Friday, August 29, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising is the third AND last book in the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo!! If you guys have read my previous reviews for Shadow and Bone and Seige and Storm, you will know that I LOVE this trilogy!! It is absolutely one of my favorite series and Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite favorite authors!! So without further ago...

From Goodreads:

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Erin's Thoughts:

I heard a lot about Ruin and Rising before I even read it.  There was a ton of buzz going around and honestly, that kind of stuff always tends to worry me mainly because one, I don't want ANY spoilers and I truly mean any -- even the smallest details that seem insignificant -- and two I had heard such great things about this book that I was worried I would be disappointed by it, especially since it is the last of the series!

Fortunately, I was not disappointed!! Leigh Bardugo's amazingness really knows no bounds!!! I LOVED this book!! It was one of the best endings to a trilogy/series EVER!!! It was so beautifully and wonderfully done and I could not imagine a more perfect ending!! Be assured that you will in no way be disappointed by this book!!

Everything that I love about the first two books carries on into the third plus more! I've mentioned this before, but one of my favorite parts about this series is that Grisha world is incredibly well-built; it's detailed, full, and rich, and so distinct without being completely weird!!  there's just nothing like it!! As well as world building, Leigh Bardugo is amazing at creating awesome characters that you grow to love!!  Love Alina, love Mal, and love even the Darkling! One character that stood out to me particularly in Ruin and Rising was Zoya! She's such an awful person in the first book, torturing and bullying Alina, but in the third, she turns out to be such a great character without sacrificing the sarcasm and snark that made her so terrible in Shadow and Bone.  There also is a wonderful wonderful twist that I never in a million years would have guessed!! It's (at least for me) something I would never have seen coming!! And it's so brilliant!! Which is something, I really appreciate in a book because I LOVE that feeling of OHMYGOSH I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED! And unfortunately, it doesn't seem to happen too often...UGH!!! And the end!!! I can honestly say that Ruin and Rising is one of THE BEST endings to a book I have ever read!!! It's THE MOST PERFECT ending to a series ever and I could not have asked for anymore!! Without giving anything away, I'll say that it was equally tragic, heartbreaking, hopeful, and beautifully stunning.  It's really everything that I could have ever asked for in an ending!! Just absolutely so beautiful!! I'm still not over it and it's been a little more than two weeks since I read it.

So if this wasn't blatantly obvious already, my overall rating...

Wish I could give it more than that (like a bajillion bookies!!), but I'll stick to the regular 1-5 scale! Anyways, I cannot emphasize more clearly how much I love the Grisha Trilogy and I cannot recommend it enough! Leigh Bardugo is an absolutely fantastic writer and I'm only sad that I'll have to wait a while before her next series (The Dregs, a new duology set in the Grisha world) comes out!! A series I will definitely be reading over and over.  In fact, right after I finished Ruin and Rising, I got a really strong urge to read it again! So I'll probably be doing that when I get some free time!!

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren by Wendy Toliver

So summer is officially over, and both work and school has started once again.  I know that these next few months are going to crazy busy, so I really wanted to read a no-brainer easy read.  And that's why I picked up one of Simon and Schuster's Romantic Comedies!

From Goodreads:

Geeky to gorgeous in sixty seconds...

Roxy's about to turn sixteen, but life isn't so sweet. As a band geek, Roxy can barely get the cute guys to notice her, much less go out with her. Then, on her birthday, Roxy is transformed into a siren: seductively beautiful with the power to control all men. She thought sirens were an ancient myth, but suddenly Roxy can get any guy she wants with just a few notes on her flute.
There are only two rules: don't tell anyone about being a siren, and don't fall in love. When she starts dating Zach, the guy everybody's crushing on, Roxy realizes she could get used to this siren thing...but how can she keep herself from falling in love?

My Thoughts:

The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren was extremely cliche, over the top, and just a bit too cheesy for me.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I like cheesy, but when it involves a character who goes from "ugly" to drop dead gorgeous, and abandons her friends because she's all of a sudden popular, I just can't like that protagonist.

