Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins

Sixteen-year-old Meg Traherne has never known loss. Until the beautiful, talented horse she trained herself, drops dead underneath her in the show ring.

Jared Strickland has been living with loss ever since his father died in a tragic farming accident.

Meg escapes from her grief by changing everything about her life; moving away from home to spend her summer living on an island in the St. Lawrence River, scrubbing toilets and waiting on guests at a B&B.

Once there, she meets Jared; doing his best to keep anything else in his life from changing.

When Jared offers Meg a scruffy appaloosa mare out of a friend’s back field, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change both of them by the end of the summer.

The start of this book really upset me (probably from being pregnant and over-emotional about EVERYTHING!) but I wasn't sure I wanted to even continue reading. I'm so glad I did though. This book turned out to be amazing and a perfect summer read for anyone who loves horses. 

I have an Appaloosa horse, Shadow, which I've had and loved for 13+ years, but he's getting old and coming to the end of his life. This book helped me realize that even when he is gone that doesn't mean I will never love another horse. Also another horse will never replace the memories and love I have for Shadow. 

I would completely recommend this to any of my horse loving, book reading friends! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

*Big thanks to NetGalley, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, and Mary E. Pearson for giving me this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Wow this book really takes you all over! I loved the world building part of this more than anything, and A LOT of this literary world is shown. I wish I could move to and live the rest of my life in Terravin! That place sounds amazing!

I really liked Lia. She made a great main character and wasn't afraid to work hard for what she wanted, which was just a normal life where she could choose her own path. I loved her friend/maid, Pauline, even more. She was fiercely loyal to Lia and overall just a great person and friend for Lia to have in her life.

I'm not sure how I feel about the two main men in this book. They both have their moments, but it gets confusing in this love triangle that isn't really a love triangle, but I have a feeling might turn into a love triangle later on at some point. 

The only thing that I really hate about this book is that I have to wait a whole year now to find out what happens next!!! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


I've been horrible at reading and and reviewing lately, but I have an excuse! I'm having a baby! Between morning sickness, that for me has been lasting ALL day, and wanting to sleep like a hibernating bear, I haven't been very interested in reading. Thankfully for my books I am almost done with the 1st Trimester and feeling human again. I'm excited about reading more often and I can't wait to meet our future book nerd!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter's town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam's girlfriend while he's in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carter agrees. But it turns out Adam isn't at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what's real and what's fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds - her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life?

*A Big Thanks to Netgalley, Scholastic, and Kim Culbertson*

At first I was a little wary of this book. It took me a little bit to start to like the characters, but when I did, everything just clicked for me and I really enjoyed this book. 

I think what I was turned off by at first was the Adam Jakes character, and in my mind I automatically equated him to someone like Justin Bieber. And I was not thrilled to read a whole book that made me think of someone that I view as an entitled douche. As the story went on though he became his own persona in my mind, and I actually came to like his character, all flaws included. 

I really liked Carter though, and I liked reading a book where the girl didn't feel fake or like the only thing she cares about is finding a guy to love her. I love books where I feel completely different about the characters in the end. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she's pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn't exactly Ethan Price's type, either. He's probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund... or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie's a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan's brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan's privileged world, the "acting" begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating "them." And Stephanie faces a question she's too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

I ended up liking this more than I thought I would and it surprised me by not being a typical smut filled romance novel. It was actually very sweet and funny and more times than I could count made me wish I could reach into the book and smack the characters. haha. 

I would recommend this as a good book to read while relaxing on vacation. It's short, sweet, and if you're anything like me than the tension between the main characters will drive you at least a little bit crazy!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.

But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea's past has become shrouded in mystery, and it's only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle - curious, disguised and alone - to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.

Whatever that past holds.

Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart 

I really enjoyed this book, but I think that Graceling is still my favorite. I still have to read Fire though, so maybe that will change. 

This book did take me a long time to read (I think I renewed it from the library 3 times, which is unheard of for me!). It took me so long, not because of the quality of this book, but because of other things going on and me just being too busy to read. 

