Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Favorite 2015 Reads (So Far)

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Faovirte 2015 Reads (So Far).

  1. Confess by Colleen Hoover
  2. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
  3. A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, # 5) by George R R Martin
  4. The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, # 6) by Richelle Mead
  5. Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, # 1) by Pierce Brown
  6. Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks, # 1) by Miranda Kenneally
  7. Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, # 1) by Susan Ee
  8. Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks, # 5) by Miranda Kenneally
  9. Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, # 1) by Katie McGarry
  10. Never Never Part 1 (Never Never, # 1) by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

As always, it's so hard for me to narrow these down. Honestly, I've read a lot of mediocre books this year and not a ton of brilliant ones. These are the ones that stand out from the pack so far. Which books have been your favorite reads of 2015 so far? Let me know!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Jesse's Girl - Review

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks, # 6)

By: Miranda Kenneally

Expected Publication: July 7th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

304 pages

Genre: Young 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--Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

I finished All the Rage by Courtney Summers the same day that I started (and finished) Jesse’s Girl. After All the Rage, I needed something much lighter. Jesse’s Girl fit that perfectly.

Jesse won a national TV show called Wannabe Rocker (reminiscent of American Idol/X Factor/The Voice), and his career took off from there. While Jesse’s still has an absolutely passion for music, for writing, and for performing, he’s become jaded by the fame. Everyone he meets wants something. Girls want to date him, sleep with him, or really just be seen with him. People who laughed at him in high school now want to borrow money or want him to get them a record deal of their own. He has no real interested in meeting anyone new—especially someone else who might want something from him.

But Maya isn’t anything Jesse expects or assumes her to be. Maya doesn’t even like country music (which is what Jesse sings), but she can appreciate his talent, voice, and experience. Plus he’s not so bad on the eyes. Maya’s also an extremely talented guitar player and a mediocre singer with potential to be really good. She wants to enter her band into the next season of Wannabe Rocker, but what she doesn’t expect is to get kicked out the band that she put together. Maya’s biggest fear is going solo. She always croaks (literally and metaphorically) when all of the attention is on her.

Once Jesse realizes that Maya actually does have her own talent and she’s not seeking anything from him but an opportunity to learn, he softens toward her and they end up spending an incredible day together that neither one of them want to end. I liked that the majority of the book took place within one day, yet this wasn’t a story about two people who fall in love in one day. They experience an awesome day together and what that means is that they realize they want to do so more. Yet Maya and Jesse both have some baggage. Jesse still worries that Maya might be using him to further her dreams. And Maya worries that Jesse’s going to move on as soon as he finds someone better.

Miranda Kenneally’s writing style is smooth and sucks me in quickly. While there is some language, I’m always impressed that she limits this. And the same with sexual situations. Her characters do find themselves in situations, but she never really dwells on that or gets too descriptive. I will say that I was rolling my eyes with Dave, Maya’s best friend. As I’ve established, it doesn’t seem like there are any boy/girl friendships anymore that don’t include one party being gay.

Favorite quotes:

-“This is our day, and I’m not sharing you.”

-It sucks to have a once-in-a-lifetime day, a day that changes you, only to hear the same old song repeated on the radio over and over. I don’t want yesterday to wither away and die.

-“So basically the band that I started said they’ll take me back because they don’t want to lose you?”

-I feel like I played the lottery and won. And then all the money got stolen.

I’ve totally gone about this series out of whack. I read Breathe, Annie, Breathe (book 5) first. Which as far as I can tell has no connection to any of the other books….but I could be missing something. Then Catching Jordan (book 1). And now Jesse’s Girl (book 6). And I was so glad that I did read Catching Jordan before Jesse’s Girl because there were crossovers here. As a matter of fact, Maya is Sam’s younger sister. At the time of this posting, I have also read Stealing Parker (book 2) and Things I Can't Forget (book 3, which I haven't review yet) and I didn't enjoy either of those two near as much as the three I've read before them.

Jesse’s Girl was just what I needed. It was light and fun and quick. I started and finished it in less than 24 hours. The characters were lively and yet still flawed. I loved how there really were very few and insignificant moments of stupidity for the characters. Jesse’s Girl gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Jesse’s Girl? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Post - 155 & Stacking the Shelves - 111

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.

