Book Talk: No Place To Fall By Jaye Robin Brown

Book Talk: No Place To Fall By Jaye Robin BrownNo Place To Fall by Jaye Robin Brown
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen- December 9, 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: None -- debut novel!
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I received this from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

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Amber has always been the good girl — the ones that stayed on the straight and narrow and who was determined to get out of her small town. But she hasn’t always felt really ALIVE until she starts going up to a hiking hangout spot with her best friend Devon where she gets to be whoever she wants and meet people who are just passing through. That feeling from the summer follows her into the school year and she starts to make some choices that make her wonder if she’s that good girl everyone thinks she is. She also pursues an opportunity that would take her out of this town and away from her problems in the form of a music program at a high school for the arts in a big city a couple hours away and the boy who helps her practice makes things even more complicated in her life.

a2That one really grew on me! And awww at the ending!

a4This one grew on me! I was thinking it was alright at first and then I got to a point wherein I’d go to read for 20 minute before bed and suddenly I was done with half the book. Repeat the next night. By the time I finished I could feel my rating meter down below moving up a bit.

1. I loved the small town setting and think the author NAILED it: You might not know this about me but from the time I was born until 7th grade I grew up in a VERY small town in the middle of nowhere, PA and it felt so much like this town. I’m not saying ALL small towns are like this..but this nailed my old town — from the way everyone knows each others business, to the way they speak/some narrow thinking, to the hopeless/stuck feeling one can feel especially when they have bigger dreams, etc. Some of the characters could have absolutely been people I knew. It kind of made me sad thinking about the girls I knew who ended up like Amber’s sister and feel trapped. But as much as it made me feel sad for some of the people who got too caught up in the things of a small town, I love that it gave me the warm and fuzzies about small town livin — I always wanted to get out of there and I felt so superior when I did…and then suddenly as an adult when I’d go to visit my dad I began to appreciate a small town! I really related to Amber in that way and I’m proud of my roots!

2. The romance was so cute: It’s a romance trope I always kind of love when I see it — the best friend’s older brother. Maybe it’s because I totally had a crush on a best friend’s brother? PERHAPS. I loved Will (and hey he shares a name with my husband so even better) and I loved their relationship even though I know that there’s something in this book that might make people not ship them. It’s something I HATE but I don’t know…I think I’m a little more forgiving in high school about it because it’s that time to make bad decisions/mistakes, learn and grow.

3. I loved this exploration of how our mistakes define us: So in this book, Amber makes a BIG colossal, totally not HER decision. She knows it’s wrong and immediately regrets it. But this thing…it makes her question what kind of person she is and if she’s just going to end up destined to become this person she didn’t want to be. I loved that her mistake had BIG consequences and felt like it was handled very realistically. As a reader, you are like WHAT ARE YOU THINKING WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS. It made me think of how many times in my life I’ve had some bad judgement calls that were not in line with who I was/thought I was.

4. FAMILY MATTERS: As someone who has had a semi-dysfunctional family at various points through my childhood and adulthood, I could relate! I loved watching some of the family issues play out even though they made my heart ache. It all felt so realistic and well done!

 

a6RATING-LIKED

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Re-readability: Probably not.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Because it wasn’t a favorite or I’d reread it, no.

a5readers who want small town settings, readers who like main characters who are into music (lots of music in this book!), readers who don’t mind main characters who are flawed and get into some messy situations, contemporary YA readers who like a balance of cute and serious

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While I wouldn’t say it was a book that really moved me, I really enjoyed the ride. I definitely grew to enjoy it more and more as I progressed and the plot really started to come together. I enjoyed the themes present in this novel and the setting tremendously. I definitely thought this one was going to be a bit lighter of a book but it did have some serious elements for sure and I’d say I was happy with what it was vs. what my expectations were.

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No Place To Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
*

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

Beyond The Pages — On How I Live

Beyond the Pages is my way of sharing the things books make me think about and interact with and want to talk about shared experiences with people. Some of my best conversations have happened because of something that came up in a book. I’m pretty personal in my reviews but I’d like a way to not bog down my review with a huge paragraph of personal experience so this is my way to be able to share it. Some times it will be serious and sometimes just random and fun but I hope we can connect! PAST Beyond the Pages here!

 

 

The book that inspired this conversation:

 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven
(Goodreads // Amazon)

What It Is About:

It weaves together the stories of a handful of people before and after the collapse of a civilization largely taken out by a super-flu that spread quickly. I don’t want to give too much away and the official summary is wordy but it’s one of the BEST books I’ve read this year.


What I said about it:

 ” It was brutal, thought-provoking and just a real masterpiece.”  Read my full review here!

What It Got Me Thinking About:

How I live!!

