Saturday, May 28, 2016

SPLASH INTO SUMMER Giveaway Hop - The Square Root of Summer

Oooh, I love summer! Pool parties, long nights that are still light outside, 4th of July, amended work schedule, and the list goes on and on! I am so ready for this fun in the sun, relaxing mindset time of the year! Really -- it's the perfect time to get lost in a good book. So to help you do that, we are giving away an ARC of The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood. Here's the summary:

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.

With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

This is a US only contest.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that you're done here, do hop on:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

Shade Me is the first book in a new series by Jennifer Brown.  All of her previous books are stand alone novels, so this is a little different for her.  

Nikki Kill is a high school senior with a condition referred to as synesthesia.  When she sees numbers and letters they present themselves to her as colors.  This is very distracting when she is trying to study; therefore, she has never been a strong student.  She also associates colors with emotions and can read people based upon the colors she sees.  

Nikki doesn't see the benefits of synesthesia until she begins investigating the attack on fellow classmate Peyton Hollis.  Peyton is from a very wealthy and powerful family and is practically royalty within their school.  The two girls didn't hang out in the same circle of friends and never actually spoke until the night of Peyton's attack.  For some unknown reason, Peyton called Nikki when she knew her life was in danger.  Nikki is determined to uncover the truth behind the attack, but the deeper she digs the more dangerous things become.

In addition to YA I read a number of adult mysteries and thrillers, so I was intrigued by this book from the start.  Jennifer wove a number of clues throughout the story and included more than enough action to keep the pages turning.  There is even a bit of a romance mixed in to spice things up.  

I was surprised by how Jennifer ended this story and almost felt like it could have been wrapped up in one novel.  There are some loose ends, but not enough to make this a series based solely on this one case.  I'm almost wondering if Nikki will begin working with the officer who investigated this crime, Chris Martinez, to help solve future cases or cold cases.  It would be a great way for her to put her synesthesia to good use and it could be the basis for a great series.  Jennifer gave us bits and pieces of information about Martinez's past, but I think there is a lot more to him than we know.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Review: Bought for the Greek's Revenge by Lynne Graham

First, a congratulation is in order for Ms. Lynne Graham because this is her 100th book! How amazing is that? How many authors can even say that? *claps* Great job Ms. Graham.

Now, for my review:

I received this beauty from BEA at the Harlequin's booth! I was deeply excited since I have read several of Ms. Graham's books before. Now, let's dive in.

What I liked:  I liked the plot line! I thought it was going to be the same old Billionaire story line, but this one has some twists and turns I didn't see coming. I like when that happens. Ella is a strong female character and is trying to save her family's financial issues. Nikolai has a whole other plan and at first I took him for a complete jerk ... but as the story goes on Nikolai has a big ol' back story and I saw him in a different light.

What I didn't like: Even though there were twists and turns a couple of them didn't seem to 'flow' with the story well. They seemed to just POP up and made me have to re-read a few parts again.

Overall: This is a GOOD book and I would recommend for others to read.


The Crown by Kiera Cass

Book Summary
When Eadlyn became the first princess of IllĂ©a to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Flo's Review
Aww, I'm going to miss the world of The Selection! As you may recall, The Heir might be my favorite book of the series. Perhaps rivaling with the first book, The Selection. I just really enjoyed reading about Eadlyn and her boys. So the day this book came out, I had it in my hands. My heart is so happy with this! I closed the book with a smile on my face and complete contentment with how I was leaving the characters. I am so proud of Eadlyn and how she has grown up, and I can also say the same thing for other characters, such as Josie. As with the other Selection books, this one was a quick read that I was able to complete in a 3 hour flight to Chicago for BEA. If you haven't read any of The Selection series and are looking for something light and fun, I'm definitely recommend them. Here are our reviews:

The Elite:
The Queen:
Happily Ever After:
The Heir:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Book Summary
How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Flo's Review
I love me some Rick Riordan! Ever since I picked up the first Percy Jackson book on a whim, I'm excited to read anything this man puts out. Sometimes it doesn't quite work for me (Kane Chronicles), but most of the time I've got nothing but love.

