Jan 31, 2013

Cover Reveal: While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

I am absolutely loving the Special Edition cover of Karen Schreck's While He Was Away. It's steamy and hot and oh-so drool worthy.

While He Was Away
By: Karen Schreck

One year--he'll be gone for one year and then we'll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.

The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking. Sure, any long-distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war--to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We'll talk, we'll email, we won't let anything come between us.

I can be an army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn't come home at all?...

Review: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer


Title: Storm
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: 4.24.2012
Pages: 353
Genre: Paranormal
Series: Yes (Elementals #1)
Source: ARC from a friend

Rating: A+

Summary (from Goodreads):
Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

Review:
I went to a yard sale a few summers ago and my mom bought this small little trinket box for $2. When we got to the car and she opened it to expect it, she found a diamond ring with a platinum setting inside. Needless to say, my mom went back and returned the ring (a family heirloom that had been missing for years), but I liken my reading of Storm to that. I’ve had this copy of Storm for months. Probably close to a year. A friend gave it to me, but it kept getting shuffled to the bottom of the TBR, forgotten until I randomly starting talking to the adorably sweet author, Brigid Kemmerer, this past week.

Reading Storm was much like finding that diamond ring—unexpectedly amazing and pulse pounding.

I loved that this book was told in third person and shifted periodically to give the reader a sense of what was going on in each character’s head. While the story predominantly followed Becca, there was a good amount of time spent with Chris and Hunter to give the reader a great feel about these two guys vying for Becca’s attention. I’m one of those readers that likes to know the couple to root for throughout the series in book 1 and keep going, but I’m genuinely at a loss for who I want Becca to end up with. Both guys have amazing strengths and flaws that complement Becca. I’m not a triangle fan, but because of the story and all that was happening it just worked here.

And yes, there are five amazingly delectable guys in these pages. The Merrick brothers reminded me a lot of the Curtis brothers (from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders). Their family dynamic is fascinating to watch. I could read a novel just about these four brothers in their normal, everyday life. Each has such a strong, individual presence which is necessary so as not to confuse them.

Storm is one of those books where you literally hit the ground running and it doesn’t let up. From the first chapter where Becca saves Chris to the very end, I felt like Kemmerer did a phenomenal job of keeping a brisk, quick pace without ever losing me. The story moves, and I anxiously kept turning pages to see how things would end up.

By the time I was halfway through Storm I went ahead and bought a finished copy of it as well as a copy of the sequel, Spark. I cannot wait to get them in the mail today (!) so I can tell you how much I love Spark—Gabriel’s story. This is one series you can’t miss out on!

Jan 29, 2013

Review: The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter


Title: The Goddess Inheritance
Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: 2.25.2013
Pages: 384
Genre: Mythology
Series: Yes (The Goddess Test #3)
Source: eARC

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

Review:
2013 is going to be difficult a year because so many of my favorite series are ending, and The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter marks the beginning of that end. This is the first final book in a series I’ve read thus far for this year and it saddens me to know my journey with Kate and Henry is over.

It’s hard to say much about the plot because so much has happened in the previous two books (The Goddess Test and Goddess Interrupted), but suffice to say it all culminates in this book. Carter does a fantastic job driving the plot and keeping up a quick, breathless pace to barrel you to the conclusion. All of Kate’s trials and tribulations have led to this book, and it’s been a crazy and fun ride.

My only gripe, and maybe it’s just me being greedy, is that I felt there wasn’t enough Henry and Kate as a couple in this book. Something always seemed to keep them apart the entire series which frustrated me as a reader. I was totally on board with their relationship and marriage, and I really expected The Goddess Inheritance to be pay off for the long waits suffered in previous books. Unfortunately that pay off came in the last three chapters of the last book. I could have gone for a lot more of Henry and Kate (and even their baby) bonding. I feel a little cheated out of that.

Fans of Greek mythology will definitely want to snap this series up. The books are quick reads and Carter’s writing is top notch. I’m sad to see this series end, but I’m excited to see what Carter has in store for us next. She most assuredly made a fan out of me with this series.

Jan 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #9



 
Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. This a new way to showcase all the books currently weighing down my shelves. 

First one of the year! Happy 2013 everyone!




For Review:
Blaze (Or Love In The Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Swapped:
White Lines by Jennifer Banash
Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Bought:
Boundless by Cynthia Hand
Rise by Andrea Cremer
Shadowlands by Kate Brian
Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Honorable Mentions:
Beautiful Creatures make-up palette
Baby Aria!

Aria 



*Special thanks to Macmillian*

Leave me a link in the comments so I can see you Stacking the Shelves/IMM!


