Posted on Sunday, July 27th 2014 in Review
The TakingAuthor: Kimberly DertingSeries: The Taking #1Publisher: HarperTeenDate:
April 29, 2014Pages:
HardcoverSource: For ReviewDescription:
"A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing. When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day. Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men. Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Even though I’ve really enjoyed Kimberly Derting’s other novels, The Taking ended up being a middle of the road read for me. Even though the premise sounded like something that would be perfect for me, there were little things about the characters and their reactions that really put a damper on things. That said, the ending was strong enough that I am very curious about where the story will go and will probably read the next one for that reason.
While I’d love to say it took a while, The Taking went sideways on me almost immediately. Kyra gets into a fight with her father and insists that he let her out of the car in the middle of a highway. And he complies. What? Who is the authority figure in this relationship? If I was throwing a tantrum, 18 or not, my parents would never have let me out on the side of a highway. I don’t know anyone else whose parents would have either. It just started the novel out on the complete wrong foot for me.
View Spoiler »Then, almost immediately after this fight when Kyra wakes up 5 years later, she ends up falling for her now ex-boyfriend’s little brother. Most of you probably know how I feel about sibling triangles. HATE. Hate, hate, hate. And then when you consider that from Kyra’s perspective, she was dating her ex-boyfriend just yesterday that makes it so much worse. She was convinced she was going to marry him, and while high school relationships hardly ever last, even though she is upset that he’s gone she moves on pretty quickly with HIS BROTHER. Ew. « Hide Spoiler
Aside from the issues I had relating to the character’s actions, I did really like the plot. The mystery behind Kyra’s disappearance was interesting, and I wan’t expecting it to work out the way it did. Can’t say that much more about it without ruining the plot, but it definitely saved the book for me.
Even though I was really frustrated with the characters throughout the entire novel, the plot did a pretty good job of redeeming the novel. I’ll be able to look past my frustrations and pick up the next book because I’m genuinely curious about what will happen next.
MAC had a limited edition collection -the Aquatic Collection – come out recently that just made me think of mermaids! It will be very hard to find these products at MAC, but Macy’s or Nordstrom will still have things from the line available. I only picked up one thing from the collection, a beautiful bronzer in the color “Refined Golden.”
This bronzer is really beautiful and the packaging is just gorgeous! I really wanted to get the eyeshadows from this collection because the colors were great and so soft and blendable. Sadly I couldn’t justify adding more eyeshadows to my collection, so I skipped them. I really wis this amazing collection was part of their permanent line, but hopefully they’ll have something similar in the future!
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
For more books I’m looking forward to, check out the Upcoming page.
Death Marked by Leah Cypess (March 2015 – Greenwillow Books)
“A young sorceress’s entire life has been shaped to destroy the empire controlling her world. But if everything she knows is a lie, will she even want to fulfill her destiny? The sequel to Death Sworn is just as full of magic and surprising revelations, and will thrill fans of Leigh Bardugo and Robin LaFevers.
At seventeen, Ileni lost her magical power and was exiled to the hidden caves of the assassins. She never thought she would survive long. But she discovered she was always meant to end up, powerless, in the caves as part of an elder sorcerer’s plan to destroy the evil Empire they’d battled so long. Except that Ileni is not an assassin, and she doesn’t want to be a weapon. And, after everything, she’s not even sure she knows the truth. Now, at the very heart of the Empire—its academy for sorcerers—the truth is what she seeks. What she finds challenges every belief she holds dear—and it threatens her fledgling romance with the young master of assassins.
Leah Cypess spins an intricate and beautiful conclusion to Ileni’s story. In the end, it may not be the epic decisions that bring down an empire, but the small ones that pierce the heart.” Goodreads.
Posted on Monday, July 21st 2014 in Blog Tour
ASPEN by Rebekah Crane
One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.
In the next instant, her life changed forever.
Aspen doesn’t want to remember the devastating car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard– because Katelyn may have died — but she didn’t leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it’s kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn’s gorgeous former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels.
Popularity, college, Homecoming Court, hot guys – none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She’s been busy trying to rein in her giant mass of blonde curls, keep her stoner mother Ninny away from Toaster, her mom’s awful bongo drumming boyfriend, and prevent her best friends Kim and Cass from killing – or kissing – one another. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics looking all too gorgeous, Katelyn’s spirit dogging her steps, and her obsessive snow-globe collecting therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can’t control … and doesn’t want to.
A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, ASPEN is about the best-worst accident of your life … and what comes next.
ASPEN: Goodreads | Amazon
Guest Post: Getting High
Many writers can recall the moment in third grade when they wrote their first book or the journal they kept of poetry in junior high or the creative writing contest they won in high school. I don’t have any of these things.
I wasn’t even in honors English.
About four years ago after having my second child, I looked at my husband and said, “I want to write a book.” He looked at me, a bit shocked, and said, “Well, that’s random, but okay.”
That’s literally how this all started. I figured since he didn’t laugh me out of the room, I owed it to myself to try it out. So at 30, I sat down and started writing.
And once I started…
I couldn’t stop.
That’s the thing with writing. It’s addicting. Words are like drugs. When you find the right ones, they create an amazing high. And counter to that, when all you have are the wrong ones, the crash is that much worse.
Then I got high on this line:
“My mom likes to tell everyone that from the day I was born she knew I would be a nice person.”
When I wrote that, I was inspired. I was soaring high on the potential of this character’s story. That’s how I started writing PLAYING NICE. It’s a story about best friends. The kind of friends from high school who become a part of your soul, a part of your memory, so strong you sit around when you’re 60 thinking about the trouble you got into, the love you shared, the moments you cried together.
It’s a love story about best friends.
A few months later when these words popped into my head, I got high again.
“Katelyn Ryan sat in front of me in Chemistry. I used to stare at the back of her head and wonder what it would be like to have straight brown hair instead of the curly, dirty blonde mess that protrudes from my head.”
Oh the possibilities with this character: Her candor, her wit, her hidden broken heart. Add a grieving boy, a hippy mom, and two best friends who love and hate each other. I wasn’t just high; I was bouncing on a cloud somewhere in space. That’s how ASPEN got its wings. Each word fell onto the page like it was meant to be there. I was just in charge of making sure the story made it home.
I live in Colorado. We’re no strangers to getting high. But I prefer words to weed—beautiful, amazing, inspiring words that take flight and hopefully bring people along for the ride.
About Rebekah Crane
Rebekah Crane fell in love with YA literature while studying Secondary English Education at Ohio University. After having two kids, living in six different cities, and finally settling down in the foothills of her beloved Rocky Mountains, her first novel, PLAYING NICE, was published. ASPEN, her second YA novel, set in Boulder, CO, is due to release in summer 2014 from In This Together Media. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 ft high in the Rockies, where the altitude only enhances the experience.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads
One winner will receive a signed copy of ASPEN, an ebook of PLAYING NICE, and $10 Amazon gift card (US only). Five winners will receive an ebook copy of ASPEN (international).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, July 7th - Girls in the Stacks
Tuesday, July 8th - Dear Teen Me
Wednesday, July 9th - Teen Readers’ Diary
Friday, July 11th - Stuck in Books
Monday, July 14th - GReads!
