January Wrap Up

I can’t believe January is already over! It’s been a fast and cold month, at least by Texas standards. I thought I would start doing a monthly wrap up at the end the month just to show what I’ve read, bought, received and what not when it came to books and other things in my life.

Books Read
Time between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
*We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
*Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

*Must read…pure excellence!

Approved Arcs

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen
How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark
The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Don’t Try to Find Me by Holly Brown
The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe
Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
Say What You Will by Cammi McGovern


The Summer I Turned Pretty – Jenny Han 

 Most Played [I see it was a country kind of month]

Drunk in Love – Beyonce ft. Jay-z
Tennis Court – Lorde 
Keep it to Yourself – Kacey Musgraves 
Boys from the South – Pistol Annies

Treasure – Bruno Mars
Explosions – Ellie Goulding
                                                      Your Side of the Bed – Little Big Town
Dandelion – Kacey Musgraves
Astral Weeks – Van Morrison
Cecilia – Simon and Garfunkel

What I can’t wait for in February

SUPER BOWL!! I feel happy and kind of sad about it. Happy because I love football and I honestly like both teams so I’m torn for once who to root for. Sad because this is the last game for months, this Texas girl will be mourning this for a while.


Review: Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand

Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand
Published: May 30, 2003
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Format: Purchased
Rating: 4/5

Every summer the Newton family retreats to their beloved home on Nantucket for three months of sunshine, cookouts, and bonfires on the beach. But this summer will not be like any other. When Arch Newton, a prominent New York attorney, dies in a plane crash on his way home from a business trip, his beautiful widow Beth can barely keep things together. Above all, though, she decides that she must continue the family tradition of going to Nantucket, and at the same time fulfill a promise that Arch made before he died.

Beth invites Marcus, the son of Arch's final and most challenging client, to spend the summer with her and her teenage twins Winnie and Garrett, who have mixed reactions to sharing their special summer place with this stranger. Always a place of peace before, Nantucket becomes the scene of roiling emotions and turbulent passions as Marcus, Winnie, and Garrett learn about loss, first love, and betrayal. And when they stumble upon a shocking secret from Beth's past, they must keep it from destroying the family they've been trying so hard to heal.

My Thoughts
Summer People has everything that makes up a great summer read. It’s the story of the Newton family who by the looks of it have it all. They are the ideal family, a dad who is a lawyer out there trying to change the world, a mom who stays home and cares for the family and two kids who are nearly perfect. One night while coming back from a meeting Arch dies in a plane crash and it leaves his family in utter shock. Beth tries to pull herself and her kids together knowing that while they must mourn their lost they also have to move on.
Beth decides that the best way might be to move forward and do things that they normally would do. She decides to spend the summer like they always do in Nantucket. In her mind she feels that maybe the isolation and peaceful setting will get them away from the constant reminder of their loss at least for a little while. What she didn’t know was that he husband had invited his lasted client to spend the summer with them. Beth decides to honor her husband and invite the teenager with them. What sets out to be a summer of reflection and healing ends up as series of secrets and revelations that will either pull them further apart or bring them closer than ever. Back in Nantucket Beth is forced to confront her past and answer questions that she never thought she would have to.

I really enjoyed this story, while it lags in some places I really was drawn into Beth’s story. In the beginning I thought the story was more about the father but I was pleasantly surprised that the secrets had to do with the mom. I also liked the sub plot of the kids and how they dealt with things and their experiences in first love and loss. I’ve always been a huge fan of Elin Hiblerbrand; she is the ultimate when it comes to summer reads. Once again she doesn’t disappoint she delivers as always.


WoW [61]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder
Expected Publication: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Point

Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place. Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible--something to truly believe in.

Why I Can’t Wait….
Oh I love how this one sounds! Sounds cute, has it secrets and football…sign me up!

What are you waiting on? Please link me up to yours. I’d love to see your picks! 


