July went by super fast. I feel like I say that every month, and I probably do, but this summer has flown by. Has anyone else noticed that? I don’t know how things are in your area, but the weather here has also been fantastic. It has been much cooler than usual, which is nice after that freakishly cold winter we had to have some nice mild weather. I hope we won’t have another winter like last. But I’m not dwelling on that yet. I’m just enjoying the 70 degree weather.
Personally, July was full of ups and downs. It was my birthday and our tenth wedding anniversary. Both of those were amazing. And the kids had great times at their summer camps. Unfortunately, we also received some bad health news about my husband’s grandpa. We’re hoping to get some good news in the upcoming week for him and will visit him soon, but hearing news like this is not easy for anyone. We’re still feeling hopeful for good treatment and lucky that we’ve had so much time with him already. We’re just trying to look forward and hope for the best.
As for the blog, July was a great month. I was lucky enough to borrow a bunch of future releases and got lots of reviews up this month. I was a little off on my reading queue and subbed the borrowed books in for other books I should have read, but I’m not sorry at all. Every book I posted a review for this month got 3 or more stars! And that rarely happens. I linked up all of my reviews for the month below, as well as my other posts. So check them out if you missed anything this month!
Mini Reviews: Take Me On, Boomerang, and I’ll Give You the Sun
August New Releases
The Second Mockingjay Teaser Trailer
Book Blitz: Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West
July Reading Queue
Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own the Most Books From
Top Ten Tuesday: Top Favorite Movies and TV Shows
Top Ten Tuesday: Top Characters I Want With Me on a Deserted Island
Waiting on Wednesday: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Waiting on Wednesday: Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kristen Miller
Waiting on Wednesday: Sway by Kat Spears
Waiting on Wednesday: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Waiting on Wednesday: The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop! (US Only, Ends 8/15)
Favorite Reads of July
Most of the books I read this month got four stars. I had to go back and check because that’s so strange for me, but they did. Here are the ones I liked the most.
Boomerang was super fun. And sexy. The Walled City and Falling Into Place both made me think a lot but for different reasons. HP #5 is a reread but I included it because it was so much better the second time around! I definitely recommend all of these books.
Coming Up in August
I have some fun things coming up in August but I’m not entirely sure what reviews I’ll have. Because my July reading queue got so messed up, I’ll be scrambling trying to figure out what I’ll be reading in August. I’m pretty sure I’ll have reviews for A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall, This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre. I’ll also have a post swap from Megan of Reading Away the Days, which should be super fun because I’ll be on her blog for the day and she’ll be on mine! Also coming up August 18-24 is the next Bout of Books Readathon! I’ll be hosting a challenge on the 21st with a giveaway but you can only enter if you’re a participant. So go sign up and join in! A few other random things will be thrown in throughout the month. So make sure you stop back in August!
And because I enjoy gifs and I’ve been watching a lot of Vampire Diaries lately, here you go. Thanks for sticking around!
I’m excited to be a part of the Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop hosted by StuckInBooks. I love summery, beachy books and today I have pack of three books that would be perfect to read on the beach! Or anywhere else! The books will go to one winner who must have a US address.
Here are the rules!
- You must be at least 18 years old or 13 with a parent’s permission to enter.
- The contest is open to US addresses only.
- There will be one winner who will receive the books shown above.
- I will contact the winner via email and they must respond within 48 hours or I will have to choose another winner.
- I’m not responsible for items that may get lost or damaged during delivery.
- I will delete entries that don’t follow the instructions. So read carefully and please don’t cheat.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
I received this book for free from Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on 2014-09-30
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • The Book Depository •
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.
With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.
But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.
I was really excited for this book. It sounded really cute and it has an adorable cover. But I have to be honest, it was kind of a letdown for me. I almost gave up in the beginning because the book just wasn’t that good. I had a really hard time figuring out the characters in the beginning. And not being able to understand or connect with them made wanting to stick with it really hard. But I did and the end was much better than I originally thought it would be, so I’m glad I stuck with it. Overall, this book was enjoyable but not one of my favorite romances.
The Fine Art of Pretending is told in dual POVs. We get Aly, the sporty girl who’s friends with all of the cute boys but never gets asked out, and Brandon, one of the cutest and most popular boys at school who’s captain of the baseball team and best friends with Aly. Aly has decided that she doesn’t want to be the friends girl anymore and decides she will make herself over and start her senior year off with a completely new look and attitude. Brandon isn’t a huge fan of the idea but is willing to help Aly if she thinks this will make her happy. Once the decision is made and the makeover happens, the senior class goes on their annual campout, where the makeover and Aly/Brandon pretend hookup will be revealed. Of course, the makeover gets the reaction that Aly wants but with the new attention she’s getting and the pretend relationship with Brandon also come a whole bunch of new and confusing feelings, for both of them. Aly needs to decide what she really wants and who she really is. And Brandon needs to figure out what he really wants and what his feelings really mean.
