Mar 31, 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Altercation by Mignon Mykel!


Altercation
Mignon Mykel
(Playmaker Duet #1)
Publication date: March 1st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Sometimes it’s the fight that proves your worth.
Porter Prescott spent years fighting to be his own person.

His goal of playing for a hockey club not associated with the Prescott name finally comes true.

But just as he’s leaving for the next chapter in his life, he meets her.

Asher Spence spent a lifetime learning she was worthless and unwanted.

She learned that sometimes the only person you can count on is youself, and even then, you can fail.

What starts out as picture perfect can only come crumbling down.

No one listened to her pleas before,

Why should they listen to them now that she’s found a place to finally call home?

But sometimes, it’s the fight that takes you out of the game.
Note: This is book 1 of 2 in the Porter and Asher story. This does end with a cliffhanger that will be resolved in book 2, Holding.
You can also grab book 2 – Holding – that is OUT NOW!

EXCERPT:
I moved to stand where she’d be able to see me, not really caring if I was blocking the view for some other person waiting. I widened my stance and with my arms crossed over my chest, I kept my eyes trained as far back as I could see. My gaze shifted over the different travelers coming in; the only person I wanted to see was a brunette with crazy colored eyes.
And then I saw her.
The feeling that overtook me was like a drowning man getting his first breath of air. A starving man getting a fucking full-course meal.
She didn’t see me yet, but she would in time. There were maybe eighty people between us and she was nearing.
Her hair was braided over her shoulder, wisps of hair falling out and framing her face. She was wearing leggings and those damned boots of hers, but I was surprised to see her shirt was the girly type, long with cuts up the sides, nearly to her waist, and lacy sleeves that played peek-a-boo with the colors adorning her arm. She didn’t carry a bag, just her phone in one hand.
I licked my bottom lip before biting it gently, trying to stop the smile from spreading on my face. Didn’t want to look like a complete moron.
Forty feet.
Her gaze was down at the floor, no doubt watching where she was walking. It didn’t surprise me she was careful like that.
Thirty feet.
Look up, Asher…Look up.
Twenty feet.
Her face lifted and, like a magnet, her eyes locked on mine instantly.
And the smile on her face?
God damn.
There was no sense stopping my full-ass smile now, not with the one she just shot my way.
If you would have told me, four months ago, I would be the most celibate man in the history of earth, all for the glimpses of smiles from that girl there with more secrets behind her eyes than I could ever hope to uncover, I probably would have laughed in your face.
Four months ago, I was gearing up for my rookie season in South Carolina.
Four months ago, I was a kid with a big name, going to a team that had nothing to do with said big name.
Four months ago, it was rumored I would be the new hot shot in town. Nico certainly didn’t fail to show me the gossip sites, seemingly run by a bunch of puck bunnies.
But four months ago, I walked into Starbucks for a goodbye coffee with my sister, and met the girl with secrets.
And four months ago, I became addicted without so much as a taste.
Now that I’ve had that taste? Shit, I couldn’t wait for more.


Author Bio:
Mignon Mykel is the author of the Prescott Family series, as well as the short-novella erotic romance series, O'Gallagher Nights. When not sitting at Starbucks writing whatever her characters tell her to, you can find her hiking in the mountains of her new home in Arizona.


We'd like to extend a huge thank you to XPresso Book Tours for allowing us to be a part of this!!! :-)



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Mar 29, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Jessica's Waiting on:


33843362 
Title: Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press 
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017

Summary: Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. A bad romance, or maybe three. Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her. A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.  
I wasn't a huge fan of We Were Liars, which is another E. Lockhart book, but this summary seems super intriguing and the summary is similar to my own book that I wrote, which drew me in right away. I'm hoping I can snag an ARC of this book at some point, because this seems like a really interesting runaway story including lots of disguises and mystery. And if it's true to E. Lockhart form, it'll have tons of plot twists!

Have you read We Were Liars? What were your thoughts? What're your thoughts on this book? Comment down below and let me know!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so I can stop back! 

Mar 28, 2017

Our 19th Birthdays & GIVEAWAY!!


