Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Can't Wait for Listen to Your Heart

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Listen to Your Heart

By: Kasie West

Expected Publication: May 29th 2018 by Point

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description--Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.

Kasie West is an auto author for me. I just love her books. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Uninvited - Review

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

By: Lysa TerKeurst

Publication: August 9th 2016 by Thomas Nelson

240 pages

Genre: Non-fiction

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--The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.

In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.

With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:

Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt. Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence. Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging. Stop feeling left out and start believing that "set apart" does not mean "set aside." End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.

I really enjoyed Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst so when I saw that she had a new book coming out I was excited to check it out. Yet when I read the title and description, I felt like maybe this book wasn't exactly for me. See, I don't tend to get my feelings hurt when others don't invite me to specific events and while I definitely have my struggles, I'm pretty comfortable with who I am and don't feel like I need the approval of others to make me feel valuable. But then I saw it on NetGalley and thought it would be a good one for me to review. And I'm glad that even though I wasn't initially approved, the publisher changed their minds and let me review this one because it was about so much more than not being invited to places or events with others.

The truth is that we have all been rejected in one way or other in various aspects of our lives. Maybe it was a relationship that didn't last, or one that never started, or a job that you didn't get, or a parent that left, or any number of rejections. Lysa shares her personal rejections in the areas of a relationship she once thought would be her forever, a friendship that ended, her father who left, and ministry opportunities that didn't pan out. Her own personal vulnerability in sharing her struggles and her heart helps the reader understand that they are not alone with their own rejections. Ms. TerKeurst's writing style is as easy to read as her stories are relate-able. I highlighted a ton from her wording and her message.

Favorite quotes:

-In the quiet of an early morning, honesty finds me. It calls to me through a crack in my soul and invites the real me to come out, come out, wherever you are.

-As long as I suspect that honesty's intention is to expose me and hurt me, it will always feel like a dangerous thing.

-Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what's been said to me.

-Things of this world all eventually reveal what incapable anchors they really are.

-I couldn't keep my old broken beliefs, nail a little Jesus truth to the side, and expect stability.

-We must tie our identities to our unchanging, unflinching, unyielding, undeniably good, and unquestionably loving God.

-...when we go to the truth instead of our feelings for the answer to this question, we can understand God's goodness in a whole new light.

-What consumes my thinking will be the making or the breaking of my identity.

-"God, I want Your truth to be the loudest voice in my life. Correct me. Comfort me. Come closer still. And I will trust. God, You are good at being God."

Truthfully I highlighted so much that I wish I could share them all with you, but I had to cut them off somewhere.

All of this to say that Uninvited was so much more than I first assumed it would be based off the title. Lysa TerKeurst writes in a way that is beautiful at times, moving, and certainly relate-able to all. I'd highly recommend Uninvited to all women (and men too really). I love how she approached the questions "Is God good? Is God good to me? And is God good at being God?" Uninvited gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Uninvited? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Post - 12/10/17

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.

You guys I can barely remember this past week. I feel like there was a lot going on, yet I know I didn't really go anywhere until Thursday. On Thursday we had family pictures made. This was really to get 2 year old pictures for Little Girl and 1 month (really 5 week) pictures for Baby Boy. Baby Boy was fussy almost the whole time, yet we still got some good pictures. Friday Little Girl spent the day with her grandmother while I took Baby Boy to his 1 month doctor checkup. He was diagnosed with reflux and put on a prescription for that. I pray that'll make a big difference for him. He also has an umbilical hernia, but apparently those are fairly common and not a concern. He's gaining weight great and is up to 11 pounds 6 ounces already. Friday it also snowed. I realize for much of the world this isn't a big deal, but being here in central Alabama this happens only every few years. Beyond that it was actually cold enough to stick and since it snowed all through the night Friday night we woke up Saturday morning to a winter wonderland. (Or fall wonderland since it isn't officially winter yet.) Saturday we didn't get to play in the snow though because we had to travel north to an annual family reunion. No new books this week.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Bright Side (Bright Side, # 1) by Kim Holden (4.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Brave (Contours of the Heart, # 4) by Tammara Webber

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 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!

