The Bridge by Jill Cox

the-bridgeOh my goodness. Ya’ll.  To come back from such a long hiatus and and start back with this book…floored.  I adored these characters, the writing was completely captivating and the scenery is enrapturing.  PLEASE buy this amazing book from a self publishing author HERE!

Title: The Bridge

Author: Jill Cox

Summary (by Goodreads):

Meredith Sullivan has three goals:

Win the Beckett Scholarship to study abroad.
Move to Paris for a year.
Leave boy-next-door Drew Sutton (and her ridiculous heart) behind.

There’s only one problem: Pete Russell. Yes, he speaks French like a native, but he’s boorish and snarky with a penchant for unflattering nicknames. So when Pete shows up on her flight to Paris, Meredith starts to wonder if that scholarship covers a year in Antarctica instead.

But as the autumn leaves begin to fall in the City of Light, Meredith learns a thousand things about Pete she never knew. And to her surprise, she’s suddenly torn between the future she’d always imagined with Drew and a new path with the kindred spirit she never saw coming. Because sometimes, what you don’t know about a person has already changed your life.

First Sentences:

Pythagoras believed that three is the perfect number.  Maybe he was right, or maybe he was the original Jedi master.  Whatever the reason, the number three is everywhere.

Three blind mice. Three wishes. Three’s a crowd.

Third time’s the charm.  The third degree. The third wheel.

You can’t blame a girl named Mer-e-dith Fi-o-na Sul-li-van for noticing this phenomenon.  We moved to Oregon from Ireland nearly three months after my 3rd birthday, on March 3rd.  I graduated third in my high school class – all of the hard work, non of the glory.

My Take:

Oh sweet motherly goodness of all that there is, for a beautiful sweet YA fiction with a strong and smart female lead who isn’t bogged down with every teenage angst known to man.  This book was beautiful and funny, witty and romantic, real and raw all at the same time.  I found myself in complete understanding of our girl and yet rooting for seemingly the “wrong guy”.  I never do that!  Jill is an author ninja. 

We all have that one relationship. The one where that other person sees right past you.  The person that you’ve always been friends with but can never seem to get them to “see you” – to actually look at you as anything more than just that side kick or pal.  But what happens when you actually gain their attention?  And then what happens when the relationship you thought you were supposed to have with that person, doesn’t quite add up to what you thought it was going to be?

ryan-gosling-emma-stone-la-la-land-trailer-dance.gif

What if a dance changes it all?  What if a dance with someone you never figured you’d even want to talk to…changes your life?  Although, can we all just say if it’s Ryan Gosling – we’d all say “yes”?  If any of you (male or female) passes up the opportunity to dance with that beautiful man I will be so upset at you.  Extremely disappointed.

Meredith is our smart, head down in the books, good girl who has earned the opportunity to go on an amazing journey to learn and study in France.  One out of three students picked to gain this scholarship of a lifetime to go and study abroad belongs to our girl.  But when things change and a fourth person is added to the scholarship list, Pete Russell, all she can see is this frat guy who is friends with her “I wish you could see me as something more than a friend” Drew.  Pete Russell is nothing more than God’s way to torment her, in Paris, for a year.

im-hot

Drew is Meredith’s best friend, always have been, always will be friend. But when Drew finally does notice her and asks her to be his girl…she finds that she is wondering why it doesn’t quite feel like how she thought it would.  When the long distance glitter of a new relationship fades to the sharp jealousies and misunderstandings, Meredith starts wondering what is going on and why her heart doesn’t seem to flutter for him like it used to.

Set amidst the beautiful scenery in France, we travel with Meredith and her friends all around the museums and beautiful picturesque parks and bridges along the way.  Her life living in Paris, the seasons that change, and train rides that take us to some amazing places is another reason why I fell in love with this book!

As time progresses, Meredith realizes that maybe she’s been someone else’s “see me” person.  Maybe she had been so focused on Drew that there had been a person there, all along, waiting for her to see him.  What if the persona of who this guy is to everyone is just a shallow mask compared to what he’s prepared to show her?  And this is where you’re like “Dang it Meredith, open your eyes and dump your jerk of a boyfriend because this guy WANTS you woman!!”

pulling-my-hair-out

Needless to say, I got involved emotionally into this book!  Our amazing author takes us on a journey through France as a tour guide, but also into Meredith Sullivan’s life as she learns about herself and about her heart.  Ms. Cox, please say you are writing more and that you will be publishing more, pronto!

Myst~

PS – TODAY is the day this book is released so take a look-see at this book on Amazon and you won’t regret spending the $3.99 for this super amazing book!

Daisy Award

I’ve been nominated for the Daisy award!!!  How exciting is that!  And I feel so unworthy because I’ve been neglectful of my blog recently….*shamefully hangs head.

