Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cover Reveal: Stolas (Dark Souls Series #1)

I am beyond excited to be able to take part in the cover reveal for Randi Cooley Wilson's new book series! Everyone probably knows how big of a fan I am of her books (and her in general), and I honestly can't wait to read this!! This is going to be a must read for 2016 :)

Randi Cooley Wilson
(Dark Soul Series, #1)
Publication date: Fall 2016
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
An ancient legend draws them together. His dark soul will tear them apart.
Sometimes, the only fairy tales that exist…are the dark ones.
For the past two years, Hope Annandale has fought to hold onto her sanity. Plagued by voices and visions, she struggles to understand what’s real, and what’s an illusion. As the lines between reality and hallucination blur, Hope discovers things that shouldn’t be real, exist.
When Hope’s world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death. And the only one who can save her is the dangerously attractive demon prince, who is bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.
The fate Stone has fought to escape is here. With destiny on one side, and desire on the other, Stone must protect Hope from the one thing he can’t hide from…his birthright.
What if the one person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

Author Bio:
Randi Cooley Wilson is an author of paranormal, urban fantasy and contemporary romance books. Randi makes stuff up, devours romance books, drinks lots of coffee, prefers champagne, and has a slight addiction to bracelets. She currently resides in Massachusetts with her daughter and husband. For more information visit: http://randicooleywilson.com
Photo Credit: Gretje Ferguson Photography

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Review: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (Sleeping Beauty, #1)

About The Book:

  Title: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (Sleeping Beauty, #1) 
  Author: A.N. Roquelaure (Pseudonym), Anne Rice 
  Pub. Date: May 1st, 1999 
  Publisher: Penguin Books  
  Pages: 253  
  Genre: Erotica, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Fairy Tales 
  Rate: 1/5 stars

Synopsis :

From bestselling author Anne Rice, writing as A.N. Roquelaure. In the traditional folktale of 'Sleeping Beauty,' the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind's unconscious. Now Anne Rice's retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince reawakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience.


For all of you fans of fairytale retellings, I'm willing to bet that this book is not for you. Yes I loved ACOTAR and I loved The Lunar Chronicles just as much as the next person, but this takes retellings to a new level. I originally picked this up because I also have read erotica that I like, and I thought why not combine them together? What could go wrong? Well this is the actual perfect example of what could go wrong.

Basically, in this retelling the "prince" wakes up beauty with sexual intercourse and then takes her as his sex slave. Are you not convinced that this is kind of weird yet? Ok - well after the prince takes Beauty back to his palace we find out that the palace is full of a bunch of other sex slaves taken from other kingdoms. They don't belong to the prince, they belong to his subjects - in fact, Beauty is the prince's FIRST sex slave. So his mom has to instruct him on how to keep a sex slave...

Basically I don't even know how else to describe this book without making it sound weird. Did I know what it was about going into it? Yes. I just thought it would be more romantic. Anne Rice is a romantic writer. This was just awkward. If you are curious about this book, you could try it out, or if you're bored, might I recommend reading some reviews on Goodreads. Honestly, they are quite hilarious. And next time you want to make fun of the BDSM relationship that Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele have - just remember that there is much worse out there ... much, much worse (and yes, it is possible). I know, it surprised me too! 
- Jocelyn

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Review: Titans

About the Book:

TitansTitle: Titans
Author: Victoria Scott
Pub. Date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 320
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia 
Rating: 4/5 stars


Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.


Victoria Scott has never let me down with one of her books, and her new novel Titans is certainly no exception! I have read every book Victoria Scott has written, and have loved every single one of them. She has a very refreshing style of writing that takes a simple story/idea and turns it into something utterly fantastic! Every story, especially this one, is unique and stands out among the YA crowd. From beginning to end, Titans is a great novel that is heartwarming with a dose of humor mixed in. 

While this story is a little slow, this mainly occurs in the beginning. However, the set up in the beginning of the story is necessary for the rest of the novel. I felt Victoria did an excellent job at laying the groundwork for the story and setting its overall tone, however I did want to just get into the story where Astrid is actually taking part in the race. But once she does start participating in the races, the story takes off and you are on the edge of your seat, rooting for Astrid at every turn! Each race becomes trickier, riskier, and more daunting. There are many pitfalls along the way for Astrid, and you never know what will happen. After all, this is a race in which many risk their lives...and you have to wonder, will Astrid do the same?

