The Talking Bookworm February Give-A-Way

February Giveaway

Hey guys! So in honor of one of my favorite series, The Mediator Series, and authors, Meg Cabot, having published a new book in the series, Remembrance, I am going to give-a-way a copy of the book. Your choice, paperback or ebook. This give-a-way is international because The Book Depository does have the paperback version of Remembrance.

Remembrance (The Mediator, #7)

The give-a-way will run February 2 through February 14, 2016. I will announce the winner on Valentine’s Day. Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will check retweets, twitter accounts, blog follows and comments.

Top Ten Historical Settings You Love/ Ten Historical Settings You’d Love To See

TopTenTuesday

Thank you to The Broke and The Bookish for this wonderful meme! If you want to learn how to participate, click here and check it out. Promise you won’t regret it.

While you don’t see a lot of reviews of Historical Fiction from our blog (this is something I am slowly working through), I do enjoy reading this genre. It’s always interesting to see where authors go in the time period and how accurate it is.

  1. The American Revolution
  2. World War II Germany, England, America
  3. Victorian Era
  4. Scottish Highland during the 18th Century (Clearly referencing Outlander)
  5. Civil War
  6. World War I
  7. Post-World War II (love the fashion)
  8. Turn of the century New York (1900)
  9. Russia during the reign of Tsar Nicholas II
  10. England during Queen Elizabeth I

Clearly I am a sucker for war stories, but I also love novels during periods of change or great prosperity. In general, I love history.

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January Wrap-Up

January Wrap-Up

Hey Ya’ll! So, January is officially over. And OMG that was quick! Below is a list of the books that were read in January. Not all of them were reviewed on our blog, or they were ARCs and our review will be out closer to their publish date, but I think it’s important that you see what we read outside of what we review.

Liz’s Reads:

  1. Holding Court by K.C. Held (ARC)
  2. Scarred by Joanne Macgregor
  3. The Score by Elle Kennedy (Off-Campus #3)
  4. The Mistake by Elle Kennedy (Off-Campus #2)
  5. The Proposal by Meg Cabot (The Mediator Series, Novella)
  6. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds #1)
  7. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds #2)
  8. In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds #3)
  9. Untouchable Darkness by Rachel Van Dyken (The Dark Ones Saga #2)
  10. Everyone is Brave by Chris Cleave (ARC)
  11. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
  12. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Clearly I love series and read four different ones in January. All these books were very good and I hope you check them out if you haven’t already.

Veronica’s Reads:

  1. Hello I Love You by Katie M. Stout
  2. The Score by Elle Kennedy (Off-Campus #3)
  3. First & Then by Emma Mills
  4. When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahil
  5. Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh (Reluctant Hearts #1)
  6. When I was Yours by Samantha Towle

I haven’t read more than two books a month in a while. Each book on my list has a 4 or 5 star rating so I recommend you read any of them. And if you hadn’t noticed, this month was an NA month for me, but I’ll be changing gears in February for Contemporary Conversations!! Are you participating? You should! Join us!!

Book Review: The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World

GoodReads Summary:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

Review:

The Love That Split The World is an enchanting read about young love and time travel. Natalie can see two different versions of her hometown, Union, and meets an intriguing guy, Beau, when she slips into the alternate town. Her grandmother, a “spirit” tells her at the beginning of the book that she has three months to save “him”, but Natalie doesn’t know who “he” is. She spends the summer trying to discover who this guy she is supposed to save is, but also who she is and what she wants.

I found this book to be very interesting. There are stories within the overarching story itself. These stories come from old Native American tales passed down through generations, but also stories out of the bible. For Natalie, these stories have meaning because she is part Native American. Natalie is a complex character trying to find out who she is and where she fits in with the world. Since she is adopted, and one half Native American, she finds it difficult to determine where she fits in. When she meets Beau, who is an equally complex character, she is certain she has found someone who understands what she is going through because he is having a difficult time determining where he fits into the world.

Grandmother is a curious character. She tells stories that you don’t fully understand until the moment the Natalie understands them. She is an odd duck, only appearing to Natalie during the nighttime speaking in riddles.

