Friday, January 31, 2014

January 2014 EOM Wrap

I have read 15 books this month:
While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, # 3) by Abbi Glines
Just for Now (Sea Breeze, # 4) by Abbi Glines
Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken, # 3) by Courtney Cole
The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence, # 3) by Jessica Sorensen
Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum, # 20) by Janet Evanovich
Twisted Perfection (Perfection, # 1; Rosemary Beach, # 3) by Abbi Glines (not pictured)
Reason to Breathe (Breathing, # 1) by Rebecca Donovan
The Perfect Game (The Perfect Game, # 1) by J Sterling (not pictured)
Requiem (Delirium, # 3) by Lauren Oliver
A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, # 4) by George R R Martin
Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, # 6) by Richelle Mead (re-read)
Sweet (True Believers, # 2) by Erin McCarthy
Believe (True Believers, # 3) by Erin McCarthy
Panic by Lauren Oliver
The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret, # 4) by Jessica Sorensen

I have reviewed 14 books this month:
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John & Stasi Eldredge
Frigid (Frigid, # 1) by J Lynn
Rome (Marked Men, # 3) by Jay Crownover
Breaking Nova (Nova, # 1) by Jessica Sorensen
Origin (Lux, # 4) by Jennifer L Armentrout
The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence, # 3) by Jessica Sorensen
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, # 1) by Jennifer A Nielsen
Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken, # 3) by Courtney Cole
Reason to Breathe (Breathing, # 1) by Rebecca Donovan
Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, # 5) by Richelle Mead (Upon Further Review)
Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, # 3) by Veronica Rossi
Forever (Temptation, # 3) by Karen Ann Hopkins
Uninvited (Uninvited, # 1) by Sophie Jordan

Other Posts:
2013 EOY Wrap Up & 2014 Goals
Sunday Post - 78 & Stacking the Shelves - 49
Sunday Post - 79
Sunday Post - 80 & Stacking the Shelves - 50
Sunday Post - 81 & Stacking the Shelves - 51
Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want to Live in and Characters I'd Never Want to Trade Places With
Waiting on Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Waiting on Take a Chance (Taking a Chance, # 1; Rosemary Beach, # 6) by Abbi Glines
Waiting on City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, # 6) by Cassandra Clare
2014 January Series Enders Wrap Up

Update on Goals:
I'm running behind on my daily Bible reading. No excuse but since swapping cell phone companies, I'm not able to do my Bible reading the same way that I have been over the last two years. I still haven't found a new system that works for me just yet, but I will.

1 Series Ender Read: Requiem (Delirium, # 3) by Lauren Oliver (review to come soon)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Uninvited - Review

Uninvited (Uninvited, # 1)

By: Sophie Jordan

Published: January 28th 2014 by HarperTeen

384 pages

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (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--The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

I really got hooked into Sophie Jordan’s writing style with her Firelight series. So that had me extremely interested in checking out this book. The description of “The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report” had me intrigued. I’ve said this a dozen times, but I always feel like I need to say it again whenever the description spells out too much. I read the description of books when I add them to my TBR list or when I decide to pick them up/check them out. However, a varying amount of time goes by between when I read the description and when I pick up any particular book. That being said, this is another book where the description spells out some things for sure that I predicted while reading and I would have known them to be fact had I re-read the description before actually picking it up. But, this is the way that I like it. I don’t enjoy knowing too much information before starting a book.

The description above does state that Davy’s boyfriend Zac ditches her. And well I’ve kind of come to expect that from any book where the main character has an existing relationship at the start of the book. Truthfully, I think I’ve only read a handful of books that start like this, but still. Whenever I don’t have the opportunity to witness the buildup and establishment of a romantic relationship in a book, I’m not as emotionally attached to that relationship. And that’s essentially the case here.

It took me a good 20-30% of Uninvited to feel invested in what was going on. I’m not quite sure if that’s the books fault or because I’ve been trying to take things easier the last couple of weeks. Either way, I can see some readers abandoning this one before they have an opportunity to get hooked. Regardless, I did end up getting hooked, and read the majority of the book in one day.

Davy is a character designed to stir up sympathy within your heart. She’s got a bright future ahead of her. Her parents live in the good neighborhood. She goes to a private school. She’s musically gifted in just about every area possible. She’s already been accepted to Julliard. She’s dating the guy that every other female wants. She’s the good child between her and her brother. But then she finds out the results of her DNA test. She’s positive for the “kill gene.” And despite what the past 17 years of her life shows, everyone around her is now wary of her. They’re afraid that she’ll flip at any moment.

