Monday, May 29, 2017

The Law of Moses - Review

The Law of Moses (The Law of Moses, # 1)

By: Amy Harmon

Published: November 27th 2014 by Amy Harmon

333 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal, Mystery

Source: Borrowed from Holly

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description--If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.

It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.

And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all...a love story.

I was suffering from a book hangover after reading Making Faces by Amy Harmon, and I thought "what better cure for an Amy Harmon hangover than more Amy Harmon?" See I knew that Holly had The Law of Moses and so I decided that this would be my next read, and I'm so glad that I did.

The description above tells you all about Moses's beginning. His mother was a crack addict and did drugs while she was pregnant resulting in a "crack baby". She left Moses in a basket in the local laundromat. But Moses's mother was from a small town and her family was easy to find. So Moses was shipped from family member to family member throughout his life, ending up with his great-grandmother at the age of eighteen when the story really begins. Georgia's always been intrigued by Moses. And so when he basically moves in next door she takes it upon herself to be his friend. Only Moses isn't exactly friendly. Moses constantly pushes Georgia away, but she refuses to be deterred. Only, of course, Georgia begins to develop feelings for Moses, and his periodically caving in to making out with her isn't exactly going to make Georgia leave him alone.

I actually loved that Georgia was kind of "in your face". She's honest and real, and even when she's insecure that doesn't stop her from putting herself out there. I was pretty much the opposite growing up--quiet, shy until I knew you well, and definitely never going to put myself in a vulnerable position. And Moses actually likes that about Georgia too, but he doesn't quite trust it either. She's also a really positive person. She has a habit of trying to find 5 great things or 5 things to be thankful for even in the worst circumstances.

The Law of Moses was nothing like I expected. Although I didn't really have any expectations because I don't think I even read the book description before I picked it up. There's romance, suspense, mystery, and even a hint of paranormal. This book was so layered that I truly have no idea how Amy Harmon covered so much in only a little over 300 pages. But I guess maybe that's what I'll expect from her from now on because she did the same thing in Making Faces. It's not just a story about an abandoned boy with commitment issues or a girl who falls in love with him, or a boy with a secret who has to come to terms with who he is, or love lost. It is just so so much all in one, and I don't want to ruin any of it for you. I will say that I picked up on the subtle clues that Amy Harmon planted throughout the story that hinted at twists to come. So by the time the twists came several of them I predicted, but not all of them. This ladies and gentlemen is how you do twists though because I felt like the clues were subtle enough that they might be missed so that the reader doesn't completely feel like the characters are morons for missing them also yet present enough to make the reader feel like they might know more than they should. It's a good balance.

Due to being sick during the time I read this one and the fact that I was reading it on Holly's kindle, I didn't highlight any sections or take any pictures of text that I wanted to share. It was pure laziness on my part. I really regret not having some great quotes to share with you guys.

I truly want to say so much more about The Law of Moses, but due to the nature of this type of book I really don't want to spoil anything for you. This makes reviewing the book a little more difficult than normal because I want to compel you all to pick it up and read it and fall in love with the characters and the beautiful and unique way that Amy Harmon told this story, but I have so little details that I feel comfortable sharing with you guys that would make you say "yeah this sounds like a book I need to pick up." BUT IT IS! I mean this was a book where when Husband and I sat down for dinner I said "hey, I just finished this book, do you want to know what it was about?" And he kind of had this "not really" look on his face and I said "GREAT. Let me tell you about it." before he could say that he wasn't interested. And once I got done telling him about it he said "yeah that does sound like a really good book." But I spoiled all the things for him because I knew he'd never read it. And even still I knew I was leaving stuff out.

The Law of Moses was the perfect cure for the book hangover I was suffering from due to Making Faces since both were written by Amy Harmon. However, The Law of Moses was so good, I felt like it created a book hangover itself. I didn't cry, but I seriously have no idea how not. The Law of Moses gets 5 Stars. Have you read The Law of Moses? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Post - 249 & Stacking the Shelves - 187

