Month: September 2013

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review)

Posted September 30, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 11 Comments

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review)Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Internment Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on October 1, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 356
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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4 Stars

On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

I’m always on the lookout for unique story lines, especially in the dystopian genre. I love reading about new worlds that authors have created, so of course I gravitated right to Perfect Ruin. I was not the biggest fan of Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, but I really, really enjoyed this first installment in the Internment Chronicles. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to read it! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Internment is a huge chunk of Earth that has been RIPPED out of the ground and placed in the sky by the Sky God. Because the island is so small, people have to apply to have babies, and are exterminated when they reach a specific age in order to keep the population under control. Babies are betrothed before they are born. There’s a strong wind just off the edge of the island that keeps people from jumping off. People who venture there anyway go insane, and are labeled as Jumpers who have to go to therapy and take medication. Morgan’s brother, Lex, is a Jumper. Thus, the entire family is watched for signs of rebellion. If that’s not a crazy unique and exciting sounding story, I’m not sure what is.

2. Even crazier, people are turning up dead on this happy little island in the sky. The first one is a girl who was murdered and left on the train tracks. The entire population is now in this constant state of paranoia, not to mention they are under even more surveillance by their oppressive king. Everyone knows everything, but only a couple people know the truth.

3. I really love this cast of characters. Morgan is not content with her small life. She knows the world has more to offer her than the rock she’s living on. She begins questioning everything especially after she comes across Judas, the boy who has been accused of murdering the girl on the train tracks (his betrothed), and is convinced he’s innocent. She also comes upon the mysterious sister of the murdered girl, and begins to learn things that make her question her life even more. She confides in her brother and tries to convince herself that she will not end up a Jumper like he is. She also holds on tight to her betrothed, Basil, who is so caring and understanding with her. We also meet Morgan’s best friend, Pen, who is outwardly reluctant to be with her betrothed, but secretly adores him. All these characters are strong, dynamic, and unique.

4. I loved learning about the inner workings of this city. There are so many laws and cultural elements. I can’t wait to read more about these people.

5. There are some really amazing twists and events that had my jaw dropping. The story is go, go, go, and I did not want to put it down. And the cliffhanger!!!!!!!!!! Oh man. I can’t even handle it.

6. Lauren’s writing and worldbuilding skills have improved so much! I was completely invested in this story and these characters. I loved her descriptions and her writing style.

7. As is typical with the first book in a trilogy, Perfect Ruin brought up a lot of questions. There is so much going on here, with so many layers of secrets that I’m still not sure I know what’s going on. I actually really loved that. I’m usually a control freak when it comes to books. I want to know everything all at once. With Perfect Ruin, I was left in the dark a lot. It’s perfect for the story, though. I felt just like the characters did, I learned with them, and I really could picture myself living in their world.

I feel like this review is really unorganized and pointless, but there’s so much I just don’t want to say for fear of spoiling things! I went into Perfect Ruin knowing only two things: it’s about an island in the sky, and there’s murder going on. That was it. And I think because I knew so little, I loved it so much more. Bottom line, I’m a new fan of Lauren DeStefano. She has created an amazing story that had me gasping for air and wishing for more. I can’t believe I have to wait a million years to find out what happens next! Definitely read this book.

4 Stars

My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Posted September 27, 2013 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway / 6 Comments

My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling (Excerpt + Giveaway)My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling
Published by Te Da Media on April 1, 2013
Genres: Mythology
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Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:
a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy teen yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.


This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.

Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.

Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe …

… and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

My Ex From Hell Excerpt

When the going gets desperate, the desperate send email

To: ????
Subject: Seriously?

Dear Your Royal Imperialness Demeter, Goddess of Grain and Fertility, Preserver of Marriage, and Bringer of Seasons,

Or can I just call you Mom?

Bet you never thought you’d be hearing from me. Sorry for not having written sooner, but until about twelve hours ago, I didn’t know you existed. Nothing personal.

See, yesterday, I was plain old Sophie Bloom. My life sucked in your typical 16-year-old ways. I was stuck here at Hope Park Progressive School on probation again (“mouthy behavior”), dealing with cliquish poseurs, rampant hormones, blah blah blah.