I liked the concept of how even though your actions should be the determining factor when it comes to your character—who you are—people labeled you what they project onto you. It happens all the time. And sometimes there’s just nothing we can do to change the minds of others. I also liked showing how drastically people will respond out of fear. While some of Uninvited is probably extreme to the point of unrealistic, people are definitely afraid of what they can’t see and understand. And fear motivates people to behave inhumanely all the time. And normally, I really don’t like books that have some sort of political undertone or message, I did enjoy the show of how ridiculous the government can be.

Uninvited has wide variety of male depictions in comparison to female ones. We’ve got Davy’s brother, Mitchell, who is a perpetual screw up. Everyone probably should have been more wary of him based off his actions than Davy. But I love the relationship he has with her. Mitchell isn’t perfect, but he’s got Davy’s back despite the recently revelation of her “kill gene.” Davy’s dad is furious at the news of his daughter’s DNA and the treatment of her by those around her. Yet his own behavior is confusing. Zac is Davy’s boyfriend at the start of the book. We all know that he abandons her, but all of that doesn’t go down as quickly as one might expect. He does some really crappy things, but at the same time, you can tell that he still cares for Davy even though he allows himself to be influenced by those around him. We’ve got the perverted teacher who takes advantage of his position as well as the fact that his word is better than that of someone with the “kill gene.” There are no shortage of sociopaths either.

Overall Uninvited turned out to be an average book for me. I enjoyed reading it once I got hooked, but now that a couple of days have passed since I finished it, well I’m just not that stoked about it. Honestly, I was debating on not continuing with the series until I saw that this is only planned to be a two book series. I think I can handle one more. Uninvited gets 3 stars for me. Have you read Uninvited? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Forever - Review

Forever (Temptation, # 3)

By: Karen Ann Hopkins

Published: January 28th 2014 by Harlequin Teen

304 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--All I want is my happily-ever-after.

That's all I've wanted since meeting Noah Miller.

From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I'm carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there's a storm on the horizon, and it's sure to cause serious devastation.

If we can get through this, we'll finally be Rose and Noah; a family, forever.

But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.

If you remember from my reviews of Temptation and Belonging, I’ve had some frustrations with this series. My initial frustrations in Temptation centered around Rose’s ignorance concerning the Amish culture and how both Rose and Noah had the desire to change the other into what they wanted. In Belonging these issues were compounded. Because Rose was working to become Amish, her feminist views collided with the Amish way of life. She waits entirely too long and truthfully never fully discusses her feelings with Noah about becoming Amish or about the possibility of him becoming English. At the same time in Belonging, both Rose and Noah continually make self-centered and immature decisions that show how utterly not ready they are to be making such huge, life altering, and permanent decisions. Belonging was definitely the most frustrating of the three books for me, and we end Belonging finding out that Rose is pregnant. This led me to believe that Forever was going to be nothing short of me pulling my hair out in order to trudge through the frustrations that must inevitably come as a result of Rose being pregnant. However, I was overreacting.

While Rose and Noah both had moments of immaturity in Forever, truthfully both of them seemed to be miles ahead of where they were in Belonging. As Anna Reads would say, I’m pretty sure I’m having a case of old lady syndrome though because all my life I have been a proponent of letting people get married when they want to get married. My brother was barely 18 when he got married, and I saw myself getting married about the same age even though I actually ended up being 22 when I got married. However, I’ve increasingly become aware of how young and immature most people are at this age, and as I’ve already discussed the immaturity that bothered me with Rose and Noah, their discussion of marriage definitely left me concerned.

For the most part, Forever didn’t hold the same intensity of frustration as Belonging which was really a good thing. I’m not sure I could have trudged through it had that been the case. The addition of Sam and Sarah as narrators helped to break up some of the struggles that would have come from having the book solely focused on Rose and Noah. Sam’s relationship with Summer and Sarah’s newly developing relationship with Micah gave the book more depth and provided some relief for the frustrations I’ve already discussed.

Ironically enough, Rose and Noah do seem to find the compromise I thought was impossible in my review of Temptation. Some of the compromise and aspects involved in it I wonder how realistic they can be but without having more information about the Amish culture I’ll never be able to answer that. Forever does have a couple of twists and events that sparked deeper emotions within me. But I’m concerned about the hinting around to Justin’s potential involvement with an Amish girl as to whether that means more books for the series or whether this is the end. I’m not sure I know which I’m hoping for either.

