Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Post - 245

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 was so much fun. Husband took a few days off of work. So Monday we took a day trip to Gulf Shores to go to the beach. Little Girl did wonderful. She didn't want us to put her down in the sand at first, but she quickly got over that. She played with seashells and dug in the sand. But her favorite part was the water. Even though it was super cold, she wasn't deterred. She loved the waves. And when Mama and Daddy wouldn't let her go in very far, she was happy to fill up her bucket to take back to her sandcastle. Having Daddy at home the next two days was the best thing in the world for her. She loves him so much and they played and had fun. Having him around during the day always gives me a little break because she's all about him. We walked each day even though the weather is getting quite warm. I'm still in a reading slump. I just don't even have the energy to hold my kindle in front of my face when I have opportunity to read. I'm hoping that now that I'm in the 2nd trimester, I should get some energy back soon. (I hope!)

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Until It Fades by KA Tucker (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Things that Make Me Not Want to Read a Book
Wednesday: Waiting on All Closed Off (Rusk University, # 4) by Cora Carmack & 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: April 2017 EOM Wrap Up
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

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, April 26, 2017

Waiting on All Closed Off

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

All Closed Off (Rusk University, # 4)

By: Cora Carmack

Expected Publication: May 1st 2017

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads )

Goodreads description--Stella Santos is fine.

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.

But none of that matters because she’s just fine.

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.

Vulnerable.

I'm honestly not sure if this book will publish on May 1st like Cora Carmack's website and Goodreads says as it isn't listed on Amazon yet, but that's the most current information I can find. Either way, I'm ready to get my hands on this one! What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up

Time for our fourth 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 March Wrap Up, Holly hasn't finished any series enders. Sandy finished one: All In (Full Tilt, # 2) by Emma Scott.

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

Top Ten Things That Make Me Not Want to Read a Book

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Things That Make Me Not Want to Read a Book.

Last week we talked about the Top Ten Things That Make Me Want to Read a Book, so now let's look at the opposite.

  1. CHEATING! - This is a no go! I don't mind love triangles that are done right, but crossing the line into cheating is NOT something that I want to read about.
  2. LGBTQAI - And whatever other XYZ you want to throw in. I'm a Christian. I'm straight. I read for pleasure and to escape. And this is not a subject that allows for escape for me. If there's a hint of this in the subject, I'm out. This isn't about hate at all. It's simply a matter of what I enjoy reading about. Sorry, not sorry.
  3. Time Travel - I know there are a ton of readers who find this fascinating, but I've just found that I don't usually enjoy these books.
  4. Mermaids - As much as I'm a fan of mermaids, I've not found a book about mermaids that's been a right fit for me. I'm still hoping to find one that might work, but this subject makes me skeptic that I'll enjoy it because of my past experience.
  5. Anti-God - I respect everyone's right to decide for themselves whether they believe in God or not, but as I've also chosen, I don't enjoy reading books that put Him down. The most common thing I see is an apathy towards Him, but even that grates on me because of the frequency that I see it.
  6. Weak Characters - I don't mind if bad things happen to people in books, but what I really want to read about is strong characters who are able to overcome their circumstances, not be defined by them.
  7. Authors I've not enjoyed in the past - There are a few authors that I've marked down as "not for me." That's not to say that they're "bad writers," but just that their style or subjects are not a good fit for me.
  8. Unappealing Book Covers - Explaining what I like and don't like in a book cover isn't exactly easy, but I know it when I see it. A cover that doesn't appeal to me usually means I don't even read the book description.
  9. Political Agenda - Again guys, I read for fun. I cannot stand when the author is using a book to make a political statement. I am perfectly capable of my own thoughts concerning politics. I don't enjoy an author taking this opportunity to force their political opinions down my throat.
  10. Preaching - Even though I'm a Christian, and I said that I don't like Anti-God books, I also don't like books that feel like you're being preached at. This is similar to a political agenda that I mentioned above. I read my Bible for this. I'm completely fine with a character learning a moral or spiritual lesson as a natural consequence of the events of a story, but to feel like the author is speaking beyond the characters to me as the reader directly is a big no-thank-you.

