Review: Hell Without You by Ranae Rose

Hell Without YouHell Without You by Ranae Rose

Publication Date: September 9, 2013
Page Count: 222
Published by: Ranae Rose
Source: Review copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review
New Adult Contemporary Romance **Contains Mature Content**
Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Time changes everything, except what’s meant to be.

Seven years is a long time – long enough to transform Clementine from a small-town teenager with a broken heart into a woman ready to take on the world, but not long enough to make her forget about the man she was never supposed to see again. A temporary return to tiny Willow Heights thrusts her back into Donovan’s life and home, unearthing heartbreak and obsession that have stood the test of time.

He left seven years ago too, for war and other things Clementine can only imagine. Coming back to the town where he grew up in the shadow of poverty and drug addiction makes no sense, and neither do Clementine’s feelings for him. He could never forgive her for leaving, could he? Even if she had no choice.

Now, she has the freedom to choose … and so does he. Every day in Willow Heights makes it clearer: all he ever really wanted was her, and nothing will change that. Not even a taste of the hell that drove them apart in the first place.

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I'd love to give Hell Without You a glowing review, but unfortunately, I thought the plot was really formulaic and clich├ęd. I did like certain aspects of the story, but I didn't like how everything was executed. It was lacking in emotion and depth, and I found it hard to care about the characters or the storyline. None of the events that occurred, past or present, moved me or made me feel much of anything.

I liked the characters well enough. Clementine seemed like a strong female. She was set on doing things her way and didn't depend on anyone for anything. And boy does she know how to hold a grudge! Donovan was a decent guy who carried a torch for Clementine for 7 years. All he wanted in life was to earn an honest living and be with Clementine. He seemed like a stand up guy, and I'm sure I would have really loved him if I would have gotten to know him better. He had a few issues and would be considered a tortured character, but at times he had a few issues that I thought put him into a more dangerous category. I would have liked for him and Clementine to address his PTSD a bit more than they did.

I do like that Donovan and Clementine were able to get a second chance at love, and I think they deserved to be happy. They were able to discuss their problems and confront them head on, and decide to move forward with their lives together. I'm a sucker for HEA, but I wish it had come about in a more believable way. This wasn't a terrible book by any means, and it kept me entertained while reading (and I didn't want to throw my ereader against the wall, so that's always a plus.) I just wish it had been written with more feeling.

Overall, the writing was good, and the story was okay. A second POV from Donovan may have helped flesh this book out a bit more, and perhaps given it that bit of oomph to make it better. I can't help but think that Hell Without You had great potential, but it was lacking something that would have made it special.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (102) Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott @escottwrites

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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, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Harlequin Teen

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Life. Death. And...Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

This sounds like it will be emotional and heartbreaking. I may need to keep my tissues close while reading.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Tune In Tuesday (23)


Time again for Tune In Tuesday hosted by Kate of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands.

I'm so sad these 2 aren't getting along, because they make wonderful music together. This may be their 2nd album AND their last album. You can see in these videos how they were acting towards each other in the studio. It's not pretty to see, but I can't stop listening to them.

The Civil Wars - The One That Got Away



The Civil Wars - Dust to Dust



The Civil Wars - Same Old Same Old


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Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Page Count: 320
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

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I'm pretty quick to admit that I'm not usually a fan of dystopian books, but I really enjoyed reading Not A Drop To Drink. It was very different from anything else I have ever read, and I really liked the concept. I had been looking forward to reading this since the first time I saw the title, and I have to say that it really lived up to my expectations.

From the first few pages, I was totally caught up in this story. Lynn's entire life has been all about survival. It's all she's known, and it has made her into a strong and seemingly unfeeling person. Her and Mother are alone, and they spend every day doing mundane chores to ensure their survival. They also must spend every minute defending their only source of water. Their outlook is very bleak, and they live in constant fear of dying. Because it is a kill or be killed environment, they must do whatever is necessary to defend their water, their home, and their lives.

As the story progressed and more characters were introduced, I loved that Lynn was able to overcome her harsh upbringing and learn how to open up to others. Lynn was able to form friendships and learn how to trust others. I enjoyed the wide variety of characters, and I thought there was a ton of character development throughout the story. There was a bit of romance in this book that was sweet and lovely, and I thought it was perfectly done, even though it was heartbreaking for me.

