Friday, August 29

Heir Of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Heir Of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 576

Summary: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

My Thoughts: While I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, I wasn’t as into Throne Of Glass as I wanted to be. I still liked the characters and the plot but I felt like something was missing. Or maybe it was too drawn out. I felt like a lot happened but I had trouble remembering how the last book ended and once I remembered, things fell into place.

I still liked both Chaol and Dorian. I also liked learning more about Celaena’s cousin. I also liked seeing how strong Celaena still was. I also liked the glimpses into her past.

I think my new favorite character is Rowan! I really liked him! Something about him really intrigued me. He was tough but also had a caring side once we got to know him.  He wanted Celaena to be the best she could but he also was a bit selfish at times.

I really enjoyed the plot and the new characters. But, I hated that Celaena had no interaction with Dorian or Chaol and I think that is what I was missing! I wanted them to be in the book but with her. Yes, I liked the scenes with them and getting to know them better as individuals but I wanted interaction with her too! And there is basically none since she’s away and they are both where they always are.

I can’t wait to see where the series takes us. Hopefully she ends up actually interacting with the boys in the next one!

Overall: I enjoyed it but I wanted to give it 5 stars but I just felt like something was missing, or maybe it was too slow at first. I still really enjoy this series and I look forward to the next one! Especially after the way it ended.

Cover: Like it. I actually like the green and I think it fits the book!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, August 26

The Jewel (Lone City#1) by Amy Ewing

The Jewel (Lone City#1) by Amy Ewing
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary:  The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

My Thoughts:  I wasn’t sure what to think of this one at first. It reminded me a little bit of The Selection (which I loved).

We are introduced to Violet (aka #197) who is entered into the Surrogacy auction. Girls have been chosen to become surrogates. They don’t have too much choice in the matter. Royally can’t seem to reproduce the right way so Surrogates are bought and paid for to produce children for them. A little weird, right? And a little interesting too!

Well, Violet goes to a lady who's called the Duchess Of The Lake. She doesn’t seem so bad, compared to some of the other ones. But she still disgusted me at times. I did not like the use of the leash. I about puked when that scene happened. It really made me mad! I liked seeing Violet’s friends and I really liked her lady maid (not sure what to call her).  She is the one who helped her get ready for things. It seems as though Violet also became her friend. She was also a mute.

Violet meets a boy named Ash. Of course Ash isn’t supposed to be interested in Violet. He’s a companion. And not a companion for her! At times, I really liked Ash but at other times, he really annoyed me. I’m still debating if I really “loved” him. I also liked her other friend as well. But he was just that, a friend.

Well, Violet gets sucked into a plan to get out of the place, to run away and be safe from everything. That is where it started getting interesting!!! I want to know more!

I really liked this one but it was just a set up for things to come so I don’t feel like very much happened. Or at least fast enough. Things started getting interesting towards the end of the book of course.

I liked Violet and the other characters, I liked the plot, and I want to know what happens next.

And of course that ending, I was very surprised to see that person on the very last pages. I was like, WHAT!!!! Oh My!

Overall: I’ll be looking forward to reading the next one when it comes out! I have to know what happens next!

Cover:  Like it!! Love her pretty dress!!! And love how she is sitting!

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, August 23

The Guard (Selection 2.5) by Kiera Cass

The Guard (Selection 2.5) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher:  Harpercollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 64

Summary:Before America Singer met Prince Maxon . . .
Before she entered the Selection . . .
She was in love with a boy named Aspen Leger.

Don't miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection trilogy. This brand new 64-page story begins just after the group of Selected girls is narrowed down to the Elite and is told from Aspen's point of view. The Guard also features a teaser to The One, the thrilling conclusion to The Selection trilogy.

My Thoughts: Honestly, I have never liked Aspen very much. At first, I thought he was alright but as I got to know him more, I always leaned towards Maxon. I liked seeing how he truly felt about America and I’m glad I read this little novella. I’m happy I was able to get inside his head, even if for a little while.

I think the novellas go along great with the series. It helps us get to know the characters more in depth.

Overall: It was ok! I like reading novellas because they are usually short and they give me a glimpse into the story a bit more.

Cover: I like how we can see parts of Maxon’s home (at least I think so). Cute!

What I’d Give It:

Wednesday, August 20

Summer On The Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Summer On The Short Bus by Bethany Crandell
Release Date:  April 1, 2014
Publisher:  Running Press Kids
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 256

Summary: Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, Cricket is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this camp is actually for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.
Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance—and losing her sanity.

My Thoughts: I was so excited for this one! And while I did enjoy it I didn’t love it like I wanted.

We are introduced to Cricket who has had things given to her. Her mom passed away while she was young but its always been her and her father. They get along ok. If she gets into trouble, he usually gives in and forgives her. She’s a bit spoiled.

So getting shipped off to be a camp counselor is not her idea of fun or the way to spend a summer!

And she gets there, and is surprised at what she finds. She finds a cute boy! But, she also finds a bunch of kids that are special needs. She wasn't expecting that at all!

I loved getting to know each of the kids/teens. They all had their difficulties but they overcame them so well and they accepted them. They each had their own story to tell.

I really liked Quinn but some of the time I didn’t really like Cricket’s attitude so it was hard for me to like her.

Overall: I thought the plot of this was pretty neat and I loved seeing Cricket overcome her prejudices. I liked learning all about the kids!  And how Quinn, swoonworthy!

