Thursday Tracks: Cop Car

28th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Thursday Tracks

Gone with the Words Thursday Tracks Cop Car Sam Hunt

 

From the moment I first heard this song I instantly thought it would make a great scene in a YA/NA book, or even a flashback in an adult contemporary romance. I JUST WANT IT IN A BOOK, OK!

Well when I brought this up on twitter yesterday, the lovely Allison (@bookishfeminist) pointed me toward THIS:

 

YES, PLEASE! But then author Laura Trentham chimed in to say THIS:

 

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIIIIIIIVE!

Needless to say I’ll be picking up her series very soon. hehe

Hope you enjoy! :)

 

 

We drove right past
That no trespassing sign
We sat on the tailgate
And watched the planes take off

We thought we had all night
There was no need to rush
That’s when those cops
Came pulling up
And I thought
Man, ain’t this some shhhh

Your daddy’s gonna kill me
But if I survive tonight
I wouldn’t change one thing
Baby, yeah
I know it sounds crazy

But there was somethin bout the way
The blue lights were shinin
Bringing out the freedom in your eyes
I was too busy watching you
Going wild child
To be worried about going to jail
You were thinking that
Running for it
Would make a good story
I was thinking you were crazy as hell
And you were so
Innocent
But you were stealing my heart
I fell in love in the back of a cop car

Man, they weren’t playin
They sure threw those cuffs on quick
You tried to sweet talk ’em
They didn’t fall for it
But I did
You were on the left
I was on the right
I knew you didn’t smoke
When you asked him for a light
And I laughed
He got mad and slammed the door

Your daddy’s gonna kill me
But if I survive tonight
I wouldn’t change one thing
Baby, yeah
I know it sounds crazy

But there was somethin bout the way
The blue lights were shinin
Bringing out the freedom in your eyes
I was too busy watching you
Going wild child
To be worried about going to jail
You were thinking that
Running for it
Would make a good story
I was thinking you were crazy as hell
And you were so
Innocent
But you were stealing my heart
I fell in love in the back of a cop car

Side by side
And locked in tight
They were taking their time
But we didn’t mind

We talked
And we laughed
We sat real close
By the time they let us go
I was already gone

But there was somethin bout the way
The blue lights were shinin
Bringing out the freedom in your eyes
I was too busy watching you
Going wild child
To be worried about going to jail
You were thinking that
Running for it
Would make a good story
I was thinking you were crazy as hell
And you were so
Innocent
But you were stealing my heart
I fell in love in the back of a cop car

 

THURSDAY TRACKS Spotify Playlist

 

What song are you obsessing over this week?

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater | 100% Spoiler Free!

27th Apr 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater | 100% Spoiler Free!The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #4
Published by Scholastic
Pub Date: April 26th 2016
Pages: 438
Format: Hardcover | Source: Publisher
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily BlueKirkus Reviews declared: "Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close."

This is probably one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever had to write because:

  1. It’s the 4th book in a very complicated and spoilerish series.
  2. I don’t want to take away the magic of Maggie’s words before you read them.
  3. If I tell you my feelings, is that a spoiler?! I don’t know! *bites nails nervously*

Let’s continue.

Gone with the Words Sebastian Stan Hugging Wolf

My favorite part of the experience was the thrill of reading NEW words from Maggie Stiefvater, new Raven Cycle words! I always love Maggie’s word choice and sentence structure and sense of storytelling. She has a very recognizable style. It was exciting because it’s been so long since we’ve gotten a new book and the other Raven books are so familiar to me by now.

For me, the thrill of holding and reading The Raven King felt similar to getting a brand new Harry Potter book in my hands, which is the highest praise I can give. And one feeling I never expected when I began this series. I already can’t wait to read it again because I know I raced through it, but how could I not? I NEEDED TO KNOW THINGS.

Gone with the Words Sebastian Stan Confused

The nuance and linguistic brilliance shines through no matter how fast you read, of course, but it is a whole other animal when you have the opportunity to really sink into her words and turns of phrase. When you can see little dots connecting all over the series like its own sort of ley line. It’s very rewarding.

Gone with the Words Sebastian Stan Happy

The Raven King is the best sort of series ender. It pulls together disparate plot points in a brilliant way and builds on the characterization we’ve come to expect from our favorite characters while allowing them to grow. Everyone was just…. more in this book. That’s the best way to put it. There is a sense of urgency and dread that isn’t lost on anyone and it makes the emotions stand out in technicolor.

Gone with the Words Sebastian Stan OverwhelmedGone with the Words Sebastian Stan Dancing

It was frightening at times, but also sad and humorous and tremendously lovely. There are lots of excellent otp and brotp moments. It’s full of Maggie’s wry humor; she has this magnificent way of twisting the knife in your heart while simultaneously making you grin.

