Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 EOM Wrap Up

I have read 7 books this month (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
An Elegant Facade (Hawthorne House, # 2) by Kristi Ann Hunter
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott
PS I Like You by Kasie West
Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, # 1) by Joelle Charbonneau
Built (Saints of Denver, # 1) by Jay Crownover
Charged (Saints of Denver, # 2) by Jay Crownover (not pictured)

I have reviewed 4 books this month. *These qualify for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
Full Tilt (Full Tilt, # 1) by Emma Scott
*All In (Full Tilt, # 2) by Emma Scott
Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, # 1) by Joelle Charbonneau

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 254 & Stacking the Shelves - 192
Sunday Post - 255
Sunday Post - 256 & Stacking the Shelves - 193
Sunday Post - 257 & Stacking the Shelves - 194
Can't Wait for Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, # 6) by Sarah J Maas
Can't Wait for You Don't Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow
Can't Wait for Last Star Burning (Last Star Burning, # 1) by Caitlin Sangster
Can't Wait for Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - July Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm like 12 days behind on my Bible reading plan. - Still behind, but catching up.
I've read 47 out of 52 books.
I've read 7 out of 10-12 series enders.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Post - 258

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Monday, Little Girl and I went swimming at Holly's mom's. Tuesday was normal grocery day. Thursday, Holly, her mom, my niece, and her best friend came to swim with Little Girl and I. We're trying to squeeze in as much swim time as possible before Holly goes back to work and summer is over. Friday we went out to eat with my parents for them to get Little Girl for a spend-the-weekend. On the way to the restaurant Little Girl threw up all over the place. She never does that, and I did not feel prepared for cleaning it up. But I know it'll just be the first in a long line of vomit throughout her life. After that she acted like she felt fine so we sent her on with the grandparents as planned. Husband and I decided to try to use the free weekend for some painting we've been putting off. No new books this week.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, # 1) by Joelle Charbonneau (3 Stars)
Tuesday: 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - July Wrap Up
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: July 2017 EOM Wrap Up
Tuesday: Review of The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Can't Wait for Without Merit

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Without Merit

By: Colleen Hoover

Expected Publication: October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books

384 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us and November 9 comes a moving and haunting novel of family, love, and the power of the truth.

In Colleen Hoover’s gripping novel, reminiscent of the bestselling works of Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes, a young woman decides to reveal the dark secrets of her seemingly-happy family before she leaves them behind, but when her escape plan fails, she must deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth.

I was trying to wait for a more detailed description for this book before I featured it; however, it doesn't appear that we're going to get one. But it is Colleen Hoover so that pretty much guarantees an auto-buy for me. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - July Wrap Up

Time for our seventh Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the June Wrap Up, Holly hasn't finished any series enders this month. Sandy finished A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 3) by Sarah J Maas.

Announcements/Reminders:

  1. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
  2. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Again, we want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Holly and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the July giveaway runs from July 25th - August 25th. On August 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Dividing Eden - Review

Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, # 1)

By: Joelle Charbonneau

Published: June 6th 2017 by HarperTeen

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasty

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the author of the New York Times bestselling Testing trilogy comes a sweeping new fantasy series, perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sarah J. Maas.

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

When I first picked up Dividing Eden to read, I'd read several fantasy books in a row. And while I enjoy the genre, I'm realizing more and more how heavy these books can feel. They're typically longer in length and have to spend as much time establishing and constructing the world for the reader as they do exposing and delving into the characters. They're just not typically books that I end up categorizing as "light and fun". There's nothing wrong with that, but I'm finding that I need plenty of light and fun mixed into the heavy to keep a good balance and to avoid reading slumps. That being said, I didn't pick up Dividing Eden at the best time, and even though I was about 10% through and enjoying it, I decided to put it down in favor of some contemporary reads. After reading a few contemporary reads, I won't say I was yet in the mood for the fantasy genre again, but I decided to read a little in Dividing Eden since I'd already started it. And then ended up deciding to finish it.

While I was intrigued and interested in the plot and the questions that the book caused me to ask--initially, which character should I be rooting for? who is the true villain? what secrets are certain characters hiding? and will there be a romance?--kept me reading and not wanting to put the book down, I can also see where not all readers will feel the same way. There are hints at some potential romance, possibly even a setup for a triangle. But I see the potential for some readers to feel like this book drags on rather than keeps them hooked. For myself and other reader friends that I know in real life, the lack of romance for Dividing Eden could easily be something that slows them down.

