Friday, March 31, 2017

Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Title: Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Source: Blogging for Books

Holding Up the Universe....this book was interesting, and despite it being a fictional book, I did learn a little bit of random information from it which is always cool..

So what is it about?  It is about Libby - America's former fattest teen and Jack - the boy who is face blind and can't recognize anyone by their face.

Libby is now no longer stuck in her house.  Once upon a time she was such a size that they had to cut her out of her house and lift her using a crane to get her out and to a hospital.  She is still a larger girl, but she is pretty secure in her body and loves to dance.  In this story she is finally returning to school as a high school junior and leaving the home school world and the hiding away behind her.

Enter Jack.  Jack is a boy with a rare disorder that causes him not to be able to recognize people by their faces.  Every time a persons face leaves his visual field, he forgets it.  Of course, being Mr. Popular, he hasn't told a single person about it and tries to hide that something isn't right with him.  This gets him in quite a bit of trouble and interesting situations.  He's Mr. Cool though so he keeps brushing it off and acting like it was nothing.

One day, not long into the new school year Jack does something very jerky to Libby and their paths get crossed.  And the story goes from there.

So what did I think over all?  I thought it was good.  While I was reading it, I was enjoying it.  However, the problem was when I took breaks in reading.  This book wasn't necessarily calling me to come pick it back up to finish.  Part of that could be this epic slump that I have been in regarding reading, but I think there is another part to it...

See, while I found this book fun and an enjoyable read over all, I was having a hard time connecting to the characters.  There was something about them that was missing for me.  I especially wanted to be able to connect to Libby.  I may not be a teenager any more, but I am no small little cupcake myself.  So I wanted to read a story with a larger MC and feel the connection.

NOW!  I did eventually start to feel it towards the second half of the book.  There was actually a paragraph in there that was describing EXACTLY how I have been feeling lately about "why should it matter to other people what size I am?"  and that paragraph was a changer for me.

I wanted the characters to feel a little more real, but they were okay.

And then the ending!  By then I was hooked and I really was feeling the emotions that were put towards the end and I enjoyed that.  That was when I felt the need to really keep going if I had taken a break.  So, there is that!

All in all, I liked it.  It does have a really good message that I definitely think needs to be shared and I do recommend this book!  Be warned though - there is language and some mild violence in this book (mostly just punches to the face).

My Rating
4 Stars

This review is based on a copy provided to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Release Day Blitz: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Title: The Glittering Court
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: March 28, 2017 (Paperback Edition)

Ahhh!  The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead is already releasing in paperback!  Time really does fly doesn't it?  I still haven't read it myself, but it is very much on my list.  I really like Richelle Mead's work.  I just haven't gotten a hold of a copy of it yet...  **cry**

Anyways.  I just wanted to let you all know that it now out in paperback.  And that there is a giveaway going on for this beauty from the publisher.  You can find the rafflecopter for it here on this post.

And if you don't know what The Glittering Court is about, here is the synopsis for you!

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

And as promised here is the giveaway link!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of ten (10) copies of The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead (ARV: $10.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 28, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 5, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 7, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Very Hungry Caterpillar Day #VHCday!!!!

Today is The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day!  Ahh so exciting!!!

Who doesn't love The Very Hungry Caterpillar?!  I even had a little outfit for my daughter last summer (sadness is that she has grown) that featured this little guy.  So, needless to say, I love love love the caterpillar!

I also love Eric Carle's other books.  They are fun, bright, and just great to read with the littles.

What is even better about it being The Very Hungry Caterpillar day?  There is a GIVEAWAY!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (ARV: $21.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 20, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 27, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 29, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

And there are a bunch more of us joining in on this to celebrate!  Happy first day of Spring!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Review: The Union by S. Usher Evans

Title: The Union
Series: The Madion War Trilogy #3
Author: S. Usher Evans
Publisher: Sun's Golden Ray Publishing
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
Source: Author

The Madion War Trilogy has come to an end.  The third book, The Union, is out in the world...and I have read it.

It is a little hard to discuss a third book in a series without giving any sort of spoiler for the books that proceed it, so consider yourselves warned.

In The Union, we are still dealing with the world as we knew it from the last two books.  Two major countries are at war and our love birds are from opposing sides.  In this book they are currently working together to try to bring down the King of one country and to reunite the warring factions.

And just like isn't working out very well.

