Monday, April 27, 2015

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway



Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

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Another day, another AWESOME ARC to talk about. I had read a small blurp in a library magazine about this book and went to see if I could get an ARC to review. Lucky for me, my request was granted. 

Let me begin this review saying that when I finished this book, I went to work and insisted the YA book buyer get this book. I could easily see this book being the next big thing for both teens and parents to read. The story has a great overreaching life lesson for both teens and parents. Both can get something out of this story. I, personally, had a lot of inner reflection after finishing this one.

What would you do as a parent if you kid's best friend was kidnapped by his father? How would you handle the grief of your own friend and neighbor, the parents of said kidnap child? How on earth could you not place a GPS tracking device in your own kid? Trust me, I asked my husband if we could do that and I got a funny look.

This book examines what happens when parents try to hold of too tight for fear of everything and teens who lived with the loss of a good friend almost every day. What happens when he returns and how would he fit back into that fold? The book also gives us a great look at the adjustment period. It's not a happy I'm home but the emotions of a teen who just discovered his mother isn't dead and his father is considered the bad guy? How would you handle that knowing your dad was there for you and took care of everything for you?

A lot of questions and inner reflection for all of the characters that gave this book a good amount of "meat and bones" for the reader. Of course we get typical high school drama, best friend crazies, and love as well but the bigger issues really made this book. It made me pause and say, "I can't put my kid in a bubble and will have to let her find her own path." 

"Emmy & Oliver" is due out June 23, 2015. Make sure to stop by your local library to request a copy to read. This one could be the next John Green...that one book that was always on a hold and never on the shelf at the library. It was that good!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines



To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…


******

About two weeks ago, I received an email from a co-worker at the library letting me know that "Until Friday Night" by Abbi Glines was available for an ARC request. After screaming like a fan girl for 5 minutes and waving my hands around, I requested the ARC. I was lucky enough to be granted a viewing of this wonderful book.

"Until Friday Night" is set in high school and listed under YA. Glines creates a whole new setting with all new characters centered around their families and football. As always, I'm a huge fan of football books. What I like most about this was reading about the relationships and not a play-by-play of the games. Sure, we heard about people scoring touchdowns and being at the games but it was the right amount of football to the book.

What I loved was the two main characters. I felt like I was really, truly, reading about high schooler's. I loved the thought process of both characters. I loved that Glines didn't shy away from how West thought about girls. Knowing he was using them to escape and his honestly to himself about that. I also LOVED his relationship with his parents. 

Most times you don't get that kind of honestly about a guy in a book, even in the YA universe. You always read about Mr. Prefect who makes every guy pale in comparison and then messes up beyond belief. At least, that's what I've been reading lately and maybe this is where my book slump and lack of posting came from. Glines gives us a real character with meat to him that shows many facets of good and bad. Someone who is struggling with their present situation while trying to balance everything else.

With the ending, I had to go out and see if more books are coming. Yes they are but focused on different characters. We're left with a question or two but I think that will carry over into other stories with the other boys helping each other out.

Glines is a popular author at our library and we hardly keep her books on our shelves. When someone is in a book slump I always suggest one of her books because they always seem to have the perfect mixture of character development, drama, and setting. I can easily say this book is one of her best yet.

My only concern is the YA rating. Yes, it's high school and less steamy compared to her NA novels but her frank characterization of sex, relationships, and teenage activity (drinking) might turn some off. Do we get details or descriptions on the smexy times? No. But it is discussed frankly and openly in the characters minds. I appreciated that it was honest with its characters throughout the book. However, I could see some libraries placing this in Fiction to be safe. I would place it in YA knowing it's for an older YA. But that's just me ;)

"Until Friday Night" is due out August 25, 2015. Just in time for football season!

Friday, April 3, 2015

My favorite author is having a box set sale.

I know. I know. I've been long absent on this blog. Now that life is starting to settle down at home, I plan to blog lots more. I have lots of books to talk about and can't wait to share them with you!

When I saw that Emily Snow wanted to do a special posting, I signed up for it since she's once of my favorite Indie author's. To read more about Emily Snow and my love of her books on this blog, click here.

