Friday, January 31, 2014

Hello everyone,
This post is a little different from our usual post because instead of giving my opinion about other people's writing, I am putting up my own writing up into the Internet void.

Putting my own work out, especially a fiction, is scary. And, surprisingly, very personal because it is something originating from my own imagination. It's all me--as oppose to say an essay where I do a lot research to support my ideas and opinions. But if I want to be serious about my secret dream [that I don't want to be kept secret anymore] of becoming a writer I think a good first step is to have other people outside of Leslie read what I write and maybe get some opinions.

I wrote this a couple of months ago. It's the opening chapter of an idea I had floating around in my head. I don't know yet if I want to keep going with the story.

The working title is The Burden of Memory. I edited some but I suck at editing so there might be some grammatical typos in there. Please let me know what you think.

If you cannot view/read it above, click here.

Thank you for reading,
Michelle

P.S. Any constructive criticism is welcome.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hello everyone,
If you've visited our blog enough, it's no secret that I have a huge love for Lisa Desrochers' A Little Too Far series. The third book in the series A Little Too Hot was released on Jan. 21st and to celebrate we are participating in a blog tour.

Click the banner above or HERE for links to the other stops in the tour.

Here's more info about A Little Too Hot.

Format: e-ARC
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Pages: 284 pages
Source of my copy: publisher via Edelweiss
Series: A Little Too Far #3 (can be read as a standalone)
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
If you play with fire…
Tossed out of college and cut off by her parents, Samantha West is in pretty dire straits. So when her rocker best friend hooks her up with a job dancing at a gentlemen’s club, who is she to turn it down? Plus, there are rules to dancing at Benny’s: No touching, keep your clothes on at all times, and never get closer than three feet. Unfortunately for Sam, her first private client makes her want to break every single one of them.
Harrison Yates is scorching hot, but he’s got a past that involves being left at the altar not too long ago. Sam is determined to make him forget about his ex, but when she makes her move, it flings her life into a spiral of chaos she never saw coming.
Because Harrison Yates isn’t who he seems to be. And his secret will probably get her killed.




We first meet Sam in A Little Too Far (the first book in the series)--she's one of Lexie best friends, the girl who'd been in love with Trent forever but got dumped by him in the end. I admit I wasn't too fond of Sam's character in ALTF. She was one of the people who stood in the way of Lexie and Trent being together. But I grew to like her in A Little Too Hot and I'm glad that she got her own happily ever after.

Still trying to get over from what happened with Trent, Sam West started partying too much and eventually dropped out of college. Her parents kicked her out and for the first time in her life, she didn't have her mom telling how to run her life. Needing a job to pay part of the rent, her rocker best friend Jonathan hooked her up with a job dancing at a gentlemen's club and that's where she met sexy Harrison Yates.

Harrison sparked something in Sam that she hadn't felt before. Although the club had strict rules during private dance sessions, Harrison makes Sam want to break them all. But, unbeknownst to Sam, Harrison was no ordinary client and was part of something a lot bigger that might just put her life in danger.

A Little Too Hot wasn't as emotionally intense as A Little Too Much (my favorite novel in the series), which was fine with me. However, I had a harder time connecting with Sam's character than I did with Hilary and Lexie. Sam was making some really bad decisions, putting herself in harm's way and she frustrated me. She did get better and I grew to like her more but I was never able to become emotionally connected with her as I did with Hilary and Lexie in the previous books. 

As for Harrison, he had a stronger presence in A Little Too Hot compared to Trent and even Alessandro in the previous novels. I got to know and connect with his character a lot more. He was so dreamy, sexy and protective. And he cooks, you guys! **swoon** He might just be my favorite of the men in the series. Before the novel came out, Lisa Desrochers said his character's theme song was Brett Eldredge's "Don't Ya." I listened to the song a lot while I waited for A Little Too Hot to come out. When I finally started reading it, I pictured Harrison as less playful, more muscular, broodier Brett Eldredge. So cute!

The chemistry between Sam and Harrison was scorching, especially in the gentlemen's club scenes. **fans self** I haven't read a "falling in love with an exotic dancer" novel before and that added a bit of freshness in the story for me. Unlike the previous novels in the series, there was a mystery/suspense and a lot more unexpected twists in A Little Too Hot. The middle dragged a little bit, though, when there wasn't really anything going on to move the plot along. Then things picked up again in the last third of the book and all the excitement made up for the middle. It was also really fun trying to figure out who the "bad guy" was. I was able to figure out who it was way before the characters did, but there were still some surprises that I didn't not see coming in the end.

While A Little Too Hot wasn't my favorite in the series, it was still very, very good. I highly recommend you pick A Little Too Hot and the two previous books in the series, especially if you're a fan of new adult or contemporary romance novels. Read my enthusiastic reviews of A Little Too Far (book 1) and A Little Too Much (book 2), if you're so inclined. Bravo to Lisa Desrochers for penning such an excellent series. I cannot wait for more new adult titles by her. Seriously, NA cannot get better than this.

And if you don't believe me, here are what others are saying...
“Every page is deliciously breathtaking, wickedly sexy and sensational. A Little Too Hot is wonderfully unique and a LOT HOT! I am a HUGE Lisa Desrochers fan.”
   — Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author of Real, Mine, and Remy
“Lisa is brilliant at creating sizzling sexual tension and impossible circumstances that make the reader hold their breath all the way to happy ever after. Sam and Harrison are more than A Little Too Hot, they are scorching!"
   — Jay Crownover, New York Times bestselling author of Rule, Jet, and Rome
“Lisa Desrochers’ best yet! A Little Too Hot is hotter than hot with all the emotional punch to back it up!”
   — Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author
Read more about the A Little Too Hot on Goodreads and buy the book from

 *****

Leslie (a newbie to the series) got a chance to sit down with our leading lady, Samantha West! She got a chance to ask her some of her burning questions.

Leslie: Hi Sam! Welcome to the blog; we're so happy to have you here. We think a person's favorite movies say a lot about them. Tell us, what are your favorite movies and why?
Sam: Thanks for having me! Movies, huh? Well, my friend Katie is a classic movie buff, and she’s always dragging me to these really old movies. Some of them are actually pretty funny, like the original Frankenstein movie. I like some old movies too, but not that old. Like, The Princess Bride is a classic, right? I love that. I bust out laughing every time I watch Airplane. But if I had to pick a favorite, I guess it would be Moulin Rouge. I’m a sucker for a good tragedy. And I’ve never really thought of Ewan McGregor as hot, but holy cow…

L: If you can live off of 3 foods alone, what would those three foods be?
S: Did you know Harrison cooks? I’d eat anything he makes. =) But if I had to pick just three things (besides him ;p) I guess it would be rice crispy treats, lobster, and peppermint stick ice cream.

L: I'm about to graduate from high school in a few months and my friends and I want to make as many memories as we can. What is your favorite memory from high school?
S: Oh, man… I guess it would be when Lexie, Katie and I blew up so much stuff in chemistry lab that our teacher gave us a bill for all the beakers and test tubes we broke. We paid it in loose pennies on the last day of school.

L: What are you most grateful for?
S: Harrison. Or more accurately, that he helped me see that going through life as a total waste of space wasn’t my best choice. And great friends like Izzy, Lexie, Katie, and Jonathan, even though he’s a total goofball.

L: Inquiring minds want to know... can you please describe your ideal date?
S: Wow…that’s changed a lot in the last few months. Before, I would have said something like partying till dawn at one of Jonathan’s shows. Now, well, I told you Harrison cooks, right? I’d love to dive for Abalone with him, then have him prepare it the way he does, in some white wine sauce that is so good, and have a candlelit dinner under the stars with wine and something decadent for desert. Then we could dance, just the two of us, and afterward…well…that’s sort of private.

L: Thank you Sam for answering my questions! I wish you and Harrison all the happiness. I am currently getting acquainted with Lexie and Trent in A Little Too Far but can't wait to read your story in A Little Too Hot. We also want to say a big THANK YOU to Lisa Desrochers for making the interview with Sam possible.


About the Author
Lisa Desrochers lives in northern California with her husband, two very busy daughters, and Shini the tarantula. If you'd told her five years ago she'd write a book, she'd have laughed in your face. As it turns out, she'd owe you an apology. Writing has become an addiction for Lisa and A Little Too Far, courtesy of HarperCollins, is her first novel for adults. She is also the author of the young adult Personal Demons trilogy from Macmillan. When she's not writing, she's reading, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise.

Visit Lisa via her: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook


The Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading and good luck,
Michelle & Leslie

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hi everyone,
Welcome to our stop in the Letting Go blog tour. Letting Go is the first book (it'll be out on February 4th) in Maya Banks' new Surrender series. If you like spicy, steamy romances you can't go wrong with Maya's books. Read on for my thoughts about Letting Go, get a little peak in the short excerpt and enter to win a copy!   