Another issue was the world building. There was much left unexplained and ambiguous. For instance, the Xhelozi. 1) I didn't even try to pronounce this word so I skimmed it every time I came across it and that is a pet peeve of mine. 2) Their origin story or even what they were besides hairy and?? scaly monsters that apparently eat humans is all that we really were told. 3) Basically anything else about them we have no clue. There's apparently some sort of wind generated power system that provides the electricity needed for the lights that may or may not keep these vague Xhelozi creatures away. That needed a bit more exploration or explanation. The system of Elders that stand for certain virtues yet are vying for political power was a bit confusing if only because there were so many of them and it was hard to keep the names straight with who was who. Speaking of virtues, the trials that Carys and Andreus participated in were supposed to coincide with the specific virtues that the monarch of Eden is supposed to protect and embody. These felt totally random to me. How archery has anything to do with humility is beyond me. And even the magic of the world itself was completely ambiguous. There are Seers and curses and these creatures I mentioned and apparently an ability to control the wind, but it was hard to tell which of these things were legit aspects of the world and which were perhaps imagined by the characters. All of this to say that even though I was interested in the plot and what was happening with the characters, this world needed a bit more polishing. Of course, I try to withhold judgment because sometimes the world building is so tied to the plot that it needs to be explored only at the proper times, but Dividing Eden just left me scratching my head in one too many areas for this to be the case.

All of that being said, I was interested in the characters. Both Carys and Andreus narrate alternately. And this led to questions of who I needed to be rooting for. In the beginning, which character that should be wasn't entirely obvious. Yet as the book progresses it becomes more and more clear. At their birth, a Seer pronounced that one twin would be light and one would be dark. Andreus has been cursed and Carys has always been raised by her mother to be his protector. To keep the secret of his curse. And so to divert attention away from Andreus many times Carys has taken lashings and more to be this for her brother. So much so that she's become addicted to a drug called Tears of Midnight. Andreus is compassionate to those who have been in a similar situation as himself. Though not cursed, Andreus takes under his care a young boy named Max who has a condition that would appear similar to asthma. Andreus also loves to be involved with the study of the windmills that keep the lights on in Eden. But as I was discussing earlier about things being left unexplained, what exactly is Andreus's curse or the attacks that he gets was left vague as well. Basically he seemed to have panic attacks from what I could tell. Why that's considered a curse wasn't really explained either.

Andreus and Carys both have a spark of potential romance. Andreus has feelings for the unattainable Seer of Eden, Imogen. Carys finds an unlikely ally on a foreign Trade Master named Errik, and also potentially her older brother, Micah's, best friend and nephew to one of the Elders, Garrett. Garrett is next in line for the throne after Andreus and Carys. All three of these potential love interests appear to have secrets and knowing who to trust isn't easy. Some is revealed but not all. And as I mentioned before, there's not really enough happening in the romance part for this to be a driving motivation for some readers to keep turning pages.

Oh and yet another thing is the Queen Mother. I felt like she was basically an inessential character. Since even though she should have taken the throne after the King and Crown Prince were killed a successor after her would still have to have been chosen. She could have told Carys and Andreus about the curse and then died when they were younger. I supposes she had a small role to play in almost seeming like a Seeress herself, but I really feel like any information that came from her could have been handled in another way. Unless she has a much larger role to play in the next book. Cutting her character might have saved some much needed pages that could have been used for world building.

I know that I've done a pretty detailed critique of this one and perhaps done a better job discussing what I disliked than what I did, but I truly didn't overall dislike the book. Dividing Eden definitely has some flaws and parts that need more explanation and smoothing out, but I did feel invested in the characters (specifically Carys) and I personally did want to keep reading to find out more. I can't say for sure yet whether I plan to continue with the series or not. I will probably need more information concerning the events of book 2 and how many books will be in the series before I can decide. But I am intrigued. If I do continue the series, I seriously hope there's more in the way or romance and some added backstory for the world. Ultimately, I think Dividing Eden gets 3 Stars. I didn't love it, but I can't say that I disliked it either. Have you read Dividing Eden? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Post - 257 & Stacking the Shelves - 194

