Stacking the Shelves (24)

Hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

 

 

I’m a little late on the post, but I am posting . . . That has to count for something, right?;) 

 

 

Isla and the Happily Ever After #16thingsithoughtweretrue Six Months Later Reached Demonglass Gameboard of the Gods Promise of Shadows DR 1 - Something Borrowed DR 2 - Something Blue Baby Proof Love the One You're With Heart of the Matter Where We Belong 

 

 

The first three are purchases, and the rest are all on loan from my oh-so-stellar friends;) 

 

Oh, and I saw IF I STAY today!!! You better believe a softie like me had some prominent tear tracks by the time the movie was through. And I have to say, they did an absolutely FANTASTIC job with the movie, I LOVED it!

 

 

Happy Reading!;)

 

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After

 

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

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I   L  O  V  E   T  H  I  S

 

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKK!!!!!

 

I could not physically put this book down from the moment I started it–no bathroom breaks, no food breaks (and that’s saying a lot coming from me), nothing.

 

I read Anna and fell in love with Étienne. Then I read Lola and Cricket swept me off my feet. But you guys, as much as I loved these two male leads, they do not compare to Josh.

 

Jooooooooooooossshhhhhhh

 

He is the most swoony out of them all! I’m getting all starry-eyed just thinking about him . . . What’s more attractive than someone with passion? As he’s lost in his art he’s stealing my heart! Not to mention the passion he has for Isla. I felt them in the most visceral part of my heart–I ached for them, I laughed with them, I hurt with them and I loved with them.

 

And Isla? I connected with her on a level that I didn’t with the other two ladies. As fantastic as the first two books were–and I LOVED them–Isla just got me, and I got her. I’ve never been one to have supreme confidence and I understood where she was coming from and how she was feeling. As much as I wanted to shake sense into her because–as an outside viewer–I could see how wrong she was about herself, I knew the journey she’d have to take because I’ve been there myself.

 

Isla, let’s be besties, kay?

 

Stephanie Perkins is a YA Master! She understands the teenage psyche and uses that little teenage spirit inside us all to draw us completely into her stories. I ended this book wanting to paint everything and learn French! And wanting Josh to be more than fictional, because HOLY ATTRACTIVE MALE.

 

I fell in love with every facet of this novel, and I recommend it WHOLEHEARTEDLY to EVERY HUMAN!

 

 

 

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Rating: 5

Push and Shove by C.L. Stone

GB6 - Push and Shove

 

Sang Sorenson struggles with her growing feelings when the Academy boys take her in and draw her closer into their world. They work together to uncover the true secrets happening at Ashley Waters High School, where Principal Hendricks will stop at nothing to take them all down. 

Adding to their complications, Nathan’s father shows up, and he’s just as ruthless and violent as ever, beating up on Nathan. Sang offers Nathan refuge in her home, but Marie is fed up with the boys. She wants them out–all of them—and wants them to take Sang with them. Where will Sang go? What will happen to Nathan? And what about Mr. Hendrick’s spies, watching all of them? 

Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North will have to focus to get out of this mess, but with Sang assisting them, they’re struggling to keep control. They all promised not to make a move on Sang unless she initiates, but the tension is driving them all to distraction. With the help of Dr. Green and Mr. Blackbourne, they will have to stay strong and engaged. But A first kiss is imminent, and will cost them all more than they could ever have imagined.

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

HOLY CLIFFHANGER, STONE!! I’m only DYING HERE.

 

DYING.

 

I just found out that this book was recently published, oh, yesterday? And I FREAKED THE BLEEP OUT. I also happen to feel ashamed that I was unaware of the publication date having passed. I suck.

 

But I bought it and I read it and let me tell you, this series gets better and better.

 

I am so inexplicably attached to all of these characters, I can’t even tell you. Okay, so that’s a lie. I’m about to tell you exactly how much I love these characters.

 

Sang is as unsure of herself as ever, and usually in a MC that bothers me, but it never has in this series. Because Sang has more than enough reason to be cautious and indecisive. I mean, she’s only been sheltered to the extreme her entire life and endlessly drilled by her stepmother about how evil the world is, and that you can’t trust anyone. Not to mention the abusive, torturous punishments her stepmother doled out on her.

