Waiting On Wednesday: See All the Stars by Kit Frick

"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!

Emily's Waiting on:

Title: See All the Stars
Author: Kit Frick
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: McElderry Books
Publication Date: August 14th, 2018

Summary: It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.
THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. (Venus. Earth. Moon. Sun.) Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.
NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.
THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love.
NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.
The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself.

If you couldn't already tell, I love a good contemporary. See All the Stars seems right up my alley and something I'd be able to drive right into. I'm all for a good novel about finding your true self and working through the past. It's always interesting watching the character grow, especially if this is written in the Then and Now POV. It helps to get a grasp on how the character was and is dealing with whatever happened in her past. Let us know your thoughts on this book and what your most anticipated upcoming reads are!

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Locations I Wish I Could Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!
This Week's Topic: Book Locations I Wish I Could Visit
So for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday, I decided to make my own topic. This is one that I've wanted to do for a while, so why not do it now! These are ten towns/locations that I think every book lover would love to have the chance to visit. 

1. Sector 45 
From the Shatter Me series by Tahereh

2. Gatlin, South Carolina
From the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

3. Forks, Washington
From the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

4. West Egg and East Egg
From The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

5. St. Vladimir's Academy
From Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

6. Dystopian Chicago
From the Divergent series by Veronica Roth

7. The Covenant's 
From the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

8. Illea, New America
From The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

9. District 12
From The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

10. Kingdom of Norta
From the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard

I'm sure many of us would love to be able to travel to these fictional locations, so let us know where you'd love to visit most!

Guest Review: When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Title: When The Moon Was Ours
Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Hardcover, 288 Pages
Published October 2016

Summary: To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

Today on the blog we have a guest review from Aimee over at Aimee AlwaysShe was awesome enough to come by and review When The Moon Was Ours for us, and since neither of us have read this book before, we were super excited to learn more about it and now we'd definitely love to add this to our TBR as soon as possible!

But enough about us. It's time to get into Aimee's review!

The most accurate word to describe this book would be beautiful. The story is beautiful; the writing is beautiful; the characters are beautiful. This book is like the first blooms of flowers in the Spring: fresh, unexpected, and memorable. 

When the Moon Was Ours is mostly character-driven, and focuses on two very unique characters who you've never encountered before. Miel has roses coming out of her wrist, and Sam hangs moons on trees. But Miel and Sam are so much more than just their quirks. There are really intense and well-developed backstories behind each of them, as well as all the other side characters, which was awesome. And each of them come with so many IMPORTANT themes. There's some trans love here, as well as family loss, bullying, etc!

BUUUUT! Just because the book's focus is on character development doesn't mean it has a crappy story--because it definitely doesn't. It has a gorgeous plot with magical realism--meaning, the story is relatable, realistic, but with tinges of a VERY unique fantasy sub-plot. I actually found myself thinking, "How the heck did the author think this stuff up!?" a couple of times throughout my read. It was THAT different from anything else I've ever read before.

McLemore's personal touch in all of her novels is her gorgeous, flowery writing. To be honest, flowery writing almost always puts me off--I hate beating around the bush. Just tell it to me straight! But McLemore's writing is so easy to read, at the same time is just so fabulously sophisticated. It's the right balance between deep and casual. Perfect for a lazy-but-critical reader like me!

So. If you want to read something that's gloriously different, socially important, and just overall fantastic, PICK THIS BOOK UP. You won't regret it, I promise.

We'd like to once again thank Aimee for stopping by The Book Bratz today to post this guest review. Don't forget to check out her blog

** Psst! Interested in guest reviewing on The Book Bratz? Shoot us an email at thebookbratz@gmail.com or DM us on Twitter (@thebookbratz) and we'd love to have you!

Talking Defaced Books With iLivieForBooks!

Hi everyone! Today on the blog, we have something exciting for you -- we're not super artsy ourselves, but recently we were scrolling through Twitter and came across an artist and BookTuber named Olivia, the creator of iLivieforbooks. But what makes Olivia so awesome, in addition to being another badass book lover among us? She partakes in an artsy project called defacing books, which is the term she uses to describe removing a hardcover book's dust jacket and creating beautiful, complex, elaborate drawings and designs that coincide with the stories that each book holds. Here are a few of her projects to give you an idea of what we're talking about!

