April Celebration Giveaway #3!!

Apr
18
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

I’m having so much fun with these giveaways. I hope you guys have found a book or two to be excited about. If not, this might be the giveaway for you. It’s a set of YA contemporary romance books and features some of my favorite authors! This is another US Only giveaway but my April New Release Giveaway is International, so if you aren’t local, definitely check that out. If you are in the US, don’t miss the YA Sci-Fi Giveaway (ends at midnight on 4/18) and the YA Fantasy Giveaway (ends at midnight on 4/25)!

Now for this week’s prize! I’m giving away an ARC of Crash Into You by Katie McGarry, a paperpack of Crash by Nicole Williams, and a paperback of The Distance Between Us by Kasie West. Seriously, if you like YA romance, you need to read these books. All three will go to one winner. Be sure to read the rules for the giveaway and enter to win using the Rafflecopter. Good luck!

giveaway3

Rules for the giveaway:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter.
  • The contest is open to US addresses only.
  • There will be one winner who will receive the three 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.

The Rafflecopter: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Mini Reviews: Audiobook Edition

Apr
16
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

I love audiobooks but I only really got into them in this last year. I just really like the idea of being able to “read” while doing something else like cleaning or driving. I like that they help me stay caught up on books and make me feel like I’m being entertained when the narrator is really good. Unfortunately, I also seem to skip reviewing them more than other books. Somehow, they just tend to slip through the cracks. Today, I’m going back to some of the audiobooks I’ve listened to and have forgotten to review. If you enjoy audiobooks too, I’d love any recommendations you have in the comments section!

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1) Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)

Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies  & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Finishing School #1 and #2
YA Paranormal Steampunk
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea–and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right–but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

I’m including only the synopsis for the first book because I don’t want to post any spoilers. I went into these books not really knowing anything about them but hoping they were good. I really like the covers and the titles suggested an interesting mix of historical fiction and spy novel. I really lucked out because that’s exactly what the book was but it also had big helping of fun mixed in. That was my favorite part of both of these books, by far, was just how fun they were. They never took themselves too seriously and that is really what kept me reading (listening to) these stories. I definitely enjoyed the steampunk parts of the book and want my very own mechanimal. The characters are great, especially the smart tomboyish main character Sophronia, and the mysteries are done well enough but it really was the humor and dialogue that I enjoyed the most. I will say that these books seem to be geared more toward the younger crowd. The main character is only fourteen and the action and language never gets very intense. I’d say anyone over ten or eleven could read and enjoy these. But if you prefer your mysteries on the more detailed, violent side or don’t enjoy a certain amount of silliness, you will not enjoy these books. If you decide to go the audiobook route with these, I would definitely support you. Moira Quirk was fantastic. Her voices and accents were amazing. I hope to find more audiobooks read by her. Or maybe she could just come live with me and read all of my books out loud to me from now on. I would be just fine with that. I gave both of these books 4 stars.

The Sea of Tranquility

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Published by Atria Books

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

This book is serious. And while there are some funny moments, this book is very intense and very emotional. I’m not sure I was entirely prepared for everything this book threw at me while listening to it. I had seen lots of amazing reviews for it and knew a lot of people loved it, but I wasn’t ready for so many emotions. The writing is beautiful and knew just exactly the right thing to say to really take my breath away and revealed just the right amount of information at the right times to keep me interested and wanting more. The two main characters, Nastya and Josh, were both very well developed and had great voices. Because we get to hear from both of them, we get two sides of the story, two different kinds of grief, and two different stories of healing. Both are painful but moving. The characters come together and become an escape for each from their painful pasts but eventually they must face reality. It’s been months since I read this book but I still get tears in my eyes when I think about these characters. They will stick with you and you will remember their stories. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who read YA contemporary. I will say that I liked the audio of this but I wasn’t a huge fan of either narrators. Next time I read this, and I hope to reread it soon, I will read the book version. I gave this book 5 stars.

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil #1
Middle-Grade Fantasy
Published by HarperCollins

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

The School for Good & Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.

I have conflicting feelings on this one. And that definitely makes me feel like the black sheep because so many people love this one. I’ll start with what I liked. I really liked how unique this story felt. I liked that the main two characters are different from most of the characters I’ve seen before. And I was really intrigued by the whole premise of the book and the idea behind the School for Good and Evil. It’s all very unique and very interesting and I enjoyed learning about it and how it all sets up the characters for futures in fairy tales. Unfortunately, I wasn’t completely sold on the execution. I’m going to be honest here (otherwise what good would this be?) and say that I thought at almost 500 pages, this book was too long. I know that size shouldn’t matter, but I felt that the pacing of this book was off and the middle of the book lacked focus. I think that had the book been pared down a bit, it wouldn’t have wandered so much and not taken so long to finally decide where the story was going. I felt like I waited so long to see where the book was finally going that I didn’t care anymore that it was unpredictable and just wanted it to end. And I didn’t want to feel like that at all. I was really disappointed. With such a great premise and so many positive reviews, I really wanted to love it. Also, because of how the story starts and the twist of each girl going to the school they didn’t believe they fit into, I thought there would be some lesson on stereotyping or some deeper meaning to the story or ultimate moral about who we really are underneath the outside or something, but nothing like that really came through in the end. And so my overall complaint for this book was just that I didn’t feel like the author really knew where he was going with the story or how to get there. Because my feelings on this book are so different from so many others’, I’m worried that maybe I lost some of the story in listening to it rather than reading it. But I also know I won’t ever pick up this book again, so I’m not sure I’ll ever really know if it did or not. I would not recommend this for younger middle-grade readers because there are some intense moments but for older readers who are really into fairy tales and fantasy, I’d let them give it a chance. I hope anyone else who reads it will enjoy it more than I did. The narrator was okay, not my favorite but definitely not bad either. It was 13+ hours, though, so it’s quite an investment! I gave this book 2.5 stars.



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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: Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That I’d Like To Own.

This was a fun list to put together. I’ve had a few of these items on a wishlist for a while and some are new from searches I made for this list but I can say now that I want all of these things. As you’ll see, most are related to Harry Potter. I’m not even a little sorry about that. I love Harry Potter. Here are some bookish things I wouldn’t mind showing up for me. (Clicking the photo should take you to each item’s website.)

Harry Potter Clothing

Harry Potter BUTTERBEER SLOUCHY PULLOVER - Woman's Off-The-Shoulder Lightweight Sweater 
I already own a Muggle t-shirt but every time I see a Harry Potter shirt, I can’t help but want it.

Literary Mugs

Lord of the Rings "Not all those who wander are lost." Handpainted Porcelain Mug Harry Potter Accio Coffee Spell Hand Painted Mug

I love mugs. If they have anything to do with books, they are all that much better.

Invisible Bookshelves

Invisible Book Shelf

I love these. I want them in my bedroom and randomly placed around the house. I have piles of books everywhere. It’d be awesome if they could just be on the wall in otherwise useless space instead of on tables and counters.

Fun Wrapping Paper

DIY word search gift wrap

It’s wordy and nerdy. Who doesn’t want that?

Bookshelf Art

Ideal Bookshelf

I love these prints from Jane Mount and Ideal Bookshelf so much. There are premade ones on the website but you can also custom order them with books of your choice. They are expensive, though, which is why I don’t have one.

Bookish Tattoo

I’d love to have something simple like this on my wrist. I think my husband and I should get matching ones for our anniversary.

Cool Bookshelves

Bookshelf-Barok Industrial Corner Pipe Shelf

I have beautiful bookshelves that my husband built for me because I asked him and I love them. But they are pretty much full. I’d love to have something unique next time around. Obviously, since this is the second bookshelf item on this list.

