Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews, where you show what books you got during the week.

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer - Yay! I received my first actual book from Bethany House Publishers. I've been wanting to read this book ever since it came out, so you can imagine how excited I was when it came early! It has been a while since I was able to take a picture of an actual book that I got, but I hope to be able to do this more often because I really enjoy reading paperback books and showing off their picture!

Received from author
Shift by M. Ann Ricks

What books did you add to your collection this week? I know many of you went to BEA, what books did you get? Did you meet any fantastic authors?

Monthly Recap of May

It's finally the end of May! Sorry, I love May itself, but what a month! I had two AP tests, which meant studying, plus a bunch of other stuff to do, plus blogging. I'm so glad May is over, because now school is seriously almost out - two more days - then I can chill, read, go on vacation, finally lose weight, and whatever! 

Blog Tour and Cover Reveal
Heart Song by Desiree Williams
Cover Reveal and Giveaway - Heart Song by Desiree Williams

When I'm With You by Cecilia Gray
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Wish You were Italian by Kristin Rae
Take a Picture by Lena Goldfinch
The Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels
A Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer
Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Other Posts
Armchair BEA Posts
Day 1 - Introduction
Day 2 - Author Interaction and More Than Just Words
Day 3 - Expanding Blogging Horizons and Novellas
Day 4 - Beyond the Borders

Top Ten Friendship Books
WoW - Truth be Told by Carol Cox
Stacking the Shelves
Top Ten Books I Almost Put Down but Didn't
Stacking the Shelves
Top Ten Books I'd Frame as Pieces of Art
Top Ten Tuesday - Books you'll like if you like When Calls the Heart
Waiting on Wednesday - Isla and the Happily Ever After

Challenges Progress (Just doing spring/summer challenges - not including series and TBR challenges this time)
Mini Challenges

I love books! I love challenges! I love games! What better way to combine all of these things than Bookish Bingo hosted by Great Imaginations? This is a great new three month challenge and every three months there will be a new card. Make sure you sign up by April 9th so you don't miss out, and remember that one book can only count for one square.

  • Sign-ups close on April 9th.
  • All reading and reviewing must fall between April 1st and June 30th.
  • One square per book.  For instance, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is both the first in a series, and a YA book, but it can only count for one square.
  • Extra entries can be earned with multiple bingos or by filling out the whole card!
Head on over to Great Imaginations if you want to participate!

Right here is where I will be keeping my progress, and I will do a monthly update of this challenge as well as any others. I will make a list of all the ones that I complete.
Remnants Season of Wonder by Lisa Tawn Bergren - Strong parent child relationships
A Beauty So Rare by Tamara Alexander - About plants or wilderness (while not completely about plants, they were an important part of the novel)
Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg - Set in High School
Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels - Written by a woman
Take A Picture by Lena Goldfinch - New to you author
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt - A YA book
Wish You were Italian by Kristin Rae - Featuring travel
The Fault in our Stars by John Green - Has been made into a movie
When I'm With You by Cecilia Gray - A romance
Heart Song - Featuring Recovery
Conception by Jennifer Hartz - 1st in a series
Clean Sweep ARC Challenge 2014
I have a ton of ARCs and review copies to read. They just keep stacking up! Sometimes I feel like I'm getting buried under them and no one will hear me scream. Just kidding! But really, I have so many review books to read. 

I'm so excited to get caught up and the Clean Sweep ARC Challenge hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Angela's Anxious Life is here to help me do it through May. My goal is to read at least eight ARC/review books by the May 31. It would be more, but I have two AP tests coming up this month soooo..... I have to study more. Then school will finally be over and I can read.
Books I've Read
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
When I'm With You by Cecilia Gray
Heart Song by Desiree Williams
Conception by Jennifer Hartz
Suddenly You by Cecilia Gray

Ugh! Two away from my goal. How dare my two AP tests, and two of my teachers who made us do work + homework during the last week and a half of school!

Since I started blogging in January my TBR list has grown longer than it has ever been before! I'm not complaining, really. I love having so many wonderful books to read, but sometimes I feel kind of behind on my reading. So, the Summer Reading Challenge hosted by Katie's Book Blog will be a wonderful challenge for me to participate in with challenges and prizes and everything. 

