Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: The Edge of Always by JA Redmerski

The Edge of Always
By JA Redmerski
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Source: Netgalley
Summary: He was taking the long road. She was taking the road to nowhere. It just so happened that they led to the same place…

When everything falls apart, love remains . . .


Camryn Bennett has never been happier. Five months after meeting on a Greyhound bus, she and her soul mate Andrew Parrish are engaged—and a wedding isn’t the only special event in their future. Nervous but excited, Camryn can’t wait to begin the rest of her life with Andrew – a man she knows in her heart will love her always. They have so much to look forward to—until tragedy blindsides them.

Andrew doesn’t understand how this could happen to them. He’s trying to move on, and thought Camryn was doing the same. But when Andrew discovers Camryn is secretly harboring a mountain of pain and attempting to numb it in damaging ways, there is nothing he won’t do to bring her back to life. Determined to prove that their love can survive anything, Andrew decides to take Camryn on a new journey filled with hope and passion. If only he can convince her to come along for the ride…

Review: I read The Edge of Never back in May, and I absolutely fell in love with Camryn and Andrew's story. So you could say I was dying to get my hands on The Edge of Always for the chance to read even more about one of my favorite fiction couples. There was so much emotion from the first book, that I knew I was in for yet another great adventure with this one. 

Camryn still can't believe how much her life has changed in the past five months. Thanks to the fated chance of meeting on a Greyhound bus, Camryn is now engaged to Andrew and can't wait to spend the rest of her life with such an amazing man, traveling the world and just living life. But when tragedy strikes Camryn's life yet again, she starts to close herself off and Andrew doesn't know how to get the Camryn he loves back. Andrew hopes that taking Camryn on another life changing adventure will remind her of the passion and love of their relationship, bringing back the passionate Camryn he knows and loves. 

Oh boy, talk about emotions. Seriously, I was flipping out during every emotional part in the first book, and all of those emotions come flooding back in this one. How can so much happen to one girl? Well, at least she has Andrew by her side, because boy is he perfect. How does she find such an amazing guy on a bus? I've been on plenty of buses and that has definitely not happened to me....where are all of the Andrews in the world hiding?? Not only was the emotion there, but we get to see the story from alternating chapters from Andrew's point of view and Camryn's point of view, just like in the first book. I loved how the author let us into both minds, because we really get to know both of them and the emotions are that much more present. 

The thing I love most about Andrew is definitely his love for Camryn. That guy is seriously in love with her, and will do anything for her through both good and bad times. Yeah, there are times when Camryn crawls into her shell when things get hard again, and there are times when she messes up with her life. But he's always there for her, reminding her how amazing she really is. *sigh* Andrew is just too cute and too perfect. 

So much happens in this book, that I have to remind myself that it all happened within this one novel. Seriously, there's tragedy, struggles, passion, love, and so many other heart-wrenching emotions and occurrences. How can one couple deal with all of that? Because they have each other, and couldn't have found a more perfect soul mate. 

That ending was absolutely perfect, and I can't get over the fact that Andrew and Camryn are truly meant to be. While it's definitely a bumpy road, they build a life together that is just so gosh darn lovable. And we get more traveling in this one, which is a main reason why I fell in love with the first book. EVERYONE needs to read this series, and pick up this new release as soon as they can! I hope you all will love it as much as I did.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (115)

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

Side Effects May Vary
By Julie Murphy 
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Summary: What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? 

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most? 

Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.


Oh boy, this one is going to be a heartbreaker, I can feel it. A girl has Lukemia and she recruits her best friend who's in love with her to help her complete her bucket list? Gosh, can you tug at the heart strings any harder? But wait, she goes into remission! Imagine everything Alice is going to have to face now that she's finally done everything she's always been to scared to do. I really really can't wait for the chance to read this one!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Year
By Gayle Forman
Release Date: October 10, 2013
Source: Barnes and Noble
Summary: Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.

Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began....

When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .

The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.