The writing was a bit over the top for me too.  I don't like when a character gets every single thing she could want.  I understand it was part of the story, but it just wasn't of interest to me.

Maybe because I'm 23, and this is a story targeted for a much younger audience? I think that's it.  So all in all, I would just recommend it to a younger audience, like possibly between the ages of 13 and 15.

Overall rating:

Like I said above, the main problem with this book is that I'm too old for it, I think.  I would recommend it to a younger audience, like early teens.  This might be just the book for you then! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: I Want It That Way (2B Trilogy #1) by Ann Aguirre (ARC Review)

Hey Everyone!!

From Goodreads:

Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B…. 

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other. 

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

Erin's Thoughts:

So if you don't already know, Ann Aguirre is the author of the Enclave Series!  I was surprised, but happy to find out that she was writing a contemporary novel, which is very different from what I've read from her.  Naturally, I was intrigued.  So, I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC of this book (my first EVER!) and I'm super happy I got to read it! :) I really liked the premise of this story.  It immediately reminded me of Back to You by Priscilla Glenn (which you should also read -- it's awesome!).  The story was definitely distinct and a refreshing change from other books out there.  I especially loved the ending of the book, which I won't give away, but I'll just say that I REALLY loved that Nadia didn't shy away from anything; she was just so confident, unwavering, and believing.  And, in general, it was super sweet ending -- perfect for the book!

The only thing I would say about this is that I thought the connection that happened between Natalie and Tyler was pretty fast -- or at lease for my taste.  I wish I could have gotten to know the characters better before it jumped into the romance; it would have been nice to ease into why Nadia and Tyler were so attracted to each other and why they felt this particular connection. So...

Overall rating:

Well, 3.5 bookies, cause like I said, I wanted to know the characters a bit more before all the action really started! But I would say I Want it That Way would fall under the "New Adult" genre, so any fans of that, definitely give a read! It's a really sweet story, but I should also mention that it has "adult" (18 years+) stuff involved, I mean, not extreme amount, but enough, so...yeah, just so you know! *wink wink* :D.

The book comes out, I believe August 26th, tomorrow! Another good thing? The book has sequels! As Long As You Love Me and The Shape of My Heart, which come out in September and November respectively!! Ann Aguirre also has a bunch of other fabulous books out there, so check those out too, especially Enclave!  Oooh! And one more thing, I can't wait to read her new book Mortal Danger, which is coming out August, as well! So excited!! :)))

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Valentine Princess (#7.75 in The Princess Diaries Series) by Meg Cabot

Hey Everyone!!!

Thanks to Alex over at A Girl, Books and Other Things I won a copy of Meg Cabot's Valentine Princess, the one and only book in The Princess Diaries Series that I had not owned yet...and I hadn't even known that!!!!!

Well, any thank you Alex!!!! I loved it!! :)

From Goodreads:

Valentine's Day means flowers, chocolates, and all-out romance.

That is, it usually means those things. But when you're Princess Mia, nothing happens the way it's supposed to. For one thing, Grandmère seems determined to prove that boy (or Michael, as he is commonly known) isn't the right one for the crown princess of Genovia. And Mia isn't having much luck proving otherwise, since Michael has a history of being decidedly against any kind of exploitative commercialization (Valentine's Day, as it is commonly known).

Boris can declare his love openly to Lilly, and even Kenny comes through with a paltry Whitman's Sampler. So why can't Michael give in to Cupid and tell Mia he loves her—preferably with something wrapped in red or pink and accompanied by roses—in time to prove he's Mia's true prince?

My Thoughts:

Valentine's Day, a "holiday" about love.  Single people hate it, couples love it.  I've been on both spectrums, I will admit, because before Valentine's Day was lonely.  It was a holiday that rubbed in every single girl's face, that others were in love.  Having just celebrated my first ever Valentine's Day with my boyfriend of over a year, this year, I can appreciate the holiday a little more, but overall say yes it's sweet and yet another great reason to spend it with the person you love, but don't rub it other people's faces!!!

