Sunday, June 30, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. Its all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, whether physical or virtual books. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks! Tynga posts this meme on Saturdays, but you can post on any day that works best for you! Check out the guidelines by visiting Tynga's blog!

Yay! Another week that I didn't buy any books :) I made a deal with myself that I can't buy another book until my birthday, July 19. So I still have a couple more weeks to go but two weeks in a row without buying any is pretty good for me. However, I did still get some more books to add to my shelves!


 I rented this book from the public library in audio format. I had a 10+ hour drive this weekend to visit friends so it was perfect. This is the first time I've ever listened to an audio book and I'm enjoying it so far (:

Review Copies:

I received these two review copies from Hogarth Books and I can't wait to read them! They sound really good, so I'm very excited!


I also received the following for eBooks from NetGalley. I just started reading One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis and I can't wait to read the others! I'm so happy with the amount of books I received this week, without buying any of them! I also love that all of these books are from different genres, so anything that I'm in the mood for is covered! (:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other blogs also. I follow you, you follow me. 

The general rules are: 
- Follow the Feature and Follow Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read)
- Follow the Featured Bloggers
- Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
-Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to say hi and that they are now following you in your comments. 
-Follow, Follow, Follow as many as you can. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Don't just follow, comment and say hi in the post! Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say 'hi'
-If someone comments and says they are following you, please follow back! 

This weeks question: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, ebooks, paperback?

I usually prefer hardcover or paperback. I love being able to put books on my shelf and seeing them every time I go into my office or bedroom. My apartment is always littered with books laying everywhere and I love it (: Hardcovers are always so pretty looking on my shelves, but obviously paperbacks are generally smaller and easier card around. I'm not a huge fan of ebooks, though I have been reading more. I have the kindle app on my phone and iPad, and I agree that I like being able to read a book at any time without necessarily having it with me in physical form. However, I just love the feel of a book in my hands, and like I said, I love seeing them on my shelves. If I have the choice, I always go with a physical copy of the book, but if ebooks are only available, such as through netgalley, then I'll read those. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Finding God in the Dark by Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin

Finding God in the Dark: Faith Dissappointment and the Struggle to Believe by Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin
Publisher: Bethany House
Publishing Date:  March 15, 2013
ISBN13: 9780764210822
139 Pages


God has not forgotten about you. That's hard to remember in the face of disillusionment or heartache. Ted Kluck's world has turned upside down after experiencing a failed adoption, where he found himself propelled into a year of doubt and disillusionment. Ronnie Martin struggled with the kind of identity and idolatry issues that come with being a well-known recording artist, before the unexpected death of his father allowed those sins to be brought to the surface of his heart. It is in the midst of these and other everyday stories that we learn how God reveals His boundless grace to every one of us.

Whether you've lost someone you loved, suffered career failure, or simply been let down by a fellow Christian, it's natural to wonder whether God has forgotten about you. You're not alone. Kluck and Martin's raw revelations about their mistakes and disappointments will help you on your own journey to finding God when you're standing in the dark.

My Review 

I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I have to admit, I was disappointed with this book. I went in to it hoping that I would be able to explore my faith (or lack thereof), but it's not what I found. Truthfully, I've been struggling with my faith since I was in high school, about 6-7 years ago. It took me a long time to stop believing in God, but then I met my boyfriend and his family is very religious (his dad is a part-time minister after all). He asked me to explore my faith a little with him, but thankfully never pushed anything on me. His family is the same way. They welcome me to go to church with them, but they never push anything on me. So I decided I would read this book to see if it helped me figure out my beliefs. Unfortunately, it didn't. I enjoyed the beginning, but then about halfway through it, I kind of lost interest. I forced myself to keep reading in hopes that it would get better, but it didn't happen for me. I'm not saying this isn't a good book; I'm sure many people will like and really get a lot out of it. It just didn't do much for me, though I'm still glad to have read it. I think this book might be more appropriate for those who may be unsure or are struggling with their beliefs but have not completely stopped believing.

