Review + Giveaway: Loop

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Title/Author: Loop by Karen Akins
Publication Date/Publisher: October 21, 2014/St. Martin’s Griffin
Series: Loop #1
Source and Format: I received this book for free from the publisher. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Rating: 3 stars

From Goodreads:

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

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I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Loop is a wholly original time-travel story, but there are some exciting – and confusing – new takes.

Bree goes to a school for shifters where she can learn a trade that time-travel aids: art forgery detection, etc. She gets mixed up with a crime boss so she can move her ailing mother to a fancy facility, and illegally takes an object with her to the past. Things obviously go wrong, and now the crime boss is coming her. There is also a romance, in case the kissing on the cover didn’t alert you to that. It’s a pretty interesting TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE which makes it a bit forgivable.

I feel like things are mostly explained well…up until “reverters” start getting involved. I got kind of lost in the multiple time streams, but it isn’t a huge detraction. Loop was a lot of fun, and I was even on board with the fake/futuristic swear words – which is usually doesn’t work for me.

The wonderful people at St. Martin’s Griffin have provided me with an extra copy of Loop to giveaway. The giveaway is open to US only, and you must be 13 or have parental consent to enter. Use the refflecopter below to enter.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

ARC Review: All Broke Down

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Title/Author: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack
Publication Date/Publisher: October 28, 2014/William Morrow Paperbacks
Series: Rusk University #2
Source and Format: I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Rating: 4 stars
From Goodreads:
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.

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I actually read a book before the pub date! At this rate, I’ll be reading September – October 2014 ARCs until I’m 30.

I definitely don’t remember All Lined Up being THIS sexy. I went back and read my review for it, and I spend a lot of time talking about Friday Night Lights (and now I want to re-watch Friday Night Lights) and basically called it with Silas being the Tim Riggins of the Panthers (Wildcats?).

Normally, I feel like I can’t or shouldn’t rate NA over 3 stars because it’s not like a literary masterpiece or anything, but this time I say WHAT THE HAY (like for cows…in Texas) and am going with 4 stars and it’s pretty much all for the sexytimes.

There’s a lot less football in All Broke Down…because Silas is suspended from the team after meeting Dylan in jail! Why didn’t I ever think to pick up a guy in the adjoining cell?! Silas is not exaaaactly the lovable flop of hair that is Tim Riggins, but he’s a close approximation. Dylan is nooooo Lyla Garrity, I tell you what. She’s not even a Tyra Collette (who is better than Lyla anyway)…

I don’t really care for either of these characters. I was purely into the relationship. Learn from my mistakes: don’t read this in the parking lot before work – or the breakroom during the noon lunch rush.

Prediction for the next book starring Torres and Antonella: I HOPE HE IS THE SMASH CHARACTER.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Devil You Know

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“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

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Book Title/Author: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Publication Date/Publisher: June 2, 2015/Bloomsbury USA Childrens

From Goodreads:

Arcadia “Cadie” Wells has one primary goal in life –– to escape the sleepy Florida town where she was born and raised. Since her mother’s death, she’s sacrificed her boyfriend, her spot on the soccer team, and even her plans for the future to raise her little brother and help her still-grieving father. On a rare night out at a party at the local state park, Cadie meets a couple of good-looking tourists and impulsively agrees to join them on their road trip from one end of Florida to the other. But when their adventure goes tragically wrong, Cadie’s new goal is to make it home alive.

I definitely didn’t realize The Devil You Know wasn’t out until FREAKING JUNE 2015 until right this minute. I regret making this my Waiting on Wednesday so soon, probably because now everyone else is going to be mad about how long they have to wait.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I Would be For Halloween

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This week, The Broke and the Bookish is asking for the Top Ten Characters I Would be for Halloween. I’m not especially creative but I am especially lazy, so I like easy costumes.

  1. Nancy Drew: magnifying glass and done!
  2.  Karou: blue wig and eyes drawn on palms
  3. Fluffy the Three Headed Dog: attach two stuffed dog heads to the neck area, et voila!
  4. Effie Trinket: I would actually go all out for this with a wig and makeup and everything for that butterfly look
  5. Death: the Sandman version, obviously. A little makeup, an ankh necklace, boom.
  6. A Raven Boy: with a blazer, a scrap of fabric cut into a raven shape, and a Coca Cola shirt (Adam), stuffed raven (Ronan), loads of white powder for optimal paleness (Noah), or…an orange Camaro/I (heart) Glendower shirt (Gansey).
  7. Stag Patronus: some antlers and a little makeup make this one so easy, even I could do it.
  8. Lisbeth Salander: a little magnetic jewelry, a little time spent hunting down the perfect temporary tattoo.
  9. Jon Snow: I already have the white wolfy dog, so I’m halfway there!
  10. Carrie: Slip dress + fake blood = ready to go!

Coffee Talk: The State of Blogging

coffeetalk1This month’s Coffee Talk is about the state of this blog and blogging in general and feelings and being busy.

 

Starting with Paperback Heart:

I’m suddenly much more employed than I have been in the last 11 months. Work and the gym keep me out of the house for about 12 hours a day. I try to squeeze reading in where I can, but it’s not very much. If I’m not reading that many books, I don’t have that many books to blog about, so I have been trying to do filler posts (you may have noticed Waiting on Wednesday has come back) which I don’t really love but I feel like I have to post SOMETHING.

I got over not posting everyday a long time ago, but I don’t feel like I can tooooo long without posting anything. But I’m not finishing tons of books, I’m not reading any blogs, and I’m not on twitter at all during the week right now. I’m hoping I’ll get more used to my new schedule and waking up at 5am will get easier and I can stop going to bed at 8pm so I can be asleep by 9pm. Today starts my 3rd week at this job, so I hope it starts getting easier soon.

 

Blogging in general:

Due to my limited reading and internet time, I’ve felt kind of like quitting blogging. At the same time, it’s the last thing I want to do. I really like talking about books and I’m just starting to REALLY work with publishers and I have all these business cards I’ve never done anything with. So I’m okay with my limited time and sporadic posting because eventually it will work itself out.

And then something like an author stalking a book blogger happens, and I have to re-re-evaluate my feelings about keeping this blog running.

I love authors. They create these things I love so much. But I have to love book bloggers more, and I will always choose US over THEM. I can’t speak for the bloggers-turned-author or bloggers-aspiring-to-be-authors because that’s not my game, but you’re still part of the US, and apparently now we need to think about safety and protection and expressly tell everyone not to give out or confirm our personal information.

I’m not here to re-hash the whole situation or anything like that, because we all know what happened and our collective outrage that anyone could side with the author is holding our community together right now.

 

TL;DR version:

I thought about quitting blogging and decided not to for now and I’m sorry for not being around much and please continue to stick with me.

 

Pick a Sin You Can Live With

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Title/Author: Horns by Joe Hill
Publication Date/Publisher: March 1, 2010/William Morrow
Series: No
Source and Format: Own
Rating: 3 stars


From Goodreads:

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. .

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Horns was not the spooky or creepy Hallow-Read I was expecting. I saved it specifically for this reason (and the movie)! There’s some gore-heavy parts, but overall it’s not too bad.


I didn’t realize how much of the story was flashbacks. I really thought Horns was the story of Ig and his horns of truth causing some shenanigans about town, but Horns is actually a much deeper story or love and redemption and choices.


I debated 4 stars, but I feel like a lot of this went over my head (all the connections and religion), so I don’t really know/understand what exactly happened there at the end.
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Waiting on Wednesday: I Was Here

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“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

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Book Title/Author: I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Publication Date/Publisher: January 27, 2015/Viking Juvenile

From Goodreads:

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

GAYLE FORMANNNNNN! Besides being an auto-buy, this just sounds terrific. It sounds a little different than her other books, but you just know it’s going to be terrific.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Series I Want to Start

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This week, The Broke and the Bookish is asking for the Top Ten (New) Series We Want to Start. I’m going less for NEW and more for NEEEEEED to read. I’m also only including series that I own at least one book from.

 

  1. The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta – HOW DARE I
  2. Scarlet by AC Gaughan – Again, HOW DARE I
  3. Steelheart and The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson – I’m still working through the Mistborn series, no way I am doing more than one of his at any time.
  4. Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – I’ve heard mixed things, but I have the first book. I think I’m going to wait for this series to finish before I start it.
  5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – technically, yes, I’ve read Throne of Glass, but I’m doing a full re-read so I can appreciate it all at once. You know how I love to binge.
  6. Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch – I can only do one fantasy series at a time so I can keep the worlds straight. I am excited for this one – I just need to finish the Mistborn books first.
  7. Penryn & The End of Days by Susan Ee – I have the first two books but this is at least a 5 book series. Do I start now or just wait?
  8. The Archived by Victoria Schwab – HOW HAVE I NOT READ THESE YET I DON’T KNOW I’M SORRY
  9. Legend by Marie Lu – I own the entire series. At least one of the books is a signed copy (I love that Target is doing this now). And yet they sit on my shelf, unread.
  10. The Artists Trilogy by Katrina Halle: I won the first two books AGES ago, and I feel bad for not having read them yet. The reviews are good – and from people who’s opinion I trust – so there’s no real reason NOT to read them (except lack of time).

I can’t wait to read everyone’s TTT this week and add even more series to my TBR!

Make Way For the Raven King

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Title/Author: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date/Publisher: October 21, 2014/Scholastic Press
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Source and Format: I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Rating: 5 stars

From Goodreads:

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

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This series is killing me. Not just the wait and the anticipation and the not knowing – but all of these things plus my Ronan feelings – and I’m basically dead.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue starts a month after the events of The Dream Thieves. I thought this was fine, because while I want to see every minute of every character’s day, I understand why it’s not really possible. The gap in time did kind of set up for the other weird jumps in the story, and those I had more of an issue with: Adam is at [the place] waiting for his [thing] to start, and Gansey and Ronan rush in and Gansey [noise] to the [person] and then the scene is over. I WANTED TO KNOW THE OUTCOME.

I loved the new character perspectives. Greenmantle is not a scary crime boss, he’s hilarious. His wife, Piper, is also hilarious and I actually liked them whenever they came up on their own together. When they’re with the Gray Man or the Raven Boys or the women of 300 Fox Way I can remember they’re the bad guys, but when they weren’t, I thought they were a lot of fun.

Jesse Dittley was also terrific – the Dittleys have guarded the cursed cave forever, slowly dying off as they’ve had to sacrifice themselves to it. The things that have happened to him and his family could have made him a very hard and angry person, so I extra loved his easy friendship with Blue.

“I don’t want to make a bigger cage. I want to open the door.”

 

There are caves and adventures and death and SO MANY THINGS happening. Blue Lily, Lily Blue does not have the singular focus of The Dream Thieves (Ronan), instead painting a broader picture of all the characters. Gansey seems withdrawn – but it might just be that we spend less time with him, Adam is waking up (either to or from what appears to be an existential crisis), Ronan seems like less of a shit, though he assures us it’s not true. Even Noah seems to be evolving through death. The Raven Boys are becoming Raven Men.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue does focus a bit more on Blue this time around, since it’s her mother underground, needing to be found. She learns a lot more about herself and her abilities, and WOW she is hit with so much in this book. I thought, based on the title, this would be her book, and it is in a way.

I just can’t believe how close we are to the end, when it seems like there is still so far to go and one more book is not enough time with these characters and this world. I feel like I’m mourning the end of the series already, when I still have a year to wait for it!

“I hear if you want magic done,” he said, “you ask a magician.”

 

And I can’t wait to read Maggie’s re-cap of Blue Lily, Lily Blue on The Recaptains next year. They’re every bit as good and entertaining as the books.
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ARC Review: Rowdy

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Title/Author: Rowdy by Jay Crownover
Publication Date/Publisher: October 23, 2014/William Morrow Paperbacks
Series: Yes, Marked Men #5
Source and Format: I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Rating: 2 stars
From Goodreads:

After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.

Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.

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I think I’m done with the Marked Men series. Since each book needs to top the previous ones drama-wise, the series has reached the point where there is TOO MUCH going on and I am not interested in reading about drama for drama’s sake.


I’ve realized what my issue with the covers is: there is so much emphasis on the guy’s tattoos and the cover models do not have those tattoos. They have maybe the same general look, but literally the only thing that sets these 5 guys apart from each other is their tattoos.


When people spend a lot of time together, they become very similar. There are tiny other differences, but it’s the personal style and tattoos that actually set them apart. They all have the exact same voice, and 5 books is enough of that for me.


Rowdy is kind of a greaser…but also a cowboy. I did a google image search for greaser cowboy and the results are confusing and hilarious. He’s got the pompadour hairdo…but wears cowboy boots and sometimes a cowboy hat in DENVER lest we ever forget for one second that he and Salem are from Texas. Salem has the rockabilly/pin-up girl look, so we know they’re obviously meant to be. She has basically the exact same personality as Cora, and of course everyone just loves her right away.


My favorite part of Rowdy was seeing what all the characters I already know are up to. I wish the series had continued with characters that are marked in other ways and not just guys in the shop – Jet has tattoos but he’s a friend of the shop and Rome is marked with his scar instead of ink.


Part of it may be that this series is actually being moved to the backburner. Crownover is also writing her Welcome to the Point series, which is a little darker and may explain some events that may have bled over into Rowdy. On top of that other series, Marked Men is getting a spin-off series with at least 5 books which seem to be about the guys at the new tattoo shop: Saints of Denver. That shop is one of the main locations in Rowdy, yet we never even learn any of the new artist’s names.