21 January 2017

Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Book Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 320
Synopsis: Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.

Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.

My Review:
I borrowed this book from work and this is my honest review.

Agoraphobia is the fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment. Norah suffers from this as well as a severe case of OCD. No longer in school Norah functions by homeschooling, never going outside unless completely necessary, and has her groceries delivered right to her door. What will she do when the cute new boy next door wants to come in and get to know her?

My first thought while reading is that this is very similar to Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon which follows a young girl who also cannot leave her house but due to allergies not fear. There is enough difference and enough similarities for me to love both books a lot.

I was nervous that Norah as a character was going to start to get to me, but being someone who also has severe anxiety; not to the extent that she does but pretty severe, I was able to connect with her. The few times when she was thinking about self-harming and then when she did, I felt connected because I felt her frustration. I know how frustrating it is to not be able to do something with everyone else because you’re just too afraid.

While reading, there is a part when Norah decides to go outside to enjoy the rain, and this scene made me enjoy her character that much more. For her to be afraid of almost everything to the point where she can’t even go outside but she’ll go outside a little to enjoy some rain that was great.

Luke’s character was cute, I was also nervous that he wasn’t really going to stand out as a character but he really did. His cute writing notes and slipping them through Norah’s mail slot on the door for her when she wouldn’t open the door and then when she was mad at him. I also liked that he had his own issues when it came to his dad that made him seem more real too.

The idea behind the story was definitely something I had not ever encountered before, and I am glad I jumped into the world. Being able to connect with Norah while she deals with her illness’ and watching her swoon over Luke was amazing and I would recommend this to anyone with these kinds of anxiety problems. Norah is one inspiring young lady. 


19 January 2017

Blog Tour: Interview with Stacey Trombley author of Pushing The Boundaries


Pushing The Boundaries by Stacey Tombley
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Release Date: January 16, 2016
Synopsis: Myra goes to Haiti with one goal: take the photograph that will win a scholarship and prove to her uber-traditional family that she has what it takes to be a photographer instead of a doctor. Her camera has always been her shield against getting too close to anyone, but she didn’t expect the hot teen translator who has an ability to see past her walls.

Elias needs his job as a translator to provide for his siblings. He can’t afford to break the rule forbidding him from socializing with a client. Except this girl Myra insists on going outside the city to capture the perfect picture, and he steps in as her guide in order to keep her safe.

The deeper they travel into the country, the harder they fall for each other. Now they’re both taking risks that could cost each other their dreams.

If they get too close—it could ruin both their lives.

Book Links:
Purchase Links: 

Meet The Author: (Taken From Goodreads)
Stacey Trombley lives in Ohio with her husband, new baby boy and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. Any chance she has she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list. 

Interview w/ Stacey

1) What is your favorite part about being a writer?
Creating new stories! Writing is a lot like reading except you’re in control and the characters belong to you. You can make them make all the stupid decisions you want, or the smart ones so it doesn’t drive you crazy. You can create the exact scenes you want there, the ones you want to read.

2) What is your least favorite part?
Holy wow does it take a long time. You can read a book in a day, if you want. It takes weeks to write a book at best, and several more months to revise it and don’t even ask how long it takes to get it published at the beginning (luckily it’s much faster once you have a publisher). It takes a lot of dedication and you need a lot of passion or the work isn’t worth it.

3) Can you give aspiring writers any advice on things like writing in general and publishing books?
There are about a million different paths to success, and many different definitions of it. Don’t be upset when others reach their dreams easily and you have to slog through. It’s also okay if things don’t turn out quite how you expected or even hoped. You can find success in many different ways, or after many different amounts of time. In the meantime, find other writer friends to confide in and never stop believing…or fighting for yourself.