 

So yeah, I get her innocence and naïveté.

 

And because of said lack of experience, her interaction with the guys is torturous. But that wasn’t a bad thing–it made me root for her all the more! She doesn’t know if the boys all care about her and like her because she’s never had experience in this situation and hasn’t really had the chance to witness any romantic encounters because of how sheltered she was growing up. But they all acted like they felt something for her but would never kiss her on the mouth and she didn’t understand why.

 

Don’t worry, Kota Silas North Gabriel Nathan Luke Victor someone finally mans up and kisses her.

 

But who?

 

Because there are so many male leads in these books, we don’t always get to spend as much time with some as we do with others. This time around, I was bloody THRILLED to have Dr. Green and Mr. Blackbourne around more! *doe eyes* We get to see more to them and learn more about them and feel their relationships with Sang grow. Heck, my relationship with them grew, too.

 

Is there such a thing as being too invested in characters?;)

 

(Because I LOVE THEM.)

 

And holy heavy swoons. You think the previous books were all swoony and addicting? Well, yeah they were, but this book tops them ALL!

 

I felt like this time around the developing romance took the wheel and Academy business took the backseat. The focus was more on the characters and their relationships than on the issues going on at Ashley Waters High School. We do find out more about the real reason The Academy wants the boys at Ashley Waters to begin with, and we find out about how the synthetic drug JH14 is affecting the school–a tie-in to the Scarab Beetle series. But the swoons took the lead on this one and I will never complain because I LOVE ALL THESE GUYS.

 

I doubt there will ever be an Academy book I won’t love, and I can NOT wait for the next book to release this fall! I have no idea how many books are going to be written in this series, but honestly? I hope they never stop. Keep ’em coming, Stone, because I can’t stop reading them!

 

 

5/5 stars;)

 

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Defy

 

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king’s army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince’s guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can’t prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she’s sworn to protect?

 

 

 My Thoughts

 

You set a book in front of me that has a female lead forced to masquerade as a man and own it, I’m sold.

 

I love it.

 

Not only is she a girl who has to pretend she’s a boy (for years), but she’s the most elite fighter in the Prince’s guard. She’s beaten out all the other guys, and they’re the best of the best.

 

BadA**.

 

From the instant this story opens, I was thrown right into her world and the tragic loss of her parents. I could feel her desperation and fear and apprehension of facing the unknown.

 

I was hooked.

 

Enter Prince Damian–how can you not swoon over this man? At first he seems petulant and, well, a complete brat if I’m being honest. But there’s something about his eyes where you can see that he’s not who everyone thinks he is. He’s caring and fiercely loyal to protecting his people, and to righting the wrongs his father the King has inflicted in his sadistic quest for power.

 

The one person I was confused about was Rylan. At first I just thought he was a good friend to Alex, and I could tell something was blooming between Alex and Damian, but it felt like all of a sudden Alex also had deep feelings for Rylan where I felt like there was only friendship. It seemed abrupt to me, but I do love Rylan’s level of friendship and devotion to protecting Alex. Well, except for when he’s acting like a punk once jealousy rears its ugly head. It’s the romantic aspect between him and Alex that I wasn’t convinced about.

 

What I saw of the world building and the conditions of the people were vivid–I felt nauseated reading about the breeding houses and devastated as Alex’s loved ones were killed. I felt the blossoming love and uneasy distrust and every other emotion present.

 

I do love this story–I love the premise and I love the fierceness and I love some of the romance. I just want the next book to bump it up on the fierce and focus less on the love triangle, you know? I want Alex and Damian together, and to have them fight for and conquer the problems in the kingdom.

 

I’m eagerly anticipating the sequel!

 

 

4/5 stars;)

 

Stay by Deb Caletti

Stay

 

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.

Now Clara has left the city and Christian behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough….

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have lost my Deb Caletti virginity.

 

The feels. The FEEEEEELS.