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Another busy week. Monday Holly, her mom, and my niece came to hang out and swim with me and Little Girl. Tuesday was normal grocery day. Thursday I had a dentist appointment so Little Girl went to Grammy's. After the dentist I had to go to the DMV to get my driver's license renewed. I waited for four hours and then failed the eye exam because I didn't have my contact in or my glasses with me. (I can totally see to drive without them, but whatevs.) SO I had to go back the next day. Friday Little Girl hung out with Grammy again as I had a doctor's appointment and my glucose test (BLEH!). Then I had to go back to the DMV to finish up with my driver's license. And then I ran to lunch with Holly and my niece. Saturday was just a chill sort of day. I needed that.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of All In (Full Tilt, # 2) by Emma Scott (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Last Star Burning (Last Star Burning, # 1) by Caitlin Sangster

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, # 1) by Joelle Charbonneau
Tuesday: 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - July Wrap Up
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Built (Saints of Denver, # 1)

By: Jay Crownover

Published: January 5th 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks

352 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series,Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about.

Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn't matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn't return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, [...] Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.

Gone (Gone, # 1)

By: Michael Grant

Published: April 28th 2009 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published June 24th 2008)

558 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Source: Free Audiobook Sync Download

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents-unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers-that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...

Boundaries in Marriage

By: Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

Published: May 18th 2009 by Zondervan (first published January 1st 1999)

258 pages

Genre: Non-fiction, Self-Help, Christian, Marriage

Source: Personal Kindle Library (currently $1.99)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Only when you and your mate know and respect each other's needs, choices, and freedom can you give yourselves freely and lovingly to one another. Boundaries in Marriage gives you the tools you need. Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, counselors and authors of the award-winning bestseller Boundaries, show you how to apply the principles of boundaries to your marriage. This book helps you understand the friction points or serious hurts and betrayals in your marriage -- and move beyond them to the mutual care, respect, affirmation, and intimacy you both long for.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Can't Wait for Last Star Burning

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Last Star Burning (Last Star Burning, # 1)

By: Caitlin Sangster

Expected Publication: October 10th 2017 by Simon Pulse

400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Sev is branded with the mark of a criminal—a star burned into her hand. That’s the penalty for being the daughter of the woman who betrayed their entire nation.

Now her mother’s body is displayed above Traitor’s Arch, kept in a paralyzed half sleep by the same plague that destroyed the rest of the world. And as further punishment, Sev is forced to do hard labor to prove that she’s more valuable alive than dead.

When the government blames Sev for a horrific bombing, she must escape the city or face the chopping block. Unimaginable dangers lurk outside the city walls, and Sev’s only hope of survival lies with the most unlikely person—Howl, the chairman’s son. Though he promises to lead her to safety, Howl has secrets, and Sev can’t help but wonder if he knows more about her past—and her mother’s crimes—than he lets on.

But in a hostile world, trust is a luxury. Even when Sev’s life and the lives of everyone she loves may hang in the balance.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, July 17, 2017

All In - Review

All In (Full Tilt, # 2)

By: Emma Scott

Published: October 11th 2016

296 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--SPOILERS FOR FULL TILT....

Reeling from her loss, Kacey Dawson is grieving and heartbroken, her addictive demons hauling her back into the alcohol-soaked abyss she worked so hard to crawl out of. Kacey teeters on the edge of oblivion, and must fight her way through the pain, to build a new life for herself with her music, and somehow fulfill the promise she made to Jonah…one she feels is impossible to keep.

Theo Fletcher has a secret burning in his heart, one that he holds close, while he struggles to keep strong for his family that is falling apart. His mother’s health is fragile and his father’s disapproval is breaking him down. Theo is afraid if he follows his heart, he’ll fail, and not just himself, but his brother who believed in him when no one else did.

Drawn together by their pain, Theo and Kacey slowly build a friendship, re-forge old ties, help each other to heal, and give one another the courage to reach for their dreams. Together, from the depths of grief and guilt, they learn to laugh again, to trust again, and quite possibly find something beautiful and lasting amid the shattered pieces of their broken hearts.

Part II of the two-part Full Tilt duet, coming Oct 2016

PLEASE NOTE, this novel is NOT a standalone. It is highly recommended one read Full Tilt first to get the entire arc of the story and to avoid spoilers.

