Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

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This feature comes from the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.
Hi you guys! This list is going to be made up of only review books just like the Fall TBR list was. I have so many books on this list and I am going to do my best to keep the list to ten.

Wait, who am I kidding? It’ll be a pretty long list I have a feeling.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
-I’ve heard amazing things about this one which both excites me and makes me nervous-
Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards
-I loved her previous book and I’m super excited to attack this one-

-This book looks like something I’ll love, and I really hope I’m not let down-

On the Edge by Allison Van Diepen
-To be honest, this one could go either way, and I’m definitely nervous-

 Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
-This one is coming up quickly on my schedule and I need to make time for it-
Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne
-I’ve heard mixed things about this one, but I need to read it for myself-

Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy #1) by Victoria Aveyard
-Cover love! Big time, and I’ve heard the story is awesome-
Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas
-I’ve been told this story is definitely fluffy which I really need soon-

Soulprint by Megan Miranda
-I’ve been obsessed with the cover for awhile, and I really need to fit it into my schedule
This Side of Home by Renee Watson
-I love contemporaries, and I can only hope I love this one as well-

Wow, I managed to keep it at ten books. I gotta be honest, I’m a little surprised about that. I have so many books to get caught up on. Anyway, let me know if any of these are on your list, and don’t forget to share your links with me in the comments.

Stacking the Shelves #63

This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
Yeah, this week was also not quite as quiet as I was hoping. Most of the reason for this was the massive e-ARC drop by Harper on Edelweiss. I tried to rein myself in, but it just wasn’t possible.
Then I picked up more books at the library, including two that I could just never get into when they were e-ARCs on my Kindle. Hoping to have better luck with them as physical books. I also got a book from a blogger friend that I am very excited about, so thank you Alyssa.

Let’s see what landed on my shelves.

Received for Review

-Edelweiss-

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

 

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu

 

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
The Fog Diver Joel Ross

Vanished by E. E. Cooper

-NetGalley-

Dead to Me by Mary McCoy
Library

The Stepsister’s Tale by Tracy Barrett
My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Loop (Loop #1) by Karen Akins
Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly

Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1) by Heather Demetrios
Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa

Gifted

Zodiac (Zodiac #1) by Romina Rusell

Be sure to let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them. Also, leave me the links to your book haul posts & vlogs so I can see what you got this week.
Bloggers Mentioned
Alyssa

Review: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Book Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Published Date: July 8th, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Book One in The Remnant Chronicles series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Henry Holt & Co. via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Despite starting off very slowly, The Kiss of Deception ended up being one heck of an epic fantasy read. It surpassed all of my expectations and I was excited every single time I got to pick it back up again. I didn’t want to stop reading even though my eyes kept closing late at night. Yes it was a long book, but it was so fascinating that I barely noticed the length.

At first, I was worried that I wasn’t going to like it much and it was mostly because it has started off slowly. I normally don’t love books that take awhile to really unfold, but I had spoken to several fellow bloggers who loved this book and who pushed me to be patient with this book. So thank you to those bloggers who wouldn’t let me give up on this book.

Lia is an absolute badass, and she is definitely one of my new favorite female characters. She’s strong, devoted to those she loves, especially Walther, her brother. Honor and duty and tradition are just some of the words that Lia has grown to hate and it’s also those words that drive her to disappear on the day she is to be wed.

She finds herself at a distant village where she met Berdi & Gwynneth. I loved both of these ladies and I loved how they were there for both Lia, and Lia’s best friend, Pauline who had come to this village with Lia. Berdi was the mom Lia really needed and Gywnneth was that friend that everyone needs.

Soon after Lia and Pauline arrive at the village, two handsome strangers also arrived. Unbeknownst to everyone, including Lia, one of these men is the jilted prince and the other one is the assassin Lia’s father hired to kill her. These handsome strangers slip into life in the village, helping Berdi and the rest of the group.

Things just sort of unfold from there and we are introduced to so many characters, including Rafe and Kaden, one of which is the prince, the other is the assassin. I kept trying to guess who was who and I kept failing miserably. This is a love triangle, but it’s really hard because both of these boys end up being quite swoon-worthy and so that’s only one of the reasons I choose to stay firmly on Team Lia.

The world building was glorious and I loved it so much. It was captivating and it drew me in, in a way that I wasn’t expecting. I expect a lot from my fantasy books and The Kiss of Deception absolutely delivered in a big way. I am giving this book 5 stars and I eagerly await book two in this series.

The Healing Process

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Hi guys!

So this is going to be a very personal post. You guys were aware that I was engaged and shortly after I posted my love story on this very blog, things very abruptly ended between us. I learned that he had cheated on me and that it was something that had been going on for several weeks. From the beginning of our relationship, I told him that cheating was one of my biggest deal-breakers and if he EVER cheated on me, I’d be gone. No second chances, no discussion.

