Waiting On Wednesday (32) Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

"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:

Expected publication: January 29th 2013 by Harper Children's
272 Pages

Synopsis From Goodreads:
Two teenagers who, in search of a better life, run away to Vegas, but realize they can't run fast enough when they end up wanted by the police, out of money, and out of options, pitched as a YA Bonnie and Clyde.

Synopsis From The Book Depository:
Told in their separate voices, eighteen-year-old Will, who has aged out of foster care, and fifteen-year-old Zoe, whose father beats her, set out for Las Vegas together. But their escape may prove more dangerous than what they left behind.

I know January is a long way off, but I still can't wait for this book. I love a good contemporary, I enjoy alternating POVs, and it sounds like something I will enjoy reading. What are you waiting on this week?
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Tune In Tuesday (7) - 30 Seconds To Mars

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by GReads. It's a great way to share songs that you love, new or old, and spread some music around the blogosphere!

Today's playlist is in honor of Wimbledon beginning yesterday, June 25, and "Kings and Queens" by 30 Seconds To Mars being (sort of) the theme song (despite questionable coverage by ESPN this year). I will be watching waaay too much tennis over the next 2 weeks, and loving every second of it. Go Novak! Go Rafa!

Can anyone explain how Jared Leto keeps getting better looking the older he gets? The boy is hot hot hot. I mean that in a good way. And I don't feel filthy going on about his hotness because he is only 3 years, 2 months, 21 days younger than me. So there.

"Kings and Queens"

"Closer To The Edge"

"A Beautiful Lie"

"This Is War"

"The Kill"

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Review: While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

While He Was AwayWhile He Was Away by Karen Schreck

Paperback, 249 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis From Goodreads:
One year--he'll be gone for one year and then we'll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.

The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking. Sure, any long-distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war--to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We'll talk, we'll email, we won't let anything come between us.

I can be on army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn't come home at all...?

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I have been putting off reviewing this book since I read it. There are parts that I really liked, and then there are parts that were just meh for me. I think that I was disappointed in this book because the synopsis was so misleading. I kept reading in the hope that it would get better and that something more would happen.

When we first meet Penna and David they are on a motorcycle ride together on the last day before David is deployed. Penna spends the next several days an emotional wreck as she waits to hear from David. Never mind that he has no way to communicate with her until he gets to base, she still sits by the phone and the computer waiting for him. Contact from David (when it does come) is sporadic and not at all satisfying for Penna. Penna then spends an enormous amount of effort to stay in constant contact with David's mother so they can share info when David contacts them. What bothered me about this was that Penna basically stops living for weeks while she waits for David to contact her. Her life completely revolved around when he will contact her next - like he isn't half a world away in the middle of a war zone. I really wanted her to be more understanding of David's situation.

From the synopsis I was expecting this book to be really emotional. Unfortunately, it really didn't do much for me. It had TONS of potential, but it would have helped if the plot had been streamlined and characters had been more developed. I felt that the emotional impact of David being gone got lost with all of the other storylines going on (Penna's relationship with her mom, the search for the long lost grandmother, new job, new friends, David's ex best friend). David being gone was the catalyst to throw Penna into all of those storylines. I believe I would have enjoyed the story if it had been more focused and not so all over the place.

It's not a bad book, and I ended up enjoying most of it. I just wish I could have connected with any of the characters. I also wish there had been more of a romantic aspect to add more emotion. Overall, there was so much promise, but this book really let me down. I truly wanted to care about David being gone, but I didn't really feel one way or another because he wasn't the focus of the book and he was not a developed character. I don't want to say anything bad, because it wasn't a terrible book. If it's something you think you will enjoy reading, then by all means, make sure you pick up a copy and read it.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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Sunday Updates

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Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

EnchantedEnchanted by Alethea Kontis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 305 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Harcourt Children's Books

Synopsis From Goodreads:
It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?(

My Thoughts:
I have been wanting to read this book for a long time. I believe it was worth the wait! I really loved it. It's so different from everything else I have read recently and very unique.

Enchanted weaves an incredible tale full of so many different fairytales that at times I had trouble keeping up. The author shows a great imagination in the way she uses the fairytales and the characters to create a truly original story. It's so interesting and takes so many twists and turns it will leave your head spinning (I think in a good way).

Sunday's family puts the 'fun' in dysfunctional. There are so many members of her family and they are all very different. They each have very distinct personalities and character traits. (I seemed to have a problem differentiating between the sisters since all of their names were days of the week. I couldn't remember which sister was which until I started to know each of them better.) It seemed everyone, including minor characters, played an important part in the story, and I enjoyed that very much.

Grumble the frog is really Rumbold the Prince. He was enchanted into a frog and spends his time by the well in the forest. There he meets and falls in love with Sunday. Now that he has turned back into a Prince again, he must find a way to convince Sunday that his love is true, without informing her that he is her froggie friend, Grumble. He goes about it all wrong - so very wrong - otherwise this story would have ended a LOT sooner. Rumbold is surrounded by a few great people who are willing to overlook the terrible person he was before he was enchanted into a frog. They see that he has changed and is now a better person. Rumbold knows he is very lucky to have these people in his life and on his side and helping him fight for Sunday.