Then I met a guy. I know that’s the worst cliché ever. But sadly, it’s true. And of course, me being me, he couldn’t be just any bad boy. No. He had to be Kai, son of Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Anyway, he was really hot and there was this bone-melting kiss and … whatever. The point is, before he showed up, I thought I was human. Afterward, well, let’s just say everything changed. Who knew when I was cramming Greek mythology for my English final, I was studying the family tree?

They say when you die, your whole life supposedly flashes before your eyes. When Kai and I kissed, here’s what flashed before mine—Mount Olympus, Zeus, the Underworld, Hades, and you. But that wasn’t my life. Or was it?

Here’s the Wiki version. (Do you have Wi-Fi on Mt. Olympus?) Turns out I’m Persephone. Me, Goddess of Spring and Embodiment of Earth’s Fertility? Ew! Which makes me your kid, Hades’ target, and totally screwed. In the myth version, I’m the innocent maiden, you’re the grieving mother, and we’re reunited with great joy. Guess that’s why they call it a myth.

I know I sound like a nut bar. And maybe I’ll wake up in a padded room restrained for my own safety. But in that moment with Kai, it felt real. Like I knew who I was. Or used to be. Those were my memories flashing before my eyes—not some fantasy or hallucination. Part of me remembered those moments. But where do I go from here? And is there an online tutorial I can take?

I don’t exactly have your email. But if you’re a goddess, maybe you’ll know I’m writing. That I really need my mom right now. And if not—well, I guess I’ll save this for my obituary. Which I’ll probably need pretty soon because of the gods-wanting-me-dead thing.

Take care.

a.k.a. Persephone
a.k.a. Goddess of Spring
a.k.a. Your Daughter


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Blog Tour Guest Post: S.A. Bodeen (The Compound) + Giveaway

Posted September 26, 2013 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 2 Comments

It’s my pleasure to welcome S.A. Bodeen to the blog today, as part of the official blog tour for brand new release (it came out today, actually!): The Fallout, sequel to The Compound! S.A. is going to introduce the series to you, as well as talk about what her life would be like if she lived in an isolated compound like the characters in her books. Also, make sure you scroll to the bottom of the post for a giveaway! Macmillan is so nice to give a paperback of The Compound and a hardback of The Fallout to one winner from my blog’s  readers!

S.A Introduces The Compound


My new novel The Fallout comes out September 24th. Whenever people ask what the book is about, I say “It’s the sequel to The Compound.” Now people who’ve read The Compound get a gleam in their eye and say “Oh!”, but if you haven’t yet read The Compound, I’ll need to clue you in. So let me set the stage.

The Compound is about fifteen-year-old Eli Yanakakis, son of billionaire Rex Yanakakis. For the past six years, the entire Yanakakis family has been living in an underground compound which they escaped into during a nuclear attack. Whew, you might think. That was close, eh? Not so fast. I left out a few things. First, Eli’s identical twin Eddy, his second half so to speak, was left on the outside when the door shut. Second, while the rich dad laid in a virtual Costco of supplies meant to last the twenty years they’ll need to spend down there, some problems arise with the food and the once plentiful supply is dwindling. And third and fourth and fifth? Eli does not get along with his parents, his weird little sister has an English accent, and he hates his older sister. Oh, and there is a mysterious room with a yellow door that he never goes in. Good times.

Now if I had my own compound, you know what I would have in it? Food. Movies. Books. My own YMCA. More books. Maybe some of my favorite people. But I definitely would not have a room with a yellow door on it…

Add The Compound on Goodreads

The Fallout (The Compound #2)
by S.A. BodeenRelease Date: September 24, 2013 (Today!)
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After barely escaping from the compound where Eli’s dad kept his family for six years, they’re learning to acclimate to “normal” life—whatever that is for them. It seems like the entire world wants to know what happened to this high profile family.

Slowly they begin to make their way back into the world, but Eli can’t escape the creeping feeling that they’re being watched everywhere they go. But by who?

