Sunday, November 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves [29]

I am joining in on Stacking The Shelves, a weekly meme hosted over at Tynga's Reviews. It is an easy way to share what books you picked up that week, and to see what other people have picked up to read themselves.

How to Participate?
  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit!
  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you.
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!


I made a quick stop to HPB last weekend looking to see if they had any new books, and if they had a book that I was looking for in hopes to read. They did not have too many new things, but they did have the one I was hoping to find. Then I stopped by Target on Black Friday and found a hardcover book for $9. Can't beat that!

Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally 

In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist grew into a living legend to the Jews of Cracow. He was a womaniser and heavy drinker who enjoyed the good life, yet to them he became a saviour.

Thomas Keneally's Booker Prize-winning novel recreates the story of Oskar Schindler, an Aryan who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland, who continually defied and outwitted the SS, and who was transformed by the war into an angel of mercy. It is an unforgettable tale, all the more extraordinary for being true.

 After by Anna Todd

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She's got direction, ambition, and a mother who's intent on keeping her that way. But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he's also rude - to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin and she does — until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless… could this be love?

 [I couldn't find a picture of the cover I bought, but it's gorgeous]
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Emily Bront√ęs only novel, Wuthering Heights remains one of literature's most disturbing explorations into the dark side of romantic passion. Heathcliff and Cathy believe they're destined to love each other forever, but when cruelty and snobbery separate them, their untamed emotions literally consume them.

Set amid the wild and stormy Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights, an unpolished and devastating epic of childhood playmates who grow into soul mates, is widely regarded as the most original tale of thwarted desire and heartbreak in the English language.

  Waterfall by Lauren Kate

Eureka’s tears have flooded the earth, and now Atlantis is rising, bringing with it its evil king, Atlas. Eureka is the only one who can stop him, but first she must learn how to fight. She travels across the ocean with Cat, her family, and Ander, the gorgeous and mysterious Seedbearer who promises to help her find Solon, an enigmatic lost Seedbearer who knows how to defeat Atlas.

Once on land, Eureka is taunted by gossipwitches, a group of displaced Atlantean sorceresses, and ambushed by locals struggling to survive amid the destruction her tears have wrought. And she feels no closer to facing Atlas or saving the world when Solon lets slip that love is Ander’s weakness, and that any affection he feels toward her makes him age faster.

Trying to make sense of the dark world her sorrow has created, Eureka receives startling insight from an enchanted pond. Her bewildering reflection reveals a soul-crushing secret: if she’s strong enough, Eureka can draw on this knowledge to defeat Atlas—unless her broken heart is just what he needs to fuel his rising kingdom...

In Waterfall, Eureka has the chance to save the world. But she’ll have to give up everything—even love.

What books did you add to your shelves this week?  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!

[My dad decided to make fun of me every time I said y'all last night at their house, so I think I'm going to try to use it as much as possible now, just for fun....hi dad! :]

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! I know things have been a bit slow on the blog this week, but that's because things have been pretty busy around here for us, and they are not slowing down yet. My family does our Thanksgiving on Saturday (since we all have a spouse, and usually spend Thanksgiving day with their families), and Michael and I are hosting at our house this year. I am super excited, but also slightly nervous. I think that it will be great, though! Well, I better go finish getting the house ready, just wanted to stop for a moment and wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. (and Black Friday shopping...was anyone else out late like I was?)

Happy Friday! :]

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

It's Top Ten Tuesday time! I'm linking up over at The Broke and The Bookish. I have been a little bit better about doing these prompts lately, yay! Even though it is still a little early for winter, I do think that it's good to do this prompt now because there might be some winter-y books that I want to read this year that I have not yet purchased. Gives me a nice reminder and some time to pick them up! So, here are the Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR. 

1. Winterspell by Claire Legrand
This one seems like a pretty obvious choice since it has the word winter in the title. It sounds like the action begins on Christmas Eve, which makes it even more perfect. I have already picked up this book, and it sounds incredible, so I am not sure that I could wait much longer to read it anyway.

2. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Once again, this one has the word snow in it, so it really just makes sense to read it in the winter (though we never know if we will actually get snow here in Texas, that's beside the point). This is another more recent release that I have already picked up, and I've heard great things, so I cannot wait to read it.

3. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by MANY great authors
I have heard nothing but great things about this book already. I do not think that I have read an anthology like this, outside of the ones I had to occasionally read for college. Obviously it's holiday stories, so it only makes sense to read this in the winter.

4. Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
This one is similar to the previous one as it is another anthology book with multiple winter stories. I have heard great things about this one as well, and while I do not have a copy of this one yet, I do hope to find it in the near future so that I can read it this winter as well.

5. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
So, technically I don't think that this book relates to winter at all, but that's perfectly okay. This is a 2014 release that I have heard SO many great things about, so I have already picked it up. Winter break for me means having a couple weeks off of teaching, so I will finally have time to pick up this book and enjoy it. I'm definitely looking forward to it!

6. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Once again, not sure that this book has anything to do with winter. However, it is a fairly long read, which means I have not really had the time to pick it up since purchasing it. I have not read a lot in the adult genre, but after finding out that Emma Watson will be playing the lead character in the movie adaptation, I knew that I was going to read it. Hopefully I can find the time this winter.

7. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
This is actually more of an "I need to finally finish reading it." I have been "reading" this book for several months now, and I am not sure why I have not been able to get through it because I am enjoying it. I guess it's just been a bit slow for me. Cinder was the same way, but once it finally picked up pace I was able to finish quickly. I do hope the same happens here.

8. Cress by Marissa Meyer
Naturally, once I finish Scarlet I need to read Cress so that I will be completely caught up with the series. That way I am completely prepared when Fairest and Winter come out NEXT YEAR. I cannot believe we get two more books in this series next year. So excite. 

9. Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin
I have had this book on Netgalley for a couple of months now, which is more than enough reason to read it this winter because I really need to get my percentage up on there. Also, look at that cover. I think that I will probably purchase a physical copy to actually read, that way I can have this on my shelf. :]

10. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Look, there is snow/ice on the cover, so that definitely matches up with the winter theme, right? Honestly, Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my favorite authors, she is also one on my very limited list of auto-buy authors (right next to Sarah Dessen). I cannot believe I have let this book sit on my shelf for so long without reading it, so I plan to change that soon.

There we have it, the top ten books I hope to read this winter. Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? What books are on your winter TBR?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Reading Slump | Help!

[ source ]

Let's be real, we all know that reading slumps are a real, horrible thing. Despite our best efforts, it is natural that we will all go through them a time or two. However, some of us struggle with them more than others. Sometimes they happen fairly often, and last for entirely too long. At the moment, this is me, my friends. When the slump first started, I thought nothing of it. I had been on a bit of a reading frenzy, so I assumed I would take a few days off and then would hit the ground running again...


Now, I have not completely stopped reading altogether. I had books for review I needed to get through, and I even picked up a memoir that I really, really wanted to read. I hoped that it was a step in the right direction; I was really enjoying the reading, and surely that feeling would make me pick up another book right away, and I would be fine again. Right?


I'm at a pretty serious loss at the moment, which is why I have come to you, my lovely blog followers. What are some things that you do when you come to a serious reading slump? Any tips for how I can pull myself out of this and actually WANT to read again? I find myself with some spare time where I am "bored," the perfect time to do some reading...but then I just can't convince myself to pick up a book. Help!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Stacking the Shelves [28]

I am joining in on Stacking The Shelves, a weekly meme hosted over at Tynga's Reviews. It is an easy way to share what books you picked up that week, and to see what other people have picked up to read themselves.

How to Participate?
  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit!
  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you.
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!


Last week Half Price Books had some great sales going on. Friday and Saturday you could get 30% off your highest prices item and on Sunday you could get 50% off your highest priced item. I picked up one book Saturday and one on Sunday, and am very happy with what I was able to pick up at much better prices.

 Yes Please by Amy Poehler 

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by.

 I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban 
by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

I have been in a HUGE memoir/autobiography kick lately. I read Positive by Paige Rawl a few weeks ago, and then read The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson this week, and loved both of them. I look forward to reading these two as well. What did you add to your shelves this week?   