Well last Sunday was my birthday. That was awesome. Great birthday. Thursday was the halfway mark for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You guys it's not too late to sign up. Friday night we went to a Montgomery Biscuits baseball game with some of our church family. It was a good time, but a long night since we stayed for fireworks. Saturday was a half lazy day and half productive day cleaning the house. This coming week is 4th of July for the US. We'll be celebrating with another party.


Monday: Review of Never Never Part 2 (Never Never, # 2) by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher (3.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Waiting on Their Fractured Light (Starbound, # 3) by Aime Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Thursday: 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up
Friday: Review of Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips (4 Stars)
Saturday: Discussions Only We Know: 13 Blog Related Frustrations


Monday: Review of Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks, # 6) by Miranda Kenneally
Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Books I've Read in 2015
Wednesday: EOM June Wrap Up
Thursday: Review of Chasing River (Burying Water, # 3) by KA Tucker
No posts scheduled for Friday or Saturday due to 4th of July.

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.

Beautiful Sacrifice (The Maddox Brothers, # 3)

By: Jamie McGuire

Published: May 31st 2015 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

284 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (birthday present from the Hubs)

( 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--Falyn Fairchild can walk away from anything. Having already left her car, her education, and even her parents, the daughter of the next governor of Colorado is back in her hometown, broke and waiting tables for the Bucksaw Café. After every shift, Falyn adds to her shoebox of cash, hoping to one day save enough to buy her a plane ticket to the only place she can find forgiveness: Eakins, Illinois.

The moment Taylor Maddox is seated in Falyn’s section at the Bucksaw, she knows he’s trouble. Taylor is charming, breaks promises, and gorgeous even when covered in filth—making him everything Falyn believes a hotshot firefighter to be. Falyn isn’t interested in becoming another statistic, and for a Maddox boy, a disinterested girl is the ultimate challenge.

Once Falyn learns where Taylor calls home, everything changes. In the end, Maddox persistence is met with Falyn’s talent for leaving, and for the first time, Taylor may be the one to get burned.

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, # 2)

By: Jenny Han

Published: April 21st 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

288 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (another birthday gift from the Hubs)

( 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--Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing.

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, June 27, 2015

Discussions Only We Know: 13 Blog Related Frustrations

Discussions Only We Know

13 Blog Related Frustrations

I try really hard to remain positive here at Somewhere Only We Know. Negativity brings me down. But every now and then I run across things that annoy me when I’m visiting other blogs or participating in memes. And I just have to wonder to myself if maybe the things I’m seeing are bothersome to others and maybe the blogger has never thought about these things before. So…let’s take (most of) what’s said here and try to see the positives (i.e. ways we can avoid these things or ways we can “fix” them). Or let’s exercise some good ol’ common-grace and try to overlook what we can’t change.

That being said…let me put up a disclaimer. I do not want to be one of those bloggers that tells you “this is the way you must blog and if you don’t then you’re wrong.” Everyone has a right to blog their way…and my opinions or frustrations don’t make that way “wrong.” It just makes them wrong for me. We all have different things we’re looking for when we follow a blog too. So even though I don’t blog for my readers, I do want to make things convenient for them (and other visitors too).