Anyway, Meg Cabot wrote another cute one in The PD series.  This was a fun, short read, only 86 pages.  It's a flashback, because while it is #7.75, it's actually Mia at sixteen finding her journal from when she was in 9th grade, and writing about her first Valentine's Day with her boyfriend Michael.  It was adorable!

Overall rating:

It's by Meg Cabot.  Has Mia Thermopolis in it.  Follows Mia and Michael's love.  And was super cute. What else can you ask for in a book???!!! At least, that's what I love to see in a book ;).

Anyway, fans of PD definitely check it out!  It's one of the more less known Princess Diaries books, so might be tricky to find, but once found, totally worth it! :)

Hope everyone has a great day!! I'm off to Disneyland today, in an attempt to hold on to the last remnants of my summer vacation!!!! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

Hey Everyone!! :)

Over a year ago, I read Katie McGarry's first book in the Pushing the Limits SeriesPushing the Limits, and fell absolutely in love with the characters, the writing, the story! Just everything!  I knew right away that I would want to read the other books in the series, as soon as possible!  At the time the second book, Dare You To was a few days away from being released, and unfortunately I caught up in other books, so by the time I did get the chance to read it, I had almost forgotten about it! I know I suck!  But that's the problem with when you start a series, and the other books aren't available yet!!

Anyway, almost a year and a half later...I've finally read the second one in the series, Dare You To!

From Goodreads:

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

My Thoughts:

I remember loving Noah and Echo in Pushing the Limits, so I was sooooo excited to read more when it came to Katie McGarry's world! And let me just say that I was not disappointed!!

Beth and Ryan may seem like polar opposites, but you know, sometimes that is just what works! And let me tell you, the chemistry between those two is definitely there!

Beth's life can't really get any worse.  Her Uncle Scott is just who she needs to get her out of the funk, but even though she doesn't realize it right away, she soon sees that sometimes it's okay to depend on other people, instead of always just being the one that others depend on.

Ryan, while it may not be seen on the outside, has plenty of issues on his own, involving his "picture perfect" family.  In reality, his family is completely falling apart.

Ryan and Beth end up being there for each other to put the pieces back together, and learn somethings about themselves along the way.

Overall Rating:

I really liked this one!  McGarry once again writes a great story with a great ending!  I still have one or two questions about what is going to happen with Ryan and Beth's, especially Ryan's future, but I'm sure those will be answered in the future with the other books in the series, because the past characters seem to make an appearance periodically! Both Noah and Echo showed up a couple of times! :)

So definitely keep your eyes open for my review for the next book in the series, Crash Into You! :)

Have a great day everyone!! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Random Post #10: My Top Five Favorite Authors

Hey Everyone!

So while I'm pretty sure I've done this post before, I just want to do it again, because who knows somethings may have changed! :)

My Top Five Favorite Authors (not necessarily only because of their books, but also because of how they treat their fans!) and Why?:

1. Meg Cabot-

Meg signing...she's a lefty too!

Me and Meg :)

I know, I know! lol  Anyway Meg is amazing!  Not only is her writing hilarious and my absolute favorite things to read, especially when I'm in a funk, but she's also an amazing person!  I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Meg back in February of 2012 (Read about it HERE), and my goodness, can I just say it was one of the best days of my life!  Meg was everything I imagined she would be!  It was like seeing all her characters come alive right in front me!  She had that exact humor as her writing does! It was awesome!

2. Cassandra Clare-

Me and Cassie, March 2013

Image from Goodreads

another author I've had the honor of meeting.  I met Cassie back in March of 2013 (You can read about that experience HERE).  Cassie is another example of not only having amazing books that have some of the most creative and unique characters featured, but also being a really awesome person!  I am so very much looking forward to and dreading the release of the last book in the Mortal Instrument Series this Spring. City of Heavenly Fire is going to be both epic and leave me totally devastated after I've finished reading it this May.