Cover Reveal | Sleeping Tom by E.V. Fairfall

Sleeping Tom by E.V. Fairfall 
Publication date: February 15th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Hitchhiking is a bad idea but Caden is desperate.
When she accepts a ride from the first car to come by she meets Gabriel. He’s her age, hot, and the closest thing she has to a savior. Problem is, he is a total jerk. With nowhere to go, Caden convinces Gabriel to let her stay with him for one night. He reluctantly lends a couch.
That night Caden wakes up to strange noises. Concerned, she rushes into Gabriel’s room, already anticipating his bad temper. Instead, he’s kind, sweet, and suspiciously harmless—nothing like the man who gave her a ride. He seems like a different person altogether, and claims he is. By night he is Tom, and by day he is Gabriel. Caden finds herself drawn to the mysteries hidden in his eyes.
For Gabriel, Caden is an annoying mistake. One night turns into many, and despite all his anger towards her, she stays. She even seems to accept him and his flaws, but he still doesn’t trust her—is she staying for him, or has she already discovered more than he’s willing to share?

[**I had the enormous honor of being able to be a beta reader for EV on this book, and I absolutely loved it. I am in love with this cover, based on the story, and cannot wait for everyone to have the opportunity to read this amazing book!**]

I love to write just as much as I love to read. I try to read a book per week, which doesn’t always work out, but it’s the thought that counts. Aside from all that I am a huge animal person.

Transformed is my first novel, but it isn’t my first publication; I’ve had several short stories published over the last two years. My main goal as a writer is to explore humanity and to give people something fun to read.

Author links:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Blitz | Out of Sync by A. Bin Juran

Out of Sync by A. Bin Juran 
(Out of Sync #1) 
Publication date: October 23rd 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

I’m a magical misfit
I won’t let it define me
A bolt-zapping disaster magnet
But at least I’m still trying
The guy I like asked me out
I hoped my luck was changing
Then my coven trials began
…they’re harder than I expected
Now my life hangs in the balance
I don’t know what I’m doing
But I do know this:
I’m not going down without a fight.

‘Out of Sync’ is a YA paranormal romance about a magical misfit who faces her perilous coven trials, falls in love and nearly dies more times than seems polite to mention.
When not immersed in books - be it writing or reading them - Ainat can usually be found nestling a cup of coffee in the company of her husband and twins. A former fast-food employee, T-shirt seller, and glorified secretary, Ainat eventually found herself with Bachelor's and LL.M. degrees and working as a lawyer. A few years later, listening to a catchy pop song about dream fulfillment, Ainat decided to buy a clunky little laptop and get to work. Ten novels and a much better laptop later, she came to the realization that hitting the double-digit mark meant it was time to publish and start consuming coffee (though not necessarily in that order).

When she isn't writing, editing, or mothering, Ainat enjoys reading promiscuously (which, to her, means she's reading several novels at a time while committing to none), watching political dramas and sci-fi series, and taking embarrassing memos-to-self complete with accents and dramatic pauses that should never be unleashed, ever.

Author links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get

It's Top Ten Tuesday time! I'm linking up over at The Broke and The Bookish. I am going to try to be better about doing these posts every week if I am able to. At least, I will really try to do them when I like the prompt for the week. This is another prompt that got me pretty excited, as I am a pretty big fan of series. There are several sequels, whether it's book two or further into the series, that I am really looking forward to. So, here are the Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait to Get. 

 1. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Trilogy #2
I was a little iffy about the first book in this series, but I think I am going to go back and re-read it seeing as everyone else loved it. Perhaps I missed something. Nonetheless, I am going to give book two a chance.

2. Diamonds in the Rough by Michelle Madow
The Secret Diamond Sisters #2
Here is another one that I was not sure of with book one. In fact, I did not finish it the first time I tried to read it. However, a few months later I went back and tried again and actually did enjoy it, so now I need to pick up book two. I know it's out,

 3. The Heir by Kiera Cass
The Selection #4
EEEEK. I was so excited when they began releasing information about this book, and then they released the cover and I fell in love. I cannot wait to have this series continue on, and to have even more beautiful covers on my bookshelf.

4. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
I was so excited when we were told that we were going to get the story of Queen Levana. She is such an interesting character, and it is going to be very cool to get more information on the villain through this book. That cover is pretty great, too.

5. Winter by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles #4
Unfortunately, there has not been a cover release for this one yet. SOON? PLEASE! I am so excited, though. I am currently almost through with Scarlet and plan to move on to Cress right away when I am done. The characters in this series are so great.

6. Hunted by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki 
Sinner Series #2
I was lucky enough to get to review the ebook of Branded before it was released to paperback. It has been so amazing to see how things have grown for Abi and Missy, and I fell in love with the characters in the book. I certainly cannot wait for the next book in the series!

