WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW61

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments section as well. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
  2. “You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.”
  3. No, I don’t think I’d like to live in this world. Books and the access people have to them is controlled by the Great Library. I want to read all the books! Not just the ones someone else has decided I should read.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Book Review} The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

{Book Review} The House on Mango Street by Sandra CisnerosThe House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Published by Vintage on April 3rd 2009
Genres: Literary Fiction
Pages: 110
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
five-stars

Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.
Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

My Thoughts:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is one of those quiet books that takes you completely by surprise. Esperanza Cordero is a Mexican-American girl who lives in poverty. She tells her story of growing up in the Mexican quarter of Chicago in a series of vignettes. Cisneros writing is absolutely beautiful, lyrical, authentic, and haunting. Esperanza’s words will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

Esperanza dreams of someday living in a beautiful home away from the poor run down neighborhoods she has lived in growing up. Despite how often she has seen how hard life is for those around her as well as herself, she still has hope. This is very fitting since her name in Spanish means hope. This book reads like a Esperanza’s journal. She shares stories of the colorful characters that live in her neighborhood, even the dangerous ones.

At first glance her words are misleading in their simplicity. Looking further into her stories you will see past the humor, imagery, poetic rhythm and realize this goes much deeper than just a girl talking about how she wishes for more than what she was dealt. Through Esperanza’s narrative Cisneros touches on many pertinent challenges that young women have to overcome, especially those of the Mexican-American community.

“Everything is holding its breath inside of me. Everything is waiting to explode like Christmas. I want to be new and shiny.”

I fell in love with this book. It made me laugh and cry because I could relate to so many things Esperanza goes through growing up. It is one of those books that you read through it and love it for it’s humor and beautiful writing. Then you go back and read it again and again because of it’s depth. Cisneros brings to light so many ugly things that young girls growing up in the Mexican-American community have to overcome. Social issues like racism from outsiders and dangers within their own community like domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. Despite all of this there is still a feeling of hope for a better life. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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five-stars
And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by

{Book Review} And I Darken by Kiersten White

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Book Review} And I Darken by Kiersten WhiteAnd I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White
Published by Delacorte Press on June 28th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical
Pages: 484
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
two-half-stars

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Thoughts:

And I Darken by Kiersten White is one of those books that when you hear the premise
you’re like “Wow this is really cool!” and then well you read it. This book was
pitched as the main character being the female version of Vlad the Impaler. A
gender-swap of a historical figure, who in my opinion is utterly fascinating in a
violent and morbid way. I guess you could say my expectations were set pretty damn
high after that, and I wish I could say this book delivered. I really wanted to
love it, and there were some parts I really enjoyed. However, for the most part
this book was a snooze-fest.

This historical fiction is steeped in political intrigue. I would say the majority
of this book was about navigating the complicated social aspects of politics and
trying not to be stabbed or have your throat slit. Everyone is pretty much out to
get everyone in this book. Survival has just as much to do with your alliances as
well as how well you play your part in the grand scheme of things. Which okay that
sounds interesting right? Except in this case, it makes for an extremely slow
moving plot from the beginning to about 65% into the book.

The detail in this book was a bit overwhelming. I literally felt like someone was
trying to do a mass download to my brain while reading this. I love me some world
building, but this was too much. It would overcome the story at times because of
the amount of information dumping.

Another issue I had was the love triangle in this book. Love triangles are a pet
peeve of mine as a reader. They drive me nuts. This one has unrequited love in
spades. No one expresses how they feel and there is so much angst. I’m talking
angst on steroids especially on Lada’s part.

So what parts did I like? That ending…wow. Also,I really enjoyed the characters.
They are manipulative and scheming liars. The whole lot of them, especially Lada.
She is just downright cruel, which I found entertaining for the most part. If you
are looking for characters that you will love to hate then you will definitely find
them in this book. As much as I found Lada entertaining to read, she was not my
favorite. My favorite character in this book is Radu. He has the unfortunate luck
of being Lada’s baby brother. He grows up being abused, neglected, and mocked by
his family. Most of the neglect and “tough love” is provided by Lada who thinks
Radu is too soft to survive on his own. Radu is kind, loving, gentle, intelligent,
and loyal. He shows the most growth from all the characters. He starts out as this
weak little boy and grows into a young man that navigates the politics of higher
society well.

