Rating System:

For those of you who don't know, I rate books based on their ability to hold my attention. I don't really like to rip apart someone's hard work. If I don't finish a book, then I don't feel comfortable rating it. So you might see a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings. However, if I do have issues with a book, I will always tell you. Enjoy! (:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sad Perfect ARC Review

Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot
5 Stars

I was lucky enough to be included on a blogger ARC tour for this one and will be forever grateful. Sad Perfect is about an eating disorder that I had never even heard of beforehand. When I found out that it has had its mark on Stephanie and her family personally and I watched her daughter's video about it, I knew this was something I wanted to know more about.

Sad Perfect, where do I begin? Our main character, Pea, is dealing with a lot more than meets the eye. On the surface she may seem like a girl who is simply picky, but in reality she has struggles. Throughout the book we follow her as she meets someone new, tries to navigate through her eating disorder, fights her inner demons, and really tries to make a change. I found it quite powerful. Now to contrast our darker side of the novel, Stephanie has gifted us with Ben. Serious swoon. He is sweet, understanding, and caring like no other. I hope we are all lucky enough to find someone like him.

There were parts that were definitely hard for me to read. Some that made me want to hug Pea and some that made me want to knock some sense into her. I love when I can get so invested in a character's life that the decisions being made really irk me. High five, Steph. Sad Perfect is a journey and should be appreciated as such.

I highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy in February 2017. If you're interested, I will be posting the video I mentioned earlier down below.


If you'd like more information about Stephanie and Sad Perfect you can find it here. For more information about ARFID click here. I hope you'll check this one out. Seriously such a wonderful, emotional read. Thank you again to Stephanie Elliot for sending me a copy. And thank you McKaelen Elliot for sharing your story online. If y'all have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Whether they're for me, Stephanie, or even McKaelen.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Friday, November 18, 2016

Aftermath ARC Review

Aftermath by Clara Kensie
5 Stars

When I read the synopsis for Aftermath I knew I had to read it. To the best of my memory this is the first book I've read that has to do with being taken, surviving, and trying to return to normal. And to think that Clara has held this story in her mind since she was twelve years old just amazes me. I'm not going to lie and say this is an easy book to read because of it's subject matter, but it is worth the read if you're up for it.

Our main character, Charlotte, has been held by her captor for almost 4 years just dreaming of her family being happy despite her absence. Life goes on, you know? We meet this girl who has survived these horrors and she's so strong. Sure things aren't how she thought they'd be, but she is doing her best to make the best of things and make some changes. Doing it double because some can't do it at all. When you read this beautiful book, you'll get that line and maybe even cry the way I did. Alexa, Charlotte's twin sister, is kind of rough around the edges and understandably so. At the same time it's not always so easy to understand the way she is until we're finally shown why. Clara really did an amazing job with these two girls. To be honest, I was kind of expecting the twins to well be like the twins that Charlotte originally describes despite all the time that had passed. I'm so incredibly glad I was wrong.

Lastly, I want to talk about the detail Clara uses. I mean some parts made me sick to think about, but this story wouldn't be the same without them. The horrors are what make the journey through the aftermath so meaningful. That attic broke my heart. The hope inside Charlotte, her perseverance, kept me along for the ride. Honestly, I feel like we need more books like this one. It showcases real dangers that maybe we don't think about enough even though they're there all the time.

I highly recommend grabbing a copy of Aftermath for yourself. It isn't long and somehow it still packs quite the punch. Aftermath by Clara Kensie is out now and if you'd like to discuss it we totally can. Just leave a comment! You can also tweet Clara about it here. I do hope you'll give this one a chance. I'm so incredibly glad that I did. Thank you Clara, for sending me a copy.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Thursday, November 10, 2016

If I Fix You ARC Review

If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
5 Stars

I want to preface this review with how this book even came to be in my hands. Earlier this year I was standing in line to get my copy of Dorothy Must Die signed by Danielle Paige when I noticed the girl in front of me had super cute boots. We got to talking and she told me she had just sold her first novel and we exchanged information. Even if you're shy, always make friends. You never know who you'll meet. On to the review.

All I really knew about If I Fix You at first was that our main character's mother did something inappropriate and left. Honestly, that was all it took to get my attention. I was beyond stoked that I was able to read it this Summer. Jill is your average sixteen year old who enjoys hanging out with friends, looking at the stars, and fixing cars with her dad. She even has a cute boy or two in her life. In my opinion, If I Fix You is anything by average.

Throughout this one novel we deal with romance, friendship, betrayal, family, violence etc. Trust me, it all fits together seamlessly. Despite the bigger problems in these characters' lives Jill, Claire, Sean, and Daniel are completely real and relatable. If you've read any of my previous reviews you'll know that that's something I always try to find.

One of my favorite things about this book is that while it's got the darker side of things, there are also such fun moments within. One of my favorites is the night with the wall walking. I used to do that all the time. Another fun bit is definitely the Creeper World Cup talk. Good memories to lighten up the mood. Another plus is Abigail's ability to set the scene. Seriously, I live in Arizona and it's just so accurate to the weather, location, people I see around etc. Just wow.