  1. When the comment section spans the entire height (or more) of my screen. So I’m a bit lazy. And when I happen to be visiting blogs I tend to do a bulk of blogs at a time. It’s the repetitiveness and inefficiencies that annoy me the most. So the deal is…I don’t want to have to scroll down to finish leaving you a comment. A lot of blogs (Wordpress blogs mostly, I believe), require you to input your name, email, website (if you have one), and then you can leave your comment. That’s fine. I get that. But then you’ve got to scroll down and see that oh wait you can also input your Twitter id as well. Or various other things under the actual comment section. I know most comment sections come with a blog design, and everyone’s screen size is different. But there are ways of adjusting your blog design to shrink (or expand) based on screen size. Here’s an article that elaborates a bit.
  2. Speaking of screen size. With this day and age where there are a myriad of devices available for browsing the internet and not being restricted to PCs, enable your mobile site. I would think this would be a given. But it’s not. It’s a simple step. Check out this tutorial for Blogger or this one for Wordpress.
  3. It is totally possible to link up to a meme that you normally participate in using your mobile device/tablet. However, when adding your url to the link section of the linky, please remove the last 4 bytes of the url. While some people do browse blogs from their mobile device, the majority of people are probably still using laptops or computers. When you don’t remove the last 4 bytes of the url (typically "?m=1"), anyone browsing will automatically be directed to the mobile version of your site. It’s an easy fix to click “view web version” at the bottom, but it’s an annoyance that doesn’t have to take place if you’d simply remove those 4 bytes when doing your link up. I personally link up Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday from my phone every week, but doing this small step directs people to my normal webpage instead of the mobile site. If you link up from your phone or tablet, please do the rest of us a favor and take this small step.
  4. Linking up to a meme with your home page rather than the direct post. It’s really only an extra click for visitors, but I tell you that this is annoying. It’s no more difficult for you to copy and paste your direct post link into the linky than it is to use your home page address. And let’s just say for argument’s sake that you posted several times that day, if your meme post isn’t the top one on your page, I’m gone. I’m not going to spend the time looking for what you should have linked to in the first place. I’ll visit the next blog in the linky instead.
  5. An even worse offender than not linking up to your direct post is linking up to a meme that you’re actually not participating in. I mean I realize that people who do this are only looking for a method to drive traffic to their blogs/sites. These people don’t really care much about how you feel so they don’t care that they’re an annoyance, but come on people. Get real. There’s no need to link up to a meme when your site isn’t even related to the content of the meme at all.
  6. Captcha/check boxes. I’ve noticed a significant decline in the amount of blogs that use captcha, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. There is nothing more annoying than typing out a thoughtful reply to your thoughtful post then clicking publish and being surprised with a word verification test. I am horrible at these. I know others are too. Do anyone who wants to comment on your blog (and yourself) a favor and turn this option off. So granted, the check boxes are a lot more easy to handle and I would take them over captcha ANY day, but again…it’s one more click. One more step. One more annoyance. You know the ones “check the box or you shall not pass,” “check to verify you’re human,” etc. If there’s any way to get around having this…please try.
  7. Comments sections that time out. I’ve seen this only on a few sites ever, but boy is that frustrating. I’ll pull up several sites at one time and have all of the windows/tabs open at once. Then I systematically work my way through each tab viewing posts and commenting. But some comment sections time-out and require you to reload the entire page if it has been idle too long before they will allow you to leave your comment. WEIRD. And annoying. Find a new commenting system. Or turn that mess of a feature off. What purpose does it serve anyway?
  8. No HTML allowed in the comments section. I’m sure there’s a purpose for this one that I’m not aware of. Someone please enlighten me. I’ve only run across this in a few blogs, but most of them do offer a place for you to list your website address with your name and email address. But I always like to link back to myself in any comment I leave. I can’t visit other blogs who visit me if they don’t leave a link and so I like to leave one when I visit others as well. Let me leave my link!!! Please!
  9. When I can’t tell if the book you’re featuring is a standalone or part of a series. How difficult is that? To list the series information in your post? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been browsing a post and I think “oooh a standalone” and then I see a comment like this “I really loved the previous book and can’t wait to read the sequel.” And then I sigh because no I’ve not read the previous book. How hard is it to indicate with the book information (title, author, publication date, etc) that this is book 9 out of a 20 book series?
  10. No book covers. If you’re doing a book review, book haul, or some other post related to any specific book, but there’s no picture of the book cover…I’m out. I like pictures. Pictures convey a lot of information in a very short amount of time. I’m not likely to spend my time reading your book review or even noting the books you received in your haul if there are no book covers. It doesn’t take that much more time to include book covers in your posts.
  11. Linking up to a haul post with no haul. This is totally a personal preference of mine. If you want to link up to a weekly recap post and say “YAY I got no new books this week”…that’s cool. But what’s the point of linking up to a post that’s entirely about featuring the new books you received each week just to say that you have nothing to share?
  12. Totally another personal preference of mine, blogs with multiple contributors each with lengthy updates. Ok…I totally get having a blog with multiple contributors. I think that’s a great idea and in part wouldn’t be opposed to it myself. I’m a bit of a control freak to really think that would work for me, but it’s a great concept. And I also get each contributor wanting to do a weekly update or chime in. But these days, people like short and sweet (or maybe that’s just me). I don’t want to read a ginormous post detailing how you spent each day of the past week. And to have to read two of those in the same post….it’s just a bit much. If you’re both going to contribute to one post, then I say “keep it short and sweet”.

