Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Can't Wait for This Heart of Mine

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.

This Heart of Mine

By: CC Hunter

Expected Publication: February 27th 2018 by Wednesday Books

384 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 new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.

CC Hunter has been on my TBR list for a while, but this book sounds like one I need to read sooner rather than putting off. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, October 16, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - Kiss of Fire

Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1)

By: Rebecca Ethington

Published: October 30th 2012 by Imdalind Press

354 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

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--Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn't know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn't want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won't let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to. The scar is the reason she is being hunted.

If only she knew that she was.

If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air.

Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.

Holly and my friend Lacy have both read this series and enjoyed it. They recommended it to me a couple of years ago, and I got Kiss of Fire for free. (It is still a kindle freebie.) But I put off reading it because both said that it had a slow start. With limited time to read, I dread anything that has the word slow associated with it, even though some of my favorite books and series have started slowly. However, I finally decided that now was the time to pick it up.

When Joclyn was 5 she had an experience that put her in a coma. She woke up with a mark on her neck and her eyes had changed colors. The scar freaks her out because it looks like a dragon. She lets the scar determine her life really. She hides from everyone, hating to draw any attention to herself for fear of them rejecting her because of the scar. While you might think that's ridiculous, she has her reasons. See her father left shortly after the scar appeared. She doesn't want others to leave her for the same reasons. Her mother works as the chef for one of the richest families, and Joclyn has become best friends with the son of this family. Edmund, the dad, doesn't want Ryland and Joclyn to have anything to do with one another, but why is never really explained. One could assume it is because Edmund knows about Joclyn's mark, but that doesn't seem right as Edmund springs into action as soon as Ryland learns of the mark.

Actually, that leads me to a few things that didn't make sense to me. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll come back to those things.

Joclyn knows that she has feelings for Ryland, but he plans to leave for college soon so there's no point in acting on them. Plus, she's scared of changing their relationship and losing the friendship they have. Plus also, there's the whole aspect of his father hating her and all. But Ryland starts trying to kiss her. Joclyn dodges the kiss a few times until she can figure out how she feels and what she wants. I loved Ryland in the beginning of Kiss of Fire. He is so obviously in love with Joclyn despite her not really being able to see it fully. And so it was easy to root for him.

But then Ryland finds her scar (not a spoiler since it's in the description) and he freaks out and send her running. It didn't make sense to me how quickly things happened. They're in the safety of Ryland's room which you would assume his father doesn't know about since they snuck in to hang out together. Yet despite being there, Ryland sends her away with instructions to find Ilyan (who she's briefly run into a couple of times). How his father knew she was there and what she was all of a sudden made no sense and wasn't explained. How Joclyn could use her magic to punch Cynthia and send her flying 10 feet yet can't seem to master any defensive or offensive use for it once she finds out that she even has magic didn't make any sense. Why Joclyn, who wanted to hide from everyone and never draw attention to herself, would even audition for the lead role in a play makes no sense. These were just a few of the things that either didn't make logical sense or weren't explained well enough for me. Inconsistencies really cause me to struggle.

I texted Holly at one point to tell her that I felt like Rebecca Ethington was trying to make me feel like I had no choice but to root for Ryland while setting the book up to be impossible for Ryland and Joclyn to end up together. And maybe Ilyan is who I should be rooting for. The events that should have been plot twists felt visible to me from a mile away. There was no guessing what might happen because it was like watching a train wreck that I couldn't stop from happening. The signs were all there, pointing to an inevitable crash, but there was nothing I could do but watch. Ryland's path and eventual outcome was never a question (even if it might change as the series progresses). And I don't know if it was the mood I was in while reading this book (irritable), or if this is just bad writing.

It's funny to me that both Holly and Lacy said the beginning was slow to them, but things picked up towards the later half of the book, but the beginning was my favorite part. Yes the action picks up as the book progresses, but I often found myself skimming the action or fight scenes because I was having trouble picturing what was taking place and everything read to me as overdramatic.

