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2016 February Bookhaul

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Total Books = 16
Total Price = $13.62

I almost forgot my early month thrift going when I first started putting my books together!  Somehow, I forgot to add them to my haul list :O *gasp*

Barnes and Noble – $7.50
1.) Doctor Who The Encyclopedia by Gary Russel; paperback

Thrift Store – $6.12
1.) The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan; hardcover
2.) Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling; paperback
3.) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; paperback
4.) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson; paperback

Giveaways – FREE
1.) Emotions by Arnulfo Cantarero; paperback: A special thanks to the author, Arnulfo Cantarero, for sending this my way!  Please check him out on Goodreads!
2.) Galadria: Peter Huddleston and the Rites of Passage by Miguel Lopez de Leon; paperback (via Goodreads giveaway)
3.) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling; paperback (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
4.) Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs; paperback: (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
5.) Orchards by  ; paperback: (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
6.) Delirium by Lauren Oliver; paperback: (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
7.) Unwind by  ; paperback (special thanks to @thebookelves Instagram giveaway)
8.) Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Mists of the Three Lakes by Miguel Lopez de Leon; paperback: (A special thanks to the author, Miguel Lopez de Leon, for sending this my way!  Please check him out on Goodreads!)
9.) Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Knights of the Leaf by Miguel Lopez de Leon; paperback: (A special thanks to the author, Miguel Lopez de Leon, for sending this my way!  Please check him out on Goodreads!)
10.) Atlantia by Ally Condie; hardcover: (special thanks to @author_jenniferparr Instagram giveaway)

ARCs – FREE
1.) America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie; paperback

Not a bad month guys, not a bad month…

Happy Reading! xo
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The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston

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Book Description:

Lie, torture, kill—there’s nothing Chris and Derek wouldn’t do for their younger brothers…

When Chris wakes up tied to a chair in a dark basement, he knows that he’s trapped—and why. He shot and killed Derek’s little brother. He had his reasons, but no matter how far Derek goes to uncover the truth about that night, Chris’s story won’t change. It can’t. There is far too much at stake…
Derek is desperate to prove his brother didn’t deserve to die. And if kidnapping his brother’s killer is the only way to the truth, than he’ll go to extremes. But Chris’s truth is far more dangerous than Derek could have imagined, and knowing could cost both their lives…

My Rating: 2.5/5

**I would like to start off by saying that I received The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston for free via Sourcebooks Publishing in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways do not impact my reviews.**

Let’s start off with: the dedication – his kid was inspiration?  Either they have a crazy back story or he means inspiration to keep writing.  Let’s hope that’s what he means 😛

I’m kind of tired of reading these books about siblings that get along.  I grew up with 2 brothers.  That’s now how it works when your 10 and 16.  Especially angsty 16 and confused 10.  Even through tragedy, it’s usually short lived.

^Okay so, I tend to write out my thoughts as I go and if I’m being honest, my opinion did change a bit on this.  I later understood more of the “protective brother” thing at the plot twist.  Turned out to not be as cliché lame as I thought BUT it did also make me think the main character was a little nutso.

This book wasn’t HORRIBLE – but it was a little predictable and I just clearly couldn’t relate (besides the main thing happening here, I also dislike most sports SO sitting through all of the baseball parts was a bit of a struggle,  I really didn’t care), nor was I feeling any emotion the author was going for.  I didn’t feel sad/scared/anxious/sympathy… I really just wanted to see how the book ended.  And yes, it made my eyebrows rise, it was worth reading once, but then I threw it to the side and probably won’t ever touch it again.

And for the sake of being petty, I hate the page breakers.  I looks like someone dropped their fat tipped marker on the page.  Ew.

I don’t typically like these type of stories, but if there’s a HUGE twist in the end that blows my mind, then of course I’m gonna love it!  But this just didn’t have that and it just fell kind of flat.  I personally wouldn’t hand this out as a recommendation.

If you read this, let me know what you think!

Happy Reading! xo

2016 January Bookhaul

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January bookhaul – New Year, new haul!

On to the books! I’ll have a list below of each book pictured, where I got them, paperback or hardcover, special editions and how much my total purchase at each place was! If you have any more questions – or comments – about this months haul, please feel free to leave/ask them below 😀 Happy reading!

