Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wishing on Wednesday #3: Towering


Inspired by “Waiting on” Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine and Wishlist Wednesday hosted by Pen to Paper
Wishing on Wednesday is a weekly meme to feature recent and upcoming releases that I’m wishing for!
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At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.
Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.
Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.
Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.
#1 New York Times bestselling author, Alex Flinn knows her fairy tales, and Towering is her most mind-bending interpretation yet. Dark and mysterious, this reimagining of Rapunzel will have readers on the edge of their seats wondering where Alex will take them next!
What I Want It:
In case you didn’t know, Alex Flinn is awesome! Her books offer really unique spins on all your favorite fairy tales. I’ve read Beastly (Beauty and the Beast), A Kiss in Time (Sleeping Beauty), and I’m currently reading Bewitching (Cinderella)! I was so excited when I found out that she’d be writing a Rapunzel retelling, and then when the cover came out this past week, I knew I needed to share!
Coming to a bookstore near you… May 14th 2013 from HarperTeen!
Oh, and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #13: Kick-Butt Heroines

A weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish
This weeks topic is…Kick-butt heroines! Now, I’m really not a fan of butt-kicking. If there’s some intense butt-kicking going on, I’m the first to turn my head. So I’m just slightly tweaking it to “Fierce Heroines”.
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10. Evie from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Evie is a girly-girl, but she’s also a paranormal hunter. And I love that about her. She’ll be out catching vamps, but make sure she’s back in time for her primetime dramas. And she has a pink taser.
9. Callie from Starters by Lissa Price
Callie is a risk-taker. She literally gave up her body through a bunch of risky circumstances just to take care of her brother. And on top of that, she can truly kick some tough butt.
8. Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Elisa kind of starts out as a wimp. She’s uncomfortable and insecure, but as the story progresses and she’s moved out of her comfort zone, she grows into a strong, powerful heroine.
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7. June from Legend by Marie Lu
June is a genius, and she can be pretty darn fierce! She solves unsolvable mysteries and knows how to fight with the big boys!
6. Celaena from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Celaena is a bit like Evie, in that she can be assassinating someone one minute, and the next she’ll be talking about puffy pink dresses. She’s a girly girl who’s an expert at kicking butt!
5. Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth
Tris is almost definitely going to be on everybody’s list. She’s such a strong heroine! And the whole faction of Dauntless is all about butt-kicking, so this is a no-brainer.
4. Katniss from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Another one who has rightfully earned her place on every single list. It’s kind of obvious that she’s fierce, since *SPOILER* she managed to win the Hunger Games! But the best part is that she managed to win while killing as little as possible; she used her brains!
These last three are fierce duos, coincidentally all from fairytale retellings!
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3. Rosie and Scarlett from Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
I loved loved LOVED Sisters Red! And my favorite part was seeing how these fierce sisters worked together to hunt werewolves!
2. Enna and Isi from The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale
You all know how much I LOVE these books. They’re beautiful! And I love Enna and Isi (and later on Dasha)’s relationship and how they balance their different gifts and work together. Especially in Forest Born, when they all leave their boys behind to go kick some butt on their own!
1. Cinder and Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Cinder was my all-time favorite book this year for a long time…until I read Scarlet! And I think what made me love them so much was the strong presence that the title characters had. They were strong and intelligent and believable, and they were pretty awesome fighting against the…whoops! Almost let it slip! Go read it and see what makes them so fierce!
Who are some of your favorite fierce heroines?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Read-a-Thon!

For those of you who don’t know, I live in Hurricane Paradise! Smack dab in the middle of the east coast. I could be really negative about this, but instead I choose to enjoy the hurricanes that come to visit! I go dancing in the 3 foot deep puddles in the driveway (usually while singing some show tune like “A Little Fall of Rain”, “Under the Sea”, “Singing in the Rain”, etc…), I stay up late watching reruns of Seinfeld, I bake my favorite gourmet brownies, and most importantly, I READ!

