Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we pick the top ten things that we choose for the topic of the week.
Topic: Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) Where She Went (If I Stay, #2) The Fault in Our Stars The Things They Carried Night (The Night Trilogy, #1) 
If I Stay by Gayle Forman - This book was good, but it was extremely hard to read considering I cried the entire time. From about page 15 or 17 to the end.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman - I didn't enjoy many things about this book, it was just hard for me to get through. It made me grit my teeth.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Greene - Almost everyone loved this book, but I did not. I admitted that it was a book that I had promised myself I would never have to read no matter how much people wanted me to, but them I had to read it for school. I did not enjoy it - I like my books with a more hopeful tone.
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - I also had to read this book for school last year, and I'm sorry, but I don't enjoy reading about war (unless it's historical fiction and just takes place during a war, but has nothing to do with being in the war - if that counts).

Night by Ellie Wiesel - This book takes place during the Holocaust and was good, but very sad.

That's all I have!
What did you have a hard time reading? 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog Tour: Holly Hearts Hollywood by Kenley Conrad

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Holly Hearts Hollywood

Goodreads Summary
Seventeen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.

But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-size and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.

Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with Lacey.

When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.

Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey's voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?

Buy Links:

Displaying kenley r doonan.jpgAbout the Author

I'm the author of the upcoming YA series Holly Hearts Hollywood, coming September 2014 by Swoon Romance. I'm a twenty-something cat lady who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. When I'm not working my office day job or writing books, you can find me either singing and dancing or binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.

Author Links:


My Review
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings for Holly Hearts Hollywood.

What I liked
I liked Holly. From her weight, reactions, insecurities, and humor I found her to be realistic and relateable. This is really one of very few books that I've read that have dealt with bullying in any way, shape, or form and I really felt bad for her.

I really liked how the book was written as Holly's diary. While this style wouldn't work for me with most books, it definitely did with this one - helping us understand her feelings and get inside her head. I found it unique and refreshing. Also, we got to see a lot of growth in Holly from the beginning to the end as she learned to stand up for herself.

Holly's family was also interesting and added to the book.

Then, there's the fact that it deals with how it seems like all celebrities are a certain way and that's not fair, right, or how it should be. They aren't perfect, and you DO NOT need to look or act like them. Also, how you shouldn't be ashamed of your past or who you are.

I'm not sure
I am honestly not sure how I feel about a lot of things concerning this book. Some things I liked. Some things bothered me. Some I just don't know.

Lacey and Grayson bothered me a lot. The way Lacey went back and forth from being nice to mean all the time, Grayson's overall treatment and honesty issues. It just seemed, overall, like he was playing her and needed to get his act together.

Then, there was the ending. If there is another book coming out in this series, then the ending is okay, but if not - I didn't find the ending satisfying at all. Nothing that I thought/was hoping would happen at the end happened! It really leaves the reader hanging with confusion and the reaction of "what?!"

Don't get me wrong, there were things I liked about Holly Hearts Hollywood. I'm just not sure that it's my kind of book, or maybe I just read it at the wrong time. If you want a book with drama, about gaining self confidence, dealing with bullying, picking out liars from true friends, etc., then maybe this book is for you.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week of Wonder

Week of Wonder is what I call my Weekly Wrap-up. I will link up everything that I did on my blog this week - books I read, books I reviewed, what challenges I've added to, what I'm currently reading, all my other posts, etc. I will also let you know about any upcoming events that are coming up on my blog.

Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray (Blog Tour)
Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition by Erin Butler (Blog Tour)
Dangerous Reflections by Shay West

Other Posts
Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List
Pinterest Updated

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Summer TBR List Update

I had so many books I wanted to read over the summer, and I'm sad to say that I did not get to read all of them. My list must have been poorly made, because 1 - I didn't even look at it, and 2 - I didn't read many of them. I found more ways to get great review books, so they took priority. I decided to let you know which ones I did read though, so here we go - I checked them off.