Kiss of Fire had quite a few issues for me. There were inconsistencies and things that didn't make logical sense to me or weren't explained fully. I felt like the writing was overdramatic which left me skimming scenes that should have been the most gripping. And the plot twists were visible from a mile away, yet not in a good way at all. I dreaded what was coming rather than being excited about the coming events or even wondering if our characters would overcome because the ending felt so predictable and inevitable to me. However, I can't say that Kiss of Fire was all bad. I did find parts of it enjoyable, and at this point, I do want to continue reading the series. Kiss of Fire gets 3 Stars. Have you read Kiss of Fire? What did you think? Let me know!

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/15/17

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.

Another busy week. I spent a lot of time cleaning house, shopping, and working on some DIY decorations for Little Girl's 2nd birthday party. Tuesday was normal grocery day. Wednesday, Little Girl and I spent the day with my mom. Thursday I had a doctor's appointment for Baby Boy. We're going every week now and this Tuesday we'll be at 38 weeks. I also had to run by the store again on Thursday. I had success getting green crayon out of some white window curtains thanks to Little Girl. I know this might not sound like a big deal to some, but that was a feat that I'm super proud of. Friday was full speed house cleaning. And Saturday was her actual party day (although she doesn't turn 2 until Friday). I didn't get to do every thing I wanted between being so insanely huge and exhausted as well as the continued family drama going on. But we celebrated her and had a good time.

My annual "All Things Halloween" event is still going on--through the entire month of October--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 The Bird and the sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, # 1) by Amy Harmon (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Autumn Book Covers
Wednesday: Can't Wait for This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of The Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington
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.

This Heart of Mine

By: CC Hunter

Expected Publication: February 27th 2018 by Wednesday Books

384 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 new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.

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 11, 2017

Can't Wait for This Tiny Perfect World

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.

This Tiny Perfect World

By: Lauren Gibaldi

Expected Publication: February 27th 2018 by HarperTeen

304 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--Penny loves her small-town Florida life—including her boyfriend, Logan, whom everyone expects her to marry. And when she lands a scholarship to the prestigious theater camp of her dreams to explore her love of acting, it’s the beginning of a summer that will change her life. But when she arrives at camp, Penny is thrust into a world of competition and self doubt. And as she meets new friends, including Chase, a talented young actor with big-city dreams, she begins to realize that her own dreams may be bigger than she ever imagined.

Lauren Gibaldi tells the story of a transformative summer for a girl who discovers just how wide the world really is and that maybe the life everyone expects her to lead may not be the one she was meant to have.

I've read two Lauren Gibaldi before and enjoyed them both. She's really good at coming of age stories. I don't love the cover for this one, but I want to check it out. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Top Ten Autumn Book Covers

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

When I think of Autumn, I think of yellow, orange, brown, and red. I think falling leaves, camp fires, and sunsets. There were so many yellow, orange, and red book covers that made me think "autumn" but I had to limit them because I would have gone way over 10. Here are my top ten...

  1. Back to You by Priscilla Glenn
  2. Until Friday Night (The Field Party, # 1) by Abbi Glines
  3. After the Game (The Field Party, # 3) by Abbi Glines
  4. Paris Lights (Heart of the City, # 1) by CJ Duggan
  5. The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, # 1) by Amy Harmon
  6. Long Way Home (Thunder Road, # 3) by Katie McGarry
  7. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, # 2) by Sarah J Maas
  8. The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep
  9. Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, # 1) by Rae Carson
  10. One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, # 2) by KA Tucker

What are your top autumn book covers? Let me know!

Side Notes: Happy Birthday Husband! Also, how is that 2017 Series Enders button for autumn for you! Thanks to the Hubs for creating that for me!

Monday, October 9, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - The Bird and the Sword

The Bird and the Sword

By: Amy Harmon

Published: May 11th 2016 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

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--Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

The Bird and the Sword reminded me a lot of The Key by Jennifer Anne Davis. A castle, being held hostage as a political pawn, a potential uprising, an evil father/king, and plot "twists" that were foreseeable from early on. The biggest difference between the two was the supernatural aspects of The Bird and the Sword and then lack of a brother from The Key. Because the stories were similar to me (though still pretty different), I don't think I enjoyed The Bird and the Sword as much as I could have. It was still good, but not great for me.

