Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stacking The Shelves (May 2014)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where we get to showcase the books we have added to own collection recently! 

Catch a Falling Star
Catch a Falling Star by, Kim Culbertson
Reading Teen  was so nice and sent me a copy of this book! I am very excited for this perfect beach read!

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
The Winner's Curse by, Marie Rutkoski
This is one of my favorite books so far this year and when I got a gift card I knew this was the book I wanted to spend it on! 
The Rules for Breaking (The Rules for Disappearing, #2)
The Rules For Breaking by, Ashley Elston
I read the first book in this series last year and loved it! When the sequel came out I went and bought it right away! 

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)
Unravel Me by, Tahereh Mafi
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this from Epic Reads!

As you can see I have cut down on my book buying because I have been taking so many books out of the library that I have to read before they are overdue! Right now I have 41 books checked out of the library! Oh My! I know, that is so many! I better get to reading them all!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Most Anticipated Young Adult Releases of June 2014

Here is to another month of great new Young Adult releases! If this gives any indication on summer reading this year I would say this is going to be a great summer! 
Here are my top ten most anticipated YA releases of June 2014: 

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)






The Things You Kiss Goodbye




The Truth About Alice


Gasp (Visions, #3)


Fan Art


Take Back the Skies



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back

Don't Look Back

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publication Date: April 15th 2014

Goodreads Description

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. 
Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

I have been meaning to try out Jennifer L. Armentrout's books for such a long time. When I heard she was coming out with a murder mystery it was about time I gave her a shot. I am so very glad that I did. This is one of my favorite mystery's I have read in the young adult genre.

The  book grabbed me right from the start. It started off with the police finding Sam walking along a road beaten and bruised. She was immediately thrown back into the confusing world she does not remember. This made the story very intriguing. It was fast paced and I could not stop turning the page to find out the next missing piece of the puzzle.  Armentrout took me on a roller coaster chase for the murderer. She made me believe it was so many people in the book but never the actually killer. When the killer was revealed I was completely shocked. This is what really makes a mystery book for me, whether or not I can figure the killer out on my own. It makes the book so much better if I cannot figure it out. 

One thing that usually falls apart in mystery books is the characters and character development but in Don't Look Back this did not happen. The main character Sam was a fully developed character and you got to see her change and grow throughout the book. There were also some fantastic relationships created in the book. I loved the brother-sister relationship between Sam and Scott. But most of all I loved the romance between Sam and Carson. There was a ton of romantic tension in the beginning and as you got to see the romance grow you fell harder and harder for them. By the time they kissed for the first time you were cheering like crazy.

Don't Look Back  is a page turning mystery full of intrigue, secrecy, twists and turns, and budding romance. A must read for any young adult mystery fan!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Murder Complex

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, where we get to showcase upcoming releases we are extra excited for! 

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)

Author: Lindsay Cummings
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Thriller/ Dysoptian
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?
Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings

COMING JUNE 10th 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: Open Road Summer

Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker
Pages: 342
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary 
Publication Date: April 15th 2014

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Open Road Summer should be one of the first books you pick up this summer!

The first thing that stands out about this book is the characters. They were AMAZING. More often than not one of the supporting characters really gets on my nerves and this did not happen in this book. I loved Lilah, she was the perfect best friend, and I loved Matt, the perfect love interest. But the one character that stood out the most was the main character, Reagan. She was real and believable and I connected with her on so many levels. 

I love road trip books. I was hoping there would be more of a road trip focus to the book then there was. You did not get a lot of the travel experience which bummed me out a bit. But the author did label each chapter with the city they were in and you did get a nice vibe of the different states they traveled through.

The thing I probably admired the most about this book was that it was a great romantic contemporary you could read at a nice sunny beach day but at the same time there was a serious aspect to it. Emery Lord was able to balance the two aspects to make a winning combination. You get all the great romantic aspects and funny scenes between boy and girl and best friends. You also got scenes about life struggles though. You get to see Lilah dealing with fame and how she struggles to keep her reputation in tact when the media is trying to bring her down. You also get to learn about Reagan's home life that she is running away from. You do get to see these two characters learn more about themselves and reach their own resolutions in the end which I loved.

