Monthly Archives:: August 2015

Aug 31

Review * Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E Smith

Reviews 1 ★★★

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.

Review * Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E SmithHello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E Smith
Published by Poppy on September 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this new irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

What I Thought…

• One of my favorite things in books is when there is an element of time involved, and in that regards Jennifer E Smith never fails to disappoint. Hello… takes place during the last night before Clare and Aidan leave for college as they go on a scavenger hunt of sorts to places that hold meaning in their relationship.

• I really enjoyed Clare and Aidan’s journey that night and where it took them in terms of their past relationship. It’s not often you get to see a relationship unfold in non consecutive pieces. Even the misadventures that led them to memories were great.

• I loved the ending, in terms of Clare and Aidan and how things were left.

• I did not care for all angst in making the decision to break up or stay together. View Spoiler »

• I loved Clare’s parents, especially how much they included Aidan.

• By far my favorite part of Hello… was Scotty and Stella. I loved everything about them and I wished we would have had more of Clare/Stella issues and Aidan/Scotty issues. I get that Hello… is about Clare and Aidan, but there could have been a lot more there, especially as those issues did impact Clare and Aidan’s relationship.

Overall I enjoyed Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between and would recommend it to all of Smith’s fans.


Aug 27

Review * Bounce by Noelle August

Reviews 2 ★★★

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.

Review * Bounce by Noelle AugustBounce by Noelle August
Series: Boomerang #3
Published by William Morrow on August 25, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Rebound
Add to: Goodreads
Playing the occasional club gig just isn’t cutting it for twenty-two-year-old cellist Skyler Canby, who’s trying to support herself and her mother back home in Kentucky. Persuaded by her best friend Beth to accompany her on an audition for the first feature film launched by Blackwood Entertainment, she figures why not? Beth’s a shoe-in for the lead, but maybe Skyler’s newly dyed pink hair will help her stand out enough to score a small speaking part.

Never in her wildest dreams does Skyler imagine she’ll land the lead role or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss her audition partner, Grey Blackwood, plants on her—a kiss that feels very real and not at all “acted. ”

After throwing a party that causes thousands of dollars of damage to his older brother’s home, reckless musician Grey Blackwood gets roped into working off his debt on the set of his CEO brother’s newest project. Grey spends his days fetching coffee and doing odd jobs around the studio, but he lives for nights when he performs with his band. He knows if he can stay focused, success as a singer is just around the corner. But that’s tough with a distracting pink-haired girl occupying his every waking thought.

Skyler and Grey have every reason to resist each other. But, like a song neither of them can get out of their minds, they have no choice but to go where the music takes them.

What I Thought…

• As soon as I heard that Bounce was going to feature Grey I got excited. I found Grey to be one of the more interesting characters from Rebound, and one that I remembered well past finishing Rebound.

• Grey did not disappointment. There were times he acted a bit childish, but he is only 19, and he did bounce back from that behavior. He also really grew up throughout the course of the book and became someone that you could rely and depend on.

• I really liked Sky as well. She was funny and a bit insecure. She got the lead role in a movie, over her bff and you could really feel how torn she was about that. She wanted the part (though at first that wasn’t her intent) but she also felt bad that she “stole” it from Beth (which she didn’t).

• Garrett, Sky’s costar, was the best. He was witty and funny and was able to take Grey’s crap. In some ways he wasn’t your typical movie star, but he was in other ways. He knew how to turn his inner diva down. I loved how he supported Sky and Grey.

• We also got to see some of the other characters, most notably Adam, Ali and Mia. Ethan was there a little bit, but not as much. I enjoy seeing other characters pop up!

• Grey had to make a tough choice at the end, but I loved that he didn’t really see it as a choice. It showed how much he grew up.

• Sky’s family was a bit of a problem, her dad would leave for months at a time, her mom would be lost without him. This put a lot of pressure on Sky and her mom didn’t seem to realize (or care) that she was doing that to Sky. I felt that Sky’s emotions and how she worked through this to come to her decision was very realistic and hit me in the feels.

Overall Bounce is a great ending to this trilogy and I highly recommend it!


Aug 24

Review * If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Reviews 1 ★★★

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.

Review * If You Only Knew by Kristan HigginsIf You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins
Published by HQN on August 25th 2015
Genres: Adult, Women's Fiction
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
Wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate understands the happily-ever-after business, yet somehow she's still involved in her ex-husband's life. In fact, Owen's new wife may—inexplicably—be Jenny's new best friend. Sensing this, well, relationship isn't helping her move on, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she'll be able to bask in her sister Rachel's picture-perfect family life…and hopefully make one of her own.

