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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

8 Reasons I Visit Your Blog

by Andye

Let's face it, we pretend that we do this all for the love of reading and writing, but the truth is, we want people to read what we're spending our time and energy on. But what gets people to take the plunge? I don't know about you, but here are 8 reasons that I'll come visit your blog.

1. You've come to my blog and have left comments on my posts. I'm a little slow on this one because I tend to be on the oblivious side, but even I start to notice when the same person has been visiting and engaging with me. I'll be reading comments when all of a sudden I think Hey! This awesome person has been coming around a lot! I should probably check out what they're all about! And then I do!

2. You reviewed a book I'm really interested in. This is kind of an obvious one, but worth noting. 

3. You review a book I've never heard of. When you're a book blogger, it can get pretty repetitive visiting blogs that all have the same posts, the same books, the same memes, etc. So, when I see a review with a cool looking cover and I've never heard of it, it really piques my interest.

4. We're friends. Again, I'm not as good at this as I should be, but usually at some point in time I realize that if I'm friends with people, it's kind of crappy if I don't ever check out what they basically spend half their lives on.

5. You hook me with your Twitterspeak. There is no one who does this better than Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner. She says things like this . . .

. . . and I have to know! What, Jamie? WHAT IS THE BEST MEDICINE? WHAT DID YOU LOOK AT IN YOUR OWN LIFE? I'm nosy, and I think you know it, Jamie. You're using my nosiness against me! *ehem, sorry. Anyway.

6. You post something conversational. As much as I like reviews and interviews and such, my favorite posts are the ones that are more personal. Well, they don't even have to be super personal, just something different. If it's about books, that's even better.

7. You post something I need. Especially when I was a new blogger, trying to figure this whole thing out, if you had a post on how to improve your blog, or html (Thanks Parajunkee), or how to deal with publishers etc., you would have my love forever.

8. You write the words "8 Reasons I Visit Your Blog" or some other number with some other list. Not sure what it is about lists, but I just have to click it.

How about you? What hooks you and forces you to *click*?

(Don't miss my opposing, "8 Reasons I WON'T Visit Your Blog".)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

THE MUSEUM OF US by Tara Wilson Redd // Review and Giveaway

by Tara Wilson Redd
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (June 26, 2018)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon
Secrets are con artists: they trick you into letting them out. 
Sadie loves her rocker boyfriend Henry and her running partner and best friend Lucie, but no one can measure up to her truest love and hero, the dazzling and passionate George. George, her secret. 

When something goes wrong and Sadie is taken to the hospital calling out for George, her hidden life may be exposed. Now she must confront the truth of the past, and protect a world she is terrified to lose.

Mental health is a serious issue that, thanks to books like Museum of Us, is coming into a whole new light. Everyone copes in their own way. Scrolling through social media, diving into a book, or maybe throwing yourself into your sport. The way Sadie copes is through her mind. She completely encompasses herself inside fantasies.

The writing of this book is beautiful and extremely creative. She explores so may different fantasy realms when delving into Sadie's mind, but also does an amazing job of slowing down, letting the reader piece together her personality and what might be the cause of the escapism.

JUST BE WARNED: The beginning is confusing, especially if you're like me and read the descriptions religiously. The description kind of threw me at first and when I was reading it I was incredibly confused, but it cleared up pretty soon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here's to Happy Endings                               6/25/2018
Reading Teen                                                     6/26/2018
Take Me Away to a Great Read                   6/27/2018
Take Me Away                                                  6/28/2018
PageTurners                                                      6/29/2018
Picture Books to YA                                         6/30/2018
Jessabella Reads                                               7/1/2018
Quite the Novel Idea                                      7/2/2018
The Reading Cafe                                             7/3/2018
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers            7/4/2018
Selina Falcon                                                      7/5/2018
Booklish Lifestyle                                             7/6/2018
Such a Novel Idea                                            7/7/2018   

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West // Podcasting for Dummies

by Kasie West
Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (May 29, 2018)
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Sold by: Scholastic Trade Publisher
Buy the Book:
Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.
But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by Listen to Your Heart. Love, Life, and the List was not my favorite Kasie West book. (The guy sucked and it was the first time I rooted for the other guy to get the girl and because of that the main girl lost my respect. GIRLS know your worth, boys don't get to just say I'm sorry and all of the awful things they do go away. Just because you have feelings for someone doesn't mean you should go out with them. Some boys just aren't worth it. Okay, rant done.) And so when I started Listen to Your Heart, I was really worried that this book might follow that same trend. I am SO GLAD it didn't.

While this one is not my favorite of hers, it is actually pretty good. Kate acted just as most tumblr users do, talk constantly about their anti-social tendencies to groups of people while being really witty about it.

I actually think this book would've been better from the POV of her BFF because Kate doesn't really do anything. Take a look at this book description I'm whipping up if it had been written from Alana's POV instead and you tell me which sounds better:

Alana has the perfect plan for her fall semester. She's going to be the host of her school's podcast, she's going to date Diego, this super hot guy at her school, and hang out on her best friend, Kate's, lake. At first everything is going exactly according to plan. Her unrivaled flirting skills seem to be working on Diego, and her best friend has the perfect idea for the new topic for the podcast. But then everything starts to go sideways. Kate is cast as the host and Alana is stuck being work buddies with Kate's, admittedly hot, arch nemesis. And to top it off, Diego starts calling in to the podcast for help with a girl who doesn't seem interested. Everything is crumbling, but Alana isn't ready to give up her perfect plan yet. It'll just take some readjusting, and then everything will be back on track... right?

That sounds so much better, right? Listen, this book is good, please read it. But seriously, I loved Alana and would've loved to see this story from her POV. 

Just giving you something to consider.

Wellllll..... that's all I got.

Au revoir readers!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A New and Exceptional High Fantasy // FURYBORN by Claire Legrand: Book and Audiobook

by Claire Legrand
Series: The Empirium Trilogy (Book 1)
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (May 22, 2018)

Audiobook Publisher: Listening Library
Language: English

Goodreads | Amazon 
The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable―until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world―and of each other.
This book, guys. This book. I am quite blown away.

Let me start by saying I would not classify this as YA, although I know that's a losing battle (just look where A Court of Thorns and Roses ended up)... But this book is complex, it takes it's time, and it has probably the most descriptive sex scene I've read in YA. This book won't be for everyone.

But it was definitely for me.

I will keep my review brief as there are so many good descriptive reviews out there that give more details, if that's what you're looking for. I just want to say that I loved so many things about the way this book was written. You can tell that Claire Legrand took a LOT of time planning this story. Those books are always my favorite because there are so many details and threads and twists. The fact that she starts the book off basically telling you how Rielle's story ends, yet somehow finds ways to keep you interested, and even surprised, is absolutely incredible. I love that we follow two fierce young women who think they know themselves, but end up surprising themselves by where their paths took them.

All the characters are incredibly well fleshed out, including one very devious villain. Corian is completely horrible, but also absolutely fascinating. I adore complicated bad guys. And the relationships are so convoluted. The fine line between love and hate, loyalty and betrayal is walked constantly with these characters. I loved it!!

Action, war, forbidden romance, TOTALLY forbidden romance, fierce females, magic, friendships, family, lies, temptation, and the journey two girls take to find out who they are and what they're capable of. FURYBORN delivers on all these things and more.

A note on the audiobook: I absolutely love the narrator of this audiobook. Her voice is so perfect for this story. However, I wish there had been two different readers for Rielle and Eliana. It was really hard to keep track of whose storyline I was in, especially at the beginning when I was just learning the characters. I was constantly trying to figure out who was who and having the same voice made it much more complicated. However, I'd still recommend it because I really did like the reader so much. Her voice was awesome, and the passion she brought to the story added so much to it. Thanks to Listening Library for sending a copy for review.

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Very Timely Book // AFTERMATH by Kelley Armstrong

by Kelley Armstrong
Age Range: 12 - 17 years
Grade Level: 7 - 9
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (May 22, 2018)
Goodreads | Amazon

Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there's no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn't a victim; he was a shooter.

Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don't heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend--Skye.

Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can't resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.

DISCLAIMER: Aftermath is a book that is crucial in this current world. It shows a new perspective on these horrible school shootings, the family of someone who participated in a school shooting. The main character is the sister, and so because of her connection to the shooter, is condemned shamelessly by society despite her innocence. Please do not write this book off as a shooter sympathetic book because I assure you it does not see violence in a sympathetic light.

This book is amazing, and extremely relevant. It shows two different perspectives, both people who lost a family member during a school shooting, but in different ways. Skye is heartbroken, still struggling with guilt and trying to not feel her brother's loss while Jesse completely changed after his brother died still feeling angry and betrayed by Skye. While all this is going on, there is a chilling mystery that slowly uncovers itself throughout the book, leaving the reader shocked and with a new perspective.

I think what I most liked about this book, is that it sheds light on so many different, and often overlooked issues at the same time. It tackles grief, depression, guilt, bullying, and most importantly the school shootings. This book will touch the hearts of many people who need to know what is going on from the perspective of someone living through this, instead of just someone reporting on the news screen.

*Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending us a copy for honest review.