Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Authors I Need To Read More

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Authors I Need To Read More.

These are all situations that I’ve only read one published book authored by each listed. I need to read more, and I need to do so ASAP.

  1. Katja Millay - As far as I know, she doesn't have any other books upcoming. This makes me sad.
  2. Anne Eliot - Need to read Unmaking Hunter Kennedy
  3. Brent Crawford - Really want to see what Carter gets into next with Carter's Big Break.
  4. Alyssa Rose Ivy - I've got another one of her books, but I just haven't gotten around to picking it up yet.
  5. Priscilla Glenn - Emancipating Andie & Coming Home...I want to read them both
  6. Francine Rivers - I've had her Mark of the Lion series on my TBR list for a while.
  7. Chelsea M Cameron - I'd like to continue the series with Faster We Burn.
  8. Cath Crowley - A Little Wanting Song is the next Cath Crowley on my list.
  9. Kody Keplinger - Truthfully I don't have a specific Kody Keplinger book in queue, but I enjoyed The DUFF so much more than I expected.
  10. Lysa TerKuerst - I LOVED Made to Crave and I need to read more of her stuff. Almost anything is fair game.
  11. Vi Keeland - I really want to carry on with this series. Worth the Chance (book 2).
  12. GJ Walker-Smith - Another series I want to continue with book 2, Second Hearts.

I highly recommend checking them out. I need to read more by each myself. Have you read any of these authors? Let me know!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tristan: Finding Hope - Review

Tristan: Finding Hope (Nova, # 3.5)

By: Jessica Sorensen

Published: June 3rd 2014 by Forever Yours

72 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (freebie)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Tristan has always felt like a ghost. After a painful loss, he became all but invisible to his grieving family. So he dove headfirst into a dangerous life, sinking deeper until he felt he could disappear-and almost did. Though Tristan survived, staying on track is a 24/7 battle he’s not sure he wants to fight.

Then Tristan meets Avery, the girl with purple streaks in her hair and tattoos like secrets, waiting to be uncovered. Her smile is warm and inviting, but her sad, hazel eyes tell a different story. And the strangest part is-she can really see him. A girl like that might just keep Tristan out of the darkness . . . or pull him right back in.

Ok so Tristan: Finding Hope is a free novella that is a prequel to the upcoming last book (I think, as of now anyway) in the Nova series by Jessica Sorensen. I wasn’t sure that I was going to read this one when I found out that it was just a novella, but since it was free and all, I wanted to jump on it. Obviously since Wreck Me (book 4) in the series hasn’t been released yet, I don’t know how much of Tristain: Finding Hope is really necessary in order to just jump into Wreck Me, but having read this one, I don’t know how or why anyone would want to skip this novella. Again, it’s a freebie, but it shows how Tristan and Avery meet.

Despite being a short story (72 pages), Tristan: Finding Hope sets up a good bit of backstory that I imagine will really be helpful when it comes time to read Wreck Me. We already know from Nova and Quinton: No Regrets that Tristan still struggles with his drug addiction. Despite him having gotten clean first, Quinton has more reasons to maintain his sobriety than Tristin does. Tristan struggles daily with his decision to remain clean. He’s up and down. I imagine this is true for most addicts, but it isn’t always easy to read about. In the same way, we don’t know as much about Avery because she’s a new character to the series, but we know that the house Quinton and Tristan are building for Habitat for Humanity is for Avery. And we know that she’s struggled with addiction as well. And then finally we know that she has a potentially abusive ex-husband who’s apparently recently gotten out of jail and who Avery has a restraining order against. That’s a lot of setup.

