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Thursday, January 19, 2017

By Your Side by Kasie West


By Your Side by Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
*Galley received from publisher for honest opinion*


When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.


Only he doesn’t come. No one does.



Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

I don't know about everybody else, but being trapped in a library, for a long weekend, sounds like the a dream come true. I'm pretty sure I'd be perfectly fine all alone in that library, with all of those books, but if you want to throw in a cute and broody boy, I'm good with that, too! I'm fairly new to Kasie West books, but I've had fun reading the few that I have, and this one was another fun one. 

I really liked that even though this was mostly a cute, fluffy read, it also had some real issues woven into the story. Autumn is a go-getter and a rule lover, but she also suffers from pretty serious anxiety. Being trapped anywhere isn't great for a person who suffers from anxiety, and it's made worse for Autumn because she only ran back into the library to use the restroom, so all of her stuff is in her friends trunk on the way to a party. Oh, and it's winter, so a big empty library is not exactly cozy. 

Enter the mysterious Dax, who lives in a foster home and for reasons he isn't really up to sharing, was planning to stay in the library for the weekend. Autumn doesn't know much about Dax, but considering they only have each other for the time they are stuck in there, they do get to know one another a little and start to realize maybe surface judgements don't really mean anything. 

I kind of thought, okay hoped, that the whole book would be them stuck in the library, but I'm glad we got to see Autumn and Dax outside of those walls. We got to see how their lives really were so different and it was no surprise they hadn't really known each other before, but it was also nice to see how their time trapped together played into their lives after. 

This was cute, fun, and fluffy, but also had some substance and I had a great time reading it. My favorite Kasie West book is still P.S. I Like You, but this one is absolutely worth a read :0)


*Cover Photo and Synopsis from Goodreads*

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke



The Pants Project by Cat Clarke
Release Date: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

*Galley provided by publisher for honest opinion*



"My name is Liv (Not Olivia)... I'm not technically a girl.


I'm Transgender. Which is a bit like being a transformer. Only not quite as cool as cool because I probably won't get to save the world one day."

A Transformer is a robot in disguise. Liv is a boy in disguise. It's that simple. Liv knows he was always meant to be a boy, but with his new school's terrible dress code, he can't even wear pants. Only skirts.

Operation: Pants Project begins! The only way for Liv to get what he wants is to go after it himself. But to Liv, this isn't just a mission to change the policy- it's a mission to change his life. And that's a pretty big deal.


This was fantastic! Liv was charming, flawed, funny, confused, and so full of heart. I think it's really important for kids this age to have books about these types of topics, whether it's something they are going through themselves or not. In my opinion, this book in particular is great because Liv is such a relatable character. He truly is just a regular kid who gets in fights with his little brother, acts bratty toward his parents, and has to deal with immature classmates. Deep down he is just trying to figure out who he is and how to be that person, which I think is true for all of us at one point or another.

I adored all of the scenes with Liv's family and thought it was really great that we got to see how big of a role they played in his life, and how much they just wanted Liv to be happy. Whether you have two moms, two dads, or a mom and a dad, parents are parents and Liv's were really fantastic. They love their kids for exactly who they are and that's really the best any kid can ask for in their lives. And don't get me started on Liv's little brother, Enzo, that kid cracked me up. 

I think my favorite thing in the book, though, was the friendship between Liv and Jacob. At first Jacob seems like your typical popular kid, but that is so far from the truth. Jacob didn't have time for mean kids or their games and he was just so good at letting it all roll off. Once we really get to know him, I don't think there was any point in the story that made me doubt how good of a person Jacob truly is.

This is definitely a worthwhile read. And I'm not going to lie, it made me cry a couple of times, but it was good crying :0)



*Book cover and synopsis from Goodreads


Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 End of Year Book Survey :0)











This wonderful survey was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner and I thought it might be fun to give it a go this year :0)




Number Of Books You Read: 75
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: It was a pretty even split between Romance and YA


best-YA-books-2014


1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

I'm going to do two books, but they are from different genres. One is romance, which I read all the time, and the other is a thriller, which I barely ever read.

'You' by Caroline Kepnes
'When Joss Met Matt' by Ellie Cahill

I absolutely loved both of these! 'You' took me completely by surprise and it's a little love/hate, because I felt pretty terrible about loving a character that is actually such a horrible person...haha. 'When Joss Met Matt' was just adorable and funny and so wonderful!


2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

'Every Heart a Doorway' by Seanan McGuire. The premise on this was absolutely amazing and there were things about the actual story that lived up to some of my expectations, but over all I was very underwhelmed by this story. I may still pick up the next installment, but I probably won't rush to it.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I've actually got two here, as well. I read both 'Illuminae' and 'Simon vs. the Homosapien's Agenda' in 2015 and spent a large part of 2016 bugging people to read them both, because I absolutely adored each of them.

