Friday, July 31, 2015

In LA: Sipping Ice Coffees @ Alfred's Coffee in Melrose!

This Sunday I visited an amazing coffee shop in Melrose with my sister, LA called Alfred's Coffee {Melrose Place} and I was blown away by the atmosphere, coffee, and pastries!

"Alfred's Coffee was definitely a unique and bold coffee shop filled with mind blowing coffee and genuine pastries, it is a must stop for coffee!"

The famous But first, coffee sign spotted as you fall in line to order! Very Instagram worthy!

The Food & Ordering:

Once stepping in Alfred's one can be greeted by a long, but yet fast line of eager coffee lovers ready to drink their iced lattes. It seems like the ordering part was so fast because you get so immense in the artwork and atmosphere of Alfred's before you know it, your in the front of the line. While at Alfred's my sister and I both ordered iced vanilla lattes and a ham and cheese pastry, coming out to around $20. The food came out fast and was just pure heaven! The lattes were so amazing, it had such a clean and slightly caramel taste that I just loved. The ham and cheese was so fulling and the ham was juicy and real! Food was worth every cent!

The Atmosphere: 

Alfred's Coffee is definitely a worthy coffee shop, while the prices may be a little up there, it also pays for the environment. From it's but first, coffee sign to it's green outdoor seating, Alfred's is a great place to go with friends or family!

My iced vanilla latte photographed behind one of Alfred's many picture worthy walls!

Final Thoughts:

I LOVE Alfred's Coffee in Melrose and I'll definitely be back! It was great coffee shop, hip and urban, it is the perfect place to try if your looking to get something beyond the usual Starbucks :)

If you know any other great cafes in LA and if you are interested in visiting Alfred's be sure to tell me in the comments! Happy Weekend!

Find Alfred's Coffee: 
1.) Alfred's Coffee {Melrose Place} 8428 Melrose Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90069 (Yelp)
2.) Alfred's Coffee {In The Alley} 8509 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (Yelp)
3.) Alfred's Coffee {Brentwood} 11908 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 (Yelp 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#83) - Zero Day by Jan Gangsei

Waiting on Wednesday is Hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

Zero Day
Goodreads Summary: Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president’s political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn't know what to think. How could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?
Why I'm Waiting For It: I absolutely love reading or even watching movie when it involves the government, the president, and tons of action and suspense! Addie sounds like a great protagonist and the whole plot line is thrilling and I know should be action - packed! So far, tons of great reviews and I cannot wait for this!

Zero Day by Jan Gangsei hits shelves January 12, 2016 from Disney-Hyperion! 

Find Zero Day On:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tragic & Likeable:Trouble - Non Pratt

TroubleTrouble by Non Pratt
Date Released: March 6, 2014
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Pages: 384 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love.

From Goodreads

Trouble by Non Pratt was a book I really wanted to like, but it just ended up as a book to finish to get off my TBR pile. While it had it's golden moments (such as the protagonist and her new found friend) it gets bogged down by a boring story line and lack of characterization. But overall, the book had a great message about finding those true friends and who will be there when life becomes hard.

The book begins with Hannah, who is 15 and pregnant. As she navigates high school, her pregnancy becomes a big issue, affecting herself, friends, and family. Her best friend, Katie starts to become more mean and her family becomes distant. I enjoyed how the book wasn't full on about Hannah being pregnant from page one, but transitioned to her journey. The book also splits POV with young, new boy named Aaron who seems to care for Hannah. I thought that Aaron was a great supporting character to Hannah, he seemed to bring out things from Hannah she never experiences and say things she never saw her self saying. The characterization on Hannah and Aaron was great, just wished Pratt developed the other characters more. Also, the plot needed more layers and longer chapters to further the story.

Just like with any pregnancy YA novels, the protagonist makes the choice to do an abortion, adoption, or keep the baby. I won't be giving away spoilers but I thought Hannah's choice was very brave and right. The father of the baby also is brought up in the book that comes at a total shock!