This novella flew by for me. Of course, that helps when the last 48% is advertising for other books (a pet peeve of mine). Either way, I would recommend this one before you check out Wreck Me. Tristan: Finding Hope gets 3.5 Stars. That’s not because it was bad, but it’s because this book really is only setup for more to come. Have you read Tristan: Finding Hope? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Post - 114

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 went to jury duty on Monday. The whole process was pretty interesting. Thankfully, I didn't get picked for a case. The one they were considering me for was a capital murder case, and just from the information they gave us up-front, it didn't seem to be a cut and dry case. I'm thankful that I avoided such a heavy situation. I was able to read a good bit on Monday, which helped me finish up a review book. We kicked off a major technology transformation project at work on Friday. Friday, I also finished a book that tons of people have raved about. I enjoyed it. But I didn't love it as much as everyone else has. Don't you hate when that happens? Saturday, Husband and I went to Mobile to visit my grandparents (my grandfather's birthday was Saturday) and my aunt and uncle and some other family. I'm not officially on a book ban, but I have been being very selective lately which has resulted in this being the third week in a row that I haven't gotten any new books.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Rewind to You by Laura Johnston (3.5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition
Wednesday: Waiting on The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, # 6) by Richelle Mead
Thursday: Review of To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, # 1) by Jenny Han (4.5 Stars)
Friday: Review of I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher, # 1) by Ally Carter (3 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Tristan: Finding Hope (Nova, # 3.5) by Jessica Sorensen
Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I Need To Read More
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Breakable (Contours of the Heart, # 2) by Tammara Webber
Friday: Cover Doubles - # 1

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!

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!

Friday, September 12, 2014

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You - Review

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, # 1)

By: Ally Carter

Published: May 1st 2006 by Disney-Hyperion (first published April 1st 2006)

284 pages

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery

Source: Audiobook Sync Free Download

( 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--Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

I love when I go into an audiobook not expecting a lot. I find that low expectations really help me enjoy a book more. And that’s exactly what happened with I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. I ended up starting this book when I did because of the length. It was a fairly short book and I wanted something I could finish quickly. As it turns out, this book was really enjoyable and even kind of funny at times. I don’t know that I’ll have much to say about it though.

Cammie was a decent heroine. She’s like royalty at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women (aka spy school for girls). Everyone knows who she is both because her mother is head mistress and because everyone knows how her father died on a mission. She’s a great student and as far as spy stuff goes, she’s called “the Chameleon” because she blends into the background when she wants. She’s developed this skill over the years and she’s become used to being looked over, around, and through even if she is notorious. But when Josh, a local teen boy, actually sees Cammie she can’t get him out of her mind. Thus Cammie and her friends set out to investigate Josh to ensure he’s who he says he is.

Cammie’s cluelessness about boys and regular teenage life is exactly what pulled me in for this book. This is where the humor came in and was the best thing I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You had going for it. At one part I literally laughed out loud. I just wasn’t expecting to laugh out loud which made it all the more funny to me. I wish that humor was just a bit more present throughout though. That probably would have bumped it up another notch for me because I do love a book that can make me laugh out loud.

Josh was endearing. I loved the fact that where so many others passed Cammie by, Josh zeroed in on her. He saw her. And he was everything a first crush needs to be. At the same time, I really liked Cammie’s friends too, Liz and Bex. They rounded out the story nicely.

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You was an easy, lighthearted, and fun read listen for me. It wasn’t earth-shattering in any way. But if you’re looking for something light and fun that might even cause you to laugh out loud, then check this one out. It kind of reminded me of Carter Finally Gets It, but Carter was a bit more laugh-out-loud for me. I’m interested in checking out the other books in this series, but not to the point of hunting them down or “I have to read the next book immediately.” So we’ll just have to see what happens.

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You gets 3 Stars from me. Have you read I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You? What did you think? Let me know!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Review

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, # 1)

By: Jenny Han

Published: April 15th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

288 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library ($1.99 Amazon deal)

( 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--To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Rachel from Paper Cuts reviewed it and rated it highly. And it just so happened that Amazon had it on sale for $1.99 at the time so I snagged it. And it turned out to be the perfect read for me on my beach trip. I needed a quick, fun, contemporary read and this one fit my mood perfectly. I will say quickly that for some reason I was thinking our main character, Lara Jean, was older. I guess because the title indicates that there are multiple boys that Lara Jean has loved before which indicates a full life. Yet this is more of a crush kind of love—at least her earliest letters.

