Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, David Levithan
Published April 6, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Children's
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both of them legions of faithful fans.

My Thoughts
(Originally Read: April 2010)

Wow! What did I just finish reading? I don't know whether to cringe, cry, walk away baffled, or sing from the top of the mountain in a musical-esque crescendo BRILLIANT! The writing was refreshing, edgy, raw, and offensive at times but never off the mark.

Okay, how do I explain this book without mucking it up? Here is my attempt: Truly a honest and thought-provoking portrayal of two very confused and angsty teenage boys, both named Will Grayson who are just trying to figure out who they are and ultimately crossing paths in the least likely of scenarios. I started laughing from the first page and continued to laugh out loud throughout the story, but not without its occasional but constant tangents of sad and revealing moments and ultimate heart changing conclusion. This book covered the gamut of teenage struggles, including homosexuality, depression, love, loss, true friendship and painful self-revelation.

The first Will Grayson, who I will refer to as WG#1, was my favorite as he’s the hilarious, self deprecating typical of John Green’s likeable characters. His motto in life is don't care… and shut up. But that can only last for so long. His best friend, Tiny Cooper, is a 300+ pound, gay guy who is constantly challenging WG#1’s feelings and adding a fair share of struggle into his life. WG#1 has some very revealing moments that come across as valuable lessons, some of them profound and others... well kind of gross actually. My favorites were You like someone who can't like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once requited love cannot. and You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can‘t pick your friend‘s nose.*LMAO and cringing at the same time* I loved his ten minute game of just the truth. Overall, his observations were hilarious and intriguing. In my opinion, he could do, say or feel nothing wrong, I just down right fell for this character.

Now WG#2, I struggled with him a bit. I couldn't really relate to this character... well for obvious reasons, primarily him being a snarky, twisted teenage boy, but at minimum I was hoping to develop some level of compassion for him. That took some time for me, but ultimately it did occur; the first of which came when he met Tiny and his internal self-revelation helped me understand his dark side. His humor was completely different from WG#1 as it was harsh, destructive, negative and sometimes just down right cruel. WG#2 has his fair share of life lessons that I felt were... well let’s just call them interesting, such as The things you hope for the most are the things that destroy you in the end. and his bird shite rule was kind of harsh, but funny. Overall, his moment of self-revelation was his turning point for me as he shared his hurt about his dad, depression, money struggles, and homosexuality. It was sad to see that all this guy ever wanted in life was a simple break, so you ultimately hope he gets one.

Okay lastly, why did I remove one a star? Two words... Tiny Dancer... Errrrr... Tiny Cooper.. okay that's four words and an unintelligible sound, but anywho... I could NOT stand him or his project/musical and his songs to me were crude. Tiny was selfish, self absorbed, exasperating and downright annoying. Despite his squealing to WG#1 that everything he did was for others, I did not buy it for one minute. Everything he did and said was to benefit him and his interests. How WG#1 remained friends with him simply baffled me. So minus one for a poorly developed character. But other than that perfect!

Overall, great story with some intriguing characters and thought-provoking material. The writing might be offensive at times and the foul language could come across as harsh, but it was truly well done. Hats off to John Green and David Levithan for this brilliant piece of work.
4 Snowflakes

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday, #59

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.
Here are a couple of things I'm waiting on this week...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Movie
Release Date: November 21, 2014
Check out the latest trailer that was showcased at Comic Con on Friday!
Sadly, the only thing missing from this trailer was a glimpse of Peeta. Where are they hiding him??? I can't wait to catch more scenes of this upcoming movie.  Let me know what you think of this latest trailer. :)

In addition to the Mockingjay Part 1 movie release, I'm also excited to jump into this upcoming release:

No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown
Expected publication: December 9th 2014 
Publisher: Harper Teen
Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.
I get the feeling there's a road trip involved, and that's one of my favorite types of fictional journeys. I can't wait to meet Amber to see how her choices and opportunities affect her life. Sounds like a great story.

Sooo, what are you wanting on??? Be sure to link me up!

Teaser Tuesday, #70 Insurgent (Divergent, #2) by Veronica Roth

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays! Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! My Teaser Tuesday is for the following...

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

INSURGENT (DIVERGENT, #2) By Veronica Roth
Publication Date: May 1, 2012

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


"I'm not going to kiss you. I'm going to figure out what's going on," he says. 
  I pout my lower lip for a second, but then I grin as the pieces come together in my mind. 
"That's why you like me!" I exclaim. "Because you're not very nice either! It makes so much more sense now."
"Come on," he says. "We're going to see Johanna."
"I like you, too."
"That's encouraging," he replies flatly. "Come on. Oh, for God's sake. I'll just carry you."

