Update of the Blog (and my life)

So…. I said I was making a comeback right? Well… life got in the way. AGAIN. The move was more time-consuming than I had imagined. Unpacking twelve boxes of books (and that’s not counting the school books I’ve collected over the years and my mom’s reference books) was very time-consuming and well unpacking the rest of the house too. (I haven’t been able to organize my shelves yet, I just threw the books on them and it makes me sad. My babies are misplaced in the incorrect order. *cries*)

My cousin came over last weekend and she brought her three little munchkins with her. I love them, but they did not let us get any reading done. (I got her into reading the Divergent trilogy and she’s hooked. She’s gonna hate me when she finishes Allegiant though…) So another weekend without reading a book. Hopefully this weekend (I have nothing planned) I will be able to get some reading done and actually finish a book. I’m in the middle of 4 right now. (I know, I know, shame on me!)

I do promise I will start posting more often. My goal is twice a week. At least a review and a meme (most likely Top Ten Tuesday).

To those who are still following me, thank you for continuing to follow me even though I haven’t posted new content in several weeks. For the new followers I’ve miraculously obtained, thank you for following me even though my posts are scattered at best right now.

Hope you’re all having a great week and have a wonderful weekend!

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Book Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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Goodreads Summary:

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Review:

Floating on clouds. That’s my current emotional state. There is no other way to explain this book.

See, I was hesitant to read this book right after The Summer of Chasing Mermaids because I thought to myself nothing else can compare to its awesomeness, but good ol’ ignorant me forgot just how good Emery Lord is. There is no other book I could have read after TSoCM except this book without it falling flat.

The Start of Me and You is so stinking cute, I can’t stand it. It is like cotton candy. Sweet, delicious, but you devour to fast, craving for more. I tweeted that I both loved and hated Emery Lord right when I finished the book because THAT ENDING nearly killed me and this is what she had to say to that…

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OFFICIALLY DYING OF FEELS.

Honestly, this review is not really a review, but more like an outlet of my feels because Dear Lord The Start of Me and You was everything I wanted and more. The awesome  friendships, the slow-burn between Paige and Max, the idea that not everything is exactly how it seems, and that we should not take for granted the people we have in our lives just made it perfect. I would literally hug the book right now if it was anywhere near me. I want to cuddle with it like it were a teddy bear. Seriously guys. I’m not kidding. This baby needs to be protected.

Also, one more thing. MAX. UNGHHHH. THAT BOY. Seriously, he was so nerdy and adorable. I love nerds. Max is more of my real life ideal type when comparing him to my other book boyfriends. (I could never handle an Isaiah, but I can dream lol)

Now, go to the bookstore and read this darn book because I can assure you it will be the best decision of your life!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Book Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

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Goodreads Summary:

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them .

Review:

I am floored.

My expectations for TSoCM were met and then some. I’m a puddle of feelings and cannot function. Dear Lord. I need a minute.

I hope it is known how big of a Sarah Ockler fan I am. I have loved every single one of her books (except #Scandal because I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure I will love it too). When I heard the title of her new book, I wasn’t sure if it would be up my alley, but after seeing the cover I said, forget it. I will read this book.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a story that explores so many things, but the number one thing it focuses on is the aftermath of shattered dreams. Elyse, the main character, loses her voice in a tragic accident and now has to face the world without her voice, without the ability to sing, even speak. Her Plan A, to be a singer, a performer, is not doable anymore. My heart broke for Elyse.

I still can’t seem to form the words to properly explain my feelings, but I will try.

Let’s start with Christopher Kane. Mr. heart-breaker. We get a glimpse of the old him, but I loved that none of his “playboy” ways showed up in the story which in turn could hurt Elyse. I really liked their initial friendship and how everything developed. It wasn’t a “oh we are both attracted to each other, let’s start making out” but a steady build throughout.

I connected to both Elyse and Christopher for different reasons. I saw myself in both characters and honestly, it helped me come to terms with some of the choices I’ve made in the past 6 years.

I loved that Elyse figured out the difference between loving someone because they love you, and actually loving someone for them. There is a big difference. One is on the side of lust and attraction, and the other on real love which is much more than just attraction.

The side characters are the best and not one of them felt forced. I loved Kirby and Vanessa, and Sebastian Kane is one of my favorite children ever (and he doesn’t even exist. *cries*). He reminds me a lot of my nephew Jacob. The enthusiasm, that sense for adventure. Now I miss my nephew.

Another thing I loved is that the entire story feels like a journey. There is no one part where I felt like it was a little boring, or I was being given filler information. The entire novel felt steady, grounded, full of life.

There are so many things I want to talk about like the brotherly love, Lemon, Elyse’s family back at the islands, and the accident but I don’t want to give this book away. I don’t want to spoil it for you.

As I close this review I will only say this. Sarah Ockler has a gift and her writing changes you.

Rating: 6 out of 5 (rating meter broken due to  awesomeness of book)

Disclaimer: Thank you Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.

Book Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Review:

First of all, let me insert this tweet so you can guys can understand how this review is about to go down.

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I am HEAD OVER HEELS with OZ and with this entire book and concept. When I saw that Nowhere But Here was going to be the first book in a new companion series my first thoughts were… okay I think I can do this. I hope I like it. You all know how much I love the Pushing The Limits Universe, and I couldn’t bear parting ways with it.

Now onto the real deal…

Katie McGarry has done it again. I was texting Kayla (who has vowed she would not read this new book, because she is not into the whole motorcycle club thing) how amazing NBH is and just fangirled a lot that she had no other respond except, Katie McGarry is Queen. Because of my hardcore flailing and fangirling she ended up pre-ordering Nowhere But Here. Success!! (KAYLA YOU WILL NEVER LIVE THIS DOWN!) Kayla has now said that she will never ever doubt Katie McGarry again. GOOD.

You know what reoccurring theme I love that pops up in all of McGarry’s books? The notion of family. She doesn’t just focus on blood family, but on those individuals who aren’t blood related and that they are family too. I highly value loyalty, so the whole concept of friends are family too and should be treated as such is very close to my heart.

I could keep going on and on about how great this book is, but I will not. This may not be everybody’s type of book, but if you’ve liked Ms. McGarry’s past novels, I’m sure you will like this one too.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Disclaimer: Thank you Harlequin Teen & NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.

Top Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer

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.   :)

Yes, you have read right. I am doing a Top Ten Tuesday. Say WHAT?!!! This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer.

I am very excited to be doing this list! This summer I will be reading some amazing books and this is what I will be reading/will be in my beach bag (Sorry, was not able to make a full ten list…)

1. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

2. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

3. Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry (rereads for the win!)

4. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

5. Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

6. Confess by Colleen Hoover

7. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (another reread for the win!)

8. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Have you read any of the books on my list? What are some books what you will be reading this summer?

 

Book Review: Ugly People, Beautiful Hearts by Marlen Komar

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Title: Ugly People Beautiful Hearts
Short Summary: Ugly People Beautiful Hearts is a poetry book with over 70 poems and verses moving between the feelings of loving someone, feeling loss, trusting the night sky, losing your light, resolving that hurt is beautiful, and finding compassion in a stranger’s smile.
Genre: Poetry
Pages: 96
Audience: 16+
 
Website with poem samples: http://mar-komar.tumblr.com/

Review:

I know I normally don’t review poetry books here, but Marlen kindly reached out to me and after reading a poem of hers I said… why not?!

This poetry book still fits in the YA genre because it is for 16+ or older, but it does have some themes that I wouldn’t want someone very young to read them. I almost feel like… it wouldn’t have the same impact as someone who is a bit older. Anyways I am straying away from the review.

The entire time I was reading Ugly People Beautiful Hearts, I felt like I was on a journey, I was given entrance into someones mind and innermost thoughts and feelings which in turn made me feel vulnerable. Some of the best writing comes from pain and I think Marlen truly captured the intense emotions we feel throughout life in her poems, her work. There were some poems that I understood, while some made me feel melancholy and just sad. I wanted to shake the voice and tell them to stop acting so stupidly at times. Each poem was like a journey in itself and I couldn’t stop reading it until I’d reached the end.

Below is one of my favorite poems… What We’re Leading Up To

“And you pointed at the thick field of stars and asked, “Lie here with me?” My skin is translucent; the spots where your finger tips trace lighting up like the verses in the sky. And I’ve had my heart broken in so many interesting ways, but this way, oh by far, has been my favorite.”

There is just something about this poem that I love. I can’t explain it.

Thank you Marlen for being kind and sharing with the world your poems. You’ve poured out your soul for everyone to see. That takes a lot of courage. Congratulations!

Rating: 4 out of 5

About The Author:

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Marlen Komar

Writer/ Poet, Ugly People Beautiful Hearts
   
 Disclaimer: Thank you Marlen Komar for giving me the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.

Book Review: HIT by Delilah S. Dawson (Spoiler-Free Review)

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Goodreads Summary:

NO ONE READS THE FINE PRINT.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy’s list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.

Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy’s past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren’t strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy’s list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.

Review:

WOW.

First, I want to thank Simon and Schuster-Simon Pulse for being so kind and sending me this ARC without me even asking for it. You guys are awesome. It’s like you know me already.

Okay, onto the book now…

HIT is exactly what I craving and I didn’t even know it. Everyone knows I’m a sucker for the spy/con-artist/conspiracy stuff, but this is entirely different, yet it still fits in the Spy/Conspiracy genre… sort of. It’s weird. You can also say it’s dystopian, but it doesn’t exactly fit into that genre either. The girl is forced to turn into a bounty hunter, but in reality she is an assassin, although she is not a trained one. It’s very weird because you can’t say “It belongs in this genre”, but I like it.

While HIT has its angst and romance, what it truly focuses on is the American spending culture present day. Almost everyone in the United States has a credit card. Our nation runs on the credit system, and I believe that most people would be screwed overnight if the credit system disappeared, or if the United States went bankrupt. HIT punches you in the gut and makes you realize just how bad our economy is. I myself have credit cards like many Americans and if the credit card companies would tell us pay up or die… Gosh… that’s just scary. HIT really makes you see just how much of a crutch the credit system is to our country and to our lives.

Overall, I really liked how HIT was set up. It was a solid first book in a series and I can’t wait to read Strike the second book in the series. I feel like there is more to Wyatt than meets the eye and we will see him fully emerge in the next book, and I am so freaking excited!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Disclaimer: Thank you Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.