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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Truth About Faking by Leigh T. Moore

Release Date: September 1st, 2012
Format: ebook
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Jason just wants a date with Harley.
Harley just wants a date with Trent.
Trent's still getting over Stephanie.

When Harley and Jason decide to fake date, they uncover a school of deceptions. Trent's got a secret, but so does Jason. And the more time Harley spends secretly kissing her fake boyfriend, the further she gets from her dreams with Trent.

Worst of all, Harley's mom is getting cozy with her hot massage therapy student, and even Harley's Reverend Dad can't fake not being bothered by it. But when the masks finally come off, can everyone handle the real truth?

Okay, first some truth. I love, LOVE, anything with the premise of fake dating. Books, TV shows, movies, or fan fiction. Whatever it is, if somebody in it fake dates to make someone else jealous, I am on board. So when I got the opportunity to review The Truth About Faking, I was so psyched. The reason I love this plotline so much, is because it sets up a whole framework for excellent drama. Inevitably real feelings evolve, inevitably someone is super oblivious and it causes drama, inevitably it's got plenty of amusement for the reader. But enough rambling about why I love this plot device, and let's get to why I really enjoyed this book. Leigh T. Moore has done an excellent job with this storyline and she's even thrown in some extra twists.

Initially, I didn't really care for Harley and her borderline stalkerish obsession with Trent. Girl needed to take a few steps back. Not to mention, she had a pretty big me, me, me attitude when it came to the help that Jason was going to give her. Of course, as the pages kept turn, I found myself warming up to her more and more. I really liked that the author also had a storyline regarding Harley's family, I think it's so nice when you get to see more into a characters life. I also thought it was really clever how she tied what was going on with Harley's family, into what was going with Harley. I love when you can see generational parallels.

This was definitely a cute, fun read, but there was also a little bit of serious thrown in and I think it gave it a nice bit of depth. I'm all for fluff, but I don't mind going a little deeper sometimes, too. I think there is a good message nestled in between these pages, not to mention a fun love story, and even some unexpected friendship. Definitely one worth giving a go and a huge thanks to Leigh T. Moore, for giving the me the opportunity to read this one :0)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Butter Blog Tour: Guest Post by Erin Jade Lange & Review

For today's stop on the Butter blog tour, we've got author Erin Jade Lange talking to us about teenagers and their tendancy to stand by and watch when bad things are happening.

For too many teens, high school is about survival at any cost. I want to say that up front, because I don’t want any teenagers who have stood by and witnessed bullying or cruelty to think I blame them or that I don’t get it. I totally get it. If the bullies are pointing at someone else, self-preservation instinct says “hey, at least they’re not pointing at me!” It’s easy to look back as an adult and think the choice to step in and stick up for someone is obvious. But in the moment, it takes a lot of courage – courage that may already be spent by a teen just trying to get through the day unscathed herself.
That said, it seems to be a fact that for every “bully” there are about five people standing by and letting it happen. I am not a psychologist or a behavioral expert or any kind of authority on mob mentality. But I can make a few educated guesses about why people fail to speak up when they see something bad happening. Maybe they’re afraid they’ll become the target. Maybe they don’t see what’s in it for them to stand up for someone else. Or maybe the person being cruel is a friend, and they don’t want to be disloyal. There are any number of reasons people – not just teenagers, but people in general – stay silent. The problem comes when that silence adds to someone else’s hurt. If we have the power to stop something, and we don’t – it’s a natural conclusion that we made it worse by not helping.
In the story of BUTTER, there are a few obvious bullies – one especially who goes out of his way to hurt people both physically and emotionally. Then there is a second tier who might not be considered bullies but who nonetheless participate in events that seem fun but that are actually causing someone pain. This is a kind of ignorance that’s not exactly cruel but equally hurtful. And then there are some who see something is wrong and just don’t know how to help – especially when the victim rejects that help.
There’s a reason why super heroes in stories aren’t just faster & stronger than your average human – why they’re also kinder & braver – why they tend to swoop in to protect people in need. I think it’s because we sometimes see those traits as almost super-human. Look, everyone is capable of being kind, of being brave and of swooping in to protect someone. But our teen years are a good time to LEARN what we are capable of. If we learn as a teen that being silent worked for us – maybe that silence becomes a part of who we are forever. But if we learn that we can be heroes – maybe we’ll grow up to be the kind of people who ALWAYS speak up for those in need.