I loved the writing because it was straight-forward and really conveyed the harsh conditions superbly. The world building was minimal, which was perfect for me because I prefer not to be overwhelmed and bogged down with too much information.

Not A Drop To Drink was different from other dystopians I have read because I felt that the plot was actually plausible. I know that I wouldn't want to live in those conditions, and I don't think I would be strong enough to survive! It was desolate and dreary and so darn depressing. Not A Drop To Drink was a compelling story that was beautifully written and totally believable.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Sunday Updates (37)


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

I haven't done one of these posts in a long while, so I thought I would share the books that I have received recently.

Received for review:



Mine (Real #2) by Katy Evans - Paperback Won from Goodreads
Remy (Real #3) by Katy Evans - eARC Courtesy of Gallery Books via Edelweiss

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Only Everything (True Love #1) by Kieran Scott - Courtesy of Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss
A Little Too Much (A Little Too Far #2) by Lisa Desrochers - Courtesy of William Morrow via Edelweiss
Biggest Flirts (Superlatives #1) by Jennifer Echols - Courtesy of Simon Pulse via Edelweiss

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The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry - Courtesy of Albert Whitman Teen via NetGalley
Mafia Girl by Deborah Blumenthal - Courtesy of Albert Whitman Teen via NetGalley
While You're Away Part I by Jessa Holbrook - Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers Group via NetGalley
Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill- Courtesy of Random House Children's via NetGalley
Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by A.C. Gaughen - Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
(No Photo Available) Far From You by Tess Sharpe - Courtesy of Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley

Purchased:



Out of Line (Out Of Line #1) by Jen McLaughlin, Diane Alberts
A Risk Worth Taking by Heather Hildenbrand

Coming up on the blog this week will be my reviews for Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis and Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #1) by Molly McAdams. And, of course, I never miss Waiting On Wednesday! It's my favorite day of the week.

I have been having a good time reading recently, and I finally have control over my reading schedule. I'm still trying to get caught up on my reviews though.
 
Hope everyone has a wonderful week full of reading!
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Waiting On Wednesday (101) On The Fence by @KasieWest

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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: July 1st 2014 by HarperTeen

Synopsis From Goodreads:

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can out-run, out-score, and outwit every boy she knows--including her long-time neighbor, and honorary fourth brother, Braden.

But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chi-chi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and bedazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pick-up game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

WhooHoo! Another Kasie West book to read! I DO love my contemporaries. I thought The Distance Between Us was awesomely fantastic, and I can't wait to read On The Fence.

(Gah! She has another book that comes out in 2015 titled The Fill-In Boyfriend. I can't wait to read that one either!)
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Review: Headfirst Falling by Melissa Guinn

Headfirst FallingHeadfirst Falling by Melissa Guinn

Publication Date: September 23, 2013
Page Count: 262
Published by: Carina Press
Source: Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Synopsis From Goodreads:

Falling in love. It doesn't seem to fit, like falling shouldn't be used in conjunction with love. We don't fall gracefully. In fact, there's nothing graceful about it. We crash into things—hit them hard, bounce around, give ourselves cuts, bruises or break bones… And it's never planned. It takes you by surprise. You lose control.

Charlie Day fell in love with Jackson Stiles a long time ago. But that was before he and her brother enlisted and went to Iraq. Before Jackson came back different. Before they told Charlie her brother would never come back at all.

A lot of things have changed since then. But when Jackson takes a job at the company where Charlie works, she discovers that one thing hasn't changed—the spark between them. She's not sure she can love this new Jackson, or forgive him for the part he played in her brother's death. It's too bad for Charlie that, with love, you don't always have a choice.

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The synopsis of Headfirst Falling sounded really interesting, but I thought the story was lacking emotional depth and I was left feeling really disappointed.

The protagonist, Charlie, wasn't likable at all. I found her to be extremely annoying, immature, and naive. She avoids dealing with things by running away and drinking excessively. She has no coping mechanisms at all, and lacks the skills necessary to communicate effectively.

Despite a few issues I had with Jackson, I ended up liking him. He was carrying around a ton of guilt, and feeling not worthy of being with Charlie. He was trying to deal with his war experiences and with survivor's guilt, and he didn't always handle things in the best way. He was very guarded and good at hiding his thoughts and feelings. It was really difficult getting to know him, especially since we see everything from Charlie's POV. This is one of those times when dual POV would have been wonderful! I would have loved to be in Jackson's head during this time because his character was more complex.

I sort of enjoyed Charlie and Jackson when they were together, and I could understand their attraction to each other. Although part of the reason they wanted to be together seemed to be out of habit because they snuck around to be together while they were teens. So even though they were trying to create a new relationship as adults, the forbidden aspect still played a huge part. They both wanted to be happy, and I think they both deserved to be able to give their relationship the opportunity to be something special. But I also knew they didn't stand a chance if they couldn't learn how to communicate. Misunderstanding was a constant theme in this book, and the characters were always jumping to conclusions and making fools of themselves over small things.

This book would have been so much more enjoyable if the author hadn't created so much drama just for the sake of giving Charlie and Jackson conflict. They really had enough on their plates dealing with the death of Charlie's brother, Charlie's drinking, and Jackson's PTSD. I think it was at about 75% in when situations escalated into ridiculous territory and I felt that it was just too much. It's hard to root for a couple when they both start behaving stupidly and making really bad choices, especially when it comes out of nowhere and has absolutely no basis.

I really wanted to enjoy Headfirst Falling, but in the end it was just okay. I finished reading it to find out what happens, but only because I was curious to see if Charlie and Jackson could get their shit together long enough to have a meaningful conversation that didn't end up with misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I'm so sad to say that I really can't recommend this book because I wish it had been so much better. Headfirst Falling had so much potential, but it really fell short.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
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Review: The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace

The Truth About You and MeThe Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace

Publication Date: September 8, 2013
Page Count: 229
Published by: Flux
Source: Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things.

Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennett. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured - and missed out on - in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.

There's only one problem. Bennett is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen - because she hasn't told him the truth.

The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennett - both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.

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The Truth About You and Me was exactly what I expected it to be, and I enjoyed it for what it was. I knew going in that this was a story about a relationship that was doomed for failure. I was interested in reading it to find out how things went so wrong.

The Truth About You and Me was written in letter form - actually 2 letters - from the protagonist, Maddie, to Bennett. Along with trying to convey how sorry she was to Bennett for her actions, she was also attempting to clear Bennett's name by showing that he wasn't aware of her deceit.

Through reading the letters, the reader really gets to know Maddie and what she was thinking and feeling throughout the story. I felt a little bit of separation from the events, so the letters didn't really spark strong feelings in me. I was expecting to feel an emotional connection to Maddie through her letters, but I didn't. However, I did get to know Maddie, and she really came off as selfish and immature. She manipulated the situation to her advantage, and she deceived Bennett in a major way. By the time she considered the consequences of her actions, she was in pretty deep and was too scared of Bennett's reaction to put an end to the deception.

While reading, I could tell that Maddie was truly sorry for her actions and behavior. She was remorseful, and even during their times together she admitted that she KNEW what she was doing was wrong. But she didn't come out with the truth because she knew she would lose Bennett over it. The lies continued to build and build until Maddie began to fool herself into thinking that what she was doing wasn't wrong. She also tried to convince herself that Bennett loved her and wouldn't care about her age. I think what really hit me the hardest during this story is that Maddie's lies completely took away Bennett's choice in the matter.

It's very easy for me to want to lay most of the blame on Bennett in this situation. He is the adult, and he is in a position of authority, and he should have known better than to get involved with a student. He showed complete disregard for the rules, but tried to justify it by putting off any intimacy with Maddie until the school term was over and he was no longer her teacher. It still doesn't make it right. Students and teachers should not have relationships. Bennett put his blinders on and didn't want to see what was so clearly in front of him - an insecure 16 year old girl. So I am torn about my feelings for Bennett. I really wanted to enjoy his character because Maddie did, and I tried to view him as Maddie did. I could understand her infatuation, but I found that I couldn't let myself go and like him. Even though Bennett struggled with his attraction and doing the right thing, I couldn't help but think deep down that he deserved whatever punishment he gets for his part in this fiasco.

Maddie didn't consider the consequences of her actions until it was too late, and I'm not convinced she fully understands the ramifications of her deceit. Bennett's career and entire future was put at risk because of her. I found the ending to be realistic and heartbreaking - how could there have been any other outcome? One final thought from me, and I think it's a big one - a lie by omission is still a lie!

