Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1) by Anne Blankman

Book Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1)
Author: Anne Blankman
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA/Historical
Series: Book 1 in Prisoner of Night and Fog trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she’s ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Normally I hate any sort of historical fiction. I hated history in both high school and college and even now I find the subject of history to be totally boring. There’s one exception to that and that is the Hitler era. Yes, I am aware of the terrible things that he did. I am aware of the concentration camps and the gas chambers that he put Jewish people through. Of course that is terrible and heartbreaking. Yet, it’s those actions that make him so fascinating. So several months ago, when I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to have it. I didn’t dive into it right away because I had other books to read first.

I was coming off another YA book last week, when I realized that I could pick this book up. It was time. I was ready to be wowed. I knew that this book could either be amazing or horrible. As I opened the book, I held on to the hope that this book would fall under the category of amazing.

And it did.

Holy moly, this book was amazing and perfect and just so… awesome.

When we meet Gretchen, she is fiercely loyal to her “uncle” Dolf and to the memory of her father. It is said that her father died a martyr and through his death, Gretchen and her family  have become household names. Gretchen’s mother runs a boardinghouse and Gretchen’s brother, Reinhard, is an up and coming important member of Adolf Hitler’s plans.

Reinhard has always been awful to Gretchen and ever since her father passed away, her mother excuses Reinhard’s behavior some way or another. Gretchen knows that her brother is awful but it’s not until she sees him with other boys beating up on an old man, that she realizes how awful he is.

Meeting a Jewish boy changes things. Gretchen is now being forced to face the fact that her wonderful, kind father wasn’t simply killed. He was murdered. Gretchen cannot understand why. Nothing makes sense to her. Until she starts really listening to what her “uncle” Dolf is saying. Gretchen realizes that he is a lot more dangerous than she ever knew and that Reinhard is very much like him.

I hate saying this, but the arrival of Daniel Cohen ignites feelings that Gretchen had never really had before. She had been constantly told that Jews were bad and that they must be gone. But Gretchen never realized how exactly Adolf Hitler planned to do that. She had always been told that Jewish people were dirty and unclean, yet Daniel is kind and sweet and without even meaning to, Gretchen is falling hard for him. It scares her to fall for a Jew. Not only is she disobeying her once beloved Uncle Dolf, but she’s learning about creating her own life path.

Daniel is a wonderful guy who is willing to break down all of Gretchen’s walls and her preconceived notions about Jews. He is kind, gentle, respectful and it becomes clear that he’s falling for Gretchen though I bet my right arm, he never intended to fall for her. I rooted for this couple all the way through and that’s when I know that this couple is a good one. I don’t get behind every couple, and in fact I often like them better when they’re apart. Not Daniel & Gretchen. Yes, they’re opposites but they are also really good for each other.

The world building was amazing. I honestly felt like I was in Munich and I have never even been there before. It was like I was actually in the book and that was the best feeling of all. Making someone feel like they stepped into 1930’s Munich Germany is awesome and I admire an author who is able to give her readers that feeling. I love that the author did so much research and provided her sources in the end of the book. That’s a mark of an author who is committed to the book and wants to get everything as accurate as possible. 

I was so excited to find out that this book is the first in a trilogy. Cannot wait to see what happens next. I absolutely adored this book, I thought it was perfection and so it’s getting an easy 5 stars from me. I definitely recommend it. Even if you don’t like historical fiction, you should give it a try. I’ll definitely be ordering a finished copy of this book.

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List

This feature is hosted by the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish.
I was excited about this list as I have a lot of books that I want to read on my TBR this spring.But I had to narrow it down to the ten most important books. Since I have a ginormous TBR pile, I am going to do 5 personal books & 5 review books.
Review Books
Great by Sara Benincasa
-This book comes out next month so I definitely need to have it read soon.
Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington
-This book came out last week so I really need to read it-
Insanity by Susan Vaught
-This one came out last month but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet-
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
-This one comes out next month and I am so excited to read it. i’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it-
The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting
-My blogger friend Andi has been pushing this one on me for the past month-
Personal Books
Siege & Storm (Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
-I have had this book since September but have not read it yet-
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
-This one is a recent purchase. It looks like something I’ll enjoy and I am excited to get to read it-
A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
-Bloggers Giselle and Gillian sold me on this book despite it not being a genre that I read-
In The After (In The After #1) by Demitria Lunetta
-I have the sequel to this one in e-ARC format. Plus this one looks really good-
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
-I love contemporaries that make me feel and apparently this one will bring the feels-
So what books are on your Spring TBR?

Book Blitz: The Right Moves by Emma Hart

Book Title: The Right Moves (Game #3)
Author: Emma Hart 

Publication date: March 27th 2014 

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:
Her past is wrought with demons.