Summer On The Short Bus is probably more of a 3.5 rating for me. It was a fast read, and I did enjoy it but I didn’t love Cricket like I wanted too.

Cover:  Like it! Its cute! I love how it has swimsuits and then the wheelchair is just thrown in!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, August 15

#Scandal by Sarah Ockler

#Scandal by Sarah Ockler
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416

Summary:Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love..

My Thoughts: I had really high hopes for this one! And while I liked it, I think it could have been a tad better. I got the sense from the summary that it was going to be all about forbidden love story between two people, etc etc. And while it was kinda, I never really felt the dyer connection between Cole and Lucy.

This one starts out with Cole and Lucy at prom together. Lucy’s best friend and Coles girlfriend is supposedly sick so she ends up at prom with him instead. And things go haywire from there. Someone takes pictures of Lucy and Cole together and blows up a internet feed.

I don’t know, I liked this one. I did. But I never really felt the chemistry. It had important issues such as bullying and with Lucy’s sister, how things aren't what they seem.

And while I did like it and I liked the way things ended up, I just didn’t fall in love with Cole. He was sweet enough, I just didn’t get the connection I guess.

I always love Ockler’s books and I did enjoy parts of this one. I think there just wasn't enough romance (Yes I’m a sucker for those) but it was also good on some level since it didn’t outshine the lessons in this one.

I liked this one enough, I just didn’t feel like it was my favorite of Ockler’s books!

Overall: I’d probably give this more of a 3.5 cupcake rating, but I’ll round it up to 4 cupcakes since its SARAH OCKLER! She’s one of my favorite authors and I’ll continue to read all of her books!

Cover:  Like it! I love how they are kissing. Very cute!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, August 8

Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Magnolia by Kristi Cook
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336

Summary: In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

My Thoughts: What a cute little Southern novel! I loved falling in love with the characters and plot in this one. Oh, and the setting!!!

We are introduced to Jemma and Ryder who aren't too fond of one another but their parents want them to be together. Heck, they are already planning their marriage! The two families have a lot of history but the timing has never been right between age groups for anyone to get married. Until Jemma and Ryder of course!

Jemma and Ryder used to be friends but that changed in 8th grade during a very rough night. Now they just tolerate one another. Their friends all hang out so they are forced to put up with one another.

Both Jemma and Ryder's family end up out of a town supporting her sister and a big storm is a brewin. Jemma’s dad asks Ryder to check in on her during the storm.

Well, Ryder ends up getting stuck at Jemma’s house and they have to be bogged down with each other. This sure does open a can of worms. They finally start to tell each other how they really feel and spill some of their secrets.

This one was cute but it also had its life lessons. Especially with how bad the storm got, and not everyone makes it out of things alright.  

I liked Jemma’s family and her sister’s problem put a little more drama into the mix. It was heartbreaking! I wanted everyone to be ok too. I liked learning about the storm and I felt like I was right there with Jemma and Ryder trying to ride out this storm! It had me on pins and needles at some points!!! It was exciting!

I wanted to read more!

Overall:  I liked the plot of this one, the Southerness, and all the characters! A fun read!

Cover:  Cute! Love how she is sitting on the fence!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, August 1

Blind Spot For Boys by Justina Chen

Blind Spot For Boys by Justina Chen
Release Date:  August 12, 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336

Summary:   Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who's right in front of her?

Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it's time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.

Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don't just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana's interest. Right as she's about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously.

My Thoughts:  I was so excited to read this one! I loved the summary and I loved the cover! I anxiously have been awaiting it!

I’ve read a few not so good reviews about this one but I didn’t let that influence me. I still really loved it! We are introduced to Shana and her family. She has a few siblings but they are away most of the time but she also lives with her mother and father. Her father is starting to go blind and they say he will be completely blind within 6 months. Talk about a hardship!

Shana meets a boy named Quattro. Boy, was he a sweetie. I was instantly drawn to him. He just happened to be scouting colleges where Shana was and they bump into one another. She thinks he’s cute but after her last relationship she doesn’t want to jump into anything new.

Well, they end up spending a little bit of time together and then they go their separate ways. A little bit of time goes on, and her family decides to take a trip before her father goes blind and guess who is there!!! Yep, Quattro and his father! They came to do an important task. Talk about fate!!!

I loved Machu Picchu! I loved exploring it, and learning more about it. I loved Shana and her family’s moments and I loved the time Shana got to spend with Quattro. I loved every minute of it! I loved watching Shana explore her feelings and all the pictures she took! I just loved both Quattro and Shana and put them together, and wham!  I also liked learning about her past relationship. It helped me understand things a lot better.

I loved all the hiking, I loved all the other characters, I loved the little things that were said, and I loved all the stolen moments between them!

And, the ending, yay!

Being there with Shana during the things that happened at Machu Picchu, wow! I loved how strong and brave she was.

Overall:  I really enjoyed this one. I loved the cuteness of it. I loved the plot, and the loved the characters. I also loved all the wisdom thrown throughout it. I can see this won’t be everyone’s favorite but I really enjoyed it. This one is probably more of a 4.5 cupcake rating but I'm rounding it up!

Cover: Cute! I love the people on it, and I think it fits perfectly. I would definitely pick this up in a bookstore, no doubt!

What I’d Give It:


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