Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of the Year Book Survey: 2014

Yay for Jamie's year end book survey! If you haven't done this before, now is the time! You can find the survey and the linky here at The Perpetual Page Turner. It's a wonderful and fun way to ponder all the books you've read this year, not to mention remembering what you thought about them for future reference.

Here are my answers:


Number Of Books You Read: As of today, I've read 84 books this year. I may finish one or two more.
Number of Re-Reads: only 3 this year. I would have thought there'd be more.
Genre You Read The Most From: YA fantasy and contemporary


1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

YA Speculative: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
YA Contemporary Romance: On the Fence by Kasie West
YA Fantasy: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkuski
YA Historical Fiction: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Adult Fantasy: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Adult Literary Fiction: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Adult Romance: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Non Fiction: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and As You Wish by Cary Elwes

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I would have to say Blue Lily, Lily Blue for this one. It just didn't move me as much as the other two did! Dang it! I still enjoyed it though, of course, just not to the level I did the others.

I was a little disappointed by The Infinite Sea too. Sigh.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?

I was most surprised I think by All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill because I knew nothing about and expected nothing and then it blew me away.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

I think I raved most about All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill and All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry. Not sure I actually "pushed" them, but I did lots of gushing!

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

Started: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Gah. I hate waiting!
Sequel: Split Second by Kasie West was an awesome sequel to Pivot Point. Loved both of 'em.
Ender: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Loved it! Loved the whole series.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Cristin Terrill who wrote All Our Yesterdays. I will be keeping my eye out for more by her!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Maus, both parts, was the first "real" graphic novel I've read. I mean I've read a few, but not one that dealt with such a real subject, you know?

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi had me holding my breath quite a bit. I think I should list Unbroken here too. It was very unputdownable.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

You know, I doubt I'll re-read any of these books next year!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

I guess I'll go with All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Ziri is that you?
Gosh, so many characters that I love! Captain Hook (Alias Hook), Kaladin (Words of Radiance), Judith (All the Truth That's In Me), Louis Zamperini (Unbroken), Em (All Our Yesterdays), Ziri (Dreams of Gods and Monsters).... I could go on and on.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld was amazing. I also enjoyed the beauty of All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

Laughing at my Nightmare by Shane Burcaw was pretty thought provoking in that it truly makes you look at your life in a whole new way and feel grateful for all you have. The same goes for Unbroken I suppose!

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?

Unbroken for sure. I waited because I knew the book club had plans to read it, but it took us so long to get to it that I can't believe I actually waited!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“It was the first time either of them had ever held another's hand, and for them alone, the immensity of what unfolded that night was overshadowed by the perfect wonderment of fingers intertwined - as though this was what hands had always been for, and not for holding weapons at all.”
― Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson at 1,088 pages
Shortest: The Letters by Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger at 199 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner is pretty shocking in the end.  I think We Were Liars was pretty shocking too, though there was so much talk and buzz about that ending that I think it dulled it a bit.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Addie and Trevor in Split Second by Kasie West
Captain Hook and Stella in Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen
Braden and Charlie in On the Fence by Kasie West

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

All the boys and Blue in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. This relationship is totally what MAKES these books so very awesome.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I really really love Kasie West's books and I read three more of hers this year and loved them all: Split Second, On the Fence and the Distance Between Us. I also really loved The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

I loved Alias, Hook by Lisa Jensen recommended by April from The Steadfast Reader.
Also, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski recommended by Kami and Jenni!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Ah, there's always so many! Braden from On the Fence by Kasie West, Arin from The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, and Trevor from Something About Love by Elana Johnson, just to name a few. 

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Probably The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. I'm sure there are others I loved too!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson of course! Could there be any other book? :)

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

I think I'd have to say the Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale, despite the grizzly subject matter!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Maus was pretty sad. Not sure I actually cried but I felt like it. Can't remember if any other books made me feel weepy. I probably talked about feeling weepy on some of my reviews, but now I can't remember! Unbroken probably made me weepy when he came home and hugged his mom!

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Something About Love by Elana Johnson... written in verse and only on Kindle. And I loved it.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I can't seem to come up with any book that "crushed my soul" this year. The Catcher in the Rye comes close because I feel so terrible bad for Holden every single time I read that book! Though I wouldn't call it soul crushing.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Probably the two skinwalker books I read! Very different. . .interesting. . . but different!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Panic by Lauren Oliver made me kind of mad because I can't believe kids would truly be so stupid!
Also, Ezra and Hadassah is story that made me mad because hello, it's about abuse. But it's also inspiring because it's about overcoming.  Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson also makes me a little on the mad side.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?

I would have to say I've "re-discovered" Belle from Ms. Bookish, who I knew of but didn't read a whole lot before this year. And now I'm addicted especially since she is writing awesome posts every day lately! And every single one of them makes me want to go and do awesome stuff!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?

I quite liked the review I wrote for Death Sworn... way back when. I almost forgot about this book, and then... look at that review!

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

My Walking Dead discussion posts were fairly successful, with this particular post on episode six getting the most hits.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Bloggiesta of course!!! :) And LTUE and... Cary Elwes and Laini Taylor, and ah, so many!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

I did a post the other day highlighting all my best bookish blogging moments of the year, but if I had to name a best one I guess it'd be Cary Elwes because... sa-woon.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Another "My Library" Post, in which I share a fun video that my library made got the most views this year. I have no idea why. Where are people finding this stuff!

As for comments, last year's Bookish Goals post got me the most comments.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Music and Movies I Loved in High School

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I didn't really discover anything new this year. It's got to be something very new and different for me to get excited and so far I think everything is just a play and stuff we already have, you know?

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I'm just a bit short of my Goodreads goal, but I still did pretty good! I didn't join many other challenges this year.

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

Wonder, and Life After Life and Willow Song. And . . .

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

I don't know! You tell me!

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Probably Shutter by Courtney Alameda, though I've had it on my Kindle for awhile now and just need to read it!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

The Winner's Crime so that Winner's Curse story can continue! Also the next book after The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain. I'm assuming that comes out this year? And the Fifth Wave books... do they end this year? I'm actually pretty clueless about these things.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

Just keep on keepin' on... and get 85 to 90 books read again!

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

The only one I've read is Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson but I haven't begun to recommend it yet. So... READ IT PEOPLE!

Whew. This survey is hard. Anyway, there you have it!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Goals for 2015

Well, in order to write this post I went and looked up last years goals. Hmmm. I guess I did okay on some and not so okay on others. And now I just want to copy and paste the whole list here and simply say, ditto. But I won't. I will think of new ways to say the same goals!

Top Ten Bookish/Blogging/Writing/Anything Goals for 2015

1. Keep blogging. I thought I'd never get to the point of wondering if I should keep up this hobby because I really do love it way too much. And while I'm no where near wanting to quit, I am thinking much more often things like... why am I doing this again? Is this still worth it? Where are my readers? Is anyone out there? Do I still have something to say? Etc. etc. etc. This year, I will keep blogging and stop thinking those dumb things.

2. Keep writing. Last year I had a great newbie writing year. This year, I would like to recommit do the writing thing and jump in even more over my head by going to more conferences. (I have already registered for one and have signed up for their boot camp which sounds at once terrifying and a blast!) This year, I'd like to get my last year's Nano story to the point of sending it out to beta readers. But first I need to understand what that even means!

3. Keep reading. I will continue to read the new and shiny books when I feel moved to. I will continue to read more non-fiction books. I will try to bite off a few more classics, because I truly miss them. I will continue to support local authors and read as much as I can from their piles.  I will continue to whittle away at the books I already have and try to finish up the series I've already started.

4. Keep being involved. Sometimes being involved in the bookish blogging community can be a bit stressful, but it's always fun and I'll keep doing what I've been doing. If something new and wonderful comes along, who knows if I might just add it to the list too!

5. Keep exercising. Well, I've gone in spurts on this, but I'm going to keep trying. Zumba, Fitbit, My Fitness Pal, watch out! And while I know this is not blogging/reading/writing related... it sort of is because if I don't feel like I've done this goal, I don't feel like I can do any of the others. Know what I mean? This one needs to come first.

6. Start quilting... again. I've been feeling very guilty seeing all my unfinished neglected quilting projects laying all over the place. Maybe somehow, someway I can figure out how to fit in finish up a few of those? Any suggestions, I'm all ears.

7. Start organizing. I am anxious just thinking about a couple of rooms in this house that have been piled high with crap. I need to purge and clean. As part of this, I need to finish up and put away scrap book messes that have been piled for years now. So sad. If only I could take a whole week or so and just do this then maybe I can concentrate more fully on some of these other goals!

8. Start a list book. I may do a whole post about this if you're interested. But in order to keep the creative ideas coming, I want to make lists, like in a obsessive, over the top way. I'm still trying to work the details out myself on this one, but there you go. A little teaser.

