Giveaway: Atlantia Necklace

Posted on Wednesday, October 29th 2014 in Giveaway

You guys know that I have eagerly been awaiting Atlantia by Ally Condie. Well, it’s finally here! To celebrate the lovely people at Penguin Teen are giving away one of the below necklaces to celebrate.

unnamed

Please note that one of the two necklaces will randomly be selected for the winner. Now in case you haven’t heard of Atlantia, check out the book information below. Isn’t that cover gorgeous?
 

ATLANTIA BY ALLY CONDIE (OCTOBER 2014 – DUTTON)

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.”

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

 

CONTEST RULES:

  • Open to US Only
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Everyone may enter, even if you are not a follower
  • Winner will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Contest ends November 6, 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Diamonds in the Rough

Posted on Tuesday, October 28th 2014 in Review

Diamonds in the RoughTitle: Diamonds in the Rough
Author: Michelle Madow
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: October 28, 2014
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Description: "All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion and turn their lives upside down all over again. "

Goodreads | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

***

If you liked The Secret Diamonds Sisters, get ready. Diamonds in the Rough takes things to whole new level. More drama, more secrets and lies, and more camaraderie.

Peyton, Courtney, and Savannah are adjusting to life at their new school. Surprisingly Savannah is the one with the hardest time adjusting. I suppose when you think about Savannah’s personality though and how hard she tries to fit in, I guess it’s not actually that surprising. Peyton does grow a bit, but she’s still got a very long way to go and the same is true for Savannah. Courtney has always been a little adult, but I was happy to see her start being a smidge more carefree. And then there’s Madison. If you hated her in book 1, be prepared for a more sympathetic and nicer Madison. Really love where Madow has taken her character!

The best part of the novel is undoubtedly all of the drama. Holy crap! We’re really taking things to new heights here. The girls’ train wreck mother is more present in the novel and is probably the only character that I just truly do not care for. We learn more about Adrian who has always been mysterious, and I really like his character a lot. Event though Peyton has slightly matured in this novel, she takes things in an unexpected and over-the-top direction when she decides to go all Cruel Intentions on us. It was tremendously uncool of her, but did add quite a bit to the storyline.

High school is a bitch. In fact, high school could probably be a character in this novel. The Juicy Campus/Gossip Girl like message board that is sprinkled throughout the novel creates so many problems for the Diamond sisters, and watching their reactions to it is quite interesting. It also further cements Courtney as my favorite character in the novel.

Diamonds in the Rough is a superb follow up. The characters have evolved nicely, the pacing is wonderful, and with all those hidden secrets it’s really hard to put this one down. Highly recommend this series for fans of Gossip Girl, L.A. Candy, All That Glitters, and The Princess Diaries.

5 Stars

Complicit

Posted on Monday, October 27th 2014 in Review

ComplicitTitle: Complicit
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date: June 24, 2014
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Review
Description: "Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.

But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s kept hidden for years. A truth she’s not supposed to tell.

Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of this gripping psychological thriller from the William C. Morris Award-winning author of Charm & Strange. "

Goodreads | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

***

 

Complicit was disturbing. Really, really disturbing. I really enjoyed this book because psychological thrillers are right up my alley, but I already knew the plot twist going into it. I’m not even sure how I knew – I haven’t read any reviews, and the synopsis is spoiler-free, so it’s quite possible I just read the description and put the pieces together before I started reading. This was extremely unfortunate since this is the kind of book you want to go into blind.

That said, I’m not going to go into any plot specifics in this review. Suffice it to say that the plot was enjoyable and suspenseful. Even though I knew where the story was going, I wanted to keep reading and watch how everything unfolded. The journey for this book was just as great as seeing how everything ended.

The characters were good as well because they were interesting. I really wanted to know what motivated Jamie, Cate, and even their adopted mom. Nothing about this family seems to be quite right, and as we keep reading we find out that things are much more disturbing than you would’ve thought.

If you’re a psychological thriller fan, Complicit is a great book to check out. It was quite suspenseful and the story will stay with you because it’s creepy and disturbing.

4 Stars

Fairytale Fashions: A Positively Beautiful Bracelet

Posted on Friday, October 24th 2014 in Fairytale Fashions

Today’s Fairytale Fashions is a bit more serious than usual. Wait – we’re getting serious over a bracelet? Yes, yes we are. I was scrolling through my blog feed this week and this gold cuff jumped out at me. It’s a pretty bracelet, but the message on it really speaks to me:

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 8.20.03 AM

Most of you know by now that I have a YouTube channel in addition to a blog, and I spend a ton of time watching videos there. A few months ago, this Like a Girl commercial came out and I immediately related to it (I am a girl after all). In case you missed it, here it is:

Now, this is not something I’ve ever spoken about on this blog, but I do consider myself a feminist. When I was in high school, I whole-heartedly rejected the idea of feminism because I believed that gender equality was achieved and there was nothing for us to complain about. Now that I am older, I see how wrong that is (both the idea that we’re equal and that I thought of feminism as a bad thing).

When I hear someone talking about how a woman only got promoted because she’s a girl, I see red. I’ve heard that line many times from various people, so I’m not referring to a problem at a particular organization or a particular person here. If a man jumps a ring on a corporate ladder, he’s a rock star. If a woman does the same thing, it only happened because she’s a girl.

Then we have the crap that women get over management styles. If a woman is tough or challenging, she’s often described as a bitch. If a man does the same thing…well, he’s a man. Sad, but unfortunately that is how many people think.

And of course there is discrimination against pregnant women. A friend told me a story about how a pregnant woman had been hired at the company she works for (they found out she was pregnant right after she accepted the position). She was a great fit for the job, very excited about joining the team, but in less than a year she’d have to take some time off to physically recuperate from childbirth.  “No problem” said the people at my friend’s company – and they meant it. But when one of the executives found out that a pregnant person was hired to fill the position, he was livid and asked his team to find a way to undo it. They stood by their decision because she was a great candidate and threatened to resign if the exec proceeded with attempts to discriminate against pregnant women. I’m glad there are people who will stand up against discrimination, but things like this should not happen in the first place. I shouldn’t be terrified of what a child would mean for my career. But I am.

 

So, how does this tie into YA literature? One of my favorite things about YA is the plethora of strong female leads we have. Celaena Sardothian from Throne of Glass, Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, Alanna of Trebond from Song of the Lioness, Rachel Adams from Defiance, and I could go on and on. We get so many badass characters who may still care about clothes, but are also tough. They can defend themselves and they won’t apologize for it. They will accomplish their goals, even if it defies every rule society has, and I think that is such an important message to have out there.

 

Before I say farewell, I came across this ABC video discussing the Like a Girl ad. The beginning and middle of the video has some additional commentary that I thought was great as well.

Waiting on Wednesday

Posted on Wednesday, October 22nd 2014 in Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

For more books I’m looking forward to, check out the Upcoming page.

 

Fantasy

Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier (January 2015 – Henry Holt)

“Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially the one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals.

The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But what’s really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn’t possibly know—unless they actually are in her dreams?  Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute….” Goodreads.

 

 

 

New Adult

Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout (March 2015 – William Morrow)

“Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.” Goodreads.

Heir of Fire

Posted on Monday, October 20th 2014 in Review

Heir of FireTitle: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Date: September 2, 2014
Pages: 565
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Description: "Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love? "

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

***

This series, you guys! I’m sure a lot of you have already started and adore the Throne of Glass series since it’s extremely hyped up (and rightly so). Like Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire started out slowly for me.

Even though I’m already attached to the characters, we meet so many new people along the way that it takes awhile to start caring about them. As much as I like character-driven novels, they tend to be much more enjoyable once you know the majority of the players.

While the beginning is character-driven, about half way through we start to get more plot-driven. At that point, we’re pretty invested in the cast and we’re getting a ton of action so it’s a great combination! I’m not going to discuss the plot in detail here because I like to keep my reviews spoiler free, but if you’ve already read this one check out my book talk below for an in depth discussion on the plot twists and character romances.

All in all, Heir of Fire is a wonderful addition to the Throne of Glass series. My only complaint here is that the first half of the novel was very slow. Since I flew through the second half though, it balances out. Throne of Glass is probably my favorite book so far, but when I look at how much the story the has evolved it almost seems like a different story entirely! It’s not of course, but we just have so much more information about the world that we weren’t privy too originally. Definitely looking forward to the rest of Celaena’s journey, although I have no idea where we’ll end up!

4 Stars

Fairytale Fashions: A Cinderella Bath

Posted on Friday, October 17th 2014 in Fairytale Fashions

Cinderella is my favorite Disney movie. She’s actually not my favorite princess, but growing up it was definitely my favorite film. I still love when something beautiful reminds me of the classic fairytale, so you can imagine how excited I was when I walked into LUSH and saw this: 

LUSH Sparkly Pumpkin 1

Lush Sparkly Pumpkin 2

 

I am so freaking excited to use this in my bath! It’s the sparkly pumpkin bubble bar, so it should create a ton of bubbles when crumbled under running water and turn it orange. Now, I kind of wish it actually smelt like pumpkin because it’s one of my favorite scents of all time. The website describes it as having scents of “juniperberry, grapefruit and lime.” Not my favorite scent for fall by any means, but I can imagine Cinderella smelling a bit like juniperberry, so it’s not a total fail either.

