Stacking the Shelves #46

This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Holy moly, this week brought me a lot of books. I got for from NetGalley and one from Edelweiss. I also got a book in a trade with another blogger, so thanks Lili! I also got 10 books from the library. I REALLY need to stop getting books from the library. My TBR is getting even crazier. Yet, my willpower continues to be zero.

Let’s see what landed on my shelf and in my Kindle this week.

Bought
Received for Review

-Edelweiss-
Random by Tom Leveen

-NetGalley-

Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly
Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten

Followers by Anna Davies
Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner

Gifted

Trade

Positive: A Memoir by Paige Rawl & Ali Benjamin

Won

Library Books

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
 

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor
Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

 One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Truth or Dare (Truth Or Dare #1) by Jacqueline Green

So let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you are planning to read them at some point.

Bloggers Mentioned

Review: All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1) by Cristin Terrill

Book Title: All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1)
Author: Cristin Terrill
Published Date: September 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Series: Book 1 in All Our Yesterdays series
Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:
 What would you change?


Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 

Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it… at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.


Disclaimer: This was a library book.

Review:
This book was a crazy, fun ride. I really wasn’t sure what to expect and clearly I hadn’t read the synopsis as I had no idea time travel was involved. I love books that involve time travel. They make me happy. So of course, when I realized time travel played a crucial role in this book, I fell in love with the book even more.

Marina, James, Em and Finn were all fascinating characters and they made me want to keep reading even though I spent a good chunk of the book totally confused. In this book, being confused was totally okay. Finn especially, was incredibly swoony. Oh man, he was adorable. I could tell very early on that I’d love him and I was right.  He protected Em as best as he could from the craziness that unfolded.

The world building was amazing, I could totally picture the places in the book and I consider that to be a really good mark to how much I was going to love the book. World building can make or break a book for me and in this case, the book was made.

I would love to keep talking about the book, but so much happened that I really don’t want to spoil it for the few people who still haven’t read it yet. I cannot believe I waited so long to read this book. The ending was mindblowing and amazing and so, SO crazy. It was an awesome book worthy of the four stars I am going to give it. I am so excited to see what happens next.

Reading For Fun

As a book blogger, I have so many opportunities to read books early. While it’s a wonderful thing that I feel so lucky to be able to do, it’s also hard because I no longer have the time to read the books I really want to read. I have schedules to think about, deadlines to meet and publishers to connect with. While I do love what I do, I sometimes have to put the brakes on things and admit that I’ve had enough and that I desperately need to throw away schedules and deadlines.

And sometimes I just need to read some “me” books for awhile. No matter how many review books I have waiting for me. No matter the deadline or the schedules. Reading books just for me allows me to remember how much I love reading a book with no review expectations. It’s freeing and definitely something I still enjoy.

Recently, I got a new library card and have been reading only my library books for the past week and a half. It has been truly awesome to read books just for me. I thought it would stress me out not reading review copies, but it hasn’t. Actually it’s made me more excited to read upcoming books. I haven’t stopped loving to read, but the excitement had definitely faded recently as my review list has grown steadily. Reading books just for me has actually succeeded in reducing my stress, which I think is totally awesome.

Book bloggers are often under a lot of pressure. Pressure to read, read, read and then to review, review, review. Not to mention building and keeping contacts with publishers & authors. And for most of us, we do this for fun. Most of us have jobs, school & other obligations. Book blogging isn’t all we do and we aren’t just book bloggers. We have a life outside of this fun hobby.

So, remember that it’s okay to break from your reading schedule to read a book just for you. If you need to throw out a schedule sometime to get your reading mojo back, just do it.

Review: 45 Pounds by K. A. Barson

Book Title: 45 Pounds (More or Less)
Author: K. A. Barson
Published Date: July 11th, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonThe Book Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother. 

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

Disclaimer: This was a library book.

