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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Caraval ~Review



“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.” 





Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.


There was a lot of hype going around for this book. A LOT of hype. So I was a little nervous about whether or not I would like it and if it lived up to the hype it was getting. All in all...... it did. I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. The writing was superb and I need to look up more of Stephanie Garber. The way she effortlessly described the vividness of Caraval is so incising, you cant help but eagerly flip through the pages. I loved this story and look forward to seeing more of Garber's works. 

I knew very little when I entered this book and I couldn't have been more pleased with the results. If I'm being honest with myself, I picked up Caraval because of the serious hype surrounding it. Let's admit it, there was a TON of hype, and fortunately, I received Caraval in my February Owlcrate box. The hype, in my opinion was well deserved. I couldn't put this one down. I read the whole book in one evening.

The characters were so easy to picture in my head and I fell in love with them! (No surprise there) Caraval is a place I would love to go to, especially for the dresses! TO DIE FOR! What I really did love about the was Garber handled magic in her book, is that it all comes with a price. I definitely respected that element and thought it brought more to the plot. 

If you haven't read Caraval yet, I highly recommend you grab a ticket and line up for Caraval. Still feeling the love from this book! 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

After ~Review




“Just because he can't love you the way you want him to doesn't mean he does't love you with everything he has.' Liam says.” 








Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way. 

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to. 

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before. 

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn't the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper. 

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her? 

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER ... Life will never be the same.


When reading the back of the book, I was expecting the college romance with the bad boy..........Though I did get just that.... I did not like this book. I feel bad saying that, but I really just had several problems with the whole story. 

I'm a sucker for the bad boy/ good girl trope. I mean have you seen the books I've read? I love that trope and it's honestly one of my trigger words. But when I started reading this book, it wasn't what I wanted. Even still..... I trucked through it to the end. Bad Idea. It just got worse. 

I liked Hardin..... I think. Really I just liked the idea of him, the cocky British bad boy, I mean that is hot with a capital H O T. In any other story, I would probably really love him as a character. But the things he does in this book. It is terrible! It's abusive and I couldn't handle it. He took the bad boy motif to the extreme and it was uncomfortable. 

I cant say Tessa was much better. I can understand the appeal of the bad boy, but what she does in the story is almost as bad as Hardin. Maybe I'm reading too much into it and taking it all too sensitively. But I don't know. I just had a lot of unhappy feelings about this book. I don't think I'll continue the series, but I'm not going to say never. 

This was a big book (582 pages) with an interesting synopsis that got my attention, with so many pages that had so much promise..... but everything just rubbed me the wrong way. I would recommend reading at your own risk on this one....... if you start to feel uncomfortable.... don't continue reading..... it just gets worse. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Princess Saves Herself in This One ~Review



“repeat after me:
you owe
no one
your forgiveness. 

- except maybe yourself.” 








"Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we're off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales."


A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations. 



I like poetry. Let me rephrase that.... I like some poetry. Sometimes a poem just drags on and on and there is too much analyzing you have to do in order to be able to enjoy it. I read for fun, not for hard work. 

That being said, I did enjoy this little book of poems. It's super quick and easy to get through, with words and phrasing that don't require an English degree to understand. I left the book feeling empowered. I felt like a queen and as if life wasn't as bad as people made it out to be in the end. 

I liked being able to put myself in Amanda Lovelace's head. The way she described things made it not only personal to herself, but broad enough to reach out to others. 

I really enjoyed reading this. It's 156 pages, but only 30 at most, words per page. It was a quick read and well worth it. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone needing a boost of motivation. You are a queen! 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Heartbreakers ~Review


"The world moves fast, changing everything
around us with each new day. 
Photography is a gift that can
keep us in a moment forever,
blissfully eternal."




Back of Book:
"When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."
Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD...for four hours. She's totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she'll never see him again.
Except, Stella's life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?
But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?

What more can you ask for in a book? I am a photographer myself, just as Stella is, so I found her extremely relatable. Even if she wasn't a photographer, she is still pretty relatable to most people.

I enjoyed how Stella was so uninterested in the bad that her sister adored, until she met Oliver. I love the name Oliver, I just think it is the perfect guy name.

This story had a pretty heavy topic underneath the light romance. Cancer is something hard to deal with. Novak did a great job of handling it. The book wasn't overly sad or overly happy, it was the perfect medium.