Forever ended up being a sweet and less frustrating ending to the Temptation series than I was expecting. I’m satisfied with the way that it ended, but feel some unease yet curiosity about whether Justin will get his own books or not. Forever gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Forever? What did you think? Let me know!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want to Live in and Characters I'd Neve Want to Trade Places With

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want to Live in and Characters I'd Neve Want to Trade Places With.

Whew that was a mouthful! I'm doing both topics in one.

    1) Any character from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin – Nothing good happens to these people. I wouldn’t want to be any of them.
    2) Delirium by Lauren Oliver – While there are characters who fight for their right to love, I wouldn’t want to live in a world where 90% of the populate thinks love is a disease.
    3) Haven from Sempre by JM Darhower – Because even though Carmine is kind of a hottie, I wouldn’t have wanted to be a slave first of all, but I also wouldn’t want to be in love with someone who hands over his future to the mafia.
    4) Cara from Alienated by Melissa Landers – Being in love with an alien isn’t really enough to make me want to be a foreign exchange student on a different planet—even if I had to escape Earth just to keep from being killed. I’m not that brave.
    5) Any character from any zombie book – or should I just say any zombie world ever. With as many zombie books as I’ve read and movies that I’ve watched, I feel as if I’ve already lived the zombie-apocalypse. I just don’t think I’d make it.
    6) Parasitology by Mira Grant – Having a tapeworm is one of my biggest fears—purposefully ingesting one for health reasons takes this nightmare to a whole new level, especially the idea of the worm taking over and moving from intestine to brain—yeah, count me out.
    7) Verity from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – Well for one, she doesn’t make it out. But to be tortured and all of that, no thank you. She does seem to have a sense of humor about the whole thing, but still…
    8) Mercy from the Cambion series by Shannon Dermott – Mercy annoys me to the point where if I were her, I’d physically harm myself.
    9) Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa – Vampires who don’t have any option but to feed on human blood, the Red Plague….yeah, I’ll skip it, but thanks anyway.
    10) Age of X by Richelle Mead – Just about as bad as living in a world where people think love is a disease is living in a world where religion and belief in God is pretty much outlawed. Yeah—it’s bad enough as it is.

Which characters would you never want to trade places with? Or which worlds would you never want to live in? Let me know!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Into the Still Blue - Review

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 *sigh*! The close of another series that I’ve really enjoyed. You guys I LOVED Under the Never Sky. Through the Ever Night was somewhat more of a struggle as book 2 in a series can be. But I would say that Through the Ever Night was better than many other book 2s that I’ve read. And lately I’ve been disappointed with several series enders so I was somewhat nervous about Into the Still Blue. But Veronica Rossi did me right.

Aria is one of my favorite female leads of recent books. She’s strong and opinionated. But she’s got a good head on her shoulders. She knows instinctively how to lead. And she learns from her mistakes. Yet she’s still vulnerable and just the right amount emotional. Perry has also learned from his mistakes. He’s a do-what-needs-to-be-done kind of guy. But Perry isn’t afraid of showing how much he cares—for Aria, for the Tides, for Roar. Whoever, whatever that has captured his heart is fair game. He does struggle with the line of trying to be in control of himself because of his emotions, but that just makes him all the more attractive to me.

As with the other books in this series, the secondary characters have such standout personalities and behaviors. I was attached to almost all of them. Soren and the other dwellers make progress in mixing with the Tides. Talon, Cinder, Willow, Flea…love those kids. Even Brooke. I loved the addition of Loran. He was one of my favorite characters in this book. Sable makes a perfect villain—someone you love to hate.

I really get wrapped up in Veronica Rossi’s writing. A few (HA!) of my favorite quotes:

Even the way he stood, weight to one side, like his entire life was out of balance.

He looked back, still walking, and pressed a hand to his heart.

In all her life, her heart had never hurt like this. Never

He'd said when. Even in his beaten condition, he believed in whens and not ifs. She never should have doubted his strength.

"Tell me," he said. "How is it that you've come to trust the Outsiders, and they you?" Aria shrugged. "I started with the right one."

They had practiced handing their worries back and forth.

"I could kill you silently if I wanted to."

The moment of absolute silence felt familiar, reminding Perry of when he'd slain Vale. Power felt tangible. Its shift unmistakeable. Something had just ended, and something had just begun, and every person there sense it: a change as startling and inevitable as the first drops of rain.

"You misunderstood. I'm not questioning him. I've always known who he is. What I'm questioning, thanks to a girl with a tooth-rattling kick, is who I am."

There were a few moments where the characters made some choices that had me frustrated. Roar, in particular, acting from a place of grief puts everyone around him in danger. But overall I was insanely proud of these characters ability to work with what they’re given. To make better choices when given a second opportunity. To continue to strive toward the goal of a new life away from the dangers of the aether. In the end, I think everything happened in Into the Still Blue exactly the way it needed to.

While I think Into the Still Blue was one of the better series enders I’ve read recently, I still have to say that I don’t know that it lived up to the essence of book 1. Under the Never Sky blew me away. I loved everything about it. And while I did enjoy Into the Still Blue, I do know that I enjoyed Under the Never Sky more. Into the Still Blue gets 4 stars from me still. Have you read Into the Still Blue?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Post - 81 & Stacking the Shelves - 51

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.

Wow this was a busy week for me. I'm mostly over being sick--thankfully! Thursday I was able to work my first day remote. I should be able to keep that up once a week, and I think I'm going to love it. Being in my own home was nice. Thursday night I started prepping food for a surprise birthday party we threw for my mom this weekend. Spent Friday night grocery shopping and cooking. The party was Saturday and was a huge success. She was totally surprised--well...until the day of when little things started clueing her in, like my dad taking his time to get ready and stopping by the store on their way. But I'm so thankful for everyone who came to it and helped with it. That was my mom's 1st birthday party ever and I'm glad that it went so well. She turns 60 this Friday--entirely too old to have never had a birthday party before, but we've rectified that now. Also, be sure to check out my brother's book below! I'm super proud of him for publishing it!


Monday: Review of Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken, # 3) by Courtney Cole (3 Stars)
Wednesday: Waiting on City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, # 6) by Cassandra Clare
Thursday: Review of Reason to Breathe (Breathing, # 1) by Rebecca Donovan (5 Stars)
Friday: Upon Further Review: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, # 5) by Richelle Mead (Still 5 Stars)
Saturday: 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge - January Wrap Up and Linky


Monday: Review of Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, # 3) by Veronica Rossi
Tuesday: Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want to Live In or Characters I'd Want to Change Places With
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Uninvited (Uninvited, # 1) by Sophie Jordan
Friday: Review of Forever (Temptations, # 3) by Karen Ann Hopkins

It's not too late to sign up for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge! Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with a BIG giveaway at the end of the year! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Saving Quinton (Nova, # 2)

By: Jessica Sorensen

Expected Publication: February 4th 2014 by Forever

384 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

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

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--Nova Reed can't forget him-Quinton Carter, the boy with the honey-brown eyes who made her realize she deserved more than an empty life. His pain was so similar to her own. But Nova has been coming to terms with her past and healing, while Quinton is out there somewhere, sinking deeper. She's determined to find him and help him . . . before it's too late.

Nova has haunted his dreams for nearly a year-but Quinton never thought a sweet, kind person like her would care enough about a person like him. To Quinton, a dark, dangerous life is exactly what he deserves. And Nova has no place in it. But Nova has followed him to Las Vegas, and now he must do whatever it takes to keep her away, to maintain his self-imposed punishment for the unforgivable things he's done. But there's one flaw in his plan: Nova isn't going anywhere . . .

Daily Family Devotional: Truths from GOD's Word for Families of All Ages

By: Tim Harris (my brother)

Published: January 15th 2014 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

926 pages

Genre: Religious, Self-Help, Non-fiction, Christian

Source: Personal Kindle Library (I could have gotten it for free, but wanted to support him)

( Goodreads | Amazon $0.99 )

Amazon Description--As a young father, I knew I needed to be talking about GOD’s word with my children on a daily basis from the time they were little. I wanted daily devotionals that, in most cases, could be read and discussed in ten to fifteen minutes. I also wanted these devotionals to uncover much more than the well-known events discussed in most of the children’s books I had seen. I wanted my children to get a taste of the depth that is found in the Bible, and I wanted them to know the entire story contained in it.

I looked for resources that had already been published. I thought, "Surely someone has already created what I’m looking for." Dissatisfied with my search, I decided to create my own family devotionals, and I used them with my family. I posted these devotionals on my website,, and after several requests, decided to compile them in e-book format.

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!