Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Books Your Recently Added To Your TBR List

  Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we pick the top ten things for the topic of the week.  I really enjoy writing these posts, because I love lists, and this is a great way to look back at books I've read and toward the books I want to read!
Topic: Top Ten Books Your Recently Added To Your TBR List

I'm going to use Goodreads, and go with the first 10 - this one should be easy!

Homecoming Baron Of Godsmere (The Feud #1) Royal Date Center Ice Dauntless (Valiant Hearts, #1)
Homecoming by Kate Hasbrouck
Baron of Godsmere by Tamara Leigh
Royal Date by Sariah Wilson
Center Ice by Cate Cameron
Dauntless by Dina Sleiman

A Refuge at Highland Hall (Edwardian Brides #3) Silenced (Alaskan Courage, #4) Shattered (Alaskan Courage, #2) Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1) Wild Hearts (If Only . . ., #4)
A Refuge at Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky
Silenced by Dani Pettrey
Shattered by Dani Pettrey
Submerged by Dani Pettrey
Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart

What are the most recent books you added to your TBR list?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon: Interrogation

Sadly, the Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon has ended. I want to say a huge thank you to the wonderful hosts over at Olivia’s Catastrophe and Bookshelf Reflections. You guys are awesome, and I had so much fun with this! I’m going to be honest I didn’t have time over the weekend to get the weekend challenge questions written and posted, so they are still to come. I promise!

But here are my totals

Goal 50 pages a day = 350 pages

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman - 374 pages (finished)
Homecoming by Kate Hasbrouck - 275 pages (finished)
Royal Date - 254 pages (finished)
A Separate Peace - 35 pages

Total books read - 3
Total pages read - 938 pages
That’s 558 pages over my goal!

Wow! I didn’t even realize I read that many pages until I added it all up! That is definitely more than I normally read in a normal school week (1-2 books), and in case you can’t tell I’m kind of surprised! I challenged myself and succeeded! I also wrote a Scholarship essay and kept up with school work.

Now for the interrogation!

1. What was your page reading goal? How many pages did you end up reading?
My page reading goal was 350 pages, but I ended up reading 938! So Surprising, I know!

2. What books did you read?
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman - 374 pages (finished)
Homecoming by Kate Hasbrouck - 275 pages (finished)
Royal Date - 254 pages (finished)
A Separate Peace - 35 pages

3. What book was your most/least favourite?
Most Favourite - both Homecoming and Royal Date
Least Favourite - A Separate Peace

4. What challenge did you find the hardest to do?

5. What challenge was the most fun to do?
All of them!

6. Did you make any new blogging friends?
Yes, I discovered a few new blogs to follow! Yay friends!

7. What was your biggest reading distraction? How did you get over it?
My biggest reading distractions were school and my busy weekend. I was actually able to read quite a lot at school, I usually met my 50 page goal before I got home, then I read a lot at night. My weekend, especially Sunday was a little more challenging. Luckily for this challenge, the three children I babysit were really good and allowed to watch tv so I was able to get some of my reading in then.

8. What was your reading schedule? Were you a morning or evening reader? Week or weekend?
As we already established, I was a week reader. I think I was a kind of sporadic reader, reading anytime I could at school and then at night.

9. Are you and XYZ still friends? Do you still want to keep hanging out after the read-a-thon is over or will you lock them away somewhere to maybe contact them again when the next read-a-thon comes around (if ever)?
Of course we’re still friends!

10. Would you do this again?
I would definitely do this again. I had so much fun with these challenges and acceding my goal! This was my first Read-A-Thon, but certainly not my last, and I can’t wait to do another one!

I loved getting to meet some awesome new bloggers and I had so much fun reading everyone’s answers! I’ll definitely be participating in more Read-A-Thons in the future! Thank you again to you amazing hosts!

Discovering Sophie by Cindy Roland Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
Sophie Kendrick's father has gone missing in the jungles of Costa Rica. Desperate for answers to his whereabouts, she decides to search for him herself. She hires Jack Mathison to guide her through the jungle, but the two of them seem to be at odds from the moment they meet. Sophie finds Jack conceited, sarcastic, and worse, very good-looking. He is totally not her type, so how could she possibly be attracted to him? Likewise, Jack can't wait to be rid of Sophie and her optimistic outlook. Seriously, how could someone be that nice? Jack isn't looking for a relationship, and finds the electrifying chemistry between the two of them completely annoying. His job is to lead Sophie to a remote village deep inside the rainforest- her fathers last known location. Still, the jungle is a dangerous place and Jack does everything in his power to protect Sophie, but who will protect his heart?

My Review
I had really been looking forward to reading this book for a while, because of the interesting synopsis and setting! I’m not going to lie, I also like the shoes;)

So, first off I want to tell you how awesome the setting is. Costa Rica sounds beautiful! The author did an amazing job describing things realistically, making Costa Rica really come to life and burst with full colors and explosive (figuratively speaking, of course) plants and animals! I enjoyed the journeys in the jungle and the native people they met along the way, and Hector the other guide was funny and very welcoming of Sophie! (Don’t worry I’ll get to Jack!)

Which brings me to Sophie - a pediatrician who is searching for her father. I liked Sophie, she was realistic and relatable. She was strong in her faith, witty, and super optimistic - a bright ray of sunshine through the small slits between tree leaves! The only thing that got on my nerves at times was that she had so much trouble breaking things off with her “boyfriend,” who obviously wasn’t right for her (and she knew it).

Jack… brooding, witty, protective, handsome Jack! He had some issues to work through, his relationship with God was up in the air, and he was super irritable at the beginning. Then Sophie starts to break through the ice, and their attraction finally gets to him and they can’t ignore each other any longer! Sophie was very patient with him, and very understanding, she had just the right touch for getting through his thick, slightly arrogant head! And oh, the witty banter that ensued between the two! Seriously I laughed and giggled - it was great! Their attraction was palpable!

What didn’t I love about this novel? Well, there were some situations when circumstances could have been eased and conflicts avoided had they been more open and honest, and played more onto their relationship instead of focusing so much on the attraction. Don’t get me wrong - the attraction was great and I didn’t want it to be different -  it’s just that some conflict could have been avoided if they had been more open and completely honest with each other.

There was plenty of action, some mystery, adventure, beautiful morals, interesting and relatable characters, clean sweet romance, and laugh out loud moments. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews. It's great for showing off the fantastic reads we added to our shelves in the last week!

Spelled by Betsy Schow

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1) The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us #1)
Submerged by Dani Pettrey
The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Accidentally Married
Accidentally Married by Victorine E. Lieske

What books did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, March 27, 2015

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive -- alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

My Review
These Broken Stars had been on my TBR list for a while, and I thought that the Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon presented the perfect opportunity for me to read it. So I bought it especially for the Read-A-Thon. I have mixed feelings about this book - over all I liked it. Because I read it with the Read-A-Thon I have a character cast and a playlist you can check out (my first of both by the way)!

I found the first half of this book, and the very end to be my very favorite parts! I thought it was kind of cute how Tarver and Lilac met, and didn’t realize who the other was (in his case) or pretended not to realize who the other person was (in her case). Their attraction to each other might have started when they saw each other across the room, but thankfully it developed into something more real and true.

Lilac LaRue was a rich girl, from the “right” kind of family, and circulating at the top of the social circles. Tarver is the son of a teacher and a poet, a war hero. This, along with any other match, is one that Monsieur LaRue just wouldn’t approve of, and Lilac and Tarver both know it. But, what I liked was the kind of twist on Romeo and Juliet feel. It wasn’t over done. There was no family feud, they don’t kill themselves, and their relationship is a lot more believable and realistic (thank goodness, and just to clarify I do not like Romeo and Juliet at all)! Yet there were some principles that were the same, as circumstances/stations would try to keep them apart, the dad was...well not a ball of sunshine, certain things that happen are slightly reminiscent of said story, and this was a beautiful love story.

