Friday, July 28, 2017

Listen Up: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

I don't normally talk about the audio books I listen to because most of them are backlist, but I really want to start! So, I'm starting Listen Up to write short reviews on the books that I listen to! 
Audio, 7 parts
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Read from: July 16-20, 2017
Source: Library 
For fans of: Stand-alones, Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Music, YA

     From the New York Times bestselling author of 99 Days and How to Love comes a stunning new contemporary novel—all about boy bands, girl bands, best friends, and first love—perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson.
     It was always meant to be Olivia. She’s the talented one, the one who’s been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, is the levelheaded one, always on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.
     But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.
     It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.
     Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.


     I've loved all of Cotugno's previous books, so when I saw that she had another coming out this year, I jumped on the chance to get it in my hands. It took me awhile to get around to it, but I'm glad I hadn't given up on it!
     Olivia and Dana are best friends. They've grown up together and have done everything there is to do together in thier small town. Olivia was the one who was meant to be the big star. She was the one who was supposed to go on to become the pop star, and Dana was always there to cheer her on. Until one day, Olivia and Dana are BOTH there to become the pop star. And they can see there's only room for one person. 
     The only thing that made me knock off a star for this book was the extreme predictability of it. As soon as one thing happened, I could guess exactly what else would be happening. And I called it right everytime. Including the end. It would have been a bigger punch to the gut to me had I not been able to figure it out. But because I figured out the ending, I knocked off a star. 
     Everything else was on point. The story itself took me back to my childhood with every mention of The Spice Girls. I'm not going to call it "historical fiction," because that just makes me feel old. But I really wish there were more of those references. 
     I also liked the narraator, Erin Spencer. She did such a great job of doing all the girls' voices, snd even the voices of the males in the book. None of them sounded the same and I loved that. I hate when I'm listening to an audiobook and they all seem to sound exactly the same. There's no way to tell them apart and that bothers me. 
     I knew that I would like this one because I love Cotugno's other works. She is quickly becoming one of those authors that I would read anything they write. Including a genre or something that I wasn't fond of. 
Overall, I give this

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

ARC, 333 pages
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Published by: Scholastic
Read from: July 23-24, 2017
Source:  #BooksforTrade (Thank you Miss Print!) 
For fans of: Contemporary Romance, Sparkly Covers, Realistic Fiction, YA 

     Can’t buy me love…
     Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—
     She wins!
     In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.
     Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?


     First let me say, I LOVED the premise. I'm not sure why this premise has been popping up lately, but I'm all here for it. And I'm glad there's teens that are winning. It teaches them the value of money and trust. Especially this book. Because although there were some things I was happy with her doing, for the most part I wanted to scream at her.
"There's something to be said about life education. Books can't teach you everything."
pg. 71
     Maddie's life isn't one to write home about. She has two friends and a home life that's faling apart. One day she takes a risk and buys a Lottery ticket even though she's skeptical. She ends up hitting the jackpot! Her life immediately changes, and Maddie realizes that it's not so easy to recognize her true friends... Including a cute coworker of her's....
"You are my hero. [...] Like super-rich hero. Like Batman. Or Tony Stark."
pg. 75
     For the most part, I DID like this. BUT, there was one thing that kept me from really falling for it.... Maddie. There were so many times I wanted to yell at her for what she was doing. Granted this was her money and she was a teen, so I knew she would go a little crazy, but that's just it. I thought it would be A LITTLE. I expected her to do all of these things, BUT she had to go over the top. And because of that I wanted to yell at her. 
"It's amazing what money will do."
pg. 119
     Another thing that kept me from completely falling for this one was the romance. It felt like it was tacked on a the end. There isn't much focus on it until the end. It left me wanting more. As soon as it started the book was over. I've come to realize that West's novels are more about being a contemporary than a romance. 
"I believe in making our own luck. [...] But a tailsman now and again can help motivate us."
pg. 135
     However, as always, I did like the writing style. Kasie West can always win me over with her words. I wasn't completely convinced from the characters, but the premise and the writing style helped me to read this book in about 24 hours. I have been a fan of her's since her first book! I can't wait to see what else she comes up with!
"I can't avoid every place where people say ignorant things. I wouldn't have anywhere to go."
pg. 292
     Although some things kept me from falling head over heels for this one, it did not stop me from reading it in a day. This book will make you laugh and will bring up the question: What would YOU do with that amount of money? 
Overall, I give this

