Saturday, August 31, 2013

GYDO 2013

IT'S TIME FOR GYDO AGAIN! WOOOT!!! We have an awesome line up and GYDO's going to be...a bit longer than last year! Also? Giveaways!

If you don't know what GYDO is, it's basically where I ask a whole bunch of debut authors from whatever year it is (sometimes the coming year) and ask them to write a guest post for me! If they can't, they have the choice of an interview, but a guest post is definitely my first choice.

GYDO started out because there were some amazing fall releases last year and school was starting up again! So I decided to do an author event that wouldn't take too much time, but would still be fun! If you want to see last year's posts click here.

Last year didn't have any giveaways, but this year I asked if the authors could donate some swag or books and they've been so nice! So, yep! You guys are getting a ton of giveaways! I'm sort of jealous! The majority are US, but there are also a lot of US/CA ones and even a few INT ones!

Have fun meeting new authors and possibly discovering new books!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

Goodreads Blurb
For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now... not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?
Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.
And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them...
Oh you gorgeous, gorgeous, lying cover. When I saw the cover I imagined a sweet, possibly heartbreaking, story that I would love. Instead I got a romance that wasn't exactly my favorite and was more New Adult than Young.

I didn't really expect the rather...detailed sex scene that happened or the issues that ended up being mentioned. Namely from one Starrla character. Starrla really irritated for some reason. I think it was because she didn't really seem to have much depth. Yes, she was broken, and yes she had her issues. But beyond her issues and her pain, there honestly didn't seem to be anything else. It was like she was just written to drive a wedge between our two main characters, which she probably was. I just wish there was more to her than her bitchiness and cruelty.

Ah, but you want to hear about our main characters don't you?
Charlie wasn't exactly my favorite. He seemed a bit...obsessive with Wren and I found him a bit...awkward for the story. I really can't explain why, but something just nagged at me throughout the entire story. But he was otherwise a pretty sweet guy with a real voice. He cared about his family, his friends, Wren, and was definitely romantic enough to make one swoon. But I didn't really see him grow as a character--we were told he changed, but I wish we'd been shown this character development, however minor.
Wren was sort of the same, but she annoyed me a lot more. She never really treated Charlie right and she was definitely a bit clingy and needy. She did try to stand up for her parents, and I admired her for that, but she never really said what she wanted. She flinched back a lot and it definitely annoyed me. After so many years under her parents' thumb (who definitely didn't win any parent of the year awards) I felt like she should've been more...explosive with her feelings than the timid rebel she portrayed once. Twice?

The romance in this definitely had that insta-love feel to it and I just sort of hated it. I had no idea what they saw in each other. All I kept hearing was "You're beautiful." "You're gorgeous." "You're perfect." But beyond that? Why did they seem so in love? There was no basis of their love and there was almost nothing leading up to it besides their "touching of the souls." Wut?

I wanted to DNF this so many times, but I pushed on, wanting to see how it ended, which was rather abrupt for my tastes. The Infinite Moment of Us was rather disappointing and I honestly wouldn't really recommend it to anyone. Of course, I still want to read Myracle's Shine since it received so many rave reviews, but not this one, unfortunately.

But guys. Such a gorgeous cover. 

Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary/Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: Aug 20, 2013
Rating: 1 star

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

Goodreads Blurb
Nora Henderson has been basting baby back ribs for as long as she could reach the counter of her dad's famous barbecue joint. When she's accepted to Taste Test, a teen reality cooking competition, Nora can't wait to leave her humble hometown behind. On set, run-ins with the maddeningly handsome and talented son of a famous chef, Christian Van Lorten, make Nora wonder if it's him or the win she really wants, but as she and Christian emerge as front-runners for the final prize, Nora can't ignore the mysterious accidents plaguing the kitchen arena. Someone is conducting eliminations of their own, and if Nora doesn't stop them, she could be next to get "chopped" for good. 

Taste Test was a delicious (I'm sorry, I just couldn't help it.) read that I enjoyed (and almost died laughing over.)