Apollo's voice is quite different from Percy's or any demigods, and I applaud Rick Riordan for being able to write it consistently so. I think at one point my status update was "I can't with Apollo!" because maaan is this god-turned-human arrogant. But if you think about it -- he's a god, so the big head makes sense. But the beauty in this book was Apollo's character growth. Is he still arrogant at the end of the book? Yep. But he has also picked up some of the best traits of humans: dedication, perseverance, love, loyalty. The story dragged for me a little bit in the middle, but I think this was because of the combination of two factors: 1) it's the first in a series, so a lot of explanation needed to happen; and 2) I was listening to the audiobook, and that sometimes makes books seem slower. I loved seeing some of my favorite demigods from Riordan books past. There was also QUITE a plot twist that I did not see coming!! I'm looking forward to seeing how Apollo reacts to things in the next part of his trials.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Review: My True Love Gave to Me - Twelve Holiday Stories

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

I have had this book on my TBR list for over a year and a half.  I wanted to read it over the holidays, but in typical holiday fashion, things came up and I didn't get around to it.  With Summer Days and Summer Nights being released May 17, 2016, I needed to tackle this one before I found myself even further behind.

I downloaded the audio book from the library and listened to the first five or six stories while I trained for my next half marathon.  Each story is about 50 minutes long, which helped push me a little further than the 35 - 40 minutes I had been running each day.  I listened to the last half of the book during my five hour drive to BEA and the time literally flew by.

The stories were all very different and I enjoyed seeing how the various authors expressed their personalities and styles.  I have read several books by Holly Black, Ally Carter, David Levithan, Stephanie Perkins, and Rainbow Rowell, but the rest of the authors were new to me.  Not new to me in the sense that I haven't heard of them, but rather they have been on my TBR list forever and I simply haven't gotten around to reading their books yet.  I was really impressed with  Kiersten White and Gayle Forman's stories and will have to bump their books further up my TBR list.

Overall this was a very entertaining collection of stories that will put anyone in the holiday spirit.  I would, however, recommend taking a break between each story to allow yourself time to process what you have read before moving onto the next.  When I listened to the stories back to back in the car, I found the transitions to be a bit awkward.  It was more enjoyable for me when I started each story with an open mind.  For example, moving from a contemporary romance to a supernatural story involving a mysterious disappearing elf was easier to process when I listened to them independently.  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

BookExpo America Day 2

Friday was a FULL day at BEA.  The first item on the agenda was to pick up one of the Miss. Peregrine bags they were handing out Thursday morning.  I saw a number of people walking around with them in the afternoon, but they were out by the time I arrived.  I also grabbed a bag from Penguin and a Twin Peaks bag.

Then I was off to meet Emily Giffin. She is the author of Something Borrowed and Something Blue.  I really enjoyed her other novels and was excited to receive a copy of First Comes Love.  It is an adult contemporary scheduled to be released June 28th.

The next item on the agenda was to get a copy of Dog Man by Dav Pilkey.  This is the ONLY book my 11 year-old son requested that I pick up for him at the convention.  Preston loves his Captain Underpants series and was ecstatic to receive a signed copy.  I also couldn't pass up the Slytherin stationary/journal/wax stamp set since it was half off and came with the Harry Potter sticker book.  Preston is definitely a Slytherin, so this was a must have.

Next I was off to meet Mary Engelbreit.  I love all of her cartoon drawings and even took one of my messenger bags my mother-in-law made for me out of her crown fabric.  I asked her if she has a Scottish Terrier since they are in so many of her drawings.  She said she used to, but now she just draws them because they are cute and fun to draw.  

The rest of the day was devoted to waiting in line for signed copies of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, Stealing Snow by Danielle Page, and The Amateurs by Sara Shepard.  As you can see, I did pick up a few additional books along the way.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Thursday at BEA - Fierce Reads Blogger Event

BEA was in Chicago this year, which is a pretty easy drive for me from Columbus, Ohio.  I arrived around noon on Thursday with the hopes of meeting Ransom Riggs, David Levithan, and Stacey Kade.