He broke my heart into a thousand tiny pieces that day and I took to Twitter to unload my heartbreak and disgust. Thank you to all of my awesome Twitter followers who let me vent and listened to me.

Telling my family was brutal and I never want to go through that again. My uncle and I have been known to get into political spats, but when he heard the news, he was completely ready to haul off and slug the guy. I love my grandmother, but she wanted me to try and work it out like she attempted to many years ago. She insisted that it had to be a mistake, but when I told her that no guy repeatedly “accidentally” falls into a woman, she cringed and dropped the subject. I loved my mom even more for her response. She hugged me, let me cry and then told me she would take care of calling the vendors for me.

I’m not the type to keep silent when I’m upset, I talk about it, I rant about it and that’s what I’ve been doing on Twitter occasionally, since this happened. I know a lot of people are the complete opposite of me, but thank you for not trying to get me to shut up.

When this first happened, I purged everything that he had given me, plus pictures of the two of us. Every time I found something that reminded me of him or us as a couple, I crumpled. The gorgeous engagement ring he gave me has been sold, and I gave the money to my mom who needs it more than I do right now. I spent nights reading, and binge watching Netflix with some BBQ chips beside me. I don’t have a lot of friends, so I really just spent a lot of time alone or with family.

My grandmother has already started bugging me to start dating again, but I’m just not ready and I’ve told her that more times than I can count. She desperately wants to see me married and settled, but right now I just want to enjoy being single. I don’t want to rush into anything.

Recently, I also had to cut ties with his family. That was hard because they are wonderful people. I had grown very close to his mom & sister especially, so cutting them out was hard. But after his sister told me last week (or maybe it was the week before) that he had knocked up the girl he cheated on me with, I couldn’t keep talking to her. Thankfully she understood, and wished me luck. Saying goodbye to his sister & mom was actually harder than saying goodbye to him because they hadn’t technically done anything wrong.

Cheating is awful, cowardly and disgusting. I have no sympathy for cheaters. I save my sympathy for the poor people that are cheated on. We didn’t ask to be cheated on. We didn’t ask to have our hearts shattered, and trust destroyed. 

If a relationship is no longer working for you, then have the courage and decency to break up before you start seeing other people.

If you have a friend who was recently cheated on and the relationship has ended, be there to support them. Don’t try to convince them to “get back out there” They will reenter the dating world when they are ready to do so. If you have a friend who was cheated on, but elected to stay in the relationship, be a friend and don’t impart your opinions on them staying in the relationship unless expressly asked.

Healing is a process. In my case, it’s going to be a slow process. I don’t trust easily, but I trusted him and I loved him and he betrayed my trust and shattered my heart. Something like that takes awhile to heal from and there’s always the chance that I won’t fully heal from this emotional upheaval. 

I only ask that you all keep me in your thoughts as I continue to navigate this pathway of life.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

Review: Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2) by Michelle Madow

Book Title: Diamonds in the Rough
Author: Michelle Madow
Published Date: October 28th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book Two in The Secret Diamond Sisters Trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
All-access doesn’t mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah’s YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don’t keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters’ archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow’s riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Yes!

I wasn’t a huge fan of Book One, so I was nervous about continuing the series. I didn’t want to be disappointed, but thankfully I wasn’t. Diamonds in the Rough is a significant improvement over The Secret Diamond Sisters in many ways, so I was very excited about that.

It was no longer a problem for me to keep all the POVs straight. Each girl had their own distinct voice, and there was so much more character development for all three of them which really made me happy. There seemed to be a concentrated effort on Madow’s part to explore each of the sisters individuality in this second book, and I think that really helped out a lot. 

I am very character minded and if the characters are well developed, then I’ll definitely enjoy the book more. Character development was fairly weak in The Secret Diamond Sisters, but thankfully that issue did not carry over into Book Two.

I got answers to so many of my questions from book one, and the two explosive secrets were revealed. One of them I had guessed before I started the book and the other one came as a complete shock to me and left me in tears. That was another thing that the first book didn’t have. It didn’t have any truly feels-y moments so I was grateful for the feels-y moments in Diamonds in the Rough.

I really want to talk about two supporting characters from The Secret Diamond Sisters, who really became main characters in Diamonds in the Rough:

Adrian for starts, I was dying to know more about him after the first book, and while I did get to know a whole lot more about him in Diamonds in the Rough, I still feel like there’s something else we don’t know about him yet. I really hope the third and final book of this series will give me the answers I’m looking for about him.

