Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ARC Review - Sisters of Blood and Spirit

Title: Sisters of Blood and Spirit 
Author: Kady Cross
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Release Date: 3/31/15
Format: ARC 
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Synopsis: Wren Noble is dead—she was born that way. Vibrant, unlike other dead things, she craves those rare moments when her twin sister allows her to step inside her body and experience the world of the living.

Lark Noble is alive but often feels she belongs in the muted Shadow Lands—the realm of the dead. Known as the crazy girl who talks to her dead sister, she doesn't exactly fit in with the living, though a recent suicide attempt and time in a psych ward have proved to her she's not ready to join her sister in the afterlife.

Now the guy who saved Lark's life needs her to repay the favor. He and his friends have been marked for death by the malevolent spirit of a vicious and long-dead serial killer, and the twins—who should know better than to mess with the dead—may be their only hope of staying alive.

Let me start by saying that I love Kady Cross and was really looking forward to reading this new book from her.  So when the chance came to receive an ARC in exchange for a review, I jumped on it. While I didn't enjoy it as much as her Steampunk Chronicles, I still enjoyed the story that was to be told.

The characters that she created were interesting in their own ways and I have to say that my favorite was Wren, who is the ghost twin. What was really interesting was that she made the story much more enjoyable for me when she took part in how things would turn out. There was a lot to the plot which with being a fast read made things feel a bit rushed on the other hand. I wanted to know more about Lark and Wren and why they can communicate like they do.

I have a lot more questions that I want answered but as it is a standalone novel, I feel a bit let down. Overall though it was a likeable book with paranormal, romance and I think a little underlying mystery thrown in made it good. I wish more had been explained than what was and the ending left me wanting more. Hoping there may be a sequel in the future.

Top Ten Tuesday #5

Ten books I recently added to my TBR List:

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour - Morgan Matson
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver 
Chasing Jordan - Miranda Kenneally
The Disenchantments - Nina LaCour
Dorothy Must Die Stories - Danielle Paige
The Dream Thieves - Maggie Stiefvater
Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell
Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes
Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson
The Winner's Crime - Marie Rutkoski

*As always Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish*

Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review - Anna and the French Kiss

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: December 2, 2010

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

I remember seeing all the hype on Twitter the closer we got to Isla's release date and the #MatchMyIsla that was going on and discovering that Isla was the last book in the series, I didn't think I would ever end up reading this series. Well one thing led to another and I ended up getting Lola one day at a bargain outlet and I didn't want to read Lola until I had managed to read Anna. Thankfully I have some amazing friends and I received both Anna and Isla as birthday presents. So started my journey into Stephanie Perkin's world of Anna and the French Kiss.

Now I understand the hype over Isla at the time. This book was wonderfully written and all the feels and joy I got out of reading Anna. I managed to read this book in less than 12 hours because I couldn't put it down. The entire cast of characters that was created were true to how teenagers are, well except not many get to spend their high school years in Paris at a boarding school. Anna was probably one of my all time favorite female characters that I've ever had a chance to read about. Etienne is so sweet and endearing and I loved his slang and the fact he is a short guy and wasn't the stereotypical guy found in YA books.

The world that Stephanie Perkins created within SOAP (School of America in Paris) is truly a magical one and one that I couldn't wait to read again and again. The romance, the setting, the mistakes, the attitudes and all that is amazing. This is one of the books that hooked me into the world of contemporary novels.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #4

I'm actually doing this post on time for once! Woo! Not to many this week but still a decent amount.

Warriors - Dawn of the Clans Book 2: Thunder Rising by Erin Hunter - Alright I've been reading this series since they first came out and new arc of books so I must continue!

Dorothy Must Die and Dorothy Must Die Stories by Danielle Paige - I loved my ARC of Dorothy so I needed to get a finished copy. Then I saw the novellas next to it on the shelf and it joined my pile.

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally - So many people have been talking about this series so I figured why not give it a try.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - Confession time, I already own a paperback of this book but I really wanted a hardcover so this would be my hardcover.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - Confession time 2.0, haven't read any of Lauren Oliver's books and I saw this one at the thrift store so I'm giving it a go.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  - Why not have another copy of it?

Second Chance Summer and Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - I loved Since You've Been Gone so I had to get these two books! Thanks mom and dad for these two!

*Like always Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews*

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Indie Bookstores!

 So this post is all about Indie Bookstores and my love for them! One particular indie bookstore that I deal with on almost a weekly basis that is.

There are a lot of places to go book shopping and ways to receive books as presents and just from general shelf cleanings.While I do use Amazon for book purchases because they are cheaper and other online book sellers; Book Outlet, B&N, Thriftbooks, Better World Books and many others for books when I want to save money; I prefer to use indie bookstores when I have the chance. Why do I use the indie stores? For many reasons; including I want to support them, they generally have what I'm looking for, the staff is helpful and they love books, and they hold book events at times! Now who doesn't love book events like release parties and signings and talks with various authors.

There have been 3 indie bookstores that have made me realize how much I would rather go shopping at these locations as opposed to ordering my books from an online source or even a big name store like Barnes and Noble.

The first of the stores is my indie bookstore back home called Bradley's Book Outlet. While they have a few locations they are only located in Pennsylvania (one Ohio location) and have a wide selection of both new books and wonderfully discounted books as well. They have a stamp it program where every $10 you spend you get a stamp and the cards can be combined so after 12 stamps you get $10 off. I used this program a lot.

The Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, PA has made a lasting impression on me forever because I had the chance to meet Claire Legrand last October right after I made the decision to start blogging. She was really awesome and even signed my books and wished me luck with blogging! That was a really cool experience and I have to thank my friend; Sam; for putting up with sitting there during the whole ordeal. The staff at the Bookshop was super friendly as well and having attended college in Doylestown it was a place I went a few times.

Now for my all time favorite indie bookstore which is The Book Loft in Solvang, CA. Ever since I moved out to California for my internship I have made numerous trips to this bookstore. The staff are super helpful and they know me by name! Bonus points for that. The Book Loft has ordered me several books that I have requested and have given me some recommendations for books that have been amazing to read so far; such as the Glass Sentence. The Book Loft even has a frequent buyer program of which I am a member of and it does come in handy. So if you ever visit Solvang be sure to stop in a take a look around! They have a Hans Christian Anderson Museum upstairs, used book section, local section, a whole section on Vikings and they are attached to a coffee shop! They have lots to offer.

So now I want to know what you all prefer. Indie bookstores or big names like Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I like them all but I prefer to deal with the local places like the Book Loft because I love being able to talk books when I go book shopping and its a great way to support authors and little local shops.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #3

So I've fallen behind on blogging so this Stacking the Shelves is everything I've gotten since the beginning of March (or at least I think it is).


The Book Loft of Solvang:
The Raven Boys
The Dream Thieves
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
The Indigo Spell
The Fiery Heart
Silver Shadows
Falling Kingdoms
Rebel Spring
Gathering Darkness
Red Queen
All the Bright Places
Open Road Summer
Elanor and Park
The Winner's Crime
The Disenchantments

Book Outlet:

Cinder Hardcover


Anna and the French Kiss Hardcover
Lola and the Boy Next Door Hardcover

Used Bookstore:


My bosses surprised me with a gift card for the bookstore in town which is what got me most of these beauties!

*Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review - Since You've Been Gone

Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Hardcover 

 "Emily is about to take some risks and have the most unexpected summer ever in this new novel from the bestselling author of Second Chance Summer and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.

Before Sloane, Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, and she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—someone who yanks you out of your shell.

But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list with thirteen bizarre tasks that Emily would never try. But what if they can lead her to Sloane?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Wait…what?

Getting through Sloane’s list will mean a lot of firsts, and with a whole summer ahead of her—and with the unexpected help of the handsome Frank Porter—who knows what she’ll find.

Go Skinny Dipping? Um…"

  Thank you Morgan Matson! Let me just say that this was the first contemporary that I have ever read and I was hooked from page 1 and was in love with the book through the end. That being said I have a new found love for contemporary novels; but that's a post for another time.

The characters were a great joy to fall in love with and stumble along with them as they  navigated the summer and through the flashbacks over the course of the last couple of years. Sloane and Emily have one of those friendships that just seemed to happen without really a rhyme or reason to it, kind of like they just sort of clicked. Frank Porter was just as wonderful to fall in love with. Helpful and always Mr. Popular at school, Morgan Matson made him even more relateable behind his exterior. 

What I really, really, really loved about this book was The List. The List set the tone for the whole story and the following of Emily and her friends as they attempt to cross everything off the list. It was a roller coaster ride that I loved to follow. The ending was something I wish I could have for myself but if you want to know about the list and the ending you need to read this book for yourself.

Capturing small town living was something I really give her credit for. Its not easy to capture what its actually like to live in one of these places but everything was familiar to me and described what its like growing up in a place like this. From the drive in movie theater to the Grove, we had our places like that where everyone went to hang out. The book cover and inside of the dust jacket were beautiful and that played a part in my decision to finally order it and read it.

Flawlessly written and with all the characters and fun and issues that we all go through, Morgan Matson wrote pure gold. I can't wait to read her other books in the future!

Rating: 5/5 stars!