*waves from the podium and tries to keep eyes open amidst the flashes of the cameras*    Thank you, thank you!  First, mom and dad, thanks for always putting up with me wanting to read ALL the time…in the car, while walking behind you grocery shopping, while eating at the dinner table, …it must have been annoying, but thanks for putting up with it!  *blows kiss* God for giving me this spirit and attitude that oozes sarcasm and (what i would call…) wittiness!   

Last but not least…a big thank you to the blog that nominated me: ArtsAndYouthLove!!  Serena is an awesome blogger that writes about different American youth interests (lit, music, topics…etc.).    So go check her out and give her some love!

This is my first nomination for an award…so here goes:

The rules for this award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you ( 🙂 ) Serena is awesome!  Thank you!
  • Tell the readers seven unusual things about yourself   hhhhmmmm……*thinks hard
  • Nominate some worthy bloggers   psh….That’s easy peeeesy!

7 Unusual Things

  1. I am a Christian…I don’t know that, that would be considered unusual, but yeah.  I’ve been a Christian for 18 years and still don’t know everything, but I’m fine with that.
  2. I like pickles but not cucumbers…and I don’t like cherries, but love cherry sodas (cherry coke, cherry dr. pepper, cherry 7-Up, etc.)
  3. I go to Starbucks every Friday morning for an Iced Venti White Mocha with Three Pumps of Vanilla and no whip…it’s super yummy.
  4. I owned a horse when I was in high school.  Strawberry was his name….very manly.
  5. I have an orange betta fish and the poor thing doesn’t have a name.
  6. I have over 16,000 songs in my iTunes library and I consistently Shazam songs on my iPhone to download later.
  7. I was home schooled from 5th grade through high school (my parents offered to put me back into school every year, but I told them “no thanks”).

And now, drumroll please and dim the lights!  *picks up envelopes and nervously looks out over the crowd*  The following nominations are:  *opening envelope*

Gretchen at My Life Is A Notebook ;  Elizabeth at Don’t Take My Books Away ; and Kayla at Caught Between the Pages!

Whoop!  There you have it!  Again, this is my first nomination, so I don’t know how all this works, but I’m super excited!  *claps hands*

Myst~

Excuses…excuses

So…what I’m about to tell you is the truth and also an excuse as to why I’ve been a little absent this week… (if you haven’t seen my Top Ten Tuesday yet, it’ll show how poorly I’ve done this week on blogging).

I started a new job on Monday!  Love it.  The people are amazing.  I’m being challenged to LEARN all new things.  People have been very patient with my mistakes.  So I’m SUPER excited about it!  🙂

My last job was a lot more “lax”.  I was able to sneak a few minutes to update something on my blog or check on other blogs to see their posts.  Since this is a new job and I’m running around learning things and trying to keep my head above water…I haven’t had any down time to do anything with the blog at work.

A few things will NOT change:

I’m AM going to continue the blog. Never fear.

I will always post new reviews for books each week. I will never quit reading, therefore I will never stop reviewing.

I may not always be able to post the TTT or get two reviews in the week, but I wanted you to know what was up in case I may SEEM a little wishy-washy this next week or two as I set a new rhythm with the new job and new work schedule.

*HUGS for everyone!*

Myst~

Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink

This book moved at neck breaking speeds and ultimately ends the series.  The creepiness comes back in this book as Lia is tempted and followed by the Guard to let loose the souls to wreck havoc on the earth.  Plus, things heat up with Dimitri…who doesn’t like a little heat from our leading lady and her man?  I love the two of them!

Title: Circle of Fire (Prophecy of the Sisters #3)

Author: Michelle Zink

Summary (by Goodreads):

With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help–or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister–and maybe still does. James doesn’t know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way. 

There are some secrets sisters aren’t meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. This stunning conclusion to Michelle Zink’s Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy will make saying good-bye bittersweet for readers.

My take:

It was all wrapped up quite nicely.  It even felt like they put a little bow on top.

Lia is getting worn down, stressed out, and downright grumpy about a lot of things.  She feels like putting people at arms length will keep them from getting hurt.  Dimitri of course will have none of that and helps her to release her nightmares, fears, and emotions to him to help keep her sane.  *sigh…I do love him!

Alice has shown up in this book with James as her fiance. *gasp!  What a horrible sisterly thing to do!!  James of course has NO idea what’s been going on since Lia left him and hasn’t been communicating with him.  When Lia tries to help him see what’s going on, he just can’t comprehend the things she’s telling him are true. 

Lia pleads with Alice to try and get her to help put an end to the madness, but of course Alice has decided her fate.  So Lia is forced to try and shut the gate with herself, the keys, and without Alice.  We get to the “final showdown” (makes me feel like I’m on some game show saying that) and the outcome of the world is finally decided.  Somebody ends up dead.  I didn’t say who…it could be a-n-y-one.