Contact Erin:
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans?
I don't think I have the proper words to express exactly how I felt while reading this book. It definitely tackles some serious subject matter and it does it so well. Throughout the whole book I felt like I was really inside the head of a teenager. First, while Butter is dealing with being ignored and really only having the company of his mother and one of his teachers. Then there was the shift, once he announced his plan, and suddenly the popular kids wanted to be friends with him. With he new "friends" Butter started to developing, or maybe showing is a better way to describe it, a bigger personality. He was enjoying his new life and was almost able to forget that it was all because he was planning to kill himself, almost.
This book is so important,  because it highlights so many different aspects of bullying. You've got the kid who is the target, but he doesn't completely feel like one, because he is sort of being accepted. You've got the cool kids who want to be friends with him because he's going to do something so horrific, and he's going to do it publicly. You've got the kids who think he's full of crap, have never liked him, and still don't. And you've got the kids who know what's going on, and aren't necessarily comfortable with it, but because of fear or just not knowing what to do, they stand by and wait. I think we always identify bullying as physical or verbal abuse, but in reality there is so much gray area and Butter's story helps bring some light to teenage behavior.
I absolutely felt for Butter and he was the main draw throughout the whole book, but I really like the way the author wrote his mother. At turns I was so mad at her, for letting things continue the way they did at home and for enabling her son, but then my heart also broke for her, because it was very obvious that she didn't really know how to fix things. Like any mother, she just wanted her child to be happy, but from what she could see in his life, the thing that made him most happy was food. I couldn't really judge her, because even though I didn't agree with the way she handled everything, she was always just trying to do everything she could for her son.
I absolutely recommend this book to everyone. People need to read about stories like this one, to better understand things that might really be going on with teenagers, so that there aren't so many blind eyes.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: eGalley
Genre: Contemporary
After a scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back.

Parker's story is very different from Jordan's story, but it is still an excellent read. Parker is a girl who is trying desperately seperate herself from her mother's lifestyle and the rumors it sprouted about her. She's also trying to come to terms with her faith and dealing with a highly inappropriate crush on the new baseball coach. We get to see Parker's internal struggle with God and her need to know why things have happened to her and her family. I'm not a religious person and I don't typically read things that have religion incorporated, but it was done so well here and it never became preachy. It really helped the story, by showing the battle that was going on inside of Parker and even gave some insight into why she's made some of the choices she is now dealing with.
I know it's totally cliche to jump right to talking about the guys, but I can't help myself. Firstly, Brian gave me creepy feelings the whole time I was reading and those didn't get any better when he proved to be a huge jerk. I felt for Parker because at her age, the kind of attention she was getting from him, would be so easy to make into something bigger. I could see the ending that Parker couldn't, and I just wanted to shake her and tell her to stop letting this guy take advantage of you. Will, on the other hand, is so many kinds of adorable. I love this boy to pieces and I really liked how their friendship evolved throughout the whole story. They've known each other for years, but they had always just kind of been on the outskirts of each other's lives, and that all changes when Parker starts managing the baseball team.
I don't know what it is about Miranda's writing, but I love the sports stuff that is incorporated into her stories, even though I don't actually like sports. It doesn't take over the story, but it's definitely a big part of the characters lives and it helps everything kind of gel together. This one was a one sitting read for me and it will definitely be on my re-read shelf. I honestly believe you can't go wrong with a book by Miranda Kenneally. She writes excellent female protagonists and totally swoonworthy boys! Definitely one to add to your shelves :0)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that showcases our most wanted upcoming releases.
 Release Date: December 4th, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose....