And this last one…maybe it deserves its own post entirely. Again this is a personal preference of mine so take it with however much weight you want to put on it. I personally follow via email my favorite blogs. These are the blogs that I don’t want to miss a post. I’ve likely connected with the blogger just as much as I’ve connected with their content. It’s not just about not wanting to miss the topic of a particular post, but it’s about not wanting to miss the content itself. Systematically, some of my favorite bloggers that I follow via email have switched from email posts that show their entire post content, to posts that include about the first paragraph and then have a link that says “read more” which will take you directly to the post on their site.

This started out as a devastating thing for me. And every single blog that I’ve followed via email that has resorted to this post I’ve contacted the blogger to plead my case on them returning to their old method of including the entire post in their emails. Some have and some haven’t. To be honest, I only retain my email following from two of the bloggers who haven’t returned to their old method. The others I’ve unsubscribed from. This isn’t me trying to punish them or anything like that. It is simply that this method of following no longer meets my needs.

I get it. I do. The purpose behind an email post method like this is to drive traffic to your blog. People who read your posts in their email can't do this anymore when you choose this method. They now have to be driven to your website which ups your blog views and potentially will help direct visitors to multiple articles, posts, etc of your site. Plus maybe there’s a level of hope that the visitor will leave a comment now that they’re actually at your site. From a blogging standpoint, I get this. I really do. You want your readers and followers to be actively involved. And you want your numbers and statistics to reflect that. But from a reader/follower’s standpoint, I’m getting screwed.

Here’s what I mean. I didn’t choose to subscribe via GFC or Bloglovin’. I don’t follow you through what you post to Facebook or Twitter. I chose to follow via email. What I want is to be able to read your posts when I check my email without having to go to your site. Often times I flag posts I’ve read to go back and comment on when I get home or when I get access to a computer (because some things I don’t enjoy doing from my phone). This is the method by which I chose to follow you. And now all of a sudden you’re trying to change the terms of our agreement (an unspoken agreement, sure). It’s not a threat that I’m trying to hang over anyone’s head…by all means you blog the way you want to blog. But I’m going to follow the way I want to follow too. And if this method is the means by which you choose to deliver to your email subscribers then I’m out. You don’t just lose out on the clicks you were hoping to get to your site, but you’ve lost a reader entirely. I may not comment on every post, but I usually do read them. What this says to me is that you care more about your blog statistics than you do your readers. Maybe I’m wrong. (That’s totally within the realm of possibilities.)

If you haven’t picked up on a theme behind most of my frustrations, it’s this: ease, efficiency, time savers, eliminating unnecessary clicks and navigation, etc. Maybe I’m lazy. But I feel like if I feel this way then surely there are others who agree. I can’t be alone in this? While my thoughts are mine and I’m not trying to force any one way to blog upon anyone else, maybe others feel the same way? Maybe others whole heartedly disagree. Personally, blogging takes up a long of time (time away from reading). I love doing it, but if there are any ways to make it easier, more efficient, and cut down on time away from the books I’m all about it.

What do you guys think? Are any of these things that you’ve noticed when visiting other blogs? Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have your own set of blogging frustrations? Let me know!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Faking Perfect - Review

Faking Perfect

By: Rebecca Phillips

Expected Publication: June 30th 2015 by K-Teen

272 pages

Genre: Young 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--“Edgy and honest, Faking Perfect is the real thing.” –Huntley Fitzpatrick

When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High's resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:

1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.

Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?

Do you guys ever read a book description and think “this might be good, but it might not be so good”? That’s kind of how I felt when I requested Faking Perfect for review. However, somewhere along the way between the time I originally read the book description and the time I actually picked up Faking Perfect to read, I got some things mixed up in what I thought this book was supposed to be about. Whoops. But hey, it happens, right? With as many books as I read and even more book descriptions trying to determine which ones to add to the TBR pile and which ones to take a pass on, I’m bound to get a few mixed up here and there. All of that just means that Faking Perfect wasn’t quite what I expected it to be.

