Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ever Lost

22383818New town, new school, new ghost.

Jade has a dedicated boyfriend, an overprotective mom, and a full scholarship. Uprooted from Nantucket, Jade is installed off-island at her dad’s new house so she can attend snobby Layton Academy. Leaving Charlie behind is sheer torment, but living with her father has plenty of dangerous distraction—in the form of a terrifying spirit haunting her new school. Hottie classmate Mateo Fernandez can’t see the ghost, but he knows its story. He’d like to know hers, too, but Jade still misses Charlie, even though distance seems to be changing him.

With support from Mateo and the mysterious Noemie, Jade commits to helping the agonized spirit cross over. As she delves into the ghost’s past, the disturbing secrets Jade learns draw her into a deadly confrontation with a desperate man. If she can’t play his demented game, the spirit’s harrowing fate could become her own.

*May Contain Spoilers*

In Ever Lost, the second novel of the Secret Affinity series, Jade has been forced to move in with her dad away from Nantucket, her friends, and her boyfriend. Angry and alone, Jade starts her new school with a ghostly greeting. She knows she has to help the ghost as soon as possible so that she can have a normal life at the Academy, but Jade's having trouble remembering exactly what her Grandmother taught her to help them move on. Not that the ghost would leave without completing his unfinished business.

Jade's character has grown since the the first book. She's still the typical in-love, little bit selfish, teenage girl, but she isn't as moody. And because of what she can do, Jade has to be careful when it comes to sharing her secrets. Readers will enjoy the new location and the new characters, especially Mateo. The love triangle created is a little off because Charlie seems to be becoming an angry semi-controlling boyfriend, which will have readers leaning toward Mateo. Jade's bravery and strength as a medium has definitely grown. That was something I wanted in the first book and I'm glad to see the character evolving. Young adult readers will be intrigued by the continuation of Jade's ability and connect well with her experiences as a new student and as a teenager. 

The story line begins after Jade's move away from Nantucket. She begins school and promptly discovers the ghost of a teacher who committed suicide earlier that year. However the ghost keeps rambling on about how he didn't do it and how it wasn't his fault, pushing Jade to pursue a murderer. The plot was nicely paced and entertaining, not to mention frightening at times. When Jade gets into trouble toward the end, I didn't agree with everything she did but I understood why she chose those specific actions. Readers who enjoyed the first novel will no doubt enjoy this installment as well. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups


Teaser Tuesday (130)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

Product Details

Death Will Seize the Doctor Too
     - Jeremiah Swanson

"I'm asking you to save me from hell, whether it's one with the devil and pitchforks or the rest of my time on Earth in a jail cell."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Photo Friday

Street Art

Would love to see this in person!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Secrets of Peaches

After a magical summer living on a peach orchard, Murphy, Leeda, and Birdie confront a series of breakups, make-ups, and take-offs. They may have to leave one another, along with the orchard that brought them together. But despite their heartbreak, this year's bitter endings could lead to the sweetest of new beginnings.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Jodi Lynn Anderson continues the story of three teenage peaches after the season has ended in The Secrets of Peaches, sequel to Peaches. After establishing a connection with Leeda, Birdie, and Murphy in the first novel, readers witness what happens after the magic of summer has dissipated. 

Leeda further attempts to discover just exactly who she is as senior year of high school begins. After giving up her boyfriend and being manipulated and let down by her mother, Leeda is determined to find out what she wants and go for it. Readers will enter melancholy with Leeda as she lets go of her old self to make room inside for her real personality to surface. Though it's a sad year for Leeda, readers will connect further with her and her new ambitions, anger, and decision to stop putting up with so much B.S. 

Birdie, still my favorite character, experiences a variety of adult actions and situations that she doesn't know if she's ready for. Birdie has her first intimate experience with her boyfriend, Enrico, and readers watch her deal with the unexpected feelings and worries that it brings about. This makes the reader-character relationship much more personal, thickening the bond into more of a friendship. 

Murphy, the rebel, is dating Rex and applying to NYU so she can escape the small Georgia town. When she gets accepted, Murphy lies, pretending that she was rejected. Throughout the novel, Murphy examines the surprising importance of the relationships she has in Bridgewater. Readers watch as Murphy faces her fears of the future and the unknown. 

With all of the "growing-up" stuff that the three main characters experience, it's hard not to connect with them. The emotional level of the book was heavy in sadness and worry,which transfers to the reader when connections are well established. With another novel waiting to wrap up the story of these peaches, readers will definitely care enough to see how it ends.

