Monthly Archives: February 2014

COVER REVEAL – The Soul Healer (The Silver Moon Saga #2) by Melissa Girogio

All right, Cherry Blossom and Maple Syrup-ers… (did I really just type Syrupers? I did). As many of you know, River and I are die hard, holy smokes, crazy fangirls of Melissa Giorgio’s The Sight Seer. It’s kinda hard not to be consider it has quirky characters, my favourite most aggressive female ever (seriously, Gabi’s aggression is adorbs) and swoon-worthy boys. There’s so much to love in the world of The Silver Moon Saga, so I am beyond delighted to share with you all the cover of The Soul Healer, book two!

Are you ready to see it?

…. ’cause I don’t think you can handle this.

Because this cover is too bootylicious for you babes.

…okay, enough with the inner Beyonce.

…I bring you…



Have I mentioned River and I are in love with this cover? I swear each one gets better and better with each reveal. Want to know what it’s about? Check out the blurb below:

It’s been two months since Gabi Harkins first learned of demons and the mysterious hunters who battle them. After discovering a few unbelievable surprises about herself, she simply wants to settle into a normal routine that involves dating her boyfriend Rafe Fitzgerald, hanging out with her friends, and eating lots of dessert. But when her peaceful life is destroyed by the ultimate of betrayals, Gabi must rely on her wits—and a few new crazy friends—to survive her hardest challenges yet.

The sequel to The Sight Seer combines action, romance, and a healthy dose of humor as Gabi struggles to learn the truth about the secrets that surround her life.

Does that not sound thrilling? I’ll admit, I was so sad when I finished the novella collection Melissa wrote. I need more Indiana Rafe in my life, but you know what? I can get behind this sequel and take it behind the middle school and… yeah that 30 Rock joke may not work here on this very PG-13 YA blog. In any case! Check out The Soul Healer when it releases on April 11th, 2014. Check out below a bit more about Melissa! 🙂

unnamed (1)Melissa Giorgio is a native New Yorker who graduated from Queens College with a degree in English. She’s always dreamed of being a writer and has been creating stories (mostly in her head) since she was a little girl. Also an avid reader, Melissa loves to devour thick YA novels. When not reading or writing, she enjoys watching animated films, listening to music by her favorite Japanese boy band, or exploring Manhattan.

ARC Review – The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

15751398Title:  The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Author: Leslye Walton 

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

Huge thank you to Candlewick Press and Netgalley for this ARC.

Sam’s Review:

So I want to share something that is misleading about The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender — it’s not actually about Ava Lavender. Yes she’s a young lady with wings, but the story really is more about her family history, particularly, about her grandmother and mother. For those curious, this is also a book made of 95% telling, and 5% showing, and that’s something I know that will not work for everyone.

What I loved about this book is the narration. Ava makes it so easy for the reader to fall into her voice and just take large glimpses of her family’s devastating history. Despise being a history, the book also weaves in fairy tale elements that add a rich layer of mystery to the story, one which isn’t necessarily easy to unravel. This book is dark, is even disturbing at times, and yet you never get the sense that hope doesn’t exist. If anything, Walton argues its there, just not always in the forms in which we look for it. I really appreciate that because I think people are going to read this and compare the level of tragedy to books like Angela’s Ashes, when really, it’s its own beast with a very different emotionally engagement level.

The letters also that Nathaniel sends are so heartbreaking and often were my favourite parts of the book. You get a lot of insight into how his character is treated and his relationship to the family and it just made me sad. Admittedly, the majority of this book is pretty much a downer, and yet it reads so quickly and with such ease that I read it all in one sitting. This is going to be one of those YA novels that doesn’t read like YA for a lot of readers and that too could be something in its favour or be what makes it falter. Truthfully, I loved the maturity and intrigue in this book — it’s how I knew I was enjoying it, turning the pages and not realizing how much I had actually read, it’s a good feeling.

I don’t want to spoil too much else about this book, it’s definitely got the appeal for those who love fairy tales and those who love historical fiction. It’s not a perfect book (I felt like parts of it wrapped up a bit too neatly at the end considering all the doom and gloom) and yet a lot of it still worked for me. This book has gorgeous prose, well defined and imperfect characters and a narrative style that I just jived well with. If you love quirky books that are tough to pin down, definitely check The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender out.

ARC Review – The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

nowTitle:  The Here and Now

Author: Ann Brashares

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Meet 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 she falls for Ethan Jarves. 

Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this. I’m writing this honest review to say thank you

River’s Review: 

Ugh, I am SO torn on my rating for this! I LOVED it, but the ending and the general plausibility of the time-travel stuff makes me feel that I can’t quite give it five stars. But this was SO GOOD. It was beautiful and lyrical and I could FEEL so much emotion coming out of it.

Generally I am not a time-travel fan. I spend most of my time stuck in paradoxes and loops and can’t actually focus on the story. This thankfully did not focus THAT MUCH on the mechanics of the time travel. There were a few times, towards the end, that I did get a bit lost in that and I was a little bummed because I had been enjoying NOT getting lost in the impossibleness of it all for so much of the story.

I love the way this story flowed. It’s very simple despite the levity of the actual events. It’s beautiful and romantic and some parts were SO TENSE that I couldn’t put it down.

I loved Prenna and Ethan’s relationship. It was subtle and lovely and so tragic. I loved the build up between them and how utterly perfect they were together.

I would have liked a little more resolution at the end, it just seemed to trail off. I mean, there are a lot of solutions and problems being solved but I just didn’t want it to end and would have liked a little bit more.

Having never read Brashare’s Traveling Pants series, I have no idea how this compares. I’m not sure if I’d be interested in picking those up now that I’m sold on her writing, but maybe in the future.

ARC Review – Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

17926775Title:  Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)

Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

Sam’s Review:

Huge thank you to Netgalley and Strange Chemistry for this ARC.

The Stolen Songbird is an all right book for the most part. It suffers from some awkward pacing issues, on top of some equally interesting, if blandly written ideas. I think for a lot of readers either the writing style is going to grab you and you will adore it, or be like me, and just doesn’t feel as invested in it as I should be.

I think my issue with this book is that I wanted more from it. More characterization, less one dimensional, awkwardly described characters who have motive, yet the motive doesn’t feel exciting or even interesting. That’s not to say it was bad, but when the plot was on it was great, but this novel suffers from a lot of bloating, and parts of it felt longer than it should have been. I do love the overall story about the girl with the angelic voice set to break a curse and failing, and I loved that she is forced to live among the trolls and ultimately find out her true purpose. These story aspects were great! And the book even has moments where it’s genuinely funny (if a touch corny), and there are parts that shine and are even really fun.

Cecile and Tristan are also super cute together. They have a really strong relationship that starts off rather awkwardly and yet they behave like a real couple. They fight, argue, make up, and there’s nothing really insta-lovey about their relationship. I think it helps that the secondary characters are also well woven into the story and adds to this relationship further, making the reader care about the predicaments of the characters. I did find it a bit odd that this novel shifts points-of-view considering Cecile’s POV dominates over Tristan’s. I thought it was even odder that I’d read five Cecile POVs and then one Tristan and then the cycle would repeat itself. I wish in a lot of ways that was more consistent because a lot of the time I would forget when the POV with shift to Tristan, which I feel was unfair to his character.

The Stolen Songbird is a decent debut, but it’s stuck being a bloated and predictable read at times which can definitely suck away some enjoyment the reader might have. The world is interesting and the characters are interesting enough, but the writing just often leaves a enough to be desired, and I found I struggled to really invest myself in the narrative. With the right reader The Stolen Songbird could be a real hit, but for me, it fell flat in too many places for it to be something I’d easily recommend.

ARC Review – Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

20448958Title:  Don’t Even Think About It

Author: Sarah Mlynowski


Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same. So stop obsessing about your ex. We’re always listening.

River’s Review:

Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this. I’m writing this honest review to say thank you

So I probably wouldn’t have picked this up if I hadn’t been pre-approved for it, but I’m glad that I read it. It was really fun! And such a fast read. I blew through half of this while I was stuck on the train for 2.5 hours the other morning.

Before reading this I had it in my head that only a few of the kids from the class that got the tainted vaccines ended up with telepathy, but I was wrong and it’s the ENTIRE CLASS (minus two students who aren’t there on flu vaccine day). Let me just say that I never get flu shots, so I miiiiight be missing out! Haha. But basically the entire class gets a flu shot at school and they end up with telepathic abilities.

