The Sunday Post #53

The Sunday Post #53

sunday post,meme

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

Welcome to The Sunday Post that almost wasn't. I'm on vacation and trying to create a post via phone or iPad is an exercise in patience (or madness). The Blogger app crashes every few minutes, I started from scratch numerous times, and it's a wonder I didn't just chuck the phone into the pool. I think the gorgeous view is the only thing that saved my sanity. 😜

That being said, you'll understand why this week's post is extremely abbreviated. And if there is a single link, photo or graphic... be impressed. Be very impressed. 😂

The Husband and I are at our favorite resort for our yearly R&R getaway. No plans, no outings - just a week of total relaxation. Lazy days by the pool with books in hand. This is my happy place. 

If I manage to get a post up this week it'll be a small miracle but y'know, stranger things have happened. 😉 Otherwise I'll see you all *next* Sunday. Hope you have a fantastic week!

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
You know I want to hear about it! :)

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I Want to Read More From

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey.
Click HERE for a complete list of participants and future topics.
I love this week's topic! Because there are several authors that I really want to read more from. I've read one or two books from them, loved what I read, and now want to gobble up their entire backlist. Here are my Top 5 picks.
*Note: The title of this post has me about to break out in hives. It feels all kinds of wrong to end with a preposition (horrors!) but I couldn't think of a better way to phrase it without sounding overly formal. Just know that if it's bugging you, it's bugging me, too.

One True Loves was one of my favorites of 2016. I was hooked from the first page and fell in love with Reid's story telling. Now I'm ready to read everything she's written. Thankfully, I already have several on my shelves just ready and waiting - Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever Interrupted.
I downloaded the audio book of Rule on a whim and then proceeded to listen to the entire Marked Men series. While I wouldn't necessarily call them favorites, they were truly good entertainment. Enough so that I definitely want to read more from Crownover. I hope to start the Saints of Denver series soon.

From Sand to Ash was my first read of 2017 and my first 5 star read of 2017. Harmon created something truly special with that novel - totally immersive and incredibly emotional. I'll be reading Making Faces from her very soon and I'm expecting all the feels.

Last summer I received an ARC for Swear on This Life by Carlino and loved it. Before the year was up I picked up Before We Were Strangers and my love for Renee Carlino was a done deal. Now I can't wait to inhale everything she's written. Luckily I have a couple on my shelf to dive into. 

When I finally read The Deal last year I remember kicking myself for putting it off as long as I did. And now I'm still kicking myself for not continuing the Off Campus series, or anything else by Elle Kennedy (well, with the exception of her collabs with Sarina Bowen, Him and Us). I'm dying to read the rest of the Off Campus series and anything else Elle Kennedy writes.

What author do you want to read more from?

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me NOT Want to Read a Book

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme 

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme is all about book turn-offs. 
The things that make you instantly not want to read a book. 

Lack of Communication or Miscommunication
My least favorite trope ever. If the synopsis gives even an inkling that the plot is based around one big misunderstanding, I. Am. Out. Do not base your entire plot around a situation that could be resolved in 2.5 minutes if only your characters, oh I don't know, talked

Unreliable Narrator
Think Mara Dyer. I'm not entertained/intrigued by an unreliable narrator, I just feel cheated and annoyed. Hard pass.

Magical Realism
Not a fan. I enjoy contemporary. I sometimes enjoy fantasy. But I don't like the two to mix. No fantasy/magic in my contemporary fiction, thankyouverymuch.

Disliked an Author's Previous Work
Yeah, second chances are nice and all that but chances are if I dislike a book by a particular author I'm done. There are way too many books that I'm truly excited to read to waste time on the "maybe it will be better" ones.

Dismal Reviews
Sure it's best to form your own opinion, but if I see negative reviews from people I trust and a low GoodReads rating odds are that I'm going to pass.

Small Children or Animals
Okay, go ahead and get your rotten tomatoes ready. But I'm not a kid person. And I'm not an animal person. So if I know in advance that there's going to be a precocious little moppet or man's best friend that plays a large part in the book, I'm not picking it up.

Ugly Cover
Because I'm shallow like that. But who wants a book with an ugly cover? And the worst are the totally amateurish, badly Photoshopped ones. Ugh.

Ridiculous/Cheesy Titles
It may be the best story, but if it has a stupid/cheesy/punny title I'm not picking it up. Some cringe-worthy examples: Sweet Cheeks, Tapping the Billionaire, The CEO's Unexpected Child, Hot as Puck, The Cad and the Co-Ed, Grin and Beard It. Just no.

Written in Verse
Nope, not a fan.

When a book is overly hyped I tend to immediately take a giant step back. Sometimes it lives up to it but too often I have caved to the hype, even when I've been iffy about the book to start with, and been majorly disappointed. 

What's your bookish turn-off?  

The Sunday Post #52

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

This past week has been crazy busy and the blog definitely reflected that with only two posts. This is when blogging ahead would have come in handy and I could have scheduled a few pre-written reviews or something. But that would mean I was all organized and actually blogged ahead. Bahaha! I'm not all that hopeful that this week will be less busy but maybe I can manage more than two posts. I mean, who needs sleep, amiright? :) 

Monday, April 17
Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Thursday, April 20

Wicked (AUDIO) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Forever With You (Wait For You #5) - Jennifer L. Armentrout

Letters to the Lost - Brigid Kemmerer
Murder of Crows (AUDIO) - Anne Bishop

Lifers - Jane Harvey-Berrick
Trophy Wife - Alessandra Torre
When It Rains (Rains #1) - Lisa De Jong
A Different Blue - Amy Harmon


How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
You know I want to hear about it! :)

That's What He Said Thursday #32

(graphic created by Kei at The Lovely Pages Reviews)

That's What He Said Thursday is a weekly meme created 
and hosted bChapter Break. It's a fun way to share a quote 
from a favorite book boyfriend (aka male protagonist) to his girl.
For more info, visit Chapter Break here.
My recent re-read of Wicked still has me swooning and laughing 
over all the great dialogue. Here's one of my favorites that 
showcases just how flirty Ren can be.

Do you enjoy paranormal romance?

Review: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Series: No

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Release Date: April 18, 2017

Format: eARC

Source: Edelweiss

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

From Katie Cotugno, bestselling author of 99 Days, comes Fireworks—about a girl who is competing with her best friend to become the new pop star of the moment—and all the drama and romance that comes with it—set in Orlando during the late-'90s boy-and-girl-band craze.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

Having just graduated high school, Dana is faced with a bleak future: a lousy home life in a dead-end town. When she tags along with her best friend Olivia for an audition for a new girl group, no one is more shocked than Dana when she's chosen. Now thrust into a new situation with girls who are hungry for fame, Dana finds the bonds of friendship tested in ways it never was before. 

I was excited for Fireworks because (1) I really enjoyed Cotugno's 99 Days and (2) the 90's setting screamed nostalgia. I was well beyond the girl/boy band craze during their heyday but I still remember the time well. While the 90's vibe wasn't particularly strong, Fireworks was still a (mostly) enjoyable read.

Dana was a likable character for the most part and I empathized with her feelings of inadequacy when she compare herself to the other girls who had years of training and practice behind them. She felt as though she was the weakest link and, well, she was. And yet she seemed almost belligerent when this was pointed out or when the coaches were hard on her. Dana seemed to vascillate between "I'm only here to make some bank and stay close to my BFF" and "I'll show them, I'm going to be the best!" So her motivation seemed murky and could change chapter to chapter. Dana also seemed to have a chip on her shoulder about coming from the wrong side of the tracks and made snap judgments about others, assuming they all had charmed lives and came from perfect homes.

Dana had always been able to count on Olivia but as the competition heated up their friendship felt the strain. Instead of keeping them together, the new adventure seemed to be tearing them apart. Dana turned to boy band member Alex, who lived in the same apartment complex and was coached by the same Svengali-like producer. Even though Alex fell into the TGTBT (Too Good To Be True) category, it was impossible not to fall for his good guy charm. He was sweet and funny and genuinely supportive of Dana.

It was hard to understand why Dana was chosen to be part of the group. With no training, no experience (and apparently no real desire to perform), how did she manage to be plucked from obscurity? More than one character made reference to her having "that certain something" but I never fully understood how she managed to pull it off and what made her so special. A despite the girl band theme, there definitely wasn't any evidence of girl power. These girls turned on one another in the blink of an eye and it was all about climbing to the top.

Fireworks was interesting and entertaining but overall a pretty middle of the road read for me. I appreciated the potential but ultimately felt a disconnect with the main character.


Note: This title was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Can you enjoy a book if you don't connect with the main character?

The Sunday Post #51

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

I found myself in Barnes & Noble yesterday, wandering the aisles, noting all the new releases, admiring all the pretties, and at one point had 4 books in hand: Alex Approximately, Given to the Sea, Letters to the Lost and Wintersong. I ended up putting all but one back. Now I'm wondering why I didn't just treat myself and buy them all? I hardly ever do that so why not? Do you do that, too? Get in the habit of denying yourself and then wonder why? LOL 

The blogoversary giveaway ended and the winner was Sam K. Sam won a book of her choice (up to $20 USD). Congrats Sam! Thanks to everyone who entered and for the support. It means so much.
Monday, April 10
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Tuesday, April 11 
Top Ten Tuesday:
Well Aren't You Special! (Most Unique Books I've Read)

Friday, April 14 
Sound Bites Audio Book Reviews:
The Serpent King and Tell Me Three Things 

The Sea of Tranquility - Katja Millay
Dream of You (Wait For You #4.5) - Jennifer L. Armentrout

Murder of Crows (AUDIO) - Anne Bishop
Wicked (AUDIO) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Forever With You (Wait For You #5) - Jennifer L. Armentrout

*It would seem that I'm on a JLA kick this week. :)

Alex, Approximately - Jenn Bennett
I've been crazy excited for this one and a well-timed
 Barnes & Noble coupon meant it had to be mine.

The Gravity of Us - Brittany Cherry
Living with Regret - Riann Miller
Monster in His Eyes - J.M. Darhower

Wicked - Jennifer L. Armentrout
White Hot Kiss - Jennifer L. Armentrout


How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
You know I want to hear about it! :)