Thursday, December 31, 2015

Brandi's Best of 2015

Books read: 175

Everything That Makes You
Every Last Word
The One Thing
The Return (Titan, #1)
Fading Out (Living Heartwood, #3)

Continuing series I am still loving:
Salt & Stone (Fire & Flood, #2)
Chasing Impossible (Pushing the Limits, #5)
Series Enders:
The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)
Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3)
Daylighters (The Morganville Vampires, #15)

The Scorpio Races

Best old (new to me) series:
Succubus Revealed (Georgina Kincaid, #6)
Storm Born (Dark Swan, #1)
With Visions of Red, Book Two
my review book 1
book 2 review
book 3 review


Wednesday, December 30, 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:
The Power (Titan, #2)

With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.
Fate has other plans.

The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve. Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.
But the gods are sensing a greater threat.

Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.

The paths taken in the past are becoming the roads of the future.

Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.

And when the struggle between power and love becomes the deadliest battleground, there may be no salvation.

Releases: February 23rd 2016 by Spencer Hill Press 

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review: Other Broken Things by C. Desir

Other Broken Things by C. Desir
Nat's not an alcoholic. She doesn't have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like get in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.
Unfortunately her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.
But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat’s life and things start looking up. Joe is funny, smart, and calls her out in a way no one ever has.
He’s also older. A lot older.
Nat’s connection to Joe is overwhelming but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she's been desperate to forget.
Now in order to make a different kind of life, Natalie must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.


Publishes in US: January 12th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genre: ya contemp
Source: Simon Pulse via Edelweiss
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
Series? no

Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository Barnes and Noble

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog


    I wanted to read Other Broken Things because I am drawn to tough stories, the teens with issues, and a recovering alcoholic as such a young adult. Nat is dealing with adult issues, the pressure of bad decisions breathing down her neck, and in court ordered AA meetings and trying to turn her life around doesn't make it any easier that her old group of friends aren't supportive, and only wants party girl wild Nat back. And then there is also the forbidden romance aspect when she meets a much older guy, but one who seems to get her. 

   Natalie is in AA and it's because she was she got a DUI. She has attitude and she is kind of apathetic to the whole thing at first. She's being forced to go to the meetings and she makes that pretty clear.Her mom is driving her to and from her meetings and trying to talk to her about it so it takes a but to get a handle on their relationship. Natalie seems to think that she doesn't care and that she has been wronged but she also did a lot of partying and made some bad decisions so I wasn't really sure how that dynamic actually was.

   Her ex boyfriend is still trying to flirt with her and initiate physical things with her but she also slaps him with a lot of the blame that she took him home and if she didn't she wouldn't have drove the car into the stop sign because she would have been at the party even longer.
but we know from the description of the book that she is going to have attraction and chemistry with an older guy so we knew that the ex wasn't going to play into things a whole lot.

     Things with him they were complicated Natalie wanted to flirt with him and I think she wanted that relationship but he was more interested in really helping her and being a role model and helping Her to get and stay sober and stay on the program

    As the book went on i began to realize how much of an all or nothing sort of girl that Natalie is. we also realize more about her past and that boxing used to be a big part of it and as she is getting sober she's beginning to realize how much that she really misses it, she wants the feel of hitting the punching bags or getting into the ring. But when she decided to start drinking and partying more than she wanted to box that is when she dropped That passion.

     She also becomes close with another adult in the AA program named Kathy. Kathy was tough and supportive and truthful all of the same time and that's it is kind of personality types that Natalie really needed. I know that some people needed cuddling or some people need their hands held by Natalie really just needed to be challenged and held accountable and made to look at things in the harsh light of reality.

    I really love the character development in this one. Natalie begins to realize a lot about her life and limits on the how to let her mom in and when to Start becoming the young adults and she is and taking responsibility for what she needs to. I like that she keeps her personality that she doesn't become a rule follower or someone who just goes along with what someone else. But she keeps her strong woman quality, but realizes she has to put in hard work to be the kind of person deep down she has always wanted to be.

    I liked where it left her. She had accepted she had problems,.She formed relationships, and came to realize that she was only responsible for her own choices. She had to give up a lot, and many things in her life weren't perfect, but she learned to figure out what she wanted and work towards it. She had to let go of some people, old habits, but she also stood up for boxing, something she was good at and loved.

Bottom Line: Tough situation for main character with lots of character growth.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Ever had a crush on someone much older... or younger?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.