Overalll, Trouble by Non Pratt was a good novel, definitely should be read by teens to show teenage pregnancy has an BIG effect on one's life. Unique and powerful, Trouble by Non Pratt was a book that explores family and friend relationship, no matter the current situation. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

In LA: My Trip to Caffe Bene!

Last week, I visited a great cafe in LA called Caffe Bene, and I knew I had to post a review up on the blog, on a new meme called "In LA" where I'll be featuring food, entertainment, and eventful places in LA. 

Caffe Bene was hip, cozy, and perfect for sipping upon artistic lattes!

While at Caffe Bene with my cousin, I decided to drink a mocha latte (of course for a Instagram pic), but I actually never had art latte! The latte was perfect - not too bitter and not too sweet, it was a perfect balance. 

Overall, I absoultey loved Caffe Bene. While the price were slightly higher than Starbucks, it definitely pays for the atmosphere and drinks. I'll be sure to head back to Caffe Bene! Be sure to stop by this amazing cafe when in LA!

Find Caffe Bene:
1.) 3287 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (213) 384-3713 (Yelp)
2.) 607 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005 (213) 251-1022 (Yelp)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Feature + Guest Post: Rome in Love by Anita Hughes

This week I am excited to share a feature plus a guest post on Anita Hughes's new novel, Rome in Love! Be sure to check out the book below and the guest post right after it :)

Goodreads Summary: When Amelia Tate is cast to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, she feels as if all her dreams have come true. She has a handsome boyfriend, is portraying her idol in a major motion picture, and gets to live in beautiful Rome for the next two months. 

Once there, she befriends a young woman named Sophie with whom she begins to explore the city. Together, they discover all the amazing riches that Rome has to offer. But when Amelia's boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career, her perfect world begins to crumble.

While moping in her hotel suite, Amelia discovers a stack of letters written by Audrey Hepburn that start to put her own life into perspective. Then, she meets Philip, a handsome journalist who is under the impression that she is a hotel maid, and it appears as if things are finally looking up. The problem is she can never find the right time to tell Philip her true identity. Not to mention that Philip has a few secrets of his own. Can Amelia finally have both the career and love that she's always wanted, or will she be forced to choose again?

With her sensory descriptions of the beautiful sites, decadent food, and high fashion of Rome, Hughes draws readers into this fast-paced and superbly written novel. Rome in Love will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.
Now, here is the guest post from Anita about the inspiration behind Rome in Love!

 I have always been a fan of classic romantic movies, particularly the dialogue between actors like Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, and Doris Day and Rock Hudson. One Christmas, I sat down to watch Roman Holiday and fell in love with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. In Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn's first starring role (for which she won an Academy Award) she plays a princess in Rome, who pretends to be an ordinary girl for a day. She meets a reporter (Gregory Peck) and of course they fall in love. 
I was inspired to write ROME IN LOVE by watching Audrey Hepburn and by seeing the gorgeous locations in Rome. Hepburn has one of the most unique voices' I've ever heard. I watched all her movies (I especially loved TWO FOR THE ROAD with Albert Finney) and couldn't get her voice out of my head. I thought about writing an updated version of Roman Holiday - set in Rome, with all the glorious foods and clothes and monuments. It was great fun to write and I discovered many interesting things about Audrey Hepburn's past while I was researching the book.
I hope my readers enjoy a short holiday in Rome when they read ROME IN LOVE!
Be Sure to Follow Anita @ Her Social Media:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#82) - Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Waiting on Wednesday is Hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

Not If I See You First
Goodreads Summary: The Rules: 

Don't deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don't help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don't be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I'm just like you only smarter. 

