Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review- Play On

I finished reading Play On (Lewis Creek #1) by Michelle Smith for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma's flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she's also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there's something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek--he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn t everything--maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together."

By now, it's known that I love my sports stories.  So when I saw this book was about baseball, I jumped on the tour.  That being said, I have a hard time with guy narrators for some reason. (Although I did love all the baseball references.)

This book felt both real and not real to me.  Austin and Marisa's relationship--they almost fit together too well.  I'm not sure why, when I think about it.  But with the exception of one part, it was just too easy.  He fell for her too easily and was crazy about her and I don't really know too many teen guys like that.

That's where the real comes in--depression and suicide.  Such a real and tough topic.  I liked that we got to read about how it affects other people, not just the one suffering.  I think teens need to realize that depression is real and that it's okay to talk about it.  

My one suggestion for the book--and it may already be included since I read an ARC--but I really, REALLY hope the final book has a page at the end with hotlines and website for teens and people struggling with depression and suicide as a reference for help.

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.

Monday, June 29, 2015

In My Mailbox- June 29, 2015

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

All We Have is Now- Lisa Schroeder--from publisher for review

Play On (Lewis Creek #1)- Michelle Smith--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Werewolf in the North Woods (Wild About You #2)- Vicki Lewis Thompson--PaperbackSwap

The Sunday Salon- June 28, 2015

The Sunday Salon

I got a little bit of reading done this week

I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
Echo (Soul Seekers #2) by Alyson Noel

Starflight by Melissa Landers

I am currently reading Play On by Michelle Smith and if I don't get a tour book, I'll start Mystic (Soul Seekers #3) by Alyson Noel next. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Review- Starflight

I finished reading Starflight by Melissa Landers last night for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world--and each other--the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

I was in need of a book that I could get absorbed in and just fly through.  Surprisingly, this book, which was a mix of distopian/sci-fi (maybe?), did just the trick.  I'm usually not a fan of that genre but I enjoyed this one.

Maybe because it was really character driven along with the all the action.  And we all know how much I love my character driven stories.  Each and every character, both main and secondary had their own backstory, which we learned about.  And I loved all of them for it.

I'm not sure how I feel about Solara and Doran.  It might be a spoiler, but come on, it's YA, you know they're going to end up together.  I just felt like on his end, it was kind of bam! sudden feelings.  I liked how you could see Solara's feelings grow over time.

This is the first book in the series and I'm eager for the next one to come out.

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Starflight will be released on February 2, 2016.

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Book Review- Echo

I just finished reading Echo (Soul Seekers #2) by Alyson Noel.

From Goodreads:

She inherited a magical destiny--and a mission to stop a powerful family of dark sorcerers. She never expected to fall in love with one of them.

There's still so much Daire Santos has to learn about being the last Soul Seeker….and about herself. As her magical training becomes more intense, so does her relationship with Dace. But when she learns that his connection to the evil Richter family goes far deeper than she ever imagined, she begins to question if love really can conquer all.

Dace is painfully aware that he wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the Richters' dark magic--and now his brother Cade is determined to use his love for Daire against him. Dace is willing to sacrifice anything to protect the girl he loves --including his own life. But will Daire allow it? And what if defeating Cade costs not only his life, but his soul too?

Enchanting, haunting, romantic, Echo is the second book in the Soul Seekers series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël!

I didn't remember much from the first book in the series, Fated, and after reading this second novel, I'm still not really sure what happened. These books are such slow reads for me.  Not that its bad, just that I don't breeze through some of them like I do with other books.  I think it's because I still feel disconnected from it.

I liked the whole twin aspect again.  They're really more connected than you might think.

I also liked that we switched perspectives between Daire and Dace--I don't remember if that happened in the first book.  But I liked getting to see things from both of their points of view.

I have the next two books in the series to read soon.  Although I'll be honest--I'm not sure I would continue with it if I didn't already have them.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I traded this book with a friend.

Monday, June 22, 2015

In My Mailbox- June 22, 2015

In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox in the last two weeks:

Ghoul Interrupted (Ghost Hunter Mystery #6)- Victoria Laurie--PaperbackSwap

Infinite In Between- Carolyn Mackler--from publisher for review

The Tattooed Heart (Messenger of Fear #2)- Michael Grant--review for an Around the World ARC Tour 

Daughter of Deep Silence- Carrie Ryan--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy #4)- Wendy Higgins--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Starflight- Melissa Landers--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Truest- Jackie Lea Sommers--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12)- Charlaine Harris--PaperbackSwap

Paperweight- Meg Haston--from publisher for review

Between Us and the Moon- Rebecca Maizel--from publisher for review 

The Sunday Salon- June 21, 2015

The Sunday Salon

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!