The backstory is that there are 4 gifts (Teller, Changer, Spinner, and Healer) in this world. But the people who have these gifts have been vilified by a history of scared kings. Kings who are scared that the gifted could easily out power them one day. And so the gifted are hunted and executed. Lark's mother was executed right in front of her when she was a child, but before dying her mother (a Teller) pronounced a curse. There was a curse on the current king, on his son, on Lark's father, and in some ways, a curse upon Lark herself. The current king would lose his soul and lose his son to the sky. Lark's father's well-being would be tied to Lark herself. And Lark wouldn't be able to speak.

As the king who executed Lark's mother is now gone and his son is king, Lark's father is only one step away from the crown in the line of succession. As such he's rallying forces who are trying to oust the current king (Tiras). Tiras sees an opportunity to capture Lark as a political pawn to get her father to fall in line. Only he really has no idea how great of a move taking Lark captive would be considering for Lark to die would be for her father to die as well. So her father is going to do everything he can to ensure they both live.

Even though Lark can't physically speak, she has one of the gifts. She's a Teller. Her gift is words. She hears words from people and animals. It is usually only one word...whatever word the person or animal feels the most at any given moment. Like "fear" or "home" or "safe." Lark's gift begins to alter a bit the longer she's a hostage because Tiras begins to teach her how to read and write--opening up a whole new world of words for her. Of course the two develop a connection, especially as they begin to share secrets with each other.

I appreciated Amy Harmon drawing things out the way that she did. Lark and Tiras had a journey for sure. They started with dislike and distrust, but that changed and grew over time. And while there was a romantic relationship, it didn't develop in any kind of way that was expected or typical. And (highlight for spoiler) I loved how one of my pet peeves of arranged marriages wasn't the case for Lark and Tiras.(end spoiler)

I will say that I didn't love the volgar, which was another supernatural aspect of the story. For some reason, these creatures were beyond my scope of imagination. I also found the parts of The Bird and the Sword that were supposed to be surprises or plot twists were pretty predictable. This wasn't a huge deal, but I did find it a little annoying to be able to guess these things so easily.

Overall, I enjoyed The Bird and the Sword. The relationship build up between Lark and Tiras as my favorite part (which isn't a surprise). Plus the relationship development was different from your typical story which I really appreciated. I did take issue with the plot twists being too predictable, but this didn't bother me too much. The Bird and the Sword gets 4 Stars. Have you read The Bird and the Sword? What did you think? Let me know!

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/8/17

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 there is so, so much going on in our family right now. My mom had an accident last Saturday that essentially completely severed her thumb. Because of the location of the injury the doctors are still unsure if it can be saved. They've sewn it back on but were unable to reattach blood vessels as they were too small, so we're in a waiting game to see if the vessels will rejuvenate (??) or if the thumb will have to be amputated. Please keep her in your prayers if you pray. My Husband's side of the family has some conflict going on as well that's causing some major stress to the entire family. I won't go into details there, but we are both beyond ready for some resolution there also. I'm 37 weeks this week so we're getting really, really close to meeting Baby Boy. Husband's work had a shower for us on Thursday. We weren't expecting that so it was super nice of them to do. Friday I had another doctor's appointment and ultrasound. Baby Boy is measuring about 6 pounds and 6 ounces so far. My grandmother is certain he'll weigh 8 pounds at birth which isn't unlikely at this point. And Saturday I spent working on freezer meal prep so I won't have to worry about cooking too much after his birth.

My annual "All Things Halloween" event is still going on--through the entire month of October--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 The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, # 4) by Maggie Stiefvater (3 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten New Book Boyfriends
Wednesday: Can't Wait for The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, # 1) by Amy Harmon
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.

Without Merit

By: Colleen Hoover

Expected Publication: October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books

384 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--Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

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 4, 2017

Can't Wait for The Masterpiece

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.

