Second Chance Read: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares



The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood #1)
Author: Ann Brashares
Release Date: December 10, 2002
Publisher: Books on Tape Childrens
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library/Overdrive
Review by: Jenn
Some friends just fit together.

Once there was a pair of pants. Just an ordinary pair of jeans. But these pants, the Traveling Pants, went on to do great things. This is the story of the four friends—Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen—who made it possible.

4 stars out of 5 stars

I first read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school. Which is basically the same timeline as the girls in the book. I refuse to say how long that was but it’s been ages. So when I saw the book as an audiobook on my library, I snatched it up.

First off, I loved the narrator. Angela Goethals made the girls come alive for me. She did a wonderful job and made the girls’ voice and friendship all the more real and authentic. Secondly, this it had been a while since I read this series, it was like I was reading/hearing the story for the first time so I appreciated Angela all the more for a job well done.

I will admit that some of the girls’ actions, specifically Carmen and Bridget, kind of bothered or annoyed me. When they would act naively or wrong, since they’re so young and inexperienced, I wanted to step in and inform them not to do what they were about to do or act the way they were going to. However, this is me speaking with experienced and as an adult. I know that while I would have never done what Carmen or Bridget had done/acted at that age, I too was a teenager and things always felt dire and like the end of the world was coming. So while the story of Carmen and Bridget weren’t my favorite, I loved how they, in the end, learned and grew up a little. And like before, Lena was my favorite girl and Tibby’s story bought me to tears.

Time for The Second Summer of Sisterhood.
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Quotes (#183)

(Source)
Morning friends,

I hope you all had a nice weekend. It's my sister-in-law's birthday today so while I may have case of the Mondays, at least I know I'm getting some cake tonight. I'm all about trying to look at the bright side here. Let's do quotes.
“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.” ― Michelle Hodkin, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
“Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” ― Walker Evans
“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't Google.)” ― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
“Whatever it is you're seeking won't come in the form you're expecting.” ― Haruki Murakami
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't.” ― Bill Nye
“Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.” ― Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me
“Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author's words reverberating in your head.” ― Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies
I hope you all get some kind of cake this week!

Favorite Friday (#63): Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Have a favorite book? Series? One that you've just read or are currently reading? Favorite Friday is a monthly meme hosted by Books and Swoons where we spotlight some of our Favorite Reads. Everyone is welcome to join. Just enter your information on the linky or leave us a comment!

This week pick is: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor.

(Source)

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

I LOVED this book and the friendship shown in this book made me cry like a baby because it's just SO. GOOD. I need more people talking about this book.

About the author:

I'm a YA writer who believes in happy endings. The kind you find in books.
Author's links: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

I hope you can join us in sharing and talking about some of your favorite reads. Book talk always makes us happy. 

What is one of your favorite reads?

Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen



Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Berkley
Format: eARC / Mass Market Paperback
Source: NetGalley / Berkley
Review by: Jenn
He’s a fighter in the rink, but he’s about to learn that playing nice can help you score...

As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O'Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O'Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team’s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she’s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O'Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O'Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good...

4 stars out 5 stars
*I received an early copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

I loved being back in the hockey world of the Brooklyn Bruisers. Sarina Bowen created a group of characters that I want to learn more about and hang out with at the same time. In this book, we got the prickly, and kind of anti-social captain of the Brooklyn Bruisers, Patrick O'Doul, whom we met back in Rookie Move and the team's massage therapist and yoga instructor, Ari Bettini.

I loved seeing these two come together and slowly learned about the other. I loved seeing how they got under each other skin as they realized how good they were together, even though Ari was trying to lie to herself about it. Ari and Patrick are two completely different people but they compliment each other so well and I'm glad that Ari was able to see that Patrick is the right guy for her.

I'm super excited about the next book in the series, Pipe Dreams, Lauren has scared me several times now so I'm curious to learn her story. I am sad though because I really wanted Becca' and Nate's story.

Waiting on Wednesday (#160)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Morning swooners!

This week pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection is:
Expected Release Date: January 24, 2017
(Source)
Synopsis:
There’s no such thing as a little in love…

Elle Wheaten’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . .

There’s no such thing as a little in lust…

Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. But now that she’s earned happiness and success, Archer just wants Elle 24/7. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco Earthquake, and Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . .

There is such a thing as…

As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along…

I am super excited about this book. I read the first two book in the series and I'm hooked on these characters. I am especially excited that we are (FINALLY) getting Elle and Archer's story. Their chemistry has been brewing for a while now and I'm so curious to see how it's going to play out.

What are you "Waiting on?"

Blog Tour Review: On Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton



On Broken Wings (Wild Aces #3)
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Mass Market Paperback / eARC
Source: Berkley / NetGalley
Review by: Jenn
The author of Into the Blue and Fly with Me returns with the newest, hot and high-flying Wild Aces romance...

A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction.

Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory.

