This is definitely an interesting topic! My expecations are pretty neutral most of the time, but there are exceptions when I’m expecting a lot or not much from certain books. I thought this would be easy…pick 5 More and 5 Less books. Nope. Turns out a lot more books have impressed me than let me done, which is a good problem to have, it’s just that now the list is not even. Oh, well. Here we go!
1. Breathless Series by Maya Banks – After being meh about Bared to You, which is another book in this type of genre, I was really excited to read this trilogy by Maya Banks. I love Maya’s books, and if anyone could make me like the genre, it’d be her! But nope. Still meh.
2. House of Night Series by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast – So I might’ve been on this vampire book craze after twilight and might’ve thought the first couple of books in this series were ok…but omg did they just go downhill after a while! SIGH!
3. Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano – I REALLY liked Wither, y’all, and was really looking forward to this sequel…and then I got it and started reading it. I couldn’t get past page 50! I just could not get past the main character, which is really strange, considering it’s the same one from Wither and I didn’t have a problem with her then. I still plan to give it another try soon, now that the series is done.
4. Easy by Tammara Webber – This was actually the first New Adult book I read and was completely blown away! I was definitely not expecting to love it as much as I did.
5. Angel Burn Series by L.A. Weatherly – I’ve read a fair amount of angel books and was expecting some more of the same with this series, but its original take on angels completely took me by surprise!
6. Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon – I don’t know WHAT I was expecting out of this series when I picked up Outlander, but I was NOT expecting to go on a reading binge of the whole series for a month and half straight! The epicness of this series still blows me away.
7. On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves – I wasn’t sure if this story with main characters who had such a big age difference would really grab me or appeal to me, but holy mother, did it sweep me away! WOW! I LOVED it! So well done!
8. The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han – I kind of knew from the get-go that I’d enjoy this series because my friend Ginger loves this series, but I was not prepared for ALL THE FEELS! ESPECIALLY in the third book! OMGAHHHH! Loved it!
9. River of Time Series by Lisa Tawn Bergren – I thought I’d like this series. I did not expect it to sweep me away, which it totally did! Who knew being thrust back in time to fourteenth-century Italy could be so captivating to read!
10. Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs – I’ve read my fair share of Urban Fantasy books, so I was expecting more of the same with this book. I was so wrong! It’s so much more than the average UF series! The characters! The World! The Story-telling! LOVE!
Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.
Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.
Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls. Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.
In a sea of Dystopian novels, I’m surprised Crewel isn’t making more waves. For one, it’s a completely unique setting, with layers of complex world-building. Second, Crewel has a smart heroine who is strong and likeable. And finally, it has TWO hot guys and KISSING!
Lets start with the the world Gennifer Albin has created. At first, you may feel a little bit lost trying to make sense of it all. I know I struggled a bit at first, but the more I read, the easier it got to understand. Since the story is told in first person, you only know what the main character does, so she’s learning what the Spinsters REALLY do right along with us. It’s definitely way too intricate for me to try to describe it to y’all. I’d fail at it. Arras, the world these characters live in, is not Earth…OR IS IT?! There’s a mystery there and it felt very Matrix-y, except without the computer stuff. You’ll have to read it to get what I’m talking about, because I’m not telling you anything else! It was just really cool getting deeper and deeper into the layers of this story.
Adelice was certainly not a naive character. She has smarts and she knows how to use them. She also has a penchant for letting her mouth get her in trouble, which is something I can relate to. I have a smart mouth and it didn’t do me any favors growing up…especially around authority figures, which is what Adelice is surrounded by. I did find it odd that she wasn’t more shy around the guys she comes in contact with, considering her whole life girls and boys were segregated in her town, so she’s never really talked to any. It’s not like there’s insta-love in this book, but there’s definitely flirting early on. She has to put up with a lot of crap after she’s taken to be a Spinster, including getting advances from a man that could easily be her father. Yuck! Also, a bitchy superior who instantly makes her life hell. But she never stops fighting. :)
I guess that’s all there is…sorry, what was that? Oh, yes! THE TWO HOT GUYS AND THE KISSING! How could I ever forget. *bats eyes innocently* Seriously. We all know this is what I’ve been dying to talk about. First we meet Erik. He’s a guard at the coventry where Adelice now lives. He is gorgeous, charming, cocky, and completely belongs to the bitchy superior I was telling you about. At least, everyone says he does, but they make it seem like he also gets around. Then there’s Josten, the head valet. He is dark haired, blue eyed, sometimes prickly, but always kind. I thought it was so cute how he teased Adelice all the time. These two guys seem so different, yet they both watch out for Adelice in a lot of the same ways. There isn’t really a love triangle here though…at least not on Adelice’s end. She knows who she likes.