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!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Can't Wait for Brave

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Brave (Contours of the Heart, # 4)

By: Tammara Webber

Expected Publication: December 19th 2017

300 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--Courage means rising up to defend your beliefs... or daring to question them.

Erin McIntyre was captivating, but forbidden
His professional subordinate
The embodiment of unearned privilege
The daughter of his sworn enemy

Isaac Maat was impossible to read
Smart, ambitious, and emotionally detached
Hotter than anyone's boss should ever be
And definitely hiding something...

He told himself that getting to know her would help him take down her father.
She told herself that getting under his skin would distract her wrecked heart from its misery.

Neither predicted their private war would lead to an intimate battle in which the victor would be the first one to SURRENDER.

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

Monday, December 4, 2017

Bright Side - Review

Bight Side (Bright Side, # 1)

By: Kim Holden

Published: July 4th 2014 by Do Epic LLC

423 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--Secrets.
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you ...
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

I'm not sure why, but the last three out of four books I've read have involved a very similar topic. I haven't sought it out. This has actually been quite random as one was recently recommended to me just as a really good read, one was recommended several months ago and just happened to go on sale recently, and the other was one I received for review. I didn't know anything about the two that were recommended to me, and only read the book description for the other before requesting it for review. Yet each book has been a good bit different from the others. I'll just focus on Bright Side for this review, but I had to mention the coincidence.

As the description says, Kate is extremely optimistic. This is a choice she's made and continually makes to live and think this way. She could easily be negative or pessimistic considering the things that she's been through in her life. Yet she isn't. And this was by far my favorite character trait that she possesses. It takes an incredible individual to choose to see the bright side of every situation they're faced with. So many times characters, and people, just whine and complain and portray themselves as victims. But Kate chooses not to do this.

Kate is also loyal and kind. Because of the difficult things that she's been through and endured she understands how much it means when someone is there for you through your worst days. And how much of a difference it makes when you reach out to someone else, be it to offer them a kind word, take them on as a friend, or to simply sit by them when they make the toughest decisions of their lives.

Yet Kate, and Bright Side, touch on a few subjects that I don't personally support. Despite that, I still fell in love with this story. One of my biggest frustrations with Bright Side was the amount of language. There are f-bombs all over the place. I mean it was really quite ridiculous and this caused me to put the book down rather frequently while reading the first half.

The other characters are vivid as well. Keller and Gus...boy it wasn't always easy to choose between the two. I expected (because I didn't read the description of this book before picking it up), that Kate and Gus would work things out and move past their friendship and into a relationship. Yet when Keller enters the story, I could easily see that Gus wasn't likely to win Kate's heart. Yet Gus still remained my favorite character besides Kate due to his intense friendship with her. Clayton, Peter, Shelly, Duncan, and Stella round out the main cast of side characters. Each added a necessary component to who Kate really was.

I should also mention that Kate doesn't claim to be religious, yet she frequently talked to God throughout the book. Characters that actually believe in God enough to talk to Him are incredibly rare in mainstream young adult and new adult literature. At least that I've found. (Excluding the Christian genre.) I appreciated Kate's relationship with God and this being included throughout the book even if I wish Kate took this relationship a bit further. Either way, thank you Kim Holden for not portraying God in a negative light, and for not having Kate resent Him for the things she's experienced in her life.

Favorite quotes:

-A person knowingly doing harm to his or her body is a pet peeve of mine. A lot of people would give anything for a healthy body. Your body is a temple.

-The happiness, the thoughtfulness, the humor was part of her, but it was also deliberate, a conscious choice.

Bright Side wasn't a perfect read for me as I struggled with the language, and a few side stories don't fit my personal reading preferences. However, this story broke me down. I cried FIVE (let me say that again....FIVE) times while reading this book. Granted, I'm sure a bit of that relates to pregnancy hormones. Plus every time I got to a scene that made me cry, I'd put the book down and come back after I'd composed myself...only to find myself in tears once again. I loved Kate's attitude and her tendency to talk to God. Bright Side gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Bright Side? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 12/3/17

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.

