Monday, September 30, 2013

Beyond the Book: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

This bookish feature is an original by me! I had the epiphany for this the other day when I was writing out my 15 bookish confessions. (See #7) A lot of times I like to go "beyond the book" and do something that will connect me with the book and characters a little more. It will pop up on Mondays! Be on the look out for which books caught my eye and made me go beyond just reading it! 

Something Like Normal

This Beyond the Book is dedicated to Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

“Welcome home."

     It took me awhile to write this post. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is something serious and I just couldn't think of what I wanted to say. So, I'll do my best...
     "When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger."
     In this book, Travis is a Marine is just coming home from a tour in Afghanistan to a broken home. His father is still a douche and his brother is taking over his old life. Travis begins to have nightmares about Afghanistan and have flashbacks of what it was like while there. He doesn't tell anyone these things because he doesn't want them to think he's crazy. That was his mistake. 
     It was gut wrenching to watch (or read) Travis dealing with this by his self. It's a very scary situation and shouldn't be handled lightly. Having so many people in my family in the military, I could definitely connect with this. Although my uncle never had a serious case of PTSD (he served in the Korean war), he still gets a little moody around that time of year and he drinks more heavily around that time as well. My family has been there since he started acting that way and every time he gets better he thanks us profusely. No one should have to go through that by themselves. 
     As I said in my review, "Having gone to these awful places during a time of war is hard and scary and should be looked at with admiration that they gave up their time to do it when we wouldn't. So if you know someone on active duty, on reserve, retired, a veteran or whatever, be sure to thank them. Because remember, they didn't/don't have to do what they did/do. (And I say this in the most non-lecturey, serious way possible :D)"

If you have any other questions about PTSD, you can find more information here:

Info came from these sites: 1/2
All images found on Google. 

 Have you ever had such a connection with a book that you had to go beyond just reading it? 

Join me on Mondays with Beyond the Book! 

Ghost Time by Courtney Elridge

ARC, 416 pages
 Release Date: June 11, 2013
Published by: Skyscape
Saccades Trilogy, #1
Source: ARCycling
For fans of: Sci-fi, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, YA

     Thea Denny hates the tenth grade, and her home life isn't easy. But she's passionate about making art — and about her math-genius boyfriend, Cam, a recent transfer to her upstate New York high school from California. One day Cam mysteriously vanishes — and then things really get weird. The stars on the school flag go missing, eerily cut out. Intimate videos of Cam and Thea start going viral online — videos they never took. The FBI gets involved. And Thea can hear the voice of Melody, a beautiful, disabled girl her age, whose illness has left her mute since birth. Cam once claimed to be the world's foremost hacker. . . . Is he trying to reach her, send her a sign — or is Thea losing her mind?


(This will not be a full review as I did not finish this book)
      I received this ARC through ARCycling, so I was really upset the first time I tried reading it and just couldn't get through it. At the time I thought it was just because I only wanted to read contemp romance, but even now when I've been mostly in the mood for paranormal romance, I just couldn't get into it. I believe it was the writing style. More so with the chapters. It seemed like every one was two hours ahead and then there was the occasional ones with days and then some with weeks later. Honestly, I was just confused. It seemed to be a lot going on. 
     What I'm most upset about is it had a very promising synopsis. Especially since I just watched Scandal and was FASCINATED by Huck and his hacking. I was thinking I would love this one. It just seemed to go in circles and I wasn't happy with it. 
     I asked requested this book because at the time it was a fairly new release, but no one was really talking about it and it had been left on the list after about 2 rounds. So I decided to give it a chance. It wouldn't have been the first time I liked something when no one else did. Now I know to just trust my fellow blogger friends. Maybe I will like it better after a few more weeks of sitting on my shelf? 
     After a couple times setting it down and coming back to it it further confused me. To the point of I just didn't care anymore. So for that reason, I had to DNF it. I would tell you the page, BUT THERE ARE NONE IN MY ARC. Just throwing that out there. It was at the beginning of the chapter entitled "Thursday, April 21,2011 (Seventeen Days Later) 12:13 pm."
Overall, I give this

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #57 & the Weekly Round Up

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

This Song Will Save Your Life3:59A Little Too Far (A Little Too Far, #1)
3:59 by Gretchen McNeil
A Little Too Far by Lisa Derochers

Borrowed from library: 
Dangerous Girls
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas 

Recieved for review: 
Knightley & Son by Rohan Gavin

What all did you get this week?!

