Now Available: Wasted Words by Staci Hart

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Wasted Words by Staci Hart

Release Date: May 19, 2016

Book Summary:

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

*A romantic comedy inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma*

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Book Links:

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About the Author:

StaciHart

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Waiting on Wednesday: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

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Carve the Mark (Untitled Duology #1) by Veronica Roth

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Book Description:

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.

 

I can’t wait for new Roth! Hopefully it’s more promising than Allegiant.

kelli

Review: Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman

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Adorable by Cookie O’Gorman

Release Date: March 31, 2016

Book Description:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal–even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties.

The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life–and he’s completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question:

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

 

Kelli’s Review:

I had seen so many mixed reviews about this one, but ultimately, the promise of a possible best friends to lovers romance won me over. And I’m so glad I picked it up, because I absolutely adored the story! So cute and so much fun!

Sally is a geek. A nerd. A dork. Whatever name you want to throw at her for liking Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc, she encompasses it. And I loved her. Sally has never had a boyfriend, much to the chagrin of one of her best friends, Hooker, and her mother. The two are constantly plotting and setting her up on horrific dates. When she finally gets fed up, she comes up with her own plan — a fake boyfriend. Opportunity knocks on her door when she realizes her male BFF, Becks, is the perfect candidate for the job. He’s popular, hot, a soccer star…and she’s been in love with him forever. Secretly, of course. Thus begins their pseudo-romance. Problem? Sally begins to see how much she loves being with Becks. And how much it’s going to hurt when it’s over.

Okay, I have to remind everyone that this is my favorite trope. Seriously, the friends-to-lovers story sucks me in EVERY time. I love the angst. I love the obvious-to-us attraction and feelings each character has for the other. I especially love when the two are seemingly polar opposites and STILL love each other. And Adorkable is all of this and more.

For as smart and knowledgable as Sally is in school and about geek culture, she is clueless about romantic relationships. Understandably so, of course. She’s never dated. And she doesn’t think her BFF – whom every girl in school wants – could ever want her or see her the way she sees him. She has never told anyone of her longtime secret crush, and has no plans to ever do so. She doesn’t think it’s worth risking their friendship. And Becks…well, he’s a jock. Stud soccer player. Super hot. But he’s not arrogant. He has bits of nerd in him, too. And he’s insanely sweet to everyone, including Sally. Their banter and interactions drove me crazy (in the good way)! I couldn’t understand how they were oblivious to the other’s feelings. Well, in the case of Becks, I hoped I was right. And at one point in the book, I was sure that I was. Their “fake” romance didn’t feel fake. With all the work Becks was putting in, I wondered if he wasn’t trying to show her his feelings – or how things could be – without possibly screwing it all up.

Adorkable is a super fast and fun read! If you love this trope the way I do, then it’s definitely perfect for you. There’s plenty of “will they, won’t they” and hoping they’ll finally get it together angst. Not to mention plenty of geek references that had me laughing and swooning!

Kelli’s Rating: 4/5

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Blush Factor: 1

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Book Link:

 

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ARC Review: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

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Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Release Date: September 6, 2016

Book Description:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

 

Kelli’s Review:

There are words I rarely to never use when writing reviews. Poignant. Perfection. Life-changing. But I’d use all of these to describe Girl in Pieces.

I had an idea that this would be a serious book, but I didn’t realize how raw the realism would be. My heart ached and broke constantly for Charlotte. All I wanted was for her to heal…for her to value herself and be okay with who she was, as well as who she had been. This book is so brutally honest. I swear I could feel the emotions creeping off the page. And when I feared she would spiral into darkness, it was all I could do to keep myself from turning to the end of the book to make sure she’d come out okay.

And not just Charlotte, but all of the characters we meet are so REAL. I know this sounds silly, but these didn’t feel like characters in a book. They felt like real people whose stories had been written down. Some in remembrance. Some in hope. They felt ALIVE. Almost as though they’d come out of the pages of the book and share the rest of their story with me.

There will be triggers here. And those I feel I should warn people about. But if you’ve ever just felt like your life is miserable and want an escape, perhaps a look into someone who has had things worse is what you need. Sometimes we all need a reminder that things can always be worse. This book slaps you in the face with that truth.

Girl in Pieces is the most touching book I’ve read since Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places. It breathes honesty into horrific truths of life that many of us will never experience. Or will never be affected by. It’s very rare that I push books onto people, but in this case, if you read just one book I recommend this year, make it this one.

Kelli’s Rating: 5/5

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Blush Factor: 3

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ARC Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release Date: October 18, 2016

Book Summary:

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.”

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

 

Kelli’s Review:

MIND. BLOWN.

Again.

I really don’t have any words to convey how much I love this story. And I say “story” because this is still a continuance of book one, Illuminae. Yes, it features new characters, but I loved it almost as much!

By now, the Heimdall Station is aware of went down with Kerenza, the Alexander, the Hypatia, etc. What they don’t know is that BeiTech is on their way to destroy them, too. This new cast of characters is just as bad ass as those in Illuminae… and the story is just as intense!

Hanna is the ultimate female bad ass. I mean, physically she impressed me. Mentally, too, for sure. Her father had taught her well. I loved her points of view. The strategizing. The wit. Everything. She and Kady would make a hell of a team.

And Nik! I loved his personality. Not to sell him short, because he’s a quick thinker and a bad ass in his own right. But he also exudes a charm similar to that of Ezra Mason. I couldn’t help but root for him to live and get the girl.

The story itself is complex once again. There are so many twists and turns that your head will spin. And there is a certain page that will actually have you questioning WTF is going on. Once it’s explained, you will see the brilliance of these authors. The pages kept turning. I couldn’t read fast enough, but I also didn’t want it to end. The format is almost the same as Illuminae was, with a few minor changes and tweaks that reflect these new characters. I was so excited to see appearances of past favorites, too. I know the summary mentions alien beings, and that could have been so much more awesome and scarier. Honestly, that was the one fault I had with Gemina. I would have liked the aliens to be a bigger presence throughout. I felt they really weren’t a huge factor at all. So, that was a very minor letdown.

I really loved Gemina. This book is fast-paced, compelling, and filled with even more bad guys who you will want dead from the beginning. I think that factor alone makes up for the lack of alien drama. The BeiTech guys are vicious, unfeeling, and hell bent on meeting their goals. This makes them scary and fantastic antagonists. Every character in this book has skills, cunning, and a will to win. It’s now just a matter of who will win. Prepare yourself for shocks, anger, sadness…all the emotions. Gemina will grip and consume you until the very last page. And then, you will wish for 2017 and the next book, because, Oh. Em. Gee. It’s not over yet!

Kelli’s Rating: 5/5

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Blush Factor: 1

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