I predicted that Kacey and Theo would be the subject of All In while reading Full Tilt. I noticed small things like Kacey thinking Theo fit what she normally would find attractive compared to Jonah and a few things like that, but around the 70% mark when she stopped to ask Theo how he was doing when no one else had I knew that I was right.

Of course considering that I struggled with Kacey and her instincts to drink herself into oblivion when things get tough at the beginning of Full Tilt, it's no surprise that I found myself rolling my eyes at where we find her in All In. And so it felt like a bit of a repeat to see her have to work through this same issue but to an even worse extent than before.

Theo was the true hero of Full Tilt despite how much I loved Jonah. Theo was solid. He was always, always there for everyone. He was constantly looking out for those in his circle. I loved the loyalty and steadfastness of his character. And that was true in All In as well. Theo's journey was about finding a way to continue to take care of those he loves as well as satisfy his own needs and desires. His dreams of owning his own tattoo shop and the girl that he's fallen in love with.

Kacey and Theo have a SLOW building relationship. Theo's feelings have been developing for a lot longer than Kacey's, but Kacey does have a little bit more to work through than Theo does in order to get on the same page. I enjoyed how the slow pace made things feel more authentic. Any faster and Kacey's feelings for Jonah couldn't have been as strong as they were. Yet the gradual development lowered the intensity level for me. Sometimes slow burn makes the pay off even better. Don't get me wrong, I loved the outcome and how things ended up, but I didn't feel the fever to keep reading until I'd read every last page like I did with Full Tilt.

One of my frustrations with Full Tilt revolved around the frequency of sexual scenes, I was happy to see that wasn't the case for All In. Yet the language was just as much.

Favorite quote:

-"Accept that which has ended and let go so you can move on. So you may grow. So you may thrive."

I very much enjoyed All In. I enjoyed the slow build from the end of Full Tilt to the end of this book. Yet the slow burn didn't hold the intensity for me that book 1 had. I loved Theo the most, yet the emotion just wasn't on the same level for me. All In turns out exactly how I wanted and that means it gets 4 Stars. Have you read All In? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Post - 256 & Stacking the Shelves - 193

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This week has been busy yet much less so than the three weeks prior. Monday was a fairly normal day except that I had to pick up my nephew from band camp and then get groceries. Tuesdays are normally grocery day but we were out of EVERYTHING since having been on vacation the week before. Tuesday the guys came back to do our punch list on the bathroom. I love the look of my new bathroom, but I wish these guys were a little more detail oriented. It's the little things, you know? The rest of the week I spent cleaning house because Saturday we were having the family over to celebrate Holly's birthday. And you guys! Little Girl is in this majorly clingy phase since we have been home from vacation. She says "Mommy help" for EVERYTHING. I'm talking about something as small as picking up a toy off the floor that is not even two feet in front of her. And she wants to be held constantly. "Up up up!" I'm trying to remind myself that it is just a phase and she'll be grown and not wanting help or to be held before I know it. And while I'm truly eating up the cuddles, it can be really draining. Also, did anyone else get totally screwed by Photobucket? UGH! I was NOT in the mood to deal with that crap Friday morning.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Full Tilt (Full Tilt, # 1) by Emma Scott (4.5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday is on a break. I might do a few top ten topics of my own until they come back, but I didn't have time to come up with anything this week.
Wednesday: Can't Wait for You Don't Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of All In (Full Tilt, # 2) by Emma Scott
Tuesday: ??
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

PS I Like You

By: Kasie West

Published: July 26th 2016 by Point

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.

The Butterfly Project

By: Emma Scott

Published: February 21, 2017 by Trillian

256 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon Depository is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--"Where you are is home..."

At age fourteen, Zelda Rossi witnessed the unthinkable, and has spent the last ten years hardening her heart against the guilt and grief. She channels her pain into her art: a dystopian graphic novel where vigilantes travel back in time to stop heinous crimes—like child abduction—before they happen. Zelda pitches her graphic novel to several big-time comic book publishers in New York City, only to have her hopes crash and burn. Circumstances leave her stranded in an unfamiliar city, and in an embarrassing moment of weakness, she meets a guarded young man with a past he’d do anything to change...

Beckett Copeland spent two years in prison for armed robbery, and is now struggling to keep his head above water. A bike messenger by day, he speeds around New York City, riding fast and hard but going nowhere, his criminal record holding him back almost as much as the guilt of his crime.