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 Husband was back at work this week. We missed having him home during the day. Especially on Tuesday because we had bad weather that kept us inside and missed our walk. It did clear up Tuesday afternoon enough for us to run to the grocery store. While I was looking at the zucchini, Little Girl decided that it sounded like a great idea to stick her finger through the plastic and pull out some ground beef. Needless to say, I was NOT happy about that. Taking her with me to the grocery store is becoming increasingly frustrating. She's constantly reaching into the buggy or the shelves to grab things. Correcting her behavior in public isn't exactly fun. Yet it must be done. My free time this week has been spent cleaning house. Saturday my family had our annual fishing trip at the lake. We never catch anything, but we always enjoy our time together outside. I may or may not participate in Armchair Book Expo this week. I haven't decided yet. Happy Memorial Day tomorrow to all of my US friends.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Mr. President (Mr. President, # 1) by Katy Evans (1 Star)
Tuesday: Top Ten Summer TBR List 2017
Wednesday: Can't Wait for All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
Thursday: 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - May Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: May 2017 EOM Wrap Up

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, # 1)

By: Scott Reintgen

Expected Publication: September 12th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science 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--Emmett Atwater agrees to leave Earth behind when Babel Communications offers him a fortune. The catch? He has to launch into deep space to get it. One of ten selected recruits, Emmett boards the company's spaceship and sets course for a planet that Babel has kept hidden from the rest of the world.

Before long, Emmett discovers that all of Babel's recruits have at least one thing in common: they're broken. Broken enough that Babel can remold them however it pleases.

Every training session is a ruthless competition where friendships are tested and enemies are made. Each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden-- where they will mine nyxia, substance that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel's ship is full of secrets. Secrets about the volatile substance they're hoping to mine, about the reclusive humanoids already living on Eden, and about the true intentions for the recruits.

Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won't forever compromise what it means to be human.

______________________________________

"Brilliant concept meets stellar execution in this fast-paced deep space adventure. I was hooked from page one."
~Victoria Schwab, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“A high-octane thriller . . . Nyxia grabs you from the first line and never lets go.”
—Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Young Elites series

"Impossible to forget. Impossible to put down. This wonderfully diverse epic is an utterly thrilling binge-worthy treat." —Jay Coles, author of Tyler Johnson Was Here

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, May 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - May Wrap Up

Time for our fifth Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the April Wrap Up, neither Holly nor Sandy have finished any series enders.

We have a couple of announcements/reminders that we'd like to mention this month.

  1. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
  2. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Again, we want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Holly and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Can't Wait for All the Crooked Saints

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

All the Crooked Saints

By: Maggie Stiefvater

Expected Publication: October 10th 2017 by Scholastic Press

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

( 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--From bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater, a gripping tale of darkness, miracles, and family!

Saints. Miracles. Family. Romance. Death. Redemption.

The book takes place in the 1960s in Bicho Raro, Colorado and follows the lives of three members of the Soria family—each of whom is searching for their own miracle. There’s Beatriz, who appears to lack feelings but wants to study her mind; Daniel, the “Saint” of Bicho Raro, a miracle worker for everyone but himself; and Joaquin (a.k.a. Diablo Diablo), who runs a pirate radio station at night.

"The Soria family are saints as well, and the miracle they perform for pilgrims to Bicho Raro is as strange as most miracles are: They can make the darkness inside you visible. Once the pilgrims see their inner darkness face to face, it’s up to them to perform another miracle on themselves: banishing the darkness for good. It can be a tricky business to vanquish your inner demons, even once you know what they are, but the Sorias are forbidden to help with this part. They’ve all been told that if a Soria interferes with the second miracle, it will bring out their own darkness, and a saint’s darkness, so the story goes, is a most potent and dangerous thing." - Maggie Stiefvater, EW interview.

Maggie Stiefvater is one of those authors that I've just got to check out what she's written. That's not to say that I'll always read every book by her, but I at least want to know more. This one sounds interesting and different. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Summer 2017 TBR List

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Summer 2017 TBR List.

  1. Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, # 1) by Joelle Charbonneau
  2. Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy, # 1) by Jodi Meadows
  3. Shadowcaster (Shattered Realms, # 2) by Cinda Williams Chima
  4. Lucky in Love by Kasie West
  5. After the Game (The Field Party, # 3) by Abbi Glines
  6. An Inconvenient Beauty (Hawthorne House, # 4) by Kristi Ann Hunter
  7. The Beauty of Darkness (Remnant Chronicles, # 3) by Mary E Pearson
  8. The Last Star (The 5th Wave, # 3) by Rick Yancey
  9. Sempre: Redemption (Sempre, # 2) by JM Darhower
  10. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter, # 8) by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, & John Tiffany

Some of these have been on my TBR list for a long time, and I'm hoping to finally knock them out. What's on your summer TBR list? Let me know!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mr. President - Book Review

Mr. President (White House Duet, # 1)

By: Katy Evans

Published: November 5th 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

280 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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

Goodreads description--From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Katy Evans comes a sizzling new contemporary romance.

He's won the hearts of millions. But is he willing to lose his?

I met the president’s son when we were both young. Matthew Hamilton was handsome, polished, and intelligent. I’d never met a boy like him.

He promised me that he’d never run for president. I promised that if he did, I’d be by his side.

Three terms later, an invitation to join Matthew Hamilton’s campaign is the most exhilarating opportunity I’ve ever experienced. I'm determined to make a difference; he is determined to win.

Focused on his goal, Matt is steadfast, ruthless, and disarming. All eyes are on him and his popularity is surging. But soon, the next possible president of the United States is possessing me in more ways than one—and despite the risks, I'm helpless to resist.

We're stealing touches, stealing moments, and stealing away at night. But our chemical connection is quickly becoming dangerously combustive, putting not only my heart, but Matt's chance at the presidency on the line.

Winning will take everything.

Walking away will be the hardest thing of all.

I was intrigued by Mr. President because of how into the 2016 US Presidential Election I was. The older I've gotten the more involved I find myself in politics. I hate the sides that it brings out in people, and I don't want to get into the pros or cons of the political candidates that we had this year or the mess of an election year it was, but all of that had me interested in this book. The idea of a candidate falling in love during the campaign process was a unique one. So I thought I'd give this a go.

I've never read Katy Evans before, and I should have been warned by the description. While there are no direct references to anything that would have turned me off, the description has several subtle hints at a direction that I'm not all that interested in. So I'm going to say upfront that Mr. President was not as good as I hoped it would be.

Charlotte and Matt meet when she's 11 years old and he's about 24. (I believe that's the right math.) Matt's father, president at the time, tells Charlotte that Matt's going to be president one day, but Matt has no desire to run or be president. Charlotte is so enraptured by Matt. He's her first crush. So she decides to do what little girls do and write him a letter telling him that if he does decide to run then she's going to help him campaign. In about 2 years, Matt's father is killed and Charlotte and Matt meet again at his father's funeral. So Charlotte is now about 13 and Matt should be about 26. The events in the book take place 11 years from the time they first met making Charlotte 22 and Matt 35. While I have no problem with the age gap between 22 and 35 (my husband and I have 12 years in between us), the gap between 11 and 24 is a bit too much to stretch the imagination. While Matt never claims to have had a crush on Charlotte at that age, he does suggest that she's been on his mind throughout the last 11 years. Some of Matt's comments concerning their past were too much for me.

I get that Matt's hot and Charlotte's had a crush on him from the time she was a little girl, but she just about to melt in a puddle of horny goo from minute one. There's attraction. Sure. And then there's ridiculousness. I felt like every sentence of this book was filled with innuendo except for those times when no suggestion was necessary. It's just too much. A scene here or there doesn't bother me, but when an entire book is filled with nothing but sexual content it drives me crazy. This is not good writing. I know this is what some readers are looking for, but it's not good writing. Less is more. And in the case of Mr. President MUCH MUCH less is more.

Expanding on that point, Matt and Charlotte know that having a relationship of any kind is temporary. Matt saw his mother take a back seat to the presidency for his father, and he refuses to do that to someone else. Charlotte knows where Matt stands. They both know that getting caught together will spark a scandal and cost Matt the presidency. Although they both claim that Matt becoming president is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, in the moment when push comes to shove, they choose each other and their physical desires EVERY SINGLE TIME! I couldn't root for Matt to get the presidency because I kept feeling like he was proving over and over again that he doesn't have what it takes to be the president. Self-sacrificing and making the right call when it counts in the moment. And I couldn't root for Charlotte to get her man because every time she tried to stand up for herself and tell Matt what she needed, she caved like a cadbury creme egg. So in the end, I guess I just really had no respect for these characters.

Quotes that support my thoughts:

-I don't know whether I should do this or not, but right now all I hear my body say is that I need to touch this man.

-So perfect and so right, I forget that it's wrong.

-It was reckless--and it didn't matter.