Madison, I really did not like her at all in the first book, but man did I warm up to her significantly in the second book. She seemed much nicer and less bitchy overall and I responded well to that and she quickly became one of my favorite characters. She goes through an emotional roller coaster in this book, but I was happy to see that she was a different person and she was a different person due to the secret she had found out. I actually started to like the idea of her and Oliver together despite the fact that Oliver is a bit of a tool.

As for Courtney, Savannah & Peyton, they too go on a crazy ride full of ups and downs throughout this entire book. Courtney in particular struggles with certain things she learns in the course of this book. Savannah and Peyton willingly stand by her as she struggles to figure out how she should handle certain things.

This book was much better than the first book. I am giving it four stars and I am so excited to see where things go from here. I think Madow could take it in a lot of different directions, but I don’t know what’s going to happen. I am now eagerly awaiting book 3, Diamonds are Forever.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I was tagged by Bekka of Great Imaginations

1. What is your biggest reading pet peeve?
Aside from people spoiling the endings of books for me, I don’t really have any reading pet peeves.

2. Do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebook?
Definitely hardback, but I do love paperback as well.

3. What is the very first book you remember reading?
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.

4. If you could experience reading one book for the first time again, what book would you pick?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

5. What is your favorite cover trend? Show some examples.
As you can see, I love very colorful covers. If a cover is colorful, I’ll be much more likely to pick up the book.

6. If you had to pick one genre to read for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Contemporary. I absolutely love the entire genre.

7. Who are your top three authors?
Emery Lord
Jessica Verdi
Courtney C. Stevens

8. What has been your favorite read this year?
I can’t pick a favorite. I may be able to come up with my top 5 favorites though.
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

9. What book or book series would you like to see made into a television show?
The Program (#1 & #2) by Suzanne Young
Splintered (#1, #2 & #3) by A.G. Howard

10. Tell us one weird fact about you.
I am absolutely petrified of birds. Snakes too, but the bird thing is much weirder.

I’m not going to tag any specific people, but if you want to do this one, here are your questions:
1. What was some of your favorite books as a child?
2. What is your favorite genre right now?
3. What is your favorite book of 2014?
4. If you could meet one author, alive or dead, who would you want to meet?
5. What is the one thing that will convince you to buy a book?
6. Hardback or paperback?
7. Most underrated book?
8. Most overrated book?
9. Book that gave you the biggest book hangover?
10. Book that you can’t believe you haven’t read yet?
Be sure to let me know if you do this bookish survey!

TTT: Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get

This feature is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Hi everyone! This list was difficult for me to compile and a few of these books are actually the third  book in the series. But I am massively excited for all of these.
The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2) by Danielle Paige
I absolutely loved Dorothy Must Die and I cannot wait to return to the world Paige created.
Ensnared (Splinted #3) by A.G. Howard
I loved both Splintered and Unhinged and the way Unhinged left things, I am desperate to get my hands on the third and final book.
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2) by Anne Blankman
I absolutely adored Prisoner  of Night and Fog and am so excited to return to the world that Blankman created.
Nearly Found (Nearly Gone #2) by Elle Cosimano
Nearly Gone was such a fascinating read and I was thrilled to find out that it wasn’t a standalone.

Return to the Dark House (Welcome to the Dark House #2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz
I am so insanely ecstatic for the conclusion to this duology. I ended up being obsessed with Welcome to the Dark House and I cannot wait to see how it ends.
Diamonds are Forever (The Secret Diamond Sisters #3) by Michelle Madow
(No Cover Yet)
This series keeps improving which really makes me excited for the 3rd book in the trilogy. I cannot wait to find out what happens to Savannah, Courtney, Peyton and Madison.

PS: I Still Love You (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han
(No Cover Yet)
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was such an awesome read and one I fell in love with. So I’m excited to see what happens next.

The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door #2) by Huntley Fitzpatrick 
(No Cover Yet)
My Life Next Door was another book that surprised me in the best way. I fell in love with the characters, and I’m so excited to return to this setting and see these characters again.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
(No Cover Yet)
I need to read the first three books in this series, and will definitely make it a priority before Winter is released

Queen (The Blackcoat Rebellion #3) by Aimee Carter
(No Cover Yet)
I enjoyed Pawn a lot, but absolutely LOVED Captive and I am so very curious to see how it all ends.
So be sure to let me know if you did a list and if any of the books I listed are on your list as well.

Review: Welcome to the Dark House (Welcome to the Dark House #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Book Title: Welcome to the Dark House
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published Date: July 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Horror
Series: Book One in Welcome to the Dark House duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Disney Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Now this is how you do a horror book. 