3. Kody Keplinger-

Image from Goodreads
Not only did Kody write one of my all time favorite books of all time, The DUFF, but she also wrote it when she was only 17!  Kody is my age, so she's a real inspiration to say the least!  I haven't gotten the pleasure of meeting Kody in person yet, because I live on the exact opposite of the US then she does, but I have gotten to video chat with her!  We talked not only about her books, but also just super random pop culture topics that we both found interesting! It was a lot of fun!  Her debut novel, The DUFF, is one of my favorites because of the message!  It's about a character who feels she doesn't fit in, but still tries not to show it.  Along the way she makes mistakes that most teenagers make, and ends up with the perfect happy ending!  (You can find my review of The DUFF HERE)

4. Simone Elkeles-

Image from Goodreads

Simone!! Why do you never do any signings in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA???!!!  Simone is yet another author who is amazing with her fans!  While she hasn't made it to a signing to here in So Cal, in a while, she will send her fans personalized signed book plates if you send her a self-addressed envelope!  At least that's what she did for me back in 2010, when I wrote to her!  Perfect Chemistry, is one of my all time favorite books!  I really need to reread this one, and review it here on The Romance Bookie!!  I still think this book would make the perfect story line for a modern day movie version of West Side Story!

5.  Miranda Kenneally-

Miranda is so great at interacting with her fans both through Twitter and Facebook!  I even got the awesome chance to interview Miranda back in 2012! (You can find that interview HERE)!
Her debut novel Catching Jordan is one of my all time favorites!  I loved the characters, the story line, and overall the realistic feel for teens everywhere!  I highly recommend checking that one out if you haven't already! :)

I'm sure there are so many more awesome authors out there that I'm forgetting at this moment! But these are the ones I've had the amazing opportunity to interact with quite a few times, since I started The Romance Bookie!

Thanks everyone!

The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (ARC Review)

Hey Everyone!

So today, I'm taking part in the Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover Blog Tour!!  Colleen's latest release, Ugly Love, hit shelves on August 5th, and for all Hoover fans...Man, is this the perfect book to add to your collection!

This is only my second book by Colleen, that I've read...I know I jumped on the Colleen Hoover bandwagon a little late.  But at least I've joined it now!!!

I read her last novel, Maybe Someday, a few months ago, and absolutely loved it!  And now I've read Ugly Love too, and holy moly was it good!!!

From Goodreads:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

My Thoughts:

As the description heart definitely got infiltrated with this story.  I almost broke into tears at the end of this one, when secrets were finally revealed!

At times, I wanted to slap Miles, for putting Tate through something like that.  I mean, yes she agreed to it, but seriously what reasonable woman can put up with a relationship, if you even want to call it that, where the future and past are off limits?!

But at the end when Miles's secrets are revealed, I, as the reader, could somewhat understand more where he was coming from.

While, I still believe his goal for his life was a little over done, everyone handles a situation like that in a different way, so I guess I can respect his decision.

I loved the writing style of Colleen Hoover in this one.  I loved how she not only switched off with the points of views in the chapters, but that she would switch off between present day Tate, and six-years earlier Miles.  That allowed us to get a glimpse at Miles's story piece by piece, and put together the puzzle pieces to figuring out why he was the way he was.

Overall rating:

I would highly commend this one not only to Colleen Hoover fans, but also to New Adult readers, who love a good romance.  This one is on the more serious side throughout, but contains such cute moments, and just like the title a look at Ugly Love.

You can get your copy at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and wherever else books are sold! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: A Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Today I've got a review of Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, which is the first in the trilogy!! Enjoy!! ;)

From Goodreads:

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

Erin's Thoughts:

I don't know if it's just me, but I feel like high fantasy is really getting big! And as someone who has always LOVED fantasy, I'm very happy about this! So when I first saw the cover and description for Kiss of Deception, I knew immediately that I wanted to read it.  I LOVE stories about princesses (especially tough, strong-minded princesses), princes, assassins, traveling on horses, kingdoms, etc.  So no surprise, Kiss of Deception was right up my alley! Everything about this book caught my attention -- the cover, the title, the synopsis -- EVERYTHING!! And I am so glad it did not disappoint!

