Monday, June 30, 2014

Nerd Talks: To DNF or Not To DNF...

So, the other day, I posted some DNF mini reviews. I mentioned that I hardly ever DNF books. And it's true. I often will force myself through a book because I feel the need to finish it. But that got me thinking...if I force myself to finish a review book, does that make my rating "unfair" to the book? Or would it just be better if I DNF-ed it, and stated why I didn't want to continue reading?

I actually have not come upon that many books that I feel the need to DNF. I usually reserve those for the ones that I absolutely cannot stand what even is this (like Halo) and on occasion, books that ended up being nothing like the description said/what I thought it was going to be (like Distant Waves). But maybe I need to be more picky about the books I DNF. If I don't feel like reading something, I shouldn't read it. (Although, I definitely think there is a difference between putting something down because I'm not in the mood for it, and actually DNF-ing it, like I'm never going to pick this back up ever. Because I am a definite mood reader.)

Which brings me to the real question: How do you decide with review books? I have review books that I have had for months that I started and never picked up again. Because it's a review book, I think I have to finish it and then it sits there forever, when I really just need to realize that I'm never going to finish it. Which is why I tried out the mini DNF review format last week, and I think it's something I'm going to keep.

Because life is too short to read books you don't want to.

So tell me: do you DNF books? How do you decide what to DNF?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Because I'm Disposable {by Rosie Somers}

Title: Because I'm Disposable
Author: Rosie Somers
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Smashwords
Received via publicist

Sixteen-year-old Callista Tanner was in the bathroom slitting her wrists the night her father took a fatal plunge down the stairs. People around her think she attempted suicide because she found him dead -- or worse, because she had a guilty conscience. Few know the truth; Michael Tanner had been beating her for years.
The freedom that should have come with her father's death becomes a cage of rumors and self-doubt. Callie seeks escape in the most destructive ways, bringing her emotional scars to the surface for the world to see.
One bright spot exists in Callie's dark world.
Lincoln Devaux refuses to let Callie sink fully into the depths of her own depression, stepping into her life when she needs someone the most. She tries to push him away, but Link is determined to save Callie from herself. Even when she doesn't think she's worth saving.

With myself in this current mood of starting books and then putting them down because I'm not in the mood for them, the fact that I actually finished this one speaks volumes. (And, okay, also it was really short which doesn't hurt.) This wasn't the best book I've ever read or anything, but it was interesting enough to me that I kept reading.

Callie tried to kill herself the night her father died. He had been beating her for years, and she couldn't take the abuse anymore. She did everything in her power to keep him from touching her little sister, which meant she took all the beatings herself. And her mother would never stand up to her father, to protect Callie. So she's basically alone. When her father died, it should have brought relief, but this has affected her so much that she still can't get away from the demons in her head. Enter Lincoln, the boy next door (er, across the street) and someone who sees Callie for who she is, and wants to help her.

I was very meh about this book the whole way through. Like I said, I was interested in knowing what happened, but I think the fact that this was so short worked against it. There wasn't much character development. Yes, Callie gets into bad things (drugs, drinking, self-harm, etc.) and at the end, does realize the error of her ways and wants to get better. But there was very little actual development. And we don't see much from the other characters. They're just sort of...there. Yes, they have their important roles to play, but that's it.

The writing was okay, enough to keep you reading. The plot was a little predictable, but not bad or anything. I will say though...Lincoln. I mean, please, show me a 16-year-old boy that is like that. He was so sweet and nice. Definitely swoony.

All in all, this was a pretty okay book. It was pretty short, which seems to work against it for some points, but not bad. Although this does deal with more sensitive, heavier topics, it was just a quick, interesting read.

This review can also be found on   Goodreads

Rosie Somers:

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Mini {DNF} Reviews: Fifteen Minutes, Airel

Because life's too short and there are way too many books to force yourself through books you don't want to read. While I don't usually review DNF's, these are just a couple of the review books that I've ended up putting down. These won't be actual review, per se, but just my initial thoughts and the reasons I put them down.