Obviously I've been on a blogging break for the month of November. Much needed. And truthfully, it would have been impossible to have blogged during this past month. I did manage to read two books while nursing which is more than I expected.

THIS PAST WEEK:

You guys...I'm exhausted. You so forget the true amount of sleep deprivation and cluelessness involved with having a newborn. Baby Boy has some gas and reflux issues which make him uncomfortable a large portion of the time. Lying flat on their backs is the recommended safe sleeping position, but for someone with reflux this is the worst position so Husband and I have gotten little sleep with holding him large portions of the night. Of course this doesn't stop Little Girl from being wide open when she's awake. We go back to the doctor on Friday so I pray we can get some plan together to help Baby Boy not be in pain.

Saturday: Discussions Only We Know: Spoilers

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Bright Side (Bright Side, # 1) by Kim Holden
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 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.

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

By: Lysa TerKeurst

Expected Publication: August 9th 2016 by Thomas Nelson

240 pages

Genre: Non-fiction

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--The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.

In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.

With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:

Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt. Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence. Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging. Stop feeling left out and start believing that "set apart" does not mean "set aside." End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, # 1)

By: Alwyn Hamilton

Publication: March 8th 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers

314 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic

Source: Borrowed from the e-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--She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him... or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands, # 2)

By: Alwyn Hamilton

Publication: March 7th 2017 by Viking

518 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic

Source: Borrowed from the e-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--Rebel by chance. Traitor by choice.

Gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about Djinn and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

Keep Her Safe

By: KA Tucker

Expected Publication: January 2nd 2018 by Atria Books

448 pages

Genre: Adult, Romance, Suspense

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--Making a Murderer meets Scandal in this story of police corruption, family secrets, and illicit affairs from bestselling author K.A. Tucker, celebrated for her “propulsive plot twists and searing seduction” (USA TODAY).

Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that's been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family's life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.

Gracie Richards wasn't born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it's all she knows anymore. At least here people don't care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive...until a man who clearly doesn't belong shows up on her doorstep.

Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department's dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.

Complex, gritty, sexy, and thrilling, Keep Her Safe solidifies K.A. Tucker's reputation as one of today's most talented new voices in romantic suspense.

Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose

By: Sadie Robertson

Expected Publication: February 6th 2018 by Thomas Nelson

224 pages

Genre: Self-Help

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--Sadie Robertson, bestselling author and star of Dancing with the Stars, has an important message for her generation: you don’t have to be held back by fear, anxiety, or loneliness anymore. In Live Fearless, Sadie takes you on a thrilling personal journey toward power, passion, and purpose as you live at the center of who God created you to be!

Dear friends,

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of the struggle. You know which one I mean—fear, loneliness, not knowing who I am or what I’m meant to do. . . . Sound familiar?

I struggled with insecurity, comparison, and isolation for too many years, from thigh gaps to eyebrows to the lifestyles I felt I had to live up to. I was so afraid of being “found out,” that everyone in my life would somehow figure out that I was fearful and small and that I struggled to make my faith a reality and to be secure in who I am. It took a major perspective shift from staring at comments on a screen to really digging into the pages of my Bible to see what God actually says about overcoming fear.

Setting aside the fear, anxiety, and comparison to become the joy-filled person God created you to be is exactly what God is inviting you into. To really be seen and known. To be an agent of change by choosing compassion, connection, and acceptance for everyone you come in contact with. Inside this book are ways to find your power, passion, and purpose—and reach for your dreams. Plus, there are places to jot down notes, fun lists, practical ways to make changes, and thoughts on how living fearless can change everything.

Are you tired of the awful comparison game? Are you exhausted from trying to keep up, from feeling small and afraid that people will find the real you and be disappointed? There is so much more for you. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your fears are, freedom is available to you. It’s just a matter of saying yes. You in?