Below is the deal she's offering. Three singles for a total of $0.99 for a limited time. This is a great deal if you haven't read these books yet.

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What's included? See below...

Uncovered

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My name is Lizzie Connelly, and I have it all. The gorgeous apartment. The new job most women would rip out their own souls for—working for Margaret Emerson at Emerson & Taylor. I have one of those lives you’ve always dreamt about, the kind you only see on HBO. But, the thing is, that life is a lie. A fa├žade. It all started with one call. “Everything you know about your story—your father’s story—is a lie. It’s up to you to uncover everything.” One call, and I turned my world upside down to dig my way into Margaret’s life—the woman who I’d never laid eyes on until recently. My stepmother who took everything after my father died fourteen years ago. The plan was simple—figure out what role she played in my father’s death and expose her to the world. But here’s another thing: simplicity doesn’t exist, and my plans are flawed from the beginning because I never anticipated Oliver. Sexy, too smart for his own goddamn good, and infuriating, he’s the one person who could blow my plans to uncover Margaret. She’s his mother, and in another life, that would have made him my stepbrother. I want to pretend that none of that matters, that I can simply finish what I came to do without sparing him a second glance and another thought. Like I said, though, there’s no such thing as simplicity. My real name is Gemma Emerson. And this is my story. 

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Savor You

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*Includes a bonus chapter from Devoured from Lucas Wolfe's POV!* Kylie Wolfe and bassist Wyatt McCrae have been bad for each other for the last several years, but it’s impossible for them to end their toxic push and pull. Not when their attraction is constantly fueled by lust and proximity—she’s her older brother’s Lucas’s assistant and Wyatt is his best friend and band mate. So when Your Toxic Sequel makes a move to record a new album in Nashville, Kylie decides to make the latest break with Wyatt official by getting the hell out of town. She’ll spend a week in New Orleans. A week to immerse herself in the Mardi Gras scene. One week to not think about the last time she was in New Orleans, seven years ago with Wyatt. Seven days where she won’t have to see Wyatt every day just to fall ridiculously in love with him all over again—where, if she wants to, she can have a normal, no-strings attached fling that won’t end in heartbreak. Too bad Wyatt ruins everything by showing up, as gorgeous and demanding and awful for her as ever. Wyatt refuses to let Kylie give up on him. Not without reminding her why they both fell so far and hard in the first place. Not without making her savor the good memories and what could be their last chance with each other.
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Wrecked

85e3d6f9c5991cc9b911323827b28469Ever since Lily died two years ago, Evie has been lost. She exists but doesn’t live, and she copes the only way she knows how: by wrecking things. She exposes her dad’s affairs, ends things with her longtime boyfriend, and just last semester she destroyed her music scholarship. Desperate to break away from all the destruction she’s caused and start over, Evie reinvents herself at her new university. But then Rhys, her new voice instructor, happens. He’s gorgeous, insanely talented and a part of the dark past she’s trying to overcome. Rhys’s brother is the reason why Evie's life is such a mess right now, the reason why Lily, Evie's sister, is dead. Even though Rhys is the last person Evie should ever want, for the first time in two years, wrecking things seems…right. 
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Stay up to date with Emily Snow. She always offers a lot of great things online. Right now, a free ongoing story with our favorite rock star Lucas Wolfe!

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Best Young Adult Books of 2014

City of Heavenly Fire
by Cassandra Clare
Where She Went
by Gayle Forman
Isla and the Happily Ever After
by Stephanie Perkins


The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater


The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green


Under the Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi


Chosen at Nightfall
by C.C. Hunter


The Book of Broken Hearts
by Sarah Ockler


What I Thought Was True
by Huntley Fitzpatrick


Better Off Friends
by Elizabeth Eulberg


Killer Instinct
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Two of Us
by Elizabeth Eulberg

Monday, February 2, 2015

Best Fiction Books of 2014

This list includes Fiction, Mystery, and Fantasy Fiction books that I rated 5 stars in Goodreads during 2014.

