Saturday, May 30, 2015

ARC Review of "Made You Up"

Made You Up 
By Francesca Zappia 

Stars: 5 
Source: Edelweiss 
Release Date: May 19th 2015 

For as long as Alex can remember she's had trouble differentiating reality from delusion. Diagnosed with schizophrenia early on in her life helps her understand that sometimes what she sees isn't real but telling the difference is becoming a problem. 

Never leaving the house without her camera Alex captures every peculiar, eyebrow raising moment throughout her day, then she returns home to see what was real and what was purely her imagination.  

When an old delusion suddenly appears at her new highschool she is understandably skeptical. But the blue eyed boy seems to interact with everyone and luckily she doesn't seem to be the only one who can see him. 

Alex goes from zero to sixty in under a minute and finds herself making friends, attending parties and even falling in love, all things she never thought possible with her diagnosis. 

But when the line between reality and fiction is blurred it's all too easy to find yourself teetering between them. 


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If you only read one book this month make it this book! 

I remember reading the synopsis for this book months and months ago when I requested an ARC and when I got approved I couldn't wait to start it. I built it up in my head and when the time came to read it I was so terrified that it wouldn't live up to my expectations. 

Not only did it live up to my (incredibly high) expectations, it surpassed them ten times over! 

I haven't read too many books told from the perspective of an unreliable narrator, in fact I can probably count on one hand the number of books that fall into that catagory but "Made You Up" takes the cake. 

No matter how closely you're paying attention and no matter how many times Alex (and her mother) remind you that most of what she sees isn't there Francesca still manages to throw a curve ball right at the readers heart. 

"Made You Up" is without a doubt one of those books that you finish and half an hour later realize you've been starring at a wall processing everything you've read, completely unaware of the passing time. 

I loved Alex's wit and dry humor, when things got tough she still managed to brush it off sarcastically and move on.

Miles was, of course, one of my favorite characters and I would literally (read: theoretically) kill for some chapters told from his smart ass point of view. 

It was such an addictive read, I couldn't put it down no matter how hard I tried (Spoiler alert, I didn't try that hard). 

I can't recceomnd this book enough and I eagerly await anything that Francesca comes out with next, a tweet, a grocery list, an email, anything! 

Until next time, 
Ginger 

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 

My review is my honest opinion.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Stacking The Shelves (35)



"We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in the physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! 

If you're anything like me, you are probably hoarding books and even though you are excited about your latest book arrival, it might be a while before you get to review it and Stacking The Shelves is a good way to express your undying enthusiasm for those titles."

This week I got sent two review books, other than that I've been really good and haven't been adding books to my ever growing TBR list. 



I haven't heard a ton about these two but I'm really excited to be able to dive into them! 

What books did you add to your collection this past week? 

Until next time, 
Ginger 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review of "Saint Anything"

Saint Anything 
By Sarah Dessen 

Stars:5! 
Source: Secret Sister Gift 

Sydney has always lived in the shadow of her older brother, Peyton, but after what happened a couple months ago it seems like the whole family is now stuck under his dark rain cloud. 

Sydney's Mother is too concerned with Peyton and how the judicial system is treating him to see whats right under her nose and Sydney's Father can't seem to be bothered to look up from his morning paper. 

But Sydney doesn't feel bad for her brother, she feels bad for the kid whose life he ruined and the family that was effected by his poor decisions. It seems as though she's the only one who actually thinks about the victim and the consequences of her brothers actions. 

After transfer schools and starting fresh Sydney finds friends and solace in a family owned pizzaria and for the first time in a long time allows herself to feel something other than guilt.

But when Sydney suddenly has her extremely controlling mother focusing all her attention on her, her new friends and where she is every waking hour she starts slipping back down the slope and quickly losing herself and her new found happiness. 

Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Book Depository

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This is my all time favorite Sarah Dessen Book! I read it in two sittings and the second I finished it I wanted to flip back to page one and read it again!

Sydney was such a perfect main character- not in the sense that she could do no wrong but in the sense that she was 100% relatable and lovable. 

Without even being aware of what was happening I found myself walking in her shoes and thinking her thoughts. 

I don't think I can recall ever rooting for a character as much as I rooted for Sydney and her happy ending. 

Layla was such an amazing character and such a good friend that I couldn't help but smile every time I saw her name on the page. Her french fry obsession did become slightly problematic around 1AM when I found myself with a crazy craving for my own fries and ketchup but that's why In-N-Out is open until 2. 

