Friday, July 3, 2015

Throwback Review - Burying Water (Burying Water #1) by K.A. Tucker (Jan 2015)



Burying Water
 
by K.A. Tucker
 
Summary: The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.
Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?
Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.
The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.


Source: I purchased a paperback

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Review:

I actually loved Burying Water despite having minor issues with some of the story. It was so captivating and I found that it was all I could think about when I put it down. I actually had a dream about it because I was so eager to find out what happened at this one crucial moment of the story. K.A. Tucker is becoming a fast favorite of mine. She might be my go to contemporary romance author next to Colleen Hoover, actually.

Burying Water is told from the point of view of Jesse and Water. Most of Jesse’s narration took place before, whereas Water’s story took place in the present. As Jesse’s story unravels, more about Water was revealed since Jesse knew her before. Who was she? What happened? All of it slowly revealed itself.

I really liked Water in the present. She was a character anyone could easily relate to and understand. Her motivations and the things she wanted out of life were straightforward. However, who she was in the past was difficult to relate to and difficult to understand. Many reviews mention not really “getting” who she was before. But I liked that she remained a similar person with a different path and seeing how different those paths could be without certain characters. I liked Jesse, but I enjoyed his narration mostly because I wanted to know what happened and what led up to the events at the beginning of the novel. I thought he did the right thing and I knew he had a decent head on his shoulders, despite looking like trouble.

The thing I hated most about Burying Water was her ridiculous name. I just couldn’t quite grasp it. She wasn’t a Water. But I got why the author chose to do that. The other thing I didn’t quite enjoy was the way that she had absolutely no idea how terrible the people in her life were before. It was believable that she got herself into a situation she was stuck in and it was believable that she was oblivious, but it was kind of far fetched when the second I met some of the characters, I knew they were what they were and it took her years to find out. The author should have either given us some of her perspective before she got into that mess or at least made it a shorter relationship where she could have been stupid for less time. That may sound a little… cryptic, but I don’t want to give the whole situation away.

Despite my dislike of those things, I really really enjoyed reading the book. I cared about Ginny and Meredith and Gabe and I loved present day Water so so much. It made up for everything else and I still give it 5 stars because it would not get out of my head after I read it and while I was reading it. I recommend it, especially if you like a good amnesia story with compelling characters and fast cars.




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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Page 3-5: Blank, Stand Here



 
 
Leave this page blank on purpose:



Stand Here:

 
I chose a Shel Silverstein poem about Standing for this page because I want the journal to capture the literary nerd in me, not just the creative one.
 
 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review - Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1) by Josephine Angelini

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20613491-trial-by-fire


Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1)
 
by Josephine Angelini

Summary: This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.
Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.
What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.


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Source: I received a digital copy from NetGalley

Review:

Trial by Fire was a book about witches in a parallel world. The parallel world aspect is what sets it apart from other witchy YA books and is the coolest aspect of the novel.

Lily, a sickly and awkward girl, had a huge crush on her best friend, Tristan. She finally got invited to go with him to a high school party and ended up walking in on him and another girl. When contacted by a voice asking her if she was willing to leave the world and become more powerful than she ever imagined, she decided to go ahead and try it out. The new world was one without science, with witches, and terrifying creatures.

In some ways, Trial by Fire was awesome. I loved the fact that it explored the possibility of parallel worlds and talked about the consequences of choices we make in our worlds. I love that Lily grew in the new world and how quickly she grew into her powers. She was powerful in the new world and the things that made her sick in her old world was part of her witchy powers.

In other ways, Trial by Fire was exactly as disappointing as so many paranormal witch YA books out there. The beginning didn't make much sense. Whatever was happening between Lily and Tristan wasn't exclusive, but she acted like it was. Then she decided to run away to another world just to get away from her problems, which isn't exactly healthy. I'm not sure what would possess her to just agree to that. Once in the new world, she realized that her parallel self is the person who took her and is cruel and terrible. So she just decided to run away, knowing nothing about the new world at all.

I could probably make excuses for the main character, but it just bothers me how often I come across the TSTL heroine who makes terrible choices but somehow hones this amazing power and knows exactly what to do with it.

Trial by Fire was a cool idea with a decent execution, but it didn't really deliver overall. I'm still left with tons of questions, I feel like there are large gaps in my knowledge about the world, and I don't really like Lily at all as a person. I think it was risky for the author to impose such fierce opinions onto her main character. She was all anti-nuke, save the whales, doesn't eat meat kind of person and it just didn't work (or really even matter that much to the plot, so it just irked me). I probably won't read the sequels, but I do recommend the book if you enjoy witch YA novels and aren't bothered by gaps in the story and some typical YA tropes.



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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review - The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1) by Sherry Thomas

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17332556-the-burning-sky

 
The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1)
 
by Sherry Thomas

Summary: It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.
Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.
The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure.


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Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.

Review:

As most other reviewers have noted, The Burning Sky takes a bit to get into. But if you start with an open mind, it turns into quite a riveting tale involving magic, elements, danger, and secrets. I ended up loving the book!

I absolutely love when a fantasy novel takes place in a world and doesn't over explain it. It can be frustrating to read and get your bearings when the author isn't telling you exactly how things are set up, but I love the adventure and mystery of the world unraveling with the story. I knew that Iolanthe was a powerful mage who didn't realize what that meant. She couldn't be found without severe consequences, but she fortunately had unknown protectors waiting for her when the time came.

Iolanthe and Titus had a tough relationship. Neither really trusted each other and Iolanthe had to basically be a boy at a private school in order to fit in and stay undetected in the Mage world. At the same time, she needed to practice because there would be a time when she would need to be at her strongest. I loved the way the plot unfolded and how the two characters went from reluctantly working together to loving each other without being immature or dumb about it.

I highly recommend The Burning Sky. It started out a little rocky and I wasn't sure how I felt about the characters, but it quickly turned into me on the edge of my seat rooting for them. I'm not sure if I'll pick up the sequel because it's $10 for Kindle, but I would definitely consider reading it at some point, especially if I can find a good deal.






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Friday, June 26, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Page 1 and 2: Add #s and Crack The Spine

 
I'm just getting started...
 
 
Instructions 



 
Materials and Page 1



 
Page 2: Crack the Spine



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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review - Losing It (Losing It #1) by Cora Carmack

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16034964-losing-it

Losing It (Losing It #1)
 
by Cora Carmack

Summary: Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible - a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.  

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Source: I borrowed a digital copy from the library

Review:

Losing It was a light and fluffy contemporary romance that was published at the beginning of the whole New Adult craze and fits quite well into that category.

My feelings are mixed. I enjoyed the book and liked the characters and the plot. But I can't help but compare it to two other New Adult books with similar plots. Losing It involved a college student who was a virgin and almost had a one night stand with a gorgeous British guy at a bar. She backed out at the last minute, embarrassed but quite sure she'd never see him again. Until he walked into her theatre class as the professor.

So here's the thing. Not only do I dislike teacher student romances, but there are two other books that have changed my mind about the issue and are amazing and it's hard to top either of them. There's the racy and far from virginal Unteachable by Leah Raeder and then there is the heart wrenching and amazing contemporary Slammed by Colleen Hoover. Losing It wasn't bad at all, but it's nowhere near as amazing as either of those books and it's tough to sing praises when it's such a similar plot to both of those books.

I liked Bliss. Even though she was a bit na├»ve and analytical, I could relate to her control freak and analytical nature because I'm very much the same. I was even with her on the whole not having sex thing because I was the same way in high school. I just... didn't ever seem to want to get that far with people and Bliss was the same. There wasn't some virtuous reason for saving herself, she just... did. She connected with Garrick and they formed a shaky friendship and ended up jumping into a secretive relationship with each other, which is expected, but I hated how clueless Bliss was about her friends and how immature she was in a relationship.

Losing It isn't going to break a mold or shine in the New Adult category, but it's not a bad read and it's kind of fun. It was a cute story and I recommend it to fans of New Adult contemporary books. It's a bit unfair for me to rate it just 3 stars because I know the two other books are the biggest reason for me not enjoying this one as much as I'd hoped, but it's honest. Also, the cover is TERRIBLE.. lol





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Monday, June 22, 2015

Wreck This Journal - The Beginning

 
 
I have decided to participate in the whole Wreck This Journal craze.
 
My friend showed me some awesome YouTube videos of the kinds of things people have done with the prompts in Wreck This Journal when I told her I was scrapbooking. I've seen it around, but I guess I didn't think there were prompts in it and I can't be creative with a blank page for some reason. I think the idea is really cool and will give me a creative outlet outside of reading and scrapbooking.


 
I'm going to be doing the prompts (probably in order) and you guys can follow along on my journey to complete the journal.


 

 

The First Page: My Name 


 
Instructions:



 
 Have you started/finished one of these yet?
 
If not, would you do something like this?
 
Come back for updates. I'll be posting every few weeks or so, depending on how long it takes for me to get some of the prompts done!




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Review - Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4) by Darynda Jones

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13538992-fourth-grave-beneath-my-feet


Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4)

by Darynda Jones

Summary: Welcome to the world of grim reaper extraordinaire Charley Davidson. Try as she might, there’s no avoiding her destiny.
Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above...or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. But the more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.
In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.
Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans in this hilarious fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

Source: I purchased a Kindle copy

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Review:

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet was awesome. Charley was suffering from some major issues after her terrible encounter with Earl Walker in her apartment at the end of the previous book, but she wasn't necessarily able to admit that. Instead, she developed a major problem of watching infomercials and buying nearly everything, letting the boxes pile up on The Spot in her living room where she almost lost her life.

What I liked so much about Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is realizing just how many people care about Charley and her wellbeing. Even her father, despite the things he did to her in the last book. Maybe even, (gasp!) Denise. Even Reyes helped her out with the stress she was experiencing.. in more ways than one.

I also really liked Charley's case in this installment because I honestly didn't know who on earth was to blame and I liked watching her figure the case out. Also, with each book, I find out more and more information about Reyes, his past, and what exactly his connection to Charley is. I love how they come together, but make each other mad and exasperated, too.

This series is so awesome. It's funny, vibrant, entertaining, romantic, mysterious, and thrilling to read. I definitely recommend it and I think that each book gets better and better. It's a great urban fantasy for lovers of anything paranormal, weird, or slightly mysterious.





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