Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

This was a good and bad week. I was really disappointed, when my eye procedure was canceled two hours before I was supposed to go. *Sad* BUT, the good thing is that my prodigal daughter has returned! I am so happy to have her for these two weeks.

On the Blog:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Discussion: 2018 Reading Challenges


This Week’s Topic: Reading Challenges 2018

It's that time again! The time when we set our goals for the new year, and I am really excited to pick my reading challenges for this year. I have not finalized my list or picked my books for the challenges, but I do know I will be doing the following challenges. 

The #2017Throwback is hosted by Jamie at Books and Ladders, and challenges you to "throwback" to 2017 by reading a different book every month that was published in 2017. This is a great challenge for me, because there are quite a few 2017 releases I own, but never got to. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Last to Let Go - Amber Smith

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith!

The Last to Let Go
Amber Smith
Series: n/a
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Waited on by: Sam
How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.

But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Anticipated Debuts of 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Top Ten Anticipated Debuts of 2018!

Truth: This is not the actual topic this week, but I am doing the same topic during Top Ten of 2017 week, so I thought I fill in with this one. I like to make an effort to read a lot of debuts, and have discovered a ton of new and fantastic authors this way. So, without further ado, here are my top anticipated debuts for the upcoming year.

(More 2018 MG & YA debuts can be found here.)

Fat Girl on Plane
Kelly deVos
Series: n/a
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: June 5, 2018

First, there is the whole fashion designer wannabe angle. Then, there is the dual timeline approach, which I always love. The synopsis sort of eludes to a very empowering story too. I'm all in on this one.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: Foolish Hearts - Emma Mills

Foolish Hearts
Emma Mills
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult,  Contemporary
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.
Back in September, I shared a list of authors I NEED to read. Emma Mills was on this list, and I cannot believe it took me so long to read one of her books! This book was such a joy to read, and exactly my cup of tea.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

We had our first snow storm yesterday, and I am so grateful it was on a weekend day, because my commute would have been a struggle in this weather. Snow days are really the only thing I miss about teaching. The Simon trailer just came on the TV, so I am crying again. 😭It's so good!

Things I Saw Online:

A few weeks back I justified buying another ebook for charity, and I am so impressed with how much money was raised - $30,144!

A post shared by Penny Reid (@reidromance) on

Friday, December 8, 2017

Blog Tour: The Heartbreak Cure - Amanda Ashby

















The Heartbreak Cure
Amanda Ashby
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
How to get over a heartbreak:

Step one: Eat your body weight in brownies.

Step two: Throw yourself into your dreams of becoming a famous writer.

Step three: Beg your (hottie) ex-neighbor to act as your fake boyfriend.

Step four: Skip step three unless you’re ready for some serious fallout.

After being dumped and humiliated over the summer, Cat Turner does what any sane girl would do. She asks bad boy Alex Locke to be her fake boyfriend and show the world (and her editor at the school newspaper) that she's fine. Problem is, the more time she spends with Alex, the more she risks getting her heart broken. For real this time.


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a swoony bad boy who will melt your heart, brownies, and witty banter. One, two, or all three might prove addictive…

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Bookish Confessions: I Love Memes!


This Week’s Topic: Weekly Memes

You love them. You hate them. You love to hate them, but any way you slice it, there are tons of  weekly memes out there that a multitude of bloggers partake in. I am on the love-side, and here are some reasons why.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Curses - Laure Eve

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for The Curses by Laure Eve!

The Curses
Laure Eve
Series: The Graces, #2
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Waited on by: Sam and Kiersten
Picking up the pieces after the chilling events of the previous year isn’t easy, but the Graces are determined to do it. Wolf is back after a mysterious disappearance, and everyone’s eager to return to normal. Except for Summer, the youngest Grace. Summer has a knack for discovering the truth—and something is troubling her. After a trail of clues leads her to what could be the key to both her family’s mysterious past and the secret of Wolf, she’s determined to vanquish yet another curse. But exposing secrets is a dangerous game, and it’s not one Summer can win alone.