Review:
This book was hard for me to read, mostly because I never struggled with my weight the way Ann did. So it was hard for me to understand the struggle that she had gone through. However the more broader topic of fitting in was one that I definitely understood. I never really fit in as a kid or as a teenager because I have serious health issues. That kinda stuff makes you stand out, even if you try hard to fit in.

This book also touched on family dynamics and while I am a child (and adult) of divorce, my family isn’t as dysfunctional as Ann’s is. Ann’s father & stepmom treat her like garbage, even having her come over to their home under the guise of wanting family time with her, when really they just wanted her to babysit her baby half brother. That part infuriated me.

At home she has her mom and stepdad and two younger siblings, Judd & Libby. Her mom is seemingly “perfect” until Ann realizes the way her mom talks about food, particularly around Ann and Libby is dangerous. Libby is already worrying about getting fat and dieting and other dangerous food related things. Ann wants desperately to model healthy habits for her younger sister since apparently, her mom doesn’t want to. 

And of course, Ann has an older brother who we don’t really see much of until the very end of the book. I wanted to see more of Tony and was disappointed because I think there was a lot of backstory from his end that we didn’t get a chance to see.

Acceptance is a big theme here. Ann has to learn to accept the family she’s got, a friendship that is dead in the water. Accept that her mom is not perfect and that mistakes have been made. Most importantly Ann learns to accept her body for what it is and I think that is the biggest message for teen girls and even teen boys. 

Body acceptance is a big thing as a teenager and so many kids go the extreme route and it ends up being something they always struggle with. It was definitely an enjoyable book and because of that, I’ll be giving it 4 stars. I do think it should be required reading in middle school and high school, because it was a very important book.

Cover Reveal: All Broke Down by Cora Cormack

We are so excited to get to share the cover for Cora Carmack’s ALL BROKE DOWN today! A New Adult Contemporary Romance, and published by William Morrow-an imprint of HarperCollins, this is the second book in her Rusk University Series, and it is set to be released on October 28, 2014! But you can pre-order it NOW! Check out what it’s about and then fall in love with this gorgeous cover!

ABOUT ALL BROKE DOWN:
 In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one. Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause. Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help. Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.
 

Image Map

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes

cora-carmacks-all-lined-up

And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today!

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes

Headshot
About Cora Carmack: Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook

Author Goodreads ** ALL BROKE DOWN Goodreads

Image Map

Review: Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Book Title: Far From You
Author: Tess Sharpe
Publish Date: April 8th, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.

The first time, she’s fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that’ll take years to kick. 

The second time, she’s seventeen, and it’s no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina’s murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.

After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina’s brother won’t speak to her, her parents fear she’ll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina’s murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared.

Disclaimer: This is a library book.

Review:
I had my eye on this book for months and when I got my new library card, I immediately put a hold on this book. I had heard nothing but amazing things about it and I could not wait to get my hands on it. It was totally amazing, unputdownable, fabulous mystery mixed in with friendship and romance. It was fast paced and it kept me guessing all the way through.

The timeline actually worked for me. I liked how it bounced around from present time to past time. It filled in a lot of the gaps that I would have had without the flashbacks. We got to see the characters in different lights. We got to see how Mina and Sophie fell in love. We got to see Mina’s struggle with wanting to be herself in front of her family, but also fearing the consequences of it. We got to see how Sophie’s addiction started, which was probably my favorite subplot of the story.

When we first meet Sophie, she’s nearing the end of her stay in a rehab facility. It’s been 4 months since her best friend was murdered right in front of her. Sophie has been dealing with addiction since she was fourteen years old, after a terrible car accident that left her in constant pain. But she shouldn’t have been at Seaside. At the time of her best friend’s death, she had been clean and sober for 10 months.

None of that mattered to her parents. Especially when they found a bag full of drugs in her jacket pocket the night of the murder. Her parents, the detectives, even her friends won’t listen to her. That was incredibly hard for me to read. My heart ached for Sophie. She had just lost her best friend and now her parents refused to believe she was clean. Not only that, but they were sending her off to a rehab facility. 

