Monday, June 26, 2017

Coming Up for Air - Review

Coming Up for Air (Hundred Oaks, # 8)

By: Miranda Kenneally

Expected Publication: July 1st 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports

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--Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

I've been all over the place in my feelings for this series, but one thing has been pretty constant. I love the sports themes throughout each of these books (minus Jesse's Girl). And Coming Up for Air was no different. I've enjoyed how each book has covered a different sports. Miranda Kenneally does a great job of having the sport be such a large part of each book without taking completely over. Coming Up for Air covers swimming.

Maggie and Levi are both competitive swimmers, but they're not just on their high school teams only. They're striving for a chance to swim in the Olympics. And swimming at this level requires nothing but the utmost commitment. I loved that Maggie and Levi's friends are all committed to their own sports so they make a great team. None of them get angry because the others aren't there for them when they're busy with sports things, yet they all make an effort to continue to meet up on Friday nights--the only night they all have off--and hang out. Maggie and Levi are best friends and Hunter and Georgia are best friends. But they are all friends with each other. I enjoyed how they were able to be there for each other in unique ways but also call each other on their crap when need be.

Maggie hasn't had any time to have any kind of boyfriend or relationship because she's been so focused on swimming. This means she doesn't have any emotional experience or physical experience. The description makes it seem like Maggie makes out with Levi one time and then discovers that she has feelings for Levi. I don't want to spoil too much, but that's a bit prettier than the actual events. Maggie feels like some physical experience will give her the confidence she needs to go into college. Maggie's obsession with the physical isn't my preference, but it did ring true for what I feel like teenagers these days can relate to. I particularly laughed out loud over one scene in the beginning of Coming Up for Air because while I've never been in the situation Maggie finds herself in, I'm sure many of girls have.

I do, however, have a soft spot for best friends turned more stories. And even though the emphasis on the physical isn't my favorite, I very much enjoyed the building of Maggie and Levi's relationship. Stories where a couple has a physical encounter without any emotional foundation often get on my nerves, but Maggie and Levi have plenty of emotional foundation even if they never thought of each other in a romantic way until they moved their relationship into the physical realm.

Coming Up for Air had plenty of other aspects to factor in as well. There's the competitive swimming, practices, meets, Maggie's nemesis. Hunter's relationship with Shelby (Jack's younger sister from Racing Savannah). Georgia's baggage from being cheated on in the past. The quad going off to college/boot camp after graduation. And probably even more pieces that make Coming Up for Air a complete story.

Favorite quotes:

-He knows I want to make out, right? Not read aloud to each other.

-"Most people are so busy thinking about themselves they aren't worried about other people. It's human to think that everyone is always watching everything we do, but they aren't."

-"If you aren't comfortable enough to tell a guy what you want, you shouldn't be in bed with him."

-"By hooking up without the commitment, you set your own value short."

-"I can't let what other people do affect me."

I do have to say that I was up and down with the pop-culture references. It's a pet-peeve of mine to outright mention name brands, celebrities, current TV shows, etc because I feel like it automatically dates a book. However, I do love little nuggets that may or may not have been references to pop-culture. Like there's a reference to a cheerleader in a "tiny black and blue uniform that says Ravens" who happens to be a huge flirt at one of Georgia's cheerleading competition. Could this be a reference to Brooke or Rachel from One Tree Hill? Black and blue cheerleading uniform that says Ravens? I think it's highly likely, but it isn't spelled out. Perfect reference Miranda Kenneally. However, she turns around and mentioned a couple using Maggie's parents to plan them a "Game of Thrones-themed wedding." I guess this could go both ways for either the book or the TV show. For some reason, the book references don't bother me as much as TV references because books are a bit timeless. But even with her reference to The Raven Boys, Divergent, and some warlock book that I'm not familiar with, I just felt like these references were too much. (Also a reference is included to the movie Tangled.)

Coming Up for Air was a multi-layered book that had me blowing through the pages. While all of the aspects weren't my favorite, as Miranda Kenneally books go, Coming Up for Air was definitely a winner for me. Maggie and Levi were both likeable even when I wanted to bop them each in the head. I loved the swimming pieces that surround the story. Coming Up for Air gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Coming Up for Air? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up

Time for our sixth 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 May Wrap Up, Holly finished A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 3) by Sarah J Maas. Sandy also finished After the Game (The Field Party, # 3) by Abbi Glines.