There is so much I want to say about this book that I think I might reread and do a spoiler filled review because honestly, this one just isn't cutting it. This book deserves so much more. If you're interested, my book club will be reading If I Fix You in January and anyone is free to join. I 100% recommend the book and if you have any questions feel free to ask me in the comments or on my Twitter. I hope you'll grab yourself a copy and see what I love so much. If I Fix You is out now! And thank you Abigail for sending me a copy. Have a lovely day!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Where I've Been

Where's Gabriella?

So you may have noticed that my blogging has been severely slacking as of late. Well, the easy answer is that in the past three months I have only been able to finish two books. A major slump hit me in August at the same time that my life kind of picked up. I'm going to try to find a balance and I hope that you'll stick with me while I navigate through all of this. This coming week or so you can expect reviews from three different books that I have finished. These being If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti, and Aftermath by Clara Kensie. Thank you all for your understanding.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Rift Uprising Release Blitz

About the Book: 
Normal seventeen-year-old girls go to high school, binge watch TV shows all weekend, and flirt with everyone on the face of the Earth. But Ryn Whitaker is trying to save it.

Ryn is a Citadel. A soldier. A liar. Ryn and her fellow Citadels were specially chosen and trained to guard a Rift—one of fourteen unpredictable tears in the fabric of the universe that serve as doorways to alternate Earths. Unbeknownst to her family, Ryn leaves for school each day and then reports for duty as an elite, cybernetically-altered soldier who can run faster, jump farther, and fight better than a Navy SEAL—which comes in handy when she’s not sure if axe-wielding Vikings or any number of other terrified and often dangerous beings come through the Rift. A fine-tuned weapon, Ryn is a picture-perfect Citadel. But that’s all about to change.

When a young man named Ezra is pulled through the Rift, Ryn finds herself immediately drawn to him, despite her training. What starts as a physical attraction quickly grows deeper, and Ezra’s curiosity throws Ryn off balance when he starts questioning the Rifts, the mysterious organization that oversees them, and the Citadels themselves—questions that lead Ryn to wonder if the lies she’s been telling her family are just the surface of a much bigger lie told to her. As Ryn and Ezra desperately try to get to that truth, they discover that each revelation blurs the line between the villains and the heroes even more. 

About the Author: 
Amy S. Foster is a celebrated songwriter, best known as Michael Bublé’s writing partner. You might recognize her work in his four hit singles, including "Home" and "Haven't Met You Yet.”  She has also collaborated with Destiny’s Child, Diana Krall, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and a host of other artists. She is also the author of the novel When Autumn Leaves. When she's not in a studio in Nashville, Amy lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Amy is the daughter of singer B.J. Cook and the legendary music producer, David Foster. Fun fact about Amy: Her extended family tree includes Bella and Gigi Hadid, Sara and Erin Foster and Brody and Brandon Jenner, and Clay Aiken! The Rift Uprising, her YA debut, will be released on October 4, 2016.



I'd like to thank you for stopping by and I truly hope you check out this book!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cover Reveal: Proof of Lies

Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
About the Book:
Some secrets are best kept hidden…
Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.
And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.
She’sthe only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.
Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.


Book Links:

About the Author:
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is not the child of super spies, as far as she knows. But she is an avid traveler, and every scene in her books comes from a place she has lived or visited—from her senior year apartment in Boston, MA to the hotel where she stayed in Cortona, Italy. In addition to the Anastasia Phoenix series, Diana is also the author of the award-winning Amor and Summer Secrets series; the Mirror, Mirror short story collection; and essays in both Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories and Latina Authors and Their Muses. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing Instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. But of course, this all could be a masterly crafted piece of disinformation…

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you check out the book! Happy Monday!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Monday, September 5, 2016

Blog Tour: The Summer Before Forever

the summer before forever banner



About the Book:
Some boys break your heart. Others teach you how to heal it.

Chloe Stone’s life is a hot mess. Determined to stop being so freaking skittish, she packs up her quasi-famous best friend and heads to Florida. The goal? Complete the summer bucket list to end all bucket lists. The problem? Her hot soon-to-be stepbrother, Landon Jacobs.

Landon’s mom will throttle him if he even looks at his future stepsister the wrong way. Problem is, Chloe is everything he didn’t know he wanted, and that’s…inconvenient. Watching her tear it up on a karaoke stage, stand up to his asshole friend, and rock her first string bikini destroys his sanity.

But there’s more than their future family on the line. Landon is hiding something—something he knows will change how she feels about him—and she’s hiding something from him, too. And when the secrets come out, there’s a good chance neither will look at the other the same way again…

Book Links:
Goodreads | Entangled Teen | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


About the Author:
Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She’s a member of SCBWI and RWA including several local and online chapters thereof. She holds her B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee.

