Waiting on Wednesday (#68)

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: September 2, 2014
Synopsis:
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I don't think I need to explain myself on this one. For every person who've read this series, I know that we're all anxiously anticipating it's release. And for those that haven't? What are you waiting for, start the series! It so good, you'll be kicking yourself for not starting it sooner.

What are you "Waiting on?"

Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson


Defy (Defy #1)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: NetGalley
Review by: Nahomi
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

4.5 stars out of 5 stars
*I received an egalley of this book from the publisher but it did not influence this review in way.*

From the moment I started reading Defy I was hooked; I just couldn't put it down! I loved basically everything about it, except for one little detail at the end but I'll get into that later. I really enjoyed the suspense of the story, never knowing who to trust or what's really going on kept me on alert and turning pages. This story has a perfect combination of details that create a wonderful backdrop for this fast paced adventure.

Can I just say Alex is AWESOME! I was so heart broken for her in during certain scenes of this book I actually cried. Alex or Alexa is a very endearing character. She pulled me right in from the very beginning and kept me interested in her journey through out the entire story. She is tough and a little confused about who she is and where she fits in her world. In the end makes a huge sacrifice and proves how strong she really is. Alex is a great example of a kick ass female character! She is strong and able to defend herself but still has this vulnerability to her that tugs at the heart strings.

This book has a love triangle which I am not really a fan of but it is not horribly trying. I was really disappointed with the ending because my heart was broken for Alex. I understand why she made the decision she did but it still broke my heart. This is a great novel! I truly enjoyed being immersed in this world and am now desperate for Ignite.


Quotes (#67)

 
Did I ever tell you guys that I have a thing for Flynn Rider? Like, a big thing. He maaaay  be one of my fave Disney hero. And he's such a flirt. Love it.

Morning Lovelies!

Who's with me on the Flynn love? I know I can't be the only one. Don't make me look like the odd woman out here, you guys. ANYWAYS. Quotes time.

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”- Mark Twain 

“There's things that happen in a person's life that are so scorched in the memory and burned into the heart that there's no forgetting them.” - John Boyne

“We are each the authors of our own lives, Emma. We live in what we have created. There is no way to shift the blame and no one else to accept the accolades.” - Barbara Taylor Bradford, A Woman of Substance

“The conversation of kisses. Subtle, engrossing, fearless, transforming.” - Alice Munro, Runaway

“Surely only boring people went in for conversations consisting of questions and answers. The art of true conversation consisted in the play of minds.” - Ved Mehta, All for Love

“All happiness depends on courage and work.” - Honoré de Balzac

“Books may well be the only true magic.” - Alice Hoffman

A lot of those are basically words that I'm telling myself. Sometimes I just need to drown myself in the goodness of inspirational quotes. 

I hope you all have a great week. And fess up about who loves Flynn Rider. Don't make me feel like a weirdo.

Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes


The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Edelweiss
Review by: Jenn
Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?
3 stars out of 5 stars
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher but it did not influence this review in any way.*

I was very excited about starting The Art of Lainey. I had several bookish friends who had read and loved it so I was hopeful for a great read. And I did get an interesting read. Here's what I have to say about it.

- Lainey
   - She wasn't the nicest person and to be honest, I found her to be a little mean, selfish, and superficial.
   - I wanted to bop Lainey on her forehead in order to make her see how wrong Jason, the ex-boyfriend, is for her.
   - I can relate to Lainey in a the way she didn't know what she like because she was just following other people. (Side note: you eventually learn to follow your own tune but sometimes you end up reverting to your younger self.)
   - I like that there was some character growth in Lainey. She learned about herself so she was able to stand up for herself and for her friends.

- Micah
    - He's very sarcastic and I love that.

- Bianca and Leo
     - I love them together and I love them seperately.
     - Bianca is a wonderful friend to Lainey. She's very patient Lainey, even when Lainey was moping around and being insufferable.
     - Leo was an absolute sweetheart.

I really like how Paula Stokes writes teenagers, The way she was able to convey their fears and insecurites rings very realistic. I love how she managed to incorporate The Art of War, which is a thousands years old, and managed to make it modern. I really enjoyed The Art of Lainey and I like that I saw character growth in Lainey. It a great, and quick read for a lazy Sunday.

Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally




Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks # 5)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Blog Tour, NetGalley, ARC from BEA 2014
Review by: Jenn
Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

“Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet.” — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You.

4 stars out of 5 stars

I've had Miranda Kenneally's books on my TBR pile ever since Catching Jordan came out. I kept putting it off and what finally motivated me into reading her work was that I got approved to be a part of the blog tour.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe follows the story of Annie training to run a marathon in her boyfriend's memory. Right from the beginning, I was hooked. I loved the fact that Annie wasn't athletic and she struggled in keeping up with her training schedule. It made her seem so much more approachable and relatable. Annie is still grieving the death of her boyfriend Kyle and with how she feels responsible for it. Because of the guilt she carries, she struggle with the fact that she develops feelings towards Jeremiah. It doesn't help that Jeremiah is an adrenaline junkie and is always doing extreme sports and after losing someone close to her, Annie is not ready to be close to someone who is willing to put himself in danger.