I really wanted Sunday and Rumbold to spend more time together alone and for there to be more romance while they were together. I suppose I am just disappointed because I expected hearts and flowers and magical fluffy bunnies.... well, what I mean is that I wanted to read more about Sunday and Rumbold together. Because when they were together it was magical. Literally.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Enchanted. I thought it was sweet and charming, cute and complicated, quirky, and just so darn nice. The weaving of fairytales with the original aspects of the story was clever and very well done. I would recommend this book if you are a fan of fairytales and retellings with a twist.

View all my reviews
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Winners! Indie Author Giveaway Hop

The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
is FREE today on Amazon!
Get your ebook before it's gone.

I decided to choose 2 winners in my Indie Author Giveaway Hop. The winners have been contacted and they both get any Indie Author ebook of their choice from Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Waiting On Wednesday (31) The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

"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:

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: October 23rd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Synopsis From Goodreads:
Two days after Mara walks into a police station in Miami at the close of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, she is committed for psychiatric treatment for what her parents believe is a mental breakdown. But what seems like a hallucination to everyone else is a chilling reality for Mara. Someone from her past has discovered her strange, disturbing secret and that someone wants her to pay. But she's about to discover that the price is more than she can bear.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and it ended on a cliffhanger. I can't wait to read Evolution to find out what is going on.
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Top Ten Tuesday (11) Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and The Bookish.

Summer officially begins tomorrow, so now is the time to share our Top Ten Books On Our Summer TBR List. My tbr is sort of out of control. I think I need to read faster or I will never get these books read this summer!

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie
I can't wait to read both of these. It seems as though they have been in my virtual tbr forever.

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
Rivals and Retribution (13 to Life #5) by Shannon Delany
If I Lie can't come out soon enough for me. Rivals and Retribution is the finale of the 13 To Life series. I hope it's good!

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1)by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2)by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey #3) by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa
I bought all 4 of these to read this summer. I plan to at least start the series, but I don't know if I will finish before summer is over.

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth
Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver
I feel like I am the only person who hasn't read these yet.

What's on your Summer TBR List?
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Cover Reveal of All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
Publication Date: December 2012
Entangled Teen
Format: Trade Paperback, eBook
Genre: Young Adult

What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?

All the Broken Pieces: a Gothic mystery, this is the story of Olivia, who wakes up with mysterious voices and urges she’s not used to. Turns out there’s another voice in her head—but where exactly did she come from?

About The Author:
Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

You can find Cindi Madsen on:
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Review: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Something Like NormalSomething Like Normal by Trish Doller

Hardcover, 224 pages
Publish Date: June 19th 2012
Publication: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

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Something Like Normal was one of my most anticipated reads of 2012 and it did not disappoint! I really loved this book. It is a remarkable story and so powerful and amazing. The protagonist, Travis, is home on leave after serving a year in Afghanistan and recently witnessing the death of his best friend. Travis is not the same person he was when he left. And he finds that things at home have changed drastically while he was gone.

Travis is doing the best he can just to get through each day, and he makes mistakes along the way. He is broken and scared and wonders if things will ever get back to 'normal'. Watching Travis suffer while reliving his horrible memories again and again was heartbreaking and painful.

I think I really liked Travis because of his fallibility. He is not a perfect character, he has flaws and makes mistakes, yet he is fully aware of his shortcomings. I loved him for that.

Harper is the girl that Travis inadvertently started a rumor about when they were younger. They meet again while Travis is back home, and you can tell that something good is going to come from them hanging out. Harper is sweet and caring, but at the same time steady and independent, and she knows exactly who she is. She is not so easily won over, and makes Travis work for their friendship. I thought she was a strong character to want to take on Travis and his problems, especially because of their history together. I ended up really liking Harper.

Travis's family has a ton of issues, and it was all so realistically portrayed. His Mother was so caught up in worrying about Travis being in Afghanistan that she basically stopped living her own life. (Travis has a few sweet moments with his Mother that made the mom in me melt and want to hold him close.) His Dad was a total jerk, and his brother is not much better. Then he finds out his ex-girlfriend is sleeping with his brother. Awkward! Knowing his family is falling apart is a lot for Travis to deal with, and he struggles to cope with his new reality.

This book deals with a lot of tough issues, but it is not without humor and some light and fun moments to balance the story out. It's not all about the romance either. It is a very realistic story about Travis struggling to find his way in life. (I think due the age of the characters and the situations that are dealt with, this would be considered part of the 'New Adult' genre. It doesn't matter what label you put on it - it's a very touching story and I highly recommend it.)

I received an ebook ARC from Bloomsbury Children's Books via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is June 19, 2012.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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Review: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Past PerfectPast Perfect by Leila Sales

Hardcover, 306 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Simon Pulse
Contemporary YA
Source: Library

Synopsis From Goodreads:

All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

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I needed something on the light side after the last few books that I read. Past Perfect was a great book to lift my mood. It was a pretty cute read, a little bit silly at times, and I didn't have to take it so seriously.

I personally love history, and this book has plenty of it. It is primarily set at Essex Historical Colonial Village where the protagonist, Chelsea, works every summer as a period reenactor. Chelsea works with her parents, who are also reenactors, and this summer her best friend is working there with her. Unfortunately, Chelsea's ex-boyfriend, Ezra, also got a job there. Chelsea has had a difficult time getting over Ezra because she somehow believes that their relationship was perfect, and she can't understand why they aren't together anymore.

I loved the unique setting and thought it was perfect for this summertime story. The teen employees at Essex have been waging war with the Civil War Reenactmentland across the street every summer. Chelsea and her coworkers meet after work to plan their escapades. Plenty of hijinks and pranks ensue! When Chelsea is 'kidnapped' by one of the Civil Warriors, she meets Dan. Fraternizing with the 'enemy' is forbidden, so Chelsea and Dan must keep their potential relationship a secret.

Chelsea was pretty likable, a little bit naive, but easily understood. She also had the right amount of snark in her. She does some really stupid things, and makes some terrible decisions, but she was able to learn from her mistakes. That just makes her more real to me.

Chelsea's best friend, Fiona, seemed like a really good friend to have. One that would do anything for you and would have your back when things got tough.

The romance between Chelsea and Dan was really cute and sweet. The trampoline scene was the best scene in the book. A touch swoony and I loved it! Dan seemed like such a great guy that I wished we could have gotten to spend more time with him and get to know him better.

Being around her ex-boyfriend, Ezra, for an entire summer isn't easy for Chelsea. It took her some time, and some wise words from her friend Fiona, to finally figure out that her relationship with Ezra wasn't exactly as 'perfect' as she remembered it. Once she started to figure that out it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for her.

Past Perfect is a wonderful contemporary story that I highly recommend.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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June New Release Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the June New Release Giveaway Hop, which is hosted by Book Twirps & Refracted Light Reviews.

PRIZE: One winner will get their choice of ANY June Release book from The Book Depository up to $15.00 U.S.

There are so many great books being released in June! Here are just a few of my picks. You do not have to choose one of these books - let me know in the comments what book(s) you are looking forward to reading in June.

I had the opportunity to read an ARC of Something Like Normal by Trish Doller. You can check out my 5 Star review HERE.

I also read an ARC of Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)by Anne Greenwood Brown. You can read my review HERE.

I will be posting my review of One Moment by Kristina McBride very soon!

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund is a retelling of Persuasion that I really want - NEED - to read soon.

I haven't read Arise (Hereafter #2) by Tara Hudson yet. I hope it's good!

Rapture (Fallen #4) by Lauren Kate is the final book in the Fallen Series. I just purchased my autographed copy at Target.

  • The hop runs June 15th through June 30th.
  • Giveaway is International as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.
  • Must be 13 years of age or older to participate.
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter entry below.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
  • Be sure to check out the linky below and visit all of the participating blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Waiting On Wednesday (30) Touched

"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:

Touched (Touched Trilogy #1) by Corrine Jackson

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: November 27th 2012 by Kensington Teen
Synopsis From Goodreads:
Remy O'Malley has the power to heal people with her touch, but her ability comes at a steep cost because every illness or injury she heals becomes her own.

I have no idea what to expect from this book, but the description reminds me of characters from Holly Black's Curse Workers Series.

TOUCHED is the first book in Jackson's paranormal romance trilogy. Her YA contemporary book, IF I LIE, will be published by Simon Pulse on August 28, 2012. I can't wait to read If I Lie also!
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Tune In Tuesday (6)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by GReads. It's a great way to share songs that you love, new or old, and spread some music around the blogosphere!

You Me At Six

I recently read Stay with Me by Paul Griffin, and I kept thinking about the song "Stay With Me" by You Me At Six. Even though all of the lyrics don't apply to the story, it still inspired me to create and share the following music. You don't need to crank it up like I do - so loud that my kids tell me to turn it down! Let me know what you think.

Stay With Me

No One Does It Better


Liquid Confidence (Nothing To Lose)

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Indie Author Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the INDIE AUTHOR GIVEAWAY HOP. This hop is being hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Krazy Book Lady. The purpose of this hop is to showcase indie and small press authors.

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs by viewing the list HERE.

And now for the prize - one winner can choose
ANY Indie Author ebook from Amazon
up to a $10.00 value (U.S.)

Below are photos of my book suggestions that you may enjoy - you DO NOT have to choose one of these books. Winner can choose ANY Indie Author ebook from Amazon. For more ideas, you may also check out this list from Goodreads that features Self Published Young Adult books.

You DO NOT have to choose one of these books. Winner can choose ANY Indie Author ebook from Amazon.

-Giveaway runs from June 13 to June 19
-Enter the rafflecopter form below.
-Must be 13 years of age or older to participate.

Winner can choose ANY Indie Author ebook from Amazon.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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