Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - January 31st, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  I added quite a few this week, so not great for trying to get less books, but hey, any new books are things that make me happy.  

Free e-books for Review:

The first one I got for a Book Tour.  The second one I got through The Book Machine.

Free e-books:

The first one I got through Amazon, the second through Nook.

Physical book won:

I won this back in October from Books a la mode, just finally got it in the mail from the publisher.

Purchased from The Book Outlet:

 With a $5 gift code I got from them, it only cost $5 out of my pocket to get these 3 books, and the middle one was a hardcover book!  It's the only one I've actually read of the three, so that means the other two are ones I need to read still.

Physical book purchased from the book store:

Again I've already read the first one, just needed it on my shelf, as well as my sister wants to finish reading the series.  And the 2nd one I had to have, loved that show, and thought it would be fun to play!
Physical ARCs:

 The first one I don't know if I requested through Shelf Awareness newsletter, or what, but now that I read what it is actually about, not sure I want to read it.  I may let a science teacher at my school have it.  The 2nd one is a street team that I'm very excited to be a part of.  Can't wait to read the book and share it with you.  I also got that cool book bag with it!


The first two are from Netgalley.  The 2nd two are from Edelweiss.  And can I get a squee for how excited about the last one, Get Dirty, I am?  Can't wait to read it!  Loved the first one.  

Whew!!!  So many books this way!  But some pretty good ones.  So what did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday - January 30th, 2015

So, I went from not doing this meme at all the last half of 2014, to now I started my first Friday of 2015, and now the last Friday of January 2015 doing a meme I used to be pretty regular with.  But I am definitely open to new followers, so this will be a fun time to join in again. And once again, I'm in between reviews.

Feature and Follow Friday is sponsored by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The purpose of this event is to learn about the two featured bloggers each week, as well as to increase your own blog following by joining in on the fun! This week's question/activity is:

Hard print (real thing) or Kindle/Nook, which is your favorite?

This is an easy, but detailed answer for me.  I prefer to own an actual book.  I want to put it on my shelf and be able to look at it.  However, what I love about my Nook is that I can get so many more advanced e-galleys that way than I ever did as actual physical ARCs.  Plus, I've gotten a lot of free e-books, ones that I've been excited to hear about, as well as once in awhile ones that I've wanted to read but just haven't had the money to buy.  So, give me a real book first, but don't take away my Nook!  

What about you?  Which do you prefer?  And if you don't mind, if you're not already following me, I've listed my preferred methods of being followed below.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix (TBR Challenge #1)

First I'd like to thank vvb32reads for this book which I won on from a giveaway on their blog.   This was a book I just knew I had to read, as well as own, as soon as I saw it. It was almost fitting for where I live because we just got an IKEA store in town and the book looks like an IKEA catalog and takes place in an IKEA knock-off store.  The book was a pretty original idea in the way it was formatted.  However, the story itself wasn't that original.  In a way it was similar to the background story of the Poltergeist movie, or any other story where a new building was built on top of an old prison/asylum/burial ground/you get the idea.  That doesn't mean it wasn't a good story, don't get me wrong, I just wasn't as blown away as I had expected I would be.  Still, I love the format of the book so much that I won't ever get rid of it even if I don't intend to read it again.  It will be fun to look at the ads and other pictures in it again.

Basically we have the main character, Amy.  She is an employee at the Orsk store, but is hoping to get transferred back to the Orsk store she had worked at before, mainly because she's not a fan of her boss.  Her boss's name is Basil.  And she feels like he is always pushing at her, like he doesn't think she can do her job.  On this day it starts with some weird things happening as the store gets ready to open.  Some doors aren't opening, the escalators don't turn on right away, a couch is found with what looks and smells like someone took a dirty diaper and smeared it all over.  And when Amy tries to sneak around a back way to avoid Basil, she sees a man that she doesn't recognize as an employee in the store before they have opened.  When she gets called to the office, she assumes she is going to get fired.  But another employee, Ruth Anne is also sitting by his office waiting to talk to Basil. And since Ruth Anne is like "the" model employee, Amy thinks maybe something else is going on.  It turns out that the district manager wants them to figure out what is happening to cause these weird things before corporate people stop by.  So Basil asks Amy and Ruth Anne to stay at the store overnight to help him catch whoever might be causing these issues.