Total Books: 18
Total Spent: $27.54

Thrift Store 1 – $19.98
1.) The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown; hardcover
2.) The Fiery Cross by Diana Galbaldon; hardcover
3.) Brisingr by Christopher Paolini; hardcover
4.) Sabriel by Garth Nix; paperback
5.) Doctor Who: Judgement of the Judoon by Colin Brake; hardcover
6.) The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore; hardcover
7.) The Host by Stephenie Meyer; hardcover
8.) The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson; hardcover
9.) Airframe by Michael Crichton; hardcover
10.) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer; hardcover
11.) Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast; paperback
12.) J.K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter by Marc Shapiro; paperback
13.) The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks; hardcover
14.) The Magykal Papers by Angie Sage; hardcover

Thrift Store 2 –$7.56
1.) Lord of the Flies by William Golding; paperback
2.) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen; paperback
3.) Burned by Eileen Hopkins; paperback
4.) Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden; paperback

-1 The Painted Lady, this was apart of December’s haul and she somehow snuck her way in to this pic, attention whore.  I don’t have time to retake this picture as I’m headed to work and this is the 2nd month in a row I’ve snuck in an extra book 😛

I also acquired another version of The Host by Stephenie Meyer BECAUSE I had the paperback/movie cover version and I couldn’t resist when I saw the original hardcover edition for only $1.75!  I’m a sucker for hardcovers!

As well, I use to own a paperback of Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer but a friend (no longer a friend) once borrowed it and due to previous statement, I clearly never got it back.  I was very sad about this loss as I am a fan of Twilight and am very anal about my belongings.  This was AT LEAST 6/7 years ago.  I’m still mad, I still want my book back, hmph.

Hope everyone had a great month buying books!  How many did you acquire this haul?

2015 December Bookhaul

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December bookhaul is here!  SO STOKED with what I acquired this month – except After Alice only because my dumbass got that last month, not this month FOR SHAME ASHMEE, FOR SHAME!

On to the books! I’ll have a list below of each book pictured, where I got them, paperback or hardcover, special editions and how much my total purchase at each place was! If you have any more questions – or comments – about this months haul, please feel free to leave/ask them below 😀 Happy reading!

Total Books: 31
Total Spent: $240

Barnes & Noble – $220 (free shipping/employee discount)
1.) The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas; hardcover
2.) Song of Ice and Fire series (GoT for those who aren’t educated on this) by George R. R. Martin; paperback
3.) Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer; hardcover
4.) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas; signed hardcover
5.) Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein; signed hardcover
6.) The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson; signed hardcover
7.) Dear Mr. You by Mary Louise Parker; signed hardcover

Giveaways – FREE
1.) Swan Song by Robert McCammon; paperback
2.) The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels; hardcover
3.) The Painted Lady by Amanda Moncrefe; signed paperback
4.) This Raging Light by Estelle Laure; ARC paperback
5.) The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner; hardcover
6.) The Kill Order by James Dasher; paperback
7.) The Eye of Minds by James Dashner; paperback
8.) The Death Cure by James Dashner; paperback

+3 Romance Novels – these won’t be included in the total. I get these from work but I do not keep them, instead, I pass them on to my momma to read because she loves romance novels – and I do not… *shudder*

-1 After Alice, this was apart of November’s haul and she somehow snuck her way in to this pic, attention whore.

Hope everyone had a safe and fabulous New Year, happy 2016!  Hope you read many, many great books this year xo

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

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Book Description:

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?
Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

My Rating: 5/5

**I would like to start off by saying that I received This Raging Light by Estelle Laure for free via HMH Books in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways/work materials do not impact my reviews.**

I received this ARC from work and boy am I glad I decided to snag this one!  This Raging Light is emotional, raw and so inspiring!  I could not put it down!  If I weren’t getting slammed at work, I would have finished it the first day I picked it up.  Still, it only took me a few days and what a great few days it was.

When I first picked up this book, I really was expecting a dark, depressing ride through a story of 2 girls abandoned by their parents.  After I finished the first chapter, I was put in my place and found that this book was going to have it’s fun moments as well.  Even with the unfortunate circumstances that these girls have dabbled in to so far, I’ve still managed to giggle and relate.  At this point, I was only going in to the book with little curiosity.  After the first chapter ended, I needed to find my way to the end of the story.

