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Jessa Holbrook

    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #177

    BW-RTWnew

    Below are the (mostly) YA books releasing this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    These are books for the week of May 20th-May 26th that I have pre-ordered.


    While Your Away HC

    Add_to_GR

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY by Jessa Holbrook will be released in the U.S. on May 20, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, the print edition is 288 pages.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY was also previously published in six parts in eBook and audio formats.


    I am so excited that WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is releasing this week. I read this story when it was released in parts and I absolutely loved it. It was a fantastic read, though it was torturous having to wait for each new installment.

    I’ve wanted to read it all over again, all at once, to see if it reads any differently. So I can’t wait until my print edition arrives.

    I loved meeting Will and Sarah, though I wasn’t sure if I would be biased against them for being cheaters. But I did adore them and root for them and was anxious when things got in the way.

    As I did review all six parts, and I don’t want to risk spoiling things by rambling too much, I’ll just say that I can’t wait to re-read this, the writing is gorgeous and the story is all twisty-turny and angsty and romantic. And it’s definitely the book I’m most excited for this week.

    Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.


    The Art of Lainey

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    THE ART OF LAINEY by Paula Stokes will be released in the U.S. on May 20, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 384 pages.


    I received an early copy of THE ART OF LAINEY and had every intention of reading it pre-release – and I still might get the chance to tonight – but I’m super excited that my finished eBook copy will be downloading on Monday Midnight.

    I love the idea that instead of wallowing in heartbreak, Lainey and her friend plan to win her ex back by using the Sun Tzu book to formulate a game plan. I’m curious to see whether after all their planning she wants him back or whether she chooses to be with Micah… or whether Micah wants to be with her if he wasn’t aware he was a pawn.

    This book sounds sweet and fun with the potential for heartbreak, so I can’t wait to read it. And if all goes as planned I will definitely sneak it on the pile tonight.

    Description…

    Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

    And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

    What’s a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you’re meant to be with if you’re still figuring out the person you’re meant to be?


    Dangerous Creatures
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    DANGEROUS CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl will be released in the U.S. on May 20, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and in all formats, plus a signed edition, at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 384 pages.

    DANGEROUS CREATURES is the first full-length book in the authors’ series of the same name. A prequel novella, DANGEROUS DREAM, released on December 17, 2013.


    I am a huge fan of the authors and I loved the books that I did read in their Beautiful Creatures series. So of course I had to pre-order DANGEROUS CREATURES.

    I can’t wait to read Ridley’s series and see what happens with her and Link. And I can’t wait to find out just what price is on his head.

    I don’t know whether there are spoilers for the other series, so I’m wary of reading this book until I finish that one. I thought the writing was amazing in Beautiful Creatures and I just know it will be the same in this series. Which makes me want to read this more than ever. So it may just be worth the risk. We shall see….

    If not, I’ll plan on reading this after reading the final book in that first series and reading the eBook novella, DANGEROUS DREAM. Now that I won’t technically have to say goodbye to Ethan and Lena, I might just be able to do so this summer.

    Description…

    A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed…others are dangerous.

    Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she’s a bad girl. She’s Dark. She’s a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she’s around. Lucky for her, Wesley “Link” Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn’t hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

    Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more.


    Other Books of Note

    End TimesEND TIMES by Anna Schumacher

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Razorbill

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Carbon County, Wyoming is like a current running through Daphne’s heart.

    When life gets too tough to bear in Detroit, Daphne flees to her Uncle Floyd’s home, where she believes she’ll find solace in the silent hills of her childhood summers. But Daphne’s Greyhound bus pulls over in downtown Carbon County and it’s not silence that welcomes her. It’s the sound of trumpets.

    Daphne’s desire to start again in simple country comfort is instantly dashed as the townsfolk declare that the End Times are here. And incredible occurrences soon support their belief. Daphne does all she can to keep her head down and ignore the signs. She works a job at the local oil rig, helps around the house, hangs out with her pregnant cousin Janie and gets to know Owen, a mysterious motocross racer and fellow roustabout at the rig. But soon a startling discovery shatters her resolve and calls into question all her doubts and fears.

    Daphne landed in Carbon County for a reason. She only has to read the signs—and believe.


    ThunderstruckTHUNDERSTRUCK (Weather Witch #3) by Shannon Delany

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Jordan, Rowen and the crews of both the Tempest and the Artemesia strike out for Philadelphia to start a revolution aimed at abolishing slavery and changing their stormpowered society to one that runs on previously repressed steam innovations and will allow for true equality. But can Jordan and Rowen come back together after all the things determined to drive them apart?

    Thunderstruck is the third installment in the Weather Witch series from Shannon Delany.


    RebornREBORN (Shadow Falls: After Dark #1) by C.C. Hunter

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Return to the beloved world of Shadow Falls, a camp that teaches supernatural teens to harness their powers—and where a vampire named Della will discover who she’s meant to be.

    For Della Tsang, Shadow Falls isn’t just a camp: it’s home. As a vampire who’s never fit in with her human family, it’s the one place she can truly be herself. But when a mysterious new guy arrives at camp, Della’s whole world is thrown into turmoil. Chase is a vampire with secrets, who knows more than he’s telling. But the more time she spends with him, the more she begins to trust this attractive stranger—and feel drawn to him. But romance is the last thing she wants—as she keeps telling Steve, the hunky shapeshifter who won’t stop trying to win her heart. And if Della isn’t careful, he just might succeed.  When a new case puts everyone she cares about in danger, Della’s determined to do everything she can to save them . . . even if it means teaming up with Steve and Chase, who leave her more confused than ever. With their lives on the line, will Della and her friends survive—with their hearts intact?


    Biggest FlirtsBIGGEST FLIRTS (Superlatives #1) by Jennifer Echols

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Simon Pulse

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

    Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.

    As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…


    Now and ForeverNOW & FOREVER by Susane Colasanti

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Viking Juvenile

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    What if your boyfriend was the world’s biggest rockstar?

    Sterling is crazy in love with Ethan. Not only is he the sweetest boy she’s ever met, but he’s an incredibly talented guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And since forever, he’s believed he has what it takes to be a star.

