Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Read-Along: THE PERFECTIONISTS by Sara Shepard (Week Three)


I am BEYOND honored to be participating in a group read-along of THE PERFECTIONISTS, the newest treasure by Sara Shepard.  Every Tuesday this month I'll be posting my thoughts on a section of the story.  Cool idea, huh? But you know what would be cooler? If you would join me!  Matter of fact, it's not just Fictitious Delicious participating in this read-along. Oh, no, no, no.  I'm joined by the uber fabulous:




See? Uber-fabulousness!  So, grab a copy of THE PERFECTIONISTS and get to reading so you can join in on the fun!  We'll be on Twitter chatting with Sara Shepard on November 6 on the #PerfectRead hashtag (time to be determined) so, seriously.  Pick this book up and join the read-along!


THE BOOK

THE PERFECTIONISTS
by Sara Shepard
Release date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 336


From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Pretty Little Liars comes a thrilling new novel about five perfect girls who are framed for a murder they didn’t commit.
In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke...until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes another story of dark secrets, shocking twists, and what happens when five beautiful girls will do anything to hide the ugly truth.







MY THOUGHTS

Today we're talking about a section of THE PERFECTIONISTS that includes Chapters 19 - 27.  Check out THIS POST to see week one (Prologue - Chapter 9) and THIS POST to see week two (Chapter 10 - 18)


**Spoiler Alert**  Since this is a read-along, I kinda assume you're, well, reading along.  In case you're not, be warned.  I'm talking spoilers this time around.

Oh, snap! Those three crazy people I suspected of being involved in Nolan's murder are acting more and more crazy.  Elliot is as creepy as ever, Granger is leaving threatening notes and Claire has shown her true colors. This whole town is full of people that are unstable enough to murder someone. Which leads me to my biggest takeaway this week.

Anytime I read a mystery, I start suspecting everyone at some point.  I'll go back and reread parts of the book to try to read more into a certain character's behavior and over analyze conversations they've had with other characters.  That happened for me while reading this section.  For instance, what's up with Carson? Surely he must be in this book for a reason--is it as simple as being Julie's dream date? Hmm.  What about Josh? The "perfect" boyfriend has an unreasonable response to his first fight with his girlfriend (who responds to said fight by kissing his brother. Can't wait to see THAT come to light.) And speaking of perfect boyfriends, what about Alex? He hasn't had much page time but he seems too perfect to me.  See? Over analysis is in full check.

I learned this week that there is going to be two books in this story, which makes sense because there aren't very many words left and still a LOT to wrap up.  Guys.  I'm not sure I can wait until the weekend to finish this book.  That last chapter makes me want to keep going, right after I curse Claire for being the snake she is.


Next week we'll be wrapping up with Chapters 28 - 37.  Believe me when I tell you this--you could pick up this book the night before we talk about these last chapters and still be caught up with us. You'll devour this book.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


For as long as she can remember, Sara Shepard has been writing. However, when she was young she also wanted to be a soap opera star, a designer for LEGO, a filmmaker, a claymation artist, a geneticist, and a fashion magazine editor when she grew up. She and her sister have been creating joint artistic and written projects for years, except they’re pretty sure they’re the only ones who find them funny.

She got her MFA at Brooklyn College and now lives outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and dogs. Her first adult novel is called The Visibles/ All The Things We Didn’t Say.

Sara’s bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line…although luckily she never had any serious stalkers. The series has also inspired the ABC Family television series of the same name.




BUY THE PERFECTIONISTS






THE GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive THE PERFECTIONISTS tote bag & goodies + a surprise upcoming ARC from HarperTeen.  Ships in US Only.  (All five blogs are giving away a prize pack so be sure to visit all of us.)



Book Blast: LOOP by Karen Akins



Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don't judge a book by it's cover.  This one made me stop in my tracks, though! I saw it and was immediately drawn to it.  So you can imagine my immense relief when it came attached to a book that sounds as great as its' cover.  I cannot wait to get this one in my hot little hands.



THE BOOK








At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.



"A creative take on romance in a high-stakes, high-concept mystery that trusts its readers' intelligence." - Kirkus

"LOOP is a page-turning adventure with some brilliant and original twists to the time travel genre. I devoured the entire book in one sitting!" - Julie Cross, Author of the TEMPEST series

"Hilarious and suspenseful with a delicious dash of romance, LOOP is a mind-bending good time!" - Melissa Landers, Author of the ALIENATED series 









BUY LOOP














THE AUTHOR



Karen Akins lives in the MidSouth where she writes humorous, light YA sci-fi. When not writing or reading, she loves lightsaber dueling with her two sons and forcing her husband to watch BBC shows with her.

Karen has been many things in her life: an archery instructor, drummer for the shortest-lived garage band in history, and a shockingly bad tic-tac-toe player.

 Find Kathleen: Tumblr Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram





THE GIVEAWAY

Must be 13+ to enter.  Ships in US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: STORM SIREN by Mary Weber



STORM SIREN (Storm Siren #1)
by Mary Weber

Release date: August 19, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins
Pages: 320
Source: ARC


“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.









Fictitious Delicious Rating: 5+


We have a new contender for my favorite book of the year! Surprisingly, it's another fantasy story.  I'm totally in love with this genre this year!

First of all--why didn't anyone tell me that Elementals was A THING?!?!  While I anxiously await for book two in this series, I want to read more Elemental stories, so hook me up, yo.  Now, unto my girl Nym and her seriously messed up world.

I loved Nym from the moment I first met her up on the selling platform on page 1.  I just knew she had a story to tell and that the fight in her was long from gone, despite all that she's been through.  I just knew she was going to become an important part to the future of her kingdom because not only was the fight not gone from her, it was burning to get out.  Once she learns to embrace and control her powers, she blossoms into a force to be reckoned with, in addition to be be feared.  All of which that makes her quite the pawn in a political plot that is more crooked than Lombard Street in San Francisco.  And not just any political plot, mind you. Oh, no.  It's a political plot with supernatural aspects that I ate up faster than my eyeballs could consume it...which is impossible, but you get my point.  

So far, we've got a fantastic heroine, an action packed plot. Hmmm.  What else could I possibly need in a book that is in contention for my favorite book of the year?  If you guessed a swoon-worthy hero--you win all the things.  Guys.  GUYS.  If Eogan were standing right here in front of me, I'd drop down on one knee and ask him to marry me.  He and Nym balance and support each other so well!  We also have a supporting cast of friends that bring a combination of the funniest and most serious parts of this part of Nym's story.  Colin's wit and Breck's sense help Nym understand that there is more to be in this world other than angry.  I love those two, too.

I'd be doing you a terrible injustice if I didn't warn you of the ending.  Haters of cliffhangers: be warned.  This one is a doozy.  I sat and stared at the last page for a good 73 hours after completing it, convinced that more words would magically appear if I just concentrated hard enough.  Alas, the words did not appear, which means I must now organize Operation: Get Siren's Fury this weekend.

Do yourself a favor and pick this one up today.






Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blog Tour: MARTYR by A.R. Kahler



Welcome to our stop on the MARTYR blog tour! This LGBTQ fantasy is an important one and I fell in love with Tenn and Jarrett.  Their relationship made my heart so, so happy!

Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour sponsored by the Superwoman behind MMSAI Tours!

           October 13th
           Of Spectacles and Books GUEST POST
          October 14th
          Mom With A Kindle MUSIC PLAY LIST
          CiCi's Theories REVIEW
          October 15th 
          Reader Girls REVIEW
          Girls With Books EXCERPT
          October 16th

          Fictitious Delicious REVIEW
          October 17th
          Books of Love REVIEW
          Book Lovers Life 10 RANDOM THINGS


          October 20th
          Blissful Book Reviews REVIEW
          Rose Shadow Ink TENS LIST
          October 21st

          Shelf Life REVIEW
          Curling Up With A Good Book 10 RANDOM THINGS
          October 22nd

          Book Enthralled REVIEW
          Vampire Bookclub A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A.R. KAHLER
          October 23rd
          Spilling Words REVIEW
          No Bent Spines MUSIC PLAYLIST
          October 24th

          Bookish Things And More REVIEW
          Me, My Shelf and I SPOTLIGHT
       

THE BOOK

MARTYR
by A.R. Kahler
Release date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 384


Three years have passed since magic destroyed the world.

Those who remain struggle to survive the monsters roaming the streets, fighting back with steel and magic—the very weapons that birthed the Howls in the first place.

Tenn is one such Hunter, a boy with the ability to harness the elements through ancient runes. For years, the Hunters have used this magic to keep the monsters at bay, but it's never been enough to truly win the war. Humans are losing.

When Tenn falls prey to an incubus named Tomás and his terrifying Kin, Tenn learns there's more to this than a fight for survival. He's a pawn in a bigger game, one with devastating consequences. If he doesn't play his part, it could cost him his life, his lover and his world.









ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Alex is many things, but first and foremost, he’s a Sagittarius.

Born in Iowa and educated across the States, he’s taught circus in Amsterdam and Madrid, gotten madly lost in the Scottish wilderness, received his Masters in Creative Writing from Glasgow University, and drummed with Norse shamans. Sometimes he also walks about on stilts. Or sews. Or hammers tiny pieces of metal into pretty shapes.

When he’s not writing or climbing in the rafters, he’s probably drinking coffee. And seeing as he currently resides in Seattle, there’s coffee aplenty.


Find Alex:  Website | Twitter | Goodreads





BUY MARTYR

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blog Tour: SUBLIME by Christina Lauren


Welcome to our stop on the SUBLIME blog tour! I'm so honored to be a part of this tour and am excited to share my review with you today.  Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour, too!
       


THE BOOK


SUBLIME
by Christina Lauren
Release date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336

True love may mean certain death in a ghostly affair of risk and passion from New York Times bestselling duo Christina Lauren, authors of Beautiful Bastard. Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of Shatter Me calls Sublime “a beautiful, haunting read".

When Lucy walks out of a frozen forest, wearing only a silk dress and sandals, she isn’t sure how she got there. But when she sees Colin, she knows for sure that she’s here for him.

Colin has never been captivated by a girl the way he is by Lucy. With each passing day their lives intertwine, and even as Lucy begins to remember more of her life—and her death—neither of them is willing to give up what they have, no matter how impossible it is. And when Colin finds a way to physically be with Lucy, taking himself to the brink of death where his reality and Lucy’s overlap, the joy of being together for those brief stolen moments drowns out everything in the outside world. But some lines weren’t meant to be crossed…







THE REVIEW


I did it! I FINALLY read a Christina Lauren book!  My BFF Nikki will be sooo proud of me! She's been pushing their new adult series on me for about 1,000 days now, and it's easy to see why she's been doing so.  The writing of this tragic love story was probably my favorite part of the whole book.  I'll be back for more Christina Lauren.

SUBLIME started out slow for me, but in a way, that was totally appropriate.  We meet Lucy who literally appears out of no where with no recollection of who she is, where she came from, etc.  It takes her some time to understand that she's, well, dead as she absorbs her environment and the reader experience that process along with her.  So, yeah.  It's slow to start, but it ties into the storyline nicely. (As I said, the writing = fabulous.)

My disconnect with the relationship between Colin and Lucy was immediate. I never really felt it, you know?  I mean, no doubt those two love each other when you consider the lengths they go to be together (hold on, I'll get to that shortly), I just didn't become as invested in their love story as I could have. Now, that being said? Once they were determined to find a way to be together, I completely devoured the pages of this book because it was fun and mysterious to watch them go down that path.

I'm torn about the end, yo. On one hand, it took guts to go there as a writer, in my opinion. I always knew there was a potential for the story to go that way, but a tiny voice in the back of my head kept saying,"No, they won't go there."  That kind of thing earns oodles of respect from this reader.  On the other hand, GAAAAH. And that's all I'm saying about that, because SPOILERS SUCK.

All in all, a recommended read for fans of romance who aren't put off by insta-love.  I'm coming back for a second helping of Christina Lauren very soon. I'm coming for you, Max Stella. :)





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced seven New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 22 languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.
Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. Married to the cutest boy in school, she has a thirteen year old daughter, is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter, and also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.
You can follow their shenanigans at:

@lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!





BUY SUBLIME






Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Read-Along: THE PERFECTIONISTS by Sara Shepard (Week Two)


I am BEYOND honored to be participating in a group read-along of THE PERFECTIONISTS, the newest treasure by Sara Shepard.  Every Tuesday this month I'll be posting my thoughts on a section of the story.  Cool idea, huh? But you know what would be cooler? If you would join me!  Matter of fact, it's not just Fictitious Delicious participating in this read-along. Oh, no, no, no.  I'm joined by the uber fabulous:




See? Uber-fabulousness!  So, grab a copy of THE PERFECTIONISTS and get to reading so you can join in on the fun!  We'll be on Twitter chatting with Sara Shepard on November 6 on the #PerfectRead hashtag (time to be determined) so, seriously.  Pick this book up and join the read-along!


THE BOOK

THE PERFECTIONISTS
by Sara Shepard
Release date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 336


From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Pretty Little Liars comes a thrilling new novel about five perfect girls who are framed for a murder they didn’t commit.
In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke...until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes another story of dark secrets, shocking twists, and what happens when five beautiful girls will do anything to hide the ugly truth.







MY THOUGHTS

Today we're talking about a section of THE PERFECTIONISTS that includes Chapters 10 - 18.  Check out THIS POST to see week one (Prologue - Chapter 9)


**Spoiler Alert**  Since this is a read-along, I kinda assume you're, well, reading along.  In case you're not, be warned.  I'm talking spoilers this time around.

