #12
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
 

Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world…
A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.
From “the alpha author of paranormal romance” (
Booklist) comes the most highly anticipated novel of her career—one that blurs the line between madness and genius, between subjugation and liberation, between the living and the dead.




Nalini Singh has done it again! Heart of Obsidian was AMAZING--it may be the best in the Psy-Changeling series, which is saying A LOT since all of the books in the series were excellent.

Heart of Obsidian is the long-awaited, much anticipated story of Kaleb Krychek. The details of this book was very mysterious before it came out--there was no synopsis and we didn't know who the main character was until about a week before its release, and the heroine's name was not revealed at all--other than it was a real game changer in the series. There was a lot of speculation among the fans of the series (especially after it was said that the identity of the Ghost will be revealed here), which made the waiting all the more fun and increased my already high expectations.

Well, all the waiting and speculation was worth it because Heart of Obsidian went above and beyond my expectations. It took me about five days to read this book, but only because I wanted to savor it. I wanted to stay in the world Nalini created longer, spend more time with Kaleb and his heroine (who was so perfect for him--the sunlight to Kaleb's darkness) and to really absorb the story and bask in the awesome that was Heart of Obsidian.

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.

I gotta admit I was unsure of Kaleb Krychek as a hero. I mean he was a fascinating character (if somewhat scary) and I wanted to know more about him and how he became the way he was. He had some flashes of humanity throughout the series but he was too dark, impenetrable, and cold. He had his own agenda that called for destruction of the Psy world and had no care for the casualties. I wondered how will Nalini Singh portray this seemingly unsympathetic, cold blooded character to one capable of deep love (because, after all, this is a romance series). Will there even be a heroine who will be able to take him on?

Oh, Nalini why did I ever doubt you for even a second?

Heart of Obsidian opened with Kaleb finally having found the person he had spent seven years searching for. We do not immediately learn the identity of this person, who arrived at Kaleb's home in a catatonic state because she had been abused both physically and mentally by her captors. Kaleb needed this person's mental abilities for his plan to seize control of the Net, but the most curious thing was that Kaleb cared for her almost tenderly, conscious of her fragile state--not something you would expect from someone so deep in Silence (without emotions) that he's practically ice.

We soon learned that the person Kaleb rescued was Sahara Kyriakus (she was first mentioned in Visions of Heat as the cousin of Faith who was kidnapped when she was sixteen and possibly dead). She does eventually start to heal but she had lost a lot of her memories. But she was not afraid of Kaleb and she sensed that they share a history. I'm not going to go on deeper because it will spoil the story too much but read this excellent post from Heroes and Heartbreakers that discussed Kaleb and Sahara's relationship and if you want a very, very spoiler-y review read this one from Goodreads.

Oh my gosh, ALL of the **feels** in Heart of Obsidian hit me in the gut and left me in a puddle of goo by the end of it. It left me breathless. Kaleb and Sahara's love story was dark but so, so beautiful. And, yes, steamy and smexy. If you've read the series, think Judd but, like, more--Kaleb replaced Judd as my favorite Psy hottie.

Coupled with Nalini's writing that is always spot-on, the superb world building and fascinating secondary characters--well, Heart of Obsidian is pure perfection. And speaking of the Psy-Changeling world, there's still some loose ends by the end of this novel, but much of the overarching story line that ran throughout the series was tied up here and some pressing questions were answered (i.e., the Ghost's identity). So, this is a MUST READ for all Psy-Changeling series fans.

As Heart of Obsidian is the 12th book in the series, I do not recommend you jump into it without reading the previous books first. But if you haven't already, pick up this the Psy-Changeling series. I promise you, you won't regret it even if you think you're tired of paranormal romance--this series is so much MORE than most paranormal romance series out there. And don't be intimidated by the number (there's 12 so far, including this book) of books in the series, there's no bad read in the bunch because Nalini Singh gets better and better with every book. 

I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I'm hoping it'll be Vasic or Aden's book--those two need their own HEA.

