Summer Giveaway Hop


Welcome to my stop on the Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds and I Am A Reader Not A Writer. Summer is the perfect time to get your reading on!



•This giveaway is international. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country.)
•Entries will be verified.
•Must be 13 years of age or older to participate.
•Fill out the Rafflecopter entry below.
•Please do NOT leave your email address in comments.
•Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.

See THIS LINK to visit the other blogs participating in this Hop.

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Waiting On Wednesday (89) Bright Before Sunrise

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because I get to share books that I am super excited about and can't wait to read.

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Expected publication: February 18th 2014 by Walker Childrens

Synopsis From Goodreads:

When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him.

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance.

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.?

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

Woot! This sounds awesome. I haven't read this author's first book, Send Me A Sign, because it sounds sooooo sad, and I cry easily. Of course, Bright Before Sunrise sounds like it may be emotional too, so I hope I can handle it.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Series Saturday (2)

This week I want to talk about the Curse Workers series by Holly Black. No spoilers are included here, so please keep comments spoiler free also.


I was a little late in getting around to reading the Curse Workers series. I read the first 2 books back to back, then had to wait a few months for the 3rd book. No matter, I enjoyed all 3 books tremendously, and I can't believe it's over. I almost wish there were more books because I didn't want to say goodbye to this series.

I found the whole concept of curse workers to be awesome! These books have such a cool vibe going on. It almost makes me want to be a part of this alternate reality where curses, cons, and crimes are an everyday occurrence. Secrets, blackmail, and danger abound. And I can't leave out the intrigue, romance, mafia, and family drama. This series has it all!

I absolutely loved Cassel! He was such a flawed and tortured character. He had a strong and compelling voice, and I loved reading this series from his POV. I was constantly entertained by Cassel and his totally messed up family. They put the 'fun' in dysfunctional.

Black created a unique world and a twisted plot that kept me captivated right up to the end. This series is fresh, original, and different enough to be very memorable, and it ended in the best possible way. It's super spectacular and awesome and definitely worth reading! Go. Read it. NOW.



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Review: Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman

Kindness for WeaknessKindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman

Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Page Count: 272
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: eARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest meets Catcher in the Rye.

A fifteen-year-old boy from an abusive home desperately seeking his older brother's love and approval starts pushing drugs for him and suffers the consequences.

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I really wasn't sure what to think about Kindness For Weakness going into it, but I ended up really loving it. I cried on more than one occasion, and maybe I'm more emotional than some, but I felt this was an unexpectedly powerful story.

I really felt for the protagonist, James, because he had such a crappy home life. With a piece of junk mother and an even worse step-father, James prefers to walk the streets alone than spend time in the same house with them. It was so bad at home that his older brother, Louis, walked out years ago and never looked back. I could understand the reasons why he left, but I don't see how he could walk away from his younger brother without another thought.

When Louis suddenly starts coming around and paying James attention, James thinks it's great - but he soon realizes that Louis doesn't give a crap about anyone but himself, and he's been using his younger brother to do his dirty work. As a result, James gets sent to the worst juvenile detention center in the system. This place makes (A and E series) 'Scared Straight' look like day camp. It is rough inside, especially for someone as sensitive as James. Because it's his first offense and first incarceration, James has no idea how to handle himself.

James has difficulties navigating the system and learning to live up (or down) to his new status as a juvenile offender. James loves to read and really wants to better himself while inside. He does good at first, even getting some rewards for good behavior. He also has the support from a few of the adults inside. But his biggest support comes from his English teacher, who saw something in James that no one else saw, and tried to help James through literature. He believes James is meant for so much more. James is able to cope with being locked up by analyzing the books he reads, finding a deeper meaning, and applying what he has learned to his current situation.

I really enjoyed the realistic portrayal of James, and I thought he had huge growth as a character through his experiences. Some of his hardships were heartbreaking for me, but I liked that he was trying to make the best of things while serving his time.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kindness For Weakness. I thought it was well written, with just the right balance of action and thoughtful reflection. James felt so real to me, and I was totally sympathetic towards his plight. This was a raw and powerful story, and I highly recommend it.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (88) These Broken Stars

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because I get to share books that I am super excited about and can't wait to read.

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Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

I'll start on a shallow note and say "Look at that gorgeous cover!" Add a little snark with "That's a helluva big ass dress she has on!" Then throw in a little bit of awwwwww because of the "timeless love story" in the synopsis. This book sounds amazing. I hope I enjoy it, because I'm not usually a sci-fi reader, but I'm willing to give this one a chance.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Excerpt and Giveaway: Catching Liam by Sophia Bleu Blog Tour


Welcome to my stop on the Catching Liam Blog Tour! Today I have an excerpt to share with you. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of this post. (I read Catching Liam and really enjoyed it. Review coming soon!)

Kindle Edition, 380 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Sophia Bleu Books
Genre: New Adult Contemporary


Synopsis From Goodreads:

Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn't just a game for Jillian and her friends, it's a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you're bound for heart ache.

So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can't—or perhaps won't—take a hint.

Study abroad student Liam doesn't want to be another notch on Jillian's bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa's set expiration date means he can't promise her forever. That doesn't mean he's going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance.

Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they're playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart.

Excerpt (PG-13 for language)

Tuesday nights at Garrett's were dead except for people dropping in for dinner. The pizzas were from a box, but the food was cheap and we'd gotten into the habit of going every week since we were freshman. The pub boasted a dance floor and a deejay on busy nights. A few people filtered in and out, but we had the place mostly to ourselves.
Cassie and Jess were busy comparing notes for their courses. Since Cassie was a Public Relations major, she was freaking out over her last required core science course, while Jess promised to help her. As they discussed labs and tests, I thought about my mom and her threat earlier today. Once again, Tara was hinting that she wanted me to drop out and come home. I wasn’t sure it was worth telling them, though. Jess would worry about it, and then she would become unbearable if I was so much as ten minutes late to class. I sat wedged into the corner booth, not saying a word for fifteen minutes before they noticed. Between the scene in Interpersonal Communications and my less than pleasant conversation with my mother, I didn’t feel like talking.
"How was your communications class?" Cassie finally asked. Whereas I had slipped into pajama pants before heading out with them, Cassie was perfectly polished. Her black hair was tucked in a neat bun. Her outfit looked like a fashion tutorial from Pinterest, complete with chic suede boots and chunky, handmade jewelry. She looked like she had walked off a runway, not out of a classroom at Olympic State.
I shook my head. "I'm dropping it."
"You only have a 12 hour load," Jess reminded me.
"I can't stay in the class. The professor humiliated me."
“Shit, I thought you were taking that with Markson. I heard he was a goddamn cakewalk." Cassie cursed like it was art form. She had managed to make it a required syntactical component.
I shrugged at her while Jess stayed silent. She had recommended the class after she took it last semester, and now I couldn't help but wonder if she was trying to tell me something.
Frank, Garrett's longest running bartender, slid a combo pizza in front of us. "That's hot," he warned us.
On cue, we all busted out, "That's what she said."
"You girls staying out of trouble this year?" he asked. Frank was old enough to be our grandfather, and he took the role seriously.
"It's too early in the year to determine that," I said to him with a sly smile. He shook his head, muttering under his breath as he headed back to the bar.
"How did he humiliate you?" Jess asked, grabbing for a slice of pizza.
"It was just Markson," I admitted, ignoring my own food.
"Intriguing," Cassie said.
"Liam was there."
"Wait, Liam, Liam?" Cassie asked with a squeal.
"You have not even met Liam," I pointed out. She had no business being this wildly excited by a bad camera pic.
"Well," Jess said, "she's about to."
I followed Jess's gaze behind us to spot Liam walking into the bar with a few other guys. He was still in a t-shirt and jeans, and I couldn’t help but admire how they hung off his hips. I knew what was under those jeans. My pulse increased just thinking about it, and I could feel heat creeping onto my cheeks. I wasn't sure why I was so embarrassed. It was hardly the first time I'd run into a guy I had slept with casually.
"Great Scot! Liam's hot!" Cassie said in a low voice.>/div>
“Cassie, darling, you’re rhyming.” But I could see how his body would have that effect on her. Liam looked every bit the Scottish Highlander fantasy at the moment—rugged and well-built, but without the kilt or long hair.
“Call him over,” Cassie begged.
“No freakin’ way,” I said in a warning tone. “You have a boyfriend.”
“You don’t,” Jess said.
I shot her my best withering stare. Ever since Cassie and Jess started seeing their boyfriends, they’d been sneaking plenty of hints about hooking me up with someone. The wicked gleam in Jess’s eyes suggested that she wanted to make this dream a reality. “Markson made an example of us in class today. I don’t need to give Liam any more false hope.”
“False hope?” Jess said, and her eyes sparkled as she spoke. “Don’t you think you’ve gone a little too far to not expect him to be hopeful?”
“I swear to God, if every guy I screw is going to expect a relationship, I’m going to have to start an application process,” I muttered.

About The Author:
Sophia Bleu is a secret identity where I can write about fantasies and falling in love and all the smexiness in between. In real life, I'm likely catching a plane, chasing kids, or making out with the love of my life—all 6 ft 3 inches of hotness that he is. Life is pretty good.
Grand Prize Giveaway:

Sophia Bleu is graciously giving away a Kilt Checker tote bag filled with Catching Liam swag and a $25 amazon gift card. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below:

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Series Saturday

I have a love-hate relationship with series (I much prefer stand alones.) I have a tendency to really like the first book in a series, but by the time the sequel is released, I've moved on to something else. I don't mean to do it, and I am attempting to stop this behavior. Really, I am! Today I am sharing my experiences with the Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin.



When Unbecoming was released (way back in Sept. 2011) it was one of my most anticipated reads. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, and it did not disappoint. One thing I really liked was that after I finished Unbecoming, I had absolutely no idea what the heck I just read! It was frustrating and confusing, but I still loved it! The mystery and the creepiness and WOAH that ending! I was all hyped up about the series, and I started looking forward to the release of Evolution (even though it was over a year away!)

BUT.... October 2012 came and went, Evolution was released, and I couldn't get my interest up enough to read it. There was just so much time between books that my interest waned. Now I find myself interested again because the release of the third book in the series is on the horizon. Retribution will be out in October, so I think I'll start back at the beginning and read Unbecoming again (just to refresh my memory.) Then I can read Evolution and Retribution at my leisure. I think that will make reading this series more enjoyable.

What about you? Have you started this series? What do you think about it?
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Review: The Last Boyfriend by J.S. Cooper

The Last Boyfriend (Forever Love, #1)The Last Boyfriend (Forever Love #1) by J.S. Cooper

Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Page Count: 214, Kindle Edition
Published by: Self Published via Amazon Digital Services
Source: purchased


New Adult Contemporary Romance
**Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Lucky Morgan has had her share of heartbreak. She is devastated when her boyfriend dumps her after sleeping with him and she vows to herself that she won't be used again. She decides that the next guy she dates and sleeps with, will be her one true love.

Zane Beaumont is the mysterious and snooty guy that comes into her diner every Friday night with a different girl. He's the type of guy she's learned to avoid: carefree, fast, handsome, rich, and sarcastic. Unfortunately, she can't stop thinking about the devilish gleam in his eyes.

When Lucky's car breaks down one night after a party, it is Zane who comes to her rescue. As Zane attempts to sweep Lucky off of her feet, she soon realizes that nothing is as it seems and that Zane may very well be the guy for whom she changes the rules. That is until she meets Braydon.

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I really, really wanted to like The Last Boyfriend. (Have you read the synopsis? Have you seen that cover?) I read the first chapter online, and I liked it enough that it made me want to read the entire story. After reading it I can admit that I was really let down, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would.

The premise sounds awesome, but there was something lacking in the execution. The characters were so underdeveloped. The plot was thin and full of holes. I'm thinking this story needs some editing, some cleaning up and tightening of the storyline, characters that are more fleshed out, and realistic dialogue. Then it would be an awesome book!

I thought I would love Zane, and I really tried to, but it just wasn't there for me. He was alright, but I didn't really find anything special about him. (I think I love the idea of Zane, the Zane that's in my head and perfect. But I didn't connect with book Zane. Does that make any sense? And I know exactly where I found my Zane love. It was right HERE.)

I found Lucky to be just silly and whishy-washy with her behavior. She needs to stop changing her mind every 5 seconds. I probably would have liked her if she was actually independent and could take care of herself, and if she could stick by her decisions.

There was zero chemistry between Zane and Lucky. With no build-up and no romance, I didn't feel invested in their relationship. They also drove me nuts with their back and forth decisions and actions. They had no idea what they really wanted from each other. Most of the time I found them to be superficial, and they lacked any real personality. Some of their dialogue really made me cringe. And there are too many silly conversations that take place throughout the story.

Overall, it's not a completely terrible book, it's just not well written. Despite all of it's shortcomings, I haven't decided yet if I want to continue reading this series. I admit that I am intrigued by the storyline, and there is definitely potential there. I just hope I don't have to suffer through another 'meh' book to find out what happens next.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (87) Ink is Thicker Than Water

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because I get to share books that I am super excited about and can't wait to read.

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Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: December 3rd 2013 by Entangled: Teen

Synopsis From Goodreads:

For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.

But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.

It finally has a cover! It seems as though I have been waiting for this book forever! It sounds super awesome and I can't wait to read it because I just love contemporaries.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Dirty Little SecretDirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Page Count: 288
Published by: MTV Books
Source: eARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

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THIS is why I love reading Jennifer Echols books. Reading Dirty Little Secrets brought back all the warm fuzzies I had while reading (and re-reading) Going Too Far. However, I feel that no one will ever compare to Johnafter, and nothing will compare to the gosh darn cute and fun dialogue and super hot chemistry between John After and Meg. BUT... Dirty Little Secrets certainly made a grand attempt at capturing my heart in the same way.

I absolutely loved the beginning of Dirty Little Secrets. Bailey gets a job playing fiddle with other musicians while they roamed the mall and entertained shoppers. The musicians that Bailey was partnered with were hilarious and fun to read about. I also loved all of the musical references. I grew up listening to country music (back when it was still real country music) and I can still find some good country music out there that I enjoy. I also appreciated Bailey's ability to write songs - it really helped her to get her thoughts and feelings down on paper.

Bailey was my favorite character, and I thought she felt pretty real. She was angry, bitter, and confused, and I could really sympathize with her situation. The past year was rough for her and she didn't handle it well at all. I felt that most of her behavior was justified, but I thought she acted too immature at times, especially when dealing with her parents. In the end she made the right decision by sticking by her sister, so she gets bonus points for that. One of the things that I liked most about Bailey is her passion for music. Music is her heart and soul, and there were times when it seemed the music wanted to burst out of her and be heard. I also enjoyed reading about how much Bailey loved performing when she was younger AND when she had the opportunity to play with Sam and his band.

I am completely conflicted about Sam. Did I enjoy his character or not? Oh, I wanted to like him, and in the beginning it seemed he had it all - he was nice, funny, cute, caring, thoughtful, and charismatic. It was only after getting to know him better that he seemed a bit off. Maybe more than a bit. He had a lot going on under the surface that we only got a glimpse of. There were things in Sam's past that made him the way he is, yet he was unwilling to deal with his issues. Sam was a great musician and made no secret that he would do anything for a recording contract and a career in music. It comes to light that he is not such a stand up guy and has actually had some questionable behavior while trying to further his career. Sam ran so hot and cold, and I didn't like the way he treated Bailey as the story progressed. He was either all in with the charm or he was giving her the cold shoulder. His own ambition to make it in the music business was really a detriment in his relationships, especially with Bailey. I think that is what put me off him the most and why I couldn't invest in him and let myself care about him like I really wanted to. He definitely had some swoonworthy moments, but I don't know that he was completely trustworthy when it came to his feelings for Bailey.

Bailey and Sam's relationship was mostly cute, and I really enjoyed the back and forth dialogue between them. But I didn't fully trust Sam to do the right thing, and I thought his motives were suspect. I really wanted to love them as a couple, but they were lacking that special something that would have made them a true super couple.

One aspect of this book that I didn't completely buy into was the way Bailey's parents treated her. I thought the family relationship and drama really didn't feel true to life. There wasn't enough background information to support them choosing Julie's career over Bailey's, especially because up until the record deal they had only ever performed together. Her parents really inflicted a lot of pain and heartache on Bailey and made her feel worthless. I couldn't believe they sided with the record company and pushed Bailey so far away from her sister and the music that she loved. I could completely understand Bailey's resentment and jealousy of her sister because of it. I am also angry at Julie for being selfish and jumping at the chance to get a recording contract without her sister.

I really enjoyed reading Dirty Little Secrets, and I love Echols' writing. The pacing was perfect, and even though the main events take place in only a week's time, it has enough action and dialogue that it feels like it was longer. Echols managed to create a complicated relationship between complex and flawed characters that were well developed. This is a wonderful contemporary and another great addition to my growing Jennifer Echols library.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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YA Stand Alone Reading Challenge
YA Contemporary Reading Challenge
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Sunday Updates (34)


Inspired by features from The Sunday Post from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Sunday Summary from Book Twirps.

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Received For Review:

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange

The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never #1) by J.A. Redmerski


Borrowed From The Library:

The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Robin Palmer

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
(I already read this and loved it! Review coming soon.)

In the After (In the After #1) by Demitria Lunetta

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2) by Jessica Spotswood

Recently Read:

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
(Review coming this week!)

Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Lick (Stage Dive #1) by Kylie Scott
(OMG Rockstar hotness!)

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Catching Liam (Good Girls Don't #1) by Sophia Bleu

Reading Next:

I don't know what I want to read next! I'm so torn. All of these library books arrived on the same day, so I need to read them and return them since they are all on reserve. BUT.... I have so many review books that I requested and want to read SO badly. This is when I go to my family and have them pick for me. If I don't like the first answer I get I move on to the next person. Hee. Sometimes they surprise me and pick the same book for me to read next.
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Review: Weather Witch (Weather Witch #1) by Shannon Delany

Weather WitchWeather Witch (Weather Witch #1) by Shannon Delany

Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Page Count: 336
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: eARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

In a vastly different and darker Philadelphia of 1844, steam power has been repressed, war threatens from deep, dark waters, and one young lady of high social standing is expecting a surprise at her seventeenth birthday party–but certainly not the one she gets!

Jordan Astraea, who has lived out all of her life in Philadelphia’s most exclusive neighborhood, is preparing to celebrate her birthday with friends, family and all the extravagance they might muster. The young man who is most often her dashing companion, Rowen Burchette, has told her a surprise awaits her and her best friend, Catrina Hollindale, wouldn’t miss this night for all the world!

But storm clouds are gathering and threatening to do far more than dampen her party plans because someone in the Astraea household has committed the greatest of social sins by Harboring a Weather Witch.

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Weather Witch was a fun and quick read, but I was slightly confused several times while reading. There was a lot of potential to be a really amazing story, but it turned out to be just okay for me.

I loved the action and intrigue, the conflict, and all of the good versus evil throughout the story. And there was the slightest hint of a romance that I hope will bloom in the coming books. But the world building was noticeably absent, so the whole concept of Weather Witches was pretty confusing. I had a hard time knowing what some things meant - if it was something good or bad. Same for the characters - it was hard knowing who was good and who was bad. There are so many different storylines going on at the same time, and multiple POVs, but they all converge in the end to make one giant mess interesting ending.

Character introduction was minimal, so I had a difficult time remembering all of the players - and there were a lot of them! I literally couldn't remember who was who, and I had a really hard time keeping everyone straight.

Out of all the characters, I was most interested in Jordan and Rowen. Jordan turned out to be a very strong person, much to my surprise. Having come from society, I expected her to wither under the harsh circumstances she was subjected to after she was accused of being a witch and forcefully ripped away from her family and friends. She could only hold on the best way she knew how, and hope she would somehow find enough strength to survive.

I thought Rowen was an interesting character. Despite coming from a power hungry family who only want Rowen to marry "up" in society, Rowen is eager to do things his own way. I did like that he felt compelled to help his friend, Jordan, after she was taken away. He set out to find her and free her from what he perceived an injustice, and he suffered a terrible journey attempting to reach her. I was impressed by Rowen's loyalty to Jordan, and I was glad that Jordan had someone on her side who was willing to go through hell for her.

With only a 3 star rating, you may think that I didn't enjoy reading Weather Witch, but that's not the case. I actually really liked reading Weather Witch and I found it highly entertaining, yet slightly confusing. I really had to pay attention to what was going on, and there were times when I had to re-read parts to figure out what was going on. It would have been at least a 4 star book if the world building had been better, and if I hadn't been confounded by the multitude of characters and POVs. I will continue with this series in the hope that it becomes less confusing, the multiple POVs are trimmed, and the characters are developed more.

The premise of an alternate reality set in 1844 Philadelphia is freaking fantastic. And the use of Weather Witches instead of steam power is certainly creative. But in the end I was left with more questions than answers. However, I am already looking forward to reading the second book in this series, Stormbringer. (See cover below.)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (86) Bang (Visions #2)

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because I get to share books that I am super excited about and can't wait to read.

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Hardcover, 256 Pages
Expected publication: October 8th 2013 by Simon Pulse

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent.

Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang.

Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties…

I enjoyed reading Crash, the first book in this series. I loved the characters, I liked the family/restaurant drama that was going on, and I absolutely adored Jules' brother, Trey. I am wondering how in the heck Jules passed her visions off to her boyfriend, Sawyer, and how the visions will affect him. I am so excited because I have an arc of this that I will be reading soon.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Review: Burning by Elana K. Arnold

BurningBurning by Elana K. Arnold

Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Page Count: 320
Published by: Delacorte Press
Source: eARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Ben: Having just graduated from high school, Ben is set to leave Gypsum, Nevada. It's good timing since the gypsum mine that is the lifeblood of the area is closing, shutting the whole town down with it. Ben is lucky: he's headed to San Diego, where he's got a track scholarship at the University of California. But his best friends, Pete and Hog Boy, don't have college to look forward to, so to make them happy, Ben goes with them to check out the hot chick parked on the side of Highway 447.

Lala: She and her Gypsy family earn money by telling fortunes. Some customers choose Tarot cards; others have their palms read. The thousands of people attending the nearby Burning Man festival spend lots of cash--especially as Lala gives uncanny readings. But lately Lala's been questioning whether there might be more to life than her upcoming arranged marriage. And the day she reads Ben's cards is the day that everything changes for her. . . and for him.

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I really enjoyed reading Burning. It had an original storyline and such a unique setting. It was different than anything that I have read before. I liked that the story is written with dual POVs, and each had a very distinctive voice - a gypsy girl and a small town boy. Change is coming to both characters, and each must learn how they will deal with their futures.

The protagonists, Ben and Lala, meet when they are both at critical points in their lives. I liken their meeting to a crossroads of sorts - he is on one path, she is on another, but for just that brief moment of time their paths cross and both of their lives are changed forever. Ben and Lala are complicated characters, and both had good and bad qualities that made them more realistic. I couldn't help but feel sympathetic towards Lala and her situation, and wish for her to have a better life. I liked Ben because he wasn't perfect, but he was a really good guy who just wanted to do the right thing.

Going into reading Burning, I didn't know a lot about the Gypsy culture, but I did gain a lot of insight into their lifestyle and beliefs. A lot of what I learned made me understand Lala and her desire to want more for herself than the traditional gypsy life.

I enjoyed the beautiful writing and the way the book quietly moved along. The story was very moody and descriptive, but several times it felt a little slow to me. Character growth was an important part of this book. I thought it was done perfectly, yet there was still room for both characters to continue growing.

I recommend Burning for readers who enjoy realistic YA contemporary, and who want to find out if practicality will win out over romance. Overall, I thought it was a sweet story, but with a lot of depth that made it more than just the standard happily ever after love story.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (85) The Promise of Amazing

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

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Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: December 31st 2013 by Balzer + Bray

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

I do love a good contemporary, and this sounds like a great debut novel. And that cover? Adorable!

What are you waiting on this week?
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Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop


Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

July 2nd – 9th


One lucky winner will have the Freedom to choose any one book up to $15 US From The Book Depository

•This giveaway is international. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country.)
•One entry per person.
•Entries will be verified.
•Must be 13 years of age or older to participate.
•Fill out the Rafflecopter entry below.
•Please do NOT leave your email address in comments.
•Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.

See Linky below to visit the other blogs participating in this Hop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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