Hello, everybody! It's officially March 28th, which means it's my (Jessica's) 19th birthday. As many of you may know, Amber's 19th birthday was ten days ago...and since our birthdays are so close together, it's time for our annual DOUBLE birthday giveaway!


That's right, you heard it here: TWO (2) lucky winners are going to be getting a book of their choice from The Book Depository ($25 limit)! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY as long as The Book Depository ships to your country! 

Click HERE to enter the giveaway by Retweeting the pinned Tweet!

Plus, an added chance to win! If you Tweet the link to this post and tag us (@thebookbratz) on Twitter, you will get a second entry into winning!

There's no better way to celebrate a birthday than with presents -- but instead of them being for us, they're for YOU!


Off to celebrate my 19th birthday (& this giveaway!),


Mar 27, 2017

Geekerella Blog Tour!

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Today on the blog, I'm so super excited to talk about one of the most promising books of 2017 that I've read so far -- Geekerella by Ashley Poston! It was one of my first five-star reads of the year and I've been recommending it to anybody who's a part of any sort of fandom. So I'm going to start off this post by sharing my review with you guys, and then there's an awesome book trailer featured below that you should definitely check out, and a guest post by author Ashley Poston herself!




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Title: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Paperback, 320 Pages
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017


Summary: Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first. Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
I received an ARC edition of this book from Quirk to read in exchange for an honest review, and I'm so glad that I did! I'm a sucker for modern-day retellings of stories, and this one follows the path of Cinderella. Elle is a teen girl who is stuck living with her awful stepsisters and stepmother, and through a stroke of chance, she ends up texting a mysterious guy who had the wrong number. Before long, sparks fly, even though she doesn't know this guy's real identity -- the actor playing one of her favorite roles in her favorite television-series-turned-movie. 

I really, really loved this book. The story itself was adorable, especially because even though it paralleled Cinderella perfectly, it was also so uniquely different in a way. The ending of the story definitely seemed more Cinderella-esque than the beginning, but looking back on the story overall, it all made sense. 

Elle's relationship with Darien had me hooked from the start. Even when they didn't know each other's true identities, they confided in one another, made each other laugh, and created an adorable relationship that blossomed thanks to the wonders of the modern internet. Even when Elle's life seemed to come crashing down, and even when Darien felt that he had no control over his own actions, they turned to one another, and to the fantasy/sci-fi world they both loved, and in that they found comfort.

This book was absolutely geeky and I loved it from start to finish. It's been awhile since I was unable to put a book down, but that was definitely prevalent with this one. I missed the feeling of being totally absorbed in a book and not wanting it to end, so it was definitely a refreshing feeling that I got again with this one.

Seeing the life of a celebrity behind-the-scenes in daily life was also interesting. And the entire convention reminded me of BookCon,which got me super excited since I'll be attending that again this year! I pictured the Javits Center the entire time. I can't wait. :-)

The one thing that I wasn't crazy about in this book was the fact that some jokes were used too much. By the end of the book, if I heard another "Holy _____, Batman" joke, I would've lost my mind. Seriously. That's the one thing that this book could've done without. It was funny the first few times, but then it got a bit tiring. 

All in all, Geekerella was a fantastic book that I really enjoyed, and I'd definitely recommend that you put it on your TBR immediately. I'm so glad that I got an opportunity to read this book (thank you, Quirk!), and I'm also super excited that my first read of 2017 was a five-star review. It looks like things are going to be going up from here!

I really enjoyed Ashley Poston's story, and I'd definitely be open to reading more of her work in the future. Make sure you pick this one up if you get the chance!




Author Ashley Poston was awesome enough to put together a convention survival guide to make sure that you tackle your next fan-based event flawlessly! (Hint hint: Hopefully we'll be catching you guys at BookCon!) So here it is!

Con Survival Guide

Ah, cons. You love them, you hate them—you love to hate them and still go because oh, the pull is so strong…Whatever the reason, Cons are both wildly fun and absolutely exhausting. I’ve made some of my most cherished friendships at cons, and I’ve also had some of the worst experiences of my life there, too. So, if you’ve never been to a con before but you want to go, here are a few tips from this con-loving gal to you! (And you should definitely go to a con at least once—seriously, they’re fantastic).