Overall, And I Darken was an okay read. I admit was fairly disappointed by the
first 65% of the book. That ending though…wow. If only the rest of the book was
like that ending then I would have loved it. I have so many issues with this book,
mainly that it just did not catch my interest. I ended up rating this a 2.5 stars
out of 5. If you like historical fiction that is steeped in political intrigue then
this might be the book for you. Unfortunately this book just was not for me and I
will not be continuing on with the series.

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two-half-stars

WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW60

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments as well.. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien De Castell
  2. “Gods, man, don’t you start now,’ I said softly. ‘We’re going to get a terrible reputation if we just keep travelling across the countryside crying all the time.”
  3. I don’t know yet since I just started it.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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June WRAP – UP / July TBR

Monthly Wrap Up

I can’t believe we are halfway through the year already. Holy crap it is going fast! Sorry this is late going up by the way. I’ve been busy organizing my new bookshelves and my closet. Also, I’ve been preparing things for my trip coming up on July 18th. I’m going on a cruise! I’m super excited since I’ve never been on a cruise before. I’ll be MIA on my social media during this time (7/18 -7/24) since I’ll be out of WiFi and cell service range. I do have some posts scheduled to go up while I’m gone and I’ll respond to comments when I return. Alrighty let’s get on with the wrap-up!

My November Obsession:

I stumbled onto this show on my Netflix feed. Have you seen it? Holy shit it is so good. I’m only on season 2 so far and will definitely continue with the series. If you like crime/detective dramas then you need to check it out!

Blogs I Stalked:

I love visiting and reading other blogs/booktube channels. I don’t often comment. I usually just like the post or share it on twitter if I feel the need to share it. I know, I know I’m working on the commenting. I really am, maybe you noticed me sneaking in a comment here and there. I’m really trying to show more love and support to the blogs/booktube channels I follow. I know how much work goes into this and how sometimes it feels like you’re just chatting at yourself when no one responds. If you haven’t already checked these blogs/booktube channels out then I highly recommend you do!  These blogs/booktube channels are the ones I visited the most this month:

Blogs:

Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

Books and Lesser Evils

BookTube Channels:

The Restricted Section

Stripped Covered Lit

Most Played Song:

What happened on the blog:

Books I Hauled:

Books I Read in June:

I finished 6 books in June. Here they are in order of rating.

5 Stars:

4 Stars:

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3 Stars:

July TBR:

I did a TBR for the summer instead of a monthly TBR just because I have such a busy summer planned. I have the cruise and family visiting so things are gonna be a bit crazy. I am also participating in COYER so I will be reading books for that summer reading challenge. Here is my TBR for the summer and I’ll be reading these in no particular order.

I have lots of things planned for the IART blog and BookTube channel for the month of July. There will be reviews, yet another haul because apparently I can’t stick to the no buying rule, giveaways and some new discussion posts. If you want to stay up to date and get notifications when I put up new videos or blog posts be sure to subscribe to both the blog and BookTube channel. I’m off for now. Take care my friends!

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW59

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments down below. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  2. “I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
    ‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
    She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.”
  3. No, I don’t think I would want to live on Mars. Arizona is hot enough for me thank you!

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Book Review} Cinder by Marissa Meyer (No Spoilers)

{Book Review} Cinder by Marissa Meyer (No Spoilers)Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3rd 2012
Genres: Retellings, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 390
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
five-stars

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I have been going back and forth on how to do this review because there are so many things I want to talk about that are specific and could contain spoilers. I’ve decided to split this up into two parts. This will be my general review of the book and I will also do a “Reader Experience/Book Discussion” on The Lunar Chronicles series as I read it. If you have not read the series then you may want to avoid that post as it will contain spoilers. Now, on with my spoiler free review!

My Thoughts:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a cleverly written fairy tale retelling with a twist. This story is a cross between Terminator and Star Wars with a mash up of different characters from several different fairy tales. Meyer’s take on this classic fairy tale is set in a futuristic world in a city called New Beijing that is filled with humans, androids, and cyborgs. The streets and homes in this city are over crowded and bursting with life. However, things are not all happily-ever-after in this world. There is a plague that is quickly spreading through out the city and with no cure in reach people are dying, including the emperor. If that isn’t enough to deal with there is also the evil Lunar queen that is watching and waiting to make her move to take the throne.