545415_4779818652508_1192855235_nHere’s a pretty little panoramic view of our front yard at about 10 this morning, after the water had receded a bit.

Hannah @ The Irish Banana Review had the genius idea to do a little last minute read-a-thon during the hurricane! And while I’m pretty sure the storm has passed us by for the most part, all of my plans for today and tomorrow have been canceled, so I might as well read as much as I can!

I have an enormous TBR pile to choose from at the moment, so I better get going.

My prayers are with anyone else affected by the storm. Stay safe!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Basket of Goodies (21)


Inspired by In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Received This Week
So, I had no access to a camera this week, so you only get covers ):
WON
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This is basically everything I’ve won in the past month, all showing up on my doorstep this week! I guess the mailman knew I wanted to show off a big book haul!
LIBRARY
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  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
So after I got my big package from the Class of 2K13, my mom decide that I would become a children’s librarian, turn into a liberal, and learn about book censorship from a book which I know more about than she does. Hmmm…
NETGALLEY
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  • DUALED by ELISE CHAPMAN!!! (Thanks Random House!)
  • Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon (Thanks Cedar Fort!)
Recognize these? I featured Dualed on my Wishing on Wednesday post, and then on Thursday I got an email invitation to download it!
And you’re probably wondering why I got Snow Whyte on NetGalley in addition to a physical copy. Well, I won a copy almost 2 months ago, then forgot about it. So then I saw it on NetGalley and grabbed it. And then I found a mystery book from Cedar Fort and remembered. So now I have both!
Read This Week
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  • Butter by Erin Jade Lange
  • Supernaturally by Kiersten White
To Read
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  • Endlessly by Kiersten White
  • Bewitching by Alex Flinn
  • Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London
Even though Scorpio Races won What’s Next? I decided to postpone it so I could get some more Halloweeny books in!
Oh, and in case you forgot, I have a surprise fairy tale giveaway going on until Halloween! You can find out more by clicking the button below!
How was your week? Leave links in the comments below!

Book Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

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Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

Oh. My. Goodness. This book was so flipping fantastic! I don’t think I have words that can adequately describe my feeling!

I think my favorite part of Sisters Red was seeing how the sisters interacted with each other. There aren’t many sibling duos out there is YA lit, and those I have found seemed to despise each other, so I was happy to find some sisters who actually kind of got along (most of the time) and worked together. It was also interesting to have the dual narrations, and seeing how one sister would perceive the other, and vise versa.

Even those who don’t like paranormal (like me) will be blown away by the plot. It was fast-paced, full of surprises, and hinted at it’s Red Riding Hood roots, while being very much it’s own story. Some parts were a tad predictable, but so mind-blowing I didn’t care.

The history behind the Fenris was fascinating, and it was interesting seeing which parts were influenced by mythology and what was solely the author’s imagination. Without giving too much away, I want to say that I think that the way the one becomes a Fenris was genius, and it was so cool seeing how they went about solving that mystery.

The writing was just…wow. So deliciously wonderful I can’t even come up with the right words. I couldn’t get enough of it! Luckily, she has more books. I can’t wait for more from Jackson Pearce!

Language: Moderate (Multiple d*** g** etc… (if there were “badder” words, I quickly forgot them) )
Sensuality: Moderate (Rosie has a difficult relationship with Silas. Rosie takes an art class which includes a nude male model. )
Violence: Heavy (Well, they’re werewolf hunters. What do you expect? Lots of blood and gore. Scarlett’s eye was ripped out as a child. Rosie is frequently used as bait for the Fenris. Lots of especially violent stuff near the end. )

Recommended age: 15+

Friday, October 26, 2012

{Blog Tour} Author Interview: J. A. Souders + Renegade Giveaway!

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J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an over abundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble. She first began writing at the age of 13, when she moved to Florida and not only befriended the monsters under the bed, but created worlds for them to play together.

Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She still lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children and is an active member of the RWA, CFRW, YARWA and SCBWI. 

She is represented by Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency. Her debut book, RENEGADE, surfaces November 13, 2012 from Tor Teen.

11468074You can learn more about her by visiting her on Facebook, Twitter, or her Website!

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

You can pre-order Renegade today from Amazon or The Book Depository!

What sparked the idea for Renegade?

The idea for Renegade came while I was watching an article on some news program about people's obsession with the perfect person. I was sitting on the couch next to my son who was playing the first Bioshock video game.  The two mixed and churned in my head, and Renegade was born.  


Who was the hardest character to write?

I'd have to say Evelyn.  She has so many facets to her.  I had to make sure she was one way at this time, and another at a different time.  And yet a totally different way at other times.  On top of all that,  she had to be likeable almost instantly, because of numerous things that come about during the course of the book, including when she was doing a few "unforgivable" acts.


What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

"Just keep swimming." Publishing is a hard business, especially now when the market is so full of great writers, self-published or otherwise. If writing is your dream, then keep going no matter what.  Keep writing. Keep querying.  Keep marketing.  Wherever you are on the path, just keep persevering, no matter what anyone says.

What inspires you?

This is such a vague question!! LOL.  What inspires me is almost everything.  But my daughter is my main inspiration to keep going no matter what.  She's had such a hard life (health wise) but she never gave up and she's just the happiest child you could ever meet.  Looking at her, you'd never guess what she's gone.  :). But if you meant writing, then my first answer is the right one.  :). Anything can spark an idea and usually does.


What are some new releases you’re dying to read?

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett, Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans, Mystique by Shari Arnold.


You’re trapped on a desert island. Which three books do you bring with you?

CINDER by Marissa Meyer. ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre, and BEFORE I WAKE by Rachel Vincent.


What’s the first story you remember writing?

I don't even remember what I titled it, but it was about an alien that came to pick me up from my house and we zoomed around space together.  So I guess even then I was a science fiction writer. ;)

Name five books you would recommend to a fan of Renegade. 

Well, I've heard Renegade compared to DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver and MATCHED by Ally Condie. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis is another of my favorites. ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre. CINDER by Marissa Meyer.


And finally, favorite fairy tale?

SLEEPING BEAUTY.  I love the entire story, especially the recent reincarnations and retellings.

Thanks, Jessica, for stopping by the blog!

But that’s not all! You can enter to win a Preorder of Renegade and some swag! Open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

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A delightful fairytale by a lyrical new voice.

When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt’s jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda’s path.

In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch’s spell, avenge her parents’ death, and maybe—just maybe—capture the heart of a prince.

This book was utterly delightful! A light-hearted fairy tale beginning on a similar path of the classic Cinderella story, but taking a turn somewhere along the lines, and ending with a fairy tale ending completely it’s own. In fact, if I hadn’t known beforehand that it was an interpretation of Cinderella, I doubt I would’ve picked up the subtle hints.

I loved all the characters so much, but especially Peter. He reminded me of Sage from the False Prince so much, it not even funny (if you’ve read it, then you know exactly what I’m talking about). He was sly and smooth, plus goofy every once in a while. He was just great!

The story wasn’t overly complicated, but still had a couple surprises up it’s sleeve! It flowed freely and smoothly, and went by just fast enough to keep the readers attention without skipping over detail.

I’d highly recommend this book to fans of Jessica Day George and Gail Carson Levine. The writing, characters, and plot structure are both very similar, and yet clearly distinct from one another. Or if you’re just craving some yummy fairy tales, you need to try this one out.

Language: None
Sensuality: Very Mild (a very sweet, light fairytale romance that doesn’t involve any more than a small kiss or two)
Violence: Mild (No serious violence that I recall, but probably a few fights and chases )

Recommended age: 11+

stars

Thursday, October 25, 2012

{Blog Tour} Book Review: Butter by Erin Jade Lange

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A boy everyone calls “Butter” is about to make Scottsdale High history. He’s going to eat himself to death live on the Internet – and everyone will watch.

