Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Summer After You and Me

The Summer After You and Me
Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?
COMING MAY 1st 2015
Every year I look for the perfect summer themed reads to occupy me under the sun. Beaches, summer tourists, and complicated romance makes this book sound right up my alley. I also read Doktorski's book How My Summer Went Up in Flames two years ago and it was a lot of fun. I think this one will make a great beach read!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Trust Me, I'm Lying

Trust Me, I'm Lying (Trust Me, #1)
Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult Thriller/Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.
I was very excited to read this book. The first thing it says in the description above is that fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society will love this book. I love Ally Carter's Heist Society series. I added this to my TBR the moment I read that. But I did not love Trust Me, I'm Lying. Honestly I did not even like it that much.
The first thing that bothered me starting very early on in the book was that the main character Julep came off as very Juvenile. Not necessarily the things that she was doing, I mean she was a con and was trying to save the people she cares about, it was more how she talked, her thoughts, and just the general feel of her. She is a Sophomore in high school but at times I got the feel of somebody in middle school. This will probably not bother some people, just for me it was something that got in the way of my enjoyment of the book.
This book technically has a lot of intrigue and action. It is full of heists, secrets, dangerous mob men, guns, and explosions. Even though this was going on I found myself kind of bored. I don't know if it was the writing style or something else but even when heists and dangerous things were happening I found myself tempted to skim because I just wasn't into it.
Part this might have been because of the characters. Julep aside, I did not like many, if any of the other characters. This led to me not being invested in the characters and what happened to them or the story. And the romance, if you can call it that, I found did not redeem the book at all. I personally saw no chemistry between them and it was all a bit rushed,
I also did not like the ending. It was very abrupt. When everything was revealed at the end and all the life or death action happened it lasted maybe a couple short chapters and then it was over. I did not really have time to process everything. I just did not find it very complete and I found a lot of the friend struggles were not resolved. This left the reader a little unsatisfied. I also think some of the things that happened were written for an oh my gosh factor and did not actually benefit the story and actually kind of harmed it in my opinion.
I originally thought Trust Me, I'm Lying was a standalone but it looks like there is a sequel coming out next fall. Will I pick it up? I'm not sure. I probably will not, like I said I have no investment in the characters.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

11 Series I Want To Finally Start And Binge This Year!

  Every year there are series that I have to punch myself for still not having read. It always turns out that most of those series are very popular series that all of my friends have read and loved. I hate being that girl chatting away with her friends about books and then they bring up this well known series that they start gushing about and I have to be like.... uh I still have not read that. To resolve this predicament I am determined to FINALLY start those series this year and hopefully finish a majority of them!
These are the 11 series I still have to finally dig into this year. The funny thing is I own a majority of these books. I just have not gotten around to them, YET! Don't Judge!
Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy, #2)Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy, #3)
Wendy Higgins
Defiance (Defiance #1)Deception (Defiance, #2)Deliverance (Defiance, #3)
C.J. Redwine
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)
Maggie Stiefvater
Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)Pure (Covenant, #2)Deity (Covenant, #3)
Apollyon (Covenant, #4)Sentinel (Covenant, #5)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn, #1)Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn, #2)Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn, #3)
Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Black City (Black City, #1)Phoenix (Black City, #2)Wings (Black City, #3)
Elizabeth Richards
Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)
Becca Fitzpatrick
Article 5 (Article 5, #1)Breaking Point (Article 5, #2)Three (Article 5, #3)
Kristen Simmons
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)
Marissa Meyer
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #2)
Ransom Riggs
The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2)The Shadow Cabinet (Shades of London, #3)
Maureen Johnson
Hopefully I will be able to get through a majority of these this year and will catch up to everyone else!
Are there any series you are behind on? Have you read any of these and enjoyed them? Which series should I pick up first?
Tell me in the comments below!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #2)
(Prisoner of Night and Fog #2)
Author: Anne Blankman
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Synopsis via Goodreads:
The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?
COMING APRIL 21st 2015
I love reading World War 2 historical fiction. When the first book Prisoner of Night and Fog came out last year I immediately grabbed it up and absolutely loved it. I have been eagerly waiting to hear what happens to Gretchen next. If you have not started this series yet and enjoy historical fiction I highly recommend picking it up before the sequel comes out in April!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Get Even

