Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post, Bought Borrowed and Bagged

Interrupting your regularly scheduled program for a moment... I have been playing with a new header since the other isn't using ya books. Let me know honestly what you think please.  I love my first one, but made a few more because the books in the 1st aren't ya, whereas the others has some of fave titles, but not sure if its too busy or just right. Thanks



v 3

  • original.
  • v1 (castle no text bubble) ...
  • v2 (just books.)
  • v3 (castle text bubble)
More polls: Free poll

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews,  check it out and sign up  here
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged is a weekly meme, hosted by TalkSupe, where I share with you the books I have bought, borrowed, or bagged. Link up with me here.

Currently reading
None of the Above
None of the Above
source: harper teen via edelweiss

What I read:
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
source: bloomsbury

Last Week on the blog:
Invincible (Invincible, #1)
Source: Harperteen via edelweiss
Things We Know by Heart
Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
New giveaways exclusive to my blog:
She Speaks to Angels (AngelFire Chronicles, #1)  The AngelFire Chronicles by Ami Blackwelder

 and Double Negative or  The Princess of Las Pulgas or Sudden Secrets $25 Amazon GC and choice of ebook by C Lee Mckenzie

My week: Fun, I wrote my first guest post for a non book blog, and think it turned out well, check it out if you want here

What are you reading? Any of my books new to you or have you read any of my books? If so, what did you think?
Also, feel free to link up your blog and mailbox post.

Exclusive Sponsored Giveaway: $25 Amazon GC and choice of ebook by C Lee Mckenzie and Letter to Teen Self Guest Post

Double Negative
"My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn't been laid yet. I couldn't go into the slammer before that happened." Hutch McQueen.
Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers. 
Amazon KindleAmazon PaperbackBarnes & NobleSmashwords

 The Princess of Las Pulgas

see my review here
Carlie Edmund has everything: a loving family, good friends, a perfect home and wealth and status; then in her junior year of high school all of that changes. How will Carlie take on the challenges of living in a different world, a world where she doesn't "fit" and where nothing is as it should be?
Amazon KindleAmazon PaperbackBarnes & NobleIndiebound

Sudden Secrets
One Secret
Cleo has struggled to heal after her baby sister’s death, but the flashbacks to the accident won’t go away. With the move, she vows to keep her tragedy a secret and avoid pitying looks.
one Mystery
Something’s strange about the abandoned house across the street—flashes of light late at night and small flickers of movement that only someone looking for them would see. Everyone says the house is deserted, but Cleo is sure it isn’t, and she’s sure whoever is inside is watching her.
another Secret
In one night, Belleza’s life changes forever. So famous, her only choice is to hide her secret from the world so she can silence small town bigotry. Then Cleo happens.
Amazon KindleAmazon PaperbackBarnes & NobleSmashwords

My review of Sliding on the Edge

Twitter: @cleemckenzie

Follow/Like Here:
Double Negative fb page:
Princess of Las Pulgas fb page:
Sliding on the Edge:
Add Sudden Secrets to Goodreads TBR:


I’m a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where I live with my family. I write most of the time, garden, hike and do yoga a lot. I travel whenever I can. Last year I got to Amsterdam, Barbados and Burma. Next year is still in the planning stages, but Ireland and Cuba are on my list.

In my writing, I take on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. My first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. My second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. Double Negative (2014) was my third young adult novel. Researching it turned me into a literacy advocate. My fourth YA, Sudden Secrets came out in December 2014. 

When I really want to have fun, I write middle grade books. Alligators Overhead was my first published book for readers age 8-12, and the sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster, is now out.

Conversations Id like to have with Teen Me

One conversation Id like to have with that young version of me is about  not taking everything so seriously, including myself.

Old Me: Stop with the moping. No one noticed you snorted 7-Up down your front.

Teen Me: Youve got to be kidding. Everyone noticed. Tim noticed.

Old Me: Tim. Who was Tim?

Teen Me: Only the hottest guy on the track team.

Old Me: Cant remember him. But, and heres the point, youre not the center of the universe, dear. Everyone was busy noticing other things.

Teen Me: Like what?

Old Me: Oh, like the winner crossing the finish line for one.

Then Id have something to tell her about secrets. Everyone has secrets and those are often things they arent very proud of.

Old Me: So you were jealous of Ann. Am I remembering right?

