Thursday, May 21, 2015

Headed to Cancun...

Hey all!

The husband and I are headed to Cancun tomorrow for a long weekend, so I will be back with another post on Tuesday! I hope you all enjoy your Memorial day weekend.

<3 Tiffany

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

That Time I Met Sarah Dessen...

About a week and a half ago, I had the extreme pleasure of going to an event at Half Price Books where I was able to meet Sarah Dessen and have her sign some of my books. This was actually my first official book/author event, and I was so nervously excited the whole week leading up to the event. Sarah Dessen has been one of my favorite authors for a very long time, and I could not believe that I was actually going to get to speak to her. This was something on my bucket list, people! I was so nervous I was going to say something dumb and make a fool of myself, but luckily that did not happen!

The whole event went incredibly smoothly, especially since I was not sure what to expect. They had most of Sarah's books for sale so that you could buy any that you wanted to have signed while she was there. I already had my preordered copy of Saint Anything, but I went ahead and picked up the recently released paperback version of The Moon and More; I have recently decided to re-buy all of her books in the newer paperback copies, and this made for the first one. When you bought your books, you were given a pass that had your number on it which let you know about where you would be in line when the signing began. We got there fairly early, but I was still number 106. My friend, Brenda, agreed to go with me so I wouldn't have to go alone, and it was so great having her there with me! (It gave me someone to fangirl/freak out to without seeming like a complete weirdo!).

When Sarah first arrived, she moved to the front of the room and had a seat on the table at the front so it would not seem as awkward with her sitting in the chair (I sit on the tables/desks all the time when I teach, so it was pretty funny). She shared some fun information about herself, and talked through the process of Saint Anything - the struggles and successes that came along with writing it. Then she read a little bit of the book, which was really amazing. There is something incredible about hearing an author read their own book aloud...or maybe that's just me! Then she took some questions, and answered everyone with such genuine, thought-out responses. You could tell that she really liked talking to her fans and appreciated all of the support. She had great advice for other aspiring writers, and helped me finally get into gear and begin writing myself.

I was incredibly nervous about how it was going to go when it was my turn to have my books signed. I watched several other people go through ahead of me to get an idea of how things were going, but I was so nervous and was super afraid that I was not going to be able to speak when it was my turn! Sarah completely broke the ice by complimenting my outfit and saying she saw me sitting up front earlier. It was nice that she had noticed me when I wasn't even expecting her to! That started a great conversation (though short, of course, she was very busy!), which led to the hug in the picture above. She had a lot of appreciation for the fact that I teach middle school, and that's always a nice thing to hear, especially since it happened to be Teacher Appreciation Week! Overall, it was a completely amazing experience, and Sarah was just as wonderful as I had expected!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

This Week's Releases: May 18 - 24

Welcome to This Week's Releases! The new weekly post on Beneath the Jacket Reviews that I will post every Sunday. I am going to discuss the releases of the week that I am super excited about, and why. Some weeks there may be a dozen books, sometimes there may be two or three, and sometimes there may be none at all. That's alright though, since it's just about books I am actually interested in!

May 18 - 24

Another week with a lot of YA books releasing! May seems to be a pretty big month for YA releases, and it does not seem like it is going to slow down anytime soon (I am perfectly okay with that, too!). Here are the books I'm looking forward to this week!

1. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Series: N/A
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count: 448
Synopsis: Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

 2. Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Once Upon a Crime Family #1
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 400
Synopsis: Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

 3. A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith
Series: N/A
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Page Count: 400
Synopsis: It's senior year of high school, and Annabeth is ready—ready for everything she and her best friend, Noe, have been planning and dreaming. But there are some things Annabeth isn't prepared for, like the constant presence of Noe's new boyfriend. Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. And like the way the secret she's been keeping hidden deep inside her for years has started clawing at her insides, making it hard to eat or even breathe.

But most especially, she isn't prepared to lose Noe.

