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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Bitsy Words: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

7th Apr 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Bitsy Words: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

Bitsy Words: The Impostor Queen by Sarah FineThe Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
Series: The Impostor Queen #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pub Date: January 5th 2016
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover | Source: Library
Genres: Fantasy, LGBT, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

I thought The Impostor Queen was such a fantastic fantasy, it’s everything I always look for! The world-building details are doled out in just the right way.  I loved learning about the Valtia, the Kupari, and life in the temple. And I loved Elli from the start. She goes on a huge journey, physically and emotionally, throughout the book and I thought she was wonderful—strong, inquisitive, compassionate, and ready to learn. It’s also worth noting that she is bisexual, which is all too rare in YA and YA fantasy especially. I really loved how naturally it was presented as part of her character, and I loved Mim and Oskar both as love interests and as individuals.

 

Even the smallest secondary character had defining traits and a part to play. I loved Freya, Raimo, Sig, so many of the cave dwellers, and I absolutely hated the priests. There are quite a few surprises in the latter half and I really enjoyed seeing how the story unfolded. There is a lot of action and politics mixed in with the magic and romance. I also loved the magic system and how it was used in the book. It took an unoriginal idea (ice magic and fire magic, dual opposites), and made it feel fresh and original in how it manifested itself. There were some heartbreaking moments and scenes that were hard to read but overall I would recommend this without question to fantasy fans.

 

About Sarah Fine

Sarah Fine is a clinical psychologist and the author of the Servants of Fate and Guards of the Shadowlands series. She was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast.

Morgan @ 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!

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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

gwtw-heading-jess

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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Review: Stone Field by Christy Lenzi

28th Mar 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: Stone Field by Christy LenziStone Field by Christy Lenzi
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Pub Date: March 29th 2016
Pages: 320
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

In a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Stone Field is a passionate and atmospheric story of how violence and vengeance pervert the human spirit, and how hatred can be transcended by love. 

I’m so conflicted. On one hand this was everything I wanted the book to be, as far as a Wuthering Heights retelling set in the Civil War South. On the other hand, it was stranger than I imagined, and upsetting, and only about half of Wuthering Heights’ story.

I rarely review books less than 4 stars on the blog but I have a lot to say about Stone Field, and I do think it will be worth reading for a lot of people. It was for me. Though I will say point blank, if you did not like Wuthering Heights, or don’t think you’d like Wuthering Heights, you will NOT enjoy Stone Field. It follows the trajectory of WH in its makeup and tone, including some very passionate insta-love. I suppose in the original it was akin to insta-obsession since they were children when they first meet, and they are older teens here. It works for the characters and for the wildness of the story, but I know it will bother some readers.

I really enjoyed most of the book. I could see what the author wanted to do and reading her Author’s Note made me appreciate all the details of southern Missouri life that she included. I loved her use of language and the power of words. The tone was dark, fiery, and emotional. And she did a wonderful job of painting these very passionate, opinionated characters. I think Effie was my favorite character and I love her ambition to become a doctor.

Because of the nature of the time period, there are a lot of upsetting race related issues, as well as issues related to women. The way they are treated verbally and sometimes physically, the emotional trauma that they are put through.  But the issues are presented in a historically appropriate fashion, which in some ways made it so much harder to read. To imagine real people using such hurtful words and moreover having these hateful attitudes while truly believing they were right. It hurt my heart. And it’s not like these attitudes have disappeared today, either. The longer the book went on, the more difficult it got to read; I also didn’t care for the last quarter of the book, although the very end redeemed it a bit. It took an upsetting turn that I didn’t anticipate.

Cat is a witchy, strange, different sort of girl, which means she is misunderstood by just about everyone except her father and Stone Field. She’s dark and passionate, and loyal to herself. She had a unique view of the world but was very selfish and unlikeable at times, much like her inspiration Catherine Earnshaw. The book also dealt a lot with religion and trying to tame her wild ways through Christian kindness.  I loved the juxtaposition of Cat’s wild work, her vibrant response to nature vs the town’s increasing preoccupation with propriety and Christian evangelism.