His past is full of heartbreak.

Yet he’s the one person that can remind her what it means to live.

Abbi Jenkins never thought she would leave the walls of the mental institution that’s housed her for the last year. Now she has, but that doesn’t mean she’s forgotten everything Pearce put her through.

She knows there’s only one way to deal with the depression that claws at her mind each day, and ballet becomes more than a hobby, a dream. Ballet – and Julliard – becomes a reason to live. Something to hold on for.

Blake Smith left London for one reason and one reason only. Running from the heartbreak of his past was never something he wanted to do, but with constant reminders everywhere he turned, it became his only option. When he arrives in New York City, he vows he’ll keep the promise he made to his sister and get into Juilliard.

But he doesn’t expect to be paired with Abbi in class, the girl whose eyes show a world of pain he’s seen before. Pain he knows too well. As each hour they spend together pulls them closer, Blake can’t fight his need to save her from herself.

Lines blur as their pasts are wrenched into the open, and they have to ask themselves whether they’re  too broken to ever to be fixed, or if they’re the healing the other needs.
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase LinksAmazonBarnes & Noble
About the Author:
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and growing bump, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of juice and writes books.

She likes to write about magic, kisses and whatever else she can fit into the story. Sarcastic, witty characters are a must. As are hot guys. Emma is currently working too many books to even count – including Playing for Keeps, the companion book to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Love Game. She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to when all the ideas come to life.

Connecting with the author:

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My Bucket List- Inspired by Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

A couple of weeks ago, Julie Murphy sent out a tweet asking if any bloggers would be interested in helping her with her launch of Side Effects May Vary. She wanted to turn the tables on us and so she asked us to compile out own bucket lists. This was an excellent opportunity for me to stop procrastinating and actually do one like I had planned years ago.

My Bucket List
-Fall in love. I have never been one to be in and out of relationships constantly. In fact I have only ever had 1 serious relationship and I have never seriously dated anyone else. Falling in love is terrifying and it’s absolutely something I want to experience in my lifetime. A life without love, is no life at all.People talk about men being the committment-phobes, but in my case it’s me. I’m the one terrified to commit. 
-Get Married at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria that is in my hometown. I went to a wedding reception there about 9 years ago and it was absolutely beautiful. Ever since then, I have known that’s where I want to be married.



-Go skydiving. I am totally a adrenaline junkie so of course this one is going to be on my bucket list. I hope to be able to do this someday. I think it would be an amazing experience.
-Go to Hawaii. Hawaii has always been on my list of places to visit and it’s looking like I’ll get to cross this one off my list in about a year. We are planning a trip after my brother graduates from 8th grade.So excited about that.

-Buy a home, particularly in the area I live now. It has to be brick & have hardwood floors as well as a pool. Everything else, I am pretty lax about.

-Become a published author. I am working on 3 separate writing projects (1 NA Contemporary, 1 YA Contemporary & 1 YA Thriller) I am hoping to have at least one of them published by the end of 2014.
And lastly, I want to get a tattoo. Nothing big or gaudy as that is not me at all. I have had a design set in my mind for over a year and I still love it. My uncle told me that it reminds him of zany director Tim Burton, who I absolutely love, so I thought that was really cool.
So those 7 items are my bucket list. No it’s not extensive but it’s comprised of all the things I want to experience most in the world.
So let’s learn a bit more about the author of Side Effects May Vary.
Julie lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she’s not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie’s debut novel. Julie can best be found on her website (www.juliemurphywrites.com), tumblr (www.andimjulie.tumblr.com), or twitter (www.twitter.com/andimjulie).

BUY LINKS:
IndieBound: www.indiebound.org/book/9780062245359
B&N: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/side-effects-may-vary-julie-murphy/1115554719?ean=9780062245359
Amazon: www.amazon.com/Side-Effects-Vary-Julie-Murphy/dp/006224535X

Waiting on Wednesday #3 The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.It is used to spotlight books that we are eagerly waiting for.

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty––because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence . . . and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Book Information
Title: The Jewel
Author: Amy Ewing
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Standalone
Genre: YA/SciFi

Book Link

Pre-Order

My Reaction
I absolutely love the cover. Yes it does remind me of the covers for The Selection series by Kiera Cass, but the book sounds amazing. I really think that it has the power to be one of those un-putdown-able books. I am completely obsessed with the tagline as well. How awesome does it sound? Not sure exactly how one is trained to be a surrogate, but I guess we will find out.

So what book are you waiting for?

Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Book Title: Panic
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Thriller
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes an extraordinary novel of fear, friendship, courage, and hope.

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game; he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

Already optioned by Universal Pictures in a major deal, this gritty, spellbinding novel captures both the raw energy of fear mixed with excitement as well as the aching need to find a place to belong.

Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:
This book is going to be a tough one to review. Mostly because it took me awhile to actually get into it. The beginning of the book was all over the place and I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on. However, as I read it, I got more and more drawn into the world that Lauren Oliver created. Apparently this book takes place in New York, I didn’t get that feeling. Maybe because I haven’t been to New York ever, but it just didn’t have that New York feel to it.

Panic is a game where secrecy is paramount and the theme of secrecy is carried on throughout the game. Not just between the main four of Nat, Dodge, Heather and Bishop, but through others as well. No one knows anything about the game. No one knows what the tasks will be or who the judges are. Panic thrives in secrecy. 

There is also a romance element that I did not particularly love. I don’t know why but I could not get behind who Heather, Nat, Bishop and Dodge chose to be with. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the couples. I was far more interested in the game and what was going to happen next. It’s never a good thing when I don’t really like the couples. So I was glad that the romance aspect was a much smaller part than I anticipated.

I wish we had seen more of Bishop & of Nat. I don’t feel like I got to know either of them as well as I got to know Heather and Dodge and so I didn’t really get to feel anything for them or about them. I adored Heather, she was easily my favorite character in the book. She valued family and really the only family that she truly loved was her little sister Lily. Her mom, Krista was a mess and home was not a safe place for Lily or Heather.

So Heather did the only thing she could think of. She took Lily and left home, staying in her mom’s car, showering with water from a hose & squatting to use the bathroom. Until, she let Anne in on her situation. From that point on, Lily and Heather lived with Anne. Anne was the woman that Heather worked for, caring for her animals, both wild and tame.

Dodge’s situation was rough as well. A few years prior, his sister Dayna was paralyzed while playing Panic. Ever since then, Dodge has wanted revenge on the player who nearly killed her. That’s what fuels him as he prepares to play this dangerous game. He values family, but in the end he does go a teeny bit to far in order to defend his family and seek justice for Dayna.

The game itself was exciting. I’ve never ever read anything like this and I was always curious to see what the game held in store for the players. Yes you do have to suspend reality but teenagers are notoriously reckless so the story wasn’t totally far out of the realm. Teenagers often “dare” their friends to do stupid things. Is it right? No of course not but I found this to be entertaining.

I didn’t expect feels in this book as I was told it was a YA thriller, but I got the feels and I big time teared up towards the end during a very specific part.I had tears dripping down my face and I had a lump in my throat.

This book is getting 4 stars. The beginning was a little slow and I found it to be kind of jumping everywhere initially. I couldn’t get behind the romance and I don’t feel like I got to know some of the characters as well as the others. I didn’t get the New York feel from it also but I wasn’t that bothered by it. I wasn’t expecting to have feels in this book but I did so props to Lauren Oliver for bringing the feels in with a YA Thriller. However, I did love the actual story. It was full of twists and turns which is exactly how I like my thrillers. 

YA & NA Authors St. Patty’s Day Pinterest & Facebook Party

Join your favorite YA and NA authors as we celebrate being Irish for a day and play on Pinterest. There will be over 45 e-book giveaways! 

You can join the Facebook party HERE!

You won’t want to miss it!

Participating Authors:

Lila Felix   A. W. Exley  Melissa Pearl   
Jessica Gibson  Cindy M. Hogan  Sarah Ashley Jones  
Marie Landry  Rachel Morgan  Jennifer Snyder 
Stacey Marie Brown  Jessica Therrien  D.L. Raver 
Stacey Wallace Benefiel  Marilyn Almodóvar  Angee Taylor 
A.O. Peart  Devyn Dawson  Rick Chiantaretto 
Raine Thomas  L.P. Dover  Tamara Hart Heiner  
Leigh T Moore  Meradeth Houston  Amber Argyle 
Tawdra Kandle  Carlyle Labuschagne  Lisa Collicutt
Christy Dorrity  Stephanie Fowers  Kristina Renee
Faith McKay  Charlotte Abel  Jamie Ayres
A.M. Hargrove  Charli Webb  Amy Harmon  
Alyssa Rose Ivy  Kristie Cook  Lani Woodland
T.M. Franklin  Laura Howard  Sharron Riddle
Eliza Tilton  S. M. Boyce  Bethany Lopez 
Dawn Leigh  L.A. Casey  Emma Adams  
Amber Garr  Liz Long

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Stacking the Shelves #34

This feature is hosted byTynga’s Reviews.

This week was a great one. I ended up getting more books than I thought I would but I did get access to one e-ARC that I am so super excited about. It was one that I didn’t think I would get but NetGalley opened it up for a limited time last Sunday so I jumped on it. Then a few days later, I got an email that another highly sought after book was available to “read now” so you better believe I jumped on that one. A third NetGalley book that I got doesn’t even release until October so I have LOADS of time to read that one.

