Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana

From Goodreads:
An evocative debut, perfect for fans of Tommy Wallach's We All Looked Up, about the discovery of a mirror planet to Earth and how it dramatically changes the course of one Indian-American girl's junior year.

For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices. 

The world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, and Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it. 

As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara's life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth--and for Tara--will ever be the same again.
I am so drawn to this cover and the sound of this one!  Mirror in the Sky is scheduled for release on June 21, 2016, and I can't wait!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

2015 End of Year Book Survey

2015 End of Year Book Survey:

(hosted by Jamie @ The Perpetual Pageturner)

Number of books I read: 211.

Number of re-reads: 24.

Genre I read the most from: Contemporary adult.

Best Book I read in 2015?  See my list HERE 
tl; dr:  The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

Book you were excited and thought you were gonna love more but didn’t?
Again, I don't know if it's blogging and having access to so many books but I am  finding it harder and harder to find those stand-outs.  My biggest disappointment of 2015 was The Royal We -- I'm still sad/angry thinking about it!!  The Ruby Circle was also a terrible end to a great series

Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read in 2015?
The Others series by Anne Bishop -- I wasn't sure if I could get into a new urban fantasy series and I was blown away!  I can't wait for the next book!!

Book you pushed people to read?
The Deal, Steering the Stars

Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series I started this year: The Others series by Anne Bishop 

Best Sequel of 2015: How I Fly (How I Fall #2) by Anne Eliot

Best series enders of 2015: After Dark by M. Pierce

Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
So many!  Anne Bishop, Emily St. John Mandel, Elle Kennedy, David Joy, Kristen Callihan

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Again, The Other series -- thanks Rachel!!!

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Action packed: Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy

Thrilling: Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

Unputdownable: The Hook Up 
by Kristen Callihan 

Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Deal, The Truth According to Us

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar 

Most memorable character of 2015?
Margo from Marrow ; Meg from The Others series

Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
The Truth According To Us, Station Eleven, Last Night in Montreal, Where All Light Tends to Go

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
The Truth According To Us, Station Eleven, Last Night in Montreal, Where All Light Tends to Go, Marrow

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Outlander, Station Eleven

Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
From Last Night in Montreal:
I wanted to be her north star. I wanted to be her map. I wanted to drink coffee with her in the cafes in the morning and do things, as you do, as she did, instead of just philosophizing about them and deconstructing their endless Russian-doll layers of meaning. I was alone before I met her. I wanted to disappear with her, and fold her into my life. I wanted to be her compass. I wanted to be her last speaker, her interpreter, her language. I wanted to be her translator, Zed, but none of the languages we knew were the same.
Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
Shortest: Saving Grace by Kristen Proby (ugh!)

Longest: Voyager (I gave up on the series after this one)

Book That Shocked You The Most?
Where All Light Tends to Go; Marrow

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Meg/Simon from The Others series; Hannah/Garrett from The Deal

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year:
Willa/Jottie from The Truth According to Us

Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:
Marrow, The Paper Swan, Steering the Stars

Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
The Hook-Up (Thanks Nereyda and Megan!)

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Surprisingly, Trevor from The Guest Cottage

Best 2015 debut you read?
Where All Light Tends to Go

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The Others series !!

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Deal, The Hook-Up, Heart-Shaped Hack

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I've never cried while reading a book 

Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Steering the Stars and The Bright Effect by Erica Cope and Autumn Doughton; The Truth According to Us

Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Where All Light Tends to Go; Station Eleven

Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
The Library at Mount Char !! Honorable mention: Marrow; Station Eleven; First Impressions; The Rabbit-Back Literature Society

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Jesse's Girl (such a disappointment in this otherwise outstanding series); The Royal We (ugh!!!!!); Nemesis

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
The Truth According to Us

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I don't really do discussion posts on my blog Megan's DEAR NEW ADULT: AN ALMOST-BREAKUP LETTER was spot on!!!!!!!!! I also always love Nick & Nereyda's discussion posts!!

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Not really an event but this tweet made my bookish year:

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
I really posted more this year than in any other year and I tried to comment a lot when I could!

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop ; Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2015

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
My Rec' Me Something Good!

Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I did listen to a few audio books this year and I enjoyed it but I'm still kindle obsessed

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I set my GR goal for 201 and I passed it again.  Going to go lower this year because I want to re-read a lot

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
I'll Meet You There ; Six of Crows

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
The Raven King.  Is it odd to say I am counting the days?  Also F*#K Love by Tarryn Fisher,  The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
and the next book in The Others Series 

2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey
Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
The Raven King !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
Review more! Maybe try a discussion post

A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I haven't read any good ones yet (I've actually only read one) but I know 2016 is going to be a good year for books!!