At Summer’s behest, the coven comes back together, reluctantly drawing their erstwhile friend River back into the fold. But Wolf’s behavior becomes unpredictable even as Fenrin’s strength fades, and Summer must ask herself whether the friend she so loves is also planning her family’s ultimate, cursed demise.

This riveting sequel to The Graces is saturated with magic, the destructive cost of power, the complications of family, and the nature of forgiveness.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Places I Want to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Bookish Places I Want to Visit!

Books have transported me to so many wonderful lands. It was quite difficult to pick only ten, but these were the first that came to mind, and I am still hoping this happens:


Monday, December 4, 2017

Blog Tour: The Truth Beneath the Lies




















The Truth Beneath the Lies
Amanda Searcy
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Fight or Flight.

All Kayla Asher wants to do is run. Run from the government housing complex she calls home. Run from her unstable mother. Run from a desperate job at No Limit Foods. Run to a better, cleaner, safer life. Every day is one day closer to leaving.

All Betsy Hopewell wants to do is survive. Survive the burner phone hidden under her bed. Survive her new rules. Survive a new school with new classmates. Survive being watched. Every minute grants her another moment of life.

But when fate brings Kayla and Betsy together, only one girl will live.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

Another quiet week for me, but my co-bloggers did some cool stuff. Kiersten went to see Mean Girls the musical in DC, and Noor went to a signing event for Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart. I am pretty jealous of both of them.


Friday, December 1, 2017

In a Nutshell Reviews: Beyond YA

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights. This edition is featuring some of my recent non-YA reads, and I just realized they all feature hockey players.

Run Away with Me
Mila Gray
Series: Come Back to Me, #3
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Emerson Lowe and popular ice-hockey player Jake McCallister have been best friends since third grade but just as their friendship starts to morph into something more, a terrible event occurs that heralds the end of innocence for both of them. Within a week, Jake’s living on the other side of the country and Emerson is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life in a small town determined to paint her as a liar.

Seven years on and Emerson is still living on the beautiful Pacific West island of Bainbridge, helping her family run their outdoor adventure company. The last thing she needs is Jake turning up, bringing with him old memories and opening up old wounds. But Jake—even better looking than Emerson remembered and on the cusp of a bright sporting future—seems determined to revive their friendship no matter how much Emerson tries to push him away and soon they’re in the midst of a passionate summer romance that neither of them wants to end.

But if they’re to have any kind of future, they’re first going to need to confront the past, a past that most people want to stay buried.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book Traveling Thursday: My Holiday Wishlist

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme, hosted by Catia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much, where you compare the covers of a book that fits the theme. Then you post the original cover, the cover from your country, your favorite and your least favorite. You can link up and find the future themes on the Goodreads page.

This week's theme: A book from my holiday wishlist


The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Jenn Bennett
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Goodreads
Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Blog Tour: The Chaos of Standing Still - Jessica Brody



















The Chaos of Standing Still
Jessica Brody
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: My Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

My Winter TBR!

Yes, my friends, winter is coming, and it's time to make those hard choices. It's time to select some of those "must read" books for my winter TBR. This is a really difficult choice, since when I looked at my Goodreads TBR, I had over 300 2018 releases shelved. So, I narrowed it down to books I actually have, and it was hard, but I am committed to reading these ten books, which all have release dates in January and February.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Review: Genuine Fraud - E. Lockhart

Genuine Fraud
E. Lockhart
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads 

Honestly, holy shit.

That's really the best, most nuanced reaction I have for you regarding this book.

If you're not familiar, Genuine Fraud is, according to author E. Lockhart, "a thriller about two girls who look enough alike to share a passport."

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

Another fine week! I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My sister did a stupendous job cooking the turkey. It was browned to perfection and super juicy. Gold star! I have to train the new person at work this week, and although I am flattered that management thinks I am skilled enough for this task, it will greatly hinder my audiobook listening.