Hope you’ll join me on this wild adventure as we learn to Live Fearless together.

Love,

Sadie

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, December 2, 2017

Discussions Only We Know: Spoilers

Discussions Only We Know

Spoilers

I had a cousin (who has since passed away from cancer) who was a 4th grade school teacher. She loved to read. And it surprised me that she and I enjoyed several of the same books and genres. She had this practice of reading the last few pages of a book before the beginning. I'm sure you know of someone who might do the same.

At the time I couldn't believe that she would do this. How could she "ruin" the entire reading experience by knowing how things would end before she ever knew how they began? How could this possibly be a satisfying reading experience? Didn't she know that the journey was often times the point? And that the build-up was only worth it if you experienced the book as it was meant to be experienced? This entire concept blew my mind, and I thought to myself that I could never go about reading in this way.

Another thing that blew my mind was seeing other readers discuss how they would put off a series ender out of fear that things would not turn out how they wanted. Aonther concept that I just couldn't wrap my mind around. I would go to my local Books-a-Million on release day so that I could be one of the first to read that finale and devour it as soon as possible. Who could possibly stress out over a fictional book to the point of anxiety and putting off the conclusion that you'd been anticipating often times for a year?

And then it happened to me.

Both of these things.

I found myself reading some finales that were such disappointments. How could X character die? How could A character possibly choose B character over character C? How could the author possibly leave Y plotline open? And so the anxiety began to build. Perhaps book 2 in the series had fallen significantly short of the quality and enjoyment from book 1? Which direction would the author take the finale? Would we recover? Or would I ultimately feel as if the entire series had been a waste of time?

The seed of distrust had been planted and would only thrive and grow.

Over time and several book slumps where I just couldn't figure out what my reading problem was... which book would break me out of my slump? What was causing my feelings of apathy? I began to feel as if I could only know whether a book would be worth the read before I began it then I could commit to reading it. Or if I only knew how things were going to end before beginning then I could avoid disappointment. So I began to wonder if I should either give my cousin's method of reading the last few pages a try or possibly search the internet for spoilers.

I haven't yet done either even though there have been times when tv's temptation was truly difficult. In the two cases I can think of where I didn't look ahead despite a strong desire to I ended up being glad that I didn't.

What do you guys think? Do any of you stress over series enders or whether you're going to enjoy each book you pick up? Do you look ahead at all? Or seek out spoilers? Do you feel as if not experiencing a story the way they author intended is ruining it? Or does that matter? I'm truly curious. Where one time in my life I would never have thought I'd even consider this, but now I can't say that I'll never look ahead or never seek out spoilers. What do you guys think? Let me know.

Friday, December 1, 2017

November 2017 EOM Wrap Up

A Word About November:
I'm trying to settle into my new normal with being a mother of two and adjusting to a new baby. Knowing that Asher would be arriving in October, I scheduled myself a blogging break for the entire month of November. Unlike when Ever was born, I didn't have any reviews scheduled for the month. I really just wanted to use this time to enjoy my brand new baby. And truthfully blogging this month would NOT have been possible. I've got a gassy newborn that doesn't like to be put down and a potty training two year old who is so active I wish I had a fraction of her energy. I hope you all understand. When Ever was born, I found that my reading time took a significant hit and blogging became a lot more "by the seat of my pants" than I'm used to. I'm truly surprised that I've read any at all this past month. Obviously, these two are my priority. I do have December almost completely scheduled already so I'll definitely return to posting regularly then even if I'm still not able to visit others and comment as much as I'd like. I hope you all had a great November and Happy Thanksgiving (for the US).

I have read 2 books this month (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, # 1) by Alwyn Hamilton
Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Only Post This Month:
2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - November Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm 3 days behind on my Bible reading plan.
I've read 61 out of 52 books.
I've read 8 out of 10-12 series enders.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - November Wrap Up

Time for our eleventh Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the October Wrap Up, neither Holly nor Sandy have finished any series enders.