Happy New Year!!!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: Prejudice & Pride by Lynn Messina

Blurb from Goodreads:
You know Darcy: rich, proud, standoffish, disapproving, one of the greatest romantic heroes of all time. But you don't know this Darcy because THIS Darcy is a woman. 

In PREJUDICE & PRIDE, Lynn Messina’s modern retelling with a gender-bendy twist, everything is vaguely familiar and yet wholly new. Bingley is here, in the form of Charlotte "Bingley" Bingston, an heiress staying at the Netherfield hotel on Central Park, as is Longbourn, transformed from an ancestral home into a perennially cash-strapped art museum on the edge of the city. Naturally, it employs an audacious fundraiser with an amused glint in his eye called Bennet. 

All the favorite characters are present and cleverly updated: Providing the cringe-worthy bon mots is Mr. Meryton, the nerve-wracked executive director of the Longbourn who’s always on the lookout for heiresses to join his museum’s very important committees. (Universally acknowledged truth: Any woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a social committee to chair.) Collin Parsons is still in obsequious, if ironic, awe of his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The wicked Georgia Wickham toils as a graphic designer at Redcoat Design by day and schemes against Darcy by night. 

With her trademark wit and style, Lynn Messina takes the genres she does best—chick lit, mashups, and Regency romance—and weaves them into one delightfully entertaining tale that doubles as a fun guessing game. 
My Review:
I really enjoyed this retelling -- you all know I read a lot of retellings of Jane Austen, some better than others.  I believe this is the first gender reversal retelling I've read and it was really good.  The art fundraising/patronage made the perfect modern setting to keep with the canon of P&P and I really, really liked both Bennet and Darcy.  All of the secondary characters were spot on, especially Mr. Meryton.  I laughed out loud several times!  The only complaint I have is part of the ending -- while the overall ending was definitely canon, there was this lead up to the ending that felt so not canon to me.  Obviously, retellings are fun because they stretch canon and sometime turn it on its head but since the rest of the book was so close to the original, this part that was so based on lust felt very off to me.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to fans of Jane Austen -- I loved the gender bending twist of this retelling of P&P.  It felt modern but true to canon, which I love!!

Prejudice & Pride came out recently, you can purchase HERE, and I highly recommend it!
A gentleman should have a thorough knowledge of music, literature, art, theater, wine and cigars.  He should be well-traveled and speak at least three languages, one of which has to be Mandarin if he has any hope of remaining relevant in the modern world.  He should know how to tip a maitre d' without arousing attention and have a clear understanding of his financial portfolio.  Plus, he should have a certain athleticism about him-- that is, how to pull of a bicycle kick, how to get out of greenside bunker at St. Andrews and how to return a rolling nick shot in squash. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Love, Lies & Spies by Cindy Anstey

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Love, Lies & Spies by Cindy Anstey

From Goodreads:
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself. 
Um, regency and spies?!  Sign me up!  Love, Lies & Spies is scheduled for release on April 19, 2016, and I can't wait!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review: Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy

Blurb from Goodreads:
In the country-noir tradition of Winter's Bone meets 'Breaking Bad,' a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption.

The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually.  The only joy he finds comes from reuniting with Maggie, his first love, and a girl clearly bound for bigger and better things than their hardscrabble town.

Jacob has always been resigned to play the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, he’s faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to rise above the only life he’s ever known. 
My Review:
Wow.  No, seriously, WOW. I don't know what it is about the South, but it's almost like nothing has happened in those towns near the Appalachian Mountains in the past one hundred plus years.  I imagine that there are these lost civilizations, these pockets of extreme poverty where life is still like it was one hundred years ago . . . and that was in the back of my mind the entire time I was reading this book.  My point in telling you this is that the language of this book, the inner dialogue of Jacob, every single word I read put me that mountain town in North Carolina.  

I highly recommend this to fans of gritty literary fiction.   This book is a glorious debut and I cant wait to read more from this author!  This is the type of book that sticks to your ribs, and the ending will leave you reeling.  However, my favorite part was the voice of Jacob -- it was so real, so southern, so heartbreaking and desolate.  The descriptions of the landscape and the feeling of the setting were impeccable.  I got lost in this book and could not put it down.

Where All Light Tends to Go came out earlier this year, you can purchase HERE, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend it! 
I'd never had anyone ask me to let them in.  Inside was a place most folks wouldn't have ever wanted to glimpse, much less be a part of, but Maggie had always been banging on the door.  Maggie had always been trying her damnedest to take part of the weight off me, and I'd never let her.  I couldn't let her then, and I wasn't sure that I could let her now, but the one thing that was for certain was that I'd carried that weight for too long.  I'd carried it until I was almost broken, and the only thing that had ever come along and offered to fix any of it, whether she held that power or not, was her.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fab ladies at The Broke and the Bookish!

1. The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

I can't stop thinking about this book, six months later.  Absolutely unparalleled for me this year.  I still feel like I crawled into a lost Carson McCullers reading this book.  My review HERE

2. Last Night in Montreal and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel's words are haunting -- I normally do not include books on my list not released the same year of the list but my exception is these two!  My review of Last Night in Montreal HERE.

3. Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy

I just finished this book late Saturday night/early Sunday morning and I'm so glad I did because I can't imagine it not on this list.  My review will be posted this Thursday but the voice in this book -- absolutely astonishing!

4. The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

Please do not let this cover fool you!  This is such a good book-- so steamy, funny, and tender.  Definitely the best NA I've read in a long time!!  My review HERE.

5. Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop

I cannot thank Rachel (of Waves of Fiction and The Reader's Den) enough for recommending this series to me when I was looking for a new series with subtle, hard-fought love.  The next book in the series is my most anticipated read for 2016, after The Raven King and F*$K Love.

6. First Impressions: Or, A Cautionary Tale of Pride and Prejudice by Charlie Lovett

As a HUGE Jane Austen fan, I've read every iteration of retelling imaginable but this was something different --  it imagines an entirely different Jane Austen (with some truth) and an entirely new (with some truth) version of the way in which she wrote some of her most famous novels.  I loved it!!  My review HERE.

7. Steering the Stars by Erica Cope and Autumn Doughton

My only YA on the list this year!  Since I've been blogging, I've created both top 10 adult list and a YA list every year.  However, this year I didn't read enough books that were of the quality to create two lists even though so far I've read 215 books in 2015.  Steering the Stars is the YA exception -- so good!!

8. Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

This book was so spooky and it had SUCH a good twist but my favorite thing about it was the setting -- so perfect! My review HERE.

9. The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen, Translated by Lola M Rogers

She'd read more than was healthy, hundreds of books every year. Some of them she read twice, or even three times, before returning them. Some of them she would check out again after letting them sink in a while. She'd thought at the time that books were at their best when you'd read them two or three times.
My review HERE. 

10. Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

You guys didn't honestly think that I could have a top ten books of the year list without Tarryn Fisher, right?  While Marrow is my least favorite of hers (not counting the abomination that is Never, Never), her words just speak to me.  I still don't know what to think of this one but I loved getting lost in the language and the story and Margo.

Adult 2014 YA 2014 Adult 2013 YA 2013 Adult 2012 YA 2012

What were your favorite books this year??  Link up below!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Review: Rendezvous in Point Reyes (West Coast Holiday #3) by Elisabeth Barrett

Blurb from Goodreads:
For shy, quiet Stella Flynn, love is an illusion. After a rough divorce, all she wants is to make a fresh start and get on with her life. Unfortunately, she spends all her waking hours working at her family’s Napa Valley winery alongside her ex, the assistant winemaker. Unable to bear the thought of spending another weekend surrounded by lovey-dovey couples, especially after suffering through a lonely holiday season, she escapes to Point Reyes to wallow. Little does she know that an old family friend has other plans …

Sexy, free-spirited Jason Roberts has secretly been in love with Stella for years. The problem? She’s his best friend’s younger sister, and Stella’s brother would kill him if he ever broke her heart. Besides, Jace is pretty sure that Stella thinks of him like another brother, not a lover. But then he notices the way she’s looking at him, and one perfect kiss changes everything.

Over a long, romantic weekend, Stella and Jace discover that seduction is a game that’s easy to lose … and that the path from friends to lovers is never as smooth as it seems. 
My Review:
Oh my, the first half of this book was SO, SO good!  And the second half -- not bad, but just not as stellar as the first half.  There is something SO good about anticipation and I love a "my brother's best friend" romance!!  This is a good one!  I liked that it was Jason who was pining for Stella for all those years since usually it's the other way around in books that fall into the trope of my brother's best friend.  He is SUCH a good book boyfriend!  Major swoon -- in a band, makes cheese, has a gorgeous house and is completely devoted to Stella -- rescuing her for Valentine's Day weekend and cooking for her.  This is by far my favorite in this series!!

I would recommend this to fans of contemporary romance.  I have been to and love Point Reyes and cheese so the setting was perfect!  Rendezvous in Point Reyes came out earlier this year, and you can purchase HERE!  
He tried to memorize every minute of this.  The tiny beauty mark under her chin.  The way she breathed out, just a little, each time he bottomed out inside her body, the depth of passion in her dark eyes.    

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Sight (Devil's Isle #2) by Chloe Neill

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
The Sight (Devil's Isle #2) by Chloe Neill

From Goodreads:
The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over. But the battle for the city is just beginning . . . 

Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both...
I really liked the first book in this series by one of my favorites, Chloe Neill (my review here) so I can't wait for the next book!  The Sight is scheduled for release on August 16, 2016, and I can't wait!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

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