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Normally these posts are super focused on one particular thing but Station Eleven got me thinking about a lot of things but, when I reflected on them, they all could be filed under “how I live”. I try to be really conscious of how I live — my effect, my happiness and my joy, what I’m putting out there/leaving behind, how I’m growing and what I’m focused on. I try to think at the end of each day, “if this was my last day on earth would I be happy with how I lived it?” and then in the morning I just tell myself to do it better and remind myself this new day is a blank slate.

That being said, there are a lot of days where I don’t like my answer. And there are a lot of days that turn into weeks that I get so consumed with LIFE that I don’t even think about it. I try to be so present and conscious about how I’m living but sometimes living just gets in the way of being mindful of it…which isn’t a BAD thing when I’m happy about how I’m living.

 

There were 3 major things that Station Eleven really had me reflecting on concerning HOW I LIVE:

 

1. How “surviving is insufficient” — The beautiful thing about the civilization after it all collapsed in Station Eleven is how, after all they had been through, they didn’t just want to be a society that survived this super-flu that wiped out everything. Surviving wasn’t good enough — they wanted to rebuild, thrive, find joy and just try to do better and learn from it. The Traveling Symphony’s (bc art and storytelling prevail!!) slogan on their wagon was “Surviving Is Insufficient” and it resonated with me so much. So many days I feel like I’m just in straight survival mode. Just trying to survive the day. Willing it to be over. And yes, some days that’s the best it’s going to be — a triumph to just survive the day. But that is not the sort of habit I want to get into and I feel like it’s so easy for me to go through my work day and and my work week and I just try to SURVIVE until the weekend. Survival mode is not enough for me as a life strategy. I know that but sometimes I let myself get into it. I’ve always loved the quote from Oscar Wilde —

to live quote

And honestly that is the rut I get stuck into sometimes. I’m existing and surviving alright but I’m not REALLY living.

 

2. On what I make important: In the book, one day is normal and within the next week everything collapses and soon everything you were used to is gone — plumbing, electricity, internet, your job, fame, Friday nights out to the bar  etc. All those things become relics and we see that as the story shows threads from BEFORE and then those from after. The things people are worried about and seem so damn significant to them before vs. after is a startling difference.

No more internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in doing so, feeling slightly less alone in the room. No more avatars.

 

It made me think so much about how obsessed with all my screens and my internet life and my tv shows, etc and how fleeting they are. How when our internet goes out or my phone dies and I FEEL LIKE GOING CRAZY. I can’t live. I think of how I can get lost in the internet and suddenly it is 5 hours later. How, if they world ended and I survived, that the things I’ve placed as important in my life would mostly be rendered useless. And that’s not to say that I can’t ENJOY these things or that they are evil but I’ve realized how they consume me and how I should be mindful of my attachment to THINGS and how I can get so fixated on something so insignificant.

 

3. On being remembered: There’s this one character who ponders immortality and what it is to be remembered, what they want to be remembered for and all the people they remember — how they become immortal in his mind. Memories are a funny thing. I think a lot of people I’ve lost in my life, people I used to know and grew away from, brief encounters with strangers, etc. So many things color our memories — time, perspective, etc. Someone passed recently that I didn’t know but had an impact on me and I wept as I watched their memorial video — how alive they seemed and inspiring they were. How they embraced life.  I wondered if my life would translate that way.  I am morbid so sometimes I wonder what people would say at my funeral if I died. How they’d feel. What would they tell their kids or friends or family about me? It always makes me reflect on if how I’m living is how I want to be remembered.  How do I want to be remembered as a blogger? As a family member? As a friend? As someone you met briefly? Obviously I want to be remembered favorable but what else do I want to be remembered for? I don’t have the exact answer but I want to at least be remembered for being a person who really LIVED. Who loved. Who inspired in some small way. Was kind and genuine.

 

 

There’s nothing like reading an apocalyptic that is so realistic and that could SO easily happen to make you think about how you live. Which is a-okay with me because I want to LIVE a life that I can be proud of and enjoy so reflection is good for my soul. I don’t want to do this life on auto-pilot. I want to experience the good and the bad and the in-between. I want to connect. To share in humanity. I want to learn and grow. I want to be remembered in all my messy glory as a human who tried their best and died feeling like, despite the bumps along the way, they did it right.

 

What inspires you when you think of how you live? Do you have any life mottos or mantras that guide how you live? Did anything I said resonate with you?

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite I Read in 2014

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Sarah J. Maas: All hail queen Sarah! No seriously. 2014 has been the year of Sarah J. Maas. I don’t care that I came in late I’m just glad I’m here. I read Throne of Glass over Memorial Day weekend and then after BEA I binge read Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire one after the other and I HAVE NEVER BEEN THE SAME SINCE. I will read ANYTHING she writes.

Marie Rutkoski: Oh man, you guys. I read The Winner’s Curse at the start of 2014 and read Winner’s Crime this Fall and Marie’s writing just…AHHH. Gotta get my hands on her previous books while I wait for book 3 in this AMAZING TRILOGY.
Corey Ann Haydu: COREEEEEEY. So I’ve only read Life by Committee which was AWESOME but I plan to read OCD Love Story and ANYTHING else she puts out. ANYTHING ya hear? And also, besides her writing skills, I have LOVED getting to know her and chatting on Twitter. I’m so happy I decided to pick up Life by Committee!!

Emery Lord: One of the most amazing debuts I’ve read this year, hands down, came from Emery. I LOVED Open Road Summer and I’ve started reading her upcoming book and it is fantastic. Emery is one to watch and is on auto-buy FO SHO.

Katja Millay: The Sea of Tranquility affected me so much. SO MUCH. I will DEVOUR whatever else Katja writes. I just feel so consumed with FEELINGS when I think about this book.

Emily St. John Mandel: I haven’t been reading as much adult fiction as I used to so I’m so excited when I find an author that I’m like OMG I MUST READ ALL YOUR BOOKS. I know Station Eleven got a lot of praise (SO WORTHY OF IT) but I’ve also heard excellent things about her previous work and I cannot wait to dive in!

Taylor Jenkins Reid: OMG AFTER I DO. One of the best books I’ve read this year and I have her debut on my list of books to get at the library at some point. It was one of those books that made me think SOOOO MUCH.

Heather Demetrios: Interestingly enough the Heather Demetrios book I started with is her 2015 release! I’ll Meet You There is AMAZING and, if I already didn’t own Something Real and Exquisite Captive, I WOULD BE GOING OUT TO GET THEM. Heather Demetrios is a force to be reckoned with!

Joy N. Hensley: I knew I was probably going to like Rites of Passage but I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU HOW MUCH IT BLEW ME AWAY. I love when a book can seriously make me shout and scream and affect me so much that it just comes out in many physical forms (which all annoy my husband).

Amy Zhang: Listen, by the time I graduated high school I’d say my most impressive achievement of my life was winning the Little Miss Princess of Athens title when I was like 4 in my former small, podunk town because I was THAT CUTE. Amy Zhang? Oh she’s just published an AMAZING book (Falling Into Place) with a huge publisher. NO BIGS. Seriously, her words are like poetry and this book had me sobbing. I am forever impressed and Amy has a fan out of me.

 

So tell me…what authors have you discovered in 2014 that are favorites of the year?

Book Talk: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Book Talk: If You Find Me by Emily MurdochIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Publisher/Year: St. Martin's Griffin- 2013
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: eARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: It was her debut novel but she has one upcoming in 2015!
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I received this from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

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Carey can’t remember much about the life she had before her mom moved them away to a small trailer in the middle of the woods where they have no contact with the outside world, no electricity or running water. All she knows is taking care of her baby sister while her mom comes and goes. This last time her mom leaves she doesn’t come back and the next thing Carey knows is that there are two people showing up at the trailer and the two girls enter the world they’ve been cut off from and thrust into a family which makes her question all she’s ever been told about her life and a secret that Carey has to deal with that has made her sister Jenessa stop speaking.
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a2HOLY CRAP JUDITH WAS RIGHT. SO GOOD.

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Oh my heart. It just ached and also swelled with feelings for these sisters. It’s one of those reading experiences where I realize how lucky I was as a kid because there are all sorts of real life people who endure these things they did. I actually have someone very close to me who experienced what the mom did to these kids (minus like the extreme poverty and such — the taking them away). This was such an emotional and compelling novel that definitely tugged on my heart strings.

1. My heart ached for Carey and Jenessa: It ached for the conditions they lived in with no running water or electricity and a young girl taking care of a baby. The things they saw and experienced and how they had to work so hard to just survive. My heart ached as they are brought back into society and went to live with the father that their mother forced them away from. My heart couldn’t handle the sort of feelings I had as they tried to reconcile who they were vs. the world they haven’t ever really known vs. everything their mom told them. It was in the small things like them experiencing a real shower or a tv but also how they integrated into a real family.They’ve gone from being just the two of them and their mom (sometimes) to living with their dad they’ve never known and his family. Then they are expected to exist in a society they haven’t known — school, lingo they haven’t heard, pop culture/fashion they know nothing about.

