Monthly Archives:: June 2014

Jun 30

Mini Review * Until We Touch by Susan Mallery

Reviews 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mini Review * Until We Touch by Susan MalleryUntil We Touch by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #15
Published by HQN on June 24, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm's length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighborly Fool's Gold, California.

Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack's her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa's big secret is revealed…by her mother!

When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa's feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he's not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?
  • I first met Jack and Larissa in the previous book, Before We Kiss, and the tension between the two was obvious even then. Until We Touch amps up the tension and I loved it. I also really liked coming back to Fool’s Gold (as I always do with these kind of books).
  • Despite the fact that Jack doesn’t want to be in a relationship, ever, he has such a soft spot for Larissa. It’s cute to watch him crumble and give in to all her different causes.
  • I liked both Jack and Larissa and I felt like they complimented each other nicely. They had a good amount of give and take throughout the whole book.
  • The ending came a bit fast for me in Until We Touch. I felt like everything was a bit rushed regarding Jack and his relationship issues.

Despite the rushed ending, I really enjoyed Until We Touch and I have definite plans to head back to Fool’s Gold in the future.

Kimberly


Jun 26

Review * All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Reviews 4 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via SYNC Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * All Our Yesterdays by Cristin TerrillAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Published by Disney Hyperion on September 3, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Time: 9 Hours 25 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: SYNC Audio
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
                                             What would you change?

Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it... at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.
  • In my renewal of love for Young Adult books a couple years ago I’ve discovered that I really like time travel books and All Our Yesterdays was one that I was very excited about. The premise sound really cool and a bit different from other time travel books I’ve read and I was happy to see that it was one of SYNC Audio’s free downloadable audiobooks this summer.
  • As with other time travel books there is a science behind it. Personally I  like when they don’t tell me too much because I’m not a science person and I don’t really care to know the specifics. I just want to know enough to make the story work. For me the science behind everything worked.
  • At first I found the story to be confusing, but I feel like that is mostly the audio’s fault, not the books fault (more on that later). It was hard to tell the difference between Em and Marina at times. Once I figured everything out though I really got into the story. The second half moved at a fast pace and I couldn’t stop listening!
  • It’s really hard to talk about the characters in All Our Yesterdays without any spoilers. There is so much going on between them and in the past/present and everything intertwines, which makes talking about the characters difficult. We have four main characters: Em, Marina, Finn and James. I liked Em and Finn, Marina sometimes got on my nerves and James was ok in a crazy kind of way.
  • The plot was both intricate and simple at the same time. Em and Finn were going back in time to prevent time travel being possible due to the effects it had on the world. In it’s simplicity Em and Finn are just going back and stopping an idea, however they have been there and done that several times before without getting the necessary results.
  • While I enjoyed All Our Yesterdays I had a difficult time with the audiobook. The narration was ok, but there were two narrator, Em and Marina, and the voice was the same for both, so if I missed the name sometimes it took me a bit to figure out which time we were in.

Overall I would recommend All Our Yesterdays to anyone who likes action or time travel!

Kimberly


Jun 23

Review * These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Reviews 4 ★★★★

Review * These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on December 10, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

What I Thought…

  • Honestly, I’ve never really been one for space anything, but I was at a signing and they were there and they were awesome and I decided, what the hell? and bought the book. So glad I did.
  • These Broken Stars is pretty fast paced and intense. Lilac and Tarver get ship wrecked and land on this mysterious planet.
  • The planet was creepy and weird and unexplainable things happened. I found the planet to be absolutely fascinating. Kaufman and Spooner must have spent a lot of time creating something that was familiar yet not familiar to readers. They also had just the right amount of creep factor for me. Enough to keep me intrigued, but not so much that I had trouble sleeping
  • Lilac and Tarver and drawn to each other from the beginning, but Lilac (for reasons) pushes him away and Tarver respects that, though while they are on the planet alone things do change, once they start having conversations. I know a lot of people don’t like this kind of love interest set up as there are no other choices, but it worked for me here, and there are two more books that will have other people in it so there’s that.
  • Up until the end this was a five star read. I don’t want to spoil anything but I didn’t care for the one thing that happened. I wish they hadn’t gone there, but it only diminished the book a little bit for me, and I’m sure others wouldn’t have the issues with it that I did.
  • While These Broken Stars has an ending, there is still so much going on and I am so grateful that Andrea from The Overstuffed Bookcase gave me her copy to read!

