Thursday, May 28

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Release Date:  April 28, 2015
Publisher: Harpercollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Summary:   Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds... two races…and two destinies.

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

My Thoughts: I’m still not sure what I thought of Magonia and I finished it a few days ago. I read a few other reviews before reading this one and people described it as beautiful and unique. And it was. The descriptions were very vivid, almost like you were experiencing it!

We are introduced to Aza who has always had a respiratory illness. She’s always had a bit of trouble breathing on earth. She’s had medical problems. Been to doctors. Taken medicines. We also meet her best friend Jason. Jason loves Aza and he has for a while. He tries to be there for her through her illness and just generally cares about her.

Aza has never really felt right on earth. Almost like something was missing or something was out there different for her.

When Aza gets sick and everyone thinks she passes away, she ends up on a ship. Magonia. She finds out about her real family. She finds out there was so much more to her life and she can finally breathe again.

This was such an imaginary tale. I don’t even really know what to say about it. I liked how she opened up and finally found her voice.  I even liked the parts with Jason’s Point Of View.

The whole story was very original. I hadn't quite read anything like it before. It was weird at some points too. The birds were weird. I had a little trouble following along there.

I’m glad I gave this debut a chance. I really liked Aza and how she learned to come into her own skin.

Overall: Days later, and I’m still a bit unsure what to say. I liked it, but I thought it was somewhat weird. Not weird in a bad way, just weird. I did think some of it was beautiful though. I’d probably give this one a 3.5 cupcake rating for me. I can see how some will truly love this one but I’m more of a contemp reader instead of fantasy so that's probably why I give it more of a 3.5.

Cover: Like it! Its cute! Like the feather and the colors.

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, May 26

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry
Release Date:  May 26, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 496

Summary: An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

My Thoughts:  I wasn't really sure about reading about a motorcycle club at first. But, if anyone can pull it off, its Katie McGarry!

We are introduced to Emily who lives with her mom and her adoptive dad. Emily was adopted pretty young by the man her mom married. She’s had a pretty average life. A few friends, school, and a family. She has spent a little bit of time with her real dad over the years but not much. He has come to visit her.

We are also introduced to Oz who lives near Emily’s dad. Emily’s dad is part of a motorcycle club called “Reign of Terror.”A lot of people fear them.  The Reign of Terror also run a security company.

Well, when Emily finds out her grandmother (dad’s mom) died, she goes back to his hometown for a wake. She not thrilled about it but she’s always been a bit curious about them.

Emily gets a lot more than she bargained for. She finds out there is much more to this family than she originally thought and her mom hasn't been completely honest.

And, I loved Oz. Bad boy Oz. Even though he’s classified as a bad boy he really isn’t. He’s sweet and loyal. I also really liked the rest of the members we meet of Reign of Terror. So many side characters with such distinct personalities.

I wasn't sure if I would enjoy the whole motorcycle club thing, but I did. It worked well.  I liked hearing about all the backstory for these characters.

I want to say so much about this book but I think you should read it for yourself. I really liked Emily and Oz. I even liked Emily’s dad. And, I liked everything that happened (even the sucky stuff, because it still fit).

Overall: Another cute but deep story by McGarry! I just love the books I've read by her so far! Loved Oz and Emily and the rest of their crazy families. Also loved learning more about the motorcycle club. Probably more of a 4.5 cupcake rating!

Cover: Super nice. Love it! The colors even work. Like it a lot.

What I’d Give It:

Monday, May 25

The Wrong Side Of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

The Wrong Side Of Right by Jenn Marie Thorn
Release Date:March 17, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  400

Summary:  Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin.

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.

My Thoughts:  The Wrong Side Of Right was a book I was really looking forward too! I ended up reading it soon after it was released! And, I really liked it!

We are introduced to Kate who lost her mom a little while ago. She’s been sad about it. She now lives with another family member and their small little family. She goes to school, does her homework, is an overall good kid.

One day she comes home from school and finds newscasters lined up down her street. She’s not sure what is going on.

She soon learns that her dad is a famous political person and this changes things for Kate completely. Her dad wants to get to know her and bring her into his life. He also has his own family; a wife and two young kids.

Boy, Kate didn’t know what she was getting herself into. Kate is thrust into the political world. She also develops a crush on a certain boy. I liked that part!

I liked almost everything about this book. I liked her crush.  I liked her new family. I especially liked her brother and sister. They were a riot.