The Masterpiece

By: Francine Rivers

Expected Publication: February 2018 by Tyndale House Publisher

pages

Genre: Christian Fiction

( 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--New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want―money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist―an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship―and both their lives―forever.

I have only read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, but I really loved it. I'm looking forward to reading something else by her. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Top Ten New Book Boyfriends

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

Truthfully, I hate that phrase "book boyfriend". I'm perfectly happy in my own marriage so I don't particular wish I could date any of these guys, however, I have found some new guys to add to my list of hot and datable book characters. Here they are:

  1. Rowan - Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas - Sarah J Maas does a great job writing slow building relationships. I cannot express the amount of love that I have for Rowan.
  2. Rhys - A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas - Just like Rowan, Rhys took some time to grow on me, but I adore him also. Especially everything he was willing to endure for Feyre.
  3. Hal - Shadowcaster (Shattered Realms, # 2) by Cinda Williams Chima - Hal is one of those should be the enemy guys, but it's really a good guy at heart.
  4. Ambrose - Making Faces by Amy Harmon - Ambrose had quite a journey to undergo, but he was always good at heart. And he and Fern have another slow building relationship which I find usually provides the relationships with the most stable foundations.
  5. Ryland - A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House, # 1) by Kristi Ann Hunter - Ryland is not what you'd expect from a typical hero from this time period. He has everything you love about the time period, and so much more. Plus he made me chuckle a few times.
  6. Samuel - The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep - The epitome of a manly-man. He's made mistakes, but won't let those mistakes define him. His heart for his best friend as well as his daughter makes him something special.
  7. Darrow - Red Rising series by Pierce Brown - Being in Darrow's inner circle means certain war and troubled times, but Darrow is loyal like no other. He isn't perfect, but he proves his worth time and time again.
  8. Razor - Walk the Edge (Thunder Road, # 2) by Katie McGarry - It's been so long since I read this one that I don't remember all of the details, but I remember really liking Razor. Maybe even more than Oz.
  9. Ben - November 9 by Colleen Hoover - I mean it's CoHo. Her main men are almost all quality, but I loved Ben's story and the fact that he's an author.
  10. Bodee - Faking Normal by Courtney C Stevens - Oh Bodee...suffering from some severe trauma in his life, he's able to see the pain in another and can't stop himself from reaching out. I wish there were more Bodees out there.

I truly had to stop myself from making this entire list the super hot guys of the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Sarah J Maas knows how to write some hot guys in my opinion. I actually ended up having a harder time creating this list than I expected. Who are your recent adds to your "book boyfriends" list? Let me know!

Monday, October 2, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - The Raven King

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, # 4)

By: Maggie Stiefvater

Published: April 26th 2016 by Scholastic Press

439 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Magic, Supernatural

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--The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: "Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close."

The Raven Cycle has not been my favorite series by Maggie Stiefvater. And honestly, I've been on a bit of a roller coaster with the series. I said in my review of The Raven Boys that it was probably my least favorite book by Maggie Stiefvater out of the (now) 11 that I've read, and that might remain true, but The Raven King comes really close to competing for that. I took issue at the time with the apparent prophecy that Gansey was Blue's true love, yet in The Raven Boys Blue and Adam were more of a thing. As the series progressed, I actually came to enjoy the transition from Adam and Blue to Gansey and Blue. I also felt that Maggie's writing wasn't what I'd come to expect from her in style. The Raven Boys felt slow and dry to me when compared to the richness and poetry that I've come to expect from her books.

Maggie returns to her poetic roots with book 2, but I said in my review of The Dream Thieves that the writing felt "klunky" in an "'I'm really having to think about what's being said' kind of way." The Dream Thieves was all about Ronan. I mean the other characters were there and involved, but Ronan took center stage, and I loved it--him. It took me about 50% to feel connected to the story and characters, but overall I enjoyed it much more than The Raven Boys.