Title: Fifteen Minutes
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Rating: DNF at 50 pages
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Received via NetGalley, but also purchased it myself

Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese--one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.
Then Chandra Olson--reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges--intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.
Can Chandra's private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

Last year, I was on a huge Karen Kingsbury kick. I read so many of her books. In fact, this was one of my very first NG requests. And I actually bought the book, that's how much I love Karen Kingsbury. This DNF may be in part because I was just burned out on her books by this point, although I did try picking it up again recently and couldn't get into it. Some might say 50 pages may not be enough of a chance, but it was all I could struggle through.

Honestly, this book was not the same quality that I have come to expect from Karen Kingsbury. I loved the concept of this, as it is something that we can relate to in these days, but it just didn't work. I know that Kingsbury's books are filled with a lot of instances that just happen to work out perfectly, but there was something about this one that just worked out too perfect. I realize that I hadn't yet gotten to when things start to fall apart, but that's how I felt.

Basically, this just couldn't hold my attention. I felt the writing quality was not up to par with her other works (and I've read a lot of Karen Kingsbury). I hope to someday revisit this one and actually finish it, but maybe not anytime soon.

Karen Kingsbury:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Title: Airel
Author: Aaron Patterson with Chris White
Rating: DNF at 30%
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Received via NetGalley

All Airel ever wanted was to be normal, to disappear into the crowd. But bloodlines can produce surprises, like an incredible ability to heal. Then there’s Michael Alexander, the new guy in school, who is impossibly gorgeous…and captivated by her. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she can hear the sound of pages turning, and another, older story being written. It is the story of an ancient family, of great warriors, of the Sword of Light, and the struggle against an evil so terrible, so far-reaching, that it threatens everything. Airel knew change would be an inevitable part of life. But can she hold on when murder and darkness begin to close in and take away everything she loves? Will she have what it takes when the truth is finally revealed?

I've been wanting to read this one for years, since it was first released in 2011. So when I saw that they were re-releasing it and that it was on NG, I snatched it up (er, clicked the Request button really quickly and went pleasepleaseplease). But alas, it was just not for me.

I wanted to give it more than just 30%, but I just could not do it. First, the writing. It was over simplified. I couldn't stand the main character. I just couldn't stand reading it in general because of the writing style. It was hard for me to get through. 

I couldn't connect with any of the main characters, especially our MC. She spends about half the time talking about how she isn't one of those girls that gets all boy crazy. But like, from the first chapter, that's exactly what she is. 

And, like, the insta-love. Ohmygosh, the insta-love. This was one of the worst cases I've ever read. I mean, she has barely yet to meet him, but it must be fate because it's like he can see into her soul. What?

I hate to say it, but this just wasn't the book for me. It might be for you, but I just could not do it.

Aaron Patterson:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Being Sloane Jacobs {by Lauren Morrill}

Title: Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Received via NetGalley

Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn't sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.
When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it 
didn't occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

Man, I ended up putting this off for a long time because, well, you know how it is. Too many things to read, not nearly enough time. But I ended up enjoying this one a lot more than I thought I would. It was definitely an adorable, fun read.

I'm not saying anything about this seemed realistic. There is no way in heck anyone could actually pull this off. But I didn't let that bother me. Also, it was pretty predictable. But as long as you don't let that bother you either, this book was very enjoyable.

Sloane Emily is a politician's daughter. Her mother is sending her to a figure skating camp so she can make her "comeback", but Sloane doesn't want to. Sloane Devon is a hockey player, who is getting sent to hockey camp for being too aggressive. So when the two Sloanes meet, they decide to just switch lives, because easy peasy nothing could go wrong with that.

The writing of this one was very well-done. The story alternates between both girls, and Morrill did an excellent job of keeping them separate and individual. Both of them had unique voices, and it wasn't overwhelming, figuring out who was who and keeping track of characters. I also loved the descriptions of the skating and hockey. They were detailed and vivid, and added another dimension to the story that kept it from being just another sappy romance. 

The romance between Matt and Sloane Emily was very Insta-lovey. There didn't seem to be much basis or reason to it. Sloane Devon and Nando were a bit better, being someone she has known before, but not much. But thankfully, the story wasn't solely focused on the romantic aspect. 

The character growth is very apparent in this one. It was definitely fun to see the girls grow and realize who they each were. To see how they had grown and changed through each other's eyes was also interesting. 

This is definitely a fun, cute read. It was adorable and entertaining, and I would definitely recommend it.