Links:
WebsiteTwitterFacebookNewsletter








Excerpt from The Summer Before Forever

Chloe

It’s not like I didn’t know better. How many times has it been drilled into my brain—into the brain of every child over the age of three. Don’t get into a car with a stranger. But can the guy you’ve been melting for since the start of sophomore year really be considered a stranger…even if you never officially met him before?

I accidentally gun the gas as I squirm a little. Eight hours in a driver’s seat is hell on any behind.

It’s done. It’s over. In fact, I’m lucky. I got out of the nightmare with all my firsts still intact…well, most of them. Not quite the first kiss I have been waiting for these past sixteen years. But how juvenile is it anyway that a girl on the brink of seventeen would go un-kissed? Sweet sixteen and never been kissed—endearing. Seventeen and never been kissed—circus freak. At least that’s out of the way.

Jenna rouses in the passenger seat, yawning. “Oh my God. There’s the ocean.”

So it is, Captain Obvious. My Honda Civic starts its ascent up a fairly frightening looking bridge over an inlet.

“How long have I been asleep?”

“Couple of hours.”

She grabs her phone and squints at the screen. “Service. Thank God.”

I can’t help but smile. “What would Jenna Quigley do without social media for a day?”

“I have my fans to consider,” she says.

I give her a look.

“Kidding.”

Oh, but if only she was kidding. It’s amazing what placing eighth in a karaoke contest can do for one’s ego. Okay, so it was the most popular singing competition on any major network, but same difference.

She flips through her phone. “Oooh. I almost forgot. You’re going to love this one.”

Jenna and I are two of the most unlikely best friends in the history of friendships, but one thing that does bring us together is our shared love of music.

Unfortunately, our tastes couldn’t possibly be further apart on the spectrum.

“You’ve said that about the last five songs you played for me,” I say.

She holds up her free hand, the thumb on the other still scrolling. “I swear this is one of your people, not mine.”

She sets her phone down and stares at me with those huge green eyes as the synthpop sounds of St. Lucia fill my car.

I eye her. I wouldn’t call St. Lucia one of my people, but he definitely doesn’t suck. And as far as artists go that break the barrier between her pop roots and my alt rock ones, this is one I can live with. Besides, this song is highly danceable. My upper body moves to the beat without my permission.

She points at me. “See! I told you you’d love it.”

I let a smile through. “I don’t hate it. How did you get into him?”

“Mason,” she says.

And with that name, my shoulders still. Not that there’s anything wrong with Mason. He’s not the one who tried to force himself on me. No, that particular honor goes to his best friend, Trevor. I haven’t told Jenna yet. She’ll be crushed when she finds out—and then murderous. With the summer in front of us, I need to keep her living in blissful ignorance. If I don’t, she’ll blow up to Mason about it, and then it will become this huge deal around school.

As far as she’s concerned, Trevor and I kissed, and there was no spark.

“So this kid who’s going to be your stepbrother—what’s his name?” Jenna asks.

Here we go. I suppose I’ve put this off long enough. “I probably should mention… He’s not really a kid.”

“Great. Is he some pervy preteen who’s going to be peeping through the crack of my bedroom door?”

“Not exactly.” I don’t know if he’s pervy or not, but I do know he’s not a preteen. He’s only a year older than us. It’s stupid, but I’m not ready for Jenna to find out yet. If I’d told her when I found out, she’d have found him on social media and wrapped him around her pinky before we even arrived. I just want a chance to get to know him at the same time rather than the two of them being old buds and best friends before we even arrive…or worse, dating.

I stare past the road out into the sparkling ocean spread in front of us. Secretly, I’m hoping he’s more like me than he is like her. I’ve never had a brother. God, I need that right now. A guy I can trust, who’s got my back. I have these ridiculous fantasies of this guy who immediately takes me under his protective wing as he kickboxes Trevor in the balls for what he tried to make me do…for what he swears we will do someday.

“So? What’s his name?” Jenna repeats.

“I don’t remember,” I lie.

She glares at me. “Well, what has your dad told you about him?”

I hit the blinker, and we turn toward our home for the next two months. “You think my dad and I have actual conversations?”

Jenna sits up and gasps, staring out the window. “No. Freaking. Way.”

A massive stone archway with sleek, aqua letters reading Sea Glass Cove welcomes us into a resort covered in pastel beach bungalows, a crazy big golf course, and a pool that looks like it was hijacked from Atlantis.

“Why didn’t you tell me your dad was loaded?” Jenna asks.

“He’s not,” I say. “This is his fiancée’s house.”

She snickers. “Score, Mr. Stone. Your dad must be hotter than I remember.”

I make a face. “Gross, Jenna.”

“Does he have a huge penis?” She pokes me in the side.

I swerve. “You’re going to get us killed, nasty.”

Jenna stabs a finger across my face. “265, there it is.”

I turn into the driveway of a two-story baby blue house. A black Jeep sits next to a shiny red Porsche SUV in front of my Honda. All this belongs to my future stepmother. Geez. Does my dad have a huge penis?

