Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blog Tour: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George | Review + GiveawaySilver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
Series: Silver in the Blood #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on July 7th 2015
Genres: Historical Fantasy
Pages: 240
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

A New York Times bestselling author brings dark secrets to life in a lush new YA perfect for fans of Libba Bray or Cassandra Clare.

Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.

With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.

picadillyblueI don’t know about you guys but, to me, historical fiction just doesn’t seem to get enough love.  Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres.  Historical fantasy makes it even better!  Jessica Day George does a fantastic job with the first book in this new series!

I have never read anything by Jessica Day George so it definitely took a little getting used to when it comes to her voice and style.  The characters are 17 years old but their voices and attitudes seemed a but younger than that.  They were not immature exactly but they seemed to overreact to some things that went on.  And while the beginning of the book did drag a little bit, I had no trouble getting into the story.  I personally liked the attitudes of the girls and really came to like them both quickly.

I’ve never been a huge fan of shapeshifter stories (don’t ask why, I don’t know) but there was something about this one that appealed to me more than the others that I’ve read.  Possibly the setting and the characters but I’ll come back to that later.  The two girls find out that their family are shapeshifters and they are coming into their powers.  The girls each turn into different things and each things comes with different powers and history.  The backstory surrounding their family was definitely interesting.

The romance was something I was expecting from the start.  There is an incident involving Dacia and Lord Johnny that is brought up early and Lord Johnny comes back into play later in the book.  It turns out he is not exactly who everyone thinks he is.  Then there are Lou and Theo.  Their relationship is more my style.  They don’t like each other at first but their feelings start to change throughout the story.  All four characters bring something new to the table and they work well together, with different attitudes and styles of handling things.

Overall, Silver in the Blood starts off Jessica Day George’s new series with a few flaws but not enough to stop me from recommending it.  Don’t let the slow beginning stop you from giving this one a full chance!

What others are saying about Silver in the Blood:

The Social Potato’s review: “It’s not a bad book by any means, it’s very creative and fun but it is also a little slow and needed a little work in the character department.”

Nick’s Book Blog’s review: “While the book may have a bit of a slow start, I recommend sticking with it because the relationship between Lou and Dacia more than makes up for it.”

The White Unicorn’s review: “If you like sweeping adventures, blood soaked evenings and strong female friendships, this is the book for you.”

Giveaway!

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Blog tour: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt | Review + Favorite Quotes + Giveaway

Blog tour: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt | Review + Favorite Quotes + Giveaway

Blog tour: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt | Review + Favorite Quotes + GiveawayHold Me Like A Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Once Upon A Crime Family #1
Published by Bloomsbury on May 19, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

picadillyblueHold Me Like a Breath is a completely fresh new story for the YA genre.  Tiffany Scmidt has crafted a wonderfully captivating story that will hook readers from start to finish.  And who wouldn’t love a princess and the pea retelling?

I’ve always been fascinated with stories relating to the mob so I had a feeling this would be a book for me.  I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail and involvement the mob aspect actually had to do with the story.  While Penny is part of a crime family, they aren’t bad people.  The purpose of the Landlow Family was to help people who the government couldn’t.  They definitely did it for the money but they also wanted to help.  It made it easy for me to sympathize with everything their family went through.

Penny was both one of my favorite and least favorite characters in the book.  She was incredibly naive which bothered me.  She lived a very sheltered life so I understand why she was like that but it seemed as if any lessons she’d had on surviving left her as soon as she was on her own.  She was an amazingly strong person, having to deal with everything on her own, including her illness.  However, she very quickly comes to trust a stranger when she is on the run for her life.  There were a few moments where I wanted to smack some sense into her.  Also, the illness aspect adds a whole other layer to Penny’s story.  Being on the run is bad enough but there was also the constant danger of Penny’s illness incapacitating or even killing her.

The rest of the characters were quite a mix.  Penny’s family and Family were very protective of her and so she didn’t know everything about them.  Carter was an adorable older brother and while he was very mysterious, his love for Penny was always clear. It was the same with her parents.  They handled her with kid gloves because they both loved her so much.  Their family was very sweet.  Then there was Garrett.  I am still torn about him and you’ll understand why when you read the book.  The whole bodyguard aspect definitely drew me to him but his sweetness also did.  As for Char, he also greatly appealed to me.  The romance between him and Penny was so fun.

