Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: The Forgetting by Nicole Maggi

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20420053-the-forgetting
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 352
Source: eARC for Review
ISBN-10: 1492603562
Rating: 3 Hearts
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18285437-rites-of-passage

Book Description

"Georgie's new heart saved her life...but now she's losing her mind.

Georgie Kendrick wakes up after a heart transplant, but the organ beating in her chest doesn't seem to be in tune with the rest of her body. Why does she have a sudden urge for strawberries when she's been allergic for years? Why can't she remember last Christmas?

Driven to find her donor, Georgie discovers her heart belonged to a girl her own age who fell out of the foster care system and into a rough life on the streets. Everyone thinks she committed suicide, but Georgie is compelled to find the truth - before she loses herself completely.
"

Review

Short and Sweet:

Not quite what I expected. Not necessarily bad, but not great either.

To Elaborate...

The Forgetting was a book that I looked forward to greatly, but it didn't end up being really what I thought it was going to be. For me, the concept of the heart containing memories was hard to reconcile and so the whole story became somewhat unbelievable. But this can be partially attributed to my current state of mind and is likely more of an 'it's me not the book' scenario. 

The story begins with Georgie Kendrick getting a transplant after a bad case of pneumonia. Curious about the donor, her interest is further piqued when she overhears the nurses speaking about the tragic circumstances of the donor. Georgie learns that the donor heart came from an unidentified Jane Doe who is believed to have committed suicide. Her interest is inspired by the fact that her heart beat doesn't feel quite right to her. She calls this feeling 'the Catch.'

Right away, Georgie feels less like herself and begins to have memories that aren't from her own life. The really eerie thing about this is that as she gains memories from Jane Doe she begins to lose memories of her own. Long story short: this heart that she's received has saved her life, but certainly also has a life of its own, and the Catch clearly has some unfinished business. Believing that if she could identify the girl and discover the reason that she committed suicide she'll gain back her own memories, Georgie begins investigating who Jane Doe was and why she ended her life.

From the start of her investigation, she finds herself in over her head. To begin with, she finds the location of Jane D.'s death in a news article and tracks down her apartment in a seedy neighborhood. Once there, she begins to feel an intuition and a pull that she doesn't understand. Georgie has a surreal sense of having been there before and realizes that her heart is leading her to those places. Near a graveyard, she is mistaken for a prostitute and propositioned by a male driver to help him 'celebrate' his birthday. Suddenly another girl comes out of the shadows and tries to negotiate a deal for both her and Georgie to help this guy out sexually for a price. Of course, Georgie is not only uninterested, but horrified. The guy drives off, and after a moment, a boy walks out of the shadows and begins talking to the prostitute asking her if she needs help. She can hardly catch her breath when she realizes the presence inside her knows this boy and that she also recognizes and knows things about him, FEELS things about him that she shouldn't. In fact, it seems as though her heart is in love with this boy. Ultimately, they team up to find out what happened to this girl, before Georgie's memories are replaced entirely by the Catch.


While The Forgetting was not my favorite, there is a definite feeling of suspense and tension throughout the story, and I appreciate that this book deals with the serious issue of sex trafficking that takes place almost silently in our country. I would recommend this book based on the awareness that can be gained in it's pages, but beware it has a few sexually graphic and violent scenes, and the aspect of a heart full of memories ends up ultimately being a bit lackluster in the shadow of such an important issue.

3 Hearts!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Bookish Talk: Spring Break Reads and Fun

http://iheartyafiction.blogspot.com/

Recently, I spent the first half of my spring break at the beach. Can you ask for a better vacation or reading spot? I think not. I was near Wilmington, NC, so my best friend and I looked up some of the One Tree Hill and Dawson's Creek shooting locations and tried to find them, many of which were happy successes. We also stopped in an adorable local shop that sells OTH merchandise, and I picked up a Tree Hill Ravens shirt (which is ridiculously comfortable).

 I read a total of 6 books, 4 of which were purely for funsies (the other two were for fun and for review). Most of all, I just enjoyed taking a little break. We were only there for 3 and half days, but it was one of those vacations when you don't even realize how much you need it until you start relaxing. 