I open the door, and the salty sea air hits my face like the smell of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. Florida, even the humidity that’s so thick I think I might need an asthma inhaler, is my temporary escape for the summer.

I know I have to go back home to Cliff Ridge eventually, but when I do, the evil Trevor will be gone for college. As much as the next two months are going to win the award for most awkward daughter/dad summer ever, it’s better than the alternative of spending it back home looking over my shoulder.

I open the trunk and start gathering our bags.

“Cute,” Jenna says.

I glance at the house next door. “Yeah, you won’t find lavender houses in Cliff Ridge.”

“Not the house,” Jenna says out of the corner of her mouth.

“Let me get that.”

I look up to put a face with the unfamiliar male voice. Holy Zac Efron. Who in the… Oh no. I bet this is—

“Hey.” He grins at Jenna. “Which one of you is my new little sister?”

Jenna’s eyes go wide and she elbows me in the side. “Thank God not me.”

Great. Just…great.

He gives her a mischievous lift of an eyebrow, and then shifts his gaze to me. “Chloe?”

This guy has got the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen and short, shaggy, dark hair that falls all around his face in that totally messy and totally doesn’t care kind of way. Standing at least six feet tall, he towers over me, but I’m used to that. A light sprinkling of freckles decorates his tanned face, whereas I look like I’ve been hiding under a UV protected rock my whole life.

I scratch my eyebrow. “Yeah. Landon, right?”

“I thought you couldn’t remember his name,” Jenna mutters.

I cut my eyes at her in warning. He offers me his hand, and I take it.

“So you’re the new sister. You’re my first.” He gives the slightest hint of a smile and lets go of my hand. We watch as he wrangles our big roller bags out of the trunk and carries them both by the handles into the house.

Jenna rests an elbow on my shoulder. “Who needs to use the rollers when you’ve got muscles like that?”

She looks at me for a reaction, but I turn to the trunk to avoid her.

“So, some kid brother you got there,” she says. “What the hell, Chlo?”

I tug the rest of the bags out of the trunk and load us both down with them. “I said he wasn’t a kid…exactly.”

Jenna points to his backside as he climbs the front porch steps. “Not a kid, exactly? That is a full-fledged man. His boy parts grew up years ago.”

I anchor a canvas bag to her right shoulder. “Don’t be gross.”

I shut the trunk, and we make our way toward the house.

Landon holds the door open for us, and we scoot past him into the foyer. It’s weird stepping into this house that I guess will be my home in a way. My dad lives here after all, but it’s not really his…at least not yet. I glance around at all the white and aqua stuff, including a pristine white couch. God, I hope I don’t spill anything on that.

“This is a beautiful house,” I say.

“My mom’s a real estate agent. She’s into decorating houses and stuff.”

I glance around. “Is my dad here?”

“They just texted. They’ll be here in just a little while. They’re getting dinner stuff.” He smiles. “I think they’re going all out for your first night.”

I suppose that warms my heart a tad. Doesn’t really make up for my dad’s virtual complete absence from my life for the past five months, but who’s keeping score.

“Where will we be sleeping?” Jenna asks with innuendo.

“Upstairs. Follow me.”

As he leads us up the stairs Jenna points at his behind again and gives a thumb’s up. I give my throat a slice in warning, and it just eggs her on.

He hauls our suitcases into a pale yellow room. Jenna tosses her bags on one of the twin beds, and I sit down on the other.

“I’ll let you settle in. Nice to meet you, Jenna…Chloe.”

“Likewise,” Jenna says as he shuts the door to our room behind him.

I glare at her.

She flops onto the bed she claimed. “What’d I do?”

“We’re going to be here two months,” I say pointedly.

“So?”

“So if you hook up with him now and things go sour next week, it’s going to be a long two months.”

She sighs and sits up. “Point taken. Besides that, he’s just the first one we’ve seen. I bet there are a whole slew of them down at the beach. Let’s go.” She rips into her suitcase and comes up with a hot pink bikini.

“I want to wait for my dad to get home. You go.”

“That’s cool. I’ll wait with you.” She pulls her phone out of her pocket and flips through one of her seven or eight social media apps, I assume.

“Ah, look at my sweetie.”

“Who?” I ask. It could be anyone.

She glowers at me. “Mason.”

I nod. Of course. They hooked up the same night I had my fiasco with Trevor. Jenna never clarifies what she means by hooked up. I’m guessing it’s somewhere between a peck on the cheek and full-on sex.

I hang clothes in one of the two closets, and then pull out the bag with my shower stuff. As I go to set my shampoo down on the corner of the tub, I notice a bottle of men’s body wash. I realize that the door I assumed was to a linen closet is actually too big to be a closet door. I creep toward it and give it a little shove. It leads to another bedroom. A guy’s bedroom.