Format: ARC
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 352 pages
Release Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Surrender Trilogy #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Josslyn found perfection once, and she knows she’ll never find it again. Now widowed, she seeks the one thing her beloved husband couldn’t give her. Dominance. Lonely and searching for an outlet for her grief and wanting only a brief taste of the perfection she once enjoyed, she seeks what she’s looking for at an exclusive club that caters to people indulging in their most hedonistic fantasies. She never imagined that what she’d find is the one man who’s long been a source of comfort—and secret longing. Her husband’s best friend.
Dash has lived in an untenable position for years. In love with his best friend’s wife and unwilling to act on that attraction. He’d never betray his best friend. And so he’s waited in the wings, offering Joss unconditional support and comfort as she works past her grief, hoping for the day when he can offer her more.
When he finds her in a club devoted to the darker edges of desire, he’s furious because he thinks she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Until she explains in detail what it is she wants. What she needs. As realization sets in, he is gripped by fierce, unwavering determination. If she wants dominance, he is the only man who will introduce her to that world. He is the only man who will touch her, cherish her…love her. And the only man she’ll ever submit to.




Joss has been mourning her beloved husband, Carson, for three years. She loved him with all her heart but it was time to move on and live her life. And also seek the one thing her husband couldn't give her: Joss wanted a dominant man to her submissive. She never thought she'd find it in her husband's best friend and business partner, Dash.

I have enjoyed Maya Banks' novels in the past, especially her KGI series. I haven't read many of her spicier novels and I was a little apprehensive because I usually stay away from books with a Dominant/submissive relationship. But since I basically read anything and everything with a friends-to-lovers trope that I come across (it's one of my very favorites!), I eagerly picked up Letting Go.

The verdict? Pretty good!

Like I said, Letting Go has a friends-to-lovers theme. Joss and Dash have been friends for years--Dash was Carson's best friend and the person who held and comforted Joss since her husband's untimely death. Joss never suspecting that Dash has been in love with her for years.

Dash was the most... I want to say warmest Dominant I've read. I don't usually pick up books with D/s relationships because the hero comes across as too alpha and too cold and rub against my feminist sensibilities the wrong way (even with reassurances that in a true D/s  relationships the female holds as much power as the male, etc., etc.). But Dash was loving and sweet and took care of Joss, who herself was such a sweetheart. The chemistry between them was hot. While the smexy times weren't anything that I haven't already come across before, they were steamy. You're going to want to read this one with a cold drink.

I also liked that both Joss and Dash had a very good relationship with Carson. Often in romance the deceased husband or the ex-husband is horrible human being. But it was the opposite in Letting Go, as both Joss and Dash both loved Carson. That gave the story a freshness for me.

My one big issue with Letting Go, though, was the dialogue. I did feel that the dialogue between Joss and Dash and their inner thoughts grew very repetitive in the first third of the novel. They did have some issues they had to work out in the beginning for their relationship to start on even footing, but having the same conversation many times over really slowed the pacing of the novel and my eyes glazed at some points.

Whilst I do have that one big issue with Letting Go, there were many things I liked about it and I enjoyed reading it on the whole. It is a great start to the series. I'm definitely excited to read the other two books featuring Joss and Dash's friends. Pick up Letting Go by Maya Banks for a steamy weekend read. 

Excerpt

Pre-order/buy Letting Go from
or you can try your luck below and win a copy


About the Author
Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today and bestselling author of the Surrender Trilogy. Her other chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and Scottish historical romance. She lives in the South with her husband, three children and a variety of pets. Visit her online at www.mayabanks.com, www.facebook.com/AuthorMayaBanks, and twitter.com/maya_banks.







Giveaway
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Good luck and happy reading,
Michelle

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekly Round-up + New Books

Saturday, January 25, 2014 with
Hello everyone,
We had three posts this week. In case you missed any of them, here they are...

