March 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (68)

Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Pub. Date: 5.3.16
From Andie had it all planned out. 
When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
Important internship? Check.
Amazing friends? Check.
Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.
Because here’s the thing - if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected. 
And where’s the fun in that?

March 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (67)

Title: The Raven King
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pub. Date: 4.26.16
From All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

Is there anyone who isn't waiting on this one?

March 17, 2016

The Serpent King - Jeff Zentner

Title: The Serpent King
Author: Jeff Zentner
Pages: 384
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads rating: 

About: Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.
He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.
Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

This is one of those times that I'm so thankful for the book blogging community because this is a book that I would have passed right on by.  Like, the cover is gorgeous, but wouldn't grab my eye by itself.  Same with the description.  I read this solely because of Jamie's post over at The Perpetual Page-Turner so a big thank you to her.

This book talks about life in a way that is so real you come away feeling like you actually know these characters in real life.  Dill, Lydia, and Travis are from a small town in the South.  And not the idyllic, porch-sitting, sweet tea drinking South.  More like the 'how am I ever going to get out of this town' South.  It's truly a bummer of a town and these three are your teenage misfits.  People at school make fun of them a lot.  Lydia's really good with the comebacks, Travis just lets it all roll off his back, but Dill's got it tough - his dad's in jail and his mom's not really supportive of him (and kind of blames him for his dad being gone.  SO shitty.)  He absorbs all of the shit that gets thrown his way.  He's also mega talented with the guitar.  He started playing for his dad's church, but now he's started writing secular music and it's really good.

I was immediately enamored with Lydia.  She's so cool - running a very successful vintage fashion blog called Dollywould (brilliant), she recognizes that this is not where she needs to be and is trying to go to school in New York.  Lydia has a few more advantages in life than Travis and Dill, being as her parents are pretty well off and very supportive of her and her dreams.  Dill's definitely in love with her, but she's determined to get out of their small-minded town and never look back.  One of the strengths of this book is that it recognizes that getting yourself out also means leaving behind, no matter how much you'd rather not.  Sometimes there's no other choice.

I love that Lydia wants more for Dill than he wants for himself.  It has to be so frustrating for her.  He has let this town and his parents box him in so far that he can't even see a way out.  I also love Lydia's assessment of Travis, that he is fine staying in town forever because he adventures in his imagination with his books.

I don't really want to go any deeper into plot stuff because you're going to want to let this story unfold on its own.  This book is struggles and loss and feeling trapped by circumstance.  It's also hope and perseverance and discovery.  It is everything everyone has said it is and more.  Please please please if you're on the fence about this one pick it up.  If it doesn't sound appealing to you, give it a chance anyway.  You won't be sorry.

March 16, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (66)

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Pub Date: 4.5.2016
From Just as Harper Price starts coming to terms with her role as David Stark's battle-ready Paladin, protector, and girlfriend—her world goes crazy all over again.  
 Overwhelmed by his Oracle powers, David flees Pine Grove and starts turning teenaged girls into Paladins—and these young ladies seem to think that Harper is the enemy David needs protecting from.  Ordinarily, Harper would be able to fight off any Paladin who comes her way, but her powers have been dwindling since David left town, which means her life is on the line yet again.  Now, it’s a desperate race for Harper to find and rescue David before she backslides from superhero to your garden-variety type-A belle.  New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings the fun once again in the finale of this pitch-perfect romantic paranormal comedy series.

March 15, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (96)

This week's topic is ten books on my Spring TBR.  The weather's starting to get warmer, the sun's setting later - Spring is definitely on its way and I'm glad.  Now, I kicked butt on my February TBR, so hopefully I can do just as well with this one!

1. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here - Anna Breslaw
2. Dreamers Often Lie - Jacqueline West
3. The Inside of Out - Jenn Marie Thorne
4. Underwater - Marisa Reichardt
5. The Haters - Jesse Andrews
6. The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) - Amy Spalding
7. Unhooked - Lisa Maxwell
8. Tell the Wind and Fire - Sarah Rees Brennan
9. Please Ignore Vera Dietz - A.S. King
10. The Rose & The Dagger - Renée Ahdieh

I'm kicking off my Spring with Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here.  What are you guys looking forward to reading this Spring?

March 9, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (65)

Author: Emery Lord
Pub Date: 4.5.2016
From Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.

March 3, 2016

Belles - Jen Calonita

Title: Belles
Author: Jen Calonita
Pages: 356
Publisher: Poppy
Source: Owned
Goodreads rating: 

About: Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls' lives forever. 

(Spoilers ahead)

I added Belles to my February TBR because I was looking for red and pink books to read and I'm super glad I did.  I get parents in all the time that look for YA on the younger side and this is the perfect book to recommend, I'm so happy that I (finally) read it.  Let's jump right in...

Izzie grew up in a poor beach community with her grandmother who had somewhat recently been diagnosed with alzheimer's.  Her mom died when she was ten and never told anyone who Izzie's father was, so when her grandmother started getting sick Izzie took on the role of caretaker.  Now, though, she's too sick for her to take care of on her own.  It turns out that grandma did some digging after her diagnosis and found a long lost uncle (lol ok) that was willing to take Izzie in.  He is hella rich (a Senator I think), has three kids of his own, and lives in a community that's super judge-y.  Izzie is thrown into this country club world where designer gowns are a necessity and there's some kind of event every other night.  This totally sounds familiar...

Yes!  Anyway, Izzie gets along really well with Hayden, her uncle's son.  Like, I almost feel like there should be romantic tension, but I also think they're probably actually half brother and sister.  Wait, I think maybe he was adopted so if her uncle does turn out to be her dad it will probably not be a problem.  Awesome.  Mira is Izzie's age and therefore cannot be friendly towards her because it would wreck her status with her heinous best friend Savannah.  I really liked Mira when she was not around Savannah.  She grew up privileged, but still wasn't able to do all the things she wanted to - she's into art, but needs to spend her free time doing things that look good for her dad's campaign.  Also, who has time to do art when you have to be at someone's beck and call every minute of the day?  Whenever Mira is around Savannah I want to smack some sense into her.  She loses most of her personality and becomes a yes-man or totally silent.

Savannah can't stand Izzie and basically leads the campaign against her: coming up with crazy hazing schemes when she makes the swim team, sabotaging Izzie's fundraiser, etc, etc.  Also, Izzie totally has a secret connection to Savannah's boyfriend Braydon from her old town which infuriates Savannah.  Mira's put in a tough spot - side with her horrible best friend or her new cousin, who has done literally nothing to deserve all the shitty treatment she's getting.

While I don't think the plot is really anything new, I found Belles to be a really enjoyable read.  The characters are really interesting and who doesn't love some southern charm?  There's a pretty predictable reveal at the end (he is her dad), but even though I guessed it early on it didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book at all.  I'm definitely planning on continuing with the series.

March 2, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (64)

Title: Tell the Wind and Fire
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Pub Date: 4.5.2016
About: In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. 

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

March 1, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (95)

This week's topic is books to read if you're in the mood for ______.  I'm a big TV fan, so I decided to take some of my favorite TV shows and pair them with books.

Badass ladies, regular kids, the supernatural, and inappropriate love interests.  These are all perfect for Buffy fans.

Veronica Mars approves of these witty heroines, high school mysteries, and hot hot love interests.

Once Upon a Time fans will get a kick out of these awesome retellings and re-imaginings. (Honk if you love Captain Hook, because that's the only reason I still even watch this show.)

I'm more of a (RW/RR) Challenge fan, but I think Real World aficionados will enjoy these picks about reality television.

Music!  Touring!  Drama!  These are sure fire winners for Nashville lovers.

Are you into any of these shows?  Have any more books that I should check out?  Let me know in the comments!