Write On Review-a-Thon 2/27 - 2/28


I'll be participating for the third time in the Write On Review-a-Thon!

The Write On review-a-thon is a monthly event created and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. It’s a duration of time dedicated to getting reviews done, whether you have one review to write or 30+. This edition of the review-a-thon takes place all day ll day Friday, February 27th and Saturday, February 28th. Let’s get those reviews done!

Books to be reviewed:

Untraceable by S.R. Johannes
On the Run by I-Lanaa Twine
Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman
Once Upon A Road Trip by Angela N. Blount
Hover by Melissa West
Collide by Melissa West
The Truth About Faking by Leigh Talbert Moore


Since I'm starting a bit late, I'm thinking that if I manage to write at least three reviews, I'll consider this review-a-thon a success. Wish me luck! 

Book Review: Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear

Title: Julia, Child
Author: Kyo Maclear
Genre: Childrens book
Publisher:  Tundra Books
Published: December 31, 2013
Page count: 32
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Summary:

Julia and Simca are two young friends who agree that you can never use too much butter -- and that it is best to be a child forever. Sharing a love of cooking and having no wish to turn into big, busy people who worry too much and dawdle too little, they decide to create a feast for growing and staying young. A playful, scrumptious celebration of the joy of eating, the importance of never completely growing up, and mastering the art of having a good time, "Julia, Child" is a fictional tale loosely inspired by the life and spirit of the very real Julia Child - a story that should be taken with a grain of salt and a generous pat of butter.


 *The Chef's Review*

     My rating: 5/5 stars


I loved it.

This has to be one of the most charming children's book I have ever read. It's colorful, light and adorable. The first thing that drew my attention was the name since I am a fan of Julia Child and the second thing was the cover, it is simply sweet. I can really picture myself buying this book for my little cousins.

It all starts with a couple of girls, named Julia and Simca, that share the love of cooking and understand the importance of how a good meal can do wonders to people. They wished to never grow old knowing that becoming an adult would mean to be busy, hectic and always worried. Their plan was to come up with recipes to stay forever young and offer a feast to adults so they would want to remember how much better is to not worry and live life as best they could...

I completely agree with them! So I made a plate of petits fours to honor Julia and Simca and join their cause. I made a peach compote as mentioned in the book. I found it quite pleasant, and you can find the recipe I used here.    ;)



The Week's Entrée #52

Hi! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

Last week was a slow one for me. I had exams and extra studying to do since I'm going to a national competition, but I managed to finish Collide by Melissa West (epic series-ender btw). But anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful start of the week and you get to read wonderful books. I'm crossing my fingers to have one too ;)

*****
Books I Got Last Week:
{For review}
From Netgalley, authors, etc.



Thanks go out to Entangled Teen for the review copies of Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman (so good!) and Red by Alyxandra Harvey. Awesome titles. I also managed to snag a copy of Undertow by Michael Buckley as a Read-Now opp on Netgalley. *Yay!*

Currently Reading:

 

This week I'm reading contemporary books! Already mid-way through Lola Carlyle's and I'm loving it so far. Next is The Truth About Faking by Leigh T. Moore. I'll be swooning all week <3

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you reading this week? :)

That's What HE Said Thursday #34: Ash from The Iron King


That's what HE said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Chapter Break where you post a favorite line of a book boyfriend to his girl. It's the perfect meme to share all those awesome quotes!

   Today's quote is from Ash of The Iron King  by Julie Kagawa! 
                                           


                                 Quote:


     He shook his head, examining the wound again. "It's not frostbitten," he muttered. It'll blister, but you should be fine. you might only lose a couple fingers."
   I glanced at him sharply, but he was smirking. For a moment, I was speechless. Good God, the Ice Prince was making jokes now; the world must be ending.


                   
-Ash to Meghan



This is my favorite quote from Ash to Meghan in the first book of the Iron Fey Saga. It's not very romantic, but I find it pretty amusing that even the cold princeling shows a sense of humor from time to time ;)

Book Review: Beautifully Broken by Kira Adams

Title: Beautifully Broken
Author: Kira Adams
Series: Infinite Love #3
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date:  June 5th, 2014
Page Count: 255 pages
Format: eBook
Source: From author in exchange of an honest review


Summary:
Jacqueline Blunt hasn’t had an easy life. In fact, she’s had anything but. From a drug addicted mother to being bounced around in foster care, Jacqueline longed for one thing—normalcy. Lee Bennett had everything he could ever want—girls falling all over him, a dream job, money. The one thing he was missing? Passion. 

Sometimes the ones worth fighting for don’t know their worth. Sometimes being broken is beautiful. This is a story of strength, courage, hope, faith, and love. This is Beautifully Broken.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
I was rather hesitant to read Beautifully Broken since I had a lot of trouble connecting with one of the main characters of its predecessor, My Forever. I like connecting with them and said character turned out to be one extremely hard to like. Fortunately, I didn't have trouble liking the characters of Beautifully Broken. They were far better written and I liked how they are so intense and passionate.

Jacqueline & Lee are both interesting characters with personal demons, and once they get together, the chemistry is just there, like if they were meant to be for each other all along. We get to meet them in My Forever, but we don't really get to know them until this book. 

Jacqueline is a troubled teenager who has struggled getting along with life, what with her drug-addicted mother on prison and being forced to live as a foster child. Lee, on the other hand, is a rich young man going from girl to girl trying to forget the one he lost. When Maddy and Parker decide to set them up, they agree only because they want to forget the fleeting relationships they had with them two, but as they meet, sparks fly and finally, they're no longer alone in the emotional roller-coaster they call Life.

What I liked about Jacqueline and Lee's story is that I felt their emotions and all their heartbreak even though I've never come close to experiencing what they have been through. I think I understand them, though I wish these characters would have tried to be more open about a few things. Like Lee, for example, I believe his part of the story was a bit less clear than Jaqueline's.

The ending was a little too much for my liking since I don't like my characters moving too fast in their relationships, but I guess it depends on the way you look at it. Despite that, Beautifully Broken turned out to be an enjoyable read.

The Week's Entrée #51

Hi! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

Guess what, you guys?! This Thursday I'll be co-hosting #K8Chat on Twitter! #K8Chat is a weekly chat that takes place every Thursday at 9pm EST where authors and readers alike get together for an hour to chat about any topic of the bookish world. This chat was created by my awesome friend Kate Tilton and it is always crazy fun.


This week's chat I'll be talking about PRINCES! Yup, you heard me. I'll be swooning and fangirling for a whole hour about my favorite Book Princes. I cannot wait! I hope you can join me and bring along a royal guy as your date. I'll also be giving away a gift card there *wink*.

And speaking about giveaways, there are many going on right now in here. Have you entered them all? You should also check out the twitter giveaway Stolen Songbird's fanbase account (@StolenSongbird) is doing. I'll leave the link here just in case *whistles innocently*.

Book reviews in other sites:

I reviewed Florence by Ciye Cho at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers

This was my first mermaid book, can you believe it? It was a great read, quite different to what I'm used to, especially concerning the setting and characters.

Here's the book's summary:

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand–and find out where she belongs–Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart… and her very soul.

*****
Books I Got Last Week:
{For review}
From Netgalley, authors, etc.

 

Thanks, Entangled Teen <3 I was crossing my fingers to get The Thorn and the Sinking Stone. Doesn't it look so cool? / The amazing Ciye Cho sent me the sequel to Florence! Another book I can't wait to read soon.

{Purchased/Loaned}


I bought the second book in The Taking series by Melissa West because damn, this series is a killer one. Already read it! And my friend Kate Tilton, loaned me her kindle copy of The Truth About Faking. She rocks! Can't wait to read it.

{Won}


That's right, I won this awesomeness! A signed Hardcover of Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond, a brand new Kindle Paperwhite preloaded with another copy of Girl on a Wire AND the custom kindle cover. Am I lucky, or what? :D (Btw, I won this like 4 months ago and it just got here. Thought it would never come!)