A plan of attack. I suffer from anxiety, and so crowds are not always fun—especially when I’m in a new convention center in a city I’ve never been to before. My best advice? Plan ahead! Most—if not all—cons have some sort of schedule and map on their website. Check to see what panels you want to go to when and write down where they are! It always helps me to come with a plan.

Friends/Scheduled Fandom Meet-ups. Seriously, if for nothing else, friends are a must to keep your sanity—and the best part is, you can make those friends while you’re there! I’ve gone to cons alone and met some fantastic people while waiting in line for panels and meet-ups.

Duck-tape/sewing kit. Because it will never fail—your cosplay will break down. 

Fuel/Snackage. Panels are incredibly fun, but you know when they’re not fun? When you’re hangry. Pack some light granola or protein bars to snack on while you’re waiting in line or browsing the booths.

Phone Charger. It never fails—never fails—that the moment you need an outlet you won’t find one.

Water bottle. The thirst is real—and it’s always in your best interest to get a water bottle to refill while at the con! And it’ll save you a few bucks and a missed panel when you’re waiting in a ridiculously long line.

Spare cash because Artist’s Alley. While a lot of artists now take cards, it’s still a lot easier to just take cash. And you’ll want to because… I mean… fan art.

Unapologetic Enthusiasm. Because why go to a con if you don’t want to let your fandom flag fly? So wear your favorite fandom t-shirt, strap on your Poke-watch, and lace up your favorite high-tops, because there’s no place better.

Ready? Set? See you at the next con!

~~~

And now, time for the book trailer!! *heart eyes* I absolutely love this!!


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I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Quirk Books for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour! I absolutely loved Geekerella when I read an ARC a few months ago and recommended it to anybody who would listen, so I was more than excited to be a part of this. I definitely recommend adding this book to your TBR if you're involved in any sort of fandom in any way -- you'll relate to a lot of stuff mentioned in the book, and not to mention the romance is absolutely adorable!! <3



Mar 26, 2017

Review: Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass


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Title: Happily Ever After
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Paperback, 416 Pages
Published October 2015



Summary: The contents of Happily Ever After are as follows:The Prince (with the two bonus chapters), Maxon’s novella, The Guard, Aspen’s novella, The Queen, Amberly’s novella, The Favorite, Marlee’s novella, Three scenes from Celeste’s POV, Lucy’s scene (bonus scene from The One), The bonus epilogue, Where are they now?, A map, Various illustrations

 

I have always been a huge fan of The Selection series, so when I realized there was a book of novellas about the series, I couldn't be more excited. This book tells the popular stories from the series through the eyes of characters such as Amberly, Maxon, Aspen, Marlee, Celeste, and even Lucy. 

What I liked most about this book is that you learn things about the characters through their own eyes -- things that weren't specifically brought up in the series when it was told from America or even Eadlyn's POV. The book opens up with Amberly and her own Selection, and you get to see the drunk, horrid abuse that the previous Queen instilled on everybody, and you got to see the rough childhood that Clarkson grew up with that isn't really explained in the original series. You also get to see little moments that weren't picked out in the original stories since the original stories are in America's POV (and therefore the things that America didn't see or know, we didn't either). For example, Aspen witnesses several instances where Clarkson orders any work or changes Maxon has done during his workday to be erased as if they never happened. In the original stories, we don't see those things happening.

One of my favorite novella's was Maxon's, specifically the scene in the garden where he meets America for the first time. I loved that scene in the original book because it was sweet and hysterical at the same time, so getting to read about it again and know exactly what Maxon is thinking when he first lays eyes on America, and several moments after that. It's totally adorable and heartwarming and funny and my geeky little fangirl heart was beating wildly the entire time. 

Another part I really enjoyed was being able to read Aspen's thoughts throughout several key scenes in the story, and also finding out exactly what happened to Marlee and Carter after their caning. Overall, this novella gives you an extensive view of several key scenes throughout the series from different perspectives to give it a more diverse and comprehensive feel, and it's really fulfilling as a reader. It was great to revisit scenes I was familiar with, but to see them through a new set of eyes. I thought I'd be bored rereading the same story I already knew, but seeing it from the point of view of another character completely changes the scene and makes it so much more special and different.

The only thing that I didn't like all that much was that the stories were so short! Granted, the book is a compilation of novellas, so they aren't going to be long stories. But each story drew me in and made me want to know more and more about the character, so I was pretty bummed when I would turn the page and that character's novella would be over and it would be onto the next one! (Of course, then I started reading the next one, and getting caught up in that character's story, and so on and so forth in a constant cycle...) This wasn't the sort of thing I took stars off for, just a frustrating thing because I was so in love which each and every story that I never wanted it to end!

Overall, I very much enjoyed Happily Ever After. It was great to see the stories I've already read about from the point of view of the other characters, and also backstories to characters that hadn't been explored before, such as Amberly. If you read the entire Selection series and are craving more, I definitely recommend picking up this book and getting a little more of a fix in. And don't forget to check out my reviews of The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Heir, and The Crown!

I'm always a huge Kiera Cass fan. I can't wait to read more of her work!



Mar 24, 2017

Early Book Spotlight & Excerpt: Left Hanging by Cindy Dorminy


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Title: Left Hanging
Author: Cindy Dorminy
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Paperback, 250 Pages
Publication Date: August 2017



Summary: As a nurse and single mom, Darla Battle hides her loneliness behind a smile. But when she discovers that the new cute doctor everyone is talking about is her daughter’s father, she knows she needs to keep her distance from the man who abandoned her and their child, Stella. When Theo Edwards returns to Nashville to finish his medical training, he never expects to run into Darla, a girl he spent one night with seven years ago. For reasons he can’t fathom, her attitude toward him is frosty, but he still hopes to ignite the spark they once felt. Once Darla realizes Theo doesn’t know he’s Stella’s father, she has no idea how to tell him the truth. And the longer she waits, the more difficult it becomes. When the situation spins out of control, can the two come together for the sake of their daughter? Or is forgiveness out of reach?
Today on The Book Bratz we teamed up with author Cindy Dorminy to introduce you all to her newest book...including an exclusive excerpt for all of you! The summary seems super captivating, riddled with conflict and the struggle of forgiving someone (something we can all identify with), and plenty of spark and romance.

Author Cindy Dorminy provided us with an excerpt of Left Hanging to share with all of you, so take a look!! *heart eyes* 

Exclusive Excerpt of Left Hanging:

~~~

Through her dark hair, which hides most of her face, she glances my way, not stopping her face washing or babbling. She tries to snatch some paper towels out of the dispenser, and they fly through the air, missing her shaking hands. “Are you lost?” she asks as she kneels down to pick up the mess on the floor.

I take her arm to help her stand.

“This is the women’s bathroom, you know,” she adds.

Whoa. Not what I expected. Maybe our time together didn’t mean very much to her. I thought we had something special. I wanted her real name, a real relationship. But she vanished after the fire, and no one I asked seemed to have a clue who she was. This little reunion is a shock to me too. I would like to know what she’s been doing all these years, but I get the feeling she doesn’t have the same curiosity.

“Yeah, well, we met in a bathroom, so I thought it was appropriate.” I cannot stop the Cheshire Cat grin from spreading across my face.

She stands there, focusing on the hand dryer, the sink, everywhere except my eyes. Cat’s got her tongue. I wish this cat did.

“Hello… Romeo.” Finally, she speaks.

I throw my head back and chuckle as I lean against the counter, crossing my arms. The edge of my shirt absorbs a puddle of water. “It’s you, after all this time.”

She throws the paper towels in the trash can, and her eyes flit around the room again. Sorry, girl. It’s only you and me.

It’s as if her hands can’t figure out what to do. I can help her with that. Eventually, she’s going to have to face me. She crosses her arms and huffs. I enjoy the scenery while she clenches and unclenches her fists. She is as beautiful as I remember. Not model, stop-and-stare beautiful, but purely, completely perfect-for-me beautiful. And she still wears that same uncertain “I’m not good enough” look on her face. But today, it’s coupled with a nasty nail-spitting stare. She waxes and wanes from seeming upset to acting as if she’s ready to smack me. Maybe I should take a step back in case she wants to make contact, and not the fun kind.