As I said above, I had a really hard time figuring out these characters and who they were in the beginning of the book. Another thing that made the beginning rough for me was this class campout. I didn’t understand if it was sponsored by the school or if it was just a trip the students put together themselves. There were parents there but there didn’t really seemed to be any real activities or any sort of structure to it. Just a lot of hanging out by the water in bathing suits and truth or dare games. I just had a hard time believing something like that happened with an entire school class. It didn’t feel realistic but just an easy way for the whole senior class to be together with little supervision from adults and it was a little distracting for me. But once I got past that, I did enjoy it. And finally by about 25% in, I felt like the characters really settled into their voices and I started being able to connect with them.
I think my favorite part of the story was Aly’s two best girlfriends. They stuck by her side, they looked out for her, they each had their own strong personalities, and you could tell that they all loved each other. One of the most surprising characters out of the group was Justin. I will not say why or what happens, but I was not expecting what happened with him and it’s always nice to be surprised by something in a book. So while Aly and Brandon weren’t my favorite characters, both groups of their friends were actually really good.
Overall, The Fine Art of Pretending was okay. It was a cute romance with some good characters and a fun premise. It wasn’t anything revolutionary nor did it really cause me to spend time thinking about it much after I was done. It wasn’t really about anything other than Aly and Brandon and the two of them discovering who they are and what they want. And that’s perfectly fine. I think a lot of people will enjoy this book and like the romance that happens between characters. It’s a good book if you want quick, fun, light YA romance.
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine
and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released. This week I’ve chosen:
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated on 2014-09-16
Genres: Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • The Book Depository •
The riveting follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The 5th Wave, hailed by Justin Cronin as “wildly entertaining.”
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.
Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.
I didn’t know what to expect from The 5th Wave when I started reading it so many months ago. I had heard a lot of praise for it so I was a little leery because I’ve been disappointed in the past. But I was very pleasantly surprised by The 5th Wave. I knew it was about aliens but I wasn’t expecting it to so scary. And I definitely wasn’t expecting to feel so many emotions. I’m looking forward to jumping back into the world of The 5th Wave and find out what happens after the end of the first book. I hope the follow up is just as good as the first was.
What are you looking forward to this week?
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by The Broke and The Bookish and allows us to combine our love of books with our love of lists. This week’s topic is: Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From!
It’s clear that I have a book buying problem. As do most of us. The problem for me seems to be that I either buy books on a total whim and then fail to ever read them or I buy multiple copies of the same books but in different versions because I loved them so much. The best example of this is that I have three complete sets of the Harry Potter books. I don’t regret that at all. In fact, I have a hard time not picking up new and different ones when I see them.
Here are the authors that I own the most books from:
- J.K. Rowling: Whether we’re counting multiple copies of the same book or not, I still own the most books by Rowling. And I’m not at all sorry.
- Veronica Rossi: I own the Under the Never Sky trilogy as well as Boomerang. And I recommend them all.
- Katie McGarry: Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You, and Take Me On. I love these books.
- Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games series plus Gregor the Overlander. I bought Gregor as soon as I realized Collins had more books but I have yet to read it. I did read her children’s book When Charlie McButton Lost Power and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.
- Leigh Bardugo: The Grisha Trilogy, multiple copies of each. I have a problem. Also, Macmillan needs to not be so good at making me want more than one copy of this series.
- Rick Riordan: We own the first three books in the Percy Jackson series and the first couple of the Kane Chronicles. I really should read some of them…
- Stephanie Meyer: Yep, all of the Twilight books. For some reason, I just can’t get rid of them.
- Julie Kagawa: The Iron Fey series and The Lost Prince and The Immortal Rules. Plus I have Talon! (I’ve only read the first book in the Iron Fey series. I really need to keep reading.)
- Kasie West: Pivot Point, On the Fence, The Distance Between Us. And anything she writes in the future.
- J.R.R. Tolkein: Lord of the Rings series and The Hobbit
Well, that’s it. Most of these are authors that I’d still love to have more books from. Also, there are some of my favorite authors missing from this list and that makes me sad. I’ll have to start working on fixing that.
How much do our bookshelves match up? What author do you own the most books from?