The ending was very intense! There are confrontations and secrets get out and I definitely want Altered NOW! I think Altered is going to be really interesting and different from Crewel. I can’t wait to read it.
About Gennifer Albin
Gennifer is a recovering academic who discovered she could write books of her own and people would read them! She lives in a perfect seaside village in Washington state with her family, but spends most of my time in Arras and other fantastical new worlds. She appreciates strong coffee and bold imaginations, prefers her heroines with sass, and is always searching for her next big adventure. Gennifer’s debut novel, CREWEL, was written during NaNo ’10 and she now sits on the official National Novel Writing Month Advisory Board. Her work is represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media.
Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.
Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.
Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?
Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?
Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.
Let me preface this review by apologizing to you, my readers, if this review sounds…all over the place. I tried to make sense, I swear I did! lol
I make no secret of my love for Sarah Dessen’s books. She’s one of my favorite authors whose books are instant auto-buys for me. Thanks to the generosity of a fellow blogger (THANK YOU, RACHEL!), I was able to read her newest book, The Moon and More, a little early. The Moon and More did not disappoint. I actually read this book twice already. I finished it on a Sunday, and reread it on Tuesday. Crazy, I know!
I love that the family in this book is a stepfamily. Emaline has lived with her stepdad and two stepsisters since she was two, so she doesn’t really see them as anything other than her actual family. I loved how close they were, but even in their closeness they drove each other crazy sometimes. Emaline’s father, not her dad, because as Sarah Dessen says in this book “There’s a difference between the words father and dad. And it’s more than three letters. (ARC, page 25)”, is the cause of Emaline’s grief most of this book. She doesn’t really even know she’s going through and grief until he shows back up in her life after hurting her the last time. When things between her and her longtime boyfriend, Luke, start to suffer she wonders where it’s all coming from, and I felt her father had a lot to do with it. He left her with so many questions, about him, about herself, and about her future. Sometimes the resolutions we think we need aren’t actually what is needed.
So this boyfriend, Luke. I reeeeeally liked him, right from the start. But you could soon tell that something was going to happen, especially when this other guy starts showing up in the story, Theo. (Sidenote: I love the name of both these guys, btw. Luke and Theo. Love it!) Some really sad events transpire between Luke and Emaline that left me brokenhearted. :( And while I found Theo completely adorkable at first, he soon started to show a different side of himself that I did not care for. But then, Luke wasn’t Mr. Perfect either. I think Emaline could’ve handled this whole situation differently, but I think if it had been different, she wouldn’t have realized many things about herself in the end. Sometimes, change and distance gives us so much perspective. And you can make mistakes, but what matters is how you handle them.
One character that really stood out for me was Morris. He’s cast as this slacker kid, going nowhere, but Sarah Dessen spins his story in such a positive way. I loved that she showed us that anyone can have great potential when they find something they’re good at and when given the right opportunity.
The setting was, of course, AMAZING. The beach town of Colby is one of my most coveted fictional towns. I must one day make my way to Emerald Isle, NC, which is the town Colby is based on.
The Moon and More was such a great read overall. Lots of ups and downs, but they’re well worth it. This book is the perfect beach read, as it takes place in the Summer. Just be aware it’s not a quick, beach read, as it’s over 400 pages long. AND I STILL WANTED MORE! Ha! The only thing that I wish for, and this is totally a selfish thing, is for a more concrete answer on Emaline and Luke, but I guess I’ll just have to come up with it myself. :)
On the last ordinary day of her life, Abby Bennett feels like the luckiest woman alive. But everyone knows that luck doesn't last forever. As her husband, Nick, and daughter, Lindsey, embark on a weekend camping trip to the Texas Hill Country, Abby looks forward to having some quiet time to herself. She braids Lindsey's hair, reminds Nick to drive safely and kisses them both goodbye. For a brief moment, Abby thinks she has it all—a perfect marriage, a perfect life—until a devastating storm rips through the region, and her family vanishes without a trace.
When Nick and Lindsey are presumed dead, lost in the raging waters, Abby refuses to give up hope. Consumed by grief and clinging to her belief that her family is still alive, she sets out to find them. But as disturbing clues begin to surface, Abby realizes that the truth may be far more sinister than she imagined. Soon she finds herself caught in a current of lies that threaten to unhinge her and challenge everything she once believed about her marriage and family.
With a voice that resonates with stunning clarity, Barbara Taylor Sissel delivers a taut and chilling mystery about a mother's love, a wife's obsession and the invisible fractures that can shatter a family.
You had wine bottled and gorgeous labels made from your book cover image. What was the inspiration behind this wonderful idea?
Celebration! I work with four critique partners. In addition to the diligent vetting of each other’s work, we’re each other’s cheerleaders. That support is really invaluable, because writing is mostly done alone; there’s a lot of waiting: to hear whether something has sold, and once it has, and it’s published, then you wait for reviews, and after it’s been out a while, you wait to hear about sales. By the time I signed my contract with MIRA for EVIDENCE OF LIFE, and a second novel, I’d been sending my manuscripts around for a while, a long, waiting while, and my partners were with me every step of the way keeping the faith and ladling on the encouragement. It took so much patience and persistence, and when the sky opened, and the miracle happened, I wanted the five of us to be together when I announced my news. We meet on alternate Fridays, and it so happened I was hosting that week, which made it perfect! I iced a bottle of champagne, hiding it in my laundry room, then once everyone was settled and chatting, I chose a moment to retrieve it and show it off. I didn’t have to say a word, not once they realized what they were looking at. I’ll never forget their expressions. They were priceless, just priceless. It was after I poured each of us a glass that one of my partners, NYT best-selling author, Joni Rodgers, whose husband, Gary, is a home hobbyist winemaker, said, out of the blue, that she ought to have him bottle a wine and label it with the book cover to commemorate what was a truly auspicious event! I thought it was such a unique and creative idea, and I was so thrilled by it, but I never could have imagined the actual end product would turn out to be so impressive. Joni designed the labels, and they are truly gorgeous! Plus, the wine itself, a pinot gris, is delicious. From start to finish, the whole enterprise was such an unexpected, fun and lovely gift, and one that I will always treasure.
When I asked Joni what inspired her to suggest bottling the wine, here is what she said in her own wonderful words: “Barbara’s artistic integrity and strength of spirit have so inspired me over the years. Seeing this wonderful novel break through and find the right publishing home was cause for great celebration. Winemaking is an alchemy of patience, creative energy and technical skill, the perfect metaphor for what it takes to produce a beautiful book.”
“Oh honey.” Abby squeezed Lindsey’s shoulder. Scott Kaplan was her first serious crush, the first boy to truly trouble her heart, and Abby was both exasperated and pained by the experience. She wished she could say how little Scott would matter in the long run, but she didn’t dare. “Did you bring a rubber band?”
Lindsey handed it over along with a bit of taffeta ribbon, pink with a narrow green stripe. “I don’t see why I have to go on this trip when Jake doesn’t.”
“He has finals,” Abby said.
“Oh sure,” Lindsey scoffed. “Like he’d choose cramming for finals over camping in the Hill Country. Finals aren’t until next month anyway.”
Abby kept silent.
Lindsey said, “If you ask me he’s not going because he doesn’t want Dad on his case about law school again.”
“Can you blame him?” Abby asked.
Lindsey didn’t answer. She was as tired of Nick and Jake’s continual bickering as Abby was. Nick was so much harder on Jake than he was on Lindsey. His preference was obvious, hurtful, but if Abby brought it up, Nick denied treating Lindsey differently. “You don’t understand about boys,” he would say.
“Oh, I think I would understand perfectly. He’s exactly like you,” Abby would say.
Stubborn, she meant. Each one was determined to have it his own way.
“You know I’m right, Mom,” Lindsey said.
“At least you won’t have to listen to them argue.”
“Maybe I’ll go to law school.”
Olive Bell has spent her entire life in the beautiful suburb of Vista Valley, with a picture-perfect home, a loving family, and a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a near-fatal car accident, she’s haunted by a broken heart and a melody that she cannot place.
Then Olive meets Nick. He’s dark, handsome, mysterious . . . and Olive feels connected to him in a way she can’t explain. Is there such a thing as fate? The two embark on a whirlwind romance—until Nick makes a troubling confession.
Heartbroken, Olive pieces together what really happened the night of her accident and arrives at a startling revelation. Only by facing the truth can she uncover the mystery behind the song and the power of what it means to love someone.
THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD! And mysterious! And just so good. Also, like it’s going to make me sad, but it’s ok. Can’t wait!
The Book Blogging community has ALWAYS made me feel welcome. They’ve always embraced my blog and my thoughts on things. You guys make it feel like home and I love y’all for it.
I have made several friendships through Book Blogging and I feel so fortunate. Some of these friendships are completely special to me and I feel down right lucky that I get to hang out with these girls and talk and have fun together. You guys know who you are. ;)
Since I started Book Blogging, I’ve traveled and still plan to travel more in the future. It’s all been for book events and book conferences, so it’s awesome because there will always be people there that have shown up for the same reasons as me: love of reading.
4. Book Recommendations
There’s NO BETTER place to get book recs than from fellow Book Bloggers. They’ll tell me if books have the important things in them…like kissing. And hot guys.
5. Broadened Reading Horizons
Ok, so I haven’t exactly jumped far from what I like, which is anything with kissing in it, but did pick up some Fantasy, Chic Lit, and General Fiction! Soon, maybe even a few Classics. Point is, I’ve opened up to these possibilities because of Book Bloggers.
6. Book Industry Insights
I don’t dwell into this a lot, but there’s NO DOUBT I know a lot more of how some things work in the book industry since I started blogging. The things I do know, I loved having the opportunity of learning them because of Book Blogging.
7. Advance Readers Copies
Not to sound like a douche, but this is probably the privilege of Book Blogging that makes me happy dance. It never gets old getting these babies in the mail or at conferences. LET ME STRESS THOUGH! It’s a privilege, and people should not feel like they are owed any ARCs just because they have a Book Blog. This privilege comes after you’ve worked hard! Also, content matters!
8. Book Chats
OMG…the amount of book chats I’ve had on twitter, on gchat, on this blog, just make my heart happy. I LOVE IT. Probably my most favorite part of Book Blogging. ESPECIALLY when you finish a book and have the same reaction my husband Bradley Cooper is having. Those time are crucial book chat times.
9. Bookish Tweeps
There are no better Twitter people than Bookish Twitter people! You guys never get old and are better than celebrities. :)
10. Me, Forever
This blog will never go away. I may not blog forever, but the content here will always remain. It’s like leaving my own footprint on this planet. I want my children, grandchildren, great-grandchild and any other future generations to know me through my words.
Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it’s a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise...
Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women.
When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control.
Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.
All throughout reading Rush, the first book in this Breathless trilogy, I was immensely curious about Jace and Ash. They had this thing going on where they only slept with the same woman at the same time, and I must admit I was really excited to see how this would play out in this book, which is about Jace. Soon after starting Fever I realized their relationship wouldn’t be something we explored. Womp womp. Still, I was interested enough in Jace alone to find out more about him. But it turns out that I wasn’t wooed by him either. And even though we find out a lot about Bethany’s past and her struggles, I never really felt like I knew who she was. It really felt like her whole identity revolved around what Jace wanted her to be.
I’ve come to realized while reading this that I do not enjoy these type of males. If they’re dominant in the bedroom, I can get on board with it…but if they try to control the woman, from who she sees and talks to, what she can and cannot wear, or where she can and cannot go? Oh, HELL no. Jace spoke of being this type of person to Bethany. He told her that’s the kind of relationship they would have…but in the end, he never really followed through with any of those demands, other than when it was about her safety. I was so glad and it made me not hate Jace in the end. Would I call him my next book boyfriend? Eh, probably not.
I did like that there was more emotion and romance in this book than in Rush. Jace and Bethany definitely brought on the dramatics, but they also had really sweet moments. And Maya Banks’ writing is, as always, great. While this may not be my favorite series of hers, I will continue on to the last book in this trilogy, Burn.
About Maya Banks
Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and Scottish historical romance.
She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.
You guys might notice this blog looks…a little different. Yeah. Let me explain….
So what had happened was…recently I hit a wall when it came to blogging. I haven’t felt like doing it. At all. It’s not that I’m not reading, because I am! I’ve read some seriously amazing books lately (I’m looking at your Clockwork Princess!!)…but writing up reviews for them? Nope. Haven’t had it in me. I wanted something to reignite my blogging fire, and so at first I thought about learning more about the technical side of blog design, but soon I got completely overwhelmed by it all. And then I didn’t want to know anything technical at all…I realized I just want to read and give you guys my thoughts and I’m tired of trying to keep up with everything and everyone else.
