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!

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“Nerve” by Jeanne Ryan

This book was hard for me to put down…it builds with a heavy sense of foreboding but with an eagerness of seeing just how far will it go and if our girl has the “nerve” to go through with it.  I really really enjoyed this book!

Title: Nerve

Author: Jeanne Ryan

Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin)

Summary (by Goodreads):

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it’s exhilarating–Vee and Ian’s fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they’re directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they’re playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?

My take:

Disclaimers and such: I received this book from DAC ARC Tours!  Thank you for letting me read and review this ARC and thank you to Dial Books as well!  So although, I received this book for free in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own.  This book was published September 13th!

In the book, “Nerve” is a new reality game based on the idea of someone taking a dare and, when successfully completed, earning a prize.  Contestants may enter by completing a preliminary dare and making sure the video is streaming through their phone to “Nerve”s website as they are completing the dare.  With enough views, comments, and popularity, “Nerve” will dare the contestant to do something else.  The dares get bigger and so do the prizes, but once you start, do you have the nerve to actually go through with all of it…to the end?

We find Vee in the beginning of the book as a back stage makeup artist to her friends who are in a school play.  No recognition and no fame has put Vee in the backseat watching everyone else get all the glory.   She doesn’t mind it, but a little recognition wouldn’t kill would it?  To gain the attention of a certain boy in particular, Vee enters the Nerve game by completing a preliminary dare and with the growing number of fans…Vee finds herself texted by Nerve to do another dare, but this time for a prize.  And so it begins…

I tried to find a “Pringles – Once you pop, you can’t stop” gif, but couldn’t find one!!  If someone finds one, tell me where and I’ll put it up!

We have a couple of characters in this book, boys in particular.  Matthew: the boy who Vee has a crush on, but she can’t tell if he’s really that into her or just after her best friend.  Tommy: the good boy that has a crush on Vee (and who Vee should like back), but he doesn’t have the guts to tell her.  Ian: the very cute boy that Nerve pairs Vee with as a partner to go through competitions/dares with.  I picture Scarlet O’Hara out on the lawn in the beginning of Gone with the Wind…if you haven’t read or seen the movie, just…now.  Go see it now.  It’s a classic.

As the dares progress, feelings escalate and the feeling of invincibility sets in, but just how far is too far?  Pretty soon we see the true nature of each person.  Is Ian too perfect?  Will Tommy be there for her in the end?  Who is Matthew really crushing on?

The book really feels like an adrenaline rush and it starts with coasting, then goes to jogging….and then you feel like you’re sprinting to the end.  What I think drew me in the most was the fact that this seemed like a game that you would possibly see on TV.  With all the reality shows…why not have one where people are dared to do crazy stunts for prizes at home with friends watching?   Question is, would you be one of the people to do it and have the nerve to do everything they ask?

Read it!  Read it!  Loved it!!  🙂

Myst~

Personal Effects by E. M. Kokie

With everything going on in the middle east and the loss of our ambassador and ex-navy seals, I found this book to be fitting.  Please keep your thoughts and prayers on the families who have lost loved ones or are seeing them being deployed to help protect the Americans still living in those countries.  This book totally caught me by surprise.  I knew what it was about and I knew it would probably deal with a few tough situations, but this book had so many moments where you didn’t know how things could ever be set right.

Title: Personal Effects

Author: E.M. Kokie

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Summary (by Goodreads):

Ever since his brother, T.J., was killed in Iraq, Matt feels like he’s been sleepwalking through life — failing classes, getting into fights, and avoiding his dad’s lectures about following in his brother’s footsteps. T.J.’s gone, but Matt can’t shake the feeling that if only he could get his hands on his brother’s stuff from Iraq, he’d be able to make sense of his death. But as Matt searches for answers about T.J.’s death, he faces a shocking revelation about T.J.’s life that suggests he may not have known T.J. as well as he thought. What he learns challenges him to stand up to his father, honor his brother’s memory, and take charge of his own life.

First Sentences:

Of all the lame shit on Pinscher’s backpack, his “War is Not the Answer” sticker pisses me off the most — even more than his “Practice Nonviolence” button, which makes me want to practice some violence on his face.

It’s not enough that I have to listen to him run his mouth all the time.  But to have to see all his slogans and crap on his backpack, watch him strut around and show off, laughing like it’s all a big joke — it’s almost too much to take.  Espectially on Monday mornings.  Especially on a Monday morning after an even more shitastic than usual weekend.

My take:

Disclaimers and such: I received this book from DAC ARC Tours!  Thank you for letting me read and review this ARC and thank you to Candlewick Press as well!  So although, I received this book for free in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own.  This book was published September 11th!

I want to preface that this book does contain profanity, a fair amount. As you probably saw from the first few sentences.  Our main character is also a boy and is dealing with the rush of hormones, so he does deal with the temptation that all boys deal with at that age.

The other thing our boy, Matt, is dealing with…is a whirlwind of anger.  Anger at his physically abusive father, who swears his punches are to help him “man up”.  Anger at his mother for leaving them when he was only 4 or 5 years old.  Anger at his brother for dying while serving in the Army overseas.  Anger at bullies at school who wear shirts/pins that try to undermine the war and make it seem like Matt’s brother, T.J., died for nothing.  Everything soon comes to a head and Matt finds himself “seeing red” with consequences.

The only saving grace to Matt is his best friend, Shauna, who has the courage to stick with him through everything he deals with and is there to listen, to provide a shoulder, or just a distraction from the life he’s learned to deal with.

Matt feels the only way to deal with the loss of his brother and abusive father is to find the personal effects of T.J. and go through them.  Everything that they got back before the funeral has been hidden by his father and Matt cannot seem to find them, no matter how hard he looks.  He strikes a break one day when 3 lockers of personal effects come in from the Army filled with everything Matt owned and had with him.

After his dad leaves for work one day, Matt goes through each locker looking through each item.  Uniforms, t-shirts, iPods, pictures, and letters.  Lots of letters.  People Matt has never heard of…along with one person in particular who has written Matt over and over.  Who were these people?  Who is this “C”?  Could T.J. have had a relationship and not told Matt?  Why would Matt show up for a week at home, tell him he was deploying to go back to the middle east, but actually spend months with these people before really going back?

I liked this book.  I read through the bulk of it one night and finished it the next morning.  It was such a “real” feeling book.  I could see this unfortunately happening to someone like Matt and it made me want to sit up with him to find out what was really going on and who his brother really was.

Myst~

TTT – Top Ten Favorite Books I’ve Read During the Lifespan of My Blog

Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Favorite Books I’ve Read During the Lifespan of My Blog”

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun way to spice up Tuesdays (because everyone hates Mondays, Wednesdays are the halfway point, Thursdays are “little Fridays”, and everyone knows about Fridays… :)) and it’s hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

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1) Harry Potter Series

This series is absolutely the best!  Ron, Hermione, and Harry, the boy that lived, it’s just magical.

2) Eragon “The Inheritance Series”

The adventure in this series is so awesome with the huge world that is imagined and written about!

3) The Premonition Series

Angels, romance, and adventure.  I love this series!

4) Divergent Series

I’m addicted to Four and Tris and the dystopian societies in this series.  I can’t wait to see how things turn out in the next book!!

5) Across the Universe Series

I’ve always said the imagination is amazing, but I also love the way these books are progressing

6) Fifty Shades of Grey Series

Yes, I liked this series!  Haha!  I really liked the characters and the brokenness of Christian.

7) Hush, Hush Series

I enjoyed the romance and the twists and turns of this series!  They were a fun read!

8) Angelfall

This book was hilarious!  I loved the idea behind the plot/story and the wittiness was amazing!

9) Daughter of Smoke and Bone

There really is no other book like it that I have found.  The writing is fantastic and the I enjoyed the plot and characters!