Our main character, Cinder, is a gifted mechanic and cyborg. She is considered less than human by the society she lives in because she is a cyborg. She has no rights, or property and she is at the mercy of her legal guardian, Adri.  It took me about half way through the book before I started to connect with Cinder. I honestly did not feel invested in her story at first because her narrative seemed so monotone to me. In the beginning, Cinder comes across as very accepting of her life and how she is treated. She’s complaint with the rules and restrictions that are set by Adri and does her best to make the best out of what little freedom she is allowed. Cinder begins to question things as the story progresses and eventually fights back. Which of course is the point where things got interesting.

I wasn’t a fan of the “prince charming” in this story. I don’t get the big deal about Kai to be honest. His character is very one-dimensional and under developed in my opinion. Which is probably why I don’t get what the swoon factor was when it came to him. I would have liked to see more of his back story, which I’m really hoping will be revealed in the rest of the series.

I don’t understand the hype around the romance in this book. The two characters involved do not have a lot of interaction with each other. The chemistry is lack luster, so I would say at this point they are more acquaintances than friends, and no where near being romantic interests. I want build up dammit! That’s the best part of a romantic story line.

I love that this is set in a futuristic world. The mix of the ancient Asian culture with the sleek modern technology was fascinating. There is even a colony of people that live on the moon. PEOPLE LIVING ON THE MOON!!!!!!! How freaking cool is that? I’m not sure I’d necessarily want to live in this world because well deadly plague and all, but wow the world in this book is so unique and imaginative. I also like that Meyer doesn’t info dump when she does her world building. She effortlessly weaves the description of her world into her plot. Just enough detail is given to the reader to be able to imagine a world where androids, hover vehicles, and net screens exist amid ancient Asian culture.

Let’s take a minute to talk diversity since that’s all I ever hear about on blogs and BookTube these days. People crying out “We need Diversity!” Well..this book is overflowing with it! I love that the characters in this book are a complete mix of races. The citizens of New Beijing are Asian. There are the Lunars which are the people that colonized the moon. I don’t remember seeing an exact description of Cinder, but as I was reading I pictured her as Asian as well. The president of the Americas is President Vargas, a Latino man. Pretty cool in my opinion, I’m hoping to see this in the following books as well.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Meyer’s take on the Cinderella fairy tale. It’s imaginative and unique. I’m hoping I get more back story on the characters like Cinder, Kai, Dr. Erland, and Queen Levana as the series progresses. Meyer’s writing style is easy to read and the world building is just…WOW. There were parts of the plot that moved a bit slow for me, but for the most part this was a fun and entertaining read. I would recommend this to readers that enjoy fairy tale retellings, science fiction, or anyone looking for a story with diverse characters in it.

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five-stars

WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW58

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post in the comments as well. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Don’t Tempt Me by Lori Foster
  2. “After being mostly alone for so long, she suddenly felt like she was part of something bigger. It was a little scary, and a whole lot amazing.”
  3. It’s set in modern day so I already live in it. I would like to move into the house next to Jason’s though…can we say eye candy?!! haha

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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Celebrate the release of Gina Danna’s THE WICKED NORTH

TWN_BlastBadge

From USA Today bestselling author, Gina Danna, comes a historical romance full of deceit, betrayal and passion that ignite the flames of love between two lovers on opposite sides of a war.

 Giveaway:

1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Giftcard & 3 winners will receive an ecopy of choice from Gina’s backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About The Wicked North:

Bound by duty and honor to wear the Union blue, a Southern-born West Point officer fights his own desires and the need to protect the woman he abandoned, he disobeys his orders to find her, as the Army of the Potomac marches toward her family’s home near Richmond.

She has the guts and willpower to protect her home from the hated Yankee aggressors, but when that traitor to the South appears at her door, she’s torn between wanting to shoot him and to be held in his arms again. Can she forgive him for their past indiscretion or does she turn him in to be executed, a traitor to both sides?

In the summer of 1862, her family’s plantation becomes the personal battle ground between them as deceit, betrayal and passion ignite the flames of love and hate that burn brighter than the roar of the guns and rivers of blood surrounding them.