2. As someone who has sisters the bond of those two sisters just took hold of me: Carey has basically taken care of Jenessa for her whole life as a motherly figure and really all they have is each other. They’ve been through awful things together and the bond that happens between sisters in all the good, bad and in between moments is so strong in this story. It melted my heart really. Even in the bad situation they were living in, they had their good times because they were together and weathered all the storms together. I thought a lot about my sister and I and how even in the worst times of our life (losing our mom for instance) we’ve always been there for each other.

3. Carey is one strong character: Early on Carey takes on a role that no child that young should have to. But she does it and all the things she goes through turn her into the amazing person she has turned out to be. She is wise beyond her years out of necessity. She takes care of her baby sister. She does the cooking. She is resourceful, thinks quick on her feet and even teaches her and her sister things that the other kids would be learning in school. I was just constantly amazed by her and the kind of person she was really reminded me of someone I know who is young and has had to grow up more quickly than most do.

 

a6RATING-loved-it

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Re-readability: Maybe!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Yes!

a5Basically everybody?

a8If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch was equally as heartbreaking as it was heart LIFTING. It just was the type of story that really got to me emotionally and wedged its way into my heart so much that when I had to put it down I kept thinking about it until I picked it back up…and well after I finished. It was an amazing, beautifully written story about sisters and family and just how the human spirit can just be so so beautifully alive and can triumph even in the worst situations.

review-on-post-itIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

 

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
* What are some books you’ve read with strong sister relationships?

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

November 2014 Rewind — an obsession I must share, bye bye hair & more!

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 We had a pretty mild November so I definitely took advantage of the nicer days!!

Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month including some fun leaf jumping time with Genevieve and some pretty Fall foliage with books.

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1. I bought Taylor Swift tickets : AHHHH I’m going to see Taylor with my darlings Katie and Morgan. So I saw Taylor back in the day at a very small venue (near where Taylor grew up) when her first album came out and it was so fun. I was 20 or 21. And so now I will be ushering out my 20’s by seeing Taylor again. It’s kind of symbolic in a way….looking at how different my life is/her career is from my early 20’s to now when I’m in my last year of my 20’s. I AM EXCITED.

2. I cut six inches of my hair off — Okay so IIIIII didn’t actually do the cutting. Holla at my girl Jenna from Mint Salon. But yeah…I cut my hair off. Whaddya think?

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3.I celebrated Thanksgiving: We’ve spent Thanksgiving, since being married, at my dad’s house because Christmas wasn’t working out with Will’s work so this year we are doing Thanksgiving here and Christmas at my dad’s so it was interesting for me to spend Thanksgiving, for the first time in my life, elsewhere.

4. I BOUGHT A WINTER JACKET LIKE A GROWNUP - I’ve always bought more fashion-y and not super warm jackets. I decided to be a grownup and buy a proper warm jacket. IT IS SO WARM.

5. I saw Mockingjay!!: I was nervous how the movie would be because WELL THAT BOOK IS DIFFERENT THAN THE FIRST TWO. I personally loved the book and I was actually really happy with the movie. Not my favorite of the 3 but it was solid for me.

 

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I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now !

1. Starts — Charles William

2. Hypnotic — Zella Day


3. Brother — Might Oaks


4. See Me Now — Ryan Keen

5. Little Grace — Hippo Campus

6. Promises — Ryn Weaver

Honorable Mentions: Reflections by MisterWives, Postcard by Jukebox the Ghost, Cool Kids by Echosmith, Make You Better by The Decemberists, Get Away by CHVRCHES, Headlights by Tor Miller

Follow my November playlist

 

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I read 7 books this month!

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1.  Even In Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
2. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
3. If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

 

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 Even In Paradise by Chelsy PhilpotI really loved this book — check out my review!

 

 

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“It gave me hope: if you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspapers and old matchbooks, then it meant that everything had potential. And maybe people were like collages — no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.”  – I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

** this is taken from the ARC so it is subject to change.

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1. The Sacrificial Book Lamb- I’m glad I’m not the only one who has this problem!

2. Books I Want To Read This Winter– So many good books to read!

3. New To The Queue: I love doing these posts every month!

4. Ten Books I Want To Re-Read: I really do want to re-read more!!

5. What I’ve Been Watching : I decided I wanted to sporadically share what I’ve been watching!

 

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I STILL didn’t do anything on Youtube this month. MUST FIND MY MOJO AGAIN.

 

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1. How To Reach Your Goals Starting TodayThis post is perfect in light of the New Year but ALWAYS. I am such a dreamer and a thinker and I do struggle sometimes with the actual action part of my goals.

2. Notes on Sonder: I like this term “sonder” and this post was really great!

3. I Am Not For Everyone & Neither Are You: I loved this post from Jess (I reflected on some similar things recently) and needed a reminder of that in recent days. “You create more joy in your life when you let go of worrying about what everyone else thinks.”

4. Get Shit Done Even When You Are Unmotivated: Oh man the lack of motivation I’ve had recently is UNREAAAAL. Needed this!

5. Creatively Zapped? Try This Madman Trick!: I have been feeling SOOOOO uncreative this month. It’s been a struggle lately. This post is awesome and makes so much sense. Creatively I pour too much of myself into this and only this and I’m not getting creative elsewhere anymore.

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1. The 100 — OHHHHHHH MY GODDDDD THIS SHOW. So I watched the first 4 episodes on a Monday and then got out of work at like 1 on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and finished the first season and then the 5 episodes that are out for the second season. GET ON THIS FRIENDS. I wasn’t addicted until 4 or 5 episodes in but this show has SHOCKED me. And season 2. OMG. I CANNOT EVEN. WORDSAREFAILING. Even Will got a little intrigued (although I think he was more entertained by watching ME watching The 100 because I went a little loco and was talking to myself and jumping up and down and screaming). BELLAMYYYYY. And the OTP to challenge all your other OTPs.
2. Fleeced line leggings- OMG BEST INVENTION KNOWN TO WOMANKIND. I got mine at Forever 21 but I know they sell them at Target. YAY FOR WARM THINGS.
3. Vanilla Cinnamon Black Tea from Trader Joe’s: SO DELISH. And it was only $1.99 so YAYS.

 

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1. CHRISTMAS: I love Christmas!!! And I get to spend it at my dad’s for an extended weekend for the first time since Will and I have been married so YAYYAYAY.
2. Potentially going ice skating: There is this new ice skating place that opened up in the city that we want to try. I AM SCARED THOUGH BECAUSE I HAVEN’T BEEN SINCE I WAS A CHILD….AND MY CLOSER TO THE GROUND WHEN I FALL!
3. Will making these red velvet cinnamon buns again: Yeah, seriously. A food item being consumed deserves its own spot.

 

mr12(I have been feeling like my Monthly Rewinds are so less interactive than I want them to be so I did some brainstorming and I thought it would be fun to ask you a question based on something that happened to me this month, something I was thinking about, etc.)


So my question is: With the holidays coming, tell me a holiday tradition you have or one that you WANT to start?

 

 

lets-talk

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog? Answer to my question of the month?

18 YA Books Coming Out In 2015 That I Cannot WAIT To Read!

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten 2015 Releases I’m Excited For

So since an upcoming Top Ten Tuesday topic is all about debuts, I chose to only choose authors who have published YA before and also books that had book covers! Annnnd I didn’t choose 10. I chose 18. I AM SO EXCITED I COULD NOT CUT THESE. This list was originally like 50 long so be impressed!!!!

2015 YA Releases Must Haves

2015-releases-YA

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby: I  loved all 3 Jessi Kirby books I’ve read (Moonglass, In Honor, Golden) and she’s on auto-buy for me so naturally this is on my list. It sounds emotional (like her books tend to be) with a girl seeking out the recipient of her boyfriend’s heart who she lost tragically.

Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu: Loved Corey’s Life By Committee this year so DEFINITELY excited for this! Friendship, sisters & romance — can’t wait to see what Corey has in store for us!

The Last Time We Said Goodbye by Cynthia Hand: I really loved Cynthia’s paranormal series (Unearthly is book 1) but I’m really excited for a contemporary from her!  This sounds like a punch-you-in-the-gut sort of story about a girl whose brother commits suicide and she holds the secret of a text he sent that could have changed things.

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller: NEW TRISH DOLLER!!! I love her books (Something Like Normal and Where Stars Still Shine) and I’m excited because this is a psychological thriller! Plus ROAD TRIP!

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma: I can’t even explain what this one is about but it’s supernatural-y and sounds AWESOME and UNIQUE.

Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales: Leila’s This Song Will Save Your Life was one of my FAVORITE reads last year and I am sooooo excited for this one! It’s about a teen girl who has an obsession with a popular blogger and goes to track him down.

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas: SARAH J. MAAS. NEW SERIES. THAT IS ALL.

Hold Me Like A Breath by Tiffany Schmidt: It is the start of a series of crime family fairy tale retellings. OMG RIGHT? This one is a retelling of Princess & the Pea and the main character’s family is one of 3 families who control the black market of organ transplants.

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway: Love Robin’s books that I’ve read (Audrey, Wait! and Also Known As). Oliver is kidnapped by his dad and taken away from his friends and family — including his best friend Emmy — until they reunite 10 years later when he is returned home.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: New author to me but this sounds like an interesting mystery kind of book!

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen: Even though I haven’t read all her books yet, new Sarah Dessen is always one I look forward to! This one sounds so damn good!

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows: FANTASYYYY FANS. This sounds awesome…make sure its on your list!

A Sense of The Infinite by Hilary T. Smith: I LOVED Hilary’s debut novel Wild Awake and just was so impressed by the prose. Love books that deal with friendship!

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon: Alternate London! Steampunk! The Night Circus meets Pixar!

Every Last Word by Tamera Ireland Stone: This looks good! A popular girl with OCD who fights really hard to hide it and her life changes when she attends a secret poetry club.

All The Rage by Courtney Summers: LOVED Courtney Summers Some Girls Are! This new one SOUNDS AMAAAAZING and she once tweeted about how if we thought the mean girls in Some Girls Are were mean….basically we haven’t seen anything. GAHHH.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver: I always get excited for new Lauren Oliver! This one sounds dark and mysterious and SO SO GOOD.

The Start of You & Me by Emery Lord: You should all known my love for Open Road Summer by now!!! There’s a reason I’m starting this one soon because I’m SO EXCITED I CANNOT WAIT. I KNOW MY HEART IS GOING TO BREAK.

 

2015 Books I’ve Read:

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski: BOOK 2 IS AMAZING. If you haven’t read The Winner’s Curse…get on that!
I Was Here by Gayle Forman: GAYLE. Enough said. This one hurt my heart. SHE ALWAYS IMPRESSES ME.
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios: HOLY SHIT SO GOOOOOOD. I CAN’T EVEN.
My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga: This one was heavy. Took a bit out of me but really good!

 

So tell me…what books are YOU looking forward to in 2015??? PLEASE SHARE SO I CAN MAKE SURE I KNOW OF THEM!

Book Talk: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Book Talk: The Walled City by Ryan GraudinThe Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Publisher/Year: Little Brown- November 4, 2014
Genres: YA Thriller
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Other Books From Author: All That Glows duology
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I received this from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1

The Walled City is home to about 30,000 people all cramped together in about 6 acres. Everything is built up so high that the sun barely shines in and it feels suffocating, it’s dirty and people live in poverty and there is so much lawless danger — drug lords, street gangs, brothels run by bad guys and more. The three main characters are all in the walled city for their own reasons and their stories become intertwined. Dai is trying to secure his freedom which involves having to run drugs for the most ruthless drug lord in the walled city who also runs a brothel. Mei Yee was taken and forced into working at a brothel two years ago and her dreams of escaping one day are always snuffed out after other girls attempt and fail. Jin went into the walled city to find her sister Mei Yee and disguises herself as a boy so she can look for her sister and tries to stay as invisible as possible while she does it.
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a2I’m glad I stuck with it even though I had a rough start with it!

a4I had a really really rough start with this book. I just could NOT get into it at all but once I pushed through it had me just flying through the pages. While it didn’t blow me away, it was still an enjoyable read that I’m glad I stuck with in the end.

What I liked:

1. The setting was FASCINATING: The idea of this walled city fascinated me but once I learned that it was based on a REAL thing that existed my fascination level grew. I think Ryan Graudin really nailed the atmosphere of it. It’s this cramped walled city (like 33,000 people in 6 acres or something crazy like that) that houses all sorts of degenerates and drug lords, street gangs and brothels and people, lots of young people, who were dumped in there because they were criminals, stolen, abandoned or sold off. It’s dark and violent and filthy and I could SEE it and feel it as I was reading. I could feel the hopelessness and the looming super high buildings (because everything was built up) that made you feel even more trapped. The author definitely made me feel the danger and just the awful conditions these people lived in.

2. I loved the way the three main characters stories were woven together: Each character had their own reason for being in the walled city. One was taken there and forced into a brothel, the other was trying to save her sister in the brothel (and she was dressed up like a boy to survive to do that!!) and the other has a mission to help gain his freedom. I loved how they were brought together and were the key to each other’s survival and freedom in a setting where trust was hard to come by. I really began to care about them and hoped all three would make it out alive.

3. Once I got over the hurdle of getting into the story it became a gripping and thrilling ride: It seriously was this heart-pounding, action-filled story. The danger and the high stakes became so palpable as I was reading. I mean, they were dealing with some of the worst baddies in that walled city and were risking a lot for the freedom they were trying to gain.

4. It was a standalone: It’s not very often that I find an action-y type of story that isn’t part of a series so this was fantastic for me!!

What I wished would have been better:

1. It was SO hard to distinguish the three main characters from each other: I don’t mind multi POVs but I just felt like their voices sounded SO much the same. At the top of each chapter was the name so we knew WHO it was but if I had just read random parts from the book, without context to tell me whose story it was, I would never have been able to distinguish who was who because their voices just sounded like the same exact character.