I think Estelle Laure does a fantastic job with mapping out the relationships between Lucille and Eden – Lucille and Digby – Lucille and Wren… she made them real.  A real best friend shuts down for unknown reasons at inconvenient times.  A real crush who’s involved in another relationship will give out mixed signals, will be confusing as all hell, will not be what you need them to be WHEN you need them to be.  A real sister-to-sister fighting for survival will do all that they can for each other but will also come with peeves and hardships.  I don’t want to read about the super awesome bff who’s always happy and is always there for you even when there’s a gun to her head or the crush that drops everything the very second the girl hes crushed on finally shows interest.  Save that for the fairy tales.

I will be watching this author for more books in the future (so please write more :] )

If you want a real book full of struggles, break downs, conflicting emotions, good day one minute – bad day the next, if you want a book that focuses on REAL relationships whether is be with family or friends or love interests, get your hands on this book when it comes out on December 22, 2015!

Happy Reading! xo

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

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Book Description:

At twenty-two, Bibi Blair’s doctors tell her that she’s dying. Two days later, she’s impossibly cured. Fierce, funny, dauntless, she becomes obsessed with the idea that she was spared because she is meant to save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. This proves to be a dangerous idea. Searching for Ashley Bell, ricocheting through a southern California landscape that proves strange and malevolent in the extreme, Bibi is plunged into a world of crime and conspiracy, following a trail of mysteries that become more sinister and tangled with every twisting turn.

My Rating:  3.5/5

**I would like to start off by saying that I received Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz for free via Random House Publishing in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways do not impact my reviews.**

I would like to start this review by pointing out that this is my first Dean Koontz book – ever.  Being a first time reader of his, I was not left disappointed.  This book was fun to read and I love the use of vocabulary.  I was given plenty of new words without it taking away from the story.  I can’t stand when author’s try to get to fancy with their words.  This book starts off with the first 100 or so pages basically reiterating the jacket description.  This is what makes this book so interesting because from there on in, you’re taken for a ride of dark turns and crazy loop-de-loops!

That being said, I’m kind of happy that I can’t quote this book being the copy I have is an ARC, otherwise half of what I’ve read would be quoted already!  There were lots of clever/relatable moments that I think many people will agree with.

This book has short chapters – THANK YOU!!  Sometimes when I read, I get interrupted – a lot.  Sometimes I can’t read as much as I was planning.  This makes for an easy put down and an even easier picker backer upper (? this makes sense in my brain lol) this allows me to always know where I leave off and remember what happened.  I really can’t stand when I’m forced to stop in the middle of the chapter because the chapter is 40+ pages long.  I usually have trouble finding where exactly I left off so I end up rereading several sentences and then once I find my place, it takes me a minute to remember why I’m reading what I’m reading as opposed to starting from the beginning of a new chapter and having it start anew or recap for me.

Not only did I love the chapter break downs, this book was written from multiple POVs jumping from adult Bibi to young Bibi to her husband Paxton…. which was done so well.  It’s by no means confusing.  It’s clear who you’re reading, whose perspective and you remember what happened the last time you read as them.  Very well done as this can get confusing real fast and make for an unenjoyable read.

And not that this is relevant to the story but I enjoy the size of the book.  It felt good holding it and added to my experience overall.

This book comes out tomorrow, 12/8/2015 and I HIGHLY suggest you grab it!  Even if you’ve never read Dean Koontz like myself, get it.  I will definitely be looking in to more of his work after this.

Happy Reading! xo

**FUN FACT:  This picture was purposefully taken next to a Navy Ship (my husband’s in the Navy) – Bibi’s husband Pax is a Navy SEAL so it was only appropriate 🙂

City of Words by Steven J. Carroll

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Book Description:

The all-powerful ruling authority, the Common, implants sensors into its citizens, sensors into the eyes and into the ears. They can see what you see and hear what you hear, and everything is monitored and recorded. One wrong word, or action, and you can lose your citizenship, which means death.

This is the world that Alpha has survived in for thirteen years, and he’s good at it. At the School, he’s an instructor rank, the highest ranking, which means almost no mistakes, for years. But now everything is unraveling. The Common has set their sights on him, systematically testing him to determine his allegiances. And what’s worse, they’re bringing Theta into this, the only person in the world that he cares about, and they might even kill her to get to him.

