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Wishlist Wednesday (#14)

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Because I needed a post in my life that kept me up to date on all things BOOKS!  and it seemed like Wishlist Wednesday was dead, I decided to make my own.

Welcome to Weekly Wishlist!

I’m all about breaking bending the rules to my will, so I’m switching it up!  I’m going to pair books that are already in the wild…with books soon to be released. Click the covers to be taken to the Amazon page.

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The Last Thing You Said

Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.

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Why I want it:

LOOK!  AT THAT COVER?!?!?!  It’s undeniably gorgeous.  And while the blurb is short and sweet, I feel like this is going to be one of those books that really makes me stop and think…and we all know how much I adore those sorts of reads!  So, definitely keeping an eye out for this one in the future!

It Started With Goodbye

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE shows us that sometimes going after what you want means breaking the rules.

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Why I want it:

So, first off, this is a play on Cinderella, which…well, if you know anything about me, you’ll know immediately my reasons.  Also, again, this sounds like the type of read that will challenge my way of thinking and push me a bit out of my comfort zone, which we all know I need more of in my life.  And just…that title?  The title alone is enough intrigue for me to want to pick this up.

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The Year We Fell Apart

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

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Why I want it:

I’ve heard super awesome things about this book, which basically means I’m DOOMED because I pick up all the books that I hear great things about (or at least, all the ones I’m actually interested in.  I don’t just pick up random books, usually).  See, this?  This is why my “want to read” list is humongous.

Shade Chaser (City of Crows, #2)

A wizard, a werewolf, and a watchmaker walk into a bar…and don’t come out alive.

Two months after the infamous Etruscan incident, it’s back to normal for DSI—as normal as life can be when you hunt monsters on a salary. The rest of Nick Riker’s elite team has finally returned from France. Cooper Lee has healed from his nightmare trip to the Eververse. The remnants of the battles with Charun and Tuchulcha have been swept under the rug. And the exploding boathouse in Holden Park has (almost) been rebuilt.

All is calm in Aurora, Michigan.

Until a grisly triple murder in one of the city’s most popular bars destroys the delicate balance between three powerful forces. A high-ranking werewolf, a seasoned wizard, and a former mayor turned watchmaker wind up in body bags, and their deaths pit the ICM, DSI, and Aurora’s largest wolf pack against each other in a blame game of epic proportions. And as the accusations spiral out of control, threatening a supernatural war on Aurora’s streets, it’s up to Riker’s team to keep the peace before blood stains the sidewalks.

Meanwhile, Cal is struggling to overcome the consequences of his trip to the Etruscan Underworld. Haunted by visions of the future in the form of disorienting déjà vu, he’s terrified he’ll fail his team at crucial moments. But with the threat of violent riots hanging in the air, Cal has no choice but to power through and pray for the best.

Because one misstep on this case could mean the downfall of the city he loves.

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Why I want it:

I read–and enjoyed!–the first novel in this series from an author I’m rather fond of, and cannot WAIT to pick up book two!  I mean seriously, when you find a reader who doesn’t particularly LIKE books with cop main characters…actively seeking out a series that has just that?  You know it’s good.

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Have a book YOU’D like to recommend to me?!  AWESOME!  Either shoot me a comment down below, or send me a recommendation on Goodreads RIGHT HERE!

What do you guys think–have you read any of these…or WANT to?  What did you think of them, if so?  Let me know your thoughts and as always…

Until next time, happy book-ing!

 

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The Sacrifice: Emotionally-Driven, Poignant Reads

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The Sacrifice

In this collection, meet:

Guillaume, who gives up everything to protect his child; young Matthew, who stakes his life to save his home; and François, who makes the biggest sacrifice to rescue his grandson.

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Short Stories/Contemporary
219 Pages
Publication Date: August 25th, 2016
Get a copy here!

3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: thought-provoking, emotionally-driven reads; each short story explores and imparts a spine-chilling message; the prose is smooth and effective overall; some of the plot lines seemed a bit forced/too tidy

Huge thanks to Estelle (the muse!) for reaching out to me for a review and sending me a free copy of Indrajit Garai’s short story collection in exchange for my honest opinions! This in no way altered my read of or thoughts on this title.

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This collection of short stories is both haunting and emotional. Each plot introduces a complex, thought-provoking moral implication or message, and carefully crafts the story around it to the most heart-wrenching or powerful end. Indrajit Garai plays on his readers emotions throughout this series, leaving them breathless, angry, or hurting in turn. Each story manipulates the heart of readers in a beautifully engaging way, and is bound to leave people thinking long after closing the final page of the book.

