Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Book Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Published Date: January 5th, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won’t open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Disclaimer: I received this book as an e-ARC from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley

Nothing I can say will ever do this beautiful book justice in my mind. I mean, WOW. What an incredibly gorgeous, yet heartbreaking book this was. I wasn’t sure what to expect, wasn’t sure I’d love this book as much as I wanted to, but at about 12% of the way through, the tears started falling and they never let up. I think part of the emotion was because this has happened so many times in the US. School shootings are not as rare as they once were.

I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep the 4 different POV’s in my head. I wouldn’t be able to differentiate all four voices. Thankfully, it only took me a little while to get accustomed to them and before I knew it, I had no problem telling each of the voices apart. Claire, Tomas, Sylvia & Autumn each have a connection to the shooter, though the connections aren’t immediately apparent. The different connections they had to the shooter are revealed early on, for which I was grateful.

I cannot say enough about the diversity in this book. In some ways, I think the diversity within the characters was my favorite part. There were characters of different ethnic backgrounds, different family systems, and perhaps my favorite thing, main characters who were lesbian. I did not expect the LGBT aspect of the book, so to see that unfold really excited me, and in some ways, made me sob even more.

This book was very character driven and for a short book, these characters were very well developed. That was one of my concerns with this book, given the length. I was nervous these characters wouldn’t be fleshed out well, but they were.

The pace was quick, but in a book like this I wasn’t bothered by it. A whole lot of stuff needed to be packed into 54 minutes and it felt real to me. I felt the panic. I felt the terror and I felt sadness. I didn’t know it was possible to feel all of these things from a book, and I’ve been reading since I was four.

This book was the kind of book that sticks with you hours, even days after you’ve finished it. I love these type of books. The tough subjects, the books that bring the feels and this book was no different. Marieke Nijkamp’s debut is a stunning book that broke my heart from the beginning.

Stacking the Shelves #86

This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Hi guys!

So things have changed drastically over the last month or so. I recently made the decision to start co-blogging with my good friend, Bekka at Pretty Deadly Reviews.  I am undecided on whether or not I will be closing down this blog, but I will keep you all posted on the decision I make.

Anyway, here is my haul for the past month!

Received for Review
With Malice by Eileen Cook
Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill
The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston
Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz

-Blog Tour-

Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Drowning is Inevitable by Shalanda Stanley
The Naturals (The Naturals #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz

Have a great week!

Stacking the Shelves #85

581bc-stsThis feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Hi guys!

This month brought me a lot of different books from different sources. If I tried to tell you where each and every one of them came from, it would be a long list. So thank you to my Secret Sister, the various publishers as well as friends, fellow bloggers and my library.

The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu

Received for Review
The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz
In Real Life by Jessica Love
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard (sneak peek)
Riders (Riders #1) by Veronica Rossi (sneak peek)
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury (sneak peek)

The Yearbook by Carol Masciola

Blog Tour
Diamonds are Forever (The Secret Diamond Sisters #3) by Michelle Madow
Half in Love With Death by Emily Ross

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Infinity Lost (The Infinity Trilogy #1) by S. Harrison
Design the Life You Love by Ayse Birsel
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
Oblivion by Sasha Dawn
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke

Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

So let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you plan to soon! Have a fabulous, book filled week, everyone!

2016 ARCs I’m most excited about

Hi guys!

I know there hasn’t been much in the way of book reviews lately. I’ve been in a massive reading slump & with NaNoWriMo going on, I haven’t had much time to actually read. I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk, I guess.

So I wanted to talk about some upcoming 2016 books that I have ARCs for and that I’m excited about.