And the only way that this gets resolved, and the only way he can keep Theta safe, is if Alpha finds a way to escape the School. But how can you run from an enemy who can watch you at all times, an enemy who knows everything about you? When a single misspoken word can destroy you?

My Rating: 3.5/5

Before I get to my review, I would like to start off by saying that I received this book for free as a giveaway winner via Goodreads.com (sponsored by the author/publisher/other individual or entity) and by no means does this impact my review. Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest. And with that, I thank you!

This book was good. Not great, but good. It starts off strong; the first chapter had me hooked and that’s always a good thing! It was intense and had me wondering what happens next. If you like dystopian/sci-fi genres, then I would definitely recommend this book for you, although I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who dislikes younger reads. The only reason I say that is because I find Alpha to be a little too whiny, even for my taste. Not saying that every leading male character has to be brooding and strong willed and oh-so-dreamy, but Alpha was a little much to take sometimes. Like a fly that keeps flying around your face that you can’t get rid of. Eventually the fly lands and you don’t seem to mind it’s presence anymore. You accidentally bump it’s new found resting place and all of a sudden he’s back to flying around your face for the next 10 minutes or so. That is Alpha in a nutshell! One thing I don’t understand about him though is how can he go from this whiny person one minute to willingly getting his neck cut open the next and then back to being whiny? (This particular scene though was wonderfully intense – just kind of makes me think Alpha pretends to be stronger than he really is or just likes the attention when he whines).

The Enjoyable Things:

Can I talk about this cover first? I am a cover snob. I’m sorry, if you put effort in to your writing I feel like you need to put just as much into the appearance. I am a
“judge a book by it’s cover” type of gal. Why would I want to read your book if you clearly don’t put any effort to initially draw me in? Make me pick up the book with just the picture – make me want to read the book jacket! But this is a completely different conversation for another day. Getting back on track, this cover is great! It’s what made me read the book description in the first place. It really captured my eye and I love the idea of holding a picture of a ‘before world destruction’ over the ‘after math’. Kudos for the outer display!

Another thing I enjoyed in this book was Chapter 22 in particular! Without spoiling anything, I really enjoy who they introduced here. I, personally, did not see it coming and that always makes for a fun read :]

The Not So Enjoyable Things:

I really feel that this book should’ve been a “book 2” because I don’t feel like there was much background info before things started falling apart and they – Alpha & Chi – were on the run. THAT or they should add a few more chapters to the beginning. I’d really like to know more about where they came from, where they were growing up and I’d definitely like to know more about Alpha and Theta’s relationship. I want to believe Alpha on this whole ‘saving Theta’ quest but all I can think of is puppy love because I don’t know much about them.

Which leads me into their age. I don’t know their age. How can I draw a picture in my head if I don’t know how old I should be picturing these people? Being whiny makes me think Alpha and Theta are younger but they can’t be THAT young to be going through what they’re going through, they were too mature in certain areas. On the back of the book, it says “This is the world that Alpha has survived in for 13 years,” so at least I know he’s 13+ .. but I can’t imagine he’s only 13. If this was explained, I completely missed it, so don’t quote me that it wasn’t – I’m not entirely certain. HALP!

I did enjoy the scene where Alpha and Theta are thrown up against each other to fight – I got so excited reading about it but then it seemed to fall flat. I was really engulfed in this build up but felt like it went no where. Again, this is a scene where I feel like Alpha’s whiny and unruliness comes in to play. He just needs to stop.

One last thing I’d like to point out because it was hard to stay enveloped in the book when this happened (and it happened frequently) but at the same time, I was informed that this in an ARC so it may or may not be something that will change. So instead of saying “this is awful blah blah blah” I would like to consider this a suggestion: There are a lot of areas where the writing seems to repeat itself. I don’t need to be reminded you’re in a forest 10 times in the same 2 sentences. I got you were in the forest the first time (exaggerated example but sometimes I felt this to be true).  It would be great to change this in the final print/version because it really took me out of the story.

Example from the actual book pg. 199-200 end of paragraph into the beginning of a new page:

“…..They considered their labors menial and ignorant, and so the Leaders of the Common made plans to forcibly confiscate the land from the farmers. And so, the Leaders sent out messages, this was before the days of implanted sensors……”

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All in all, I would recommend this book – and being at the end it quotes “End of Book One” I would definitely be interested in getting my hands on book 2 and seeing where this story goes!