What about you? What are you reading turn-offs? What things make you immediately decide that a book isn't for you? Let me know!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Until It Fades - Review

Until It Fades

By: KA Tucker

Expected Publication: June 27th 2017 by Atria Books

320 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description-- Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

Until It Fades was a bit different from KA Tucker's last couple of books. It wasn't as dark or mysterious, instead Until It Fades was more hopeful and happy. It doesn't exactly start out that way though. The book begins with Catherine in high school. Without giving too much away, Catherine experiences something that makes her the talk of the town. She basically leaves her parents' home as soon as she turns eighteen, but that isn't the last of her being the talk of the town. She finds out that she's pregnant, and yet again she becomes the talk of the town. Catherine is the first to admit that her teen years were a bit troubled and now that six years have passed, she knows that she's changed a lot.

Beyond all the local gossip about Catherine, she really hasn't had it easy. Her relationship with her parents is strained at best. She's not without blame there also. She's working every day that she can for as long as she can to make ends me and provide a home for her daughter. And she's single momming it because Brenna's dad isn't around. But she has a few solid people in her corner, and her little girl makes life worth living. But there hasn't been a man in her life in a long time.

Brett was easy to like. He feels immense gratitude toward Catherine for saving his life, and that's kind of what starts their relationship off. Having this shared traumatic experience bonds them. They get to know each other and the relationship builds. Brett's a bit more game for things from the beginning, but Catherine's past makes it hard for her to trust Brett or his intentions. It takes a lot for her to open up and trust him, to trust that he likes her for her--ordinary as he may be--and trust that if she gives her heart to him that he's not going to rip it up and hand it back to her.

Until It Fades ended up being a feel good story for me. I enjoyed the process of Catherine and Brett developing their feelings for each other. I loved Catherine's relationship with her daughter, Brenna. I really liked her brother Jack so much that I wouldn't mind knowing more about him. Even though Brenna's relationship with her parents was rocky, I enjoyed that too. Brett's family was pretty awesome too considering their outstanding circumstances. I appreciated KA Tucker's positive use of God. Don't get confused, this isn't a religious story, but she mentioned God three times in a positive way and in today's culture and literature this was extremely refreshing for me. The physical scenes were scarce (but present), and the language was present also but not overwhelming. Until It Fades gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Until It Fades? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Post - 244 & Stacking the Shelves - 184

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 an exciting week! Wednesday we went to the doctor for our 12 week check up with BABY # 2! I used my Waiting on Wednesday post for this week to announce the pregnancy here on the blog. Not much else can trump that news. Little Girl spent the weekend with my parents. Husband and I are going on a small trip in June and I wanted to make sure she'd do fine spending more than one night away from home first. While she was visiting her grandparents Husband and I got a lot of outside work done around the house.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Bang by Barry Lyga (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Things That Make Me Want to Read a Book
Wednesday: Waiting on...Baby # 2

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Until It Fades by KA Tucker
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting on 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.

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.

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, April 19, 2017

Waiting on...Baby # 2

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

I'm Pregnant

So I know this is very unusual and not the intention of a typical Waiting on Wednesday post, but I couldn't think of any book that I'm "highly anticipating" more than I am highly anticipating this baby. Expected Due Date: HALLOWEEN! I've obviously known that we were expecting for quite some time, but I'm so excited to finally be able to share the news with you guys. I'm a little nervous about being able to handle two kids, but I know that just like you're never really prepared for one child, you can never really be prepared for two either. Yet I have faith and confidence that my ability to stretch and what I can handle will grow with our growing family.

I remember that moment that I saw our daughter for the first time and my heart literally expanded. It opened wide and swallowed her whole. I truly wish that I could explain that feeling in a way that someone who has never experienced it would be able to feel, but I know that these feelings can be understood from an intellectual standpoint, but not felt until one is in the moment of experiencing these things for themselves. And you guys, I cannot wait for that moment again. Seeing this new baby face to face, feeling my heart grow with an even more infinite ability to love someone beyond myself. Falling in love with my first child as I see her fall in love with and be the great big sister that I know she will be to this new baby.

