Tuesday, December 31, 2013


This surprised me. I thought this was really smart. I loved how well thought out it was. I loved the dialogue between all of the characters. I thought the premise was cool. And I for sure did not predict the twist. Now, I don't read a lot of suspense/mystery books, but I honestly cannot remember the last time I was actually surprised by a twist. Apparently this is going to have a second book...I look forward to it. 

This was a sit down and start, and read till your done kind of book for me. Great from beginning to end.

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

Overall, we have a pretty dark subject here. However, it is still really a clean read. No swearing that I can remember. 

Thanks NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the read.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Yikes it is here again! Time to think about and share my favorite reads of this past year. So for 2013 my total books read went down by half. Mostly because I started a ton of books that I did not finish. I've started to realize pretty quickly if I am going to like a book and I honestly just can't bare to read more than a chapter or two of some of them. I mean, who wants to spend time reading a bad book? :)

I only gave 8 books out of my 141 reads this year 5 stars. So there were some standouts, yes, but not as many as I have had in year's past. After much deliberation I have come up with my top 10 of 2013. And one lucky reader will get to choose from one of these amazing reads for their own collection.

Admittedly, I don't remember that much about this book. But I do remember that I loved it very much. A friend and I were talking about it and we weren't sure if this book was really that good, or if we had been in that bad of a reading rut. I think it was that good. This might be the first time I've really enjoyed reading a story within a story which is what you will find in Golden.

This might be the saddest book I have ever read about a neglectful horrific mother. How this book is still so hopeful is a testament to an amazing job by Emily Murdoch. It might be the first horrifically sad book that I would be willing to read again. 

This is my favorite "cute" book of the year. There isn't any huge family issues, or some horrible story of abuse, or someone dealing with a death of a loved one. This book is just a cute little romance with plenty of sassy lines, swoony moments, and good fleshed out secondary characters. There is just no better word for it than CUUUUUTE!

This is the only book I have found so far in all of my reading that is the equivalent of a Chick-Lit book written by a guy about what it is like to be a guy. But don't let my Chick-Lit comparison make you think less of it. It is smart, funny, very funny, and hilarious, and has a ton of heart. Parts of this might shock my more innocent readers because it talks of guy stuff pretty openly, but if you can get through the first bit and you are still enjoying it then you will definitely enjoy the rest. I really wish there were more books like this in the world.

Can Miss Rainbow Rowell have two books on my list this year? I'll give you a hint: the answer is the opposite of "no way hoseay". Fangirl is great, and it was a nice comfort to know that Rowell was not an author who could only come up with one amazing book. She had more tricks up her sleeve and this book is one of them. It is a great college coming of age tale. I did find some of the added fanfic, written by our MC, kind of distracting at times...but...I could overlook it because the rest of Fangirl was freaking fantastic.

This was my favorite debut of the year. I never wanted it to end. I just wanted to keep reading and reading and reading about these characters. I read it back all the way in January so I honestly don't remember that much to tell you here except for this: I may have forgotten the details of it, but I remember the loving of it.

I actually read this for the first time last year, but I didn't put it on my best of 2012 list because it was officially released by Penguin this year after winning the Amazon Breakthrough Award. Regina came to Utah (where I live) this year and she is so darn lovely, and her book reflects that loveliness all over. I read it again this year, and I can tell you now that you have never read a coming of age book just like this. But at the same time this feels so familiar. This has such an interesting male love interest unlike any one I have ever read before but again so like lots of boys I've actually known in real life. Wonderful this book.

I champion Paige Toon on this blog constantly. I adore her stories and my only complaint is usually that they end much much too soon. One Perfect Summer is (I think...hard to choose) my favorite of hers. It takes place mostly in college and it is not some sexy New Adult trashy book that is thrown together to sell cheap copies on Amazon (sorry...little rant there...). So have you not yet read a Paige Toon book? What are you freaking waiting for? They are wonderful! Go on Amazon and buy a used one for a penny and find yourself a new girly author to love. May I suggest One Perfect Summer?