Available at: Amazon

Exclusive Excerpt:

Rose Hill Plantation, Silvers’ residence. Parlor game of the 19th century called “Kissing the Corners” – a kissing game where a gentleman was stationed in each corner of the room and the ladies went to get a kiss. It was a ‘forfeit’ to redeem for losing in an earlier game. Emma, our heroine, finds herself faced with kissing Jack, the man she so wanted to kiss but this was her first time kissing. Would he kiss her or not?

Next was Jack. She walked to his corner, gazing into his glowing emerald eyes.

“Emma,” he whispered.

She heard voices behind her. The others had already finished. She was the last. Turning her head slightly, she looked for Caroline. She caught a glimpse of her sister in her buttercup yellow dress, talking to Abigail, Charles and the twins.

“I’m right here, Emma,” Jack said, drawing her attention back to him.

He was too handsome. She wanted to both kiss him and avoid him. A tingle in her belly spread up to her nipples.

When Jack smiled his devilish smile, Emma felt as though she would turn into a puddle at his feet. Her mouth went dry as she stood there, frozen.

“Why didn’t you ever write to me?”

The question rattled her, bringing her back to her senses. “I sent you a letter, but I never received one from you.”

He quietly chuckled. “I sent you a letter, hoping you’d respond.”

“I never received any correspondence from you,” she said.

“Hmm, I never got yours either.” His low drawl reached inside, soothing her. “But,” he continued, “I believe you owe me a kiss.”

She opened her mouth, but not a sound came out.


Jack stood still. She fidgeted. The silk dress clung to her breasts and her narrow waist. Her cage crinoline maintained a respectable space between them, regardless of how much he wanted her closer. He put his hands at the waist of her skirt and felt her tremble. She bit her lower lip. Oh, how he wanted to soothe that lip.

With a gentle tug, he pulled her closer. The motion unbalanced her, and her hands sought his arms. When she still didn’t lean up to kiss him, he brought her even closer, his eyes fixed on her lower lip as her teeth released it.

He wouldn’t meet her halfway. This could be the only time he’d have the advantage, and he didn’t want to waste it. Because Emma’s feet were slightly lifted from the floor, she gripped his arms tightly.

He brought her to him. As he kissed Emma, his tongue traced her lower lip before his mouth enveloped hers. He wanted her to open her mouth, and he prodded the crease between her lips, coaxing her with his tongue. She parted her lips but pulled her head back as his tongue invaded her mouth.

She tasted like strawberries and wine. It was an intriguing taste and he wanted more. She felt soft and warm against him. He knew he was pushing the limits of the game and propriety, but when he glimpsed her eyelashes feathered on her cheek, he almost growled. Abruptly, Jack released Emma and set her on the floor, his hands remaining at her waist. He could feel her shiver as she looked into his face, her eyes wide open. He smiled.

Within a second, she raced away from him as fast as she could in a ladylike manner. Jack smirked. She had enjoyed his kiss. With his head cocked to the side, he walked to the sideboard and poured himself a brandy.


When Emma had stepped away from Jack, she did everything within her power to control her nerves. Her lips felt swollen. His hands had left an impression on her waist—an impression that wasn’t his to make. Her next and last corner was Billy’s. He grinned at her as she tried to maintain a steady gait, but the memory of Jack’s kiss tingled down her spine, making her feel hot and cold simultaneously. Stop it! She gave her head a small shake and stopped, inhaling a large breath before returning Billy’s smile.

But she wanted to kiss Jack.

                No, what he did was take advantage of the situation. How vulgar of him! Why did she crave more?

                “Is something wrong, Emma?”

Conflicting thoughts clouded her mind, and she didn’t realize she was already in front of Billy. Politely dismissing his concern, she said, “No, no, nothing is wrong.”

Billy’s head lowered slightly for her. “Kiss me, or pay a higher price forfeit.”

Emma was curious about what the higher price might be, but, after Jack’s advances, she ignored it. Composing herself, she met Billy’s lips part way.

He didn’t play with her lips nor press to enter her mouth. In a very gentlemanly manner, he gave her a quick kiss and bowed away. No fire came from his lips as it had from Jack’s. If anything, she was gravely disappointed that Billy hadn’t tried to kiss her like Jack had. She should have been glad, but she wasn’t.

Like a good girl, she placed her hand on his sleeve and let him escort her back to the others. Caroline enticed them all to start charades. Jack was with them, a devilish grin on his face that Emma had the sudden urge to slap. When his glance fell her way, excitement raced through her veins, and she had the strangest sensation her nipples were tightening. Tamping down the fury of emotions Jack caused, she spent the rest of the evening at Billy’s and Caroline’s side and away from Jack.