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

WoW: Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel Jose Older

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what we're waiting patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for! It's hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine!

Shadowhouse Fall (Shadowshaper, #2)

     The extraordinary sequel to the New York Times bestseller Shadowshaper is daring, dazzling, defiant.
     Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra receives a strange card depicting a beast called the Hound of Light -- an image from the enigmatic, influential Deck of Worlds. The shadowshapers know their next battle has arrived.
     Thrust into an ancient struggle with enemies old and new, Sierra and Shadowhouse are determined to win. Revolution is brewing in the real world as well, as the shadowshapers lead the fight against systems that oppress their community. To protect her family and friends in every sphere, Sierra must take down the Hound and master the Deck of Worlds . . . or risk losing them all.

Published by: Arthur A. Levine
Expected Publication: September 12, 2017

Why I'm Waiting: I'm not sure what made me miss out on the first one, but now that I've read it, I will NOT miss out on the sequel. I can't wait to see what the Shadpwshapers are up to! And also, how can I NOT be excited for this beautiful Black Girl Magic on the cover! I REALLY hope that they have Anika Noni Rose doin the audiobook again. She did an amazing job last time! 

Will you be waiting on this with me?
What are you waiting on this week? 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Top Ten Books I Didn't Think I'd Like, but I Did!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the BookishEach week we will post a new Top Ten list . Everyone is welcome to join. 

This week's topic is:
A Freebie!
TTT is on hiatus until August, so I'll just be doing some freebies to fill it's spot! 
Top Ten Books I Didn't Think I'd Like, but I Did! 

No Good DeedShadow and Bone
Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)I See London, I See France (I See London, I See France, #1)
BangOptimists Die First
#famousFinding Audrey
The Serpent KingYou Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #231 & the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

From #BooksforTrade: 
There's Someone Inside Your House

Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy, #1)

From the library: 
The End of Our StoryAnd Then There Were Four

The Weekly Wrap-Up!

Monday 07/17/17:  Review- Hidden Figures: The Movie
Tuesday 07/18/17: Top 10 Tuesday: Freebie! It's on hiatus until August, so I picked- Top Ten Books on my Backlist I want to Get to! 
Wednesday 07/19/17: Waiting on Wednesday: A Stranger in the House by Shari LaPena
Thursday 07/20/2017:  Review: This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes
Friday 07/21/17: Blog Tour Stop: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly
 Saturday 07/22/17:  Listen Up: Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Me on Instagram: 

My puppy wasn't having the best day and I couldn't figure out why so I spent the entire day upset because I didn't know what was wrong with him. But after work when I got home, I held out a treat for him. He took it tentatively and left behind a tooth. lol He was back to his old antics after that. And then to make it better, I got one of my most anticipated of 2017 that same day. 
I was super lucky to find these in my local Wal-Mart! I've been saying for years that they needed to make a coffee fflavored one. Hell if you know me then you know that my favorite way to eat Oreos isn't with milk, but with coffee ice cream lol I'm so happy they combined two of my favorite snacks! 

I took almost the entire summer to FINALLY come up with an actual building storytime for Build a Better world. I ended up doing different variations of the Three Little Pigs and then they made the houses. The kids loved it and I was so excited that they actually liked it! If you were struggling to think of one (instead of the generic Build a Better World by being a "better person" that we've done already) you can use this idea too! 

What went on at your blog this week?!