My sister's turkey

I am currently enjoying Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas, and am loving have FIVE new movies this week. Loving it! I am also trying to find what reading challenges I want to partake in next year. I considered the Pop Sugar Challenge for about a minute, but that list was really hard. I like something that I makes me feel a sense of accomplishment, you know what I mean? If you are considering any interesting challenges, let me know in the comments.

Friday, November 24, 2017

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

Any Way You Slice It
Kristine Carlson Asselin
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Publisher: Wicked Whale Publishing
Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Penelope Spaulding just can't catch a break. Between long hours at the family pizza shop, piles of homework, and her dad’s new obsession—getting the restaurant on a new foodie reality show—it's hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, the world is hers to control and everything else slips away.

When the bad boy who lives down the street dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her controlling parents.

The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She’s sneaking out to practice—and loving every minute of it. It doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with hockey…but she’s not entirely sure if it’s the game she’s falling for or the boy. Because it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good.

And the one thing she IS sure of...she can't stop playing.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Discussion: Being Thankful


This Week’s Topic: Being Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving day in the US, and to all who are celebrating: 


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Together at Midnight - Jennifer Castle

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Together at Midnight!

Together at Midnight
Jennifer Castle
Series: n/a
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Waited on by: Sam
What does it really mean to be kind . . . and why does it sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world to do? High school senior Kendall, who just returned from a life-changing semester in Europe, and Max, who is drifting his way through a gap year before college, struggle with these questions when they witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Racked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls these two teens, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore a vibrant city filled with other people’s stories and secrets.

Kendall and Max can’t deny their growing bond, even though they both have other romantic entanglements and uncertain futures. As the clock counts down on New Year’s Eve, will they find themselves together at midnight?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Am Thankful I Read This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Books I Am Thankful I Read This Year!

I have read over 300 books this year, and so many wonderful books have found me. There are a multitude I am thankful to have read, because they have given me hope, made me happy, or made me cry, but most of all, they left some sort of impression and I really enjoyed the experience.

The Art of Feeling
Laura Tims
Series: n/a
Publisher: HarperTeen

This book was about a family that was lost after their mother's untimely death, and this was their journey towards healing. I liked that it showed how grieving can take many different forms; it's not one-size-fits-all, and I remember loving it so much, I wanted to hug the book.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sunday's with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

I know, you're thinking, "Sam, it's Monday, not Sunday." This is true, but since I had a blog tour, I just moved my Sunday post by one day. Things will be back to normal next week. This week's discussion was quite interesting. We discussed yet another thing we love to hate: instalove. Most people were ok with the idea that there can be a spark, but people want to see the buildup and the relationship develop, while others were ok with it, especially when the book is a straight romance.

These announcements were EVERYwhere and I was excited:



Sunday, November 19, 2017

Blog Tour: Not Now, Not Ever





















Not Now, Not Ever
Lily Anderson
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer.

1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mother's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer's going to be great.

Friday, November 17, 2017

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

I Never
Laura Hopper
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4  out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Janey King’s priorities used to be clear: track, school, friends, and family. But when seventeen-year-old Janey learns that her seemingly happy parents are getting divorced, her world starts to shift. Back at school, Luke Hallstrom, an adorable senior, pursues Janey, and she realizes that she has two new priorities to consider: love and sex.

Inspired by Judy Blume’s classic Forever, I Never features a perfect, delicious, almost-to-good-to-be-true high school relationship . . . and it doesn’t shy away from the details. Destined to be passed from teen to teen, this is a young adult debut that will get readers talking.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Love and Other Train Wrecks - Leah Konen

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Love and Other Train Wrecks!

Love and Other Train Wrecks
Leah Konen
Series: n/a
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Waited on by: Sam
A twenty-four-hour romance about two teens who meet—and perhaps change their minds about love—on a train ride to Upstate New York in the middle of a snowstorm

One train ride. Two strangers.

Noah is a hopeless romantic. He’s heading back home for one last chance with his first love, whom he broke up with when he went off to college.