Even though the first couple of books were the same way, I kept thinking that as the series progressed this would change, but by the time I got to Blue Lily, Lily Blue I realized that the adventure and plot would outshine the characters in this series all the way through. The relationships between the characters did progress, but overall I felt like the plot didn't move along much.

And now here we are at The Raven King. I told Husband that Maggie Stiefvater's writing is probably brilliant in this book and it was definitely poetry, but it wasn't a type of brilliance or poetry that is easy to love. Instead it feels like the type of poetry that you go "I'm really not at all sure what you're talking about, but I'm sure it's genius." And that's kind of how I felt throughout this book and really throughout the entire series. The writing style made me feel like I was missing things at times, and I can't tell you how often I wondered "what is even happening right now?" And the length of time between each book only added to that because I forgot so many details each time. So perhaps a more direct writing style would have made this an easier and more enjoyable series for me. However, like I said, I'm sure it was genius.

While I loved how Gansey and Blue have transitioned from where they started in The Raven Boys to now, I did not (AT ALL) like what Maggie Stiefvater did with Ronan and Adam. I'd have to go back and re-read the series to see if I missed clues leading up to this, but I felt completely caught off guard here, and I didn't like it one bit. But here's the problem...I don't think I enjoyed the series enough to want to re-read it--even though I'd probably appreciate the brilliance and writing style more if I did. I did like the individual personal growth between these characters and I was rooting for each individually to live up to everything they could be.

I feel like there's probably so much more I need to say about this book specifically, but I feel like either I can't get my thoughts in order or anything I would say would be a spoiler. So instead I'll share a few quotes that I enjoyed:

-...the Ganseys did not demand favors. Often they didn't even ask. They did unto others and silently hoped others would rise to do it unto them.

-"You can't compare one person's coping capacity to another,"...

-...the difference between a nice house and a nice prison is really small.

-There was a lot of happiness tucked in the corner of that smile...

-He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn't want it to be over.

The Raven King was a decent end to a decent series. I can't say that I loved this book or this series even though I did find myself attached to some of the characters. I do think that the series is probably genius and Maggie's writing requires thought to appreciate it's beauty. At the same time, the writing style slowed me down and kept me from enjoying the story as much as I wanted to. The Raven King gets 3 Stars. Have you read The Raven King? What did you think? Let me know!

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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 10/1/17

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.

Tuesday Little Girl and I took our first grocery trip since potty training. She did great and stayed dry the whole time. Tuesday actually ended up being a perfect day. Wednesday she only had one accident. Thursday was a perfect day. And then Friday she had one accident. I can tell she's getting the hang of it, but there are still times that she'd rather keep playing than go sit on the potty. Either way, I'm really thankful for the progress we're making before Baby Boy comes. Speaking of, we're at 36 weeks this week. That means that I've pretty much pre-scheduled all of my blog posts for this month which also means that I might not be as present online as I'd like so please bear with me if I don't respond to any comments or go visiting other blogs as quickly or as much.

Today also starts off my annual "All Things Halloween" 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. I've always loved Halloween, but now that I've got two October babies--Baby Boy is scheduled for a c-section on the 30th--I feel even more drawn to the holiday.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - September Wrap Up
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Thursday: Review of A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses # 1) by Sarah J Maas (4 Stars)
Saturday: September 2017 EOM Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: All Things Halloween Review of The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, # 4) by Maggie Stiefvater
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.

This Tiny Perfect World

By: Lauren Gibaldi

Expected Publication: February 27th 2018 by HarperTeen

304 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--Penny loves her small-town Florida life—including her boyfriend, Logan, whom everyone expects her to marry. And when she lands a scholarship to the prestigious theater camp of her dreams to explore her love of acting, it’s the beginning of a summer that will change her life. But when she arrives at camp, Penny is thrust into a world of competition and self doubt. And as she meets new friends, including Chase, a talented young actor with big-city dreams, she begins to realize that her own dreams may be bigger than she ever imagined.

Lauren Gibaldi tells the story of a transformative summer for a girl who discovers just how wide the world really is and that maybe the life everyone expects her to lead may not be the one she was meant to have.

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!