Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Post - 146 & Stacking the Shelves - 104

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Another good week gone by. Tuesday was another dress down day at work. I always enjoy those. Friday, I had another ultrasound! I just love being able to see how much my little one has grown. I get to have another ultrasound in two weeks, and we MIGHT get to find out the gender then! I'm so excited to know one way or the other. Not much else to report here.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of 99 Days by Katie Cotugno (3 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten All-Time Favorite Authors
Wednesday: Waiting on Soundless by Richelle Mead
Thursday: Review of The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine (4 Stars)
Friday: Review of Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, # 1) by Susan Ee (4 Stars)
Saturday: 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: DNF Review of Invincible (Invincible, # 1) by Amy Reed
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Paradise City (Paradise, # 1) by CJ Duggan
Friday: April EOM Wrap Up
Saturday: Discussions Only We Know: How Outspoken Is Too Outspoken?

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2015 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Asa (Marked Men, # 6)

By: Jay Crownover

Published: April 21st 2015 by Harper Collins

416 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up

It's time for our fourth Monthly Wrap Up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since posting the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up, I finished two series enders: Ignite Me (Shatter Me, # 3) by Tahereh Mafi & Asa (Marked Men, # 6) by Jay Crownover. Holly didn't get any series enders finished this month.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the April giveaway runs from April 25th - May 25th. On May 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Angelfall - Review

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, # 1)

By: Susan Ee

Published: May 23rd 2013 by Hodder and Stoughton (first published May 21st 2011)

326 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Angels, Dystopian

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back...

Angelfall has been on my TBR list for years. Due to the release of End of Days, Angelfall and World After were both available for review through NetGalley, and I snatched them both up. And I’m so glad that I did. I hate that I didn’t get End of Days, but you know how that goes.

Angelfall starts out with Penryn, her sister Paige, and their mother. The world has been taken over by angels. The angels have caused a lot of destruction and a whole lot of death. So when Penryn & family witness an angel’s wings being cut off by some other angels, it surprises everyone that Penryn jumps in to save the angel. Really she’s hoping to cause a distraction so her mother and sister can escape. While Penryn is trying to save her family, Paige is trying to save Penryn which results in Paige getting kidnapped by one of the angels responsible for cutting the wings off the other angel. What happens is that Penryn ends up with this dying angel on her hands, her sister is kidnapped, and her mother is missing.

Angelfall reminded me a lot of Under the Never Sky. For one, Penryn and Raffe would consider themselves enemies—or at the very least, not on the same side at all. Yet, they end up on this journey together. Penryn is trying to find her sister, and Raffe needs to get his wings sewn back on. Enemies become unlikely, temporary allies. Having someone’s back on a journey because you need them for some task or end result leads into some gray territory. And when someone saves your life (multiple times), I imagine that you can’t help but form some kind of trust in them.

Raffe and Penryn run into a camp of resistors trying to organize the remaining human race into a unified attack against the angels. Raffe has to keep his angel identity a secret, but it’s hard not to root for this camp at the same time.

I loved the slow build to Penryn and Raffe’s relationship. Penryn isn’t sure where they stand for the majority of the book. They have this tenuous relationship. Trust isn’t solidified. And I loved it. The uncertainty of how the other person feels makes for one of my favorite story dynamics. Raffe knows what happens to angels who fall in love with humans, and even more than that, he’s witnessed what happens to the humans who fall in love with angels. So now you add forbidden to the potential romance mix. Raffe can’t let anything happen between them no matter what either of them thinks or feels.

Of course there’s more going on beyond the romance in the story. What’s happened to Paige? Is she still alive? And if she is, will she ever be the same? Why did another angel cut Raffe’s wings? And why are the angels the bad guys? Will the Resistance make any headway?

I will say that I don’t love the idea of angels being the enemy. There’s a difference between angels and demons and for an angel to be agnostic is just beyond incomprehensible for me. So I found that to be slightly annoying. And then similar to the direction of Supernatural, it seems like God is MIA. I realize that this is a fictional story, but I’ve been less and less tolerant to anything that feels irreverent to me lately.

Favorite quotes:

-Forget plans. I don't have enough information to formulate a plan. My instincts will have to do. And my instincts tell me that Raffe is mine.

-"My friends call me Wrath," says Raffe. "My enemies call me Please Have Mercy."

-I just want to be an ordinary girl living an ordinary life.

-It seems to be our fate to continually pass our debt back and forth.