Ammy doesn’t believe in true love—her parents being prime examples. She’s escaping from a mom who can’t take care of her to a dad who may not even want her. That is, until one winter night when Noah and Ammy find themselves in the same Amtrak car heading to Upstate New York.

After a train-wreck first encounter between the two of them, the Amtrak train suddenly breaks down due to a snowstorm. Desperate to make it to their destinations, Noah and Ammy have no other option but to travel together. What starts off as a minor detour turns into the whirlwind journey of a lifetime, and over the course of the night they fall in love. But come morning their adventure takes an unexpected turn for the worst. Can one night can really change how they feel about love...and the course of their lives forever?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: My Book Legacy

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

My Book Legacy!

This week, we were challenged to think of books we would want our future family members to read. My daughter has greatly influenced my book choices, and I have read many of her favorites, but alas, she has not read any of mine. Therefore, I am making this list for my future grandchildren, in hopes that they will appease their Maw Maw and read a book that was either a favorite or very meaningful to me.

Little House in the Big Woods
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Series: Little House, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins

This is a series that defined my childhood. I read the books. I watched the show. I was enamored with the time period and the lifestyle. When I look back now, I love the things the show represents. It's about family, community, and the resilience of the human spirit. The Ingalls family suffered some major setbacks, but they had their faith and each other.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: Now Is Everything - Amy Giles

Now Is Everything
Amy Giles
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Now Is Everything is a stirring debut novel told in alternating THEN and NOW chapters, perfect for Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven fans, about what one girl is willing to do to protect her past, present, and future.

The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.

Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.

When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

Not much going on this week. I had a day off, because I had three doctors' appointments. I am scheduling a procedure that may help with my dry eye. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am in the high percentage of people, who enjoy relief from the procedure. Fingers crossed!

Grey's Anatomy showed its 300th episode, and as a fan from the very beginning, I was excited to share this milestone. The episode delivered too. I swear, I cried a bunch of times during the episode. Just loved it. Here's a list of easter eggs that were hidden in the episode.


Friday, November 10, 2017

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

Offsetting Penalties
Ally Mathews
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Isabelle Oster has dreamed of being a prima ballerina her entire life, so when the only male dancer backs out of the fall production, she’s devastated. Without a partner, she has no hope of earning a spot with the prestigious Ballet Americana company. Until hot jock Garret practicing stretches in one of the studios gives Izzy an idea, and she whips out her phone. But does she really want this badly enough to resort to blackmail?

All-state tight end Garret Mitchell will do anything to get a college football scholarship. Even taking ballet, which surprisingly isn’t so bad, because it means he gets to be up close and personal with the gorgeous Goth girl Izzy while learning moves to increase his flexibility. But Izzy needs him to perform with her for the Ballet Americana spot, and he draws the line at getting on stage. Especially wearing tights.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a bit of blackmail, a lot of sarcasm, and an ending guaranteed to melt your heart.
I utterly love when a romance forms between an unlikely pair, and when I saw football and ballet thrown into the mix, I knew I wanted to read this book. I am happy to report, it did not disappoint!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Off Topic: Sephora is My Happy Place

Off Topic is WLABBs place for discussing non-bookish things. This week, I am talking about




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Blog Tour: Saving It - Monica Murphy















Saving It
Monica Murphy
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Eden: Josh Evans and I have been best friends forever. He knows all my secrets, and I know all of his. So when he randomly asks me to help him lose his virginity, I sort of flip out. That’s a question that sends your mind to places you’ve seriously never considered before. Like, you know. Having sex. With your best friend. Except Josh doesn’t want to have sex with me—he wants me to help him find a girl. A nice girl who’s funny and smart and cute. Except he already knows a girl just like that…

Josh: Eden Sumner is my best friend. So of course she’d be the person to help me find my perfect match, so I can drop my V card before I head off to college. Except the more we search, the more I realize that maybe the right girl has been by my side all along. I don’t need Eden’s help in finding me a girl to love. I’m pretty sure I’m already in love with Eden. But now she thinks I’m only after one thing…with anyone but her.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book is what happens when American Pie meets Friends with Benefits. It contains two best friends, plenty of angst, and lots and lots of sex talk. Reading this might have you looking at your best friend in a different light!
I am a fan of Murphy's NA and adult books, so I was interested to see what she had to offer in the YA realm. I found Saving It to be fun, light, and flirty and I was throughly entertained.