Eli’s anxiety is heightened as unnerving information continually surfaces about Eli’s dad’s company. Not to mention the sketchy new friend his twin brother Eddy has. Nothing seems to be “normal” anymore. New people are entering their lives—but who can Eli and his family trust?


About S.A. Bodeen

Stephanie is the award-winning author of the Elizabeti’s Doll series of picture books, as well as several others. Her first young adult novel The Compound was released in 2008 and recently won the Maryland BlackEyedSusan Award, Nebraska Golden Sower Award, and the Indiana Young Hoosier Award. Her second YA The Gardener was featured on Good Morning America as a Best Summer Teen Read, and her third YA The Raft was recently named a 2013 Tayshas list title.

Author WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebook



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Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

Posted September 23, 2013 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 16 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is kind of exciting! I’m usually not the biggest fan of sequels, just because the first book is usually WAY better. These sequels, however, were amazing!





Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
(Sequel to Anna and the French Kiss)

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
(Sequel to Shadow and Bone)

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
(Sequel to Cinder)

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
(Sequel to Time Between Us)

Of Triton by Anna Banks
(Sequel to Of Poseidon)

Asunder by Jodi Meadows
(Sequel to Incarnate)

Thorns by Kate Avery Ellison
(Sequel to Frost)

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
(Sequel to Throne of Glass)

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
(Sequel to Under the Never Sky)

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
(Sequel to Shiver)

So, what do you think? Have you read any of these? What sequels are your favorites?

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone (Mini Book Review)

Posted September 23, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 6 Comments

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone (Mini Book Review)Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Time Between Us #2
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 8, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
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5 Stars

Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.

It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want?

Time Between Us was one of my absolute favorite books last year, and kept me thinking for a very long time. I loved the unique take on time travel and the wonderful characters. I was immediately hungry for more of Anna and Bennett’s story, but did not know yet that there was going to be a second novel! I was delightfully surprised to learn of Time After Time, and was even more excited when I received an eARC from the publisher. It’s an amazing story, and I am so happy I got to read more about what’s in store for these two love birds.

This time, we get to read the story from Bennett’s point of view. I have always loved books that place us in the hearts and minds of the male character, so this was a treat. Bennett’s voice is so strong and full of emotion and longing. I love the lengths he will go to for Anna, and the sacrifices he makes to make her happy. Even though traveling has become even more of a challenge both physically and mentally, he is committed to spending as much time with her as he can. The love these two feel for one another is so sweet, and the fact that it can withstand the parameters of their relationship is amazing.

Because Bennett is doing the narrating, we get to learn a lot more about his life in 2012, his family, his talent, and how he feels about everything. He has to make some pretty serious decisions for himself, and I loved the bewilderment he went through as he tried to decide what was right and what was wrong for him. We get to travel with him a lot more, and we are with him when he witnesses an event that makes him question everything he thinks he knows about his an Anna’s future. This deep insecurity and doubt he feels is so real and so heartbreaking! I just wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything would be ok. The turmoil he goes through is tangible. I also loved the tender moments he shares with his dad and his sister, two characters who really grew in Time After Time. I ove Bennett so much more than I did in Time Between Us, and appreciate that Anna was taken out of the spotlight this time around.

The romance is sweeping and swoony. We still get to travel to exotic places and read romantic exchanges between Anna and Bennett. At the same time, though they know this entire relationship is unconventional and has its risks. They are realistic, and act very mature about the trials the relationship is causing them. They are forced to make hard choices. I appreciate that the author did not make things all rainbows and sunshine for them. Struggle builds character, and I really respected both of them as they worked things through.

I loved the ending. Everything ends up as it should, and I’m fully satisfied. :) Definitely pick up Tamara’s books, especially if you love time travel and amazing romances!

5 Stars

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney (Book Review)

Posted September 20, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 9 Comments

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney (Book Review)Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on September 3, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
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5 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Julien is a romantic—he loves spending his free time at the museum poring over the great works of the Impressionists. But one night, a peach falls out of a Cezanne, Degas ballerinas dance across the floor, and Julien is not hallucinating.

