ARC August Sign-Up

Friday, July 31, 2015
arc august
ARC August is hosted by Read Sleep Repeat. You can sign up here

This month, I decided to accept the challenge of reading ARCs I got from BookCon and from NetGalley and from Goodreads First Reads! (Which is not a lot, mind you.)

  • It may be a physical ARC or eARC but it MUST be an ARC
  • Yes it can be an ARC that has already released; as long as it’s an ARC I’m not going to nit pick really
  • HAVE FUN WITH THIS! Feeling like you are being “forced” to read is the best way turn a fun event into a yucky obligation.
  • Update post! I personally will do a post for each Saturday in August but that’s just me. You can update once a week, every other week or once for the whole darn event. This update can be in the form of a blog/tumblr post, vlog, link to your “ARC August 2015″ shelf or even an instagram pic! I want to make this as easy and low pressure as possible for you.
Personal Goal:
It'll be tough to read all these ARCs while I'm getting library books. In the month of August, there are eight books I need to read. And this is excluding the six books I didn't get to read during June and July! 
I never realized I had this many books on my TBR. 

But I'm optimistic and excited for this challenge! 
I'll post on Twitter as I go along as well as biweekly updates! 

A Thousand Nights by EK Johnston 
To be Published Oct 6, 2015
From NetGalley

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
To be Published Aug 27th, 2015
From BookCon

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

Breakaway by Kat Spears
To be Published Sep 15, 2015
From NetGalley

When Jason Marshall's younger sister passes away, he knows he can count on his three best friends and soccer teammates--Mario, Jordie, and Chick--to be there for him. With a grief-crippled mother and a father who's not in the picture, he needs them more than ever. But when Mario starts hanging out with a rough group of friends and Jordie finally lands the girl of his dreams, Jason is left to fend for himself while maintaining a strained relationship with troubled and quiet Chick. Then Jason meets Raine, a girl he thinks is out of his league but who sees him for everything he wants to be, and he finds himself pulled between building a healthy and stable relationship with a girl he might be falling in love with, grieving for his sister, and trying to hold onto the friendships he has always relied on. 

A witty and emotionally moving tale of friendship, first love, and loss, Breakaway is Kat Spears at her finest.

23310761Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
To be Published Sep 15, 2015 
From Goodreads First Reads

From the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven't met yet.

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she's tired of being loyal to people who don't appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom. 

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was, either.

Another Day by David Levithan 
To be Published Aug 25, 2015
From BookCon (Thank you to my friend who grabbed this for me!)

The eagerly anticipated companion to David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller Every Day

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.

Total: 5 Books 

Tips to Help You Control Your TBR Monster

Tips to Help You Control Your TBR Monster

My TBR is a monster. I have to constantly feed it. It wants boookkkss to eat. It devours words, its teeth stained with ink. 
So I constantly give it books to feed upon. 

Every reader has a TBR monster. Some are satisfied with only 100 books. Some are ravenous and require 200 or 300 books. 

It's hard to tame your monster. 

You may feel like quitting. 

You may feel depressed. 

You may feel like locking your monster up.

But you can conquer your monster.

Here are my tips to help control your unruly TBR:

You can DNF books. This means you can say, 'Nope. I don't like this book' and put it down. 
And if you're wondering, 'What if I need to write reviews!', the answer is you write a review about why you DNFed the book.
I don't DNF. For me, I like to finish books. Not for just the finality but also because the book might be amazing in the end. If no, that's okay. If yes, awesome.

 Update your TBR list from time to time. Go through the books you marked as to-read. Do you want to read it? Make sure you do before getting that book! 
Are you sure you want to read that book from your childhood for the ninth time? Are you sure that book is right for you?
At times when I have many TBR books, I update my TBR. And I can eliminate a few books. Which is great for me. 

If you get many books at one time, you can definitely put some on hold for later. 
I do this when I get too many books at once. I will return a book to the library or put it aside until I have more time. 

You don't need to finish the series. If you don't like book one, drop it. 
I used to read the entire series. Even if I didn't like it. 