The story was really good and I LOVED the characters, I think Teddy and Saf are my favorite characters, although they are both completely different. I also loved Death, but he kind of grew on me haha. 

I'm so glad I found Graceling last year and was introduced to this world, because I love it! I honestly think that these are books with the most well constructed world building that I've ever read! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

BROKEN by Lauren Layne *Teaser Reveal and Cover Spotlight*

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

I'm really looking forward to reading this book. It will hit shelves later this year on Sept. 2nd, so mark your calendars!

** Teaser Reveal!**

Olivia squirms. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"I've never known a female to acquiesce that easily without a catch. How about you hit me with it now and get it over with?”
Olivia shrugs. "Fine. I was going to say that I won't run alone, if you promise to go with me."
"No," I say, almost before she's finished her sentence.
"Why not?"
I rap my cane once against the ground. "Well, for starters, despite the fact that there are tortoises that could surpass your sorry excuse for a jog, I'm in no shape to accompany even the most pathetic of runners."
"What a handy skill you have of overloading a sentence with insults," she says as she reaches up to adjust her ponytail. "That must be helpful what with your thriving social life and all."
I thump my cane against the ground again, studying her. "Must be nice, picking on the cripple."
Olivia rolls her eyes. "Please. Your soul's more crippled than your leg."
She has no idea how right she is, and I have no intention of letting her anywhere close enough to find out. I've gotten good at shutting people out by pushing them away . . . being as nasty as possible until they reach their breaking point. But with her? It's different.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?- Goodreads

*Received via NetGalley, Scholastic, and Elizabeth Eulberg for an honest review*

I enjoyed this book, but I have to admit that I'd been waiting so long to read this that I had my expectations really high. It didn't meet all of my expectations, but I liked it well enough and enjoyed it. 

This is a simple read that starts out with the characters meeting for the first time in Middle School and follows them through High School. 

I enjoyed "growing up" with the characters and watching as their relationship changed and evolved and new feelings began to emerge. 

This does seem like it would be better for the younger YA audience, but if you're just looking for a simple read, then it's enjoyable. 

The only part I didn't really like is that the point-of-view switches between the two main characters, Levi and Macallen. I'm really not a fan of that, although it did work for this book. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rambling Daze of Memories by Rowena Patti Young

This is a book about memories, 70 years of them. Some people have similar memories, but others have never experienced such things and may learn from these. Some parts have sadness, depressiveness, obnoxiousness, and darkness, but this can disappear behind the clouds when the quirky, funny, descriptive, and sunny ones overpower them. I have included some of this in my poetry. My life has been full of challenges and I have written about most of them in this book. My hope is that those reading it will find something to help them in their lives and/or be entertained.

My husband's Grandma Young wrote a book! How cool is that? Even better is that the book is really good! 

In this she tells of her life, and some of it was quite humorous, while other parts were really sad. She talks about her first marriage ending in her husband's suicide and her son's ongoing problems with mental illness. 

I loved reading this for several reasons. 

It was a fun way to learn more about my husband's side of the family. I mean this is ancestry tracking gold! haha I have a few small story collections written by a couple of my great-grandmas, but nothing as detailed and entertaining as this. 

I felt like I could relate to this, not only because of my family ties, but because this book reminded me of my own grand (and great) grandparents and the stories of their own childhoods. I always love hearing about how things used to be compared to now. 

This is a wonderful look into the past and what Grandma Young's life has been like and how she's gotten through it. She is a woman who is strong, kind, and quick to joke and I'm so happy to be lucky enough to marry into this family. 

Here is a link if you would like to buy a copy and enjoy this book for yourself- 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fort Stevens Camping Trip

We just got back from a small camping trip down to the Oregon Coast @ Fort Stevens. It was our puppy Thor's first camping trip and we found out that he's a fair weather only type of dog. It rained while we were fishing and he wanted nothing to do with that. (Isn't he so cute with his sweater!)