Weekly Wrap-Up
Monday 09/23/13:  My Beyond the Book Post that features the banned book series, Harry Potter and the first review in my new feature, Take Me Away... After Dark with Unchained  by J. Lynn
Tuesday 09/24/13: My Top Ten Tuesday of the Top 10 Best Sequels Ever!
Wednesday 09/25/13: My WoW pick of the week featuring Sentinel by Jennifer Armentrout
Thursday 09/26/13: My 4 Star review of How to Love by Katie Cotugno & my Fanged Swoon!
Friday 09/27/13: My Follow Friday featuring my favorite reading nooks! 
Saturday 09/28/13: My 5 Star review of Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

What went on over at your blog?!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Nook Book, 208 pages
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Own
For fans of: GLBTQ, Sparkly Covers, Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, YA

         New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.
     While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.


In honor of banned books week, I will be reviewing books with controversial topics! I READ WHAT I WANT TO READ! 
     Normally I wouldn't pick something like this up. Although I am in no way against homosexuality, since I'm not into it, I just wouldn't read something that CENTERS on it. But then I started hearing things from my blogger friends and even other publishers saying that they loved this book and that the writing style was something that had never been done before and naturally, I got curious. And you guys, this  book changed me.
"Freedom is also about what you will allow yourself to do."
7% (Kindle e-Book)
     Now this was my very first Levithan book and I am so glad I chose this one. From the very beginning I was sucked in to the poetic writing style. It really is narrated by a Greek Chorus. This unique writing had me hanging on every word. Just the writing alone had me so emotional I found myself teary eyed and clutching my heart through out the entire book.
"From a cold distance, we know that confusion is at the heart of this disgust. And into that heart is pumping a steady flow of hate and ignorance."
16% (Kindle e-Book)
     I never read reviews until I've written my own, so determine if I wanted to read this book I went and checked out everyone's updates and their ratings. In every update I saw "OMG the feels!" or "My heart breaks for them." This is what made me decide I wanted to read it. And man, after finishing this story I really felt emotionally drained. Every story (because its holds multiple POV's) broke me. I was smitten with everyone's story, but it was actually Cooper's who hit me the most.
"...the magnetism toward kissing is still there, because even when the mind shuts off the romance it sometimes takes a while for the body to get the message."
26% (Kindle e-Book)
     In this story we see what being gay did to different boys, in different times of their lives, and their loved ones. Some of those loved ones accepted them and others didn't. I loved that this book doesn't make it all seem like all sunshine and rainbows, because in reality it isn't. Sometimes the dark and gritty happens and teens that read this need to know how to handle it.
"It's Miranda who speaks up. 'You're gay,' she says with complete seriousness. 'And I love you'."
68% (Kindle e-Book)
     Lastly, I loved the ending and Levithan's acknowledgements. The entire story centered around that one very important kiss and in the end the author was able to pull it altogether to that one central location. Not everyone was happy, but they were all there in some way, separate, but still together. I also loved the acknowledgements because in the synopsis it said "based on the true events story" and I was intrigued. I had planned to Google it after wards to see what the real story was, but I didn't have to. Levithan tells about the real story that inspired this one and I saw that as a thanks for them for being so brave. Again, I was moved to tears. (I really needed a "Use in case of feels tissue box!")
"Saying the truth out loud makes it more real."
69% (Kindle e-Book)
     In short, don't let the title or what this book is about deter you from reading it. It may not be what you normally would read, but I kid you not if you are a reader, certain aspects of it will amaze you. My first Levithan read was filled with emotions and incredible writing and I promise that this won't be my last book by him. I am already absolutely smitten with him.
Overall, I give this


Friday, September 27, 2013

Follow Friday: Reading Nooks!

Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee’s View & Alison Can Read.    
The goal is to increase blog followers and make friends. Basically how it works is you follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. So looking forward to making new blogging friends & following blogs!
Reading Nook Tour: Give us a tour of your favorite reading spots!

Ok, its a bit messy, but that's because I just got up lol 

     Pictured is my love seat that sits in my living room. On top of it is my Wonder Woman blankie. I put that on even in the summer lol Then there is my notebook that I use to jot down notes while reading. My laptop is also there to keep up with Twitter and Blogger. And I'm not sure if you can see it, but my Kindle is peeking out from under my blanket. It currently has The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black on it! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Swoon Thursday: Fanged Edition!

Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.

 Here's what you do:

From the book you're currently reading, or one you just finished, tell me what made you swoon. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering. Shout it out on twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments or grab the button above and share it on your blog.

"When he kissed her again, she gasped against his cold mouth- her breath held too long since he didn't need to breathe at all- her tongue sliding against his, brushing against sharp teeth. He was careful, but she still felt the drag of their points against her lower lip. The cool press of her body made her skin feel fevered.
     He pulled away from her and touched his mouth, his face full of a gentle amazement. 'I didn't remember it was like that.'" 
-37% Kindle e-Book

What made you SWOON this week?!

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

e-ARC, 272 pages
 Release Date: October 1, 2013
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Source: Edelweiss (A huge thanks to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss. They provided this e-galley to me in exchange for a just and honest review.)
For fans of: Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult,Sparkly Covers

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.
After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?
In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice..


In honor of banned books week, I will be reviewing books with controversial topics! I READ WHAT I WANT TO READ! 
     I'm not going to sugar coat this at all, this is one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write. Even with all my notes that I took in my notebook, its still hard to actually put what I want to say in words. The one thing I was worried about before I started this was how this situation would be portrayed. It's a huge situation that is very relevant in today's society and I was hoping against all hope that it wasn't portrayed like everything was all sunshine and rainbows.
"Dumb as it sounds, I didn't totally realize when I was pregnant that Hannah would have an actual personality separate from mine, but sure enough it comes out more and more every day."
18% (e-ARC)
     And I'm so glad that's not what we got. I've only said this about one other book, but this is one of the most realistic fiction books I've ever read. Everything seemed so raw and real and emotional, that I couldn't put this book down. From the characters to the things they did, just everything. And what makes it better, I didn't feel like I was watching an episode of those shows on television. Even those seem rehearsed. This was just very real.
"Hi baby, I drop my purse on the floor and cross the carpet, suddenly a hundred percent sure I'm about to cry. I'm just stupidly relieved to see her is all, this 25 pound miracle."
48% (e-ARC)
     As for the characters, I loved Reena and Hannah. They were Reena was the epitome of a hard worker and I just hated how she lost everything. It was obvious that she had a lot going for her, but she lost it all when she found out she was pregnant. Then there was Hannah. She was absolutely adorable from the picture I got in my head. But then there was Sawyer. In the "Before" chapters he was a supreme jerk. With every one that passed I got more and more pissed at him. It seemed like the complete opposite for Reena and it was obvious that he had nothing going for him. I was pissed that she still chose to be with him. When she finally realized that she was bettering him and he was doing nothing for her, I thought that was the wake up call she needed. Fail. But then there was the "After" chapters. I wanted to kick myself multiple times when I found myself feeling like I liked him even a little bit. The way Cotugno showed his growth will give you no choice but to love him. Its like he turned himself around when he left, but he got the full wake up call to grow up when he finally came back and found out about Hannah.
"I am your mama," I tell her, sinking down into the rocking chair and smoothing patterns with my palm across her tiny baby back. I'm the only one you've got poor thing."
48% (e-ARC)
     I also loved the writing style. Everything just seemed so melodic but still so real. I really felt like someone was sitting there telling me the story of their life. It was hard to think of it as fiction. And to the publishers, I loved the letter at the beginning too. It got me even more excited for the book than I was already. And I was already super excited to read it lol
"That's your family Sawyer. 'Yeah well,' he reaches behind him to retrieve Hannah's cloth bunny which she's dropped on the floor. Hannah grins, 'You're my family too.'."
67% (e-ARC)
     Everything about this pulled me in. The characters, the writing style, how realistic it was, just everything had me hooked. After I turned the last page I had to sit there and revel in the fact that this was a debut. Congrats to Cotugno on creating a story that will be talked about and used in schools for years to come.
Overall, I give this 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: 9/25/13

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!

Sentinel (Covenant, #5)

     It's a beautiful day for a war.
     As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.
     And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.
     In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

Release Date: November 2, 2013
Published by:  Spencer Hill Press

Why I'm waiting: 1. It's a JLA book. 2. It's the very last book in one of my favorite series. 3. I'm going to MEET JLA AT HOUSTON BOOK RAVE THAT DAY AND GET THIS SIGNED. 4. It'll also be my birthday that day. 5. More Aiden St. Delphi. 