Outlander by
Diana Gabaldon
Sizzle by Julie Garwood

The Perfect Hope
by Nora Roberts


The Book of Life
by Deborah Harkness




Visions by Kelley Armstrong
True Love
by Jude Deveraux

Murder of Crows
by Anne Bishop 


Brazen by Kelley Armstrong

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Best Books of 2014

I'm a little late with posting the best books of 2014 but better late than never. What I noticed when looking through the popular listings like Entertainment Weekly or People or even the NY Times was that the books listed were mostly Fiction and mostly serious and heavy. None were New Adult (NA)and hardly any Young Adult (YA) or Children's. Reading through the best of lists throughout December became a frustrating thing.

Why are the "serious" fiction books always at the top. Why not a sexy New Adult book that can be just as thought provoking and series as a traditional mainstream author? Why does the pickers of the best of list still seem to look down on YA and all of the great things it has to offer in reading.

Finally, fed up with the mainstream best of lists, I decided to post my own. Ha! Then the holidays and my daughter's new love of hockey happened. So, here's the best of for 2014 in 2015.

Please note the books listed are in no particular order. The books were published at different times, not only in 2014. These were books that I read and rated 5 stars in Goodreads during 2014. Also, I have split the selections into four categories of New Adult/Hot Romance, Other Fiction, Young Adult, and Children's. Since there are a lot of books I loved over the year, I'll post my best of list over the next few days. First we'll start with my favorite....

New Adult/ Hot Romance


Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
You Were Mine by Abbi Glines
Breakable by Tammara Webber

 

Be with Me by J. Lynn

Better When He's Bad
by Jay Crownover

Fall Fourth Down by Tijan

 

Crashed by K. Bromberg


Kiro's Emily
by Abbi Glines (Novella)

Real by Katy Evans

 

Beautiful Bastard
by Christina Lauren

Consumed by Emily Snow


Lick by Kylie Scott

Any Man of Mine
by Rachel Gibson

 

Tangled by Emma Chase

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Unraveling You by Jessica Sorensen




A few years ago after reading a few New Adult books, I stumbled onto this gem (see above) by Jessica Sorensen. It was deep and emotional and gut wrenching and funny all at the same time. This story brought out so many emotions in me, I don't even think I could name them all. More importantly, it was an amazing book to read. This book has now become a series which our library has. So, imagine my excitement when I see a Facebook post from the same author that the kids of characters from the above book now have their own book. The best part, the first book was FREE to download at that time.



Lyric Scott has always had a good life. Outgoing, spunky, and musically talented, she’s constantly surrounded by family and friends, yet she still feels there’s something missing.

Then she meets her new next-door neighbor Ayden Gregory. Mysterious, sweet, and sad, Ayden is the exact opposite of Lyric and exactly what she needs to fill the void in her life.

Ayden has been through more than most people and believes his life is always going to be rocky, so when he’s suddenly adopted by the Gregorys, he’s thrown for a turn. But even with a new, loving family, he still finds himself haunted by the memories of his old life. The only true breath of fresh air is when he’s with his best friend, Lyric Scott.

As Lyric and Ayden grow closer, the lines of their friendship start to blur. But when Ayden's past unexpectedly pushes its way into his new life, their friendship and newfound attraction will be tested.

**A novel about Ella and Micha's daughter and Lila and Ethan's son from The Secret Series. However, this series can be read on its own.**

******
My lack of blog posts suggests that it's been a busy end of year. That is true but I have also been going through a bit of a book slump. Thinking to myself if I have to read one more silly situation about bad decisions I might bang my head on the wall. Unraveling You really pulled me out of my book slump.
The writing was lyrical in many ways because both characters tend to think in music and lyrics. Music has saved one and is the life of the other. The book also brought that deep emotion forward. Where you really felt for and with the character what they were going through. You could raed this as a stand alone but it's great being able to revisit some favorite characters as parents. One of my favorite points was when the men where left to discipline a kid. It went something like..."Well, what now?" "See, this is happens when they leave us in charge." Nice funny moments inserted into the story to lighten the main story and theme.
I must have burned through this book over a day plan to download the second book in the series once the third is close to being published. Please note that this book sits on the YA/NA line. Also, it's shorter than a regular novel but longer than a novella.
Happy New Year to all the book readers out there!