Now that I'm back in the real world where homework and work must be done, I thought I would do a quick post sharing the 6 books I read because I strongly liked or loved all of them. Most of my reads were NA or Adult, both of which genres I've been consuming like a mad person recently. 

1.) Mr. Kiss and Tell- V. Mars, you go do your thing, and let me live vicariously through you because you the best. Also, Logan. Logan, Logan, Logan. *hearts forever*

 Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars, #2)

2.) We Are Pirates- FINALLY read this one! It's been at the top of my list since I went to Daniel Handler's signing a month ago (*stops and stares at the calendar confirming it has indeed been a month*). Didn't expect the book to go in the directions it did at all, but damn, it was intense. 

 We Are Pirates

3.) The Only Thing Worse Than Witches- The Hiding Spot's Sara mentioned this one, and once again, I feel I can't go wrong with any of her recommendations. Cute, magical, and a whole lot of adorable going on in this book. 

 The Only Thing Worse Than Witches

4.) Lick- If you like NA and romance books, and you haven't read Kylie's Scott's books, you need to get on that. Her characters are so dynamic, and the love interests...*fans self*

Lick (Stage Dive, #1)


5.) Lead- Another Kyle Scott one. We actually stopped at a Barnes and Noble along the way, purely so I could get these two books. I read Deep, the last in the series of companions, right before I left for spring break, so I was dying to get my hands on the previous books. B&N was only missing one of them, but I'm super happy I got to grab these. Jimmy is my favorite of the Stage Dive men so far (though I'm suspecting Mal might take his place when I finally read his story). 

 Lead (Stage Dive, #3)

6.) Driven by Fate- Also, if you like romance books, Tessa Bailey is one my favorite romance writers. Every book I've read of her's just blows me away. I especially loved how edgy this one was. I wouldn't pick it up if you don't like explicit sex, but if that doesn't bother you, then I definitely recommend it!

Driven by Fate (Serve, #5)


Have you read any good, just for fun books recently? Have any favorite vacation reads? 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Blog Tour: Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School by Jen Calonita


Hi everyone! I'm super excited to be part of the blog tour for Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School by Jen Calonita. I have a MAJOR weakness for anything to do with fairy tales, and this book caught my eye right away with its synopsis and super cute cover. Below, you'll find information about the book and author as well as my review for the book and a giveaway. Enjoy!

Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School
By Jen Calonita
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
March 3, 2014
Advance Praise for Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School
“Charming fairy-tale fun.” –Sarah Mlynowski, author of the Whatever After series.
Flunked is spellbinding and wickedly clever. Gilly is smart, spunky, and a hilarious narrator!” –Leslie Margolis, author of the Annabelle Unleashed and the Maggie Brooklyn mysteries.
Flunked is a fresh and funny take on the enchanted world. (And who hasn’t always wanted to know what happened to Cinderella’s stepmother?”)”  -Julie DeVillers, author of the Trading Faces identical twin series and Emma Emmets, Playground Matchmaker.
“A reform school where all the teachers are former villains.  Kinda writes itself, right?” -Betsy Bird’s Librarian Preview

Book Info:
OUR MISSION:
To turn WICKED DELINQUENTS
and FORMER VILLAINS
into FUTURE HEROES

Gilly wouldn’t call herself wicked exactly…but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run- down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly’s a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself).
Until she gets caught.
Gilly’s sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School- where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its heroic mission. There’s a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?



Jen Calonita is the author of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series and other books like Sleepaway Girls and Summer State of Mind, but Fairy Tale Reform School is her first middle grade series. She rules Long Island, New York with husband Mike, princes Tyler and Dylan, and Chihuahua Captain Jack Sparrow, but the only castle she’d ever want to live in is Cinderella’s at Disney World. She’d love for you to drop her a line at jencalonitaonline.com or keep the fairy tale going at http://books.sourcebooks.com/enchantasia/