I reviewed some of the books in the series. Check them out:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bookshelf Additions for June

Sunday, June 16, 2013 with
Hi everyone,
It's that time of the week again where we show off our book haul for the week as well as get to "ooohh" and "awww" over your bookish hauls. YAY for new books all around!!

Physical Books:
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (for review)
[[I already read this one and it was FANTASTIC. My gushy review will be up next week.]]
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (for review)
One Heart to Win by Johanna Lindsey (unsolicited)
Being Me by Lisa Renee Jones (unsolicited)
True Spies by Shana Galen (for review)

E-books:
There was an awesome e-book sale this weekend and I got all of the titles above for $2.99 each (except for The Thing About the Truth, which was $3.79)! I couldn't resist--these books have been on my wishlist for a long time.

What did you guys get this week? Leave your link so I can go check it out!

Happy reading,
Michelle

Friday, June 14, 2013

Michelle and Leslie's #FridayReads

Friday, June 14, 2013 with
Labels:
Hello bookish friends,
YAY! It's Friday!! And Friday = #fridayreads and we want to tell you about ours and share a short scene from the chapter we are currently on (no worries, no spoilers here).

As you can tell by our happy smiles and enthusiastic thumb ups, Leslie and I are both in the middle of reading an awesome books today.

I [Michelle] am reading My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and I'm currently on chapter 23 of My Life Next Door. I really like this visual of Samantha and Jase--
We wind up in the backyard, because everything inside my house is so hard and formal, no comfortable place to sit and lounge. Jase lies on his back in the grass on our sloping lawn, and I lie, crossways, with my head on his stomach...
I'm very surprise by how much I'm liking My Life Next Door. It's sooooo GOOD! I wish I read it sooner. It's the perfect summer read.

And, fyi, My Life Next Door came out in paperback yesterday. It's less than ten bucks now--get it!! Or borrow it from your library. Just get your hands on it now!!

Here's Leslie...
***** 

I'm reading Prodigy by Marie Lu and if you guys didn't know, Day and June switch off at every chapter so us readers get both of their first person perspective. I'm currently Day's perspective on page 194 (of an ARC edition)--
"Keep those soldiers busy, yeah? Make them hate you."

"That's my specialty." I gesture up at the slanted roofs and crumbling walls towering around us. To a Runner, those roofs are like giant slides made smooth by ice. I say a silent thanks to Tess--already the blue pill is warming me up from the inside out, as soothing as a bowl of hot soup on an icy evening.
Just as amazingly awesome and exciting as Legend. I'm totally lovin' it!! If you guys haven't picked up the Legend series, you gotta.

What is your #fridayreads? We wanna know!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. :)

Happy reading,
Leslie & Michelle

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book I Covet: Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 with
Conjured is written by Sarah Beth Durst. 'Nuff said.

Okay, if you haven't read anything by Sarah, you're missing out. Whether it's an epic fantasy or about vampires and unicorns, her writing is always spot on. She's one of my few auto-buy authors. All of the books I've read by I've enjoyed--I don't think one is gonna be any different.

book cover
Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.
Conjured will be released on September 3, 2013. For more info about the novel, check out Sarah website. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.


"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here on Wednesdays. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

book coverARC: 302 pages 
Publisher: MacMillan
Release Date: March 5, 2013
ISBN: 9780374379912
Source of my copy: won from a giveaway
Series: Unremembered #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
 

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.
Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.
Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.
Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?
From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.





I really enjoyed Jessica Brody's My Life Undecided, so I decided to read her latest book Unremembered, which is book one of her newest series. The premise was great but I had a hard time with the beginning--it felt slow and stretched. The story was slow to build up and there was a lot of redundancy in the build up. I was all, "Okay, I get it. She survived a terrible plane crash, lost her memories, and how she survived is a big mystery. Move on already!" Fortunately, the plot picked up pace toward the middle of the book so I was able to keep reading.

Sadly, I was not as impressed by this book as I was by Brody's contemporary novel My Life Undecided. Though there were plot twists here and there, many parts of Unremembered were very easy to predict. The characters were blah as well.