Buy on Amazon

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Never List by Koethi Zan

The Never List by Koethi Zan 
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publishing Date: July 16, 2013
ISBN13: 9780670026517
320 Page


For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the "Never List": a list of actions to be avoided, for safety's sake, at all times. But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism. 

Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn't make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole, and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail. 

Finally, Sarah decides to confront her phobias and the other survivors - who hold their own deep grudges against her. When she goes on a cross-country chase that takes her into the perverse world of BDSM, secret cults, and the arcane study of torture, she begins unraveling a mystery more horrifying that even she could have imagined. 

My Review 

I received this ebook from the NetGalley review program in exchange for an honest review. Zan's first novel is incredibly fast-paced and intriguing. I had a hard time putting this book down and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. The beginning of the book made me laugh a little because of the list that Sarah and Jennifer wrote; a list of things that they would never do. When I first met Sarah as an adult, I thought she was a little crazy, but understandably so. She suffered through a very tragic ordeal that I can't even imagine. We don't learn much about the time in the cellar until she has flashbacks and describes what took place there. Through these flashbacks, a sadistic and lonely world emerges. Four girls struggle to cope with being held captive in this cell. Sarah is basically a recluse; she lives in New York City, surrounded by millions of people, but never leaves her apartment, unless necessary, which she has found is not very often. However, every time she made a little progress, I would find myself cheering for her and proud that she could take little steps in her recovery. 

Zan throws you in to a twisty plot and you never know what is going to happen. I can't believe this is her first novel! If this is an example of how her other books will be, I can't wait to read them! I highly recommend this book. The characters are easy to identify with and you feel so bad for what they have gone through.

This book is being released July 16, 2013 - mark it on your calendars to get a copy!  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. Its all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, whether physical or virtual books. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks! Tynga posts this meme on Saturdays, but you can post on any day that works best for you! Check out the guidelines by visiting Tynga's blog!

This week I didn't buy any books (I'm proud of myself for that :] ), but I'm borrowing one from my mother-in-law and received another from Netgalley.


My mother-in-law said it was a really good book and so hard to put down. I've been interested in this story since it first happened a couple years ago, but never really followed it that much. I'm about 1/3 of the way through it now, and its interesting. I was a little disappointed in the writing when I first started reading it, but it's gotten a little better. I'll post more about it in my review when I'm finished :)


I received this book through NetGalley's review program and it's really good so far! About halfway through it, I think, and I'm so glad I received a copy of this! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hide and Seek by James Patterson

Hide and Seek by James Patterson 
Publisher: Warner Books
Publishing Date: 1996
ISBN13: 9780446603713
429 Pages


It was the trial that electrified the world. Not only because of the defendant, Maggie Bradford, the woman whose songs captivated the world's heart. Not only because of the victim, Will Shepard, the world's most glamorous athlete. But also because everyone said Maggie had murdered not just one husband, but two. And because in Maggie's world - the world she feared and despised but could not escape, the world of the powerful, the rich, and the ruthless - both death and life could never be what they seemed.

                                                                   My Review

The story in this book wasn't told how James Patterson normally seems to write. I immediately felt like it was different from many of his others that I have read, but not in a bad way. The book starts off with two murders, but those two aren't the main story. Maggie Bradford is a very sympathetic and lovable character. I didn't want to like her at first because I came into the story with the thought that she was a cold-blooded murderer. But things are never as they first appear. Maggie was a strong character and has not had the best life, but she still goes on with a good attitude and raises her children as best she can. On the other hand, wanted to like Will Shepard from the beginning because I knew he was portrayed as the victim in the synopsis. When the story starts, and he is a young boy, I did like him. However, as he aged and the story progressed, I didn't like him at all.