And I know because of my own journey and struggles with trying to get pregnant the first time that this is not always an easy process. And since getting pregnant the first time wasn't quick or easy, my eyes were opened to the many people around me who have also struggled. One couple I know who tried for four years before getting pregnant with their baby girl. One family that was told they would never have a biological child of their own, yet she's now in college. At least three (but probably more that I'm not remembering) that have also suffered a miscarriage (or more than one). At least two women who contacted me asking for prayers in their own journeys to motherhood that I've yet to hear an announcement that they've been successful (two years later). One couple who is going through secondary infertility. One failed IVF attempt. Two sets of twins recently born using fertility treatments. And one family with two adoptive daughters. And there is an unknown number of couples who might have given up on trying. Not to mention the mothers I've witnessed over the last two years lose a child (from a 6 week old baby to an adult with a family of his own). I say all of this to say that if you've struggled...if you're currently going through this...if you've given up...I see you. I can't experience my own joy without being aware of the many whose arms are empty and aching and whose wombs have not been filled. There is still hope. There is still joy. Don't give up. And know that you are not alone.

Since I've gone through this before, I do know that my reading and blogging will take a hit over the next year to a year and a half. I've already struggled with a reading slump as the exhaustion as well as hormonal changes from early pregnancy have hit with a vengeance. I also know that I won't have a ton of time to read with a new baby. But as it won't just be one baby, but also a toddler who will be embarking on the terrible twos, I imagine that I'll have even less time to read as I did last time. I'll be scheduling some time off toward the end of the year (probably the entire month of November like I did in 2015), but I'll just have to be lenient with myself from there on out.

Now, I know none of your books can top my exciting news, I still want to know what you're waiting on this week! Let me know!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top Ten Things That Make Me Want to Read a Book

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Things That Make Me Want to Read a Book.

On the Outside

  1. Cover - Let's just be honest here. A cover says a lot about a book. And they're supposed to. You can look at some covers and immediately know that the book is going to be a mystery/thriller. Others scream Young Adult. The most obvious are usually romance and erotica. If I'm not at least drawn to the cover, chances are that I'm not even going to read the book description.
  2. Author - There are two exceptions to what I said above. Despite not being interested in the book cover, I will read the book description at least if the book is written by an author I've read and enjoyed before. I like to say that I have auto-buy authors, but I do have a few subjects that I won't even bother reading about no matter who the author is. But an author I've enjoyed is a sure-fire way to ensure that I at least check out the description.
  3. Title - Occasionally despite not being an author I've read before or a book cover that I'm attracted to, a title MIGHT pull me in enough to read the description.
  4. Book Reviews - If I'm on the fence about whether or not I'm interested in a book, I'll check out the ratings on Goodreads or Amazon first. I try NOT to read book reviews if I know that I plan to read a book because I don't want what I've read to sway my opinion of a book, but occasionally book reviews have changed my mind about whether or not to read one.
  5. Subjects that Get Me Everytime

  6. Arranged Marriages - I don't know what it is about this topic, but I'm completely intrigued by it. And mostly I only sway toward this topic if I think the couple might actually end up together in a healthy relationship. This idea is so foreign to our current culture in America of marrying for love, yet I love the idea of two people coming together with no feelings of attachment to each other beyond a commitment and coming to love each other despite their start. On the other hand, I tend to run in the other direction if I can tell from the description that one of the characters will fall in love with someone outside of who they're arranged to marry.
  7. Strong Female Characters - I wouldn't classify myself as a feminist at all. But I do love reading about strong female characters. Characters that have strong morals and convictions as well as physically strong and emotionally stable (shall we say wise). Characters that aren't victims--not because bad things don't happen to them, but because they overcome.
  8. Pen Pal Romances - My husband and I fell in love over email. We knew each other in person so it wasn't like we met online (not saying there's anything wrong with that), but we got to know each other, became friends first, and then developed feelings through the emails that we shared back and forth. So these stories have a special place in my heart.
  9. Amnesia - Another subject that I'm intrigued by. How the mind works is truly fascinating, and these stories have a unique underlying current: will he/she get their memory back or not?
  10. Bad Boys Turned Good - While I admit it is possible, the bad boy who changes his stripes for the good girl is not something that typically happens in real life. It's hard enough to change things about yourself even when you truly want to change. Changing for someone else isn't typical and when it happens often isn't long term change. Yet, I do think that certain people out there make us each want to be a better person. And those are the exact people that we need to end up with. And of course, this is a way of living vicariously. All of us women have found the bad boy attractive at some point or other. Knowing it likely won't work out, reading books like this allows us to live vicariously.
  11. Castles - If there are kings and queens and castles involved, chances are that I'm at least going to look into the book. Of course not all books with this setting are going to be winners for me, but this draws me in for sure. My inner five year princess wants to come out to play.