A book that I had won from EpicReads a few weeks ago also came in. It was a surprise book as I had won one of the Dark Days Tour books, but I didn’t know which one until I got it. Of course now I have to read Veronica Rossi’s series (I was going to anyway) cannot wait to read that series.


Bought

Received for Review

-NetGalley-
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
A Hole In My Heart by Rie Charles
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Gifted
Won

Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi

Be sure to let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you are planning to. Also make sure you leave me the links to your Stacking the Shelves vlogs/posts.


Weekly Blog Wrap-Up
Wednesday- Review of The Summer I Wasn’t Me
Thursday- Review of The Distance Between Us
Friday- My Music
            Cover reveal for I Wish
Saturday- Review of The Edge Of Falling

Review: The Edge Of Falling by Rebecca Serle

Book Title: The Edge Of Falling
Author: Rebecca Serle
Release Date: March 18th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
This book was one of my most anticipated reads, but when I finally got to sit down and read it, I wasn’t interested enough to keep reading it. I would pick it up, read a few pages and then put it back down. I was hoping for a better pace to the story and more likable characters. Unfortunately I really only liked two of the characters. The rest of them seemed very superficial and their ability to be a true friend when Caggie needed them was definitely lacking.

There was a love triangle which normally I don’t mind but ugh I did not like the new guy, Astor at all. He gave me the creeps and I desperately wanted Caggie to return to Trevor. While Trevor had made some mistakes, he clearly still cared about Caggie. I didn’t know what Astor cared about but I don’t think it was Caggie. I think he was very disturbed and it took Caggie longer than it should have, for her to realize that.

Grief is processed differently for every person but I really wished that Caggie’s parents and brother were there for her more. Especially her parents. They were very cold and standoffish, which really bothered me. 

Caggie was convinced that her parents blamed her for Hayley’s death and watching how her parents reacted to her and about her, I suspected that she was right. The idea that Caggie lived with this guilt day in and day out was absolutely heartbreaking. For the most part I loved Caggie,but her attraction to Astor made no sense and once she started dating Astor I found her less likable.

The author spent a really long time with the inconsequential details which really bothered me.It was time that could have been spent developing some of the characters better like Astor & Claire along with the members of her family. These details centered around the fashions that were worn and I found myself skipping past those details because I honestly didn’t care about them and didn’t understand why the author thought they were so important.

The ending basically saved the book for me. Many times prior to reaching the end, I considered not finishing it and labeling it as a DNF (Did Not Finish) but I am glad I finished this book. I didn’t love it but I also didn’t hate it. The end was full of surprises and the pace had quickened which I was thrilled about.At the end we also found out the truth about what happened that night she supposedly saved a classmate from ending her life. Honestly that was something I had guessed awhile before so I felt a little bit let down about that.

So this book gets 3 stars. Some of it I loved like Caggie and Caggie & Trevor’s relationship as well as the ending. Yet some of it I hated like the lack of character development for everyone but Caggie, Caggie & Astor’s relationship and the telling of very minor and in my opinion, unimportant details.No I would not recommend this book, however other people have liked it so give it a try if you want to.

Cover Reveal: I Wish by Elizabeth Langston

Book Information:
Paperback: 312 pages
Expected publication: November 18th, 2014
ISBN: 1939392233 
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Book Blurb:
Book 1 in a new series.

Lacey Linden is hiding the truth of her life—a depressed mom, a crumbling house, and bills too big to pay. While her high school classmates see a girl with a ready smile and good grades, Lacey spends her evenings seeking ways to save her family. On a get-cash-quick trip to the flea market, Lacey stumbles over a music box that seemingly begs her to take it home. She does, only to find it is inhabited by a gorgeous “genie.” He offers her a month of wishes, one per day, but there’s a catch. Each wish must be humanly possible.

Grant belongs to a league of supernatural beings, dedicated to serving humans in need. After two years of fulfilling the boring wishes of conventional teens, he is one assignment away from promotion to a challenging new role with more daring cases. Yet his month with Lacey is everything that he expects and nothing like he imagines. Lacey and Grant soon discover that the most difficult task of all might be saying goodbye.
Author Bio:
Elizabeth Langston lives in North Carolina, halfway between the beaches and the mountains. She has two teen-ish daughters and one husband (a geek like her). When she’s not writing software or stories, Elizabeth loves to travel with her family, watch dance reality TV shows, and dream about which restaurant ought to get their business that night.

In addition to I WISH, Elizabeth’s debut novel WHISPER FALLS released in November 2013. Its sequels, A WHISPER IN TIME (April) and WHISPERS FROM THE PAST (October), release in 2014. Learn more about her at http://www.elizabethLangston.net.

Connect with the Author: