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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ruin and Rising (Review)

Ruin and Rising
By: Leigh Bardugo

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Fine Art of Pretending

The Fine Art of Pretending

By: Rachel Harris

According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (40): The Devil You Know

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases.

Arcadia “Cadie” Wells has one primary goal in life –– to escape the sleepy Florida town where she was born and raised. Since her mother's death, she's sacrificed her boyfriend, her spot on the soccer team, and even her plans for the future to raise her little brother and help her still-grieving father. On a rare night out at a party at the local state park, Cadie meets a couple of good-looking tourists and impulsively agrees to join them on their road trip from one end of Florida to the other. But when their adventure goes tragically wrong, Cadie’s new goal is to make it home alive.

1. I love Trish Doller and her amazing writing style.
2. WTSSS is one of my favorites, ever. 
3. This sounds pretty kick ass on it's own.
4. Set in Florida
5. The cover is absolutely gorg. and you can't convince me otherwise. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Positive: A Memoir (Guest Review)

Rating: 5/10 Series: None
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic, Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Inspirational,
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Page Count: 250
Format: ARC
Source: My Heart Hearts Books Guest Review Program
Barnes & Nobles ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon
Reviewed by: Sofia

In this compelling and compulsively readable memoir, nineteen-year-old Paige Rawl tells the story of how she was mercilessly bullied in middle school...and how she overcame the ordeal to change her world for the better.
In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of children and adults whose lives have been touched by bullying.
Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth…but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. It never prevented her from entering beauty pageants or playing soccer or making the honor role.

On an unremarkable day in middle school, while attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. She was called "PAIDS," first in whispers, then out in the open. Her soccer coach joked that she was an asset because opposing team members would be too afraid to touch her. Her guidance counselor told her to stop all the “drama,” and her principal said she couldn’t protect her. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed fifteen sleeping pills—one for each year of her life to date. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning.
The gripping first-person account of Paige’s life will pull in even the most reluctant readers of nonfiction, and her call to action to choose compassion over cruelty will stay with them long after they turn the last page.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Book Haul #11

Hey! I haven't done a book haul in FOREVER (not for any particular reason, other than, I'm really lazy) & I decided that this would be the perfect time to start up again. 

Thrift Store in Atlanta
Will Grayson, Will Grayson // One Day // Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief // Of Mice and Men

Books A Million
Die for Me // Until I Die

Book Warehouse
Kiss Me Again // Jane // What Happens Next

Barnes and Noble & The Book Depository
Isla and the Happily Ever After (I bought two copies).

Decatur Book Fest
The Kiss of Deception

Fierce Reads
A Little Something Different // Starry Night // Second Star // On the Road to Find Out // The Truth About Alice // Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend // Something Real

Just One Wish (via a giveaway on her lovely blog)

Just Like the Movies (& Fandango gift card)

Street Team
Fierce Reads Street Team
Sekret // Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend // Love Letters to the Dead // The Winner's Curse // Of Neptune // The Truth About Alice // Monument 14: Savage Drift // Ruin and Rising

Starry Night

So a lot of books were coming into me recently and I've had the chance to read most of them and I love them. Such great books and I'm beyond lucky. 

Also, I wanted two share two things:
The Story of how I ended up with two copies of some books (especially Starry Night) and something that's happening on the blog. 

The Story:
So I was a part of the Fierce Reads Spring 2014 Street team and in exchange for helping promoting those books, I was given a copy of all the Spring 2014 Fierce books. But because of moving mixup I wasn't able to get them until recently. Anyway, since there was going to be a Fierce Reads panel at the Decatur Book Fest, I decided to go and get them signed. Well a week before DBF, I participated in a Fierce Reads twitter chat and won a set of books. There was some overlap but I decided to take the books that were doubled and get them signed, so I could eventually give them away. 

I was at DBF in line for Stephanie Perkins and the line was one of the longest, slow moving lines ever, so I asked this random person that I befriend in line to hold my spot so I could get my other books signed by the other authors. One of those authors were Isabel Gilles. I chatted with her a little bit and she told me how she hated the ARC of Starry Night and bought it for me. I was so shocked and truly grateful. That's one of the best things (if not the best thing) that happened to me that weekend. 

Later I read Starry Night and it's honestly a story I wish I had the gust to write. It left me so confused but I think I really really really liked it. I'm still a little shell shocked to tell you for sure. (This is completely unbiased too. I'm grateful she bought me the book but if I hated it, I would've told you.)

I don't know if you noticed but I started taking guest reviewers for the blog. I give you a book (of your choosing) and you give me an exclusive review. The button is on the side column if you want to check it out. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Never Fade (Review)

Never Fade
By: Alexandra Bracken

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster. 

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her. 

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Jewel (Review)

The Jewel
By: Amy Ewing

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Monday, September 8, 2014

YA Movie Review: The Maze Runner

Watching The Maze Runner was so weird, not because of the movie, but because of how I felt, overall, about the series. I really liked the first book, it really captured my attention, but I didn't really like the second book and pretty much hated the final book of the series. So it was pretty weird going into the movies and trying to be objective when I knew it was going to go down hill.

Even though I did like the first book, I still had a couple of problems with it, mainly the made up language (it's so stupid, and I hated it) and Thomas and Teresa's connection. But I still was excited to see the movie because I want another YA adaptation to do well (and because, Dylan O'brien).

I can honestly say that I really really really liked it. I think it's just one of those films that translates better on film rather than on the page. Nothing against James Dashner because the book is pretty amazing too, but I don't think you can really get the stakes until you see the monstrosity that is the maze. It's so freaking huge and you get that in the books, but on the screen, when I first saw it, I gasped. It's really kind of sadistic. The stakes are really freaking high and if that's not enough, the grievers. Oh. My. God. I think I'd just die of shock by looking at them. Those babies are absolutely terrifying.

I only remembered major plot points from the book and I loved that. I loved how faithful the book remained to the plot points and how it mostly enhanced the story. Of course, there are some changes, but I think they actually helped the story.

One of the major changes concerns Thomas and Teresa's and their connection. I love the change that they did in the movie because I had a problem with it in the book, it was unnecessary and I felt like Dashner was just trying to do too much.

The other major change that I noticed was the cutting of the made up language. It seriously made me cringe. Because it was like Dashner wanted to use real curse words but was afraid to and just thought, "Hey, I can just make some up". Stupid. But the film most strips the story of that, except for a couple, and it uses real curse words. A lot. But I don't think it's too much much. Every scene that I would've cursed, had I been in that situation, had a curse word.

I think one of my favorite parts is the ending. It just comes alive in a way that's equally wonderful and disturbing. It gives me hope for the rest of the series. I've even heard talk about making more TMR movies, which is really, really, exciting!

Sorry if this review seems very choppy but I'm trying extra hard to be spoilery.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Don't Touch (Review)

Don't Touch
By: Rachel M. Wilson

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn't sure she's brave enough to let herself fall.

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who's fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.

Friday, September 5, 2014

2014 Debut Author Bash: Top Ten 2015 Debuts I Know Nothing About But Sound Cool (Guest Post)

Guest Post on My Heart Hearts Books
The Break - Up Artist
By: Philip Siegel

Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 

After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.

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