I’m torn on several aspects of Faking Perfect. This is one of those stories where what’s wrong and how it should be fixed is glaringly obvious. Let me start with some background. Lexi’s father, Eric, was heavily into drugs when she was young. Her mother grabbed Lexi and ran when things hit rock bottom for Eric. Her mother told Lexi growing up that her father was likely dead from a drug overdose. And so Lexi grows up knowing essentially nothing about her father. Her mother isn’t much of a mother. Despite running from Eric because of his addiction, Lexi’s mother turns to alcohol and men. Thankfully, Lexi’s mother’s high school best friend lives across the street from them and has been a strong motherly figure in Lexi’s life. So to say that Lexi has issues is a bit of an understatement. Lexi’s found herself a part of the popular clique, but she still feels like an outsider. Apparently the popular clique in her school has some really high standards academically, in appearance, and morally. And Lexi knows that if they knew her dirty secrets—her mother’s alcohol and revolving men, her father’s drug addiction, and her own personal addiction to bad boy Tyler—they would want nothing to do with her. And so…Lexi decides to put up a front around her “friends.” Add to that the fact that Lexi has a crush on the ringleader of the popular group, Ben, who happens to be the most judgmental of all. So…do the issues and fixes shout obvious to you from just this paragraph?

Obviously, faking who you are is not something that anyone can maintain forever. And why anyone would want to be friends with people who they know wouldn’t accept them for who they are and things that are beyond their control is beyond me. Much less have a desire to date someone under those circumstances. This was just beyond obvious. Lexi actually has one true friend that she can be herself in front of, but she even chooses to keep secrets from him as well. While this was a frustration, I honestly didn’t dwell on it because even the book description hinted about this. (*Side note: I’m so excited to read a boy/girl friendship with zero attraction to each other and neither character turning out to be gay.)

Another small frustration of mine was that Lexi didn’t seem to know or at least didn’t explain to the reader what about Ben she liked and crushed on for years. She did find a few things to comment on once the two got together. Although the reasons to dislike Ben were more than obvious. But the same goes for Tyler. Obviously, Lexi claims to have been drawn to the bad boy and there’s definitely this physical attraction that’s there and doesn’t have to be explained, but why Tyler began to develop feelings for Lexi…all of that wasn’t as obvious as I would have liked.

Truthfully, the part of the story that got to me the most was centered around Lexi’s relationship with her parents. I’m transitioning from always viewing the child’s perspective to also viewing the parent’s perspective as well. And well both sides were pretty emotional for me in Faking Perfect. I mean the conflict and even some of the “surprises” were again…obvious. But I really felt some true emotion. Granted, I’m more emotional these days…so it’s possible that I wouldn’t have reacted as strongly were I not pregnant while reading this book.

Favorite quotes:

-I wondered how it was possible that he could disgust me and turn me on, all at the same time.

-There were two sides to everything and everyone, and somewhere in the middle was the truth.

You can tell even from the description that Lexi and Tyler have a sexual relationship so that shouldn’t be a surprise. While that was prevalent throughout the story, the book wasn’t descriptive with any of those moments. And if I remember correctly, Faking Perfect did have cursing but not too terribly much of it.

In the end, Faking Perfect had some issues. Most of the issues were obvious even from the book description. While I noted them and had to discuss them here in my review, I didn’t really find myself too annoyed with the book because of them. Yet at the same time, I found myself getting teary-eyed as well. So Faking Perfect definitely made me feel something, which is pivotal for my reading experiences. Faking Perfect gets 4 Stars. Have you read Faking Perfect? What did you think? Let me know!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up

Can you believe it's time for our sixth Monthly Wrap Up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since posting the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - May Wrap Up, I finished one series ender: Champion (Legend, # 3) by Marie Lu. Holly didn't get any series enders finished this month.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the June giveaway runs from June 25th - July 25th. On July 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Their Fractured Light

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

Their Fractured Light (Starbound, # 3)

By: Aimee Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Expected Publication: December 1st 2015 by Disney-Hyperion

400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description--A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.