Beau is my favorite character. He is chivalrous and benevolent. He is, generally,always there for Natalie when she needs him the most. And the bond that is formed between them is unbreakable.

Emily Henry’s writing is wonderful. I loved her use of the story within a story. As a reader, we are being told that these tales are important to the character in her quest to save a boy and discover herself. They play a major part in the plot and are a kind of foreshadowing, though at the time of reading them I didn’t know what they were foreshadowing.

I enjoyed the books, but I am not a fan of the ending. I was left with questions and wasn’t fulfilled. I need closure from my characters.

**SPOILERS** Don’t read below this point if you haven’t read! **SPOILERS**

If you have finished The Love That Split The World, great! I truly did love this book, HOWEVER, I did not love the ending. I was left with so many freaking questions and it made me angry (Veronica heard all about how angry it made me).

The second to last chapter leaves us with Natalie making the choice to try and change history, the accident’s that left both her and Beau dead in each’s worlds. GREAT! I love that idea. However, the last chapter is another story, telling us how a girl had never met a boy but she had missed him. I get the continuity with the story, and metaphorically, we can draw our own conclusions- Natalie succeeded in saving them both and they live happily ever after. I am not one to assume these things. I enjoy solid closure. I like to know FOR CERTAIN that she changes their timelines and they end up together.

This is why a star was knocked off for me.

**End Spoilers***

Rating: 4 out of 5

Book Review: Scarred by Joanne Macgregor

Scarred

GoodReads Summary:

“Life leaves you scarred. Love can make you beautiful.”

Seventeen year-old Sloane Munster is trying to reboot her life after a serious car accident left her badly scarred and emotionally traumatized.

Starting her senior year at a new school, she’s delighted to see Luke Naughton, a swimmer whom she once crushed on, in the class in front of her. But when he glares back at her with disgust and revulsion, she’s shocked and hurt, and assumes it’s because of her appearance. Despite misunderstandings, the chemistry between them sparks and love grows against a background of guilt, secrets, and mounting tensions at a school where bullying is rife and Sloane is not the most deeply scarred person.

Sharp with bittersweet humor, Scarred is an intense, beautiful, compelling story of life, death and fighting for love against all the odds.

Review:

 

Scarred is about Sloane Munster, who suffers from a tragic accident in her life, leaving her physically and mentally scarred. Due to the trauma, she spends almost a year in hiding, finishing her junior year with private tutors. But through the help of her therapist, Sloane attends a new school for senior year, where she runs into old faces, new faces, and has to come to terms with the actions of her mother as well as herself and how she will move forward with her life.

Joanne Macgregor’s writing is a graceful look at the physical and emotional aftermath of a tragedy in a person’s life. It is evocative. It doesn’t push aside the effects mental illnesses have on a person. Or how, through the support of friends, family, and love, a person can move forward in their life- move past the tragedy and see there is a bright future ahead of them.

When I first started this book, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Sloane Munster felt very one dimensional- she was focusing on how she looked and how her life used to be. She was beautiful. She was popular. “I didn’t used to get called anything nasty about my appearance, I used to be pretty. The GG’s- short for Gorgeous Girls- that’s what our clique was called, in my old school.” However, after moving further into the book, Sloane becomes more than a one dimensional character. The scar is just a representation of her emotions. By the end, I fell in love and didn’t want it to end.

Sloane is a truly tragic, and complex, character who has to adjust to her life A.S.- after scar. The girls at her new school taunt her looks, which shows just how juvenile and immature teenage girls can be. It also is a reflection of our society and how much pressure we put on young girls when it comes to physical appearances. She has to deal with boys staring at her. She has to acquiesce the lose of her family and guilt of ruining another family.

I truly enjoyed when Luke, Sloane’s love interest, was given a chapter. He is a central character, not only to Sloane’s development through out the book, but to the story itself. Seeing his point of view is vital to understanding his involvement in the accident and how he develops as a character. As a side sub-plot, the book also address the treatment of others in general, whether it is a student-student relationship, a student-teacher relationship, or a child-parent relationship, and how that can impact a person’s life, positively or negatively.

Joanne Macgregor is a counseling psychologist who specializes in victims of crime and trauma. It is very apparent that she knows what she is writing about; it is captivating and emotional and clearly understood from a psychologist’s point of view.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a gripping story of tragedy, loss, and survival. I think an anthem to this book is Scars to You Beautiful by Alessia Cara. Go listen to it during/after reading this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5

I’d like to thank Joanne Macgregor for the opportunity to read Scarred in return for an honest review. Receiving this book for free doesn’t influence my opinion.

Contemporary Conversations #2

Contemporary Conversations Banner

The time has come to start preparing for the 2nd Contemporary Conversations!

This year things will be the same for the most part except for one major thing, it will only be hosted at The Talking Bookworm. You can expect to see posts both from myself (Veronica) and Liz throughout the entire month of March.

Start making the reading lists and coming up with ideas you want to discuss with your fellow book-loving peers.

The following is to refresh the minds of those who participated last year [and probably forgot everything there is to Contemporary Conversations] and also if this is your first time seeing this *waves* you can learn what Contemporary Conversations is all about.

The Down Low

For the entire month of March (2016), starting Tuesday the 1st and going through Thursday the 31st, we will be reviewing, discussing, and talking about all things contemporary. Our goal is to saturate the web with all things Contemporary!

The young adult contemporary genre has quite a range of sub-genres, so we are here to make things a little bit easier for you. We have attached a sub-genre to each week to help book planning a bit smoother.

  • Week One (1st-7th): Romance
  • Week Two (8th-14th): Spy/Government Conspiracy/Thriller
  • Week Three (15th-21st): Coming of Age
  • Week Four (22nd-28th): Re-Reads
  • Week Five (29th-31st): Wrap-Up Posts, and Announcement of Giveaway Winner

And just as last year, we will be doing a giveaway and all participants will be able to enter for up to $15 to either Amazon or The Book Depository. To answer everybody’s question… it will be international!

The How

If you will be participating in Contemporary Conversations in March of 2016, this is what you must do.

First, add your name and a link to your blog to our linky at the bottom of this post.

Second, plan your books! We will be posting our reading lists in the next week or two so you can join into the discussion if you may like so come March!

Third, have fun! We are mostly focusing on reviews and discussions, but one of us may or may not be hosting a 24-hour ready-a-thon! If you would like to host one yourself, be our guests!

Last, but not least, use #contempconvos on Twitter. It will help everyone find your posts from the month!

We would love it if you wrote a post on your blog announcing your participation this year and helped spread the word.

 

Vero Signature copy

Novella Review: Proposal by Meg Cabot

Proposal (The Mediator, #6.5)

GoodReads Summary:

The last place Suze Simon expects to find herself during Valentine’s Day is a cemetery. But that’s what happens when you’re a mediator – cursed with the “gift” of communicating with the dead.

That’s how Suze has ended up at the graves of a pair of NCDPs – Non-Compliant Deceased Persons – whose drama didn’t end with death. It’s Suze’s job to make sure they move on—for good.

But the NCDPs aren’t the only ones with problems. The reason Suze is spending her Valentine’s Day with the undead instead of her boyfriend, Jesse, is because he’s having so much trouble adjusting to life after death . . . not surprising, considering the fact that he used to be an NCDP himself, and now his girlfriend busts his former kind for a living, while he tries to cure his kind of what used to ail him.

Can Suze use her mediating skills to propose a mutual resolution, and bring all these young lovers together – including Jesse and herself – especially on the night Saint Valentine declared sacred to romance?

Or will she end up alone—and possibly undead—herself?

Review:

First of all, I am so so so so so excited not only for this novella, but the book that comes after this novella. I didn’t think we would EVER get another Mediator series book. The series seemed so finished, but I always hoped and dreamed that we would get something. And we did.

Meg Cabot’s Proposal is a spectacular way to dip you toes back into the The Mediator Series. It is full of the usual NCDPs and Suze’s own throw a punch first, ask her questions later mentality. Of course their is a ghost who needs her help and the only way to help him is to punch her way through. And by her side is the ever swoon worthy Jesse de Silva.

Before jumping back into Suze Simon and her mediator ways in Remembrance, check Proposal out first. You don’t want to miss what happens!!

Rating: 5 out of 5

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