I did, however, find a few of the plot points to feel a BIT awkward or forced. It seemed in several places, things happened in a weird or unnecessary order strictly to keep the plot moving and the story rolling, dragging out a situation or event. While this isn’t a bad thing necessarily–several times, these moments led to the more profound and poignant revelations–there were moments I found myself wondering over the realism of said events or situations. Some of them felt, I suppose, a bit fake or unbelievable in the end.

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The prose, however, is smooth and easy to follow, and the characters find their place within these pages. In fact, each character felt uniquely individualized and wholly separate from the rest, and while there were some interactions or reactions that I found myself doubting, they helped to draw me in more fully and immerse me in their stories. I believe the last story, especially, stands out as a favorite in my mind–the trials and tribulations faced and suffered by the characters, the climax and resolution of the plot, all came together in an emotionally powerful and deeply profound way.

While I don’t read many short story collections, I would definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporary fiction, powerful characters, and stories with punch. These emotionally-driven, heart-wrenching reads are bound to open readers up to a variety of different settings and characters…and, hopefully, impart some powerful, poignant messages in the process. Picking this book up isn’t a sacrifice, penguins–maybe you should consider it next time you’re seeking a turbulent read.

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Need/Want to Read (January 2017)

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January 2017

Because how ELSE are you guys going to keep track of me and keep me on track, unless I give you a sort of “to do” list for the month?!

(Okay, okay, FINE–I admit it, my beak’s become a little bit full and I might need this reminder to keep MYSELF in check.  Don’t sue me, okay?!  I’m only a penguin after all!)

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Lost Girls

Capturing The Captain (American Pirate Romances Book 1)

Swords & Stilettos (Enlighten Series, Book One)

Worth The Risk (Infinity Series, #1)

Chameleon Assassin

Living in the Shallows (UK Crush #1)

Frost (Midnight Ice Book One)

Grimm Woods

I’m not even going to TRY to come up with books I WANT to read, because….DUHDUHDUUUUUUH, I’m moving (AGAIN!  Into a bigger place because YAY more space!)!  But if you guys see any books above you want to buddy with me, PLEASE feel free to let me know–I love buddy reads, they help hold me accountable and keep me on track.  So…let’s do it?!

What books are YOU hoping to read in January?! Let me know, or link me to your TBRs below!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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Cover Reveal: Beautiful Assassin

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]

Beautiful Assassin (Syndicate #1),
by 
Skyla Madi
Publication date: January 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Spoiler alert. I fall in love with the man who
comes in the night.

He watches me down the scope of his rifle, and it’s terrifying and exhilarating, not
knowing when he’ll squeeze the trigger.

If he’ll squeeze the trigger.

Maybe I’ll die tonight…

…maybe I’ll die next week.

It’s a sick and twisted game, but it’s ours. And just when I think our story ends at a
distance, he comes in close, thrusting himself into my life.

We are at war, he and I, and eventually, he’ll have to kill me.

If he doesn’t, someone else will.

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]

*Designed by Deranged Doctor
Design
*

 

 

skylaAuthor Bio:

Skyla Madi is an Australian writer from Brisbane, Queensland.

She started her writing career fresh out of high school and at 21 she is a giver of both
real and fictional life.

Madi is an Aquarian, lover of the written word and author of the #1 BESTSELLING
Consumed trilogy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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November Snow: This Battle for Equality is Cold

 

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November Snow (Bad Bloods, #2)

When Daniel and Serena unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and everyone they know will come together to fight. But Serena has another battle.

After a political rumor threatens their lives, Serena must leave her family and join the political front against her will. To survive apart, Daniel has to separate his love from his hatred and join forces with his worst memory to secure Vendona’s war. But very few of them will survive to see the last day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, snow will fall, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy.

Bad Bloods #2
Dystopian/Fantasy/Science Fiction
275 Pages
Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date: September 19th, 2016
Get a copy here!

See my review for November Rain (Bad Bloods #1) HERE!

4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: strong characters; fast-paced, heart-stopping action; the ending resolution seemed very quick; lots of societal and moral lessons; I found myself racing through the pages; suspenseful, thought-provoking, and heart-wrenching; I’m only sad so many characters were lost


Huge thanks to Shannon A. Thompson and Clean Teen Publishing for sending me a copy of this title free in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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I finished this sequel last night and just… Oh, my penguins, guys. I think if my heart continues cracking, I will be starting the new year with a bunch of pieces and shards. These characters leaped off the page in book one….but stole my heart away in this second half. Every character is individualized, unique, and given their own quirks and voices. Shannon A. Thompson put a lot of time and effort into making this cast of personalities–and their reactions to the world around them–wholly realistic and believable.

 

The plot is fast-paced and full of action. We start off right in the thick of things, and aren’t allowed to relax until the very end. Shannon A. Thompson knows how to write a heart-stopping scene–and she proves it, with several of the most intense action scenes I’ve read in recent months. I found myself holding my breath, clenching my fists, and hoping for things to just work out for the characters–even though I knew at least a few of them would be inevitably lost.

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I was a bit surprised at how quickly the resolution came, though. It seemed like a very large portion of this series was spent focusing on fighting back, taking a stand, and showing the world how wrong it was. For things to just magically, within a couple of pages, be “better” seemed a bit unbelievable for me as a reader. Sure, most of the people were probably hoping for just this resolution…but the resolution seemed TOO quick, TOO easy, for a book that was full of so much division and struggle.

 

Overall, this was a fast-paced, heart-wrenching, climactic read! The characters are realistic and believable in their actions/reactions, the plot is quick and full of action, and the ending is just a little bit on the “unbelievable” end for me personally. I definitely recommend this to lovers of dystopian fiction, strong characters, and a world filled with chaos and divisive thinking. I was swept right into the middle of this world–you should dive in, too!

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Full Tilt: This Book Broke My Stone-Cold Heart

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Full Tilt (Full Tilt, #1)

“I would love you forever, if I only had the chance…”

Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge–impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch…

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he’s vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

Full Tilt is a story about what it means to love with your whole heart, to sacrifice, to experience terrible grief and soaring joy. To live life with all its beauty, and all its pain, and in the end to be able to smile through tears and know you wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Full Tilt #1
Contemporary Romance/New Adult
292 Pages
Trillian Publishing
Publication Date: June 28th, 2016
Get a copy here!

4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: oh penguins, my heart!; this book hurt; I cried!–a little; emotionally challenging; I knew this love was bound to hurt, but I was pushing for it the whole time; realistically flawed, beautifully complex characters; the growth in this read is astounding; I loved every relationship in this book

Huge thanks to Emma Scott, Trillian Publishing, and Netgalley for granting me access to a digital ARC of this read free in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Okay, penguins. We’ve talked about this before–usually, I’m a stone-cold heart when it comes to emotionally challenging books. Usually, I can read difficult passages and distance myself from them enough to NOT be left a sobbing mess. Usually, I’m tough, and I’m strong, and I kick emotions in the butt. BUT. This book? SOOOOO not the case. I mean, I wasn’t left a sobbing mess per se….but there were tears. I was definitely choked up. That ending BROKE. ME. APART. And I can’t lie–while I HATED it because nuuuuuuuuh, so not nice!…I loved it all the same? Maybe I’m a masochist; why else would I take such pleasure out of reading books that hurt me so hard?

Let’s talk about the nitty gritty for a second. This book is NOT rainbows and butterflies and happily-ever-after. There is not a princess to be saved from a scary dragon, though perhaps there IS, in a sense, a dragon (if you count medical conditions dragons, and I SO do. I mean, I should know, given my own chronic illnesses.) This book bites, and it bites HARD, penguins. There are some pretty heavy subjects broached throughout. There’s a LOT of grouchy, a lot of mistrust, and a lot of holding back. These characters–one in particular–carry some very heavy demons. This is not, by any means, a “light and fluffy” romance (though there are some very fluffy moments).

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Emma Scott wrote these characters as if she had specific, in-depth knowledge of their brains. Their reactions, their interactions, their dialogue and their personalities–everything that makes these characters is individualized, thought out, and complex. Due to this, there are a TON of relationships being explored and being changed throughout. I really adored how human and realistic the characters, their motivations, and their relationships were in this read. They all scrambled to put themselves at the forefront of my brain, and keep themselves there. Each one became a distinct voice, a separate personality–and I found myself longing to be friends with pretty much all of them.

But the GROWTH. The growth our main duo goes through is probably my favorite part about this read (I mean, apart from the life-ruining, heart-crushing ending. Because I’m a masochist, remember?) Jonah and Kacey face off against demons, both their own and each others’, in ways that I couldn’t imagine having to go through–and hope I won’t have to experience, because yeesh, they went through a LOT in this book. I especially loved that, while each character was growing in their own way and coming into themselves…they were always growing because of each other. The best relationships, in my mind, are those that make you want to change for yourself–and Kacey and Jonah gave each other that. And it was absolutely beautiful to see happening.

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I just… I don’t get choked up by reads very often, penguins, so you KNOW this book is something special. The characters are realistic and wholly distinct, the read is quick and emotionally-challenging, and the ending… The ending is every romantic masochists’ dream. I recommend this to lovers of difficult plot lines, new adult reads with a punch, and loves even the fates should be jealous of. I ran into this read full tilt…and that was the best decision I could have made. You should take the fall, too!