Christian Fiction
A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction, #1) A Lasting Impression (Belmont Mansion, #1) Evacuation (Future Savior, # 3) Circle of Spies (The Culper Ring, #3) Fools Rush In (Weddings by ...
Caught in the Middle (Ladie... At Every Turn Stuck Together (Trouble in ... Meant to be Mine (A Porter ... The Reluctant Bachelorette
A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano
A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
Future Saviors Series by Jennifer Hartz (books 3,4,and 5)
Circle of Spies by Roseanna M. White
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings
At Every Turn by Anne Mateer
Stuck Together by Mary Conneally
Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade
The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson

The Grass Is Always Greener...Luminary (Anomaly #2) Golden  Lola and the Boy Next Door ... Missing Lily 
My Faire Lady The Elite (The Selection, #2)  United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6) The Romeo Club Heroes of the Horde 2 Siege

The Grass is Always Greener by Jen Calonita
Luminary by Krista McGee
Golden by Jessi Kirby
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Missing Lily by Annette K. Larson
My Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten
A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano
The Elite by Kiera Cass
United We Spy by Ally Carter
The Romeo Club by Rebekah L. Purdy
Heroes of the Horde by Jennifer Hartz (rest of series)

Like I said I did pretty terrible on with this!

Did you read all/many of the books on your Summer TBR list?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dangerous Reflections by Shay West

Dangerous Reflections (Adventures of Alexis Davenport, #1)Dangerous Reflections by Shay  West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary
Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out.

To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?

My Review
I like History, but Alex in Dangerous Reflections puts me to shame when it comes to Historical trivia! While I can very often be found with a historical fiction novel, Alex is often found with a nonfiction history textbook. I found it really interesting how Alex went back in time to save history from the evil villain trying to change it - we all know that would cause great repercussions. Her knowledge was vast, especially considering she was only just entering her freshman year at the beginning of the book, and I enjoyed learning a few fun historical facts throughout the book.

What I liked most about Dangerous Reflections was not only the time travel, but also the fact that the main character was believable. Alex struggled with situations and struggles that many teens face, from her deserting father, struggling to make ends meet, her relationship with her mother, moving and leaving her friends, bullying, making enemies, making friends, standing up for herself, etc., to ultimately finding out who she is and where she belongs.

I found her emotions and reactions to be very realistic and well portrayed. While she may have had extreme emotions at times, that's just how teens/people are at sometimes - we all have our moments. Her transformation from the beginning to the end was very nicely done - I loved seeing her grow in confidence!

I'm not going to give anything away, but I really liked the time travelling aspect.  The details were fantastic, and I look forward to continuing the Adventures of Alexis Davenport!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blog Tour: Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition by Erin Butler

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Displaying Finding Mr. Darcy- High School Edition by Erin Butler.jpg

Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Liza Johnson takes fangirl to a whole new level of crazy when she decides to take dating advice from her literary hero: Jane Austen.

With the help of her best friends, Liza sheds her ancient-speak and complete Austen wardrobe for something a bit more modern in an attempt at finding her very own Mr. Darcy.

Enter Will, the new kid and Liza's Darcy incarnate. Add her BFF's ex to mix and the sexy Brit who kisses with an accent, and Liza is in trouble.

So, what's a girl to do? Without her mom to go to relationship advice, Liza turns to the only person she can truly trust with matters of the heart via her mother's copy of COMPLETED WORKS OF JANE AUSTEN.

It's too bad Austen's heroines have never played Spin the Bottle or Seven Minutes in Heaven. Liza's determined to find her true Austen-esque happy ending, but if she can't trust herself instead of books, she just might end up in her own tragic love story.

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About the Author
Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she enjoys reading. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially loves the ones with kissing scenes.

Erin lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. She prefers to spend her time indoors reading and writing, but will venture out for chocolate and sunshine. She is the author of BLOOD HEX, a YA paranormal, HOW WE LIVED, a contemporary New Adult novel, and FINDING MR. DARCY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION, a contemporary YA.

Author Links:

My Review
3 Stars

Well, to be completely honest I had mixed feelings for this book. Don't get me wrong it is a good book (hence my 3 stars), but I didn't fall in love with it.

I liked Eliza's spirit. She was a good friend, and I enjoyed getting to see her love of Jane Austen and her reasons for her obsession. I loved how she used Jane Austen's books and characters for advice and dreamed about her life as one of her characters. Even going to the point of Austen speak (which I may be known to have done at times) to wearing Jane Austen t-shirts.

I loved how there was more to this story than finding your Mr. Darcy, though at times it felt like there was a lot going on, it portrayed life, the author did a good job encompassing as many teenage issues as she could without completely overloading the reader.

What I didn't like so much. There was not only a love triangle, but a love rectangle (or diamond). That's right, three guys that she liked, or thought she liked. I don't mind a love triangle if done right but they drive me nuts most of the time, so you can imagine how a love rectangle made me feel. I just wasn't a fan of her indecision. Sure, she's a teenager, but I just felt like her falling for every guy who looked at her was a little much and may I hope, unrealistic?

I also felt like there was a lot of teenage stereotypes in this book. There was, as mentioned above, the falling for every guy who looks at you. The stereotypical teenager attitude done to an extreme amount of (unnecessary) drama. The jealous friends, etc.

I really liked what Eliza learned throughout the book - not all life lessons can come from a book, a book is not going to spell out life for you. Not everyone's perfect match is who/how they imagine they will be, and that's okay because your true perfect match will be so much better - for you.

Normally, it's pretty clear to me who the main character will or should end up with even if it's not clear to the character (which it usually isn't). I know which guy I like. I usually know whom the character truly likes. And it has always been that guy. Not so with this book. I was actually a little shocked  at how the book ended at first, but after thinking about it I know that it is for the best and they ended up with the perfect match - for themselves. I'll kind of miss hearing Eliza ask Elizabeth Bennett and other Jane Austen characters for advice, but it looks like she no longer needs it!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blog Tour: Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary
A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.

Joyful includes a P.S. section with a letter from the author, discussion questions, and a teaser from her next book.

My Review
This may be the first book in this series that I've read, but it definitely won't be the last! I fell in love with this book - the combination of the Amish lifestyle, faith, love, the witty conversations, importance of family, trusting God's plan for your life, etc., all contributed to the amazingness of this book.

I appreciated Elizabeth's feistiness, determination, caring nature, wit, and strength. She had been through so much in her relationship with Randall and I really felt bad for her. Yet she was determined to get on with life, helping her grandmother and find a way to pay the bills.

Randall was very stubborn, to say the least. He thought he was right, and didn't want to admit to being wrong. He was devoted to his family, but was he truly happy? Was he doing it for the right reasons?

I also really liked Levi, one of Randall's brother, and the reason Elizabeth and Randall got another chance at love. It was his plan that brought them together again, and boy did it lead to some humorous situations!

Joyful also followed two other stories. One of a divorced woman and one of a couple who struggled with wanting to adopt the foster child they had been taking care of. I enjoyed both of those perspectives and thought they were perfect additions to the book.

Joy can be found in many things. The joy of life, love, family, etc. What brings you joy? I know this book brought me joy! I laughed, cried, smiled, hoped, felt joy, along with every emotion of all of the characters throughout this book! While it was a shorter book, and I read it in one day, it contained a lot of joy and I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading the previous books in the series.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

About the author: Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Find Shelley online: websiteFacebook

Shelley Shepard Gray Joyful

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we pick the top ten things that we choose for the topic of the week.
Topic: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

Coming This Fall
The Princess Spy The Bound Heart (The Everstone Chronicles, #2) Becoming Bea (The Courtships of Lancaster County, #4) Becoming Beauty

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson
The Bound Heart by Dawn Crandall
Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould
Becoming Beauty by Sarah Boucher

Books I have that I need to read!
Luminary (Anomaly #2) Revolutionary (Anomaly, #3) Undeniably Yours (Porter Fa... Made to Last (Where Love Be... Playing by Heart Golden The Grass Is Always Greener...
Luminary by Krista McGee, and Revolutionary
Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade
Made to Last by Melissa Tagg
Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer
Golden by Jessi Kirby
The Grass is Always Greener by Jen Calonita

This is quite a mixture, and it's not even half of them!

What's on your TBR this fall?