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Forgotten Book - Mechthild Gläser

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for The Forgotten Book!

The Forgotten Book
Mechthild Gläser
Series: n/a
Release Date: January 2, 2108
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Waited on by: Sam

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters with Leadership Potential

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Characters with Leadership Potential!

Since today is election day, this top ten list will highlight characters from books I read mostly within the past year, who I think could possibly grow into great leaders.


Speak Easy, Speak Love: Beatrice
McKelle George
Series: n/a
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Beatrice was such an empowered woman, with a strong voice, who used her wit and her will to make things happen. There were many times in this book, when she had to wiggle out of some tight spots, and that is a great skill for a leader to have.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Review: The Hidden Oracle - Rick Riordan

The Hidden Oracle
Rick Riordan
Series: The Trials of Apollo, #1
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads 

It is no secret that I am a fan of Uncle Rick's work, given that I have written numerous glowing reviews for his work, and The Hidden Oracle is no exception to my love for his books.

The Hidden Oracle follows Apollo (that's right, the actual Greek god Apollo) as he is cast down from Olympus and stripped of his godly powers. Now an awkward, powerless mortal, Apollo must follow the whims of young demigod Meg in order to appease Zeus and restore his godly powers.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

All is quiet in these parts. I fell behind on my blog hopping, because I was wrapped up in my books. Today is my dad's birthday, and it's really special, because this time last year, he was in the hospital. They didn't expect him to ever leave, and now, one year later, he doesn't need the oxygen and they found no cancer in his lungs. So, I am very grateful for today.


































Friday, November 3, 2017

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

Bad Girls with Perfect Faces
Lynn Weingarten
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Bad girls get it done.

Sasha’s all-time favorite person is her best friend Xavier. He’s smart, funny, and strange. He’s not just nice but kind. He’s endlessly forgiving, even when maybe he shouldn’t be.

So when Xavier lets his ex, Ivy, slither her way back into his life, Sasha knows she needs to protect him. And not just because she can’t stop thinking about the night she and Xavier almost shared a rum-soaked kiss. No, it’s because Ivy is poisonous. The last time they were together, Ivy cheated on Xavier and he just barely survived.

Sasha has a plan: pose online as a guy to seduce Ivy, proving that cheaters never change. But she soon learns to be careful who you pretend to be—because you can never truly know the darkness inside of someone. Including yourself.

Told in multiple points of view.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Discussion: Cheating - is it a Deal Breaker?


This Week’s Topic: Cheating - Is it a Deal Breaker?

I like to read reviews after I have read a book, and when I was reading reviews for In Some Other Life, I was surprised to see how one plot point basically ruined the entire experience for so many readers. The plot point I am taking about, is the main character's boyfriend and her best friend carrying on behind her back. Yes friends, cheating. I am not a fan of cheating, but it did not spoil the whole book for me. Why? It was a jumping off point. It was that catalyst, that sent the MC into self-examination mode, and precipitated the entire alternate time line portion of the story. There was a lot of other story aside from the cheating, and I was able to enjoy those parts in their separate space. 

Another book, which suffered a similar wrath was 99 days. Although I thought the main character made a poor choice, it was not technically cheating. To paraphrase Ross, they were on a break.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Winner Take All - Laurie Devore

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Winner Take All!

Winner Take All
Laurie Devore
Series: n/a
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Imprint
Waited on by: Sam
For Nell Becker, life is a competition she needs to win. For Jackson Hart, everyone is a pawn in his own game. They both have everything to lose.

