Friday, August 21, 2015

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith (ARC)

Hey Everyone!

Finished another book, and just in time for the end of the summer!!

Before I continue though, I just wanted to share some super exciting news that I just found out...I have been awarded a Grant for this school year and a $1000 scholarship!! Not only will this semester be COMPLETELY covered but also NEXT SEMESTER, so that means MY ENTIRE SCHOOL year is taken care of!!!!!!!!!! :)

I cannot even tell you how much of a relief that is!!!!!!  I am so excited!!  This will be my first year at a university (I am transferring from a community college), so it's a bit nerve wracking, but also exciting to be one step closer to my bachelors!

Anyway, time for the review! :)

I RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING BOOK FOR REVIEW FROM THE PUBLISHER!  So thank you Poppy for the opportunity! And thank you Pasadena YA Fest for hosting the event where Poppy had donated these copies to! :)

From Goodreads:

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up.  Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be.  The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations.  But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye.  The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.

My Thoughts:

Jennifer E. Smith is truly a very talented YA writer!  She comes up with great characters, and usually some really interesting story lines.

That being said, I unfortunately wouldn't call Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between one of my favorites.  I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but honestly I had some issues with the plot.

I understand the concept and idea of what Jennifer E. Smith was getting at, but at times I found myself rolling my eyes with annoyance at the character's problems.

I get it...saying goodbye is difficult.  But I think what really bothered me was Clare's single-mindedness.  I kept finding myself supporting Aidan, and thinking how stupid Clare was to throw something, she supposedly felt so strongly about, away.  Honestly it annoyed me.

However, as the story evolved things started changing.  Clare saw some of the points that Aidan was making about staying together.

I get it.  Going to separate colleges, on the opposite side of the country is difficult, but either way they were going end up with heartbreak, whether they broke up before going or after going.  So I didn't understand why they couldn't have just given it a try, with the long distance thing, and then calling it quits if it got too difficult.

I don't know, maybe I am wrong.  But overall I did enjoy the story.  It was interesting, and while Clare wasn't my favorite at times, it was still a pretty good read.

Overall Rating:

I am definitely excited for Jennifer E. Smith's future works.  She is definitely very talented and always comes up with an interesting idea for a book.  I also really love the covers, and how well they work together on the shelf! I love it when authors covers have patterns in their art work, and just change colors :).

Anyway, check it out, if the story line is of interest to you! It comes out September 1st!

The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Erin: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Hi Everyone!! I've got a review today of a book I'm super excited about!! The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon! As you may know, I met Samantha Shannon earlier this year when she was on tour for her new book, The Mime Order, the sequel to The Bone Season.  This was definitely a book I was really looking forward to and I am happy to report I was not disappointed!! Here's my full review below!! :D

From Goodreads:

The year is 2059.  Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man name Jaxon Hall.  Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds.  For Paige is a dream walker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes forever.  Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race.  Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives.  He is her master.  Her trainer.  Her natural enemy.  But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination.  Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

Erin's Thoughts:

OMG GUYS!!!! I LOVE THIS BOOK!! I am so completely obsessed with it!! It's literally gotten so bad that I'm having a hard time reading anything else; I just want to keep reading and rereading The Bone Season!!!

The weird thing is...While I was reading the book, I was thinking to myself, "Oh yeah, it's pretty good" or "I'm really liking it." And same thing when I finished the book, I was like, "Oooh, I really enjoyed this book." But then literally -- I mean literally -- like five minutes later, I was suddenly like "OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH I'M OBSESSED!"

I really don't know what happened between finishing the book and those five minutes, but wow, The Bone Season was definitely one of those books that snuck up on me and I didn't even realize how much I loved it!! Ever since I finished this book I haven't been able to think about anything else.  I've been thinking about it obsessively and I'm just totally in love with the world and story that Samantha Shannon has created.  Just WOW!

I love this story so so much! To be honest, I didn't really expect to like it that much.  I thought it would be an okay book, but not one that I would be waiting for on the edge of my seat for the next one to come out (mainly since it's classified as Adult Fiction, which I don't really read).

While it is considered an Adult book, it has a lot of YA crossover.  I can see why people might think it's YA, but it's definitely an Adult book.  The pace was a lot more relaxed than what you would see in a YA and the tone older. Again, seeing as I almost exclusively read YA, I had lower expectations (not cause I thought the book didn't sound good, but just because my previous experience with Adult books have been mediocre), but this was one of those instances where I was completely blown away. Total book hangover (seriously -- book hangover lasted a few weeks!!).