Zelda and Beckett form a grudging alliance of survival, and in between their stubborn clash of wills, they slowly begin to provide each other with the warmth of forgiveness, healing, and maybe even love. But when Zelda and Beckett come face to face with their pasts, they must choose to hold on to the guilt and regret that bind them, or let go and open their hearts for a shot at happiness.

The Butterfly Project is a novel that reveals the power of forgiveness, and how even the smallest decisions of the heart can—like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings—create currents that strengthen into gale winds, altering the course of a life forever.

#standalone

The Pursuit of God

By: AW Tozer

Published: April 1st 2015 by Moody Publishers (first published 1948)

144 pages

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Sometimes the voice that speaks so clearly in the present is one that echoes from the past. So it is in this Christian classic by the late pastor and evangelist A. W. Tozer.

Tozer brings the mystics to bear on modern spirituality, grieving the hustle and bustle and calling for a slow, steady gaze upon God. With prophetic vigor and flowing prose, he urges us to replace low thoughts of God with lofty ones, to quiet our lives so we can know God's presence. He reminds us that life apart from God is really no life at all.

Tozer writes from his knees, a posture fit for presenting the character of God in all its demanding grandeur. "Arise, O sleeper!" is his word to us, and yet if we heed the call, we will see that to arise is not to stand but to kneel before the God of heaven in humble contemplation. To pursue God is to know Him, and in our knowing be drawn in.

Tozer's bestseller, this book has been called "one of the all-time most inspirational books" by a panel of Christian magazine writers.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Can't Wait for You Don't Know Me But I Know You

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

You Don't Know Me But I Know You

By: Rebecca Barrow

Expected Publication: August 29th 2017 by HarperTeen

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Adoption

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--There’s a box in the back of Audrey’s closet that she rarely thinks about.

Inside is a letter, seventeen years old, from a mother she’s never met, handed to her by the woman she’s called Mom her whole life.

Being adopted, though, is just one piece in the puzzle of Audrey’s life—the picture painstakingly put together by Audrey herself, consisting not only of the greatest family ever but of a snarky, loyal, sometimes infuriating best friend, Rose; a sweet, smart musician boyfriend, Julian; and a beloved camera that turns the most fleeting moments of her day-to-day routine into precious, permanent memories.

But when Audrey realizes that she’s pregnant, she feels something—a tightly sealed box in the closet corners of her heart—crack open, spilling her dormant fears and unanswered questions all over the life she loves.

Almost two decades ago, a girl in Audrey’s situation made a choice, one that started Audrey’s entire story. Now Audrey is paralyzed by her own what-ifs and terrified by the distance she feels growing between her and Rose. Down every possible path is a different unfamiliar version of her life, and as she weighs the options in her mind, she starts to wonder—what does it even mean to be Audrey Spencer?

Rebecca Barrow’s bright, honest debut novel about chance, choice, and unconditional love is a heartfelt testament to creating the future you truly want, one puzzle piece at a time.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Full Tilt - Review

Full Tilt (Full Tilt, # 1)

By: Emma Scott

Published: June 28th 2016 by Trillian

292 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Borrowed from Holly

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--"I would love you forever, if I only had the chance..."

Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge--impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch...

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he's vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

Full Tilt is a story about what it means to love with your whole heart, to sacrifice, to experience terrible grief and soaring joy. To live life with all its beauty, and all its pain, and in the end to be able to smile through tears and know you wouldn’t have changed a thing.

***FIRST BOOK IN A TWO PART DUET***

All In (Full Tilt #2) forthcoming...

Kacey isn't one that I would typically connect to. Even when I can intellectually understand how she might have ended up where she has, I don't connect to the character that tries to drown their sorrows in alcohol. Drinking never makes one's problems go away. It only compounds them. And Kacey is no exception. Yet, I can always relate to a character that works to make themselves better. And eventually Kacey does take steps to put herself on a better path. I can respect that.

Jonah was easily relatable. (Why does that seem to happen more often than not?) He steps in like a knight in shining armor to rescue Kacey from herself. He offers her what she's so rarely found...a friend who doesn't want anything from her. Sure Jonah finds her attractive, but Jonah has no intentions of beginning a relationship. I could understand and even respect Jonah's desire to keep Kacey at arm's length. Normally, I find characters that self-sacrifice what they want out of some (usually) misguided attempt to protect the other character super annoying because it isn't typically true self-sacrifice. Yet, I wasn't upset with Jonah for trying to keep his distance, and I wasn't upset when that distance was closed.

Full Tilt is truly like watching a train wreck in the best kind of way. You know the ending is coming from the beginning. You watch it getting closer and closer, and you can't stop it. But you can't look away either. You brace yourself. And when the impact comes you break apart at the destruction and pain before you. That's exactly how I felt. I couldn't put this book down. I knew how it was going to end. I even made a prediction a good bit before the ending about book 2. Yet I found myself literally holding my breath while reading this book. And when that inevitable ending came, my heart broke. The tears fell. And I don't mean just a few. Wow. The feels.

However, one of my pet peeves of the new adult genre was present. I expect physical scenes from this genre, but from about the 50% mark on the scenes were just too frequent for my preferences. And as tends to accompany these scenes and genre, the language was pretty strong and frequent too. Especially the f-bombs. This is something that I've come to expect from the genre, but I don't enjoy it.

Favorite quote:

-"Don't let me vanish, Theo. Please. Help me..."

Full Tilt offered up complex characters with histories meaningful to where they currently are in their lives as well as where they will go in the future. I loved seeing the setup for book 2, All In. And the emotion had me hooked and turning the pages while holding my breath to reach the inevitable heart wrenching conclusion which left me in tears. My few pet peeves of language and sexual content keep me from rating this a full 5 stars. Full Tilt gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Full Tilt? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Post - 255

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This week has been another crazy one! Monday the crew was back to work on our bathroom. We spent the day at Husband's mom's house. We had a funeral to go to also. Tuesday we also spent at Husband's mom's with his family. This was the second anniversary of his dad's passing so that added a layer of melancholy to the atmosphere. However, our niece was baptized into Christ Tuesday night, and so that added a whole new level of joy to our day. Wednesday morning we left for Gatlinburg, TN. This was our first long trip with Little Girl. 6 Hours. Wednesday was essentially just a travel day. She did wonderfully which was a surprise since a simple 3 hour trip has been difficult for us in the past. I did ride in the back with her while Husband drove so I was able to attend to her every whim. Thursday, we went to Ripley's Aquarium. She loved the "big sharks." Friday, we spent a couple of hours at the indoor waterpark at the resort and then stopped by one of those places with carnival type rides. And then Saturday, we stopped by Deer Farm Exotic Petting Zoo before we started the drive home. Little Girl surprised us both in how well she handled the whole vacation thing. Traveling, sleeping away from home, napping, eating out, new experiences...all of it. She was beyond what we could have imagined. We originally intended to split the drive home between yesterday and today, but she did so well on the trip there that we decided to chance it. And I'm so glad that we did. We had a great time, but I'm so glad to be home. Also, our bathroom is finished. Minus the punch list of small details the guys will touch up for us.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Tuesday: Happy 4th of July!!
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, # 6) by Sarah J Maas
Thursday: Review of Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas (3.5 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Full Tilt (Full Tilt, # 1) by Emma Scott
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Punk 57 - Review

Punk 57

By: Penelope Douglas

Published: October 21st 2016

371 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Borrowed from Holly

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

Misha

I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

[...]I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

I don't really know what I want to say about Punk 57. Holly recommended it to me, so I added it to my TBR list without even reading the description. And when I started to feel a potential reading slump coming on, I picked it up in the hopes that it being a recommendation would be exactly what I needed to keep me reading. And so I jumped in blind. And what I found was that I was really intrigued.

Misha and Ryen have been pen pals for seven years. The description tells you how they got matched up, and that they only had three rules (no pictures, no social media, and no phone numbers). But Misha stumbles upon a Ryen at a fundraiser his band is doing and considering the unique spelling of her name he dives a little deeper and realizes that she is his pen-pal. Yet he chooses not to reveal himself right then. Something happens that night, and Misha's life will never be the same. As a result, he finds himself unable to write. Unable to write to Ryen and unable to write lyrics, two things that have always been a constant for him. Ryen has no idea why he stopped responding, and she finds herself needing a new outlet. A new way to say the words that no one else wants to hear.

