City of B

Waiting on Wednesday 9/13/16

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This week’s “I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on” pick is: The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee. 

Publication: December 27, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 384

Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.

Why I’m waiting

This book sounds weirdly awesome. Have you ever heard of an aromateur? I haven’t! I don’t really know what else to say, this book just came out of left field and I want to read it STAT.

{ What are you waiting on this week? }

City of B

Waiting on Wednesday 9/7/16

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.
This week’s “I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on” pick is: King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard. 

Publication: February 7, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 448
Here’s the book summary. It’s surprisingly spoiler-free considering it’s the third and potential last book in the series.
In the third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series, Mare is forced to play a psychological cat-and-mouse game with an old and deadly enemy, where the stakes are not only the future of the Red Rebellion but the sanctity of her own mind.

Why I’m waiting

I’ve read, raved and reviewed both book one (here) and two (here). This series is X-men meets Game of Thrones meets The Selection – three of my favorite things!

City of B

Book review: “Meant to Be” by Lauren Morrill

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 292
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Series: standalone

Meant to Be was cute, fast, and funny. I didn’t want to put this book down because I was too entirely wrapped up in Julia’s London-love whirlwind adventures. Because of the premise and certain key moments that happened early on, I thought I had this book figured out. Bummed at the thought of another predictable ending, I made a pact to simply enjoy MTB’s journey rather than get caught up in what I believed to be an inevitable ending. Boy was I ever wrong! Although I had one detail right, the rest of plot sprung a Houdini leaving me utterly and happily surprised. Believe me when I say, Morrill knows how to weave an intricate storyline full of shocks and sweet surprises.

This is the first time that I’ve truly felt a connection to a main character. There’s so many similarities between Julia and I, it’s actually quite scary. We’re both too shy and too nervous and completely clumsy. (I can barely walk without accidentally smacking something) We’re also what you call “book smart” as opposed to street smart, and have a tendency to check, double check, and triple check things such as agendas. And boys…. don’t get me started! Haha. All of these similarities and Morrill’s  engaging writing style really had me connecting with Julia on a deeper level and being able to understand her character better.
I really loved the dynamic that developed between Julia and one of this book’s swooners, Jason. Julia is Miss rules and guidelines while Jason is Mr. live a little. Although a valued member of the swim team, Julia’s personality is very mousy and bookish. Jason is part of the proverbial cool clique which entirely explains my initial dislike of him in the beginning. For the longest time I thought him arrogant and quite frankly ass-y. He had a tendency to embarrass Julia in front the “populars” just about every chance he got.Granted, Julia preferred to be a wallflower, and therefore was easily embarrassed when receiving attention. Jason was also very hot and cold. One moment it seemed like he and Julia we’re getting closer, at the minimal becoming friends. Then he’d pull a 180 and go back to ignoring her, or like I said, embarrassing her. I definitely understood Julia’s conflicting feelings towards him because I had pretty conflicting ones as well.
Although I knew I’d at least like Meant to Be, I was seriously thrilled when I ended up loving it. London is such a richly cultural place which made the setting of this book all the more enjoyable and refreshing. It was amazing watching Julia transform from a shy, timid girl into someone brimming with confidence. I also really liked getting to know more about Jason. From the outside he seemed shallow and disrespectful, but like Julia, I slowly began to see a whole other side to him, one that I really loved. Meant to Be was a fabulous standalone contemporary that I’m so happy I read.


4 Stakes!
City of B

The Ivy (The Ivy #1) by Lauren Kunze, Rina Onur

The Ivy (The Ivy #1) by Lauren Kunze, Rina OnurThe Ivy (The Ivy, #1) by Lauren Kunze, Rina Onur
Published by Greenwillow Books on August 31st 2010
Pages: 312

Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?

Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with

the guy she loves to hate ...

the guy she'd love to forget ...

the guy she'd love to love ...

and Matt
the guy she really should love ...

all vying for her attention.

But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.

Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?

A few weeks back HarperCollins ran a special for The Ivy. They knocked down the e-book price to 0.00. Being the first time hearing of it, and a premise that intrigued me, I of course *purchased* it. I don’t think I’ve ever L-O-L’d so loud and so much while reading a book before. One hilarious scene after another, kept me joyfully hooked. Now I HAVE to get the other books in the series. Well played, HarperCollins, well played.
I opened up this review with a “I love you” statement but now I’m going to backtrack a little and start off with the parts that I didn’t. Even though I found the overall story hilariously enjoyable, the closer I got to the end, the less I liked The Ivy and it’s main-ish character, Callie. In the beginning I was screaming 5+ stakes!! But by the end, I settled on 4…

At first, I adored Callie Andrews. Callie stood out of the crowd because she wore tanks and sweats while other girls wore posh, top of the line clothes. Callie preferred the quiet, read Pride & Prejudice weekend nights, while other girls worked on getting their crunk on. Callie dumped her jerky boyfriend, spotted the player right off the bat, befriended the cute and kind male neighbor, and slowly got to know the reputable campus charmer while her roommate(s) slept around with any male that paid them a half amount of attention. Callie stayed true to herself for a good chunk of the book. Then all the sudden *poof* her good judgement and reasoning blinked out of existent.

