Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Real" Book Challenge August Recap

Real Book Challenge on Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare

Hey guys, I know, it's been awhile since there was a post but, man, summer just wiped me. But I'm back and I'm going to be getting back to regular updates. Starting with an update on the Real Book Challenge. I haven't posted any of the books I've read since my May recap, so here's the 'real' books I read in the months of June, July, and August:




Goal: 80
Total So Far: 41
Current Level: Real Book Hoarder

So, not a lot of books being read but now we're coming into fall so hopefully it will pick back up! I'm halfway to my goal though and I consider that a plus!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

ARC Review: Anya and the Shy Guy (Backstage Pass #4) by Suze Winegardner

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Entangled: Crush

It’s always the quiet ones…

Anya Anderson doesn’t just need a big break, she needs any break. Living on the streets doesn’t leave a girl many options, so when she scores a gig reporting on the Seconds to Juliet tour, she jumps at the chance to earn enough money to sleep somewhere safe. And the paycheck will get bigger—and keep her off the streets for good—if she can dig up dirt on Will Fray, the irritatingly hot “shy guy” of the band.

Problem is, Will Fray isn't who everyone thinks he is. In fact, he’s not Will at all. Matt, Will's identical twin, is actually the guy onstage, reluctantly covering for his brother while he’s in rehab. To make matters worse, Matt’s being shadowed by a cute reporter with troubled eyes determined to get the scoop. On him. And he's having trouble finding the willpower to keep his distance…

But if the secret gets out, it won't just be his head on a platter—it’ll be the whole band’s.

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains steamy make out scenes, graphic language, and a love story so hot your copy may spontaneously burst into flames. You’ve been warned.

 

Anya Anderson hasn't had the best life. She's been homeless since she was a kid, bouncing in and out of shelters just trying to survive. After publishing an article on homelessness, she gets a job touring with the hottest boy band in the industry. She has one job, follow Will Fray around and find out some interesting dirt. All she has to do is keep her own secrets and find out Will's. That turns out to be easier said than done.

Will Fray isn't...well, he isn't Will Fray. His name is Matt and he's Will's twin brother. Matt is covering for his twin while Will is in rehab. No one besides one other band member know this and the last thing Matt needs is some reporter poking around trying to find his deepest secrets. His goal: Keep Anya away from anything too personal.

This is the fourth in a series and the first one I've actually read. It was a fun read. There were qualities in each that I liked. Matt was loyal to his family and willing to sacrifice everything so that no one knew what his brother was going through. When he realizes that he's falling for Anya, his internal struggle to tell her the truth begins to wear on him. He was both endearing and frustrating. But with Anya being a reporter, you could tell why he was reluctant to be honest.

Then there was Anya. I liked her strength and her determination. She had a crappy life and saw a way out of it, even temporarily. When she starts developing feelings for Matt, who she still thinks is Will, she has to weigh out just how important selling secrets is to what she's feeling for Matt.

The book includes adorable dates and interactions between the two giving us time to watch their relationship grow.  The drama was predictable, but I don't think we read these types of books for the suspense. Ultimately, we know the ending. It's just the in-between parts that we're interested in. 


I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

ARC Review: Sweet (Contours of the Heart #3) by Tammara Webber

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: April 27, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
340 Pages

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:
Sweet.



From the moment Boyce pulls Pearl out of the water when he was seven, he’s only been sure of one thing: Pearl was the girl for him, but he could never have her. They were a part of two different worlds, but what no one knew was that that they shared a secret friendship that ran much deeper than either of them wanted to admit to the other.

Boyce Winn grew up in an abusive home. His mother left when he was little, leaving him with his older brother and drunk father. Boyce’s older brother tried to protect him as much as he could, even joining the army to make a better life for the two of them. Unfortunately, fate was never kind to Boyce and he loses his brother in action. When we meet Boyce in Sweet, he’s dealing with the loss of his father – or rather, the newfound freedom he has. His life is finally his own and he has it set up pretty sweet, that is until his mother shows back up.

Pearl Torres Frank grew up in a neighborhood close to Boyce with her single mother. But when her mother marries a local doctor, her life does a complete 180 and suddenly she has the life of privilege. Everything she’s ever wanted is at her fingertips. Coming home after graduating college, she’s set to attend medical school in the fall, if she would just pick a place to go. Problem is, that’s not what Pearl really wants to do.

Told in both the past and the present, we get to really see the relationship between these two over the years. And wow, what a history. How they even kept their friendship a secret is beyond me. The electricity that’s between them anytime they were together just explodes off of the page. Their chemistry undeniable. While Boyce helps Pearl discover that she can fight for control of her own life, she helps him come to terms with his past and to be open to the future.

While this is considered part of a series, you honestly don’t have to have read the first two to understand this story. Honestly, it took me about 1/3 of the book to realize the connection to the others because I was so invested in what I was reading. (It also made me want to go reread Breakable to see more of Boyce & because I honestly don’t really remember them from it.)

Tammara Webber is just one of those authors for whom I would drop anything to read. Her books have an easy balance of romance and drama, with some lighthearted moments that just make you swoon. If you haven’t read her work, I highly recommend that you jump on that real quick. 


 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: Anya and the Shy Guy (Backstage Pass #4) by Suze Winegardner

I am super excited to be joining Book Bound Tours on their release day book blitz of Anya and the Shy Guy by Suze Winegardner. This is the fourth book in the Backstage Pass series and the first one in the series that I'm reading (and currently loving it). 

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
 
Release Date: July 14, 2015 
Publisher: Entangled Crush

It's always the quiet ones...
 
