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Love You Dead by Peter James: Giveaway and Promo!

Friday, September 30, 2016

An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life - to be beautiful and rich. She's achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she's working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it's getting rid of the husband afterwards that's harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect . . .
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.
Love You Dead is the gripping twelfth book in Peter James' Roy Grace series.

Goodreads Summary

Mandatory to be entered in the giveaway:
Bonus points opportunities:
  • Subscribe to PJTV on YouTube (4 points) In October, we will also be officially launching Peter’s new YouTube channel, PJTV, which will feature exclusive videos like interviews with other huge authors such as Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the Train, Lee Child, author of the upcoming Night School, and RL Stine, award winning author of the Goosebumps series. You can get a sneak peek of the site now in beta before the launch when you sign up.
  • Send Peter James a question, which he will answer on a YouTube video at a later date, at this email address:pjfanvideos@gmail.com (3 points)
  • Like Peter James on Facebook (1 point):
  • Follow Peter on Instagram (1 point)

Enter Here


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Take the Bible Challenge with Odyssey Adventure Club

How much do you know about the Bible and its influence on our culture, history–and the whole world? Focus on the Family and Bring Your Bible have teamed up to create a quiz to test how much you and your kids know about the Bible. Take the quiz to find out!

Don't forget to mark your calendars to celebrate religious freedom with other students across the U.S. on October 6—Bring Your Bible to School Day! Students from kindergarten to college will be bringing their Bibles to school and sharing God with their friends in just a few short weeks. Sign up to be a part of the movement to protect religious freedom for future generations.

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By signing up, you’ll receive a free guide with tips, downloadable posters, sticker and T-shirt designs, information on your legal rights, and other fun, interactive activities.

You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to hear the Newsboys, an award-winning Christian music band, in Dallas!

Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey

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Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club. SOCIAL MEDIA: SEPTEMBER 29–OCTOBER 5 Tweets and Facebook Posts How well do you and your kids know the Bible? Take the quiz with #BringYourBible and @FocusFamily! #OAClub [YOUR BLOG POST LINK] Take the Bible Challenge with @FocusFamily and #BringYourBible (plus a free #OAClub trial for your kids): [YOUR BLOG POST LINK] This fall invest in your children’s faith with a free #OAClub two-week trial! [YOUR BLOG POST LINK] This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Ungodly by Kendare Blake

Thursday, September 29, 2016


For the Goddess of Wisdom, what Athena didn’t know could fill a book. That’s what her opponents said.

So she was wrong about some things. So her carefully planned assault on Olympus left her team beaten and scattered and possibly dead. So they have to fight the Fates themselves, who, it turns out, are the source of the gods’ illness. And sure, Athena is stuck in the underworld, holding the body of the only hero she has ever loved.

But all is not lost. Hermes is still topside, trying to power up Andie and Henry before he runs out of time and submits to his death, or the Fates arrive to speed it along.

And Cassandra is up there somewhere, too, on a quest for death…with the god of death himself.

Just because things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, it doesn't mean they’ve lost. They’ve only mostly lost. And there’s a big difference.
 

Goodreads Summary


Athena and her group of rag tag survivors barely made it out of the mountain. Cassandra and Calypso, likewise, were not in good shape. I both liked this book because I read the first two and the characters and concept are fascinating and hated it because the author places so much emphasis on Cassandra and her so-called powers. Athena and Odysseus are in love and their relationship, though not the focal point of the novel, is sweet. Cassandra meets Thanatos, death himself, and cannot kill him...though she wishes she could kill her attraction to him. There are so many characters in this series that is is hard to get too attached to them or to keep track of them. The plot moved along fairly quickly (though it's more or less the same plot through all three books). Cassandra is hell-bent on killing the gods and goddesses for some inane reason and there are two factions of gods/goddesses fighting each other for another inane reason.

All the characters are fighting some moral failing in some way. The only ones that seemed honest and not full of themselves were Ares, Demeter, and Aphrodite. I also liked Hades and Persephone for their no-nonsense approach to the war. I could not stand Cassandra; her self-righteousness and ridiculous belief that she is supposed to murder all the gods/goddesses while still maintaining her high school innocence really bothered me.  The ending was not satisfying because a fair amount of loose ends are left flapping in the breeze. I really enjoyed the imagery and scenes described throughout the novel and how the gods/goddesses were portrayed.

3 Stars


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Exciting News from Avon Books!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
 Tessa Dare will be holding her launch party for DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL (on sale tomorrow) thisSunday, Oct 2, 4 p.m. at The Ripped Bodice! She’ll be streaming a portion of the event via Facebook Live, so keep an eye on www.facebook.com/TessaDareAuthor or www.facebook.com/avonromance! If you can’t make it to the event, but would still like a signed copy of DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL, you can order it from The Ripped Bodice here: http://www.therippedbodicela.com/product/tessa-dare-do-you-want-start-scandal-signed-available-preorder
Event date: 
Sunday, October 2, 2016 - 4:00pm
Event address: 
3806 Main St
Culver City, CA 90232


October 28, 2016
Avon 75th Anniversary Event at Book Culture in Manhattan
450 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024
Featuring: Eloisa JamesSarah MacLeanMegan FramptonTessa Bailey and Sara Jane Stone.

November 10, 2016
KissCon Cleveland

Hosted by the Cuyahoga County Public Library, South-Euclid Branch
(1876 S Green Rd, South Euclid, OH 44121)
Featuring: Katharine AsheToni BlakeShelley Shepard GrayLinda Howard, Linda JonesSusan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Ryan and Jill Shalvis.
For more information, or to reserve your ticket, visithttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/kisscon-cleveland-vip-reception-tickets-27776928541




This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven


From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone—and love someone—for who they truly are.
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone. 
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.
Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.
 

Goodreads Summary

When I first started this book I felt that everything bad that happened to Libby was horrible.  I can't imagine having a mother pass away (though my own mom's mommy did). Libby has horrible weight issues and had to be lifted from her house by a crane. When she returns to school with a vastly different body and outlook in life, she meets Jack, a boy suffering from facial recognition issues. The two develop a friendship that has the potential to turn into a romance. Jack represented a completely different part of the social strata than Libby. Although the two were social opposites, they were friends and eventually something more. 

I loved Libby's character. She was strong, intelligent, hard-working, and kind. She had such a determination to persevere no matter the obstacle hurled at her. This book would have been perfect if Libby had been the only main character. However, I did enjoy Jack. As a Neuroscience major, his condition is something my professors were always horrified about (it makes identifying even your own child difficult). I thought the author did a great job acknowledging the difficulties Jack experienced and how his condition related to his friendship with Libby. 

5 Star

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

Saturday, September 24, 2016
In this seductive follow-up to Poison Princess, #1 New York Timesbestselling author Kresley Cole takes us deeper into the dark world of the Arcana Chronicles.

Evie has fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress. And Jack was there to see it all. In the aftermath of killing Arthur, Evie realizes that there is a war brewing between the teens who’ve been given powers following the apocalypse, and it’s kill or be killed. When Evie meets Death, the gorgeous and dangerous Endless Knight, things get even more complicated. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history. One that Evie can’t remember, but Death can’t forget. Evie is drawn to Death, but in love with Jack. She is determined to discover why she’s been granted these powers, and in the process, struggles to accept her place in the prophecy that will either save the world, or destroy it.

