Friday, January 31, 2014

Contest: Vampire Academy

With a week to go until the movie hits the big screen, we're celebrating by giving away a copy of the first book! I loved this book series and I'm super excited for the movie.

Check out the trailer:


St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Enter to win 1 copy of Vampire Academy
(sorry US only)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Taste of Darkness

* Final book in the Healer trilogy *

Avery and her band of friends still need to defeat their enemies: King Tohon, Jael, and the Skeleton King. Prince Ryne's forces seem to be outnumbered but perhaps not outwitted.

Can Avery and her friends use their talents and magic to help turn the tide of the war in their favor?
My Thoughts: A great end to a powerful trilogy dealing with war, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and love. I love Avry for her strength, her loyalty, her determination, her sense of friendship, her confidence, and how she always speaks her mind. I love the banter between the monkeys - they add some tension relief with their antics. I love how they all have Avry's back. I love Avry's bond with Kerrick and their relationship. I loved this trilogy for the action, the danger, the humor, and the love. Maria V. Snyder is a must read author for me.

Cover Thoughts: I liked it - especially with the lilies
Source: My Library

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

54 Reading Questions: Book Meme

I saw this on tumblr and thought it looked fun:
  • 1. Favorite childhood book? The Potter's Kitchen
  • 2. What are you reading right now? Taste of Darkness
  • 3. What books do you have on request at the library? 13 books including Home of the Braised and First Love
  • 4. Bad book habit? Library hoarding (taking out too many books)
  • 5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? 23 books including Vitro, The Offering, and Darkest Fear
  • 6. Do you have an e-reader? Yes, but rarely used
  • 7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? Several at once (usually one upstairs, one downstairs, and one at work)
  • 8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? Yes, I read more
  • 9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far)? West of the Moon
  • 10. Favorite book you’ve read this year? Wildflower and Racing Savannah
  • 11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I try to do it every few months
  • 12. What is your reading comfort zone? Books with happy endings that don't make me cry
  • 13. Can you read on the bus? No
  • 14. Favorite place to read? Couch
  • 15. What is your policy on book lending? Depends on the book (if signed by the author), but I lend them to family and friends
  • 16. Do you ever dog-ear books? No
  • 17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? Only in college
  • 18. Not even with text books? Only in college
  • 19. What is your favourite language to read in? English
  • 20. What makes you love a book? Connection to characters 
  • 21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? Great characters and plot
  • 22. Favorite genre? romance, cozy mystery, contemporary, high fantasy 
  • 23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)? nonfiction
  • 24. Favorite biography? Dark Dreams (Stephen King)
  • 25. Have you ever read a self-help book? Not that I recall
  • 26. Favourite cookbook? Pinterest these days
  • 27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? The Sparkle Factory 
  • 28. Favorite reading snack? I don't have one
  • 29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. The hype isn't always to be believed - or it isn't the right book for me. Revolution was one a few years back that people raved about, but I couldn't get in to.
  • 30. How often do you agree with critics about a book? Rarely, but often with bloggers
  • 31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? I try to say something positive if I need to review it, I know that just because I didn't like it, someone else will.
  • 32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? French (but that was in high school and college where I could read it)
  • 33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? I don't read intimidating books
  • 34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? I should read The Fault in Our Stars, but I don't want to cry like a baby.
  • 35. Favorite Poet? Shel Silverstein 
  • 36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? 30-40
  • 37. How often have you returned books to the library unread? frequently
  • 38. Favorite fictional character? Mr. Darcy
  • 39. Favorite fictional villain? Voldemort
  • 40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation? Romance books
  • 41. The longest I’ve gone without reading. Never
  • 42. Name a book that you could/would not finish. I can't remember the last one.
  • 43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? TV
  • 44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel? Pride and Prejudice
  • 45. Most disappointing film adaptation? Alex Rider
  • 46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time? Estimation: for myself, $50, not sure about gifts
  • 47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? Never
  • 48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? Didn't connect to the book
  • 49. Do you like to keep your books organized? By importance and author and genre
  • 50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? Depends on the book
  • 51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? Some, which I've heard are great. TFIOS and Code Name Verity, because I don't want to cry.
  • 52. Name a book that made you angry. Stats: The Biggest Number in Sports (not enough mentions of female sports)
  • 53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? Bomb
  • 54. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading? Regency Romances

On My Holds List (72)

My Librarian friend Jess from I Read to Relax came up with a great idea.  It's to highlight the books on hold at the library. I usually have 20-40 items checked out at the library and another 20 items on hold.