I missed Ransom by an hour or so, but I was thrilled to meet David Levithan.  I tried to get his autograph at BEA 2014 when I was in New York, but it didn't work out.  It felt like I ran into him everywhere this time around and was surprised by how personable and accessible he was.  Even when he wasn't at a signing or a show event, he was hanging out in the booth .  I even saw him passing out copies of Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven King during her signing.

Then I was off to see Stacey Kade, who I have been Facebook and Twitter "friends" with since meeting her at RT back in 2012.  I loved her Ghost and the Goth and Project Paper Doll series, which are both YA.  738 Days is her first NA novel, which is scheduled to be released June 7th.  I will try my best to have my review up prior to the release.

That evening Mary and I attended the Fierce Reads blogger event at the Berghoff, which was definitely one of the highlight of our trip.  THANK YOU Fierce Reads for the invitation!!

Below is a picture Fierce Reads shared on their twitter page thanking the bloggers.  Mary and part of me made the photo, so I had to share it :)

This is about as crazy as it gets at a book event, so I will caption this one Authors Gone Wild.

From left to right are Kami Garcia, Marissa Meyer, Caleb Roehrig, and Leigh Bardugo.

Here I am with Marissa Meyer, the author of the Lunar Chronicles series.  I've read the first two books in the series (Cinder and Scarlet) and LOVE this series.  It amazes me how creative and imaginative she is.

I haven't read any of Leigh's books, but her The Grisha and Six of Crows series are both on my TBR list.  I think I'm going to start Six of Crows first since Flo gave it a 5 star review.

Caleb was definitely the life of the party.  The Book Nerds will be reading his debut novel, Last Seen Leaving, as our June read along.  The release date isn't until October, but we can't wait that long.  If you have the chance to meet him, keep an eye out for the little purple hat he is wearing.

Kami Garcia was a completely new author to me.  I looked her up on Goodreads and she has quite a few books and series currently available.  I have obviously been living in the dark.  We received a copy of The Lovely Reckless, which is a contemporary YA romance scheduled to be released October 4th.

When we left the party, we each received a bag containing Last Seen Leaving, The Lovely Reckless, Heartless by Marissa Meyer, and George Orwell's 1984 along with some other great swag.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Blog Tour: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

This Is Who I Am Now

From the publisher: Because time capsules and the idea of capturing who one is at one specific moment are such major themes in the book,
​ t
he blog tour theme is This Is Who I Am Now
ou answer a series of questions about your life 
​in late Feb/early March
. You save the answers in a safe place. On the blog tour date, you post those answers
the answers to the same questions as they apply to you in early May, to see how much your life has changed 
in just a few months.

So, are you ready! Here goes:

  • What Brings You The Most Joy In Life?
    • Feb/March 2016: Spending time with my loved ones. Coffee. Sleeping. A really good book. Fangirling.
    • May 2016: Looking forward to the many summer adventures I have planned.
  • What Are You Reading?
    • Feb/March 2016: Siren's Song by Mary Weber and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
    • May 2016: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
  • What Is Something You’re Really Looking Forward To?
    • Feb/March 2016: My trip to Iceland in April
    • May 2016: Upcoming Disney trip and BEA/Bookcon
  • What Is One Thing That’s Worrying You?
    • Feb/March 2016: My house is dirty and I'm always too tired or too busy to clean it. When am I going to have the time and energy to commit?!
    • May 2016: Work. Times one thousand.
  • What Is Something That You Always Have With You?
    • Feb/March 2016: Snacks
    • May 2016: My new Fitbit!
  • What Is Something That You Wish You Could Change?
    • Feb/March 2016: More time to sleep, read, and write.
    • May 2016: Again, a situation at work.

That was fun! I really enjoyed looking at how quickly things can change. I always like reflecting like this, because I can assure myself that things that I wish I could change and that are worrying me now may not be in three more months.

I'm currently reading The Square Root of Summer, so look for my review soon! (Psst! There may or may not also be a GIVEAWAY involved.... *whistles innocently*)

About the Book

This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.

Author Links/Info
Add THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER to your to-read list on Goodreads.
Join in on social media with #SquareRootofSummer and #thisiswhoIamnow
Visit Harriet's website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout

Book Summary
Trust no one. Every camera is an eye. Every microphone an ear. Find me and we can stop him together.

The Game: Get ready for Zero Hour as 200 geniuses from around the world go head to head in a competition hand-devised by India's youngest CEO and visionary.

The Players:
Rex- One of the best programmers/hackers in the world, this 16-year-old Mexican-American is determined to find his missing brother.
Tunde-This 14-year-old self-taught engineering genius has drawn the attention of a ruthless military warlord by single-handedly bringing electricity and internet to his small Nigerian village.
Painted Wolf-One of China's most respected activist bloggers, this mysterious 16-year-old is being pulled into the spotlight by her father's new deal with a corrupt Chinese official.

The Stakes: Are higher than you can imagine. Like life and death. Welcome to the revolution. And get ready to run.

Flo's Review
I was not expecting to enjoy Genius as much as I did. I literally devoured this book in two settings. And the first time I set it down, it was only because it was waaaay past my bedtime on a random weeknight. From the start, this book immediately draws you in. These three kids (and later, their friends and competitors in The Game) are wickedly smart and even though I never fully understood what was going on in their minds, it was still explained well enough to where I could see where they were coming from. 

Rex, Tunde, and Painted Wolf are believable friends and I really enjoyed seeing them meet each other for the first time and their interactions throughout the story. Tunde was my absolute favorite! He, in my opinion, had the scariest and highest stakes of the three (at least for a good while), but he was always happy, exhilarated, and in awe. He was a lot of fun to read. Kiran, too, was an interesting character. Just because he is very complex and secretive, and I wanted to go all Painted Wolf on him and know what his real deal was. 

The other competitors were well-done, too, because a whole group of child and teenage geniuses is bound to be a quirky bunch. That ending though! I am scared for these three main characters...I have a feeling things are going to get a lot worse for them before they (hopefully!) get better. Mr. Gout, when is the next book coming out?!?! I need it in my life immediately.

Genius: The Game comes out May 3rd and I recommend you add it to your cart at the bookstore or online. (Let's be honest: with all the books publishing May 3rd you'll be there anyway! Might as well snag this one, too!)

5 out of 5 enthusiastic stars!

Thank you to Macmillan for providing me with an advance reader's copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tim Palen: Photographs from the Hunger Games

Book Summary
In exclusive collaboration with Lionsgate, Assouline presents Tim Palen: Photographs from The Hunger Games. Compiled in one deluxe volume, Palen’s portraits capture each character with striking intimacy and transform the high-octane adventure of the films into exquisite visual art. Through Palen’s unique lens, characters become icons, immortalized as the beloved characters the world has embraced.

Flo's Review
I simply adore The Hunger Games. It is one of my favorite book and movie series of all time. Whenever I have seen this book in bookstores, I've eyed it longingly. By pure luck, I was able to find a great deal for it on Amazon, so I snagged it.

When I got it, I just couldn't stop staring. It is gorgeous! Simply beautiful. I finally had the opportunity to sit down with it last night and go through the entire book cover to cover. Tim Palen really does have a gift for capturing images that show so much more than physical characteristics. Through these images, I could see Amandla Stenberg capturing Rue's gentle heart, Jena Malone capturing Johanna Mason's fierceness, and Natalie Dormer capturing Cressida's defiance. But there was also another layer. None of the characters came off just one way, or just the way they were supposed to. Rue was also vulnerable, Johanna was emotionally scarred, Cressida was also afraid. 

I have been on the journey with The Hunger Games movies since the very beginning, so I also remember all the campaigns for the individual movies, and it was nice to see them gathered into one place. This is a book that will stay on my coffee table, and I'm sure I'll pick it up randomly again and again to skim through. I'm also sure my guests will enjoy admiring it as well.