Announcements/Reminders:

  1. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
  2. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Again, we want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Holly and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.

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 November giveaway runs from November 25th - December 23rd. On December 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October 2017 EOM Wrap Up

October involved my annual All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books. With Asher's arrival this month, reading and blogging took a little back seat. Thankfully I had reviews scheduled ahead for the entire month, but I'm behind on responding to comments. I hope you guys understand. I hope everyone had a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I have read 4 books this month (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
This Heart of Mine by CC Hunter
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi

I have reviewed 5 books this month. *These qualify for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
*The Raven King (The Raven King, # 4) by Maggie Stiefvater
The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, # 1) by Amy Harmon
Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 2) by Sarah J Maas

Other Posts:
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/1/17
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/8/17
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/15/17
Sunday Post - 10/22/17
Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/27/17
Top Ten New Book Boyfriends
Top Ten Autumn Book Covers
Top Ten Unique Book Titles
Can't Wait for The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
Can't Wait for This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi
Can't Wait for This Heart of Mine by CC Hunter
Can't Wait for Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray
2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm like 15 days AHEAD on my Bible reading plan.
I've read 59 out of 52 books.
I've read 8 out of 10-12 series enders.

A Word About November:
I'm trying to settle into my new normal with being a mother of two and adjusting to a new baby. Knowing that Asher would be arriving in October, I scheduled myself a blogging break for the entire month of November. Unlike when Ever was born, I don't have any reviews scheduled for the month. I also don't plan to be active with responding to comments or visiting other blogs. I really just want to use this time to enjoy my brand new baby. I hope you all understand. When Ever was born, I found that my reading time took a significant hit and blogging became a lot more "by the seat of my pants" than I'm used to. I feel sure that will be the same and maybe even worse now that I've got two littles to look after. But obviously, these two are my priority. Don't worry, I have December almost completely scheduled already so I'll definitely return to posting regularly then even if I'm still not able to visit others and comment as much as I'd like. I hope you all have a great November and Happy Thanksgiving (for the US).

Monday, October 30, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 2)

By: Sarah J Maas

Published: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

626 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Fae, Faeries

Source: Borrowed from Holly

( 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--Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

So first things first...what a rollercoaster! At the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses Feyre kills two innocent faeries in order to save Tamlin's life. But it goes beyond saving his life. The death of these two fae allowed Feyre to break the curse that Amarantha put on all of Prythian. However, Feyre's really in a dark place because she murdered these two faeries. She's depressed, doesn't feel worthy of having survived or the gift of new, immortal life that she's been given. And I expected from the end of that book that Tamlin might not be the person to help her overcome this place of darkness. So I expected it, but Lacy and Holly also warned me that the first 30ish% of A Court of Mist and Fury would be a struggle to read just as Feyre's struggling to live it. And it was. Or at least the first 25% was for me.

I said "rollercoaster," right? Here's how things went. I was rolling my eyes in the beginning. Drudging through bit by bit. Falling asleep from pregnancy exhaustion and a lack of interest in Feyre's struggles. Then Rhysand calls in his bargain with Feyre and pulls her to the Night Court for a week and I started to feel hope that he might be exactly what Feyre needs to snap out of her darkness. Tamlin does something stupid, and I was back to rolling my eyes. Feyre makes some choices that slow begin to pull her out of her depression and darkness and the seed of hope began again. Of course this part was something that I'd predicted to Holly and Lacy, but I won't state here to prevent spoilers. I was almost scared to hope for what I predicted though so I lived on in a state of anxiousness in this area until about 65-70%. In the meantime, Feyre and gang began to formulate a plan against the bigger bad (bigger than Amarantha),Getting to the 70-80% mark I was feeling all the feels of romance and love and swooning. But of course, we still have 20-30% left so we can't get too comfortable. Bad things must happen and anxiousness sets in again. Sure enough we find ourselves in quite an unfortunate situation where I was a little frustrated and miffed that the characters didn't see this coming. Then outrage over the stupidity of a once beloved character who will have a hard time redeeming themselves if that's even possible. And then furiousness that the book was approaching such a rapid close with the possibility of such a negative cliffhanger approaching. Or not necessarily cliffhanger, but just really negative circumstances for our characters. And then Sarah J Maas swoops in and gives me a bit of relief even if I'm not completely happy with where the book comes to a close. ROLLER. COASTER.