The number one thing that hit me was definitely the writing style. Or, rather, the other things included. We got "interviews" with all our characters that I definitely enjoyed and giggled over. It let us see what front some of them were putting up and how they felt about what was going on! It was both hilarious and sort of sad sometimes. In the way that I want to be "LET ME LOVE YOU" to them.  And then we got recipes. That I really want to try but would probably burn (even if it's not burnable.) I really love how Fiore included these little extras to make our reading experience way more enjoyable (and for all you actually decent cooks out there--can you pretty please make a few of them then send the food to me? I will love you forever, because some of these look absolutely scrumptious.)

The relationships between these characters also took center stage. Whether it was the absolutely amazing father-daughter dynamic Nora and her dad had, the unrequited love between her and Billy (BFF), or her hate/love (literally. Mainly hate?) with Christian, all of them were wonderfully written! Nora's weren't the only relationships that played a role though--Gigi (the new BFF) and her friendships and familial ties, Joy's little trysts, and Christian's own relationship with his dad were also ones that were pretty fleshed out! I do wish we spent a little more time on them though, rather than spending a majority of the book focusing on Christian and Nora's chemistry.

Of course, that doesn't mean I like it. Trust me, I was cheering these two on from the start! They were absolutely HILARIOUS by themselves, but together? I think I died of laughter several times. Their witty banter was filled with snarky remarks that had me crawling around on the floor clutching my stomach. Kelly Fiore definitely played on the phrase "There's a thin line between love and hate" because that was definitely true here! I never knew whether they were going to end up kissing or if it would end with Nora slapping him.

I did love the pacing, though I couldn't help but wish we focused more on the show in the first half. We glossed over several of the "incidents" and we only really read/experienced a few and it wasn't really the main focus. The culprit was also pretty predictable, though I really didn't expect the reason why! The ending, I loved though. (But can we get an epilogue? I DON'T WANT TO SAY GOODBYE.)

The characters were probably the thing I liked the least. Nora wasn't really written well and seemed a little flat and she seemed to judge harshly and quickly. She definitely wasn't my favorite character and I can't help but wish she was a little less...impulsive sometimes.
Christian, I loved, though he did seem excessively cruel at times. But his snark was absolutely HILARIOUS and I'm pretty sure I fell in love with him by the second time we met him. He was absolutely adorable and a fun character to read about!

Taste Test is a cute and fun read I'd definitely recommend to people looking for an laugh out loud book that brings out their Giggle Monster. A perfect read for anyone who needs a break from the paranormal and dystopian!

Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary/Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: Aug 27, 2013
Rating: 3.5-->4 stars

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

House of Hades by Rick Riordan

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

Oh my freaking God, seriously. This is one of the only MG series I've ever read and loved and you guys, I pretty much grew up with these characters. AND THEN THEY FALL INTO FREAKING HELL.

Wonderful. Seriously. WHY ARE AUTHORS ALL SO MEAN. The only thing I really don't like is that it seems that we don't get anything from Percy's POV. Ummm...EXCUSE ME? UGH. I am both dying to get this, but I now I'll be anxious when I do. UGHHHH

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog Tour: Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

Me? I definitely loved this book! My review goes up in two days! Now read on for some food related questions. Because I just couldn't help myself.

Fiction Freak: What made you want to write about a TV show and why food?
Kelly Fiore:I think the food part was more of a choice than the TV show part. I’ve been involved in a lot of writing workshops and classes and the two things that always ring true are “show, don’t tell” and “write what you know.” I know food – I can remember the dishes I ate on important days more than I can remember what I wore or what I said. Food was a huge part of my childhood and I always cooked with my mom, until I was old enough to do it alone.
But, the idea of a teen Top Chef came to me when I was driving – which is when I get a lot of my ideas, actually. And being such a big Top Chef fan (and rooting for Bryan Voltaggio in the TC Masters right now – he lives in my hometown!) it just seemed like a win-win.