Overall, I thought The Truth About You and Me was an enjoyable book. It was a really quick and easy read that held my attention throughout. I loved the writing, and I've enjoyed other books by Amanda Grace (aka Mandy Hubbard). As an adult, I found the entire book to be compelling and thought provoking. I was hoping for a more dramatic climax, but ultimately I was satisfied with the outcome.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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Waiting on Wednesday (100) The Treatment by @suzanne_young @simonteen

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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.
And this week is special because it is my 100th WoW post!!

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Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: April 29th 2014 by Simon Pulse

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”

How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?

I am so happy that this is a 2 book series. I loved reading The Program, and I can't wait to find out what happens next to Sloane and James. (P.S. Don't take the pill!!!!)

What are you waiting on this week?
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Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller @TrishDoller

Where the Stars Still ShineWhere the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Page Count: 308
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: I received this eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

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I loved this book so much, and for so many reasons. The beautiful writing, complex characters, wonderful character development, the setting, and the story. It all came together in an amazing way to make this a very enjoyable read.

The protagonist, Callie, constantly makes bad decisions, makes assumptions, and has communications problems. I wasn't sure about her at first, but the more I read, the more she grew on me. She was strong and independent to a fault, all because she basically raised herself. She also has trust issues that interferes with her ability to form healthy relationships. But Doller manages to write Callie in such a way that the reader can understand what motivates her to make bad choices. Callie's thoughts and feelings were expressed with such honesty that it was easy to feel sympathy for her. It was wonderful to really see Callie's maturity and growth over the course of the story, and to see her change for the better.

Callie's love interest, Alex, I thought would be just another heartbreak for her. But he turned out to be so much more than I originally thought, and I ended up really loving him. Not just because he was swoonworthy, but because he proved himself to be a wonderful friend to Callie. Alex has problems of his own, and secrets that he doesn't want to share, and he never seemed to want to correct the town's misconceptions about him. But he let himself get close to Callie and was able to really open up to her.

This book has so many wonderfully believable and complex characters. I really enjoyed the excellent character development, both for the main characters and even the secondary characters. Callie's grandmother was so loving and awesome. Callie's cousin, Kat, was so sweet and such a great friend to Callie. I loved Callie's dad. He was caring and thoughtful and tried so hard to connect with her while still giving her the space he thought she needed. Her step-mom was likable, and I was happy to see her trying to work things out with Callie, even though it was awkward. And when things weren't getting easier, she was still willing to try and make things better for Callie, and I think that made a real difference. Callie and her half-brothers were too cute when they were together. They were so young they accepted Callie easily and without judgement, which she really needed. I really wanted Callie to learn how to fit in with her new family, and I thought it was realistic how difficult it was for her.

I really enjoyed reading Where the Stars Still Shine, and I have nothing but good thoughts about it. It is a complex story about love, family, and relationships that also touches on a lot of difficult subjects. I highly recommend this book, and I think it's perfect for fans of more mature contemporary YA.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (99) After The End by @AmyPlumOhLaLa

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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: May 6th 2014 by Harper Children's

Synopsis From Goodreads:

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she’s trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

This. Sounds. Awesome!!!!
LOL at the characters named Juneau, Kenai, and Nome.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Review: Bang (Visions #2) by Lisa McMann @lisa_mcmann

Bang (Visions, #2)Bang (Visions #2) by Lisa McMann

Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Page Count: 256
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: HUGE thanks to Simon Pulse for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review

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…

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While I enjoyed reading the first book in this series, Crash, I liked Bang so much more! It had all the drama and suspense that I was looking for in book one. Bang is fast paced, action packed, and full of charm and humor. I found it to be exciting and addicting and I couldn't stop reading.

I found myself really enjoying Julia's character this time around, and I was able to connect with her more. She feels such a strong desire to do the right thing, even though it may not be the 'safe' thing to do. She never gave up, and she never lost faith in Sawyer's ability to solve his visions. I could really feel how worried she was about Sawyer and his mental state as the visions became more frequent and urgent. I loved how strong-willed she was, and that she finally learned how to stick up for herself to her dad.

Experiencing first love through Julia's eyes was alternately hilarious and heartwarming. Julia and Sawyer's relationship progressed and strengthened during this book, and I loved how determined they were to solve the vision together. They formed such a strong connection and had so many cute and swoony moments. I really love them as a couple.

Bang is told from Julia's POV, even though Sawyer is the one seeing the visions this time around. I wasn't sure how this would play out and if the story would have the same intensity and emotional impact, but McMann managed to pull it off perfectly. I could totally feel Julia's frustration over not being able to see Sawyer's vision, and I could understand why she felt so helpless.

I thought Sawyer was totally awesome! Definitely swoonworthy. He was determined to show Jules how much he cared about her and wanted to be with her, and I loved that about him. As his visions worsened, I was happy that he turned to Julia for support. I really felt sorry for him and his home life, and I felt bad that he suffered at the hands of his father because of his steadfast refusal to break up with Julia. I hope that his family relationship will be explored more, and I hope change is coming to his life.

I completely adore Julia's brother Trey. I just love everything about him, and I really, really need more of him in my life. He comes off as totally unflappable and easygoing, and I liked that he never doubted Sawyer's vision. He also got the chance to prove how grown up he was by standing up to his dad. I loved how supportive he was of Julia and Rowan, and how he helped both of them escape the wrath of their dad. He was also really cool about Julia and Sawyer's relationship, and he wanted them to be happy, even though he did feel a slight twinge of jealousy towards them. He really wants a relationship like they have, and I hope he will have someone important in his life very soon.

I loved the relationship between Trey, Jules, and Rowan. Their parents are so screwed up, and the family unit is so dysfunctional, that it is nice to see the siblings really being there for each other, no matter what. Sawyer had his own problems at home, and I really couldn't understand why his family mistreats him so often. It was nice to see Sawyer being friends with Jules and Trey and knowing that they are willing to support him. Their friendship was lovely and realistic. I also love that the kids absolutely refuse to carry on their family's long standing feud.

There were so many things that I liked about Bang. The intensity was kicked up a notch from Crash. The romance element was elevated. Sawyer's character was developed more. Trey, Julia, and Rowan stuck together and stood up for each other and Sawyer. And the 2 families' feud is still going strong.

Overall, this was a terrific story, and I am looking forward to reading the last (Gasp!) book in this series. I really want to see Jules and Sawyer get to spend time together as normal 16 year olds. I can't wait to discover what is behind Julia's dad's mental illness. I would be SO excited to see Trey get a love interest, and I've got my fingers crossed that he will be the next person to start having visions. (I just really want and need more Trey!)

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
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September Recap and October TBR

I totally sucked at reaching my goal for September. Somehow I got STUCK on reading The Dream Thieves for 2 whole weeks! It was awesome, yet I found myself not wanting to read because I was afraid something big (and BAD) was going to happen. Plus, I had hyped it up in my mind so much that I was afraid I was going to be disappointed.

Books I Read in September:

A Little Too Far (A Little Too Far #1) by Lisa Desrochers
The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace (Pseudonym, Mandy Hubbard)
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Play by Play (Play Makers #1) by Kate Donovan
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater.
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Headfirst Falling by Melissa Guinn

Total pages read: 1988

Reviews Posted in September:
(Link will take you to my review.)

Review: Indelible by Bethany Lopez
Review: Thin Space by Jody Casella
Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Blog Tour and Review: A Little Too Far (A Little Too Far #1) by Lisa Desrochers
Review: Where My Heart Breaks by Ivy Sinclair
Review: Play by Play (Play Makers #1) by Kate Donovan
Review: Out Of Play by Jolene Perry and Nyrae Dawn
Review: Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair


October TBR:
Another ambitious month for me, but I am determined to read more! All of these are review copies:

Bang (Visions #2) by Lisa McMann
Hereafter (Shadowlands #2) by Kate Brian
Time After Time (Time Between Us #2) by Tamara Ireland Stone
Made of Stars by Kelley York
Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #1) by Molly McAdams
(Never) Again by Theresa Paolo
Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne

This list doesn't include other books that are coming out this month that I plan on reading for my own enjoyment, including Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman and Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2) by Alethea Kontis.

 photo Bang_zps171c057d.jpg photo HereafterShadowlands2_zps25a477c4.jpg photo TimeAfterTime_zpsd76fb98a.jpg photo MadeOfStars_zps0de4ca6a.jpg
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Happy Birthday To Me Sale In My Etsy Shop

I'm late getting this post up because I was slightly busy yesterday since it was my birthday. My annual sale is going on now. Use coupon code SAVE20 and get 20% off your entire purchase in my Etsy Shop through Monday, October 7.

I have lovely items that are perfect for Autumn.





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