Part of my blogging New Year’s resolution was to get back to basics…and that is what this is. I don’t want to deal with all the hosting bullcrap anymore, but I do love WordPress, so I decided to move my blog to WordPress.com and leave .org. Yeah, I know I’m losing lots of customization features, but I don’t even care about that right now. I’m currently pretty freaking satisfied with this decision. Somehow it feels like I’ve alleviated some sort of pressure.
And, so! This design isn’t as fancy as my previous one, but I was able to keep my kick-ass header image, which was the main thing for me. You’ll also notice that there’s no sidebar…no worries! Just scroll on down to the bottom of the page (only 4 posts deep, people!) and you’ll find the important things in my footer widgets. :)
I’m excited. Are you guys excited?!
Really, it’s not a big deal. I just wanted to explain myself in case you guys stopped by and wondered what the hell had happened here.
From Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Virgin River novels, comes Thunder Point – the highly anticipated new series that will make you laugh, make you sigh, and make you fall in love with a small town filled with people you'll never forget.
Nestled on the Oregon coast is a small town of rocky beaches and rugged charm. Locals love the land's unspoiled beauty. Developers see it as a potential gold mine. When newcomer Hank Cooper learns he's been left an old friend's entire beachfront property, he finds himself with a community's destiny in his hands.
Cooper has never been a man to settle in one place, and Thunder Point was supposed to be just another quick stop. But Cooper finds himself getting involved with the town. And with Sarah Dupre, a woman as complicated as she is beautiful.
With the whole town watching for his next move, Cooper has to choose between his old life and a place full of new possibilities. A place that just might be home.
I’m so happy I finally got to read a Robyn Carr book, you guys! Robyn Carr has another series, Virgin River, with tons of books already in it that I’ve always wanted to start…from the beginning, because I’m weird like that. But of course, there never seemed to be a right time. Well, I was very excited to learn this was a new series and I could finally something by her.
The Wanderer is a great set-up novel where I got to meet and really like a lot of characters. First of all, the setting was described beautifully and it really made me want to live in the Oregon coast. Maybe I can swing a visit someday. I love reading about small towns and how involved the community is, but the difference is that this one was quiet and they love their high school football team. It reminded me of towns I’ve driven by my whole life here in Texas. Another thing is that, while I did meet a lot of townsfolk in this book, I wasn’t overwhelmed or felt like it was overly populated with either residents or tourists.
Our wanderer, Cooper, was probably one of the most satisfying heroes I’ve read about in a while . While his main issue might be that he’s never settled down with anyone and he moves around a lot, he actually isn’t a bad guy or a player. He just doesn’t know that it will all come to him when he meets the right person at the right time. Enter Sarah, who has a lot in common with Cooper, except she’s been open to love and has been crushed severely. So now their roles are kind of reversed and their fun romance begins to turn into a relationship with great potential, but you never really know what they’ll do until the end. Their romance is not the focus of this novel, which I didn’t really mind because I felt that what we did see of it was enough.
There were other side stories going on, especially Landon’s, Sarah’s teen brother, and also Mac and Gina’s, the characters from the next book. I loved getting to know all of them. I especially loved all of their humor. All them were fun and witty and I loved that. There’s also a little mystery happening in the background that added some intrigue to this story.
I’ll definitely continue on with this series. And I can now see why Robyn Carr is loved by many. I can’t wait to read more. :)
A tale of two worlds, told in brilliant color.Readers have loved bestselling author Jaclyn Moriarty since The Year of Secret Assignments. Now she gives them A Corner of White, the first in a suspenseful, funny, genre-busting trilogy that brings her fantastic characters, laugh-out-loud descriptions, and brilliant plotting to a fantasy setting.
Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge, England (in our world).
In another world, in the Kingdom of Cello, Elliot is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle Jon was found dead. The talk in the town is that Elliot's dad may have killed Jon and run away with the physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.
As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds — through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries. On both sides of the gap, even greater mysteries are unfolding — with more than one life at stake.
I am SO VERY excited to be part of this unique and fun blog tour for Jaclyn Moriarty’s A Corner of White.
Today The Colors of Madeleine tour also stops by Angie-ville with a guest post from Jaclyn Moriarty introducing the character Belle!
In our world, Madeleine is known for using bold colors in her clothing & accessories, but in the Kingdom of Cello, colors have a different role entirely. Read about Cello’s color attacks in The Colors of Madeleine, but in the meantime, here are some fun things from our world to enjoy!