Passenger has been one of my most anticipated reads since last May. I would say this is very high on my priority list.
Shade Me has also been a book I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Synesthesia has always fascinated me and I’m curious to see how that will be handled in the book.
Firsts sounds really good. Very girl power-ish, which excites me. Very sex positive as well, which also excites me.
This is Where the World Ends has been high on my list since I first found out that Amy was writing a new book. This sounds like something I am going to LOVE. Considering how much I loved her first book, I cannot wait for this one.
This is Where it Ends sounds like a very emotional read, so I am going to have to be in a specific mood for it. It sounds amazing though.
The Mirror King is my most anticipated sequel. Considering where The Orphan Queen left off, I need to get to it soon. Good thing I’m buddy reading it with Mary & Jessica right now.
The May Queen Murders just sounds awesome. I’m head over heels in love with that cover. So even if I didn’t get an e-ARC of it, I’d probably buy it when it was released.
The Girl From Everywhere has been all over the book blogging community for months. I am super excited to get to it. I can only hope I’m as enamored with it as everyone else is.
Thicker Than Water looks really captivating. I love the cover in all it’s simplicity. Plus it sounds like there’s a lot of secrets between the characters.
Other Broken Things is Christa’s third book, and I just adore her books. Yes they are dark. Yes the characters aren’t always likable. She has this insane talent that makes me fall in love with her stories no matter how dark they are.

Have you read any of these ARCs yet? If not, are there any that you’re looking forward to the most? If you have read any of these, did you enjoy them?

Review: The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey

Book Title: The Sister Pact
Author: Stacie Ramey
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published Date: November 3rd, 2015
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
A suicide pact was supposed to keep them together, but a broken promise tore them apart

Allie is devastated when her older sister commits suicide – and not just because she misses her. Allie feels betrayed. The two made a pact that they’d always be together, in life, and in death, but Leah broke her promise and Allie needs to know why.

Her parents hover. Her friends try to support her. And Nick, sweet Nick, keeps calling and flirting. Their sympathy only intensifies her grief.

But the more she clings to Leah, the more secrets surface. Allie’s not sure which is more distressing: discovering the truth behind her sister’s death or facing her new reality without her.

Disclaimer: I received this book as an e-ARC from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Books about sisters are one of many book related things that I love. I love the dynamics that come into play as well as the differences & similarities between the sisters. Books that include some sort of suicide pact are books that I have a morbid fascination with. The idea of a “suicide pact” seems so interesting and bizarre.

Going by the fact that this book had both of those things in it, I should have loved the book. But I didn’t.

First of all, even in death, Leah was a horrible person. A horrible sister who pressured younger sister, Allie, into things she didn’t want to do. Situations that she didn’t want to be in. Among other things, she basically virgin-shamed her little sister.

“You have to grow up. If you can’t with Max, pick someone else. Someone you don’t care about. Then go back to him. Show him you can play with the big boys.”

Apparently losing your virginity proves that you are growing up. Ick. I really don’t like when virginity is tied to respect or maturity levels. That really bothers me and it’s a crappy thing for girls (and guys) to have to worry about.

Leah also had a twisted view of love. Granted neither she or Allie had a good model to look up to. After all, their parents were no longer together thanks to a girl only a few years older than Leah. Their dad had picked this girl, Danielle, over his wife and daughters.

“It’s that nothing matters other than being with this person. Even the things you thought were important, aren’t. Every second you aren’t with this person is like being slowly suffocated.”

That quote worries me. I know so many girls who feel exactly like Leah. So many girls who believe in constant contact and togetherness. That’s not healthy and it worries me that teen girls are reading this.

It’s Leah’s viewpoints on love & sex that get Allie wondering about her own experiences. Is Max really worth all of her thoughts? Is semi-geeky Nick worth more than she initially gives him credit for?

“And I wonder, by giving him what he wants, have I made him want me less?”

That is such a common worry for not only teen girls, but also women as well. We’re told from a very early age that boys want sex. So in the minds of teen girls and some women, once they get sex from you, a guy won’t want you anymore.

Nick tries hard to dispel that worry. He tries hard to make sure that Allie knows how he feels about her and that her decision to have sex with him, has not changed how he feels about her.

