Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Ready to Fall - Marcella Pixley

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Ready to Fall by Marcella Pixley!

Ready to Fall
Marcella Pixley
Series: n/a
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux
Waited on by: Sam

When Max Friedman's mother dies of cancer, instead of facing his loss, Max imagines that her tumor has taken up residence in his head. It's a terrible tenant--isolating him from family, distracting him in school, and taunting him mercilessly about his manhood. With the tumor in charge, Max implodes, slipping farther and farther away from reality. Max is sent to the artsy, off-beat Baldwin School to regain his footing. He joins a group of theater misfits in a steam-punk production of Hamlet and slowly becomes friends with Fish, a girl with pink hair and a troubled past, and The Monk, an edgy upperclassman who refuses to let go of the things he loves. For a while, Max almost feels happy. But his tumor is always lurking in the wings--until one night it knocks him down and Max is forced to face the truth, not just about the tumor, but about how important it is to let go of the past.

Yes, I know, it's another grief book. I just cannot resist them! Let's just bullet point some of the things that reached out to me when I was reading this synopsis.

  • Denial
  • Imaginary tumor with symptoms, hmmmm
  • Artsy alternative school setting
  • A steam-punk production of Hamlet
  • A girl named Fish
  • A boy named The Monk
  • Letting go of the past
From this, I gather we will get an emotional, but also a humorous read, filled with quirky and interesting characters. This definitely sounds like my kind of book. 

What are you waiting on?
Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR!

I want to read about 3,876,941 books that are being released this fall, but since this is an impossible feat, I had to prioritize. These are ten books that I will definitely be reading this fall, and the chances are really, really good since I have all these books already.

Brooding YA Hero
Carrie Ann DiRisio
Series: n/a
Publisher: Skypony Press

I love reading this guy's tweets, and now I get a whole book. What more could I ask for. Kiersten has already read it, and said it's hilarious, so that makes me even more excited, because she knows what I like. The combination of the Brooking YA Hero's humor and the fun illustrations is a guaranteed winner for me.

Haunting the Deep
Adriana Mather
Series: How to Hang a Witch, #2
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Both Kiersten and I were big fans of How to Hang a Witch, and we were really excited when we heard Mather was going back into her family history for another story. Kiersten has already read it and awarded it 5-stars. This makes me think I have another great read in store for me.

Lauren Oliver
Series: Replica, #2
Publisher: HarperCollins

I enjoyed Replica, and am really interested in seeing where Oliver takes this story. I read the first book in a straight forward way, Gemma's story and then Lyra's. Maybe this time I will start with Lyra's story. It's a fun feature to allow some choice, and I am curious if it affects the way one understands the story.

Marie Lu
Series: Warcross, #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

It has been killing me to hold off on reading this, but I am saving it for a reading challenge. I love Marie Lu, so there is that, but I keep seeing rave, after rave, after rave, and once again, Kiersten approves. Needless to say, I'm excited.

Top Ten
Katie Cotugno
Series: n/a
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

I am a pretty solid Katie Contugno fan, and I am in love with this concept. These books where friends are at the end of high school and preparing to move on to college can be very bittersweet, and I like that these two unlikely friends spend that in-between time counting down their top ten friendship moments. Awwwwww.

The Memory of Trees
Kali Wallace
Series: n/a
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

I know you're thinking this is on the darker side and sounds a little sad, so you are probably wondering how this one got on my TBR. I like the air of mystery and I love magical realism. Early reviews are talking about secrets, a generations old family feud, and beautiful writing. So, count me in.

The House at 758
Kathryn Berla
Series: n/a
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

This one may be a little sad based on the synopsis and the black rain cloud on the cover. BUT the main character is also grieving her mother's death, and you know, grief books have been hits for me this year.

Kat and Meg Conquer the World
Anna Priemaza
Series: n/a
Publisher: HarperTeen

This one promises friendship and fandoms. How could I lose? Early reviews are calling it fun and fluffy, and they name drop many of my favorite contemporary writers in the synopsis. I think it may be fabulous for me.

Here We Are Now
Jasmine Warga
Series: n/a
Publisher: Blazer + Bray

A girl, who is a fan of a rock star, discovers she is his secret daughter. She journeys with him to meet the extended family she never knew. I like the secret daddy thing, he's a rock star, and it sounds like Warga did not go with the most common angle with respect to how this will play out. Sounds fun and emotional.

Now Is Everything
Amy Giles
Series: n/a
Publisher: HarperTeen

I saw that this is told in alternating present and past chapters, and I am always game for something a little different. I actually really like a non-linear timeline, because it usually results in a lot of buildup and tension. This one sounds really emotional as it deals with abuse and suicide, but it could be powerful too.

What's on your Fall TBR?
Let us know in the comments!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blog Tour: When I Cast Your Shadow - Sarah Porter

When I Cast Your Shadow
Sarah Porter
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Tor Teen
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
A teenage girl calls her beloved older brother back from the grave with disastrous consequences.

Dashiell Bohnacker was hell on his family while he was alive. But it's even worse now that he's dead....