Her timing couldn't be more perfect, since Rachel will need her younger sister. Her idyllic marriage has just fallen to pieces in spectacular fashion after she discovers her husband sexting with one of his colleagues. Second chances aren't in Rachel's nature, but the desire for an intact family has her rethinking her stance on adultery, much to Jenny's surprise. Rachel points to their parents' "perfect" marriage as a shining example, but to protect her sister Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a secret about their family she's been keeping since childhood.

During this summer of secrets and lies, temptation and revelation, Jenny and Rachel will rely on each other to find the humor in their personal catastrophes, the joy in their triumphs…and the strength to keep hanging on.

What I Thought…

If You Only Knew is a hard book for me to review. I LOVE Kristan Higgins’ books. They are everything I want and more when it comes to contemporary romance. However If You Only Knew is more women’s fiction than contemporary romance and I’ve never been a big fan of women’s fiction.

There were many aspects of If You Only Knew that I liked. Rachel and Jenny’s relationship. Leo. Evander. How everything played out with Rachel’s husband. I appreciated some of the family crazy (and one of the worst mother-to-be’s EVER) as well as the family dynamics.

As usual Higgins’ writing is spectacular and she really knows how to pull me in and get me emotionally invested in the characters lives. There wasn’t a single character (except Rachel’s husband) that I didn’t feel for.

But for me it was lacking the humor and fun of Higgins’ other books, which there is nothing wrong with, but it’s just not my kind of book.

I would recommend If You Only Knew to anyone who likes women’s fiction or any of Higgins’ books.


Aug 21

Getting Ready for the School Year!

School 2

In less than a week I’ll be back at school. Two days of professional development and one teacher workweek and the kids will be back in school! Right now all I can think about is school. Last year at this time I was so EXCITED for the school year to begin. This year I am more ANXIOUS. We’ve had a lot of changes and most of them are either not good or will add to my workload. To some extent I understand the changes, after all we did not meet the state requirements during the 2013-2014 school year, however the way the changes have been handled and some of the changes themselves are the problem. But that’s not what I want to share with you today, I want to share with you something that I am excited about!

Even though I’ve only been teaching for 2 years I have not been able to find a planner that I like. The ones the school gives us are vertical *cries* other ones have too small of a space to write in or other things wrong with it, so this year I decided to make my own!

Best thing is, it has everything I need, and nothing that I don’t need.

I had it printed at Office Depot and picked this pretty blue as my cover.
  First up is the yearly calendar. Then the monthly calendar.

Then the pièce de résistance: The planing calendar! I created it myself on excel so that I got EXACTLY what I wanted. The spaces are large enough for these mini post its so that I don’t have to worry about erasing or scribbling out when I have to move lessons. I also customized it to my school’s calendar so it already has days off and early release dates built in.

After the planner I put in my parent call log, just so I had a place to keep it!

I can’t wait to make good use of my planner this year!


Aug 20

Review * Running Wild by Susan Andersen

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.

Review * Running Wild by Susan AndersenRunning Wild by Susan Andersen
Series: Sisterhood Diares #4
Published by HQN on August 25th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
They can't escape the heat… Magdalene Deluca isn't the damsel-in-distress type. But if she has to involve a stranger in a dangerous chase through South America, she's glad Finn Kavanagh's the guy she sucked into her problems. Very glad. The man oozes sex and magnetic confidence. And since their connection is steamier than the sultry rain forest, why waste time resisting him? Finn's peaceful vacation is blown to bits the second Mags strides into view. For years he's ignored his family's pleas to settle down. Now he's falling hard for a blonde force of nature who's allergic to commitment. First he has to keep Mags safe as they search for her missing parents. Then they can determine if it's time to stop running—and take a chance on the wildest thrill he's ever known…

What I Thought…

• I requested Running Wild on NetGalley because I’ve read Susan Andersen before and I’ve always enjoyed her books. I didn’t really pay attention to the synopsis, which is why it was a surprise when Running Wild turned out to be more romantic suspense than contemporary romance. I like romantic suspense just fine, it was just a surprise for me.

• Mags headed down to South America to find her parents, whom she hasn’t physically seen in 12 years. This seemed like a bit of a stretch for her to rescue them, but that’s just my opinion. I really liked her, she was strong and determined and handled things a lot better than I would have.