So many things happened in this book. So many difficult things were talked about in it, In true mystery book form, there were twists and turns, none of which I saw coming. And there was a romance, although it was more like a love square. It was complex, but interesting to see how Sophie interacted with Kyle & Trev. It was interesting to see that the secret Sophie and Mina shared was not quite as secret as they thought it was.

Sophie’s relationship with her aunt Macy was awesome to see. We don’t see extended family much in YA novels so I was excited to see Macy make several appearances. Especially since she was the one who helped get Sophie clean. I actually wanted to see more of Macy because I thought she was a great character.

This book was nearly perfect, so I’ll be giving it four and a half stars. I can’t quite figure out why I can’t give it the full 5 stars. I just know that I need to buy my own copy of this book whenever I can afford it. I cannot wait to see what the author writes next.

Review: Fault Line by Christa Desir

Book Title: Fault Line
Author: Christa Desir
Published Date: October 15th, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.

But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.

Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?

Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from the library.

Review:
This book was one of those books I was so excited about. I missed out on getting an ARC of it, so when I got my new library card, I wasted no time in putting a hold on this book. I finished the book in one night and oh my goodness, this book was an important one. It was a messy one and it was definitely one that every single teenager & adult should read. I don’t care if you are male or female, you need to read this book.

Ani and Ben fall for each other quickly and normally that would have made me uneasy but for some reason, this time, it didn’t. Ani was awesome. She didn’t play games, she said exactly what was on her mind and didn’t let what people thought about her, bother her. Her relationship with her mother was very much like my own relationship was with my mother at her age. So I was definitely able to relate to that part.

Now Ben on the other hand, he lived with his mom and dad and younger brother. So he had much more of a “traditional family” Ben’s a swimmer, a very good swimmer and he’s angling for a college scholarship for swimming. At first, when he begins dating Ani, not much changes schedule-wise for him.

Everything changes after that one night.

Ani is gang raped at a party and as soon as her friend Kate, calls Ben, Ben rushes to the hospital to be with her. It’s there that he learns other details of the evening. Details that are impossible for him to get out of his head.

This book is dark and gritty and sometimes I had to put the book down to collect my thoughts and/or stop crying. The book details exactly how low a person who was raped can go self-esteem wise. It’s a hard book because you want to see Ani start to heal from it but this book also shows you why it’s oftentimes impossible to go back to the person you were before you were raped.

It also shows you how helpless people feel as they watch you deal with this. Ben clearly wanted to help Ani, but she refused his help. She wanted to deal with this her own way. That frustrated Ben because he wanted to heal her. It was hard for him to realize that she didn’t want his help. He also blamed himself for it even happening. He kept telling himself that he should have gone to that party. He should have protected her better. Ben ends up turning to Beth, the rape counselor he and Ani met at the hospital that night. He wanted Beth to tell him how to help her. How to get her to heal.

Some people aren’t going to like this book for various reasons, and that’s okay. I absolutely loved it and I thought it was an extremely important book. It was a fast paced book, which I actually really liked. It was an emotional book and it brought me right back to certain moments in my life that I never ever wanted to visit again. 

The ending was a bit more open ended than I expected it to be, but then I remembered that recovering from a situation like this isn’t cut and dried and it’s not going to just be dealt with and then the person can move on and never think about it again. I will be giving this book 5 stars. Not only because I loved it, but because I felt the author did an amazing job with this topic. I need to get my own copy of this book.

Stacking the Shelves #45

This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Suddenly, Disney Hyperion is granting me access to more titles via NetGalley. I requested a book on a whim, but honestly didn’t think I’d get approved. Surprise, surprise, I was approved! A friend of mine saw on Twitter that I was talking about wanting to read a series that I had the first book for. I got the 2nd book in the series from her. So thank you Tammy.
This was a busy library week as well. I picked up several books from the library. Some I hadn’t read before and some of them I had as e-books and couldn’t get into them, so I decided to borrow the physical book to see if it helps.  

