Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Angela's June Wrap-Up

Broken Juliet- Leisa Rayven
Because of Low- Abbi Glines
While it Last- Abbi Glines 
After We Collided- Anna Todd
After We Fell- Anna Todd
After Ever Happy- Anna Todd
Velvet- Temple West
Stargazing at Noon- Amanda Torroni
Hunted- Abi Ketner and

Renee Ahdieh
A Song of Ice and Fire- George R.R. Martin

I'm actually really surprised by the number of books I managed to read in June. If you follow me on any social media then you know that I've spent most of June ridiculously sick. So, I spent a majority of my time trying to sleep and watching Criminal Minds marathons. Just didn't have the energy to do anything else even read... So yeah that's how you know I was really sick. The only good thing that came out of only reading a select few books this month was that it left very little room for suck. 

My June favorites were After Ever Happy, The Martian, and The Wrath and the Dawn. Still kind of freaks me out every time I say I like The After Series, and that After Ever Happy makes the top of any kind of list I have... but I don't care. Of all Anna Todd's books After Ever Happy was my favorite and I loved how it tied up and ended the series. The addictive qualities her books have overshadow anything negative I would have to say. The Martian was another book that had something so addictive about it. The writing style and main character were written to perfection. A science fiction book that could easily fall into so many other genres. So excited to see this one play out on the big screen. The Wrath and the Dawn is hands-down my top pick for June. Such an amazing re-telling and unique book that added something new to the ever growing Ya scene. It was an absolutely breathtaking read. I still can't get over the hook that really draws you in... A king marries a different girl every day then the following dawn kills her. Such a brilliant idea! This is a 2015 and summer must read.
 As far as picking my June fails, like I said above I really don't have any. There was only one book that I wish I would have gotten more out of, and that was Because of Low. I found the relationship between the two main characters a little unbelievable. That being said I still really enjoyed the book. I just felt it was a little rushed and could have played out a little different. Plus it was rather predictable. I honestly only read it so I could get more background story before reading While it Last, since it's becoming a movie next year.Good call on my part. That's basically it. Sorry I don't have more for you this month but hopefully I'll kick this extreme chest infection and we able to tackle everything I have planned in July.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

We're still alive!

Hello bookish friends! You may have noticed a bit of silence on the blog and our social media accounts lately. We just wanted to give y'all the heads up that we are still around, but we both have been sick this past week (seriously who the EFF actually gets sick in the summer time? Isn't this stuff supposed to be reserved for cold weather only?!) and have had to take a step back from everything other than literally breathing. Angela is still pretty sick (if anyone has any tips on exorcising the demon that currently lives in her, that may be helpful), but I am feeling back up to my normal self. June reads are a bit light this month, but no worries, I'm sure we will make up for it in the next month!

Thanks for staying loyal and reading our blog! Knowing that we have so many book friends out there all over the world really is what keeps us doing what we do. Don't forget that we try to stay pretty active on social media, so to stay up to date with what's going on with us daily check us out!
Our Blog's Bookstagram- @southernbredbooks
Angela's Instagram- @pizzashrapnel
Leah's Instagram- @leahlo89


Monday, June 22, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each day only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when Shahrzad volunteers to marry the Caliph.

The Wrath and the Dawn is every recently amazing YA book thrown into one read. Red Queen meets An Ember in the Ashes meets A Court of Thorns and Roses. The main difference it has between those books is the amount of action. The Wrath definitely set aside action packed scenes for a slower more lyrical literature depth.

Sharhrzad (Shazi) is out to seek revenge for the murder of her best friend and decides too volunteer to be the next wife of the Caliph of Khorasan. The Caliph is known for being ruthless, heartless, and cruel. But the thing he is most known for is the fact that every day he takes a different wife and every following dawn he kills her. Shazi doesn’t care why the king does this she only cares about righting what has been wrong and insuring that this fate doesn’t come to another girl.  Since this is told from a 3rd person point of view us as reading know that there is clearly more to the story than meets the eye. As Shazi gets to know Khalid (The Caliph) she learns he is not what she thought he was. She beings to become conflicted between doing what she set out to do and listening to her heart. Things only get more complicated when Shazi pre suicide mission boyfriend, Tariq, sets out to get her back.