The art is reacting to a curse that trapped a beautiful girl, Clio, in a painting forever. Julien has a chance to free Clio and he can't help but fall in love with her. But love is a curse in its own right. And soon paintings begin to bleed and disappear. Together Julien and Clio must save the world's greatest art . . . at the expense of the greatest love they've ever known.

When I read the synopsis for Starry Nights, I began to covet it immediately. We all know I’m artsy, but I think many people don’t realize how artsy I am! I minored in art history, so a book about art coming to life sold me. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. The premise of Starry Nights is SO unique. I’ve always wanted to read a book with such a huge emphasis on art history. The fact that it’s about a boy who falls in love with a girl in a Renoir painting, and dances and eats dessert with her on the museum floor each night made me love it so much. And there are some twists which make it pretty exciting. Who is she? Why does she come to life at night? Why is Julien the only one who can see her? Yeah, these questions are answered in a blend of excitement, suspense, and the love of art.

2. There is SO much art history in this book, and so many mentions of paintings and museums I love. I never made it to the Orsay, which is where this book takes place for the most part, but I have been to the Louvre, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’ve seen the paintings in this book, and I have imagined them come to life many times. My dreams came true with Starry Nights.

3. Not only does the girl in Renoir’s painting, Clio, come to life, she and Julien can go into other paintings on their dates. They spend time floating on a boat in Van Gogh’s Starry Night, they dance in another, they watch Swan Lake performed by Degas’s dancers, they spend an afternoon on the bridge in Monet’s garden. Clio tells us all about the artists, the paintings, life during that time period, and more. Their conversations are so compelling.

4. You can tell Daisy Whitney loves art, and that’s what made this book so strong. Her descriptions of the museums, the paintings, the emotions, and the romance were utterly mesmerizing. I could picture every wave in The Raft of the Medusa (a painting I absolutely love). I could picture every brush stroke in Van Gogh’s Starry Night. She turned the art into magic.

5. Daisy painted a lovely picture of the artist, Renoir. We get to learn all about him and his desires, inspirations, and thoughts. I love that she made such a famous and influential artist a part of her book. She gave him a personality, and made him real. I’m not sure I’ll ever think of Renoir, or any other artist, the same way again.

6. Daisy took some real liberties with Starry Nights, and I love that she had the guts to do it. A lot of her artistic facts were true, but some of them she put her own spin on them. She created legends, new paintings, inside jokes, and even an explanation for the look on the Mona Lisa’s face. I loved reading about so many fun speculations regarding the art world.

7. I also loved the problem the art began to experience. The book’s synopsis mentions that things start falling out of paintings and that they start bleeding (figuratively) and getting sick. I loved reading about why this happened and the lengths people went to to fix it. It also allowed the art to come alive in a different way. The art itself is depicted as having feelings and desires. In a way, each painting became a character. It was amazing.

8. The characters were great! Julien is such a sweet, caring boy who loves art. Clio is a mystery with a special spirit. They we have Bonheur, a quirky guy who likes to dress up like a girl (wigs and all) and helps Julien figure out who he is and what his purpose is.

9. There were some absolutely breathtaking quotes. Here are some of my favorites:

“When the paintings come out for you, it’s what people have meant all along when they talk about artists being immortal. In a way, their work can live forever. When the art comes alive it’s like the immortal version of the painting, like a little bit of the person painted has gotten to live forever.”

“There is magic somewhere in Paris.”

“The sky could fall, the earth could split open, the garden could tear into two, and I wouldn’t notice.”

“It’s like you can do anything, it’s like the stars exist for you, it’s like you can stop time and fill it with the way your whole heart and mind clicks perfectly with another person. That it’s like the impossible has become possible.”

All in all, this book was a gift to my inner art historian, and is a brand new favorite of mine. The unique storyline is pure magic, and made my senses tingle. I’d give anything to be able to travel through paintings, watch them come to life, and interact with them. Starry Nights allowed me to do that. I would love to read more books like this, and will also definitely be seeking out more of Daisy Whitney’s works. Definitely read this book if you enjoy Paris, art, magic, and romance!

5 Stars

A to Z Bookish Survey

Posted September 18, 2013 by Jana in About Me / 15 Comments



Author you’ve read the most books from:
Mary Higgins-Clark. I’ve always loved her mysteries, and have read a TON of them!

