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Thursday, November 20, 2014

“They'll either want to kill you, kiss you, or be you.”

I was luckily enough to be invited to a screening for Mockingjay. I was so excited. Beyond excited. I saw the trailers and I was so curious. I wanted to see this latest interpretation but mostly I was mostly curious about the cutoff point. I wanted to know what would be included in the first part of Mockingly and what they would save for the second part. I was also curious about the music because Lorde was doing the score and I absolutely love her music. 

If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm not the hugest fan of the books. For many reasons. I really enjoyed the first novel, but Mockingly was my least favorite of the three books in the series. I especially didn't think that the last book needed to be split into two movies. The books weren't that long (I understood why they did it for the Harry Potter and Twilight movies, but Mockingly was considerably shorter). 

However, I love the movie so freaking much. Beyond love it. I love it much more than I did the book. There's just something about seeing it on screen that makes it more real. And after seeing it, I totally agree that it had to be split in to. 

Mockingjay pays so much attention to the details. It's all the small things that I love, the things that people who read the book can surely pick up on. 

I think one my favorite part about Mockingly was the tone and mood. It was dark. Like the books, but at the same time, there's some humor in it. It was surprisingly funny too. It brought some levity to all the darkness, and it balanced out the movie. 

However, my absolute favorite part is when Jennifer Lawrence sung. That's one of the very best parts of the movie, if not the best part. 

I can't wait until part 2, because even though this installment had some darkness, I know it won't compare. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

No Longer Missing

If you've been wondering where I've been, I'm here to tell you that not only am I alive and well, but I'm also back. Back? If you've noticed my absence, there were two major things happening in my personal life. 

In mid-September I got a full time job. Which was amazing. I mean it took up a lot of my free time, time that I used to spend lazing around, and it drained me (which is a good thing, really, because I really really needed this job and it's a good job). So I've been trying for awhile to adjust to it. But that's not one of the major things that's happened to me. 

The first thing is that I was seriously contemplating about quitting blogging. I thought and thought and I thought that I had finally made up my mind. Unofficially the end was near. I was unmotivated and honestly I didn't want to do it anymore. I wanted to go back to being a mood reader and I didn't want to have to analyze book. I just wanted to decide if I liked a book or not then move on. And I was in a major slump (and I'm still not completely over it yet). 

I talked to a few people and I honestly thought I was done. 

Then about the same time, my macbook broke. Which sucked because my Apple Care Warranty had just expired and I was super broke because I just started a knew job. 

But even if I had wanted to blog, and I totally didn't, I couldn't have. Looking back, I think it was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to step away. I read what I wanted when I wanted and started to fall in love with this reading thing again. 

So where does that leave me? Short answer, I don't know. But I do feel like there are going to be major changes ahead. What's the time line? I don't know. (Are you sensing a theme here?) I just want to do what makes me happy. So I'm slowly trying to get back into things. I can't tell you the last time I wrote a review or visited blogs, but I know it's over due. 

I'm just trying to figure it all out. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Summer After You + Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Cover Reveal on My Heart Hearts Books
Hey Guys!!!
So I was so lucky enough to be a part of this cover reveal. I loved Jennifer Salvato Doktorski's other book, How My Summer Went Up in Flames. So I was totally in, when Jennifer asked me. Then I saw the cover. I love it. I love the cover and I love the font and I love the fact the cover is pretty but also tells a story. 

Then I read the summary. Swoon. I know what I'm going to be reading in Spring 2015. It's still too early to pre-order this baby, so we can just gather around and swoon at this cover.
The Summer After You and Me
By: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

Meet the Author
In addition to writing for teens, Jennifer Salvato Doktorski is a freelance writer who has written articles and essays for national publications including, Cosmopolitan. She's also worked as a speech writer, bank teller, ghostwriter, bookkeeper in a lampshade factory, pet shop clerk, and music zine editor.
Her debut young adult novel, HOW MY SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES, will be published by Simon Pulse in May 2013. Her second YA novel, FAMOUS LAST WORDS, about a teen obit writer will be published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in July 2013.
Connect with Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Foreign Exchange (Review)

Foreign Exchange
By: Denise Jaden

Jamie Monroe has always played it safe. That is, until her live-for-the-moment best friend, Tristan, jets off to Italy on a student exchange program. Left alone with her part-time mother and her disabled brother, Jamie discovers that she is quite capable of taking her own risks, starting with her best friend’s hotter-than-hot older brother, Sawyer. Sawyer and Tristan have been neighbors for years, but as Jamie grows closer to the family she thought she knew, she discovers some pretty big secrets. 

