Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Good Moving Read: No Parking at Times End - Bryan Bliss

No Parking at the End TimesNo Parking At Times End by Bryan Bliss
Date Released: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Pages: 272 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Library
Rating: 3 Stars
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: Abigail’s parents have made mistake after mistake, and now they've lost everything. She’s left to decide: Does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail doesn't know how her dad found Brother John. Maybe it was the billboards. Or the radio. What she does know is that he never should have made that first donation. Or the next, or the next. Her parents shouldn't have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there with Brother John for the "end of the world." Because of course the end didn't come. And now they're living in their van. And Aaron’s disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right. But maybe it’s too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss’s thoughtful, literary debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.
 

From Goodreads
No Parking At Times End by Bryan Bliss was one of those books you would usually pick up if your looking for something to reach your reading goals. Short. Sweet. Simple. It was definitely a hidden gem in disguise! I greatly enjoyed the book's simplistic plot and writing style, and the message of the book was heartwarming. Definitely a good, light summer read!

The book begins with Abigail, or Abs for short, in the novel. Ever since her parents decided to dedicate their life, money, and time towards Brother John, her life has a mess. Her brother, Aaron, always believes that what their parents are doing is wrong and for once Abigail decides to take charge. I absolutely adored Abigail's inner voice and her strength. She just wanted her life to be the way it was before and she has no idea why her parents are giving all they have to Brother John. The novel is ultimately alternates between before and now, giving the reader a sense of how their life was before and how it is now. I enjoyed reading Abigail's journey of finding home and growing up, it's definitely relatable and real. 

One thing that I didn't like about the novel was the lack of character development of Abigail and her parents. While Bliss does touch upon their lives before Brother John, she failed to give her new characteristics and they lacked complexity. But overall, the book was a good moving read. With a simple and clean plot and a message about finding home and love, No Parking At Times End is a great book you should definitely pick up this week!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fresh Off The Press (#45): June 29 - July 4



Welcome to Fresh Off The Press! Check out all the amazing book hitting shelves this week and be sure to pick them up :) The book releasing are from (June 29 - July 4) 

Hardcover:
Between Us and the MoonShadowshaper

Paperback:
Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls/Shiver Series)Storm (Paper Gods Series #3)Under the Lights: A Daylight Falls Novel

Faking PerfectThe Vanishing Season

Those are the book releasing this week! It's kind of a small set compared to last week, but be sure to check them out! Happy Reading :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Surprising Read: The Distance Between Lost and Found - Kathryn Holmes

The Distance Between Lost and FoundThe Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
Date Released: February 17, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 320 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: From Library
Rating: 3.5 Stars!
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.
With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?   
From Goodreads


I'll have to admit that I was going into the book with low expectations: I haven't heard the book around, the premise sounded okay, and I wasn't to sure about characters, especially when you have a protagonist with the name Hallelujah. But after reading it, I would it to be such a good read, it was a good heartfelt book, with golden moments that brought the book together. 

The Distance Between Lost and Found centers around quiet, shy girl Hallelujah Calhoun (or Hal/Hallie), who has her life changed over rumors of the night she spend with the preacher's son, Luke Willis. As she decides to go on a youth retreat into the woods and gets lost, she comes face to face with her emotions, but also friendship and romance. At first, the beginning chapters of the book were okay, nothing special, it was just a bunch of layout chapters. Later on when Hallie goes into the woods with Rachel and Jonah, two other teens from the youth group,is when things kick up and begin. I found Hallie to be a good characters, she had many layers to herself the more you read the book. She starts out as this quiet girl, but as the novel progresses she finds herself and even befriends Rachel and Jonah, two friends she never thought she would have until the night with Luke. And with all that going on, Holmes weaves in survival aspects into the story.

One thing I enjoyed when reading the book was the blending of a survival story with a protagonist finding herself. Holmes did a great job developing Hallie, but also Rachel, as a fun and spunky girl and Noah, a boy who opens up for the first time. Any reader could easily delve into this story because it is such an easy book to get wrapped up in. Alongside, readers also experience an emotional connection with all of the characters as they try to survive in the forest.  

Ultimately, The Distance Between Lost and Found was a heartfelt book, that everyone needs to add to their TBR pile! It is definitely a great summer read and Holmes's simplistic writing will have you wanting to pick up the book over again!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#78) - Damage Done by Amanda Panitch


Waiting on Wednesday is Hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

Damage Done
Goodreads Summary: 22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she's able to begin again. She's even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy's forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .
 