4) What do you do when you have writers block?
Write anyway…usually. I do believe that sometimes you need to let yourself have a break and it’s okay to let yourself have it (fill your cup!) but if the block is due to lack of ideas or motivation—write anyway. I once planned to write a short story but couldn’t for my life think of what to write or how. I was stuck. So I sat down and started writing how I felt. It ended up becoming a story about a girl who waiting at the end of black tunnel for her father to return home, and it won the contest I entered it into. Of course, it won’t end up quite so well but once you start the gears churning your creative juices will return, whether slowly or quickly.

5) Do you have an email newsletter or places where my readers can follow you to get updates and such?
 Yes! You can sign up for my newsletter here http://staceytrombley.us14.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=2a9e5e48a01ddf706231d9e5c&id=4801bb5156



17 January 2017

Review: Batgirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee

Batgirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Book Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 237
Synopsis: Get your cape on with the DC Super Hero Girls the unprecedented new Super Hero universe especially for girls! Readers of all ages can fly high with the all-new adventures of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, and some of the world s most iconic female super heroes as high schoolers!
Batgirl has always hidden in the shadows but does she have what it takes to stand in the spotlight at Super Hero High?
Barbara Gordon has always been an off-the-charts, just-forget-about-the-test super-genius and tech whiz, and then she gets the offer of a lifetime when Supergirl recognizes that Barbara s talents make her an ideal candidate for Super Hero High. Donning the cape and cowl, Barbara Gordon becomes Batgirl, ready to train at the most elite school on the planet, next to some of the most powerful teenagers in the galaxy. She s always had the heart of a hero . . . but now she ll have to prove that she can be one. Good thing she loves a challenge!
Award-winning author Lisa Yee brings mystery, thrills, and laughs to this groundbreaking series that follows DC Comics most iconic female Super Heroes and Super-Villains. Move over Batman and Superman the DC Super Hero Girls are ready to save the day and have fun doing it! 

My Review:

I received this book from the publisher and this is my honest review.

Batgirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee follows yet another student at Super Hero High. The exception to this book is that instead of following a superhero with special powers and abilities it follows Barbara Gordon, now known as Batgirl. Gordon ends up becoming a student based on the role she played in the book before this one, Supergirl at Super Hero High. Throughout this book, Batgirl struggles with being able to fit in despite not having any powers.

So far, Batgirl at Super Hero High is my favorite in the series. I love following Barbara on her journey to fit in with the rest of her friends. Not suggesting that I didn’t like the characters in the other books, BUT for some reason, I felt much more drawn emotionally to Batgirls character. The entire time, she was trying to please her dad while making friends, as well as making herself happy and she was having an extremely hard time with that.

The entire school really banded around Batgirl which I also loved. They all saw what a tough time she was having not having any super powers and almost every single student in this book was shown at some point doing something to cheer up or help Batgirl. Yee did a great job writing all of the characters with so much compassion toward fellow students.

Not only did the students come together to make Batgirl feel better, but they even all helped save the world when it came down to it. Everyone had some sort of part in the problem with the computers and together they took that problem down and all is right again in the world of Super Hero High!


16 January 2017

2017 Book Challenge: Shelf Love Challenge


Happy Monday! For the past few years I've been signing up for challenge after challenge and keeping with it for the first month and then getting nowhere afterwards. This year I have only officially signed up for two. Hopefully I will keep up!

I have chosen level 2 (11-20) books and am psyched to get this party started!

I want to say that I won't buy any books this year, but I know I will end up buying at least one here and there so I'm going to say I am only allowed to buy one book a month and see how that goes. 

This challenge is hosted by two blogs, Second Run Reviews and Chapter Break don't forget to stop on over there to sign up!

14 January 2017

Review: Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Book Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 398
Synopsis: Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

Meet Kathleen:
A New York Times bestseller, Girl in Pieces is Kathleen Glasgow’s debut novel. She lives and writes in Tucson, Arizona. To learn more about Kathleen and her writing go to her website, kathleenglasgowbooks.com, and follow her on Twitter @kathglasgow. 

