Saturday, August 31, 2013

August EOM Wrap Up

I read 9 1/2 books in August. This hits my goal of 2 per week, but was much slower than my last couple of months. Probably due to reading two longer, slower books this month.

Deeper We Fall (Fall and Rise, # 1) by Chelsea M Cameron
Frigid (Frigid, # 1) by J Lynn (review coming soon)
Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We've Made Up by Francis Chan and Steve (review coming soon)
Pandemonium (Delirium, # 2) by Lauren Oliver (review coming soon)
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, # 2) by Maggie Stiefvater (review coming soon)
Where She Went (If I Stay, # 2) by Gayle Forman (review coming soon)
Parasite (Parasitology, # 1) by Mira Grant (review coming soon)
Consume (The Clann, # 3) by Melissa Darnell (review coming soon)
Free Four (Divergent, # 1.5) by Veronica Roth (review coming soon?)

I've reviewed 10 books:

Saving Wishes (The Wishes Series, # 1) by GJ Walker-Smith
If I Stay (If I Stay, # 1) by Gayle Forman
The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, # 1) by JA Redmerski
Deeper We Fall (Fall and Rise, # 1) by Chelsea M Cameron
Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood, # 1) by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, # 1) by Cassandra Clare
Delirium (Delirium, # 1) by Lauren Oliver
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, # 1) by Leigh Bardugo
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

I also reviewed The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie, DNF Reviews of Love Among Pigeons and The Rising, as well as Series DNFs # 1.

Other Posts:

Top Ten Books I Wish Had Sequels
Top Ten Books with X Setting
Top Ten Things that Make My Reading/Blogging Life Easier
Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters
Waiting on Takedown Twenty
Waiting on Cress
Waiting on Forever
Waiting on Into the Still Blue
Sunday Post - 56 & Stacking the Shelves - 29
Sunday Post - 57 & Stacking the Shelves - 30
Sunday Post - 58 & Stacking the Shelves - 31
Sunday Post - 59 & Stacking the Shelves - 32
A to Z Book Survey
August New Release Giveaway

That's it for my August 2013. How was yours?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Infinite Moment of Us - Review

The Infinite Moment of Us

By: Lauren Myracle

Expected Publication: August 20th 2013 by Amulet Books

336 pages

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | )

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

Goodreads description--For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now... not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them...

Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.

I think this is one of those situations where the title drew me in more than the book cover or the description. Descriptions can be misleading, and so I don't put as much stock into them as I used to. When looking at requesting a book for review from NetGalley, I've gotten to where I always check the Goodreads overall rating before I hit the button for "request." This is just one step to prevent me from requesting something that looks good to me but might end up being a dud. By the time I was actually approved for The Infinite Moment of Us the Goodreads rating had dropped to 3.4. AH!!!! That's a sure-fire sign to run for the hills. BUT, I try to complete the books I request from publishers if at all possible, and the release date for The Infinite Moment of Us was quickly approaching.

I picked it up with pretty low expectations considering the Goodreads rating, and I pretty much read it in one sitting. I had to put it down for a couple of hours, but I still completed the read in one day. This is always a plus in my book because I really hate when a book bogs me down and is slow going. However, being a fast read isn't enough to make this book good.

I will say that it was obvious to me from the beginning that this book had "issues." There's an almost insta-love aspect and a definitely cheesiness that is hard to overcome. And this is coming from ME, I'm normally a huge fan of cheesy. Well...apparently I have a cheesy line and The Infinite Moment of Us crossed it.

"Something had passed between them. Something he couldn't explain, and it had made him forget that he didn't believe in souls. Anyway, who was he kidding? He didn't believe in love, either, but this he knew: He loved Wren Gray. He'd loved her forever, it seemed."

"I think our souls touched..."

I think enough said about cheesy and unrealistic.

Another struggle for me with The Infinite Moment of Us was the use of dialect. This book isn't inundated with it as some books are, but words and phrases like "muzzy," "supah slo-mo yo," "sumpin'," "you lookin' good," "gangstaspeak," etc are used enough to make me cringe.

Ok so let's talk characters.