7. Undivided by Neal Shusterman
Unwind #4
I have actually only read book one in this series, so I actually need the other three. However, since this last one was mostly recently released, I decided to use the picture for this one. I do intend to buy the remaining three so that I can finish the series because I did enjoy book one a lot.

Those seven are the only ones that I can come up with at the top of my head, and it's almost past my bedtime (9...because I'm old, apparently...), so I am going to call it good at seven. Are you waiting on any of these as well? What sequels are you most looking forward to?

Monday, November 17, 2014

#AntiBullyReads 2014

[ source

As a lot of you probably already know, it is Anti-Bullying Week. This is something that comes into play quite a bit for me as I teach middle school students; therefore I work with preteens on a daily basis. We are celebrating Anti-Bullying Week at school as well, which I think is a wonderful thing. They have not shared everything that they have planned for the week, but I do hope that there will be something eye-opening for my students to see/hear. Bullying has become such a huge problem in our world, and that is very upsetting.

In honor of Anti-Bullying Week, there is a bit of a readathon going on. I have been in quite the reading slump, so I am not sure how successful I will be, but I would definitely like to give it a go. If you would like to find out more about the readathon (which began today), you can check out the Goodreads page here. The idea is to read as many books as you can that have to do with bullying. I already have several of these books on my shelf that I have not had the chance to read yet, so I thought that I would share my TBR for the week with you.

1. The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
2. The List by Siobhan Vivian 
3. Hate List by Jennifer Brown
4. Winger by Andrew Smith
5. Tease by Amanda Maciel

I know that I probably will not get through all five of these books this week, but it's nice to have some options. Who knows, maybe I will even end up surprising myself. 

Are you taking part in the #AntiBullyReads readathon? Have you read any of these books already?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review: The Body in the Woods by April Henry

The Body in the Woods 
by April Henry 

(Point Last Seen #1)
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Publication Date: June 2014
Page Count: 263
Format: E-Book
Source: Netgalley (thank you!)

Goodreads Synopsis: In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.

This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.


Review: I really, really wanted to enjoy this book. Based on the television shows I enjoy to watch, this book and premise should have been right up my alley. While I did like the idea of it quite a lot, the book was a bit of a let down for me. I wanted it to be great, like a couple of the other YA thrillers I have read this year, but it just did not stand up to those. While it had its redeeming qualities, as all books always seem to, I certainly did not love it. 

The idea was interesting; we have three teenagers who have been trained to help with Search and Rescue. That is obviously not something a lot of teens get to help with, though it did seem a little unrealistic that three teens would be sent off to search without an adult, and to be sent pretty far out from the rest of the group. While I know sometimes we have to look past reality for fictional stories, I just think that this was taking it a little too far. Still, I tried to look past it, as it was the beginning of the novel and I still had high hopes.

I cannot say that I really cared for any of the main characters, which is always a huge problem for me in books. For me, it's usually all about the characters, and I want to cheer for at least one of them. Ruby, Alexis, and Nick all seemed pretty naive and stereotypical to me, though. Here are three teenagers being let out on their own to search, and it seems like a group that WOULD NOT be allowed to do so on their own. None of it made sense. While we had some back story and personality traits of the characters, it did not add to them at all. It just seemed like it was trying to make something more of the characters, and it just was not there. 

I thought that things might pick up once they found the body of the girl. After all, I do love my crime shows and the time spent trying to look for facts and evidence to find the killer. Unfortunately, the book pretty much stayed the same for me. I knew who the murderer was pretty quickly, when I really prefer it to take until close to the end to figure those details out. I just wanted so much more out of this book, and I hate how disappointed I continued to be. (Sure, it had its entertaining parts, but they weren't frequent enough.).

One of my least favorite parts of the book was the change in POVs, though. I don't mind when books switch between points of view when it was needed, but I don't think that it was here. Along with that, it just made things a bit more confusing when it was all written in third person instead of first. I think that first person may have given us more of the information we needed and wanted from the characters. I did enjoy the parts when we got to be inside the murderer's head, though. Those parts were creepy, and it was the only thing that really had me believing this could be labeled as a thriller. 

Overall, as I am sure you can tell, I was not incredibly impressed with this book. I was hoping for so much more, but it did not come through. I do believe that this is meant to be a series, so I will consider reading the next book when it releases to see if there is any improvement in the mystery and characters.

Rating: 2.0/5.0

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Imagination Designs