• Splintered - AG HowardSplintered
  • A Matter of Fate - Heather Lyons
  •  inescapable - amy a bartol
  •  graceling - kristin cashore
  •  someone to love - addison moore
  •  breaking beautiful - jennifer shaw wolf
  •  the perfect game - j sterling
  •  the edge of never - ja redmerski
  •  independence - shelly crane

Monday, December 31, 2012

December RAK Wrap-Up

Book Soulmates

I Received:
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone & Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill from Michelle @ Michelle Chew Writes

I Sent:
Gravity by Melissa West & Torn Souls by Crystal Cattabriga to Michelle @ Michelle Chew Writes
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead to Angel @ Book Flame
Thirst No. 2 by Christopher Pike to Rebecca @ Everyday Life
Trapped by Michael Northrop to Devan @ Book Strings

A BIG thank you to everyone who sent me books and to Isalys and Vanessa at Book Soulmates for hosting!!

{Review} Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Breaking Beautiful
by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Pages:  354
Source:  Purchased
Available as of April 24, 2012
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million
Fishpond | The Book Depository

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.

When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

I cannot begin to express how much I had been wanting to read Breaking Beautiful. After so much anticipation, it left me breathless and in tears. Jennifer Shaw Wolf wrote a stunning novel about love, loss, grief, shame, and abuse.

Allie has lived an Army life. Her father was a sergeant major and frequently moved the family around. The only home she ever really knew was Pacific Cliffs, her grandma's home, her mom's home town, the place where her only friend lives. Upon her fathers retirement they moved back and Allie find herself in a relationship that ends with her broken and bruised, thinking little of herself. Now she must put together the pieces of the night he died, the night he went off the cliff.

I loved this story. Allie grew from a girl who thought she was the cause of all problems to a girl who was slowly coming to realize that she never did anything wrong. She was broken and needed to trust again. Trip made her who she was. Blake reminded her of who she used to be. She was in control of who she would become.

What first drew me to Breaking Beautiful was the kind of relationship Allie and Trip had and how she couldn't remember the night he died. Going in I knew this book would be an emotional roller coaster, but it wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be. I found myself happy, sad, giddy, and crying the entire way though. Allie was like most people who have been abused. She was ashamed, felt guilty and thought little of herself. The plot was slow in the beginning, but quickly built to the mystery surrounding what really happened. As Allie slowly regained her memory, I became more entranced in the story line. In the end, I didn't know who would ultimately be responsible until it was finally revealed. Best of all, two unexpected twists!

Overall, Breaking Beautiful was a wonderful read that kept me on the edge of my seat, dying to know how it would all end. I highly recommend this book!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

{Review} Defiance by C.J. Redwine


by C.J. Redwine
Series: The Courier's Daughter (#1)
Pages:  403
Source:  Won
Available as of August 28, 2012
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million
Fishpond | The Book Depository

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

After reading a ton of raving reviews for Defiance, I had to pick it up. The hype surrounding this book doesn't do it justice. CJ Redwine did a fantastic job depicting the world where all fear The Cursed One.

Rachel's father hasn't returned home from his most recent mission. He was due back 60 days ago, but he hasn't arrived. The Commander declares him dead against her wishes and the reading of the will begins. She doesn't know what her father was thinking when he named Logan as her Protector. He could have chosen Oliver, but instead a 19 year old boy who barley supports himself.

I LOVE Defiance. Rachel was driven by her anger throughout most of the book. The Commander knew exactly how to get under her skin and he exploited it. Logan is an orphan who was declared an outcast by the Commander when his mother died. He is extremely intelligent and cautious when necessary.

The plot was fast-paced and never dull. I was sucked in from page one. However, there was one page about a third of the way in that almost made me put the book down. I was devastated. Luckily that didn't deter me for long. I was surprised multiple times by Rachel's determination and Logan's brilliance. I loved that I got to see the world through both of their eyes. Having multiple points-of-view really made this book. Seeing both sides helped in understanding both of the main characters in their entirety. 

Overall, Defiance was a stunning debut that left me begging for more. I can't wait for book two! If you enjoy action-packed, fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat reads, you should definitely give this one a shot. Well worth it!

Friday, December 28, 2012

{Review} The Perfect Game by J. Sterling

The Perfect Game 
by J. Sterling
Series: The Perfect Game (#1)
Pages:  386
Source:  Purchased Kindle/Won Paperback
Available as of October 12, 2012
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

He's a game she never intended to play.
And she's the game changer he never knew he needed.