I remember how much her face lit up when she finally realized I really liked her and that I wasn’t playing her like some random hookup. We did hook up, but I was already gaga over her by that time. I remember later that night when she woke up in my arms, with one leg slung across mine, dangerously close to the fun zone. It’s something I’ll never forget. But here we are seven years later, and she seems scared again. Well, let’s see what I can do to get rid of that feeling for good.

“So, how long has it been?” She wears a painted-on smile that doesn’t reach her eyes.

I’m trying to be nice here, but she’s not making it easy. “About seven years, give or take a few months and days.” Actually, it’s been seven years, one month, and sixteen days, not that I’m counting. 


~~~
We're so thankful that author Cindy Dorminy was kind enough to reach out to us and provide us with this excerpt to share with all of you guys! If what you just read seems like something you'd be interesting in exploring further, be on the lookout for the book later this year in August!


Mar 22, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Jessica's Waiting on:

32711722Title: These Things I've Done
Author: Rebecca Phillips
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Publication Date: August 1st, 2017

Summary: Before: Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable. After: It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time. 
What first drew me into this book was the cover, because the photo and the colors and the way everything was composed really caught my eye. (I'm big into aesthetics like that when it comes to books.) Then I read the summary, and I was shocked to find out that it's a story about two best friends who grew apart and then had a terrible accident, and learning to cope after that. The summary drew me in and I really want to read this book, because I know it's about to be an emotional trip worth having, and Rebecca Phillips is a powerful writer that I can't wait to read.

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so I can stop back! 



Mar 20, 2017

Introducing Tiago by Catia Skye (& Giveaway!)

Today on the blog we're highlighting an upcoming story we can't wait for, and there's also an Amazon giveaway in it for you guys, too! :-) Without further ado, settle in, get comfy, and get introduced to a new author on the scene that is definitely worth watching.

Tiago by Cátia Skye

A YA Contemporary Romance

Two shattered hearts. One unstoppable love.

Nominate Tiago, by debut YA Romance author Cátia Skye, for consideration by Kindle Scout and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Voucher, and you could get to read the book for free! Scroll down for excerpts, blurb, author info and, of course, the giveaway!

Tiago, by Cátia Skye, Book Cover


New York, USA
Kezra, sixteen, dumped by her boyfriend of six months after he took her virginity, shocked by revelations about her father, falls into an abyss of panic and anxiety. On doctor's orders, she is sent on a vacation to get away from pressures.


Lisbon, Portugal
Tiago, seventeen, has lost more than most lose in a lifetime, believes implicitly in the inevitable Portuguese Tragedy, has left the thug-life, has left school, is just trying to survive each new day.

Neither of them is looking for love…

Categories:
  • Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary
  • Romance > Series
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Coming of Age
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Europe

Excerpts

Kezra

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

I am no looker.
I'm not a dog either. But I am no looker.
Aylin used to say I was precocious. "Precocious when it comes to boys," she'd say.
By the time I was done dating Conor, I said I was nothing but a fool.
I started dating too early. Antoni was the first guy I ever saw. I was fourteen, close to fifteen, sporting braces on my teeth. We shared a kiss, nothing passionate, innocent.
Until he touched my breasts and I went cold.
Fourteen. Was he a freaking idiot?
Dawson happened after that. It lasted three months. I was more grown up, more developed. My breasts, especially, were more developed.
I hate my breasts.
But it was Conor who would thrust me into the black world of adulthood with an indignant slap I am certain I will never forget.
I write because I am lonely.
I write because I hurt.
I write while tears drip from my eyes, turning the screen of my tablet into splotches of pixelated rainbows.
The way I was brought into this world has nothing to do with how I feel about love.
It has everything to do with how I feel about myself.
How much horror can a mind endure?
Are the pains of a sixteen-year-old laughed at by those older then her?
What pain did my mother suffer? ("Sometimes I went without food so that I wouldn't have to take that bastard's money, Kez.")
My pain is nothing compared to what hers must have been. And yet, the pain I feel is phenomenal.

Tiago

P.S. I Love You (2007)

Just before the sun rises, when the world is silent and the River Tejo laps gently at the stone steps leading to the giant Praça do Comércio square, leaves of golden sunlight shimmer above the surface of Lisbon's great river. This is my favorite time to sit on these steps, flicking stones into the water, letting my gaze drift west toward the ocean.
And I think of her.
I do not weep anymore. My eyes are dry. I have wept this entire river twice over and still that will not bring her back.
The seagulls taunt me, cawing in accusation. I should have moved faster, they say. I should not have been so complacent with my joy.
I never deserved that joy. I know it.

Tiago

Deadly is the Female (1950)

It is the week for meeting Americans. And if I thought my encounter with Dahlia went bad, then I can only compare my meeting with the one called Kezra to something just short of a nuclear war. It's my fault, mostly. But it's also her fault.
I would love to say that our first encounter is quaint and sweet, that it is the type of first-meeting you expect from a Rom-Com.
It is not.
It is a disaster.
And I am nothing short of a hungover bastard.
But let's call a spade a spade. Guilt must be placed where guilt belongs. And this chick is a real stinker of a piece of work too.
I guess you could say I started it.
I did.
But she contributes gladly to the atomic chain reaction which follows.
Dare I say, I think she even revels in it.
Copyright © 2017, Cátia Skye. All Rights Reserved.

Giveaway!


About Cátia

Cátia Skye Avatar

Cátia Skye is a New-York-born, Portuguese-American gal who now resides in the romantic heart of Lisbon, Portugal. She is the single mother of one rambunctious little boy, and pens romance novels between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. each night when her boy finally falls asleep. Tiago is her first novel.

We are so grateful for being able to participate in this tour and can't wait to read this book when it comes out!

Mar 19, 2017

The College Diaries: The End Is Near, But Not Near Enough


Hi guys! Jessica here, with another installment of our new project, The College Diaries. If you're new here and a little confused, The College Diaries is a series where all three of us (so yes, Amber & Emily also!) step away from books for a little bit and talk about our experiences in our first year of college. It's a nice little pause from time to time to share our thoughts with you guys on a more personal level, and to also connect with other bloggers and followers our age who might be experiencing the same thing!

So without further ado, today I'm going to rant a little bit about the feeling of being so close to finishing the semester, but also being so far away at the same time. I'm about halfway through my spring semester now, which means that I only have a few weeks left until I'm done with my first year of college ever! The struggle with being so close to finals is that you're also simultaneously so far away. I'm far enough into the semester that I can literally see all of the weekends left on the calendar before I go home, but then I actually count the amount of classes I have left, and I sigh because it still seems like so many.


I'm getting to the point where I'm antsy and eager to go home, and I can't wait to spend the summer out in the sunshine, working and seeing my friends and my dog and vacations and the beach (<3). As much as I love being at college, coming home for spring break for only a week is such a tease -- it's enough time for me to start settling into my hometown surroundings again, but then I get ripped right out of that situation again and I'm back in hours-long lectures before I know it.

I just want to go hoooooooooooooome and see everyone and get reading time and get to enjoy myself and just relax again. Because I am so over staying up until 3am doing homework and then getting up in time for my 8am classes, suffering through the day, and then getting back to my room to do it all over again. 

Honestly, I'm just excited to get home. Because the end is near but not near enough, and I've been craving some personal time with a good book on a sunny beach back home. 

Mar 17, 2017

Review: This Is The Part Where You Laugh by Peter Brown Hoffmeister


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Title: This Is The Part Where You Laugh
Author: Peter Brown Hoffmeister
Publisher: Knopf Books
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Published May 2016



Summary: Rising sophomore Travis and his best friend, Creature, spend a summer in a Eugene, Oregon, trailer park dealing with cancer, basketball, first love, addiction, gang violence, and a reptilian infestation.

I first bought this book at The Strand because the excerpt looked funny and seemed like a worthwhile read. Now, however, I don't really know how I feel. After finishing this book, I'm just left with a general, overall feeling of "meh." I didn't understand the point of the plot, or where the story was supposed to go, or anything.