I think con artist stories are so much fun, because inevitably something will go very wrong and that's when the good stuff usually starts. I also like the added element of a girl desperately wanting out of her small town. This just sounds like a fantastic read and I've heard great things about Eileen Cook's work :0)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (11)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and was inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox posts.
Hey, guys! Too tired this week to do a vlog, so It's just some photos. At least you won't have to endure my silly facial expressions this week :0)

For Review:
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Splintered by A.G. Howard
(They sent this really cool key and a card that says "Unlock the Secrets" w/ the ARC!)
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
(Already read and loved! Not as much as I love JORDAN, but still so good. Will *swoon*!!)
Undeadly by Michelle Vail
The Truth About Faking by Leigh T. Moore
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker
Huge thanks to Macmillan, Amulet, Sourcebooks, Harlequin, Leigh T. Moore, Netgalley, Jasmine @ A Room w/ Books, and The Golden Witch!!
What did you guys get this week?!?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cover Reveal: Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe

Today, I'm excited to be part of the cover reveal for Trisha's new book! It sounds so good and has such an awesome cover. First, let's see what it's about:
To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father’s capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart’s twisted world, Zara’s path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara’s hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father’s evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels’ command and where the prince’s heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she’s truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.

Add Fireblood to your Goodreads shelf!
And now, what you've all been waiting for....

About the Author
I’m the author of the YA Steampunk/Paranormal Romance DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing) and the upcoming YA Sci-Fi Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, November 2013. My published short stories have appeared in YA literary journals, Fantasy magazines, and anthologies. I’ve written four books in the past two years, and I’m currently working on a new YA Sci-Fi project.

I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional blog for the Young Adult genre.  Also a proud  member of YALITCHAT.ORGSCWW, and The Apocalypsies.
And I’m also a business owner, partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who's the sounding board for my male characters.
Check out my website for more on my books and short stories. Follow me on Twitter @TrishWolfe



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Release Date: October 1st, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: ARC
Genre: Contemporary
She never thought a kiss could kill…
Samantha didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to fit in...and she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.
Was she really the only person in the entire school who didn’t know about his peanut allergy? Or that eating a peanut butter sandwich and then kissing him would be deadly? Overnight Sam turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she’ll have to find a way to forgive herself before anyone else will.
This is actually the first book I have read by Janet Gurtler. I was so curious about how the characters in this story would be able to deal with the horrible thing that happened, and I just couldn't imagine what they would come out like on the other side. I'm sure we've all done frivolous things to make the guys we like jealous, but who would ever consider that something as small as a kiss could have such high consequences. Samantha is the new girl at school, so she didn't really know that much about Alex and she certainly didn't know about his allergy. At a party, the guy she likes is kind of being a jerk and Alex is being nice to her, so she decided to show Zee that two could play at that game. What follows is, I can only imagine, one of the most traumatic experiences a teenager could go through.
Samantha gives up swimming, which she loves more than almost anything, because she doesn't feel like she should be allowed to keep swimming if Alex can't. Even though it was an accident, and she isn't being charged with anything, Samantha carries so much guilt around with her. That guilt ends up getting her into some pretty sticky situations and honestly, I had a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for her.
I think this is a really powerful story and it puts you in the mind of a girl who isn't exactly sure how she's supposed to live her life now. I couldn't help feeling sympathetic toward Samantha, even when she was making really stupid choices, because she was just trying to keep going. I don't know that there is really any growth in Samantha, but I'm not sure that's really the point of this story. She learns to cope and to accept, which is admirable under her circumstances. She also finds people who genuinely care about her and some hope, as well.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: ARC
Genre: Contemporary/Sci-fi
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.
I'm sure I've said this more than once, but I am fascinated by parallel universes. Just the idea that there is another one of us in another world, who may look and sound the same, but leads a completely different life. It's just such a cool idea and I'd like to think it is real. In Hainsworth's debut, Cam actually gets to glimpse another version of his life. Things are so similar in some ways, but drastically different in others. In Cam's world his girlfriend, Viv, has died. He hasn't been dealing with it so well. One night he meets Nina, who knows him, just a different version of him. When Cam shows up in her world, she kind of freaks out on him and tells him it's too dangerous for him to be there. Cam can't stay away, though, because in this world Viv is alive.
I didn't care for the Viv from Nina's world. She was super intense and just gave me a bad vibe the whole time I was reading. It was obvious she had some secrets, but it seems everyone from that world was keeping secrets. Of course, Cam was just so happy to have Viv again, he wasn't paying enough attention to realize something was off. I liked Nina's character a lot, even though I wasn't sure what her motives were at first. Once I started figuring out what was really going on, I think it only made me like her better. Cam was such a sad sack at first, because he refused to let himself move past his girlfriend's death. As the story progressed and he got "Viv" back, he slowly started to pull out of his funk and began bettering himself. I loved his friend Mike, because that kid put up with a lot from Cam, but he also wasn't afraid to give it to him straight.
Overall, there were definitely a lot of things in this book that were predictable, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment while reading. Seeing things coming isn't always a bad thing and this story is proof that the journey to that end is what it's really all about. I'd definitely recommend this one anyone looking for an interesting contemp with a twist. Also, how gorgeous is that cover? I know we aren't supposed to judge books by their covers, but who wouldn't want that on their shelves :0)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (10)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and was inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox posts.
I can't believe it's already this time again! I tell you, I work so much lately, I'm kind of surprised I find time to buy books anymore :0)
Entice by Jessica Shirvington
Decked with Holly by Marni Bates (Thanks, Flo!)
False Memory by Dan Krokos (Thanks, Kristi!)
Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
Butter by Erin Jade Lange
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck (All because of Jenna @ Making the Grade!)
Blame it on Texas by Christie Craig
What Happens Here by Tara Altebrando
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
OH! I almost forgot, I bought an ebook this week:
Taking Chances by Molly McAdams
*This one has pulled me out of my slump, too! I can't stop reading, although it's super long, because I feel like I've been reading it forever and I'm only half done.*

