Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sinner - Review

Sinner

By: Maggie Stiefvater

Published: July 1st 2014 by Scholastic Press

368 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Werewolves

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreds | Amazon | Book Depository | Booksamillion.com )

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

Goodreads description--A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

MAGGIE IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!! *SIGH* At the beginning of Sinner was a letter from Maggie Stiefvater to the readers. She said, "I had a blast writing Sinner. It was a summer-hot, neon-pink, sand-blasted-kiss vacation from The Raven Cycle. It's also, despite the shape-shifting, the truest novel I've ever written." And boy do I agree. I struggled through The Raven Boys because everything that I loved about her writing seemed to be missing. Where The Dream Thieves was much better to me than The Raven Boys, Sinner makes me see how much of Maggie Stiefvater's writing that I fell in love with was still missing even from The Dream Thieves. And well guys, it's back! Maggie's back! And I loved it.

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, # 3) wraps things up for Sam and Grace, but Cole and Isabel felt very "unfinished." We pretty much leave off knowing that Isabel is moving to California with her mother, but Cole is staying put. And so their ending was left unresolved and open. I'm so thankful that Maggie Stiefvater returned to Cole and Isabel's story. Cole and Isabel weren't my main focus while reading the first three books, but there was such a strong presence about both characters.

Cole was the lead singer of a rock group. He got into substance abuse and basically hit rock bottom. While Cole is sober now, he still uses his wolf self as a means of temporary escape in order to deal with heavy emotions, especially when things don't go as planned. He comes to California at the beginning of the book for one main reason--Isabel. Of course being Cole, Isabel isn't the ONLY reason. Cole has a plan to be on a reality TV show known for turning the subjects into a train wreck. Cole's thought process is that he can use the show to record a new album without having to sign with a record label.

Isabel...oh Isabel! Jaded as all get out. Isabel is still reeling from the pain of her brother's death and the destruction of her parents' marriage. Isabel is just in pain all around. Yet she tries so hard to hold it all in all the time. To be put together. To show no emotion to those around her. She doesn't trust ANYONE. And Cole showing back up...well she can't trust him when he says that he's back for her.

These two are a train wreck together. And they're a train wreck apart. But you can't help but feel the pain they both experience. You can't help but root for them individually and as a couple. You just can't help but get sucked in. Being Cole and Isabel means that this whole ride isn't all sunshine, blue skies, and rainbows. Things get real and dark and sometimes ugly. But Isabel and Cole have a connection that they just haven't, and can't, share with anyone else. They know each other. And that's something that neither one of them can take for granted.

As I've said, Maggie Stiefvater's writing is right on with this book. I loved it. I was highlighting like every page. Sometimes multiple times on a page. I was so excited to have this side of her writing back. My favorite quotes:

-The truth was that fame was an inconsistent friend, never there when you needed it, ever-present when you needed some time away from it.

-...now I'd let myself think Isabel's name and there wasn't room for anything else.

-The others slithered and crawled to get her the tanks and the belt, unaware that in order to really get my look, you had to accessorize with death in the family and generalized heartbreak.

-"No, no, I'm looking for something very particular. Oh, wait, I just saw it."

-Here was the thing: I was in love with Cole. Or had been. Or was going to be. I couldn't tell the difference.

-What I wanted was: I wanted.

-"I'm asking if you want to take a manly stroll on the beach."

-"Here we have the glazed miniature chocolate bathroom cakes with a paraffin topping. These here are a duo of free-range eggs that are probably hard-boiled, or at least were wet for a long time. This here beside them is a furry, green egg."

-"I'd like to send a card to the flamingo who died to make your coat," Cole told me, "because it is doing a great job being apparel. I would like to put everything not covered by it in my mouth."

-His eyes said everything he hadn't. I wasn't sure my face hadn't been saying the same thing back to him.

-Imaginary creatures are always happy with other imaginary creatures.

-...nine or fifteen or twenty-two minutes...

-Internet: What do you want for your birthday?
Virtual Cole: to stay young forever
Cole texted me: Actually I want you

-...which made me wonder if I'd even said the never mind part out loud. I thought about it and I was pretty sure I remembered the action of forming the words.

-Did it matter if you'd changed if no one believed it?

-Fate was a lousy lay, and I was over her.

-"Take him!" I shouted gladly to the crowd. "He is one of yours!"

-I was so tired of being alone, but I was always alone, even with people around me. And I was so tired of being surrounded, but I was always surrounded, even when I was by myself.

-"I love L.A., but I broke her things. I don't think it's going to work out."

So many quotes, but seriously, I was so excited to have this version of Maggie Stiefvater's writing back that I couldn't stop highlighting.

Cole and Isabel's story isn't an easy one, but I fell in love with it. I want to discuss it for days and days and days, but I want you guys to experience it for yourselves. It's a quick read, and I have no doubt you'll get sucked in without much resistance. I dare you to try not to feel for these two characters who have been hurt so many times before. Sinner gets 4.5 Stars from me. Have you read Sinner? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting on Taking Control

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

Taking Control (Kerr Chronicles, # 2)

By: Jen Frederick

Expected Publication: September 16th 2014 by Pear Tree LLC

280 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads )

Goodreads description--A slip of a woman holds me in her hands. Every dream I had of revenge, the very juice that powered my engine from age fifteen to now, is swirling down the drain at our feet. I can deny her nothing. The only thing I fear is her flight. That she will wake up from her emotional fog and realize that I am a manipulative son of a [...] who is more trouble than he’s worth.

That I’ve bought my way into her heart and life.

That I’ll lie, steal, cheat, and kill anything that would take her from me.

If the very heart of you is threatened the only rational response is to strike back harder until your enemies quake at the very whisper of your name.

What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Ten Characters I'd Want With Me on a Deserted Island

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Fifteen Characters I'd Want With Me on a Deserted Island.

  1. Katniss (The Hunger Games)– Will need someone to hunt for me, right?
  2. Ismae, Sybella, and/or Annith (His Fair Assassin) – Assassins seem to be good for just about any kind of survival skill, right? Not exactly the same thing, but close.
  3. Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices) – Also capable of fighting off just about anything to might try to hurt us what with him being a demon hunter and all. Plus easy on the eyes and hilarious at the same time.
  4. Lisbeth Salander (Millennium) – Although she’s a bit socially awkward, I bet she could figure us a way off the island.
  5. Wolf (The Lunar Chronicles) – Also easy on the eyes and being able to wolf out might come in handy.
  6. Adrian (Vampire Academy/Bloodlines) Jasper (Twilight) – It was hard to consider putting Adrian on the list and not also list Dimitri, but I think Adrian’s Spirit might come in handy if we run into any natives that might need calming, but with Spirit’s added bonus of insanity, perhaps we’d be better off sticking with Jasper's mood altering abilities.
  7. Four (Divergent) – Considering he’s pretty fearless, it would probably be needed to have a member of my team who was willing to face down any challenge—let’s just hope our island isn’t really mountainous.
  8. Perry (Under the Never Sky) – Being used to living in wild helps, plus his double gift makes him one of the team for sure.
  9. Daemon (Lux) – Because we need someone rash enough to blaze the trails no one else wants to take. And his sarcasm will keep us all on our toes.
  10. Tarver (Starbound) – Being in the military and all, and surviving on a deserted planet gives him a one up on everyone else on our team.
  11. Ronan (The Raven Cycle) – Being able to dream things into existence could come in handy. We might need him to dream us a boat. Sounds like a plan to me.
  12. Noah (Mara Dyer) – Since I’ve already ruled out Adrian for his insane tendencies, we’d probably need a healer.
  13. Josh (The Sea of Tranquility) – His sweet carpentry skills could be useful in building our shelter and various other wood related needs.
  14. Remy (The Hollows) – Because no one can really be as lucky as she is and we probably need some of that luck to rub off on us.
  15. Katsa (Graceling) – Because having someone with the special skill of “survival” can only be a good thing.

So who would make your team if you could take any character with you to a deserted island? Let me know!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Easy - Review

Easy (Contours of the Heart, # 1)

By: Tammara Webber

Published: November 6th 2012 by Penguin Berkley (first published May 25th 2012)

336 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Library (Anniversary Present)

( 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--Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

I’ve had Easy on my TBR list for a while now. Everyone I’ve ever seen mention it would rave about how much they loved it, so reading Easy was a no-brainer for me. I’ve read Between the Lines by Tammara Webber, and I really enjoyed it. So when Husband told me he was buying me some books for our anniversary and Easy was on sale for under $4, I had to pick it up. And I’m so glad I did. Easy was the perfect book for the mood I’ve been in lately. And it’s extremely rare that I finish a book and immediately want to turn around and re-read it. I didn’t. But only because I have so many others that I need to get to. Easy will definitely be one that I come back to for a re-read in the future though.

Jacqueline was recently dumped by her longtime boyfriend of three years. He decided that he wanted to play the field a bit and not be tied down to one person. Jacqueline was heartbroken. Not just over losing Kennedy, but over losing everything that came along with their relationship—having a boyfriend, the friends that came along with him, not being alone, always having a date to the parties, going to school together, the future they had planned. She lost all of that. During her mourning period she missed about two weeks of school and while she’s normally a really good student, Jacqueline has found herself struggling with economics. Lucky for her, her professor is lenient with her, assigns her a project to do to make up her midterm grade that she missed, and gives her the contact information for a tutor who can help her get caught up in the class.

In the meantime, Jacqueline tries to carry on with life as usual. She goes out to a party trying to pretend like everything is normal. But it’s just not. So she leaves the party early to head back to her dorm. Instead she finds herself in a situation in which so many other women have found themselves. She’s being attacked with no real way to defend herself. Fortunate for her, this guy shows up and beats the crap out of her attacker. She doesn’t know the guy, but after that she sees him all over the place. He tried to talk her into going to the hospital or the police station to report what happened, but she refuses. This puts him in a situation where he’s the only person who knows about what happened—besides her attacker—and thus they’re bonded.

There’s much I feel like I can’t share about Easy because I don’t want to give too much away. This is a book that needs to be experienced. I don’t even feel like I can discuss the characters in too much detail without giving too much away, but I’ll try.

Jacqueline could be any girl out there. I felt what she felt. From the heartbreak of her breakup, to her fear from the attack, to her guilt and anger, etc. Everything. Just about every step she made I could see myself making. I loved her character, her story, her feelings. All of it.

Erin is a great best friend and sidekick. When she finds out what happened to Jacqueline, she immediately signs the two of them up for self-defense classes. I love that about her. She makes sure that she and Jacqueline will both be empowered. They will be able to handle themselves if a situation should arise again in the future. And she has Jacqueline’s back in all things.

Lucas has it all. Every aspect a girl could want in a guy just about. I thought when he showed up to rescue Jacqueline that he would be a bad boy, but that’s not exactly the case. He’s smart, he’s capable of handling himself in a fight, he’s not afraid of his feelings for Jacqueline. He’s talented—an artist. He has a past that has shaped him, and while he still holds onto that past, he’s used it to help himself and to help others. Loved me some Lucas.

Oh you guys...I'm telling you too much. I won't discuss any more the characters. Just read this book, okay? Okay!

Book 2, Breakable, is told from the leading male's POV. *I can’t tell from the book description if Breakable is intended to be a retelling of Easy but from the other POV or if Breakable takes place after the events of Easy. Either way, I know Breakable is a book I want to read. Tammara Webber’s flowing writing style makes her books easy picks for me, but I can tell that even if Breakable is a re-telling of Easy (something I’m getting a little tired of), it’s possible that Breakable might be another Losing Hope where it’s more emotional than the original book. The history of this story makes everything magnified. So either way, I’m in.

Easy was a quick read. I blew through it in a little over 24 hours. I was hooked emotionally. And I loved every minute of it. Easy gets 5 Stars from me. Have you read Easy? What did you think? Let me know!

*Since writing this review, I've read Breakable...and it is a retelling, but more. It also includes flashbacks from the past. Review of Breakable to come.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Post - 106 & Stacking the Shelves - 72

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.

I'm not sure how I did it guys, but somehow I managed to read 8 books in 8 days. Granted, one was a novella, and one was an audiobook. But still! My goodness! Yesterday my dad came over and he and Husband worked on finishing our laundry room. They're still not finished but at least we have sheet rock now. It's going to be really nice when it's finished. And I'm super thankful to my dad for helping us out. Oh and my nephew helped too.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite TV Shows
Wednesday: Waiting on Unleashed (Uninvited, # 2) by Sophie Jordan
Thursday: Review of Nash (Marked Men, # 4) by Jay Crownover (4 Stars)
Friday: Review of The Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie Omartian (3.5 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Easy (Contours of the Heart, # 1) by Tammara Webber
Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I'd Want With Me On a Deserted Island
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls, # 3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater
Friday: 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge - July Wrap Up

Don't forget to sign up for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge! Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with a BIG giveaway at the end of the year! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Jane's Harmony (Jane's Melody, # 2)

By: Ryan Winfield

Expected Publication: August 5th 2014 by Atria Books

352 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

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--Starting over is hard to do.

That’s what forty-year-old Jane McKinney learns when she quits her job, sells her home, and leaves Seattle behind to start a new life and pursue the man she loves in Austin. After the death of her daughter, Melody, Jane never thought she would find happiness again – until she met Caleb Cummings. Sensitive, loving, and mature beyond his years, Caleb is a handsome young musician struggling to make ends meet. But when his fortunes take an unexpected and drastic turn for the better, Jane is left wondering where exactly she fits in.

Can you ever leave the past behind? Jane must now decide if she really is willing to commit to a new beginning with Caleb – or if some wounds are just too deep to ever truly mend.

Sinner

By: Maggie Stiefvater

Published: July 1st 2014 by Scholastic Press

368 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Werewolves

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreds | Amazon | Book Depository | Booksamillion.com )

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

Goodreads description--A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

The Boys of Summer (Summer, # 1)

By: CJ Duggan

Published: December 17th 2012

321 pages

Genre: New Adult/Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (free deal)

( Goodreads | | 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 seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him... Toby Morrison.

Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.

To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.

How did she let her friends talk her into working?

After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.

All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.

It will be a summer she will always remember.

Warning: sexual references, and occasional coarse language.

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!