I really love James Patterson's writing style, his short chapters, and his creative imagination. This was a very fast-paced book and I finished it in two days. I always begin reading Patterson's books with high expectations and this one delivered! It was easy to read, a great story, and had so many twists and turns that I didn't know what was going to happen at the end! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys read a mystery/thriller! :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Is GFC going away for good?

So I've heard a couple rumors lately that Google Friends Connect (GFC) might be leaving us for good! Has anyone else heard this?! I hope its not true, because that's pretty much where most of my followers come from. So, in case that is true, I've started using bloglovin' for followers. If you follow me via GFC, I'd love it if you also followed via bloglovin' so we can still keep in touch :) Click on the link below to follow me!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The After Girls by Leah Konen

The After Girls by Leah Konen
Publisher: Adams Media Corporation
Publishing date: April 18, 2013
ISBN13: 9781440561085
304 Pages


Ella, Astrid, and Sydney were planning the perfect summer after high school graduation. But when Astrid commits suicide in a lonely cabin, the other girls' worlds are shattered. How could their best friend have done this—to herself and to them? They knew everything about Astrid. Shouldn't they have seen this coming? Couldn't they have saved her?

As Ella hunts for the truth, and Sydney tries to dull the pain, a chilling Facebook message from Astrid leaves them wondering whether their beloved friend is communicating from the after life. The girls embark on a journey to uncover Astrid's dark secrets. The answers to those questions—questions they never dreamed of asking—will change their lives forever.

My Review

I received this ebook free from Netgalley’s review program. I enjoyed reading this book because it had a little bit of everything: romance, tragedy, hopefulness, friendship and intriguing family relationships. The book starts off with Astrid’s suicide and dives in to how Sydney and Ella cope with their grief. Sydney parties and plays in her band, while Ella is consumed with finding out why Astrid did this. It’s easy to relate with these girls while reading the story. Like most people, Ella just wants to know why this happened; she needs an explanation as to why she didn’t see it coming. Sydney, on the other hand, doesn’t want to delve into the reasoning; she just wants to move on with her life and cope with her grief in her own way. She feels like you can’t change what’s already happened, so why dwell on it and cause more anguish. I think when someone goes through a tragedy in their life, they often encounter both of the feelings Ella and Sydney experienced. Many people wonder why, but at the same time, they know it can’t be changed, so they should try to move on with their lives. I thought Ms. Konen did a wonderful job bringing out the emotions experienced with losing a loved one. She was thoughtful in her writing and easily conveyed the feelings of all characters. I look forward to reading other novels by Ms. Konen in the future.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts

Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
Publisher: Warner Books
Publishing Date: 2004
ISBN13: 9780446695060
333 Pages


In 1972, windswept DeClare, Oklahoma was consumed by a terrifying crime: the murder of a young mother, Gaylene Harjo, and the disappearance of her baby, Nicky Jack. When the child's pajama bottoms were discovered on the banks of Willow Creek, everyone feared that he, too, had been killed, although his body was never found.

Now, nearly thirty years laters, Nicky Jack mysteriously returns to DeClare, shocking the town with his sudden reappearance and stirring up long-buried memories. But what he discovers about the night he vanished is far more than he, or anyone, bargains for. Piece by piece, what emerges is a story of dashed hopes, desperate love, and an act with repercussions that still cry out for justice... and redemption.

                                                    My Review

This book is an interesting story, and I really enjoyed Ms. Letts writing style. Everything was described so well and I never felt that I was missing something. But I also never felt that there was too much detail and that it got boring at points; Ms. Letts found the perfect balance in her descriptions. When you start reading this, you immediately love Nicky Jack. He doesn't really know anything about his family and as he learns, you can see how much he wishes to have known them longer. The little bit of romance shocked me at first, as I'm sure it will for other readers. However, then I began rooting for them and I hoped the story would go a little more into detail about their relationship (but thats probably just the part of me that loves romance stories).

The book centers on Nicky Jack trying to find out what happened to his mother almost 30 years ago. The story plays out in a very interesting fashion. I never saw the end coming; it keeps you guessing until the very last pages. It really breaks your heart when you find out what happened and why; but I guess that's what makes it such a great story.

