Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride

Title: A Million Times Goodnight
Author: Kristina McBride
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: EgmontUSA (July 28, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Paranormal/Mystery
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
A teen Sliding Doors. One choice creates parallel dual narratives in this romantic contemporary mystery-thriller perfect for fans of Just Like Fate and Pivot Point.

One Night. Two Paths. Infinite Danger.

On the night of the big Spring Break party, Hadley "borrows" her boyfriend Ben's car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see. 

Now Hadley has a choice: go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture or raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.

Chapters alternate to reveal each possible future as Hadley, her ex-boyfriend, Josh, and her best friends embark on a night of reckless adventure where old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets are uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.

A Million Times Goodnight is one of those reads that is hard to review, simply because it is hard to describe. At times, hard to tell if it was a great read, a hard read, or maybe even an indifferent read.  

If you have ever watched the movie Sliding Doors with Gwenyth Paltrow then you might have a feel for this read in the aspect of parallel universes and the what ifs'.

Throw in a mystery, a death, and one wild night (instead of days of events) and in a nut shell, you have this book.

I think what makes this story so very hard to review is the fact that while I liked it, I never really felt anything for it, as in, I never completely cared for the characters.  That connection that most of us, as readers crave, was never there for me. But the mystery aspect of it, wanting to know all the secrets that lead up to the night in question and one exactly a year previous, that part is what really had me turning the pages. 

In short, this story piqued my curiosity more than anything and if the mystery aspect hadn't been there, I don't think I would have enjoyed this story anywhere near as much as I did without it. But it was there, and it was interesting and while some of it was predictable, it all wasn't. 

Overall this was a read that kept me interested and engaged and was a quick read that I did enjoy.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Blogging Break!

Hello lovelies!

Summer is here and with it, I have decided that now would be a great time to take a small, week long break from the blog. You know how much I love you all but with company here, the 4th around the corner and plans to travel, I thought it best I didn't try to stress myself out and try to keep up when I should be relaxing and enjoying my family instead, so, a break it is for me.

I will also have limited access to the internet so that also means I won't be around as much commenting on blogs I visit, but, I will do my best to visit when I can and play catch up when I get back. ;) 

Hopefully I will be back and in full swing feeling refreshed and ready to dive right back in!

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Independence Day for those that celebrate here in the states. I truly love this time of year with all the fun summer plans, BBQs, and time spent with family. 

I know that I'm going to try, once again, to concentrate on my TBR pile this summer and hopefully get to those books I keep telling myself I will get to, some of them are long overdue for a read.

Stay safe and have fun this week!! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Review, Giveaway, and Guest Post: The Secret Keeper by Angela Carling

I'm so excited to share with you today Angela's new book, The Secret Keeper. This was such an interesting and fun read. I hope you will definitely consider putting this one in your TBR pile for the summer. 

 Series: Book One in the Secret Keeper
Published : May 9, 2015


When Seventeen year old Winter Merrill was compelled to make a bargain with the mysterious Secret Keeper, she knew there were rules.  The most important one, the next time you have a secret, you will not be able to tell it….even if you try.

What she didn’t know is that her next secret if not told, would destroy her life and the life of Liam, the only boy she ever loved. Can Winter find a way out of the dark bargain that binds her tongue or will her deal with the Secret Keeper bring devastating consequences unimaginable even to her?

The inspiration for The Secret Keeper

Probably the most commonly asked question I get when I’m out hanging with reading peeps is “What inspired you to write book X?” Today, I’m delighted to tell you what or more particularly what place inspired the writing of THE SECRET KEEPER.

There is a place in the mountains of Arizona, a small town by anyone’s standards. The name of the town is Heber. I first came across Heber when my family and I went camping to escape the searing Arizona summer heat. It was so different from the desert we were used to, we may as well have stumbled into a foreign country. Towering pines grew like dandelions on an unkempt lawn. Boulders jutted from the ground and deer and other wild animals traipsed through the neighborhoods like residents.

Then several years ago, I made an author visit to the High School in Heber. A full-sized bronze statue of a regal horse reared up atop a huge outcrop of rocks to announce that I had arrived at their small school. (They are the Mongolian Mustangs) Only two hundred kids and their campus was wide open. There was no safety fences or metal detectors. For PE, students ran down the road a half a mile to the town’s library with no teachers. For me, it felt like a step out of time.