Wren is described as a people pleaser, a do-gooder, a worrier, and watcher. She's followed the path that her overbearing parents have laid out for her to the point where her parents don't even know her true self. She decides to stand up for herself and take the path that she wants to take, but at times this felt more like an escape than something she actually felt driven and wanted to do. I did relate to Wren in a lot of ways, even her negative characteristics.

Charlie is currently living with foster parents, Chris and Pamela, who would love nothing more than to adopt him. He also has a disabled foster brother who he adores and would do just about anything for. Charlie's had a troubled past, and he's seeking a way to find significance. He does so by protecting his little brother, working in Chris's cabinet shop (who strangely seems to make more furniture than cabinets), and trying to reach out to his messed up, crazy ex-girlfriend Starrla.

In a lot of ways, I completely relate to this story and to Wren more than a lot of other characters I've read. I've dated the guy with the crazy ex-girlfriend. The guy who can't stop trying to help said crazy ex-girlfriend even to the detriment of our relationship. I've seen how much crazy ex-girlfriend truly needs help and have felt how selfish it is to want boyfriend to leave her in his past so that we could move forward together. I almost feel like I've lived this story--at least this part. I intimately know the guy who can't just walk away from someone who is hurting, even if that someone is hurting someone else that he loves. It's a really messed up situation and I have STRONG feelings about these types of situations. Because of that The Infinite Moment of Us brought those back out of me.

However, Wren and Charlie's relationship had an immature feeling to it to me. So much so that I literally cringe at their decision to move forward physically. These two kids are just not ready for the kinds of issues that come up when this level of physicality is involved in a relationship.

Also, The Infinite Moment of Us was another book that just ended. I won't say it was a cliffhanger, but I just felt like the ending was rushed and uncomfortable. And just over very abruptly.

While I could completely relate to a lot of aspects of The Infinite Moment of Us, the pet peeves, cheesiness, and missing pieces were enough to drag this one down in my mind. I completely understand why the ratings are so low. The best I feel I can do for The Infinite Moment of Us is to give it 3 stars. And that's quite possibly a stretch only given because of the crazy ex-girlfriend emotions that it raised for me.

Have you read The Infinite Moment of Us? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting on Into the Still Blue

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

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, # 3)

By: Veronica Rossi

Expected Publication: January 28th 2014 by HarperCollins

400 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | )

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

Goodreads description--The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi's "masterpiece" Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close

Oh yeah!!!! Can't wait for this one! What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters.

I'm choosing to list the books with the most memorable characters and I'll list those characters within the books. If I only did the most memorable characters, Harry Potter would be the only book I listed and then I'd have a hard time deciding WHICH book in the series to use. Also, sometimes it's hard to tell who is considered a main character and who is considered a secondary character.

    1) Harry Potter by JK Rowling - The Weasleys, specifically the twins, Lee Jordan, Luna Lovegood, Nevelle, Mad-Eye Moody, Tunks, Doby, Creature, Hagrid, Snape, Dumbledore, McGonagol, Sirius Black...I could keep going.
    2) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Isaac and Peter van Houten
    3) Partials by Dan Wells - Marcus and Fragments - Afa
    4) Hopeless by Colleen Hoover - Six and Losing Hope - Daniel
    5) Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein - Roz'a, Lissett, Karolina, Irina, Anna, Elodie
    6) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi- Roar
    7) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead- Eddie Castile
    8) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- Zuzana
    9) Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich - Lula
    10) Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - Poet

Who are your favorite secondary characters? Which books hold the most memorable secondary characters for you? Let me know!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - Movie Review

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Director: Harald Zwart

Written By: Jessica Postigo (screenplay), Cassandra Clare (based on the novel by)

Stars: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower

Released: August 21, 2013

130 minutes

Produced By: Constantin Film Produktion, Don Carmody Productions, Unique Features

Let me start off by saying that I go into any movie inspired, based upon, or made from a book expecting there to be differences. I've NEVER seen a book to movie adaptation where there weren't differences. And those differences can come in any number of variations from missing characters, meshed characters (meaning two characters turned into one), additional characters, changed scenes, missing scenes, and so on and so on. Sometimes the changes are due to money, time constraints, and various other issues of translating a book to the big screen. Because I expect these differences I don't tend to leave the movie disappointed because X character wasn't included in the movie or they left out X scene.