    When Ethan becomes an overnight sensation, he’s thrown head-first into the glam world of celebrity-and so is Sterling. Before she knows it, she’s attending red-carpet premieres, getting free designer clothes, and flying around the country to attend Ethan’s monumental sold-out concerts.

    It’s a dream come true…but whose dream is Sterling living? And what do you do when “forever” comes to an end?


    The Rules for BreakingTHE RULES FOR BREAKING (The Rules for Disappearing #2) by Ashley Elston

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Anna Boyd almost lost her life to get what she wanted most in the world: freedom.

    But just when it seems that her family has finally escaped Witness Protection, the illusion that Anna could resume a normal life comes crashing down.

    The deadly man Anna knows as Thomas is still on the loose, and now he’s using her as a pawn in a dangerous game with the drug cartel determined to silence her forever. When Thomas and a mysterious masked man capture not only Anna but also her fragile younger sister and her boyfriend, Anna decides it’s time to break all the rules-even if it means teaming up with the lesser of two evils.

    Anna will do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves and win her life back once and for all. But her true enemies are hidden in plain sight. Before long, Anna will learn that putting her trust in anyone may be the last mistake she ever makes.


    V is for VillainV IS FOR VILLAIN by Peter Moore

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Disney Hyperion

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Brad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake. Though Brad’s basically a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn’t measure up at his high school, either, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm. So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he’s happy to join a new crew-especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. And with her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own.

    But when they’re pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he’s on. And once he does, there’s no turning back.

    Perfect for fans of The Avengers, Ironman, and classic comic books, V is for Villain reveals that it’s good to be bad.


    Out of ControlOUT OF CONTROL by Sarah Alderson

    Pub. Date: May 22, 2014

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    When 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target.

    Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

    When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.


    The Summer InvitationTHE SUMMER INVITATION by Charlotte Silver

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Two sisters are summoned to their aunt’s Greenwich Village flat, where they must start dressing like young ladies, cultivate their artistic sensibilities, and open themselves up to Life with a capital L.

    When Franny and her older sister Valentine are summoned by their Aunt Theodora from foggy San Francisco to sunny New York City for one summer, they are taken to old-world locales like Bemelmans Bar, the Plaza, and the Sherry Netherland by their chaperone, Clover, Aunt Theodora’s protégé. As they discover New York City going lingerie shopping and learning about the simple elegance of a cucumber sandwich, they also begin to unearth secrets and answers about Aunt Theo’s glamorous and romantic past, and they have a few romantic adventures of their own.


    Kate Walden DirectsKATE WALDEN DIRECTS: NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIE CHICKENS by Julie Mata

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Night of the Zombie Chickens is supposed to be Kate Walden’s breakout film. But her supporting actresses-her mother’s prize organic hens-are high maintenance, to say the least. Thank goodness Kate’s best friend Alyssa is the star. She’s great at screaming and even better at killing zombies in creative ways.

    But when Alyssa turns into a real-life soulless zombie and ditches Kate for the most popular girl in seventh grade, Kate suddenly finds herself both friendless and starless. Now, thanks to Alyssa’s new crowd, Kate is the butt of every joke at school and consigned to the loser table at lunch.

    If movies have taught Kate anything, it’s that the good guy can always win-with the right script. And her fellow social outcasts may be the key to her own happy ending. Kate hatches the perfect revenge plot against her former best friend, but even though her screenplay is foolproof, Kate soon realizes that nothing-in filmmaking or in life-ever goes exactly as planned. Especially when there are diabolical hens out to get you.


    DollhouseDOLLHOUSE by Anya Allyn

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: The Studio

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Dress-up turns deadly. . .

    When Cassie’s best friend, Aisha, disappears during a school hike, Cassie sets off with Aisha’s boyfriend Ethan and their best friend Lacey, determined to find her. But the mist-enshrouded mountains hold many secrets, and what the three teens discover is far more disturbing than any of them imagined: beneath a rundown mansion in the woods lies an underground cavern full of life-size toys and kidnapped girls forced to dress as dolls.

    Even as Cassie desperately tries to escape the Dollhouse, she finds herself torn between her forbidden feelings for Ethan, and her intense, instinctive attraction to The Provider, a man Cassie swears she has known before…

    Because Cassie’s capture wasn’t accidental, and the Dollhouse is more than just a prison where her deepest fears come true—it’s a portal for the powers of darkness. And Cassie may be the only one who can stop it.


    Infinite SkyINFINITE SKY (Infinite Sky #1) by C.J. Flood

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014 (first published February 14, 2013)

    Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    A truly beautiful book about the summer that changed one girl’s life, as her mum leaves home, travellers set up camp in the family’s field, her older brother goes off the rails, and she falls in love for the very first time. Opening with a funeral, Iris is mourning the boy in the casket – but who is it? Sam, her tearaway brother, or Trick, her tentative boyfriend?

    Over one long hot summer, we find out just how their three lives were turned upside-down.


    There are a ton of amazing-sounding books releasing this week. And while I only have the three books pre-ordered, I just know I’ll be purchasing END TIMES, THUNDERSTRUCK, REBORN, BIGGEST FLIRTS, THE RULES FOR BREAKING, and NOW & FOREVER.

    I have been trying not to “click to buy” too many books pre-release, in order to be absolutely sure I wanted to add them to my collection. But I’m not so sure that waiting for release date to buy them has worked to reduce the number of books I order each week. Oh well.

    I’ve also tried to spend a little less time online, which means less time stalking Amazon and which is why I hadn’t had the last two weeks’ posts prepared. After spending three hours researching the books releasing and gathering the images, I ran out of time to actually put the posts together. Oops. But hopefully I’ll be back on track from now on.

    I’m hoping that I didn’t miss any books releasing this week, though I think I might have. Amazon’s search function was a little hinky so there might be one or two titles that I missed. But I suppose I’ll find out when either they download to my Kindle on Tuesday or when I see the book birthday wishes go by on Twitter.

    I hope one of your favorite authors has a book releasing this week, or one of your most anticipated reads is releasing, and that you get to add it to your collection. And as ever…

    Happy release week to some amazing books and I hope you have a very happy reading week ahead!