*Teaser from ebook Page 44*

"What did you do to her?" Tobias says, terse. "What in God's name did you do?"
"I..." Johanna frowns at me. "They must have given her too much. She's very small; they probably didn't take her height and weight into account."
"They must have given her too much of what?" he says.
"You have a nice voice," I say.
"Tris," he says, "Please be quiet."

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here if you don’t have a blog Thanks! 

Review: Feral by Holly Schindler

Feral by Holly Schindler 
Publisher- Harper Teen
Released- Aug 26th 2014
Pre-Order - Amazon / B & N

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.
But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
My Thoughts:
Our story starts in Chicago, in an alley, where Claire Cain was viciously attacked by a gang of drug dealers. Months later, Claire's father wanted to get her away from the haunting memories and accepted his sabbatical semester in Peculiar, Missouri. Hopeful of a fresh start with no reminders of what she endured in Chicago, Claire found Peculiar living up to it's name when strange things started to happen with Claire somehow in the middle between a missing girl an urban legend and hungry feral cats. What happened to Claire and the missing girl, Serena, connected them, but with the staggering similarities they also shared prompted Claire to make it her mission and solve the mystery surrounding Serena's death. They all say it was an accident, but Claire knows it was murder.

First off, I have to give huge props for this creepy as hell concept. I don't think I've read anything like this, definitely a new spin on supernatural books. Schindler writing is very bold and unflinching, the way she sets the tone of the book and how she describes some of the more brutal scenes were all vividly graphic and left very little to the imagination. She draws the reader through the eyes of two victims who are, in their own way, trying to survive and while it wasn't always clear why they were connected, the intrigue, mystery and suspense made this an incredibly consuming read. However, while the writing was indeed strong, it tended to get a bit repetitive at times and there were some pockets in the pacing that felt a little dragged out.

I was really impressed with Claire. I respect her strength and bravery to move forward after such a vicious attack and my heart really went out to her for everything that she's been put through both in Chicago and Peculiar.  She's a fighter, a survivor and only knows one ways to face her darkness, which is head-on. But she also has a very deep morbid side throughout the book, I can understand the why's but at times it felt a little overwhelming and depressing. 
I'm not sure what I can say about the other characters in this book, I liked Rich and I loved Claire's dad, but other then that, I can't say that I really liked anyone else. The way they were first introduced felt awkward and rushed since Claire barely knew any of  her classmates but they didn't seem very shy to share personal information and problems with each other and about Serena. They're a very dramatic group that were hard to connect with and weren't very likeable. 
Then we have Serena, which despite being dead, I feel I understood fairly well through memories and her own horrific experience. She was a good girl, but death has warped her into something vicious and wrong. I do love the way Schindler portrayed her and I have to say, she has a pretty dame wicked version of what death is like. It was probably the most freakiest part of the entire story.
I liked the ending and even though I guessed who the murderer was early on, the why's still surprised me. I was also left a bit confused between the supernatural events that took place and Claire's PTSD. The explanation was fuzzy and I was never quite sure what was real and what was a hallucination. Also, sadly there was zero romance in this one, which was disappointing since Claire could have used the distraction from all the trauma in her life and it would have been nice to see her happy for a change.  

All in all, Feral turned out to be one helluva read. It's a dark, disturbing and a different supernatural thriller mystery that may have had some flawed moments, but overall still an entertaining and edgy escape perfect for fans who like there stories gory and gruesome. A chilling read!  

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                3.5 Snowflakes

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

Servants of the Storm Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 5th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon
A year ago Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction — and taking the life of Dovey's best friend, Carly. Since that night, Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her.

But recently she's started to believe she's seeing things that can't be real ... including Carly at their favorite cafe. Determined to learn the truth, Dovey stops taking her pills. And the world that opens up to her is unlike anything she could have imagined.

As Dovey slips deeper into the shadowy corners of Savannah — where the dark and horrifying secrets lurk — she learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. And now the sinister beings truly responsible are out to finish what they started.

Dovey's running out of time and torn between two paths. Will she trust her childhood friend Baker, who can't see the threatening darkness but promises to never give up on Dovey and Carly? Or will she plot with the sexy stranger, Isaac, who offers all the answers — for a price? Soon Dovey realizes that the danger closing in has little to do with Carly ... and everything to do with Dovey herself.
My Thoughts:
This book was weird with a capitol W.  Normally I am all about weird, but this one for me really missed the mark.  I am so disappointed to because the cover was amazing and deserved a better story.