The Perfect Game tells the story of college juniors, Cassie Andrews & Jack Carter. When Cassie meets rising baseball hopeful Jack, she is determined to steer clear of him and his typical cocky attitude. But Jack has other things on his mind... like getting Cassie to give him the time of day.

Breathtaking. Heart-wrenching. Masterfully written. All words I would use to describe The Perfect Game. J. Sterling crafted a book that hooked me from page one and wouldn't let me go until the was word was read. Even then I couldn't tear myself from the story.

Cassie Andrews doesn't trust guys. She's sealed herself from them. Well, until Jack Carter walked in. Her father never followed through on his promises so learning to trust Jack is going to be a challenge. Can he follow all her rules? Or will everything they've worked for disintegrate until there's no going back?

O.M.G!!! Not only was this book intense, but the characters are to die for. Cassie is a sweet girl who doesn't trust easily, but is willing to take a chance. Jack is the star pitcher for their schools baseball team. He had a rough life growing up and, because of it, has become a player, afraid to get too close to anyone.

So what did I love? I love that this was an emotional roller coaster. I went from elated one moment to dread and disgust in the blink of an eye. I balled my eyes out and laughed with no regard for those around me. I got angry, beyond pissed, and wanted to stop reading, but I knew I had quite a bit to go. I loved that it made me question how I would act or feel in the situations Cassie went through. Nothing I could say about this book would ever be bad. It tore my heart out, made me want to punch a wall (no worries, they are still intact!), and somehow I ended up at a happy place again. 

Overall, The Perfect Game was a devastatingly wonderful read that made me believe in true love. If I ever question whether it exists again, all I have to do is read the words of J. Sterling and believe. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

{Giveaway} Return to Arethane by Kelly Riad

Return to Arethane
by Kelly Riad
Series: The Elves of Arethane (#1)
Available as of May 30, 2012

16-year old Emily has accepted her fate with each weakening beat of her heart, but after her best friend's brother and sister arrive in town and turn out to be more than what they appear, Emily's life is turned upside-down. When their friendship includes confronting wizards who harbor dark secrets and dancing with an elf prince, Emily discovers there are some things still worth living for.

Kelly Riad is an American writer who graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas with a degree in journalism. Because's she's always been a lucky little brat, her life has taken her all over the world from the hot, humid streets of Hong Kong and the crowded markets of Cairo, to the cobbles of Vienna and the ruins of Rome from where she has shamelessly stolen ideas and material for her stories.

She self-published her first young adult novel, Always Me, in September 2011. Other Novels include Return to Arethane and Prince of Arethane.
For more information on Kelly's young adult fiction, visit http://kellyriad.blogspot.com/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

{Review, This or That, Giveaway} North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus by Candace Jane Kringle

North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus 
by Candace Jane Kringle
Pages: 314
Source: paperback provided by author
Available as of October 2, 2012

MEET SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD CANDYCANE CLAUS. She's the most popular girl at North Pole High. Her father is world-famous. And every day is Christmas. What more could any girl want?

BOYS! And the new boy, Rudy Tutti, is hot chocolate. But he hates anything to do with Christmas!

When Candy and Rudy are forced to work together on a school Christmas-tree project, her world is turned upside down: Her grades start to suffer, she loses her taste for ice cream, and now the two North-Star-cross'd teens must contend with her overprotective father — Santa Claus — before Christmas is ruined for EVERYONE!

To say that North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus was an adorable read is a complete and total understatement! Candace Jane Kringle wrote a heartwarming story that made me laugh, cringe, and hope her relationship would prevail. 

Candycane Claus thinks the world of her boyfriend Tinsel. They have been together for two years, but the moment Rudy Tutti steps into town Candy's world changes. All of her friends are making him the butt of their jokes until she declares him to be "hot chocolate" and her boyfriend get jealous. 

I enjoyed every word in the pages of this book. Never was a swear world observed. Although, that would be because of the cute lingo used in the North Pole. Each of the euphemisms were utterly charming and made me giggle. I love that Candycane didn't dilly dally around with Tinsel when she knew what she wanted. There was no love triangle to muddle through for her. There were some challenges she had to face with her friends and family, but she got through everything. There were a few moments where I questioned her actions, but she ended up right where she was supposed to. The pacing was fantastic and I felt like Candycane was really conversational and elaborated when she needed to. Her story made me smile.