We started the week with my review of one of my favorite reads of 2013.
Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

The book I coveted this week was #16ThingsIThoughtWereTrue because contemporary YA! road trip! enemies-to-friends! all of which are some of my favorite things.
Book I Covet: #16ThingsIThoughtWere True by Janet Gurtler

And then I blogged about one of my reading goals this year where I finally read the series books I've been collecting/hoarding in the last two years.
In Which Michelle Plans to Read YA Series/Trilogies in 2014

For next week we will have two awesome blog tours going on: I will be posting my review of Maya Banks' new steamy romance Letting Go on Tuesday. On Wednesday my review of Lisa Desrochers' A Little Too Hot (yep, another steamy one!) and Leslie's Q+A with ALTH's heroine Samantha West will be up. For the other days of the week, we will have other YA related posts if you're not into steamy reads.

Don't forget to enter our Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer giveaway (one winner will win BOTH books)--less than week left to get your entries in! Our Roomies giveaway ended yesterday and we'll be announcing the winner of next week.

Here are the new books we got this week.

Physical ARCs for Review
Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
A big thank you to Macmillan and Ksenia for these.

Via Netgalley/Edelweiss
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Recklessly Royal by Nichole Chase
Dash of Peril by Lori Foster

Purchased E-books
Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell
In Bed with Mr. Wrong by Katee Robert
I couldn't resist getting these two because they're only 99 cents.

What new books did you guys get? We wanna see! Leave your STS* link so I can come gush over them.

Happy reading,
Michelle

*Stacking the Shelves, or STS, is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hello fellow bookaholics,
Since I graduated and is currently unemployed, I have been reading A LOT. Yay!! Not having a job? Not so yay... But let's focus on books because thinking about being unemployed depresses me.

I'm very excited about my reading goal for this year, which is to start some of the most talked about series of 2012 and 2013 that I missed out on in the last two years. Why start those series now? Well, I purposely avoided staring some of the popular series and trilogies many of you guys are reading last year because

1. Waiting up to a year for follow-up books is torturous, especially if the author is evil and ends the novel in an awful cliff-hanger.

2. By the time book 2 comes out, I've already forgotten what happened in book 1 and I don't have time to re-read.

 But now is the PERFECT time to start them because many final books in those awesome series/trilogies are being released this year. No more [or less] waiting in between books!


I've read ten books so far (which is really good for a slow reader like me) this January and I started two new series: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and Defiance by C.J. Redwine.

I LOVED Under the Never Sky. Now I know why people are crazy about Perry and his berries!
**swoon**
Unto Through the Never Night!!

I am less enthused about Defiance. There was a lot of action so I wouldn't say I was bored exactly but it was so long--too long. Things were happening but the main plot wasn't moving fast enough. I also didn't really connect with Rachel, which didn't help. But overall Defiance was good enough that I am planning to read book 2.

Other series I'm hoping to start this year include:

Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society trilogy

Gayle Forman's Just One Day duology

Diana Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows the Stars series

Michelle Hodkin's Mara Dyer trilogy

Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms quartet

Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade trilogy

Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy

Just to name a few...

Wish me luck,
Michelle

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

3 Reasons I Covet this Book:
1. Cannot get enough YA contemporary.
2. Road trip!
3. Morgan falls for a boy she initially dislikes (love this romance trope!).

Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty sweet...in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue

With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.

16 Things I Thought Were True will be released on March 4, 2014. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.


What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us 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, January 21, 2014

Format: e-ARC
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 374 pages
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Source of my copy: publisher via Netgalley
Series: Starbound #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.



These Broken Stars was one of the last books I've read in 2013 and it was awesome to end the year with such an excellent novel.

Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen were both on board the Icarus, a luxury spaceliner. Lilac was the daughter of the Icarus' owner and Tarver was a decorated soldier from a middle-class family. The first time the two of them met, they both came away with less than favorable impressions of each other. But when the Icarus ran into mysterious trouble, they found themselves on the same pod, and after crash landing on an strange uninhabited planet, they have to work together to find if there were other survivors and to find rescue.

Readers get to know Lilac and Tarver really well because the novel is written in a dual narrative, which I really appreciated. I loved having insight to both characters and I became really invested in both of them. I especially enjoyed Lilac's growth in the novel. As a pampered heiress, she was no damsel in distress. She was determined to keep up with Tarver as they navigated through the rough terrain, in a ball gown (see book cover) and high heels no less! Tarver, a seasoned soldier, was at his element, having the skills in survival but he had his own challenges. Both characters were endearingly flawed and I rooted for them both.

Crash landing on a deserted planet, for a huge chunk of the novel it was just the two of them--they struggled, they fought with each other, they triumphed and they slowly grew to like, respect and eventually fall in love. I love how their relationship developed, the chemistry between them and the slow burn of their falling in love. Although the time frame was only about few weeks, with everything they went through, their love was believable and beautiful.