Gina Danna

About Gina Danna:

A USA Today Bestselling author, Gina Danna was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has spent the better part of her life reading. History has always been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, always dreaming of writing one of her own. After years of writing historical academic papers to achieve her undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, and then for museum programs and exhibits, she found the time to write her own historical romantic fiction novels.

Now residing in Texas, under the supervision of her three dogs, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other lifelong dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.
Find out more: Website / Facebook / Twitter

For the Record by

{Book Review} For The Record by Charlotte Huang

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Book Review} For The Record by Charlotte HuangFor the Record by Charlotte Huang
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on November 10th 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like... until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything  Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated. Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule... Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

My Thoughts:

For The Record by Charlotte Huang is a behind-the-scenes look at what happens when a small town girl is thrust into the spotlight when she becomes the lead singer of a famous band. Think a YA book version of JEM or That Thing You Do. Chelsea has resigned herself to returning to her small town life after losing a televised singing competition. Then she gets a phone call offering her an opportunity that will thrust her back into the Hollywood limelight. In this fast and easy read, Huang brings to light what life on tour is really like.

My favorite character was Chelsea. She’s easy to relate to, and well grounded. That said, I took about half the book for me to connect with her. I attribute this to the character growth that happened during the last half of the book. She’s also the only character that felt full developed to me. In comparison to Chelsea’s vibrant voice, the other members of the band and side characters felt flat.

The romantic storyline to this seemed underdeveloped as well. I think this would have been just as enjoyable as a coming-of-age story without the weak romance. I just wasn’t feeling the chemistry between the two. Their relationship felt more like a friendship to me.

Despite the issues I have with the characters and the romance in this book, I still found it an entertaining read. I think it is a good coming-of-age story about friendships and being true to yourself. I would have liked to see the other members of the band be more developed. They felt very monotone and interchangeable for me. If you like contemporary YA fiction with a musical theme then you will most likely enjoy this book.

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three-half-stars

WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW58

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

13512660

  1. The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black
  2. “Around her, I felt as though every minute was already full, that all the air in any room that contained us both had already been used up.”
  3. This book is set in Texas in the 90s so already lived in this world, just not in Texas.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Cover Reveal} Gina Danna’s THE WICKED NORTH

From USA Today bestselling author, Gina Danna, comes a historical romance full of deceit, betrayal and passion that ignite the flames of love between two lovers on opposite sides of a war.

Giveaway:

2 winners will receive a $10 Amazon Giftcard & 2 winners will receive an ecopy of choice from Gina’s backlist

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About The Wicked North:

Bound by duty and honor to wear the Union blue, a Southern-born West Point officer fights his own desires and the need to protect the woman he abandoned, he disobeys his orders to find her, as the Army of the Potomac marches toward her family’s home near Richmond.

She has the guts and willpower to protect her home from the hated Yankee aggressors, but when that traitor to the South appears at her door, she’s torn between wanting to shoot him and to be held in his arms again. Can she forgive him for their past indiscretion or does she turn him in to be executed, a traitor to both sides?

In the summer of 1862, her family’s plantation becomes the personal battle ground between them as deceit, betrayal and passion ignite the flames of love and hate that burn brighter than the roar of the guns and rivers of blood surrounding them.

Find out more: Amazon / Goodreads

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can, and strike him as hard as you can. And keep moving on!

General U.S. Grant

Virginia, June 1862

Emma Silvers was not afraid to shoot Yankees.

She leveled the .57 caliber Enfield rifle at the line of blue coats standing before her porch at Rose Hill that evening. She counted ten men, fully armed and wielding torches. They reeked of wet wool, sweat and gun powder–a noxious mixture combined with the scent of pink roses surrounding the house. Bile rose in her throat. She swallowed hard.

The officer took a step forward. In the dim light, she couldn’t discern his face, though she saw him flinch as she pointed the muzzle at him.

“I want you off my land, now,” she demanded, her voice remarkably even despite her pounding heart. At twenty-two years and virtually alone, she knew one able-bodied man could easily overwhelm her. With no able men and few slaves remaining, she only had bravado left.

“Now, ma’am,” the Union officer began. He spoke like a gentleman, but, dressed in blue, he was an imposter as far as she was concerned.