I was honored to be at the book debut party for Sara Zarr's 2013 release. It was beautiful to hear her speak so openly about the effort she put into writing this book. It made my read that much richer. Over the years I have come to really admire Zarr's writing. As you read one of her books you feel as if she chooses each word with extra thought and care. No words are just throw away words. They are all important. The Lucy Variations is probably my favorite of her books and as usual her characters shine bright, just daring me to love them.

I'm sure I won't be the only blogger to list Eleanor & Park as their #1 read of the year. But this book, I can't help love it as much as the next gal. In fact I just recently re-read it to make sure I liked it more than Fangirl, and I was instantly transported to the hearts of misfits Eleanor and Park. It was equally wonderful the second read through and I stand by my original review from earlier this year where I sang this book's praises to high heaven. It is sad, hilarious, beautiful, and rings so true. It is just one of those magical books you so rarely find and if you haven't read it yet...get going...I'll wait...

So that is a list of my favorites for 2013. Thanks to the all the authors out there that persevere and face the challenges of the publishing world to get their voice out there for all of us to enjoy. I'm glad there are people that write, just like I am sure they are glad that there are people like us who read. I hope this list has inspired you to give one of these reads a try in 2014.

Thanks to Bookhounds and I Am A Reader Not A Writer for hosting this best of 2013 blog hop!

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013


I thought this author's first book was completely forgettable. In fact, I thought this was a debut book while I was reading it because I really didn't remember that I had read her first release. Good thing I have Goodreads to keep track of my books...

Anyway, I really liked a lot of things about this book. First off, I loved the really good music mentioned throughout the book and the list for readers at the end was extremely good. Good job Ms. Sales for exposing a few young kiddos to some actual good music, heaven knows they don't hear enough of it. Mostly though, good job for reminding me of some of the great music I have loved over the years. Our MC reminded me of what it felt like to love a great song. 

I had trouble reading this in the beginning (I didn't like the depressed, attention getting suicide attempt). But, as I got into this, I really loved the story. I especially loved our older, cooler, but obviously insecure love interest. What a way to shake things up with the boy characters. Most of all though, I loved the idea of being lost in music.

I did have one HUGE issue with the book, and I can't seem to get over it. In what world would a club promoter hire a 16 year old DJ to work in a club that you have to be 21 or older to get in? I was willing to go with the whole underground club idea, but when her first big DJ night is advertised in the local paper I just couldn't come to terms with it. There is no real world in which that would fly. So that bugged me, but I was willing to look past it and I recommend the read.

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Read more about it HERE.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Just wanted to give you heads up on a deal. You can get 30% off any one book on Amazon.com using the code BOOKDEAL. Deal expires (I think) on December 1st.

I bought Eleanor & Park, what are you going to buy? :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013


The cover of this book is pretty, but I admit I judged the cover. I had the book checked out from the library twice before I finally read it. Why? Because it looked all si-fi to me and I just kept putting off the read and back to the library it had to go.

When I finally sat down and read this I was surprised. Miller takes a really complicated plot line and somehow makes it pretty easy to follow. It was interesting and I just really enjoyed the read. This book crosses over genres. The girls who like the si-fi and fantasy would enjoy this book as much as girls like me who generally don't like the si-fi or fantasy. A clever standout 2013 debut for sure.

Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.

It has been awhile since I read this, but I remember it being a pretty clean read with a few swear words and talk of the existence of sex, but nothing more than kissing for our main character. Read more about it HERE.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Giving away a SIGNED copy of Sara Zarr's amazing How to Save a Life. I'm picking this one because the cover makes me think cold thoughts, but when I think about the book I get warm fuzzies.

Thanks to Reading In Twilight and I Am A Reader Not A Writer for hosting this blog hop.

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Friday, November 8, 2013


How to know if you might like this book:

1. You think geeky things are cool. Or you like to read about geeky cool boys.
2. You like Aussie books.
3. You like a good male POV.
4. You like when the "gay best friend" isn't the typical "gay best friend".
5. You love a romance built on friendship.

If any of those points appeal to you, you'll probably really enjoy Life in Outer Space. This book is pretty funny and clever...sometimes the cleverness made the read less easy and smooth for me. However, I am not sure if that is a bad thing. Anyway, I was charmed by our hero from the first few pages. Reminded me a bit of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, and Elenor & Park. Great last line BTW....