This story is about Dovey who after losing her best friend during a hurricane is on meds to help her cope with what happened.  She is just numb to everything, but after seeing her best friend through a restaurant window she knows she has to go off her meds to find out what is going on. Her friend must need help right?  Things go from normal weird to downright bizarre in just a few chapters and I was left wondering what was really real.  Dovey goes on an adventure that leads her to demons and a realization that even she might not who she thinks she is.

The story I was mostly okay with I suppose.  It was interesting, a little gross with all the pinkies being thrown around  but interesting enough to keep me reading until the end.  What I had a problem with the most was the long drawn out story.  There were so many times that I thought this isn't relevant, or this could be cut out completely.  It took forever for the story to really take off and even when it did I still felt like I was digging through too many details and scenes.  Even the scenes that needed to be there were bogged down with too many details and prose. 

I also didn't care for the triangle type thing that was going on.  Dovey had two guys, but wasn't sure which one of them she wanted.  Baker was a childhood friend who has loved her forever and Issac is the new guy helping her navigate this new and dangerous world.  I didn't really care for either guy, but it bugged me that she wasn't straight with either one of them.  She kisses both guys in one night...yeah I wasn't a fan at all of this.  I have read several triangle storylines and some are done right this one wasn't in my opinion.  And honestly the triangle wasn't even needed.  The story could have stood on its own without all that.  I wish the author would have chose one guy to make the love interest and left it at that.

Okay my last big complaint was the language.  I know I know this is a weird complaint, but it really bugged me especially seeing this is a YA novel.  The language was just not necessary and I am surprised the author chose to use it as much as she did.  Every time a certain phrase would pop up I would just cringe.  I am not a huge religious person but I have a limit to the times I can read a certain phrase before I start getting annoyed.  I hit that number really early on.  I am all for freedom of speech and the author is more than welcome to use whatever words she/he chooses but I can be irritated at those choices and deem them unnecessary.  If this had been an adult book I still would have been annoyed so this should tell you something.

One more thing is this supposed to a series?  That ending was really weird and if this isn't a series then I have wasted a whole day reading this.  I expected some sort of closure after 375 pages so someone please tell me this is a series.  I'm not saying I will read it but I will rest better at night knowing that Dovey will get revenge.

2 snowflakes

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Upcoming Release: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories (Anthology)

How did I not know this book would be coming out?? It has some of my favorite authors!! Well be sure to add this to your TBR so you don't miss out on what I'm sure will be some Holiday fun!!

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
PreorderAmazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Arc Giveaway & Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook & Breath, Annie, Breath by Miranda Kenneally

Magnolia by Kristi Cook
Publisher-  Simon & Schuster
Released - Aug 5th 2014

In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived. Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.
My Thoughts: 
Already being a huge fan of Kristi Cook's Winterhaven series, I really couldn't wait to see what her next project would bring. I was excited to learn we were getting a YA contemporary, but I never thought I would have loved it this much. 
Magnolia was like a breath of fresh air!

My favorite kind of romance has always been childhood friends-turned more, but flared from rage-to-romance climbs right on up there as well. Told in a Romeo & Juliet themed-switch, this book was a lot of fun and a completely swoon-worthy escape. Ryder and Jemma have a complicated kind of history. Their families have been  BFF's since the civil war days and have been waiting for a link to bring there families closer then just friendship. Enter Ryder and Jemma. Only six weeks apart and the perfect opportunity to bring the Marsden and Cafferty together in one big happy family. Only problem is, Ryder and Jemma hate each other, or well, at least they think they do....

I only have the warmest feelings to describe how I feel about Ryder and Jemma. They have the kind of chemistry you can cut with a knife. They're both stubborn and feisty and full of old determined pride, but they are both so utterly adorable. Even when they argue the tension still crackles with electricity between their undeniable attraction and the obstacles and misunderstandings only fuels the fires making them even more irresistible, charming and so dame sweet. They completely owned this book and I cheered at the thought that in the end, they wanted to do this on their own terms and not letting the pressures of their overly eager hopeful families come between their ultimate decision. I also enjoyed all the secondary characters, they all seemed to compliment this in their own charming ways. However, I do have mixed feeling about Patrick. I'm not sure if that extra drama was needed or necessary to impact the story further and only gave it that convenient-effect then anything else. Still, it didn't take anything away from my overall experience. 

