ARC August: The Final Count

Tomorrow is the last day for ARC August and I must say I’m pretty pleased with how I did this year. Did I read everything I wanted to? Nope. And I did read 2 non-ARCs (one because I reread Anna and the French Kiss for my birthday and the other because it was the Michelle Obama book that came in from the library) which wasn’t completely in the plan, but all in all I read 6 ARCs, hopefully 7 by the time the challenge ends tomorrow. Out of those 6 completed ARCs, 2 of them were 5 stars reads and 2 were 4 star reads. All in all it was a good month. Here are the books I read:

4 Stars

2 Stars

5 Stars

4 Stars

2 Stars

5 Stars

Currently I’m about 50% done with Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren.

How did you do on ARC August? What was your favorite out of the books you read?

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ARC August: Check-In

Unlike last year I am checking in in the middle of ARC August to show my progress. So far I have done pretty well for myself. I have finished 4 books, I’m in the middle of 2, and I DNFd one . Not too bad considering I went away for a few days and celebrated both my birthday and my mom’s. Would I have liked to have read more over the last 16 days? Sure. But I’ll take what I can. Here are two mini reviews for what I have read:

ARC August: Check-InStealing Home by Becky Wallace
Published by Page Street Kids
Published: July 9, 2019
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four-stars

Fight for your dreams, even if it means breaking a few rules.

Seventeen-year-old Ryan Russell has life perfectly planned. If she keeps up her hard work, one day she’ll take over the family business: owning the Buckley Beavers, a minor league baseball team, and become one of the only female General Managers in the sport.

But when the newest member of the Beavers, child-phenom Sawyer Campbell, shows up, Ryan’s carefully laid plans are thrown a major curveball. Sawyer is far more charming than the arrogant jocks she usually manages, his ambition rivals her own workaholic nature—and he’s completely out of bounds. Fraternizing is against every rule in the Beaver’s handbook.

Then Ryan’s divorced parents butt heads over the future of the Beavers, and her mom plans to sell her shares to a business group known for relocating teams. If this happens, Ryan’s dreams of becoming GM disappear. In a bid to save her future, she partners with Sawyer to use his star power to draw in sponsors who will keep the team in Buckley. But the more time she spends with him, the more impossible it becomes to play by the Beaver’s rules, and she can’t afford a strikeout on the path to her dreams.

Full count with two outs, Ryan’s one pitch away from losing the whole ball game.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Stealing Home was a great summer read! It ticked all the boxes for things I love in a sports themed romance. Sawyer and Ryan had amazing chemistry and the bantered back and forth so well. There was also oodles of tension between them because they wanted something they couldn’t have, each other. But what I really loved about it was the fact that it was also a story about going after your dream no matter what it takes. It is so easy to think something is impossible and to give up on it, but Ryan was not that person. She fought for what she wanted and went for it. I struggled a lot with Ryan’s mom’s portrayal and the way she kind of turned towards the end, but all in all it was a quick, enjoyable read with a hot of heart and depth.

ARC August: Check-InHot to the Touch by Jaci Burton
Series: Brotherhood by Fire #1
Published by Berkley
Published: May 7, 2019
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two-stars

Love burns white-hot in this first scorching romance in an all-new trilogy about a family of firefighters from the New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play novels and the Hope series.

Firefighter Jackson Donovan doesn't look back--as a rule. So when his past comes roaring back to life in the form of not-so-damsel-in-distress Becks Benning, the last thing he wants to do is relive old times. No matter how tempting she makes it seem...

Now thanks to his two interfering brothers, Becks is living with them while she looks for a new place and tries to pick up the pieces of her tattoo business that went up in flames. Which means a grown up, smokin' hot Becks is in his house, sharing meals, and digging up old wounds. And despite his better judgement, the more time he spends with this smart, artistic, incredible woman the more he wants her in his bed--and his future.

Becks always had it bad for Jackson. Unfortunately for her, not much has changed--he's still honorable, hard-working, sexy as sin--and closed off. But there's more than one way to get to a man's heart and if Jackson doesn't want to recall old memories, she'll just have to help him make new ones. Because now that she's found Jackson again, she's not letting him go.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hot to the Touch has been on my TBR for some time now but something just didn’t work for me with this one. When I was reading the book I felt more like it was being told at me and not to me and that really rubbed me wrong. I also didn’t find any chemistry at all between Jackson and Becks so I had no interest if they were a couple of not. His personality changed so much I just didn’t like him at all. Plus the pacing felt a tad off. Honestly, I have been struggling with Jaci Burton books for sometime and I think this was the one that finally has made me believe this author just isn’t for me anymore. This book just didn’t do it for me.

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*I will be reviewing The Bromance Book Club closer to release and November and Tweet Cute closer to release in January.

How is your ARC August progressing?

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Monthly TBR – August 2019 (#ARCAugust and #Reviewathon)

This is month five of my TBR list making. In March I tried categories and it was a bust. So when April rolled around I went back to something I haven’t done in a long time, a list of actual book titles. That seemed to work and I had a lot of success with it. At the beginning of each month, I create a new TBR list and  I have been reading based off those books and I’m kind of loving it.