The night starts out pretty uneventful.  Other than when Amy keeps going to the bathroom to get away from Basil's annoying talking, she notices graffiti showing up that is new.  And then when they go out to do their rounds, they find that one of the doors won't lock.  When they split up to continue the rounds, Amy and Ruth Anne run into two other employees, Trinity and Matt, who have snuck in to do their own investigating, only they are there to look for ghosts.  Part of the reasoning behind their search for the paranormal is all the people who have received text messages from unknown numbers saying "help" whenever they've had their phones in the store.  Also, Trinity has done research showing that the store was built on land that was once a prison with a bad history.

Of course all kinds of scary things begin to occur, they get separated, and things go from bad to worse.  When Amy tries to call 911 to get the police there, against Basil's initial wishes, the cops can't seem to find the store, their GPS tells them there is no such location.  In the end, not all of them will make it out, and those who do will not know how to go on as if the night never happened.

When I say scary things, I mean extremely creepy things.  I could totally see this as a horror movie, the descriptions of what happen were definitely pretty detailed and like I said, scary.  The catalog pictures go from being pretty realistic seeming types of furniture to horror/torture contraptions that go along with the story.  A fun, scary read, as well as a quick one. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Deadfall (Blackbird Duology #2) by Anna Carey

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  This week I've chosen the 2nd book of a duology by an author I have enjoyed in the past.  And the first book, Blackbird, was so totally original and unique, that I can't wait to see how she continues it. It was told in 2nd person, something you rarely see, and as a former English teacher, I loved the example of this type of writing.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

In the compelling sequel to Blackbird, Anna Carey delivers a gritty and adrenaline-filled story of a girl desperate to escape her mysterious and terrifying assailants. Told in second person, this heart-pounding thriller puts the reader in front of the target.

A week ago, you woke up in Los Angeles with no memory of who you are. The only thing you knew: people are trying to kill you. You put your trust in Ben, but he betrayed you and broke your heart. Now you've escaped to New York City with a boy named Rafe, who says he remembers you from before. But the two of you are not safe. The same people who are after you are tailing Rafe as well. As the chase heats up, your memory starts to return, but your past cannot save you from the terrifying circumstances of your present, or the fact that one wrong move could end this game forever.

With enemies on every side, and not a reprieve in sight, Deadfall will grab readers and refuse to let go. Perfect for fans of the Maze Runner series and the Legend series.

Sounds pretty good, right?  Did you read the first one yet?  What did you think?  If not, what do you expect from reading a book in 2nd person?  This is supposed to be published in June, I'll be hoping for maybe an e-galley if possible!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

First, thanks to Edelweiss and Tor Teen for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  This is my first book by this author, even though I do really want to read the Article 5 series, I just haven't gotten a chance to pick them up yet. But now that I've read and really enjoyed this one, I'll have to make sure I get around to them sooner.  The cover and title of this make it sound more like a fantasy novel than a dystopian novel.  But reading the description of it, I knew I had to give it a try.  And it was very good.

The main character is Aya, or as she is called at "The Garden," Clover.  In this future world, women have become the slaves/property of the men.  This happened after women began to take over the world.  Now women live in towns, and at a certain time in their lives they are brought to be used to procreate.  And there is a problem, because of the way that most people now live off of food supplement pills instead of actual food.  Except for those women able to escape and live in the wild.  Or the very rich, they get to have real food.  The problem is that the pills have made it so many of the women are unable to have children.  And so the men want to go steal all the women from the outer lying cities or even those in the wilderness.  They go to The Garden where they will be fixed up with special treatments and then taught how to please a man.  This might sound great, but once they produce a child, they are then sent back a lot and auctioned off again.  Especially if they only produce females.  Aya was kidnapped in the wild, where her mother had taken her and her aunt and cousins to keep them safe.  The whole time Aya is in the Garden, she does her best to not go to auction.  Getting in fights, trying to escape, etc.  She makes a friend of a Driver, a group/race of people who cannot talk.  He tries to help her escape, but to no avail.  She is finally sent to an auction, where again she does her best to not be purchased.  What happens next only throws another wrench into her plan/desire to get away, back to the wilds and save her cousins.

