Book Review: Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

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Title:
Long Way Home
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication date: January 31, 2017
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


Long way home

The Thunder Road series is quite a reading addiction for me. Katie McGarry has written a group of stories about teenagers caught in the most edgy and excitable situations. The stories center on young couples that are growing up and falling in love, all while they are part of a motorcycle club family. I loved the first two books of this series, so I was so excited to finally get my hands on Long Way Home, which finally gives the much anticipated, fist-clenching, tension-building relationship between Chevy and Violet to unravel.  

Although, this was not my favorite book of the Thunder Road series, Long Way Home still captivated my attention with the character development and high-tension plot. Violet was too angsty for me, but I can very much understand where all her frustration and anger comes. And Chevy is such a good guy all around. Both characters are going through a lot family secrets and adolescent dilemmas, and I think they handle their situations the best way they can, especially as teenagers. 

Katie McGarry has become one of my favorite contemporary writers, and once again she does not disappoint with Chevy and Violet’s story. Overall, I enjoyed Long Way Home, and I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed that more stories are written in this guilty-pleasure series. 

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NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Book Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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Title:
The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Publication date: November 1, 2016
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. Nothing else.

For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial Court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


the diabolic

As an avid reader of science fiction books, I could not wait to dive into The Diabolic. However, this book did not live up to the high expectations I had for it. Overall, the book started off very slow for me but I did like the ending (no spoilers though). It took me a good 100 pages to finally enjoy the plot, and even after those pages I still felt like I was walking on eggshells every time I turned the page. Due to all the violence and what I believe to be several “unnecessary” deaths (GRRR!!!), some parts of the story made me irritated, cringe, or want to throw the book across the room.

Also, I was not a big fan of the main character, Nemesis. I cannot put my finger on it, but she just rubbed me the wrong way. For a character that was supposed to hold very “little” emotion, she was an emotional wreck and all over the place. Whenever I started to like her character, she would go and do something that made my “eyes roll.” Ugh, get it together Nemesis.

But in the end, I did not walk away from The Diabolic with regret. I mean there has to be a reason why I gave the book a 3-star rating, right? Well, you guys, I was utterly in love with the character Tyrus–a very smart and calculating person with the most swoony lines and scenes. Tyrus carried me through this book and I’m most grateful for his rebellious actions. If the book was solely told through Tyrus’ voice, I would probably have given the book 5 stars, and none for you Glen Coco…I mean Nemesis. 

Even though The Diabolic was slowly drawn out in the beginning, overall I liked where the book went in the end, and I would LOVE to read more of Tyrus in future books. 

3 star rating

My Rating: 3 out 5 Star

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I received this book as a gift from a friend and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Treat Yo Shelf & Giveaway: April 2017 Recap

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April 2017: Monthly Recap

Welcome to my monthly recap post, in which I fangirl over the books I read in the last month, bookish items I acquired, book events I attended, bookish news, and/or subscription boxes I received in the month of April.

what did I read

what did i review

(Click on the banner to be linked to blog post)

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publishers and authors

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monthly raves

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April’s Uppercase Box

 

April’s Stars Hollow Monthly Box

April’s Owlcrate Box

 

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April’s Whimsify Monthly Box

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April’s #OTSPSecretSister Package

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Purchases from Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green, Kentucky (Meet & Greet w/ authors and signings)

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Independent Bookstore Day purchases and goodies

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I am currently hosting a giveaway on my Instagram account. In order to enter, click on the picture below, which will redirect you to the Instagram giveaway and rules. Good luck!

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How did you treat your shelves in April? What books did you read and would highly recommend?