10) The Buddha in the Attic

I found myself liking this book was surprised.  It’s so different from what I usually read but the prose, the writing…it’s just beautiful and poetic.

Top Ten Posts on My Blog

Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Posts on Your Blog that Give the Best Picture of You”

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun way to spice up Tuesdays (because everyone hates Mondays, Wednesdays are the halfway point, Thursdays are “little Fridays”, and everyone knows about Fridays… :) ) and it’s hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

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Here are a few posts that I think best sum up some of the best of my blogging or at least gives you an idea on how I review books and write.  (I know this post is late…but better late than never!)

1)  My post about Twilight (to be…or not to be…sparkly)

2) My gushing over Intuition by Amy A. Bartol

3) My blog about Admitting What You’re Reading…Guilty Pleasure Books in Public

4) My review of The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

5) My breakdown of Insurgent by Veronica Roth

6) My confusion but love for Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

7) My surprise fascination with Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

8) My random post showing how much I love the Olympics

9) My disappointment in Tiger Lily by by Jodi Lynn Anderson

10) My Top Ten Tuesday post: Top Ten Characters I’d Like to See on a Reality Show

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

I can’t put my finger on why I’m intruiged by this book so much.  I loved the idea of the book from the beginning and although it ended how I figured it would, I enjoyed reading it unfold.  I even got surprised with a few things at the end!

title: Darkness Before Dawn

Author: J.A. London

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary (by Goodreads):

Only sunlight can save us.

We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what’s left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.

After the death of my parents, it’s up to me–as the newest delegate for humanity–to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine . . . or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it’s safe to let one in.

Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.

First Sentences:

Standing on my balcony, I watch the sun paint its descent across the sky.  Soon the monsters will come out to play.  They like the night.  They feed on it.

Sometimes they feed on us.

From here, I can see the twenty-foot-high concrete wall that surrounds Denver.  It was built shortly after the thirty-year war that pitted humans against vampires came to an end.  It keeps out most of the monsters.  Most of them.

My Take:

I read this all in one day.  I found myself fascinated with the idea behind the story and wanted to know how it would progress.  I totally saw some things coming and then there were a few things that made my jaw drop and point my finger at the book going “Wha….I… Wha…..How?  Why did the author think of that???”

Dawn lives in a world where vampires came out to everyone.  Instead of being afraid, we treated them like celebrities and wanted to know what they thought of us.  Before we know it, we’re in the middle of a war and end up with colonies situated through out the United States with walls built around them with a vampire overlord.  There is “peace treaty” that keeps the vampires out of the city with the exception that human citizens are willing to volunteer to give blood to ensure the vampires can sustain life.

Dawn’s family is not the norm.  Her parents were the delegates, the negotiators, on behalf of the city and one night they are murdered by rogue vampires.  Lord Valentine soon requests Dawn to be the new delegate and not everyone is excited about it.  She’s only 17 and the whole city of Denver would rely on her to keep the peace.

When Dawn and Tegran (Dawn’s best friend) come back from a party…they find themselves trapped on the trolley with 4 vampires.  The situation looks grim, but someone saves them.  Victor.  He’s kind, he’s handsome, he’s a gentleman, and soon she finds out that he’s not human.  A friendship blossoms even under the stress of her new job and the horrible things the kids at school have said or done.

When things get a little messy and confusing between Dawn and her boyfriend Michael, she goes to Victor for comfort and finds that the lines aren’t so black and white.  There are many many shades of grey.  Speaking of Shades of Grey…I might have a review for that next week!  🙂

As Dawn tries to keep Lord Valentine placated, her friends kept in the dark for their safety, and keep her the relationship going with Michael, Dawn realizes that what she’s known all her life may not be entirely true.  Dawn finds she needs courage to face obstacles head on and figure out who she really wants to be and who she wants to be with.

When vampires are found murdered in the city and Dawn finds that someone is following her, things seem to go from bad to worse.  The murder of the vampires brings up questions about what creature would do such a thing; the hooded figure following her makes her wonder why someone would spy on her.  The mystery, the relationships, and the negotiations is just a sample of what this 17 year old has to handle.