(Translation: drop it like it's hot.) 

I hope I was able to help you control your TBR monster!

How do you control your TBR? 

Review: 'Everything, Everything' by Nicola Yoon

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Everything, Everything
Nicola Yoon

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

The Big Picture: 

This book was quite good. I was surprised by how much I liked it. I didn't think it would be amazing, but it ended up being pretty good.
I loved the characters. Madeline was a reader. I loved her voice. She was fun and youthful. Olly did parkour and stood up for his family. He protected them when he could.
The plot was pretty dull. The Big Reveal was extremely predictable. I felt like there could have been more drama.
The romance was so fluffy. I had a fun time reading it. It was cute and adorable like many first romances.
The ending gave Madeline closure. I didn't have any more questions left, and I felt satisfied.

Travel Companion:

If we traveled with the main character Madeline Whittie, she would be:

The Reader

She would read all the books in the world. She would own a bookstore and run it with her boyfriend. She would visit her mother and Carla often. She would often give out books for free to those who need it.
We would meet her in her bookstore, reading 'The Little Prince'. We would buy a copy of 'The Little Prince' with her rewards in it. We would return it to her and invite her on a trip to see the world. She would come with us to visit the places she read about but never got to experience.

I loved Madeline's voice. She was hilarious. And she was a reader as well. She hated some of the books I hated. She loved some of the ones I loved. She read mostly classic books from years on by. I felt a connection between the two of us.
She was smart and kind. I thought she was pretty cool. She was good with architecture. And pretty good at hiding secrets.
Love makes people do crazy things, right?
I started to feel for her. Her pain. Her love. Her anguish at the truth. When I start to feel for a character, that means the character was pretty good.

The Adventure Begins (And Ends):

The plot was a bit dull. Not a lot happened. The majority of the book was cutesy art and funny moments. And Olly and Madeline IMing. Only certain parts of the book had tension.
But the Hawaii trip? Wow. I was on the edge of my seat. How could she do that? She was going to die. She was going to hurt herself. I felt like she was acting without thinking. And Olly was an idiot for letting her go and practically encouraging it. I was rolling my eyes and scowling at their idiocy.
And the Big Reveal? That was expected. I felt like it was coming. It was obvious. It wasn't such a big reveal as it could have been. I expected it about halfway in. (Okay. That might be a small exaggeration. More like...70% in.

I'll Wait For You At the Gate:

The romance was too quick. Madeline fell too quickly. There was a lingering question. Did she fall for Olly because of convenience, or did she really love him? Someone who doesn't like romance like me can't be a good judge. I thought that she did care for him.
But it was fluffy. So fluffy. 

Their conversations were so funny. I smiled often when I read this book. The two of them were so cute. They had some adorable jokes. They had little quirks. I'm talking about their Fast Five thing. They were great together. Olly brought the world to Madeline, and she gave him happiness.

Perks and Upgrades:


You Have Arrived at Your Destination:

My reaction to the ending: 

It was so cute. The little used bookstore. The shelf. The rewards. Aw... So cute.
The ending gave Madeline closure. I felt like she finally got what she deserved. A happy ending. (Which is rare in any sort of fiction.) I'm happy her mom got the treatment she needed. I'm happy that Madeline got what she wanted in the end.
I don't have any questions left.



Ask the Blogger: Andi from Andi's ABCs

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ask the Blogger

This time on Ask the Blogger...
I'll be interviewing Andi the owner of Andi's ABCs.

Who is Andi?


I’m Andi and this is my foray into the world of blogging.
I’m a shopping fanatic, and that is putting mildly. I can’t help it. There is so much out there to showcase your personality. Shoes, bags, clothes, jewelry, tights… The endless array of options just leaves me wanting more. Add books into the mix and forget about it. Needless to say my credit card hates me.
When I’m not reading or shopping I’m either at work complaining about my job or at home watching TV, and what a TV watcher I am!  I have gotten better, but there are some shows I just can’t miss and I’m very okay with that.  I am also a Boston sports fanatic.  Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins.  Sunday’s you will likely find me in front of my TV decked out in a Patriots shirt calling them every name in the book and then rooting them on.  It’s what I do to show my love. And don’t even get me started on my love and hate of the Red Sox.  I don’t have that much time.
Why did you start reading? 
I was never a reader to be honest. I mean I picked it up in college but I wasn't hardcore about it. That is until a friend of mine suggested some YA books to me about 5 years ago. And then she told me to read Anna and the French Kiss and my life has never been the same. I started reading, really reading, after I read that book for the first time in 2010.