What about you guys? What things make you want to read a book?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bang - Review

Bang

By: Barry Lyga

Expected Publication: April 18th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description--A heartbreaking novel about living with your worst mistake, from New York Times bestselling author Barry Lyga.

A chunk of old memory, adrift in a pool of blood.
Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun.
Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend--Aneesa--to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past. It took a gun to get him into this.
Now he needs a gun to get out.
Unflinching and honest, Bang is as true and as relevant as tomorrow's headlines, the story of one boy and one moment in time that cannot be reclaimed.

I really enjoyed Barry Lyga's Jasper Dent series. His writing was so good that I knew I'd be interested in checking out more of his work. The description for Bang immediately made me wonder if "gun control" would be a political statement shoved down my throat throughout this book, but the emotional roller coaster that would surely be involved was enough to make me pick this book up. I was curious to see how Barry Lyga would handle such an emotional topic compared to the twisted nature of Jasper Dent.

Bang hooked me in a way that other books haven't been grabbing my attention. I'm in a bit of a book slump so to read a book in 24 hours is a big thing for me right now. The writing was well done as I expected. And while perhaps there were a few moments that could count as a PA concerning gun control, I didn't truly feel like there was much of an agenda pushed so much as the characters simply reacting to events in a way that felt completely natural given the circumstances. If anything, the political statements made revolved more around Aneesa and her father for their muslim faith than anything else. However, this still didn't bother me as Aneesa and her father were both likeable characters and also simply reacting in a way that felt entirely natural.

As one would expect, Bang is a deeply emotional read. It felt even more emotional for me because Little Girl is right at a year and a half. To imagine having a four year old child shoot and kill your four month old... It is simply heartbreaking for everyone involved. It's impossible as a mother not to be heartbroken by this story...both for the parents, but also for the children. The guilt that everyone involved feels. The father for it being his gun used. Sebastian for having pulled the trigger. The mother for having at one point hated your son. All of it. It is everything you would expect one to feel.

It isn't a surprise that a situation where a 4 year old shoots and kills a 4 month old could cause one to question God. How could a loving God allow such an event to happen? And if He does exist, how could He forgive a young boy for killing his sister? This wasn't a huge part of Bang truthfully there were only two comments made in passing, but as a Christian, I can't help but zero in on these things. Bad things happen in this world because God gave us free-will. Otherwise we'd all be robots running about doing His will. Love isn't much of anything when it is forced upon us. So truthfully LOVE is the reason (through free will) that bad things happen. And when you think about it, maybe it isn't such a big surprise that an infant would die when God allowed His own Son to die (for us). When bad things happen that we don't know how to explain, people often forget what God gave up for us because they're only concerned with how this bad thing has happened to them. Who do we think we are when we expect God to leave us be to live our lives however we want with no concern for Him in the day to day, yet we expect Him to save us from the things that break our hearts or cause us pain? This area of Bang was a slight frustration for me. Though believable and understandable, I'd like to--for once--see a character work through these thoughts and come out on the side of understanding that God is still good even though bad things happen.

Truthfully I didn't highlight much. There were a couple passages I highlighted but don't want to share outside of the context, and then there were the two religious references I highlighted so that I could note my frustration. But I will share this quote:

-And this is the moment to kiss her, but this is the moment never, ever to kiss her. Because to kiss her now is to seal it with pain and shame, and nothing grows well or true or right in that blend of fertilizer.

Overall Bang was an emotional read for me. I liked seeing how Sebastian was both stuck in the past and trying desperately to move forward. While I did enjoy this book overall, I'm not sure who I would recommend it to. Someone who is simply looking for an emotional and thought-provoking read I suppose. Ultimately, Bang gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Bang? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Post - 243

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.

Happy Easter everyone! Praise God! Jesus rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God! (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:11-18; 1 Corinthians 15; Luke 22:69; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1) This has been a good week. We've had nice weather so Little Girl and I have gotten to walk almost every day. I've also worked on sanding this old patio table and chairs in order to get them ready to repaint. My grandmother came to visit on Saturday so my siblings and families all got together to visit with her. Saturday night we took Little Girl to Grammy's house to dye Easter eggs. I'm excited to see her hunt eggs later on today. Last year she was only 5 months old and couldn't really participate. No new books this week.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Twist (Dive Bar, # 2) by Kylie Scott (3 Stars)
Wednesday: Waiting on Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Bang by Barry Lyga
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting on 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, April 12, 2017

Waiting on Jane, Unlimited

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

Jane, Unlimited

By: Kristin Cashore

Expected Publication: September 19th 2017 by Kathy Dawson Books

464 pages

Genre: 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--Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family's island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: "If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go." With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn't know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

I've been waiting for Kristin Cashore to publish something since her Graceling series. What are you guys waiting on? Let me know!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Twist - Review

Twist (Dive Bar, # 2)

By: Kylie Scott

Published: April 11th 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin

288 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description--When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot, bearded, bartender extraordinaire, Joe Collins, only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, friendly, and pretty much everything he's been looking for in a woman. And in no time at all they're emailing up a storm, telling each other their deepest darkest secrets... apart from the one that really matters.

And when it comes to love, serving it straight up works better than with a twist.

Twist is a catfish story. Joe begins an online conversation with Alex through an online dating account created by his brother Eric. Joe only plans to tell Alex that Eric isn't truly interested and that he's lost interest in his online profile, but something about Alex intrigues him. So instead Joe continues to talk to Alex through email never revealing his true identity. Alex's best friend persuades her to get on a plane and go visit Eric for his birthday. But when Alex shows up and Eric has no idea who she is things get awkward. Alex has no intention of hearing out Eric's big burly lumberjack looking brother when he tells her that he's been the one behind the emails that she's felt such a strong connection to. Fate has other plans and Alex is struck down with the flu which prevents her from traveling immediately home. Joe steps in and takes care of Alex while she's sick. And Alex agrees to stay for two weeks to get to know Joe.

I had been hoping that the email correspondence between these two characters would have more of an impact on this story. There were emails included from before the two meet, but I didn't feel like they contributed too terribly much to the story itself or the connection between the two characters as the emails didn't dive as deeply into personal territory as I wanted. This felt like a missed opportunity to me.

Because I so recently read Dirty (although I don't plan to review it), the language that Kylie Scott uses was just too familiar for me. She uses the exact same phrases from time to time in a way that doesn't always sit well with me. I imagine it's easy to use repeat phrases when you're just writing the way you think, but I guess I hope for more when it comes to authors. I'd like to see each book challenge the author to find new ways of communicating the same feelings and emotions.

I guess it is a fault of the genre just as much as the author, but I'm a little tired of relationships that are built upon the physical more than the emotional. On the one hand, I appreciate how Alex wasn't initially attracted to Joe physically but the more she learned about him the more that changed. Yet their relationship still centered around the physical a bit much for my preferences. Although not as much as Vaughan and Lydia's. Beware there is quite a lot of description as well as language if this bothers you.

Ultimately, Twist was a fast read for me, but it likely won't be one that I remember much about in years to come. Alex and Joe won't stand out as an epic couple or even a favorite read for the year. There wasn't much wrong with Twist, but it was just okay for me. Twist gets 3 Stars. Have you read Twist? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Post - 242 & Stacking the Shelves - 193

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 was a good week. Even with bad weather two days, each day it was clear enough for us to go for our afternoon walk. I truly struggle on the days when we're trapped inside all day. My dryer was delivered on Tuesday. I'm so thankful to finally have it. I went into laundry overload this week trying to catch up. My niece and nephew from Georgia were on Spring Break this week so their family came to visit for a couple of days. It was nice to eat dinner with them twice this week and spend some time hanging out. I don't know what my mind was thinking, but for some reason I had it in my head that I'd be able to work outside on Saturday almost all day, but I must have completely forgotten that I have a year and a half old daughter or something. I'm sure it's just that last week she was at her grandmother's house on Saturday and I was spoiled with being able to do whatever chores I felt like doing. Ah well. I'd rather her be at home with me anyway. Although there is still much to do around our house outside.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House, # 0.5) by Kristi Ann Hunter (3.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Waiting on When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Twist (Dive Bar, # 2) by Kylie Scott
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting on 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.

All In (Full Tilt, # 2)

By: Emma Scott

Published: October 11th 2016

296 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description--SPOILERS FOR FULL TILT....

Reeling from her loss, Kacey Dawson is grieving and heartbroken, her addictive demons hauling her back into the alcohol-soaked abyss she worked so hard to crawl out of. Kacey teeters on the edge of oblivion, and must fight her way through the pain, to build a new life for herself with her music, and somehow fulfill the promise she made to Jonah…one she feels is impossible to keep.

Theo Fletcher has a secret burning in his heart, one that he holds close, while he struggles to keep strong for his family that is falling apart. His mother’s health is fragile and his father’s disapproval is breaking him down. Theo is afraid if he follows his heart, he’ll fail, and not just himself, but his brother who believed in him when no one else did.

Drawn together by their pain, Theo and Kacey slowly build a friendship, re-forge old ties, help each other to heal, and give one another the courage to reach for their dreams. Together, from the depths of grief and guilt, they learn to laugh again, to trust again, and quite possibly find something beautiful and lasting amid the shattered pieces of their broken hearts.

Part II of the two-part Full Tilt duet, coming Oct 2016

PLEASE NOTE, this novel is NOT a standalone. It is highly recommended one read Full Tilt first to get the entire arc of the story and to avoid spoilers.

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, April 5, 2017

Waiting on When I Am Through With You

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

When I Am Through With You

By: Stephanie Kuehn

Expected Publication: August 1st 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense

( 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--“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”

Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.

I don't read a ton of thriller/suspense books, but this is one I could make an exception for based on this description. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Lady of Esteem - Review

A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House, # 0.5)

By: Kristi Ann Hunter

Published: July 7th 2015 by Bethany House Publishers

159 pages

Genre: Adult, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Regency

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--Miss Amelia Stalwood may live in London at her absent guardian's townhouse, but she's never actually met any nobility, and instead of aristocrats, her closest friends are servants. Quite by happenstance, she's introduced to the Hawthorne family and their close family friend, Anthony, the reformed marquis of Raeburn. They welcome her into their world, but just as she's beginning to gain some confidence and even suspect she may have caught Anthony's eye, she's blindsided by an unexpected twist in her situation accompanied by nasty rumors. Will she lose her reputation when the world that has only just accepted her turns its back on her, or will she rest in the support of the friends who've become like family and the man who's shared his faith and captured her heart?

A Lady of Esteem is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Kristi Ann Hunter's new Regency romance series about the aristocratic Hawthorne family! Includes an extended excerpt of Kristi's debut full-length novel, A Noble Masquerade.

I have to admit that An Uncommon Courtship piqued my interest in reading A Lady of Esteem more than A Noble Masquerade even though Amelia and Anthony only appear briefly in An Uncommon Courtship despite both being mentioned quite frequently. But that's because in An Uncommon Courtship Trent owns the house that Amelia grew up living in. Also because Adelaide's sister is Helena who has a part in A Lady of Esteem. Regardless, I was excited for the free novella giving Amelia and Anthony's story.

Though we're not specifically told the details of the sins of Anthony's past, we do know that he had issues with alcohol and women. He escaped to the country where he spent a considerable amount of time with the Hawthorne family--specifically Griffith. In doing so, he's turned his life over to God and is trying to settle down by finding a wife. And that leads him to return to London.

Amelia is a gentleman's daughter. However, both of her parents have passed. As well as her grandmother. And it seems that she's just gotten passed from one distant relative to the next. The last of which has left her in a house in London where she's come to make a family of sorts out of the household servants. But it isn't just the servants of her own house that she's familiar, but also most of those that she's met and come in contact with.

Amelia and Anthony meet in a couple of encounters that thoroughly embarrass her, but thoroughly intrigue him. And the two begin an unconventional courtship--which seems to be a bit of a theme for this series. Amelia is as pure and sweet as they come. Even though she's not been thoroughly educated in the Bible, it's principles seem to come naturally to her. But Anthony struggles with the man he's been and doesn't want to drag Amelia down with him.

I appreciated the religious themes to A Lady of Esteem perhaps the most out of the three books in this series that I've read. Forgiveness and redemption is something most can relate to.

Favorite quotes:

-"Even if you succeed in placing these ballrooms beyond my reach, you will never ruin my life. I do not give you that power."

-How could anyone hear what anyone else was saying? But then again, maybe they didn't care. It seemed more important to be talking than to be heard.

-How could a loving God bring him to the brink of happiness and then snatch it all away? The answer materialized, as if the Lord himself had spoken in Anthony's ear. I didn't take it away. You did.

A Lady of Esteem was short, quick, and thoroughly enjoyable. I liked the characters, the story, the message. A Lady of Esteem gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read A Lady of Esteem? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday Post - 241 & Stacking the Shelves - 182

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.

Ugh you guys! Our clothes dryer went ka-put a little over a month ago. We ordered a new one online from Lowe's a month ago. The delivery date was estimated to be March 12th. On the 17th they called to say that it had shipped from the Samsung factory and had arrived in Georgia, but that it would take a week to arrive at our local store, and then they would have to schedule a delivery to us. When we still hadn't heard anything by the 25th we contacted Lowe's again. It was Tuesday before we heard anything, only to be told that our dryer still won't arrive at our local store until this coming Wednesday...and again we still have to schedule it for delivery to our house. This has been beyond frustrating. I know people have much worse problems in their lives, but this is so annoying. Little Girl spent the night with her Grammy Friday night. That allowed us to go out to eat and to go see a play that my nephew was in. They did such a great job. Then Saturday, I took advantage of an empty house to deep clean.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of 100 Hours (100 Hours, # 1) by Rachel Vincent (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Waiting on Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Friday: March 2017 EOM Wrap Up
Saturday: Problems Only We Know # 4: When Book Covers Lie

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House, # 0.5) by Kristi Ann Hunter
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting on 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.

The Captain's Daughter (London Beginnings, # 1)

By: Jennifer Delamere

Expected Publication: June 6th 2017 by Bethany House Publishers

352 pages

Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical 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--Warm-Hearted Victorian Romance Brings 1880s London to Life

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he's glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can't wait to leave behind.

Full Tilt (Full Tilt, # 1)

By: Emma Scott

Published: June 28th 2016 by Trillian

292 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

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--"I would love you forever, if I only had the chance..."

Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge--impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch...

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he's vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

Full Tilt is a story about what it means to love with your whole heart, to sacrifice, to experience terrible grief and soaring joy. To live life with all its beauty, and all its pain, and in the end to be able to smile through tears and know you wouldn’t have changed a thing.

***FIRST BOOK IN A TWO PART DUET***

All In (Full Tilt #2) forthcoming...

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, April 1, 2017

Problems Only We Know # 4: When Book Covers Lie

I'm starting a new feature called Problems Only We Know. This is feature is meant to be funny--sarcastic at times-- that highlights on a few topics here and there that can be annoying or small inconveniences that only readers/bloggers will understand.

Let's talk lying book covers.

I've made it my goal to keep my blog "family friendly". I've written an entire post here on what that means to me, but the main thing is that I aim to keep book covers with mostly naked cover models or cover models in compromising positions as well as books with cursing in the titles off my blog. Even though I don't enjoy reading overly descriptive sexual scenes or books with a lot of cursing, I have read some that push my limits at times, but if I've featured it on the blog then it's because I've found an alternate cover edition out there and I've made note of my feelings toward the content within my reviews.

But sometimes book covers lie.

Sometimes books with the cutest covers are packed with descriptive content and/or language.

These book covers leave you thinking "Whoops! That didn't go as I expected!"

Sometimes books with the raciest looking covers don't include the content that the covers hint at.

These book covers can you leave you thinking "Where's it at?".

Sometimes book covers don't have anything to do with the content within.


And these book covers can leave you thinking, "What did that have to do with anything?".

via GIPHY

Have you guys ever been lied to by a book cover? Is this a problem that you're familiar with? Let me know!