    DotsDiv2

    As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

    And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!

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    Top 10 Character Couples of 2013

    Top 10 of 2013 Banner

    Today is the third of five days of Top 10 of 2013.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    And I am thrilled to be able to co-host this event for the third year in a row with Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and for a second year with Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

    If you haven’t yet heard of this week-long event, it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours each day for the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    This year’s event giveaway is shared via a common Rafflecopter on all three of our blogs. Leaving a comment each day on each host’s blog will give you extra entries, so be sure to check out each of our Top 10 lists for more chances to win.

    It’s not too late to sign up for this event. Just check out the Sign-up Post for all the details – HERE.

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    Today’s topic is…

    Best ____ of 2013

    Last year I chose favorite quotes. But this year I’m going for CHARACTER COUPLES. Even though many of this year’s reads paired up characters I’d rather see paired with someone else, there were quite a few character couples I love, love, loved.

    And instead of rambling about all of my reasons why I love these character couples I thought I’d let the characters speak for themselves. They do a much better job of it than I ever could. Though I’m so very tempted to chime in…

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    Favorite Character Couples 2013

    1.

    Shadowfever

    SHADOWFEVER (Fever #5) by Karen Marie Moning

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Mac and Barrons…

    “I’m not the hero, Mac. Never have been. Never will be. Let us be perfectly clear: I’m not the antihero, either, so quit waiting to discover my hidden potential. There’s nothing to redeem me.”

    I want him anyway.

    It’s what he wanted to know.

    I exhale impatiently and shove hair from my face. “Are you going to talk me to death or fuck me, Jericho Barrons?”

    2.

    Endless Knight

    ENDLESS KNIGHT (The Aracana Chronicles #2) by Kresley Cole

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Evie and Death…

    “What are you thinking about, creature?” His words were husky.

    Licking your runes? Thank God he couldn’t read my thoughts anymore. Face flushing, I grasped for something to say. “I bet you were expecting a taller Empress this time around.” Lame.

    “I would change nothing about your appearance.”

    When we locked eyes in the mirror, his burning gaze made even more heat cascade through my body.

    Death rose with that lethal grace and strode toward me. I swallowed. Would he try to kiss me? And what would I do if he did?

    3.

    Through the Zombie Glass

    THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) by Gena Showalter

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Alice and Cole…

    “I just… I can’t seem to stay away. You’re like a magnet, and I’m drawn. And what about you? You’re supposed to yell at me, scream profanities and tell me to go and never come back. Why aren’t you yelling?” he asked almost bitterly.

    Because, despite everything, I liked that he was here.

    Foolish girl.

    “You want me to yell?” I said, and drew in a deep breath, preparing. “I will.”

    He shook his head, looked up at me through the thick shield of those dark, dark lashes. “It’s too late for that. I’m going to kiss you, Ali.”

    Kiss… Yes… No! “You made your bed.”

    “I know. But I still want you in it.”

    4.

    With All My Soul

    WITH ALL MY SOUL (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Kaylee and Tod…

    “This is the most frighteningly beautiful mouth I have ever seen. The most terrifyingly delicious lips I have ever tasted. These lips make me hungry for more every time I kiss them. This mouth, and the tongue inside it…they speak words I hang on to. Words that make me want to be a better man. Words I would gladly build my entire afterlife around. But they also say things that terrify me. Things that send chills all the way to my heart. They speak about dangers I can’t prevent. Threats I can’t always see. They threaten to do things that could get you hurt, when every single beat of my heart tells me that I need to protect you.”

    I stared at him, stunned, and he leaned in to kiss me again, softly. Almost chastely.

    5.

    Crash Into You

    CRASH INTO YOU (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Isaiah and Rachel…

    Rachel tries to lower her head, but I reach up and touch her chin. “Don’t.”

    I tilt her head up, engulfing her line of vision. She’s going to see me and me alone. No cars, no Zach, none of the other assholes trying to win her eye during the night. The sweet scent of jasmine entwining with the salty smell of the beach rushes into my lungs. I lick my lips, wanting to kiss her, but I’m too full of energy to dare let my lips brush hers.

    Beneath my fingertips, her pulse beats wildly. “I don’t understand you, Isaiah.”

    “Then we have something in common, because I don’t get you at all.”

    6.

    Sweet Peril Cover

    SWEET PERIL (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Anna and Kaidan…

    “For the record,” he ground out in a guttural whisper, “I was more myself with you during those three days than I’ve ever been with anyone in my life. It’d be easier if I could be fake with you, but you bring out everything in me, little Ann. All of it.”

    His sudden fierceness frightened and excited me. He was not in his right mind. I blinked several times before taking a step back and running into the rail. I could do nothing but stare as he went on.

    7.

    Foreplay

    FOREPLAY (The Ivy Chronicles #1) by Sophie Jordan

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Pepper and Reece…

    He gave my sweatshirt a small tug, inexorably pulling me toward him, bit by bit, and it was like the other night again. His presence was overwhelming, the heat that emanated from him. The blue of his eyes that seemed to turn to smoke when he looked at me. I was under his spell. Maybe I had never ceased to be. I’d been spellbound since our first kiss and especially since the night I spent in his loft. Maybe this was what had brought me back here in the middle of the night. Maybe I was hoping to repeat the experience.

    “I’ll never lie to you, Pepper.” That soft utterance blew through me like a sonic blast. Crazy, but I heard more than his vow to be honest. The words were full of the expectation that there would be a him and me, an us. That we were really doing this. Whatever this was.

    8.

    While You're Away

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY by Jessa Holbrook

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Sarah and Will…

    It was easy to kiss Will Spencer. We moved in tandem, both turning at the same time. It was like we were machined to fit together, the right key in the right lock. Rising on my toes to meet his mouth, I looped my arms around his neck. Stretched against him, I felt long and tall, and strangely lovely. I wasn’t transformed by his touch. I was revealed.

    9.