We have a couple of announcements/reminders that we mentioned last month but want to keep up for a couple of months.

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

Sunday Post - 253 & Stacking the Shelves - 191

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 has been a full week. Monday was my brother's birthday. We had a lot of errands to run plus getting ready for our trip. Tuesday was rainy and so it was good that I'd planned to be at home all day. I spent most of that day packing for our trip. Tuesday night Little Girl went to Husband's mom's house. She was there until Thursday night when my parents went to get her. And she stayed there until we picked her up Saturday afternoon. We left to go to Florida (St. Petersburg) on Wednesday, which also happened to be my birthday. Husband had a work conference to go to and I joined. We had a good time being away together, but we did miss Little Girl very much.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Cover Reveal of The Sound of Light by Claire Wallis
Tuesday: Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman
Thursday: Review of Long Way Home (Thunder Road, # 3) by Katie McGarry (4 Stars)
Sunday: 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Coming Up for Air (Hundred Oaks, # 8) by Miranda Kenneally
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Saturday: Problems Only We Know # 7:

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 Sound of Light

By: Claire Wallis

Expected Publication: July 17, 2017

320 pages

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

Source: Advance Copy via Author (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo )

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

Goodreads description--My littlest girl has always been a bit peculiar. It was nothing I could ever put a finger on, but I always knew there was something inside her that made her a different kind of special. A deeper kind.

K'acy's got a light around her, one that'll just about knock you over, especially if you don't see her coming. She's got music in her soul, too. Deep, resonating music that echoes and hums, just like the notes that come from the bass guitar she's had attached to her hip since the day she turned thirteen years old.

She's got a hell of a secret, yes, but she does what she's got to do to make it one worth having. She takes care of people. She changes their stories. I spent my life telling both of my girls that you always gotta do what's right, even when it hurts, and it makes me proud to know she was listening.

I saw the way she looked at that boy on the day they met, and I knew right then that things were going to change. Two different people from two different worlds is nothing but a recipe for heartbreak, and when the lies pile higher and higher, it can change a person into something they're not.

It took me dying all those years ago to finally figure out just exactly how special my K'acy really is, and even though I'm not with her anymore, I don't want that boy and his family to change her. I want her to keep doing what's right, even when it hurts.

Because that's who she is inside. That's her deeper kind of special.

**This stand-alone novel from Claire Wallis is intended for readers age 17 and up.**

A Thousand Boy Kisses

By: Tillie Cole

Published: March 14th 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

352 pages

Genre: Young 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--One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime. One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe.

When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation? Rune's heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.

A stand-alone young adult tearjerker romance, recommended for ages fourteen and up.

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!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Long Way Home - Review

Long Way Home (Thunder Road, # 3)

By: Katie McGarry

Published: January 31st 2017 by Harlequin Teen

448 pages

Genre: Young 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--Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

I read the first chapter of Long Way Home at the end of my copy of Walk the Edge. Obviously, Chevy and Violet have been secondary characters in the prior two books in this series, and their backstory has been set up all throughout the series. And then the publisher released a sampler (the first 60ish pages) on NetGalley. I didn't realize that it was a sampler until I downloaded it to my kindle. It was such a disappointment that it wasn't the full book, but since that 60ish pages ended at such a crucial part I decided to go ahead and preorder my copy. And I'm glad that I did. Katie McGarry is one of those authors that I can count on to be really consistent with her writing and characters.

I wasn't sure I was going to love Chevy and Violet. More Violet really. She was really angry with the club, with Chevy, in general after her father died. And she was kind of mean to Chevy when it was obvious that he only cared about her. Plus Violet's angry with the club for not treating her like one of the guys at times. I mean it's not like she wants to join the club, but she does want to be clued in to whatever information may pertain to her. And while I can respect that, I just got sick of her whining about not being treated how she wanted to be treated because she was a girl. If you've read the prior two books, you know that even Oz and Razor weren't getting all the answers they wanted and they were both guys. So I could understand Violet's point of view while also being a little annoyed with her issues at the same time.