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that showcases our most wanted upcoming releases.
Release Date: March 5th, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
16-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder. The setting is Arkwell.

And then it comes true.

Now the Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

Well, first off, I love this cover! It's so gorgeous and if you don't automatically want to pick this book up after seeing it, I question your eyesight...haha.

Seriously, though, this book sounds so unique. The main character is a Nightmare! How cool is that? I don't exactly know what being a Nightmare entails, but it sounds pretty darn awesome to me. Plus, there is a murder mystery and a hot guy. What more could I want? I can't wait to get my hands on this one and dig right in :0)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: ARC
Genre: Contemporary-Time Travel
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.
I loved Anna from the first page and my adoration of her character only grew as I read every single page of Time Between Us. She’s such a normal, relatable girl and I know I would have been her friend in high school. Anna feels like her life is extremely boring and all she wants to do is get out of her small town and travel the world. She’s got a map in her room with little red pins in all of the places she’s been. Unfortunately, there are only four pins and they are all really close together. Anna is a runner and the first time she sees Bennett is on one of her daily morning runs. He’s in the stands watching her, and then he’s gone. Poof. Disappeared.
And that is the beginning of one of the coolest and most romantic stories I’ve read in a very long time. Here’s a girl in 1995 whose only ever wanted to see the world, then she meets a sweet guy who she can’t seem to keep from her thoughts and little does she know he possesses the ability to take her anywhere she wants to go in the blink of an eye. As they get to know each other and Bennett starts to reveal his secrets to Anna, you can see them slowly falling in love. Of course, being from two different decades kind of dooms things from the start and that gives an added element of danger for Anna’s heart.
I have so much love for Anna and Bennett, but I can’t possibly leave out Emma. British, feisty and completely adorable, she is the best kind of best friend character. She loves Anna and is fiercely protective, so she’s not so sure about Bennett at first. It actually took her a while to warm up to him and I really appreciated that. Sometimes best friends in books automatically like a guy because their friend does, but Emma waited and formed her own opinion about him. She had Anna’s back even when Anna didn’t think there was anything to worry about. I’m team Emma, all the way.
Time travel and country hopping aside, there are some crazy things that happen in this book. It makes for an adventurous read with some very real drama going on. I honestly cannot stop thinking about this book and I know that I will be rereading it more than once. Anna and Bennett’s story is one for everyone, because it’s about love, but it’s also about living the life that you want to live.


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