Waiting on Wednesday: The Infinite Sea

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that encourages us to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re, well, waiting on.

wow tis

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**WARNING** This is the SECOND book in a series and the following description may contain SPOILERS for the first book. If you have not read The Fifth Wave, proceed with caution. **

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

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The Fifth Wave blew my mind and I’ve been dying to read this ever since. I have to know what happened to Evan. HAVE TO. Also, I read the teaser chapter that the publisher posted on Twitter — yeah. Now all I can do is make grabby hands and chant, “Just one more week. . .just one more week. . .just one more week. . .”

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The “She” Stands Alone by Nadine C. Keels

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the sheShe can’t seem to catch any guy’s notice for anything. No, a pick-up pitch from a stranger gawking at her around Pump #2 at the gas station doesn’t count. And that attractive salesman at the one-stop-for-all-you-want store in town shouldn’t have been flirting with her in the first place, being ultra customer-friendly in an establishment notorious for its pathetic customer service.

Now, is this young woman’s dateless predicament unfixable? Not in the least. New plan: Sheridan Jones is going to date herself.

Ahh. The romance.

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*I received a complimentary copy of this digital novelette via the Author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Nadine C. Keels!*

At 48 pages, The “She” Stands Alone is a quick, cute read.

After spending some time wallowing in the wake of being unceremoniously dumped by her college boyfriend, Sheridan Jones decides to take matters into her own hands—by “dating” herself.

I really liked the message that Miss Keels delivers through this fun little story. It was great to see Sheridan come to realize that it’s okay to be single and that you don’t need to be in a relationship to prove your self-worth. I enjoyed seeing her treat herself to special things—dressing up, fancy dinners, roller skating dates—for no other reason than it made her feel good.

My only real complaint about this novelette is that the sentences seemed to be excessively long (said the Queen of Wordy Sentences). Oh, and I never did quite get why Sheridan said, “She Sher.” Other than that, The “She” Sands Alone is an entertaining and empowering read. If you’re looking for a quick, clean romance to read on your lunch break, I recommend giving this little nugget a try :)

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p.s. Have you read this? I would love to get all spoiler-y with someone! If you’re interested, shoot me an email or a message on Facebook and we’ll have ourselves a bookish good time!

You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

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you are mineSerena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.

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*I received a complimentary copy of this eBook via the Author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Janeal Falor!*

Have you ever done a bookish survey or meme that asked you the question, “What dystopian/fictional world would you NOT want to live in?” I haven’t yet, but if I ever do I know what my answer will be: I absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt, would never in a million years want to live in the world that Janeal Falor has created for You Are Mine.

Chardonia is a land ruled by Warlocks and suffered by women. The men reign with a heavy hand and spiteful magic, while the women are nothing more than possessions to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. They are slaves and broodmares—good for nothing except breeding and punishing. Or, you know, sacrificing.

Having been won in a tournament by a warlock from a notoriously barbaric foreign country, Serena has no idea what to expect of her new master. Will he be as cruel as her father or much, much worse? Being a bit of a spitfire, Serena pushes the boundaries of what society expects of a woman, wondering what it will take to cross the line with Chancellor Zade and how severe the punishment will be when she finally does. When he surprises her by being nothing like her father, Serena doesn’t know what to think. Is he setting a trap, or is there a reason to believe that life can be filled with trust, freedom, and love instead of pain, fear, and loathing?

Honestly, this story started off a wee bit slow for me. The writing seemed to be a little stiff and I kind of felt like the world building was having a minor identity crisis. I’m not gonna lie, it kinda bugged me for a while. BUT, about halfway through, something magical happened (see what I did there?) — this book became compulsively readable. I mean, the plot itself isn’t exactly action packed. There are a few magical fight scenes, but the main driving force of the story (to me) was wondering what Serena’s fate would be. It had me turning pages until 1:00 in the morning!

The only thing is, I wish that there had been a little more backstory. I was curious about the Women’s Canon and what it actually said. I would have liked to have known about Chardonia’s laws in a little more detail. I would’ve loved to have delved deeper into Zade’s past, if you know what I mean. *waggles eyebrows suggestively* And it would have been great to know more about the magic and spells of the realm.

Serena only ever describes the spells by their color. While this paints a vivid picture in my head, I would’ve liked to have known what each spell was doing. I realize that it was probably done this way due to the fact that women aren’t allowed to practice magic, therefore Serena herself didn’t even know what they did, but still. I’m nosey like that.

Oh, and one other thing. While I was happy with the way that things ended, I feel like it all happened a little too easily. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s just that I feel like the Council would have put up WAY more of a fight over what went down in the end, what with them being chauvinistic douchebags and all.

Overall, You Are Mine was a pretty enjoyable read. If you like a bit of light fantasy mixed with a splash of what-kind-of-horrible-world-is-this?!, I recommend picking this one up and sitting a spell (Ha! I did it again!). Also, I hear that there’s not only a sequel that goes along with this, but a prequel novella too! You can bet your noodle that I’ll be checking both of them out—after I finish up my Review Copy Roundup, that is ;)

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p.s. Have you read this? I would love to get all spoiler-y with someone! If you’re interested, shoot me an email or a message on Facebook and we’ll have ourselves a bookish good time!

Review Copy Roundup

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Do you remember when I was telling y’all about my favorite bookish websites and I mentioned how you might want to be careful when requesting books from NetGalley because getting approved is easier than one might think? Yeah, well, I should have heeded my own advice.

At the beginning of the year, one of my bookish resolutions was to be approved for advanced reading copies of books on NetGalley. Quite a few of the book blogs that I look up to had mentioned that they received ARCs to review from that site and, wanting to grow up to be like them, I thought that it might be something that I could get into, too. So, I took my tiny little blog-self right on over and created an account.

Being a smaller blog, I didn’t really expect to be approved for much at the beginning, so I kept my expectations relatively low. I read and reviewed a few of the auto-approved titles and started to improve my Feedback to Approval Ratio. Then, I became a little bolder.

I requested books from a few of the bigger publishers thinking it would be super cool to get my hands on their books, but not really expecting to be approved by them. I mean, you gotta dream big, right? Right. Well apparently some dreams do come true, because before I knew it I had a handful of titles to read and shiz was getting real.

And then, as it tends to do, life got in the way.

So here I am today with an abysmal Feedback to Approval Ratio and a stack of ARCs that are no longer ARCs. Oh, and there’s also the guilt. The heaping pile of, “I’m a horrible person for requesting these books and never reading them and letting everyone in the universe down and now I’ll never be approved for anything ever again,” that’s sitting on my shoulders. I have to say, all of that weight is kind of giving me a crick in my neck. BUT, I have a plan.

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Starting today, through the end of October, I plan to read nothing but my poor, neglected review copies in the hopes that I can get most (if not all) of them reviewed, thereby alleviating my conscience of this terrible faux pas. During this time I do solemnly swear that I will not request anymore books to review, nor will I allow my greedy little eyes to wander towards any book that does not reside on the following list:

By posting this list for all of you to see I’ve created a convenient safety net of accountability. In other words, if you see me even remotely hint at reading a book that is not mentioned above, feel free to scold me. Loudly. In a public setting. No, seriously, do it. I am notorious for my lack of willpower and sometimes, in a moment of weakness, all it takes to get back on track is to have someone call me out on it.

Having eleven books to read and review, I feel like two months should be adequate time to complete a large chunk of them, or possibly even polish them all off. I’ll probably do an update post halfway through and then again at the end to wrap everything up. I’ll also try to keep track of my progress on Twitter under #ReviewCopyRoundup.

I hadn’t really thought about making this whole thing an Event, but if you find that you are also drowning in review copies and ARCs and would like to read along, I wouldn’t mind some company. Feel free to grab the banner, make a list, and leave me a comment if you wanna join me :)

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By the way, I should probably note that not all of these books came from NetGalley. I received 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas from Blogging For Books, The Unhappening of Genesis Lee from Edelwiess, You Are Mine from Janeal Falor, and Egg & Spoon from LibraryThing, although technically I haven’t received it yet. I should probably also note that while I’m taking the time to play catch-up, I will NOT be accepting any additional review requests.

Waiting on Wednesday: All the Bright Places

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that encourages us to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re, well, waiting on.

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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself-a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

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It had me at “The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park.”

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I <3 Summer TAG

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Apparently I need to learn how to run faster because Miss Chelsea has struck again! This TAG isn’t really book related, but it is about summer and I love doing these posts, so here we go!

I HEART SUMMER

summer bronzer

This is the part where you guys learn how much I suck at being a girl. I don’t have an answer for this because I don’t use bronzer. Or very much makeup at all for that matter. It’s not for a lack of interest, really, but more from a pathetic lack of skill. I’m just no good at it and I haven’t found anyone with the time and patience to teach me the art of putting on my face. Anyone want to volunteer?

summer drink

summer sweet teaI love sweet tea! I probably go through a gallon of iced sweet tea every few days, if not sooner. I like to brew my own using Lipton tea bags and adding sugar. I usually leave the pitcher un-sweet and just add sugar to each individual glass because my husband prefers to use Sweet ‘n Low in his tea, and that’s just gross.

summer lip

summer burt's bees

Burt’s Bees is by far my favorite lip balm ever! My friend Kristen introduced me to it over the winter because I had chronically chapped lips and I’ve been using it ever since. I love that one application will keep my lips moist for hours and that I’m not having to reapply it every ten minutes. My favorite is the one made with Mango Butter.

summer pool

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A pool, fo sho. Once upon a time I probably would have said both. But ever since that one time I got stung by a jelly fish, I refuse to swim in anything that I can’t see the bottom of.

summer hair

Oh boy. So, do you remember how I said that I was pretty bad with makeup? Yeah, well, I’m even worse with hair. Mine is really oily, so I have to wash it every day. Especially in the summer when it’s hot and there’s, you know, sweating. I don’t really go for any one brand in particular, but I try to use something that’s moisturizing and/or has some kind repairing properties. I told you, I suck at this.

summer tan

summer sunbathing

Both. I’m fortunate to have skin that tans very well. But because I don’t get a chance to soak up the Vitamin D very often (due to my job keeping me indoors during sunlight hours), I like to start out fake baking to build a decent base before I fully commit to worshiping the sun. Of course, I do it safely using some sunblock and not tanning until my skin looks like leather. I just like to avoid having a farmers tan is all ;)

summer nails

summer nail polish

Hot pink, all day long!!! It’s bright and it’s fun and I love it! I don’t always have it on my fingernails, but it’s a pretty permanent fixture on my toes as long as it’s flip-flop season!

summer scent

summer cucumber

Bath & Bodyworks has a slew of great scents for summer, but my all time favorite is Cucumber Melon. It’s so light and refreshing and just plain yummy.

summer bbq

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Everything. Seriously. If you can cook it on a grill I’ll eat it. I love a good steak, but I equally love veggies, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, seafood, you name it. Luckily for me, the husband is a master grill sergeant.

summer proof

If I’m looking to avoid the rays, I love me a big ol’ floppy hat. Also, you’ll never see me leave my house without my shades.

summer book

I love a good contemporary read in the summer. One of my favorite contemporary series is the Between the Lines series by Tammara Webber. It’s fun because it’s like a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be a celebrity. The fame, the fortune, the drama. I love it! I’ve read all but the last book because Brooke is a manipulative cow and I’m not ready to sympathize with her yet. I’m sure I’ll get to it someday, but until then I totally recommend the first three books for pool-side reading :D

I TAG  anyone who wants to do their own post!

SUMMER TAG

Book Outlet Sale!!!

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30%

So, do you remember how earlier today I was telling y’all about some pretty cool bookish websites? Do you remember how I said that Book Outlet was always having crazy good sales? Yeah, well, they’re having one right now!!!

Now through Monday you can get 30% off of the already ridiculously low priced Scratch & Dent titles! Don’t let the label deter you, I’ve ordered several S&D books from them and they always come in very good condition. So what are you waiting for? Click on the banner and boogie on over to Book Outlet to buy yourself a little bit of happiness. I already did ;)