Cover Reveal: Taking Chances by Ariadne Wayne

Taking Chances by Ariadne Wayne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Expected Publication: 3/30/2014

Lauren and Mark Burrows lost their parents in a car accident one night. Despite their father being the drunk driver, both struggle with the urge to turn to drink; Lauren most of all. When all they have is each other, Lauren feels lost when Mark falls in love with Cassie Warren and moves out. Ethan Stone has been alone since his divorce. His ex-wife took him for everything, and he has felt empty for a long time. He's not looking for love, but Lauren brings him back to life. The question is whether she can fight her demons for the man she loves, and if Ethan can handle the wild ride that is life with Lauren.


Ethan leaned over to kiss her. “I’m looking forward to going to bed too. If I’m invited.”
She laughed, slapping his arm. “Are you kidding? After all that fuss at the door, you had better bring your A game tonight, Mister.”
“I don’t know about that, but I could do with loving you some more. We’ll have to leave pretty early. My schedule is full tomorrow.”
“You still came?”
“Lauren, I told you. You’re worth the effort. If I have to look for work down here, I will.”
“I can’t believe anyone would do that for me.”
“I love you. Even if you don’t feel the same way, I’ll be there when you need me.”
She kissed him. This man was special, and he was hers. 
“I do feel the same way. My whole life, no-one ever loved me,” she said.
“I bet that’s a lie. You have such a good heart. Anyone who doesn’t love you isn’t worth knowing.”
“Can we skip dinner and get to the bed part?”
Ethan squeezed her hand. “Not after the effort I put in. Maybe afterwards.”
“Well, you can’t wash the dishes. There’s no hot water left.”
“You didn’t leave any for me?”
Lauren draped her arms over Ethan’s shoulders. “No. You should have joined me.”
“Next time, beautiful.”
She looked away, not wanting to meet his gaze. “What is it, Lauren?”
“No-one’s ever called me that before.”
    “Well, get used to it.”

About the Author
Ariadne Wayne loves books and lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband and two children. Having always had a prolific imagination she now writes the words down instead of storing them in her head where she can't share them.

When she's not writing she works in Telecommunications, frequently banging her head on the desk with the random things that can happen to the ordinary phone line.


Review: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Published: December 14, 2010
Format: purchased
Challenge: 2014 TBR Reading Challenge
Publisher: Knopf BYR
Rating: 5/5

SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go
forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

My Thoughts
I’ve been wanting to read this for some time now. When I saw that it was going to be made into a movie I knew I had to read the book first before I saw it. I know that when books are made into movies they have to change some things for the sake of time. However I’ve known a lot of movies that either butcher the book more than stay true. So I tried to go into this with an open mind and tried not to replay the book version in my head while I watch it. I can honestly say I loved the movie just as much as the book.
I loved the story of Sutter Keely, I think he is one the best characters I’ve read about in a long time. I liked how he is messed up and has some twisted views. While he has troubles in his life he meets Aimee a shy girl who is so sweet that everyone in her life takes advantage of her. At first glance you might think that they are polar opposites I actually like how they work together. I see them as mirror imagines of each other. Sutter is a jokester who masks his pain with alcohol and being the life of the party, Aimee needs that in her life she needs to have fun and loosen up. Sutter takes it upon himself to help Aimee but in the process he falls in love with her. At least I honestly believe he does. You see this is where you can take the story as you want it.
Some might take Sutter as an asshole who is just using Aimee to get back at his ex. I see him as a guy with problems and issues but with a huge heart. And while he claims he is “helping” Aimee I think it’s Aimee who is helping him. She comes into his life and gives him that unconditional love he needs. She loves him, all of him, flaws and all. She sees into his heart and sees him for who he can be, and not just as the party guy. I think this is one of those great YA books that really portray teens as they are today. It doesn’t sugar coat anything and while I didn’t really like how the book ended I was more satisfied with the ending of the movie. I like the closure and the possibility of more that the movie provided.

Tim Tharp wrote this amazing story of love, acceptance and coming of age that goes beyond teens. We can all reflect on the hardships of growing up. We all want to be accepted for who we are and hope that we find it. I highly recommend the book and movie, which doesn’t happen that often. Both well give you different takes on an awesome story that you will soon not forget. 


Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published: October 9, 2012
Format: Purchased
Publisher: Hyperion
Challenges: 2014 TBR Pile
Rating: 4/5

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

My Thoughts
I honestly didn’t know if I would “get” this story. I mean it’s a time travelling tale of two people who fall in love. I’ve read and seen it done in a ton of movies. But I went into this with an open mind and considering I’ve heard nothing but good things I figured why not. Well I’m glad I did. I really loved and totally “got” the story of Anna and Bennett. While this story could’ve gone in a weird direction it doesn’t. This has a lot to do with the storytelling of Tamara Stone. She writes this tale and its characters so utterly believable that you can’t help but be drawn in and can’t wait for what’s next.

Anna is just a typical girl who is leading a rather normal life. One day while running she sees this new guy who she can’t stop thinking about. Here enters Bennett who is the new guy, he is shy quiet and has a mysterious aura about him. They eventually end up spending some time together and while Bennett tries to stop the connection he has with Anna it’s bigger than both of them. Bennett decides he owes it Anna to tell his secret, that he can time travel. Although there are restrictions to it she decides to show Anna.
Even though I loved the book and the romance of Anna and Bennett I did find it odd that Anna never really freaked out. I mean seriously if my boyfriend told me he could time travel I would think he was kind of off or at least think I was. I guess sometimes love can make you see things differently.

I’ve always heard that love can stand the test of time, in this instance it’s also distance. I love how it ended with the ideal of hope. Hope that love can exceed all boundaries. I’ve always wanted that kind of love, and I’ll never give up on it. And while many people put these illusions and idealistic hopes on love I know that somethings are bigger than us. Call me a softy or sucker but I definitely buy into that notion, and tales like this one just gives me that extra hope.  


WoW [60]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
Expected Publication: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Adult

Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.

Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate détente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.

As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most.

Why I Can’t Wait….
I became a huge fan of Beatriz Williams after reading her last book A Hundred Summers. She really got me in reading more historical fiction. I know this one won’t disappoint either, I know she will deliver! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy. Plus it comes out on my bday! Cool.
What are you waiting on? Please link me up to yours. I’d love to see your picks! 


Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
Expected Publication: January 28, 2014
Format: via NetGalley
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Challenges: 2014 NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Rating: 4/5

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?

My Thoughts
Heartbeat is the tale of Emma and how she hates and blames everyone for her mother’s death. Like anyone in that situation she is devastated and can’t come to terms with her step father since she blames him for not letting her mom go. While her step dad is keeping her alive for the sake of their unborn child, Emma must see her every day and is torn mentally with her mom’s death. Who can blame her? Physically her mom is there but by all means she isn’t alive. All she has left is her best friend Olivia who is her saving grace. While at the hospital she seems Caleb, the bad boy from school. Although everyone tells her Caleb is no good is he really? Or is he just misunderstood? We later learn that Caleb has his own issues that he is dealing with, and we see why he and Emma are so  drawn to each other.
While I’ll admit the storyline can be a tad creepy it does make you wonder. I mean how would I feel? You can’t blame Emma for thinking what she does but at the same time she finds out she doesn’t know the whole story. She only saw what she wanted to and comes to terms with what has happened. I like the characters they were well written and each had their own attitudes that I could relate to. My favorite though was her best friend Olivia. I loved how she was quirky and had an old school vibe to her. I loved how she was so against technology since her parents were so consumed by it.

This book has heart and shows us how to accept things for what they are. That even the bad things can eventually bring out the good things without you even knowing. We all must experience things that we don’t want, these are the things that make us stronger in the end. I think that’s what Emma finally realizes in the end. 


Cover Reveal: Ringer by C.J. Duggan

Ringer by C.J. Duggan
(Summer #3.5)
Publication date: April 2nd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Add to Goodreads

“They say it’s the quiet ones you have to worry about, and she was quiet, very quiet—when she wasn’t busy despising me with a burning passion.” Ringo ‘Ringer’ James has a no-strings-attached policy.

Love them, leave them, and remain the eternal bachelor. After a summer in which every one of his mates has succumbed to settling down, or so it seemed, Ringer is on the lookout for a quick exit. Having had enough of the stomach-turning love fest witnessed over the past three months, Ringer jumps at the opportunity to help out his mate, Max, by heading to Max’s dad’s property for a working holiday. It’s just what he’s looking for. A remote, dusty homestead in Ballan, with only hard work, a cold beer and a comfy bed to worry about – no women.