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

I started 'The Bone Season' by Samantha Shannon in 2016 and I am pumped to read the next books in the series. It was such an interesting world and I am so curious to see where it goes. The best series ender I read in 2016 was 'Sweet Reckoning' by Wendy Higgins. That books worked for me 100%, I don't think I had any complaints about how this series wrapped up.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Ellie Cahill (aka Liz Czukas)! I've actually got a couple of her books on my shelves, but I never read her until this year. If all of her books are as adorable as the first one I read, sign me up!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don't love historical fiction and I rarely read anything that is even the slightest bit historical. However, I have found that if I listen to historical fiction novels I seem to enjoy them more. That said, I listened to 'The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August' and really enjoyed it.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Hands down 'You' by Caroline Kepnes. This book made me feel weird things about myself and gave me all kind of crazy emotions, but I loved it and *cringe* I loved Joe.

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

 This one is  a tie between a couple of 2017 releases and 'When Joss Met Matt' by Ellie Cahill.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

 I was kind of underwhelmed by the book itself, but I LOVED the cover for 'Carry On' by Rainbow Rowell.

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

 Broken record, thy name is Sarah, but my most memorable character is definitely Joe Goldberg from 'You' by Caroline Kepnes.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

 'The Wall of Winnipeg and Me' by Mariana Zapata. This sucker is huge, but I could not stop reading and never got bored.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

 'Wrecked' by Maria Padian was such a thought provoking book. It gave such an interesting take on perspective and packed some pretty powerful insights.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest was 'Fortunately, the Milk...' by Neil Gaiman (160 pages)
Longest was 'The Wall of Winnipeg and Me' by Mariana Zapata (673 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

I may be the only one who was surprised by this, and perhaps it was because I listened to the audio instead of reading, but I did not see the plot twist coming in 'Everything, Everything' by Nicola Yoon.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Garrett and Wellsy from 'The Deal' by Elle Kennedy. This was my one re-read for this year and I still love them. They are my favorite couple of the Off Campus series.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Devon and Foster from 'First & Then' by Emma Mills, in fact, toss in Foster and Ezra from the same book. This all comes down to Foster. That kid was all kinds of amazing. I love him!

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

'The Upside of Unrequited' by Becky Albertalli. This one doesn't come out for quite some time, but her debut last year was one of my favorites and this sophomore novel did not disappoint.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

'Spontaneous' by Aaron Starmer. The person who recommended this to me was actually a publicist at ALA Annual. I had not previously even heard about this book and they had a shelf of them sitting in their booth and I basically was all 'Holy yellow cover, batman' to my best friend and the publicist heard me and kindly came over to explain it was a YA about spontaneous combustion and that it was awesome. She had me at spontaneous combustion.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

 Porter Roth from 'Alex, Approximately' by Jenn Bennett. I still just really want to snuggle him.

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

 Umm...I don't think I actually read any 2016 debuts in 2016...shame on me.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?


25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

 'P.S. I Like You' by Kasie West. Secret pen pals for the win!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

 'Mothership' by Martin Leicht & Elsa Neal. This was a completely random read for me this year, but it was so silly and charming.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

 'Catch a Tiger by the Tail' by Charlie Cochet. That ending, oh my heart!

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

 I'll say 'Nimona' by Noelle Stephenson, because it was the only graphic novel I read this year.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

'Dark Matter' by Blake Crouch. Not because I didn't enjoy the book, but because in the end what I wanted to happen isn't what was in the book...



looking-ahead-books-2015



1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

'Six of Crows' by Leigh Bardugo. I actually started this one (barely) in 2016, but for all kinds of reasons, I didn't finish it. I am actually planning to read it and the sequel 'Crooked Kingdom' this year.


2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

 'By Your Side' by Kasie West, because I only read her for the first time in 2016, but she makes my contemporary loving heart so happy.

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 I cannot only pick one, but I could answer this question with huge list, so I will choose two from all the ones I am eagerly awaiting.

'The Love Interest' by Cale Dietrich and 'My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen' by David Clawson. Eeeep!!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

 'Thick & Thin' by Charlie Cochet

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

 Get more active in blogging, start participating in some weekly features again, and more consistenly reviewing all of those books I'm reading.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

'Geekerella' by Ashley Poston. This book spoke to my geeky little heart so, so much. I adored it and want to live in it, and it has inspired me to get my butt back to MegaCon again this year :0)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Top Ten 2017 Debuts I am So Stoked to Read!



Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week's topic: Top Ten 2017 Debuts I'm Excited For



And Now for the Books.....


1. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich This is essentially everything I could possibly imagine wanting in a book. At least from what I can gather with the synopsis. I cannot wait to get my hands on this beauty!



2. My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen by David Clawson This book. It sounds quirky and fantastic. I am all in for some fairy godmother wisdom!



3. Perfect Ten by L. Phillips I will admit, I was initially drawn to this book because of the unicorn on the cover, but once I read the synopsis I knew this was absolutely my type of book. I absolutely adore quirky m/m romance.



4. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts Quite different from my previous picks, but I have found myself drawn to fantasy more and more each year and I love the idea of a story following the bastard children of royals.



5. Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman Real talk, I've actually already read this one, but it was one of my most anticipated and it didn't let me down. I can't wait for my finished copy.



6. A List of Cages by Robin Roe I have heard so many amazing things about this book and I am always on board for a good family focused story.



7. Final Girls by Riley Sager I don't read a lot of horror/thriller novels, but something about this one just spoke to me. I will likely be reading in the daytime with all the lights one...just saying.



8. Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland They had me at 'Firefly'. I dig a good sci-fi and this one promises lots of action.



9. Dreadnought by April Daniels I only just found out about this book and I have already pre-ordered it. Thank goodness it comes out at the end of this month. I am so here for a story about a girl who gets super powers after she sees a super hero die. So cool!



10. City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson This book sounds so unique. I like the vengeance angle and I'm curious to see how it all plays out.





I am really feeling so many of these LGBTQ+ debuts we've got coming our way this year. I only really got into this genre within the last year or so. I never read it because in a lot of ways I wasn't really exposed to much of it, but it also felt a little out of my comfort zone. A friend urged me to read one of their favorites a couple of years back and now LGBTQ+ are some of my favorite reads. I am so glad we've got so many wonderful sounding options coming out this year. 

What is everyone else looking forward to in debuts for this year?!?



Cover images from Goodreads











Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #2: This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston





"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, spotlighting eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.



This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: November 15th, 2016

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them. 

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.


Waiting on because...

I love a good mystery and this one sounds like it will offer all kinds secrets and thrills. I am definitely a fan of tenacious heroines just trying to do the right thing and making sure justice is served. I also love a good cover and boy does this one deliver. Love it!





Thursday, October 20, 2016

First & Then by Emma Mills



First & Then by Emma Mills
Release Date: October 13th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co


Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

First I just want to say how beautiful the covers for Emma Mills books are. I know this has no bearing on the quality of the story, but boy are they pretty up on the bookshelf. They are pretty naked, too!

I'm so late to the Emma Mills party. I bought this book all the way back in last October when it was released, then it proceeded to sit oh, so sadly on my bookshelf. Pretty, but sad. I was fortunate enough to acquire an ARC of her second book This Adventure Ends at ALA, but then my conscience got the better of me and I decided I had to read this one first. Order and all that. So here we are in early October and Hurricane Matthew is barreling down on us. With no power and piles of books, I decided that I needed something not about death and destruction, and this little gem is what I chose. And then I got mad at myself for not reading it sooner, followed closely with sadness, because I could never read it for the first time again. Ramble, ramble, ramble...let's get to the point of this thing, shall we?

I adored this novel. 

Oh, right, that's probably not sufficient enough for anyone to make an informed decision on whether or not this would be a story for them. 

Devon, our main character, has had quite the interesting summer. You see, she's quite good at being an only child, but her younger cousin has now come to live with them and it's a little like having a sibling. She likes her cousin, but she gets a little annoyed with him always being around. Foster is kind of an odd kid, and while sometimes Devon really just wants to get rid of him, she's never really outright cruel to him. I loved how we got to see their relationship evolve through the book and how they helped each other evolve.

There are boys in this book, of course. Boys that are not related to Devon. Boys that are cute, talented, and infuriating in their own ways. I don't really want to say too much about said boys, because I don't want to ruin the way the story unfolds in regards to them. I will say that things turned out differently than I expected them to, but definitely in a good way. 

Devon loves Jane Austen, and while Pride & Prejudice is the only Jane Austen book I've read, I thoroughly enjoyed the talk of her throughout the book. Devon speaks about her as if they are real life friends and I thought that was pretty cool, because I know we've all done that a time or two with an author or character we truly love. 

This was definitely a quick read, but an oh, so wonderful one. I highly recommend it to any contemporary fan and even those who may be a little hesitant to jump into the contemporary pool. Love, love love!


Cover photo and blurb from Goodreads

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