Review: Ever since I finished Just One Day, I've been freaking out over what had happened to Willem. So to say I was excited to read this book is a definite understatement. It's literally all I could think about since this book was released! My wonderful mother bought me a copy and I was able to spend a good chunk of my weekend being antisocial and devouring this amazing book. 

We all know what happened to Allyson when she wakes up to find Willem completely vanished from her life, but what happened to the mystery man himself? Waking up in a hospital in who knows what country, Willem has no idea what happened. All he knows is that Lulu changed his life, and he wants her back. But how can he find a girl he spent one day with, and whose name he doesn't even know? He takes off all around the world, trying to reconnect with the first person who's made him feel something in a long time. Even when she's not there, though, Lulu lead Willem on a journey to discover things about himself that he's been running away from for far too long. 

Oh my. Willem. I fell in love with him in the first book, and he was barely even in it. Now, I get to read an entire story just about him? Gayle Forman, you seriously rock. I fell in love with Willem even more in this novel, because he becomes such a real person with real emotions and problems. Seriously, the little we learned about Willem barely scratched the surface. We learn SO MUCH about his life and he even learns more about himself along the way. 

Books that surround traveling are some of my favorite, and the traveling didn't stop in the first book of this series. Just One Year takes you to Mexico, India, Amsterdam, and so many more countries you can barely keep track of where you are. But the cultures are so interesting and I absolutely love following Willem around these amazing countries full of life and discovery. 

Not only was the travel really cool, but I loved how Shakespeare made another appearance in Willem's life. As You Like It is probably one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, and the way Willem can connect with that play is just inspiring and I loved the scenes where they talked about that aspect of his life. So cool. 

It's weird, though, because this book was so romantic, yet the main couple isn't even together in this book. Willem is completely hung up on Lulu and how much she changed his life, even though they spent just one day together. Wouldn't you love to meet someone that had that big of an effect on your life? Well, I know I'd love to meet a Willem of my own!

I could just go on and on about why I loved this book. And that ending! Grrrrr! I was already left completely hanging after the first book, and she goes and ends this one the way she does? Needless to say, I'm praying Gayle Forman writes a third book so that I can get more of Allyson and Willem. I might cry if I don't. Because their story is absolutely addicting and phenomenal and I could just read about them forever. So pick up this book right now if you haven't already. It's so fantastic and you won't be able to help from feeling wanderlust and romance with every turn of the page. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Scariest Looking Book Covers

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given. So hopefully I'll have a new list to share with you all each week!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers

1. Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
3. Sleepless by Thomas Fahy

4. Envy by Gregg Olsen
5. Possessions by Nancy Holder
6. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

7. Possessed by Kate Can
8. In the Shadows of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
9. Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry

10. Ashes by Isla J Bick

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekly Roundup [10/22-10/28]

Wow, it's Monday already? What did I do with my weekend? Let's see, I watched too many Disney movies, caught up on all 5 episodes of the new season of Downton Abbey, watched some Friday Night Lights (I'm finally on the final season!), finished a big chunk of my knitting projects, read a ton of books, and got a ton of homework done. This was the first weekend in a very long time where I had absolutely nothing going on, so I made sure to make the most of it! And that means a lot of catching up on tv/movies and reading. You could say it was a very nice, relaxing weekend :) And I go home again next weekend and I get to see my sister who I haven't seen in almost SEVEN WEEKS. Hopefully this week goes by super fast so I can be reunited with my best friend!

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffry Eugenides 
Tandem by Anna Jarzab
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Book Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing
By David Levithan
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary: 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.

Review: I want to start off this review by letting you all know I was not planning on reading this book at all. I am not a fan of LGBTQ books because that's just not my thing. I don't enjoy reading about those kinds of relationships, so when I saw the title and cover of this book, I immediately dismissed it. Soon, though, I was seeing this book EVERYWHERE and everyone was absolutely raving about it. Review after review described this book as phenomenal, influential, and emotional and it has a 4.34 rating on Goodreads. If this book was so important and all the rage, then I guess I should probably read it. So I did. 

