It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Monday! What Are You Reading?I skipped again. Unintentionally, I swear. I had a last-minute trip out of town to see my parents, and just wasn’t able to get a post done on time. (This is one I don’t work too far ahead on, because what I’m in the middle of can chance in a matter of a day or two.) Like last time, I’ll give the rundown on the last two weeks. (And, yes, it feels like I should’ve done more reading over two weeks, but it just didn’t happen.)

Last Two Weeks’ Reviews:

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales | Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Prophecy by Julie Anne Lindsey

Other Posts:

The Book of Three winner | The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow book blitz

What I’m Reading Now:

Dream a Little Dream ~ Started it this morning, and am already halfway through. It’s lots of fun! | Crash the Chatterbox ~ Yeah, yeah, I know! I need to just bite the bullet and finish it. | Dangerous Women ~ Got it back from the library — again! Already made some more progress. Hopefully this’ll be the LAST time! | Beyond the Bake Sale ~ Yeah, gotta start this one over. It’s been too long. But I’m still not giving up!

On Deck this Week:

I was hoping to get caught up on kids’ books. Clearly I’ve not been able to. Maybe by the end of the month — I hope! We’ll see. Work is gonna be crazy this week. That always cuts into my reading time!

So, how about you? What’s your week in books look like?

If you’re here as part of this meme, please make sure to let me know — especially if you’re new. I’d love to return the visit. (Oh, and be careful. My comments have been a bit wonky. If your comment doesn’t appear right away, please shoot me an email so I can make sure it’s not in spam!)
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Review with GIVEAWAY: Prophecy

Prophecy by Julie Anne LindseyTitle: Prophecy
Author: Julie Anne Lindsey
Series: Calypso #1

About: On the other side of death, is destiny.

Callie Ingram is spending her senior year focused on one thing: swimming. Her skill as a competitive swimmer is going to secure a scholarship and her future, or so she hopes. She has big plans, and Liam Hale, her gorgeous new neighbor, isn’t going to affect them. But when Callie sees Liam beheading someone, she learns his family has a secret that will change everything. The Hales are Vikings, demi-gods who’ve been charged by The Fates to find their new destined leader.

Callie’s caught in the middle of a budding Norse apocalypse, in love with Liam Hale and desperate to protect her best friend…who the Hales believe is marked for transformation. Putting the clues together as fast as she can, Callie discovers she has the power to rewrite destiny, for herself and all humankind.

My Thoughts: This book had me at mythology. Hints at mythology are a good way to get me interested. Make it sound like an interesting twist to the tried-and-true tales, and I’m unable to say no. So … mythology? Check. Interesting twist? Check.

While, overall, I found myself wanting to keep going, wanting to see how it’s going to play out, how things are going to come together … well, overall? I wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped I’d be. For one, there’s just so much implausible. Yes, yes, I know. It’s fantasy — and based on mythology — but even knowing that there just were things I found hard to accept. For example (no, not a spoiler), Callie’s easy acceptance of Liam’s explanation of exactly who/what he is and all that entails. Most girls raised normally, as Callie seems to have been, wouldn’t just accept all of that as fact without at least a small freakout moment. Even if she has seen Liam beheading someone. Especially once you read the circumstances — she could easily have written that off.

I do have a spoiler-type question, but I will refrain, as I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. Although, this was highly predictable. Even the “twist” at the end? Yeah, saw that coming from way too early on in the story.

And we have more insta-love. I’m sorry, but it just does not work that way. I don’t care who you are — or who he is. Or how hot he is. Or anything else.

Callie was likable and annoying all rolled into one. She’s way too into hating on her dad for cheating on her mom. Yes, I know, that affects kids, too — but more than it would affect her mom? Doubtful. Not wanting to accept her dad’s money (he’s loaded, it seems) to make it through college? Made no sense to me. But, I supposed teenagers aren’t known for always making sense, right? ;) She is a strong lead, despite being wishy-washy about things.

Liam was a bit over-the-top for me, but I suspect many a young reader might fall for him. Or Justin (who wasn’t over-the-top). Or even Oliver.

Despite my complaints, I did enjoy the book. I found myself drawn in by the conflict and the mythology, waiting to see how things would unfold. I was also interested to see if my predictions were right. (Yes, they were.)

3 StarsSource: Received through YA Bound Book Tours for review. (Click the button below for more tour stops.)

Blog TourRead It: You can purchase your own copy via Amazon(This is an affiliate link. Purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)

Julie Anne LindseyAbout the Author: Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.

Find Julie online:
Julieannelindsey.com | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Blogging at Musings from the Slush Pile

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find me on Goodreads.com >>
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Book Blitz with Giveaway: The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow

Book BlitzI’m excited to share with you a new exciting series coming to you from Michelle Madow, author of the Transcend Time Saga.

The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle MadowThe Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)
by Michelle Madow
Release Date: 02/25/13
Harlequin Teen
381 pages

Summary from Goodreads: Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Books A MillioniBookstore

Links to Book 2: Diamonds in the Rough (Available for Pre-Order):
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBookstore

“Sexy and often electrifying … Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps.” — Booklist

“This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour … get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride.” — RT Book Reviews

SavannahSavannah’s Character Bio: At fifteen years old, Savannah is the youngest Diamond sister. Her older sisters have sheltered her for her entire life. Despite her rough upbringing, she’s optimistic and wants to think the best of people, although this can sometimes lead to her coming off as naïve. She wants to fit in at school, but has always felt like an outsider. She tends to feel overshadowed by the people around her. She trusts easily, and it sometimes leads to her getting hurt, but she’s always there for her sisters and friends when they need her!