9. Keep working on stuff from my 50 Bookish Things list. Did I mark anything off this year? Yes! ComicCon and Nano! :) Next year? Maybe a vlog? Or a retreat? Hmmm....the possibilities!

10. Keep having fun. This was on my goals list last year and I think I'll keep here this year. What say you? We should all keep having fun, right?

Anyway, there you go for what it's worth. I love how the new year makes us all want to recommit to doing better, or doing new things or just doing. It's awesome.

If you write up a goals post, be sure to link up over at The Broke and the Bookish! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bout of Books!

It's almost time for another Bout of Books! I have tons of books I want to read RIGHT NOW, and I'm hoping this first week of the year will be nice and calm and I can actually read guilt free.

Here's the official blurb that will tell you all about the event should you want to join in:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Go on and join up! You know you want to!

I'll be back later to list some goals. So stay tuned!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Best Bookish Events of 2014

I love looking back over the year's bookishness and listing the best things that happened. Here's what I remember from this past year:

1. Meeting Cary Elwes, just this past month. So okay, the actual going through the line experience was frustrating but... CARY ELWES! Westley! The Princess Bride! The Man in Black! The Dread Pirate Roberts! As you wish! This is big, people! I've loved this movie from the beginning when it was in the theater! And have watched it countless times. So, it was so very cool to meet him and see him up close and personal and to fall in love all over again.

2. Celebrating ten years with my book club! We had a great time looking back over the list of books we've read.

3. Speaking of book club, having popular author, Josh Hanagarne of The World's Strongest Librarian, join us live and in person for book club in August. That was amazing and fun!

4. Adding Salt Lake Comic Con to my must-go-to conference/convention list and being one of their "official bloggers" this past year. While this is more pop culture than bookish, I did go to many a writing and bookish panel during this event. Here's hoping our comic con continues to become famous so that it attracts more and more authors.

5. Writing and writing and writing. I may not be to the level of a "real" writer yet, but I DID do a lot of writing this year, including 50,000 words toward a totally new book. That's TWO books that I'm working on now! Am I a real writer yet?

6. Speaking of writing, I started a writing group this year too. And while it fizzled in the meeting up as a face to face group, the online aspect has continued on and been quite good and fun. I look forward to making it happen again this next year.

7. I don't think I went to as many book signings/launch parties this year as in years past, but there were a few including James Dashner, Ally Condie, Brandon Sanderson, Jamie Ford, etc. But the highlight, (not counting the above mentioned Cary Elwes) was meeting Laini Taylor, who's books I had just recently devoured this year. That was awesome timing! And she was fascinating. Here's hoping she comes again. And writes another awesome set of books!

8. I've taken kids with me on many a bookish adventure, but this year I think was the first year that I had a kid that was into it all as much as I was. My youngest daughter Toto, is pretty much a mini me and she seems to enjoy all the bookish, pop culture events as much as I do. This year she was 15 and I started having her read more of my favorite YA books and she seems to be hooked. Her hope is to meet Marissa Meyer this next year.

Toto, with Kami and Jenni at the Cary Elwes event.

9. I was happy to be able to continue my hosting duties with regard to Bloggiesta and Utah Book Month this past year. Bloggiesta seems to be going strong still, but Utah Book Month needs a big push! I also helped with Armchair BEA a lot this year and it was fun! I wonder if I'll continue to add to my involvement in the wider community as the years go on? Sometimes I love it and sometimes I wonder what the heck I'm doing...

10. And finally, getting a perfect writing blogging space! A corner I've dreamed about for a long time! One good thing about kids moving out and leaving more space for doing such things.

My space on the far side, my husband's on the near with
the two monitors. I still need to add some plants
and posters/pictures and other such fun things.
Yes, it's been a great bookish year! Lots of lovely things have happened. Here's to a wonderful new year with more wonderful bookishness!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Airing Grievances for Festivus

Ever since I learned about this "anti" holiday celebration, I've enjoyed using it for a fun blog post idea in which I let loose and gripe all I want. So are you ready for the 2014 edition of rants and gripes?

So here's what I really hate:

** no snow for Christmas
** itchy ears
** when the engine light comes on in a car
** kids who grow up too fast
** dealing with cat litter
** dead watch batteries
** dead anything batteries
** being rushed through an author's signing line
** aching bones
** mopping the floor
** broken technology
** going to the dentist
** fighting for seats at an event
** pantry moths
** blogging slumps
** moldy cheese
** drops of milk left in the carton and put back in the fridge
** handfuls of cereal left in the box and put back in the pantry

... and many many other things! But I'll stop there for now.