This book was a great read and everything felt so realistic and rightly paced. From Annie's disastrous attempt at running her first mile to slowly building up her endurance, to feeling guilt and being hesitant at liking Jere to learning that it okay to move on as long as you're ready, and from having a rocky relationship with her friends and mother to clearing out the air between everyone. I loved getting to know Annie and all the characters. Since I haven't read the previous books, I wasn't aware that they're the characters featured in books 1 through 4 until after I finished the book. I really like how I ended caring for the secondary characters as much as I cared for Annie's outcome.

I love how Miranda managed to capture how detailed and rigorous training for a marathon truly is. Annie had to follow a meal plan, exercise schedule, and running schedule all outside of her weekly meet-up with her trainers. I thought the training part of the book would be boring or confusing but it was the exact opposite. Ms. Kenneally managed to create a wonderful balance between explaining how Annie trains to not making the book feels bogged down with unnecessary information. After reading this, I feel inspired into training for a marathon of my own. I think I'll take it easy the first time, though.

Miranda Kenneally has hooked me with her story telling. I can't wait until I get to read her previous books because I really enjoyed Breathe, Annie, Breathe. It is so easy to get swept up in the story and since I'm a lover of contemporary books, I know it'll be a match made in book heaven for me. If you're looking for a contemporary romance with some great characters development, I suggest to pick this one up; you won't regret it.


You can follow the rest of the tour by clicking here.

Giveaway
About the Author:


Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.
Author Links: Website / Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter

Blog Tour organized by: Xpresso Book Tours

Waiting on Wednesday (#67)

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 6, 2015
Ignite (Defy, #2)
Synopsis:
Alexa remains by the newly crowned King Damian’s side as his guard, ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people, despite continuing to harbor a secret love for him. However, when another threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on their newly forged allies from Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. With the fate of her nation hanging in the balance once again, will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late?

After finishing Defy, I desperately need to get my hands on Ignite! This series is so good. I just need to know what happens to Alexa!!! Swooners, what are you waiting on this Wednesday?

The One Where I Ramble About Myself

For the past of couple of months, I've been working on some stuff, stuff that doesn't include the blog and I've decided to share with you guys. I've been blogging for a little over two years and in that time I've learn some things about myself. So I kind of wanted to take the time and share some of the things that has been happening on my end.

I remember that when I graduated college in December of 2010, I found myself lost and unhappy. I had graduated college with a degree in Psychology but I wasn't (and still not) doing what I love. I had tried to create a book club after finding myself with a lot of time on my hand and wanting to get back to my love of reading. However, my friends tried to humor me for a while but it quickly went on the wayside. But more on those friends later. I then decided to just read for myself and found myself making trips to the library every week. It was in March 2012, after seeing so many other bookish friends on Twitter blogging and sharing their love of books, that I decided to take the plunge and create my own book blog. I thought it would be something easy and fun and wouldn't take a whole lotta time. Oh how wrong I wound up being.

I ended up loving to blog. I gave me something to do and I discovered so many new books and authors and I felt like things were finally looking up for me. Those friends of mine that didn't really care about doing book club with me? It none other than my beloved bestie and co-blogger Nahomi, and bestie Daisel from Owl Always Be Reading. Who's the book nerd now, ladies?? Hehehe.

I guess the reason for my post is because I now find myself with a wonderful boyfriend who likes for me to pay attention to him every now and then but who also pushes me into being the best person I can be. And that includes being a happy person. While I've thought about going back to school many times in the past 4 years, all I needed was a year and half with him to finally go ahead and go back to school and finish my degree in English. I have a minor in English so I just need a handful of classes to make it into a Bachelor. I'm hoping I can work my butt off, increase my GPA, get some great recommendations letters, and get a kick ass GRE score to hopefully apply to grad school and get in. I wasn't the greatest of student in college so I have a lot to prove to myself this time around. 

So with that in the horizon, I have to wonder, how will manage to work full time, go to school, and stay on top of the blog? Nahomi is also in school, works full time, and she a mom to an adorable almost 3 years old (3! Can't believe she's almost 3), so I know I can't just hand off the blog to her. I wouldn't dream of piling up more work on her. And to be honest, I'm a touch OCD and like to have control over the final decisions and I consider this blog to be my baby so I just can't.

Nahomi and I trying to come up with a plan (she knows how much I love to plan and organize) with how everything will work once we're both in school. I know I have NetGalley and Edelweiss eARCs that I need to read and review as well as the ARCs that I got from BEA 2014. But my main priorities will be getting the NetGalley and Edelweiss books out of the way before school starts. I know once school start, reading for fun won't be happening until break. 

