Monthly wrap-up: June 2014

Oh. my. gosh. Definitely the worst reading month for me this year. I haven't been able to find good reading time or write posts. I don't feel guilty about needing to concentrate on work right now. I just miss reading. I miss talking with you guys about books and just life in general. :( I hope your month was much better!

Looking back...
List of June reads

Rachael Allen - 17 First Kisses

Cassandra Clare - City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments #4) audiobook
Sonia Gensler - The Dark Between

Julie Kagawa - The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3)
Katie McGarry - Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4)

Veronica Roth - Divergent (Divergent #1) audiobook

Looking ahead...
July releases I'm excited about:
Wildflower - Alecia Whitaker
Wild - Alex Mallory
The Kiss of Deception - Mary E. Pearson
Earthquake - Aprilynne Pike
Breathe, Annie, Breathe - Miranda Kenneally
Just Like the Movies - Kelly Fiore
Dissonance - Erica O'Rourke
The Young World - Chris Weitz
SILVER #%@$ing SHADOWS - Richelle Mead

July TBR:
Let's keep this simple. I have some series that need finishing.
Dreams of Gods & Monsters - Laini Taylor
City of Heavenly Fire - Cassandra Clare
Ruin & Rising - Leigh Bardugo
Allegiant - Veronica Roth

Insurgent - Veronica Roth
Anna & the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
Cress - Marissa Meyer

Resolution Progress:
You can check out my full resolution post HERE, but here's a monthly update full of fail! ;) (not entirely as I WAS able to finish a couple!)
1. Post more reviews: Nope nope nope
2. Create a backlist for schedule-able reviews: *unfunny laughter*
3. Read 150 books: Goodreads says I'm at 78 which is not where I want to be.
4. Reread 20 books: DONE
5. Listen to 20 audiobooks: Need to check on my list because one thing says 18, another says 20...
6. Read 5 classics: *le sigh* I've got time, but I should have read a couple already. 
7. Blog redesign: Aiming for August, September max.
8. Make more blogger friends: I do feel like I've made some strides in this. I've become closer with some bloggers I've always admired!
9. Read at the gym: Oh, this is a cute resolution. Lolz.
10. Be more organized: Working on it! My books have been sorted, now to organize my paperwork and swag and other such things. Also, I need to do a bit of grunt work on past posts.

Challenge Progress:
I signed up for a LOT of challenges this year. I wondered if I was crazy or suddenly decided I liked masochism, but so far, it's going really well. The good thing is that some of my books count for multiple challenges, which is really helpful. You can check out the full details of my challenges HERE or track my progress in the challenges tab at the top, but here's a quick rundown on where I am today:

2014 New Challenges:
Standalone Challenge: 8/15 However, I've completed some that weren't on my initial list so I should go update.
Series Challenge: 25/12 Kicked this challenge's ass! BOO YAH!
Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge: 26/25 DONE, SON! Now to catch up on all those reviews!
Real Book Challenge: 35 of 21-30 Need to work on reviews and then I'll increase my goal!
Jumble Your Genres Challenge: 2/12 I've pretty much stopped doing this one.
TBR Pile Challenge: 20 of 11-20 34 of 31-40 Reviews reviews review
A-Z Challenge: 9/26 Hmmm, I need to get my butt in gear on this one. It's usually one of my favorites!

And, call me crazy, but I ADDED a new challenge this month. However, as you can see, it wasn't one that was too much of a trial seeing as I was already doing it anyway.

YA Audiobook Challenge: 18/24 Must do reviews!