-Matt is going to be the end of me. Maybe the end of my career, too. And I should probably take that into serious consideration before I do something reckless. I don't.

-What we're doing is risky, but how can it be wrong when it feels so right?

-Nothing matters, it doesn't matter.

I'm sorry guys, but again I just don't want to read about characters that have no backbone, about characters that know what the right course of action is but ALWAYS choose the wrong. An occasional mistake or slip up might be understandable and forgivable, but a continual trek down a path that leads nowhere all the while the character is constantly aware that they're making the wrong choice is just not for me. I love reading about strong characters. Especially strong female characters. The ones that can stand up for themselves. The ones that say "NO! I will not settle for less than what I deserve. I will not settle for this compromised crap position you want to give me. I will not be used by you." Think Jane Eyre. When she found out that Mr. Rochester was married but wanted to marry her anyway, she couldn't do it. Even if his current wife was stark, raving mad. Even if it was the hardest thing in the world for her to do. To walk away. To RUN away. Even if she was haunted by him. Even if she wasn't sure she would ever find love again. I respected the crap out of Jane Eyre. Charlotte is no Jane Eyre. And Matt is worse than Mr. Rochester.

I found some aspects of Mr. President confusing or contradictory. Like a moment Matt says "Growing up, there were actually very few people in my life that I could be certain wouldn't run to the media with the story a night later." But then later he's called a playboy. and we're told how much of a bad boy Matt is and how he's frequently been in the news for his flings with women (I'm paraphrasing). This is just one example.

I will say that I was impressed and appreciative that Katy Evans chose to go completely fictional with the candidates in Mr. President. I was half expecting them to be a mirror image of the ones we had in 2016 and I was cringing in fear of having to relive that whole mess again. While her candidates might have taken qualities from some real life individuals, she was pretty vague about them and the actual politics behind them. Just the simple fact that Matt is running as an Independent and not for one of the two major political parties was a relief. I really appreciated this and I feel like making these choices allows Mr. President to appeal to all readers and not just one political party or other.

Mr. President caused me to evaluate myself in what I'm looking for in a book. While, I love books that are fast reads because they are driven by emotion, I find that I don't love books that are driven by physical desire. Even books that are emotionally driven can often have the characters continually following a path they know isn't right. And that's not what I'm looking for either. Evaluating this for myself prompted me to write this discussions only we know post where I dive deeper into figuring out which books are right for me and why.

So I don't think if you've read even a portion of this review that you'll be surprised by me saying that I did not enjoy Mr. President. It wasn't what I hoped it would be. It helped me realize that this is the exact type of book that I don't enjoy reading. The characters constant decision to follow a path they both know to be wrong for each other and for the country (assuming Matt becoming president would be the best thing for the country) meant that I couldn't support or respect these characters. And that makes rooting for them pretty impossible. I originally thought that I would try to read Commander in Chief in hopes that most of what I found wrong with Mr. President would be solved in it, but since writing this review, I don't see the point. Mr. President gets 1 Star. Have you read Mr. President? Let me know!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Post - 248

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This was a good week. Husband was off Wednesday through Friday. Wednesday was very productive between the two of us. Thursday we had eye doctor appointments and ran a few errands. Friday we had another ultrasound and doctor appointment for Baby # 2. We found out the gender, but we're waiting a couple of weeks before we share that with everyone. We got in the pool for the first time this year. Well Husband has been in a couple of times after he's cut grass, but this was the first time for me and Little Girl. My parents surprised us and asked if they could take Little Girl for the weekend. It wasn't originally in my plans for her to spend another weekend with them so soon (I think it was 3 weeks ago when she did last), but I've been feeling a little run down lately so we took them up on the opportunity. No new books this week.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Book Moms
Wednesday: Can't Wait for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Mr. President (Mr. President, # 1) by Katy Evans
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Can't Wait for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

By: Lauren James

Expected Publication: September 7th 2017 by Walker Books

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

( Goodreads | Book Depository )

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

Goodreads description--Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Top Ten Book Moms

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

We talk all the time about non-existent parents in YA, but you guys, I didn't realize how bad this was for real until I was scrolling through my read books looking for stand-out book moms. Every book I passed was like: dead, not present, horrible mother, not necessarily a horrible mother but not a good mother, and mentioned but not stand-out. It was truly sad. This exercise did give me a future Top Ten Tuesday post idea. But of the books I've read, here are the stand-out moms.