There were 4 main parts to this book.  And it was definitely well split up into each section. This is a standalone, there will be no series.  And it does end well enough for that.  While not everything is all tied up in a pretty little bow, it is tied up quite perfectly.  I highly recommend this book. And it was nice to have a standalone book for a change.  I read this on the day of the National Readathon, read it all in one day.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

I'm not sure exactly who to thank for the ARC of this that I received in the mail about a month ago.  I don't know if I requested it through a Shelf Awareness giveaway, or if I have maybe got a contact in Scholastic since I emailed last fall and requested Blue Lily, Lily Blue when I was turned down for an egalley of it.  At first when I received this I was unsure.  I'd read the author before, and really enjoyed her work, but this was another one that seemed a bit younger than I usually read these days.  The blurb definitely caught my attention, and I'm so glad that I gave it a chance.  While it is maybe more of a middle school book, it is about the time surrounding World War II and looks at the war from different places and different stations in life. 

The story begins with a little fairy tale/legend found by a boy named Otto, 50 years before World War II began.  Otto found a book and read it when he was hiding in the forest from his friends during a game of Hide and Seek. What's pretty cool about this first part, is that now I understand why we say "Olly olly oxen free!"  Because it comes from the German words, "Alle, alle auch sind frei," or maybe it does.  I think it means, something like, all in free.  I don't know, but it was fun to read it if it was true.  Otto actually meets the 3 girls in the fairy tale, and they give him a harmonica that has some magic in it, to help save someone.  We don't know exactly what happens to it after that.  We leave Otto's story and jump into Friedrich's story in 1933 Germany. 

Friedrich is a young boy with a birthmark on his face.  Because of that, and the fact that he seemed to hear music and be conducting it all the time, he was made fun of in school, so his father brought him to work at the harmonica factory with him in the mornings. Then in the afternoon he gave him lessons, as well as other people working at the factory that helped with his education.  This is a time when Hitler is coming to power.  But Friedrich and his father and Uncle Gunter are not supporters.  When his sister Elisabeth comes home from nursing school, supposedly to begin working with their local doctor, things change.  She has become a supporter of Hitler, and according to the new laws, it is possible that Friedrich might need to be sterilized because they wouldn't want him passing on the birthmark that is hereditary.  Everything seems to be going okay until Friedrich sends the harmonica away in a shipment for the factory.  We're left when the local police catch him trying to run away to save his father from a camp.

Then we go to learn about Mike and his brother Frank in Pennsylvania in 1935.  They are living in boys home because they have no family anymore.  When they went there, their grandmother had made the woman in charge promise to get them adopted out together.  But the headmaster doesn't seem to plan to do that.  In fact she takes any money or extra food that is given by charity for the boys and sells it or keeps it for herself.  Because she doesn't want to lose this money, she is planning to send all the younger ones, like Frank, to the state home, which is supposed to be even worse than where they are now.  And she will send the older ones, like Mike to work for more money for her.  When they are almost ready to run away, they end up getting a chance to be adopted, both of them together, because of their musical ability.  This new family doesn't turn out to be quite what they'd hoped, even though they get harmonicas and think it may be their way out if they can learn to play enough to get chosen for a special tour.  We leave these two when they think things might get worse and something really scary happens as they try to run away.

The third part of the story is a girl, Ivy, who lives in California in 1942.  She has finally lived in one town for a full year when her father gets a letter saying they will be able to move and possibly live in a house for a change.  A house of their own, and it could be a permanent place. She doesn't want to move, she was just about to get to play a solo on the radio with her 5th grade class.  But they have to leave the very next day, and with her older brother Fernando away in the war, she has promised him to keep their family together.  It turns out they are going to be keeping up the orange grove for a Japanese man who has been sent to an Internment camp along with his family just because they are Japanese, even though the father of the family served in World War I for America and received medals of honor.  The rich man who lives down the street really wants to buy the Japanese man's house, partly because he thinks that maybe he was actually a spy.  Ivy meets a friend, the rich man's daughter.  Many things though are not as they seem. The great school that Ivy is now excited to go to and join the orchestra is one of those things.  And if the rich man is able to buy the house, will Ivy's family lose their new home?  And of course, will her brother make it home from the war?

The very end of the book is a story that will tie all of these characters together, and it all deals with the harmonica and music.  Even Otto gets brought back in to finish the fairy tale and give the girls in the story their happy ending.

