Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 2014 EOM Wrap Up

I read 10 books. *These qualify for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge.

Heat of the Moment (Moment of Truth, # 1) by Lauren Barnholdt
Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, # 1) by Rosamund Hodge
The Charlotte Chronicles (Jackson Boys, # 1) by Jen Frederick (not pictured)
This Shattered World (This Shattered World, # 2) by Aime Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, # 1) by LM Montgomery
Just One Day (Just One Day, # 1) by Gayle Forman
*Out of Breath (Breathing, # 3) by Rebecca Donovan
*Maybe Not (Maybe, # 1.5) by Colleen Hoover
Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits, # 1.5/5) by Katie McGarry

I reviewed 10 books this month. *These qualify for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge.

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, # 1) by Claudia Gray
Sometimes It Lasts (Sea Breeze, # 5) by Abbi Glines
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, # 3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Unravel Me (Shatter Me, # 2) by Tahereh Mafi
Misbehaving (Sea Breeze, # 6) by Abbi Glines
Defiance (Defiance, # 1) by CJ Redwine
This Shattered World (Starbound, # 2) by Aime Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
We Were Liars by E Lockhard

Other Posts:

Waiting on Becoming Rain (Burying Water, # 2) by KA Tucker
Waiting on Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy, 3 1) by Victoria Aveyard
Waiting on The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, # 1) by Melinda Salisbury
Waiting on Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
Sunday Post - 126 & Stacking the Shelves - 88
Sunday Post - 127 & Stacking the Shelves - 89
Sunday Post - 128 & Stacking the Shelves – 89.5
Sunday Post - 129 & Stacking the Shelves - 90
Top Ten Books I’m Excited About in 2015
Top Ten New to Me Authors I Read in 2014
Top Ten Book BFFs
Top Ten Books I Want Santa to Bring
Top Ten Goals for 2015
Discussions Only We Know- TBR In Possession
Discussion Only We Know – Requesting from NetGalley/Edelweiss
Discussion Only We Know – DNSing
Best of 2014 Giveaway Hop
Cover Reveal – Asa (Marked Men, # 6) by Jay Crownover
Series DNF # 3
Cover Doubles # 2
Pinterest Party Recap
2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge – December Wrap Up
EOY 2014 Book Survey

I finished reading the Bible for the 3rd year in a row.
I have read 142 out of 104 books for 2014.
I have read 15 out of 10-12 Series Enders.

Waiting on Vanishing Girls

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

Vanishing Girls

By: Lauren Oliver

Expected Publication: March 3rd 2015 by HarperCollins

358 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, 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--New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

Lauren Oliver is on my must read list. Anything she writes. Everything she writes. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Ten Goals for 2015

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Goals for 2015.

My goals aren’t really that different from last year. This is not because I didn’t achieve my goals last year, but more because I just want to maintain these same goals this year. Here they are:

  1. Read 104 books this year. Even though the last two years I’ve read 130+ books, I still like having a goal that I know should be doable. I’m so goal oriented that I don’t just like to achieve my goals…I like to achieve them NOW! This year I had an unofficial goal of 150 books, so we’ll see if maybe I can hit that this year. But 2 per week is a great goal that doesn’t overwhelm me.
  2. Read the entire Bible in 2015. This will be my 4th year to do this. And I love having this goal each year. I’d like to maintain this one throughout my life.
  3. Read 10-12 series enders for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
  4. Relax. 2013 was an unnecessarily stressful year. I like having goals for myself and the blog and reading, but I don’t want to be stressed out about achieving those goals.
  5. Remain true to myself. I don’t want to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. I want to blog my way. I want to read the books I like. I want to be happy and satisfied with what I’m doing.
  6. Lose weight. Ugh. I wouldn’t be upset if I dropped 20+ pounds. I was 20 pounds lighter two years ago and this past year being healthy just wasn’t on my radar as much as it should have been.
  7. Increased prayer with Husband. I’ve got this thing where I type up prayers to God and I’ll share them with people—usually whoever I’m praying for. Even when I’m mostly just praying for myself I’ll send them to Husband so that he’s always aware of what I’m going through, what I’m praying about, and where my heads at. I really feel like this has been a good thing throughout our marriage. I don’t want to commit to one a day, but I want to aim for 5 prayers a week that I type up and share with him.