  1. Audrey from Bright Side by Kim Holden - Audrey is Gus's mom as well as acting mom for Kate. Audrey has gone above and beyond for Kate. Though not her biological mother, Audrey shows what it really means to choose your family.
  2. Fern & Bailey's mothers from Making Faces by Amy Harmon - Both of these moms were present and active in their children's lives. Each gave good advice when needed.
  3. Eleanor from The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep - Again, not a biological mother, but she took on the responsibility of taking care of Samuel's young daughter without hesitation. Eventually she became a true mother to her.
  4. Darrow's mother from the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown - Even though she didn't have a huge role throughout the series, the fact that she recognized Darrow despite his transformation warmed my heart so. She was exactly what he needed her to be.
  5. Jess from One Plus One by Jojo Moyes - Truthfully I don't remember a ton about this book because I read it 3 years ago, but I remember Jess trying so terribly hard to do what's best for her kids.
  6. Layken's mom from Slammed by Colleen Hoover - Layken's mom was also really present in her kids' lives. She was motherly and actually worked to lead her children into becoming adults. She knew that she didn't have a lot of time to do this, and so she even prepared a way to be there for Layken after she was gone as well.
  7. Mrs. Weasley from Harry Potter - Managing the chaos of the Weasley household is enough to earn her a reward. But she also took on Harry as much as she could. Plus that scene with her against Bellatrix was epic!
  8. Lark's mother in The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon - Her sacrifice for her daughter is what a mother's love is really about.
  9. Nate's mother from The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere - She's all about helping others out. She does charity work with the church as well as taking in multiple people into her own home. Plus seeing how she loved and worried about her own children was clear.
  10. Georgia's mother from The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon - While not a perfect mother (who is?) Georgia's mother was really there for Georgia through the most difficult days of her life. And there were many difficult days.

(Any books not linked have reviews coming soon.) Who are your top ten book moms? Let me know!

Monday, May 15, 2017

God-Shaped Hole - Review

God-Shaped Hole

By: Tiffanie DeBartolo

Published: May 16th 2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark

384 pages

Genre: 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--"An edgy story of love and fate..." -- Library Journal

"With wit and humor, the author brings these characters and their quirky, artsy friends alive. Bottom Line: You'll dig it" -- People

If your intentions are pure
I am seeking a friend
For the end of the world

When Beatrice Jordan meets the unpredictable Jacob Grace, the two wild souls become instant allies. Together they discover an escape in each other's creativity and insecurities, while running from secrets they cannot seem to shake - or a fate that could throw them to the ground...

This 15th Anniversary reissue of Tiffanie DeBartolo's classic love story introduces a new audience of dreamers to a quintessentially real and raw vision of spirit, and inspires everyone to live -- and love -- as vividly as possible.

"This generation's Love Story." -- Kirkus

I have to admit that with a title like God-Shaped Hole I hoped for and expected a bit more of a positive religious, potentially even Christian, book. This was not that. There was nothing in the description to indicate that would be the case, but there was nothing to indicate it would not be as well. So just in case the title gives you any misconceptions, now you know.

Beatrice uncharacteristically answers a personal ad in the newspaper that was uncharacteristically placed by Jacob. Beatrice couldn't imagine any of the guys she's dated in the past placing anything remotely similar to Jacob's ad. The two hit it off immediately. Some might take issue with the insta-love-ish vibe. Granted time does pass before the two claim those feelings, but there's definitely an insta-connection. Things definitely get physical quickly.

I kept forgetting that Beatrice and Jacob were essentially 30 years old. Their behavior reminded me more of late teens/early 20s for sure. Especially Beatrice's thought processes as she's the narrator. Speaking of...both are flawed characters, but Beatrice kind of got on my nerves. She didn't bother me as much while I was reading, but when I would put the book down and think about it I realized how frequently she irked me. She has a tendency to see mostly negative in other people, and even though I've been that way at one point in my life, I've learned that it's so much happier for me and for others to offer grace to others for things that might get on my nerves. I realized that I didn't want others to think of me the way I often thought about them. I wish Beatrice had learned that lesson because it was draining to read so much negativity. She was also highly irrational at times. And the emotional and mental games that she would play with Jacob were immature and exhausting at best. Her issues were understandable and felt real given her background, but still draining. Jacob wasn't without issues as well, but he didn't bug me as much. Perhaps this is because he wasn't the narrator, and I wasn't subjected to his thought processes.