Another great story by Pam Munoz Ryan.  A great tale of World War II, and how people, children, lived and survived during these times.  I will be putting it on my list of books to buy for my high school library for next year.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - January 25th, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  I think I did a lot better this week!  Only one physical book, and it was through YA Book Exchange, so by getting it, I actually got rid of another one!

YA Book Exchange Trade:

I traded Kristen at My Friends are Fiction for this ARC of Talon, something I wish I'd gotten at BEA last summer.


E-Galley For Review from Book Blasts and Blog Tours hosted by I Am A Reader:

Free e-books:

Maybe I haven't done as well with e-books this week though.  Oh well, it's the life of a book blogger!

What did you add to your bookshelves this week?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

National Readathon Day - January 24th, 2015 #timetoread

So, I'm not quite ready to post a review of the book I'm reading, I'm not even  halfway through it yet.  However, with today being National Readathon Day, and the hours of Noon-4 pm are supposed to be set aside just for reading!!  So, I'm hoping to get a lot of my book read in that 4 hours.  The only problem is that I won't be able to just sit and read at home because my dogs are kind of pains in the butt.  So, I'm going to go and maybe sit at Panera or some other place with some comfy chairs and read.  Some place with comfy chairs and refreshments of some sort, that's why Panera is in my head.  I kinda wish I'd started thinking about this earlier and signed up to try to raise money like you can see others doing on the website here:

Since my goal was to post every day this year, I had to have something today.  And this is it, and maybe, just maybe, I'll finish my book in those 4 hours and be able to post a review as well! 

So, will you be joining in to the National Readathon Day from noon to 4 pm (your time) today?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: Tear You Apart (Beau Rivage Series) by Sarah Cross (COYER Challenge #8)

First thanks to Netgalley and Egmont USA for allowing me to read an egalley of this.  And before I go on, I want to mention some upsetting news that I heard this week from another author, supposedly Egmont USA is going to be shut down.  This makes me very sad as they seem to publish so many books that I enjoy.  I hope that all the authors that will be losing out because of this get picked up by other publishing companies as soon as possible.  This author, Sarah Cross, is an author that I know I will be sad if there are no more books in the Beau Rivage series.  I loved the first book in the series, Kill Me Softly, which was kind of a retelling of a fairy tale I wasn't familiar with. But I was really intrigued by it, and even better it had all the more familiar fairy tales included. This second book, which is a sequel, but not really, tells the story of a Snow White fairy tale.  But a little different than normal.  We do get to see Blue and Mira from the first book, but they are pretty minor characters. 

Vivian is the girl with the Snow White curse.  Her on again, off again boyfriend/childhood friend Henley has the curse of the Huntsman in the Snow White story.  He is supposed to cut her heart out for her stepmother.  In this book Vivian gets a message from the boy who has the Prince Charming curse for her story.  She's never met him, but finds out that he lives in the Underworld.  When she meets him he seems like a really good guy, and he wants her to come live with him, where she will be protected from her stepmother and the huntsman from her curse.  The thing is, Vivian really is in love with Henley, and he seems to be really in love with her.  He promises, swears, that he could never kill her, never hurt her. But sometimes, usually when she's done something to make him mad/jealous, his anger is very violent and destructive.  It scares everyone around, including Vivian, who thinks that once the curse takes over him, he will not be able to keep himself from taking her heart.  So she goes and visits her Prince in the Underworld, but it seems everything there is not as wonderful as it seems.  The Prince, Jasper, has a father with some kind of curse that seems to scare everyone who works for him, as well as his own children.  Every night the Twelve Dancing princesses come down to dance with their princes, Jasper's brothers.  And Jasper has a sister, who has suffered at the hands of their father, so much that it has kept her from fulfilling her part of her curse.  When Vivian's stepmother Regina hires an old retired huntsman to get the job done, things take a turn for the worse.  Vivian escapes to the Underworld, not knowing if Henley has died from trying to save her, and soon she is trapped down there by the troll that is Jasper's father, and she must figure a way to get back and see if Henley is still alive.  The more she is around Jasper, the more she knows that she truly loved Henley, and she will do anything, give up her own life even, to be with him, and change the fate of her curse.

Again this is so reminiscent of the tv show Once Upon a Time, even down to the stepmother's name this time, Regina.  I love the way the fairy tales have been changed, and how they all turn out different even if they are the same curse, just because everyone is really different.  I loved the story, and was so glad to hear about some novellas that are available so that I can get back into this fairy tale world that Cross has so wonderfully created.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bookish (And not so Bookish) Thoughts - January 22nd, 2015

Well, things have led to me not getting my book finished in time to post a review today like I'd hoped, so I searched Thursday book memes online and found this one that Bookishly Boisterous hosts.  It sounded like an easy one for me to do today so that I can keep up with my goal of a post every day this year.  Basically it is just to allow you the blogger to post whatever random thoughts you might have for the day, related to books or not.  So, that's a good one for me today.

1.  Last night I went to an early showing of the movie The DUFF.  It's a book I've wanted to read for awhile, but just haven't gotten around to it yet.  The movie was really good.  It started out and I was a bit worried it might be kind of lame, but then it got pretty funny, and there was even a part where I just understood completely what the main character was going through and had tears streaming down my face.  I highly recommend seeing this one for a fun teen movie.  It touches on things like cyberbullying, and just being yourself.  There's a locker room scene that was hilarious, as well as a scene where the "Duff" is teaching the "Jock" how to kiss.  I still smile when I think of those parts.

2.  I really need to start exercising.  Several years ago I lost a ton of weight by walking, and also doing Weight Watchers.  Since then I've tried going back to WW, but they changed the program and now it really doesn't work for me.  There is a park I like to go walk at, and the weather has actually been pretty decent for January here, like in the 50s and 60s.  But on the days that I have had time to go walk, I've instead cleaned house, something I don't like to do anyway.  Or been lazy and said I didn't want to get dressed for the day.  All my clothes are too tight, and I refuse to buy any bigger sizes than the sizes I have.  So yeah.

3.  I joined eHarmony this week.  I should say rejoined, because years and years ago when it first came out I belonged for awhile.  It's so expensive though!  I'm going to try it without paying so that I can try not to be shallow about looks like I think is the problem when I try sites like  So, wish me luck on that.

4.  I had to go back to working part time at my bookstore job.  Which don't get me wrong, if I have to work part time, it is the perfect place to work.  But last year this time I went seasonal.  And it was so nice to not have to go work anywhere else.  To be able to just go home and watch tv, read, etc.  I have to work tonight is why this is on my mind, because it means that I won't have time to read my book like I want to.

5.  I'm starting the editing process of the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo last November.  I've gotten some good feedback from two people, one of them was my writing partner.

6.  I love YA Book Exhange, but.  The issue is that I can't trade with a lot of the people because I don't have anything new enough to trade with them for the newer ARCs.  And that makes me sad.  Especially when they got an ARC that they didn't want, or they get two of them.  Or it makes me jealous? Both?

7.  I'm so excited that this week it was announced that NKOTB would be touring again, and they're coming to my city in May!  American Express pre-sale tickets are tomorrow.  Hoping to get some good seats.  I always go with one of my cousins and now a friend of mine that I didn't know was a fan until last year.  And, the announcement that Jonathan Knight and his partner/boyfriend are going to be on the Amazing Race next season was exciting as well!

8.  I'm missing going to the movies as much as I used to.  I had a really good friend, whose mother worked for AMC corporate, and so she had free passes.  And we went almost every Friday, often seeing 2 movies at a time!  I've had to learn to think which movies do I really want to pay to go see in a theater, and which ones can I wait till I can get them at Redbox.

Hmm, I think that might be all of the thoughts I have to share today.  Any random thoughts you'd like to share with me? 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  This week I've chosen a book by the author of the Monument 14 series that I really enjoyed.  This one sounds like a totally opposite type  of story, well, no apocalypse, but still sounds really good!  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

*People would kill to be thin.*

Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

*But will they die for it, too?*

Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong. 

Sounds really good to me!!  How about you?  Does this one sound good?  Do you have a book you're eagerly awaiting this week?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday/Cover Characteristic - January 20th, 2015 - Brides/Weddings

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week is a freebie, so I chose to combine it with the Cover Characteristic meme  which is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.  Here are the guidelines for how it works if you want to join in:

 Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).
You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

I try to always do books that I've already read, and since I'm combining with Top 10, I'll have 10 covers instead of 5.









And my favorite of all of them, the one I would kind of secretly want if I ever got married:

So, those are my Top 10 covers with brides or wedding themes.