Lauren Morrill:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mini Reviews: Rise and Shine, Sons of Isaac

Title: Rise & Shine
Author: Sandra D. Bricker
Series: Contemporary Fairy Tales, #2
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Received via NetGalley

Shannon Malone thought she'd found her happy ending when she married Edmund Ridgeway, but a diving accident on their honeymoon left her in a coma. Waking up to the news that she's thirty years old would have been daunting enough . . . but she also learns that Edmund has lost his interim battle with cancer and the world has marched on without her. Her gorgeous doctor, Daniel Petros, seems to know everything about her and becomes Shannon's tour guide into a whole new world of madness where reality television has taken over the planet and everyone's life appears to revolve around a tiny screen on their cell phones!
As Shannon struggles to navigate through the changes-both in the world and in her-she also must discern real memories from imagined ones. Did she really ever wear capris pants and entertain in her living room, or was that Laura Petrie from her favorite classic TV show? And where is her beloved dog, Freeway? Oh, wait! That was Jonathan and Jennifer Hart's dog, not hers.
Shannon's three elderly aunts flit through her life in true Sleeping Beauty style with her well-being always a priority. And Edmund's sister Millicent descends like the Evil Queen she is, trying to extract Shannon from any claim on the Ridgeway family fortune. When a tornado moves through town and Shannon is knocked unconscious, will Daniel's kiss awaken her once and for all?

You should have already known that when I saw "contemporary fairy tale", that it was a given that I was going to check this out. I don't care that much for Sleeping Beauty in general, but I really enjoyed this one. It was cute and fun. 

Shannon is on her honeymoon, when she has an accident that puts her in a coma. When she finally wakes up, 10 years has passed, and her husband has died of cancer. She understands nothing of the world around her, or what to do. With the help of her best friend Izzy, her fairy godmothers--er, aunts, and her Prince Charming (also known as Doctor Petros), Shannon learns to re-navigate the world and find her purpose. And of course, battle the evil Maleficent--I mean Millicent.

I will say, one thing this put into perspective was how technologically dependent we have become. You don't think about how fast it has progressed from only 10 years ago, until you saw it from Shannon's perspective. And seeing her get excited about all the new discoveries shows how much we take for granted too. 

I loved the characters. Shannon is a strong-willed, independent woman. She has to learn how she fits in the world after being "asleep" for ten years, and that is not an easy thing to do, especially when you still can't remember most of your previous life. Hear aunts were fun and hilarious, and Izzy was the kind of girlfriend every woman needs. And Doctor Petros was so kind and perfect and funny (if a bit old. For me, not for Shannon. Bummer.)

This was definitely a cute, hilarious story. Sandra D. Bricker has a way of writing that will have you laughing out loud. It may be a sweet and simple story, but it is definitely filled with a lot of fun times, emotions, and growth. The spiritual aspect was nicely weaved in, as Sandra learns to come to terms with God after the aspect. All in all, this is a nicely done book that is perfect when you're looking for something sweet and fun.

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Sandra D. Bricker:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Title: The Sons of Isaac
Author: Roberta Kells Dors
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Received via NetGalley

You will live the grand story of the descendants of Abraham in this capstone of the Roberta Kells Dorr biblical fiction series. This work is a new, unpublished title, of Abraham's descendants featuring Isaac's sons, Jacob and Esau, told with the same critical eye and careful study Dorr is known for. In it, faith keeps Abraham from accepting the king's daughter as a wife for Isaac, but fear almost keeps Rebekah from leaving her home to become Isaac's spouse. When God tells Rebekah that she will bear Isaac twin sons and the youngest will serve the older, Jacob is skeptical. But that revelation will mark the lives of Jacob and Esau and influence generations to come.
This tale of family love, greed, jealousy, hope, manipulation, stubbornness, idol worship, famine, and faith in the one God, Elohim, is taken from the pages of biblical history but sounds like a headline from today's magazines. It ends much like it begins, when Jacob blesses two of his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, saying that the younger will become greater than the older, a theme that is seen throughout The Sons of Isaac

For some reason,I am always interested in stories that retellings of Bible stories/Biblical characters. I will pick up anything I see that is one, especially if it's a character that is my favorite or really interesting. I won't say Isaac is one of my favorite characters or anything, but seeing how differently each author can interpret the stories fascinate me.