Considering I expected The God-Shaped Hole to have some spiritual message, you can imagine my disappointment when Beatrice has nothing but contempt for God. Her view of Him is so incredibly small. If God were truly as she saw Him, I could understand her feelings, but He is so much more. The idea that the characters (or author) put forth that everyone has a "God-shaped hole" that they try to fill with anything and everything yet it has nothing to do with God goes against my core beliefs as a Christian. Of course, a "God-shaped hole" could only be filled by God Himself. And not the mini-unGod-like version that Beatrice imagines.

Despite my frustrations with Beatrice as a character and my issues with the weak vision of God, I read this book extremely quickly--especially considering I've been in a reading slump. Another bonus was that God-Shaped Hole did make me cry.

Favorite quotes:

-Sometimes the most consequential moments in my life originate from a state of completely witless human auto-pilot.

-"It's not a good sign when your girlfriend's a heroin addict and you don't even know it."

-"Don't waste your time with fear," Jacob said calmly. "Fear won't keep you safe from being hurt."

-"Henry Miller wrote something about fear making you fearless. It's a very powerful emotion. Use it to get what you want. I mean if it's going to rule your life, it might as well rule you to freedom, right?"

-"Committing suicide so as not to be murdered is the worst reason I've ever heard of to die."

God-Shaped Hole wasn't at all what I was expecting. The writing was pretty great, but I struggled a little with Beatrice as a character as well as her view of God. Yet at the same time, I couldn't seem to put it down. I was leaning toward 3 Stars until the ending had me all in tears. God-Shaped Hole gets 4 Stars. Have you read God-Shaped Hole? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Post - 247 & Stacking the Shelves - 186

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.

Monday started this week off with Husband and I celebrating our 8 year anniversary. We really let this year slip up on us. We went out for steaks, and then went to Hobby Lobby to walk off our food. Not much else to report. I've swapped our walking time to the mornings in hopes of catching some cooler temps. It's worked, yet the morning seems to be more humid. We went to the wedding of a co-worker of Husband's on Saturday. Happy Mother's Day to all. I hope if you're a mom then you feel loved and appreciated. I hope if you're not a mom that you make your mom feel loved and appreciated. If you're feeling a loss today then know you're not alone and you are still loved and appreciated.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Praying the Attributes of God by Ann Spangler (5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Topics on my TBR List
Wednesday: Can't Wait for An Inconvenient Beauty (Hawthorne House, # 4) by Kristi Ann Hunter

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns, # 2)

By: Kendare Blake

Published: September 19th 2017 by Harper Teen

448 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (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--The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy, # 1)

By: Jodi Meadows

Published: September 12th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (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--Before

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Can't Wait for An Inconvenient Beauty

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

An Inconvenient Beauty (Hawthorne House, # 4)

By: Kristi Ann Hunter

Expected Publication: September 5th 2017 by Bethany House Publishers

384 pages

Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction

( 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--Award-Winning Regency Romance Author on the Rise

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she'll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.

Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?

I've really enjoyed this series and can't wait to get my hands on Griffith's story. What can't you wait for this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Top Ten Topics on My TBR List

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

  1. Siblings fighting over a throne - I'm currently reading Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake which means that One Dark Throne is on my TBR list. Also, Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau.
  2. An author who is more at home with her characters than her marriage - Home by Ginny L Yttrup.
  3. A family seeking revenge on an evil king - Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima.
  4. Harry's kids - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Throne, & John Tiffany (STILL).
  5. An arranged marriage couple that went through entirely unnecessary events to come together - The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E Pearson.
  6. The series ender of a post-apocalyptic series - The Last Star by Rick Yancey & Ruins by Dan Wells.
  7. A mafia romance finale - Sempre: Redemption by JM Darhower.
  8. Falling in love with someone other than your soulmate - Eyes of Ember by Rebecca Ethington.
  9. Fae/Faeries - Thorn Queen, Iron Crowned, and Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead plus A Court of Thorns and Roses and Tower of Dawn (not pictured) by Sarah J Maas.
  10. A Song of Ice and Fire - Just as soon as George R R Martin publishes The Winds of Winter I'm on it.

What topics are on your TBR list? Let me know!