UGH!! I absolutely LOVED this book!! It was soooooo goooood!!! I can't believe I have to wait a whole year for the next one to come out! (Beware, I will be complaining about this fact for a while...).

Hands down one of the best parts about this book is that, true to its title, it is deceptive!!  This book is told in first person that alternates between the three characters -- Lia, the prince and assassin are not revealed!!!  What? So let me explain a little more clearly.  The chapter titles are "The Prince" the "The Assassin", "Raffle", or "Kaeden", but since the book is all written in first person (and cause Mary E. Pearson is good not to give anything away), we don't know whether Kaeden is the prince/assassin or whether Raffe is prince/assassin!! Aaaahhh!!! In a word, it's brilliant!! I don't know how Mary E. Pearson thought of this, but she is an evil genius! I had so much fun reading this book, trying to guess who the prince and assassin are (Blah, I guessed wrong)! There are just enough clues that it's so so hard to figure out, but it will keep your interest and intrigue running high!!

Regardless of the whole prince/assassin identity mystery, the book was amaazing!! I love this book and I know it's going to be one that I'll be rereading over and over again, especially since it'll be fun to notice clues now that I know who is who!  The story was fantastic! And I'm super excited to find out what's going to happen in the second book!! Aaah! And the romance!! Beautifully done!! And spectacular writing, too!

And I'm just going to repeat myself...well, because! I ADORE the cover for Kiss of Deception!! I mean, just beautiful! It immediately caught my eye! One of the best covers I have ever seen!! And lucky for me, I have a Kiss of Deception poster that I can stare at all day!! :D

Overall rating:

Anyways, so sad that I have to wait so long before the sequel, Heart of Betrayal comes out.  And yeah! I love love love the titles for these books! Kiss of Deception, Heart of Betrayal! Has an awesome ring to it!! Lovers of high fantasy -- READ THIS IMMEDIATELY!! Such a fantastic book! I cannot say enough awesome things about its!!! :))

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: Sinner (#3.5 in The Shiver Trilogy) by Maggie Stiefvater

Today I've got a review for Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater!! The stand-alone companion novel to the Shiver Trilogy featuring Cole St. Clair and Isabel Culpeper!!

From Goodreads:

A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy. 

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

Erin's Thoughts:

I'm going to start by staying that I LOVE Maggie Stiefvater!! I remember picking up Shiver a couple years back and thinking "I don't know? Werewolves? Another one?" but I am so so glad that I read it!! Ugh, I just loved it!! I, of course, immediately read the second and third and loved them as well! And if you haven't read The Raven Boys yet, well, you should!! Because it is SO GOOD!! One of the best series EVER! But back to my main point here, which is Sinner...So when Sinner came out, there was no question as to whether I'd read it!! :)

Sinner was incredible!! I love it!! Maggie Stiefvater has this wonderfully unique and beautiful style of writing! Hands down one of my favorite parts of reading her books.  They're so so so beautiful and artistically so one-of-a-kind! Cole St. Clair is perfect! You can't help but love him because of his unique  charm and his appealing quirks! I almost want to say he's "wonderfully weird" (like Mike says to Phoebe in Friends) but note: Cole is nothing like Phoebe!! Just the expression was right on! With Isabel! I love how mean and cold she is, but fearless and vulnerable at the same time! And I love how both characters are flawed and that they recognize that in each other.  Sure, this may be true of a lot of different book characters, but...I don't know.  Something about Maggie Stiefvater's writing really brings this to life.  With Sinner especially, but I think this applies to many of her books, it delves a lot into character and the relationships that they have with others rather than a strongly plot-based novel.  Not to say that there is no plot, because there most definitely is, but I really get to feel what the characters feel and experience what they experience so profoundly. Sinner also features a lot less of the werewolf aspect than Shiver, though it certainly is an important part of the book.  Just a really great novel in general, which is true for all of Maggie Stiefvater's works.

And random side note: how does Maggie Stiefvater find the most perfect names ever?? Cole St. Clair, Isabel Culpeper, Sean Kendrick, Blue Sargent, Richard Gansey the Third...I'll stop there :)!