Challenges already in progress:
50 State Challenge: 33/52
50 Countries Challenge: 19/50
YA Challenge: 7/25

North Texas Teen Book Festival info + giveaway


WHO: Irving Public Library

WHAT: North Texas Teen Book Festival

WHERE: Irving, Texas

WHEN: March 7, 2015

WHY: to INSPIRE lifelong readers 
to CULTIVATE a love of reading
to CELEBRATE teen literature

to CONNECT our reading community

What is the Irving Public Library?
As you guys know, I attend a LOT of events, but did you know that most of my events in the Dallas area are hosted by the Irving Public Library? I discovered the IPL at TLA last year when I met a fellow Dallas blogger who invited me to attend local author Heather Reid's launch party for Pretty Dark Nothing. I LOVED it. It was at the IPL that I met librarians (led by the amazing teen librarian Kristin Trevino), authors (see bottom of this post), bloggers, readers, and, most importantly, good friends. In addition to hosting amazing author panels, the Irving library goes above and beyond to make sure their guests have a great time. There are parties and writing camps. I've never felt more part of something special than when I'm hanging out at the Irving library. I have never met a more dedicated crew of librarians than the ones I've met at Irving.

So here's the thing. IPL is taking the next step by hosting the North Texas Teen Book Festival, but as a public library system, they need some help. That's where this big, beautiful book community we belong to comes in. The IPL is currently holding a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to go to covering festival costs. We've got 2 weeks left and about $4000 to raise. The thing with Kickstarter is that if your campaign isn't 100% funded by the due date, you don't get any of the funds raised. I've donated, and so have many of our local book  community. However, we really can't do it on our own. That's why I'm asking you, my readers, if you can help the IPL reach their goal.

How can I help?
Please, please: if you can, please consider donating to the NTTBF. You can help us spread the love of ya and reach members of our community we never have been able to before. Donate what you can, if you can. Kickstarter even allows $1 donations! ONE DOLLAR! That's cheaper than some novellas!

If I donate, what's in it for me?
The other thing with Kickstarter (and this is the cool part) is that donors get awesome exclusive rewards! Some of the special backer prizes for the NTTBF are things like parking and line passes, invites to the pre- and after-party, etc. Buuuut IPL also knows that many of their backers may be from other locations who may not be able to attend in-person. That's why you can also receive t-shirts, tote bags, posters or signed books from authors of your choice (shipping available to US addresses only).

I'm considering donating, but I need more who's attending and what my money is going to.
You can check out more information about the library, the festival, and the campaign at the Kickstarter page HERE. If you're curious about who the authors are who are attending, the two confirmed and public authors are John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back, Noggin) and Julie Murphy (Side Effects May Vary, Dumplin). I have heard some of the not-quite-public-yet names for other attendees, and TRUST. ME: you guys are going to flip out when you hear these names! If you would like to read a list of authors who have visited the IPL in the past and read some of my recaps of those IPL events (panels, interviews, pictures!), see the bottom of this post.

I can't donate, but what can I do to help?
Not everybody has the ability to donate money to causes like these, but there is something we all have: a voice! Also, usually a Twitter account. Or Facebook. Or Tumblr. get the idea. If you can't donate your money, please donate a few minutes of your time to tell a friend or a feed and spread news of NTTBF and the Kickstarter by posting on one (or more....) of your social media sites. Tag @irvinglibrary and @NTTBFest or use #NTTBF. Share the link to the campaign page.

Here's where I make things interesting.
If you pledge to the campaign, you can certainly get some cool rewards from the library. However, I'm going to raise the stakes a little bit. I'm adding in my own motivation. I'm giving away a box of my own books to raise awareness and hopefully inspire you to donate whatever you can to this great cause.

Important legal/ethical stuff
1. I AM NOT associated with the Irving Public Library. They did not ask me to do this giveaway. It is of my own volition, and I am providing the prize for this giveaway on my own. 2. It would be 100% unethical for me to require you donate to the Kickstarter in order to win so I'm not requiring a donation. However, donations of ANY AMOUNT will give you bonus entries. You know how I said you can donate $1 to the campaign? That $1 will get you additional entries! 3. Again, if you can't donate, THAT'S OKAY. Just spread the word! 3. Please don't try to cheat and get bonus entries if you aren't going to donate. I DO NOT have access to Kickstarter's personal donation info, but I can check to see if you have donated (Kickstarter donors are listed publicly).

Giveaway details
This giveaway is open to the US and Canada. The box will contain several mystery books, and I'll reveal a book every time the Kickstarter pledges increases $500. At the time I wrote this, the Kickstarter was around $6000. I'll reveal at $6500, $7000, etc. I'll keep going, even if the Kickstarter surpasses the $10,000 goal! Sharing is caring, y'all, so let's share our love of books, share news of this great cause, and I'll share some books with you!

Please check the Site/Giveaway Policies tab at the top of the page for a full list of my giveaway policies. Any entries not in accordance with my policies will be disqualified. Please note the Share This Post option is available TWICE daily. In order to receive all the entries for that option, you must post in two different places, and yes, I will be moderating the entries.

If you live in the US or Canada: DO NOT enter the INT giveaway. If I have to delete your entries from the INT rafflecopter more than once, I will disqualify you from this giveaway as well. Thank you for your cooperation.

Edit 1: The first book in the box has been revealed! Keep going to discover the remaining books in the box!

Giveaway bonus: Fellow Dallas bloggers Amanda of Of Spectacles and Books and Emily of Oh Magic Hour have ALSO set up #NTTBF giveaways on their blogs! The best thing is that our Rafflecopter entries are all very similar! What's up for grabs on their blogs? Another mystery box of ya books, signed books by Claire Legrand and Veronica Rossi, and a signed copy of Side Effects May Vary donated by the very lovely and awesome Julie Murphy herself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(that means anyone outside of the US/Canada)
I realize it's a long shot that you guys will be able to attend or receive rewards from donating BUT I would be grateful if you would help spread the word. That's why I'm giving you your own giveaway for a book ($17 or less) from the Book Depository.  

US & Canadian friends: do not enter this giveaway. It is not for you, and your entries will be deleted. If I have to delete your entries from the INT-only rafflecopter more than once, I will remove your entries for the other giveaway as well. Thank you for your cooperation.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Who are some of the authors I've met through IPL events?
(all links go to my recap of each event, and trust me, you want to see these pictures!) Heather L. Reid. Rae Carson, Nova Ren Suma, Aimeé Carter, Tessa Gratton, Tahereh Mafi & Ransom Riggs at the Beneath the Surface panel (bonus: Katie McGarry & Julie Kagawa were in attendance that night!). Debra Driza, Shannon Messenger, Amy Tintera & Kasie West at the Sweat YA tour. Mary Gray for The Dollhouse Asylum launch. Julie Murphy. Kiera Cass, Kelley Armstrong, Danielle Paige & Kimberly Derting on the Dark Days tour

Authors whose events I haven't recapped yet include:
Anna Godbersen, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Jeramey Kraatz, Claire Legrand, Polly Holyoke, and Karen Harrington. At the Valley Ranch branch of the IPL, I've met Sophie Jordan, Jessica Brody, Victoria Scott, and Tamara Ireland Stone, Tara Hudson, Sonia Gensler, Jennifer Archer, Kendare Blake, and Rosemary Clement-Moore. 

Authors have held events there before I 
moved to Dallas or events I missed:
Stephanie Perkins, Michelle Hodkin (who showed ONE WEEK after I moved to Dallas, but I didn't know about the IPL yet!!! *is sad*), Anna Banks, Emmy Laybourne, Leigh Bardugo, Jackson Pearce, Beth Revis, and Marie Lu.

You guys know I'm going to go to this festival, right? Can you just imagine how much giveaway fodder it's going to give me?! Just imagine my haul of signed books, just waiting to be passed on to you guys.... Want to donate to the cause yet? ;)

Weekly wrap-up: June 22-28

Once again, a week has gone by in which I actually got quite a bit of reading done, but I didn't finish anything.



