Friday, August 15, 2014

Six Strings by Jen Sanya Williamson

YA sci-fi romance


Riley Witt is running out of time.

Battling Alzheimer’s disease, Riley’s grandmother Mary suffers from memory loss, mood swings, and a tendency to wander off.

As senior year approaches, Riley has to face the reality that the one person she depends on most is slowly fading. Making matters worse, when Mary does remember the past, she tells tales of time travel and visions. As Mary’s version of the past gets more confused, Riley knows they are running out of time together.

But when Riley discovers a guitar belonging to a famous rock star at Mary’s house, the truth behind the crazy tales finally comes out.

SIX STRINGS tells the story of Riley’s journey back to 1973 where she enters a world of music, long-lost family, and first love. Her adventure is all about discovering her past, understanding her present, and figuring out how to step into her future.

Time travel stories (especially ones involving love) can sometimes go awry, especially because there's so many of them out there. It takes a certain spark to make one stand out in the crowd, and for me, that spark was Mary. I immediately found myself sympathizing with Riley, whose beloved grandmother is descending into Alzheimer's. When I was a senior in high school, my grandfather (whom I was very close to) was also suffering from Alzheimer's, so I could completely relate. It's terrifying when someone you've known your whole life goes through days when he/she can no longer recognize you.

Riley's story goes from there. I loved all the characters in the present: her dorky father, strict mother, and loyal best friend (who might also be in love with her!!). Her adventure to the 1970's gives us a whole new set of character, including a grandfather she never had the chance to know, an arrogant musician who turns out to be Riley's real father, and Lucas, another musician who might be the one for Riley ... if only he wasn't living 30 some odd years in the past! There is also a teenage version of Riley's mother -- who behaves very, very teenagerish indeed. 

I'm really interested to see where this series will go, especially with the growing relationship between Riley and Lucas. I also kind of adored Nathan, Riley's 'platonic' best friend, and want to see how/if that relationship develops as well. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

YA Fantasy

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

I read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children a few years ago with my book club. I was ambivalent about the book -- I liked the idea of shaping a novel around found antique pictures, but there was something a bit too creative writing workshoppy about it. I felt the pictures drove the plot, rather than the characters' motivations, and that isn't a great thing.

I found myself liking Hollow City a  lot more. Place has a lot to do with it -- the children are thrust into 1940's wartime Britain, and the dangers are both real (falling bombs) and fantastical (wights and hollows). On the way, the gang meets more peculiar children (they actually seem to be everywhere, which was a bit implausible, but whatever), discover hidden strengths, and fight to save their beloved Miss Peregrine. The twist at the end was something I didn't expect, but on retrospect there were clues. 

Best of all, I found myself relating more to Jacob, our protagonist. For the first time in his life, he isn't an ordinary rich kid. He's special, even among children with extraordinary qualities. But does he want to follow in his grandfather's footsteps, or does he want to go home and reunite with his parents? His dilemma resonated with me. 

After months of barely even glancing at books, this was a great, quick read. Perfect for summer!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I'm Back!

I've been sick. So sick, in fact, that I barely read anything for almost a month. And this is really sick, because I'm the girl who can lie on the bathroom floor with the stomach flu, burning my way through vampire paperbacks and middle grade romances. I used to enjoy having the flu, because it meant having more time to read. 

So instead of reading, I lay on the couch and watched a lot of Netflix. I watched the entire Eureka series, and I'm halfway through Warehouse 13, what my boyfriend refers to as 'sci-fi lite.' Every once in a while I glanced longingly at the dozens of books waiting to be cracked open, but I just didn't have the energy.

I'm happy to say that I'm finally feeling better, and back in the wonderful world of reading. I have a review of Ransom Riggs' Hollow City coming up, and a mother-daughter reading session that I actually did back in June (my mother keeps bugging me about reading the next book in the series!). I also have a bunch of overdue library books I need to return, but we won't talk about that. Errr.

Anyway. It's good to be back. :)


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Last Thing by Briana Gaitan

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The Last Thing
Release Date: September 2nd
Designer: Cover it designs

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Plagued by past mistakes in both love and life, Quinn Bardot is in a bad place. With nowhere else to turn, she escapes to LA clinging to the promise of a fresh start. 

Chase Crowley is known for being selfish and unbelievably persistent. All he's ever wanted is to become a successful actor. But now that he is about to have it all, he finds that something is still missing. Money and fame isn't what he expected.

Suddenly the two of them are thrown into a situation that neither is prepared for. Can Quinn extinguish her fears and let Chase in? Can Chase learn to put someone else's needs before his own?

The Last Thing is a novel all about love, Hollywood, and accepting what life throws at you even if it is the last thing you want. 