My remaining goals are actually pretty personal. They’re mostly family and financially related. So I hope you don’t mind me choosing not to share them. I wanted to add “Have X blog followers” or “increased commenting on other blogs” but truthfully, I love each and every follower I have and I enjoy commenting on other blogs, but I’m not really in a place where that’s my focus right now. I’m not in a place where I’m actively pursuing new blog followers, and I’m pretty happy with the amount of commenting I do on other blogs at the moment.

I love having goals for the year. And it’s really important to me that my goals are attainable and measureable. “Remain true to myself” is a bit ambiguous, but I’ll know if I’m doing it or not.

What are your goals for 2015? Let me know!

Monday, December 29, 2014

We Were Liars - Review

We Were Liars

By: E Lockhart

Published: May 13th 2014 by Delacorte Press

227 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Source: Borrowed from the 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--A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

We Were Liars was not at all what I expected it to be. Mostly, I knew that bloggers raved about this book and rated it pretty highly. And essentially, I knew this book took place on a private island with a bunch of teenagers. For some reason that I still haven't figured out, I was thinking more along the lines of Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Maybe because the only other thing I really knew about this book was that there was a twist.

I'm not even sure what all I will have to say about We Were Liars. It hooked me. The writing was beautiful and sometimes poetic. The literary references were frequent, and I loved them all. Every word seemed to matter. And I absolutely love when that happens.

The characters all felt so real to me. I felt like I was literally among this spoiled, rich, messed up family. Cadence has such a clear voice and I liked following her curvy path to the truth of the accident she was involved in that changed everything. And I loved Cadence and Gat's relationship and how it played into the entire family dynamic.

More than anything, this is a book that needs to be experienced without too much detail. I want to discuss it more, but if you haven't read this one, go ahead and mark it down to do so as soon as possible.

I don't know that I've added anything to the discussion about We Were Liars but to second what many other readers have said: Read this book! We Were Liars was utterly enjoyable, and I was entranced throughout the entire read! We Were Liars gets 4.5 Stars from me. Have you read We Were Liars? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Post - 129 & Stacking the Shelves - 90

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 fast, busy, and fun week. Tuesday, we played Dirty Santa at work, but with re-gifted items. That was surprisingly fun--especially considering that I don't typically like Dirty Santa. Wednesday work let us go half a day and then we were off Thursday and Friday. Wednesday, Husband and I drove to Georgia to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Husband's family. We drove back home Thursday afternoon. Friday, I hung out with my sister and parents for a bit, and then Husband and I had a movie day. We watched If I Stay and the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the first disc of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Saturday, my side of the family celebrated Christmas. We also crammed in two movies, Maleficent and Life of Pi.


Monday: Review of This Shattered World (Starbound, # 2) by Aime Kaufman
& Meagan Spooner (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Want Santa to Bring Me
& 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge - December 2014
Wednesday: No blog posts
Thursday: Merry Christmas
Friday: Cover Doubles # 2
Saturday: Pinterest Party Recap


Monday: Review of We Were Liars by E Lockhart
Tuesday: Top Ten Goals/Resolutions
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday & December EOM Wrap Up
Thursday: EOY 2014 Book Survey
Friday: Upon Further Review: Believe Tiny Limits
Saturday: Discussions Only We Know: Social Media Overload

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2015 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.

My sister-in-law also pre-ordered The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, # 6) by Richelle Mead for me for Christmas, and Husband also bought me Ruins (Partial Sequence, # 3) by Dan Wells and Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, # 3) by Robin LaFevers. I'll feature The Ruby Circle when it arrives, but I chose not to feature Ruins or Mortal Heart since I've featured them before (borrowed Ruins from the e-library and read Mortal Heart for review).

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, # 3)

By: Michelle Hodkin

Publication: November 4th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

464 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Christmas Present from my sister-in-law

( 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--Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits, # 1.5)

By: Katie McGarry

Published: December 8th 2014 by Harlequin Teen

304 pages

Genre: YA/NA, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (from Husband)

( 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 summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.

Maybe Not (Maybe, # 1.5)

By: Colleen Hoover

Published: November 24th 2014 by Atria Books

129 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Novella

Source: Personal Kindle Library (from Husband)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--Colleen Hoover, the New York Times bestselling author of Maybe Someday brilliantly brings to life the story of the wonderfully hilarious and charismatic Warren in a new novella, Maybe Not.