Narrated from the voices of gay men from the previous generation who lost their lives to AIDS, we follow the journey of two gay boys attempting to break the record for the world's longest kiss (over 32 hours), right outside of their high school in front of all of their friends and family. As these two 17-year-olds attempt to change history, the story delves into the lives of other gay teens whose lives semi-intertwine with the marathon kiss, and how figuring out their identities is a hard feat to face. 

Like I said, I'm not a fan of books that focus on same sex couples. This one, though, was so much more than just a book about same sex couples. David Levithan is absolutely magical with his language and the power behind telling the story through those who died of AIDS and grew up in a society with even worse views of gay men than they do now was perfect for this book. The narrators made this story as emotional and touching as it was, because they truly cared about the boys they were watching and reflected on their own lives as they went through the same crises the boys are going through now. 

The part of the story I liked best was definitely the two boys kissing, and not so much the two other main stories the book followed (a couple who met a gay prom, a couple who have been together for a year, and a boy who's parents found out he was gay from his online activity). What I liked most about the two boys kissing was the fact that the kiss wasn't about their making out, but making a stand, The boys aren't even dating anymore (they had broken up, though of course feelings are still there), so the act of them kissing is to stand up for who they are and for all of those in the world who are struggling with their own sexual identities. This book got so emotional at times and the ending was so powerful with how each character deals with their identities and being accepted by families and friends. 

While I'm not going to be picking up books focusing on LGBTQ characters for my next read or any read after that, I now understand the importance, power, and meaning of this book. David Levithan's writing is perfection and he's written a book that can touch the lives of so many people going through what these characters went through. Levithan has created a book that I definitely won't forget anytime soon, and a book that I don't think any reader could ever forget either.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (72)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what they got throughout the week!

From Barnes and Noble

All I got this week was Colleen Hoover's novella Finding Cinderella. FOR FREE. I absolutely love Colleen's books, and she wrote a novella to give to her fans for free? How much more awesome could an author be? I can't until I can find the time to read this one! 

That's it for me! What did you all add to your shelves this? 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Book Review: Tandem by Anna Jarzab

By Anna Jarzab
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary: Everything repeats.
You. Your best friend. Every person you know.
Many worlds. Many lives--infinite possibilities.
Welcome to the multiverse.

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.

The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing--and no one--is what it seems.

Review: Ever since I saw the cover of this book, I was intrigued to see what it was about. When I read the summary, I wasn't sure how I would like a story about parallel universes. I've never read a book about them before, but I thought I'd give it a shot and I'm definitely glad I did. 

Sasha Lawson has grown used to her quiet Chicago life, living with her grandpa and reading in the depths of her favorite bookstore. Until one day, Sasha is stolen from her world and finds herself on Aurora, a version of Earth in a different universe. Sasha is expected to take the place of her analog Julianna, or version of herself on Aurora, who just so happens to be the princess that was recently kidnapped. Sasha has 6 days before the princess's marriage to the prince of the rival monarchy of America, but can she survive that long and keep her cover? Or will she uncover some secrets that could threaten to destroy both of her worlds? 

This book was so cool. So cool. Seriously, I loved the idea of two versions of Earth and how Sasha was stolen from one to impersonate the princess of the other. It was really cool how the author explained why Aurora was so different from Earth because of one small event that literally changed EVERYTHING. So Sasha finds herself in a completely new world, taken from her Grandpa and friends, to try and save the fate of a country she barley even knows. 

I really loved Sasha and how defiant she is as a person. She seems like a quiet, passive girl in the beginning, but throw her into a crisis and she can seriously hold her own. And Thomas! Oh Thomas how you made this story so much better. His character was absolutely perfect for this story, how he's a big bad soldier but really a passionate softy on the inside. He's a great match for Sasha and it was fun watching their relationship grow from the time he forcibly brings Sasha to Aurora up until the end of the book. 

Speaking of the end, what the heck? As much as I love a good cliff-hanger, I don't particularly enjoy them when the next book doesn't come out until JUNE! Gah, but it was an awesome ending and I loved the different plot twists thrown our way pertaining to both life on Aurora and Sasha's life on Earth. 

In the end, this was a really cool sci-fi book that takes a unique approach to parallel universes. There's action, sci-fi, and, of course, my beloved romance. I would definitely recommend checking Tandem out. WIth a unique story, great characters, and a simmering romance, you can't go wrong.

Follow My Book Blog Friday (108)

This is a meme hosted every Friday by Parajunkee, where book bloggers answer a question each week and check out how others answered it. It's a cool way for bloggers and viewers to connect and learn more about each other!

Question: Bookagram: Photograph your favorite read in a funny place

Answer: Well, I'm gonna cheat on this one for a couple of reasons. 1) My favorite books are at home because I only bring books to school that I need/want to read from my huge TBR pile. 2) I'm not creative at all when it comes to this meme and have no clue what a "funny place" could be to take the photo. So here's a book I'm reading that I'm loving in a place you can probably find me reading every single day...

That's right! I'm reading Emma by Jane Austen (my last Austen novel. Woo hoo!) with a large cup of hot cocoa to keep me warm as the weather becomes colder and colder. I am absolutely loving Emma and can't wait to finish it! And nothing's better than snuggling up with some Austen and hot cocoa to make my day 100% better :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides
By Jeffrey Eugenides
Release Date: April 1993
Source: Library
Summary: The five Lisbon sisters are brought up in a strict household, and when the youngest kills herself, the oppression of the remaining sisters intensifies. As Therese, Mary, Bonnie and Lux are pulled deeper into isolation by their domineering mother, a group of neighborhood boys become obsessed with liberating the sisters. But what the boys don't know is, the Lisbon girls are beyond saving.

Review: I've been wanting to read this book for FOREVER. This came out when I was one year old, so it's been out for quite a while. But I finally got a copy from the library and had the chance to read it!

The Lisbon sisters are a fascinating mystery to the town they live in. Growing up in a super strict home, the sisters are rarely see outside the home. When one of them commits suicide, the family becomes even more closed-off from society, eventually never leaving the solitude of their home. But that doesn't stop the rumors and fascination with the four remaining sisters. Soon, boys in the town become obsessed with the sisters, but they soon realize they know absolutely nothing about the girls they've grown up with their entire lives. 

Wow. There are some books that are written so beautifully and in a way that not many people write anymore. And that's how The Virgin Suicides was written. I thought the narration was so unique, and how it was someone from the group of boys who always watched the sisters, but he's talking years later after everything happens. It's definitely a unique retelling that gives you a lot of insight, yet leaves you in the dark about a lot because no one knows certain facts, not even the narrator. 

And the characters! The sisters are so strange, yet so intriguing at the same time. Honestly, if I knew a family like theirs, I would think they were the strangest people. But it's their strangeness that make you want to know more and more about them. What's going on in their minds? Why did Cecilia kill herself? How do the sisters live their lives trapped inside of their home with such protective parents? There's just so much depth and thought that goes into this novel; it's one that gets you thinking about life and everyone else in it. 

Overall, The Virgin Suicides was a fantastic book. To enjoy it, though, you have to be a fan of the kind of style the author uses. Nothing is clear cut and there are secrets that aren't uncovered by the end, but that just makes the overall story even better. I'm so happy I finally had the chance to read this one. Now, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the movie and see if it lives up to the fascination that was in this book.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (114)

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

Being Sloane Jacobs
By Lauren Morrill
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Summary: Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.


Does this book look good or what? I love the idea that the two girls have the same name yet have completely different lives. Well, except for the fact that they're both about to face a little romance in their lives. I love how one's an ice skater and one's a hockey player, and they meet to trade places. And the cover is so pretty! Needless to say, I'm excited for this one to come out. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Names That I Love/Unusual Character Names

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given. So hopefully I'll have a new list to share with you all each week!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Character Names That I Love/Unusual Character Names

1. Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door
2. Lola Nolan from Lola and the Boy Next Door
3. Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss

4. Hazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars

7. Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
8. Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's
9. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit

10. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games

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