FF: What research did you have to do for TASTE TEST?
KF: Wow, the word “research” really gives legitimacy to the concept of me lounging on the couch and watching every cooking show ever!
Honestly, I did watch a lot of cooking television – not just the “reality” stuff, but the regular half-hour Food Network shows, too. I wanted to get a concept of timing and how ingredients are prepped. I watched a lot of “behind the scenes” stuff that I found online – like, I remember watching a show where Giada DeLaurentis was showing how her show gets made. I used a lot of those details to pull together what I expected the inner workings of the show to look like. Other than that, the recipes had to be cooked and re-cooked to make sure they were something I would stand behind in a book. And I had to attach measurements to ingredients because I don’t measure anything.

FF: The banter between Christian and Nora had me LOLing. Did you ever have a witty banter going on between you and someone else?
KF: Absolutely – that is chemistry and it is pure gold. You have that with someone and it means you are totally in tune with them. It can be a friend and totally platonic, but the best is when that banter is really a cover for sexual tension, as in the case of Nora and Christian.
My husband and I were still in our teens when we met and I can tell you that we had very witty banter – it’s one of our many compatibilities J

FF: What is your FAVORITE recipe out of all the ones you've included in TASTE TEST?
KF: It’s a toss up between the Chicken Pasta Nora (which is imbedded in the book, not at the end) and the Mahi Mahi dish. Both of those are staples in my kitchen and they’re both delicious!

FF: If you were placed in a cooking competition, what place do you think you'd get?
KF: Oh, jeez – probably last. I can’t plate to save my life. My food never really looks “pretty” even if it does taste good. That, and I’m a little too sassy for my own good. I’d probably have a hard time building alliances and winning people over J

FF: If you had to choose one dessert to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
KF: It’s another toss up – it’s either Crème Brulee or Chocolate Mousse. Or a good brownie sundae. This question is too hard!!!

FF:  Are there any snacks you ALWAYS have to have on hand while you write?
KF: I LOVE sushi – especially spicy tuna and vegetable rolls – and Korean BBQ, so those are my go-to take out options when I’m writing. I don’t keep a lot of snacks around the house, honestly. But I do a LOT of ordering in.

FF: Who was your favorite character to write?
KF: I loved writing Christian and Nora’s interactions more than anything else. I love that bantering chemistry between them.

FF: Did you mean for the contradiction in Joy's (the mean girl's) name?
KF: No, not at all. Sometimes I put a ton of thought into names – Giada (GiGi), for example, was what we were going to name my son if he was a girl. But other times – like with Joy? It’s just the first name that pops in my head J

FF: Do you happen to have any embarrassing cooking moments you'd like to share?
KF: I did a lot of cooking experiments in my youth – this question would probably be a better one for my mom!
Lately, though, the most embarrassing thing I did was forget to put the sugar in a chocolate zucchini cake batter. I didn’t realize it until the batter was in the muffin tins – so I had to dump/scrap all the batter out of the little paper cupcake cups and back into the bowl so I could add the sugar. It was worth it, though, obviously. Cake without sugar is NOT good.

Taste Test Blurb
Nora Henderson has been basting baby back ribs for as long as she could reach the counter of her dad's famous barbecue joint. When she's accepted to Taste Test, a teen reality cooking competition, Nora can't wait to leave her humble hometown behind. On set, run-ins with the maddeningly handsome and talented son of a famous chef, Christian Van Lorten, make Nora wonder if it's him or the win she really wants, but as she and Christian emerge as front-runners for the final prize, Nora can't ignore the mysterious accidents plaguing the kitchen arena. Someone is conducting eliminations of their own, and if Nora doesn't stop them, she could be next to get "chopped" for good. 

With romance and intrigue as delectable as the winning recipes included in the story, this debut novel will be devoured by all.

