Monday, January 25, 2016

Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend

Standalone. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (March 2016) NetGalley
The first month of school, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette finds herself...
DUMPED by her best friend Dani, who suddenly wants to spend eighth grade "hanging out with different people."
 
DESERTED by her mom, who's in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt.
 
TRAPPED in a house with her dad, a new baby sister, and a stepmother young enough to wear her Delta Delta Delta sweatshirt with pride.
STUCK at a lunch table with Shawna the Eyebrow Plucker and Sarabeth the Irish Stepper because she has no one else to sit with.

But what if all isn't lost? What if Anna's mom didn't exactly mean to leave her? What if Anna's stepmother is cooler than she thought? What if the misfit lunch table isn't such a bad fit after all? With help from some unlikely sources, including a crazy girl-band talent show act, Anna just may find herself on the road to okay.


Anna finds herself living with her dad, in his new home, with his new family after she finds her mom at the brink of death. Everything is turning out wrong all of a sudden. Her best friend decided they weren't going to be friends anymore, she has to live with her stepmom - perfect Marnie, and she constantly worries that her mom is going to try to kill herself again.


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Well, I'm all cried out. This hit me pretty hard. If you can get me emotional with a book like Where You'll Find Me, you've hit me right on the target. Admittedly, I'm an emotional person but I couldn't find one flaw so this was a perfect read for me.

I really felt for Anna. I wish I had this book when I was a kid. There's this confusion you have when a parent is dealing with a mental illness. It just makes you so worried, especially as you grow up until you begin to understand how to process what's happening. You are worried you'll become them. It's a whole jumble of emotions that Friend was able to show through Anna.

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Part of dealing with what's happening with her mom, Anna's anger with her dad and stepmom is another big part of Anna's story. New potential friends also come into the mix. I really loved Anna's stepmom. You knew she was trying with Anna and the situation. Her relationship over time with her was what made me really happy about this book. She didn't need anyone against her. Her new misfit crew were also a delight. Overall, I loved everything about this book and there should be more books like this accessible to kids who need them.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Blog Tour: The Year We Fell Apart + Giveaway


The Year We Fell Apart
by Emily Martin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Synopsis:
In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.
As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.




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Follow the The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.




Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. She has a penchant for impromptu dance parties, vintage clothing, and traveling to new places. When not writing, she can be found hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored.

Emily’s debut young adult novel, THE YEAR WE FELL APART, comes out January 26, 2016 from Simon Pulse.

Her work is represented by Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown Literary.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Bout of Books 15: Wrap-Up

Bout of Books was officially over yesterday. I only kept in touch with posts the first couple of days but I did get a good amount of reading done.


Books Read 



So I didn't fulfill any of my goals but I've read twelve books so far this year so that's a win. The new semester is starting so I only hope I'm able to read even more this January. I hope everyone was able to read some great books!

What did you read this past week?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

The Field Party #1. Simon Pulse (August 2015) Own
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

West and Maggie are both hurting. West's father whom he loves exponentially and is the only reason he even plays football is dying of cancer and there is nothing he can do about it. He hasn't told any of his friends and the secret is killing him inside. When he meets Maggie he sees the way she looks at him - like she sees through him to the pain. She sees and he can't help but be drawn to her.

Maggie is dealing with her own pain. She hasn't talked since her father killed her mom two years ago. She's come to live with her aunt, uncle, and protective cousin Brady. The thing with Maggie is that she saw her mother murdered by her father and can't speak for fear that she will lose it all over again. And then she meets West, whose anger shows through. His false smiles are obvious to her. His pain is like her own. These two find comfort in each other when no one else could possibly understand what they are going through.