 

When I initially started this book, I was a little confused at the jump between chapters. You see, the chapters alter back and forth from before and after. But what is the event by which time is judged? That’s a HUGE part of the story that the plot is working toward revealing. Although I was thrown off at first, I figured out the chapter pattern and I have to say, it really enhanced the story.

 

I feel for Clara. Throughout the story she’s trying to define and redefine herself because she doesn’t know who she is anymore, or if she was ever the person she thought she was. How do you trust yourself when you were so inherently wrong? How do you recover? How do you keep the terrible thing that happened from being the defining factor in your life? These are all issues Clara has to muddle through to discover who she is.

 

Her voice is astounding.

 

And Finn Bishop? How could I not fall in love with Finn Bishop? He’s sweet and understanding and good. He’s the kind of person you want to know and want to be like and appreciate every day you spend with them. Are you swooning yet?;)

 

(I am.)

 

Then there’s Christian. I felt everything Clara felt and I understand that he has problems and isn’t always a good person–I get that. But there’s also a part of me that understands him and empathizes with him, and that kind of took me back a little bit. He’s weak and vulnerable and sensitive, but instead of it manifesting as meekness he uses those characteristics for manipulative intentions.

 

So I guess even more than learning about the characters, I learned about and questioned myself, and I think that’s important. Not only did the Clara grow and develop, but I did right along with her. I was along for her ride, but I was also on a journey all my own.

 

Not only were her romantic relationships tested and explored, but every relationship she had was explored throughout the course of the book. And the writing was so thought-provoking–this wasn’t just a read for entertainment, it was a read for learning and actively thinking.

 

I loved it.

 

And the suspense in the story had my heart racing! I kept looking over my own shoulder, that’s how real the apprehension felt.

 

I just can’t praise this book enough, and you better believe I’ll be picking up some more Deb Caletti to read real soon.

 

 

5/5 stars;)

 

 

The One by Kiera Cass

The One

 

The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

 

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

 

 

 

 

 My Thoughts

 

Soooo pretty much all the reasons I struggled to love The Elite weren’t issues in The One at all.

 

I LOVED IT!

 

Finishing The Elite, I wanted more action than was present in that story, AND I wanted that action to feel like it truly mattered. Ask and ye shall receive, because HO-LY. There are more attacks from the rebels that result in a hell of a lot more intensity than everyone waiting it out in safe rooms.

 

PEOPLE DIE!!!!

 

But who? WHO DIES? Don’t worry, I’m not actually going to tell you. That would spoil everything!;)

 

You know what else I was sad was missing in The Elite and was more than present here? The swoons. Hot and sweet and downright adorable. YES, more time with America and Maxon! As it should be! Although there were still times where even though America was all about fighting for Maxon, she’d still get all weird and back off and doubt. I liked her more than I have before, but there were still moments I wanted to throttle her because of her reactions.

 

And Aspen actually grew on me. Not in a romantic way, because he just never seemed like the right match for America. But as an all around good guy and great friend? I am a fan, Aspen. I like you now!

 

Even though the ending was thrilling and chaotic and jaw dropping, there was still a little something left to be desired. There was all this build up with the rebel forces and the unrest in the country, but it wasn’t ever resolved. There were plans, yes, but it made it seem like this wasn’t really the last book in the series–those issues were left unsettled and it kind of unsettles me. I’m still wondering what’s going to happen now? And I wish I didn’t have that question continually hovering over me.

 

This was one of those reads that I opened the minute I had a hold of it and didn’t set it down until I was finished. I was addicted to this series! I’m a sucker for romance and chemistry, so my feeling having finished this series is almost entirely happiness.

 

 

3.8/5 stars;)

 

 

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Fine Art of Pretending

Waiting on WednesdayHosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

 

 

 

My Pick:

 

The Fine Art of Pretending

The Fine Art of Pretending
By Rachel Harris
Publication Date: September 30

 

According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you’re friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player. With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time. But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

 

 

This just seems like one of those feel-good reads, you know? And I’m in the mood for some good feels;) And the best friend/pretend boyfriend angle? Yeah, I’m sold on this read. I can’t wait!

 

 

What book are you waiting for?