Sera was an enigma at first--she's resourceful, intelligent, and caring but at the same time she was also calculating, logical and incognizant of human emotions. I don't want to give anything away but it was fairly easy to figure out what she was and the "big reveal" wasn't really a revelation to me. Sera's love interest Zen was even more lacking in characterization. He was likeable but had no depth of character--he really had nothing going on for him besides being easy-going and protective. I kept hoping that there was more to him (an interesting back story perhaps? a deep pain he must work through?) but I got nothing. Though Sera and Zen supposed to have a past, instead I got more of an insta-love between them.

The sci-fi elements of Unremembered is not unique in YA and have been explored in a few recently released novels (Mila 2.0, Eve and Adam, Origin) and this novel does not really bring anything new to the table. It was an okay read overall because it did manage to interest me enough that I finished the novel. However, I have no true interest in reading the rest of the series. If you like YA science fiction that is on the lighter side of the sci-fi scale, you might want to consider Unremembered.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bookshelf Additions for June

Sunday, June 9, 2013 with
Dear friends,
I acquired a few new reads in the last week, which is always very, very exciting. New books are awesome!

I have two new e-books (both for review) on my Kindle from Bloomsbury through Netgalley--
Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles, Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney
I've read books by both Elkeles and Whitney in past and I really enjoyed them so I'm very happy that I got approved to download Wild Cards and Starry Nights. I'm especially excited to read Starry Nights because it's quite different from Whitney's previous books, The Mockingbirds and The Rivals.
And these are my new physical books--
Perfect Fling by Carly Phillips (for review), The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love by Erin Quinn (unsolicited), Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (for review), For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (bought)
I've already gushed about Heart of Obsidian a little bit here (I absolutely LOVE it and it's now one of my favorite books in the 12-book Psy-Changeling series). I'm going to be writing my full review of HoO later this month and it's gonna be a gushy one.

I'm also super excited for Perfect Fling because it's reminiscent of a Julie James novel (lawyer heroine!) and I think it's going to be a perfect romantic summer read. But since PF won't be out until July 30th, I will not be posting my review until July.

I haven't heard of Five Deaths of Roxanne Love (out August 27th) until it showed up on my door but it sounds interesting so I might pick it up if I have time. 

And I'm very eager to read For Darkness Shows the Stars because (1) I really enjoyed Peterfreund's Killer Unicorns series and I'm excited to read another of her novels and (2) it's a retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion!

Let me know what you think of the books I got! I would love to see the new books you all got this week so please leave a link in the comments so I can stop by.

Happy reading,
Michelle

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dear friends,
I LOVE summer! I love being at home with my family. I love not having to worry about writing papers and due dates. I love all the free time I have to do basically nothing except read and rearrange my bookshelf (which I did) and hang out with my sisters.

Leslie and I have also started volunteering at our public library starting last week and we (along with our youngest sister Aubrey) are participating in the summer reading program--it's awesome because our library has a SRP children, YA and adult this year and we call all participate together.
Us and our SRP lists.
And since it's summer and that means there's time for ALL the reading, blogging and vlogging I don't usually have time for during the school year, right?!

Wrong.

I am in a blogging rut. ARGHHH!!!! I'm feeling really unmotivated and starting a blog post feels like a huge chore. [This post is the first one I've been able to write for over a week--I think I just need to confess about the rut I am in and then I'll be okay.] I know I have reviews due but I just can't form a coherent paragraph and my thoughts are all in a jumble.

So, I've decided that I'm going to take the rest of this week off from writing reviews. Hopefully by next week I'm out of this blogging funk that I am in.

On the upside I am reading A LOT. I was reading two books but when Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh arrived in the mail, I put the other two on the side (for now) and am giving all of my attention to HoO. And trying to take my time reading it to savor the awesomeness rather than devour it. Because it is sooooo good! For fellow Psy-Changeling fans who haven't picked up HoO yet, it was worth the wait. The hero and heroine and their story are to die for!
I will have my review of HoO later this month. Expect a lot of gushing. 

So, yeah, that's a little bit about what's going on with us this summer. Leslie and I will be posting a bunch of reviews next week as well as other bookish posts (with lots of "beach read-approved" recommendations).

Happy reading,
Michelle