Anniversary

Top 4 Books of 2016 (Anniversary Week)

top-books

Veronica’s Top 4 Books:

1. Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – The person I always go to for a murder/investigative story is Jennifer Lynn Barnes. She never disappoints and Killer Instinct was a great book. It has everything you want in an investigative novel and more.

2. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios – I read this during the first half of 2016 before I came to South Korea and it has stayed with me. The happy feeling I associate with this book is everything and more. If you’re looking for a great contemporary, look no further. Read this book!

3. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – Ahhhhh. This book is bittersweet. We follow two different story lines that are connected, but one of them breaks your heart, while the other can be sad at times, but the ending leaves you full of hope and satisfaction. 

4. When I Was Yours by Samantha Towle – Oh dear. This book is a heartbreaker alright, but it’s worth it. The pain you will feel really is worth it, and that ending was the best. Actually the entire reading journey was the best. I blame Liz for this one. 

Liz’s Top 4 Books:

1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – This book was one I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed A Court of Thornes and Roses but my god, did this sequel wreck me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks. 

2. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken –  This was the first book I read by her and I absolutely fell in love. it has everything I love- romance, time travel, different time periods, bad guys, mystery. Can’t wait for the sequel. 

3. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman – This was my favorite historical romance of the year. It’s about Blackbeard before he was Blackbeard. She stole my heart. You flip between two perspective- Teach and Anne. It is a beautifully written story of love and heartbreak.

4. Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris CleaveThis was my first read for 2016. I was absolutely devastated by this book. It takes place right at the start of WWII for Britain and flips between four different preservative. You won’t ever see the ending coming.

 

 

 

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Anniversary, Editor Letter

The Talking Bookworm’s 4th Anniversary

Writers Corner

As I sit here in my classroom I reminisce on the past 4 years that I’ve had this blog. So much has happened. We’ve had changes in staff and other normal things, but we are still here and that is what counts.

The Talking Bookworm has evolved over the years to what it is today. Each year we grow in numbers and I hope you may agree in the quality of content as well. We cover more sub-genres than before and there has been more content on the blog compared last year and that is all thanks to Liz Brooks my co-blogger. The biggest change for the blog this past year was her presence and I am forever grateful she is a part of it.

Now, coming into the 4th year, I hope you will continue to visit this blog and be a part of our community. Thank you all for your constant support and love.

Here is to another fantastic year *raises glass* CHEERS!

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Reviews, Special Review, ya contemporary, ya romance

ARC Book Review: The Bad Boy Bargain by Kendra C. Highley

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Goodreads Summary:

Baseball player Kyle Sawyer has many labels: bad boy, delinquent, ladies’ man, fearless outfielder… Only one of them is actually true. But then sweet ballet dancer Faith Gladwell asks him to help wreck her reputation, and everything goes sideways.

Faith knows a thing or two about love, and what she had with her cheating jerk of an ex wasn’t it. When he starts spreading rumors about her being an Ice Queen, Faith decides it’s time to let a little bad into her life.

Lucky for her, Kyle Sawyer—dark, dangerous, totally swoonworthy Kyle Sawyer—is landscaping her backyard over Spring Break. Shirtless. And if she can convince him to play along, “dating” Kyle will silence the rumors.

But Faith’s plan threatens to expose Sawyer’s biggest secret of all…and that’s a risk he’s not willing to take.

Review:

The Bad Boy Bargain exceeded my expectations. I was expecting for Kyle to be an actual bad boy, not a “fake” bad boy. To think he was the complete opposite of the persona he put off just so he could cruise through high school without having to be bullied or sought after for the wrong reasons is heart-breaking  and made him more adorable. Faith is a whole other story. She is Ms. goody two shoes who seems to be dating doochebags all the time. Especially this last one, Cameron, is a real piece of work. And the thing is that Cameron and Kyle have some unfinished business so when Cameron cheats on Faith and Faith breaks up with him, she decides to get revenge by going out with the notorious bad boy Kyle.

The Bay Boy Bargain is a story that deals with the pains of teenage life. It shows how one small action can change your school life. To us who are older it may seem silly that it’s so life or death per say in the teenager world, but we all know that in that point of our lives it feels like life or death.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Dsiclaimer:

I’d like to thank Entangled Publishing for providing me with an ARC. Receiving this ARC for free does not influence my opinion in any way.

Editor Letter

Editorial: The US Election

Hello Guys.

I feel like many book bloggers are taking hiatus’ because of the US presidential election results. I will not be taking one so please look forward to book reviews and other bookish posts.

My experience was a different one than most Americans as I am currently working abroad in a country that has good relations with the US. While it did not have the same impact as I am not currently living in America, I understand you all. Many of you know I am Mexican-American. That should tell you a lot about my opinion of Trump. But I am choosing to be optimistic. I choose to not be filled with fear and dread. The country my parents come from is a lot more messed up than the United States and even then I still love it.  You can either be a part of the change or whine and moan, and do nothing. I understand we all need to mourn and grieve. We need time to come to terms with what just happened. But I will tell you this. The United States is still a great country regardless of the people who live in it. We had a fair and square election which does not exist in many countries.

If you want to see change and a different America you need to act and be the change. Be optimistic. Inspire others to be the change. And the only way this will work is by loving those who disagree with us, our neighbors and our enemies. If we don’t do that, we are no better than them.