Teen Me: She had a pool and Keith. She had a mom and a dad who belonged to the tennis club. She

Old Me: She didnt have the grades to get into any college she applied to. She wound up not going to college. She wound up marrying Keith, divorcing him and overdosing. Ann had a lot of secrets.

Teen Me: I wish Id known.

Old Me: Me, too.

Nows a good time for a hug from Old Me to Teen Me. If theres one thing more Id say its this: The past is the past. Let it be. The future is as uncertain and unknowable as it ever was. Embrace this moment. Its all we have and its perfect.

Wish Id know that when I was a teen.

Giveaway is for:
20 eBooks, pdf, html, kindle compatible, epub (The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, or Sudden Secrets—Their choice.)
$25. Amazon GC
Anywhere in the world.
If under 18, must have parent's permission.
No Purchase Necessary
The Sponsor: author
Winners will be chosen by giveaway host and notified by email. They will have 48 hours to respond.
Email addresses or physical addresses or any personal information will not be sold
Liability: Brandi Breathes Books is not responsible for lost or stolen packages
Brandi Breathes Books Giveaways are hosted in Holly Springs, NC USA
Void where prohibited by law
-If you win a review on your blog and/or amazon is appreciated but not required.

*If, for whatever reason, the Rafflecopter widget does not appear, you can click on the link where it says rafflecopter giveaway and it will show up, sorry for the inconvenience.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: Invincible by Amy Reed

Invincible (Invincible #1) by Amy Reed 
Evie is living on borrowed time. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer several months ago and told that by now she’d be dead. Evie is grateful for every extra day she gets, but she knows that soon this disease will kill her. Until, miraculously, she may have a second chance to live.
All Evie had wanted was her life back, but now that she has it, she feels like there’s no place for her in it—at least, not for the girl she is now. Her friends and her parents still see her as Cancer Girl, and her boyfriend’s constant, doting attention is suddenly nothing short of suffocating.
Then Evie meets Marcus. She knows that he’s trouble, but she can’t help falling for him. Being near him makes her feel truly, fully alive. It’s better than a drug. His kiss makes her feel invincible—but she may be at the beginning of the biggest free fall of her life.


Publishes in US: April 28th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books aka Harper Teen
Genre: ya contemp
Source: Harperteen via edelweiss
Series? Invincible #1
#2 Expected publication: 2016

Buy it: Amazon  IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook


    I wanted to read Invincible because I am drawn to stories with illnesses and cancer. I started early in my reading life with Lurlene McDaniel and still seek out books with those types of feels. I have also enjoyed Amy's other books, so made sense to request and want to read this one. 

    I really like how strong she was and how she wanted to keep it together for her family. it's definitely hard seeing her in the position that she had accepted that she was going to die she just wanted to be strong for her family her mom her dad her sister as well as her best friends since kindergarten and her very loyal boyfriend all of which is stuck by her side throughout the whole treatment and diagnosis and spreading of the cancer.

    I also like how this book focused on some of the unique types of friendships that you make when you are in a teen cancer ward. Stella and Caleb are two of which that have been by her side caleb has a brain tumor and Stella is also dealing with some chemotherapy and radiation and they've been and at the same time a lot. still is one of the people who tell it like it is and to is raucously funny. we get a lot of the humor from the book from Stella and also when please put on line of her pain meds and her whole view of the world seems to change. Everything becomes funny to her and she knows that there's pain but she just doesn't care about it and the world is painted in this picture of being high I guess is the best way to put it.

    When the book begins when you see her in a position where she thought that she was going to die she had accepted it and she had declined further treatment. we know from the synopsis that she is going to get a whole new lease on life but I do appreciate getting to know her while she was in that really hard time in her life. I can't imagine living with a death sentence or with a choice of either giving up or being in extreme pain. with the years for life span in the hospital it feels like the whole world moved on without her and I totally cannot imagine how that would feel or how I would move on.

    It was sad the loss that happened before Evie's miracle remission. She thought she was dying and then suddenly all traces are gone. She has a new lease on life, but she is carrying a lot of baggage with her. Between the loss of a friend and the way that she has felt pain, been on the door of death has changed her. She used to be a cheerleader and even while she was sick, she kept the upbeat persona.