Now, this is limited edition, so I’d run out to LUSH (or order online asap) if you want to get your hands on this little guy. They also have a few other cool looking things for Halloween – I pretty much picked up one of each on my last shopping trip and I really can’t wait to try them out!

Have you ever had a LUSH bath? They’re one of my favorite things in the cold weather months. Let me know if you’ll be trying this one out!

The Girl Who Never Was

Posted on Thursday, October 16th 2014 in Review

The Girl Who Never WasTitle: The Girl Who Never Was
Author: Skylar Dorset
Series: Otherworld #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date: June 1, 2014
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: For Review
Description: "THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is the story of Selkie Stewart, who thinks she’s a totally normal teenager growing up in Boston. Sure, her father is in an insane asylum, her mother left her on his doorstep—literally—when she was a baby, and she’s being raised by two ancient aunts who spend their time hunting gnomes in their Beacon Hill townhouse. But other than that her life is totally normal! She’s got an adventurous best friend who’s always got her back and an unrequited crush on an older boy named Ben. Just like any other teenager, right?

When Selkie goes in search of the mother she’s never known, she gets more than she bargained for. It turns out that her mother is faerie royalty, which would make Selkie a faerie princess—except for the part where her father is an ogre, which makes her only half of anything. Even more confusing, there’s a prophecy that Selkie is going to destroy the tyrannical Seelie Court, which is why her mother actually wants to kill her. Selkie has been kept hidden all her life by her adoring aunts, with the help of a Salem wizard named Will. And Ben. Because the boy she thinks she’s in love with turns out to be a faerie whose enchantment has kept her alive, but also kept her in the dark about her own life.

Now, with enchantments dissolved and prophecies swinging into action, Selkie finds herself on a series of mad quests to save the people she’s always loved and a life she’s learning to love. But in a supernatural world of increasingly complex alliances and distressingly complicated deceptions, it’s so hard to know who to trust. Does her mother really wish to kill her? Would Will sacrifice her for the sake of the prophecy? And does Ben really love her or is it all an elaborate ruse? In order to survive, Selkie realizes that the key is learning—and accepting—who she really is. "

Goodreads | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

***

The Girl Who Never Was is kind of a mixed bag for me. I was expecting it to be on the same level as Julie Kagawa. While it wasn’t quite that good, it was still a very enjoyable story.

My issues started with the characters. Selkie just bothered me in the beginning and her feelings for Ben seamed to be founded on basically nothing. Yet, she was head over heals for him. It wasn’t really insta-love because the two had started their “relationship” before the story begins, but it didn’t seem well-developed either.

Fortunately as the story goes on, Selkie and Ben start to get to know each other a lot better. We’re treated to a bit of adventure and it’s easy to believe that they’re bonding over their shared experiences. The action-packed parts of the story were by far my favorite part of the book. It was great to learn about the Faerie lore and meet a few of the magical cast of characters.

I’m really looking forward to the next book for a few reasons. First of all, I’m just curious to see where it goes. There is a cliff-hanger of sorts and I really want to see how everything pans out. I’m also expecting the second book to just be better overall. The issues I had with The Girl Who Never Was all occurred during the beginning of the story, and I know I won’t have to relive them in book 2.

While The Girl Who Never Was wasn’t the most amazing faerie story I’ve ever read, I really enjoyed it . The plot is good, there’s plenty of action, and I’ve come to like several of the characters.

4 Stars

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Posted on Tuesday, October 14th 2014 in Giveaway

Every year, I AM A READER NOT A WRITER hosts the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop. I am participating again this year and one lucky winner gets to pick one book of their choice from some of my favorite Halloween reads listed below. After you enter the giveaway, don’t forget to check out the other blogs participating. There are over 300 this year, so there are a lot of opportunities to win!

CONTEST RULES:

  • Open Internationally (as long as The Book Depository ships to you)
  • If an item is no longer available via The Book Depository, another title from the list must be chosen.
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Everyone may enter, even if you are not a follower
  • Winner will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Contest ends October 31, 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fairytale Fashions: Enchanted Forest Jewelry Holders

Posted on Friday, October 10th 2014 in Fairytale Fashions

A few weeks ago I saw these gorgeous silver jewelry holders in Target and they instantly made me think of an Enchanted Forest.


DSC00497DSC00488

I absolutely love how these look like branches. It is absolutely stunning! I typically don’t go for jewelry holders like this, but these were too gorgeous to pass up. The tree branch (top) is perfect for dainty necklaces and I plan on using the longer one (bottom) for statement pieces and maybe a few bracelets.

Would you use jewelry holders like this?