Sam Kinnison is a geek, and he’s totally fine with that. He has his horror movies, his nerdy friends, World of Warcraft – and until Princess Leia turns up in his bedroom, he doesn’t have to worry about girls.

Then Sam meets Camilla. She’s beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his life. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a life of her own – and she’s decided that he’s going to be part of it.

Sam believes that everything he needs to know he can learn from the movies ... but now it looks like he’s been watching the wrong one

Read more about this book HERE.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


I'm admittedly not the biggest Dystopian book fan. I don't know, they kind of creep me out to be honest. They aren't all bad though...and I do have a nice paperback copy of Divergent sitting on my shelf that needs a good home. If you want that home to be yours...

Thanks to My Shelf Confessions and I am a Reader, Not a Writer for hosting this hop.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013


I'm quite late on this series, but honestly I don't start most series books until they are all out. How else could I keep track of the details? I was surprised how much I like this. I found the whole thing interesting and endearing. I had some issues with the ending, but overall nothing worth ignoring the series for. Mostly I enjoyed how the plot developed and kept pulling me in with new and interesting tidbits along the way.

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

It is a pretty clean read with some swearing here and there. Also the swoony moments don't go too far. Read more about the first book HERE.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Although this wouldn't be one of my "drop everything and read this book!" kind of recommendations, I thought this was a solid read and enjoyed it. I was reading the ARC so hopefully some of the plot issues I had got worked out in the end, but either way this is still a strong character book.

What I loved most of all, and what kept me reading was how well Doller created characters that were NOT black and white. They were all complicated and that helped them ring true to me. While at the beginning you hate the mom who took her daughter away and didn't properly take care of her for 12 years, you still understand why said daughter still loves her mom and has complicated feelings for her very loving father. On top of that, no one in this book is perfect. Not dad, not step-mom, not hot guy, not new best friend, not mentally ill mother, and definitely not our main character.

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the read. You can read more about it HERE.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Giving away one SIGNED hardback copy of my BFF's book The Savage Grace. The third book in an awesome trilogy in which my husband, Brent is a character.

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Monday, September 30, 2013


If you have not yet read a book by Paige Toon and you love fun light reads where you get totally involved in the characters lives...then what are you waiting for? I cannot give enough cheers for Paige Toon where my only complaint with her books is that they end too soon. For those of you in the US, you might find your library has slim pickings for Toon books. However, you will find that on Amazon you can purchase used copies for a steal.

I recently devoured her most recent release, The Longest Holiday and loved it.

He's smiling down at me with tears in his eyes as I say my solemn vow:
'I, Laura, take thee, Matthew, to be my lawful wedded husband…' I thought I would never feel like this about anyone ever again. Not after my first love… Not after the heartbreak and the loss and the trying to pick myself back up again… Then I met Matthew, and I know that he has my heart forever: my perfect, gorgeous, adoring Matthew. And then I wake up. And I remember that he's not perfect. He's so far from perfect that my heart could surely collapse from the pain that instantly engulfs me…
To say Laura is unlucky in love is an understatement. Her first boyfriend died in a horrific accident, and now she's just discovered that her husband of six months has been hiding a terrible secret. Devastated and unwilling to face reality, she escapes on a girls' holiday to Key West with her best friend Marty. But a deep and instant attraction to a sexy Cuban scuba diver takes her completely by surprise. When her two weeks in the sun come to an end, Laura doesn't want to go home again. But she can't run from real life forever. Can she?

Read more about it HERE.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


When I receive an early release eGalley I like to wait until a book is close to the release date so that when I review it on my blog it is fresh on my mind. With Blackmoore though I just read it. I had been in such a reading rut and I couldn't take the wait. Don't worry I jotted down some notes while it was still fresh. 

Fans of Donaldson's Edenbrooke with not be disappointed. This is another clean period tale heaped with romantic tension. I felt the longing feelings of our heroine right from the start, and cheered for her throughout the book. I couldn't give this a full five stars though because a few thing distracted me. One was the horrific mother, I just hated reading about her and found her annoying brash ways too much. Also, Donaldson adds these flashbacks that are well written, but they totally pulled me from the story at hand...a story I was WAY into and did not want to be pulled from AT ALL. You have to read the flashbacks though, because they move the story forward.

Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead—if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured—and rejected—three marriage proposals.

Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist.

I'm not generally a fan of historical romance but both of Donaldson's books have been really fun reads. I do recommend reading Edenbrooke first just because I liked it a tad more.

Read more about Blackmoore HERE.

Monday, September 9, 2013


I have been so excited for this release, and folks it did not disappoint. This is just as delightful but completely different from Rowell's last book, Eleanor & Park. I loved them both and I can now officially add Rowell as an author to watch. Try not to get too excited but here in the pages of Fangirl you will find a story about a girl in college who doesn't act trashy, meet the hottest guy ever, and have crazy sexy times while she falls in love to said hottest guy who tends to be a bit abusive all wrapped up in a terribly written book! (Ugh! So sick of those!)

I don't know if I can say enough wonderful things about this book. It has amazing quotes galore, it has the most satisfying believable sister (twin) relationship I have ever read, it is freaking swoony and wonderful, and our heroine...she is terribly awesome! She's a self proclaimed nut but you love her, you just love her.

The only thing that pulled me from this was the inserted Fanfic moments. They are well done but, for me, I just wanted to get back to Cath's story. A story that honestly consumed me from beginning to end. Why? Because Rowell paces this perfectly revealing little by little the story of Cath's new and old life making it such a full and enjoyable read.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

When I received this through NetGalley I did a little happy dance, so thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this read. I'm going to have to buy a hard copy though as well so I can hold it close as I fall asleep. Read more about it HERE. Read my review and love for Rowell's first YA release, Eleanor & Park HERE.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


This was a great read for me to end the summer. From the beginning I just loved it, I'm not sure what it was but the whole world in this fascinated me. I adored the friendship that the two girls created over the summer it felt honest and not forced. It definitely felt like a book written by a girl who spent her summers in the Hamptons which I am sure Joanna Philbin (daughter to good ole' Regis) totally did. This is also an example of a book written so well in the third person that I felt like I was reading first person. While I was reading it I felt like I was reading a Sarah Dessen book while she was at the top of her game. This just felt so refreshing to me, again, a great way to end my summer.

When seventeen-year-old Rory McShane steps off the bus in East Hampton, it's as if she's entered another universe, one populated by impossibly beautiful people wearing pressed khakis and driving expensive cars. She's signed on to be a summer errand girl for the Rules -- a wealthy family with an enormous beachfront mansion. Upon arrival, she's warned by other staff members to avoid socializing with the family, but Rory soon learns that may be easier said than done.

Stifled by her friends and her family's country club scene, seventeen-year-old Isabel Rule, the youngest of the family, embarks on a breathless romance with a guy whom her parents would never approve of. It's the summer for taking chances, and Isabel is bringing Rory along for the ride. But will Rory's own summer romance jeopardize her friendship with Isabel? And, after long-hidden family secrets surface, will the Rules' picture-perfect world ever be the same?

This stands alone, but looks like it is going to be a series. I'm excited to read the rest. This is a pretty clean read even though you are reading about spoiled rich kids who drink, party, and have sex with their boyfriends. However, there is nothing graphic or shocking. 

Read more about it HERE.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I will say right off that I can see some people not enjoying this book as much as I did. It kind of goes on and on and in quite a bit of detail. But for me I just got sucked in right away to the details and enjoyed this very much. I do think it is stronger in the beginning as our two main characters meet and grow close together. There is a distinct plot point where I thought the whole story slowed down, but by then I was so invested I was still a happy reader. For me, I related to the whole idea of being afraid to really fall in love and get hurt like the MC, so I liked Grace very much.

Grace Barnum’s life is precariously balanced on sensible choices and uncomfortable compromise. She dutifully edits textbooks that, she  fears, may be more harmful than helpful to kids. She is engaged to a patent attorney who is steady and reliable. She has a cautious relationship with her  fascinating father, a renowned New York painter, and she prefers her mom slightly drunk.

Always a planner, Grace feels prepared for most eventualities. Until the responsibility-challenged Tyler Wilkie shows up. Fresh in town from the Poconos, Tyler has warm eyes, a country drawl, and a smile that makes Grace drop things. Worst of all, he writes devastating songs. About her.