Goodreads Summary

Kresley Cole's ability to create a world that is so fascinating I had to finish the book in a single day is mind-boggling. I love Evie and Aric together. I hate love triangles and the only way I can stand for this to work out is if Evie gets to have two husbands (right, sister wives?). Evie and Jack and Aric are the only way this well end well for me. Evie was empathetic, intelligent, and brave. I liked how the author scattered remnants of her past, horrific lives throughout the book. It was fascinating to see who Evie was and who she has the potential to become. The scenes with her and Aric were so intense and felt so real. Her gradually building up a relationship built on trust and dedication was fascinating to watch (until she practically wrecked it). I am definitely Team Aric and I rarely am team anyone. 

I love the idea of the Major Arcana and the descriptions of their powers and fights. The book went by lightening fast for me. The beginning, middle, and end had no drag and left me running to the store for the next book (somewhat literally). I was a little surprised by what Matthew and Aric revealed to Evie. Jack was not exactly the man I thought he was. I still get a bit of a bad vibe from Matthew and I wonder if he's going to one day try to destroy them all. Selena, Finn, and Lark and wonderful supporting characters. I loved the dynamic of their relationships to each other and that "fly by the seat of your pants" thing most of them have going on. I absolutely can't wait for the last in the series (better be the last) to come out!

5 Stars



This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Friday, September 23, 2016

Ivy Jensen survived the Dark House once, but can she make it out a second time?

Two months have passed since Ivy narrowly escaped the Nightmare Elf’s grip, but the memories of Parker, Natalie, Shayla, Frankie, and Garth continue to haunt her. Their killer is still out there—somewhere. The police trail has gone cold, though, and it’s up to Ivy to piece together the clues to find him.

When a cryptic video arrives in her inbox, Ivy soon finds herself back in the spotlight, this time on a twisted scavenger hunt through the dark, ancient halls of a long-forgotten Gothic school building. Ivy’s not alone, either. Taylor Monroe has returned to the scene. But can Taylor be trusted? Or is she another pawn in the Nightmare Elf’s deadly game?

Laurie Faria Stolarz crafts a mesmerizing thriller that will leave readers looking over their shoulders.
 

Goodreads Summary

Ivy was lucky enough to have escaped (presumably) her parents' killer as well as the psychotic initiator of the Dark House. However, she escaped without her friends and her love interest, Parker. Against all reason, Ivy desires a return to the horror and mayhem she escaped to have a fighting chance of rescuing her friends. Along the way, she reaches out to Taylor, the girl who ran before the Dark House even got started. Initially, Taylor exhibits more brains than Ivy and strongly resists, but when the clues pour in and Ivy is determined to go, Taylor does not want to abandon her newfound friend.

The book is told from Ivy and Taylor's perspectives. I really liked Taylor's character more than Ivy's this time around. Taylor was funny and tried to inject enthusiasm and humor during the more trying moments of the book; Ivy had this weird single-minded focus that was both admirable and slightly mentally ill. I liked that both girls were brave, but I would have preferred one or both to take different approaches to what ultimately happens in the book. Natalie's perspective is also injected at random times. Her resilience is truly amazing. Her ability to survive despite being captured by the Nightmare Elf is incredible. I liked that the author added a fourth and more mysterious perspective that gave the reader clues into the Nightmare Elf's head. Although I had a good idea of what was going to happen in the end, I still found this an intriguing and fast-paced read.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

A World Without You by Beth Revis

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What if finding her means losing himself?

Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.”

At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofía, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Soíia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofía, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.

But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time—that he somehow left her in the past, and that now it’s his job to save her. And as Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofía, he must decide whether to face his demons head-on or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.

Goodreads Summary

It's difficult not to use my Neuroscience background to analyze this novel (whenever I do that it tends to ruin all fiction novels). Bo is a teenage boy with a serious delusion disorder. He believes that he can see the "timestream" and that he can choose to go back in time. He tampers with going forward in time and wants to change what has already happened in the past. He believes that he is attending a school for gifted children who have certain powers. The other children don't matter nearly as much to him as Sofia, a young girl with a serious depressive disorder whose mother and two sisters were killed in an automobile crash. When she commits suicide, Boy is convinced that he actually dropped her off in time somewhere and has to go back in time to go and save her. 

Although the summary does not say much about Phoebe, a good chunk of the novel is written from her viewpoint. She has to endure having a brother with special needs. She's just a teen herself and gives up a lot because of her brother. She knows that it is important that he "heal," but she can't help but think sometimes that he is selfish. I preferred Phoebe over Bo's delusions and sometimes willful choosing of his delusions (debatable in the science community). 

The author did a decent job at describing an unspecified mental disorder. I could tell that she had looked into several disorders that could somewhat fit Bo. Often, it is not possible to identify a disorder that fits perfectly with the given symptoms. I could go into why Bo wasn't a fully accurate representation of a true disorder, but I do believe that unless we have experienced it ourselves we cannot fully say one way or the other no matter what traditional science says. I liked how the other students at the school for "exceptional" children fit into his delusions and hallucinations. I really did love how the author fit Bo's hallucinations like puzzle pieces into the plot of the story and into reality. I spent about a day reading this book, but I think I will remember Bo for much longer than that. I was not surprised by the ending, but it's rare to find a book that is truly shocking.

3 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

In-Between Days by Vikki Wakefield

Seventeen-year-old Jacklin Bates believes the only way to soar beyond her life is to drop out of school and move in with her free-spirited sister, Trudy. But Jack quickly discovers her sister isn’t the same person she used to be. And when Jack loses her job and the boy she loves breaks her heart, she’s desperate for distractions.

She strikes up an unlikely friendship with Pope, a lost soul camping in the forest behind her house, and begins a fragile relationship with Jeremiah, the boy next door. Together, over an endless summer, they fix up the abandoned drive-in theater at the edge of town.

Deep down, Jack knows she can’t stay in limbo forever. But sometimes the hardest part of starting over isn’t choosing a path…it’s figuring out how to take that first step forward.

Goodreads Summary

Although I hated the character (Jacklin), I really enjoyed the plot. I never really thought about what actually happened to high school drop-outs. Jacklin drops out of high school to go live with her sister who, as the story goes, ran away to Europe before returning to their small town. Their relationship is far from perfect, but it works in a sisterly way. The descriptions that Jacklin has for her sister, her town, her life, etc...are so intriguing. I could literally feel what she was feeling through her descriptions. She meets an old high school friend who might turn into something more despite her confusing feelings for her old boyfriend. She also meets Pope and worries about him since he is camping in a forest where many go to commit suicide. Throughout most of the book, she mostly meanders through life. There are quite a few times where she is given choices, but often remains stagnant. I really did enjoy the ending.

Jacklin was definitely not one of my favorite characters. She was slovenly, rude, and didn't seem to care much about other people or even her older dog until it was too late. She isolated herself and alienated nearly everyone around her at one point or another in the novel. She literally dropped out of high school for no real reason to take a job that didn't even have enough money to pay her (and she soon lost that job). It was almost like watching someone just spiral all the way down and then remain in a constant loop. I was able to guess what was going to happen at the end so it wasn't really a huge surprise. I think I liked the simplicity of the book despite Jacklin. It was a small town with a bunch of characters and the author had a way of truly making me feel as if I was really in that little town of Mobius. I really enjoyed how the author turned simple events into something that I found worth reading.

4 Stars



This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

He’s the infamous killer no man has ever been able to find.

Now it’s a girl’s turn.


Groomed to be the perfect highborn Victorian young lady, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has a decidedly different plan for herself. After the loss of her beloved mother, she is determined to understand the nature of death and its workings. Trading in her embroidery needle for an autopsy scalpel, Audrey secretly apprentices in forensics. She soon gets drawn into the investigation of serial killer Jack the Ripper, but to her horror, the search for clues brings her far closer to her sheltered world than she ever thought possible.
 

Goodreads Summary

I loved this book. I love all things Jack the Ripper (not the killing part, but the lore and the mystery) and I loved how the author handled the mystery and combined it with a powerful and intelligent heroine. Audrey lives a bit of a double life. Although she is supposed to fit the Victorian ideal of a lady, she is in love with science, not highborn men. She prefers science and cold, hard facts over flirty smiles and pretty dresses. She chooses to learn about forensics right around the time that Jack the Ripper begins his deadly slaughter. Audrey is determined to follow the line of clues right to the killer's front door.

I enjoyed Audrey's character, overall. I liked how she rebelled against her family and society's standards for her. I liked that her uncle supported Audrey's interest in forensics when her own father wouldn't. The adventures her uncle and her went on made me want to go on adventures with my own family more (extended family). The author incorporated secrets and deception to the perfect degree. It wasn't as ridiculous as Pretty Little Liars; a story about the complicated and elusive Jack the Ripper needs a few secrets. Thomas acted as Audrey's foil; he was sardonic and had an unusual mind. Although he was handsome, his intellect and brain drew Audrey to him, not his looks. I liked how Thomas fit into the story; the developing romance did not take over the main plot, but it was a nice interlude once in a while. 

4 Stars



This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards: Excerpt and Giveaway!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016



Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.

While on a mandatory senior field trip, a flash flood cuts off Sera and three classmates from their group with no way to call for help. But they’re not as alone as they thought…

Someone is stalking them through the woods. Someone who drugged them, stole their supplies, and wrote on their skin. Is it a judgement? A warning? If Sera doesn’t uncover the truth, it’s only a matter of time before the hunter finds her.


After years as a professional paper-pusher, NATALIE D. RICHARDS decided to trade in reality for a life writing YA fiction. She lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously furry dog named Yeti. This is her third novel. Visit her on Twitter @natdrichards or at nataliedrichards.com.

Twitter: @NatDRichards
Instagram: @NatDRichards



Excerpt:


I shriek as the frigid water laps up my thighs. Then—Snap! Pop!—off to my right. Dread spikes through me. Something’s coming downstream. I have to go. Right now.
“Come on, Sera,” Mr. Walker says, sounding breathless.
I rush, feet lurching. Almost there. So close now. I stumble. Lucas grabs my pack and hauls me up, and then I’m snarling at him—“Don’t touch me!”—while Mr. Walker snags one of my straps and half drags me out. Water pours down my pant legs. I’m soaked and freezing.
I take a soggy step, and my boot slips on the muddy bank. Lucas is out too, swearing and scrambling up while Mr. Walker stares across at the girls, hands in his hair, eyes wide with terror.
My knees are buckling, but I grab branches and exposed roots and, finally, Jude’s smooth, dark hand. Once I’m up, I follow him past brambles that snag my poncho. My hair.
“Over here.” Jude points to a vantage point near the path. No earbuds now. He’s wide-eyed and utterly focused on the stream fifteen feet below us. Emily and Lucas are beside him, both shaking.
There’s a tree wedged across the stream. That must have been what I heard. The water is rushing under and over it, pushing it harder and harder. And then it’s loose. I hold my breath as it rolls with the mud-brown river, snapping any­thing in its path.
“The others,” Emily says softly.
They’re lined up on the other side, mud-spattered and white with fear as the log hurtles past, ripping its way through the streambed and releasing a wall of sludgy brown water in its wake. The current surges up the banks behind it, littered with smaller branches and clumps of vegetation. Madison’s eyes track us across the water, finding Lucas and then me.
“They’re stuck over there.” I know it’s obvious, but I say it anyway.
Mr. Walker barks instructions at the edge of the stream. Ms. Brighton nods along, one arm wrapped around each girl, her dark braid coiled around her pale neck like a snake.
“What’s he going to do?” Jude asks.
“Nothing, rich boy,” Lucas says. “There’s not a damn thing he can do tonight. Can’t even call for help because there’s no signal anywhere with this rain.”
“What will happen to them?” I ask.
“If they listen to Mr. Walker, they’ll go set up camp on that ridge. We’ll stay here for the night, probably farther up the path. Us here, them there. Regroup in the morning if we can.”
I whirl on Lucas. “What do you mean if?”
“You expect us to believe he’s just going to leave them?” Jude asks.
“That flood isn’t going anywhere soon. And I don’t give a shit what you believe,” Lucas says to him. “Since someone has to set up our tent again, I need to find a clearing.”
Lucas storms away, and my eyes drag back to the stream. Three girls with arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders. The river gushes along, a monstrous evolution of what I just crossed, swallowing the bridge inch by inch.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Not like this at all.



 Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Kiss Cam by Kiara London

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In Kiss Cam, teen author Kiara London asks, what's a little harmless kissing between friends?

Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny have been friends forever and co-own a vlog channel called WereVloggingHere. Their fans are huge "shippers" who believe that Juniper and Jasper are perfect for each other, and, despite warnings from friends and family, a simple Truth-or-Dare inspired kiss soon spirals out of control into a whole new world of making out and surprise kisses.

Juniper and Jasper's relationship begins to shift. But as fan requests for different "Kiss Cam" segments keep pouring in, Juniper puts her worries aside and convinces herself that it doesn't mean anything. After all, it's just kissing… right?
 

Goodreads Summary

Whenever you try to convince yourself that kissing doesn't mean anything...well, it might work for some people (not for me) and I already knew where this story was going. Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny are vloggers; having a life in front of the camera means that people start to think that they can have many opinions. One of the opinions centralized around Juniper and Jasper. According to fans, they are meant to be. Indulging their fans means kissing each other and pretending that it doesn't mean anything in person, but will feelings get in the way?

Jasper is not the easiest person to resist. He is handsome, charismatic, and built (for many teens, this sounds like the jackpot). Juniper is a little hesitant. She doesn't want to take the chance of wrecking a very good friendship. Their friends Lenny and Allison offer good advice to them and they all provide comedic relief. I liked Juniper's character the most. The ending did not surprise me. It was a sweet young adult/teen read.

3 1/2 Stars






This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Gemina by Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Timesbestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” 

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.
 

Goodreads Summary


I found Illuminae so much fun to read and was so excited for Gemina! It's really hard to review the plot because I feel like there are just too many things that might turn into accidental spoilers. The plot itself was well-written and had a lot of depth to it. It was very well-developed and intriguing; my only complaint is that the book must have been missing (in the arc form) some crucial diagrams. There were some parts I didn't fully understand at first or I wasn't sure where the authors were going to take the story.

The characters were interesting and fun to read about. I felt like I was viewing them through a lens...like I was an observer more than someone who truly cared for their well-being. I would not have minded if the characters were a little more developed to the point where I cared about them. I think that can help make the story more enjoyable. I love the imagination behind the story itself. I feel like I could not have come up with this level of elaborate intrigue. The format the book is in was fascinating; similar to the first book, there are many different little additions that help further the plot. I found this book hard to put down and recommend the novel to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

How to Be You: Stop Trying to Be Someone Else and Start Living Your Life by Jeffrey Marsh: Review and Giveaway!

Monday, September 19, 2016
This book is about how to finally give up on feeling bad about ourselves and discover the best person we can be.

An interactive experience, How to Be You invites you to make the book your own through activities such as coloring in charts, answering questions about how you do the things you do, and discovering patterns in your lives that may be holding you back. Through Jeffrey's own story of "growing up fabulous in a small farming town"--along with the stories of hero/ines who have transcended the stereotypes of race, age, and gender--you will discover that you are not alone, can deepen your relationship with yourself, and find the courage to take a leap that will change your life.
 

