Waiting on Wednesday: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

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

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler
Coming June 2015
Simon Pulse

Sometimes, there are no words…

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

Why I Want It:
SARAH OCKLER *glomp* I fell in love with Sarah's books two years ago when I binged on Twenty Boy Summer (*sobs quietly*), Fixing Delilah, and Bittersweet. Now, I wait anxiously each year for her to announce a new project. And then I wait anxiously on the title. And the cover. And especially the book itself. I love Sarah's books because they're fun to read, but there's still depth to these sweet contemporary tales.

Why I think you should want it:
Sarah Ockler, in addition to writing amazing stories, is a champion for diverse ya books. Best of all, she's vocal about diversity online (READ THAT LINK!!!) AND in her books, but what she writes in her books isn't diversity for the sake of diversity. Her characters are real, dynamic people, not just flat caricatures of diversity. Bonus points for creating sympathetic characters that are highly relatable despite cultural differences. If you're looking at that gorgeous cover above, you know this is going to be a book that accomplishes this. MAD PROPS to Simon & Schuster for having not one but two biracial romances (that I know of) scheduled for 2015 (the other is Jennifer Echols's Most Likely to Succeed). I'm also very intrigued to see Sarah's take on the playboy-who-has-inner-depth. If you would like to read further about my crush on Sarah's books, check out my review of The Book of Broken Hearts and the interview I did with Sarah for #scandal.

What are you waiting for today? Please share your picks and links in the comments, as well as your thoughts on The Summer of Chasing Mermaids!

Weekly wrap-up: October 19-25

To say this week was insane is a gross understatement. Last Saturday, I was at Texas Teen Book Festival. It was a lot of fun to see many of my fellow Texas bloggers and hang out with authors like Gayle Forman, Lauren Oliver, Becca Fitzpatrick, Cory Doctorow, Will Ritter, and many others; however, the event was partially outside, which is a problem in Texas (I GOT SUNBURNED. IN OCTOBER). We were hot, tired, and pretty smelly at the end of the day. Also, news of you-know-what broke right at the beginning of the festival, and I was outraged the entire day. I have rarely been so livid in my life. How dare an author research personal details about a blogger who wrote a negative review and then use that information to stalk the review AT HER HOME? That is absurd, and I refuse to fall for her lame attempts at humor and to pretend she is the victim in this situation. Here's my public declaration: I will not EVER review that author's book or give her any further publicity on Mary Had a Little Book Blog. I will not stand for it. Instead I will focus my time and energy into authors who actually appreciate their readers and who write dang good books!

Reading wise, I enjoyed myself this week. I mean, Jennifer Echols, come on! She's my favorite!! <3 <3 <3 And I just got back from the Texas Book Festival, which was fantastic. It wasn't wall-to-wall ya authors, but that almost made it better because it seemed more personal, less of a people version of a cattle drive.

Most Likely to Succeed (Superlatives #3) - Jennifer Echols: 5 stars. SAWYER OH MY GOSH THAT IS ALL.
The Secret Diamond Sisters (Secret Diamond Sisters #1) - Michelle Madow: 3 stars. Cute, but a bit chaotic. There are a few too many characters for my liking, particularly all the love interests running around. Hoping things will settle in book 2, although one question I had in 1 has already been answered in 2, and I am somewhat disappointed by it. So...we'll see.
Lead (Stage Dive #3) - Kylie Scott: 3 stars. This was a fun book, but I didn't outright love it the way I loved Lick and especially Play. I really enjoyed Lena, but Jimmy....I'm just not the kind of girl who likes bad boys.

Behemoth (Leviathan #2) audiobook - Scott Westerfeld & Alan Cumming: 4 stars. Still an amazing reading by Alan Cumming, but I liked this a little less than Leviathan. I might be burned out on the story by listening to them back-to-back, though.

Currently Reading:
Isla and the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins. I'm rereading so I can review it for a friend and loving it just as much the second time around.
Diamonds in the Rough - Michelle Madow

New to my bookshelf this week:
None. I should probably go restock my audiobooks...

The Infinite Sea - Rick Yancey
All Broke Down - Cora Carmack x2
My True Love Gave to Me - Stephanie Perkins
Parallel - Lauren Miller
Spellcaster - Claudia Gray
Famous in Love - Rebecca Serle

Half Price Books:
The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey
Tiger's Curse - Colleen Houck
The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp - Rick Yancey

Events Attended: 
10/25-26: Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX. Saw Claudia Gray, Shannon & Dean Hale, Lauren Miller, Stephanie Perkins, Jennifer E. Smith, Rebecca Serle, Lindsay Cummings, Rick Yancey, Dayna Lorentz, Meg Wolitzer, Lindsey Lane, Sherry Thomas, and Cora Carmack.

Blog Tour: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow (Harper Collins)
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: DRC, Edelweiss
Status: Book 2 of the Rusk University companion series

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Ink Slinger PR. The full tour schedule can be found HERE. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

Waiting on Wednesday: Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott

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

Salt & Stone
Fire & Flood #2
by Victoria Scott
Coming February 4, 2015
Scholastic Press

What would you do to save someone you love?

In FIRE & FLOOD, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.

Why I Want It:
Crap is getting REAL in the Brimstone Bleed, and also Guy Guy Guy Guy Guy! Mkay? Great! But srsly, I love that Tella loves her brother and wants to help him. I'm really intrigued not just by what's going on in the race but also by the world Tori is building. There's some crazy conspiracy that's about to blow up, and I can't wait to get the details!

Why I think you should want it:
One thing I get tired of in YA is too-perfect heroines. A lot of people find Tella unlikable and shallow, but I found her to be flawed and REAL. If you're looking for a character who starts out not being a badass but works at becoming one, then this series is for you. Also, Tori is a wonderful, wonderful person, and if you don't know her, you should. She's the best! You can check out my full review here for more reasons why this book worked for me.

Have you read Fire & Flood yet? Are you also waiting on Salt & Stone? Share your thoughts & your WoW picks/links in the comments!

Release Day Blitz: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult paranormal romance
Status: book 2 of The Dark Elements series

Every touch has its price.

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden.  Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

Available from:

I’d remained in bed after that, trying to sort through the odd tingling in my chest. There was a slight smile on my lips, because Zayne…well, he’d made my day, but then I’d remember what Roth had said to me the night before and the smile would wash away as if it had never been there.

I probably needed to get used to the whiplash mood swings.

It wasn’t until after dinner that I decided to scrub a day’s worth of gunk off myself.Gingerly, I peeled the bandage off, happy to find that the cut in my arm was healing as expected. I didn’t need to cover it anymore. The arm was still tender, but the Warden blood in me was quickly undoing the damage from the iron.

After changing into fresh pj’s, like a total hermit, I padded over to my desk, where I’d left my cell phone. It had been on silent all day and when I tapped the screen, I wasn’t surprised to see a slew of texts from Stacey.

Where r u?

R u skipping, u ho?

A minute later: Your locker misses u. Guess u sick with the herp?

Oh my God. I laughed out loud, grinning as I thumbed through her texts. 
Our bio sub is still hot. U r missing this.

Bio is lonely.

My boobs miss u. How weird is that?

That was notably weird and yet not surprising.

If I get my cell taken from me, it’s ur fault.

Holy shit, Layla, where r u?!?

Air punched out of my lungs as I read the next text and the several following them.

U have no idea who just walked into bio!!!

Roth is here!

Holy Canola oil, why aren’t u here to witness this?

Ok. He says he had mono. Srlsy? Do people still get mono? And who in the duck was he kissing?
A second later—Duck? I didn’t mean duck. That’s SO not what I meant, autocorrect.

Another text had come in about fifteen minutes after the last one. He asked where u were. I told him u joined a cult. I laughed. He didn’t.

Finally, the last text was to call her if I wasn’t dead.

“What in the Hell?” I tossed my cell onto the bed, mouth hanging open.

The Choice is Yours:

Beginning today you’ll have 3 weeks to visit the series website, www.thedarkelementsseries.com, to take a poll and decide which guy Layla should ultimately choose in the final book in the trilogy, Every Last Breath.

At the end of 3 weeks, we will tally all the votes, and that’s when Jennifer L. Armentrout will start writing Every Last Breath. The guy who gets the most votes is the one Layla will pick.

To prevent early spoilers, we're not going to reveal who won the poll in advance…you’ll have to wait until Every Last Breath goes on sale on July 28th, 2015 to find out whether Zayne or Roth wins Layla in the end. We promise the book will be epic and definitely worth the wait!

Who do you want Layla to end up with? Go to www.thedarkelementsseries.com and vote for your choice!

Please please please make sure you read Stone Cold Touch BEFORE you vote!

Layla's story starts with a White Hot Kiss!
Pub Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult paranormal (gargoyles & demons!) romance
Summary: One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Available from:

Be sure to check out my 4 star review of White Hot Kiss here.

Check out the sizzling prequel featuring Jasmine & Dez!
Pub Date: December 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult paranormal (gargoyles & demons!) romance
Summary: Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining balance between good and evil. He was her everything...right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again...