Best sequel ever:
Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone. Time Between Us was amazing, and Time After Time blew me away as well.

Currently reading:
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. It’s really good so far!

Drink of choice while reading:
Chamomile tea with cream and honey. :)

E-reader or physical book?:
The battle will go on forever with me. Some days I really love my Kindle, and some days I jump for joy when I get a real book in the mail. I love my Kindle on vacations, though. I can pack a TON of books, so choosing is not necessary.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school:
James from Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker. This guy is amazing, and I really adore him. I love his philosophy, which is basically this: you can be sad and you can mourn what you’ve lost, but the memories you created before that loss are yours forever. Never discount the happy times in life, just because they ended unhappily.

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Hidden gem book:
The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer

Important moment in your reading life:
I found Goodreads! I had no idea what to read. Ever. I didn’t know any readers, so I always resorted to romance novels with not too sexy a cover as a teen. I had no idea about young adult books! Once I found Goodreads, I found a ton of books, found the Goodreads College Students Group, started The Broke and the Bookish with Jamie, ended up starting my own blog too, and then decided on getting a Master’s in Library and Information Science. Goodreads started it all, and led to me changing my life. :)

Just finished:
Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney. It’s a brand new favorite! I loved it SOOO much.

Kinds of books you won’t read:
Erotica, books with a lot of gore, books with a lot of band language, books with animal deaths, books with super upsetting subject matter.

Longest book you’ve read:
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, which is 756 pages.

Major book hangover because of:
Twilight Saga. I was was hungover, and had a hard time finding something else to read after that.

Number of bookcases you own:
Two floor-to-ceiling (triple stacked) and then the shelf across my headboard.

One book you have read multiple times:
I’ve never re-read a book!

Preferred place to read:
Well, in an ideal world I’d live on a cruise ship bound for Italy and spend my life on the balcony reading. If I’m being realistic, though, my bed is my favorite place. :)

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“I guess I work in small ways. It’s kind of like this story someone told me, about a guy on the beach in Mexico throwing starfish in the sea. Thousands had washed ashore. Someone asked him why – ‘Why are you wasting your time, when there are so many? You can’t possibly make a difference.'”

“I know that story! The man threw another one back, and said -”

“‘Made a difference to that one!'” Rowan finishes.”

– From Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Reading regret:
I really regret not having read The Chronicles of Narnia as a girl. I’m making up for it now, but I know I needed the magic in my early years. :)

Series you started and need to finish (all books in the series are out):
Study series by Maria V. Snyder

Three of your all-time favorite books:
Just One Day by Gayle Forman, Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard, On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Unapologetic fangirl for:
Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney. Seriously, people. It’s so unique, and it spoke to my inner art history nerd. I flailed with this one. It’s amazing.

Very excited for this release (more than any others):
Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Worst bookish habit:
If I really want to read a book, but don’t know what, I’ll go to my shelves and look for something. As I try to decide, sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the MANY choices I have, that I give up and watch a movie instead.

Your last book purchase:
On Christmas Hill by Nichole Chase (Getting ready for Christmastime!!)

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis

That was so much fun! Thanks, Jamie, for writing such a fun survey! Have you taken Jamie’s survey yet? If so, link me up!

Top Ten Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List

Posted September 16, 2013 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 71 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I love fall! I love when the leaves start to turn, the air gets crisp, and all the books start being released! It’s a really exciting time of year. :) There are so many amazing books I hope to get to this fall, and here are my top ten. :) All but one are ARCs, and I’ve got an ARC of the Diana Peterfreund’s next book, Across a Star-Swept Sea, that comes out next month, so I need to get reading! I’m so excited for them both!


1. Cress by Marissa Meyer
2. Revelations by J.A. Souders
3. Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
4. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
5. Hostage Three by Nick Lane
6. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
7. Lovestruck in London by Rachel Schurig
8. The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford
9. Alienated by Melissa Landers
10. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Which books are you hoping to “fall” into over the next few months? :)

New Home + New Look = Giveaway!