I'm usually am not the biggest fan of the 3rd person pov but in this case I found myself falling in love with it. That was not the only thing I fell for, the characters won me over. Shazi is our leading lady and the character I connected most with. Having to see her go back and forth on what she should do had me struggling along with her. She is a fierce lead and her silver tongued attitude is a forced to be reckoned with. Her take no crap ways and honesty will win you over. Khalid is our leading male and I can’t express enough how much I loved his character. He isn’t a man of many words, and the ones he uses he chooses wisely, time and time again had me swooning. Though I connected more with Shazi without a doubt Khalid was my favorite character. He has definitely made his way onto my list of fictional book boyfriends. I loved the mystery surrounding him, his intelligence, and his ability to read people. This is also the only negative feedback I have on the book. The romance, though amazing, I wanted more of it. I wanted more “screen time” with Shazi and Khalid. The moments we get with them are so perfect that it made me want this book to be longer. I think it says a lot if your only real complaint is that something was so good you wanted more of it. This is a very very minor issue in the grand scheme of things.  Both Shazi and Khalid are complex and well built characters. The fact that we are given so much back story and tells from their childhoods also gave these characters something that a lot of other books miss. Tariq is the only character I felt I didn’t really connect with or understand in this book. though I see his value and what he brings to the table I just think Khalid won me over and had it so I wasn't even glancing Tariq way.

“Love is a force unto itself, sayyidi. For love, people consider the unthinkable...and often achieve the impossible. I would not sneer at its power.”  

As I stated above The Wrath is a book that can be compare to others that have been released lately but it has something so different to it. Though most of it's action packed scenes are left towards till the end of the story, Renee's writing had it so I was still on the edge of my seat either way. She manages keeps a steady pace throughout the whole novel. Renee's writing is so beautiful and gripping. The brilliance behind how she survives through the night is what got me so hooked right away and every wonderful sentence after kept me there. This novel brought a whole new meaning to stories having power. Waiting so long to give us the true answer to the riddle yet giving us little bits and pieces really worked so well for this book. The action scenes in this book are perfectly placed along with their delivery.

The Wrath and the Dawn surpassed any expectation I had for this book. It brings something so new and diverse to this genre. The perfect start to a series. It’s a fresh retelling with and amazing band of characters, perfect amount of romance, and the perfect mystery surrounding it. Finding out this is the first book and that there will be a sequel has me beyond giddy! 

10/10 Stars

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Like some other recent releases, this is probably one of the most hyped books we will get this year. Sarah J. Maas rocks out with her Throne of Glass series, so this separate novel was promoted like crazy. I won't like, I was pretty skeptical. I waited until after the book had been released and had a respectable number of reviews before deciding to buy it. In some of the reviews, the story was compared to Beauty and the Beast and/or the story of Hades and Persephone. I'll just go ahead and throw it out there that I don't like fairytale retellings. I haven't read Cinder or any of the likes because I really just don't like retellings. It's just one of those things. But because I love SJM and Angela read and loved the book so much, I figured I'd give it a shot.

I actually really, really liked this book. As I was reading, I didn't find myself comparing it to other stories as you might in a normal retelling because the plot and characters are SO unique. Feyre is one of those characters who is super relatable because of the struggles she has faced in her life. Basically, her life has sucked. She has been given the D end of every stick because of this bogus promise she made to her mom on her deathbed. When things start getting crazy after Feyre kills a Fae wolf and one of the Fae's friends comes to claim the person who took his life. From there she gets whisked away to the land of Fae and has to spend the rest of her life living with this guy as punishment. She is very realistic in the way that she worries about her family, but also selfishly worries that no one will remember her. That tugged on my heart strings because I think it is a fear of pretty much everyone that they will die or disappear and no one will even remember they existed.

You can kind of guess where the story is going to go right from the bat (as far as the romance). You know that Tamlin is going to be her love interest, so there is no spoilers there. The love story is SO sweet. What these two do for each other is breathtaking, and I will absolutely add it to my list of best love stories. There is a part of the book where everything is laid out on the table by a different character and everything is explained..... and it was just beautiful. The sacrifices that are made and decisions that are made really show what true love is.

The book dragged on a bit during the middle, but I get it. During the meaty part of the book, there is a lot of relationship building so it is a necessary thing. Once you get over the hump of the slow parts, things start going crazy. Whatever you think is going to happen, just go ahead and throw it out the window. The direction that SJM takes it was completely not even on the realm of anything that I could have possible thought when I started the book. I kept asking Angela questions and trying to get her to give me spoilers, but everything that I asked or predicted that was going to happen was immediately shot down. I saw why once I got close to end. I really liked how I had NO idea how it was going to end.