Parker Grant doesn't need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That's why she created the Rules: Don't treat her any differently just because she's blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there's only one way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that's right, her eyes don't work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn't cried since her dad's death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened--both with Scott, and her dad--the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.
Why I'm Waiting For It: Honestly, the first time I saw this book and read this sypnosis I knew I had to feature it in my WoW this month! Everything about it sounds amazing and I especially like the 20/20 vision aspect of the novel and breaking the rules. Looking forward to this one soooo much!

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom hit shelves December 1, 2015 from Poppy!

Find Not If I See You First On:

Monday, July 20, 2015

Thrilling & Insightful: There Will Be Lies - Nick Lake

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lane
Date Released: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 464 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: 4 Stars!
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.

Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.

All Shelby knows is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past—and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.

Award-winning author Nick Lake proves his skills as a master storyteller in this heart-pounding new novel. This emotionally charged thrill ride leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning.

From Goodreads

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake was such an explosive thriller, I loved everything about it from it's deep symbols and plot but also it's simplistic characters and smooth story line. Filled with action, suspense, and emotion, There Will Be Lies was effortless in Lake's suspenseful writing to his raw emotion that easily come off the page. 

There Will Be Lies begins with Shelby Jane Cooper  who will soon be hit by a car in 4 hours. In 4 hours her life will be far off from what she imagined her life to be. Shelby was the perfect narrator and protagonist for the novel. It was actually my first novel where the protagonist was deaf and it turned out well. Shelby was so easy to relate to and she felt real and genuine. In addition, I liked how Lake used the car crash as something to set off the plot of the novel. Soon, everything comes rushing in Shelby and her mom's life, it becomes a real page turner instantly. I thought Shelby was characterized well and she grew as the book progressed. 

There was SO MANY plot twists in the novel. I never even expected some of the things Lake had in store, but be warned you will be so surprised! I won't give any spoilers, but it was unexpected and done amazingly. The ending of the novel was such a great ending, while not everything is perfect, it was a realistic ending and wrapped up the novel nicely! 

Overall, I definitely suggest There Will Be Lies to any reader looking for a great thriller to read this summer! While the book does alternate between Shelby's reality to her dream world, it flowed nicely. Ultimately, it was an amazing novel :)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

2015 Summer Blogger Promo Tour: (The Book Bratz)

I am SO EXCITED to be participating in the 2015 Summer Blogger Promo Tour hosted by the amazing Book Bratz (Amber & Jessica!) 

Before we get into the 10 Random Facts about Amber and Jessica, we also did a quick and fun interview, check it out below!

1.) How long have you been blogging? 
Two years, sorta-kinda. We started in early 2013 but then gave up and let things die off. We started up again in May of 2014, and that's what we officially refer to as our beginning of the blog. So technically two years, but we count it as one!

2.) Why did you start blogging?
Jessica: I was so excited to start The Book Bratz because I absolutely loved reading and absolutely adored the idea of being able to share my thoughts with all of the Internet after reading a particularly good or bad book - not a lot of our friends are readers, so I couldn't do that with most people. Running a blog where you get to express your thoughts on books made it so much cooler!
Amber: I love books and reading and I like to talk about them! 

3.) How old are you?
We're both seventeen, and born ten days apart! (Amber's the older one!)

4.) Favorite Book/Series?
Jessica: Looking for Alaska by John Green. My favorite book of all time - oh man, I could read that book a thousand times over.
Amber: Um, that is a challenging one. Typically anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout I will read! 

5.) Why do you love to read AND blog?
Jessica: Because I can share my thoughts with the entire internet and discuss books with other bloggers who devote all of their time to reading and reviewing as well!
Amber: It gives me an escape from real life. It is literally a form of therapy. 

6.) Favorite TV show and Favorite Song (at the moment)?
Jessica: Favorite TV show would have to be Degrassi. It always has been. As for favorite song, I love Photograph by Ed Sheeran. So so beautiful. Amber: Favorite TV show: Orphan Black and Favorite Song: Leaving California by Maroon 5

Saturday, July 18, 2015

An Action - Packed Conclusion: The Ruby Circle - Richelle Mead

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead
Date Released: Feburary 10, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill

Pages: 348 pages
Format: E-Book
Source: Bought @ iBookks
Rating: 5 Stars!
Series: (Bloodlines #6)

Goodreads Synopsis: THEY WILL BE TESTED

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series.