Overall I recommend These Broken Stars to those who love Science Fiction and those that don’t!

Kimberly


Jun 19

Review * The One by Kiera Cass

Reviews 0 ★★★

Review * The One by Kiera CassThe One by Kiera Cass
Narrated by Amy Rubinate
Series: The Selection #3
Published by HarperTeen on May 6, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Time: 7 Hours 25 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: The Selection
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen--and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

What I Thought…

  • It was good for what it was, but it wasn’t all that. For those of you not in the know, that’s a quote from Sister Act II, which pretty much sums up this series. If you read the first two and expect the same then you will enjoy The One just fine.
  • To sum some things up: America is still whining, Aspen is still seriously annoying, and Maxon needs to just get on with The Selection.
  • I won’t discuss who she chooses, but I do feel like the epilogue was lacking considering that this series is a romance with a side of dystopian.
  • I knew something was up even back in The Selection about why her name was America, but that didn’t make it any less cringe worthy when all the things started to come together.
  • I did like how The One ended, though I wish the ending and the big showdown had been a bit… bigger I guess, but I’m not surprised that it wasn’t.

Overall, if you’ve read The Selection and The Elite, The One is a must read!

Kimberly



Jun 16

Review * Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Reviews 1 ★★★★★

Review * Take Me On by Katie McGarryTake Me On by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #4
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 27, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 544
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You, Breaking the Rules
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

What I Thought…

  • Part of me was a little bit worried about Take Me On. Crash Into You didn’t quite resonate with me as well as Pushing the Limits and I was worried that I might feel the same about Take Me On, but I didn’t need to worry, Take Me On was excellent!
  • While Noah still comes in first place for me West is just behind him. West is dealing with a lot of family issues and while some of it is his own stupidity as a teenager I can see that they feel that those kinds of thoughts/behaviors are reasonable. In Crash Into You you meet Rachel and West’s parents and brothers and honestly, they aren’t awesome, but I loved watching them grow and change in Take Me On. I especially liked the dynamic between West and his dad. There is also some stuff between West and Rachel, which I also liked.
  • Haley is strong and independent and while I sometimes found the independent thing to be annoying, it’s a good trait to have. Her family situation is also messed up. Haley and her family are living with her crazy uncle with his crazy rules. It’s seriously not awesome.
  • There is a lot of back and forth between West and Haley but I really enjoyed their story and how they first met and then come together. Some of it was a bit of a stretch, but that never really bothered me.

Overall Take Me On is another great contemporary from Katie McGarry!

Kimberly


Jun 13

What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Misc 2

May went by in a bit of a blur and I didn’t have much time for anything besides work. May was one of my lowest reading months due to the craziness that was work. Students take their state standardized tests and it was a lot of work to get them ready, administer the tests, wait for results and retesting. I was so exhausted that if I read I was lucky and the blog definitely took a back seat.

This was my first year of teaching and there were many times that I found it hard to balance what I wanted to do (read, blog, watch tv, sleep) with what I needed to do (grade, plan, grade, plan). The next school year should go smoother as one of the course I will be teaching I taught this year so that *should* require less planning time. The other course is new, but as the school year progressed I got faster at doing things so I’m hoping that will carry over into next year!

Since I have the summer off there will be lots of reading and blogging. I not only plan on reading all the books but give my blog an updated look. I really want to do it myself so it’ll probably take me all summer lol, but I will do it! There will also be reviews and TTT’s and other fun bookish things!