Overall rating:

As if I haven't said it enough, but I'll say it again.  Maggie Stiefvater is amazing!! ALL of her books are sooooo good and I always find that I'm astounded by her writing!! I especially recommend the Shiver Trilogy and The Raven Cycle Books!! And just a heads up, although Sinner is technically a stand-alone, I don't know that it would make much sense if you haven't read the Shiver books, so if you haven't already, read Shiver!! If only so that you can read Sinner!! :D

Erin @ The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Swift Boys & Me by Kody Keplinger (Review)

Hey Everyone!!

Kody Keplinger, one of my absolute favorite authors came out with her Middle Grade Debut this year, and I've finally gotten the chance to read it, after I was able to pick it up last Monday at Maggie Stiefvater Signing!

From Goodreads:

Nola Sutton has been best friends and neighbors with the Swift boys for practically her whole life. There’s the youngest, Kevin, who never stops talking; the oldest, Brian, who’s always kind and calm; and then there’s Canaan, the ringleader and Nola’s best-best friend. Nola can’t imagine her life without the Swift boys — they’ll always be like this, always be friends.

But then everything changes overnight.

When the Swifts’ daddy leaves without even saying good-bye, it completely destroys the boys, and all Nola can do is watch. Kevin stops talking and Brian is never around. Even Canaan is drifting away from Nola — hanging out with the neighborhood bullies instead of her.

Nola just wants things to go back to the way they were — the way they’ve always been. She tries to pull the boys back to her, only the harder she pulls, the further away they seem. But it’s not just the Swifts whose family is changing, so is Nola’s, and she needs her best friends now more than ever. Can Nola and the Swift boys survive this summer with their friendships intact, or has everything fallen apart for good?

Nola’s struggle to save her friends, her unwavering hope, and her belief in the power of friendship make Kody Keplinger’s middle-grade debut a poignant story of loss and redemption.

My Thoughts:

This is Kody's first middle-grade book, before she's written strictly for more mature Young Adults, so this was a pleasant surprise!

Nola is a great character. A typical innocent twelve year old (which is surprisingly hard to find now-a-days, innocent I mean.)  She has her mind set on what her future looks like, living next door to the Swift boys for the rest of her childhood, and eventually marrying Canaan, who is her age, and then having the other two boys live on either side of her when they get their own place to live.

That's just always what she kind of assumed would happen.

Except then everything changes.

The Swift's boy's dad leaves the family, with absolutely no goodbye, and no one knows if he is coming back or not.

Now Brian, the oldest, has way too many responsibilities for a 13 year old, Canaan has ditched Nola and run off with the bad boys of the neighborhood, and Kevin has stopped talking, even though he used to be the talkative one!

While none of the boys really talk to her anymore, especially the one that really matters, her "best-best-friend" Canaan, she has her own things to deal with that summer, and no one is there to talk to, about it.

This book takes over one summer that changes everything that Nola knows in her life.

I found that to be really great, because while it's sad to almost lose your childhood with so many changes, it helped Nola discover a lot about herself.

There was so much cuteness in this book!  The characters, the dialogue (they used words like "Ain't"), and the story line.  The storyline is overall a very serious one, dealing with a different kind of loss, that many people don't have to luckily ever deal with, but some do of course.

Overall rating:

I would recommend it to 12 and up kids, only because it deals with some hard issues, that may be a bit much for anyone younger. to understand.  Kody has definitely proven herself to be able to write beyond the mature young adult category, which is great, and proves even further more what a fabulous writer she is! :)

Hope everyone is having a good week! If you get a chance and are interested, I'm holding a giveaway right now, for a limited edition book jacket of Maggie Stiefvater's latest novel "Sinner"!  You can enter that using THIS LINK!

Thanks everyone!

The Romance Bookie :)

Guest Review from Erin: Goddess (#3 in the Starcrossed Trilogy) by Josephine Angelini

Goddess!!! The last book in the Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini!! The last book in a series is always a scary thing for me.  It can totally make or break a series! (*cough cough* Requiem *cough*)

From Goodreads:

After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched.

