Saturday, August 27, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (#12)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks.

I haven't done a Stacking the Shelves post in nearly six months. Of course I've added lots of new books to my shelves, but here's some that I'm excited to get the chance to read soon.

For Review - Netgalley

- One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards
- Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
- Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog

Purchased - Amazon Kindle

- Right of First Refusal by Daliah Adler
- Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall
- New Amsterdam: Tess by Ashley Pullo
- Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander
So Much More by Kim Holden

What have you added to your shelves recently? Leave your Stacking the Shelves link in the comments and I'll be sure to visit!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review: F*ck Love

Title F*ck Love
Author Tarryn Fisher
Release Date December 31, 2015

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly. Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked.
Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered,
and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful … if he wasn’t dating her best friend.
Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.

I really, really like the books by Tarryn Fisher I've read so much. So much so that I've already bought all of her other books in anticipation of getting the chance to read them. I know if I'm in a book slump, I can read something of hers. Her writing is phenomenal. There's something different about her books than anything else I've read that I just absolutely adore.

F*ck Love feels different to me than her other books that I've read. It still feels like a Tarryn book, but there's something that I can't put my finger on that sets it off all on its own. This is certainly not a bad thing, but it is something that really stuck out to me.

I really loved Helena. There's little ways in which I found myself relating to her that made her feel more realistic. I enjoy being able to see myself in a story without the character feeling like they have no personality.

F*ck Love only gets four stars from me because I would have liked a little (just the tiniest bit) less introspection on Helena's part and more interaction with her best friend. Like, it was hard for me to really understand why there were best friends sometimes. It feels a bit nitpicky, though, honestly.

Anyway, great book. A romance that doesn't really feel like a romance. Love Tarryn Fisher.


4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Review: Behind Closed Doors

Title Behind Closed Doors
Author B. A. Paris
Release Date February 11, 2016

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.

He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

Wow! This book was fantastic. Behind Closed Doors has definitely made it on to my favorites of 2016 list.

I hadn't heard of this book before I saw a friend recommend it on Facebook. I took one look at the blurb and decided I needed to read it. I didn't read any reviews for the book, so I went in blind. I will say that the blurb did not prepare me for what was in store. It was more disturbing (I'm not really sure disturbing is the correct word here, but I can't come up with a better choice currently) than I anticipated. And, honestly, I couldn't have loved it any more.

Quite simply, read this book. It may not be the absolutely perfect psychological thriller, but it's pretty close.

I need more books like this in my life! Behind Closed Doors had great writing and a gripping story line. What more could I have asked for? I am looking forward to reading more by B. A. Paris in the future, especially if this book is any indication of what she has to come.


5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (#17)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event that's hosted by Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm waiting on...

Title After the Fall
Author Kate Hart
Release Date January 24, 2017

Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides she needs rescuing. But Raychel doesn't want to be his girl anyway. She just needs his support as she deals with the classmate who assaulted her, the constant threat of her family’s eviction, and the dream of college slipping quickly out of reach. Matt tries to help, but he doesn’t really get it… and he’d never understand why she’s fallen into a secret relationship with his brother. The friendships are a precarious balance, and when tragedy strikes, everything falls apart. Raychel has to decide which pieces she can pick up – and which ones are worth putting back together.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Share your links in the comments below and I'll be sure to drop by!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Review: A Thousand Boy Kisses

Title A Thousand Boy Kisses
Author Tillie Cole
Release Date March 15, 2016

One kiss lasts a moment.
But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime.

One boy.
One girl.
A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade.
A bond that neither time nor distance can break.
A bond that will last forever.
Or so they believe.

When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation?

Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.

Part of me understands all the positive reviews that A Thousand Boy Kisses has received. A sweet girl and a swoon-worthy love interest in a emotional romance? What's not to love, right? Well, the other part of me (the bigger part actually) will tell you.

First off, before anything else, I want to say that I enjoyed the writing in this book. For a book that I ended up not enjoying, the writing was really great. It may be the sole reason that I give another book by Tillie Cole a chance.

Now, moving on to my disappointments...

These characters didn't work for me. Poppy was the standard Manic Pixie Dream Girl in all of her glorious perfection. Rune was the typical brooding bad boy. If you can ignore those stereotypical characters, the dialogue may just ruin the characters for you instead. It didn't seem natural. The cherry on top of the unnatural dialogue seemed to be an unbelievable amount of cheesiness. Good grief! I don't mind a little cheese in my romance, but this took it way overboard.