But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together…

4 stars out of 5 stars
*I received an early copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

I was SO excited when I got my hands on this book. I've been itching to get Easy's story ever since we learn of his love to Dani, one of his best friend's wife in Fly With Me. Knowing how broken these two would be since the death of Joker, especially Dani, I braced myself for tears and feels while I was to read this book. So when I read Dani's first chapter, I was a mess. Chanel Cleeton had me crying like a baby while my heart broke into tiny little pieces.

I was curious to see how Cleeton was going to handle Easy and Dani's story because of their connection but I just loved how it was dealt with. The grief and guilt and the acceptance that it's okay to move on, Cleeton handled that absolute care and in perfect characterization for these two. It definitely resonated true and real for me. Also, when these two are together, the familiarity that they share and how easy and relax they are around each other, I just loved it. It was so well written that it just oozes off the pages.

My biggest complaint against this book is something that I don't want to give away but considering it bothered so much to the point that I can't rate it any higher, is the subplot that happened after Easy is deployed. I honestly saw it happening a mile away and it bothered me so much because I felt like they could have come together without this plot point. In a way, it felt like a cop out for Dani in not being able to admit to her feelings without that added influence. I felt like that relationship they were brewing didn't need that to happen.

Aside from that, I enjoyed this book for all the emotions it managed to bring out in me. This love story had me sobbing and hoping for relief from the pain and I love books that are able to bring such emotions out in me. Chanel Cleeton wrote such a wonderful series that I'm sad to say goodbye to and managed to introduce me to a different military lifestyle I didn't have much knowledge on. I can't wait to see what else she writes but in the mean time, I might just go an reread some of my favorite parts of the Wild Aces trilogy.

About the author:
After years spent studying international politics in London and a stint in law school, Chanel Cleeton found her passion crafting smart and sexy contemporary romances and thrillers. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she's happiest curled up with a book, her three dogs lounging beside her. Chanel is a lover of big sunglasses, irresistible handbags, food covered in sprinkles, and pint-sized pups with larger-than-life personalities.

She is published by Harlequin and Penguin and is the author of the International School, Capital Confessions, Assassins, and Wild Aces series. Chanel also writes historical fiction as Chanel Dolz Cleeton. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Author Links: Website  / Facebook / Facebook Reader Group TwitterGoodreads / Instagram / NewsletterTumblr / Pinterest

Check out the rest of the tour:

January 2nd-


Vanilla & Spice Books
I’m a Sweet and Sassy Book Whore
Logan Sports Book Section
Book Freak
Must Read Books or Die
A Bluestocking’s Place


January 3rd-

Eye in Bookland
Sweet and Spicy Reads
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Sammi’s Bookish Reality
The Lily Reader
Lush Book Reviews
Reviews from the Heart

January 4th-

Chelle’s Life in Books
The Bookishmedialite
An Asian Chick & Her Cat Walk Into a Book Blog
JoJo the Bookaholic
Red’s Romance Reviews
BFD Book Blog
Les Chroniques Aléatoires

January 5th-

Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews
Carlene Inspired
Read-Love-Blog
Typical Distractions
Ramblings of a Daydreamer
Sheila’s Book Corner

January 6th-

Four Chicks Flipping Pages
Tied Up in Romance
Dog-Eared Daydreams
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Boyfriends
Literati Literature Lovers

January 7th-

Bookworm221
Maine Book Momma
Reading Between the Wines Book Club

January 8th-

Ashley Book Blog
The Reading Belles
April’s Blog of Awesome
Smokin Hot Reads
Chatterbooks Book Blog

January 9th-

A Fortress in Books
Bookish Wanderlove
Books & Swoons
The Readdicts
Under the Cover and Between the Sheets

January 10th-

Relentless Romance
Once Upon a Book Blog
Oh My Growing TBR
Bibliojunkies
Renee Entress’s Blog

January 11th-

Read Your Writes
Smokin’ Hot Book Blog
Quesarasera Book Blog
The Reading Cafe

January 12th-

Ramblings from this Chick 
Quirky Debutante
Naomi’s Reading Palace
Bookgasms

January 13th-

Kimmy Loves to Read
Verna Loves Books
Unofficial Book Club
The Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf

January 14th-

Margie’s Must Reads
The Book Voyagers
Joandisalovebooks

January 15th-

Wrapped Up In Reading
Southern Vixens Book Obsessions
Literary Misfit
Steamy Reads
Shooting Stars Magazine
Hot Books Hotter Book Boyfriends
Red Hot + Blue Reads

Quotes (#182)

(Source)
Morning Lovelies,

Today is the first day of grad school for me and I'm so excited and nervous and holy crap what have I gotten myself into? I am heading head first into it and I'm a little nervous. So today's quotes are all about encouragement and motivations. 

“There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.” ― Logan Pearsall Smith
“Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” ― Doris Lessing
“The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.” ― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
“Do your thing and don't care if they like it.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants
“Nobody gets everything in this life. You decide your priorities and you make your choices. I'd decided long ago that any cake I had would be eaten.” ― Donald E. Westlake, Two Much
“Deadlines just aren't real to me until I'm staring one in the face.” ― Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief
“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” ― Confucius

Have a great week, lovelies!