Until Miranda Henry. The privately educated daughter of his boss has returned home from overseas and things are about to get very complicated, very fast. As summer draws to its end, Ringer is about to learn that sometimes attraction defies all logic, and that there really is such a thing as ‘enemies with benefits.’

C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia.
The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.
For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit www.cjdugganbooks.com

Author Links:


Review: Scars of Sweet Paradise- The Life and Times of Janis Joplin by Alice Echols

Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin by Alice Echols
Published: February 15, 2000
Format: Bought
Publisher: Picador
Rating: 4/5

Janis Joplin was the skyrocket chick of the sixties, the woman who broke into the boys' club of rock and out of the stifling good-girl femininity of postwar America. With her incredible wall-of-sound vocals, Joplin was the voice of a generation, and when she OD'd on heroin in October 1970, a generation's dreams crashed and burned with her. Alice Echols pushes past the legacy Joplin-the red-hot mama of her own invention-as well as the familiar portrait of the screwed-up star victimized by the era she symbolized, to examine the roots of Joplin's musicianship and explore a generation's experiment with high-risk living and the terrible price it exacted.

My Thoughts
For those of you who don’t know me I’m a HUGE music fan. I think of myself as an old soul though. I love and adore music from the 60’s and 70’s. Awhile back I was obsessed with music bios; I read anything I could get my hands on. Like I said before I couldn’t get enough of anything from that time period so I went out and got a ton of stuff from the musicians at that time.

I’ve loved Janis Joplin instantly. I loved her attitude, her voice, her love of old soul and jazz plus she’s from Texas!! Yet as much as she was awesomely gifted too so many people, there was no denying she was a tortured soul. While there are a ton of books on Janis I’m glad I picked this one. I liked how this one was a balanced book. Some bios tend to be one-sided, they are mainly gossipy or they don’t really give you an insight on the person not just the musician. I like how I got both. They were a ton of things I didn’t know about her personal life and some things I thought were true were revealed to be false. I felt I got a sense of the stripped down Janis and not just a glamorized version of what people want her to be remembered by. 

Although no one can honestly say why Janis felt the way she did we do get bits and pieces on why she felt so alone and her sense of not belonging and not feeling good enough.
I’ve read enough music bios to know that it’s not the fame that brings these artists down but the pain and rejection they suffered long before that caused them to have problems. Most of them think money, fame and drugs can make up for it but we all know it never does.

Alice Echols in my opinion has written the most balanced bio I’ve read out there. Not just on Janis but generally speaking. It’s straight to the point and pulls no punches. It doesn’t give a fairy tale illusion on Janis’s life but a real account of it, good and bad. If you want to read a good to honest book on one of  music’s iconic gods then this one is for you.


Book Blitz: The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom

The Art of Letting Go [Uni Files #1] by Anna Bloom
Publication date: September 25th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Add to Goodreads / Buy Amazon

One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?

When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.

Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.

As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.

With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.

With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?

Author Links


Wow [59]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt
Expected Publication: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books

Nell knows a secret about her perfect, beautiful sister Layla. If she tells, it could blow their world apart. When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellaya. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They're a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell's a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she's happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it's wrong, and she must do something about it.

Why I Can’t Wait….
This had me from the word “secret.” We are the Goldens sounds like an amazing story plus I love a book that explores the dynamics of familes especially siblings. Not to mention this comes out on my birthday…I think I found what I want as a present.

What are you waiting on? Please link me up to yours. I’d love to see your picks! 


Weekend with my loves...music, football and of course books!

In an effort to keep up with my resolutions for a better stress free year I did some major cleaning this weekend. In between football games I managed to get some things done. I started off with the music. I mean you can’t really clean or do anything really without music right? I keep it old school with my music. While I have tons of cds, and music downloads my favorite method is still LPs. 
Why? Mainly because my favorite kind of music is anything from the 60’s-70’s and the only way you hear it in my opinion, is through a turntable. So once I got my tunes together I started off with brutal task of paring down my books. I know I know it was heartbreaking! I try to force myself to do this at least twice a year. While I would love to keep all my books it is quite impossible to do, I don’t have that much space I already have four bookcases in my bedroom. Luckily this time around it wasn’t so hard to do; I had a lot of double copies and books that I honestly didn’t want. So while this time around it was easy I know the next time it might not be. So do you a certain criteria when you sort out your books? For me it’s pretty easy, I made myself abide by a few rules.