And then there’s John Strickland. He turns out to have a connection to Leah that Allie never knew about. Initially, I wasn’t a huge fan of his, but by the time the book ended, I was really liking him and how protective he was towards both Allie and her deceased sister, Leah.

Overall I just wasn’t a huge fan of this book. Some of it I liked, like Nick, John and Allie’s character arc, but a lot of it I didn’t like, like Allie’s parents, Leah, Max and Emery. The pacing was jerky too. Sometimes I would speed through it really quickly and and other times, I’d be reading it very slowly because I was at a part that wasn’t particularly interesting to me. I am giving it 3 stars. The only reason it’s not getting a lower rating is because I enjoyed Allie’s character arc a LOT.

Stacking The Shelves #83

581bc-stsThis feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Well, this is what happens when I move this feature to once a month and in that month Harper does multiple e-galley drops onto Edelweiss.

I end up with just about 50 books.

Granted, not all of them were review books, but 27 of them were. 23 from Edelweiss, 4 from NetGalley, I got an e-galley of a book for a blog tour, I got an e-galley of a book for an upcoming Sunday Street Team event. 12 were library books. I bought 5 books. One was a trade & three were from my Secret Sister.

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen
Nearly Gone (Nearly Gone #1) by Elle Cosimano
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Received for Review

Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray
Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson
Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude
Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Dreamology by Lucy Keating
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C. J. Redwine
Harmony House by Nic Sheff
Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows
Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr (No cover yet)
The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan
Other Broken Things by Christa Desir
Consent by Nancy Ohlin
Shade Me (Nikki Kill #1) by Jennifer Brown
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
This Is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang
Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Menagerie (Menagerie #1) by Rachel Vincent
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
Placebo Junkies by J. C. Carleson

Blog Tour

The Body Institute by Carol Riggs

Sunday Street Team
Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
When We Wake (When We Wake #1) by Karen Healey
When We Run (When We Wake #2) by Karen Healey
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Joyride by Anna Banks
Return to the Dark House (Welcome to the Dark House #2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Our Brothers at the Bottom of the Bottom of the Sea by Johnathan David Kranz
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
The Accident Season by Maria Fowley Doyle
Rebel Mechanics (Rebel Mechanics #1) by Shanna Swendson
Time After Time (Time Between Us #2) by Tamara Ireland Stone

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Biggest Flirts (Superlatives #1) by Jennifer Echols
Eve (Eve #1) by Anna Carey

Received via trade
The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)

Thank you to everyone who helped make this haul so big. If you’ve read any of these books or if you plan to, please let me know.

Stacking the Shelves #82

581bc-stsThis weekly feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Hi you guys!

I know it’s been awhile since I did a haul post and that is partly because I had a lot of posts go up while I was in Disneyland & then when I got home. Then last Sunday I had 2 posts up and so I decided to push my haul post one more week

Also, I think I’m going to stick to doing these haul posts once a month instead of every week. Less stress for me.

This past week, I learned that I had torn a tendon in my right knee. I don’t know how it happened, but since I’m prone to weird things happening to me, I’m just going to chalk it up to it being a freak accident. I have an appointment with my primary care doctor tomorrow & I’m sure I’m going to be referred to an orthopedic surgeon for more testing. I’ll definitely keep you all updated.


As for the books I added since the last time I did a haul post, here they are!

Received for Review
From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan
The Girl With the Wrong Name by Barnabas Miller
Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake
The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow & David Ostow

A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston
The One Thing by Marci Lynn Curtis
My Secret to Tell by Natalie D. Richards
We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

Blog Tour
Very In Pieces by Megan Frazer Blakemore

So many thank yous to Disney-Hyperion, HMH Kids, Sourcebooks Fire, SoHo Teen, HarperTeen for the e-ARCs you’ve given me access to.

Fellow bloggers, if you’ve read any of these or are planning to, please let me know!

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

cd680-tttThis feature is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I have added several books to my shelves recently. I added a few library books to my shelves as well, so those will hang around for only a few weeks.

Go forth and check out the books I added this week!