Let's Chat Non-Booksish Edition: Life Update


A few weeks ago, I mentioned that there would be some changes happening that might affect the blog. Today I want to go over that. As of January 1st, I’ve been the sole blogger of the site. Nahomi is currently on hiatus as she deals with some personal life stuff. Now, it’s been years since I’ve been the only blogger so it’s been a bit of a transition getting myself organized and getting posts up and scheduled. Nahomi and I had a partnership so I have to get myself used to doing it all on my own. She will be back, though, as she says It will only be a few months.

Another change that is happening is that I will be starting graduate school! I got accepted and will be starting the MBA in Human Resource Management program and I’m both nervous and excited about this new development. So now that I’ll be starting school and I’m the only blogger around, I’m trying to get myself sorted and organized to schedule blog posts in advance as a way to keep the site running as well to be able to dedicate my time to school work.

I pretty much have most of January scheduled. I just need to write up all the reviews I hope to have up this month. I also hope to start drafting up or at least planning my calendar for February. I know that once I start school and hopefully work soon, my time for the blog will be dramatically less. But I do want to say that even though I am trying to schedule posts ahead of time, school is my priority for the next 2 years. I know I have to cut back on my reading for fun and the amount of time I normally spend on the blog. So with one blogger down and the other in grad school, the blog might have some slow days. I’ll try to keep it updated as much as I can, though.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I’ll take any help I can get to succeed in getting this degree.

Review: Throwing My Life Away by Liz Czukas



Throwing My Life Away
Author: Liz Czukas
Release Date: December 20, 2016
Publisher: Liz Czukas
Format: eARC
Source: Liz Czukas
Review by: Jenn
7 photographs, 2 weeks, an entire life to get back. No problem, right?

After her stepfather accidentally throws away her high school mementos, sentimental Mariska is pretty sure the world is over. That is, until she comes up with a plan. She’s going to recreate her past, with a little help from her friends. It’s not easy to rally everyone into helping, especially Caine, who couldn’t be less sentimental about anything if he were a park bench. But from a guerilla kite festival to convincing her ex-boyfriend to recreate her lost prom picture, Mariska is willing to do what it takes.

With a little nudging from Caine, Mariska starts to realize she can’t actually get her past back. And maybe that’s okay. Because while she’s so focused on the past, she’s missing out on the present, where her friends are busy having the summer of their lives. And where funny, quiet Caine might just be the future she never knew she wanted.

3.5 stars out of 5 stars
*I received an early copy of this book from the author. However, this review is in no way influenced by that.*

Reading Throwing My Life Away was like going back *cough ten years ago cough* to high school.  It was filled with nostalgia for the old days and with hopeful feelings for the future. And Mariska is for sure feeling all the emotions as she prepares to depart her childhood for college. Here are some of my favorite part of the book.
  • I loved all the recreated pictures moments. While they didn't come out exactly like the original that Mariska took, they are unique and will give Mariska two memories instead of one. The old one and the new one. I especially love the ninja recreation. It was definitely a turning point between Mariska and her love interest, Caine.
  • I also loved Mariska's best friend Sun and Caine. Sun is hilarious and unique. I loved how she was up to anything for Mariska and gave it the project a special touch. Caine is the perfect compliment for Mariska. The book has some awesome banter between Mariska and Sun and Mariska and Caine but I especially loved Mariska and Caine's back and forth quips. There is this whole yearbook drop off between the two that I found absolutely adorable.
Throwing My Life Away was filled with nostalgia and hope and it was so cute. I loved that I got another YA book from Liz Czukas and I can't wait to see what else she's working on.


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Swoony Boy of the Month: Levi from Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Swoony Boy of the Month is our feature where we spotlight a favorite and/or swoony boy from the books we have read.

Hi Friends,

For this month Swoony Boy of the Month, we have Levi from Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg. When I first read this book back in 2014, I fell in love with it and I've been telling people to read this ever since. So I want to introduce you to Levi, here we go.

“But in truth, home isn't necessarily where you sleep at night. It's where you feel like yourself. Where you're most comfortable. Where you don't have to pretend, where you can be just you.” ― Elizabeth Eulberg, Better off Friends
(Source)
“I am not complete without you.” ― Elizabeth Eulberg, Better off Friends
(Source)
“This entire time I'd been thinking about where my home was. At first it was California, then Wisconsin. But in truth, home isn't necessarily where you sleep at night.
It's where you feel like yourself.
Where you're most comfortable.
Where you don't have to pretend, where you can just be you.
I had finally reached that place because Macallan is home to me.” ― Elizabeth Eulberg, Better off Friends
(Source)
SA-WOOOOONS! I love Levi and how he just GETS Macallan. I think it's time for a reread for me.

Have you read this book? You better have and if not, GO. RUN. NOW.


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