Currently Reading:
The Burning Sky - Sherry Thomas
17 First Kisses - Rachael Allen. I like the premise, but Megan is the worst best friend.
City of Lost Souls audiobook - Cassandra Clare
Dreams of Gods and Monsters - Laini Taylor

New to my bookshelf this week:

Irving Library:
The Cloak Society - Jeramey Kraatz
Sure Signs of Crazy - Karen Harrington
The Year of Shadows - Claire Legrand

Giveaways & Contests:
Monument 14 and Monument 14: Sky on Fire - Emmy Layboune. Courtesy of my good friend Christina of Ensconced in Lit for her blogiversary! Thanks, Christina!

Cover Reveal: Unleashed by Sophie Jordan

You guys. I am SO HAPPY to help my good friend Sophie Jordan reveal the cover of Unleashed, which is the highly-anticipated sequel to the AH-MAZING Uninvited. Uninvited is one of my top reads for the year so far, and I can't wait to see what happens next! Also, Sean shirtless. Sophie has promised me that Sean is shirtless for a significant portion of Unleashed (or at least the beginning), and I greatly look forward to that beautiful imaginary sight! :D And now, the moment you've all been waiting for:

Uninvited #2
by Sophie Jordan
February 24, 2015
Harper Teen


What if the worst thing you ever did was unforgivable?

Davy’s world fell apart after she tested positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. She was expelled from her school, dumped by her boyfriend, abandoned by friends, and shipped off to a camp that turns HTS carriers into soldiers. Davy may have escaped, but the damage has already been done. The unthinkable has happened. Now, even worse than having everyone else see her as a monster is the knowledge that they may have been right about her all along. Because Davy has killed.

On the run from government agents, Davy is rescued by Caden, the charismatic leader of an underground group of rebels. Despite Caden’s assurances that the Resistance is made up of carriers like her, Davy isn’t sure she can trust them. Then again, she doesn’t even know if she can trust herself . . . or her growing feelings for Caden. But if she doesn’t belong with Caden and his followers, is there anywhere she can call home?


I thought being labeled a killer and losing everything—my future, family, boyfriend, friends—was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. It’s not. Finding out they were right. Finding out that’s exactly what I am?

That’s worse.
Pre-Order Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg

This cover is so perfect! I loved Uninvited, and I really can't wait until Unleashed is finally in my hands. What do you think? Leave your comments on the cover and the series below!

Davy's story starts by being Uninvited!
Pub Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult paranormal (gargoyles & demons!) romance
Summary: The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg

About the Author
Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she's also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she's not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

I am SO EXCITED to share this news with you today! Paula Stokes asked me to help reveal the cover for her February 2015 release, Liars, Inc., and OF COURSE I said YES! Here’s more info about the book from Goodreads:

It all starts with one little lie…

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell lies to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts a business providing forged permission slips and cover stories for the students of Vista Palisades High. Liars, Inc. they call it. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for—THE COVER:

Liars, Inc.
by Paula Stokes
February 2015
Harper Teen


And now, a word from Paula:

OMG, I’ve been flailing about the awesomeness of this cover since April. I saw it and was basically like HOLY COVER LOTTERY!! :D

I’ve talked about how Liars, Inc. is very different from The Art of Lainey, and this cover really highlights that. Liars has first-person narration, a bit of romance, and similar fast-paced dialogue to Lainey, but that’s where the major similarities end. This book is a dark mystery for fans of I Hunt Killers, Pretty Little Liars (the TV show, because I’ve never read the books), or old-school Christopher Pike novels. I hope you love it, because if it does well I might get to write a companion novel, and I’m seriously not ready to let go of these characters. Max is a little aloof and slackerish so it might take you time to warm up to him, but his girlfriend Parvati is totally badass and fun, and both of them really grow and change over the course of the novel. (You know how I love me some character development!) And no worries, this is a total standalone book, plotted and written as a solo novel.

Mary here: Did you hear that?! If Liars, Inc. does well with sales, we may get another in the series!! Pre-order links are not yet available, but I promise I'll share when they are. I'm a huge fan of Paula's, and I'm so excited to share news of her upcoming books when I can. I think this cover is super cool. It's dark and a little bit twisted, and I can't wait to see how that tone is reflected is reflected in Liars. What do you think? Do you like this cover? Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a signed, personalized ARC of Liars, Inc. Giveaway is open INT!

About the Author
Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She's petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

Author Links:

Waiting on Wednesday: Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Burning Kingdoms
Internment Chronicles #2
by Lauren DeStefano
Coming March 10, 2015
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

After escaping through the bottom of Internment, Morgan and her fellow fugitives aboard the great mechanical bird land on the ground to finally learn what has lived beneath their floating island home all these eons.

The ground is a strange place where water falls from the sky as snow, and customers watch moving pictures and visit speakeasies. A place where families can have as many children as they want, their dead are buried in vast gardens of bodies, and Internment is the feature of an amusement park.

It is also a land at war.

Everyone who fled Internment had their own reasons to escape their corrupt haven. But caught under the watchful eye of another king that wants to dominate his world, they wonder if coming to the ground will drag Internment down with them.

Why I want it:
I SHIP BASIL AND MORGAN SO HARD PLEASE MAKE OUT AND ALSO DON'T DIE (it's a Lauren DeStefano book so you know that's always a possibility) THAT IS ALL.

Why I think you should want it:
The world depicted in the Internment Chronicles is this cool almost-retro wannabe-utopian society that clearly has much wrong with it, but the events at the end of Perfect Ruin make it obvious that the world will be drastically different in Burning Kingdoms. It's hard to say very much about this series in detail because its mysteries are part of what make it so unique and awesome. I love the characters. I love the romance. I love the danger and the excitement and how much Lauren's writing makes me feel! If you would like to read more about the reasons I love this series, feel free to check out my 5 star review of Perfect Ruin here

So this is my pick for the week? What are you waiting on most impatiently this week?

Weekly wrap-up: June 15-21

Oh, my goodness! I completed a book! Are you shocked? I know I am! I just don't have enough energy at the end of the day to even read very much right now. I'm hoping as camps go on, I'll have my schedule down better, and that will help me make time for other things. *fingers crossed*

The Dark Between - Sonia Gensler: 3 stars. Good but not super fantastic. Sonia definitely has an interesting twist on ghosts, and I love the almost Sherlock Holmes-y vibe I got. Definitely a twisty kind of ending, and I need Sonia to write a sequel asap so I know what happens to Kate, Elsie, and Asher!

City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments #4) audiobook - Cassandra Clare, Molly Quinn & Ed Westwick: 4 stars. Pretty good adaptation, but some aspects annoyed me.

Currently Reading:
Dreams of Gods and Monsters - Laini Taylor: 50% complete. Love this, even if it makes me so sad to read.
City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments #5) audiobook - Cassandra Clare & Molly Quinn: 22% complete. I am endlessly depressed that Ed isn't narrating this as well.

New to my bookshelf this week:
What I Thought Was True - Huntley Fitzpatrick
Book People:
Ruin and Rising - Leigh Bardugo

Amazon: (some of these are old, and I just forgot to mention them)
The Game Series Complete Collection - Emma Hart
Final Call (Call series #2) - Emma Hart
Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) - Katie McGarry
Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) - Katie McGarry

Irving Public Library:
The Dark Between - Sonia Gensler
Elegy (Hereafter #3) - Tara Hudson
Antigoddess - Kendare Blake
Girl of Nightmares - Kendare Blake

Events Attended:
Spark of (After)Life panel feat Rosemary Clement-Moore, Jennifer Archer, Kendare Blake, Sonia Gensler & Tara Hudson

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop hosted by Kathy of I am a Reader! If you know the rules of the blog hop, feel free to scroll down to the good part. If you have not heard of or participated in a hop before, a blog hop is a themed giveaway hosted by several blogs at once. Each site hosts its own individual giveaway while simultaneously providing links to all the other blogs participating in the hop. The purpose is that readers can literally hop from one awesome giveaway to the next. Each blog has listed whether their prize is available to US residents only or international entrants, which makes it easier to determine which giveaways are available to your country.

Here at my stop, I've got a book that's in high demand at the moment: a signed copy of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and a special movie poster that was given out during the Demand Our Stars tour last month! You can check out my review of the film here.

My giveaway is open to US entrants only, but don't worry, international friends! There are many blogs on the hop with giveaways for you to enter! All entries will be verified. For full giveaway policies, please check the Site Policies tab at the top of the page. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that you've entered my giveaway, feel free to visit as many blogs on the linky as you like! If for any reason the Linky isn't working, feel free to check out Kathy's post HERE to find all the blogs participating in this hop!

Waiting on Wednesday: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Reckoners #2
by Brandon Sanderson
Coming January 6, 2015
Delacorte Press

They told David it was impossible--that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart--invincible, immortal, unconquerable--is dead. And he died by David's hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there's no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David's willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic--Firefight. And he's willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

Why I want it:
After my brother and brother-in-law kept harping on me to read a Brandon Sanderson novel, Steelheart caught my eye at TLA 2013. I came home and said, in a sing-song voice, "Look-ie what I've got!" It quickly made its rounds around the family because it's such a cool story. David is a nerdy normal guy, which is to say he's weak compared to the supercharged baddies, but he's relatable in that he's a fanboy, and he uses his extensive knowledge of the Epics to help the good guys. Clearly Firefight is going to be focused on one of the most reclusive and mysterious Epics so I'm looking forward to seeing how the events of Steelheart affect David, each of the Reckoners, and the group as a whole. Also, I'm going to be completely honest: I totally want another crazy ridic showdown like what happened at Soldier Field at the end of Steelheart because that was just spectacular.

Why I think you should want it:
Villains with superpowers with this cool retro-future vibe = super awesome series that questions what happens when the people we expect to be heroes are actual the bad guys. It's like Hancock, but instead of being criminally negligent drunkards, the guys with superpowers are evil. Like, REALLY evil. And this begs the question: did the bad people receive superpowers or did normal people receive powers that turned them bad? Seriously, this world is pretty fascinating, and we're definitely going to take a very up-close-and-personal look at two of the Epics in this series.

What did you think of Steelheart, if you've read it already? If not, will you be giving Steelheart and Firefight a shot?

Top Ten Tuesday #52: Summer 2014 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR

Summer's here, and yet, I don't quite feel like it. Hopefully these books can help me feel a bit more like I'm on a vacation!

I'm trying to go for a healthy mix of books this summer with some old, some new, some contemporary, some paranormal, some humorous, some thrilling, some focused on friends, some focused on love, some fiery hot, and some icy cold. What do you think of my picks, and what's on your own TBR this summer?

Honorable mentions: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. The Treatment by Suzanne Collins. In the Shadows by Jim di Bartolo & Kiersten White. The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas.

Audio TBR: Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Something Blue by Emily Giffin.

Weekly wrap-up: June 8-14

Thank you all for being so understanding about my need to slow down blogging over the summer months due to my new position at work. I promise I'll still be around, just a little less than usual. Also, a big thank you to anyone who voted for me in the YA Highway's web awards. I was nominated for best giveaways, and I cried when I found out. It was truly an honor to be nominated, and it's all thanks to you guys. Many congratulations to all the authors, bloggers, and librarians who won the awards, especially Hafsah of Icey Books who won in my category. If you don't know Hafsah, you should definitely check out her blog. She's incredibly talented (she's a blogger, an author AND a designer!), she's super nice, and she honestly does host fantastic giveaways!

sadly nothing completed for the first time this week

Divergent audiobook - Veronica Roth & Emma Galvin: 4 stars. Emma had a great reading voice, especially for Tris. Ironically, the audiobook made me like the story a little less as I noticed a few unpolished aspects of the novel that I didn't the first time around.