Chevy was easy to like. He wants nothing more than to love Violet, but he knows how she feels about the club. Yet they are his family. I mean beyond friends that feel like family. They actually are his blood family. Yet even his mom isn't excited about him joining the MC. Chevy is being pulled in all different directions in this book, and I appreciated all that he was up against. I especially love the tie in with Isaiah from Katie's Pushing the Limits series. I want more more more information about this.

Katie McGarry does a good job or making the reader question the motives and intentions of the club with each book. You'd think that having been through two prior books where we find out that the Terror has nothing but good intentions for the characters they consider family that the MC would be beyond questioning, but with each book there's plenty to create doubt.

I also get so attached to Katie's side characters. Pigpen and Addison are both ones that I want more from. I hope she explores both of their stories in the future.

Favorite quotes:

-"I've got you, Violet. I swear to God I've got you."

-"The words out of your mouth aren't the only things she hears."

-"I'm secure in who I am and other people's definitions don't define me."

I do have to say that even though I enjoyed Long Way Home and read it quickly, this is not my favorite of Katie McGarry's books or even my favorite of the series. I want more of the side characters, and that's one of the best signs that I look for in a good series. Even without this being my favorite Katie McGarry book, Long Way Home gets 4 Stars. Have you read Long Way Home? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Can't Wait for Kissing Max Holden

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.

Kissing Max Holden

By: Katy Upperman

Expected Publication: August 1st 2017 by Swoon Reads

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--Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea...

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn't himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn't know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn't let him kiss her. But she can't resist, and when they're caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it'll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start.

  1. Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, # 1) by Scott Reintgen - I have this one for review but just haven't gotten around to it yet.
  2. Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy, # 1) by Jodi Meadows - This is another one that I have to review.
  3. Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, # 1) by Alwyn Hamilton - The original cover release had me ignoring this one, but the redesigned covers had me checking out the description which sounds awesome.
  4. Riders (Riders, # 1) by Veronica Rossi - I really enjoyed her Under the Never Sky series, but I just never got my hands on Riders.
  5. Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, # 1) by Morgan Rhodes - I remember when this book released. I was interested, but I wasn't ready to take a chance on it because the author was unknown to me. As each book releases in the series I regret not checking out book 1 when I had the chance.
  6. Half Bad (Half Bad Trilogy, # 1) by Sally Green - I actually own this one, but it just hasn't been a priority for me right now.
  7. Paper Princess (The Royals, # 1) by Erin Watt - Holly recommended this series to me a while back, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
  8. The Passage (The Passage, # 1) by Justin Cronin - I've seen great ratings for this series, but the length of each book has me putting them off.
  9. Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, # 1) by Laini Taylor - I really enjoyed her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, but this is one that I haven't gotten my hands on yet so I keep putting it off.
  10. Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, # 1) by Veronica Roth - This is another one that I just haven't had an opportunity to read because I don't own it. It just hasn't been a priority.

You guys this is just the TIP of the iceberg on the series that I want to start but haven't for various reasons. Have you read any of these? Any that I need to move up on my priority list? Which series have you been meaning to start? Let me know!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cover Reveal - The Sound of Light by Claire Wallis

The Sound of Light

By: Claire Wallis

Expected Publication: July 17, 2017

320 pages

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

( Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo )

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

Goodreads description--My littlest girl has always been a bit peculiar. It was nothing I could ever put a finger on, but I always knew there was something inside her that made her a different kind of special. A deeper kind.

K'acy's got a light around her, one that'll just about knock you over, especially if you don't see her coming. She's got music in her soul, too. Deep, resonating music that echoes and hums, just like the notes that come from the bass guitar she's had attached to her hip since the day she turned thirteen years old.

She's got a hell of a secret, yes, but she does what she's got to do to make it one worth having. She takes care of people. She changes their stories. I spent my life telling both of my girls that you always gotta do what's right, even when it hurts, and it makes me proud to know she was listening.

I saw the way she looked at that boy on the day they met, and I knew right then that things were going to change. Two different people from two different worlds is nothing but a recipe for heartbreak, and when the lies pile higher and higher, it can change a person into something they're not.

It took me dying all those years ago to finally figure out just exactly how special my K'acy really is, and even though I'm not with her anymore, I don't want that boy and his family to change her. I want her to keep doing what's right, even when it hurts.