Nell wants to succeed at everything—school, sports, life. And victory is sweeter when it means beating Jackson Hart, the rich, privileged, undisputed king of Cedar Woods Prep Academy. Yet no matter how hard she tries, Jackson is somehow one step ahead. They’re a match made in hell, but opposites do attract.

Drawn to each other by their rivalry, Nell and Jackson fall into a whirlwind romance that consumes everything in their lives. But when a devastating secret exposes their relationship as just another game, how far will Nell go to win?

Visceral and whip-smart, Laurie Devore’s Winner Take All paints an unflinching portrait of obsessive love, toxic competition, and the drive for perfection.
The first thing that caught my attention was the setting. I went to public school, but for some reason, I love books set in prep schools. There is just something about the sort of trouble rich, privileged kids can get into. I was also drawn to the two main characters. They both are driven and want to be number one, so you know this will be a torrid and troubled romance. I often pick the light and fluffy, but a dark romance can be quite delicious if done properly, and this one has the promise of taking me on a wild ride.












What are you waiting on?
Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on the Darker Side

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is a freebie, so I chose..

Books on the Darker Side!

If you asked someone to describe me as a reader, I think the first thing that would come to mind, is my love for the light and fluffy. So, trying to come up with a list of scary books would be difficult for me. Therefore, I am going with books that are a little darker than my normal fare for this halloween top ten list.

















Bad Girls with Perfect Faces
Lynn Weingarten
Series: n/a
Publisher: Simon Pulse

This was a dark and twisted tale of obsession, and we all know that sort of thing never ends well. Weingarten's writing was right on point, deftly capturing the tone and keeping that black cloud hovering as we waited for the other shoe to drop.

The Accident Season
Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Series: n/a
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

Fowley-Doyle does a masterful job of creating atmosphere. All the trademarks of fall and halloween ooze through the pages of this tale filled with secrets, mystery, and a paranormal touch.

Book of Lies
Terry Teri
Series: n/a
Publisher: Clarion Books

Teri did a great job setting to mood, with the story opening during a storm at a funeral. The mood was well maintained from there, and the change of scenery really kicked it up a notch in this story of witches and a family curse.

Spellbook Lost and Found
Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Series: n/a
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

This is Fowley-Doyle doing what I expect her to do. This story was haunting and mysterious, as we try to distinguish fact from fiction, the past from the present.

Haunting the Deep
Adriana Mather
Series: How to Hang a Witch, #2
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

This book is not as dark as some of the others, but it has its moments. How could it not. Set in Salem filled with witches, ghost, curses, and spells, it was bound to be a little eerie.

When I Cast Your Shadow
Sarah Porter
Series: n/a
Publisher: Tor Teen

This was my second Porter book, and she puts out some really dark and twisted stuff. Between the ghosts, possessions, and visits to the fringe, I was pretty creeped out.

Tiny Pretty Things
Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton
Series: Tiny Pretty Things, #1
Publisher: HarperTeen

I know, this is a book about ballerinas. They were pink tights and tutus, this is true, but this is a look at the ultra competitive side of ballet. These are some demented little dancers, who will wage mental and physical warfare in order to keep their spot in the company. I thought they were quite terrifying.

One Dark Throne
Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns, #2
Publisher: HarperTeen

The whole premise of this series, is that these sisters must fight to the death for the throne. One throne, one queen, and the sisters were really out to get each other in this book. They were literally hunting each other.

The Graces
Laure Eve
Series: The Graces, #1
Publisher: Amulet Books

The Graces are a family shrouded in secrets and mystery, and River is a creepy stranger with a sordid past, who wants to become part of their circle. Filled with unlikable characters, and a little bit of magic, it's dark from beginning to end.

The Darkest Corners
Kara Thomas
Series: n/a
Publisher: Delacorte

As with any good psychological thriller, this one maintains a darker tone. This was a tense mystery, which kept me on my toes, throwing twists at us until the very last page.





Do you have a favorite dark(er) book?
Let us know in the comments!