Open Road Summer is a must read book this summer for any girl. The author has created stand out characters, a fun yet thought provoking plot, and a great summer experience. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)
Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Pages: 452
Genre: Retelling 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.
What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

A book about an evil Dorothy! When I read this it sounded so unique and awesome that I got so excited. Then I started to see all my friends and other bloggers raving about it so I got even more excited! But now I am very sad. I am sad because this book just did nothing for me. I know I might be one of the only ones who thinks this but I just found the book very boring. 

The book started off rather slow and I could tell it was trying to give you a background of the story but it took about halfway through the book for Amy to actually start interacting with Dorothy on a regular basis. Once Amy started interacting with Dorothy in the palace I was expecting for the story to finally pick up. There was more action and adventure finally happening in it  but by this point it just was not grabbing my attention. Once I got down to the last 100 pages I forced myself to sit down and not move till the book was finished because I just needed to finish it and it was no longer enjoyable what so ever. When I read the title Dorothy Must Die I thought this was going to be some type of badass book but it was not.

I do give the author tons of credit for originality though. An evil Dorothy taking over Oz is a genius idea. The author did pull me in for the next book though since she left the book off on a wow moment making you wonder who is good and who is wicked. 

 I could tell that this book was definitely a set up for the rest of the series so I am really hoping that the unique premise will finally pick up and become more adventurous and intense. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Hungry


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we showcase books we are eagerly anticipating!

Title: Hungry 

Author: H. A. Swain

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian 

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends 

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 
In the future, food is no longer necessary—until Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry.

In Thalia’s world, there is no need for food—everyone takes medication (or “inocs”) to ward off hunger. It should mean there is no more famine, no more obesity, no more food-related illnesses, and no more war. At least that's what her parents, who work for the company that developed the inocs, say. But when Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that most people live a life much different from hers. Worse, Thalia is starting to feel hunger, and so is he—the inocs aren’t working. Together they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food.

H. A. Swain delivers an adventure that is both epic and fast-paced. Get ready to be Hungry.

COMING JUNE 3rd 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: The Sound of Letting Go

Title: The Sound of Letting Go
Author: Stasia Ward Kehoe
Pages: 400
Publisher: Viking Children's
Publication Date: February 6th 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary 
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 
For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave. 

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?

Kehoe made the right choice to write this subject in verse. When a novel is written in verse it comes out almost sounding lyrical and absolutely beautiful. The book seemed mesmerizing and almost haunting at times. This book covers a hard topic but she writes it in a way that people can handle it. The writing is complex but simple at the same time and very easy to follow. The writing is able to let you follow the story but how it is written still fills the book with so much emotion that you feel the intensity of Daisy's sorrows. 
This book was able to cover some very important topics. It covers autism and what it is like to try to  live with somebody who has autism but it also shows the universal topic of setting yourself free and learning when it is okay to let go. The book was able to teach others of an important topic while still making the emotions something people can relate to. Daisy is the perfect character to show this. Daisy came off as someone who is honest and true. She was a character you felt like you could know in your life or you could even be and that really propelled the story along for me. By the end of the book I was very invested in Daisy and her life. 
My only negative in the book was that I did not find the supporting characters very strong. Daisy's friends just never really stood out to me. Her best friend Justine came off as rather dull and just did nothing for my reading experience. She was a unnecessary figure in the book. I did like the love interest Dave but, part of that was probably to do with the romance factor. 
The Sound of Letting Go is a beautifully told story. You will find yourself fully invested in Daisy's life and well being. This a book is a wonderful lesson but also just an amazing book to read. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Running on Empty Book Blitz Tour

About The Book

Title: Running On Empty

Author: Colette Ballard

Publisher: Tulip Teen/Spencer Hill Press

Publication Date: May 6th 2014

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Thriller

Synopsis: What does it feel like when you die—in those final moments? Do you feel the physical pain, or just the pain of your regrets? What does it feel like when you realize you can’t answer these questions because you’re not the victim?