    The Beautiful and the Cursed

    THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED (The Disposessed #1) by Page Morgan

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Ingrid and Luc…

    Ingrid froze as he grazed his fingers through her hair, scattering a few pins to the floor. Then he gripped the back of her head, his tangled fingers tugging at her hair, and Ingrid thought she could finally read something in the way he looked at her: a longing so tangible that it made her ache.

    “I haven’t ended you because you’re my human.”

    And then Luc did what he hadn’t done in the orangery. His lips found hers. It was a light sweep of a kiss, and Ingrid, who’d quit breathing, feared he was going to stop again. The idea of it knifed through her and her hands itched to reach up, latch on to him, and refuse the retreat.

    It didn’t come to that.

    10.

    The Collector

    THE COLLECTOR (The Collector #1) by Victoria Scott

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Dante and Charlie…

    “But you need to know the truth. I didn’t mean for this to happen.” I stop, considering what I just said. “Actually, I guess I did mean for this to happen. At first. But then I got to know you, Charlie. I got to see how you are, the things you do for other people. The way you smile when there’s nothing left to smile about, and the way you laugh…it hurts to even hear it. Because it reminds me what it’s like to live. To be happy.” I take a deep breath. “You are beautiful, Charlie. You’re so beautiful, and I can’t believe I let you think you weren’t.”

    I turn around but focus on the ground. I can’t see her face. It’ll end me. But my eyes are deceitful, and before I can gouge them from my face, they slide up and land on her. On Charlie. And she’s crying. Tears rolling down her cheeks, sliding into a wide, happy smile.

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    A Few Other Couples I Love

    Deception

    Rachel and Logan

    DECEPTION (Defiance #2) by C.J. Redwine

    The Eternity CureAllison and Zeke

    THE ETERNITY CURE (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

    The Girl with the Iron TouchFinley and Griffin

    THE GIRL WITH THE IRON TOUCH (The Steampunk Chronicles #3) by Kady Cross

    DescendantCoverMason and Feen

    DESCENDANT (Starling #2) by Lesley Livingston

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    Wishful Thinking Character Couples

    As I mentioned, there were a number of characters I’d have liked to see paired up with someone other than the character they ended up with… or the character they’re with at the moment.

    So I decided to create a Top 10 Wishful Thinking Character Couples list. But instead of listing them here, since I have exactly ten, I thought I’d create a completely independent list over at The Annex.

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    The Giveaways

    We have decided to combine the giveaways into one Rafflecopter form that is shared on all three host blogs and will be posted in each of the Top 10 posts this week.

    There is a box of 2014 ARCs, a box of books, two books of your choice, and a book from one of the host’s top ten lists up for grabs. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Link Up


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    Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2013

    Top 10 of 2013 Banner

    Today is the first of five days of Top 10 of 2013.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    And I am thrilled to be able to co-host this event for the third year in a row with Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and for a second year with Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

    If you haven’t yet heard of this week-long event, it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours each day for the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    This year’s event giveaway is shared via a common Rafflecopter on all three of our blogs. Leaving a comment each day on each host’s blog will give you extra entries, so be sure to check out each of our Top 10 lists for more chances to win.

    It’s not too late to sign up for this event. Just check out the Sign-up Post for all the details – HERE.

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    Today’s topic is…

    Best Books I’ve Read in 2013

    I read a ton of awesome books this year. Many from the same series by the same author. But as I was trying so very hard to keep my list to just ten, I decided to choose only one book from each series, even if I read multiple books in a particular series that I thought were amazing.

    And I couldn’t list all my favorite reads this year since one or two of them were a secret. Nor could I list all the 2013 releases I love, love, loved since I read some of them in 2012. But I’m not too sad about that, because reading them last year made creating this list just a little bit easier.

    There were also a few books I loved in 2013 that were not YA. But in keeping with my typical YA only “best” list, I didn’t include them in this post. Though I plan on posting my non-YA favorites on The Annex. Yes, I’m cheating just a little… as usual. But I just can’t seem to help myself.

    Anyway…

    It took me ages to narrow my list down from my original picks and to keep my “honorable mentions” to only four titles, just like last year. But after much hair pulling and nail-biting I was able to get it done.

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    The Best I’ve Read in 2013

    1.

    With All My Soul

    WITH ALL MY SOUL by Rachel Vincent

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    As sad as I was to see this series end, I still couldn’t help falling madly in love with this last installment. It was heartbreaking and nerve-wracking and exciting and heartwarming and I loved every single minute of the read.

    I especially loved the fact that I was able to become intrigued by a brand new character, that the story wasn’t rushed and that the ending didn’t leave me feeling like something was missing. It was the perfect ending to an amazing series and I couldn’t have loved it any more than I did.

    2.

    Endless Knight

    ENDLESS KNIGHT by Kresley Cole

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles are completely and totally amazing. They are so my kind of books. From beginning to end in both books in this series I was utterly riveted.

    And while I didn’t think it was possible, this second book in the series was even more exciting than the first. It was darker, it was hotter, it was all sorts of sexy. The lore was fascinating. And it made me fall head-over-heels in love with Death just like I hoped it would.

    To say that I am dying for the next installment in this series would be a major understatement.

    3.

    Through the Zombie Glass

    THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS by Gena Showalter

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I read both books in this series in 2013 and absolutely loved both of them. They were unputdownable reads and I couldn’t have been more surprised by the fact that I fell so completely in love with zombie books that gave a nod to Alice in Wonderland.

    Gena Showalter was incredibly creative with her stories. She did not skimp on the action. It was edge-of-your-seat exciting. And the love story was angst-filled and twisty-turny to the max.

    And as I opted to choose just one of the two books in this series as a favorite, I had to select the one that absolutely killed me in the best possible way.

    4.

    The Eternity Cure

    THE ETERNITY CURE by Julie Kagawa

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I did not expect to love the Blood of Eden series more than I loved the author’s faerie books. But oh my gosh I couldn’t help myself. Dystopia and vampires are an unexpected combination but one that the author made work so amazingly well.

    The characters, the epic journey, the killer cliffhanger all worked together to make this one of my favorite books and not simply a 2013 favorite. I’m talking all-time favorite.

    5.

    Crash Into You

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I fell under Katie McGarry’s spell in 2013. She is a fan-freaking-tastic writer and her Pushing the Limits series is one of my very most favorite contemporary YA series.