I finished and reviewed the following books in the last two weeks:
The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

This Strange and Familiar Place (So Close To You #2) by Rachel Carter 

I am currently reading Echo (Soul Seekers #2) by Alyson Noel and up next is Starflight by Melissa Landers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book Review- This Strange and Familiar Place

I finished reading This Strange and Familiar Place (So Close To You #2) by Rachel Carter a few days ago.

From Goodreads:

These are the things of which Lydia is now certain:

The Montauk Project has been experimenting with time travel for years.

The Project's subjects are "recruits" from across time, recruits like Wes, Lydia's ally, friend, and love.

The Project is now responsible for the disappearance of two members of her family...

The conspiracy theorists were right about the Montauk Project all along. In this sequel to So Close to You, they're coming for Lydia next...

Once again I'm really surprised that I found a time travel book so interesting.  I couldn't put it down!  Reading back over the review of the first book in the series, I didn't seem to like Wes much.  I liked him much more this time around.  I believed in his relationship with Lydia this time.

It was interesting to see how everything was connected.  And to see how one little event in time can affect future events.  I liked the side characters of Tag, Nikki, and LJ.  They each had their own little personalities and I grew to really like them.

The end really threw me for a loop.  I was ready to throw my book against a wall.  Luckily everything was right-ed (is that even the correct way to use the word?) in the last 3 pages and I was okay with it.  I'm dying to get my hands on the third book in the series!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

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

Friday, June 12, 2015

Book Review- The Stars Never Rise

I finished reading The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent last night for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

The Soul Screamer series by Rachel Vincent is one of my favorite series so I was excited to start a new one by her.  And while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it as much.

There was a lot going on in this book and I was confused about a lot of it.  The backstory and history mingled in with the current times was a struggle for me to understand.  I think I got the overall gist of it but not all the details.

All of the characters were great.  My favorite was Finn.  I loved how he switched bodies, like a demon but he had a soul and emotions and was just a great and funny guy.   Nina was a pretty great heroine as well.  I loved how much she cared for her sister.

The plot kept me interested and there were a few surprises thrown in.  I'm hooked and can't wait to see what's going to happen to Nina and the rest of the gang next!

I gave this book a 3.5/5 rating.

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

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In My Mailbox- June 8, 2015

In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox in the last month and a half:

Until the Beginning (After the End #2)- Amy Plum--from publisher for review

The Death Code (The Murder Complex #2)- Lindsay Cummings--from publisher for review

Illusionarium- Heather Dixon--from publisher for review 

Made You Up- Francesca Zappia--from publisher for review

The Fog Diver- Joel Ross--from publisher

Encore to an Empty Room (Exile #2)- Kevin Emerson--from publisher for review

Drive Me Crazy- Terra Elan McVoy--from publisher for review

Nowhere But Here- Katie McGarry--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Invincible- Amy Reed--from publisher for review

Shadow of the Wolf- Tim Hall--from publisher for review

Timeless (Parasol Protectorate #5)- Gail Carriger--PaperbackSwap 

The Haunted (The Hollow #2)- Jessica Verday--received from friend

The Hidden (The Hollows #3)- Jessica Verday--received from friend

Echo (Soul Seekers #2)- Alyson Noel--received from friend

Mystic (Soul Seekers #3)- Alyson Noel--received from friend

Horizon (Soul Seekers #4)- Alyson Noel--received from friend

The Eternal City- Paula Morris--from publisher for review

Circle of Fire (Prophecy of the Sisters #3)- Michelle Zink--received from friend

The Ripper (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #4)- L.J. Smith--PaperbackSwap

At the Corner of King Street- Mary Ellen Taylor--from publisher for review

Elegy (Watersong #4)- Amanda Hocking--from publisher for review

Last Breath (The Morganville Vampires #11)- Rachel Caine--PaperbackSwap

A Week at the Lake- Wendy Wax--from publisher

The Good Girls (The Perfectionists #2)- Sara Shepard--from publisher for review

Invisible Monsters (Talker 25#2)- Joshua McCune--from publisher for review

Deadfall- Anna Carey--from publisher for review

One- Sarah Crossan--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

The Stars Never Rise- Rachel Vincent--review for an Around the World ARC Tour