Author Bio
Kelly Fiore has a BA in Creative Writing from Salisbury University and an MFA in Poetry from West Virginia University. Cooking and writing are two of Kelly's greatest passions; others include cupcakes, facials, and VH1 Classic. She lives in Maryland where she lives with her husband and son. Taste Test is her debut novel.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Books to Movies Blog Hop

Hey! I haven't done many giveaways this year, so I decided to join this one! There are a ton of awesome YA book-to-movie adaptations coming out/came out and I can't wait to watch the 2014 ones! Woot!

Prize List
*any book in the series
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead*
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins*
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan*
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Masque of Red Death*
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare*
Delirium by Lauren Oliver*

If you're INT and interested in an eBook copy then this is open to you too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week of a Fiction Freak

So guys. I have a rather...large haul here. Feel free to watch it through. Or not. I CAN'T BELIEVE I DID THIS AGAIN WHY.

So NYC was epic, I bought...A LOT OF CLOTHES, had an epic time with Eileen. A little boy called me weird at the airport. I'll end up writing a recap post. Sometime. If you want pics head over to my twitter!

Also, I have realized that my neighbors grow pomegranites and that they hang over our fence. I was eyeing them throughout this entuire thing. Also, GYDO starts next week which means I'll have to do ANOTHER video at the end of September. Beautiful. Just. Sigh

Have fun. Urgh.

  • ​Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
  • Asylum by Madeleine Roux
  • Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
  • Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
  • Indelible by Dawn Metcalf
  • Ten by Gretchen McNeil
  • What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen
  • Posess by Gretchen McNeil
  • Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor (NOT SHOWN)
  • Earthbound by Apprilynne Pike
  • My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi (NOT SHOWN)
  • Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
  • Once We Were by Kat Zhang
  • This Side of Jealousy by Lili Peloquin (NOT SHOWN)
  • All The Truth that's In Me by Julie Berry
  • Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey (x2)
  • Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
  • Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
  • Pretty Sly by Elisa Ludwig
  • Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan
  • You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle
  • Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  • Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Sioban Vivian
  • Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr
  • Camp Kiss by J.K. Rock
  • Relic by Heather Terrill
  • Dare You To by Katie McGarry
  • Still Starcrossed by Melinda Taub
  • Transparent by Natalie Whipple
  • Frozen by Michael Johnston and Melissa de la Cruz
  • Crossing the Line by Katie McGarry
  • In Time by Alexandra Bracken
  • Keeping Her by Cora McCormick
  • Six Months Later by Natalie Richards (NOT SHOWN)
  • Promise of Amazing by Robin Constatine
  • The Liberator by Victoria Scott
  • Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
  • Dearly Beloved by Lia Habel
  • Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
  • To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones
  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  • Dance of Red Death by Bethany Griffin
  • Starglass by Phoebe North
  • Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard
  • Social Code by Sadie Hayes
  • And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
  • Canary by Rachele Alpine
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  • Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
  • The Testing by Joelle Charbeannue 
  • Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowel

  • HAD FUN? Yeah. That happened. I have no clue how I'm going to read all these, but I'm excited to try. Ugh though. So many.

    Weekly Recap

    Friday, August 23, 2013

    3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

    Goodreads Blurb
    Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.
    Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.
    Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo. 
    Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.
    But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.
    By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

    I don't usually start reviews like this, but...
    Oh my fucking God. I am dead. I can not live. Guys. I just. No. My heart. It fails me. GUYS. Oh my fuck. I can not even. But. Just.

    Everything hurts.

    So I absolutely have to start off with the sci-fi aspect of this. There is a ton of sci-fi in there and Gretchen McNeil obviously did her research. There were so many theories thrown around, not to mention a ton of...oh God, I don't even know what to call them, much less understand! But the sci-fi is hardcore in 3:59, and you just have to love the scientific explanations and...other. I can't guarantee you'll understand, but I can promise that it'll blow your mind away!

    And you guys, the plot. I can't even. It was filled with suspense and anticipation (read: me hyperventilating) and I just couldn't put it down! It hooked me in straight away and then proceeded to kill me several times. It was filled with so many twists I hadn't seen a mile away and smacked me in the face, leaving me astonished and shocked. Not to mention, the ending? Oh, it just breaks your heart.