Angelfall was such an enjoyable read for me. In the middle of the biggest reading slump I’ve experienced since I started blogging, Angelfall was a light in the dark. It was easy to get through and a quick finish for me. I enjoyed the slow build of Penryn and Raffe’s relationship and that they even still have much further to go. I enjoyed the other mysteries going on as well. I look forward to continuing the series and will be picking up World After as soon as possible. Angelfall gets 4 Stars. Have you read Angelfall? What did you think? Let me know!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Secrets of Attraction - Review

The Secrets of Attraction

By: Robin Constantine

Expected Publication: April 28th 2015 by Balzer + Bray

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down.

Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.

The Secrets of Attraction has just about everything I’m looking for in a young adult contemporary read. I feel like the description was a bit misleading even if pretty much everything it says is true. Isn’t it weird how the way facts are presents can change your perspective? Makes me worry about our justice system, but that’s a topic for a whole other corner of the internet.

Madison is a smart girl. She’s totally into art in an amazing way. Despite having a couple of mediums that she’s more interested in, I loved that Madison really looked at and picked up any opportunity she could to express herself through art. She’s done models, sketching, painting, graphics, hair, makeup, fashion, photography. I loved how passionate she was about her art. And as the description says she’s working to put together and expand her portfolio in order to get into a summer art program. She did have focus, but unlike the description, I wouldn’t say she has it all figured out. She’s actually a little on the confused and lost side of things. She has a boyfriend but she knows that her feelings aren't all-encompassing like she sees with her best friend Wren and her boyfriend Gray. And she has a close relationship with her mother but knows nothing about who or where her father is. I felt like a bit of her reluctance to commit came from her background with her mother and missing father.

Side note, Madison takes yoga classes and man if The Secrets of Attraction didn’t make me want to sign up to take classes myself.

Jesse is seriously everything you can want in a young adult leading male character. He’s in a rock band. He’s uber-talented. He plays guitar like only a natural can, and he even writes his own songs. He works a part-time job at a coffee shop. And he’s had his heartbroken. Jesse’s ex-girlfriend, Hannah, slept with his best friend and fellow bandmate, Duncan. Now Hannah & Duncan are an item and Jesse is trying to recover from the betrayal all around. But Jesse’s desire to get Hannah back in the beginning of this book really bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a story about forgiveness, and I really admire and praise when a character can rise above and offer that grace and mercy to someone else. But Hannah wasn’t seeking his forgiveness—only his acceptance. So how Jesse thought and felt about Hannah was sometimes hard for me to get behind.

Jesse and Madison have a slow building relationship. They both bring a bit of baggage to the table—but in real life, who doesn’t? I also liked how Madison doesn’t agonize over being away from Jesse for the summer. She still plans on doing her summer art program no matter what. I did find it a bit odd that there really wasn’t any thought put into what Jesse will be doing in the future. I guess he’s aiming for a band/music related future, but it was never specifically stated.

If I had to complain about one thing, I’d really have to tackle the slang modern-day speech. It wasn’t all the time or so much that I just had to roll my eyes, but there were a few times when it bugged me. This was just something I mentally noted and moved on. Oh and Madison’s mom was really annoying to me. Her reasons behind her actions were NOT justified. She felt almost more immature to me than Madison did. I don’t want to say too much around that because I don’t want to spoil anything.

Favorite quotes:

-Money. The Grim Reaper of dreams.

-“Have to see a girl about a logo.”

-“I feel so small—like when I’m sitting here and looking up, I realize that nothing is ever still, those stars are constantly imploding and dying and new ones are born, and we’re on some spinning hunk of rock in the middle of the galaxy and when you look at it that way, […], you realize how insignificant we really are, and it’s scary, but then you wonder, how can we be alone? It’s pure arrogance to think we’re all alone in the universe, and it’s a nice thought—the not being alone” {I realize he’s talking about aliens, but I related this to God.} … “Well, when I’m playing…when I close my eyes, it’s like for a split second, just a sip of time, I understand stuff and I’m part of everything. And I know there’s something more—can physically feel connected to it, can feel it going through me. So that’s it, that’s where I go…”

The Secrets of Attraction was more than I was expecting. It was more than I was hoping for. I didn’t want to put it down and thankfully I was in a place where I could keep reading. I had no major issues. The Secrets of Attractions gets 4 Stars from me. I obviously missed the “Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing” from the description, and now I want to go back and read that. Have you read The Secrets of Attraction? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting on Soundless

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Soundless

By: Richelle Mead

Expected Publication: November 17th 2015 by Razorbill

368 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Myhtology

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

I love Richelle Mead. She's one of my favorite authors, and she's definitely on my auto-read list. I've got check this one out. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!