Waiting on Wednesday – No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

No Parking at the End TimesPublisher: Greenwillow Books

Author: Bryan Bliss

Release date: February 24, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Abigail’s parents have made mistake after mistake, and now they’ve lost everything. She’s left to decide: Does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail doesn’t know how her dad found Brother John. Maybe it was the billboards. Or the radio. What she does know is that he never should have made that first donation. Or the next, or the next. Her parents shouldn’t have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there with Brother John for the “end of the world.” Because of course the end didn’t come. And now they’re living in their van. And Aaron’s disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right. But maybe it’s too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss’s thoughtful, literary debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.

Why I’m excited: Dude, this sounds fascinating. I’ve never read a book like this, so to me, it sounds really unique. I’m kind of intrigued by groups like this, that believe they can predict when the end of the world will be. I also really love books about family relationships and what someone will do for the people they love. Plus that title is awesome. Definitely want to check this one out.

What are you waiting on?

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Seize the Tuesday – Better late than never

Seize the Tuesday is a book blogger meme created by myself and the Let’s Get Lost Buddies Street Team, to share stories about how we’ve seized the Tuesday, with a special focus on the particular book we’re reading. We’ll share our posts online with the hashtag: #LetsAllGetLost. The idea is to share little ways in which you may have embraced Bree’s motto of seizing the Tuesday. To relate it to books, you can talk about what book you’re reading, and how you stole some moments from the day to enjoy reading. It doesn’t have to be about reading, but we all know that a well-read day is a day seized. The idea is not just to help spread the word on LGL, but also to remind people to live fully, even/especially if that means spending a part of your day reading.

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Today started off kind of crappy – I spilled coffee on a couple of books and my phone. Yay! But the day was okay overall. Note that I didn’t say it got better or it was great. Because it wasn’t, but that’s okay sometimes. It was an okay day. I did some work for my online job, wrote a post for my blog, finalized my Bout of Books 12 challenge post (make sure you come check that out on Monday – and sign up for Bout of Books!!), and wrote a review for WatchPlayRead. I spent most of the day in my room but I also got out with my family for a bit for some shopping. Nothing that exciting happened but nothing super bad happened either (except that dang coffee). It was okay.

Throne of GlassBut I’m going to make it better now. I’m going to spend at least the next hour reading. I’ve been wanting to read Throne of Glass for a while now and I just got it for Christmas. Of course, that’s the book my coffee spilled on, but whatever. Moving on. I’m going to start Throne of Glass and read until I am too tired to keep reading – whether that’s in an hour or five. Let’s do this.

Seizing the Tuesday…night.

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 bookish and not-so-bookish resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2015 — bookish, blogging or otherwise!

Top Ten Tuesday

Happy [almost] New Year, everyone! I don’t usually make new year’s resolutions, but I’m going to list a few bookish and a few general things that I hope to do this year.

Bookish:

  1. Read one book every two months that I wouldn’t normally read – I work in a library, but I can’t usually recommend romance-y type books to my patrons because I don’t read them, so I want to read books by authors like Debbie Macomber or Susan Wiggs and other books I wouldn’t normally pick up. Expanding my horizons.
  2. Read at least 100 books, including novels, comics, children’s books.
  3. Write two reviews a week on my blog. This really isn’t for anyone but myself. I like having a consistent blogging schedule, but I’ve been sort of spotty on book reviews. I hope to do a book review (book, audiobook, comic, children’s book, etc) every Monday and Friday.
  4. Read at least half of the books on my TBR that I already own. I have three full bookshelves full of books I haven’t read. I want to read at least half of them.
  5. Read an entire shelf on my TBR pile before I buy more books. I tend to buy books even when I have way too many I already haven’t read, so I want to try to read some before I buy more. My own book buying ban. We’ll see how it goes.

General:

  1. Go to at least three places I’ve never been before. I am planning to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter next year. I’ve been to Orlando, but not the Wizarding World. Yet.
  2. Make more.
  3. Paint more.
  4. Write more.
  5. Stress less.

What are some of your resolutions?

ARC Review: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Effect US CoverAuthor: Graeme Simsion

Genre: Contemporary, humor, romance

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: December 30, 2014

352 pages, hardcover

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster for letting me read this. 

Let me start off by saying that if you haven’t read The Rosie Project, this review could possibly spoil it for you. It is impossible to talk about the sequel without telling you the ending of the first book.