I enjoyed West and Maggie's stories so much. It's completely different than I imagined. Until Friday Night had me leaving feeling bittersweet. There was a rawness that came with this story. Although, the book also left me with mixed feelings. Their need for each other could be so intense. I understood why they clung to each other (mostly West did) but I became worried about the intensity. I am so glad it was addressed because that could have really hindered the story as a whole. It was resolved a little too easily but I didn't mind so much. I wish Maggie would make more friends because her life shouldn't revolve around West. But again that's something that feels like it will be resolved soon in the next story. Mostly Maggie needed West to be her gateway. 


I do feel like West could have calmed down more. He was too intense. Again I understand that he was in pain in some ways and other ways I didn't like his demeanor. I can see how readers can find fault with him and although he bothered me only a little I can see others finding him a problem. With both Maggie and West together I felt their need for each other and pain above everything which is what made me love this story. Maggie and West separately were so interesting to get to know. They seriously worked their way into my heart. West, although could use people, could be soft and protective. He takes a while to blossom into someone who's not numb all the time. Maggie has so much kindness in her that I just want to give her a hug for being awesome. West and Maggie both really got to me and their stories will be hard to forget.

Enjoy the songs. They remind me of West and Maggie's story.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bout of Books 15: A Rainbow of Books

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So far I've read two books this Bout of Books - Your Voice is All I Hear and Almost Home. Almost Home was exactly the right book I needed to read after the heavy context of Your Voice is All I Hear.

I'm currently reading Into the Grey which looks like it's going to be a spooky and odd book.

Currently Reading

I think the fire changed us – me and Dom. I think that’s how the boy was able to see us. Though he’d been there for every summer of our childhood, we’d only been stupid boys until then. Stupid, happy, ignorant boys. And what in hell would he have had in common with two stupid boys? But after the fire we were different. We were maybe a little bit like him. And so he saw us, at last, and he thought he’d found a home…
Rainbow  Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Ranty Runt of a Reader.
R - Riordan, Rick
- Ockler, Sarah
Y - York, Kelley
G - Garcia, Kami
B - Black, Holly
I - Isley, Camilla
V - Velde, Vivian Vande

What's the last spooky book you've read?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Bout of Books 15: Would You Rather


The first day of Bout of Books I got to read one book - Your Voice is All I Hear. It's not as much as I was hoping for but I'm still one book closer to my goal of ten books.

I'm currently reading Almost Home which I decided to read after a fellow blogger reviewed it awhile back. I also love Joan Bauer books too. 

Currently Reading

When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can't control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds.

Would You Rather

Would You Rather is a challenge hosted at Writing My Own Fairytale.

Would you rather:
Lend books to someone who dog-ears pages or to someone who reads with cheesy Cheetos fingers?

Although in real life I would never although either of these two near my books I rather have my pages dog-eared than have Cheeto dust all over my books.

Would you rather:
Be able to meet one character of your choice or meet one author of your choice?

I'll never get another chance to meet an actual character in real life so that one's obvious for me.

Would you rather:
Never be allowed in a bookstore again or never be allowed in a library again?

This is cruel... I would rather never be allowed in a bookstore again just because the library is my world. I have so many books checked out now and I couldn't check out any if I wasn't allowed in.

Would you rather:
Have to choose one of your favorite characters to die in their book or have to pick one of your favorite couples to break up in their book?

Well, rude. I'd honestly rather a character die than to have one of my favorite couples break up in their book. I'm too much of a romantic which is hard to say since I'm allowing a character to die for a couple's behalf.

Would you rather:
Be required to read Twilight once a year for the rest of your life or The Scarlet Letter once a year for the rest of your life?

I have no problem reading any of these once a year. I'd guess I would read Twilight since it's more contemporary than classic and easier to decipher.

What books are you currently reading or have finished for Bout of Books?
What's the worst would you rather scenario you can think of?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Bout of Books 15: #insixwords

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Bout of Books has officially commenced! I'm going to try to read at least two books today. Currently, I'm reading Your Voice is All I Hear which I expect to LOVE.

Currently Reading


I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key.


And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled hallway, knock on his doctor’s office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen.



April won’t let Jonah go without a fight.



He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?

#insixwords

I'm supposed to introduce myself in six words only! I'll try my best.


Loner


________________________________________________

Reader


________________________________________________

Awkward


________________________________________________

Silly


________________________________________________

Daydreamer


________________________________________________

Romantic


What is the first book you are tackling for Bout of Books?
What words describe you best in six words?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Reading Like Crazy: Bout of Books TBR

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Oh Bout of Books, you always set me up for great reading success. The problem is I'm terrible at reviewing books when it's going on. So my primary goal is to review books and then make sure I read a crazy amount of books.  

Goals

  • Read at least ten books
  • Review books before moving on to the next one
  • Comment on at least five posts a day
  • Take part in at least five challenges

Bout of Books TBR



Are you participating in Bout of Books? 
What books are on your tbr list?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Standalone. Margaret K. McElderry Books (July 2014) Own
It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss. These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...
       





     

If you are looking for dark twisted short stories then look no further. That's exactly what Emily Carroll's Through the Woods is all about along with gorgeous artwork that is a feast for the eyes.


I seriously didn't know how twisted this book would be. I'm laughing now thinking of my naivety but I wasn't laughing reading Through the Woods. I was baffled by how the stories transformed. I felt hope for the innocent characters which was quickly extinguished as I read on. And again I can't help but laugh at how true that statement is.

"We didn't leave the next day either.
But my sister was different.
No longer angry.
She was happy.
She said a man had come to the door in the night.
(Yet I had heard no knock).
(And there were no footprints in the snow outside).
She said, "He was a tall man, in a wide-brimmed hat, with a smile that showed all his teeth"
But anything else, my sister would not say.

The stories included in Through the Woods are An Introduction, Our Neighbors House, A Lady's Hands are Cold, His Face All Red, My Friend Janna, The Nesting Place, and In Conclusion. The introduction is obviously an introduction with a simple story of what to expect in the story. Our Neighbors House has three sisters being visited by a man in a wide-brimmed hat. A Lady's Hands Are Cold has a newly wedded woman living with her new husband. She constantly hears a song coming from the house ever night. His Face All Red is a tale of two brother's who went into the woods and one came back... My Friend Janna is about two friends conning others with the idea that one of them is a medium. The Nesting Place is probably the creepiest read. A girl goes to live with her brother and his wife. Things get crazy. And finally, In Conclusion gives us a little warning about monsters and being safe.


Through the Woods was a wonderfully deliciously dark adventure. Emily Carroll's artwork was the cherry on top. I look forward to reading other works by her or just simply staring at her illustrations. The hype is real people!

Friday, January 1, 2016

A Royal Year

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A new year and a new challenge. A Royal Challenge that is. If you don't know about it or want to sign up you can right here. A part of this challenge is optional discussions that I hope some of you can take part in. The first one is to let us all know what you think you'll be reading this year for the challenge. Emphasis on the think because we all change our minds. I'll be going for the Princess level and here are the books I plan to read to get there:

Possible Royal Reads





What books are you planning to read for the Royal Challenge? 

A Royal Challenge

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If you don't know I'm hosting a challenge all about reading books with a Royal Theme. To find out more, you can read about and sign up for the challenge here. This will be the place where everyone can link up their reviews and discussions. So every month there will be a new sign up link right here. I hope you all have fun with the challenge! 



This'll be the place where you can link up your reviews all year. You can link up through your Goodreads, blog, or twitter. Here's an example of how you can link up:

Name of the book and then your twitter, blog, or Goodreads account name:

The Crown by Kiera Cass @ BooksOnHerMind

January


February



March




May



August



September




October



December





This'll be the place where you can link up your discussions all year. You can link up through your blog or twitter. Here's an example of how you can link up:

Name of your blog post and then your blog name:

A Royal Year @ BooksOnHerMind

January


February



March




May



August



September






October




December




Make sure to visit and comment on fellow challengers posts!