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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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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Review: Listen To Me by Kristen Proby

11th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Listen To Me by Kristen ProbyListen To Me by Kristen Proby
Series: Fusion #1
Published by William Morrow
Pub Date: April 12th 2016
Pages: 336
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads
4 Stars

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new series, five best friends open a hot new restaurant, but one of them gets much more than she bargained for when a sexy former rock star walks through the doors—and into her heart.

Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy...exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need.

Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him.

Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?

I picked a copy of this book at ALAMW in Boston this January. I was browsing the HarperCollins booth when the cover instantly caught my eye. I picked it up, read the synopsis, and knew I HAD to get myself a copy. Sadly, they were not giving them out at that moment, so it kind of put a damper on my instabook high (yes, I just made this term up). Luckily for me, they put out A TON of them later on, and I made sure all my friends had this book on their radar and got themselves a copy too.

I’m happy to report that I was not let down! Listen to Me has really great, fleshed out characters. It’s the first book in a series, so we meet everyone, but it didn’t feel like a set-up for the others which happens quite often with first books in series.

Addison and Jake have really great chemistry from the start. Their banter was really great, as she is a smart-ass and he has this charming-cocky thing going on. I will admit I found some parts cheesy at times, like that song toward the end… I was also disappointed with their conflict and breakup/makeup toward the end because it felt so overblown. Neither of these things were enough to make an impact on my overall experience though, so still very much recommend you read it!

These two start out as friends but that quickly turns into more, and things got reeeeeeally steamy. This book turned out to be a lot racier than I was expecting! Not that that’s a bad thing, but I thought I should mention it in case it’s helpful to others. I liked that he was bossy in bed but a total sweetheart all the other times. That’s how all guys should me, amirite?! ;)

Addison runs a restaurant with her four best friends, and these girls are AWESOME. I loved all their scenes together, but there’s this one where they get drunk and that was my favorite because their dialogue was so funny.

I can’t wait to read each of other girls’ books but I may pick up Kristen Proby’s other books in the meantime because I enjoyed her writing very much.

 

 

About Kristen Proby

Kristen Proby

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves. Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

6th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Ugly Love by Colleen HooverUgly Love by Colleen Hoover
Narrator: Deacon Lee, Grace Grant
Published by Atria Books, Simon & Schuster Audio
Pub Date: August 5th 2014
Pages: 324
Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
Format: Audiobook | Source: Library
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn't even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn't want love, she doesn't have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don't expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can't handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

So Ugly Love had my emotions on a rollercoaster. I felt just about everything under the sun for these two people. To me, “ugly love” is when two people in a relationship hurt each other but can’t seem to stay apart. And in that sense, is it really “love” though? I do know what it’s like to have a sort of thing close to what Tate and Miles had. I know what it’s like to be with a guy that doesn’t want anything beyond a physical relationship, and I saw a lot of my past self in Tate. I know what it’s like to stick it out hoping for more, and I know what it’s like to feel worthless and used after, and I know what it’s like not being able to stop myself from doing it again and again. I remember a friend saying to me, “You’re stupid.” And I was, and I knew it way before she said it to me. What I had with him was ugly… but it wasn’t love. Luckily I was able to break out of that cycle and find REAL love with someone worthy of my affections. So, I get Tate. But even though I “got” her, she also made me so frustrated a lot of the time. I wished so many times that she’d just tell him to fuck off and leave.

Now, Miles… Miles, Miles, Miles. Miles, for all his faults, is a good guy and he really did care about Tate, but not as much as he cared about continuing to feel bad about himself. I felt for him and everything he’d been through. But I thought he fought the thing with Tate for way too long and really made a mess of things with her. Now for those who have read the book, here’s another thought, a bit spoilery… View Spoiler »

With that said, I do want to point out that I feel this story would fall under the “exception” and not the “rule” (any He’s Just Not That Into You fans out there?!) for these types of relationships/situations/arrangements… me being proof of this. But as a fictional story goes, it made a compelling one for me.

Audiobook Notes

Tate was voiced by Grace Grant and she did a wonderful job. I really enjoyed her performance. Now, Deacon Lee’s Miles was a bit tough at first. I kept hearing a bit of a John Malkovich accent happening and I did not like it. Luckily there’s not as much of him as there is Grace, so I was able to stick it out and by the end I hardly heard it anymore. Overall I’m glad I did this one on audio.

 

 

About Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, and November 9. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Challenges Update: March 2016!

2nd Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reading Challenges

Challenges Update: March 2016!

gwtw-heading-jess

Hi guys!!

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I didn’t do spectacularly these last couple of months with my one challenge, haha. I read three books for this challenge, and here they are:

Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill4 Stars – This one was really cute!! Keep an eye out for a Bitsy Words post on this one soon. :)
November 9 by Colleen Hoover5 Stars – First CoHo read and it was a winner! Read my review HERE!
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover3 Stars – Still mulling this one over but I think I’ll post something on it soon too.

 

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Still going strong! Between the last two months I read six romances.

Addicted to You by Krista Ritchie – 2 stars – I was really excited about this book and it turned out to be a total dud. I hated both the main characters and definitely wasn’t rooting for their unhealthy relationship.

Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott – 2 stars

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 5 stars – I absolutely loved this book. It was an awesome romance and story about the main character figuring out who she is and what she wants.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover – 4 stars – Colleen Hoover is an author that never seems to let me down when it comes to romance. Jess wrote a great review for this book not too long ago.

Losing It by Cora Carmack – 3 stars – I liked this book, it was a really cute romance.

 

I read 9 books for this challenges, but some of the romance books crossed over.
 
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Start a series) – 4 stars – I completely understand why everyone recommends this book. I loved every minute of it. Sarah J Maas never seems to disappoint.
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Brennan (New release) – 3 stars – I was disappointed with this book. I just couldn’t get drawn into the story.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (Goodreads winner) – 3 stars – This was funny, but I enjoyed her first book a lot more.
Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott (Goodreads nominee) – 2 stars – Nothing too special about this book. Typical bad boy/good girl romance.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Book to movie) – 5 stars – Loved, loved, loved this book! Can’t wait to see the movie and read the sequel.
Zero Day by Jan Gangsei (Debut) – 4 stars – This was a really interest political drama.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Start a series) – 4 stars
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (Start a series) – 3 stars – I wasn’t crazy about this book, it was ok but I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series.
Winter by Marissa Meyer (Finish a series) – 5 stars – I thought this was a perfect ending to the Lunar Chronicles series. I loved that we got to see pieces of every characters journey.

 

Have you read any of these? Tell me what you thought!

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Contemporary Romance Challenge: April Link-Up

1st Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Contemporary Romance Challenge: April Link-Up

Helloooooo, friends!

Is it seriously April already?! Wow. This month I listened to a few romance audiobooks that I really enjoyed! Look for more on those tomorrow in my update post. :)  I hope March was a great romance reading month for you all.

If you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge, be sure to do so first HERE. If not, your entries will not count toward the giveaway. I know, right. Mean mom!

If you have March posts or reviews make sure you post your links in the March Link-up, which closes on Apr. 5th!

Monthly Link-Up And Giveaway Details:

  • Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
  • Monthly link-up posts will go live the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
  • In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
    • UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
    • REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
    • MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
  • Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
  • Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)

Monthly Topics:

  • Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance topic for you to participate in if you’d like.
  • Monthly Topic posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.

 

This month’s topic:

Top Ten Contemporary Romances (of all time?)

Ok, so you can blame Danielle for the “of all time” part if it’s too hard for you, because I know this one was hard for me. haha Thanks, D!! 

Here’s 5 adult, and 5 YA romance titles I would consider favorites….

Adult

Waiting On You (Blue Heron #3) by Kristan Higgins
Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins
Sugar Daddy (The Travises #1) by Lisa Kleypas
Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor #3) by Jill Shalvis
Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family #3) by Shannon Stacey

YA

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Something like Normal by Trish Doller
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

 

If you have any questions, please email Jess ([email protected]) or Danielle ([email protected]). Also, make sure you follow us on Twitter (@gonewiththeword & @loveatfirstpage) for challenge updates and reminders! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ContRom2016 to follow everyone’s challenge updates on Twitter!

 

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Thursday Tracks: Tompkins Square Park

31st Mar 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Thursday Tracks

Thursday Tracks: Tompkins Square Park

This weekend I’ll get to see Mumford & Sons in concert and I’m so VERY excited about it. We saw them about two years ago and it became one of my all-time favorite concerts.

This was right before they went on “hiatus” and then came back with a new album that was different from their first two. It was a good different and still very much them. I love it a lot. I remember when the first note of the first track played I got teary eyed. It struck my heart in the most beautiful way. So today I’m featuring that particular song, even though I love so many by them. I hope you enjoy!

Oh babe, meet me in Tompkins Square Park
I wanna hold you in the dark
One last time
Just one last time

And oh babe, can you tell what’s on my tongue?
Can you guess that I’ll be gone?
With the twilight
With the twilight

But no flame burns forever, oh no
You and I both know this all too well
And most don’t even last the night
No they don’t, they say they don’t

Oh babe, I’ve never been so lost
I wanna hear you lie
One last time
Just one last time

But oh babe, I really wish you would not cry
I only ever told you one lie
When it could have been a thousand
It might as well have been a thousand

But no flame burns forever, oh no
You and I both know this all too well
And most don’t even last the night
No they don’t, they say they don’t

And we can talk it round again girl
Round and round, round and round again
Or we could leave it out to die
Leave it out just leave it out

I never tried to trick you babe
I just tried to work it out
But I was swallowed up by doubt
If only things were black and white
‘Cause I just want to hold you tight
Without holding back my mind
Without holding back my mind

But no flame burns forever, oh no
You and I both know this all too well
And most don’t even last the night

Thursday Tracks Spotify Playlist

I’m no longer going to be adding a linky since it’s just an extra step that isn’t needed at this time, so please leave me the links to your posts in the comments! :) Also, I may start reserving this feature for times I don’t have anything to post, so in case you don’t see one posted at anytime, don’t worry about it. I was either too tired to post or something else had to take its place.

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

30th Mar 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff GarvinSymptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Narrator: Tom Phelan
Published by Balzer + Bray, HarperAudio
Pub Date: February 2nd 2016
Pages: 352
Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
Format: Audiobook | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

If I could, I’d put this book in the hands of every person, but teens especially. Symptoms of Being Human was educational without being preachy. It was relatable and funny and sad and really, really great. I loved how while you wonder if Riley was born boy or girl, by never revealing that to us, it drives the point Riley is trying to make: we’re all human and complicated and it’s never binary. Trying to figure it out is pointless, so just go with the flow and enjoy Riley’s story and message.

This is Jeff Garvin’s debut novel and he did an amazing job. The book had great characters that were well developed. There were moments where I was laughing out loud, then there’s those where I cried (at work, no less!). And there were the moments that made me angry. Intolerance is one of those things that just makes my blood boil. And not just tolerance for the LGBTQ community but race and economic status and just all the bullshit people do to others to make them feel OTHER and that they don’t belong here. I wish kindness and fairness ruled this earth but sometimes all we have the power to change is ourselves, so let’s be kind to one another!

“You know what’s messed up? People tolerate secrecy. I see it in my life. It’s like, it’s ok to have gay feelings or trans feelings or gender fluid feelings–as long as you keep them inside. As long as you don’t “act” on them. Whatever that means. People don’t condemn you for being trans. They condemn you for embracing it.”

GO OUT AND READ THIS BOOK! Or better yet, listen to the audiobook which was incredible.

Audiobook Notes

I think part of the reason this book had the effect it did on me was the amazing narration by Tom Phelan. Tom got the tone just right, but more importantly, he got Riley right. Perfect even!

Also! Pretty cool tidbit: Tom Phelan is probably best known for playing Cole, a transgender teen, on ABC’s The Fosters, a show I LOVE. (FYI – His character on that show was really moving. Check it out if you haven’t yet!)

 

About Jeff Garvin

Jeff Garvin

Before becoming a writer, Jeff Garvin acted in films and TV and was the front man of a nationally touring rock band. He has a BFA in film from Chapman University and lives in Southern California, surrounded by adorable, shedding beasts. Symptoms of Being Human is his first novel.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Five Star Reads

28th Mar 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Five Star Reads

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Ok, so I had to scroll a bit to find my most recent five star reads. In fact, these are books I read between September 2015 and now! It’s crazy to me that I don’t have more in these last six months… I have a lot of four stars though. Anyway, here are my picks:

After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes – It was the book I didn’t know I needed. (Full review)
Anything for You (Blue Heron #5) by Kristan Higgins – All my Blue Heron peeps are happy now! (Full review)
The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door #2) by Huntley Fitzpatrick – This book really exceeded my expectations!
The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey – I was NOT expecting to like this as much as I did!! SOOOO GOOD! (The movie was good too, but the book is WAY better. And I never say that because I believe in separating the two mediums, so that should tell you something.)
November 9 by Colleen Hoover – It was my first CoHo read and I LOVED IT! (Full review)

 

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Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams – The fact that I rated this a 5 star is surprising even to me because I was really leery about reading it. It was the ending that got me though, I’m pretty sure I was actually biting my nails.

Winter by Marissa Meyer – I was a little late getting into this series, the only book I had to wait to be released was this one, and it was totally worth it. To finally be able to get to know Winter was awesome, but to finally see the end of Levana was even better. I didn’t want this series to end so that was hard but the way it ended was SO good!

Illuminae by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristof – THIS BOOK THOUGH! I literally stumbled on this book at BEA last year, I kept seeing it in the Penguin Random House booth; stacks and stacks of them, everywhere. I walked by it several times and finally grabbed one simply because I thought if they were pushing it so hard something about it must be good. I’ve heard a lot of authors boast about how their book is “like nothing you’ve ever read before” but this one is FOR REAL! (Full review)

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – I looked back at my Goodreads status updates on this book, one of the last ones I posted is “ Oh Gods NOOO! What the hell!” One of my favorite things about this series is how it all feels like one huge story, yes yes I know there are 4 books but it really doesn’t feel like it, it’s like a really long movie, or like you and your bestie are catching up on life. I know some people don’t like how much Aelin has changed, they don’t think she is “herself”, it’s because she isn’t! The character growth in these novels are amazing and I find it refreshing. I really could go on and on about this book but I won’t but I absolutely loved it.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – Out of all the books in the Raven Cycle, this is the only one I rated with 5 stars (all the others got 4). Ronan can actually remove things from his dreams…how awesome would that be? I think this one is my favorite in the series because it answers some of my questions from The Raven Boys and it literally left me with my mouth hanging open.

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Stacking the Shelves

26th Mar 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

Soooo it’s been about a month since we posted a STS. Oops. That only means I have a lot to show you guys!! YAYY! Ok, here we go!

Book Mail!

Everland by Wendy Spinale
The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14) by J.R. Ward
738 Days by Stacey Kade
Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr
One Silver Summer by Rachel Hickman
Keep Me In Mind by Jaime Reed
Paris for Two by Phoebe Stone
Billy and Me (Billy and Me #1) by Giovanna Fletcher
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
Steeplejack (Alternative Detective #1) by A.J. Hartley
Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy
A Hundred Hours of Night by Anna Woltz

 

Audiobooks For Review!

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra ClareMorena Baccarin (Narrator)
The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy ParksAllyson Ryan (Narrator)
Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa MarrThérèse Plummer (Narrator)
The Total Package by Stephanie EvanovichKatie Schorr (Narrator)
The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology #1) by Wendy HigginsSaskia Maarleveld (Narrator)
Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi (Narrated by herself)

 

Netgalley!

The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare #2) by M.G. Buehrlen
The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare #1) by M.G. Buehrlen
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Invincible Summer by Alice Adams
Over the Line (On the Run #2) by Lisa Desrochers
Just a Girl by Ellie Cahill
Fooling Around by Noelle Adams
Off the Hook (Fishing for Trouble #1) by Laura Drewry
Downtown Devil (Sins in the City #2) by Cara McKenna
Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

21st Mar 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: November 9 by Colleen HooverNovember 9 by Colleen Hoover
Narrator: Zachary Webber, Angela Goethals
Published by Atria Books, Simon & Schuster Audio
Pub Date: November 10th 2015
Pages: 310
Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
Format: Audiobook | Source: Library
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Full disclosure: I went into this novel without even reading the synopsis. I just knew I wanted to read a Colleen Hoover book and my library had this audiobook available, so I went for it. Impulsivity success story!

I love stories where a couple has this amazing day/days together then part ways but keep reuniting or running into each other throughout the years, only to end up together in the end. I LOVE THEM. A Lot Like Love is a movie with such a story and it’s one of my favorites ever. Yes, even with Ashton Kutcher as the love interest. November 9 is also that type of story. YESSS! Well, except for the twisted parts.

See, there’s more to this story. There’s history and dark secrets and when all of it hits the fan, I really didn’t know how Colleen Hoover would turn things around to give us a happy ending. BUT before all of that, I got to fall in love with two characters that were so open to love but at the same time committed to this crazy plan. All I wanted was for them to love each other and be together but nooooo! Haha I appreciated their journey. The ups and downs they go through really stirred up my emotions which, if I’m being honest, hadn’t happened with a book in a long while.

I’m so happy I decided to finally read a CoHo book and to have started with this one. I’m looking forward to reading a lot more of hers now.

Audiobook Notes

Zachary Webber and Angela Goethals narrated this book wonderfully. They brought these characters to life with such real emotion and character. Really loved it!

 

 

About Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, and November 9. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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