• Finn got sucked in to Mag’s trip on a whim when things started to go south. He was your typical alpha man I’m here to save you. He blends in with all the typical romantic suspense heroes you read about.

• I enjoyed Mags and Finn’s journey to find her parents it was filled with misadventures and bad guy altercations. I loved how Mags’ job as a make up artist helped them.

•I thought Mags’ parents were a bit selfish, but what can you do?

Overall Running Wild was a fun read, recommended to anyone who is looking for a summer romance.


Aug 18

Top Ten Tuesday * Auto Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday 1


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!

Top Ten Auto Buy Authors

These are the authors that no matter what they write, I know I want to read it!

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 7.27.21 AM

1. Jill Shalvis

2. Kristan Higgins

3. Kasie West

4. Katie McGarry

5. Molly Harper

6. Sophie Kinsella

7. Jennifer L Armentrout

8. Miranda Kenneally


Aug 17

Bout of Books 14 * Final Update

Bout of Books 2


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I did pretty good! I read:

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 8.12.27 AM

Miss Mayhem was my favorite of the bunch, the rest were all 3 star reads. Let me know how you did during Bout of Books 14!


Aug 13

Alphabet Soup Challenge Complete!

A to Z Challenge 3


The 2015 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge is hosted by Escape with Dollycas. Click on the picture to read all the details but basically, you are reading one book from each letter of the alphabet.


I have wanted to “read through” the alphabet for years but those pesky Q X Y Z books are hard to find and I didn’t always give it supreme effort. This year a Y and Q book fell into my lap, and a Z book presented itself so I really only had to look for X. And surprisingly E. I don’t own any unread E books.

Here is what I read.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 7.29.32 PM


Aug 11

Top Ten Tuesday * Most Read Authors

Top Ten Tuesday 4


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!

Top Ten Books Most Read Authors

There weren’t too many surprises on here for me, mostly because I know that before I started book blogging I didn’t read a whole lot of variety. I used Goodreads to gather the info so it doesn’t reflect all the VC Andrews, Christopher Pike and RL Stine books I read back in the day, of which there are many.

1. 35 Books – Nora Roberts

The Villa

2. 29 Books – JD Robb

Naked in Death (In Death, #1)

3. 23 Books – Jill Shalvis

Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, #1)

4. 20 Books – John Grisham

The Client

5. 18 Books – Molly Harper

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1)

6. 15 Books – Richelle Mead

Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)

7. 14 Books – Charlaine Harris, Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6)

8. 13 Books – James Patterson, Sophie Kinsella, Kristan Higgins

1st to Die (Women's Murder Club, #1)Twenties GirlThe Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)

9. 10 Books – Katie McGarry, Meg Cabot, Jennifer L Armentrout

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells, #1)Wicked (A Wicked Saga, #1)

10. 9 Books – Mary Higgins Clark

All Around the Town


Aug 10

Review * The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter

Reviews 1 ★★★★

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.

Review * The Closer You Come by Gena ShowalterThe Closer You Come by Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #1
Published by HQN on March 31, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 434
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.

What I Thought…

• I found myself immediately sucked in to Strawberry Valley. It’s a cute small town in Oklahoma with a cast of characters I can’t help but love.

• Jase has spent that last several years in prison for a crime that he did commit, but when you find out all the details you can’t help but be on his side. He has some issues that stem from this but he is trying to work on them, even though at times he feels like he doesn’t deserve it.

• Brook Lynn is someone I want to be friends with. She was fresh and funny and down to earth. She also has a disability that is not common in books, which I found refreshing. I also liked how she handled it and how Jase handled it – like it was not even a thing.

• There is some awkwardness between Jase and Brook Lynn given another situation in the beginning, but I thought it was handled smoothly and they make an adorable couple.

• While Jase and Brook Lynn are the main characters there is a large cast. I loved Jase’s friends West and Beck and their stories (especially West’s) should prove quite interesting. Brook Lynn’s sister isn’t someone I easily identified with, but I’m sure when it’s her turn we will get to see what’s under the surface.

• There are a couple of twists/new developments that occur later on in the book, none of which are alluded to in the synopsis, which is fine by me, though I think that we probably didn’t need both situations to make the romance work.

• My only complaints about The Closer You Come was that it was a little long for a contemporary (for me). I like my contemporaries in the 300-350 range and this one is over 434 pages. It was an excellent book, I just thought that with the two surprises near the end, taking one of them out would have put things a little shorter.

Overall The Closer You Come was an excellent summertime read and I cannot wait to get to The Hotter You Burn.