    I just loved our characters who were so brilliantly written (much like the rest of the book) and so wonderfully flawed, especially in the parallel world.
    Josie is the kind of character you have to love. She's been through a lot and she's easy to relate to. I loved her voice and how she wasn't the perfect character. She had her selfish moments and she had her brave ones. She was smart and a bit nerdy, but wasn't the stereotypical "loser" nerd.
    Nick was sweet in our world, but, of course, was a dick later on. But in the parallel world? Oh God, you have to love him! Madison...I couldn't believe her, how she could change personalities so quickly! It was disgusting and I sort of hated her. But she was definitely kickass in the parallel world and I loved seeing the few, but definitely interesting, interactions Josie had with her!

    The romance isn't a big part of the book, but you can't help but cheer Nick and Josie on! I can't say much, but I need an epilogue. That is all.

    This was my first Gretchen McNeil book, but you can count on it not being my last. With the amazingness that is 3:59, I'm now scrambling to read her other works! While I haven't read Ten (despite having a copy), my friends have read and loved it, so I can only assume that McNeil is as much a genius with all her books.

    I absolutely was not expecting to love 3:59 this much. I had high hopes for sure, but...oh God, they were just completely blown away. And that's saying a lot. 3:59 is a gorgeously written sci-fi thriller that literally had my heart pounding from chapter one and wanting to sob an ocean in the last.
    I have to recommend to absolutely everyone, sci-fi fans or no, everyone has to read this so they can scream with me.

    Pages: 368
    Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Sci-fi
    Series: Standalone
    Publisher: Balzer + Bray
    Release Date: Sep 17, 2013
    Rating: 10/5 stars

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

    Goodreads Blurb
    Brie is the “biggest, cheesiest, sappiest romantic” who believes that everyone will find their perfect someone, so when Jacob, the love of Brie's life, tells her he doesn't love her anymore, the news breaks her heart, literally, and she dies. But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie revisits the living world to discover that her family has begun to unravel and her best friend has been keeping an intimate secret about her boyfriend. Somehow, Brie must handle all of this while navigating through the five steps of grief with the help of Patrick, her mysterious bomber-jacketed guide to the afterlife. But how is she supposed to face the Ever After with a broken heart and no one to call her own?

    I've been absolutely dying to read this book for a while now, but I could never bring myself to actually buy it for some strange reason. Then I saw the paperback cover and it happened to be right in front of me. Obviously, it was fate. (GORGEOUS COVER. DO YOU SEE IT?)

    The Catastrophic History complete surprised me. Even though so many people told me how far from a fluff it was, I still somehow expected it to be light--but it really wasn't. What it was? Possibly the most beautiful love story I've ever read. So heartbreaking, so heartwarming, and so, so, powerful.

    While it was paranormal/supernatural, Catastrophic History had a contemporary feel to it that made me love it so much more. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we deal with a few issues, but I think it was mainly how amazing Brie's voice was. She was such a raw character who had such a distinct teen personality! She was easy to connect to, sassy and flawed, and I wanted to hug her so many times. The things she had to endure were hard enough--that she couldn't really help? It only made it worse.

    The romance was beyond amazing and had a twist to it that I just couldn't predict! But it was so absolutely perfect and it made me want to cry (Again! The feels in this book!) I can't say really anything else about it or I'll be spoiling so much, but it truly was one of the most beautiful love stories I've ever read.

    The plot was, while a bit slow a few times, was absolutely amazing! I loved most of the pacing and I loved everything that happened, the twists, the heartbreak, all of it. This book was just so completely passionate and so completely perfect. So much love! Though, the ending? A little bit too HEA, but otherwise, so completely perfect. So. Perfect.

    Pages: 400
    Genre: Contemporary/Supernatural
    Series: Standalone
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Release Date: Jan 1, 2012
    Rating: 5 stars