Gray, t-shirt material sheets pool on the unmade bed. A football poster decorates one wall, while another poster of Kate Upton in a bikini hangs on another. At least sixty or seventy hardbacks line the shelves of a bookcase. I check the door, and then take a few steps closer to read the titles—biographies, many of world leaders or prominent figures in history. I spot one sitting on his desk with a bookmark peeping out of it. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

He’s redeemed for the Kate Upton poster.

A classic tennis racket in a wooden case sits on a shelf above his bed. A toddler-sized jersey hangs in a frame on one wall next to a shelf housing a single trophy. I come closer and read the plaque. The Mean Green Gorillas, Team Participant. I can’t help but giggle.

“I don’t come in your room and laugh at your stuff.”

I jump a mile and spin around.Landon lounges against the doorframe.


Thank you so much for stopping by! If you're interested you can find the rest of the tour right here!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pokemon Go Book Tag


To those who read my last post, this should come as no surprise. I'm addicted to playing Pokemon Go and have put myself into a slump because of it. So here we go, the perfect tag!

It's really hard to pinpoint the book that sparked my love of reading. I know that I started reading because I wanted to be just like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, my favorite move to this very day. I remember reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White with my grandma when I was little and I loved it. Throughout my life I have fallen in and out of reading several times. A few books that have brought me back after straying include Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar, Private by Kate Brian, and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. It always seems to be a series that brings me back because I simply need to know what happens next.

I actually haven't read that many classics. Does Charlotte's Web count? *Laughs nervously* I would love to read some classics someday though so feel free to give me some recommendations along with why you love them.

Wow, it's actually hard to choose. I'm going to go with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I went so far as to purchase this book a few years ago and I have yet to even touch it. I haven't even seen the movies. I get that everyone loves the series, but that kind of makes me not want to read it for some strange reason. I have vowed to read it someday. I mean I did spend money on it, but lord knows when that will be.

I actually tend to ignore tropes within books. If I'm enjoying a story, who cares? Today I watched Michael from Michael BookLion mention The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and while I have only read book one, I did enjoy it and didn't mind whatever tropes there might have been.

I can think of several books for this one. Size definitely intimidates me when it comes to books simply because of the commitment. We'll start with the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. I purchased the boxed set so I could marathon it and a year later I haven't even touched them. The same goes for The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I also feel obligated to mention the big guns here, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Those books/series are HUGE. I don't know if I'll ever start the last two. Lastly, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. I will read that series, but probably not until every single book is out in the world. I decided this because the wait between each of her A Court of Thorns and Roses books is killing me.

A book that kept me up would be A Court of Mist and Fury for sure. A Court of Thorns and Roses as well. Sarah J Maas just gets me. I just need more of these characters and this world and ugh. Let me live in the Night Court. Those are my people.

My bookish OTP, or one true pair, is Rhysand and Feyre from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. I am absolutely in love with the two of them. I also ship myself with Rhysand, no big deal. I feel obligated to mention Juliette and Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi as well. If you haven't read these two series, do it now. I know almost everyone has, but if you're like me and behind on trends *cough cough Harry Potter* then I'm giving you this heads up now.

The Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I think I read the whole series in about a week because I was sick in bed and thoroughly enjoying myself. I also found the Thirst series by Christopher Pike to be quite fast paced as well. I wish more people would give those books a chance. Seriously, Thirst may be about vampires, but it is anything but typical.

Percy Jackson, hands down. Rick Riordan has me hooked on his books and his characters. Also, I'd love more books on the characters from A Court of Thorns and Roses. If you haven't guessed by now Sarah J Maas and that world own me as well. SO AMAZING.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. My best friend Grace had been pushing me to start the series forever and while I am nowhere near finished with the series, I did enjoy the first book. She was so right and I will forever trust her recommendations. Check her out at The Grace Lucy Review. Savages by Don WInslow surprised me too. A movie about drugs and the whole business didn't seem like my thing at all, but I read the whole book in a day. The Prequel, The Kings of Cool was amazing. The way everything was weaved together, damn. Highly recommend.

I do not want to call Harry Potter overhyped, but I couldn't think of anything else. I am one of the few people of my generation that has not finished the Harry Potter series. I know, gasp. I am so stoked to finish these books. I only have two left and I know they're going to crush me, but how could one not be excited?! The Harry Potter series by the brilliant J.K. Rowling is in no way overhyped, it is worth the hype and the adventure is everything.

It would be amazing to own the collector's edition of the illustrated Harry Potter books. I believe it cost around $200 or something, but it was absolutely gorgeous. If there were ever a collector's edition of any of my favorite books, I would be all over that. However, as of this moment I don't think there are any that I'm itching to get. Unless the Barnes & Noble edition of The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan counts.

I have already read this one, but trust me when I say that it is absolutely amazing and I need the finished copy as soon as humanly possible. Are you ready? Caraval by Stephanie Garber. The world she created is just mind blowing to me. Everything is so magical and you never know what's real and what's a misdirect and the dress, oh the dress. January 2017 cannot come soon enough in my opinion. Some others that I love and want you to read as soon as you can are Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow and If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson. Ones that I have not read and cannot wait for are Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot , After the Fall by Kate Hart, and Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. I'm absolutely positive that there are more, but you don't have all day and neither do I.