There is also an old shipwreck on the beach. I love going to see this every time we go to this part of the Oregon Coast. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Liebster Award

I'd like to shout out a big thank you to Emily @ Follow The Yellow Book Road for nominating me for The Liebster Award! Thank you so much for thinking of me!

The Liebster Award was created to help bring attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers, and now it is my chance to recognize some of the smaller blogs that I follow and enjoy. 

The Rules
1. Make sure to link back and thank the person who nominated you
2. List 11 facts about yourself
3. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you
4. Ask 11 new questions to 9 new bloggers (with fewer than 200 followers, and you can't nominate the person that nominated you).
5. Let them know they've been nominated by posting a link on their blog

11 Facts About Myself

1. My middle name is Ann
2. I have a dog named Thor (Thunder-Buns is his nickname)
3. I got engaged to my husband after only 5 months of dating (Most people thought I was crazy, but I just knew what I wanted! haha).
4. My nickname growing up was Cookie Bear (apparently I named myself this when I was 2 and it's never left me, my family still calls me either Cookie Bear, Cookie, or just Cooks). 
5. I have a 20 pound rabbit named Bear, and two cats, Bella and Zoe. 
6. I've lived my whole life in Oregon and the farthest from home I've gone is to Yellowstone National Park. 
7. I love the outdoors. Fishing and hunting are just as fun to me as reading a good book. 
8. I have 2 brothers, an older brother who is 3 years old than me and a younger one who's almost exactly a year younger than me. 
9. I had back surgery when I was 11. (This was a huge turning point in my life, especially for my falling in love with reading. For the year or so leading up to my surgery I couldn't do a lot, so I just read lots and lots of books to pass the time). 
10. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 19. (Honestly, I was just too scared that I was going to fail the test, so I never took it. I did fail the first time I took the drive test, but it really motivated me to get better and pass it the next time cause it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be). 
11. I'm a horrible artist. I can't even draw stick figures. 

Emily's Questions
1.If you could meet one book character who would it be and why?
Hagrid, besides the obvious fact that he's amazing. I'd like to meet him because I feel like he'd be a good friend to have, not only to help you out when times are bad, but to enjoy the good times swapping stories.

2. How did you pick you blog's name?
The Elysian Fields, or Elysium, was the Ancient Greek's version of afterlife for the virtuous and heroic. I'm not really sure what I was thinking when I chose this as my blog name. I love Homer and Virgil and Greek and Roman mythology really interests me. If I had to find a deep meaning for it though, I cause it would be that The Elysian Fields were a paradise, and I want this blog to flourish and be enjoyed. 

3. What is your favorite social media website?
I am hopelessly addicted to Facebook. 

4. What is the first book that you remember reading?
The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss. My dad taught me how to read using this book, so it's always meant a lot to me. As far as the first I read all by myself, that probably would have been one of the Frog and Toad books, cause I was in love with those as a kid, although to be honest, I could probably spend hours reading them today. haha

5. Who is your favorite villain?
I'm not sure if he's really considered a villain but Draco Malfoy. I love his character because I feel like he was so conflicted and had so many different layers, and that his story could have been completely different if even a few aspects of his life were changed. 

As far as super evil villains, Voldemort is going to win every time, cause he's just plain scary. 

6. What language(s) do you speak? 
English and very horrible,and probably barely understandable French. 

7. What language(s) do you wish you could speak?
I've always been fascinated by dead languages, so I'd love to learn any of them, such as Sanskrit or Latin. 

8. How long have you been blogging for?
This is my first blog and I started it about a year ago. I was horrible at updating at first and couldn't think of how I wanted to write, but it's gotten easier and funner as times gone on. 

9. How do you decide what to read next?
I have a to-read stack of books, and I tend to put the books I want to read at the top of the stack. I try to read books in series or trilogy's close together. If I really can't make up my mind though, then my husband picks one for me. He's actually gotten very good at picking out the perfect book for the mood I'm in at that moment. 

10. If you could only recommend one book to people for the rest of your life, which book would it be?
This one's hard, because I recommend different books to different people based on what their likes and dislikes are. A book that I've been recommending a lot lately though is Windwalker by Natasha Mostert. I loved it so much and it's so deep and I just really really enjoyed reading it. 

11. If you were an animal, what would you be?
A bear, because no one messes with a bear. haha. No, really I love bears, and to me I'd want to be one because they're so free and powerful, (and they get to sleep through the crappy months of the year!)

My Questions:
1. Where is your favorite place to read?
2. If you could meet any author who would it be and why?
3. Besides reading, what do you like to do with your spare time?
4. What is your favorite fictional world?
5. What is your favorite animal? Why
6. What is your favorite season? Why?
7. If you had a superpower, what would yours be?
8. Is the book always better than that movie?
9. How'd you first get into books and reading?
10. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
11. Do you prefer ebook or physical book? 

My Nominations:
Emily @ Mrs B's Books
Samantha @ Beyond My Bookshelf
Ashley @ Book 'n' Go

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hidden like Anne Frank by Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhuis

Fourteen unforgettable true stories of children hidden away during World War II

Jaap Sitters was only eight years old when his mother cut the yellow stars off his clothes and sent him, alone, on a fifteen-mile walk to hide with relatives. It was a terrifying night, one he would never forget. Before the end of the war, Jaap would hide in secret rooms and behind walls. He would suffer from hunger, sickness, and the looming threat of Nazi raids. But he would live.

This is just one of the incredible stories told in HIDDEN LIKE ANNE FRANK, a collection of eye-opening first-person accounts that share what it was like to go into hiding during World War II. Some children were only three or four years old when they were hidden; some were teenagers. Some hid with neighbors or family, while many were with complete strangers. But all know the pain of losing their homes, their families, even their own names. They describe the secret network of brave people who kept them safe. And they share the coincidences and close escapes that made all the difference.

*Received for review via NetGalley, Scholastic, and Marcel Prins & Peter Henk Steenhuis*

This book was powerful, and definitely not for those looking for a light and carefree read. Each chapter starts out with a photo of the person before the war, most of them are small, happy children. 

It's hard to describe reading these true stories. I felt intrigued, because I wanted to know how the person survived. I also felt deeply saddened, because I know that so many people didn't survive. And it's clear in these accounts that many of these children and teenagers didn't have much of a family after the war. 

The Holocaust is hard for me to wrap my head around. I don't understand how any one person could be so cruel, let alone a group of people. I can understand why people wouldn't believe that it happened, because it's so horrific. I'm glad that there are books like this though, so that we can remember what really happened and make sure nothing like it ever happens again. 

I do recommend this book, but be warned about how heart-wrenching some of these stories are. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Book I really need to finish/start reading!

Okay, I'm bored and wanted to do a blog post, but since I've been spending way too much time playing video games instead of reading, I haven't finished the book I'm working on. So that led me to thinking about what other books I haven't finished/haven't even started that I have no excuse for not reading!

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-Catching Fire & Mockingjay- Everyone kept telling me how great and amazing The Hunger Games were, but I honestly didn't pick up the first book until after I saw the movie. Now I think I'm just being lazy, like why read it when I can just wait and watch it? haha which is completely the opposite of how I usually am with movies and books. 

2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth- I read Divergent and Insurgent like crazy fast, but for some reason I keep picking up and putting back down Allegiant. It's not that the book isn't good, and I don't know why I can't focus on it, but I really do need to just finish it, otherwise I'm afraid I'll have to just restart it. 

3. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld- I'm so far behind the bandwagon on this one! I loved the author's other series, The Midnighter's, but when I tried reading Uglies years ago it just didn't hold my attention. I'm vowing to try again though cause it's always annoyed me that I didn't finish this one! haha Hopefully this time I'll have better luck....or maybe the book does just suck...idk?

4. The Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton- I'm putting the whole series down, cause I am so far behind that I don't even know how many books behind I really am! Also, it's been so long since I've read this series that I feel like I need to re-read it to re-antiquate myself with the characters. There are SO many books though...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

*Received via NetGalley, Macmillian Children's Pub., and Alyssa B. Sheinmel*

I didn't think it was possible to equally love and hate a book this much!!!!

On the one hand, I loved this book, it was amazingly written and the characters were awesome. Pete and Jas are both cool and smokin hot, and have loads of drama, but so does Wendy.  

This Peter Pan remix was nice, new, and fresh. It makes me really want to learn how to surf now, even though I'm sure I'd drown or get eaten by a shark on my first voyage out! 

I hated the way this book ended. It left me feeling like, what's next? and that's it? I want more to this story, it doesn't feel finished! Or maybe it's just that it didn't end in any way like I wanted. 

I would highly recommend this book though! It was an amazing read, even if the story didn't go where I wanted it to. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

*Received via NetGalley, Random House Children's Pub., and Ann Brashares for review*

This book caught my attention from the very beginning. It's an interesting idea, fleeing a horrible future to live in the past because there is just no where else left to go. 

As far as the characters go, I really liked Ethan, he's like the perfect guy, sweet, funny, attractive, and smart! I liked Prenna too, although she had moments where I really just didn't understand her.

I hated Prenna's mom though. She's a horrible mom, and yet Prenna is all forgiving and makes excuses for why she acts the way she does. Her mom and all the other adults are cowards in my opinion. 

There is so much tension between Prenna and Ethan. And it's sweet and sad at the same time. 

I really wonder if this is going to be a stand alone book or if there's another one? I would read a sequel to this, cause I feel there are still so many questions not answered. 

My only complaint is that I really don't like the cover. I find it kind of bland and not very eye-catching. Although, I know I should judge a book based on it's cover!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down. -Goodreads

*Received via NetGalley, Macmillan Children's Publishing, and Jennifer Mathieu for honest review*

This book was a little bit darker and more deep than what I expected, but it was a good read. It showed just how much and how quickly rumors can spread out of control. Also, that words do hurt, sometimes even more than something physical would have. This book was also a good reminder to me of how much I don't miss high school! haha Not that my high school experience was anything like this. 

Throughout this book, in the perspective of these other four high schoolers, we learn who Alice Franklin is, the real Alice. I enjoyed switching between the characters, which I usually don't, but it just felt right with this book. 

I especially loved Kurt, since I can't help but love nerds. haha He also is the only character that is honest, and someone who I would want to have as a friend. 

I was also really happy with how this book ended, it felt almost bitter sweet in the ending, and was just perfect for me, and the mood I'm in now. I would definitely recommend checking it out. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Windwalker by Natasha Mostert

*Received via NetGalley, Portable Magic Ltd., and Natasha Mostert for review*

From the award-winning author of Season of the Witch, comes a highly original story of murder, redemption, eternal love and destiny. WINDWALKER will keep you on the edge of your seat. And break your heart.

When photographer, Justine Callaway, walks into the deserted English mansion, Paradine Park, she doesn’t suspect that she is opening the door to the greatest mystery–and magic–of her life.

Justine becomes obsessed by the family who used to live in the house, especially the oldest son, Adam Buchanan. But why is she so drawn to a man who had killed his brother nine years before? And why, as she photographs the house, does she discover ghostly images she knows she did not record?

Even more unsettling, she senses someone is stalking her, watching her...

- Goodreads

I loved this! It's beautiful, strange, exotic, and just plain addictive to read. I couldn't wait to pick this back up and immerse myself in these people's lives. It was so interesting and heartbreaking at the same time!

This book focuses heavily on reincarnation and not only having a life path that is predestined for us, but also having a soul-mate that we're searching for throughout all our joined lives. 

Adam and Justine are living a world apart from each other, but they still sense each other and it's only a matter of time before their paths must cross. 