This week, I"m putting award winning books on hold.

The Nazi Hunters

Splash of Red

Watermelon Seed


Flora and the Flamingo
Flora and the Flamingo 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Worlds I'd Never Want To Live

This week's topic is Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want To Live. The first pick was easy, the rest just a little bid harder. I think of worlds where I might like to be - but rarely do I think about ones that I would never want to enter...All of these are great books that I enjoyed reading. 

Hunger Games (A tribute)
Something Real (On reality TV)
Pawn (Ahere I'm not myself -I'm pretending to be someone else)
Darkest Minds/Never Fade (Hunted because of my powers)
Prince of Denial (with an alcoholic father and an absent mother) 
Steelheart (Where everyone lives in fear)
Dualed (Where you have to prove you're the best of you and your twin)
This is Not a Drill (Man with a gun in a elementary school classroom)
No Safety in Numbers (Bomb in the mall)
Origin (Discovering you're a genetically made person)

Tween Tuesday Review: Dream On

Whatever After #4: Dream On* Book 4 in the Whatever After series *

Abby's excited for her first sleepover. She's looking forward to eating s'mores and staying up all night talking. She's more than a little surprised when she wakes up to an empty room.

Robin forgot to mention her sleepwalking problem. She walks down into the basement and bumps into the magic mirror three times. Now they mirror's active and it's pulling Robin inside. Abby tries to rescue her, but it's too late.

Abby, Robin, and Jonah are sucked into another fairy tale - this time it's Sleeping Beauty's story. Unfortunately, Robin wakes up just in time to accidentally prick herself on the spindle - falling into a deep sleep.

Now Princess Briana's story has changed. Abby and her brother need to figure out how to reverse the sleeping spell, make Princess Briana happy, and get back home before things blow up in their face.
My Thoughts: I love this series on twists of Fairy Tales - it's great seeing the heroines of the original story. I like how Abby's friend came into the story with them and how that changed the dynamic. I liked the idea of living in the now and not waiting for your happiness to find you or waiting for what's supposed to happen in life and take charge of your own life. 

Cover Thoughts: Super Cute
Source: My Library

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: Darkest Fear

 * First in the Birthright series *

When Vivi turns 18, her birthday doesn't go as planned. Each year, she and her parents pack up her favorite foods and go on a picnic. Things between Vivi and her parents are tense ever since she found out about her heritage - the heritage she has no desire to be a part of. During the picnic, her parents tell her to run and she does. Coming back later to the scene, she finds both her parents on the ground. Her father's dead and her mother is dying.

While dealing with her grief, Vivi discovers a family she never knew about and sets off to find them. Vivi locates a cousin who invites her to stay with him. He has a house full of friends - all from the same heritage.

Vivi learns more about her heritage and wishes that she could change her past behavior. More than anything she wants to uncover the truth about her parents' murder. How far will she go to uncover the truth?
My Thoughts: I love how different Vivi's heritage is - being able to turn into a jaguar. I really like the moments when she turned and her thought processes. I felt awful for her when her parents died and she lost herself in her grief. I loved her new family. I like how she tried to understand more of her heritage and how being around more of her kind helped. I liked the danger and the romance. I liked the ending, even though it left me waiting for the next book. 

Cover Thought: I like her eye
Source: My Library

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Adult Review: Best Man

For most of her life, Faith Holland defined herself by her relationship. After being left at the altar, she fled to San Francisco. With a few years behind her, she's ready to come back home - at least for an extended visit.