Anya Anderson doesn't just need a big break, she needs any break. Living on the streets doesn't leave a girl many options, so when she scores a gig reporting on the Seconds to Juliet tour, she jumps at the chance to earn enough money to sleep somewhere safe. And the paycheck will get bigger - and keep her off the streets for good - if she can dig up dirt on Will Fray, the irritatingly hot "shy guy" of the band.

Problem is, Will Fray isn't who everyone thinks he is. In fact, he's not Will at all. Matt, Will's identical twin, is actually the guy onstage, reluctantly covering for his brother while he's in rehab. To make matters worse, Matt's being shadowed by a cute reporter with troubled eyes determined to get the scoop. On him. And he's having trouble finding the willpower to keep his distance...

But if the secret gets out, it won't just be his head on a platter - it'll be the whole band's.

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains steamy make out scenes, graphic language, and a love story so hot your copy may spontaneously burst into flames. You've been warned.
 




a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
______________________
Once again, thank you to Bound Book Tours and Suze Winegardner for allowing me to take part in this Book Blitz
http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com/ 
 
 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tasty Virtual Book Tour + Giveaway: Naked by Stacey Trombley

Hey guys, I so happy to be part of the Tasty Book Tours party for Naked by Stacey Trombley. This is the debut novel by Trombley and it had me intrigued strictly by the cover alone.You can find the rest of the tour stops here.


Naked

by Stacey Trombley
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
304 Pages
The best place to hide is in a lie...

I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much. I ran away to New York City...and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad.

Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don't have to be The Girl Who Went Bad.

The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York.

Someone knows who I really am.

And it's just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed...



 



a Rafflecopter giveaway


This was one book where the cover drew me in. It was so simple, yet so completely raw. I just had to know what this book was about. Naked tells the story of Anna Rodriguez- a girl who ran away from home at the age of thirteen only to become a prostitute in New York City after meeting up with a man named Luis. In her naivety, Anna looks to Luis as some sort of savior, even after he sells her to another man like she's some sort of good. When Anna is arrested, a caring social worker takes her back home and tries to help her readjust to "normal" life. But the problem is, there was a reason Anna left and that reason seems to still be there.

I know this isn't the first book of it's kind, but it was the first book that I read involving teenage prostitution. It was a very gritty world that Trombley constructed, half that we viewed in flashbacks and half that we viewed in real time. There was her past in New York and then her present as a high school student back at home. But unfortunately Anna's reentry into her life isn't as smooth as one would like. Among the lies and the rumors that follow her around, someone knows her secret.

Anna was a complex character and it was hard at times to really understand her. The author waited forever to tell us the reasons Anna ran away and what exactly happened to her. We got flashes throughout the book, but nothing concrete. It made it hard to sympathize with her when there were no explanations for her actions. Another thing that bothered me was the constant reminder that Luis "saved" her. Almost on every page we were reminded of this fact to the point that I really got tired of hearing about it. Her naivety was showcased throughout the entire book. Anna was extremely frustrating but considering that she was raised in an unloving household and then lived as a prostitute, it's no wonder her personality was a little off. 

Throw in a high school setting and it's Mean Girls all over again. Anna is the outcast who finds safety in other outcasts including an adorable nerd boy named Jackson. Jackson was the silver lining of this book, which wasn't shocking considering he was the silver lining for Anna. He rounded out her harsh edges and made her a warm character. The whole time you just wanted her to tell him the truth because you just knew it was going to come out at the worst time. 
There were other characters that helped make this book more than just angst - her other friends, the dog, her mom, even the social worker. All played pivotal parts in helping Anna come to terms with her past. Overall, an interesting read about a taboo topic.




Big thanks to Tasty Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this book tour!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book Review: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
401 Pages


Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.



Imagine a world where your status was defined by the color of your blood. I know what you're thinking, isn't all blood red? Well, no. In this world, there are the Reds and the Silvers. Reds are the workers, the poor, and seen as the lower class. Whereas, on the opposite spectrum, Silvers are seen as superior, rulers, and are more often than not, rich. And the Silvers also possess mutant like powers, allowing them to manipulate the elements around them. 

17 year old Mare Barrow is a Red. Even worse, she's about to turn 18 and has no job prospects which means upon coming of age, she will be shipped off to the war where most Reds end up dead. When her best friend gets word that he's about to be shipped off, Mare decides it's time to leave. A very good thief, Mare ends up pickpocketing the wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it) persons pocket one night and suddenly finds herself working in the King's palace as a maid. It is there, during the ceremony to find the Prince a bride, that Mare discovers something about herself - she's not quite the Red she thought she was.

Turns out Mare is special, not the first of her kind, but still very rare. Now, not really knowing who to trust, Mare turns to the rebel army in hopes of bringing equality to her country. There's action, love, betrayal, murder, and secrets everywhere. I never knew who to trust and just when I thought I figured it out, something else would happen and I'd have to rethink everything I thought I knew.
 
I really liked Mare as the protagonist. She knew that she was in a shitty situation, but she kept constantly trying to change that. For the most part, her instincts were dead on. The things she was fooled on, I was as well. And while there was a love story, it didn't overpower the main plot. 

Speaking of love story, this one kind of followed the cliched love triangle. There were two guys - princes actually - one she was betrothed to, the other saved her from her fate. Cal and Maven, brothers who are as alike as night and day. I know which one I want her with, but right now, I 'm a little concerned with where this story left off.

There were so many twists and add that to the magical quality and the cliff hanger ending and I just absolutely enjoyed this debut and cannot wait to see how everything plays out.


 
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