Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In My Mailbox- April 21, 2014


In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week

MONDAY
On the Fence- Kasie West--review for an Around the World ARC Tour










Split Second (Pivot Point #2)- Kasie West--PaperbackSwap










Renegade (Mila 2.0 #2)- Debra Driza--received from friend










So Much Closer- Susane Colasanti--PaperbackSwap










Open Road Summer- Emery Lord--review for an Around the World ARC Tour










TUESDAY
Sleep No More- Aprilynne Pike--review for an Around the World ARC Tour










SATURDAY
Salvage- Alexandra Duncan--review for an Around the World ARC Tour










Gorgeous-Paul Rudnick--from publisher










Unbroken (Ruined #2)- Paula Morris










In the Shadows- Kiersten White & Jim Di Bartolo



Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Sunday Salon- April 20, 2014

The Sunday Salon

Happy Easter!  I made my first traditional holiday meal tonight: ham, green beans, scalloped potatoes, deviled eggs, and rolls.  It turned out pretty well!


I finished and reviewed the following books last week:

On the Fence by Kasie West 











I am currently reading Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins and next up (if I don't have a tour book) is Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review- On the Fence

I finished reading On the Fence by Kasie West for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.


I love reading about girls playing sports.  I'm a huge sports freak so this story was right up my alley.  But Charlie wasn't just a tomboy.  She did have a different side that she was just letting through.

I thought all the characters were great in this story.  I loved the family dynamic between Charlie and her brothers (although I did tend to forget which brother was which) as well as the boy-next-door who is around so much he acts like a brother.  I found myself cracking up at their antics with each other.  

I liked the love triangle.  Both guys were great guys--no bad guys here.  And I think Charlie ended up with the right guy.

There was also a small surprise about her past that came at the end but I had already guessed it.

I really enjoyed the writing style.  It just flowed so easily and I got absorbed in it.  Just what I needed in a book!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

On the Fence will be released on July 1, 2014.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Monday, April 14, 2014

In My Mailbox- April 14, 2014


In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox the last few weeks (my computer was broken)

MONDAY
To All the Boys I've Loved Before- Jenny Han--review for an Around the World ARC Tour









On the Road to Find Out- Rachel Toor--received from a friend










Push (The Game #2)- Eve Silver--received from a friend










The Sweetest Spell- Suzanne Selfors--PaperbackSwap










The Sassy Belles- Beth Albright--received from a friend










TUESDAY
Nantucket Red- Leila Howland--review for an Around the World ARC Tour










Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend- Katie Finn--review for an Around the World ARC Tour









The Winner's Curse- Marie Rutkoski--review for an Around the World ARC Tour










THURSDAY
Fates (Fates #1)- Lanie Bross--review for an Around the World ARC Tour










The Secrets of Lily Graves- Sarah Strohmeyer-- review for an Around the World ARC Tour









Catch a Falling Star- Kim Culbertson--from publisher





Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Sunday Salon- April 13, 2014

The Sunday Salon

Due to my computer being broken, I haven't done one of these in a few weeks.  Spring break came and went.  We didn't do anything so while on one hand it was nice to just relax, on the other hand it was boring.  I'm using to planning something fun.  Speaking of which, one of my friends is getting married in Los Angeles in June and we're planning to go to Disneyland for few days after.  I'm super excited about that!

I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel










To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han 










The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski 










Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn










Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza 











I am currently reading Origins: The Fire (Mila 2.0 #0.5) by Debra Driza and up next will probably be a tour book.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book Review-Mila 2.0

I just finished reading Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.


I enjoyed reading this story about an android who is more human than machine.  It was an interesting concept to me--a girl who doesn't realize she's a machine until an accident happens.

Sure, I thought some of it was far fetched.  And I thought the connection between Mila and her mom was weird. The mom seemed awfully cold at first to have loved Mila enough to steal her from the science lab.  And Mila was really infatuated with a boy she only knew for a short period of time.  

There was lots of action that kept me on the edge of my couch. It was faced paced and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book.  (And there's a prequel novella that I'm going to read next!)

Oh, and I have to say, I think there's something off with Three.  I can't figure it out, but it'll be interesting to see if more comes of that in the next book or if I was just imagining it.

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review- Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

I started and finished Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn yesterday for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long?

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is?

Katie Finn hits all the right notes in this perfect beginning to a new summer series: A Broken Hearts & Revenge novel.