Currently Reading:



I'm currently reading Collide by Melissa West. This is the third and final book in The Taking series. I'm so excited and afraid to what might happen. I hope I get a HEA.  

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you reading this week? :)

Valentine's Day Guest Post + Signed Giveaway!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have a wonderful day full of love and books. Oh, and chocolate & cakes too! <3 

 Today, I have something super sweet to share with you all. Maureen O'Leary Wanket, author of The Arrow (Children of Brigid Trilogy) decided to stop by The Reader and the Chef to share about her favorite romantic lines from a few of her favorite book boyfriends!

So, without further ado, read on and prepare to be swooned!


That’s What He Said

I don’t remember the joke my high school boyfriend told me that one day years ago. But I will never forget what he said to me as I laughed.

“Your smile could bring on spring,” he said, revealing in one sentence the meaning of everything that was happening between us.

Reader, I married him.

In books as in life, one good romantic line can cut right to the heart. I’m not talking pick-up lines, or the seductions of a smooth operator. I’m talking open heart surgery, confession, truth. For the best lines, look to male characters written by female authors in the nineteenth century:

“It alters the whole of life for me.” –Newland Archer in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence says this to Ellen Olenska, talking about the revelation of their doomed love. He’s never happy again. Romantic love is not for sissies.

Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you." –In Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Captain Wentworth says this to Anne Elliot.  In a letter.  Time to melt now.

Since we’re talking Jane Austen, this is what Mr. Knightley says to Emma as he proposes marriage to her: I cannot make speeches, Emma. If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.”  This line is amazing because it’s so raw, so naked. He stands before a woman for whom he knows he holds no mystery, so in love that he can barely speak of it.

From Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Heathcliff says to Catherine’s spirit: Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you—haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe—I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!” Then her face shows up in the windows and freaks him out.  Nothing says love like a haunting on the windy moors.

Since all of my examples up until now have been from men written by women over a hundred years ago, I present to you a young man written by a male author:

“It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” So says Augustus Waters to Hazel Graze, in John Green’s A Fault in Our Stars. Sometimes a book gets so popular that you forget that it is a genius exploration of romantic love, both timeless and occurring within a specific time and place.

Gus balances masculine initiative with intelligent courtesy. This is a romantic hero worthy of the ages. This is a high school boyfriend who would have definitely grown up to be an excellent husband, if he could.

Sigh. Augustus.

What are your favorite romantic lines in books?

*****
*Sigh* Isn't it lovely? My heart just swelled double in size. Thanks so much, Maureen! I love all these characters, especially Augustus Waters and Mr. Knightely. <3

One of my favorite lines would have to be from Mr. Darcy, of course:

"In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

I love him.

*****

About Maureen O'Leary

Writer and educator Maureen O'Leary, author of the novels The Arrow and How to Be Manly, lives in Sacramento, California.

Maureen loves African dance and drumming, working out in old-school gyms, and reading other people's books. She's proud to call herself a believer in faeries, storytellers, goddesses, rock star gods, magic, destiny, and the healing power of love.

Enter the rafflecopter below to win:

* A signed copy of  The Arrow kindly donated by the author (US only) 
*And, a $5 Amazon GC (open internationally)

 

Giveaway ends on February 21st at 11:59 pm (EST) and two winners will be chosen. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

ARC Review: One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin

Title: One of the Guys
Author: Lisa Aldin
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date:  February 10th, 2015
Page Count: 320 pages
Format: eARC
Source: From publisher via Netgalley


Summary:
Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She'll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she's sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.

Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service. 

But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends--the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she's built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.  
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars

Oh my cuteness! I liked this book so much ♥ One of the Guys is the kind of book perfect for a late afternoon or Friday night read to make you feel light and have butterflies flying around your stomach.