One of the best things about ACOTAR is the sub-characters. Lucien, Alis, Nesta, and so many others really took things to the next level. They added so much depth to the story and really made the picture of their world feel complete. There was one character in particular that I didn't care for that I know a lot of people liked which is Rhys. I just didn't like his part of the story. I like him as a character and I really hope he has more about him if there is a sequel. I just didn't like how SJM incorporated him into Feyre's life, and I feel like it could have been left out of the book and been fine. I think having him there and how everything goes down at the end, it left me with more questions than answers for the big picture.

That brings me to the ending... I love the HEA, but things sort of just end. Leading up its like BANG BANG BANG ACTION ACTION ACTION then the big thing happens and everyone is like "k it's over bye!" It was just kind of an odd ending, especially the last paragraph that deals with Rhys. Again, I think this is going to be a series instead of a standalone so I'm sure things will make more since in the sequel. I was just super into it and read like 300pages in two hours and was completely absorbed in the story and then it just.... ended. I was just left feeling like "oh...... ok. That's cool, I guess."

Overall, this is an excellent book. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of high fantasy or if you just love SJM's writing in general. This book was no exception to her beautiful writing. You'll find yourself on the edge of your seat at times, wanting to go jump in the shower during the scandy times, swooning over the hotties, and yelling at the book when the plot takes an unexpected twist. While it isn't one of my absolute favorites that I have read this year, the love story is one of my favorites. I would recommend reading it for Feyre and Tamlin's love story alone. It'll have you swooning all over the place. Hearts hearts hearts.

4/5 stars

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate leaving him behind thinking he is dead. Mark finds himself stranded, completely alone, and with no way to contact Earth.

It’s true, you know. In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl.

The Martian is a science book that fits into a fictional storyline and this is what makes this story so amazing. That being said it's also a book that could fit in any number of genres.

The Martian  will more than likely be one of the best things I'll read all year. As much as I like science I'm in no way a science brainiac, so when the science overload started I feared I would be weighed down by all the facts. Turns out it was the opposite. Everything is broken down so that anyone can catch a grip on it. 

The main reasons I wanted to pick this book up was one: the amazing ratings it holds on goodreads and two: because I love the idea of someone being stranded on another planet. Somewhere a person has to figure out how to survive somewhere no one is meant to survive on. Weir nailed his delivery. Mark Watney is written to perfection. He has a style and flow that makes him seem so realistic and relatable. He's a character that will take you by surprise and one you might not fully understand right away. When we are first introduced to Mark you'll see right away that he is a sarcastic joker. At first this was kind of a turn off for me... I was wondering how someone in his situation could be so cavalier. As the book goes on your can see that it's the way he is surviving. Him taking a light approach to everything might of just been his greatest survival tool. I also really embraced the fact that he would have these freak out moments where he would be so over thing, screaming F this planet, then would take a moment to get himself together and figure shit out.

The plot and storyline of this book is something so simple yet so gripping. Can you imagine how terrifying it would be too be left on a planet completely alone? The fact that you just breathing could kill you. A place with no food or water source!!! That thought alone makes me want to run to Costco and stock pile. Knowing that you have to be alone until the next Mars mission happen?!!? Pretty sure I failed to mention that the next mission isn't for another four years! I would go mad. Even the moments that the story is a little slower there is something still so addictive about it.

The best part about this book isn't it's laid back character with a snarky remark to all things; it's that such a simple idea was laid out so well. While reading this novel I had to actually stop myself and remember that I wasn't actually reading someone journal . That this is fictional story that just happens to feel so real. 

This is a fast paced -can't put down survival read with a message that is so strong. Seriously, if the last paragraph in this book doesn't give you goosebumps then you have no soul. The Martian has a plot line that will keep you on the edge of your seat and a character you'll be cheering for. I can't wait to see this book play out on the big screen.

10/10 Stars 

sidenote: Matt Damon is the perfect pick for Mark Watney.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Ugly People Beautiful Hearts by Marlen Komar

I was contacted by Marlen and asked to review her poetry book Ugly People Beautiful Hearts. I love poetry and when I was asked I realized that this is the first time someone has asked me to review a poetry book of theirs before. After reading UPBH  I'm glad that this was the first one.