For years, Noe has anchored Annabeth and set their joint path. Now Noe is drifting in another direction, making new plans and dreams that don't involve Annabeth. Without Noe's constant companionship, Annabeth's world begins to crumble. But as a chain of events pulls Annabeth further and further away from Noe, she finds herself closer and closer to discovering who she's really meant to be—with her best friend or without.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Made You Up

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The book I am looking forward to currently is Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Synopsis: Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Top Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! As always, I am linking up over at The Broke and the Bookish, and this week I am talking about the top ten authors I REALLY want to meet. I checked one off my list last week (I will share more about it later this week!), so my top ten list has probably changed a little bit now. I feel like I have done something like this before, but I'm going to do it again anyway. In no particular order, here are the Top Ten Authors I REALLY Want to Meet.

Books: Ask Again Later & Top Ten Clues You're Clueless
I read Top Ten Clues You're Clueless earlier this year, and I fell in love with Czukas writing style. The book was so fun and sweet, and I flew through it because I loved her writing. I definitely need to go back and read Ask Again Later as well. Based on the story, I think that it would be amazing to meet Liz Czukas.

Books: Transformed & Sleeping Tom
E.V. is not just a great author, I am blessed to say that she is also a friend. We have been talking back and forth via social media for quite some time now, and I even had the joy of being a beta reader on her latest book, Sleeping Tom. It would be so amazing to be able to meet her in person, and I do hope to in the future!

Books: A Risk Worth Taking, Imitation, Deviation, & MANY others
I have read several of Heather's books now for blog tours and enjoyment, and there has not been a single one that I have not enjoyed. Her writing is fantastic and always so interesting and exciting to read. I am also in a Facebook group for her, and she seems like such an amazing person. It would be awesome to meet her.

Books: The Divergent Series
I am sure that Roth is probably going to show up on a lot of these lists, but I did have to add her. I think that she is an incredible writer, and I was quite pleased with the character arc and full circle she took her series and characters through. Along with that, she seems like such an awesome person from the interviews and videos I have seen her in. I bet she would be so fun to talk to!

Books: The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, Etc.
I am sure that John Green will be on a ton of lists today as well, but I just had to add him. Aside from the HP series, TFIOS is the only book that I have re-read at this point. Not just once either, but MANY times. His writing is so beautiful and thought-provoking, and from watching his YouTube videos I know it would be awesome to meet him.

Books: Aberrant Series, Orenda, & More
Ruth Silver seems like such an awesome person. I have read a couple of her books, and even have them signed from her, which is always awesome! Her writing is fantastic, she has her own blog that I love to follow along, and she leaves comments on other blogs as well. Overall, she seems like an awesome person, so it would be great to meet her!

Books: Snow Like Ashes Series
I read SLA earlier this year, and it was AMAZING. One of the best books I have read so far this year. Then I contacted Sara via Twitter about doing an Author Spotlight on the blog, and she was amazing about all of it. She seems so easy to talk to, and her writing is absolutely beautiful. Obviously it would be amazing to meet her.

Books: Dear Killer
Dear Killer was my favorite book of 2014, I cannot get over how original the story was, and how beautiful the writing. It's also amazing that Katherine Ewell was eighteen when the book was published - incredible. I think it would be amazing to meet her, though I am sure I would feel so inadequate because she is younger than me and has an amazing book published!

Books: Something Strange and Deadly Series & Truthwitch 
I am going to be honest, I actually have not read any of Dennard's books YET. However, I do follow her newsletter, and I am constantly reading her writing advice on her blog as I continue doing my own novel writing. She gives such wonderful advice, and has a wonderful sense of humor in her advice, so I am sure it would be amazing to meet her.

Books: Harry Potter Series & MUCH More
Of course, I could not do one of these lists without adding Rowling to the list. It would be so, SO amazing to be able to meet and talk to her in person. I am sure that tons of people feel the same way because she is so amazing. A girl can dream, right?

Which authors do you REALLY want to meet?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Stacking the Shelves [48]

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! 


Hey everyone! Wow, my blogging has definitely not been the best lately! I am sorry about that. I have still been in a fairly bad reading slump, and apparently that has flowed over into my blogging as well. Ugh! I am hoping that both things will pick up very soon, but I guess we will see! Anyway, I did pick up a few books over the last couple of weeks, so I thought I would go ahead and share those with you guys!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

 All the Rage by Courtney Summers
The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

 Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

 The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
New Paperback Edition
Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

What books did you add to your shelves this week?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

April Wrap Up

  • I have decided to do a monthly wrap up on the blog this year. Yay for new features! In my wrap ups I will discuss the books that I read during that month, their ratings, and share links to their reviews if I have already posted them on the blog. I will also share my most popular posts of the month, and anything excited that happened throughout that month. At the end of the post, I will also include posts from other blogs that I enjoyed from the month. Please let me know if you like this kind of wrap up, and if there is anything else you would like to see in the post!

Number of Books Read: 4
Number of Pages Read: 996

Thoughts: Wow, I am totally off my game so far this year, and I am not happy about it. April was a really bad reading month for me, and I really don't understand what the issue is. There are so many books I really WANT to read, but cannot convince myself to actually sit down and start reading them. I am hoping that May (and the rest of the year) are better than April was. I am currently seven books behind in my yearly goal, and that is not a very good feeling!

The Books:

1. Popular by Maya Van Wagenen | 272 Pages | Published in 2014 | 4 Stars
2. Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron | 272 Pages | Published in 2015 | 3 Stars | Review
3. The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman | 192 Pages | Published in 2015 | 5 Stars | Review

4. Forever Julia by Jodi Carmichael | 260 Pages | Published in 2015 | 4 Stars | Review

Here's hoping for a much better reading month in May!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Blog Tour + Giveaway | Forever Julia by Jodi Carmichael

Title: Forever Julia
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Great Plains Publications
Author: Jodi Carmichael

Synopsis: Six months ago, Julia's life was perfect. Then her dad died. Now she lives with her grieving mother and sick grandmother in a puny apartment above their bookstore. After a dark bout of depression, Julia is fragile, and mourns both her father and her old life. But she has one thing to be happy about: Jeremy, the most popular boy at school, has chosen her. Jeremy's love for Julia is passionate, even obsessive. As she grows closer to Jeremy, Julia pushes her disapproving friends and family away. But Jeremy only becomes more controlling and Julia has to decide what lines cannot be crossed.

Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:

Review: I could tell going into this book that it was probably going to be a tough read. It is never easy to read about difficult life situations, but they tend to make for beautifully written books. Despite knowing that the book was going to be sad, and perhaps even a little bit depressing, I was also quite eager to read it. I have not read anything by Carmichael before, and I did think that the synopsis was well written. When I received the email with the blog tour invitation, I knew that it was a book that I would want to read. Sure, it might not be enjoyable in a standard way, but I had no doubt that it would be a good read.

The main character, Julia, is pretty easy to relate to. She has lost her father, her mother is struggling to keep them afloat, and Julia is in a pretty dark place in her life at the moment. I do believe that we have all had one point or another when we have been in a bad place and have had to get out of it; I did think that it was interesting to get to experience these things with the main character. Despite the situation, I think that Julia handled things quite better than a lot of people would. Sure, she made bad decisions, but that seems pretty believable in the given situation.

Julia was not the only well-written character, however. Annika, Julia's best friend was a great character as well. She had her own great, strong personality and was not afraid to be herself. She was also a loyal friend, but did not stand down when she felt strongly about something. Their friendship was realistic because Annika could see what was happening in Julia's relationship, and it did lead to some issues between the friends. Jeremy, of course, was not a character I liked at all. I know it was supposed to be this way, and Carmichael did a wonderful job of making me hate him. He could be charming when he wanted to be, but it changed quickly. Then he became obsessive and controlling, and overall just a horrible person to be in a relationship with.

Abuse is something that happens far too often, and it does not seem to get nearly as much attention as it should in order to help people that had suffered from it themselves. We should talk about it more, and we definitely should be reading more stories like this to allow us to see just how bad these things can be. While this was a difficult book to read, it was also beautifully done and eye-opening. It left me feeling so many different emotions, and I still have not stopped thinking about it. I highly recommend this read for everyone.

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0


JODI CARMICHAEL lives in Winnipeg where she can often be found dancing in the living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and a scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. Jodi’s previous book for young readers, Spaghetti Is NOT A Finger Food, won numerous awards and has been a multi-week Bestseller.
Visit Jodi Carmichael at

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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