Friday, December 30, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: The Odds of Lightning by Jocelyn Davies

The Odds of Lightning by Jocelyn Davies
A bolt of lightning inspires an incredible journey in this charming, magical realism adventure that takes four teens on an all-night journey through the streets of New York City.
Extraordinary things happen when we least expect them.
Tiny, Lu, Will and Nathaniel used to be best friends. Then life-defining events the summer before high school tore them apart. Now, three years later, they hardly talk anymore. Nathaniel has become obsessed with winning the prestigious science scholarship that his genius older brother once won. Will has risen from anonymity to popular soccer star. Lu grew into a brash, impetuous actress. And shy, poetic Tiny has slowly been fading away.
But fate weaves their lives together again the night before the SATs, during a wild thunderstorm that threatens to shut down New York City. And lightning strikes.
Before they know what's hit them, the four teens embark on an epic all-night adventure to follow their dreams, fall in and out of love, reconcile the past, and overcome the fears that have been driving them since that one lost summer. And by the time the sun rises, odds are they’ll discover that there’s a fine line between science and magic, and that the mysteries of love and friendship can’t be explained.
Publishes in US:  September 20th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Source: arc from Simon Teen
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 affected by the book being free.
Series? No

Buy it:  Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter

    I chose to read this one because it was sent to me by Simon, and Tiny sounded like a character that I could connect with.
    Four POV can be tricky, and add to it a "then and now" style can either be great or it can be rough. However, the beginning was enough to spark my attention, and I wanted to explore the friends who used to be close and then were drawn together again under extraordinary circumstances. However after the 2nd time switch and third jump in POV, I just couldn't keep up.

Bottom Line:

My question to you, my lovely readers:
If it were the end of the world, would you stay home? (a question/quote from the book)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review: A List of Cages by Robin Roe

A List of Cages by Robin Roe
When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.
Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.
Publishes in US: January 10th 2017 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: ya contemp
Source: earc via Netgalley from Disney
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 affected by the book being free.
Series? no

Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository Barnes and Noble

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook

    I wanted to read A List of Cages because I am drawn to books with the psychological elements since I myself suffer from several mental illnesses. I get a sense of healing from reading about others who also deal with it-- looking at issues from a new angle as well as how they cope and their own journeys of acceptance, healing, and going on with life. Not only that, but this also had the element of family that intrigued me-- the foster brother situation. 

    It's told in dual narrative, so we get to experience the story from both of the boys. Julian is the one that struggles, and is the one who lost his parents. He has anxiety about speaking, and often skips class, which gets him into trouble. Adam is popular and feeling on top of the world, until he gets the coveted aide position for the school psychologist. He gets a glimpse of what others has to deal with and it also puts him in a spot to reconnect with and understand Julian. 

Bottom Line: Worth a read.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
What was/is fave elective in school?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: Fire in You by J. Lynn

Fire in You (Wait for You #6) by J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout
From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J.Lynn, comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…
Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.
She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the past sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.


Publishes in US: November 28th 2016 by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: adult/new adult contemp
Source: bought
 **   Audience alert: this is a new adult book. It does contain sex scenes that aren't fade to black, descriptions of violence and other adult situations. If you are under 18, get your parent's advice if this is a book for you.
Series? Yes Wait for You #6
My reviews;
#1 Wait for You
#1.5 Trust in Me
#2 Be with Me
#3 Stay with Me
#4 Fall with Me
#4.5 Dream of You
5: Forever with You

Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository Barnes and Noble

Author stalk away: site Blog | Facebook Goodreads | Twitter


I wanted to read Fire In You because I adore JL Armentrout/J Lynn. This is no exception, it has a great main character with flaws and insecurities that has a lot of growth emotionally and through hard times. Jillian has a scar on her face from a violent attack is what it seems like at first, but we don't get the whole story until later. She also has hearing loss in one ear, and its a challenge I haven't seen addressed a lot.

The romance is a second chance one, and although she faced a lot of hurt the first time around with Brock, they are thrown back into each other's lives and she can't deny neither the powerful attraction and chemistry nor the hurt she felt years ago.

I liked their conclusion and where they ended up in their relationship, with her family and career wise. I enjoyed getting an update on the other characters as well.

Bottom Line: Worth the read, good addition to the series.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have any visible scars?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: Mercy Thompson #2-8 by Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)
Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3)
Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)
Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5)
River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6)
Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7)
Night Broken (Mercy Thompson, #8)

Genre: adult UF
Source: library
 **   Audience alert: this is an adult book. It does contain sex scenes that aren't fade to black and other adult situations. If you are under 18, get your parent's advice if this is a book for you.
Series? Yes  Mercy Thompson #2-8
my review of #1 Moon Called

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook

    I am continuing to read and devour this series. I love Mercy as a main character, she has such compassion, and wants to put others first. We get to see her and Adam get closer and I adore the dynamics of their romance and relationship. The fact that she becomes his mate and his husband and all that entails with their love as well as the pack ties makes for interesting reading. 
    Trouble always finds her, and her unique status as a shapeshifter but not werewolf allows her to befriend certain people in the species, werewolves, vampires, fae, other humans, halves, and other shifters, as well as people that share the native american heritage. 