What are you waiting on this week?!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TTT: Top 10 Best Sequels EVER!

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

This week's topic is:
Top 10  Best Sequels Ever
*These are in no particular order.

I realized as I was writing this.... Since I've started blogging, I haven't finished that many series smh  

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)Shift (Shade, #2)Deity (Covenant, #3)
Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3)Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)Insurgent (Divergent, #2)My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers, #3)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Beyond the Book: the Harry Potter series

This bookish feature is an original by me! I had the epiphany for this the other day when I was writing out my 15 bookish confessions. (See #7) A lot of times I like to go "beyond the book" and do something that will connect me with the book and characters a little more. It will pop up on Mondays! Be on the look out for which books caught my eye and made me go beyond just reading it!  

Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter, #1-7)
This Beyond the Book will be a little different... It will feature an entire SERIES instead of just one book! This week's Beyond the Book features the Harry Potter series in honor of Banned Book Week!

“You're a wizard, Harry.” 

    I chose Harry Potter for today's Beyond the Book topic because this week is actually Banned Book Week! "Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read." Libraries, bookstores, and even bloggers are "banning" (pun intended) together to bring attention to challenged books that we love! This year, BBW will be celebrated September 22-28. 
     Now I know that all the spotlight has been around the recent banning of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (which is just absolutely RIDICULOUS... Sometimes, things like that really do happen!!!!), but I wanted to write about something on a more personal note. 
     When I first heard about Harry Potter, I was in the FIFTH GRADE! I was absolutely tiny. I had found the first three books in my school library and I decided to take the plunge. I started reading it, and from the very beginning I was HOOKED! I remember going back for the second and the third book as soon as I finished the first one. By then though it had started to get more attention. From other readers as well as their parents. Not only from around the world, but in my own elementary school as well.
     Apparently the staff sent out a letter to parents saying they were looking in to banning a certain book that dealt with dark magic, witch craft, and sorcery. Which is extremely crazy because, let's be real... How many of us tried "Wingardium Leviosaand to no avail? My mother got the letter and recognized the title as one that I had just recently checked out and grew nervous. found out that I had read books 1-3 and was anxiously awaiting the release of book 4 which came out summer. 
     My mom, whom I'm extremely thankful for, did the right thing by deciding to read it. She didn't tell me why she mysteriously decided to read it, but I was super excited when she did. Even then I liked to fan girl about books with her. In the end she fell in love with Harry just as much as I did. She cried in the same spots I did. She chewed her nails completely off in the same spots I did. And on the nights they were released, she was up at the same midnight releases I was. She ended up sending a letter back to the school district saying that she actually sat down to read the books and see what they were all about and she found that they were harmless and actually really enjoyable 
     Unfortunately, this wasn't my first run in with censorship and the Harry Potter books. I was helping out at my old daycare when the fourth book was released and I took that book EVERYWHERE! I couldn't stop reading it. Any free time I had, I was reading it. So, I took it to my old daycare and the teacher I was helping out with said I couldn't read it there. I told her that was my favorite series and I was reading that book, no matter what she said. She said "fine, just don't read that devil worshiping book by me." (Umm, I have NO IDEA where she got the devil worshiping stuff from...) I had to literally get behind the door and read so it wasn't near her. It was at first a little depressing, but at the same time, it was ok because I wanted to read more than watch tv or whatever the activity of the day was. I'm so thankful nothing ever panned out where I was because its really hard to imagine my younger years without Harry Potter. 
     Even with all that, I stuck with the Harry Potter series until the very last book. And even now I'm a huge supporter of the franchise. Everyone that told me not to read Harry Potter only fueled my wanting to read it even more. And that's with countless other books as well. If I hadn't already read Eleanor and Park (and loved it) I would've been adding it to my TBR pile as soon as I heard the hub bub. 
     Banning books to me is crazy. Do people not realize what kind of society we live in today?! Bad things happen and teens curse, have sex, and countless other things. As much as you may want to pretend that they don't, THAT DOES NOT MAKE IT GO AWAY! 

So, have any of you connected to a book so deeply it made you write a separate post about it? Join me on Mondays or tell me in the comments!