Library Books
Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn #1) by Lori Goldstein
-I’ve heard both good and bad things about this book, but I’m head over heels in love with the cover-
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
-I’ve heard mostly good things about this book, and it definitely looks like something I’ll love-
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
-My FAVORITE Sarah Dessen book. So, so, SO good!-
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
-I had my eye on this book before, but it was Corey Ann Haydu’s vehement insistence that I read this book, that won me over-

Review Books
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jan Bennett
-I’m very hopeful for this book. It looks like something I’ll enjoy-
The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey
-Suicide pact + sister books! Eeeeeep! Things that I love. I have high hopes for this book-

The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno
-One of my FAVORITE books of 2014. A million thank yous to my Secret Sister for sending it to me-

UtLTop Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015c1d84-thob
Under the Lights (Daylight Falls #2) by Dahlia Adler
-I am so excited to read this book. I’m in LOVE with that cover-
Paperweight by Meg Haston
-One of my favorite books of 2015. It was utterly gorgeous & I needed a finished copy-
The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson
-I fell in love with The Kiss of Deception and I knew I needed to pre-order The Heart of Betrayal-

Let me know if you added any of the same books on your list this week. Also don’t forget to leave the links to your post in the comments below.

Stacking the Shelves #79

581bc-stsThis feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s a way to show off what books arrived on our shelves.

This week, two of my pre-orders arrived. One book I had read and loved and the other book was a highly anticipated sequel to a book I had loved last year.

I got two e-ARCs from NetGalley.

I stopped by the library and picked up two books.

Paperweight by Meg Haston
The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson

Received for Review
The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn #1) by Laurie Goldstein

I hope you all had a great week!

Review: What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

Book Title: What You Left Behind
Author: Jessica Verdi
Published Date: August 4th, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author.

I legitimately don’t know how Jessica Verdi does it. She creates compelling stories with interesting characters. Tosses in a lot of feelsy moments and voila, she’s got a story that I will fall in love with. What You Left Behind was definitely different than her previous books, but it followed her formula to a T.
Interesting plot. Check
Captivating characters. Check
Tons of feels. Check
It took me a bit of time to warm up to Ryden to be totally honest. He seemed to be struggling with everything and trying to do it all. He didn’t want his life to change at all and he relied heavily on his mom to care for Hope, his baby. I know it’s probably tough to assume so much responsibility so quickly, but his actions at the beginning of the book were a bit maddening. 
He was baffled that his daughter seemed to hate him, but babies at her age form attachments to the people who care for them the most. In this case, that was Ryden’s mom. Ryden is still in school, playing soccer and working. It doesn’t feel like his schedule was really changed at all and to be honest, he seemed selfish at times. It was probably his age, but it was definitely something that I noticed. 
Finally things started to change, Ryden had to make some decisions about Hope and his mom couldn’t make the decisions because she was not the baby’s next of kin.
Most of the reviews will probably focus on Ryden’s growing romance with Joni, and I will talk about her later, but right now I want to talk about Ryden’s relationship with his mother. We don’t usually get to see mother/son relationships in YA. In fact, I think this book may be the first one I’ve read with such a positive mother/son relationship. In fact, I think it was my favorite part of this book. She was just so supportive and kind to her son and to her granddaughter.
I really liked Joni. She was quirky, fun and she had a healthy self respect for herself. She was good for Ryden. I was excited for them to get together, and I rooted for them. They made sense as a couple. I wish we had seen more of Joni because I feel like we didn’t get to know as much about her as I would have liked.
The journals told a story. A story that we learned about right alongside Ryden. It showed that this whole situation was not as black and white as we all initially thought. I am a very black & white thinker, so this made me do a lot of thinking. I  didn’t love Meg, but her journals helped me understand certain things that she did.
Jessica Verdi had already earned herself on my auto-read & auto-buy author lists, and this one was certainly no exception. I really enjoyed this book and will be giving it 4.5 stars. I do recommend this book because not only was it unique, but it also had some diverse and interesting characters.