Thursday, July 28

The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill

The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill
Release Date:  December 8, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 272
Summary: It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey...

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.

Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.

But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.

My Thoughts:  What a cute fun read! As I started The Trouble With Destiny, I thought it felt kind of young compared to Morrill’s previous books. But honestly, once I got absorbed into it, it really didn’t anymore. It was just a fun light read, with some deeper meanings thrown throughout the novel!

We are introduced to Liza who is in charge of the band. They are all on a cruise ship entered in a contest. A contest they must win. Except she’s the only one who knows they must win. She doesn’t want the stress added onto all the band member’s shoulders. She was brave, fierce, and a great leader.

Liza also meets a boy named Lenny. Actually she already knows him but she gets to know him again. She has a huge crush on him and hopes the feeling is mutual. I could tell from the get go, there was more to Lenny than meets the eye, and I always liked the other guy. A football player named Russ.  I don’t know. I just liked him. He seems kind of dense at first but once we got to know him, we realize there is sooooo much more to him. He’s a good sweet guy.

I loved watching all Liza’s schemes. Her way of doing things. Her way of handling Lenny and Russ. Her way of handling her friends and the competition.  This one was full of a lot of drama. But I loved every minute of it!
I don’t want to say too much but it was a quick fun little read. Perfect read for the beach. But don't be surprised if you find yourself starting to fall for one of the guys!

Overall:  I just love Lauren Morrill’s books. I always know when she has a new one out, I must read it! These are such perfect cute little books! They are fun yet always have important lessons in the end. I just loved Russ!!!!!

Cover: I love it! Love the little stars and moon hanging. Love how they are holding each other. So cute!

What I’d Give It:

Monday, July 25

The Siren by Kiera Cass

The Siren by Kiera Cass
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Summary: Love is a risk worth taking.

Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.

My Thoughts: Well, I’ve read the Selection series by Kiera Cass and loved it! I loved every one of those books so I was really excited to read The Siren! And I enjoyed it but The Selection was still better for me.

We are introduced to Kahlen who left her family a long time ago. Or should I say she really got torn away from them, even though it was a little bit of her choice. Kinda. Sorta. She now lives with a few other girls and every so often she must sing her heart out.  But, Kahlen can’t talk to anyone  but the ocean and the other girls. Yes, this was a bit weird. But once you get past that you really start to enjoy the story and everything behind it.

Kahlen also meets a boy named Akinli. She is drawn to him in ways she’s never been drawn to anyone else. And, she can’t even talk to him. She does find other ways to communicate with him.

This one is so hard to explain really. Its complex and complicated. But it’s also lovely and romantic. And each girl has their own voice even though they can only talk to one another. They are each so unique and great in their own way.

And Alkinli is just so sweet. And  understanding. And I liked the library and his family. This was just such a sweet story.
Overall:  I really really enjoyed this one. I also liked how it ended. It just felt right for them. This one was probably more of a 3.5 to 4 cupcakes for me. I didn’t like it as much as The Selection but I did enjoy it while reading it and had to know what would happen next.  

I’ll read anything Kiera Cass writes!

Cover: Like it!  Once again, I love the dress and how pretty everything looks.  

What I’d Give It:

Thursday, July 21

Girl Saves Boy by Steph Bow

Girl Saves Boy by Steph Bowe
Release Date: N/A in US yet
Publisher: Text Publishing
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288

Summary: The first time we met, Jewel Valentine saved my life.

Isn’t it enough having your very own terminal disease, without your mother dying? Or your father dating your Art teacher?

No wonder Sacha Thomas ends up in the lake that Saturday evening…

But the real question is: how does he end up in love with Jewel Valentine?

With the help of quirky teenage prodigies Little Al and True Grisham, Sacha and Jewel have a crazy adventure, with a little lobster emancipation along the way.

But Sacha’s running out of time, and Jewel has secrets of her own.

Girl Saves Boy is a hugely talented debut novel, funny and sad, silly and wise. It’s a story of life, death, love… and garden gnomes.

My Thoughts: When I first heard of this book, I knew I had to read it! The problem, it isn't released in the US yet and has no immediate release date! I than saw it pop up on The Book Depository so I hurried up and ordered it, I didn't care that I just spent $12 on a softcover book! I wanted it that bad! The week it was supposed to come out, I got the email notifying me it was out of stock! No! I was very disappointed and had to cancel my order! I than ended up getting it from the publisher (not in the US) and put it up on the tour site! I dived right into it!