I have too many auto-buy authors to count, but I just really love the books I read and supporting such wonderful people. I will always buy a Paula Stokes book. I consider her a friend and I genuinely love her writing. Girl Against the Universe is my favorite of hers so far. And my book club Better Read Than Dead is reading her latest book, Vicarious, in September if you'd like to join us. Some others would include John Green, Rick Riordan, Abigail Johnson, Kathleen Glasgow, Danielle Paige, Nicholas Sparks, Veronica Roth, JK Rowling, and so many more. I could probably go on forever. Give me all of the books.

It feels like I've been waiting forever for the sequel to Winger by Andrew Smith to come out. In reality it's been out for almost a year. I just had to wait for the paperback in order to have a matching set because I'm a tad anal like that. Alas, it finally comes out at the end of next month and I get to enjoy what others already have. I've also been waiting for The Goal by Elle Kennedy to release and it comes out next month as well. I don't know if it will top The Score though, Dean forever has my heart. I seriously love a good steamy new adult.

There you have it. The Pokemon Go book tag sure is fun, but now I want to go catch some Pokemon. Thank you, Aentee, for creating this tag! I tag anyone and everyone who wants to do this, leave me your link in the comments. Do you play? What team are you on? What's your strongest Pokemon? Tell me everything!
Xoxo,
Gabriella



Friday, August 26, 2016

ARC August Update

ARC August

So a couple of weeks ago I told all of you I'd be participating in ARC August and posting updates every Wednesday throughout the month. I fully intended on doing so, but then I was hit by a massive reading slump. I've managed to read a couple of pages here and there, but mostly I want to watch television and play Pokemon Go. It is unfortunate, but I was also in a slump last August. I didn't finish even one book. Therefore, I was honestly not surprised at all. I'm not going to try and fight it. I've decided to go with the flow until it passes. I'll try and find some book tags or something to post on the blog until my reading habits return to normal. Thank you for understanding.
Xoxo,
Gabriella


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Girl In Pieces ARC Review

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
5 Stars

One of my most anticipated books of the Summer was Girl in Pieces and boy, it was wonderful! But not like a happy kind of wonderful, more like an emotional roller coaster. Before I get into my review you should check out my interview with Kathleen here!

Going into Girl in Pieces I knew it was going to be a difficult read in the best way. From page one we see the struggles that Charlie has had to endure and Kathleen doesn't sugarcoat it one bit. It was like a breath of fresh air. Charlie struggled so much, had dark thoughts, doubts, and even made some bad decisions and it felt utterly authentic. In fact, all of the characters seemed so real especially for this town. Girl in Pieces actually takes place in my city, well most of the book does, and I could very clearly see everything and everyone in my mind which hardly ever really happens for me. Normally I would talk about the other characters now, but this is Charlie's story and I want you to discover everyone else along the way.

Tucson, oh Tucson. Kathleen nails this city so perfectly and to be honest I couldn't see this book being anywhere else. And while I practically never mention an author's writing style, I loved hers so much. It's so incredibly fast paced and that's my favorite so I had to mention it. I feel like this review is all over the place and not as thorough as I would have liked, but I was thinking about it and I want you, the reader, to experience this story as blindly as possible. It really is wonderful and heartbreaking and full of hope and self discovery & acceptance.

For those of you who are looking for a book that, to my knowledge, deals with mental health quite accurately, boldly, and honestly then this is the one for you. Girl in Pieces releases on August 30, 2016 and you can preorder a copy today! I highly recommend that you do. I've never rooted so hard for a character. Are you interested in Girl in Pieces? Do you have any questions? Have you already read it? Feel free to leave me a comment. Be sure to check out that interview if you haven't already! Happy Saturday!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Conversations: Showing Book Love


This time around for Conversations, we're talking about how we show our love and appreciation for the books we read. Are you ready for this super simple answer?

I SHARE THE SHIT OUT OF THEM. For real, I push the books that I love on everyone. I share them all over my Instagram and Twitter. I practically shout it from the rooftops when I love a book. And since my answer is so incredibly simple, I'll share some of my favorites with you. Ones that I have pictures of at least. Note: These aren't in any special order.

My review!

My review and interview!

My review for this one is coming within the next week! But I will tell you that this was an emotional one that I could not put down! For now, check out my interview with the author!

The Interview!

My review!

My review!

My review!

My review:

My review!

My review for this one will be up eventually. I must tell you that I loved this book so much! Also, Abigail is such a sweetheart! I hope you'll add this to your tbr.

Find it on Goodreads!

My review!

My review!

My review!