If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

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Title:
The Names They Gave Us

Author: Emery Lord
Publication date: May 16, 2017
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: e-ARC from Netgalley; physical ARC blogger exchange

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


My Rants and Raves of Emery Lord

When summer hits, my “READ ALL THE CONTEMPORARY BOOKS” alarm goes off. From there I’m in the world of swoons, tears, laughter, and sometimes heartache. And when I want to read the most realistic and heart-fulfilling contemporary book, I always turn to the QUEEN OF CONTEMPORARY WRITERS, Emery Lord. Emery Lord is one of my favorite contemporary authors, at least in my top three, so suck it (Pam Beasley quote there, sorry, I had to do it). And once again Emery’s words have made my eyes water, my heart ache, and my soul feel like it needs a giant hug. So friends and fellow book lovers, I’m going to tell you this now, Emery Lord’s The Names They Gave Us is going to put you on an emotional, reading roller coaster but luckily there is the comfort of campfires and s’mores to warm up the pages. 

One of my favorite parts about reading Emery’s books are how relatable her characters are. Once again she has created a main character, Lucy, who is realistically flawed and easy to connect with.  Throughout The Names They Gave Us, Lucy questions her motives and choices when it comes to awkward, stressful, and guarded social situations. As the daughter of a preacher, she questions God but at the same feels shameful with her intentions. Although it’s heartbreaking to a see Lucy struggle throughout the pages, it is also reassuring to see a character encounter and confront the unfair realities of life. 

I don’t want to give too much away from this book’s plot, because I honestly think, everyone will come into this book with differing world views and then leave this book with a different emotional contemplation. The Names They Gave Us is not a “cancer” book, but the novel does bring in the emotional charge that comes with cancer: a brutal black hole that inevitably swallows up happiness and light. The solidity of cancer tests the main character’s willpower, her faith, her family, her friends, and her future. In The Names They Gave Us, cancer is the driving force that sets the main character on a new path: a path that brings her to a summer camp which helps her meet a diverse group of people, adapt to new beginnings, and a new perspective on life.

At camp, Lucy is able to “people watch,” ponder and observe past lives and choices, and contemplate her own future. Overall, this novel is an emotional package about self-discovery, forming meaningful friendships, and finding ways to emotionally cope and face difficult situations. In The Names They Gave Us, Emery writes with such raw passion and puts so much courage and sincerity in her characters; in the end, she has created a story about honesty, compassion, forgiveness, and fully living. 

In The Names They Gave Us, there’s a part where the young camp counselors gather around a campfire and discuss their highs and lows of the week. So I thought I would break the rest of my review down into the high and lows of the book. The highs are my most beloved topics that the Emery Lord touches on and lows are self-explanatory.  

high ampfire talk

Biracial relationships.
Teen pregnancy.
Lucy and Henry Morris Jones IV
Stories within stories.
“Posy and the Dreaming Tree”

low campfire talk (1)

cancer sucks
Cancer Sucks!
CANCER SUCKS!
CANCER REALLY SUCKS!
CANCER REALLY, REALLY SUCKS!!!

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NOTE: Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury  for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Waiting on Wednesday: Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Today I am aiming the spotlight on…

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about the book

Title: Wesley James Ruined My Life
Author: Jennifer Honeybourn
Publication date: July 18, 2017
Publisher:  Swoon Reads
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Quinn Hardwick’s having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a home, her dad’s gambling addiction has flared back up and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend—until he ruined her life, that is.

So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn’s going to do is forgive and forget. She’s determined to remove him from her life and even the score all at once—by getting him fired.

But getting rid of Wesley isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to just get over it.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository

RAVES

  • How cute is this cover? There’s definitely a lot of COVER LOVE here! Instant-buy!

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  • The main character is working at a medieval England themed restaurant?! AHHH…SIGN ME UP!!! 

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  • Sounds like an enemies to friends/lovers trope is brewing in this book, which is one of my favorite swoony tropes to read. Think of all the burning, witty banter that could happen in this book. *SWOONS*

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Top Ten Tuesday: Things On My Reading Wishlist