As soon as she gets there, people start talking about her in tones of sympathy and pity. Faith never wanted that. She tries to hang out with her family the most while remodeling the barn on the family vineyard for wedding functions.

Before long, she realizes that she needs her own place so she rents an apartment. Unfortunately, her nemesis the best man at her wedding lives right across the hall. She's not sure she's ready to play nice with the police chief Levi Cooper. But there's something about him that gets under her skin.
My Thoughts: I loved this book, though I felt bad for Faith. I love how she came back and how she faced the town. I felt bad for Faith because of her family guilt.  I like Faith's quirky family and how they interact with each other. I loved her banter with Levi. I really liked Levi - from his past to his being a veteran to his taking care of his sister. I love how he tries to take care of everyone around him.  A fantastic novel about coming home again and finding yourself, being true to yourself, and finding happiness. As soon as I finished this book, I passed it along to my mother. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Library
Fun Fact: Levi's sister went to HWS, my alma mater

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Third Lie's the Charm

 * Final book in the trilogy*

Kate's not ready to let go of Grace. The Sisterhood's still active and Kate wants revenge. She's annoying her friends and family by making them angry and sad that she can't let this rest. They don't understand why she has to make things right.

When another boy dies, things get worse. The boy called Kate that night, but Kate was busy infiltrating the Sisterhood. Now she's on a mission to see who's behind the mysterious letter sent from the Brotherhood. She really does want this nightmare to be over. Maybe then she can reclaim a normal life.
My Thoughts: I really loved this trilogy for the mystery, for the plot twists, for the secrets, for the danger, for the lies fro the betrayals, and for the deep ever lasting friendship. I laughed at Kate's snark. I laughed at Seth's goofiness. I wanted to know more about Grace. I never wanted to go to Pemberly Brown, even though it sounds pretty on the surface. I wanted to see Kate kick butt and take names. I'm sad to see the end of Kate and her friends but I loved the ending. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: my Library

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mini Review: Sparkle Factory

Tarina Tarantino creates funky jewelry - which celebrities and everyday people adore.

I'm not one of those people.

While her jewelry isn't my style, I tagged several projects in this book to attempt with my own style. After reading this book, my fingers itched to create some pieces. 

Some of these ideas, I might try at the library with teens.

Worth a look if you create jewelry or host jewelry programs at the library, you might find some inspiration.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Winner's Curse

* Out March 4th*

Kestrel's the General's daughter is in a land recently overthrown. She might live in a nice house, but she's different. She doesn't seem too interested in parties or fashion, and she plays her part reluctantly. Her father wants her to join the military, but Kestrel isn't keen on the idea.

One day, while in town, she comes across a slave auction. Without thinking, she bids on a boy and wins. As she comes to know him, she begins to rebel even more
against normal society. Could she possibly have feelings for him?
Then in a blink of an eye everything changes. Kestrel's world is turned upside down and her friendship with Arin might be the only thing that saves her life.

My Thoughts: I've heard a lot of buzz about this book and wasn't sure what to make of it and then I started reading it. It starts off a little slow but pulled me in fast. I liked how Kestrel was different - how she didn't play by society's rules (even thought that got her into trouble). There was horror, sadness, and disbelief in times of war.  The main pull of the book was the friendship and loyalty between Kestrel and Arin. Their friendship and further feelings were forbidden, but also visible to everyone - no matter how much they tried keeping their feelings hidden.  I enjoyed reading their dual perspectives. The plot twists kept surprising me until the very end. I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Cover Thoughts: Love the different perspective
Source: ARC sent for review (GREAT packaging)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Books I'm Dying to Read: March Edition

Here's a list of books I can't wait to get my hands on come March! 

Recklessly Royal (Suddenly, #2)Blossom Street BridesFour Friends
Blossom St Brides: The 10th book in the series.
Suddenly Royal: Now that her brother's found love, could it be Cathy's turn?
Four Friends: I've never read one of her books before and this sounds like a great friendship story.

Waiting On You (Blue Heron, #3)Come Home to Me (Whiskey Creek, #6)
Waiting on YouColleen's story - loved the first two books in this trilogy.
Come Home to MePresley returns home with her son - love this small town series.

Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend (Jewels of the Ton, #3)The Devaney Brothers: Ryan and Sean: Ryan's Place\Sean's Reckoning
Devaney Brothers: 2 brothers torn apart in childhood - come together again
Sapphires are an Earl's Best Friend: LOVE this series -can't wait for Lily's story

Ask Again LaterSide Effects May Vary
Side Effects May Vary: Girl thinks she going to die - does a bunch of things - realizes she's not going to die - consequences

The FinisherWhat in the World?
The FinisherVega's mentor disappears, leaving behind a secret message. Can she uncover the truth?
What in the World Cool photos with fun-filled visual games

Panic: A legendary game played by graduating seniors with high stakes and high rewards
Dangerous: Getting away from home can be dangerous - and life ending
NilOn the mysterious island of Nil, you have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.

Ava and PipThe Summer I Found YouDon't Even Think About It
Ava and Pip: A sister story!
Summer I Found You: A summer Romance
Don't Even Think About It: I love Sarah's books. Plus: telepathic powers -friends- no secrets adds up to something cool

Let the Storm Break (Let the Sky Fall, #2)Death Sworn (Death Sworn, #1)
Let the Storm Break: I really enjoyed Let The Sky Fall, looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Death Sworn: Dangerous love, lost magic, and assassins! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Wish List

This week's topic is On My Reading Wishlist (if you could make authors write about these things you would.) I thought this would be an easy list to make, but it's not. While all of these books are on the list because they're what I like to read, most of them reflect the teens in my library - in terms of popular books or book suggestions asked.  This is going to be a random list...

More YA from Sarah MacLean - loved The Season
More YA spy books
More YA mysteries
More stories in a short time frame (24 hours or 1 week)
More boy thriller/action books
More romantic comedies from Rachel Hawthrone and Catherine Clark
More sports books featuring female characters
More fantasy books like Throne of Glass
More historical fiction like Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph
More books with traveling to another country like the S.A.S.S. books.

Tween Tuesday Review: The Show Must Go On

Sir Sidney owned the best circus in the world, but he was tired. In order to take a week's vacation, he hired  Barnabas Brambles.

 Barnabas didn't treat the animals like family. He viewed the circus as a money making machine. He wanted to travel through cities and have multiple shows each day.

 Barnabas had it all figured out, but nothing went according to his plan.  Can the circus be saved or will his ideas ruin everything?
My Thoughts: I love this sister team. While it's a little young, I think fans of their 43 Cemetery Road series will enjoy this one too. I enjoyed the mice and their made up words. I like how Stan and Dan navigated the train through the US - very inventive. I felt bad for the animals - with their new food and the accidents that happened along the way. The ending was hopeful, leaving me wonder what's coming next for the circus. The illustrations were fantastic - funny, clever, and eye-catching. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Library

Monday, January 20, 2014

Heartbroken: my reaction to the YALSA Blog Reboot

I started on the YALSA Blog Advisory Board in July of 2013. It's a two year position. When I first read the termination letter from YALSA President Shannon Peterson, I was confused and a little hurt. Then the message went viral with mention of rebooting the YALSA Blog. You can read the full message here, but here are my thoughts on some of the highlights. 

1. Stats are down on the blog.

I can understand that (I think that's normal across many blogs - this one included) and if that is the major concern, than I think the advisory board could have helped create more content, generate ideas, recruit more bloggers, or beef up the social media sharing on posts.  This never came up.

2. "The YALSAblog has not been meeting YALSA’s needs in terms of raising awareness of YALSA resources, or advancing YALSA’s strategic goals. Posts are regularly made live that fail to mention appropriate YALSA resources. For example, a recent post about STEM programs failed to mention YALSA’s STEM Programming Toolkit, and a recent post about planning author visits failed to mention YALSA’s state by state directory of YA authors."