    There was such a change in her. She didn't know where she fit, and she felt so much differently than she did before. School, cheerleading  and prom all seem so meaningless. She turns to her pills and alcohol in order to help dull the pain, first physically and then more and more so emotionally. Her parents, Will, and best friend are all so worried about her. She makes bad decisions, and although I could understand how she was feeling, she really didn't treat any of them well.

   While I can see her draw to Marcus, someone who didn't see her go through the cancer, and someone who saw her as strong and tough. It rubbed me wrong because of how Will stuck by her side, and I felt like Evie kept leading Will on, while she was seeing, kissing and emotionally connecting with Marcus.

    Honestly this book left her in a pretty bad place, and I felt for her so much. I was worried about how far depressed and uncaring she was.

Bottom Line: Emotional journey of Evie, a cancer patient, now cancer free trying to fit back into a life when she'd already accepted death.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever had a chance to start over?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday, WoW

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I also feature books that may have already released, but I am anxiously waiting to read.

This week, I'm featuring:
We All Looked Up
Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

Own it, just need time to read it
Releases: March 24th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America, which Booklist called “a piercing, unforgettable novel” and Kirkus Reviews deemed “a work of sublime humanity.”
The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America, which Booklist called "a piercing, unforgettable novel" and Kirkus Reviews deemed "a work of sublime humanity."

As a teen girl in Newark, New Jersey, lost in the foster care system, Dime just wants someone to care about her, to love her. A family. And that is exactly what she gets-a daddy and two "wifeys." So what if she has to go out and earn some coins to keep her place? It seems a fair enough exchange for love.

Dime never meant to become a prostitute. It happened so gradually, she pretty much didn't realize it was happening until it was too late.

But when a new "wifey" joins the family and Dime finds out that Daddy doesn't love her the way she thought he did, will Dime have the strength to leave? And will Daddy let her?

Expected publication: May 26th 2015 by Atheneum

What are you waiting on?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.
After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.
Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.


Publishes in US: April 21st 2015 by HarperTeen
Genre: ya contemp
Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
Series? no

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site ~Twitter Facebook


    I wanted to read this one because I am drawn to books about organ donation and especially the newer ones that focus on the cellular memory aspect. There is so much that can be done with the subject and I have liked Kirby's previous books, so it was a sure thing to try.

   Quinn is the main character and she is shrouded in grief even after a year of losing her boyfriend Trent. Through flashbacks I got to see the beginning of their relationship, the comfort and familiarity that they built together in their relationship. There were also views back to the day he passed as well as the days leading up to her reaching out to his organ recipients.

    But Colton, the heart recipient hasn't gotten back to her and she is desperate for some sort of closure, or hopefully peace upon seeing him. So she breaks a few rules and researches him. Once she finds out his town and his name from a blog post from his sister while he was sick and putting together dates and times, she convinces herself it won't hurt if she goes and just gets a look at him, his life, the guy who now has her deceased boyfriend's heart beating in his chest.

   But she doesn't exactly make the most smooth under cover. She manages to get his attention in all sorts of ways, and she is drawn even more to him. He feels a familiarity with her and they end up on each others' radars and in the others' space more and more. There is an undeniable chemistry and magnetism. You have to wonder if its cell memory for how deeply Quinn and Trent felt for one another, and now upon seeing her, Colton is drawn to her, feeling like he knows and has a deep connection to her. Or if its just simple attraction and chemistry of a nice guy and girl who click and keep finding and thinking of the other.

    It was great though to watch Quinn begin to live again and learn that she can be happy and she doesn't have to daily be aware of Trent and his death. She had neglected a lot, her school work, and her family relationships. But her sister is in town unexpectedly for the summer and between Ryan (the sister) and their Gran, they help even further to pull Quinn out of herself. They also encourage her time at the beach and suspect a boy may be behind it even though Quinn of course, doesn't tell them much about him because even though she is loving the time they spend together, she is still the only one who knows the connection with Colton.

    I liked the way their relationship progressed, and even though there was the secret hanging between them, Quinn hiding how she knows him and Colton that he has physical limitations, they somehow formed a deep connection. The truth of course ends up coming out at a really hard time, and it seemed like it might break them. It added a lot to the suspense and both of them had to face some really hard truths and wonder if the secrets are enough to keep them apart.

    It was a realistic ending, but I was pleased with it. I liked the growth of both of the characters and the arc of their friendship and romance.

Bottom Line: Emotional story of Quinn who has lost her first love and who ends up meeting and falling for the recipient of his heart.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Are you an organ donor?