I know, this post was kind of boring and may have sent you a lot of places. I'm sorry. I had to share the love though! One book I really wish was on here would have to be A Court of Mist and Fury, but I have yet to take a picture and review that one. So much love for Rhysand and the Night Court. Feel free to link me to your post and if you don't have one then tell me your faves and how you spread the love! Have a wonderful weekend!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Thursday, August 4, 2016

ARC August Intro

ARC August

Hello and welcome to my very first post for ARC August 2016! ARC August is an event hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat where we all try and get through our stack of ARCs. This will be my first time ever doing the event and I am so completely stoked about it! Now let's talk about what I have planned for this month.

How About A TBR?

Well, being the mood reader that I am, I don't really have one! Shocker right? Every single time I set a TBR, I either fall into a deep slump or I just stray from my list. However, I don't want to completely leave you hanging. So I will mention a few books that I am in fact interested in, but am not forcing myself to get to.

- The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti *

- Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

- The Cabin by Natasha Preston

- Wake the Hollow by Gaby Triana

- Aftermath by Clara Kensie

- Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

- The Lost and Found by Katrina Leno

- Two Summers by Aimee Friedman

- Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup

- Change Places with Me by Lois Metzger

- How if Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes

- The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes

*Currently Reading

Wow, that already feels kind of overwhelming even though I'm not committing to those. Anyway, join me on this adventure of trying to shorten my review pile! I'll be posting mini updates every Wednesday and on Thursday, September 1st I will do a final wrap-up. Have you read any of these books? Which ones do you recommend? I'd love to hear all about my potential reads. If you're participating in ARC August, what will you be reading? Leave me your thoughts and your links! Happy reading!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Entangled Summer Carnival: Pie Bake-Off Booth


Step right up! Step right up! Get those taste buds ready for the Pie Bake Off booth hosted by the lovely Entangled Bliss authors. Each author specially baked a pie sure to delight. Check out the video and let us know which pie are you dying to eat? You can grab all of the recipes below.



Summer Berry Berry Pie

Hi, all! Jennifer here!

Thanks for stopping by the Bliss Pie Bake-Off!

For me, nothing says summer like a fresh fruit pie! My pie I've chosen for this bake-off has fresh raspberries, blueberries (a NJ fruit), strawberries and blackberries. YUM!
I admit that pie crust usually intimidates me, but the recipe for the crust that is included is super easy (especially if you have a food processor) and is great to work with since it rolled out really nice and even. And that rarely happens for me, so I will definitely make this crust again!

**I made the pie dough a day before to make it more simple for me.

If you all are interested, here is the recipe from http://www.jocooks.com/

Ingredients

Pie Crust
  • 2½ cup flour
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 6 to 8 tbsp ice cold water
Filling
  • 5 cups of mixed berries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white for egg wash
Instructions
  1. Place the butter in freezer for 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor add the flour, salt and sugar and pulse a couple times.
  3. Add the butter to the food processor and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles peas. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and continue pulsing. The dough should start to hold together.
  4. Remove dough from food processor and place it over your working surface. Form the dough into 2 discs, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour up to 2 days before using.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Coat a deep-dish pie crust plate with nonstick baking spray.
  6. Place berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and extract; mix well. Add to berries; toss to coat.
  7. Take out the pastry discs from the fridge and roll out a disc so that it's 12 inches in diameter and place it and arrange in your pie dish. Brush the pie crust with egg white so that it doesn't get soggy.
  8. Pour the berry mixture into the pie crust.
  9. Roll out the other disc so that it's 12 inches in diameter as well and cut it into lattice strips. Arrange the lattice strips nicely over the berries and brush with remaining egg white.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Let it cool before serving.

Peanut Butter Pie

9"x11" glass baking dish
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided into 2)
2 tsp milk
1 T corn syrup
1/2 c confectioners super (divided into 2)
1 c butter or margarine + 2 T
12 oz whipped topping (i.e. Cool Whip)
1 c peanut butter
1 c brown sugar
Graham cracker crust

Layer 1 - The Crust
Prepare baked graham cracker crust per directions on packaging. Set aside to cool. (Feel free to use a standard pie crust or Oreo crust - all work great for this recipe!)

Layer 2 - Chocolate Base Layer
  • Melt the following in a small saucepan:  3/4 c chocolate chips, 1 T butter, 2 tsp milk
  • Add 1/4 c confectioners sugar
  • Stir/blend
  • Remove from heat and spread chocolate sauce over bottom of crust. Set aside to cool completely.

Layer 3 - Peanut Butter Filling
  • Melt 1 c butter in microwave, then stir in 1 c brown sugar
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes
  • Pour mixture into blender and stir in 1 c peanut butter until well blended
  • Fold in 12 oz whipped topping
  • Pour filling over cooled chocolate layer

Layer 4 - Chocolate Topping
  • Melt the following in a small saucepan:  3/4 c chocolate chips, 1 T butter, 1 T corn syrup, 1/4 c confectioners sugar
  • Mix well
  • Spread carefully over the peanut butter layer

Refrigerate until cool (great frozen as well!). Cut and serve!