I loved every character in this novel, but especially Astrid and Magnolia. Their friendship is more than a friendship. They are sisters at heart, and it showed countless times throughout the novel. Every girl should have a friend such as Magnolia. The bond between them was so strong, and I loved that this was the "relationship" of the book. Magnolia supports Astrid in her dreams and goals of helping out her family, and she never once wavers from that support. But what's more is that Astrid is determined to never give up so that she can not only help her family out, but also Magnolia's family! This was something I greatly admired of Astrid. She wasn't selfish. She was just a girl who wanted to do the right thing, and if she could achieve a dream or two along the way, why not go for it? Honestly, I found her to be a very inspirational character. You don't see many characters such as Astrid in books these days, and I appreciated that Victoria gave us such a character. 

There is no romance in the story (well there is but not for Astrid), and I was very happy that this was the case. I know that some readers might want her to have someone, but for me, it would have felt out of place and it would have taken away from Astrid's character. She truly is a remarkable character that deserves to be appreciated for who she is. The lack of romance also allows the strong female friendship to stand out more!

The other relationship that is featured in this novel is between Astrid and her Titan, Padlock. I absolutely adored Padlock, and I loved the idea of the Titans in general. I found this to be so unique and different. I loved learning about them and the story behind their creation. The entire race was so thrilling and exciting, and Victoria did a great job at describing every element so that we understood the risky venture that the riders were embarking on. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend this novel to those who are fans of Victoria Scott, or those who are looking for something fun and different. I can honestly say that I have never read anything like this before! Except for the beginning, overall the novel is fast-paced and full of exciting, heart-stopping moments that will leave you rushing to the conclusion to see how the book ends. Add this to your TBR now!

Happy reading :)


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #49

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 

Scythe: Neal Shusterman 
Publication Date: November 29th, 2016 


Two teens are forced to murder—maybe each other—in the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.

Neal Shusterman's book Unwind was one of the first books that I read that got me into reading. It came out the exact same time as The Hunger Games, and I honestly don't remember which one I read first. Fast forward to today, last spring his standalone Challenger Deep about mental health easily became one of my favorite books of all time. With that being said, I will read anything Neal Shusterman writes... and I hope you give some of his books a chance too!  

Cassie's Waiting On: 

United (Alienated #3) by Melissa Landers
Publication Date: August 2, 2016


United (Alienated, #3)After thwarting a deadly coup and saving the alliance between their worlds, Cara and Aelyx have finally earned a break. Their tiny island colony is everything they dreamed it would be―days spent gathering shells on the beach and nights in each other’s arms.

But the vacation is short-lived.

The treaty between Earth and L’eihr has awakened an ancient force that threatens to destroy them all. The Aribol, mysterious guardians charged with maintaining interstellar peace, deem the alliance a threat to the galaxy. They order a separation of the races, decreeing humans and L’eihrs must return to their own planets within the month or face extinction. In fact, they already have agents in place on Earth, ready to begin.

With the clock ticking, Aelyx and Cara assemble a team of colonists and race back to Earth, where they unite with old friends to solve the mystery of who the Aribol are, what they want, and the real reason the alliance has provoked them. As tensions build to a full-scale war, Aelyx and Cara must fight harder than ever―not just for their future, but for the survival of both their worlds.

For a little bit fans of this series (including myself) were worried that we might not get a 3rd, and final, book in this series.  The last ended on a fine note, where I could accept the ending and just make up what happened in the future.  But nothing makes me happier than knowing that we will be getting a conclusion to this series!!  I'm so excited for this and I know that this will be a fantastic ending to this series :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

About the Book:

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)
Title: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Pub. Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA 
Pages: 640 
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Retellings 
Rating: 5/5 stars


Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.



I seriously don't even know where to begin with this review because all I want to do is fangirl so hard over how much I ADORED this book! Seriously people...every single word, every single scene is so gorgeously written and breathtaking that I had to stop multiple times while I was reading just to admire and appreciate what I just read. This book was absolutely excellent on so many levels that no words can do it justice (but I'm going to try because this is a review after all haha). I don't think it's any secret that Sarah J. Maas is an amazeballs author, but in case you need a reminder, just read this book and you will see the supreme talent this woman has. She could write a phone book and I would read it because somehow even that would be an amazing read. I've only said this about 1 or 2 other authors, but it's completely true. 

“There are different kinds of darkness,” Rhys said. I kept my eyes shut. “There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful.” I pictured each.
 “There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.” 

This book made me feel so many different things at once, and literally it has it ALL! There are amazing twists, snarky banter, beautiful writing, and just plain badass, awesome characters that you want to be best friends with. After finishing this book all I want to do is be in the Night Court and be apart of Rhysand's inner circle. It's probably unhealthy how badly I want this to happen right now. But even more, SJM wrote scenes bursting with heart-pounding action, swoonworthy romance (which be warned, will leaving you squeeing), and female empowerment...GAH! I NEVER wanted to stop reading. But you know what I loved the most? Even though this story is a romance, it is also a story of self-discovery. 

“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. 
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken.” 

Feyre goes through so much and is incredibly strong. She is extremely relatable because even though she loses herself for a bit, she finds that inner fire that she once had and it causes a spark to ignite within her. She becomes even more amazing than her character was previously, and finds herself on her own. Feyre is such an admirable and relatable character. I mean who among us hasn't felt lost at one point or the other in their life?? Feyre shows everyone that you have to look inside yourself and find your own inner strength to rise above and accept the past, and never let that thing that caused you to be lost define you. We need to embrace the pain and the anguish that came with the hand life has dealt, and choose to move forward in life...or we will remain lost. The character development for Feyre was seriously one of the best character development's I have ever read, and I think SJM deserves a HUGE round of applause for giving all readers this character. She becomes stronger and more determined than ever to accomplish what she has set out to do. All the while she remains the stubborn and sassy character we love. 

“I was not prey any longer, I decided as I eased up to that door. 
And I was not a mouse.
I was a wolf.” 

Rhysand...literally I have no words for my love. My heart (and ovaries) were literally bursting with every word he said. He broke my heart multiple times, and there was one scene in particular where I was gross sobbing when he was revealing things to Feyre. He still remains that mysterious Dark Lord, but we are able to understand and see so much more of him than ever before. Like Feyre, Rhys grew so much in this novel, and I loved watching how he became a little less broken due to Feyre's presence in his life. Feyre provides a nice balance to Rhys, and they're banter is like no other. We all know how shameless a flirt Rhys is, but boy does he step it up in this book...and I loved every single second of it. He had me laughing so hard countless times, and I can't even tell you how much I love him. 



The world that SJM has created is simply phenomenal, and I seriously don't know how she came up with her ideas, but let's just thank whoever that she did. There is so much to this world that we didn't know, and I loved learning so many new things over the course of the book. We visit more courts and see different races. We see the political uneasiness that ultimately exists in this world, and how alliances can change at the drop of a hat. And then comes the ending...it is brutal and ripped my heart out, but it left me begging for more! For the entire conclusion I basically had my jaw permanently dropped and then my heart torn out because of the events that SJM wrote. But all I know is that I can't wait to see where she takes this series in the next book because there are truly endless possibilities! 

“To the stars who listen—and the dreams that are answered.” 

If you couldn't tell already, you need to read this book as soon as possible because this is the best book of 2016 so far!

Happy reading :)


Monday, May 23, 2016

ARC Review: How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1)

About The Book:

  Title: How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1) 
  Author: Adriana Mather 
  Pub. Date: July 26th, 2016 
  Publisher: Knopf/Random House 
  Pages: 368
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal 
  Rate: 3.5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. 

Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history is about to repeat itself.


For a really, really long time I've been looking for a book to read around halloween time and this book is the perfect embodiment of what I've been looking for! For me, How to Hang a Witch ended up being a pretty good YA paranormal read with some romance thrown in.

“How are you so calm?"
"I am already dead."

There were a lot of things I liked about How to Hang a Witch. I love that it sort of centered around the salem witch trials but with a new spin on it and with a more modern feel. And while I didn't feel like I could relate to any of the characters, I definitely liked them a lot and I can see that a lot of people will be able to relate to them. I liked the romance too. It started out looking like a love triangle, and I love a good love t
riangle. But this one just rubbed me the wrong way. Jaxon reminded me of Adam Kent from the Shatter Me Trilogy, who annoyed me to no end. But luckily, it wasn't really a love triangle! Anyway, I liked Elijah from the very start! You will definitely swoon over him as well. Basically there was a plot line involving Elijah's dark past of the original witch trials and a plot line involving the Descendants and what is currently happening to them. Ms. Mather blended both plot lines together seamlessly and made them flow together in a shocking twist! Also, I was very satisfied by the ending! It had me wanting more. I thought it fulfilled the plot nicely to this book but it also left things off for readers to look forward to in the next book of the series!

And while there were things I clearly really liked about this book, there were also things I wasn't too fond of as well. For one, it took me a little bit to get into this book. It's not that I ever felt like I was going to DNF it, it's just that it didn't really have me hooked from the first page like some of my favorite books. I also felt like some things were so unremarkable. Like Sam being this special snowflake that the girls at the school singled out and made fun of but the 'popular guy' somehow still liked her. I just felt like I've seen that so many times before and we just could have done without Jaxon in the story.

“This cannot be, Samantha. You are living."

So you can pick this book up when it's published OR you can wait until October and sip some hot chocolate or a steamy pumpkin spice latte while you are reading it, because you know that's what you are thinking about during the fall! Witches are a newer genre to me and while I've only really read about them in urban fantasy, I think I will really enjoy reading more about them and learning about the culture. I can see How to Hang a Witch being a book that I will continually recommend come Halloween season, so if you perhaps aren't in the mood for a paranormal read right now - definitely stay tuned for then! If you've ever read a book about witches, I'd love to know your recommendations, because this is a whole new genre for me!

- Jocelyn

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Blog Tour: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You

About the Book:

Title: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
Author: Lily Anderson
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pub. Date: May 17, 2016
Pages: 352 
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Fiction 
Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads, Indiebound,
  The Book Depository


Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West—and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing—down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books—well, maybe not comic books—but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. 

Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all. 

The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on—and they might not pick the same side.

Author Interview: 

1) What inspired you to write "The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You"?

I love retellings. Seeing a retelling on the shelf in a bookstore is an almost guaranteed insta-buy for me. Especially if the story being retold is something I already like. So, having been a Shakespeare fangirl since elementary school, I’ve always been on the lookout for retellings of my favorite plays. While I had seen and read a million Romeo and Juliets and some Hamlets and even a couple of Taming Of The Shrews, I’d never found a book that modernized Much Ado About Nothing. I was wondering why when I thought about how much Benedick’s facial hair is commented on in Much Ado. And the line, “Ben West spent summer vacation growing a handlebar mustache” popped into my head. I wrote it down and THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU was born!

2) I know that I wanted to read this after I saw mentions of Doctor Who!  Are you like Trixie and into all things nerdy?

Yes! I’m certainly am a nerd with deep roots. Part of that is growing up as a member of the Harry Potter generation. We were all sort of trained to be super-fans by a culture that supported dressing up formidnight release parties and marathon reading books and constantly having discussions online. That was just what being a fan looked like. So, that translated to my love of all things Joss Whedon, Star Wars, and Marvel. I started reading comics in high school, but lived too far from a comic book store through my early twenties to keep up. Thanks to the beauty of Comixology and Marvel Unlimited, I was able to catch up and stay caught up with so many different series! I found Doctor Who late because I was marathon-ing Battlestar Galactica and was scared to fall in love with another show. Which, of course, I did. It’s a pretty great time to be a nerd because there’s so much amazing stuff being created every single day, ready to be loved.

3) What authors have inspired you as an author?

Oh my goodness.  All of them? I’m a librarian by day, so books are literally my bread and butter as well as my second career as well as my hobby. In YA alone (because otherwise this interview will never end), I have been endlessly inspired by Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, Rainbow Rowell, Marissa Meyer, Meg Cabot, Ally Carter, and Jennifer E. Smith.

4) What is a fun fact that you would like your fans to know about you?

If I had one wish (from, say, a genie or a wizard) I would probably waste it on having “OPP” by Naughty By Nature play whenever I entered a room.

5) What is the weirdest place you have gotten inspiration for an idea for a book?

Book inspiration for me is always weird. But I once had a student tell me that I looked like River Song (from Doctor Who) and that was the launching point for the nerdy references in THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU. 

About Lily Anderson:

Lily Anderson is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU is her debut novel.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr 

Ben West spent summer vacation growing a handlebar mustache.
            Hovering over his upper lip—possibly glued there—was a bushy monstrosity that shouted, “Look out, senior class, I’m gonna tie some chicks to the train tracks and then go on safari with my good friend Teddy Roosevelt. Bully!”
            I blindly swatted at Harper with my comic book, trying to alert her to the fact that there was a mustachioed moron trying to blend in with the other people entering campus.
            “I know I should have made flash cards for the poems that Cline assigned,” she said, elbowing me back hard, both acknowledging that she wasn’t blind and that she hated when I interrupted her monologues about the summer reading list. “But I found Mrs. Bergman’s sociolinguistics syllabus on the U of O website and I’m sure she’ll use the same one here.”
            The mustache twitched an attempt at freedom, edging away from West's ferrety nose as he tried to shove past a group of nervous looking freshmen. It might have been looking at me and Harper, but its owner was doing everything possible to ignore us, the planter box we were sitting on, and anything else that might have been east of the wrought iron gate.
            “So,” Harper continued, louder than necessary considering we were sitting two inches apart. “I thought I’d get a head start. But now I’m afraid that we were supposed to memorize the poems for Cline. He never responded to my emails.”
            Pushing my comic aside, I braced my hands against the brick ledge. The mustache was daring me to say something. Harper could hear it too, as evidenced by her staring up at the sun and muttering, “Or you could, you know, not do this.”
 “Hey, West,” I called, ignoring the clucks of protest coming from my left. “I’m pretty sure your milk mustache curdled. Do you need a napkin?”
Ben West lurched to a stop, one foot inside of the gate. Even on the first day of school, he hadn’t managed to find a clean uniform. His polo was a series of baggy wrinkles, half tucked into a pair of dingy khakis. He turned his head. If the mustache had been able to give me the finger, it would have. Instead, it stared back at me with its curlicue fists raised on either side of West’s thin mouth.
“Hey, Harper,” he said. He cut his eyes at me and grumbled, “Trixie.”
            I leaned back, offering the slowest of slow claps. “Great job, West. You have correctly named us. I, however, may need to change your mantle. Do you prefer Yosemite Sam or Doc Holliday? I definitely think it should be cowboy related.”
            “Isn’t it cruel to make the freshmen walk past you?” he asked me, pushing the ratty brown hair out of his eyes. “Or is it some kind of ritual hazing?”
            “Gotta scare them straight.” I gestured to my blonde associate. “Besides, I’ve got Harper to soften the blow. It’s like good cop, bad cop.”
            “It is nothing like good cop, bad cop. We’re waiting for Meg,” Harper said, flushing under the smattering of freckles across her cheeks as she turned back to the parking lot, undoubtedly trying to escape to the special place in her head where pop quizzes—and student council vice presidents—lived. She removed her headband,  pushing it back in place until she once again looked like Sleeping Beauty in pink glasses and khakis. Whereas I continued to look like I’d slept on my ponytail.
Which I had because it is cruel to start school on a Wednesday.                    “Is it heavy?” I asked Ben, waving at his mustache. “Like weight training for your face? Or are you just trying to compensate for your narrow shoulders?”
            He gave a half-hearted leer at my polo. “I could ask the same thing of your bra.”
            My arms flew automatically to cover my chest, but I seemed to be able to only conjure the consonants of the curses I wanted to hurl at him. In his usual show of bad form, West took this as some sort of victory.
            “As you were,” he said, jumping back into the line of uniforms on their way to the main building. He passed too close to Kenneth Pollack, who shoved him hard into the main gate, growling, “Watch it, nerd.”
            “School for geniuses, Kenneth,” Harper called. “We’re all nerds.”
            Kenneth flipped her off absentmindedly as West brushed himself off and darted past Mike Shepherd into the main building.
            “Brute,” Harper said under her breath.
            I scuffed the planter box with the heels of my mandatory Mary Janes. “I’m off my game. My brain is still on summer vacation. I totally left myself open to that cheap trick.”
            “I was referring to Kenneth, not Ben,” she frowned. “But, yes, you should have known better. Ben’s been using that bra line since fourth grade.”
As a rule, I refused to admit when Harper was right before eight in the morning. It would just lead to a full day of her gloating. I hopped off of the planter and scooped up my messenger bag, shoving my comic inside.
“Come on. I’m over waiting for Meg. She’s undoubtedly choosing hair care over punctuality. Again.”
Harper slid bonelessly to her feet, sighing with enough force to slump her shoulders as she followed me through the front gate and up the stairs. The sunlight refracted against her pale hair every time her neck swiveled to look behind us. Without my massive aviator sunglasses, I was sure I would have been blinded by the glare.“What’s with you?” I asked, kicking a stray pebble out of the way.
“What? Nothing.” Her head snapped back to attention, knocking her glasses askew. She quickly straightened them with two trembling hands. “Nothing. I was just thinking that maybe senior year might be a good time for you to end your war with Ben. You’d have more time to study and read comics and…”
            Unlike the tardy Meg, Harper was tall enough that I could look at her without craning my neck downward. It made it easier to level her with a droll stare. Sometimes, it’s better to save one’s wit and just let the stupidity of a thought do the talking.
She rolled her eyes and clucked again, breezing past me to open the door.
            “Or not,” she said, swinging the door open and letting me slip past her. “Year ten of Watson v. West starts now. But if one of you brings up the day he pushed you off the monkey bars, I am taking custody of Meg and we are going to sit with the yearbook staff during lunch.”
            “I accept those terms,” I grinned. “Now help me think of historical figures with mustaches. Hitler and Stalin are entirely too obvious. I need to brainstorm before we get homework.” 

