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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Five Reasons Why This Book is the One }} NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST by Eric Lindstrom

Review by Jackie

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Poppy (December 1, 2015)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

The Rules:

Don't deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don't help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don't be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I'm just like you only smarter.

Parker Grant doesn't need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That's why she created the Rules: Don't treat her any differently just because she's blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there's only one way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that's right, her eyes don't work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn't cried since her dad's death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened--both with Scott, and her dad--the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

The one what, you might ask. Well, the one that makes all the other books jealous, of course!

1. Never have I ever read a book that has a character with such genuine character growth. I’ve never realized that all the other growths are, in fact, Sort Of Growths. Growing hidden behind love. NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST is compelling. Parker Grant has Rules. These are a huge part of what makes her who she is. Especially Rule Infinity. This book shows her growth though, over, and around her own rules. All while figuring out her place in the world and what it means to trust.

2. THAT COVER IS JUST YES. The whole design is just yes. I mean there is brail design all over this thing. And the colors are sooooooo pretty. Love. Love. Love.

3. FRIENDSHIP. The don’t abandon, can’t be without, you are my Actual Soul Mate, forgiving friendship. I can’t even. This is what every person wants in a friendship. There is no Parker without Sarah. There’s Molly. There’s Faith. There’s even D.B., whose name is actually Kent. There’s Scott. These characters are dynamic and real and they have flaws. They don’t wear their flaws like there’s something wrong with being imperfect, but instead they allow themselves to be friends with others because of their flaws. Because what is one person’s weakness is the other’s strength. One is the eyes. The other is the ears. Sarah and Parker.

4. I thought I would have issues with the romance but I SO DIDN’T. I mean, they were together in eighth grade. However, Parker knew the apparent strangeness was of finding The One that young. I don’t know why I wasn’t annoyed by it, but I wasn’t. I loved it. I loved that they were just stupid kids, dumb and in love, making stupid kid mistakes over stupid ideals. I loved that they weren’t perfect. And that the whole issue-TRUST- wasn’t placed on a single person. The romance was something I wasn’t expecting to love. And it came slowly. It built until I couldn’t help loving it something fierce.

5. It's so unique. I love this book, if you can’t tell. It deals with so many issues without being all like shove-all-problems-into-YA. Suicide, death, failing friendship, distrust, blindness, insecurity, fear, not dealing with your emotions in a healthy way, abandonment, divorce. Lindstrom deals with everything. He leaves nothing out. I’m in complete awe.

Okay so the moral of this story is . . . read this story.

Waiting on Wednesday \\ WHAT'S BROKEN BETWEEN US by @alexisbasswrite #WOW

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Pick of the week:

What's Broken Between Us
Author: Alexis Bass
Release Date: December 29th 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins

Alexis Bass’s heartbreakingly beautiful second novel is a tale of love, loss, and learning to forgive, perfect for fans of Gayle Forman and of Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything.

A year and a half ago, Amanda Tart's brother got behind the wheel drunk and killed his best friend. Today, he's coming home from prison.

Amanda's been the one living with the fallout, made worse by her brother's recent unapologetic TV interview. People think he's a monster. Still, she loves him. It's her dark secret, until she starts getting close to Henry again--whose sister is paralyzed from the accident.

A year and a half ago, her brother destroyed his life. Now Amanda has to decide if she'll let his choice destroy hers.
Peace, Love + Twilight,
Leydy Baltodano
Admin, Once Upon a Twilight 
Reviewer, ReadingTeen

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Books I'm Thankful For....

From Becca's Shelves...

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish. 

This week's topic is A THANKSGIVING FREEBIE! Which means I'm going with the TOP TEN BOOKS I'M THANKFUL FOR. This was a pretty hard task for me, because there are TONS of books that I'm thankful for (pretty much every single one in existence), but there are some that I just happen to be a tiny bit more thankful for! So below I've listed my top ten and reasons why, but if I don't talk to ya'll before Thursday, let me take a second to tell you how thankful both Andye & I are for YOU! We love you guys (especially when you comment *wink, wink*), and hope that you have the BEST Thanksgiving ever. For those of you that don't celebrate, well, pig out anyways, have a fab Thursday, and know that we are still thankful for you! <3

HARRY POTTER by JK Rowling - I think this one is pretty obvious, because HELLO. It's Harry freakin' Potter (but most importantly, Hermione 'the best sidekick ever' Granger). JK Rowling not only made me love to read, but millions of others too, and if that's not something to be thankful for, then I don't know what is!

ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - I'm thankful for Illuminae, because this book defied all expectations. It went against the odds and triumphed with SPACE, ACTION, LOVE, CRAZY PEOPLE, SPACE, FIGHTING, PSYCHO COMPUTER PROGRAMS, AND ZOMG! Seriously. I'm thankful for Illuminae, because it gave me a roller coaster ride that I'm now super excited I'll be able to experience in MOVIE FORM IN THE FUTURE! WHAT?!? AH!

CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins - I'm thankful for Peeta Mellark and Finnick Odair. That is all.

FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell - I'm thankful for Levi. That is also all. No, wait. I'm thankful for Fangirl for making me realize fangirls are pretty dope and it's amazing to be one.

MAYBE SOMEDAY by Colleen Hoover - I'm thankful for Maybe Someday, because it's actually the very first New Adult book I've read that I wish never ended. It wrecked a good way.

TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer - I'm thankful for Twilight, because it got me back on the reading bandwagon after those poor middle school years where I was in the biggest reading slump of my life. Without Twilight, I wouldn't be who I am today, which is someone who will still argue the merits of #TeamEdward.

DUMPLIN by Julie Murphy - I'm thankful for Dumplin' because it made me feel confident in myself again, and because it made me realize that I should always give an author another chance if I didn't like their first book. This one blew me out of the water and surprised me in so many ways.

CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein - I'm thankful for Code Name Verity, because it gave me a reason to say "Kiss Me Hardy", even though hardly anyone ever knows what the heck I'm saying. Also, because it showed me what true friendship is.

WINTER by Marissa Meyer - I'm thankful for Winter (and Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress), because it gave me an excuse to become just as obsessed with princesses now as I was when I was a kid. And Carswell Thorne.

THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken - I'm thankful for The Darkest Minds, because I found it during one of the darkest points in my life and it gave me hope. (But also, because LIAM *SWOONS*)

So what books are YOU thankful for? 

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Fangirl-ing Review Letter To Ten Thousand Skies Above You...

From Becca...

by Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird #2
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (November 3, 2015)
Goodreads | Amazon

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents' invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above Youfeatures Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.
My Thoughts: 

Dear Ten Thousand Skies Above You,

As you probably already know, I freakin' adored your sibling book, A Thousand Pieces of You. I legitimately remember being thoroughly engrossed with Marguerite's story, and her travels to parallel universes- most especially the Russia-verse and a certain guard, who I have on my Top Ten Book Boyfriend List. I kind of have a thing for fictional guards...what can I say? Haha. So as you can about imagine, I was DYING to get my hands on you, Ten Thousand Skies Above You. I needed more of this world-- or should I say worlds. The moment I pulled you out of my mail, I immediately plopped down in my reading nook and devoured you word by gloriously invigorating word. 

Marguerite is a dimension traveller. She uses a device her parents invented called a Firebird, and now she's ticked off the wrong kind of people. The type of people who will threaten everyone Marguerite holds dear to her heart and sometimes even carry out that threat just to get her to cooperate with their whole 'I want to rule the multiverse' syndrome. But once they achieve the ultimate threat to her boyfriend, Paul, by scattering his consciousness throughout the dimensions, all bets are off and Marguerite will do anything to save her one true love, making her question whether fate and destiny are real or not real in the grand scheme of life. 

I got my wish of more badass-ery when it comes to Marguerite, because she is just as strong of a character in you, as she was in your first book. I love how she stands for what she believes in, no matter what the cost is, and the fact that she's so incredibly brave despite what she's going through. Saving the world and hundreds of others is a lot to handle when you're just a teenager. Props to you, Marguerite! Keep up the badass-ery in book 3, eh? My heart ached for both Theo and Paul this time around though. Both of them are in some pretty crappy positions at the start of the book, and my heart strings pulled each time Marguerite met a new Paul. I grew to trust Theo again too, despite his ultimate betrayal in your last book, which means a lot, because that's something that Marguerite is dealing with throughout the plot, so I felt it was very important that I felt that along with your characters, and thankfully I did. 

Now without your awesome characters, you would cease to exist, but without your action-packed plot and fantastic renderings of all the possibilities in other dimensions, your characters wouldn't be so great. That's one of the things that kept me turning the pages so quickly. I mean, the intricacies in all the dimensions was so interesting and I simply couldn't get enough of it. I love, love, love when Marguerite travels to another world. It's really one of my very favorite things about you. But I was also happy to go back to a familiar world from book one, even if it brought a bunch of surprises and a little heartbreak as well. My emotions were basically a roller coaster ride of swoons and tears and fury. 

So, what is a girl supposed to rate a book (AND SERIES) that she absolutely without a doubt loves so much she's willing to keep bragging about it to everyone in hopes that they will read it and enjoy the awesome-ness for themselves? I'm definitely thinking five stars, but that's just me. Hopefully readers will give your series a chance or continue it with us and decide for themselves! I'm pretty sure they will thank me when they do! Haha. 


AND SERIOUSLY WHAT IS UP WITH THAT ENDING?! HOW?! WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?! I CAN'T EVEN! I suppose I'll forgive you though since you were even better than your first book, but don't tell A Thousand Pieces of You that I said that. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

It's Autumn So You Should Listen to the Scorpio Races Audiobook (Again) 2015

by Elisa

The Man-Eating Horses of Autumn:

Having moved to the sunny shores of San Diego, I haven’t yet become used to the mild weather. Unsurprisingly, it just didn’t click that it was the Fall. To help me beginning to enjoy pumpkin lattes, I decided to listen to the Scorpio Races to get me in an autumnal mood. The season for man-eating water horses to climb onto shore begins in October and goes through November. In celebration, the water horses (also called the kelpie or cabyll-ushtey) run wild and free in the ancient festival of the Scorpio Races.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite books ever. I can’t perfectly pin-point why. It is so simple, but deeply character driven.  I don't even like horses much, but rugged Sean Kendrick's love of for his dangerous Cabyll-ushtey is just so dang sexy. And I admire the tough Katie Connelly deeply. Despite her tragedies, she is so firey and brave and silent in all the ways I am not. Their connection is so deep, I always feel like the reader barely begins to scratch the surface of what might transpire.

The world Stievater made is also like none other. Being in the north, it reminds me of Ireland or Britain. The Island of Thisby is so natural and brutally stark. Then with the added fantasy character of the water horse, there is a mysterious and magical element that makes this world come alive.  I really want to fall in love on the Island of Thisby, too!

So if you have never read the Scorpio Races yet, do yourself a favor and don’t. Yep. You read that sentence right. Don't read it. Instead, listen to it.

The Audiobook:

Why? It was pretty good and I thought the readers did an excellent job. I was actually disturbed at the beginning when listening to the Scorpio Races because I was also listening to Ember in the Ashes at the same time. Apparently, the main guy character in both of these audiobooks is the same reader. I would think Sean was Ilyas and then Ilyas was Sean and kept getting the characters confused. Considering, I quit listening to Ember in the Ashes so I could identify Sean Kendrick's’ voice. My advice is simple: don’t listen to The Scorpio Races while listening to Ember in the Ashes.

Besides that--which really has nothing to do with The Scorpio Races themselves--I really loved the audiobook, I totally recommend it, and am even considering making listening to it a fall tradition.  

Maggie's Stiefvater also created this cool diddly with what I assume is a tin whistle and drums to play in the in the background on the intro and wrap-up on the audiobook:  

I haven’t seen any man-eating kelpie rise from the Southern California ocean tides yet, but I am still looking. In the meantime, The Scorpio Races have made me thoroughly embrace the autumn season!

Do you have any books you like to read or listen to for different seasons of the year?

The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater

Sexuality - Minor or mild
Language - Minor?
Violence - Moderate

This is a pretty clean read, but I am not sure younger teens would enjoy it because the character-driven themes could be perceived as boring.

Ethereally and unequivocally penned by Elisa (@AverageAdvocate) at “Inspiring the average American to change the world.”

She also dabbles in fiction hidden amongst others occasionally at She also really needs a new picture, because she hasn’t had red hair in like, forever.
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