The whole concept on this story intrigued me and I really enjoyed it, especially how it was written. I love the way Natasha Mostert writes, it's almost like poetry, it just speaks to me so deeply and makes me feel! 

At first I really didn't understand what the point of having The Watcher, who likes to watch Justin and is pretty much stalking her, but I felt it added a good bit of suspense to the story. 

I loved the characters in this, and even though this isn't a romance in the traditional sense, I felt that overall this book was very romantic, especially toward the end. 

I think I would have liked this better without the epilogue, but I'm not really complaining because I loved everything else so much. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Shadowhunters Codex by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis

The Clave is pleased to announce the newest edition of the Nephilim’s oldest and most famous training manual: the Shadowhunter’s Codex. Since the thirteenth century, the Codex has been the young Shadowhunter’s best friend. When you’re being swarmed by demons it can be easy to forget the finer points of obscure demon languages or the fastest way to stop an attack of Raum demons. With the Codex by your side, you never have to worry. 

Now in its twenty-seventh edition, the Codex covers it all: the history and the laws of our world; how to identify, interact with, and if necessary, kill that world’s many colorful denizens; which end of the stele is the end you write with. No more will your attempt to fight off rogue vampires and warlocks be slowed by the need to answer endless questions from your new recruits: What is a Pyxis? Why don’t we use guns? If I can’t see a warlock’s mark, is there a polite way to ask him where it is? Where do we get all our holy water? Geography, History, Magic, and Zoology textbook all rolled into one, the Codex is here to help new Shadowhunters navigate the beautiful, often brutal world that we inhabit. 


I was so disappointed by this companion book. I didn't expect it to be way better than Cassandra Clare's other books, but I did expect it to have more new information into The Mortal Instruments series. There was nothing new in this. If you've read the books, including The Infernal Devices trilogy, then none of this supposedly secret and heavily guarded information is new. 

I absolutely hated the way this was written also. I was thinking that since it's an ancient codex that the writing would be different, more "smart" and textbook like maybe. This felt really rushed, stupid, and sloppy. I think the only way I would have enjoyed this is if I'd read it when I was way younger, and before I'd finished the majority of the books. (I only have the sixth TMI book left, City of Heavenly Fire, which won't be released until the end of this upcoming May). 

Overall, my vote is just to skip this book and read Clare's other works. This was just a waste of time for me. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Beautiful Addictions by Season Vining

*Received for review via NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Season Vining*

Josie Banks is a girl without a past.  After being found unconscious with no memory, she was shuffled in and out of foster homes where she suffered years of abuse. An experience that left her broken, damaged, and clinging to drugs and meaningless hook-ups to numb her pain.

When Josie disappeared years ago, she took a piece of Tristan with her.  She’s the girl he thought he lost forever—the one he’s never been able to forget.  Now a twist of fate has brought them back together, and he never wants to let her out of his inked arms again.  But Tristan is haunted by a dark past of his own.  On the run from ruthless criminals that shattered Josie’s world years ago, reentering her life puts them both in danger.

As Josie and Tristan’s lives become tangled once again, they find themselves unwilling and unable to escape the relentless pull that draws them together.  But will the past leave their love in ruins—or bind them together for a lifetime?

This book was definitely not for me. It was a little too dark and heavy for my tastes. That's not to say that this book isn't good, just not my cup of tea. 

Josie and Tristan are both screwed up in their own ways. They're both stuck and unhappy in their lives. I never really felt connected to Josie or Tristan, but I think that might have more to do with me not being able to relate to what either one of them is going through. I guess I just didn't understand them. 

This book was written very well, but it did confuse me when the point-of-view would switch around, not only between Tristan and Josie, but between other characters that majorly factor into the story. I think I would have liked it better if these jumps between character POV were spaced out better, maybe even in separate chapters. Even if the chapter was small it would have helped me, cause I felt like there would be a HUGE change from one paragraph to the next. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a darker kind of romance story with lots of action, drugs, and murder, but be prepared to see the darker side of addiction and abuse.