Posted September 16, 2013 by Jana in Giveaway / 36 Comments

Hi everyone! About a month ago, I decided to move to self-hosted WordPress. I just was not happy with the idea that Google owned my blog and owned my content. They could do whatever they wanted with it (like delete it–ah!)! I had been itching to design a new layout for myself anyway, so moving to WordPress gave me the perfect excuse.

I wrote to Ashley at Creative Whim (she’s also the book blogger at Nose Graze) and started discussing the move. Guys, she is SO easy to work with! And her prices are incredibly reasonable. She recommended a good hosting company that I really love, gave me a temporary test site on her server so I could design my blog and figure out WordPress before the move, and answered every little question of mine almost instantly! She moved over all my posts and comments seamlessly, re-directed my blogspot address to this one, and helped me edit the CSS of her Tweak Me theme (which I LOVE) so I could make it all my own. She also installed some must-have plug-ins that have already saved my life. I also bought her Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-In, and I am in LOVE. Thanks so much, Ashley! This move is probably the best decision I’ve made as far as the blog goes. I am so happy with it, and thought it was time to celebrate now that I have completed the re-formatting of EVERY post, as well as updated all my review archives.

To celebrate, I’m giving a way a book of your choice under $15 (US) from either Amazon (if you live in the USA) or The Book Depository (as long as they ship to you). It’s just my way of saying thanks for sticking with me through the move, and also for being such great friends!

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Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves (Book Review)

Posted September 9, 2013 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 1 Comment

Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves (Book Review)Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves
Published by Dutton Adult on September 17, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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4 Stars

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.

Everyone who knows me at all knows how much I adore On the Island, and Tracey. When I found out she was writing a new book, I knew I had to have it. It was on my to-read list before it had a title. I didn’t even know what it was about! I just knew if she wrote it, I needed it. When I found out what Covet is about, I was scared. I typically don’t read books like this one, but I trusted my love for Tracey’s storytelling, and went with it. And again, she hit it out of the park. Finally, a women’s fiction novel I’m on board with. I loved it! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Tracey has this amazing knack for tackling controversial subject matter and making it seem less controversial. And I love that she’s not scared to do it. On the Island deals with a non-conventional relationship (a rather sizable age gap), and she wrote it perfectly. It didn’t seem weird anymore. The same goes for Covet. Again, Tracey tackled a non-conventional relationship: an emotional affair. I’m not usually ok with this, but I totally understood these characters and their situations. Maybe it’s because she writes her characters in such a way that you can’t help but be on their side, or maybe she’s just perfect at putting emotions on paper. I don’t know what it is, but it’s a rare talent.

2. I was so invested in everything that was going on, and especially in the outcome. This book hurts! I felt such pain for Claire as I watched her husband neglect her day in and day out. I felt horrible for her husband, Chris, but at the same time I was SO mad at him for not pulling himself out of his funk long enough to realize what he was doing. Daniel made me swoon so much that I wanted to keep him for myself. And I felt so bad for him because he knew going in that Claire was married, but cared enough to just be her friend. Can you help who you fall in love with? These three just ripped me apart. I could not foresee an out come I would be ok with, but Tracey did it. I came out ok, and you will too!

3. The book goes back and forth between Claire, Chris, and Daniel. They each get to tell their story and share their feelings with the reader. I loved this, and I think it really contributed to my feelings of compassion and hope for all of them.

4. The friendship between Daniel and Claire is the kind that comes along once, but sometimes never, in a person’s lifetime. I really can’t even describe how I felt as I read their exchanges and their dialogue. They were there to fill the emotional voids in each other’s lives, and such an intense bond formed that I understood even though I felt like I shouldn’t.

5. Claire and Chris are also wonderful together. I loved reading about their first date and their courtship. And looking in on Chris in his office late at night, and jumping into his mind made me really pull for him. Basically, Claire is a lucky girl to have two great guys going after her!

6. Tracey’s writing is superb! I just love her style.

Overall, Covet is an amazing look into an issue that’s probably a lot more common than we think. I loved and felt for all the characters, and really enjoyed reading it! I’m still a fan of Tracey’s!

4 Stars