After her troubled older brother, Dashiell, dies of an overdose, sixteen-year-old Ruby is overcome by grief and longing. What she doesn't know is that Dashiell's ghost is using her nightly dreams of him as a way to possess her body and to persuade her twin brother, Everett, to submit to possession as well.

Dashiell tells Everett that he's returned from the Land of the Dead to tie up loose ends, but he's actually on the run from forces crueler and more powerful than anything the Bohnacker twins have ever imagined....

"Tragic and engrossing, filled with nightmarish dreamscapes and menacing villains, it also treads the tender terrain of family, and the strange and sometimes dysfunctional ties between siblings. Highly recommended!" ―Kendare Blake, New York Times bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns

"You'll never think of your nightmares the same way again. Darkly seductive. Sarah Porter’s writing glitters and her storytelling stuns in this twisted tale of siblings, love, and death." ―Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

"Porter offers a poignant consideration of how far we will go for the people we love." ―School Library Journal, starred review

"A wildly innovative, whip-smart, and utterly spellbinding testament to family, memory, and love―and the messes and miracles of each―poised to possess legions of readers." ―Booklist, starred review

"A haunting tale of possession that explores the ghostly landscape of dreams and nightmares―but more importantly, the particular dynamics among siblings, both oppressive and redemptive." ―Kirkus Reviews


I was a fan of Porter's debut, Vassa in the Night, and immediately knew I wanted to read this book. I found her writing to be quite captivating, and although her style leaned darker than my norm, I found that I enjoyed her storytelling and wanted more. When I Cast Your Shadow is a ghost story that involves possession, but it is also a story about a family that is grieving, about family dynamics, about trust, about penance.
"it's up to me to remember him the way he really was. To fight for his memory."
The supernatural aspects of the story were quite intriguing and also quite macabre. The descriptions of the dead lands and how the possessions were accomplished made my mouth both cringe and form an "O". Porter's writing really flourished in these parts, and there were definitely a few times that I got a little spine tingle.
"Dashiell is all over this house: the walls are made of his laughter, he permeates our skin, and the breath inside my lungs has the same wave as his hair."
I thought Porter did a great job exploring this family from all sides. First there was the relationship between Dash and each member of the family. In life, Dashiell was a difficult son and brother to love. He was an addict, who exhibited many of the standard addict behaviors. The lies and the manipulations left his brother and father with quite an unfavorable opinion of him, but Ruby was always and remained enchanted by him. There was also the relationship between Ruby and Everette. Everette was the brother who loved Ruby with no strings. He was willing to do anything to protect her, but I could not say the same for Dash. The entire family was under a cloud of grief over Dash's untimely death, while kind of still dealing with their abandonment issues, and this created some very complicated emotions within their home.
"Reality exists somewhere, maybe, but it's not where everybody thinks it is. Not in this kitchen. Not in my bowl of yogurt and granola. Not in this family."
I liked seeing how each character changed and grew over the course of this book. The changes were not immediate, but everyone experienced positive growth -- even Dash. The very last chapter of the book was from Dash's POV, and it took us into the future. I was really happy that Porter included this chapter, because it showed the outcome of all of this for Ruby, Everett, their dad, and even Dash's girlfriend. You could even say it told us how this entire incident changed Dash, and I always need that closure that it provided.
"And you'll be going home, to find out who you are without me, and who you can love instead. I think you'll know both those things soon."
After finishing my second Porter book, I can say that she has a dark and twisted style, which may not be for everyone. However, I loved how her books were a break from my norm and challenged me as a reader.

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. Quotes are from an ARC and may change upon publication.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




SARAH PORTER is the author of the Lost Voices Trilogy (Lost Voices, Waking Storms, The Twice Lost) in addition to Vassa in the Night—all for the teen audience. For over ten years she has taught creative writing workshops in New York City public schools to students in grades K-10. Porter also works as a VJ, both solo and with the art collective Fort/Da; she has played venues including Roseland, Galapagos, Tonic, Joe’s Pub, The Hammerstein Ballroom, The Nokia Theater, and the Burning Man festival. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats.


Photo Content from Sarah Porter


September 11th - Here's to Happy Endings REVIEW
September 12th -  JeanBookNerd VLOG & GUEST POST
September 12th - Reading for the Stars and Moon REVIEW
September 13th - TTC Books and More REVIEW
September 14th - Bibliobibuli YA GUEST POST
September 14th - The Avid Reader EXCERPT
September 15th - Jump Into Books REVIEW
September 15th - Books, Dreams, Life TENS LIST

September 18th - We Live and Breathe Books REVIEW
September 18th - Kendra Loves Books REVIEW
September 19th - CBY Book Club EXCERPT
September 19th - Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW
September 20th - A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW & TENS LIST
September 20th - Adventures Thru Wonderland REVIEW
September 21st - Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW & EXCERPT
September 22nd - BookHounds YA TENS LIST
September 22nd - Tara's Book Addiction REVIEW

I love when authors hide "easter eggs" in their books. I found one in this book (a Vassa reference)

Do like when authors put "easter eggs" in their books?
Let us know in the comments!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

So, remember how I thought it was so awesome that I had free lunch twice? Well, this past week we had lunch AND breakfast not once, not twice, but four days in a row. Friday was such a letdown, as we were all mourning the absence of any free food. But tomorrow starts three straight Jeans Weeks!

TV has not been too kind to me. First, Outlander! That was a really difficult episode. I may have cried. I need something a little more hopeful tonight. Then, my daughter messaged me to tell me that Stitchers was canceled. (let's us have a moment of silence) I really liked this show, and OF COURSE! the last episode was a cliffy. THIS is why I am watching less and less TV. You just can't trust that you will get closure. At least this does not tend to happen with books. Though, I am still waiting for the conclusion to the Killer Unicorn series (I'm looking at you Diana Peterfreund). And this tweet (which I saw as a retweet) left me so jealous, because I really want to know what happened after Day and June reunited. 😭

Ok folks, #Warcross pre-order surprise is here: LIFE AFTER LEGEND short story! Go here for details:
— Marie Lu (@Marie_Lu) April 21, 2017

On the Blog:
Stacking the Shelves


  • Flight Season by Marie Marquardt: I love The Radius of Us so much, so when I saw this on Netgalley, I had to have it. 
  • Always Summer by Nikki Godwin: I am a fan of the Drenaline Surf books and grabbed this one on sale. 
  • Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes: I am a fan of Stokes and have been wanting to read this, so when it hit a good price, I jumped on it. 

What I Read Last Week

It was a pretty great week. Best read of the week was Autoboyography. I have no idea how this one got left off my spreadsheet, but when I realized it was coming out, I bumped one of my other books to read it, and it was so good!!!!
  • Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead: I really enjoyed this installment of the Glittering Court and was really impressed with how well Mead handled the concurrent timelines. This by no means felt like a replay of the last book, and Mira and Grant were fabulous together.   
  • Flow by Kennedy Ryan: This was a flashback, and filled in some gaps I had from Ryan's Soul books with respect to the hero and the heroine of this series. ★ 1/2
  • Autoboyography by Christina Lauren: This was a beautiful romance and story of being true to who you are, and I really appreciated that the authors were respectful of the LDS church. 
  • Fool Me Once by Catherine Bybee: I am such a Bybee fan and was so excited to be back in the world of her Weekday Brides again. Great characters, great romance, and I really enjoyed the suspense element too. 
  • Speak Easy, Speak Love by Mckelle George: This was a fabulous retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. George picked some of the best parts of the 20s to highlight and this book was jammed with fantastic characters you can't help but love. ★ 1/2
  • Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath: This one was fun and featured a sweet romance, which also touched about some serious issues, and I thought Allen-Vath balanced the different parts quite well. ★ 1/2

What I Am Currently Reading

I just started My Not So Perfect Life, and you know I am loving it, because Kinsella always makes me happy. I am listening the the last Gravity book, Shooting for the Stars. I was really happy to see this one new to Hoopla this week, because I love Bowen and am a fan of this series.

What I Plan to Read

Forecast is looking good for me, because I see a lot of romance books in my near future.

How was your week?
Let us know in the comments!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Discussion: Book Confessions

I have seen many posts, where bloggers share some of their odd bookish quirks, and was inspired to write my own posts detailing my own book related idiosyncrasies, because I have plenty to share.

Today's Confession:  
I obsessively monitor book prices

You know how it is, you want ALL the books, but you only have so much money to spend.

After missing a bunch of good sales, I started monitoring the prices of books I want. Now, it would be ok if I casually did this, but it's moved beyond that, and is now part of my daily routine. You may even think it's a little obsessive.

First, I created multiple wish lists on Amazon. (exhibit A)

To buy or not to buy is based on the book's priority and an established set of set of rules price trend rules.

Obviously, books in series take precedence over stand-alones, because I really need to finish the series I have started. Then there are my go-to authors. because these authors have won a place in my heart, and have yet to let me down. Third, are books that I think will be fabulous (I want it NOW!). Recommended and TBR released have about equal weight. While TBR are unreleased books, which sometimes have great pre-sale price drops.

Each day, I visit my lists, and look for that blessed bold print which indicates a price drop. Fact: This used to be much easier. Once upon a time, Amazon had a filter option to only show items with price drops, but that disappeared with the redesign, and thus, has made this more time consuming than it used to be.

You can liken my price checks with how some people monitor the stock market. I watch as the prices rise and fall. I look for patterns. For instance, a previous book in a series or an author's previous book will go on sale prior to the release of their next book. And even though I may walk into a room and not remember why I went there, I can remember the lowest price a particular book has sold for over a span of time. These things influence the "magic" number, or what I like to think of as my by limit. As my eyes scan the page and my mind runs through all my price data, my finger will begin to hover over the button. When I see the "magic" price,  I hear the roar in my head: BUY! BUY! BUY!

Sometimes, I immediately one-click, but sometimes I hesitate. Then I have to live with the regret of a missed opportunity, and each day, when I see that book at full price, it stings a little as I have to stare at that desired thing from afar.

Do you have any bookish quirks?
Let us know in the comments!