Because that's who she is inside. That's her deeper kind of special.

**This stand-alone novel from Claire Wallis is intended for readers age 17 and up.**

** Release Date: July 17th, 2017 ** THE SOUND OF LIGHT will be released in print format via Amazon and in digital format from Amazon, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo. The e-book should be available for pre-order on Amazon, Kobo, and iTunes today!!!

You can sign up for Claire Wallis's newsletter where you can receive bonus book teasers, stories, and information about her books. Also, check out her website: www.clairewallis.com.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Post - 252 & Stacking the Shelves - 190

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.

Not much going on this week. It was one of the most normal weeks we've had recently. I did have another doctor's appointment and ultrasound for Baby Boy on Friday. I also had to get the oil changed in the car. Today we're celebrating Father's Day and birthdays for myself and my brother. This week Husband and I will be gone on a business trip with his job Wednesday through Saturday. I have a couple of posts scheduled during the time we'll be gone, but I won't be back online until Saturday evening. Little Girl will be staying with her grandparents while we're gone. This will be longest we've been away from her. I know she'll have fun, and we really could use some time alone together, but I'll miss her so much. Hope you all have a Happy Father's Day.

Also, PLEASE check out my Calling All Recommendations post linked below. Feel free to give me your recommendations on this post, but I do have a couple of guidelines for what I'm looking for listed in the post if it's not too much trouble for you to check out, I'd really appreciate it!

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Shadowcaster (Shattered Realms, # 2) by Cinda Williams Chima (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Book Dads
Wednesday: Can't Wait for The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions, # 1) by Michelle Hodkin
Thursday: Calling All Recommendations: Contemporary

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Cover Reveal for The Sound of Light by Claire Wallis
Tuesday: Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Long Way Home (Thunder Road, # 3) by Katie McGarry

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.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 3)

By: Sarah J Maas

Published: May 2nd 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books

699 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, 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--A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

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!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Calling All Recommendations: Contemporary

Hey guys, I'm in need of some help. I've found myself surrounded by fantasy books in my possession lately. While I love that genre, fantasy has recently bogged me down, and I find that I do best by varying up my genres periodically so that I don't get burned out of any one particular genre. That being said, I'm looking for some contemporary reads that are AWESOME.

A few guidelines if you don't mind:

  1. Characters between the ages of 17 and 30ish.
  2. Please no overly descriptive sexual scenes. The occasional scene doesn't bother me, but when it happens frequently or is described in a bit too much detail, I'm not a huge fan.
  3. Please no LGBTQAI.
  4. Can we try to avoid cheating? Love triangles are fine as long as there's no cheating.
  5. No anti-God characters or themes please. I'm not necessarily looking for Christian reads (although, I'll take some of those suggestions as well), but just not characters that are completely opposed to God.
  6. Also, please no political agendas.
  7. Think authors like Colleen Hoover, Kasie West, Simone Elkeles, Amy Harmon, and Katie McGarry. (But you'd be wasting your time recommending anything by these guys because I've read them all.)

Hit me with your suggestions and favorite contemporary reads please!!! Thanks so much!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Can't Wait for The Becoming of Noah Shaw

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 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

( 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.

I enjoyed the Mara Dyer series, even though the last book was my least favorite and was a bit of a let down for an ending to me. And I'm a little worried about this description where it seems to indicate that Noah and Mara will end up apart. However, I need to at least check this out. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Top Ten Book Dads

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Fathers in Books.

You guys, if I thought this subject was difficult and sad with Mother's it is even worse with fathers. They seem to be either dead, not present, completely disconnected, or an outright villain in the majority of books that I've read. And that's not just sad, it is really unacceptable. I realize that our family units have taken a big hit over the years, and it isn't unusual for a father to not be present, but this is just awful. We need some good parents in our YA books!