I'm going to start off with the most obvious thing about it... The cover; it's amazing! So once I got a glance at it I knew I needed to take some time out of my hectic reading schedule to squeeze this in. The wonderful thing about this book was that it was the perfect break between the longer novels I've been reading lately. This book was the perfect light between read. And don't think that just because I said it's a light between read that it wont make you feel. Marlen's poems are lovely and are ones you can tell she puts every piece of herself into. UGBH  shows you the stages of falling both in and out of love, and all the stages in between. The highs and lows and all those moments where there's not just one perfect word yet invented to describe them.

There were so many lyrical and deep messages for you discover in each poem. I think a lot of people have this preconceived idea that all poetry has to be written in one way. That it must flow a current way and rhythm a current way. I like that Marlen breaks away from the typical. I did personally like the shorter length poetry over the longer ones, because I feel more when an author can say so much by using so little words.

My personal favorite was Come, Quick 

"You know that moment right after the day fades but right before the moon takes over? That half of a half of a quarter of a moment where the earth is suspended in a blank space? Where the silence is so quiet that it hums?

That's where I wait for you." 

It reminded me of Peter Pan meets Like Crazy

I think if you can take away one thing from poetry, even if it was just one single poem that moves you than the poet did their job. I believe that Ugly People Beautiful Hearts is a book that everyone can and will take something away from it.

8/10 Stars

Thursday, June 11, 2015

After Ever Happy by Anna Todd

As ya'll know I've been marathoning The After Series. Well today I finished.
First off, you might be wondering why I posted a review for book one: After and book two: After We Collided but didn't post a review for book three: After We Fell; well that because I still don't know how I fell about book three. So instead of just trying to throw something together that will surely sound much like my first two reviews I just decided to let Todd's words do my work for me.

"You're always fucking sorry! It's always the same shit: you do something, hide something, say something, I cry, you say you're sorry, and bam! All is forgiven."-Tessa

"I stomp down the stairs and throw myself on the couch like a temperamental child. That's what I am really, a fucking child. She knows it, I know it- hell everyone fucking knows it. I should just print that shit on a goddamn tshirt."-Hardin

That's book three in a nutshell... So, now that that's out of the way I can turn my full attention back too After Ever Happy. I never in a million years thought I would be saying this... I actually really enjoyed this book. I know I know, after how much crap I gave the first three how could this happen. I can't even full comprehend it myself. As much as I hated this series, this last book won me over. At first I thought that this series was ridiculous but after powering through it I actually completely understand it's madness. For example: I didn't understand why each book need to be 600+ pages, but now I do. This series is only written to be over a span of months, but instead of trying to cram all this into 200 pages she decided to just go balls to the wall and make the books as long as they needed to be. You (at least I ended up) feeling like I was going through everything with these characters. Characters that, and I quote, "I would never end up rooting for". Well guess what, I ended up doing just that. I was praying that Tessa and Hardin would end up together. I was hoping that even though everything they went through was so exaggerated, so overdone, far fetched, so pointless that it wouldn't end up being pointless. 

Hardin and Tessa both turned out to be characters I ended up liking. I have NO CLUE when my opinion of Tessa changed, but I know that  it was the middle of the third when Hardin finally made sense. It came out of nowhere too. I was just reading along minding my own business and WHAM, all of a sudden I found myself thinking "Huh, wow I finally get Hardin... I get all his rash decisions, his outburst, and how is attitude zero dark crazy." Then I found myself saying "What the HELL did I just say?!?"

Both the writing style and character development in this final book is both leaps and bounds above the other three. Both Hardin and Tessa reached me on a level they never had in the previous books. After Ever Happy, like the others in this series, still had a crazy cluster of a storyline, was still covered in flaws, and still had no real structure to it. I can without a doubt say that the After Series is one of the most pointless things I've ever read, yet I have no regrets about how addicted I was too it. AEH had me laughing, had me on the edge of my seat, and even had me shedding a few tears... Yeah I might have cringed a little too hearing myself saying that, but hell I just read close to 3000 pages of one direction based fanfiction, what do I really have left to be embarrassed about... So I'll say it again; a few tears were shed while reading this! Get off my case! Jeez. 

I think the thing that AEH had going for it was that of all four it was the "most realistic". With more touching and real topics happening through out, and more human reactions were given in response to each issue. The After Series turned out to be one of the biggest surprised I've had in my reading history. I completely agree with both negative and positive comment, statement, and review ever written about it, because it is everything everyone has ever said about it. It's annoying, unhealthy, romantic, comical, addictive, and so much more... But damn it if I didn't fall for it even though for some reason I still can't stand it. I still can't manage to figure out what happened to me or when my opinion changed... But Anna Todd I'm pretty sure you've won me over... Maybe, I truly don't full know.

If it wasn't for the last half of the epilogue I might have given this book a higher rating, but sadly something about the last few pages rubbed me the wrong way. But, I guess all terribly good guilty pleasure reads must come to some kind of end, and I was overall happy with this one. 

Turn on the TV for background noise, grab a jar of peanut butter, and make yourself comfortable, because once you grab a hold of this series you'll be in for the long haul.  

8/10 Stars 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Velvet by Temple West

After losing both her parents before the age seventeen, aspiring Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down. Things only get weirder when she is saved from a storm from her hot supernatural neighbor.

I will start right away by saying two things: one I didn’t read anything about this book before purchasing it, just simply cover lusted and bought it and two: you should know from the get go that this is Twilight meets The Lux Series with a touch of White Hot Kiss. I’m not a hater of Twilight but neither am I a fan, but I am a lover of Lux…. This put me in a weird predicament when it came to Velvet. For all the reasons I loved Lux were the reasons I loved this book. It was a sweet romance, with great banter between our leads, and a story line I found additively well written.  For all the reason I hated Twilight were the same reasons I disliked parts of Velvet. Until the twist happened towards the middle I was almost positive was re-reading Twilight. Once that twist happened, one I didn’t see coming, I changed my mind. The first half of this book just had some many similarities between those two books that I was thankful the last half mixed it up for us.

I really enjoyed the two leads in this book. Caitlin at first wasn’t my favorite; but by the end grew on me. I really loved her personality and how she’s kind of “whatever” about everything. The big thing that kept me from liking her at first was that she was so ungrateful for so long. I get the whole angry at the world thing, because I’ve been in her shoes before, but I still couldn’t connect to how hateful she was being.  I was beyond ecstatic when she stopped being such a brat.  As far as Adrian went, I have absolutely zero complaints about him. I loved everything about his character. Everything from his looks to personality worked for me. He was what set this book apart from the others. I like my mystery men sweet, sarcastic, and caring; trust me when I say he hits all those nails right on the head. At one point I had a hard time reading because my eyes had literally turned into hearts. Hands-down one of the best fictional guys I've read in awhile.

The scenes that he weren’t in had me praying there would be some kind of excuse for him to come into the picture. The relationship between these two was also grand. Seriously so freaking sweet!!!! Definitely swoon-worthy. However I did hear that this book was supposed to be super steamy, and I will say I was a tiny bit let down when it wasn’t. I wanted more hot and heavy moments. The sweet moments we got however were great.

The best part about Velvet was that it was a light read with great writing. The writing never seems forced or too youthful. The storyline though a little predictable, was still fast and fun. I also really enjoyed the new spin on Vampires. The best part about this book was that it had more of a contemporary feel to it than it did super-natural. I’m not a big contemporary reads person, but I really enjoyed that that’s what it felt like.It made me feel like I was getting something I usually miss from contemporary reads.

Overall I was really happy about this read. It's some good time chick-lit with a light heartedness that I think most will enjoy.  It may look like a winter read but I think it fit perfectly into my summer.It's hard to believe that this is Temple's debut novel. I look forward to book two and reading whatever she puts out in the future.

8/10 Stars

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fictional Book Boyfriends pt 7

It's that time again!!!!! We put some faces too the names in our books!  Here are our June picks for "fictional book boyfriends" or as some call them "dream-cast" and most recently "IfList". We basically pick a few of our favorite titles and show you who we imagined the leading men to be.
Click the titles to go to the reviews and click here for past post.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Love triangle forms between shadowhunting best friends and a mystery girl.

Joe Collier as Will Herondale 
We'd gladly go into a Vampire party if this slice of handsome was escorting us.

Mario Maurer as Jem Carstairs
We'd like to be the ham in this man sandwich.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas 
The smutty and oh so good version of Beauty and the Beast 

Ken Bek as Lucien 
Not even a robotic eye could keep this guy from looking all sorts of fine.

After by Anna Todd 
Girl and guy go back and forth in a non-stop love hate relationship.

Joshua Anthony Brand as Hardin Scott
We just wanna Live While Were Young with this babe.

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover 
Two musical neighbors lust after one another, but of course something is keep them apart.

Brendan Dooling as Ridge
Someone please tell us how to sign "I want your babies".

Friday, June 5, 2015

After We Collided by Anna Todd

Tessa’s not sure she can endure any more heartache than she already has. She put everything on hold for Hardin school, friends, mother, and now possibly even a new career. She needs to move forward with her life. After We Collided is the second book in the After series.

I don't think I can reiterate enough how much I hate this series... "But Angela why the high rating?"... Well let me tell  you, this is the best worst thing I've ever read. It's so addictive it's insane. It's like the potato chip bag of books. You don't want to eat more than a handful but somehow wind up eating the whole bag.

After We Collided is seriously just the book After again. It's the same shit different day. Tessa and Hardin continue their on again off again, I hate you but can't live without you bull that they did in the first. Tessa is still the same up tight-jump to conclusion- why is she dating this guy- train wreck that she was in the first. Hardin is the same glass smashing-must fight anything with a pulse-emotional flip flopping dbag he was in the first as well. Tessa continues to say one thing then do another. Hardin continues to come up with white pointless lies for again, no reason. To give Todd some credit she did give her characters a little more development and personality in this one than the first. Tessa managed to have a little more spine than a jellyfish and Hardin was a lot more comical than in the first.   

"Just because he can't love you the way you want him to doesn't mean he doesn't love you with everything he has."

As far as the plot line goes AWC is like I said, just After only written in dual Pov between Hardin and Tessa. A lot of people are saying how important this was because we get to see what's going on in both our leads heads... Hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is nothing of substance going on in either of their brains. 95% of  the time you'll be screaming "wow if these two just actually chilled the F out and had a real conversation this book would be 200 pages shorter and sweeter." This book is a cluster of what the heck am I reading moments. That being said I did enjoy the dual views. The plot is as delicious as soggy bread an at this point in time you're probably still wondering why I've given it such high marks... Well because again Todd has managed to hook me in. Every time I set this book down within minutes I had to pick it back up. The combination of perfectly placed twist, smutty goodness, my hatred of characters, and stupid plot must have fried all my braincells and in return made me love this story. The After Series brings nothing new or original to the ya/na genre. The moment it pulled the 50 shades of gross it took everything in me not to set this book on fire (if you've read it you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about). Though the characters are awful and the plot is weak all the twist made up for it. Because when those twist happen... Well lets just say the situation looked a little like this:

Both took me completely by surprise. Oh and the smut in this book is so on point! Haters go ahead and hate, don't care, I ate it up!

After We Collided had me so mad, so angry, so annoyed, and so so entertained. It's a story about a toxic relationship between an idiot, drunk, controlling, cocky dick weed and a naive, pathetic, stupid, co-dependent moody girl, and yet I can't seem to get enough. 

7.5/10 why can't I put this down stars 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


So as y'all might know we went to BookCon in New York this year and... Well it was amazing! We pretty much got to do everything we set out too. We decided pretty early on that we wanted to do both Saturday and Sunday. We planned and planned and tried to factor in every little detail even though we really didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. This was our first BIG con, and it really is on a whole new level of fandom craziness.

We got up SUPER early that morning with our book bags packed, schedules in had, and tickets around our neck. We hoofed it to the subway and then walked a million miles (rookie movie #1) since we were staying in Brooklyn and figured cab fare would been really expensive. We learned VERY quickly that dropping $$$ on a cab or Uber ride is one of those absolute necessities and something that will be forevermore added into future budgeting.

So we get to the Javitis Center around 6:45 and there were already 100+ people lined up. We were super lucky to get there so early, because the closer it got to the doors opening (8AM), the more people that were in line. HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of people were in line behind us. It was absolutely insane. When the doors opened, it was a mad dash into the center down the stairs and into the Queue hall where they had set up lines to get wristbands for each panel throughout the day and also to line up to enter the floor of the showroom (which opened at 10). We immediately jumped in line for the Paper Towns panel featuring John Green, Nat Wolff, Justice Smith, and others. We waited for an hour and a half in that line before we finally received our wristbands, but we got them!!