Publishes in US:  January 5th 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: ya contemp
Source: St. Martin's via netgalley
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
This is a book with dark or difficult themes. Young adults that have made hard choices from hard backgrounds. It deals with sex, teens without supervision. It is a young adult book, but if under 18, ask parent's guidance.
Series? no

Buy it: Amazon Barnes and Noble Indigo iTunes Kobo Books-A-Million IndieBound

Author stalk away: ~site Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Instagram   |   Tumblr   |   Goodreads   |   Wattpad

    I wanted to read Firsts because it was an interesting premise. I haven't read anything quite like it, but wanted to find out her motivation and see what kind of person she is. Mercedes from the synopsis has a best friend, and there is the possibility of seeing some major tension and chemistry. \

   Mercedes/Mercy is pretty easy to like, even if I could never do what she does. She convinces herself that she really is helping these guys, that her feelings don't play into it, and she isn't doing anything wrong. But I know that from her thoughts, and from the way she dresses trying to get her mom's attention, and mentioning several guys coming over,  that even if she convinces herself she doesn't care about her mom's opinion or doesn't need her affection, that a lot comes back to that. 

   She sets numbers of guys who she takes their virginity and gives them tips and advice on how to make their girlfriend's first time a good experience. But every line and number she sets, she keeps getting asked to help and she finds herself agreeing. And she starts breaking her own rules, both with the guys she's helping and her chem partner Zach. 

   When she is threatened and her secrets start to come out, she has to face a lot of hard choices, and she has to see who is really by her side. Her full story comes out little by little, and consequences catch up with her. The ending wrapped things up well and I enjoyed the character growth and the eventual romance. 

Bottom Line: Overall, worth a read, has a very different concept.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Does virginity or lack thereof effect (or did it effect) dating prospect?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

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

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:
source: harper teen via edelweiss
What I read:

Last Week on the blog:

Source: netgalley
Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via earc from Edelweiss and Netgalley
My week:
Had a good time watching girls open gifts, seeing family and eating good food. I got games-- Boss Monster, Dominion, Exploding Kittens, and donkey kong for wiiu. 


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.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer
On his own
Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.
Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.
The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.
Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…


Publishes in US: December 29th 2015 by Kensington Books
Genre: ya paranormal
Source: netgalley
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
Series? not sure

Elemental Series:
My reviews of previous
#1 Storm
#2 Spark
#3 Spirit
#4 Secret
Novellas: Fearless and Breathless  1.5 and 2.5
#5 Sacrifice

Buy it: >Preorder on Amazon

Author stalk away:site   twitter   facebook  blog

    I wanted to read this one because I enjoyed her Elemental series. But Thicker than water read more like a contemporary mystery than any kind of paranormal up to the very end. 

   It focused on a boy who had just lost his mother and he is the main suspect in the crime-- killing her. And he is treated such in his town. Charlotte has many brothers, all in the police profession, which makes their friendship hard. 

    It is told in dual narrative from Thomas and Charlotte. Charlotte is the one who gives him the benefit of the doubt, she is drawn to him and she goes against her family's wishes by being friends with him and keep on hanging out with him.

   They have chemistry and a bond between them and the eventual paranormal aspect of the book explains more of the problems that I have with Charlotte so I guess I won't really talk about that because it would be a spoiler.

    I didn't enjoy this as much as her other works and I think that's because it took so long to show itself as a paranormal and I wish those aspects with him present sooner or had just been absent in the book. I skimmed quite a bit--and probably won't continue this series, but would read something else if Kemmerer wrote it.

Bottom Line: Not the best for me, skimmed a lot. Paranormal aspect takes a long time to present itself.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you like books that combine murder mystery with paranormal?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday, WoW: What's Broken Between Us

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:
What's Broken Between Us

Alexis Bass’s heartbreakingly beautiful second novel is a tale of love, loss, and learning to forgive, perfect for fans of Gayle Forman and of Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything.

A year and a half ago, Amanda Tart's brother got behind the wheel drunk and killed his best friend. Today, he's coming home from prison.

Amanda's been the one living with the fallout, made worse by her brother's recent unapologetic TV interview. People think he's a monster. Still, she loves him. It's her dark secret, until she starts getting close to Henry again--whose sister is paralyzed from the accident. 

A year and a half ago, her brother destroyed his life. Now Amanda has to decide if she'll let his choice destroy hers.

Releases: December 29th 2015 by HarperCollins

What are you waiting on?