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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Waiting on Wedensday: Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage
By: Joy N. Hensley
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Good Reads

Summary:

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty...no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

Thoughts:

I first heard about this book during tea time, a weekly livestream on youTube by Epic Reads. This book sounds really unique I have never seen a YA book about a girl in military school. I also love that Sam is breaking down gender barriers in such a unique way. i can't wait for this book to be released.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (1)

Stacking The Shelves, a weekly meme hosted Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves.


This week, a bunch of the holds I had at the library came in so I have a huge library haul.

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally I loved Stealing Parker and am excited to read another book by this author.
Taste Test by Kelly Fiore I love books that center around cooking.
Killer Instinct by S.E. Green This book has been on my TBR list for a while and the author has a great twitter.
Pointe by Brandy Colbert  I love a book about ballet and real life problems.
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith I loved both the other books by this author and am excited to read this one.
Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl by Emily Pohl-Weary I don't tend to like werewolf books but this one sounds interesting.
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin I heard about this one on Tea Time on the Epic reads youTube.
Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon I love books that have techie/ hacker vibe so I'm excited to start this trilogy
Various Positions by Martha Schabas Similar to Point I love books about dancing/ dancers.

What books did you get this week? Have you read any of these?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Today I'm linking up with Jill of Breaking the Spine for Waiting on Wednesday. I can't wait to read Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.

Isla and the Happily Ever After
Stephanie Perkins
Expected Release: August 14th 2014
Good Reads

Summary:


From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.


Thoughts:


I loved Anna and the French kiss when I read it. I can't wait for a new book from Stephanie Perkins. I really liked Josh in French kiss and can;t wait to see how his character develops in a new book. It also takes place in NYC and Paris two of my favorite cities, so that should be interesting to read about.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: Dirty Little Secret

Dirty Little Secret
Jennifer Echols
Format: hardback from library
Good Reads

Summary:


Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Review:


Dirty Little Secret has been on my to read list for a long time now. I finally found it at the library the last time I went and just had to get it even if I was already getting 3 books in addition to the countless others I had already checked out (I love the library). The story centers around Bailey an awesome fiddle player whose parents have banned from playing. However her Grandfather gets her a minor gig at a local mall. From there she gets re introduced to the music world that she used to love and lived in until a year before. Bailey’s life becomes compartmentalized between her family life and her music life. My initial reactions to the situation with here family was how could her parents choose the fame of one daughter over the other. Instead of negotiating for a way for Bailey to keep playing. I also thought that her sister was messed up for being okay with the situation and not talking to her sister, who was also her best friend. However, Bailey finds escape in the world of music where she can do the thing she truly loves. I loved watching her relationship with Sam develop as she spends more time with him. I also loved the other members of the band. While in the beginning  I found Charlotte to be a little possessive of Sam, even though they had broken up I still wanted her to succeed. I loved Ace, the Bassist, he was super down to earth but still provided the necessary reflection that the other characters needed. While sometimes the plot was a little predictable it was still enjoyable and unexpected at certain points. It was similar to other books to be comfortable. While still being different enough to keep me interested.
Overall, What I loved about the story was the unique idea of a fiddle player in Nashville. I also loved the believable and complex characters who had you on the edge of your seat hoping everything worked out in the end. I would recommend this to anyone who loves contemporary romances or music stories. This book will definitely have me seeking out more books to read by Jennifer Echols.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday: 8/1

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends.

Question: What is the biggest city you live near? Show us a postcard picture!

Answer:
San Francisco, CA!


I go to sf all the time during the summer for various festivals and sports games. I am a big fan of the giants baseball team. I try and go to at least three games a season.
I also love living in the area with all of the start ups and unique things happening in the area.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: How They Met and Other Stories

How They Met, and Other Stories
David Levithan
Format: Hardback from library
Good Reads

Summary:


Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a confection from David Levithan that is sure to appeal to fans of Boy Meets Boy. Here are 18 stories, all about love, and about all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down. What is love? With this original story collection David Levithan proves that love is a many splendored thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.



Review:


I really like how this book was a collection of essays. Sometimes, it felt like I was reading the beginning of some really awesome stories. Others it felt like I was getting a snap shot into the characters world. All the characters were unique and complex which is hard to get in only a few pages. Some of the most notable stories for me were …

  • Starbucks Boy. A simple series of meet cutes that play on the crush on the cute barista
  • The Number of People Who Meet on Airplanes. I love the magic of flying in an airplane and this story made me want to jump on an airplane asap.
  • Princes. Simply put I love any story about ballet. And in NYC and you have a sure winner in my book.
  • A Romantic Inclination. The math/ science nerd in me loved the use of physics terms in this story. even if it was a little confusing and lost me at some points, it still managed to get the story across .
  • Intersection. I feel like it was the story that tied all the other stories together. I also like the idea of fate that is expressed in the story. It manages to be philosophical while still explaining the characters story.

Though the others were also amazing.

I was not surprised by my love of this book. I have loved the other books I have read by David Levithan. I also tend to love books of essays that are almost like short stories. I would recommend this to anyone who like any of David Levithan’s other books. Or if you are looking for a book of love stories.



Friday, May 23, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday 1

The Feature and Follow blog hop is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read.

Question of the Week: Have you ever convinced someone to read a book, a series, or a whole genre? What book(s) and who was it? Did they like it?



I recommend books to my sister and fellow blog author, Liv all the time. When ever I find a book that I love the first thing I do is recommend it to her. I got her to read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; she really liked it and it got her interested in the whole nerdfighter/ vlogbrothers community. We are both super excited for the movie to come out next month. I also recommended the Hunger Games Divergent series to my whole family after reading the first book while at school. Even my mom enjoyed it and now trusts the suggestions I give her for books to read.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Get Even

This link up is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine and is where bloggers talk about upcoming book releases they are excited for.

Get Even
Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: September 16th 2014
Good Reads

Summary:

Follows the secretive exploits of four high school juniors - Kitty, Olivia, Margot and Bree - at an exclusive Catholic prep school.

To all outward appearances, the girls barely know each other. At best, they don't move in the same social circles; at worst, they're overtly hostile.

Margot Mejia – academically ranked number two in her class, Margot is a focused overachiever bound for the Ivy League.

Kitty Wei – captain of the California state and national champion varsity girls' volleyball team, she's been recruited by a dozen colleges and has dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal.

Olivia Hayes – popular star of the drama program, she's been voted "most eligible bachelorette" two years running in the high school yearbook and has an almost lethal combination of beauty and charm.

Bree Deringer – outcast, misfit and the kind of girl you don't want to meet in a dark alley, the stop sign red-haired punk is a constant thorn in the side of teachers and school administrators alike.

Different goals, different friends, different lives, but the girls share a secret no one would ever guess. They are members of Don't Get Mad, a society specializing in seeking revenge for fellow students who have been silently victimized by their peers. Each girl has her own reason for joining the group, her own set of demons to assuage by evening the score for someone else. And though school administration is desperate to find out who is behind the DGM "events", the girls have managed to keep their secret well hidden.

That is until one of their targets – a douchebag senior who took advantage of a drunk underclassman during a house party, videotaped it on his phone, and posted it on YouTube – turns up dead, and DGM is implicated in the murder.

Now the girls don't know who to trust, and as their tenuous alliance begins to crumble, the secrets they've hidden for so long might be their ultimate undoing.

Thoughts:

This book sounds a little like Pretty Little Liars, in the best possible way. I can't wait to see if the book lives up to the suspense created in the summary. The author's tweets about the book are also amazing and keep me in anticipation of its release.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Review: The Here and Now

The Here and Now
Ann Brashares
Format: E-book from Netgalley
Good Reads

Summary:

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.

Review:

Going in to this book I had high expectations for this book because I loved the Sisterhood of the Traveling pants series. They were and still are some of my favorite books (and movies). It also has a dystopian/ sci-fi feel to it which I generally love. That being said this book did not disappoint. 

One of my favorite parts of the book was the unique take on the recent dystopian-ish trend by creating a scary future that is riddled with illness but then setting the story in the present day. This was great because ten there was a clear connection between present conditions and the future. Rather than something happening in the not to distant future that causes most of the differences in the world. 

I also loved reading how Prenna's character develops and interacts with the current world. A big part of that was her relationship with Ethan. From the very beginning of the book you know that their relationship will play a crucial part in the book. I enjoyed their story because it wasn't just about Prenna falling for a guy but also about her interactions with the present world outside of her future refugee bubble. As Prenna begins to question the rules concerning Ethan, she also questions the the other rules and if the others have the futures best interest at heart.

Overall, I loved this story and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed other books by Ann Brashares or other popular futuristic YA novels like Uglies, Divergent, and Hunger Games.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Waiting on Wedensday: Breathe, Anne, Breathe

This link up is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe
Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: July 15th 2014
Good reads

Summary:

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

Thoughts:

I loved all the books by Miranda Kenneally that I have already read and this one sound awesome as well. I love that this one is about running. It also sounds like a great plot as Annie deals with her grief and the loss of Kyle and the introduction of Jeremiah's character. If this book is anything like Miranda Kenneally's other books I'm sure it will be amazing.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Book Review: A Life in Stitches

A Life in Stitches: Knitting My Way through Love, Loss, and Laughter
Rachael Herron
Format: Book
Good Reads

Summary:

In these 20 heartfelt essays, Rachael Herron celebrated romance novelist by day, 911 dispatcher by night, and founder of the hugely popular blog Yarnagogo.com shows how when life unravels there s always a way to knit it back together again, many times into something even better. Honest, funny, and full of warmth, Herron s tales, each inspired by something she knit or something knit for her, will speak to anyone who has ever picked up a pair of needles. From her very first sweater (a hilarious disaster, to say the least) to the yellow afghan that caused a breakup (and, ultimately, a breakthrough), every piece has a moving story behind it. This beautifully crafted and candid collection is perfect for the knitter who loves to read and the reader who loves to knit.

Review:

I read this book in about a day in a half when my wrist was hurting. It was the perfect antidote for my inability to knit for a while. I guess reading about another knitter's experience was a good substitute for knitting. I loved that most of the essays take place in Oakland, CA. I live and grew up in the area and my local yarn shop is the same as in the book. It was really interesting to see the local community though the eyes of someone else and relate to the stories. Some of my favorite of the essays were the ones where Rachel Herron talks about the online community of knitters, specifically those who read her blog. I definitely could relate to the closeness and realness of online friends even those you haven't met. One of my favorite thing about the book was that each essay was distinct and complete and perfect little snippet that could be read my it's self or in the book. I would recommend this book to any fellow knitters especially those who like Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's books.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday 4/30

Today, I'm linking up for Waiting on Wednesday which is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Expected publication: July 8th 2014
Good Reads

Summary:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Thoughts:

I can't wait for this book to be released. I loved Eleanor & Park and Fangirl (review to come) and would love to read more from Rainbow Rowell. The summary also looks really interesting with the past converging with the present. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review: Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley
Katherine Reay
Format: Paperback
Goodreads

Summary:

Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.

Review:

I first heard about this book when Peace Love Books reviewed it. I have wanted to read it ever since, so when I saw it at the library I grabbed it up right away.

One of my favorite things about the book was the format. The story is told though Sam's letters to Mr. Knightley. I am a total sucker for books that are a collection of letters, diary entries, or emails. I love that it breaks up the normal story telling and tells you what the narrator thinks of the situation.

The book is chalk full of references to classic literature, mainly Jane Austen. While the book reference books I have yet to read (like Jane Eyre) I could still understand what was meant by the reference. I especially loved that even Sam's anonymous benefactor is a reference to Jane Austen. Another thing I loved about the book was the premise of the book. I loved getting to see Sam change as she went through the Journalism program and struggle with the real world. Most of all what I loved about the book was the characters, especially Alex Powell. He is a real down to earth person despite being a best selling author. He genuinely cares about the people in his life including Sam. As he and Sam continue to become friends and sam gets to know him he become more and more perfect. I also loved the other characters in the book including Sam's classmates at Mendill who help to keep her honest and build new friendships outside of her books. Overall I thought this book was a great read. I would recommend it to anyone who loves Jane Austen or books about college life.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review: Fangirl

Fangirl
Rainbow Rowell
Format: Hardback from the library
Good Reads

Summary:

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review:

I have heard great things about Fangirl and Rainbow Rowell for along time especially when Eleanor and Park was really popular. Then when I read the summary on good reads I knew I had to read it.

I love the basic premise of the story. As a girl who loves several fandoms especially Harry Potter. This book was right up my alley. Add to that the awkwardness that is the first year of college and I loved the book before I had even read it. That being said the book did not disappoint. I really enjoyed this book and all the characters in it. I especially enjoyed Cath and how she seemed genuine in all her emotions. I also loved Cath's roommate, Reagan. She was exactly the kind of roommate I would have wanted in college and was a great catalyst for the transition Cath goes though in the book. She has a great sense of humor without feeling like she was only there for comedic relief. I also loved Cath's Dad and the whole storyline between Cath and him. I thought it really helped explain Cath's past and what her life was like before college.

Besides the characters of the book, I also loved how the book portrayed internet fandoms. I think their are a lot of active fandoms on the internet and that they are generally a really awesome place where people from all over the world can connect and talk about their love for a specific thing. I think in pop culture they are often portrayed as only for socially inept nerds and generally pretty lame. It was refreshing to see a book really bring out the positive light and true nature of fandoms.

The one thing I didn't enjoy about the book were the excerpts of Simon Snow books and Cath and her sisters fanfics at the beginning of each chapter. I thought they were unnecessary and didn't really add much to the story since there was no context for the scenes and they were from all over the books. They didn't really add anything and the book would have been the same without them.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book and can't wait to read more books by Rainbow Rowell. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in fandoms or books about college life and coming of age stories.


Welcome to Coffee Cups and Books


This is a place where we will share are thoughts on all things bookish. This will mainly consist of book reviews and linking up with different memes. This blog is written by two sisters with a passion for reading and a shared love for YA/ teen fiction. You could measure our lives by the number of books we've read and the number of used coffee cups. So pull up a chair and mug of something warm and read on.