Wednesday, July 16th - A Book and a Latte
Friday, July 18th - The Quirky Reader
Monday, July 21st - About to Read
Wednesday, July 23rd - Once Upon a Twilight
Friday, July 25th - Imaginative Minds
Posted on Sunday, July 20th 2014 in Books and Beauty
Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George: Goodreads
Eternity by Elizabeth Miles: Goodreads
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama: Goodreads
Antigoddess by Kendare Blake: Goodreads
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: Goodreads
The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges: Goodreads
Beauty by Nancy Ohlin: Goodreads
Wildcat Fireflies ny Amber Kizer: Goodreads
Unremembered by Jessica Brody: Goodreads
Arcadia Burns by Kai Meyer: Goodreads
Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame: Goodreads
Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay: Goodreads | Review
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks: Goodreads
Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto: Goodreads
Hades by Alexandra Adornetto: Goodreads
Abandon by Elana Johnson: Goodreads
What the Spell? by Brittany Geragotelis: Goodreads
Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson: Goodreads
Dark Companion by Marta Acosta: Goodreads
Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Goodreads
Linked by Imogen Howson: Goodreads
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd: Goodreads
Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland: Goodreads
Auracle by Gina Rosati: Goodreads
I may or may not be obsessed with tea. There is a cute little tea house in Colorado called English Tea Leaves and I absolutely adore it! They have these two teas in particular that are perfect for fairytale fashions (….or maybe fairytale edibles?) and delicious scones if you ever get a chance to pop in.
Enchanted Forest Tea
“We use green mate to create an almond flavor, and then add coconut shreds, rose petals, and cornflower blossoms to make this a truly unique blend. These ingredients make for a wonderful recipe if you’re looking for an almond-flavored beverage.”
I tried this tea earlier in the week and it just smells amazing! It was also incredible delicious. Highly, highly recommend it.
“This is our #1 selling flavored tea and with good reason. Snowflake is a very aromatic tea and has a rich flavor.
It’s composition is a simple black tea base. To that is added: Fine slivers of almond, Choice pieces of Coconut, & A proprietary flavoring that our customers have come to know and love.”
Frozen anyone? I haven’t tried Snowflake tea yet, but it’s their best seller, so I certainly will be soon!
Posted on Thursday, July 17th 2014 in Review
DissonanceAuthor: Erica O'RourkeSeries: Dissonance #1Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersDate:
July 22, 2014Pages:
eARCSource: For ReviewDescription:
"Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Dissonance is just one of THOSE books. You know? Can’t put it down. Won’t eat or drink anything for hours and limit trips to the bathroom because you just must. keep. reading.
I honestly can’t say enough good things about this one. It was just amazing. Everything from the characters to the world building was impeccable and it’s clear that a lot of hard work went into this little gem.
Our main character, Del is rebellious, funny, and most of all a free thinker. She looks at things critically and refuses to follow the rules just because someone told her to. If they seem arbitrary, silly, or even incorrect, she will seek out the truth and do her best to find the right course of action. She can also be a bit selfish and purposely blind to things that may be a little inconvenient for her (like other people’s feelings). I hate to say it, but that aspect of her personality reminded me a little bit of my high school self. And her blatant disregard for rules reminded me a bit of one of my best friends. No wonder I liked her so much.
The supporting cast was equally well developed and I really enjoyed reading about Spencer, Elliot, and Addie. Every character in this novel is solid and well-developed. Anyone of them could probably be the main character because their personalities are so strong and well defined. I’m very much looking forward to reading more about all of them.
And there is the plot. Wow. Oftentimes, you’ll find strong characters OR a strong plot. But seldom do you find a novel where they are equally matched. The multiverse that O’Rourke created was fascinating. And since Del is on a never ending quest to do things her own way, we end up learning some unique and surprising things about the multiverse right along with her.
After finishing Dissonance, I have so many questions I need answers to and I am so anxious to see what happens next. It is going to be a long, long wait for the next one, but I know it will be worth it. This is definitely a must read. We’re only half way through the year, but I can tell this will be one of my favorite novels of 2014.
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
For more books I’m looking forward to, check out the Upcoming page.
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.”
Posted on Monday, July 14th 2014 in Giveaway
I came across these two necklace tutorials on YouTube and they are just gorgeous. I’m a recent subscriber to COCO Chanou and I’m really enjoying her videos. The two below are a bit older, but the necklaces she creates are just gorgeous!
Would you wear these? I definitely will if I ever get around to making them