Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow Mani + Review + ARC Giveaway

girlGirl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Publish Date: September 6, 2016
Source: arc

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

This book is both beautiful and extremely hard to read. Kathleen Glasgow’s writing is pure poetic genius, and reading in her author’s note how close to home this story is for her just made it all the more powerful. Having said that, I didn’t love this book. I did like it, mostly just based on my appreciation of the writing style, but the story was hard to read for me and my marshmallow insides.

It’s always hard to review a book that I know is good, but it just wasn’t for me. I normally like books that make me cry like a baby and squirm in discomfort, but there was something about this one that left me feeling too raw. I know someone out there is going to be able to look to this book for comfort, but that just wasn’t me. That’s why I gave the book 3.5 stars and I hope it finds it’s audience well!

However, I did give 5 stars to this cover! So simple and beautiful while also telling you so much about the story itself. It also helps that it was easy to recreate on my nails 😉

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This mani was quick and easy while remaining fun! I started with a no-named nude OPI polish, that luckily for me was a little on the pinker side just like the cover. Then I used a cosmetic sponge to dab on some Onyx Black by Maybeline Color Show along the edges and in random spots across the nude. I finished with using Keep Up the Flame (also Color Show) on the edge on a cosmetic sponge to create a red line across my nails. For an accent nail I painted it all black and laid a single red line across, just to mix things up.

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Aside from the galaxy mani, this has been one of my favorites. I think using the sponge to create a distressed look is just so much fun and I’m ready to find more books covers to recreate with this technique.

Visit my Twitter, or click on the picture below, to enter my ARC giveaway! Open to US only (sorry) and ends July 5 at 12am.

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738 Days by Stacey Kade – REVIEW (+ Giveaway!)

738 Days Banner

26114333At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he’s sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?


There are two ways to read a book when you are loving it: you can either devour it in a single sitting or you can take your sweet time because you don’t want to book to end. I chose the latter when it came to 738 Days. I quickly attached to these characters and their story but wanted the story to last forever so I took my time.

738 Days is intense. Amanda is broken at the start of the story. In swoops Chase who is dreamy and has already “saved” her once. Turns out Amanda doesn’t need the saving Chase thinks, she just needs someone to help push her out of her comfort zone. I found the two of them together to be perfect. They both gave each other the patience and compassion they needed to be themselves.

The topic of 738 Days is not the easiest to tackle but Kade did a wonderful job. The story was never too dark or too light, Kade wrote on the fine line between the two and it worked perfectly. The opening of the book is dark (and possibly triggering for people) but the actual story takes place two years after the events. The book is on the longer side for a NA/romance but the pacing is so spot on that it never dragged or felt long. I actually finished wishing the book was long (because I am selfish and wanted more Chase and Amanda).

738 Days straddles many lines when it comes to genre (in my opinion). Amanda missed a chunk of her teenage years because of the incident and then there’s spent time recovering; because of this Amanda comes off young and naive at times even though she is 20. This book does contain sexual content but I think this would be appropriate for an upper YA reader. This is marketed as a New Adult (which is spot on!) but it also very appealing to adult and romance readers. Honestly, I think there are very few people this couldn’t appeal to!

738 Days is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I highly recommend picking this up if you need some something swoony or are looking for a captivating story (with awesome storytelling).

LINKS: Indiebound Amazon | B&N | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT STACEY KADE:

Stacey KadeAs an award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead.

She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and two retired racing greyhounds, SheWearsThePants (Pansy) and Shutter. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll likely find her parked in front of the television catching up on her favorite shows (Scandal, The Vampire Diaries, Almost Human, The Walking Dead, and Sherlock, among others.)

Stacey is the author of the The Ghost and the Goth trilogy (THE GHOST AND THE GOTH, QUEEN OF THE DEAD, and BODY & SOUL) and The Project Paper Doll Series (THE RULES and THE HUNT). You can find her (far too often) on Facebook and Twitter as well as http://www.staceykade.com

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr 

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

6/20: Lost In Lit – Review
6/21: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
6/22: Addicted 2 Novels – Review
6/23: What Sarah Read – Guest Post
6/24: Polished Page Turners – Review

Week 2:

6/27: Andi’s ABCs – Q&A
6/28: The Irish Banana Review – Review
6/29: That Artsy Reader Girl – Teen Heartthrobs
6/30: Jenuine Cupcakes – Review
7/1: Bookiemoji – Top 10

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of 738 DAYS (US Only)

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The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle Review

gawThe Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
Published: March 29th 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Source: purchased

Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry used to be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before—before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa…and before Annabeth was killed in a car accident.

Enter Geoff, Quinn’s best friend who insists it’s time that Quinn came out—at least from hibernation. One haircut later, Geoff drags Quinn to his first college party, where instead of nursing his pain, he meets a guy—a hot one—and falls hard. What follows is an upside-down week in which Quinn begins imagining his future as a screenplay that might actually have a happily-ever-after ending—if, that is, he can finally step back into the starring role of his own life story.