Tyler reaches something in Grace, something she needs, but can't admit to. Something she wants, but won't succumb to. Tyler Wilkie loves Grace Barnum and ruins everything.  And Grace grows.

A great easy read with a little bit of swearing, and sex scenes that aren't in extreme detail. Read more about it HERE.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I really want to champion this book, especially since the first Goodreads review is scathing. I adored this. It is just a plain clean, fun love story...the perfect little romance book. Kasie West wrote characters that made me smile and swoon. Including fleshed out fun and interesting secondary characters. The story line was so enjoyable and kept me turning the pages without having the crazy over the top drama that is so popular today. Also it has been a few books ago that I read it, but I believe it is completely clean, void of any bad language. So if you are old with kids (like me), you would feel perfectly fine letting your kiddo read this book (not that she can read yet, but still...one day.)

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Read more about it HERE.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I have shared this book before, back when it was a little self published book on Amazon. Since then it has won the Amazon Breakthrough award which means now it is a beautiful published book. I was excited to meet Regina this past month when she came through Utah to sign some books. She was a really wonderful, humble, well spoken person. I enjoyed meeting her very much and also loved getting a signed book for me and one for my blog.

If you ever wanted to spend summer in Maine with your long lost aunt and meet people who will change your life in unexpectied ways then you'll love this read.

Jennifer is an only child, and so were her parents—at least that's what she thinks, until she finds an old photo in the back of one of her mother's books. The woman in the photo looks just like Jennifer, down to the smattering of freckles across her nose. And her mother refuses to talk about it.

Compelled to find answers, Jennifer embarks on a quest that takes her from the wheat fields of Nebraska to the fishing town of Smithport, Maine, home to the one person who can help her solve this family secret—the woman in the photo. But Jennifer learns that it takes the entire village of Smithport to piece together the story of her mother's hidden past. She needs help from Nathan, the genius with the reluctant smile from across the cove; Little, the elderly town matriarch and former movie star; and The Jacks, three weathered fishermen who dabble in pyrotechnics. As Jennifer discovers the lost chapters of her mother's life, she unwittingly begins to write a few chapters of her own.

Elegantly written, On Little Wings is an evocative debut novel about self discovery, first love, and the power of family

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Friday, June 28, 2013


I feel kind of silly recommending this because it is kind of one dimensional and just a basic and maybe predictable love story. But I really enjoyed it, I honestly couldn't put it down. It has been awhile since I read something uncomplicated and simple that sucked me in like this. 

I could no longer deny what the heat in my cheeks meant when I was around Flynn. I was falling for my sister's boyfriend.

There's just something about Flynn. Yes, he's a tall, unbelievably gorgeous, dark-haired football player, but . . . he's also sweet and nice and super easy to talk to. It's lucky I'm the photographer for the school paper, because my camera likes Flynn almost as much as I do. Unfortunately for me, so does my sister, and there's no way I can nab Flynn with her in the picture.

But could this be the real thing?

Growing up with a sister that drew boys to her as easily as I seemed to repel them, I related to this book a lot. It is short and clean and would probably mostly enjoyed by a younger audience. But I'm in my thirties and I still liked it. You can read more about it HERE.

Monday, June 24, 2013


So, out of all the horrible abusive childhood books I have read, this tells the, hands down, worst story I have ever read. How Murdoch manages to tell this story and still have it feel hopeful and full of some joy is seriously a literary miracle. Beautiful poetic prose without feeling too stuffy or just plain too much. An absolutely amazing debut.

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

This is a pretty clean read, but it has some very mature moments concerning rape, drugs, and parental abuse. Read more about this HERE.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


As far as I'm concerned Jessi Kirby has just gotten better with each book. I like each of them more than the last. This is a romantic story within a story, and I loved it from the beginning. Sometimes the main character gets too introspective, but overall this is really well thought out and executed nicely. So far, one of the only 2013 YA releases that stand out to me.