 Why I'm Waiting For It: It sounds so freaking amazing! Such a great concept and all the reviews out right now for it say it's a page turner. Definitely looking forward to this! Plus that cover, eerie and creepy 0.0

Damage Done by Amanda Pantich hits shelves July 21, 2015 from Random House Books for Young Readers

Find Damage Done On:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Just Pure Awesomeness: Dreamfire - Kit Alloway

DreamfireDreamfire by Kit Alloway
Date Released: February 24, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Pages: 368 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Review
Rating: 5 Stars!
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: Joshlyn Weaver has always lived with a big secret. Ordinary kids spend their free time going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and searching on the internet.  

But for her, an evening at home usually means entering people's dreams. For many generations, her family has been part of a very powerful and very secretive society of dream walkers. Tasked with the responsibility of lowering the world's general anxiety — which only leads to war and strife in the waking world — their job has always been to stop nightmares before they go too far.
By stopping nightmares while sleeping, they help to stop nightmares in real life. 
But when an ancient feud within the dream walker society resurfaces right when a seemingly unconnected series of very strange and very scary events start occurring during her dream walks, Josh finds herself in a race against time. The one true dream walker has never been known. Could she be the one?  
From Goodreads


Dreamfire by Kit Alloway blew my expectations out of water! I absolutely loved everything about the book from it's well-developed cast of characters to it's intricate dream premise to the romance aspect that all weaved into an amazing book. 

Dreamfire begins with protagonist Joshlyn Weaver who is a dream walker - she enters the nightmares and dreams of humans and tries to prevent them from taking over. As the day comes to receive her scroll, which tells her what will happen to her in the near future, she meets Will in an unexpected way. The young and shy boy soon becomes Josh's apprentice and she trains him in the art of dream walking. But beneath it all, lies an ancient feud that has been tearing the dream walkers apart. I honestly really enjoyed Josh's character. She had so many layers from her bubbly personality to her kick ass fighting movies and strength. Josh's personality was easily able to go alongside Will's shy and charismatic traits. In addition, all the other characters such as Deloise, Haley, Whim, etc were such great characters and they just brought so much complexity to the book in the right amount.

One aspect of Dreamfire that I love was the balance between the romance and action parts. Alloway was easily able to throw in hints of romance her and there especially with Will and Josh, but also someone in Josh's life before. Among that, she throws in tons of action scenes, crafted to perfection you could easily be in Josh/Will's shoes. I was so surprised on how the characters were easy to relate to even through a third person perspective! But it did at times confuse me on who was narrating the story. One thing that Dreamfire suffers from is overloading with info. I felt like the first part of the book was full on too much info on the dream walkers and theory and it wasn't balanced out with the end of the book.

BUT THE ENDING! I can't even begin to say that there NEEDS TO BE A SECOND BOOK! The ending does satisfy some parts, but it's definitely left open to a possible second book?! Alloway please do make a sequel! Definitely pick up Dreamfire as one of your summer reads, it's the perfect book on a road trip or even to read at the beach!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fresh Off The Press (#44): June 22 - June 28



Welcome to Fresh Off The Press! Check out all the amazing book hitting shelves this week and be sure to pick them up :) The book releasing are from (June 22 - June 28).

Hardcover:

A Book of Spirits and ThievesEmmy & OliverA Girl Undone (Girl Called Fearless Series #2)

The RulesTangled Webs


Paperback:

The Young World (Young World Series #1)Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials: The Official Graphic Novel PreludeCalling Maggie May

The Rise and Fall of a Theater GeekBeing Sloane JacobsVanishing Act: A Lingering Echoes Novel

That is all the amazing books releasing this week! Hope you head out to your local bookstore and pick up some new reads for the week :)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Lyrical Boredom: Kiss of Broken Glass - Madeleine Kuderick

Kiss of Broken GlassKiss of Broken by Madeleine Kuderick
Date Released: September 9, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen 

Pages: 224 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: From Library
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.
When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment. 
From Goodreads

Dark. Lyrical. Haunting. Kuderick's novel, Kiss of Broken Glass, was also quite a snooze fest. The novel had some golden scenes but having it been such a short book it lacked a developed protagonist and the plot was overtaken by the poetic writing style. 

In Kiss of Broken Glass, we meet Kenna who is admitted into a psych ward for 72 hours because of her cutting. The Baker Act of Florida involuntarily forces teens who cut to seek care and help, and readers are able to see that in Kenna's story. The novel "delves" into Kenna's currrent situation with her family, friends, and herself. Within the 72 hours, Kuderick explores Kenna's journey in and out of the ward, and how she deals with her emotions and cutting. I really enjoyed Kenna's journey and the raw emotion Kuderick was able to weave throughout the book. With that being said, I also felt like Kenna's story and family/friend dynamics were not as developed. I just wished Kuderick wrote more and got rid of the poetic writing she was trying to use. It ultimately caused the book to feel short and boring.

What I did admire from the book is the message. The writing was raw and full of emotion, you can get a sense of the emotions and conflicts Kenna was dealing with in the novel. At the end of the book. Kuderick was amazing to have hotlines and website for teens dealing with cutting and self-infliction. She was able to get the word out that cutting in general only leads to pain and suffering and Kenna's story was a canvas to say that.

Ultimately, Kiss of Broken Glass had many great moments in the novel to Kuderick's wonderful writing. But it did fall because of the shortness of the novel and the poetic writing style. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#77) - These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas


Waiting on Wednesday is Hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

These Vicious Masks
Goodreads Summary: Evelyn has no interest in marriage and even the dashing Mr. Kent can’t inspire her to give in to society’s expectations. She’d much rather assist her beloved sister Rose in her radical quest to become a doctor. Then she meets Sebastian Braddock. The reclusive gentleman is vexing, annoyingly attractive, and quite possibly mad—and his interest in Rose is galling. So when Rose disappears, Sebastian is immediately suspect.

Yet Sebastian’s strange tales of special powers soon prove to be true, and Evelyn learns that Rose’s kidnappers have much worse in mind for her than simply ruining her reputation. Surrounded by secrets, lies, and unprecedented danger, Evelyn has no choice but to trust Sebastian, yet she can’t help but worry that his secrets are the most dangerous of all…
Why I'm Waiting For It: Secrets? Lies? Kidnappers? Count me in! Definitely looking forward to this one because it sounds amazing and the cover! Hoping this one has tons of action and suspense and doesn't turn out like Venom by Fiona Paul (which was a total disaster, I expected so much more). 2016 please come sooner! 

These Vicious Masks hits shelves Feburary 9, 2016 from Swoon Reads!

Find These Vicious Masks On:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

(DIY) - Tumblr iPhone Cases! Easy & Simple!


For this DIY, I took inspiration from those expensive cases from stores like Urban Outfitters, Esty, etc and making it easy and affordable to do them at home. So I'll be showing you DIY Tumblr iPhone cases! I'll be doing a marble and picture iPhone cases in this DIY. 


Materials:

You will need - 


1.) Scissors
2.) Marble Wallpaper Printouts (Just google marble wallpapers and print out the ones you like)
3.) Clear iPhone Case (I got mine from Ebay, its was about a $1 with free shipping)
4.) Print out of pics (I googled tumblr png to get these, but any search for any picture will do1)


Steps:

 

For the first steps, you will need to find the pics and marble print you want. Be sure to save them on a Word doc, with a big enough size to fit your iPhone Case. I suggest printing out a black and write draft copy of the pictures to test how big they will be on the case.

After, cut out the pictures, cutting out most of the white from the paper.


For the marble wallpaper, you will flip it on the side where the white is on the top. Lay the case over it and draw the outline of the case. 


Then you'll get something similar to this


To complete the cases just slip the picture or marble print on the clear case and there you have it!

Finished!

Hope you guys like this DIY! If you have any suggestions or requests for any other DIY feel free to leave a comment below! Thanks so much :)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Dark & Romantic: The Game of Love and Death - Martha Brockenbrough

The Game of Love and DeathThe Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Date Released: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Pages: 352 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: Not since THE BOOK THIEF has the character of Death played such an original and affecting part in a book for young people.

Flora and Henry were born a few blocks from each other, innocent of the forces that might keep a white boy and an African American girl apart; years later they meet again and their mutual love of music sparks an even more powerful connection. But what Flora and Henry don't know is that they are pawns in a game played by the eternal adversaries Love and Death, here brilliantly reimagined as two extremely sympathetic and fascinating characters. Can their hearts and their wills overcome not only their earthly circumstances, but forces that have battled throughout history? In the rainy Seattle of the 1920's, romance blooms among the jazz clubs, the mansions of the wealthy, and the shanty towns of the poor. But what is more powerful: love? Or death?
From Goodreads


The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough was such a hyped up book, honestly every blog I went to either had a review up or had it as their WoW for the week, I knew I had to pick it up! It definitely lived up to my expectations and it turned out to be a beautiful, well-written YA novel. The premise of the book was intriguing, unique, and new.

The book begins with Flora and Henry, two lovers, that are drawn together in the game of Love and Death. What makes the book a standout is that Brockenbrough has Death and Love as actual characters and they influence the plot of the book and its characters. I thought that was cool and interesting and made for a more complex novel. Flora, dreams of flying for her whole life, to become the next African American Amalia Earhart and also sings in the jazz clubs at night to support herself. Henry, a young and charismatic character, he is in love with Flora since they were young. I thought both Flora and Henry were great characters, they were easy to relate to and feel for. They each go through their struggles with their emotions and feelings for each other, it was great seeing them come together in the end. The other characters Ethan, Henry's friend was a great addition to the cast of characters, the Thrones were great in providing that eerie and chilly feel to the novel, and Helen, the disguise of Death was just pure creepiness! 

While the novel had it's golden moments, such as the vivid writing and well-crafted characters, I hate how the chapters were all over the place. You have one from Henry's point of view, then Flora's then both Death and Love, it was just confusing. But towards the end, I did manage to get it. But don't' let that get in the way of you picking up the book! 

Ultimately, The Game of Love and Death was a book that lived up to my expectations. It was such a interesting concept, anyone would easily love it and the characters made the plot come alive. The book was dark and romantic, and definitely a great read for the summer. Plus, the cover art is honestly amazing, who wouldn't pick it up?! 

Find  The Game of Love and Death On:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

What To Do in Summer: Essentials, Places To Go + More!



Summer is FINALLY here and that means fun fun fun right?! Well like most of us, it might be too much time and we have no idea what to do to make the most of the summer. So here are my summer essentials, places to go, etc post to help make sure your summer goes amazing :) While I'll be doing more lifestyle posts, I'll still definitely be focusing on books and YA!





For summer, you definitely need the essentials. Below are my essentials for making summer fun, stress free, and amazing. You don't need to have my essentials, just add or take any to match your summer plans :)


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#76) - The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes



 Waiting on Wednesday is Hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

The Fixer (The Fixer, #1)
Goodreads Summary: When sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy, she has no idea that the infamous Ivy Kendrick is Washington D.C.'s #1 “fixer,” known for making politicians' scandals go away for a price. No sooner does Tess enroll at Hardwicke Academy than she unwittingly follows in her sister's footsteps and becomes D.C.'s premier high school fixer, solving problems for elite teens.

Secrets pile up as each sister lives a double life. . . . until their worlds come crashing together and Tess finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy with one of her classmates and a client of Ivy's. Suddenly, there is much more on the line than good grades, money, or politics, and the price for this fix might be more than Tess is willing to pay.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for more in this exciting new series.
Why I'm Waiting For It: Ever since reading Sara @ Forever 17 Book's review on it, I was immediately hooked! I absolutely love the whole concept and it definitely reminds me of the show Scandal (with Kerry Washington)! But more YA book elements weaved into the story, I am looking forward to picking this one up and have SUCH HIGH hope for it, hope it turns out great (:

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes hits shelves July 7, 2015 from Bloomsbury Children's

Find The Fixer On:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Opening & Fresh: Sugar - Deirdre Riordan Hall

SugarSugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall 
Date Released: June 1, 2015
Publisher: Skyscape

Pages: 276 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: For Review (Thanks!)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Series: Standalone!

Goodreads Synopsis: I’m the fat Puerto Rican–Polish girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs in her skin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.
Sugar Legowski-Gracia wasn’t always fat, but fat is what she is now at age seventeen. Not as fat as her mama, who is so big she hasn’t gotten out of bed in months. Not as heavy as her brother, Skunk, who has more meanness in him than fat, which is saying something. But she’s large enough to be the object of ridicule wherever she is: at the grocery store, walking down the street, at school. Sugar’s life is dictated by taking care of Mama in their run-down home—cooking, shopping, and, well, eating. A lot of eating, which Sugar hates as much as she loves.
When Sugar meets Even (not Evan—his nearly illiterate father misspelled his name on the birth certificate), she has the new experience of someone seeing her and not her body. As their unlikely friendship builds, Sugar allows herself to think about the future for the first time, a future not weighed down by her body or her mother.
Soon Sugar will have to decide whether to become the girl that Even helps her see within herself or to sink into the darkness of the skin-deep role her family and her life have created for her.  
From Goodreads



Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall was such a raw and beautiful book that bring into light topics of weight, image, and love. Hall wrote an amazing book that would captivate any reader into the main character, Sugar Garcia's journey in finding herself and falling in love. 

The book was such a short and simple book, but had great characters and writing that helped make it a stand out. Sugar begins with heavy girl Sugar Garcia who turns to junk food for comfort and strength. She lives with her mom and her younger brother, Skunk, both of whom treat her badly and at times criticizes her for her weight and worthlessness. But once Sugar meets Even her life changes. Sugar's journey to self-confidence and romance was a big part of the book. Even and Sugar's relationship was genuine and sweet and it felt great as Sugar began to open up to Even. Hall crafted such great characters, readers could easily relate to them, because I know I did :)

One element in the book I really liked was the unexpected twist towards the end of the book. It was definitely unexpected for me and I definitely did not see it coming! But be prepared for some water works when it comes! But I think the twist in the novel helped Sugar to move on with her life and embrace the person she became. Hall was able to shift the book to the realities of life and it helped make it feel more real and honest. I do wish the book focused more on the Sugar's family dynamic with her dad and mom, possibly with flashbacks into the past? 

Overall, Sugar,  was a great, heartfelt book. Any reader would be able to easily pick up the book and read about Sugar's journey. Be sure to pick this great contemporary book now!
 
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