Of course I adored Mac and his protective nature! He reminded me of a Stephanie Perkins character with his boyish grin and tall build. 

I was amazed by how Sarah wrote Peyton/Peyton's story. He never actually makes an appearance in the book (he's mostly just mentioned and every once in a while there's a phone conversation) and yet his presence is so strong. He determines the mood for the day, the tone for the week and he factors into almost every decision made. 

It goes without saying my least two favorite characters were Ames and Sydney's mother. 

I understand being slightly (SLIGHTLY) over protective after what happened with your first child, but holy mother of God, could you not take every mistake made by Peyton out on Sydney? It's like she couldn't be bothered to care about her until she couldn't control Peyton and then the gloves came off and she was two seconds away from placing her under house arrest! 

And Ames, creepy, serial killer eyes, Ames. How I wanted to hit him in the face with a frying pan! How is it that neither one of Sydney's parents could see what a low life he was? He gave me the creeps from page one until the last page his name was mentioned. 

Lets end on that lovely note... Not! 

"Saint Anything" is a beautiful story told in true Sarah Dessen fashion. The ups and downs of family relationships, the excitement from new friendships and the first love butterflies. All wrapped up in a perfect bow.

I cannot recommend this book enough!  

Until next time, 
Ginger

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday "Who Says Opposites Don't Attract?"

 Waiting On Wednesday 


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Here is my selection for the week:



Who says opposites don't attract?
It's been several years since Carly Vega's parents were deported. Carly lives with her older brother, studies hard, and works the graveyard shift at a convenience store to earn enough to bring her parents back from Mexico.
Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He used to date popular blondes and have fun pranking with his older sister. But now all that's changed, and Arden needs a new accomplice. Especially one his father, the town sheriff, will disapprove.
All Carly wants, at first, is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to not do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they've been living according to the wishes of others. Carly and Arden's journey toward their true hearts - and one another-- is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh. Just like real life.
Release date is June 2nd 2015 
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I'm excited for this book for multiple reasons but the top one being Anna Banks is going to be doing a signing along with a couple other Epic Reads authors next week at my local bookstore! 
I haven't read her previous series but I'm tempted to buy it so I can get them all signed. Let me know in the comments if you've read it. I think it may be about mermaids?! 
Until next time, 
Ginger

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Ten Beach Reads


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke And The Bookish where each week there is a new topic for a top ten list. 

This week is "Top Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer" 

I LOVE summer beach reads. I'm 99.9% positive that there is nothing better in the world than laying out in the sun and reading a great contemporary ya/na book. 

Here are the books I'm hoping to read this summer! 







Those are the seven I'm hoping to get at some point over the course of the summer and these last three are one's that I already have ARC's of. 






What are your go to beach reads or your most anticipated beach read for this year? 

Until next time,
 Ginger



Monday, May 25, 2015

ARC Review of "Making Pretty"

Making Pretty 
By Corey Ann Haydu 

Stars: 2 
Source: Edelweiss 
Release Date: May 12th 2015 

Montana is used to her fathers girlfriends popping up in her and her sisters lives, moving in, bringing their collection of shoes with them, adding their own touches to the New York apartment. 
Shes use to them becoming fiances and eventually wives and ex wives. What she's not used to is the girlfriend in question turning out to be her best friend, Karissa, whose been hiding the relationship from her for months. 

While things at home quickly spiral out of control Montana seeks solace with her new boyfriend, one of her Dad's ex-wives and even Karissa, driving a wedge between her and Arizona. 

It doesn't take long for secrets to come out and lines to be drawn but whose side do you take when neither one is right? 


----------------------------------

Oh boy... 

Where do I start? 

I'm really surprised I finished this book, at the beginning I really enjoyed it, but how quickly the tables turned. 

Montana is one of my least favorite characters, she's so intent on writing in her journal about things she's grateful for and things that make her happy every day and yet she never physically shows her appreciation or gratitude. All she does is write it down and then in the next sentence she's complaining about how she hates her life. 

Karissa was beyond words. She was insane, downright mental and yet Montana babied her and made her feel like she wanted her there instead of telling her how she really felt about the relationship between her and her father. 

Arizona wasn't much better. She still blamed the ex wife (Natalie I think) who (along with their father) gifted them each certificates for plastic surgery on their 13th birthday and yet she freaking used it! She was so mad at Montana for still having a relationship with the only real mother figure she'd ever known all because of a horrible 'gift' that she used! Where is the logic in that?! 

Then there is her father... I refer to him as Frankenstein. He 'can't help' but to point out every single flaw in every single person he sees. He goes as far as coloring on family pictures of the girls with a sharpie to point out flaws and make notes on what he would change. His 'selective memory' was such a load of BS I couldn't even handle it and the way he was always guilting the girls into going along with things they weren't comfortable doing was manipulative and honestly quite creepy. 

I could go on, talk about Karissa's own manipulative tendencies, the fact that there was absolutely no character growth in the end or how much I hated Montana's 'relationship' with Bernardo but I think I'll stop here... 

Sadly I just want to make a note that while I (obviously) hated the story and the characters the writing was actually really good and it's the reason I finished the story at all. I'll still consider reading other books from Haydu but I definitely won't be recommending this one.

Until next time, 
Ginger 

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 

My review is my honest opinion.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Review of "I Was Here"

I Was Here 
By Gayle Forman 

Stars: 5
Source: Purchased 

When Cody's best friend, Meg, commits suicide by drinking a bottle of industrial strength bleach Cody is devastated. But more than that, she's shocked. There were no warning signs, no cries for help, nothing she could have done to change Meg's mind, to save her. 

So when Cody starts digging deeper into the mystery of Meg's death she discovers that maybe, just maybe Meg was coerced by someone else to take her own life. 

When Cody finds herself working along side Ben McAllister, the boy who broke Meg's heart and the person who Cody holds responsible for Meg's sudden depression she finds herself question all she thought she knew about her best friend and the lives they shared. 


--------------------------------------------

I put off reading this book for such a long time because all I knew about it was that it was a 'suicide book'. I should have known better. Gayle Forman did such a spectacular job of writing a unique book about such a emotional subject. 

As always I loved the characters in Gayle's book. Cody, Ben, Harry and Alice, they were all amazing, lovable and original. 

I could easily relate to Cody and her struggle with Meg's suicide. Meg was her only friend for such a long time and there wasn't ever a need to branch out or find someone else to share her life with. I know the feeling of losing your best friend, it's a horrible experience and one I wouldn't wish one anyone. When people say that they would rather have one best friend than 10 'okay' friends they don't ever think about what happens when the one friend is gone. 

I really enjoyed the 'mystery' around Meg's death. From the first chapter you know what happened and there isn't any doubt that she took her own life but with the twist that Gayle throws in it gives the characters and their story a fresh voice. 

I loved the relationship between Cody and Meg's family. Her little brother was one of my favorite characters and I enjoyed all the chapters that he made an appearance in. 

There wasn't really any doubt in my mind I wouldn't enjoy this book. Even with the tough subjects introduced and the over all feels, it was very relatable, a really quick read and as long as you're aware of (and can handle) the triggers I would highly recommend this book! 

Until next time, 
Ginger 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Stacking The Shelves (34)



"We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in the physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! 

If you're anything like me, you are probably hoarding books and even though you are excited about your latest book arrival, it might be a while before you get to review it and Stacking The Shelves is a good way to express your undying enthusiasm for those titles."

This was a slow week for me book wise, I haven't been reading a ton lately so I haven't been requesting any books or buying them however, my AMAZING OTSPSecretSister sent me a package a couple days ago with some great books that I wanted to be able to share on here so here it is:


I was so excited to get everything in this months package, (can you tell I love The Little Mermaid?) it was a princess themed package with three books that are retelling's (and of course Sarah Dessens new book!!!). 

I've already read Saint Anything, I sat down the second I was done opening everything and read 12 chapters, and I'm adding either Splintered or Cinder to my June TBR pile. 

I'm going to a Random House event tomorrow where they pitch new books and give away copies of ARC's so I might have a couple new ones to talk about next week but hopefully I can continue holding off on buying books or requesting a ton until I catch up a little bit. 

Until next time, 
Ginger

Thursday, May 21, 2015

ARC Review of "Tiny Pretty Things"

Tiny Pretty Things 
By Sona Charaiporta and Dhonielle Clayton 

Stars:3 
Source: Edelweiss 
Release Date: May 26th 2015 

June, Bette and Gigi. Three completely different girls all vying for the shot to be a prima ballerina. 

June is barley holding on, with her mother threatening to pull her out of the elite ballet school and the school nurse threatening to send her away if she doesn't gain weight she feels like her dreams of dancing are slowly slipping away. 

Bette is desperate to get out of her older sister shadow and prove she has what it takes to stand in the spotlight even if that means pushing someone else out of it. 

Gigi is the new girl with an old secret. A beautiful dancer who finds herself with a target on her back after getting the coveted lead role. Now worrying about her secret isn't her only problem, now she has to watch her back too. 

A drama filled book with twists and turns fit for a premiere danseuse. 

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Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton met while attending the New School's Writing for Children MFA program. Sona is a journalist who has written for the New York TimesPeopleParadeCosmopolitan, and other major media. Dhonielle is a librarian at a middle school in Harlem and taught English at a cutthroat ballet academy. Together, the pair have also co-founded CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent. Find them online at www.cakeliterary.com


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I was really excited to read this book, mostly because it was promoted as being a cross between Black Swan and Pretty Little Liars. While I haven't yet watched Black Swan I've heard a great deal about it and was eager to jump into this book. 

For me it started off great, lots of intrigue, backstabbing and lies. As I got farther into the book it seemed to lose my interest and I found myself getting bored, but when it picked up it really picked up.

I'm not a huge fan of ballet books, they just aren't something I seek out but this was the most honest ballet book I've read. Most try to paint this perfect picture of what it's like to be a dancer and they gloss over- or don't mention at all- the struggles that go along with that. 

Eating disorders and drug abuse and body issues. 

This book did an incredible job of diving into those subjects without it overpowering the characters or their stories.

While I wasn't a fan of 2 out of the 3 characters I did enjoy reading from all 3 point of views and getting a glimpse as to what drove each of them to continue dancing. 

If you're looking for a cute, light read about some ballet dancers this is not that book. These characters are spiteful, vicious and down right nasty to one another. While it wasn't something I would normally read I did enjoy parts of it and will probably be keeping an eye out for the sequel. 

Until next time, 
Ginger 

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 

My review is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday

 Waiting On Wednesday 


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Here is my selection for the week:



I'm really excited for this book but I'm not including a summary because it's a sequel and I haven't read the first book yet. 

Crazy I know but I've heard so many good things about The Murder Complex and I put it off for so long I figured I might at well wait for this one to come out and marathon the two of them. 

Release date is May 26th 2015 

Until next time, 
Ginger 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Characters I'd Name My Children After


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke And The Bookish where each week there is a new topic for a top ten list. 

This week is "My Top Ten Characters I Would Name My Children After" 

So I have to admit I freely chose this weeks topic (it was a freebie week) and yet it gives me stress putting this where everyone can see it. 

Lets just say I had a baby name picked out for quite some time (cough, cough... Grace) and my older brother stole it right out from underneath me and I'd rather not have that happen again. 

In other words, steal my baby names and I'll have to cut you. (Kidding... Mostly...) 

Here are my top ten literary inspired baby names. 

1. Scout - To Kill A Mockingbird 

2. Lucas - Kevin Brooks "Lucas" 

3. Eloise - Eloise 

4. James Sirius - Harry Potter 

5. Scarlett - Gone With The Wind

6. Noah - The Notebook 

7. Charlotte - Charlotte's Web 

8. Ramona - Ramona and Beezus 

9. Atticus - To Kill A Mockingbird 

10. Harper - Harper Lee 

Obviously I have a tiny obsession with TKAMB (I hope my future husband doesn't mind having the entire slue of characters from the book running around the house in diapers). 

Which fictional characters are your kids going to be named after? 

I promise not to steal them ;) 

Until next time, 
Ginger 

Monday, May 18, 2015

ARC Review of "Heat Of The Moment"

Heat Of The Moment 
By Lauren Barnholdt

Stars: 2 
Source: Edelweiss 
Release Date: May 12th 2015 

Freshman year Lyla, Quinn and Aven each wrote themselves an email with something they wanted to achieve before graduating high-school. 

Now four years later the three aren't even on speaking terms and the emails have long since been forgotten, so when Lyla opens up her email to find an email from herself telling her to learn to trust she's less than thrilled. She's a trusting person. Right? 

The first in a trilogy told from each girls perspective over the course of their senior trip follows Lyla on her quest to trust not only those around her but herself.


-------------------------------------------------

I've read a couple Lauren Barnholdt books over the past couple of years and every time I pick one up I get sucked in by the synopsis and the promises of a good summer/beach read. 

Yet every time I finish (if I finish) I feel so disappointed, let down and for lack of a better word, blah. 

In case you haven't guessed all ready, I was not a fan of this book. 

It pretty much centered around the main characters goal to lose her virginity to her douche bag of a boyfriend on their senior trip. 

She (Lyla) was so incredibly whiny and self centered and every other thing out of her mouth was a lie.

Lyla's one goal on the trip is too sleep with her boyfriend and yet anytime he's out of the picture she's flirting with the mysterious, attractive, moody, Beckett. Yeah, that makes perfect sense! 

I really don't know what else to say, this book wasn't plot driven or character driven, it was more like a bad car wreck that you just couldn't look away from and I will not be continuing with the companion novels/sequels. 

Until next time,
 Ginger  

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 

My review is my honest opinion.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

ARC Review of "The Cost Of All Things"

The Cost Of All Things 
By Maggie Lehrman 

Stars: 4 
Source: Edelweiss 
Release Date: May 12th 2015 

Ari's boyfriend is dead, in the blink of an eye her whole world is turned upside down and the pain is too much. She can't handle the memories, the constant pity stares or the ache in her chest.

 So she buys a spell from the local hekamist and erases him from her mind. 

But spells come with a price, one not agreed upon before hand and although Ari can't remember the pain she felt before she's sure it can't be worse than what she's feeling now. 

Told from 4 different points of view and jumping between past and present "The Cost Of All Things" begs the question, how far would you go and what would you be willing to give up for the semblance of happiness?


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I really liked the concept of this book. How magic (while illegal) is something that is talked about openly and not hidden from the world. 

I loved how all the different people in the book had gotten different spells, beauty spells, memory spells, love/friendship spells. But my favorite aspect of it was the consequences, how each spell has a counter effect or repercussion of some kind. 

That being said I didn't really like any of the characters. I finished not to find out what happened to each character but mostly to see how each spell effected each character. I hope that makes sense... 

While I enjoyed the situations, settings and overall plot I wasn't a fan of the character growth and I didn't really care about what happened to any of them. 

I'd be thrilled to see the author come out with another book set in the world of hekamist's and spells because I truly enjoyed reading about it but perhaps with different characters. 

Until next time, 
Ginger  

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 
My review is my honest opinion.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

ARC Review of "Trouble From The Start"

Trouble From The Start 
By Rachel Hawthorne 

Stars: 5 
Source: Edelweiss 
Release Date: April 28th 2015 

Avery didn't intend to fall for Fletcher, she didn't intend to fall for anyone but when the town bad boy blows into her life she finds herself toeing the line between right and wrong and and good and bad. 

Every summer Avery's parents take on a project, a kid who needs help in some way or another, that's how Avery's little brother came into their lives and how Fletcher is now the center of Avery's world. 

Torn between doing what she wants, letting loose, stepping out of her comfort zone or being the girl her parents expect her to be Avery must choose how she lives her life and who she allows in it. 


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Any Gilmore Girls fans out there? What a silly question of course there are! 

This. Book. Is. For. You! 

Close your eyes and picture sweet, innocent, good girl Rory. Now picture bad boy, leather wearing, motorcycle riding Jess. 

The second I picked up this book I pictured Rory and Jess as Avery and Fletcher, I don't know what initially sent me in that direction but the more I read the more I couldn't deny how similar these characters were. 

What I liked about Avery's story (and what varied from Rory's, because lets me honest I'm going to run with this for the whole review) is her family, she had not only a mother and a father who were both prominent characters in the book but she had a very good relationship with her father and could open up to him about difficult situations. 

I loved her little brother. I loved how driven and focused she was. I loved how there wasn't any insta-love. I loved that Fletcher rode a motorcycle (if you're going to throw your life away he better have a motorcycle!). 

Mostly I loved Fletcher as a character. I don't want to go into too much detail but I feel like right from the start you know that he isn't just his reputation and that he really does have a good heart. I really enjoyed the chapters (however short they were) told from his point of view. 

This was my first Rachel Hawthorne book and I can say with absolute certainty that it will not be my last. 

Until next time, 
Ginger 

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 
My review is my honest opinion.