The next things on our list were dropping by JD Netto's booth because he was doing an AWESOME special for both of his books SIGNED plus a tote bag full of swag. We stopped by his line and visited a bunch of the big publishers that had booths set up. After browsing around for a while and picking up tons of swag, we knew we needed to hoof it back downstairs and jump in line for the autographing of Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines, and KA Turner. On our way downstairs we decided a pit stop was in order... and as we are walking in the bathroom COLLEEN FREAKING HOOVER IS WALKING OUT. We both have deer in the headlights looks on our face as we super awkwardly/super awesomely meet our favorite author CoHo outside of the ladies restroom. She was SO nice and everything we hoped she would be. After freaking out and nearly losing our minds, we head downstairs and jump in line for her autograph. We waited in that line for about an hour and a half. Luckily we were near the front of the line and got their super early, because it filled up fast. Meeting both Coho and Abbi was amazing! They were both super sweet and it was a dream come true finally getting to met them. Abbi Glines had actor Addam Bramich with her. If you don't know he is set to star in her movie While it Lasts... and of course I (Angela) again embarrassed myself in classic fashion by saying sup and giving him gun fingers!!! Like what they heck does that even mean???!

Sabaa Tahir's signing was immediately after CoHo's so we jumped right back in line to wait. We had about another hour and a half of waiting before Tahir's signing, but it was worth it because we were once again near the front of the line. We were starving and near death at this point since all we had eaten so far that day were a few Clif bars, water, and some nuts. We were definitely running solely on Fan Girl fumes at that point
but it was absolutely worth it. While we were waiting for Tahir's signing, Jennifer Eaton was signing upstairs, so Angela went up to meet her and buy her books while Leah waited and held our places in line for Tahir. Finally we got to meet Sabaa Tahir and she was amazing. She signed our books and she even asked us to sign one of her books so she had a souvenir from her time at BookCon. Such a cool idea. Her signature is super BA. She incorporates the mask used in Ember in it. Super unique.

After Tahir's signing, we decided we needed to go ahead and jump in line for the Paper Towns panel, which was already starting to line up. Even though we had wristbands that guaranteed an entry, seats were first come first serve so we needed to get there super early to make sure we got good seats. We got in line around 3 and waited for the panel to start at 6. Getting there so early was the best choice all day, because we were definitely in the first 50 or so people. Everyone was sitting on the ground and just resting since it had been such a long day. Leah went and got us some real food from one of the concession stands while we waited and then we took turns running upstairs to meet Abi & Missy and get their book Hunted which is the sequel to the book Branded. So awesome!

After waiting in line for the three hours, we finally were able to start entering the Special Events Hall were Paper Towns was being held. It was a mad rush by everyone in line and it got a little crazy for a bit. We ended up with AWESOME seats. The panel was definitely the highlight of the day. John Green is hilarious and everything that comes out of his mouth is gold. Seeing some of the cast and some of the other crew members that work behind the scenes was amazing. They even had the composure for the soundtrack there! Which we both thought was such a great idea and brought something new and different to their panel. We were shown and exclusive scene and trailer for Paper Towns which hasn't yet been released. IT WAS AMAZING. We are SO pumped to see the movie, even more so than before!! We decided to go ahead and dip out and head home after that because we were dead on our feet. We didn't even eat dinner and were passed out by 9:30.

We knew this day was going to be a lot more chill because we accomplished most of our big goals the day before. The only thing we really wanted to do was go to the Sarah J. Maas signing, but by the time we got to the center, her line was already at capacity (we seriously missed it by like 2 minutes). It was a bummer, but we weren't too upset since we got to meet her last year at YALLFest and hopefully we get to meet her again this year. We spent nearly the entire day walking around the show floor and we picked up SO much swag. Whoever said that you don't get a lot of free books and swag at BookCon (versus going to BEA) wasn't doing life right. We got SO many books on Sunday. One of the coolest parts of the day was attending the Swoon Reads Party where we got to meet Sandy Hall and Temple West. Leah won an ARC of a book published by Swoon reads that is coming out in August! We also got tshirts, notebooks, and signed swag from Sandy and Temple.