HOSTED by The Broke and the Bookish


This week’s topic is…

Top Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist

  1. Jane Eyre retellings. Because it’s my all-time favorite book and I think there should be more retellings of it.
  2. Young Adult books set in the 1980s. I’ve been rewatching The Carrie Diaries on Netflix, and I just love this series from the characters to the clothing to the music (and everything that screams 1980s!)
  3. Books about bookish people. I love reading about characters that are in love with books as much as I am. BOOK LOVE should definitely be promoted more. 
  4. Books set in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. The Cincinnati tri-state is my home, and I would love to see more books take place in this setting.
  5. Young Adult characters starting college. College is a huge life transition for young adults and I hate that it’s rarely written about in the young adult genre.
  6. More books written by Erin Morgenstern. I adored The Night Circus and I’ve been patiently waiting for more words and worlds to be written by Morgenstern for a very long time! 
  7. More enemies to lovers/friends. I don’t know what it is about this trope, but I always want to read more of it. 
  8. More Young Adult magical realism books. In the last few years, magical realism has been my favorite genre to read, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this genre pop up throughout the next few years. 
  9. Victorian Period romances. The Victorian period is my favorite era to study and read, so of course I want more swoony books to take place in this setting.
  10. More standalones or duologies. I like trilogies, but sometimes when a series is 4, 5, or even 8 books long…it’s just ridiculous. 

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: THE LIBRARIAN by Christy Sloat

 

Today Christy Sloat and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for THE LIBRARIAN, which releases June 17, 2017! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win some awesome swag!

On to the reveal!

Title: THE LIBRARIAN
Author: Christy Sloat
Pub. Date: June 17, 2017
Publisher: CHBB Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 230
Find it: Goodreads

 

He’s from 1892 England, she’s in a small library in 2017. And that’s just the start of their troubles.

Emme never meant to stay in Maine. She’d come only to find a librarian for her Gram’s library, a custodian for the collection of mysterious books she’d promised to protect. On a dark, wintery night, alone in the library, she takes her first glance into one of the antique novels and finds herself transported to 1892 England staring into the eyes of handsome and dashing hero Jack Ridgewell. As each chapter passes she learns you can truly fall in love with a character in a book, that book boyfriends are real and Emme must choose between the real world, and his.

When the last page is read he’s gone and Emme feels the cold loneliness of lost love. Will she find Jack again, or will their love be forever lost? The answer lies within the pages…

Exclusive Excerpt!
The Librarian excerpt
© Christy Sloat
 
I bent down on my hands and knees and felt along the floor hoping not to touch anything gross. My hands grazed something odd. I felt along its edges. It was hard and didn’t seem to belong there. Now my curiosity had me crouching in the dark trying to figure out what this was. Finally I found the flashlight and clicked it on. Focusing the light, I saw the odd thing sticking up like a broken piano key. It was a floorboard upended. I pushed it to get it back into place, but all that did was make it fly up further and then completely out of the floor.
 
“Well, that’s just great,” I told myself.
 
I was here in the dark talking to myself. I dared to take a look into the floor, hoping not to find a rat family living inside or a web housing a large spider. I did find something, but it wasn’t sinister; it was a set of books in a case covered in plastic wrap. Reaching in, I pulled them out. The dust on it was at least three inches thick. This must be the special book collection Gram told me to read and to keep safe. Anything that was precious to her, she hid—like the money I found pinned to her clothing in her closet, or the other jewelry she had taped to the back of her dresser.
 
I brushed the dust off and opened the plastic to find four books inside. They were pretty good in size and looked to be in great condition. They didn’t have traditional covers that you’d see in a bookstore. Instead they were covered in a thick material to keep the books clean and the binding solid. I pulled the first book from the case and placed the others back into the hole. Covering it back with the loose board was easier than taking it out. I held the book close, and instead of going upstairs I went to my book nook. I had just washed the blankets the day before. Cozied up in the nook, I stared out the window one last time before opening the book. I decided I would only read for a little while before going up to bed. Gram did want me to read them after all.
 
I opened the first page to the title page; it was blank. I flipped the page and snuggled deeper into the blankets preparing to read the first chapter and that’s when things changed. 

About Christy: 

I am Southern California native, now living in New Jersey! How did that happen? I am married and have  two beautiful little girls who love to read just like Mommy. I have had a passion for books since I was a little girl and an imagination for just as long. I hope my books can inspire others to read and to write too. 

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Instagram | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

5 winners will receive a THE LIBRARIAN Magnet, US Only.

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