Get Even (Don't Get Mad, #1)
Title: Get Even
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Pages: 389
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: September 16th 2014
Synopsis via Goodreads:
The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.
Get Even is a fun, suspenseful, girl mystery novel with a strong Pretty Little Liars feel.
There is a wide variation of main characters in this story which I thought was great because it gives  something to every type of reader. The four main girls all have different personalities, interests, and social groups. You get Olivia the popular girl in love with acting, Margot the quiet and smart girl with inner turmoil, Kitty the athlete and part of student government, and Bree the rebellious one. You also get to see the story from all of their point of views. This way you got a wide range of angles of the story and you were able to find a character that you best fit with.
Their target ends up dead near the beginning of the book which allowed you to jump right into the mystery and suspense. There are many different parts to the mystery to keep you busy. The murder investigation is action-packed in itself but you also get other mysteries when somebody, possibly the murderer, starts sending them manila envelopes which uncover secrets buried in their own group. McNeil did a good job balancing everyday high school situations with the murder investigation. I liked this because you still got to learn more about the girls lives and their backstories instead of just everything focused on finding the killer. Speaking of the killer, I have no idea who they are. I have had multiple guesses throughout this book but I have a feeling they are way off. I want the second book so I can get to the bottom of this, also that ending needs to be resolved. I have to know the outcome of what she did and if certain people survive!
The only thing I wish there had been more of in this book was the actual acts of their group DGM. You get to see them pull one small prank right at the beginning of the book but the moment the murder happens their group starts to fall apart. I had thought the concept of DGM was intriguing and added something more to it making it more then a basic teen murder mystery. I just wish I had got to see the group in action.
Overall Get Even is a great teen murder mystery which girls and especially Pretty Little Liars fans will love.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: Winterkill

Title: Winterkill
Author: Kate A. Boorman
Pages: 323
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Amulet
Publication Date: September 9th 2014
Synopsis Via Goodreads:
Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.

When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.
This book is scary good.
I was entranced from the moment I opened to the first page.
Winterkill was by far one of the best books published this past year.
The world of Winterkill is spectacular. It is fully and beautifully crafted. I was pulled in and wanted to know everything about this society. As far as the citizens in this village know everyone was killed off by some sort of creature/monster that they call,  the malmaci. Generations ago the survivors traveled to this land to create a safe place where they could live. In order for their survival there are very strict rules and people who commit wayward acts are sent to their deaths for the "good" of the village's safety.
This book has an incredible essence around it. It gave me so many chills running up my spine. It is creepy, dark, thrilling, and spellbinding. I literally could not stop reading. There is also so much mysterious things happening in the book, I just needed to know what the truth was. I want to say so many things about this book but in order for me not to ruin it for you, I can't! Let me just say that there is so much more to the story then the synopsis says.  I am glad about that though because I was not expecting the ending that I came upon. Just trust me when I say that the truth revealed in this novel is a story you do not want to miss.
There is a romance in this book but it was the perfect kind. It is fully developed and swoon worthy but it did not take away from the suspense or point of the novel at all. Just enough was added in to give us a love story without distracting us from this breathtaking world and plot.
Emmeline the main character was also fantastic. She is a courageous and adventurous girl. She fought for what she believed in, her family, and her village. She is a curious 16 year old determined to discover a better world.
Winterkill was a phenomenal read from start to finish. It is one of those books that gives you this chilling, eerie, yet beautiful essence around you throughout the book and long after.
I highly recommend this book for everyone. The moment you become part of Emmeline's world you will be completely captivated.

Waiting on Wednesday: Liars, Inc.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine, where we get to showcase upcoming releases we are highly anticipating!
Liars, Inc.
Title: Liars, Inc.
Author: Paula Stokes
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publisher: HarperTeen
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.
COMING MARCH 24th 2015