I loved the series.  I might re-read it once I get through all 50 of the books I have on loan from the library sitting at my house taking up way too much space in my library shelves….  🙂

~Myst

Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink

I ferociously read this book….I didn’t want it to end.  It took a turn from the creepiness of the first book, to more of a Lord of the Rings adventure.  I’ve already cracked open the next book…I cannot WAIT to see how this ends!  Can you tell I’m just a teeeeeensy bit excited??

Title: Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters #2)

Author: Michelle Zink

Summary (by Goodreads):

The ultimate battle between sisters is nearing, and its outcome could have catastrophic consequences. As sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe searches for a way to end the prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she’ll need to defeat Lia. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her sister’s role in the prophecy, and that’s not the only thing she wants: There’s also Lia’s boyfriend James.

Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn those closest to them against them. But they didn’t know what betrayal could lead them to do. In the end, only one sister will be left standing.

My take:

I was left wondering how the series is going to end by time I got to the final pages of the book.  A crazy revelation was brought to light when Lia finds the rest of the pages and you get the sense that this is going to end badly.  *nnnooooooo!!!

Lia also has a new guy who is hot hot hot!  It’s a little fast and sudden…all ya fiction have the same sudden romances though, “I looked at him and I knew him…it was like I’ve known him forever.”  But I do like Demitri…more so than James from the first book.  Props to the author for being able to win me over so fast with the new guy though.  *smile

Lia’s character grows in this book.  She gets betrayed by a friend, she learns to do more with her powers as a Sister, and seems to finally understand the magnitude of her role and what it would mean if she were to fail.  It got heavy and deep for this poor girl.

We also get a look at the Sisterhood and their role as well as the Gregori.  There is still tension between her and Alice, but it’s not at the forefront of the book.  This book is really focused on progressing the story and gets a good swift kick of an adventure with a good side of romance.  Kind of perfect if you ask me….and by reading this, you are kinda asking me…so….yeah.

~Myst

Stolen: A letter to my captor by Lucy Christopher

I’m actually having difficulty trying to summarize my feelings about the book.  I sat and read this completely entranced with wondering what happened.  I read it in a day.  I liked it, but struggled with some parts trying to figure out what parts could be realistic. I’ve never really been this confused over a book….I don’t know WHAT is going on!

Title: Stolen: A letter to my Captor

Author: Lucy Christopher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.

My take:

So the book is all written from the perspective of Gemma, the girl who is kidnapped and she’s writing this to Ty, her captor.  You don’t know a lot about Gemma in the beginning, but she slowly starts to unravel her story through her memories and things Ty says to her.

This book was kinda creepy from the stand point that you find out this guy had been stalking her for years and felt overcome with this need to “rescue” her from her friends and parents.  She’s being kept in a house in the Australian outback in a huge vast of nothingness.  How depressing would that be?  One moment you’re in an airport, the next is a dried up wasteland of desert.

There were a couple things that I felt had an unrealistic aspect.  One was the fact that he was very good looking.  I mean seriously good looking.  Blue eyes, flat stomach with a million abs, great smile….maybe that’s the scary part, the fact that a kidnapper could be so good looking and not so creepy.  The second was the amount of time he spent stalking her, the amount of time he spent building the house/buildings, and the amount of money he would have needed to accomplish flying around to do both of those things. 

I won’t ruin it, but I liked the ending and the scenarios that she writes about.  I feel like it’s the way the author kinda justifies herself and the way she ends the story.  So I felt closure when the story ends…if that makes any sense.

Read it, tell me if you liked it.  Would you have changed anything?

~Myst

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Do not let the cover fool you like it did me…*sigh.  It looks so beautiful doesn’t it?  The flowing red dress, the steel contraption holding her dress together, the elegant-ness of the hair and jewelry…it’s SO misleading.  I read it with very high hopes.  I read it thinking this was going to be a great ya fiction romance.  I WANTED the love triangle and all it’s misery JUST from the cover.  *sigh

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset

Author: Kady Cross

Summary (from Goodreads):

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the “thing” inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch…

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help-and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on, even if it seems no one believes her.

My take:

I wanted it to be great. It sucked. Who would dare say after looking at the cover “MAN, that looks like it’s gonna suck!”?

It was like the author thought you knew everything about what she was talking about from the beginning and didn’t take a breather to explain ANYTHING!  Maybe I just don’t get “steampunk”.  There’s a group of readers who adore that genre…I just don’t get it.  Am I conveying just how much I did not enjoy this book?

It’s something of a story about a girl who has a “Jekyl and Hyde” experience in her body.  You then meet someone who has telepathic abilities, you’re then introduced to a guy who almost died so now he’s made up of machines, and then you get to know a girl who can touch the machines and talk to it…  Oh, and these machines are learning how to think for themselves and are trying to kill the Queen of England.  Mums the word on that one!  You’ll be glad to know that Jack Dandy is alive and well…how random is that?

Oh also these machines are made of automatons…and it was so distracting because it kept reminding me of autobots from Transformers.

I wanted it to be good, I really did.

~Myst