I found the universe, and the discoveries they made to be very intriguing. This book definitely kept me turning pages and staying up late. I just couldn’t seem to put it down - my one more page would turn into one more chapter then another. As Tarver and Lilac traversed the rugged terrain after the wreck, they both show unexpected, surprising, and dare I say inspiring determination, strength, and perseverance. I appreciated the way they worked together and helped each other, even at the points where they didn’t get along.
I appreciated the character growth too. Tarver and Lilac go through a lot in this book, they go through relationship ups and downs, losses, illness, self doubt and so much more, and I enjoyed seeing them make it through to the other side. Their relationship was… unique. You’ll have to read to find out because all I’m telling you is that there is plenty of bickering and sassy banter in the beginning, then intense emotions in the last half. I rooted for their relationship, but with that said, I didn’t approve of all of their actions. Just because it seems like the world is coming to an end doesn’t mean they needed to rush into that. But, I kept reading, and they really and truly do love each other, and there was a beauty to their love - how they would do anything to save the other, even if it means losing theirself in the process.

The ending was satisfying enough, and I really did enjoy the journey, even if I was beginning to wonder at points (that I can’t discuss without spoiling the outcome). There was honestly, a beautiful and realistic depth buried into this novel that was well… I can’t think of another word...beautiful.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

From the Start by Melissa Tagg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn't kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays...until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend's hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he's lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he's never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it's like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn't part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that's ever happened to them?

My Review
I think this might be my favorite Melissa Tagg novel yet! I enjoyed Three Little Words, and highly recommend that you read it first, so you can meet the Walkers and read Seth and Ava’s story, first though.

While this novel had light hearted moments, and entertaining witty banter, it also had a depth that was beautifully written and interwoven flawlessly into the story. Healing is a very important aspect of this book, whether it be from past hurts and insecurities, cancer (not a main character, just so you know), a life changing injury, or a heart wrenching loss. Add in aspects such as figuring out where God is leading you, finding your calling and inspiration in life, learning to trust, and you have a very fulfilling story to read. I found myself rooting for all of the characters in From the Start, from Colton and Kate, to a little boy, the other Walker family members, a foster teen, and an alone and pregnant young adult. Every single character quickly wedged their way into my heart, and I found myself hoping and praying for them. For there is a beautiful faith, hope, and resilience to be found  within the pages of From the Start. Some may have to start over again from the beginning, but it is NOT the end!

I really liked Kate and Colton. Kate was determined to do something to make a difference, just like her mother did, but what if she is meant to do so in a different way than she has planned? I completely related to Kate’s wish to make a difference, and her lack of football knowledge (I’m the one who didn’t exactly realize there was a difference between College and Pro football until last summer - not my dad’s proudest moment lol)! With that said, I still appreciated the football aspects of From the Start, and found it very interesting. Colton was so sweet, and really enjoyed seeing him grow and change in small town Maple Valley. As he discovered family, and what new direction he was meant to turn his life in, he became even more likeable!

There were so many sweet moments, humorous moments, heartfelt and heartwrenching moments, and so much more! I feel that Ms. Tagg has many more heartfelt and entertaining, real life stories in store for us through the lives of the Walker family, and I can’t wait to read them!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinions, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
Ava Kingsley and Seth Walker might be the most unlikely friends ever. The only thing these two polar opposites have in common is a knack for wordsmithing. Back in college, they were known for their written sparring in the campus newspaper's popular "He Says/She Says" column.

At their ten-year college reunion, they pick up right where they left off. Except this time their squabbling leads to a surprising turn: friendship and a year-long exchange of emails. So when Ava approaches a crossroads in her athletics department career in Minnesota, Seth is quick to offer the open apartment above the restaurant he's been remodeling in Maple Valley, Iowa.

Ava doesn't know where her career will lead her next, but she's starting to suspect she might see Seth as more than a pen pal. Which would be exciting...except for the fact that he only sees her as a friend.

As Maple Valley grows on her, Ava wonders if there might be something here for her even though Seth is unavailable. And maybe, just maybe, after all the words the two of them have exchanged over the years, they'll finally be able to say the three that matter most.

Three Little Words is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Melissa Tagg's new series about the charismatic Walker family and the endearing town of Maple Valley!

My Review
I read a book by Ms. Tagg last year, and really enjoyed. Ever since I heard that she was writing this series, I have been looking forward to reading it.

Three Little Words was a perfect e-novella to start off the Walker Family series! Since it was a novella, and the summary does such a good job telling you what it’s about, and because you should read it for yourself, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

Ava and Seth were realistic and witty. I enjoyed their journey and the fact that they had so much history together. From their past rivalry/arguing College relationship, to their chance meeting, super sweet and awesome emails, to their newfound friendship that they just might wish to turn out to be more, they took us on quite a wonderful and heartwarming journey. I loved the theme of following your dreams, yet not being afraid of new ones.
The pacing did not feel rushed, and I was able to get to know the characters. I was thrilled that it was such a well developed novella!