Alright, that was a totally disorganized stream of consciousness right there, so I'll try to make it a little more organized. I'll start with the aspects of this book that I liked. I liked that one of the overall themes was like everybody has complex life struggles, as Travis seems to have so many. He was homeless for awhile, has a drug-addict mother, a grandpa taking painkillers not prescribed to him, a grandma with cancer, living in a rundown trailer park, got kicked out of his basketball league when that was his one passion, etc. He had a lot of hardships and the story was good at demonstrating. I liked the aspect of Travis's character where he cared about the homeless, especially his mother -- proving that he has an element of forgiveness. Even though his mother was a woman who cared more about drugs than him, and who had her son sleep in dumpsters and outside and in creepy motel rooms because she was more concerned about getting her next fix than her own son, Travis still biked around the homeless camps every weekend with food and money for his mother, and when he couldn't find her, he gave it to others. Even though his mother wronged him time and time again, he was always working to get money to give to her to start a new life, always searching for her, always trying to help her. I enjoyed that aspect of the story.

However, the biggest part of the story that I didn't enjoy was that I just didn't get it. I don't know where the story is supposed to be going. The summary of the book on Goodreads should be evidence enough -- there's barely anything described. It's like the story has no plot. It has a message about drug addiction and having a difficult life, but there really seemed to be no story line. (Brief spoilers ahead, please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read the book yet!) There were just too many loose ends at the end of the story. Why did Creature die so suddenly? What ends up happening with Travis and Natalie? With his grandma? With the basketball team? With the crocodiles in the lake? When I finished the story, I sat back for a second and tried to make sense of it. But I couldn't figure out what really even happened, because so much of the story was left unanswered. Too many loose ends, which I really didn't like.

The one other aspect of this book that bothered me greatly was that I definitely got an overwhelmingly sexist vibe. Whether this was the author's personal beliefs or just Travis's I don't know, so I'm not going to comment on that. But when Travis meets Natalie, the majority of what he notices about her is her bra straps, or her chest, or her tan legs, or her tight clothes, or her little bikini. Just about every time Natalie is mentioned in the books, her physical characteristics are mentioned first. And they're always comments about her chest or her legs or the tight clothes she was wearing. By the last few chapters of the book, I was getting mildly disgusted at the piggish vibe I was getting from Travis. And I really, really didn't like that at all. It was a major turnoff that made me not like the book that much more.

Overall, This Is The Part Where You Laugh was an okay book. It was an easy read and there were some parts that were really funny, but overall, the story didn't make much sense to me and I felt like too much was left unanswered in the end, which was another turn off. However, that may have just been how I read and interpreted the book, so if you had this book on your TBR, I still encourage you to give it a try. Who knows? You may end up liking this story better than I did. I'd still be open to reading another story by Peter Brown Hoffmeister in the future, because every story is different, and hopefully some of his others may make more sense to me.



Mar 16, 2017

Review: Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth

Title: Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1)
Author: Veronica Roth 
Genre: Science Fiction 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 17th 2017

Summary: 
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world? Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows. Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.




***I did end up DNFing this book. So this isn't a typical review because I can't really review something I didn't finish.***


I think everyone was excited last year when Roth released the news that she had another novel coming out in the winter of 2017. I know for sure that me, Jessica, and Emily where buzzing with excitement! We loved the Divergent series and love Roth's writing so we were sure we were going to love Carve the Mark just as much. Now, I won't speak for my co-bloggers because we all like something different, but I was kind of disappointed. 

I never read reviews before I read a book, and if I do its when a book is so hyped up. Just like Carve the Mark. The reviews varied, some readers loved the book and others didn't. I also came across a lot of the same conversation about Cyra, and the chronic pain she experiences because of her current gift.

The biggest reason I DNFed Carve the Mark though is because it was slow. I got bored, it took me two weeks to read up to 43% and by that point it was a page here and a page there. The world building was also extremely heavy and just when I thought I finally had a grip on the setting, Roth threw in a new detail that was essential to remember. Also, though I really liked the ideas of the currents and current gifts I really did wish they were explained in more detail. They played a big enough roll in the novel, that at some points I was confused.

In the end I wish I did end up loving this book and that it didn't have some of the negativity surrounding it. I know that it is going to be a duology so I *might* give it another shot when the second book comes out. But for now, I just wasn't into it.