  1. Bailey's Dad & Fern's Dad from Making Faces by Amy Harmon - Bailey's dad is a wrestling coach for the school and has been Bailey's biggest supporter. Fern's dad is a preacher and is there for her as well as many others in the community.
  2. Samuel from The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep - Samuel has a two year old daughter. His wife was killed in a fire. And it is clear that Samuel adores his daughter.
  3. Kiara's Dad from Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles - Kiara's dad takes in a troubled teen that needs his help. He even has Carlos's back in a very dangerous situation.
  4. Brimstone from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - Although Brimstone isn't Karou's physical father, he's been a father to her in all the ways that count.
  5. Mr. Garrett from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - This man is all about doing everything he can for his family.
  6. Lara Jean's Dad from To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Lara Jean's dad has been doing the single parent thing for his three girls. He's a doctor (if I remember correctly). And he's really been there for his girls.
  7. Charlie's Dad from On the Fence by Kasie West - Another single dad with a lot of kids.
  8. Abe from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - Okay so Abe isn't what I'd typically look for in a "good dad" but he stepped it up for Rose there toward the end, and was always really there when she needed him. Plus he was hilarious.
  9. Charlie from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - Okay guys, this is debatable. Charlie was quite a bit oblivious when it comes to what was going on with Bella, but at least he was present, and he did care. That gives him significant advantage over 90% of the other dad's in the books I've read.

And that's seriously all I've got! If you guys know of some other great fathers in books, please let me know!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Shadowcaster - Review

Shadowcaster (Shattered Realms, # 2)

By: Cinda Chima Williams

Published: April 4th 2017 by HarperTeen

551 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--Alyssa ana'Raisa is the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of Fells, a queendom embroiled in a seemingly endless war. Hardened by too many losses, Lyss is more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, she goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn't pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne.

Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon has been fighting for his king since he was a lýtling. Lately, though, he finds himself sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series, this is a thrilling story of the unfathomable costs of war, the allure of dark magic, and two principled and conflicted characters, drawn together despite everything they stand to lose.

I enjoyed Flamecaster, but it wasn't without a few issues for me. So I was excited when I saw Shadowcaster for review. I put off reading it until closer to the publication date, yet as the date approached, I fell into a reading slump. The slump had me uninterested in most things fantasy related. I wasn't opposed to fantasy itself, but just that sometimes the genre focuses so little on character relationships due to world building and such. It's funny because I actually forced myself to read two very slow, and very un-character driven fantasy books before picking up Shadowcaster. I definitely wasn't in the mood for more fantasy after those books, yet I knew that I really needed to get this book read and reviewed since I was already past the publication date. Thankfully, Shadowcaster was a much more interesting and character read than the previous two books I read.

One thing I wasn't expecting (but should have been due to the book description) was that Ash wouldn't be a narrator at all in Shadowcaster. As a matter of fact, Shadowcaster goes back in time from where Flamecaster ended so there is an overlapping of time between these two books. As the description states, Shadowcaster primarily follows Lyss and Hal. Lyss is Ash's younger sister and now in line for the throne as Princess Heir. She's only 15 years old which feels very young to me, but I appreciate how Cinda Williams Chima treated her age is relative. What Lyss has experienced in her 15 years is very different from what teenagers face in our culture. Hal is a Captain in the army for the enemy, Arden. But his father has recently been on the outs with King Gerard, and Hal is taking the punishment for that in that King Gerard seems to be trying to have him killed by placing him in impossible situations. Hal is eventually captured as a prisoner of war and over an extended period of time is exposed to Lyss not knowing that she is Princess Heir of the Fells.

Lyss and Hal aren't the only narrators. Jenna from Flamecaster does play a role and she does narrate a few chapters. She's the biggest tie in that we have to the previous book. There's also a narrator named Breon who seems to be from the same place as Jenna originally. These two have a path that appears to be tied to each other although they've yet to meet. And there may even have been another narrator or two, but I can't remember. These four are the key players though. If you read my review of Flamecaster, you'll remember that I said this type of narration style isn't really my favorite. Typically, I don't mind dual narratives as long as the characters a following the same general part of the story, but when we begin to add on more and more narrators whose pieces of the puzzle are seemingly unrelated I tend to struggle, or at the very least I find it much easier to put the book down when a narration swap occurs. Having finished two books in this series, I see why Cinda Williams Chima chooses to narrate in this manner, but that doesn't mean I always enjoy it as much as I could. Especially early on in the book when the pieces of the puzzle feel so far away from each other.

