What’s a Soulmate?

We’re not necessarily “snowed in” this weekend but I’m definitely enjoying staying cozied up with some good books while it’s cold outside. Seriously, this is my kind of reading weather. I love to stay snuggled up in the blankets with a book and a cup of coffee (or cocoa in this case).

What’s a Soulmate? has been on my TBR list for quite some time. It fell to the wayside as I got caught up with other books. But I finally got to read it!

51ucjvlvw-lMeet Libby Carmichael, a seventeen-year-old girl whose only focus is making clothes, getting prepared for college, and listening to whatever drama her best friend Beth has going on. Her world is filled with blacks and whites. There is no color. Until one day, she meets her Soulmate and her entire universe explodes in vibrancy.

Andrew McCormack has had a bad day. Being detained for assaulting a police officer tends to do that to a person. But then he sees Libby, and the drab juvenile detention center becomes the most colorful part of his world. But how do you have a relationship with your Soulmate when there is perpetually a barrier between you?

I was thoroughly excited to read this story. The concept is phenomenal and not something I’d seen or heard of before. To live in a world devoid of color until you meet your Soulmate is an interesting theory. Lindsey Ouimet does a wonderful job of fleshing out that theory and making a reader crave the relationship between our two main characters. There is intrigue, mystery, and of course romance in every page. However, I found myself getting rather bored with the story and wanting to just skim through to the next interesting part. I felt like bits of it dragged and I lost interest more than once.

Overall, I believe What’s a Soulmate? is a great read for any teen and something you won’t see on every shelf in every bookstore.

Brave Enough

I’m still not a fan of ebooks (yeah, yeah, I know). But I will admit that I’ve been burning through them pretty quickly the past few days. So yay!

916pvurak0lBrave Enough is the tale of two teenagers from totally different worlds, connected through one major disease: cancer. Cason Martin has grown up in the world of ballet. Her mother has pushed her from day one to be the best and has been more like a coach than a mother. Until one day, Cason collapses during an important audition and her perfect dance world comes crashing down around her.

Davis Channing is a survivor. He made it through his lymphoma only to try and destroy everything the doctors and nurses worked to save with drugs. Davis battles with his addiction throughout this novel while finding himself falling in love with Cason. But in the end will their love survive all the obstacles?

Brave Enough follows your typical formula for any other teenage drama. And while this book seemed bland to begin with, I found myself getting invested in the characters. I even may have shed a tear or two. Both inspirational and simple, it’s a nice easy read for anyone looking for a bit of drama in their life. Kati Gardner touches on a ton of different social issues throughout the entire book while managing not to delve too deeply into most of them. I appreciate Gardner’s attempt to look at the many dimensions of teenage life but I felt she tried to pack too much into one book. That being said, it was a stellar read and worth picking up!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.**

Kingdom Cold

43203291._uy2400_ss2400_Kingdom Cold takes place in the realm of Besmium. Princess Charlotte is betrothed to a man she has never met in a political move for her father’s kingdom. But just as she’s getting to know her intended, a war breaks out with a neighboring kingdom. Will the kingdom of Besmium survive? And will Charlotte see her wedding day come?

I have to admit, I couldn’t put down Kingdom Cold. In fact, I finished it in one day (which may not be saying much as I’m a bookaholic). I enjoyed the fact that the story was told from multiple characters’ views. The plot twists almost gave me whiplash, but I loved it! I couldn’t tell where the story would end or how which kept me very intrigued.

However, I don’t feel like the characters were well developed and it felt as if the ending was a bit lackluster, albeit unexpected. Brittni Chenelle does a wonderful job of drawing the reader in and keeping them on their toes. I just felt that this book could have been fleshed out more and perhaps even made into two books. There was very little detail and I found myself without a connection to the character, but still very invested in the storyline. It was a strange position to be in.

**I received a copy of this book for an honest review.**

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

It’s been quite a while since this blog has seen some use. In fact, I think I see some cobwebs lying around. Sorry about that guys. Life got pretty hectic last year with personal life and my photography business. I am making more of an effort this year to lead a more balanced life. So here I am with a new review!

It’s possible to love your grandmother for years and years without really knowing anything about her.

img_0764My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry depicts an extremely unique and strong relationship between almost-eight-year-old Elsa and her Granny. Between the two of them, they have created a magical world with many kingdoms and thousands upon thousands of fairy tales. Fredrik Backman pulls you into this heartwarming relationship and the exciting and imaginative stories from the minds of these two characters.

But at the end of every fairy tale, there is a dragon and Elsa must face hers. However, she won’t do it alone. While Elsa and her grandmother spend their times in the realms of their own making, reality is much harsher and no less fantastical. Between the wurse, The Monster, and the sea-angel, Elsa has an army and a family at her back as she takes on the biggest dragon of all: life.

The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but that it can make the people left behind want to stop living.

I was blown away by the wordsmithing in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. Every page is filled with beauty and emotion. You can’t help but be drawn into the relationship between Elsa, her mother, and her grandmother. The layers upon layers of stories were intricately woven in such a beautiful way. Definitely a story I would love to share with anyone. If you’re looking for a novel that will give you just about anything a literary piece can, look no further than this one!

The Immortalists

Hey book lovers! So summer is coming to an end and I’m so looking forward to the cool days of fall. Those who know me know how much I love Halloween and all the spooky coziness of autumn. I tend to enjoy reading much more in the fall; all cozied up under a blanket with some fuzzy socks on and a cup of cider. What are you looking forward to this autumn? Any new books coming out that are on your “To Read” list?

IMG_3532I’d seen post after post about The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I did what we’ve always been told not to do, I judged the book by its cover (which is beautiful by the way). But then I read the blurb and thought I wouldn’t enjoy this novel as much as I first believed. Still, I went ahead and added it to my ever-growing stack of books I plan to read. I wasn’t quite in the mood for the genre but it was on the top of my stack so I picked it up and I’m so glad I did!

I’m usually the type of reader that enjoys fantasy, sci-fi, romance novels. You know, the kind that don’t necessarily fixate on tragedy and familial relations. But The Immortalists had me hooked from page one.

The Golds family consists of four children; Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon. When they are young, they go to see a fortune teller who has been rumored to be able to tell you the date of your death. What follows is a story of choice, the power of thought, and the connection of family. In the thirty-six chapters, we follow each child as they grow with the weight of their impending doom sitting on their shoulders. Beautifully written with an underlying discovery of how much our choices dictate our lives, The Immortalists is a book you don’t want to pass up!

Serafina & The Twisted Staff

It’s been a long time, book lovers! Life has gotten pretty crazy lately what with family, job, and all the goings on of summer vacation. I’ve been lax in my reading schedule (sorry about that) and this blog has suffered for it. But I am trying! And just this week I finished Serafina & The Twisted Staff.

51z482Xyp0L._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_Not too long ago, I wrote about the first book in this series. I wasn’t blown away by it but it was still an intriguing read. Beatty’s second installment is no different. It was very well written and I was excited to read about Serafina’s next adventure but some of the plot was quite predictable and it didn’t hold the same magic for me as the first one did. Still, it’s worth the read.

In Serafina & The Twisted Staff, we pick back up with Serafina and Braeden after they’ve defeated the man with the black cloak. But now there’s a new danger at Biltmore and it’s affecting the animals. Serafina and Braeden work together to solve the mystery of what could be harming the animals of the forest as well as those on Biltmore’s estate. But in the process, Serafina is torn from Braeden’s side and begins to question where she belongs and who is her true friend. Robert Beatty is a brilliant writer who has created a fantasy that every reader will enjoy. While the second book is not quite as powerful as the first, I was still sucked into the story and curious to find out how it would end. I’m very much looking forward to picking up the next book in this series.

Moxie

These days, when you see the word “feminist” thrown around, it puts a bad taste in your mouth. I won’t get into a debate about the connotations surrounding that word, but it’s hard to deny that women are taking a stand these days.

IMG-2310Moxie was the perfect novel to read. It took my a while as I hit a reading lull in the middle of it but that didn’t keep me from loving this young adult novel. Moxie follows Vivian, a teenage girl living in Texas where the football team rules the school, the city, even the county. And I mean literally. The boys are untouchable. Again and again, they are sexist and harassing the girls of the school. But Vivian’s had enough. So Moxie is born.

This thrilling tale of a one girl revolution that eventually becomes an all girl revolution is breath-taking. To see one teenager take it upon herself to do something about the problems in her school without recognition or assistance. Vivian puts herself out there in a way she never has before. Not only hoping to change things for the rest of her time at the school but for all the girls after her as well. If you’re looking for a book about strong women coming together to stand up for one another, this is definitely the book for you.