When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?


Maybe not.

The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, # 4)

By: Julie Kagawa

Published: October 26th 2011 by Harlequin TEEN

400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Fairies

Source: Personal Kindle Library (from my mother-in-law)

( 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--My name - my True Name - is Ashallayn’ darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase - a half human, half fey slip of a girl - smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end - a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.

To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)

By: Danielle L Jensen

Published: April 1st 2014 by Strange Chemistry

469 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description--For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, # 3)

By: Tahereh Mafi

Published: February 4th 2014 by HarperCollins

421 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library (from my sister-in-law)

( 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 heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pinterest Party Recap

This post is really for Lola @ Lola Reviews. Others showed interest in the idea, but Lola seemed really curious about it. So Lola…here you go.

As far as I know the idea of a “Pinterest Party” originated with my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law. Ha! So Holly brought the idea to our group of lady friends in October 2012. Have you found yourself pinning recipes and crafts but never getting around to trying any of them? Or if you do try them you just don’t have the time to try ALL of them? So the idea is to try a bulk of recipes at one time and a couple of crafts. Everyone brings a dish from a recipe they’ve pinned, so we can all sample them at the same time. This provides party food, but also allows us to see if any of the recipes are keepers or not. We usually discuss how easy or difficult each item was and if there’s anything we’d change about the recipe to make it better.

Also, whoever is hosting the party picks a craft or two (sometimes three) for the group to do. The host usually tries the craft before the party to make sure it’s doable for the group and to check cost expense. Then the host will purchase the supplies needed for the entire group and each person that comes pays the host a percentage of the cost. This works out really well because you might need to buy a can of spray paint, but one person won’t use the entire can on one project. So there are things that everyone can use without that cost being on each person. We can all split a can of spray paint, etc.

As I said, the first party our group did was October 2012, so it was Halloween themed. We did two crafts that party. Shown below.

And this is our group.

The next party we did was December 2012. We did three crafts at this party (pictured below). I don’t have any pictures from that event itself other than a group picture. And here’s a link to the December 2012 Pinterest Party Board where I pinned as many of the recipes that were brought as I could. I tried to comment on the pins what I thought about them—whether they’re worth trying or not. For the is party we had a TON of food. Seems like almost everyone made two dishes instead of one. And in that we had some serious winners and some serious Pinterest FAILS.

The next party we did was in February 2013. I don’t even honestly remember what recipe I made for that party. And I honestly can't find the pins that sparked the crafts for this party either. Whoops!

After that we kind of took a break. No one really stepped up to request hosting and planning the next party and life got busy, and so we just stopped doing them. Well when Fall rolled around this past year, I started feeling the pull of the party. Halloween and Christmas are my two favorite holidays—not completely, but in large part because of the decorating I get to do. So while I would have LOVED to have had another Halloween Pinterest Party, there was just no way we could timing wise. So I made up my mind then to host another Christmas Pinterest Party for this year. And so I started planning and pinning. I enlisted to help of Holly’s mom to research potential craft ideas as well.

About a month in advance I purchased supplies need for just myself to make these crafts: Painted Glass Snowman, Terracotta Pot Snowman, and Wire & Fabric Lighted Present. While I loved the first two, the idea of the third craft was much better than my execution of it. Aside from that, the wire needed to build the box was both expensive and difficult to work with as was the fabric. In the end, I decided to scrap that craft for the group and instead do an easier Glitter Ornament pin. My sister had already done this craft in the past so I knew that it would work, but I’d always wanted to try it for myself. I LOVE glitter ornaments for the tree, but Husband HATES how the glitter gets everywhere. Glitter ornaments with the glitter on the inside of the ball was the perfect solution.

This party’s crafts turned out to be $13.00 per person—which is pretty awesome for three crafts. Here’s the link for the 2014 December Pinterest Party board. I don’t think we had any recipes that turned out bad this year. I didn’t take any pictures, but these are the ones I snagged from everyone that came.

So what do you guys think? Do you enjoy posts like this? Think you’d give hosting a Pinterest Party a go with your group of friends? Have you hosted or been to a Pinterest Party in the past? Which crafts/recipes did you try that were wins? Let me know!