I can understand her new surroundings and friends influencing her, but Callie’s mindset made an extreme change. She went from being self-confident and intelligent to worrying about her looks, ditching class and putting off her assignments. I didn’t understand her new way of viewing life. She never had problems making friends in high school yet all of the sudden she’s dressing differently and acting differently to impress her roommate? The more I got to know her, the less I liked. By the end I found her pretty annoying. There was nothing indicating her lack of “self-confidence” in the past, so when it started popping up here and there I got confused, and then I got irritated.

Regardless of my Callie-dislike, there was plenty other things to like! I think Kunze and Onur did a fabulous job portraying college, especially freshmen year. Having spent last year for the first time, away at college, I could relate and even laugh at the cliches yet total truths of college life. Whether it be the lack of sleep, high quantities of caffeine intake, all-night partying on school nights or silly things like crossing campus, jacket-less in 50 below weather (nights I wish I could take back), Kunze and Onur hit the nail on the head!

I also really liked the narration of this one which was SHOCKER – third person POV. Normally this type drives me crazy, but for The Ivy it worked. There’s so many people to keep track of, Callie, Gregory, Clint, Matt, Mimi, Vanessa & more! that, 3rd POV helped keep everyone on the radar. As an outside party viewing the various situations you could see and better understand various character motivations. You didn’t have to guess the reactions because everyone’s facial and body expressions were announced. However, like I said, Callie is the main-ish character so we only saw other characters when they were in her presence.

All in all, I did love this book, regardless of the flaws. It’s on that Young Adult/New Adult dividing line, leaning more towards NA. Even though there’s mentions of sex and alcohol and marijuana use, the story still stays kind of light and teen-y. If you’re into secret societies, cutesy romances and love everything that Gossip Girl entails (high fashion, privileged youths, sabotage/general back-stabbery) you’ll love The Ivy.

City of B

Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) by Jennifer Estep

Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) by Jennifer EstepCrimson Frost (Mythos Academy, #4) by Jennifer Estep
Published by K-Teen on December 24th 2012
Pages: 354

For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…

Thanks KTeen for providing me with this ARC in exchange for a honest review.

When it comes to Mythos Academy, no matter what I’m doing, or whatever mood I may be in; I can easily pick up one of these books and get completely sucked into the story. Estep does a great job of keeping the reader enticed with the perfect blend of action, humor, romance and suspense. The Mythos books are formulaic, always leaving off on a cliffhanger by way of the predecessor’s suspenseful first chapter. When Crimson Frost picked right up where Dark Frost left off, a very WTF-moment, I kissed going to bed early that night–good bye!

For me, Gwen Frost is an all-around likable character. She’s got a good mix of smarts, snark, and lots and lots of guts. She’s not afraid to jump right into a brawl when her friends and family are in danger. However, on the flip-side, she tends to jump in head-first not really thinking the situation through. A lot of planning is “fly by the seat of her pants”. I don’t hold any of it against her though because her heart is always in the right place. When it comes to protecting those whom she loves, to Gwen, no sacrifice is too great.

Where would this review be without mention of Mythos Academy’s most bad-ass Spartan, Logan Quinn. My reviews for the previous books haven’t really mentioned Logan that much. You can tell that I have completely fallen for him by this point. In Crimson Frost were reminded once again why we love this gorgeous yet deadly, blue-eyed beauty. To most of the characters in this book, Logan Quinn appears cool and dangerous. Back when reading book one, I can remember having mixed feelings towards him. In novels there’s usually two types of bad boys; the ones who occasionally appear sweet but end up being ass-y through and through; and two, the ones that appear ass-y in the beginning but through time it’s revealed that they’ve got an extra-thick shell that needs to be cracked (like Logan). Logan’s vulnerable side peeks out more in Crimson Frost. We learn a lot about his family dynamic, including the animosity between him and his father. I loved seeing the interaction between these two. Logan’s father immediately takes a disliking of Gwen so it’s great to see how Logan reacts. Lets just say that Logan shows us once again how uber-protective and charming he can be.

The characters, both main and supporting, continue to amaze me. They have been doing a lot of growing in the last couple books. They all started out with quirks such as pettiness, lack of confidence, fear of intimacy, shyness, and so forth, and have been slowly but surely moving past these limitations.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I just love how this series encompasses all types of mythology. At Mythos Academy you have ninjas, vikings, amazons, Spartans, gypsies and more! It’s wonderful having the world so wide open because there’s so many possibilities. I can easily see potential spin-off(s) in the future. *crosses fingers*

From start to finish, Crimson Frost had me hooked. With great pacing, character development and plot, this is easily one of my favorite books in the series. In each book, the situations become more dire and the danger more real. After the disastrous event that happened at the end of book three and the secrets that were revealed, Gwen is more than ever prepared to fight for not just her family and friends, but for the world itself in.

I give Crimson Frost 4.5 stars. I was so close to giving it 5 stakes but I just couldn’t. There is one bone I have to pick. I haven’t mentioned it before, but the reminders thrown throughout books 2, 3 and now 4 are driving me nuts. A little refresher here and there is fine, even though this isn’t really the type of series you start reading out of order, but enough is enough. Some things such as that Gwen regularly finds used condoms in the back of the library stacks, is a fact I don’t need to read every book. Some things are worth re-mentioning for memory purposes, others, not so much.