Buy on Amazon  Buy at Barnes and Nobles

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

First Reads Reading Challenge!

The First Reads Reading Challenge 2013 is hosted by b00k r3vi3ws. The goal is to read as many books as possible by authors that you haven't read before. The challenge level I chose is Expert, in which I need to read 20-25 books by new (to you) authors. 

The Classics Reading Challenge 2013

So, like I said yesterday, I decided to join a few reading challenges to help keep me on track with my reading goals. Yesterday I joined Off the Shelf, and today I joined a few more. I will post the books that belong with each challenge, along with the links to the reviews. I will also update as soon as I add a new book to the challenge list! :) Hopefully I can accomplish these!

The Classics Reading Challenge 2013 is hosted by Jessica @ Thoughts at One in the Morning. The goal is to just read ONE classic throughout the year. I have so many Jane Austen books as well as a few by Charlotte and Emily Bronte. My goal is to read two by the end of the year.

1. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Monday, June 10, 2013

Off the Shelf Reading Challenge!

So, I decided to join a reading challenge... or a couple (I just have to decide which ones). The first one is the Off the Shelf Reading Challenge hosted by Bookish Ardour. This challenge goes from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. The goal of the challenge is to read books that have been sitting on your shelf for far too long. Books that are read for this challenge must be books you purchased before this challenge began - so anything from 2012 and earlier. The main goal is to turn unread books into read ones :)

The challenge level I chose is 'Making a Dint' in which my goal is to read 30 books or more from the TBR shelf. Hopefully I can do this! The list below are the books that I've completed so far, along with the link to my review. I will continue to update this last as I finish more TBR books!

1. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien 
2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel 
3. For One More Day by Mitch Albom 
4. Echoes by Mauve Binchy
5. Body Surfing by Anita Shreve
6. In the Woods by Tara French
7. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 
9. Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
10. While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty
11. The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
12. The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
13. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
14. The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere
15. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. Its all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, whether physical or virtual books. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks! Tynga posts this meme on Saturdays, but you can post on any day that works best for you! Check out the guidelines by visiting Tynga's blog! 

This is the first time I've participated in this meme, but it seems like fun, so I will try to do so almost weekly! :) 


My aunt is lending me these two books and I can't wait to read them! I read The Other Boleyn Girl before I knew that it was part of a series. So I decided to go back and read the first, and then the third. I also got my mom hooked on The Other Boleyn Girl, so I'm sure she'll be wanting to borrow these next!


I LOVE James Patterson's novels. I always find them so entertaining and interesting, and the back cover of this sounds promising!

Lately, I've been very into true crime books. I've always loved watching crime tv shows, whether real (like 48 Hours) or fake (like Criminal Minds). So I decided, why not read about them and combine my two things I love?! I found this on clearance for $2 and I couldn't pass it up!

Lastly, I bought this for $1 at my local new & used book store. I think I've read parts of it in school, but it was so long ago that I don't really remember it. Plus, I just finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak not too long ago and it made me want to reread it. Again, I couldn't pass it up when it was only one dollar! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

In a Class By Itself by Sandra Brown

In a Class By Itself by Sandra Brown 
Publisher: Bantam Books
Publishing Date: 2000 (first published in 1984)
ISBN13: 9780553576023
213 Pages


Dani Quinn knew Logan Webster would be at her high school reunion. Yet she had come in order to prove to herself that she was not afraid to see him again. Her departure years before from both Logan and the small Texas town where they were sweethearts had been abrupt, painful, and not of her choosing. Worst of all, she'd never had the chance to tell Logal the truth of why she had to leave. Now she would not only have a chance to explain, but to ask him a favor.