Alright, if you’re still here, The Rosie Effect starts with Don and Rosie now living in NYC; Don is working at Columbia as an assistant professor and Rosie is finishing up her Ph.D. They have been married for 10 months and 10 days (I love how technical Don is). Rosie surprises Don by telling him that they are pregnant (note that I said “they are” pregnant). Don reacts in his own way and, of course, struggles to connect with the Baby Under Development or Bud. Because he doesn’t understand a lot of social protocol, he gets in trouble with the law. Hijinks, heartwarming advice, and heartbreaking events ensue.

I’m so torn on this one, you guys. I wanted to love this so much more than I did. One thing that I still loved was Don. Even though he is outrageously frustrating at times (he has a lot of faults, most of which aren’t his fault, and these get him into a lot of trouble and sticky situations), he is charming and tries so damn hard in his own way. I fell in love with him again, which was why it was so heartbreaking to see him struggling to know how to deal with this situations he finds himself if. He is adorkable and oh so charming.

SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T WANT SOME SPOILERS: On the other hand, Rosie loses pretty much all of her charm. She decides that Don has no say in what happens to her or her body, stops taking her birth control without telling Don (Don and Rosie had decided to wait), and gets pregnant. She is in the middle of her Ph.D. thesis and program and has no plan for how to take care of the baby once it comes. And then she gets mad at Don when he is not immediately excited and attached to Bud. Um. What? She becomes mean, petty, even rude, and she changes it from “we are pregnant” to “my baby”. It’s like she completely forgot who Don was and the type of person he was (even though she’d accepted him and knew who he was when she married him). The way this plays out is completely heartbreaking and I spent most of the novel hurting for Don.

A favorite quote (taken from an e-ARC and subject to change in the final version). Excuse the language, but it’s funny to me.

I am well aware of my incompetence in predicting human reactions. But I would have been prepared to bet on the first word that Rosie would say when she received the information. I was correct by a factor of six.

“Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.”

The bottom line: This Guardian review said The Rosie Effect was “twice as long and only half as good” as The Rosie Project, and I think I might have to agree. I’m struggling to rate this one because there were still things I loved about this book (Don – mostly, the feels, the writing, seeing the world through Don’s eyes, the ending) but Rosie’s changes pissed me off and Don’s idiosyncrasies got a little out of hand and were very frustrating at times.

Rating: 6.5

My True Love Gave to Me – GIVEAWAY

I am a big fan of giving. I like buying presents for people all year round, but obviously, this time of year brings out the giving in everyone. So I want to give something to you guys, who have given me such wonderful and really, really appreciated support on my blog. I love you all.

I’ve decided to do a giveaway for a copy of My True Love Gave to Me, which I reviewed on my blog through a series of mini reviews of all twelve stories. Here’s the links to all of my mini reviews from the book. Make sure you stick around for the giveaway at the bottom!

My True Love Gave to Me

Rainbow Rowell’s “Midnights” – Such a wonderful way to start off the book. One of my favorites.

“The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link – Somewhat annoying writing style but pretty cool story

Matt de la Peña’s “Angels in the Snow” – This one kind of felt like a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. Just kind of cheesy and lots of drama and all that jazz.

Jenny Han’s “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me” – A cute story with a sweet, hopeful ending but a whiny and spoiled main character

Stephanie Perkins’ “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” – SWOON. That is all.

David Levithan’s “Your Temporary Santa” – This story kind of made me feel melancholy even though it’s about Santa and Christmas.

Holly Black’s “Krampuslauf” – I liked the characters, the story, the magic, the uniqueness, the writing style, everything. One of my favorites.

Gayle Forman’s “What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” and Myra McEntire’s “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” (in one review) – Surprisingly, I liked Gayle Forman’s story. Myra McEntire’s wasn’t one of my favorites but was still enjoyable.

Ally Carter’s “Star of Bethlehem” and Laini Taylor’s “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” (in one review) – “Star of Bethlehem” was forgettable and kind of stupid. “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” was one of the stories I loved the most for the epic fantasy aspect, but it did have its problems.

Alright, here’s the giveaway! Click on the picture below to be taken to Rafflecopter to enter. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL as long as The Book Depository delivers to you. Yay! You can check whether TBD delivers to you HERE. The giveaway will END on January 7, 2015 at Midnight CST. Also, because I know some of you have already read/own My True Love Gave to Me, you can still enter. If you win, you can choose a book from TBD/Amazon for $15 or less! ❤ you guys.