Bottom line, I loved this book. Magnolia is a lovely and darling kind of escape that puts a fun spin on romance. It's the kind of read that made me feel all warm and gushy and plastered one of those stupid smiles on my face the entire time. It's the stuff that makes love worth fighting and waiting for. The perfect summertime escape when your in the mood for a feel good good-time read! Loved!!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                 5 Snowflakes

16045306Looking for another summertime read? Breath, Annie, Breath, is the 5th book in the Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally that tells the story of Annie, who after the death of her boyfriend is training to run the marathon in his name and memory. This was more of an emotional and intense addition compared to the other books in this series, but it's also filled with flesh and blood characters that I was proud of and tugged at my heart strings, never letting go. A touching, sexy swoon-worthy read!

Win ARC copies of both Magnolia by Kristi Cook & Breath and Annie, Breath by Miranda Kenneally!!

Stacking the Shelves #63

A weekly meme hosted by, Tynga's Reviews, that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review. 
 Our recap for the week!

WinterHaven Fun:

We had an amazing book haul week!  I received an insane parcel from Harper and St. Martins made our dreams come true!  Here's what we received!

Echoes of Us (The Hybrid Chronicles #3) Illusions of Fate The Jewel (The Lone City, #1) The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2) Loop My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories A New Darkness (The Starblade Chronicles, #1)
For Review:

*Special thanks to Epic Reads, HarperTeen & St. Martins Press *

I hope everyone had an amazing week as well!  Leave me a link so I can see all your pretties!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: Second Kiss by Natalie Palmer

Second Kiss (Second #1) by Natalie Palmer
Published 2010
Publisher: Tate Publishing
'Even my most humiliating moments seemed funny somehow when I told them to Jess.' Gemma Mitchell is a normal girl who somehow gets herself into abnormally embarrassing circumstances. And while she thinks she's the biggest loser in school because of them, there are a few people in her life who would disagree. One of those people is her best friend, Jess Tyler, who is opposite to her in every way. He's popular, good looking, athletic, and intelligent, and he can't get enough of Gemma. But while Gemma is dealing with problems like wrong locker combinations and Valentine's Day dances, Jess is living in a world of serious issues that are foreign to Gemma, until she realizes that he's holding on to her for dear life. Humorous and true to life, Second Kiss is an entertaining saga about a boy and girl who find that their lives have a lot more meaning once they have shared them with each other.

My Thoughts
Second Kiss by Natalie Palmer is such a cute and heartwarming coming of age story. The plot and characters do a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention and pulling you into their lives as they experience life lessons, embarrassing moments, family issues and young love.

To be honest, I’m surprised this book wasn’t picked up by a better known publisher because I feel it definitely holds a spot worthy of attention along-side young adult contemporary novels out there on the market. It wasn’t hard to come by, but it was disappointing not to find it on the YA shelves at the larger bookstore retailers.

About the book: Gemma Mitchell is your typical, self conscience fourteen year old who simply wants to fit in at school, with friends and at home. But as much as she tries, mishaps as innocent as forgetting her class schedule, inviting a few friends over for her non-birthday party, trying to open the wrong locker, and jumping into a freezing lake seem to land her in precarious situations. Lucky for Gem, her best friend Jess Tyler is always close by to rescue her or simply lend a shoulder to cry on. But Jess and Gemma’s worlds couldn’t be more different. As they battle the struggles that come along with growing up, they find themselves in a relationship that means more to them than simply just fitting in.

I liked how their story is steady and yet captivating the whole way through. It was great to see how honestly Palmer depicts her characters when it comes to first love, family trials, and friendship tribulations.

At first, I felt Gemma was too young of a MC to carry this story, but all of a sudden I fell into her narrative and the topics the author infused in this book are worthy of attention as she pens a honest novel about how young adults deal with divorce, family illnesses, betrayal and the confusion of falling for someone that you always saw as your best friend.

Great book that I hope will get the attention it deserves.
4 Snowflakes

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Early Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black IceBlack Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…
My Thoughts:
Becca Fitzpatrick has done it again! She swept me away with her Hush, Hush series, and now...Black Ice has surpassed my expectations! I love this book so hard!

“Because I couldn’t think of anything snide to say, I stuck my tongue out at him.  
Jude wagged his head. “More tongue exercises? Would have thought you’d had enough last night.” “Go to hell.”
“Sorry, love, but we’re already there.” 