Now while I understand this, I wish it had been talked about when I turned in posts. You could search the blog posts and uncover the person who wrote these two posts. But I'll save you the trouble. Both of them are mine.

I wrote about not understanding much about STEM programs and then realizing I knew more than I believed after researching. There's a line in there that was added into the post about the toolkit and I didn't mind at all.

The second post was on Skyping with Authors as an idea for planning your next author visit. This post was based on a presentation I co-presented at NELA. Other resources were used in the presentation and those were used on the blog post - primarily focused on authors who Skype. The point of Skyping with authors is reaching out to authors you might not be able to host at your library because of travel costs. While the authors listing by state is a great idea, it wasn't the point of the post.

And in learning that both of the examples given were mine, I feel like a big fat failure. I feel like I let down YALSA and the community. Then I wished that my failure weren't quite so public. If the posts were that bad, I wish someone said something to me so I could make my future posts better.

3. "Sunset the current Advisory Board and put out a call for new board members, based on the revised mission and committee charge"

This I don't understand. After my application was accepted, I signed a two year contract. If I had to sign a contract, shouldn't YALSA honor that contract? I've only been on the board for 7 months. Why hasn't this come up in emails or conversation? Why weren't we given a chance to help make changes? Why weren't we given the chance to make the blog better? Why weren't we part of the revision and blog overhaul? Isn't that the purpose of the advisory board - to help advise?

I had a great working relationship with Wendy. I pitched ideas, she listened. She asked for content, I wrote up drafts. We talked about them until we were both happy with them. Clearly, someone above her wasn't happy. I'm glad they waited until the end of her term for the reboot, but the whole document seems to tell all of us involved that we failed. The letter came as a shock and the document feels like a slap in the face.

I was so excited to be a part of the blog and be on the board. It's a great step from me personally and for my career. I was excited to be working more at the national level. And now, I feel horrible. I feel like I've failed, like I haven't been given a fair chance, and that my thoughts don't matter. I'm heartbroken and heartsick and I'm not sure where to go from here. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Adult Review: Seaview Inn

Hannah's going back to one place she dreads - home. She wants to help her grandmother sell the family inn and move into an assisted living facility. Her grandmother has no intention of moving or of giving up the inn. Since her mother died, it's too much work for one person to run the inn.

Hannah takes two weeks off from work, but when she gets down there everything changes. Her daughter arrives - taking a break from college. An old crush and war veteran shows up ready to help make the inn presentable.

Being back on the island, Hannah's forced to move at a slower pace. She also has time to take a hard look at her life and see what's missing. Could the very place she ran from be the place she's meant to stay?
My Thoughts: I'm a huge fan of Sherryl Woods and saw a new book coming out Home to Seaview Key. I realized it was the second book in a series, so I tracked down the first one. I love how the generations of the Matthews family come together. I love their stubbornness, their quick wit, and their big hearts. I really liked Luke. I felt horrible for him and what he went through with his family, but I admired him for putting it back together. A feel good novel, perfect for escaping the cold weather of winter. I wish I was there on the beach and staying at the inn. So looking forward to reading more about this town. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute - wish I was there now
Source: My Library

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Killing Woods

One stormy night, Emily saw her father coming out of the woods. At first she thought it was a deer around his shoulders, but soon she came to realize that it was a girl. She was dead.

Emily's dad has PTSD, which forces him to relieve his worst nightmare during combat. He has no memory of what happened that night in the woods, but he confesses to killing the girl.

Now, school's a nightmare for Emily. Her best friends has turned on her. The whole town stares at her and whispers things behind her back. She has two real friends. But Emily knows that her father couldn't have done this horrible act and she's not about to let him take the blame for it.  She just needs to figure out why Ashlee was in the woods that night and who was with her. Maybe if she figure out the truth, than this nightmare can end.
My Thoughts: I really liked this thriller. I love how Emily believed in her father, even though it wasn't the popular opinion. I like how she stood up to Damon (Ashlee's girlfriend) when he was being a jerk. I like how she didn't back down, but told her understanding of that night. I liked Damon and how he tried to remember the events of that dreadful night. I loved the highlight on PTSD and how it can change your whole world. An intriguing thriller in a dark creepy setting.