He announces his deadly plan to an army of peers and expects pity, insults or even indifference. Instead, he finds morbid encouragement.

When that encouragement tips the scales into popularity, Butter has a reason to live. But if he doesn’t go through with his plan, he’ll lose everything.

This is a hard review to write. I’m really not sure what I thought of Butter. It was just way too different from anything I’m used to, so I don’t have any books to compare it to.

But I felt I could relate on some level to the storyline, as someone who is overweight and knows several morbidly obese people. I recognized Butter’s behaviors as things that I’d seen in other people and even in myself. Though I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone planning on eating themselves to death.

I found Butter was hard to connect with, especially in the beginning, because he’d already given up. He’d reached the point that he really didn’t care that he was already slowly eating himself to death, and wasn’t going to try to change anything. But the further we got into the book, the more we were able to see about Butter, both inside and out. And by the end I actually found myself almost liking him.

I really liked seeing how Butter used his music. Whenever he was bored or having a tough time, he would either turn to food or his saxophone. I’ve felt that so many times. If I’m having a crappy day, I’ll either break out my stash of Snickers, or go play my favorite show tunes on the piano. I liked seeing how his music affected him throughout the novel.

The writing was excellent. It reflected the overall attitude of the book, and Butter’s emotions. It felt raw and real, and handled such a difficult subject with ease. And, though this may not be a good thing, Butter’s completely morbid, twisted thoughts seemed almost logical!

This book definitely isn’t for everyone, especially those who have a tough time talking about obesity, but it will find a way to keep it’s audiences captive under it’s flaky, warm, and very buttery spell.

Language: Heavy (Multiple s*** d*** f*** g** b****** etc… )
Sensuality: Moderate (Seeing as how Butter is 423 pounds, he doesn’t get very far with any girls, but there’s plenty of talk about that kind of stuff. Touching a girl’s breasts is on Butter’s bucket list. )
Violence: Moderate (Lots of bullying. Butter jumps off a cliff. And eating yourself to death is kind of self inflicted violence. )

Recommended age: 16+

stars

I received a finished copy in exchange for a review and was not compensated in any way

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What’s Next #7

 

A weekly meme hosted by Icey Books

I’ve decided to try it a little differently this week and give you the first paragraph of each book to help you make up your mind!

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.
”Even under the brightest sun, the frigid autumn sea is all
the colors of the night: dark blue and black and brown. I watch the ever-changing patterns in the sand as it’s pummeled by countless hooves.”

 

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Bewitching by Alex Flinn

“If you read fairy tales, and who doesn’t, you might believe there are witches all over the place—witches baking children into gingerbread, making princesses sleep hundreds of years, even turning normal teenage boys into hideous beasts to teach them a lesson. But actually, there are only a few of us.”

 

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Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London

“As the carriage rolled across the desolate plains, the assassin slid his gaze over to his travelling companions. Husband and wife. Joined by love and a dedication that would soon cost them everything.”

 

 

What should I read? Vote in the comments below!

Fairy Tale Survey, Challenge, and Giveaway!

I have three orders of business to take care of with this post.

First, to all Fairy Tale Read-a-Thon participants I'd love it if you would fill out this survey, since this was the first read-a-thon I’ve hosted and I really want feedback.

Second, I wanted to “officially” announce that I’ll be hosting the Fairy Tales Retold Challenge again next year. This is just a heads up, and I’ll have the full details up sometime in November. And just to tease you, here’s a snippet of the button.

ftrc - Copy

And now that you’re done getting excited as that squirrel, here’s my thank you gift to you for being such amazing fairy tale enthusiasts:

A surprise fairytale book, hand-selected by me!

It could be any one of the 185 fairy tales I have on my Goodreads fairy tale shelf, but I’ll make sure it’s a good one.