I really enjoyed the book.  It leaves you with a good sized cliff hanger though.  It’s not major enough to go “OMG!”, but it’s big enough to go … “ugh! When’s the next book?”  December…this year.  Don’t worry too much!

Myst~

Poppy: Revealed by Riana Lucas

I absolutely adore this series.  I tore through this book and I’m still pining for more.  I cannot believe the emotion and love that I have for these books and the talent the girls have that write this series!!  I haven’t disliked as single book in this series yet!

Title: Poppy: Revealed (The Deadly Flower Series #3)

Author: Riana Lucas

Publisher: Self-Published

Summary (by Goodreads):

Poppy: Revealed begins with Poppy and her friends locked in battle with the Unseelie Court who have stormed the Seelie Castle interrupting Poppy’s Coronation Ceremony. After Damien’s attack, Poppy finds herself fully entrenched in planning for war with the Unseelie Court. While out for a walk, Poppy is encountered by a mysterious Golden Fae who is also Unclaimed. Interestingly enough, the Golden Fae is capable of tamping down the violence of the disease. Meanwhile, Reed asks Poppy to take him back to the Human World to visit his mother forcing her to fulfill her promise to him.

Will Reed decide to stay in the Human World? What does this dangerous Golden Fae want with Poppy and the Seelie Court? How will Poppy plan, train for, and execute a war with the Unseelie Court?

First Sentences:

“Release me at once!”  I demand, in a voice that would usually be met with immediate compliance.  Except that it is my mother whom I am speaking to and she just shakes her head disapprovingly at me before turning away.  I storm over to the wall or whatever it is and look out at my people and my friends preparing for a battle for their lives, a battle that I should be preparing to be a part of.

My take:

Disclaimers and such: I received this book from Riana Lucas!  (Which I just recently realized is two best friends writing together!) They sent me the first 2 books in this series for me to read and review and were AWESOME to send me the third!!  So although, I received this book for free in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own.

These characters make me lose sleep and make me bite my nails.  I swear.  They break my heart one moment and make me cheer them on the next.  The villain makes me want to hurl spoons at the wall and a death of a friend makes me sniffle back tears.  I do not want this series to end, but for the health and safety of my job, my husband, and myself…..  seriously, I don’t want it to end…ever.

Poppy: Revealed picks up RIGHT where Poppy: Awake leaves us hanging.  Crazy cliffhangers…these girls…the death of me.  I know I mentioned it in my last review, but I LOVE it when authors pick right up where it left off.  It’s not like I fell asleep for a couple of hours, it’s like I blinked and we’re still in the same room, same situation, same breath… 

Poppy is trying to learn to trust and is allowing herself to slowly open up to her mother about her fears and her feelings.  She’s not quite like this:

But at least she’s not:

At the same time, Reed and Poppy are finding themselves meeting and talking to each other in their dreams.  It soon escalates and it leaves Poppy and Reed trying to figure out what it all means and what is happening between them.

Reed soon admits that he misses his mom and would like to be able to take a trip back to the human world to see her.  When she takes Reed back to visit, Poppy finds that things are not as they should seem and that what may be best for Reed is to stay with his mom.  It starts the biggest “DTR” that I’ve ever read.  Mom, I know you’re probably reading this going, “DTR??”, means “define the relationship”.  🙂

So girls….ummm…..

We are going to get a smooch in the next book right?  Because you know I’ve been DYING for one and I was SO sure we’d get some lip locking in this one.  I feel like I’m Sebastian from the Little Mermaid yelling at Eric “Go on! Kiss her, you IDIOT!” 🙂  The slow kindling romance in these books are so good though, so I can’t complain too much.  But too much more build up and I’m going to explode.  Haha!

If you’re not reading this series, you are missing out on a great story, an adventure, and some amazing friendships.  Get addicted to the series!  🙂  Poppy  ;  Poppy: Awake  ; Poppy: Revealed

Myst~