Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dearest Clementine (Dearest #1) by Lex Martin | Review

Dearest Clementine (Dearest #1) by Lex Martin | ReviewDearest Clementine by Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #1
on May 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 232
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
2 Stars
Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making the name of research, of course.

As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.


When I saw Dearest Clementine on sale on Amazon, I decided to give it a shot.  It was free, what could it hurt?  Well, I realized there was a good reason it was free: it’d be a complete waste of money to actually pay for it.

Clementine was a grade A bitch.  She was only nice to a handful of people and those people were her close friends.  Hell, one of her roommates was even scared of her.  When she first meets Gavin she’s not even willing to tell him her name and he’s nothing but nice.  Clementine really didn’t have much personality either.  It seemed all she had going for her was her looks.

Speaking of looks, the author spends way too much time talking about Clementine’s.  It’s all about how gorgeous Clem is, how skinny, how lightweight, etc.  We get it, she’s pretty!  No need to mention it on every page.

There was also way too much going on, plotwise.  There was this whole storyline with Clementine’s professor, another storyline about a missing girl, another storyline about Clementine being a YA writer but nobody knows it, another storyline involving Clementine’s cheating ex, etc.  Holy crap!  The sad part was that the book still wasn’t very gripping even with all that going on.

As for the love interest (or three) I didn’t mind him but I didn’t particularly like him either.  He was very secretive and his secrets ended up being really stupid.  If he had just talked to Clementine they would have had no drama in their relationship.  Of course he couldn’t do that and Clementine freaked out because she had trust issues.  Those trust issues revolved around her ex, Daren, who I actually maybe liked more than Gavin.  And that is saying something.  Sure he messed up but he apologized and seemed like a really sweet guy.

Overall, Dearest Clementine is one new adult novel that I cannot recommend.  This is one series that I will not be continuing.

What others are saying about Dearest Clementine:

Aesta’s Book Blog’s review: “Overall, this was a really sweet read with a little bit of humor, fun, drama, and mystery.”

Insightful Minds Reviews’ review: “All in all, Dearest Clementine earns 4 stars from me.”

Lite-Rate-Ture’s review: “You have to read Lex Martin’s Dearest Clementine, she has a beautiful writing style and DEAREST CLEMENTINE is one of a kind.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For more information and a list of past and future topics, go here.

Alyson Noel

I started off reading Alyson Noel’s contemporary novels and quickly branched out to her paranormal novels.  At the current moment I have 15 of her books on my shelves!

Kate Brian

I have read Kate Brian’s books since I discovered them in high school and I’m currently trying to collect as many of them as I can.  I need to complete both my Private and Privilege series’ but as of right now I own 21 of her books.

Meg Cabot

It’s not even funny how many Meg Cabot books I have.  42, to be exact.  That’s normal, right?

Sarah Dessen

If it comes as a surprise to anyone that I have Sarah Dessen on this list, you clearly don’t know me very well.  I own all 11 of Sarah Dessen’s books.

JK Rowling

So I don’t own a ton of J.K. Rowling books but I own multiples of all the ones I do own so I figured that earned her a place on this list.  With all the copies of her books that I have, I own 18 books by J.K. Rowling.

Richelle Mead

I own 12 books by Richelle Mead at the moment and I plan to continue buying everything she comes out with in the future.  I not only enjoy her YA books but also her adult stuff.

Rachel CaineI own 11 books by Rachel Caine and I have never read a one of them.  I have this tendency to buy series books even if I haven’t started the series and that was definitely the case with the Morganville Vampire books.

Scott Westerfeld

I current own 8 books by Scott Westerfeld but I owned a lot more in the past.  I have loved everything I’ve read by Scott Westerfeld and he’s definitely an author on my auto-buy list.

Michael Grant

I own 11 books by Michael Grant and really should read more of them.

Melissa Marr

I own 13 books by Melissa Marr and I plan on owning even more in the future.  I adore Melissa Marr.

What authors do you own the most books from?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Point of Retreat (Slammed #2) by Colleen Hoover | Review

Point of Retreat (Slammed #2) by Colleen Hoover | ReviewPoint of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
Series: Slammed #2
Published by Atria on February 25, 2012
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 215
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
3 Stars
Layken and Will have managed to overcome the obstacles that threatened to destroy their love, proving that they are destined for one another. What they are about to learn, however, is that the things that have brought them together may be the very things that ruin their connection forever...

