To Be Reviewed (1)

Like any blogger I have a mountain long list of books that I have loved and have yet to review. Some of these books I read last year which means I need a reread before I write my review because we all know there is no way I remember the things I need to remember. Everyday I look at this list and think I should just write some of them and then I get overwhelmed by the number and decide to read a new book. Currently my list has about 15-17 books on it which in hindsight isn’t that bad considering, but it still stresses me out.

Honestly it is the series and the 5 star reads that give me the most trouble. I just never know what to say about a series that won’t spoil the other books and for the 5 star standalones I just have no words to describe perfect a lot of the time.

Anyway, here are 6 of my top books I have yet to reviewed that were some of my favorites:

To Be Reviewed (1)A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
on May 2nd 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

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To Be Reviewed (1)Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
on April 4th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

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To Be Reviewed (1)When We Collided by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
on May 16th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

Seventeen year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he is not. With a mother lost in a deep bout of depression, Jonah and his five siblings struggle to keep up their home and the restaurant their dad left behind. But at the start of summer, a second change rolls in: Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town.

Vivi is in love with life. Charming and unfiltered, she refuses to be held down by the medicine she's told should make her feel better. After meeting Jonah, she slides into the Daniels' household seamlessly, winning over each sibling with her imagination and gameness. But it's not long before Vivi's zest for life begins to falter. Soon her adventurousness becomes all-out danger-seeking.

Through each high and low, Vivi and Jonah's love is put to the test . . . but what happens when love simply isn't enough?

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To Be Reviewed (1)The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by HarperTeen
on November 3rd 2015
Amazon, Goodreads

Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.

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To Be Reviewed (1)Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books
on September 6th 2016
Amazon, Goodreads

KINGDOMS WILL COLLIDE.

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she's to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

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To Be Reviewed (1)The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
on April 5th 2016
Amazon, Goodreads

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.

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How do you manage to keep you book review numbers down? How long is your To Be Reviewed list? Talk to me!

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Blog Tour: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens – Q&A plus a Giveaway

I have been a fan of Courtney C. Stevens since I read her first book Faking Normal. She has a way about her writing that just pulls me in. And she writes the CUTEST boys and the best friendships. Anyway as much as I loved Faking Normal I loved The Lies About Truth 100 times more. I seriously can’t say enough good things about this book. I will review it in the future but today we have Courtney on the blog answering a few of my questions about the book.

Make sure you check in after the Q&A as we are giving away 3 finished copies of The Lies About Truth and you don’t want to miss it.

Q & A with Courtney C. Stevens

First I have to tell you how much I loved loved loved The Lies About Truth. It was this perfect story wrapped up in 330ish pages. So thank you for that. On to the questions.

1) Both your debut Faking Normal and The Lies About Truth deal with some really heavy topics like rape and death/grief, respectively. As an author how do you put yourself into that mind frame and craft a story that is balanced between the serious and romantic and not completely depressing?

When I’m at schools and I read from either Faking Normal or The Lies About Truth I usually say, “As you can tell, I don’t write about puppy dogs and rainbows.” They all laugh. And as we continue that dialogue, there is an understanding that I write about these things because they are living them. Because I once lived in that same head space. Offering a balance of “life is hard” and “life is still rewarding” and “life has love in the middle of pain” are truths I believe I need now and I needed in high school.

As far as keeping it from being too depressing, that’s where my editor and critique partners help me reign things in. I write everything raw, and then go back and do humor and pity checks.

2)Friendship is a huge part of The Lies About Truth, which I personally love to see in YA books. Friendships are complicated and real and for Sadie that is no different. Why was friendship such an important part of this story?

When I look back at high school, friendship was THE thing. Did I date? Absolutely. Did I obsess over boys? Absolutely. Did I worry about my grades? Absolutely. But I did those things with my friends on the couch over chips and salsa. My day-to-day life was lived out with friends instead of romantic hopefuls. They were the people who made my life and broke my heart and showed up with life sucked the hardest. With that history in mind, I always try to express complicated and rewarding friendships in my work, because those are the people I do life with.

3) And finally I can’t not ask about Max. You seem to have a knack for writing the most adorable boys for a story. How did Max come about and why is it so important that this main female characters have the good guy in the corner?

Thank you. I rather love Max myself. I love writing a good guy, because I believe they are out there. But … I think it’s important to note that he could have been a girl too. I try to write secondary main characters who see beyond the layers/walls a main character builds to disguise herself. So far, in both Faking Normal and The Lies About Truth, those happen to have been boys. But I never want a girl to read my work and think she just has to have a guy in her life to be whole. She needs a friend in her life. Love in her life. Acceptance in her life. I deeply believe that people need people. Trust and authenticity within a community is a powerful, life-altering thing. That has nothing to do with gender or romantic love (although those can be wonderful additions.) Alexi and Sadie needed someone who saw them, and the people who saw them happen to be boys. Good boys, who are looking to add to the world rather than take.

When I set out to build Max as a gift for Sadie, I thought about who she needed to help her transform, and who I’ve met in my life that comforted me when I felt the most broken. The boys I write always come out of the kindness I’ve met in friends and relationships.

Blog Tour: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens – Q&A plus a GiveawayThe Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by HarperTeen
on November 3rd 2015
Amazon, Goodreads

Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.

About Courtney C. Stevens

Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. She is also the author of Faking Normal, which Kirkus Reviews called "a story that resonates" and Publishers Weekly called a "rich debut," as well as the e-novellaThe Blue-Haired Boy.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

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Review: Faking Normal – Courtney Stevens

Review: Faking Normal – Courtney StevensFaking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by HarperCollins
on February 25th 2014
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

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

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First thing first, Faking Normal far exceeded my expectations. I obviously knew I wanted to read it as the description sounds emotional and deep and a pretty great concept of a book, and I wouldn’t have requested an advanced copy if I wasn’t interested, but even starting the book I didn’t let myself expect much. I was just rolling with it, even when the unexpected God theme popped up. But I have to tell you Stevens really did a remarkable job with telling this story of hurt and healing and I’m really excited that I read it.

Faking Normal is about Alexi, a high school junior that was completely changed over the summer and is hiding it from everyone. Something happened to her and she won’t talk about it. Instead she hides in her closet and takes control by hurting herself and counting compulsively. On the outside she seems normal to everyone, well almost everyone. Bodee, Lex’s neighbor dealing with this own tragedy, can see the truth. And when Bodee unexpectedly moves in with Alexi and her family she finds herself not only having someone to confide in, but a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, and someone she can trust. What starts out as two broken teens trying to putting back together the pieces of their shattered lives may just be the story of two people helping each other heal and survive.

It’s hard to put into words what I really loved about this book. I don’t want to get too deeply into the plot as there is some stuff that the reader needs to discover on their own. There are some twists and turns and a degree of unknowing that is involved in what happened to Alexi and with some of the ways she is coping. What I can say is that Alexi was a great character. There was something about her that was just likable. She was broken, no denying that, and she had trouble standing on her own, but it was understandable. And I really liked that she didn’t care what people thought when it came to Bodee. She brought him into her fold without really even thinking about it much. And through all of this you could still see and feel her pain and your heart went out to her as a reader.

However, as much as I liked Alexi, Bodee stole the show for me. Much like Corey Livingston in Colleen Clayton’s book What Happens Next, Bodee was exactly the right person for Lex at the exact right time. He had been in her life, on the peripheral, since they were small, but became a huge piece of her and her him, right when they both needed it most. I know to some it may seem fast how quickly they came to trust and rely on each other, but I actually found that to be a nice touch. Sometimes it’s possible to have someone always be there that you never noticed before and for them to be your best friend. Bodee helped Alexi heal in some way and they both showed each other goodness in the world. I seriously just loved Bodee and when you read it you will too.

Basically this book was a story of strength and loss and healing and faith(religious and in people in general). There were sweet moments mixed in with some painful situations and they all balanced each other out. The end felt a little rushed, but that aside, this book should be a definite must read. I know I’m glad I did it. I look forward to what the author has I store for us next.

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