I can’t wait to read more about the Walker family! I met some pretty interesting siblings in this one!

(Review of From the Start book #1 coming soon)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon: Cast

Now, a cast for These Broken Stars...should be fun! If my buddy will let me I'll get a picture of him too! I don't think he'll be to shy for the camera though.

(Reading updates to be updated later)

Lilac Larue - Jacqueline Emerson - Red hair, green dress, pale, pretty

Tarver - Theo James - Handsome, dark hair, military type I spent way to long trying to decide on which pictures! Finally I just picked two of the first ones, one with facial hair and one with no, because Tarver does both!
Image result for theo james

And that's pretty much it for characters at the moment. Anna was there for, like, 1 chapter, but they're pretty much on their own at the moment.

Cazien - Colin O'Donoghue! 
My buddy for the week! Yep, he had fun posing for the camera;) I thought this one showed off his charming personality and looks. (Yep, of course it took me forever to choose - you know me so well...so indecisive!)

Who would play the characters in the book you are currently reading?

Waiting on Wednesday: Spelled

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we share a book that we are waiting for. This post is so fun because it helps us stay on the lookout for books!

Release Date: June 2, 2015
Goodreads Summary
Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

Why I'm Waiting
I love retellings, and I love the Wizard of Oz, but I've never read a retelling of the Wizard of Oz before! Spelled sound very interesting, and can't wait to check it out! I also love the shoes on the cover!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon: Day 2 Playlist

Today is day 2 of the Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon! And whew! I got this post up!

My goal - read at least 50 pages a day

These Broken Stars - 50 pages
A Separate Peace (for school) - 10 pages
Total = 60 pages

So far today (It’s only almost 5)
These Broken Stars - 60 pages
A Separate Peace - 10 pages
Total = 70 pages

Grand total = 130 pages

I’m currently reading These Broken Stars, so here are the songs that I would match to it at this point

Keep Your Eyes Open by Taylor Swift - I mean they have crashed on an unknown planet, and they kind of feel like people are watching them. I, for one, would definitely be keeping my eyes open!

A Thousand miles by Vanessa Carlton - First of all, they fell OUT of the sky. Second, of all they meet in a crowd! Third, they keep walking, and walking, and walking. Fourth, they don’t feel like they belong in each others world’s. And, they don’t want the other to know that they like them!

Stronger by Mandisa - These two are seriously strong!

Mr. Know it All and  Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson - So, Lilac things that Tarver is a know it all at times because he’s kind of in his element, and she isn’t. With that said, she is much stronger than is expected from someone of her station in society.

What songs would you match to the book you’re currently reading?

Top Ten Books From My Childhood That I Would Love To Revisit

  Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we pick the top ten things for the topic of the week.  I really enjoy writing these posts, because I love lists, and this is a great way to look back at books I've read and toward the books I want to read!
Topic: Top Ten Books From My Childhood That I Would Love To Revisit

The Entire Anne of Green Gables series (I still need to read Rilla of Ingleside) - I loved this series so much, it still holds a special place in my heart. I have already read this series so many times, but it has been about three or four years since I've read them - I miss Anne!
Anne of Green Gables (Anne ... Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Gr... Anne of the Island (Anne of... Anne of Windy Poplars (Anne... Anne's House of Dreams (Ann... Anne of Ingleside (Anne of ... Rainbow Valley (Anne of Gre...

What books would you love to revisit?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon: Pics and Cazien

Today is the very first day of my very first Read-A-Thon! Olivia's Catastrophe and Bookish Reflections are doing an amazing job of hosting this Read-A-Thon, and I just know that we are all going to have a lot of fun with it!

First off, we have pictures. Pictures of books, reading spots, etc., all for your viewing pleasure, and my torment (not really, but maybe seashells in front of my bookcase wasn't quite the smartest idea).

My bookshelf 
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This is my neatest book shelf. I have a lot more books, and way to many ebooks.

My (physical) TBR Pile
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All the books showing on the top shelf, and from The Grass is Always Greener to The Book Thief on the second shelf. Plus way to many ebooks.