Layken is left second-guessing the relationship whilst Will is jumping over hurdles to prove his love for her. What the young lovers discover about themselves along this journey may change their entire world, and the lives of those who depend upon them the most...


I recently caved and read Colleen Hoover’s book, Slammed.  I was hugely impressed with it and I was really looking forward to checking out the sequel, Point of Retreat.  While I did enjoy the book, I was actually quite disappointed with it.

Will and Layken’s story was actually pretty wrapped up in Slammed but I was still interested in reading more about them so I decided to give Point of Retreat a shot.  After loving Slammed, I had really high expectations for the sequel.  Sadly, the book just couldn’t live up to them.  Everything went downhill right from the start.  The story was dull, the characters didn’t have any development, and everything was way too predictable.  I think the only thing I liked about Point of Retreat was the addition of Kiersten, a very quirky young girl who becomes friends with Calder and Kel.  She was hilarious!  She fit in great with their group and I really did love her.  However, from there on out, things weren’t so great with Point of Retreat.

First off, I wanted to slap both Will and Layken.  Will starts taking some college classes and his ex-girlfriend, Vaughn, is in the class with him.  Does he tell this to Layken?  Of course not.  So when she finds out, (like she inevitably will) she flips out.  Rather than give Will time to explain, she completely blocks him out and sets into motion the whole rest of the book.  Will and Layken handled things like teenagers.  If they expect to be parents to their younger brothers, they need to grow up and handle things like adults!  I mean, really, how hard is it to take a little time and just talk things out?  And I will admit, Will handled things a lot better than Layken.  Layken acted like a whiny little brat.  It really got on my nerves and I lost a lot of respect for her after her temper tantrums.

Then there were Eddie and Gavin.  While I actually didn’t have a problem with them throughout the book, it was their storyline that got to me.  I won’t give anything away but let’s just say that it’s rather predictable and overdone.  I did still love Eddie and Gavin’s relationship and their relationships with Will and Layken though. Eddie is just as hilarious as ever and when you put her and Kiersten together, it’s a total riot.

Like I said earlier, the story was rather predictable.  I won’t give anything away but I will say this: I wasn’t even sure I wanted to read the second half of the book!  It was really cheesy and rather than finding things romantic, I just wanted to roll my eyes and laugh.

Overall, Point of Retreat just wasn’t for me.  I should have stopped with Slammed and just enjoyed how much I loved that book.  However, tons of people have enjoyed this one so if you think you’ll like it, definitely check it out.

What others are saying about Point of Retreat:

Bookish Sarah’s Literary Meanderings’ review: “All in all, this is a truly stellar follow-up novel.”

Obsession With Books’ review: “Colleen Hoover writes memorable, believable characters, her writing is perfection and holds my interest throughout and the slam poetry is fabulous!”

Clear Eyes Full Shelves’ review: “If you, like me, enjoyed Slammed (perhaps, also like me, despite yourself), I’d recommend simply letting Layken and Will’s story end for you at that book.”

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (27)

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews! It is a list of what books you have received over the previous week, either for review, from the library, from the bookstore, or from trades.

Review -The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu
-Schizo by Nic Sheff
-Atlantia by Ally Condie
-Blind by Rachel DeWoskin
-Not In The Script by Amy Finnegan
-Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1) by Lori M. Lee
-Remember by Eileen Cook
-The Beginning by Carly Anne West
-Rooms by Lauren Oliver
-The Fall by Bethany Griffin

What books have you gotten recently?  What do you think I should read first?

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Top 6 Series to Start and Finish in 2014!

I have always been and probably always will be bad about finishing series. Part of the problem is that I sometimes just decide not to start a series until all the books are published. I’m horribly impatient and don’t like waiting to know what happens next. However, by the time all the books are published I don’t have time to read them all. That is going to change this year!

Juhina from Maji Bookshelf posted her top 6 series to start and finish in 2014 so I stole the idea and decided I’d do the same thing. Maybe you guys can hold me accountable and I’ll actually get these read!



I own all three of these books but I’ve yet to pick them up.  I’ve heard great things about this series and it sounds completely unique from anything I’ve ever read.  I’m pretty sure there is a read-a-long for these so maybe I should sign up for that and finally read them.

Something Strange and Deadly


I am actually about to start this series!  It’s historical fiction with zombies.  What more could you want?  Oh and I hear there is some fabulous romance.  This series sounds right up my alley.