Jan 23, 2013

Giveaway: Audiobook of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

In less than 2 short weeks, the SCARLET, the sequel the Marissa Meyer's smash debut Cinder will arrive. Here's your chance to win an audiobook of SCARLET, book 2 in the Lunar Chronicles!



RULES:
Must be over 13
48 hours to claim prize
US Only (prize is being shipped via publisher)

Waiting on Wednesday (36)



"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly waiting to get into our hands.


This week I'm waiting on....

by: Aprilynne Pike

Summary:

Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told. Tavia will soon to discover that she’s an Earthbound—someone with the ability to create matter out of nothing—and that she alone holds the key to stopping the Reduciata, an evil society that manipulates global events for its own shadowy purposes. Tavia will ultimately have to make a choice: to come into her powers and save the world from the evil Reduciata or to choose free will and a love of her own.

Why I Want It:
I love Aprilynne Pike, and this book sounds like a fantastic blend of action, science fiction, and superheroes. I mean, Tavia could clearly be an X-Men recruit! Sounds like this will be a fantastic adventure. Lastly ... that cover is freaking amazing. Admit it!

*Earthbound will be released July 30, 2013 from Razorbill*

Jan 22, 2013

Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian


Title: Burn for Burn
Author: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 9.18.2012
Pages: 368
Genre: Contemporary; Paranormal
Series: Yes (Burn for Burn #1)
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...
THEY GET EVEN.

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

Review:
Prior to reading Burn for Burn I had only read one of the two authors. I was familiar with Jenny Han because of her Summer series (which I adored), but Siobhan Vivian was an unknown entity to me. I had heard good things about her, but never read her work. Sometimes when you get two authors together to write a novel it shows. Authors have their own “voice” and way they write, and it can show which author created certain parts of a novel. That simply wasn’t the case with Burn for Burn. Maybe because these two authors are best friends, maybe because they’re both extremely gifted … Who knows? All I know is that they seamlessly blended their two styles into one awesome book.

Kat, Lillia, and Mary have all been wrong in their own right and are seeking their own form of justice. My biggest issue was that it took a while to fall into a rhythm with them. The chapters alternate perspective and with there being three perspectives, it got a little confusing in the beginning. I frequently had to remind myself who was who and considered making a chart to track them. By the middle of the book it felt natural, but the beginning was a bit rough. I am glad I stuck with it, though.

I was a little stunned by the paranormal twist. It’s not a bad twist, but it was really unexpected. I was thinking this was strictly contemporary, but that added zing threw me for a loop. I’m hoping it gets expanded upon in future books because it felt like the surface was barely scratched this time.

Here’s the thing: Take this book for the fun it is. Vivian and Han are clearly having fun writing this, so have fun reading it. Don’t look for a deep, philosophical meaning. This book is the embodiment of fluffy fun, and it’s also very much book one in a series which means there’s a lot of groundwork being laid down. Yes, there are a few serious moments, but as a whole, this is a book you should kick back and enjoy. Just got with it.

Review: Easy by Tammara Webber


Title: Easy
Author: Tammara Webber
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: 11.06.2012
Pages: 310
Genre: New Adult
Series: No
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: A+

Summary (from Goodreads):
Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…


He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

Review:
There are crucial moments when you know you will just love a book forever. When I finished the last page of Easy by Tammara Webber, I set it down, and leaned back against my pillows with a sigh and a grin because it was just that good. When a book can elicit the same reaction as the sun warming my bones, I know it’s special.

The plot of Easy isn’t anything revolutionary or groundbreaking. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s very centered and real and that is what pulled me in hard and fast. There was no trying to conjure images of imaginary worlds; I could simply be in this world with Lucas and Jacqueline.

As the female lead, Jacqueline is nothing extraordinary. She’s simply a girl trying to find herself. Sometimes it’s a nice break to read about a girl who isn’t trying to save the world, isn’t the hero all the time, and isn’t infallible.  Jacqueline’s humanity is what made me love her. Granted, she annoyed me quite a bit when she starts insisting everyone call her Jacqueline and not Jackie. I get that Jackie was the person she was with her ex (a persona he defined for her), but was the name really that big of a deal?

Every relationship needs one person with the drama and issues, and that’s Lucas, but here’s the thing: Yes, Lucas has a dark past that makes you hurt for him, but he never once plays the sympathy card. He made mistakes and he learned from them, and can’t we all take a lesson from that? His past is inevitably revealed, but you never once think, “Poor, poor Lucas.” He’s a strong guy who grew even strong through adversity.