And in HELL they were! Black Ice is a story of survival in every way, shape and form. Whether it’s surviving a broken heart, weather, kidnapping, friendship, secrets, the truth, or all boils down to one hellacious journey of survival. Knowing this is a mystery, thriller, action...I swear I was trying to figure who was who, and who was going to do what throughout the whole story! And it was unpredictable! And I loved it!

Two girls get stuck in a snowstorm...end up in a cabin with two complete strangers who happened to be hotties? Yes please! Britt and her best friend Korbie head into the mountains to hike the Teton Range for spring break. (But before they head out, there was an awesome scene at a gas station that totally set the story up.) While I really liked the protagonist Britt, I was pretty much instantly annoyed by her bestie Korbie.

“If kidnapping and abduction don’t pan out for you, I’m sure you could give psychic reading a try!” 

Britt was no dummy. That girl had a natural instinct when something was off. Sometimes she didn’t listen to her conscience, but it wasn’t annoying or excessive. I felt her reasoning was legit some of the time. Then evidence of murders that happened up in those very mountains were uncovered and their plans quickly took a turn for the worst.

Mason and Shaun had a different agenda. They needed to get off the mountain for reasons that were unknown but became brutally clear in one quick turn. I loved the intensity of the situation. Those two boys were polar opposites. While Shaun was a nutcase and quick to lose his patience, Mason maintained a calmer demeanor and had a way with Shaun. I knew there was more to Mason, I just wasn’t sure what it was until later.

The girls knew Korbie’s brother Calvin would start to worry about them when they didn’t show up to Korbie’s family cabin. Britt had a lifelong crush on him and then he eventually broke her heart. It was pretty sad to see her pining over a guy who clearly used her. But you can’t help who you fall in love with, right? Calvin rubbed me the wrong way pretty much from the beginning. I pegged him for a player.

But I do have one issue...where the heck was Bear??? (He was Korbie’s boyfriend who was supposedly going to meet up with them later at the cabin.)

The unexpected twists really kept me on night in, I stayed up way late in the night/ early morning reading this puppy. I absolutely HAD to know what was going to go down. It’s been quite a while since another book has done that to me, so this says a lot about the story itself.

Fantastic plot, characters, and chemistry here folks! And before I finish my gushfest here...let me tell you about that EPILOGUE!!!! If there isn’t another book, I may cry and throw a tantrum of epic proportions. The story is set up as a standalone, but I would like to plead my case. I haven’t had my fill of Britt and Jude. Becca has induced palpitations here!!! Don’t leave us hanging! (Pun intended) #BrUde forever!

5 Snowflakes

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday, #58

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

Here's my selection for this week...

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Expected publication: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

No secret that I'm a huge fan of Colleen Hoover, so I'm counting down the days, hours minutes, seconds for the release of her newest novel Ugly Love. With her incredible writing style, I'm sure I'll fall in love with her new story and cast. Oh and I just have to say... look at this alternate cover! LOVE!!
 Sooo, what book are you waiting on???

Teaser Tuesday #69 Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays! Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! My Teaser Tuesday is for the following...
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Teasers from pages 150 & 178

"I looked down at all the beautiful things that were suddenly mine and realized that Bronwyn hadn't given me clothes--she'd taken away my camouflage. She'd made it impossible to keep hiding."

"Tomorrow will be better."
"But what if it's not?" I asked.
Walcott smiled and let go of the CD. "Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better."

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here if you don’t have a blog Thanks! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: Wicked Games by Sean Olin

Wicked GamesWicked Games by Sean Olin
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: June 10th, 2014
Wicked Games is the first book in a sexy thriller series where passion, lies, and revenge collide-perfect for fans of Simone Elkeles and Sara Shepard.

To all the locals in the small beach town of Dream Point, Carter and Lilah seem like the perfect It Couple-but their relationship is about to brutally unravel before everyone's eyes.

Carter has always been a good guy, and while Lilah has a troubled past, she's been a loyal girlfriend for the last four years. When smart, sexy Jules enters the picture at a senior-year bash, Carter succumbs to temptation. And when Lilah catches wind of his betrayal, she decides that Jules needs to pay.

By the end of the summer, the line between right and wrong will be blurred beyond recognition. Blood will be shed. Nothing in Dream Point will ever be the same.

This juicy summer read will keep readers turning pages until the shocking, nail-biting finale.
My Thoughts:
I am all for psychological thrillers.  I for some reason just love all the craziness and tend to gravitate to these types of books.  Unfortunately Wicked Games was a step in the wrong direction for me.

This book was just a mess from the get go.  You see in the prologue Lilah and Carters relationship start off sweet and fun, but by the time they are seniors things have changed and Lilah is not the same girl she once was.  I wasn't quite sure what to think honestly.  Lilah was such a pain and I felt for Carter.  He was there for her even when she was being mean and downright nasty to him.  Then I saw why she was this way...well I read that she was on medication for a problem but that was about as far as the explanation went.  So I said well she needs help and this is where this story is going to take me, but I was wrong.  There is cheating, stalking, violence, and a little fatal attraction thrown in.  Usually this is my type of crazy but not this time.

I think if the author would have shown us when and how Lilah came to be this way I might have felt more for her.  Don't get me wrong she definitely had a few screws loose, but there was a mental reason behind her actions that was never really explained.  Yes we get a few short paragraphs detailing the event that led up to her medication, but for me that's not enough.  Show me conversations between her parents, her therapist, her doctor something.  I can't just buy into the fact that this girl is this troubled for no reason.

Well when she finds out what Carter did she really flies off the handle and things get worse for the other party involved. Again I find myself mad at the parents of both sides.  If my daughter went through what Jules went through I would not just get a restraining order.  I would press as many charges as I could to make sure this person went somewhere away from my child.  Both parents just kinda go okay you feel sorta bad you say you won't do anything else so we well just let it all go with a restraining order.  HELLO does that ever work??

The cheating...where do I even begin.  This is the only part of the story where I felt sad for Lilah.  She didn't deserve to be cheated on by Carter.  Yes she was a mess, yes she needed major help and yes she didn't need to be with Carter.  Carter needed to man up and tell her in nicer way that they needed to break up. He knew she was unstable and after four years together she deserved more than what he gave her.  I get that he couldn't do it anymore, but he should have talked to her parents and been honest with his feelings.  Someone in Lilah's condition would have needed support and Carter should have been a little more understanding of that.  He should never have cheated and left that for Lilah to deal with on her own.  After he cheated and justified it to himself I just wanted to puke.  This is the kind of character that I loath the most.

The part that bothered me the most though was the ending.  After all the craziness I didn't care whether Carter ended up with a HEA because well he cheated and I just can't let that go no matter the reason, but I didn't expect what happened.  It kinda felt like what goes around comes around and the sequel is going to mimic this book and I don't buy it.  I know mental illness stems from something but really would lighting strike twice in the same general area??  It all just felt too off and left me going seriously that's how you are going to end this??

So no I was not a fan of this book.  I thought it was a mess that really needed cleaning up.  I don't even know if I think editing would help.  There were just too many plot holes and the characters were not likable at all.

1 snowflake

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Review: Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Published March 8, 2011
Publisher: Flux
Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college--and everyone's admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

As a graduation present, Chelsea's dad springs for a three-week summer "boot camp" program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she's immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who's haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain--or finally heal their heartbreak?

Praise: "PLAYING HURT is a delicious, tantalizing love story that will captivate you until the final, satisfying sigh."--Kristin Walker, author of A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL

My Thoughts
This is the first novel I’ve read by this author and there were aspects of the story that I really liked while at the same time feeling that there was just something missing which ultimately left me slightly underwhelmed.

Overall, I have to say that I liked the two main characters Chelsea Keyes and Clint Morgan. I definitely felt the chemistry between those two, probably a little bit too much for a YA contemporary type novel. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the steam, but this book definitely had more spice than what I feel is appropriate for this genre. I don’t feel strongly one way or the other about it, but I think Schindler should practice the art of fade to black when it comes to addressing her particular audience.

Now, I think the plot was engaging enough, where we see Chelsea Keyes and Clint Morgan cross paths during a time in their life where they are both going through a rough patch. It was definitely nice to see these two characters realize that being sidelined in one way doesn’t mean you remove yourself from the game completely.

I have to say the secondary set of characters were a bit weak. I couldn’t stand Brandon or Kenzie. I cringed every time they entered the scene. Gabe was placed in the background too soon for me to care that Chelse was being unfaithful to him; and Todd and Greg kept slipping my mind as they played a minor role in my opinion.

The writing felt a bit choppy at times, or maybe it was Schindler’s overuse of analogies and metaphors that kept me feeling like I walked into the middle of a conversation. It was frustrating having to re-read certain passages to fully get what the author was trying to convey. Who knows, I might be a bit dim after a long work week. But overall, I think the writing could have been polished a bit. The alternating POVs where okay, but I've seen other authors put this style to better use.

Will I try another novel by this author? Maybe so, if it’s accompanied by high ratings. But overall, Playing Hurt was just an okay read for me.
3 Snowflakes