The world building was excellently done as well. I could clearly picture the world the authors created in my head--the luxurious spaceship, the mysterious planet's varied terrains, the eerie crash site when Lilac and Tarver reached it, among others. It sort of played like a movie in my head in Avatar-ish quality.

Once I started reading These Broken Stars it was hard to stop. The story, fraught with danger, survival and action, was very addicting. The novel was excellently written with distinctive characters, great world building and a beautiful love story. As soon as I finished reading it, I had the urge to read it again because I was not ready to leave Lilac and Tarver behind just yet. I was so happy to learn that there will be companion novels to follow up These Broken Stars. Pick this novel up--These Broken Stars is not to be missed! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Weekly Round-up + New Books

Saturday, January 18, 2014 with
Hello everyone,
We had a busy week here on the blog. Here are the linkages from this week, in case you missed them:

Review: See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne
Book I Covet: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Lunar Chronicles Series: Why You Need To Read It + Win Cinder and Scarlet << GIVEAWAY ALERT!!
Review: Three Broken Promises by Monica Murphy

Here are the new books we got.

Physical Books
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (for review)
>>A retelling of Peter Pan where Peter is a surfer--sounds freakin' awesome!<<
The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler (for review)
>>Excited to dive into this feel-good MG. Love the cover!<<

E-galleys via Netgalley & Edelweiss
Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
Rebel by Amy Tintera

Waiting on You (Blue Heron #3) by Kristan Higgins
>>Higgins' books are always such a treat. Love the Blue Heron series.<<
Texas Hold 'Em by Christie Craig

Undone by Shannon Richards
Saving Quinton by Jessica Sorensen
Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith

What new books did you guys get? We wanna see! Leave your STS* link so I can come gush over them.

Happy reading,
Michelle & Leslie

*Stacking the Shelves, or STS, is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Format: e-ARC
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 304 pages
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Source of my copy: publisher via Edelweiss
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Commitment. That’s what I really want from Colin. Ever since my brother, Danny, died in Iraq, Colin’s done so much to help me, including giving me a job at his popular restaurant so I can leave my crappy waitressing job at the strip joint. But lying in bed with him every night to comfort him from his horrible nightmares isn’t enough anymore. I know he feels guilty about Danny’s death, about not going to Iraq, but I can’t keep living this double life.
I love him desperately, but he’s got so many demons, and if he can’t open up to me now, then he’ll never be the real partner I need him to be. I gave him a month, and now I’m out of here. If he truly loves me like he says, he knows where to find me.



I really enjoyed One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend (they weren't the best NA I've read but they were super addicting and I gobbled both up one after the other). I was expecting that same addicting readability in Three Broken Promises.

Sadly, it was not so.

We met Colin and Jen, the two main characters of Three Broken Promises, in Second Chance Boyfriend and there were some big sparks between the two of them. It was hinted that they share a history that had to do with Jen's brother. I was dying to know more and when I learned that Colin and Jen were getting their own book, I was really excited.

As soon as I saw Three Broken Promises on Edelweiss I pounced and as soon as I got approved, I started reading. But I quickly grew frustrated and annoyed; I wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall. The story didn't go anywhere. The entire novel was basically the following over and over:

Jen: I'm leaving because I'm tired of Colin's charity.

Colin: I want Jen to stay.

Make-out session.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Like in the previous books in the series, we have alternating first person point of view. I really like dual POVs in books and I looked forward to getting into the head of both characters. But Colin and Jen... ARGH!!... Jen made some really dumb decisions. I wanted to slap some sense into this girl--I'm surprised she's still alive because she really had no common sense. As for Colin, his reason for not telling Jen his true feelings for her was lame and weak. Really, all of their problems would have been quickly resolved if they just sat down and talked. Instead there was no communication and the same issues just went around and around and nowhere.

I was bored after the first few chapters. I only reason whey I didn't DNF this book was sheer stubbornness for wanting to finish every book I start. And I might also have some tiny hope that Colin and Jen might finally sit down and talk and they'll redeem themselves in the last third of the book.

Nope. Didn't happen.

By the time they got around to finally talking, I was over it and stopped caring.

I don't know if I'm going to read the next full book in the series (which will focus on Fable's brother) after this one. However, I am not giving up on Monica Murphy just yet. I may not continue with this series but I am going to try her other series called the Billionaire Bachelors Club.

