Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cover Madness Giveaway Hop!

While this is the 4th Cover Madness giveaway, this is the first time that it's in the form of a hop. Me and my co-host J-Dog Jenni of Alluring Reads are very excited about the number of participants and we think this will rock pretty hard! What is a Cover Madness? It's a giveaway where we feature some newly released book covers, and well you win one of them! ;) Read on for extreme madness!

Stacking the Shelves (61)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring the books we got this week, and I also mention blog news/happenings of the past week

Happy Canada Day weekend to my fellow Canadians! :) We're ready for a mud bog tomorrow and then some fireworks on Monday. Did you see the glimpse in My Reading Life this week? I had a blast doing that post! >.< There's also the Cover Madness giveaway hop starting tonight so make sure to drop by later for a ton of great giveaways from over 60 blogs! Now for my book haul - it's another pretty short one this week but it's definitely sweet! Also, sorry for being a bad commenter this week I was uber busy - but next week is looking much lighter so I'll be all in your faces again! ;)


 (Click on covers or title links for Goodreads)
I received for review:
Which is--->

*Big thanks to JL Bryan, Simon & Schuster Canada, Grand Central Publishing, and Candlewick Press for these pretties!*

I bought:
I bought this audiobook and so far it's awesome. It's a full cast audio and I definitely recommend it over print as these actors make it so genuine. Dude, they make effin creepy zombie sounds!

Short and sweet again! ;)
Don't forget to link me to your book haul! :)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend
Louise Rozett
Series: Confessions #2
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication date: June 25th 2013
by Harlequin Teen

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself
-A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen for review-

*Spoiler free for the series*

After enjoying Confessions of an Angry Girl more than I expected to, I'm happy to report that this is a strong sequel with impressive character growth. I may even have enjoyed it more than the first.

What surprised me in the first book was the amount of depth there was to the story. You think it will be this whiny drama-filled book, but while there is definite drama, everything feels so realistic and raw. The protagonist, Rose, does come off as someone very confused at first, especially in the first book. She's mean to herself and lacks self confidence, in this sequel, however, her character comes out of her shell and she finds where she truly belongs; where she wants to belong. I loved this dramatic change in her. She's realizing that being like everyone else is not what will make her happy. She figures out who she's really meant to be and takes the leap, transforming into a confident, passionate girl who had me cheering her on. Her supporting characters don't let down either. We have the same old charismatic friends who bring it up a notch. With everyone a year older, we have louder, more distinguished personalities of people who are... can I be cheesy and say "spreading their wings"? >.< My favorite side character is Angelo; he just amuses me. Though Tracy is pretty fabulous, too!

As for the romance... GAH! It's just as frustrating as the first if not moreso. It's realistic in its high school-ish mess, I'll give you that, but it has me wishing Rose would let Jamie go. He has obvious issues and plenty of secrets, I don't trust him nor his intentions. It feels like he's stringing Rose along just because he can - exactly as Conrad told her. They do have swoony chemistry, but he either has to give in or leave her alone. I think Rose is finally thinking the same way by the end, at least, so hopefully in the next book she'll kick him to the curb if he doesn't figure himself out stat! I'm actually hoping she ends up with Angelo to be honest. That guy is just so caring and... uncomplicated. I think that's exactly what she needs.

The first book touched a lot on Rose's grief from the death of her father, this sequel follows this largely through emotionally charged therapy sessions with Rose and her mother who are both struggling with anger and heartache. Her brother is more present as well; we learn what changed him so much since starting college while he reconnects with his family. Family oriented books always touch my heart. I found the complicated relationships to be full of realistic conflict and heartfelt emotions. Furthermore, we also explore some serious topics in this book: anti-gay bullying, drugs, physical abuse. Each one is handled skillfully without being cheesy after school special-ish or stereotypical. It's honest, even a little gritty. It all adds up to being a surprisingly profound novel.

Confessions is a perfectly balanced series with just enough drama, just enough humor, and just enough emotion to get us invested without being overwhelmed. I'd recommend it for when you're looking for a quick, vibrant read speckled with life's turmoils.

4 Hot Espressos

Find my review of Confessions of an Angry Girl 14, here!

