Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Review- Nowhere But Here

I finished reading Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry last night for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a

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.

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.

I've read several of Katie McGarry's books and loved them.  But I have to admit, reading the summary of this one didn't do it for me.  But I signed up to read it just because of who the author was.  And a few chapters in, my mind hadn't changed.  Motorcyles and gangs just didn't do it for me.  Oz, the "leading man" was too rough for me.  There wasn't much sweetness to him.  And even in my bad guys, I need some kind of sweetness.

But then suddenly the book was over and I found myself realizing that I had gotten completely absorbed in it.  Somewhere along the line, Oz had turned sweet.  And the tough guy was still completely there, but there was sweetness lurking.  Oh, and you know I loved Emily's comebacks.  Her personality cracked me.  She didn't take any crap!

The way of life of the Reign of Terror was completely not my style.  It's kind of everything I'm against.  But I found myself loving all the members of the huge "family."

The ending and the big surprise about Emily's past really did surprise me.  I had a few ideas about what it could be but I was so far off!  It was shocking and completely had me hooked!

I need more by Katie McGarry!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Nowhere But Here will be released on May 26, 2015.

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

Book Review- Emmy & Oliver

I finished Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway a week or so ago for and Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.
She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

I thought this was a fresh take on a tragic kidnapping story.  Instead of it being about the kidnapping, or about how the victim deals with life after returning home, this was about how the kidnapping affected the best friend of the victim.

I really liked Emmy and Oliver.  Emmy was so easy to get absorbed in.  She was so real.  Her feelings were real, her actions were real, and the way she talked was real.  And Oliver.  Wow.  I felt so much for him!  Stuck in the middle because even though he knew what his dad did was wrong, he was still his dad and loved him.

And I loved the connection between the two of them.  It was quick and that often feels forced or fake to me, but here it didn't.  Maybe because they knew each other when they were little.  Either way, it felt right to me.

This was a sweet story--one that had me rooting for Emmy & Oliver.

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Emmy & Oliver will be released on June 23, 2015.

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

Book Review- Magonia

I finished Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley a little while ago but am behind on reviews!

From Goodreads:

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.
Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Weird.  Weird weird weird.  I just could not get into this.  Without spoiling it for you, it turns out that Aza is something not human.  And what she is, is something I've never read about before.  Which quite honestly is a good thing.  I can't even really wrap my head around it enough to write a proper review.  So I'll sum it up by saying it again.  It was just plain weird.

I gave this book a rating of 2/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, April 27, 2015

In My Mailbox- April 27, 2015

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

Wrong About the Guy- Claire LaZebnik--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Extraordinary Means- Robyn Schneider--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent # 0.1-0.4)- Veronica Roth--PaperbackSwap

Last Scene Alive (Aurora Teagarden #7)- Charlaine Harris--PaperbackSwap

Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood #5)- Ann Brashares--PaperbackSwap

Emmy & Oliver- Robin Benway--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

The Fixer- Jennifer Lynn Barnes--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

The Orphan Queen- Jodi Meadows--for review from publisher

Every Last Promise- Kristin Halbrook--for review from publisher

Everything That Makes You- Moriah McStay--for review from publisher

Etherworld (Elusion #2)- Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam--
for review from publisher

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Sunday Salon- April 26, 2015

The Sunday Salon

I finished and reviewed the following book in the last week:
Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

I am currently reading Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley and up next is either The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes or Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Review- Forever

I just finished reading Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater.

From Goodreads:

When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their loved moved from curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.

That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.

Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment--a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.

It's been almost 5 years since I read the first 2 books in this series.  And I could tell.  I couldn't remember anything about it.  And unfortunately, the book doesn't do a good job of reminding me.  So I kind of felt distant from the whole thing.

That being said, I did enjoy the world of Mercy Falls again.  I liked Grace and Sam's relationship.  And Cole and Isabel's in that twisted, not-really-a-relationship-but-you-know-its-gonna-be-one type of way.

The major event toward the end of the book was sad but needed to happen I guess.  But I feel the very last chapter didn't make sense.  There was too much that needed to be wrapped up at the end of the current times before the last chapter could jump forward many months.

This is supposed to be the last book in the series but there's a companion book that goes with it that I have to read next!

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I bought this book from a fellow blogger.

Monday, April 13, 2015

In My Mailbox- April 13, 2015

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

Magonia- Maria Dahvana Headley--from publisher for review

The Leveller- Julia Durango--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

The Sunday Salon- April 12, 2015

The Sunday Salon

I finished and reviewed the following book in the last week:
The List by Siobhan Vivian

I am currently reading Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) and up next is Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) both by Maggie Stiefvater.

Book Review- The List

I finished reading The List by Siobhan Vivian on Saturday.

From Goodreads:

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

I feel like this book had an important theme---popularity in high school and the positive and negative effects of it. I liked the plot idea--of a popularity list.  But I'm not sure that I thought it was done the right way.  

I never really got attached to any of the characters because it was told from 8 different viewpoints.  I found myself not really caring about any of them and especially disliking one of them (probably the one that was supposed to be disliked but I think instead we should have seen some redeeming quality in her.)

There were some major teen issues in the book--including an eating disorder.  But nothing ever really gets done about it.  The character with the disorder knows its wrong but it's never really rectified.  Another character's mother is threatening to pull her out of the school but we never find out if that really happens. It's like nothing is ever resolved in the story.  Almost like the book was cut short.  Each character should have had at least one more chapter to wrap up their "story".

Overall, it was an okay book.  I just wish it had more follow-through at the end.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, April 6, 2015

In My Mailbox- April 6, 2015

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

Death Marked (Death Sworn #2)- Leah Cypess-- from publisher for review

Sorceress (Spellcaster #3)- Claudia Gray--from publisher for review

King (The Dragon King Chronicles #3)- Ellen Oh--from publisher for review 

Solitaire- Alice Oseman--from publisher for review

Tiny Pretty Things- Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Under a Vampire Moon (Argeneau #16)- Lynsay Sands--PaperbackSwap