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

Overall a clean read with a few scattered swear words. Read more about it HERE.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


For this hop I am thrilled to giveaway one SIGNED copy of my all time favorite YA romance Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. She is in Utah this week and I am getting my books signed tonight and I'll be getting another one to give a way to one lucky reader.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013


Oh Sara Zarr how you take ordinary words and make each one feel important and needed. Words should throw you a freaking parade!

I was lucky enough to attend the launch party of The Lucy Variations and was able to hear Sara share the very personal story of how this book came into being. She is an exceptional speaker because she speaks like she writes. Open, honest, and with heart.

The first time I met Sara, she was in the process of writing this book. She shared how she chose to write in third person and how she was already deciding that this might be the big flop of her career. I don't normally like third person but had just read and loved The Probability of Miracles which is a very well done third person YA book, so I knew it could be done well and I kind of assumed Sara Zarr could do it.

This book is so stinking beautiful and it makes you ask so many questions about your own life. My favorite question asked in the book is: What do you love? Because what we really truly love is life itself. One thing I love? Sara Zarr's simple, perfect prose. And how she seems to makes her stories seem effortless even though you know her whole heart and soul went into the pages...the very opposite of effortless.

Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.

That was all before she turned fourteen.

Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside the exclusive world of privileged San Francisco families, top junior music competitions, and intense mentorships. The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It's about finding joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.

Read more about it HERE. Has a teeny tiny bit of swearing, but is noticeably clean.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I haven't posted in ages, because I haven't read anything worth posting in ages. It has been a real reading slump. I have had these little gems to keep me afloat these last weeks as they arrived in the mail. This was such a great series and I was surprised as I started reading them that they were written in 1999! I would have loved reading about Art & Coll's romance if I had read it then (although of course I still loved it now).

Some reasons you might love it too? You love British teens, you love great well rounded secondary characters, and you love to read a voice that tells it to you straight. 

Kate Cann has also published an eBook that ties up the series and gives Art's side of the story. It is short, but I found I just had to read it and it is a free lend if you are an Amazon Prime member. Search for Art's Story.

Coll thinks the boy she sees swimming every Thursday night is completely gorgeous - long and lean, powerful and strong. He becomes the fantasy that takes her out of her ordinary day-to-day existence. And then he asks her out, and the dream becomes reality. Art is strong and powerful, and he's also quite pushy. Just what is Coll getting into? 

There is drinking, sex (not overly graphic but some detail), and mild swearing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I debated back and forth on whether or not to share this book on the blog. I had been looking forward to reading it for a long time and knew it under it's previous title Good Oil. This book isn't for everyone, but here are some reasons that it might be your thing. Do you find that you love Aussie books? Do you like reading something totally different? Do you hate it when an author gives you an unrealistic ending? Then you might enjoy this book as much as I did.

You've got two perspectives in this one, and it might be the first time that I really felt like I was reading two completely different voices. The second male voice backtracks each time his section begins and that kind of ruined the flow for me, and is why this was a four star instead of five. Still enjoyed this very much though.

Love is awkward, Amelia should know.

From the moment she sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It's problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, is 15.

Amelia isn't stupid. She knows it's not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia's crush doesn't seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?

Through a year of befuddling firsts—first love, first job, first party, and first hangover—debut author Laura Buzo shows how the things that break your heart can still crack you up.

Read more about it HERE.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


For this round of Spring Cleaning I am going to give SIX winners the opportunity to chose one book from my list. Each winner will give me their top three choices and will recive one of those choices. None of the books are ARCs.

Here are the books I am hoping find a good home:
  • The Book Thief - Markus Zusak - paperback spine a bit creased
  • Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver - paperback a few pages have slight water damage
  • Eva Underground - Dandi Mackall - hardback like new
  • Jessie <3 NYC - Keris Stainton - paperback very good 
  • Jason & Kyra - Dana Davidson - hardback good
  • Split by a Kiss - Luisa Plaja - paperback like new
  • The Breakup Bible - Melissa Kantor - paperback like new
  • The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball - Risa Green - paperback like new
  • Slam - Nick Hornby - hardback like new
  • Beauty Shop for Rent - Laura Bowers - hardback like new
  • How ya Like me Know? - Brenden Halpin - hardback ex library but excellent condition
  • Love on the Lifts - Rachel Hawthorne - paperback - like new
  • Finding Grace - Alyssa Brugman - paperback very good
  • Marshmallows for Breakfast - Dorothy Koomson - paperback good
  • Kiss Chase - Fiona Walker - paperback good
  • The Dating Detox - Gemma Burgess - paperback very good