When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever.

Don't miss their unforgettable final chapter...


From Goodreads

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead was an amazing conclusion to a wonderful series! I have such a big love for her Bloodlines series, The Ruby Circle did not disappoint! The novel was ingenious, racing, and emotional, it was definitely one of the best books in the series. I recommend you to pick up the Bloodlines series if you have not already!

In The Ruby Circle, there is so much at risk for Sydney and Adrian *spoilers* After Sydney escapes the Alchemist's re-education center and gets married to Adrian, the love of her life, Jill is suddenly kidnapped and their lives are turned upside down. I love how the novel integrates all of the amazing characters from the Bloodlines series, from Marcus to Dmitri and Rose to Olive and Nina, Mead managed to weave such a complex story line. She also kicks up the action and suspense with Nina's sister Olive in trouble with spirit magic to Sydney's rescue mission with Jill, alongside with Mrs. Terwillinger and her coven, it was magic seeing it come in full circle. 

Sydney and Adrian were both amazing in The Ruby Circle, they are both tested to the max emotionally and physically and readers see parts of them never seen in the previous books. The dual POV was done flawlessly! I never had trouble figuring out who was what and it just brought the book together. Sydney is as clever and igneous as before and Adrian grows so much and matures since his drunken, artist persona in the first few novels. 

The ending of the novel put such a big smile on my face :) It was everything I hoped for it to be and more. It was definitely a feel good ending and after reading the Bloodlines series I've grown with the characters. Ultimately, The Ruby Circle was the best book in the Bloodlines series. It went beyond my expectations and blew me away. If you have not picked up the series, be sure to do, you will not regret it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#81) - Another Day by David Leviathan

Waiting on Wednesday is Hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

Another Day (Every Day, #2)
Goodreads Summary: The eagerly anticipated companion to David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller Every Day

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.
Why I'm Waiting For It: I greatly enjoyed the first book in the everyday series and I love how this book explores it from Rhiannon's perspective. Absolutely cannot wait for Another Day, plus I'm obsessed with that cover!

Another Day by David Leviathan hits shelves August 25, 2015 from Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers 

 Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Intriguing & Complex: Althea & Oliver - Cristina Moracho

Althea & OliverAlthea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho 
Date Released: October 9, 2014
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Pages: 366 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: 3.5 Stars!
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.

Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.

From Goodreads

I adored Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho! It was quirky, fun, and complex I enjoyed every second of it. Althea and Oliver were two great protagonist that made the book shine. Their complex relationship alongside with their budding romance and teenage angst made the perfect for Moracho's premise. 

The book starts off with Althea and Oliver in their normal routine in their life in Wilmington, North Carolina. Althea struggling with her growing love towards Oliver has herself wanting to be closer to Oliver. Oliver on the other hand is busy falling asleep, never being in the present to spend time with Althea that ultimately hurts their relationship with each other as friends. I was easily able to relate to both Althea and Oliver, they each had their own personality that came off the pages. I loved that Moracho divided some chapters in the book between Althea and Oliver, it was easy to understand what each was going through.

One aspect of the novel that makes it so intriguing and complex was the plot and unexpected twists coming from Althea and Oliver. The "bad decision" Althea makes in the beginning of the book was so unexpected, I did not see it coming! But it does add suspense and emotion to the book that sets Althea and Oliver on their own paths.

Full of deep emotion and thought with complex, flawed characters. Althea & Oliver explores self-identity and love. And if you love books sets in New York be sure to pick this one up! Definitely enjoyed this book a lot and I cannot wait to see what other books Moracho has in the future!

30 rock animated GIF

Sunday, July 12, 2015

2015 Summer Blogger Promo Tour (Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles)

I am SO EXCITED to be participating in the 2015 Summer Blogger Promo Tour hosted by the amazing Book Bratz (Amber & Jessica!) 

Before sharing her post on her Top 10 Books She Can't Live Without!, we did a quick little interview, and it was definitely fun to get to know you Brittany! 

My name is Brittany. I've had a million nicknames from it but none of them have really stuck.

I'm 25 years old. 

I started my blog a few years ago. Although I had been wanting to start one for a long time I didn't know where to start. Then one Christmas I received an ARC of Requiem by Lauren Oliver. It was my first ARC ever and when I received it I decided it was time to start my blog haha. 

Generally, I read YA novels. I especially love Fantasy and Dystopian but I've read many other genres of books in the Young Adult category. As long as the writing is good and the plot sounds interesting, I'll read it. I also love a lot of classic literature but haven't had the time to read much of it recently. I pretty much never read nonfiction. Reading is an escape for me, and nonfiction makes me sit in reality. So, no thanks. 

One fact about me that's not related to books..that's a toughy. I'm a big lover of Anime ^_^

My long standing favorite book was Tryst by Elyswth Thane but more recently The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo are my favorites. More specifically Ruin and Rising. I'm currently swooning over Six of Crows but I love Ruin and Rising more.  

I love, love, love movies. I have so many favorites and if you get to know me you'll find that I know pretty much entire scripts of my favorite movies. My current favorite is About Time. 

I can't say that I have a favorite type of music. My tastes in pretty much everything is all over the map. I'm a 90s kid so I love a lot of late 80s and millineum music. I also love Classical music. Here are some of my favorite artists/bands: BoA, Hero Jaejoong, Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, Beyonce, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Meghan Trainor, Adele, N'Sync, and so many  more. 

Top 10 Books Brittany Can't Live Without!

About Brittany: NYC Blogger of Brittany’s Book Rambles. Brittany is a self-proclaimed bookworm, Grisha, Potterhead, Dauntless, Fangirl, and excessive rambler. She is shameless in her love of the written word. No matter where she is, most of the time you can find at least one book in her purse. On Brittany’s Book Rambles you’ll find book reviews, giveaways, and fun memes such as Forgotten Fridays and Books vs. Movies. 

Hi everyone! *waves* After a lot of thought here the Top Ten Books I Can't Live Without! It was hard to narrow it down (especially since I only choose one book per author) just to ten since I have more favorites than this but these are the books I need to survive. 

My Top Ten Books that I Can’t Live Without

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
This book has been my favorite book since it came out. I carry this book with me whenever I go away on vacation. I recite passages from it at the dinner table with my sisters. It's life-changing. It inspires me in so many ways. From the outstanding writing style to the complex plot and characters. I ADORE this book.

Tryst by Elyswth Thane
Tryst was my long time favorite before Ruin and Rising entered my life. In my opinion this book was way ahead of its time with its paranormal aspects and its very sweet romance. I received it a few years ago as a Christmas present and I reread it every holiday season. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling 
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Harry Potter. I grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I love all of the books but this is the one that really spoke to me as a kid and was my very first book obsession. 

The Lais of Marie Du France
I studied these stories while I was in college and they are such beautiful fairy tales. I don’t know why these are not more widely known. If you’re looking for feel good fairy tales and one with actual happy endings, you’ll love these. 

Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare
A lot of people talk about Shakespeare’s dramas but I personally love his comedies more. Much Ado About Nothing is a fun story about a gentleman wrongly accusing of his beloved of making him cuckold and getting what he deserves for it. If you’ve never read Shakespeare before, instead of recommending Romeo and Juliet (which doesn’t even make my favorites list) I would recommend this. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I love, love, LOVE this book. The story is just sweet and complicated. I feel completely immersed into the setting. Elizabeth Bennet and I would be great friends. Don’t even get me started on Mr. Darcy. If you don’t love him, you’re just wrong. 

Brother’s in Battle, Best of Friends 
This book is told from the mouths of William “Wild Bill” Guarnere and Edward “Babe” Heffron taken down by Robyn Post. Some of you may have read Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose or seen the the TV series based on it. This book is Wild Bill’s and Babe’s personal account of those events. I have always been interested in the history of World War II and this book was gifted to me with a personalized signature from Bill so I can’t imagine living without it. 

Ereth’s Birthday by Avi 
Ereth is one of my most beloved childhood characters. His way with words are just so bizarre and hilarious that it still brings tears to my eyes (happy tears, of course). I loved all of the Poppy books (the series of books that Ereth’s Birthday belongs to) but this was by far my favorite because it centered all around Ereth. 

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Delirium is such a beautiful and inspiring book. It has a love story that will make you melt. I'm a huge Alena fan! It's a dystopian novel with love being considered a disease that humanity needed to be cured from. Delirium is my favorite of the trilogy.

Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss

Some may like Cat in the Hat or How The Grinch Stole Christmas (I like them as well) but this is my favorite Dr. Seuss book. It’s extremely underrated and used to bring tears to my eyes (of sadness and happiness) when I was a kid. I get this warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about this book. I had this one checked-out of my school library pretty much the entire time I was in elementary school. 

Find Brittany!

Great meeting your Brittany! Be sure to go and follow Brittany's blog and social media! 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

One Giant Mess: What We Knew - Barbara Stewart

What We KnewWhat We Knew by Barbara Stewart
Date Released: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Pages: 256 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Review (Thanks!)
Rating: 2 Stars
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: When a local myth starts to seem like a dangerous reality, two girls are set on a path that could change their lives forever

"When I was little, I imagined a monster: Scaly hands. Pits for eyes..."

When Tracy and her best friend, Lisa, were kids, stories about a man—a creep who exposes himself to little girls—kept them out of the woods and in their own backyards. But Tracy and Lisa aren't so little anymore, and the man in the woods is nothing but a stupid legend. Right?

But someone is in the woods. Someone is watching. And he knows all their secrets, secrets they can't tell anyone—not even each other. 

"Monsters don't exist."

Lisa's just being paranoid. At least that’s what Tracy thinks. But when a disturbing "gift" confirms her worst fears, it sets the girls on a dangerous journey that takes them beyond the edge of the woods. But reality is more terrifying than the most chilling myth, and what they find will test the bonds of friendship, loyalty, and love. 

"Once upon a time, two girls were lost in the woods."

In Barbara's Stewart's What We Knew, Tracy and Lisa can't destroy the evil they'll face, but can they stop it from destroying each other?

From Goodreads

Honestly, I was sooo disappointed with What We Knew. The book sounded good from the synopsis, the cover was interesting, and it ended up being one giant mess. The lack of a solid plot and basic, bland characters led to the book's downfall.

What We Knew opens up with two friends, Tracy and Lisa who are haunted by the town's "Banana Man". A man who goes to young girls and flashes his privates at them. He knows all their secrets and seems to be right under their noses. From the beginning of the book, I thought that Tracy was an okay characters, she was kinda annoying at times, but it did get worse as the book progressed. The whole concept of the novel was similar to the movie, Gone, with Amanda Seyfried, in the sense that there is a man preying upon girls along with the suspense and action. But in What We Knew the stale characters and messy plot got in the way of what could have been an amazing novel.

As I was reading, one thing that really bothered me was the plot. In the beginning it focused on Banana Man, but as the novel progressed it was went from Tracy's love struggles with Adam and Foley and to Tracy's mom...I honestly don't know what to say. I had such high hopes for this novel, and it was a letdown.

Ultimately, What We Knew had some good moments, it was overshadowed by it's messy plot and poor characterized characters. In the end, if you want to try a quick, suspenseful read check this book out!

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