I also liked most of the politics and following the campaign, though at times I did get a little bored with that aspect.

I really loved Kate and how strong of a person she was.

Overall:  This was such a cute contemp. But, it was also somewhat deep too. There was a lot going on and you really had to follow along. I thought it was a pretty good one though! Glad I read it!
Cover: Love it! I like the colors and just the way it looks! I’d pick it up and read it again!

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, May 23

Letting Go (Thatch #1) by Molly McAdams

Letting Go (Thatch #1) by Molly McAdams
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow  
Age Group: New Adult
Pages: 336

Summary: Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen and believed they’d be together forever. But three days before their wedding, the twenty-year-old groom-to-be suddenly died from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. If it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger, Grey never would have made it through those last two years to graduation. He’s the only one who understands her pain, the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. Jagger swears he’ll always be there for her, but no one has ever been able to hold on to him. He’s not the kind of guy to settle down.

It’s true that no one has ever been able to keep Jagger—because he’s only ever belonged to Grey. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, he’s the only one who sees her strength. Yet as much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. Still they can’t deny the heat that is growing between them—a passion that soon becomes too hot to handle. But admitting their feelings for each other means they've got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?

My Thoughts: I think this was my first Molly McAdams book. I don’t think I've read anything by her before. I do have several of her books on my TBR pile though.

As I started reading Letting Go, I found myself liking it a lot. But, by the middle I started to become a little uninterested. I just wanted to know what was going to happen and it felt really drawn out. Its not a bad thing, but since I’m used to reading Young Adult, the stories always seem to go a bit faster. Usually.

In Letting Go, we are introduced to Grey and Jagger. They've been best friends forever. Along with another guy named Ben who died recently and who Grey was engaged too. This was a very heartbreaking story. I felt so bad for Grey. And Jagger; losing his best friend.

I really liked both Grey and Jagger together. They just fit together, as best friends. They had a lot in common and I wanted to see them together from the get go.

I also liked the rest of the characters too. I liked Jagger’s little sister and I liked Grey’s parents.  I really liked the plot of this one even if it was a bit predictable.

I’m glad how things ended up and I’m glad how they progressed. It wasn't perfect by any means.

Overall: I’m excited to really more by McAdams. I’ll have to start tackling her books soon. I think this was is more of a 3.5 cupcake rating for me!

Cover:  Like it! Jagger is a cutie and I like the way Grey looks too. They fit! 

What I'd Give It:

Wednesday, May 20

Revenge, Ice Cream, And Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn

Revenge, Ice Cream, And Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400

Summary: The war rages on between Gemma and Hallie in the second installment of the Broken Hearts and Revenge series.

After the humiliating events on the 4th of July, Gemma's trying to handle the fact that Hallie knew who she was all along, and she was the one who stole Teddy from her. Gemma vows revenge, but things get more complicated than she planned. Ford, Gemma’s long-time crush, has arrived in the Hamptons cuter than ever. Josh is refusing to speak to her after she lied to him, and Teddy is playing champion to his beloved Marsh Warbler (in Gemma's backyard, no less).

Gemma and Hallie find themselves locked in an escalating revenge cycle. Just when Gemma thinks she has the upper hand, the biggest bombshell of all is dropped. And it’s one that threatens to change her life forever. This exciting sequel to Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things To Mend will leave you begging for the third installment.

My Thoughts: I remember reading the first one in this series, and I loved it! Loved loved it! I read it on a car trip and I laughed out loud so many times.

In this second novel, I felt the same way but at times it just felt like it dragged on.

We are back with Gemma and her mistakes. As the first book ended, Gemma was left with a lot of stuff going on and a lot her her mistakes being revealed.

In this one, Gemma wants to make amends with Hallie but Hallie won’t let that happen! Josh is also in the picture but he’s mad at Gemma and he doesn't understand even what happened.

I really like that Gemma gets a job in an ice cream shop.  I love the moments spent working in that ice cream shop.  Made me hungry for ice cream a lot!

I also love Ford and Josh in this one! Heck, I even liked Teddy at times! I want to go on and on about this one but I just feel like sooooo much happened!!! I don’t even want to spoil any of the fights or any of the redeeming qualities. If you haven’t read this series, you should.

I loved Gemma and all her boys! I loved her best friend. I loved the plot!

Overall:  I did like the first one a bit better but this was still good. I think I liked the first one more because we get all the realizations like, who Gemma really is, etc. She had more to hide in that one. I still liked all the drama in this though!

I also loved seeing all the sides of the guys. We get more depth to each of them this time! I enjoyed this one a lot!

Cover: Love it! These covers are really cute! Love the ice cream cone!

What I’d Give It:

Sunday, May 17

Promposal by Rhonda Helms

Promposal by Rhonda Helms

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  224

Summary:  promposal (n.)--an often public proposal, in which one person asks another to the prom, eliciting joy or mortification.

Camilla can't help hoping her secret crush, Benjamin, might randomly surprise her out of the blue with a promposal. However, when she's asked to prom by an irritating casual acquaintance--wearing a fancy tux and standing in front of a news crew--she's forced to say yes. Yet all hope's not lost. A timely school project gives Camilla a chance to get closer to Benjamin...and it seems like the chemistry between them is crackling. But is she reading into something that isn't there?

Joshua, Camilla's bestie, has been secretly in love with his gay best friend, Ethan, since middle school. Just as he decides to bite the bullet and ask Ethan if he'll go to prom with him, even if just as friends, he gets a shocking surprise: Ethan asks Joshua for help crafting the perfect promposal--for another guy. Now Joshua has to suppress his love and try to fake enthusiasm as he watches his dreams fall apart...unless he can make Ethan see that love has been right in front of his eyes the whole time.

The road to the perfect promposal isn't easy to navigate. But one thing's certain--prom season is going to be memorable.

My Thoughts: Promposal was a really cute one! We are introduced to Joshua and Camilla. Two best friends who fall in love with other people and are there for one another through everything. Joshua is gay and Camilla is straight. Joshua falls for one of his best friends while Camilla falls for a guy in one of her classes at school.

I really liked this one. I liked seeing all the other characters plan their promposals and ask people out. I liked the different points of view between Joshua and Camilla too. I liked seeing what they were both going through. I also liked the family aspect. I liked seeing both of their families and things weren't perfect but they made it work.

I felt like there wasn't a lot of depth to this one. But that is ok. It got the point across and it was a fun light read for me.

Overall: Liked it. Of course both characters had some complications and obstacles to get through but I really liked how things played out. And I liked how prom went as well! It was a fun read. This one was probably more between a 3.5 rating and a 4. But I did enjoy it!

Cover:  Cute! Like it!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, May 15

Hold Me Like A Breath: Once Upon A Crime Family by Tiffany Schmidt

Hold Me Like A Breath: Once Upon A Crime Family by Tiffany Schmidt
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400

Summary:  Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

My Thoughts:  I wasn’t sure what I was going into when I started this one, but I really loved it!  

We are introduced to Pen who comes from a family with a mom, dad, and a brother. Her dad runs a business where they transplant organs, or sell them basically.  Pen has always been somewhat sheltered. She has a disorder where she bruises easily. You can touch her and she’ll get a bruise, so it makes her everyday life somewhat hard. Everyone is gentle around her, thinking she is really fragile and breakable. Pen hates it! She just wants to be treated normal most of the time.

Pen also has a crush on her brother’s best friend (and bodyguard). I liked him a lot in the beginning of the story but as time progressed, I felt myself liking another boy more!

A lot happens in this one and Penny has so many tragedies in her life she must overcome. She has to learn what it is to really become an adult and who to trust and not to trust. Honestly, I could write so much about this one but I feel like if I say much of anything I’ll start to give away spoilers. This one was full of action, romance, and cuteness yet it was also a really rough one! It wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine but that is what made it so good! It had me on the edge of my seat.

I really liked the characters and the plot! I loved Pen as a main character!

Overall: I could have wrote ten paragraphs for this one but I didn’t want to give anything away! I really liked this one and I hope you’ll give it a chance! I loved the action and the romance both! I also wanted to cry a few times! I recommend this one!

Cover: I like it!  Love the butterfly! I’d pick it up at a store!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, May 12

Some Kind Of Normal by Juliana Stone

Some Kind Of Normal by Juliana Stone
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Summary:  What is Normal?

For Trevor normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves Trevor with no band, no teammates and no chance of graduating. It's kinda hard to ace your finals when you've been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor—those beautiful blue eyes catching every last flaw.

For Everly normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor's daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed.

My Thoughts:  I really liked the first novel in this world, Boys Like You a bit better.