You’re the killer.

River Daniels lives an ordinary life as a high school junior growing up in the confines of rural Texas until her boyfriend’s brutal attack leaves her both a murderer and a fugitive. When River’s closest girlfriends come to her aid, they make a hasty decision to not only help her, but leave their own troubled lives behind and join in her escape. 

The girls manage to elude police for months, but with every near-miss, River’s life spirals further out of control, until she finally hits rock bottom. Realizing she must stop endangering her friends and find evidence proving she acted in self-defense, the girls decide to make a risky move. River must face her ugly past and the one person she was protecting the night her world caved in, the guy she has loved for as long as she can remember

About the Author
Colette grew up on a farm in rural Kentucky. She survived the high school experience back in the day when Aqua Net was bought in bulk and mullets were cool. That's when she also realized that her constant day dreaming wasn't a curse, but a useful skill-one she used like a lethal weapon to combat her frustration over the haunting question: What does the alphabet have to do with math anyway? Unfortunately her ninja daydreaming skills only increased her desire to write-not her algebra grade. After the surviving the hairstyles and torturous math classes of her high school years, she wandered a bit - even moving to the farthest northwestern corner of the United States, then to the farthest southeastern corner. she finally settled in the one red-light town she started in, where she continues to live today with her husband and three children.

Check out more about the author and her book!

                                                                       Tulip Romance

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mini Reviews: Erased and Thornhill

Erased (Altered, #2) 
Title: Erased
Author: Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered #2
Pages: 288
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Published: January 7th 2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis (Goodreads):
They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.
After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam's rules: Don't draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.When memories from Anna's old life begin to resurface--and a figure from her childhood reappears--Anna's loyalties are tested. Is it a Branch set-up, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased in the first place?
If you were a fan of the first book in the Altered series you will not be disappointed with the sequel! Erased is full of the same great characters and personalities you grew to love in Altered. Back in Altered you really got to see Sam's story unfold and in Erased you finally get to find out about Anna's forgotten past. I can promise you Anna's past is full of action packed surprises. I never saw any of the twists coming and I loved every second of it. Moments in Erased, especially near the end, will shock you. I also really liked that you get to learn more about the supporting characters, like Nick who surprisingly is not the big jerk you would think he is. One of my favorite things about this series is the action. If you loved that aspect of the first book you have no need to fear, there is tons of it in this one too. My only complaint with the book is that compared to the first, this one seemed rather rushed at times. A lot of the action seemed to happen all at once which for the actual reading experience was somewhat exciting. Though once I put the book down I was like where did the book? Overall Erased is a fantastic shock filled sequel that will not let you down and I am really looking forward to the rest of the series!
Thornhill (Hemlock, #2)
Title: Thornhill
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Series: Hemlock #2
Pages: 368 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published: September 10th 2013
Genre: Paranormal
Synopsis (Goodreads): 
Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.
The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow. Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.
I am just going to come right out and say it, this book made me sad. It was not because it was a sad book but because I really enjoyed the first book but I just could not wrap my head around this one. This book did not do it for me. I loved the premise for the Hemlock series. It is a lot different from other werewolf books out there today, one of those factors is that werewolves are round up and brought to rehabilitation camps that do not have very good conditions. I always thought this was a very creative take on a werewolf story, so when I read the synopsis for Thornhill and heard they would be going into one of the camps, I got so excited! I was so sad and disappointed when I closed the book and had to admit that I did not like what I had just read. The plot of the book was very interesting but nothing else worked for me. The pacing seemed off to me and left me bored at times. The characters who I loved in the first book actually bothered me this time. I cannot tell you how many books try to play the card where the boy is always leaving the girl to "protect" her and every time that happens it NEVER works for the reader. Kyle goes back and forth between loving and leaving Mac that it just irritated me. I really had to force myself to finish this book. Hemlock was a fantastic book but Thornhill was just not up to par with it.