Cover Thoughts: Spooky
Source: ARC sent for review

Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: Going Rogue

* Book 2 in the AKA series - read my review for Book 1 *
The Collective has accused Maggie's parents of stealing priceless gold coins. She knows they're innocent and she's willing to do whatever it takes to prove it.

She didn't figure on getting into fights with her boyfriend and her best friend. Yes, they helped her out of a jam last time, but she's trying to protect them.

Yet, it doesn't quite work out the way Maggie expected. She's keeping everyone except for Angelo in the dark. Could it be her downfall?
My Thoughts: I'm a sucker for spy books and this series is amazingly good. I love Maggie - how she longs to be a normal teen even though her entire life has been different. I like how she gets excited about every day things. I love her sense of loyalty and how she wants to protect her friends. I love Roux and her smart-aleck ways. My heart breaks for her family and school life and I'm glad she and Maggie found each other. I love Jesse and how he wants to look out for Maggie. I loved not knowing who to trust and how the secrets start piling up. A great spy novel with action, danger, family, and friendship.  I can't wait to read more adventures from Maggie and her friends. 

Cover Thoughts: Love it!
Source: ARC for review

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: Pawn

Kitty's testing didn't go has planned. Now she has to spend the rest of her life making up for the fact that she's unworthy.  Her boyfriend urges her to let them runaway together, but Kitty doesn't want to spoil his chances at being someone in society.

So she slips away and joins the oldest profession. Upon her first night, there's a bidding for her. The person who wins has the power to change her life. He's offered her the chance of a lifetime - to become the Prime Minister's niece: Lila Hart.

Lila died under mysterious circumstances. While it's easy to change someone's face, the eyes are difficult. Kitty has the right shade of blue eyes, making her perfect for the job. She can live her life as is, or she can rise in power.

She doesn't hesitate in making the choice to become Lila, but once she's in the palace, Kitty learns that each choice could be her last. She's never lived in a more dangerous setting, where her every move is watched and weighed. Can she be who they want her to become?
My Thoughts: I devoured this book - loving the dystopian vibe. I love the love story between Kitty and Benjy and their obstacles at being together. I love the danger, the action, the secrets, and the threats from the family. I enjoyed reading the plot twists and uncovering more details about this horrific powerful family. I like Kitty finding her way at Lila, but never forgetting her past. I can't wait to read the second book.

Cover Thoughts: Interesting
Source: My Library

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Standalone Reading Challenge


To read 15 Young Adult and Middle Grade standalone novels in 2014 released in the United States between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.


-YA/MG standalone novels. This means that the book can not have an announced (sometimes sequels happen unexpectedly) sequel, prequel, follow up, etc.
Here are some I'm interest in reading:
Geography of You and Me
 Just Like the Movies
We Were Liars
On the Fence
Open Road Summer
Maybe One Day
 No One Else Can Have You
Better Off Friends
Since You've Been Gone
At Your Service
Solving for Ex
Cruel Beauty
Don't Even Think About It
Here and Now

Monday, January 13, 2014

Contest: The Killing Woods

I just finished this book and really liked it. (Review coming soon)

By Lucy Christopher
On Sale January 7, 2014
About the book
Fatal attraction, primal fear, survival in the forest: From the author of the Printz Honor Book STOLEN, the highly anticipated thriller about deadly games played in the dark. 
Ashlee Parker is dead, and Emily Shepherd's dad is accused of the crime.
A former soldier suffering from PTSD, he emerges from the woods carrying the girl's broken body. "Gone," he says, then retreats into silence.
What really happened that wild night? Emily knows in her bones that her father is innocent -- isn't he? Before he's convicted, she's got to find out the truth. Does Damon Hilary, Ashlee's charismatic boyfriend, have the answers? Or is he only playing games with her -- the kinds of games that can kill?

The trailer

The Author Reads Chapter 1
The book site:

Prepare to enter THE KILLING WOODS. 
Two (2) winners receive:
·         A copy of The Killing Woods

Prizing courtesy of Scholastic
Giveaway open to US mailing addresses only,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Missing Dough

 * 6th Pizza Lovers Mystery*

Maddy's ex-husband comes into the pizza shop one day, looking for a fight. Maddy and Eleanor ask him to leave. Unfortunately the meet up with him again at the Founders Day Festival. After another incident - this time including their boyfriends, everyone walks away.

It's not long before Grant turns up dead. The Sheriff has a few questions for the four of them. As Maddy's boyfriend Bob argued with him and doesn't have a solid alibi, he immediately becomes the prime suspect. 

Maddy and Eleanor aren't about to let anything happen to Bob. Of course their going to work together to clear his name.
My Thoughts:  I really enjoy this small town series that always makes me crave pizza. I liked learning more about Maddy's past, even though it was sad. I love how the two sisters work together to help their friends and loved ones. As always, the victim had several enemies who wanted him dead. I love Art and can't wait to read more about his friendship with Eleanor. A fun addition to the series.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mini Review: Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Guys

The Good: I love the big glossy photos throughout the book. I love the mix of text, quote, tables, Q and A, polls, and traumaramas. I love how the book goes from flirting to finally being together or even breaking up. Lots of great info/advice.

The Bad: There's a whole section how sneaky ways to get what you want, that's just not my style, but it's a minor thing.

Overall Verdict: Really Cute. I would have poured over the book with my BFFs as a teen.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: Racing Savannah

Savannah and her dad just moved to a new horse farm in Hundred Oaks. It's fancier than the last place, which is good because her dad's girlfriend is pregnant. Savannah hopes to make some extra money exercising the horses, but first she has to get permission from the boss.

Jack's spending his senior year managing the farm under his father's direction. He's seen the way Savannah corralled Star, but he wants to test her on the track. Exercising horses previously doesn't mean she can handle thoroughbreds.

After winning the chance to work win the horses, will Savannah win Jack's heart next?
My Thoughts: I love the Hundred Oaks books. They have so many layers to them. While romance is the forefront of this book, it delves deep into family issues, social classes, friendships, and new beginnings. I love the secondary characters of Vanessa and Rory and I hope we get to see them again some day. I love Kenneally weaves favorite old characters into the stories. It's great hearing a little tidbit about them. Most of the time, I loved Jack. He had a few moments where I wanted to smack him, but Savannah took care of that. I loved how she set him straight. I loved her strength, her determination, and how she tried to help out her family. A fantastically perfect read, making this one of my favorite contemporary series.

Cover Thoughts: Cute and Charming
Source: My Library
Challenge: 2014 YA Contemporary Challenge

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 Contemporary Reading Challenge

Reading for: Level 3: 15+ books

Some of the Books I'm Excited to Read this Year:

Racing Savannah
Summer State of Mind
Isla and the Happily Ever After
To All The Boys I've Loved Before
On the Fence
Since Last Summer
 Biggest Flirts
Now and Forever
Art of Lainey
We Were Liars
Chapel Wars
Royally Lost
We Were Liars
What I Thought was True
Geography of You and Me
Last Best Kiss
Side Effects May Very
Don't Even Think About it

What's On My Holds List (71)

My Librarian friend Jess from I Read to Relax came up with a great idea.  It's to highlight the books on hold at the library. I usually have 20-40 items checked out at the library and another 20 items on hold.

Reading Resolutions - might has well start off the year right

Soap Craft: 31 Recipes for Creating Amazing Handmade Soaps
Soap Crafting: Nonfiction, which I need to read more of and this one looks great.

Foreplay (The Ivy Chronicles, #1)
Foreplay: I've read a couple YA books that would fall into the New Adult category, but nothing strictly NA and Sophie Jordan's book seems like a great way to start.

Peach Pies and Alibis (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery #2)
Peach Pies and Alibis: I'm participating in a cozy mystery challenge! I really enjoyed the first book in this series.