2. It was hard for me to figure out the PLACE and TIME of this novel: As well done as The Walled City was it kept bothering me that I couldn’t figure out if this was set in the midst of our world or if it was a completely different world. The Walled City itself made me feel it was set further in the past but then there was this part that talked about a plane flying past so I knew that okay planes were a thing so I guess it is more modern setting.

 

a6RATING-LIKED

factors+ action, thrills, setting
- writing/storytelling

Re-readability: No
Would I buy a copy for my collection? No but I do want to give my copy to my teen nephews because I think they would like it.

a5people looking for a more action-packed standalone, fans of gritty settings, readers looking for a non-US setting

a8Despite the slow start for me and being tempted to put this one down, I ended up being glad I stuck this one out because it became an absolute thrilling race to the ending and I actually grew to care about the characters in spite of how much their voices blended together and didn’t feel very distinguished. I was absolutely transported to the dark, dangerous streets of the walled city and the fear and the danger the characters were experiencing were also mine to bear as I was reading.

review-on-post-it

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
Did you have a hard time distinguishing the voices or was that just me??
Did we ever figure out WHERE this city was located exactly? I can’t even remember after reading it.
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
*

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

5th Annual End of Year Book Survey – 2014 Edition!

 

2014 End Of Year Book Survey

My silly little survey I created for myself to highlight what I read in 2010 suddenly grew when a bunch of others jumped in and has turned into such a fun end of year event that I have LOVED hosting and has made my TBR list grow crazily! Seriously, 369 people linked up last year and I know even more participated on their blogs and on Youtube!! So without further ado: the 5th annual End of Year Book Survey!

I know the year isn’t over yet but, as I said in year’s past, this is the time I start reflecting on what I’ve read and start looking ahead because I NEVER get much reading done during December with the holidays and what not! I’ll be filling mine out within the next day or so but I’ll be revising if I happen to read something absolutely earth shattering that would need to be on here!

So feel to fill this out whenever you feel like it…whether that’s today or in January   — I know everybody will want to reflect at different points! Feel free to link up and share your End of Year Book Survey and visit others on the list!

 

Note: The survey is for books you read throughout the year, no matter when they were published, and is not limited to just books that came out in 2014!!

 

 

 

 

reading-stats-2014

Number Of Books You Read:
Number of Re-Reads:
Genre You Read The Most From:

 best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

 

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 


 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

 

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

 

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

 

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

 

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

 

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

 

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

 

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

 

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

 

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

 

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

 

How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this yeaer that was the shortest and longest.

 

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

 

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

 

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

 

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

 

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

 

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

 

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

 

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

 

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

 

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

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book-blogging

 

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

 

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? 

 

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

 

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

 

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

 

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

 

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

 

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

 

 

looking-ahead-books-2015

 

 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

 

 

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

 

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

 

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

 

 

If you could, I’d love you to leave some feedback for any questions you’d LIKE to see on this survey in the future that perhaps I don’t have on here!

 

GIVEAWAY:

Anyone who links up on the linky below by January 10th will be entered to win their choice of ONE book that appears somewhere here on my list! *anywhere The Book Depository ships to (sorry, I can’t afford international if not).

 

Tell me if you loved any of the books I loved this year! Give me a recommendation for something I NEED to get to!

Link up!!

Ten Books On My Winter To-Be-Read List!

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Ten Books I Plan To Read This Winter

It’s a little early to be planning what I’m going to be reading this winter but I’ll do it because god knows I won’t have time to think about it when it gets busy during December.

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An Ember in The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: Ancient Rome type setting + fantasy!!!
The Start Of Me & You by Emery Lord: YOU KNOW MY LOVE FOR EMERY LORD’S DEBUT!! If you don’t, CLICK HERE.
The Law of Loving Others by Kate Axelrod: A 2015 contemporary debut that sounds right up my alley!

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater: I KNOW I KNOW. Time to catch up! Did you see this giveaway to win the series thus far + a limited edition tarot cards made by MAGGIE herself & my darling friend Carla’s “reading” of the series based on the judgment card?

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: I need to read a Patrick Ness book eventually so I’m hoping to start with this one!! (as I type this..it’s 1.99 for kindle).

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: Another series that people have RAVED about that I must start!

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The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand: I really loved Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series and I’m excited to see what she does with a contemporary novel!

No Place To Fall by Jaye Robin Brown: I try not to fall into marketing comparisons but it said The Sky Is Everywhere meets This Lullaby and YOU CANNOT TEMPT ME WITH THE JANDY WITHOUT MY HEAD TURNING!

Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor: I really liked the two other Melissa Kantor books I’ve read so I’m REALLY looking forward to another contemporary from her!