   These are fairly short for adult standards, but I enjoy that because I have been able to devour in several sittings each. 

Bottom Line:

My question to you, my lovely readers:
What animal would you shift into?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Review: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

In the vein of It's Kind of a Funny Story and All the Bright Places, comes a captivating, immersive exploration of life with mental illness.
For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm's length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.
As the walls of Mel's compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst--that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she's been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are.


Publishes in US: February 7th 2017 by Poppy
Genre: ya contemp
Source: Poppy 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 affected by the book being free.
Series? no

Also read and reviewed by Eric: Not if I See You First 

Buy it: 

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook


    I wanted to read A Tragic Kind of Wonderful because I am drawn to books with mental illness. I myself have bipolar disorder, and though Mel is a bit early to present from what I've researched, I can definitely see parts of myself in her and when she speaks of her brother. 

   It is hard to keep friends when you cycle through moods like you do with bipolar, sometimes even while on meds. I also have social anxiety and though I am on drugs for both, it is still hard to show my true self to others and maintaining close relationships when prone to go hermit for times, and always feeling like I am hiding parts of myself. I saw these things in Mel as well, and it was quite a journey to go through with her as she realized more about herself, faced hard things from her past, and struggled to not let herself push others away even in light of what she learned. 

    There were flashbacks, some of which I enjoyed and others I felt like were a bit disruptive. I get they were important scenes and integral to the story, but especially at the beginning I just felt like I was getting to know Mel, and it was throwing even more characters at me. 

   I liked the relationship with her new therapist, as well as the resident of the community home she works at. It is realistic and not at all let's wave a magic wand.  The friendships were complex in this one and it was quite the journey to unravel what happened. There was a good amount of secondary characters, but they all served a purpose and they were well developed. 

   There was  romance, but it didn't take front stage, and I liked that, because there was other things that were the focus. 

   Mel learned a lot about herself, her relationships, began to heal from the loss of her brother, started being okay letting others in, and telling them the truth. It was a character driven story with good development of the characters and I was pleased with the journey as well as the ending. 

Bottom Line: Good look into a girl with mental health problems with an enjoyable cast of characters.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Is it hard for you to be your true self around others like Mel?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review: Tumbling by Caela Carter

Tumbling by Caela Carter
Grace lives and breathes gymnastics—but no matter how hard she pushes herself, she can never be perfect enough.
Leigh, Grace’s best friend, has it all: a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life…and a secret that could ruin everything.
Camille wants to please her mom, wants to please her boyfriend, and most of all, wants to walk away.
Wilhelmina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she won’t let anything stop her again. No matter what
Monica is terrified. Nobody believes in her—and why should they?By the end of the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, some of these girls will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever.
Source: bought

Karen at For What It's Worth and Mary at The Book Swarm occasionally post twitter-style reviews. Karen calls hers Short and Tweet, and I am going to borrow that review style here.

My short and tweet review: 

     I wanted to read this one because I like gymnastics books and TV shows. I enjoyed it, liked that the characters had depth but my one complain was there were multiple (5) points of view, and at first it felt like it jumped around too much to get a handle on the character, but I was rewarded that I stuck with it. 

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Ever done gymnastics?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Review: If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.
When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.
Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .


Publishes in US: October 25th 2016 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: ya contemp
Source: earc from Harlequin Teen 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 affected by the book being free.
Series? no

Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository Barnes and Noble

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook

    I wanted to read If I Fix You because I liked the sound of the main characters. I have a thing for contemp genre, especially ones dealing with hurting people and their healing. It also sounded like it had a good chance for a good romance where two people support each other. 

    I liked the main character Jill. She has her issues, but she is trying to move on with life. She is close to her dad, still upset with her mom for leaving, the boy who used to be her best friend and his part in it, and their resulting distance from each other. She sleeps on the roof trying to find a way to deal with her pain, and escape her dad's pacing. But she has her own interests, cars and running. She helps in her dad's mechanic shop where she is more than tired of changing oil, but she gets to work on older cars, her passion and what she's saving up for. 

   Her new neighbor Daniel, who when she was hanging out/sleeping on the roof, overheard a huge fight between him and his mom, and begins to see where his bruises and scars come from. They had a connection from the start, but he was still trying to keep some sort of hold on his secrets, but they keep being drawn to each other, helped by their proximity to each other. 

    The romance, the deal with Sean, as well as some of her mom's issues ended up surprising me, but I appreciate the deviation from the norm. It went through a lot of emotions not only with Jill, but all of the characters had things to learn about relationships, their view of certain events, and themselves to learn. 

    While there were some heavy things in this one, it managed to not be depressing, but left me with a deeper understanding of the characters. It left Jill at a good point where she could forgive and more towards healing. I also liked the lighter moments, showing how involved and present her dad was, and the things in life that they shared and making it through her mom leaving. 

   I liked this one, and would read another by Abigail Johnson. 

Bottom Line: Good character growth, heavy at times but worth the read.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you have a favorite or dream car?