The mystery could have been a bit more developed but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  I could see what was coming from the start but it still threw me for a loop.  I’m not sure where things will go with the sequel because things tied up pretty nicely at the end of this but I’m still eager for more.

Overall, Hold Me Like a Breath will greatly appeal to fans of contemporary thrillers and also Holly Black’s Curse Workers series.  I can’t recommend it enough.

What others are saying about Hold Me Like a Breath:

Novel Novice’s review: “Billed as the first in the Once Upon a Crime Family series, Hold Me Like a Breath still reads like a standalone novel — which is really the best of both worlds.”

Fantastic Book Reviews’ review: “Hold Me Like a Breath had plenty of grit to go around.”

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About the author:

Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath. She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook | Tumblr

 

Favorite Quotes

These two quotes kinda perfectly describe Penny and both of the boys she has relationships with. I also love the contrast of the two.

“There wouldn’t be a clean break. I could no more sever him completely than I could untangle my DNA and remove whatever combination of nucleotides spelled out my skin’s tendency toward purple”

“He beamed. Beamed. No one had ever smiled at me like that. Like just by walking out the door I’d made his life better. It punched holes in my caution, made me feel off-balance.”

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Monday, May 4, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | ReviewA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Published by Bloomsbury on May 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
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5 Stars

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

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Where do I even begin with this review?  I’ve been putting off reading Sarah J. Maas’ books because I worried there was no way they could live up to the hype.  I was definitely wrong about that.  A Court of Thorns and Roses surpassed my expectations.

Feyre’s story hooked me from the start.  As a character, she was exactly what I wanted.  She’s strong, fierce, independent, and a little cold.  However, she’s also lonely, scared, and tired.  Everything she does is for her family, even though they never show their appreciation.  She made a promise to her mother that she would protect them and that’s all that matters to her.  As for her family, I didn’t care for them a lot but they did grow on me.  There is more to them than meets the eye.

I’m sure you’re all wondering what I thought of Tamlin and I’ll tell you, I definitely loved him.  He took some getting used to but once Feyre got to know him I completely fell for him.  His story was heartbreaking and yet he still managed to hold on to hope and love for the longest time.  It helped that he had Lucien through everything.  Lucien was his right hand man and he was probably my favorite character of all.  His banter with Feyre was hilarious.  And yes, while he may have made some mistakes regarding Feyre, watching their attitudes towards each other change was worth everything they went through.  Sarah J. Maas certainly has a way with characters, both the good and the evil.  Let me just tell you, her villains are dark and twisted.

The story has hints of Beauty and the Beast and I loved catching all the references.  A Court of Thorns and Roses is a story all it’s own but the nods to the classic were wonderful.  The story is so intricate.  I have plans to read it again soon so I can catch some of the things I might have missed the first time around.  I truly loved how intricate everything was about the story and the curse.  It’s a much deeper story than you would originally think.

As for the romance, I can’t even begin to tell you how steamy the chemistry is between Feyre and Tamlin.  I loved their relationship and how it kind of snuck up on both of them.  This was not a case of instalove.  It also made things interesting that Feyre fell for Tamlin even though she didn’t really know what he looked like.

Overall, A Court of Thorns and Roses is a must read for everyone.  I plan on forcing this one on all my fellow readers!

What others are saying about A Court of Thorns and Roses:

Midnight Book Girl’s review: “You should read it, before I buy up all the copies in May and build a ginormous book fort out of them and pretend that it’s Tamlin’s estates.”

Nose Graze’s review: “I absolutely ADORED the faerie lore, politics, and history.”

There Were Books Involved’s review: “I think I could literally talk about this book all day.”   

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord | Review

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord | ReviewThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury on March 31, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

picadillyblueI read and adored Emery Lord’s debut novel, Open Road Summer. It was the perfect blend of romance, friendship, and music. That being the case, I had high expectations for The Start of Me and You.  Perhaps my expectations were too high because I found myself only liking this one as compared to how much I loved Open Road Summer.

The Start of Me and You follows Paige Hancock on her journey to move past the death of her boyfriend.  Her journey includes a list of things she wants to do: date a guy, go swimming, join a club, etc.  Seems simple enough except she has her sights set on a specific boy and he tends to make her a bit tongue-tied.  Ryan Chase has been her crush for years and she starts of her school year expecting to date him and not settle for anything less than that.  Obviously things don’t go according to plan.  Ryan’s cousin, Max, moves back to town and he strikes up a friendship with Paige.  Unlike Ryan, Max is easy for Paige to be around and he doesn’t make her nervous at all.  Paige’s plan might be Ryan but Max seems to have plans of his own.

Paige was a bit annoying in her pursuit of Ryan.  She barely knew the guy and while the reason she initially developed a crush on him was sweet, the staying power of that crush just didn’t make sense.  She had little to nothing in common with Ryan.  Max, on the other hand, had a healthy friendship with Paige that was so sweet.  They had so much in common and the way they made fun of each other was so adorably cute.  They were able to be themselves with each other, no matter how dorky.  Max was totally the type of guy I could see myself crushing on.  He was not the typical love interest but he was well-rounded and adorably nerdy.

Max and Paige were not the best characters though.  Paige’s friends were the best.  She always had a solid support system no matter what she was going through.  They stood by her through all the tough times and in return she was there for them when they needed her.  No matter what happened they always knew they had each other. Sure they fought but what friends don’t?  They worked through their issues and they always saw past their little fights to what really mattered.

The story was cute and fast-paced enough that I didn’t find my attention wavering from the book even once.  While I didn’t get Paige’s superficial crush on Ryan, I still liked her and I wanted to see her cross everything off her list.  Even though I had I feeling I knew how things were going to end for Paige, I kept reading because I wanted to know how it would all play out.  It was everything I could have hoped for.

Overall, The Start of Me and You is a strong sophomore novel for Emery Lord.  Paige and her group of friends wormed their way into my heart and I’m sure they will do the same with many other readers.  I highly encourage any contemporary fans to check this one out.

What others are saying about The Start of Me and You:

The Book Addict’s Guide’s review: “THE START OF ME AND YOU was very sweet and lots of fun to read (QuizBowl! What an awesome idea and so great to incorporate) and it was another very solid contemporary from Emery Lord.”

Bookiemoji’s review: “This book is my soul animal.”

Lost In Literature’s review: “The Start of You and Me is the perfect contemporary story that I go all heart eyes for.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | Review

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | ReviewOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury on April 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 342
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

picadillyblueOpen Road Summer is a book after my own heart.  Emery Lord’s debut novel is everything a contemporary lover could want in a book.  It’s a novel of friendship, fame, family, and love and it hits the right notes on every one of those subjects.  And did I mention Matt Finch?  No?  Well don’t worry, I will.

The best aspect of Open Road Summer is, by far, the friendship between Reagan and Lilah.  They couldn’t be more different but they balance each other out.  Reagan is the girl who makes bad decisions regarding everything in her life, especially boys.  Lilah is the teen country star who couldn’t be more perfect.  It doesn’t seem like they could work together but they do.  Lilah’s family embraces Reagan almost as a second daughter.  That only serves to cement the bond that Lilah and Reagan share.  And no matter what happens in either of their lives, they always have time for each other.  Sure they fight but they always find their way back to each other.  They are true friends.

The fame aspect was so much fun.  Reagan is tagging along with Lilah on her cross country tour for the summer.  There are stops in tons of cities, there are trips out to events in disguise, there are nasty paparazzi, and so much more.  There aren’t many YA books dealing with famous people but Emery Lord did a great job making this story believable.

The family part wasn’t overdone but definitely played a role in both Lilah and Reagan’s stories.   Lilah has a close knit family and she wants to keep them out of the spotlight.  She also doesn’t want her little brothers to see her in the wrong light.  She’s a good girl but the paparazzi will do whatever it takes to make her look bad and she doesn’t want them to see her like that.  It was cute how loyal she was to her family and how obvious her love for them was.  Then there was Reagan and her family situation.  Reagan’s dad was an alcoholic for a lot of her life and when he cleaned up his act, he got remarried to someone Reagan really couldn’t care less about.  Ever since Reagan’s dad gave up alcohol, they have only drifted further apart.  Reagan’s bad life choices also don’t help that relationship but it turns out that her summer away may actually bring them closer together.

The romance was beyond cute.  I told you I would mention Matt Finch and here it is: he may be the perfect male specimen.  Holy crap is he the cutest.  He’s sweet, he’s funny, he’s cocky, he’s smart, he’s talented, and I could go on and on about his many wonderful characteristics.  He is not your typical famous male singer.  He’s got a really sweet, vulnerable side that he really doesn’t show often but Reagan brings it out of him.  They both bring out really different sides of each other.  Their banter is beyond adorable.  They have immediate chemistry and from the start I couldn’t help rooting for them.  I really wanted to see things work out between them.  Reagan and Matt Finch are two characters that you can’t help but want to see together.