    I read all three books in this series, plus the novella, in 2013, which made it very hard to choose only one of the books for my top ten list. But I had to choose Isaiah and Rachel’s story, even though I adored Noah and Echo’s story so, so much.

    Perhaps it was getting to know and love Isaiah before reading his story that made me love it that much more. Or perhaps it’s simply just that Isaiah is amazing. But whatever the reason, it is my favorite of the series and it’s definitely one of my favorite reads from 2013.

    6.

    Afterglow

    AFTERGLOW by Karsten Knight

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I was devastated to see this series end. The world that Karsten Knight created was so unique and fascinating and exciting. The characters were lovable and detestable and completely and totally kick-a**. And this final installment in the series was just as phenomenal as its predecessors.

    And that ending. Oh. My. Gosh. That ending. While I can’t talk about that ending, I will just say that it gives me hope. For a certain character. Oh the possibilities.

    7.

    Star Cursed Cover

    STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I was so glad that I got the chance to read both books in The Cahill Witch Chronicles this year. I was completely surprised by how much I loved each of the books. They are not stories in my typical go-to genre and yet both books are among my most favorites.

    I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story, the setting, the characters. It’s a totally addictive read and one that’s definitely re-read worthy. Though even after a re-read, it’s no easier to have to wait for the next installment in the series. This I know all too well.

    8.

    The Beautiful and the Cursed

    THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED by Page Morgan

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Yet another unexpected favorite on my list is Page Morgan’s THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED. If someone told me that I could fall in love with a gargoyle I would have totally rolled my eyes at them. I might have even told them that they were crazy. I would have definitely thought it.

    Well, this author made me not only fall in love with a gargoyle, but her story about them. The sequel is one of my most anticipated reads for 2014. And the wait is killing me.

    9.

    While You're Away

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY by Jessa Holbrook

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I read this book in its serialized format, with just a few chapters available to read in one sitting. It was exquisite torture. This story was tantalizing and nerve-wracking and beautiful and nerve-wracking – yes I said it twice, but it needed to be said two times… if not more.

    I was made to root for a love story that I never would have thought I’d cheer for. I was made to wish and hope for a happily ever after for two characters who, at first, I didn’t think deserved one. I was anxious, I was fearful, I was tentatively hopeful and at times I was even sad. But I was keeping my fingers crossed the entire time for the slim chance that things would work out.

    10.

    A Touch Menacing

    A TOUCH MENACING by Leah Clifford

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Leah Clifford’s Touch Trilogy is one of my favorite series of all time. It’s so very different from anything I’ve ever read. It’s very dark. It is full of surprises. Shocking surprises. Devastating surprises. But it is wicked, wicked awesome.

    The end of this final installment in the series left me in tears. And, no, I won’t say whether they’re happy or sad tears. But if you have read this book or you’ve read any of the books in this series by this author I think you will know exactly what kind of tears there were.

    This last book was non-stop action, with more than a few punches to the face. I couldn’t devour it fast enough. It was that epic. And if I didn’t think it could get any better, the unpublished epilogue made this book that much more off-the-charts amazing for me. Holy-freaking-wow.

    Other Books I Love, Love, Loved

    SweetPeril

    SWEET PERIL by Wendy Higgins

    Exciting. Sexy as heck. Captivating from start to finish. Delicious. An absolute must.

    The Testing

    THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau

    Gripping. Surprising. Totally addictive. A total stand-out.

    The Burning Sky

    THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas

    Magical. Enchanting. Captivating. Epic. Fan-freaking-tastically good.

    Pivot Point

    PIVOT POINT by Kasie West

    Intriguing. Nerve-wracking. Unputdownable. Amazing.

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    I tried to keep my rambling to a minimum when it came to my top ten picks for 2013. But I may have gone on just a little longer than I’d planned. Oh well…

    But I just couldn’t help myself. They are my favorite reads this year… well, most of them. There are a few others…

    I will try to be a lot less wordy in the rest of the posts this week, but when it comes to favorite reads I always feel the need to go on… and on… and on.

    But now that I’m done I can’t wait to check out what your favorite reads are, so be sure to leave a link to your posts or Goodreads shelf in the Linky List that follows just below the giveaways.

    The Giveaways

    We have decided to combine the giveaways into one Rafflecopter form that is shared on all three host blogs and will be posted in each of the Top 10 posts this week.

    There is a box of 2014 ARCs, a box of books, two books of your choice, and a book from one of the host’s top ten lists up for grabs. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Link Up


    Share

    Mini Review: While You’re Away Part VI: When I Heard the Truth

    While You're Away Part VI

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    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY Part VI: When I Heard the Truth by Jessa Holbrook was released in the U.S. today, November 19, 2013 in audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at AMAZON and eBook format at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, this book is 47 pages.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a serialized novel in six parts being published weekly. Part I: Our First Encounter was released on October 15th, Part II: When I Retreat was released on October 22nd, Part III: While You’re Confusing was released on October 29th, Part IV: When We’re Together released on November 5th, Part V: While You’re Distant released on November 12th.

    Part VI: When I Heard the Truth is the final part.

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    Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

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    Review

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART VI brings this sexy, angst-filled, exciting and beautifully written love story to a close. It answers the question of whether Sarah and Will are able to overcome the obstacles of distance, jealousy and temptation. And it reveals whether what they had together was real or whether it was all a lie.

    Jessa Holbrook keeps readers on the edge of their seats in these final five chapters and the epilogue. With the way things left off at the end of the fifth part to this story, readers will have expected no less of an exhilarating ride as they discover the truth about what happens with Sarah and Will.

    From Part I to Part VI, this story is immensely entertaining, utterly enchanting and wickedly sexy. And with moments that are beautiful and fragile, moments that are steamy hot, moments that will shred your nerves and others that will break your heart, WHILE YOU’RE AWAY more than delivers on its promise.

