Pax by Sara Pennypacker Review

22098550Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Published: February 2, 2016 by Balzar + Bray
Source: Purchased

Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.

I bought this book because there is the cutest picture of a fox on the cover. I also heard amazing things about it, and it was on an employee rec shelf at Parnassus Books in Tennessee… so there were just a lot of things jumping out at me saying BUY THIS BOOK! And there are no regrets.

First chapter is told from Pax’s POV. Yes, the foxes point of view. The book flip flops from fox to boy and it’s magic. But the first chapter is heart destroying. Peter and his father are driving to the woods because Peter has to give Pax up while he goes to live with his grandfather. Having to read Pax sit in the car with his human, who is crying because he about to lose his beloved pet, but there’s nothing Pax can do to comfort him, and then they stop and leave Pax in the woods where he’s retrieving his toy that Peter throws to play fetch with him everyday, IS THE WORST! I know none of that sentence even made any sense, but that’s how my brain feels. I made the mistake of reading this while in public and I was sobbing. I got misty eyed at least once in every chapter. This book is beautifully written and I am going to push it on every fellow fox lover I know.

While I was in the middle of reading Pax I also listened to an audio book for a short story by George Saunders called Fox 8. They both had similar themes, of how us as humans are destroying this planet and the innocent precious beasts that live here, and I love them both so so much. Fox 8 also made me sob like a neglected baby, but for different reasons. Foxes are amazing guys, and I’m now on a mission to find any and every story that has a fox  in it, especially if the fox is the MC. So if you have any recs, please leave in the comments 😉

The illustrations are amazing too. Jon Klassen (who I recognized from I Want My Hat Back – cute story) is fantastic! Over all everything about Pax is beautiful and if it wasn’t already obvious I gave it five stars! Read Pax, you will cry, but you won’t regret it.

Advertisements

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

26116473The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Published: May 3rd 2016 by HarperCollins
Source: arc

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice but to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?

In this breakneck tale, New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight brilliantly chronicles a fateful journey that begins with a single decision—and ends up changing everything.

I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of a chicken when it comes to writing reviews for books I didn’t like. I usually avoid it just because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but that’s not a good reason. Publisher’s expect honest reviews, and that’s what I’m here to do.

I know that sounded like a negative intro, but keep in mind that I don’t hate this book, and I know someone out there is going to read and adore this book, it just wasn’t for me. It was very slow to start and I found myself wanting to skip forward to get to the “good” stuff, but it never got there. There was potential for this to be a good mystery, and there were some twists that got me, but the biggest problem for me was the stacked twists that were giving me whiplash. I’m not even kidding. There was hardly anytime to recover from a twist before another one was thrown into the mix.

There were a lot of things I didn’t like about this book, but I want to end here on a high note. I mentioned it was slow to start, but once it got there it was fast-paced and had a lot of good action. Wylie and Jasper are doing everything they can to rescue their friend Cassie, and thei loyalty was impressive. I believe there will be plenty of people who are into the fast-paced twist-after-twist narrative that The Outliers have to offer, but for myself it’s a 2 star read.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Review + Giveaway

23734628Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Published: February 25th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Source: Purchased 

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

Reading Fangirl, I was all about Cather and Levi. The Simon Snow stuff was fun, but I was more distracted by a tall barista bringing Cath white chocolate mochas, aka the most delicious Sbucks drink on the planet, therefore Levi is the perfect man in my eyes. Point is, when I found out Rainbow was writing Carry On, I was pumped for more Rainbow, but unsure of the content as I am not a lover of the one called Harry Potter. However, I tend to put a lot of faith in the authors I adore, and if they said they were going to write a journal logging their bowl movements I would be like “YEAH I’M PUMPED FOR THAT!” because I believe in support. A good support system will take you far, and until any of these amazing authors do something truly awful, they will never lose my support. I’m rambling… the long-story-short version is this: I was excited for more Rainbow and skeptical about the story. In the end I came out with a new favorite ship who I will covet until the day I die. My name is Kylie, and I am SnowBaz trash.

Super-amazing-totally-delicious-gay-shipping aside, this book was amazing. Rainbow is so freaking talented that my mind literally wants to explode when I think about it. She was able to take some snippets of info that we learned in between the chapters of Fangirl and make one book that was supposed to be the last book in a ‘series’ and, I personally, felt like I had known these characters forever; that I had been reading about Simon and Baz’s rivalry for years. All of this in one book. It was amazing.

My favorite part of Carry On, besides the SnowBaz of it all, was the spells. Pure. Genius. I mean come ON! “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” as a diversion spell and “Scooby Dooby Doo where are you?” as a finding spell! Even the ones that weren’t pop-culture references, like “Cat got your tongue” as a muting spell and “Fine tooth comb” as a searching text spell, are just genius. I enjoyed the spells almost as much as I enjoyed Simon and Baz’s first kiss ❤ #onloveslightwings

I don’t think I’ll ever love a ship as much as I love my sweet gay wizards. I have a looooong list of ships I cry over, but even the mention of SnowBaz makes me starts blushing and giggling and I just can’t hold back the mushy tears. I love those boys, and I was so excited when Katie said we have a hardcover copy of Carry On to giveaway and I could post about my feels! So be sure to enter and I hope you love this story just as much as I do!

giveaway

For more giveaways from our month-long blogoversary click HERE! Stay tuned for more!!

His Country Bride by Debra Holt Review

HCB Banner

HIS COUNTRY BRIDE is a sweet, quick read that I really enjoyed! Sometimes you need some light fluff in your life to make you smile. Plus there is a dog that you will instantly fall in love with.

The plot grabbed me right away. Right away we are introduced to Ellie as she is burning her wedding dress in her underwear. You know her ex-fiancé has done wrong because why else would she be burning her dress? Our dear Sheriff is very curious for various reasons. I mean hello gorgeous woman in her underwear but also slightly drunk woman burning clothing.

The plot keeps moving from there. There are a few small secrets that Ellie and Lucas both are keeping from each other but overall everything is very sweet. Every once in awhile I need to take a break from my tragic characters and just read about two people falling in love and HIS COUNTRY BRIDE really filled that quota.

I really enjoyed both Ellie and Lucas as characters. Each of them are hesitant to get into a relationship for different reasons but they can’t help feel the pull to be around each other. Lucas is a very protective person in part because of his job but also his southern gentleman-ness takes over and does what he can when trouble comes knocking at Ellie’s door. This book didn’t have too much in the sexual tension department BUT these two shared some steamy kisses (but also precious kisses on a porch swing 🙂 ).

I recommend HIS COUNTRY BRIDE if you are looking for a quick, cute love story that will make you smile.

His Country Bride cover 19mar2016_blurbs-1

ABOUT HIS COUNTRY BRIDE:

Sheriff’s Department! Raise your hands above your head and don’t move.’

She’s a runaway bride who left her two-timing fiance at the altar. He’s a county sheriff determined to keep the peace in his country and leave city girls alone after his own fiance left him for the bright lights of the city. Neither of them planned on running straight into each other…over a burning wedding dress.

Ellie and Lucas planned on never trusting their hearts to love again. When danger follows her from the city, the sheriff must do his duty to protect her. However, it isn’t long before he discovers the real danger may be to his heart. Ellie just might teach him that even a city girl can be a country girl at heart.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon

BOOK TRAILER:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V_gRwpbrLg&app=desktop

Debra HoltABOUT DEBRA HOLT:

Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).

Debra’s real pride and joys, however, are her son, an aspiring film actor, and a daughter with aspirations to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (more story ideas!) When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary western romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs… to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.

Debra invites you to visit her website at www.debraholtbooks.com. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at debraholtbooks@gmail.com.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
4/4: The Irish Banana Review
4/5: Emily Reads Everything
4/6: In Wonderland
4/7: Life According to a Bibliophile
4/8: Emilie’s Book World

Week 2:
4/11: Kimberly Faye Reads
4/12: Polished Page Turners
4/13: Books Are Love
4/14: Silk & Serif
4/15: Who R U Blog

Thank you so much to Hannah of Irish Banana and Tulip Romance for a copy of HIS COUNTRY BRIDE for review!

Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry Review (+ giveaway!)

Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry
Published: March 29th 2016 by Harlequin TEEN
Source: Purchased 

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds.

Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he’ll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she’ll help him seek answers to the mystery that’s haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they’re both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they’re going from here.

Once again Katie knocks it out of the park. I loved book 1 of the Thunder Road series and was anxious to pick up WALK THE EDGE. There weren’t as many twists as book one but this one still had a plot that kept me reading and wondering what was going on.

WALK THE EDGE has the same set-up as all of Katie’s books where it is told in duel POV of a male and female. Katie always creates unique voices for each of her characters. I love this part of her books because we can get inside both characters heads but we can also see how each character can stand on his or her own.

As great as these characters are on their own, I absolutely loved Breanna and Razor together. I always start one of Katie’s book a bit curious how the couple will meet because she usually pairs together two people who run in different social circles. Quiet Breanna ends up softening Razor to where he can be more open where as Razor pushes Breanna to be just a bit tougher in a few places. Together they create a good balance.

One of my favorite things about Katie’s writing is the pacing! Everything is fast paced where you find yourself not wanting to put the book down. I would sit down to read a chapter or two and find myself still reading 100 pages later. Her stories grab you quickly and don’t let up until the last page.

I highly, highly recommend picking this one up! I think this one would appeal more to people who didn’t find book 1 as enjoyable as Katie’s other series because it isn’t as focused on the motorcycle club and it’s hierarchy/rules as book 1 (but both are still important to the plot of this book but not as in your face as book 1).

Book Buy Links:

 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg
About the Author:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You, Take Me On, Breaking the Limits, and Nowhere But Here and the e-novellas “Crossing the Line” and “Red at Night.”

Her debut YA novel Pushing the Limits was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, an RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. Dare You To was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Author Links:

GIVEAWAY!

Today I am giving away a SIGNED set of Thunder Road novels. One winner will get a signed copy of Nowhere but Here AND a signed copy of Walk the Edge. This one will be open Internationally. Click through to find out how to enter.

Untitledhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs (Review + giveaway!)

FUTURE SHOCK

FutureShock_CVR-1

Title: FUTURE SHOCK

Author: Elizabeth Briggs

Release Date: April 1, 2016

Publisher: AW Teen

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life–or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she’ll be set for life.

Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates.

Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.


I love all of Elizabeth Briggs’ New Adult books so I was super stoked when I found out she had a YA coming out! Her NA feature realistic characters so I was excited to see her dive into sci-fi. 

This novel is definitely fast paced, which is always a plus for me for sci-fi. My galley formatting was a bit off so it didn’t have the correct chapter breaks but I found myself not wanting to stop (and since I didn’t have the chapter breaks to stop me I kind of just binged most of the novel in a single sitting). Right away we are thrown into the time travel aspect, which I didn’t have a problem with and the science makes sense! Then again if time travel were real and someone tried to explain it to me, I know I wouldn’t understand so I accept any explanation that half way makes sense (don’t worry this one makes total sense!!) My only small compliant here is that none of the characters got any kind of training. Personally if I was about to time travel I would want some kind of training. I wasn’t expecting much but they time traveled almost right after they found out it existed.

One thing I have always loved about Elizabeth’s novels is her characters and they definitely did not disappoint! Our main character is Elena and she is smart, kickass and fierce. She is originally recruited because of her eidetic memory but quickly proves she is also useful for her incredible street smarts and quick thinking on her feet. We have a colorful cast of side characters that each bring their own talents to the table. Right away I expected each character to fit into the mold that they were recruited for but each one proves their skill set useful in more than one situation.

The story kept flowing and was fast paced. Once again I loved Elizabeth’s storytelling. There were a few plot twists here and there that really kept me question HOW WILL THIS END? Overall I really enjoyed this one and highly reccomend to anyone who enjoys a fast paced, action packed story. I cannot wait to read more YA from Elizabeth!!