Jeremiah, just behind her right shoulder, cocked the hammer on his rifle—a welcome sound to her ears. Good boy, Emma thought. If the Yankees didn’t believe she was a threat, she hoped the armed slave boy next to her got the message across. She wasn’t allowing any soldiers on her property again.

The rifle felt heavier by the minute, making her muscles ache, and she feared she’d drop it. The weapon was foreign to her hands, but as the war raged closer to her home, she learned to use it. She wasn’t very good at it, but, as close as the Yankees were, she was bound to hit one of them. She didn’t want to pull the trigger. The gun’s recoil would knock her off her feet, throwing her aim off. With so few bullets left, she’d hate to lose the shot.

The light streamed through the open front door across the officer as he stepped onto the porch. She saw his face and the nose of the gun slipped. Jack Fontaine, that good-for-nothing traitor! How dare he come here, especially after what had happened last summer? Rage took control and gave her the added strength to pull the muzzle up to his chest as she cocked the trigger.

“Emma, please,” he said softly. He looked at her the same way he had that night months ago, his green eyes glowing like emeralds in the light. She remembered those eyes, those mesmerizing emerald eyes. They were all hers the night she had lost her heart to him. The night he had betrayed her. Her anger flared. No. Not this time. Not again, she vowed. Gritting her teeth, Emma narrowed her gaze.

“Get away from me, Jack, or I swear to God, I’ll blow a hole through you and send you straight to hell!”

Inside the house, a babe wailed. Emma instinctively turned. Jack reached for her and she panicked, squeezing the trigger. The rifle exploded, throwing her backwards, pain shooting into her shoulder. But instead of falling, she found herself in Jack’s arms as they wrapped around her, shielding her back from the impact of the wooden floor.

The patrol stormed onto the porch and into the house. Lying in his embrace, his body shielding hers as his troops marched past them, Emma couldn’t breathe. Her eyes were wide open. She felt the heat of him around her. The scent of him invaded her senses. Warm, masculine, and spicy rolled into one. She fought the heat in her belly, but it was hard as his eyes locked onto hers, his lips only inches away.

She closed her eyes. Behind her, the wailing continued, and she heard the thud of soldiers’ boots inside. Her jaw tightened as she glared at him. “Get off me, Jack.”

Gina Danna

About Gina Danna:

A USA Today Bestselling author, Gina Danna was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has spent the better part of her life reading. History has always been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, always dreaming of writing one of her own. After years of writing historical academic papers to achieve her undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, and then for museum programs and exhibits, she found the time to write her own historical romantic fiction novels.

Now residing in Texas, under the supervision of her three dogs, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other lifelong dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.
Find out more: Website / Facebook / Twitter

{Save the Date} ThrillerFest XI

ThrillerFest_SavetheDate_2016

CELEBRATING 11 YEARS

THRILLERFEST XI

RETURNS TO GRAND HYATT NEW YORK

JULY 5-9, 2016

Gillian Flynn, Heather Graham, John Lescroart, C.J. Box, Walter Mosley and more!

Remember that domestic thriller about a marriage of mayhem that jolted readers with its mind-bending twist? Gillian Flynn, who took the thriller world by storm in 2012 with her New York Times #1 bestseller Gone Girl, takes her deserved place among the ranks of the world’s greatest thriller writers at the International Thriller Writers’ (ITW) ThrillerFest XI July 5-9, 2016 in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

 

In addition to special guest Gillian Flynn, Heather Graham will serve as the 2016 ThrillerMaster of the largest international gathering of fans and writers of the genre. Graham is the bestselling author of The Cafferty and Quinn series,The Krewe of Hunters series, and the Bone Island Trilogy. Graham also launched books for Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books. Other spotlight guests include C.J. Box and Walter Mosley. John Lescroart will receive the 2016 Silver Bullet Award for his humanitarian work.

The thrills continue with two greatly anticipated events: CraftFest, where the best authors in the business share trade secrets with peers; and PitchFest, “speed-dating” with top agents, producers, and editors. Again this year the exciting addition to the ThrillerFest roster is CareerFest. Nestled into CraftFest, CareerFest focuses on marketing, promotion, and other career-related advice, such as determining the best publishing path, social media, expanding your visibility, and building your platform.

It all culminates with the 2016 ITW Thriller Awards Banquet, during which the awards for best original paperback, best hardcover, best debut novel, best eBook, best YA novel, and best short story will be finally revealed—a riveting climax to a sensational event.

Event highlights include:

·         Master CraftFest: Tuesday, July 5, a pre-ThrillerFest event that is a thriller writer’s dream come true. This intensive, one-day seminar features the bestselling masters of the craft: Steve Berry, David Corbett, Grant Blackwood, Andrew Gross, Meg Gardiner, Heather Graham, Richard Krevolin (screenwriting) and Gayle Lynds. Master CraftFest features small groups and personal instruction.

·         CraftFest: Called the greatest opportunity for professional growth at ThrillerFest, everyone from aspiring authors to published pros have the opportunity to improve their craft from the best in the business.

·         PitchFest: PitchFest changes writing careers with more than 60 agents waiting to discover the next hot talent. Writer John Beatty attended ThrillerFest/Pitchfest, found an agent and received a contract with a major New York publisher: “One of the things I love about PitchFest is how intense, time-efficient, and concentrated it was. I ended up pitching my story to 10 agents in one day. A few months later, we landed a contract with Disney Hyperion. Two years later, whenSerafina and the Black Cloak launched, it became a New York Times bestseller.”

·         CareerFest: A slate of industry insiders will help pave the road to publication. “Discoveries” this year include, Discover Indie Publishing from A to Z, Discover the Road to Hollywood, Discover the Road Map to Success in Traditional Publishing, Discover the Successful Author in You, and Discover How to Get an Agent and What to Do after You’ve Got One.

·         Today’s FBI: Crime Essentials for Writers.  Everything a writer ever wanted to know about the FBI but didn’t know whom to ask. Authors will hear from experts in cyber-crime, international terrorism, criminal investigation and much more.

·         ITW ThrillerFest Awards Banquet: The envelope please! Talent will be recognized on Saturday, July 9 when Thriller Nation assembles to shine a light on their brightest stars including 2011 ThrillerMaster R.L. Stine who will present the title to 2016 ThrillerMaster Heather Graham.

·         John Lescroart, Silver Bullet recipient: Will be honored for his humanitarian philanthropy at the Awards Banquet. Lescroart, a founding member of ITW and a New York Times bestselling author of legal thrillers, is known for his charitable work. He has donated funds from character-naming auctions to support libraries, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, diabetes research, the First Amendment Project, and many others. He’s also been involved in the Authors on the Move fundraiser for the Sacramento Public Library Foundation, and he donated $150,000 to the graduate program in creative writing at the University of California, Davis, even though UC Berkeley is his alma mater.

·         Cocktail parties: ThrillerFest is famous for opportunities to mix and mingle with the stars, get books signed and make new friends within the profession.

·         ThrillerFest panels, workshops, and lectures—oh my! Top authors and industry experts offer thought provoking commentary and instruction. Events Schedule

 

INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS is an honorary society of more than 3,700 authors in 42 countries with three billion books in print. One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre.

To make a reservation for the suspense-inspired, five-day adventure, please visit www.ThrillerFest.com.

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WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW57

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments section. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  2. “Oh, my stars! Think about Prince Kai! You could dance with Prince Kai!”
    This made Cinder pause and squint into Iko’s blinding light. “Why would the prince dance with me?”
    Iko’s fan hummed as she sought an answer. “Because you won’t have grease on your face this time.”
  3. No, there seems to be this plague thing going around. Although, it would be cool to get dressed up and go to a ball.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Book Blitz} Bullet Proof by Avery Flynn

Tour Banner

Title: Brazen
Series: B-Squad #1
Author: Avery Flynn
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 7, 2016
Format: Digital
ISBN: 978-0-9964-7632-4

Blurb: Falling in love is the easy part, staying together…now that’s the biggest challenge of all.

Everything is finally working out for Bianca Sutherland and Taz Hazard. They’re in love and running B-Squad Security and Investigations. They’ve planned the perfect operation to take down the dangerous drug kingpin who’s kidnapped one of Bianca’s best friends. Then Taz’s wife—who was supposed to be his ex-wife—shows up on the eve of the big rescue mission and threatens to blow up his and Bianca’s happily ever after.