I probably enjoyed it even more than I would have originally, because I read it in the dead of night. It was so creepy and I couldn’t put it down. I was up until nearly 4am because I had to know what happened and I had to know how it ended. After finishing it, I found out that it was book one of a duology, so YAY. I cannot wait to go back into this story next year. It’s gonna be a long wait.

It started off normally enough, with us meeting Ivy, Parker, Shayla, Natalie, Garth, Frankie, and there’s a 7th contestant, Taylor, who we don’t see much of in this book. I am definitely hoping we see more of her in book 2 because I think she has a lot to add to the story. The book is split up into six different POV’s and I was worried that I would have difficulty following the individual stories, and I did at first, but it wore off quickly.

Things start getting creepy that night and it only continues into the next day as they arrive at an abandoned amusement park. A whole lot of stuff goes down, and it’s truly scary stuff, I mean I had nightmares after I finished the book because of the stuff that happens in the amusement park.

Oh let’s not forget Nightmare Elf, hands down the scariest part of the book for me. It made me think of what would happen if you mixed The Elf on the Shelf with Chucky, and that was enough to give me massive goosebumps while I read this book. The Nightmare Elf visited me in my nightmares after I finished the book.

I have to admit, I love being scared in books, so I was really glad I read this book. I am seriously excited for book 2, and it’s definitely going to be a long wait, especially given the cliffhanger that this book ended in. It was a near perfect read for me, and I’m giving it 4.5 stars. If you like the Horror genre, I would definitely recommend this book. If you are easily scared, I’d avoid this book.

Stacking the Shelves #62

This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
 Hi guys! This week was very unexpected in terms of books. I got two books from Edelweiss, one from NetGalley, and one from the author and a stack of library books. Now some of these library books I had as e-ARCs but for some reason, I could not get into them. So I decided to try and read the physical copies. Hopefully that helps.

On Wednesday, I got a package from my Secret Sister, and man did she outdo herself this month. If you are reading this, Secret Sister, thank you so much for being awesome and making my week.

Let’s see what’s on my shelf this week.
Books for Review
-From the Author-
Death By Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery by Jane Bennett Munro
-Edelweiss-

The Bargaining by Carly Anne West
Dancing With Molly by Lena Horowitz

-NetGalley-
The Forgetting by Nicole Maggi
Library
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
Dissonance (Dissonance #1) by Erica O’Rourke
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2) by Michelle Madow
Welcome to the Dark House (Welcome to the Dark House #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Gifted

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
(Personalized!)

As always, don’t forget to let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them. Leave me the links to your haul posts if you did one this week. Hope you all have a great book-filled week!

Review: Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion #2) by Aimee Carter

Book Title: Captive
Author: Aimee Carter
Published Date: November 25th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Book 2 in The Blackcoat Rebellion trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:
For the past two months, Kitty Doe’s life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister’s niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she’s accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she’ll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Harlequin Teen via NetGalley in change for my honest review.

Review:
Holy crap, Captive was so freaking good!

I had a lot of concerns about Captive, mostly surrounding the infamous “Second book syndrome” I had enjoyed Pawn so much that I was honestly afraid to read Captive. I really didn’t want to be disappointed. Thankfully, not only was I not disappointed but Captive surpassed my expectations in a really big way.

Kitty is still fiercely loyal to her Benjy, the boy she loves, everything she does, she does with him in mind. I still liked them together as a couple, but this book didn’t focus as much on the romance as Pawn had, which actually made the book better, I think. It focused on the relationships and friendships rather than the romances.

There were so many surprises that left me screaming “Holy shit” at the top of my lungs. So many twists that I didn’t see coming. A few times I was confused, but confused in the best way. I love when books keep me guessing like this one did. It adds an element to it that not very many books have.

The only person Kitty seems to trust is Benjy, and I totally understand that. It makes sense to me that Kitty doesn’t trust that many people. I know some people were pissed that she didn’t trust Knox, and while I do like him, I also understand why Kitty doesn’t trust Knox.

There are so many new characters in this book, but they are woven in nicely, and they didn’t add to my confusion. Several of them are really, really important to the story as well. So keep your eye on these characters, as you never know when or even if they’ll be important.

The world building was even better this time around. It was good in Pawn, but it was really good in Captive, so kudos to Carter for taking time to build the world that Kitty and everyone else lives in. A well developed world can really help a book be awesome, and in this case it definitely helped.

I hate that I’m being so vague about stuff, but I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. This entire book is filled with spoilers so I really can’t say much else about the book. What I can say though, is that I loved it and cannot wait for book 3, the final book in the trilogy. I can also let you know that this book was utterly fantastic and I’ll be giving it 5 stars. Go read it now.