Aren't these so cool?! The minute we saw these on Twitter, we knew we wanted to reach out to Olivia and get to know more about her project. And in addition to these stunning pictures, there are also YouTube videos of time-lapses of her defacings, which you can watch on her channel!

So without further ado, we sat down with Olivia and asked her some questions about her project and about her channel as a whole, so let's see what she has to say!

Welcome! So, what's your YouTube channel about?

Hi! My YouTube channel is a place for me to talk about and share all the things I am passionate about. That obviously mainly centers around books, but also I love to share my art and my love for film as well.

What made you want to start defacing the books?

There were two people who really took me down the path of defacing. First was Ariel Bissett, after she posted a video about her annotating *inside* books. I thought she made amazing points and soon after I began writing in my books. I also put some quotes/little designs on the covers of some of my favorite books.Then I came across Stephanie's channel -- PinkLemonadeReads. I was in full "post-ACOMAF don't know what to do with myself" mode, and she defaced ACOTAR and ACOMAF. They are STUNNING pieces of work. That pushed me to trying out art on books as well. So I too started out with ACOMAF -- and that was the first defacing video I posted. 

How do you actually go about doing the defacing? What materials do you use? How long does each project take? 

I always plan out what I will do first in my head, and then maybe light sketch on paper. You kind of only get one shot to do it (hahaha)! Usually I will think of a design while reading the book -- whatever comes to me. I enjoy doing mandalas, a type of geometric circular symbol. I love doing them, and so I do a lot of those on my defacings. Regular black pens aren't great for naked covers! So my go-to is jelly roll pens. The planning that I do in my head normally takes the longest, but I don't really count that. Once I sit down and start, I usually finish it in that sitting; so they each normally take a few hours. But I don't think one has ever taken days.

Have authors of these books ever responded to your artwork? How does that make you feel?

Yes!! And as the books I deface are usually favorites of mine, you can only imagine what its like to be such a fan of an author, and have them react positively to your artwork! V.E.Schwab first noticed a defacing of her book from Twitter and I was so overjoyed. And later I met Angie Thomas at Yallfest and she saw my THUG defacing and all I can say is her taking a picture of it with her own phone was the equivalent of her signing endless copies of a book. Same thing happened with the phone with Cassie Clare at Bookcon. I was thrilled. And most recently -- Marie Lu on twitter!!! Any response from an author fills me with such joy.

Which defacing has been your favorite so far?

THUG might still be my favorite because I love the 3D look of the hand. But also Warcross is so different and I tried out new stuff like the galaxy and optical illusion which was so fun -- I think it's between those two! Oh wait, I also loved the Harry Potter one...

What are a few books that you're looking forward to defacing in the future?

 I would love to figure out something for Lord of Shadows by Cassie Clare. Also maybe Unwind by Neal Shusterman; that's one of my favorite books!

Have you ever considered starting an online store to sell any of your defaced products?

I have considered it but sadly don't know how I would go about it, because I would want to keep the originals. It's easy to duplicate a single paper of art. Not so much with an entire book!


Olivia Bates is a creator with a YouTube channel who just loves to talk and fangirl about her passions. Some of those passions include books (clearly), movies, all forms of art, astronomy, etc. A favorite on her channel is her "book defacings" which combine her love for books and art in one.

We'd like to once again thank Olivia for being awesome enough to agree to doing a spotlight post on our blog -- we're so grateful that she came by and we're so excited to share all of her awesome artwork with you guys! 

What do you think of Olivia's work? Comment down below! 

ARC Review: Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell

Title: Nothing Left to Burn
Author: Heather Ezell
Publisher: Razorbill
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 320 Pages
Publication Date: March 13th, 2018

Summary: The autumn morning after sixteen-year-old Audrey Harper loses her virginity, she wakes to a loud, persistent knocking at her front door. Waiting for her are two firemen, there to let her know that the moment she's been dreading has arrived: the enormous wildfire sweeping through Orange County, California, is now dangerously close to her idyllic gated community of Coto de Caza, and it's time to evacuate. Over the course of the next twenty-four hours, as Audrey wrestles with the possibility of losing her family home, she also recalls her early, easy summer days with Brooks, the charming, passionate, but troubled volunteer firefighter who enchants Audrey--and who is just as enthralled by her. But as secrets from Brooks's dark past come to light, Audrey can't help but wonder if there's danger in the pull she feels--both toward this boy, and toward the fire burning in the distance.

I received an advanced copy of Nothing Left To Burn from author Heather Ezell herself in a giveaway, and I'm so glad that I did. I hadn't known anything about this book beforehand, but upon reading the summary, I was instantly intrigued. Living in a beach town, forest fires are something I've never experienced before -- I've also never been evacuated for any sort of natural disaster, so this book served as an insight on those experiences that I've never had, and these experiences both captivated and horrified me at the same time. 

As the summary explains, Audrey wakes up the morning after losing her virginity to a mandatory evacuation notice. There's a forest fire blazing nearby, and her home is in danger, and it doesn't help that she's home alone and has to gather her family's important items and flee to a safe location. Among all of this, she is also battling out the intense and confusing feelings of the night before, all of which are gradually revealed to us throughout the entirety of the novel, told in alternating chapters that switch between present-time and moments beforehand, starting when Audrey met Brooks, her loving, adorable firefighter boyfriend. 

But as I quickly found out as I kept reading, things between Brooks and Audrey are way more complicated than they seem, and while also battling the fire threatening to swallow up their homes, Audrey has to navigate the rocky territory of her past memories to piece together what exactly she's supposed to do.

This book gripped me from start to finish, and perhaps what captivated me the most was that the entirety of the real-time story is told over one single day, from 5am when Audrey wakes up to the evacuation call all the way to the end of the night when she has to make some pretty intense decisions. Throughout it all, we are given flashbacks that provide the reader with more history of her and Brooks, and things just get more and more complicated as the story progresses.

My favorite character in this story was Grace, who remained a steadfast and supportive friend even when Audrey was battling her own feelings and sometimes didn't act like the greatest friend around. She seemed to be the one to keep Audrey grounded when things seemed to be going south, and she was even the one who set her up with Brooks in the first place. So, yeah. She was really great to have in the story.

(Also, a brief aside: I found it really funny/coincidental that there are two characters in this book named Grace and Maya, while two of the siblings in the book I just finished a few days ago, Far From The Tree by Robin Benway, are also Grace & Maya! That was a little thing that made me smile a bit when I was reading. :-) )

The character I liked least in this book was definitely Brooks. (Audrey somewhat fell in the middle between Grace and Brooks. I didn't have very strong opinions on her either way.) He never seemed to keep his story straight and there were times that he said/did some pretty rude or nasty things to her that I kind of wanted to pull Audrey to the side and tell her to leave him. But then there were another moments where he was adorably sweet, and I found myself swooning over him a little bit. But throughout the entirety of the book, the one word that I can think of to describe Brooks is...weird. He acted weird and things felt a bit off throughout the whole book. That totally isn't a craft issue on Heather Ezell's behalf, because it seems like that's the intention she has, but just as a reader I was not a big fan of him -- and I don't think I was supposed to.

Major spoilers in this paragraph, so please skip to the next paragraph if you don't want the story ruined for you! Toward the end of the book I started to suspect the ending a little bit, so I wasn't super shocked when it was revealed that Brooks started the fire, but it was still a really interesting plot point that shook up the story. His obsession with fire was a clear hint from the beginning, and then I was horrified to find out that he burned the cats and even ended up killing his brother. The web of lies untangles really fast, and things start to pick up the pace super quickly, and I was flipping through the pages up until the very end.

More spoilers! Next paragraph, please! The only other thing I wish was that this book had been a little bit longer, because I had so many unanswered questions! It was hinted that Audrey lost her house, but then it's never really confirmed. I want to know if Brooks ended up dying or actually found a way out. What happens after Audrey tells the police. Finding/not finding Shadow. All of those things!!! I was left with so many unanswered questions and was kind of bummed about it when the book ended. I definitely would've at least enjoyed an epilogue that would've answered some of the pressing questions that I as a reader was left with.

Overall, I really enjoyed Nothing Left to Burn. If you're looking for a thrilling, mystery-esque novel to take up your time, this is certainly one I would recommend putting on your March TBR!

I'd like to once again thank author Heather Ezell for sending me a giveaway ARC of this book to review. I'm really glad I got the chance, and I'd definitely love to read more of her work in the future!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

"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:

Title: The Exact Opposite of Okay
Author: Laura Steven
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: March 8th, 2018

Summary: Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off – after all, her sex life, her terms – but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the centre of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now. But keeping her head up will take everything she has...