Girl Saves Boy was a wonderful novel but it felt a little short on my expectations (notice 4 cupcakes, instead of 5 that I had originally thought it would amount too). We are introduced to Sacha and Jewel. Right from the get go, you know this book is going to be intense. The opening scene Jewel is pulling Sacha out of the water because he is trying to kill himself! We find out that Jewel is originally from the town they live in but she moved away to live with her grandparents and they are both now dead so she is back to live with her mom. She did not know Sacha before she moved. He moved there shortly after.  Jewel and Sacha see each other at school and it dawns on him she is the girl who saved his life. Sacha has had a tough life, his mom died last year, he is sick and is going to die, soon....

Jewel and Sacha start an intense and heavy relationship. They really fall in love, they talk to each other, they share moments, they spend time together. Its a beautiful love story. She does not know he's going to die for a while and that just adds to the heartbreak. She goes in with her whole heart.

There are other characters throughout the story and they just enforce how sick Sacha really is and how nobody wants to face the truth. They want him to live a long life and be happy.

My favorite scene was probably when Sacha spent the night at Jewel's. Very sweet. 

Girl Saves Boy is a great novel. Its hard to believe Steph Bowe is so young!! It has a certain beauty to it that is hard to explain.

Overall:  I had a bit of trouble adjusting to some of the words. For example, realize is spelled realised in the story. I know, its because I'm from the US! It took some getting used too but I did. The ending also left me wanting to know more, and I felt like there were a few unanswered questions I really wanted to know!  I really enjoyed Girl Saves Boy and I hope you do too!

Cover: Very stunning and beautiful cover! Don't see too many with feet on them!

What I'd Give It:

Monday, July 18

Run by Kody Keplinger

Release Date: June 28, 2016
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary:   Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter -- protect her from what, Agnes isn't quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it's the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo's dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and -- worst of all -- confronting some ugly secrets.

My Thoughts: I just adore Keplinger. Everytime she releases a new book I have to read it quickly! And I really liked Run! However, Run was quite a bit different than her other novels. Which was good in its own unique way.

We are introduced to Bo Dickinson who everyone thinks is a wild child. All the Dickinsons are bad news in their town! But I really liked her from the get go. She was spunky and always stuck up for herself. We also meet Agnes Atwood. She’s the opposite of Bo. She’s a churchgoer goody goody.

Once Bo and Agnes become friends, so much happens. You would never think in a million years they’d get along but they understood each other a lot better than anyone would think!

I usually don’t like chapters that go between now and the past but this one handled it nicely. We see how their friendship grew and we saw how once they ran away how things went.  There is also a bit of a romance in Run between Agnes and a certain boy!

I liked learning how both families lived and how different each situation was.

I really liked this one. I didn’t like it quite as much as some of Keplinger’s other ones but this one is more aimed towards friends/family than a romance.  

Overall: This definitely felt different than Keplinger’s previous books but not in a bad way. I actually quite enjoyed reading about Agnes and Bo’s friendship and how things happened.  I also loved the doggy in the story. I liked seeing how the road trip went and how each girl grew up in their own way.  Liked this one. Probably more of a 3.5 for me.

Cover: I like it! I can see each girl looking like that. Its cute!

What I’d Give It:

Thursday, July 14

After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes

After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes

Release Date:  September 29, 2015
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 368

Summary:  “You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future...

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

My Thoughts: I’m so glad to be back with Lou Clark! I still really like her! I just love her personality and even her clothing style.

It’s been awhile since Lou has moved to a new place and tried to start a new life. She has a new job and her life is quite a bit different. It even gets more interesting when a new teenage girl enters her life. She also goes to grief meetings and ends up meeting a cool paramedic there. Well, she met him beforehand but that’s beyond the point!

I’m so glad to be back with Lou and her family. I still really liked her mom, dad, and even sister. Lou has so much to get through and things are just so difficult for her.

I can’t say too much about this one without getting into spoilers but wanted to say I really liked this one as well. I still liked Me Before You a lot more and that hit my emotions really deep.

Overall: This was a good follow up so we can see what is happening in Lou’s life next. I’m glad she still got her somewhat happy ending, even though it wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for. I’m glad I read this one! I'd say this is probably a 3.5 cupcake rating, but I'll round it up since I gave Me Before You 5 cupcakes and I liked this one a bit less!

Cover:  Like it!! Anything by Jojo Moyes I’ll pick up!!!

What I’d Give It:

Sunday, July 10

The Crown (Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

The Crown (Selection #5) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  288

Summary:  When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

My Thoughts: I just adored The Crown!! I just loved this whole series in general and The Crown was just as special. I was so happy to be back with Eadlyn and her family. And her guys. I still loved most of them but I got even more attached to Kile and Erik. I just loved the scenes with them.

I just love the whole background of this series. I love the setting. I love how she judges each guy and really thinks about them. I loved her friends. I loved her parents. I loved her brother. I just really really really adore this series. I want to say so much because I’m so glad on how things turned out but I know I can’t say much or I’ll give away something I shouldn’t. It’s hard to really explain this series. You either really love it or really hate it I think, as I’ve heard both.

I was glad to get to know the guys even better and the choices she had to make. It was a tough call for sure.

Overall:If you haven’t gave this series a chance, please do!! I was smiling the whole time and by the end of the book, it was hard to think of what I was going to read next. What can follow up to these?? I just feel like they are sooo beautiful and thrilling.

Cover: LOVE IT!  I think I like this dress the most out of all of them!! And the pretty background!!!   

What I’d Give It:

Thursday, July 7

The Heir (Selection #4) by Kiera Cass

The Heir (Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen  
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368  

Summary:  Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

My Thoughts: Oh man! Why did I wait so long to read this one?? I remember loving loving loving The Selection series but I was a little unsure if I’d like the book about the daughter of the main characters of The Selection! But boy did I love this one!!!  I was so happy to be back into this world.

In The Heir we are introduced to Eadlyn who is next in line to rule the kingdom. But that also means she needs to pick a husband. She has no intention of falling in love with anyone anytime soon. She’s so independent and she doesn’t need a boyfriend or a husband to depend on. She depends on herself for everything. She also has a brother. I really loved her brother too.

So of course The Selection happens. We meet a bunch of different guys but my favorites from the get go were Henri, Kile, Hale and Erik.  My two favorites were always Kile and Erik. But then I’d see sooo much potential in Henri and Hale. It was such a hard and confusing choice. I liked getting to know these four boys, along with the rest. But these four always stuck out for me the most.

In this one, The Selection is just getting started and she’s getting to know the boys. So honestly not much really happens.. I mean a lot does, but at the same time, no long lasting choices are made. And that’s one reason I’m glad I waited to read this.. I think I would have been really frustrated to not be able to start the next book!
Overall:  As I closed the last page, I thought to myself, I need to know who she ends up choosing so of course I went right to the next one! Thank goodness!

I outright loved it!!!

Cover:  Love It!! These covers are so beautiful and I just love the pretty dresses!!

What I'd Give It:

Tuesday, July 5

Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary:  Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

My Thoughts: I just adore the Hundred Oaks books! I always anticipate them, and then as soon as I can get my hands on them, I read them quickly!  And Defending Taylor was just as good.. At first I thought Taylor would be the boy’s name but it actually wasn’t! It’s a girl!

We are introduced to Taylor who is from the perfect family. There's her dad who's a Senator, her mom who plays the Senator's Wife pretty well, her sister and brother who both go to college and seem to have the perfect  lives.  They are the perfect family. Until Taylor gets expelled from her school. She has to move back home to Hundred Oaks and attend a public high school. She has no friends there at first and nothing to really count on. Except soccer. I really loved hearing about her play. I loved how into it she was and how she enjoyed it.

There's also two boys in this story. First off there is Ben who was her boyfriend at her school that she got expelled from. Honestly, didn’t really like him much from the get go. He just wasn’t right for her. And you will see why as the story progresses. And then there is Ezra. Oh Ezra, how I love thee. Ezra had my heart from the get go. It also helped that Taylor has a long past with him. Ezra is her older brother’s best friend. Talk about a little bit awkward.  But Ezra and Taylor were just drawn together, and I loved their moments together. I loved how they saw one another and how they got along

And then once everything really comes out; the truth.. Wow…. I really liked the concept of this one. I liked where it all went and how things turned out. I did enjoy reading it and I’m still left a few days later with a cuddly sweet feeling.

Overall:  Another winner from Kenneally. I just adore this series and I always know going into it there may be some drama but it’s all worth it. I loved the family and friends aspect with the romance dribbled in!  I’ll read whatever Kenneally writes!

Cover:  Love it!! Love how we can’t really see their heads but the soccer aspect is cute! And the colors just work.. CUTE!!!!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, July 1

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Tor Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336

Summary:  The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.

My Thoughts:  When I first started Glass Arrow I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I had a bit of trouble getting into this one at first but once I did, I was drawn in pretty well.

We are introduced to Aya who lives with her family.  She ends up getting taken and primped up to be sold. In this reality women don’t mean much except a means to breeding. They aren’t very well respected by most and they aren’t expected to do much other than have children.  

I hated that! I wanted to see Aya have so much more. And I’m glad she’s so stubborn and doesn’t do what everyone wants her to do.

I also liked Kiran a lot! And I was even more thrilled once we got to know him more and who he really was. Awesome! I loved their chemistry together and how compatible they really were.

I also loved the world-building and the story all together. The world-building was so unique yet easy to follow.
Overall:  I really liked this one a lot! Probably more of a 3.5 to 4 cupcake rating. I really liked the story-line and seeing how things happened.

Cover:  I like it! I’d pick it up and see what it’s about!

What I’d Give It:


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