How did you come up with your blog name? 
The same friend that suggested Anna to me had a blog that she let me write reviews on. Well when real life got in the way and she decided to stop blogging she urged me to start my own. I told her I wouldn't unless I had a good name. I thought of all sorts of things and then I thought of things I love most: Accessories, Books and Clothes. Hence Andi's ABCs.

Who are your favorite authors? 
Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Ockler, Lauren Oliver, Emery Lord, Melina Marchetta, Morgan Matson, Miranda Kenneally...I could go on and on.

Who are your auto-buy authors? 
See question 3.

Which book had the best love triangle? Which had the worst? 
I can't think of any that are the best. I mean I don't hate love triangles and will read books with them, but I can't say one was the absolute best. I can tell you that I HATED the one in the Shatter Me series. Just no.

What book world would you like to live in? 
Before when I answered this question I didn't really have an answer. I mean most of the worlds are crazy scary. But I have recently read the first 3 Harry Potter books and I will have to say Hogwarts wouldn't be all that bad of an option.

If your life was a book, what genre would it be? 
I would definitely be contemporary.

What's your favorite accessory? 
My Louis Vuitton Speedy bag. I love that bag to pieces.

What's your favorite TV show? 
I love the Chicago shows on NBC. Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and I'm excited about the new one Chicago Med.

What's your best purchase ever? (It can be books, accessories, clothes, etc.)  
Best Louis Vuitton. Book Purchase: Anna and the French Kiss. I have a ton of edition thanks to Stephanie Perkins, but the one I bought for myself, my original hardcover will always be special.

Thank you, Andi!

Unveiling the Blitz: 'Castle in the Air' by Jennifer Tressen

Castle in the Air
by Jennifer Tressen
Release Date: July 23rd 2015

Summary from Amazon:

The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been called "America's Most Haunted Hotel" largely because of the events of the 1930s when Dr. Norman Baker ran a "cancer treatment hospital" which he called his "Castle in the Air." 

Follow the fictionalized story of Clara, the young, unwed pregnant niece of Dr. Baker who comes to help at the cancer center in exchange for room and board and finds things aren't quite what they appear to be. Caring for an ill young boy at the center she feels her maternal instincts kick in - something is definitely not right at her uncle's hospital. But what? Will she be able to piece together the clues in time to save herself and the boy? Or will be forever be doomed to reside in the Castle in the Air, where once you check never leave. 

Buy Links:

“Lies. Lies we tell ourselves to make things better. I’m never leaving this place. I’m bound by the walls that contain me. These castle walls…it’s a fortress, a castle of lies where promises drift up into the air never to be seen again.” 
“A castle in the air,” Clara said slowly.
“Why don’t you leave then? Come away with me. I’m going. I’m going very soon.”
“You said that before.”
“Yes…and then--”
Theodora clicked her tongue in a tisking manner. 
“You’ll meet the fence if you do.”
“What fence?” Clara thought about it as she spoke. There wasn’t a gate or fence of any sort that she could recall. Where was there one she missed? 
“You can’t see it. But it holds you in. It rips you apart, slowly cutting into your flesh as you press forward.”
“Like barbed wire.”
“Precisely. Like barbed wire cutting into your flesh but leaving more than mortal wounds. This place…it binds you. You never really leave.” 
Clara tried to process the conversation. How words so quickly leapt from Samuel’s intuition to family visiting to lies she tells herself to…
To what?
“Now if you don’t mind leaving I’d like to take a nap. I’m terribly tired. I think I might be coming down with something. There’s a chill in this spring air, don’t you feel it? Amongst the blooming flowers and pollenating bees the air of a deathly winter looms.” 
Without another word, Clara stood. But just as she was closing the door behind her Theodora shot her a look. 
“My wise advice…”
Theodora got to her feet and walked to the window in the room, pushing back the curtains. Clara stepped back inside the room and pulled the door partly shut. 
“Don’t let it get you.”
Her pointer finger began drawing on the window, over and over again over the same sections as if spelling something. 
“What are you writing?” 
Theodora didn’t respond. Clara took a step closer trying to decipher the tracing on the dusty window. 
“Theodora is that…”
“My name,” the willowy woman replied, her back still turned to Clara. 
“It’s important to remember who we are. Otherwise things can be lost in translation.” 
Clara’s feet felt like weights, chained to the floor. Theodora turned ever so slightly. 
“2 Timothy 4:7,” Theodora’s fingers followed her words. Clara noticed how upon drawing her “7” she drew an extra line through the center of it. “You can be going now.” 
Clara nodded and pushed against gravity to remove her sticky feet. Closing the door behind her, she wanted to run away. She wanted to sink down to the ground in tears. She wanted to do so many things. But the faint sound of crying in the distance forced her to regain her composure. She was needed.

About the Author

Jennifer Tressen is a wife, mother and writer. A former actor, she spent nearly ten years in the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, print ads and television shows. It was her love of storytelling that pushed her to the other side of the camera and sent her to film school at Chapman University. Although she entered as a Cinematography major, Jennifer graduated with a degree in Screenwriting after a single required screenwriting class forever changed her path. She found a passion for writing she had forgotten in her childhood. Everything she learned about screenwriting and especially storytelling she attributes to her mentor, the late Blake Snyder. 

After several years of writing and editing for producers and other screenwriters her curiosity led her into writing novels. As a huge fan of Young Adult and New Adult literature this is where her pen tends to lead her. However, she does have plans to release a few middle grade fiction and adult novels in the future.

Jennifer attributes her love of reading and writing to her mother who always reminded her of the power of literacy. Besides telling her and her siblings that they could do anything they wanted if they knew how to read and write, she said, "You can go anywhere in a book. You can be anyone."

Author Links:

Review: 'Ink and Bone' by Rachel Caine


Ink and Bone

Rachel Caine

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

The Big Picture: 

I admit that I'm a little disappointed. I thought this book would be extravagant. I mean...look at what it has. Books? Check. Awesome magic and alchemy? Check. Friendship? Check. Family? Check. A MC who is a THIEF? Check.
So where did it go wrong?
I felt like the MC could have had more to him. He was an average, intelligent guy. He was a jack of all trades. Which was terrible for him really.
The first half of the plot was lacking. It was mostly training, and I thought it was dull. The second half was more interesting with more action scenes and more tension.
The romance wasn't really needed. It was cute, though, to my utter surprise.
The world building was a bit lacking, but the world was creative and unique.
The friendships made me smile. The bond between all the Postulants was admirable and sweet.
By the end, I started to long for the sequel. And I wanted to find out what happens to Jess and Morgan and everyone else.

Travel Companion:

If we traveled with the main character Jess Brightwell, he would be:

The Scholar

He would be reading books and writing research papers for his classes at some nationally-recognized university. He would be on the track for a research position at a university or a teaching position. He would work at a bookstore on the weekends, but he wouldn't be the best at the job because he would mostly just sit and read.
We would meet him in a library. He would accidentally trip one of us. He would apologize, of course. We would join him for lunch, his treat. He would describe his research. We would ask him to join, and he would join because he wanted to explore and research the world first-hand.

Jess wasn't anyone special. I felt like he was average. Sure, he was smart. Sure, he was kind. But he wasn't extraordinary like Thomas or Khalila. He was pretty ordinary. I felt like I could be Jess. I felt like anyone could be Jess. Smart but not extremely so. He was kind. I didn't mind that. He treated his friends well. And he had a determined spirit that wouldn't back down from a challenge. (Sounds like Barney Stinson to me.)Some will love Jess. I didn't.
The one thing I liked about Jess was his past. His thieving past. It was interesting, and his family connections got him in and out of trouble during his time as a Postulant. His knowledge from those days changed things. I felt like Jess was sneaky. It made me a little intrigued to see what he would do with his connections.