Skip Three Broken Promises.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Hello fellow YA enthusiasts,
Have we got a treat for you today! We are part of the Scarlet Paperback Blog Tour--yes, Scarlet, book 2 of that awesome series written by Marissa Meyer, will be out in paperback on February 4th.

You all might've read my very enthusiastic reviews of Cinder and Scarlet (and I'll be reviewing Cress soon--spoiler alert: I loved it!). Yeah, they're that good! The Lunar Chronicles series is seriously one of the best YA series out there... think of your favorite YA series ever. Uh-huh, Lunar Chronicles series is right up there with the series you're thinking of.

I cannot push this series enough to people. If you haven't read it yet, run to your nearest library or bookstore (or try your luck below and enter to win a copy of Cinder and Scarlet) and start binge reading. Trust me and you'll thank me later.

Okay, here are the covers again in all their glory.

But Leslie, you say, give me one really good reason why I should read the Lunar Chronicles.

Okay.

How about this.

If you need more reasons why you need to start reading the Lunar Chronicles series, visit the other stops in the blog tour.

For more Lunar Chronicles goodness. Check these out!
Join the Scarlet Readathon! (It's not too late!)

Now for the giveaway. One lucky reader of our blog will Cinder and Scarlet--if you already own them, enter anyway and if you win, pass them on to your friend. Share the Lunar Chronicles love!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy reading,
Leslie

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

If you search "Miranda Kenneally" on our nifty search box on the right sidebar there you'll see that I love Miranda's books and she's been a guest here on our blog multiple times. So, yeah, it's no surprise that I covet Breathe, Annie, Breathe (book 5 in the Hundred Oaks series).

Eighteen-year-old Annie Winters can barely run a mile without wheezing. Still, she’s training to run the Music City Marathon in seven short months. Running is so not her thing, but she has to finish what her boyfriend started… before he died.

Annie feels guilt that she’s still alive and blames herself for his death. Plus, training gives her something to do, it’s a distraction. So is Jeremiah Brown.

He’s an adrenaline junkie who runs marathons backwards. He flirts with Annie on the trails and it makes her feel alive and happy and guilty all at the same time. She wants to both race into his arms and sprint in the opposite direction – because loving is a risk she’s not sure she’s ready to take again…

Breathe, Annie, Breathe will be released on July 1, 2014. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.



What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us 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, January 13, 2014

Format: e-ARC
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 288 pages
Release Date: January 7, 2013
Source of my copy: publisher via Netgalley
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
I know who you are.
When Riley first gets the postcard tucked into her bag, she thinks it's a joke. Then she finds a birth certificate for a girl named Jane Elizabeth O'Leary hidden inside her baby book.
Riley's parents have always been pretty overprotective. What if it wasn't for her safety...but fear of her finding out their secret? What have they been hiding? The more Riley digs for answers, the more questions she has.
The only way to know the truth? Find out what happened to Jane O'Leary.



I was excited to read See Jane Run because the plot kind of reminded me of Caroline B. Cooney's The Face on the Milk Carton, which I read and remember enjoying a lot in middle school.

See Jane Run was a fairly quick read but I had issues with this book. I read it all the way through and the build up was good--the plot kept me guessing and forming theories and explanations in my head. But the way it concluded was kind of a let down and everything was tied up too neatly.

I didn't connect with any of the characters, especially Riley. She was too quick to jump to the conclusion that her parents kidnapped her. Really? She couldn't give the people who took care of her, loved her and provided for her the benefit of the doubt? Sure, they're weirdly overprotective, reluctant to give her answers and gave her dubious anxiety pills but I still felt bad for her parents. Also, Riley was eighteen (seventeen?) years old in the story but some of her immature actions and thought processes... the whole time I was reading I saw her as someone younger. Fourteen or fifteen maybe.

Then, at different points of the novel we were introduced to these suspicious sinister-seeming adults and I kept waiting for their characters to be realized but they just kind of fizzled out. It felt like they were just there with the sole purpose of having as many suspects as possible to confuse the reader and not necessarily because they add to the plot.

See Jane Run kept me guessing so I was able to finish reading the novel but I had too many issues with it to give a strong recommendation. But if you're a fan of suspenseful YA you might just like this one. Borrow it from the library.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Our First Book Haul of 2014: YAY for New Books!

Saturday, January 11, 2014 with
Hello everyone,
This is our first StS/Sunday Post of 2014! Yay! We love new books.

Here are the two posts we had this week.

E-galleys via Edelweiss and Netgalley
The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson
The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark
Royally Lost by Angie Stanton
17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Romance Is My Day Job: A Memoir of Finding Love at Last by Patience Bloom

Physical Books
Letting Go by Maya Banks (ARC for review)
Ink by Amanda Sun (via Harlequin Teen Panel)
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle (won)
The Wavering Werewolf by David Lubar (unsolicited)
Fire by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg (ARC for review)

I also have a few romance books via Edelweiss and Netgalley that I got from 2013 that I didn't get a chance to feature on an StS post because I was in the Philippines. 
Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis
Bare Essentials by Jill Shalvis and Leslie Kelly
Savor by Monica Murphy

A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers
(I'll 
The Bad Boy Billionaire's Wicked Arrangement by Maya Rodale

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney
(I don't usually read non-fiction but I relate to Heaney so I had to check it out.)
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

What new books did you guys get? We wanna see! Leave your STS/Sunday Post link so I can come gush over them.

Happy reading,
Michelle & Leslie

**Stacking the Shelves, or STS, is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hello everyone,
I'm back from the Philippines! I will be doing a post about my trip (with pictures!) and the books I read during my stay there next week.

Today I'm doing my Roomies post. Perhaps you've seen Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando's new novel Roomies around? It came out on Dec. 24th. If you haven't here's the synopsis:


It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.
In celebration of the recent release of Roomies, the awesome folks at Little Brown Books/Hachette asked that we share a roomie story and I definitely have one... or twenty. I lived in student housing during my undergrad and grad school years and, unfortunately, I have really bad luck with roommates.

In my last semester of grad school I lived in a 2-bedroon suite with two other girls. The two girls were assigned to share one bedroom while I was to share the other one with another girl. But two months into the semester no one moved in with me so I thought I got lucky and have to room to myself for the rest of the semester. Wrong.

Veronica* moved in a couple of days before Halloween and things were okay for a couple of days. And then it was bad. I said she could use my dish soap and she ended up using all of it. She left dirty dishes in the sink for days and days, especially the "community" pots and pans that everyone in the suite uses. And when she finally did the dishes, she leaves food scraps in the sink. Veronica didn't clean up after she cooks. She fries a lot so the stove was always greasy or dotted with sauce. Of course all the mess in the kitchen attracted ants. Argh!

She used so MUCH of toilet paper (toilet paper she didn't contribute any money to)--before she moved in a jumbo roll of toilet paper lasted a week and a half among the three of us. With her, a jumbo roll only lasted three days at the most. When she defrosted her meats she lets the sink run for 30 to 40 minutes, which annoyed me to no end because how wasteful is that!? I told her leaving her frozen meats in warm water and changing it every ten minutes works just as well. Veronica disagreed.

And she was in  our room ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME playing noisy video games or talking to her long-distance boyfriend. On weekdays, I worked two part-time jobs along with taking classes so I would leave at 7 AM and not come home until 8 PM. She'd be there when I leave in the morning and be still in the room when I get home at night. She hardly goes out in the weekends either. This girl is driving me nuts and I never got a break from her.

I was hoping my other roommates would say something because I know she was driving them nuts as well. Nope. Telling her our problems with her fell to awkward, passive-not-very-aggressive, non-confrontational me. One night I finally said all the things (after giving her the silent treatment for two weeks hoping she'd get it). There was a lot of crying (Veronica) and a lot of guilt (me). And then she was good. Well, at least in the kitchen. For a whole week. Then, she went back to her old ways. But by then I was just over it and just counted down to the days til the semester ended and I graduate and will never have to deal with her again.

Sigh.

Hopefully, I'll never be desperate enough have to live in student housing again.

*****
Now, for the fun part! One lucky reader of our blog will win a copy of Roomies! Enter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The authors of Roomies, Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando, will be on tour starting this coming Saturday! Check it out!
January 12, 2014 – New York, NY: McNally Jackson
January 15, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT: The King's English
January 16, 2014 – Provo, UT: Provo Library
February 4, 2014 – San Francisco, CA: Books Inc, Opera Plaza
February 5, 2015 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield's Books

You all can read more about Roomies on the LB Teen page.

Good luck everyone,
Michelle

*name has been changed