THIS

Hogwarts Book Sculpture by Helen

Because this is amazing and I would put it on my shelf and love it forever.

Book Rest Lamp

Do you see how cute that is? Plus it’s’ a nightlight. I’d love these for my kids but they’re like $80. And that just isn’t going to happen.

Thomas Jefferson’s Rotating Five-Book Stand

I could keep all of the books I’m currently reading open and the ones I want to read next in one place and feel super smart and important while doing it. Nothing beats that.

Those are just a few of the awesome bookish items out there just waiting for me to get my hands on them. Be sure to leave me links to your lists so I can come and see what else I need to put on my list! Happy Tuesday, everyone!



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April New Release Giveaway!

Apr
14
66 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

new-release-giveaway-hop_april2014_header

It’s time for another new release giveaway and this time I have lots of choices for you! April has been a great month for books so far and I’m excited to share one of them with one of you. This giveaway is open Internationally, so as long as The Book Depository ships to you for free then you can enter! I hope you’ll be able to find a book on this list that looks exciting to you. I can already tell you that I loved Open Road Summer and really enjoyed House of Ivy & Sorrow. The rest I’m waiting to read right along with the rest of you! Be sure to check out the rules below and use the Rafflecopter to enter. And good luck to all of you!! Thanks so much for following the blog!

Open Road Summer Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #3) House of Ivy & Sorrow
Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1) To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1) Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)
The Geography of You and Me What I Thought Was True Don't Look Back
The Break-Up Artist Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)

Rules for the giveaway:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter.
  • The contest is open to International readers, so long as The Book Depository ships to you
  • There will be one winner who will receive their choice of 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.

The Rafflecopter: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway




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Stacking the Shelves (9)

Apr
13
6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

STSmall

I’m participating in Stacking the Shelves this week hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It was a sort of slow week here. We’ve all been sick and haven’t gotten out much. I’ve also been in a reading slump. I’ve been having a hard time really connecting with books recently. In the past two months I’ve DNFed three books. And that’s really rare for me. I’ve also only finished one book so far in April. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I hope it ends soon because I really want (and need) to start finishing some books soon. I think I’m going to try The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt next and hope that pulls me out. But once I’m in a slump and DNF a few books, I start worrying about which book to start next because if it’s me and not the books, then I don’t want to risk my mood on a book I might love otherwise. Do you guys ever feel this way? I hope I snap out of this soon! Here are the books I was lucky enough to get my hands on this week:

Immortal City by Scott Speer: (ARC gifted from Kate at Ex Libris) This one has a lot of positive reviews so I’m really looking forward to seeing if I love it too.
The Shadow Prince by Stacey O’Neale: (Kindle Freebie) I couldn’t pass this up as a freebie. I hope it’s good!
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid: (ARC from Krystal on YA Book Exchange) I am so excited for this book! I’m also terrified to read it because my expectations are so high. Sometimes loving books is hard!

That was my week in books. I’m pretty happy with it and feeling lucky to be able to do this whole blogging and reading thing.

Current Giveaways!!

Young-Adult Sci-Fi Giveaway (US Only)
Young-Adult Fantasy Giveaway (US Only)

I will have an INTERNATIONAL giveaway going up on the blog tomorrow!

Coming Up This Week!

Guys, there is so much to be excited about! Besides the new giveaway going up tomorrow, there are literally (okay, not literally but still) a million awesome books coming out on Tuesday. Open Road Summer is finally out and if you’re in Ohio, Emery Lord will be at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati on Tuesday at 7pm and at Barnes & Noble in Pickerington on Saturday at 1pm!! Come out to support an Ohio author and read this amazing book!

Also coming out this week are What I Thought Was True, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Geography of You and Me, The House of Ivy & Sorrow, and Don’t Look Back. Just to name a few. I’ve been waiting a long time to get my hands on What I Thought Was True. What book are you most excited for this week?

Now tell me, what fun things showed up in your mailbox this week?



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