The Adventure Begins (And Ends):

The first half of the book bored me. It was boring training stuff. I didn't particularly care for it. It wasn't action-y or even drama-y. It was quite dull and boring in my opinion. I know some people will like it if they like knowing how people train in these worlds. But I was bored. Nothing seemed to happen. Nothing too interesting, at least. We were introduced to the world and the characters. Boom. Done.

The second half excited me, though. It had action. They were on a mission, risking their lives. How cool is that? These kids endured loss and hardship. They were scarred and broken. But they kept going. I felt like their determination was amazing and admirable.

I'll Wait For You At the Gate:

The romance was sweet and innocent like many first romances. It was so fluffy and sweet.

It felt like first love. It was slow and tentative. It was as if Jess was reluctant to succumb to his feelings. I saw that there would be a romance the moment Morgan first arrived. Jess practically was panting and howling to the moon like a dog. Admittedly, the fluffiness made me smile. I didn't adore the romance, but I didn't hate it either.
I thought that the romance was unnecessary, though. It wasn't needed. Without it, Jess and Morgan could have had a great friendship instead. Their relationship muddied things and made things worse. (Especially on Morgan's end.)

Perks and Upgrades:

The friendships were amazing.

The bond the Postulants formed with each other was stunning. They went through hardship and loss together. I liked that this book emphasized friendships. They're important. Friends can get you through the worst of times. Like what happened in this book. The group was tight. Competitive but the sort of people to congratulate their enemies on a job well done.
Romance isn't the most important thing. Friends and family exist too. 

Hyd nes y byddwn yn cyfarfod eto. Until we meet again.”

O menos que te vea primero,” Dario said. “Unless I see you first.”
Page 350 'Ink and Bone'

Ah...the world building was a bit lacking, but it was a stunning world to read.

Here's what I know:
The Library has mini-Libraries called Serapeum. Librarians control these. The High Garda guard the Libraries. The Scholars are researchers. There are Magnuses in each field of study, including Obscurist, Artifex, and etc. And there's this Archivist dude. I'm not sure what he does.
There wasn't a lot of explanation. I was annoyed by that. I wanted to know about the world. And the people. I wanted to know about the Codex. And the way the Library infiltrated the lives of every person. And why the Welsh and English fight. (I know that Wales doesn't like being under English rule but still. There had to be some linchpin that set things into motion.) I wanted to know about their alchemy and the limits of alchemy. There were gaps in the world building.

I did think it was a stunning world, though. It was interesting and very unique.

"A life is worth more than a book! Vita hominis plus libro valet!”

Page 34 'Ink and Bone'

You Have Arrived at Your Destination:

The ending left me longing. I had started to like this book. The plot was starting to become more and more interesting. The world was starting to feel a little home-y. I wouldn't want to be a smuggler, but I wouldn't mind being a Scholar.
I had some unanswered questions left. What about Wolfe? Morgan? What will Jess do with Thomas's plans? Who is the Archivist? What does he/she do? What happens in the Iron Tower?
I can't wait for the sequel.



Top Ten Tuesday: Four Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

Monday, July 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Week's Topic:

Four Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

It's always a pleasant surprise to find out that a character is a reader like me. It's like, 'Oh! Awesome!' It's like stumbling upon a treasure chest in the middle of a battle or a sweet romance scene.
My list is so short because it's hard to remember these things. I wish I had a better memory...

NOTE: All rights go to the respective artists. I did not draw any of these. If you click on the pictures, you'll be taken to the site I took them from. 

 Celaena Sardothien from 'Throne of Glass'


William Herondale from 'The Clockwork Angel'

Photo Will 01    7171637

Tessa Gray from 'The Clockwork Angel'

CJ Flowers, Tessa     7171637

Cath from 'Fangirl'