Excerpt from Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School-
There’s a boy up there, standing on the crystal chandelier! He has slightly curly blond hair and is wearing a uniform—­a navy sweater vest over a white shirt with khaki pants—­but his boots are muddy. He’s stepping on priceless crystals with cruddy boots? Is he insane?
“Jax! What are you doing up there?” Kayla whispers heatedly.
“I’m cleaning the crystal for Flora,” Jax says and rolls his eyes. “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m making
a break for it.”
Kayla applauds. “Yay! This time I know you can do it.”
I shade my eyes from the light bursting through the stained-­glass window next to the chandelier Jax is perched on. “Busting out? Why?” I ask Kayla. “I thought you said this place was cool.”
Jax laughs loudly and looks at me. I feel slightly stunned. I’ve never seen violet eyes before. “FTRS was fun for a while, but strange things have started happening and I don’t want to be here when something bad goes down.”
Strange things? What kind of strange things? Why does Kayla suddenly look pale?
“He’s exaggerating,” Kayla tells me, but she doesn’t sound convincing.
Drip. Whatever Jax is holding is leaking. Kayla and I move out of the way so we don’t get wet. “Grease,” Jax explains to me. “It lubes the window.” He swings the chandelier, and as it nears the window, he uses a fork to try to pry the window open. “A few more tries and I’ll have it.”
“Then what are you going to do, genius?” I ask. “You’re two stories up.”
Jax’s eyes gleam. “I’ve jumped from higher spots before.”
“It’s true,” Kayla says to me. “Jax once jumped from the gym to the dining hall turret. That was three stories up. We call him the Escape Artist. One time he even managed to break into Azalea and Dahlia’s rooms and borrowed their keys to the indoor pool so the whole dorm could take a midnight swim.”
“Impressive,” I tell him. “And I thought I was good at tricking obnoxious royals.”
“She stole a dragon’s tooth clip from one this morning,” Kayla fills him in.
“Nice,” Jax says. “Your first pull?”
“No, I’ve been doing it for a while,” I brag.
“Me too,” Jax says. “My father is a farmer. You can only get so far trading vegetables. I needed to kick things up a notch.”
For some reason, I don’t think any of us are going to make the transformation Headmistress Flora is looking for. “Why do you want to break out so bad?”
“I’ve got places to see, and Enchantasia isn’t one of them.” Jax swings the chandelier so hard the crystals clang together. The window latch pops open, and I watch Jax leap from the chandelier to the tiny window ledge. I’m in awe. Jax looks down at us smugly before pushing open the window. “Are you sure you two don’t want to join me?”
“There’s no time for us,” Kayla says. “Get out of here. Wait!” Her eyes widen. “You deactivated the alarm on the window, right?”
“There isn’t one,” Jax insists. “If there was, I wouldn’t be able to do this.” But when Jax lifts the window, we hear:
EEEEEE! EEEE! EEEE! Unauthorized exit! Unauthorized exit!
The shrieking sound is so intense that Kayla and I cover our ears. Within seconds, Flora is out of her office and running toward us.
Swoosh!
I feel something brush past me and I whirl around. When I look up at Jax again, a large, muscular man with a long mane of hair is hanging on to the window ledge, his furry hands pulling Jax back by his shirt. How did the man get up there without a ladder?
“Mr. Jax,” the man says in a low growl, “we really must stop meeting like this.”

Fairy Tale Reform School Quiz Link: Fairy Tale Reform School Quiz
If you get sentenced to Fairy Tale Reform School, it will help to have an ally. Take the quiz and find out who your mentor would be.

Review: 

Short and Sweet:

I really enjoyed this edgy and fun fairy tale adventure!

To Elaborate...

Gilly, daughter of a shoemaker's family, toes the line of good and bad. She doesn't steal to be cruel; she does it because her family is starving, and they need the money. After one two many times of getting caught, Gilly is sent to the Fairy Tale Reform School, a place where everyone can learn to be good again and stop venturing the path of villianhood. At first, Gilly is ready to plan an escape route home, but after meeting a few friends and finding evidence that suggests something dangerous is coming, Gilly just might find she's found a home.

Full of spunk, fairy tale puns, and lots of entertainment, I really enjoyed this book by Jen Calonita. Gilly is a great protagonist who has a lot of room to grow as a character. I love her journey from the beginning to the end, especially the parts about her far from perfect relationship with her family. It feels real even in the middle of all the fun fantasy.