Overall, North Pole High was an entertaining read that had me laughing and rooting for the underdog. If you want an adorable romance centered around the Christmas spirit, you've found your book. It is perfect for the holidays!

Egg Nog or Hot Cider

Angel or Star (Tree Topper)
Star. :)

Warm Cozy Fires or Snow Pods
LOL. Snow Pods!

Red or Green

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day
Christmas Eve. (My dad is so tired when he gets back from delivering all those toys, so we have to be super quiet around the house on Christmas Day.)

Real Tree or Fake Tree
Real, duh.

Fudge or Cookies

Candy Canes or Peppermint Milkshakes
Ooh, that's almost a trick question. Candy canes!!!!

Candace Jane Kringle is a junior at North Pole High. She likes candy canes, unicorn races, and making snow angels. Her father is the most well-known and beloved toymaker and toy distributor in the world. Her memoir, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus , is her first book. After high school, she plans to enroll at North Pole University and write more books, maybe even some fiction. :)

You can find Candace...

Candace has kindly offered one lucky follower
and mobi or epub copy of 
North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus
Open Internationally
Ends 1/9 @ Midnight EST
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Wishlist & Waiting on Wednesday #29

Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Pen to Paper

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

Why it's on my wishlist...
End of Story.

What's on your wishlist?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

This week I'm waiting for.....

by Lisa Schroeder

To Be Released on January 1, 2013

Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give.

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous.

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.

Why I'm waiting:  
We all know how much I love stories that follow this pattern. It's got grit, so it's only natural that I want to read this.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Last Minute Read-A-Thon

Because it is the end of the year and I haven't read a lot of debuts, I'm only reading books by 2012 debut authors. Also, I will be starting this read-a-thon today because I will be busy with my mom all day tomorrow. So the books I've decided to read are....
Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
I Swear by Lane Davis

I will be updating this post throughout the week with my reading progress!


Number of Books Read Today: 0
Number of Pages Read Today: 18
Total Number of Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 18
    - Finished: n/a
    - Started: Personal Effects (18/341)

Number of Books Read Today: 1
Number of Pages Read Today: 259
Total Number of Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 277
    - Finished: Fallen Too Far (207)(Didn't have a physical book for the mother/daughter road trip today)
    - Started: Personal Effects (70/341)

Number of Books Read Today: 0
Number of Pages Read Today: 62
Total Number of Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 339
    - Finished: n/a
    - Started: Personal Effects (132/341) <-- Hard to get through. So sad :(

Number of Books Read Today: 0
Number of Pages Read Today: 134
Total Number of Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 473
     - Finished: n/a
     - Started: Personal Effects (150/341)
                    Chasing Nikki (116/311) <-- Didn't have physical book at friends house
Just some thoughts:  This break has been hectic! I'm so upset that I haven't been able to read like I normally do for a read-a-thon. I'm not necessarily upset that I'm not meeting my goal like I normally do, but I think I could do better. Maybe over the next two days I'll be able to finish another book or two. We'll see. :)

Number of Books Read Today: 2
Number of Pages Read Today: 410
Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Pages Read: 883
     - Finished: Chasing Nikki (311)
                      Personal Effects (341)
     - Started: Meant To Be (24/290)

Number of Books Read Today: 1
Number of Pages Read Today: 286
Total Number of Books Read: 4
Total Pages Read: 1369
    - Finished: Meant To Be (290)
    - Started: Grasping at Eternity (20/368)

Overall, I didn't do too bad. I wish I would have been able to get more reading done, but I kept getting distracted by friends. When I'd go to bed I would have my kindle app out and I'd read other books I've been dying to start. So all in all, not too bad.

Teaser Tuesday #28

Hosted by Should Be Reading

North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus
by Candace Jane Kringle

     Snowflake reached for a second slice. "Technically, Rudy. Look around. Tinsel's the one at home licking his Fudgesicle."
     - Chapter 8 Page 49

Be sure to stop by Wednesday for my review!

by C.J. Redwine

    "Don't cry Rachel-girl. I aim to be a great-granddaddy. If that takes riding an ass across a godforsaken wilderness, I guess that's what I'll do."
     - Chapter 19 Page 117

Be sure to stop by Saturday for my review!!

Leave your Teaser Tuesday link for me!

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