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Sunday, March 17, 2013


I will tell ya what is the most remarkable thing about this book: Bennett writes about a very rebellious party girl and gives her a pretty realistic voice while at the same time writing an extremely clean read. That can't be easy, but it feels seamless in Geek Girl. Our male love interest in this book is honestly too good to be true, but it didn't bother me here. Sometimes I like to read about characters that I feel could be real even though I know they don't exist in real life (or if they do, they are pretty darn rare). The last chapter seemed unnecessary, but other than that this quite a strong read.

Jen's life of partying and sneaking out has grown stale. So on a whim, Jen makes a bet to turn Trevor, a goody-two-shoes geek, into a "bad boy." As she hangs out with Trevor, however, she finds it's actually kinda fun being a geek. But when Trevor finds out about the bet, Jen must fight for the things she's discovered matter most: friendship, family, and, above all, love.
Read more about it HERE.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Of all the self published Amazon books that I've had my eye on for a long time, this has been my favorite so far. Honestly, I can't really pin point why I enjoyed it, I just know I did. I loved the main characters and I found their budding relationship fascinating. It does drag a bit in the end with unnecessary wedding details of an older brother, but even with that I would still give it a very strong recommendation.

True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .

Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there's no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

As they bond over Edith Wharton's tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the "bad boy" vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own "good girl" image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype.

Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie.

It is cheap on Amazon, or you can read about it HERE.

Monday, March 11, 2013


This is the kind of story that could have had a political agenda, and I am so glad it didn't. Moyes just tells us a story without picking sides. This is the kind of book that won't be easy for me to forget. It was lovely and sad while being hopeful and funny.

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

Has a bit of swearing, but otherwise a clean read. Read more about it HERE
Thanks Edelweiss and Penguin for this read.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013


There is a scene in Sex And The City when Carrie meets Burger and finds out he is an author who "relates to men the way her writing relates to women." And then Burger makes some comment how men don't want to read books like that. Do you know that scene? Every time I watch it I wish that weren't true, that there were more books by men that were light funny books about what it was like to be a guy. So discovering Domestic Violets, a chance to get in the head of a sarcastic, almost middle-aged guy, was a huge treat.

Norman had me from the first page with this line: "At least I think that's ironic, that word gets misused a lot." This book is seriously honest, so much so that it could make you blush. It is also seriously hilarious, I was laughing throughout the whole thing. Norman wrote the voice of a character that I was kind of in love with while simultaneously being glad I wasn't this man's wife.

Overall, this book is funny, touching, and sad while being real and full of forgiveness. Every character was bright and full of life. They were a bit exaggerated for drama and laughs but still felt like real people. If you are someone like me who wished there were more books that were about what it is like to be a guy then you will probably love this book.

In the tradition of Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta comes Matthew Norman's Domestic Violets--a darkly comic family drama about one man's improbable trials of love, loss, and ambition; of attraction, impotence, and infidelity; and of mid-life malaise, poorly-planned revenge, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Read more about it HERE.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


I am always thrilled when a love story doesn't start out with: "Oh, she is hot." and "Oh he is hot and I want him, because we are both hot so of course we will hook up and fall in love." (Those of course are not direct quotes from any book, but mere examples of my own making.)

Skin Deep is a book about two really imperfect characters going through their own stuff and becoming friends first. It was adorable and very swoony watching the relationship grow between Ryan and Jenna. Jenna was a bit too young for my usual tastes (she is only 14), but it worked here. She felt 14 and her innocence and insecurities only added to her likeability as a character. Ryan was also layered and just lovely. He had some great lines in this. 

This is a UK book, and I hope it will eventually be published in the US, because it is a great read. For now you can still pick up a copy for yourself thanks to the wonderful world wide web.

Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned...

After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found.

This book does mention some mature issues, but does not go into details. Except for the kissing, very detailed kisses...:)
Read more about this HERE.