The stories are nothing knew, and can only be changed so much in keeping with history, which has always been a hard part for anyone who wants to attempt this kind of story. The writing in this story was very well done. It captured your interest from the beginning, and was almost enough to make you feel like you were reading an entirely new story.

I liked the differing perspectives, and how we got to hear from characters we normally wouldn't, such as Laban, Laban's wife, and Rachel's maidservant Bilhah. I think adding these new and interesting perspectives is what set this apart from different retellings. I also liked how the author chose to include less talked about characters or instances, such as Abraham's concubine Keturah, and the part in the Bible that says Reuben slept with one of this father's wives (well, concubines).

This story does seem to be written for those who already have a basic understanding of the Bible story, which is why I haven't really talked about the story itself. It starts with Abraham wanting a wife for Isaac, how Rebekah was chosen, and then keeps going, from the twins being born to Jacob marrying Rachel and Leah, etc. Pretty much the whole story

While this maybe wasn't the best Biblical re-imagining I've ever read, this was very well done, and well-researched. The author was able to keep the story interesting and engaging, and it seemed very well-researched. Whether you are interested in a more deeper understanding of Isaac, or just love a good historical novel from that time period, this book would be one to read.

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Roberta Kells Dor:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lost in Starlight Dream Cast!

Hey guys! Today, I am here to help Sherry Soule promote her new book, Lost in Starlight. To give us some idea about the book, Sherry will be sharing her dream cast! So without further ado, here she is with her choices for how she imagines her characters!

Dream Cast:

For my tough heroine, Sloane Masterson, I think this lovely and brilliant actress Lucy Hale (just imagine her with purple hair!) would be perfect.
Tough talking, girl reporter, Sloane is not your typical heroine. She’s a feisty, disarming, and a fiercely independent seventeen-year-old. But she’s not flawlessly beautiful, or super thin, or extremely intelligent like some YA protagonists. Sloane has very real and relatable body issues and insecurities like most teen girls do. She favors the dark-side in clothes and music, loves to watch scary movies, and likes hanging out in graveyards. She uses her wits to cover her emotional scars, and if you can break through her tough exterior, you’ll have a fearless, loyal friend for life.

For the part of the stoic and brooding, Hayden Lancaster, I think this dynamic actor would be great, Matt Lanter.
At first glance, it seems that eighteen-year-old Hayden has a detached, unemotional exterior, but what lies beneath is a kindhearted individual that will go out of their way to help a friend.  

For Sloane’s best friend, Viola Saks, this remarkable actress would be fantastic: Camilla Belle.
Outgoing and feisty, Viola’s a fun-loving spirit girl, who loves to read. Never lacking in optimism, Viola is frequently seen as a crusader for the rights of others and a defender of lost causes. Popularity makes no difference to her as long as she believes in the cause.

For Devin Greenspan, Editor of the school paper, I like this gifted actor best: Ed Westwick.
Devin has had a crush on Sloane for years and never gave the hope of one day hooking up with her. But when Hayden becomes her best friend, he feels threatened by the newcomer.

Only one actor comes to mind that could portray Hayden’s younger brother, Zach Lancaster, and it is actor, Paul Wesley.
Zach and his brother grew up in a close-knit family where outside friends are discouraged. So when Hayden becomes good friends with Sloane, Zach tries to sabotage the friendship and strongly opposes the relationship.

For Sloane’s good friends, Tanisha and Raymond, I like both of these talented actors: Erica Hubbard and Daniel Andrew Sharman:
Tanisha and Raymond are loyal friends that hang in Sloan’s crew. Tanisha dresses sort of Goth, and she’s really into Wicca and alternative bands. Raymond is more punk rock, and plays the role of the tortured musician to perfection.

The Book:

Title: Lost in Starlight
Author: Sherry Soule
Series: Starlight Saga #1
Publishing: June 26, 2014
Purchase: Amazon 
Read the first five chapters free on Wattpad
Eager to read the first five chapters on your Kindle? FREE every Friday from Amazon

High school reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.
Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.
They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and crazy dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.
Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....