This book tells the story about a girl who's best friends with three boys and is a tomboy true and true. She doesn't like wearing skirts or makeup, and if you ever ask her what she likes to do in her afternoons, she would probably say that hang out with her boys down at the lake looking for monsters. But when a prank doesn't go according to plan, Toni is forced to start her senior year of high school in an all-girls school, a place that makes her wear skirts and demands she act more lady-like, and to top it all off, no more hanging out with her boys. However, after she tries to help out a new friend, she accidentally opens a business where she rents her guy friends for fake dates for those "in need". In other words, a business that screams disaster.

I had a lot of fun reading this book, especially when it gets to the part where Tonya starts setting up the fake dates and starts hanging out with her new girl friend. I was half-expecting every one of the dates would end up in disaster, but most of them were a hit, making it a blooming business.

Tonya's character is one I had some trouble liking at first since she was a bit too much of a tomboy for my liking. I mean, I'm okay with the wearing boy shorts and no makeup stuff, but I didn't like how she was always burping or thinking about scratching her butt. She wasn't a character I wanted to hang around with, but thankfully, once she started hanging out with Emma, she brought her boyish personality down a notch. She's quite cool, smart and so nice once she realizes she can hang around guys, like boy stuff, and be a bit girlie at the same time.

The whole drama inside this book, besides the rent-a-gent business, is how Tonya's friendship with the guys is affected. Everyone grows distant, misunderstandings arise, and feelings that weren't there before soon come to the surface. Oh, this is when the really good stuff comes in. Three words: Best Friends Romance!

I loved Loch/Micah & Tonya as a couple. It took forever for them to kiss or even admit their feelings towards each other. It was a scary step for both, but it was all worth it in the end. 
I read what he wrote on my cast in his sloppy boy-writing: My sincerest apologies. I look up. Before his lips link with mine, Loch adds, "I have to break the promise I made. About avoiding, you know, change between us?"

 So.Darn.Cute.

Bottom line is: I really recommend One of the Guys. I believe it's a great addition to the contemporary genre and it's quite an enjoyable read. You should read it ;)

Some Fine Day by Kat Ross Launch Giveaway

Hey guys! In celebration of Some Fine Day's launch this February 17th, Kat Ross is offering an epic giveaway!
What's up for grabs:
Grand Prize: Kindle Paperwhite with custom cover, preloaded with Some Fine Day
Second Prize (2): Signed copy of Some Fine Day
Third Prize (2): CD audiobook of Some Fine Day

Isn't it awesome?! Before you enter the rafflecopter at the end of this post, read a bit about this amazing book I LOVED (read my review here). Seriously, you have to check it out. 



Some Fine Day by Kat Ross
YA Dystopian / Skyscape
 February 17th, 2015 
A generation ago, continent-sized storms called hypercanes caused the Earth to flood. The survivors were forced to retreat deep underground and build a new society.
This is the story that sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist has heard all of her life.
Jansin grew up in a civilization far below the Earth’s surface. She’s spent the last eight years in military intelligence training. So when her parents surprise her with a coveted yet treacherous trip above ground, she’s prepared for anything. She’s especially thrilled to feel the fresh air, see the sun, and view the wide-open skies and the ocean for herself.
But when raiders attack Jansin’s camp and take her prisoner, she is forced to question everything she’s been taught. What do her captors want? How will she get back underground? And if she ever does, will she want to stay after learning the truth?




About the author:

Kat Ross was born and raised in New York City and worked several jobs before turning to journalism and creative writing. An avid traveler and adventurer, she now lives with her family—along with a beagle, a ginger cat, and six fish—far enough outside the city that skunks and deer wander through her backyard.
You can find Kat on Twitter and her website.




Good luck! Contest ends March 7th and  is open US only (sorry internationals :/)

The Week's Entrée #50

Hi! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

We are finally in the week of love, guys! What are your plans on the coming Valentine's day?Me? I have a date with a great book and a cake! Wow, things haven't changed much from last year, LOL. Anyhoo... I hope you all have a wonderful week full of love <3

Oh, and before I forget, don't go anywhere before entering the giveaways on the sidebar. They are so cool and I'm pretty jelly at whoever gets to win them. ;)

Book reviews in other sites:

I reviewed Four: The Transfer by Veronica Roth at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers

I have FOUR's ebook, the one that contains the four novellas of the Divergent Trilogy, but I thought I'd check out the first one seperately. It was a good read :)

Here's the novella's summary:

Fans of the Divergent series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be captivated by “Four: The Transfer,” the first of four stories, each between fifty and seventy-five pages long, set in the world of Divergent and told from Tobias’s perspective.

In “The Transfer,” readers witness Tobias’s aptitude test, Choosing Day, and the moment he is given the infamous nickname “Four.”
*****
Books I Got Last Week:
{For review}
From Netgalley, authors, etc.

 


These were all "Read Now" books on Netgalley that I immediately grabbed because they are such cool reads (or so I've heard) ;) Can't wait to get to them!

Currently Reading:


I'm currently reading The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma! I actually started reading this book a few weeks back but since I had other books to read before it, I was forced to put it back down. It seems to be a promising book so far. :)

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you reading this week? :)

Gravity by Melissa West Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Hey, everyone! Welcome to my stop on the last day of the Gravity Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours! This tour is in celebration of the release of Collide, the third book in the The Taking series by Melissa West! Check out below my five-star review and enter the amazing tour-wide giveaway which is open internationally! Also, if you want to check out the other stops on the tour, you can just click here. Thanks for stopping by! 

*****
Title: Gravity
Series: The Taking #1
Author: Melissa West
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: December 18th, 2012
Page Count: 284 Pages
Format: eBook
Source: From tour host 

Book Summary:
In the future, only one rule will matter: 
Don’t. Ever. Peek. 
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die. 
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war. 

 *The Reader's Review*

     My rating: 5/5 stars
LOVE. I love the cover. I love the plot. I love the characters. I love everything about this book. Gravity is one heck of an amazing read, and I keep banging my head on the wall for not reading it sooner. I remember seeing it around and thinking "It looks cool, it sounds cool, the author's name is cool (Melissa, get it? *wink*)" but I somehow forgot to push it up to the top of my tbr list. But no matter, the important thing here is that I have now read this fantastic book and boy, did I enjoy it!

Gravity is action-packed, fast-paced and epic when it comes to the storyline. I liked the whole idea of aliens (known as Ancients) taking care of the planet in exchange for human antibodies that would help them get better (and by liking I mean in the book, not in real life, which is just scary). Humans, of course, are not at all happy about this agreement and you can imagine the tension brewing between them and the aliens, not to mention the amount of secrets hiding behind closed doors. And, even though Earth is supposed to be the weak one, it's impressive how controlled the leaders have the human society and how advanced they are in technology. Super easy to make secret weapons.

Everything is very exciting to read about, especially since we do it in the shoes of our strong heroine, Ari. She is a fierce one, but with her heart in the right place. I liked how she does her best to keep her cool when her world gets turned upside-down and how readily she sets out to help those in need, despite her upbringing, despite what they have planned for her, and despite being lied to and being kept in the dark.

Another interesting character is Jackson, the alien who was taking from Ari and the one who shatters her world by showing her the truth. He's an intriguing character and yes, totally swoon worthy. We got to meet him in this book, but in truth, he is a big cloud of mystery (why does that make him even more appealing?) so there's a lot about him that's still to be cleared up and I'm determined to find out.

The ending of Gravity is a killer one, it left me terribly hyped and in desperate need to continue with the sequel. Everything that led to that point of the book was one crazy trek and gosh, I'm so excited and nervous to find out what's going to happen next. I'm hoping for more Ari-Jackson and more world(s) exploring, but however it maps out, I'm sure it's going to be just as epic as this book. 

P.S. If you haven't read this book, then this is the time to pick it up (freebie!) and then join me to deal with the feels together. But be warned, Jackson is mine. <3

*****

About the Author

Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/InterMix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange. 
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