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows:  An amazing sounding FANTASY DUOLOGY. Go read the summary if you haven’t heard of this one. No seriously, go do it.

 

 

So tell me…what books are on YOUR to-be-read list for Winter?? What book should be my #1 priority on this list of mine?

Book Talk: A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Book Talk: A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody KeplingerA Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Publisher/Year: Poppy- 2012
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Other Books From Author: The Duff, Shut Out, The Swift Boys and Me
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 Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

 

A1
On the night of graduation, before she gets ready to head to her dad’s house to spend the summer, Whitley has a one night hookup that she thinks she’ll never see again. Imagine her surprise when her dad springs it upon her in the car ride to his house that he is getting married and that she will also be living with her new family which includes and new step-brother and sister. A step-brother who she has TOTALLY seen naked the night before. Her dad is like this new shiny dad she’s never seen and she struggles to feel at home in this new family — with a stepbrother who she is absolutely attracted to.

a2Can’t wait to pick up her other books!

a4This book was super duper addictive. I just FLEW through it. This was my first Kody Keplinger book and it definitely won’t be my last! So, let’s talk about it:

1. The romance was so not typical:  Okay so it had a Clueless thing going on (most of you are old enough to know this movie yes???) for me. I remember even back in the 90’s being like I SHIP THIS SO MUCH (okay maybe I didn’t say ship) but IT FEELS A LITTLE SQUICKY EVEN THOUGH I KNOW IT’S NOT? Well, in this book it was the same way. The main character hooks up (yes sex) with a boy randomly on graduation night and then, as she goes to spend the summer with her dad, finds out that he actually is her NEW STEPBROTHER. Ohmygod right? AWWWWKWARD. So, hey-brother-who-I-have-seen-naked can you pass the gravy? I SO wanted them together even though in my head, knowing that there wasn’t anything “wrong” with it, I kept thinking MAN that would be so awkward to date your stepbrother. I LOVED Nathan by the way!! What a great guy!

2. I loved the honesty of Whitley’s voice: I’ve always heard Keplinger just writes with this searing honesty and rawness and I totally agree. Everything written is just so authentic of being teen and Whitley’s voice just really worked for me. There is just that genuine portrayal of being a teen girl in all of its messiness and ugly glory but also in the way that we grow SOOOO much and learn (the hard way a lot of the time). I loved how Keplinger didn’t shy away from drinking and sex and stuff…it felt so seamlessly what a lot of teen experience is. It wasn’t an “issue-y” type of thing ever but you see realistic “consequences” to some of the things she was doing. Nothing preachy or OH THE END OF THE WORLD BECAUSE YOU DID THIS. But just a lot of food for thought.

3. Loved the exploration of family dynamics: Whitley has divorced parents and there is a lot of bitterness there. Whitley has spent every summer with her dad who was like her best friend. This year? He springs the news on her that he’s getting married and…surprise! You have a stepbrother and stepsister! He’s turned into this guy she doesn’t really recognize, she’s thrown into a new family (with a step-brother she hooked up with) and she feels like the odd man out when her dad barely spends any time with her. I just loved how it explored all of it. The feeling of being the old kid in the new family. Having to hear bitter things said from one parent about the other. It was just so perfectly explored because, coming from a divorced kid here, IT GETS COMPLICATED. And as an aside, I LOOOOOVED her stepmom!!

4. I wished for a little bit more depth in some areas toward the end is my ONLY complaint: When it got to some of the things that Whitley was learning, I was REALLY excited to see her think about and put these things together. But it fell a little short for me. The book went RIGHT THERE for me and was so close to having the depth that I needed to make this a WOW read but it never hit that. I don’t know how else to really explain it but with the variety of issues that Whitley was dealing with (especially with her dad) I just wanted MORE in the end I guess. When I reached the end-ish I just felt like it could have been better for me and a little more profound? I don’t even know if that’s the word I’m looking for but I just knew I felt a little disappointed at the end.

 

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ characters, plot, addictive factor, writing
- wanted a little more depth in some aspects

Re-readability: Probably not because I’m picky about rereading but I want to read the rest of her books!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I have one but I’m probably passing it on bc it wasn’t a fave/I won’t reread

a5contemporary YA fans, people who want authentic voices in YA

a8I couldn’t put this one down! Really impressed with Kody Keplinger and the raw sort of emotions she brings to her teen characters and her ability to tackle some tough stuff. Loved the story and the characters despite wishing for a little depth in some areas. Will definitely be reading more from Keplinger!

review-on-post-it

midsummers-nightmare-kody-keplinger

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
Have you read any other Keplinger books? Which one should I read next?

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

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