(This is a New Adult Romance novel & contains language & adult situations. Not recommended for readers younger than 17)
***The Last Thing is a stand alone book with NO cliff hanger ending. It is book one in the Hollywood Timelines series.***


"The Last Thing is a story about love and loss, rediscovery of ones self, and self determination to find a way to continue on...I would suggest this book to lovers of the ten tiny breaths series and of the many Abbi Glines book lovers out there. Briana Gaitan has a knack for true descriptive writing as you feel yourself submerging into the story while falling in love with the characters."

"Quinn moves to LA to live with her soap star cousin Ginger, and meets the gorgeous rising star Chase at a party. They have amazing chemistry, but have a bit of a rocky road as Quinn has to overcome with her past and they both have to deal with the consequences of their actions in the present...Also Chase is just amazing, possibly the perfect book boyfriend"

"Great book with sadness, humor, compassion, love, and awesome characters."

About the Author

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Briana Gaitan grew up in the South, but calls herself a geek at heart. She is a blogger,author,and fangirl who loves Star Wars, Star Trek, and Jewelry (bet you never thought you'd hear those three things in a sentence together) For fun, she loves watching any show on the SyFy channel, relaxing with her family, reading, and listening to indie music (sometimes all at the same time). Briana loves to write stories where there are no limits to the imagination. She is also the co-author of the fantasy Ethereal Underground series.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Review for Gypsy (The Cavy Files #1) by Trisha Leigh

Release Date: 05/13/14
378 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Inconsequential: not important or significant.
Synonyms: insignificant, unimportant, nonessential, irrelevant

In the world of genetic mutation, Gypsy’s talent of knowing a person’s age of death is considered a failure. Her peers, the other Cavies, have powers that range from curdling a blood still in the vein to being able to overhear a conversation taking place three miles away, but when they’re taken from the sanctuary where they grew up and forced into the real world, Gypsy, with her all-but-invisible gift, is the one with the advantage.

The only one who’s safe, if the world finds out what they can do.

When the Cavies are attacked and inoculated with an unidentified virus, that illusion is shattered. Whatever was attached to the virus causes their abilities to change. Grow. In some cases, to escape their control.

Gypsy dreamed of normal high school, normal friends, a normal life, for years. Instead, the Cavies are sucked under a sea of government intrigue, weaponized genetic mutation, and crushing secrets that will reframe everything they’ve ever been told about how their "talents" came to be in the first place.

When they find out one of their own has been appropriated by the government, mistreated and forced to run dangerous missions, their desire for information becomes a pressing need. With only a series of guesses about their origins, the path to the truth becomes quickly littered with friends, enemies, and in the end, the Cavies ability to trust anyone at all.

My Review:

I was immediately drawn into Gypsy's world. I loved the idea that her superpower, so to speak, was the most inconsequential of the group (and am wondering if this will turn out not to be the case in the sequel!). This gives Gypsy the unique ability to fit in quickly with the outside world. Turns out she has a supportive father to take her in, and quickly makes friends at her high school. Yet at the end of the day, Gypsy is different, and she will do anything for her fellow Cavies. 

Gypsy is a fully dimensional character, and I sympathized with her. Despite her Xmen-esque origins, she's a teenage girl at heart, and there's plenty she has to deal with: high school, her first crush on a boy, figuring out how her new life works. She wants to be that average teenage girl, but it's not the life she's going to be able to lead.

I also liked the full cast of Cavies, as well as Gypsy's school friends. Both Jude and Dane Kim are great characters, complex and interesting. I am wondering why Jude ended up at the facility where Flicker was kept. There's secrets that he must be keeping! I also suspect there's more to Dane than what meets the eye.

I'm looking forward to reading the next installment! 

Buy Links:

About the Author

Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies,  reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.

Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who numerous, loud, full of love, and the kind of people that make the world better. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories—made up, of course, but true enough in their way.

Author Links:

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #8

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from the library, review books, and of course e-books! This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Review ARCs


BEA ARC Giveaway from Books of Love blog, thanks Grace! 

What books were added to your shelves this week?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Books N Blogger Swap Package Reveal :)

So I received my amazing swap package from Ricki Jill from Art at Home.

Please forgive the poor photo quality. My phone doesn't take very good pictures at night, unfortunately. :( But I think you can still detect all the awesomeness!

My first book was the book that my blogger friend loves. Ricki Jill wrote: I don't know what it is about Karen Russell's books ... kind of like watching a train wreck. I'm really excited to read this. I read Russell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves a few years ago and loved it. It was surreal, beautiful and sad, and I'm sure this book will be just as wonderful.

Next up was a book from my wishlist. Ricki Jill wrote: I loved this one as it reminded me of my youth. I haven't read any of Rainbow Rowell's books yet, and I've heard great things about Eleanor and Park.

And finally, a book that both of us wants to read. Another Rainbow Rowell, yay! I can't wait!

In addition, Ricki Jill sent me the cutest doodling pad (For reading your inner artist because she's hungry!) and mini journals (To jot a little or a lot because you never know when the muse will share). I just know I will put both to great use. 

Thank you so much, Ricki Jill!!

And thanks again, Chaotic Goddess Swaps, for hosting!!