The Author:

Award-winning author, Sherry Soule writes thrilling tales of romance and suspense, often mingled with a dash of the mystical and a splash of trendy fashion.
Her published novels do not include any graphic sex, explicit violence, or excessive profanity, so that all of her novels can be read and enjoyed by both teens and adults .
Sherry currently lives with her family and one very spoiled black cat in California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sarah's Choice {by Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue}

Title: Sarah's Choice
Author: Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Received via NetGalley

Only one thing stands in the way of Sarah's success . . . her unborn baby.Sarah Collins is about to receive a promotion that will give her everything she's ever wanted: a huge pay increase, a new car, a fabulous apartment, and first-class travel.But then she discovers she's pregnant. And while she "thinks "she loves her boyfriend, Matt, she isn't sure he's mature enough to be a responsible father. And the job she's pursuing is open only because the previous employee is out on maternity leave. She'd never be able to handle the travel as a single mom.Torn between advice from her coworkers, the adamant insistence of her mother and sister that she keep the baby, her insecurity about her relationship with Matt, and the void where her father should be, Sarah has no idea how to make this decision.A Christmas card from a mysterious old woman is the catalyst for three visions of her future--and may just be the miracle she needs. But can she trust the visions? Are they the yearnings of a conflicted heart? Or are they true visions from the God she thought had turned his back on her?For every woman who has made painful decisions, "Sarah's Choice "offers comfort, wisdom, and hope.

I have not yet seen this movie. I've been wanting to for years, just never have. I've heard it really isn't the best movie ever (or, honestly, that good) but let's face it. Inspirational movies always get the short end of the stick when it comes to quality movies. So when I saw that they made a book adaptation of it, I decided to pick it up. (Although, 5 years later? What?)

Story-wise, this book wasn't bad, necessarily. It bordered a bit on boring, though. I know that books that are made off movies are usually more true to script (at least, than book-to-movies are). This seemed like it might have been word-for-word based off the script, and honestly, I could only see how this would play out on screen. I do think the movie might be a little better. At least, not as boring, since it was made for that. 

The writing didn't suck me in. Although Sarah, our MC, does grow or change a lot, I just didn't feel it. I don't know if I was supposed to feel any emotional ties to any of our characters, but I couldn't really connect to them. I did like Sarah, and admire her strength. Sure, I got frustrated with her a lot, but you could see where she was coming from, and you could see her growth, both spiritually and emotionally. I loved Matt, and how he developed as a character. Although I will admit, some of that growth seemed to come out of nowhere, and wasn't really explained.

 The plot was enough to keep me interested, but not enough that I couldn't tear my eyes away. And the spiritual aspect, while there, just really didn't pack a punch. This should have been a message that really resonated with readers, but I found that I just didn't really feel anything.

All in all, this probably made a better movie. I would still like to see it, to see how it compares, if they changed anything, how this book holds up to the movie. But, I didn't feel like this made a great book adaptation. The things that would have been great in movie format are not the same things that work great in book format, and I think this is one that should just have been left alone.

Rebecca St. James: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Nancy Rue: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Goodreads

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wish You Were Italian {by Kristin Rae}

Title: Wish You Were Italian
Author: Kristin Rae
Series: If Only... #2
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Pippa has always wanted to go to Italy … but not by herself. And certainly not to sit in art school the entire summer learning about dead guys’ paintings. When she steps off the plane in Rome, she realizes that traveling solo gives her the freedom to do whatever she wants. So it’s arrivederci, boring art program and ciao, hot Italian guys!
Charming, daring, and romantic, Bruno is just the Italian Pippa’s looking for—except she keeps running into cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes. Pippa may be determined to fall in love with an Italian guy … but the electricity she feels with Darren says her heart might have other plans. Can Pippa figure out her feelings before her parents discover she left the program and—even worse—she loses her chance at love?

I have mixed feelings on this book, because while I really did enjoy it, it took me a while to actually get through. (The eARC being terribly formatted was mainly to fault, although I can't hold that against the book.) I was expecting this to be a light, fun summery read, but I ended up loving it so much more than that. 

The main reason I loved this so much! Rome. I mean, if I never get to travel anywhere else in my life, I absolutely HAVE to go to Rome. I must. I mean, crazy nerdy Latin scholar over here (can I call myself a scholar? Whatever, I'm doing it anyway). Which is what made me want to read this in the first place. And I mean, this will give you a serious case of the wanderlust. I did a bit of author stalking (he he) and the places described in the book were from personal experience. And Kristin Rae was spot on. The descriptions, places, experiences were described to perfectly and vividly, I felt like I was there. (And then started crying because I wasn't actually there. Not really, but I wanted to). 