We can read any books we want to read, whether published one hundred years ago, ten years ago, one year ago, or last month. While summer doesn't officially start for me until next month, we have from May 1, to September 1 to complete this challenge and our goal. This is going to be a busy summer, so I'm setting my goal for 30 books, but it would be nice to read more.

Books I've Read
Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels
Take A Picture by Lena Goldfinch
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Wish You were Italian by Kristin Rae
When I'm With You by Cecilia Gray
Heart Song by Desiree Williams
Conception by Jennifer Hartz

In Summer (sing song from Olaf in Frozen)
What I hope to accomplish in June
~ Relax, spend time with family, plant flowers, walk my dog Princess every day, exercise and lose weight, etc.
~ Go to Tennessee and Florida!
~ Catch up on reading
~ Get ahead on blog posts
~ Keep playing my flute and work more on playing the keyboard

That will do for now!
What was May like for you? What do you hope to accomplish in June?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Armchair BEA - Day 5

This is the last day of Armchair BEA:( I had so much fun writing posts on this weeks topics and reading other bloggers thoughts on them!
Today the topic is Middle Grade/Young Adult
So, I thought that I would share some of my favorite YA books (that I have read) that have released this year and links to my review just in case your interested.
Remnants Season of Wonder by Lisa T. Bergren
Heart Song by Desiree Williams
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Wish You were Italian by Kristen Rae
Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

There are definitely many YA books that I love so here are a few favorites
River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren
A Charmed Life by Jennie B. Jones
Melanie Dickerson's books (I need to review them!)
Tigers Curse (Also need to review)
There are many many more, but there are a few!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blog Tour - Heart Song by Desiree Williams

Heart Song – Book 1 Blurb

In Aldonnia, the evil of Varkadon overflows its borders. War ravages the lands…
For as long as eighteen year-old Alanna can remember she’s lived in hiding, sealed off from the outside world. Despite a future built around a steadfast rule of seclusion, Alanna dreams of the impossible. Of a life outside of her parents’ cabin. A life with more for company than just birds and woodland creatures. A life she knows deep down is impossible for someone with gifts like hers.
That all changes the day Alanna finds a man floating face down in a stream. Despite her parents’ warnings, Alanna pulls the injured man out of the water and heals him with her elemental talents. Just another good deed. Until the man wakes and Alanna realizes so much more has happened than simply a life saved. The healing she performed on the stranger bound her soul to Jerric, the prince of Aldonnia.
Alanna’s heart wants to keep the prince, but duty and destiny intervene. Alanna’s world is rocked as her parents are lost. Left in the care of family she didn’t know, Alanna learns more than she wanted to about the evil threatening the lands. There is much more behind her parents’ drive to protect. Alanna learns her gifts were bestowed in order to fulfill a greater purpose. A greater calling. One her enemies seek to destroy at all cost.
Alanna’s choice is clear. To either ignore her destiny and remain hidden, or boldly fight to keep what sings to her heart.

Book Links

          Ebooks available for purchase      at:AmazonBarnes & Noble, Kobo (link coming soon), iBooks (link coming soon), and Smashwords.

Author Bio

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.
You can find out more about Desiree and her books at

Author Links

Check out Desiree William's blog for some great teasers, an excerpt, a post about her writing process, and more awesomeness!

Now My Review
5 Stars
I was hooked from the first page, I could just tell that I was going to enjoy reading it. Let's just say I was not disappointed! Heart Song was a truly amazing book, and quickly became a favorite! I loved everything about it, and you should all read it ASAP because my review can not do justice to its amazingness!

Cue fangirling and extra star!!
 And now I'll try to tame down my excitement, and not spoil anything (don't blame me, that would take out half of the fun of reading it).