I’m torn about the size of the cast. Part of me thinks that if only a few of the students had ended up with powers that the story would have a lot more depth. Instead we get some surface level issues for a handful of the students and we see how one girl goes from shy to confident, another popular girl falls hard when her secrets come out, our golden boy’s life falls apart, the smart girl uses her new abilities to advance herself, and the two side-kicks fall for each other. There are A BUNCH of other students and they just get side mentions (twins who finally gain their twin powers, a boy named Edward who wishes he was turning into a vampire, one kid who eats too much candy) these were funny, but just not really that important to the overall story.

Also, there really wasn’t a plot. They get the powers, they deal with them, and at the very end there’s some conflict and it’s resolved in a few seconds. The main story is just how they initially deal with the powers and how their lives change. It’s fun, but I found myself wondering what was actually going to HAPPEN around 70%.

I had A LOT of fun ‘listening’ to the thoughts of the non-telepaths. I loved how honest they were. I remember watching a movie once about a boy who suddenly gained telepathic powers and the thoughts he heard around him were SO DULL. These thoughts were funny! Parents thinking about their sex lives, narcissistic thoughts, evil thoughts… they were all there. A lot of them made me laugh.

So check this out if you like funny, quick reads that aren’t too deep or serious. This will make you think a bit and make you laugh!

Personal Post – Reading Slump, #WednesdayYA & Other Stuff

Reading Slump! BOO!

It’s funny and I totally never thought this could happen, but I hit a bit of a reading slump. It’s really odd when you go from finishing at least two books a week to not even finishing one. Part of the issue for me I think could have been the week (my family was celebrating the one year anniversary of my father passing away) or perhaps I just wasn’t reading the right type of book.

401454I’ve been working on a bookish feature for and I think part of my slump may be coming from the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of texts for it related to the idea of roleplaying and roleplaying games. That being said, I’m pretty sure it’s part of why I haven’t been able to find books that are just screaming for me to devour them. The last ARC I finished was The Tyrant’s Daughter and that was two weeks ago. That isn’t like me! Usually I’m pushing out reviews, reading my ARCs like a boss and providing content for you guys.

I think the slump could also be attributed to the pile of school work I have as well. I’m in my 16068341second year of my library technician program and I am loving it, but the work load is a bit killer. By the time I get home some nights I find myself curling up into my warm bed and sleeping than reading or gaming. It’s odd, but I am looking forward to our little Spring Break coming up.

17926775It hasn’t all been bad, truthfully the two books I’m reading are fairly long. I am also reading a shorter ARC that River has already completed and it seems to be the one sucking me in the most. The ARCs I am reading The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu, The Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen, while the book I am working through for the RPGamer feature is Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward. The RPGamer feature is coming along well and will probably be ready by the time my study week is over. I still have one more text after Villains that I need to complete, but we will see how it goes. I am actually enjoying both ARCs I am in the middle of, especially The Truth About Alice — that book really can suck you in and it begs the reader to really piece the “truth” together, so it’s very engaging. As for The Stolen Songbird, it’s a good book but a very slow burn. There’s a lot of cheesy humor, but the characters are pretty fun though so I keep forgiving the cheese factor as it appears. I’m about 50% through it so hopefully you’ll all see a review soon!

Truthfully what I am curious about is how you all deal with reading slumps? Do you just let the slump take hold or do you cycle through a bunch of things until one catches your interest?

Anywho… moving on!


13455782So I’ve mentioned #WednesdayYA Book Club before, which is run by @TheBookRat and @lizpatanders. The first month they got this book club running we read Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, which I was excited to read and it disappointed me. Funny enough, my beautiful co-blogger, River, had told me (knowing my taste very well) that I would not like the book, and she was right, yet… I COULDN’T STOP READING IT. For me, Shatter Me has really interesting, if awkward prose at times, the story doesn’t entire know what it is, and the characters are horrifically polarizing. As a reader it was a book that didn’t do enough right for me to love it and yet I couldn’t stop turning the pages, I couldn’t contain my desire to keep reading. To me this book is not good at all, but the fact that I want to read the sequels shows you how a polarizing book can sometimes leave a lasting impression. I only have two questions about this book: one, where are my ladies at?! and two: when can we see a spin-off adventure starring Kenji, aka the best character in Shatter Me?

ANYWHO… for the month of February, we are reading (and I have completed as of Monday Printnight), Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is another very polarizing YA read, mostly because the characters are a little on the problematic side. A good chunk of this book revolves around Kami hating on a poor, popular girl (poor as is not rich, not sad) Holly, yet her reasons always seemed so unjustified to me especially considering Holly is so darn nice to her. Kami’s behaviour in the book ranges from slut-shamming to obnoxious, to sympathetic oddly enough. Her negative qualities are awful and they stick out like a sore thumb, yet at the same time I think it’s interesting how Kami understands that what she is doing is wrong and ultimately tries to atone for it.