As I spent the day with the students they told me about their life in Heber. I fell in love with them and promised them that I would write a book that used Heber as the backdrop for the story. That day, I also met Winter and her boyfriend Liam. They were charming, obviously very close and most of all incredibly kind to each other. When I went back to the High School two years later, they were still happily together.

These amazing kids weighed on me, particularly Winter and Liam and then one day while looking down the long narrow dirt road called Lejo street, it hit me. What if Winter did something stupid, something that would make her lose everything she loved. Something that would take away the tranquility of this small town and her happy existence. That existence would be worth fighting for. She would do anything to get Liam back…including making a deal with a mysterious Secret Keeper. And that is when The Secret Keeper the upcoming books in the secret series were born.

And yes, Lejo is real as are all of the places I used in The Secret Keeper. If you’re ever in Arizona, stop by this enchanting town. You won’t find a Walmart or McDonalds but you will discover a lovely place and the Secret Keeper’s dilapidated blue house buried deep in the forest.

About the Author:

Angela Carling was raised in Palm Springs California, but lives Arizona with her husband, three kids and five felines.  After years of denial she finally admitted that she is a hopeless romantic which led her to write her first Young Adult book Unbreakable Love. Since then she’s published three more books, Shackled, Becoming Bryn and The Secret Keeper. Shackled won the silver IPGA award in 2012 and has been optioned as a screenplay. She always eats the frosting off her cake and leaves the rest, and can be caught singing in public bathrooms for the acoustics.  When she’s not writing YA novels, she’s mentoring teen writers, making pizza with her family or dreaming of taking a nap, not necessarily in that order. 

What makes The Secret Keeper stand out, is the very concept behind the actual story of the Secret Keeper herself. Something fresh and never done before, and let's face it, that is always worth pursuing when we are talking about the young adult genre where so many books feel like they are reincarnated versions of a book you're sure you've read before.

Carling takes us into a small town very few have probably ever heard of, let alone passed through and makes the mundane anything but boring. 

Engaging characters and a storyline every bit believable because of the very nature of the gender and ages of the characters, she mixes it up and throws in a paranormal element that is every bit as entertaining and it was creepy to imagine and think about.

A clean read that still manages to have a sweet romance, great friendships, and a creepy mystery that make this hard to put down until the very end. A fast paced plot and quick moving adventure that is every bit as dark as it is creepy will keep you on your toes and make this book worth your time and something that you should put on your to read list for this summer.  

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which is no way affected my review. I was not compensated for this review.*

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Book Three in Anna and the French Kiss Trilogy
Published By: Dulton (August 14, 2014)
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last? 

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. 

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

It seems I have been waiting to read this book for, well, for forever now. In truth it probably hasn't been as long as it seems but when you fall in love with an author's writing abilities, you really do want to devour everything they have ever written and waiting for something new can be tough, excruciating even. 

I already loved Josh from Anna and the French Kiss so it was no surprise that I loved him from the moment this story began. There is just something so very lovable about a brilliant artist with a heart of gold. One willing to do things for those he loves without thinking twice about it. 

It has taken me forever to get this review written mostly because I didn't know how to express everything I felt while reading this. I found all the things I loved in the first book and then things I didn't even know I wanted in this.

I love that once again we get to see France. I didn’t' even realize how much I missed that setting until we were once again on the streets of Paris and hanging out at all the old stops of Anna and Etienne. That  we got to ssay goodbye to them all in one last final hoorah before it was all over.

But most of all, I love how Perkins can get me completely swept away in the endearing and heartfelt emotions of her work. In the smile inducing sweetness of her romances. 

This was another winner by Perkins and a close second to my love for the first book, which, I admit, didn't think was going to be possible. I can't wait to see what else this amazing author has in store for us.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WoW Pick of the Week!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a chance to share those new releases were are super anxious to get our hands on and read.

I really enjoyed this trilogy, in fact, way more than I ever thought I would so when I saw that there would be a book four coming out, all told in Kaidan's POV, I just knew it would be something I would need, no, have to read. I adored Kaidan and in fact, for me, he was the very best part about this series.

Book Description:

Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it. 

Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve. 

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the acclaimed Sweet Evil series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, told from the perspective of the irresistibly sexy and mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into his struggle, his intense connection to Anna, and most of all, the true emotions that drive him.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review: Halfway Hexed by Kimberly Frost

Title: Halfway Hexed
Author: Kimberly Frost
Series: Book Three in the Southern Witch Series
Published By: Berkley (March 4, 2014)
Source: Purchased
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Duvall, Texas. 
A small town that’s about to be in some big trouble.

Tammy Jo Trask is finally ready to embrace her mixed-up magic, but not everyone in town is what you’d call supportive. While a scripture-spouting posse is organized to kidnap her and “save” Duvall from witchcraft, the president of WAM—the World Association of Magic—arrives to investigate Tammy’s entanglement with the off-limits and drop-dead gorgeous wizard Bryn Lyons.

But when a clash between the locals and the magical visitors leads to a series of unnatural disasters, Tammy Jo will have to hope that her magical synergy with Bryn is enough to save the town from certain doom.

I was never one to resist a good witchy read and when I discovered the first book in this series I couldn't wait to dive in. I loved it so much that it didn't take me long to pick up the second installment and fall in love all over again with Tammy Jo, Bryn and Zach.

This series is such a fun one. Throw in some magical mayhem more often than not, a mystery, good ole southern charm, that small town feel and two irresistible guys and it is no wonder I was hooked after the first book.

It isn't without its flaws or weak moments but for the most part, I have a good time whenever I read it. I laugh, I smile, I scowl, and I want to roll my eyes but all in a fun loving, I can't get enough of Tammy Jo kind of way.

And as much as I love and adore Zach, it was so nice not having him in this book. For this book to completely be all about Tammy Jo and the sexy Bryn. This is one book where the love triangle doesn't bother me because it is understandable and believable, but having said that, it was nice to have a break from it and just have it be about the two of them this time. It just makes sense to have Bryn and Tammy Jo together. Their world makes sense when they are together. And even though forces would draw them apart, you can tell they should be together.

It was so much fun to see them really work together and come to trust one another. I already liked Bryn (whats not to like) but I might have fallen in love with him. All those questions I had about him and his intentions were answered. I finally felt like we got to know him, really know him and yes, fall in love with him when we really saw who he was and his love for Tammy Jo.

I am so excited about where this series is going and even though I know Zach will be back in the next book and more than likely, get my emotions about who Tammy Jo should be with all jumbled up again, I can't wait for it. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Oblivion by Kelly Creagh

Title: Oblivion
Author: Kelly Creagh
Series: Book Three in the Nevermore Trilogy
Published By: Atheneum Bookf For Young Readers (July 28, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
This electrifying conclusion to the Nevermore trilogy takes one last trip to the dream world of Edgar Allan Poe to reveal the intertwined fates of Isobel and Varen.

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? —Edgar Allan Poe

The fine line between life and death blurred long ago for Isobel Lanley. After a deadly confrontation with Varen in the dreamworld, she’s terrified to return to that desolate and dangerous place. But when her nightmares resume, bleeding into reality, she is left with no choice. Varen’s darkness is catching up to her. To everything. Threatening to devour it all.

Isobel fears for her world. For her sanity and Varen’s—especially after a fresh and devastating loss. To make matters worse, the ghostly demon Lilith wants Varen for her own, and she will do anything to keep him in her grasp—anything.

Can Isobel ever find her happy ending? Worlds collide and fates are sealed in this breathtaking finale to the Nevermore trilogy.

I truly have enjoyed this trilogy from the very start. It's dark Edgar Allen Poe feel was hard to resist and with each new installment, the writing grew darker, more serious, and even more beautiful. 

So it was with slight trepidation that I went into this last book. Wanting to know how it would all end, keeping my fingers crossed for the best and hoping the author would stick true to the tone of the rest of the books.

And she did. Once again Creagh painted a beautifully dark world. One where Isobel is struggling to break, conquer, and to rescue her love from. 

Varen didn't play a huge role in this like the others, instead, we get Isobel, battered, bruised, confused, and in danger now, more than ever. But we also see a stronger, fiercer, more assertive girl appear. One who is no longer the weak cheerleader of book one, nor the more passive girl from book two. 

She is determined, on a mission, and not afraid of any of the consequences and I loved how much her character grew not only in this last installment, but in the whole series. 

Everything came together so nicely, so beautifully done, and I loved every minute of it. Creagh didn't leave anything undone or unanswered and while not everyone got a happily ever after, I was so pleased with the way it all came about. Truly, a great ending to this unique story. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*