Currently Reading:
City of Fallen Angels audiobook - Cassandra Clare: 75% complete. My goodness, Ed Westwick has a lovely voice. If I can't have Ed actually talking to me, listening to an audio narrated by him is the next best thing. Molly has a good voice for Clary, but I'm afraid her voices for the other characters are not quite distinct enough for my liking. I have trouble keeping Clary and Jace apart in her narration, which is not at all a problem an audiobook should have.
The Dark Between - Sonia Gensler: 53% complete. I am not loving this. I feel like the characters talk a little too much to the detriment of plot and especially pacing. I need more action!
Dreams of Gods & Monsters - Laini Taylor: 12% complete. This is going to be a long read. I don't have enough time to devote one entire chunk to this book so it's going to be slow and steady. 

New to my bookshelf this week:
The One & Only - Emily Giffin
What I Thought Was True - Huntley Fitzpatrick

Hold on Tight - Abbi Glines

Half Price Books:
Arise - Tara Hudson
Texas Gothic - Rosemary Clement-Moore

YA Audiobook Challenge

I know it's weird to join a challenge halfway through the year, but I JUST heard about the YA Audiobook Challenge hosted by A Book & a Latte. Since reading 20 audiobooks was already a resolution of mine for the year and I've been planning a new blog feature about audiobooks, I don't at all feel like I'm taking on an impossible task. I've already listened to almost as many audiobooks as I'm aiming for! Now I just have to actually write up the reviews....

Goal: Rock'n Out: Listen to & review 24 audiobooks.

Completed audiobooks:
1. These Broken Stars
2. Just One Day
3. Fangirl
4. Eleanor & Park
5. Under the Never Sky
6. Pants on Fire
7. Lola & the Boy Next Door
8. Divergent
9. Daughter of Smoke & Bone
10. Days of Blood & Starlight
11. In the Age of Love & Chocolate
12. The Supernaturalist
13. Lips Touch: Three Times
14. Belles
15. Airhead
16. Will Grayson, Will Grayson

I'm working on number 17 (City of Fallen Angels) right now, and I'll probably be on to number 18 by Monday! I've been spending some time on Audible the last couple days trying to find some new audiobooks, but do you have any suggestions for me? I'd love some recs!

Blog Update: June 2014 edition

Dear readers,

As many of you may have noticed, I haven't been posting much lately. This spring, I was hit with a big ole wave of the blog blahs. I had a hard time finding books that I was connecting with, and I very rarely felt the desire to post. It was a rough time, but I mostly got over it. And then, about a week ago, I was given a promotion at work. I'm the new summer camp coordinator at my museum. Obviously, a promotion comes with a lot of blessings (like money, steady hours, money, never having to work weekends, and did I mention money with which to buy moar books?!), but it also comes with many additional responsibilities and frustrations. I'm now officially full-time at my museum, but I have no doubt I'll be working more than 40 hours a week. Add in two hours of driving time a day, plus time to sleep, see my family and hopefully have a social life, and my free time is pretty limited for the summer.

I love books, and I love blogging. This hobby has kept me sane over months of work frustrations, and I have met so many amazing people because of it. However, it is just a hobby. For the next three months, my number one priority needs to be making sure my camps are a success. I need to do well for the sake of my museum and for my own sake (because I need my job, and I would like to still have it when all this is over!). But mostly, I need to do well for me so that I can prove to my coworkers who spoke on my behalf that they chose well, prove to my coworkers who don't believe in me that they are wrong, and also prove to myself that I can handle such a huge position.

That being said, I am not quitting blogging. I am not even taking an official hiatus. I just want you guys to be aware of the reason why my posts will be fewer and further apart for a while. Blogging makes me feel free, and I will need to destress now more than ever. I just can't devote the same amount of time and energy to it as I'd like to right now. I will still be around. You can always reach me on Twitter or by my blog email.

Thank you guys always for your support. I can't say how much your comments mean to me. You guys help make my days amazing, and I love you for it.

Happy reading, 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

The Infinite Sea
The 5th Wave #2
by Rick Yancey
Coming September 16, 2014
Putnam Juvenile

For Cassie Sullivan and the rest of Earth’s remaining human survivors, the situation was already desperate when the 5th Wave hit. It’s about to get worse.

No one yet knows the depths to which Earth’s conquerors—the Others—will sink in order to rid the Earth of the human infestation, nor have they guessed the heights to which the human spirit can reach. Characters introduced in Book One will come to the fore—and others will face the ultimate test.

Readers will watch in awe as the Others give their answer to Cassie’s defiance.

Why I want it:
The 5th Wave was one of the most intense books I read last year. It's not always action-packed, but it is continually edgy and tense. The quiet moments are when I worry most, and that makes it really exciting to read. With such a dramatic ending to 5th Wave and a VERY vague summary for Infinite Sea, I'm wondering what the heck Cassie et co are going to do. 

Why I think you should want it:
The 5th Wave is an alien book without aliens. Their presence is continuous, but not always entirely obvious. Even through devastating waves of mass extinction carried out through disease and similar catastrophes, the threat to the characters is at times much more subtle than you might anticipate for a book about the end of the world. It's like those really good horror movies where it's not just some crazed psychopath running around with a chainsaw or pickax. As such, I think one of the best aspects of The 5th Wave is the characterization and the development of each character individually. Cassie is a true survivor. She is badass and just doesn't stop. Evan is a guy with a lot of secrets but a lot of heart. He's probably the most conflicted about what's going on, and he does his best to do the right thing, even when it's not what he should do. Ben...Ben is a little harder to define. I think he shows the most personal growth because he started out at the top, was booted to the bottom, and then had to fight and claw his way as close to where he started as he could get. I am personally fascinated with him, and I think if you read this series, you will be too. You can be sure that Infinite Sea will be even more dramatic and fraught with danger. This is a good scary series without actually being a horror story.

Have you read The 5th Wave and will you be picking up The Infinite Sea? Let me know your thoughts and your picks for today's WoW in the comments!

Blog Tour: #scandal by Sarah Ockler

Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh! I am SO excited to be a part of Sarah Ockler's #scandal tour and especially to have the opportunity to interview her! I have loved Sarah's writing since I first read Twenty Boy Summer two years ago. I read Fixing Delilah and Bittersweet immediately, and then had to wait an entire year before The Book of Broken Hearts came out, which was a horrible wait for me. Sarah remains one author on my must-meet-before-I-die author list, and her books are 100% must reads. I really enjoyed #scandal (it's one of my favorites of 2014 so far!), and I hope you do to! Enjoy my interview with Sarah and enter to win signed copies of four of her books in the tour-wide giveaway! 

Rating: 5 stars (review coming soon!)
Pub Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: DRC, from the publisher
Status: standalone
Links: Check out my review of The Book of Broken Hearts HERE for more reasons why I love Sarah

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love...

Top Ten Tuesday #51: Best of 2014 Part 1

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Books of 2014, Part 1
I've read some amazing books this year, but I've also had a hard time finding books that really appeal to me. Luckily, these books were the ones that got me out of any book funks. I limited my picks to books that I read for the first time, not any rereads or audiobooks (I have many AMAZING recs when it comes to audio, but I didn't want to feature books that I've read previously).


As you can probably tell, I've been having a very contemporary year. There's just something about realistic fiction and romance that has really entertained me and spoken to me for the past few months. What are your favorite picks for 2014 so far?