Here is a look at how July went for me:

July was a mixed bag in terms of success. I did spend a lot of time reading Vow of Thieves because it was so good I was savoring it. I wish I had gotten through a couple more, but August is a new month.

Actually August is ARC August, hosted by the fab ladies of Read. Sleep. Repeat. They have hosted this challenge for 6 years and admittedly I was a little late to the party. Last year was my first time doing it but I plan to keep it up. My ARC pile (physical and eARCs) is a lot, to put it mildly, so this is perfect to get some of those old ARCs off my list and read them. It also is perfectly coinciding with Reviewathon, hosted by Netgalley. Timing couldn’t be better!

Now on to the August TBR list made up of all ARCs minus the New to Me option and my planned reread of Anna on my 40th birthday.

What do you do for a monthly TBR? Do you stick to a list or wing it? Are you doing ARC August or Reviewathon? Share in the comments.

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ARC August, The Round-Up

Today is the last day for ARC August and I’m really proud of my accomplishments. On a personal level my August didn’t go as planned and I didn’t have as much reading time as I thought I would. Life unfortunately got really hard in the middle of the month and reading time was a struggle. But when all is said and done I read 7 full books (8 if you count the book that is out next year that I read to help an author out that but isn’t on Goodreads) and am in the middle of Six of Crows. Not too bad if you ask me.

Here are my mini reviews for all 7 completed books:

ARC August, The Round-UpThese Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips
Published by HarperTeen
Published: August 1, 2017
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five-stars

Before: Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. Dara is the fearless one, Aubrey the prodigy, yet despite their differences they support each other unconditionally. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After: It’s been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn’t racked with guilt over her role in her best friend’s death. Now, after spending a year away from home in order to escape the constant reminders of what happened, Dara is back at her old high school to start her senior year. Dara thought the worst thing about coming home would be confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it’s not half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey’s brother, every day. Not just because he’s a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she’s betraying her best friend one final time.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I don’t think I have the words to talk about how much I loved this book. I’m actually really mad at myself for waiting so long. I downloaded this book over 550 days ago and am ashamed of myself for taking so long. The writing was fantastic, the story was amazing, and the characters were perfect. It was the perfect storm for me. Everything that I love in a book was there. My heart broke for Dara and all the blame she put on herself for an accident. It was heartbreaking to read, but it was also beautiful to see her build herself back up and be the Dara she was before tragedy struck her. And let’s not forget how adorable Ethan was! Definitely a book everyone needs to check out. I highly recommend it!

ARC August, The Round-UpFar from the Tree by Robin Benway
Published by HarperTeen
Published: October 3, 2017
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four-stars

A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

After reading Robin Benway’s book Emmy & Oliver I was so excited for her next book. Why I waited over a year to read it I have no idea. It was everything I expected from Robin. It was touching and moving and broke my heart (you will notice a theme in some of the ARC August books I read). How these three siblings were separated by something beyond their control and managed to find one another was just beautiful. They each lived very different lives, raised very differently, yet they managed to find a way to connect and support one another. I loved seeing how they supported one another even when they were dealing with stuff themselves. Honestly my only complaint was that the book wasn’t written in 1st person for each of the three main characters. But besides that another book I would definitely recommend. Be prepared to cry.

ARC August, The Round-UpWhen It's Right by Victoria Denault
Published by Forever Yours
Published: August 14, 2018
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four-stars

IT'S ALL A MATTER OF TIMINGGriffin Sullivan is handling the ultimate balancing act. Between being a single dad to an active six-year-old and the crazy demands of his job as a hockey coach, finding love is not in the cards. But when the team's goalie is rushed to the ER, he's immediately captivated by the gorgeous, sassy nurse on duty... who just happens to be the sister of one his players.

Sadie Braddock has always had a big, open heart and a bit of a wild side. But since her dad got sick, she's closed herself off to life and love. Relationships are way too complicated - and so is Griffin. He's also funny and tender and sexy as hell. How can something that feels so right come at the worst time ever? Then again, someone to lean on may be exactly what they each need - if they're only brave enough to take the risk.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Braddock family is by far one of my favorite families in fiction. I fell in love with them when I read Slammed and that love has only grown stronger after reading When It’s Right. What I love about this family is how funny and supportive they are of one another. They are going through a really hard time yet they still manage to find something to laugh about or celebrate. And watching Griffin and Sadie fall for each other was definitely something to celebrate, especially since Sadie takes on so much of the burden for her family. I laughed and even cried reading this fun hockey themed romance. This is a series I would say you need to pick up. I still need to read book 1, but 2 and 3 ae fantastic!

ARC August, The Round-UpGirl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: May 2, 2017
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three-stars

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I don’t know if it was because of things going on in my personal life when I read this or if it was a mood I was in, or what, but although I enjoyed Girl Out of Water, something felt like it was missing. I loved the characters, especially the twins, but something just didn’t click with me. Don’t get me wrong, the book was enjoyable and a quick read. I didn’t struggle to pick it up, I actually wanted to read more. It just felt like something wasn’t there which disappointed me because I was really looking forward to this one. Lincoln was by far the best of all the awesome characters. He was just a good, solid, stand-up guy and exactly what Anise needed when she was kind of lost. All in all I enjoyed this one. Not a favorite, but still a really well done book. You should check it out.

ARC August, The Round-UpGoodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers
Published: March 7, 2017
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four-stars

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This was my first time reading a Jeff Zentner book and it won’t be my last. Goodbye Days was a super powerful book. It was an emotional journey of guilt and grief and loss and how to move on with life after a tragedy. Carver broke my heart for about 99% of the book. He was just wracked with so much guilt and couldn’t see a way about of it. On top of that he had no friends anymore and was under a constant microscope at school or home. He was slowly drowning and it was heartbreaking. But it was also uplifting to see him slowly dig himself out of the dark hole he had made for himself. It really was an excellent story and one I’m so happy to have read.

ARC August, The Round-UpThe Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis
Published by Kids Can Press
Published: September 4, 2018
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four-stars

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he'd spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn't mean returning to New Harbor.

Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she's lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever.

People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn't sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find --- and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?

When a friend asked if I wanted to take part in a book tour for this book I said sure. It sounded like a good book and I had been meaning to read the author. I really had no idea how the book would be, but I can happily report it was really fantastic. It had everything I love in a good realistic contemporary book. My heart really felt for Grace and everything that she had been through over a two year period. How alone and confused she must have felt and how her world unraveled  shortly after the worst night of her life. It was hard to see her go through all the things she went through and finding out things she thought were true for so long might not have been. But I loved everything about Grace and how strong she was. My only complaint was I thought there were too many smaller stories building on the outskirt that weren’t important and were a little distracting. But besides that, this book was truly amazing and a must read for any YA contemporary lover.

ARC August, The Round-UpWait for Me by Caroline Leech
Published by HarperTeen
Published: January 31, 2017
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three-stars

The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from debut author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I think my hopes were too high for this one. After waiting about 2 years to read it I think I expected something it wasn’t and I ended up disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it was good enough, but I was bored a lot of the time reading it but that could be on me. I think I was excited thinking I would get Summer of my German Solider (which I LOVED when I read it many, many years ago) but I didn’t feel the same love in Wait for Me. It did have its good moments for sure. There were parts I didn’t want to end because they were great, but there were just too many slow moments for my liking. All in all it wasn’t a terrible book, but not one I would reach for again. I do think you should check it out for yourself. Maybe if your expectations aren’t so high it will be a hit for you.

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So far Six of Crows is great! I know I won’t finish it today, but just wanted to mention that I’m loving it. I also did pretty okay on my Bingo card and got two bingos. (I counted Six of Crows as the start of a series and I considered I made my goal because I think I did well for the month I had:

How did you do in ARC August? Huge shout out to Read. Sleep. Repeat for hosting!

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ARC August, An Introduction

For years I have seen people talking about this thing called ARC August. I knew what it was, knew who was running it, had the books to do it. But for some inexplicable reason I have never signed up. I really can’t tell you why I haven’t taken the plunge, but I just never did. Well that stops this year. I have officially signed up for ARC August hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat. and I think you should too!

 

What is ARC August? It is simple really. It is a month to read all the ARCs you have. These can be ARCS for books that have come out and you slacked on reading or they can be ARCs for books that have not been released. If you are a book blogger you know how easy it is for ARCs to get out of control. We sometimes spread ourselves too thin and can’t say no when asked if we want a book. Sometimes we have no self-control and request all the books. And sometimes we go to BEA or ALA and then get sidetracked by new pretty or a mood read (or in my case a reread) and forget to go back to those books we were once so excited to have.

I’m under no illusion that ARC August will help me get rid of all the ARCs I have, but it will be a start. I also know there is no way I will get through all the books that I have decided on for this month long reading challenge, but a beginning is a beginning.

Here are the 15 physical ARCs and eARCs I will be picking from:

1) Far from the Tree – Robin Benway (2017)
2) Wait for Me – Caroline Leech (2017)
3) Sawkill Girls – Claire Legrand (2018)
4) These Things I’ve Done – Rebecca Phillips (2017)
5) Fight or Flight – Samantha Young (2018)
6) 500 Words or Less – Juleah del Rosario (2018)
7) Girl Out of Water – Laura Silverman (2017)
8) This is How It Happened – Paula Stokes (2017)

1) Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo (2015)
2) Imprison the Sky – AC Gaughen (2019)
3) The Long Game – Jennifer Lynn Barnes (2016)
4) Last Seen Leaving – Caleb Roehrig (2016)
5) Goodbye Days – Jeff Zentner (2017)
6) The Me I Meant to Be – Sophie Jordan (2019)
7) #murdertrending – Gretchen McNeil (2018)
8) Flawed – Cecelia Ahern (2016)

Are you doing ARC August? If so what books are on your list? Have you read any I hope to read?

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