    A love story that is challenged from the outset, two flawed but likable characters who you’ll want to see end up together, gorgeous writing that brings their story to life, five deliciously torturous mini cliffhanger endings, and a conclusion that is guaranteed to leave you breathless, make this serialized novel an absolute must read whether in pieces or all at once.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    6

    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    On a personal note…

    This last part to the story was all sorts of amazing. Of course I can’t say why without spoiling the ending. And it’s killing me.

    I can’t say whether or not I thought it was amazing because it ripped my heart out or whether I thought that way because Sarah and Will got their happily ever after. I can’t even reveal who one of the sexiest scenes in this story was with.

    But I so desperately want to talk about what happened in this final installment. I want to reveal whether my fears about what was going to happen in this part of the story did happen or whether everything worked out.

    I want to talk about what happened with Will and whether Sarah was right or wrong to think the worst. And I really want to talk about what happened between Sarah and Dave.

    But I can’t talk about any of it. I can’t say whether I was left in tears or I was all smiles or if there was a little bit of both happening for me. I can’t even say whether I loved the way things ended because that would be too revealing.

    I can only say, once again, that it was abso-freaking-lutely amazing and that when this is released as a complete novel I will be buying it all over again and reading it from beginning to end.

    And I can admit to being super curious about whether I’ll love this story even more without the agonizing wait. Or if I’ll become even more connected to the characters without having to wait a week to reconnect with them.

    While that remains to be determined, the one thing I do know for sure is that I will still be as madly in love this story and its characters as I am right now.

    Favorite passage

    There were quite a few perfectly written scenes that I consider favorites. But as this is the last part of the book I didn’t want to risk sharing something too spoiler-y. Of course this tiny fraction of this one particular scene that I love does suggest something…

    Slowly tensing, Dave lingered there as his breath grew ragged. My lonely body yearned to leap up to meet him. I had places that needed to be kissed. Curves that needed strong hands to shape them.

    The moment was full of possibility. It bristled with it, bright and sharp.

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    My Reading Pile #140

    MyReadingPileText

    This weekend turned out to be even more hectic than I imagined it would be so I am posting this quite a bit later than planned.  But as I haven’t even begun to start reading this week’s reading pile, this post isn’t too out-of-date.

    And as I didn’t get the chance to check the mailbox until Sunday, I wouldn’t have the lovely photo below to include. So late isn’t always a bad thing…

    MRP 140

    [Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

    I didn’t get any physical books in the mail for review this week, but I did get a couple signed copies of FROZEN by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston thanks to the always amazing Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. She went to a signing a few weeks ago and offered to get me a couple copies. One is signed personally to me and one I have for giveaway, which I hope to post later this week.

    The Winner's Curse

    I did receive one book for review, which I am so unbelievably excited about. I was invited to review an eARC of THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski courtesy of the awesome publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR. I immediately clicked to download it to my Kindle via NetGalley as I’ve been dying to read it ever since I first saw it in the publisher’s catalog.

    The cover is gorgeous but the book sounds even more amazing. If you click on the book cover it will take you to Goodreads so you can check out the description. I have been anxiously awaiting this book’s release and am so tempted to try and sneak this one in later this week.

    But since I am behind and I already have a couple books planned…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (November 17, 2013 – November 23, 2013)

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    While You're Away Part VI

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    First up on the pile is WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART VI: When I Heard the Truth by Jessa Holbrook. I am so excited to finally get to read the final part of this book. But I am also incredibly nervous about what is going to happen.

    There was the potential for misunderstanding and mistakes to be made because of that… or everything could have been true. I keep changing my mind about what I believe is true, so I can’t wait to know for sure. Based on this part’s title the truth will be revealed but I have a bad, bad feeling that whatever that truth is, there will be tears.

    As I don’t want to reveal too much more about what I think is going to happen in this last part of the story and plan to read it tonight and review it tomorrow, I’ll just stop my rambling. But this has been such a fun way to read this book and get to keep these characters in my life for just a little bit longer than they normally would be.

    I also just have to add that I’m really, really hoping for a happy ending.

    The Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

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    Afterparty
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    Next up on the pile is AFTERPARTY by Ann Redisch Stampler. I received an ARC and an eARC for review from Simon Pulse awhile back and I have been dying to read this ever since. I actually keep opening it up on my Kindle and start reading and then guiltily set it aside for later.

    Well, I’m done with waiting. I want to meet Siobhan and Emma and Dylan and find out just what happens at this “infamous” Afterparty. I want to know how things lead up to the confrontation between them and what happens after. And I want to see if this book is every bit as exciting as I think it will be.

    If things don’t get too crazy for me, I hope to be able to start…continue… reading this on Thursday. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    The Description…

    Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother — whose name her dad won’t even say out loud. That’s why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her…and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she’s everything Emma is not.

    And it may be more than Emma can handle.

    Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It’s more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop…

    This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler’s spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

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    Wishful Thinking Reads

    I wish I could read the book I received this week, THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski. It looks so amazing.

    I may have been lured in by the cover and title, but it was the last line of the description that makes this book a wishful thinking read this week. It says that THE WINNER’S CURSE is “…a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.” Awesome, right?

    But as this is still NaNoWriMo and I am still overwhelmed by the information I’m being asked to know in my Coastal Navigation course, reading this book can only be a wish, not a reality.

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    Those Left Behind

    Like last week I was able to read the current installment of Jessa Holbrook’s WHILE YOU’RE AWAY. I also posted my short review. And I did end up finishing my re-read of AFTERGLOW by Karsten Knight, too. Which was even better the second time around, but no less easy to say goodbye to.

    I was not able to get PAWN onto the pile but I am planning on reading it tomorrow and hope to have it completed by Thursday when I’ll pick up AFTERPARTY.

    I was also not able to post any of the reviews I had planned – A LITTLE TOO FAR, A LITTLE TOO MUCH, AFTERGLOW, CRASH INTO YOU. I had very little time during the week to work on blog-related items and the two nights I had free I ended up spending them writing.

    This weekend was a total bust as I ended up having to spend Saturday night doing homework, which took me until just after 5 a.m. on Sunday to finish. By the time I got home from class, I was completely wiped out. Too wiped to write reviews or finish the final few words I needed for my WIP.

    The next two weeks are going to be a little bit more insane, so I’m not sure how on schedule I’ll be. I think if I am around next November, I’m going to try and schedule a few less things to do. Or plan ahead with pre-written blog posts.

    We shall see…

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    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds

    I didn’t even look on NetGalley until just this very moment. It was such a crazy week and weekend that I didn’t spend much time online. And while there weren’t many new titles on NetGalley this past week, there were a couple and a sneak peek at a book I’m dying to read.

    THE KILLING WOODS by Lucy Christopher (Scholastic, Jan 7 2014)

    THE FIERY HEART (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead (Penguin Books Australia, Nov 19 2013) ***Australian reviewers ONLY***

    CRESS (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Feb 4 2014) ***Chapter One Sample ONLY***

    THE MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY by Jaleigh Johnson (Random House Children’s, Mar 25 2014) ***Middle Grade***

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    I had every intention of writing this post on Saturday. I was even more hopeful when I came back from sailing earlier than anticipated as I would have had more time. But it was an incredibly stressful day on the water and by the time I felt relaxed enough to post I had to start my homework for the next day’s class.

    As I have another sail planned for Saturday – this time with a group and an instructor versus The Dude – and class again on Sunday, I’m not entirely sure how focused on blogging I’ll be. Reading on the other hand has been a lovely distraction. So, hopefully I won’t get too sidetracked with writing… rather, re-writing… this week so I can get lost in a few of these amazing books I have.

    I’m sure by now you’ve already posted your book hauls and have gotten started on your reading for this week. But if you’d still like to share what you’ve received and what you are reading, I would love to know.

    Happy reading!

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    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your reading pile this week?

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    Mini Review: While You’re Away Part V: While You’re Distant

    While You're Away Part V

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    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY Part V: While You’re Distant by Jessa Holbrook was released in the U.S. on November 12, 2013 in audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at AMAZON and eBook format at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, this book is 47 pages.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a serialized novel in six parts being published weekly. Part I: Our First Encounter was released on October 15th, Part II: When I Retreat was released on October 22nd, Part III: While You’re Confusing was released on October 29th, Part IV: When We’re Together released on November 5th, and the final installment, Part VI: When I Heard the Truth will be available on November 19th.

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    Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

    Dots_Divider

    Review

    In WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART V things cool way off for Will and Sarah, creating an anxiety-filled and nail-biting read. Doubt, insecurity and temptation challenge the notion that love is enough, making these five chapters in the characters’ lives utterly heartrending and nerve-wracking.

    As more time passes, and distance continues to keep Will and Sarah apart, their relationship begins to fray at the edges. Will’s life at college is keeping him busy and preoccupied, leaving Sarah with more time to question what they have, what she gave up and whether it was worth it.

    And when their passion for one another is replaced with fighting, distrust and silence, all that’s left is a tenuous emotional connection that just might not be enough.

    Once again, Author Jessa Holbrook delivers a story that is gripping and exciting. But instead of giving readers another sexy installment filled with sizzle, she brings tension and heartbreak. Instead of highs there are lows. Despair instead of happiness. And with a killer cliffhanger ending, readers will be left anxiously awaiting the next and final installment.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is an amazing, beautiful, sexy, heartbreaking, emotional rollercoaster of a love story. It doesn’t sugar-coat. It doesn’t promise a fairytale. It’s raw. It’s intense. It’s fragile. It’s hopeful. And with three significant and potentially devastating questions left to be answered, the final installment promises to be the most riveting yet.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    6

    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    On a personal note…

    Where PART IV was hot, PART V was angst-filled and nerve-wracking. It absolutely killed me. The feeling of dread I was expecting hit me from the moment I started reading and it continued to grow throughout each of the five chapters.

    By the time I reached this part of the story’s conclusion I was dying. And the way things left off did not help. At all. Oh my gosh what a torturous way to leave things. I can’t believe I have to wait a week to find out what comes next.

    I spent much of the read feeling hopeful, believing the best of Will and wishing that Sarah’s insecurity about him, about them, wouldn’t cause her to do something she couldn’t take back. I spent the rest of it quietly pleading for what I was reading to have some other explanation.

    Though I probably wasn’t so quiet given the fact that I was talking to the book. Out loud. And I may have shouted once or twice, including right there at the end. And yes there may have been expletives.

    Distance plus insecurity plus college parties plus an ex-boyfriend do not make things easy on a new relationship. It is an equation that almost always equals disaster. But I am still holding out hope for a happily ever after ending. Not because I necessarily believe things will end happily, but I so very much want them to.

    I desperately want to talk about what happens in this part of the story. I want to know whether I’m being totally unrealistic about what I think happened and what I think is going to happen. But I don’t want to ruin this anguish that is PART V for those who haven’t yet read it.

    I don’t know how long the last part of the story is, but however long or short it is I hope it will bring answers… answers that will make me smile, even if they do make me cry, too. Next week can’t come soon enough. This is the most torturous of the cliffhangers and waiting is most definitely going to suck. It already does.

    I thought I loved this serial novel before, but after this part of the story I love it so much more. I am totally at the mercy of this story and its characters and whatever direction the author chooses to take them in.

    Favorite passage

    As practically every single scene in this part of the story had the potential for heartbreak, I’m not sure I could call any one of them “favorites” due to the fact that they were tearing me apart. But there were a number of beautifully written – if agonizing – scenes. And here’s one of my “favorites.”

    Will said nothing. The quiet stretched out, and though I could make out the crush of the party on the other end, I wasn’t sure the connection was good anymore. Or if Will was just ignoring me. Either one seemed so imminently possible that I just sat there. I waited.

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    My Reading Pile #139

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    I am posting this a day early because tomorrow is my blogoversary and instead of burying one of the two posts, I figured I could switch up the days. It also gives me some more time to finish the review I haven’t quite completed.

    And while I wasn’t expecting any books in the mail this week, I was happily surprised to receive one I’d forgotten about.

    My Reading Pile 139

    [Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

    I received an ARC of CHAMPION (Legend #3) by Marie Lu thanks to the amazing team at Putnam Juvenile. I’d participated in the trailer reveal and poster giveaway and they sent me a copy for review for doing so.