The world building is probably my favorite part of the whole story. I love the details of the professors' backgrounds and all the unique friends that Gilly makes. There are a few times where there seems to be too many characters to keep up with, but the author does a good job of reminding the reader who is who.

The ending left me hoping for a sequel. I really enjoyed getting to know Gilly and her friends, and I hope to see more adventures from them! I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good middle grade that blends the feel of Shrek, Ever After High, and plenty of originality into its storyline.

4 Hearts!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20983351-lies-i-told
Release Date: April 17, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Source: eARC for Review
ISBN-10: 0062327127
Rating: 4 Hearts
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18285437-rites-of-passage

Book Description

"What if, after spending a lifetime deceiving everyone around you, you discovered the biggest lies were the ones you've told yourself?

Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family.

But it’s all a lie.

Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines' biggest heist yet, Grace finds herself breaking more and more of the rules designed to keep her from getting caught...including the most important one of all: never fall for your mark.

Perfect for fans of Ally Carter, Cecily von Ziegesar, and Gail Carriger, this thrilling, high-stakes novel deftly explores the roles of identity and loyalty while offering a window into the world of the rich and fabulous.
"

Review

Short and Sweet:

I love a good YA con story and Lies I Told was every bit as good as I expected!

To Elaborate...

Lies I Told is a FUN read with just the right amount of tension. Grace, the MC is a likable (though a bit naive for a thief) character which makes you root for her despite her dishonest ways. Her brother Parker, also adopted, is less likable, but understandably so since he's tiring of the family 'business.' He has begun to feel used by his adoptive parents and he's angry about it. Parker attempts to convince Grace to give up their life of crime, but her loyalty to her parents makes her feel conflicted.

As the story moves along, the internal conflict is there for both teens, but Grace starts to realize that she's pulled so many jobs that she doesn't even know who she really is. So this time around she makes friends based on small bits of honesty and sincerely begins to fall for the son of the man they plan to steal from. All while trying to be professional and pull off the biggest heist they've ever attempted.

To complicate things further, Grace has one particular classmate, Rachel, who seems to see right through her. No matter how Grace tries to win her over, it only seems to increase her suspicions. Rachel also seems to be a little too interested in her brother Parker who is spiraling out of control and behaving recklessly, putting the Fontaines at risk of exposure or worse. Grace tries to convince herself that she's safe, but under so much pressure, she's starting to crack. 

I really enjoyed this book right up until the last moment when I ran out of pages! Lies I Told ends with quite a few questions, but is NOT a standalone so there are more sneaky, con-artist chapters to come.

4 Hearts!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold

  The Imaginary
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA
Pages: 224
Source: ARC from publisher (Thanks!)
ISBN-10:    0802738117
Rating: 5 Hearts
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18285437-rites-of-passage

Book Description

"Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. He doesn't exist, but nobody's perfect.

Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda's door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he's sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn’t there survive without a friend to dream him up?

A brilliantly funny, scary and moving read from the unique imagination of A.F. Harrold, this beautiful book is astoundingly illustrated with integrated art and colour spreads by the award-winning Emily Gravett.
.
"

Review

Short and Sweet:

I love this adorably drawn and beautiful story of imagination!   

To Elaborate... 

Amanda has a brilliant mind, and she knows it. When she meets her imaginary friend, Rudger, she is thrilled at all the fun they will have. When Mr. Bunting shows up, an evil man intent on eating imaginaries, the two friends will go on thrilling and frightful adventures separate and apart to escape him

When I first saw the comparison of this book to Roald Dahl, I was a little hesitant. I love Dahl, but I doubted that anything could really be compared to him. I was so wrong. While THE IMAGINARY certainly holds its own voice and power through A.F. Harrold's writing and Emily Gravett's beautiful illustrations, like Dahl's books, this book is full of entertainment, discovery, adventure, and some darker underlying themes at parts. I enjoyed every bit of it and couldn't read it fast enough
  
What I love most about the story is the friendship aspect. Friends are so crucial to living a happy life, and Amanda and Rudger have so much fun together. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous in this book, and they support the story really well. 

I wholeheartedly recommend this one to middle grade readers who are looking for a magical and brilliant story!     

5 Hearts!

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