Friday, February 27, 2015

Feature Friday #103



Feature Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read!


Its been a while since I have done a feature Friday, it just sounded fun today. 

Featured Blogs:



Bookworm Book Reviews


and

Coffee and Characters




Featured Question:

Your house is burning down and you have time to select three books you own to take with you. What three books? - Suggested byAlison Can Read

Answer: I may also grab three unread books. If I am going to be without I may as well have three unread books. Or I may just grab the three books that I have close by. No need to stay in the flame any longer. I really don't have a clear answer to this question. Its pure evil to make me choose three books and to set my house on fire. I guess I would just have to choose what I could reach and go with unread or currently reading. As soon as I get my insurance money though, I am headed to the bookstore.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Delightful Discoveries #93



Delightful Discoveries are books that I have discovered recently... old, new, just released... from blogs, Goodreads, libraries, friends, or bookstores. 






RedRed by Alyxandra Harvey

  


Bad girls burn hot…

Red is the color of Kia Alcott's hair.
It's her temper, which blazes hot and always gets Kia into way too much trouble.
And it's the color of fire. Fires that Kia can start…just by thinking about them.

When her latest “episode” gets her kicked out of school, Kia is shipped off to her grandmother, who works for the wealthy Blackwoods. It's an estate shrouded in secrets, surrounded by rules, and presided over by a family that is far from normal…including the gorgeous and insolent Ethan Blackwood.

Ethan knows far more about the dangers of the forest surrounding the estate than Kia can ever imagine. For this forest has teeth, and Ethan is charged with protecting the outside world from its vicious mysteries.

But inside, even the most vibrant shade of red doesn't stand a chance against the dark secrets of the Blackwood family…



Treasure, Darkly (Treasure #1)
Treasure Darkly by Jordan Elizabeth


Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe…until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead. A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he. 

And he is not alone. His new-found sister, Amethyst, thinks that's rather dashing, until Horan kidnaps her, and all she gets is a bullet through her heart. When Clark brings her back to life, she realizes he's more than just street-smart - and he's not really a Treasure. Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.







Dumplin'
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy 



Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.




The Last Good Day of the Year

The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman



  
A new powerful thriller from the globally-embraced author ofBetween.

Ten years ago, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, seven-year-old Samantha and her next door neighbor, Remy, watched as a man broke into Sam’s home and took her younger sister, Turtle, from her sleeping bag. Remy and Sam, too afraid to intervene at the time, later identified the man as Sam’s sister Gretchen’s much older ex-boyfriend, Steven, who was sent to prison for Turtle’s murder.

Now, Sam’s shattered family is returning to her childhood home in an effort to heal. As long-buried memories begin to surface, Sam wonders if she and Remy accurately registered everything they saw. The more they re-examine the events of that fateful night, the more questions they discover about what really happened to Turtle.

Master storyteller Jessica Warman keeps readers guessing in this arresting page-turner.



The Tragic Age: A Novel
The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe




This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work— not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college.
 
Billy’s life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another’s mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul. 

With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It's the age he's at. The tragic age
.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #133





Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



I Can't wait for:

Seriously Wicked: A Novel
Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly 
May 5th 2015





The only thing worse than being a witch is living with one.

Camellia’s adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch.

Cam’s used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose—and into Devon, the cute new boy at school.

Now Cam’s suddenly got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance.

To stop the demon before he destroys Devon’s soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she’s willing to work spells like the witch...will that mean she’s wicked too?


I love this cover and the title. It just sounds fun. Lots of fantasy and fun. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: Work of Art by Melody Maysonet

24983458
Title:  Work of Art 
Author: Melody Maysonet 
Publisher: Merit Press
Publishing Date: March 18th 2015
Pages: 240
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction 
Series: Stand Alone
Source:  Hardcover



  




Shy, artistic Tera can't wait to attend a prestigious art school in France to prove to her famous artist father that she can make something of herself. But Tera's hopes for the future explode when the police arrest her dad for an unspeakable crime. Her father's arrest must be a mistake, so Tera goes into action, sacrificing her future at art school to pay for his defense. Meanwhile, she falls head over heels for Joey, a rebel musician who makes her feel wanted and asks no questions about her past. Joey helps Tera forget her troubles, but he brings a whole new set of problems to Tera's already complicated life. Then, to make matters worse, as her relationship with Joey deepens and as her dad's hotshot lawyer builds a defense, fractures begin to appear in Tera's childhood memories--fractures that make her wonder: could her father be guilty? And whether he's guilty or innocent, can she find a way to step out of the shadows of her father's reputation and walk free? Can she stop him, guilty or innocent, from tainting the only future she ever wanted? "A Work of Art" is a deeply felt story about self-image, self-deception, and the terrible moment that comes when we have to face the whole truth about the myths of our childhoods.




The synopsis of this book grabbed me right away and when I was offered the book for a review I jumped at it. I received the book, opened it up for a sneak peek because I always do when I get a new book and this was not the next read on my list.... well that peak turned into a one sitting read. Once I started the book I couldn't put it down.  It was amazing, heartbreaking, disturbing, suspenseful, and beautiful. I loved it from the first page to the last. 

Tera is an artist like her dad. She has always worked hard for his approval and now she is sure she has it. She has been accepted with  scholarship to a prestigious art school in France and article will run featuring father and daughter artists, She finally sees the pride in his eyes. Her world is coming together until its ripped out from beneath her. Her father is arrested for an unspeakable crime and Tera puts her entire future on hold to prove his innocence. In the process she starts to doubt he is innocent. To get her mind off things she starts to see bad boy Joey from the pizza joint she works at. Nothing but trouble, Joey uncovers many of memories that hold secrets from Tera's past. Nothing is right anymore and Tera must find her way through the mess of her life.

This book really was incredible. One of the most heart wrenching stories I have read in a very long time. There was so much going on in this book and every decision that Tera made put her in a bad place and I felt for her. Tera struggled with her father's approval and when she couldn't strive for her father's approval anymore she moved on over to a boy at work, Joey. She did everything she could to feel beautiful in his eyes and do what made him happy. Losing herself in the process, or discovering she never knew who she was in the first place. 

This story is about family secrets and finding the strength to move on. Tera had to do that but she also had to find beauty and approval in herself.. She had to face her demons straight on and that is never an easy feat. 

Tera lacked in self image and self respect. She had some pretty deep issues but I felt for her, I connected to her, I could see the issues and know that she struggled inside but she didn't appear that way on the outside, On the outside she seemed very put together and confident 

This book spotlighted all the relationships in Tera's life, how they worked and how they fell apart. She had a good relationship with her dad, so she thought. I saw him as mean and negative. Nothing Tera did was quite good enough. Of course this was seen mainly through the memories 

Tera and her mother had a horrible relationship. Tera, from the words of her father, believed her mother to be crazy and everything was her fault. She wanted nothing more than to escape her mother and not become her. 

The other relationships were with the horrible boyfriend, her ex best friend, and her art teacher. All these relationships, Tera was only looking for approval and never seemed to quite find it. She seemed to lose everyone one way or the other.

I think Tera's story was heartbreaking but yet beautiful because through it all she was a survivor. There were some pretty terrifying events that happen in this book and because of this I don't recommend this for young teens at all. Its a very disturbing book. As an adult I barely made it through but I knew in the end it would have to lead somewhere and I was hoping it would lead to strength, inner beauty, and healing and that is where this book led. 

I really didn't know what to expect when I started that first page, but like I mentioned at the beginning, I couldn't put the book down. I was strongly compelled to keep turning those pages. It was a very fast read and every chapter ended with me wanting more. 

I do recommend this book to most everyone. It is not for the light of heart, it is deep and vicious but it's worth the read. I think this book could bring many girls to their inner strength. It does shine light on some very horrible evils in this world, but I don't think these evils should be hid. 

A very hard read but worth every moment.