Last year when we were at YALLFest, we kept seeing people walking around it Throne of Glass tote bags that had the character names on it. We wanted them SO bad, but the people said they received them at BEA last year. Guess what guys. WE GOT THE BAGS. We waited in line and WE GOT THE DANG TOTE BAGS!!! This was one of our Holy Grail items and we even got a TON of super cool Throne of Glass themed buttons (they seriously gave us like fifty Heir of Fire buttons). The rest of the day was spent just hanging out around the show floor and basically getting free stuff. We got SO many free books (including several ARCs and THREE copies of Outlander with the new cover featuring the cast members from the TV show (don't worry-- we have LOTS of giveaways planned for the future). We even got these killer Shadow Hunter tote bags that Angela nearly had a heart attack over. They were given away in super limited quantities, but we got them plus a sample of Cassie Clare's new book Lady Midnight and an amazing TMI poster!! Sunday turned out to be way more than we expected it to be. We were able to chill and actually eat lunch like normal people and take our time walking around and got SO much stuff. It was amazing

We ended up leaving BC around 3pm because we had accomplished everything we had wanted to accomplish. Our flight was supposed to leave later that night so we wanted to get back and pack all of our swag. We ended up going through this huge fiasco at the airport because of really bad weather, but we will spare y'all of those details.

All in all, we had an amazing time. BookCon was so much more than we expected and we can't wait to go to CHICAGO next year for it!!! If you are able, this is definitely a con you want to save up for and try to attend. Yes, it is still a relatively young con and there are still some kinks to be worked out, but it was an amazing experience. One of the biggest things that irritated us while we were there was whole much people were complaining about having to wait in line so long. Guys, you HAVE to understand that when you go to a con of ANY kind (BookCon, ComicCon, Walker Stalker Con, etc.) you are going to be waiting in line for the majority of the time. It's just the nature of the beast. You just have to make the best of the time you are given and really what an amazing opportunity you have to meet these authors and receive such exclusive swag. It is definitely one of the biggest high lights of our year!

  • Arcs and early releases 
  • Free Bookish items
  • A verity of authors
  • Unique panels 
  • Tickets are reasonably priced 
  • Meeting with authors 
  • Tons of publishing booths
  • The book that did cost money weren't expensive at all
  • The line though long were organized
  •  Everyone who get in line for panels will get a wrist band
  • Opening ran behind schedule
  • The Word Bookstore was a hotmess (this is where you buy books for authors who require a purchase with their signing)
  • At the start of the day things were a little unorganized, but did get better as the day went
  • You only get a very limited time to met the authors 
  • Food is expensive 
We highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes, and if you don't have patience for waiting in ling then this probably isn't the event for you. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Easy by Tammara Webber

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into their sophomore year. After two weeks of being sad and a hermit she wakes up to her new reality... That this really wasn't how she wanted her life to go, but she needs to pick up the pieces and move forward.
So I was told that this book was a lot like Beautiful Disaster... Hmmmm no because it didn't suck. So thanks for almost making me not read this book (you know who you are!).

When I first started reading this I was a little underwhelmed. We have our gloomy leading lady Jackie, who is being all gloomy because she gets dumped by her long time boyfriend, and then almost gets raped at a Halloween party... (Insert leading male rescuer here) When Lucas stop the attack from happening. After this scene all I could think was "Oh its gonna be one of these reads, sigh". I'm sure you all get what I'm referring to and if you don't then you probably don't read enough Ya... Anyways after Lucas rescues her we start actually getting into the story and characters. Jackie is a pretty average character. I only liked her to a certain degree, but I found myself never fully being engaged with her character. Some of her choices through out the story were a little ehhhh in my opinion... Like willing going to places she knew her attacker would be. Also with a lot of situations she was put in I didn't get why she was so compelled to just cave in and go along with things.

Lucas however I favored a little more. I particularly like that he wasn't the typical looking male ya dude. I overall have no true negative to mention about him. The only thing I have to say about him is sometimes I felt like he became a little too convenient... Having him have so many jobs was really unrealistic. Like there aren't enough hours in the day, or week for you two have 10 jobs, tutor kids, volunteer with a womens self defense calls, and go to school! Just can't happen, and sometimes he was doing all those things in one day. BUT, I like his presence and the way he fit into the story. His background story was something I would usually complain about, but how Webber put it into the book actually had me liking it. For the most part I really enjoyed him.

The plot is a little scattered and at some points does feel a little rushed. However I really liked this book and the way the story turned out. I liked that the plot focused a lot on women standing up, banding together, and learning to stand on their own. The best part of not just the plot but with the story was that it did have a very addictive pull to it. I found myself wanting to come back to it after having to set it down, and wanting to know where it was headed.

Even with a few small fumbles, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I might be a little late to jump on this wagon, but better late than never right?.. Easy wasn't my favorite read but it wasn't a book I felt I suffered though. If you're looking for a fun, quick read, with a good amount of romance this book might just be for you.

7.5/10 Stars