Where I'll be reading this week
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If it's warm any this week, I'll be reading all I can at the first pic location. Other than that I'll be reading on my loveseat. (It's still to cool to read at my granparents gazebo.

My blogging space
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In the first pic, we have once again, my loveseat and cozy blanket. And yes that is my blog organizer and my pretty little pen holder (yes it is a gift bag that I got on my birthday, but I thought it was really pretty). On the right, we have my dad's armchair and ottoman that I like to sit in before he gets home, so I can blog and watch tv at the same time. And. yes, that is my computer.

My favourite fantasy book
Anything by Melanie Dickerson (historical fairytales close enough?) Also, the Lunar Chronicles and Tigers Curse saga.

My (physical) fantasy books sorted by colour
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Don't worry, I have more fantasy books than that! I just don't have time to take pics of my ebook fantasies. I was really surprised at how well my fantasy books go together, their colorings look so good together. In case you haven't noticed, that makes me really happy!

My reading material for this week
These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) Homecoming The Kiss of Deception (The ... 
Here are the fantasy books that I would love to get to this week. Of course I'll be lucky to get one read, considering I don't know how busy I will be. I'll start with These broken stars, which I bought last week, special for this Read-A-Thon and because it has been on my TBR list for while now. Then if The Kiss of Deception is finally available from the Library I'll read that. And I have a review copy of The Homecoming to read.

~ ~ ~ ~
Now, to have some fun answering some questions about the character I would pick to be chained to during this Read-A-Thon.
So... Sticking with a character from a fantasy book, I chose any character from The Eyes of E'veria series - Julien the Knight, Cazien the Seahorse Heir/Pirate, Princess Rynnaia, or fierce Erielle. I feel like it would be fun and interesting to be chained to any of them! For the sake of humor, I'm going to go with Cazien for this, because he so cryptic and witty.

1. Now that Cazien is chained to you, what do you want to force him to do with you? (Assuming you have his consent)
Hmmm. Cazien would have to go on a daily walk with me and my dog, have bookish conversations, tell me all about his adventures at sea, update me on the lives of all my favorite characters from E'veria, give me a hint about what Ms. Chase has in store for us in her next book, and read the same books as I'm reading so we can debate and discuss! He will be very busy;)

2. What books is Cazien reading?
Well, the books about his story, and the books I'm reading of course.

3. You've already spent 12 hours chained to Cazien. How do you feel about him now? Anything irritating you yet?
I like Cazien's humour, but sometimes it can make reading impossible. At times I feel like I'm never going to get anything read this week. But it has been so fun, and I could never call a favorite character irritating!

4. How do you spend your day with Cazien during the read-a-thon?
We take turns reading out loud, and Cazien acts out some of the scenes from the book. We argue and discuss said book. Then tried to take my dog for a walk. For snack we ate chocolate with caramel gelato and popcorn. Cazien also went to school with me (that was an entertaining explaination, let me tell you, but I'll leave that one to your imagination!), and insisted on watching a couple of movies.

5. What would your relationship with Cazien be if you got to keep him after the read-a-thon?
We would be really good friends.

6. Cazien is at your mercy. What have you always wanted to ask him? What does he answer?
Me: Tell me all of your pirate secrets?!
Cazien: Some things are better left unsaid, while some have already been told. If I was to tell you all of my secrets, and therefore become an open book, they would no longer be secrets. For what is a secret if someone else knows about? So, really I have no secrets worth telling.
(See I told you he could be cryptic!)

7. If given the chance to, would you like to go back to Cazien's world after the read-a-thon?
Yes! Yes! Yes! I would love to go E'veria and travel everywhere that the books have talked about. It would be so awesome, maybe a little dangerous, and definitely an adventure!

Now it's your turn! What are your thoughts about this? Are you participating in the read-a-thon - if so, leave a link so I can check out your posts!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

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.

Standing by China Dennington (Blog Tour)
An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

Other Posts
Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List
Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon Introduction
Waiting on Wednesday - The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Let's Talk TV

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews. It's great for showing off the fantastic reads we added to our shelves in the last week!

The Truth About Jack
The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman

These Broken Stars (Starbou...
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

What did you add to your shelves this week?