There is also some romance between Lilah and her ex-boyfriend, Jimmy.  Things are really complicated with them because Lilah is famous and all Jimmy wants is to grow up and run his own farm.  He’s never wanted anything more than that and Lilah.  They love each other so much but they decided they had to let each other go so they could follow their own dreams.  Their story was sweet and heartbreaking at the same time and I truly loved the outcome at the end of their story.  It was perfect.

Overall, Emery Lord’s debut novel was, in my opinion, perfect.  Contemporary fans will adore this story and I can’t give it a higher recommendation.

What others are saying about Open Road Summer:

We Still Read’s review: “This book, feet up, windows down, country music in the back ground? Perfection.”

Book.Blog.Bake’s review: “Open Road Summer has everything going for it: a swoon-worthy romantic interest, a super strong friendship(the kind that unfortunately uncommon in YA), and a delightful road-trip vibe.”

That Artsy Reader Girl’s review: “Basically, if you’re looking for a sweet summer romance with a little meat to it then this is your book!”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller | Review

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller | ReviewWhere The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury on September 24, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: ALA, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

picadillyblueWhere The Stars Still Shine, Trish Doller’s sophomore novel, is a solid follow-up to her debut, Something Like Normal.  I didn’t love it like I did Something Like Normal but I did like it quite a bit.

Trish Doller has a way with messed up characters.  Callie was raised by her mother, who kidnapped her at a very young age.  She drags Callie from place to place, living in motels, not going to school, and being forced to put up with the trashy men that her mom brings home.  The way she’s raised is terribly wrong but Callie doesn’t know any other way.  Until her mom is arrested and she’s returned to her dad, she never knew she could have a different life.

Callie was very messed up after her childhood.  She didn’t know what real love was like.  She didn’t know how to handle family or friends and she didn’t remember anything about her life from before the kidnapping.  She tended to push people away, especially the people that loved her.  Then there was Alex.  She doesn’t know how to be with him.  She’s not confident that people could really love her, especially him.  He’s sweet, funny, and super cute with Callie and  her family.  It’s hard to tell if he’s a player at first but he does seem to be a good guy.

As for Callie’s mom and dad, they are complete opposites.  Her mom is a selfish woman who needs mental help.  I totally hated Callie’s mom, especially the way she treated Callie.  I also hated how Callie acted around her mom.  Her dad was a totally sweet guy who loved Callie with all his heart.  He was an amazing guy.

The plot was fast-paced even when there wasn’t a whole lot going on.  I never felt bored with the book and I was always eager to see what would happen next.  The story definitely had my full attention.

Overall, Where The Stars Still Shine is great for contemporary fans.  It’s got a lot more going on than you’d originally think.

What others are saying about Where The Stars Still Shine:

Book’d Out’s review: “Like Trish Doller’s debut novel, Something Like Normal, Where the Stars Still Shine is a gritty, contemporary young adult novel favouring realism over fairy tale.”

Tabitha’s Book Blog’s review: “If you enjoyed her novel, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL – than I have no doubts that you’ll enjoy this one as well.”

All The Books I Can Read’s review: “But apart from that I loved all facets of this book and it further cemented Trish Doller as such a gifted voice of contemporary young adult/new adult literature.”

Monday, August 12, 2013

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller | Review

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller | ReviewSomething Like Normal by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury on June 19, 2012
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 224
Format: ebook
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

Something Like Normal has been on my radar for a while but it’s one of those books that I just kept putting off. I was a little scared to read it because my expectations were pretty high after reading all the wonderful reviews. I’m happy to say that my expectations were met and exceeded.

Something Like Normal is a short book but don’t let that fool you. It will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions in just a little over 200 pages. I laughed, I cried, and there were some times when I really just wanted to scream (I was on a plane at the time so I don’t think that would have gone over well.) From the very first page I felt connected and invested in the characters and I was rooting for a happy ending. Something Like Normal takes no time at all to get into and you won’t want to stop reading once you start.