The last thing Bianca wants after the revelation that Taz might still be married is to have to spend time with her former live-in boyfriend who never told her he’d ever been married in the first place. But it’s too late to change plans. To save her friend, she has to swallow her hurt and go undercover with Taz as a newlywed couple at an exclusive resort. The only thing Taz wants is Bianca and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win her back. But when it’s his life on the line, will it be too late for him to show her that his past is over and she’s the only woman for his future…

Brazen is a stand alone novel and the first full novel in the B-Squad series. However, if you want to find out how Taz and Bianca met, check out Bulletproof, a novella set in Liliana Hart’s MacKenzie Security world.1.0 Brazen Cover

 Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Teaser 6

Title: Bullet Proof (A Mackenzie Family Novella)
Series: B-Squad #.05
Author: Avery Flynn
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Format: Digital/Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-942299-30-1

Blurb: From Liliana Hart’s New York Times bestselling MacKenzie family comes a new story by best-selling author Avery Flynn…

“Being one of the good guys is not my thing.”

Bianca Sutherland isn’t at an exclusive Eyes-Wide-Shut style orgy for the orgasms. She’s there because the only clue to her friend’s disappearance is a photo of a painting hanging somewhere in Bisu Manor. Determined to find her missing friend when no one else will, she expects trouble when she cons her way into the party—but not in the form of a so-hot-he-turns-your-panties-to-ash former boxer.

Taz Hazard’s only concern is looking out for himself and he has no intention of changing his ways until he finds sexy-as-sin Bianca at the most notorious mansion in Ft. Worth. Now, he’s tangled up in a missing person case tied into a powerful new drug about to flood the streets, if they can’t find a way to stop it before its too late. Taking on a drug cartel isn’t safe, but when passion ignites between them Taz and Bianca discover their hearts aren’t bulletproof either.

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |

AveryFlynn

About Avery Flynn:
Award-winning romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their ahem other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

You can also visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

Excerpt One (Brazen):
Bianca wasn’t about to go on a rescue mission without her brass balls any more than she’d leave her SIG SAUER in the armory.

She picked up the giant jawbreaker-sized orbs of solid brass from the top of the dresser. As far as good luck charms went, they were a bit…unusual, but so was just about everything in her life. The light streaming into the bedroom from the skylights dotting the ceiling in the large open-concept loft reflected off the metal balls as she rolled them in the palm of her hand.

They were hard, eye-catching, and had an impenetrable surface that gave no hints about what was inside. Grinning to herself, she shook her head. They were just like the man who’d given her Iron Man’s nads as a gag gift for their six-month dating anniversary.

The shower turned off.

Temptation tugged at her. She checked the time on her phone.

They weren’t needed for the briefing for another thirty minutes and Taz hadn’t even begun to pack for the mission to rescue Gidget. Their equipment, guns and ammo were already stowed on the private jet that would leave in a few hours to take them to the Indulgence Resort. But unless he got packing, Taz would be buck naked while they were posing as the fabulously rich and newly married Trey and Bethany Alderson. While she loved having him like that, this was the last lead they had as to Gidget’s location and nothing could take priority over finding her.

Bianca wouldn’t fail her friend again.

Taz strolled out of the bathroom in a haze of steam. A white towel sat low on his hips and the wet ebony waves of his hair made his mossy-green eyes stand out even more than usual against his brown skin. The air of barely constrained danger and never-questioned dominance as natural to him as his confident strut when he crossed the open space toward her. She caught a glimpse of his full lips curled into a sexy smirk moments before he walked behind her as if he wasn’t thinking the exact same lusty thoughts that she was.

He could have her anyway he wanted and the cocky bastard knew it—but then again, the reverse was just as true.

They may not have shared their darkest secrets with each other, but all of those skeletons were in the past and they were about the future. Taz. Her. The B-Squad. She formed a fist around the good-luck brass balls. They’d find Gidget, destroy the drug kingpin and the world would be theirs. There was nothing standing in their way.

Taz wrapped a sinewy forearm around her waist, yanking her backwards against his hard chest. “It’s not polite to play with your balls so much.”

Desire licked her skin, making her feel as naked as he was. Water droplets from his chest dampened the back of her black tank top. Her mouth went dry. Her panties went wet. And her heart went into overdrive.

“Like you know anything about being polite,” she said, her voice breathy and low.

His fingers dropped to the button of her jeans. “I’d rather stick with what I’m good at.”

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