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #48

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2): Leigh Bardugo 
Publication Date: September 27th, 2016


Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Six of Crows was one of my favorite books of 2015 and I don't want to have to wait until September for Crooked Kingdom to find out the fate of all of these AMAZING characters (my favorite is obviously NINA <3). However, it DOES come out the day after my birthday - so nice of Leigh to plan that ;) 

Cassie's Waiting On: 

It Ends with UsIt Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: August 2, 2016


Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. She graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. 

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant and has a total soft spot for Lily; and the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his no dating rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place. 

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan, her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

I'm super excited for Crooked Kingdom too, but I want to choose something different, so It Ends With Us it is! This has been on my TBR ever since Colleen Hoover announced she was writing a new book.  It's no secret that she is one of my favorite authors, and from early reviews, I already know that she's going to more or less crush me with this novel...but I can't wait haha! Bring on the gross sobbing!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book Review: Night Shift (Midnight, Texas, #3)

About The Book:

  Title: Night Shift (Midnight, Texas, #3) 
  Author: Charlaine Harris 
  Pub. Date: May 3rd, 2016 
  Publisher: Ace 
  Pages: 320
  Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Fiction 
  Rate: 5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town. 
Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place. 
And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose—which just might happen—it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be...


"She said it was waking up," he said. 
Lemuel said, "I think we are very close to catastrophe." 
"Do you know what lies underneath the crossroad?" 

There is just so much I loved about this last installment in the series that I hope I can keep this review straightforward! If you know me, then you know that my favorite author of all time is Charlaine Harris. I'm so glad to say that she definitely does NOT disappoint in Night Shift. It was full of everything I love in her novels - quirky and lovable characters, addicting plot lines, and we finally see some steamy romance in this series that I was so used to from her in her Sookie series ;)!

The plot in Night Shift was different from the other two Midnight, Texas novels. This time it had a much more paranormal feel to it and I must say, I absolutely loved it. We finally get to the root of the crossroads and what the history of it means. Fiji plays a pivotal role again in this book and I just want to comment on something I've noticed in Charlaine's female main characters. I love that a lot of the main women in her novels are plus size. There are books like that but it's always advertised like "oh the character is plus sized" - she doesn't try to make it a selling point, they just are that way and I love it. I love that Sookie was that way and I love that Fiji was that way and that they are always comfortable in their own skin! You go Charlaine! Lemuel also plays a pretty big role in Night Shift. And if you've read my reviews of the other two Midnight, Texas books then you know I've been waiting to get more of an insight on Lemuel's past and I love how Ms. Harris writes vampires so I will honestly never get enough of reading from his perspective!

My favorite thing about Night Shift had to be that we saw the small community work together more. Midnight was always somewhat of a tighter community but they always had that "don't ask" vibe going on. Those walls seemed to finally fall down and they are trusting each other more! From that, we see a ton of character growth. This includes a softer side to Olivia and Lem, a tougher side to Fiji, a more conventional side to Manfred, and a riskier side to Bobo. The Reed's also take a surprising turn in this novel and there is a new resident of Midnight who is there for his own reasons that you'll just have to read in order to find out!

“Effing cat," Kiki said. 
"Effing woman," the cat said. 

One thing that was a nice treat in Night Shift and also made me fangirl super hard was something that dates back to the early days of The Sookie Stackhouse Series. Lemuel had to track someone down using this vampire database, and that's something that Bill Compton created early during that series. I was SO excited to read about this! It's like reading little easter eggs! I was giggling like I was in elementary school again.

While I know the Midnight, Texas series is supposed to be trilogy - I really hope that Charlaine changes her mind or her publisher does, or that maybe she'll write another spin-off type series! Honestly, I'd be thankful to read any fantasy-type novel by her because I haven't found any books that quite compare to the feeling I get when I read a Charlaine fantasy book! I also must say that I haven't had enough of Quinn. He's been one of my favorite characters since the Sookie series and I'm so glad she came back to his character. I'm hoping for a happy ending for him in an upcoming book ... please? ;) I must conclude by saying that if you haven't read anything by Charlaine Harris then you are SERIOUSLY missing out. It's almost like I haven't lived before I read her books. It's truly a spiritual experience. I'm not exaggerating!

- Jocelyn