Goodreads Summary

I am never sure about self-help books. I have picked a few up and didn't necessarily think the advice was something different than what I had already thought of. However, Jeffrey Marsh's book is interactive and fun! I loved the coloring and I have always enjoyed answering questions. Some parts of the book didn't necessarily apply to me, but I found them interesting anyway. There were scattered pictures/art throughout the book that I found cute and vibrant. I always appreciate other peoples' stories because I find the best advice comes from those who have already lived through the mistake. This book is not aimed at any particular audience; I felt like I could have been significantly older or younger and still enjoyed reading through it and participating in the activities. The author remained so upbeat and positive throughout the book that even during a particularly intense worry it was distracting. It was also pointed out to me by the publisher that the author only uses gender neutral pronouns. 

4 Stars

GIVEAWAY:

Please leave a comment with your email and whether or not you enjoy self-help books for a chance to win a copy of this book. (USA)

Author’s website: http://jeffreymarsh.com/
 Author’s Twitter: @thejeffreymarsh
 Author’s Vine: https://vine.co/jeffreymarsh


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel by Jennifer McQuiston


New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston continues her enchanting Seduction Diaries series as a bookish spinster and an unrepentant rogue unite to unmask a traitor.

Every girl dreams of a hero . . .

No one loves books more than Miss Mary Channing. Perhaps that’s why she’s reached the ripe old age of six-and-twenty without ever being kissed. Her future may be as bland as milk toast, but Mary is content to simply dream about the heroes and adventures she reads about in her books. That way she won’t end up with a villain instead.

But sometimes only a scoundrel will do.

When she unexpectedly finds herself in the arms of Geoffrey Westmore, London’s most notorious scoundrel, it feels a bit like a plot from one of her favorite novels. Suddenly, Mary understands why even the smartest heroines can fall prey to a handsome face. And Westmore is more handsome than most. But far worse than the damage to her reputation, the moment’s indiscretion uncovers an assassination plot that reaches to the highest levels of society and threatens the course of the entire country.

When a tight-laced miss and a scoundrel of epic proportions put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. But unless they put their hearts together as well, a happy ending is anything but assured.

Goodreads Summaries

I loved Mary's character and fully identified with her (I reached 21 never being kissed because I preferred books and literally avoided it!). She wants to end up with a hero, but doesn't want to take a chance at ending up with a villain. As a result, she has not been in any romantic relationships and she's 26 (an old maid by that century's standards). When Geoffrey comes along and they end up in a slightly compromising position, Mary isn't sure if she'll stick to her bookish ways that have kept her heart safe so far. However, she isn't ready to throw in the towel and must discern weather Geoffrey is a hero or a villain.

Mary's character was wonderful (I know I already said that). I loved her intellect, imagination, and sense of humor. Geoffrey fit the typical (though loved) romance trope of a charismatic, handsome, and impressive romance book love interest. Their chemistry was fun and entertaining. I liked how the author chose to develop their relationship and didn't indulge in "insta-love." Parts of their romance was sweet and comforting and other pages were filled with steamy scenes. I really enjoyed the ending and liked how the author tied up loose ends while still maintaining that thrilling feeling one gets after reading a great book.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

How To Make Out by Brianna Shrum

Sixteen-year-old Renley needs three thousand dollars for the math club’s trip to New York City, and she knows exactly how to get it: she’s going to start a how-to blog where people pay for answers to all of life’s questions from a “certified expert.” The only problems: 1) She doesn’t know how to do anything but long division and calculus. 2) She’s totally invisible to people at school. And not in a cool Gossip Girl kind of way.

So, she decides to learn to do . . . well . . . everything. When her anonymous blog shifts in a more scandalous direction and the questions (and money) start rolling in, she has to learn not just how to do waterfall braids and cat-eye makeup, but a few other things, like how to cure a hangover, how to flirt, and how to make out (something her very experienced, and very in-love-with-her neighbor, Drew, is more than willing to help with).

As her blog’s reputation skyrockets, so does “new and improved” Renley’s popularity. She’s not only nabbed the attention of the entire school, but also the eye of Seth Levine, the hot culinary wizard she’s admired from across the home-ec classroom all year.