Mara Dyer

I started this series when the first book came out but after reading reviews for the second one I decided to wait for the final book to be released to get caught up.  People loved the second book but said the ending was killer.  The final book will be out late this year so it’s almost time for me to re-read book one and finish the series.

Jasper Dent (1)


This is another one that I’ve already started.  I Hunt Killers was one of my favorite books of 2012.  It was such a creepy story that hooked me from the start.  I picked up Game as soon as I could but I kept having to put it off for review books.  Now it’s almost time for the final book to be released and I’m totally planning on binge reading all three.

The White Rabbit Chronicles

I’ve seen people reading the final book in this series and all they have done is rave about it.  I can’t not read it after that.  Especially since people love the love interest in this one.  I’m convinced.

The Darkest Minds

I’ve read the first book in this series but I chose not to pick up the second one immediately after.  I wanted to let the first one sink in and then I just kept having to put review books ahead of it.  I’m also a little afraid that this series is going to break my heart.  We’ll see.  I’ll definitely be picking up the second and third later this year.

What about you guys?  Have you read any of these series or are you like me, waiting to read them until all the books are out?  Are there any series you are determined to finish this year?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Deceiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #2) by Molly McAdams | Review

Deceiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #2) by Molly McAdams | ReviewDeceiving Lies by Molly McAdams
Series: Forgiving Lies #2
Published by William Morrow on March 4, 2014
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
3 Stars
Rachel is supposed to be planning her wedding to Kash, the love of her life. After the crazy year they've had, she's ready to settle down and live a completely normal life. Well, as normal as it can be. But there's something else waiting—something threatening to tear them apart.

Kash is ready for it all with Rach. Especially if all includes having a football team of babies with his future wife. With his line of work, he knows how short life can be, and doesn't want to waste another minute of theirs. But now his past as an undercover narcotics agent has come back to haunt him ... and it's the girl he loves who's caught in the middle.

Trent Cruz's orders are clear: take the girl. But there's something about this girl that has him changing the rules and playing a dangerous game to keep her safe. When his time as Rachel's protector runs out, he will turn his back on the only life he's known, and risk everything, if it means getting her out alive.

picadillyblueDeceiving Lies, the much anticipated sequel to Forgiving Lies, was a let down after the total awesomeness that was Forgiving Lies.  Every part of this book was lackluster compared to the first book and I ended up wishing that Rachel and Kash’s story just ended with the first book.

Rachel and Kash are back but their relationship is far from perfect.  The strong relationship they had at the end of Forgiving Lies is completely torn apart shortly into Deceiving Lies.  Their relationship is severely tested in Deceiving Lies and I spent a lot of the book wondering if they were going to make it through or call it quits.  As if the events of the first book weren’t bad enough for Rachel, shortly into this book she is kidnapped by a gang that Kash formerly infiltrated while undercover.  She’s held hostage and she spends most of her time wondering if Kash will make it to her in time.  When she’s not worrying about getting out alive though, she’s spending all her time getting closer to her captor, a guy who just happens to be sexy and smart with a dark past that he’s completely ashamed of.  Ugh.

The first part of the book is spent showing how strong Rachel and Kash’s relationship is and the next part of the book completely contradicts the first part.  Rachel is help captive and she slowly starts to maybe develop feelings for her captor, Trent.  Really?  I get that he is trying to help protect you and all that but he put you in that position to begin with!  How could you possibly fall for a guy like that?  Of course, there is more to Trent than meets the eye.  He’s not really a bad guy, he’s just in a bad situation.  Sure.  I’m not buying it.  I felt no sympathy for Trent or Rachel because while they were busy making eyes at each other, Kash is being torn apart by guilt and doing all he can to get Rachel back.  It’s made very clear that Kash loves Rachel and is willing to sacrifice his own life for her.  And he’s repaid with her thinking about cheating on him.  What a great relationship.

Lucky for me I had Kash and Mason to help make the book better.  Their relationship was as great as ever.  I truly love reading about friendships between guys because they are so different than friendships between girls.  Kash and Mason clearly loved each other like brothers and they were always there for each other.  Sure they fought but they always got past that.  Their friendship made me like this book a lot more than I would have otherwise.

There were some other things that bothered me about Deceiving Lies but I really can’t get into them without spoiling part of the story so I’ll leave them out.  Just know that the part of the book leading up to the ending really doesn’t help make it better.  There were a lot of little things with Kash and Rachel that got on my nerves.