Lemon Ice Box Pie

Ingredients

-1 8oz. container of Cool Whip
-1 14oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
-1/3 cup of Lemon Juice
-1 Graham Cracker Crust

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. When evenly mixed, pour into graham cracker crust. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Cherry Pie

This pie crust recipe is simple, but the trick is the prep. You don't want to over-mix & the time in the fridge is essential to making the flakiest crust. (Also, credit for this crust goes to my neighbor from my hometown, Luella Crowther. It was the first time I ate all the crust on my piece of pie, because YUM!)

2 C flour
*1 C butter (softened enough to work with)
1/2 C water
dash of salt

*shortening also works

Add butter to flour and work in by hand until you have pea-sized bits. Scatter liquid over surface. Stir until just mixed with a fork and roll into two dough balls. Place balls in plastic wrap, pull up edges and press dough into a disk. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out. (Fridge up to 5 days, freeze up to 3 months)

Pound bottom crust dough with rolling pen. Roll out and form into pie pan.

1 Can of cherry pie filling (I search for the kind without corn syrup, because allergy fun!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 T sugar

Mix and put on the bottom crust. (Fair warning, I like my cherries on the sweeter side with a little tart. If you prefer more tart, skip the sugar & vanilla)


Roll out second crust & cover. Flute edges & put in vent holes. Cover edges with foil, so they don't get too done. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.

The Giveaway


Don’t forgot to check out all the authors books below.

Wedding Date For Hire by Jennifer Shirk
on sale for just 99¢!
About the Book:

Hottie for hire…

Maddie McCarthy is single, between jobs, and (oh, the shame) lives with her mother. To make matters worse, she’s the maid of honor for her sister’s wedding, and desperately needs a date. Then she sees her salvation-Match Made Easy, a service for women in Maddie’s exact position. If she can’t find a boyfriend, she’ll do the next best thing…

Hire one.

Trent Montgomery isn’t actually part of Match Made Easy. He’s just doing a favor for his cousin, but one look at the blonde who hired him, and he’s totally hooked. Now Maddie thinks that the attraction sizzling between them is just “part of the package.” And Trent is running out of time to prove to her that her date-for-hire might just be her happily-ever-after…



Find it online:

Author Info:


Her Unexpected Detour by Kyra Jacobs
About the Book:
Sometimes it’s not the destination, but the detour…

Kayla has the perfect strategy for a broken heart: work, work, and more work. Then a storm sends her car skidding off the road, stranding her in Mount Pleasant. Fortunately, rescue comes in the form of the incredibly handsome but gruff Brent Masterson. And he’s hot enough to tempt Kayla into doing something she never thought she could do…

Brent Masterson swore he would never give into the fierce attraction that’s been sizzling between him and Kayla since they first met. He has his own demons, and he won’t risk his heart again. Not even for someone as gorgeous and amazing as Kayla. So…how exactly did he end up in Kayla’s bed last night?

But sometimes all it takes is an ice storm to show two broken hearts the way home…


Find it online:

Author Info:



Wife for the Weekend by Ophelia London
About the Book:
When bad weather closes the airport, free-spirited Jules Bloom finds herself stuck with the admittedly hot but total suit Dexter Elliott. One night and one large pitcher of “Vegas Sunrise” later, Jules wakes up in a hotel bed with a vicious hangover…wearing nothing but a wedding ring.

Determined not to ruin his brother’s wedding, Dexter strikes a deal with the frustratingly gorgeous Jules to continue their quickie marriage through the weekend. Only she keeps getting under his skin in unexpected ways.

Jules has her own reasons for staying married to Dex but they seem less important with each exaggerated touch and staged kiss. But one marriage, one major secret, and two complete opposites don’t add up to a happily ever after…




Find it online:

Author Info:


The Bad Boy's Baby by Cindi Madsen
About the Book:

There are certain words that have always described Cam Brantley: Town bad boy. Soldier. Protector. But never, everdad. Until he returns home from his latest military tour to discover the girl he had one smoking-hot night with is now mom to the adorable two-year-old Zoey. Who has his eyes.

Plenty of words could describe Emma Walker these days. Mom, dutiful granddaughter, budding designer, the town’s golden child. But when her longtime crush Cam Brantley comes back to town, she knows the perfect word to describe herself: screwed.

Cam and Emma are both shocked to discover he truly wants Zoey in his life. But Cam’s not sure he’s ready to be a dad, and Emma can’t gamble her daughter on maybes. As the long-simmering heat between Cam and Emma reaches a boiling point, he’ll have to work past his demons in order to be the man both girls need.

Daddy duty might be his toughest mission yet…

Find it online:

Author Info:

And be sure to stop by the other carnival booths for more fun and giveaways and each day stop by the Facebook event page to chat with the authors.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post. Don't those recipes sound absolutely delicious? I'm going to have to make myself some gluten-free versions! Feel free to share your favorite recipes in the comments as well as any you'd like to try! Enjoy your Wednesday!
Xoxo,
Gabriella