The majority of the setting and characters felt very cliche and one note. It’s weird how many people were gushing how unique this book is and yet I felt like I was reading a different book. I don’t hate Unspoken as the writing can be gorgeous when it wants to be and the characters are serviceable, if a touch one note (minus Kami), but I really struggled to connect with the characters at all and that’s usually a sign for me that a book is just eh and not amazeaballz.

And then there was Ash and Jared who were just… boring. They were so one note and bland that I really didn’t get the appeal of their characters. Male love interests have to work hard to win me over, and it’s usually because they are often written in a very one dimensional way. Much like Shatter Me this book also suffers from insta-love, though I’d argue Shatter Me at least has a lot more character development than Unspoken. I can totally see the appeal of Ash and Jared for some readers, but they just never did anything that struck my fancy and in fact their behaviour often made me dislike them more.

I feel like in terms of writing there is quality for the most part in Unspoken though a lot of the humor was so cheesy and out of place sometimes that I found myself face palming. On the other side of the coin when the humor worked, I did laugh and enjoy where the narrative was taking me. There is a good mystery story here, but I feel like halfway through the book the mystery really became second fiddle to the romance-paranormal… whatever you want to call it. I ended up rating Unspoken 3 STARS on Goodreads, but I’m unsure as to whether or not I’ll be continuing the series. If the library ends up getting the sequel, I may give ti a whirl, but it’s not a priority at this point.

Other Stuff! 

Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc 1Oddly enough, I mentioned I was in a reading slump. What I failed to tell you all is that my reading slump turned into a gaming binge. More particularly, I devoted some time to completing a visual novel called Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc which was recently release by NIS America last Tuesday for the PlayStation Vita. Danganronpa is Battle Royale meets Phoenix Wright in a morbid tale of kill or be killed. “Killing Games” or “Blood Sport” fiction is surprisingly huge in Japan (and was oddly a part of my university dissertation, yeah I’m odd). They love the idea of characters being placed in an unwinnable situation and fighting to destroy a mastermind of who has placed them in that situation.

Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc 3Interestingly this style of novel and visual novel  are slowly becoming huge in the Western Markets thanks to The Hunger Games, though I think Japan really takes this genre further by adding a heavy layer of horror and discomfort, something not a lot of YA has yet to touch. It’s an interesting genre to explore, but the mystery surrounding the events of Danganronpa are really why you should play it. It’s a game that plays to your inner fears, places you in uncomfortable situations and asks you to make decisions that could affect the life of someone else. What’s even more fascinating is that the overall message of fear and terror gets flipped on its head and the end result is something very rewarding, if completely unexpected. The gameplay is really second to the narrative and if your okay with texts like Battle Royale than Dangaronpa will feel like a cakewalk by comparison. If you enjoyed Phoenix Wright or have played the Zero Escape games, than definitely check out Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc!

Though I will admit, Monokuma does give me the willies. *shutter*

Everything *IS* Awesome

Benny_filmstill1Despite the looming sad feeling I’ve been facing, everything has been really darn awesome. I mean, I saw the LEGO Movie, that’s how awesome it is. My husband is a big LEGO nut, and to the point where we don’t even have children but I still buy him LEGO kits for Christmas and his birthday. Needless to say we went with a dear friend of ours and basically came out singing “Everything is Awesome” (which, Tegan and Sara rules, by the way) as well as screaming SPACESHIP! in the car. It’s a movie that isn’t what you expect right away and is better because of it. Totally worth checking out in the theaters in you can make the time for it.

The End? THE END!

This post has gone on long enough and while it probably lacks the entertainment factor of River’s awesomeness, I figured I’d share what’s been up with me the last few weeks and why perhaps you haven’t seen as many reviews or even content as of late. Sometimes life throws you curve balls, and sometimes it gives you creepy Teddy Bears. At the end of the day I leave you with this question: How Do You Deal With Reading Slumps? Please post in the comments as I’d love to hear your answers!