The Bone Season has one of the BEST slow-burn romances as well. I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE slow-burn romances.  And eeee!!!! I just loved it!! It was sooooo well-done!!!! It could also be classified as hate-to-love romance, as well, but for some reason, I never really saw it that way, so I don't really call it that... (I know, I'm weird :)) But either way hate-to-love romances are the best, so I'm good!! :D  I don't really want to say who the love interest is just because I feel like it could be a spoiler, but I will say this...OMG I love him so so much!! I'm completely obsessed with him! And for all the books I read, I don't tend to actually want the character for myself --- but this is an exception!! (Side note: Another exception would be Gansey from The Raven Cycle --OMG I would marry him if I could!!!).  So summary --- EPIC ROMANCE!!!

I'll admit, it is a bit dense with the information, which can be a bit overwhelming, especially the first chapter, where almost all of it was explaining the world and the rules -- it was kind of tough, but after that first chapter, it kind of shoots off from there and all the super fun stuff starts.  Even so, it did have a lot more explaining and telling than most books, but I was actually okay with it.  It's really clear that Samantha Shannon has a very clear grasp on her world and she has a certain vision for it -- so while there's a lot of information that gets thrown at you, it's not confusing or conflicting information (and also, there's a glossary and everything at the back if you need it -- though I picked up things fairly easily, I think).

The only other thing I noticed was that the movement of the characters got a little confusing for me.  So by that I mean, for example, Paige would be standing by the window and then suddenly she would be sitting on her bed.  I know authors don't have to explain every little detail about where their characters are (gosh, that'd be tedious!), but Samantha Shannon tends to be more sparse than most books  I've read.  Again, this wasn't really a big problem for me.  It's really just a matter of getting used to her writing style -- which I am really loving by the way!

This book is so unique! I've never read anything like it -- it's a mix of fantasy, science fiction, dystopia -- and ugh, I cannot get over it! While I understand that a lot of people might not like this book, it's seriously one of my favorite books EVER!!! Love it, love it, love it! (By the way, if you hadn't noticed yet, I'm going to be obsessive about this book a buttload, so be ready! :))


Luckily, I had The Mime Order on me, so I was able to dive into it right after I finished The Bone Season!! OMG, I'm so in love with this series!!!

P.S. I totally agree with Samantha Shannon's opinion that Jaxon Hall should be played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the movie!  Seriously, I can't see anyone in that role besides him! He would be absolutely perfect! Absolutely perfect!!

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry (ARC)

Hey Everyone!!!

Finally finished another book this summer! It's been a bit of a crazy summer, been working extra hours, and just not getting the free time I've needed to recuperate before school and my other jobs starts in less than two weeks.  I'm freaking out a bit, but I just told myself today, "You are going to lie in bed, and finish reading this book you've been reading for over a month now!"

Anyway, I did it!! I FINALLY finished Katie McGarry's latest novel, in a new series, Nowhere But Here! This is the first book in the Thunder Road Series, and I received an ARC at the Pasadena Loves YA Festival back in June, thanks to the amazing HARLEQUIN!!! So THANK YOU Harlequin for giving out those amazing ARCs at the festival!!!

From Goodreads:

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood.  Sure, she's curious about her biological father -- the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent -- but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world.  But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems.  Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue yes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror.  They're the good guys.  They protect people.  They'  And while Emily -- the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member --is in town, he's gonna prove it to her.  So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream.  What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

My Thoughts:

While it took me a while to read, it definitely wasn't for the reason that I was bored!  In fact, it sometimes truly hurt to put this book down, because I really wanted to keep reading.  The problem with reading at work, during the times that customers aren't in, is that when they do come in, you unfortunately, can't tell them to F#$@ off.

But anyway, loved the characters, loved the writing, and of course, the story.  Katie McGarry's writing reminds me of Simone Elkeles style.  She has that serious love story, that isn't very common, but none the less hot, but yet at the same times feel very realistic.

Emily was an interesting character.  Definitely very sheltered.  I wouldn't necessarily say innocent, more she knows about what's out there, but doesn't want anything to do with it.  I understand that...especially being a reader who likes to escape the real world sometimes.  I loved the transition of her not wanting anything to do with her biological father's side of the family, to slowly accepting them into her lives.

Oz was also another great character.  I would describe him as a typical guy interested in joining the family business, into the babes, yet having that definite soft side to him.  He adores Olivia to no end, she is his second mother.  He protects his family, and has a hard time accepting Emily's negative judgement on the Reign of Terror, but tries every way possible, without giving away the big family secret, to show her that they aren't what she thinks they are.

Olivia, while not one of the two main characters, is definitely a character worth mentioning!  What she is going through, is something that no one should have to go through, yet WAY too many people do.  Cancer is definitely a bitch.  None the less, this is a strong female character, that loves and adores her family, blood and otherwise, yet at the same time, is tough as rock!  Loved her!

I would definitely recommend this one!  Especially if you're a Simone Elkeles fan and haven't given Katie McGarry a try yet!  If you enjoyed Katie's other book, such as Pushing the Limits, then you will be sure to love this one!

Overall rating:

You can get your copy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and wherever else books are sold now! :)

The Romance Bookie :)