I don't want to spoil anything for someone who hasn't read Punk 57 but that would be essentially all I could say about this book if I didn't risk some potential spoilers, so proceed with caution. Misha and Ryen have only lived one town apart the entire time they've been writing each other. And after that fateful night, Misha decides that he has some business to attend to in Ryen's town--her school even. But when he actually gets to spend more than two minutes with her, he doesn't exactly like what he sees. It appears that Ryen's been lying to him for seven years about who she is. And that makes him angry.

Normally, I find myself easily connecting to the leading male in a story but sometimes struggling with the female, but I have to say that I struggled with both of them. I understand that Misha's been through a lot and he could easily blame Ryen for things that aren't exactly her fault. I understand him feeling like she's lied to him for years. But I don't understand how he was so mean to her. Calling her out is one thing, but he didn't really stop there. He was downright awful to her at times. Now Ryen isn't without blame here. She's downright awful at times in general and not just to Misha. But why she would feel herself attracted to someone who was so mean to her is something that I don't understand. Had he gone about revealing her flaws in a different way, I could see her finding that and him attractive, but under the circumstances I was having a hard time here.

In the same way, beyond finding Misha attractive despite the way he treats her, the physical scenes were a bit much for me. I fall on the lower tolerance for this in my reading preferences anyway. But I don't think this would have bothered me as much had it not been for the emotional relationship between the two. False pretenses being used. And the harsh treatment left me feeling ugly and dirty concerning these two and their relationship. Definitely not hot and bothered (which I think was the intention). And way, way, way outside of the realm of warm and fuzzy. It just didn't sit right with me at all. Holly's review warned of the content so it wasn't that I didn't know it would be there, but I didn't expect to feel so grossed out by it.

There were a lot of lessons that the characters learned--specifically Ryen. And I did like the overall message of loving yourself, being kind to others, and how high school does not define your worth. Despite people being a member of the popular crowd or the outcasts, I think you will find that rarely does anyone feel confident in who they are and whether or not they're accepted by others at this age. So even though the message was good, I did sometimes struggle with Ryen--wanting her to be stronger. I wanted her to be one of the awesome heroines that I love to read about. She wasn't, but she wasn't meant to be at the same time.

Punk 57 had a great premise. I loved the idea of the pen-pals that have never met and when they do they're not everything they portrayed themselves to be and the fallout that results. But execution let me down here when the physical scenes were included. It wasn't so much that they were present, but rather the circumstances that surrounded them that left a bad taste in my mouth and turned me completely off. Where I feel Punk 57 had the potential to be a 4+ Star read for me, it ended up only being a 3.5. Have you read Punk 57? What did you think Let me know!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Can't Wait for Tower of Dawn

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, # 6)

By: Sarah J Maas

Expected Publication: September 5th 2017 by Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books

672 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

I'm a little disappointed that this next book in the series won't follow Aelin & Rowan as closely as we're used to. However, I have been a fan of Chaol, and I have faith in Sarah J Maas. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Post - 254 & Stacking the Shelves - 192

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

You guys this week has been so crazy hectic. Last Sunday our contractor called and asked if we were ready for them to start remodeling our bathroom on Monday. They'd originally given us this week as the goal start date but since we'd not heard from them we thought it would be next week. We literally got home from Husband's work trip the day before. But we said "sure" and start they did. Little Girl and I spent the days at my parents' house about 30-45 minutes away. But there was SOMETHING every single day. My sister had car trouble Monday morning on her way to work so I ran by her house to pick her up and drop her daughter off at daycare before I headed to my mom's. Tuesday I had to run by Kirkland's to purchase two mirrors for the bathroom. Wednesday I took Little Girl up to Husband's work to show her off. Thursday was the only day we didn't have something extra. And Friday we had a doctor's appointment and went to dinner with my parents and Nanny. They didn't quite finish up the bathroom so they'll be back at it tomorrow, but Husband is off work. We'll be spending the 3rd and 4th at his mother's. Then we're off on vacation for a couple of days after that. OH MY! My head is spinning.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Sunday: 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - June Wrap Up
Monday: Review of Coming Up for Air (Hundred Oaks, # 8) by Miranda Kenneally (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten 2017 Reads So Far
Wednesday: Can't Wait for If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L Armentrout
Friday: June 2017 EOM Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: I'm taking Monday and Tuesday off from posting this week.
Tuesday: Happy 4th of July!
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

A Different Blue

By: Amy Harmon

Published: March 29th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing

306 pages

Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!