May Blog Wrap-Up

It has been SUCH a busy month! I might not have been able to get a lot of books or reviews done, but I definitely had a lot to do outside of blogging. Work has been CRAZY! Last week was especially busy with events and whatnot. I was able to go to Phoenix Comicon for a day this weekend and I attended a panel called Girl Power! Women Writing YA... or something like that. (I also got to see John Barrowman, aka Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who... but that's not bookish, so I'll skip that. Hee hee!) The panel was really awesome! On Thursday, I got to go to the Summer Lovin' Tour with Jessi Kirby, Shannon Messenger, Kimberly Derting, Sarah Ockler and Morgan Matson. I missed all but the last fifteen minutes or so of their discussion, but it was still heaps of fun. All five ladies were so nice! On Friday I went to a signing for the launch of Loki's Wolves, a middle-grade novel by Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr. I can't wait to read this one, you guys! Norse mythology AND two amazing authors? Heck yes! I got an ARC of Melissa Marr's upcoming adult novel, The Arrivals, which sounds amazing. I was really happy to be able to see both authors again at the Comicon panel with Suzanne Young and Alexandra Monir. Oh! I was able to meet Suzanne Young, too! She is so incredibly awesome, you guys. I can't wait to read The Program!!!

Okay, enough fangirling! Moving on... May was the first full month having Naomi join She Dreams in Fiction, so that's awesome! We were able to get some stuff done, ya'll! I don't know what format I want to do for this collective wrap-up thing, so I'll try a few out and see which works best. Here goes nothing!

Top Ten Tuesday (12): Amazing Authors I Was Lucky Enough to Meet

This week is a freebie topic on Top Ten Tuesday, so I get to pick my own. After much deliberation, it has been decided that this week is all about the authors I've been able to meet! I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing authors, you guys. Some of the signings have been super informative or hilarious or felt like I was having a chat with friends... or all of the above! I really love living in a place where it's possible to have these wonderful bookish experiences!

Guest Review: Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro 
Format: E-book, 272 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: 24 September 2012
Age Level: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound
James Patterson returns to the genre that made him famous with a thrilling teen detective series about the mysterious and magnificently wealthy Angel family . . . and the dark secrets they're keeping from one another. On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, Tandy Angel knows just three things: 1) She was the last person to see her parents alive. 2) The police have no suspects besides Tandy and her three siblings. 3) She can't trust anyone--maybe not even herself. Having grown up under Malcolm and Maud's intense perfectionist demands, no child comes away undamaged. Tandy decides that she will have to clear the family name, but digging deeper into her powerful parents' affairs is a dangerous-and revealing-game. Who knows what the Angels are truly capable of?

I was hesitant to pick up this book precisely because it was a James Patterson teen novel. Have you ever read Maximum Ride? I have. Its starts out with a good premise but derails really fast. I was afraid this book might do the same. I was very pleasantly surprised as to how it turned out. Perhaps Maxine Paetro had something to do with it.

First off, let's get something out of the way. This is a murder mystery book. It is not supernatural; everything obeys the laws of physics, and everyone is human, for the most part. It is not a young adult romance; there are NO sappy love triangles to be found in this book, just  trashy one that will probably make your stomach turn. It isn't even action/adventure, as most of the book takes place in one building in New York. There are no explosions to be found, just one measly high-rise death-defying run-of-the-mill B&E (breaking and entering, for those who aren't familiar with the term).

What I'm trying to say is that though I'm aware this novel lacks most (or all) of the usual themes many people look to YA for, it is a very solid work with plot lines that suck you in and characters that are all at once believable and so, so weird.

Top Ten Tuesday (11): Favorite Covers of Books I've Read

I am really excited about this week's topic. I'm a very visual person, so when I found out our topic this week is Top Ten Favorite Covers of Books I've Read, I was practically giddy! Then my face fell as I realized I was going to have to narrow down my favorite covers. Yikes. Though it was difficult, I think I was able to do it... for the most part. I know I'm leaving so many out! Le sigh.

I do judge a book by its cover, as I'm sure many people do. It's the first thing that grabs me. Whether it be the image, colors or the font, the cover has to draw me in. Now just because I love the cover, doesn't necessarily mean I love the book. I wish it always worked out that way, but it doesn't. Alas. As far as covers go, there are some things that will either draw me in or push me away. I'm not real fond of faces being visible. If I can see the face of the person on the cover, it's like cheating me out of the opportunity to visualize the character myself. Like I mentioned above, I'm quite fond of fonts and color (or the lack of color). I think those two elements can set the mood very well, when done correctly. So yeah... I love covers!

In no particular order, here are just ten covers I love to bits:

Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson 
Hardcover: 292 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 3 July 2012
Age Level: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything--her family, her future--to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been a fan of Peter Pan and Neverland. I used to have regular dreams of flying and having adventures with Peter Pan and exploring with the Lost Boys. When I heard there was a book being released (on my birthday, too!) that focused on Tiger Lily, I was definitely intrigued. Not much is really known about the enigmatic Tiger Lily, so I simply had to read this novel. Little did I know this beautifully written novel would be so very different from what I expected.

Top Ten Tuesday (10): Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

Last week was difficult because it dealt with books that are light and fun, which was really hard for me to narrow down because I love those kinds of books to bits. This week is difficult because of the complete opposite. The topic for this week is Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects. I'm not one who likes to read deep, dark, depressing books that deal with tough things like rape, violence, substance abuse or the like. I read to escape, be uplifted, have an adventure, laugh until my stomach aches, etc. It was super tough trying to find ten books I've read that deal with these subjects, but I've somehow managed it... even if I had to stretch a little bit. Ahem.

So, without further ado, here are some books I've read that deal with difficult subjects:

Review: Chasing the Dark by Sam Hepburn

Chasing the Dark by Sam Hepburn
Format: ARC, 352 pages
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: 6 June 2013  
Age Level: Young Adult
Source: provided by the Book Depository for review
Purchase: Book Depository

Joe’s mum is dead.

Killed alongside a stranger, in a hit-and-run car crash. Her last words, a message for someone he doesn’t know. Angry and alone, he takes his dog for a late-night walk, where he finds himself at the gates of a mansion belonging to an old movie star.

It’s here that Joe begins his chase to uncover the truth of what happened that night ...

Joe Slattery has just lost his mother in a tragic car crash. At only fourteen, Joe's life has been turned upside down and the only one he has for comfort is his dog, Oz. He has moved in with his Aunt Doreen and Uncle George, but he just doesn't feel like he's welcome. He believes his mother's death was not an accident, but nobody believes him. Then one night whilst walking his dog, Joe spots an abandoned mansion, known as Elysium. Years before, this mansion was home to a famous actress, Norma Craig, and her husband Greville Clairmont... and witness to a horrible murder. As the story goes, Greville had planned on murdering his wife, but mistook the housekeeper for her instead. In a panic, he disposed of the body and fled, never to be seen again. Joe decides to explore inside the mansion, and that decision catapults him into an unbelievable journey. Piece by piece, the puzzle of his mother's death starts to come together, but it is much more involved and dangerous than he would have ever imagined. Along the way he uncovers secrets about his family, his world and some secrets certain individuals would kill to keep buried. He makes new friends and enemies alike, but one thing is for sure: Joe's life will never be the same.

Cover Reveal: Overexposed by Adrianne James

Are you ready to see the cover of Overexposed by Adrianne James?! Check it out, guys!

Top Ten Tuesday (9): Books To Read When You Need Something Light & Fun

The topic this week is Top Ten Books Books When You Need Something Light & Fun. I freaking LOVE light and fun books, you guys. Give me a book with silliness and laughter and feel-goodness and I'm a happy camper. I sometimes like to hop back into a favorite kids book or snuggle up with a fun chick-lit-ish type novel. There are so many heavy books (and life experiences) out there, it's nice when you can indulge in a little happy escapism. Am I right? You know I am! Hee hee.

Here are some of the books I like to read when I'm in the mood for something light and fun:

Guest Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Format: E-book, 352 pages  
Publisher: HarperTeen  
Release Date: 24 April 2012  
Age Level: Young Adult  
Source: Purchased  
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble
Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love. Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others. Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.

Hello! I'm so excited to finally put my first review on this blog! I feel like it's been ages since my introduction, but I guess it hasn't really been that long. I've been having computer issues lately, so this review has become a difficult proposition! I've somehow done it though, so I really hope you enjoy it!

Let me just say right of the bat that I really enjoyed this book. A lot. I think I knew I was going to like this book when I read the dedication page, which reads simply, " Hi, Dad! *waves*" How cool and fun and unexpected is that? I wish I'd thought of it first. I'd recommend it to you based solely on the dedication, but luckily, the writing style of the narrative continues in the same fun and energetic way, which gives the book a light and easy feel, even when the subject matter becomes a little heavier.

April Blog Wrap-Up

I think I've decided to do something a little different. Well, I'm going to try it out and see how well it works. Instead of focusing just on my reading challenge progress, I thought it might be a good idea to do a summary of what happened during the month. Sound like a plan? Ideally, these monthly posts will go live on the last day of the month, but I'm a little behind. Sorry! And we're moving on...

So what happened in March? Well, I think the most significant thing to was happen was getting a co-reviewer! I am so excited to have Naomi join the blog. If you'd like to see the introduction/announcement post, check it out here.

I took part in a giveaway hop called Showers of Books hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, which was a hit! The winner of the giveaway is...
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