Handsome, charming, and dangerously charismatic, Logan exudes all the power and confidence of a self-made success. He listens as Dani describes her work for a charitable foundation and expresses her hope that he will donate one of his properties for a much-needed summer camp. Logan agrees, but with one shocking proviso: that Dani fulfill the intimate promise she made to him years ago. It is meant to be a coldhearted business transaction... but this time when Dani is once again compelled to leave without an explanation, nothing can keep Logan from following.

                                           My Review

I love Sandra Brown's novels. She was one of the first adult authors that I started reading back in middle and high school, and I haven't left her since. Though romance novels are not my go-to anymore, I still love going back to them when I need a break from other serious novels. Logan is definitely a charismatic character that you can't help but to like. When he finds out the real reason Dani's work means so much to her, it solidifies their relationship that much more. Dani is a cute character (not the word I'm looking for, but you get it haha). She tries so hard to resist Logan, but can't stop loving him. However, she doesn't want to reveal her secret to anyone, not even him.

One thing I don't like: the title of the book. Yes, I understand they were high school sweethearts, but I  don't think the title fits the book. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but I just don't really like it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner

The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner
Publisher: Bantom Books
Publishing Date: 2009
ISBN13: 9780553591903
462 Pages


A young mother, blond and pretty, vanishes from her South Boston home, leaving behind only one witness - her four-year-old daughter - and one suspect - her handsom, secretive husband.

From the moment Detective Sergeant D.D. Warrant arrives at the Joneses' snug little bungalow, instinct tells her that something is seriously off with the wholesome image the couple has worked so hard to create.

With the clock ticking on the life of a missing woman and a media firestorm building, D.D. must decide whether Jason Jones is hiding his guilt - or just trying to hide. But first she must stand between a potential killer and his next victim - an innocent child who may have seen too much.

                                        My Review

This book kept me interested; it was really fast-paced and I always wanted to know what happened next. Jason Jones was definitely suspicious and I found myself wondering what he would do next. I didn't see the end coming at all - interesting surprise!

However, as much as I enjoyed this book, it wasn't the best mystery/thriller I have read. And it's definitely not Lisa Gardner's best work. I can't seem to put my finger on why I didn't like it as much as others. There was just something about it. Overall, it was a good book, just not my favorite.

Buy on Amazon  Buy on Barnes and Nobles

Monday, June 3, 2013

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: 4/2/2013
ISBN13: 9780062225436
380 Pages


When Kate, a single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter.

Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension.

            Her daughter Amelia is dead.

Despondent over having been caught cheating, Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of impulsive suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. In a state of shock and overcome by grief, Kate tries to come to grips with this life-shattering news. Then she gets an anonymous text:

             Amelia didn't jump.

The moment she sees that message, Kate knows in her hear it's true. Clearly Amelia had secrets, and a life Kate knew nothing about. Wracked by guilt, Kate is determined to find out what those secrets were and who could have hated her daughter enough to kill. She searches through Amelia's e-mails, texts, and Facebook updates, piecing together the last troubled days of her daughter's life.

                                                           My Review

I really enjoyed this book and the fast pace keeps you reading! The story explores a single mother's relationship with her teenage daughter and her struggle to find out what happened to her. Kate was a very sympathetic character and I felt so bad for her as she struggled with the though that she was a bad mother. Then you read chapters from Amelia's viewpoint and she expresses that although she wished her mom was around more, she thought Kate was a great mother. Bullying is a very prominent theme in this book as well, and its interesting, but very sad, to read about the struggles Amelia had when she joins a club in school. The things Kate had to learn about her daughter's life was heart-wrenching. Any parent who loses a child so young doesn't want to learn about their struggles; they want to picture their child as they knew them: generally a happy person. But Kate has to come to terms with finding out things Amelia encountered in high school that she never knew about and therefore didn't do anything to help her.  There were so many twists and turns that I couldn't put this book down! It only took me two days to read, showing how much I couldn't stop reading. :) I can't wait to read more work from Ms. McCreight!

Buy on Amazon Buy on Barnes and Nobles