All of that being said, I actually think they did a pretty good job sticking to the book for the The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Of course, several things were different. They always are. They always will be. There was one line inserted into the movie that grated on me because of how much of the experience that line altered for the viewer, especially the viewer who has not read the books. But as irritating as that line was, I still feel like the rest of the movie outweighed the damage done with that line. So be prepared about that. And while that one line was the one thing I wish they hadn't decided to change (or in this case, include), I do think they can work around it in a way that doesn't completely ruin the experience, though the experience will be altered for the viewer who hasn't read the books.

Lily Collins did a great job as Clary in my opinion. I was expecting her to do well in this role, but she exceeded my expectations. And Jamie Campbell Bower, well he totally blew my expectations out of the water. I wasn't impressed with his performance as Caius in the Twilight movies, but to be fair, it's not like he had many lines or much screen time. But he's much skinnier than I pictured Jace, and I'm not really a fan of long hair typically. However, he totally pulls off the Jace sarcasm and one-liners in a way that I just wasn't sure he was capable of doing. Overall, I was super impressed. And even though he's majorly skinny, you'll also see how cut he is in one scene. Most importantly was the essence of Jace, and I really ended up being impressed with his performance.

The secondary characters were both good and unimpressive in varying degrees. I thought Robert Sheehan (Simon) did a decent job in some scenes, a really good job in other scenes, and then eh not so much in others. Isabelle (Jemima West) and Alec (Kevin Zegers) I was generally unimpressed with. Hodge, played by Jared Harris, was pretty much exactly what I pictured in my head. Lena Headly as Jocelyn did a decent job in my mind and goes to town with a refrigerator showing she hasn't lost all of her shadowhunter skills over the years. Jonathan Reyes Meyers does a decent job as Valentine. He's menacing and seductive when he needs to be. Truth be told, I could really only see King Henry VIII from The Tudors in his portrayal of Valentine. But whoever decided he needed those braids needs to be fired.

And then there's Magnus. I've heard differing opinions on Godfrey Gao's performance as Magnus. He truly didn't have much screen time all in all, but I was somewhat disappointed. I was hoping for more "umph" from his character. More outrageousness from his outfits (not wearing pants isn't not really the same thing as bright pink or neon green skinny jeans--not necessarily straight from the book descriptions, but something I could imagine him wearing with a matching shirt and perhaps scarf of some kind). And more of the blue sparks from his magic fingers. I get maybe that may fall into the category of the first paragraph I discussed above, but his character is just so out there. I'm hoping we see more in the future.

As far as special effects go, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was much better than our first Twilight installment. (I can't help but to compare it to Twilight and I think a lot of people will do the same.) I even jumped at the creepiness from some of the demons. I thought the effects and fight scenes were well done. Kudos.

There are a few cheesy things. One line in particular involving talk about seeing an angel and a trick using the portal. But nothing compared to cheesiness we've seen in past book to movie adaptations. And nothing close to overboard.

I'll definitely be purchasing this for my collection once it's out on DVD/Blu-Ray. And I'll probably try to go see it in the theater one more time as well. I don't think that The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is getting the recognition that it deserves. And I hate to think that the other movies might not be made because it doesn't get the deserved press (City of Ashes is to begin filming next month to be released next year). I highly encourage fans of the book series to check out this adaptation as soon as you're able. There are some differences, but I think overall you'll be really impressed.

I'm rating The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie as 4 to 4.5 Stars. Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Let me know!

Check out my review of City of Bones (the book) as well.

Shadow and Bone - Review

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, # 1)

By: Leigh Bardugo

Published: June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co

356 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Source: Borrowed from my SNL, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | )

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

Goodreads description--The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

First thing I have to say is that I completely agree with Holly when she said that this book needed a glossary. I don't mind when books have words that are unfamiliar to me in the mix, but Shadow and Bone has such a large amount of these types of words that it's a bit annoying not to have any clue what they're talking about or the pronunciations for each. You do pick up on some meanings here and there, but a glossary would have been helpful.