This is another one of those books that I’m kicking myself for not reading sooner. It’s just awesome. I freaking love the way Webber tells a story. She doesn’t try to be over sophisticated and flowery with her words. The chemistry she created with these two characters scorched me. Absolutely fantastic.

Jan 21, 2013

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: 1.3.2012
Pages: 390
Genre: Fairy tale; dystopian; scifi
Series: Yes (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Source: Purchased finished copy

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Review:
I really think my dog and I are the only ones who didn’t read Cinder, the stunning and original debut by Marissa Meyer that blew up the YA world last year. A lot of times when a book generates that much hype I tend to shy away from it. The only plus side is that I now have a short wait to the sequel because I probably would have been committed if I had to wait 13 months for the next installment in this series.

I have always been a fan of fairy tales, but the retellings can be so hit or miss. Taking the age old tale of the little cinder girl (aka Cinderella) and making her a cyborg was sheer genius. I was a little worried that Cinder was all robot, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. I absolutely loved Cinder—she was heartbreakingly vulnerable one moment and then snarky and witty the next. She’s such a selfless heroine, routinely risking her own happiness and life to protect those she cares for. This girl is everything you could want in a heroine and a narrator.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Kai. There were moments I was swooning along with the girls of New Beijing and others where I felt like I just wanted more. I can appreciate that he’s very much a boy becoming a man and trying to figure out how that works while the world watches. His position is not an enviable one, and I’m excited to see where Meyer takes this character in the next books.

The world building Meyer employs blew me away. I love how she managed to construct this fictional world of New Beijing (of the entire Earth and Moon, really) so that it wasn’t all that unbelievable. I don’t know if anyone else could blend together the dystopian, science fiction, and fantasy genres to seamlessly. She made it look easy and it’s a world I could routinely sink into.

If you’ve been on the bubble about Cinder, grab it now. The sequel, Scarlett, comes out next month so you won’t have long to wait. You’ll only pull out half the hair on your head in anticipation.


Jan 18, 2013

Review: Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt


Title: Uses For Boys
Author: Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 1.15.2013
Pages: 240
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, bringing home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna's new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can't know.

Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting, and stunningly lyrical,  
Uses for Boys  is a story of breaking down and growing up.

Review:
I had to pause a few days before writing this review because initially I finished this book and felt really let down, but I think it’s because I didn’t gear myself up for what kind of story this was. I expected a fluffy contemporary novel with a girl who falls for a boy after a string of sufficiently awkward, teenage relationships.

This is not that book.

Uses for Boys is, in fact, a dark, at times depressing story of a girl who finds her self-worth through boys and the things she does to these boys and lets them do to her. Yes, I’m talking about sex. It’s one subject Erica Lorraine Scheidt doesn’t shy away from.

Anna is a sad little girl. She’s been emotionally (and somewhat physically) abandoned by the adults in her life for years. This sets her on a spiral course for trying to find people who value her and care for her. This girl craves love, but doesn’t know how to go about getting it.

I commend Scheidt for taking on this particular issue because, like it or not, this is happening more and more anymore. Girls (and boys) are freely giving away sex and other things/acts for a modicum of attention and something that looks like love on a cloudy day. I’m not trying to stand on a soapbox and preach, but there’s a real problem when statistics say 65% of kids have sexual experience by the time they get out of middle school. Now, I love romance as much as the next girl, and I’m someone who understands that sex in young adult literature is reflective of the fact that teens nowadays are sexually active.

But rarely is the romance all flowers and eternal love like a lot of the fiction we read. It’s more times than not what happens to Anna in this book. It’s broken children who are looking for love in the wrong places.

Scheidt has a fragmented, haunting style of writing that is eerily reminiscent of Frances Block and the Weetzie Bat series. It’s captivating and draws you in even as your insides twist for what Anna is thinking and doing. You can help but ache for Anna and applaud Scheidt.

Jan 17, 2013

Review: Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines


Title: Fallen Too Far
Author: Abbi Glines
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 12.14.2012
Pages: 207
Genre: New Adult
Series: Yes (Fallen Too Far #1)
Source: Purchased ebook

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter. 

She is still na├»ve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother. 

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far.

Review:
When I first heard about the “new adult” genre, everyone told me, “Read anything by Abbi Glines.” While Glines and Fallen Too Far were not my first stop on the NA train, I can certainly see why she has gained such a fan base. There’s a certain charm and simplicity to her writing that is wholly refreshing. It was a nice break from reality to sink into the world she created.