Stone Field, the name that Cat gives the man she finds in their field, was an enigma for much of the book. We come to learn that he is a mix of Creek Indian and possibly African American; he slowly regains his memory and it’s just heartbreaking to learn the prejudices of every kind he’s endured. Even the “kind ones”; I don’t want to spoil because I think his journey is important to the story. I understood his need to find himself. His quest to uncover his past really brought out the selfishness of Cat’s character; she wanted him to forget it all and stay with her and embrace their love. That bothered me a lot, that she couldn’t see it from his perspective at all. That being said, I didn’t like how his story unfolded and wish it had gone differently. But I liked the glimpses of his sense of humor and his personality when he and Cat talk about Shakespeare and the constellations.

It was a beautifully written but flawed book with harsh characters and soul-consuming love vs duty. I’m glad I read it but I’m not sure I would read it again. I would recommend it to readers who love Wuthering Heights and readers who are intrigued by life during the Civil War.

 

 

About Christy Lenzi

Christy Lenzi

Christy Lenzi grew up in the hills and hollows of the Ozarks and now lives in California’s sunny Central Valley. When she’s not working, writing, or reading, she is fond of stuffing messages into bottles and throwing them into the river, making art, and zooming around on her motor scooter, Roxanne.

Morgan @ 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: The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

23rd Mar 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Opportunist by Tarryn FisherThe Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
Series: Love Me with Lies #1
Published by Author
Pub Date: November 14th 2011
Pages: 278
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.

Olivia and Caleb, these two are just one crazy and toxic couple. They both do some pretty extreme things in the name of love. Olivia and Caleb meet in college and their twisted story just spirals on from there. It’s hard to talk about details because there are so many twists and turns in this book that really shouldn’t be spoiled.

Olivia goes to extremes to get Caleb back and keep him. After their relationship ends, Olivia feel like she is getting another chance when she sees Caleb in a music store one day and he doesn’t seem to recognize her. She could tell him the truth or she could stick to her scheming ways and try to make things right with him again. Obviously, she chooses not to tell the truth and just go with it. Olivia is definitely complicated, she loves Caleb but she screws things up left and right.

Now lets talk about Caleb, he blames Olivia for a lot of things when he is equally guilty, if not a little more. I can’t say too much about what he does without giving things away, but let’s just say Olivia is not the only manipulative one. I had a problem with Caleb, he’s so quick to blame everything on Olivia but he’s not perfect at all. He made a lot of mistakes in their relationship and instead of owning it he just seems too pass the blame on to Olivia. He’s a pretty shady character himself.

Another major player in this book is Leah, she’s Caleb’s current girlfriend when he gets amnesia.  She is even more manipulative than Olivia and down right evil at times, it seems like Caleb has a type. She is not just sitting around letting Olivia have Caleb, she is fighting for him, and she’s fighting dirty. By the end of the book you just want her gone.

I’ve seen a lot of ranting about the ending of this book but I thought it was fitting. It was exactly how I thought these two would end up. It may not make everyone happy but I think it’s realistic.

Olivia and Caleb are not perfect, it’s hard to even tell if they’re good people. This isn’t a classic love story, sometimes it’s hard to root for them and it’s definitely not a fairytale. The Opportunist is a unique take on a love story where the two main characters are crazy about each other, but have no clue how to make things right.

 

 

About Tarryn Fisher

Tarryn Fisher

Tarryn Fisher is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of five novels, and is currently working on two more (Marrow and the second installment of Never Never). She is the co-founder of Clothed Caption, a fashion blog she runs with her friend, Madison Seidler. Tarryn resides in the Seattle area with her family. She loves rainy days, Coke, and thinks Instagram is the new Facebook. Tarryn is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Don’t Talk About Enough

21st Mar 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Don’t Talk About Enough


Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) By Deborah Harness – This is one of the only books I have reread again and again. I read it a few months after it came out, then made everyone else I know read it too. Witches, daemons, vampires and the love story….swoon!