Despite my frustrations with the terminology, the world that Leigh Bardugo has created is both terrifying and beautiful. The Grisha are the same way. Most people are in awe of them yet utterly terrified and despise them at the same time. The entire world and the entire book has a love/hate theme going on. I just dare you to try not to get captivated in this unique creation.

Guys...sometimes I like to trick myself into thinking that I can predict the future. It's really quite hilarious. A lot of times I'm spot on in my predictions for books--what's to come and all of that jazz. Not really because I'm anything special, but just because I try to keep my eyes out for foreshadowing placed strategically by the author. But Shadow and Bone through me for an absolute loop and pretty much made a fool out of me. I was all taking notes, writing down page numbers and quotes because I had a prediction about what was going to happen...and um yeah....not even close. Leigh Bardugo totally played me. But if anything, it makes me like this book even more.

Alina is a character I couldn't help but get wrapped up in. Every aspect of her life. From being orphaned, to being in love with her best friend who she doesn't think even sees her. Not fitting in anywhere. Being only mildly talented at her job of mapmaking. Finding out that she has this ability that she can't control. Falling for the charm of someone she's not sure she can trust. All of it. Her entire package was easy to connect to, to feel her pain, longing, and desires. To understand her thoughts and feelings.

The Darkling had me wrapped up in the process as well. I was charmed and intoxicated with his power. Of course there was the battle with me from the beginning about where Alina's feelings truly lie--with Mal or with The Darkling. But I picked a side and then had to jump ship. Mal was another character that I couldn't help but get wrapped up in, and I'm pretty sure that there is much more to come from him--can't wait to see that unfold.

I'm not sure what else to say without spoiling the entire experience for someone who hasn't read it. Shadow and Bone is not a book you're likely to forget. Fans of world building, fantasy, and villains will love Shadow and Bone. I'm giving it 4 Stars. Have you read Shadow and Bone? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Post - 59 & Stacking the Shelves - 32

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 quick week. Finally got the fridge fixed from last week, so we're back up and running. A small group of us went to see City of Bones Friday night. Short version is I really enjoyed it, and Jamie Campbell Bower did a much better job as Jace than I was expecting. Full movie review coming Monday. Also Saturday, the family came over for a swim day to celebrate my sister's birthday! So it's been a good weekend too.


Monday: Review of Delirium (Delirium, # 1) by Lauren Oliver (4.5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Things that Make My Reading/Blogging Life Easier
Wednesday: Waiting on Forever (Temptation, # 3) by Karen Ann Hopkins
Thursday: Review of Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (5 Stars)
Friday: Series DNFs # 1


Monday: Review of Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, # 1) by Leigh Bardugo & Review of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie
Tuesday: Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
Saturday: August EOM Wrap Up

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Inhale, Exhale

By: Sarah M Ross

Published: May 6th 2013 by Createspace

241 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!)

( Goodreads | Amazon ($2.99 now) | The Book Depository | )

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

Goodreads description--Jillian had a plan: celebrate the end of her first year of college with an amazing summer full of beaches, barbeques, and bonfires. When her mom insists she needs a summer job, and her boyfriend spends more time with his band than with her, Jillian’s plans go down the drain.

Grant had a plan: finish his Masters, get a great job at Google, and get the hell out of Georgia. He might be giving up some of the fun of his youth, but he knows his all work and no play method would be worth it when his dreams came true.

But things never go according to plan.

When temptation brings them together and tragedy tears them apart, Jillian and Grant will be forced to choose: fight for their dreams, or fight for each other.


By: Josh Grayson

Expected Publication: November 20th 2013

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Source: Publisher/Author via NetGalley (Thank you!)

( Goodreads )

Goodreads description--When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1)

By: Rebecca Effington

Published: October 30th 2012 by Imdalind Press

352 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Kindle Freebie

( Goodreads | Amazon | )

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

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

If only she knew that she was.

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

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

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!

Don't forget to enter my August New Release Giveaway Hop (Ends August 31)!