Blaire is an adorably loveable character. With the desperate circumstances and tragic history, you can’t help but feel a ton of empathy for the girl. She’s been through hell and is still fighting. Rush, however, was a hard character for me to accept. He was so back and forth—annoyingly so in the beginning. It took a lot for me to accept him as someone who might love Blaire.

There were several time, though, that the story just felt too thin. Like too much was going on. You had this looming secret, Blaire struggling to balance a new job, new living situation, new friends, new enemies, new romance, Rush and his issues … There was just so much. I felt like the epicenter of the story (Blaire and Rush) got a little shafted because of all this other unnecessary stuff. Either that, or the story need to be lengthened to give more attention to these two.

There is a great twist I didn’t see coming, and it really sets up the next book in the series to kick off. I think my jaw may have dropped a bit for the big reveal, and I’m anxious to see how this plays out and what happens to Blaire and Rush.

If it seems Glines has corner the new adult market, it’s because it’s true. She writes complex characters struggling to find their adult identify while wrestling with their adolescent issues. I’m excited to see where she takes this story next.

Buy: Amazon (ebook)

Dreaming Of Books Giveaway Hop



This giveaway hop is hosted by the amazing Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Reviews By Martha's BookshelfIt will run from January 18-24, 2013. I'll choose the winner on Jan. 25, 2013.

This one is INTERNATIONAL! So best of luck and start thinking of which book you'd like to get! 

The Prize:

You can win a book of choice up to $20 USD from:



if you live in the US,
OR

if you live outside the US! That means this giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships free to you. Not sure? Check this list HERE. If you can buy 2 or 3 books with the $20, that works, too!


The Rules:

I will contact the winner via email and they will have 48 hours to reply to my email before another winner is chosen! Winner must be over 13.

Fill out the Rafflecopter:



Liebster Awards (AKA Get To Know Your Blogger)


Imagine my shock when the awesome Christina nominated me for Liebster! Thanks, sweetie! 
The Liebster Blog Award is an award that is given by the blogging community to new up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.  I’m modifying that requirement a bit and asking people I think might like some more traffic in general.   The rules of the Liebster are as follows:
1) Tell 11 things about yourself.
2) Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
3) Post 11 questions for those who will be nominated by you.
4) Nominate 11.
5) Get in contact with those bloggers to inform them that you nominated them.
Here's the thing ... I honestly don't know who I would nominate for a Liebster (not that I don't know 11+ kick ass bloggers that deserve some recognition), so I'm making this an open forum. Feel free to swipe this post and put it up on your blog or answer in the comments ... It's honestly a great way for people to know more about a blogger. 
Here are my 11 random facts:
1. Until I started The Irish Banana Review, I never used my real name online. I'm not kidding. When I was a teen, they were still incessantly drilling the evils of the internet and so I adopted a fake personna to use online that I used everywhere. I used my Spanish class name (Isabel) and this IsisIzabel was born. By the time I wanted to start using Hannah, everyone knew me as "IsisIzabel" or "Iz" and it was a mess. Which brings me to...

2. One of the things IsisIzabel was known for is fanfiction. Yes ... I wrote fanfic for years. I still have a livejournal account, fanfiction.net account, and several other places where you can find the stuff I wrote. Apparently I was decent at it - I won a few awards. I've always written, since I was a kid, but I stopped writing fanfiction to focus on writing my own original works, but fanfic writing really helped evolve my writing and I'm grateful for it. Hey, it worked for Cassandra Clare and E.L. James!

3. I've only ever lived in 2 states - Maryland and Virgina.

4. As a kid I was on swim team and dive team. I quit swim team to focus on my diving, but had a bad incident where I hit my head on the board and shied away from diving after that.

5. My niece is named after a literary figure (Aria from the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard).

6. I spent 6 years at a 2 year community college because I changed my major 3 times. I work in a field now that has nothing to do with my two AA degrees (Psychology and History) - I'm a medical research assistant.

7. I was heavily involved in missions trips with my church. I've traveled to Kentucky several times to help rebuild homes, and I went to Ukraine to teach English to college students there for a few weeks.

8. I am obsessed with music and finding artists my friends haven't heard of. I have a playlist for every possible mood on my iPod (there's like 25 playlists ... It's nuts). I will listen to a single song on repeat for weeks until I purge my obsession for it from my system. I listened to Florence + the Machine's "Drumming Song" 53 times in a single day.

9. My immediate family is a very tight-knit group, but my extended family not so much. I was never close to any of my grandparents (they're all deceased now) and I only see aunts, uncles, and cousins at weddings and funerals ... and even then not everyone shows up.

10. Until this summer I had never been further west than Chicago (I went to Arizona this summer for work).

11. I have no desire to get married and/or have children. At all. I'm very much a girl who likes to be by herself and find that if I can't have my "me time" I get quite irritable. As for children ... My policy is I love kids - as long as I can give them back. When they cry, make a mess, or something else yucky, I have no problem giving your child back.
11 Questions From Christina  
1.  Describe yourself in 3 words
Energectic ... Imaginitive ... Caring
2.  What did you major in at college and do you actually use your degree now?
Me in Arizona
OK, I majored in English, Education, Nursing, and Paralegal. I have a degree in Pyschology and History, and no I don't really use them now.
3.  Your life is going to become a script for a movie. Who would you want to play you?
Drew Barrymore. She's sweet and funny and doesn't look like the ideal Hollywood stick figure. I'm not a stick figure in case you couldn't tell.
4.  Not counting family, what do you feel your greatest accomplishment is so far in life?
I dabbled in graphic design and designed a water bottle label for a fandom (the Jason and Elizabeth fan from General Hospital) that was passed around to everyone at an event the GH cast did. There's a pic of Steve Burton (Jason) holding it in a magazine.
5.  If you had to live in a decade other than the current one, which would you choose?
I love the Wild West times. Using an outhouse would suck, but there's something about the 1840's-1890's I just love. Maybe it's the horses.
6.  What is at the top of your bucket list?
Travel to Ireland. My family is originally from there and has a Coat of Arms there. (It's called The Irish Banana for a reason.)
7.  Something you can’t leave the house without?
My inhaler. I'm a severe asthmatic. I have like 6 - one in my car, one at work, one in my purse, one in my room, and a couple others in different bags I frequently use.
8.  What’s the last book you did not finish and why?
Intentionally didn't finish? Or didn't finish because I got distracted? I intentionally didn't finish Poison Princess by Kresley Cole. I got pulled away from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and didn't go back. Yet. I will.
9.  If you were in a hit music band, what would it be called?
Oh, Lord, I have no idea. Maybe that's our name: The No-Ideas. Catchy, right?
10.  Congratulations, you just won a billion dollars. What’s your first purchase?
A new house. A much bigger house. I'm kind of obsessed with big houses. It's not like I have a small house (for different reasons my family actually all lives together - 6 adults and soon a baby), but I love houses that have pools and spas and movie rooms and libraries. I want a house with a massive library.
11.  What song would you pick to be the theme song of your life? 


"Sweet Silver Lining" by Kate Voegele

11 Questions For You
*Answer in the comments or start your own blog post*

1. What was your highest blogging point?
2. What was your lowest blogging point?
3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
4. Do you have a unique skill or weird something you can do that most people can't?
5. If you could only watch one movie the rest of your life, what would you watch?
6. You get an all expenses paid vacation anywhere you want and can bring up to 5 people - where do you go? Who do you take?
7. When is the last time you laughed so hard your sides ached?
8. If you were given $1 Million to be donated to a charity of your choice, which would you pick?
9. Who is your hero?
10. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
11. Why did you start blogging?

Jan 16, 2013

Review: Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder


Title: Falling For You
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 1.1.2013
Pages: 355
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Purchased finished copy

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give. 

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous. 

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.

Review:
Lisa Schroeder is one of those authors you just know about. Before this I had never read one of her books. All I knew is people whose opinions I value were crazy obsessed with reading this and that was enough to pique my interest. Now I see what all the hype was about. Falling For You is a book that I will never forget.

Rae is a strong, but fractured, girl. She hasn’t had an easy life. She’s relatively on her own—hiding her painful family issues from her friends and putting on a brave front for the world. She’s very much a teenage girl who thinks with her heart and makes mistakes. Frequently. Like the one she makes with Nathan.

I think my biggest issue with the book is the Rae and Nathan relationship. I disliked Nathan from the jump so much, that my dislike of him transferred to Rae when she showed an interest in him. Rarely have I wanted so desperately to shake a book character. You can tell from the synopsis that Nathan clearly isn’t the hero in this story, but I wasn’t expecting him to be such a total douche. I can’t remember I disliked a character so intensely. I couldn’t figure out why Rae would like him at all. Usually guys who are abusive and possessive start off suave and build up to being an ass. Nathan goes from zero to jerk in 1.5 seconds.

The way Schroeder writes is something everyone should experience. There are intermittent spurts of poetry laced throughout the story that give it a haunted, lyrical quality that overall enriches this book. Those select, key places are the heartbeat of Falling For You. The end builds to a stunning crescendo that will leave you reeling.