You turn! Air some grievances today!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Favorite Songs from 2014

Another year end post I like to do is share some of the songs I loved this year. These may be new songs, or old songs.. but either way... songs I listened to a lot, or discovered, or re-discovered.

What songs would you put on your list?

My enjoyment of Maroon5 continued this year, especially with this song:

I can't get enough Enrique! Love this song... but it has to be the Spanish version!

We played this song constantly at our house after hearing a tweaked version of it in the Divergent movie.

I remember loving Le DeWyze back on American Idol and then to realize that he sings this song from The Walking Dead... awesome.

This is one of my favorite Zumba's kinda strange to watch the video though...even though I really like that Mohombi guy. :)

I discovered that Billy Boyd, aka. Pippin ( I think, I can never remember who is which hobbit!) has his own band. This is the song that captured me:

The Interstellar sound track is awesome (though I didn't love it as much as the Gravity one) and this is my favorite song (so far) from that soundtrack. Such intensity!

I continue to be fascinated by the voice of Lorde. Here's my favorite of this year:

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of at the moment to share with you. Do you agree with any of my choices? Can't wait to see who/what I fall in love with in 2015!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Favorite Things of 2014

I started the My Favorite Things posts a few years ago and now I look forward to doing them every year. It's so very fun to look back over the year and figure out what new (or new to me) things I discovered, enjoyed, and loved.

I've tried doing this for years, but finally got the true
bug for it this year. Love it!

I went for the first time finally and am
now addicted!
Speaking of addicted!
I marathon watched this last spring on
Netflix to catch up and now I can join
the rest of the fanatic world.

My most recent TV addiction. Love this show!

I've been a fit bit wearing for a couple of months
and can see how challenging each
other really does make you get up and walk more!
My new desk!

The book writing program that I'm still learning how to use.
Speaking of writing books,
sometimes they cause you to have really weird obsessions that
make life even that more interesting.
Like Skinwalkers for instance!
I have to buy these every time I go to Costco.
Then the family inhales them.

Loved this song.
But more on songs for another post!
That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there's something I'll remember that I wish I'd included, but for now, I think it's a fun list!

What things did you love this past year?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Cary Elwes Experience!

As you know, we (my daughter and I) saw Cary Elwes at Comic Con in September and loved him. I mean, he's pretty much just like his Westley/Pirate character... charming, funny, and adorable.

The book in hand.

So after falling in love with him all over again at that event, we were so exited to find out he was coming to the local bookshop to sign and promote his new book, As You Wish, a memoir on the making of The Princess Bride. And then we were devastated to find out that we had a conflict and wouldn't be able to go.

Several weeks later, the bookshop announced that Cary himself had a conflict and so the date was changed! Now we could go! So I called to order the book, which was how they were selling tickets. One book purchase got two people in.

Shortly after I called, the event was sold out. Whew. Just in the nick of time!

Waiting for him to come!
Jenni, Kami and Toto

And finally, Monday night was the big event. We were so excited. All went smoothly. We got there early enough to get a fabulous seat. They had our book and tickets waiting. And then we realized that the signing line order would be according to when you bought the book. So we were toward the end... letter M. Kami and Jenni who ordered earlier, ended up in group C! Lucky ducks!

Anyway, the event started.  We cheered Cary onto the stage. A local author and employee of the bookshop, Ann Cannon, casually interviewed him, and then the audience asked a few questions. And it was so so short! I was so bummed that they didn't have that bit go a little longer.

The very short interview with Ann Cannon.

I wish I could have focused better
(I didn't want to use a flash)
it looks like he's looking right at me!
And then it was time to get our books signed. Actually, he'd already signed them, but if people wanted them personalized, that's what the line was for. So they laid out the rules... no posed pictures, no signing of anything but books, etc etc. The normal for someone of his status.

Kami and Jenni went and we waited for them to come back to us with their tales of meeting him. Jenni talked to him quite a bit but Kami was rendered speechless from his charm. And they said he asked them their names, and shook their hands it was all wonderful. We were so excited for our turn!

My phone was dying (from taking video clips of some of the stories he told) and they both said, no worries, we'll take pictures!

Finally, after about 45 minutes of waiting, it was our turn. I had prepared some things to say, just in case, and was really nervous. We went out to the hall and there wasn't really a line. I was like, wow, we are up NOW! And then we got to the table and the two girls just ahead of me didn't have books, they just wanted their up close and personal moment. So while they were saying hi to him the bookshop lady was yelling "WHERE'S THE NEXT BOOK? BOOK!!!! Book!  Next book!!!" And so I handed her my book and she shoved it to him and so he was opening it and starting to sign it before I was even there! I totally should have said to her "I'll give to him when I get there, thank you very much!"

Anyway, we "pushed" those girls out of the way and he was looking down, said our names as he wrote them down. When he said my daughter's name I said, "Yes, this is Toto!" hoping he would at least look up at her. And then he shook her hand and said Merry Christmas. And then I thought, crap, I'm not even going to get a hand shake if I don't be assertive here! So I stuck my hand out and he shook it and I said, "Thanks for coming" and he said "my pleasure" in a way cute British accent and then the next book was shoved at him and we off the assembly line.

After all that waiting and all that anticipation, I couldn't believe that our exchange was literally about 5 seconds. I turned to Kami and Jenni and said, "I guess that's what happens when you're at the end of the line" then I turned to snap another picture as I walked away. He heard me, turned to me again, smiled and said Merry Christmas one more time. And then I was embarrassed.

Merry Christmas!

And it all happened so fast that Kami couldn't even get her camera up fast enough and Jenni managed one picture! LOL!
The handshake.
You can see he's already looking down to the next book.

So... that's the story of our Cary Elwes encounter!

He is so nice and yes, charming and cute in his black leather jacket and red high tops, and I'm sure if he could, he'd spend more time but I suppose he had a deadline, a plane to catch or something. And also, the place where we were (the book store was using a school auditorium as they often do for big events) wanted to kick us out any second. And everyone was panicking.

But they knew what to expect. They are experts at all this. So my big complaint was... why couldn't they start the event sooner... and why didn't they rush the first groups through too if they were truly freaked about the timing? You know? And then I see other people who broke the rules and did posed pictures. This is where I get crazy and think, what makes them so much more special then everyone in line behind them that they can ignore the parameters? You know?

Sigh... again.

So, while he was very awesome and I was happy to even be there, it turned out to be a bit anticlimactic and somewhat of a let down. I hate it when that happens.

What signature, eh? I see a C and an E.
I guess that works!

I was going to show you my videos, but they are kinda long. (If you are interested, here's the link to the stories about Billy Crystal, and this one is about learning how to sword fight.) Instead, just watch this and you'll get the gist of what he said, along with some awesome pictures.

And because it simply must be shared, I give you the beginning of The Princess Bride including the swoony "as you wish" scenes!

So, despite the bit of a let down at the end, we had a great time and it was so fun to see him again!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review, Blog Tour and Giveaway: Begin Again by Brittney Mulliner

Book: Begin Again by Brittney Mulliner
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: Blog Tour
From: Book Blast Blog Tours. All opinions are my own.

Short Synopsis: Escaping her past, Aubrey Tate moves to Southern California for a fresh start with her older brother, Brandon. Starting over at a new school seems easy with her cousin, Mckayla, and her two best friends at her side, but handling the new guys is another matter. Aubrey ends up in the middle of three rivals that each want her to themselves. Mike claims her first and declare himself her friend and protector. Luke is the school heartthrob that stops Aubrey in her tracks, speechless. Gage is the mysterious, dark outsider that Aubrey can be herself around. How will she navigate her new life while she's still haunted by her past?

My Response: A fun and fluffy story about a rich privileged girl, which I found interesting because it seems most of the YA stories are about characters who are struggling to survive. But this girl has it all, except one thing, she has crappy parents. Also, some pretty scary stuff happened that made her leave to go live with her brother. We only get a little taste of this incident and I was curious to know more. Maybe that's to come in the following books. But anyway, she acclimates really well and really fast and soon has her pick of several guys. While I enjoyed the story, I found myself rolling my eyes at much that happened. Maybe I just couldn't relate. It was almost like things were too easy... until the end when we get a glimpse that maybe all is not well after all.

Bottom Line: Fun, cute, easy to read romance full of a bunch of interesting characters.

Other Reviews:

Check out the other links on the blog tour including reviews, spotlights and more:

December 12th
A Writer’s Dream – Spotlight
BiblioSmiles – Spotlight
BookHounds YA – Interview
Coffee Books & Art – Spotlight
Home Is Where the Wine Is Book Blog – Spotlight
Margay Leah Justice – Review
December 13th
Getting Your Read On – Spotlight – Spotlight
Michigan Saving and More – Spotlight
Susan Heim on Writing – Spotlight
December 14th
Booky Thoughts and Me – Spotlight
CBY Book Club – Spotlight
Mythical Books – Spotlight
December 15th
Cassandra M’s Place – Spotlight
Mom With A Kindle – Spotlight
It’s All About Books – Review
December 17th
Kelly P’s Blog – Spotlight
Simply Sweet – Spotlight
KindleObsessed – Review
Mel’s Shelves – Review
Shelf of Imagination – Review
December 19th
Bound 2 Escape – Spotlight
Just Jeanae – Spotlight
ReadWriteLove28 – Review
Unwrittenwords – Review
Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

About the Author Brittney Mulliner:

Brittney has been an avid reader since she can remember. Her parents' form of punishment for her growing up was taking away her books and making her go outside to play. She was born and raised in Southern California, with a brief hiatus in Arizona. She loves the beach, exercising, sleeping in, and cookies. She is an obsessive dog lover, although her affection currently has no outlet. Something that she is planning on remedying soon. She currently lives in Utah while she and her husband finish college.

 Blog Tour Giveaway : $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/29/14

25_Amazon_PaypalOpen only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Atlantia by Ally Condie

Book: Atlantia by Ally Condie
Genre: YA Dystopian
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: Fun and to Support Local Authors
From: Bought at the launch party a month or so ago

Short Synopsis: When the world started being too harsh to live in, the people sent some of their loved ones to live in a city below the water. They stayed above to send them supplies, knowing that they were sacrificing their lives so their families could live. Many years have passed and the city Below, Atlantia, is dying. Only a miracle can save them. Even though Rio has spent her whole life wanting to go Above, it appears she might be Atlantia's only hope.

My Response: It took me awhile to get into this one. A very slow moving book. But rich and beautiful in its description and world building. Also, very religious. This was something I wasn't expecting. The people below have created quite the stories and myths and strong base for their religion. Rio, our character, is deeply entrenched in this culture. It's a fascinating look at our own society and culture, and sometimes maybe too deep for me to even grasp. But I enjoyed the story and the relationships, especially what is said about sisters.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed it, though I must say, I wasn't glued to the pages.

Let's Talk About:  Sisters! What do you think? Do feel there's a special bond with sisters? Are you lucky enough to experience this? Tell me about it!

Other Reviews:

Though the plot is not particularly remarkable, the story sets itself apart from other books on the YA market with its elements: sisters driving the narrative instead of a love triangle, a protagonist who works with machinery and is not considered unfeminine, and a love interest who genuinely works for the good of the protagonist and is not around just because “romance sells.” From Pages Unbound

All of the elements that made the underwater city work and evolve fascinated me, and I loved seeing the blend of mythology and futuristic science. From A Backwards Story

The writing is vivid and rich, the world is fascinating, and Rio's story is compelling from the first page. From YA Book Queen

As she searches for her sister, she uncovers some pretty shocking family secrets, including one that involves the leaders of Atlantia. It was a good combination of personal strife and political intrigue. From Ex Libris

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Orem Library Holiday Author Extravaganza and Other Stuff

What an author party we had the other day! I don't think I've ever seen so many people at the library before. It was awesome!

I think I managed to talk to every author there except for Shannon Hale, which was kinda sad. I should have just said hi... sorry you've signed all my books already! Or something.

Anyway, here are a few pictures I managed to take during all the craziness:

This is the stack of books I took to get signed.
Most just from my house, only a couple purchased
special for this event.

Brandon Sanderson's line was SO LONG!
Here we are standing in it (the line on the left)
and Brandon Mull's line is the one on the right.
Brandon Sanderson signed books for four and a half hours
until everyone in his line was taken care of.

Here we are looking down the line:
Ann Dee Ellis
Natalie Whipple
Brandon Mull

Julianne Donaldson on the far left,
Shannon Hale
Ally Condie

The Brandons:
Sanderson on the left,
Mull on the right.

Looking down the line the other way:
Sarah M. Eden
Julianne Donaldson
Shannon Hale
Ally Condie
Brandon Sanderson
And I swiped this one from the library's Facebook page
because look who's right there in the front of the crowd
talking to Julianne Donaldson
and looking like a the nerdiest of all nerds!
It's me, wearing my Grinch t-shirt!
Another author that I did not get a picture of, Gerald Lund, was also there. He writes historical LDS fiction, among other things. I read his books years and years ago and have many of them, but only took the first one of his most popular series to get signed.

It was crazy fun!

And the rest of the day continued to be crazy fun! Here's just a sampling of what else we did that day:

Concerts and parties! Let the festivities begin!


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