I hope you will continue to read this blog. This blog is neither Blue or Red, Republican or Democrat. This blog is here to talk about books and be a bridge that connects people across the world. In a way, we are an entertainment blog as well find books entertaining, which is why this is the last time I will mention anything political on here. I just needed to address such a big event on such a tense time in the history of America.

The world has its eyes on you America. Will the world be filled with hope or despair? What will you do? What will WE do?

With Hope,

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The Writers Column

My Life Abroad

Writers Corner

Well hello there. Long time no talk.

(I am writing this as I contemplate if I should turn on the floor heating or not. It is actually not that cold, but for a Southern Californian like me… it’s freezing. But I’m starting to appreciate the weather when it is not below freezing point. For Americans like myself that would be below 32 F and for the rest of the world including South Korea, I’m happy when it’s not below 0 C. )

I’ve been in South Korea for almost 3 months. I left California August 15th, and arrived in South Korea on August 16th. It feels as if I just got here, but also as if I’ve been here a while. I can’t point out why, but I think it is because I am finally getting used to life here and… I like it.

For those who may not know, I am currently a NET or Native English Teacher (some call me a GET/Guest English Teacher) in South Korea. I teach elementary and middle school students English as a Foreign Language. This is my first “official” teaching job and it is nothing how I thought it would be, but sometimes it is good to not have expectations when going into something. I really love my students. I think once I complete my one-year contract if I don’t renew, I will miss them a lot. They make my day brighter with their adorable faces. My middle school students are 7-9th graders and they are a handful, but teaching them is rewarding. I’m starting to create common ground with my students and it’s making them want to participate in class more. We all know when we are forced to learn a second or third language in school, no one really wants to. All students have that in common regardless of their cultural background or location.

Living by myself in another country is definitely making me grow as a person. I’m a person that is normally surrounded by friends or family and even though I am half an introvert, I needed to learn to be alone. I am definitely practicing that in South Korea. Especially because I got placed in the Gangwon-Do Province. It is the most rural province in South Korea with the lowest population number when compared to all the other provinces. I am the only foreigner in my town. I live in the same 14 stories apartment complex along with most of my students. Everywhere I go in town I hear “TEACHER TEACHER.” Students here are excited to see the foreign teacher. They also always tell me I’m beautiful so South Korea has definitely brought up my self-esteem. Haha.

Not having physical books has been tough here in South Korea. I brought my Nook HD+ with me because I knew I would have to read books on an e-reader, but sometimes you just want to hold a physical book. I did cave and bought two books from the book depository. So now at least I have two physical books. Sad thing is I will have to leave them here when I go back to USA.

I will be ending it here before this turns into a research paper length post instead of the essay I have just given you.

I will try to post more about my adventures here in South Korea in the coming weeks. But for now know I am doing well and thank you for being a loyal reader of the blog.

Warmly,

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Reviews, ya contemporary, ya romance

Book Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

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Goodreads Summary:

There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for her boyfriend-and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

Review:

I love reading an authors work as the years pass by because you see how their writing changes and how much better it gets overtime. It is pretty incredible really. At least I think so. From the very beginning I loved Miranda’s writing and that still has not changed. Especially if her writing keeps getting better which I didn’t think it could be possible. Alright enough gushing over her, let’s get to the real reason I am writing this review.

Defending Taylor is not your ordinary story. We get a glimpse into the life of a powerful family, yet it is not all the color of roses. The story also doesn’t follow your typical rich girl in a political world story. Taylor is just a girl who decides to cover for her boyfriend whom she loves and doesn’t want him to lose his scholarship to the private school they both attend. She thought she could cover for him because her father is a senator, but little did she know her father would not move a finger to help her. She ends up having to change schools and goes to Hundred Oaks now. There she learns to navigate the world and that any decision you make whether good or bad has the potential of being life altering.

I do want to point out that I loved how great and supportive Ezra is throughout the book. He is literally her other half. He is working through some issues and with encouragement and help from Taylor he is able to overcome his shame and get help.

Defending Taylor is about growing as a human being and being careful about the decisions you make. I know I may have made this book sound too deep maybe, but it is a great story with great characters. Like I said… Miranda’s writing is on point yet again.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Reviews, ya contemporary, ya romance

Book Review: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

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Goodreads Summary:

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Review:

So FREAKING Adorable. The title says it all. Love & Gelato. Gosh I want to go to Italy now. Maybe I will…

Anyways moving on… Love & Gelato. I can’t get over how adorable and heartbreaking [in a good way] it was. I just want to hug it and absorb all its wonderful energy. I think Korea is getting to me. LOL

So we start of the book with Lina. Something horrible happened and she is now moving to Italy where she meets many attractive guys, but Ren shows up and ahhhhh who needs a guy that’s hotter than him when he is the sweetest person ever? Am I biased? You bet I am!

Love & Gelato is more than just a fluffy YA contemporary book with romance. It deals with hard subjects like death of a loved one, first love, others past affecting your own, and how to navigate the world on your own. This book is not all sweet like gelato, it can be bitter like coffee as well. I will say the balance between the fluffy and the hard truth are perfectly balanced and you end up feeling with a sense of reassurance and happiness at the end of the book.

If you’re looking for something heavy yet delicious then look nor further. I assure you that you will like this book!

Rating: 5 out of 5

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