Savannah loves singing, and has a fantastic voice, so it’s her ultimate dream to be a famous pop star. She’s been stage fright since a talent show disaster in middle school, but wants to record cover songs and post them on YouTube to try to get a following, like the YouTube stars she idolizes. She also plays guitar, but is self-taught, so she’s still learning how to improve. She mainly plays to accompany herself while singing. She’s athletic, and played on the JV volleyball team in her school in her hometown. She hopes to make Varsity as a sophomore.

She loves shopping and wearing anything that sparkles—dresses, nail polish, shoes, eye shadow, you name it! She loves reading fashion magazines and trying to duplicate the high-end styles worn by the models. Her favorite meal of the day is breakfast, and her favorite food is pancakes. Savannah has never had a serious boyfriend, and wants more than anything to believe that true love is possible!

Michelle MadowAbout the Author: Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida … but she loves going to Vegas.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow’s Street Team on Facebook!

Author links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

GIVEAWAY:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

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WINNER: The Book of Three

I am pleased to announce the winner of the 50th Anniversary Special Edition of The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations, Angela!

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Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie PerkinsTitle: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3

About: Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

My Thoughts: This was a fun, sweet, adorable book. While I didn’t love it the same way I did Anna and the French Kiss, it’s still a great story. And for those of you who are fans of the other books in this series, yes, we do see some of our favorite characters. Anna, St. Clair, Lola, and Cricket (plus a couple of others) do show up for a brief — and wonderful — time. :)

The characters … I’m not sure what to say. I did like Isla — most of the time. She has a sweet heart and is a smart girl. But, well, when the inevitable relationship drama surfaced … well, I wanted to smack her. Hard. I didn’t fully understand her in this. I get that she’s insecure — we all are to some degree or another — but this was extreme. In my opinion, her relationship drama was something she did to herself. But, she did learn a few things about herself through it all, and appears to have grown as a result.

Josh is interesting. I’m not sure we get to know him as well as we’d gotten to know others (St. Clair, especially) in previous books. But, he seems like a sweetheart, and might be book boyfriend material. He treats Isla well — even after what I can only call a meltdown on her part. And he’s fantastic with Kurt, Isla’s autistic best friend.

Fans who have been reading this fantastic series by Stephanie Perkins won’t be disappointed. It’s a highly enjoyable romantic read that is sure to leave readers happy.

4 StarsSource: Borrowed from my local library.

Read It: You can order your own copy via Amazon or Book Depository(These are affiliate links, and purchase through either link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)

Find me on Goodreads.com >>
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Review: Viva Frida

Viva Frida by Yuyi MoralesTitle: Viva Frida
Author: Yuyi Morales
Series: n/a

About: Frida Kahlo, one of the world’s most famous and unusual artists, is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of which influenced what she painted on her canvases.

My Thoughts: This was one of those books that I received unexpectedly. I know nothing about Frida Kahlo — or her art — and so this book doesn’t really speak to me. However, it’s beautiful. The photos/illustrations are beautiful. And very colorful. It’s a fun book to look through.

There’s a nice explanation of who Frida is, and her story. She sounds like she was an amazing woman who’d been through so much! How awesome that she was able to find herself in art.

I found the Spanish text intermingled with the English text mildly distracting. I like that both are there. I just think it disrupts the flow for people like myself, who remember just enough Spanish from school to want to see how much of it they remember! LOL

3 StarsSource: ARC sent by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Read It: You can order your own copy via Amazon or Book Depository(These are affiliate links, and purchase through either link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)

Find me on Goodreads.com >>
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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Monday! What Are You Reading?So, last week I didn’t mean to skip. I was just super busy, and time got away with me. So, this week, to make it up to you, I’ll post what I’ve done around here over two weeks. Wouldn’t want you to miss anything! ;)

Last Two Weeks’ Reviews:

Day 21 by Kass Morgan | Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch | The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander | Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato | Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas | Two Boys Booed by Judith Viorst

Other Posts:

Top Ten Tuesday | September Review

Current Giveaway:

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

This giveaway ends Sunday, October 12 — that’s next Sunday! Don’t miss your chance to win a hardcover copy of the GORGEOUS 50th Anniversary Edition of Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three!

What I’m Reading Now:

Isla and the Happily Ever After ~ Starting it tonight! :D | Crash the Chatterbox ~ We’ve finished the study at church. I just fell behind with the reading. I plan to finish it this week. | Beyond the Bake Sale ~ I know, I know.

On Deck this Week:

Yes, even more ambitious, I think. I’d make decent progress if I’d get these kids’ books read! ;) I shall do my best!

So, how about you? What’s your week in books look like?

If you’re here as part of this meme, please make sure to let me know — especially if you’re new. I’d love to return the visit. (Oh, and be careful. My comments have been a bit wonky. If your comment doesn’t appear right away, please shoot me an email so I can make sure it’s not in spam!)
~*~

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