Available from:

Check out my 5 star review of Bitter Sweet Love here!

About the Author:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Author Links:


Top Ten Tuesday #56: New-ish series I'd like to start

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 New(ish) Series I Want to Start

Please don't hate me for some of my choices. Some of these I just haven't gotten to yet, and others I am waiting until the rest of the series is released. I just can't do the long emotionally torturous wait between books anymore.





What's on your list this week? Which of these (THRONE OF GLASS ASIDE) should I start with?

Weekly wrap-up: October 12-18

There is a 99% chance I'm at Texas Teen Book Festival RIGHT NOW so YAY BOOKS. Didn't post this week because my mom was in town, and I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could. I honestly cried when I said goodbye to her last night. My mom drives me nuts, as mothers tend to do, but I love her, and she's a really good mom. Like really good. The best, actually, and not just because she got me addicted to reading (but she did, and that's awesome!). How has your week been?

The Winner's Curse (Winner's Trilogy #1) - Marie Rutkoski: 4.5 stars. Really cool fantasy. A bit slow in the beginning, but picks up after a Major Turn of Events flips the tables. Those chapters are definitely my favorites!
The Winner's Crime (Winner's Trilogy #2) - Marie Rutkoski: 5 stars. SO MANY FEELINGS. This book just broke my heart. I want to put Kestrel and Arin in a room, bar it, and tell them they can't come out until they tell each other the truth AND make out. That makes me sound like a Peeping Tom, but holy crap, I do love it when they kiss! One of my favorite characters from WC1 was sadly not around much, but there are plenty of new awesome characters to love, one in particular. *hugs Verex* If you read this, take emotional care. You're in for a ride!

Leviathan (Leviathan #1) audiobook: Scott Westerfeld & Alan Cumming: 5 stars!!!! YUSSS! When you have an award-winning performer reading an audiobook, it's going to be spectacular. Alan's voices are spot-on. He's seriously incredible!

Currently Reading:
Behemoth (Leviathan #2) audiobook - Scott Westerfeld
Most Likely to Succeed (Superlatives #3) - Jennifer Echols. *does a happy dance* I wanted to finish it by today, but sadly, that just didn't happen. :( Still, I love it. SAWYER. That is all.

New to my bookshelf this week:

Lailah - Nikki Kelly
My True Love Gave To Me - Stephanie Perkins <3<3<3

Half Price Books:
Where She Went - Gayle Forman
Just One Day - Gayle Forman
Little Brother - Cory Doctorow
Specials & Extras - Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld
Let the Sky Fall & Let the Storm Break - Shannon Messenger
Princess Academy - Shannon Hale
Zombies Vs Unicorns - Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier
Isla & the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins
I bought another book at the same time as Isla but I honestly don't remember what it was...

"Bridge of Snow" (Winner's Trilogy #0.5) - Marie Rutkoski
Again - Lisa Burstein

Events Attended: 
Afterworlds tour with Scott Westerfeld. I have got to find a link to the video he shared. SO FUNNY.
Texas Teen Book Festival!!!!!!!!

Waiting on Wednesday: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

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

We Can Work It Out
Firebird #1
by Claudia Gray
Coming November 4, 2014
Harper Teen

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.
Why I Want It:
Is it an Elizabeth Eulberg novel? Yes? I want it. End of story. But is it a sequel? Yes? To The Lonely Hearts Club?!

Why I think you should want it:
The first reason I ever picked up The Lonely Hearts Club is because of its darling title and cover. I saw it across a Barnes & Noble and fell in love. The premise had me hooked! So naturally, I took myself across the street and bought it at Borders (#neverforget). And thus started my love affair with Elizabeth Eulberg's books. In 2012, months before I started blogging, Elizabeth was one of the first authors I ever met at a signing, and she was so incredibly lovely. Seriously, SO NICE. But it's because of her sweet and fun novels that I even went to that signing. All of Elizabeth's novels explore some interesting facet of romance, and The Lonely Hearts Club explored the single ladies part. It's all about girls being empowered by their singledom, but then also learning to be okay with friends' relationships. It's about the balance between friendship maintenance and crushes and dates and boyfriends. I love that! We Can Work It Out promises to be full of the feels as it goes deeper into these themes (I am simultaneously anticipating and dreading the drama!)!

In April, I finally got to see Elizabeth again at TLA, and this time, I went prepared with extra books to be signed! One lucky winner will received a signed copy of The Lonely Hearts Club, the book that started it all! Open to US and Canada.