TTT – Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader

Sam’s Top Five

1. I never used to be a hardcore blogger, but I’ve always been a writer in a lot of ways. Unlike most of my friends who focus on fiction writing, I’ve often focused my attention to the technical side of writing, and I’ve done Games Journalism for the last six years of my life. Blogging is such a different experience because it’s a much more personal experience, and I get to be myself and actually use *I* without freaking out because it’s the golden no no in journalism. The personal side makes me feel a bit more comfortable, and it’s a comfort I’ve needed for a long while. I’ve always been a hardcore reader, though, which I’m sure scares a lot of people considering how fast I can devour a book.

2. I get to meet others who have similar interests. I’ve really enjoyed talking to and meeting a lot of other bloggers who have similar interests. I love been active in other people’s projects, and it was a real treat last year to participate in Austen in August Over @ The BooK Rat . It was nice to get out of my comfort zone and participate in something bloggish that wasn’t just for me.

3. Book Clubs! I LOVE them. I miss having a physical book club, but I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the three clubs that I associate with: Book Club Fiction (over @livejournal, where I mod), WednesdayYA Book Club (hosted by @The Book Rat and @lizpatanders), and The Back Seat Book Club (hosted by the Backseat Producers, I’m often on the podcasts for this frequently). I just love talking about books I’ve read and it’s great to talk to people who are equally passionate readers/bloggers.

4. I love discovering new authors. I think it’s insanely important to diversify what you read, so I try never to stick to a genre. I love seeing what other bloggers are reading and championing, so often make a lot of mental notes to check out what folks are into.

5. River — if it wasn’t for River, I don’t think I’d ever get back into blogging the way I have. It really is thanks to her and her encouragement that I am able to do this, and I love that she doesn’t judge me for who I am as a reader or my crazy ideas and long ass e-mails of rambling fangirlisms. She really keeps my reading life informed and always entertaining, so thanks River!

Plus, we have our cult of Maggie. Raven Boys 4 Evar. *ultra gangsta pose*

River’s Top Five

1. Reader — It makes me feel smart! This is probably so sad, but reading just makes me feel smart. I’m not really that good at keeping up with politics or pop culture and whenever I’m in a group of my husband’s colleagues who are all researchers and computer scientists I can’t help but feel like the least intelligent one in the group. So when Husband brags to them about how much I read (and write) I feel like wow, I’m not doing too bad. I also learn a lot from reading, which helps with the feeling smart part.

2. Blogging — It keeps me writing. I’ve been a writer since I was in 2nd grade (when I wrote my first series: an illustrated collection of short stories about my dog & my uncle’s dogs’ adventures). When I moved to Japan I lost focus on my fiction writing, but then I started a fashion/lifestyle blog and that really kept my writing skills sharp (it also helped me get some magazine articles published). So even though I’m not always working on my novel (which I know, I should, I should) at least blogging and writing reviews keeps my fingers on the keyboard.

3. Reader — Inspiration! As I said, I’m a writer, but I have the WORST writing habits. I’m a big ‘inspiration’ writer and often find myself pounding out the words after having read something ahhhhhmazing. So I feel like I’m always on a quest for inspiration through reading.

4. Blogging — Connecting with new people! I love love LOOOOVE how close Sam and I have gotten since I dragged her into this blog madness. I mean, we’ve always been friends (known each other for years! Used to hang out at Borders when she’d visit Michigan back in the day) but after moving to Japan I let A LOT of things slide… friendships included. Blogging (about books) has really brought me closer to a lot of people and I hope that I can keep making great connections! Especially when I move to the USA. (Anyone from Boston????)

5. Reading — I’m NEVER bored. I… get bored easily. I often lose interest in things half way (another one of my bad writing habits)  and find myself jumping from one thing to another. But when I’m reading I can just relax and focus and de-stress. I take my kindle or a book with me EVERYWHERE so if I’m ever stuck waiting (or trapped on the train for TWO AND A HALF HOURS like last weekend oh god) I’ll have something to do with that time.

River & Sam’s Book Confessions



River’s Confessions

I know we’re all very particular about our reading habits: that some of us dog-ear our books and others cry over the though. (I’m actually 50-50 on that, some of my books look like they’ve been through war while others look as if they’ve never been touched) We all have our book-quirks so here are some of mine…


I HATE HARDCOVERS. Le gasp! I know, they’re so pretty and shiny and have dust jackets and special art and blah blah blah. I love LOOKING at hardcovers. But I hate actually having them. They’re too heavy, they take up too much space, I’m always ruining that damn dust jacket and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to take it anywhere. Because of this a lot of my books don’t match (did I hear another collective gasp?). Many of my series are mainly paper back with a few hardcovers mixed in. Some of my series even taper off into eBooks. AHHHHHHH.