My Review:

17 year old Charlie has a world full of problems. After the loss of her father and best friend, and downfall of the relationship with her mother Charlie tries and fails at taking her life. Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow tells the story of Charlie Davis’ almost end and long windy road to recovery.

There is so much to say about this novel, there were so many emotions running through my head while reading this. I have known many people in my life who cut or self harmed and to read this story and really get to know Charlie as a main character was an amazing experience. I felt for her as a character, when she had lumps of tears in her throat, I felt the same way. When she smiled at Riley or Mikey or Blue I did the same.

Lately the books I have been reading have failed to give me characters that felt real. That problem was non-existent here. Glasgow gave her characters so many emotions and real characteristics, it almost seemed as if this story was happening to close friends rather than in a book.

The most real and my favorite relationship in this novel was Riley and Charlie. I knew from the beginning how it was going to go. Knowing all of Charlies problems, and then seeing Riley go down the path he was going down. I knew but that did not stop the feeling of wanting them to work it out, and the pain I felt when things went bad.

My favorite aspect of the story is that in the beginning I had no idea that this story was going to go outside of hospital that Charlie started out in. I just thought we were going to see Charlie bond with the girls she was living with and to maybe even get into their stories. But that didn’t happen, this story took a whole different path that threw me through a loop. BUT is a twist that I was not disappointed in. I loved this book and all of its little things and would recommend it to anybody.

I received this book from Blogging for Books and this is my honest review.

13 January 2017

January 2017 Book Haul

Happy Friday! I know it has been awhile, and I apologize but I'm back and hopefully for good this time. This is my January 2017 book haul!

The Books:

Bought/From Work:
Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth  
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Christmas Presents:
Tales of a Peculiar by Ransom Riggs
Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Blood Moon by John David Bethel
Batgirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee
Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Thank you all for stopping by! Chat with me in the comments! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Want me to review any of these individually? Let me know! 


10 January 2017

Review: Supergirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee

Supergirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Book Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 234
Synopsis: This groundbreaking new middle grade series follows DC Comics' most iconic female Super Heroes and Super-Villains . . . as highschoolers. At Super Hero High, the galaxy's most powerful teens nurture their powers and master the fundamentals of what it means to be a hero.

My Review:
I received Supergirl at Super Hero High from the publisher and this is my honest review.

Supergirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee follows a new student at Super Hero High of course. The first book in this series followed Wonder Woman who works to control her powers and becomes student of the month. With this new title she becomes responsible for new student, Supergirl which is what the second book focuses on.

I love that in the beginning of the story we get background on Kara (supergirl) before jumping into her time at Super Hero High. This happened with Wonder Woman as well which I enjoyed a lot. It makes for a more interesting read to be able to understand where our characters are coming from and what their background was before coming to her new high school.

I feel similarly to this book as I did to the last one in the way Supergirls character acted. I understand that she is young and just learning how to use her powers but some of the time she just seemed stupid and naive. Maybe it's just me, but I didn’t picture these superheroes to be so naive, I picture them being smart and in tune with whats going on around them, and I didn’t get that from Supergirl. But like I said above she is getting to know her powers, and missing her parents a lot. So maybe the slightest bit of naive would come through but not this much.

I also was disappointed that Supergirl and Wonder Woman did not have as strong of a relationship as I thought they would. At the end of the first book, and beginning of this one the Principal tells the entire school that Wonder Woman will be taking Supergirl under her wing. This leads me to believe there would be some kind of relationship, but instead Supergirl becomes close with Barbara Gordon. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I like that it builds up to the next book in the series, but I wanted to see how Wonder Woman and Supergirl were going to get along.

I did enjoy the investigation of the Boom Tubes throughout the story because I found myself being able to solve it right along with the superheroes which I love doing. With the clues given about who was trying to break in, I had a few people in my mind for awhile, but then started to catch little things that a certain someone was doing and knew exactly what was going on. Yee did a great job giving readers the tools that they needed to solve the mystery. 

Imagination Designs