About Elizabeth:

briggs_elizabethElizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology, currently mentors teens in writing, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She’s the author of the new adult Chasing The Dream series and the upcoming young adult novel Future Shock. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of fluffy dogs. You can connect with her online at:www.elizabethbriggs.net

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a finished copy of FUTURE SHOCK, US Only

Untitled

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
3/21/2016- The Cover Contessa Interview
3/22/2016- U.S. – Brazil Book Review– Review
3/23/2016- A Dream Within A Dream– Guest Post
3/24/2016- Andi’s ABCs– Review
3/25/2016- Two Chicks on Books Interview

Week Two:
3/28/2016- Polished Page-Turners– Review
3/29/2016- Addicted Readers– Guest Post
3/30/2016- 125Pages– Review
3/31/2016- Owl Always Be Reading– Interview
4/1/2016- Rachel’s Book Reviews– Review

Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah by Erin Jade Lange

25582820Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah by Erin Jade Lange
Pub date: February 16th 2016 by Bloomsbury
Source: arc

“The Breakfast Club” gets a modern, high-stakes reboot in this story of four very different teens and a night that changes them forever.

The Rebel: Once popular, Andi is now a dreadlocked, tattooed wild child.
The Bully: York torments everyone who crosses his path, especially his younger brother.
The Geek: Tired of being bullied, Boston is obsessed with getting into an Ivy League college.
The Pariah: Choosing to be invisible has always worked for Sam . . . until tonight.

When Andi, York, Boston, and Sam find themselves hiding in the woods after a party gets busted by the cops, they hop into the nearest car they see and take off—the first decision of many in a night that will change their lives forever. By the light of day, these four would never be caught dead together, but when their getaway takes a dangerously unpredictable turn, sticking together could be the only way to survive.

With cinematic storytelling and compelling emotional depth, critically acclaimed author Erin Jade Lange takes readers on literary thrill ride.

I was sold on this book when it said it had a Breakfast Club vibe. I’m down for anything resembling that truly amazing movie. I definitely agree that there was that tone, but I didn’t adore it as much as I do the movie. Part of me wants to say I wish it was told from a different POV, but at the same time I can’t decide whose would’ve been better… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Rebel Bully Geek Pariah gives us 4 characters who are unlikely to be hanging out together and puts them into a situation where they really have no choice. Although two of them (the geek, Boston and the bully, York) are brothers, so really they probably see each other all the time. I kind of wish they weren’t brothers.

The whole story is told from Sam’s POV (the pariah) and she hasn’t had the greatest life – hence the pariah part. This poor girl went through some shit, and while she’s the only one that can easily walk away from the situation at any given moment she chooses to stay with her strange new group, because what else is she going to do? I say that I kind of wish the whole story wasn’t solely Sam’s POV because there were times where she just got too depressing. But, either of the boys POV’s wouldn’t have worked, and Andi (the rebel) wouldn’t have been much better either. But maybe a healthy mix of all four of them would’ve been entertaining? We see a lot of backstory from Sam, and it’s important backstory – which I’m convinced that’s why it’s told from her POV – but there was just something missing with her being our only voice.

I still really enjoyed the book. The POV was really my only complaint. The story is compelling, the characters are great, and the end is so satisfying I smiled for days; and also cried but is that a surprise? This is me we’re talking about. When I don’t cry, or at least tear up, in a book, then I have to drop it down to at least 3 stars. But I digress.

This book was a great buddy ensemble adventure, with a hint of cutesy romance, and all my favorite hints from The Breakfast Club, including my fave when Claire gives allison a makeover to impress Andrew. SO CUTE! Or the bag topic. GAH! I love it so much.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who shares my admiration for The Breakfast Club (which it’s a little weird if you don’t) or just any suspenseful teen drama. I gave Rebel Bully Geek Pariah 4 stars and hope that you pick it up when it hits shelves later this month!