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Fresh Batch (New Releases June 30th - July 6th)

Exclusively titled for Xpresso Reads, Fresh Batch features the hottest releases of this upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Distance Between Us
Kasie West

Publication date: July 2nd, 2013
by Harper Teen

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My debut novel, PIVOT POINT (HarperTeen) came out February 12, 2013, and will be followed by its sequel in 2014. I also have a contemporary, The Distance Between Us, coming out July 2, 2013 with HarperTeen. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Truly, Madly, Deadly
Hannah Jayne
Genre: YA Thriller
Publication date: July 2nd 2013
by Sourcebooks Fire

Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."
-A copy was provided by Sourcebooks for review-

A fun and creepy thriller, Truly, Madly, Deadly is a perfectly entertaining read. It does take some suspension of disbelief in certain aspects of the story, but I can see it being a hit by fans of the genre nonetheless.

Sawyer's boyfriend's death was only the beginning, it seems. Since the accident, Sawyer seems to have taken on a stalker who's set on framing her for all the accidents-ruled-murders that have been happening in her town. Aside from the aforementioned, we also have the topics of bullying and abusive relationship that Sawyer has to learn to fight through. What I liked the most about Sawyer's character was her voice; how she dealt with what was happening felt very real and emotionally gripping. The flashbacks to her past had my heart breaking for her. However, I do prefer my characters strong and feisty, and Sawyer vomited and passed out a little too much for my taste. It's understandable in her situation, but still. The side characters were just average, and I did feel like some were included to serve the lone purpose of having extra suspects to try to derail us. It did work to a certain extent as I suspected most of them at least once, but it becomes apparent who the true culprit is if you put your mind to it. The author uses a familiar (to me) angle that makes it easy to pinpoint when you've read as many murder mysteries as I have.

As I mentioned, the plot is very entertaining with a lot of creepy instances that you can expect from your run-of-the-mill stalker mystery. It's also a quick read with a steady pacing that makes it easy to fly through. There were a few things from the plot that stood out as a bit unrealistic to me, though. For instance, Sawyer wants to know more about a few of the crimes so, at the police station after falsely claiming an interview (homework) was left for her, she is given the OK by an office to rummage freely through another cop's work desk, after which she finds and takes confidential case files and other personal police papers that were laid-out on it. No way would an officer allow a teenage girl to "look for her homework" on a detective's desk by herself like that. Yes I know this is very specific but I watch a lot of cop shows and it annoyed me. Another thing I have difficulty believing is how the killer could have achieved one of the killings. It would take some serious ability to put a dead body in such a position by oneself. I'm not saying it's impossible with adrenaline and careful planning, but it's still a stretch - in this case especially but I can't argue this further without spoilers.

Truly Madly Deadly did have its problems for me, but in the end I can honestly say that I had fun reading it. It's definitely a decent thriller that amounted to a few chills and thrills along the way.

3 Hot Espressos

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry: My Reading Life

Inspired by Book Buzzers, Book Girls Don't Cry is a weekly feature where we each discuss/vent/advise on the chosen weekly bookish topic. Don't miss Jenni on Mondays, and Amy on Saturdays:

This week's topic was suggested by from Siiri of Little Pieces of Imagination

The Life of a Book Addict

This week we'll be showing you our reading habits - as you can guess (if you know me at all) mine will include a lot of food and coffee... and well yeah who needs anything else? >.< Also, it will be brought to you mostly via pictures - brace yourselves! ;)

I do the most of my reading in the morning right after I ship the lil one to daycare and before the rest of the world is awake and emailing me - aka my workday. So at 7am EST I'm found lounging on this couch in my sunny living room with a book and a coffee:

Although this table is not usually so empty. So how about we add the necessities:


Yup. I love candy. I even wear it (and I was, in fact, reading in this picture):

But don't worry, I indulge in healthy snacks once in a while:

But mostly this is what happens when I try for healthy:

 For when coffee just isn't enough:

I also usually have cute, cuddly company:

And I wish I could say I read a lot outside (I love the outdoors), I actually don't very much. We don't have a gazebo and bugs love me for some reason. But I do go down to my mother's once in a while and enjoy reading in her backyard:

 However that can only happen for 2-3 months in the year, because I'm in Canada. Meaning:

 Sometimes I read in the evenings too, but usually I'm preoccupied by the cuteness:

Or if he's in bed, books on TV!

And once in a while, I do work and stuff:

(but even then I have the necessities of life)

So that's my reading habits/life in a nutshell! 

What are some of your reading habits?

We're looking for topic suggestions for future BGDC posts! What would YOU like to discuss (can be anything from vents to advice)?
Leave a suggestion via this short form!

You know you love me!
Xoxo, Book Girl!