Wow.  I can't remember the last time I read a whole book in one day.  I'll be honest--when I read the summary, I thought it sounded too young for me.  But I was wrong.  This book was light but not too fluffy and just what I was looking for.  Yes, the ending was predictable but that didn't stop me from enjoying it any!

I really liked Gemma.  I mean Sophie.  I mean... :)  Even though she went about it the wrong way, she was sincere about regretting her past mistakes and wanting to make it up to Hallie.  And I liked Hallie, or at least the Hallie from the middle of the book.  (And Hallie's mom Karen--they never said what her current job was or how she got all her money but am I the only one that thought she was the author of the vampire novel??)  And Josh. Yum.  A sweet, hot, jock.  Sounds like my kind of guy.

I literally flew through this book.  And I can't wait to get my hands on the next one!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend will be released on May 13, 2014.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Book Review-The Winner's Curse

I finished reading The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski on Saturday night for an Around the World ARC Tour.


From Goodreads:

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-
old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I wanted to love this book.  I really did.  Unfortunately, it was just okay for me.

I never really felt like I got to know the characters.  Kestrel was just too cold and Arin seemed sketchy to me.  I mean, I guess that he was supposed to be but I felt like Kestrel should have seen that too.  Maybe it's because early on I knew what he was planning but still.

I never really got where their romance came from.  Yes, they played a game.  Woohoo.  But I never really saw any flirting or anything.  And then bam!  They kissed in the carriage.  It just wasn't believable to me.  I read some reviews say this was more of a romance story but I didn't get that.

Also, all the war talk, strategizing and history lessons just made me zone out sometimes.  I do admit that I got more into it towards the end though.  But I was a little too late.  I do think lots of people will love it though.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review- To All the Boys I've Loved Before

I finished reading To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han last night for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

This was the first Jenny Han book I've read, although I've heard many great things about her stories.  And this one didn't disappoint. 

I was easily engaged in the story.  Having the letters that you wrote to boys as closure sent out?  Horrifying!  So I couldn't wait to see what would happen.  I do have to say that Lara Jean seemed younger than a junior.  She seemed almost 13 or 14 to me.  Heck, her 9 year old sister seemed more mature than her. 

That aside, I liked the characters.  Especially the boys.  Josh is the total boy-next-door.  And Peter had this sweet side to his normal cockiness.  I also liked that family was such a strong theme in this book.  It's not often that you see that in young adult books but I loved that the dad was so involved and all the sisters were so close.

 All parts of the book were predictable but that didn't stop my enjoyment any.  And I'll gladly pick up the next book in the series when it comes out.

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before will be released on April 15, 2014.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review-Second Star

I finished reading Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel for and Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

I love books based off of Disney movies (or books that have been turned into Disney movies).  I should say that I usually love them since I didn't much care for the last one I read.  Luckily I enjoyed this spin on Peter Pan.  

There were so many little things in this book that came from the movie (yes, I know Peter Pan was a book first but I like the movie).  And yes, this time I kept track of them all.  First off, the title Second Star.  One of the famous quotes from Peter Pan is "Second star to the right and straight on til morning."  What a way to start off the book!  Of course you have many of the character names that are Peter Pan-ish.  Wendy Darling and her brothers Michael and John and dog Nana.  Then there's Pete and his jealous girl (friend?) Belle (so a Disney princess name and a take on Tinkerbell).  I didn't get the reference for Jas if there was one.  Maybe I'm missing something but I thought he should have been named Hook.  Then you have the drug in the book-fairy dust.  When Wendy talked about surfing, Pete told her to "think of something that makes you happy" just like in Peter Pan how they had to think happy thoughts before they could fly.  And how Wendy said that while surfing she felt light enough to fly.  I just loved all of these references!

Disney references aside, this was a serious book about a girl who lost her brothers.  Right or wrong, she can't accept that the probability that her brothers drowned while surfing were high.  I felt so badly for her.  I couldn't decide whether she was right to keep looking for them or to just let it go.  It has to be so much harder for family members when there is no concrete evidence of a death (like a body).  There's always a little bit of hope that way, which isn't always a good thing.

Towards the end, I found myself disappointed with the way the book was going but right at the very end, it redeemed itself.  It doesn't look like there is going to be a sequel but I wish there was going to be one.  I'd grab it!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Second Star will be released on May 13, 2014

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.