Now I realize that all of that was extremely vague and probably didn't quite help you out if you were having a hard time deciding if you want to read this book/series or not. Well let me just tell...YOU DO! You definitely do want to read this book and this series. Sarah J Maas put a whole new level to every piece of the puzzle being linked and having a double meaning. I mean with my experience through her Throne of Glass series, I knew that she was capable of this, but her storytelling abilities in A Court of Mist and Fury went beyond, beyond, beyond anything I imagined.

As always, the secondary characters are rich and complex and colorful. I look forward so much to the added layers of story that each character (and perhaps a few new couples) might add to the next book/spin off.

I was snapping pictures galore (since I was reading this one on Holly's kindle) of sections that I thought were foreshadowing (one passage I didn't even realize was foreshadowing, but turned out to be major), witty one-liners, heated passages, words that made me swoon. Here are some of my favorite, non-spoiler quotes:

-"There have to be at least a dozen other hunters more experienced and skilled--" "Maybe there are. But you're the only one I trust."

-"You can be a pawn, be someone's reward, and spend the rest of your immortal life bowing and scraping and pretending you're less than him, than..., than any of us. If you want to pick that road, then fine. A shame, but it's your choices."

-"...I'll always make time for you."

-"I love my people and my family. Do not think I wouldn't become a monster to keep them protected."

-"So I followed the bond home."

-"Because you were breaking. And I couldn't find another way to save you."

-"To the stars who listen--and the dreams that are answered."

Oh I had many more quotes but they revealed just a bit too much.

I should have mentioned this in my review of A Court of Thorns and Roses but I do find myself annoyed with the names of people and places that I'm utterly unsure how to pronounce. I like unique, but give me some heads up on how to pronounce them so I'm not either mispronouncing them the entire time, skipping them entirely, or having to stop each time I come to the words to sound them out. The first book did have a pronunciation list at the END of the kindle edition that I read. This would have been better up front. But this book didn't have one at all as far as I recall and there were a few new names/places that could have used some explanation.

Language and sexually descriptive scenes place this series beyond young adult.

Sarah J Maas is a master craftsman when it comes to storytelling. I'll be checking out her future books for sure, and I can't wait to see how this series wraps up. I know there is likely frustration, swoon-worthy moments, and many twists to come. I debated giving A Court of Mist and Fury 4.5 Stars because of the slow beginning, but realized that such a beginning was utterly necessary to the overall story and to the transformation of Feyre's character that A Court of Mist and Fury can only deserve 5 Stars. Have you read A Court of Mist and Fury? What did you think? Let me know!

And because I can't resist discussing this, highlight for spoilers: Sarah J Maas is one of the few authors who has successfully had me jumping ship (relationships that is)...MORE THAN ONCE. After her mastery in this area in the Throne of Glass series, I was prepared for it in this one and actually specifically predicted this very thing to Lacy and Holly. However, to see it play out was masterfully done. And the moment where Rhys reveals all to Feyre from the beginning...before they even met up until that very moment...it was perfection. The slow process of Feyre's personal changes mixed with the inch by inch of Rhys revealing himself to her in just the right amounts and pieces leading to an epically deep bond and love between the two of them. THESE ARE THE LOVE STORIES THAT I LOVE TO READ ABOUT! Obviously there's physical attraction and flirting between the two from the very beginning, but the substance and foundation of their relationship goes so far beyond the physical. And the physical is magnified between them because of their deep emotional and soulful connection.

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/29/17

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.

This week has been a whirlwind. Monday I decided to do my grocery shopping early. Little Girl has not had the best week with potty training. It's almost like she knows her world is about to get turned upside down. She's also definitely hit the 2 year old "no" phase. And that's not the most fun. My mom went to get a 2nd opinion on her thumb and this doctor confirmed that she'll need to have it amputated. That will happen this coming week likely. I hate it so much for her as it is her dominant hand and she's big into sewing. She'll learn to adjust I'm sure, but it's going to take quite some time. Wednesday Husband and his mom took Little Girl to the fall festival at his mom's church. I wanted to go, but I just couldn't stand and walk around for that length of time. Thursday Little Girl and I went to spend the day with my mom. I also had my last doctor's appointment for Baby Boy and went by the hospital to pre-register. C-section is scheduled for 6:30 am tomorrow. Wish us well. That being said, I've got some more detailed info coming in my October Wrap Up to post on Wednesday, but I do plan to take a blogging break the entire month of November. I'll get back with you guys in December! Happy Halloween and a happy early Thanksgiving to you all!

My annual "All Things Halloween" event ends Monday. This is my month-long event where I feature reviews from Halloween-y genres (fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, sci-fi, horror, mystery, thriller, and suspense). Over the last few years I've had mostly fantasy books as I just haven't been in the mood for much horror, but still...these are books that can get you in the mood for Halloween.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Ten Unique Book Titles
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray & 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns & Roses, # 2) by Sarah J Maas
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday (maybe)
Wednesday: October 2017 EOM Wrap Up

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 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.

The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions, # 1)

By: Michelle Hodkin

Expected Publication: November 7th 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

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--In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

By: Sara Barnard

Expected Publication: January 9th 2018 by Simon Pulse

400 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--A girl who can’t speak and a boy who can’t hear go on a journey of self-discovery and find support with each other in this gripping, emotionally resonant novel from bestselling author Sara Barnard. Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jandy Nelson.

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life. The condition’s name has always felt ironic to her, because she certainly does not “select” not to speak. In fact, she would give anything to be able to speak as easily and often as everyone around her can. She suffers from crippling anxiety, and uncontrollably, in most situations simply can’t open her mouth to get out the words.

Steffi’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to help him acclimate. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk. As they find ways to communicate, Steffi discovers that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. But as she starts to overcome a lifelong challenge, she’ll soon confront questions about the nature of her own identity and the very essence of what it is to know another person.

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!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Can't Wait for Instructions for a Secondhand Heart

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Instructions for a Secondhand Heart

By: Tamsyn Murray

Expected Publication: December 5th 2017 by Poppy

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( 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--A moving novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love, for fans of Everything, Everything and All the Bright Places.

Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He's spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when a donor match is found for Jonny's heart, that turns out to be the cruelest irony of all. Because for Jonny's life to finally start, someone else's had to end.

That someone turns out to be Neve's twin brother, Leo. When Leo was alive, all Neve wanted was for him (and all his glorious, overshadowing perfection) to leave. Now that Leo's actually gone forever, Neve has no idea how to move forward. Then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, her brother's heart beating in his chest, and everything starts to change.

Together, Neve and Jonny will have to face the future, no matter how frightening it is, while also learning to heal their hearts, no matter how much it hurts. The final book will feature select illustrations from "Jonny's" sketchbook.

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

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

Time for our ninth Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the September Wrap Up, neither Holly nor Sandy have finished any series enders.

Announcements/Reminders:

  1. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
  2. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Again, we want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Holly and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.

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 October giveaway runs from October 25th - November 25th. On November 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ten Unique Book Titles

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Unique Book Titles.

I don't really know how unique these are...but these were some that stood out to me of the ones I've read.

  1. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
  2. The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon
  3. Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
  4. Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, # 1) by Rae Carson
  5. Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez
  6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  7. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
  8. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, # 3) by Maggie Stiefvater
  9. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, # 1) by Michelle Hodkin
  10. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Which books have the most unique titles to you? Let me know!