Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: Kim vs. the Mean Girl by Meredith Schorr

Read:  March 7th - 9th, 2017

Type:  Kindle (ARC)

Source:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (out of five stars):

Where to find the author:  Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Where to find this book:  Goodreads | Amazon

Series:  Prequel to the Blogger Girl series

Publication date:  April 20th, 2017

From Goodreads:

High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.
Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?
Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

 As a fan of Meredith's, I was so excited to hear she was writing a YA prequel to her Blogger Girl series.  While Kim vs. the Mean Girl can be read as a stand-alone, I would suggest reading the Blogger Girl series first, just because it's more fun (for me, anyway) to get to know the characters, and then read about their high school antics.  But, again, you can totally read this as a stand-alone.  It's a fun book either way.  :)

Kim vs. the Mean Girl is such a cute book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It took me back to my own high school days, though, thankfully, I didn't have to deal with a "mean girl" like Hannah.  It was interesting to see the main characters from the Blogger Girl series as high school kids.  Kim is a great character, in both this book and the others, and I would love to read more about her!

Another high point of praise I have for this book is that it helped pull me out of my month-long reading slump!  I had never been through a slump like that one before, and it was getting a bit depressing.  But, Kim vs. the Mean Girl totally saved me!  It was short enough to not be daunting, and interesting enough to keep me from putting it down.

Well-written, humorous, and a bit nostalgic, Kim vs. the Mean Girl is an excellent addition (or introduction!) to the Blogger Girl series.  It's a perfect mix of "chick-lit" and YA, and is ideal for a quick, summer read.  I would definitely recommend!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: The Phoenix Project by C. A. Gray

Read:  March 10th - 13, 2017

Type:  Kindle (ARC)

Source:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (out of five stars):

Where to find the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Where to find this book:  Goodreads | Amazon

Series:  Book 3 of The Liberty Box series

Publication date:  March 20th, 2017

Click here to read my review of The Liberty Box, and click here to read my review of the Eden Conspiracy.

From Goodreads:

The haven city of Beckenshire has been demolished, and most of the rebels lie beneath the rubble. The few that remain scramble to communicate with the outside world, knowing that if they are to stand a chance in the coming war, they can’t do it alone. In a last ditch effort to grow their ranks, the remaining rebels systematically destroy the repeaters which help to propagate the control center signals. And it’s working: citizens in targeted cities are waking up in droves. But Ben Voltolini will stop at nothing to quell the uprising before it has a chance to get off the ground. And he has one major ace up his sleeve: Kate Brandeis. 
During Kate’s broadcast to the nation, Voltolini unleashed targeted brainwave signals against her, causing her to allow both Jackson MacNamera’s capture, and her own. Now, despite Voltolini’s exquisite wining and dining, she can’t seem to stop the panic attacks. Whom can she trust? What is truth? Is there even such a thing? 
Meanwhile, imprisoned and hopeless, Jackson realizes the depths of his feelings for Kate only after he has already lost her. The incredible self-control upon which he prides himself gets put to the ultimate test when he meets an unlikely ally who just may turn the tide in the rebels’ favor—but only if Jackson can put aside his own bitterness. In this gripping conclusion to The Liberty Box Trilogy, new and surprising alliances are formed, passions run high, and our heroes learn what they are really made of. Do they have what it takes to fight for freedom—even if it means paying the ultimate price? 

I've been looking forward to reading The Phoenix Project since I finished The Eden Conspiracy, and it did not disappoint.  The Phoenix Project is a strong finish to a stellar series, and I have nothing but good things to say about it.

The entire series is pretty action-packed, but The Phoenix Project really raises the bar.  I was on the edge of my seat at times, and I had goosebumps at the end.  It's been a long time since I've had such a strong reaction to a book.  I was so happy to get closure, but on the other hand, I was sad that it was over!  I didn't want to say goodbye to these characters, but I was pleased with how things turned out.  There is such wonderful character development throughout the series, and I love how much Kate has changed from the beginning.

The world building is creative and imaginative, and it was so easy to get lost in the story.  The author has a talent for subtly drawing you into this world with her incredible writing.

And I have to mention the cover - it's gorgeous.  Definitely my favorite of the three covers.

The Phoenix Project is an intelligent, entertaining, and well-written dystopian, and I would highly recommend checking out this series!

I'm not sure how long these prices will last, but you can currently get the entire series for less than $6 on Amazon!  The first book is free, so you should definitely go get that now.  :)   

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Blogger Girl and Novelista Girl Re-released With New Covers!

As a fan of Meredith Schorr's Blogger Girl and Novelista Girl, I am thrilled to share that both books (as well as her other novels) are being re-released with new covers!  Normally I don't like when books get new covers, but I am in love with these!  I want to get them all in paperback because they'll look lovely on my bookshelves.  Not only are the covers gorgeous, but the books are fantastic, as well, so I would highly recommend that you check them out.  😊  Both are being released on February 14th, so it would be a perfect Valentine's Day treat for yourself. ;)

And I completely forgot to mention that they're being released by her new publisher, with bonus scenes!  

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.
A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones's Diary, Kim, with her blog, Pastel is the New Black, has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that "chick lit is dead" once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim's day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that's turning heads--and pages--across the land. It's also popped into Kim's inbox--for review.
With their ten-year reunion drawing near, Kim's coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah's book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a "blogger girl" makes the grade in her offline life.

Feisty New Yorker Kimberly Long runs the most popular chick lit book blog on the web, loves playing house with her sexy lawyer boyfriend, Nicholas, and is finally pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a published author. At first glance, her life is worthy of five pink champagne flutes. But is there more to the story than meets the eye? After hearing the phrase “chick lit is dead” more times than she’s read The Devil Wears Prada, Kim is driven to desperate measures, seeking advice from up-and-coming chick lit author, Hannah Marshak, her high school nemesis and resident “mean girl.”
As if Kim doesn’t have enough on her plate balancing her secretarial duties with her blog, Pastel is the New Black, shrugging off the growing pile of agent rejections, and keeping her best friend from turning green over Kim’s budding friendship with Hannah, Nicholas is so blinded by his career ambitions, he doesn’t see that their home sweet home could use more than a dash of sugar.
This is the year when all of Kim’s dreams—professional and romantic—are supposed to come true, but will her story have a happily ever after or will Kim end up unpublished and all alone?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Review: A List of Cages by Robin Roe

Read:  November 9th - 10th, 2016

Type:  Kindle (ARC)

Source:  I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (out of five stars):

Where to find the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Where to find this book: Goodreads | Amazon

From Goodreads:  When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives. 

Julian, a friendless Freshman, who is abused at home and has no self-confidence at all, is befriended by Adam, a gregarious and friendly Senior.  What follows is a heartbreaking, yet ultimately heartwarming, story that I think everyone should read.

To be honest, I hadn't heard of this book before I received an email from NetGalley saying I had been pre-approved to read it.  I read the blurb and it sounded intriguing enough that I sent it to my Kindle immediately.  I still wasn't sure when I would read it (I have a lot of books on my TBR list), but at least it would be there when I was ready.  The very next day, I couldn't decide what to read, so I decided to browse the titles on my Kindle until something jumped out at me (surely I'm not the only one who does this?).  A List of Cages caught my eye, and I started reading it to see if it was any good.  I am so glad I did.

It's been a while since I've read such a heart-wrenching story.  I read it in just a couple of sittings, because I just couldn't put it down, which also hasn't happened in a while.  I just had to know how things would work out.  I felt like I knew the characters, and wanted only the best for Adam and, especially, Julian.

A List of Cages is such a well-crafted book.  It's dramatic, emotional, and, unfortunately, realistic.  The story was intriguing from the start, and was written so beautifully.  The main characters are well-developed and endearing.

My heart broke for Julian, and it is still breaking knowing there are actually children in the world who endure the same abuse.  It's not just a story, it's an eye-opening commentary on child abuse, and how it can be hidden.  It's not just about the physical effects, but the mental effects, as well.

I couldn't stop thinking about Adam and Julian after I finished the book (still can't, actually, and it's been a couple of months), and I find myself randomly wondering how they're doing, until I realize they're just characters in a book.  But that just shows how much the story stuck with me.

Another thing I loved about this book is that it focuses on the platonic love of two boys, and not on a romance.  There is a romantic relationship in the story, but it's realistic, and never overshadows the main story.  It was refreshing to read a YA book without insta-love or a love-octagon.

I would highly recommend A List of Cages.  It made my Top 10 list for 2016, and it was definitely one of my favorite books last year.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #51

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Click the covers to be carried to the Goodreads page for each book!  😊

Purchased (Kindle):

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top Ten Books I Read in 2016

I always struggle with coming up with my favorite anything.  If someone asks me what my favorite book (or movie, or TV show, or song) is, I always think, "Oh, you mean my favorite fifty books (or movies, or TV shows, or songs)?"  Because it is very, very hard for me to narrow it down to just one, or even ten.  But for the sake of this list, I'm going to do my best to narrow down my favorite books from 2016 to just ten.  These weren't necessarily published during 2016, but I read them this year.  I'm also not including books I've read before, because Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings would top the list every year.  Also, these are in no particular order.

(You can click the covers to be taken to the Goodreads page for each book!)

I also feel I would be remiss as a Harry Potter fan if I didn't mark these two as honorary favorites:

The most surprising book I read this year would definitely be Lonesome Dove.  Lonesome Dove has always been in my life, as my dad watched the miniseries a thousand times when I was little, but I was never interested in reading it before this year.  I'm not sure why, out of the blue, I decided it was time, but sometimes books come to you when you most need them.  I'm sure it surprised my dad when I asked to borrow it.  :)  When I started it, I was actually concerned that I wouldn't finish it, not because it's so long, but because I was afraid I'd be bored.  Westerns aren't usually my cup of tea, but I needn't have worried.  Going in, I figured it might get three stars from me, maybe four if I was feeling generous when I finished it.  But I never dreamed it would be a five-star book.  It was so good, and it definitely earned the title of "most surprising book of the year" for me.  I think I even saw a tear in my dad's eye when I told him I gave it five stars.

To see every book I read this year, click here (for Goodreads) or here (for text list on this blog).

Stacking the Shelves #50

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Purchased (Kindle):

December's Kindle First Book from Amazon:

For Review (From NetGalley):