And the best part, you don’t even have to be a read-a-thon participant to enter. Though, if you did participate, you get big bonus points ;D Just fill out the rafflecopter!

  • US Only
  • Must Be 13 or older
  • Ends on 10/31
  • Cheating makes you stupid, so don’t cheat!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wishing on Wednesday #2: Dualed


Inspired by “Waiting on” Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine and Wishlist Wednesday hosted by Pen to Paper
Wishing on Wednesday is a weekly meme to feature recent and upcoming releases that I’m wishing for!
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You or your Alt? Only one will survive.
The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.
Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.
Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.
Why I Want It:
This book sounds completely awesome and kind of terrifying. Plus, Elsie Chapman is super duper amazing!
Coming to a bookstore near you… February 26th, 2013 from Random House Books for Young Readers
What are you Wishing for this Wednesday?

{Blog Tour} Book Review: Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

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Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her on-again, off-again soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. A sign that the summer before senior year will be the best one yet.

But when Mia is diagnosed with leukemia, the only sign she wants to see is that she will survive cancer and still be the girl she’s always been—top student, top cheerleader, and top of the social food chain.

Until she’s better, Mia doesn’t want anyone to know she has cancer. She doesn’t want her friends’ pity. And she certainly doesn’t want to start feeling something more than friendship for the one person who knows her secret, her best friend, Gyver. But the sicker Mia gets, the more she realizes that not even the clearest signs offer perfect answers, an in order to discover what will happen in her life, she will have to find the courage to live it.

Um… I completely forgot when I was scheduled to post for the blog tour, and then I checked and saw it was the 18th and realized it had long since passed. So hopefully no one will be heartbroken that this review is coming almost a week late, because it was worth the wait!

I loved this book! I’m not usually a big fan of contemporary, especially when it’s about something as scary and real as cancer. But this book was wonderful. It felt so real. It wasn’t cheesy or overwhelming or anything else it easily could’ve turned into. It was just a simple. balance, realistic story about an amazingly strong girl.

I can’t even begin to imagine how impossibly difficult Mia’s life was. I’ve had to deal with lots of hardships, but never anything as scary as cancer. It destroyed her life. But what destroyed it even more than the leukemia was the fact that she chose to keep it hidden from everyone.

I loved both Ryan and Gyver so much in different ways. Ryan starts out as the perfect trophy boyfriend, but once her learns about her cancer, his true colors show and he becomes so hopelessly devoted to Mia. And Gyver. He had been in the friend-zone for so long, it was hard to tell where exactly he fit in Mia’s life. But I’m happy to say that I’m satisfied with how both boys ended up.

I kind of wish Mia’s superstitions had played a larger role in the plot. They were definitely there near the end, but not as much in the beginning. There would be brief mentions of 4 leaf clovers or a magic 8 ball, but I think I would’ve appreciated them later on if they’d played a larger part earlier.

I was very satisfied with Send Me a Sign. Tiffany Schmidt is an extremely talented author who wrote a beautifully touching first novel. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

Language: Moderate (Multiple s*** d*** f*** g**)
Sensuality: Moderate (Ryan keeps talking about how he wants to sleep with Mia. Ryan and Mia almost sleep together before being interrupted by Gyver. Chris thinks Mia is pregnant)
Violence: Mild (I don’t recall much violence at all)

Recommended age: 15+

stars

I received an advance eGalley to read and review for this blog tour and as not compensated for this review

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fairy Tale Read-a-Thon Finish Line

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The read-a-thon is over! I hope you guys all had fun reading fairy tales! I read a total of 3 books (well, actually 5 books, but only 3 fairytales). While I didn’t reach my goal, I’m still satisfied, because the books I read were pretty great!

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  • Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
  • Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey
  • SCARLET BY MARRISA MEYER!!!

How many books did you read? Did you reach your goal? Link up your wrap-up posts here

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