First of all I loved the characters. They all played an important role and have a place in the bookish part of my heart. Alanna was so strong, determined, caring, and an all around wonderful heroine. She was always ready to do what was best and right for everyone. Even after being kept hidden and the hardships she had to go through, she remained strong! I loved watching her and her gifts grow and blossom. Jerric was also amazing, he was so protective over Alanna and so loving. Their relationship was so true and amazing - together forever! Their bond was exceptional and  such a blessing from the Lord. It enabled them to rely on each other for strength, encouragement, hope, power, and more.

I appreciated how much the other characters in the book were also so well developed and played a big role in the development of the story as well. Her parents were wonderful, always trying to protect her even to the point of endangering themselves. There were also many good and loyal friends that she met along the way. They all helped the book become even more amazing. Emotions were also well displayed, which is very important in any book, but especially this one seeing as how that helped and triggered their gifts.

The setting was amazing and well thought out. I loved the new "world" and the politics, people, kingdoms, gifts, descriptions, and everything that came along with it. I loved how everything was based on faith! From Alanna and Jerric's bond, to their gifts, to their actions, they relied on the Lord for it all. Alanna's destiny is set. Will she be able to follow her calling and fulfill it?

All of this combined to make an exceptional and amazing new book called Heart Song! There was a richness about it that came from a constant current of faith, love, and hope all throughout the book. There is something for everyone in Heart Song - great love story, hope and faith, friendship, discoveries, surprises, action, magic like gifts, and so much more! Pick it up and read it, I promise you won't regret it! You will most likely have moments of reading where you just can't stop smiling (I just finished the book - right before I wrote this - and I still can't stop), laugh out loud moments, and moments that just make you feel the emotions of the characters. Truly Amazing, and I can't wait to read the next one!

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Armchair BEA - Day 4

I'm having so much fun with Armchair BEA, I'm really enjoying writing about all of these fun topics!

Beyond the Borders
One of the reasons that I love to read so much is because books can transport us to other places. There are so many places that I will never get to physically go to, but through books I can go anywhere from Europe (I'm fascinated with all things Europe), to the past, to a fantasy or future world, etc. That is, perhaps, one of my favorite things about reading - it opens up a whole new world of imagination, possibilities, sites, and experiences. It allows me to be someone else, or to live through the eyes of someone else. It crosses beyond the border of my life and into another.

I also love learning about other countries, cultures, and people all over the world, whether that's through books or in Geography class (last year, and my favorite high school class ever).

Going beyond borders from a bloggers standpoint is always really cool as well. I find it so amazing that people all over the world are able to see my thoughts about a book, my points, and opinions. I can get to know them from all the way across the world, and they can get to know me through my words. It never ceases to amaze me, when I check stats and audience on my blog (just for fun), that I see so many countries listed there and I get a little thrill!

While we're speaking of going beyond the borders, I'll be doing just that this summer, as I go to Romania on a mission trip with a small group of people at my Church. I'm so excited to share God's love with the children and teens there!:)

I think I'll stop there, but this is a topic that I could go on and on about. While I can't list all of the books that have crossed the borders, considering it would be a very long list, here are some that I've read since I started blogging (including links to my review in case you're interested).
Heart Song by Desiree Williams
Climbing the Stairs - Padma Venkatraman - About an Indian teens struggle to live her dream, as well as her family and some very interesting Indian culture.
April and the Dragon Lady by Lensey Namioka - about a Chinese american family, includes some interesting Chinese culture.
River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren - fourteenth century Italy
Season of Wonder (Remnants Series #1) by Lisa T. Bergren - dystopian
Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Anomaly by Krista McGee - dystopian - dystopian
Cress by Marissa Meyer - The Common Wealth
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson 
The Movement of Crowns by Nadine C. Keels
A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander
Future Savior series by Jennifer Hartz (currently reading book one)

Like I said, there have been so many more, but there are a few.

What about you? What do you think about going beyond borders? Have you ever gone beyond borders, and what books have taken you beyond borders?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Armchair BEA Day 3

Expanding Blogging Horizons
If you compare the horizon of you get from your porch to the horizon you can see from the tower of a castle, I am looking at the horizon from my porch. Maybe you would say that I'm just not that adventurous. 

Maybe I'm scared. Maybe I just haven't had that idea that sparks my interest and ignites magical creativeness!

I will say that I enjoy writing, and I would find it so awesome if I could write a book someday (though I'd probably be to scared to try to publish it). For now though, I'm happy right where I am - living, reading, and blogging!

How have you expanded your blogging horizons?

Novellas/Short Stories
Tiny but Mighty! Novellas can be just as amazing and powerful as a "normal" sized novel, it all depends on the story and.... what else?
THE WRITING - right!

For this topic I'm going to put a list of all the Novellas I have read (and loved), I'll provide a link to my review if I've read it since I started blogging, just in case anyone is interested
so without further ado...
Tributary and Bourne - both by Lisa T. Bergren in the River of Time series
 The Movement of Crowns, The Movement of Rings, and The Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels - series of novellas
Match Made in Texas - four novellas in one
Take A Picture by Lena Goldfinch
A Hero's Promise, and Fairchild's Lady by Roseanna M. White
Double Crossed by Ally Carter
The Prince by Kiera Cass
Shift by Kathy and Brendan Reichs

These are all amazing books, and they all deserve so much more credit! There are also so many more that I need to read, but haven't gotten a chance to yet!

What's your opinion of novellas? What are some of your favorites?

Armchair BEA Day 2

Author Interaction
Before I started blogging at the beginning of this year, I'm kind of ashamed to admit that I was one of those people who thought that authors were untouchable - so awesome and someone you couldn't talk to. Since I started blogging I've realized how completely wrong that is! Authors are people just like us, they just have an incredibly amazing talent with words. Most of them even enjoy getting to know their readers (at least some of them, it would be really hard to know them all) and all of the ones I have been fortunate enough to interact with have been so kind and wonderful. I've learned that I don't need to get quite so nervous when I'm contacted by an author or publicist, though I've still never contacted one of them first (and possibly never will), and have never met one in person. I have come to love participating in blog tours, conducting interviews, reading and reviewing their books, meeting debut authors, etc.

I will admit that there are some authors, whose books I have already read, that I would possibly be afraid to interact with because I liked their book so much! I'm sure I'd be fine after I calmed down from the initial surprise and shock though!

Some of my favorite interactions with authors have been the interviewing, the emails:), the comments on my blog or likes on Goodreads. I also must admit that I get all happy when an author follows me in some way on my blog! I probably get a little to excited over all of those at times!

What are some of your views and experiences with interacting with authors? Any advise?

More Than Just Words
I'm pretty sure that we've all hear the expression - A picture is worth a thousand words. It may be cliche at times, but I have to admit that it's true! A picture can mean so many different things it's all about perspective and how you look at it.

Where am I going with this? Well some books have pictures, some have audio, multimedia, etc. These are all unique book experiences that can play a huge part in how we, the readers, see the book. 

I, personally have never listened to an audio book before, I always prefer to read the actual book, so let's talk about pictures and such. While the books I read usually don't have pictures in them, pictures can be a very nice touch. They help the reader see everything in their mind in a clearer way, or see something that the reader has never really seen before. For many books the cover is a great example of a picture worth a thousand words! Everyone may perceive it in different ways when they first see it, then have a new view of it after they read the book- it's all in perspective. I also like the list of songs, the diary entry, or the drawing,  occasionally found in some books. They add something unique and fun to the book and usually have a significant meaning or reason for being there.

What do you think about books being more than just words?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Armchair BEA

I'm deciding (kind of last minute) to participate in Armchair BEA! It sounds very fun and I'm excited to participate and meet new bloggers. Find out more about Armchair BEA here.

This is mainly for all of you who haven't seen my blog yet. I'll pick five of the ten listed!

1. Please tell us a little about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?
 I am Lakin from the U.S. I have been blogging since January 2014, because I wanted to share my love of books with other book lovers, and meet said book lovers (online through blogs of course). I had been following multiple book blogs for a year or two before, and I thought that it looked really fun. It took me a while to bring up the nerve to start my own though!

2. What genre do you read the most? I love to read ______________.
I am teen, so I read a lot of YA. I also love Christian fiction, especially Historical. I love to read, because it allows me to go to a whole different world and live through the characters in the book.

3. What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like?
My favorite reading space is the gazebo at my grandparents house. I love to read outside, so I also like the glider swing type thing we have in our yard too.

4. What is your favorite blogging resource?
I love Goodreads! I can get a picture of the book, description, links, and review all in one place. Then all I have to do is copy the HTML of my review and paste it into my post!

5. What book would you love to see as a movie?
River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren!

What about you?

Second Topic is Literature

Literature can be described or seen in many different ways. Some believe that only classics should be considered literature. Some say that all books, written words, and songs are literature.

For me, literature is all books, stories, written words, songs, spoken words etc. that inspire or move a person. If it moves the reader/listener in any way, it is literature, and I will call it that. It can be eloquent and written in 16th century English, or every other word may need to be looked up in a dictionary. It might be written in a simple style and easy to understand. Some of the best literature includes the books that I read every single day. The books that make  a difference in how I think, feel, the ones that inspire and move me. I love it when books inspire me - inspiration is one of the best things that can come from a book. 

Literature can be any and every type of book, and so much more! It's all up to you!

What do you think when you think of literature? Has any literature inspired you or sparked you with inspiration?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Week of Wonder

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.

When I'm With You by Cecilia Gray

Other Posts
Top Ten Friendship Books
WoW - Truth be Told by Carol Cox

Books of the Bible read

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews, where you show what books you got during the week.
This is a crazy month, but I did receive and get quite a few books this week!

Books Received
Heart Song (Heart Song Tril... Conception (Future Savior, #1) Unleashed (Heroes of the Ho...
Heart Song by Desiree Williams
Conception (Future Savior Series) by Jennifer Hartz
Unleashed (Heroes of the Horde Series) by Jennifer Hartz

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Truth Be Told by Carol Cox

Truth Be ToldTruth Be Told by Carol Cox

Truth Be Told
Wild West Romance and Mystery from Carol Cox
When Amelia Wagner takes over the running of her father's newspaper in Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on the paper's commitment to reporting only the truth. But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have consequences. Her father's revealing articles about Great Western Investment
Company's business methods have caught the notice of the wrong person, and pressure mounts for Amelia to retract her father's statements.
Determined to find the truth, Amelia goes through her father's notes and begins to interview members of the community. She can't seem to shake Benjamin Stone, a Great Western employee who's been assigned to keep tabs on her for the good of the company.
The more Ben and Amelia learn, the more Amelia's father's claims appear to be accurate. In fact, it's probably worse than he realized. Even Ben is beginning to wonder if he's become a pawn in the workings of a corrupt empire. But Great Western isn't about to stand for a female reporter and one of their own men bringing down their lucrative schemes. Working against time, and never knowing what danger lurks around the next corner, Ben and Amelia set out to reveal all they've discovered before Great Western silences them for good.

Why I'm Waiting
I have read and loved two other books by Carol Cox and can't wait for this one to come out. I mean, who doesn't love a good mystery?

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Top Ten Books About Friendship

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 - Ten Books About Friendship

Season of Wonder (The Remna... Waterfall (River of Time, #1) A Beauty So Rare (Belmont M... Better off Friends Sweeter Than Birdsong (Sadd...

Remnants Season of Wonder - All of the Remnants and Knights are best friends. They have a special bond, they can sense each others presence,  are always there for each other, always have each others backs (literally), and they work very well together (to save human kind). What more could best friends be?

Waterfall - Gabriella and Lia Betarrini are sisters. And best friends. They traveled back in time to fourteenth century Italy together and got separated. They did everything they could to find and protect each other, and be there for each other through everything that comes with traveling through time (and being around a Marcello and a Luca!).

A Beauty So Rare - Eleanor and Marcus had a beautiful friendship. They could talk about anything and everything from plants, to cooking, to helping others, to things that no one else knew, and eventually their biggest secrets.

Better off Friends - Levi and Macallan were BFFs since the day they met. The kind of BFFs who can talk about anything, have inside jokes, and are always there for each other.

Sweeter than Birdsong - Kate and Ben had a great friendship that enabled Kate to come out of her shell, and them to work together for a great cause.

The Help Anomaly (Anomaly #1) Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1) Fangirl

The Help - One of the things I loved about this book was the friendships that developed through the tough circumstances of the racial south, and what a difference such friendships could make.

Anomaly - The friendships that formed were very real and they risked everything in order to keep them. Trust was a huge role in the friendships in Anomaly.

Cress - As the group working together to save the Common Wealth from the evil queen Levana grows with each book, their friendships strengthen as they fight together, go through life situations together, decide what's best, make sacrifices for each other, learn to love, and more.

Gallagher Girls Series - This is a perfect undercover spy friendship series. They girls work so well together spying, staying undercover, and solving everything. They are always there for each other and their friendship is amazing!

Fangirl - Fangirl was full of unique friendships. From sister to sister, daughter to parent, friend to friend, or a friendship that becomes a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship - Fangirl had it all.

Monday, May 19, 2014

When I'm With You by Cecilia Gray

When I’m With You (The Jane Austen Academy Series, #3)When I’m With You by Cecilia Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I’m With You Goodreads Summary
Kat is destined to be a star and her big break has arrived at last! As the assistant to a celebrity classmate on the set of a feature film, she's going to show everyone she has what it takes. That is, until she discovers pursuing her dreams may mean forfeiting her heart. Unless she can find a way to have both...

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is guys. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And they're about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down...

Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph.

My Review
I love Jane Austin, and this is a very good series of Jane Austin retellings. I read and enjoyed the first two, as well as this one!

Kat was a very strong and determined character who knows who she is on stage, but feels like she needs a script off stage. She dreams big, wanting to be a movie star, so when movie star Josh asks her to be his personal assistant for his current film she can't say no, even it is during Christmas break.

As Kat met Henry and Izzy, two more movie stars in the film, and befriended the cast and crew of the horror film, she started to feel like she actually fit in for once. Josh always left her lists of stuff to do, Henry just wanted to be able to be himself and Izzy was, kind of, well Izzy around filming.

I loved how Kat went through the process of figuring out who she really was as a person, off stage. Family, friends, honesty, trust, respect - are those prices she is willing to pay for fame?  The message of realizing that you can be a star and shine bright no matter what your doing or where you are - it's what's inside that counts, really shone through in this book!

I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley. This did not effect my review in any way, and all thoughts and opinions were my own.

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 18, 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.

The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Wish You were Italian by Kristin Rae

Other posts
Top Ten Books I Almost Put Down but Didn't
Stacking the Shelves

 I think I finally got a chance to figure out what books are going where so far for Bookish Bingo!
Remnants Season of Wonder by Lisa Tawn Bergren - Strong parent child relationships
A Beauty So Rare by Tamara Alexander - About plants or wilderness (while not completely about plants, they were an important part of the novel)
Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg - Set in High School
Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels - Written by a woman
Take A Picture by Lena Goldfinch - New to you author
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt - A YA book
Wish You were Italian by Kristin Rae - Featuring travel
The Fault in our Stars by John Green - Has been made into a movie

Clean Sweep ARC Challenge 2014
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Wish You were Italian by Kristin Rae

Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels
Take A Picture by Lena Goldfinch
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Wish You were Italian by Kristin Rae

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews, where you show what books you got during the week.
This is a crazy month, but I did receive and get quite a few books this week!

Received from Netgalley and Bethany House
Truth Be Told Meant to be Mine (A Porter ... Here to Stay (Where Love Be...
Truth Be Told by Carol Cox
Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade
Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

Bought (on sale for $0.99)
The Courier of Caswell Hall Love Finds You in Liberty, ... Lock, Stock, and Over a Bar...
The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson
Love Finds You in Liberty Indiana by Melanie Dobson
Lock, Stock, and Over A Barrel by Melanie Carlson

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . . #2)Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wish You Were Italian Pippa is in Italy for the summer and, despite her parents’ wishes, she has no intention of just studying the local art! She has a list of things of her own to do: from swimming in the Mediterranean Sea to getting a makeover – and falling for an Italian boy! As Pippa explores the dramatic ruins of Rome and Pompeii, she is swept into her own drama with two guys: an irresistible local she knows is nothing but trouble and a cute American archaeology student . . . Will she find her true love?

The perfect reckless romance to enjoy whether you are home or abroad.(

My Review
Oh, wow, Wish You were Italian was an amazing book! Every time I think about it, it puts a smile on my face (day after I finished it). This is a book that I would read again, um, like pretty much anytime I feel like a little Italy and Darren.

Why you ask (as if the description isn't enough)?

Italy! I love Europe, and Italy is definitely a place that I would love to go to if I ever get a chance to travel around Europe. I already knew that before I read the book, but now I really really want to go! The descriptions were amazing! I loved how the author described everything and made me feel like I was really there as the main character.

Pippa was very strong and witty, and this was a great coming of age story about finding yourself and who you really are. I love stories like that, and this one was a very good one, as Pippa took a stand for what she wanted to do with her life. The photography was a really nice touch too.

I loved the friendship in this book. Pippa's Grandma was always there for her, and more of a parent to her than her own mother was. Her best friend was also always there for her and made a journal/goal book for Pippa to take with her - I'll just say that was really nice, and interesting. Then she made new friends in Italy (can't tell you all about them, or I'd ruin the book).

There was Bruno. Then there was Darren! Figured out my favorite yet? Well, Bruno is the bad boy who has some issues (I'm not into the bad boys), but he did have some nice qualities. Can Pippa help him turn his life around? Darren is an archaeologist from America, and he was pretty much amazing! He was so sweet and kind and smart, I'll stop there.

Wish You were Italian definitely made me swoon a little! I was smiling and saying aww, and laughing right along, and turning more pages of this un put downable book! The banter between Pippa and the boys (especially one in particular) was amazing! While great banter isn't the only thing that makes up a great book, it is one of the qualities I look for, and this book did not disappoint.

While this book is fun and at times light, there are family issues and heavy things, but they were essential to the book. (I cried a lot toward the beginning of the end, just a warning).

Overall I didn't like this book. Just kidding, weren't you paying attention? I loved it! It was a wonderful transportation to Italy, amazing descriptions and sites included, Italians and Italian (the language)and Italian accents, friendship, family, finding and standing up for yourself, finding love, and Darren!

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley, but was not required to review it. This in no way affected my honest opinion of this book.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life Update

So, I had to take two AP exams. An AP Language and Composition one last week, and an AP US History one yesterday. I was forced to step away from my very interesting books, and study:(

But now I'm back! I'm definitely ready to enjoy Spring (minus the allergies), And tackle my TBR pile and make a huge dent in it!


Now I must go write the reviews that are calling for my attention before I go back to reading. It's good to be back!

Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

The Chapel WarsThe Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Chapel Wars Goodreads Summary
Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?

And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is Holly running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money—fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.

My Review
Chapel Wars was a very unique read. I loved how fresh it was! It takes a classic part of typical Las Vegas and puts a whole new spin on it as well as incorporating it on a teen level. I mean, every seventeen year old must have a demanding job being in charge of a business. Right?

No? Well, Holly does! That's right! When her grandpa died he left the Rose of Sharon Wedding Chapel to his seventeen year old grand daughter, Holly, convinced that she was the only one who could possibly save it.

I was very impressed with how Holly handled all of the stress that came with owning the chapel - being her parents boss, doubling the number of weddings they performed, raising enough money so save the chapel etc., - going to school, her friends... Dax. She coped so well with all of that stress!

Dax. Dax was not perfect and he had his own issues, but I have to say - Aww they were perfect for each other (whether they knew it or not). Let me just say that Holly's grandfather made a really smart move when he brought them together! I love when books have relationships with fantastic banter!

Anyway, this was a good book with some hilarious laugh out loud moments and the ending was just perfect. While I didn't love everything about the book, it was mostly realistic and definitely unique.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. This did not effect my review in any way, and I was not required to review it.

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