Travis has not had it easy the past year. His best friend is dead, his girlfriend left him for his younger brother, his dad hates him, and his mom has become a little obsessive. Everything changed for him when he joined the military. It’s easy to see that he has post traumatic stress disorder but he doesn’t want to deal with it. He does everything he can to forget about what happened in Afghanistan but he can’t leave it behind. Travis is very emotionally messed up but I couldn’t help but love him. His heart was in the right place, even if his head wasn’t. He’s an easy character to grow attached to and you won’t be able to help loving him and wanting him to be happy. His family is really messed up but not one of the worse I’ve read. His mom was loving and supportive and awesome, no matter what he did. His brother was a little annoying. His dad was a downright ass. Just saying. As for Harper, she was everything I could have wanted in a love interest for Travis. She wasn’t his typical style (like his crazy ex-girlfriend) and that’s what he needed. He needed someone smart and stable and kind. Harper was perfect for Travis.

The story is a lot deeper than most YA. In fact, this one could pretty much be considered NA. I really liked that Trish Doller didn’t try to gloss over the gritty details. Travis has seen people die. In fact, he’s been the cause of some of those deaths. Trish Doller doesn’t leave out any of the details about what Travis has seen and done. She didn’t shy away from the hard stuff and it made Travis’ story so much better.

Overall, I highly recommend checking out Trish Doller’s debut novel. Contemporary fans will completely adore it.

What others are saying about Something Like Normal:

YA Book Queen’s review: Once I began, I couldn’t put this book down until the final page arrived.” 

Stacked’s review: Trish Doller’s Something Like Normal is an emotional read and one that hits every single note right.”

The Bookish Brunette’s review: Call me predictable, but given that this book has a Military Man in it, it pretty much rocked my face off.”

Monday, May 30, 2011

Blog Tour: The A Circuit by Georgina Blomberg and Catherine Hapka | Review

Blog Tour:  The A Circuit by Georgina Blomberg and Catherine Hapka | ReviewThe A Circuit by Catherine Hapka, Georgina Bloomberg
Series: The A Circuit #1
Published by Bloomsbury on May 24, 2011
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 250
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

The A Circuit is the top of the top when it comes to horse shows. It's a world with its own rules and superprivileged lifestyles. Teens travel the circuit all year, showing horses that cost as much as some homes.

Tommi, Kate, and Zara are all elite competitors on the circuit, but they come from totally different backgrounds. Tommi is a billionaire heiress trying to prove she has real talent (not just deep bank accounts). Kate puts the working in working student-every win has been paid for with hours of cleaning stalls. She's used to the grueling schedule, but Fitz, the barn's resident hot guy, is about to become a major distraction. And then there's Zara. She's the wild child of a famous rockstar, but she's ready to take riding seriously. Can a party girl really change her ways?

Readers who enjoy peeking into the elite world of Gossip Girl or The A-List will feel right at home in this new series with its friendships, drama, and privilege set against the backdrop of competitive horseback riding.

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The A Circuit has been described as a cross between Canterwood Crest and The A List.  I can definitely say that that’s a pretty good description of it and I can also say that I enjoyed it greatly.  It’s not going to become one of my all-time favorites but I think it’s a great book for horse lovers!

Kate, Tommi, and Zara have one thing in common:  their love of horses.  Kate is a poor student who happened to fall into the good graces of Jamie, the trainer at Pelham Lane Stables.  Tommi is the daughter of a billionaire who is looking for a way to make horses her career.  Zara is the daughter of a rock star who is just looking for the next party.  It doesn’t seem like anything could bring these girls together but the stable does and it also brings new challenges that each girl must face.

Kate and Tommi were very likable characters but Zara was not.  She was rude, spoiled, bratty, and just plain inconsiderate.  There was nothing about her that I liked through the whole book.  Hopefully she will grow up as the series goes on.  As for Kate, she was nice but she was naive and so obsessed with the barn and horses.  Tommi was smart, practical, and very cool.  She was my favorite of the three girls.

The plot was a bit slow.  Nothing seemed to happen for a while and even when it did, it wasn’t all that exciting.  I don’t know anything about horses or shows so everything was also a little confusing to me.  Not so bad that I couldn’t read it though.

Overall, The A Circuit is one I would recommend to people who actually know something about horses already.  It’s a really quick read and I think the series holds great appeal.

What others are saying about The A Circuit: 

Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf’s review: “Full of horses, drama, and a dose of depth, The A Circuit is a great lazy day read.”

Harmony Book Reviews’ review: “The A Circuit is full of rich girl drama and not a whole lot of substance, while still pulling the reader in.”

Novel Reaction’s review: “It was interesting to see the dynamics that come with showing horses competitively while still in high school.”