Oliver was kind of a butt for a bit of the book. What he does to Stella was annoying. But that's okay. I still loved this book. I do like Novak's other book My Life with the Walter Boys, better. But that is probably because I have a think for big family books.

This one also included some family in the mix which I always appreciate in a book! How could you not? I mean, family is part of everyone's lives and it just adds more realism to the book.

I really enjoyed this book, it was cute and definitely a book you can read to make you feel good or get out of a reading slump.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Lovely Reckless ~Review



"Winning is easier when
you've got nothing to lose."




Back of Book:
I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.


Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?



So..... I made a realization in this book......... I have a thing for bad boys. How much badder can you get that a street racing badass? Not much more in my books. I loved Marco, I loved his personality, his demeanor, his dialogues, his looks. Definitely a great character through and through!

Frankie was in a weird situation. Moving schools, her dad's occupation is a whole other can of worms, and Marco. I loved Frankie and Marco. I loved how stubborn Frankie was and how determined she was to do her own thing.

The street racing scene isn't something I've read abut before. I didn't entirely understand the concept until reading this book. It was intriguing and interesting, I would definitely be interested in reading similar books, if anyone has a recommendation.

This book was a page turner, it was so easy to read through it in one siting, flipping pages excitedly. I was on the edge of the seat most of the time. This is a fantastic book! I loved it and know you will to. I highly recommend this to anyone seeking a little thrill

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Stolen Songs ~Review



*****Interview with the author below*****

"What about you, Kingsley? What are your dreams?"

He shrugs his shoulders. "I'm still in the process."
"Of what?"
"Dreaming."


One of the best books I've read this year. Period. End of Review. Talk to you alter.

Just kidding.... 
I do have things to say but first....


Back of The Book: 
Maddison is a survivor. An unstable childhood has taught her to depend on no one but herself, which is exactly how she’s gotten to where she is today. With a scholarship to one of the most prestigious schools in the country, she’s finally able to settle into one location until she graduates. But with foster parents hooked on drugs, Maddison is forced to steal to make ends meet, not only for herself but her foster siblings.


Kingsley is filthy rich. An only child, he lives with a mother who is dependent on alcohol, a father who doesn’t talk to him, and his chef, the only real family he has. His life changes when he overhears Maddison playing the cello. She’s snappy, hot, and wants nothing to do with him, and he’s obsessed. As they spend time together, she begins to lower her guard. She’s everything he needs, everything he wants, and for the first time, he’s able to tell someone about his past. Everything is perfect. Until he ruins it.


STOLEN SONGS is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story of letting go of your past when it means taking hold of your future, finding strength in your mistakes, and giving everything you’ve got to heal the ones you’ve broken.


*CONTENT WARNING: Contains profanity, sex, and drug abuse.
***
I have read my fair share of contemporary YA romances and honestly, I was expecting a lot of cliche tropes to be thrown in. I mean we have all seen the bad boy good girl, or bad girl good boy. It's not that original..... So not what this book was. It wasn't even close to my familiar YA contemporary romance. 
I really loved this book. It was so easy to understand and fly through. Literally.... fly through. When I sat down with this novel, I only anticipated reading a few pages before actually being productive for the day.....That didn't happen. I sat down and read the whole thing. Honestly, I even forgot I was reading. It felt like watching a movie. Which only the best books can do. 

The plot is captivating, the characters are personable and imperfect. (Which, imperfect character make the best characters. Who wants to read about perfect people with perfect lives? No one. ever.) There was a roller coaster of emotions throughout the entire novel, not gunna lie. I definitely shed a few tears throughout this story. Both happy and sad tears, depending on the situation. I loved the dual perspective, getting to read from Kingsley's perspective and Maddison's perspective. I always feel like I'm in on a secret when reading something our other character doesn't know. HAHA. Am I the only one that feels that way?

Armstrong made a very delightful twist to our popular, classical ya musician with a shady backstory genre, that was refreshing and dare I say, better than most novels with the character as a musician. She did very well with every music scene being different from the other. While music is at the heart of the book, there were so many other elements that were critical to the story. 

Yes, the music is a really important part, but there were so many other things that shaped the characters and drove the plot. Many of them I wasn't actually expecting. I'm really good at guessing the plot twists, really good. But this book..... I couldn't keep up and that's the way it should have been. I loved this story and cant wait till the sequel is released! 

This was Samantha Armstrong's debut novel and she couldn't have entered the stage with a bigger bang than this one. I would definitely recommend picking this one up if you are looking for something that's suck you in from the first page. 

**********************************************************************************************
calligraphy-fonts


1. What started your interest in writing? 

You’ve probably heard this a million times, but I’ve always been an avid reader. My mom’s a bookaholic. Literally. But my earliest memory of reading was when I was about five or six. I would stay at my grandparent's house all the time, and one day my popa (Grandad) said to me I wasn’t allowed to stay at his house again until I learned how to read. Well, I think I stayed the night the next week! Since then I’ve always loved reading. I never knew I wanted to be a writer. I’m twenty-three now, and up until the age of twenty-one, I had no clue of what I wanted to do. I remember just after my twenty-first birthday I had an idea that I wanted to write a book. I told my boyfriend, and he told me to go for it. So I started writing, and I wasn’t able to stop. 

2. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I went through a bit of writing slump after publishing my debut. My head was all over the place focusing on promotion and watching the sales numbers. I'm glad that initial launch period is over now though and I'm back to writing around 2000 words a day. 


3. How did you come up with the plot for Stolen Songs? 

The first thing I came up with was a word, and that kicked started it all. Can you guess what word that was? Kingsley says it three times. ;) After that the rest was history. The plot just unfolded all by itself. None of it is relevant to my life whatsoever! I’m a complete nana, I don’t even drink, and rarely curse. Can you believe it?

4. Reading Stolen Songs, there were scenes that made me cry. What is the first book that made you cry?

I’ve actually never cried in a book before. Not even my own! However, I’m currently writing something that is going to make me cry soon because it is something very close to me. 

5. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Doubt. I get in writing slumps whenever I’m feeling down, and doubting my abilities as a writer. I’m my own worst critic.
Also, the summer doesn’t help. I love writing in winter when you can curl up by a fire, and it’s raining outside. In Summer, it’s too hot and much better to be outside than holed up inside. 

6. Who/what is your biggest inspiration when writing? 

My biggest inspiration is Colleen Hoover. I just love her. All of her stories move me so much, and I hope that one day I will be able to write stories just as powerful! But day by day, I would have to say my biggest inspiration is my boyfriend, his motivation and belief in me is what keeps me going. 

7. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Do not listen to everyone! Being a first-time writer, you always doubt yourself, I still do, but when you’re getting your work beta read or edited, you tend to listen to every single person. Everyone in the world has an opinion, and you can’t agree with them all. At the end of the day you have to go with your gut, and it’s okay to say no to suggestions. 

8. What advice do you have for aspiring authors? 

Listen to your gut, and do not give up. It is easy to get discouraged. I still do, but the key to being successful at anything is to never give up! Just continue to put words down day after day.

9. If there was one song to describe Maddison's personality, which would it be and why?

I immediately thought of this song, just because of Lindsey Stirling. In this video clip, she reminds me so much of Maddy, her style, her sass, and she just looks so tough. 


I also think the lyrics are quite true to Maddy, as in she’s radioactive. She’s so determined to make a better life for herself, I get the same feeling when I watch the video clip to this video. 


10. If there was one song to describe Kingsley's personality, which would it be and why?

This one was hard. Nothing came to me straight away, but as I looked at my playlist I thought the lyrics to this song were quite appropriate. 

11. How did you come up with the characters in Stolen Songs? What process did you go through to determine names and personalities?

Characters usually come to me before the plot when I’m writing a novel, and Maddison and Kingsley came so naturally. Their personalities are so bold, they were easy to create. To find names, I usually just search names on Google and read a bunch of them until one sticks out. When I came across Kingsley I instantly fell in love with it, but it didn’t feel like a first name, and that’s when I decided it for his last name, and nickname. 


12. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I didn’t really know how to answer this question so I took a quiz online, and it says I’m a snake, so I guess I’ll go with that. :)

13. In Stolen Songs, the way you describe Maddison's love for music is so lyrical, do you yourself play any instruments? 

No, I wish I did! I actually really want to learn how to play the piano and cello, and I will! I put it on my goal list for the year but so far haven’t reached it yet. ;) But I’ve been surrounded with music my whole life. Many of my family members and friends are very talented at playing instruments and singing. That’s probably where the music side of it stemmed from. 


14. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Honestly, I think if you know your character well enough it should be easy. I didn’t really run into any troubles that I can remember. 

15. What did you edit out of this book?

Not anything significant. I had such a clear picture from the start, everything was kind of important so I didn’t cut out any big scenes. Thankfully. I’ve had to cut chapters in previous books and it’s like death!

16. Is your sequel also going to center around Maddison and Kingsley? Or will it center around other characters? 

Of course the sequel will center around M & K! I have to conclude their story, or I’m sure I’ll get a lot of hate. There a quite a few new characters, though. Which is fun! 


17. Without giving too many spoilers, what can we expect in the sequel? 

A lot more music. More boys. More drama. It’s too hard not to give spoilers, but let me leave you with one word from Kingsley: Fuck. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Love, Lucy ~Review


"Lucy looked away, over to the sun-drenched piazza, 
then back into Jesse's smiling face, 
into hi warm, searching eyes,
and the words came to her. "




Back of Book:
While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse have to be, does it?

In this stunning novel, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

Vacation Flirtation is probably one of my favorite book genres. Yes, I think I just names my own genre, but you all know what kind of books fall into this one, the main character goes off on vacation or travels somewhere new and they mean someone along the way and BAM, a quick little relationship that may or may not continue on past the arrival home. Yes.... THOSE books.

Anyway, I kinda have a special place in my heart for those books. This one falls into that spot. I loved Lucy. LOVED her. She was sweet and relatable. She is far more adventurous than I could ever be. But frankly, she sucks at negotiating. The Europe trip was at the expense of something she loved which was BS.

Her father wasn't really someone I liked. I mean, I understood his points, but I did not agree with them. Moving on.....

Lucy meets this guy Jesse and OMG, I loved him! He was perfect. A gentleman that I couldn't help but adore. I feel like this book did a great job of showing the beauty and culture of Europe and I couldn't help but wish to go one day.
What I like and dislike at the same time about Vacation Flirtation books, it they half it. Half the book is in the vacation spot and the second half is back home. I HATE that they have to leave the magical vacation destination. But then I kinda love seeing the in their every day lives.

I enjoyed following Lucy around and going through the love and heartbreak and love that she goes through. The ending made me smile the most. this was a pretty cute summer romance book to get you out of a book slump. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Never Never Part 3 ~Review


"Trust your gut.
Not your hear, because it's a people pleaser,
and not your brain, because it relies too heavily on logic."


Back of Book:
Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything.


Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

What...... No way...... this.... what..... Okay.

This series was fantastic! I wouldn't expect anything less from Colleen Hoover. This Tarryn Fisher chick was pretty awesome too and I'm definitely going to have to look into her writing a little more.

A constant mystery, I kept trying to figure it all out, but there were so many twists and turns, I honestly had to give up the guessing an just go with the flow.

These books are tiny, super easy to get through and so fast paced, it's easy to finish in one sitting. The character development was amazing! I mean, we knew more than the characters did most of the time, but the way they kept building off of themselves was great. I definitely recommend this series to anyone and everyone. How can you not love these!

Tarryn Fisher, I'm looking you up. Be warned. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Never Never Part 2 ~Review



"Until then, never lose hope. 
Never stop loving me. 
Never forget.
Never Never."



Back of book:
“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last.

And never stop loving me between all of them.
Never stop, Charlie.
Never forget.”



Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can't imagine, beckons to be found. 
“Where are you, Charlie?”


I know these reviews aren't very long, but each Never Never  book is super short. I loved these. It had me flipping through pages quickly. How could I help myself? I NEEDED to know what happened. You think book 2 will clear some things.

IT DOES NOT. If anything, I am more confused than I was before.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Never Never Part 1 ~Review



"I may not remember anything about her, 
but I would bet her smile was
my favorite part of her."





Back of Book:

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.


Complete strangers since this morning.

He'll do anything to remember. She'll do anything to forget.


What is going on? This is not the Colleen Hoover book I know...... Who is Tarryn Fisher? What am I reading? Why cant I put this down? Why is this so addicting?

Everything you think you are expecting from this book.....isn't correct. This was completely unexpected. When I picked it up, I was thinking, oh yeah Colleen Hoover, my fav author, this is going to be great. It is great, don't get me wrong...... but I was not expecting this.

I cant same much or it will give it away. But this series will leave you second guessing till the very end!