*Those I keep I must really love
*Classics never go out of style
* If I haven’t read it I give myself one year to do so or pass it on
*Don’t be greedy share; don’t just hang on to something just for the sake of it

When I first decided to donate my books I didn’t know what to do with them. I thought it would be easy to find a place that would want them, but surprise I was wrong! Guess everyone doesn’t love books the way we do…strange huh?
Anyways I finally found that the Salvation Army would love the books! YAY! So this week they will get a ton. Ok not a ton but over 2 books which is about 60+ books. However recently I found out there was a nonprofit program in my area that gives the books to local kids and after school programs so I think my next batch will go to them. I love the whole idea of helping future generations get into the reading habit. I love how reading can take you to places you never knew existed. Simply put books are magical to me nothing is better.

So while it might hurt me to part with these books which have made me laugh, cry, question and inspire me I do it for the possibility. The possibility? The possibility that with any luck they will do the same for the next person and that makes it all worthwhile.


Mini Review: Waking Kate by Sarah Addison Allen

Waking Kate by Sarah Addison Allen
Published: December 3, 2013
Format: free Kindle read
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 4/5

From the beloved author of Garden Spells, comes Waking Kate, a story about a woman who soon will face an unforseen change in her life. One sticky summer day as Kate is waiting for her husband to come home from his bicycle shop, she spots her distinguished neighbor returning from his last day of work after eighty-six years at Atlanta’s oldest men’s clothing store. Over a cup of butter coffee, he tells Kate a story of love and heartbreak that makes her remember her past, question her present, and wonder what the future will bring. 

My Thoughts
Who knew a 38 page short story could be so good! The story of Kate and her interaction with her neighbor left me curious and very intrigued. I love his story of lost love and how he knows Kate’s husband, and how I felt there was more to that story. It was if he knew some family secrets or something of that matter.
As he is telling his story Kate is faced to take a look at her relationship and if it’s what she really wants. I can’t wait to read the full story in Sarah Addison Allen’s new book Lost Lake. She gives you just enough to draw you in and tempts you to want it all. This is one awesome preview to a book I can feel is filled with endless possibilities.

Allen sold me with this one short and now I can’t wait to read her past books. She is one writer I can’t help but want to know more of.


Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
Released: January 28, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Format: via NetGalley
Challenges: 2014 NetGalley/Edelweiss
Rating: 3/5

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

My Thoughts
I must admit I feel very torn by this book. One part of me really enjoyed it while the other part felt like it fell short. I was so excited to read this for the last few months simply based by the synopsis. However while I read it I just felt this consist feeling that there was more to the story than what I was reading.
It felt like I was reading two different books. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the storyline[s] I just felt like I wanted to read one more than the other. I was more interested and invested in reading about Emily and Paul’s background than her whole connection to Emily Dickinson. While we got the jest of what lead up to Paul’s suicide I felt like more could've be told. I wanted to learn more about their relationship and even her relationships with the girls at the school. I did enjoy the poems “Emily” wrote I thought they were great. I could see how her life mirrored that of Emily Dickinson but at times I felt like it was more about her than the modern day Emily.
The whole storyline on Emily and Paul’s relationship was one I knew had so much more to offer and I wished that could’ve shined more. I wanted to know more of what was on Paul’s mind and why he felt and reacted the way he did.

Despite what I wanted more of, this is a book with more pluses than minuses. Not to mention if you’re a fan of poetry and/or Emily Dickerson I know you will not be disappointed.