Which leads into her writing, which, if you couldn't tell, was very well done. I've talked enough about the setting (well, you can never have enough Italy), so let's talk characters. I was all prepared to be mad at/dislike Pippa. I mean, get sent to Italy and you want to complain? But I think she handled being sent to Italy by herself for something she hated very well. And choosing to ditch her parents' plans and make her own cemented my approval for her. (I mean, I could only WISH my parents would send me to itself, but I can also only WISH that I would be ballsy enough to do all of that by myself.) 

The other characters--Morgan, Chiara, Darren, even "bad-boy" Bruno--were well-written and added a lot of depth and fun to the story. And Darren's contagious excitement over the ruins and history of the city was just super adorable. I mean… *insert heart-eyed emoji here*. His hair was practically its own character. 

So you might be wondering--what was it that made me take forever to actually get through it? Well… The Love Triangle. Now, when a book gets too awkward or romantically angst-y (is that a thing?), I will often put it down and have to focus on something else for a minute or do something else before picking it back up. It's not because I'm uncomfortable, but more of an  I really don't feel like dealing with this right now. Sooo basically…the entire part with Bruno. This wasn't one of the worst love triangles I've ever read. Just that it was really frustrating because come on, we all knew who Pippa should REALLY be with ;) 

This was a fun, cute read. It made me smile and laugh quite a bit. It was a great summery read (but be warned--it will leave you totally jealous). 

I received an eARC via NetGalley I'm exchange for my honest review. 

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Kristin Rae:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

{Blog Tour} Dream Boy Dream Cast!

Hey guys! I am excited to be part of the blog tour for Dream Boy by Madelyn Rosenberg and Mary Crockett! Mary has been on the blog before (talking about Sherlock), so today, Madelyn will be sharing her dream cast with us! Let's see how she imagines her characters!

All actor photos are linked to their IMDB page, so you can, I don't know, stalk them better.

Dream Cast:

I always see things in pictures, so when I was looking for actors to fill out my dream cast, I was going more on physical appearance than acting ability.

For Will, I’m going with one of the Liams – either a slightly scruffy Liam James or a slightly scruffy Liam Aiken, and only because I can’t shave enough years off of James Franco.

Martin gets a Liam, too – Liam Hemsworth, though we’d have to golden him up just a bit.

For Annabelle, I’m going to go with Shailene Woodley, or possibly Homeland’s Morgan Saylor.

For Stephanie, a dark-haired Abigail Breslin

For Serena, a curly-haired Maia Mitchell

 and for Paolo, maybe Aramis Knight?

For Daniel, Nathan Keyes. (I love the pic on the first page of IMDB because it looks like he just woke up, which seems appropriate for Daniel.)

For Talon, I think I’m going to go with Kiernan Shipka, because while I don’t make it to movies much, I do get TV, and Kiernan has Attitude in spades. Picture her with black hair and an asymmetrical cut. Check out this clip. Talon, too, is familiar with psychotherapy and I’ll bet she’d practice it just like this:

Mary did a dream cast awhile ago, and I think we overlap maybe once. If you want to check hers out, go here…

Thank you, Madelyn, for sharing your dream cast with us! Check back soon for my review of Dream Boy!

The Book:

Title: Dream Boy
Authors: Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg
Publishing: July 1, 2014
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Annabelle Manning feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies. What she doesn’t have are possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night, when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into her chemistry class. 

One of friends suspects he’s an alien. Another is pretty sure it’s all one big case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn’t know what to think, she’s willing to believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, if dreams can come true, so can nightmares.

The Authors:

Madelyn: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Mary Crockett likes turtles, licorice, and the Yankees. Madelyn Rosenberg likes cats, avocados, and the Red Sox. Luckily they both like the weirdness of dreams (and each other) enough to write novels together. The friendship has survived 3 moves, 6 kids, and countless manuscript revisions. Madelyn (Canary in the Coal Mine) lives in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of D.C. Mary (A Theory of Everything: Poems) remains in the mountains near Salem, Virginia.