Even though I feel like I'll fall behind on bookish news and won't always know the latest of what is happeing on Twitter, I'm excited about going back to school. I feel like I'm doing something that will hopefully make me happy person and I can be the happy person I can be for myself, for my boyfriend and for everyone around me. 

Still there after my long rambling? Have any tips on how to manage time better? Or  have anything you want to share? Thanks for reading. I promise we'll be back to our regualr bookish posts tomorrow. In the mean time, have a great day.

Quotes (#66)

This is so me in the morning.
Morning Swooner,
I hope your weekend treated you well, but alas once again Monday has coming rearing its ugly head. May your coffee be strong enough to get you started this morning and may your day be quick, easy and full of good moments.

“The more the heart is nourished with happiness, the more it is insatiable.”

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.”

“I finally understood what true love meant...love meant that you care for another person's happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.”

“You can't live your life for other people. You've got to do what's right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.”

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Mini Review: Promising You by Allie Everhart


Promising You (Jade #4)
Author: Allie Everhart
Release Date: January 24, 2014
Publisher: Waltham Publishing
Source: Personal Copy
Review by: Nahomi
When Jade first arrived at Moorhurst College, she never imagined that the guy who helped her move in would end up being the guy she wants to be with forever. Now, seven months later, Jade and Garret are starting to talk about a future together. But the people around Jade are planting doubts in her mind, questioning her decision to be part of the Kensington family. Behind their lavish lifestyle are obligations and commitments that Garret may not be able to free himself from.

One of these obligations is something Garret never knew about. Even his father wasn’t aware of what’s in store for his son. And once he finds out, it seems there’s nothing he can do about it.

Just when Jade and Garret thought their problems were over, this new challenge emerges. Garret learns something that could change his future forever. And Jade’s future as well.

As the school year comes to a close, will Jade and Garret get the happy ending they deserve? Or will bigger forces intervene? Garret promised Jade he’d always be there for her. But can he keep his promise?
5 stars out of 5 stars

      It's no secret that I am totally in love with the Jade series. Promising You is just as perfect as the rest of the series. We get the same great characters, and setting with a plot that kept me turning pages until the very end. Reading this book is like being on a really messed up emotional roller coaster, just when you think everything's ok, it plummets you into the depths of sadness and anxiety. There are sections of this story where my heart shattered into a million pieces for Jade and for Garret. Although, it was slowly put back together by the end of the story, it was still a little exhausting.

The evolution of all of the characters is so great! Jade has come a long way from Choosing You and even Pearce, Garrets father has changed for the better. This story is filled with heart ache, romance and suspense, this entire series is just amazing!  I really love the ending; Promising You is one of my favorites of the Jade series. I was so sad because I thought this was the final installment of the series, but then I found out there are at least two more books coming!!! Now, I just can't wait to get my grubby little hands on Forever You!

Review: Loving You by Allie Everhart

Loving You (The Jade Series #3)
Author: Allie Everhart
Release Date: December 12, 2013
Publisher: Waltham Publishing
Source: Personal Copy
Review by: Nahomi
  
Since meeting Garret on her first night at college, Jade’s had to overcome many obstacles to be with him, including interference from Garret’s father.

Now, months later, it seems that Mr. Kensington has finally accepted Jade dating his son, but the reason for that is unclear. After what Jade witnessed at the Kensington mansion, she’s not sure what his acceptance of her means. Is she tied to his family forever now that she knows some of their darkest secrets?

Spring semester begins at Moorhurst College and a new student arrives who has a little too much interest in Garret’s family. And a little too much interest in Jade.

Garret continues to win Jade’s heart with romantic gestures that make her love him even more. It seems like everything is starting to work out for Jade, but as her mother used to say...Good things never last. Or do they?
5 stars out of 5 stars

     This book had me feeling jittery the entire time. I didn't know what to expect with everything that was going on with Jade and Garret in the first two books. This book focuses more on Jade and Garret's relationship and its progression, although it furthers a long the mystery of this secret society, that we still don't know a lot about.

Loving You is very well paced it's never slow and it doesn't feel like it's repetitive. There are times where I just want to slap Jade and be like open your eyes, don't you see what is happening; but that is Jade, she is a little naive when it comes to boys and well pretty much a lot of other things as well. Garret is his sweet and charming self and as in the previous two books he had me swooning all over the place. Garret is setting the bar high for my future book boyfriends is all I have to say.

By the end this book had my heart racing and has me dying to start the next book. I can't believe what happens in the last scene! I have to pick up Promising You because I just have to know what happens  to Jade, after what happens I am in shock and hyperventilating! Loving You is the perfect follow up to Knowing You. I can't wait to see what Promising You has in store for me next.

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