AHHH. THERE IS SO MUCH I WANT TO SAYYYYYYY. It’s a tremendous five star book for me but I’ll leave it to you to glean what you want from that. There are a lot of Moments and she is able to gather her threads and knot them together in a very satisfying manner. I was content with the book individually and the series as a whole.

Gone with the Words Sebastian Stan Smiling

Now, DO NOT SPOIL IN THE COMMENTS BELOW but please let me know if you’ve read it and what you generally thought! And feel free to chat with me on twitter too!

 

About Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater

Professional novelist by day and artist by night, Maggie Stiefvater is the author of the Books of Faerie (Lament and Ballad); the bestselling Shiver trilogy (Shiver, Linger, Forever), as well as The Scorpio Races and The Raven Boys. Stiefvater lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children.

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookworm Delights

26th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookworm Delights

gwtw-heading-morgan

Wandering through the bookstore: whether you’re looking for something specific or simply browsing the shelves, it’s a special kind of delight to wander through an awesome bookstore, discovering new books and running your hands over old favorites. And maybe making a purchase or two ;)

Receiving bookmail: most of my bookmail is in the form of preorders I’ve purchased for myself but once in awhile I’ll receive a coveted arc or a surprise from a friend. Any kind of bookmail is good bookmail!

When a book lives up to its amazing premise in every way possible: Bonus if it’s a book you feel like was written just for you! A “Morgan book” so to speak :)

Uninterrupted reading time: There is nothing better than a rainy day when you can stay cozy with blankets and a good book inside. I love reading by the pool or at the beach on a warm, sunny day too!

Talking about books with friends: it is SO much fun to be able to gush about books with other bookworms! I love talking with Twitter acquaintances when I see them reading a favorite, or getting recommendations from a friend, or mutually flailing about some awesome reading experience. There’s always something to talk about when you read a lot!

 

gwtw-heading-jess

Reading at home on rainy days: There’s not better mood for reading than overcast and rainy days. Sorry/not sorry Summer/sunny day readers!! lol

Finding and acquiring foreign editions of books I love: A lot of times I find British and Australian editions of books I love that are STUNNING and I auto-buy them quicker than you can say, well, anything really. lol

When someone loves a book you recommend: There really isn’t a bigger high for any bookish person. NONE. If you end up loving a book someone rec’d you, TELL THEM. You’ll make their day/week/month/year. :)

Book mail: I don’t think book mail could ever get old. It’s such a great thing to come home to after a day full of BLAH work.

Seeing my long distance bookish friends: I mean, is there anything sweeter than being among MY PEOPLE?! No, there isn’t. (Sidenote: SEE Y’ALL AT BEA!! Will you be there??)

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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A Raven Cycle Celebration!

25th Apr 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan, Series Review

A Raven Cycle Celebration!

FIIIIINALLY. The King has come BACK to…. Henriettaaa.

Probably 0.5 of you will get that reference, but I know Angie will ;) In any case, fiiiinally! The Raven King is here, after many release date false alarms and a year and a half of one of the worst cliffhangers ever. I’m sure you all know that The Raven Cycle has become a favorite series of mine. I wasn’t sold immediately (I laughably wondered how Maggie Stiefvater could possibly stretch the story to a four book series) but it seeped into my consciousness and my brain the way few books have. During my wait for the final chapter, I reread the books twice and I’m so ready but so scared to dive into the last book.

I thought we would celebrate the series as a whole since the book comes out tomorrow and I’m sure it will be a haze of reading and social media activity! I bought the pictured raven plate and raven cupcake liners from Crate & Barrel around Halloween 2013. It was too late for me to use them to celebrate Blue Lily, Lily Blue so I decide to wait for The Raven King.

Confession: I wrote most of this post back in NOVEMBER when I was planning what cookies to bake for my holiday exchange, so I also got to thinking about cookies and which ones represent the OT5. This is what my brain does when I wait for books! Haha. I thought about baking all of the cookies listed for this post but that would be a LOT of cookies… instead I’ll leave you with their descriptions and links to their recipes:

GANSEY is a well-meaning but decadent fellow, who has created his own meaning of home in Monmouth Manufacturing with his friends. He is the Triple Chocolate Chip With Sea Salt Nutella Stuffed Cookie. An insanely rich twist on a classic original (and they are AMAZING btw, I’ve made them before).

ADAM wants to be like Gansey, but he’s plainer. Less showy. And I like to imagine Blue or Ronan baking him these as a reminder of what home, love, and comfort should feel like. Clearly, Adam is a chocolate chip cookie.

NOAH is, for all intents and purposes, sweet. He has his serious moments, his otherworldly moments, and he has a darker, more mysterious past than the others, but he is often the most consistently kind of the OT5 throughout the series. And he’ll never live down that glitter snowglobe, so Noah is a sprinkled sugar cookie.

BLUE, as we are so often told is a fanciful but sensible thing. She also has a bite to her, very salty but sweet. I thought about something with chocolate covered pretzels but I really think Blue is a s’mores bite: tiny, fanciful, but infinitely practical and less messy to eat than the original incarnation.

RONAN is the boy with the ooey gooey hidden center. He is tough and he is angry and sharp and dangerous. But he is also a dreamer, loyal and loving to a fault. Plus I bet The Barns has some apple trees. Ronan is a caramel stuffed apple cider cookie (also delicious, I made these last fall!).

If you are interested in my reviews for the first three books, they can be found on Goodreads herehere, and here!

So what do you think: do the cookies fit the characters? Are you a fan of The Raven Cycle? Or are you planning to binge the series now that they are all available? Let me know in the comments! (And no spoilers please!!)

 

 

About Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater

Professional novelist by day and artist by night, Maggie Stiefvater is the author of the Books of Faerie (Lament and Ballad); the bestselling Shiver trilogy (Shiver, Linger, Forever), as well as The Scorpio Races and The Raven Boys. Stiefvater lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children.

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Invision by Sherrilyn Kenyon Blog Tour | Series Spotlight + Giveaway!

24th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Blog Tours, Giveaways

Invision by Sherrilyn Kenyon Blog Tour | Series Spotlight + Giveaway!

Invision by Sherrilyn Kenyon Blog Tour | Series Spotlight + Giveaway!Invision by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Chronicles of Nick #7
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Pub Date: May 3rd 2016
Buy the book! | Goodreads

***Please note if you haven’t read Instinct, there could be spoilers in the synopsis below.

One boy . . .
Many demons.

Think there’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders? Nick Gautier was born to bring about the end of the world . . . it’s not easy being the heir of a demon overlord.

But Nick is determined to thwart his destiny and get into a good college. To be more than his genetics and prophecy foretell. No one is ever going to tell this stubborn Cajun who and what he really is. Or how to live his life.

Not even the Fates of the Universe. But now that he and his team of ancient gods and demons have claimed the Eye of Ananke and he sees the missteps of the future, he has to battle the demons within that are far deadlier and more treacherous than any he’s battled before. All the while his arch nemesis is back and determined to reclaim his place as the harbinger for Armageddon. Even if it means killing Nick and barbecuing everyone he loves to do so.

Hello, friends! Happy Sunday! Today I’ve partnered with the kind people of St. Martin’s Press to offer you an awesome giveaway!

Invision is the 7th book in the Chronicles of Nick series and it’s set to release on May 3rd. Check out the excerpt below:

Excerpt

Hanging his head, he pushed his chair back to face her. “What do you want me to say, Kode? You saw what I did. It’s hopeless. I’m going to end this world. Whether it’s tomorrow or a thousand years from now. I’m going to lose it all. Break bad and tear humanity apart. . . . Don’t matter what we do. Whatever we try. We just delay the inevitable outcome. So I’m going to sit here with my eats. And just . . .” he let his voice trail off as the full horror of his future played through his mind for the five millionth time.

He was the end of everything.

Everyone.

All he loved.

The entire world would one day fall to Nick’s army of demons.

Yeah, there was something to put on his college applications. That ought to have schools lining up to accept him. Who wouldn’t want that as their alumnus? We have graduated senators, presidents, movers-and-shakers, and the Malachai demon who ate the world whole…

It was the one reality Nick wanted to deny and couldn’t. Everything eventually came back to that one inescapable fact he wanted to runaway from and couldn’t.

I’m only sixteen. Too young to deal with this crap.

He was supposed to be worried about his grades. About keeping his girl happy. Staying out of trouble. His mom finding his friend’s porn magazines stashed in his room. Getting to work on time. Making curfew.

Not hellgates and demons coming for the throats of his family and friends.

Definitely not about the fact that his birthright was to bring on the destruction of all humanity.

 

Trailer

Check out the trailer!

 

Giveaway

AND! Here’s your chance to win a copy!

Copy of Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

 

 

 

But what if I haven’t read the series yet, Jess? DON’T YOU WORRY! Griffin Teen is hosting a giveaway of the first six books! A SERIES GIVEAWAY, GUYS!!

 

To enter, you’ll have to do a little scavenging! Go to the Griffin Teen website and look for the next clue that looks like this one here:

 

Good luck!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Stacking the Shelves

23rd Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

gwtw-heading-jess

So it’s been a few weeks since my last STS and I’ve gotten some really great stuff since then!

Egalleys:

Results May Vary: A Novel by Bethany Chase
Monsters: A Love Story by Liz Kay
Good Girl (Love Unexpectedly #2) by Lauren Layne
Close to You (Fusion #2) by Kristen Proby
The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
Leave Me by Gayle Forman
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Never Let You Go (Never Tear Us Apart #2) by Monica Murphy
Missed Connections by Tamara Mataya
Into the Blue (Wild Aces #2) by Chanel Cleeton
Too Hot To Handle (Romancing the Clarksons #1) by Tessa Bailey
Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

 

Book Mail:

Thank you, Scholastic and Penguin Teen!
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis
The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #2) by Melinda Salisbury
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

And thanks to The Bookish Box for the awesome Outlander box!

 

gwtw-heading-morgan

I haven’t done a STS post in quite a while, partially because I’ve been good at not buying or requesting too many books. But that doesn’t last forever so I have books to share this week! Have you read any of these? Let me know!

Purchased:

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Dreamology by Lucy Keating
Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

 

Purchased ebooks:

Act Like It by Lucy Parker
When We Collided by Emery Lord
Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons
How To Repair A Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis
Invasion by Galaxy Craze

 

From Netgalley:

The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine
Thank you Atria Books!

The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker
Thank you Little, Brown Books for Young Readers!

 

From friends:

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Thank you to my wonderful blogmate Jess and Scholastic!

 

What’s new on your shelves?

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

22nd Apr 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Bitsy Words: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Bitsy Words: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn BennettThe Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Pub Date: November 3rd 2015
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover | Source: Library
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart? 

I finished The Anatomical Shape of a Heart at 1am in one sitting. OH MY GOD. It was barely on my radar until I read Christina’s review recently. She and I see eye to eye on many bookish topics but I still did not expect to love this so much! I loved the vibrant San Francisco setting and the multitude of interesting characters. The book had a lot of depth and heart along with humor and a liberal dose of shippy goodness. Oh my lorddddd the flirting damn near killed me and that was before any kissing! Bex and Jack are wonderful together for many different reasons, which is why it’s so satisfying. They complement each other and their relationship spun some tropes on their head, which I always like to see. The book was engrossing, and a fast read that covered a host of important topics including honesty, parent/child relationships, the value of art, and various forms of mental health.

 


 

I will be 100% honest with you, it didn’t hurt that I could picture Jack as Zayn Malik perfectlyyyyyy in his pompadour fluffy hair days and leather jackets and dark eyes. Sigh. And I think Lucy Hale or Willa Holland could be a good Bex. If you like books with banter, family matters, art, science, a smattering of spirituality, detailed cityscapes, and a LOT OF PERFECT SHIPPING FLIRTY PERFECTNESS, please read The Anatomical Shape of a Heart!

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Thursday Tracks: Let It Go

21st Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Thursday Tracks

Thursday Tracks: Let It Go by James Bay

This week on Dancing with the Stars James Bay performed live and I was reminded once again why I thoroughly enjoy his music. His voice is just magical and emotive and I love it so, so much.

Let It Go is a song about breaking up. It’s about giving up on something that’s just not working and letting it go. A lot of times we have a hard time doing this, even when we’re unhappy. It always takes one person to just say it and follow through with it. It may hurt at first but it’s worth it in the end.

Take a listen :)

Album Version

 

Spotify Sessions Version (Live)

 

From walking home and talking loads
To seeing shows in evening clothes with you
From nervous touch and getting drunk
To staying up and waking up with you

But now we’re sleeping at the edge
Holding something we don’t need
All this delusion in our heads
Is gonna bring us to our knees

So come on let it go
Just let it be
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me

Everything’s that’s broke
Leave it to the breeze
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me[x2]

From throwing clothes across the floor
To teeth and claws and slamming doors at you
If this is all we’re living for
Why are we doing it, doing it, doing it anymore

I used to recognize myself
It’s funny how reflections change
When we’re becoming something else
I think it’s time to walk away

So come on let it go
Just let it be
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me

Everything’s that’s broke
Leave it to the breeze
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me[x2]

Trying to fit your hand inside of mine
When we know it just don’t belong
There’s no force on earth
Could make me feel right, no

Whoa

Trying to push this problem up the hill
When it’s just too heavy to hold
Think now’s the time to let it slide

So come on let it go
Just let it be
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me

Everything’s that’s broke
Leave it to the breeze
Let the ashes fall
Forget about me

Come on let it go
Just let it be
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me

And I’ll be me

 

THURSDAY TRACKS Spotify Playlist

 

What song are you obsessing over this week?

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Giveaway: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

20th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways

Giveaway: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

Giveaway: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. BuehrlenThe 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen
Series: Alex Wayfare #1
Published by Diversion Books
Pub Date: April 14th 2015
Buy the book! | Goodreads

For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.

Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

Today I’m happy to be working with Diversion Books to offer you a chance to win a copy of The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare! The second book in this series comes out next Tuesday so this is your chance to catch up!

The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare #1) by M.G. Buehrlen

 

About The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare:

Giveaway: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. BuehrlenThe Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen
Series: Alex Wayfare #2
Published by Diversion Books
Pub Date: April 26th 2016
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Time travel, adventure, and romance come together in the highly anticipated sequel to THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE.

Alex Wayfare is back in Base Life. Her 57th life. She's in Chicago searching for Blue, who travels with her whenever she goes back in time. She's never met him in Base Life, but she's hoping he'll remember her in the present, and that he'll want to be with her like he does in the past.

Their romance is put on hold when she's attacked by henchmen working for Durham Gesh, who wants to harness her abilities for his own ugly purposes. But that threat seems insignificant when she returns home to face her younger sister's deteriorating health. Researching every possible remedy, from ancient herbs to forgotten medical advancements, Alex seeks a cure for her sister's cancer in the past.

The journeys are never simple. From the countryside of eighteenth-century China to a top-secret research lab in 1970s Michigan, Alex is plagued by enemy Descenders who seem to anticipate her every move, and realizes she may have a traitor in her small band of allies.

A traitor who might bring Gesh straight to Alex's front door.

The only person Alex feels she can trust is Blue. But there are secrets Alex doesn't know secrets about Blue, about her team, and about herself. And the biggest secret of all will change her life, or her lives, forever.

Excerpt

Audrey’s hospital room is dark and shadowy, with only the light from a table lamp spilling across the floor. Her signature black stocking cap is pulled over her ears. Mom must’ve brought it from home, and I’m glad she did. I didn’t like that Audrey’s head was bare. It made her look cold. Always cold.

She’s curled onto her side, hands fisted, clutching the threadbare quilt Gran made her when she was twelve, the well-worn satin edging pressed against her chin. Mom must’ve brought that for her too. As a kid, Audrey used to suck on the corners of her favorite blankets. I can remember how she looked as a toddler, curled up in a ball, her beautiful dark blond mop of hair swept over her sweaty forehead, her blanket tucked between her lips, her eyes squished tight so her dreams wouldn’t escape. I used to climb into her bed and curl up behind her. I always seemed to find sleep easier that way, with her breath keeping pace with mine.

I often wonder what her life might’ve been like if I hadn’t created the Variant. What if in that other reality Audrey never had leukemia, never felt this kind of pain and exhaustion, never missed out on taking the stairs two at a time? And if so, does that make her cancer my fault?

I’m too steeped in those thoughts to notice I’m crawling in behind her like I used to, wanting to curl up next to her. The mattress squeaks. I snap out of it and realize what I’m doing. I shouldn’t disrupt her sleep, I shouldn’t chance hurting her. There are tubes snaking across her arms, held on with tape. But before I can stand, she stirs and turns over.

“You’re back from your trip.” She stretches her arms over her head and coughs.

I frown at the sound, wishing I hadn’t woken her. “Go back to sleep,” I whisper, moving to leave, but her slim fingers find my wrist, and she pulls me down onto my back so I’m lying next to her.

“No, I was hoping you’d come see me.” She smiles, her soft gray eyes creased at the edges, her lids heavy with sleep. “Tell me everything.”

I shake my head before images of the last week resurface. I don’t want to think about my trip, and I especially don’t want to think about the hand she’s holding, and how it helped bury two dead bodies. “Later,” I say, staring up at the sphere of soft lamplight on the ceiling tiles. “Tell me about your week. What did you do while I was gone?”

“Besides almost dying?”

The ghostly red ambulance lights. The snow. My frozen feet. I press her hand between both of mine, holding on tight. “Besides that.”

She sends a short, low laugh floating above us. “It was fraught with drama, my dear, let me tell you.” She uses a smoky, dark voice, like an old Hollywood starlet’s. “Let’s see. Gran found raccoons sneaking into her greenhouse and declared war. Pops lost his pipe and found it in the dishwasher, of all places. It’s still a mystery how it got there, but I suspect the Anti-Tobacco League had something to do with it. Hmmmm. What else? Claire lost a tooth so she got dibs on picking the flick for movie night.”

I roll my eyes. “How fun for you.”

“Wasn’t that bad. Some new Cinderella retelling with a lot of twirling and singing. The main guy was hot and made me forget the crushing agony flowing through my veins for an hour, so there’s that.”

I smile to myself, knowing full well the healing powers of Hot Guy Distraction. “What about you? What did you do?”

“Me?” Audrey looks down at her blanket, rubbing the satin edge between her fingers. “Same old. Napped. Puked. Napped some more. Oh, and I decided to quit school.”

I sit up. “What?”

She sits up too and folds her legs. Our knees touch. “I quit the homebound program. Mom said I could. I couldn’t keep up, what with all the napping and puking, so I quit.”

“But,” I say, my mind whirring as the circuits scramble to connect, “you can’t quit high school.”

“Yes I can. It’s one of the universal perks of having cancer, you know. I can do anything. Quit school. Have ice cream for breakfast. Cancel our Scotland trip.”

“Wait, what?” She hands me all this new, huge information so casually, like it’s nothing, and it feels like she jumped onto a moving train and I’m running alongside, reaching, stretching, unable to catch up. “Why would you cancel? It’s your dream to go to Scotland.”

She shrugs. “Doesn’t matter. I can’t go with this stupid clot. Too risky. I have to take it easy.”

“OK. The trip can wait. We can postpone it until you’re better. But what about school? Will you pick back up in the fall?”

She tilts her head to the side with the same expression Levi gave me when he told me Blue was a traitor. Half sympathy, half pity. Like I’m missing the huge, glaring point, but I’m not. I know the point. I just don’t want to face it yet.

Facing things makes them real.

“There’s no guarantee I’ll get a fall,” Audrey says. “I’ve got what I’ve got now, and that’s what matters. I want to make the most of my now. There may not be a later.”

And there it is. Making things real.

My throat tightens. I’m shaking my head, trying not to hear her words, trying to hold back a sudden threat of tears.

How can she say that? That she may not have a fall? Like she has an expiration date stamped across her forehead. Like, hurry up and do everything now because Audrey won’t last until August.

She takes my hands. “I’m all right, Allie. I’ve been preparing for this. Everything’s going to be all right. All right?”

I nod because I’m a liar. I pat her hands and turn away, sliding my feet to the floor, because I can’t have this conversation right now. “Get some sleep.” The words scrape against the knot in my throat. “I’ll come by and see you in the morning.” I don’t look at her because I can’t start crying.

I may never stop.

I try my best to push the sobs down, keep them silent and trembling beneath the surface. I need to disappear, go to a place where I can let all these emotions out, or else I might self-destruct.

Most people—when their worst fear comes crashing into their lives like a freight train, ripping their entire world from their hands—have to face those tragedies head on. Excruciating minute by excruciating minute.

Or die trying.

But I’m not most people.

I have an escape. I can travel to other worlds, slip into another pair of shoes. Time travel, as much hell as it’s given me, provides some relief. It gives me time to regroup, recharge, and resurface once I’ve processed things. And when I return to Base Life? The present day? No time will have passed at all. I get to disappear for a while without anyone noticing I was gone.

I’m thankful for this gift, this power, because as crazy as time travel may seem, it’s the only thing keeping me sane anymore. The only thing keeping me from falling to pieces and scattering across the floor.

I want to talk to Blue, tell him what I’m going through, have him wrap his arms around me, but I can’t risk going back in time without Porter there to make sure I don’t mess up. I’m still new at this. Still green.

But there is one thing I can do. I can disappear into the Black. I can ascend to Limbo and rest there, for as long as it takes, before I come back down and face what’s before me.

Death and more death, everywhere I turn.

In the pocket of my jeans, my fingers close around my Polygon stone, my little piece of déjà vu that helps me ascend. My soul crawls out of my skin and reaches for Limbo. The billowy, familiar ribbons of the Black slink and roll into Audrey’s room. It swirls and wraps around me, taking me as its prisoner. It pulls me into its arms, and I am gone.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Chuckle

18th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Chuckle

Young Adult

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan – If you can, LISTEN TO THIS AUDIOBOOK. I first read it and really liked it, but it wasn’t until I re-read it through audio that I realized its genius, and that genius lies in the words written by Rachel and David. They made me laugh out loud so much!

My Life Next Door AND The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick – There’s no way to include one of these books without the other. And really what makes them so funny are the Garretts. That family is just a delight, especially the little ones. So many chuckles!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan – Two words: Tiny. Cooper.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – Anna is just a funny character. Her observations and thought process def made me laugh a lot throughout.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – It’s been a long time since I read this one but one thing I do remember is how funny it was. Maybe a re-read is due! Still recommend it. :)

 

Adult

Austenland by Shannon Hale – This book was just such a delight! AND THE MOVIE! So, so good!

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins – To be honest, I’ve yet to read a book by Kristan that doesn’t make me laugh, but this one really really did. I love all of her books!

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis – This was my first Jill book and it was so cute, funny, and sexy!

Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey – Another great contemporary romance with hilarious circumstances. I just loved this one!

Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead – The only non-contemporary on this whole list! This whole series has a cast of characters that I came to love because of their sense of humor. Richelle Mead just knocked it out of the park with this series. The love story is also really, really great.

 

What are some books that have made you chuckle? Did any of these?

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

18th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Bitsy Words: Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

Bitsy Words: Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy WallachThanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
Narrator: Francisco Pryor Garat
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio
Pub Date: February 23rd 2016
Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
Format: Audiobook | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

Tommy Wallach, the New York Times bestselling author of the “stunning debut” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) We All Looked Up, delivers a brilliant new novel about a young man who overcomes a crippling loss and finds the courage to live after meeting an enigmatic girl.

“Was this story written about me?”
I shrugged.
“Yes or no?”
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.
“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.
I can’t, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.

From the celebrated author of We All Looked Up comes a unique story of first and last loves.

At the beginning of Thanks for the Trouble I thought we were going to have ourselves a manic-pixie-dream-girl situation on our hands, and while I’m not one to mind them as much as others, I do find them tiresome sometimes. What I ended up getting was more of a mix between a John Green novel, Tuck Everlasting, and Age of Adaline, which was not a bad thing at all.

I liked the story and thought the character of Parker was done very well. Parker has selective mutism and is pretty withdrawn and Zelda definitely helps him come closer to overcoming that. I was not expecting Zelda’s character to turn out to be more than an eccentric teenage girl, but I think that aspect added a nice surprise. I think the reason I didn’t love the book though was that I didn’t feel an emotional connection to these characters. There’s a thing that happens at the end that should have left me sad, but instead I didn’t feel anything. I loved the wonderfully written prose and that Parker is latino because we don’t see that a lot. There’s also a lot of mini-adventures that happen throughout the story that I thought were really fun.

Audiobook Notes

What really made this book for me was the narration by Francisco Pryor Garat. His accent really brought Parker to life. He had perfect timing and read at the perfect speed. (I usually have to speed up most narrators because they read too slowly.) I hope he decides to narrate more books!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill

15th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Bitsy Words: Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill

Bitsy Words: Call Me, Maybe by Ellie CahillCall Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill
Published by Loveswept
Pub Date: February 9th 2016
Pages: 217
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Clementine Daly knows she’s the black sheep. Her wealthy, powerful family has watched her very closely since she almost got caught in an embarrassing scandal a few years ago. So when Clementine’s sent on a mission to live up to the Daly name, politely declining isn’t an option. Of course, the last thing she does before boarding the plane is to grab a stranger’s phone by mistake—leaving the hunky journalist with her phone. Soon his sexy voice is on the line, but he doesn’t know her real name, or her famous pedigree—which is just the way Clementine likes it.

Despite all the hassles, Justin Mueller is intrigued to realize that the beautiful brown-eyed girl he met at the airport is suddenly at his fingertips. They agree to exchange phones when they’re both back in town, but after a week of flirty texts and wonderfully intimate conversations, Justin doesn’t want to let her go. The only problem? It turns out that Clemetine has been lying to him about, well, everything. Except for the one thing two people can’t fake, the only thing that matters: The heat between them is for real.

5 Things I Loved About Call Me, Maybe

  1. Love at First Text: Ok, not really but sort of! Clementine and Justin get to know each other on the phone for a whole week (thanks to their accidental phone swap) and toward the end of that week things start heating up! But it was really fun to see their chemistry developing by just talking with each other since physical attraction always plays a big role.
  2. Book Blogger In Da House: Clementine has this online persona where she’s a book blogger! It was so fun reading about all the random book blogging tidbits we all do. She loves books and at times I wondered how it could be so hard for her to choose what to do with her life when books are her passion.
  3. Justin Mueller: It’s been awhile since I’ve read a guy so dorky but sexy at the same time. This guy checks so many of the book boyfriend boxes, it was ridiculous. I loved him. Even with his flaws.
  4. It Was Funny: There were times where this book made me really laugh! It did make me get teary-eyed at one point too, but that’s mostly because I’m a weenie.
  5. Quick Read: If you’re looking for a fun, romantic, quick read, this is your book!

 

About Ellie Cahill

Ellie Cahill is a freelance writer and also writes books for young adults under the name Liz Czukas. She lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her husband, son, and the world’s loudest cat.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Thursday Tracks: No Good in Goodbye

14th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Thursday Tracks

Thursday Tracks: No Good in Goodbye

You ever hear a song at the beginning of the week and it just stays with you allllll week? That’s what happened with me and No Good in Goodbye. It’s by no means a new song to me and I’ve always loved it. The Script has some of my all-time favorite songs, so you may see a few more soon. I’ve posted their stuff before. I featured  The Man Who Can’t Be Moved along with a teaser for the book Tempest by Julie Cross because I thought the song fits it perfectly. Then last year I featured If You Ever Come Back, which is such a heartbreaking song. I hope you guys enjoy this one!

Lyrics for No Good In Goodbye by The Script

 

 

 

Thursday Tracks Spotify Playlist

Do you have any Thursday Tracks posts? Leave me the link in the comments!

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Siren by Kiera Cass

13th Apr 2016 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: The Siren by Kiera CassThe Siren by Kiera Cass
Published by HarperTeen
Pub Date: January 26th 2016
Pages: 327
Format: Hardcover | Source: Gifted
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Love is a risk worth taking.

Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again. 

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.

First of all, YAY for finally finding a book that ended my book slump!! I had started quite a few books since the beginning of February, but I hadn’t found one that interested me enough to read all the way through. That is, until The Siren! This was the first book ever written by Kiera Cass, author of The Selection series.

This is a story about 19 year old Kahlen, who is in a shipwreck and is meant to drown. In the process, she begs to survive and the Ocean decides to spare her under one condition: she must live out a sentence of 100 years serving as a siren. As a siren, Kahlen is expected to sing when told to do so by the Ocean which will cause people to become mesmerized and drown.

I’ve always been really intrigued by mermaids so I instantly knew I would really enjoy the fantasy aspect of this story. Sirens are a darker spin on your typical mermaid. According to Wikipedia: In Greek mythology, the Sirens were dangerous yet beautiful creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. I was really excited to see how this would all play out!

When I first read the plot summary, my initial thought was that our main character would be living in total isolation and have zero contact with others. I was very pleasantly surprised that Kahlen is actually part of a group of 3-4 sirens who live and “work” together. Although we did get a back story for each one of the girls, I still didn’t really connect with any. The characters were all pretty one dimensional, but I still really enjoyed watching the bond they shared and how loyal they were to each other. In The Siren, the Ocean plays a character as well and although that might weird out a few, I really did dig it! I’ve always thought of the ocean as breathtakingly beautiful, but it’s vastness scares me. This story forced me to see the ocean as lonely and that took away some of the fear!

As you guys know, I love me some traveling and this book gave me lots of that! My favorite place was the little town of Port Clyde, Maine. I’ve been dying to visit Maine for ages and this book set a perfect scene of what I’m looking forward to!

My biggest problem with this book was the love interest, Akinli. I liked him as a character, but I didn’t swoon over their insta-love. I was also very thrown off by how accepting his family was of Kahlen even though she’d arrive under the weirdest of circumstances. It seemed very unlikely that a real family would react as welcoming as they did. I wish those scenes would have been written better as opposed to just fitting together because that’s what made the story flow.

Overall, this was a great fantasy story that has peaked my interest even more on mythical creatures and I’m looking forward to more stories like it. Please let me know if you have any recommendations in the comments below!

 

 

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books Every Re-Reader Should Try On Audio

11th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Every Re-Reader Should Try On Audio

I listen to audiobooks while I work, and this year I’ve actually listened to more books than I’ve read, which is super interesting to me. One thing I really enjoy doing is re-reading my favorite books on audiobook! It’s also a great way to refresh the story before reading the next book. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite re-reads I’ve listened to in case it’s something you’d like to try. :)

 

The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, read by Lauren Fortgang – You haven’t lived until you’ve heard The Darkling performed by this fantastic narrator.

The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, read by Jennifer Ehle – This series has different narrators for each book, and Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl!) narrates the second book, but I really enjoy Jennifer Ehle’s narration of the first one a lot! She brings my love, Will Herondale, to life and totally gives him the perfect amount of charm and sarcasm.

 

Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks series) by Miranda Kenneally, read by Jorjeana Marie – Every book in this series is read by someone new and each one is great! I really loved this one though. :)

The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, read by Carla Corvo and Lannon Killea – I love alternating narrators and these two do a really good job!

 

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, read by Elizabeth Evans – This narrator injects the perfect amount of sass needed to read Celaena.

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, read by Rebecca Soler – Such a great performance by this narrator! She gave each character such unique qualities.

 

Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore, read by David Baker, Chelsea Mixon and Zachary Exton – This full cast production is really incredible! I wish more audiobooks were done this way.

The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, read by Khristine Hvam – Khristine is one of my all-time favorite narrators, y’all. She’s on this list twice! She’s incredible.

 

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Will Patton – Will is just sooooo good! Each of the boys and Blue have such distinct voices and he delivers each one perfectly.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone series by Laini Taylor, read by Khristine Hvam – Here she is again!! She truly elevated this series to a whole new level.

 

Want to Re-Read on Audio Soon

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, read by Davina Porter – This is one that many have enjoyed and one I will be starting soon! I’ve been wanting to re-read this series for a while and I think audio will be the way to go.

 

Do you listen to audiobooks? What are some of your favorites?

 

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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