Overall, Deceiving Lies was nowhere near as good as I’d hoped.  I felt like there was no need for the love triangle and honestly there wasn’t a lot of need for this sequel at all.  I was happy to read more about Kash but that’s all this one really had going for it.

What others are saying about Deceiving Lies:

The Bookpushers’ review: “All in all, this was a very good but difficult read.”

It’s Andrea’s Book Blog’s review: “I give this book a solid 4 stars for its suspense and action and a well-rounded story that has you swooning at the end.”

Anna’s Book Blog’s review: “I really enjoyed Deceiving Lies and I look forward to reading more from this author!”

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Homeroom Diaries Guest Post from James Patterson!

Hey everyone!  Welcome to the second stop on the Homeroom Diaries blog tour!  Homeroom Diaries is James Patterson’s newest novel for teens and I’m so excited to have a guest post for you guys!

This One’s for the Misfits – Guest Post from James Patterson

“She’s troubled.”

“He’s at risk.”

Why do we decide that some kids won’t amount to much in life when they’re still teenagers – or even younger?

My new book Homeroom Diaries may be a comedy with some really funny moments, but it’s about kids who don’t fit in. Homeroom Diaries isn’t my first book about misfits. That’s what I was doing when I wrote my first young adult book in 2005 (Maximum Ride). It was about a group of runaways living on their own up in the mountains, trying to make some sort of family for themselves. These kids happened to be mutants with wings, and the book was labeled as science fiction, so no one called Maximum Ride and her friends “troubled” or “at risk.”

But when I started the Middle School series, about a kid in a realistic middle school with problems that millions of kids deal with every day, suddenly I was writing about a “troubled” kid.

Critics commented that kids with issues would relate to the story. As if all kids don’t have issues. As if kids can’t relate to someone in a different situation – unless it’s a sci fi or fantasy book, of course.

In Homeroom Diaries, Cuckoo Clarke has just gotten out of a mental institution. She lives with a foster mother after her real mother walked out on her. She checks just about every box for “troubled” that there is.

But I think teenagers need stories like hers. Got problems like Cuckoo? You need to know you’re not alone. Don’t have problems like Cuckoo? Then you need to give people like her a chance, because they’re actually pretty incredible once you get to know them.

And now, check out an excerpt!

“You know what? Marty kind of got me down,” I say. Then I stand up, give my whole body a shake, and say, “Get off! Get off! GET OFF!” This usually helps me brush away icky, ugly, heebie-jeebie feelings, but it doesn’t do much to counteract my reputation as a nut job.
“Why does Marty have to be such a
Hater, anyway?” Flatso asks, not really expecting an answer.
But I surprise Flatso with my response. “Because”—I give her a grin—“he’s deprived.”
“Hellz yeah,” says Eggy, and Tebow crows, “It’s on!”
“Oh, boy.” Brainzilla puffs out a breath that lifts her bangs from her forehead. “Here we go.”
Yeah, that’s right—it’s time for another round of our favorite game: DEPRIVED!
Goal: To be the object of greatest pity.
How to Play: State a way in which your life has been hideously deprived.
In the end, we declare Zitsy the winner.
He spends the last ten seconds of lunch vacuuming chips and high-octane Coke into his digestive system.
That’s when I know that my friend is all right.

HDBlogTour-Post2Artwork (1)


About Homeroom Diaries:


In James Patterson’s first highly illustrated “diary fiction” story for teens, the mega-bestselling author’s most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while.

Margaret “Cuckoo” Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she’s turning over a new leaf with her “Happiness Project”. She’s determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favorite literary characters.

Cuckoo’s also got a nearly impossible mission: she, along with her misfit band of self-deprecating friends (who call themselves “the Freakshow”) decide to bridge the gap between warring cliques and “bring the Nations together”. Not everyone is so willing to join hands and get along, but Cuckoo never stops smiling…until one of her closest friends, pushed to desperation by a Hater prank, decides that enough is enough.





In January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having “transformed book publishing.” Time magazine named him “The Man Who Can’t Miss,” and he is a two-time Children’s Choice Book Award “Author of the Year” nominee, a designation decided on by more than 15,000 children and teen readers.

In the past three years, James Patterson has sold more books than any other author (according to Bookscan), and in total, James’s books have sold an estimated 260 million copies worldwide. Since 2006, one out of every seventeen hardcover fiction books sold was a Patterson title. He is the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children’s bestsellers lists and is the only author to have five new hardcover novels debut at #1 on the list in one year—a record-breaking feat he’s accomplished every year since 2005. To date, James Patterson has had nineteen consecutive #1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds the New York Times record for most Hardcover Fiction bestselling titles by a single author (76 total), which is also a Guinness World Record.

From his James Patterson Pageturner Awards (which rewarded groups and individuals for creative and effective ways of spreading the joy of reading) to his website (which helps adults find books that kids are sure to love) to his regular donations of thousands of books to troops overseas, Patterson is a lifelong champion of books and reading. His critically acclaimed Maximum Ride series debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list at #1 and remained there for twelve straight weeks. The series has so far made ninety-four cumulative appearances on The New York Times bestsellers lists, proving that kids of all ages love page turners. He captured the attention of boy readers with Daniel X series, and his third series for readers of all ages debuted in December 2009 with Witch & Wizard, which spent five consecutive weeks atop the New York Times bestsellers list.

Patterson is the creator of the top-selling new detective series of the past dozen years, featuring Alex Cross and including the Hollywood-adapted “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls,” starring Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. He is also the creator of the #1 new detective series of the past five years, featuring Lindsay Boxer and the Women’s Murder Club, from which the ABC television drama series was adapted. He has authored books behind six films on the Hollywood fast-track, including the upcoming Maximum Ride movie forthcoming from Avi Arad, the producer of X-Men and Spiderman.

He is the author of novels — from The Thomas Berryman Number (1976) to Honeymoon (2005) — that have won awards including the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader’s Digest Reader’s Choice Award. And, he has won a Children’s Choice Book Council’s Children’s Choice Awards “Author of the Year” award (2010).

One of Forbes magazine’s Celebrity 100, James made a guest appearance on the popular FOX TV show “The Simpsons” in March, 2007.

Follow the Homeroom Diaries tour for more guest posts, illustrations, and giveaways!
July 21:
July 22:
July 23:
July 24:
July 25:

Find James Patterson online!

·         Visit the Official Site

·         Follow Homeroom Diaries on Instagram

·         Follow James Patterson on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog Tour: London Falling (International School #2) by Chanel Cleeton | Review + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: London Falling (International School #2) by Chanel Cleeton | Review + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: London Falling (International School #2) by Chanel Cleeton | Review + Giveaway!London Falling by Chanel Cleeton
Series: International School #2
Published by Harlequin on July 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
5 Stars
We weren't a relationship, we were a ticking time bomb...

Maggie Carpenter walked away from the hottest encounter of her life when she left the seductive glitz of England for summer break in her South Carolina hometown. Now that she's returned to the International School in London--and sexy, privileged Samir Khouri is once again close enough to touch--she can't help but remember the attraction, the drama...the heartbreak.

She can't help but want him even more.

Samir can't afford to fall for someone so far removed from his world, not when his time in London is running out. It's his senior year--his last chance at freedom before he returns home to Lebanon. There, he'll be expected to follow in his father's footsteps--not follow his heart to Maggie. But when a scorching secret hookup becomes a temptation neither can resist, they'll both have to fight to survive the consequences...and find a future together.

picadillyblueChanel Cleeton seriously surprised me with the first book in the International School series, I See London, but that was nothing compared to London Falling.  London Falling was everything I could have wanted in a sequel and it left me with the biggest smile on my face.

The cast of characters from the first book is back and better than ever.  Maggie has grown more confident in herself but she still has her small town charm.  She’s still a bit clueless when it comes to some things (which I loved) but she’s changed a lot from the scared girl at the beginning of I See London.  Samir has also changed a ton.  He’s no longer the cocky manwhore from book one.  He’s still cocky as ever but he’s set his sights on one girl and one girl only.  Watching him put forth a real effort to get Maggie was great.  He’s definitely a guy who has always had things handed to him so it was good to see him work for something.  He and Maggie really were perfect for each other.  Their differences were enough to keep things interesting between the two of them but they had enough in common that they never ran out of things to banter about.  Their banter was seriously adorable.  As for the rest of the characters, I think Fleur was my favorite.  Fleur was cocky and kind of cold in the first book.  She is nothing like that in London Falling.  Readers really get a glimpse of the vulnerable side of Fleur this time around and it left me hoping that she will get her own book soon.

The story was nothing spectacular or pulse pounding but it was enough to keep my attention.  The different settings throughout the course of the book really helped move things along.  If you’re a fan of travel in your books, the International School series is definitely perfect for you.  I’d also definitely recommend this one if you are a fan of steamy romances!  Samir and Maggie have some amazing chemistry that makes from some definitely sexytimes.

Overall, I really have no complaints about London Falling.  I can’t recommend this duology enough for new adult fans.  I look forward to reading more from Chanel Cleeton especially if it centers around any of the characters from these books.

What others are saying about London Falling:

Becky on Books and Quilts’ review: “Chanel did a nice job of getting them to a satisfying conclusion, with plenty of realistic drsma along the way.”

A Bookish Affair’s review: “This was definitely a fun read!”

Rampant Readers’ review: “A well-written novel about breaking free for the ones you love, this novel will captivate you from page one.”

Also, as part of the blog tour, the lovely people at Inkslinger PR as well as Chanel Cleeton have set up an awesome giveaway.  Enter for your chance to win: London Falling coffee mug, Tea, (4) signed London Falling bookmarks, (4) signed I See London bookmarks, (4) pens, a London case, and a $25 Amazon GC.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer | Review

The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer | ReviewThe Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
Published by Harper Teen on May 13, 2014
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
4 Stars
Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

picadillyblueThe Secrets of Lily Graves is one of those rare YA books that actually manages to surprise me.  I expected to enjoy this one, and I did, but I didn’t expect to by stumped by the mystery and up late into the night reading to the very end.  Sarah Strohmeyer wove a fantastic mystery that kept me guessing until I turned the very last page.

The Secrets of Lily Graves is a supremely unique YA novel.  Not only is it a mystery, it’s got a totally non-typical romance, a wonderful family relationship, and a heroine who took me by surprise multiple times throughout the course of the book.  The mystery had to be my favorite part.  I very rarely find young adult suspense novels to be suspenseful but that was not the case at all with The Secrets of Lily Graves.  I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book!  Erin’s murderer is at large throughout the book and it’s dang near impossible to figure out who it is.  Even if you do figure out who it is, the motive will totally take you by surprise.  There were multiple layers to Erin’s murder and it seemed like as soon as I peeled away one layer, another one would pop up.  Sarah Strohmeyer really did a great job with the mystery aspect of The Secrets of Lily Graves.

The romance was cuter than I expected.  Matt and Lily have had some sort of relationship for a while but Erin was always in the way of them taking it any further.  Erin’s death might not have been the greatest way to bring them together but it did work.  Everyone blamed Matt for Erin’s death except Lily.  Lily took it upon herself to prove everyone wrong.  That brought her even closer to Matt and their friendship started to turn into something more.  The build up of their relationship was so realistic and they were adorable together.

The family aspect of the story was something else unique about The Secrets of Lily Graves.  You don’t see a lot of close knit families in YA books and you do in this book.  Lily is very close with every member of her family.  Sure she keeps some things from her mom but what teenager doesn’t?  Her aunt Boo is always there for her when she doesn’t want to talk to her mom but needs an adult.  Her grandmother was a bit crazy and she really cracked me up.  The Graves women were totally fun.

Overall, The Secrets of Lily Graves is a great young adult mystery that I definitely recommend checking out.  Sarah Strohmeyer definitely deserves every bit of praise she’s been getting for this one.

What others are saying about The Secrets of Lily Graves:

The Book Nookery’s review: “This wasn’t a terrible book, but it was completely generic, lackluster, and half-assed in every way.”

Words, Pages, and Books’ review: “Oh how I adored The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer!”

Once Upon a Twilight’s review: “The Secret of Lily Graves is great read for mystery lovers.”

Friday, July 18, 2014

2014 YA Contemporary Challenge: July Reviews + Giveaway!

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It’s that time again!  Time to link up your July reviews and be entered for a chance to win some great books!

Okay so here’s what you have to do to be entered to win the awesome prize pack for July!
-Fill out the Rafflecopter!
-Link up your reviews so other participants can check them out!
-Remember that for a book to count it must have been published in 2014!

What do you have the chance to win this month?

Contemp July

-an ARC of Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
-a copy of Blonde Ops by Charlotte Benardo and Natalie Zaman

a Rafflecopter giveaway