I will say that this might be a coincidence, but I saw a lot of naming similarities between Shadowcaster and the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R R Martin. I don't know if this was perhaps done on purpose as a nod to ASoIaF, or if this was an accident where the author's subconscious took over, or maybe it is just a coincidence. There was a Littlefield (Littlefinger), Breon (Brienne), Alyssa (Lysa), I can't remember the character's name in SC but it reminded me of Tommen, and I remember telling my husband of a place mentioned in SC that had a similar name too, but I didn't write them down at the time so I don't remember. This isn't a huge thing. Just something I noted.

Favorite quotes:

-We are a land of orphans, Lyss thought, doing the work of dead parents.

-"I always think that if I tell the truth, people can't help but agree. When they don't, I lose my temper and everything goes south from there."

-"...we need to let go of what we have been doing and take a chance. If we do what we've always done, we'll get what we've always gotten..."

-A civil war has no winners, only losers, and is to be avoided at all costs.

Shadowcaster was better than I was expecting due to the mood I've been in and the previous two books that I'd read immediately prior in the same genre. Lyss and Hal's storyline was the most interesting to me and kept me coming back for more. I truly hope that we get more of them in the next book, but I'm afraid that might not be the case if book 3 follows an entirely new set of main characters. I had a few small issues like the narration style making it easier for me to put this book down and the similarities to A Song of Ice and Fire names and locations. In the end, Shadowcaster gets 4 Stars. Have you read Shadowcaster? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Post - 251 & Stacking the Shelves - 189

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.

Monday my sister-in-law and one niece and two nephews came over to swim. It wasn't necessarily the best day for swimming as it did rain off and on while we were in the pool. Thankfully there was no thunder or lightening so we kept at it. The rest of the week was pretty lazy. After my crazy cleaning frenzy for our party last Saturday I took it easy this week.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Captain's Daughter (London Beginnings, # 1) by Jennifer Delamere (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Shadowcaster (Shattered Realms, # 2) by Cinda Williams Chima
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.

After the Game (The Field Party, # 3)

By: Abbi Glines

Expected Publication: August 22nd 2017 by Simon Pulse

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports

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--The third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Field Party series—a southern soap opera with football, cute boys, and pick-up trucks—from USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines.

Two years ago, Riley Young fled from Lawton, Alabama. After accusing the oldest Lawton son, Rhett, of rape, everyone called her a liar and she had no option but to leave. Now she’s back, but she’s not at Lawton High finishing up her senior year. She’s at home raising the little girl that no one believed was Rhett’s.

Rhett is off at college living the life he was afraid he’d lose with Riley’s accusation, so Riley agrees to move back to Lawton so she and her parents could take care of her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But the town still hasn’t forgotten their hate for her, and she hasn’t forgotten the way they turned on her when she needed them most.

When town golden boy Brady Higgens finds Riley and her daughter, Bryony, stranded on the side of the road in a storm, he pulls over and gives them a ride. Not because he cares about Riley, of course, but because of the kid.

But after the simple car ride, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Could Brady believe Riley and risk losing everything?

Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them

By: Dave Carder

Expected Publication: September 5th 2017 by Moody Publishers

224 pages

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian

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--When it comes to adultery, never say, “It won’t happen to me.”

Just when you think your marriage is safe from adultery is when you may be the most vulnerable.

With eye-opening stories, clinical insights, and up-to-date data, Dave Carder reveals what adulterers learned the hard way—and what they want the rest of us to know to save us the pain.

Dave Carder, counselor and author of the bestselling Torn Asunder (100,000 in print), is a sought-after expert on issues of adultery. Here he helps you make your marriage adultery-proof by showing you:

How attractions can lead to affairs Ways you may be vulnerable to affairs The common ingredients of adultery How to restore intimacy to your marriage How to make wise, protective decisions Marriage is too sacred to be taken casually. Affairs are a very real threat, and they can destroy lives and families. For this reason, Anatomy of an Affair should be on every church leader’s and marriage counselor’s required reading list, and in the home of every married couple.

Includes charts and assessments to understand and guard against affairs.

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:

( 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.

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, June 7, 2017

Can't Wait for Whichwood

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.

Whichwood

By: Tahereh Mafi

Expected Publication: November 14th 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

368 pages

Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult, Fantasy

( 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 adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.

Our story begins on a frosty night…

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.

I haven't actually read Furthermore yet, but since this is a companion, I don't mind sharing it. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!