Bought
Received for Review

-NetGalley-

Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief #1) by Livia Blackburne


Gifted

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Won

Library Books

Tease by Amanda Maciel
Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman’s Daughter #2) by Megan Shepherd
Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1) by Michelle Madow
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian
45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson
Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White
Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2) by Kiersten White
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Fault Line by C. Desir
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

So let me know if you have read any of these books or if you are planning to read any of them.

Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Book Title: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publish Date: May 4th, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Disclaimer: This was a library book.

Review:
I don’t know what I was expecting with this book. I had heard amazing things about it. I had heard that it would make me cry (good because I’m a sucker for books that make me cry) I had also heard that it was a funny book with a lot of heart.

What I got was a beautiful book that sorta crept up on me. I really wasn’t sure how I was feeling about the book about halfway through. I would like parts of it but then some other parts I was all “ehhh” about. But the beauty of this book basically hit me out of nowhere and before I knew it I was sobbing hysterically into the worn pages of the library book.

My heart broke for Amy. She had undergone so many changes in just 3 months. Her father was dead, her brother was in rehab and her mother was in Connecticut, waiting for Amy to join her. Amy hasn’t driven since the day of the accident. The day her world turned upside down and she blames herself for the accident every single day. I wanted to hug her through the last 100 pages of the book.

Her reunion with Charlie was probably my favorite part of the book. It was at this moment that I really started to cry a lot. There were so many things Amy & Charlie needed to say to each other. So many words that had gone unspoken for months as Charlie dove deeper and deeper into drugs. As much as I loved the romance between Amy & Roger, I think I liked the reunion with Amy and Charlie even more.

Roger seriously takes swoony to a whole new level. He was absolutely adorable. He did have his own baggage though, mostly having to do with his ex, Hadley. He was clearly still hung up on her for the majority of the book, but I knew things would change by the end of the book. He didn’t really flirt with Amy in the outward, bold way a lot of male college students do. But I liked that. He did things differently which was really nice to see.

This book was beautiful. Like a few other books I’ve read recently, most notably Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, this book had a quiet beauty to it. A book I didn’t realize I needed to hug until the very end. It made me want to go on a road trip, especially since I’ve never gone on one before. I absolutely loved this book and the characters in it and I am excited to give it 5 stars. Go read it if you haven’t already.

Love I’ve Found In You

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll probably have seen news that wedding bells are ringing for me.

Chris and I are incredibly happy together and we recently ramped up our discussions on marriage. I’ve had some issues with commitment (issues that Chris has been incredibly supportive in helping me deal with) Issues that have plagued me for a very long time. Issues that made me question if I was really marriage material. Marriage had scared me for a very long time, but I now look forward to spending the rest of my life with Chris.

We’ve decided that I will pick 3 rings that I love and then it’s all on him. He knows that there’s no rush to propose. I know it’s coming soon and that’s all I need to know. I always thought I needed to have my hands in all parts of the proposal, but I don’t. I’m not as much of a control freak as I thought I was. Chris is a romantic and while I could certainly learn some of this romance stuff, I’m happy to leave it up to him.

He loves me and I love him.

Here are the three rings I need to choose from. I don’t know how I will choose between them.

 This ring is beautiful. When I first started looking for rings, I had this one in my mind. I thought for sure this one would be it. 
 This ring was not something I was expecting to love, but I actually did love it. This was Chris’s favorite too.
This ring was totally up my alley and although I did love it, I wasn’t expecting to fall for a ruby stone. However, red is Chris’s favorite color so maybe that means something.

So I really have a tough choice to make. Chris just wants me to be happy, no matter which one I choose. I never expected to have such a hard time choosing a ring to wear forever. Engagement rings are a very personal thing and I really don’t want to chose “wrong” I do love them all, so I don’t think I can choose wrong.

I cannot wait to fill you all in on my official engagement story and to show off the ring I chose.