Ready Player One Ernest Cline – Okay, so it hasn’t been that long since i’ve read this book but I really don’t gush about it as often as I should, really. I want to live in the OASIS, I should have gone to high school in the Oasis, it’s an introverts dream!

Rook by Sharon Cameron – Sophia Bellamy is not who you think she is, or is she? GAH, I love this book so much. There is a new revolution taking place where Paris used to be, and if you oppose it, you will meet your death. That is unless you are lucky enough to be rescued by the mysterious Red Rook

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld – Afterworlds is a book about a writer writing a book. No wait, it works really! It’s told in alternating stories between Darcy, the writer and Lizzy, Darcy’s main character. I loved this book because you get to follow Darcy through her real life while tagging along with Lizzy in one of the most epic adventures ever. I really didn’t want this book to end.

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) by Tana French – Tana French, and this entire series, easily falls into my all time favorite category. Set in Dublin, Detective Rob Ryan must investigate a murder case involving a 12 year old girl, but here’s the thing, 20 years earlier, detective Ryan was found in those same woods covered in blood with no memory of what happened to him or his missing friends. It’s SO GOOD!

 

11/22/63 by Stephen King – I first read this book in the summer of 2013 and for a long time, it was all I talked about. I was so taken aback by the characters, the writing, the settings…everything really. The size of the book is a bit daunting (842 pages) but it really didn’t feel like it at all. I’m planning a re-read this summer before I binge the show.

The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Steadman – Oh this book! Tom and Isabel are lighthouse keepers on a remote island. After years and years of trying unsuccessfully to have a baby, one washes up on the island with it’s deceased father. They keep the child as their own, but at what cost? I ugly cried reading this before ugly crying was a thing.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer – This was the first “letter” novel I’ve ever read. Juliet is looking for her next book subject, she finds just that in a letter from a man she’s never met. I think it’s cute, charming and romantic. A fun quick read.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – I love this book for so many reasons. The dog as the narrator, the race car driving dad, the father daughter dynamic and the dog humor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s sad as hell but is also very good!

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb – Do you have that one character that came into your life when your were a teenager and just stuck with you, even now? Delores Price is mine. I related with Delores in several ways growing up. This is a coming of age book with a pretty messed up story, though I should caution, it’s not for the faint of heart.

 

 

Ashley @ 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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Bitsy Words: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

17th Mar 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Bitsy Words: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

Bitsy Words: You Were Here by Cori McCarthyYou Were Here by Cori McCarthy
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: March 1st 2016
Pages: 400
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2.5 Stars

Grief turned Jaycee into a daredevil, but can she dare to deal with her past?

On the anniversary of her daredevil brother's death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake's favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother's exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn't bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Jaycee’s brother Jake loved to do crazy stunts, he’d take any dare, and he lived for the adrenaline rush. One day, that love of the thrill cost Jake his life when one of his dangerous stunts kills him. Five years later, his sister Jaycee is still recovering from the lost and the trauma. Now, she wants to be just like Jake and tries to recreate moments in his life to feel closer to him.

The book follows several characters. Jaycee’s ex-friend Natalie, Natalie’s boyfriend Zach, their friend Bishop, and Jake’s childhood friend Mikivikious. Honestly, I didn’t connect with any of the characters. I didn’t find any of them particularly likable. That being said, I did like how each character had their own struggles to overcome throughout the story. They all had their own personal demons that they had to deal with. Mik was by far my favorite. He was quiet and supportive, all he wants is to help Jaycee. Plus, I really loved the illustrations that we’re given for his POV. One major downside was that with all the different POVs it was hard to give the characters the depth and focus they needed to make them a little more well rounded.

The pace of this book was a little slow, it was more character driven than plot driven, which was difficult for me because the characters were pretty bland. Overall, It is a good story about grief, finding yourself, and figuring out who you want to be.

 

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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