 

Kimberly


Jun 07

BEA Book Haul

BEA 2

I feel really good about the books I picked up this year. I made sure that I only picked up books that I was interested in and not just ones at other bloggers thought were cool. Normally I would include the books I have gotten in my monthly wrap up post but since BEA is special it gets it’s own post!

Books I’m most excited about: The Book of Life, Get Even, Since You’ve Been Gone, The Jewel, Landline and Breathe Annie Breathe.

What books did you get at BEA? What are you most excited about?

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Kimberly


Jun 04

BEA 2014 Wrap Up

BEA 5

Another BEA has come and gone. This was my second time going and I had a fabulous time. I had a better time this year than two years ago (mostly because I was a little bit uptight last time). I met lots of awesome people, but I did a terrible job of keeping track of who I met.

Thursday
The highlight of Thursday for me was finally meeting Andrea from The Overstuffed Bookcase and Jessie from Jessie Marie Reads in person for the first time. If you don’t know who they are you should, check them out because they are awesome.

I felt that a lot of things were much better run this year than two years ago. The autographing areas in particular. There were a few issues, but mostly they had areas and signs and lots of people wearing green shirts to keep the lines strait and pathways clear.

The longest line I waited in was Get Even by Gretchen McNeil (she was my must have of the day). Later in the day I got a pleasant surprise when Kate from Midnight Book Girl and I ran into Pam from Midnyte Reader who told us that Deborah Harkness was here and was signing copies of The Book of Life, the final book in the All Souls Trilogy. Kate and I booked it over to the Penguin book and we were successful!

Friday
I didn’t get as many books on Friday, but 7 of 10 were ones I was dying for, 2 were on my list and 1 was a bonus. I had to make a mad dash for Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield, but it was worth it. I also got to see one of my favorite authors again, Miranda Kenneally, and get her new book Breathe, Annie, Breathe.

BEA ran pretty much the same Friday as it did Thursday. A lot of the publishers had well run lines for books with big signs indicating the end (or middle) of lines as well as good communication.

After BEA Pam, Kate and I headed out to dinner and then to the Book Blogger Picnic. It started to rain but it was great to see all such a fabulous group of book bloggers!

Saturday
Saturday was a wee bit crazy. The BEA only side was fine, but the book con side was crazy. I made it over to the book con side two times, but only to one specific booth, and I camped out there because I couldn’t handle just walking around in that area. I heard stories that the autographing section had a million people in it and that there was lots of pushing and shoving. You also had to be in line super early to get a book in that area.

People started lining up for Grumpy Cat at 9… And he wasn’t scheduled until noon! Then when they brought him out just before noon there were people just then coming to the booth to get in line, and quite a few didn’t understand that there was actually a line and things got a bit crazy. It was also made a bit more crazy as there were lots of people waiting for The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.

I’ve heard rumors, but I don’t know for sure what the plan for Book Con is next year, but I really hope they do separate the events. They did not go together well at all, plus I think they sold way more tickets to Book Con then they had space for. For all the people they had they really needed the entire floor, not just an area. They also needed way more space in the autographing area to account for all those people lining up early!

Overall
Overall I was seriously happy with BEA experience. I met so many amazing and wonderful people, bloggers, authors, and librarians. I hope I am lucky enough to be able to go next year!

Kimberly


Jun 03

Top Ten Tuesday * My Summer Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday 3

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer

Until We Touch Catch A Falling Star Get Even Even in Paradise Falling for Max

1. Until We Touch by Susan Mallery

2. Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

3. Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

4. Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

5. Falling for Max by Shannon Staey

Breathe Annie Breathe Since You've Been Gone The Fine Art of Pretending Flirting In Italian On the Fence

6. Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

7. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

8. The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

9. Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

10. On the Fence by Kasie West

Kimberly