Sunday, November 29

Hello, Goodbye, And Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Hello, Goodbye, And Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  256

Summary: On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

My Thoughts: I have a habit of really loving Jennifer Smith books!! But this one, I just liked it. For some reason I had a hard time connecting to either Clare or Aidan.

Clare and Aidan have been dating for a while. But, now both are leaving for college. Nowhere near each other. So, Clare decides it’s best if they part ways. Well, on their last night together she has a list of things she wants to do, or places to visit and relive their relationship.

I enjoyed seeing some of the places they go. I enjoyed their banter and I enjoyed seeing how they got past everything and decided it would be best to just part ways. No real hard feelings, just their high school relationship.  I also liked getting to know some of their friends.

And, I liked how Aidan does come to terms with his family situation. I liked how each grew throughout the story, or really throughout the night.

Overall: This one just seemed fast to me, or maybe even slow. Maybe it’s because it takes place so fast. It’s not like it’s over months time and we get to know the characters very well. It’s just so sudden. I did like this one enough but it just wasn’t my favorite of Smith’s books, and that’s ok! Hopefully I do enjoy the next one better!  This one is probably more of a 3.5 cupcake rating  for me!

Cover:  Like! I do love how each person is standing and the cutest of it. It’s super cute! 

What I'd Give it:

Friday, November 27

Stray (Four Sisters #1) by Elissa Sussman

Stray (Four Sisters #1) by Elissa Sussman
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 384

Summary: I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

My Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to think as I started this one. I had heard both good and bad things about it. I actually really enjoyed it.

We are introduced to Aislynn who grew up believing she’d someday be a Princess who marries and leads a life of power and beauty. Well, things backfire for Aislynn and because of her magic she ends up doing the opposite. She becomes a fairy godmother instead. Talk about living in the shadows.  It’s not all bad but it’s nothing like being a princess. Aislynn knows there are still worse fates out there though so she tries to embrace it the best she knows how.

We also meet a boy. Oh, a sweet and charming boy. His name was Thackery and I really liked him from the moment we meet him! He has so many secrets of his own.

Being a fairy godmother is a pretty boring life really. You can’t date or marry or do much else. You have to monitor another princess and take care of her making sure she has what she needs and wants.

Of course, thing aren’t so simple. A lot of secrets are out there and Aislynn gets herself into quite a bit of trouble. Even though it’s really not her fault but she’s just kind of thrust into it and there is no easy way out.

Honestly, I feel like if I say much, I’ll give away too many plot points.

Overall:  I really did like this one a lot! I can’t wait until I get the chance to read the next in the series! I really was rooting for all the characters. And yeah some sad moments throughout the novel but mostly I liked it!

Cover:  Love it! I’d want to know what it was about!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, November 24

Rules For 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

Rules For 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352

Summary: A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life's uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

My Thoughts:  I wasn’t sure what to think as I started Rules for 50/50 Chances but I enjoyed it.

We are introduced to Rose who has been watching her mother deteriorate pretty fast.  Her mother has the early onset of Huntington Disease and it seems to be getting worse over time. Sometimes she’ll seem okay, others not so much. Rose is so scared she also has this gene. She wants to live her life to the fullest but it's hard for her. She wants to go to ballet school and have a successful career.

Rose meets a boy named Caleb. His family also suffers from another genetic curse. Sickle Cell. He knows the heartbreak and trouble of living with people with a genetic disease. I loved Rose and Caleb’s relationship. It started off slow and picked up! I loved the moments with him and seeing them together.

I really felt for Rose. I would want to know too if I carried the gene. It would drive me crazy watching my family deal with things hers did and not knowing.

Rules For 50/50 Chances was a really wonderful debut. The ending. wow. I don’t know if I’d agree with happened but I try to see things from both sides.

Overall: I did enjoy this one. I think at times, I wanted to know how it was going to end right away but I made my way there even though I wanted to skip ahead! HAHA!

Cover:  Like it! I’d probably pick it up! Made me wonder what is about. 

What I'd Give It:

Wednesday, November 18

Prophecy (Dragon King #1) by Ellen Oh

Prophecy (Dragon King #1) by Ellen Oh
Release Date:  January 2, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Summary: The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms... is a girl with yellow eyes.

Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope...

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.

Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.

My Thoughts: I had this one on my TBR pile for quite a long time. I wanted to get to it but I had heard so many good and bad things both.

We are introduced to Kira who protects the Prince and is the only female in the King’s army. It helps that she’s related to them all! Kira was such a hero! She loved and protected her family with everything she had. Even, the few who didn’t exactly deserve it.

Kira is sent out on a mission with the Prince and it’s her job to protect him. They run into so many bad situations. They go through real heartbreak and things are just so tough. They also meet a few friends along the way who I really liked.

There is also a prophecy that a lot of people believe in. And, Kira has some doubts but it’s hard not to believe it when things are thrown in your face.

I really liked Kira’s brother. He was always there and always thinking about Kira. I also loved The Prince! What a sweet sweet young man.

However, I did like this one but I didn’t love it. I will read the next one in the series to see what happens next since this does end on a somewhat cliffhanger.

Overall:  It took me a while to get through this one. I did like it but I didn’t love it. I did like the characters but things just happened too slowly for me. Or things were drawn out too much maybe.

It just took me some time to actually read it!  I’d say this is probably more of a 3.5 cupcake rating for me!

Cover:  Like it! I’d want to know what it’s about!  Like the colors! 

What I'd Give It:

Monday, November 16

Reign Fall: Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen

Reign Fall: Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen

Release Date: January 1, 2012
Publisher:  Createspace
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages:  282

Summary:   Prophesies, demon slayers, dragons, homework... It's going to be a hell of a week! It's been a dangerous ride for Nikki Donovan since she first learned she's a demon princess. And the ride isn't over yet! She's just found out that her best friend is a demon slayer in training, one who doesn't know that Nikki is exactly the prey she's sworn to hunt. Nikki's demon king father has signed her up for lessons on how to master her erratic half-demon powers, and that's on top of her regular homework! Also, she's torn between two boys-Rhys, the faery king she's prophesied to marry, and Michael, a Shadow whom she's forbidden to love. To top it all off, a dark force is haunting Nikki, something mysterious and evil that wants the demon princess dead...but who-or what-is it? Reign Fall is Book #3 in the Demon Princess series.

My Thoughts:  Wow. I read the first two in this series a while ago, and I didn’t even know there was a third one out until I stumbled upon it one day.

We are back in the world of Nikki Donovan who is a Demon Princess! If you recall, Nikki has dealt with a lot. From prophecies to her love life, things have been hectic. And she also has to keep it a secret from her bestie that she’s a demon princess. Heck, her mom doesn’t even know!

In this one, Nikki learns more about who she is and what she is supposed to do and is capable of. She also has two love interests. First there was Michael, a shadow from her dad’s world. I still really like Michael even if he is dealing with a lot of stuff. Than, there is Rhys. Rhys is the faery king she’s prophesied to marry. WOW. I still really love both boys.  I crave scenes with them both. It’s so hard to choose! Michael, there is always a pull towards him and than Rhy’s. He’s so funny and charming.

Man, Nikki deals with a lot in this one. She has to deal with her best friend becoming a demon slayer and then trying to keep her mom out of the loop.

WOW. Just Wow !

Overall:  I had a hard time getting into this one. I laughed at the beginning but it took me a while to get through the first half of the book. But boy once I was hooked, I devoured that second part of the book. And it left me wanting the next book in the series and it doesn’t have a release date yet. I need to know what happens! WOW. I just need to know!!!! I really enjoyed this series so much and they keep getting better and better!

Cover:  Love it! Love all these!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, November 13

Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young
Release Date:  November 3, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages: 288

Summary:   Stay Tonight. Stay Forever.

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn't have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she's met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…

Welcome to the Ruby.

My Thoughts:  I am a huge fan of Suzanne Young. I usually devour her books pretty fast.

We are introduced to Audrey and her family. Her father, and her brother Daniel. Her mother passed away a little while ago. I keep reading books where one of the parents are dead and this really gets to me! As of now, both of my parents are gone and so it’s a bit of touchy subject but seems like a lot of YA books have that going on in the plot right now.

Audrey and her family are on the way to their grandmother’s house to stay for a bit. Audrey’s father has trouble being a real father with their mother gone and he doesn’t know what to do.

They stop at a hotel on the way and end up staying for a few days. While there, weird things start happening. Audrey’s brother and father are invited to the elusive party downstairs but Audrey is not. She wants to be invited so bad. She also meets a group of friends she can really relate too. I especially liked Elias. Elias has lived at the hotel for a while and everybody really likes him. Audrey starts to develop feelings for Elias even in this short amount of time.

Honestly, this one was a little bit weird. Not weird in a bad way, just weird. And I think as the book went on, it started to dawn on me what “could” be happening. It was a little confusing but then it just clicked with me and I had a feeling.  And the ending, I thought things were going to go differently but that's okay.

Overall: This is one of those you have to read on your own to really get it. I debated between giving it a 3 or a 4 cupcake rating. It’s probably more of a 3.5 for me. I liked it, I did, but I didn’t love it like some of Young’s other books. And that's ok! It’s definitely creepy that’s for sure!

Cover: Like it! Love how she is looking out like that!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, November 10

Consent by Nancy Ohlin

Consent by Nancy Ohlin
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  288

Summary:  In this sexy and intriguing novel, an intense—and passionate—bond between a high school senior and her music teacher becomes a public scandal that threatens the reputation of both.

Bea has a secret.

Actually, she has more than one. There’s her dream for the future that she can’t tell anyone—not her father and not even her best friend, Plum.

And now there’s Dane Rossi. Dane is hot, he shares Bea’s love of piano, and he believes in her.

He’s also Bea’s teacher.

When their passion for music crosses into passion for each other, Bea finds herself falling completely for Dane. She’s never felt so wanted, so understood, so known to her core. But the risk of discovery carries unexpected surprises that could shake Bea entirely. Bea must piece together what is and isn’t true about Dane, herself, and the most intense relationship she’s ever experienced in this absorbing novel from Nancy Ohlin, the author of Beauty.

My Thoughts: I always seem to be drawn to the teacher/student romance books. I know I shouldn’t like them but I always want to know how they will play out.

We are introduced to Bea who really enjoys playing piano. Her dad doesn’t fully support this because her mom was a music lover and it brings back a lot of memories.

One day when Dane hears Bea playing he really thinks she's talented. He starts to encourage her and things heat up from there. Bea and Dane’s relationship was a little weird to me though. I didn’t really see the appeal of him honestly. I guess I wasn’t fully  rooting for them to be together.

Yes, things get intense. And Bea and Dane go further than I thought they would in terms of young adult books. hehe. I was very surprised that it went as far as it did.

I liked Bea’s father and friends for the most part, even though they weren’t perfect either. I also liked that she was going to go after what she wanted and try to go to the college that she wanted eventually.

I thought this book was interesting and I enjoyed reading it. I didn’t really fully connect to many of the characters in this one though. And, it was a very fast read.

Overall: I liked this one, just didn’t fully love it. I think it's probably more of a 3.5 cupcake rating for me!
Cover: Like it. I’d probably pick it up!

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, November 7

The Wicked Will (Dorothy Must Die #2) Rise by Danielle Paige

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2) Rise by Danielle Paige
Release Date:  March 31, 2015
Publisher: Harpercolllins
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary:   In this dark, high-octane sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz.

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die...

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?

My Thoughts: I had a hard time getting into this one. I’m not sure why since I really did enjoy Dorothy Must Die. I guess I just had a hard time really relating to Amy in this one and the rest of the characters. I liked it. I just didn’t love it, and I feel like a lot happened but not much happened if that makes sense.

Amy is trying to figure out how to fix things and it isn’t easy. She also spends half the book looking for Nox. I really liked Nox in the first book and I still really liked him in this one as well.