Giveaway Enter

Review: Ally Carter’s and Laini Taylor’s stories from My True Love Gave to Me

My True Love Gave to MeHi guys, I’m so sorry about my absence the past few days, but I was spending time with family, watching Once Upon a Time, and sleeping. It was nice. 🙂 I hope that all of you had an absolutely wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate) or a few lovely days with lots of reading.

Today I’m finishing up my mini reviews of My True Love Gave to Me with Ally Carter’s “Star of Bethlehem” and Laini Taylor’s “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer.” I’ve already reviewed Rainbow Rowell’s “Midnights”“The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link, and Matt de la Peña’s “Angels in the Snow”Jenny Han’s “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me”Stephanie Perkins’ “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown”David Levithan’s “Your Temporary Santa”Holly Black’s “Krampuslauf”Gayle Forman’s “What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” and Myra McEntire’s “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” (in one review).

Make sure you come back to tomorrow if you liked my reviews of My True Love Gave to Me. You might like what you find. 🙂

STAR OF BETHLEHEM

IMG_20141228_105301It’s only been a few days since I read this story, and I honestly could not remember what it was about. I had to flip through the story to remind myself. So obviously that isn’t a good sign. Liddy is at an airport and doesn’t want to go back to New York. So when she hears another girl trying to get on her flight, she swaps tickets with her. Apparently the girl she swapped with was on her way to Oklahoma to visit a boy she was supposed to be in love with but she was actually in love with a boy in NY. Liddy takes the girl’s, Hulda’s, place to spend a semester with the boy’s family in Oklahoma. But why was she running away from New York?

This story was stupid, you guys. It was absolutely ridiculous, from the story, to the characters, to the ending. It was like a cheesy Disney Channel movie. I don’t really have anything to say about it, other than to remind you that I completely forgot what it was about in less than a week.

THE GIRL WHO WOKE THE DREAMER

IMG_20141228_105405Neve lives on the island, where she is a poor girl who was brought there as a child. Her two best friends recently died, so obviously she’s sad and alone. On this island, it is a tradition that on the first of December, male suitors deliver a gift to the porch of the girl they like. The girl can either accept or decline (with a dead rose in the present’s place) and on Christmas Eve, the man reveals himself at a party with the last gift: a ring. Neve has unfortunately drawn the attention of the island pastor, who’s already had three wives, who are all now dead. Though Neve tries to reject his advances, he doesn’t relent. But then she gets some spiritual help.

Okay, so I had high hopes for this one. I’ve never read anything by Laini Taylor, but a lot of bloggers were loving this story. For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. If I wanted to give an easy review, I’d say I love this one, but if I delve into it farther, it’s a little harder.

This story was an epic, sweeping fantasy romance, which I enjoyed. I loved Taylor’s writing, which was impressive, fast-paced, and pretty. The story was interesting and different from all of the others. On the other hand, there was little to no focus on Christmas, which is what I went into this book expecting. There’s a huge use of a Deus ex-machina to get a happy ending, instead of letting Neve figure out and resolve her problems on her own, which I would’ve enjoyed. Who doesn’t love a strong character? On the other hand (yep, I totally have three hands here), the romance was really cool, and the Dreamer (the spiritual help Neve gets) was so interesting and lovely.

Overall, one of the stories I loved the most for the epic fantasy aspect, but it did have its problems.

So if you enjoyed my twelve mini reviews or if you didn’t get a chance to read My True Love Gave to Me but would like to (hint hint), make sure you come back by the blog tomorrow!!

WWW Wednesday [11] – The Rosie Effect, Batman, and Firecracker

WWW Wednesdays are hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three questions: (As always, all titles are linked to their corresponding Goodreads pages)

  • What are you currently reading?The Rosie Effect

I’m currently reading The Rosie Effect, the follow up to Graeme Simsion’s super amazing book, The Rosie Project. I’m enjoying being back with Don and Rosie. I’m reading it pretty quickly and I’m laughing just as much as I’d hoped I would. Don is just so awkward. If you want a little teaser from the book, check out my Teaser Tuesday from yesterday.

  • What did you recently finish reading?IMG_20141222_150321

I read a bunch of Batman comics on Monday. My boss lent them to me at least two months ago and I just hadn’t gotten around to them. I read: Batman: Year One and Year Two, A Death in the Family, Lovers & Madmen, and Batman: RIP.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

FirecrackerI’m not sure. I’d planned to read The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, but my lovely friend Annette sent me three awesome books for Christmas (Firecracker by David Iserson, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, and A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness). The way that she’s talked about Firecracker (and her review) have made me really interested, so I think I’ll read that next!

What are you reading?

Waiting on Wednesday – Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan

Hold Me Closer, The Tiny Cooper StoryWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Author: David Levithan

Release date: March 17, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: Jazz hands at the ready! Tiny Cooper (“the world’s largest person who is also really, really gay”) stole readers’ hearts when he was introduced to the world in the New York Times bestselling book Will Grayson, Will Grayson,co-authored by John Green and David Levithan. Now Tiny finally gets to tell his story—from his fabulous birth and childhood to his quest for true love and his infamous parade of ex-boyfriends—the way he always intended: as a musical! Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, the novel is told through the full script of the musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Why I’m excited: Tiny Cooper. Tiny. Cooper. He was hands-down my favorite character in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I’m pretty sure he was everyone’s favorite character in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I didn’t know until a few days ago that there’s going to be a book about him, but I need it. He’s honest and funny and wonderful. Such a great character. Plus, it’s told through the script of the musical from Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I mean, this sounds amazing. Also, “Hold Me Closer, Tiny Cooper.” Hahaha.

Review: Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White (My True Love Gave to Me)

It’s almost the end of my “Twelve Days of Christmas” in which I review one story per day of My True Love Gave to Me. 😦 Sad face. So far I’ve reviewed Rainbow Rowell’s “Midnights”“The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link, and Matt de la Peña’s “Angels in the Snow”Jenny Han’s “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me”Stephanie Perkins’ “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown”David Levithan’s “Your Temporary Santa”, Holly Black’s “Krampuslauf”, Gayle Forman’s “What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” and Myra McEntire’s “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” (in one review).

Today’s story is “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White.

My True Love Gave to Me     IMG_20141223_170200

I was completely surprised by the wonderful originality of this story. There are so many cool ways to interpret Christmas for a good story. Maria lives in Christmas, CA, a town (okay, you can’t really call it a town. It’s a census-designated place) that is always in the Christmas spirit. She can’t wait to leave. Well, until she meets Ben (short for Benedict? Benjamin? Bennett?), the new cook at the diner where Maria works for tips (her mom is the manager). Ben loves Christmas and is able to bring some Christmas cheer into a town that’s losing it.

I’m going to need Santa to bring me a Ben for Christmas, okay? He’s sweet and happy merry and can cook and yeah, that’s what I want for Christmas. Thanks, Santa. I’ll be waiting.

This story made me so happy. Not only for Ben but for the fact that it was so original. It isn’t just a story set during Christmas, but in a town named for it. The story was clever and witty and so very sweet. I thought the main character was a little bit of a brat though, whiny and rude at times, but Ben more than made up for it. The story definitely put me in the Christmas spirit – with the decorations, references, merriment, and an elf over the door with a knife in his hand.

Overall, one of the good ones.

Teaser Tuesday – The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It’s super easy: open your current read to a random page and share two sentences from that page – but make sure you don’t spoil the book!The Rosie Effect

My current read is The Rosie Effect. (WOOO!) I’m reading this one as an e-ARC on my Kindle, so I found some quotes on the book’s Goodreads’ page, and I found one to tease you with.

“To the world’s most perfect woman.’ It was lucky my father was not present. Perfect is an absolute that cannot be modified, like unique or pregnant. My love for Rosie was so powerful that it had caused my brain to make a grammatical error.”

D’aaawwww. I just love Don. If you guys haven’t read or don’t know much about The Rosie Project, Don is basically Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, with a few differences. He’s also really smart, socially awkward, and has a hard time understanding social cues, people, and difficult situations. I love the way he talks, which is really straight-forward, dry, and plainly. He’s super intelligent but awkwardly and strangely – to people who aren’t used to it. I’m really happy to be back with him and Rosie for The Rosie Effect. Expect a review soon!

[By the way, this is the UK cover because I prefer them to the US covers]

If you participate in Teaser Tuesday, link me up! Or if you don’t, tease me with your current read in the comments!