As she sinks deeper into their web of pretense, she suspects that her best friend may not be on a safe exchange program at all. Jamie sets off to Europe on a class trip with plans to meet up with Tristan, but when Tristan stops all communication, suddenly no one seems trustworthy, least of all the one person she was starting to trust—Sawyer. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Kiss of Deception (Review)

The Kiss of Deception
By: Mary E. Pearson

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

Remember Me (Review)

Remember Me
By: Romily Bernard

Wick had thought her troubles were over.

But she should’ve known better.

Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.

The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.

Remember Me is an edge-of-your-seat thrilling read that’ll have readers turning the pages at lightning speed! The paperback of Find Me is on sale simultaneously, and a digital original novella from Romily, featuring Griff, is on sale just a few weeks before!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Goodbye Sammy Keyes

So, I wanted to try something different on the blog today. This is not so much a review as a book talk, to say goodbye to one of my favorite series ever: The Sammy Keyes series. 

The end of this series, snuck up on me. Like, seriously. I read my first Sammy Keyes book, Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, when I was in the fourth grade. It was a Sunshine State book, I remember this detail, because in Florida, a Sunshine State book is one of those state books recommended in schools. I didn't really know what it meant (and to be honest, I still don't, I mean, I get that it is a special honor) but if you read a certain number of Sunshine State books at my elementary school you got invited to a pizza party. To fourth grade me, that was a big deal. So I picked at random because it was the one that appealed most to me. Never would I imagine that it was the start of a 13 year journey. 

I fell in love with the series, easily. I read it in middle school when it was actually perfect for my age because it's a MG series, but I still continued reading it in high school and in college and after college. I wish I could say it wasn't my guilty pleasure or dirty little secret, but as I aged up, it sort of got embarrassing reading it in public, especially because I was trying to exude this air of maturity. But the thing about Sammy Keyes is that, I enjoyed it. 

It never felt immature to me. It was always relatable. Even in college. Even after college. 

When I was younger I related to Sammy Keyes so much and I still do. The only thing that's changed is that I used to wish I could be her, but as I grew older, I appreciated Sammy more because I've read so many books since then and there's never been a character like Sammy. I read it through different eyes. Where I used to be amazed in all the trouble Sammy got herself into, now I'm also sad, because it's really a lot for a child to carry on her own. But that's the thing about Sammy, she carries the burden well. 

When I ordered Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye, I almost didn't want to read it. I didn't want to say goodbye, because the end of this series symbolized the end of something really scary for me. It was the end of a big part of my childhood. I literally grew up with this series and the Harry Potter series and I already said goodbye to one and I wasn't sure if  I could say goodbye to the other. 

Then I got the chance to meet Wendelin Van Draanen and her husband, earlier this year, and I got the chance to talk to them. I got the chance to tell them how much this series meant to me and listen to them as they gave me writing advice. I had a chance to have Wendelin sign all my copies of all my Sammy Keyes books and I got some inside scoop about the last book in the series: Sammy Keyes wouldn't be narrating the last book, Wendelin would. 

Unedited photo at Little Shop of Stories

To be honest, I had heard that but I didn't want to think about it. Especially after I had unknowing read the last Sammy Keyes book that would be narrated by Sammy, herself. 

But I did read it. Honestly...if felt so weird that Sammy wasn't narrating it. I missed her and her voice, especially because I didn't know that Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise was that last book to be narrated by Sammy. I understood why it was important for Wendelin to narrate this novel, especially because of the plot and the last scene in the novel. I understood...but...still, I wanted Sammy. 

The last book is wonderful though, it was like walking down memory lane. It brought up lots of past Sammy shenanigans and reflected on Sammy's relationship with the crew and just people in general. Sammy is just one of those people who has a lasting effect, you meet her once, and you never forget. So it was so nice to revisit that especially at the end. I loved that aspect. 

I loved the mystery of this book. Admittedly, it's not as featured as it is in past books, but I'm okay with that. This novel wasn't about the mystery, it was about saying goodbye to Sammy. It was about getting closure and seeing how everyone had changed. It did what it was supposed to do. It brought Sammy's story full circle. 

Although it was bittersweet, it allowed me to say goodbye to Sammy and company. Once I turned that last page, I closed the door on a part of my childhood that was very important to me. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Even in Paradise (Review)

Even in Paradise
By: Chelsey Philpot

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (41): In the Afterlight


Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds. 

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

1. It's so close that I can almost feel it – I want it
2. Someone on Goodreads pointed this out and now I can't unknown it: The Darkest Minds / Never Fade / In the After Light.
3. I want my secondary ship to sail.
4. It's the final book in a trilogy, I want to know what happens. 
5. Ruby and Cole!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Starry Night (Review)

 Starry Night
By: Isabel Gilles 

Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, that something wonderful is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren’s heart beats. In Isabel Gillies's Starry Night, suddenly everything is different. Nothing makes sense except for this boy. What happens to your life when everything changes, even your heart? How much do you give up? How much do you keep?


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