    While I have purchased the finished copy for my Kindle I absolutely love having this as a printed ARC. It will be great to read it in print in the coming month once I get caught up on the other books in the series, and I cannot wait.

    And while I did not receive any other printed ARCs, I did get approved for two eARCs for review.

    I received an eARC of A BREATH OF FROST (The Lovegrove Legacy #1) by Alyxandra Harvey courtesy of the publisher Walker Childrens via NetGalley. I absolutely love this author’s writing and I’m super excited to be able to read this first book in her new series which comes out in January. Witches, murder, secrets and romance with the backdrop of London in the 1800s – I can’t wait.

    I also requested and received an eARC of Paige Harbison’s ANYTHING TO HAVE YOU thanks to the publisher, Harlequin Teen, via NetGalley. I absolutely loved the author’s debut novel, HERE LIES BRIDGET, and I can’t wait to read her newest release which comes out in late January. As I’m hooked on contemporary novels at the moment, I think I might try to sneak it onto the pile in the next couple of weeks.

    But for now…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (November 10, 2013 – November 16, 2013)

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    While You're Away Part V

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    First up on the pile is WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART V: While You’re Distant by Jessa Holbrook. I love that I get a new part of this book each week to read, it’s been so much fun. Though I am sad that after next week’s installment it will be over.

    As I have managed to read and review each week’s chapters and the description doesn’t change, I can only guess that in this week’s peek the story will involve something that happens while Sarah and Will are separated. Something that has the potential to be heartbreaking.

    But I won’t know until Tuesday, until my pre-order downloads. I can only hope that no one comes between them, that Will has moved past his reputation and that their love is enough to make the distance between them irrelevant.

    The Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

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    Pawn

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    Next up on the pile is PAWN by Aimée Carter. I received an eARC for review thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley and I have been dying to get this on the pile. As it is releasing in just over two weeks, I just had to get it on the pile this week. Even if my reading time is limited.

    I just spotlighted this for my Book Watch post yesterday so I won’t ramble on and on about why I want to read PAWN. But I am super excited to finally get the chance to meet Kitty and find out answers to all my questions that the description raised.

    Aimée Carter is an awesome writer and I can’t wait to check out how she tackles dystopia and to see whether I love the characters in this new series as much as I loved the ones in her other series.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to start reading this on Wednesday.

    The Description…

    YOU CAN BE A VII IF YOU GIVE EVERYTHING.

    For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

    If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked – surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

    There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed, and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.

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    Wishful Thinking Reads

    I wish I could read THE PROMISE OF AMAZING by Robin Constantine. From the moment I first saw this book on Epic Reads Tea Time I have been just dying to read it. But its release was so far away at the time, and now that it’s drawing nearer my review TBR pile is just too crowded to be able to sneak it in. But every time I see it on my Kindle I wish I had just a few hours to dive in. But I know, for now, it can only be a wish.

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    Those Left Behind

    I was able to read WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART IV by Jessa Holbrook as planned and I even posted my review. But I ended up going off-pile to restart and read A LITTLE TOO FAR by Lisa Desrochers, which I loved, and the second book in that series, A LITTLE TOO MUCH, which had a completely different vibe but I loved just as much, but for different reasons.

    I am hoping to post my review for A LITTLE TOO MUCH on Monday, but that depends on what happens with my studies this weekend. Otherwise I’ll post it on Friday. This is assuming, of course, that I write it.

    I didn’t end up finishing or posting my review for FOREPLAY, but I am hopeful that I can finish that this weekend and try to find an empty day next week to post it. Fingers crossed.

    And so… I did not get the chance to read INDEPENDENT STUDY as planned, but I am hopeful that I can read it before I start on this week’s pile on Tuesday.

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    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds

    I had taken a peek at NetGalley earlier in the week, and I discovered ANYTHING TO HAVE YOU by Paige Harbison (Harlequin TEEN, Jan 28 2014), which I requested and received for review.

    But aside from that one book, I didn’t click to request any other titles. Though now that I’m looking again for purposes of this post a few “must requests” did catch my eye…

    DARKBOUND (The Legacy of Moonset #2) by Scott Tracey (Flux, Apr 8 2014)

    ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART by Tracey Martin (Harlequin TEEN, Dec 1 2013)

    VENGEANCE (Fracture #2) by Megan Miranda (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, Feb 4 2014)

    DANGEROUS by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, Mar 4 2014)

    FOREVER (Temptation #3) by Karen Ann Hopkins (Harlequin TEEN, Jan 28 2014)

    WITCH FINDER by Ruth Warburton (Hachette Children’s Books, Jan 2 2014)

    OTHERSPHERE (Otherkin #3) by Nina Berry (Kensington Books, Dec 31 2013)

    SPRING MOON (Indiana Teller) by HRH Princess Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian (Entangled Publishing LLC, Nov 5 2013)

    THE UNBOUND (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab (Disney Book Group, Jan 28 2014) *A Read Now SNEAK PEEK ONLY*

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    While I did get a surprising amount of reading done this week, my blogging has fallen by the wayside as has my reviewing. I’m just so swamped with everything involving sailing, NaNoWriMo and work, that I haven’t had more than a second or two to spend on things like reviews and blog posts.

    During this hectic month I’ve been trying to keep my review pile small, but I haven’t been entirely able to stay away from awesome books. I find I still need my escape – from charts and math and learning, from my characters and their demanding ways, and from my job and real life stresses. And books shall forever be my saviors.

    Reviews on the other hand….

    Oh well, if I’ve learned one thing it’s that I can’t do it all. And at the moment I’m just trying to keep my head above water. (Not sure if that pun was intended or not… Brain. Not. Functioning. Correctly.)

    Hopefully things will calm down A LOT in December when my WIP is no longer a WIP but a manuscript that is being critiqued, when my Coastal Navigation class is over, and when my sanity has returned.

    But, of course, I make no promises.

    As ever, I hope that your reading pile isn’t toppling over, blogging makes you smile, and that you received some amazing books in the mail this week.

    Happy reading!

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    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your reading pile this week?

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