As the description says, Lara Jean hasn’t told any of the boys she’s had a crush on before that she’s actually liked them. She writes a letter to each one, seals it, and hides in in a hat box that her late mother gave her. One day this guy at school, Peter, comes up to her and confronts her about the letter he got in the mail. Which was amusing and awkward. Poor Lara Jean. I cannot imagine how embarrassed I would have been had I been her. And so she rushes home to find that none of the other letters are in her hat box either. As a matter of fact her hat box is missing. And while it would be embarrassing enough for all her past crushes to get a letter from her, what she’s really concerned about is her friend Josh. He’s actually her sister’s recent ex-boyfriend. They broke up right before she moved to Scotland to attend college. Lara Jean and Josh were friends before Josh ever started dating her sister, Margot. And Lara Jean kept her feelings about Josh to herself for the sake of her sister.

I really loved the way Jenny Han approached this book. Lara Jean has these feelings that she can’t ever act on. A guy that your sister dated, even if you had feelings for him first, is just off-limits. That’s part of the girl code. You wouldn’t date a guy that a friend dated under normal circumstances and that goes doubly for a guy that your sister dated. But Lara Jean wants to be Josh’s friend too so she has to find a way to make it back to normal with him. Peter comes up with the idea of doing a fake relationship with her. He can use her to make his ex-girlfriend Genevieve jealous and Lara Jean can use him to help her get things back to normal with Josh. I loved the relationship that Peter and Lara Jean had. There was no slight romantic tension between the two of them. They were both on a mission, but I loved how they slowly got to know each other and by default their relationship with each other changed. It felt a bit unoriginal, but in one of those ways that is done so well that I can’t find it in me to care that the idea isn’t completely original.

Not only was this book about a girl who’s dealing with past feelings and new, changing romantic feelings, but this book is also about a family. It’s about sisters. Margot, Lara Jean, and Kitty’s mother passed away several years ago. Their father is a doctor and works crazy shifts. Margot really stepped up to take responsibility for her younger sisters and to help her father out around the house. But now Margot is getting ready to move overseas to go to college. Lara Jean is going to miss her so much, but she also has to step up to the role that Margot’s been filling in order to help her father out and take care of Kitty. I loved seeing the relationships between this family. Their father isn’t as present as I would like, but it felt like he wanted to be. And I loved seeing Lara Jean in the middle of her two siblings. So we’ve got the relationship with an older sibling and the relationship with a younger sibling. And sisters no less. Considering I have a sister, this story was especially dear to me. This felt like the best sister relationship story that I’ve read—at least when it comes to being even remotely similar to my own sister relationship. There’s love and friendship, but there’s rivalry and fights as well.

My favorite quotes:

I’d hoped I wouldn’t cry, because I knew Margot wouldn’t, and it’s lonely to cry alone, but I can’t help it.

…it’s a lot of responsibility to hold a person’s heart in your hands.

If you were mine, I would never have broken up with you, not in a million years.

I want to be his lighthouse keeper while we wait for Margot’s return. But it’s hard. Harder than I thought.

To belong to someone—I didn’t know it, but now that I think about it, it seems like that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit. That’s why you can’t save it all up like that. Because by the time you finally see each other, you’re catching up only on the big things, because it’s too much bother to tell about the little things. But the little things are what make up life. … Now everything feels like you had to be there and oh never mind, I guess it’s not that funny.

Sisters are supposed to fight and make up, because they are sisters and sisters always find their way back to each other.

There’s a specific kind of fight you can only have with your sister. It’s the kind where you say things you can’t take back. You say them because you can’t help but say them, because you’re so angry it’s coming up your throat and out your eyes; you’re so angry you can’t see straight. All you see is blood.

Overall I was so impressed. Fair warning, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before ends off in a cliffhanger. It was one of those cliffhangers where I NEEDED to know what was going to happen next. Like immediately. Right this minute. If PS I Still Love You was available now I’d have bought it as soon as I reached the last sentence. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before gets 4.5 Stars from me. Have you read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? What did you think? Let me know!