In, Some Kind Of Normal we are introduced to the other boy in the car accident. His name is Trevor and he’s been in a coma for a while. He wakes up and his life is a lot different. He has a lot to face. His best friend has a new girlfriend, a serious one.  And Trevor is behind in his classes. He has trouble doing the easiest tasks.  He’s just trying to get by.

Than, there is Everly. Everly is a church girl who comes from a very traditional family, or at least everyone thinks so.

As Everly and Trevor get to know each other better, nobody thought they’d even be remotely interested in each other.

I really enjoyed this one. I liked all the time spent together, doing fun things and studying. This one had romance but also a lot of deeper issues.

I just loved both of these characters alone, and together. I’m happy on the way things turned out between them. I know they had their troubles but I’m glad on the way things actually ended up!

Overall: I wanted to write so much more on this one but I don’t want to ruin all the small special moments by writing about them. Something you need to read yourself. I really loved these characters! Loved Everly’s personality.  Very cute and uplifting story!

Cover: I freaking love it! Its what drew me into this book to begin with! Super cute! And colorful!

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, May 9

Wild Hearts (If Only #4) by Jessica Burkhart

Wild Hearts (If Only #4) by Jessica Burkhart
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 256

Summary: Brie Carter's father's land development business has taken her family all over the world,
but as soon as they arrive at their new home in Lost Spring, Wyoming, the town turns out to protest. They don't want a new hotel if the resident mustang population will be displaced or hurt as part of the deal. Then Brie meets Logan, a gorgeous local who has a special connection to the mustangs, and she is immediately drawn to him . . . and the horses. However, with Logan's father leading the protests and Brie's father refusing to budge, it's clear that their parents are heading towards an all-out war. Can Brie and Logan find a way to save the mustangs and be together? Or is their love doomed from the start?

This new title in the If Only line is the perfect summer read and proves that love flourishes in the wildest places!

My Thoughts:  I really wanted to love this one. It sounded amazing but I only ended up just liking it.

We are introduced to Brie whose parents move her around a lot due to her dad’s business. Brie is generally alright with this. She doesn’t make a lot of friends and she’s used to living all over the world.

When Brie’s dad’s new job lands the family in Lost Springs, Wyoming things get tough! There are wild horses running around on the land her dad is working on and this creates a lot of problems. She also meets a boy named Logan who her dad would never approve of her dating.

I really liked the romance in this one even though it was fast too. At times I felt like it was a bit rushed. I loved the horse angle. I loved when Brie and Logan went camping and found the horse in labor! That was definitely interesting!

I liked Wild Hearts but I didn’t love it like I had hoped! I liked the characters and the plot but I had trouble getting through it and and I just didn’t connect to the characters or the plot like I wanted.

Overall:  Wild Hearts wasn’t my favorite If Only book yet but I will keep reading them as they come out! I always love the idea of the plots! Very romantic and interesting.

Cover: Love it! I really like cover! Its cute. And I love the horse on it! Neat!

What I’d Give It:

Thursday, May 7

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352

Summary:  When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

My Thoughts: I am such a huge fan of Kasie West! I just love her! I love all her books, I love the characters, I always love the plot.

In The Fill-In Boyfriend, we are introduced to Gia who is popular and the student counselor president. She has a lot going for her, including a boyfriend in college. But her friends don’t believe her since he’s never around.  His name is Bradley.

Well, come prom night Bradley dumps her right on the curb and she’s without a prom date (and a boyfriend) so she goes to the first guy she sees.  His name is Hayden and he’s there dropping off his younger sister. Gia doesn't know him since he doesn't go to school there.

Gia and Hayden have a fun night together, and she’s left thinking about him for a while. She really liked him and wants to get to know him more. The only real clue she has is his sister.  So, she goes on a mission to find out more about him.

Once, Gia sets her sights on something, she’s motivated to the end.

I really liked Hayden. He was such a sweet and caring guy. The more I got to know him, the more I wanted him to end up with Gia. Gia also overcame a lot in this one, she grew as a person and I loved her for that.

I really liked the plot also. I loved the way they got to know one another, and how everything went down. It wasn't perfect but it was realistic. Once again, another book by West that I truly adored!

If you like contemps, you must read this one!

Overall: I loved The Fill-In Boyfriend! I swear I will read whatever Kasie West writes! I adore her books and I just love the plots she comes up with! I loved Hayden so much!

Cover:  Love Love Love it! If I saw this in a bookstore, it would be going home with me! Its so cute!! And just by the cover alone, I’d have to know what its about!

What I’d Give It:


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