Confession time. I picked this gorgeous book up purely based on cover lust. I’m a huge movie nerd, I mean who isn’t? But I also can appreciate a good looking marquee. I do look out my bedroom window everyday and see one, after all 😉

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In reality though, I’m happy I went with my shallow heart on this one, because it was quite a story!

I love the blurb on the top that says “A Holden Caulfield for a new generation” because I got that exact vibe from Quinn; and I didn’t even see that blurb until literally right now while I was staring at this picture, once again, admiring the cover. I don’t know how I missed it before, but I’m kind of glad I did because it just proves how right it is! Fun fact: Holden Caulfield is my favorite literary character in the history of books, so I don’t mess around when comparing characters to him. There were moments where I absolutely adored Quinn and I wanted to give him the biggest hug, and then there were times where I wanted to boop his nose and tell him to stop being a total butt. All the characters in this story are great in their own way, it was easy to get attached.

I loved the characters, loved the dialogue, and adored the occasional scene written in screenplay format. I liked being inside Quinn’s head and following him on his journey to deal with the death of his sister, the loss of his father, coming out to his best friend as gay, his first love interest, and finally admitting that he is in fact, sad. For the most part I really loved this book, there were some slower moments that I could’ve lived without (for those who’ve read it I’ll just say: Ricky Devlin) but I can respect that they were important moments to Quinn.

I’m going to push this book on all or the future screen writers in my life, which is like… two, but still. I think they’ll get the same enjoyment out of it that I did, and maybe they’ll learn something about themselves! I gave this book a 4.5 out of 5, but I know for a lot of people this will be a full 5 star read.

Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts by Susan Cain Review

QuietQuiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts by Susan Cain
Published: May 3rd, 2016
Source: audiobook (Audible)

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, “Quiet “shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a “pretend extrovert.”
This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.”

THIS BOOK IS SO IMPORTANT! Extroverts, introverts, ambiverts, and those who don’t know where they fit in LISTEN UP! You should read this book, and if you really don’t want to read this book… well fine I can’t force you, but I urge you to do a little research of your own on your own ‘vert’ as well as your opposite. It’s a little bit easier for an introvert to understand why an extrovert is the way they are, but I feel like it’s harder for extroverts to understand introverts, and this book will do just that.

If it wasn’t painfully obvious by now, I’m an extreme introvert. In the beginning of this book there’s a true or false sort of test that the more you answer true the more introverted you are, the more false the more extroverted, and a healthy mix would make you an ambivert – which is someone who shows both introverted and extroverted traits and is something I learned from this book that I didn’t know before, so that’s winning! #knowledgeispower … but I digress. So I answered almost every single question true, ergo I am introverted to almost maximum level. I used to think this was a bad thing, but after this book I’m ready to celebrate my quirky introvert habits. And that’s why this book is so important, it helps you understand introverts if you aren’t one, and it will help introverts understand themselves and be proud.

This book is geared toward teens, most of the kids interviewed are from middle school or high school, but that didn’t stop me from taking away so much from it. Sometimes social life can be just as dramatic as an adult as it is for a teen in High School. However, I wish I had something like this when I was in High School, so if you’re reading this and you are a teen, have a teen, or know a teen that needs more confidence or tolerance, please give them this book! I know I said it already but I’m going to say it again: THIS BOOK IS IMPORTANT!

It’s a really quick, informative, and touching read. I gave it 5 really important stars, and I hope more people can give this book a shot.

Manicure Monday + Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley Audiobook Review

hibaudioHighly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Published: May 10th 2016 by Listening Library
Source: audiobook (Scribd)

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.
Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she s being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there?
Solomon is the answer.
Determined to fix Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they d be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.
A hilarious and heartwarming coming-of-age perfect for readers of Matthew Quick and Rainbow Rowell, “Highly Illogical Behavior” showcases the different ways in which we hide ourselves from the world and the ways in which love, tragedy, and the need for connection may be the only things to bring us back into the light.

Highly Illogical Behavior was a book that I picked up solely based on one or two people on Twitter who I saw shouting into the void about how good this book is. And bless Scribd for getting such an awesome new title so quick. One day I’ll have to make a Scribd appreciation post, cause it’s my favorite, but I’m getting off topic. Friends shout into the void, I acquire audiobook, and then I fell in love.

The characters are perfect! Solomon has his issues, but he is also a person you can’t help but gravitate toward, Clark is an adorable human who isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind, and Lisa is pure at heart – even if she does some questionable things. I love this trio and I’ll miss hanging out with them.

The story itself is brilliant. It’s thoughtful and a bit heart wrenching, while also being funny and informative. I thought I knew where things were going here, but I was wrong… and I love when I’m wrong! There’s nothing worse than a mega obvious ending. Then there is the abundance of pop culture references in this book that made my nerd heart swell. Especially the Community references, because any book that references Abed’s beautiful weirdness is an automatic A plus for me!

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I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I was going to. It was a book I pretty much blindly picked up, I had no idea what the plot was, but since that’s my usual style I wasn’t disappointed. It completely caught my feels off guard and I’m just ready to push it on everyone I know. SO READ THIS BOOK! Obviously I gave this baby 5 stars and I agree with the Goodreads synopsis when it says fans of Everything Everything and Me And Earl And The Dying Girl will enjoy this book. Now for the mani!

So, looking at this cover I was like ‘dude I can totally do that on my nails!’… but I swear I’ve gotten cocky since my galaxy mani, because let me tell you what, I’m not that good at nail art  :p

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This isn’t the worst mani in the world, but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. However I learned some things. Like just because the color is bright doesn’t mean it will look bright over a black base. Really the blue and the white are the ones that pop the most, and had the other colors looked as good as these two I think it would’ve been a success.

To create this I used a base coat of Black Matte Color Show by Maybelline (which I didn’t fully think through because after putting a top clear coat on the black wasn’t matte anymore, but oh well). Then for the colors I used Keep Up the Flame and Orange Fix both Color Show by Mabelline, Tan Lime and Blue Me Away! both Extreme Wear by Sally Hansen and then an OPI White. I used a toothpick to draw on the squiggles, and some I had to try and do upwards of three coats so they would show up.

I think with what I learned I could one day re-do this mani and make it look better. As alwaysm I had fun doing it regardless of how it looked, and I can only get better from here!

Drag Teen by Jeffery Self Review

26625420Drag Teen by Jeffery Self
Published: April 26th 2016 by Push
Source: arc

A fantastic, fabulous, funny YA debut from Jeffery Self, one of the gay icons of the YouTube generation, that follows one high school student on a drag race to his future.

Debut YA author Jeffery Self takes us on a road trip with an insecure high school senior who has one goal: to be the first in his family to leave Clearwater, Florida, and go to college. The problem is, he has zero means of paying for school — until his friends convince him to compete in a drag teen competition for a college scholarship.

When I started Drag Teen I had just finished up Kissing In America by Margot Rabb, so I was on a road-trip-to-win-a-scholarship kick; which is okay with me! I’m always down for a good road trip story, and while Drag Teen is less road trip and more and more self discovery Jeffery Self still delivered everything I was expecting to find in this book.

It’s a great friendship story, as well as a relationship story. The MC had a lot of self-pity in the beginning, and that got a little redundant, but as the story progressed he got better… or I stopped caring, either way it didn’t negatively impact the story enough for me to dislike him. I didn’t love the super fluffy everything-is-rainbows ending, but it was still a decent ending to a great story. It was also an ending, that even though I personally didn’t love, that the story deserved.

It was a very quick and fun read. There was an important message within the words, and I am all about books that make people feel ‘normal’. I know lots of teens will pull something really special out of this book and be able to apply it to their daily lives, and that’s really important! I gave Drag Teen 4 stars, and I know some teens out there are going to love it and give it all the stars!

Bravo to Jeffery Self on his debut YA, and thank you to Scholastic for reaching out to me and providing me with an arc!

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix Review

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My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Published: May 17, 2016 by Quirk Books
Source: arc

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act . . . different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

First I want to give a little back story on my horror life style. I love horror everything. I love movies, books, tv, haunted houses, ghost stories, ANYTHING! Whether it’s good or bad, I dig it. However, I’ve never been scared by anything. I’m still on the hunt for a book or movie that really spooks me (so if you know of anything, comment below!) I saw this book on the Quirk Books Instagram and had to ask for an arc. THANKS AGAIN QB!

My favorite thing about this book, aside from the demonic nature, is that it’s set in the 80’s. I’ve always wished I was born earlier in the 80’s so I could experience some of that lifestyle, but unfortunately I just caught the tail end and I was an infant so if I enjoyed it I don’t remember. So I really dig things with that 80’s feel to it, and this hit the nail on the head. It was all teased hair and loud prints and I loved it. Then came the possession.

I really enjoyed the way Grady Hendrix wrote this young girl being possessed. The story follows Abby, who is best friends with Gretchen – the one with the demon living inside her – and I like that we get to follow Abby through this totally insane story. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to have your BFF being internally raped by a demon, but this book really made me feel what Abby was feeling. It was written beautifully and with enough detail that I could practically smell the odors that come along with Gretchen’s possession.

Parts dragged on and I was just ready for them to be like ‘hey let’s try an exorcism’ but for the most part things stayed entertaining. The scenes in this book that are designed to scare you are the kinds of things I’d like to see more of in movies. I would LOVE this book to be turned into a movie. Again, it’s very difficult for me to feel scared, but for comparison sake I will say that this book was scarier than The Exorcist. So if you’re looking for a book that will make your hairs stand up and send chills down your spine, this is it!

I gave this book a 4 star review, because in my opinion it could’ve been a little shorter and still had the same impact, but I still really enjoyed it. Thanks again to Quirk Books for the arc! My Best Friend’s Exorcism is in stores as of yesterday, and I’m definitely going to be picking up this one to add to my shelf.