I also still do not like all the bad characters as expected. I also don’t like the head monkey Lulu very much either. I think that was her name? I did still like some of the others though.

I also liked that we get to really see inside Princess Ozma a little better. I feel like she could really be something if she’d just come back to her senses.

I did like this one, I just didn’t love it as much as the first and I have a feeling I’ll probably like the third one again more.

Overall: I think this one is more of a 3.5 cupcake rating! I still like the plot and the world of Oz. And that ending, well that ending does make me want the next book!
Cover:  Like it! I’d want to see what it was about!

What I’d Give It:

Thursday, November 5

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Release Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  368

Summary:  If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

My Thoughts:  We are introduced To Samantha aka Sam. As soon as I met Sam, I liked her! I loved her personality and even her little bit of weirdness.  She suffers from OCD and it makes her life pretty complicated.

Samantha is friends with a group of girls who she’s known most of her life. But lately, she can feel how much she’s changing and how they are staying the same. They are popular and kind of self centered.

Samantha meets a girl named Caroline. Caroline gets Samantha to really open up and introduces her to a group of kids who write poetry. Sam really lets her escape into this world. And, she gets to know a boy named AJ. Sam knew AJ when she was younger but things weren’t very nice between them. I just loved seeing the new side of Sam and how she got to know AJ!

Every Last Word was an amazing novel and I feel like no matter how much praise I give it, it wouldn’t be good enough. I could probably write a much longer review on this one but I feel like all those details are what make this one so great. Getting to know Sam and the crazy eights and her poet friends were just so amazing.

Overall:  I really enjoyed this one and read it within a few days! It was such an interesting and heartbreaking look at OCD. And the way Sam struggled with it. And the romance, whoa the romance, loved it. I really loved this one! I usually don’t  read books that deal with mental illnesses but I really enjoyed this one!
Cover:  Love it! It’s simple yet I’d want to know what it was about.

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, November 3

Captive by A.J. Grainger

Captive by A.J. Grainger
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  272

Summary:  When a teen is held hostage, her efforts to escape uncover a conspiracy that forces her to question everything in this psychological thriller with a twist of forbidden romance.

They told her not to worry—
because the man who shot her father was in custody.
They told her that she was safe—
because security had been increased.

All it took was one opportunity, one breach,
and then she was theirs. Kidnapped, confined, alone.

They told her she could go home when their demands were met.
That it wouldn’t take long, because she was the prime minister’s daughter.

But it has been days, and still no help has come.

She wonders when they will tire of this game and kill her.

She cannot wait around for that to happen; she will escape. She has to.

My Thoughts: Honestly, when I started this one, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it or not. Sometimes I like kidnapping books, other times I do not.

I really liked it. I thought it was a good one. I enjoyed the plot, but I also liked the characters more than anything.

We are introduced to Robyn who is just a normal teenager. She has most teenage problems, except for one exception. Her dad is the prime minister of the UK. This means her life is always in danger. Something could happen to her or her family. Terrorists, threats, a lot of things really.

When Robyn gets kidnapped it is quite the whirlwind for her. Two of the kidnappers were pretty mean, and jerks. I didn’t like those two at all. Both of them rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. But, there was another one. His name was Talon. I really liked him a lot. I wanted him and Robyn to become friends. I found myself rooting for him many times during the book.

I felt at times this book  was very fast paced however it did feel like her kidnapping lasted forever. At times, I just wanted her to be found or to escape.

I really liked learning about her relationship with her dad and her little sister. I liked her family a lot even if things weren’t perfect.

I think I liked the parts between Talon and Robyn the most out of the whole novel. But I never really felt completely right about it either. It was a hard one to grasp.

Overall: I did really enjoy this one all in all. I liked Talon and I understood why he was the way he was. It was just hard wanting Robyn to like Talon because he was in on the kidnapping but I always liked the scenes with them. I really liked Captive a lot.

Cover: Its mysterious enough for you to want to read it!

What I’d Give It:


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