Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Yet to Finish

25th Jan 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Yet to Finish

Since this week is a TTT freebie, I decided to make a list of all the series I’ve yet to finish (or move beyond the 1st book!) Here is my list:

Forever Odd by Dean Koontz: This is the 2nd book in the Odd Thomas series. I loved the first one and plan on reading the entire season, I just haven’t gotten there yet.

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld: The 2nd book in the Uglies series. I didn’t dislike the first Uglies book but it was recommended to me by a die hard fan and it didn’t live up to all her hype. I will finish the series but I am not in a huge hurry to do so.

Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard: The third and final book in the Something Strange and Deadly series. This is going to sound stupid but I can’t let this one end. I liked it a lot, and I just don’t want to know how it ends. Maybe I will finish it, maybe I won’t but Eleanor and Daniel will live forever in my heart going on great adventures.

Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich: From the Lizzy and Diesel series number three sounds like an epic adventure that some day I’ll get around to reading!

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige: Number 2 in the in Dorothy Must Die series. I’m actually angry at myself for not getting to this one. I really liked Dorothy Must Die, I thought it was a cool twist on a classic.

Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich: Obviously this is number 22 in the Stephanie Plum series. I love these, they are great quick fun reads, I need to catch up!

Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson: The 2nd in the 100 Cupboards series. This is one my daughter got me into, I’m actually waiting for her to be ready to read this one so we can read it together.

Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz: Number 2 in the Dark House series. I have to admit, Welcome to the Dark House (#1 in the series) was kind of predictable but I can’t help but wonder what happens in the second book!

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen: This is another series I am obsessed with, Tess Gerritsen is one of my favorite authors. Normally when a new Rizzoli and Isles book comes out I strategically plan to spend the day alone with my book. I must catch up!

Nightmares the Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller: I really thought the first book Nightmares was really cute and I’m excited to see what this sequel brings!

It looks like I need to just choose a month and try and knock out all these books, there are so many that I started and just never moved to the next book…maybe I should make this my New Years resolution!

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Stacking the Shelves

24th Jan 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

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I really stacked the shelves in 2015, so my goal for 2016 is to buy more ebooks and reserve the physical book purchases for those I KNOW I’ll read within the month. So far, I’m staying on track! I know we’re less than a month into the year, but I’m really proud of myself! Lol

Physical Books

I’ll be reading one book a month from the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin​ and this week I finally purchased the physical copy of A Game of Thrones! This series is gonna look beautiful on my shelves!

My amazing co-logger Jess got me a copy of When We Collided by Emory Lord on her trip to ALAMW earlier this month!! Thank you, Jess!

Lastly, I received A Thousand Nights from Jackie as part of the Traveling Books Club and I’m already half way through!

Ebooks

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh
The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Mitosis (Reckoners #1.5) by Brandon Sanderson
Firefight (Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson

 

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I feel very lucky to have had such a great mail week, mostly thanks to Macmillan’s seasonal mailing (Thank you, Macmillan!). Also, thanks to Penguin and Scholastic! :)

Physical Books

(ARCs GR Shelf)

 

Egalleys

(Egalleys GR Shelf)

 

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I’ve added a few books to my shelves in the last few weeks most of them are middle grade. Since my daughter is participating in Battle of the Books for school we’ve been reading and quizzing each other non-stop! Here are the books I’ve picked up.

The only non-middle grade title I’ve picked up is Truthwitch. I was completely surprised when my Uppercase Box showed up with a signed hardcover! SQUEE!

I’m not going to lie, the cover of Crenshaw really grabbed me, I had to know why there was a giant cat on the cover.

Dark and Grimm speaks to my love for fairytales.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them…cuz DUH!

Twistrose Key again the cover grabbed me and it sounds like an epic adventure!

 

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

11th Jan 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Wolf By Wolf by Ryan GraudinWolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Series: Wolf By Wolf #1
Published by Little, Brown BfYR
Pub Date: October 20th 2015
Pages: 388
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

I’ve said it before, I don’t really read historical fiction. But after reading this book I’m questioning that decision! I’m sure not every historical fiction title has skinshifters but I’m really starting to warm up to the idea of reading more historical fiction, maybe!

With that being said, I’m not a big fan of reading sad and depressing books in which thousands of people die for no reason, I just get really angry. In this particular book though, the main character Yael, was brought to a Nazi death camp with her family. She was chosen for an expirement and was pumped full of mysterious drugs that allowed her to change her eye color, skin color and hair color, basically be anyone she wants to be. Now this puts a new twist to the story because Yael can change into anyone she needs to be to complete her mission (kill Hitler). The story bounces back and forth between the past and the present, which sometimes is bothersome and confusing but I found it to be more mysterious and surprising. I really enjoyed Wolf by Wolf, I thought it had an interesting twist and I didn’t get bored! Of course I got curious about the motorcycles they used for the race so I had to look them up! Here they are.

 

I am glad this book came across my radar, (through November Uppercase Box). I’m not sure this is a title I would have picked up on my own but I am really glad I read it!

 

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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5 Year Blogiversary Celebration!

3rd Jan 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways, Newsletter

5 Year Blogiversary Celebration!

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Can you guys believe it?! FIVE YEARS! It doesn’t even feel like that long. Wow…

The last five years have been some of my most favorite ever. I’ve met some of the best people and gone to some awesome places, all because of this blog I started back in 2011. You can read all about the beginning of my blogging journey in my About Me page.

When I first started blogging I read a lot of paranormal, urban fantasy, and dystopian books. Since discovering contemporary though, I’ve read less and less of those genres. Contemporary is by far my favorite now. I do feel like I’m reading less and less each year and I have to learn to accept that fact because currently it makes me feel really guilty for some reason. This year I’ve decided against setting a Goodreads Reading Challenge goal to see if it’ll help me. *crosses fingers*

Blogging has certainly become a little less overwhelming since the ladies below joined me here. I’m so sooo thankful for them. Here’s what they had to say about blogging and/or blogging here at Gone with the Words…

 

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I’ve always felt a deeper connection with fellow readers, even if I may not know them very well, they can relate to the pain of losing a favorite character, or the dreadful impatience while you wait for the next book to release in your favorite series. These are things that all book lovers experience, and this is why I love being part of the blogging community. I feel like I am a part of this great book lover network. I may not know you, but wow your description of the emotions you felt while reading such-and-such book in your review, are exactly the things I felt too! Instant connection. I get to experience these things while being a part of this great book review blog that my best friend created. Not only that, but I have made some new friends along the way. All of our reviewers are so excited about reading and we all have unique opinions and diverse tastes in books. There is something for everyone here, we are like a melting cauldron of book reviews. Gone with the Words is our little book universe and it is amazing. Happy blogiversary GWTW! I’m happy to be a part of you! <3

 

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Blogging on Gone with the Words has been everything I hoped for! I didn’t want the pressure of starting a new blog in an already saturated community but I wanted a way to connect with other readers and share bookish thoughts. I’ve made so many amazing friends and found lots of great blogs to follow! And it makes my day when someone else connects with a book that I loved. I’m so glad Jess was looking for more co-bloggers when I applied in August 2014- she is the sweetest and makes blogging look effortless when I know it’s not always easy. I love blogging with her and the other girls and can’t wait for this year. I have a lot of books to push on you people ;)

 

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I’ve been blogging at Gone with the Words for about two years now and I have loved every minute of it! I first found out about book blogging through Epic Reads and twitter. I never realized so many people loved the same types of books that I did and even blogged about them. I had no idea how to really get involved, so I just joined Goodreads and started posting my reviews there. One day I saw that Jess was looking for people to join her blog and I filled out the application thinking there was no way she would actually choose me but she did! Ever since then I have loved being a part of this blog and this community. Being able to share my thoughts with others and having conversations and chats with other book lover has really made me feel less alone in a lot of ways. I hope to continue being a part of this community for many more years.

 

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When I reignited my love for books back in 2014 I never could have imagined where my new passion would take me! I knew of booktube and Goodreads, but I had yet to discover book blogs. When a friend told me about Jess and her love of books I began to follow her on Instagram. Then one night while laying in bed, I ran across her post asking for those interested to apply for co-blogger. *Insert me dropping my phone on my face from the excitement!* It’s been only 4 months since I’ve joined the wonderful ladies of GWTW, but I couldn’t be happier! Thank you for having me as part of the team, Jess. 5 years of blogging is a huge accomplishment and I wish you many more!

 

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I started my blog in 2007 for a project in my Creative Writing class. We were required to keep up with the blog throughout the semester and I thought it was so fun when the class ended I decided I would kept it. Turns out, I wasn’t that good at updating it if I wasn’t getting any credit! Fast forward 8 years and I’m back at it again! Then, earlier this year, I joined Jess and the GWTW girls as a co-blogger. I love being a part of this community everyone is so amazing, it’s like I’ve gained a whole new family that I actually want to hang out with! There is nothing better than being able to flail, laugh or cry with a bunch of your bestie over a good book.

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Aren’t these girls the best?! My little GWTW family is wonderful. :)

So to celebrate this wonderful occasion, we’re giving one lucky winner $75 in PayPal cash! This means you have to have a PayPal account to receive the prize, and you have to be at least 13 years of age, but also! It means that International readers can enter! Good luck, everyone!

 

Giveaway

5 Year Blogiversary Giveaway – $75 PayPal Cash!

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Ashley’s 2015 End of Year Survey!

26th Dec 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, End of Year

Ashley’s 2015 End of Year Survey!

The End of Year Book Survey is hosted by Jamie The Perpetual Page-Turner. Visit her blog to join in the fun!

Number Of Books You Read: 65 (See my Goodreads Year in Review)
Number of Re-Reads: 1-WHAT! is that right?
Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult

 

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

A Court of Thorns and Roses. I’ve read so many great books this year but I am so excited for this new series!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I separated this into 2 categories…I “pushed” my young reader customers to read Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories series and personally I made everyone else I know read Cinder!

5. Best series you started in 2015?

This is super hard for me because I started the Lunar Chronicles, The Raven Boys AND the Throne of Glass series…I can’t pick one, I just can’t.

Best Sequel of 2015? I actually didn’t read any sequels this year!
Best Series Ender of 2015? Series ender-WINTER!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Ernest Cline-Ready Player One. I loved this book so so much. I’ve wanted to read it for a long time and I loved every minute of it.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I’m going to cheat on this one too because I didn’t read too much out of my comfort zone so I’d say Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but I really enjoyed this story, I even liked the movie!

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

This is seriously another hard one. I am going with Crown of Midnight because of this epic Goodreads update I posted when I finished the book. “Holy. F’ING. Shit! Thank the Gods I don’t have to wait a year for the next book”

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’d have to say Naomi Novik’s Uprooted. This is one of those books you could read again and again and discover new things each time you read it!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I love this cover so much, it’s so beautiful!

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Willowdean Dickson – Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

I absolutely love Willowdean!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. I wouldn’t necessarily call it ‘Life Changing’ but it was one of the books I read this year that I got into deep discussions about.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I actually had the ARC of this book on my shelf and never opened it…what was I thinking?!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret – 149 pages
Longest: Winter – 824 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

I read so many of these this year…seriously! Though several books I read this year left me gasping sharply, one really stuck with me, still I can’t believe THAT happened. Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret is just…I can’t even…the part at the end…SERIOUSLY! Talk about karma…

18. OTP OF THE YEAR

Dumplin

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

N/A

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Tess Gerritsen’s Playing with Fire

21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

It is impossible to choose just one, just impossible. Tamlin, Rowan, Gansey, Mal, Wolf, Kai….the list goes on and on!

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Land of Stories series. What a fun magical land to create in my mind!

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face

Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, & a Very Strange Adventure by Lissa Evans

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

Maybe I’m a sap but more than one book made me cry this year! The aforementioned The Husbands Secret, Ruthless, The Secret Keeper, Winter

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Rook by Sharon Cameron

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

“pow, pow, pow”

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Illuminae for obvious reasons.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The endings to Blue Lily, Lily Blue and A Court of Thorns and Roses really made me mad! I love them both but those endings, COME ON!

 

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

Gone with the Words of course!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

My BEA post was so much fun to review what an amazing time we had!

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

n/a

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

BEA!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Honestly, just being a part of the community and getting to know more bloggers is the best! Being a part of the #OTSPsecretsister and the #TBTBSanta is absolutely amazing!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My post on Illuminae had the most views.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

n/a

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Book Outlet, though it does get me in trouble!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yes, 65 books is the most i’ve read in a year!

 

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

City on Fire Garth Risk Hallberg

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

A Court of Mist and Fury

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

These Vicious Masks Tarun Shanker, Timekeeper Tara Sims

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

The Raven King

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

I really want to be more active. Both in the blogging community and just blogging in general!

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Passenger! Alexandra Bracken

 

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Stacking the Shelves

19th Dec 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

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This week I added 4 books to my collection. From my secret sister I received LegendProdigy and Champion by Marie Lu. I’ve had my sites set on this series for a long time and I’m excited to finally get to dive in.

From my Uppercase Box, I received Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom. I’m pretty pumped to read it as well. Looks like I’ll have plenty to read with my time off for Christmas!

 

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I’ve gotten some awesome books the past two weeks!! Tis the season.

From the library/Christmas ebooks won from Lauren’s twitter giveaway:

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale
Coming Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale

Thank you Lauren!

Gifted:

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Mediator by Meg Cabot

A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale
Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories by Megan Hart, et al
Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

Thank you so much to my amazing #otspsecretsister Lisa, my #TBTBSanta JeNee, and my Holiday Cookie/Book Exchange gifter Bekka! <3

From NetGalley:

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey

Thank you Simon Pulse and Algonquin Young Readers!

 

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The order I placed for Black Friday on BookOutlet.com finally arrived this week! Here are the 14 beauties I picked up. :D

Because of Low – Abbi Glines
Just for Now – Abbi Glines
Sometimes it Lasts – Abbi Glines
Shutter – Courtney Alameda
Dreams of Gods & Monsters – Laini Taylor
Fire with Fire – Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Ashes to Ashes – Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Emerald Green – Kerstin Gier
Fever 1793 – Laurie Halse Anderson
Simple Perfection – Abbi Glines
Rush Too Far – Abbi Glines
Ten Tiny Breaths – K.A. Tucker
Five Ways to Fall – K.A. Tucker
Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. – Judy Blume

 

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Purchased

I looooove the spines and covers of these paperback Cassandra Clare sets. I just HAD to buy them. Also, Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorite childhood books so I needed to own a hardback copy of it.

Gifted

From my #OTSPSecretSister, Jaime (Fiction Fare):

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

From my co-blogger, Rubi:

Playing For Her Heart (Gamers #2) by Megan Erickson
Changing His Game (Gamers #1) by Megan Erickson
Caged in Winter (Reluctant Hearts #1) by Brighton Walsh

From Edelweiss – Thanks, HarperCollins!

The Hunt (The Cage #2) by Megan Shepherd
Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman
Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi
Wanderlost by Jen Malone
The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott
The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen
Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Ruined by Amy Tintera

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Stacking the Shelves

13th Dec 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Stacking the Shelves, but we’re hoping to bring them back!

 

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I’ve picked some of my most recent egalley approvals from the last month or so.

Egalleys

(Check out my shelf on Goodreads for details on each book!)

 

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From my TBTB Secret Santa

My Secret Santa package arrived today and I couldn’t be more excited about the books that came with it! Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is one of those books that have been on on TBR list for what seems like forever. Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorites but I’ve never owned the finished copy until now! Avelynn by Marissa Campbell is new to me but it’s gotten great reviews and has been compared to Outland by Diana Gabaldon whom is one of my favorite authors!

From NetGalley-THANK YOU!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash

9th Dec 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Bitsy Words: Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash

Bitsy Words: Above the Waterfall by Ron RashAbove the Waterfall by Ron Rash
Published by Ecco
Pub Date: September 8th 2015
Pages: 272
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult Fiction
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

Les, a long-time sheriff nearing retirement, contends with the ravages of poverty and crystal meth in his small Appalachian town. Nestled in a beautiful hollow of the Appalachians, his is a tight-knit community rife with secrets and suspicious of outsiders.

Becky, a park ranger, arrives in this remote patch of North Carolina hoping to ease the anguish of a harrowing past. Searching for tranquility amid the verdant stillness, she finds solace in poetry and the splendor of the land.

A vicious crime will plunge both sheriff and ranger into deep and murky waters, forging an unexpected bond between them. Caught in a vortex of duplicity, lies, and betrayal, they must navigate the dangerous currents of a tragedy that turns neighbor against neighbor—and threatens to sweep them all over the edge.

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

Les is in his last three weeks as Sheriff of the town he grew up in and he is more than ready to retire to his newly built cabin in the woods. His past is haunted by a failed marriage and he still carries a lot of regret. Before he can retire, one more case comes across his desk and it’s a doozy! Becky is a nature enthusiast who works as a park ranger. She arrived in North Carolina to escape her past that is full of tragedy. Les and Becky’s relationship is complicated and it only gets more so during the case.Told in alternating chapters, Les and Becky work the case and begin piecing together the disturbing truth, what they discover will not only test their relationship but Les must decide where to draw the line between the law and his morals.

This is the first book I’ve read by Ron Rash so I didn’t really know what to expect. It was a quick easy read and I enjoyed reading it and I think I’ll try another one of his books soon.

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen

25th Nov 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Playing With Fire by Tess GerritsenPlaying With Fire by Tess Gerritsen
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: October 27th 2015
Pages: 250
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Mystery
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.

The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light. 

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

It’s no secret that I love Tess Gerritsen, I’ve fallen in love with her Mystery books about vivid characters, murder and medicine. I love the Rizzoli and Isles series but when I heard she had a new stand alone, I was overly excited to get my hands on it. Though the ending wasn’t what I expected, I found myself completely engrossed until the end.

I’m not musically inclined so when words like musical bars, measures, accidentals and arpeggios showed up in the first chapter, I was a worried they would keep me from truly understanding the musical aspect of the book. Thankfully I was able to comprehend without having to Google (too) many terms Gerristen used to describe the haunting music.

Present day takes place in Boston with Julia, her husband Rob and daughter Lily. Julia is a professional violinist and is Rome for work when she finds a piece of music called the Incendio waltz. Julia becomes awestruck with the music and it’s mysterious composer and purchases it from a local shop keep. Once she gets the music home and starts to play it, something in her daughter shifts-she is no longer Julia’s sweet innocent little girl. After two particularly bloody incidents with Lily, Julia decides to go back to Rome and find out as much information about the composer of the waltz as she can, even if it might kill her.

I really enjoyed Playing with Fire. It was a quick read that really captured my attention from the beginning. I devoured it in just a few hours and recommend it to any mystery fan.

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey

21st Oct 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda RouseyMy Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey
Published by Regan Arts
Pub Date: May 12th 2015
Pages: 301
Format: Hardcover | Source: Author
Genres: Non-fiction
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

“The fight is yours to win.”

In this inspiring and moving book, Ronda Rousey, the Olympic medalist in judo, reigning UFC women's bantamweight champion, and Hollywood star charts her difficult path to glory.

Marked by her signature charm, barbed wit, and undeniable power, Rousey’s account of the toughest fights of her life—in and outside the Octagon—reveals the painful loss of her father when she was eight years old, the intensity of her judo training, her battles with love, her meteoric rise to fame, the secret behind her undefeated UFC record, and what it takes to become the toughest woman on Earth. Rousey shares hard-won lessons on how to be the best at what you do, including how to find fulfillment in the sacrifices, how to turn limitations into opportunities, and how to be the best on your worst day.

Packed with raw emotion, drama, and wisdom this is an unforgettable book by one of the most remarkable women in the world.

I don’t read non-fiction books very much, I don’t read them at all really. But I love reading/hearing about women paving the way for other women. Especially when those women are kicking asses and taking names! I hadn’t heard of Ronda Rousey until a few years ago when my husband was raving about “this bad-ass boxer chick”. My husband is not a sports guy so I knew I had to check her out, and when her book came out, I knew I had to own it. Ronda’s pure determination and persistence paved the way for women fighters everywhere, especially in the UFC.

I had followed UFC fighting off and on for about 10 years, I called it my guilty pleasure because no one I know watches. I stopped watching in 2011 when Dana White, the president of the UFC, said on camera women will never have a place in the UFC.  Enter Rowdy Ronda Rousey. The forward in her book is by this very same man who says Ronda is “a game changer” and “I almost feel like Ronda is writing her book too soon, because she’s just getting started”.

From losing her father at an early age, living in her car, constant fighting with her mother, and hitting rock bottom, this book tells a story of a woman striving to be more, better, the best. Her inspirational story isn’t all roses and rainbows however, she veers off into some dark places, but in true Ronda Rousey fashion, she always ends up on the top. I don’t want to give too much of Ronda’s story away because I think its better to take it all in at once with the inspirational quotes, black and white photos not to mention her drive, determination and devotion.

I really enjoyed reading My Fight / Your Fight and I seriously think every young female athlete should read it.

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Bedtime Stories…

18th Oct 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories…

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I started reading Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer before bed this week. I know it’s just a genderbent version of Twilight, but I am enjoying the unique re-reading experience of it. It’s a bit of a challenge trying to reimagine the characters as a different sex when you’ve pictured them one way for so long, but it’s a welcomed challenge. I am enjoying it so much I am definitely going to take my time to read it and savor the experience.

 

 

 

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This week I am diving into These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly. I’t’s set in New York during the gilded age and the main female character is Josephine Montford. She comes from a very wealthy family with old money. In the first few chapters Jo finds out her father is dead, shot by his own gun. The authorities are calling it accidental, but Jo knows doesn’t believe them at all.

I need a book to grab me quickly or I loose interest, this one is flowing nicely and keeping my attention, I can’t wait to find out what really happened because I’m certain this story is going to end with betrayal of the worse kind.

 

 

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This week I’m still reading Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins. I started it last week actually, and got really into it… but then I went on vacation this past weekend and haven’t picked it up again. I plan to though! I’m really intrigued so far. These two characters meet on the beach by their summer homes and it turns out they are each living in different times! YOU GUYS! He’s from the 1920s and he’s an aspiring poet… *SIGH* She seems bratty so far, but I hope it changes soon.

 

Lety @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR

22nd Sep 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is Ten books on my Fall to be read pile. I’ve decided to talk about 5 books that have yet to be released and 5 books on my shelves I’ve been wanted to get too. Here are the 5 that come out soon that I can’t wait to dive into:

 

City on Fire Garth Risk Hallberg 10/13

On July 13, 1977 a blackout plunges New York City into darkness. A shooting in Central Park links 8 people together, including the detective trying to find out what actually happened that night. Murder, mystery and a wide cast of colorful characters makes me anxious for this October release date!

 

Illuminae Amie Kaufman 10/20

Just reading Marie Lu’s quote on the front of this book is enough to make anyone grab a copy and dive in! “Brace yourself. You’re about to be immersed in a mindscape that you’ll never want to leave.”

 

These Shallow Graves Jennifer Donnelly 10/27

The cover alone is intriguing enough isn’t it? Set in New York during the gilded age, a doting daughter knows her father’s death was not an accident. Even though everyone else seems okay he begins to do her own investigation and when she learns that if you plan on covering up the past, you should bury it deeper.

 

After Alice Gregory Maguire 10/27

You’ve heard of Gregory Maguire and how amazing his reimagining of The Wizard of Oz is right? Well here is his reimaged Alice in Wonderland! This is going to be just as big as Wicked!

 

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto Mitch Albom 11/10

A story for the music lover. A gut wrenching story of a baby abandoned in a burning church, rescued and raised by a music teacher. War rips apart his life and he finds himself alone in a strange land. He rises to the top musically but not without more heartache and loss. A co-worker is reading this now, her emotional descriptions alone put this to the top of my TBR pile.

 

Here are my five that have already been released:

 

Language of Flowers Vanessa Diffenbaugh

After reading “We Never Asked for Wings” this is simply a must for me. I’ve heard amazing things about this book.

 

A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson

I’ve owned this book for years and haven’t read it yet. With the movie out, it’s moved to the top of my list.

 

Strange and Ever After Susan Dennard

I started this series earlier this year and I love it! I really don’t want the series to end so I’ve been putting off reading this one, but I guess the time has come. Every good story must come to an end right?

 

The Status of All Things Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Having read their first book “Your Perfect Life” and having the pleasure of meeting the authors, this one has been on my list since it came out earlier this year. It’s gotten rave reviews and I am sure I will love it.

 

Firefly Hollow Written by Alison McGhee Illustrated by Christopher Denise

This book caught my eye because of the beautiful illustrations. A story about cute little animals teaming up to make it through the “oh so big” world. What a cute story for young readers! I told my husband I bought this for my daughter…it still resides on my bookshelf instead of hers!

 

Those are my top ten to be read books this fall, see anything that sounds good?

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

31st Aug 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa DiffenbaughWe Never Asked For Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: August 18th 2015
Pages: 320
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult Fiction
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

This book really got me, and in more ways than one. I had had a particularly hard week at work- not just regular work stress–I mean contemplating leaving my job after nearly 6 years–stress. When I came home to this book on my doorstep, I burst into tears and hugged it to my chest. To be completely honest, I don’t know how it arrived at my house, it had been so long since I’ve received a physical copy of an ARC I was really surprised and grateful that it appeared when it did. Was this something I signed up for on Goodreads? Was this sent from the Penguin Random House lovelies I met at BEA? I really didn’t know but I do know it arrived on my doorstep just in time.

Once I dived into this amazing story, I fell head over heels in love with every single character. It took me a while to warm up to Letty but once I did I really really loved her. She made some poor decisions early in her life and it took her a long time to figure out what really matters. When she finally pulled it together, nothing else mattered except her children Alex-15 and Luna-6.

Alex is easily my favorite character. He is smart, selfless, loving and unlike most teenagers I’ve ever met, I kind of want to be him! Of course every great book has to have a love interest-or two, when these two guys walk into Letty’s life, she doesn’t quite know what to do with them because they are both amazing in their own ways. In the end I love the choice she made, even though for a while I was rooting for the other guy!

Have I said yet that I love this book? Maybe it’s the timing in which it arrived in my life, (it could just be the amazing author too) but this easily falls into my “Favorite of all time” list and I will continue insisted everyone I know read it.

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Bedtime Stories…

23rd Aug 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories…

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This week I’m reading “A Curious Tale of the In-Between” by Lauren DeStefano. I picked up this ARC at B.E.A. this year because I love a good ghost story! This will be my first DeStefano book, though I’ve been told I will love her other books too. So far so good, though the beginning is quite dark for an 8-12 year old. Prim died before she was born, her mother hung herself from a tree in front of a hospital…it’s a bit deep. Though I’ve just started I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

 

 

 

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This week I’m reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but so far I’m enjoying it. This is an interesting mystery. I feel like I know where the story is going, but at the same time I feel like I’m missing a lot of pieces in the puzzle. I’m about half way through this book and I’ve realized that this story is full of secrets and I can’t wait until they’re all revealed!

 

 

 

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I’m currently reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer at bedtime. I had decided to put the series off until the release of Winter, the final book in The Lunar Chronicles series, and when I heard about the #TLCreadalong I knew it was perfect! It’s been hard to stick to only reading a few chapters every week to make the book last an entire month, but it really helps build up the anticipation! As a first timer with this series, I quickly realized why so many people love it as much as they do. It includes a feisty cyborg Cinderella, a dreamy prince, and a wicked villain who is determined to get her way. So what’s not to love?

 

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Valiant by Sarah McGuire

19th Aug 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Valiant by Sarah McGuireValiant by Sarah McGuire
Published by EgmontUSA
Pub Date: April 28th 2015
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Middle Grade
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Saville despises the bolts of velvet and silk that her father loves- he's always prized them more than he's ever loved her. Yet when he's struck ill, she'll do anything to survive, even donning boys' clothes and begging a commission to sew for the king.

Piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants led by a man who cannot be defeated. And they're marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. But Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.

Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. She tricks them into leaving, but tales of the daring tailor's triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And mere stories won't deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.

Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

Saville’s father is the best tailor in Daniver but he can’t seem to abide by the rules set in place by the cities tailors guild; so he decides to move Saville to Reggan, a city that has no such guild. Shortly after they arrive, the tailor falls ill and becomes completely paralyzed. It doesn’t take long before Saville is almost out of patience, money and food. Knowing that the only thing she can do to survive is the one thing she hates the most, sewing. She decides to follow through with her father’s plan–get to the king and prove to him that she is the best tailor in all the land then gain his trust–and his money. This proves to be problematic because girls are not trusted to touch the king let alone take his measurements. Saville must dress and act like a boy to wins the commission of the king.

Saville’s only friend is Will, a young homeless boy she takes in off the streets. The duo become quite the team and even though Will discovers Saville’s biggest secret but he swears to never tell.

Rumors begin in the city about an impending war with giants as big as trees and a mysterious new Duke who claims he is the rightful heir to the throne. Will is convinced the giants are real but Saville doesn’t believe in giants–they’re just fairy tales right? Wrong. When the giants make their first appearance in the field outside the city, the townspeople are frantic, the giants have picked someone out of the crowd and are tossing them around like a rag-doll. By the time Saville reaches the field, she is horrified to discover it’s Will the giants have in their grasp. Still dressed as a boy, Saville outsmarts the giants and saves Will. When the king finds out what has happened, he rewards the young tailor with the princess hand in marriage.

The events that follow will take the reader on a non-stop adventure through the castle’s long lost secret passageways,  over castle walls and into the giants camp, and up close with the feeble king of Reggan.

My Thoughts

I have to be honest here, the only reason I read this book is because I set up an author event with Sarah McGuire. This book may not have come across my radar any other way, but I am so glad it did!

Before the first chapter was over, I hated Saville’s father the Tailor. He loved his fabrics far more than his daughter and that didn’t sit well with me at all. He is a cold, unloving character and it’s sad that the Tailor is her only family left and he seems to not care for her at all. Perhaps that’s what made Saville the lovable, tough as nails heroine she turned out to be.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good fairy tale with a strong female heroine. I was pleasantly surprised with this debut author and can’t wait to see what else she comes up with!

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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