And the love birds are finding themselves stuck in the middle of it.  Either they can't find any time to be with each other or someone is trying to exploit their relationship.

But before I get to the relationship and my feelings towards that with this book, I should probably discuss Theo.  See, Theo had been my favorite character for the majority of the series.  I thought she was strong willed and knew how to get what she wanted.  Then the Theo in The Union happened.  And she is not the Theo we knew.  She is weak.  She is whiny.  And she is kind of annoying.

I understand that some of this is because she has some what lost who she is due to things that have happened in the story line, but some of it was because of a boy.  Her insecurity in her relationship was really just...ugh.  We had a strong willed female crumbling at the idea that her relationship is doomed from them never getting to see one another.  It wasn't always because of that, but when it was...I really didn't feel like it felt like the Theo I had known.

Then our Princeling.  He did show some growth, and in a more positive way.  He wasn't as arrogant (he was still a little arrogant) as he had originally been and he had started to grow a pair of balls.  So that was nice.

Too bad Princeling and Theo together in The Union more or less just annoyed me (mostly Theo).   But really, there were points when they were together where I just had enough of them wanting each other.  There is more in this thought, but I can't really get into it without giving some major spoilers away.

Other things happened in the story.  One of the characters really made me think of another character from the Hunger Games and that connection I made, made it very difficult for me to imagine the character as who she should be and not who she isn't.  I wonder if I am the only one who kind of saw this?  Can you guess who I am talking about and who I thought they were?

All in all though, I enjoyed the series.  I mean, I devoured the first two books, and really liked them.  There was just something about this final book.  It just didn't reach that same level as the other books did (especially the The Island).

My Rating
3 Stars

This review is based on an ARC provided to me by the author.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Blog Tour: Lifeblood by Gena Showalter - Guest Post and Giveaway

Title: Lifeblood
Series: Everlife #2
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Source: Irish Banana Book Blog Tours

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Hi Everyone!  I am back with another lovely post about Lifeblood!  However, this time it is for a blog tour and not for a blitz!

This time I have for you guest post from Gena Showalter.  She was awesome enough to take some time out to answer a question for us!  Check it out!

What was the inspiration behind the Everlife series? 
I love scripture, and there are numerous scriptures about kingdoms not of this earth, kingdom vs. kingdom, a war between spiritual forces, and the power of choice.  Top those off with scriptures about life and death, blessing and cursing, light and dark, good and evil, and color me inspired!  In fact, once the idea for the Everlife series hit me – life as we know it is just a dress rehearsal and real life actually begins after death, in the afterlife, where only two realms are in power -- I was basically foaming-at-the-mouth eager to sit down and write book one (Firstlife).  Good and evil at war?  Yes!   But who is good and who is evil?  Everything is not always as black and white as it seems. 
I know many readers have said they consider Troika a type of heaven and Myriad a type of hell, but that isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I crafted them.  To me, the “hell” realm is Many Ends (where the Undecided go…and maybe others, though I can’t say who without giving spoilers, and the “heaven” realm is the Rest.  Troika and Myriad are merely paths that can lead to light or darkness, and for everyone – those in the light and those in the dark -- there will be bumps along the way.    
While the concept seems to totally contradicts the widely held believe that this life is the only one we will ever live, it gave me the opportunity to explore the idea that what we do now will matter for eternity. And of course, it enabled me to add a forbidden romance to the mix.  My favorite!  Ten, the heroine, is falling in love with one realm, but falling in love with the boy from the other realm.  Who will she choose?  The realm/home or the boy?


Follow the Tour!

Tour Schedule:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Book Blitz: Lifeblood by Gena Showalter

Title: Lifeblood
Series: Everlife #2
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Source: Irish Banana Book Blog Tours

OMG guys!  It is finally here!  The second book in the Everlife series by Gena Showalter!

Lifeblood is the sequel to Firstlife both written by the lovely and ever so talented Gena Showalter.  You may or may not recall that when I read Firstlife I was stuck on it for a long time after finishing.  It still sends my mind reeling when I think about the plot and the story in general.  So it is safe to say that I am super excited for the release of this gorgeous sequel.

If you need a reminder on any of my thoughts you can find my review for Firstlife right HERE.  I also made a fun pocket letter based off of the book too and you can find the post about that right HERE.

So what is Lifeblood about?  Well here is the synopsis for you!

My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.

With her last living breath, Tenley "Ten" Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten's competition is Killian, the boy she can't forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she's never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound