Review: Kingsbane – Claire Legrand

Review: Kingsbane – Claire LegrandKingsbane by Claire Legrand
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: May 21, 2019
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four-stars

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength―and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien―but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity's long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption―fear of becoming another Rielle―keeps Eliana's power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted―by embracing her mother's power, or rejecting it forever.

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.

Finding a way to review Kingsbane is basically impossible. First and foremost this book almost killed me. Not because it is almost 600 pages (those big books can be dangerous!!!) but because it took all my emotions and threw them in a blender and then tried to make me choke on them. I know, I know, it sounds dramatic, but trust me, it’s not. I was terrified to finish Kingsbane. So much so that it took me a solid month to read it. I was scared where Claire would leave off and when all is said and done, I was right to be afraid. This book took me on an emotional roller coaster and the ride still is not done.

I honestly have no idea what to say about this book. I’m still kind of broken by the whole ordeal. Kingsbane picks up right where Furyborn left off and it doesn’t slow down. Eliana and Rielle are both fighting a war centuries apart and the decisions they make will in some way affect the other.  Both women are on their own journeys and trying to find a way. Rielle thinks she knows what she is supposed to do and what side she is on, but she has forces working against her. Eliana on the other hand just learned her role in this sordid story and is grappling what that means to her and for her family and friends around her. Every decision these women make has repercussions and consequences and you can feel that with every turn of the page.

The truth for me with Kingsbane is I was more invested in Eliana’s story. Don’t get me wrong, Rielle has a great story and I really think it is going to hit its stride in book 3, but for me, Kingsbane was about Eliana. Her world was the one that changed the most. She had the rug pulled out from under her and was left to pick up the pieces and figure it all out which relying on people she was just learning to trust. Plus I really love all of her supporting characters more than Rielle’s (minus Audric). But the thing about Eliana’s story is I have no idea where it is going. Rielle you know because it is in the past so you have a road map, but Eliana you have no idea what is coming and how it will all go down.

Without saying too much, this book was amazing. There was a twist that took place that I am still reeling from. Did I love it as much as Furyborn? No. That book was super special to me. But I did think it was awesome. It set up everything that will go down in book 3 to perfection and I personally cannot wait to see how it all ends…if the wait doesn’t kill me first that is. Definitely, a series that needs to be read.

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Barely Have the Words (1)

I was looking at some of my 5 star reads, some read almost 3 years ago, that I still need to review. I realized there are some books I love so much I’m not sure I will ever be able to put into words how I really felt about them so welcome to my new feature, Barely Have the Words. I can’t adequately review this books since “READ IT” doesn’t really tell you how it made me feel, but this is my start:

Barely Have the Words (1)Sadie by Courtney Summers
Published by Wednesday Books
Published: September 4, 2018
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five-stars

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she's left behind. And an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

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.

It has been months since I read this and I still can’t accurately put my feelings into words. I know this is the best Courtney Summers book I have read to date and left me emotionally wrecked.  It is dark, and hard to read, and what can be ugly about the world, but it is a story of love and strength too. It broke my heart into tiny pieces and worth every sliver. Sadie was a broken girl and justice was her only way to deal with how truly demolished she was. But even with all the sadness and the pain Sadie is worth the read. Not only is the format awesome and something new/now, you will feel for these characters like you have never felt for fictional people before. This is a must read.

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Barely Have the Words (1)Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books
Published: September 4, 2018
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five-stars

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

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 often give Christina Lauren books a 5 star rating. The highest to this point has been 4.5 stars. It isn’t because I don’t love them and enjoy my reading experience. It is mostly because there is that one thing in the story that ends up bugging me and taking away from the whole feel. Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating didn’t have that one thing. It was perfect, and I don’t know what else to say about it. I have been trying to gather my thoughts since I finished in mid2018 and I just can’t do it. What I can say is that I loved everything about it. I loved hos crazy Hazel was and how dumb Josh was. I loved their friendship and their not friendship. I loved there chemistry. Basically, I loved it and that is what it comes down to in the end.

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Barely Have the Words (1)Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: July 4, 2017
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five-stars

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic tryout, so Maggie feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to sacrifice in the water to win at love?

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.

Coming Up for Air is one of the rare books that I have read twice (once as a draft) that I still can’t find the words for. Part of the problem is it is Miranda Kenneally’s last book in the Hundred Oaks series and that is so hard to capture in a review. The other problem is that I loved Maggie and Levi’s relationship so much I can’t really describe the love I have for it. This book was probably Miranda’s funniest to date and her most sex positive and I still can’t tell you exactly why I loved it. Does just saying “read this book and this companion series and be done with it” work because that is all I’ve got. Also Kenneally writes a cute boy.

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Barely Have the Words (1)There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Published: September 26, 2017
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five-stars

Love hurts...

Makani Young thought she'd left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She's found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn't far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

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 read There’s Someone Inside Your House almost 3 years ago, the days after I met Stephanie Perkins for the first time. The whole this was surreal and I think that is why I have had such a hard time reviewing it. I’m not a horror/slasher book kind of person but TSIYH was just fun (and I’m aware that is odd to say). It brought me back to those great Kevin Williamson written horror movies with some of those Stephanie Perkins’ contemp moments. It is not the same experience as I had with Anna/Lola/Isla. It is a completely different book yet I still felt Steph when reading it. I can’t really say much else because a) I don’t want to give anything away from the book and b) I’m still kind of a loss for words from meeting Stephanie to reading the book right after. I just know I need something new from her and I need it now.

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These ‘reviews’ don’t do the books justice, but I have no other way to describe them. In the end I leave you with…READ THEM!

What books to you love and can’t review because you love them so much?

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Review: Furyborn – Claire Legrand

Review: Furyborn – Claire LegrandFuryborn by Claire Legrand
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: May 22, 2018
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five-stars

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

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.

When I heard about Furyborn I was interested but I wasn’t sure I wanted to start another fantasy trilogy. It appeared to have all the elements I want in a fantasy read, but I’m in the middle of so many series it gave me pause. Then people started talking about it and really amping it up. And then I got my hands on a copy and I was done for. Furyborn was everything I needed and more.

Furyborn is the story of Rielle and Eliana, two women on a path in two different worlds. For years Rielle has hidden who she was from her world, hidden the fact that she can control all 7 types of powers. When she uses her powers to save her best friend and future King, Rielle finds herself participating in trials to find out just who she is. Eliana, on the other hand, is doing everything and anything she can to protect her brother and find her mother and finds herself waged in a war that is centuries old. She is hiding an important part of herself from the world for fear of how it will be used and who it could hurt. Both women are on separate journeys, but connected in ways they couldn’t imagine. In the end one of these women will save the world and one will doom it.

It is really hard for me to put into words what I loved about this story. The world building was fantastic and I got a really clean picture of what I think Rielle and Eliana’s worlds were like. I also loved the narrative and how it was told from beginning to end. And can we talk about the supporting cast of characters? From Audric, Ludivine, and Corien to Remy,  Navi, and my FAVORITE, Simon. All of these characters really made both Rielle and Eliana who they are and gave them the drive they have. But honestly, I think the dual POVs of Rielle and Eliana really helped me fall as hard for this book as I did. Really getting to know their fears and desires and inner thoughts made me understand their motivations and how they got to the places they were in their lives.

From the moment I opened Furyborn I was hooked. The opening chapter gave so much yet so little away I needed to know more immediately. I felt like I got to know some of these characters in the first few pages and I was itching for more. I can’t say it enough, get your hands on this book and start this fantastic trilogy!

Have you read this amazing book yet?

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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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New to You (13): Michelle Reviews Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Michelle from Pink Polka Dot Books. Michelle and I have always shared a love for a certain kind of book. It goes back to 2014 when we met in line for a signing of Tease by Amanda Maciel at BEA. When she signed up and wanted to read Breathe, Annie, Breathe, I knew it would be a good fit for her. Let’s see what Michelle had to say about it.

New to You (13): Michelle Reviews Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda KenneallyBreathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: April 7, 2015
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four-stars

From the bestselling author of Catching Jordan comes a contemporary YA you won't forget.

The finish line is only the beginning.…

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can't escape the guilt that if she hadn't broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she's at war with her body, her mind-and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms...and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

 

When I spied this book in Andi’s New To You options, I knew I had to choose it.  It’s been sitting on my shelf since one of my first BEAs and I’ve been meaning to read a book in the Hundred Oaks series since forevs.

I feel like this may have been the perfect book for me to start with because the subject-matter is a lot more serious and lot less romancey– although, the romance is DEFINITELY there.  I was really surprised how much I enjoyed reading about running, considering whenever I have to run in real life all I can think about is the intense pain all over my body, but I liked seeing how Annie progressed.

We follow Annie’s training schedule in the 6 months leading up to her first marathon.  Annie isn’t a runner, so having only 6 months to train to run a full marathon (26.something miles) is tough stuff.  I loved reading about her training and learning things about running that I never knew (like eating fish is good for your knees and weird things about Vaseline).  I actually loved being in her head, which I usually do not like.  When you run, you have A LOT of time to think and for the most part, I liked Annie’s thoughts.

Annie is running the marathon in honor of her boyfriend who passed away before he could run in one.  It gets complicated when her trainer’s brother enters the picture and gives her all kinds of crushworthy-feels.  I could see why she didn’t feel great about getting with a guy who is involved with something that connects to her boyfriend’s memory.  It was awkward as all hell.

The thing about Jeremiah (the brother) is that he’s an adrenaline junkie, constantly seeking the next high, putting himself in all kinds of unnecessary danger.  I felt like Annie was right to be wary– how could she go through another accidental death of a love interest???

What I liked about the Jeremiah situation: He sounded hot as hell.  Boys that don’t have fear are hot– they just are.  I liked their chemistry together, and I liked that hooking up wasn’t the biggest deal in the world to this author.  I thought Jeremiah might have been the most patient college kid on the planet and I respected that.

What I was MEH about the Jeremiah situation: I didn’t care for Jeremiah using Annie as a way to get his new high.  What’s going to happen when that newness wears off??  It will wear off Jeremiah, I promise you.  Also, why was every guy in love with this Annie chick??  She seemed like an everyday girl, I didn’t think she needed to be HOTTEST GIRL EVER for me to believe Jeremiah would be interested in her.

I will definitely be reading more Miranda Kenneally books!!  I really enjoyed the flow of this book. reading about marathon training, going to college, and awesome families.  Thanks to Andi for getting me to read this backlist book that I should’ve read years ago!!

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Thanks Michelle for signing up for New to You! I knew Annie would be a good fit for you!

My Breathe, Annie, Breathe review.

Have you read any books by Miranda Kenneally? If so which ones?

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