Okay, for starters, the cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous. I know that you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover and all, but still, LOOK AT THAT! The cover is what immediately caught my attention when I was browsing through Goodreads, and upon reading the summary of this book I just knew that it was going to be something that I would enjoy. The story itself already seems like it's going to be full of the messy drama that indicates an excellent page-turner -- there's nothing like a national scandal to cause some drama! 

Izzy's character also seems like someone that I'm really going to enjoy -- someone who is totally unapologetic of herself and her actions, even when that may be something that's hard to do. 

March can't come fast enough, because I needed this book in my hands yesterday. I can't wait to get reading!

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

Book Blitz: Right Kiss Wrong Guy by Natalie Decker

Right Kiss. Wrong Guy.
Natalie Decker
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

You’d think a girl with the most romantic name in the world would have her pick of boyfriends.
But Valentine’s Day sucks when you’re single. Just ask Juliet Valentine, whose last name happens to also be the name of the most dreaded made-up holiday ever.
A romantic at heart, this year is especially hard on Juliet. Her sister, Layla, is in a new relationship, her mom’s match-making business is doing great, and her school’s new fundraiser is “Love-Grams.”
Juliet’s miserable, a little jealous, and lonely.
Quarterback Jared Black is the most popular guy in school. A star athlete, Jared tops the most-eligible bachelor list year after year. But to Juliet Valentine, he’s all but invisible. She isn’t impressed.
Jared’s never had to work hard to get the attention of a girl before. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and he’s determined to ask Juliet out. After all, if Tyler can win over Layla, Jared ought to have a shot with Layla’s sister.
Unlike Tyler and Layla, charm, flattery and good looks won’t work on Juliet. So with the V-Day dance coming up, Jared uses the school’s Love-Grams to let Juliet know how he feels. Should be simple enough, right?
Wrong. Each attempt ends up either in the trash or thrown in someone’s face. Juliet won’t play his game.
Now, without a date to the dance Jared realizes it’s going to take a Hail Mary to win the girl of his dreams.

Author Bio:
Natalie Decker is the author of RIVAL LOVE series and the Scandalous Boys series. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn't her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She's a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she's not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she's off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!
Find out more visit: www.authornataliedecker.com


We'd like to thank Xpresso for allowing us to be a part of this blog tour and giveaway! This book totally seems like something right up our alley and we can't wait to add it to our TBR!


Guest Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Hardcover, 407 Pages
Published January 2017

Summary: Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Today on the blog we have a guest review from Scarlet over at Scarlet WritersThey were kind enough to stop by and review Caraval and share their thoughts on it, and we couldn't be more excited to be hosting all of these guest reviews. So without further ado, let's get to Scarlet's review!

Stephanie Garber’s debut novel Caraval is one of the best stories I’ve read this year. It was engaging, funny, thrilling, romantic, and everything else I hoped it would be. I fell in love with Tella from the start. She is hilariously rebellious and her need for adventure is admirable. Scarlett took a little bit more time to warm up to, but I loved her personality. Cautious, but strong-willed and braver than she expected. I loved watching her grow through the story and see how she came out of her shell and bloomed into being a fierce defender of her own freedom.

Julian himself is quite the character, his roguish ways can make you wary at times, but I think that’s what I love the most about him. He doesn’t apologize for the way he is but doesn’t try to be too much of a general jerk either. He just lays things out the way they are and lets Scarlett make her own decision instead of trying to tell her what to do.

I feel like Scarlett's independence is something that really sparks the relationship between them. Scarlett has a game to win and sister to find, she doesn’t have time to mess with Julian's flirts or antics. They encourage the other to grow, forming a slow-burn kind of love. It isn’t something often seen in YA Fantasy and I think Garber did a great job with that aspect of the relationship.

The world of Caraval is also something I’ve never seen before. It has the magical air of Alice in Wonderland with a mix of circus colors and Victorian ideals. I really loved how Garber had the currency in the game be emotional possessions: memories, time, secrets. The game forces its players to speak the truth about themselves. While many were too lost in the thrill to reflect on themselves, Scarlet grew all the stronger for it.

Caraval was a wonderful, lightheaded read with unexpected twists. By the end I was in love with the characters and couldn't get enough of the magical world. Hopefully, in the sequel Legendary, we’ll have more questions answered, like who really is Legend? The story ends on a bit a cliffhanger that makes you curious and itching for the next book. 

I highly recommend you check this book out if you want something whimsical, magical, and otherworldly.


We'd like to once again thank Scarlet for stopping by The Book Bratz today to post this guest review. You can read the original review over on their blog by clicking HERE!

** Psst! Interested in guest reviewing on The Book Bratz? Shoot us an email at thebookbratz@gmail.com or DM us on Twitter (@thebookbratz) and we'd love to have you!

The College Diaries: Spring 2018 Reading/Blogging Goals!

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It's officially the first College Diaries post of 2018! Jessica here, and today I'm going to be discussing some of my 2018 reading/blogging goals that I hope to achieve while still juggling college classes and such. 

I set my Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge at 60 books, which is way more than I expected to read while being a full-time college student, but in 2017 I managed to surpass my goal of 35 books and read 57, so I figured bumping it up to 60 couldn't hurt. I finally found my groove of reading while in college, and while it definitely takes me a lot more time to read while I'm away at school, I can get at least some reading done. But nothing beats summer, when I'm home and can read whatever I want! 

As for blogging goals, this year I want to try a new system where I sit down at the beginning of each month and plan out the month on the blog so that throughout the month I can focus on reading and writing reviews, while all of the memes and promo posts are already done and scheduled to go up. Just as a way to be more productive while also making life a little easier!
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So those are just a few of my 2018 reading/blogging goals, all of which will hopefully be compatible with my college schedule! If you're in high school or college, what are some goals that you hope to achieve with reading or blogging while also managing your schoolwork? Comment down below!

Review: FAR FROM THE TREE by Robin Benway

Title: Far From The Tree
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 384 Pages
Published October 2017

Summary: Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including— Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs. And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

I first heard about this book when it won the National Book Award for Young Adult Literature, and it's been on my radar ever since. I recently bought a copy and started this book, and even though it's nearly 400 pages, I managed to finish it in just two days because I simply couldn't put it down. And I am so glad that I made that decision.

This story takes you through the complicated lives of three adopted/fostered children who don't find out about each other until they're in their late teen years. There's Grace, who was adopted by loving parents and then eventually got pregnant and had to end up putting her own daughter for adoption. Then there's Maya, the youngest of the bunch, who lives in a fancy, expensive house with her two adoptive parents and her biological, miracle-child of a sister, and while their family is loving, they certainly aren't perfect. Finally, there's Joaquin, the odd one out of the bunch, who still finds himself in the foster system after some situations gone wrong. Each of the three kids has their own intense baggage to carry, and it's after Grace is distraught having given up her own daughter that she goes on a quest to find her birth mother, but then finds out that she has siblings instead. So the rest of the book is the navigation of that rocky relationship, making up for years of lost time, and finding out how their own little family fits in to their larger, more complex lives. And it's a really, really amazing story.

I really enjoyed how this story was told in the alternating perspectives of Grace, Maya, and Joaq. You get glimpses into their lives and their secrets that they don't necessarily come forward with to their siblings, and each of their lives are both so different while also being so similar at the same time in a way that is really hard to put into words. But it's clear that Benway thought out these characters and their histories, and that hard work certainly shows. 

And let me just say, when the three finally make the decision to learn more about their birth mother...what you find out will definitely shock you, and it's definitely not something you'll be expecting.

This book was honestly filled with so much emotion that I don't even know where to start. I laughed, I cried, I gasped, and I hung onto every single word that Benway put into this book, because I seriously adored it that much. I knew it was going to be a five-star read based solely on how deeply it touched me from the very beginning of the book! Robin Benway wastes no time getting into the action of the story and gripping the reader from the starting line. And in my opinion, that makes for a really great story! 

My favorite character in this story was definitely Joaq. While all of the siblings had their own histories to deal with, Joaq's fierce need to protect his sisters that he just met really stuck with me, and the fact that he was the only sibling not to be adopted made my heart break for him. So yes, I definitely had a little soft spot for him as the book progressed, and I was cheering him on (alongside his sisters) from start to finish!

Another thing I really loved about this story was the bond that forms between the siblings. In just a few short weeks they manage to get so close, sharing their secrets and defending one another, being there for each other in a way that only family can. But it didn't feel like a forced relationship, either -- they didn't immediately become BFFs from the get go just because they had the same genetic makeup. It took some time to make their relationship steady, but once it was, it was a really heartwarming thing to see/read.

As for any critiques on the story, I can't come up with a single one. I loved this book from start to finish, the pacing and the characters and the plot were perfect, and the ending left me in a puddle of happy tears that took me a few hours to get over. It had all of the ingredients for an excellent story, and it certainly followed through with it.

Overall, I really loved Far From the Tree and I am SO glad that I can officially peg this one as my first 5-star read of 2018. This book made me laugh, cry, and gasp at all of the right times, and I completely tore through it because I couldn't put it down! I even loved it so much that this past week I gave away a copy over on our Twitter page -- but even though that giveaway has ended, I still encourage you to get a copy of this book -- either through borrowing from a friend, winning a giveaway, buying a copy, visiting a local library, or whatever you most prefer -- because Far From The Tree is a heartwarming story that you definitely cannot do without.

Hats off to Robin Benway for this spectacular book, which I loved even more than Emmy & Oliver, the first book I've read of hers that captured me with her writing -- I can't wait for more of her books in the future!

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions/Goals!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!
This Week's Topic: Bookish Resolutions/Goals!

A new year means it's time to set some new goals for ourselves, and today's post is no exception! Here, we're going to be sharing our top ten goals in terms of reading and blogging for 2018.

10. Finishing editing the first draft of my manuscript. No explanation needed here. I just need to pick up the pen and get slashing!

9. Visit my local library again. Being away at college means that I can't take out books from the library (and our college library is only filled with research books, no fiction), so most of what I'm reading is either self-bought or sent to me by publishers. While these books are still awesome, I'd love to go back to being at my library 2-3 times a week over the summer and when I'm home, because taking out books from there was always one of my favorite pastimes, and I've grown to miss it.

8. Read some more NA books. I will always be a huge and undyingly loyal fan of YA Lit, but I've read some NA books from time to time that I've really enjoyed so I'd like to also really explore that more!

7. Expand my genre-reading a little bit. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of contemporary romance and I don't branch out much beyond the contemporary setting, so I'd like to try to pick up some books outside of that genre this year and hopefully enjoy them!

6. Create some sort of 2018 blogging award. This has been on our mind here at The Book Bratz for awhile, but we'd really like to host some sort of blogger award here where everyone can nominate some of their favorite bloggers for all sorts of categories, as a fun little way to give back and say thank you and show some appreciation for members of the blogging community. Comment down below to share your thoughts on the idea -- we're still feeling it out!

5. Host more giveaways on the blog. We may be broke but that doesn't mean we don't want to treat you guys every now and then!

4. Read more 2018 debut authors! I feel like I blame everything on college, but it really is the reason that I haven't been as up-to-date with debut authors as I should be, and I want to make up for that this year.

3. Finally unclog my list of backlisted books. There are so many books from 2017 and prior that I have on my TBR that I never got around to reading because I was always reading upcoming/2018 releases for the blog, so one of my goals is to finally sit down and read all of those.

2. Complete my Goodreads goal of 60 books! I used to be able to read 100+ books in a year back in high school, but college has made that a pretty big challenge. This past year I managed to read 57 books, so I upped my goal to 60 this year and will make it higher if it proves to be a bit too easy -- but here's to hoping I reach it!

1. Get better on commenting back on other blogs. Life is just so busy that we sometimes don't have the time, but I'd really like to make a greater effort to read the bookish posts/reviews of you guys more! ReadWriteLove28's #Commenting365 Challenge is also proving to be super helpful with this!

So these are my top ten bookish goals for 2018 -- what are yours? Leave a comment down below and let me know, and best of luck on achieving them! You can do this!

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Review: The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis

Title: The Temptation of Adam
Author: Dave Connis
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Hardcover, 224 Pages
Published November 2017

Summary: Adam Hawthorne is fine. Yeah, his mother left, his older sister went with her, and his dad would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. And yeah, he spends his nights watching self-curated porn video playlists. But Adam is fine. When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to join an addiction support group: the self-proclaimed Knights of Vice. He goes because he has to, but the honesty of the Knights starts to slip past his defenses. Combine that with his sister’s out-of-the-blue return and the attention of a girl he meets in an AA meeting, and all the work Adam has put into being fine begins to unravel. Now Adam has to face the causes and effects of his addiction, before he loses his new friends, his prodigal sister, and his almost semi-sort-of girlfriend.

I received a copy of this book from Dave Connis's agent, Eric Smith, who is perhaps one of the best literary agents in the book/blogging community right now, and he is SO incredibly generous to bloggers all of of the time, and it's thanks to him that I get to read so many exciting, incredible books! Of course, The Temptation of Adam is no different. So without further ado, let's get into the review!

So as the summary explains, Adam is a teenage boy with a porn addiction. To make matters worse, he does something apparently so horrible that he finds himself almost expelled from school. So, as a method of coping (and not getting expelled), Adam finds himself at a support group called the Knights of Vice, talking through his problems and addictions with peers that have some problems of their own. The only issue? Adam isn't willing to admit that he has a problem. On top of that, he's struggling to accept the divorce of his parents and the disappearance of his sister. So, needless to say, his life is pretty difficult. But then Adam finds himself bonding with people he never expected to and uncovering secrets about one old man that he thought he had so figured out, and these discoveries lead them on a journey with both adventure and tragedy in the hopes of finding what they are searching for.

My favorite part about this book was definitely the Knights of Vice. They were such a unique group that all had so many different issues, and I feel like Connis made it very realistic to have some people openly acknowledging their flaws while some were more reserved and in denial. I feel like creating a support group where everyone just immediately opens up and admits their flaws isn't entirely realistic, and Connis seems to be aware of that, based on how he created the Knights of Vice with all of their differing personalities and attitudes. 

As for my favorite character in the book, Addy was the one that I constantly found myself relating to, laughing with, and just generally enjoying the most. She was such a good big sister to Adam even when he could be downright rotten to her, and seeing the strength of their bond among all of the other tragedies going on in his life was, to be totally stereotypical here, a shining beacon of hope. That was definitely a relationship in the book that I really enjoyed seeing.

However, there were just a few things about this book that I wasn't super keen on. One was more of a picky issue than anything else, but there were a lot of obvious typos in this book. It just took me out of the story a lot and was a bit distracting. For example, there was one line in the book that said "What are you up too?" and I did a double-take because it caught my eye almost immediately. I totally understand typos appearing in ARCs because those are unfinished copies, but this is a finished copy of the book with at least 7-8 obvious, eye-catching typos that distracted me a bit from the narrative. But like I said, that's more of a pickiness issue than anything else.

The character in this book that I absolutely could not stand at all was Dez, from the start of the book to the end, and it made some aspects of this book really frustrating for me. She was so hot and cold, which you find out makes a lot more sense in the end, but just as a person I didn't like her very much. (Minor spoilers here, please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read the book yet!) Adam eventually comes forward and confronts her about a lot of the stuff that frustrates me in the end, but she still doesn't seem to change much. Their entire relationship seemed weird from the start, clicking and beginning almost immediately from the minute he sees her at the diner. It just felt a bit forced to me. And then throughout the rest of the book she is always switching between emotions and saying she loves Adam and then saying they can't ever be together and things just seem to always be her way or the highway and... *sigh* it just got really frustrating, and I don't know what Connis's intention was with the reader liking or disliking Dez, but I really disliked her a lot.

The other complaints I had about this book were pretty minor but still frustrating nonetheless. For starters, I know that Adam had a serious issue that he needed to face, but sometimes the way he talked (or thought internally) about women just made me feel a bit...weird, I guess? I really wasn't a fan of that. And other than that, I feel like the issue that led Adam to being suspended wasn't revealed to us until very late in the book, definitely past the middle point. So as a reader it was frustrating to have the event alluded to without any context so many times throughout the book and being kept totally in the dark for so long. Did he kill someone? Sexually assault them? Cheat on a test? I had absolutely no idea what Adam could've done (especially since he made it so clear so many times that it wasn't related to porn) to land him in so much trouble to be suspended for such a long time, and after awhile it got a bit frustrating not to know.

However, even though I wasn't a big fan of this book, I still enjoyed reading it and I liked it. It took me through the story of an addict struggling to admit his problem while also dealing with other drama and breakdowns in his everyday life. The writing style as a whole was good, and I was interested in the book to the point that I managed to read 200+ pages in one day, so that's always a good sign! And like I always say, just because a book isn't totally my cup of tea doesn't mean it can't be yours. :)

Overall, The Temptation of Adam is a book that takes you on a roller coaster of emotion and I enjoyed reading it. If you're looking for some humor, adventure, and even a little bit of mystery and the fighting of vice, this is the book for you!