What better for stereotypical characters than a plot that's been done over and over? Yeah, it was so predictable that it hurt. The beginning (until chapter six or so) was perfectly fine and enjoyable. Then it all seemed to go down hill from there.

Again, I get the love for this book. I wish I would have enjoyed it more, especially since I really enjoyed the writing. Unfortunately, it just didn't click for me.


2 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (#11)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because everyone loves a good list, don't they? We love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This Tuesday is a rewind. You can pick a topic that you've missed or want to revisit. You can check out the spreadsheet that The Broke and the Bookish supplied to pick your topic.

Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry

I'm a crier. It's kind of my thing and I totally own it. Books, movies, TV shows, doesn't matter. Chances are if it's going to make anyone cry, it's going to be me. Luckily, I love emotional books so a book that can make me cry is a winner for me. Here are ten of my favorite books that made me cry.

Click on a cover to visit the Goodreads page for each book.

Share your Top Ten Tuesday link in the comments below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Book Review: Swear on This Life

Title Swear on This Life
Author Renée Carlino
Release Date August 9, 2016

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

I absolutely loved Before We Were Strangers. Before picking up Swear on This Life, I definitely didn't think Renée Carlino could possibly top it. I'm amazed to say, I was wrong. This book is even better. I could have easily read this in one sitting if I didn't need a few hours of sleep, but two sittings is just as well.

The way this story was told was perfect. In present day, we get Emiline's story as it unfolds. Her past is shown, though slightly fictionalized, through J. Colby's book. At first it might seem strange to read a book within a book. However, that strangeness lasts all of two seconds. The execution here is flawless.

This is a beautiful second chance romance. If you've never read any of Renée Carlino's books, Swear on This Life is a pretty fantastic place to start. If you have read her stuff before, it definitely won't let you down. This is an absolutely fabulous book and another winner for Renée Carlino.


5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Review: It Ends with Us

Title It Ends with Us
Author Colleen Hoover
Release Date August 2, 2016

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

I didn't really know what this book was about whenever I requested it from Netgalley. I didn't even read the blurb first. I requested it because it seemed to be everywhere I looked. People talk about Colleen Hoover's books. That's not really anything new. I seemed to see this book around a lot more than I've ever seen her others, though.

I've only read one other book by Collen before (Confess) and, while I enjoyed it, it didn't blow me away. I think that, at that point, I had heard so many amazing things about her books that when I wasn't blown away immediately, I was left feeling neutral towards her. However, It Ends with Us changed that. This book hit me hard.

It Ends with Us is a raw and heartbreaking story about finding the courage to make a difficult decision in an impossible situation. There's an important message that so many people need to hear and it's said with such power and finesse. Situations like these aren't so black and white in real life and this book shows just how messy those grey areas can be.

I'm astounded by It Ends with Us. It's one of my top books this year. I'm not sure anything else I read by Colleen Hoover could ever top this. Read this book.


5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (#10)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because everyone loves a good list, don't they? We love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Ten Books I'd Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed Me A Fully Loaded Gift Card

In no particular order...

  1. The Addicted Series by Krista & Becca Ritchie - This is ten books instead of just one, so it may technically be cheating. I won't tell if you won't. I love this series; it's one of the best series I've ever read. I'd love to have them in paperback.
  2. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith - I haven't read anything from J. K. Rowling other than the Harry Potter series. This book seems like something I'd enjoy, though.
  3. A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi - This was one of my favorite books when I was younger. This is one of the few books that I've read multiple times. I'd like a copy of it in paperback purely for nostalgia. And who knows? Maybe I'd read it again.
  4. Bad Boy by Elliot Wake - It would be a preorder, but I want this ASAP. I love Wake's writing (previously published as Leah Raeder). [Edit - I received an ARC from Netgalley! Yay!]
  5. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin - I'm cheating again with another series I'd like to have in paperback.
  6. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - I'd really like to read this, but I've heard it's better in hard copy than on Kindle (something to do with formatting, I think).
  7. Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs - I'd really like to finish the story of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children.
  8. As I Descended by Robin Talley - Another preorder that I can't wait to get my hands on.
  9. The Progress Trilogy by Amy Queau - I loved these books and would be delighted to have them in paperback.
  10. Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben - I really enjoy Coben's books and would be delighted to read this one. 
Leave your Top Ten Tuesday in the comments below and I'll be sure to stop by!