Erin's Thoughts:

Just like my favorite part about Dreamless was Helen's loneliness, one of my absolute favorite parts was Lucas! Helen admires his intelligence a lot and his ability to work logic throughout the series, but it really struck me this time! Ugh!! There is this...Riddle/wordplay scene that is SOOOOO gooood!!! I'm not going to give it away, but really really amazing!! And that's where you can see Lucas thinking and trying to solve the puzzle!! Loved it!! So smart!! One of my favorite scenes in the book!

And another favorite --- the battle scene!! Like many other last books, Goddess is where battle erupts! War breaks out and Helen and her team are doing everything they can.  In addition, there is plot twist/information that is revealed about Helen that adds a whole new layer of intrigue and excitement! But, like I said, I am a huge Greek myth/history fan and so I loved how Josephine Angelini incorporated elements of the Trojan War in Goddess!! I'm not going to say too much about this (we'll keep this review spoiler free! :)), but know that it's awesome! And I've said this before too, but just as a reminder, the Starcrossed trilogy isn't a retelling, but a story that adds on to the Greek myths while adding in some details.  Don't know if that makes sense, but there you have it!

There are just so many things that I loved about this book/series that I don't think I could list them all! Romance, action, twists, riddles, evil enemies...!! Goddess was definitely a satisfying conclusion and you won't have to worry about being disappointed.  The only thing I sort of wished for was more time with Helen and Lucas, but really, that's just me being greedy! *Sigh*

Overall rating:

I'm already craving more Josephine Angelini so luckily, she has a new book coming out this fall! I am super super super excited for this book/series and I cannot wait to read it!! It's called Trial by Fire (doesn't that sound awesome?) which is the first in the Firewalker Trilogy (also sounds amazing!) and comes out September 2nd! It's about witches and parallel universes and I am so so excited for it!! I'm very much looking forward to it and I'm confident that I will not be disappointed!! There's more information about Trial by Fire on Goodreads, so definitely check it out!! Thanks!! Until next time! :D

Erin @The Romance Bookie

Monday, August 4, 2014

Maggie Stiefvater Signing (featuring Brenna Yovanoff and Tessa Gratton) (Monday July 28th, 2014)

Hey Everyone!!

So last Monday, I went to another awesome book event!!

I got the amazing opportunity to meet Maggie Stiefvater!!

It was another crazy fun night at The Grove in Los Angeles last Monday evening.

Maggie Stiefvater was HILARIOUS!!  There is honestly no other way to describe her!  I was pretty kneeling over from laughter the entire time!  Unfortunately we weren't allowed to record so I wasn't able to do an actual recording of the entire discussion like I try to do at all the signings I go to.

But instead I can show you the many faces of Maggie Stiefvater... :)

She told some of the funniest stories about her life!

Anyway, after the discussion about her book Sinner, as well as some of the inspiration from her previous novels, it Q&A time! And while I know we weren't allowed to record, I did sneak a recording of my question to Maggie and her answer...I swear that is all I recorded!!!

After the Q&A was signing time of course!!

I got my author pic with Maggie luckily! :)

And then of course my books signed...

PLUS Maggie has two guest star authors along with her on this stop!

Brenna Yovanoff, the author of Paper Valentine, AND Tessa Gratton, the author of The Lost Sun (The United States of Asgard)!

The cute little blonde sitting is Tessa Gratton :)

And sitting next to Maggie is Brenna Yovanoff!

I had both sign their bookmarks :)

I had also three sign my Kindle Cover:

Maggie said it was an honor to sign under Laurie Halse Anderson :).

So my overall haul for the evening...

OH and I almost forgot, my friend and I got limited edition Book jackets for Sinner!!!!

Which she ended up giving me hers too, so guess what??? One of these lovely babies can belong to you, because it's GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

No seriously, it's really giveaway time!! :) Enter through the Rafflecopter below! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Romance Bookie :)