Melody Maysonet was born in Alaska but grew up in Illinois. After many years as a starving college student (an ordeal she survived by playing marathon sessions of Dungeons & Dragons), Melody taught English at a community college before moving to Seattle, where (as Melody Alder) she became editor and columnist for Wizards of the Coast’s The Duelist magazine. Then it was off to South Florida, where she edited, researched, and wrote historical coffee-table books. Currently, Melody is a volunteer teacher at an outreach homeless shelter, but she devotes most of her time to writing fiction for young adults. She lives in Coconut Creek, Florida, with her husband and son. Her debut novel, A WORK OF ART (Merit Press) is due out in March 2015.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Salt and Stone by Victoria Scott

Salt & Stone (Fire & Flood, #2)
Title:  Salt & Stone

Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publishing Date: February 24th 2015
Pages:  320
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Thriller/ Adventure/Survival
Series: Fire & Flood #2
Source: ARC

  

In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.





I was so so super uber excited to get my hands on this book.  I dug in as soon has I got my hand on it. I am a bit of a fan girl for the first book and was a bit nervous for the second. I didn't need to be. It was just as exciting, just as intense, just as superb. I loved every moment of this story. 


Tella and her crew from the first book are just about to embark on their third and fourth leg of the race. The ocean and the mountains. One is deep and wet and what looks like endless with sharks and jellyfish and waves and storms and so much more danger. The other is full of cold, ice, wind, and well that is enough right. Tellas now has two pandoras but less friends. The first and second leg of the race were filled with deceit, tricks, betrayals, and so many near death experiences. The race is just going to get harder. Good thing she has Guy or maybe anyways. As the race gets harder, challenges become more deadly, and resources more scarce. Its a game where death is almost inevitable 

I really don't know where to start with this review or how much I can actually say. I don't want to give anything away. I can say all bets are off for this book. I wasn't prepared that is for sure.
People die, people I didn't want to die. Sad things happen, cruel things happen. I was on the edge of my seat for well pretty much the entire book. My heart was broken over and over. Tears were shed. Bad words were on the tip of my tongue. 


There were some sweet moments too, far and few, but they were there. I can say that I am not a fan of the romance in these books, but some of the moments did get to me and I caught myself smiling. There were also some great moments for friendship and loyalty that had me beaming. And of course there were some giggles and chuckles here and there. Which I found amazing because it is such an intense book, but they were there and they fit well. 

Like I said I was not a fan of the romance. I wish I could say I was but there was too much push and pull, hot and cold, I want you but no I can't. This is one of my pet peeves for romances. You can't act one way one moment....all lovey dovey and passionate and intense then turn around and be all cold, can't do this, walk away kind of thing. I don't care the reasons. If the relationship is a bad choice or shouldn't happen then just be a man and keep your mouth shut or be a strong independent woman and just walk away. I hate wishy washy romances.... 

Now I think the two... Guy and Tella are made for each other. They are both stubborn, bossy, independent, and quite annoying but still lovable. So that said I dealt with the back and forth crap. I do think that Guy was a bit hard on Tella at times but circumstances were extreme so I could see how that could change the way things are handled. Tella wasn't perfect either. She was a bit rash at times and was a bit "Ill show you" type of attitude. Other than that loved them and all the other characters. 

There were a few of my faves returning. I do like Olivia and I do love Braun. He cracks me up. I even got attached to Jaxon. There were a few new characters as well that were thrown into the mix and of course they added to the story quite well. 

The pandoras were my favorite thing in the first book and I loved them in this book too. I was able to get a bit more attached to the pandoras in this book, at least a more than I remembered I did from the fist book. There are so many and they are all just so special. I hate the thought of harm coming to them or feelings being hurt or the pandoras being neglected. I just want to collect them all and bring them home with me. 

I really can't express how  much I love this story. The entire game  master, play to survive, evil corporation thing may be over done fro some people but its not for me,. the plot may not be completely original but the story is completely unique. The added bonus of pandoras makes it extremely cool for me. I love the thrills, the surviving, the friendships that are being made. I love the decisions between keeping some humanity or winning the game to save a loved one. Its not just to save yourself but someone you care for very much. Its brings in the reasons to survive stronger. 

The book really is intense, extreme, sadistic, sad, heartbreaking, and so much more. 



Nothing but my biggest love for this book and series.







Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott is the author of TITANS (Scholastic, Spring 2016), the FIRE & FLOOD series (Scholastic), and the DANTE WALKER trilogy (Entangled Teen). Her books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets, and she is represented by Sara Crowe.
Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

 
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