I'm really enjoying THE PERFECTIONISTS, guys! So much happened this week--we got Parker's back story, we learned exactly what intentions the girls had at Nolan's party the night he was murdered and we learn that a LOT of people could be on the list of suspects.

The police are convinced that the girls are to blame for Nolan's murder, but my bet is being placed with one of three individuals at this stage of the game.  Based on what we've learned this week, Lucas Granger has jumped to the #1 suspect spot for me. He has motive, he has the means (that Oxy in his bathroom) and he's creepy enough to do it.  He seems like the obvious murderer at this point, which mean he's probably a red herring.  Heck, even if he didn't murder Nolan, that guy deserves to be locked up for a long, long time for what he's done to his students. I was so proud of Ava for going to the police!

You know who else is on my radar? Dr. Fielder.  As of right now, he has no motive that we know of, but that guy creeps me out, too. The whole, "Call me Elliot." and "I'll always take a call from you." lines he throws out are inappropriate.  He's unprofessional, shares information that one client shares with him to anotherr.  Something's not right with that guy. Mark my words.  Or not.

Lastly, another person is proving to be a liar in this weeks section.  Claire. Seemingly, sweet, innocent Claire. Twice in these chapters we learn that Claire has been lying to Mac. First,we discover that Claire instigated the kiss with Blake at Disneyland and secondly, Mac learns from Ava that Nolan had photos of Claire, too.  Hello, motive.  Keep an eye on that girl.



Next week we'll be talking about Chapters 19 - 27.  There's plenty of time to catch up if you're just joining us this week.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


For as long as she can remember, Sara Shepard has been writing. However, when she was young she also wanted to be a soap opera star, a designer for LEGO, a filmmaker, a claymation artist, a geneticist, and a fashion magazine editor when she grew up. She and her sister have been creating joint artistic and written projects for years, except they’re pretty sure they’re the only ones who find them funny.

She got her MFA at Brooklyn College and now lives outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and dogs. Her first adult novel is called The Visibles/ All The Things We Didn’t Say.

Sara’s bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line…although luckily she never had any serious stalkers. The series has also inspired the ABC Family television series of the same name.




BUY THE PERFECTIONISTS






THE GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive THE PERFECTIONISTS tote bag & goodies + a surprise upcoming ARC from HarperTeen.  Ships in US Only.  (All five blogs are giving away a prize pack so be sure to visit all of us.)



Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review: AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME by Ann Aguirre



AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME (2B Trilogy #2)
by Ann Aguirre 

Release date: September 30, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Pages: 352
Source: Personal Collection



Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.

Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.






Fictitious Delicious Rating: 4



I liked this second book in the 2B trilogy slightly less than I liked the first, I WANT IT THAT WAY.  In the end, though, it gets the same rating because Aguirre made me psychoanalysis myself in a way that I haven't done in a good long while.  That's a pretty powerful book.

See, I was not a fan of Lauren, the heroine of this book.  I was turned off by many of her actions (that lie she told at her place of employment really bothered me ) and something about her personality rubbed me the wrong way.  I feel justified by not liking someone because of their actions, but I try to look within myself to find out why I don't like someone because of who they are.  I always learn something about myself in that exercise and I almost always find compassion. (There have been exceptions to that rule, but we won't go there right now.)  So, while I don't think Lauren and I could ever be BFF's in some world where that would even be possible, I've come to understand and appreciate her.  It became possible for me to see why Rob fell in love with her.

Now, Rob I liked. He has all those good guy qualities that I love in a guy with the added benefit of being hot. So hot, in fact, that he needed to prove to his family and HIMSELF that he's more than just the pretty faced hot guy that he's known for and he did so nicely.  Without the help of anyone else.  (GAH. I totally cried at the breakup scene. This is how I knew I became empathetic to Lauren.)

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is that while the relationship between Lauren and Rob was the main focus of the story, we also get to see the struggle of friendship between women. The struggle is real and I could identify with Lauren and Nadia in this installment so well. It's very difficult to transition from adolescence to adulthood and maintain those BFF relationships.  And maintaining friendships is just part of the puzzle for Lauren.  She develops a friendship with the most unlikeliness of people that ultimately leads to her to the path of preparing herself to be a better life partner for the one she loves. Character growth FTW! 

We get to see Nadia and Ty and Sam.  We even get to see Max and I am SO excited to see him get his HEA in book three of the trilogy.  Another solid story from Aguirre.  By the end of the year she'll be my most read author this year at six books.  Guess you could say I've become a fan. 








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