This series has some of the most beautiful covers. And it doesn't hurt that the series is pretty good too! I'm definitely looking forward to this one. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Never Never Part 2 - Review

Never Never Part 2 (Never Never, # 2)

By: Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Published: May 17th 2015 by Hoover Ink

104 pages

Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Mystery, Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense

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--New York Times bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are back with the much-anticipated, nail-biting sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Never, Never.

“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last.
And never stop loving me between all of them.
Never stop, Charlie.
Never forget.”

Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can't imagine, beckons to be found.

“Where are you, Charlie?”

I realize that the reason why this series has been broken down into bits and pieces like it has is because of a contractual thing. But man am I glad that books aren’t published like this on the regular. Never Never (Part 1) left off with a huge cliffhanger. Just as Silas is really putting the pieces together the memory relapse comes upon them again. Charlie is missing and we have no idea where she is or how Silas is going to find her and explain to her what’s happening since they’re separated.

Even though Part 1 released only a few months ago, I’d still forgotten a lot of information that happened in Part 1 so I feel like a few pieces weren’t clicking with me like maybe they should have while reading Part 2. Speaking of forgetting a lot of information, as the reader knowing more than Silas does and having experienced a prior memory relapse with him, it wasn’t as fun to go through the very beginning of his research as it was the first time. Considering Part 2 ended in another cliffhanger (though not as brutal as the first), I’m a little concerned about having to go through the discovery process for a third time with the characters in Part 3.

I wasn’t really interested in Charlie’s part of the story at all in Part 2. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure her piece was crucial to figuring out who’s behind their memory lapses and why, but there was really just a lot more down time with her. As she was separated from Silas and he was progressing a bit more in the discovery process than she was, Charlie’s chapters were less interesting.

Slightly over 100 pages, Part 2 flew by. It was easy to see fairly early on that pages were passing much quicker than answers were received, so by the time I got to the end and it said again “To be continued…” I wasn’t surprised. 48 hours is not a lot of time to research something so big as well as trying to remember who you are. There were a few differences between the memory lapse of Part 1 and the memory lapse of Part 2, so I’m interested to see what (if any) changes will be involved with Part 3.

All in all, there’s still a lot to uncover, and I truthfully wouldn’t be surprised if there’s ultimately a Part 4 as well. Part 2 wasn’t as exciting to me as Part 1 since some of the story felt like a repeat and because Charlie’s parts were somewhat uneventful. I did reconnect with the romance even though I wish the two had been able to spend more time together. I guess I relate this to how a trilogy normally works—book 1 is the build up and the excitement, book 2 is the lull and progression of information, and then book 3 (hopefully) is the exciting climax and satisfying resolution. As I typically feel with trilogies, Part 2 wasn’t my favorite. I’d give Never Never Part 2 3.5 Stars. It was good. I’m still intrigued, but it wasn’t as good as Part 1. Have you read Never Never Part 2? What did you think? Let me know! *Also, if you haven't read part 2 yet, I might suggest waiting until Part 3 releases before picking it up.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Post - 154 & Stacking the Shelves - 110

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.

Let's see, a lot happened this week. Tuesday we went to Olive Garden to celebrate a co-worker's birthday (from last month). Oh and I had a hair cut. Wednesday was another company dress down day (love those!), and I went fabric shopping with my mom. She's going to be making the crib bedding and curtains. Thursday night we jumped into house cleaning mode...like major. Friday I had another doctors appointment and got to see little one again! That night was more of the same as the night before and ordered Pizza Hut for one of my birthday meals. Saturday my side of the family came over to the house to celebrate birthdays (mine and my brother's) and Father's Day with a swim day. It was the first time they've been to the house since we've made a few updates so that was fun. Today (actual Father's Day for the US) we'll see both of our fathers. And we're eating lunch with Husband's family to celebrate Father's Day and my birthday with them. So this has been an extremely busy week. Oh and if I didn't mention it, today is my actual birthday!


Monday: Review of The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Summer 2015 TBR List
Wednesday: Waiting on November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Thursday: Review of Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks, # 2) by Miranda Kenneally (1 Star)


Monday: Review of Never Never Part 2 by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday (maybe)
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up
Friday: Review of Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips
Saturday: Discussions Only We Know

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.

Hello, Goodbye, & Everything in Between

By: Jennifer E Smith

Expected Publication: September 1st 2015 by Poppy

256 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic 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--On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.

Stealing Third

By: Marta Brown

Published: July 24th 2014 by VP Publishing House (first published July 1st 2014)

184 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Won in an Armchair BEA Giveaway

( 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 Emily, going to camp, the summer before college starts, means leaving her feuding parents alone for the next eight weeks, and coming back to divorce papers is a risk she can’t take. But no matter how many meddling phone calls, questionable hair decisions, and possibly illegal hookups she plans, her parents still march her off to Camp Champ totally against her will.

No matter. A few broken rules, and Em will be home free.

That is, until she learns Tyler Ford, her baseball coach father’s star player and her drunken party hookup, is at camp, too. And for Tyler, summer is the onramp to the biggest decision of his life: med school or major leagues. Mega hot, possibly underage Emily? A complication he does not need.

As the summer heats up with strikeouts and stolen bases will Tyler and Emily hit a home run and get what they’re after? Or will they both be thrown a curveball in the game of love?

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

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Stealing Parker - Review

Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks, # 2)

By: Miranda Kenneally

Published: October 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire

242 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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--Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

So I have no idea where my original review went for this book. I know I typed it because I remember some specific things that I said about it. However, when I went to go prep this blog post, I couldn’t find it anywhere! UGH! That’s so annoying. Especially because this is a book that I had a lot to say about…or at least, I had a lot of feelings about. But just to be frank and upfront…this was not a book I enjoyed so I’m not looking forward to reviewing it again. That being said…this probably won’t be as long or as thought out as my original review. It might be a little nicer (but probably not).

First of all, this isn’t mentioned in the description so it might be considered as a spoiler, but I wish I’d known about it before picking up this book. Parker’s mom’s big secret…she “announced she’s a lesbian and ran off with her friend who was more than just a friend.” Parker is understandably hurt by her mother’s decision. Sexual orientation and preferences aside, 9.9 children out of 10 that have experienced a divorce will tell you that this severely impacted them emotionally. Add to that the other and you’ve got an emotionally screwed up Parker.

Parker’s family attended church and because of her mother’s decision Parker faces a lot of judgmental people. Her mother and father’s former friends now talk about them behind their backs, they turn their noses up, and they tell their children not to play with Parker because the lesbianism might rub off. (I’m exaggerating here, but only slightly.) That being said, Parker turns her nose up at the church. She still goes because her father makes her, but she’s not really interested anymore and even at one point blames God for her mother’s decisions. (“Why did God let this happen to me?” and then later “I don’t see how a loving God would split a family up like he did mine.”) The only person who’s stuck by her side has been her best friend Drew who she secretly wonders if he’s gay too. (Can you guys feel the amount of sarcasm I’m trying to hold back?) This hits on three of my biggest pet peeves in YA literature these days. 1) these types of Christian characters, 2) the best friends of the opposite sex can only be best friends if a, they’re in love with each other or b, one of them is gay, and 3) just gay characters in general being forced down out throats in another book about "acceptance". Tired. Overplayed. Worn out. Used up. Get a better storyline.

So not only does Parker respond to her mother’s behavior by rejecting religion, but she also decides that she has to do everything she can to prove that she’s not a lesbian like her mother. This leads her into dangerous territory with the opposite sex. She hooks up. A lot. She doesn’t move past making out, but her reputation is beginning to grow that she’s “easy.” She doesn’t see the harm. Besides she loves flirting and hooking up and making out. So much so that she doesn’t even blink her eyes at going after the new assistant baseball coach. He’s young for a coach/teacher, but he’s still a teacher nonetheless. If this freaks you out, it should. While I have no issues with age gaps necessarily (my husband’s 12 years older than me), the idea of my daughter hooking up with a teacher is not cool…at all.

My issues don’t stop there. While the idea of my teenage daughter having any sort of relationship with a teacher/coach at her school freaks me out, there’s something else that bothers me about their relationship. Parker and Bryan start off having a really good dynamic where their entire relationship is built around conversation. They have several things in common and so it’s easy to see how there could be an attraction there. However, once things crossed any kind of physical boundary it’s like all conversation went out the window. I guess this is possible. But it just felt weird to me that they had such a verbal relationship in the beginning only to swap to a relationship where no talking was really involved. It didn’t feel consistent to me. Despite that, I didn’t want these two together anyway, so I was okay with how things ultimately ended up as far as they’re concerned.

Another thing that bothered me is Parker’s relationship with her mom. In the beginning of the book, Parker wants nothing to do with her mom. This isn’t because she feels betrayed by her mom “choosing someone else over her family” so much as it is because Parker doesn’t want her own friends to think that she’s gay. So she avoids her mom totally because of this. For one, I think that Parker would be extremely hurt and betrayed by her mother’s actions regardless of who she left her family for. Yet at some point, she "just needs her mom" and all of a sudden everything’s forgiven. I found that hard to believe too. It takes years to work through the kind of pain and trauma that’s caused by a parent suddenly leaving the family. Some children never really recover from those hurts. This isn’t a pain easily recovered from.

And then we get into the overall message of the book which was “do whatever makes you feel good/happy.” You guys, this message is the biggest load of crock I’ve ever heard. Do what makes you feel good? Some people see possessions that they do not own and think to themselves “you know, it would really make me happy to have that,” or “I’ll finally feel good about myself when that’s mine.” Yet they don’t have the means or the money to just buy it. And what do they do? They go out and just take it. Some people find that it makes them feel insanely good by torturing other people and chopping their bodies into tiny pieces. I know that’s an extreme, but where do you draw the line? How do you make a distinction between doing what makes you feel good and when you’ve crossed the line into “wrong”? There has to be some standard of measurement. You can’t just make it up. Not that those who take this stance care much about what the Bible says, but Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things…” Sure as long as it makes you happy, bail on your family, your word, your kids, your promises, your spouse… whatever works best for you. Problem is...often times what we want or what would make us happy also hurts others. Does that make it okay? What feels good to you hurts me. But just so long as you feel good. Whatever. Moving on.

The only (and I do mean only) redeeming quality that I enjoyed about this book was Parker’s transition into finding the guy who is the best fit for her. Often times, people end up with spouses/significant others who are not a good fit for them. And often times those people are even aware of that, but they stay because they’re comfortable. They might not be happy, but at least they know what to expect. Yet Parker does evaluate the two options before her and has to make a decision about which one is right for her. I think she made the right choice in the end.

All in all, I just didn’t like it…period. I will look back on Stealing Parker with nothing but bitterness, annoyance, frustration, and even anger. While I’ve enjoyed Miranda Kenneally before and this book didn’t completely turn me off her other work, I did not enjoy this book. At all. 1 Star from me for Stealing Parker (a first ever). Have you read Stealing Parker? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on November Nine

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

November Nine

By: Colleen Hoover

Expected Publication: November 10th 2015 by Atria Books

320 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description--This is a love story between a guy (me) and a girl (Fallon).
I think.
Can it even be considered a love story if it doesn’t end with love?
Mysteries end when the mystery is solved.
Biographies end when the life story has been told.
Love stories should end with love, right?
Maybe I’m wrong, then. Maybe this isn’t a love story. If you ask me…I’d say this might even be considered a tragedy.
Whatever it is—however it ends—I promised I would tell it. So without further ado.

Once upon a time…I met a girl.
THE girl.

Love Colleen Hoover. Her books are always on my auto-buy list. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Top Ten Summer 2015 TBR List

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

  1. Deception (Defiance, # 2) by CJ Redwin
  2. Ruin & Rising (The Grisha, # 3) by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers
  4. Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, # 1) by Rae Carson
  5. Chasing Impossible (Pushing the Limits, # 5) by Katie McGarry
  6. The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, # 2) by Mary E Pearson
  7. Chaos (Mayhem, # 3) by Jamie Shaw
  8. The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, # 3) by Michelle Hodkin
  9. Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy, # 2) by Pierce Brown
  10. Forbidden (Forbidden, # 1) by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Some of these are new releases and some are books I've had on my shelf for a while. What about you? Which books are on your summer TBR list? Let me know!