Soon, caught up in the thrill of popularity both in and out of cyberspace, her secrets start to spiral, and she finds that she’s forgotten the most important how-to: how to be herself. When her online and real lives converge, Renley will have to make a choice: lose everything she loves in her new life, or everyone she loves in the life she left behind.
 

Goodreads Summary

When Renley needs money to attend a math club trip she is nothing but resourceful. She creates a blog that allows people to send in money to have their questions answered. Despite not being an expert in many of the subjects that the questions ask about, she still accepts the money and attempts to become an expert (not that easy!). For whatever reason, Renley's newfound abilities gain her popularity. We all know that whenever something new comes along, often, something old must go. Will Renley choose her "new" life or "old" life? Or will she find a way to combine the two?

Renley's character both annoyed me and made me laugh. The lengths she went to and the trouble she caused herself was almost comical. Hindsight is always 20/20 and it's much easier to read and guess what will happen than to be embroiled on your own, but I usually guessed what was going to happen next and which choices she would make. I really disliked how callous she was to her best friend and Drew; it didn't seem necessary to hurt them like that. Drew's character was adorable. He was the ideal boy-next-door with charisma and a dose of handsome. I dislike love triangles, but this one did not ruin the plot for me (but be warned that there is a love triangle). The author has a way of writing that makes me feel as if I am back in high school. I liked that the author took on her characters and didn't merely write about them. 

4 Stars


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole (Arcana Novels)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Timesbestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions 
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory 
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned 
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first...?

Goodreads Summary

I love this book. Evie is such a dynamic character. She is discovering more about her past (learning that she was more or less a sociopath at one point) and diving deeper into the relationships she has with Jack and Death (Aric). It's fascinating to think that Death was in love with Evie for all those years. That backstory could have made up a few more books (prequels). The plot consisted of trying to defeat the Lovers (incestuous twins) and further developing the relationships between the characters. 

The Arcana is such an interesting and fascinating idea. I love the idea of teens bestowed with individual powers fighting to the death (not the death part, but the other parts are cool!). The descriptions of who is who at the beginning of the book add to the level of intrigue. I wished there was not a love triangle. Ideally, those do not exist though they are prevalent in young adult books. I never knew who I wanted Evie to end up with (as if it was even up to me). The plot was super fast-paced. I finished the book ahead of this one in less than a day. My whole family has found it a fun read! There were so many interesting twists and a few things occurred that I would never have guessed would happen. I can't wait for the next in the series!

4 Stars




This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

738 Days by Stacey Kade

Saturday, September 17, 2016

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

Goodreads Summary

Amanda Grace is hailed as the Miracle Girl. She survived for years being sexually and physically abused by her creepy bus driver. She managed to escape by alerting a worker who had come to the creepy man's house to fix something. Chase Henry has hit rock bottom. Struggling to get his acting career back on track while also struggling with his alcohol addiction, he certainly is the not person Amanda thought of when she tried to mentally escape from her cell. Chase Henry represented a familiar sight to Amanda (he was from a teen T.V. show). When Chase's publicist cooks up a plan to make Chase back into Miracle Girl's Hero...well, we all know things are going to go wrong.

I loved Amanda's character. I do think she fairly accurately represented PTSD; I did wish she would try to be a little more brave. She pushed through her fears to acknowledge her attraction to Chase. Chase was more self-serving in the beginning, but I could tell (and was right) that he was an overall good guy who did not want to use Amanda for his own purposes. The supporting characters fit perfectly into the novel by providing background and pushing the plot along. I loved how the author pulled the book together; she made it looks easy, but I'm sure it took quite a while figuring out how all the pieces would best fit together. The romance was intense and sweet. I loved that the author did not bring in a love triangle and merely focused on Chase and Amanda's relationship.

4 Stars


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