WoW [58]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe
Expected Publication: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Knopf

A fiercely beautiful debut blazing with emotion: a major first novel about friendships made in youth and how these bonds, challenged by loss, illness, parenthood, and distance, either break or sustain.
Mia and Lorrie Ann are lifelong friends: hard-hearted Mia and untouchably beautiful, kind Lorrie Ann. While Mia struggles with a mother who drinks, a pregnancy at fifteen, and younger brothers she loves but can't quite be good to, Lorrie Ann is luminous, surrounded by her close-knit family, immune to the mistakes that mar her best friend's life. Until a sudden loss catapults Lorrie Ann into tragedy: things fall apart, and then fall apart further-and there is nothing Mia can do to help. And as good, kind, brave Lorrie Ann stops being so good, Mia begins to question just who this woman is and what that question means about them both. A staggeringly arresting, honest novel of love, motherhood, loyalty, and the myth of the perfect friendship that moves us to ask ourselves just how well we know those we love, what we owe our children, and who we are without our friends.

Why I Can’t Wait….
This is a book I HAVE to read. Seriously doesn’t the description alone make you want to also? This sounds like a richly written story, something that definitely speaks to me. Now I just have to hope the reading gods can get a copy to me…soon.
What are you waiting on? Please link me up to yours. I’d love to see your picks! 


Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Bookish Goals

This year I vow to make some changes for the better. That means in my life, my health and also my blog. So here’s my Top Ten Bookish Goals for this year. For more be sure to check out the fab ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish.

*Have fun! This will be my 2nd full year of my blog and I will be more relaxed this year. I’ve always been an anxiety driven person but this year I just want this blog to be fun, not to worry about deadlines or feeling like I have to read and do everything. I’m going back to simple things.

*Quality over quantity. I know it’s easy to click and request all this new fab books on NetGalley and Edelweiss but I must admit I got overwhelmed last year. This time around I’m focusing on just books I REALLY want to read. If I only read 20 books fine, I rather read a small about of great books that a tons of sucky ones.

*Interact more. I’ll be responding more to comments and on other bloggers blog. I read a ton of blogs but just don’t comment. I love the blogging community and want to talk to more of the great bloggers out there.

*Reduce challenges. This year I’m only do 3 Challenges. Once again I’m trying to reduce my stress and enjoy reading for readings sake.

*Focus equally on new [arcs] and old titles. I can’t wait to read some of the arcs but I also want to do back and visit [revisit] some old books I’ve been dying to get  to.

Now as for a personal goal of mine I really want to focus on my health this year, mainly to lose weight. I've started pretty good so far…14 lbs! I’m happy about this since last year I was bummed and not feeling so hot about myself. I don’t know why but I feel good about this year, we shall see.

Please feel free to share tell me some of your goals.


Review: Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler
Published: December 31, 2013
Format: Copy via Publisher
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 3.5/5

Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not. And it may be more than Emma can handle.
Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop.

My Thoughts
The description is what instantly caught my attention and I knew I had to read this. I was lucky enough to get a copy after the author herself saw I had featured this book as my WoW of the week. However I am being fully honest and real in this review.
There were many things I felt an instant connect with right from the start. I loved the interaction and dialogue between Emma and her father. I thought the push and pull of them was real to how most father daughter relationships are.

The thing I enjoyed most was the relationship between Emma and her best friend Siobhan. While I didn’t like Siobhan at times I thought the character was really well written. She had that little girl lost persona down. I felt she put down Emma at times so that she felt better about herself. Siobhan is the type of person who has these grand stories that you wonder if she was even telling the truth or just trying to paint a picture of life she wished had happen. Like all teenage girls things come between them. Some are small petty things other stuff blows out of portion. What comes next is a series of things that you can never believe is possible. Emotions run high and lines are crossed.

This a good story of friendship and finding out who your friends really are. While I found some parts drag I think this is a good read nevertheless.  


New Year...New Blogging Goals

A New Year and a fresh new start! I can’t believe I’ve survived another year of blogging. I’ve read some awesome and [not] so awesome books the past year, like everything else it’s all in trial and error.

This New Year I vow to read 60 books. Although I read 82 last year this year I want to focus more on quality than quantity. It’s not about how many I read but my main focus is to only read books I truly think will bring something to my life in whatever way possible.

I’m going to be more devoted to my blog and maybe I’ll even start writing again. I want to be more active with those that follow and take the time to stop by. Plus I will have more contests throughout the year.

All in all I just want everyone to have a better year. Make goals no matter big or small and live life to the fullest. Enjoy whatever makes you happy and just be the best you that you can be.