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WWW Wednesday (116)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

6629101     22569171     22383818

01. Currently Reading:
The Secrets of Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson. The sequel to Peaches, the story of three unlikely friends continues after summer ends with the promise of a few more shenanigans. 

02. Recently Finished:
Painted From Memories by Barbara Forte Abate. After a horrible and traumatic childhood, Cat wants her adult life to be full of love and happiness, but the secrets she keeps from her husband haunt her day and night.

03. Reading Next:
Ever Lost by Melissa MacVicar. The second novel in the Secret Affinity series. Jade is living with her dad now and that means a new school. And the ghost that haunts it is one only Jade can see. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Painted From Memories

22569171She considers telling him the truth—that she isn’t the person he thinks she is—but in the end she doesn’t. To say something is to potentially say everything. And it is simply too late...

The emotionally fractured casualty of a hideous childhood tragedy, Catherine has at last found her happy-ever-after in the person of Grayson Barnett, and it is the promise of a freshly polished future that compels her to bury the poisonous trail of her past beneath the purposeful lies and omissions she offers her new husband.

But now, with the inherent shame of her traumatic history secreted away and losing hold, Cat finds herself increasingly troubled as Gray falls into an erratic pattern of late night wanderings through the house, painting the bare walls with extravagant murals. And only when the unthinkable happens—a devastating blow which leaves her broken and spiraling—and an unexpected arrival on her doorstep, bearing a cache of impossible revelations—is Cat forced to question whether the man she so desperately loves is in truth a stranger and their beautiful life a gross falsehood constructed upon a foundation of lies.

*Contains Spoilers*

Painted From Memories is a heart wrenching story heavy in prose and haunted pasts by Barbara Forte Abate. Cat hides her memories from her new husband, Gray, while trying to build a life full of only love and happiness. 

Cat grew up in a household in which she witnessed her father abuse her mother. Eventually, she and her sister ended up in a foster home, where she was treated more like a slave than a child. Ashamed of her past, she keeps everything a secret. Readers will sympathize with Cat's horrifying past and hope for her chance at a lifetime of happiness. But when her husband dies in a freak accident, readers become witness to a woman who is swallowed by depression. The bond initially created will strengthen in the wake of tragedy. Though Cat is a secretive, standoffish, needy, damaged character, readers will grow to understand her as the story unfolds. 

The plot is a slow development. Abate's writing style is heavy in prose and details laced with beautiful descriptions. The beginning of the novel presents Gray and Cat as newlyweds, preparing to move from Georgia to Maine. Too soon, she is widowed and her hope is lost. Until Gray's brother, who Cat thought was deceased, shows up on her doorstep. Then Cat begins to realize that she wasn't the only one in their marriage keeping secrets. The story line is character driven and the informational climax will push readers through to the end.

Though it's worth discussing that Cat's mental state possibly worsened to the point of delusion around the novel's midway point, after her husband's death. She was showing obvious signs of depression and had suicidal thoughts, even going so far as to create a plan of action. Which leads me to three interpretations of the novel's end:

1) Gray did in fact lie and his brother and their tragic past is all real. Cat and Rance do fall in love and she leaves behind the weighing memories that threaten to destroy her for another chance at happiness. 
2) Cat is delusional and has invented Gray's brother because of the guilt she feels for never telling her husband the truth of her past. Rance gives Cat a chance to redeem herself by sharing the truth of what happened to her and her sister. 
3) Cat succeeded in committing suicide and afterwards, she must work through her problems so that she can forgive herself and move on into the afterlife. Rance is the chance to work through her abusive past. 

Recommended for readers who enjoy a chance at really analyzing characters and story lines with multiple interpretations. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Teaser Tuesday (129)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers


Painted From Memories (Kindle 69%)
   - Barbara Forte Abate

Despite the fact she is utterly alone in this place, has been so for years and will continue to be, Cat feels a distinct sense of solace hidden away at the top of the house; sheltered from the silently screaming threats of those things she knows to exist in the rooms below--the lingering essence of vanished life and unanswered prayers lying in wait at the bottom of the stairs. She is safe here.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Shadow and Bone

10194157Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Leigh Bardugo delivers in the first installment of The Grisha series, Shadow and Bone. I know I'm a little late in reading it, but I never dreamed it would be this fantastic. With every detail, readers are pulled into a world that is divided by darkness and promised the sun. 

Alina grew up as an orphan at an estate with her best friend Mal. She's a quirky, lonely, isolated, military mapmaker in love with Mal, who doesn't seem to even see her. Until everything changes. Suddenly, a power that she's been unconsciously holding back rips loose and the world is filled with hope. Alina is still the outsider but she discovers a place in the world where she could fit. Readers will love her sarcastic nature while connecting with her uncertainties, worries, and fears. What if she isn't good enough? What if she fails? These questions are universally relatable, creating an instant bond with Alina that only grows stronger as she hones her power and lets herself dream. 

The plot of the novel begins with Alina and her military regiment preparing to cross the Shadow Fold. During which, the group is attacked by volcra and Mal is badly injured. Frightened for her life, Alina somehow summons the sun to extinguish the darkness and save them. After barely surviving, the Darkling, leader and most powerful of the Grisha, comes for Alina. With her help, they can save the world. I absolutely loved the entire story line. It was an adventurous ride from start to finish with a couple surprises that I did not see coming. Between the chaos and preparation, readers get to see Alina discover her inner strength, be hurt by love, and succeed in carving out a place for herself in the war-torn world. Although, that place isn't exactly the safest place to be. 

Rating: 5/5 Cups

Friday, September 19, 2014

Photo Friday


How many times have I said this to my husband? 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Painting the Moon

22383955When Noelle Cooke inherits a quaint English cottage and an art gallery from her famous Aunt Joy, she welcomes a departure from her San Diego routine. But the lure of the Cotswolds, combined with a locked cottage room and a revealing journal, entice her to stay and discover more, including a way to save the gallery from financial ruin. And that means remaining in England.

When her childhood sweetheart, Adam Spencer, begins work on a restoration project in Noelle’s village, their friendship blossoms. But as her feelings for Adam deepen, she struggles with memories of what might have been and yearns for a future once thought lost. Faced with a life-altering revelation Aunt Joy took to her grave and a wrenching choice regarding the man she loves, Noelle could lose far more than her heart.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Traci Borum shares a romantic and touching story about a woman who gives up the life she knows for a chance at living meaningfully and having true love in her novel, Painting the Moon. Noelle flies across the pond to her inheritance in England and readers tag-a-long, witness of a chance to begin anew. 

Noelle is a Californian woman who dislikes her human resources job, often feeling lonely and bored. Then she receives unfortunate news of her Aunt's passing paired with happy news that she's the sole inheritor. England becomes her second chance at life, love, discovery, and happiness. Noelle rekindles old friendships and opens up. Readers see her personality blossoming with every day that passes. She begins studying art again and taking chances. The shift of perspective will reach out to readers, pulling them into Noelle's life. Though the story starts off slowly, the connection with and hope for Noelle only deepens as the plot progresses. 

The plot follows Noelle's inheritance of an English cottage and an art gallery that is going bankrupt. When she is given a strange letter from her deceased Aunt letting her know that there are secrets to be discovered and surprises in store, Noelle begins the search. She uncovers a locked room full of paintings that her Aunt never shared with the world. She also reconnects with her two best friends from childhood, Jill and Adam, which gives Noelle a chance at examining the feelings she had for Adam during her teenage years. Painting the Moon is a slow second chance for life and love. Definitely an end of summer, relax while you can, smile at the sentences, kind of novel. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WWW Wednesday (115)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

22383955     562762     10194157

01. Currently Reading:
Painting the Moon by Traci Borum. After an Aunt passes away, Noelle finds herself in England sorting through what was left behind with a penned promise that she'll stumble over a few secrets and surprises.

02. Recently Finished:
Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Such a wonderful coming of age novel about three teenage girls who form an unlikely friendship while working at a peach orchard.

03. Reading Next:
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. In the middle of a war, Alina discovers she has a special power that could be exactly what the country needs to survive.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


562762In a Ya-Ya Sisterhood for teens, Peaches combines three unforgettable heroines who have nothing in common but the troubles that have gotten them sentenced to a summer of peach picking at a Georgia orchard.

Leeda is a debutante dating wrong-side-of-the-tracks Rex.

Murphy, the wildest girl in Bridgewater, likes whichever side Rex is on.

Birdie is a dreamer whose passion for Girl Scout cookies is matched only by her love for a boy named Enrico.

When their worlds collide, The Breakfast Club meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in an entirely original and provocative story with a lush, captivating setting.

*May Contain Spoilers*

I caught sight of this book in the library and I knew that I had to start the series. A peach colored book with peaches dancing on the cover was just too alluring to stop myself. Jodi Lynn Anderson's novel, Peaches, was absolute sweetness covered in fuzz with the threat of bugs and brown rot. I read it all in one sitting. I even ignored the laundry. 

The three main characters are girls from different parts of life in Bridgewater, Georgia. All three are teenagers, on the cusp of adulthood. Leeda is from a mainly snobby-family. Her mother and sister are almost identical in looks and personality that it drives Leeda up the wall. All Leeda wants is to be accepted by her mother and finally feel like she isn't competing against her sister, Danay. Readers will enjoy Leeda's character. She's a good girl who is trying to find herself. 

Murphy is a chaotic handful that means well, under the surface. She's troubled, worried about her mother, and is scared to open herself up to anyone. But she's also the sarcastic and humorous relief. Readers will empathize with and understand the ways in which Murphy acts-out to get attention. She's a teenage girl with no real role model. The hearts of readers will open up to that. 

Birdie was my favorite character. She is Leeda's cousin, daughter of a peach orchard owner. Birdie is incredibly shy and unsure of herself with a lot weighing on her shoulders. Now that her mom has left, Birdie feels like she has to fill her shoes, stepping in to help the orchard and the workers over the course of the season. Birdie is very down to earth with a loyal heart and a growing desire for adventure. Readers will love watching her personality and strength blossom. 

The plot of the novel begins with each of the three girls being sent to the orchard, in various ways, for the duration of spring break. The spark of friendship begins and three lonely teenagers who haven't discovered who they are yet become a part of the orchard and a part of each other. Peaches is a wonderful coming of age novel that gives a girl a friend when break-ups, betrayal, and late night swims are too much to go through alone. 

Rating: 4/5 Cups

Teaser Tuesday (128)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers


Painting the Moon (Kindle 1%)
   - Traci Borum

She kicked off her sandals and walked down the steps of her beach house, grateful for San Diego's mild weather even in mid-October. And grateful she wouldn't have to walk far, with the ocean practically at her doorstep.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Soul Immortal (Fated Eternals #1)

20727560An endless love, for an endless price.

Jack’s immortality is exposed when he prevents a liquor store heist, forcing him to flee to protect his secret—a secret not even he understands. But when he meets Leah Winters—a mirror image of his decades-lost love, Lydia—his very soul is laid bare. He begins to question his sanity. Is she real, and if so, what does that mean for Jack and his secret?

Jack’s not the only mystery man in town. A stranger named Artagan hints at knowledge Jack is desperate to possess. But can he trust Artagan, or does the dark newcomer harbor deadly secrets of his own?

As Jack’s bond with Leah grows, so does the danger to her life. Jack must discover just how much he is willing to risk in order to save the woman he already lost once.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Jen Printy shares a story of love that has survived one hundred and fifty years of separation in her novel, My Soul Immortal. This is the first book in the Fated Eternals series and based on the first installment, I don't think readers will be disappointed. 

Jack is the main character of the novel and the story is told from his perspective. He's an immortal. The only reason he knows that is because he's tried multiple times over the years to end his turmoil. After his fiancee, Lydia, died, Jack struggled with depression and despair. At the beginning of the novel, readers witness the hopeless, weary, downtrodden Jack. Allowing readers to see this puts his transformation into stark contrast. When he travels to Maine and meets Leah - Lydia's memory personified - he begins to change. Jack evolves into a caring, loving man. Though he can be a little overbearing at time, readers will enjoy the love story. 

The novel begins with Jack escaping L.A. and moving to Maine. After his arrival, Jack takes a job a bookstore and literally stumbles into Leah. He doesn't understand why she looks exactly like his Lydia, but he's determined to find out. After he is able to make the connections, he makes a fatal mistake. An unlikely immortal witnesses Jack walking in on a robbery and her morbid interest is piqued. Her sights settle on Jack and she'll do anything in her power to bring him suffering because, sadly, that's just how she is. Now Jack must protect Leah, and the only way he can really do that is if he tells her the truth about what he is and what she is. 

The writing style, the pace, and plot action were all properly executed to make this book a great piece of paranormal fiction. I greatly enjoyed reading it and I think the character/reader connection will only grow with further installments of the series. I highly recommend it for mature young adult and paranormal fans as the language is a little sharp at times. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups