If book covers had a run at Fashion Week

The internet is abuzz with images from the various Fashion Weeks right now. I cannot even get on Pinterest without seeing rolled jeans and fancy shoes, or outfits so outlandish no sane person would dare wear. (Although I am liking Carrie Underwood's new yoga line, Calia. That's MY kind of style.)

Fashion comes and goes for me. Some trends I embrace, many others I just wrinkle my nose at. I live in Florida; leather anything will never happen. But what I do love is a pretty book cover. I can't help it. If I walk by a window display of books, my eye is instantly drawn to the colors and textures. Add some sparkle and I'm steaming up the window as I stare.

So what if book covers had a run at Fashion Week? What might we see sauntering down the cat walk?

Some of the hot trends of today have already been all over books covers. All white attire? We've got that covered...

The One (The Selection, #3)   A Wounded Name

All black? Been there and done that too.

      Passion (Fallen, #3) Some Boys   

Even the winter florals are not new to us. 

Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place, #1)

We even made CAPES a thing before Paris. 

The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)  Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms, #3)

Leather and fur? Old news. 

Ice  Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow  Shadow Sight (Ivy Granger, #1)

So maybe the designers and trend setters have just been stalking the shelves for inspiration all this time?

Minute Review: Geek Girl (Holly Smale)

Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1)Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?



This book was absolutely hysterical and the perfect modernized ugly duckling story.

Harriet has to be one of the best main characters of all time. She was hysterical. Living inside of her head felt like my daily life, except she has more adventures.

I am so glad I decided to buy this one when it was a Kindle Daily Deal. I don't think I would have known about it otherwise, and I would have certainly missed out. The plot is quick and full of all kinds of antics. I never stopped laughing. I need to get the rest of these ASAP so I can see what happens to Ms. Manners and the swoon worthy bloke she keeps running into.

Review: Song of Summer (Laura Lee Anderson)

Song of SummerThe thirteen qualities of Robin’s Perfect Man range from the mildly important “Handsome” to the all-important “Great taste in music.” After all, Westfield’s best high school folk musician can’t go out with some shmuck who only listens to top 40 crap. When hot Carter Paulson walks in the door of Robin’s diner, it looks like the list may have come to life. It’s not until the end of the meal that she realizes he’s profoundly deaf.

Carter isn’t looking for a girlfriend. Especially not a hearing one. Not that he has anything against hearing girls, they just don’t speak the same language. But when the cute waitress at Grape Country Dairy makes an effort to talk with him, he takes her out on his yellow Ducati motorcycle.

Told in first person alternating perspectives, language, music, and culture go along for the ride as Carter and Robin find their song. 

I had high hopes for this one. Such high, high hopes. Unfortunately, I was left a bit disappointed.

I have mixed feelings on the characters. I like Carter. Robin is ok. Some people might like Robin but she just didn't mesh with me for some reason. There really isn't anything wrong with Robin per se but I just did not like her much at all in some parts of the book. The musical references were over the top, even for someone that "loves music more than life". And this, is what probably put me over the edge. I get it; music is that thing they can't really share in the same way. It's like the line in the sand that they have to overcome (and really it's Robin). But even with her deep love of music all the references were too much. I don't keep current on pop culture, so most of them were lost on me anyway. But I was proud of myself for getting the Emmylou reference by First Aid Kit.

Now, Carter was unique. I felt the author did a great job capturing his personality and making him believable. She was on point when she wrote Carter, no doubt. His story was a very interesting look into what it's like being deaf and how people treat you. I do not know anyone that is considered deaf, but I would imagine his reactions were realistic. The only thing that left me wondering more about was how he was able to ride the motorcycle. I know there was an explanation thrown in there, but I guess it didn't make much sense to me? For whatever reason, it didn't stick.

So, I was pretty crazy in love with this book until the end. Everything mentioned so far was minor and didn't bother me too terribly much. Not enough for me just to say it was so-so anyway. But then the ending happened. I was infuriated by the ending! No sense of closure at all. I know life doesn't always give you closure, especially in the summer romance department, but this was crazy. You're left to speculate what might happen. Maybe I'm being overly critical, but I feel those kind of endings are a bit of an escape for authors to write. (Then again, some people love imagining their own version of happily ever after.) 

In a nutshell, it was a pretty good read. It's certainly different, which is refreshing. I don't rank it as a favorite like I hope, but it's certainly something I would recommend.

Minute Review: The Mermaid's Sister (Carrie Anne Noble)

The Mermaid's SisterThere is no cure for being who you truly are…In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian, Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie’s healing potions; by night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara’s favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O’Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree.

One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister’s skin: Maren is becoming a mermaid and must be taken to the sea or she will die. So Clara, O’Neill, and the mermaid-girl set out for the shore. But the trio encounters trouble around every bend. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening Maren.

And always in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, if my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?

This comes down to being a powerful coming of age story and learning about your place in the world. 

What I loved most about the book was its beautiful writing. It almost had a lyrical quality to it. The descriptions were not overdone and perfectly placed to enhance the story. 

The characters were interesting too. The back story of some of the characters develops slowly, which adds to the air of mystery and magic that seems to swirl among these pages. Clara's insecurities and love for her sister--despite the fantasy elements-- made their relationship believable. She has to learn to deal with unrequited love, as well as understand where she fits in the world. These are not easy tasks for anyone regardless of their age. Because of her very real emotions, she felt the most real despite living in a world full of magic.

Dear Opl Blog Tour

Dear Opl
Shelley Sackier
August 4, 2015; ISBN 9781492608592

Displaying 9781492608592-PR.JPG
Title: Dear Opl
Author: Shelley Sackier
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

There are three things Opl never expected to do during the eighth grade:
● Start a vendetta against celebrity check Alfie Adams, the “Nude Food Dude”
● Take yoga classes with her grandpa
● Become a famous blogger
But after a year of shrinking down her personality to compensate for the fact that her body’s getting bigger, Opl thinks it’s about time to start speaking up again. What she doesn’t expect is that everyone actually starts to listen…

Buy Links:

About the Author:
Displaying Shelley Sackier author photo.jpg Shelley Sackier is an author and blogger who writes about the everyday ordinary grand slams and gruesome snafus in completing the Herculean task of raising two healthy human beings. Ultimately she hopes to impart the necessary knowledge of how to balance their checkbooks and pay their taxes. Here greatest hope is to discover that parallel universes are a reality, and that somewhere she is living a life where her children have agreed to occasionally make eye contact with her. They live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

You can read more of her work, illustrated by Robin Gott, at Peakperspective.com

Social Networking Links:
Excerpt from Dear Opl:

First blog entry:
My name is Opl, I’m thirteen years old, and this is my blog. My mom wants it to be a food journal. A log of chow. But I can’t see that being a good idea at all. Then it would just be a catalog of crimes. My grandfather says I should use it to write about things that make me angry. He says it’ll be more interesting than listing everything I eat. It’s true. Anything would be more interesting than that. And because I know my mom will never read this, I might as well unbolt the floodgates.
Number one. No more Tylenol syrup. It’s now pills. That sucks.
Number two. Kids who don’t wash their hands after they go to the bathroom. I see it all the time and it’s disgusting. Everything you touch in school has already been touched by somebody else who didn’t wash their hands. It is the world’s most super-gross thing. Except for seeing grown-ups kiss. That’s grosser.
Number three. Getting in trouble for falling asleep in my boring history class. Pinching doesn’t work. Wiggling gets me snapped at. And you can’t listen to our teacher’s voice. It’s a soft, buzzy drone. Within thirty seconds, it feels like my brain is being sucked out of my skull. My eyes spin around to the back of my head just before my chin slides off my hand. Last week I had to walk around looking only to the left for two days because I wrenched a neck muscle.
Finally, I’d like to complain about our school’s new lunch menu rule as of today. Last year my lunch was perfect. Monday through Friday at exactly 11:50, my grade went to the cafeteria. My plate held a double cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, and extra mayo—­pickle on the side. I also had cheese fries with extra cheese—except on Fridays, it was chili fries. And finally, I adored my jug of chocolate milk. I loved that lunch. I needed that lunch. And now someone has taken away the chocolate milk and replaced it with plain.
I asked one of the lunch ladies if there was more in the back, but she just shook her white-­netted hair at me.
“Well, where’s the strawberry milk?”
She pressed her lips together.
“Did the milkman run out? Why are we short?” I wanted to bang my tray on the counter. This needed fixing. And fast.
Another woman leaned over the cash register and barked, “New state policy. No. Flavored. Milks.”
“What?” I actually thought my shoulders were going to fall down to where my elbows hung. I was that disappointed. I’d been hearing the annoying buzz about some schools around us making changes like this. But not my school. My school was fine the way it was.
Tomorrow I’ll bring in a container of Hershey’s syrup and store it in my locker until lunchtime. “Never mind,” I told the lunch ladies. “Today I’ll have a blue Gatorade.”
I can think of a bunch of other stuff I’m all huffy about these days, but it’s getting late. I’m not sure how I feel about this bloggy thing, mostly because Mom has high hopes pinned on its big ole donkey butt. It’s no different than the rest of my silly diaries. Except now my bellyaching is electronic.

Later gator,

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Forever for a Year (B.T. Gottfred)

Forever for a YearWhen Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other.  They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences.  When they’re together, nothing else matters. But one of them will make a choice, and the other a mistake, that will break what they thought was unbreakable. Both will wish that they could fall in love again for the first time . . . but first love, by definition, can’t happen twice.

Told in Carolina and Trevor's alternating voices, this is an up-close-and-personal story of two teenagers falling in love for the first time, and discovering it might not last forever.
I can't even give this book a rating because I cannot decide if this is a realistic portrayal of immature high school freshmen (tragic for our future if so) or the biggest waste of anyone's time.  These characters were annoying! I fought with the desire to stop reading many times. Since I am flip flopping on my opinion of this book, I'm going to just say what was good about it and what was less than desirable. You can decide from there.  The good: I'll get back to you on this.Okay, there is one glimmer of something positive I could find for Forever For a Year. Let it serve as a lesson on unprotected sex and unplanned for pregnancy in children that think they are ready to be adults. Trevor and Carolina had a quick realization of how being careless can change your entire future. That's a pretty good lesson to learn.    The bad:The characters. Are children really this obnoxious? I swear I don't remember being so bad when I was this age. Carolina is the worst. Trevor isn't much better, but he has a slight edge through most of the book. Trevor is supposed to be a year older than Carolina (15ish) but he's an immature trying to pretend to be mature 15. Caroline thinks she's older than 14 and most people treat her like she is. But do not forget that these are kids, and Carolina is just a baby. You can't pretend away age. Forever For a Year might have been better if the characters were a bit older. They found themselves with an awful lot of freedom and lack of parental supervision for such a young age. In fact, the majority of their time together felt more like the interactions between 16/17 year olds and not kids that could barely drive. That right there made this very unbelievable for me. Then, you add in their inner voices and I wanted to just slap them both. Carolina was the most annoying character I think I have ever encountered. I just cannot express my extreme dislike for her enough. She was needy, whiny and had to rehash everything in her head a million times before we could move on. It takes a certain level of patience as a reader to get through that. If that isn't bad enough, these characters fell deeply in love in the matter of sentences. Not pages, sentences. The rest of the book from that point on (and it was early in the book) was all about how they were soul mates and how much they loved one another. I rolled my eyes many times. Many, many times.  The friendships in this book are pretty silly as well. Peggy drifts away from prudish Carolina pretty quickly, which makes me think they weren't that great of friends to begin with. But, unfortunately, that is fairly believable because people do change. Carolina also spends a lot of time commenting on the actions of others, but does not recognize she's doing the same things. The disguise of "love" totally justifies everything she does. Honestly, Carolina really comes across as a bit pathetic and very needy. She doesn't even try to understand what's going on with Peggy. Instead, she jumps to other girls. One of which loans her a dress for a party and suddenly the she-devil is the most interesting girl in school that she wants to get to know and be friends with? Lame. I guess there are more things in the bad category than the good. This book had potential, but it was so poorly executed. I think I deserve an award for actually finishing it (and thank goodness it only took a few hours to read). I'd be pretty mad if I wasted days on this books instead of a few hours, even though those hours could have been better spent reading something else.   

Review: A Breath of Frost (Alyxandra Harvey)

A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy, #1)In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld.

Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.

Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?

Do not give up on this one!

When I started this book, I made it about 2 pages. Then I stopped and it sat on my Kindle for well over a month. In fact, it sat untouched for so long, it disappeared off Netgalley. I almost didn't go back to it, but I decided to give it a try with fresh eyes. I am so glad I did!

A Breath of Frost ended up being very good! I'm not really sure what I thought it would be about, but I was pleasantly surprised by the message of sticking by family that I found. The unlikely heroines had some major road blocks to overcome, but they did it together. Each character had a unique role, but when they were in the scenes together the story became so much richer. 

I have to mention the setting too. One of my favorite time periods for a book! That was a huge plus. Also a plus, was the way the multiple POVs were handled. Usually, I'm not a big fan of this technique because the voices all end up sounding the same. But, it was done really well in A Breath of Frost.   

I highly recommend this one for fans of paranormal books. Alyxandra Harvey has done a fabulous job of creating a unique setting with surprising characters during a time period that seems to be overflowing with potential enchantment.  

Review: The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)

The Fault in Our StarsDespite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

At first, I did not know what to think of this book. My original opinion based on the first 50 pages or so was "eh". In fact, when I described what I had read so far to a co-worker (whose teenage daughter raved about this book) she said, "Sounds cheesy." And to be completely honest, she was right. But I kept reading anyway, and ignored the temptation to give up on the book and watch the movie instead.

Now that I've finished the book, I can say with all sorts of authority that I do not have that The Fault In Our Stars is one of those books that gets better after you read it. Don't give up on the book.

With that being said, do I think this book is worth the hype it gets? Nope. Not at all. I still think it's overrated. Horribly overrated, actually. As far as books in this genre go, I still say that Wendy Wunder's The Probability of Miracles (read the review here) trumps The Fault in Our Stars. If this were a cage match, Wunder's book would be taking home the gold belt in the categories of readability, witty banter between characters, and swoon worthiness.

So what made me drop TFIOS down a few notches? Frankly, the wordiness. I like that Gus and Hazel bonded over a book. For a reader, that's a win. Unfortunately, there were many book quotes and long excerpts in the TFIOS that could have been cut without ever affecting the plot. I found myself skimming through those parts because they just felt too heavy and borderline pretentious. I'm even going to go out on a limb and say the younger teenage readers that are fangirling over this book didn't even fully understand the role of those sections or their intended meanings. Not because teenage readers aren't smart enough to figure it out (they are), but because they subconsciously realized how wordy and unnecessary those lines were, and never spent the time to try to chew through the fat to find the purpose.

I had a few more issues with this book that are pretty hard for me to overcome as well. The time span of this book is not terribly long. So when I find the two characters professing their love for another in that matter of days, I've got problems. Even if these are kids that fall into love as often as I change shoes, it still made me roll my eyes. Especially since Hazel gives off the impression of being more mature and wiser than her young age should allow for. Maybe this was just me, but it seriously bothered me.

Now, what did keep this book from the pits of Tartarus was Gus and the blind mutual friend. Everyone talks about Hazel, but I'm not sure if these guys get enough credit. Maybe they do. Hazel was witty at times, but I feel like she plays a supporting role to Gus's show-stopping performance. You better have tissues for the final 50 pages of this book. Gus will steal your heart. Their mutual friend is equally important in my opinion. A great deal of attention is spent on Hazel and Gus, but there was a lot of good lessons and powerful moments for the friend. He deserves more credit.

Overall, I'm a bit torn by this book. I think it's more powerful after you read it-- one of those books that lingers for a bit so you can soak it all in. But, I don't think it's the best in the genre. If you find yourself disagreeing with me, check out Wendy Wunder's The Probability of Miracles. You might change your opinion. 

Review: Shadowlands (Kate Brian)

Endless (Shadowlands, #3)An unthinkable betrayal threatens everyone Rory loves in the third installment of our dark, thrilling Shadowlands series from New York Times best-selling author Kate Brian.

Rory Miller didn't just fall in love with Tristan Parrish. She fell in love with the idea of forever. He was the one who told her the truth about her existence in Juniper Landing: that her mortal life is over, and she will now spend eternity on the island, helping others in limbo move on.

But like Juniper Landing, a bright island with dark secrets, Tristan is too good to be true. The mysterious, heartbreakingly beautiful boy Rory thought she knew is responsible for unthinkable evil-sending good souls to the Shadowlands in order to get himself a second chance at life on Earth. He has already claimed Rory's friend Aaron and her own father, but when SPOILER Tristan sends her sister, Darcy, to the Shadowlands, too, Rory decides to take matters into her own hands. She will do anything to save her family, even if it means going to hell and back. 

It should not be a surprise that I really enjoy this series. I thought Shadowlands was amazing-- the twist ending left me with my jaw on the ground. That meant, of course, I had to read Hereafter. As I mentioned in my review of Hereafter (go ahead and click those links and read for yourself), the plot gets more predictable as the series goes on.

If Hereafter is the slump in the series, Endless makes up for it with all of its surprises. Overall, I think this was a decent conclusion to the series. I'm not too happy with the love triangle that emerged (or how it ended), but put that aside and the plot is pretty solid.

In typical Kate Brian fashion, there are more twists than you can count, and I feel pretty safe to say you won't figure them all out. The final twist didn't hit me until a few pages away from the big reveal, so that's always a good sign. I'm still mulling over that one a bit, however; trying to decide if I think it's cheesy or not. For now, though, I'm okay with it.

If you've been reading this series, I think you will be satisfied with the ending. If you are new to Kate Brian's series, you should definitely check it out! I am not a fan of mysteries, but this one has a twinge of mythology, plenty of plot twists, and just enough creepiness to keep me flipping the pages. It's worth the read.

Minute Review: Spelled (Betsy Schow)

SpelledFairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

I've said it before and I will say it again: I love retellings. Spelled was a great addition to the genre. It has everything a good retelling should have: new characters, familiar characters, humor, and pizzazz.

It should go without saying that Spelled is a fun read! It's overflowing with word play humor, which I adore. It also has quirky humor and interesting characters. I enjoyed reading through the novel and finding essential Oz items, and then finding them revisited in very original ways. (LOVED the Hans Christian Louboutin shoe reference.)

While there were "familiars", Oz was still retold in a fresh way. So, don't go into the book thinking you know what will happen. I guarantee you will find many surprising elements you did not expect. That is one of the things that makes Spelled unique on its own, even if it wasn't a retelling.

Also, for fans of plot twists, get ready. There are plenty! Lessons are learned, hearts are broken, narrow escapes made-- all the elements needed for a perfectly delightful summer read!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Grab my Button

Flashlight Reader

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader) has read 0 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Rating System

Rating System

Blog Roll