I LOVE EBOOKS. Or maybe it’s more that I love my kindle? Because I would marry it if I could. I once swore that I’d never get an eReader and then I did and now I’m obsessed with it. Not only can I get super cheap eBooks, but E-ARCS. AHHHHHHH. I love them. So much. I’d marry them too. Also my kindle is so much more portable and so much easier to read while commuting or on break at work.


UNORGANIZED SHELVES. My shelves are NOT like this. Not at all. My books are laying all over and have no order. Well… they have some. I have a pile for ‘read’ and another pile for ‘to read’. I also stack them by size. Kinda. IT’S A MESS. When I move and have a real book shelf I WILL fix this. Maybe.


I LOVE DESTROYED BOOKS. But I hate being the one to destroy them. This is why I’m on the fence about dog-earing pages. If it’s my own book or one that I borrowed, then I’m usually very careful with it. But if it’s one that someone gave me (not to borrow) and it’s already a mess… BEND THAT BABY RIGHT UP. My mom actually bent the spine on my Mila 2.0 ARC and I didn’t mind because I just felt like I had free license to ruin it more. My husband let me borrow one of his books and man… what a mess. He writes all over his books and bends the spines and pages… it’s so exciting to be able to destroy a book. But I just feel SO guilty if I’m the one making it go from unmarred to cracked and bent and crazy looking. So please, feel free to ruin MY books for me.

Sam’s Confessions

1.       I rarely DNF a book. – I am the type of person whether it is reading a book or playing a video game, I like to complete it and go down with a sinking ship even if I despise it. I’m the type of person who always hopes a book will have redeeming factors that will often take it from a 1 to a 2. I also feel super guilty when I don’t finish something because I know that is someone else’s hard work that I’m being asked to provide an opinion of. According to Goodreads I only have four books on my DNF shelf, but I feel like I should learn to be okay with not finishing something.


2.       I have a Shelf of Shame – Some of you have seen pictures of the Shelf of Shame, aka my TBR pile. It consists of over 300 physical books because I have a book buying problem. I also have about 90+ books on my Kindle (stupid awesome $1.99 sales and ARCs!). I can go for months where I only buy one book, but then the following month I often find myself binging because I missed out on something.

3.       I struggle to break up with the library – I confess, I adore my local library! It is great at keeping up with the latest releases and there are always new books to be explored. A lot fo the time I will come out with four to eight new books to read (often a variety of graphic novels, picture books, middle grade, ya, all research, totally! …no, not really) when I should be focusing on the books I’ve bought. I am bad about this.

4.       I am a mood reader, but I am not a picky reader – I find I am often a mood reader. I’m the person who reads a few pages and if it fits how I’m feeling, I start reading. If a book rubs me the wrong way, I have no problem putting it down and starting something else. I craving different kinds of books every day, but I’m not actually picky about the types of books I read be it level or genre. I wish I could be pickier, but I like being the type of person who has an open-mind towards a lot of books. I feel like it’s the only way to find out if you like something or not.

5.       I (mostly) have no preference towards format – I am just really am not fond of audiobooks. It’s weird because I love podcasts and podcasting, but audio books oddly don’t do it for me. I think it’s because I’d rather have the feeling of something in my hands, and I am oddly not a fan of having headphone in my ears.

ARC Review – The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle

18108651Title: The Edge of Falling

Author: Rebecca Serle

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.

River’s Review:

Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this. Writing this honest review to say thank you

This book is sad and beautiful. Caggie’s struggling with the loss of her sister (who died under Caggie’s watch), the loss of her boyfriend (who broke up with her after he didn’t know how to help her anymore), her brother (who spends his summer away at the beach house where the sister died), her father (who’s always away on business) and her mother (who’s distanced herself from everybody and busied herself with pointless things like redecorating the house). So when Caggie meets Astor, the dark, brooding, understanding boy who is also suffering, the two of them envelop each other with their grief, suffocating and drowning together in it. Caggie feels safe with him, but she doesn’t know anything about him. And she’s happy that way. She begins to distance herself from her remaining friends and doesn’t even care. She stops being interested in things she once loved.

The romance between Caggie and Astor is scary. It’s so clear to everyone around her that there is something wrong, that they aren’t good for each other, yet she sees them as the wrong ones. And who wouldn’t. She’s so lost in what happened, what she almost did on the rooftop of a classmates house (which earned her hero status that wasn’t justly deserved) that she just dives in deeper. Until she discovers just how gone Astor really is.

The darkness in this book is so sad, and the grief these characters suffer is unbearable. I can’t totally see why Caggie did what she did, but I’m also so glad that she was able to overcome her grief. I love how the issues were dealt with in this book and how the relationships were handled. And the writing~ it is so beautiful.

Fans of contemporary YA will love this for sure.

TTT – Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Swoon Worthy Books

River’s Top Five

So I’m a big fan of books with romance in them, but it’s not enough just to stick two characters together. I have to actually FEEL it. It has to be real. I have to smile and laugh and sometimes even blush along with them. I also want to fall in love along side the MC. So here are some books where I felt that I was falling in love…
1. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi — While I might not be the biggest fan of this series, I do love Mafi’s writing and even though Warner is an awful person, he is at least a good awful person. And he TALKS to Juliet. I ranted about this in my review, but my biggest problem with ‘team Adam’ is that he is all action, not talk. Warner is both talk AND steamy action. Let’s just say reading THAT scene on the train ride home from work was a bit embarrassing…
2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins — The part where Anna stays at school during vacation and St. Claire and her innocently sleep next to each other fully clothed was the most swoon-y part of that book for me. I just loved how innocent but intense it was.
3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell — EVERYTHING OKAY. This entire book made me swoon. Happy sighs and OMGGGGGGGS all around. I think my favorite part was when they first held hands. Totally made me remember the first time I held hands with someone.
4. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater — I’m torn between the kiss and the hug on the side of the road. I loved the kiss, LOVED IT. So bittersweet. I loved how the two of them grew closer because of it. BUT THE HUG ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD BESTILL MY HEART.
5. The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead — This entire book was sexual tension between Adrian and Sydney from the VERY START. I love how FUNNY their evolution was. I remember laughing over everything, it was just so cute and so THEM. Seeing Adrian happy was really great.
Sam’s Top Five
I love a good romance, but like River, it has to be believable. There’s nothing that grinds my gears more then couples being smushed together because of insta-love or “because fans said so.” A good romance should make you care about the characters and what you are reading and the five I’ve selected I feel do exactly what I like best in a romance.
1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell — Did I mention I have a huge love for Cath and Levi? I love the fact that they have such an awkward meeting yet they grow to be friends first, slowly moving into that stage of a new relationship. I love that Levi takes a chance in understanding where Cath is coming from, even if he didn’t understand it right away. This relationship reminded me a bit of how I met my soon-to-be-husband — we were lab partners in college in a horrible 8am class, and the rest was history… if you count “So if you’re not a lesbian or a pedophile let’s go on a date sometime?” and *SLAP!*
2. Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff — Lesh and Svetlana are truly adorable in how they interact with each other. They both know their oddballs and that really translates into a lot of the discussions and interactions they have. While I won’t spoil too much of this book as it’s not out yet, let’s just saying the last forty pages or so really sealed their relationship for me. They take so many chances but have so many realistic fears about relationships, and I loved that about both characters!
3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein — KISS ME HARDY! Easily one of the tough reads I’ve ever encountered, the romance in this book isn’t exactly the highlight of the story, but DAMN is it swoon worthy.
4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins — I was a HUGE sucker for this book and Lola and the Boy Next Door. There was so much charm in both books, but I feel like Anna gets the edge because her and St. Claire were surprising sweet a lot of the time. They have real couple problems, they don’t like each other right away, and the have a romance that grows and develops. Plus, it’s hard not to fall for St. Claire, that cheeky bastard. *fans self*
5. The Sight Seer by Melissa Giorgio — Before anyone says I’m cheating, I’m NOT! I have the biggest love for Gabi and Rafe’s relationship. There’s chemistry between the two of them, there’s a ton of humor, and what I love the most is that Gabi is the aggressor in the relationship. I mean that completely lovingly since Rafe is completely the boy you can take home to mom and know that he’d fit in, but Gabi is crazy, and she’s the fun kind. The writing in this series is just so fun and their interactions always end up being my favourite, especially in the Indiana Rafe story from An Autumn Dream. I snicker EVERY TIME I read about Gabi abusive shoving groceries into the customer’s bag while Rafe and Evan run a muck.